Bulgaria 2012: Apocalypse meets Idiocalypse
Now that election times are over, electoral fraud or not, the time of election promises is also over.
All of a sudden, both presidential candidates and candidates for mayors stopped wooing voters and Finance Minister Simeon Djankov appeared with a set of grim announcements.
Bulgarians, still in the grip of unproven and yet unrejected allegations of a fraudlent vote, were told to prepare for engine shutdown.
The first things to wave goodbye to were said to be emergency healthcare, railway transport, agriculture and the State Agency "State Reserve and War-time Stocks ".
With a view to the prolonged spell of financial gloom, the population was strongly advised to not get ill, to minimize travel and to pray that no war or natural disaster strikes.
Apart from that, there was no money for science or education, it appeared.
In order to avoid destroying the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), the masterminds decided to leave it on a shoestring budget.
It was also announced that university fees would be raised, forcing state funded students to cover 2/3 of their tuition expenses.
Back in February, close to 50% of Bulgarian youths at the university threshold were exposed as functionally illiterate.
A fact sheet revealed that every eight student consumed alcohol 10 or more times per month, while 65% reported drinking at least once per month.
The libraries students are supposed to rely on were shown to be tremendously under-resourced and outdated, depending on a zero budget for the past two years and a promise of BGN 500 000 for 2011.
If it is part of a mission, then it is on the verge of being accomplished- education in Bulgaria is dysfunctional, archaic, uncompetitive, and offers uncertain prospects, while access to information and knowledge requires purposeful efforts.
The system breeds citizens who buy an average 0.56 books per year, as compared to the 11-12 books bought by a citizen of a Western European country.
On the eve of 2012, the state is saying that it has nothing more to offer in terms of healthcare, education, infrastructure and social security and is ready to start selling or closing loss-making venues.
If it cannot take care of, let alone advance, the common good, why is it still called a state?
Why does it call elections?
Why does it collect taxes?
Well I for one won't miss the railways if they are to disappear. They are definitely the dirtiest trains I have ever had the misfortune to travel in. Someone on this forum described them as rolling toilets and that is an apt description.
People can take a bus, it's cleaner if not exactly squeaky clean. The buses are also faster so why would anyone want to take a train? Oh I forgot, you can't smoke on the bus. Too bad.