Bulgaria Socialists Distance Themselves from MEPs Backing EU Migration Resolution

Bulgaria in EU | October 28, 2016, Friday // 13:17|  views

File photo, EPA/BGNES

The head of Bulgaria's biggest opposition party has distanced itself from the decision of its MEPs who voted in favour of a resolution on human rights and and state expenditure on migrants from third countries.

The MEPs have been summoned by the party's leadership. Sergey Stanishev, Momchil Nekov and Georgi Pirinski will be heard at the BSP's Executive Bureau session next week, the bureau being its top decision-making body. Iliana Iotova, the fourth MEP that made it into the EU Parliament on BSP's ticket, was not present during the vote as she is a vice presidential candidate and is on a leave.

Korneliya Ninova, who chairs the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), has told the media her party was not informed either of the resolution's wording or the MEPs' stance on this.

"It does not match the BSP's policies," Focus News Agency quotes her as saying. Ninova has again called for more assertive border controls and a fight against both smuggling and government measures to pursue demographic policies that may turn Bulgaria "into a refugee camp or ghetto".

The issue of migration has grown ever more sensitive in Bulgaria as presidential elections are due next week, with most parties and candidates (independents included) warning of a "migration influx" allegedly threatening the country.

All opposition parties have been warning of the government's supposed intentions to settle refugees in depopulated areas to boost the economy. However, the proposal has only been adopted with regard to those arriving voluntarily under the relocation quota adopted by Bulgaria last year.

The narrowly (339-333, 25 abstentions) backed resolution, which calls on member states to avoid turning neighborhoods into "enclaves" for migrants and encourage integration and sees migration as a tool of sustainable development, gained support from MEPs of both the BSP and the second-largest opposition, party, the DPS.

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Tags: BSP, Korneliya Ninova, Sergey Stanishev, Momchil Nekov, Georgi Pirinski, EU Parliament, Iliana Iotova, migrants, Presidential elections


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