“Our lives and society have become more colorful” said Maxim Behar in the program "Your day" on Nova News TV
Host (Laura Indzhova): "Your Day" continues with PR expert Maxim Behar. Hello, good to see you. November 10 is nothing to celebrate, that's one of the posts I saw on Facebook today. Do you agree with that statement? Surely this post is related to the current political climate.
Maxim Behar: There is a lot to celebrate because it has been 34 years since Bulgaria became not another country, but a whole new planet. We have had huge expectations and hopes, which have not become a reality. Yet, when I look back to life 34 years ago, life here has become better in terms of having a free market, free media, and the ability to work in the private sector. We can prosper if we work with honesty and integrity. Of course, there are uncertainties in the political scene. However, it is fine, because when we didn’t have all of those things life was boring.
Host: I thought of those who have not dared to go beyond and explore all that has been forbidden. Is that what prevents us from adopting a new mindset on how we should live our lives today?
Maxim: I don't see anything wrong with that. The important thing is that we now have a choice whether to be more modern and innovative, and many people have the choice to continue living like before 1989 in terms of mindset and actions. Our society has become more colorful and the grey color from back then has been long forgotten. I will not blame people who are still living in those times.
Host: I guess we could say we live more freely nowadays.
Maxim: Yes, we do. However, if someone refuses to leave those years behind because they like the principles of it, they are free to do so. The important thing is that there are people who are in the process of creating different living conditions and are sending different messages to society.
Host: Now the current political situation after the elections undoubtedly poses the question of how the communication between the non-partners and the partner in power is going. Do we have a cardinal problem that poses a serious risk of breaking the stability of the government now?
Maxim: All that communication can be seen all over media. Months ago I was here once again and we discussed the same topic. My opinion is that there should be weekly meetings between the people in power. Even better, if those meetings are made public.
At the same time, there is not such a great risk, because all of those people realize that the situation can get worse the moment something falls through and we will hold elections once again. We will enter that endless marry-go-round of elections, and caretaker governments, which I am against. I am sure that the people who are currently governing, especially the two big political forces GERB and We Continue the Change understand this. Here we have long observed left-wing parties making right-wing decisions and vice versa. I have long thought that this ideology has been diluted over time.
Ultimately, what is important is to have stability. Moreover, we have two very serious wars not that far from our border. We need to develop the economy so that it can succeed in providing and generating as much money and stability in the country.
There are two things that I think have not been done in the last few months. One is the communication about the international image of Bulgaria. It seems to me that the government should spend time on creating the brand of Bulgaria and think of a very serious program - logo, slogan, and presentation of the country abroad
The second one is that we should focus on supporting businesses. Whether it will be start-ups or new companies. There must be a financial framework. Some money is given as an interest-free loan, and it must be paid back within a certain timeframe. The state should guarantee this and motivate business as it is above everything now.
Host: Why don't you think this is being done?
Maxim: It is due to the fact that when people get into positions of power as ministers or deputy ministers, they get spun into this crazy centrifuge of bureaucracy. When you get into a house, first you must put it in order and then you must start having income to pay rent, electricity, and expenses. This is the state. This state must have revenue and for that to happen there must be a strong and well-functioning economy.
Host: If I turn your mind and focus now on the Sophia ballotage. Wasn't that a purely ideological choice in a sense?
Maxim: No, it was not a political clash in Sofia. It was populism versus pragmatism. And vice versa pragmatic versus populist messages. Pragmatics won, but now it must be implemented. Now we must see if this team that has pragmatic business ideas will be able to implement them. Because it's not going to be easy. For me personally, I don't know what transition is and whether it's over or not. This is our life, and we must do good things, make money, pay taxes, and make life in Bulgaria better. I is not that difficult.
Host: Thank you for this conversation, Mr. Behar.
You can watch the whole interview here.
You can also watch the whole interview on youtube.