Oh that feeling when you have been ripped off. We have all felt it. Maybe a taxi driver overcharges you, a co-worker backstabs you, or perhaps a business partner betrays your trust and runs off with the loot.
We have all been swindled from time to time, some people worse than others. It hurts, it damages your pride and confidence, but if you are smart, you learn from your mistakes and swiftly cut off the wrongdoers from your life.
As the saying goes…”Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
Perhaps the mother of all swindling just took place two days ago when Russia pulled the plug on South Stream, and left a variety of EU countries holding a bag of nothingness.
Serbia, Hungary, and Austria, who will lose out in the South Stream pull back, at least exercised some dignity and sovereignty by approving the project on their end, and refusing King Brussels’ demands to halt construction on the lucrative pipeline.
Greece, Italy and Romania remained a bit more quiet throughout the entire South Stream tug of war, perhaps opting to fly below the Brussels radar as best they could.
But Bulgaria, oh Bulgaria, you got swindled, shafted, mistreated in the most vile and evil of ways. Those E.U. powers up north…man they screwed you guys big time.
No one can be sure what exact leverage they held over Bulgaria’s politicians and policy makers to warrant the stonewalling of a project that literally would have transformed the country, but whatever guarantees they provided, one thing is for sure, Bulgaria ain’t gonna see one cent of it.
Brussels won’t even be so kind as to offer up an apology…”Hey Bulgaria, sorry guys we misread the whole Russia/gas thing. We thought some hardball would make Russia grovel like we grovel to our US masters.”
The newly crowned Queen of Brussels, Federica Mogherini, had these words of comfort to offer Bulgaria regarding South Stream.
In other words…blah, blah, we will form a committee, blah, blah, which will form a committee, blah, blah, which will do committee stuff and then we will lend Bulgaria $400 million USD in return for reforms, austerity and an “opening” up of their economy to our banks and speculators.
Seriously, this how the Brussels elite think nowadays. It’s all about what’s in it for them. How can they best subjugate, pillage and financially rape their southern neighbours.
Bulgaria should not forget that up in the North of Europe they will remain nice and toasty warm, enjoying their cheap gas delivered via the Russian Nord Stream pipeline. What’s good for the north of Europe is obviously not good for the South of Europe.
Feeling a tad slighted, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has decided to go to Brussels for consultations in the EU regarding “energy issues.”
As ITAR TASS reports:
The main topic of the forthcoming consultations in the European Commission will be Sofia’s attempt to get compensation for the closure of the South Stream gas pipeline project by Russia. It was halted by Moscow on December 1 as Bulgaria did not give Russia’s natural gas monopoly Gazprom the permission to launch the natural gas pipeline system construction in the Black Sea.
Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to Sofia on Monday to demand from the European Union compensation for losses from the halted project. Putin said that the project would have given at least €400 million to Bulgaria’s budget per year from gas transit.
The European Commission on December 9 will hold a coordination meeting with the EU countries’ governments on South Stream. And on Wednesday, Bulgarian authorities started the calculation of the lost funds. The more so that freezing the South Stream project Bulgaria complied with the EU policy. Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said in October that his country would “prevent a situation in which the gas pipeline will be built not under European legislation.”
“None of us has seen the official figure – how much Bulgaria would gain and when it would start to get the profit. Such figure does not exist,” Borisov said in the Bulgarian parliament on Wednesday. “If it’s not 400 million euro per year, this means that our half of the project will pay back in several years. I’ve heard this, but could not read anywhere from which year and how much Bulgaria will be receiving from gas transit through its territory.”
Unfortunately Bulgaria will have to tack on Prime Minister Borisov’s plane ticket to Brussels to the total bill of wasted state funds allocated to the South Stream debacle, because as ITAR TASS reports…
The EU already said, however, that it does not intend to pay Bulgaria. European Commission spokesperson Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said on Tuesday that “there are no legal grounds for compensations in case of suspension of that or other similar projects.”
However, the Bulgarian premier still cherishes hopes. Boyko Borisov asked the lawmakers to set specific tasks: “There are issues I would like to discuss with representatives of the European Commission. I want the Popular Assembly to charge me with the task to raise them. I want the coming dialogue to be maximally constructive.”
I guess hope does indeed die last.
As Prime Minister Borisov hopes and prays for a miracle, we suggest Bulgaria not forget that when the opportunity to rise up from poverty and suffering finally presented itself, in the form of South Stream, Brussels made sure to swindle you out of your God given right to energy independence and prosperity.
“In the Now” with Anissa Naouai explains how Europe shot itself in the foot and Bulgaria in the heart.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.