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Title: Area Handbook for Bulgaria
Author: Keefe, Eugene K., Giloane, William, Moore, James M., Baluyut, Violeta D., Long, Anne K., Walpole, Neda A.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Area Handbook for Bulgaria" ***

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      file which includes the original maps and charts.
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Eugene K. Keefe

Violeta D. Baluyut
William Giloane
Anne K. Long
James M. Moore, Jr.
Neda A. Walpole

Research completed August 1973

First Edition
Published 1974

DA Pam 550-168

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

Keefe, Eugene K.
Area handbook for Bulgaria.

"DA Pam 550-168."
of the American University."

Bibliography: p. 301-316
Supt. of Docs. no.: D 101.22:550-168
1. Bulgaria. I. American University, Washington, D.C. Foreign Area
Studies. II. Title.

DR90.K4    914.977 03'3    74-600028

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing
Washington, D.C. 20402--Price $5.55


Studies (FAS) of The American University, designed to be useful to
military and other personnel who need a convenient compilation of basic
facts about the social, economic, political, and military institutions
and practices of various countries. The emphasis is on objective
description of the nation's present society and the kinds of possible or
probable changes that might be expected in the future. The handbook
seeks to present as full and as balanced an integrated exposition as
limitations on space and research time permit. It was compiled from
information available in openly published material. An extensive
bibliography is provided to permit recourse to other published sources
for more detailed information. There has been no attempt to express any
specific point of view or to make policy recommendations. The contents
of the handbook represent the work of the authors and FAS and do not
represent the official view of the United States government.

An effort has been made to make the handbook as comprehensive as
possible. It can be expected, however, that the material,
interpretations, and conclusions are subject to modification in the
light of new information and developments. Such corrections, additions,
and suggestions for factual, interpretive, or other change as readers
may have will be welcomed for use in future revisions. Comments may be
addressed to:

 The Director
 Foreign Area Studies
 The American University
 5010 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
 Washington, D.C. 20016


Although many changes have swept across the Eastern European communist
countries, Bulgaria through the years has remained a bastion of
consistency. It is a loyal military ally of the Soviet Union as a member
of the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact), and its economy is
inextricably linked to the Soviet Union through bilateral agreements as
well as through membership in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance
(COMECON). Of the six Eastern European members of the Warsaw Pact,
Bulgaria shares with the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) the
distinction of not having contiguous borders with the Soviet Union. It
is, however, important geographically because it anchors the
southeastern sector of the alliance and borders two member states of the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization--Greece and Turkey.

The authors of the _Area Handbook for Bulgaria_ have attempted to
describe, comprehensively and objectively, the workings of the economic,
political, social, and military systems dominant in the country in the
early 1970s as those systems have developed in the post-World War II
period. Despite the concentration on the communist era, important
historical factors are referred to wherever necessary for understanding
the modern scene, and a historical chapter is included to provide the
proper setting for the modern state.

The spelling of place names conforms to the transliteration system used
by the United States Board on Geographic Names. The use of
abbreviations, acronyms, and foreign terms has been held to a minimum.
The one abbreviation that necessarily appears throughout the work is BKP
for Bulgarian Communist Party (Bulgarska Komunisticheska Partiya). All
tons are metric unless otherwise stated. A glossary is appended for
convenience, but all unfamiliar terms are explained on first use in the


1. COUNTRY: People's Republic of Bulgaria. Proclaimed by the communist
party in the 1947 Constitution. Formerly, Kingdom of Bulgaria.

2. SIZE AND LOCATION: Area 42,800 square miles. Located in eastern part
of Balkan Peninsula on Black Sea south of Danube River. Borders Romania,
Yugoslavia, Greece, and Turkey.

3. TOPOGRAPHY: Mountains predominate in west and in ranges that run west
to east across the central and southern regions. Lower and more level
areas south of Danube River and between the mountain ranges permit
extensive cultivation.

4. CLIMATE: Transitional between Eastern European continental and
Mediterranean. Northern regions have hot summers, cold winters; south is
more moderate but has hot, dry summers.

5. POPULATION: About 8.7 million in 1973; density 203 persons per square
mile. Growth rate 0.7 percent annually.

6. ETHNIC GROUPS AND LANGUAGES: 85 percent of population is Bulgar.
Persons of Turkish, Macedonian, Greek, Romanian, and other origins are
guaranteed the right to use their languages and to preserve their
cultural heritage, but Bulgarian, the official language, is spoken by
the entire population.

7. RELIGION: 90 percent of population adheres to the Eastern Orthodox
faith. There are some 750,000 Moslems, 26,000 Protestants, 32,000 Roman
Catholics, and 3,000 to 7,000 Jews. Freedom of religion guaranteed, but
practice strictly controlled by state.

8. GOVERNMENT: National Assembly is unicameral legislature. Council of
Ministers, performing governmental administrative functions, is
responsible to State Council, the supreme executive body. Real power
vested in communist party's first secretary, Politburo, Secretariat, and
Central Committee.

9. ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS: Administration is by people's councils at
district (_okrug_) and township or borough (_obshtina_) levels. There
are twenty-eight districts, including one composed only of metropolitan
Sofia. Districts subdivided into about 1,150 townships and boroughs.

10. INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS: Member of the Warsaw Treaty
Organization (Warsaw Pact); the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance
(COMECON); and the United Nations (UN), including several UN specialized

11. JUSTICE: Three-level court system headed by Supreme Court. Military
and special courts responsible directly to Supreme Court. Judiciary
administered by Ministry of Justice within Council of Ministers.

12. COMMUNICATIONS: Mass media are state owned and regulated. Little
latitude given subject matter produced locally; imports of foreign films
and publications are restricted.

13. EDUCATION: Free and compulsory until age fifteen. Priority on
scientific, technological, and vocational curricula. Marxism-Leninism
stressed in all curricula.

14. ECONOMY: Production, growth, and development programmed in five-year
plans, drawn up and monitored by party. The 1971-75 plan, dependent on
financial and technical aid from Soviet Union, recognizes need to raise
standard of living; improvement is conditional upon rising productivity.

15. LABOR: Work force numbers about 4.4 million. About 27 percent (1.2
million) of the total are in state and collective industries; 25 percent
(1.1 million) work full time on agroindustrial complexes. Skilled
workers in short supply.

16. AGRICULTURE: Approximately 53 percent of land is agricultural, 69
percent of which is cultivated. All but small mountain farms are
organized into 170 agroindustrial complexes. Grains predominate on
plains south of Danube River; irrigated Thracian Plain produces more
diversified crops. Livestock production inadequate for domestic needs
and exports.

17. INDUSTRY: Virtually all state owned. Rapid expansion encouraged by
state, increasingly slowed by inadequate raw material resources and
skilled labor. Emphasis in early 1970s on improving unsatisfactory
productivity levels and quality of industrial products.

18. FINANCE: Nonconvertible lev (see Glossary) has officially declared
values ranging from 0.59 to 1.65 leva per US$1; unofficial rates in
early 1973 were substantially higher. Banking system consists of
Bulgarian National Bank and subordinated Bulgarian Foreign Trade Bank
and the State Savings Bank.

19. FOREIGN TRADE: State monopoly administered by Ministry of Foreign
Trade, Ministry of Finance, and the state banks. Bulk of trade is with
Soviet Union and other COMECON countries.

20. RAILROADS: Operational network totals about 2,620 miles, most of it
standard gauge. System carried bulk of long-distance domestic cargo and
passenger traffic.

21. ROADS: Total mileage about 21,000, but less than one-half has
asphalt or other paved surface. Highway vehicles carry increasing
traffic, preponderance of short-haul cargo and passengers.

22. INLAND WATERWAYS: Lower course of Danube River accommodates
2,500-ton vessels. Black Sea and ocean commerce increasing rapidly.

23. CIVIL AVIATION: State-owned Balkan-Bulgarian Airlines (BALKAN)
connects Sofia with about a dozen cities on internal routes and almost
twice as many foreign capitals.

24. ARMED FORCES: Bulgarian People's Army is subordinate to Ministry of
National Defense. Ground forces have 80 percent of its personnel; air
and naval forces, included in the army, have only about 15 and 5
percent, respectively, of total strength.

25. SECURITY: Ministry of Internal Affairs controls police and security
organizations, except Border Troops, which are part of army. Party and
mass organizations apply pressures on behalf of public order and in
defense of the system.




 FOREWORD                                                            iii

 PREFACE                                                               v

 COUNTRY SUMMARY                                                     vii


 Chapter 1. General Character of the Society                           1

         2. Historical Setting                                         9
            Early History--Turkish Rule--The Rise of Nationalism
            --Liberation and Its Aftermath--World War I--The
            Interwar Years--World War II--The Communist State

         3. Physical Environment and Population                       37
            Natural Features--Boundaries and Political
            Subdivisions--Settlement Patterns--Population--

         4. Social System                                             65
            Ethnic and Religious Composition--The Family--Social
            Stratification--Other Social Groups

         5. Living Conditions                                         79
            Health--Personal Income and Expenditures--Housing--
            Social Benefits--Work and Leisure

         6. Education                                                 93
            History of Education--Communist Educational Policies
            --Educational Reforms--Literacy--The Educational
            System--Teacher Training--Other Education

         7. Artistic and Intellectual Expression                     123
            The Arts and Sciences under Communism--Literature--
            Theater--Films--Music--Folk Arts--Painting and
            Sculpture--Architecture --Scholarship and Science


         8. Governmental System                                      137
            Constitutional Evolution--Structure and Function
            of the Government--Judicial Procedure--The Electoral

         9. Political Dynamics                                       153
            Major Political Developments, 1965-71--The Bulgarian
            Communist Party--The Bulgarian Agrarian Union--Mass

        10. Foreign Relations                                        171
            Determinants of Foreign Policy--Conduct of Foreign
            Affairs--International Relations--Membership in
            Regional and International Organizations

        11. Mass Communications                                      183
            Background--Objectives of Mass Communications--
            Freedom of Information--Administration of the Mass
            Communications System--Themes of the Media--The


        12. Character and Structure of the Economy                   203
            Organization--Structure and Growth--Labor--Investment
            --Budget--Banking and Currency--Foreign Trade

        13. Agriculture                                              225
            Climate and Soils--Land Use--Organization--Planning
            and Management--Labor and Wages--Investment and

        14. Industry                                                 249
            Organization and Structure--Fuels and Power--Raw


        15. Public Order and Security                                269
            Internal Security--Civil Defense--Public Order--
            Crime and Justice

        16. Armed Forces                                             287
            Historical Background--Governmental and Party
            Control Over the Armed Forces--Organization and
            Mission--Foreign Military Relations--Manpower,
            Training, and Support--The Military Establishment
            and the National Economy

 BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                        301

 GLOSSARY                                                            317

 INDEX                                                               319


 Figure                                                             Page

   1  Bulgaria                                                       xiv

   2  Topography of Bulgaria                                          39

   3  Political Subdivisions of Bulgaria, 1973                        51

   4  Communications Systems of Bulgaria, 1973                        60

   5  The Bulgarian School System, 1973                              111

   6  Bulgaria, Structure of Government, 1973                        144

   7  Bulgaria, Organization of the Council of Ministers, 1973       146


 Table                                                              Page

   1 Bulgaria, Population by Age and Sex, 1973 Estimate               39

   2 Use of Transportation Facilities in Bulgaria, 1960 and
     1970                                                             61

   3 Bulgaria, Percentage Distribution of Household Expenditures
     by Population Group, 1962 and 1971                               85

   4 Bulgaria, Actual and Desired Annual Consumption Levels           87

   5 Bulgaria, Percentage of Housing Units Equipped with
     Various Amenities, December 1965                                 89

   6 Number of Schools in Bulgaria, Selected Years, 1938-70          101

   7 Number of Students in Bulgaria, Selected School Years,
     1938-70                                                         101

   8 Number of Teachers in Bulgaria, Selected School Years,
     1938-70                                                         102

   9 Number and Proportion of Students in Various Bulgarian
     University Faculties, Selected Years, 1939-71                   114

  10 Bulgaria, Newspaper Circulation by Frequency of Issue,
     1971                                                            192

  11 Bulgaria, Circulation of Newspapers and Periodicals,
     Selected Years, 1939-71                                         193

  12 Bulgaria, Number of Radio Stations and Subscribers,
     Selected Years, 1939-71                                         194

  13 Bulgaria, Book and Pamphlet Publication, 1971                   198

  14 Libraries in Bulgaria, 1971                                     200

  15 Bulgaria, Films Produced and Translated, Selected Years,
     1939-71                                                         201

  16 Bulgaria, Production of Major Crops, Annual Average,
     Selected Years, 1958-60 to 1966-70, and 1970                    242

  17 Bulgaria, Livestock Numbers, Selected Years, 1948-72            244

  18 Bulgaria, Production of Meat, Selected Years, 1948-71           247

  19 Bulgaria, Production of Milk, Eggs and Wool, Selected
     Years, 1960-71                                                  247

  20 Output of Selected Industrial Products in Bulgaria,
     Selected Years, 1960-71                                         266

[Illustration: _Figure 1. Bulgaria_]




In mid-1973 Bulgaria was under the complete control of the Bulgarian
Communist Party (BKP--see Glossary) as it had been since the latter days
of World War II. As that war came to a close, the Kingdom of Bulgaria
was occupied by the Soviet army and was governed by a coalition under
the communist-dominated Fatherland Front. By 1947 the monarchy had been
deposed, a new constitution had been promulgated, and the country had
become the People's Republic of Bulgaria under the BKP. Todor Zhivkov,
who became first secretary of the party in 1954, retained that position
in 1973 and, with nineteen years' tenure, was senior in length of
service among the top leaders of the Soviet-aligned, communist countries
of Eastern Europe. Zhivkov, who weathered several years of intraparty
struggles after assuming the secretaryship, has led an apparently stable
regime since an abortive coup d'etat failed to dislodge him in 1965. The
hallmark of Zhivkov's leadership has been his intense loyalty to the
leaders of the Soviet Union.

Zhivkov's critics accuse him of what they call subservience to the
Soviet Union, stating that he relies on Soviet backing to remain in
power. His supporters, on the other hand, commend him for his loyalty to
the Soviet Union, pointing out the historical affinity between the
Bulgarians and the Russians that dates back to the nineteenth-century
Russian role in the liberation of Bulgaria from 500 years of Turkish
rule. Whether he should be condemned or praised for it, the fact is that
Zhivkov has guided his ship of state in very close conformity with
directions first taken by the Soviet Union.

Bulgaria, motivated mainly by irredentism, fought on the German side
during both world wars. The lands that Bulgaria coveted and pressed
ancient claims for were Macedonia (which had become part of Yugoslavia)
and parts of Thrace (which had become Greek territory). Its claims to
these lands date back to the glorious days of Bulgarian kingdoms in the
Middle Ages, when its territory stretched from the Black Sea in the east
to the Adriatic Sea in the west and from the Carpathian Mountains in the
north to the Aegean Sea in the south. Five hundred years of Turkish rule
failed to erase the Bulgarian ideas of territorial grandeur.

