Mutras. It was a word supposed to be consigned to the past. The term conjures up images of thugs in training gear, brandishing baseball bats and operating protection rackets. Bulgaria, in recent years, pretended to be a different country to that of the dark 90s - a more civilized, polished, less violent EU-member state. And while it is indeed less violent and more polished, it is still far from a normal country for business.
Consider this: the most precious marine asset of the country - its pristine beaches, are still largely controlled by figures from the 90s underground. Or that many of the same figures have connections (albeit forgotten) to the people in power today. Mutras haven't gone anywhere. They have just changed clothes and instruments. As the story of "Hippoland" illustrates, it is increasingly hard to do business in a place where all the state regulators are controlled with a mafia-like grip. Rackets have become state policy. The 90s have returned with a vengeance.
And while the outlook is a bit depressing at the moment, don't rush to conclusions. The tide seems to be turning and the once unshakable prime minister now looks scared and uncertain. So do his cronies. Corona crisis is still a primary concern and protests have not died down. One way or another, Bulgaria will be a different country next year.