By Clive Leviev – Sawyer of The Sofia Globe
A controversial rapper who has been a vocal leader of the daily gatherings of about 100 people in support of the embattled Bulgarian Socialist Party government used an anti-Semitic slur against the country’s former finance minister, local media said.
Best known as Misho Shamara (Misho the Slap), who more lately has used the stage name Big Sha, has a deep animus against Bulgaria’s former ruling centre-right and its leader, Boiko Borissov.
In response to the anti-government protests that have drawn many thousands of Bulgarians to the streets to demand the resignation of the government that took office in May, protests that were prompted by a series of serious blunders and controversial policies, a daily pro-government protest demonstration was recruited, with the rapper as its face.
Misho Shamara (40), daily has been on stage at the event, exhorting the crowd to support Plamen Oresharski – installed in the prime minister’s chair by the BSP – and to reject calls for early elections, which the pro-government group sees as “endangering” Bulgaria with the return of a Borissov government.
The rapper also has been prominent in protests outside the French, German and United States embassies, where pro-government protesters have been rallied to object to perceptions that these embassies support the anti-government protests.
Among the predominant current controversies in Bulgaria is a bill proposed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party government to amend Budget 2013, that will open the way to new debt of a billion leva (about 500 million euro).
Those behind the bill argue that it is necessary because of financial, economic and policy errors in its drafting by the former GERB government, in which Simeon Dyankov was finance minister. They argue that the revision of the Budget is necessary also to pay for urgently-needed social measures.
Misho Shamara, speaking on July 31 in an interview with the pro-government TV7, said that it was “normal for a budget prepared by Simeon Dyankov to have to be fixed. He is the most incompetent Jewish vermin” (Shamara used the word “gad”, a term lacking a literal translation but which implies a filthy animal).
The rapper’s statements came a day after he was part of a group that delivered to Oresharski boxes of hundreds of thousands of petitions in support of the government – although that photo opportunity descended into controversy over disputes about whether people had understood what they were signing, with some claiming that they wanted only to support civil society engagement, not the government itself, and alleging that they had been deceived.
Anti-government protesters also immediately seized on the fact that the government is in place because ultra-nationalists Ataka had provided the quorum in Parliament that had enabled its election, and that Ataka leader Volen Siderov – in his writings in his books The Boomerang of Evil and the Rule of Mammon – had expressed anti-Semitic views.
In one of these books, Siderov wrote: “everywhere on the European continent, the Jews would get under the skin of rulers, enticing them to initiate wars and cataclysms, so that they would require additional resources” and in another “to colonise other peoples has been the supreme aim of the global Jewish elite for centuries”.
Misho Shamara, meanwhile, has a long history of opposition to GERB and Borissov.
In 2012, prosecutors began an investigation into him allegedly having insulted state symbols for a track in which he likened the green in the Bulgarian national flag to marijuana and the red to menstrual blood. Some, however, saw the investigation into the song as alleged political retribution because the lines also insulted GERB, a charge that the party denied.
Shamara, during a July 2013 protest outside Borissov’s house, described the former prime minister as the country’s only dictator since Todor Zhivkov and said that GERB was a criminal organisation, not a political party.
(Photo, with Oresharski meeting a pro-government group including Misho Shamara [bald and bearded] on July 30: government.bg)