Sunday’s Bulgarian general election saw victory for TV personality Slavi Trifonov’s “anti-party.” This celebrity vehicle talks of replacing corrupt parties with experts — rehashing pro-business dogmas that have already dominated Bulgaria for decades.
Georgi Medarov is a sociologist based in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is a member of Collective for Social Interventions (KOI), Sofia.
As anti-corruption protests pile pressure on Bulgarian premier Boyko Borissov, EU leaders have begun to distance themselves from his government. Yet throughout the last two decades, Borissov was actively sponsored by the German right — a dismal example of how foundations in Berlin created postcommunist Eastern Europe’s new elites.
Three decades after the end of state socialism, Bulgaria is plagued by low wages, kleptocracy, and a dearth of progressive alternatives. The massive protests of recent weeks have echoed past discontent with corrupt officials — but there’s growing awareness that an anti-corruption drive won’t uproot the real sources of unaccountable corporate power.
The fight against the neoliberal TTIP and CETA trade deals has revitalized Bulgaria’s social movements. Now activists are promising to take the spirit of these campaigns into the European Parliament itself.