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Killing Bulgaria - the IMF & the World Bank in action

A debate between the Bulgarian Embassy & our writer

www.emperors-clothes.com

Interview with Neddie Chakalova, Press and Cultural officer, Bulgarian Embassy, Washington, D.C.

Comments by Blagovesta Doncheva, dissident in the old Bulgaria, political activist in the new

Interview, editing and introduction by Jared Israel (4-20-00)

Last September, Blagovesta Doncheva wrote an article for Emperors-clothes.com in which she argued the West had brought social and economic misery to Bulgaria. The article was read by a New York Times reporter and ended up being published, sans references to Serbia, as a Times op-ed piece. (See Emperors-clothes and NY Times versions and my comments at www.emperors-clothes.com/1/d3.htm )

The Times piece hit like a bomb. Not only did 'democracy' organizer Blagovesta Doncheva insist 'democracy' had ruined Bulgaria. She also accused the IMF, the World Bank, the Soros Open Society Foundation and politicians whom she called gangsters of collaborating in this ruin. As an article in the Bulgarian newspaper Capital said, dripping venom, 'Naughty Doncheva!' {See note 1 for excerpts} Bulgarians, who some say were partly organized by the government, swamped the Times with hostile email.

A few days after the Times article appeared, Doncheva and two other middle-aged ladies were arrested at a silent vigil outside the US Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria's capital. They had been protesting Pres. Clinton's visit, scheduled for the following week, opposing the US-sponsored bombing of Yugoslavia and the World Bank/IMF destruction of the Bulgarian economy...

The ladies were forced into a police van and taken to the police station where Doncheva was separated from the other two and locked up for two hours in a mental hospital - a throwback to the days when 'mental observation' was a favored method for punishing Bulgarian dissidents. Released, she (and her writings, and emperors-clothes.com ) became the focus of a furious debate in the Bulgarian media.

Everyone had a heated opinion. The Bulgarian paper Capital attacked Doncheva and Emperors-clothes then begged E-c for an article on the IMF then refused to publish the article (See note 1). Another paper printed it. Doncheva was pursued by reporters, hailed as a great woman one day, smeared as a mad woman the next.

Does it sound like Doncheva had awakened a sleeping volcano?

On Nov. 19 I interviewed Neddie Chakalova, the Press and Cultural officer at the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington. The interview was transcribed and the text sent to Blagovesta Doncheva; she wrote some comments and thus, after a fashion, we achieved a debate. Excerpts follow. These reveal the split in Bulgarian society over a) Western economic reforms and b) the meaning of democracy. Actually it's not a split in Bulgarian society alone, is it?

The following has been edited, but only for brevity.

The baby and the bath water - a debate on the survival of Bulgaria

Calling the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, D.C., I expected a run-around. But when I mentioned I was from emperors-clothes I was put right through to the Press Officer, Neddie Chakalova. Email had been flooding the Embassy, protesting Ms. Doncheva's arrest. Someone forwarded me Ms. Chakalova's reply to one of these emails and in it she denied that the arrests had actually taken place. So I was surprised by her response:

Jared: Hi, this is Jared Israel from Emperors-clothes.com and -

Neddie: Emperors-clothes? Thank God! Why didn't you call earlier?

Jared: Huh?

Neddie: We are swamped with these emails - I really wish you had checked the facts!

***

I asked Chakalova about Doncheva's two hour incarceration in a mental hospital. At first Chakalova insisted the place wasn't a mental hospital at all. Then she questioned Doncheva's sanity:

Neddie Chakalova: If you look at her article in Emperors-clothes do you think this is a mentally balanced person? It's not structured. It's too much stream of consciousness and not exactly in a European style.

Jared Israel: I try not to do mental diagnosis based on a writer's style. Her political point is that she was an activist in the anti-Communist reform movement and now she's ashamed because she feels they've thrown the baby out with the bath water. It was stated coherently enough for the NY Times to take the essence of what she wrote in Emperor's Clothes - the part on Bulgaria - and print it. Is she wrong? She says the Bulgarian standard of living has tumbled - is that true?

