Maxim Behar is in the show "Intersection point" season 2 on Nova TV speaking to the host Mikhail Dyuzev on the topic, "The communications expert's point of view"

Maxim Behar is in the show "Intersection point" season 2 on Nova TV speaking to the host Mikhail Dyuzev on the topic, "The communications expert's point of view"

Host: Hello Bulgaria wherever you watch "Intersectionpoint" the show where the news gets its first commentary. Which is Natalia, marketing ploy or scam. And how to react when the chat-bot calls you on the phone. We'll talk about that a little later in the show. But our commentators are already in the studio. Communications expert Maxim Behar. Lawyer and writer Alexander Shpatov and journalist and economist Mikhail Krastev. Our first topic, the debate about the pylon on Rozhen meadows is gaining momentum. Construction permits for its construction are for a temporary project-an inspection of the Agriculture Ministry shows that after yesterday work began on erecting the 111-metre pylon on which to fly the Bulgarian flag. Yesterday, the Ministry of Environment and Water, announced that there is no violation of environmental legislation, as far as this place is outside the protected areas. Let us recall what the authors of the idea say: "The flag will be 1010 square meters and will be raised 111 meters high. That alone makes this the tallest pylon in the European Union. It also represents the 1011 square kilometers of Bulgaria, the energy of these 1011 square kilometers will be raised to 111 meters. Finally, this year marks the 111th anniversary of the liberation of Rodopi, and it was on the Rozhen meadows that the border furrow passed, uniting the Bulgarians on both sides of the border. So, there is no better occasion than to unite in this very place". Questions about the legality of this facility, the involvement of state companies as donors to the private initiative, and the meaning of this venture have sparked serious debate. Let's hear what our guests think, however, about how patriotic, or megalomaniacal the idea of a high pylon on Rozhen is.

Maxim: I've read 10,000 posts on social media. A lot of them are a bit more pragmatic, however, many I would say pseudo-intellectual, and the other part of the opinions pseudo-patriotic. And it turned out that this project has divided Bulgaria in a way that I have very rarely even seen in recent years, outside of politics, someone being divided like this. However, I am trying to think things through a little bit, and I cannot answer the question who needs this and why. Especially in this post-pandemic world we live in right now, 2023 we are. We should be a lot more pragmatic and think, and yes indeed Bulgaria does not have a National Children's Hospital, Bulgaria is collecting caps to buy incubator. I logged on to the website of this foundation, with the greatest respect people have come together and want to make themselves patriots and do something interesting. However, I could not understand the sentence, "We will generate our energy and put it into a project that will fill every Bulgarian in our country and around the world with pride.". I pray to you that if these people have energy, they will give it to something far more interesting, pragmatic, and useful. I do not find any sense in doing this, to divide society again, people who claim to have 7 higher educations to say, "This is unnecessary is very communist.", such as the plate on Buzludzha and to make such comparisons. I think we must have moderation and it really goes a bit towards megalomania. We must have measure and we must have pragmatism. Today every project must be useful, every question whoever it is we must answer with a counter question "Why? Why are we doing it?" and if we are only going to fly a flag that we will then have to maintain for decades, and it is unlikely that this foundation will be able to maintain it. A lot of money would have to be spent, a lot of energy would have to be spent on something unnecessary, it seems to me, and that we should not do it, but just stop this project. And if indeed public companies like BDZ, let's say a proverbial loser, and others are involved in this project, I think we have a little bit of a say because this is public money which, I as a businessperson, these funds cover their losses and are supported by our taxes that we pay. We have at least a tiny word of control that we have to say on this project. I don't mind it at all, but if it can be done it shouldn't be so big and look like grandstanding. And I'm sure everybody should have an opinion and mine is that we're trying a little bit with this project as they say, "Let's salt the dish.". Colleagues I try to understand them people of this foundation, but I cannot.

Host: You can't understand them, the other one says it's a very noble initiative, the third one says it's, "over salination", and I don't think there's an intersectionpoint for me on this topic. Let's see who the next Bulgarian Commissioner and we will be will debate the topic after the ads. You are watching and listening to "Intersectionpoint" our second topic is the following, the figure of our new European Commissioner is one of the issues that our Deputy Prime Minister Maria Gabriel is discussing during her visit to Brussels, where she met with the Chairman of the European Commission, Ursula von de Leyen. Let's see what we know so far about the profile of the Bulgarian candidate and what the Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said a few days ago.

Nikolay Doynov: What is the profile of the person who is going to take over the vacant seat of Gabriel in the college of commissioners. The indications so far are that it is expected to be a woman with a clear political profile again, probably from the ranks of GERB and the European People's Party respectively. The Bulgarian government received the letter from Brussels inviting it to nominate a new commissioner two days ago.