The 1877-78 Russo-Turkish war that liberated Bulgaria ended in the
Treaty of San Stefano, which reestablished a Bulgarian kingdom using the
ancient boundaries; but the treaty was never put into effect because the
European powers feared a large Russian client-state in the Balkans.
Meeting in the Congress of Berlin in 1878, the powers nullified the
Treaty of San Stefano and decreed Bulgarian boundaries that drastically
reduced the size of the newly liberated country. Bulgaria seethed with
irredentism and fought wars over the so-called lost territories until
World War II, from which it emerged with a communist-dominated coalition
government but confined to almost the same boundaries. After the
Communists took complete control, irredentism was overshadowed by
Marxist ideas of internationalism; but the dream of a greater Bulgaria
did not die, and irredentist opinions were commonly expressed until
1972, when they were muted, probably on the insistence of the Soviet

The original Bulgars were of an Asian tribe that moved into the Balkan
Peninsula as conquerors during the seventh century A.D. The occupants of
the area at the time were mostly Slavs who had been migrating to that
region for more than a century, absorbing former inhabitants as they
settled. Within about two centuries of their conquest, the Bulgars also
had been completely absorbed by the much more numerous Slavs, leaving
only their name to mark the land they had conquered. From the ninth
century A.D. on, Bulgarian history is the story of this amalgamated
nation of Bulgar-Slavs who enjoyed two different epochs of independent
glory under medieval Bulgarian kingdoms but who also suffered invasion
and defeat and, eventually, 500 years of domination by Ottoman Turks. In
1878 Turkish rule was finally ended, and a truncated Bulgaria reappeared
on the map of Europe. After five centuries of foreign domination,
Bulgaria was backward, underdeveloped, and poor.

The descendants of the Bulgar-Slavs made up the majority of the
approximately 8.7 million people living in Bulgaria in 1973. The largest
minority group, which numbered about 0.7 million people, was Turkish.
The few Greeks, Romanians, Armenians, and Jews in the population
collectively accounted for only about 1 percent of the total. These
modern Bulgarians live in a country that is almost rectangular in shape
and covers roughly 42,800 square miles of the lower Balkan Peninsula.
Their country is bounded on the east by the Black Sea, on the south by
Greece and the part of Turkey that is in Europe, on the west by
Yugoslavia, and on the north by Romania.

The most prominent communist leader of Bulgaria was Georgi Dimitrov, a
native-born Bulgarian who had lived in exile during most of the period
between the two world wars and had become a Soviet citizen in 1935.
Dimitrov was prominent in the international communist movement and,
while resident in Moscow, had served as secretary general of the
Comintern (Communist International), founded under Lenin's guidance in
1919. Dimitrov returned to his homeland in late 1945, resumed his
Bulgarian citizenship, and took over the leadership of the BKP and the
government. He was instrumental in developing the 1947 Constitution
(usually referred to as the Dimitrov Constitution) and set about
remaking his country's economic, political, and social structures in the
Soviet image. Nationalization of all means of production,
collectivization of agriculture, and an ambitious program of
industrialization all commenced under Dimitrov.

Dimitrov died in 1949 but, before he died, his programs were well under
way, the Moscow-oriented BKP was in complete control, and the country
was firmly in the Soviet orbit. Several years later, even though the
term _satellite_ was no longer used to describe the Eastern European
countries aligned with the Soviet Union, Bulgaria was considered to be
the most rigidly loyal of all former Soviet satellites. Shortly after
the death of Dimitrov, the top position of leadership was secured by
Vulko Chervenkov who, over the next few years, earned a reputation as
Bulgaria's version of Stalin. After Stalin died, Chervenkov's power base
eroded to the point that he was forced to give up the top party post in
favor of Zhivkov; Chervenkov retained the top position in the
government, however, and remained on the scene as an opposing locus of
political power. The intraparty factional strife that ensued lasted into
the 1960s, but Zhivkov, who had established a close relationship with
Soviet party leader Nikita Khrushchev, eventually overcame the
opposition and stabilized his regime. Zhivkov also managed to establish
close relations with the Soviet leaders who ousted Khrushchev and has
apparently maintained good rapport with Leonid Brezhnev, the general
secretary of the Soviet party.

The BKP in 1973 was structured very much like the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union. The structure is pyramidal in form, the general membership
making up the base and the office of first secretary occupying the apex.
Between the two extremes the most important bodies from bottom to top
are the Party Congress, the Central Committee, the Secretariat, and the
Politburo. The Party Congress is a large gathering of delegates,
representing the rank and file, that meets every five years,
theoretically, to make party policy, amend party statutes if necessary,
and determine the party program for the ensuing five-year period.
Actually the congress is a large, unwieldy body (over 1,500 delegates at
the 1971 congress), which meets to demonstrate solidarity rather than to
make policy. The congress, by party statute, elects the Central
Committee, which is a permanently sitting body that acts in the name of
the congress during the long intervals when the larger body is not in
session. The so-called election of the Central Committee is, in fact, a
ratification of preselected members. The same holds true for the
election of the Politburo and the Secretariat by the Central
Committee--in effect, the Politburo has already determined its own
membership and that of the Secretariat, and the election process by the
Central Committee is unanimous confirmation rather than election,
making the Politburo a self-perpetuating body.

The Politburo for policymaking and the Secretariat for policy
implementation are the true centers of power in the overall
party-government system. The Central Committee is an operating body and
is made up of important members of the party, although they rank below
the small group that has reached the top echelons of the structure. It
is the interlocking of various party and government positions that
really concentrates power in the hands of a few individuals and permits
the ultimate leader, Zhivkov, to control the entire apparatus. Zhivkov
himself is an example of the interlocking in that, since 1971, he has
been the first secretary of the party and a member of the Politburo at
the same time that he was the president of the governmental State
Council. Only one other individual in 1973 combined membership in the
party's most prestigious bodies--Politburo and Secretariat--with
membership in the government's leading body--the State Council. Two
other party secretaries were candidate (nonvoting) members of the
Politburo, but they did not concurrently hold any high government

The government established under the Dimitrov Constitution, as changed
by the Constitution of 1971, is the instrument through which the party
administers the country. The central government consists, essentially,
of the National Assembly, the State Council, and the Council of
Ministers. The unicameral National Assembly is described in the
constitution as "a supreme body of state power," whereas the State
Council is described as "a supreme constantly functioning body of state
power." In practice, if one or the other were to be described as the
single supreme body of state power, it would be the State Council, the
membership of which in 1973 included seven (out of twenty-four) members
or candidate members of the party Politburo and the operations of which,
during its first two years of existence, have stamped it with the mark
of supreme authority.

The role of the National Assembly as a legislative body is circumscribed
by the infrequency of its meetings. The assembly is popularly elected
from a single list of nominees at five-year intervals, but it is
required to meet only three times annually. The sessions of the assembly
are usually so brief that it functions as an after-the-fact approving
body rather than as a legislature. The development and initiation of new
legislation, therefore, is handled outside of the actual legislature,
primarily by the State Council and the Council of Ministers.

At its first session after general elections the National Assembly
elects the State Council, but it would be highly unlikely if not
impossible for the assembly to refuse to elect the complete slate of
nominees that has been preselected by the party hierarchy. The election
of the State Council, therefore, as is the case with various party
elections, is a unanimous vote of approval rather than a true election.
The State Council is the true center of the government. When it was
created by the 1971 Constitution, Zhivkov chose to relinquish his
governmental post as chairman of the Council of Ministers (the
country's premier) and assume the position of president of the State
Council, leaving no doubt about where real governmental power lay. The
State Council, in effect, is a collective executive body that, because
the National Assembly meets so infrequently, also becomes a major
initiator of legislation.

The Council of Ministers, also elected by the National Assembly in the
same manner as the State Council, functions as the administrative arm of
the government. Here again, party influence is pervasive. In 1973 the
chairman of the council (premier) and four deputy chairmen were
concurrently members of the party Politburo, the minister of internal
affairs was a candidate member of the Politburo, and most other
ministers were members of the Central Committee.

Matters of state--such as defense, foreign affairs, education, and
welfare--usually associated with the central government of any country
are handled by individual ministries and are overseen by the Council of
Ministers. In addition to such affairs of state, however, various
ministries, as well as the council itself, are charged with
administering the country's entire economy, as is the case in other
communist-ruled states. In mid-1973 eleven ministries out of a total of
twenty-two dealt exclusively with economic matters. In addition, the
State Planning Committee, the chairman of which holds ministerial rank,
is of great importance in the overall economic structure.

The economic ministries control virtually every aspect of the country's
economy. The goals of nationalization of all industry and
collectivization of agriculture were achieved early in the communist
era, and the efforts of the party-government ever since have been toward
increased efficiency. In Bulgaria the quest for greater production has
led to ever greater centralization of control. In the early 1970s this
quest has brought about the reorganization of industry wherein
industrial enterprises have been grouped into huge trusts at the same
time that collective and state farms have been similarly grouped into
so-called agroindustrial complexes.

The consolidation of agriculture into extremely large complexes, begun
in 1970, was intended to raise productivity through concentration of
effort, specialization of production, and increased control by the
central government. The reorganization is a long-range program that is
expected to be completed by 1980, at which time authorities predict that
farm incomes will have risen to equal industrial incomes and, because
agricultural enterprises will be run just like factories, the social
differences between peasants and workers will have been eliminated. By
1973 results of the reorganization that had already occurred were mixed,
and it was still too early to assess the long-range value of the
agroindustrial complexes.

In the industrial sector the consolidation of various enterprises into
trusts was undertaken in the early 1970s for the same reasons that the
agroindustrial complexes were formed, that is, greater efficiency
through concentration, specialization, and increased control. Bulgarian
industrial growth since World War II had been remarkable, considering
particularly the inadequate base of skilled labor and natural resources
in a country that had been predominantly agricultural. Bulgaria's need
for raw materials, machinery, and technological assistance during its
long period of industrialization and the Soviet Union's willingness to
supply them accounted in large measure for the extremely close economic
ties between the two countries. Because the growth rate had begun to
slow toward the end of the 1960s, the BKP decided to try a massive
reorganization of the economic structure as a remedy for the situation.

In addition to the political and economic systems of the country, the
social system has been a major concern of the party and government ever
since the BKP took power. Social restructuring has resulted in a system
wherein the party elite occupies the highest level. This group is small
and represents the apex of the social pyramid. The next level down,
which is much broader, includes lesser party functionaries,
professionals, administrators and managers, technicians, and all
white-collar workers. The next level is made up of blue-collar
industrial workers, who constitute the largest group in the society. At
the bottom of the structure are the peasants. There are, of course,
gradations of power, privilege, and prestige within all of the social
groupings. The society has been very mobile since World War II with
rapid upward mobility based mainly on the expanding economy,
industrialization, and modernization. Toward the end of the 1960s, as
the economic growth rate slowed, so also did the social mobility, and
there was evidence that social groups were stabilizing.

Education has been the key to upward mobility and, since coming to
power, the Communists have given preference in educational opportunity
to formerly underprivileged groups. At the beginning of the 1970s,
however, the percentage of students of worker and peasant origin
enrolled in institutions of higher learning was far below the percentage
of workers and peasants in the population. Students from the lower
income groups have not competed favorably against those from more
advantaged backgrounds and, although upward mobility is not blocked, it
has been becoming more difficult. Membership in the BKP remains
important for persons desiring to move upward in the social structure.

For the leadership the importance of education lies in the fact that it
is the best means for orienting the people in the official ideology as
well as for training the professionals, technicians, and skilled workers
needed to run the country. The ideological indoctrination is pervasive
throughout the entire school system, but the concurrent goal of meeting
the needs of the economy has suffered because the system of higher
education has not expanded rapidly enough to absorb most secondary
school graduates who are desirous and capable of pursuing higher
studies. Many educational reforms have been enacted over the years, but
they have been cautious and limited and have not attacked the major
problem of providing much greater funding for higher education.

In the cultural sphere the party and government have promoted pride in
the ancient Bulgarian heritage but have regulated art, music, and
literature in order to bring about conformity with the Soviet-developed
doctrine of Socialist Realism. Throughout the communist era there have
been periods of freeze and thaw in the controls imposed on artists and
intellectuals, but the periods of greatest restriction in later years
have not equaled the severity of the Stalinist times. In the 1960s and
early 1970s control has been exercised primarily through publishers, art
galleries, theaters, and other outlets. Artists and intellectuals know
that their work must pass through state-owned outlets if it is to be
seen or heard; therefore, they exercise self-censorship to ensure
acceptability. Other means of control are the professional unions that
all artists, writers, and actors must join if their work is to be
exhibited or published. The unions are run by the BKP and, in effect,
become instruments through which the party promotes its cultural
policies. For some artists conformity with ideological goals leads to
upward social mobility, and some enjoy privileges and life-styles that
are usually reserved for the ruling elite.

For control of the general population the government relies on the
regular police, court, and penal systems, which are supplemented by
state security police, paramilitary police auxiliaries, and militarized
border guards. The regular police forces, the auxiliaries, and the state
security police are all under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of
Internal Affairs, whereas the border guards are subordinated to the army
and are regulated by the Ministry of National Defense. Courts and penal
institutions are under the Ministry of Justice.

Also as means of control, the government sanctions and the party
operates a number of mass organizations that affect or influence the
lives of most people in the country. The Fatherland Front is a large
umbrella organization that includes all other groups as well as
individual members. The other mass organizations include trade unions,
youth groups, athletic societies, and similar interest groups. Other
than these officially sanctioned groups, there are no organizations
permitted and, because the party retains control through the leadership
positions, all organized activity in the country comes under BKP
supervision. Such organizations also serve as upward channels of
information through which the party hierarchy is able to keep in touch
with popular opinion.

Militarily, Bulgaria in 1973 maintained about 160,000 men in its armed
forces, which are committed to the Soviet-dominated alliance known as
the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact). Ground forces constitute
the great bulk of the so-called Bulgarian People's Army, but it also
includes a small air and air defense force, a small naval force, and the
border guards. All of the armed forces are under the supervision of the
Ministry of National Defense, but top-level policymaking is a
prerogative of the BKP. The party maintains great influence in the armed
forces through the officer corps, 85 percent of which is made up of
party members. Those officers who are not party members usually belong
to the communist youth organization. Many career noncommissioned
officers are also party members and, for the conscript in the ranks,
political indoctrination is as regular as his military training.



The history of Bulgaria is marked by four interrelated motifs or themes.
The first motif is that of regional rivalry coupled with irredentism.
The second is Bulgaria's strategic significance for the leading powers
of Europe and the varying relationships with those powers. The third
theme is Bulgaria's constant conflict between loyalty to, and alliances
with, the East--particularly Russia and the Soviet Union--on the one
hand and to the West--particularly Italy and Germany--on the other. The
fourth major theme in Bulgarian history is the influence exerted by
Russia (and the Soviet Union) on the internal and external affairs of
Bulgaria. This influence was intermittent from the late nineteenth
century until World War II but was constant after that war.

From its earliest history Bulgaria was in continual conflict with its
Balkan neighbors. The area that eventually became Bulgaria was the
object of regional disputes as early as the fourth century B.C. Later,
when that area was taken over by the Slavs in the sixth century A.D. and
the Bulgars in the seventh, a state evolved that proceeded to encroach
on the territory of the mighty Byzantine Empire itself. Despite
successful raids and conquests during the periods of the First Bulgarian
Kingdom and the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, Bulgaria was eventually
reduced to subject status by the Byzantines and later by the Ottoman
Turks. During Turkish rule the country was not only under constant
attack by neighbors but was also utilized by the Turks as a base for
Turkish expansion. When Bulgaria was finally liberated from the Turks by
the Russians, irredentism and regional rivalry became the prime focus of
its foreign policy. Macedonia, a much-valued land throughout Bulgarian
history, became the major object of Bulgaria's irredentist campaigns,
although eventually most of the land reverted to Serbia and was later
incorporated into Yugoslavia. Macedonia, in addition to Thrace, which
was valued because it provided access to the sea, was the primary motive
for Bulgaria's role not only in the two Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 but
also in the two world wars.

