30 CORRUPT OFFICIALS & PRIME MINISTER'S SWISH-SWISH

30 CORRUPT OFFICIALS & PRIME MINISTER'S SWISH-SWISH

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 14:15

In the current situation in Bulgaria, we find it increasingly difficult to select political events that would not be outrageous to the point of absurdity and therefore not qualify for the Joke of the Month column.

Switching to a daily rather than monthly format may be the answer... but we have to listen to our accountants, at least once on a while.

So, let's suffice it with two this time around.

An Interior Ministry report entitled Strategic Directions To Fight Corruption was looked at by Meglena Kuneva, the deputy prime minister. The press reported that it stipulated "about 20-30 corrupt officials" should be put in jail within a year. A new special unit would be taking care of identifying said officials from among politicians, ministers, senior civil servants and state agency managers. It would only investigate people who have damaged the state budget with over 100,000 leva or have demanded a bribe of the same amount. If the new unit's chiefs fail to reach the goal of "20-30 in jail," they would be dismissed. They would have to report to the National Assembly twice a year.

The hacks never asked the question what would happen if the new unit, where an undisclosed number of staff will get their salaries, identified over 30 corrupt Bulgarian officials. Would they get a promotion?

Then, what would the courts do? What if the new unit fulfils its quota of 20-30 but evidence against the indicted does not hold in court?

At the moment, there are 39 different state agencies that are supposed to fight corruption, in addition to the anticorruption inspectorates all ministries theoretically have. Yet, Bulgaria remains the most corrupt country in Europe. Unlike Romania, no senior official has been sent to jail after a proper court trial.

It remains nebulous to what extent the Bulgarian government is serious about fighting corruption – or is it just putting out reports like this to feign activity and gull the EU into thinking something adequate is being done?

On to a "lighter" topic: Regional Development and Urbanisation Minister Lilyana Pavlova's hairdo. In the wake of some "unexpected" snow in March which left thousands in Southern Bulgaria stranded and without electricity and water, the prime minister and his retinue went to visit Kardzhali, in one of the worst affected regions. After a walk in the Rhodope, the following televised conversation took place. It is rendered verbatim with editorial notes inserted in brackets to make it easier to understand:

Boyko Borisov: Lilyana Pavlova, one might have said, just goes into Parliament and then comes back... And swish-swish (gesticulating and blowing out air to show how one gets one's hair blow-dried). They, with Maya Manolova (an MP for the BSP)... (laughing). This jackets fits her well...

Lilyana Pavlova: I will need a new jacket...

Boyko Borisov: Well, you are a blackie by birth... You didn't go suntanning somewhere, I suppose.

Lilyana Pavlova: Look here, if he found an issue with my clothes means I have done my job properly elsewhere.

Boyko Borisov: Several times we chopped trees to make passageways for funerals. For a wedding, like, for births or baptisms we have not done it. Amen! (Makes the sign of the cross). During a week we decided, like, something good.

Lilyana Pavlova: The demographic problem...

Boyko Borisov: We would solve the demographic problem. If need be, we will switch off your electricity for whole weeks (in response to a remark that people had to do sex as there was nothing else to do in the dark).

A reporter: Where will you be going next?

Boyko Borisov: Who, me? You know, because of the likes of you I can't get married. Just with the thought that when I start going somewhere you will be asking me where I'm going... This is the question I hate most: where are you going and when you will be back.

A reporter: We will not ask you when you are coming back, just where you are going because we also need to know where we ourselves are heading to.

Boyko Borisov: Where it's easiest for you, that's where we will be going to. Look here, the NSO (National Security Agency) are frowning because they don't like us to say where we are going to.

Nine Bulgarians had just died because of the severe weather in the Rhodope region.

Issue 102 Boyko Borisov

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

bulgarian parliament doors
IRON BARS, NO IRON BARS
Lovers of freedom were quick to cry fowl. Is this what the supposedly liberal, pro-Western Changes Continued government is doing? Protecting itself from the love of the general public with iron bars?

russian embassy bulgaria
WHAT'S IN A NAME?
A recent example is the Sofia City Council's decision to rename one of the streets around where the Russian Embassy is situated to The Heroes of Ukraine, and a nearby small square to Boris Nemtsov.

Boyko Borisov under arrest
WE CATCH THEM, THEY LET THEM GO FREE
As soon as the news of the Thursday evening arrests broke out a significant chunk of the Bulgarian population went into a frenzied jubilation comparable, according to one observer, to that goal at the 1994 World Championship Bulgaria scored against Germany.

joke of the month
OLD IS NEW, AND VICE VERSA
The leaders of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, or BSP, Kornelia Ninova; of Yes Bulgaria, Hristo Ivanov; and of Democratic Bulgaria, or DB, Gen Atanas Atanasov resigned.

joke of the month.jpg
HYPOCRISY AD INFINITUM
The video, shot in the National Assembly, shows an young MP for the ruling Changes Continued political party who takes up the rostrum to make a statement to the house and then... forgets what he was about to do.

elections november 2021.jpg
BALLOT EATING AS LAST RESORT
Ahead of the 14 November general election some parties – notably the DB, or Democratic Bulgaria, and the ITN, or There Is Such a People party – insisted on taking away the good old-fashioned paper election ballots that you had to use a pen to put a cross ag

OF PIGEONS AND VACCINATIONS
In the neighbourhood, I asked a retired woman, who habitually makes a public nuisance by throwing bread crumbs out of her fourth-floor balcony to feed Sofia's uncontrolled population of pigeons, to stop doing that because a uncontrolled population of pigeon
Slavi Trifonov, the leader of There Is Such a People party
ITN, FORMERLY NTD, IMV, IBGNI ETC
A sober look at the current mess of Bulgarian politics in the aftermath of 12 years of Boyko Borisov may produce some unexpected if slightly idiosyncratic explanations.

boyko borisov 4x4
DID BOYKO DRIVE AN ILLEGAL JEEP?
Dignitaries, ministers and even foreign guests were "invited" into the jeep while the Bulgarian prime minster went for a government-provided ride.

boyko borisov
FACT-CHECKING BOYKO BORISOV
Usually made in his inimitable style, a combination of uncouth nativism and broadspeak, they can easily fill up books. Here is a selection of Borisov's most recent public statements, rendered verbatim:

MAKING THE ROUNDS IN BULGARIA
At the beginning of an exam a student turns to the professor: "Let's now see what you have taught me online." * "Do you remember when we were optimistic and made grandiose plans?"
joke of the month
COFFEE AND CROISSANTS, PLEASE
It probably is, but the genius computerists hide themselves very well, and certainly do not work for Boyko Borisov's government.