Neddi: Well yes, but she lays the blame at the wrong doorstep.

Jared: Have all these things happened? Has the price of bread gone up? Have pensions gone down - ?

Neddi: [No.] Pensions have gone up.

Jared: They've gone up? Since the communists period?

Neddi: Well, you can't compare apples with oranges. During the communist period they had an artificial exchange rate of one lev [Bulgarian currency] to the dollar which was ridiculous because on the black market people bought the dollar for 10 leva. Now it's true that my father has the highest pension and it is 50 dollars -

Jared: A month? Is that adequate?

Neddi: Well, it is very little money but this is what everybody's getting because the communists took everything out of the country, ruined the economy.

Jared: But they've been out of power 10 years, right?

Neddi: It's not 10 years. Because we're slow learners, we had a communist government between '94 and '97.

Jared: That would be the Socialist Party, right?

Neddi: They're the same people.

***

DONCHEVA COMMENTS

About the pensions in a moment, but first on my mental health: obviously Chakalova's suggestion that I'm crazy is politically motivated. Bulgarian political life is what's crazy.

The powers-that-be reacted violently to our little demonstration protesting Clinton's visit. Then for the next week the newspapers exploded with stories pro and con about Doncheva and Emperors-Clothes. It amazed some of our democrats to see an American Website criticizing America, and as for me, how dare I write about misery in Bulgaria - and publish in the NY Times!

One thing I do want to say here - concerning Neddie Chakalova's remark about my not having a 'European style' of writing. Readers outside Eastern Europe may not understand the snobby and even one might say racist overtones of this statement. The hidden shame of Bulgaria's elite is: to be born Slavs. Cruel fate! Backward Slavs! Worse - emotional Slavs. Hence her horror at my unrestrained stream of consciousness style - it is shockingly Un-European. And so on. What would she do with James Joyce?

European-ness, a slogan taken up by the W.W.II Nazis was also adored by certain Bulgarians and when they climbed into the Nazis' bed it was in relief to be taken as: European! So you see, Neddie's accusation really means: 'This Doncheva has the craziness of the overly emotional Slav.'

I am supposed to free myself of this Slav mentality so I can watch calmly as my country is destroyed.

Now let us examine Neddie's economic analysis. Several myths have been circulated perseveringly for ten years on a run.

One is what she is trying to explain to you about the pensions.

The other, which she doesn't mention here, is the Myth of The Foreign Investors: when they come, flowers will burst into bloom all over Bulgaria!

And the pensions will go up. So, tighten the belt and wait for the Foreign Investors!

The truth is the I.M.F. first attacked the (excessive) number of pensioners here. They commented on it almost with horror and disgust (as they similarly commented on the great number of flat-and-house-owners here!)

Their orders to the new local democrats were:

1/ Reduce the number of the pensioners!

2/ Reduce the number of the house owners!

The Bulgarians clicked their highly democratic heels, rolled up their sleeves and began the extermination of elderly people - the big Democrats in the I.M.F. had asked and that was enough for them.

They passed several laws changing the way pensions are calculated, recalculated all the pensions according to those new rules, reduced them shockingly.

People started to die.

Some of the elderly tried to ease the work of the local democrats and their Masters Beyond the Ocean.

They began killing themselves. (Hanging is the preferred method of suicide among the elderly in the villages. Sometimes I wonder why. Maybe because it is cheap and comparatively easier. It is hardly a problem to find a piece of a rope... The elderly from the towns usually jump down from the windows or balconies of ten and more floor houses of flats - again cheap and easy...)

You see, we are an obedient and obliging people.

Neddie's father is lucky: he has a comparatively high pension and she can help him from her diplomatic salary.

