Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry issued a strongly-worded statement on April 22 condemning the gathering of far-right organisations held in Sofia the past weekend and the sticking of obituaries and posters in various parts of the country paying tribute to Adolf Hitler.
The ministry also condemned the vandalism involving Nazi symbolism being put on monuments and public buildings.
“Once again, in a most categorical and sharp way, we condemn all such acts actively promoting xenophobic, antisemitic and racist messages,” the Foreign Ministry said.
“Such cynical manifestations have no place in our country and do not reflect the value system of our people, who has always opposed fanaticism and extremism in every form.”
Adherence to a hostile ideology, along with its manifestations, should be an act pursued with the absolute severity of the law, the statement said.
This was a joint commitment by the entire Bulgarian government and the relevant institutions, including the Foreign Ministry, would do their utmost to counter all possible forms of antisemitism, xenophobia, racism and hate speech, including through active co-operation at European and global level.
Noting that the Orthodox Christian Easter was approaching, the statement said; “We call for fundamental European values such as respect for human dignity, freedom of the individual and human rights to be protected.
“The beauty of the Bulgarian people stems from its diversity – culturally, religiously and ethnically, which it has preserved in the centuries of its existence and nothing and no one should be allowed to stain and destroy it,” the ministry said.
“All acts and demonstrations that incite hatred and intolerance are incompatible with our understanding of civilisation and democracy in a society.”
The Bulgarian government would continue to create the necessary conditions for an environment free of all forms of discrimination, including by working together with international organisations such as the EU, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the United Nations to take common action to counteract these negative phenomena. the aim of promoting mutual respect, understanding and tolerance, the ministry said.
The Foreign Ministry expressed its strong support for the work of the relevant law enforcement authorities and express hope that those responsible for the dissemination and demonstration of a hostile ideology would be identified and face the full force of the law.