Involving Roma People in Bulgarian Society

22 11 2011

Roma people could be the reason why Bulgaria is not still in the Schengen Zone. At least that’s the opinion of a large number of people from Blagoevgrad whom I have talked.

Some members of the European Union have had problems with Roma people before. France with his Prime Minister Nicolás Sarkozy ahead struggled for kick the gypsies from Romania out of his country. Roma people of Blagoevgrad have built a neighborhood in the outsiders of the city. You can even see it from the AUBG library. It’s paradoxical to have people living in cabanas without toilet, heating or running water one kilometer away from the dorms of a private university. The line between those who have nothing and those who live in comfort is often imperceptible. However still exists.

The solution for involving Roma people in Blagoevgrad community and in the EU could be in little initiatives as the one directed by Radoslav Asenov. They have started a new project for educating Roma kids.

I was covering a normal day in Asenov’s project with my colleges Micky Bumbar and Paulina Guerguieva. We were also in the Roma neighborhood where we had the chance to speak with the parents of the kids whom are attending Asenov’s education project.

You can see in the video below the news story we made.


A place where Asiatics and Europeans crossed their paths along centuries.

10 10 2011

I have written a bit about borders in this blog. Most times as a resource for separating countries. But the frontiers have not existed always. As a reflection I would like to show a video of the Bosphorus River (Istanbul).  It may seem like an alien topic for this blog. However, for Bulgarians is time to think about what a border really is.

Long time ago rivers and mountains like for example the Bosphorus or the Alps, were not a barrier for humanity but rather a meeting point. The Bosphorus is a place where Asiatic and Europeans crossed their paths along centuries.

When you are sailing this wonderful river, it is impossible don´t remember “The song of the Pirate” from José Espronceda, obviously if you have heard it before. It was written in another epoch, when the current discussions about the borders would be meaningless. When they had not defined limits between Europe and Asia.

The world has changed a lot, and nevertheless, Bosphorus is still the same river.

Bosphorus from JaviFdezDiaz on Vimeo.

Blagoevgrad City Council has to create more tourist attractions

10 10 2011

In last days we are receiving a large amount of information about the Bulgarian borders problems. With the intention to know how these issues affects to Blagoevgrad economy I visited Fenix Hotel, where I could talk with the manager. He told me closed borders are a big problem for the tourism industry of the city, because it prevents the arrival of foreign tourists.

Since the entry of Bulgaria in the EU there are more customers coming to Fenix Hotel, but his manager recognizes that Blagoevgrad needs to be a little bit cleaner. He defends that the City Council has to create more tourist attractions and invest more money in media advertisements.

He would like to have open borders in Bulgaria but he actually knows that this can bring some problems, as exist with the African immigrants arriving from Greece.  However he thinks it is worth having open borders because it will be very beneficial for the city and his economy.

He doesn´t know too much about Schengen, but he thinks that any change to facilitate the movement of people would be great for the tourism industry in Blagoevgrad.

Listen the whole interview with the Fenix Hotel manager below: