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Maxim Behar on Bulgaria 24 - The US Presidential Election

06.11.2020

Maxim Behar commented on the US presidential election, the falsification of votes, international relations, as well as the US foreign policy for NT Bulgaria 24, in the show "Boiling Point" with Svetoslava Rudolf.

Host: Mr. Behar, what do you think about the current situation in the United States?

Maxim Behar: It looks a bit like a Brazilian series to me, which seems unclear for people in terms of its ending or which series are they currently watching. We all expected this since the beginning of the election campaign between the two candidates, when it became clear that whatever happens, they will have similar number of votes. For now, we all know that Biden is set to be the newly elected president of the United States. We had almost the same situation with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump four years ago, when perhaps the imperfections or peculiarities of the American electoral system allowed Hillary Clinton to have nearly 3 million more votes, as votes of American citizens, voters, and Donald Trump still became president in the end.

Host: Yes, that's the American system.

Maxim Behar: Now Joe Biden has three million more votes and we are all waiting for the outcome of this series, which is increasingly leaning in his favor. Tonight, in hours, the results from Nevada will be clear - which state came out first in the rankings will finally solve the dilemma. Very strange elections.
We remember all previous elections, at least I do. We have never had such a circus and so many different candidates who are united by one common thing - their old age, which is very risky in the decision-making process. You know, in those years, in the mid-1980s, we watched Leonid Brezhnev, a 74-75 years old party leader, and all those old people lined up on these mausoleums like some kind of panopticon taken out, so old people. And the public says, "How can such old people be there?" Yes, but now other people are appearing and this is very unexpected, because this is an extremely innovative and progressive nation, full of  many capable young people. This is, after all, the nation of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, and many more people today. At the same time, we are asking big questions, "If this president is elected, will he perform well?"

Host: Actually, both of them have something caricatured in them. Donald Trump is unique in the things he says. What You said earlier - a Brazilian TV series - actually suits him very well. He constantly makes a funny show, a comic show. We laugh all the time whenever we watch him talk.

Maxim Behar: There is no such person, there is simply no such person like him. In my opinion, he lives in a world of his own, he talks to himself, he believes in himself. He uses only one-way communication and therefore uses mainly Twitter, because Twitter and social media in general are the most convenient means of one-way communication. You say whatever you want, nobody asks you questions, you don't spend time in TV studios, journalists don't ask you anything - he can just turn around and say, "You're a liar," simply gets up and leaves. And this, in my opinion, is not the image of a modern politician, nor the commitment of a new politician, but rather of a transitional player in the new politics, whose ways are largely unacceptable.

Host: On the other hand, Biden looks like a man who came out of the herbariums. We have spoken here many times in our studio and my fellow journalists have commented that he is a man who get injected in order to be adequate and speaks on his own, otherwise he doesn't even know what he is talking about. . Age speaks for itself very seriously, and the world wonders how this president will govern the United States.

Maxim Behar: We all hope he has good advisers. He has a strong candidate for vice president, but I really hope he has good advisers and they can analyze the different situations so that he can make good decisions or if he can't make them, they can make them on his behalf.

Host: How did it get so far to choose a person who is not even in a great condition? Is that the only option for the Democratic Party to nominate?

Maxim Behar: Hillary Clinton wrote her book after the defeat four years ago, which was called "What Happened?" Someone should write a book four years later, which would also be called "What Happened 2". With the utmost respect to Biden, who as Obama's vice president was a very energetic and very intelligent diplomat, always smiling, always so soft in his demeanor. I would even say that Biden has, in a sense, a subtlety that is not very characteristic of American presidents. They are usually a little sharper, speaking in shorter sentences. Trump is an exception. He is something that no one in the world has seen before. But it is likely that the Democratic Party itself could not unite around another candidate.

Host: Yes. Let's see now who is in second place next to Joe Biden, because this is an extremely interesting woman, Kamala Harris. We will show footage with her. She is a colored woman and a senator. What do You think about her?

