The past 30 years have been the best thing in Bulgaria’s recent history, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on November 10 2019 as the country marked three decades since the fall of communist dictator Todor Zhivkov.
On November 10 1989, the day after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Bulgarian Communist Party removed Zhivkov as the country’s leader, an event that opened the way to the transition to democracy.
Borissov, in a post on Facebook, said that during the transition, Bulgaria had undergone a number of difficulties – hyperinflation, massive bankruptcies of banks, pensions and salaries that were worth just a few dollars, queues in front of shops, empty shelves, the nation in seizure, hopelessness.
“Today these are memories of the past. Bulgaria is a member of Nato and the EU, we travel freely around the world, Gross Domestic Product is growing every year, and unemployment is at a record low. We have come a long way and today Bulgaria is developing.
“The most important thing today is that results are achieved through work and depend on each of us,” Borissov said.
Head of state President Roumen Radev said in a Facebook post that 30 years ago, Bulgaria had taken a new path, but the hope for a better life had encountered deep social and economic turmoil, for which the Bulgarians had paid a high price.
Radev said that Bulgaria had made an important geopolitical choice but had failed to build a lasting foundation for the rule of law, separation of powers and freedom of expression.
That is why today political perceptions continue to differ from the reality for the majority of citizens.
Poverty, unpunished corruption and crime, and low levels of public services continue to drive young people away and deprive the country’s future, Radev said.
“If we want Bulgaria to become a normal European country with a high standard of living and security, the irreversibility of democratic processes, the rule of law, transparency and efficiency of the institutions must be guaranteed, as well as the forming of a freely and empowered civil society,” he said.
Tsveta Karayancheva, the Speaker of the National Assembly and a senior member of Borissov’s GERB party, said: “Today, we take stock of how much our dreams have come true.”
“Thirty years ago, there were many promises and hopes, but they failed to tell us the need for work and enterprise.”
Karayancheva said that in addition to Bulgarians being more cautious, she believes that they have become more responsible.
“And it seems that in 30 years we have realized that in this game there is no one else to rely on, except for ourselves…Times are constantly changing, let’s be careful about the direction.”
Ekaterina Zaharieva, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister and also of Borissov’s GERB party, said in a message on Twitter: “30 years from the peaceful revolution that changed #Bulgaria! Now freedom and democracy, achieved on 10/11/89, are supreme values for all of us but we have to teach the new generations and remember that we have to work and defend these values every day.”