Really funny ... even for bulgarian peoples :-)
I was surprised to reed this about the words of our Bulgarian boffins!
I'm from Bulgaria and when I read the news I was laugh a lot.
I think that he have not to be taken serious as a scientist. Yes it was a smart guy but indeed reason to be 22 years on this position is all the connection he have. His father was one of ex-communistic party leader. IMHO his words have not to be taken seriously.
Indeed we have some really good scientists and most of them left our country and work for different institutes.
And about the space... yes we have before a lot very small projects as a peace of the Russian space program. Last year our country lose chance to take place in EU space projects of ESA because of ridiculous delay in budget funds.
And about our science ...hmmm what to say... - for a small country as Bulgaria we have enough invents and rationalizations.
One of most popular facts nowadays is the first core technology for computer calculations developed by John Atanasov who have bulgarian roots. You can see this here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Atanasoff.
Is very pity to say that in the last 20-30 years our science going constantly bad and even some genial ideas was just sold.
I still remember my friend who try to take a patent for an idea of microprocessor core which can be reprogrammed and upgraded just by connecting another parallel core processor. Nowadays this is realized with some differences by the multi-core cell processors.