The evolution of the low quality journalism was demonstrated on Wall Street Journal with the article about Bulgaria as the riskiest EU country on a matter of sympathies towards Russia. This article shows the complete lack of information and research before writing it.
In the article is written that Bulgaria is risky because it likes Russia and can turn to it. In fact Bulgaria at the moment is among the anti-Russian “hawks” in EU. Bulgarian foreign minister was the first to visit Ukraine and legitimate this way the new coup d’état government. The leader of the main ruling party – Socialists is also a leader of EU socialists (PES). At the moment he is not prime minister due to coalition strategy, but in fact he is among the really ruling country politicians. And finally Bulgarian rhetoric on Ukraine crisis is very balanced and moderate. Although Bulgaria will be among the top losers if sanctions on Russia are imposed, Bulgarian government does not reject sanctions at all and does not threaten to veto the EU resolution on this. At the same time for instance Hungary already said “Don’t even think about it”. In addition Hungary received a big loan from Putin.
The WSJ author demonstrates a smattering of knowledge on the topic. He interviewed just 2 sources that are not reliable. One of them is a pro-Russian member of Socialist party, and the other is a West paid emissary whose job is to agitate against Russia and exaggerate the Russian threat. The result of all this is: “Bulgaria is risky country, it is not loyal to the West”.
In fact risk really does exist. But it is not in Bulgaria. It is in the inability of EU to reform itself and return on the road of growth. Bulgarian export is about 75% for EU. With weak European economy, Bulgaria cannot develop either. In addition – the cuts in EU budget harmed mostly the weaker countries and that lowered the money EU gives for Bulgaria. And finally, in an attempt not to pay, EU is making more and more complex procedures on applying for funding that makes Bulgaria able to use only 30-40% of promised cash. In addition being impotent to criticize big countries in EU, the European Commission is using countries like Bulgaria to demonstrate “doing something” and deserving the enormous salaries given in Brussels. As a result, Bulgaria is under constant fire of critical reports on any matter you can imagine. Together with Romania it is blocked from entering the Schengen treaty despite the fact European Commission already said 2 countries have met all needed conditions.
In this situation it would be logical anti-EU spirits to rise. Anyway on the just passed elections for European Parliament Bulgaria was one of the few countries that did not elect even 1 anti-EU deputy. In a situation anti-EU parties won the elections in France and UK, Bulgaria elected 0 nationalist and anti-EU representatives.
So it is funny to read WSJ…
In fact Bulgaria can leave EU and join Putin’s Eurasian Union. But only after EU itself is dissolved. Bulgarian people really love Russia. Language is very close and 300 000 Russians own properties on the Bulgarian sea coast. For Bulgarians it will not be a problem to work again with Russians. Most Bulgarians are Russophiles. But there is a difference between people and government. You can say Bulgarians like Russia and this is a risk. But you cannot say Bulgarian anti-Russian hawks in government are bringing risk.
But maybe it is not very popular to say “people don’t like something” This would mean that “Something” may be wrong. Instead you say: “government doesn’t like something”. This way you blame the government that is a usual target for blaming. In fact the West needs Bulgaria, but does not want to pay for this. Instead it is inventing enemies and fighting with them. This way the result will really be a disintegration of EU.