Fact Check: Bulgarian Finance Minister Has NOT Decided To Sell State Land To Patch Up 2024 Budget

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  • от: Lead Stories автор
Fact Check: Bulgarian Finance Minister Has NOT Decided To Sell State Land To Patch Up 2024 Budget Refuted

Has the Bulgarian Finance Minister Asen Vasilev decided to sell 700,000 decares from the state land fund for 340 million leva to include this revenue in the 2024 budget? No, that's not true: The minister personally refuted this claim and stated that there is no article in the state budget law allowing the sale of state lands.

The claim appeared in a TikTok video (archived here) published on November 25, 2023 with a caption (translated from Bulgarian to English by Lead Stories staff) that read:

Attention: Asen Vasilev is selling 1/5 of the state's arable land to patch up his budget! This is not a country! Only mobsters and thieves! What are the Bulgarian people waiting for?

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-11-29 010042.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Tue Nov 28 22:00:43 2023 UTC)

The false claim that the Finance Minister had decided to sell state land to add the revenue to the 2024 budget, has been circulating on many social media for example here, here, and here and on websites. It was also published on this post on Facebook on November 28, 2023, with the caption translated from Bulgarian by Lead Stories staff:

Finance Minister Asen Vasilev is selling 700,000 acres from the state land fund for BGN 340 million, which he has invested in the revenue part of the budget. It is about 1/5 of the entire land fund. Apparently some lobby that has compensators got the upper hand. Asen Vasilev begins to invent more and more extreme solutions to fill the revenue part of the budget... during two wars, an economic recession in Europe and a sharp clash of geopolitical factors in the world.

Screenshot 2023-11-29 011212.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Nov 28 22:12:13 2023 UTC)

The President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev had announced his intention to veto the law on the state budget for 2024 if it is approved in the form proposed by the Ministry of Finance. He commented on media information that the finance minister intends to sell state agricultural land to finance the budget:

The intention of the Minister of Finance to sell off the state land fund is unacceptable. This land is a strategic resource. It concerns our national and food security.

But during a briefing in the Council of Ministers on 27 November, Minister of Finance Asen Vasilev personally refuted this claim and clarified some details of the Bill on the State Budget 2024:

The President commented on the Bill on the State Budget 2024 with fake news. It contains 109 articles and 16 transitional final provisions. All of them are published on the National Assembly website and submitted for discussion. There is no article in the document allowing the selling of government lands. No such revenues are foreseen in Budget 2024.

Lead Stories has previously debunked another claim here that Minister Vasilev met with Klaus Schwab to tell him that Bulgaria will adopt the digital Euro to control its citizens.

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