Bulgaria was not only struggling for power throughout its history; it
was also a pawn in the power struggles of the so-called great powers.
Before the Christian era the area was conquered first by Greece and
later by Rome and was influenced strongly by both of these early
cultures. Later, when the Slavs and Bulgars succeeded in forming a
united state, the country was still besieged by both Byzantium and
Rome. Although the Romans eventually lost their hold over Bulgaria, the
Byzantine Empire took both political and religious control of the
country for two centuries. When Bulgaria managed to reassert its
autonomy in the time of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, independence was
short lived, and the country again fell under alien control, this time
to the Ottoman Turks. The Turks dominated Bulgaria for five centuries,
until liberation by the Russians temporarily gave the country full
sovereignty. Before each of the two world wars of the twentieth century,
Bulgaria was actively courted by both sides as a potentially strategic
ally. Realizing Bulgaria's territorial aspirations, Germany played upon
Bulgarian irredentism in order to gain its collaboration in the wars,
and both times Bulgaria emerged on the losing side. When World War II
ended for Bulgaria in 1944, it fell under Soviet influence, where it has
remained ever since.


The history of the country that became modern Bulgaria can be traced
back many hundreds of years before the time of Christ, predating by
fifteen or more centuries the arrival of the people known as Bulgars,
from whom the country ultimately took its name. The earliest people to
have a viable political organization in the area were the Thracians,
whose loosely organized tribes occupied and controlled much of the
Balkan Peninsula. Later, when their society began to disintegrate, the
Thracians fell under Greek influence and joined forces with Athens to
overrun neighboring Macedonia. In the fourth century B.C., however,
Philip of Macedon, competing with the Greeks in a power struggle over
Thrace, conquered Thrace and made the Thracians a subject people.

This invasion was followed in the second century B.C. by a Roman
invasion of Macedonia and a subsequent conquest of Thrace. By the first
century A.D. the Romans totally dominated the area. Despite their strict
and unpopular military control over the population, under their tutelage
cities grew, roads were constructed, and mining and farming were

In the third century A.D. a series of mass migrations into the Balkans
began; these migrations lasted for several centuries (see ch. 3). The
Goths came in four separate waves during the third century. In the
fourth century the Huns swept across the country, razing cities and
villages. They were followed in the fourth and fifth centuries by the
Visigoths and Ostrogoths who, like the Huns, continued to ravage the
country. These invasions culminated in the eventual conquest and
settlement by the relatively civilized Slavs in the sixth century.

In A.D. 330 the Emperor Constantine established what was to be
considered a second Rome and named it Constantinople. In this period the
Roman Empire in the Balkans was split into two parts: in the east,
Thrace was once again under Greek domination, and the west was
dominated by the Romans. Constantinople was growing in power, and Greek
influence was eroding the political and cultural influence of the
Romans. By the mid-fourth century Rome and Constantinople were actively
struggling for domination over the Balkans.

In the sixth century A.D. the Slavs crossed the Danube River and
occupied much of the Balkan Peninsula. Although the Byzantines built
fortresses to protect themselves, they were unable to hold the Slavs at
bay. Once the Slavs had taken over most of the Balkan Peninsula, they
succeeded in destroying the existing social system, rapidly replacing it
with their own. Soon the entire Thracian population became slavicized.

In the seventh century A.D. the Bulgars in turn began to migrate into
the Balkans. They had come originally from central Asia and were said to
be related to the Huns. They were of the same stock as the Turks and
spoke a language similar to Turkish. Before migrating to the Balkans,
they had lived north of the Black Sea. Their social order was vastly
different from that of the Slavs, although eventually the Slavic system
became dominant. The Bulgars, unlike the Slavs who repudiated the
concept of kingship, were governed autocratically by khans. The Bulgars
were warriors who fought on horseback, and their customs and dress were

When the Bulgars overran what is now northeastern Bulgaria, they found
Slavic tribes already established and quickly made peace with them in
order to strengthen themselves against the Byzantines. As the Slavs were
far more numerous than the Bulgars, the latter were assimilated, and
within two centuries the Bulgars had been completely slavicized. The
Slavic language and culture were adopted, although the Bulgarian name
and political structure were retained. A Slav-Bulgarian state was formed
with the capital at Pliska.

The First Bulgarian Kingdom lasted from A.D. 679 to A.D. 1018, when it
fell to Byzantium. During this period the social system resembled the
feudal system of Western Europe. The king, or tsar, was the leading
nobleman. As the political situation of the period varied, he was
alternately supported or opposed by the boyars (large landowners). The
great majority of the people were serfs.

During the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. the Bulgarians consolidated
and further reinforced their power. By the ninth century they were so
powerful that they challenged the Byzantine Empire itself. Twice in this
period the Bulgarians controlled areas of Greece, Turkey, Yugoslavia,
Romania, and even Russia. In a battle in 811 the Bulgars completely
devastated the Byzantine army that had invaded their country; killed the
Byzantine emperor, Nicephorus; and went on to lay siege to
Constantinople itself. The siege failed, but Bulgaria had established
itself as a power with which to be reckoned.

During the ninth century A.D. Bulgaria once again became the focus of
Greek and Roman cultural and political rivalry. The dispute was finally
terminated when Bulgaria, under King Boris I, accepted Christianity
from Constantinople rather than from Rome. As early as 836 the Byzantine
Empire had sent two brothers, Cyril and Methodius, to convert the Slavs.
When the brothers were in Venice, they argued in favor of church
services and literature in the Slavic language, opposing the Roman
bishops who believed that only Hebrew, Greek, and Latin were suitable
languages for worship. This dialogue further exacerbated the tensions
between Byzantium and Rome. By 870 Boris made Orthodox Christianity the
official religion of the state. At this juncture Bulgaria fell under the
Byzantine sphere of influence, completing--for the moment--its break
with the Roman religion and culture.

The influence of Cyril and Methodius upon the Bulgarian language and
culture is incalculable. They not only carried a new liturgical form to
Bulgaria but also devised a new alphabet known as Cyrillic. This new
alphabet soon replaced Latin and Greek as the only form of writing, and
on its base a new Slavic literature and culture grew up.

When Bulgaria adopted Christianity from Byzantium, it also adopted
Byzantium's territorial ambitions. Under Tsar Simeon (A.D. 893-927), a
period known as the Golden Age, Bulgaria extended its territories from
the Black Sea in the east to the southern Carpathian Mountains in the
north, to the Sava River in the west, and to Macedonia in the southwest.
It was in this period that Bulgaria reached the peak of its territorial
expansion, penetrating deep into the Byzantine Empire. Macedonia and
Albania became Bulgaria's new frontiers; in 924 Serbia fell under
Bulgarian rule. With these victories Simeon claimed the title tsar of
all the Bulgarians and the Greeks.

With the territorial expansion came a domestic flourishing in the arts
and an increase in trade. The arts and architecture of the period were
significant for their beauty and vitality. Preslav, then the capital
city, became the center of culture. Crafts, such as goldsmithing,
pottery, stonemasonry, and blacksmithing grew, and shops sprang up
everywhere. At the same time literature flourished, and education and
scholarship took on a new importance. Knowledge of Slavic literature
became widespread, and writers treated such varied topics as religion,
grammar, logic, and patriotism.

By the end of the tenth century A.D., however, the First Bulgarian
Kingdom was beginning to decline. Internally, the local population was
weary from continual warring and from the oppression of feudalism. The
boyars continued to struggle against the king and his council for their
own autonomy. Because of the internal weakness of the country,
Bulgaria's neighbors began to encroach on her borders. The Magyars
(Hungarians) attacked from the northwest, seizing territory north of the
Danube River. The Byzantines in 967 formed an alliance with the prince
of Kiev in Russia and, because of this alliance, succeeded in invading
Bulgaria repeatedly.

In the late tenth century there was a brief revival of Bulgarian power
under Samuel, when the Bulgarians succeeded in liberating the
northeastern sector of the country from Byzantine control and captured
southern Macedonia. But the revival was short lived. The Byzantine
emperor, Basil II, was determined to regain his lost land and once again
recaptured the northeastern sector. In 1014 Basil again invaded
Bulgaria; defeated Samuel's army; and, in an act of matchless cruelty,
blinded 14,000 Bulgarian soldiers. From 1018 until 1185 all of Bulgaria
was under Byzantine rule.

The eleventh and twelfth centuries witnessed a period of extreme
hardship for the country. Byzantine domination was harsh and punitive.
Monetary taxes, which added to the already heavy burdens of the
peasantry, were levied in 1040. Bulgarian feudalism was replaced by
Byzantine feudalism. The Byzantine church itself was a vehicle of
oppression as it was later to become under Turkish rule; the church
owned entire estates and villages and the people who inhabited them.
There were a series of revolts during the eleventh century, but none
were successful in overthrowing Byzantine tyranny. During this period
the first and second crusades made their way through the Balkan
Peninsula, wreaking havoc among the local populations.

The Second Bulgarian Kingdom was established in 1186 and lasted until
1396, when--like the First Bulgarian Kingdom--it was conquered by a
powerful enemy and neighbor. Ironically, history came full circle to
spell defeat for the Bulgarians. In the twelfth century, when the
Byzantine Empire was declining because of internal weakness, the
Bulgarians were able to free themselves from domination. In the
fourteenth century, when Bulgaria itself was weakened by domestic
strife, it was conquered by an enemy whose oppression was greater than
that of the Byzantine Empire: the Ottoman Turks.

At the close of the twelfth century the internal situation in Bulgaria
was deteriorating. Taxes had been increased, and the burden borne by the
peasants became still heavier. The feudal lords openly began to proclaim
their independence from Byzantium, whose empire was by now steadily
declining. Bulgaria was surrounded by its enemies: the Ottoman Turks,
the Magyars, and the Normans. In 1183 the Magyars invaded, penetrating
as far as Sofia. Realizing the vulnerability of the Byzantine Empire,
the Bulgarians rebelled under the leadership of two brothers, Asen and
Peter. The brothers first liberated northeastern Bulgaria and then
proceeded into Thrace, where they were opposed by Isaac Angel, then
emperor of Byzantium. In 1187 a peace treaty was concluded in which
Byzantium conceded autonomy to Bulgaria.

Despite the peace treaty, however, the Bulgarians continued to wage war
against the empire, hoping to regain northern Bulgaria and Macedonia--a
contested territory and bitterly disputed issue throughout Bulgarian
history. In 1201 the empire again concluded a peace treaty with the
Bulgarians, ceding all of northern Bulgaria and a large part of
Macedonia. Eventually, in 1207 Constantinople recognized the complete
independence of Bulgaria, and Bulgarian freedom was firmly established.

This new-found independence, however, did not extend to the Bulgarian
church, which was still under the aegis of the empire. For that reason
Kaloyan, the Bulgarian ruler, negotiated with the Roman pope, Innocent
III, in order to ally the Bulgarian church with the church of Rome. The
motives of Rome and those of Kaloyan were similar: to isolate the
influence of Byzantium from Bulgaria. In 1204 Kaloyan was crowned king
by the papal nuncio in Turnovo. Although this union lasted only briefly,
it served the purpose for which it was designed, and Bulgaria was
effectively cut off from Byzantium.

During the thirteenth century the Holy Roman Empire replaced the
Byzantine Empire on the borders of Bulgaria, and Byzantine aggression
was replaced by that of the Holy Roman Empire. When Rome declared war on
Bulgaria, the Bulgarians invaded Thrace, defeating the crusaders at
Adrianople in 1205. The reestablishment of the Bulgarian patriarchate in
1235 represented the end of the short-lived alliance between the
Bulgarian church and Rome.

Under the reign of Ivan Asen II in the mid-thirteenth century peace was
again restored, and the country once more extended its territories. The
Bulgarians succeeded in capturing eastern Thrace, the Aegean coast,
Albania, and Macedonia. Bulgarian territory at this time was as great as
under the reign of Tsar Simeon; with these conquests Bulgaria became the
largest state in the Balkans. The country was now surrounded by three
seas--the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Adriatic Sea--opening the
country's doors to foreign trade and culture.

Again, as in the time of Simeon, the arts and cultural life of the
country flourished. Monasteries, churches, and fortresses were
constructed. Religious literature and art achieved a high level of
excellence, and secular works became popular. The first chronicle of
Bulgarian history was written, and an interest in history grew among the
people. The first Bulgarian coins were minted at this time. Trade,
particularly with Italy, increased greatly because of Bulgaria's free
access to the sea. Merchants and ambassadors came to Bulgaria from
abroad, lending their influence to Bulgaria's economic and cultural

By the second half of the thirteenth century, however, internal
conditions in the country had deteriorated. The feudal system, which had
been further consolidated during the thirteenth century, had exacerbated
the tensions of the peasants, and hostilities among the boyars
increased. The throne was contested between 1257 and 1277 and was
eventually taken forcibly by Ivailo, known as the swineherd tsar because
of his leadership of a peasant uprising in 1277.

Meanwhile, Bulgaria's neighbors again sensed an opportune time to attack
because of the internal divisions in the country. The Byzantines
conquered several parts of Macedonia and Thrace, and the Hungarians and
Tatars invaded on another front. At one point the Hungarian king
declared himself king of Bulgaria. In 1242 there was a large-scale
Mongol invasion. Tatar raids went on continually between 1241 and 1300.
The country was totally fragmented; each separate area attempted to ally
itself with its former enemies, whether Russian, Hungarian, or Tatar, in
order to prevent widespread damage.

By the fourteenth century the Turks began to envision the conquest of
Bulgaria. Internally the boyars continued to fight among themselves, and
externally the country was threatened alternately by Byzantium and by
Serbia. By the mid-fourteenth century all of Macedonia was under Serbian
control, and the Serbian tsar--much like the Hungarian king before
him--called himself the tsar of the Bulgars. The area of the country
retained by the Bulgars by this time was divided into three parts: the
last Bulgarian tsar maintained his capital at Turnovo in the central
highlands; the so-called Vidin Kingdom, ruled by the tsar's brother,
existed in the far northwest; and a principality of Dobrudzha was
established in the northeast.

At the same time the Ottoman Turks were beginning to advance. Having
seized areas of Asia Minor, they proceeded to raid the Balkans from 1326
to 1352. Under their leader, Murad I, they began to attack Thrace,
Macedonia, and parts of Bulgaria. By 1371 they were attacking
territories in northeastern Thrace. At this point they marched against
Sofia and, despite active resistance, succeeded in capturing it. Despite
an alliance with the Serbs, the Bulgarians were too weak to resist
further; in 1388 the Turks easily won a battle against the Serbs. The
fall of Turnovo was followed by the fall of Vidin and Dobrudzha. By 1396
all of Bulgaria was under Turkish domination.


The Second Bulgarian Kingdom, like the first, had ended in total defeat,
and the darkest period in Bulgarian history began with the Turkish
conquest. Only the priests of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church--despite its
takeover by the Greeks--were able to preserve Bulgarian national
literature and culture to some degree. The Bulgarians once again were
subjected to foreign domination, only this time foreign rule lasted for
five centuries. Historians agree that Turkish rule was a death blow to
the creative forces that had been responsible for the development of the
country to that time. With Turkish domination the normal economic,
political, and social life of Bulgaria ground to a halt.

The Ottoman Turks were at a far lower stage of social development than
either the Byzantine Empire, which preceded them in their occupation of
the Balkans, or the Balkan states themselves. The Turks lived an almost
nomadic life in primitive communal systems that were headed by tribal
chiefs. When the Turks occupied Bulgaria, they replaced the established
feudal system with their own more rudimentary and conservative
feudalism. Many boyars were executed or rendered powerless if they
failed to convert to Islam. The peasants were more completely under the
feudal yoke than they had ever been under Byzantine rule. The Turks
imposed heavy taxes and hard labor on the people of the conquered
country, whom they considered cattle. Young boys were taken from their
homes, proclaimed Muslims, and conscripted into the army.

