President Vetoes New Concessions Law

President Vetoes New Concessions Law

President Vetoes New Concessions Law

Sofia, February 2 (BTA) - President Rumen Radev announced Thursday that he had vetoed a newly adopted Concessions Act. "The law has provisions which put to question the rule of law and local self-government," the President said in a special address.

The controversial law scraps a 35-year limit for the duration of concessions and introduces what is called "a reserved concession" when the concessionaire opens protected jobs for disabled or disadvantaged people.

Earlier in the day the Podkrepa Confederation of Labour and the Right-wing New Republic formation called on Radev to impose a veto on the Concessions Act. The President even met with the Podkrepa leadership in his office to discuss the matter, and New Republic issued an open letter to Radev.

Both Podkrepa and New Republic argued that the Concessions Act was hastily adopted by Parliament by what New Republic called "a thematic majority", in the dark and at the very end of the legislature's term.

New Republic said that the law serves corporate interests and that it aims to cement lucrative city cleaning concessions for "the right companies" for decades to come.

Emerging from the meeting with the President, Podkrepa leader Dimiter Manolov said there was practically no public debate on the Concessions Act which confirms concerns that there is something wrong with this law.

Environmental organizations have protested the adoption of the new concessions legislation saying that it gives unlimited rights to concession holders.

The President's statement echoed the arguments of the law's opponents: that the law was adopted in the final hours of the 43rd National Assembly with a very small majority. He also said that it allows subjectivism within a very wide scope, paves the way to corruption and decisions which harm the public interest. The law necessitates changes to another 29 laws, which goes deep into economic relations - and such pieces of key legislation require a broad public debate.

Source: Sofia