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news 08 Jan 14

France Demands Apology from Bulgarian Nationalist

The French embassy in Sofia has accused the Ataka leader, Volen Siderov, of assaulting a diplomat on a plane while apparently drunk.

Novinite.com

Siderov, leader of the extremist Ataka party, caused an incident on Monday by verbally assaulting a French cultural attaché during a Sofia-Varna flight and later attacking a man in a Varna airport shuttle bus.

The shuttle bus incident ended in a scuffle in which two men, including a police officer, were allegedly injured by Siderov and his entourage.

The nationalist MP, who is now being investigated for hooliganism and for causing slight bodily harm, refused to give up his MP’s immunity on Tuesday.

“A French diplomatic employee has become the victim of insults and threats on behalf of a Bulgarian citizen, in an obviously intoxicated state, during a Bulgaria Air flight from Sofia to Varna on January 6,” the French embassy said.

Siderov has been involved in scandals before. In 2010, he was detained in Germany after hurling racist insults at Lufthansa flight staff.

In September, he and a group of Ataka MPs caused a row in a renowned Brussels restaurant.

Siderov’s anti-Western party remains a key ally of the country’s fragile Socialist-led coalition government, although it is not in power.

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