EU’s East: It’s time to let the healing begin!

It’s curious how the serious personal deviations of some candidates doesn’t seem to prevent the people from voting for them in the Romanian local elections. Neighbouring Bulgaria is another example of that current. For a number of years Bulgarians have been electing an authoritarian gangster to the countrys’ top position. Now protests have finally broken out, but how much hope can they offer amidst the catastrophic Bulgarian transition?

The Barricade’s podcast continues to deliver a fresh portion of analysis and comments on the most striking political events and processes around Eastern Europe. 

On the 4 October 2020 show Maria Cernat continued to discuss the outcome of the local elections that were held in Romania at the end of September It turned out that, apart from the results for the various parties – virtually all of them right-wing – there are other, truly hair-raising statistics. For example, what is the percentage of sex offenders among the newly elected mayors? 

There are also national, ethnic and socio-cultural aspects that pass unnoticed, yet they seem to be pretty symbolic of the general decadence that Romanian society has to endure. The keyword here seems to be ‘self-humiliation’. Why do Romanians like to elect German or French citizens as leaders of local governments but demonstrate contempt for the Roma population, hatred towards Russians and silly condescension towards many other nations in Eastern Europe?

In his turn Boyan Stanislavski talked about the recent events in Bulgaria, the ongoing daily protests against the right-wing government of Boyko Borisov and the corrupt, oligarchic horror that has been developing and strengthening in this country for the last three decades. While the Bulgarian people are taking to the streets in numbers and have been protesting for nearly 90 days in a row, the European Union is preoccupied with Belarus, which is not a member. Yet, in Bulgaria, people demonstrate for very similar reasons – an authoritarian gangster at the top ruining the country and society and virtually no opposition media. Bulgaria is one of the countries of the former Eastern Bloc where capitalist restoration has brought the most catastrophic results. A third of the entire population has emigrated, infrastructure is falling apart, industry has ceased to exist, agriculture is fully controlled by a handful of families, and illiteracy is booming among the Roma population. What is the way forward? Is there one?

Watch the entire conversation on our YouTube channel and don’t forget to subscribe to and like the video. This will help us make our analysis more popular, and more people will have the chance to get familiar with the political, social and economic problems in Eastern Europe.

Photo: A lion before the Court of Justice in Sofia symbolises the Bulgarian state. For three months protesters have been demanding the resignation of the prime minister and of the chief prosecutor, claiming that under their rule the oligarchy has taken over the state instutions (source: Pixabay, CC0)

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