Air Force Tu-154

Novinite Insider » EDITORIAL | Author: Ivan Dikov |February 1, 2008, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 1
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Bulgaria: Air Force Tu-154 Photo by Nadya Kosteva (Sofia Photo Agency)

On Wednesday Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov made it all the way halfway to Mexico for an official visit together with a 50-member delegation of high-ranking Bulgarian public figures. The critically important Bulgarian-Mexican relations, however, were dealt a deadly blow for the President never reached his destination.

His plane had a problem with the front wheel carrier so it had to land on the Azores after flying around for 5 hours to burn its fuel before landing could be attempted. Some claim the problem was caused by a bird which got stuck in the wheel carrier, allegedly on purpose.

Luckily, Parvanov stayed out of trouble. He hanged out together with his high-ranking hang-outing delegation for a while on the Azores, then in Lisbon, and eventually showed up in Sofia well and alive.

Some insightful Bulgarian journalists, however, quickly figured that something is rotten in the state of Bulgaria. They remembered the main responsibilities of the Bulgarian Vice-President are to 1) pardon, i.e. let loose inveterate criminals; and 2) hope that the President dies so that he can become President. Could that kamikaze bird have had something to do with the VP?...

The current VP Angel Marin, now a major-general in the reserve, graduated with a gold medal from the Leningrad Artillery School back in the good old Warsaw Pact days, and used to be commander-in-chief of the Bulgarian Missile and Artillery Forces when we still had them.

Therefore, the conspiracy scenario does not seem very credible for two reasons. First, the VP Marin stated he felt deep disgust for the way his name was involved in the affair. Second, given his background he should know better how to shoot down a plane instead of engaging in a seditious conspiracy with a kamikaze bird.

Perhaps there really was a technical problem. The plane is a 30-year old Tu-154 from the days of the communist dictator Comrade Zhivkov, and has a large "Made in the USSR" stamp on it. Rumor has it the President uses this plane because of a secret clause in the South Stream gas transit pipeline agreement signed during Putin's recent visit to Bulgaria. It obliges Parvanov to use the same plane for 30 more years to advertise Russian aircraft industry around the world by attempting to carry out official state visits with it. In return, Bulgaria might some day get some good deal from Moscow. Or maybe it is just still the old trite Slavic solidarity motive. Who knows?

Whatever it is, it better be worth it as because of the Soviet machine, the president of the newest EU member had to adopt a strategy similar to that of the US armed forces against Japan in World War II known as "island hopping". His plane was scheduled to stop for refueling twice on its way to Mexico - first at the Azores, then at the Bermudas.

Fortunately the kamikaze bird chasing the plane all the way from VP Marin's office window, managed to catch up with it after the first refueling at the Azores. Had the bird had to complete its mission somewhere in the Bermuda triangle, the President might really have been lost.

But as the old saying goes every cloud has a silver lining. Especially the clouds above the Azores. Parvanov's ambitions might have been soaring high earlier but now they did so for sure for about 5 hours. So did the ambitions of the other high-ranking high-soaring hang-outing Bulgarian officials.

The Bulgarian delegation managed to consume all the food and drinks aboard the government plane. Moreover, it took advantage of the situation by signing critical agreements with the Azorean authorities, which may prove to be even more critical than the ones that would have been signed with Mexico.

So even though the Mexican President Felipe Calderon had to chug a whole bottle of tequila as he had nothing else to do that night scheduled for Parvanov's visit, the Bulgarian-Azorean friendship was sealed forever. Parvanov also explored the westernmost part of the People's Republic of Europe (also called European Union), namely FajГЈ Grande, Azores, Portugal, for we EU nations are one big happy family now.

Now seriously speaking, the whole thing might have been a technical accident. On the other hand, however, it served to demonstrate the ridiculous absurdity of some aspects of Bulgaria's state and society. The VP should not be the only one to be disgusted with the whole thing for four reasons.

First, the Bulgarian government uses that plane! Second, (taking the first into account) Bulgaria again made a sight of itself as the story hit the news all over the world. Third, the President's visit to Mexico was ruined. Fourth, key Bulgarian media declared the VP was waiting for the President to die in order to fulfill the constitutional point of his office.

These four simple facts raise important questions about today's Bulgaria. Is it a viable state with responsible politicians and a sober civil society? Are the Tu-154 accident and its aftermath random events or the logical outcome of an all-out crisis of the nation, showing state and societal impotence?
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» To the forumComments (1)
just me - 5 Feb 2008 // 01:08:35

Congrats on an excellent article!
It was informative; plus- I love anything with a good conspiracy theory involving a bird protagonist!
Great stuff. :)

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