site.btaPM Denkov Comments on Special Services Controversy, Russian Priests' Expulsion, Schengen Entry
"The debate on the [special] services is taking place in the National Assembly and must be strictly expert," Bulgarian Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov commented to journalists here on Friday.
He reacted to a remark made in Veliko Tarnovo earlier in the day by Vice President Iliana Iotova, who said that mistrust of the services is expressed by people who want to get them under control but, as she put it, "President Rumen Radev will not allow this to happen."
Denkov recalled that the services were not on the list of 20 bills that the ruling majority has submitted to Parliament. "We know that we have a weakness there, but this debate must proceed with experts who have worked in the services. I want the experts to sort out their opinion first, after which the political decision will be made," the PM explained.
Denkov also commented on the expulsion from Bulgaria of Russian Orthodox Church priests. "The action was taken on the basis of a classified report. I only got familiar with it and I am not directly involved in making this decision, the decision is of the State Agency for National Security," he pointed out. "When somebody commits wrongful acts, they must be penalized. In this case, the penalty is for violating the laws of Bulgaria," the Prime Minister added.
Regarding Bulgaria's admission to the Schengen area, Denkov said that the Government is holding talks and negotiations every day and has an action plan. He said that a visit he is to pay to Austria has been agreed two months ago and the President knows about it.
Two days ago, President Rumen Radev said at a news briefing at the UN Headquarters that Schengen entry requires convincing both the public and politicians in Austria that Bulgaria is a reliable EU Member State. He encouraged Prime Minister Denkov to visit Austria as soon as possible.
"For some time now, the President has often been saying things that are not true. When he speaks of distorted history, his arguments are qute often actually based on Bulgaria's distorted rather than real history," the PM said, referring to Radev's Facebook post on the occasion of Independence Day, in which the President argued that "attempts are being made to supplant our history, and statehood is giving way to foreign interests and dependencies."