This was written by the economist Evgeny Kanev in a post on Facebook.
Here’s what else the post says:
First of all, imagine that you want to organize a protest in Sofia against Putin and Putin’s Russia. You need permission from the municipality for it. Such a decision may not be issued under various pretexts, or it may be delayed, or it may be issued on an inappropriate day and time, because such a protest contradicts the views of the mayor and the interests of the parties and organizations behind it. And so blue Sofia will be prevented by its red mayor from expressing its civic position. By the way, Grigorova has already announced her intention to remove the Ukrainian flag from the Municipality, placed there as a sign of solidarity with the fight of the Ukrainian people against the Russian aggressor.
Conversely, we can be sure that the protests of the BSP, Vazrazhdane, ITN and pro-presidential formations will become more frequent on any occasion. And of course, they will be anti-European or against pro-European governments.
Secondly, for a mayor – a fan of Putin’s Russia – what would be her chances of creating political contacts with mayors of other European cities for the benefit of Sofians? In terms of exchange of experience, experts, cultural and educational programs, know-how in municipal projects? Did anyone imagine Vanya in dialogue with European politicians? In other words, Sofia has a …Trojan future waiting for her.
Thirdly, candidate for mayor Grigorova hates not just the market and private capital, but Western private capital. She has repeatedly stated that if it were up to her, she would immediately terminate the concession of Sofia Water, which is managed by the Mercedes of these water services in Europe – the French Veolia. In order to have again that social municipal water supply system from the 90s, which left Sofia without water for several months, and Sofia residents were supplied with water from Central Banya with the so-called “yanchulevki”. Is this what we want for Sofia?
By the way, we see the state of these services in the country, which are everywhere municipal. However, it is true that this applies not only to plumbing, but to almost all municipal services. Grigorova’s example with “red” Vienna is clumsy and unsuccessful, because there the municipality works entirely with private companies in various forms, incl. Public-private partnerships. Austria is among the countries with the fewest state and municipal employees in Western Europe and with a perfectly functioning judicial system that protects against self-forgetting officials and politicians – what we have been craving for decades in Sofia.
Fourthly, Grigorova’s Russophile will very likely lead to a “business partnership” with the presidency in favor of Russia. For example, we know that nearly 1/3 of the imported gas is consumed by “Toplofikatsia” Sofia. The problem of its indebtedness is huge and unresolved. But instead of looking with the private sector for alternatives to gas such as geothermal energy, RDF, etc. – it is very likely that direct supplies will be arranged under Radev’s contract with BOTASH, which is an open secret that masks the direct import of Russian gas. And “Toplofikatsia” will continue to suffer from a lack of investment and quality management, which the municipality obviously cannot provide. And Sofians – from ever higher bills.
Fifthly, the communist views of the candidate-mayor will affect the development prospects of Sofia wherever there is no development without the active role of private capital. Garden, social, educational, pedestrian, cultural and any infrastructure – only quality partnerships with the private sector can solve the accumulated problems. But according to the Russian example, we are offered to continue public procurement to “our companies” and kickbacks for the red politicians behind Vanya. And where she proposes the creation of new municipal companies – such as electricity supply – her solution is that the electricity for the socially weak should be cheap, because these companies would operate without…profit. Where in the world it is, only Vanya knows.
In sixth place, the cultural poster of modern European achievements – which was scarce even under the current mayoress – will be filled with Russian or Eurasian appearances, often propaganda. Can you imagine Galin Stoev’s performance “The Hague” in a municipal theater with Mrs. Grigorova? It doesn’t seem very likely to me.
There will probably be many more effects on Sofia from the geopolitical views of the future mayor. But mostly on us from the choice we will make on Sunday between Europe and Eurasia.