sounds of movement
…………….. the hills are alive ……………..
#12 Bulgaria – Crisis and Social Protests
Categories: General

In this show we hear about the protests that have been ongoing in Bulgaria since winter 2012, and the reasons why they are happening. Increasing poverty and rising electricity prices have brought many people onto the streets as the crisis makes itself felt in southeastern Europe. But while the shared demand of the current protests has tended to be ‘bring down the corrupt government’, what is meant with this varies a lot: leftists, nationalists and neoliberals alike are participating in the protests.

Speaking about current waves of protest and effects of the crisis in southeastern Europe, broader EU policies and the interests of finance and business (as often channeled through Austria, where this conversation was recorded) play no minor role. As Bulgaria and Romania are currently blocked from joining the Schengen area within the normal timeframe (1st January 2014), it is clear that at the margins of the European Union there is a lot at stake.

In conversation with Joachim Becker, Mariya Ivancheva thus tells us of some of the developments, problematics and potentials of current protests, pointing to the broader situation in southeastern Europe.

This show is based on the recording of the ‘Crisis and Social Protest in Southeastern Europe’ event that took place on 19th November 2013 in Vienna. We have edited this recording in order to focus on Bulgaria, aided by some musical input from Mariya.

Mariya Ivancheva is a researcher and social activist (Social Centre Xaspel, Sofia; Lefteast Platform; IWM Vienna). Joachim Becker is editor of Kurswechsel and Professor at WU, Vienna.


Event Info – Crisis and Social Protests in Southeastern Europe

Analysis piece by Mariya Ivancheva, published on the LeftEast platform: ‘A vicious cycle: some notes on the Bulgarian protests from the summer of 2013’ 

Nineoclock, ‘Bulgaria and Romania will not join Schengen on January 1st 2014’

DP, 5th Dec 2013. ‘Germany/Britain call for inner EU migratory curbs’

The Guardian, 27th November 2013. ‘David Cameron’s migration plans are impractical, inequitable or illegal’ 

Audio clips:

‘1968’ by Ревю (Revue)

‘Bulgaria Self-immolation’, CNN Clip from 22nd March 2013, as found on Youtube

Amet – ДЖАМОВЕТЕ (The Shop Windows)



broadcast on Radio Orange and Radio Helsinki in December 2013.

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