The French “unemployed” Ivan Danov shines on the official Facebook page of the French Embassy, the face and the voice of France in the Bulgarian segment of the social network.

Updated on October 11, 2013: Several hours after the publication, Ivan Danov’s photo disappeared from Facebook

July 14, 2013, will be remembered in Bulgaria with the live reincarnation of Eugene Delacroix’s historic painting of the July Revolution in France – Liberty Leading the People. It was staged by Bulgarian antigovernment protesters as tribute to Ambassadors of France and Germany to Bulgaria, Philippe Autie and Matthias Hoepfner, who took a firm stand against the oligarchic backstage rule of the country. After this action, Bulgaria’s rulers punished the French Ambassador by depriving him of the highest State order traditionally bestowed to outgoing envoys – the order “Stara Planina.”

Tempora mutantum, Ambassador Autie left without an order, while his successor, Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes, is not resentful at all. This was clearly demonstrated at the opening of the exhibit of painter Jules Pascin, which was hosted by the Ambassador. The event gathered half of the government and the cream of the crop of Sofia’s Francophone.

Prime Minister, Plamen Oresharski, was the most distinguished guest. His attendance will be remembered by the hundreds of angry protesters, lurking outside, shouting „Resignation!“ But the press service of the French Embassy spared us those pesky emotions of the plebes. Gentlemen in formal suits and elegant ladies are seen on the published photos from the event – restrained chic and serious faces of newly-emerged connoisseurs, as the protocol requires. After all, this is not an exhibit of Delacroix, why should one draw attention to the angry people outside…

The largest picture in the album from the “inauguration” of the “vernissage” has eternalized “in the most exact way” the undoubtedly most competent Francophone, a fan of France and its generous welfare system, Minister Ivan Danov.

This same Danov was exposed in draining through fraud 15 000 euros from the French Labor Bureau. The case, revealed by Bivol, made headlines in Bulgaria and France. To exonerate himself, Minister Danov lied bluntly before the media, as he lied bluntly before the French State 9 years ago, in order to receive from it 1800 euros a month, while designing vacation villages in his homeland.

Is the French Embassy aware of the message they are sending with this picture? Are they so proud with the presence of the humbug Danov as to publish a close-up photo of him, promoting him as the face of the event, right next to the Minister of Culture? This is, after all, the official Facebook page of the French Embassy, the face and the voice of France in the Bulgarian segment of the social network. Everyone can visit the exhibit, but the selection of photographs and publications is in no way accidental. This picture can be compared with the French saying to the outraged Bulgarians: “You can protest as much as you want, but here we have some important State matters do accomplish with your sons of a bitches.“

Otherwise, the new Ambassador was giving hope that he is aware of the situation in the country. He posted a photo from Bivol’s profile on his own social network page – from the yacht of Spas Russev, showing ministers and mobsters playing cards together. After the move with the photo of Ivan Danov, the profile picture posted by Xavier Lapeyre de Cabanes no longer seems so straightforward. Maybe he wants to earn his order, poor man, by applauding these fans of the French Riviera, who are still important factors in Bulgaria.



The Rise and Fall of Minister Ivan Danov – Persona Non Grata for the French Embassy

The French Embassy published a photo of the Bulgarian Minister, who has syphoned the French welfare system, and then urgently removed it.

By Atanas Tchobanov, Friday, October 11, 2013

Yesterday, Minister Ivan Danov, known for having syphoned 15 000 euros from the French welfare system, was shining in a close-up photo on the official Facebook page of the French Embassy in Sofia.

I noted this fact with an angry comment, published on Bivol, and later reported by the site

In it, I was asking the PRs of the French Embassy if they were aware of the message they were sending to the Bulgarian public with this picture. Were they so proud with the presence of the humbug Danov as to publish a close-up photo promoting him? This is, after all, the official Facebook page of the French Embassy, the face and the voice of France in the Bulgarian segment of the social network, I wrote.

The answer came this morning – they are aware. The photo disappeared without a trace from the album and from the Embassy’s Facebook page.

And because accidental things hardly happen in the official communication of a Great Power, we should think about the sense of this message. Yes, gaffes do happen. But when one admits them so directly, it also becomes clear that the gaffe is a gaffe.

The humbug Ivan Danov is an unacceptable figure for the French Embassy – this is what the urgent removal of the photograph tells us. And this is good news; no, this is excellent news.

Unacceptable on Facebook, unacceptable in the government, which is unacceptable for Bulgaria.

PS After the latest development, I should take back my accusations of political hypocrisy, stated in my previous comment.


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