Attempts to launch a new satirical paper in the style of Charlie Hebdo have been stymied according to cartoonists in Bulgaria.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network has the story, detailing an unexplained failure in delivery of some 90% of the Prass-Press‘ ten thousand copies to newsstands around the country.
The new title was launched on March 1st but readers are finding it impossible to buy a copy via the usual outlets. In response, a voluntary effort is being organised to sell the paper directly at street level .
Two of the cartoonists involved are duo Alla and Chavdar Georgievi. On their Facebook page (post above) they describe attempts to publicise and distribute Prass-Press in Sofia yesterday as the “most dramatic moments in our lives.”
Bulgarians go to the polls in a parliamentary election at the end of the month. Co-publisher of Prass-Press, journalist Ivan Bakalov has been quoted as saying that a businessman running for re-election as an MP, Delyan Peevski, may be responsible for the apparent seizure of the paper: “[he] controls the sales; the distribution companies are his.”