Bulgarian Nationalists Boosted by Election Success

Dina Kyriakidou, Reuters, June 26

SOFIA—Bulgaria’s militant nationalist Attack party said on Sunday its surprise election success meant Bulgarians had finally woken up to what it called a betrayal of their national interests and invited other parties to join it.

Running on a xenophobic ticket, Attack emerged from obscurity as recently as two months ago to win about 8 percent of Saturday’s vote and 21-22 seats in the 240-seat parliament, shocking the ethnically tolerant Balkan nation of 8 million.

“The fact Attack made it to parliament means that the Bulgarian nation has finally woken up,” its maverick leader, television journalist Volen Siderov, told Bulgarian radio. “All (other) political parties have betrayed our national interests.”

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Although scrambling to form a coalition after the inconclusive vote, all parties that passed the threshold to parliament ruled out any cooperation with Attack, whose main slogan is “Give Bulgaria back to Bulgarians”.

The party’s Web site features a map of the Balkan country covered with Turkish and Israeli flags and Siderov has launched vitriolic attacks against the country’s Roma and ethnic Turks.

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