EPP president should refrain from labelling Bulgarian socialists


Sergei Stanishev

The Party of the European Socialists is astonished at the remarks of the president of the European People's Party, Joseph Daul, addressed to the Bulgarian socialists.

In an official press statement from GERB (ГЕРБ), a member party of the EPP, Joseph Daul was quoted on 9 March as saying, "I think Bulgarian socialists do not exist since Bulgaria took the Presidency, because Boyko Borissov is the most successful leader in Europe".

PES president Sergei Stanishev replied:

"Mr Daul may find it interesting to note that, according to the latest polls, BSP (БСП) has the support of nearly 19% of the Bulgarian citizens, while GERB stands at 21% -- a fact which Mr Daul's Bulgarian hosts might have conveniently omitted to mention to him."

The EPP president's praise for Bulgarian prime minister Borissov regarding the success of his government is also questionable. GERB only holds onto power in Bulgaria due to the support of the far right, and the party has been forced repeatedly to clarify and dissociate themselves from the eurosceptic statements of the deputy prime ministers and ministers from their own coalition partners.

The last case was less than a month ago, when Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov, a member of the nationalist 'National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria' (Национален фронт за спасение на България), called Ska Keller, Member of the European Parliament, a "green jihadist".

In 2013, Joseph Daul called 'Attack' (Атака), currently also a coalition partner of GERB, a "xenophobic party which violently rejects the European path of Bulgaria".
The accusations that Bulgarian socialists have somehow ceased to exist come in the wake of public discontent in the country over questionable business deals with an energy distributor company and with the government's ecology policies. As an active opposition, BSP has become the voice of public opinion in these matters, and has strongly criticised alleged corruption in GERB.

Mr Stanishev added:

"Socialists in Bulgaria, just like across the rest of Europe, not only exist but are defending the interests of citizens, fighting for social justice and opposing single-party rule -- such as the regime of Orbán in Hungary, whose party is also an EPP member."