(DF) Minister Sacheva Backs Postponement of Social Services Act

December 5 (BTA) – In a Facebook post, Minister of Labour and Social Policy Denitsa Sacheva said that social policy ought to bring people together, not drive them apart which is why she is supportive of a postponement of the entry into force of a controversial Social Services Act. She argues that a postponement would allow state institutions the time to discuss the essence of the Act with its opponents. Yesterday, the United Patriots submitted a motion to the National Assembly to postpone the entry of the Social Services Act into force by six months, pointing to growing differences of opinion in society and a need to particularize provisions in the Act. The Social Services Act has recently came in the focus of a bitter controversy with some circles, including religious organizations and the Bulgarian Orthodix Church (BOC), saying that it gives exessive powers to social workers, interfers in the life of the family, takes away prental rights and facilitates the removal of children from their parents. A couple of days ago BOC called for postponing the entry into force of the law. Sacheva said that she is starting a series of talks next week with the parties in Parliament and representatives of the citizens’ organizations involved. The Ministry will be looking closely at the objections of the people who are protesting out of fear for their children, analyzing them and remaining open to reasonable suggestions. However, there will be no room for anti-European propaganda and instilling division through fear, hatred and manipulation, Minister Sacheva said. She added that even with the postponement, everything achieved by the representatives of disabled people and their relatives will be preserved and developed further. The achievements of municipalities and citizens’ organizations over the last twenty years in support of Bulgarian families and children must be clearly demonstrated to the public, and endorsed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. She pointed out that the social system for protection, financial support and services is beneficial to the public. The Ministry will spare no effort in communicating with the people, considering their suggestions and easing their access to relevant information. Minister Sacheva called for an end of the personal attacks against social workers and organizations, and for constructive discussions on particular policies. The aim of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy is to take the conversation beyond Sofia and across the entire country, Sacheva said. RI/MT