The Turks ruled Bulgaria by means of a sharply delineated administrative
system. Bulgaria as an entity did not exist for the Turks; the entire
Balkan Peninsula was known as Rumili (Rumelia) and was ruled for the
sultan by a _beylerbey_ (governor general) whose headquarters was
located in Sofia. Rumili was divided into _vilayetlar_ (sing.,
_vilayet_), which were further subdivided into _sanjaklar_ (sing.,
_sanjak_), each in turn ruled by lesser officials. Bulgaria itself was
divided into five _sanjaklar_: Kyustendil, Nikopol, Silistra, Sofia, and
Vidin. Although all land was considered to be the property of the
sultan, on the local level the land was distributed to feudal lords and
was tilled by non-Muslim serfs.

A second vehicle for both administration and oppression that the Turks
employed--in addition to the land administrators--was the Greek Orthodox
Church. By 1394, before the final conquest, the See of Turnovo had been
subordinated to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, where it remained
until 1870. Greek bishops replaced Bulgarians, as Greek liturgy replaced
the Slavic. The patriarchate, in turn, was totally subordinate to the
sultan. The Greek clergy destroyed Bulgarian books and banned Slavic
liturgy. The Bulgarian language and all Slavic literature were
forbidden. Greek became the language in all schools.

The hellenization of the Bulgarian church was used by the Turks as a
means to negate the nationalism of the people and thus dominate them.
The Turks attempted to some extent to convert the Bulgarians to Islam in
order to assimilate them more fully. Although many Bulgarians fled to
the mountains with the coming of the Turks, others stayed on and
accepted the Muslim faith, often for purely opportunistic purposes.
Those who did were generally placed in strategically significant
positions; frequently, as a reward for their conversion, they paid no
taxes to the state. The Bulgarian converts to Islam were called Pomaks
(see ch. 4).

The plight of the peasants grew worse. Agricultural production dropped
as their exploitation continued. Although landowners were not persecuted
to the same degree as the peasantry, they were frequently displaced from
the land. Turkish cattle breeders entered the country to settle on their
lands. Lands were also taken to reward army commanders, provincial
governors, and knights in the service of the sultan. Still other lands
were given to immigrant Turkish peasants. The only food that was not
subject to requisition by the conquerors was pork, which was not allowed
in the Muslim diet.

As the life of the Bulgarian countryside declined, so too did urban
life. Bulgarians were expelled from most urban centers and replaced by
Greeks, Armenians, Jews, and Turks. By the end of the sixteenth century
two-thirds of Sofia's population was Turkish. Trade was virtually halted
for a time, and, when resumed, it also was dominated by Greeks,
Armenians, and Jews rather than Bulgarians. The towns themselves were in
a state of deterioration. The crafts had declined, economic life was
stagnant, and the Black Sea was closed to all foreign ships.

As life within Bulgaria declined, the Turks began to perceive the
country as a springboard for further aggression against other
territories. Although Bulgarian hopes rose briefly when it appeared that
the Turks might be destroyed by their enemies, such hopes eventually
were dashed when the Turks emerged victorious throughout a period of two
centuries of conquest and aggression.

In the early years of Turkish domination, the Turks waged continuous war
with Albania, Bosnia, Serbia, Wallachia, Moldavia, and what remained of
the Byzantine Empire. Bulgarian hopes of liberation were fueled by the
Turkish defeat at the Battle of Ankara in 1402, when the Turkish army
was defeated by the Tatars. Resistance was eventually crushed, however,
and the Turks began to renew their conquests after capturing Salonica in
1430. In the Battle of Varna the Turks succeeded in capturing
Constantinople itself.

After the defeat of Constantinople the Turks overran Serbia, Wallachia,
Bosnia, and Albania. Their conquests expanded to include Mesopotamia,
Syria, Arabia, and North Africa. In the sixteenth century Turkish
conquests continued under Suleiman the Magnificent, who succeeded in
capturing Serbia and Hungary in 1526. This triumphant expansion of the
Turkish state caused Bulgarian dreams to be destroyed, although sporadic
struggling within the country continued intermittently.


During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the first seeds of real
resistance to Turkish rule were planted in Bulgaria. On the foreign
front the Turks were constantly besieged by the Austrians and the
Russians. By 1683 the Austrian army succeeded in liberating Hungary and
Transylvania; they also were able to penetrate areas of Bulgaria and
Macedonia. These victories over the Turks again sparked Bulgarian hopes.

During the same period the internal situation in Bulgaria continued to
signal the eventual decline of Turkish power and the rise of a Bulgarian
national spirit. Because of the increase in corruption and oppression by
the Turks, the Bulgarians began to rebel openly. In the 1590s, the
1680s, and the 1730s significant local uprisings took place. Although
these rebellions were not successful, they gave rise to the _haiduk_
(forest outlaw) movement, which continued to carry out acts of rebellion
against the Turkish overlords. The people praised their acts of daring
and wrote folk songs detailing their adventures and exploits. In
addition to the revolutionaries the _chorbadzhi_ (squires), who were on
the whole a progressive force, were able to gain some concessions from
the Turks.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries this latent nationalism grew
swiftly under the influence of outside forces penetrating the country.
The French Revolution--with its democratic ideals--had a widespread and
vital impact on Bulgarian national sentiment. Western concepts and
standards penetrated the country mainly by means of trade, an activity
that Bulgarian traders realized could only be expanded when Turkish rule
was terminated. In addition Bulgarian students studying in foreign
universities as well as Roman Catholic and Protestant missionaries
brought back tales of Western life and ideals. At the same time,
currents of Russian revolutionary thought, as well as contact with
Polish refugees from the revolution of 1848, were sweeping Bulgaria. All
these factors coalesced and spurred the rising tide of nationalism
within the country.

During this period of the so-called Bulgarian National Revival, a
cultural rebirth--which also stirred Bulgarian national sentiment--took
place on the national scene. In 1762 Father Paisi, a Macedonian monk,
wrote a treatise called _The Slav-Bulgarian History_ that appealed to
Bulgarians to recognize their national culture and to fight for their
own land and beliefs. Although the book was not published until after
his death, Father Paisi spread his credo by preaching his ideas in small
villages and towns. His message carried weight with many Bulgarians, and
his idealism promoted many to become politically active against their
Turkish oppressors.

The Turks, during this period of growing Bulgarian nationalism,
attempted to recoup their losses by effecting some moderate reforms.
Although most of these acts came too late, they did succeed in enacting
administrative, social, and financial legislation that improved the lot
of the Bulgarians. Native leaders were consulted by their Turkish
overseers, and in one case a Bulgarian governor was appointed.
Provincial assemblies began to meet on a regular basis, and by 1876 it
was determined by the Turks that some degree of self-rule should be
granted the Bulgarians.

The Turks were by this period in an inevitable decline. Although Turkish
rule extended over parts of three continents, the Turks continued to
expand their conquests. Military expenses became a staggering burden.
The Turkish economy was in an unfavorable position, and the Turks were
beginning to lose battles to increasingly well trained European armies.
The original Spartan life-style of the sultans and army officers was
becoming one of luxury and indulgence. All the signals for the fall of
the Turks were in evidence.

As the movement toward national revolution grew up in the mid-nineteenth
century in Bulgaria, an ideological schism separated the movement into
two schools. The "moderates," led by a Bulgarian group in
Constantinople, favored negotiations with the Turks. The "radicals" felt
that such an approach would lead to inevitable failure. Although the
radicals turned to the West--France, Great Britain, Italy, and
Switzerland--for models of revolution and to Russia for practical
assistance in freeing Bulgaria from the Turks, in fact they hoped to
free the country from all foreign domination. Ironically, in light of
Bulgaria's later history, one radical leader wrote, "If Russia comes to
liberate, she will be met with great sympathy, but if she comes to rule,
she will find many enemies."

The leaders of the radicals were Georgi Rakovsky and Vasil Levski.
Rakovsky continued for twenty-five years to organize armed detachments
along the borders of neighboring countries. Levski, for his part,
realized that a social revolution as well as a national revolution was
imperative for the true liberation of the Bulgarian people. He worked
sub rosa in Bulgarian villages and organized a network of committees for
the revolution, known as the Internal Secret Revolutionary Organization.
In 1873 he was captured by the Turks and hanged.

By the early 1870s the seeds of revolution were sown as Bulgarians won
some political victories over their conquerors. In 1870, primarily
because of the activity of the Bulgarian priests, the Bulgarian Orthodox
Church was reestablished. Although the Bulgarian clergy was in large
part responsible for this action, it was probably tolerated by the Turks
because of their anger with the Greeks, who were then embroiled in a
revolt in Crete. In 1872 the Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee
was formed in Bucharest; by 1875 this group became active in the
uprisings in Bosnia and Herzegovina, uprisings that were not easily
quelled by the Turks.

As Bulgarian revolutionary sentiments grew, the Bulgarians turned to
Russia to help win freedom from the Turks. Although the motives of the
Russians and the Bulgarians were not identical, both wanted to rid the
Balkans of Turkish oppression. The Russians perceived the Ottoman Empire
as a very dangerous rival that they hoped to annihilate, thus gaining
control of Western European trade. The Bulgarians, although their
motives were also pragmatic, felt a deep sense of kinship with the
Russian people. The Russians, like the Bulgarians, were Slavs. Their
religion was identical. Even their language was similar. Thus, they
sensed a commonality not only of interests but also of cultures.

The precursor to the liberation in 1878 was an unsuccessful uprising in
1876. The Bulgarians, at this point, were ill prepared for war,
politically and strategically. Thousands of Bulgarians were killed in
April of that year. Soon thereafter Turkish reprisals followed. Fifteen
thousand Bulgarians were massacred in Plovdiv alone. The savagery of
these reprisals was so brutal that Western public leaders spoke out in
protest. The governments of the West, however, fearing an increased
Russian penetration in the area, refused to act against the Turks.

Although the revolution of 1876 had met with failure, it had succeeded
in loosening the Turkish grip on the country and in increasing the
feeling of the Russians that the time to attack was imminent. Finally,
after the Russo-Turkish war of 1877, the Russians invaded Bulgaria,
liquidating the Turkish army by March 1878. In these battles for
Bulgarian liberation, the Russians lost over 200,000 lives, a sacrifice
the Bulgarians never failed to recognize.

The results of 1878 were mixed, and the outcome of the original peace
treaty was reversed within five months of its signing. Bulgaria became
an autonomous tributary of the Turkish sultan; complete independence was
not established until 1908. The original peace treaty, the Treaty of San
Stefano, signed on March 3, 1878, granted Bulgaria additional
territories, including Thrace and the much-valued Macedonia. This treaty
was reversed, primarily because of Western fear of Russian encroachment,
by the Congress of Berlin; the Treaty of Berlin, signed on July 13,
1878, unlike the Treaty of San Stefano, delimited Bulgarian territories.
The Bulgarians were forced to give Thrace and Macedonia back to the
Turks. Bulgaria itself was carved into two separate entities: the
principality of Bulgaria, including northern Bulgaria and Sofia, and
eastern Rumelia, or southern Bulgaria.


Although the 1877-78 war freed Bulgaria from Turkish rule, the outcome
of the Congress of Berlin once again denied to Bulgaria the land that it
perceived to be rightfully Bulgarian, thus setting the tone for an
irredentist foreign policy that lasted through World War II. Because the
West, particularly Great Britain, played a significant role in carving
up the Balkans, and Bulgaria in particular, in hopes of curbing Russian
power, many historians speculate that Bulgaria's alliances with Germany
in both World War I and World War II were products of irredentist
sentiment that grew out of the Treaty of Berlin.

Bulgaria moved to recapture its lost territory only seven years after
the Treaty of Berlin. In 1885 it annexed eastern Rumelia--or southern
Bulgaria--by means of a military coup. The British were in favor of the
annexation as it represented an obstacle to Russian ambitions in the
Balkans; the Russians quite naturally were disturbed by the act. This
was the first in a series of Bulgarian moves designed to reestablish
earlier boundaries.

The establishment of a Bulgarian government in 1878 was relatively
easily accomplished, and that government achieved a certain degree of
stability in the aftermath of Turkish rule. The Turnovo Constitution
(1879)--originally drafted by the Russians but rewritten by
Bulgarians--established an essentially advanced and democratic system.
It set up a unicameral parliament, which was to be elected on the basis
of universal suffrage; the parliament was to control the executive. The
monarchy, which lasted from the 1880s until World War II, was
established at this time under a Germany dynasty that was acceptable to
the European powers. Although the first prince was forced to abdicate by
the Russians, his successor established firm and advanced economic and
administrative institutions in the country. Eventually, because of a
crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the country was able to declare itself
an independent kingdom in 1908.

One historian has described the postliberation period as the "only
prolonged period of peaceful development" for Bulgaria. After the
liberation, land rose in value. Peasants were able to purchase land from
the Turks, and agricultural production rose markedly. Modern industry
grew up at a relatively rapid pace, although the country remained
primarily agrarian. The state began to take steps in education and
culture. All levels of education were expanded; students of higher
education studied both in Bulgaria and abroad; and illiteracy, which was
overwhelming at the period of liberation, was reduced to 76 percent by
1900 and to 54 percent by 1920. Science and the arts were actively
encouraged, and literature flourished once again.

Financial burdens, however, escalated rapidly between 1886 and 1911. In
1911 the national debt was actually more than three times the size of
the national budget. At the same time, as industry increased, two
antagonistic groups developed: the urban middle class--composed of
merchants and white-collar workers--and the poor, who were generally
laborers or peasants. Working conditions in factories were nearly
intolerable, causing factory workers to interest themselves in the cause
of socialism, while on the farms the peasants began to organize a
movement known as the Bulgarian Agrarian Union (also called the Agrarian
Party), which was designed to offset the growing power of the urban
groups. In 1891 the Social Democratic Party was established; this party
later formed the base of the communist party in Bulgaria.

The Macedonian Issue

By the early twentieth century the country was once again embroiled in
war; the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 impeded economic and social
development in the country. Once again, as in the case of eastern
Rumelia, irredentism was the Bulgarian motive for war. Both eastern
Thrace and Macedonia, the lands ceded to Bulgaria by the Treaty of San
Stefano, were still under Turkish rule. The lands had not only large
Bulgarian populations but also strategic and economic significance.
Macedonia, more than Thrace, was of extreme importance to Bulgaria;
Bulgarians believed the population of Macedonia to be composed almost
exclusively of Bulgarians. The issue of Macedonia was, in fact, a focal
point around which Bulgarian political life revolved after 1878, because
that issue was seen by the Bulgarians as involving the territorial
integrity of their nation.

Between the tenth and fourteenth centuries Macedonia was alternately
occupied by the Bulgarians, the Serbs, and the Turks. At the time of
liberation Macedonia was ceded to the Bulgarians by the Treaty of San
Stefano, only to be returned to the Turks by the Treaty of Berlin. In
1893 the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) was
founded. This terrorist organization, with the battle slogan "Liberty or
Death for Macedonia," fought a continual underground war of terrorism
against the Turks. In 1903 there was a major Macedonian uprising in
which two factions participated. Although the predominant faction
favored Bulgarian annexation of Macedonia, another group favored
complete autonomy for Macedonia. In 1908, when King Ferdinand proclaimed
Bulgaria completely independent, memories of the medieval Bulgarian
empire, which included Macedonia, were rekindled.

