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Free trade working wonders in Bulgaria

"In the first two months of 2007, the interior ministry recorded a record 46 percent rise in car registrations as an additional 34,677 second-hand vehicles and 8,723 new ones joined the whirr on Bulgaria's already busy roads".

"There are 520 cars for every 1,000 residents in Sofia -- a ratio the municipal authorities expected to reach in around 2020. ....said transport expert Georgy Popchev of the Sofia-based Center for Economic Development". (Source)

And this is down to the Bulgars having access to second hand cars from richer parts of Europe.

However, whenever trade makes life better for the man and woman in the street, there is always a chorus of special pleading from previously protected trades, lobbyists, commissars, fucntionaries etc etc. And here are some elements of that chorus:

"The influx of old cars and the lack of strict technical control are sure to spark an environmental catastrophe, Stoyan Zhelev, the chairman of the Bulgarian Car Importers' Union, which deals only in new cars, told news agency AFP". (And doubtless these FIATs and Opels were up on bricks in garages in the West...)

"Customers will always run the risk of being ripped off here if the authorities do not apply stricter regulations and control, said Anastas Todorov, chairman of the Association of (used) Car Importers, which includes some 70 small and medium dealers". (Because people are stupid and cannot be trusted to spend their money as they see fit, or to tell a hawk from a handsaw)

"In Sofia, where all the major boulevards converge downtown and the pothole-filled ring road is the frequent site of accidents, traffic jams have become a part of daily life and occur at all times of the day. Parking spaces are so scarce that drivers line their cars along the sides of streets or leave them on sidewalks. 'The only solution is improving public transportation and city planning' Georgy Popchev of the Sofia-based Center for Economic Development said". (Georgy, old bean, this is called spontaneous order. The good people of Sofia, Varna, Burgas and elsewhere do not wish to be ordered onto buses etc and make rational choices based on time, speed and personal autonomy. How dare they not do what the re-badged commissars wish, eh?)

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Anonymous verity said... 3:31 pm

In other words, Sofia has joined other big cities worldwide in traffic hell.


People worldwide are prepared to put up with traffic hell as long as they can be sitting in their own cars, which will take them directly to their own destination without transfers. Instead of improving the bus system, improving the roads might be an option. And building some parking garages.  

Blogger The Hitch said... 4:21 pm

No doubt that a large proportion of those used cars were stolen by gypos  

Blogger Croydonian said... 5:21 pm

V - All very true.

Hitch - looks to be based on above the board figures.  

Blogger Praguetory said... 8:01 pm

I like Sofia. Are you aware that the Bulgarian Conservatives have recently joined the EU Reform grouping?  

Anonymous roofy said... 10:09 am

Verity, Croy

I rally cannot let your comments pass. I rely on public transport, as, owing to a disability, I am unable to drive. Would you have had me strangled at birth, I wonder?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:19 am

Roofy - Hardly. I do not drive at the moment as public transport in these parts is tolerable, and I would rather spend the money elsewhere.

The points I was making were more that given the opportunity to own a car, many will take it, and there will be people who would seek to deny people that choice.  

Anonymous verity said... 1:03 pm


you are quite clearly a whining socialist who will use any impairment as an excuse for special pleading. And I take it the 'rally' isn't of the motor kind  

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