Bulgaria Freezes ACTA, Waits to Hear EU Orders

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | February 14, 2012, Tuesday // 12:32
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Freezes ACTA, Waits to Hear EU Orders Bulgaria's Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism Traicho Traikov said his country's governemt will wait to hear EU's stance before forming its own opinion on ACTA. Photo by dnevnik.bg

Bulgaria will freeze its participation in the controversial ACTA trade agreement, the country's Economy Minister Traicho Traikov announced on Tuesday.

Traikov revealed that he will present a draft resolution on Bulgaria's decision to freeze its ratification of ACTA to the Bulgarian Council of Ministers on Wednesday.

"This means that our country will not undertake any actions, including a ratification of the agreement, until the stance of the other EU member states is made clear," the Minister explained, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency.

It emerged Monday that the Bulgarian government would sign ACTA with reservations regarding spying on internet users or will withdraw its support entirely.

Legal experts have advised that Bulgaria will not endure serious consequences if it gives up on the agreement despite having secretly signed it in Japan already.

High Bulgarian officials have hinted on several occasions that they will wait to hear what other EU member states have to say before making up their minds about ACTA.

The European Commission has defended the agreement aimed at countering online piracy from accusations it would lead to a "witch hunt" on the web, and confirmed it would try to pass it in the European Parliament by the end of the month.

Thousands of people gathered in downtown Sofia Saturday to protest the controversial international Anti-counterfeiting Trade Agreement, ACTA.

Anywhere between 4000 and 8000 Bulgarians marched in the Bulgarian capital, led by a black sign reading: "АСТА LA VISTA, BABY!"

Similar rallies took place in another 15-16 Bulgarian cities and in 150 cities across Europe Saturday.

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Tags: ACTA, Traicho Traikov, ratification, agreement, Internet, EU, European Commission
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