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Bulgarian lawmakers push to have 35 ambassadors with KGB past fired

RIA Novosti

15:12 14/01/2011 ATHENS, January 14 (RIA Novosti) - The Bulgarian parliament passed a resolution on Friday calling for the dismissal of 35 ambassadors, who had allegedly cooperated with the Communist intelligence in the past, the Bulgarian radio said.

The document was backed by 152 parliamentarians against 33. Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov also expressed his support for the resolution.

A special historical commission studying the Communist days of the People's Republic of Bulgaria from 1946 to 1990 said in December that 192 officials from the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry had cooperated with the Bulgarian secret police, an arm of the Soviet KGB service.

Thirty-three of the diplomats are currently stationed abroad, including the Bulgarian ambassadors to Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, China, Turkey, Japan and the UN. Thirteen out of 26 envoys to the European Union have also been allegedly linked to the secret police.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, leader of the ruling center-right GERB party, also spoke in favor of sacking the diplomats. President Georgi Pyrvanov previously said he was not sure whether diplomats should be fired over events that took place 20 years ago. The opposition Socialist Party branded the vote "outrageous" and criticized it for lacking in individual approach.

Bulgarian laws do not ban former secret police officials and informants from holding government posts.

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