How much does it cost to join the European Union? Bulgaria says 20 billion US dollars.
Bulgaria joined the European Union (EU) in 2007. During this time the country has proved to be admitted to this exclusive club too early, being unable to fight its socialist mentality which says that everything is allowed as long as it is done secretly.
In 2008 all EU funds intended for Bulgaria were frozen. It turned out that the money from Brussels instead of being spent on new roads and companies had disappeared in the pockets of the country’s politicians. That earned Bulgaria the title of the most corrupted country in the entire European Union and put at risk its further existence there.
Despite this, the Bulgarian government still believes it holds the key to the future of the union. Several days ago its foreign affairs minister said in public that his country would agree on Turkey’s accession only after it pays Bulgaria 20 billion US dollars. The money is supposed to cover the World War I damages that Turkey inflicted on its neighbor.
The minister hit sensitive matter as Turkey has been trying to join the European Union for over 40 years. So far the main obstacle was the country’s undemocratic regime which mixed with Islam makes a system difficult to handle. The Bulgarian offer – or rather blackmail – shows that other factors may also play a significant role.
Bulgaria is by no means the only EU country that wants to win some money from its member status. The Netherlands and Great Britain have warned Iceland that if it does not pay off the debt of one of its banks, they would block the country’s road to the European Union. The bankrupt bank was private but the blame fell on the Icelandic government.
The Lisbon Treaty which governs the European Union states that to join the organization a candidate country must be democratic and have a free-market economy. Bulgaria, Great Britain and the Netherlands have decided to exchange these principles for cash. They act like a father who decides to give his only daughter to the man offering the best price. Democracy – like love – is a wonderful word but hardly ever meant.