Ataka tables draft resolution in Parliament on extending ban on sale of land to foreigners
Volen Siderov’s ultra-nationalist Ataka party has tabled a draft resolution on extending Bulgaria’s ban on the sale of land to foreigners beyond its scheduled expiry in January 2014 – but MPs were less than keen to have the item enjoy priority on Parliament’s agenda.
The ban expires in January 2014 as part of Bulgaria’s European Union accession treaty.
There have been differing messages from figures within the ruling axis on extending it, with Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski saying that trying to do so would be “unrealistic” while the head of Parliament’s agriculture committee, Svetla Buchvarova, said that ways were being discussed to impose limitations on foreigners buying land after the ban expires.
Buchvarova also told local media that it was procedurally too late to try to extend the ban because any negotiations on amending Bulgaria’s EU accession treaty should have happened before the end of 2010.
Ataka was the first to raise the issue, with Siderov saying that Bulgaria was vulnerable to being bought up by foreigners “and we will wake up foreigners in our own country”.
In Parliament on October 16, Ataka parliamentary deputy leader Pavel Shopov wanted debate on the draft resolution to be held on the same day because “time was running out”.
“I do not think that a subject on which there is a clear consensus will take a long time,” Shopov said, but his proposal for a same-day debate was voted down. He then asked for it to on the order paper as the first item on October 17, but after a series of procedural wrangles, the proposal ended up as the final item for the sitting scheduled for October 18.
(Photo, of an Ataka rally, March 3 2013: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)