Attack (political party)
|Founded||17 April 2005|
|Headquarters||1 Vrabcha str., 1000 Sofia|
|Youth wing||National Youth Organization Аttack|
|Religion||Bulgarian Orthodox Church|
|European Parliament group||Non-Inscrits*|
|Colours||White, green, red (Bulgarian national colours)|
|Politics of Bulgaria
* Formerly part of Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty (2007).
Attack (full name: Political Party "Attack", Bulgarian: Политическа партия Атака, Politicheska partiya Ataka; formerly: National Union "Attack", Bulgarian: Национален съюз Атака, Natsionalen sayuz Ataka) is a far-right nationalist political party in Bulgaria, founded by the journalist Volen Siderov in 2005. The party takes anti-elitist populist stances and leftist positions on economic policy. It advocates the re-nationalisation of privatized companies and wants to prioritize spending on education, healthcare and welfare. It opposed the Bulgarian membership in NATO and the European Union. In 2006, the party concluded an agreement with the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
In the Bulgarian parliamentary elections of 2005, 2009, and 2013 Attack was steadily the fourth-strongest party and won 21 respectively 23 of the 240 seats. In the presidential election 2006, Siderov was placed second and qualified for the run-off, in 2011 he played only a minor role and was placed fourth. In the last election for the European Parliament, Attack won two of the 18 Bulgarian seats.
Several scholars consider the Attack party ultranationalist, and designate its leader Volen Siderov an ultranationalist too. The organization's orientation and rhetoric is described as racist, especially antisemitic and anti-Roma as well as xenophobic.
The Attack Party is politically oriented towards nationalism. Its political program consists of two documents, some 20 principles and a program schedule with 10 articles. They define Bulgaria as a one-nation state and assert the supremacy of the state and the Bulgarian nation above ethnic and religious diversity, there can be found some radical proposals for changes in the constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria as institutionalization of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the recognition of the Orthodoxy as the official religion in Bulgaria, as well as participation of the Church in legislative work, all important government decisions and teaching of the Church's doctrine in primary school. The 20 Principles envisage sanctions for defamation of the Bulgarian national sacraments and for slurs against Bulgaria. They require investigation for criminal grown rich and for all transactions involving politicians and foreign debt transactions, confiscation of illegally acquired property and creating a fund for free medical care from the confiscated, legal formula of 'treason' states - court for the national traitors. Attack has so far called most of the present-day politicians national traitors.
According to the 20 principles, health, social security, education, spiritual and material prosperity of the Bulgarian nation is priority number one for the government and the Bulgarian state is obliged to provide the health, social security and the conditions for spiritual and material prosperity of all Bulgarians by all means of government. Legal minimum price of labor should be introduced, corresponding to the average European during a time when the Bulgarian population lives below average standart and much of them in misery. Another point of the 20 Principles is that the Bulgarian manufacture, mostly stolen by foreigners, the trade and banks must be in Bulgarian hands and that Bulgarian business, whether public or private, shall be assisted by the state in and outside its boundaries. Another principles state that incomes and taxes should be tailored to the needs of the Bulgarian population and "not with the IMF and the World Bank", they require general reading of the budget schedule and its reallocation in favor of Bulgarian citizens, not of the management elite and reduction of useless administration. Referendums are required on all issues, affecting the lives of more than 10 percent of the nation. Another principle states - leaving NATO, opt-war blocks, full neutrality, none foreign military bases on Bulgarian territory. Attack is generally regarded as a far-right party, whether in media coverage, political platform, or allies in the European parliament. However, Attack claims to be 'neither left, nor right, but Bulgarian'.