Maxim Behar: She is known for the fact that so far no one has seen her angry, irritated or nervous, and at the same time everyone claims that when she speaks, she does not allow anyone to interfere in what she says and is very categorical in controversy, very well-argued, very well-prepared, and her entire career is in politics, much like that of Joe Biden. However, we all know that the current president hasn’t any experience in politics when he entered the White House.

American politics is a very delicate field and is quite different from show business. And here I am not referring only to Donald Trump, but to the overall situation in general, because the American president covers the interests of almost the whole world and has to communicate with different people.

Host: Why did they appoint Kamala Harris as vice president and are some of the votes because of her?

Maxim Behar: Probably yes! Of course, this is a nod to America's colored people, but it's also a nod to those who want to see perhaps a counterpoint to candidate Biden. A young, energetic man with good arguments, with quick decisions.

Host: Is there anything true in some of the comments that have already surfaced that she will rule the United States if Biden wins the election?

Maxim Behar: In my opinion, advisers will rule, analysts will rule and decisions will be made by either the president or the vice president. But we should not underestimate the fact that the candidate for vice president at this stage is a woman. So far, America has never had a woman vice president, leaving aside the fact that she is colored, these are the female voices. You know, America is a leader in feminism and women's rights. These are super strong movements that largely make political decisions. In that sense, Kamala Harris will be a very strong vice president, and she will certainly not be in the shadow of Joe in the shadow of his boss, Barack Obama. She will be a strong figure who will always be in the foreground and her word will be heard - this is more than certain. It is very important who will be the Secretary of State, because America is a strong player in international politics and if we make a reference to Bulgaria and what this will mean for Bulgaria and Eastern Europe, it seems to me and I hope that America will be more pronounced policy throughout this region, including Bulgaria, but also Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia - very strong countries in Eastern Europe that seemed to have been little overlooked by the previous administration.

Host: Europe was ignored by Donald Trump.

Maxim Behar: Neither Europe nor the EU were even ignored. Every month there was a conflict from somewhere.

Host: Does the appearance of Kamala Harris mean that Biden will have a more open migration policy?

Maxim Behar: We have to see. Everyone was sceptic about the Mexican wall. I recently watched reports on one of our national televisions with a team - it looks really funny. A superpower that has billions to guard its borders, that has a great army, internal security to stop immigrants from passing Mexico, given that the local sheriff explained that every 10 km there are underground canal, which enter a Mexican house and goes to an American house and that is tens of kilometers long. This cannot be the world on the walls, be it between Mexico and the United States, from where a great wave of emigrants comes. Rather, there should be better security and tougher laws. In America, they are very fierce with regard to immigrants and all our compatriots who live there, even with green cards. Some of them without. They know how difficult it is to be a legal immigrant in the United States, to have a social security number, which is very important, a driver's license, and everything else. Maybe there will be a more sensible policy towards emigrants, somehow those billions dollars that went to the wall will be placed in the column of losses or in the column of unrealistic investments. We will expect and see, but it largely depends on the third person in this administration, who will be the Secretary of State.

Host: Since you are extremely good in the economic part and a PR for big businesses - we will talk about this, but first I would like to discuss the behavior of Trump and Biden, and how it affected these elections, because after all there is some retreat from Trump, obviously.

Maxim Behar: It was more criminal than what we have seen. In total, Trump is winning more votes than he won four years ago, and I think the difference is a million more than he had before.

Host: He did a lot for the economy of the United States.

Maxim Behar: But if Biden has more votes, I think it's a punitive vote for the slightly more showman-like attitude that Trump had. We all know this camp with promises, promises, in the morning he says something else, the next day he writes something different on Twitter, and in the evening someone from his team refutes it.

Host: The most interesting thing is when he said that on November 4 COVID will disappear if he wins the election. Are there Americans who would believe that?

