In Bulgaria, of a trap, police and publicans

These past few months have been a rather demanding time for Bulgaria’s police, just as these months have been – to say the least – rather challenging for owners of bars and restaurants.

For the police, the extra demands on them have included enforcement of the intercity travel restrictions those months ago, a measure against the spread of Covid-19; more lately, they have had to turn out because of the large-scale protests demanding the resignation of the government and the Prosecutor-General (the matter of alleged police brutality is a topic for an entirely separate article).

For innkeepers and publicans, the long weeks of their establishments being closed down because of the pandemic have been severely damaging. In early May, those who had outdoor sections were allowed to re-open them; full re-opening followed later.

Which brings us to Kapana, the creative district in my beloved city of Plovdiv. “Kapana” means “trap” and it seems the place is in one.

(Photo: Lance Nelson of

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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.