Bulgarian MEP, French Ambassador in Spat over Remarks

Politics » DIPLOMACY | March 9, 2017, Thursday // 14:29
Bulgaria: Bulgarian MEP, French Ambassador in Spat over Remarks Petar Kurumbashev. File photo, BGNES

Bulgarian MEP Peter Kouroumbashev and French Ambassador Eric Lebédel traded remarks on Twitter on Wednesday evening after the latter referred to an interview of the MEP as an "illustration of the "whining periphery syndrome"."

His comment regarded the words of Kouroumbashev who in an interview compared the model of a two-speed EU to apartheid, arguing such projects would end up destroying the union.

"Wake up, friends! You are going to have the @eu2018bg," Lebédel wrote, in a reference to the rotating EU presidency due from January 2018.

But the Bulgarian MEP retorted that the ambassador's own remarks illustrated a "syndrome of first class arrogance or the arrogance of the "first class."

He went as far as to argue that the previous French envoy, Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes, "would never allow himself such language."

Daily 24 Chasa later quoted Lebédel as saying: "Since I am in Bulgaria, I have come across many statements that Bulgaria lies in the periphery, whereas it is the other way around - Bulgaria is becoming ever more central to Europe and this fact has to be fully realized, especially in light of the forthcoming Bulgarian presidency of the EU."

The Ambassador argued that if the adjective "whining" was removed, the rest was aimed at provoking a rational discussion about Bulgaria's role in the EU.

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Tags: Eric Lebedel, Petar Kouroumbashev, Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes
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