Is Bulgaria a Tolerant Country?

9 12 2011

With the end of this project just around the corner, I just want to regret that the lack of time hasn’t let my talk about the health system situation. Forgive me for hasn’t given you any information about the topic. Despite I’m pretty happy about how the rest of the topics have been developed.

I put a lot of attention in the education. I have to recognize that this topic really obsess me. I strongly believe that a country able to generate a well educated citizenship has made more than half of the work to achieve a healthy democracy.

I would like providing more information about the current economic situation because I didn’t want to turn my blog into a boring compilation of numbers. Despite of this, following the statements of Ivo, Manager of Fenix Hotel that we found out that Blagoevgrad is a city with huge possibilities but still need some investments.

A paused reflection of the roads state and other infrastructure was also an obligation, due to the big improvements which every member of the European Union have experimented in their first years since the entrance.

In my opinion my initial purpose has been developed properly. The topic is so huge, and consequences for Blagoevgrad people to entry in the EU are so deep that it’s impossible to summarize it in a four months project.  In spite of all you can find here a global vision of the improvements and the future steps the EU will bring to Blago.

My last post was a bit controversial. I wrote a short post giving my own opinion about religious tolerance in Sofia, which is that the capital of Bulgaria is a pretty plural city with different and varied religious places. I knew thanks to a comment that the situation could be less idyllic than it could seem.

With the intention to get a larger knowledge of the topic I have been interviewing several people. All of them whether Bulgarians or foreigners were young people, so probably this post would not be enough to clarify the real tolerance situation on the country.

Neither could be enough to express the opinion of a whole generation, because the research has not been so deep. But I still think that there is really interesting to check how different profiles of people perceive the topic, probably influenced by their own conditions. In the video below you can hear the opinion of Nadia (Mexico), Hristo (Bulgaria), Viktor (Bulgaria), Ali (Turkey) and Nico (France):





Citizens are the most important element in the fight against corruption

14 10 2011

At the beginning of my work I made an interview with Viktor Ivaylov Angelw, a political science student who is living in Blagoevgrad. He said something that it really shocked me. “Corruption problems have to be solved by Bulgarian people by themselves.” He holds that citizens are the most important element in the fight against corruption. I collected in the video below some pictures of Blagoevgrad people. They are called to be the real heroes, whom we must recognize the ability to change their own country.





Schengen will have to wait

3 10 2011

Finland and Netherlands blocked Sept. 22 the entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the passport-free Schengen area.  Thegoverments of Finland and Netherlands argue that for an efficient entry into Schengen, both countrie
s should improve the judiciary system, fighting corruption and organized crime. The blocked is not definitive; the issue will be discussed again at the EU summit to be held this month.

When Bulgaria and Romania joined to the European Union in 2007, the EU members promised them a place in Schengen. However, some members consider these two countries aren´t ready to open their borders to the rest EU. Jerzy Miller,

Interior Minister of Poland –whose country holds the EU´s rotating presidency,-  have declared that Bulgaria and Romania had made “huge progress”. But it seems there still are not enough improvements, at least that´s the opinion of Finland and Netherlands.

“Imagine you have a door with eight of the best locks in the world. But before that door is standing someone who lets everybody in, then you have a problem,” said Dutch Immigration Minister Gerd Leers.

Most of members support the integration in two phases without preset dates. A first step would involve the opening of air and sea borders. And second, open the land borders.

It´s not the first time European Union have had problems with Schengen area this year. France and Italy tried to limit the freedom to travel inside Europe at the beginning of the year, when a lot of immigrants from Tunisia arrived to the Italian coast.

In the image below you can check the current situation of Schengen area:

I was in one of Bulgarian´s borders last week. Especifically in the frontier with Turkey where you have to pass a lot of controls. It was a really annoying experience.

You can hear below the opinion of Andrej Hocevar, one of the persons who was travelling with me.





“Corruption problems have to be solved by Bulgarian people by themselves”

16 09 2011

Interview with a political science student from the American Univesity in Bulgaria (Blagoevgrad)

Victor is 19 years old and he has just started to study political science. He is optimistic about the entry of Bulgaria in the EU. He maintains that the European grants are properly invested. “Adopt the Euro will be good because it would improve the situation of Bulgaria. It will allow easier trades and travel to other European countries without change money.” he declared. However he is aware that the Euro would raise the prices, but he think it will not a problem if the salaries  also rise.

Victor says that:  “The crisis haven’t really hit Bulgaria, as much that is has hit wealthier countries in the West. Because there are so many investments here”

He says that the Bulgarian government is corrupt as the rest of governments around the world. But he trust in the ability of Bulgarian people to change their own country. “Corruption problems have to be solved by Bulgarian people by themselves, by good people who would stop the corruption” he said.

Finally he thinks thatBulgarianeeds at least 4 or 5 years to assume European government functions: “Bulgariais not trusted as a country without corruption and it would not be a benefit for Bulgaria and the EU”.

Listen the whole interview with Viktor: