|| issue 3, year XII, 2005
H. E. Dr Harald Kinderman,
Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany
”We, in the EU, Need a Strong Bulgaria”
Interview by Nadia Stancheva and Verdjinia Ananieva page 4
”It should be noted that German investors are satisfied with Bulgaria. More so, because they do extremely well from their projects, which is a sign that business works. We polled most German firms and they declared that they would like to stay in Bulgaria and wished to broaden their activities there. Yet, naturally, they have some wishes for the improvement of the general business climate. These wishes are mainly in four directions: firstly, infrastructure - roads, bridges, control-examination posts, airports - should be improved, so that transport links can become better and faster; secondly, there are some questions regarding taxes. This is very important for legal security as well as for the security of investments in Bulgaria. There is also a fourth set of questions, which is pressing in other areas too - namely, the complicated bureaucracy.”
Dr Peter Anders
Director of the Goethe Institute, Sofia
”We Value Innovative, Experimental Aesthetics”
Interview by Tsvetanka Elenkova page 6
”Art is an indelible part of the development of socio-political events in a country. This means that a man’s works always influence socio-political events. Certainly, every artist is absolutely individual and in his own individual way realizes his connection with the public. That is why we are interested in following this creative perspective, in which in a new experimental way we find our creative expression. It is done in two ways. The first is to look at the final result and the second is the process of the creative work itself. It is precisely in this that we see the contribution to civic-political society. We are interested in the connection society-art and the resulting dialogue.”
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ”Europe 2” Directorate page 9
The commercial-economic cooperation and our country’s interest in attracting leading strategic German investors constitute an extremely important component of Bulgaria’s links with the Free Republic of Bavaria. Significant trade partners of Bulgaria from Bavaria are the companies Siemens, BMW, Bai-Wa and Agrofaber. Over 730 German firms maintain trade relations with and are present in Bulgaria. Trade between Bulgaria and Bavaria exceeded the limit of 300 million euros annually in recent years, but a serious potential exists for its increase in the process of Bulgaria’s integration in and full membership of the EU from January 2007. It is in this context that the forthcoming visit of Bavaria’s Prime Minister, Edmund Steuber, to Bulgaria in autumn 2005, at the invitation of the Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, should be considered. No doubt this important visit is awaited with interest by representatives of political, economic and cultural partners from both countries and will contribute to the enrichment of mutual relations with new projects and concrete ideas.
Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union
Stefanka Igova page 11
The Federal Republic of Germany’s euro-integration policy is built on two strategic goals, namely perfection of the mechanisms for integration and widening of the EU. The German public follows closely the implementation of Bulgaria and Romania’s obligations, particularly in the field of jurisdiction and home affairs as well as in the fight against crime and corruption. In Germany, as in other member states, there is an increase in scepticism towards widening the EU due to many factors - first and foremost, the socio-economic realities in the countries themselves and the emerging negative effects of the accession of the Ten in 2004. The debate about the EU’s future in the Federal Republic of Germany invariably makes mention of Turkey. Officially, the FRG defends the position that Turkey should receive a concrete European perspective, taking into consideration the geo-political arguments for guaranteeing its security in the fight against international terrorism.
Geopolitics and the Role of the European Union, Germany and Bulgaria
Simeon Nickolov page 14
While 12 East European countries found their way towards the EU and two co-founders of the Union rejected the Constitution Treaty and raised fears about its future, experts unanimously remind us that the 21st century will be the age of Asia and not of Europe. They are indisputably right, but processes are interdependent. The dynamics of change, however, are such that it is difficult to make predictions. The United States are on the way to imposing the unipolar model, although not for long. The nascent triangle Russia-China-India suggests that some economic formation might be born whose might and economic policy will leave its mark on both the world economy and relations with neighbouring regions. An important factor will be the outcome of the conflict over oil and gas resources and the respective oil pipelines and gas mains towards Western Europe and the USA, on the one hand, and towards China, India and Japan on the other. A third influential factor is the USA’s role in their attempts to establish control over the Caucasus-Caspian region, an eventual provocation of Islamic forces and unsatisfied regional elites and the creation of a belt of instability around Russia, China and India, which will reverberate on the economic level. Due to the above-mentioned perspectives, one should bear in mind the building and development of a North-Eastern bridge - Ukraine-Russia - towards this region and another, South-Eastern bridge - the Balkans-Turkey - towards the same region.