But what about those elderly with 30 - 40 leva pension per month? (The exchange rate on November 27 was 1.9362 leva to the dollars.) What about those whose daughters and sons have been unemployed for years or are very badly paid, who can't buy bread for themselves and their children, let alone parents?

Tension and hunger have successfully attacked our comparatively strong family ties: I stumble more and more frequently on homeless elderly, kicked away into the street by their own sons and daughters. Hence the suicides: some prefer to kill themselves rather than be a burden; others do it out of shame and humiliation...

As for what the communists took and what the newly hatched democrats devoured, it is enough to look at the table comparing data released from the National Institute of Statistics in Bulgaria for 1989 with data for 1997-1998. It is overwhelming. If you want that table, I will send it to you. It shows that the big theft followed the institution of 'democracy.' {Note: when we receive the table it will be posted at http://emperors-clothes.com/1/t.htm }

Now, about the 'communist' government before 1997:

Chakalova was referring to the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).

Some of us here think that a State Mafia controls Bulgaria. The UDF [United Democratic Front] might be called the right hand of that Mafia, the BSP [Bulgarian Socialist Party] the left one. It doesn't matter which party is in power because either way the Mafia runs things.

Very clever, isn't it?

Example:

I have talked with a young woman whose husband has a cleaning firm and good connections maybe because he 'won' the bidding for the job cleaning the Parliament. They both come from families of communists and used to vote regularly for the BSP.

After only a month of cleaning the Parliament, he came home 'as dark as a cloud,' gathered all his family together (father and mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law) and warned them NEVER-EVER to take part in an election.

'They are the same criminals!' he fumed. 'They argue only in front of the TV cameras! One day they drink and get sick in the 'blue' (UDF) wing of the Parliament, the other day they drink and get sick in the 'red' one!...' ('Red' for BSP).

There is no authentic opposition in Bulgaria. If there had been such, the protests against the war against Yugoslavia and all the War Criminals' visits here wouldn't have been such a pale shadow of the Greek protests.

***

Neddi: When the socialist party was forced to step down from government, my father's pension was 6 dollars a month because of inflation. The inflation in January 1997, the last month of communist rule in Bulgaria, was 250%!

***

DONCHEVA COMMENTS

The inflation of 1996-97 was deliberately organized with the participation of the US Embassy in Sofia.

The preparations for war against Yugoslavia were already under way. The US needed 'friendly' (understand, servile) governments in the countries bordering Yugoslavia. The model here did not present any problems (both UDF and BSP being US guys). But something out of control happened: a young man was chosen to be a BSP Party leader and at the same time a Prime Minister. They did it on the presumption that he would be easily turned into a puppet on a string. But here they stumbled on a stone. That young man besides being an idealist communist proved to be also a patriot. And a well informed person. And also a person of character.

He tried to save some of the doomed Bulgarian plants and factories.

He argued even with the giants from Overgas - Russia. (Overgas is a Russian company dealing with petrol and gas. The Overgas people had wanted to run their pipes through Bulgaria for next to nothing. He fought them!)

The MBO (= Masters Beyond the Ocean) had sensed that something was going out of control in Bulgaria and sounded the bugle. They wanted that man out and down!

What did they do?

1/ A bread crisis was organized. The idea was to get people angry - as many people as possible! (As for organising it - a very simple thing. The flour-mill and grain warehouse owners - most of them 'our guys' - were called and ordered to lock their mills and warehouses and declare there was no corn. They did it and therefore finding bread became a problem - of course.)

2/ The inflation that Neddie was talking about was organized too. It achieved two main aims:

  • Various top UDF and BSP leaders who had borrowed millions of dollars from the banks suddenly awoke one fine morning almost free of debt! (Because the value of the money they had borrowed and spent had been eaten by the inflation.)
  • BUT lots of Bulgarians who keep their savings in the banks, awoke one very dark and terrible morning without any savings at all...
  • AND the value of all salaries and pensions went down!

The top UDF persons screamed that the BSP government was to blame.

