About 1,500 years ago, this astonishing mosaic of a stag was part of the decoration of an elaborate baptismal pool of a church in one of the great ancient cities of what is now Bulgaria. Recently restored, the stag, along with many other artefacts from the church they used to adorn, is the latest show-stopper in the Roman heritage map of Bulgaria.
If you read the West European newspapers, you might get the impression that in recent years Greece has become the black sheep of the European Union. Not entirely without justification, I should add, having in mind the somewhat eccentric methods of creative accounting that in consequence brought the Greek economy to its knees. But from a Bulgarian standpoint, Greece looks quite different from it does from London, Brussels and Berlin.
West must not expect attitudes to Kremlin to change
During the past 25 years since Bulgarians were given the right to vote in elections with more than one party standing the basic process of democracy has at least wavered. Election rules and regulations change each time citizens are supposed to go the ballots, invariably to suit the preferences of whoever happens to be in power. "Buying" of votes – meaning giving cash to people to cast their vote for a particular political party – proliferates. Election fraud is rife. No one is brought to justice over alleged wrongdoing. To put it in another way, things go wrong oftener than they go right – which partly explains why Bulgarians typically vote with their feet: less than half of those eligible to vote actually do vote in national elections.
"We, together with 300-400 people from GERB, planted 28 trees, and Sergey Stanishev planted just one, accompanied only by his personal publicist."
Tsvetan Tsvetanov, on the election campaign
Boyko Borisov's GERB, which is still a large political party in Bulgaria, set off its European Parliament election campaign with a massive convention on the Octave Day of Easter, in Sofia, during which its leader explained his interpretation of the New Testament.
No need for insults and slurs as long as you know when and how to ask the wrong questions
Bulgaria's "proverbial" hospitality has taken an ominous turn in April as the residents of a village in Central Bulgaria rallied and threatened civil disobedience to protest against... 17 Syrians, including six children, taking up residence in their village.