Bulgarian Minister of Economy Suggests Reforms In Arms Industry Law

The Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov is offering a reform in Bulgarian law that would make it possible for the state to take away licenses to arms manufacturers when there are storage violations. The current law is to restrict the shipments of such cases.

Emil Karanikolov vs. the arms manufacturers

The planned reform was announced in an interview with Nova TV. Karanikolov called the current laws “illogical” as they only restrict the exporting and importing of military hardware from organizations that have safety and storage violations. The proposition would make it so exports and imports are possible, but manufacturing isn’t.

The Minister of Economy also denied the allegations of state-assisted plunder of private business. He claims that a potential takeover of these firms would be “public” rather than governmental. However, many of the allegations aren’t about outrigt nationalization, but a state-assisted plundering by private organizations affiliated with government officials.

Karanikolov makes the news quite often in the past weeks with his involvement in the Emco scandal. The minister ensured that the firm will get its license back on the 6th of October. He defended the decision to sanction Emco, claiming that there was bad management and serious safety issues on the manufacturing compounds.

The Bulgarian arms industry has become a very juicy target. The country made 1 billion leva from it in 2016, and with the current turbulent climate and wars in the world, it’s likely that the needs for weapons will only increase in the following years. The speculations are that Karanikolov and shady oligarchs within Bulgaria want to get all the pieces of that pie. Karanikolov is reported to be one of the least popular ministers in the current government.

Alex Dimchev
Alex Dimchev is a writer, editor, and weapons master for EUscoop.com