French Ambassador Urges Bulgarians Not to Emigrate and 'Leave Country to Peevski'
Outgoing French Ambassador Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes has called on Bulgarians not to emigrate, arguing those who did were leaving the country into the heads of controversial lawmaker Delyan Peevski.
Throughout his term, De Cabanes has often spoken critically of Peevski, an MP and alleged media mogul whose appointment as head of the national security and counter-intelligence agency sparked nationwide protests in the summer of 2013.
"I have never stopped telling young Bulgarians whom I have met, who live in Bulgaria now and many of whom have confided with me their hesitation to leave the country, that if they emigrate, they will leave their country to Peevski. Doesn't Bulgaria deserve better than that?"
In his farewell speech, held in the Atlantic Club, De Cabanes has also argued Bulgaria's present-day problems lie in the communist system that was in place until the 1990s.
The lack of proper studies and enough condemnation of communism is at the heart the country's problems, he has added.
The diplomat has condemned the leaders of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)'s gesture to leave flowers at the monument of Todor Zhivkov, the Soviet-era ruler of Bulgaria who remained in power between 1956 and 1989.
De Cabanes has also spoken about his reaction to the Belvedere case, a development involving a French company in which he sided against what he described an abuse of the judiciary aimed at intentionally destroying the company and said he was exposing the "rotten apples" in the system, referring to influence applied on it by another branches of power.
His words have since become a pillar of the effort toward judicial reform, with its supporters often citing the Ambassador to make their point.
While admitting it is not acceptable for a diplomat to make such statements, he has added it is not acceptable for the European Union to allow such problems in the judiciary of a member state.
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