Tag Archives: Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s growing problem with violence among children: a piece is missing or the puzzle is wrong?

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in cooperation with the Serbo-Croatian web portal Bilten.Org For three years now Bulgaria is experiencing a growing concern with violence among children, especially at school. Experts, NGOs, government representatives and media are contesting to restate their commitment to end children’s aggressive behavior, impelled by recurring cases of serious physical harm and even death. 60% of children in Bulgaria do not feel safe at school, the head of the Juvenile Crime Department at the Interior Ministry has stated in October. In 2016-2017 the Ministry o ..

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 ..

To Stop the Engine of Inequality: a Bulgarian Campaign for Tax Reform

Preface by Georgi Medarov: After months, if not years, of relative quiescence, progressive politics in Bulgaria has been thrust into national visibility by a new campaign for tax justice supported by a wide coalition of activists, NGOs, unions and small center-left and left parties. At this stage, its main activity has been focused on generating public debate and collecting signatures, which will be submitted to Parliament in a month, when the new budget is being debated. The campaign’s demands are far from radical, but despite their mainstream character, or perhaps precisely because of it, they has already man ..

Race to the Bottom: The Battle over Minimum Wage in Bulgaria

Ten years after Bulgaria joined the European Union as its poorest member, its economy works at two speeds, deepening the income gap between poor low-skilled workers and a handful of well payed employees working in the country’s booming areas such as IT and auto parts. The following article was originally published in Serbo-Croatian by the online platform, Bilten. Its English version is published here with the site’s kind permission. It is a truism that the wage is one of the most contested aspects in the relation between capitalists and workers. Nothing reveals better the fundamental incomprehensibility ..

Anger from the underground: Bulgarian miners in wildcat strike

Note from the LeftEast editors: we republish this material originally posted  by evgeni5150 on libcom.org  The miners from Obrochishte – the third largest manganese mine in the world, located in eastern Bulgaria, went on wildcat strike on 01.06.2017. The strike was supported by the anarchosyndicalists from ARS (Avtonomen Rabotnicheski Sindikat / Autonomous Workers Union), while the bureaucratic union in the mine opposed the strike and sided with the bosses. 17 miners from the day shift refused to come out of the mine and stayed underground for 5 days. All the workers from the other shifts, around 150 p ..

Bulgaria’s New Cabinet and EPP’s Flirt with the Extreme Right

A version of this article was first published in Bulgarian at Baricada. Two weeks ago, on May 4, flamboyant Bulgarian rightist leader Boyko Borisov swore in for his third time to serve as the country’s prime minister. A return to the helm of power in Bulgaria is not an honour that anyone else can boast for the period since 1989. In November 2016, Borisov filed the resignation of his second cabinet, after the candidate of his political party GERB, Tsetska Tsacheva, was defeated in Bulgaria’s presidential elections by Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) nominee Rumen Radev. That was a move familiar from 2013, when ..

Antarctica: the Last Frontier of Bulgaria’s Colonialist Dream

The following article was originally published in Serbo-Croatian by the online platform, Bilten. Its English version is published here with the site’s kind permission. Around mid-December 2016 a news piece announced that a monument to the Cyrillic alphabet is to be erected in Antarctica. It is a joint Bulgarian-Mongolian project. The news about the monument raised some eyebrows as to the practicality of having a monument to the alphabet in a place with hardly anyone around to appreciate it. I will leave the issue of the “metaphysical” monuments and structures devoid of any function beyond a pure self-refer ..

“Of the past let us make a crime…”: Anti-Populism and the Politics of Memory in Bulgarian Liberalism

Notes from the LeftEast editors: this article is published in cooperation with Bilten.Org where it appeared in Serbo-Croatian on the 12/16/2016. Note from the author on the English language publication: In this article I focus on the latest chapter of the ongoing ‘memory wars’ in Bulgarian public and political life. I tease out the demophobic implications of the latest amendment in the 2000 Law that declares Communism a criminal regime. Anti-communism was the staple food of the 1990s democratic opposition: “democracy” was conceived as anti-communist by definition. The more time passes, however, t ..

The Waste Commodity Chains

This article is published in collaboration with the regional portal Bilten. We are habituated to think that polluting things such as garbage normally fall on minorities to deal with in order to keep them as far from us as possible. Thus, conveniently the most “polluting” social classes are tasked with the organization of garbage. For example, in Bulgaria it is the urban Roma work who predominantly for the garbage collection companies. Their symbolic position in social space (as the lowliest and most marginal “caste”) is completed by their inhabiting the physically most marginal spaces in the city and havi ..

The presidential elections in Bulgaria between systemic nationalism and the anti-systemic vote

November 13th of this year saw the second round of presidential elections in Bulgaria. With an overwhelming majority, General Rumen Radev became Bulgaria’s fifth elected president. the outcome of the presidential elections in Bulgaria came to light. We take this opportunity to analyze the political assumptions surrounding the election results. There are multiple ways to interpret the electoral outcomes. First, as a victory of Russia over the European Union. Second, as rise of the anti-systemic vote (usually meant as a reaction against GERB [2]). Third, as change in the balance between the now-neoliberal-former ..