Bulgarian MPs Approve Amnesty of Religious Denominations' Debts
MPs on 8th of March voted to approve an amnesty of overdue liabilities incurred by religious denominations. The debt is to be written off through amendments to the Religious Faiths Act, which were approved at first reading by votes from GERB and MRF. United Patriots were against, reports BNT.
The total amount of debts is 8.2 million BGN, from which the debt of the of the Grand Mufti's Office is to the amount of 8.1 million BGN. The United Patriots (minority partner in the ruling coalition with GERB) frimly opposed and described the debt forgiveness as precedent.
Iskren Vesselinov - United PatriotsL: I propose to supplement the name of the law and call it the Religious Denominations Act in favour of the Chief Mufti's Office. This is harmful, it creates a double standard.
Pavel Shopov, United Patriots: From now on, it opens up such an opportunity for anyone - anyone can demand such forgiveness.
According to Valeri Simeonov, the MRF had the opportunity to pay the 8 million debts.
Valeri Simeonov , United Patriots, NFSB: It is something else - it must be shown to the whole National Assembly, to the whole Bulgarian society that the Movement for Rights and Freedoms is commanding the parade in Bulgaria, that without the MRF nothing happens, that the MRF puts conditions, and we, the rest of us, have to fulfill them. That's what I cannot accept.
GERB Parliamentary Group chairperson Tsvetan Tsvetanov, (he and and Mustafa Karadayi from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, MRF, moved the amedments), called for not diving the people in Muslims and Christians and again reminded that a commitment was made at the President's Consultative Council on National Security to the financing of religious denominations.
"We should not trifle with ethnic peace," Tsvetanov said. He explained that the amendments to the Religious Faiths Act are intended to ensure greater stability for the state and for religious denominations.
The Finance Minister reminded that the purpose of the law on religious denominations was to reduce possible external influences. If the debts of the Mufti's office are not written off, the law would be inapplicable, added Vladislav Goranov.
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