Bulgaria's President: Democracy Served on Plate Is Unpalatable

Politics | December 1, 2013, Sunday // 15:50|  views

Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev, photo by Sofia Photo Agency

People will never love democracy which they have been served on a plate, according to Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.

Plevneliev's stance, as cited by his press office, was expressed in an interview for Romanian TV DiGi24 titled "The EU is no "Big Brother" which gives prosperity, money and development", aired on the eve of Romania's national holiday, December 1, or Unification Day.

Plevneliev argued that development and prosperity did not come for free and one had to work hard to earn them.

"The EU is no Big Brother which gives you development, money, highways. The EU is a platform for Bucharest, for Sofia, and for all other capitals, which assists the implementation of our priorities on the basis of shared values. This is why Bulgaria has to continue working on issues such as corruption, oligarchy, and some problems of democracy, including the insufficiently efficient judiciary and insufficiently transparent institutions," Bulgaria's President underscored.

Plevneliev also commented on civil discontent in Bulgaria in 2013, including the ongoing anti-government rallies which started in June, stressing that the voice of protesters had to be heard because they had important things to say.

"We, politicians, serve the people, therefore we have to listen to them, and this is what I do as President. I truly believe that the protests we have in Bulgaria will strengthen our democracy and the politicians are already changing. In the 21st century, nothing can remain hidden from civil society – people already know everything, which is why it is better to be honest and keep your promises" he stated, as cited by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA).

Plevneliev argued that there were very good prospects for regional cooperation between Bulgaria and Romania.

"I am optimistic that projects like Danube Bridge 3 at Silistra-Calarasi will happen," he added.

He suggested, however, that the implementation of such projects was not to be left entirely to the mayors on both sides of the Danube River.

"Politicians must make progress on regional priorities and this bridge is exceptionally important, taking into account that we have a 470km border" Bulgaria's head of state stressed.

Asked if there was a "cold war" between Russia and the EU over the integration of Eastern Partnership countries, he reminded of the unconditional support of Bulgaria for the European integration of Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia and Georgia.

Plevneliev underscored that the EU was not to fail in its efforts to offer these countries wide prospects for development at such an historic moment because it would question the entire EU project.

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Tags: Bulgarian President, Rosen Plevneliev, Danube Bridge 3, regional cooperation, anti-government protests, EU integration, Eastern Partnership


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