Bulgaria

    PM Sergei Stanishev said the European Commission's suspension of aid because of corruption concerns is "disappointing" and bolsters opposition to membership in the 27-nation bloc. Stanishev said he plans to meet EC President Jose Barroso in Brussels on Dec. 18 and discuss ways to unblock frozen payments. The EC has suspended about 500 million euros of aid after its anti-fraud office found irregularities and mismanagement of funds. "People are frequently saying now there are unequal membership standards and that demands on Bulgaria are higher than for other countries." Stanishev told reporters. "This is a dangerous trend, which may trigger a rise in nationalism and euroscepticism." (Bloomberg)

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