Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Bulgarian nurses on plane to Sofia

by gradinski chai Tue Jul 24th, 2007 at 02:33:01 AM EST

Bulgarian media are announcing that the six Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor (now a naturalized Bulgarian) are on a plane bound for Sofia.

Cécilia Sarkozy (in particular) and President Sarkozy are being given a good deal of the early credit for the rapid developments in the situation. On a side note, the medics are arriving on the plane of the French president.

Also receiving credit is the European Union. For more information about the background, you can read the following diaries or can get some info from the ribbon on the front page of EuroTrib.

Seven Years in Libya or You Are Not Alone!

They are expected to arrive at about 10:00 Sofia-time. I'll try to drop in a couple of time today to let you know the Bulgarian media's reading of the situation.

Comments >> (4 comments)


by gradinski chai Thu Mar 1st, 2007 at 03:29:36 AM EST

Bulgarian Martenitsa


For an explanation of this strange phenomenon...

Greetings to gradinski chai - afew

Read more... (9 comments, 252 words in story)

Bulgarian Presidential Elections, 2nd round, 29 OCT 2006

by gradinski chai Sun Oct 29th, 2006 at 11:37:22 AM EST

It's an absolutely beautiful day here in this corner of the continent...bright sunny skies and temperatures around 19-20 celsius (66-68 fahrenheit). And all over Bulgaria a few people are going out to cast their ballots in the second round of our presidential elections.

From the diaries ~ whataboutbob

Update [2006-10-29 12:49:55 by gradinski chai]: The forces of democracy win in a blowout...more inside...

Read more... (7 comments, 282 words in story)

Bulgarian Presidential Elections, 22 OCT 2006

by gradinski chai Sun Oct 22nd, 2006 at 09:28:34 AM EST

A generally unenthusiastic electorate will go to the polls today...well perhaps 30-40% of them at least...to start the process of electing the Bulgarian president for the next five years.

Let's use this as a Bulgarian election thread - from the diaries ~ whataboutbob

Read more... (23 comments, 623 words in story)

A Wise EU Decision on Bulgaria & Romania

by gradinski chai Wed Sep 6th, 2006 at 09:38:04 AM EST

Bulgaria, Romania under strictest EU eye
By George Parker and Daniel Dombey in Brussels and Kerin Hope in Athens

Bulgaria and Romania are set to get the go-ahead to join the European Union on January 1 under the strictest conditions ever applied to new members of the club.
Mr Rehn and Mr Barroso are understood to have rejected the idea of postponing Bulgaria or Romania's entry until 2008 - the toughest sanction available to the EU - on the grounds it would discourage reformers.

"We think the best way to achieve our aim is to work with them with the threat of these measures," said a senior European Commission official. "It's a better way to achieve results than by postponing until 2008."

Why is this such a wise decision?

The first measure that Rehn and Barroso are talking about is to withold EU funds that are supposed to go to the governments. This "in-but-no money" route is a brilliant decision by the Commission. I know that there is enlargement fatigue among members, but delaying Bulgarian and Romanian accession at this point (even though they are not completely ready) would be a real blow against any further reform. This formula allows the average citizen to see the EU as an ally against problematic governments and state administrations. By becoming members, the pains of the transition are rewarded. Populations can feel proud and/or relieved of something. This feel good factor is really necessary at present in both states.

Update [2006-9-6 12:29:4 by gradinski chai]:

EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini told Reuters that Bulgaria and Romania have to join the EU in 2007 without conditions, which would render them second-class members.
As I argue below, Frattini is just plain wrong.

Promoted by Colman

Read more... (7 comments, 887 words in story)

A Thanks to EuroTribbers

by gradinski chai Tue May 30th, 2006 at 04:34:27 AM EST

As some of you know, we had a group of students become part of the Eurotrib community over the past four months. Classmembers posted comments and diaries as part of a course entitled, "Politics and the Fifth Estate." Well, the class has finished, and I just wanted to thank the ET community members for making the students feel welcome and making the overall experience a success.

