Bulgarian PM 'Scolds' Countries that 'Beg' Germany for Money
Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, has scolded a little some EU Member States that keep begging Germany for money, according to his own admission.
Borisov spoke Thursday from Bucharest, where he is attending the 21st Congress of the European People Party, EPP, saying the above countries, all while asking for money, fail to align their budgets and deficits with the Maastricht criteria.
He noted that no one would feel very well in Germany's shoes.
"I call on all former Socialist countries, which recently joined the EU, to become like Scandinavian ones. Bulgaria proved it can be done; it proved that a 1.2% budget deficit is possible," the Bulgarian PM said.
Regarding Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Austria, and the Netherlands wanting the introduction of a safeguard clause terminating visa-free travel for nationals of Western Balkan countries, Borisov stated he was firmly backing "Bulgaria's neighbors in believing that it would be wrong to impose visas on them over some conclusions," adding free travel, as an European value, is at stake in this issue.
"This is why I defended them and the Macedonian PM even thanked me. Western Balkans must be democratic; they must follow the EU path and I am their greatest supporter in this regard," said he.
Borisov further voiced before EPP the idea of appointing a European Prosecutor on grounds Europe needs a stronger prosecution to deal with trans-border crime such as contraband, human and narcotics trafficking. He explained he has discussed the plan with Giovanni Kessler, Director-General of the EU anti-fraud office, OLAF.
Kessler recently raised the issue after it emerged that defendants in the criminal case of draining SAPARD funds have received different verdicts in Bulgaria and Germany.
All while Borisov was making his remarks, it emerged that the EPP Congress has rejected the nomination of his ruling, center-right party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB, of former Foreign Minister and failed EU Commissioner-Designate Rumiana Jeleva for a second term in office as EPP Deputy Chair.
The 21st EPP congress is held in Bucharest on October 17-18.
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