Articles by Julia Rone

The importance of being Alexander Nikolov, or what is eating the Bulgarian middle class?

Note from the LeftEast editors: a longer version of this piece was first published in Bulgarian by web portal Baricada. Over the last week, the major media outlets in Bulgaria, and especially the liberal press, were taken over by a seemingly small-scale scandal: an online celebrity called Alexander Nikolov tricked tens of people with the promise of buying them cheap plane tickets. To do this he “just” needed their credit card details. In some cases he did not deliver the promised tickets, in others – he withdrew money from the credit cards in small instalments. The first remarkable thing about this case is ..

Bulgarian Elections 2017: Playing it Safe when Losing

Playing it safe when losing is a bad strategy. Yet this is precisely what Bulgarian voters did in the 2017 Bulgarian elections. 32,65% of Bulgarians voted for Boyko Borisov’s party Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB), giving it a comfortable lead ahead of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) with 27, 20% of the vote.  The United Patriots coalition came third with 9,7%, which is a good result but still lower than their own expectations and very close to the 8,99% of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS). The fifth party in parliament is “Will” (“Volya”), led by the shady Varna busi ..