21 Jun Boris
No, we don’t know if his name was Boris but it’s an odds on possibility given the number of Borises in Bulgarian history. In any case he’s Jim’s new buddy and they shared and exchanged views on matters political and economic. His is an interesting story that’s probably been repeated many times across the country over the last few years. Nowadays, Boris is the laconic owner of the Hostel Nightingale, a very modest seasonal business at the best of times and lately not thriving. That he sometimes sleeps on the settee in the communal lounge hints that he may not even be earning enough to pay rent on an apartment.
Boris’s is the story of personal economic disaster. Back in the early noughties, he managed to buy a piece of prime land on the Black Sea to develop some holiday homes. With some property as collateral and a bank loan he was ready to go when the 2008 crash started in the West and by 2009 reached Bulgaria. The bank foreclosed, seized his assets – a couple of apartments and a car – and he was ruined. He managed to retain the Black Sea land but has neither the money nor the bank backing to start to develop it. In an attempt to start over again, he has got into the hostel business where prospects don’t seem that great.
Jim and Boris shared the kind of analysis that comes when two economists get their heads together of an evening. Boris also studied economics; he also blames the policies of unbridled credit, the Greenspanning of deregulation. A casualty on the other side of Europe, he puts on a brave face but we wonder how much hope he really has in the future. Good luck, Boris.