Who is afraid of revision of transition to democracy?

Thirty years after 10th November 1989, the term "transition" still works flawlessly in our country, the same way as the English salt does. Especially, if it is combined with another term - "revision". A few days ago, it became clear that ultimately, such a revision might be finally conducted. GERB party (Citizens for European development of Bulgaria) insisted on establishment of a commission of inquiry, charged to investigate what happened in the murky 1990s in Bulgaria. Their idea was supported by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), which pointed out that such a proposal has been repeatedly submitted by the lawmaker Delyan Peevski.

For years now, we, the journalists, have been washing dirty linen of the transition in public and its “heroes”, and certainly, we are among the greatest supporters the truth to come out. However, the impending revision of the transition period is obviously worrying not a few people, mainly those dozens of oligarchs, who have profited most and who made their first million in the murky times of the same transition. They are so worried that in just one day time the propaganda machine of the shadow bosses started terribly creaking and spewing texts on conveyor belt how the discussion about creation of our democracy is so unsuitable these days.

We can guess why the oligarchs, who put on "white collars" today, such as Ivo Prokopiev, Ognyan Donev, Sasho Donchev, Tsvetan Vassilev or other indicted persons, such as Vassil Bozhkov, for example, who is investigated not only for financial but for criminals offences as well, would not want anyone to dig into the past. The same past which turned them into billionaires. Isn't it namely this proper way to talk about the future - by revealing the secrets of the transition as seeking retribution for the crimes and starting afresh?

 

It is high time to show up who plundered our hopes

Lyuba Budakova

Privatised assets - BGN 140bn. Revenues from transactions in the treasury - BGN 6bn. To be honest, this stock-taking managed to amaze me a lot. Probably like all the viewers of the Bulgarian National Television, on whose air a leading cadre of the post-privatization control shared it. In other words – he was one of the few persons who have such a sorry truth available.

There is no need to be a professor in Mathematics, in order to calculate finally, that BGN 134bn have dip somewhere else. A huge part of them in someone's pockets. No, that is not my pocket or yours. These are the pockets of the people who scrapped enterprises, who left tens of thousands of workers on the streets, who became multimillionaires with shady deals at our expense (not just of privatization) and stole our hopes for a normal transition to democracy. Now they want the past to be forgotten, thinking that they will not pay the bill for this plunders. They themselves and surely those, who gave them such a chance. 

I was 11 when the transition led to the Change. Small enough to build up a very childish idea of ​​what will be changed. For example, that my tiny then world would no longer smell like tangerines only at Christmas. But old enough to remember. I remember the empty shops from the so-called Lukanov's winter. 

I also remember the one million rally, whose queue stretched from Eagle Bridge (in Sofia centre) to Pliska area. Too many people who went there with the hope for normal life (as in the West of Bulgaria).

I remember the outrage against the Parliament and the students’ protests as well.

I also remember my own disappointment and dethroned ideas when I became a journalist and over time, with any document read and material written, I realised how these people, and me among them, took part in that mass event not of the Change, but of Replacement. I realised also that those who conducted it, use what they have plundered from us in their purposeful and stubborn attempts to rewrite the past. To replace it as well, in order to escape the retribution for the stolen hopes and lives of millions of citizens in our country. Continuing to keep them captive to replacement.

George (Jorge) Santayana said it - those who do not remember their past are doomed to repeat it. Namely, not to repeat it, it is high time for stock-taking of the transition and to be announced it public, with evidence by the state institutions, and not only by us - the journalists, who of us by which side was that time. On the side of the Change or Replacement. So that those who plundered the state, ourselves and our hopes, and who try now to pretend to be honest businessmen, to pay the bill in fact, and not to be left to steal our future as well. You can recognize them by the howl against this revision and stock-taking.

 

If no honest discussion is conducted, propaganda machine will win the fight

Nataliya Radoslavova (Finashkova)

I am 34 years old. You can guess, I was three years when the so-called transition to democracy began in our country. Apart from the chocolate eggs from Corecom and the German tracksuits my father brought me, I hardly remember the communism era. I have only vague memories of the electricity regime, food on coupons, the banks bankrupt, and those one or two nights when some of us woke up as  millionaires. Or billionaires - depending on how obedient they were.

I remember the thugs and their nicknames, which were replaced over the years by respectful form "Mr" - a taxpayer and businessman. Moreover, the stupid feeling that we are all playing in a series of absurdities, where a former thug or Komsomol member (of the former Dimitrov Communist Youth League of Bulgaria) suddenly becomes an "entrepreneur" with European values.

Therefore, I have the feeling that all my life so far was marked by this "Change", which seems to be more likely a “Replacement”. Though I seem to know a lot, I myself do not have real memories of what happened and most importantly - why did it happen? I have read about this contemporary Bulgarian history only in media, and to be more specific in the newspapers - they seem to be the only type of media whose archives cannot "disappear" or which cannot be rewritten.

I know one thing so far - there are many people willing to scribble on the draft of the past. All of them are centralised in a circle of people who in the early 1990's from young Komsomol members with future communist careers were skillfully repainted in dissidents, privatisers, and finally in "fighters" for democracy and supposedly European future. They have kept their dirty secrets in the lumber-room.

One of them has hidden his thug’s bat, another one - his file from the State Security, a third of them - the scandalous agreements thanks to which they seized state-owned enterprises for cents on the dollar. Today they all put on their new suits and quietly put on their foreheads the label "businessman". How did they make their first million - it does not matter. Today this truth must be forgotten like an old newspaper - neatly tucked away and left over time to gnaw the pages where the past is written.

Everyone who has studied journalism has gone through a very difficult discipline - "History of the Bulgarian journalism". The course paper is based on several months of review (today it is called monitoring) of old newspapers. They are so eloquent and tell so colorfully about the relevant period, as no textbook or scientific literature could do it.

A year ago, when Monitor newspaper was celebrating its 20th anniversary, I went down to the archives and examined many of the first issues of the newspaper. To be honest, something stuck in my throat - the characters in it are more or less the same. They have just changed their costumes, roles, maybe even the play. Nevertheless, they are still the same - fictional, fake heroes who fight for money and power and who are ready literally to step over corpses to get them.

When I mentioned corpses, this remark cut me to the quick. A thought came to my mind about the former resort town of Merichleri, which today presents an ugly and sinister monument of the human greed, all in obituaries to those who have fallen victims to the frantic desire to make millions and the lack of any humanity. It is an empty place which propaganda apparatus of today's "businessmen" wants us to forget. The same way as the stripped scaffolding of Kremikovtzi (Bulgaria's largest metalworking company), like the bankrupt “Balkan”, like Russe Shipyard which was cut for scrap.

I do not want all these tombs of the transition to be forgotten. I want my son, who is eight today, to know the truth of how some of us became millionaires for one night, and the rest of us will pay their debts to the grave. I want that honest discussion to be held about the swamp of the 1990s, otherwise the propaganda machine would have won the fight ...Remember Merichleri ​​and think about Bulgaria. Without the truth about the transition to democracy, our country will also turn into an ominous monument to the failed public purification.

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