"Bulgaria’s demonstrators have discovered just how difficult it can be to bring change, even in a country that has been a member of the European Union for six years", writes the American daily —Read the full article on The New York Times (en) here.
The endless political deadlock here has fueled deep disillusionment among frustrated Bulgarians who had hoped European membership would mean an open road toward a more prosperous, equitable and transparent system. And it has given them a more realistic sense of what membership in the union […] can bring.
It has also underscored the seeming powerlessness of the European bloc, despite sharp rebukes from Brussels and its diplomats and the suspension of some aid, to leverage its influence in Bulgaria for change. […]
Virtually nobody in Bulgaria thinks that the European Union membership has not brought many benefits or that it was a mistake. […] Unlike in Western Europe, there are no noisy euroskeptics clamoring for exit. […]But Bulgaria has consistently remained at the bottom of the European Union’s poverty tables. In December, Transparency International, a Berlin-based advocacy group that monitors corruption, ranked Bulgaria as Europe’s most corrupt country after Greece. […]
“Society is very disillusioned,” Nikolay Staykov, the boss of a small tech company in Sofia who has set up a website, noresharski.com, a reference to Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski, to help organize protests and provide an alternative source of information to pro-government news outlets. “There were lots of unrealistic expectations. We no longer expect that a magic European wand will change everything.” […]
Articles from Presseurop on the situation in Bulgaria: