Bulgaria

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 7.8
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 70%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: -0.6%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km˛) : 110,910


Population origin

Origin of the population% Of the population
Bulgarian79,1
Turkish11,9
Gipsy5,9
Slavo-Macedonian2,6
Armenian0,4
Russian0,1



Main Cities Population
Sofia 1 138 950
Plovdiv 341 464
Varna 312 026
Burgas 189 529
Ruse 158 201
Stara Zagora 141 489



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Sofia (GMT+2 in winter, GMT+3 in summer).
Summer time from March to October



Languages
Official language: Bulgarian
Business languages: Russian, English, German and French, Turkish is also used for business in the South.

Free translation tools

SA Dictionary
Free dictionary English-Bulgarian

Ectaco
Free English-Bulgarian-English dictionary

Systran
Free English-Russian-English translator of texts and web pages





Religion
Religious practises : Orthodox 83.5%
Moslems 13%
Roman Catholics 1.5%
Protestants, Gregorians-Armenians and others 1%
Jews 0.8%
Other Catholics 0.2 %.


Political context

Bulgaria is a Republic state based on parliamentary democracy working under a pluriform multi-party political system. The official name of the country is Republic of Bulgaria.
President is the chief of the state and is directly elected for a 5-year term. President is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. President nominates the Prime Minister who is elected by the National Assembly. Prime Minister as Chairman of the Council of Ministers holds the executive powers and is also the head of the government. Prime Minister nominates the Council of Ministers.The Council of Ministers is the principal organ of the executive branch. The Council of Ministers must resign if the National Assembly passes a vote of no confidence in the Council or the Prime Minister.
Bulgaria has a unicameral parliament. The members of the parliament (called National Assembly) are elected for 4-year-terms by popular vote. A political party or coalition must garner a minimum of 4% of the vote in order to enter the National Assembly. Parliament is responsible for enactment of laws, approval of the budget, scheduling of presidential elections, selection and dismissal of the prime minister and other ministers, declaration of war, deployment of troops outside of Bulgaria, and ratification of international treaties and agreements. Bulgarian citizens enjoy considerable political rights.
Broadly speaking, Judiciary is independent in Bulgaria; though the human rights groups claim that the judicial system suffers from problems like perceived unwillingness to prosecute crimes against ethnic minorities; charges that the government denies. The main source of the law is the constitution adopted in July 1991; having civil and the criminal laws based on Roman law. Bulgaria is going to join the European Union (EU) in January 2007, at the earliest. The country accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction. The judicial language in the country is Bulgarian; having an interpreter is always possible.
Bulgaria is ruled by law and the corruption is limited to a large extent. However a certain degree of organised crime and corruption in government and business does exist in the country. The judicial system in the country broadly guarantees a fair trial to a foreign national.


Major political parties

Bulgaria has a multi-party system, where no single party generally has a chance of gaining power alone. Thus political parties work with each other to form coalition governments. However, the major political parties in the country are:
- BSP (Bulgarian Socialist Party)- socialist, draws its support from rural areas, earlier Bulgarian Communist Party;
- MRF (Movement for Rights and Freedoms)- centrist, liberal , formed mainly from the Turkish ethnic minority;
- SNM (National Movement Simeon II)- liberal, centred around the former king Simeon Saxe-Coburg;
- UtdDF (United Democratic Forces)- an alliance of anti-communist parties;
- ATAKA (Attack Coalition) - a group of nationalist parties, opposes ethnic minorities, advocates stronger ties with Russia.


Major political leaders

President: Georgi PURVANOV (since January 2002) – BSP
Prime Minister: Sergei STANISHEV (since August 2005) – BSP, heading a coalition government along with SNM and MRF


Next political election dates

Presidential: Year 2011
National Assembly: June 2009




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Bulgaria 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 4,630 4,837 5,158
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
Sea resorts:
-Albena, The Golden Sands, Droujba, the coast of the sun, the South coast.
The mountain resorts:
-Pamporovo, Borovetz, Vitocha, Bansko
Other sites:
- Rila's monastery,
- The valley of the roses,
- Kazanlak's grave,
There are also many other sites,monasteries and typical cities.

For more information about tourism in Bulgaria , check out the following web site(s) :
Bulgarian Tourism Board



Food


Traditional dishes
The Bulgarian food is very similar to the Turkish and to the Greek one. The same specialities are often found but only cooked in a different way.
The mushrooms soup
The Shopska Salad: typical Bulgarian salad prepared with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives and feta cheese .
Banitsa: hot fritters with various Bulgarian cheeses (Feta, Kashkaval) or spinach.
Moussaka
Gyuveche: the gyuveche is a terracotta dish in which are blended numerous ingredients such as vegetables, meat or poultry with a tomato sauce, the whole thing being cooked in the oven.
Ayryan: yoghurt-based drink.


Last modified on December 2006

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