A Reality Check for Bulgaria's President
Bulgaria's Presidents have enjoyed high approval ratings most of the time, mainly due to the fact that heads of state in the country have largely, though not entirely, representative and ceremonial functions.
Former Regional Development Minister Rosen Plevneliev, who took over as President in January, has proven to be no exception, as polls show he can count on a better support than Bulgarian politicians with much more experience. If he manages to stay clear of major gaffes, he will surely enjoy a rather calm time as President.
However, Plevneliev appears to have started losing concentration a bit too early in his five-year term in office.
On Tuesday, he produced an embarrassing gaffe by "proclaiming" Vaclav Klaus President of Poland.
On Wednesday, he claimed that the government's decision to scrap the Belene Nuclear Power Plant project has been made in a "transparent" way, even though what the cabinet did was obviously the opposite of transparent.
Ahead of being elected, Plevneliev promised he would not fawn to the centrist-right GERB party that endorsed him – but he certainly does not seem to keep that promise.
On Thursday, Plevneliev revealed a bunch of pretty unrealistic infrastructural dreams.
"Sofia can turn into the only city on the planet where people can go skiing by subway," he said.
Sounds a bit like Ostap Bender's idea to organize an intergalactic chess tournament in Vasyuki.
Surely, the President has not done any fatal mistakes over the past two months, but he needs to gain more focus if he wants to rise above mediocrity and achieve a real impact.