Sofia Snubs Bucharest Reports of EU Delay

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | May 1, 2006, Monday // 00:00
Sofia Snubs Bucharest Reports of EU Delay Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev believes that the European Commission report will be "objective and balanced". Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia News Agency)

Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry said there is no data available to confirm Romanian reports that Bulgaria's membership will be delayed by one year.

"The efforts of all institutions, involved in Bulgaria's preparation for EU entry, are focused on the target date January 1, 2007," the ministry's spokesman Dimitar Tsanchev said.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev commented for the state-run national radio that he expects the European Commission report to be "objective and balanced".

"We are in constant contact with the European Commission. There are a number of meetings scheduled both at the level of experts and politicians during my visit to Vienna and I believe the report will be objective and balanced."

Earlier in the day Romania's newspaper Adevarul cited diplomatic sources in Brussels as saying that the European Commission key report, due to be released on May 16, will recommend Romania's accession in 2007 and the postponement of Bulgaria's entry by one year.

Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin slammed the report as speculation, saying it is "a spying mania to only wait and see whether some paragraph in the report will be to the disadvantage of one of the two countries."

Experts are still debating the pros and cons of Bulgaria's coupling with Romania, but most of them agree that the alternative would have been worse.

The tacitly declared race between the two neighbours, anxious to receive good opinions in the waiting room of the European Union, have often been considered as a tool for self-advertisement. Romania definitely took a lead after it laid corruption charges against high-ranking officials.

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