Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

About a president and a bunch of economic ideas

Ralitsa Kovacheva*, September 21, 2009

Probably it is not easy to jump around in blue jeans on a volley ball game with the clear conscience that tomorrow a newspaper will publish a report, written maybe by economic analysts and, maybe, without you knowing anything about it, and in which they will write something strange. As the Bulgarian finance minister put it - not strange but imbecile. But is it? Zero tax for people with up to 1,000 lv (512 euro) income and 20% progressively for those with 3,000 lv (1,538 euro) income. In other words - the rich. Disregarding the nettle-rash of every economic analyst that had read the report, or at least its version for the newspaper, there are some quite unpleasant feelings, left even in the non-professionals. For example: until very recently even the trade unions could not dare to comment on a no-taxation minimal wage for the income up to 1,000 lv, the sanitary minimal non-taxed wage was around 300 lv (153 euro).

10% taxation over the incomes between 1,000 and 3,000 lv is in a way legitimate as a normal average salary in Bulgaria. Have you forgotten it was fashionable to talk about middle class in Bulgaria? But look, the three grants are offending the eye! Those are the rich, the wealthy which according to the ancient Bulgarian assumption are the bad guys, the ruthless capitalists who pile their welfare on the toils of others and with others' efforts. But is that right? Recently in a private conversation an acquaintance of mine told me that because of the crisis the large companies are more and more inclined to hire senior managers for less than 10,000 lv (5,128 euro). Wow, criminals! 10 grants! They must be having a car too! Is it funny? It is not funny for the president! He is playing the "I don't know game" and says the report had been written by other people before the elections and he knows nothing about it! And the ideas in the report weren't his own! But this did not prevent him from presenting those foreign ideas to the public on Friday.

Because, do you remember he was the social president and his term is now halved and the prime minister Boyko is on the front pages while the Bulgarian Socialist Party (the president is a member of the BSP) is in a severe internal warfare and there is no one to care for the image of the president, if there is any image left. And Parvanov plays va bank. True, he will be hated for this, but how many are those people with 3,000 lv salary against those with less than 1,000? The percentage is important, the electorate! And the electorate is not interested in energy strategies (here the author quotes a letter of the president, criticizing the lack of energy policy of the new government) . It is not easy to be a social president because you are obliged to do something or at least talk about the poor. And against the rich. Just like before the 9th of September (1944) and before the 10th of November (1989). Because for you the dates make no difference. The most important thing is everyone to be equal.

Someone has a new car - raise their taxes! Someone has learned a lot and works more - raise their taxes! Someone has come to the surface - pulling back and back to the cauldron! Someone has 5 fingers long forehead instead of just 2@ Remove his scalp! And only if he dares his intimates to really be 21 cm - must be shortened! No more than 15. In fact - why shortening it, he should pay a higher tax to fill the budget of the National Social Securities Institute. No, shorten it because otherwise he will injure the dignity of others! The important thing is that we are equal, even. Because this makes it easier for you to be a good president. The difference comes just from the title. But, after all, Mr. president, it is said when for the first time in many many years we beat the Russians in volley ball and we wonder whom did you support in that game! Probably it is hard for a president on whom nothing can depend, to find himself something reasonable to do. But to keep your image, yours and of the institution you represent, is hard enough. And it appears even harder for that specific president.

*Ralitsa Kovacheva is a journalist with the Bulgarian news television Re:TV