Maxim Behar: Of course! In which other country will the president say, "Drink bleach and disinfectants,” and several people will die because they immediately reached for the bottles. Of course there is. This is a country of many nationalities, a country in small municipalities where people are closed and probably some of them do not know where France is, not to mention Bulgaria. They trust their leaders, they genetically trust the man who was elected President, from the time of Lincoln, because they believe that this is a free country, free elections, with fair elections. If we compare America's economy four years ago and now, all indicators are positive: less unemployment, more businesses. Trump made several rather dishonest gestures to German companies: he kicked out Mercedes, kicked out German investors, and said it would all be produced in America. In the modern world, you can say, "Let's make America great again," but we're all so connected and the borders are so lost and people are so informed now, even Americans in small communities and towns, that a little stronger populism it seems to repel a lot of people too. And if someone liked 78-year-old Joe Biden, whom I look at with sympathy - I wouldn't say whether I sympathize or not, we have to see how he will behave as president, but he was really a very intelligent and very accurate vice president - and if anyone has gone more to vote for him, I think a large percentage of these people are voting against Trump, not because they are for Biden. You used the word caricature, and that's the exact definition as we looked at these debates. I can't believe how it is possible for a great country to have two candidates for the most prestigious position, probably in the world, who offend and interrupt each other.

Host: An outrageous language.

Maxim Behar: And their microphones were muted because one of them scolded him while he was speaking, and that probably repelled many Americans who said to themselves, "No, we will not vote for what has been so far."

Host: Biden is also behaving in a similar way to this debate.

Maxim Behar: Yes, so he can to some extent respond to Trump, to his words and insults that are in his dictionary. We see every CNN question he answers: "Get out of the room! You are fake! You are liars! ”

Host: Is it true, Mr. Behar, that to some extent the media pressured Trump in some typically liberal way?

Maxim Behar: That is why they are media. The media, which will follow Donald Trump or any other leader, and just keep quiet and say only positive things to him, - such media do not work in a modern democracy. But now that we have social media in our hands, when we can learn everything first hand, when we have three billion users only on Facebook - that means 3 billion different opinions on one issue, and traditional media to praise someone and say only the good things. In my opinion, their job is just the opposite, especially in business and especially politicians, because they have public funds, they spend the money the businessmen give them, which every person who pays taxes does. And when they manage and spend these public funds, there must be super strict control by society, through the media, and of course the relevant institutions and social media.

Host: How did the battle between the two presidential candidates develop on social media, in your opinion? Who uses social media?

Maxim Behar: Donald Trump has been a leader on social media since day one. I often quote his first secretary of state, a businessman who said, “My job is very easy. I get up in the morning, read Twitter, and I know what to do because my boss got up before me and already posted, for example, what will happen to Korea or Japan or China.” While Biden held and continues to hold much more moderate tone in social media. Biden's headquarters itself has spent a lot more money on social media advertising, and they've used it much more actively, mainly to invest in advertising, when Donald Trump is followed by a lot of people anyway. Twitter is a very strong medium, and then probably Facebook and Instagram, but Twitter in America, in the Anglo-American world in general, is an extremely strong medium to share. The very fact that you can say something in 140 characters, which sounds like a whole political message means that it is really a tool for very intelligent people. It's not for everyone, and you as a journalist know that everyone can be spread over two pages, but with 140 characters you have to say what the newspapers say on a whole newspaper page. Biden and Kamala Harris also used Twitter, but far less and less often, as they invested much more in traditional media, television, newspapers, when Trump insisted on his social media. There are people, there is the influence actually. If he writes twice more times to drink bleach, it is unknown what will happen to the American nation. These are very influential messages.

Host: Tell me now about the business, which according to some information that I follow, supports Biden more, because he is more predictable.

