Prokopiev with a new blow in Brussels against Bulgaria: All media in the mud, only "Capital" in white
The oligarch and media monopolist blackmails all the main players in the sector in front of EU - from newspapers to Tvs. Spreads a report full of lies and written by his wife
Under his pressure, an apocryphal report with the pompous title "The grip on the media in Bulgaria" is being circulated in the capital of Europe. It is masked as an independent analysis, but in fact it was written entirely at the dictation of the energy boss and media monopolist, and in his old fashion he attributes to others the behavior of Prokopiev himself and the publications under his control.
His impudence goes so far that he has not even made a special effort to conceal his role in this propaganda attack - among the main participants in the report is his own wife and manager of „Economedia” (the group that publishes “Capital” and the online publications that officially lead under the hat of the oligarch) – Galya Prokopieva.
The purpose of the so-called analysis is to try to mask again the image of an oligarch, already exposed by a number of publications in Western Europe, using his publications for lobbying and a bat against the enemies, by exhibiting all the main media in Bulgaria - from newspapers to televisions, "taken over" , dependent on behind the scenes interests or failing to meet ethical standards.
The goal is to destroy the trust in others and none other than the core of Prokopiev's manipulation machine - "Economedia", to become completely white and the only one that respects ethics in journalism. And together with this, the regulatory bodies in the country such as the Council for Electronic Media (CEM), the Financial Supervision Commision (FSC) and the The Commission for protection of competition (CPC) should be made dependent or non-functioning.
In order for the oligarch and media monopolist to lay a hand on the few of them that he has not yet taken over through the government of his next proxy in politics, Kiril Petkov, who came to power with a promise of change, but actually turned it into a replacement in favor of the interests of Prokopiev. A process that has already started in CEM, and just a few days ago - in CPC as well.
The report was published on March 25th and is being published by one of the European NGOs partnering with „Economedia” - the Vienna-based International Press Institute. One of the biggest absurdities is that the report was paid for with money allocated by the European Commission. I.e. from funds of European taxpayers, such as Bulgarian citizens.
The word "absurd" is actually even a euphemism, because all 31 pages of the analysis are full of lies, financed by all of us.
At the same time, even the sanitary and hygienic criteria for objectivity are not covered - i.e. have at least a few different points of view indicated. In fact, there is only one point of view, and it is Prokopiev's, who for this purpose provided both an author and "speakers" in the report, all connected to the "Capital" circle.
The analysis is not based on facts, but is actually a collection point of Prokopiev's props already launched in the public space over the years, distributed by his network of media, NGOs and proxies in politics. In the case of the report, the manipulations and claims cited in it are also from people presented as "media experts", but in fact directly connected to the "Capital" circle.
Who are they?
In the first place - Galya Prokopieva. However, the editor-in-chief of the online publication "Mediapool" Stoyana Georgieva also makes her company on the list. For years, Georgieva has been a member of the board of the Union of Publishers in Bulgaria, which gathered in one place all media publishers connected to Prokopiev and his manipulation machine. And the Mediapool site itself was hosted by "Economedia" for a long time.
The rest of the supposedly independent "media experts" are also directly connected to the oligarch. These are the long-time head of the correspondent bureau of "Dnevnik" in Varna and the current founder of the site "For the truth" Spas Spasov. Lawyer Alexander Kashamov, who represents "Mediapool" in landmark media cases in court and is a member of a number of NGOs connected to the "Capital" circle.
Neli Ognyanova, author of the Law on Radio and Television at the time when Ivan Kostov was prime minister - the man who made Prokopiev a millionaire overnight with his gangster privatization.
And another media expert who started his career in those times and is directly connected to the "Capital" circle - Orlin Spasov. He is also the executive director of a foundation, also part of the NGO network of the circle in question. Because of this, no one will be surprised that the author of the report itself is a former employee of the publications around "Capital" and more specifically "Mediapool" - Boryana Jambazova. So much for viewpoints.
And the facts? There are none. They have been replaced by manipulation and slanders
As you can guess, none of these circumstances directly linking the people who wrote the report to Prokopiev appear in it.
Also conspicuously missing is Prokopiev himself, for whom - excluding the quoting of his wife and her judgments about the others in the media market - there is not a word. Just as there is no mention of the scams, the garnishments of his ill-gotten wealth and his affairs revealed in the past by the media-targets of the report.
Instead, the pseudo-analysis is full of insinuations and outright lies against all other mainstream media in the country. Among them are the national dailies "24 Chasa" and "Trud", the public television BNT, as well as the private televisions with the highest rating in our country - NOVA and bTV.
Besides explaining that the rulers exercised control over the media in Bulgaria (excluding “Economedia” and publications around the “Capital” circle) by selectively giving public funds as advertising, there are also personal attacks.
Against the already cited newspapers and other publications, the old thesis of the "Capital" circle, that they had addictions, because they used loans from the KTB bankrupted by banker-fugitive Tsvetan Vasilev, is shown again. Against BNT - that it was not impartial, and its general director was "installed" to present in a "positive way" the work of the previous governments.
