Bulgarian interior minister resigns over crime scandal

Bulgaria's powerful interior minister, Rumen Petkov, resigned Sunday amid a corruption scandal that exposed links between top crime-busters and suspected criminals.


SOFIA, April 13 (Reuters) - Bulgarian Interior Minister Rumen Petkov resigned on Sunday after an escalation in the European Union newcomer's struggle against crime that could threaten the cabinet's long-term survival and cost it millions in aid. 

"I am resigning to allow for a better state,"  Petkov told reporters. Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev accepted his stepping down, Bulgarian radio reported.

Brussels has called on Sofia to take "urgent action" after contract killings against an author of books on Bulgaria's powerful underworld gangs and the head of an energy company and a scandal in which two senior police officers have been accused of passing state secrets to shadowy businessmen.

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