Thursday, August 17, 2006

Bulgaria denies wholesale passport issue

SOFIA, Bulgaria (UPI) -- Bulgaria has denied British allegations it is giving Bulgarian passports to foreigners to grant them free access to the EU labor market.

Bulgaria and Romania plan to join the European Union in January and many citizens of the former communist countries have applied to get Bulgarian passports, the SNA Sofia news agency reported Wednesday.

With Bulgarian travel documents, the citizens of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine could freely travel to Britain to get a better job.

Wednesday, Bulgaria`s Justice Ministry dismissed as 'malicious' a report by the Sunday Telegraph claiming Bulgaria was giving away passports to non-EU foreigners hoping to find jobs in Britain.

Deputy Justice Minister Ana Karaivanova said the screening procedure for granting Bulgarian citizenship strictly adhered to the constitution and law.

British media say up to 140,000 Romanians and Bulgarians could arrive in Britain in the first year after the next EU enlargement, the SNA said.

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