Introduction to Bulgaria

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007 at 12:00 am

BulgariaBulgaria, is a country as rich in history as it is in natural resources. Being the center of Slavic Europe in the Middle Ages, it comes to no surprise that Bulgaria has significantly influenced the literary and cultural development of the Eastern Orthodox Slavic world. It is where the Cyrillic alphabet began, which is the world’s second most widely used alphabet.

The country’s cultural heritage is very rich with folklores, legends, distinctive traditional music, rituals and tales of vampires and other creatures of the night.

Bulgaria is officially a Republic. Romania is in its north while Greece and Turkey is located to its south. Serbia and Macedonia lies to its west and the Black Sea to its east. The first inhabitants belong to the ancient Thracians. As most countries during that time, Bulgaria experienced being run and controlled by third party foreign powers like the Greeks and the Romans.

The country survived long years of Ottoman rule, was reestablished as a constitutional monarchy in 1878, and eventually became a democratic, unitary, constitutional republic. Bulgaria is a member of the European Union and NATO.

The political structure of Bulgaria has the president as the chief of state with a prime minister and deputy prime ministers as head of the government. The president and vice-president position are voted for a five-year term. Also, the cabinet members or the council of ministers are nominated by the prime minister and voted on by the National Assembly.

The National Assembly is the unicameral government of Bulgaria. With 240 deputies who are elected for four-year terms by popular vote, the National Assembly is responsible for enacting laws, and approving the national budget. The country was a former socialist government, up until 1996 that is. Bulgaria is divided into twenty-eight provinces and subdivided into 287 municipalities.

With regards to the nation’s natural resources, the country is never lacking. It’s geographical location produces a very diverse habitat for both flora and fauna. The geographical landscapes are spectacular as well. From the snow peaks of the Alpine ranges to the mild and sunny weather of the Black Sea coast, Bulgaria boasts a lot of nature’s best. The climate is temperate meaning cool, damp winters and quite hot and dry summers.

Bulgaria has lots of picturesque places with painting-like sceneries which makes it an ideal tourist destination. Some of the destinations include the Valley of the Thracian Kings which contains the Thracian burial mounds, the Bourgaski Bani or Bourgas Baths which is a balneology treatment and mud-treatment resort, and Bulgaria’s three National Parks namely Pirin, Rila and Central Balkan.

The fall of the socialist regime in 1996 brought change and dynamism to Bulgaria’s economy. Economic reforms and new approaches in fiscal planning and implementations proved to be very successful.

The country now has low inflation rates, averages 5.1% growth every year, and an overall improvement to the business environment. Nevertheless, the often too common problems of corruption in the government, a weak justice system, and the proliferation of organized crime plagues the modern Bulgaria.