By Krassen Nikolov
The Bulgarian Socialist Party reacted sharply to the warm words expressed by PES leader Sergei Stanishev after his nomination for President of the new European Parliament. Although it was Italy’s Socialist David Sassoli who was elected President of the EP, Stanishev thanked the European Prime Ministers and personally the Bulgarian premier Boyko Borissov.
“This is an appreciation of my efforts and of my European commitment. Thank you for it. But for me it was more important to give freedom to the [S&D] group to formulate its position without obligation [to implement the heads of state and government package],” Stanishev said. The PES leader claims he told the S&D group leader that he withdraws from the race for European Parliament chief.
Stanishev complimented Borissov that he acted not as a politician, but as a statesman, because he supported a Bulgarian from another political family for the high position. Prior to that, Borissov refused to support Kristalina Georgieva to become EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security.
“We have both grown up and have become wiser in a way over the years. When it comes to the interest of Bulgaria, I can work with Mr. Borissov,” Stanishev explained.
The BSP leaders sharply reacted against this friendship between Borissov and Stanishev on the European level. Stanishev and the BSP leader Kornelia Ninova are in conflict, so it wasn’t a big surprise. The party immediately took distance from Stanishev’s position . His comments were described as “absolutely inadequate”.
“Borissov for us is failed politician who leads Bulgaria to the bottom. We need to state that because the BSP opinion on this issue differs from Stanishev’s position,” BSP MP Stoyan Mirchev said.
Borissov used the situation to deride the BSP reaction. He reminded that Stanishev was elected leader of the socialists of the whole Europe.
“I did not vote for Stanishev at the elections. I just beat him. But we have kept normal European behavior. I supported Stanishev just like the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte supported Frans Timmermans, although they are from different parties,” Borissov said.
“So I supported Stanishev, where is the drama? He thanked me. Do you realise what sort of people are these? And they claim they want to be a part of Europe,” Borissov said, slamming his opponents from the Bulgarian socialist party.
In statesmanship-like style, to paraphrase Stanishev, Borissov reminded that in Europe people treat each other with friendship and respect.