Bulgarian Nationalist Leader Demands Abolition of State Subsidies for Political Parties

Domestic | July 31, 2013, Wednesday // 18:11|  views

Ataka leader Volen Siderov, photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's nationalist party Ataka plans to submit to the parliamentary registry a proposal for eliminating subsidies for political parties.

The step was announced by Ataka leader Volen Siderov in Parliament on Wednesday.

Under Ataka's proposal, both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary parties must not receive state subsidies, while MPs who fail to show up in Parliament must not receive payment, according to reports of mediapool.bg.

Under Bulgaria's existing legislation, political parties which received over 1% of the votes at the parliamentary elections, as well as coalitions which entered Parliament, receive state subsidies.

If the MPs failed to show up in Parliament for one month, they get around 1/3 of the salary and 2/3 of the unaccounted-for funds awarded for consultancy and expert services.

In his Wednesday statement, Siderov claimed that the other three parties in Parliament – the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party and the center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), party, were acting in collusion.

"There is an imitation of debate, no debates are actually taking place. They hold the same opinion on the budget revision debates and the summer recess, and everything. This means that there are no differences in governance. Technically speaking, all ministries are run by people of GERB. Apart from the Minister, who is a political figure, all officials below him are GERB people," the nationalist leader told journalists.

Remembering recent clashes with Vyara Ankova, Director of the Bulgarian National Televison (BNT), over the TV's allegedly skewed coverage of anti-government protests, Siderov went on to call for budget cuts for BNT and all other TVs receiving money from the state budget.

Ataka's leader suggested that Bulgaria's Council for Electronic Media also consisted of people of GERB.

Asked to comment on the change of stance of GERB leader and former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, who initially called for immediate snap elections and a resignation of the socialist-led government, but changed his mind in favor of early elections in May 2014, Siderov said that Borisov was a person who changed his mind three times a day - morning, noon and evening.

To illustrate his point, he said that GERB MPs had been supposed to not show up in Parliament, but they were in attendance, adding that there was most probably somebody who was pulling their strings, "be they oligarchic rings, foreign embassies or other factors."

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Tags: Volen Siderov, Ataka, nationalist party, Bulgarian National Television, state subsidy, political parties, Council for Electronic Media, GERB, protests


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