Issue 93

QUOTE-UNQUOTE

In the past year Mr Peevski has gone too far. He behaves as if he is the overlord of Bulgaria.

Tsvetan Vasilev, owner of Corporate Commercial Bank

Until Ahmed Dogan is in power, there will be fat and blood in the streets. Dogan owns the state. Peevski is his errand boy and Vasilev
is his banker.

Former Culture Minister Vezhdi Rashidov who claims his own money is in the Corporate Commercial Bank and he now cannot withdraw it

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

THE SMILE OF THE DOG, an excerpt from a novel

John, an American, is biding his time with the family of his Bulgarian wife as he drinks, smokes and makes enthusiastic but not particularly successful attempts to understand that strange Balkan country called Bulgaria.

Maya, a Bulgarian, is acquainted with the ancient history and agrees to help with the investigation.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

TOGETHER WE CAN

In times of crisis and catastrophies, many Bulgarian take the cause to help other by heart. They volunteer to dug out mud of flooded streets and homes, or to extinquish forest fires, and sent donation SMS-es or small sums of their counted salaries and pensions to the ones in need. Yet, Bulgaria is still lagging in terms of big-scale phylanthropy, and the WCIF, or Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation, has been working to improve this.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

GHOSTS OF SARAJEVO

A century ago, on 28 June 1914, an 18-year-old Bosnian Serb killed the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and his wife during their visit to Sarajevo. By the end of the summer, the greatest war that humanity had experienced was already in full swing. It lasted four years, claimed the lives of millions of people, brought down three empires and led to the outbreak of an even nastier war, the Second World War.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

STILL AT BLACK SEA COAST

As you travel along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast you will inevitably pass through Varna and Burgas, the two biggest Bulgarian seaside towns. As you stroll through them, you will inevitably be confronted with a couple of monstrosities that will make you wonder, who or what are those to celebrate? Do they not belong to a bygone era that few Bulgarians want to remember? Should not they be consigned to the dustbin of history, as Marx put it, which seems to be their rightful last abode?

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

RUPITE

The summer heat is oppressive, yet the shallow mineral pools in the yellowish clay are packed with men and women. Pleasure, peace and silent ecstasy can be read on their faces, which seems strange, as the temperature of the water is 75°C, the air stinks of sulphur and the skin of some of the people in the pools is alarmingly red.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

TRUE OR FALSE?

Mostly right

"A time will come, a war will rage, a nation will rise against nations. It will move armed in iron and it will defeat many others, but it will lose the war."
Germany and the Second World War

"Your kingdom is growing, you have spread far, but be ready to get in a nutshell. Remember the date 28 August."
King Boris III's death and the outcome of the Second World War for Bulgaria

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

SO SPAKE VANGA...

Bulgaria's destiny is to be the friend of Russia. It will overcome its current difficulties when the Saints 40 Martyrs Church in Tarnovo is restored and the ancient gold treasures are found. And a man will come and set everything straight in Bulgaria, ending that stupid game, democracy.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOOSE

There are moments when time and place merge, creating an overwhelming sentiment which makes you wish the world would stop spinning.

Sunsets, for example, can be glorious and sites like Santorini have made a business out of them. In Bulgaria, a similar experience could be enjoying a cold menta, or mint liquor, with a dash of Sprite in the shade of a beach bar, while the mid-day sun shines in the bleached sky. Or it could be entering the warmth of a tavern, filled with the smell of burning wood, with the anticipation of a hearty dinner after a day skiing.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

WHAT'S NOT IN A PICTURE

Britain has maintained diplomatic relations with Bulgaria (with interruptions, due to the First and the Second World Wars) since the beginning of the 20th Century, but until the 1960s its envoys were not named "ambassadors." After a series of agents, general consuls, political representatives, high commissioners and so on, the first "real" ambassador, Sir William Harpham, arrived in Sofia in 1962.

The ambassador had to present his credentials to the Bulgarian Government in full and formal diplomatic uniform on a day when the temperature was well below freezing point.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

OPTIMISM SANS FRONTIÈRES

I had come to the French Embassy on Oborishte Street in Central Sofia armed with a little French dictionary which, I hoped, would come to rescue when I ran out of my (very) limited French vocabulary. I never had to reach for it. Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes, the French ambassador welcomed me with some Perrier water and spoke almost perfect Bulgarian. I mean perfect, sans accent. I have a very good teacher, M.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

BORISOV'S BOYKOVISMS

Bulgaria's short history of democracy is fraught with events and personalities unseen anywhere else in the former Warsaw Pact. In 1990, for example, less than a year after the removal from power of Todor Zhivkov, Eastern Europe's longest standing tyrant, Bulgarians went to their first general election with more than one party standing, and voted in... the people they were supposed to get rid of, the former Communists.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment

WE'VE GOT MAIL

Great interview that will anger many Bulgarians. I would just add that the building in the background of the picture (the former Communist Party House) has the old Communist coat of arms with the sickle and hammer, partially destroyed in the dawn of democracy. Go 300 metres in the direction of the National Gallery (the former King's palace) and you will see the old Bulgarian coat of arms (quite the same as the one used today), partially destroyed by the Communists. Bulgaria is a country in a deep search of identity... and in a deep search of its geopolitical orientation.

Comments: 0

Read more Add new comment