Bulgaria is very much concerned about anything that may happen to the EU, and especially about the risks that increasing the number of its members entails. Last April 25th, my country signed a joining agreement with the EU. We made huge efforts to achieve this and that is why Bulgaria is now watching the EU crisis without losing sight of its objectives and interests.
Bulgaria is a country with a long history and with a rich culture that has once and again flourished after each crisis. Today, as something exceptional in its hectic history, Bulgaria is undergoing a period of significant changes. Such changes have made us feel even more enthusiastic and determined. Within three days, particularly important and uncertain legislative elections will be held in my country. However, whatever the result, our foreign and European policies will remain the same. Additionally, we have a dynamic economy which derives from the financial policy that we have been following since 4 years ago. Obviously, this has been all due to the highly strict measures we have abided by and to the fact of having “tightened our own belt”. This has led us to even take unpopular actions, particularly because poverty is still a serious problem that we’re facing. It is difficult to think in a macroeconomic way when we can’t see any change in our own pockets. But in spite of this, my fellow countrymen and countrywomen are working without a break and better everyday.
It wouldn’t be honest on my part to ignore that Bulgaria is still facing a number of challenges such as the still unfinished reforms of the justice, health and education systems. Our victory in the struggle against corruption and crime is not complete and even less absolute. However, we keep going on thanks to the work of Simeon Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha’s government and to the assistance coming from our European and American friends.
Bulgaria is a traditionally French-speaking country. It has always been very important for us to rely on France’s support and friendship. Bulgarians know that the French ‘no’ in their referendum is not addressed against them or against their joining Europe.

Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.

"France-Bulgarie, l’indispensable amitié", by Milen Veltchev, Le Figaro, June 22, 2005.