Tag Archives: Bulgaria

What is fueling the fuel price protests in Bulgaria?

The price of fuel has become the focal point of anti-austerity protests and not only in France. On November 11 2018, or one day after the 29th anniversary of the mythical November 10th  1989, celebrated as the day when the Bulgarian Communist Party GenSec Todor Zhivkov filed his resignation and ushered in the disparate panoply of changes known as the “Transition”, a protest called on the people of Sofia to rise up against the prices of fuel, of the mandatory car insurance and the proposed new taxes to be levied on old cars. The protests quickly spread engulfing more than 30 cities and towns, blocking highway ..

Men in the Bulgarian Parliament stand behind violence against women

Text by left feminist group LevFem: Raia Apostolova, Kalina Drenska, Anastasia Lilieva, Lea Vajsova, Zhivka Valiavicharska, Neda Genova, Mariya Ivancheva Translation: Emanuela Yaneva The parliamentary session of the Bulgarian National Assembly, which took place on the 15th of November, and was aimed at voting legislative changes in the Criminal code concerning the criminalization of certain forms of domestic violence, was accompanied by an extremely sexist discussion by MPs. As it usually happens in the Bulgarian Parliament consensus marked the day. Despite various attempts from different parliamentary groups to ..

Lea Vajsova: There are now ruptures through which a feminist movement will start unfolding in Bulgaria

Note by the LeftEast editors: This interview with Lea Vajsova was conducted by Yuliana Metodieva for the Bulgarian website Marginalia. BG . It was translated from the Bulgarian by Dorotea Stefanova and Stoyo Tetevenski and reprinted with Lea Vajsova’s permission. Lea Vajsova, PhD is an assistant professor at the department of Sociology in Sofia University. Her research interests are in the fields of critical theory and social movements. Lea, your Facebook post describing abuse provoked a very interesting public reaction. It encouraged you to start the movement NotAlone in Bulgaria, very similar to #metoo. ..

[FeminEasts Podcast] Boryana Rossa on Sofia Queer Forum, Sex and Revolution, and Much More

Note: You may sample and skip between different themes in the discussion by hovering over and clicking on the various LeftEast thumbnails on the soundwave to display section labels or comments. In this first episode of the FeminEasts podcast, recorded in early 2018, we speak with Boryana Rossa about her work, the Sofia Queer Forum 2017 edition “Sex & Revolution” and broader topics concerning sexual art, politics and sexual liberation in Eastern Europe and beyond. We publish this interview while the next edition of the Queer Forum is taking place in Sofia November 9 – December 2, 2018. Boryan ..

#YouAreNotAlone: Call for international solidarity with Bulgarian women

A call for solidarity actions with Bulgarian women’s upcoming protest against politicians’ ignorance of women’s issues, issued by Левфем (Informal group of Bulgarian left feminists) and initially published on Diversia.net . Dear comrades, This is a call for international solidarity with an upcoming protest in Sofia, Bulgaria that will voice our anguish with a growing violent wave of misogyny in the country. The protest will take place on November 26, 2018. We will demand changes that do not only concern the criminal code but such that aim prevention of misogynic crimes. We will also demand ..

A Freight-ening Tale: Bulgaria Finally Stands up to the EU

This article has been published in collaboration with Bilten. The following is an overview of a recent episode in the relentless war on social rights in Bulgaria. I will focus on the aborted reform of freight drivers’ work conditions as it presents us with a rare case of a clear internationalization of the extremely exploitative industrial relations prevalent in Bulgaria within the international freight sector. In 2017, during a trip to Eastern Europe, French President Emmanuel Macron drew attention to one of the obvious effects of the market integration of nations as distant and divergent in economic developme ..

Environmentalists against the Environment: When Good Intentions Are Not Enough

This article is published in collaboration with the Serbo-Croatian portal Bilten. Debates over natural conservation have been at the center of public attention in Bulgaria. They usually appear as clashes between investors and environmentalists over tourist resort projects. Media represents them as a contradiction between concerns with the employment of citizens, living in the vicinity of national parks, and green activists, caring for natural conservation, but disregarding economic growth. In reality, the green movement were complicit in the establishment of a liberal conservationist regime that was abused by inv ..

“Bulgarian welfare does not combat poverty but the poor”*

The article was originally published in the portal of the Bulgarian left, New Left Perspectives. KOI’s 2018 report “The people” against welfare payments: or the art of making those in need ask for more restrictions against themselves authored by Vanya Grigorova is a follow-up of an earlier, 2016 report entitled Poor against poor. That previous report detailed the ever-proliferating types of welfare payments existent in Bulgaria, the common misconceptions about them, and the discursive and policy stratagems the Right deploys to limit access to the social safety nets. The main thesis, then and now, is that t ..

Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Researchers on the Campaign Against a Project on Gender Equality

Note from the LeftEast editors: days after The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (a.k.a. The Istanbul Convention) was declared “unconstitutional” by the Bulgarian Constitutional Court, the witch-hunt against the so-called “gender ideology” took its first symbolic victim. A project on gender equality nominated in the first phase of UNESCO’s Participation Programme 2018-2019 was blocked by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and later by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science (despite the fact that the Ministry had ..

It was never about the Istanbul Convention

The debate over the ratification of the so called “Istanbul Convention” in Bulgaria, as in some other countries in the region, became a huge public scandal and probably the most important political matter of 2018. Originally intended to provide states with a framework for prevention and reduction of domestic violence against women, the document has become a byword for a conspiracy against the Bulgarian people and their supposed “traditional values” violated by foreign liberal powers through the use of “gender ideology”. On the 27th of July the Constitutional Court, referred to the matter by 75 deputie ..