Bulgaria spy row: Boiko Borisov seeks diplomat sackings

image captionMr Borisov said ex-agents should leave the diplomatic service

Bulgarian PM Boiko Borisov has called for top diplomats revealed to be former communist secret service agents to be fired.

Mr Borisov said he would ask for the 45 diplomats, most of them ambassadors, to be replaced.

A commission on Tuesday said half of Bulgaria's envoys to the EU had been involved with the secret service.

President Georgi Purvanov rejected Mr Borisov's demand, Bulgarian media report.

The Secret Files Commission said the ambassadors to Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Greece and Portugal had been agents of the notorious Darzhavna Sigurnost secret service.

The country's envoys to Tokyo and Moscow are also among the names mentioned in the report.

"Imagine these agents in Western European countries," Mr Borisov said on Wednesday.

"They once worked against them as ideological enemies and now they are representing our government there," he added.

"My opinion is that we have to part with these people and I suppose my party will back me up," Mr Borisov said.

The commission said that almost half of all of Bulgaria's 462 current and past diplomats who served since the end of the communist regime in 1989 had been agents.

Mr Purvanov said he did not believe in "political purges".

The president said that he was prepared to examine the records of the diplomats mentioned in the report, but he was sure that in most cases he would find no reasons to sack them.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party also rejected calls to replace the diplomats named in the report.

Mr Purvanov himself was accused of involvement with the Darzhavna Sigurnost in 2007, but he denies having been an agent.

Bulgarian secret service agents were often trained by the Russian KGB and allegedly involved in a number of plots, including killing of an exiled dissident in London with a poison-tipped umbrella.

The Secret Files Commission was formed after legislation opened access to the Darzhavna Sigurnost archives in 2006.

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