The leader, Volen Siderov, started his evening show named "Attack" on Skat TV in 2003, from where he became known in the general audience and from where the party's name comes, before officially establishing the party for the parliamentary election in June, 2005. Although Attack was a completely new party in the parliament in 2005, during the government of Sergei Stanishev (2005–2009) the party remained an constant opponent of the governing and made numerous actions against it. On March 3, 2006, party leader Siderov called for a meeting to be held in Sofia, and around 30,000 people came to hear speeches by him and other members of the party. During this rally, Siderov declared "Bulgaria is not yet free. Bulgaria is still under Turkish rule". Party speakers protested against the ruling government in Bulgaria for forming an alliance with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and allegedly ignoring ethnic Bulgarian interests. Earlier in 2006, Siderov organized a petition against a decision by the Bulgarian government to set up US military bases in Bulgaria. On March 3, 2009, Attack organized a rally, attended by about 10,000, to celebrate the liberation of Bulgaria from "500 years of enslavement by the Ottomans". Some political formations in Bulgaria have avoided contact and debate with the party - the party claim this is because "[they have] been scared from being involved in any debates with Attack, as they know they would never win". In 2006, Siderov was second in the presidential election according to the exit polls, according to Siderov himself, elections are manipulated. He claimed that the Bulgarian mafia reappointed Parvanov for a second term, numerous violations in the vote, that the Movement for Rights and Freedoms' electorate made numerous documented unpunished violations, including double voting and discriminatory repressive media pressure, referring to the lack of any television debate between Parvanov and Siderov. Skat TV - a broadcaster broadly sympathetic to the party's view - have been subject to deletion from some cable TV providers in Bulgaria. Attack claims this is a pre-election trick by the government, in order to silence one of its main competitors in the election; however, Clive Leviev-Sawyer, a Bulgarian Jewish journalist, cites "consumer complaints and hate speech" as the reasons for the channel being dropped by some providers. After personal conflict between Siderov and the owner of Skat TV, Valeri Simeonov, the owner of Skat TV left Attack and created his own new party - National Front for Salvation of Bulgaria and will be a competitor of Siderov for the nationalist electorate in the parliamentary election. The party Attack has its own television program - alfa TV, but its broadcasting is limited only to some digital suppliers. The party's point is that, there is a blackout against them by the "anti" Bulgarian media, because the major Bulgarian television programmes, such as bTV, Nova TV and TV7 are corrupted and fraudulent, irradiating every day the people with Borisov's party, with lies or with nonsense in order to hide the true situation in the country. Before establishing the party, Siderov has written many readings with nationalist concept since the 1990s. His 5 books are dedicated to the global conspiracy and expose the claimed anti-Bulgarian policies of certain political circles in Bulgaria and abroad. According to the books of Siderov, small group of masons control the world with the help of puppet heads of state and international organizations.
In 2012, Attack started a process for consolidation and future electoral cooperation of all patriotic and nationalist forces on the Bulgarian political landscape, incl. IMRO – Bulgarian National Movement, the Union of Patriotic Forces etc. On March 3, 2012, the party prеsented the leftist Plan "Siderov - Bulgaria’s new way". Its main goal is the radical increase of minimum wage and the breakup of the so-called 'colonial' neoliberal economic model through immediate termination of the gold mining concessions, nationalization of the electricity distribution companies, fight against corruption and programs in support of the small and medium-sized businesses. The plan also advocates removal of the flat tax and the development of progressive tax system. The minimal pension and salary in Bulgaria are below 100 euro and the lowest in the EU. Attack made pa roposal for increasing the minimum pension to 250 euro and the salary to 500, but although argumented, it without explanation has been rejected by Borisov's majority in the parliament. Siderov accused Borisov's party to hinder the people to live as Europeans, although their party is named Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria and furthermore, that they make the Bulgarian people 10 time more lower beings than the Germans as example and the rest of the Europeans. Members of the party declared that the things in Bulgaria are miserable and they will be fine only with radical raising of the income and also they are in the parliament for this to ensure good salary and pensions for the people.
