Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Sunday, 13 April 2008 16:29 UK

Key Bulgarian minister steps down

Rumen Petkov - 13 April 08
Rumen Petkov said he had misled the government

Bulgaria's Interior Minister Rumen Petkov has resigned amid increasing criticism of the government's failure to tackle organised crime.

The resignation follows a scandal in which two senior police officers have been accused of passing official secrets to alleged crime bosses.

There have also been a spate of contract killings in recent months.

The European Union has demanded Bulgaria, a member state, take urgent action to tackle corruption.

Among those murdered by apparent contract killers was a prominent author of books about Bulgaria's mafia.

Mr Petkov told a news conference in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia that he was taking responsibility for his decisions, some of which had "misled the government".

Bulgaria risks losing millions of dollars in EU aid if a report due out later this year says it has failed to make enough progress in fighting corruption and violent crime.

Country profile: Bulgaria
29 Jan 08 |  Country profiles

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