Issue 178

PROF MIGLENA TEMELKOVA, PHD: FUTURE IS INTERDISCIPLINARY

When we arrived at the University of Telecommunications and Posts (UTP) in Sofia, we were aware that we were up for an interesting meeting. For two years now Bulgaria's oldest professional university has been managed by a young and energetic professional. Prof Miglena Temelkova, PhD, is the first female rector of the UTP and is the youngest woman in Bulgaria in such position.

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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. Boyko Borisov's GERB continues to be a large and monolithic political party if led by an increasingly erratic strongman. It was pushed into the second place by a margin of less than a percent by Slavi Trifonov's ITN, or There Is Such a People, grouping. Third comes the beleaguered BSP, or Bulgarian Socialist Party.

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FROM RAG TO LABEL

If you arrive in the village of Breznitsa in the evening, you’ll catch the glint of a gold-laminated minaret out of A Thousand And One Nights. The minaret and the entire revamping of the mosque was done through a donation by a local entrepreneur who commissioned Ukrainian craftsmen.

Against the blue peaks of Pirin Mountain, the scene is like a film set. Then you’ll see groups of different-aged women walking down the street. They are going home, and they are the women who stitched your clothes from rag to label. 

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QUOTE-UNQUOTE

Pensions can be bigger if theft of public money stops.

Asen Vasilev, caretaker Minister of Finance

There was a significant effort to destroy all evidence about tapping opposition politicians and protesting citizens. Following Prosecutor's Office orders, hundreds of Bulgarians were tapped. Do you see to what lengths the Prosecutor's Office went to please Boyko Borisov?

Boyko Rashkov, caretaker Interior Minister

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BULGARIA'S LAVENDER AFFAIR

"If I see another one of you posing in a lavender field, I will scream!," a Facebook friend posted recently. The image of rows of vibrant purple coloured plants became ubiquitous on Bulgarian social media in 2021, and not because Bulgarians have suddenly started going on trips to France. 

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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. The video clips were then circulated on social media, attracting a huge number of clicks by both supporters and critics. Eagle-eyed Bulgarians, however, noted there was something wrong with the former prime minister's jeep. Oddly, its number plate was identical to the number plate of an Audi which also belonged to Boyko Borisov's retinue.

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BULGARIA'S WONDROUS BRIDGES

With their ingenuity, some bridges puzzle, and those you will find in Bulgaria are no exception. Some of them are centuries-old, while others are relatively new. What unites them is their beauty and their strength to withstand the passage of time, the burden of traffic and the power of swollen rivers. Many of them also come with a gloomy legend or two. Here is a selection of some of the bridges in Bulgaria that merit more than a single visit and an Instagram post.

DEVIL'S BRIDGE

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FORGOTTEN MAUSOLEUM

The stories of what happened to the bodies of those who ruled Bulgaria post-1878 are as poignant as some of their deeds. King Ferdinand (1887-1918) was buried in 1948 in Coburg, Germany. Ferdinand had abdicated following his disastrous leadership of the Kingdom of Bulgaria through the Great War, and settled in his native Germany. His son, King Boris III (1918-1943) was buried inside the Rila Monastery church, but soon after the 1944 Communist coup his remains were exhumed and lost - or destroyed.

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BEAR BOY

"Can I get you anything else, Bear Boy?" inquired the waiter of the neighborhood hole-in-the-wall café with an ill-contained smirk. 

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A PERIOD OF POSITIVE TRANSFORMATION

In the past year and a half we got used to talking about change. We accepted unexpected events of a global scale as part of life and we brought back from the past the worn-out wisdom about crisis as an opportunity. One of the fields that were particularly strongly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic was the labour market and HR management.

The lockdown and the distance working regime accelerated new trends in management of human resources that for years had existed as a theoretical possibility and were slowly making their way into practice.

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FACE TO FACE WITH NATURE

Bulgaria is one of the European countries where hunting and hunting and photo safari tourism are a true pleasure. The country's diverse geography offers a variety of landscapes and habitats where numerous animals roam. Thick forests, rivers and marshes, mountains and valleys – the choice of places where you can meet wild nature face to face is large, rewarding and will leave you filled with pleasant memories.

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