Madrid to Adopt Bulgarian PM

Politics | September 21, 2004, Tuesday // 00:00
Madrid to Adopt Bulgarian PM Spanish capital Madrid will adopt Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg who lived there for 50 years in exile. The ex-king is due to visit Spain on Sept 29. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (

Spanish capital Madrid will adopt Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg, who used to live in the city for more than 50 years in exile.

According to Spanish daily El Mundo, the decision for adopting Bulgaria's former king was approved by the municipal arts commission, without the votes of the ruling socialist party members.

Simeon Saxe-Coburg was honored to be "the adopted son" of the capital, as "Madrid used to be the place of refugee for this aristocrat".

The honorary decision came in the dawn of Simeon's visit to his exile country, for the first time since he took on the helm of Bulgarian government three years ago. He is scheduled on a three-day visit starting September 29 upon the invitation of his counterpart Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

The current prime minister of Bulgaria was dethroned in 1943 by the communist regime, a year before Russian troops invaded the country, El Mundo reminded. In 1946 the monarchy in Bulgaria was abolished by a decree and Simeon, then 9 years old, and his family were forced to leave the country.

After living for a while in Egypt, the Saxe-Coburgs moved to Madrid in 1952 where later Simeon married the Spanish Margarita-Gomez Acebo-y-Cejuela.

In 2001, Simeon Saxe-Coburg won a landslide victory in Bulgarian general elections and 120 out of 240 seats in Parliament, forming a coalition government with the ethnic Turkish party National Movement for Rights and Freedoms.

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