Bulgaria's Govt, Businesses Meeting for 11th Time
Bulgaria should work to seize the new and imminent wave of integration and avoid sliding toward nationalism, outgoing President Rosen Plevneliev has told politicians and businesses.
The "big threat" facing Bulgaria would come if politicians start waving slogans supporting everything "made in Bulgaria" against "bad electricity distribution companies and bad foreign-owned retail chains," news website Dnevnik.bg quotes him as saying.
Days before leaving office, Plevneliev has inaugurated for the last time as head of state a meeting between the government and businesses being held on Tuesday.
Self-isolation amidst an expected rise of populists and nationalists might push the country toward marginalization, Plevneliev has warned.
"Those who call into question European integration... who are passive when Europe is changing, will betray the national interest," Plevneliev has argued.
He has also advocated for a "secure" Bulgaria and not "a country where backroom games cause banks to collapse and regional powers exert hybrid warfare."
Bulgaria's outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has also spoken at the opening.
Bulgarian News Agency BTA quotes him as defending again his move to step down after the presidential election in Novemeber as a "moral" act. Borisov has drawn a parallel between him and former UK Prime Minister David Cameron who took the step after the Brexit referendum. "He was convinced Brexit should not succeed."
Themed "Domestic and Foreign Challenges to Determine the Direction in 2017", the forum also includes guests from the EU Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Investment Fund.
The meeting is organized by influential newspaper Capital, whose published Ivo Prokopiev was indicted as part of an ongoing investigation into the allegedly flawed sale of stated-owned assets in electricity distributor EVN a few years back.
But daily 24 Chasa quotes Prokopiev as thanking Borisov for attending the event despite the current circumstances.
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