German MP, MEP Concerned over Political Situation in BulgariaBulgaria in EU | June 28, 2013, Friday // 18:42| views
Photo by EPA/BGNES
German MP Gunther Krichbaum and a MEP Markus Faber have voiced strong concern over the current political situation in Bulgaria.
Germany's Committee on the Affairs of the European Union discussed the latest developments in Bulgaria behind closed doors, according to reports of 24 Hours daily.
Gunther Krichbaum, a member of Merkel's Christian Democrats and Chair of the European Affairs Committee, commented that elections and changes of government were absolutely normal processes in a democracy.
"However, when there are discernible tendencies that a government wants to sacrifice the state, this is unacceptable," he stated.
Asked to comment on the appointment of notorious media mogul Delyan Peevski as Chair of the State Agency for National Security, DANS, which incited public discontent and triggered a series of ongoing anti-government protests, Krichbaum said that the move had been a severe blunder which Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski had also come to realize.
"Now it comes down to rebuilding the lost trust of the nation but also of the European partners," he argued.
He suggested that members of the Bundestag were strongly worried by the fact that Bulgaria's one-month-old government was only managing to hold onto power by "complying with a far-right and anti- European party like Ataka."
Krichbaum added that the desire for political power was never supposed to reach such proportions.
Meanwhile, MEP Markus Ferber threatened several days ago to invoke Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty over the breachof the principles of democracy in Bulgaria.
In an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, Ferber argued that the measure had been necessitated by the fact that the actions of the Bulgarian government had overstepped the boundaries of non-compliance with European principles.
Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty envisages penalties such as the suspension of voting rights for a serious and persistent breach by a Member State of core European values like "respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities."
Gunther Krichbaum, however, said that experience had shown that it did not make much sense to impose such a penalty.
He backed the initiative of Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and his Danish, Finnish and Dutch counterparts to draft better measures in cases of breaches of core democratic values.
Asked whether Bulgaria had to brace for a penalty, the German MEP noted that it was above all necessary to keep the progress reports under the co-operation and verification mechanism.
"Bulgaria is obliged to maintain the highest standards of democracy and rule of law in the EU. Every Bulgarian is an EU citizen too, which is why warnings from Brussels could not constitute intervention in internal affairs. I hope that the Bulgarian government and Parliament will respect these pan-European standards, otherwise the European Commission will have to interfere," Krichbaum concluded.
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