April 19. 2024. 8:52

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Anti-EU party attacks Bulgarian EURACTIV journalist

Pro-Russian and anti-EU party Vazrazhdane targeted Emilia Milcheva, a Bulgarian journalist who regularly contributes to EURACTIV, as she was attempting to track how the party was collecting signatures for a referendum aiming to block the country’s Eurozone membership.

Milcheva, for her part, was called a “provocateur” and a “sniff” because of her work on a report for Deutsche Welle, which looked at those who signed in favour of a referendum against Bulgaria’s entry into the eurozone.

The initiative is mainly supported by Vazrazhdane’s Kostadin Kostadinov, who, in the last elections, gathered just over 10% of the votes.

On Thursday, Vazrazhdane held a press conference about the referendum, at which the Chairman of the initiative committee and Secretary of Vazrazhdane, Deyan Nikolov, said that the initiative was being “attacked by provocateurs”.

Milcheva visited a signature collection point and asked questions about the motives of the initiators against the introduction of the euro. He also accused Milcheva of photographing people’s personal data.

“It got to the point that our team immediately called 112, the police came and deleted the photos from the phone of the lady in question, and a warning was written on her,” Nikolov said.

He explained that Milcheva is a PR for the ‘Snitch Bulgaria party’, as the pro-Russian party calls its pro-European rivals from Democratic Bulgaria. This led to accusations that the journalist was involved in a party conspiracy against the anti-Eurozone referendum.

The secretary of Vazrazhdane explained that journalist was sent to try to “extract personal data, break the law, and then write some scumbag in some American media.”

Milcheva published her text for Deutsche Welle, in which she mentioned the response from Vazrazhdane to her questions and described the policemen who were called. She did not comment on people’s positions but only quoted them.

Milcheva worked for four months in the PR department of the “Yes, Bulgaria” party in 2017 and then returned to journalism.

“No one can prohibit a journalist from covering public processes, such as the action to collect signatures for a referendum of the Vazrazhdane party in defence of the Bulgarian currency,” Milcheva told EURACTIV.

Bulgaria ranks 91st in the Reporters Without Borders ranking, climbing by 21 places in the last year.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)