What turned Svetoslav S. into the "underground kicker"?

The man known as the "underground kicker" was arrested in Berlin on Saturday. He is suspected of kicking a woman in the back, sending her flying down a stairway in a Berlin subway station at the end of October. The fact that he comes from Bulgaria has triggered a lively debate among Bulgarian commentators.

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Trud (BG) /

Bulgaria has failed to integrate the Roma

The fact that the kicker presumably belongs to the Roma minority is proof that Bulgaria's integration policy has failed, Trud believes:

“Svetoslav S. is a Bulgarian. He was born in the Bulgarian city of Dobrich, he lived in the Bulgarian city of Varna, and has a Bulgarian passport. So Bulgarian society, the Bulgarian education system and the Bulgarian security agencies bear partial responsibility for the fact that he became what he is. ... The time of the Roma projects, the pointless seminars, the exorbitant remuneration, the 'positive role models' and the entire NGO nonsense is over. Now the onus is on the state and all of its institutions, because we face an either-or situation. Either politicians stop using the Roma for their own election purposes or an avalanche of poverty, illiteracy, criminality and joblessness will destroy everything in its path.”

24 Chasa (BG) /

Bulgarians' reputation tarnished again

Violent criminals like the man who kicked a woman in the back, sending her flying down a stairway, are damaging the reputation of all Bulgarians, 24 Chasa comments:

“Here in Bulgaria we have to deal with drunken, aggressive good-for-nothings like the one who kicked a young woman down a stairway in a Berlin train station without any provocation on a daily basis, whether it's on the trams in Sofia, oncoming traffic on motorways or attacks on old people in our villages. They are the scum of the earth who can't even obey the most elementary rules. The special thing about this case is that because of one delinquent in Berlin people in Germany and all over Europe are talking once more about the 'criminal Bulgarians'. Just as happened after the attack on Pope John Paul II and the famous umbrella attack on Bulgarian author Georgi Markov and the robbery of Charlie Chaplin's coffin, in which a Bulgarian was also involved.”

Deutsche Welle (BG) /

Violence has no nationality

The perpetrator's background is irrelevant, the Bulgarian service of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle counters:

“It makes no difference if the perpetrator comes from Germany, Iceland or Patagonia or if he's a refugee. What should shock us first and foremost and make us stop and think is the violent act itself, because it was gratuitous and abhorrent. Second, we must not believe the countless false reports that are gradually choking us. We must not give in to the propaganda in the tabloids and social networks that shamelessly exploit people's fears and prejudices. ... Before we point our fingers at others when violence is committed, we should ask ourselves if in the midst of our proud and smug 'we' there aren't also many violent people of whom we would be ashamed. ... The bottom line is that violence has no home but mankind and no religion but hate.”