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SOFIA (Bulgaria), July 23 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's president Rumen Radev said on Tuesday that he has imposed a veto on the $1.256 billion (1.117 billion euro) deal with the U.S. for the purchase of eight F-16 Block 70 fighter jets ratified by parliament last week.
The deal will be returned to parliament for further consideration, as the heated debate on the ratification has shown that necessary public consensus on the parameters of the deal has not been reached, Radev said in the motives for the veto published by the president's office.
The ratifying procedure was in breach of Bulgarian legislation as the parliament endorsed the decision for the purchase in first and second reading in a single day. According to the constitution, a deal of national importance like this one has to be ratified following two readings held in two separate parliament sittings, Radev noted.
If the parliament overturns the presidential veto, the president can ask the Constitutional Court to rule on the issue.
The parliament on Friday ratified a deal with the U.S. for the purchase of eight F-16 Block 70 fighter jets and their maintenance and approved the revision of the 2019 budget deficit to 2.1% of the projected gross domestic product in order to finance the purchase.
The deal envisages the delivery of six single-seat F-16 jets and two two-seat aircrafts used for training, as well as supply of munitions for the jets, Sidewinder AIM 9Х Block II missiles, and a multifunctional information distribution system joint tactical radio system (MIDS JTRS), the defence ministry said earlier this month after the government gave the green light to the deal.
($ = 0.89515 euro)