Bulgarian protests: battles over anti-corruption?

The article’s screenshot at Open Democracy (photo: The Bridge of Friendship)

It is said that after the protests the division line in Bulgarian society is not between right and left, but between the honest and ”the captive state”. It looks like these protests are a clash of two different concepts for anti-corruption

Vladimir Mitev

This article was published at the Open Democracy site on 27 July 2020.

The Bulgarian protests of the summer of 2020 constitute an unusual eruption of political energy. Bulgaria has been known for its apathy and lack of social mobility, with many of its young people emigrating to the west for at least two decades. Today the younger generation – people in their twenties – are the most visible face of the protests. But the protests are also ‘universal’: a conflation of all kinds of ideologies, ages and geopolitical allegiances can be found represented in the squares of the big cities.

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Borissov reacts to the protests, Bulgarian youth continues demonstrations

Maria Cernat and Vladimir Mitev (photo: Faceboook)

How do the Bulgarian protests unfold and what is the quarrel all about?

Maria Cernat

The Bulgarian protests have been taking place every evening after 9 July 2020. They demonstrate youth’s mobilization, but continue to be heterogeneous. Government shuffle is expected. Apart from the revolt against political cynicism, there is also a confrontation between two visions for anti-corruption. I have discussed these things and about the international implication in the protests with Vladimir Mitev, the editor of the Barricade Romania in the evening of 17 July 2020.

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Traian Băsescu has fallen victim to the forces he unleashed


Traian Basescu (photo: Razvan Socol, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons)

The former president used to be the representative of anti-communism and anti-corruption in Romanian politics. In 2016 a criminal investigation for money laundering was started against him. On 20 September 2019 the court declared him a collaborator with the communist secret service “Securitate”

Vladimir Mitev

This article was published on 24 September 2019 on the English section of the site “The Barricade”.

On 20 September the Court of Appeals in Bucharest came out with the decision that the former Romanian president Traian Băsescu was a collaborator with the communist secret service “Securitate”. Băsescu rejects this accusation and has always asserted that he didn’t have such relations. During socialism he was captain of the ship.

The Court of Appeals approved the case brought by the National Council for Investigation of Securitate’s Archives (CNSAS) that Băsescu be declared a Securitate collaborator. The claim points out that the former president reported on his colleagues and was “a person for support” to the Securitate, almost until the regime’s fall. Documents from the internal intelligence service (SRI) and Ministry of National Defense are attached to the case.

“I will not comment on the process. I have to defend myself. We have completely different views from CNSAS. A third party will resolve our dispute – the judge… Let’s see the process,” declared Băsescu in the Court of Appeals in Bucharest.

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