site.btaMedia Review: May 30

Media Review: May 30
Media Review: May 30

KING FERDINAND FINALLY BACK IN BULGARIA

The dying wish of the first king of the Third Bulgarian Kingdom was finally fulfilled 76 years after his passing, Trud says in its main story. The remains of Ferdinand I (1861-1948; reigned 1887-1918) were moved from Coburg, Germany to the Bulgarian capital Sofia on Wednesday. The coffin was placed in the Royal Palace of Vrana on the outskirts of Sofia with special honours as national guardsmen lined up on both sides, the daily says.

The ceremony was attended by political figures, but President Rumen Radev and Prime Minister Diminar Glavchev were absent. Only some of the main political parties were represented at the event.

Historian Plamen Pavlov, who teaches at the University of Veliko Tarnovo, comments for Trud that it is not easy to make a straightforward assessment of King Ferdinand's reign, because too much negativism has amassed against him over more than a century. "As head of state, he contributed a lot to the development of the nation, its modernization, the armed forces and the overall progress of society, which is beyond doubt. He was quite popular among the people," Pavlov says. Associate professor Lachezar Stoyanov of Sofia's New Bulgarian University says we should detach ourselves from "the emotions of the past, the great disappointment after World War I, when Bulgaria suffered its second national catastrophe and Ferdinand was declared the main culprit".

On the morning talk show of BNT1, the main channel of Bulgarian National Television, Metropolitan Antonii, who represents the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC) in Western and Central Europe, says that the BOC appreciates Ferdinand's foresight in letting his son, the future King Boris III, become an Orthodox Christian. The decision cost Ferdinand a temporary expulsion from the Catholic Church.

POLITICS

The government plans to bar President Rumen Radev from representing Bulgaria at the Washington NATO Summit in early July, 24 Chasa has learned from a high-level government source. Both the head of state and the head of government are usually invited to such meetings, and it is up to the Council of Ministers to decide who gets to lead the national delegation. Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev is more likely to represent the country in the US capital, the daily predicts.

It recalls that Glavchev and Radev clashed this past weekend in connection with a Sofia meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. Although the president is the supreme commander of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, he was not in Bulgaria at that time, visiting Budapest first, and then Switzerland, thus missing a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. From Hungary, in unison with the ideas of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Radev broached the subject of NATO countries possibly sending troops to Ukraine. Prime Minister Glavchev and other politicians reacted by saying that no one intends to deploy troops in the war-torn country.

The matter is also discussed in other media. SegaBG.com describes the controversy about who should go to Washington as "a war of institutions". It quotes Vice President Iliana Iotova as saying that the president has received a personal invitation to the summit. Iotova commented: "Following the stance he took these days, I believe such voices should be heard." The website expects that the matter will be resolved after the June 9 elections in Bulgaria. Given the very short time to elect a new regular government and prime minister in the period between the elections and the Washington Summit, the choice will most likely be between President Radev and the current caretaker Prime Minister Glavchev, SegaBG.com says.

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A cable sent by Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev to Bulgaria's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Lachezara Stoeva shows that the caretaker government in Sofia exerted unprecedented pressure for a last-minute change of Bulgaria's geopolitical position ahead of a UN vote on a resolution on Srebrenica, Bird.bg says in a report, quoted in other media. Stoeva ignored Glavchev's instructions, and Bulgaria supported the resolution, which it had co-authored. This transpired from diplomatic documents accessed by the website staff. Quoting own sources, Bird.bg says the reversal in the government's position came after communication between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and ex-Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov.

On May 23, the UN adopted a resolution designating July 11 as the International Day of Reflection and Commemoration of the 1995 Genocide in Srebrenica.

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Russophiles often say that we in the Western world do not understand "the boundless Russian soul", that the Russians are a mystical unknown, law expert Petar Kichashki writes in Trud. Kichashki says the truth is that, first, "the Russian soul" is "deeply irritated by the fact that we belong in the Western world".

