site.btaUPDATED Boyko Rashkov Heads Security Services Committee after Atanasov's Resignation
National Assembly Chair Rosen Zhelyazkov announced here Thursday the decision of the parliamentary group of Continue the Change - Democratic Bulgaria (CC-DB) to appoint Boyko Rashkov of CC-DB to chair the parliamentary Committee for Control of the Security Services, the Application and use of the Special Intelligence Means and the Data Access under the Electronic Communications Act for this plenary sitting.
On Wednesday, Atanas Atanasov of CC-DB stepped down as chair of the Security Services Committee, citing GERB and GERB leader Boyko Borissov's decision to back out from their commitment to reform the services.
Zhelyazkov also reported that the Committee on Economic Policy and Innovation in the National Assembly has formed a permanent subcommittee to monitor activities in the fields of consumer protection and restriction of monopolies. The subcommittee has six members, one from each parliamentary group, chaired by Desislava Trifonova of GERB-UDF.
"Not the right time to reform the intelligence services"
GERB leader Borissov and Delyan Peevski MP of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) urged Atanasov to reconsider his decision. Borissov said he values Atanasov and has full confidence in him. Both Borissov and Peevski share the opinion that now is not the time to reform the intelligence services and unite them into one because of the war in Ukraine. There Is Such A People (TISP) agree with them and even think that the topic should not be discussed at all.
"Besides, they say it is necessary to have pre-agreed personnel for the respective positions," Borissov said. In his words, Atanasov knows all of this.
According to Peevski, it would be better to wait, things should quiet down, because some structural shake-ups of the services at this moment could cause a mess.
Tsoncho Ganev MP of Vazrazhdane said that CC-DB's goal is to break the intelligence services. "The CC-DB's goal regarding the services is to unite them, thus breaking them up so they can remove the current directors, putting in 'obedient ones'," he stressed.
According to TISP MP Ivaylo Valchev there are no arguments for reforming the intelligence services, except the motive of serving interests - "let's take them from this one, let him not command them, and give them to others to do so".
DB Co-chair Hristo Ivanov told bTV Wednesday that DB will not stop pursuing its goals to reform the judiciary and the security services. Compromises can be made on various legislative initiatives, but red lines concerning the reform goals will not be crossed, he said.