EurActiv - Letters to the Editor

Sir,

Regarding ‘Eastern Europe struggles to bring back its workers’:

After graduating with an MBA in the UK, I decided to go back to Bulgaria, which now seems to be the bitterest lesson I have ever learnt.

Bulgaria is a small country, with almost no potential for healthy economic growth. Most employers are mainly small business units, with no or poor management or business experience, which makes them less competitive and causes problems for employees.

The oligarchs in the government make the country less popular. Foreign investors are staying away, while the educated workforce is trying to escape from the misery in the country.

All EU countries impose restrictions on Bulgarians, so most are once again looking to emigrate to Canada and or countries where a decent life seems to be feasible. The EU failed in Bulgaria, and unfortunately still does not seem to realise that the only way to fight corruption is to erase all barriers to the free movement of people within the EU.

I do not recommend any Bulgarian student graduating in the EU or other foreign countries to return to Bulgaria. Bulgarian citizens cannot work in most EU countries, but it will be better to work illegally, or move to Canada or even an African country, than to go back to Bulgaria.

It is hard even to survive in Bulgaria. People who left the country in 2006, or prior to this date, must be aware that nowadays it is more worthwhile to go to Africa than return to Bulgaria. Thus it has become clear that Bulgarians are not welcome in Western European countries, yet cannot lead decent lives in Bulgaria.

To illustrate this: I had to start working for ProCredit Bank Bulgaria upon my return to the country after graduating with distinction with an MBA from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. It was the first job offer I received in three months, simply because I am not allowed to work in the UK.

In Bulgaria nobody cares what you can do as it is the identity of your referee that is more important. I started working for less than 300 GBP per month, on which it is very hard to survive, even in Sofia. Additionally, the business in Bulgaria operates with outdated methods and the high unemployment rate allows poorly qualified middle- and even senior management to act in an arbitrary manner.

It is better to work as a fruit picker or a taxi driver for a few years and restart your life from the beginning instead of going back to Bulgaria.

Dr. Orlin Vushkov (MBA)

Bulgaria

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