The Balkan Wars

The tumultuous history of Macedonia set the stage for the two Balkan
wars. In 1912, at the onset of the First Balkan War, Serbia, Bulgaria,
Montenegro, and Greece formed an alliance to drive the Turks from
Europe. Turkey, who was at war with Italy at the time, was weak and
disunited. Macedonia and Thrace were hotbeds of internal disorder. In
October 1912 Turkey declared war on Serbia and Bulgaria, a move that was
countered by a Greek declaration of war on Turkey. In 1913 the
Bulgarians succeeded in capturing Adrianople, and the Greeks captured
Salonica, Crete, and Samos. Eventually, the Turks were badly defeated.
But the question of Macedonia remained. Serbia, Greece, and Bulgaria all
laid claim to the land at the end of the first Balkan War. Eventually a
compromise was reached: the northern section went to Serbia and the
eastern section, to Bulgaria.

Despite this compromise, the Serbs and Greeks remained wary of the
Bulgarians. In 1913 the Second Balkan War began, the Greeks,
Montenegrins, Serbs, and Romanians joining forces with their previous
enemy, the Turks, against their former ally, the Bulgarians. This
rivalry had been fostered by both Austria and Russia. Eventually, the
Bulgarians turned to the Russians for arbitration and finally signed a
mutual defense treaty with Russia. When the Romanians crossed into
Bulgaria, the Bulgarians--who were simultaneously fighting in Macedonia
and were therefore weakened by fighting on two fronts--were forced to
surrender. As a result of this loss, when the peace treaty of Bucharest
was signed in August 1913 and Macedonia was partitioned between Greece
and Serbia, Bulgaria managed to retain only a tiny fragment in the
eastern sector.

Macedonia, however, remained an issue for Bulgaria. In World War I
Bulgaria succeeded in invading Macedonia. During the interwar period
Macedonia was divided between Greece, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia,
Yugoslavia retaining the largest portion of the land. In the 1923-34
period Macedonian terrorism plagued the country and wreaked havoc on
Bulgarian political and social life. During World War II the Bulgarians
invaded both Greek Macedonia and Yugoslav Macedonia once again. Although
the Macedonians themselves were divided in their sentiments between
loyalties to Greeks, Yugoslavs, and Bulgarians, the land eventually
reverted to Yugoslavia during World War II. As an issue, however, it
still burns in the minds of the Bulgarians. The Macedonian question has
been aptly referred to as "that eternal Balkan sore spot of rival


As was the case in the Balkan wars, Bulgaria's primary motivation for
engagement in World War I was irredentism. Again the country was
determined to regain the two lands that had escaped her grasp in the
past: Macedonia and Thrace. Although Macedonia was prized for political
and social reasons, Thrace represented a strategically more significant
objective. In order to develop foreign trade, Bulgaria required an
outlet to the sea; Thrace represented that outlet.

The domestic situation in the country before World War I was mixed.
Although Bulgaria's army had been demobilized at the end of the Second
Balkan War (1913) and economic conditions were rapidly improving, the
mood of the monarchy and the middle class was one of vindictiveness and
retaliation against those countries that had stripped Bulgaria of its
territories. The country became divided between those who wanted closer
relations with Russia and the Triple Entente and those who preferred an
alliance with the Central Powers. As the war neared, the struggle
between these camps intensified.

Bulgaria, of all the Balkan states, was the only one to join the Central
Powers, led by Germany and Austria, in World War I. It was deeply ironic
that Bulgaria chose to side with her former enemy and oppressor, Turkey,
and against her former friend and protector, Russia. Again, the issue
for Bulgaria was the Macedonian question. Serbia and Greece, which had
triumphed over Bulgaria in the Second Balkan War, were allied with the
entente powers. Bulgaria chose to fight against these enemies in order
to regain Macedonia. Although the entente powers hoped to woo Bulgaria
to their side, they refused--because of Serb and Greek pressures--to
cede Macedonia to Bulgaria. The Central Powers, on the other hand, who
were already at war with Serbia, were willing to promise Macedonia to
the Bulgarians in exchange for their collaboration.

In the early stages of the war Germany won victories in France and on
the eastern front. Although the government then ruling Bulgaria was
already inclined to join the Central Powers, these early successes made
German promises even more appealing. In August 1915 a secret treaty of
alliance was signed by Bulgaria and Germany, containing a clause that
promised Serbian, Greek, and Romanian territories to the Bulgarians.
Thus the quadripartite alliance was born, composed of Germany,
Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

By September 1915 Bulgarian troops were mobilized and began to deploy
along the borders of Greece and Serbia. On October 1, 1915, Bulgaria
declared war on Serbia and, with the assistance of Austrian and German
troops, succeeded in defeating the Serbian army. At the same time the
Bulgarian army began to advance on Macedonia. There the local
population, a proportion of which was openly sympathetic to Bulgarian
aspirations, joined in the fighting on the side of the Bulgarians.
Although the Bulgarian army attempted to drive the entente forces from
southern Macedonia, it met with failure. This defeat was followed by a
period of prolonged trench warfare on the Balkan front. By 1916 Bulgaria
was also at war with Romania and, with the help of German and Austrian
units, managed a victory over the Romanians.

While the war dragged on, the internal political situation was rapidly
deteriorating. The country was in a state of economic chaos, and the
living conditions of laborers and peasants continued to decline. Farm
production dropped quickly, resulting in famine and soaring prices.
These dire conditions gave a strong impetus to the growing antiwar
movement in the country. The movement was headed by the left-wing
Socialists, who attempted to correlate the antiwar movement with
socialist propaganda. The Russian Revolution of 1917 stirred some
elements of the Bulgarian population who, like the Russian people, felt
that their government failed to represent their interests and was
unresponsive to their needs. There were open revolts in the towns and
villages; underground activities were growing within the Bulgarian army

By 1918 Bulgaria and the Central Powers were defeated, leaving Bulgaria
in a worse position than before the war. Hopes of regaining Thrace and
Macedonia were dashed, and the country was immeasurably weakened by
external fighting and internal division. The people were frustrated and
bitter. Although the war had stimulated Bulgaria's industry--there were
345 industrial enterprises in 1911 and 1,404 in 1924--it had been costly
in other respects. Bulgaria was forced to pay both reparations and
payments for the allied occupation that followed. Taxes rose, and the
value of the currency declined. As a result, King Ferdinand was forced
to abdicate in 1918, shortly before the armistice was signed.

The Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine was signed on November 27, 1919, ending
Bulgaria's role in the war and establishing her boundaries. Once more
Bulgaria had entered a war on the losing side, and once more its
irredentist ambitions had resulted in no territorial gains. At the end
of the war Bulgaria lost Thrace to Greece--thus failing in her attempts
to gain access to the sea--and a small area in the Rodopi (or Rhodope
Mountains) and a portion of its western frontier to Yugoslavia. As a
result of these losses, Bulgaria was left with a still greater sense of
frustration and hostility toward its Balkan neighbors.


The period between the first and second world wars was one of political
unrest and Macedonian terrorism. The country was in an almost untenable
economic situation at the close of the war: prices skyrocketed, people
died of starvation, and strikes were almost continuous. Out of this
situation two extreme political groups grew up. On the extreme Right was
a faction of the IMRO, which at that time demanded the annexation of
Greek and Yugoslav Macedonia. On the Left was the Bulgarian Agrarian
Union, the only party at the time more popular than the Communists.

When Ferdinand was forced to abdicate, he was succeeded by his son,
Boris III. Real political power was, however, in the hands of Alexander
Stambolisky, the leader of the Bulgarian Agrarian Union. He led the
country as its prime minister from 1919 to 1923. When Stambolisky took
power, the peasants formed 80 percent of the population. Stambolisky and
the Bulgarian Agrarian Union were dedicated to improving the lot of
these people; in his words "to raising the standards both economic and
educational, of the desperately poor and depressed peasant class."

Stambolisky, on behalf of the peasant populism movement, made several
sweeping reforms. He instituted various social reforms, spread
education, and built roads. His strong dislike of the commercial and
professional classes in the cities led him toward the objective of a
peasant republic. When in power he instituted tax and land reforms and
radically altered the legal system. His domestic policies were not
popular with all strata of society; his foreign policies were even less
popular. He favored reconciliation with Yugoslavia over the Macedonian
issue. In 1923 he was overthrown by a group composed of IMRO, military,
and other factions and was beheaded.

The murder of Stambolisky was followed by a communist attempt to foment
revolution in the country. The leaders were Georgi Dimitrov and Vasil
Kalarov, later leading figures in the Bulgarian communist state. The
country was in a state of civil war, which was subsequently crushed by
the right-wing political factions of the country. Thousands of
Bulgarians were killed, and Dimitrov and Kalarov were exiled. In 1925
the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP--see Glossary) was officially
outlawed. Although Boris continued as monarch, the country was ruled by
coalition governments and military dictatorships for a decade following
Stambolisky's death.

From 1923 until the putsch of 1934 IMRO terrorism dominated the country.
Bulgaria's position toward Macedonia was clear and unequivocal: it
sought to annex Macedonia completely as it considered the land to be
Bulgarian and the people to be Bulgarians. In the Bulgarian sector of
Macedonia the Macedonians were given a high degree of latitude, some
Macedonians even holding high offices in Bulgaria. In the Yugoslavian
sectors of Macedonia, however, most Macedonians felt oppressed and
restricted. As a result of this mixed status and treatment, there was a
certain ambivalence in Macedonian sentiment, the IMRO terrorists
favoring complete independence and self-rule. Among Macedonian patriots,
two predominant factions grew up. The federalists favored an autonomous
Macedonia--which could, if necessary, be allied with Yugoslavia and
Bulgaria--and the Supremists sought to incorporate Macedonia within
Bulgaria, with aspirations of dominating the entire Balkan area. The
results of these divergent opinions were expressed in acts of violence
and terrorism that wreaked havoc in Bulgaria and eventually culminated
in federalist collaboration with the Ustashi--a group of Croat
separatists--and the murder of King Alexander of Yugoslavia.

Macedonian terrorism was virtually ended by the putsch of 1934. The
government, the People's Bloc, which was a coalition of four parties
including the Bulgarian Agrarian Union was overthrown by the so-called
Zveno--or link--group. The Zveno group was headed by Kimon Georgiev and
was aided by the League of Reserve Officers. As soon as it seized power,
Zveno suspended the constitution and dissolved parliament. The king was
left with only nominal powers. Although the group did succeed for the
most part in ridding the country of Macedonian terrorism, its rule was
overtly authoritarian. By 1935 the king, with the aid of the military,
had regained his power and replaced the Zveno group with a more moderate

With the reestablishment of the monarchy, a royal dictatorship took
power and ruled over Bulgaria until 1943, when Boris died. There were at
this time no forces left to oppose the king, political parties were
negligible, and only a shadow parliament existed. Ironically, the
military, which had aided the Zveno in the overthrow of the king, now
was an instrument of his control.

Foreign relations under Boris III before World War II were leading the
country again inevitably into a war that would bring it to total defeat.
In 1934, despite the suppression of IMRO by the newly formed government,
Romania, Yugoslavia, Greece, and Turkey, as in the Second Balkan War,
were once again wary of Bulgaria's irredentist ambitions. In that year
the four powers signed the Balkan Pact, from which Bulgaria naturally
was excluded, in order to prevent Bulgarian encroachment in the area.
Although Bulgaria and Yugoslavia later established a rapprochement in
1937, the potential of a Bulgarian annexation of Macedonia was still
considered a threat by its neighbors.

During the 1930s, while Bulgaria was viewed with suspicion by its
neighbors, it began to form new friendships with Germany and Italy.
Boris had married the daughter of King Victor Emanuel of Italy, a
country that had already become fascist, thus strengthening ties with
that country. At the same time, Bulgaria began to solidify its ties with
Germany, principally by means of trade. A new-founded prosperity was
based almost exclusively on German trade, an arrangement that eventually
weakened the country. Within a short period German agents were pouring
into the country. Thus, Bulgaria was on one side alienated from its
neighbors and on the other being drawn into the nazi-fascist camp.


Bulgaria's motives for entering World War II were once again based on
irredentism, coupled with almost total economic dependence on Germany.
Once more it hoped to regain the lands of Thrace and Macedonia, which
were lost after the Treaty of San Stefano was reversed by the Congress
of Berlin. The lesson of the two subsequent Balkan wars and World War I
had fallen on deaf ears. Bulgaria was still estranged from its Balkan
neighbors and once more was being courted by the former ally of World
War I, Germany. Germany, again realizing Bulgaria's territorial
aspirations, hoped to bribe the Bulgarian leadership with southern
Dobrudzha, which was eventually ceded to Bulgaria in 1940.

In December 1941 Bulgaria placed herself squarely on the German side by
declaring war on Great Britain and the United States and joining the
Rome-Berlin Axis. This alignment, which derived primarily from
Bulgaria's irredentist policy, was given further force by dislike of the
British, who were held to blame by the Bulgarians for the loss of
Macedonia to Yugoslavia and Greece.

Despite the declaration of war against Great Britain and the United
States, Bulgaria refused throughout World War II to declare war on the
Soviet Union. The Russians, unlike the British and Americans, were
popular with the Bulgarian people. They were still remembered for their
assistance to the Bulgarians in the past and were viewed by the people
as their liberators from Turkish rule. Not only did Bulgaria refuse to
declare war on its former liberator, but it also refused to make its
army available to Adolf Hitler for his eastern campaign. When Germany
declared war on Russia, Bulgaria continued to retain neutrality toward,
and to maintain diplomatic relations with, the Soviet Union.

In the early stages of the war, before Bulgaria had declared war on the
Allies, it had already begun to regain some of the land lost during the
Balkan wars and World War I. Southern Dobrudzha, which had been ceded to
Romania in 1913, reverted to Bulgaria by August 1940. In the spring of
1941, supporting Germany against Yugoslavia and Greece, Bulgaria
regained Macedonia and part of Greek Thrace. When Bulgaria was rewarded
with these lands by the Nazis, Bulgarians perceived their gains as a
"historical national unification." By 1941 Yugoslavia was overrun, and
some of its territories were taken by Italy, Hungary, and Bulgaria.
Italy received Montenegro, Hungary took part of northern Yugoslavia, and
Bulgaria gained, in addition to the much-prized Macedonia, the frontiers
of southeastern Serbia. The Bulgarians at this point were once again
approaching the frontiers that had been established by the Treaty of San

Internally, the country was in relatively good condition during the
early stages of the war. The economy, based primarily on active trade
with the Germans, was booming. The Bulgarian people perceived the
fighting as essentially a "paper war" and were generally apathetic
regarding their role in the war. There was little suffering within
Bulgarian boundaries and little expression of hatred toward Bulgaria's
ostensible enemies. Despite Bulgaria's alliance with the Nazis and
Fascists, within the country Jews were for the most part protected
rather than persecuted.

By 1943, however, the war began to change for the Bulgarians. Slowly the
Allies began to turn back German power. At this time Bulgaria was hit
frequently by British and United States air raids. Because of Bulgaria's
strategic significance and its declaration of war, albeit symbolic,
against Great Britain and the United States, Sofia and other major
Bulgarian cities became targets for American and British bombers. Sofia
was reduced to little more than rubble at one point, and over 30,000
casualties were suffered by the Bulgarians.

In 1943 Boris died and was succeeded by his six-year-old son, Simeon. In
fact, however, a three-man regency retained power, with Ivan Bagrianov
as premier. The regency was less actively pro-Axis in orientation than
was the late king; with its coming to power, thousands of political
prisoners were released from jail, and all persecution of Jews was

By 1944, when Germany and its allies were clearly losing the war, the
Bulgarian leaders sought to reverse the earlier decision of the king and
to seek peace with the Allies as well as with the Greek and Yugoslav
governments-in-exile. Despite sub rosa attempts to release itself from
agreements with the Axis, Bulgaria was unable to extricate itself from
the alliance. On August 22, 1944, the Bulgarian government publicly
announced that it was ready for a peace agreement with the Allies.

