Two gentlemen of Bulgaria, a play in one act

A day after Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Sergei Stanishev leader provoked a huge scandal, announcing that he had received anonymous information about an illegal wiretapping scheme by the Interior Ministry of politicians, judges and business people, he and former interior minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov put on a kind of TV play live on bTV on Friday – report by Mediapool.

The characters:

Sergei, a socialist
Tsvetan, a campaign headquarters chief
Viktor, a television talk show host

Sergei: Yea, in our very parliament, that Tsvetanov did speak grievously against the doctors of Gorna Oryahovitsa, having by egregious wiles eavesdropped what they did spake, naming them killers and bringing their very lives to perdition. It is no secret that men feel this realm to be a police state. Verily, when but a few weeks past did I ask the new interior minister, Ms Parvanova, whether those who did protest similarly were the subject of such skullduggery, know ye what answer did I get?


Sergei: Silence was her answer.

(Enter, stage left, Tsvetan)

Sergei: This is all out of joint. Let my words first be heard, before there be discourse with this man.

Tsvetan: Thy words are nothing but lies. I want thee, as President of the Party of European Socialists to say, because I am sure, I know what I did, unlike you when you were prime minister and took out confidential documents, which are already missing.

Sergei: And thy words are lies. Answer truly, if thou canst, if it is true that there is a vehicle with secret special means for eavesdropping the sayings of men.

Tsvetan: Paugh! The means and methods of operative work are classified information. I would have you remember that it was in our forty-first national assembly that we introduced parliamentary control over the special directorate for operative and technical information. But I give you this: if there be truth and thy words be other than vile calumnies, from politics shall I withdraw and hie me to another place, far hence.  The scandal thou dost conjure is nothing but a stunt to lure votes.


Tsvetan: It was thee who did appoint Alexei Petrov to the State Agency for National Security, an error so grievous as to lose this republic the trust of our allies beyond these borders, our partners in the inestimable sphere that is the Euro-Atlantic alliance.

Sergei: (Addresses Viktor) If this to be the way of the game, that when our rivals do make dire thrusts in thy studio against our Party, we too must be suffered to come upon the stage and do make reply, upon the very moment. Yea, we too shall have lieutenants, ready to advance at the clarion’s call.

(None of the above should be regarded as an entirely accurate transcript.)

Related stories:

Bulgarian socialist leader to approach Prosecutor-General over alleged eavesdropping of politicians and business people



Clive Leviev-Sawyer

Clive Leviev-Sawyer is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Sofia Globe. He is the author of the book Bulgaria: Politics and Protests in the 21st Century (Riva Publishers, 2015), and co-author of the book Bulgarian Jews: Living History (The Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria 'Shalom', 2018). He is also the author of Power: A Political Novel, available via, and, on the lighter side, Whiskers And Other Short Tales of Cats (2021), also available via Amazon. He has translated books and numerous texts from Bulgarian into English.