Controversy Erupts in Bulgarian Parliament Amid Claims of Criminal Migrants Returned from Germany

Politics | March 1, 2024, Friday // 13:16
Bulgaria: Controversy Erupts in Bulgarian Parliament Amid Claims of Criminal Migrants Returned from Germany

Tensions flared in Bulgaria's parliament today as the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) raised concerns over the return of migrants with criminal records from Germany, sparking a heated debate in the plenary hall. The controversy unfolded during a parliamentary control session, overshadowing discussions on the coalition agreement prepared by GERB.

According to BSP's Kornelia Ninova, a document revealed that 23 individuals, including six with convictions for serious crimes such as murder, manslaughter, bodily harm, and sexual offenses, had been repatriated from Munich to Sofia on February 8, 2024. The BSP demanded clarity on the situation and expressed fears that Bulgaria might become a haven for criminals.

Deputy Prime Minister Mariъa Gabriel responded, emphasizing that matters concerning criminal liability and police cooperation fall outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' jurisdiction. She reassured that Bulgaria would uphold its obligations under the Dublin agreement regarding migrants.

Tensions escalated further as Toshko Yordanov of "There Is Such a People" accused the government of negligence and misleading promises, while Tsveta Rangelova from "Vazrazhdane" pressed for accountability regarding the housing of the returned migrants.

Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov attempted to address concerns, highlighting that the refugee centers were not overcrowded and promising to provide information on the repatriated convicts. GERB leader Boyko Borissov demanded accountability for any failures in handling the situation.

However, the scandal was defused after Minister of the Interior Kalin Stoyanov clarified that the returned individuals were Bulgarian citizens who had served their sentences in Germany. Stoyanov confirmed that 18 Syrian citizens and six Bulgarian citizens, who had completed their prison terms in Germany, arrived in Sofia on February 8.

The revelation put an end to the controversy, shedding light on the circumstances surrounding the repatriation of the individuals in question.

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Tags: Bulgarian Parliament, scandal, migrants, Germany

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