"Second," he says, "we may or may not know Russia well, but they definitely don't know us. Russian society is deeply unfree, and with the war in Ukraine going on, it is also rather isolated. They are immersed in their own boiling cauldron and refuse to see the processes unfolding in the Western world. A most telling example of the failure of the Russian autocracy to understand freedom is the less-than-sensible argument of what they call 'the collective West'. Russia, they say, is at war with this imaginary collective West. Russia is locked in a dispute with it, in a war with it, and presents an alternative civilization to it. This is undoubtedly a lobotomized concept, but in addition to its being obviously less than sensible, there is something else. The very fact that Russia describes the free world as 'collective' clearly shows that it does not understand the nature of freedom and does not know what it is talking about."

The analyst notes that both conservatism and liberalism are ideologies in the free world; theirs is a dispute between democratic and free people. Discussing the war in Ukraine, he argues that the fact that the free world is helping Ukraine does not mean that we are engaged in the war on a par with Kyiv.

* * *

"Three Years On, Laura Kovesi Is Bulgarized," caps an article about the European chief prosecutor published on SegaBG.com. The author notes that Bulgarians had expected the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) to intervene where the national authorities failed to do their job, uncover cases of large-scale fraud involving EU funds, take high-ranking Bulgarian officials to court, and possibly have them sent to jail. Nothing like this has happened, however, in the three years of the EPPO's existence. One of the reasons may be that the prosecutors working in Bulgaria on behalf of the EPPO are Bulgarians, and they observe the national procedural rules. The Bulgarian office of the EPPO is a scaled replica of the dependencies, clashes and intrigue in the national prosecution service, the author says.

* * *

A poll which was launched by the 24 Chasa daily a week ago and attracted 3,120 respondents online by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, shows that 22.4% of those polled (the largest group) intend to cast their ballots in the June 9 early parliamentary elections to keep a party they do not like from power. Another 19.7% will vote with the hope that a stable government will emerge at last after six snap elections in three years.

ECONOMY

The replacement of the first batch of 43 cartridges of Russian nuclear fuel at Reactor Unit 5 of Bulgaria's Kozloduy Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) with fuel from Westinghouse Electric Sweden AB, which was completed on Wednesday, was marked with a formal ceremony attended by Prime Minister Dimitar Glavchev, Energy Minister Vladimir Malinov, US Ambassador to Bulgaria Kenneth Merten and senior Westinghouse executives, the media report.

Kozloduy NPP Executive Director Valentin Nikolov's words that the plant will terminate its nuclear fuel supply contract with Russia is highlighted in the main story in Duma. Nikolov said that the remaining Russian fuel will be used as a reserve. According to the daily, the price of the US fuel is similar to that of the Russian fuel, but generally, the price level has increased. Therefore, Kozloduy has asked the Energy and Water Regulatory Commission to approve a 30% hike for the electricity generated by the plant as of July 1. Later, the plant withdrew its proposal after government intervention, and suggested a lower price, not very different from the current one, Duma says.

The paper goes on to cite data from the Electricity System Operator showing that the production of electricity from baseload capacities in Bulgaria between January 1 and May 26, 2024, decreased by almost 20% year on year, and total electricity production dropped by 11.41%. Consumption declined as well. Bulgaria is turning lastingly from an exporter of electricity to an importer, Duma sums up.

* * *

The rains that have poured over Bulgaria in May have left cherries, strawberries and vegetables tasteless, 24 Chasa says in its main story. Indeed, this part of the year is usually wet, but rain can ruin the cherry crop, fruit grower Miroslav Chernikov tells the daily. He hopes that the weather gets better and the fruit that ripens later will be of higher quality. If it continues to rain, part of the cherry crop may be lost and the Bulgarian market may be dominated by cherries from Turkiye and Greece, Chernikov warns. He adds that there is no such risk with apricots. Experts fear that wet conditions may inflict disease on wheat and vegetables.

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By 10:14 on 17.06.2024 Today`s news

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