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ruska tabela moreto1

  Versed for decades in the mantras of eternal brotherhood and friendship with the Soviet Union, Bulgarians may find these lines bordering on heresy. Many would not sound the alarm even if the number of Russian speakers tops one million. Even though the immediate risk and threat profile of the rising Russian speaking minority is low, the impact on Bulgarian democracy, the political process, the national security and NATO-EU integration capacity can hardly be ignored or left unnoticed.   It is not only the demographic and immigration footprints that are in question – the Bulgarian authorities should be well aware of the number of holders of Russian passports who have Permanent or Temporary Residence Status, as well as the numbers of tourists with extended holiday stay.   The Bulgarian state

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The article first published in americanthinker.com on 11/23/2018.   For the past two years, U.N. bureaucrats have worked diligently, if quietly, on something called the “Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.”  What has now become clear from its publication, and even more by analysis from Gatestone Institute’s formidable Judith Bergman, is that, given the source, the “Compact” is little more than unalloyed leftist propaganda.   Migration, we are told in no uncertain terms, is “a source of prosperity, innovation and sustainable development in our globalized world,” while the secretary general of the U.N., Antonio Guterres, chimes in that it is “a positive global phenomenon.”  No mention is made of the fact that uncontrolled migration of the kind permitted by Germany in 2015-2016 has proven to be a disaster, as even Chancellor Merkel and those

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Orban

Sorry, this entry is only available in Bulgarian.

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  ‘Fort Trump’ said the Polish president Andrzej Duda, during a White House press conference last week, would be an appropriate name to call the first American military base in Poland. Whether this Polish dream comes to pass or not is yet to be seen, but the strategic rationale behind it is anything but the joke US pundits took it to be.  It is, in fact, an incapsulation of the dilemma facing Eastern Europe and with it, NATO and the United States.   For barely concealed behind it is a multitude of challenges that must be addressed without delay if a serious crisis in Europe and the alliance is to be avoided. At the bottom of it is the seemingly unavoidable conflict over Muslim immigration. Virtually all of Eastern Europe

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merkel

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 03/03/2018.   Milton Friedman once said open borders and the welfare state are incompatible.  This is easy to prove in California, where, according to a recent essay by Victor Davis Hanson, half of all immigrant households are on welfare and the state accounts for a third of the nation’s welfare recipients with only 12% of its population, even as 20% of California’s population lives below the poverty line. Recent figures published in Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany, indicate that following Angela Merkel’s disastrous open-borders experiment of two and a half years ago, that country is well on its way to joining California in proving the wisdom of Friedman’s admonition, to the huge detriment of the German people.   Official figures of the German statistical office show that beginning

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europa

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 12/1/2017.   The inability of Angela Merkel and her putative partners to form a government has given rise to persistent calls, including from the chancellor herself, that what Europe needs now is a strong Germany. In fact, it is Germany’s unquestioned strength and willingness to throw its weight around that are to blame for much of Eastern Europe’s unhappiness with the EU at the moment. A case in point is the growing rift between Berlin and its eastern EU neighbors on some of the issues discussed by Merkel and her potential government partners.   Take for instance Merkel’s position claiming that the Russian Nord Stream 2 pipeline is simply a commercial project. To most of her eastern neighbors this is nothing if not crass German

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merkel

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 11/25/2017.     The failure of German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to form a coalition government in her fourth term of office has, for the first time, given rise to speculations as to her possible demise as the long-time and seemingly indispensable fixture of German and European politics. Such is the respect bordering on  veneration, of ‘Mutti’ Merkel in the European mainstream press, that few bother to look critically at her policies and accept without question her assurances that she “will make sure that her country continues to be well governed.” Yet, there is by now overwhelming evidence that her policies have neither been very successful, nor marked with a great deal of “democracy, freedom, respect for the rule of law and human dignity,” as she

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Merkel

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 09/25/2017.   As expected, Angela Merkel has convincingly won her fourth term as chancellor of Germany and unofficial, but no less real, leader of the European Union. The mainstream media will again erupt into an orgy of adulation for the new leader of the free world, the slayer of populism and last, but most, the anti-Trump. While the adulation-cum-EU-triumphalism is a given, few will notice that it is taking place as both Merkel and the EU are entering a period that will bring ruin to both Merkel’s reputation and the fantasy of a EU super state that will finally prove the superiority of Europe over Trump’s America. For her reputation is built on the fake assumptions of the European socio-political model which is doomed.  

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Berlin Wall

The article first published in americanthinker.com on 08/29/2017.   The election of Donald Trump as the 45th American president in Novembeer 2016 resulted in a predictable wave of barely concealed anti-American sentiment in the European media and officialdom alike. The reasons are not difficult to understand. The European Union as the major European political institution is generally left-of-center and much closer ideologically to the Democratic Party elites in the United States than to the Republicans. Further, the European media are closely attuned to the mainstream media in the U.S. and look at the country through pretty much their prism. Not surprisingly, European and, especially German, elites were as shocked and devastated by Trump’s election victory as their American mainstream colleagues, and perhaps even more so, to the extent that conservative media, as such,

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Immigrants boost the GDP of the countries that receive them, usually by more than the immigrants earn. Immigrants bring new customs and new perspectives, adding to cultural diversity. Immigration expands opportunities to mix and mingle. Moreover, inter-ethnic violence, like all other violence, is generally declining in the world. So why has immigration become such a polarizing issue in the EU and the U.S.?   From an elite perspective, the main problem is “sore losers”: lower-class citizens who lack the skills to compete in a globalized economy, are infected with racial and ethnic prejudice, and unfairly blame immigrants for their woes.  In Hillary Clinton’s words, their behavior makes them “deplorable” and their attitudes “irredeemable”. The only appropriate response is contempt.   However, what if the “sore losers” do lose substantially from

This entry was posted in No category, Europe and tagged , , , by Kent Osband.

About Kent Osband

Dr. Osband is an American economist, strategist, financial risk analyst and longtime student of Bulgaria. He is the author of two well-known books on quantitative risk analysis (Iceberg Risk: An Adventure in Portfolio Theory and Pandora Risk: Uncertainty at the Core of Finance) and has served both in the public (IMF, WB) and private sectors (Goldman Sachs, CSFB, Fortress Investments).