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Road Trip Europe Day 31 Sandanski: Voters demand better living standards

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Road Trip Europe Day 31 Sandanski: Voters demand better living standards
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Our correspondents Bryan Carter and Apostolos Staikos continued our Road Trip by heading across the border from Greece to Bulgaria, in time for Orthodox Easter, to find out what voters there are thinking before the European elections next month.

At the craft market in the town of Sandanski, people had plenty to say on the subject.

Alexandra Stoyanova-Mboup is a manicurist who makes eggs and other crafts at Easter for extra money. She feels there is much the EU could do to improve the lives of ordinary Hungarians.

"Europe can help by stimulating small businesses and by taking better care of the health system. The health system really isn't good and I am personally affected by this.

"Corruption is the main issue here. It's terrible. I like my country but we are not on an equal footing with the other European countries."

Her son Mario Bibiskov agrees: "We need to focus on all the cases of corruption and also rates of pay, which are driving lots of young people away.

"That in turn causes a lot of problems here in Bulgaria, because if there are no students and no young people to live here and work here, how can we develop?"

Food vendor Dragomir Penkov loves his country, but also acknowledges that there are issues. He said: "There's no place like home, but in Bulgaria we should raise the living standards of the elderly. Wages and pensions should rise. There should also be more foreign investment.

"There needs to be more work so that people don’t leave the country."