BOYKO'S FAILED GIRL

BOYKO'S FAILED GIRL

Sat, 02/20/2010 - 12:41

The Bulgarians' penchant for self-flagellation culminates in Rumyana Jeleva's rejection as EU commisioner

Rumyana Jeleva
© BTA

That Rumyana Jeleva was incompetent and unfit for the senior eurocrat position of a commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response should have been obvious to anyone with the remotest grasp of her performance as foreign minister in her own country. That her name was put forward for the post in the first place can easily be explained by this country's prime minister's insistence on promoting his own cadres, nationally and internationally, at all costs – and mainly on the basis of loyalty to himself rather than any professional excellence. That there is a severe shortage of good professional "human material," to quote the prime minister in an earlier statement referring to Bulgarian voters, is also obvious to any employer who's tried to do some recruiting recently.

She failed. But why the uproar? Why did so many Bulgarians, notorious for being unable or unwilling to unite on almost any issue of public significance, see red at the sight of Jeleva's inept stuttering at the European Commission? Why the Facebook groups demanding "Jeleva should apologise to the Bulgarian nation" and "Withdraw Jeleva's passport so she can't travel abroad to ridicule us"? Except for the docile TV stations, which usually supports whoever is in power, most other media were exceptionally unrestrained in their coverage and comment: Get rid of Jeleva!

As has become a matter of course in the past year, the best explanation was given by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov himself. Notwithstanding his customary charge that Jeleva had fallen prey to a conspiracy by the opposition, the prime minister came up with the following (very Bulgarian) joke:

© svobodata.org

© svobodata.org

"A man went for a walk in hell. He looked around and saw that every cauldron had a small devil assigned to it to feed the fire and push back anyone who managed to put his head out of the boiling tar. Except one.

"So the man asked the Chief Devil: 'Why isn't there anyone around that cauldron?'

"And the Chief Devil replied: 'Ah, there is no need for one. This is the cauldron of the Bulgarians. They take care of everything themselves."

From a psychological standpoint, the Bulgarians' penchant for self-flagellation is unparalleled in any other European culture. You can trace it back through the centuries or you can see it in operation in your 2010 Sofia office: whenever anyone stands out, someone, usually several someones, will immediately pull them back down. Bulgaria's history is full of numerous examples of that You- Should-Not-Think-You-Are-Better-Than- Us-Or-Know-More-Than-Us attitude, and Rumyana Jeleva's case is but the most recent public example.

I am not in the least a supporter of Rumyana Jeleva, but for anyone espousing the somewhat sadistic stance towards her I would recommend listening to Cathy Ashton for five minutes. OK, her English is, of course, better.

JELEVA'S GEMS

Humanitarian aid, as you know, is based on needs.

We should be very active where it is necessary.

Gaza will be one of the first places I will visit, naturally, if the European Parliament confirms me. I know about many of the problems; for example about the blockade and the lack of humanitarian aid. We have to be very active – in fact, pro-active. I will do everything possible to tackle the problem, when I go directly on location in Gaza.

I can't say that I can solve each problem and all problems.

(In response to a question on how her pro-activeness will help solve the problems in Gaza.)

On the very interesting topic of sexual violence against women in Congo. As a woman I can assure you that I will be very engaged with this. We cannot allow sexual violence to be used as a war weapon in the 21st Century. I am prepared to make an effort on the operational level, to be more active to defend women. 

(In response to a question about what exactly she intends to do in Congo, where hundreds of women are being raped every day.)

Issue 41-42

Commenting on www.vagabond.bg

Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on www.vagabond.bg to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use www.vagabond.bg for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on www.vagabond.bg please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on www.vagabond.bg.

0 comments

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

pro-russia rally bulgaria
IS PUTIN 'WORLD LEADER' OR SADISTIC VILLAIN?
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has polarised public opinion in Bulgaria. In fact, Bulgaria has emerged, since the start of the war in Ukraine, as the only EU state where public support for Putin remains high.

anti ukraine protest bulgaria.jpg
WHY DO SO MANY BULGARIANS SUPPORT PUTIN?
Perhaps surprisingly for a country that was once an enthusiastic applicant to join NATO and the EU Bulgaria is now home to a significant number of people who support... Russia's tyrant Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine.

Satan strategic nuclear-head missile, capable of reaching the island of Manhattan in 20-30 minutes after launch
WHAT BULGARIANS GET WRONG ABOUT WAR IN UKRAINE
Though it has been a member of NATO since 2004 and of the EU since 2007 present-day Bulgaria appears not to be very enthusiastic about any involvement in the war in Ukraine.

king samuil statue bulgaria
BIG MACEDONIAN QUESTION
The "Macedonian Question" is one of those Balkan conundrums that even outsiders with more than just passing knowledge of the history and geography of the region can have trouble understanding.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM BULGARIAN 2-IN-1 ELECTIONS
As the dust settles down after Bulgaria's third attempt in a year to elect a government and as the post-election horse-trading begins, there are several key conclusions to be drawn from Boyko Borisov's dramatic downfall and the emergence of the Changes Cont
REFORMS TO BE CONTINUED?
During 2021 Bulgarians have so far gone to the polls twice, in April and in July. On both occasions the sort of parliament they elected was so split that it failed to form a government.
police brutality bulgaria 2020
BULGARIAN POLITICS
What many Bulgarians have known all along ever since the collapse of Communism – that the police force, formerly known as People's Militia has hardly reformed itself during the past 30 years – became painfully obvious with the broadcast, in the house of par

boyko borisov wanted
BORISOV'S DOWNFALL?
Some analysts were surprised, others were not: the 11 July snap election, called in the wake of the failure of Bulgaria's 45th National Assembly to set up a government, returned more or less the same results.

WHERE TO FROM NOW ON?
The month of June, officially the election campaign month ahead of the early ballot scheduled for 11 July, has been extraordinary even in the standard of Bulgarian politics.
WILL BOYKO BE GONE FOR GOOD?
Following the failure of Bulgaria's "short" parliament, which sat for less than a month, to fulfil its basic constitutional duty, form a functioning government, President Rumen Radev stepped in and appointed a caretaker administration.
boyko borisov hospital
BULGARIA'S BALLOT SHOWDOWN
Most public opinion agencies got it wrong. Following a month of an exceptionally tepid (even in Bulgarian standards) election campaign, in which the coronavirus pandemic was hardly mentioned, Bulgarians went to the polls to elect their new parliament.

TO VOTE OR NOT TO VOTE?
One of the topics debated in what was an exceptionally tepid election campaign was how Bulgarians abroad should be enabled to vote.