Opening 48th Bulgarian Parliament, 19th October, 2022

Reaction on the speech of Mr. Rashidov

Dear Mr. Rashidov,

Through the intermediary of I have been able to read parts of your speech at the opening of the Bulgarian Parliament (below). I take this opportunity to thank you for your choice of words and your wisdom (yes, I think wisdom does indeed grow on you in this way). Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the Parliament and with the public.

I have been in regular contact with Bulgaria ever since my first visit in 1996. I remember vividly the row of old people standing on the steps of the metro station near the Mosque in the centre of Sofia, trying to sell simple household items from their living rooms. They were a sad showcase of the Bulgarian Financial Crisis 1996-1997, when the Bulgarian government simply could not manage the difficult transition from Soviet economy to 'Western economy'. (Blagoy Kitanov. 2009. The Bulgarian Financial Crisis of 1996–1997: A Crisis of Transition. Western economy was widely interpreted as grabbing as much as you can and leaving the powerless to fend for themselves.

I am glad that Bulgaria has progressed such a lot since then, but I still think that Europe should and could have organised a better deal for Bulgaria at that time and should have helped to preserve the dignity of the Bulgarian people during these difficult times, instead of supporting the opportunities for Western Europe in Bulgaria. To me, Bulgaria is a yardstick for the wellbeing of Europe as a whole.

In short, I support your call: 'let this time come out better than all this.'

Wim Goris
Van Kinsbergenstraat 110
2518HB Den Haag
The Netherlands

Speech opening 48th Bulgarian Parliament, 19 October, 2022

“Given my already silver hair, it fell to me to open the 48th NS. I've lived a long time, I've seen a lot, and I'm still looking for answers. As a little boy, I dreamed of discovering the world, fighting to become better and winning. I remember the humiliation and the change of names, the revolutionary impulse of the kindergarten in front of “Crystal”, the frosty winter of 1997, the hunger strike of the Supreme Court, the protests, the songs and the people behind the microphones. Wisdom is born in memory, and it is built in memories. We changed our country, we overcame crises and fought disasters, we raised some and brought others down. And so, word by word, stone by stone, we built our lives”, said Rashidov.

“And again we wonder how, why, where, we plunged into supportive arguments and spells, filled everything with insults and caused suffering, so please, colleagues - think. Aggression breeds only aggression, negation leads to negation of negation. So - how long? We often lose our direction, today is the electricity, tomorrow is the bread, confused in arguments we sink deeper and deeper into the familiar dystopia. Therefore, I urge you, colleagues - think! On the days when we face each other, let us remember that everyone has dignity, loved ones, and behind each of us sit thousands of people. Let's fight, but let's not insult each other, let's not kill each other”, urged Rashidov.

“I am asking you for humility, reason, let this time come out better than all this. Have a good time and may God protect Bulgaria," said Vezhdi Rashidov.


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