Angry, easily manipulated people went out into the streets where part of the Bulgarian State Mafia that Neddie has talked about [elsewhere in the interview], Ilja Pavlov's Multi-Group Corporation, lavishly provided them with warm refreshments, tea and even strong drinks.

(There are times when the leaders of the UDF are in the same boat with Multi-Group Corporation; at other times they choose to call Multi-Group the 'Mafia', and blame it for all deadly sins. In 1997 they were in the buddy phase.)

They kept the people in the streets. The young Prime minister was forced to hand in his resignation (both the UDF and the US-paid part of his own 'Socialist' Party were against him). The UDF and the BSP 'negotiated' for some time and on February 4, 1997 a Great Victory was achieved! The BSP resigned from power, cruelly betraying its members and supporters (it had been elected with a great majority) and new elections were announced. (People say that the BSP had signed an agreement not to come to power till 2007, if it is fed enough through the UDF, i.e., if the money-flow to certain people at the top continues...)

That is how the MBO (Masters Beyond the Ocean) ensured their guys' government in Bulgaria.

Almost immediately after that the bread problem was solved - as if by wonder! - and equally miraculously the inflation was quickly regulated, and the people, convinced that the bad 'reds' (BSP) had brought on all their woes, voted gladly for their saviors, the 'blue' ones - the UDF.

UDF won the election with a 'great majority' (in fact, with only a little more than 30 % of the Bulgarians who had the right to vote) and the US turned its attention to similar good deeds in Macedonia.

The US war began after Lujpcho Georgievski, that laughable puppy, was installed in power in Macedonia...

With his 'election' the US Warmongers had closed their vicious circle around Yugoslavia...

The change of governments is a part of the US game in Bulgaria - and in the Balkans.

***

Jared: The thing that she says in the article is that the country's basic industry has been sold off.

Chakalova: Well, you sell unprofitable, loss-making companies to whoever buys them and to make them efficient.

***

Doncheva Comments

I get truly sick when I read Chakalova's naive and ignorant explanation of the facts. (But is it really naiveté and ignorance - or a simple manipulation?)

Bulgarian factories and plants have been sold mostly for a few cents (or as the Bulgarians phrase it, 'Yellow Stotinki.')

The process is as follows:

1/ They change the Boards of Directors of the factories they want to devour;

2/ The new Boards of Directors start diligently to work on the task to ruin the factories and make them ineffective;

3/ After having achieved that aim, the Ministry of Industry announces that the corresponding factories are in the process of liquidation;

4/ After some time it is announced that such and such foreign firms are interested in this or that factory;

5/ After a sham auction the factory is sold for 'yellow stotinki' to the highest bidder. That is what they say officially. But everybody knows that the auction is won by the foreign company that has agreed to give the greatest commission (our fathers would call it 'bribe') to the people on whom the deal depended.

They inevitably wait till the factory or plant is announced to be in a process of liquidation.

(You can't ask a proper price for a plant in liquidation, can you?)

They have had problems with some Boards of Directors.

Example: the new director of a knitting factory instead of making it ineffective managed to make it profitable notwithstanding her instructions! New markets were found, workers salaries were raised!

They kicked her out for 'incompetence.'

The same happened with an 'Opto-electronics' factory in the town of Panagjuriste.

Some of the foreign companies have factories or plants in the same industrial sphere in their corresponding countries.

After buying the Bulgarian factories, some of the new owners have liquidated the local plant - some gradually, others quickly.

A new way of fighting competition, as I wrote in that infamous NY Times article. ( http://emperors-clothes.com/1/d3.htm )

Example:

There is a machine-tool factory in Gabrovo, upgraded (new machines, new production lines) just before the Dawn of the 'US Democracy.'

I learned that it was bought by an Austrian businessman, owner of a factory in the same field of production in Austria.

He is gradually liquidating the Bulgarian factory, cutting off work places.

So much for the Wonderful Foreign Investors and the new work places that they will open when they come to Bulgaria!

