Borisov to the MEPs: If there is so much Corruption, How are we Always First in Elections (Video)Bulgaria in EU | January 17, 2018, Wednesday // 15:43| views
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced to the European Parliament that he is a "green man", rejected accusations by MEPs that his government opens the door for the construction of Pirin and guarantees that only a second lift in Bansko will be built and nothing more. He did not agree with the assessments that the fight against corruption in Bulgaria is ineffective, arguing with economic growth and election victories.
"Corruption is everywhere, we are fighting a huge battle, I am elected 10-11 times in different elections in Bulgaria, we will do well within 2-3 years", the prime minister said after presenting to MEPs the main priorities of the Bulgarian rotating presidency of the Council of the EU.
The main criticism came from the Greens camp in the EP, which reminded that thousands of people protest in Bulgaria for the protection of Pirin, corruption and the strange decision to expand the tourist area in Bansko.
"It is not just a matter of the environment, but how do we observe the rules of the EU? As a presidency, you have to be an example," said the group of the "Greens", recalling that Bulgaria is still the country with the most corruption in the EU.
Greenpeace co-chairman Ska Keller pointed out that many of the measures against corruption in Bulgaria are counterproductive and confusing, the whistle blowers are threatened and there is a lot of influence from shadowy people over the media.
In his typical style, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov downplayed the issues raised
"I particularly like to answer to the Greens because I myself am a green man. The preservation of Bulgarian nature is to a great extent protected by our government. I have great respect for our nature conservation organizations. I have spent years stopping new infrastructure projects to protect one nest. I personally made ministers carry snowdrop flowers. I want you to guarantee that it is a single lift in Bansko. I can guarantee that this is only a second lift. I guarantee that not only there will not be any illegal logging, but even a single tile more will be put there, "said Borisov.
If there is such corruption, how do we always win elections?
The findings of lack of significant progress in the fight against corruption contradict the question:
"If there is such corruption as you say, how will such an increase in the economy, more investments, how will people choose us first and foremost?" As a policeman people elected me as mayor of Sofia, from what I have done in this sphere I guarantee you that, as we have done now, in 2-3 years, we will do it, we will do well, with the new legislation, the will, and your help and effort. Protesters? They were our coalition partners, they split into three parties for the last elections and could not get into parliament six months ago, they are our most natural partner - It is not my fault that they split into three, not my fault that I won the election while the people elected Socialist president. "
Borisov will personally push forward the Istanbul Convention
Borisov also commented to the MEPs that the Bulgarian Socialists had decided not to support the Istanbul Convention in parliament, but he would make every effort to ratify it. He also denied the criticisms of ALDE liberals about the presence of nationalists in the ruling coalition: "With the patriots we are understood that the ethnic model will be kept carefully, so Bulgaria be an example of the entire Balkans "
EU to give a clear plan for the accession of the Western Balkans
Boyko Borissov has asked the EU to give a clear plan for the accession of the countries of the Western Balkans - a topic that is a priority for the Bulgarian EU Presidency.
"We clearly know that there will be no new member states from the Balkans in the European Union in the mandate of this Commission but at the same time we have to tell them very clearly and honestly what hopes they can have, our views on their integration into Europe, and I am convinced, knowing the region, that this is the right moment to do so. "You see, yesterday, a shot in Kosovo and literally caused scandals and chaos for the entire Balkans, the negotiation process between Kosovo and Serbia, and the overall moods, "said Borisov.
He pointed to the four main priorities of our presidency - the future of young people in Europe, the Western Balkans and the connectivity in the region, a secure and stable Europe and digital skills.
If the EU does not invest in the Balkans, it will be done by Russia, China, Turkey
Borisov voiced hope for a quick solution to the Athens-Skopje conflict over the name of Macedonia so that the country gets a prospect of NATO and EU membership.
The Bulgarian Prime Minister has urged the EU to invest in infrastructure in the Balkans, highlighting a geopolitical argument: "If we do not, it will be done by Russia, Turkey and China because they have interests in the Balkans."
"Now is the time to give a perspective to the Balkans, stability in the Balkans is directly responsible for Europe's stability, the solution is a European perspective," he added.