Ruse Summer Free Tour Starts on 4th May 2019 for a Fourth Consecutive Summer

(photo: Ruse Summer Free Tour)

This text represents a press release by the Ruse Summer Free Tour. 

The free walking tours in Rousse, known as Ruse Summer Free Tour, launch on 4 May 2019 for a fourth consecutive summer in a row. The tours are intended to both Bulgarian and foreign guests as well as the residents of Rousse, and their route passes by the most popular buildings and places in the central parts of the city.

As with the previous three seasons, this year too the tours will take place every Saturday from May to September at 6:00PM from the Statue of Liberty where professionals and enthusiasts from the tourist industry in the region will tell the stories and city legends behind the places visitors will go by during the tours.

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We saw the Bulgarian politicans’ housing. Where is their housing policy?

The poster to the “festival” of right to housing, which took place in Cluj Napoca in March 2019 (photo: Social Houses Now)

There is a rising movement for right to housing for all in European countries, including in neighbouring Romania. In Bulgaria the issue of social housing continues to be taboo

Vladimir Mitev

This article was published on 11 April 2019 on the Bulgarian section of the site “The Barricade”. 

In the context of the apartment scandals, which have shaken the Bulgarian governing elite, few people notice that Bulgarian politicians have taken a good care of their own housing interests, but have ignored completely their obligations towards society. Namely – they have ignored the need for conducting a state and municipal housing policy, which exists in all the civilised European countries. The few municipal houses, which have remained in use in the big cities, have been left “to their own means”. There are almost no new houses constructed, which get built only if some occasional European project funds are to be absorbed. At the same time hundreds of thousands Bulgarians suffer under the burden of rents, whose payment demands almost half of a medium salary in the country.

In this context it is almost unknown in Bulgaria that there is a right to city and right to housing movement, which unfolds in Europe. It defines housing as “right”, not as “goods”. This movement opposes the rising prices of rent in the big European cities, supports the construction of social housing, which are public property, defends the rights of the homeless and is an attempt for protection of public interest against the deviations of the real estate market.

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The regional cooperation in Southeastern Europe – nothing, but out of sincerity

The Serbian president Alexander Vucic, the Romanian PM Viorica Dancila, the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov (photo: YouTube, Romanian government)

The quadrilateral meeting of Romania, Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria in the Romanian resort Snagov and the Romanian-Bulgarian intergovernmental meeting in Bucharest in the end of March 2019 show that the euroatlantic solidarity in the region is slightly forced. Is it possible to have a cooperation, which comes from within?

Vladimir Mitev

This article was published on 31 March 2019 on the Bulgarian section of the site ”The Barricade”. 

The Bulgarian government with the prime minister Boyko Borissov at its front returned from Bucharest with modest diplomatic achievements. The joint session with the Romanian government led to the signing of one agreement – on cooperation in the domain of extraordinary situations, and two memorandums of understanding – on small and medium enterprises and on easing of ship navigation on the river Danube.

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Codru Vrabie: The pre-2017 ”golden era” of anti-corruption in Romania was falsified

Codru Vrabie (photo: Vlad Stanciu, Asociation INK)

An interview with the expert of good governance about the false dilemma that Romania would be either the country of the prosecutors, or the country of the corrupted politicians, about the hope for social and judicial modernisation in Romania today, about the phenomenon Laura Köveşi, about the role of the future European prosecution in Eastern Europe and about the way Romanian anti-corruption looks like, when seen from Chişinău

Vladimir Mitev

Codru Vrabie is a civic activist, trainer and consultant on topics related to good governance, transparency, accountability and integrity in the public sector. He has contributed to many reforms in the judiciary and public administration of Romania. Vrabie has BAs in legal and political sciences (Romania, Bulgaria, the USA) and MAs in administrative sciences and European affairs (Romania, Netherlands, Spain). He has been working for various Romanian civil society organizations since 1998. In 2010, Vrabie started working with the “Leaders for Justice” programme, which was replicated in 2017 in the Republic of Moldova. In April 2018, Codru joined the team of the website, where he works on the podcast series ”Hypotheses” – a project of the ”Courage Ahead” Association (Curaj Înainte).

This article was published on 17 March on the Romanian section of the site „The Barricade”. 

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The economic growth: impossible, unnecessary, harmful

(снимка: Pixabay, CC0)

The world is already full and there is no place for rapid economic growth. What Bulgaria lacks is not more GDP, but a proper thinking on global issues”, affirms the economist Dimitar Sabev in his speech at the presentation of the Jubilee Report of the Club of Rome in Sofia at a conference, organized by the “Friedrich Ebert” foundation

Dimitar Sabev

This article was published on 24 February 2019 г. on the Bulgarian blog and is republished here with the permission of the author.

It is a great honor to take the floor after the lecture of Professor von Weizsäcker – the honorary president of the Club of Rome and a scientist, whose works I have studied since my student years. I would now try to present the Bulgarian context of this important topic: is it possible, and if it is possible, is it rational, to have constant economic growth on a planet, whose resources are limited.

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Vladimir Mitev: The political elite in Romania tries to neutralise the prosecutors

Interview broadcasted in the emission on international affairs ”Saturday 150” on the Bulgarian National Radio

Georgi Markov, Bulgarian National Radio

The succesive judicial reforms in Romania have provoked protests of magistrates and common people . The indignation was provoked by legislative modifications, which, acoording to experts increase the possibilities for political intervention in the functioning of the judicial system. The changes have also stirred criticism, coming from the EU and the USA, in the sense that these modifications threaten the rule of law. After all, the governmennt in Bucharest seems to be open to concessions and has announced that some propositions of the emergency decree 7 will be abrogated. All that happens, while this week the European Parliament has proposed Laura Koveşi – a symbolic person for the Romanian anti-corruption – as chief European prosecutor. We have invited for comments on these issues in our emission our colleague Vladimir Mitev – who knows the processes in Romania, having founded the site for news on Romania and Bulgaria ”The Bridge of Friendship” and being editor of the Romanian section of the site ”The Barricade”.

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Behind the gray mask of Giurgiu hides a modern theatre

The spectacle ”The Siege of Venice” will be played in Croatia in March 2019 (foto: Theatre ”Tudor Vianu” Giurgiu)

The buildings in the Romanian city on the Danube are influenced strongly by socialism, but culture puts it not only on the Romanian, but also on the European map

Vladimir Mitev

How many citizens of Rousse know that a ”comedia dell’arte” play is directed by an Italian director on the stage of the theatre of Giurgiu? Are we aware that spectacles take place in Giurgiu in the weekend too, which differentiates it from a number of Bulgarian theatres? Do we know that the theatre of Giurgiu gives free tickets for Bulgarians and how many of us have used this opportunity?

A lot of people in Rousse might consider going to theatre in Giurgiu as a sign of pretence. The language barrier really exists. But the Romanian city has more to offer than cheese and meat at its market and memorial plaques, related to Bulgarian history. In the last years namely the theatre is one of the institutions, which realise social change in Giugiu and fight to liberate the citizens of this city from the strong feeling of “provinciality” and “vassalage” in relations with Bucharest and other big cities in Romania.

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