To celebrate Bulgaria's first ever presidency of the EU, which is due to start on 1 January 2018, the Sofia City Council is in the process of devising ingenuous ways to show to the world that in the past 10 years Bulgaria and its capital look more European than they actually do.
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.
For one, snow ploughers in Sofia (remember last winter, and the winter before that, and the winter before that…) will now be equipped with a Bulgarian and an EU flag to wave whilst ploughing the snow. The measure will be applied during the presidency.
Then Sofia City Council seems determined to ban horse-drawn carts from the streets of Sofia – the city being defined as what lies within the Circular Road. A working group in Yordanka Fandakova's office is now exploring ways how to do that. A city councillor revealed to the media that there was a broad political consensus to get horse-drawn carts off the streets of Sofia. Violators will have their horses rather than their carts impounded, he added, because it was too easy for the owners to construct new carts.
The horses collected in this way will be used in an unspecified "charity for children," he added.