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Bulgaria: Counter-Spy Service May Battle Financial Groups

Sofia, 26 May 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Bulgarian Interior Minister Bogomil Bonev today called upon the National Security Service (NSS) to investigate secretive financial groups that he says are trying to undermine Sofia's new economic policies.

Bonev said some Bulgarian groups, "especially banking circles," are trying to place obstacles in the way of a proposed currency board before it is implemented in July. The board would link the Bulgarian lev to hard currency reserves in the central bank.

Bonev said today that the currency board is being attacked by groups that are trying to siphon money from institutions like the State Savings Bank (DSK).

Bistra Dimitrova, who had been appointed as the head of DSK by Bulgaria's previous Socialist-dominated parliament, resigned on Friday under pressure from Prime Minister Ivan Kostov. Bonev said Dimitrova's activities at the bank are under investigation. Financial groups with alleged ties to Socialist former governments are blamed for stalling economic reforms in Bulgaria during much of the past seven years.