Maxim Behar: This is a person who would listen to the big corporations and help them. We all remember the first or second week in the White House four years ago, when Donald Trump met with all the big companies. I think Bill Gates did not attend the meeting, but Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg were there. Trump listened to them very carefully, but this whole conversation sank into oblivion and no one returned to it. While Biden seems not only more predictable, but also more pragmatic, and as a person who understands the intricacies of diplomacy and politics and is far from amateur and arbitrary, unknown decisions. But much of the business also supported Trump, because he is one of them. Analysts will say this after seeing who voted and how, because even the election results are not clear yet.

Host: How do big businessmen in the United States react when President Trump decides to end business relations with China and how it affects them as the economy grows, but on the other hand, are these global businesses happy with that?

Maxim Behar: I'm not very sure that especially in this case with China, the US economy has grown and gained so much. Perhaps 90 percent of all products used by the American economy are made in China, at 4-5 times lower prices, probably of the same quality. Yes, you will make a product in America, but three times more expensively and you will sell it to the customer five times more. So this is a bit of an artificial ratio in my opinion and this is a personal opinion. The trade war with China is a gigantic mistake because it totally disrupts the market conditions in which we live. Suddenly he says, "I'm going to ban this company, I'm going to ban that company," but on what grounds? There is a market, there is supply and demand, there are technologies in which your market has the opportunity to compete with American manufacturers, because only competition, and real market competition, can move business forward.

If we ban all televisions in Bulgaria and leave only one television, for example yours, will it be better? No, it won't get better. No one will watch and people will go to social media. While the competition, either in the TV market or in the car market, especially in the field of technologies that are evolving literally every day - we hear, see, watch, buy, try something completely new, which only a month ago we did not think existed . This is very healthy. When he put up the big barrier, the big wall, which is good that it's not made that strong, especially with China, but much stricter and much more painful than the one on the border with Mexico. When he put up the Great Wall, it was clear to everyone that this was an absolutely lost cause, because somehow the American president could make decisions for his country, but how would he influence France, Britain, Spain, Germany - giant markets, Brazil, the whole Latin America, Australia. There is no way it will affect if one of them decides to buy a Chinese product five times cheaper or much more innovative, especially in the field of technology. This is a mistake that I am sure will be one of Joe Biden's priorities if the predictions are confirmed, to restore the relationship and try to establish a market relationship. However, the market should not be influenced by exactly these things, but should be influenced by whether a product is better or is more expensive or cheaper, what it contains. It seems to me that this will be the biggest change in the new administration if it happens. I guess even if Trump wins the election in those small percentages and the probability he has, he will have to rethink very, very deeply what happened in the trade war with China.

Host: In terms of foreign policy, which concerns us as well, what would change from now on if Joe Biden wins?

Maxim Behar: I could hardly judge the various administrations from the time of Bush, Bill Clinton, Bush Jr., especially Barack Obama, but I would like to see a little more desire for Bulgaria as an extremely important country for the Balkan region, such as a country bordering on many risk factors, on the one hand the former Yugoslavia, Northern Macedonia, Serbia, on the other by sea with Russia, on the south by two strong NATO countries such as Greece and Turkey, which do not always understand each other. Bulgaria, despite the fact that we are very dissatisfied and have thousands of complaints, remains quite stable and adequate. I hope that this problem with Northern Macedonia will be resolved as soon as possible. I would really like to see a little more attention from any US administration to assess that we are behaving very adequately, we have no conflicts, we have no problems in practice with any of our neighboring countries in political and business terms. American investors in Bulgaria are important, however, there is much more room for more investment, especially in the field of high technology, and even for more lessons by the American business.

Host: And militarily?

Maxim Behar: It is all clear. We chose the path of F16 and this was absolutely the only logical, possible and predictable path. Lockheed Martin has been present in the Bulgarian environment, business and politics for 10-15 years and our politicians had to make their choice. They had enough time to consider it from all sides. Greek and Turkey, as well as most of the countries in Europe, are armed with F16. The F35, which is the next much better model, is already available in Israel for an hour or less with a fighter from Bulgaria. It seems to me that this was a very logical decision, even in terms of technology, but I do not want to make comparisons, because I am not an expert there. We are a proud member of NATO, and we in the Atlantic Club have a certain contribution, and of course the whole Bulgarian political class since the 90s, and we should have the best we can have in NATO and we should have what our neighboring countries have. Because this is an army, and this army must be armed as best as it can, and that is the choice we made.