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After After Neoconservatism

by gradinski chai Mon Feb 20th, 2006 at 08:48:21 AM EST

I just saw this by chance and recommend reading Francis Fukuyama's recent piece in the NYT titled, After Neoconservatism. I had not seen a diary on this and think that it needs to get out.

Fukuyama is a rather conservative American political thinker who is best known for his post-Cold War "end of history argument" in which liberal democracy was seen to be the endpoint of historical, social development.

Read more... (19 comments, 245 words in story)

Euro Trib Action Alert Primer (check it out!)

by gradinski chai Fri Aug 26th, 2005 at 07:42:54 AM EST

Primer: A book that covers the basic or elementary parts of a subject; a book for teaching children to read.

Last week, I put up an entry on action alerts in the European Tribune Wiki. For those unfamiliar, an action alert is a form of public lobbying that focuses lots of different citizen voices on a few influential public servants.

I hope that some enterprising person concerned about some particular issue being considered in Brussels will be able to use it...and to continue bridging the gap between Europe's citizens and the EU.

Editor's Note: Please go read this Action Alert Primer - its a short read and important information to become familiar with. (25-8-05; 6:00pm MEST; by whataboutbob)

Read more... (15 comments, 682 words in story)

What's your funniest language faux pas?

by gradinski chai Wed Aug 17th, 2005 at 04:58:58 PM EST

Some light and fun evening reading from the diaries ~ whataboutbob

One of the challenges of being in a European environment is the language barrier. Whether we live, work, or travel in Europe, we inevitably face the joy (or for people like me the terror) of trying to communicate across these linguistic divides.

Anyone learning a new language inevitably makes mistakes...that's how we learn. We language learners, however, also provide another valuable social function by providing endless amusement for native speakers as we slog our way through their language.

Having read the funny posts by PeWi, Caldonia, and MarekNYC, I thought we might take up a collection of the funniest or most embarrassing mistakes that we have made while trying to learn another language. Who knows, maybe we can publish a book out of it, make millions, and help pay for this site? :)

So, what's your funniest or most embarrasing language faux pas?

Comments >> (32 comments)

Bulgaria gets a government...finally...

by gradinski chai Tue Aug 16th, 2005 at 09:38:58 AM EST

Promoted by Colman

It looks like, maybe, Bulgaria will get a government in the next few days. This would not be really newsworthy if it were not for the fact that elections took place on 25 June. What has emerged over the past few weeks has been an tortured process of assembling a parliamentary majority, but is something else is going on as well?

Read more... (12 comments, 536 words in story)

My new heroes...Bulgarian journalists

by gradinski chai Mon Jun 27th, 2005 at 03:02:18 AM EST

promoted from the diaries by Jerome. This is the other important election of the week-end...

Bulgarians allowed the extreme right into parliament in Saturday's voting in the form of the anti-Roma, anti-EU/US "Attack" movement. The group took about 8.2% of the vote and is likely to see some 22 seats in Bulgaria's 240 member parliament. This makes it the fourth largest group in a seven party parliament. The number of parties entering also the largest that we've seen in the past three elections.

Read more... (9 comments, 570 words in story)

More than you wanted to know about the 25 June Bulgarian elections

by gradinski chai Fri Jun 24th, 2005 at 08:01:38 AM EST

Promoted from the diaries by Colman

The sounds of various election concerts and some very loud fireworks shook Sofia and other Bulgarian cities last night as we all prepared for Bulgarian elections tommorow, 25 June.

Mildly curious? Just have some time to spare? Planning a vacation? Here's a rundown on what is likely to happen...

Read more... (21 comments, 662 words in story)

Election lotto: novel idea or perversion of democracy?

by gradinski chai Thu Jun 16th, 2005 at 11:38:25 PM EST

Bulgarians voting in next week's parliamentary elections will have the opportunity to participate in an election lottery. The government sponsored lottery will allow voters who have voted to register for the lottery by internet or by mobile phone. Prizes include mobile phones,  watches, computers, and a Hyundai Matrix.

Read more... (147 words in story)

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