They’ve got away with scandals…not with Bozhkov
The deepening conflict between the government and the allegedly richest Bulgarian Vasil Bozhkov attracts constant attention, albeit with polar nuances and interpretations.
The real intentions of the businessman can only be guessed, but it is obvious that he follows a carefully thought-out logic of behavior. The very fact that Bozhkov acknowledged his involvement in acts contrary to the law (though not those he is accused of) in order to incriminate his opponents shows that his intentions are serious. How this particular collision will develop is intriguing, but in this case we will look at it from another point of view - as an element of a series of interconnected processes and events.
Attacks on business figures and structures are not new to this model of government. These are usually cases that are not unambiguous, i.e. the attacked persons and practices are not at all faultless, although for a long time (for some reason) they have been tolerated by the institutions. In recent months, however, those in power have taken a series of hostile actions against people who are not just very wealthy and influential but have long been in very close (in every sense) relationship with the very top of the power pyramid. This closeness is not clear enough now, but what is new is different - there is evidence that close relation was so strong and serious that (as it became clear from the statements of Vasil Bozhkov), because of it, responsible
government agencies have done scandalous things.
Quite logically, pushed to the limit, the new "public enemies" are defending themselves with warning shots for the time being but they make it clear they are ready for the battle for survival. Unlike previous victims of selective shooting, the new "targets" are dangerous not only with their financial resources and networks of influence but with the information they possess regarding the common endeavors with key figures in power. It is hard to imagine that people who survived the circles of hell of the Bulgarian transition did not insure themselves against twists and turns like of today.
It is especially important that these are not isolated cases, but a complete campaign to clean up the economic terrain, respectively, the resistance is likely to be organized.
This assumption is confirmed by the events of recent weeks. A series of investigations and revelations are raging like an avalanche. It is true that for the time being they are based "only" on publicly available information, but there is undoubtedly coordination and this is evident from the grading selection of painfully vulnerable topics and objects. Even more unpleasant prospects for the government portend a clear intention to
"Internationalization" of scandals and revelations,
especially in the context of the leaked records of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture, where European institutions and political figures are directly affected. The obvious intention for
"Internationalization" of scandals and revelations,
especially in the context of the expired records of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Agriculture, where European institutions and political figures are directly affected, foretells even more unpleasant prospects for the government. Let us add the personal accusations of Tsvetan Tsvetanov against Boyko Borisov and Tomislav Donchev of "Russian connection", which is addressed somewhere else (overseas).
The government, as a result of complete oblivion, is on the verge of uniting against itself a conglomeration of diverse opponents who, under normal circumstances, would hardly find common ground. Another possible (and increasingly probable) explanation is that it goes about an exacerbation of insurmountable internal contradictions between individual centers of political and economic power, in which the dilemma is who will play the scapegoat. And in order to fulfill its purpose (to calm down public anger and at the same time keep the system intact), this sacrifice must be impressive enough – a small fuse will not work.
In recent days, especially after the published voice recording, which is strikingly similar to Borisov’s voice and the interview of Tsvetan Tsvetanov, the impression is growing that the attacks from outside and inside (of the citadel of power) do not coincide by accident. It is clear that Vasil Bozhkov has no direct relation to the quoted incidents, although the acknowledged “fuelling” of the FSC against "Eurohold" by the speaker in the recording confirms that there exists an unregulated use of state bodies for personal purposes.
But, as some observers point out, the publication of the recording is a serious blow not by itself but because of the demonstrated vulnerability of Borissov's immediate environment. As mentioned, the prime minister is very likely to know who recorded him, but not dare to name him and ask for measures against him. Also in this line of assumptions some curious images in the "counter-comic" (video) of Borisov stand out. However, the exchange of threatening hints in the narrowest circle of power carries a high risk of implosion.
This brings us to the next two questions -
will the tactics of demonstrative neglect of scandals chosen by the government work
and what could be the up-coming scenarios for its retention?
The combination of ostentatious carelessness ("having fun") and hysterical retaliatory blows, through the well-known defamation loudspeakers illustrates the confusion and fear in Borisov's personal environment. This tactic in the current situation is definitely loss-making because it allows Bozhkov and other opponents to lead the initiative and present new and new unpleasant surprises to the government. The great damage is irreversible - if not sympathy, then at least the public interest is on the side of the businessman. Many people do not like him for obvious reasons, but they take his claims seriously and so, gradually, the mass belief that he is telling the truth has been imposed. In addition, more and more confirmations of his version pop up every day, coming from different sources. Similar communication damage can hardly be compensated, at least with the help of the chosen tactics.
The possible options before the government are not many and none of them is encouraging. Even if no "deadly" revelations emerge that would immediately overthrow the government, Vasil Bozhkov's chosen "Chinese water torture" has no less destructive effect.
The great headache that Borisov and GERB experience
lies no longer in their survival until the regular elections next spring, but in the minimization of the daily growing damage. In a normal situation, their opponents could gladly leave them sweat out. But it is not a normal situation. Bulgaria stands as if between the mythical monsters Scylla and Charybdis. On the one hand, we are pressured by the deepening economic crisis, worsened by the government's inadequate socio-economic measures over the pandemic. On the other hand, society is rapidly radicalizing, especially under the influence of the daily revelations of new mischiefs of those in power, which convincingly show that the shortcomings are due to systemic rather than personal vices.
These processes are developing rapidly and the reliance on the famous people's sheepishness can play a very bad joke not only on the self-forgotten rulers but also on the supporters of the creative reform of the model of state management and its relations with the citizens.