Bulgaria's President: Communist-Era Officials Still Wield Influence
The same old people affiliated to the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP) that ruled the country during the Cold War are still attempting to dominate society, President Rosen Plevneliev has said.
As Bulgaria is marking the official Day of Gratitude and Homage to the Victims of the Communist Regime on Monday, he has urged Bulgarians to admit that "a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall... no change of elites was carried out," leaving people linked to the BKP and its "ruthless" security services to dominate society.
Bulgaria began marking the anniversary in 2011, at the proposal of two former heads of state.
It is the date when the People's Tribunal sentenced to death 3 regents, 67 members of the parliament, 22 ministers, 40 generals and colonels of the royal army and a number of other public figures. The sentences were executed on that same day.
Thousands more were sentenced in the months that followed, in trials widely described as "farce".
In a statement sent out by the President's press office, Plevneliev has argued that "shadows from the past are doing everything to change our agenda, to lie to us about how wonderful was life without freedom, to tear us apart from the family of European peoples."
He has also accused "politicians living in a past long gone" of "trying to abolish the Files Committee," referring to the draft bill submitted by opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) which suggests the disclosing of information on officials' links to the Communist-era security services, currently done by the so-called "Files Committee", should be handled by another agency.
"I assure you that as long as I am head of state, I will not allow history to be substituted and will do everything so that we send Communism into the museum of the past," Plevneliev is quoted as saying.
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