Tag Archives: Bulgaria

Blame It On Minorities Gets Votes In Bulgaria!

The world-wide recession has sparked a rise in racism and blame economic problems on the presence of ethnic minorities within a country. The recent election in Bulgaria witnessed a remarkable victory for right wing racist parties that used anti-Turkish rhetoric in seeking electoral victory. Ahmet Dogan, a Bulgarian politician who is of Turkish ethnicity and heads the Movement for Rights and Freedom (HOH) was the target of numerous attacks by the Order Law and Justice Party(RZ5) whose leader Yane Yanev ran on an anti-Turkish platform of blaming problems on that ethnic group. Sofia Mayor Boyko Borisov, was openly racist and termed Turks and Romas as the “bad human capital of Bulgaria.”

Among the victims in this victory by right wing racists is any hope of enabling Turkey to become a member of the European Union. Borisov, who is close to the ideas of French President Sarkozy in matters dealing with Turkey, made clear his views by saying, “I am convinced that Turkey will not meet the membership criteria for at least 20-30 more years.”
Hatred has won the battle in many parts of Europe during the past few months. The question is whether failure on the part of Obama to offer economic success will result in similar outcomes in America.

European Union Restricts East Europe Migration

There are members of the European Union and there are members who don’t exactly enjoy the same benefits of those who have been in the organization for years. Romania and Bulgaria gained entry a few years ago, but there are growing restrictions on allowing people from those nations to migrate west in search of jobs. A large number of EU nations have instituted restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians who seek to enter in order to obtain jobs, many of which are in the agriculture area. In gaining membership, Romania and Bulgaria accepted the right of other members to restrict people from their countries to emigrate for up to seven years which is not allowed for those who have been members for years.

The current financial crisis impacting European nations will undoubtedly lead to stricter laws banning east Europeans like those from Romania or Bulgaria to enter. All over the world, migrants are among the first to suffer the financial crisis. Of course, one issue is whether native born people will desire jobs in the field of agriculture.

Week Of Intolerance Draws To Close

We are just concluding a week of intolerance that was proclaimed by the Bulgarian National Union(BNU) a right wing bigoted anti-gay organization which urged Bulgarians to come out in force for the June 28th gay parade and do their best to be intolerant. The BNU website advertised, “be intolerant, be normal.” The extremist organization believes its nation since getting involved with things like the European Union has brought about “misery, poverty, and epidemic-high levels of homosexuality.” Gay groups during the parade did their best not to be intolerant and hoped that behaving in a civilized manner to those with whom one has disagreements is a more normal behavior than acting intolerant.

One must admit the BNU has a unique approach to getting across its views of hate. We hope the people of Bulgaria are normally tolerant and will accept gays within their midst. We believe it is abnormal to be normally intolerant.

Is There Racism In Bulgarian Sports?

Bulgarian sports groups held there first meeting to discuss the topic of racism. There have been occasions in which Bulgarian sport fans have made derogatory remarks to players on other teams, particularly those having players from Africa. According to Illa Liev, “the biggest problem in tackling racism is there is no precise definition of what exactly is a racist act.” He went on to describe an incident which he claims does not indicate racism in practice. “During the hearing a huge debate arose as to whether the monkey chants had to be treated as racist, is it enough to compare someone to an animal if you do not specify skin color? I can’t say there is racism in Bulgaria. I think most of the fans want to annoy and frustrate the opposition, they are trying to annoy the Bulgarian players as well as foreign ones.”

Mr. Liev made not mention as to whether or not Bulgarian fans give the monkey chant to Bulgarian players, one would assume not. I simply don’t believe Bulgarian sport groups have any contact with reality if they believe making monkey chants while black skin players are on the field has nothing to do with racism. Has anyone ever heard such chants uttered when players from Sweden are on the field?

Bulgarian Interior Minister Feels Under Appreciated

Roumen Petkov, Bulgarian Minister of the Interior sent off a blistering comment to members of the press for their failure to respect his efforts at reducing crime. He noted that murders and rapes were down as well as most categories of serious crime. The editors of the Sofia Echo had a somewhat different version of crime in Bulgaria. They noted that members of the Roma community and other ethnic minorities were still being abused including excessive use of force by the police. They pointed out there were 55 law suits against policemen for brutality and that the police had used rough measures in handling striking coal miners. As for the drop in crime, say the editors, “Rather it would seem that those involved in organized crime are growing increasingly sophisticated and subtle, infesting their activities within the formal economy.”

Abuse of members of the Roma community is common, not merely within Bulgaria, but throughout most of eastern Europe. There are simply too many reports of failure on the part of Bulgarian police to take decisive action against discrimination and hatred toward ethnic minorities.