Reuniting Europe

I was quite impressed by the statement made by Hido Biščević, secretary-general of the Regional Cooperation Council for South Eastern Europe (RCC) in an interview, that the political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina is “extremely worrisome” and now appears to be turning into a “dormant frozen conflict”. “To be very honest, I think the political… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

South Stream and Nabucco, the two competing gas pipeline projects supported by Russia and the EU respectively, should merge the two pipelines for part of the route, the chief executive of Italy’s Eni, the Gazprom partner in South Stream said. It appears that the idea has come from the bank sector, who wants to reduce… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

The diplomatic phrase ‘Western Balkans” largely cover the countries of the former Yugoslavia, which engaged in fratricide wars before deciding that they want to be together again, in the European Union. The EU says that regional cooperation is a prerequisite for advancing on to the road toward accession. The logic is that one should get… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

This question was recently raised at round tables held in Paris and Berlin. My short answer is no. Bulgaria and Romania are countries with a more difficult transition, but keeping them out for longer would have been a worse choice. I didn’t say a worst mistake. Let’s not forget that Sofia and Bucharest were promised… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

The Dutch extreme-right Freedom Party, led by controversial anti-Islamist Geert Wilders, looks set to make large electoral gains at the upcoming general election in the Netherlands. And it could well become part of the next government coalition. Even the outgoing government of Jan Peter Balkenende was creating enough obstacles for further enlargement. Dutch opposition to… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

I find it weird. Yanukovich, whom the Western press tagged as pro-Russian, is reportedly getting more support from Brussels compared to his pro-NATO predecessor Yushchenko. In any case, this is a good development, as I see it. the EU has to be more explicit on what it can offer to Ukraine. And if Russia raises… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Bulgarian agriculture minister Miroslav Naydenov described the ‘swaps’ as “the biggest theft” in Bulgaria’s tormented transition from communism to a market economy. I agree with him. Under the so-called ‘swaps’, local authorities authorise the exchange of privately-owned low-rated land with state-owned parcels located in the most attractive tourist locations. Those who benefited from the scheme… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Macedonia has a “window of opportunity” to solve its long-standing name dispute with Greece, Enlargement Commissioner Štefan Füle said in front of me and other journalists today (17 February). However, he stressed that external help could not act as a substitute for political will in Athens and Skopje. “It takes two to tango,” said Füle.… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Borissov and the Octopus

“It’s us or them” Borissov said. These words speak for themselves. Some people in Bulgaria say that Borissov and the thug he is dealing with at present, Alexey Petrov, are very much the same. In fact, they have had a joint business and share a passion for karate. However many Bulgarians, at least those who… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev

Yanukovich appears to have won, not least because outgoing president Yuschenko played his cards against Tymoschenko. I prefer to call those players by their names, instead of adding ‘tags’ to them. The Western coverage of the Ukraine elections appears rather simplistic, with Tymoshenko portrayed as strongly pro-European and Yanukovich – as a Kremlin puppet. I… » read more

Posted by Georgi Gotev