Bulgarian Health Minister, MPs Clash over Full Smoking Ban

December 11, 2012, Tuesday // 05:10
Bulgaria: Bulgarian Health Minister, MPs Clash over Full Smoking Ban
Bulgarian Health Minister Desislava Atanasova. File photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Health Minister Desislava Atanasova and some lawmakers from her centrist-right GERB party appear to have clashed over the potential lifting of the country's full smoking ban in closed public spaces.

While Atanasova remains firm in her stance that the full smoking ban should not be lifted under any circumstances, MPs have argued in favor of reinstating the segregated smoking areas in establishments, according to local media.

Bulgaria's Parliament will discuss on Thursday the possibility of lifting the full smoking ban in closed public spaces.

The proposal that aims at easing the full smoking ban was tabled by independent MPs Kiril Gumnerov and Stoyan Ivanov, both affiliated with GERB.

In an interview for Darik radio, key GERB lawmaker Emil Dimitrov declared that the separated smoking and non-smoking areas should be reinstated, arguing that smokers have been discriminated against since the ban was introduced on June 1, 2012.

Dimitrov expressed his hope that other GERB MPs will support his stance.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov pointed out that, since the full smoking ban is an important measure, it has to be discussed again.


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