Against bTV and NOVA, the attacks are also two-pronged - that at various times there were also "political" dismissals of journalists, without giving any facts to support these claims. And also that their owners, in addition to media, also had telecoms, which created a danger of market concentration.
Although there is no concentration, and that the danger does not come from them, but from Prokopiev himself, whom a number of Western publications exposed precisely as a monopolist in the media market. But more on that in a moment.
Because we cannot help but mention that, symptomatic of the Capital circle's obsession with Delyan Peevski, literally half of the report is devoted to attacks on the MP from the opposition DPS (Movement for Rights and Freedoms).
Although a year and a half ago he sold his media group, which published a total of 6 media, and has had nothing to do with the sector since then. In the so-called analysis claimed that it was still unclear whether he retained influence. In what way is not clear. What evidence is there for such claims.
Because there is no evidence and the authors of the scripture know it very well. That is why they use suggestions of the "alleged" type to push in front of Europe all the lies of Prokopiev and the circle around him against Peevski, who over the years has become their main enemy because of the systematic extraction of the truth about their scams.
As well as because of his legislative activity, which thwarts schemes to drain the state and taxpayers' pockets.
What is the truth?
In reality, the report is a crooked mirror, attributing to others the behavior and modus operandi of the energy oligarch and media monopolist Ivo Prokopiev and the publications under his control. According to the Western media, "the blind spot of the media landscape in Bulgaria", as defined by the Brussels edition "New Europe", controls over 25 outlets in our country, through which Prokopiev created and continues to create a parallel reality for years.
Attributing to others their own crimes against ethics, morality and legality in Bulgaria. The report may speak of selective distribution of public funds by various governments, but over the past decade and a half, the oligarch has almost continuously had his proxies in the cabinets running the country. Let's start with the first "Borisov" cabinet, in which - according to the confessions of the until recently prime minister, Prokopiev had named 5-6 of the ministers.
And let's get to the current government, in which the energy boss has an entire prime minister complete with not a small part of the rest of the composition of the Council of Ministers.
Thus, in addition to playing the role of puppeteer and political broker, he sustains his media precisely through public resources. Some of them siphoned off through his schemes, the others - provided in the form of advertising by institutions in which he has his own proxies. This is an easily traceable fact in the register for public procurement, as well as the platform for funds under the European funds.
Another easily traceable fact is whether his media meet the criteria for ethics at all, given that in 2010 Prokopiev staked their editorial policy against a bank loan - an unprecedented act in the history of world journalism.
And a few years later, his emails to the management of the media in question were leaked. In them, he gave instructions on how to cover citizens' protests against expensive electricity. Everything was done in favor of one particular monopolist in the market, of course.
A gross interference that is indicative of the nature of the manipulation machine created by Prokopiev and the way he uses his media, the NGOs around the Capital circle and the politicians of the same circle party projects like "Da, Bulgaria” (Yes, Bulgaria) and "Prodalzhavame promyanata” (We continue the change) to drain state resources and taxpayers' pockets for decades now.
And to vilify all who expose his schemes and try to stop him from continuing to do so.
What's the goal?
The main goals of the report are actually three. One is to try to undo the damage from the dozen or so investigations in Western media that have come out in recent months, proving to Europe what we have always known - that he is an unscrupulous oligarch brutally using his role in the media sector to serve his own interests. to pressure its competitors, vilify its enemies and replace the public agenda with lobbying through its political proxies.
In fact, the report was compiled and published literally weeks after the DPS provided Prime Minister Kiril Petkov with 9 folders with investigations into Prokopiev's scams, published in some of the already mentioned media.
Prokopiev's second goal is to try to legitimize in front of Europe his successive attempts to lay hands on the regulatory bodies in our country, as well as on the public media such as BNT, for example. This is the moment to emphasize that BNT is another target of his crosshairs given the election for the general director of the television, in which one of the journalists closest to the "Capital" circle already participates.
And last, but definitely not least - after imposing a monopoly on the media sector in our country and building a machine for manipulations and propaganda on the Goebbels model, to try to privatize and replace with misinformation in front of Europe the truth about the situation in the sector and in Bulgaria as whole. Moreover, with lies paid for by European funds, as is the case with the report.
The question here is, after the European Commission created a whole unit to fight fake news and disinformation, is there no one to check how such reports are compiled and why they go so far as to lie to us - both us and the EU, with our own money.
Western media about Prokopiev:
A blind spot, a media monopolist and a symbol of predation
A "blind spot", a media monopolist controlling at least 25 outlets and a symbol of predation. These are just some of the descriptions used by a whole series of Western European publications to describe the true face of the oligarch Ivo Prokopiev.
Already at the end of last year, the characteristic "blind spot of the Bulgarian media landscape" was given to him by the Brussels-based "New Europe". The French „EconomieMatin“ described him as "a symbol of predation, undermining the foundations of democracy in Bulgaria" in one article.
And in another - "signature oligarch of the transition", "created on the Soviet model", "owning more than 25 outlets" and "using his media influence to hide some of his alleged abuses".
Also, the French publication „Entreprendre“ pointed to him as "a typical example of the connections between business, politics and the media". And from the European Crime Observatory - as "the epitome of impunity for the acquisition of public goods".