EC Confirms Interim Report Warning for Bulgaria Is Official
The last-week warning of the European Commission about a possible interim monitoring report on Bulgaria is the EC official position.
The statement was made Monday by the EC spokeswoman, Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen, during a briefing in Brussels.
Hansen firmly refuted claims in Bulgaria that her colleague, Olivier Bailly, who issued the warning, was a temporary spokesperson, on top of it voicing personal opinions.
She added Bailly had stressed that it was possible to have an additional report, without detailing how exactly it would happen.
Ignoring strong criticism from the European Commission that the Parliament is covering up tipoffs against one of the candidates, the Bulgarian MPs elected Wednesday without debates the 2 constitutional judges from their quota.
They are Anastas Anastasov, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament from the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB and the Deputy Chair of the Supreme Administrative Court, VAS, Veneta Markovska.
In the aftermath, EC announced that Bulgaria might face an interim report on justice and home affairs in case "the situation requires it."
The warning was stated by Olivier Bailly, spokesperson of EC.
"There were serious allegations of trading influence and corruption on the part of one of the candidates," Bailly said, but did not disclose a name.
A week before the Parliament voted for the two constitutional judges, the MP from the opposition left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, Yanaki Stoilov, announced that a tipoff has been logged against judge Markovska, signed by someone named Georgi Tolev.
The tipoff is based on an investigative journalistic report, alleging that in January 2010 the judge interfered to have two police officers fired over a traffic stop. The man who was stopped, Georgi Georgiev, reportedly is the live-in boyfriend of Markovska. He was apparently drunken then and entered in a brawl with the police patrol.
Markovska, reportedly, met at the time with the Deputy Interior Ministers, to ask for the two police officers to be fired. She denies this and other damming information in the report as anonymous libel.
However, the information about the meeting was confirmed in 2010 by Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, and just two days ago by his Deputy, Vesselin Vuchkov.
There are further allegations about profitable real estate purchases by the judge's boyfriend and her relatives, including her mother, and of close ties with a defense attorney, whose cases have been under her authority.
The Bulgarian MPs continue to stand form behind Markovsa's appointment.
Foreign Minister, Nikolay Mladenov, labeled the warning rumors, while Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, said he did not accept Bailly's words as the EC official position.
When EC released its monitoring report in July 2012, it was announced that unlike Romania, Bulgaria would not be subject to an interim report until 2013.
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