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The police are tired and demoralized, they want to leave their jobs

25 July 2013 / 01:07:49  GRReporter
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What was the actual reason for the establishment of the Antigovernment press centre?

It was the very situation in which we, a not very organized group but very motivated to do something, have decided that we should have a voice and change somehow the stereotype of the media related to how they are covering the protest. I mean the 3-5-minute news reports which remain in the background.

So, we have decided that we have something to say and that we can be an alternative voice. In fact, people do not know many things. For example, they do not know that the Bulgarian Prime Minister is actually hiding from the media and that the announcements of events are being surprisingly made 15 minutes prior to start time. The government is not afraid of bad coverage, knowing that the national media have to do so. Regarding the other media, it is clear which side of the fence they are occupying. This is just one of the little "dirty" secrets of the government.

The Prime Minister is hiding to avoid making his schedule public, to avoid being surprised by blockades, banners and other embarrassing situations. This is something that needs to be communicated.

Another example is that the Bulgarian government is using the payments under the operational programmes of European Union funds as a tool of pressure on certain media, which are beneficiaries of these programmes. The entire process is taking place in the government administration and everything depends on an administrative structure under government control. A little known fact is that the operational programmes of the European Union are the biggest advertiser in the Bulgarian media market. We are talking about millions.

Many colleagues, journalists, who, for various reasons cannot publish information in the media in which they are working, are helping us in the press centre.

The criticism against you is that it is not known who is hiding behind the press centre.

I attend media events, other colleagues will do the same too. However, I can criticise the way of operation of the media market in Bulgaria too.

The answer is that some of the participants are people who are working in the media but they do not want to declare their support for us because, in Bulgaria, the media very easily turn their policy and it is very risky. These colleagues are helping us on a voluntary basis and for ideological reasons. As for the rest of the people, we would ask them to attend our events where they will be able to meet more of our friends and supporters.

We are talking about a very informal structure which is not organized in the conventional way. Think of it as a mini social network rather than as of an organization with a team, budget, etc.

Does this make the question of the financing of the press centre pointless?

Our budget is zero. The website does not cost anything. The software is free, people who are at the protests with us are helping us and so, we have not spent even a penny. We are all volunteers and the people are helping us with their work. Literally, we are people who have met in the square.

What do you think is the greatest injustice currently ongoing in Bulgaria?

It is that a government, and we have every reason to suspect that it is an organized criminal group although this word may sound strong, has all the tools to stay in power despite the breaches and blunders it is making.

A person who is a symbiosis between a deputy, businessman, media entrepreneur and politician was absolutely illegally appointed to one of the most important positions with huge levers of influence in the state. This is a man, aged 33, with a zero tax return, although he is required to submit one as a deputy and as an acting junior investigator at the National Investigation Service. It is zero. I think this alone is enough

The fact that this can happen and that the people who go out to protest can be punished under the ordinance for the public order in Sofia and can be warned by the police is a huge injustice. I.e. the lack of control over what the government is doing, this impunity and injustice, which I have already mentioned.

When do you expect that Oresharski’s government will fall?

I am waiting for it to fall any moment. This is a joke.

The longer answer lies in my perception that this is a struggle of life and death for someone. And these are not people who believe in the socialist idea of the BSP or in the liberal idea of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF). These are circles which have made commitments and now they cannot leave the game although, in practice, they are killing their parties, especially the BSP.

What is the alternative to the government of Bulgaria? A large number of people are saying that if this government falls the same people will most likely be elected since there is no right-wing political structure which, at least at the moment, is ready to take the helm.

I follow the polls very carefully. They contain a lot of controversy. We cannot but see how at least two of the currently ruling political parties are apparently losing the support of the people, including the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party that is not involved in the cabinet. We cannot say, under these circumstances, that the same composition of the Parliament will be repeated. This is simply not true.

Tags: PoliticsBulgariaProtestsClashesPoliceAntigovernment press centreNikolai Staikov
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