Bulgaria's Top Court Lifts Ban on Land Sale to Foreigners
Bulgaria's top court has revoked a ban on selling arable land to investors from the European Union, which opponents said put the country's European future at stake.
The European Commission warned that this would breach Bulgaria's commitment to lift the moratorium, which expired at the end of 2013.
On October 22, Bulgaria's Parliament controversially decided to extend the ban on sale of agricultural land to foreigners until 2020.
The proposal for the extension was made by ultranationalist anti-EU party Ataka, a sort of kingmaker for the Socialist-led government. Surprisingly, it was backed by both the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, and the opposition center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, GERB.
A total of 171 lawmakers voted in favor of extending the moratorium, while 38 were against and 12 abstained from voting. The biggest surprise were the Socialists, because all, except one, who took part in the debates, urged to reject Ataka's proposal, but at the end 59 of a total of 75 BSP MPs present voted in its favor.
Foreigners from outside the EU have been allowed to acquire land in the Black Sea state through Bulgarian-registered companies since the country joined the EU in 2007.
- » Ska Keller: Many Bulgarians have Apologized to me Personally Because of Deputy PM Simeonov
- » DW: Bulgaria and Romania Push to Join EU's Schengen Area
- » Marie-Christine Vergiat: The Teaming Between Bulgarian and Turkish Border Guards is Disturbing
- » Bulgaria is at the Last Places in the European Union in People Working in the Field of Culture
- » Le Point: Mariya Gabriel is One of the Most Actively Working Commissioners
- » Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers Starts Today in Sofia