Following the 2009 parliamentary election, the cabinet's leader Boyko Borisov was to realize some of Attack's proposals like the proposed referendum against the Turkish-language news on BNT if they support his cabinet. Later, Attack agreed to support the cabinet of the brand new party, though without having any minster in it, but later after the governing declared, that they will not fulfill Attack's proposes, awarded some projects in the hands of Turkish companies and other conflicts, the party became opponent of Borisov, the party's point is, that the members hoped in a new party something to change, but realised that Borisov's party is part of the same old criminal Bulgarian political system, in their words. Siderov stated that the owner of SKAT TV, Valeri Simeonov, advised him to support the government of Borisov. Attack also accused Borisov's party and the previous governing for being pawns of the oligarchy, only implementing directives and orders to the Turkish, American, Israeli and other sides and for even involving Bulgaria into a war in the conflict in Syria. The Minister of Defense of Turkey - İsmet Yılmaz indeed visited the Bulgarian government in November, 2012. They also claimed that Borisov prepared falsification for the 2013 parliamentary election and proposed change in the electoral law, according to which there have to be introduced scanners in the polls and cameras, the proposal was rejected by the majority of Borisov. According to the exit polls of the 2011 presidential election, Borisov's party candidate - Rosen Plevneliev led the election with a small lead of 5%, Attack and though not so demonstratively, the Bulgarian Socialist Party too, accused Borisov's party for buying and falsifying the elections, while when Plevneliev was appointed in the parliament and when the parliament was standing at the anthem of Europe, Attack's members raised sheets, on which was written "Plevneliev elected with fraud.". At the 2009 parliamentary election, for Attack were elected 21 seats, but later 11 left the party to became independent deputies and the party remained at the minimum with 10 deputies, Siderov, the party's leader, claims that Borisov have bought his 11 deputies and likens them to Judas Iscariot, who surrendered for money. Attack claimed, that the governing sold Bulgaria out and are not worthy for the deeds of the Bulgarians.
According to Volen Siderov, the number of brutal murders is increasing, most of them committed by the so-called "Gypsy bandits and marauders" and that what is asked from the Gypsies is only to behave according to the laws. The party founded its own organization for helping Bulgarians, suffered from Gypsy crimes and is acting often in conflicts between Bulgarians and the minorities, ones of the most well-known are the protest against the noise of the mosque in the center of Sofia, the protest against the statements of some Roma, accused of Radical Islam by a national court, the activities against the Gypsy students, who made mockery against national heroes, the party helped to punish the Gypsies slightly and it also helped the stopping of the construction of some mosques with public dissatisfaction and petition. Although Volen Siderov was accused for being racist and xenophobic, he denied these claims and declared that Attack never turned against the minorities and that all Bulgarian patriots are welcome to him, regardless of race, ethnicity and religion, that his party is for equal rights and obligations and it is neither racist and nor xenophobic. He also asked some members of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms what they have to do with the labor Muslims, who with honest work earn a living, and that for these people, who are being lied by the Movement Party, he and Attack are equally concerned. Attack opposes the Movement for Rights and Freedoms since its foundation, because it claims that it is a part of one political mafia and for their leader, Ahmed Dogan, that he derides Bulgarian parliamentarism and he boasts openly that he has a ring of firms, probably mafia, with which he actually exists. The peak of the conflict became in 2012, when the majority of the Movement in the town council of the ethnically-mixed city of Kardzhali rejected to make a Bulgarian hero from the Balkan Wars - gen. Vasil Delov an honorary citizen, following this Attack's members disagreed with the authority of the minority's party, in response the leader of the Movement - Ahmed Dogan said that the Balkan Wars are ethnic cleansing. Siderov send notification to the premier, the president and other governing, but was ignored, in the parliament he proposed the other parties to judge Dogan and accused him for arguing for the present territorial integrity and sovereignty of Bulgaria, that he publicly challenged the liberation of Bulgaria, in his words this perverse disrespect has to be penalized and this trend to downplaying the Bulgarian should be curtailed by strict sanctions for those, who made anti-Bulgarian actions, all other parliamentary groups voted abstainer, except the Muslim Movement, which voted against. Following this, Attack proceed to the constitutional court for elimination of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, claiming that it is anti-constitutional on religious and ethnic basis as according to the Bulgarian Constitution ethnically or religiously-based political parties аre prohibited. However, for starting a case in the constitutional court are needed signatures of 48 deputies from the parliament, Attack's members declared that they are in process of negotiation with all deputies to gather these signatures. Few days later, Siderov proposed the renaming of the city of Kardzhali, named after the Ottoman Turkish soldier Kardzha Ali, to "Delovgrad", after gen. Vasil Delov, liberator of the city from Ottoman Turkish rule. Attack proposed the renaming of the highest Musala Peak to "Saint John of Rila Peak" to the constitutional court, because its name is Muslim from the Ottoman Rule.
