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Bulgaria in the Schengen Area is “out of the question”

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Joachim Herrmann, Bavarian Interior Minister, announced that he does not want Bulgaria to be part of Schengen Area. He would rather to introduce Bulgaria together with Romania in the area in the long term, but for the moment is “out of the question”. He explained that “it is still dangerous to accept Bulgaria because of the high level of corruption and its big problems with organized crime”.

The Socialists propose a No-confidence vote against the Government


Parliament debated a motion proposed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) for a no-confidence vote against the government. The reason is the failure in the fight against corruption. The BSP accused the government to be “a threat to national security”, because it is uncapable to deal with corruption. The motion will be voted not earlier than 24 hours after the debate. It requires a majority of more than a half of all the parliamentarians, or a minimum of 121 votes.

The spread of tensions among the coalition forces


A group of separatists in southern Yemen, backed by the United Arab Emirates, has declared a state of emergency in the port city of Aden and confirmed the intention to overthrow the country’s internationally recognised government, led by Mr Hadi, within the next week. The leader of the separatist group, Aidarous al-Zubaidi, speaking at a meeting on Sunday, accused Hadi’s government of “rampant corruption” and of “waging a misinformation campaign against the southern leaders using state funds”. The new force, which has clashed with forces loyal to Hadi for control of the strategic areas including Aden airport, will “become the core of a new force that will rebuild South Yemen’s security and military institutions” as they added in a statement. The announcement shows the masked tensions between the set of forces allied to fight against the Houthi rebels.  President Hadi and its government is supported by Saudi Arabia while the separatists are backed by the United Arab Emirates. Indeed, The UAE entered Yemen’s war in March 2015 as part of a Saudi-led coalition after Houthi rebels, traditionally based in the northwest of the country, overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa, in 2014. However, the involvement in the war is slightly changing, nearly three years on, Saudi Arabia has said it “wants out” of the war, while the UAE has become more involved in the conflict, indicating a division in the two countries’ agendas. The UAE has been financing and training armed groups in the south of the country who answer to al-Zubaidi, a 50-year-old militia leader who emerged from relative obscurity in late 2015 after helping purge the Houthis from Aden. At this point, the separation within the forces opposed to the Houthi rebels are enhancing the chaos in the region.

Lower House Committee offers protection for citizens reporting corruption


The State Duma Committee for Security and Countering Corruption has approved a draft law offering state protection to those who reveal facts of corruption to law enforcement agencies. The bill will now progress to the first reading in the Duma.The bill, developed by the Labor Ministry and drafted in the Lower House by the government in mid-October this year, offers state protection to those who report corruption to state agencies. It considers crimes in federal, regional or municipal power bodies or in state-run organizations. The exact measures listed in the draft include making sure that the report remains confidential; free legal advice; protection from unlawful sacking or other sanctions at work; and protection from any other infringement of the citizen’s rights. In particular, the bill states that a person reporting facts about corruption can be remanded only after a special commission session with the participation of a local prosecutor. The term of protection is set at two years from the moment of the original report.

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