dear Excellences,
dear Chair of the Bulgarian Parliament Tsetska Tsacheva,
dear Prime Minister Boyko Borisov,

for several years I enjoy, in my positions as a Professor for Nuclear Physics at the Darmstadt University of Technology, Darmstadt, Germany, and Director of the Darmstadt Institute for Nuclear Physics, a close cooperation with world-class Bulgarian nuclear scientists at the Institute for Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and at the Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski". This cooperation is substantiated by annual research visits and exchange of group members supported by the German DAAD agency for international academic exchange between my group of about 50 scientists and the (much smaller but equally excellent) academic research groups of Profs. Dr. XXXXXXX XXXXXXX (BAS) and Dr. XXXXXXX XXXXXXX (St.Kliment Ohridski), who was awarded a prestigeous 18-months Humboldt-fellowship by the German Humboldt-Foundation.

Although structurally underfinanced the Bulgarian scientists managed with enormous personal efforts to maintain an internationally competitive and even leading position in some areas of nuclear physics.

I observe with deep concern that this valuable position for the State of Bulgaria is in severe danger when the proposed cuts in the financial budget of Bulgarian sciences would become reality. E.g., my Institute would be very pleased to hire the most excellent, hand-picked Bulgarian nuclear scientists, whose intellectual contribution would then be lost for the Bulgarian State forever. This loss would result in a reduced capability for scientific and technological innovation in Bulgaria thereby even deepening and self-perpetuating the Bulgarian crisis.

I am writing this letter in order to encourage an open discussion about reconsideration and reduction of the proposed financial cuts to the public funding for sciences by the State of Bulgaria.

In this email message I copy also the German Minister for Education and Sciences, Professor Dr. Annette Schavan, in order to make sure that she is aware of the potentially declining position of the Bulgarian sciences in Europe.

Most sincerely,

Professor Dr.rer.nat. habil. Norbert Pietralla
Darmstadt Coordinator of the Helmholtz International Center for FAIR

Institut fur Kernphysik
Technische Universitat Darmstadt
Schlossgartenstrasse 9
64289 Darmstadt