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German Ruling on Property Stirs Tension in Bulgaria

Date: 03.11.2009

A ruling of a German court, which obliges Bulgaria to pay EUR 10,5 M to the heirs of a property in Berlin, has raised tension between the country's former ambassador there and the foreign minister.

“I will not stay silent when my decisions as an ambassador are being questioned and my name smeared,” former ambassador and current member of parliament Meglena Plugchieva told journalists on Sunday.

The statement came in response to accusations that Foreign Minister Rumiana Jeleva threw at her from the parliamentary rostrum earlier in the week, saying that the envoy's actions have led to the unfavorable ruling of the court.

According to Plugchieva the property in question was used by the Bulgarian state and its trade representatives in Berlin up to 1990, when it was rented out to Dresdner Bank.

Despite ownership claims by the property heirs, the bank continued to use it up to 2000 at a rent of EUR 90,000 per month.

The former ambassador said it was her decision to transfer all Dresdner Bank payments to a separate bank account so that the money can be used in case of an unfavorable for the Bulgarian state ruling of the court.

Meglena Plugchieva is scheduled to confer with Minister Rumiana Jeleva on Monday in a bid to clear the issue and her name.

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