18 years ago he survived cancer but developed diabetes while receiving chemotherapy; 3 years ago, he survived a coma after being struck by a car while researching wildlife in the Pirin Mountains of Bulgaria; now he is missing on a Tibetan mountain.
Mekel compliments Bulgaria for its efforts on a range of issues, but insists that despite much being done for the EU member state, the hardest work had to be done at home. Bulgaria has been under fire for what some say is a lack of determination to fight corruption.
Bulgaria's president vetoes anti-corruption legislation a day after assuming EU presidency. The country has been described as the most corrupt country in the EU by anti-corruption agency Transparency International