FinMin: Bulgaria Loses Patiences with Dutch Schengen Veto

Bulgaria in EU | September 12, 2012, Wednesday // 14:01|  views

Bulgarian Finance Minister Simeon Djankov has in effect scolded the Netherlands for keep up its veto on Bulgaria's Schengen bid. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria has "lost patience" with the Netherlands over its veto on the Bulgarian bid to join the Schengen Area, Bulgarian Deputy PM and Finance Minister Simeon Djakov has told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

"The Netherlands is changing the rules of the game because of election campaign reasons," Djankov argued before the Dutch paper, referring to the fact that Dutch domestic politics has played a great role in the decision of the Dutch government to impose a veto on the Schengen accessions of Bulgaria and Romania back in September 2011.

"Bulgaria and Romania are victims to the political games in the Netherlands. Populism and nationalism are taking over, and we are thus devoid of our fair chance," the Bulgarian Finance Minister said, adding that he hopes to see Netherlands revise its Schengen veto at the EU home affairs council in October 2012.

Djankov's comments for De Telegraaf come a day after it became clear that the meeting of the European Union Justice and Home Affairs Council, scheduled for September 19-20, which was supposed to tackle the issue of Bulgaria and Romania's Schengen bids, had been postponed for October.

According to the Bulgarian Finance Minister and Deputy PM, who says Bulgaria has lost patience with the Netherlands but fails to specify what "retaliatory" measures that might lead to, Bulgaria has done a lot to crack down on corruption and to reform its judiciary.

"It is time for the Netherlands to get some sense... The other EU member states recognize [Bulgaria's progress] but you don't. It's just not fair," Djankov told the Dutch paper.

He goes even further so as to suggest that the Netherlands is now being ridiculed in Brussels for failing to live up to its commitments (apparently Djankov refers to the promises for Schengen accession of Bulgaria and Romania), while demanding harsh measures from countries such as Greece.

"The Netherlands is risking its reputation," the Bulgarian Finance Minister believes.

The paper describes Djankov as a fiscal "hardliner", and reminds his background as a former World Bank executive, graduate of the University of Michigan, and one of the 100 most frequently cited economics scholars in the world.

The Bulgarian Deputy PM is further cited as saying that he prefers to wait out the crisis in the euro zone, and that for the time being he sees no advantages in Bulgaria's adoption of the euro.

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Tags: justice and home affairs council, European Union, postponed, joining, Schengen, Romania, Bulgaria, Schengen Area, Schengen Accession, Schengen Agreement, Simeon Djankov, veto, Netherlands, Dutch, Geert Wilders, Geert Leers, Mark Rutte, Dutch Prime Minister


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