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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 06, 1989

MEETING OF THE POLITBURO OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE BULGARIAN COMMUNIST PARTY

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    Discussion of broadcasts of "Radio Free Europe" and other Western media on Bulgaria's policies towards the country's Turkish minority.
    "Meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party ," June 06, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archive [TsDA], Sofia, Fond 1-B, Opis 68, CC BCP Politburo Protocol No. 105 of 6 June 1989, p. 27-28. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111102
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MEETING OF THE POLITBURO OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE BULGARIAN COMMUNIST PARTY

6 June 1989

TODOR ZHIVKOV:
Comrades,
I asked to meet in order to clarify some issues with regard to the situation in the country. I don't intend to draw a balance-sheet, since we have not spoken about that. We are going to go back to the “revival process,” we will make an assessment in order to see what we need to do and so on.
What is the main thing? The main thing is that we rightly came up with this exposition in front of the Bulgarian television and radio. It created, on the whole, a patriotic, Bulgarian, national surge, which we haven't had in decades. That is one success.
Secondly, we put an end to the uprisings among that population. There are no more uprisings there. That they buy one thing or another, [and] that they supply themselves with petitions shouldn't be dramatized. We should see how to use this in order to expatriate the maximum number of people. We do not make this public and should not make it public, but we have to expel no less than 200 thousand people.

- 26 -

We should say: you have bi-lateral agreements, you have to fulfill them, everyone will receive according to one's work; high discipline. I think that one of the subversive actions [erozirashtite deistvia] on the part of Turkey now will be to urge them to be passive.
In Burgas there are 16, 000 purchased petitions [deklaratsii], but only 720 have been submitted. Turkey did not expect this political blow. Now their plan [variant] is economic destabilization through passivity.

PETUR MLADENOV:
I think that the statement of comrade Zhivkov was one of the biggest moves since I have been engaged in politics and since I have been here.
Secondly, in terms of internal affairs, he de-facto stopped certain negative processes which have been developing in Bulgaria. With regard to external affairs we took on the offensive. I have to tell you that Bulgaria is in no way isolated and its authority [avtoritet] is in no way any less than it had been before.
I think that there is one very important moment; that the time was found when it has been said that if we had done it yesterday, it wouldn't have worked, if we had done it tomorrow, i.e. if it had been on the opening day of the conference in Paris, it would still have not worked.
In my view, if an historical parallel of this move is being made, it can only be made in comparison to the time of the student events, when [Charles] de Gaulle came out on television and said: enough [dotuk]!

- 27 -

Why do I say that? Because we receive information every day. No one spares us the facts, but rather presents them as they are, sometimes exaggerated and so on. The main source of information for Bulgaria, which the comrades give us each day, is “Free Europe.” I cannot understand why each day they have to shove us a stack of what Vladimir Kostov or Rumiana Uzunova has said. We have to understand that these are paid agents. Supply us other information. There are other radio stations. Let them gather information from the BBC. What does the “Voice of America” say? These are also enemy [vrazheski] radio stations.

TODOR ZHIVKOV:
Comrade Iotov, spare us [osvobodete ni] of this information, we don't have time.

PETUR MLADENOV:
That [flow of information], unknowingly, especially when it cannot be compared against everything that goes on in the world, deforms the mind and it appears as though the entire world is preoccupied with Bulgaria. That [information] is being transmitted in Bulgarian only. It is especially prepared for Bulgaria. It is not broadcast in German, English, [or] French. When I was in Paris, “Le Monde” wrote one sentence on Bulgaria.
I think that the information [gathered] for us should be a little bit different. Let those who deal with propaganda read everything, but we should be given more authentic information. There arises an untruthful notion of how Bulgaria is placed [internationally].

- 28 -

These bulletins are read by many people and an incorrect idea is being created about how Bulgaria is being presented to the world.

TODOR ZHIVKOV:
That which you give should be abbreviated. Are we going to live with “Free Europe” only?

PETUR MLADENOV:
There is another thing as well; a number of other events took place in the world that diverted attention from us.
What disturbs me? It bothers me that there are few petitions [zaiavlenia] of Bulgarians with changed names going to Turkey.
We should act selectively at the beginning. We have to, at first, remove the contingent being discussed, since I am deeply convinced that Turkey won't hold up. It will accept 15-20 thousand people and it will stop. It will find a reason that it does not have an agreement and so on and it will stop [accepting refugees].
As far as the reactions of some comrades from the districts are concerned, I understand them. There have always been people who are against them leaving, since they view them exclusively as obedient and disciplined work force. They are not interested in the problem of what Bulgaria will look like in 10, 15, or 50 years.
I fully support that which you said about their leave. Why in villages where there are Bulgarians they don't invite one another as guests [da se suberat na gosti], eat a chicken, chat, have fun, and say “Welcome,” upon their return [kogato doidesh pak].

Obtained for CWIHP by: A. Ross Johnson
Translated for CWIHP by: Kristina N. Terzieva

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