Bulgaria to slash diplomatic privileges for honorary consuls in the country

Bulgaria will massively cut back the privileges accorded to honorary consuls in the country, stripping them of diplomatic privileges, diplomatic car licence plates and tax perks.

This was confirmed at a Cabinet meeting on March 16, a week after Prime Minister Boiko Borissov inquired from the Foreign Ministry about the matter. At the earlier meeting, it emerged that honorary consuls in Bulgaria had privileges far above the norm among other European Union member countries.

There are more than 60 honorary consuls for foreign countries in Bulgaria, most of them private sector business people.

At the Cabinet meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Valentin Poryazov, replying to a question from Borissov, said that the changes could be carried out by amending ordinances for which the Finance Minister, Foreign Minister and Interior Minister, respectively, are responsible. There was no need for the Cabinet to make a formal decision on the matter, Poryazov said.

In response to Borissov’s instruction the previous week, an interdepartmental working group comprising representatives of the Foreign Ministry, Finance Ministry, National Revenue Agency, Customs Agency and Interior Ministry was set up, Poryazov said.

He said that the proposed changes to these regulations would dramatically limit the privileges of honorary consuls.

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