June 21. 2024. 6:14

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CEO of Bulgarian insurance holding alleges ‘corrupted’ Romanian officials

The head of Eurohold, the largest Bulgarian holding in Bulgaria, accused several Romanian officials of fraud, corruption, money laundering and conspiring to stage a major economic and political crisis.

The Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Eurohold Bulgaria AD, Asen Hristov, gave a presser in Bucharest on Monday (20 March), after the Romanian regulator ASF declared the insolvency and withdrew the license of the country’s largest car insurer, Euroins, which is part of the Eurohold holding, on Friday last week.

Bulgarian holding claims ‘hostile takeover’ by Romanian regulator

The Romanian regulator announced on Friday (17 March) the insolvency of the country’s largest car insurer, Euroins, a Bulgarian-owned company part of the Eurohold holding, a move that the latter decried as “hostile takeover”.

Hristov showed graphics illustrating the healthy situation of Eurohold and expressed his amazement at statements by Cristian Roșu, vice-president of ASF, who said on Saturday that Euroins was “almost up to date” with its payments, despite previous claims suggesting bankruptcy.

He said that Eurohold would claim in court €500 million in losses for loss of investments and incurred damages. In his words, to be added to this sum is €400 million as losses for FGA, the automobile guarantee fund, and expected increased reinsurance pricing – a total €1 billion to be ultimately paid by the Romanian taxpayer.

According to Hristov, there were two options. It ASF “puts its high ego first”, the result would be damages for €1 billion for Romania, he said.

According to the Eurohold chief, the second option is that ASF admits they were wrong, revoke their decision, and return the license to Euroins. In such a case, Romania would have “no claims and no losses”.

Hristov also mentioned the possibility of Eurohold filing lawsuits against individual members of ASF.

He gave a list of names that he said had pressured Euroins and were also involved in stealing €400 million” from City Insurance, the once largest insurer in Romania who went bankrupt in 2021.

“They are trying to defraud the whole Romanian state, but also to create a political crisis. Yes, some of them graduated in Moscow, but that’s another issue”, Hristov said, suggesting that the Romanian press should do its investigations.

In the meantime, a parliamentarian commission in the Romanian parliament questioned the ASF leadership over the Euroins case and the previous bankruptcy of City Insurance.

“In the Romanian market, there were nine (car insurance) companies until yesterday active a today, there are eight insurance companies who sell the third-party liability. In the UK, there are 200 companies, and 178 companies in Italy. In Poland, there are 35 companies. Simple: with 35 companies, the relative weight of one company is, on average, 3%. When a player with 3%, for various reasons, leaves the market, because he wanted to, or because he went bankrupt, he doesn’t distort anything; he cannot create a pandemic action in the market”, he said.

MPs from the Romanian right-wing and populist party AUR Alliance for the Union of Romanians held banners reading “ASF – corruption” and “ASF – thieves”. Among other things, they protested the salaries in the Romanian regulator, reportedly €12,000 per month.