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Bulgaria Elections: Comment on Interesting Times

With less than 24 hours to go, amidst taunting, bickering and downright slander, here are the latest scores on the Bulgarian election. As if there were such!   We "live in interesting times" is perhaps the old Chinese curse, maybe now coming to haunt the people of Bulgaria? I'm not sure whether 'interesting times' is sufficient to describe the financial circumstances of most of us ordinary mortals living in the country but it can certainly describe the position of the parliamentary hopefuls in Bulgaria as they play out their 'interesting' pitch to get back in or into government and we watch on, dumbfounded, at their posturings, reactions and interactions.

The 'doo-doo rhetoric' from a self-opinionated and inflated, plus incredibly entitled, culture of government officials, which feed on the populace and on Europe, is certainly hitting the fan. Thank goodness.

One minute it is 'Boyko' slamming the current government, the next it is Stanishev ridiculing him: a bit later it is Ataka saying they were innocents, then it is criminals standing as MP's to gain political protection against their fraudelent crimes... not to mention cheap vote-buying. Wow! This is nothing more than typical election time: simply all political posturing. According to media, the end of the world in Bulgaria 'is nigh' according to each individual political party. Goodness me!

Many Bulgarians are looking really hard for future hope, peering around for trustworthy souls yet staring down the decolletage of women dresssed in what they believe to be western 'style' and thus up to 'nine-pins', along Vitosha Boulevard. Many are extremely tired of hearing the never-ending posturing, just wanting to close up, put the 'fall-out' tin hat on, keep digging their veg patches and looking after their family and kids.

Yet many Bulgarians forget that the strange thing is the quality of life in Bulgaria is extraordinarily good, apart from silly governement glitches which seem to be standard across the globe anyway. Who doesn't live in a country where the governing rich become richer at the expense of the rest? Don't tell me you've never had a government operating within the pockets of businesses or wanting to just put a good face to the rest of the world: it exists everywhere. There is also a freedom here which simply does not happen in western Europe or the 'good ol' Us of A'. A freedom to live your life as you wish. Perhaps Bulgaria wants western standards whilst maintaining this incredible individual freedom - hey, not likely! There is always a price to pay.

This country has one of the best chances in the world. Banks have never over-lent, most properties are owned outright, people live within their means, pretty much no credit or credit cards, a well educated work force, the countryside is breathtaking and the lifestyle is unbelievable to a western person.

Bulgaria has everything.... IF...  only they would let go of the mentality that they are downtrodden and just get on with it, if only they would put forward the best they have instead of moaning and putting forward 'cheap', if only they would complain about lack of decent service and quality, if only they didn't think that somebody else owes them a living with a whole dosh load of money too boot, if only they would look forward instead of back...

The ups and downs of coming out of communism (which, by the way, is some time past now), wanting the very best of everything but not wanting to work for it, as if somebody owes and is obliged to provide: and now looking to the EU as if they are obligated to make our life better, is not a good attitude.

Like it or not, in Bulgaria we really are living through 'interesting times' and probably most of us crave those soft times when everything seemed calm and thus easier and so much happier. The whole financial axis of the world has changed and everyone is re-evaluating their lives and attitudes. Time for Bulgaria to do so too.

"May you live in interesting times". We do, unquestionably. Whether the Bulgarians make of them a blessing or a curse is, in the main part, up to them. This is a chance.

It is reported that this was the first of three curses of more and more severity, the other two being:

- may you come to the attention of those in authority
- may you find what you are looking for

In line with this prophetic statement, the Bulgarian government and its 'fat' officials are at last coming to the attention of those in authority and who decide whether they will fail or succeed for the good of this beautiful country and if / how they will be replaced by far better alternatives - these authorities are the populace, the electorate, and to a great extent the EU.

The most comforting thought for the long-term is that Bulgaria herself and her people will eventually find and get what they are looking for - a balanced, fair and transparent government which serves the people well for a successful,  environmentally and financially secure future - and a people who will truly democratically chose how they live and work for a future place at the forefont of the world.