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Valeri Simeonov, NFSB: UP and GERB should hold urgent talks by weekend to come up with declaration against Cavusoglu’s statement

Valeri Simeonov, NFSB: UP and GERB should hold urgent talks by weekend to come up with declaration against Cavusoglu’s statement

10 April 2019 | 15:40 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The leaders of the United Patriots and GERB should hold urgent consultations by the end of the week to propose a declaration against Cavusoglu’s statement, NFSB leader Valeri Simeonov said in connection with the hearing of Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva in Parliament on the Turkish Foreign Minister’s statement, Focus News Agency reports. “In our opinion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took timid and irresolute action with regard to the provocation. There was neither a strong protest nor the recall of the unproficient Bulgarian ambassador Nadezhda Neynsky from Ankara, but only humiliating and unsuccessful attempts to summon the Turkish ambassador to a talk. There was a modest demarche by the government and a postponement of Cavusoglu in Bulgaria. We have not yet heard an apology from Turkey, but only reproaches that Cavusoglu’s speech was misinterpreted,” Simeonov said. They want the Parliament to adopt a declaration denouncing another instance of interference by Turkey in Bulgaria’s domestic affairs, and say the coalition partners should come up with a joint text for the declaration.
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Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva: There was no pressure from Turkey on the ministry, I cannot answer on behalf of political parties

Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva: There was no pressure from Turkey on the ministry, I cannot answer on behalf of political parties

10 April 2019 | 14:51 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. There has been no pressure from Turkey on the foreign affairs ministry, I cannot answer on behalf of the political parties, Foreign Affairs Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said in Parliament in response to a question from MP Krasimir Bogdanov, United Patriots, during her hearing on Turkey’s Foreign Minister’s statement regarding the Bulgarian amended law on religious denominations, Focus News Agency reports. Regarding the information that the Turkish foreign minister used the word ‘pressure’ in his statement, Zaharieva said: “In the conversation with me, he denied having used that word. He thinks the translation was incorrect. Of course we know the exact statement,” Zaharieva said. She stressed the Bulgarian response had been adequate, with a demarche and by summoning Turkey’s ambassador. “As for whether in Bulgaria non-interference is guaranteed, obviously there are attempts, it cannot be guaranteed. The question is whether we will succumb to these attempts. I am not talking only about the Republic of Turkey. It is more important. There are different ways to communicate through diplomatic channels. We too have responded to other countries’ draft laws when we thought that they did not comply with international treaties and standards. This does not mean interference in domestic politics, it means normal diplomatic communication. We have done it,” the minister said.
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Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB: National security council must be called every three months, but we’ve seen no meeting since May 2018

Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB: National security council must be called every three months, but we’ve seen no meeting since May 2018

29 March 2019 | 15:13 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Consultative National Security Council must be convened every three months, but in fact it has not convened since May 2018, GERB deputy leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov said to reporters, quoted by Focus News Agency. “This is a question you should ask the president because he has to call these meetings on his own initiative, in dialogue with the Bulgarian institutions. It does not matter whether he likes the politicians in the Bulgarian Parliament or not. It is Bulgarian voters who choose the configuration and representatives in parliament and the president’s office. There must be a common language, work we should do for Bulgarian citizens. We cannot afford deal with trivialities,” Tsvetanov said. Debates in the European elections should be about mobility and the new programming period, he said.
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Georgi Dimov, former Bulgarian consul to Edirne: Turkish foreign minister’s statement is gross and unacceptable interference in Bulgaria’s domestic affairs

Georgi Dimov, former Bulgarian consul to Edirne: Turkish foreign minister’s statement is gross and unacceptable interference in Bulgaria’s domestic affairs

29 March 2019 | 14:25 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Minister’s statement is a blatant and unacceptable interference in the domestic affairs of Bulgaria, Georgi Dimov, former consul general of Bulgaria to Edirne, told Focus Radio regarding Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s words about their intervention in the amendment of Bulgaria’s Religious Denominations Act. The Bulgarian Foreign Affairs Ministry must have a political response to that, Dimov said. In his words, “this is another proof of Turkey’s blatant and unacceptable interference in our internal affairs. The explanations about pre-election propaganda and agitation cannot be taken seriously, and if we do, it will be another proof of the use of apartment arguments and considerations also in the field of our foreign policy and our national interest. I believe we will have to state firm disagreement, for which we have several options: present a protest note, summon the Turkish ambassador in Sofia to our foreign ministry and hand the note to Ankara through our ambassador there.” The response the Bulgarian government opts for will show its attitude on this issue, Dimov added.
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Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva: Turkish Foreign Minister's statement is unacceptable, Turkish ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva: Turkish Foreign Minister's statement is unacceptable, Turkish ambassador was summoned to the Foreign Ministry

29 March 2019 | 13:28 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Turkey's Foreign Minister's statement that the law on religious denominations in Bulgaria has been changed after their intervention is unacceptable, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said commenting on the tensions caused by her Turkish counterpart, Nova TV reported.
Today Turkey's Ambassador to Bulgaria will meet with a representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "My comment is that this is a completely unacceptable statement. Today the Turkish ambassador was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the afternoon. […] Unfortunately, very often the language used before elections is unacceptable to the neighbours,” Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva commented.
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Parliament defers religious institutions’ debt obligations as of end-2018

Parliament defers religious institutions’ debt obligations as of end-2018

28 March 2019 | 14:13 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The Parliament allowed for the deferral of debt obligations of religious institutions accumulated until the end of 2018, Focus News Agency reports. The deferral is up to 10 years. The measure was proposed by GERB’s group speaker Tsvetan Tsvetanov and a group of MPs between the first and the second reading of the Religious Denominations Act. The original draft had put forward remission of the debt.
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BSP urge government to present terms for religious institutions’ debt deferral

BSP urge government to present terms for religious institutions’ debt deferral

14 March 2019 | 14:15 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. BSP urged the finance minister to present the terms under which the debt of religious institutions would be rescheduled. “No one says for how long and under what conditions the payment is being deferred. A 50-year deferment, for example, is a hidden amnesty,” party leader Kornelia Ninova said at a party press conference, quoted by Focus News Agency. The ruling majority’s handling of the issue divides society, she argued, referring to indebted municipal hospitals and people’s bills. “We think the deal is still in place, I guarantee that this GERB proposal will be unanimously approved by MRF and United Patriots,” she said.
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Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB: We propose deferral instead of debt amnesty in law on religious denominations

Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB: We propose deferral instead of debt amnesty in law on religious denominations

13 March 2019 | 14:47 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. In the law on religious denominations, we propose a deferral of the debt amassed until December 31, 2018 instead of amnesty, GERB’s group chair in Parliament Tsvetan Tsvetanov told a briefing, Focus News Agency reports. He denied that his party was in a deal with MRF to annul the Grand Mufti’s debt to the state and said that all denominations had debt as of December 31, 2018.
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Yavor Bozhankov, BSP: It is poor legislation on important matters such as the law on religious denominations that creates tension

Yavor Bozhankov, BSP: It is poor legislation on important matters such as the law on religious denominations that creates tension

12 March 2019 | 15:26 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Poor legislation on important matters such as the law on religious denominations is a source of tension, BSP MP Yavor Bozhankov told a party press conference, Focus News Agency reports. Thus he rejected accusations from the majority that the opposition party was stirring tension. The bill was proposed without prior impact assessment and there was little information at the beginning, which led to speculations, he stressed. “For days Bulgarian journalists searched for information from unknown sources. All sorts of speculation, interpretation, different figures were published in the media. This confused Bulgarian citizens and alone created unnecessary tension,” Bozhankov said. His fellow MP Filip Popov accused GERB of using religious communities for their narrow partisan political goals with MRF. They called on United Patriots not to register for the parliament sitting were they sincerely against the bill.
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Valeri Simeonov, NFSB party: Mufti debt deal is between Borissov and Dogan, it was not discussed with UP

Valeri Simeonov, NFSB party: Mufti debt deal is between Borissov and Dogan, it was not discussed with UP

12 March 2019 | 11:39 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The deal about the Mufti’s Office’s debt is between Borissov and Dogan, and contrary to elementary coalition ethics it was not coordinated with coalition partner United Patriots, NFSB leader Valeri Simeonov said about the law on religious denominations in an interview with BNT this morning. “It was not even discussed because it is clear that we will not accept it,” Simeonov said. “It brings about a vicious practice, encouraging the law violator not to pay taxes by cancelling [the debt from unpaid taxes]. The national security mantra and those cliché chants about preventing ethnic tension, which has nothing to do with religious denominations, led to a decision that was taken the wrong way and was passed on first reading,” Simeonov commented. He expects the bill to be passed on second reading as well, backed by GERB, MRF and Volya. He said the decision had been taken under pressure at the expense of the state.
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Grand Mufti Mustafa Hadzhi: Revenues from property are not enough to cover debt to state

Grand Mufti Mustafa Hadzhi: Revenues from property are not enough to cover debt to state

11 March 2019 | 12:03 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The proceeds from property of the Grand Mufti’s Office are not enough to repay the debt to the state, Grand Mufti Mustafa Hadzhi said after a meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Bulgarian Patriarch Neophyte, Focus News Agency reports. He said the debt had accumulated since 2005. “These are old liabilities plus interests,” he added, declining to comment in detail.
Asked about property proceeds, he said the income was insufficient, as most of their property had been nationalised during the communist regime, and the majority had not been returned.
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PICTURE OF THE DAY
In memoriam: Krasimir Uzunov
In memoriam: Krasimir Uzunov

VIDEO OF THE DAY
Focus Agency was distinguished at the fifth edition of Company of the Year;
Focus Agency was distinguished at the fifth edition of Company of the Year;
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