UKIP MEP Visit to Sofia Incites Bulgarian Politicians Clash

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | February 8, 2013, Friday // 10:49| Views: 2770 | Comments: 0
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UKIP MEP Visit to Sofia Incites Bulgarian Politicians Clash: UKIP MEP Visit to Sofia Incites Bulgarian Politicians Clash Bulgarian independent MEP, Slavi Binev. Photo by BGNES

British MEP Paul Nuttall, deputy leader of the UK Independence Party, gave a press conference in Sofia which turned into a clash between two Bulgarian nationalist politicians.

Nuttall arrived in Bulgaria on the invitation of Bulgarian independent MEP Slavi Binev to explain his and the UKIP position on Bulgarian immigrants in Great Britain.

The visit came on the heels of statements of the party Chairman, Nigel Farage, which triggered a wave of reactions.

"If I were a Bulgarian, I would be packing my bags now, wanting to come to Britain," Farage said at the end of January.

Nuttall arrived with the intention to tell Bulgarians the streets of London were not covered with gold.

However, instead of touring downtown Sofia, he paid a visit to one of the largest Roma quarters where people met him with interest and rushed to complain from the deplorable living conditions and from the lack of work.

After the visit, the British MEP commented such slums should not exist in Europe and minorities must be integrated. He added he was certain that this is not the image of Bulgaria, but it was also a fact such places, similar to the ghettos in South Africa, exist in a country member of the European Union.

Later, Nuttall witnessed the Bulgarian political reality as well when the leader of the far-right, nationalist Ataka party, Volen Siderov, and several supporters burst in the room during the press conference, shouting the British MEP must apologize to all Bulgarian people.

This led to an angry and rude exchange of words between him and Binev.

Nuttall said he had nothing to apologize for, since he never bashed Bulgarians, but was just noting facts. He explained immigration hysteria in Great Britain was fueled by the economic situation there, stressing Brits fear all immigrants, regardless of where they would come from.

Binev commented that the problem was not in Bulgarian people, but in the policies of those ruling the country. He pointed out he preferred the painful truth coming from friends such as Nuttall to the hypocrisy of Bulgarian and EU leaders.

Binev, is the founder of the political party Conservative Party Movement of Success, GORD (PROUD), and second-term independent MEP. He was first elected in the European Parliament precisely on the ballot of Ataka, but left the party after a falling out with Siderov.

Recently, young Bulgarian woman, Ralitsa Behar, sent Farage an open letter, which provoked a wave of comments in social networks. The letter was published first by Novinite.com and Novinite.bg. In it she asks Farage to visit Bulgaria to see how wrong he is in his negative opinion about the country and its citizens.

Farage responded to the letter Wednesday, writing that Bulgaria is a proud country with many well-educated people and much to celebrate, and he wished to see it prosperous and free.

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Tags: Paul Nuttall, Ralitsa Behar, Independence Party, Romania, Bulgaria, Britain, UK, immigrants, Romanian, Bulgarian, Nigel Farage, leader, UKIP, Bulgarians, Romanians, GORD, Slavi Binev, MEP, Independent, Volen Siderov, Ataka
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