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Rumen Radev and Bulgaria’s Entry into Schengen: Deputy Ivaylo Mirchev’s Perspective

“Rumen Radev has been president since 2016, and I don’t remember what his former governments did for our entry into Schengen, but we have been technically ready for it since 2011. President Radev is now getting on this sled, that almost he had negotiated our membership, which is not true. All the work was done by the “Denkov-Gabriel” cabinet and by the leaders of the majority in the National Assembly.” This was stated by Ivaylo Mirchev, the deputy from “We continue the Change – Democratic Bulgaria” in an interview with “Nova News”.

Mirchev specified that a problem for Schengen over the years was the corruption of the “Captain Andreevo” border crossing and the problems with the rule of law, which the Netherlands insisted on, but now these problems have already been solved. He rejected the interpretations that the long-time Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte wants to become the Secretary General of NATO and that is why he is already withdrawing his reprimands to Bulgaria in order to get her support for the new post. “I don’t think such important issues can depend on Rutte looking at NATO. I believe that the talks will end positively with Austria in hours or days,” said Mirchev.

The deputy also rejected interpretations that President Radev reacted sharply against the introduction of an additional fee for the transfer of Russian gas through Bulgaria because of the expected negative reaction of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

“During the administration of Radev’s caretaker governments, Putin’s demands were fulfilled. The president then reacted not because Orbán would encroach on our interests, but because of Putin’s interests. Why is the president against Bulgaria receiving an additional BGN 2-3 billion from the tax, but he signed a contract with Botash that owes us 2.3 billion dollars?” asked Mirchev and added that Bulgaria is not waiving the tax , and postpones it for a pan-European decision.

Mirchev reminded that under the contract with the Turkish “Botash” Bulgaria provides its entire gas transmission system for 13 years, regardless of whether it will use it throughout this time and without having access to the Turkish gas transmission system. “If they had made this contract at least for a period of 1-2 years, because after 13 years no one may use gas. And we have to pay fees regardless of whether we use deliveries. This is fraud, not protection of the national interest”, Mirchev is categorical, but he is skeptical that we can terminate the contract without losing $2.3 billion.

The deputy also explained what, in his opinion, was the goal of the deputies from “Vazrazhdane” and ITN, who on Monday caused a disturbance in the parliament, trying to disrupt the meeting, ripping out the cables of the loudspeakers. “Vazrazhdane” did this at the signal of the president. “Vazrazhdane” and ITN were in a strange synchronicity, and the BSP is still a systemic party and they cannot afford to behave like couch potatoes. The goal was to cause clashes, for MPs to receive punishments and to not have 160 votes for the constitution”, said Mirchev. And he added that the PP-DB group expected such behavior and a decision was made not to give in to provocations, although some colleagues in the group are very emotional, but in the hall they also showed maturity. “If it comes to a fight, there will be no problem either with the cables or with the meeting, but we are not in the parliament for that,” he said.

The People’s Representative from the PP-DB stated that the budget for the current year will end with a deficit of between 2.4 and 2.8%, far below the Maastricht criterion of 3 percent. According to him, the words of the acting finance minister Rositsa Velkova at the beginning of the year about a deficit of 8%, who is otherwise an undisputed professional, were dictated to her by the president.

Mirchev is convinced that in 2024 we will have the most social budget, with many buffers and a capital program of BGN 10 billion. we will enter the Eurozone next year”, said the MP.

The member of the leadership of “Yes, Bulgaria” rejected accusations of collaboration with the DPS because of the changes in the constitution. “The constitution has been Hristo Ivanov’s cause for 15 years and ours for 8 years. Even then, we said that we would talk to everyone, because now we have 63 deputies, and we needed at least 160. With GERB, we support a government, and DPS also supports it. The question is whether we are doing good for the country. We did not embrace Peevski, we held 5 parliamentary elections with time lost for the country and with wasted money as much as for one highway”, said Mirchev. And he reminded that this majority has done a lot for the energy independence of the country. “No one can extort us for nuclear fuel, for gas, for oil, for military equipment. These political forces voted in the interest of Bulgaria, not Putin’s Russia”, concluded the People’s Representative.

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2023-12-22 19:09:00

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