bTV continues with the series “The President of Bulgaria”.
On four consecutive Saturdays we tell you about everything that remained hidden from the cameras and the public during the term of Presidents Rosen Plevneliev, Georgi Parvanov, Petar Stoyanov and Zhelyo Zhelev.
This Saturday is the turn of the head of state in the period 2002 – 2012. Georgi Parvanov.
Sir Parvanov, 10 years after your decade in the presidential institution. What are you interested in now?
Whatever I want. There was a broadcast from your colleague, at the end of my term he asked me what I was doing then and I said: “What is necessary”, and then I said: “With what I wish”. I’ve been writing all my life, after writing a book – a documentary-memoir, now I throw myself with more bait even to write a book about leadership.
This is if you are interested in the history and documents, if you will return at another time – jokingly share in your last book that on the day of your first presidential election you were ready only with a statement of a negative result or initial loss. How did you win your first term, despite the sociologists?
I won with a lot of running, with a lot of collisions, with a lot of work, with another technology. This is how we made elections, traveling around the country, meeting a lot of people. You can meet voters at the meetings, there were serious discussions and while others were interested here with fictional debates, I had already reached many people. I had made many elections before, 3 months before that I lost a very difficult parliamentary election against the King. I had won the local elections before. That is, in many consecutive elections of different nature, I had built my strategy and tactics. I had been written off, I was considered a samurai, I was subjected to hara-kiri, but suddenly I took for many that I had become. By the way, you have a survey that 40 days before the election you give me 15th place in the ranking, and I took that you succeeded.
When was it more difficult – the first time, when it is suddenly for many, or every other time, when you have to keep the trust of those you have chosen?
Undoubtedly, the first time was much more difficult, because my opponent, who acted on the opponent Peter Stoyanov, was declared the person of the century, he has every reason for the expected victory, and I was deaf. Of course, a large, strong coalition has already been formed to really win various smaller battles.
What are the moments you were not prepared for when entering the building of Dondukov 2?
Of course, I did not prepare closely professionally for a head of state, but in any case my training as a politician was broader, more to the state, except to the problems and requirements of the executive branch, and therefore I was offered to be prime minister. I have always rejected such an idea, but I was very well prepared for Dondukov2.
You say in your book that there are no eternal enemies in politics. How did you manage to include your political opponents in the partners in your capacity as president?
It’s hard, even inside the left I needed a lot of time, a few years. Now some believe that a coalition is being formed from today to tomorrow. I have 3-4 years to make a “Coalition for Bulgaria”. Less, but I have enough time to give me the impetus to become, as your colleagues joke, the “architect of the Triple Coalition.” There were irreconcilable relations between NMSS, MRF, BSP – these are parties different in their idea, but we must remember that in some elections coalitions are formed before the elections so that we can differentiate and from there to succeed more votes. But I must always keep in mind that after the election we must be able to find the basics so that we can bring together parties that are too different, not to say contradictory.
Why do you think “coalition” is a dirty word for foreign policy?
This started from the time after the Triple Coalition, it could be from GERB. Boyko Borissov gathered it most often, then, of course, the others picked it up, and now that we draw the line from the distance of time, I think it is difficult to refute the thesis that the next coalitions were much weaker, much weaker. unsuccessful, less than the Triple Coalition in all the flaws that I criticize her comment. Of course, you can not do without coalitions, you can not have 100, 200, 300 parties, which of which are really irreconcilable, and at one point not you think that the management of the final account must blunt these contradictions and intend common ground, priorities.
We do not read between the lines – is there a key, important event in your two presidential terms that remains hidden from public view?
I have tried to tell almost everything in the book and in numerous interviews. You know, what is hidden is what is done for the preparation of an event. I will give you an example with Libya, with the rescue of our medical workers there. There was a great debate, you probably remember whether diplomacy was overt or covert. It was a fictional argument. There were many obvious moments, including my visit to Tripoli and my conversations with Tony Blair, with Sarkozy, if you will, with Bush, but this has a huge sea of underwater work of people like Boris Velchev, Georgi Dimitrov – the diplomat, the people from the Foreign Ministry, of Ivaylo Kalfin team. Quietly, meekly, I have now taken out the documents that prepared things, and this is the hidden part, without which it cannot pass.
From the position and distance of time, was the international policy you are trying to pursue successful, which included the following: “Always with Europe, never against Russia”?
I didn’t invent that. I’m not sure the previous king said that, but it doesn’t matter. The philosophy is good, especially since we are already a member of the EU. In any case, we try to keep up with the others. But the balance must be there. And with Russia, and with other countries in the East. We have many friends in the south, in the Balkans, ‘said Bush, and so did Barroso, the president of the EU. We were a leader, albeit informally announced. So we need a multilateral policy in which we stand in solidarity with Brussels, insofar as our interests really require it. At the same time, let’s not forget that many things from Russia can be used. And not just energy. From other countries around the Black Sea-Caspian region. In general, the skill is in balance. I have such a phrase, maybe I will repeat myself, because I was often teased for the Grand Slam, and my thesis was that the best for Bulgaria are Russian energy projects and an American base. I have said it in both Washington and Moscow, and no one has responded from there.
The mentioned and the American bases – how did you change your position from a person, part of the party, which does not allow the American planes to pass through the Bulgarian airspace, and then you were the president who officially signed and sealed our participation in the North Atlantic Alliance?
Everyone has the right to development. You see, I was against allowing planes to attack Yugoslavia in a war that I did not accept. Someone had written sarcastically: “We have a pacifist president” and I do not give up, but when I was already a member of the Alliance and with my signature, we really had to be in solidarity, to be fair to our partners, but on one condition – when they form coalitions, they go to attack Iraq, they create a coalition of those who want to and they do not include us without asking us, but decide on a different type of attack, our military is not involved in this. Our policies are not involved. No, I want equal participation and holding of this position, from the time when the great cripple with our soldiers in Karbala took place, with death, may God forgive them. This formulates some such principles, including maximum guarantees for our fighters, who are sent to the contingents.