Bulgaria’s Ombudsman and citizens score victory over monopolies

Bulgaria’s citizens scored a very important victory over the monopolies and the private arbitration courts, Bulgaria’s Ombudsman Maya Manolova said on Thursday at the National Assembly after the MPs adopted at a second reading amendments to the Civil Procedure Code which banned the private arbitration courts from interfering in consumer disputes.

Bulgaria's Ombudsman Maya Manolova Photo: BGNES

Bulgaria’s Ombudsman Maya Manolova Photo: BGNES

Next week those amendments will be promulgated in State Gazette and all citizens who receive notifications from such courts can bin them immediately. Maya Manolova specified that all pending arbitrary cases will be terminated. In her view, it is unacceptable for those arbitration courts to continue pending lawsuits or initiate new ones. Bulgaria’s Ombudsman also explained that the fees paid to legal advisers will be reduced six-fold. In her words, the monopolists charge their clients with excessive fees when the customer dispute is sent to arbitration. We know that some lawsuits are initiated only because given monopolists want to collect high fees for legal advisers, Maya Manolova further said. For instance Toplofikatsya (Central Heating Company) charges some of its debtors EUR 450, even if the consumer dispute is about EUR 5 only. From now on those fees can not exceed EUR 75. Maya Manolova pointed out that the recent victory over the monopolists was possible due to the excellent cooperation between the citizens, the National Ombudsman and the country’s National Assembly. She thanked the Bulgarian MPs for defending the citizens and for resisting the corporate pressure they have been subject to in the recent months.

Radio Bulgaria 

15 January 2017

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