Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Files leaks

Adelina Marini, December 16, 2010

The files of Bulgarians that were in one way or another connected to the communist-era State Security service (the secret police) are one of the few things that evoke a real zombing in Bulgarian society. Detestation towards the former regime never managed to crystallise into something reasonable beyond winning of political dividends - be it removing one party on behalf of another, or discrediting politicians. The society itself, however, still is apathetic for many reasons which I will not discuss herewith.

The Bulgarian society lacked the courage to do as most central European countries did and to create a lustration legislation which could have solved a large part of the problems our country has with its past. For the 20 years non-solving of this problem it has settled such deep roots that we will practically need decades in order to see our society clean itself from the dirt.

It is not fair

The entire story around the revelation of the files of collaborators (on payroll and external) to the former secret services is extremely ridiculous. It is ridiculous because what is the point of publishing such an information if there will not be any legal reasons actions to be undertaken. Even more ridiculous is the outcry - that the ambassadors ... that there were such collaborators in EU member states ... that the trust .... that the image ... Even worse is that currently Bulgaria is being ruled by such people and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov should at least blush while calling for the calling back of ambassadors.

Besides, the premier, when making such statements, should first look around him - Vezhdi Rashidov (the minister of culture, a highly controversial figure), Bozhidar Dimitrov (a minister without portfolio, responsible for the Bulgarian communities abroad) and many others - all people who worked for the former structures of the State Security Service. Did not indeed the premier promise in the beginning of his term that everyone will be checked before taking a high position? Well, some were checked but why others have remained? Vezhdi Rashidov? Bozhidar Dimitrov? And some of the ambassadors whose files have been revealed the other day were sent on their missions abroad by the current government when Rumyana Zheleva started the purge - why they were not checked? And isn't it the government that proposes an ambassador and the president approves?

And one more thing that might cause a lot of pain to the prime minister but he has to admit - if the society is to be cleaned from its past, then the media are among the first to start with - the media which he so much loves and which love him that much. There it is full of people whose collaboration with the secret services is not only controversial in terms of merits for the state security but 20 years after the end of the Cold War it is ridiculous - they radiate us day and night by posing as defenders of freedom of speech and democrats by heart and who did not find the courage to admit that for one reason or another that they have reported colleagues of theirs. Instead, they waited till the very last moment, hoping their names would never be announced publicly. And not only this, some of them managed quite well to cash the checks from their work - private media, good money.

The muffled sensitivity of the Bulgarian society towards the significance of this problem is so big that it still relies on the media-imposed authorities like Ivo Indzhev, Ivan Garelov, Georgi Koritarov, Kevork Kevorkian and many others which I can't remember right now and I don't want to. In the state-owned media it is full of them, no matter that not all radiate us directly. This is the reason why these media are still state-owned and not public.

Let me also ask - who is the president of the country? In fact I would ask the prime minister himself too - being a bodyguard of high-level officials, then a chief secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, then a mayor and at the end a prime minister, what is the guarantee that Mr Borissov is also clean? Formally yes, but does this mean that he is not related in any way to the structures of the former Services? This question is valid for a large part of contemporary political and economical "elite" in Bulgaria.

Alright, we call them back and?

In fact, the biggest problem is the lack of human resources of good quality. And when the prime minister is talking about calling back ambassadors, does he know what kind of people he will replace them with? Especially given the extremely humiliating incidents with Rumyana Zheleva, with our ambassador in Washington Lachezar Petkov, with the former chief of the Agriculture fund Kalina Ilieva and more, and more. Foreign minister Nickolay Mladenov said in an interview that there were enough good and young people - how young? Like Lila*?

Bulgaria does not offer a sufficiently good basis for getting appropriate for the diplomatic profession education (in fact not only in terms of diplomatic profession). It is not clear how capable the Diplomatic Institute with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to produce people, worth representing Bulgaria around the world. But worth not in the sense of the current condition of Bulgaria of dirty mess, but to represent a member state of the EU, a country participating in NATO and having specific national interests abroad.

Unfortunately, we have to admit that Boyko Borissov's government has neither the strength, nor the capacity, nor the human potential to start any kind of cleaning. At least because of its own past. Then we are left thinking that the revelation of the diplomatic files is just a filling of media space, the only aim of which is to distract the attention from much more scary problems in the country - like the inconsistent fiscal and economic policy, inconsistency with the painfully needed reforms, a decomposing like a leprous educational system, low-qualified working force, constant outflows of well-educated Bulgarians to more developed countries.

The bad news is that if this government, which came with the pretenses to be new and different, does not have the strengths and capacity for a change, we are doomed. Because a large part of the capacity the other parties have are included in the lists of files.

*Lila is a young woman working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and while working there several years ago it was revealed that she uploaded to the Internet a lot of pictures of hers naked. Did this not prevent her from being sent as a consular to Chicago