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"I envy my colleague. Two or three years ago they had 3,000 prisoners. Now they have 24,000. That means their judiciary are highly effective."

Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov to his Georgian colleague Vano Merabishvili

"I am like a magician. I put my hand in my pocket and take out a ribbon."

Prime Minister Boyko Borisov about his inauguration activities

"By signing the contract for the Belene Nuclear Power Plant the government is buying a pig in a poke."

Ivan Kostov, leader of DSB, or Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria

"There are tens of thousands of people in the UK who claim to be Jedi or subscribe to a Heavy Metal religion. From this point of view, our people displayed a lot more common sense."

Mariana Kotseva, chairman of the National Statistical Institute, on the 2011 census

"GERB is like a do-it-yourself enthusiast driving a nail into a wall, but constantly hitting either his thumb or the wall itself. His efforts are visible and his wife is unhappy because the nail is not straight. But the job is finally done."

Rumyana Kolarova, a political scientist

"No one can deal with this better than us! If it were another country the foot-and-mouth disease would have already penetrated the hinterland. The best experts of the National Veterinary Service are there – and our service is one of the best of its kind in Europe – and even in the world!"

Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Naydenov on the accusations that the government failed to prevent the spread of the disease across the border into Turkey

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