EPP Slams Bulgarian Socialists for 'Siding' with Xenophobes

Bulgaria in EU | May 23, 2013, Thursday // 15:56|  views

EPP EP Chair Joseph Daul, photo by EPA/BGNES

EPP Group Chairman Joseph Daul has expressed his concern over the Bulgarian Socialist Party’s alleged informal alliance with an ultranationalist formation.

In a statement addressed to Hannes Swoboda, President of the S&D Group, Daul has noted that BSP might form a government in Bulgaria with “the official or unofficial support” of controversial Euroscpetic party Ataka (Attack).

“Chairman Swoboda, are you prepared to be hostage to Mr Stanishev, Chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the European Socialist Party?”, the EPP Chairman says.
Daul has described Ataka as “a nationalist and xenophobic party which violently rejects Bulgaria’s European destination.”

“Its leader sees ‘foreign investors and European ambassadors as colonisers who should be drummed out’!” Daul reminds, referring to a statement made by Ataka’s eccentric Chairman Volen Siderov.

“I ask you Mr Swoboda: using the procedural system of the Parliament in Sofia to show your support, albeit covertly: is this not a ploy to compromise the government, notably vis-?-vis Europe? Are we seeing double standards here?”

BSP and the liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms party, who finished second and third in Bulgaria’s inconclusive early elections, have pledged to form the new government next Tuesday.

Ataka has declared that it would not support a government proposed by any of the parties in Parliament.

BSP and DPS have a total of 120 seats in the 240-seat single chamber Parliament. Ataka and the center-right GERB have the same amount of seats.

The 23 elected MPs from Ataka purposely failed to register for voting during the Parliament's first session on Monday, thus lowering the needed quorum from 121 to 109, which allowed BSP and DPS to elect the new Speaker of the Parliament without the need of support from GERB and Ataka.

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev  launched consultations on forming the new government with parliamentary represented parties on Thursday, May 23.

Bulgaria’s formerly ruling center-right GERB party, which gained most votes in the recent elections, but not enough to form a cabinet, returned the mandate immediately.

BSP’s candidate for Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski received the mandate later that day.

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