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Bulgaria parliament overturns presidential veto on anti-corruption bill

Bulgaria parliament overturns presidential veto on anti-corruption bill

Bulgaria's parliament has overturned a presidential veto on an anti-corruption bill, clearing the way for the creation of a unit to tackle high-level abuse.

Anti-corruption agency Transparency International says Bulgaria is the most corrupt country in the bloc.

Anti-corruption reforms have been pushed for by Brussels, which still closely tracks Sofia's efforts to crackdown on corruption 11 years after joining the European Union.

According to the constitution, the president has 7 days to promulgate the law in the state gazette.President Radev vetoed the law on December 29, saying it was not an adequate legal basis to fight corruption and would even create difficulties. The president said he feared political interference as board members are to be elected by parliament.

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But lawmakers, which were obliged to review the law but not necessarily amend it, voted on Friday not to make any changes. The opposition Socialists were the only group to vote against.

"Today, by rejecting the president's veto, our country will fulfil a commitment to the European Commission", Tsvetan Tsvetanov, parliamentary leader of the ruling centre-right GERB party, said.

Although the measures envisaged by the proposed legislation are indeed necessary, they are insufficient to fight corruption in the way expected by the Bulgarian public, Radev said, adding that in its current form, the adopted legislation does not correspond to basic constitutional principles. "Obviously this fight will have to continue to be fought by people and the media".


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