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Commenting article: Bulgaria, Romania EU Entry Slammed as Huge Mistake

The European Union did the right thing by deciding to let Bulgaria and Romania join the block, but the decision was taken too early, Prof. Werner Weidenfeld, one of the most outspoken critics of the two countries accession, said in an exclusive interview for

According to the professor of political science at Munich University, Germany, the main reasons for Bulgaria's and Romania's entry to the European Union were political ones and were also a kind of award for the stability of both countries during the 1990s.

"Problematic was the fact to announce their accession without checking if they fulfill the criteria for membership completely," Werner Weidenfeld said.

Robin - 23 Apr 2009 // 11:05:22

"Even in the middle of the week during day time, all the cafes are full of people..."

Same in Plovdiv. But to be honest I think most locals round here if offered double the money on the condition that they are forced to be twice as productive (hypothetical I know), they wouldn't take it.

Taro - 22 Apr 2009 // 16:39:16

Hi CreepyS,

wow, sounds very interesting what are you doing.

It's funny, people in Bulgaria always ask, why their country is so poor and others are richer. The answer is not so difficult, but more difficult is to change habits.

I mean, it is also ok to show up at 9:50h, when you stay until 20h or you do the work so quickly that you need only 6h for what other take 8h. But this is hardly the case.

In Sofia the situation is still better then the rest of the country. When I come to Sofia to visit the agencies I work for, I see motivated and skilled people. Some worked for a couple of years aborad.

In Varna there are just a few people who deserve their money. Even in the middle of the week during day time, all the cafes are full of people...


CreepyS - 22 Apr 2009 // 16:17:24

Hi Taro,

Yes, I came back 3 months ago and work in one of the institutes of the bulgarian academy of sciences - I model the relationships between the mechanical properties and the microstructure of all kinds of materials, including nanocomposites, also did other stuff, again using mathematical modeling and computer simulation.

This is used a lot where you have high quality production and is a major scientific tool in general, not only in the industry. So I had a good life so far.
Helas, not in BG - we have to do tremendous work here. Maybe the smartest people I worked with, like ideas and organization and indeed reliability, are the Germans - we dont even speak about productiveness.

But in BG nothing is the same - I went once in an office building in plain center of sofia - all were of German and other foreign companies and people were still showing up at work at 9:50am although they have really good salaries.

So there is definitely a mentality problem here. And a sponsorship prolem, but while we can always try to find sponsors, little can be done with the mentality.

NellieotAmerica - 22 Apr 2009 // 16:16:35

It's okay, because Madame Merkel is stimulating Germany and they can use the stimulus bill to buy machinery to dig holes and pay workers, and pay another guy to buy another machine and go fill the hole back up.

Where's my Nobel prize?

NellieotAmerica - 22 Apr 2009 // 16:11:33

"Now the western european (mostly net donours of EU funds, with Germany on the top) can't sell their products to the eastern markets anymore, while at home more people are loosing jobs. And also there is election time in Germany."

We're all being fleeced here, oh wait, that's a sheep joke, crap......Germans are very smart folks. See how fast they cut payroll in response to slack demand. Bulgaria is full of mismanaging farm tard idiots. Let that place burn.

JKS - 22 Apr 2009 // 16:08:23

There is a mysterious phenomenon that is connected to brushing ones teeth and drinking orange juice.

If I get up in the morning and drink a glass of orange juice before I brush my teeth it tastes refreshingly sweet in a citrusy way, BUT if I brush my teeth first, that same sweet orange juice is unpalatably bitter...

Nelly, you recently you seem to be brushing your teeth before reading the SNA juice (metaphorically speaking).

NellieotAmerica - 22 Apr 2009 // 16:00:26

Creep, you sound surprisingly bitter this morning. lol

Taro - 22 Apr 2009 // 15:26:40

HI Creepy,

quite interesting your point. What is your institute doing? Did I understand you right, that you came 3 months ago to Bulgaria?

