EU Member Bulgaria Halts ACTA, Minister Of Economy Offers Resignation

from the ACTA-la-vista-baby dept

Following a long list of countries including Poland, Latvia and the Czech Republic, Bulgaria's government has now announced it's halting the ratification of the ACTA-treaty. Bulgaria's Minister of Economics and Energy even went as far as offering his resignation, while commenting:

"Since there are no damages for society, I believe the move is sufficient as a sign of assuming responsibility. I was convinced that this agreement would be beneficial for Bulgaria. Even now experts say its positive effects would outweigh the negative ones."

It's unclear which 'experts' the Minister is referring to. It's also a little hard to believe that someone would offer their resignation when they were convinced they were doing the right thing. Especially when the Prime Minister instructs his party to vote against ACTA in the European Parliament:

"The PM further vowed that the Members of the European Parliament from his ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, would not endorse the ratification of ACTA."

What is certain is that the nationwide protests last weekend such as in the video below, which saw impressive numbers on the streets of 16 cities in a country of 7.5 million people, have startled the government sufficiently to understand they need to be more wary about the types of treaties they sign, especially when those treaties infringe on civil liberties. While proponents of stronger IP protection get more audacious, an increasing amount of people are taking to the streets to hold their governments accountable for signing these treaties or comparable laws.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 12:33am

    But..but...

    But ACTA stops piracy, child porn, and TERRORISTS !!!!

    We can't let the evil doers win.


    -page 1 of the George W. Bush Political Handbook

     

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  2.  
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    Dionaea (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 1:20am

    Muahahaha >:D

    Eat that copyright trolls! I'm definitely going to the next protest as well. :D Hopefully we can convince the Dutch representatives to vote against it as well. So far there's far less protest here though...

     

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  3.  
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    Alex Macfie (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 1:25am

    Separation of powers

    Note that the prime minister cannot (officially) "instruct" MEPs from his party to vote a particular way: it is a separate institution from the government, with whipping determined by the transnational party groups. It's a similar relationship to that between a state governor and the US House of Representatives. He can state how he would like his party's MEPs to vote, and can certainly put strong pressure on them, but he cannot tell them how to vote. Last year UK Conservative MEPs defied their party leader (and Prime Minister) in a vote on EU climate change policy, so it isn't a certainty that MEPs vote the way their national party leadership would like them to.

     

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  4.  
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    Alex Macfie (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 1:29am

    Re: Muahahaha >:D

    Dutch Liberal MEP Marietje Schaake (sp?) has spoken out strongly against ACTA.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 1:36am

    'It's also a little hard to believe that someone would offer their resignation when they were convinced they were doing the right thing.'

    or more to the point, is receiving enough of a payback!

     

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  6.  
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    SJ, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 1:37am

    Alex:

    Maybe in the UK the prime minister can't do that.... how it works in Bulgaria is unknown to me.

     

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  7.  
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    A Guy (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 2:22am

    Re: But..but...

    I still can't believe that guy won the presidency twice

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 2:23am

    Re:

    It's not really hard at all to believe someone would offer their resignation if they are convinces that something is the right thing to do but their prime minister pulls the rug from under their feet.

    It is in fact the absolutely normal thing to do in circumstances like that.
    Whether we agree with his view or not is irrelevant to whether it is to be expected that someone dedicated to a particular view would resign his position when over ruled on matters he has direct responsibility for, especially when what he has done is being undone.

    I'm glad it is being undone of course.

     

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  9.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:09am

    Re: Re: But..but...

    He went up against Gore and Leiberman (the latter supports bills like ACTA, SOPA and PIPA) and then Kerry...

    Yeah, I'm not really surprised.

    Course, maybe if Gore had done some more Recounts, he might have won.

     

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  10.  
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    cnyk, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 3:46am

    Re: Separation of powers

    It's not Bulgaria's Prime Minister that's doing that, it's the president of the GERB party (which in this case it's the same person, if I understand it correctly). In what you said it's the UK not the US analogy you gave. And yes, the reps could very well ignore him.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:00am

    Japan, France, UK and the US can just suck it up now.
    They are getting isolated on this issue.

