Bulgaria's Strategy for Regional Underdevelopment
Recent news of the dire condition of the Bulgarian State Railways company bring to mind a well-known model of state neglect and tolls yet another chime for the very possibility of Bulgaria's development as an integral country.
The first part of this model is years-long neglect, which also includes years-long overlooking by the state of chronic sapping of assets from its own companies.
The logical result is a condition similar to the one that the State Railways have now been revealed to be in - debts tens of millions of euro, dilapidated infrastructure, rotting cars, outflow of clients.
Then - the next step is liquidation, not straight out, but perhaps by means of reduction or privatization. It is only logical since the state has already for years lost interest in providing even the basic amount of care about something that is supposed to be of service for all citizens.
And this is the most tragic of all. Cases such as the Bulgarian State Railways, or the Bulgarian Posts, which are by the way now rumored to be up for privatization in the near future, must be regarded not just as business actors offering services to consumers - they are in essence means actively developed by the state to offer connection amongst all of its citizens.
That is, in cases such as railways, roads, the mail - or the school system for that matter - you have the essential role of the state to bring people together into a nation. This is a function that the Bulgarian state has chronically been giving up in the last 20 years or so, no matter the particular cabinet in office.
With talk about some 200 train lines waiting to be closed down across the country, one is left with little to wonder about the fate of remote, already depopulated regions.
This is yet another step in the consistent strategy of multiple governments to turn Bulgaria into a collection of 2-3 major cities inhabited by thoroughly desocialized individuals - and surrounded by a desert shrubland.
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