Reuniting Europe

There is word is that Bulgaria needs a grand coalition to get the country from the impasse and prepare early elections, probably to coincide with the European elections on 22 May.

No matter how antagonistic the relations between the party GERB of former prime minister Boyko Borissov and the Bulgarian Socialist Party BSP may be, this looks like the only wise option.

A grand coalition between New Democracy and Pasok in Greece has saved the country from exit from the Eurozone and probably from the EU. A grand coalition has prevented Italy to plunge into instability that would put the entire Eurozone at risk. And in Romania, Commission President Barroso has been able to stop the war between the centre-right president Traian Basescu and the socialist prime minister Victor Ponta.

So why not in Bulgaria? There is even one additional reason to make the move. Such a coalition would isolate and deal a big blow to the party Ataka, which is in my view a neo-fascist formation.

For all this to happen, the first step is that GERB returns to Parliament. Then a program for the next months until the early elections should be negotiated. If needed, the present cabinet could be reshuffled, but no new cabinet is needed for such short period.

Actually Barroso proposed the formula at his first meeting with the new Bulgarian prime minister Plamen Oresharski: he said that “a minimum national consensus” was needed to help get out of the current situation.

For more than 30 days, protestors block the central streets of Sofia. They denounce the current political model in Bulgaria in which the political parties appear strongly linked to the oligarchy. But I’m sorry to say they offer no alternative, and are not getting organised into a political force. If early elections are held today, the result would be almost the same.

Will a grand coalition solve all the problems? Of course not. To change the political model in Bulgaria, new parties will be needed. Those should not be linked, or should not be seen as linked to the oligarchy and monopolies. But this would take time. Step one is to ensure stability, so that the country would not add economic collapse to the political dead end.

The most popular politician in Bulgaria is Kristalina Georgieva, the EU Commissioner. She might play an important role, but I think she hasn’t decided yet, because in Bulgaria, when one stands for office, he or she is accused of all possible evils. Already one can read in the Bulgarian tabloid press many lies about Kristalina, the funniest being that her real name was Stalinka.

Here is a Bulgarian version of this commentary.

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