Sofia Parking Wardens Clamp MPs' Vehicles, Cause Bustle in Parliament
Bulgaria's Parliament briefly broke off its session on Thursday after several MPs got texts that their cars were clamped for parking violations.
According to witnesses, the MPs started filing out of the hall one by one, clutching their phones.
Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) MP Borislav Gutsanov announced from the tribune that the city's traffic wardens were clamping the MPs vehicles and the situation escalated to a mass exodus.
This prompted Deputy Speaker Maya Manolova to announce a 10-minute break in the session.
Speaking in front of journalists, one of the clamped MPs, Anton Kutev from the BSP, complained that clamping MP's vehicles in the security zone around Parliament was a provocation.
"Currently clamping, towing and fining in the security zone is illegal", Kutev said.
Around 10 cars of MPs from all parties were clamped. Some of the owners paid the fines on the spot, while others got into an argument with the traffic wardens and made them take off the clamps, without paying the fines.
The offenders argued that since the area around Parliament is sealed off, they can park wherever they want, in spite the fact that it is a paid parking zone.
The parking fine is BGN 30, plus BGN 2 for each hour in which the car was clamped. The parking fee in the central Sofia zone is BGN 2 per hour.
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