The war was ended for Bulgaria when, on September 4, 1944, the Soviets,
after taking over Romania, entered Bulgaria. The exact sequence of
events has been interpreted differently by various historians. There are,
however, two major interpretations. One suggests that, once the Soviets
had occupied Romania and declared war on Bulgaria, Bulgaria--under a
hastily formed anti-Axis coalition government--immediately quit the pact
with the Axis and declared war on its former ally, Germany. The other
interpretation posits the theory that, on August 26, the Bulgarian
government had declared itself neutral, thus withdrawing from the war.
At this time it ordered German troops on its soil to disarm. When Soviet
troops arrived in Bulgaria, they found this so-called neutrality
unacceptable and insisted on a Bulgarian declaration of war against
Germany. This declaration was promptly carried out on the eve of the day
that it was requested.

When the Soviets occupied the country in September 1944, the government
of the so-called Fatherland Front (Otechestven Front) seized power from
the existing government within five days of the occupation. On September
9, 1944, the Fatherland Front--under the leadership of Georgiev--officially
took control of the country on what was then termed an interim basis. On
October 28, 1944, an armistice was signed between Bulgaria and the Soviet
Union, which stated that all territories gained by Bulgaria since 1941
would be surrendered. Only southern Dobrudzha, taken from Romania in 1940,
was to be retained. The agreement also established the Allied Control
Commission in Sofia under direct Soviet control.

The results of the war for Bulgaria were mixed. In terms of financial
burdens Bulgaria's position was relatively favorable compared with that
of other countries on the losing side. In terms of territorial losses,
which resulted in a legacy of bitterness and continued irredentism, its
position was poor. As Bulgaria had suffered over 30,000 casualties in
the war, the Allies imposed relatively light peace terms. The Soviet
Union extracted no reparations from Bulgaria, despite the fact that
reparations were demanded from Germany, Hungary, and Romania. Yugoslavia
also canceled Bulgaria's debts. Overall war damages to the country
itself were generally moderate.

In terms of losses, however, Bulgaria not only lost most of the
territories it had regained at the beginning of the war but also
ultimately lost its constitutional monarchy and became a Soviet
satellite. Although it was allowed to retain southern Dobrudzha, all the
territories that were of significance to Bulgaria's sense of nationhood
were gone. Macedonia reverted to Yugoslavia, and Thrace to Greece. The
Treaty of Paris, signed in February 1947, confirmed Bulgaria's pre-1941
boundaries. Not only had Bulgaria lost these prized territories, but her
sovereignty as a nation was severely curtailed by the Soviet military
occupation. Both the armistice agreement of September 1944 and the
British-Soviet agreement of October of that year recognized Soviet
dominance in the country. Although this power over the country was not
expected by the Western powers to endure indefinitely, this illusion was
dispelled as Bulgaria soon succumbed completely to Soviet influence.


Growth of the Communist Party

In 1891 the Social Democratic Party was founded; the Communist party was
eventually an offshoot of this movement. By 1903 the Social Democrats
had begun to split into what were known as the "broad" and "narrow"
factions. The broad faction retained the ideology of social democracy,
but the narrow faction became the Bulgarian counterpart of the Russian
Bolsheviks; its leader was Dimiter Blagoev, the so-called father of
Bulgarian communism. In 1919 the narrow faction split off from the
Second Socialist International and assumed the name Bulgarian Communist
Party (BKP). Although the party had great prestige abroad, it failed to
enjoy domestic popularity. The most popular party at the time--and that
favored by the peasant class, which was predominant in this
still-agrarian society--was the Bulgarian Agrarian Union. The BKP, on
the other hand, was composed almost exclusively of intellectuals and
students and held little appeal for the working and peasant classes.

In 1923 there was an unsuccessful attempt by the Communists to bring the
country to revolution. When this uprising was quelled, the Communists
turned to terrorism in order to gain their goals, and in 1925 a plot to
assassinate King Boris was formulated. Once again the Communists met
with failure, as the king not only lived but grew more powerful. In the
last half of the 1920s the party faded from the scene, but by the early
1930s it was again revived and grew in popularity.

During the late 1930s the party went underground as the king increased
his power. In 1939 the Communists reappeared and merged with the
left-wing Workers Party; in the 1939 elections the party doubled its
representation and took on an air of greater respectability. In 1941,
while the war was under way, the Communists realized that Bulgaria was
falling into the German camp. Although they were powerless to stop this
alliance, their activity in evoking pro-Soviet sentiment was successful
to the extent that--coupled with the basically favorable sentiments of
the Bulgarian people toward the Russians--it prevented the monarchy from
declaring war against the Soviet Union.

Once the Germans began to invade the Soviet Union itself, the Bulgarian
Communists committed themselves to a policy of armed resistance, known
as the partisan movement. Historians dispute the extent of partisan
activity; some state that it did not become active until the Soviet
victory at Stalingrad in 1943, and others claim that the movement was
active from the onset of the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

In 1942, on the initiative of Dimitrov, the Fatherland Front was
established. The organization was essentially a coalition, composed of
members of the Workers Party, the Bulgarian Agrarian Union, the Social
Democratic Party and the BKP. Its purpose was to overthrow Boris and rid
the country of the Germans, simultaneously forming a new government that
could more adequately meet the needs of the workers and the peasants.

In 1943 the National Committee of the Fatherland Front was formed, and
this committee became the vehicle for the communist takeover in 1944. In
the same year the so-called National Liberation Army, composed of
partisans and certain units of the Bulgarian army who had joined forces
with them, was established. In the fall of 1944 there were approximately
18,000 people in the National Liberation Army, augmented by some 200,000
people who sheltered and assisted them.

Before 1944, however, the Communists were still not widely popular. The
apathy of a large portion of the population was due primarily to the
fact that the country had remained relatively untouched by the war; but,
as the country was not actually at war with the Soviet Union, little
rationale was provided to the Soviet-backed Communists in their attempts
to enlist the support of the partisans. The Bulgarian army and police
were active in hunting down the known Communists. All of these factors
precluded the possibility of the country becoming totally committed to
either the communist cause or armed resistance. By 1944, however, when
Soviet troops entered Romania, activity became widespread within
Bulgaria. In August 1944 Romania completely capitulated. By early
September the Soviet Union declared war on the Bulgarian government, an
act more symbolic than real, as Soviet armies met no Bulgarian
resistance. On September 9, 1944, the Fatherland Front was installed,
and the Communists were firmly entrenched in the country.

Development Since World War II

At the time of the Fatherland Front takeover in Bulgaria the Soviets,
with the assistance of the partisans and units of the National
Liberation Army, occupied many Bulgarian towns and cities. It is said
that they were received by the people with gifts of bread and salt, a
traditional Bulgarian gift of welcome (see ch. 7). At the same time, on
the political front, the Soviets and their Bulgarian collaborators took
over the key ministries in the capital city and arrested members of the

The Fatherland Front--a coalition composed at that time of Communists,
members of the left wing of the Bulgarian Agrarian Union, members of the
left wing of the Social Democratic Party, and the Zveno group--was led
by Georgiev as the new premier. Dimitrov and Kalarov returned from
Moscow, where they had been in exile since 1925, to assist the new
government in its takeover. The Communists proceeded to rid the
coalition of certain opposing elements within its ranks. Nikolai Petkov
of the Peasant Union and Kosta Lulchev of the Social Democratic Party
were temporarily retired from the coalition. Large-scale purges were
initiated against German collaborators and sympathizers; many thousands
were either executed or imprisoned by the Communists.

When plans for elections were made in 1945, both Great Britain and the
United States made a strong bid for the holding of popular elections.
Their hopes were temporarily defeated when, on November 18, 1945,
communist-controlled elections were held. The Fatherland Front won a
decided victory, eventually resulting in Georgiev's formal installation
as premier. His tenure in office was brief, and he was quickly succeeded
by Dimitrov. At this point Great Britain and the United States
protested, insisting that the Communists broaden their governmental
base. Thus, although the two leading figures of the BKP, Dimitrov and
Kalarov, were installed eventually as premier and president,
respectively, Petkov and Lulchev were allowed to take over control of
the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice, two vital
organs of the government.

By 1946, however, the Communists had whittled down all opposition. In
July 1946 control over the army had been transferred from noncommunist
members of the ostensible coalition government to exclusively communist
control. At this time 2,000 so-called reactionary army officers were
dismissed. A plebiscite held in September abolished the monarchy,
declared Bulgaria a republic, and gave all power to Dimitrov as premier.
He officially took the title on November 4, 1946, and held it until his
death in 1949. When Dimitrov took power, any opposition that remained
was quickly eliminated. Once the United States had ratified the
Bulgarian Peace Treaty--a moment for which the Communists waited
anxiously in order to rid themselves of all Western control over
Bulgarian affairs of state--Petkov was summarily arrested and executed.
His party, the Peasant Union, had been dissolved one month before his

On December 4, 1947, a new constitution was adopted. It was called,
after the premier, the Dimitrov Constitution and was modeled on the
Soviet Constitution of 1936 (see ch. 8). One historian claims that, at
its first drafting, it closely resembled the Turnovo Constitution of the
late 1800s but was later amended to parallel more closely the
constitution of the Soviet Union. The Dimitrov Constitution created the
National Assembly as a legislative body. In fact, however, laws were
proposed by the Council of Ministers and passed pro forma by the
National Assembly. The constitution was approved by the National
Assembly in 1947. It defined collective ownership of production, stated
that the regime held the power to nationalize any and all enterprises,
and declared that private property was subject to restrictions and
expropriation by the state.

By 1948 the small forces that continued to oppose the Communists were
finally eliminated. Many opposition Socialists and their leader,
Lulchev, were arrested, and the Socialist Party was abolished. The only
remaining Socialist party--the Fatherland Front Socialists--was forced
to merge with the Communists in August 1948. Thus, absolute communist
control was achieved within four years of the seizure of power.

Bulgaria underwent a series of rapid changes in the early years as a
communist state. Agricultural collectivization--initiated in 1946--was
begun in the form of cooperative farming. By the end of 1947
nationalization of banks, industry, and mines was well under way.
Nationalization was not a new phenomenon for the country, as railroads,
ports, and mines had been under state control since 1878, but it was
greatly extended by the Communists (see ch. 13; ch. 14).

Religion was viewed by the Communists as a means for manipulating and
indoctrinating the people, much as it had been during the periods of
Byzantine and Turkish rule. Since its founding in the ninth century, the
Bulgarian Orthodox Church had claimed most of the population as members.
The Communists perceived a dual purpose in their cooptation of this
institution. On the one hand, by patronizing the Bulgarian church, they
believed that they would receive support from its members. On the other
hand, they sought to unify the churches by placing the Bulgarian
Orthodox Church under close control of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Therefore, the regime reestablished the Bulgarian patriarchate; the
patriarch, in turn, required all church members to support governmental

Minority religions were treated as separate entities, although all of
them had to register with the Committee for Religious Affairs, a body
attached to the Council of Ministers. The leadership of all churches was
considered responsible ultimately to the state. The churches became
financially dependent upon the government as all church funds were in
the hands of the bureaucracy. A certain percentage of Muslims--who
constituted the largest minority religion--were expelled from the
country. Those Muslims who remained were organized into small
communities, and their religious leader, the grand mufti, was allowed to
retain his position as long as he remained subservient to the state.

As far as other minority religions were concerned, their churches were,
for the most part, closed, and their leaders were either harassed or
executed. Roman Catholic churches were closed, the church hierarchy was
abolished, and in 1952 forty leading Catholics were tried and sentenced
to death. The Protestants were allowed slightly more latitude. Although
all Protestant schools were immediately closed, five Protestant
denominations were allowed to merge into the United Evangelical Church.
In 1949, however, fifteen Protestant pastors were executed. Some Jews
were allowed to emigrate to Israel in the early period of communist
rule, but in Bulgaria the grand rabbi, like the Moslem grand mufti, was
rendered completely subordinate to the state.

In 1949 Dimitrov died and was succeeded by his brother-in-law, Vulko
Chervenkov, known as the Stalin of Bulgaria, who controlled the
government from 1950 until 1956. His was a one-man rule, patterned
completely on the rule of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. He was both
the premier and the First Secretary for the six years of his rule. There
was an increase in industrial production under Chervenkov. Production
plans, however, appeared to be conceived more in the light of Soviet
five-year plans than with regard to Bulgaria's economic needs.
Agriculture was almost completely collectivized, although production
goals were not achieved, and the standard of living declined appreciably
under Chervenkov's rule.

In foreign policy Bulgaria under Chervenkov continued to follow the
Soviet example. International communism dominated all Bulgaria's foreign
policies. In the early 1950s Bulgaria supported the abortive communist
uprising in Greece. Chervenkov attempted to rid the country of all
Western influence and severed diplomatic relations with the United
States in 1950. After Chervenkov's term relations were reestablished in
1960 and promoted from legation to embassy status in 1966. Again,
following the example of the Soviet Union, which was then on strained
terms with the nationalistic Yugoslavs, Chervenkov purged 100,000
nationalists from the party and executed Traicho Kostov, the deputy
premier, on the grounds that he was a Titoist. Because of Bulgaria's
antisocial behavior in the world community, the country was excluded
from the United Nations until 1955.

Although Stalin died in 1953, Chervenkov retained his office as premier
until 1956 but held only nominal powers. He was ultimately purged in
1962. Chervenkov, in the post-Stalin period, was openly charged with
supporting the personality cult policies of Stalin. After Stalin's death
there was a degree of political relaxation under a policy known as the
New Course. Police terrorism abated, and there was greater freedom of
movement in the society as a whole. Travel abroad was tolerated to a
greater degree, and an increased interest in the welfare of the people
was manifested. The government actively courted the peasants in order to
win them over to its policy of collectivization. The working classes,
office workers, and even artisans were given more latitude by the
government. On the foreign front, following the example of Nikita
Khrushchev, who sought reconciliation with Tito, and despite Bulgaria's
reluctance over the still-fiery Macedonian issue, Bulgaria made some
efforts at reconciliation with Yugoslavia. In order to establish better
relations both with the Yugoslavs and with the Bulgarian nationalists,
Kostov was posthumously rehabilitated in 1956.

In 1954 Chervenkov gave up his title as first secretary of the party,
thus setting a new precedent for separation of party and state posts and
dispelling the concept of one-man rule. Although Chervenkov retained his
title as premier temporarily, Todor Zhivkov became the first secretary.
Shortly thereafter, Chervenkov was replaced as premier by Anton Yugov.
As Zhivkov, despite his backing by Khrushchev, was not firmly in control
of the party, his takeover was followed by widespread purges.

Zhivkov's rule, like that of his predecessor, emulated the Soviet model.
Unlike Chervenkov, however, Zhivkov based his government on the
principle of collective leadership. In the early years of his rule he
based his foreign policy on allegiance to the Soviet Union. He strongly
supported the Soviets in their border conflicts with the People's
Republic of China (PRC). Bulgaria, despite basic sentiments concerning
Macedonia, still attempted to renew its friendship with Yugoslavia,
again following the Khrushchev example.

In 1962 Zhivkov purged the party of both Chervenkov and Yugov and made
himself premier as well as first secretary, thus reestablishing the
principle of unity of rule (see ch. 9). At the same time, this move
increased Zhivkov's control over the party. Internal problems continued
to plague the Zhivkov government. There were, in the 1960s, severe
shortages of food, housing, and consumer goods.

Bulgaria's foreign policy under Zhivkov, however, continued on an even,
strongly Soviet, keel. Bulgaria's foreign policy has been assessed by
some observers as "a carbon copy of Moscow's." Bulgaria was, and is,
considered to be the most reliable partner of the Soviet Union in the
Balkans. In contrast, Albania has supported the PRC, Romania has pressed
its case for independence, and Yugoslavia has essentially followed a
nationalistic policy.

