Bulgarian Nationalist Leader: Parliament Degenerated into Small-Town Gossip Spot

Domestic | January 11, 2012, Wednesday // 14:35|  views

Nationalist leader Volen Siderov has declared that Ataka has withdrawn its support for the GERB government. Photo by BGNES

Nationalist leader Volen Siderov said Wednesday that Parliament had grown to resemble a small-town cafe where groups gather for laughter and gossip.

Speaking at the first session for 2012, he bemoaned the degradation which he said had gripped the institution.

The leader of the nationalist party was further infuriated when the proposal of Ataka MP Ventsislav Lakov for a minute of silence in honor of the victims of the first bombing of Sofia in 1944 got rejected by Parliament Chair Tsetska Tsacheva.

Siderov defined the refusal as an act of national nihilism and a disavowal of national accountability.

"If I were to address you, I would do it by saying "Dishonorable Chair," he snapped at Tsacheva.

Elaborating on the nationalist party's agenda for 2012, Siderov was adamant in declaring that Ataka would not back the government's policy, which he described as "anti-national".

To prove his point, he cited the shale gas exploration permit granted to Chevron.

The nationalist leader went on to criticize the Cabinet's economic policy, stating that foreign monopolies were being promoted and given privileged treatment.

Siderov labeled the permit given for the gold mining project in the town of Krumovgrad as a "national treachery".

"We as Bulgarian patriots cannot back the policy of a government which acts in absolute synchrony with the Turkish government which is currently led by an Islamist, Erdogan, who receives embraces from the Bulgarian Prime Minister," the nationalist leader announced.

He further reminded of data published by the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) showing that hundreds of thousands of companies were on the verge of bankruptcy and asserted that the middle class in Bulgaria was dying during the term in office of the GERB government.

Siderov added that he would continue to oppose ruling center-right party GERB because it had "bought" the MPs which left Ataka.

Last week the nationalist leader called GERB and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov "thieves of state subsidy".

"11 MPs from Ataka were lured and bought by GERB on the promise of getting BGN 17 000 per month. As a result, our state subsidy was cut by half, while the party mouthpieces - the "Ataka" newspaper and the Alfa TV station - are only backed by the party and we rely solely on this money," Siderov explained on January 05.

Siderov warned that he would refer the matter to the Ombudsman and the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) because the scheme involved "illegal draining of finances" which the party obtained on the basis of votes received at the parliamentary elections.

In 2011, a total of 11 MPs left the parliamentary group of Ataka, leaving it with the bare minimum of 10 members.

Six of the renegade MPs pledged allegiance to GERB, four others are expected to follow suit and one sided with the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).

In his Wednesday statement, the nationalist leader again referred to the events that led to the closure of the "Ataka" newspaper as a penalty operation conducted by GERB due to the party's critical stance towards the government.

Siderov accused GERB of political engineering and insisted on amendments to the Political Parties Act (PPA) that would eliminate the practice of renegade MPs redirecting the state subsidy to a party of their choice.

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Tags: Volen Siderov, nationalist party, Ataka, GERB, independent MPs, GERB government, Erdogan, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, renegade MPs


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