It is a very sad and dirty story, Jared...

***

Jared: Is there now in fact widespread unemployment?

Neddi: The unemployment is lower than it used to be in 1996-97.

Jared: How much is it?

Neddi: It's somewhere around 12%. I'll have to check -

Jared: That seems high to me.

Neddi: It is high but it is not so high because of a phenomenon that Doncheva suggests in her article, that people who claim to be unemployed actually work for very little money in some of these new companies but get no social security, no medical insurance -

Jared: The basic point she's making is that the country is being violated. This is a charge made broadly against the IMF, that its reforms are draconian for ordinary people.

Neddi: Well they are and they have to be, much as I hate to say it. The IMF and the currency board are kind of economic and financial straight-jackets against people not used to the requirements of a market economy, people corrupted morally by the communists. They needed the IMF straight jacket so that nobody, whether communist or new-fangled democrat, could violate the basic law of a market economy. ...This is something that put us on the right track because the country was literally going down the drain and the rest of us, not brain-washed communists like Miss Doncheva, the rest of us were going crazy to see all the national assets being squandered by irresponsible people.

***

Doncheva Comments

About the Strait-Jacket, let's concentrate on the answer to one question only:

Why strait-jackets for some and untold luxury for others?

Why should my poor people die in despair on the street corners or on a piece of rope tied to a beam in the cellar or in the barn?

While at the same time a notorious top UDF party leader has had built for himself a house for $500 000 in the center of Sofia?

While at the same time the UDF Mayor of Sofia is building for himself a luxurious house in the center of Sofia too?

To say nothing of the luxury flats on two floors for a notorious Minister, called here 'Mr. 10 %'?

Why a strait-jacket only for me but not for her?

I am tempted to ask one question more:

What about the non-communist countries driven to poverty by IMF interference? Were they also 'morally corrupted by communism'? Why did the IMF push them into strait-jackets too?

And what does she really know about the so-called 'market economy'?

Do US transnational corporations risk their profits by being dependent on market fluctuations or do they in fact prefer to rely on stable and secure government orders, backed by US tax-payers' money?

That explains to an extent the war-oriented foreign policy of the US. And why they plan and carry out at least two wars per year!

US government officials are puppets on a string too, puppets to the US transnational corporations who are out of sight!

Neddie finds my writing unbalanced? Well, I am going crazy watching my whole country going down the drain...

***

Neddie: The other day the wife of the head of the gray economy in Bulgaria -[ name inaudible] sneaked into a party in the US, a fund raiser for Hillary Clinton and managed to get herself photographed with President Clinton and it was splashed all over our newspapers and she gave a thousand dollars for the fund raiser for Hillary's campaign. Then Mrs. Clinton returned her donation because this is not very kosher money - and this takes the prize for under-statement - because Multi-Group has been involved in Mafia-type relations with the Russian Mafia, with the gas Mafia and everything and they exported their money to the US - Mrs. Mafia number one [unintelligible] Pavlova sneaked into the US; with her money she's already a US citizen and this was, I mean I'm again putting two and two together, Miss Doncheva's op-ed in the Times came suspiciously soon after that check of Mrs. Pavlova was returned.

Jared: So you think Doncheva is an agent of the Mafia?

Neddi: She is probably a stooge.

Jared: Of the Mafia.

Neddi: Probably, probably. You know my reading of her, having read the draft version [of her article in Emperors Clothes], is she is an unbalanced person.

Jared: You realize, you've said you think Doncheva is a communist, a gangster, and crazy.

Neddi: I don't know whether she exists. She could be a fictitious person.

***

Doncheva Comments

Speaking as a Possibly Fictitious Person I won't waste time commenting about Hilary Clinton and Mrs. Pavlova and that game with the donation check and their inside-the-Mafia little wars.

As for me being a gray market 'stooge' or a Communist:

It is characteristic for Chakalova not to be able to imagine that people exist who do not wait for somebody to give them orders.

