I think socialism is a much fairer system whereas the new system leads to more progress. Communism to me is like a story that I’ve only heard from my parents. I’ve heard about stories from across the world about countries where communism still exists, and it seems like an extremely tough regime which also has its positives, like anything I assume. As a citizen, you need to live and you need to be socially supported to do so. That’s why you work. That’s why you vote for certain governments. People look for ways to support the government in order to be socially sure that tomorrow, they won’t be thrown out on the street. This used to be impossible and it didn’t exist under socialist times. In communist times, most of us were poor but happy, maybe with our youth because when I lived in those communist times, I was quite young. Most of us had differences in our incomes between 5 and 10 Euros which wasn’t enough to indicate how well-off your family was. Maybe that equality made us closer. And when everyone is equal and on the same level, with the same opportunities, we couldn’t be jealous or boast about anything. I have always argued, and will argue with everyone that if we kept the morals from socialist times it would solve a lot of our problems in the country. They brainwashed us a lot in communist times. We were always told that we were all brothers, that we needed to help each other, even, as the Church said, to give your shirt to whoever needs it. But these were all populist slogans that helped keep us in line and in brotherly relationships. Of course then we were behind an Iron Curtain. No one knew what was on the other side. We were only shown the bad things, the horrors of capitalism. The Iron Curtain did its job. Everyone felt more safe at the time. When you used to go on holidays or camping, you could pull up a tent without worrying that anyone would bother you, steal from you or hurt you. Whereas now, that exists. Education was something that was exciting to everyone. The education in Bulgarian schools isn’t up to par, and they don’t teach kids about politics, although they should if they want the youth to be aware of what is going on. The fact that no one puts importance on these topics leads to the youth being so unaware and uneducated and to think that voting makes no difference. At the end of the day, there is some truth that there is no difference between political parties. It doesn’t matter who’s in power considering that things have been the same since “the change”. I haven’t lived at that time to know what it was like but I’ve seen statistics about Bulgaria’s economy then and now. We used to produce and export a lot more whereas now we mostly just import all products. I think that’s harmful not only to our sovereignty, but also for keeping people here. When privatisation started, we were told that only the institutions that were at a loss would be affected. That didn’t happen. Many of the profiting companies and factories were closed. Varna was home to the “pearl of shipbuilding”. When it closed, thousands of people were left on the street. Everyone had a job, even if it was low paid. We had very different needs – we didn’t drive fancy cars, or watch fancy televisions, but we felt safe and happy about our lives. We had heavy industry and trade relations, which we don’t now. Our factories and exports were what made Bulgaria. Not having these things now is difficult. Maybe that came down to competition from the big countries – the States, and Russia later on as big weaponry producers. Maybe our factories were in their way, so they closed them too. We have always tried to team up with the stronger countries which is normal for a small country like Bulgaria. But we’re always the losing ones. Seeing what the country is like today, it would be better off if we went back to communism because it’s better to have some order than full anarchy. People who are nostalgic for communism but are from my generation remain some kind of a mystery to me. I literally have no idea what their views are based on seeing as they weren’t even alive at the time. They have no impressions except the stories from parents that I’m a hundred percent sure are not objective and affected by nostalgia. I just don’t understand the arguments they’ve based it on. More than two million capable and smart young Bulgarians are abroad because they either can’t find a job or the education here isn’t good enough for them for prospects. That’s why it’s hard to imagine the youth thinking about communism. I do wish I was born 5 or 10 years earlier to feel the difference. The young generation sees that capitalism isn’t the solution for a better life. It’s not that I don’t take their opinion seriously but I can’t see the intentions behind saying things like: “We need communism back” or “The only solution for us is communism.” I think these are just empty words and something you can only decide if you’ve lived through it. When a person feels safe about his and his kids’ future, he looks at life differently. These pensions that go from 60 Euros to 150-200 Euros aren’t enough for people to pay their heating bills and definitely not enough to live a normal life. The country used to be responsible for every person to support him, to give him the right atmosphere so that he is safe and secure from all different angles. The progress of communism in Bulgaria is inevitable. It will have its followers absolutely always, at any point in our history. It existed before 1944 and will in the future. But I think it will be capped to a level and there won’t be a boom soon. In the destruction of a civilization, countries are born again. That’s why I think Bulgaria will reach a tipping point. Things will be very, very bad for a while and then become better.