Bulgaria's Stanishev 'Key Factor' for EPP-PES AgreementBulgaria in EU | June 28, 2014, Saturday // 15:29| views
BSP Parliament group Chairman Atanas Merdzhanov (L) with the party's Chairman Sergey Stanishev briefly before political consultations in Parliament on Friday, June 27, 2014. Photo by BGNES
Socialist leader Sergey Stanishev's responsibilities in the European Parliament are vital for both Bulgaria and the EU, the new head of the BSP's parliament group argued.
Atanas Merdzhanov told the Bulgarian National Television that agreement between EP's socialist family (S&D) and conservative European People's Party (EPP) was reached "with the leading role of PES [Party of European Socialists] President Sergey Stanishev."
Merdzhanov took over as BSP Chairman in Parliament this week after party chief Stanishev resigned as MP.
He earlier assumed a Deputy Chair's office after Yanaki Stoilov surprisingly stepped down following discrepancies with socialist ranks.
Stanishev, who is under pressure to resign as BSP chief but refuses to do so, chose to keep a MEP seat he was firstly planning to hold temporarily, citing his commitments to PES and to their calls for a shift in European policies as the main reason for his decision.
On Friday he was elected to spearhead negotiations on more socially-oriented policies in the new European Parliament.
His critics in Bulgaria, on the other hand, recently tend to blame him for his party's poor European Parliament election results and disputable performance in the national government, where some party officials admit the electorate cannot recognize it as the leading force.