Day 39 of anti-government protests in Bulgaria. They accuse the leadership of having links with organized crime, refusing to tackle corruption, and suppressing freedom of speech.
Since its entry in the EU, Bulgaria has remained the poorest & most corrupt member state in the block. Despite being a democracy, the country has failed to break ties with the former communist elite. The majority of present-day leadership is either associated with the communist party or are its former members.
The most influential government position in terms of political power is that of the prime minister’s. Currently, the office is taken by Boyko Borissov, a former personal driver and bodyguard of Bulgaria’s last communist dictator, Todor Zhivkov. His political launch of the conservative party ‘Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria’ (GERB) in 2005 brought him a landslide victory in the 2009 parliamentary elections. Since then, Borissov has led three consecutive administrations as Prime minister.
Bulgarian Domestic Policy
The Borissov administration has been accused of actively siding with organized crime structures. His party has propelled corruption on all government levels and has been the biggest target of the European Court of Human Rights. In theory, Bulgaria has a politically fragmented parliamentary system but in reality, it is a de-facto two-party system. Borissov’s GERB party has a pseudo-political opposition in the face of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (the former communist party).
Together both sides have actively advanced on public welfare spending in order to create dependent communities. In terms of the private sector, the current bureaucracy has managed to control the microeconomic movement by the following courses of action:
- It hands out government contracts to private entities associated with organized crime;
- It has created huge administrative barriers of entry in order to eliminate all unwanted competition.
By doing so the Bulgarian government has created a severely dependent constituency. The party’s approach to public spending is exactly why despite Boyko Borissov’s resignation in 2013 due to nationwide protests, he managed to win the general election in 2014.
Eurostat: “Bulgaria has the lowest average salary in the EU (€575), the lowest minimum wage (€260), and the smallest average pension (€190).”
Bulgaria has gone backward in time by pushing on government interference with nationalizing industries, monopolizing mainstream media and by eliminating the independence of the three branches of Government.
The infamous rising star of Ivan Geshev
Currently, the corrupt will of Borrisov’s domestic political ambition is instigated by the Chief Public Prosecutor, Ivan Geshev. Geshev often portrayed as the new symbol of corruption has been one of the main reasons of the ongoing nationwide protests. He has actively battled all forms of political and economic opposition and has made a number of political statements in favor of the current leadership.
Being a former police officer, Geshev has proven to be mind-blowingly incompetent on numerous accounts in terms of knowing the law. His ignorance is often demonstrated by his actively political statements and intellectually inferior behavior. His recent incompetence was demonstrated by his failure to draft a subpoena which was rejected by the Supreme Judicial council due to formatting mistakes.
Bulgaria has failed on every political and economic account and its leadership has sunk the international reputation of the Bulgarian political establishment thus scaring foreign investment. Bulgaria has ranked #1 in negative demographic development, as it is currently the fastest shrinking nation in the world. Its economy is heavily influenced by corruption and bureaucracy. The power & freedom of the private sector is eliminated due to concerns of possible political destabilization as a result of economic growth deriving from technological industries. The political outcome of the current crisis has yet to run its course.
Author: Zlatin Kurshumov, published in Chicago Illinois.