HALF OF THE BULGARIANS ARE OUTSIDERS
There has been a standstill in the rating charts since this spring. The head of the MBMD sociological agency, Mira Yaneva, presented her most recent study of the public opinion which showed that there were no significant changes in the people's feelings. Sofia Mayor Stefan Sofiansky was the only exception since he lost a significant part of the public approval with the intervention of the prosecutors against him. Almost 28% of the inquired people approved his suspension from the mayor's office and some 30% believed in the accusations against him. However, 36% of the people doubted the correctness of the accusations and did not support Sofiansky's dismissal. Other 42% of all the inquired were convinced that the accusations served political interests.Changes in the support to other political leaders were within the framework of the miscount. Boiko Borissov remained on top of the ranking with a 70% public approval. Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov collected just four percentage points less. The Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha ranked sixth following the mayor Sofiansky, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) Leader Sergey Stanishev, and Petar Stoyanov. The most respected minister within the present cabinet was the Foreign Minister Solomon Passy. Asked about who they would prefer to be a premier, 59% of the inquired could not give an answer. Eight per cent pointed at Boyko Borissov, 7% chose the current premier,while 4, 5, and 3% respectively would prefer Georgi Parvanov, Sergey Stanishev and the ex-premier Ivan Kostov. Milen Velchev was the only preferred among all current ministers (gaining 1%).The MBMD study results show that if elections were to be held today without a preliminary campaign, the Bulgarian Socialist Party would be the winner with 23%, while the National Movement Simeon II and the Union of Democratic Forces would take an equal number of votes (about 8%). According to Mira Yanova, however, in case of a lower election activity the socialists might well receive absolute majority in the new parliament. In order to achieve that, they only need 1.2 million votes which they would mobilize quite easily. The low election activity will hurt all right-wing parties, Ms. Yanova is convinced.According to the sociological studies, the Bulgarian middle class accounts for just 4 to 5% of the population and is mainly concentrated in the capital. It misses favourable conditions even in big towns such as Plovdiv, Varna, and Bourgas. Only 1% of the Bulgarians are super rich and 35% of them are pensioners. Only 8% of the population has graduated from a university, while more than 44% has a lower level of education. More than a half of the population (55%) lives in small towns and villages. That is why, Ms. Yanova comments, a great part of the society is unable to integrate in the country's modernisation and industrialisation.