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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 30 2013: Well, at least people in Bulgaria have the will to protest. I'm from Romania and we are always at the bottom lists of corruption and economy, along Bulgaria. Except that romanians whine, while bulgarians set themselves on fire. It's the effect of being a former communist countries where the current politicians in power are the same who were in the former regimes.
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      Mar 31 2013: Yes Simion and that is why the Bulgarian protest insisted on changing the political system (recall of all former deputies, no immunity for the members of the Bulgarian Parliament, limit of their mandates, majoritarian voting system e.t.c.). But what has been achieved?
      It had been a vigorous and continued protest but it faded unsatisfied. The politicians succeeded in getting on the wave of people's dissatisfaction and directing it on the political breakwater guarding the status quo.
      Not only that there was not a single gesture of support from the west but also there are ridiculous British insults. I am talking about the English politicians who scare their electorate with the upcoming Bulgarian emigration. There are many things that can be said about this infamy and maybe it needs a different debate but the most important thing is that the Bulgarians who wanted to emigrate to England are already there.
      I fear that the deaden tension in Bulgaria and the European neglect open widely the doors of our parliament for radical nationalism in the upcoming elections.
      So - what about the people who set themselves on fire? As I said - It is a fearsome obsession, a final and dispirited appeal. These are real human beings who prefer to end their life in terrible pain instead of continue their struggle with this wicked reality. And even this extreme call for help grew silent. What about their relatives ha?
      Each person must show permanent intellectual and emotional resistance! Each one of us must take the individual responsibility in his own life and fight the defects of capitalism! I know that it sounds discouraging but I can not see another option instead of the life of a hermit.

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