Bulgaria: Chair of the Council on Ethnic Minority Integration is now right-wing extremist Valeri Simeonov
Agence France-Presse reports that the chair of the ultra-right "National Party for the Salvation of Bulgaria", Valeri Simeonov, was appointed head of the country's Council on Ethnic MInority Integration on 26 May, which is in charge of relations with the Romani and Turkish minorities there. The party is a member of an alliance of nationalist parties called "United Patriots" which, together with the "Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria" party (GERB), which won the elections in March there, is forming a new governing coalition.
This is the first time that nationalists have been seated in the Bulgarian Government; their alliance agitated against migration and took a quite sharp stance against Turkey during the campaign. Experts and representatives of parties representing minorities called Simeonov's appointment a "scandal" and a "textbook example of cynicism".
In 2014, Simeonov made a hateful speech against Romani people in the Bulgarian Parliament in which he called them "insolent humanoids who demand money without working for it... and want welfare for their children who play with pigs and for their women who have the instincts of street dogs". Prior to the elections, along with other nationalists, he led a demonstration at the Bulgarian-Turkish border in which he accused Turkey of attempting to influence the Bulgarian elections.
In recent months, Simeonov has spoke of the need to educate Romani people with the aim of including them more in the labor market, during which he said that "it is necessary to restrict their social welfare, which predetermines them to parasitism". He is also an advocate of banning Turkey from financing Islamic centers and mosques in Bulgaria.
There are approximately 700 000 Romani people living in Bulgaria, which has a population of 7.2 million. There are also approximately 800 000 members of the Turkish minority, whose history extends back to the time of the Ottoman Empire's dominance over that part of Europe.
- Bulgarian Police assault two Romani men, one of whom then died
- Militant Bulgarian nationalists visited the Czech Parliament this year
- President of Bulgarian Helsinki Committee assaulted in Sofia, says it was retribution for his human rights work
- Analysis from Bulgaria: Anti-Gypsyism is the enemy at the gates
- German counter-intelligence head says right-wing extremism and terrorism are the country's biggest threat
- Antigypsyism and antisemitism rooted in European culture for centuries, experts discuss the causes of online hate
- Czech football hooligans' racism against black player to be addressed by disciplinary commission
- Germany: Trial begins of right-wing extremist charged with murder of local politician
- Zeljko Jovanovic: European leaders' silence over Orban's anti-Roma rhetoric shames the EU
- Czech court hands down suspended three-year sentence to man who praised the terrorism in Christchurch, prosecutor appeals
- Czech man prosecuted for expressing support for Norwegian terrorist refuses to testify in court
- Chair of the Pirate Party in the Czech Republic stands up for Romani activist assaulted by hateful attackers
- Rina Caldari: The "Corona Rebels" - Conspiracy Theories from the Far Right
- Czech MP who compared Muslim immigrants to "invasive species" will not be stripped of immunity from prosecution
- Slovak court finally rules on brutal assault by neo-Nazis seven years ago in Nitra, they appeal
- Czech Interior Ministry and Prague City Hall stop leasing properties to publisher who released Nazi calendar, MPs plan to ban the sale of Nazi symbols