Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva has issued a call to young people taking part in the Lukov March not to blindly believe in ideologies that are against humanity and which preach hatred, racism and xenophobia.
In an interview with Bulgarian National Television, Zaharieva said that the shootings in the German city of Hanau was the third case in less than a year in which racism and xenophobia had led to people being killed.
“I also make a connection with Lukov March, which unfortunately takes place in Bulgaria – I call on the young people not to blindly believe in ideologies that are against humanity, because that is not much different from what happened in Hanau,” she said.
There was nothing democratic and legal about neo-Nazi chants, Zaharieva said.
Held annually in Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia since 2003, the Lukov March is a torchlight evening procession in honour of a pro-Nazi general who led the fascist Union of Bulgarian National Legions in the early 1940s. The event attracts neo-Nazis from various parts of Europe.
On the eve of the 2020 Lukov March, German federal police stopped nine far-right extremists from boarding a flight from Dortmund to Sofia.
Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Mladen Marinov, asked by reporters to comment on the actions of the German police, said: “We are in communication with our partners, so that they carry out their checks. On the basis of these checks, they act”.
Marinov said that the Interior Ministry was determined that the order by Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova regarding the Lukov March would be respected.
Fandukova, as she has done in recent years, banned the march but the ban was overturned in court. The court ruled that the mayor could not ban the march but could recommend changes to the timing and route.
Like in previous years, Fandukova has said that she would permit only the laying of floral tributes to Lukov. In all previous years, the Lukov March has proceeded through the centre of Sofia, with a large police escort.
She expected that the police and security services would secure public order, Fandukova said.
Marinov said that the Interior Ministry was continuing to monitor the situation regarding the Lukov March.
have been issued by the mayor of Sofia municipality, who is competent
under the Meetings, Rallies and Events Act. We are adamant that the
orders of the mayor will be respected,” he said.