Bulgaria's GERB Mulls Restricting Trade Register Access
Bulgaria's ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party is planning to restrict public access to the trade register, the "Access to Information" NGO alarms.
The Parliamentary Legal Committee has introduced additional text providing for access to the register only for certain groups – lawyers, law enforcement officers, and the police.
All other Bulgarians will have access to very basic data from the register, but not to information pertaining to business and company cases, the Legal Committee's Deputy Chair, Todor Dimitrov, informs, cited by the Bulgarian business edition pari.bg
According to the new amendment, full access will be provided only to the Court, the investigation, personal data operators, lawyers, notaries public, law enforcement officers, legal advisors, and tax agents. Their access would also be monitored and there will be a log of who accessed what information and when, Dimitrov says.
The author of the proposal, the GERB Member of the Parliament, Emil Radev, explains the move will halt the more and more frequent cases of abuse of personal data.
According to the NGO, there is no proof that such abuses have increased after the introduction of the register in 2008.
Attorney Alexander Kashamov from "Access to Information" reminds data from the register has been used for journalists' investigative reports and points out the proposed amendments violate the Constitution where it is written that all Bulgarians have the right to seek, receive and distribute information.
The amendments will be subject to second reading by the Parliament next week.
The GERB MP from the Black Sea city of Varna, Emil Radev, is a former navy seal from the secret navy unit "Tihina." The unit is known as the place of military service for the bosses of the shady, controversial and very powerful Varna-based business group TIM.
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