Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:06 - Updated Wed, 03 Jan 2018 11:06
Bulgaria President Radev vetoes anti-corruption bill
Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has vetoed an anti-corruption bill passed in parliament last month, saying it would not be effective.
Send by email
To share this news by email, fill out the information below and click Send
To report errors in the texts of articles published, fill out the information below and click Send
He argued that the bill would not be independent and could be used to persecute political opponents.
The move is considered embarrassing for Bulgaria, which assumed the EU's rotating presidency on Monday.
The EU has been pressing the government to take steps to rein in administrative and political corruption for years.
Anti-corruption agency Transparency International has said Bulgaria is the most corrupt country in the bloc.
The bill, which would create a special unit tasked with tackling high-level abuse, was passed by parliament on 20 December.
It was hoped this would get the issue off the political agenda before Bulgaria took over the EU presidency, BBC central Europe correspondent Nick Thorpe says.
But President Radev vetoed the legislation.
"I believe that the adopted law not only does not create an adequate legal basis for tackling corruption but will even make it difficult to fight it," he said in a statement.
Analysts had also warned that the management of the proposed anti-corruption unit would be appointed by parliament and therefore might not be truly independent.
The bill now goes back to parliament for further debate, although lawmakers have the power to overturn the president's veto.
Bulgaria's governing centre-right coalition has not yet commented on the president's move.
However, Kornelia Ninova, who leads the opposition Socialist Party, said it created "a golden opportunity" for the government to produce better anti-corruption legislation.
"If we do not tackle corruption, we cannot solve any of the other problems - poverty, health, education, demography," she said.
- 03/01/2018 11:13:09
ANKARA - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call that he hoped the protests in Iran would end in a few days, sources in Erdogan?s office said on Wednesday.
- 03/01/2018 11:09:37
NEW YORK - Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), said Wednesday that it has agreed to pay $2.95 billion to settle a U.S. class action brought by investors seeking to recoup money they claim to have lost as a result of a corruption scandal.
- 02/01/2018 16:45:31
Teheran - Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blamed Iran's "enemies" on Tuesday for stirring up unrest in the country, as the death toll from days of anti-government protests climbed to 21.