After a turbulent year and a total of three general elections, Bulgaria finally has a government. Much like the new power in Germany, it is far from a stable, single-party rule but rather a patchy, colorful coalition of small powers and former enemies.
It is the summer of the second year of the COVID-19 panemic, and the European Union has generously opened its coffers to spend on post-pandemic recovery. Various governments of the EU are scrambling to put forward their best ideas to be funded by the new support scheme.
Bulgaria had its autumn of discontent. The mass protests proclaimed as a crusade against corruption and state capture have failed, while the prospects for reform of the oligarchic model from within are bleak at best. Hence, Bulgarians are looking at a winter of stagnation and political blockage.
The protests in Bulgaria have been going for almost two months now. As the government has failed to provide a meaningful alternative that could satisfy the demands of the demonstrators and thus solve the ongoing political crisis, let us examine the root causes that have driven it.
Crises, particularly so severe as the one we are currently facing, have the inevitable habit of redefining the way our economic life works. The way people work, as well as the very labor market itself, will undergo significant changes.
During the transition towards liberal democracy and a market economy, some countries from the former Eastern Bloc managed to successfully mimic the model that had already been proven to be successful in the West – a multiparty democratic system, combined with mostly free market capitalism.
There are clear reasons why Silicon Valley or Shenzhen are synonymous with high technologies – they are the place where entrepreneurs and businesses in this field have created their ecosystem, and accordingly attract those who want to break into the industry.
The fate of the “mobility package” is, however, far from sealed – the final decision on it will be taken not by the current, but the next composition of the European parliament, which may turn out to be more welcoming towards competition.
Last week’s events give some hope that the deep crisis which has gripped Venezuela’s economy in the past few years could end, or at least that the country may head towards economic recovery soon. It is, however, worthwhile to again review the dimensions and the causes of the crisis.
Like many other recent EU initiatives, the “Link Tax” targets online giants such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter in an attempt to share some of their colossal earnings with those they depend on. The good intentions will most likely lead to further encapsulation of the market, increasing barriers to entry.