The Bulgarian National Assembly has imposed a moratorium on the lands and property returned, or given as compensation, to the heirs of former tsars Ferdinand I and Boris III. The ban concerns construction and business activities, and any disposal of buildings, plots of land, agricultural lands, forests and movable property which have been subject to decisions enacted for the recognition and restoration of the right of property ownership. The moratorium will remain in force until the adoption of a special law which is to regulate the status of the so-called “ex-tsars’ property”. The proposal for the moratorium provoked animated discussion in parliament. The Socialists (BSP) and the ethnic Turkish party (DPS), who supported the proposal, warned of future legal repercussions for the state. Other parliamentary parties took the view that the damage the country is currently undergoing is much greater than any eventual consequences, and that the state’s interest has to be protected at any cost.”Does anybody have either property which is returned and undisputed, or all illegally returned? It’s all in one pot – both the legally returned and the illegally returned. “This is an issue that cannot be solved by a moratorium. An exhausted issue is being aired once again, and the National Assembly is set for the next adventure, more or less like the referendum on the Turkish language news,” said Mikhail Mikov from BSP.
“In a few years, lawyers – there are those already specialized in this matter – will submit claims on behalf of such persons – the heirs of tsars Ferdinand and Boris – before the European Court of Human Rights, and Bulgaria will be sentenced,” said Chetin Kazak from DPS. “There is indeed an overlap with one forest area, which is huge according to Bulgarian perceptions – about 6000 acres, and which may be irretrievably lost if the exploitation continues,” explained Dimitar Chukarski from the conservative RZS party.
Yane Yanev, the leader of the conservative Order, Law and Justice Party (RZS), announced that they are preparing a law on the status of ex-tsars’ property. The act would regulate the ways in which property could be seized from Simeon Sax-Coburg and be returned to the country, he explained. According to Yanev, the market value of all property and forests returned to Saxe-Coburg is about EUR 500 M. “In times of crisis, this is an important resource and the chance should not be missed for it to be used by the state,” he said, predicting that within the next six months the draft law will be submitted to the National Assembly. Yanev urged that inventories of all the property should be quickly made, and that observers be put in place to prevent any logging activities or mortgaging of property. According to him, Saxe-Coburg had abused his official position and, in an extreme conflict of interests, he himself as prime minister had lodged a proposal that the Council of Ministers should discuss changing the status of property from public to private.
The article tracks down the outline of the conflict, starting from the election of Simeon’s grandfather for a regent of Bulgaria through the nationalization of the royal family property, an act that was declared unconstitutional in 1998. “The ownership of the property became a hot topic in 2001, when Simeon Saxe-Coburg swept the general elections to be named prime minister of Bulgaria,” Sueddeutsche Zeitung writes. The article adds that the prime minister was thrown out of office in 2005 but retained his influence as member of the three-party ruling coalition together with its allies the Socialist and the ethnic Turkish parties. “Even back then his political opponents accused Saxe-Coburg of taking advantage of his power to settle all property issues,” the article says and forecasts that this will be a hot topic for quite some time in Bulgaria. [Source: Novinite.com]
The German newspaper “Sueddeutsche Zeitung” published an article about King Simeon and last week’s decision of the lawmakers to bar the royal family from using property returned to them by judges over ten years ago. Under the ban, Simeon of Bulgaria, who became tsar in 1943 at the age of six and was forced into exile in 1946, and his sister Maria-Louisa cannot sell, rent or build on land returned to them by a Constitutional Court decision in 1998. “The tsar is angry and despite his usually discrete character this time he could not suppress his feelings,” Sueddeutsche Zeitung writes, referring to the accusations that Saxe-Coburg threw at the lawmakers of breaking the law and the constitution. “Don’t forget we live in the 21st century and Bulgaria is a full member of the European Union, not a Soviet State,” the declaration, as cited in the newspaper, reads. [Source: novinite.com]