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.
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.
An interview with an expert on child development and social care, on hurdles to social change in Bulgaria and how Bulgarians could overcome them
David Bisset is a specialist in child poverty and deprivation. He is one of the founders of Equilibrium, which is one of the leading children’s organisations in SEE. His relationship with Bulgaria goes back to 1991. He has lived in the country since 2000.
This article was published on 19 April 2020 on the English section of the site „The Barricade”.
Interview with the coauthor of the book, full of ideas for travelling in Danubian Bulgaria, „From the Balkan to the Danube” – about the tendency of tourism becoming a smart experience, about its potential to connect Romanians and Bulgarians and about the tourist initiatives, which modernize Bulgaria
Gavrail Gavrailov is born in 1979 in Plovdiv. He has BA in Political Science (2002) and MA in “Applied Psychology” (2004) from the University of Plovdiv. Starting from March 2016, he is a PHD student in the department of “Applied and Institutional Sociology” of the University of Plovdiv. His focus of research is “The Social Entrepreneurship in the Rhodopes in the 21st century (2000-2018)”.
He is interested in sociology of local communities, regional development, ecology, rural tourism and development of alternative green communities. He is the author of the books “North-East Bulgaria – a guide for travellers” (2013), “The Rhodopes – searching for the roots” (2014), “The villages in Bulgaria – directions for tourism and culture” (2015). He has worked in advertisement, media, tourism and politics.
Gavrail Gavrailov is the author of the book with ideas on travelling in Danubian Bulgaria “From the Balkan to the Danube”, along with Vessela Nickolaeva – editor-in-chief of the site for tourist travellings in North-West Bulgaria“Severozapazenabg.com” and the tourist guide from Rousse Mihail Mihov. The book overviews interesting facts from the history, about ethnic communities, about the present realities and the innovative tourist initiatives in Danubian Bulgaria. The Barricade talked with Gavrail Gavrailov, trying to understand to what extent tourism could be a source for social change in Bulgaria.