What Kind of Referendum Dear Ladies and Gentlemen Reformers!?

By Stoyan Nikolov – Torlak

The right-wing Reformist Bloc issued a proposal for a referendum on the fate of the Soviet Army Monument, bluntly erected in the center of our capital and symbolically standing up just a few hundred meters from the still-closed main entrance of the oldest higher education institution in Bulgaria – the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Bluntly, as the foreign army that bluntly invaded the territory of Bulgaria and, along with the imposition of a nearly half a century of obscurantist regime, created a bunch of evil things, resulting in the massacre of innocent people, rapes, thefts and universal terror. Symbolically, because this location seems to serve the demonstrative purpose of showing how unimportant the highest achievements of modern civilization – science and education – are, compared to the ideological and geopolitical games.

“The power of the weapon and the regime can trample everything as the red boot was trampling your homeland!” it seems to be saying. “If you do not think, learn, voice the “correct thesis” we will be back,” screams the monument in the face of the intelligentsia. And they returned. And, it turns out, this wordless, but eloquent threat was not pro forma. The Soviet regime proved it in Hungary in 1956, in Czechoslovakia in 1968 and by the Gulag. A period of several dark decades overshadowed even Hitler’s atrocities.

In all three cases cited above, and in hundreds of others, precisely the intelligentsia, at which the heavily-armed bratushki (brothers – editor’s note) symbolically stare in downtown Sofia, took the hardest smack of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and its strongest backer – the glorious Red Army. Maybe it is not a coincidence that the monument keeps standing there, symbolizing that we continue to be non-free and dependent on the same forces that guided us before the beginning of the sham transition? I would not dare to answer, for me the question is rhetorical.

But my story is not about the monument itself. Every normal person understands that until monuments of foreign armies and of military pilots, killed during the bombings of our capital, remain rising in that same capital, we are openly declaring that we are not a sovereign State, in there is no dispute about this.

I wanted to talk about the Reformist Bloc as just another political entity in Bulgaria, which cleverly diverts public attention from important issues and puts the carriage before the horse. Good idea, there is no dispute. Society should decide whether the Monument of the Soviet Army should remain there. If it decides that it should be removed, it would be moved to the Museum of Socialist Art, which is also civilized behavior. We will not blast it, as we did with Georgi Dimitrov’s Mausoleum! Those who want to look at it will be able to do so; those who do not, will not be forced to have it before their eyes each time they pass through the center of our capital. But the good words for this initiative end here!

I was not aware that you have fulfilled all your election promises to be able now to deal with the fate of the Soviet Army Monument, ladies and gentlemen reformers. I was not aware that you have not used so far the time since you joined the government only to secure for your people various lucrative posts in the administration of the ministries you are in charge of, and not only there. I also did not know that you do not obey every time your coalition partner Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and keep quiet for the sake of the “good political tone”, “government stability”, and the “prosperity of Bulgaria”. These are words behind which I see only this – we are just the next populists in the National Assembly and we defend our own interests with cheap tricks to pull wool over the eyes of voters.

I also had no idea about something else. That this referendum you are proposing should be only for the residents of Sofia. I had no idea that Sofia, which for better or worse is the capital of all Bulgarians (the peasants too) and is the face of Bulgaria before the world, can decide alone how its downtown should look. I do not care that the Monument and the area around it are owned by the municipality.

Anyway we all, even if we do not have the coveted before 1989 Sofia residence, pour the bulk of our gross domestic product there and give it for free use of local residents. So, if there should be a referendum on the fate of this Monument, I do not think it should be limited to Sofia. People in Pernik themselves decided what to do with the Krakra fortress and did you see what happened? The fate of sites of national importance should not be decided at local level, I thought this was clear.

Do some of the meaningful things that you listed in your election program that convinced many people to vote for you, ladies and gentlemen reformers! Make sure that education in Bulgaria stops its free fall into the abyss. And employ a real health reform under which people, who contributed health insurance for decades and who get sick for the first time from a disease not included in the lists of the Health Insurance Fund, are not forced to collect money for treatment from friends or through text messages!

Do at least something for the benefit of your people, and only then remove the fucking Monument of demagoguery and the meaningless slogans and then drive it anywhere you wish, only further away from our eyes. Until then, however, focus on the pressing problems of our country and give your contribution for their solution! Otherwise, your voters, who for the most part are far from being stupid people, will rise a monument to you as well and will put on it your grinning faces and eyes fixed on the bright utopian future for which you pretend to fight. And the following will be written on its pedestal – “Reformist Bloc. In memoriam”. There will be no surprise if this happens in the next local elections, which are approaching way too fast.



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