So, the protests. Well, they continue. So does the stubbornness of the government. It is the 11th day since thousands of Bulgarians chose the city squares and the scorching heat to the comfort of their homes. But they have a cause. A cause higher than their personal comfort. They want a bright future and they certainly do not want to see "old faces" and "played games". For the past twenty years many governments changed, many political parties died and many were born. Many policies, many scandals, many promises and many disappointments. The game changed a lot, but the players did not. It is the same ol' play all over again.
The years since 1989, the years since the new democratic history of Bulgaria marked a transition that to some extent destabilized the country, or at least whatever was left from the country after the communistic furor. Inflation, unemployment and poverty hit the ceiling and served as propaganda for the political parties. At every elections political leaders come up with their magical plans that they name after themselves. The most recent one was the plan "Siderov". Understandably, such a master plan had to be named after its founder - Volen Siderov. I'll give a brief summary of the events surrounding this individual since the last elections.
On Volen Siderov
Volen Siderov has been active politician for several years now. Years ago he was hosting a political program on TV but decided that he is "the chosen one" - the one to lead the country to success. Despite Siderov's very questionable sanity, thanks to his emotional speeches and army of supporters (does this remind of you somebody?) Siderov managed to get into Parliament ever since the creation of his gang/party. What does he do in order to attract enough voters? For example his campaign at the recent Parliament elections was spun around the plan "Siderov". Wow, it sounds so majestic - the plan "Siderov"! Reminds me of the plan "Marshall" or the plan 'Barbarossa". It is life changing. Anyway, the plan "Siderov" (btw, the full name is "the plan "Siderov" against the colonial yoke" included throwing out the foreign monopolists (I will elaborate the monopolistic problem later on), making the minimum salary 1000 lv (500 euro, currently it is about 200 lv, or 100 euro) and the minimum pension 500 lv (250 euro, currently it is around 145 leva, or 75 euro) and several other policies that would help the country prosper. All this sounds great, higher salaries, supporting local businesses and so on. I, however, do not find the need to explain why this plan won't and couldn't have worked. At the very least, the foreign interests (read "a few big and powerful countries") would not allow. And with the heavy ass-liking that some of our diplomats show and have shown, foreign interests will prevail over Bulgarian ones. Unnatural, I know, but it is what it is. But!!! Do not forget that we have SIderov. For many people he was the bright light at the elections. He was always speaking! (not acting, but speaking) against the communists, against the Turkish party, against the criminals, in two words, against the status quo. And people were desperate. And many believed him. At the elections his party managed to earn just enough votes to enter the Parliament. The previous party in power "GERB" won, the communists (BSP) and the Turkish party (DPS) also were trusted by the voters to represent the nation's interests. However, even though GERB won it did not have a majority at the Parliament. And if they didn't have majority, they couldn't form a stable government. So the mandate was given to BSP. They also did not have enough MPs to make a stable government so they entered into coalition with DPS. Once again, the votes would not have been enough. So, what happened is that the few MPs from "Attack", led by their "Grand Chief" Volen Siderov ended up in the center of the whole political fiasco hurricane. Their decision was what would've decided between have new elections or having the same ol' faces ruling the country. Nobody doubted what the party will choose. After all, the negativism that the party felt against both, BSP and DPS, was not exactly a secret. Surprise, surpries. "Attack"'s MPs did! support the formation of the new government. Not a surprise, Volen Siderov is now seen as a traitor in the eyes of not only many Bulgarians but also in the eyes of many of his supporters. After all, the guy just proved that he is no different that the rest and his actions speak loudly about his reason to become a politician. And no, it is not so he can lead the country to success. Oh, and ever since he got elected as a MP (MPs in Bulgaria have immunity against legal prosecution) he and his army (they do dress in military clothing) assaulted two journalists and a policemen.
The clown behavior of Siderov continued at the protests. A few days after the first strikes, many of the protesters headed towards the central office of "Attack" to express their contempt for the party's actions. Siderov and his party are part of the Parliament whose purpose is to serve the citizens. Protesting against bad politics is a constitutional right of every Bulgarian. However, Siderov was prepared. Behind the line of policemen that surrounded the office there were about a hundred supporters of "Attack" whom Siderov is using as his personal guard. Well hidden behind police and muscle Siderov was brave enough to blame the protestors and to call them derogatory names. He even insisted that the police should arrest the protesters. As a journalist and a MP, Siderov should know better that the police does not take orders from the Parliament and protesting is not a crime. <i>Maybe it will be in the imaginary country that he will lead.</i>
What makes the current protests different is also the reaction of some institutions. The police syndicate sent a letter to the media regarding the protests.
It is exceptionally hard and strongly apathetic to enforce public order when the very same politicians that stay behind the police lines instead of working for responsible government position, instead of working towards public peace and prosper of the nation, provoke the public and the government employees, groundless attack the employees of MVR [the Ministry of Interior Affairs], engage in physical altercations with the police and defend their [the politician's] behaviour with the MP immunity".
The letter does not name "Attack" or Siderov directly but it is obvious whom it is referencing. That's it on "Attack", Siderov and the straitjacket he needs.
P.S.: The protest's main focus is not Siderov. The strikes started after a businessmen with questionable business was appointed by the government as a head of DANS (Government Agency for National Security). However, the attitude of Siderov is a collective image of the whole current government - ignorant but arrogant. Siderov is just a puppy that serves as a guard dog...But even if he barks loudly, he is still a puppy. Who's a good boy? Not him, for sure.