Bulgarian Referendum Against Turkey EU Membership, 2010

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A Bulgarian Referendum Against Turkey EU Membership will be held in Bulgaria later in the year.

Bulgarians need to collect 500,000 signatures from registered voters in order to call a referendum vote on this issue. This is an important issue because if approved, this would be Bulgaria's first referendum vote since the end of the Cold War.[1] April had seen 10,000 signatures being reported as collected by the group heading the petition drive. The group has till July 19 to collect the needed signatures.[2] The reasoning behind this call for a referendum is that some Bulgarian nationalists do not feel that Turkey deserves to be a part of the EU because it is not a European country. Turkey would need Bulgaria's support to gain ascension and members are hoping that with this referendum the government would see that the people of the country do not feel that Turkey deserves to be a part of the Union.[3]

As of May 18, Bulgarian Nationalists heading this petition drive stated that they had now collected more than 200,000 signatures. This threshold means the parliament has to look at the issue and they can decide if they want to hold a vote. If the group reaches over 500,000 then a vote must be held. Petitioners are hoping to yet reach this mark by the end of their campaign process.[4] The nationalist party has also organized meetings to discuss with government members why they believe the referendum is needed and why they are demanding the resignation of the Foreign Minister which stated the country supported Turkey's EU bid. 300,000 signatures have now been submitted to the Bulgarian Parliament.[5]

The main position the group has against Turkey joining the EU is that the state would lose a large amount of subsidies to the new country, subsidies which it does not believe can be done without. The group has collected enough signatures to force the parliament to discuss the issue at least, more are still being collected though in the attempt to be able to force a vote.[6]

The petitioners were successful in getting the required amount of signatures and this issue will go to a vote at a date which is yet undecided by the parliament.[7]

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