Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Located in southeastern Europe, Bulgaria was under communist rule from 1947 to 1989. Political and economic reform since then enabled it to join the EU in 2007.

Geography: 

Mountains run east–west across center and along southern border. Danube plain in north, Thracian plain in southeast. Black Sea to the east.

Climate: 

Warm summers and snowy winters, especially in mountains. East winds bring seasonal extremes.

People and Society: 

The communists tried forcibly to suppress cultural identities, leading to a large exodus of Bulgarian Turks in 1989. Later privatization programs left many Turks landless,  prompting further emigration. Roma suffer discrimination at all levels of society. Women have equal rights in theory, but society remains patriarchal. EU accession included caveats
demanding further action against organized crime, human trafficking, and corruption.

The Economy: 

Good agricultural production, including grapes, for well-developed wine industry, and tobacco. Expertise in software development. Industry and infrastructure are outdated.

Insight: 

Archaeologists have found evidence of wine-making in Bulgaria dating back over 5000 years

Fact File:

Official Name: Republic of Bulgaria

Date of Formation: 1908

Capital: Sofia

Population:  7.54 million

Total Area:  42,822 sq. miles (110,910 sq. km)

Density:  177 people per sq. mile

Languages:  Bulgarian*, Turkish, Romani

Religions:  Orthodox Christian 83%, Muslim 12%, other 4%, Catholic 1%

Ethnic Mix: Bulgarian 84%, Turkish 9%, Roma 5%, other 2%

Government:  Parliamentary system

Currency: Lev = 100 stotinki

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