She is unable to stand up for herself and try to fight for what she thinks right against what she thinks wrong and evil.

She has chosen the sugared and secure life that comes with obedience, lack of moral scruples, and cruelty. Hence she cannot understand those who refuse to hobble around on their knees.

People like her are quick to throw around labels of the kind quoted above. It is much more easier than to try to understand the one who thinks differently.

***

Jared: Well let me ask you a question. It's my understanding that in a non-police state the police do not have the right to request your ID simply because they want to see it - is that not true? Is there a law in Bulgaria that says that if the policemen asks for your ID you have to give it?

Neddie: If you're not doing anything wrong why shouldn't you identify yourself?

Jared: If you're not doing anything wrong, what right does the policeman have to ask?

Neddi: Well, Miss Doncheva was violating the public order.

Jared: What public order?

Neddi: In front of a foreign embassy that the police have been asked to guard.

Jared: Why is it illegal for them to demonstrate in front of a foreign embassy?

Neddi: It's not illegal.

Jared: Then how is she violating public order?

Neddi: She was shouting.

Jared: She says they were silent. But is it illegal to shout? You're saying they were chanting. Which is what you do at a demonstration - when I was a kid I was in the anti-war movement and we used to chant in front of all sorts of places. Why was it inappropriate for them, if there was no ban on demonstrations, you said, from the Mayor, why would they not have the right to walk in around in front of the U.S. Embassy and chant?

Neddi: Because the [U.S.] embassy had requested heightened security measures.

Jared: I see. Is the Embassy a law-making body in Bulgaria?

Neddie: Well, they were within the cordoned off area.

Jared: On what basis was that area cordoned off?

Neddie: On the request of US security.

Jared: Had the protesters broken through the ropes?

Neddie: I don't know... They were asked to step into a jeep and identify themselves.

Jared: But you said that they had the right to ask for identification because she was breaking the public order - but you [also] said the public order was requested by the American Embassy which is not a law making body in Bulgaria - or is it?

Neddi: When you have a State Visit. In preparation for President Clinton's visit.

Jared: Is Clinton leader of Bulgaria?

Neddi: Well, why should they be protesting on the 16th of November against something [Clinton's visit] that was to happen on the 22nd?

Jared: In other words, because they were making an issue of his state visit, therefore it was necessary to stop them?

Neddi: Well, it is also protection. To protect.

Jared: But arresting them had the consequence of removing them from the scene. Right?

Neddi: Well, you remove exhibitionists from the scene, you remove epileptics from the scene. I mean this is standard procedure when a person acts suspiciously in terms of mental health, you take him to a mental health institution from where she is promptly released.

They were asked to step into the police wagon, it was a jeep nearby, which they did, the other two other middle aged ladies did, they were released and Miss Doncheva - if that's her real name because nobody has yet seen her credentials...

Jared: Well, I think the reason she didn't show her credentials was the request was illegitimate; the demand to show them did not reflect the rule of law but the rule of whim.

Neddi: OK. Then why didn't she say she was the person who had written the article in Emperors Clothes and the op-ed piece in the NY Times and alerted the free press about violations in Bulgaria?

Jared: In other words if she had shown them she had a high status her rights would be respected but if she had a low status her rights would not?

Neddie: No, no - she was treated right even though they thought she was a crazy person, protesting in front of the American Embassy...

Jared: I guess the reason for their protest is because of US actions in Yugoslavia, the bombing of that country for 78 days, the bombing of the Danube bridges, which I understand have effected your economy, no?

Neddie: They have.

Jared: The pollution, from bombing Yugoslav factories, the bombing inside Bulgarian territory near a nuclear power plant. What is the significance, in your opinion, of inviting the United States, which has violated the UN charter, the NATO charter, the Helsinki Accords, which has just bombed your neighbor...

Neddie: It was not the United States, get your facts right. It was NATO.

