This background indicates that Bulgaria’s crisis involves more than economics. In fact, it is animated not by anti-austerity but by anti-politics. An indication of this is that the protesters are unimpressed by the Keynesian rhetoric of the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), even as they call for the state to intervene in the economy and action against poverty. Moreover, Borisov’s downfall was followed by populist calls for a radical overhaul of the “system”; among the measures proposed were citizen control over the energy sector, kicking out “monopolies” (especially those in foreign hands), civic quotas in regulatory bodies, a new constitution and electoral code, and even banning political parties and jailing all national leaders in power since the 1990s. This, then, is not a battle for the budget but a revolt against the political elite – right, left and centre. The public rallies are raising issues such as corruption and state-capture, and questioning the Bulgarian post-communist transition in its entirety: the political class and the economic model it oversaw.
more from Dimitar Bechev at Eurozine here.