Host: With regard to NATO, will the United States continue to pull away from NATO as Trump has done so far?

Maxim Behar: Another mistake of Donald Trump is that he went very sharply against NATO for some reason. Yes, it is true that America has responsibilities in this organization. It is true that it probably to a large extent supports the organization financially. Not just America, of course, but also Germany, Great Britain, Turkey. However, I am sure that relations will warm up again, even if Trump stays. These are mistakes that cannot be calculated by his advisers, by the people around him. Relations with NATO must be like relations between partners and allies who have the same goal, and that whole thing aims to have peace and no wars. To have open markets for business, to be able to develop technologies here, to be able to develop relations between people and between businesses. Undoubtedly, NATO is and will be an organization that will have a growing understanding. What will happen after Brexit is another matter. I hope that Britain's social and administrative separation from Europe will not affect their military commitments and what it has to do with NATO.

Host: According to some commentators, however, Joe Biden would start new wars.

Maxim Behar: Everyone is saying that. Honor and respect to Donald Trump, there has been no new war anywhere in the world for four years, and everyone says, "Yes, but now that Biden comes, they will begin." I have not read a single document to that effect. I don't believe any American president has fallen so much in love with making wars here or there, but quite the opposite. I think that from what Biden has shown so far, it seems that their role as people who love peace will be upgraded and continued. Bush had 9/11. He had no choice. Obama probably had no choice but to continue this war or this struggle that previous administrations had begun. Trump focused more on business, real business, and show business, and somehow the wars stayed out of his sight. I hope this is both Joe Biden's position and concept.

Host: This topic is long, but we will see. Depending on who becomes president, then we could talk more about foreign policy. Now, I want to ask you about something that strikes my eyes and ears for the first time - that there is a lot of talk about rigging the United States election. Something I considered a Bulgarian priority.

Maxim Behar: It has to be proven. And I read a lot of things. In Bulgaria this happens easily and maybe we see it more closely. I think that in this 250-year history of American democracy and the electoral system, which has gone through many trials, no falsification is possible. They talk about 100,000 votes by mail, 100% of which are for Joe Biden, no one can say whether they were falsified or not, but this is questionable. However, the legislature, especially local prosecutors, is so strong in America that it seems impossible to me not to check all the signals. But who among us can tell by today whether something went wrong or someone faked something. I do not believe that 10,000-20,000 votes will have an impact. We all remember when Bush won 10,000 against Al Gore in Florida. Then the counting lasted a whole month. The young Bush was elected president. Let's see, but at first glance it seems unimaginable. 100,000 people suddenly send letters and no one checks these people to see if they exist. Recently, there are many posts, especially on Twitter, of people who say that many dead souls have voted. Even a political analyst, an American who I follow closely, had posted that she was waiting for the results to the Arlington Cemetery, and then we would see who would win, with a little black humor.

Host: It would be shocking if it turns out that the United States receives such falsifications, when it is considered as the strictest nation compared to the world.

Maxim Behar: Everyone defines it as the mother of modern democracy, where people can express their opinions freely and at the same time be controlled when they break the law. This is not a simple theft, as Trump calls it, "They stole my election," but a crime.

Host: It will be up to the judges to decide the fate of the elections. Can these judges be trusted? Some were appointed by Trump.

