Bulgaria's Honorary Consuls 'Deeply Offended' by Govt Attitude
The Associations of Honorary Consuls in Bulgaria has said it is deeply offended by the way the government evaluates their work in the country and by its plans to cut certain privileges they use.
In an open letter to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov sent out to the media, the organization has pointed to its members' contribution to the Bulgarian state by attracting investment to the economy and by helping improve bilateral political relations.
"We work every day for the development of political, economic and cultural relations between Bulgaria and more than 65 states," the letter reads, also noting this is done on a voluntary basis.
In March, Borisov announced Bulgaria would revoke some of the privileges currently used by honorary consuls in Bulgaria, including diplomatic license plates for the vehicles they used. His cited wrong behavior by "some" of the consuls, without disclosing names.
But consuls argue the respective vehicles are owned "by the consulates of the states [they] represent," and this requires a special plating.
They also say an honorary consul who committed an offense should be subject to sanctions individually, and the work of others should not be underestimated.
The same privilege is used by honorary consuls of Bulgaria abroad, and if Sofia abolished it for consuls here its actions would be a step back, the letter goes on.
"Honorary consuls wield immunities and privileges of a functional nature that comprising actions peformed by them while carrying out their professional duties."
The letter is also addressed to Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov, Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova, Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov, and Justice Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva.
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