Bulgarian president calls for opening of communist files

AFP , Saturday 1 Feb 2014

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev called Saturday for all the communist-era secret services' files to be opened immediately, still a controversial issue a quarter of the century after the collapse of the former regime.

"After 25 years, the time for keeping secrets has passed....All citizens, school pupils and students have the right to learn, with no intermediary, the truth about totalitarian power," he said in a national address.

The conservative president said the "worst vice of the transition" that followed the fall of the communist regime on November 10, 1989, was the lack of self-analysis on the preceding four decades of totalitarianism.

Since 2007, a commission has been tasked with opening the old secret service files of ministers, diplomats, political candidates and other key public figures.

Former agents and collaborators face no legal consequences, though the government did recall dozens of ambassadors in 2011 after the contents of their files were revealed.

Under current law, the full secret service archives will eventually be published online, though socialist lawmakers are trying to overturn that provision.

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