Bulgaria's relations with Greece, which had been basically negative for
twenty years, became more positive in 1964 when trade, air traffic,
communications, and tourist agreements were signed. Because of the issue
of Macedonia, relations with Yugoslavia were, for the most part, cool,
although Zhivkov attempted to improve them from time to time. Relations
with the United States remained cool but correct.

In 1965, shortly after Khrushchev's ouster in the Soviet Union, there
was an attempted coup against Zhivkov. The government tried in vain to
silence the story but, when pressed, stated that the conspirators in the
plot were Maoists, alienated by Bulgaria's anti-PRC policies. As the
coup was attempted only five months after Khrushchev's removal from
office, Zhivkov--whose power had been based to a large extent on
Khrushchev's support--was in a highly vulnerable position. For this
reason many attributed the conspiracy to those opposed to Zhivkov's
government itself and particularly those opposed to its subservience to
the Soviet Union. The conspirators included Bulgarian Communists, army
officers, and World War II partisans. The discovery of this plot
resulted in purges, the suicide of one of the leading conspirators, and
the reorganization of the Ministry of the Interior and the transfer of
its security functions to the new Committee of State Security, which
fell directly under Zhivkov's personal control.



Bulgaria occupies 42,800 square miles of the Balkan Peninsula, and its
1973 population was estimated at 8.7 million (see fig. 1). It is a
member of the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact), together with
five other Eastern European countries to its north and northwest and the
Soviet Union. Bulgaria's location is such that its natural features are
combinations of those found in the western Soviet Union and in southern
Europe. Its climate is transitional between that of the Mediterranean
countries and that of north-central Europe. The blend of the various
geographic influences is unique, however, and gives the country a degree
of individuality that is not anticipated until it is explored in some

It is a land of unusual scenic beauty, having picturesque mountains,
wooded hills, beautiful valleys, grain-producing plains, and a seacoast
that has both rocky cliffs and long sandy beaches. Soil and climate are
adequate to permit production of a variety of crops. Although only a few
mineral resources are present in quantity or in good quality ores, the
country has a number of them. Large quantities of brown coal and lignite
are available, but resources of the better fuels are limited.

The people of the country have been influenced by its location, which is
close to the point of contact between Europe and the Orient. The area
had been overrun by so many conquerors and occupied for so long that
only since liberation in 1878 have a majority of the peasants dared come
out of the hills to farm the better land of the plains and valleys.

The country fared poorly in the distribution of the spoils after the
First Balkan War in 1912. It was then on the losing side of the Second
Balkan War in 1913 and of the two great wars since. In spite of this,
its boundaries contain most of the Bulgarian people in the area, and
only some 10 to 15 percent of the population within its borders is not
ethnically Bulgarian. It has until recently been predominantly
agricultural. Industrialization was undertaken late, and it was not
until 1969 that the urban population equaled that of the rural areas
(see ch. 2).



Alternating bands of high and low terrain extend generally east to west
across the country. The four most prominent of these from north to
south are the Danubian plateau, the Stara Planina (Old Mountain), or
Balkan Mountains, the central Thracian Plain, and the Rodopi (or Rhodope
Mountains). The western part of the country, however, consists almost
entirely of higher land, and the individual mountain ranges in the east
tend to taper into hills and gentle uplands as they approach the Black
Sea (see fig. 2).

The Danubian plateau, also called a plain or a tableland, extends from
the Yugoslav border to the Black Sea. It encompasses the area between
the Danube River, which forms most of the country's northern border, and
the Stara Planina to the south. The plateau rises from cliffs along the
river, which are typically 300 to 600 feet high, and abuts against the
mountains at elevations on the order of 1,200 to 1,500 feet. The region
slopes gently but perceptibly from the river southward to the mountains.
The western portion is lower and more dissected; in the east it becomes
regular but somewhat higher, better resembling a plateau. Bulgarians
name local areas within it, but they do not name the region as a whole.
It is a fertile area with undulating hills and is the granary of the

The southern edge of the Danubian plateau blends into the foothills of
the Stara Planina, the Bulgarian extension of the Carpathian Mountains.
The Carpathians resemble a reversed S as they run eastward from
Czechoslovakia across the northern portion of Romania, swinging
southward to the middle of that country, where they run westward and
cross Romania as the Transylvanian Alps. At a famous gorge of the Danube
River known as the Iron Gate, which forms part of the Romania-Yugoslavia
border, the Carpathians again sweep eastward, becoming Bulgaria's Stara
Planina range.

Considered in its local context, the Stara Planina originates at the
Timok Valley in Yugoslavia, continues southeastward as it becomes the
northern boundary of the Sofia Basin, and then turns more directly
eastward to terminate at Cape Emine on the Black Sea. It is some 370
miles in length, and some twelve to thirty miles in width. It retains
its height well into the central part of the country, where Botev Peak,
its highest point, rises to about 7,800 feet. The range is still
apparent until its rocky cliffs fall into the Black Sea. Over most of
its length, its ridge is the divide between drainage to the Danube River
and to the Aegean Sea. In the east small areas drain directly to the
Black Sea.

Sometimes considered a part of the foothills of the Stara Planina, but
separated from the main range by a long geological trench that contains
the Valley of Roses, is the Sredna Gora (Middle Forest). The Sredna Gora
is a ridge running almost precisely east to west, about 100 miles long.
Its elevations run to only a little more than 5,000 feet, but it is
narrow and achieves an impression of greater height.

The southern slopes of the Stara Planina and the Sredna Gora give way to
the Thracian Plain. The plain is roughly triangular in shape,
originating at a point east of the mountains that ring the Sofia Basin
and broadening as it proceeds eastward to the Black Sea. It
encompasses the Maritsa River basin and the lowlands that extend from it
to the Black Sea. As is the case with the Danubian plateau, a great deal
of this area is not a plain in strict terms. Most of its terrain is
moderate enough to allow cultivation, but there are variations greater
than those of a typical plain.

[Illustration: _Figure 2. Topography of Bulgaria_]

The Rodopi occupies the area between the Thracian Plain and the Greek
border. This range is commonly described as including the Rila mountain
range south of Sophia and the Pirin range in the southwestern corner of
the country. As such, the Rodopi is the most outstanding topographic
feature, not only of the country, but also of the entire Balkan
Peninsula. The Rila contains Mount Musala--called Mount Stalin for a few
years--whose 9,500-foot peak is the highest in the Balkans. About a
dozen other peaks in the Rila are over 9,000 feet. They feature a few
bare rocks and remote lakes above the tree line, but the lower peaks are
covered with Alpine meadows, and the general aspect of the range is one
of green beauty.

The Vitosha range is an outlier of the Rila. A symmetrical, 7,500-foot
high, isolated peak in the range is a landmark on the outskirts of
Sofia. Snow covers its conical summit most of the year, and its steep
sides are forested.

The Pirin is characterized by rocky peaks and stony slopes. An
impression of the landscape is provided by a local legend, which says
that when the earth was being created God was flying over the peninsula
with a bag of huge boulders. The rocks were too heavy for the bag, and
it broke over southwestern Bulgaria.

Some Bulgarian geographers refer to the western Rodopi and the Pirin as
the Thracian-Macedonian massif. In this context, the Rodopi includes
only the mountains south of the Maritsa River basin. There is some basis
for such a division. The Rila is largely volcanic in origin. The Pirin
was formed at a different time by fracturing of the earth's crust. The
uplands east of the Maritsa River are not of the same stature as the
major ranges.

Sizable areas in the western and central Stara Planina and smaller areas
in the Pirin and in Dobrudzha have extensive layers of limestone. There
are some 2,000 caves in these deposits. The public has become more
interested in the caves during the past three or four decades, but only
about 400 of them have been completely explored and charted.

To the east of the higher Rodopi and east of the Maritsa River are the
Sakar and Strandzha mountains. They extend the length of the Rodopi
along the Turkish border to the Black Sea but are themselves
comparatively insignificant. At one point they have a spot elevation of
about 2,800 feet, but they rarely exceed 1,500 feet elsewhere.

Formation of the Balkan landmasses involved a number of earth crust
foldings and volcanic actions that either dammed rivers or forced them
into new courses. The flat basins that occur throughout the country
were created when river waters receded from the temporary lakes that
existed while the rivers were cutting their new channels. The largest of
these is the Sofia Basin, which includes the city and the area about
fifteen miles wide and sixty miles long to its northwest and southeast.
Other valleys between the Stara Planina and the Sredna Gora ranges
contain a series of smaller basins, and similar ones occur at intervals
in the valleys of a number of the larger rivers.


From a drainage standpoint, the country is divided into two nearly equal
parts. The slightly larger one drains to the Black Sea, the other to the
Aegean. The northern watershed of the Stara Planina, all of the Danubian
plateau, and the thirty to fifty miles inland from the coastline drain
to the Black Sea. The Thracian Plain and most of the higher lands of the
south and southwest drain to the Aegean Sea. Although only the Danube is
navigable, many of the other rivers and streams have a high potential
for the production of hydroelectric power and are sources of irrigation
water. Many are already being exploited.

Insignificant when compared with the watersheds that drain to the seas,
about 125 square miles of the country drain into a few small salt lakes
that have no outflowing water. The largest such lake has a surface area
of 2.5 square miles.

By far the greater part of the country that drains to the Black Sea does
so through the Danube. Most of its major tributaries in the country
(from west to east, the Ogosta, Iskur, Vit, Osum, Yantra, and Lom) carry
more water than do the combination of the Provadiyska, Kamchiya,
Fakiyska, and Veleka rivers, all of which flow directly into the Black
Sea. Of the Danube's Bulgarian tributaries, all but the Iskur rise in
the Stara Planina. The Iskur rises in the Rila and flows northward
through a narrow basin. Territory not far from the river on both sides
of it drains in the opposite direction, to the south. The Iskur passes
through Sofia's eastern suburbs and cuts a valley through the Stara
Planina on its way to join the Danube.

The Iskur and the other of the Danube's north-flowing tributaries have
cut deep valleys through the Danubian plateau. The eastern banks tend to
rise sharply from the rivers; the western parts of the valleys may have
broad fields with alluvial soils. The peculiar, though consistent,
pattern is caused by forces resulting from the earth's rotation; these
forces give the water a motion that tends to undercut the right banks of
the streams. Some of these rivers are sizable streams, but the Danube
gets only a little more than 4 percent of its total volume from its
Bulgarian tributaries. As it flows along the northern border, the Danube
averages one to 1.5 miles in width. Its highest water levels are usually
reached during June floods, and in normal seasons it is frozen over for
about forty days.

Several major rivers flow directly to the Aegean Sea, although the
Maritsa with its tributaries is by far the largest. The Maritsa drains
all of the western Thracian Plain, all of the Sredna Gora, the southern
slopes of the Stara Planina, and the northern slopes of the eastern
Rodopi. Other than the Maritsa, the Struma in the west and the Mesta
(which separates the Pirin from the main Rodopi ranges) are the two
largest of the rivers that rise in Bulgaria and flow to the Aegean. Most
of these streams fall swiftly from the mountains and have cut deep,
scenic gorges. The Struma and Mesta reach the sea through Greece. The
Maritsa forms most of the Greek-Turkish border after it leaves Bulgaria.

About 3,750 square miles of agricultural land have access to irrigation
waters. Dams provide the water for about one-half of the acreage;
diversions from rivers and streams serve about one-third; and water
pumped from the ground and from streams accounts for the remainder.

Of the dams, ninety-two are termed large state dams. Their combined
capacity is three times that of some 2,000 smaller dams. The sources of
four large rivers--the Maritsa, Iskur, Mesta, and Rilska (a major
tributary of the Struma)--are within a few miles of each other in the
high Rila. Water from the upper courses of these and several other
streams supplies the Sofia area with both water and electricity, and
they have a potential for further development. There are major dams on
the Tundzha, Iskur, Rositsa, and Struma rivers. The Danube is too
massive a stream to harness, and damming the Maritsa along most of its
course would flood too much valuable land. The rivers flowing north
across the Danubian plateau also tend to be overly difficult to use in
the areas where they are most needed.

The Vucha River, flowing from the Rodopi into the Maritsa River, is
often used to illustrate how rivers have been effectively harnessed to
provide a variety of benefits. Its cascade system of hydroelectric
development employs six dams having the capacity to generate over
600,000 kilowatts of electricity. The water they back up serves the
municipal water systems in Plovdiv and a number of other towns in its
vicinity, and the dams provide irrigation water for nearly 250,000 acres
of cropland. The reservoirs themselves are being developed as
recreational areas and mountain resorts.

Where a stream is difficult to dam or to divert, water is pumped from
it. This has been feasible only since about 1950, when low-cost diesel
engines and sufficient hydroelectric power became available from newly
constructed dams on other streams. About eighty-five huge pumping
stations have been set up along the Danube River, which furnishes about
three-quarters of the water acquired by this method; and in 1970 there
were about 1,200 lesser stations operating on smaller streams, most of
them on the Thracian Plain.


For so small an area, the climate varies widely and is unusually
complex. Depending upon the depth to which they study the area,
climatologists list six or more climatic subzones. The country lies on
the line of transition between the strongly contrasting Eastern European
continental and the Mediterranean climatic zones, and its mountains and
valleys are local factors that act as barriers or channels to the air
masses, contributing to sharp contrasts in weather over relatively short
distances. The Black Sea, although too small to be a primary influence
over much of the country's weather, also affects the immediate area
along its coastline.

In general, continental systems prevail in the north. They are
characterized by hot summers, cold winters, and precipitation well
distributed throughout the year, a major portion of it in early summer
thunderstorms. The Mediterranean climate that is influential most of the
time in the south has mild, damp winters but hot, dry, rain-free
summers. The Stara Planina marks the lower limits of the area in which
continental air masses circulate freely in typical circumstances. In the
area between them and the Danube River there is an extension of the
climate that is common to east-central Europe and adjoining regions of
the Soviet Union.

In the same fashion, the Rodopi marks the northern limits of domination
by Mediterranean weather systems. The southern slopes of these mountains
are sufficiently mild to merit the region's being called the Green
Greece or Bulgarian California.

The area in between, which includes the Thracian Plain, is influenced by
both types of climate, but more of the time by continental systems. The
result is a plains climate resembling that of the corn belt in the
United States, which is characterized by long summers and high humidity.
The climate is generally more severe than that of Spain and the portions
of Italy, France, and Soviet Georgia that are in the same latitude.
Because it is a transitional area and the Mediterranean systems may
prevail for most of some seasons or retreat from the scene altogether in
other seasons, average temperatures and precipitation are erratic and
may vary widely from year to year.

Precipitation over the country averages about twenty-five inches a year
and, when it is distributed normally throughout the seasons, it is
satisfactory for most agricultural crops. Dobrudzha, in the northeast,
the Black Sea coastal area, and parts of the Thracian Plain usually
receive less than twenty inches. The remainder of the Thracian Plain and
the Danubian plateau get less than the country average. Higher
elevations are the most generously watered, in some places receiving
forty inches or more.

Although a low figure of 7.6 inches was recorded in Dobrudzha for one
year and the normal precipitation is marginal, both Dobrudzha and the
Danubian plateau are in the continental climate zone and usually receive
most of their rainfall during crop-growing seasons. The Thracian Plain,
however, has frequent seasons when it is under Mediterranean influences
and, when this is the case, it may experience prolonged summer droughts.
Irrigation is, therefore, necessary for dependable agricultural

A few sheltered pockets in the higher mountains may remain covered with
snow all year, and much of the other higher land remains white well into
springtime. Lower elevations are snow covered an average of twenty-five
to thirty days a year. Average cloudiness is about 55 percent, and
average relative humidity is as high as 70 to 75 percent.

