FUN

QUOTE-UNQUOTE

We must not look as though we are not determined to go on with reforms.

Hristo Ivanov, Co-Chairman of CC-DB

GERB has a single leader. If I meet with 5-6 people I will be outnumbered. These people do not behave. If you were in a meeting where Kiril Petkov breaks bottles and glass on the table, would you want a leaders' meeting?

Boyko Borisov, leader of GERB, on why he avoids meeting with the leaders of the CC-DB coalition

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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

In recent months the telltale Soviet soldier waving a submachine gun is gone and the whole compound has been fenced off. It is being protected round the clock by Bulgarian police. Opponents of the monument, who disparagingly refer to its as the MOCHA, want it knocked down completely and immediately. Supporters however say removing it will be an affront to this country's 20th century history. The anti and pro groups are at their necks as both like to use historical events to justify current political ambitions. Their confrontation is unlikely to subside any time soon.

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WHERE IN BULGARIA ARE YOU?

It tells of a boy who loved to dive, but a storm once trapped him to his death in a submarine cave just under the rocks. As no one can deny that the naturally formed rock looks a lot like the manmade moai on Easter Island, some 12,000 miles away, a newer albeit less convincing hypothesis brings in some extraterrestrials, who made the link between the Black Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

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ROTATING, ROTATING...

When it was hammered out last year with the support of Boyko Borisov's GERB (whom everyone left, right and centre of Kiril Petkov, Asen Vasilev, Hristo Ivanov and Gen Atanas Atanasov swore was the godfather of all evils to befall Bulgaria in the past 10 years), it was made clear that the "fixture" would "rotate" every nine months. Nine months since its inception are supposed to end in March.

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QUOTE-UNQUOTE

The Bulgarian agriculture sector is in shambles.

Kiril Vatev, agriculture minister

It is crucial to rock the tree, a rotten apple or two might fall.

Judge Neli Kutskova on the links between organised crime and the judiciary exposed after the assassination of Martin "Notary" Bozhanov

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GOING, GOING...

The cops by far outnumber the construction workers wielding chop saws inside a ladder hoist. There have been no press releases, nor the obligatory information signs to tell the public what's going on. The area has been cordoned off. No media are allowed behind the metal fences.

Ahead of Christmas, the park in front of Sofia University, once known as Freedom Park but now bearing its restored name of Prince's Garden, looks like a melee zone.

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