The complaining about skilled labourforce I hear from every part. I work in the PR/Advertising/Internet and Design branch, but also know people working in the energy sector.

Everywhere you hear that they can't find good people. Instead there are folks, coming for an interview, saying that they want just a job, while asked why they are interested in the position. People who have difficult to find even the office, if they are appearing. Some might have some skills but asking for sky high salaries, not mentioned company cars and other benefits. But when they are hired, they come and go whenever they want and do everything but working.

People always looking for work until they find a job.


CreepyS - 22 Apr 2009 // 14:31:16

I have also to learn again how to take money that are not mine - last time it was 2 leva and I was 11 years old so I forgot how to do that "effectively".

CreepyS - 22 Apr 2009 // 14:27:31


I personally do - in less than 3 months that Im working here I brought to my institute several thousands of euros using my connections from other EU countries organizing things and creating new contacts because the lack of money and the isolation are stunning in what is left from our scientific research. but we need more, much more.
Still didnt find talented people to send them to do a PhD abroad because there is no interest and anyway I wont send proteges or idiots. So I do what i can at the moment and without much help outside my job.

Robin - 22 Apr 2009 // 14:00:30

I would be surprised if BG was anywhere near paying in as much as it receives, even after al the funding cuts (although will be happily proved wrong if someone can provide the data). You have to remember that the funds being cut are ones with strings attached and which simply run out after a while. eg PHARE and SAPARD are both transitional funds I believe, which need to be used within the transition period (maybe 10 years). After that they simply dissapear. Since they are now blocked and Bulgaria is nearing the end of the transition period, these funds will be lost. Other funds like infrastructure funds are generally not with strings attached and will be paid out sooner or later. Please correct me someone if this wrong - but that's my understanding.

Here's some data from the infallible wikipedia :-)

BG will be a net beneficiary of 10B EUR in the next few years. Obviously that figure will now be reduced, but not by 8B EUR!


"Also besides having some EU money stolen are there any other negative ramifications of BG being in the EU?"

I can think of no negative ramifications in joining the EU for BG. The EU provides stability, keeps the politicians on their toes (ok tries to), enables Bulgarians to study abroad and gain meaninggul degrees, makes investment in BG a lot easier than it was for other EU states and so on. The list is endless. It's only a bit of a pain in the ass for the politicians who now have to pretend to behave, but even they benefit with their dodgy deals (at the expense of others in BG who therefore benefit less).

Taro - 22 Apr 2009 // 13:52:42

Creepy, you sound quite resignated...

But at least you also mentioned that more people are concerned about the things, which is even better than to resignate and do nothing.


CreepyS - 22 Apr 2009 // 12:33:56


Thats the talk we talk for years but it still remains only talk, no major improvements so far even though more people see where the problems are. apparently we can only see the problems but cannot propose and execute solutions that work.

Taro - 22 Apr 2009 // 12:06:48

As long as there is something like EU fonds, there were temptation to misuse it. The political will was always to balance the losses and to emphasize on other benefits due to the EU membership. Before Eastern Europe was welcomed because as new markets for the western products, which are facing saturated markets. So on the one hand those countries receive a lot of EU funds, but also buying western products with that money, so it went back to the sender, with some profit on top. Now the region falled hardly (Ungaria e.g., BG economy starts already to shrink, which will be worsen in the summer). Now the western european (mostly net donours of EU funds, with Germany on the top) can't sell their products to the eastern markets anymore, while at home more people are loosing jobs. And also there is election time in Germany. So people are quick to say, no more money for corrupt eastern european countries anymore.
The failure of the BG government not to speeden up reforms, so a lot of trust and credit is lost, which is in time of crises dearley needed.


CreepyS - 22 Apr 2009 // 11:43:28


Last time I checked it was about balanced - BG paid about as much fee for its EU membership as it received from EU. But if the EU withdraws some more funds, then we may become a net donor to the EU which doesnt make much sense for us, being the poorest one.

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