Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski today defended the rushed changes to the Criminal Code, that reduce penalties for abuse of office. He insisted that the law had draconian prison terms, which he compared to something written by Darth Vader, and that now, with hoped-for more frequent implementation, it will discourage politicians from corrupt acts more effectively.

According to Kovacevski, the changes, that caused outrage in the public, are in line with the EU standards.

But at the same time, a statement from EU spokeswoman Ana Pisonero dismissed his claims. Pisonero told the MIA news agency that the European Commission views this latest development “with concern” and that the changes will have implications on a large number of high level corruption cases. Pisonero expressed regret that the law was changed without broad consultations with domestic and European factors and that the procedure for rapid adoption for laws, known as the EU flag procedure, was used in this way.