Countryaah, the country began to slowly recover after the
political crises and economic chaos of recent years. Prime
Minister Ivan Kostov's government succeeded in creating
political stability and reducing inflation to 6.1%, compared
with 1997, when prices in early spring increased by over
200% a month. One of the main reasons for the success was
that the government took a firm grip on the economy, and
according to the rules for the specially appointed foreign
exchange inspection, the central bank now has to buy and
sell the Bulgarian currency live at a fixed value of 1,000
live against the 1D mark. In addition, the central bank was
prohibited from lending money directly to the government,
which must therefore limit its expenditure to the amount
covered by taxes or can be borrowed commercially.
However, the work of introducing a modern market economy
was slow. Privatization continued, but there were particular
difficulties in the companies that had been bought by the
employees, and there they were hesitant to carry out
modernization as these often lead to layoffs. Registered
unemployment decreased during the year from 14.2% in 1997 to
11%. However, there may be a large number of darkness.
Bulgaria still has a long way to go when it comes to the
rights of minorities, especially those of the Roma
(gypsies), but a party-wide committee was set up to improve.
At the end of the year, the parliament in Sofia voted by
a large majority to abolish the death penalty.
Bulgaria's attitude towards the government of Macedonia
was further strengthened by the end of the year. Sofia
rejected that Macedonia should be an independent state and
did not accept the use of Macedonian as a national language;
therefore, Bulgaria refused to sign documents in Macedonian.
This negative attitude prevented the entry into force of 20
economic and cultural agreements between the two countries.
In an effort to improve the economy, the government
accepted all guidelines from the IMF to secure continued
international loans. In May 1998, support for the
agricultural sector was abolished. At the same time, it was
decided to privatize the state telecommunications company,
several banks and the Bulgarian carrier. The government
declared that its goal was to achieve balance in the state's
economy. A few weeks later, the IMF granted a loan of DKK
800 million. US $.
The Left joined in a coalition called the Bulgarian
Euro-Left, while 4 Liberal parties formed the Liberal
Democratic Alliance. General Angel Marin criticized the
reduction policy within the military and was replaced by
Stoyanov. In July, Army commander Miho Mihov announced a
reduction of 1,000 officers over the following months.
In November 1999, the EU announced that it was looking
for opportunities for the closure of the Kozloduy nuclear
power station, which accounts for 45% of the country's
electricity. The EU and Bulgaria reached an agreement after
which the Russian-built reactors will close in the period
2003-06. The closure of the nuclear power plant is one of
the EU conditions for the accession of Bulgaria to the
Union, but at the same time it demanded compensation for the
The discharge of cyanide from a Romanian mine in the
Danube River, put the whole region in emergency preparedness
and caused Sofia to claim financial compensation for the
damage caused by the discharge in Bulgaria.
In March 2000, the UN accused Bulgaria, Togo, Rwanda and
Burkina Faso of breaking the arms embargo imposed by the UN
against Angola. Acc. The UN is Bulgaria's largest source of
arms and military training by the UNITA rebels fighting the
Angolan government. UNITA pays for these services with
diamonds and emeralds - a trade the UN has also banned.
Ex-king Simeon II was crowned king of Bulgaria at the age
of 6 in 1943. However, he held the post only until 46. In
April 2001 he returned from his exile and started the
political movement the Simeon II National Movement. Under
the chaotic political conditions of the country, he was
elected to the parliamentary elections and inaugurated as
prime minister in July of that year. Thus, Simeon
Saxe-Coburg became the first former Eastern European monarch
to return to power. In his election campaign, he had
promised not to work for the reinstatement of the monarchy,
but in return to end poverty, unemployment and other social
problems that had helped to strangulate Bulgaria since the
fall of communism in 1990. However, 100 days after his
deployment, he became met by a demonstration with thousands
of participants in the streets of Sofia, who objected to the
failure of the promises. It was seen as a clear sign of
popular discontent when Socialist Georgi Parvanov was
elected President that month. This was the lowest turnout
since the fall of communism.
Both Romania and Bulgaria expected to be admitted to NATO
at the NATO summit in November 2002. During a visit to
Bucharest in April of that year, the Prime Minister
discussed with his Romanian colleague Ion Iliescu the
prospects for both countries joining the alliance. At the
summit, the country was invited to accession negotiations,
in March 2003 an accession protocol was signed and the
country is expected to be formally admitted in the first
half of 2004. It participates in the US occupation of Iraq.
Ifht. The EU began its accession negotiations in 1999, but
did not join the first round of Eastern European countries.
Bulgaria hopes to conclude the 2004 accession negotiations.
admission in 2007.
The disappointed expectations of Simeon II were clearly
expressed at the local elections in the fall of 2003, which
became a stinging defeat for his party. By June 2005,
parliamentary elections will be held.