Bulgaria’s governing coalition is stable, the partners in the ruling majority said after talks in the Parliament building on February 23.
The meeting involved Tsvetan Tsvetanov, parliamentary leader of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s centre-right GERB party, Volen Siderov, parliamentary leader of the United Patriots – the grouping of nationalist and far-right parties that is the minority partner in government – and Valeri Simeonov, one of the United Patriots’ two deputy prime ministers in Borissov’s government. The third co-leader of the United Patriots, Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Krassimir Karakachanov, was not present at the talks.
The talks followed various comments in recent weeks by United Patriots’ co-leaders about tensions in the nationalist coalition, and a more recent comment by Siderov apparently referring to Tsvetanov as an “ex-communist from the Interior Ministry”. Tsvetanov, in the first Borissov government from 2009 to 2013, was Interior Minister.
Siderov said that he was a man with his own opinions, he had comments and would continue to have comments.
However, he added that Tsvetanov had persuaded him that the GERB parliamentary leader had not been a member of the Bulgarian Communist Party, but only a member of the Komsomol (in the communist era, each Soviet bloc country had a youth formation of ‘young communists’) – as Siderov conceded he too had been.
Siderov told reporters that he saw no reason for the media interest in the meeting with Tsvetanov and Simeonov.
Siderov, the leader of Ataka – one of the three constituent parties of the United Patriots – said that the coalition government partners were obliged to meet, as they were a coalition, and should do so more often. “So it was a working meeting, routine, nothing more,” he said.
Reporters noted that only Siderov and Tsvetanov spoke to journalists, while Simeonov said only: “I want to go, I am confused”.
Tsvetanov told reporters; “The coalition is stable, we have no differences, we have different opinions, but I think that through dialogue we will clear this up and we will be united”.
He and Siderov grasped hands and the Ataka leader said to the media: “Is that enough?”