Mr Mitko Vassilev,
Chief Executive of the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce and Representative of Bavaria in Bulgaria:
“Trade with Germany and Bavaria
Is at a Record Level”
Interview by Hristo Djenev page 16
“Trade relations recently are developing well. I could even say ‘very well.’ We are breaking record after record with Germany and Bavaria year in, year out. Trade last year amounted to 2.5 billion euros, which has not been registered since the changes in Bulgaria in 1989. This is the highest level achieved since that date. Germany’s exports to Bulgaria have continued to grow, but at the same time it is noteworthy that Bulgaria’s exports to Germany have grown by about 22 %, which makes a total increase of nearly 20 % - an extremely positive trend. Concerning Bavaria, things are looking the same - Bavaria’s exports to Bulgaria in 2004 amounted to 212 million euros, while Bulgaria’s imports in the region amounted to 210 million euros. This shows that Bavarian exports to Bulgaria have increased in one year by nearly 20 % and, over the last ten years, by 280 %. Meanwhile, Bulgaria’s imports in Bavaria have increased by 26 % in one year or, over a period of ten years, there has been a growth of 270 %. These are dry figures, but I think that they are telling in themselves. This is a very positive tendency in trade both between Bulgaria and Germany and between Bulgaria and Bavaria.”
Bavaria-Bulgaria - Economic Partners with Tradition and Vision
The most important commodities that Bavaria exports to Bulgaria are machines, automobiles, electro-technical products and textiles. Bulgaria exports to Bavaria clothes, electro-technical products, foods, machines, metals, etc. After North Rhine-Westphalen, Bavaria is the province with the most active presence in trade with Bulgaria. According to the Federal Statistical Institute, in 2004 Bavaria imported from Bulgaria goods worth 210 million euros and exported to Bulgaria goods worth 212 million euros, which puts total trade at 422 million euros. More than 600 Bavarian companies maintain economic contacts in Bulgaria. Bavaria is extremely important as an economic partner for Bulgaria due to the fact that it is a basic moving force of Germany’s economic growth.
About Students - with Realism
Elena Nickolova page 25
Politicians often quote that students in Germany already number 12,000. The mistake they make lies in the fact that a large number of these people have used their right to apply (to universities) and receive the status of “students”, but have actually come into the country to work. Some of them have not even entered the university. A fight against “permanent students” has been going on for quite some time in Germany and, long before passions were aroused about the manifold increase in fees, measures were being discussed for the financial compelling of irregular students to leave the country. Bulgarian students in the federal provinces, in which a sharp increase in fees is being planned, supported their German colleagues in their mass protests. For many of our students, such a step will force them to pack their suitcases for Bulgaria. If our parents once chose to study mainly technical specialties in German universities, the interest nowadays is towards economic and financial specialties, law, political sciences and philology. That is why the largest groups of Bulgarian students are in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Marburg, Manheim, Cologne, Dusseldorf, etc. The classifications that are made in Germany along 7 to 9 criteria show, for example, that in the specialty of German philology the best university is Ludwig Maximillian in Munich, in computer science and mathematics the Technical University in Munich is regarded as the best, in economic management the top university is in Manheim, while the university in Freiburg is the best for future historians.
Bavaria - Traditionalism and Innovation with Alpine Charm
CBogdan Mirchev page 29
The well-known advertising image of Bavaria and Bavarians as ”the good Germans” - joyful and hospitable - attracts tens of millions of tourists in all seasons. They bring Bavaria an annual income of nearly 14 billion euros and provide more than 350,000 jobs, but this of course is not due solely to the successfully maintained attractive image of Bavaria in the world. Along with the picturesque and diverse landscape, in which the Alps to the south are just a small part, with its cultural sights and beautiful towns and villages, Bavaria today is a pillar of federalism, understood as the protection of individual stateship within the Federal Republic and through participation in the taking of decisions and responsibilities both at national level and in the EU. In this regard, the winged phrase of the Bavarian king Ludvig I ”We want to be Germans and to remain Bavarians” can be heard today with the following addition: ”...to be Europeans as well and yet be Bavarians again and again.”
Munich - the City with a Heart
Bogdan Mirchev page 34
Although Munich with its 1,250,000 inhabitants ranks third by population among German cities after Berlin and Hamburg, it towers above them in another aspect. In the quality of life, for instance, as a cultural environment and geographical location - situated at 550 m. above sea level, in beautiful Southern Bavaria, close to the Alps, but also near Austria and Italy, at the meeting-point of cultures in Europe down the ages. The desire to adopt cultural influences, determining important tendencies in the development of European civilization, is clearly shown in the museum buildings of Koningsplatz, whose prototype are architectural models from ancient Greece. Because of them, Munich is called ”Athens on the Iser,” the river running through the centre of the city, that has given economic justification of the act for its formation. Munich is not only “the secret cultural capital of Germany,” but also a great scientific, industrial and communication centre on a world scale. Apart from the two universities, there are also about ten higher institutes of learning, academies, scientific institutes and research centres, including the famous nuclear ”Atomic Egg” in Garhing. The Munich Fair with its various thematic exhibitions, situated in the ultramodern buildings of the new fair city, contributes a lot to its role as a great international trade centre.