Jared: But we both know the war was staged by the United States by making impossible demands at Rambouillet. The U.S. certainly was the motivating force -

Neddie: And Tony Blair!

Jared: And Tony Blair, that's true. Some people say he's the tail and that Clinton is the doggie. Personally I think neither of them pulls the strings. But my question is what is the significance of inviting the United States which has been the leading force certainly in this aggressive attack on your neighbour to your country at this time? What are you doing?

Neddie: Well, what do you think we are doing?

Jared: I think you are fawning before an aggressive power that is attacking the Balkans outrageously. Which has unleashed Albanian revanchism which you know from history - the nightmare of Greater Albania, from World War II - is a threat to your country too...

Neddie: No, it is not. That is very familiar rhetoric.

***

Doncheva comments

I want only to tell you about the third woman who was arrested that day, Mrs. Penkova, who is 76 years old. 76 years old! And the police have thrown her into that jeep of theirs like an old bag of clothes!

When they gave her back the passport and released her, she stopped by me and Madeleine, the other detained person, in the Police Station lobby and asked calmly with a clear voice: 'Tomorrow we go there again at 4.30 p.m., don't we?'

We couldn't believe our ears!

I answered after a short pause: 'Yes, at 4.30 we will be there again.' And the policemen around only stared...The elderly woman stepped to the door, and Madeleine and I recovered enough to jump after and kiss her.

It is truly a wonderful, wonderful world!

Blagovesta Doncheva, Sofia, Bulgaria
The Balkans

Note 1 - Here is a an excerpt translated from Capital, a Sofia, Bulgaria newspaper. Despite the acid tone, the writer sent emperors-clothes a half dozen emails begging for an article on the IMF. When we produced one, they decided not to publish. Here's the 'Capital' piece:

'"The New York Times' treated us to a manipulated article for the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall fall. Six days after the text had been published in the New York daily, the authoress found herself in the psycho dispensary.

  • by Iva Rudnikova, Nov. 19, 1999

    "The Bulgarians who begin their days with the
    New York Times hardly could fill up the sentry box in front of the US Embassy. There was no way for others to have seen that in the copy from November 11 that newspaper had published an article titled 'In Bulgaria, 10 Years of Misery'. It appeared as a part of a great series, devoted to the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. After many articles on Germany, Poland, Chechnya, our country has been represented by Blagovesta Doncheva, 'a translator'.

    "On November 17 the police detained several women, protesting the coming visit of President Bill Clinton, for disturbing the peace in the vicinity of the US Embassy.

    "The dailies 'Word' and 'Monitor' pointed out that the victims were Anka Penkova, Madeleine Kircheva and Blagovesta Doncheva. 'Doncheva, who is a an English translator, has been dragged over the ground to be taken into the police,' '
    Monitor' writes. The shock for naughty Doncheva must have been great: she forgot to mention to the reporters that she is a colleague of theirs and, in addition, one who has just published in 'The New York Times.' Who is Blagovesta Doncheva? Nobody knows her in the Translators' Association. Other than in the police report, one can find her name only in the... Internet. There is an address there: emperors-clothes.com. A cursory glance at the web site confirms that from the fairy-tale 'The New Clothes of The King', the site owners have chosen the denunciating cry: 'The King is Naked!' Graphomaniacs tour in the free publicity area on the principle that 'conspirators from all countries should unite!' Blagovesta Doncheva appears there too. [Here follow quotes from emperors-clothes].... The web editor announces: 'We have received this from a Bulgarian intellectual.' The composition itself follows, named: With Her Eyes Opened: a Letter to the Serb 'democratic opposition'. The date is September 4. The only obscure moment is when and how Blagovesta Doncheva has contacted the emperors-clothes.com editor for the first time. But what we can say with certainty is that his name Jared Israel. He is the man who 'gets' into the site his 'A Story for Two Articles', connected directly with Blagovesta Doncheva. He did it on November 12."

Further reading...

***

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