Elon Musk shocks Bulgaria with a simple tweet

Elon Musk ignites all of Bulgaria. From ministers to netizens, some are already imagining the world’s richest man stomping on Bulgaria’s Belogradchik cliffs, which overlook the EU’s poorest region. A photo of the impressive castle beneath the ominous clouds sparked a backlash from the whimsical boss of Tesla, SpaceX and now Twitter in November. “I’m pretty sure it was on Elden Ring,” he said, referring to one of his favorite video games. It is rarely in the spotlight, not suspecting the shock wave it will create in this Eastern European country. “Dear Elon, in Bulgaria. I invite you to come and visit this site,” said Tourism Minister Ilin Dimitrov, quickly followed by another member of the government. The politician even made sure that he accompanied the official address to the American billionaire “through Bulgarian” with a ritton, an ancient drinking vessel that testifies to the country’s famed Thracian civilization.

A chef at a high-end restaurant in the village of Stakevtsi, 20 km from Belogradchik, added fuel to the fire by publishing a fake email from the SpaceX team about Elon Musk’s stay in April 2023. In social networks, rumors have awakened the creativity of Internet users. Collages showing the billionaire in traditional Bulgarian clothing or drinking rakia, a popular aperitif, immediately flourished. Others are worried: “He will come and buy our land,” comments the woman. Anger that pleased the author of the photo, which was taken more than five years ago and was recently republished. “It is rare that good news from Bulgaria arouses so much interest,” says Vladislav Terziiski, welcoming the “wave of reactions, jokes, anecdotes, expressions of national pride.” As for Elon Musk’s visit, “I’m very skeptical, but keep my hope in my heart,” the photographer told AFP.


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The castle is waiting for its “messiah”.

On a cold day in late November, Belogradchik fortress, shrouded in fog, is waiting for its “messiah”, analyst Dimitar Ganev said sarcastically on TV. Away from the hustle and bustle of the Internet, a small film crew and a handful of tourists tour the natural area, which covers more than 300 hectares. More sarcasm prevails among the 5,500 residents. Like Bulgaria, which has been depopulated since the end of communism, this pretty city has lost half its inhabitants since 1991. Musk “does what he wants, why not come and see a beautiful area and a poor area”, strikes fifty-fifty. elderly Svetoslav Zahariyev, a construction worker, was “tired of finding the same misery” after returning from 16 years abroad. In this part of Bulgaria, the poorest member of the European Union, more than 40% live below the poverty line.

At City Hall, we crave real government policy rather than ephemeral expressions of interest. Already in 2007, the selection of the rocks in the controversial Seven New Wonders of Nature competition caused a sudden influx of visitors. Deputy Mayor Rossen Mladenov recalls: “They were disappointed by the lack of infrastructure and reception capacity. “What is this state that relies on Musk’s tweet to develop its tourism!” Mayor Boris Nikolov also regrets the “lack of a national strategy”. would be a daily miracle”. Elon Musk has so far ignored many tweets asking him to confirm his stay. However, if he has to enter this neglected region, be careful not to drive a Tesla, given the many potholes and difficult access, a Bulgarian daily warned him. recommends arriving by spaceship.


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