Who Is Winning What from
Georgi Vladislavov page 39
There is only one year left until the World Cup is held in Germany. Hotel owners expect higher income, politicians a solid growth of the economy. Economic experts warn, however, that the expected economic boom might not happen. Some financial specialists forecast only 0.2 % growth of the economy as a result of the World Cup. And that is too small. If there is anyone who will definitely win from the World Cup, it is the official sponsors.
Going to the Cinema in Munich
Janina Dragostinova page 44
This is the festival of Munich City. It was set up in 1983 by Eberhard Hauf, who was its director until 2003. This is the second biggest film festival by size and scope inside the Federal Republic of Germany. It has been visited so far by over 1,250,000 people. More than 1,500 media professionals meet there every year, while the number of accredited journalists exceeds 600 annually. Over 4,000 feature films, documentaries and shorts have been shown in its programme from its creation to the present day. Thus the Munich Festival provides an opportunity for professional meetings as well as enjoyment for the city’s inhabitants and guests. For a second year now, the Film Festival’s director is the 43-year-old Andreas Stroll. He has threatened to rid the Festival of so-called experimental cinema, which attracts only a few spectators as well as of part of the TV series that have other specifics. This year’s Munich Festival opened on 24 June with the feature film ”Drum” - a debut by the South African director Zola Maseko.
Classics - the Living Force of Being True to Yourself
The Munich Kamerspiele Theatre produced Sophocles’ ”Antigone” as a
contemporary debate about truth
Svetlana Pancheva page 46
Lars-Ole Walburg’s stage adaptation of ”Antigone” successfully accepts the challenge to produce this classical text today and to engage the audience at the beginning of the 21st century in its problems. For this ”Antigone” deals with pertinent questions, with an essential existential debate, with problems that matter for modern man and, what is particularly important, it does not attempt to give ready decisions. In setting the two positions against each other, the play does not arrive at Antigone’s heroization (she is quite frightening in her inflexibility) or at the accusation and rejection of Creon (who, in Michael Neuenschwander’s performance, has his serious and reasonable grounds). ”Antigone” by the Munich Kamerspiele Theatre is a performance that deals critically with the themes of non-dialogue, misunderstanding and uncompromise.
Pope Benedict XVI:
”Christ Calls Us to Carry Each Other”
Bogdan Patashev, Theologian
The Catholic Exarchate, Sofia page 53
This time we, in Bulgaria, were also witnesses of how believers in Saint Peter’s Square in Rome welcomed with great excitement the election of Saint Peter’s new successor, the German cardinal Josef Ratzinger. Until that moment Josef Ratzinger, who quite recently turned 78, was Prefect of the Congregation for Faith’s Doctrine, Chairman of the Papal Biblical Commission and the Papal International Theological Commission and Dean of the Cardinals Association. Just a few more data, mainly in figures, concerning this time not Cardinal Ratzinger, but the Church. According to the latest data of the Holy See’s statistical yearbook, out of a total of 703 million people inhabiting Europe, Catholics amount to 280 million and their number has decreased by 32,000 in comparison with the year 2001. In his first message, the Pope called upon us to work unsparingly for the full and visible unity of all followers of Christ. For unity is the first determining sign of God’s love.
The Relationship with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
Prelate Dr Albert Rauch
The Institute for Eastern Churches, Regensburg page 55
”Many threads bind us with the history of the Bulgarian people and especially with the origins of the Bulgarian Church through the Slavonic Apostles Cyril and Methodius and their disciples, who came to you from Great Moravia, Bishop Graber used to say. Their activity laid the foundations of the Golden Age of old Bulgarian writing and cultural and religious life. Thus, from a country with a pagan people, Bulgaria turned into a luminary of Slavonic spiritual life and piety. The Orthodox Church also brought about the national unity of the Bulgarian people. As a guardian of the Fathers’ faith, it fought an age-old fight not only for church independence, but first and foremost for national sovereignty. These efforts also led recently to the stabilization of the spiritual situation in New Bulgaria and to the well-deserved restoration of the Bulgarian Patriarchate.”
Michael Kruger, Uwe Kolbe,
Gencho Denchev, Andrey Mikhailov
|Translated by Galia B. Cholakova
Revised by Jonathan Dunne