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As to beggars and criminals, Bulgaria and Ireland are very much the same

As to beggars and criminals, Bulgaria and Ireland are very much the same

12/14/2006 8:34:53 AM
Monica Boyadzhieva, a Bulgarian student in Dublin, wrote a letter to the Sunday World weekly in answer to an article in the newspaper saying that the Bulgarians traffic in human organs and, after Bulgaria's accession into the EU on January 1, 2007, they will gouge out the eyes of the Irish in order to sell them.

Many journalists are prone to think that the Bulgarians are less civil that the other Europeans and the decisions of the British and the Irish governments to restrict the access of Bulgarian citizens to the labor market of their countries certainly do not contribute to the improvement of the current situation. The truth is that the Bulgarians are very much like the Irish people - they are generally good, but there are some disruptive elements between them. If the Bulgarians were to judge the Irish people by the crowds of aggressive, drunken Irish tourists in the seaside resorts, they would have formed a very bad impression of your country.

Before my coming to Ireland, my friend were worried about me for I was going to a country, terrorized by the IRA. However hard I tried, I could not convince them in that this was a part of Ireland's past. The negative publications in the newspapers have marred Ireland's reputation before the rest of the world, including my own country.

When I arrived here the people were very nice and helpful to me, although for them I was a complete stranger.

My first encounter with the beggars in the Irish streets was really shocking for I had never expected to see such a thing in a developed country. I got even more shocked when I saw some of them could afford a mobile phone. In the streets of Bulgaria there also are beggars, but they beg their bread, not their booze or dope. I was also surprised by the behavior of the Irish teenagers, who show no respect for the elderly people and are completely out of parental control. Now, the Bulgarian teenagers have a better conduct by their Irish coevals, but I am afraid this is going to change after the accession of my country into the EU.

Just like Ireland, Bulgaria has come through long centuries of oppression and it is presently tormented by massive emigration.

Democracy and freedom are relatively new notions to the Bulgarian people. At the dawn of democracy in Bulgaria there was a period of transition, during which we had big problems with crime and corruption, but I doubt that the situation in Ireland is very different.

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