Bulgarian government survives 5th no confidence vote

Bulgaria's Socialist government on Friday survived a vote of no confidence called by the opposition that alleged the government had close ties to organized crime.

Bulgarian government survives 5th no confidence vote
Parliament voted 117 to 82 to defeat the motion with 35 abstentions by all the members of one of coalition partners, the small National Movement (NMSP) party of former king Simeon II.

The motion was the fifth no confidence vote against Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev's government since it took the office in 2005.

Following the Friday's vote, Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev promised to introduce adequate measures to allow the Interior Ministry to work effectively.

The premier admitted that there had been scandals involving "corrupt colleagues with connections to organized crime and the shadow economy" and added that "we all see the necessity of reform."

The last no-confidence vote was held in February on charges of corruption. The country's opposition claims the government is not doing enough to fight corruption and mafia.

In a visit to Sofia in March, European Commission President Jose- Manuel Barroso told new member-state Bulgaria that it had to combat organized crime with more efficiency.

"Corruption and organized crime have no place in EU and they will not be tolerated," he said.

Barroso warned Bulgaria that it must meet the criteria it committed itself with the accession to EU in 2007.

"Endless investigations and delays of legal procedure are not justice," Barroso said. Bulgarian criminals often avoid justice by bribing officials into delaying legal action.

An EU report in February criticized Bulgaria over its reluctance to tackle the problem of organized crime. The next such report is due out in June.

Brussels suspended some aid for Bulgaria's farming and agriculture over allegations of corruption and embezzlement related to EU funds.
Last Mod: 11 Nisan 2008, 17:44
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