Europe: Bulgaria

About Bulgaria

Bulgaria earned its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1878, but having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, it fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multi-party election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. Today, reforms and democratization keep Bulgaria on a path toward eventual integration into NATO and the EU - with which it began accession negotiations in 2000.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Sofia
Population: 7,707,495 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 35% (2000 est.)
Language: Bulgarian, secondary languages closely correspond to ethnic breakdown
Date of independence: 3 March 1878 (from Ottoman Empire)
Form of government: parliamentary democracy
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: bauxite, copper, lead, zinc, coal, timber, arable land
Environmental Issues: air pollution from industrial emissions; rivers polluted from raw sewage, heavy metals, detergents; deforestation; forest damage from air pollution and resulting acid rain; soil contamination from heavy metals from metallurgical plants and industrial wast
Agricultural Products: vegetables, fruits, tobacco, livestock, wine, wheat, barley, sunflowers, sugar beets
Imports: fuels, minerals, and raw materials; machinery and equipment; metals and ores; chemicals and plastics; food, textiles
Exports: clothing, footwear, iron and steel, machinery and equipment, fuels
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Russia 24%, Germany 14%, Italy 8%, Greece 5%, France 5%, Romania 4%, Turkey 3%, US 3% (2000)
EXPORTS: Italy 14%, Turkey 10%, Germany 9%, Greece 8%, Yugoslavia 8%, Belgium 6%, France 5%, US 4% (2000)


Bulgaria Headlines

Warning: fopen( [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 404 Not Found in /home/blue/public_html/country.php on line 291
Could not open for parsing!