IRON BARS, NO IRON BARS

by Stamen Manolov

Bulgarian MPs went to work into the building of parliament one fine day in May to discover the inside of its gates had been equipped with iron bars, apparently for extra protection

bulgarian parliament doors

Lovers of freedom were quick to cry fowl. Is this what the supposedly liberal, pro-Western Changes Continued government is doing? Protecting itself from the love of the general public with iron bars? Not even in the darkest days of Boyko Borisov's GERB had we seen anything like that, they intoned to their agony aunt, Facebook.

GERB were happy to join in. "We had been warning for two years that whoever sowed gallows and coffins, and threw rotten fish at legally elected MPs would reap a barricaded parliament," Tsveta Karayancheva (the one Boyko Borisov referred to as a "stupid c*nt from Kardzhali") surmised.

It soon emerged that the novel equipment had been set up on the insistence of the National Protection Service, the agency that is supposed to take care of security for Bulgaria's top officials. The request had been filed following an attempt by the extremist Revival political party, led by Kostadin Kostadinov, to storm into the parliament building earlier this year.

bulgarian mp behind bars

In Bulgaria's short history of post-Communist parliamentary democracy there have in fact been a number of attempts by various groups to storm into the building. Usually MPs have barricaded themselves on the inside by using pieces of furniture such as writing desks and armchairs.

The denouement to the iron bars episode came a few hours after it started. Bulgaria's young Culture Minister Atanas "Just Nasko" Atanasov of Changes Continued ordered a probe by the Protection of Cultural Heritage Inspectorate. Apparently, whoever installed the iron bars had failed to comply with a legal requirement not to amend any listed building, especially if it is of national significance, such as the Bulgarian parliament (erected in the 1880s).

Violating the requirement would incur a fine of 5,000-10,000 leva, the Culture Ministry inspectors asserted, and ordered the bars to be instantly removed, to the cheers of lovers of democracy. In the span of a few hours, when the bars were in place, some MPs – like Lyuben Dilov Jr – managed to take selfies of themselves literally... behind bars. 

  • COMMENTING RULES

    Commenting on www.vagabond.bg

    Vagabond Media Ltd requires you to submit a valid email to comment on www.vagabond.bg to secure that you are not a bot or a spammer. Learn more on how the company manages your personal information on our Privacy Policy. By filling the comment form you declare that you will not use www.vagabond.bg for the purpose of violating the laws of the Republic of Bulgaria. When commenting on www.vagabond.bg please observe some simple rules. You must avoid sexually explicit language and racist, vulgar, religiously intolerant or obscene comments aiming to insult Vagabond Media Ltd, other companies, countries, nationalities, confessions or authors of postings and/or other comments. Do not post spam. Write in English. Unsolicited commercial messages, obscene postings and personal attacks will be removed without notice. The comments will be moderated and may take some time to appear on www.vagabond.bg.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Discover More

'SMART & BEAUTIFUL' PARKING WOES GRIP CENTRAL SOFIA
The advisors to Vasil Terziev, the mayor of Sofia, who are supposedly as "smart and beautiful" as the political parties that put him forward, must have swallowed that book several times over and mastered to perfection the craft of losing friends and alienat
NEED A CONSPIRACY THEORY?
Atanas Atanasov is a general. He was the head of the Bulgarian security service under Ivan Kostov, the Bulgarian prime minister in 1997-2001, who inimitably prompted just two reactions: love or hate.

SENIOR CLERIC GETS STATE FUNERAL
So what has a senior cleric, Patriarch Neofit, who died in March aged 78, done to deserve a state funeral replete with military salutes and a coffin being drawn by... an armoured personnel carrier?

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

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.

ASEN VASILEV GETS BANNED FROM BALLOT BOX
The man, who went to his native Haskovo, in southern Bulgaria, to vote in the local elections was turned away by the election authority because he failed to live up to the basic requirement of having had an address in his constituency for at least six month

PRE-ELECTION TALK
"Hey, beauty, let's go home and have sex."" I can't do it just like that. We do not even have common acquaintances.""Well, do you know Boyko Borisov?""Yes, I do.""So, let's go!"***
LONG LIVE RED ARMY MONUMENT
Other angry citizens have taken to the park, where the MOCHA is situated.

FLYING COLOURS & METEORITES
Firstly, a bright light appeared in the sky over Vidin, at the River Danube, one dark, hot and mosquito-infested night. It was reputedly followed by a loud explosion. People were mesmerised and slightly frightened.

TO 'GIVE' SOMEONE TO A PROSECUTOR
What led to that is so complicated and absurd that analysts find it difficult to explain while ordinary people prefer just to laugh it off. Here is the story briefly.

CAR OF DISCORD
Everyone who has had some work to do with the Bulgarian police should have noticed the despicable conditions in which rank and file officers often work.

VACUITY AND WINDBAGGISM
Voters are being exposed to a plethora of pledges designed to make them feel good – and cast their ballots for whoever talks louder.