Ex-French Ambassador, German Ambassador To Receive Stara Planina Order
The government proposed to President Rosen Plevneliev to award with Stara Planina order the ex-French Ambassador Philippe Autie and current German Ambassador Matthias Hoepfner.
This was one of the government decisions, announced by caretaker Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki at the news conference after the first government session on Wednesday.
Last summer Philippe Autie and Matthias Hoepfner supported the anti-government protests in Bulgaria, urging the authorities to heed the outcry of the civil society against the oligarchy model of rule. In a common statement they noted that good governance was in the best interest of all Bulgarians and Europeans.
The then-government reacted sharply and said the ambassadors' position was inappropriate and intervenes with Bulgaria's internal affairs.
Philippe Autie's term expired last autumn and he left Bulgaria without receiving a Stara Planina order, which traditionally is awarded to outgoing ambassadors by the president, upon the formal proposal of the foreign minister.
Unofficially, the reason was Autie's support for the protest. Officially, the government was reviewing the procedures for awarding of orders and medals.
According to the President's website, the Stara Planina order is the highest state honour. It is awarded to Bulgarian citizens - heads of state and heads of government, ministers, politicians, social activists, members of the community active in the cultural field, military personnel and members of the clergy who have made an exceptional contribution to the Republic of Bulgaria.
Foreigners also may be awarded the Stara Planina - heads of state and heads of government, ministers, politicians, public and cultural figures who have an exceptional contribution to bilateral relations with the Republic of Bulgaria and the development of international cooperation in strengthening security and peace among nations, and to protect the rights and freedom of humankind.
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