Bulgaria Foreign Minister recalls Hague consul over ‘coronavirus fees’

Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said on April 7 that it has recalled Svilen Iliev, head of the consular service at the Bulgarian embassy in the The Hague, for collecting “coronavirus fees”.

“This behaviour is completely incompatible with the Bulgarian diplomatic service and cannot be tolerated in any way. I thank all Foreign Ministry employees who are at the service of Bulgarian nationals in all parts of the world,” Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said in a statement.

Iliev, who will be subject to disciplinary proceedings, is accused of collecting five euro from Bulgarian nationals visiting the embassy’s consular office and 10 euro from Dutch citizens.

The ministry said that the only fees that diplomatic officials were entitled to collect were outlined in a regulation under the State Fees Act, which excluded the collection of all other fees. The law also requires any fees collected illegally to be returned “at the request of the interested party.”

The ministry also said that it has asked the Bulgarian ambassador to The Netherlands, Roumen Alexandrov, for explanations.

(Bulgaria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: mfa.bg)

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