President: People of Culture, Art Bulgaria's Sole Ambassadors AbroadDomestic | May 24, 2011, Tuesday // 12:32| views
Bulgaria's Socialist President Georgi Parvanov mixed politics and culture as he paid tribute to the deed of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, the creators of the Cyrillic alphabet on May 24. Photo by BGNES
Socialist President Georgi Parvanov did not miss the chance to take a dig at the government as he marked May 24 by awarding prominent Bulgarians for their contribution in the fields of culture, science and education.
"Hardly would anyone disagree if I say that today these are our best diplomats. By the way they are the only ones we have been left with, but this is another story," Georgi Parvanov said, apparently referring to the government's proposal to recall diplomats, who have been exposed to be collaborators of the former State Security Service.
"The Bulgarian culture has not only an ancient history, but a significant present too," he added in tune with the festive mood of the ceremony.
Bulgarians from around the country and the world are paying tribute Tuesday, May 24, to the deed of Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius, the creators of the Cyrillic alphabet.
During the ceremony Parvanov awarded in recognition of their "exceptional contributions" to Bulgaria Professor Nadezdha Seikova with Order of Stara Planina - first degree and Peter Karaangov with Order of Stara Planina - second degree.
Parvanov conferred the Order of Cyril and Methodius to Vassil Naidenov, Ivo Papazov, Georgi Trifonov and Iskra Radeva, Ivan Ivanov, Zdenka Doicheva, Dimitar Simeonov, Margarita Gradechlieva and Professor Milena Kurteva.
At the end of 2010, the so-called Files Commission, the special panel examining the Communist era documentation, revealed that almost half of Bulgaria's diplomats abroad had been collaborators of the former State Security Service.
Upon learning this, both Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov and Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov insisted that the discredited diplomats should be brought back to Bulgaria.
However, according to the Constitution, Bulgaria's Ambassadors can only be recalled by the President. President Georgi Parvanov refused to sign the decrees for the diplomats' dismissal.
At the beginning of this month, 13 out of 35 Ambassadors were recalled to Bulgaria for an indefinite consultation period, with the remaining ones due to be brought back in June. Their positions are to be occupied by temporary replacements.
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