The government supports the business, but gradually eliminates the benefits of workers, explaining that austerity is a must
This article was published on 9th March 2021 on the Bulgarian section of the Barricade website.
The Romanian government started its operation in the days before Christmas 2020 and immediately took care of the application of its vision for change. This vision is based, on the one hand, on business support through public investments and EU funds and, on the other hand, on austerity for employees who were considered ”spoiled” or ”privileged” during the Social Democratic Party (which ruled until 2019).
The Barricade’s Vladimir Mitev was interviewed by the Danish organisation Democracy in Europe on the Bulgarian protests: their demands, the comparisons between the Bulgarian and the Romanian anti-corruption fights and protests, the role of the new left and its democratic innovations
Democracy in Europe (DEO) is a Danish NGO, which aims to make nuanced debate on the EU and promotes participatory democracy. Vladimir Mitev was invited by the DEO to give an interview, screened within an event, which mixed political education and discussion on the political and social situation in Romania and Bulgaria. It took place on 26-27 September 2020.
The ecological activist Rostislav Kandilarov urged the political and civic organisations, which are supportive of the demonstrations in the Danubean city, to support a similar Bulgarian law
The Bulgarian political and civic organisations have to follow the example of the Romanian law on smells and to put forward in the parliament a law, which would allow the citizens to attack in court smells, without any need for the Regional Inspection on Environment and Waters to have established that there is pollution. That was the opinion, which the ecological activist Rostislav Kandilarov expressed on the large ecological protest, which took place on 24 September 2020 in the centre of Rousse.
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.
A live interview with Vladimir Mitev about the escalation of the Bulgarian protests in the last week, about the competition of the two big currents in Bulgarian anti-corruption fight, the parallels with the Romanian fight against corruption, about the growing tensions in Bulgarian society and what could be the positive and the negative scenario of the developments in the autumn
This interview took place through live streaming in Facebook on 4 August 2020 at the Baricada Romania page. This transcription was originally published at the Romanian section of the Barricade on 5 August 2020.
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
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.
How do the Bulgarian protests unfold and what is the quarrel all about?
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.
The Bulgarian journalist Vladimir Mitev sees sincere emotion and not a conspiracy behind the protests in Bulgaria. But he is worried that beyond the calls for resignation of the government, the protests could be directed against the people by the very oligarchy, against which it is being protested
Starting on 9 July 2020 every evening in Sofia and in the big cities of Bulgaria protests against the government and the chief prosecutor. The protester want “to take mafie outside the state”. In order to learn more about the developments in the neighbouring country, I discussed with Vladimir Mitev through a live streaming in Romanian language, which can be seen here.
This article was published on 13 July 2020 on the Romanian section of the site “The Barricade”.
Protesters in Iran have set buildings and cars on fire (photo: YouTube, BBC Persian)
The raise in the price of gasoline and the stricter limit to its consumption have provoked demonstrations, which take place in small towns and in the poor quarters of the big cities
This article was published on 17 November 2019 on the Bulgarian section of the site ‘The Barricade”.
Protests against the raise in the price of gasoline and the against the lowering of the allowed subsidised consumption amount of gasoline have erupted in various parts of Iran. On Saturday, 16 November 2019, it was announced that the first deaths have taken place during the protests, in which the security forces clash with the demonstrators. The protesters blocked important boulevards in the big cities, which lead to the announcement that Sunday will not be a school day in Shiraz and Isfahan. BBC Persian has reported that the speed of Internet has fallen in various parts of the country over the weekend. The greatest mobile networks in the country – MCI, Rightel and IranCell have lost their signal around 18 o’clock Iranian time (16:30 Bulgarian/Romanian time) on 16 November 2019.