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February 16, 2021 3:47 pm

Bulgarian Authorities Lauded for Banning Neo-Fascist March for Second Year Running

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Neo-Nazis dressed in paramilitary uniforms participating in the annual Lukov March in Sofia. Photo: Reuters/Pierre Marsaut.

The authorities in Bulgaria have won praise from Jewish groups for banning a pro-fascist march in the capital Sofia for the second year running.

First held in Sofia in 2003, the Lukov March annually has drawn neo-Nazis from elsewhere in Europe to Sofia in tribute to Gen. Hristo Lukov, who led the fascist Union of Bulgarian National Legions in the 1930s until his assassination in Feb. 1943.

Successfully banned in 2020, the February 13, 2021, Lukov March was again the subject of a banning order by Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova. Police prevented a large-scale procession going ahead, though wreaths were laid outside Lukov’s house in central Sofia during last Saturday’s march, the Sofia Globe reported.

Shalom — the communal body representing Bulgaria’s Jewish community of under 6,000 — expressed its gratitude for the thwarting of the Lukov March to Fandukova, national coordinator against antisemitism Georg Georgiev, and other officials.

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“The Bulgarian state has once again shown that it pursues a consistent and categorical policy against intolerance and hate speech, and in particular against the manifestation of antisemitism, xenophobia, hatred and intolerance in the form of a march through the streets of Sofia,” Shalom said in a statement.

“Once again, we would like to sincerely thank you for taking concrete steps to reduce the threat of far-right nationalism,” the organization said.

Appreciation of the action of the authorities was also expressed by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the embassies in Bulgaria of Israel, the US and the United Kingdom.

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