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About Димитър Бочев

Димитър Бочев е български писател, политически емигрант в Германия и дългогодишен сътрудник на Радио Свободна Европа. Автор е на току що публикуваната „Несъгласни думи,“ и други книги.

  Today, Saturday, April 29, 2017, is Donald Trump’s 100th day in office and following tradition since the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1932-1945), Americans seek to understand what their new president has accomplished and what he has not judged against his campaign promises. Against that often flexible standard, Trump has failed to deliver on his number one promise – to repeal and replace Obamacare, his predecessor’s proudest legislative achievement, but has accomplished his second most important campaign promise – to nominate and have confirmed by the Senate a conservative judge to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Moreover, as we neared the end of this period, there are unmistakable signs that the republican majority in Congress is close to reaching an agreement on  replacing Obamacare with GOP

Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Michael Vadon

Throughout the election campaign, candidate Donald Trump was berated for suggesting that NATO was redundant and for implying that the US would pull its forces out of Europe. In stark contrast, President Trump has already made moves to strengthen NATO and significantly boost Western security.   Trump’s statements on NATO appeared to be contradictory and may have misled both Europeans and Russians into thinking that the White House would move to disband the Alliance and terminate US commitments to the defense of Europe. In retrospect, it transpires that his strong criticism of NATO was intended to refocus attention on Alliance missions and capabilities.   Two main factors can enable Trump to revive the Alliance: his warnings about NATO’s future and his selection of a strong security team. Trump’s main indignation


Early in 2017, headlines speculating about the possible outbreak of renewed war in the Balkans have popped up in the international press. Tensions that have been simmering in the Western Balkans in recent years are now gaining increasing attention in the sphere of geopolitics, particularly as they relate to the battle between the West and Russia for influence in the region. The West is now becoming increasingly concerned that Russia will stoke nationalism in the Balkans in order to ignite conflict, cause destabilization and consequentially halt Euro-Atlantic expansion.   While ethnic tensions are a core and explosive issue in the region, economic productivity, or lack thereof, may be as responsible if not more for the instability that exists in the Western Balkans. The region’s poor economic prospects have much to


In a parliamentary election full of twists and turns, a Macedonian party led by a former prime minister now under criminal investigation eked out a victory and picked up just enough seats to return to power. The result will likely prolong Macedonia’s political crisis, but it could signal the small Balkan state is climbing out of the European Union’s doghouse and is remaining on the path toward Euro-Atlantic integration.   Former prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s VMRO DPMNE party entered Sunday’s election as the clear frontrunner. Gruevski and VMRO ruled Macedonia for nearly a decade until, in January, the premier resigned under an EU-brokered agreement. Though Gruevski and many of his former government officials are currently being probed by a special prosecutor, VMRO amassed considerable popularity and control over Macedonian institutions


On consecutive Sundays, voters in Bosnia went to the polls amid rising ethnic tensions that are jeopardizing the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration. Neither a referendum in Bosnia’s Serb-dominated entity, nor local elections held nationwide, did anything to alleviate the ethnic division.   In the week leading up to the referendum, war talk made headlines in the Balkans. A wartime Bosnian Army commander suggested the Serb entity, Republika Srpska, could be occupied in 15 days. The suggestion prompted Belgrade to issue a statement saying it would come to the defense of its fellow Serbs if Republika Srpska was attacked. Zagreb also offered backing for the Bosnian Croats.   On Sept. 25, Republika Srpska held a referendum on its national holiday. Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik proceeded with the vote in defiance of


  It was with great fanfare that the EU announced its Bratislava meeting last Sept. 16 as a crucial get together of its leaders to take stock of the state of the union after Brexit and the turbulent year in which more than a million migrants came to Germany alone. In previous meetings of the kind, the operational mantra had always been “ever closer union” as the panacea for all problems. Not this time. The meeting started with Angela Merkel, the real boss of the EU opining that the EU was in a “critical situation” only to be mildly contradicted a day later by Junker who said in his state of the  union speech that the EU was not disintegrating. It is possible that both of them were right, but


  At different times various Russian politicians have crossed the threshold of decency and good manners, with their revelations and arrogance generating media salvos aimed at a confused Bulgarian audience. One does not need to look beyond the immediate plan for a deeper strategic connotation. This is a vintage political hooligan’s reaction without inhibitions, the insolence of the imperial made possible only through the certitude of subservience of the oppressed. The news will generate some noise in the social networks, but few if any serious reactions from politicians, government officials and/or the special services guarding national security. While we might deplore the action of the Gosduma deputy, some of our compatriots may be already asking for the transaction price and their commission fees. Just as Ambassador Chizhov called Bulgaria Russia’s

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

  “Pessimism becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; it reproduces itself by crippling our willingness to act.” Howard Zinn   Following the freeze in the relations between Russia and Turkey and the affluent geopolitical context of Putin and Erdogan’s personal diplomacy, some analysts were quick to affirm that the bilateral relations are heading towards an unprecedented era of strategic partnership. The story went further to passing alarmist concerns that the two leaders could be acting in tandem, commanding considerable weight and shifting fragile balances in the international system, including eroding from within the internal cohesion within the EU and NATO.   This is an entirely false assumption, that ignores blatant facts. As a hypothesis it provides ample ground for manipulative interpretations and even self inflicted wounds. The truth is that the seemingly perfect match of the

Снимка: Wikimedia Commons   With some weeks now passed since the event, the Brexit doom and gloom mongers have taken a well-deserved break from conjuring up the imminent demise of the UK, the EU and perhaps the world itself. This may be an appropriate opportunity to consider whether or not there might be an even better candidate for such ‘end-of-times’ prognostications – Germany. On the face of it, this is surely preposterous. Europe’s largest economy, most stable government and the main if not only pillar of the EU and the euro is hardly a destabilizing factor most would agree. Germany may indeed be all of that, but only in comparison to the rest of the EU which has been stagnating economically for a decade and is beset by major political instability and