The shutdown of Bulgarian National Radio’s broadcasting and the following debate are a diagnosis of the Bulgarian society. An unprecedented blow to national security, but few seem to care. We get used to all the “unthinkable” scandals and wait for the next one to die down. Prosecutor General Tsatsarov has routinely instructed the SANS, CEM and the prosecutor’s office to find a plausible explanation in ‘three’ days, finding a minor player to take the “culprit”’s role and cover up the true perpetrators. The job is simple – omit at all cost the name of the real boss at the NURTS – National Radio and Television Stations Department – Delyan Peevski (nominally in the Vivacom group controlled by the VTB) in the newsfeed and the comments. The same applies
“Incompetence is fascism.” L. Levchev “Illiterates have to dictate.” Stanislaw Jerzy Lec The election of the Prosecutor General of Bulgaria at present is comparable to the election of a Procurator of the Roman province of Judea. However, Bulgaria is not Judea, and the Third Rome /Moscow/ is not Rome at all, but a political rebranding of the medieval Golden Horde. Still, the parallels are unavoidable. The current Chief Procurator, pardon me – Prosecutor, the former Provincial Judge Tsatsarov, like the real Pontius Pilate washed his hands with the proposed candidature of his own creation Ivan Geshev; someone who obtained his degree in law at the Police school. And the latter did not waste any time before stunning the general public with his interview on the so-called
A recent Eurobarometer survey ranked Bulgarians last among EU citizens with the most depressed European self-awareness. Only 52 per cent of the polled Bulgarians, the lowest figure among all EU countries, felt positive as EU citizens. Further to that – a record 46% answered “no”. This gives a frightening picture of the failure in the transition period which was meant to help totalitarian Bulgarians convert into European citizens with self-esteem and self-determination. What are the reasons? Let’s divide them into two groups – objective and subjective. The first are locked in the objective metering of the degree of convergence between the Central European averages and the Bulgarian indicators for prosperity and security. The Bulgarian citizen does not feel sufficiently converged into the European space; he is
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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Nesebar is an attractive tourist destination situated on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast. Its rich archaeology and history are well presented in the local archaeological museum which hosts fascinating collections from prehistory to the Middle Ages. The picturesque old town that has many well-preserved mediaeval churches with frescoes and 19th century houses was built over the remains of ancient Mesambria, which was one of the most important Greek colonies in the region. The Greek colony was situated on a small peninsula, about 40 hectares in size, with two harbors on its northern and southern shores. About one third of ancient Mesambria is currently submerged. Regular archaeological excavations have been carried out in the town from 1960 onwards. The peninsula was inhabited by the Thracians during the late 2nd
Electricity price hiccups over the last two months seemed timely to attest the required price assumptions for the financial model of the Belene NPP. These days, prices have returned to normal levels, but the idea of higher electricity prices, at par with revenue projections, gained some ground – ostensibly the free market at work. There is a lot in common between the procedural patterns behind the Belene NPP and the Balkan Gas Hub. Most of the activities only nominally happen in the open – formal tender procedure, the rite observed, the end – terms agreed in advance. There is no true competition, no market interplay, no real public scrutiny, just political expediency. Summarizing the main features of the applied policy line in pursuit of a lighter version
The ratification of the Macedonia name deal between Athens and Skopje on Friday capped a year in which the West renewed its focus on integrating the Western Balkans into the Euro-Atlantic community. Bulgaria factored into the renewed push to integrate the region into NATO and the EU because Sofia made Western Balkan integration a focal point of its European Council presidency that spanned the first half of 2018. Sofia capped its EU presidency by hosting the EU-Western Balkans summit last May. The summit was a high-level gathering of EU and Western Balkan leaders, the first of its kind in 15 years. Now that 2018 is complete and the Macedonia name dispute has been settled, one can have a clearer look at the fruits of Bulgaria’s push to