Alex Dimchev is a writer, editor, and weapons master for EUscoop.com
Emco Arms Manufacturer in a Feud with the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy
Sofia, Bulgaria -
A series of protests were conducted after a controversial decision made by the Ministry of Economy concerning the “Emco” arms and ammunition manufacturer. The ministry took the licensing of the firm which led to the termination of several contracts Emco had, including the contract with the government-owned company Kintex.
The workers of Emco are protesting
There was a series of protests of the workers from the Emco manufacturing facilities. The protests were due to the decision to remove the license for manufacturing after Emco was discovered to have unsafe methods of storing military supplies. According to the workers, the Ministry’s sanctions were politically motivated.
Emco is a privately owned company with government contracts. According to the workers, the sanctions were aimed to stop the development of their firm. Emco was one of the most successful private arms manufacturers in Bulgaria. Their current weapon shipments were reportedly sent to India. The workers fear that the government is trying to bankrupt their firm so it can be bought on the cheap later.
The Minister of Economy, Emil Karanikolov, was blamed for the scandal
The protesting workers in front of the National Assembly building in Sofia had signs with Karanikolov’s face and a big X painted on top. They are blaming the Minister for both trying to ruin their company with unfair regulations and not reinstating their license after the discovered problems were solved.
Karanikolov himself claims that once Emco’s conditions meet the necessary regulations the license will be returned. He also acknowledged that the sanctions cost a lot to the private firms. The names of several shady businessmen and political entities were thrown around the media, including that of media mogul Delyan Peevski, who never seems to leave the news: