Bulgarian Govt Backtracks on Lifting Full Smoking Ban

Society » HEALTH | July 9, 2013, Tuesday // 11:31| Views: | Comments: 3
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Bulgaria: Bulgarian Govt Backtracks on Lifting Full Smoking Ban Bulgarian Health Minister Tanya Andreeva. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria’s Socialist-led government appears to have backtracked on its intention to scrap the existing full smoking ban in enclosed public spaces.

Health Minister Tanya Andreeva has told the Sega daily that Socialist MPs have made up their minds about revoking the ban.

“I believe their stances have changed,” Andreeva said.

She told the newspaper that she convinced the lawmakers that lifting the ban would be “unwise.”

Bulgarian Socialist Party MP Martin Zahariev, who spoke in favor of lifting the full smoking ban just a few weeks ago, has also told Sega that the move is not on the agenda.

“I have just returned from London. Nobody smokes there and it is really pleasant,” he said.

However, another Socialist MP, Krasimir Murdzhev, has told Radio Focus that talks on lifting the full smoking ban have been postponed, but not canceled.

The full smoking ban in enclosed public spaces was introduced by the previous center-right government in June 2012.

Massive protests have called for the resignation of Bulgarian PM Plamen Oresharski’s government for over three weeks now.

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Tags: health minister, tanya andreeva, full smoking ban, Bulgaria, parliament
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» To the forumComments (3)
#3
Mephisto - 10 Jul 2013 // 16:32:34

By the way, there is a very interesting new book on the topic "Tobacco and Politics in Bulgaria". It is called "Balkan Smoke", by Mary C.Neuburger (Cornell Univerity press 2012).

#2
Mephisto - 10 Jul 2013 // 16:28:59

madoods,

it was not the EU that introduced or encouraged the growing of tobacco in Bulgaria. Tobacco has always been the main source of income of the Bulgarian state (and in the 1920s and 1930s also of the quasi-state of the VMRO in South-West Bulgaria that extorted a special "tax" from the farmers to finance their successful assassination business and lavish lifestyle of their leaders). It is also a bit naive to think that switching to other crops would reduce the prices for the consumers in Bulgaria. You seem not to know, how the "market" for most agricultural products works in Bulgaria. Farmers get very low prices from "businessmen" (who took obviously inspiration from the VMRO henchmen) who then keep the prices artificially high. That started with cherries a few years ago, later with grapes, and now extends to almost all agricultural proucts that sprout from Bulgarian soil.

#1
madoods - 10 Jul 2013 // 13:29:07

So who is going to buy all the tobacco from Bulgarian farmers who have been encouraged by the EU to grow tobacco instead of traditional crops. This will result in the ordinary Bulgarian having to pay more for their agricultural products from grain to vegetables to fruit which may need to be imported

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