My native country Republic of Bulgaria was until recently considered as a country, an example of balanced ethno-religious relations, which due to the model of tolerance, was the only state on the Balkans to accomplish bloodless transition from totalitarianism to democracy, despite the forced change of names and the banned religious customs of Muslims between 1984-1989.
Unfortunately, after the country accession to the EU, we witness a peculiar boom in extreme nationalism, in the language of ethno-religious hatred, to reach a direct participation of a xenophobic political force, the Patriotic Front, in the present government of the state.
Today Bulgaria is the only EU member state where there is a total ban for use of mother tongues in election campaigns. Considering this, we find it essential to clear out that the chairman of the MRF, Mr. Lyutvi Mestan, and seven other colleagues have been sanctioned with fines by the court because during their pre-election meetings with their voters they have said some of their phrases in their mother tongue as well. Note that – in their mother tongue as well, not only in it. Myself including.
Today, I present to you the decision of the Central Election Commission. Lately, we have been hearing voices from the highest level of authority as well. The Deputy Prime Minister, Rumyana Bachvarova, pleads the overthrow of the five-minute news in mother tongue off the air of the national television.
I am ringing the bell here in the European Parliament and I call on the European institutions to engage with the case before it is too late.
Тази публикация е достъпна и на следните езици: Bulgarian