JOKE OF THE MONTH

WHAT'S MAKING THE ROUND THESE DAYS?

If Boyko knew the fire at Notre-Dame would overshadow Apartment-gate for a while, he would have set it himself a long time ago.

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Shabla (at the Black Sea coast) is ready to help Paris with 70 million. The sacks can be delivered immediately.

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Plovdiv Bishop Nikolay (who infamously covered some 19th century church murals with wallpaper) said he would donate some wallpaper to Notre-Dame.

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Half the members of the BSP, or Bulgarian Socialist Party, are nuts. The other half are corrupt. In GERB, the situation is exactly the opposite.

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 11:56
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HAVE RECEIPT, WILL DANCE THE HORO

At the time of writing, the Inland Revenue did not appear to be particularly perturbed by the purchases of luxury flats in Sofia by senior GERB functionaries. However, it sped up its investigations of Lozan Panov, the chairman of the Supreme Court of Cassation, who has often been critical of GERB and has repeatedly warned of the oncoming autocracy in Bulgaria.

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 18:45
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A DUNE IS NOT A DUNE

The sort of attitude Bulgarians have to their tiny stretch of seaside can be illustrated with an incident at the beginning of 2019, when excavator operators levelled a huge sand dune near Kavatsite, south of Sozopol. The men were detained, and explained they had been paid a fee of 1,000 leva by a "third party" to finish off what nature had created thousands of years ago. Nothing can be done about this, explained Angelkova, as the construction permit had been issued prior to 2008, when the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast Act was adopted.

Mon, 02/25/2019 - 17:57
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RETURNING 'BULGARIANS'?

Forget the run-of-the-mill calls for Bulgaria to expand towards three seas (namely, the Aegean and the Adriatic, in addition to the Black), the protests against the Treaty of Neuilly, which ended the First World War for Bulgaria, and the incessant ramblings about the "Turkish Yoke." Bulgaria's new "patriotism" finds increasingly ingenuous ways to stir up fatherland-loving sentiments with social media. Facebook, which in Bulgaria is by far the most popular, leads the way.

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 08:44
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MEASURING CORRUPTION IN SEPTEMVRI

The Office of the Special Prosecutor, which is the state attorney ordering corruption probes, took things with quite some determination as it ordered an underground probe to verify whether a water pipe recently installed under one of the town's streets was up to standard. This happened as part of an ongoing investigation against the town's mayor who the prosecutors suspected of embezzlement.

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 14:14
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GOING, GOING, GONE... (BUT NOT QUITE)

What had saved Silistar from becoming an urban jungle in the footprint of Sozopol, Primorsko and so on, had been its remoteness and proximity to the Turkish border. The city councillors of Tsarevo acted to rectify this – and approved a construction plan right in the Strandzha Nature Reserve.

Predictably, some environmentally minded citizens, including Tsarevo locals, protested against what they saw as yet another blow, perhaps the death blow, against the nature of the southern Bulgarian stretch of the Black Sea.

Fri, 09/07/2018 - 10:04
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MAKING THE ROUNDS IN SOFIA AND BEYOND

In 2008 everyone on Sofia Underground stared at whoever tried to surf the Internet on their mobile phones.

In 2018 everyone on Sofia Underground stared at whoever held a newspaper in their hands.

In 2028 everyone on Sofia Underground will be starring at whoever doesn't scratch the numbers of a get-rich-quick lottery ticket.

 


 

Some reporters ask Tsvetan Tsvetanov: "Sir, is it true that everyone in Bulgaria can get arrested? Aren't there any untouchables?"

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 13:03
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OF OFFICIAL NEWS, DEATH BEDS AND MAKING RIPPLES

The BTA, or Bulgarian Telegraph Agency, puts out a dispatch: "We have been authorised to announce, with deep sorrow, that the leader of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria, or GERB, and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, following a lengthy period of sickness and without regaining consciousness… did manage to resume the fulfilment of his duties and showed up for Question Time in Parliament."

Thu, 07/05/2018 - 11:40
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'LIAR' AND 'SLANDERER,' LEGALLY

Yoncheva, who is an outspoken critic of Borisov's GERB and his ultranationalist coalition partners, sued when Borisov said that the state had spent "millions" on funding Yoncheva's TV international programmes.