Attack is a supporter of the nuclear power engineering in Bulgaria and as such it opposes the closed blocks of the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant and supports a second nuclear power plant of Belene, for which matter there will be national nuclear power referendum on January, 2013. For the respective referendum it proposed to include the question "Do you want Bulgaria to continue to be a member of NATO", but the proposal was rejected by the governing. Attack also requested the withdraw of the Bulgarian troops from Afghanistan. Its position for closing the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant is that it is done not at European request, but for money from a "handful of irresponsible politicians and national traitors ...", naming Ivan Kostov, Simeon Sakskoburggotski, Sergei Stanishev, Rumen Ovcharov, Meglena Kuneva, Commissioner Verheugen. By his own request, Attack heads two times to ask the European Commission, is there a decision for closing the nuclear plant in Kozluduy, the answer was: there is no such decision.
Attack cooperates with parties like the National Front (France) and the Freedom Party of Austria. The party opposes what it calls the 'double standards' of the European Union (EU) and is openly anti-federalist. Its 3 MEPs participated in the short-lived Identity, Tradition, Sovereignty group (2007).
Siderov reportedly espouses anti-Masonic conspiracy theories, claiming that Masons control the world through puppet regimes, international organizations, and the press. According to Siderov, these forces seek to commit genocide against Bulgarian people. Attack opposes the membership of Bulgaria in NATO; Siderov has declared that the people were lied to, that Bulgaria would be the most safety place by then Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs—Solomon Pasi—but the result was reducing the Bulgarian army to 20,000 troops and in necessity Bulgaria would be defenseless as the Turkish government wants. He compared the accession of Bulgaria to NATO as a new signing of the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine, considered as humiliating treaty for Bulgaria, signed after World War I. Although the party is ambivalent on Bulgaria's European Union membership, it has demanded a revision of some of the previous agreements (e.g. the resolution on shutting down the Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant near the Danube), it claims that those who signed the EU membership, referring to Meglena Kuneva and others, are national traitors, not because of the EU membership itself, but because of the "anti-Bulgarian" agreements, on which it is signed. Siderov expressed respect to the Russian president Vladimir Putin, by visiting him on foot for his 60th birthday on 7 October 2012. On 8 March 2013 Siderov paid tribute to the deceased president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez at the Bolivarian republic's embassy in Sofia, where he called the revolutionary an 'example for the Bulgarian patriots as a statesman'.
Attack claims that the Turkish government has an hidden plan for a "new colonization" of the Balkan region, accusing them of erecting over a thousand mosques in the last 20 years in Bulgaria and with further plans of colonization. Bulgaria is currently the country with the most mosques in Europe per capita. Attack asked from the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan $10 billion for the The Destruction of the Thracian Bulgarians in 1913 and once, members of the party entered the parliament wearing shirts on which was written "Erdogan, you owe us $10 billion"; another time with an inscription "ATTACK says: No to Turkey in the EU", Siderov numerous times accused Turkey for the genocide and said that, as descendant of refugees from the genocide, he will ever accuse Turkey for the money until he is in the parliament and till he is breathing. The governing Borisov's party expressed full support for the accession of Turkey to the EU, while Attack boycotted this as self-styled decision and insist on a national referendum for the will of the people on the matter.
Attack insists on the cancellation of Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine and the returning of the Western Outlands to Bulgaria, annexed by Yugoslavia after the First World War, which consists of the regions of Dimitrovgrad and Bosilegrad in Serbia, whose population according to the Serbian national census is predominantly ethnic Bulgarian, and of the region of Strumica in Republic of Macedonia. Siderov said that the treaty is invalid, because it was signed with Yugoslavia in 1919, a vanished state, and does not refer to the present-day Serbia or to the Republic of Macedonia and should be cancelled.
A clash took place between Siderov and the American ambassador for Bulgaria—James Warlick—in response to the reluctance of the U.S. diplomatic mission to meet with members of Attack, Siderov gave an account to Warlick, requesting the United States to repay their rent on the military bases in Bulgaria for a period of 5 years, amounting to $2 billion, in turn Warlick threw the folder and said "I will destroy you". Siderov said that he expected balanced reaction from representative of an advanced civilization and felt threatened by the ambassador of the most powerful country in the world, he would, however, turn to NSS to immediately provide him security. He insisted Warlick to be summoned to the parliament in order to apologize him personally in the plenary hall as he affected his dignity, and hence the dignity of all Bulgaria, in his words, he also accused the U.S. ambassador for behaving as Governor General, giving reviews for every matter and all matters of Bulgarian democracy, often in violation of good manners - diplomatic and intergovernmental, and later claimed that Warlick is homosexual and a clown. Siderov even sent an e-mail to Hillary Clinton in order to complain from Warlick. Warlick was on trial by FBI for abuse.
