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Bulgaria: Kostov Demands Resignation Of Savings Bank Chief

Sofia, 22 May 1997 (RFE/RL) -- In his first act as Bulgaria's new Prime Minister, Ivan Kostov yesterday demanded the resignation of the head of the state bank where most Bulgarians keep their savings.

In a statement, State Savings Bank (DSK) chief Bistra Dimitrova said that she would resign by the end of this week. Dimitrova had been appointed by the previous parliament, which was controlled by former Communists in the Socialist Party.

Our correspondents in Sofia say Kostov's demand is a clear indication of his intention to do away with corruption and politically-biased credit policies at state banks. DSK is blamed for issuing bad loans to companies linked with the Socialist former government, and failing to protect the interests of savers.

Earlier yesterday, parliament confirmed Kostov as Prime Minister and approved his cabinet. The final vote was 179 to 55. Kostov's anti-Communist United Democratic Forces coalition won an absolute parliamentary majority in elections last month.

Kostov said yesterday that years of what he called "false reforms and officially sanctioned theft" had come to an end. He said his cabinet would work to "bring Bulgaria into the 21st century as a civilized European country."