Dutch MEP’s claims of corruption at Bulgarian-Turkish border rile nationalist MEP

Dutch MEP’s claims of corruption at Bulgarian-Turkish border rile nationalist MEP

A Bulgarian nationalist MEP has described allegations by a Dutch counterpart that Bulgarian police extort bribes from EU citizens at the Turkish border as defamatory and said that unless there was proof of corruption and intimidation, she should apologise to the Border Police.

On September 6, Netherlands member of the European Parliament Kati Piri called on EU institutions to address the problem that had existed for years, of Bulgarian Border Police threatening Dutch citizens of Turkish origin at the border.

Piri, who had called for people to send in reports on their experiences at the Bulgarian-Turkish border, said that she would send a report to the government of Bulgaria, which in the first half of 2018 will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Angel Dzhambazki, deputy leader of Krassimir Karakachanov’s VMRO – part of the United Patriots, the grouping of far-right and nationalist parties that is the minority partner in Boiko Borissov’s government – sent a letter to Piri with copies to heads of EU institutions.

Piri is a member of the Party of European Socialists group and Dzhambazki also copied the letter to PES leader Sergei Stanishev, a former Bulgarian prime minister.

Dzhambazki told Piri that he found her allegations scandalous and insulting.

“In Bulgaria, when somebody claims to be blackmailed, threatened or bribery demanded by Interior Ministry officials, he must prove it with clear evidence to the court and the Prosecutor’s Office,” he said.

Unless Piri could prove her allegations, she owed an apology to “the hundreds of Interior Ministry officers who are in charge of the EU’s external border in extremely difficult conditions, protecting the lives, health and property of citizens of the member states”.

Apart from this, these officers also were protecting EU citizens from illegal immigrants and terrorists, Dzhambazki said./IBNA