Eric Mamer: I cannot tell you at what stage of the procedure we are, I will clarify later, and I will let you know. But I know for sure that the President is very committed to gender equality in the Commission and will invite the Bulgarian authorities to nominate female candidates.

Host: Will the two ruling coalitions be able to unite around a common candidate for the Bulgarian Commissioner and what should it be?

Maxim: First, it is very worrying that we have such conditions from the European Union, but von de Leyen can want whatever she wants. She said her opinion. We are worried that tomorrow there may be other conditions skin color and what not. Not just gender but let us say that is the smaller issue. The bigger issue is that Bulgaria will field two candidates from political parties, and I ask myself why, from where to where? And if I had to decide, I would choose a young diplomat from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the age of 30 I would say, "This is our candidate for Commissioner". There is indeed already a large caste of Bulgarians in Brussels who are already used to it, they know the structures, but they have moved away from Bulgaria a bit. I would suggest that someone from Bulgaria who has no idea of politics should go and defend Bulgaria's interests. I'm not saying that a candidate from “GERB” or “We Continue the Change” will not defend them, but always political coloring puts a big question mark. There is another issue that seems to me far more important. It is now four years since the European Commission had an ambassador in Bulgaria. As of 2019, the European Commission does not have an ambassador called “Head of the European Commission Representation in Sofia”. There is an interim manager, the last one was Ogi Zlatev who went to Croatia and since then, the European Commission to be so kind to send an ambassador to Bulgaria. Yes, he can report on what is happening in Bulgaria, what the processes are, and the easiest way to do that is to send a commissioner, but my appeal to those who really make the decisions is, if possible, to send a young, intelligent, unencumbered political person who will look at things very pragmatically, business-like, and professionally.

Host: We're going to pick up the phone and in the next few minutes, we're going to talk to the chat-bot on the phone. A new scam or what is it after the ads. You're watching "Intersection point" and our third topic. In recent days, many Bulgarians have received phone calls from a woman who introduces herself as Natalya and asks people on the other end where they are from. According to cyber security expert Yavor Kolev, this is a chat-bot that aims to collect phone numbers of users from Sofia for marketing purposes. Here are more details on the topic.

Chat-bot: Hello.

Woman: Hi.

Chat-bot: My name is Natalya and I'm calling you regarding your purchase. I would like to get your estimate. Just to clarify you're from Sofia, right?

Woman: Yes, I'm from Sofia, Levski district.

Chat-bot: Right? And what city are you from?

Woman: I'm from Sofia. From Levski district in Sofia.

Chat-bot: Okay, I understand you. Apparently, some mistake has happened. Excuse me and have a nice day.

Yavor Kolev: This is a chat-bot that aims to create a database that concerns active phone numbers and therefore users that are from the city of Sofia. Of course, this is for marketing or advertising purposes, probably at the behest of a company or why not a political party, local elections are coming up. At this stage, the collection of this database does not have any signs of any offence or crime. However, how this data will subsequently be used, or whether there will be spamming of these telephone numbers, could already be the subject of an investigation by the competent authorities.

Host: Are we prepared for the surprises that artificial intelligence will bring us and in this case is it justified to use such a mechanism, chat-bot for marketing purposes. Mr. Behar, one thing that is clear from what we saw in the video a moment ago is that we should not say 'Yes' when we pick up the phone. Because that is a problem as well?

Maxim: I'm a little bit offended because I'm a social person and I haven't gotten a call from Natalya yet; my phone is public. If she calls me, I know what to say to her. There are two aspects to this case that are not so grand and exciting. The first is that where you're from is not that confidential information. But it puts a big question mark on the way we take a call from strangers. We must be extremely careful because this chat-bot question asks the elementary question, "Are you from Sofia?" But tomorrow he might ask something else, tomorrow he might say he's calling from a store, and he needs to deliver an invoice and ask for, say, a Company registration number, ask for a person's ID. And if you don't have one mind that this could be fake or a scam, somebody wants to provoke you then you can very easily fall for that hook. We all remember, there's probably still retirees how many of them are catching on to these calls as an example, "Your daughter got hurt. Come and bring 5 000 or 10 000 leva". There were retirees who were taking 200 leva pension and suddenly they were giving this money for being tricked by somebody. We must be very careful like on social media, more often and seriously on social media, but also in phone calls. And when you get a call from an unknown number you must immediately ask questions to find out because the chatbot can't answer them and then you can very easily hang up.

Host: Thank you and see you tomorrow.

You can watch the whole interview here.