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Plamen Chetelyazov

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Is Western Europe indifferent to Bulgarian agony?

Bulgaria is officially the EU`s poorest member. The salaries rarely exceed 250e. The country is one of the most corrupted in the EU according to the Transparency International Index. The census data confirmed that over the twenty-year period, emigration represented a 6% loss in the total population. High emigration levels were accompanied by low fertility rates, which contributed a further 12% loss. Moreover – the country has unenviable Press Freedom Index. Reporters without borders rank Bulgaria 87 which is a great retreat because back in 2003 Bulgaria ranked 34.
On 24 February more than 300 000 Bulgarians went out into the streets to express their indignation against the political monopoly and its derivatives – the monopoly of the market, the corruption, the poverty, the unemployment, the criminality... The people shout „We want future” and want radical change of the political system because the elections push in alleged new parties made of worn out politics in disrepute. Some of the demands are: no immunity for the members of the Bulgarian Parliament, limit of their mandates, recall of all former deputies, majoritarian voting system.
So far there is no adequate response from the political elite only a cosmetic change of the government and ugly but successful attempts to mount the protest.
The spokeswoman of the European Commission Pia Hansen said: “There is a democracy in Bulgaria and we respect that” but It must be a lie because few days ago Europe blocked Schengen membership for Bulgaria due to the functionality of the judicial system.
At the same time there is a wave of desperate people who literally set themselves on fire. 4 people already died for a month and one is still fighting for his life. The most famous case is the death of Plamen Goranov and now his name stands for this dreadful and shocking epidemic. The 36 years old photographer and mountain climber set himself on fire in front of the municipality building in his hometown of Varna on Feb. 20.


Closing Statement from Plamen Chetelyazov

Capitalism does not confer the same status as democracy! In this system the money is at the same time the capital potential, the ultimate goal and the greatest might. This basis contributes to the spreading of corruption, exploitation, manipulation, emotional degradation e.t.c. One of the ugliest defects is that people are learned to consider those who are poorer also less cultured, intelligent and capable.The real alternative to capitalism is a working democracy aiming at the progress of creative education and true freedom.

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  • Mar 26 2013: I cannot speak for the European continent at large but I can for a large population of the UK. It is not that we are indifferent, we are simply ignorant. I knew that Bulgaria was a country marked with a corruption tag but I didn’t realise the extent to which it’s populous suffered, when i have discussed Bulgaria in the past it was usually regarding the potential of a holiday. Ironically do you know who opened my eyes to this problem? It was Slavi Binev speaking at a UKIP conference (UKIP are anti EU).


    The EU dictates what happens in its countries through regulation and I find it ridiculous, extraordinary and truly saddening that they have not stepped up and helped Bulgaria establish some democracy. Even if I was not against the EU I would and hope people are shaking their heads in anger and disgust. How can they spend millions on going to elections around the globe but not eradicate corruption in one of its own member states? A simple answer would be that they are more bothered about the money and keeping their social project funded. You have my best wishes but unfortunately usually the only way for change is through social disorder and I truly hope that you do not need to resort to this.
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      Mar 30 2013: I think that populism and nationalism are a huge mistake and great degradation. Unfortunately the politicians in Bulgaria hold on this tactics because they don't have the potential to understand anything else. The behaviour of Mr. Binev is a perfect example. Otherwise I agree with you on many things but don't share the idea that "the only way for change is through social disorder". The recent events in Europe and Bulgaria in particular prove that each person must show permanent intellectual and emotional resistance. The individual responsibility is much more constructive than the anonymous and elemental letting steam off.

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