'Annex us' Bulgarian hoaxers plead Monaco

SOFIA, Bulgaria - Although the Crimean vote to join Russia has been widely dismissed, one group of cheeky Bulgarians has seized an opportunity to also align their country with a richer -- if somewhat smaller -- state: the tiny Principality of Monaco.

Over 10,000 Bulgarians have already signed up to a tongue-in-cheek Facebook campaign demanding that the poorest country in the EU join Monaco -- and are even promising their own referendum on the issue.

Starting Friday, a total of 10,600 people have joined the campaign in the last 24 hours.

The plan contains an address to the Prince of Monaco, Albert II:

"His Excellency, this initiative has been launched by people of Bulgaria. We are following the example of our famous striker Dimitar Berbatov, who joined the Monaco-based French football club AS Monaco FC early in 2014. He is our sole example till now [of someone] who has managed to put his life in order by scoring goals in Monaco jersey," said the campaign.

The campaign claims Bulgarians are pleading for Monaco to invade, adding that a planned referendum on joining the principality is anticipated to be ratified with 97 percent in favor -- the same vote which was recorded in Crimea’s controversial poll to join Russia.

Among the justifications for supporting the proposed ‘annexation’ is an appeal to financial sensitivities:

"Some of the casinos in Bulgaria bear the names 'Monaco' or 'Monte Karlo'; there are also hotels in regions on the Black Sea coast called 'Monaco'. There is hope that our income will increase 20-fold upon annexation with Monaco."

The Bulgarian jokers have even composed a new national anthem in anticipation of the union.

Campaigners say they expect people in Bulgaria to vote in favor of joining Monaco.

However, they are anticipating some ‘no’ votes -- from Monacans.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency