In Darwin Bulgarians (Do Not) Trust

Novinite Insider » EDITORIAL | Author: Milena Hristova |November 29, 2011, Tuesday // 21:29| Views: | Comments: 4
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Bulgaria: In Darwin Bulgarians (Do Not) Trust

In the never-ending annals about Europe's debt crisis, Bulgaria normally does not feature visibly. But recent suggestions that the poorest country in the European Union could escape the financial crisis unscathed thanks to - surprise, surprise – its weakness have left me grinding my teeth in frustration.

Is a transformation of Darwin's "survival of the fittest" into a "survival of the weakest" theory possible? Hardly, even in the world of economics.

Some of the points of the new weird theory however have been reasonable. Unlike its neighbors Bulgarians were spared radical austerity programs, which are implemented to help the economy pick up. Bulgaria's economy was driven by rising exports. Its debt-to-GDP ratio is low.

But that sounded reassuring ten months ago.

Now Bulgaria's economic recovery has slowed to the weakest over the last four quarters. The forecast is gloomy as the euro crisis dents demand for Bulgarian exports. Consumer spending shrinks too. Savings are the only thing on the rise, but the joy those figures bring is undermined by the fact that the lion's share of the stashed money is in the hands of a meager 5% of the population.

Truth is Finance Minister Djankov's belt-tightening policy created the illusion of a healthy economy on the back of the people. The average Bulgarian is three times poorer than the average EU citizen and is just getting poorer.

Bulgaria's economy is free falling and it is only a question of time for it to translate into a heavily stratified society.

Bulgaria can hardly boast of having a market economy. Its economy is built on political circles, upon which the economic circles rise.

The model could eventually – as I have recently warned in another article - come close to a feudal society, in which the boss and his closest aides are well off, bossing around the thousands of dependent and equal ordinary citizens.

True, the most serious problems in the eurozone have been triggered by and are now concentrated among the old members of the eurozone and the euro bloc as a whole. True, Bulgaria is a country with healthy figures, which sounds nice to the bureaucrats even though they know very well people here are suffering and the country can neither heal nor kill the European Union.

But to say that Bulgaria will come out of the crisis as a winner and be cited as an example is baffling, at least my, logic.

Nip/Tuck seems to sum up best Djankov's philosophy - a great philosophy if you don't care about the human cost and know that you can leave the sinking ship at any moment.

The state will survive, but what about its people?

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» To the forumComments (4)
spotty - 30 Nov 2011 // 14:24:48

Milena Hristiva

The article started well... and after the title it just fell off the cliff.

Dear Madame, you should read your Darwin before using Darwin!
Survival of the Fittest is not survival of the Fattest!!! Until you understand what the theory of Darwin actually means, you should not use it to just write yet another useless populist article.
It is totally ridiculous for you to write about manipulation of the media, when you yourself are showing the same signs of manipulating the readers and the public with ideas which obviously even you don't understand.

Shame, because this used to be a good source of real information and very good analysis

buttman - 30 Nov 2011 // 13:45:13

milena yes the political elite will just jet off to another homeland, after miking Bg dry and
reducing it to Haiti like Tsiganistan...
but the poorer the people become the more the political elite can beg and then steal from Eu and UN aid agencies,

bogomil - 30 Nov 2011 // 11:47:04

I agree with Mr Naydenov's thoughts on this article, and on the questions which Ms Hristova raises.. It is not so common for a journalist to speak of certain issues in Bulgaria..

tnaidenov - 30 Nov 2011 // 02:33:46

To the author of the article:

Dear Madam,

I praise you for expressing your discontent at the current Bulgarian government's economic policy. At least one person seems to have the courage to stand against the Borisov-led manipulation of the media.

Nevertheless, I would like to challenge your position by asking you what constructive suggestion for improvemet you give in your article. You site austerity being done on the back of Bulgarians. Even if this statement bears some truth, I would more tend to argue that Bulgarians chose this path given their fear from the 1996 economic crisis. In any case, what exactly do you suggest that the Bulgarian government does at this moment, when the entire world is struck by the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and where clearly the slightest increase in government spending would be considered by the markets as an irresponsible behaviour with dire consequences? Do not get me wrong, there is probably no bigger opponent of our government's financial policy, which has left sectors such as education and research structurally underfunded. Nevertheless, the most reasonable action on behalf of our government in this case would be to promote one of the few achievements Bulgarians have made for the 20 years of transition - clean fiscal books even if it is at the price of people's incomes. Now, when we have the chance to shine in the EU at least with one aspect, which could by the way lead to an improved investment climate and a better economic image for the country as one of the few stable spots in Europe, we turn self-destructive yet again (a typical Bulgarian trait). True, Bulgarians are the poorest in EU, but how do you suggest to improve the situation? Your non-constructive article in a respected and read-abroad news agency at a time of economic crisis, is to say the least an irresponsible act. Afterall we are all in the same boat, are we not?

As for your pity towards the poor Bulgarians and how they are exploited by a middle-age-type oligarchy, who do you think should initiate the change - those who have the power and would naturally not let it go, or those who do not have it and have the interest to change it? When the population just elected Mr. Diankov's friend, Mr. Plevneliev, for president, I am not sure Bulgarians are to be pitied except for our slave mentality. Afterall a market economy is usually constructed bottom-up, where people fight for their rights and for their income. Bashing at the government without suggesting any better solutions is not the way to build such an economy.

Otherwise, again congratulations for your bold move to criticize the government not only in this article but also in all your publications which I follow closely on I could see it must be difficult to stand up against the powerful influence of political circles on the media and against a disillusioned and manipulated people.

Best regards,

Tzvetan Naydenov

Bulgaria news (Sofia News Agency - is unique with being a real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news. The editorial staff also publishes a daily online newspaper "Sofia Morning News." (Sofia News Agency - and Sofia Morning News publish the latest economic, political and cultural news that take place in Bulgaria. Foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and World News in Brief are also part of the web site and the online newspaper. News Bulgaria