Maxim Behar: Yes, but not all of them. I can't say whether he can or can't, but I remember that ridiculous incident with the votes in Florida, between Al Gore and George W. Bush, when the Supreme Court decided not to count the votes manually. However, two years later, some students counted them manually, and it turned out that Al Gore had more votes than Bush, and that's a known story. There are movies about it. However, the Court had already decided who the president was and there was no way… It is absurd two years later for the president to be eliminated and for the other candidate, in this case Al Gore, to become president. The imperfections of the democracy, I would say. But as we expand on this topic a little more, we go even beyond America. It is obvious that what we still for some reason call "democracy" does not work. It does not work in Bulgaria either. The whole world has turned upside down as a result of the social media tsunami and the fact that we have started to communicate in a completely different way and have interactive two-way communication between different people, we have more information, that we have control over politics and business every day. Because only 10-15 years ago, if someone wanted to say, "this politician doesn't work," or "I don't like this company," he had to go to the newspaper or in a television studio and say, "Please let me talk. I want to say that politician  X does not do his job or he lies.” Now anyone can say that. In this revolution of control over politicians, we still wait for someone to make mistakes for four years and see what happens, whether they vote or not. In any billion-dollar corporation, if the chairman of the board of directors makes a mistake that costs the corporation its good reputation or funds, or positioning, or loss of partners and markets, he will be fired the next day. However, in politics we have to wait four years for the voters to decide. No, you don't have to wait. Of course, this system will change. It does not work.

In my opinion, there must be such selectivity that a politician who did not keep his promises because everyone is making promises, now we have seen Trump and Biden making promises from morning to night - complete nonsense. Usually the politician, in order to be elected, he says - I will raise salaries, I will raise pensions, there will be no budget deficit, I will not take loans, the business will have all the conditions to grow and more. The moment he becomes president, prime minister, minister of some kind, he is elected, and suddenly it turns out that what he said somehow didn't seem to happen, because probably half of the things were impossible. In this case, there must be a system in which the politician can leave immediately - on the same day, the next day if he has not kept his promise. And this can happen when this e-government, which we have been talking about for years in Bulgaria and not only in Bulgaria, happen and technology begins to have some control over politics.

For example, you promised to have a budget deficit of 2%, but suddenly the parliament voted for it to be 5.5%, because you need money for something else - for salaries, for example, you promised pre-election salaries or something else. Then there must be an electronic system that says "can not", you promised 2%. This happens in companies, in business, we make business plans, we make forecasts and you can't get out of this business plan. Why? Because you have no money or you have to take loans. And if electronics, technology control a little more the democracy, it seems to me that life will be better and people who are competing to be politicians will have a little more than one thing in mind to say to themselves: “Wait, let's promise what we can do, because if we cannot in two months we can "take off" from this place. And it's a shame - to get out of the back entrance, which is terrible for a politician and his dignity. However, for a politician, this means the end of his career. But there is something else, politicians are not what we want to see, because there is already another way to succeed than in politics. And I will return to my favorite topic, social media – it is also one of the tools, a person who knows how to do something, to do it without appearing in politics. Because 20 years ago there were 4 categories of famous people in the world, which we called people who dictate public opinion and they were politicians, athletes, showmen and people who hosted TV shows. They were the people who influenced the people. In order for a politician, a person to succeed anywhere, he had to be recognizable. To be recognizable, he had to be in the media. There is no need now. Everyone has a social media that is much more influential than any other media if they have something to say and if they know how to say it. Imagine that Bill Gates had become a politician, there would never be Microsoft. Well, if Mark Zuckerberg had become a politician or a senator in his hometown, he would never have had Facebook. That is why all these people say to themselves: “We will do business because we can succeed. We have channels of communication, we have media in our hands."  Who stays in politics? People who can't do good business can't succeed in any other way. And this is also a big problem for the government of modern countries.

Host: I can argue a bit here, but I want to address another issue. It is about the Bulgarian political situation. Why did the protests stop? Where did the Poisonous Trio go wrong?

