Elon Musk’s Tweet That Set Bulgaria On Fire

“Pretty sure it was in Elton Ring,” he wrote, referring to one of his favorite video games. Undoubtedly the shock wave he would cause in this Eastern European country, rarely in the limelight.

“Dear Elon, this is in Bulgaria. I invite you to come visit this site,” began Tourism Minister Ilin Dimitrov, quickly followed by another member of the government.

The politician promised to send the American billionaire “via Bulgarian,” an official request accompanied by the Ryton, an ancient drinking vessel that testifies to the country’s proud Thracian civilization.

“Tide of National Pride”

A chef at an upscale restaurant in the village of Stakevtsi, 20 km from Belogradchik, has added fuel to the fire by publishing a so-called SpaceX team email considering 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 dress or drinking rakia immediately flourished. Others worry: “He will come and buy our land,” says one woman.

A frenzy that amuses the author of a photo taken five years ago and recently republished. “Good news from Bulgaria rarely arouses so much interest,” replied Vladislav Tersisky, who welcomed “reactions, jokes, anecdotes, expressions of national pride.”

As for Elon Musk’s visit, “I’m very skeptical but I have faith in my heart,” the photographer told AFP.

Shrouded in fog on a cold day in late November, Belogradchik fortress awaits its “Messiah,” analyst Dimitar Kanev teased on TV sets.

Beyond the buzz of the Internet, a small film crew and a handful of tourists roam the sprawling 300-hectare natural site.

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Behind the scenes: “Musk’s visit will only be a three-day wonder”

Among the 5,500 inhabitants, sarcasm dominates. Like Bulgaria, which has been depopulated since the end of communism, this beautiful city has lost half of its residents since 1991.

Musk “does what he likes, why not come to see a beautiful site and a poor area”, throws a fifty-year-old construction worker, Svetoslav Zahariv, who is “irritated by the same misery” when he returns 16 years later. Work abroad.

More than 40% of people live below the poverty line in this part of Bulgaria, making it the poorest member of the European Union. At Town Hall, we dream of real government policy rather than temporary expressions of interest.

Already in 2007, the selection of rocks in the controversial Seven New Natural Wonders competition caused a sudden influx of visitors. “They left disappointed because of the lack of infrastructure and reception capacity,” recalls Deputy Mayor Rosen Mladenov.

“What is this state that trusts Kasturi’s tweet to promote tourism!”, he fumed.

Mayor Boris Nikolov regrets the “lack of a national strategy”. The entrepreneur’s visit “will be a three-day wonder, unless it invests in tourism”.

Elon Musk has so far ignored several tweets asking him to confirm his stay.

But if he must enter this neglected area, be careful not to drive a Tesla, given the many potholes and difficult access, a Bulgarian daily warns, advising him to arrive by space shuttle instead.

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