Bullish On the Balkans

SCOTT JONES for TIME

The black eye Milen Veltchev was sporting last week was not, he insists, the result of a run-in with a disgruntled taxpayer. Sure, Veltchev has had some awkward encounters during his 15 months as Bulgaria's Finance Minister. There was the time his barber, after haranguing him about a licensing-rate hike, left him sitting in the chair with his thick black hair dripping wet while the barber went next door to fetch his daughter, also a hairdresser, who gave Veltchev another earful. As one of the most recognizable figures in government and the architect of a series of unpopular reforms, Veltchev has...

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