The No Border Camp Siva Reka
is an opportunity for me to return to Bulgaria, where I had not been back since 1992.
The development is striking in 20 years. Bulgaria in 1992 was still the richest country in the Balkans after Greece, with facilities comparable to those in Poland or Czechoslovakia. Today, poverty, outdated transportation, lack of maintenance of the buildings are striking.
My walks in the Sofia lead me to qualify this impression, some neighborhoods, where are the tourist attractions, embassies, some uptown, well maintained, and also benefit from more modern transportation. Cars, shops, trendy bars mark the existence of a middle class and wealthy.
Despite these nuances, Bulgaria has taken the face of a third world of Europe, low-wage countries for offshoring, and reservoir of labor in which the other countries of the European Union can draw at will , depending on the limitations placed on access of Bulgarians, Romanians as to their labor markets.
One area that accounted for the relative prosperity of Bulgaria was communist computer. In the fall of the wall, Western companies have come to their market, and technicians were employed abroad. And this economic sector collapsed in Bulgaria.
Some neighborhoods and slums Romani visible in the city.
To quote the information guide for tourists, in the "beggars"
"Economic hardship has produced various categories of beggars. Many pensioners have been forced to beg, or old women wander on the streets trying to sell some flowers. Any assistance is usually gratefully appreciated. On the other hand there are the predominantly gypsy gangs with small babies who usually have to hand over their earnings at the end of the day. "