EU says progress report will not contain penalties for Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria — A EU report on Bulgaria’s compliance with recommendations to tackle organised crime and corruption and to overhaul its judiciary will make no mention of any penalties for the country, European Commission spokesman Mark Gray said on Thursday (June 14th).He was responding to a Reuters article that suggested that the Union would withhold some of its aid to Bulgaria. “The report … will not deal with the question of the possibility of withholding EU funds,” Gray said, adding the EC would consider whether to propose such a measure at a later date. Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin told reporters in Sofia that the EU has no reason to trigger any of its so-called safeguard clauses.

Separately however, the Bulgarian branch of the Helsinki Committee said the Union should impose financial sanctions to force the government to speed up reforms and to eliminate corruption among politicians.

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