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Bulgaria PM Vows to Resign if GERB MPs Lift Smoking Ban
Date: 15/12/2012

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has vowed to resign if the parliamentary group of center-right ruling party GERB backs the abolition of the smoking ban.

"We are totally against the abolition of the smoking ban. Let us hope that they will not make me once again carry my letter of resignation in my pocket at the next vote," Borisov said in a Saturday interview for Darik radio.

Bulgaria's Prime Minister reminded that he had appeared in Parliament with his letter of resignation in his pocket at the second reading of the illegal assets bill.

The reason was that the adoption of the illegal assets confiscation bill, which was backed by then-Justice Minister Margarita Popova, was obstructed after too few GERB MPs voted in favor of the provisions.

Bulgaria's failure to pass the landmark piece of legislation on criminal assets triggered serious criticism by the European Commission.

The abolition of the full smoking ban in public places was proposed by two independent MPs, Kiril Gumnerov and Stoyan Ivanov, former members of nationalist party Ataka.

The MPs suggested a reinstatement of the regime envisaging separate rooms for smokers and non-smokers.

The Health Act amendments initiated by Gumnerov and Ivanov were rejected by the Parliamentary Health Committee at its last sitting.

The legal changes are to be put to a new vote next week alongside a proposed amendment to the Tourism Act.

In his Saturday interview, Borisov underscored that the GERB party had made a commitment to take care of people's health

To illustrated his point, he noted that statistics pointed to a serious decrease in smoking in Bulgaria since the introduction of the full smoking ban on June 1, 2012.

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