I am based in Bucharest and closely follow the news in the region. Many articles pertaining to the royal properties, published over the last few months since the economic crisis has started to bite in south east Europe, indicate that in Bulgaria and Romania the state tries to claw back the royal properties, which were reinstated to the former sovereigns as part of the democratisation process of the last two decades that led to the EU membership. There was an apparent goodwill period from the governments of these Balkan countries toward their respective royal families that lasted until 2008, which looks now more like a ploy to gain trust from the western countries in order for the local elites to fulfil their aspirations in gaining membership in western organisations. Now, as the EU/ NATO etc. membership has been achieved, the Romanian and Bulgarian governing elites do not need their royal families on their side anymore. The crisis also has dramatically reduced the important wealth amassed over the last two decades by the top echelons of the Romanian and Bulgarian society, which have now started to prey on whatever is close to hand to recoup some of their rapidly eroding fortunes. The royal properties are some of the most obvious targets, as these elites, originating in the old communist apparatchiks, have a long anti-royalist tradition. The future looks uncertain, as the Romanian and Bulgarian governing upper classes do not need anymore their royals in the pursuit of their short or long term objectives.