Borisov made the remarks while speaking in Burgas, a GERB stronghold, and then repeated them numerous times in various media appearances. Yoncheva responded that if the court found Borisov was a liar he should step out of politics.

Mon, 06/04/2018 - 14:21
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IS EU PAYING FOR BOOZE, SEMI-NAKED WOMEN?

Alvarado described the Sofia conference as a "textbook example" of what an youth conference should not be like, and billed it "shameful" because it was conducted in a perfunctory manner, young people were not given the chance to get their opinions heard and so on and so forth. The panels did not include any young people, but all the participants were treated to a speech by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov who in his inimitable manner reminded them that their first task was to "procreate," citing the example of a German minister who had seven children.

Fri, 05/04/2018 - 13:19
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WHO THE F*CK IS GINKA?

Ginka Varbakova from Pazardzhik, who allegedly had not graduated secondary school, operated a couple of solar power installations plus a few car parks in her native Pazardzhik before the news broke out that she would acquire the assets of CEZ, the Czech-owned electricity distribution company on which millions of Bulgarians depend on for their electricity.

Why CEZ decided to sell its business in Bulgaria remains unclear, but there are reports that the Czechs no longer wanted to be doing business in what is considered the most corrupt country in the EU.

Tue, 03/06/2018 - 15:26
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WELCOME TO BULGARIA

The new public toilet was inaugurated by none lesser than Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov, the leader of the extreme nationalist National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov's government's coalition partners.

Simeonov, pictured above in this screenshot from Bulgarian National Television's main newscast, said it had taken less than two months to construct the toilet. The toilet, which the deputy prime minister described as "wonderful," cost about 30,000 leva.

Thu, 12/28/2017 - 11:22
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EU TO BE CHAIRED BY 'DRUGS TRAFFICKERS,' 'PRISONER VOTES BUYERS'

Bulgaria is supposed to start its presidency on 1 January 2018.

Borisov's statement should be taken seriously by the EU and its law enforcement agencies because it comes at a time when Bulgaria was slammed once again by a damning EU report for its failure to fight corruption and reform its judiciary.

Wed, 11/29/2017 - 14:02
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BYE-BYE SOFIA HORSE CARTS?

Don't think only of the slippery floor tiles being laid out in and around the NDK, or National Palace of Culture, in Central Sofia, or the bronze lion holding a map of Bulgaria that entails parts of Greece and Macedonia within the Kingdom of Bulgaria now being installed where the 1,300 Years of Bulgaria monument used to stand. The local authorities have a lot more in stock for you.

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 13:51
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PRIME MINISTER GOES INTO RESTAURANT BUSINESS

At the peak of this summer's season a group of restaurant-goers in Sozopol, at the Black Sea coast, resorted to the currently fashionable Small Claims Court, known also as Facebook. They told the hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians whose chief source of information is Mark Zuckerberg's invention that they had booked a table at a restaurant but not all of them showed up for dinner. Four chairs were left empty.

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 13:31
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PRIME MINISTER WITHOUT A SMOKED SAUSAGE IN HIS HAND

Each outrage committed by the top GERB functionaries is almost immediately followed by something totally unexpected – and even more outrageous than before – in order to distract the attention of the general public from the really important issues such as the failed judiciary reforms, the unwillingness or the inability of the police to solve even street crimes (whose number increases by the day) and the plummeting standards of democracy in the EU's poorest and most corrupt member state.

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 15:43
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KNOW THINE HISTORY

In the past several months the political establishment of GERB, supported by the loose alliance of ultranationalists identifying themselves as "united patriots," has been ruthless in condemning and eradicating anything that might smack of "anti-Bulgarianness." Of course, no one but GERB's leaders and their nationalist pals can define what Bulgarianness means. It may range from wearing baggy 19th century peasant trousers and fur hats to more "refined" 21st century Bulgarian "virtues" such as being anti-cosmopolitan, anti-liberal and of course anti-gay.

Mon, 07/03/2017 - 12:54
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NOT TO AN US COMPANY

Except for his extreme nationalist views, Shopov is also known for his inability to put on a pair of simple headphones.

In  response to a video of the incident, which circulates on YouTube, Shopov explained that he did not put on the headphones properly on purpose because he felt squeamish the cushions had not been changed. He added that a former girlfriend texted him he looked very "sweet" with the headphones.

Fri, 06/02/2017 - 12:12
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