Many, many, many years ago, during my university years in Germany. After being indoctrinated by the communist physics education system about the benefits of the nuclear energy and by "Voice of America", BBC, and "Deutsche Welle" about the benefits of the unrestricted market economy, I happily joined the junior FDP (the german liberal party) and started collecting my university feathers for a priesthood crown of atomic physics. Until this lecture, when I had to calculate the probability of major catastrophic accident with a nuclear reactor during its lifetime. Then came the shock, the disbelief, the sadness, and the new path in my life.
First things first, I bought a super expensive bike chain and joined a group of hippies (at least I thought so) or anti-nuclear protesters. It turned out they were "normal" greens. Few weeks later there was a railroad blockade. The goal - to stop the transport of burned-out nuclear fuel.
It was a rainy, cold day. We started the blockade early in the morning. The police came few hours later. My chain was super good, so police had to bring special gear to cut through. The result: my first ticket for DM 170,- (huge for a student), my first bronchopneumonia, and the joy of doing something good! At that time I had no idea Rebecca was around, neither I cared who was organising the the blockade.
About 20 years later, January 2013, the campaign for the "NO" vote for the Bulgarian referendum on the future of the nuclear energy. It was a rainy, cold day - again. Rebecca was the only foreigner, campaigning with us, the Bulgarian Greens. Early morning TV interview, a long conversation with the PM Borisov, two press-conferences with taxi ride for a brake, meeting with the Greens, presentation of her book about Fukushima (just translated in Bulgarian), and then the speech, that closed our referendum campaign shown on all Bulgarian TV station, wet and freezing because of the cold rain, but hot and happy because of the outcome. This is how I will remember Rebecca.
There are very few honest politicians. There are very few politicians, that have the intuition to choose the most important subjects of the day as their battle field. There are very few politicians, who can recognise important for the future of the society subjects. Oh, well, there are really very few real green politicians. It is very hard to believe, that Rebecca could be all of these, in addition of being a good friend and a nice, soft spoken, polite and warm person.
The European Greens are the only pan-European party with primary elections. The choice to be made is very difficult. With four extremely strong, charming and wise candidates it is very hard to go to the ballots with a confidence. For me personally, the decision was really not very easy. I know relatively well three of the candidates. And I had to choose not only the two best in my opinion, but also the best candidates for my party and country.
Did I mentioned, that Rebecca was the only green member of of the European parliament to campaign against the nuclear energy in Bulgaria? The only one, to find time in the mid of elections to help us with our energy campaigns (just days ago), the only one to speak loud and clear for the importance of East Europe, and actually to understand this subject? Or that she was also one of the very few politicians to understand the roots of the current economic crisis?