Kiril Zhelev has been appointed Deputy Finance Minister on November 11, the Cabinet’s press service said, ending Zhelev’s tenure as head of the Customs Agency, a position to which he had been appointed just two months earlier.
The appointment of Zhelev (64) to head the customs agency came as a surprise since he had no professional background in that area – but he has had an extensive career in politics, during which he was often in a senior position overseeing public finances.
Elected member of Parliament on the list of the Bulgarian Socialist Party three times, he served as chairperson of the parliamentary budget and finance committee in the 37th National Assembly (1995-97).
He was also deputy finance minister in charge of taxation and revenue agencies between 2007 and 2009, in the cabinet of the socialist-led tripartite coalition – when Plamen Oresharski, the man currently sitting in the Prime Minister chair, was finance minister. It is yet unclear what Zhelev’s duties will be in the current Cabinet.
Zhelev’s place as head of the Customs Agency will be taken by Pavel Tonev (47), who had spent 18 years in the agency and was head of the Plovdiv regional customs directorate when he left the agency in 2009 to work as a consultant in the customs and excise duties sector, the Finance Ministry said.
Tonev has degrees in accounting from the University for National and World Economics in Sofia and law from the Veliko Turnovo University.
(Kiril Zhelev. Photo: minfin.bg)