Danube, the border between Romania and Bulgaria

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One third of the EU population lives in cross-border areas, says European Commission. Here is a photo from the Danube, at the border between Romania (Giurgiu) and Bulgaria (Rousse).

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Cold War’s hunting tales in Romania

Hunting in 1966: Nicolae Ceausescu and other Romanian comrades
Hunting in 1966: Nicolae Ceausescu and other Romanian comrades

When it comes of Cold War and bears, everybody would naturally think of a nickname: “Russian” (or “Soviet”) Bear. But who would ever think of “flying” bears inside the Warsaw Pact? There is no miracle of communism: simply, recent research shows that the only explanation for presence of bears in nowadays Bulgaria is that a while ago Romania’s communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu send animals, as a gift, by military planes, to neighbouring People’s Republic of Bulgaria ruled by Todor Jivkov. The two leaders used to hunt together in Romania. Romanian communist bosses were passionate hunters and also ready to use the opportunities for hunting in the Romanian mountains to make “business” with other leaders, including USSR’s. It was reported crucial decisions were made in such moments. True or not, hunting in Carpathians seemed the perfect field for secret talks inside Warsaw Pact. Continue reading “Cold War’s hunting tales in Romania”

Black Sea NATO countries and Russia

Romania_BlackSeaWhile Bulgaria is on high alert because of the Russian flights over the Black Sea, Romania, also located at the sea, said would host more American troops in the military bases at the Black Sea. NATO said on Tuesday it suspended the cooperation with Russia and that would defend, if necessary, the Eastern European and Baltic nations; “a reinvigorated NATO flexed old Cold War muscles “, Washington Post commented.

Continue reading “Black Sea NATO countries and Russia”

Jan 1st, 2014: Opening the EU gates

Photo: Traian Olinici
Photo: Traian Olinici

It’s a very cold morning in Bucharest, Romania, but several hundreds of people are preparing their suitcases, sitting right in the street. Buses are waiting for them, while the drivers are checking the travelling papers. There are people of different ages, all of them prepared to spend the next more than 48 hours in bus, taking them to countries like Germany, Netherlands or even Luxembourg.  No bus to UK, this time, but usually there are also 2 or 3 buses to this country. Some of them are going to work, some of them just visiting their families working, most of them in Germany, so for them it maybe a winter holiday-but still far away from home; and you cannot see Santa Claus around or hear „Jingle bells”.

Continue reading “Jan 1st, 2014: Opening the EU gates”

Controversy without borders

Bulgarians living near the border with Romania rise against Romania shale gas “fracking” permit, according to Bulgarian newswebsite novinite.com. While Bulgarian Government has adopted a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, the Romanian authorities have decided to allow US company Chevron to explore shale gas using the controversial technology in the Constanta region (Black Sea).

But the area is located very close to Bulgaria: the village of Vama Veche is right at the border between Romania and Bulgaria.

“Bulgarians, particularly those in Southern Dobrudza, have harbored fears that if the Romanian moratorium is lifted, the technology will for sure affect Bulgarian regions close to the Bulgarian-Romanian border and will destroy the soil, poison the waters, and depopulate the region.”, according to novinite.com.

The new bridge over the Danube

The new bridge over the Danube, Vidin (Bulgaria)- Calafat (Romania) will be opened until the middle of this year. It’s the second bridge over the Danube between the two countries, and is set to make easier the connection between several countries in Europe, from Turkey to Germany.

Still the areas where the bridge is built are haunted by poverty, with big rates of unemployment. In the former industrial town of Calafat, more than 50% of active population have no jobs.  Some people hope the new bridge would contribute to some local business and make their life easier, but the transition from communism to capitalism seems, here, still a chalenge.

The construction company, FCC Construccion, posted on Youtube, aerial and other footage with the bridge:

There is no mass immigration of Roma

The German media is criticizing the prejudices against the Romanians, Bulgarians, and particularly the Roma of these two countries, according to European media portal presseurope.ro. The articles come as reactions to some remarks made by German Government officials.

  • The Tabloid Bild in an article called “Six truths about Roma in Germany”: “80 per cent of immigrants from Bulgaria and Romania have found a regular job” and there is “no mass immigration” of Roma into Germany.
  • Die Tageszeitung: Romanians and Bulgarians with training come here to work. […]. The fact is, though, that not all of them do find a job. To refer to a ‘Roma Express’ […] is a vicious innuendo that is far from accidental. […] The readiness to see one’s own wellbeing under constant threat is a typical German sensitivity. […] Sometimes it’s threatened by the Greeks, sometimes by asylum seekers – but no one fits the bill as well as the Roma. No other group raises as many negative associations, and the Union [of Christian Democrats] has done everything to keep it that way.