Bulgarian President Ruman Radev
A reader of The Balkan News Magazine, recently remarked that the magazine doesn’t seem to have much to say about the Balkans. The BNM is a continuous magazine and added to as time permits, it also reflects the lack of news, or perhaps you may not have noticed? Unlike the EU or America, where things seem to happen in abundance, Balkan news is mainly about long forgotten promises, and a strange 21st century phenomenon called Macro Economics. Often quoted by professional pundits in the Balkans, where an improvement in the Macro-Economic forecast for the region really means that very little is actually happening at all, it remains a good old journalistic standby.
Bulgarian President, and retired Bulgarian Air Force General, Ruman Radev recently stated – “Today, hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians live in poverty and social exclusion. They are placed in humiliating conditions unable to meet their basic human needs.”
Announced by President Radev when he opened a discussion with more than 60 representatives of business, trade unions, and the academic community – former ministers, and Presidential Secretaries – it was called, “Inequities and Poverty In Bulgaria.”
Probably of little interest to many expats living in Bulgaria; because Bulgaria is well known to be the poorest member of the European Union, he made an important statement to Bulgaria – and to the wider EU – which could affect the very future of Europe, especially in the knowledge that Vladimir Putin is not far away.
There is only one thing worse than being a failure in the Balkans, and that is being a success, and whilst foreigners pontificate about the dearth of news, they might dwell for a moment on the drivel which appears daily in the yellow press, and the sort of news on offer. You see, Balkan people frequently like to push each other’s heads down, and the how and why this is actually achieved doesn’t really matter.
Well, it is a cross between Trump’s seedy view of politics, and partly a hangover from Communism, together with its well-founded conspiracy theories. Not to mention squabbling politicians and their gangster friends, a large helping of treachery and of course the usual plethora of unfounded lies. A good read? Hardly!
As one view’s – as I have for some thirty years – the metamorphosis of the Balkans one might easily imagine that one was observing Dante’s Inferno and the antics of the Devils Children. But we are not, because it is how the people of South Eastern Europe have had to live forever.
Many Balkan people have given up their hopes for a better future, because, since the changes in 1990, they have seen little improvement in their lives. Okay, things look better, and there are plenty of places for foreigners to go for entertainment – or even a bit of “How’s Yer Father” if that’s their wish – but most ordinary Balkan people have to rely entirely on themselves to get by.
The old Communist-era maxim – “the government pretends to pay us, we pretend to work, and we all steal the rest – has a great deal of truth in it, and there are many leftovers from the past that an expat might miss, one of which is the total lack of information. And that dear readers, is because everything in the Balkans is a secret!