Bulgaria plans to sell diplomatic properties in nine countries in 2019, Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva told the National Assembly during Question Time on February 8.
The countries are the United States, Argentina, Belgium, Greece, Canada, Colombia, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Finland, Zaharieva said in reply to questions from opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party MP Kristian Vigenin.
Zaharieva said that some of the buildings were former trade-economic offices or consulates-general, generating large costs “and, I would say, present Bulgaria in an unfavourable light when the property is really in poor condition”.
Bulgaria had received letters “many times” on that issue, Zaharieva said.
Bulgaria sold one diplomatic property in The Hague for 1.165 million euro and paid 6.39 million leva for renting buildings abroad, she said.
Zaharieva said that the goal was the maximum degree of preservation of state property abroad and effective management of these properties, “not to let them fall into ruin and pay fines for it in some countries.”
The ministry intended to optimise building stock so as to adequately respond to the needs of Bulgarian diplomacy.
The ministry also intended getting rid of buildings where it was pointlessly paying rent.
“We have situations in which we have properties that have been deserted for 20 years, and in other countries, for example where we are still paying rent,” Bulgarian National Radio quoted Zaharieva as saying.
The goal was to have effective management, getting rid of those that are huge and never used, to get properties where Bulgaria did not have and thus free the state from paying rent.
Among the ideas being discussed was joint use of buildings with embassies of other countries from the region, Zaharieva told Parliament.
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