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Bulgaria: President Accuses Government Of Keeping Currency Board Secret

Sofia, 29 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - Bulgaria's President Zhelyu Zhelev says International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Michel Camdessus has expressed deep concern over the financial situation in Bulgaria. And Zhelev says Bulgaria's Socialist government was briefed in early October by the IMF on the need for a so-called "currency board" to curb inflation and help stabilize Bulgaria's plunging currency.

Zhelev appeared on state TV last night to disclose the contents of a letter he received from the IMF's Camdessus, and accuse the Socialist government of keeping the "currency board" briefing a secret, and thus losing precious time, and damaging Sofia's credibility.

The Cabinet immediately issued a statement, labeling Zhelev's accusations "a lie."

Zhelev this week had written Camdessus that political consensus in Bulgaria is unlikely for a "currency board." Zhelev wrote that opposition support for a "currency board" could help prop up the current Socialist government. But, fearing another breakdown in the relationship between Sofia and the IMF, Zhelev wrote that the "currency board" would be discredited, if it was supported only by the Socialist majority in Parliament.