EU Labor Market Restrictions May Loom for Unruly Bulgaria
The Bulgarian Parliament’s controversial decision to extend a moratorium on the sale of farm land to foreigners could lead to retribution, according to international media.
Despite EU warnings, the Bulgarian Parliament decided on Friday to extend the moratorium on the sale of agriculture land to foreigners to January 1, 2020.The proposal for the extension was made by ultranationalist anti-EU party Ataka, a key ally of the Socialist-led government. Surprisingly, it was backed by both the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party and the opposition center-right GERB.
"If Bulgaria wants the moratorium to remain in force after the beginning of next year, then it will have to receive support from all the rest of the EU member states,” Chantal Hughes, spokeswoman for European Internal Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier, has commented, as cited by EurActiv.
“This means a review of the pre-accession treaty as well as re-ratifying by all the 28 EU member states,” she said.
Any such review could result in Bulgaria being targeted by reciprocal action by members states, potentially extending labour market restrictions on Bulgarians by other EU countries, EurActiv says.
From January 1 2014 Bulgarians will have full access to all EU countries’ labor markets following the lifting of temporary restrictions put in place by several countries when Bulgaria joined the bloc in 2007.
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