coronavirus

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MATTER OF NUMBERS

Six months after the Covid-19 pandemic forced the world into lockdowns and uncertainties, a fuller picture of its effect on the world economy is beginning to emerge. Bulgaria fared not too bad, according to recent statistical data.

According to Eurostat, in the second quarter of 2020 Bulgaria's GDP fell 9.8 percent in comparison to the same period of 2019. The result is better than in most of the EU, where average GDP fell by 14.4 percent and France experienced a decrease of 19 percent.

Thu, 09/03/2020 - 08:38
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NESEBAR

There is a silver lining to the sharp decline in international tourism in Bulgaria in 2020. You can now see Nesebar, one of this nation's most impressive towns, without hordes of Brits and Scandinavians still hungover from the previous-evening's pub crawl at Sunny Beach resort.

Thu, 09/03/2020 - 08:17
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BULGARIA, IN THE MEANTIME

Predictably, the coronavirus emergency has made all other events in what remains the EU's poorest and least free state look like insubstantial tidbits. With very few exceptions all media have focused exclusively on the alarmist press conferences of Gen Ventsislav Mutafchiyski, the military doctor who heads the emergency staff, and on the lifts Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has given to his ministers in his private jeep to inspect unfinished stretches of road.

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 18:53
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QUOTE-UNQUOTE

The Prime Minister told me: 'If I were a woman, I would knock it off with you'.

Epidemiologist Dr Atanas Mangarov, who has opposed the lockdown measures

Culture is a whim of luxury. When the world has stopped working, how can we be concerned with culture?

Vezhdi Rashidov, former GERB culture minister

You have the rare chance to be governed by us. Under President Radev, people would have been dying.

Tue, 06/02/2020 - 16:59
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NANCY SCHILLER: PHILANTHROPY IN ACTION

Since her arrival four years ago Nancy Schiller has become a well-known personality through Bulgaria. Seen in tiny villages in northern Bulgaria and at major archaeological sites like the Bishop's Basilica of Philippopolis, from her offices in central Sofia to locations with difficult-to-pronounce names that aspire to have US-style marching bands Nancy Schiller has skilfully managed one of the largest and most important non-governmental organisations in this country.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 09:43
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BULGARIA'S RESPONSE TO COVID-19

Since 13 March 2020 Bulgaria has been run by three generals and a sheriff. First and foremost comes General Ventsislav Mutafchiyski. A surgeon installed to manage the Military Medical Academy in Sofia, Mutafchiyski rose to prominence when he was appointed the head of the emergency National Operative Headquarters. Neither a virologist, nor a psychologist he is seen at daily news briefings where he utilises his military schooling to give out what is in essence increasingly restrictive commands to ban citizens from moving about and gathering together.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 09:42
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SAFECHARGE: WELCOME TO THE FUTURE

As in any crisis, there is a silver lining in the Covid-19 outbreak. The unexpected situation forced individuals and businesses to quickly adapt to the new environment of balancing between protecting public health and staying active. Wider adoption of cashless payment is one of these adaptations. In mere days both customers and sellers realized the power of e-commerce not only to make selling and buying faster, but also able to save lives with replacing a potential contamination agent with a more secure one.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 09:36
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IN THE EYE OF THE STORM

"Dimitrina?" I have not heard from her for more than a month, which is unusual.

"Почина."

"Po-chi-na?" I type the word phonetically in an online translation tool. "What?"

"Почина. Me, Dimitrina sister. Bye."

I met Dimitrina on 19 October 2018. She had fallen asleep standing up against the wall of Second Hospital in Sofia, on the corner of Slivnitsa and Hristo Botev Boulevards. A woman with bright fuchsia sneakers the sort teenage girls wear and two blood-red scars on her nose.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:37
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THE BUSINESS THAT RESCUES IN TIMES OF COVID-19

As a result, the actions of the private and the NGO sector created the feel of community, in which individual citizens and organisations make a whole organism. Everyone in it understood that they are responsible not only for their own health and wellbeing, but also for the health and wellbeing of the others. In a couple of weeks Bulgaria became a country where companies took some financial burden off their employees and clients, firms donated money, PPE and medicines to hospitals, volunteers brought food to lonely people, and actors and musicians gave away their art.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 08:20
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CORONA TIMES

In the age of the Internet, verbal jokes are no longer in fashion, however. Memes rule supreme.

Here is a quick selection done during a couple of days prior to this journal going to press. The main "hero" in them is, predictably, Gen Ventsislav Mutafchiyski, an army doctor and chief of the Military Medical Academy in Sofia, who was appointed to head the state of emergency headquarters.

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 10:02
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BALANCING OUT IN CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

Political science students all over the world are being taught in the early stages of their studies that the best way for an authoritarian government – any authoritarian government – to enhance its own powers is to use a crisis – any crisis – as a justification. The bigger the crisis, the bigger the opportunity. At a time of a huge crisis it becomes easier to take away citizens freedoms and rights not only with a couple of decrees, but also with the general public applauding from the sidelines.

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 08:43
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BULGARIANS CLAIM WHICH TRADITIONAL PRODUCT PROTECTS FROM COVID-19?

 

 

1. In 1876 Bulgarians rebelled against...

A. The Ottoman Empire

B. The Russian Empire

C. The British Empire

 

2. Bulgarian Stefka Kostadinova's world record in women high jump is still unchallenged. She jumped 2.09 m in...

A. 1997

B. 1987

C. 2007

 

3. Where in Bulgaria can you see a fully-preserved fortress?

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 08:18
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QUOTE-UNQUOTE

Anarcho-liberal circles claim that the Bulgarian chief prosecutor is omnipotent and controls everything. This is not true. This is propaganda.

Chief Prosecutor Ivan Geshev

Buying 50 kg of sugar will not boost your immunity.

Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev

The most polite policemen possible will patrol the hospitals.

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov

This is not the time to talk about democracy.

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 08:08
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COMMUNIST BULGARIA GOES TO HUNGARY

Through vivid and at times poignant images Communist Bulgaria shows what has remained of this country's Communist material heritage. Included are some would famous sites such as the Communist Party Memorial House on Mount Buzludzha, popularly referred to as The Flying Saucer of Communism, downtown Sofia with its Stalinist architecture, and many monuments of Second World War resistance fighters. Thirty years after the collapse of the Iron Curtain most have been abandoned and are in various stages of decay, exuding eerie, even otherworldly vibes.

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 07:52
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