This article was published on 30 October 2020 at the Bulgarian section of the site “The Barricade”.
After the outbreak of the Bulgarian protests in the summer of 2020, the Bulgarian political issues are more and more similar to the Romanian ones. The similarities are not just related to the aspirations of the Bulgarian “middle class” to replace the dinosaurs of the transition through the anti-corruption fight. Nor is it limited to the adoration shared with the Romanian middle class for the “martyr of anti-corruption”, Laura Kovesi, who was driven out of her homeland, but found refuge in the European Prosecutor’s Office in Luxembourg. It does not even reside in the intrusive repetition of the BSP leader, Cornelia Ninova, that in the person of Boyko Borissov she is fighting with the “parallel state”. This term was used by the former strong man in Romanian politics, Liviu Dragnea, to refer to his opponents in the secret services. It is not particularly appropriate for the Bulgarian realities, where Borissov is the center of the system of government, not parallel to it. The general game in Bulgarian politics is increasingly similar to that in Romania in 2017-2019, when the middle class convened mass protests against the ruling Social Democrats, and they responded by making financial gestures to the disadvantaged masses and reducing taxes on consumption.
An interview for the Iranian Labour News Agency on the demands of the Bulgarian protests, on the similarities and differences with the 2013 anti-oligarhic protests, on the geopolitical and internal importance of the demonstrations and on their influence on social change in Bulgaria.
The Iranian Labour News Agency, which is a media, affiliated with the House of the Workers (the Iranian labour unions) has published this interview with Vladimir Mitev on 27 September 2020.
Mr. Mitev, the protests in Bulgaria have lasted for more than 75 days. Given the fact that Bulgaria saw the rise of anti-corruption as a lever of social change, what is the main demand of these unrests?
The main demands are two resignations – of the prime minister Boyko Borissov and of the chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev. The accusation against them is that under their rule the state has been taken over by the oligarchy. There is also an accusation that state institutions, including the prosecution’s office, have not been serving the public interest, but the interest of a part of the oligarchy, which has been marginalising through the prosecution other parts of this economic elite, formed in the times of transition. In their turn, the accused have been suggesting that parts of the oligarchy, which have been hit in the recent anti-corruption campaign, are behind the protests. It is worthy to remind that the oligarch Vasil Bojkov who fled to Dubai after receiving more than a dozen accusations, was on good terms with Borissov and his business was flourishing until recently.
The idea for the overcoming of tranisiton, which has done a lot of social harm, is not clearly articulated. But it existsts on subconscious level. Evidently, there is a long way until the accomplishment of this dream, which could remain just a dream
This article was published on 7 August 2020 at The Barricade.
It is high time that there was lustration and those who have governed in the times of transition leave, said a Bulgarian protester in Sofia in the beginning of August 2020 before the TV cameras.
Wishful thinking? No, a key to understanding what the Bulgarian protests represent unconsciously. A desire for entering in the post-transition after decades of transition, which has dehumanised both its winners and its losers.
Interview realised by Małgorzata Kulbaczewska-Figat
The Polish site Strajk.eu interviewed the founder of the blog ”The Bridge of Friendship” Vladimir Mitev about the Romanian presidential elections. The Bulgarian journalist commented what explains the support for Klaus Iohannis, how it should be interpreted in international and internal plan, the role of France in Romania and the region and the expectations from the Romanian-Polish relations after Iohannis’ reelection as head of the state.
Iohannis said the magic words to Trump that Romanians want more American troops (photo: YouTube)
While Emmanuel Macron speaks that the EU is on the edge of the abyss and the Alliance is in ”cerebral death”, Romanians elected a leader, who stares at the White House
This article was published on 25 November 2019 on the Bulgarian section of the site ”The Barricade”.
Klaus Iohannis has won a new five-year mandate as the president of Romanian with an excellent score – almost 66%. His opponent – the former prime minister Viorica Dancila got 34%, and some say this result has been above her capabilities.
By siding with Iohannis, Romanians emit a message of euroatlantic loyalty. In a moment when the French president Emmanuel Macron speaks that the EU is on the edge of the abyss, and NATO is in ”cerebral death”, Romania sided with the candidate, who has the White House’s approval. In the summer Iohannis visited Donald Trump and said the magic words that he wants more American troops in his homeland. The first and probably only meaningful things, which Iohannis did in his first mandate was to gather the party leaders and to secure that 2% of GDP will be given to the army. Now Romania realises projects for multi billion dollars in the defence sphere, which are related to missles land-air, homemade armoured vehicle and a new infantry machine.
Liviu Dragnea (photo: Flickr, Social Democratic Party, CC BY 2.0)
Two conflicting demonisations had been taking place în the last two years and a half în Romania – one against the justice and the other – against the jailed leader of the Social Democratic Party
This article was published on 4 June 2019 on the site of the Bulgarian newspaper ”Word”. It is published here in its complete form.
Romanian politics is more dynamic than the Bulgarian one and often manages to mobilise public action. While the last ten years pass in Bulgaria under the aegis of the so-called “stability”, at the northern neighbours there are constantly turning points in political life. Such a turning point were also the European elections on 26 May 2019.