The first statement ever of Volen Siderov from the parliamentary tribune, for a plan for a giant genocide of the Bulgarian nation, coming from abroad:
- "…In this 8-year period gigantic genocide was carried out over the Bulgarian nation. At the insistence of foreign, hostile to Bulgaria factors, of our people is projected to remain 3.5 to 4 million residents. This is Bulgarophobe's plan and this plan is realised in front of us. If someone asks how, I will show him: when the right of the Bulgarians to be masters in their own country became stolen, when they will be left to die in misery and lack of medicines and medical services, by being subjected to terror by Gypsy bands, who everyday [sic?] disrupt, rob, rape and maltreat the Bulgarian nation, after which nobody deliberately seeks out the crimes, committed by them, because this is the directive outside, not to investigate the crimes of these minority groups. The goal is for the Bulgarians to live in fear, to be discouraged, crushed, submissive. Hundreds of thousands of chronically ill are dying right now because mob companies of the previous cabinet make dirty deals with the life and health of the Bulgarians. Because relatives of the previous Minister of Environment are trading with medicaments for cancer and therefore there are not any medicaments, and hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians with cancer face a slow, excruciating agony."
Following the Bulgarian parliamentary election in 2005, the party entered the 240-seater parliament with 21 seats and 8.1% of the vote (296,848 votes) and became the fourth largest party. At the 2006 Bulgarian presidential election, the leader of the party - Volen Siderov came second behind the incumbent president Parvanov by winning 21.5% of the vote (597,175 votes) and in the subsequent runoff between the two Siderov failed to defeat the president, having received 24.0% of the vote (649,387 votes). At the 2007 European Parliament election, the party won 3 seats and 14.2% of the vote (275,237 votes) out of 18 seats, given for Bulgarian parties.
At the parliamentary election in 2009, it remained with 21 seats and increased to 9.4% of the vote (395,707 votes). Later 11 members from the parliamentary group left and became independents and the deputies of the party decreased to 10. At the 2009 European Parliament election, it decreased to 12.0% of the vote (308,052 votes) and its seats decreased to 2. The two MEPs, which entered with the votes of the party - Dimitar Stoyanov and Slavcho Binev, left the party, the last one even founded his own new party - People for Real, Open and United Democracy (PROUD). At the 2011 presidential election, Siderov was fourth by winning 122,466 votes and 3.6% of the vote, thus not qualifying for the runoff. At the parliamentary election in 2013, the party increased its seats to 23 with 7% of the vote - making it the fourth largest party.
|Election||# of seats won||# of total votes||% of popular vote||rank|
|Election||# of total votes (1st round)||% of popular vote (1st round)||rank (1st round)||# of total votes (2nd round)||% of popular vote (2nd round)||rank (2nd round)|
|Election||# of seats won||# of total votes||% of popular vote||rank|
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- "Far Right Ataka Leader Promises 500 Euro Minimum Salary in Bulgaria".
- "The Plan "Siderov" - Bulgaria's New Way".
- "Foreign Minister: Bulgaria will not hold a referendum on Turkish news bulletins". The Sofia Echo. 2009-12-15.
- "Plevneliev hails 'constructive' meeting with Ataka". The Sofia Echo. 2012-03-22.
- lobbyists closed III and IV blocks of Kozluduy. the newspaper Attack 29/01/2007
- "Top Bulgarian Nationalist Presents B-day Gifts to Putin".
- "На България й трябва един Уго Чавес, обяви Сидеров".
- NA 11 July 2005.
- http://www.economist.com/news/europe/21578116-and-inconclusive-result-unhappy-election Bulgarian politics: An unhappy election
- (English) Official site in English
- (Bulgarian) Official site
- (Bulgarian) The party's daily newspaper, Attack