    Those are the countries that most insistently push this insanity to the world.

     

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  12.  
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    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:12am

    Re: Separation of powers

    In theory you're absolutely right. Having lived in Bulgaria throughout the last 4 years, I can tell you Gowever that in the case of Borisov and GERB, what you describe is not the case.

    He's basically the strong leader of the party and you better do what he says... :/

     

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  13.  
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    Alex Macfie (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:09am

    Re: Re: Separation of powers

    The UK example wasn't an analogy, but an actual example of a European Parliamentary party delegation defying its national party leader, just to show that it can and does happen. I do know that the analogy with the US state governor/Congress is imperfect [e.g. the state governor is not the state party leader; national parties in EU states are separate orgnisations that affiliate to European parties, as opposed to being federal orgnisations in the US]. And yes, some national parties in the European Parliament may have a stronger tendency than others to defer to the party leadership (the UK Labour Party tends to do this, often causing ructures with its European party group).

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 5:40am

    Re: But..but...

    I think it also stops animal abuse as well.

    Think of the puppies and kittens.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    TDR, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 6:05am

    Lister: Are you saying they were sirens?
    Rimmer: Yes, it's as plain as a Bulgarian pinup!

    Good to know we're making some headway against the smegheads pushing ACTA. Senile old Holly's got more sense than they do.

     

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  16.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 6:21am

    Re: Re:

    We should watch this person and see if they end up working for the entertainment industry.

     

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  17.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 6:22am

    Re:

    +1 for the Red Dwarf reference ...

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Adam J, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 6:25am

    Don't feel bad for the minister. I'm sure the entertainment industry has a nice, cozy job waiting for him.

     

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  19.  
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    Cowardly Anon, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:11am

    I think that the 'experts' that the Minister is referring to are the US diplomats that have informed him that Bulgaria doesn't vote in favor of ACTA that the US won't promote any more trade agreements with Bulgaria.

    I have no doubt that this has been said or hinted at behind those closed negotiation doors.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    TDR, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re:

    Rimmer (MAFIAA): What are you doing?
    Kryten (the people): I believe I'm rebelling, sir.
    Rimmer (MAFIAA): You're rebelling?
    Kryten (the people): Yes, I think that's what I'm doing.
    Rimmer (MAFIAA): What are you rebelling against?
    Kryten (the people): What have you got? Smeg for brains! Molecule mind! Swivel on it, punk!

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:40am

    So you are surprised that there are ACTA protests in countries that are net IP consumers, rather than producers? They don't want tougher laws, it will only hurt their ability to get stuff for free online. Why would they want to do that?

    Remind me again of all the wild international music and movie successes coming out of Bulgaria, and all the big software companies there.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 7:45am

    Re:

    Laws should only benefit the producers, never the consumers. Hey, that sure sounds like modern copyright law to me!

    "We need to protect Hollywood's profits against the public hordes and unwashed masses!"

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 8:01am

    We here in the U.S. need to do the same thing (as on that video) about our existing IP laws to have them repealed. Our laws have gotten completely out of control thanks to the government-industrial complex and it's ridiculous. IP laws need to be substantially repealed.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 8:13am

    Re:

    it must a lonely place in your head, a head where only Hollywood exists.
    Its very typical of drug addicts like you, addicted to Hollywood crack so much, you don't know anything about the real world.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Bengie, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 8:19am

    ohhh noess!

    If he is honestly sorry, then they want him. Very few political apologize, especially explaining the correct reason.

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Rottweiler, Feb 16th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    Re: Muahahaha >:D

    The Dutch Lower House has backed a motion from the Green Left party which says that the Netherlands should, for the time being, refrain from signing an international treaty designed to combat piracy and counterfeit trade on the Internet.

    http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/dutch-parliament-opposes-ratifying-acta

     

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  27.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 9:53am

    Re: Re: Re: But..but...

    The entire problem is how we got railroaded into bad decisions in the first place...

    We need electoral reform, not more recounts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Bas Grasmayer (profile), Feb 16th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

    Re:

    Actually, IT is one of Bulgaria's fastest growing industries. That includes software programming.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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