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Joanna Elmy @jomelmy
, 13 tweets, 21 min read Read on Twitter
Thread: While the world is shaken by the #murder of #Bulgarian journalist #ViktoriaMarinova, it might be a good time to talk about the country itself. #BG ranks lower in #PressFreedom than both #Hungary or #Poland. The country is the poorest and most corrupt in the #EU. 1/13
Yet, the #EU somehow does not think #Bulgaria is a big issue, due to the fact that PM (and ex-bodyguard of #Soviet General Secretary Todor Zhivkov) @BoykoBorissov "behaves", unlike #Orban and #Kaczyński, who openly challenge the Union. Borissov's party is also member of @EPP 2/13
#MediaFreedom-wise, 80% of the print media in the country is owned by MP #Peevski, whose pro-gov tabloids (with the generous help of other pro-gov actors who get nice rewards in return such as property #Blaskov) stifle #opposition and manage vast #antiEU smear campaigns 3/13
A good example is that #ViktoriaMarinova's work with @BivolBg was barely mentioned in any news announcements in #BG. @BivolBg, alongside @dnevnik, @CapitalBg, @Mediapoolbg and @Terminal3bg are often part of smear campaigns in pro-gov media 4/13
Furthermore, the erosion of some of the main pillars of society in #BG, such as #HigherEducation (plagued by corruption and under-reformed), #healthcare (same), #justice (filled with government's apparatchiks) means #society cannot participate in a #democratic process 5/13
Major parties #BSP part of @PES_PSE & #GEB @EPP vote the "important" legislation together, while staging a "rivalry" for the public. This includes the restart of #NuclearPlant #Belene, a pro-Russian project, and the infamous #SavePirin or repealing #IstanbulConvention. 6/13
Recent #legislation changes include raising the taxes for appeal by citizens in court, making it harder for #BG #NGO's and #citizens to fight government and seek #justice. This is not all. For all #BG legislation issues I recommend following @emilageorgiev 7/13
On a smaller scale, #local mayors, chief #police officers and #municipal workers are often appointed according to a spoils system, creating a crony democracy. The local #economy is often dependent on them + local #thugs. People have 0 choice & flee to bigger cities. 8/13
#Investors are fleeing #Bulgaria as well. The climate of #corruption, lack of #JudicialReform, #MediaFreedom & #Institutional stability mean that #Bulgaria's economy is surviving on #EUfunds + #immigrants sending money back home. They are still the biggest foreign investor. 9/13
All of these factors = immigration + low turnout. If the #EU's argument for supporting #Borissov is his #legitimacy as an elected representative, they should take into account widespread #voterfraud + little more than 50% turnout (if we are to trust #gov statistics) 10/13
If the argument for inaction is fear of losing #BG to #Russia, #BG has never been "won". Often referred to as #Russia's Trojan Horse in the EU, #BG has been one of #Putin's best money donors post-#2014Sanctions. @MarkGaleotti summarizes the situation well. 11/13
This is just a small part of what is going on in #Bulgaria, or more precisely what the #EU + other actors have allowed to happen for years. If the #Union makes a conscious choice to continue its path, #Bulgaria will fall further into the abyss. 12/ 13
#Bulgarians trust the #EU institutions more than domestic 1s, due to the factors described a sense of #doom is more present than ever. This fits #Russia's agenda better than any #EU-imposed sanctions or legal consequence ever could. Time for action is running out.13/13
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