Maxim Behar: I don't know if the so-called Poisonous Trio made a mistake. The protests were extremely enthusiastic from the very beginning. And without even trying to be an expert on them, because especially in my business I am totally distanced from politics, but of course from a purely professional point of view I follow it carefully. Everyone said that there were no leaders and no bright personalities, and at the same time Bulgaria is full of such people - young, intelligent, well educated, ambitious, some of them want to enter politics, but did not appear at the protest. Because there were many different people, those who had good ideas said to themselves, "No, if I go there they will connect me with this or that." The protests were a very strong popular way of highlighting that something was not going well in the country, that many things needed to be fixed in the country. They did a lot of things, in the sense that the politicians suddenly said to themselves, “Wait a minute, we can leave, as I just mentioned, through the back entrance. We may not do what we are chosen to do. Let's see if we can correct ourselves!”

It seems to me that this approach of: “retirees will get 5 million; doctors will get 20 million,” is going to result in bad consequences. You need every single expense to be very well reasoned, which is mainly depended on the communication policy and practices of all, whether president, prime minister, government, parliament – people, who are lacking such skills these days. Now, we are all living in times of restrictions, pandemics, quarantines and everything else. While I was coming towards your studio, on one of the most populated pedestrian and beautiful streets in Sofia, I noticed there were no people with masks. I also went into stores, again no one had a mask. Why? Because no one knows what to wear or not to wear. If they know that wearing masks is required by a random source from the TV, people are still not aware of the fines and who controls them. In France, London and Paris, I recently watched that the cities are full with policemen, who control the situation because there has to be control. People’s health is the highest priority. I go back to the topic of the square again - this one, I would say, can be defined as a bit awkward communication about what we fight for, what we want, how we will achieve it, and it wasn’t accepted well. People get a little tired and probably have said to themselves: “we put so much effort, we walked so much, we spend so much money for a flag and for whistles – probably more than what we could spend for bottles of rakia and kebabs, and meanwhile nothing has changed.” But I believe that everyone has the right to express their opinion. On the part of the protesters, the opinion seems to exceed the limits of normal protests at times. It was quite rude and quite inadequate. After the next election, if the government makes it to the elections at all, we will see to what extent the voice of those protesting was heard. If their voice has not been heard, this becomes only their problem, unfortunately.

Host: Yes, but for now they seem to be heard in the government.

Maxim Behar: They should be heard in Bulgaria. The government always hears them because it is their job to follow every message closely.

Host: What do you mean by “to be heard in Bulgaria”?

Maxim Behar: I mean the Bulgarian society should hear the messages sent by protesters. I will really go into some phraseology, but very well-argued, very specific, very pragmatic. No protest in the world has succeeded, except perhaps somewhere in Central Asia, where relations are on a completely different basis. In Bulgaria, many things need to change, the business environment, the attitude of the government, the attitude of the state administration towards business must definitely change, and it just needs to change completely.

A few years ago I took an award from Manager magazine and everyone was in the hall of the Sofia National Opera and Ballet - the Prime Minister, the President, and then I turned to them and said: “Look, we play in one team - business and government, business and the state administration - we play in one team. We have to play to succeed, but you know we are central strikers, you are defenders. You have to support us, you have to help us so that we can score goals. When we score goals we will earn money, and therefore, more jobs, better taxes, and success. Taxes and jobs are important, but Bulgarian business and technologies will reach great success. There are many businesses. We often say there are no leaders, but there are no leaders mainly in politics. There are many leaders in business, there are many leaders in culture - Vesko Eshkenazi, Yordan Kamjalov, young singers such as Poli Genova, Ruth Koleva and many others. Many personalities who are recognizable in the west - the pilot Mario Bakalov, Plamen Rusev, who made Webit and this is not an advertisement. Svetlin Nakov, who made SoftUni - a private university where half of Sofia studies. These are great leaders and if the administration helps us and helps this whole business environment, Bulgaria will succeed because it is an exceptional country. There is no country in Europe with so many young, intelligent, passionate, ambitious people, and such good, calm European relations. And the administration, no matter who it is, who is the prime minister or the president, must help these relations to improve and for Bulgaria to stand in the place it has deserved for many years in Europe.
Host: Thank you for this conversation!

Watch the interview here.

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