EP Elections 2019: European agenda back in the limelight as campaigning nears end

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Photo: BGNES

Five days before the elections for European Parliament in Bulgaria on 26 May, the principal contenders on the election trail seem to be reverting to European issues, until now eclipsed by domestic affairs.

In Eastern Bulgaria GERB-SDS list leader Mariya Gabriel pointed out many times over that one of the priorities is for the MEPs from these formations to boost the prestige of Bulgaria in Europe and to achieve a more favourable budget for the country in the new common agricultural policy. In Mariya Gabriel’s words the experience GERB and the Union of Democratic Forces, SDS, have in the European Parliament will give the MEPs the advantage of not having to find out how it functions, but to start work directly.

Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Kornelia Ninova stated her support for a European minimum wage – which is 60 percent of the average wage for the respective country – with a view to calculating afresh all pensions in Bulgaria. As to accession to Schengen, Ninova stated that this depends most of all on what Bulgaria itself will to, and on how effective the country will be in combatting corruption. She also laid emphasis, again, on the fact that the BSP is against the sanctions imposed on Russia.

But the BSP and GERB stand in sharp opposition on European issues as well. Kornelia Ninova is accusing GERB that the representative of the government voted against the nomination of Romania’s Laura Kövesi for EU Prosecutor. GERB retorted that there never was a vote “for” or “against” at the Council of the EU, and that to say that Bulgaria had voted “against” was fake news.

Five days before election day, the leader of the VMRO-BND list Angel Dzhambazki posted on Facebook a scathing commentary regarding the Roma protest in Bourgas over the water supply cuts due to unpaid bills. Declaring full support for the measure, Dzhambazki urged the municipal council and the police to do their job and to quash this “insane protest” because breaking the law must lead to sanctions, and to protest against social norms is “arrogance”.

MarketLinks sociological agency made public data from a survey according to which a few days before the elections support for GERB stands at 29.6 percent, for the Bulgarian Socialist Party – 27.5 percent, for the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS – 6.9 percent, for VMRO-BND – 5.7 percent, for Democratic Bulgaria – 4.7 percent and for Volya – 2.9 percent.


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