Tue, 07/05/2011 - 12:30

Monday is a bad day not only for the Greeks, who have to wake up to the grim reality of having to go to work, but also for Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

This man, still idolised by many Bulgarian women in spite of his plummeting political popularity, revealed in an eye-opening interview for major newspaper Trud that he dreads Mondays and tries to avoid using the bathroom on such days.

"I do not shave, clip my fingernails or give out money on Mondays," the prime minister said.

A major accomplishment of Boyko "Batte" Borisov's tenure as prime minister has been the rejuvenation of political jokes in Bulgaria. During the times of Communist repression, political jokes were a natural outlet for people's frustration with shortages and censorship, but they quickly faded away when Communism collapsed. Now political jokes are de rigueur again: whenever you see several Bulgarians clustering around each other at a party and then inexplicably bursting into laughter, you can be sure that they have just been told a new one.

But Boyko Borisov's hygiene habits are no joke at all. Among the other very personal, some might say intimate, details the prime minister revealed about himself was that he "in principle" believes in God, and starts his day by making the sign of the cross three times and intoning: "God goes first, I will follow him."

Asked whether he knew any prayer by heart, Boyko Borisov said no, but corrected himself by reciting "Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Hebrew (sic) is called Bethesda" (John 5:2). He went on to say that once he recited the whole text into the ear of Yordanka "Dancheto" Fandakova, the mayor of Sofia, who was startled to hear it.

Boyko Borisov appeared wearing a red thread around his wrist, tied there by his elder sister. "A mascot," the prime minister explained.

The prime minister concluded his epiphany by saying that he no longer eats sunflower seeds at football matches and that he likes playing cards instead. But not with Valentin "Valyo" Zlatev, the president of LUKoil- Bulgaria. "He cheats at cards," the prime minister said.

Issue 57-58

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