Bulgarian President 'Foreigners' Act Veto Survives in Parliament

Domestic | November 27, 2013, Wednesday // 11:02|  views

After Bulgarian lawmakers voted on the presidential veto on the so-called "Foreigners Act," it emerged that the veto survived as a precedent for this parliamentary term, file photo

Bulgaria's Parliament did not collect the needed 121 votes to overturn the veto of President Rosen Plevneliev on amendments to the Investment Promotion Act.

At the Wednesday sitting, 114 MPs, from the ruling partners - the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) voted against the veto, while 91 lawmakers from the opposition, centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party (GERB) and from the extremist nationalist party Ataka were in favor.

No one abstained.

The is the first veto of the President during this parliamentary term that survived in the Parliament as Ataka are firmly against granting Bulgarian citizenship to foreigners and this time around did not extend support to BSP and DPS.

The legal changes created the possibility for citizens of non-EU countries to be granted permanent residence after depositing BGN 1 M at a licensed Bulgarian credit institution under a fiduciary management contract for a period of no less than 5 years.

A year after that, the same person may be granted Bulgarian citizenship under a simplified procedure in exchange for an investment of BGN 2 M.

On November 7, Bulgaria's Head of State announced that he was vetoing the legal amendments on grounds that they allowed granting Bulgarian citizenship and permanent residence solely on the basis of financial reasons.

He expressed concerns that such a regime had been in place until the beginning 2013 but had been revoked after security services had presented data about attempts at circumventing the law.

Plevneliev argued that the scheme paved the way for cases in which the money stayed at the bank pro forma, without contributing to the development of the economy.

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, Bulgarian President, Investment Promotion Act, veto, Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS, BSP, Bulgarian Socialist Party, nationalist party, Ataka, GERB, Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria


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