Bulgarian Right Wing Declares GERB Flood Donation Illegal
The intention of the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, to donate BGN 1 M from its State subsidy to the residents of the flooded southeastern village of Biser violates the law.
The statement was made in the Parliament Friday by the leader of the right-wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party, DSB, and former Prime Minister, Ivan Kostov, who said the donation would infringe on the Political Parties Act.
Kostov grounded his statement in the fact that the law postulates for political parties to spend their subsidies on election campaigns and races, on political events and other party activities, but not to pay wages and bonuses or make donations.
"These is taxpayers' money for party operations. It is a great idea to donate, but not this way – GERB should do it like us – through our members," said he.
Kostov explained that DSB will organize a campaign to collect assistance through their local headquarters and will contact the Bulgarian Red Cross to learn what the exact and most important needs of affected people are.
The Chair of the GERB Parliamentary Group, Krasimir Velchev, countered that lawyers will be the ones to decide how the funds from the donation would reach the beneficiaries.
"When there is a disaster and tragedy, any assistance is legal," Velchev said.
The decision for the donation was made Tuesday by the GERB Executive Commission.
"This is our personal help to these people so that they can rebuild their homes. BGN 1 M for us as a party is a substantial amount. This will be in addition to the assistance from the European Commission, and money from the State budget," Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, told Darik radio then.
The GERB Executive Committee is going to monitor how the funds are spent.
The floods in southeastern Bulgaria took eight victims and two are still missing.
The tragedy happened after the waters of the Ivanovo dam bust its wall in the aftermath of heavy snow and flooded the nearby areas. The village of Biser was affected the worst.
The cabinet declared Wednesday, February 8, a national day of mourning for the victims.
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