Bulgaria’s Ombudsman approaches Constitutional Court on law stopping foreigners in debt from leaving country

Bulgaria’s Ombudsman Konstantin Penchev has asked the Constitutional Court to overrule law that prevents foreigners from leaving the country if they have debts of more than 5000 leva (about 2500 euro) to Bulgarian natural or legal persons.

Penchev said that the court had ruled in March 2011 that similar provisions in law applicable to Bulgarian citizens were unconstitutional.

He said that the Constitutional Court had found that the provisions of the law were inconsistent with the principle of proportionality and beyond the limits of the constitution, which allowed restrictions on freedom of movement – including on the right to travel outside the country – only in cases concerning national security and public health.

The court had said that recovery of confirmed public and private debt had first to be done through effective enforcement proceedings carried out swiftly.

Penchev said that according to the constitution, foreigners residing in Bulgaria had all the rights and obligations under the constitution except for the rights and duties which in the constitution and laws require Bulgarian citizenship – a reference to the franchise and the holding of some public offices.

(Photo: A Magic)




The Sofia Globe staff

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