Bulgaria's GERB Vows Recall of Discredited Diplomats after Election WinDiplomacy | March 28, 2011, Monday // 17:11| views
Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov (l), and Marco Arndt, Head of the Sofia Bureau of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, opened a round table titled “Democracy Needs the Truth.” Photo by BGNES
After the win of the upcoming presidential elections, the center-right, ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party will recall all ambassadors who have been agents or collaborators of the former Communist State Security (DS).
The declaration was made Monday by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, during the round table dedicated to the transfer of the DS archives from his institution to the so-called Files Commission, the special panel examining the Communist era documentation.
The Minister stated he does not expect the current President and former leader of the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), Georgi Parvanov, to undertake the move since otherwise the latter "cannot account for and explain the holding of this post."
"It is not normal, 21 years after the fall of the Communist regime, for a country to not have the capacity to have diplomats without ties to the Communist structures and to have 45% of our ambassadors to be DS agents," Tsvetanov pointed out.
According to the Deputy PM, the GERB government is the first one, after 1989, to show political will to restrict the influence of the Communist apparatus in the rule of the country, adding all candidates for high-ranking positions at the Interior already undergo a mandatory check by the Files Commission.
Tsvetanov declined comments on questions why GERB is not proposing a Lustration Act in the Parliament and why the GERB majority rejected five days ago the proposal of the right-wing Blue Coalition for amendments in the Diplomatic Services Act providing for not hiring diplomats with ties to DS, but stressed on the resignations of the former GERB Minister without Portfolio for Bulgarians Abroad, Bozhidar Dimitrov, and the Deputy Interior Minister, Pavlin Dimitrov, over the same reason.
The scandal flared at the end of 2010, when the Files Commission exposed about 200 diplomats, 90 of whom still employed by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, as DS agents or collaborators. 35 are ambassadors and permanent representatives. Just days ago, another 75 employees of the Ministry were exposed for ties with the Communist Security Services.
Tsvetanov further informed that over 1 million archive documents are already stored at the new building of the Files Commission in Sofia's Bankya suburb, and the transfer of another 170 000 from the regional police directorates is forthcoming.
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