The many valley basins throughout the uplands frequently have
temperature inversions resulting in stagnant air. The Sofia area, for
example, is occasionally troubled by smog. The city's elevation of about
1,800 feet, however, tends to moderate summer temperatures and to
relieve the oppressive quality of the high humidity. It is also
sheltered from the northern European winds by the mountains that ring
the basin. Its temperatures in January average about 29°F, and in August
they average about 70°F. Its rainfall is near the country average, and
the overall result of the several contributing features is a rather
unexpectedly pleasant climate.

The climate of the coast is moderated by the Black Sea, but there are
many windy days and violent local storms during the winter. The area
along the Danube River experiences bitterly cold winters, and sheltered
valleys opening to the south along the Greek and Turkish borders may, in
contrast, be as mild as though they were on the Mediterranean or Aegean
coasts. The so-called Black Wind, a local phenomenon similar to the
African sirocco, consists of hard-blowing, hot, very dry air and wreaks
havoc on crops. It gets its name from the quantities of dust it carries,
which often darken the skies.

Regions in the Rodopi and the higher elevations around Sofia feature sun
and snow in a pleasant combination for about four months a year. Several
places have good and reasonably dependable skiing and are being
developed into holiday resorts.


Fine, dark chernozem (black earth) soils, rich in loess and humus, occur
over a considerable portion of the northern Danubian plateau. They are
fertile, easy to work, and compare with the best soils in Europe. Away
from the river, approaching the mountains, there is a broader area that
is basically similar, but the subsoils are more porous and have allowed
the humus and loess to leach downward from the surface. The resulting
gray soil no longer rates among the finest, but it yields good crops in
some areas and, where it is less satisfactory, the land is forested.

The Thracian Plain has comparatively little of the finest soils, but it
has much soil that is more than adequate to produce reasonably good
crops. The best on the plain is locally called _smolnitsa_. It is
basically a chernozem, but it is less fully matured and coarser than the
darker variety along the Danube. The plain also features fairly
extensive areas of good brown and brown forest soils. Meadow soils occur
in large areas in the vicinity of Plovdiv. Some are irrigated and

Meadow and layered podzol (gray forest) soils occur in most of the
higher elevations throughout the country. Intermediate elevations
usually have brown forest soils, some of which are excellent. The
Maritsa and Tundzha and the major rivers that flow into the Danube have
wide valleys with alluvial soils. They may be coarse, but most of them
are fertile, drain well, and are extensively cultivated.


Both the natural vegetation and the cultivated crops that have replaced
it on all areas that could be put to agricultural use reflect the
transitional climate of the country. North of the Stara Planina the
original flora was a continuation of that on the Russian steppe. The
steppe influence was greatest in the east, giving way to deciduous
forests farther to the west.

Lands south of the mountains, sheltered from the colder extremes of the
continental weather systems, have been able to support plant life that
could not exist on the steppe. Areas along the Black Sea coast and in
valleys of the Rodopi that open to the south experience further
moderation. Many Mediterranean and subtropical species have existed in
them naturally, and others introduced by man have thrived.

What remains of the original vegetation on the Danubian plateau is found
mainly along the river, where the land has been difficult to cultivate.
It includes brush grass, reeds, and licorice. The last two have
commercial value. Most of the original lowland deciduous forests have
been removed, and grain flourishes on the level expanses where the soils
are favorable. Other food and fodder crops are grown to satisfy local
requirements. The foothills of the Stara Planina are dotted with
orchards; plums are the most prevalent fruit in these northern areas.

The depression, or geological trench, between the Stara Planina and the
Sredna Gora ranges, which is at the near center point of the country and
contains the upper valleys of the Tundzha, Stryama, and Topolnitsa
rivers, is sheltered and very humid and is ideal for the raising of
roses. One in particular, Rosa Alba, has become known as Bulgaria's
gold. Its flower is not an especially lovely variety, but it is
extremely rich in the rose oil that is the basic fragrance in many
perfumes and a flavor in certain liqueurs. Fields of them flourish in
the Kazanluk area, the so-called Valley of Roses.

The Thracian Plain, between the Sredna Gora and the Rodopi, originally
featured a mixture of midlatitude forest and Mediterranean flora. The
forests have been removed from the level lands and have been replaced by
a diversification of crops, including truck vegetables, fruit orchards,
strawberries, raspberries, vineyards, tobacco, and cotton. The plain
also produces a variety of herbs and medicine derivatives. Digitalis is
produced from foxgloves; menthol, from peppermint; opium, from a species
of poppy; linseed oil, from flaxseed; laxatives, from iris and rhubarb;
and castor oil, from the castor bean. All of them are grown on this

Where the plain touches the Black Sea, varieties of tropical or
subtropical vegetation appear. Vegetation is dense along the Kamchiya
River and on the banks of a few of the smaller streams as they approach
the sea. Reeds, lianas, exotic flowers, and huge old trees that grow
nowhere else in the country flourish in this region.

In the southern Rodopi, where a few of the river valleys--those of the
Struma, Mesta, and Maritsa, for example--open to the south, the
vegetation is typically Mediterranean. Natural species include the
Mediterranean scrubby underbrush, maquis, and an assortment of flowering
plants and shrubs. Vineyards and subtropical fruit grow well in these
valleys. Such areas produce the country's peaches, figs, and peanuts.

Mountainous regions feature Alpine meadows and pastures above the tree
line, where the terrain permits, and conifer forests immediately below
the tree line. Deciduous trees are native to all of the uplands of the
country with tolerable elevations. Beech predominates at intermediate
elevations, particularly on northern slopes, and oak, on the lower
foothills. There are dense elm, oak, and ash forests at lower elevations
in the Kamchiya River valley where it descends from the eastern part of
the Stara Planina. Scrub and brush prevail at all upland elevations
where terrain and soil conditions are poor or where the original forest
has been removed and has not been replaced.

The Stara Planina has grassy meadowland and pastures on rounded summits
and higher slopes. In the springtime these higher lands may also be
brilliant with wild flowers and flowering shrubs. Cherry laurel, for
example, grows wild over wide areas. The meadows usually give way to
beech and to other mixed deciduous forests at lower elevations. Mixed
forests may contain varieties of oak, chestnut, hornbeam, elm, and ash.

The most valuable forests are in the Rodopi, although many of them are
interspersed among inaccessible craggy hills. A majority of the
country's conifers, both the natural forest and those that have been
planted in preference to the slower growing deciduous, are in the higher
Rodopi, including the Rila and the Pirin. The most common of the
conifers are pine and fir. At elevations beneath those dominated by the
conifers, the mixture of broad-leaved deciduous trees is similar to that
of the Stara Planina. Of the forest area, only about one-half has tall
timber. Scrub on the remainder, however, serves to stabilize the soil of
the forest lands against erosion and to slow the runoff of water. The
rare and exotic edelweiss can be found on the higher slopes of the


The clearing of forestland and the increase in human population have
driven most of the larger wildlife from their natural habitats, except
in the higher and more rugged terrain. Of the larger species, some
bears, wild boars, wild goats, wolves, elk, and several species of deer
continue to exist naturally. Foxes, wildcats, polecats, squirrels and
other rodents, and hare--better able to adjust to existing
conditions--are also surviving.

Quail, turtledoves, wild fowl, and other game birds are hunted in
restricted seasons. Hunting seasons are also provided for some of the
deer species; the seasons usually last between two and four months,
depending upon the need to protect the animal, between the months of
August and February. There are bounties on wolves and foxes. Wildcats,
falcons, and hawks are also considered harmful and may be killed at any
time. The polecat--in Europe the _Mustela putorius_, a fetid-smelling
member of the weasel and otter family--is a bloodthirsty, insatiable
hunter that terrorizes poultry. It also may be exterminated.

The many caves in limestone-dominated regions have given rise to various
types of blind fauna. The largest of them are crabs, but most are
insects, including mosquitoes, butterflies, spiders, locusts, and common
flies. Although they are blind, exposure to light is usually fatal to
such species.

Rivers contain several kinds of freshwater fish, the most plentiful of
which are sturgeon, whitefish, and European carp. Mackerel account for
the largest percentage of fish taken from the Black Sea. There are no
sharks or other dangerous fish in these waters, but a rare Black Sea
seal breeds along the rocky coast north of Varna.

Mineral Resources

The country's mountains contain a variety of metallic and nonmetallic
minerals. A few are of good quality, but most of these occur in very
small quantities. Iron and coal, which are basic to a metallurgical
industry, are mined, but neither of them is of the proper variety or
quality nor are they available in adequate quantities to be used

Largest deposits of iron ore occur in the far western Stara Planina and
the Strandzha mountain range. There are smaller deposits in the vicinity
of Burgas, along the Black Sea coast, and near Sofia to the north and
west of the city. Estimated reserves total in excess of 10 million tons.

Coal has been located in some twenty small deposits. There is an
anthracite basin in the Stara Planina twenty miles north of Sofia and
another in the extreme northwest end of the range. Bituminous coal
occurs in a larger basin in the central Stara Planina, but brown coals
and lignite are much more abundant.

Copper, lead, and zinc are mined in quantities that exceed domestic
requirements. Bulgaria ranks high in the production of them among the
eastern and southeastern European countries and exports small amounts of
them. Among the other metallic ores, Bulgaria has three of the more
important alloying metals--manganese, molybdenum, and chromium--but the
manganese is of poor quality. Uranium has been discovered in several
deposits near Sofia and is being extracted from one or more of them.
Gold occurs in a number of locations but in small quantities.

Of the fuels, coal is by far the most abundant and most important to the
economy. The search for oil and natural gas resources was intensive in
the early post-World War II years, and what were hoped to be valuable
fields were discovered in the early 1960s. Production, however, reached
a peak in the latter part of that decade. If it becomes economic to
exploit them, there are oil-bearing shales west of Sofia and in the
northwestern region of the country. The extent of these shales appears
to be limited, but their potential is believed to be considerably
greater than that of the oil-bearing formations where the crude product
is extracted by pumping.

Other minerals extracted include salt, kaolin, chalk, talc, asbestos,
gypsum, mica, fluorite, quartzite, antimony, lime, sandstone, slate, and
pyrites. The pyrites are plentiful and produce exportable quantities of
sulfur and sulfur products. Fuel resources tend to be concentrated in
basins and on lower lands; most other resources, both metal and
nonmetal, are more frequently found in the Rodopi, the western Stara
Planina, and in the other western highlands.

Mineral waters are locally considered to be an important resource. The
country boasts some 500 mineral springs, about one-half of which are
warm or hot. Their mineral content varies, as does the concentration of
the chemicals. The stronger of those considered medicinal are used for
drinking only. The milder are used for drinking and bathing. Sofia has
active hot springs that have been in use and have attracted people to
the area for centuries. Its first settlement was built around such a



Bulgaria has had nearly a century of modern independence, during which
its borders have invariably been imposed upon it by others. This has
been the case partly because the Balkan Peninsula was for many years a
pawn in the balance-of-power politics of the more powerful European
nations and also because Bulgaria has been on the losing side in three
of its four major wars. It even fared badly at the peace table after the
only war in which it emerged victorious (see ch. 2).

In spite of these circumstances, the country has boundaries that have
many natural physical characteristics and that have imposed no serious
economic hardship on any significant group of people. They also contain
a large percentage of the Bulgarian people, although numerous population
resettlement movements have contributed to this end. None of its borders
are officially disputed.

The total boundary of Bulgaria is about 1,415 miles long. Rivers account
for about 425 miles of it, the Black Sea coast for 248 miles, and a
great portion of the remainder adheres to ridges in high terrain.

The western and northern boundaries are shared with Yugoslavia and
Romania, respectively, and the Black Sea coastline constitutes the
entire eastern border. The southern boundary is shared with Greece and

Nationalists have territorial ambitions stemming from the size of the
Middle Ages Bulgarian empire that encompassed about one-half of the
Balkan Peninsula but, in the local political climate that has existed
since World War II, such ambitions are not seriously considered.

The post-World War I boundaries were established in rough detail by the
Treaty of Peace between the Allied and associated powers and Bulgaria,
signed in 1919 at Neuilly-sur-Seine. They were demarcated by
international commissions between 1919 and 1922, formalized by the
Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, and reconfirmed by the Treaty of Paris in

During World War II, again as an ally of Germany, Bulgaria briefly
reacquired the coveted portions of Macedonia and Thrace, but the
interwar boundaries were restored without much deliberation in 1947 with
the agreement of the Soviet Union as well as all of the other major
victorious allies. Small deviations from the borders established in the
early 1920s have been made for local reasons, but none of them have been
of national significance.

The 335-mile border with Yugoslavia was drawn in an attempt to follow
the high ridges separating the watersheds of the Morava and Vardar river
valleys in Yugoslavia from those of the Iskur and Struma valleys in
Bulgaria. The border starts in the north at the junction of the Timok
River and the Danube, but it follows the river for only about ten miles.
Leaving the Timok (with a few exceptions when it must cross river
valleys), it remains on high ground until it reaches the tripoint with
Greece. Although nationalist Bulgarians continue to feel that Bulgaria's
share of Macedonia--which it shares with both Yugoslavia and Greece--is
less than just, there are no overt official disputes of the boundary.

The border with Greece is 307 miles long--all but forty-nine miles of
which are overland. The major portion of it follows higher elevations
and ridges in the Rodopi. East of the Struma and Mesta river valleys,
insofar as it is feasible, the border is at the dividing line between
the Maritsa River basin and those of the streams that flow southward to
the Aegean Sea.

Following an official visit by the Greek foreign minister to Sofia in
1946, the Bulgarian premier stated that "all territorial claims [between
Greece and Bulgaria] are excluded forever." This statement indicates
that boundary frictions that had persisted for many years were
officially eliminated at that time, and as of 1973 the border was not

The Turkish border is 149 miles long. It follows small rivers and
streams for more than 40 percent of its length, but neither they nor the
overland sections constitute physical boundaries or barriers of any

The Romanian border follows the Danube River for about 290 miles from
the northwestern corner of the country to the city of Silistra and then
cuts to the east-southeast for about eighty-five miles across the old
province of Dobrudzha. The Danube, with steep bluffs on the Bulgarian
side and a wide area of swamps and marshes along much of the Romanian,
is one of the better natural river boundaries in Europe. Most of the
river islands that might be expected to bridge the gap between the
countries are damp and covered with marsh vegetation. They are subject
to regular inundation by floodwaters and, therefore, are uninhabited.
The line across Dobrudzha is arbitrary and has been redrawn on several
occasions. The population of the area that has changed hands is mixed,
but most of those who have strong national preferences have been
resettled in the country of their choice.

A joint resolution adopted between Bulgaria and Romania in April 1971
allowed somewhat easier transit of their border. A passport was still
required, but residents of the twelve-mile-wide zone on each side of the
border became able to make one crossing each month without a visa. Each
visit was limited to six days, and the destination and residence to be
visited were subject to the approval of local police. The agreement made
no changes in custom regulations and was not, therefore, intended to
change trade relations between the countries.

Political Subdivisions

The country is subdivided into twenty-eight _okruzi_ (sing., _okrug_),
which are usually translated as districts, and has some 200 towns and
cities and approximately 5,500 villages or settlements. The cities and
larger towns are subdivided into _rayoni_ (sing., _rayon_), and the
smaller villages are grouped together into _obshtini_ (sing.,
_obshtina_). The _rayoni_ and _obshtini_ are the urban boroughs and
village communes that are the smallest units of local government, that
is, those that have people's councils (see fig. 3).

The twenty-eight _okruzi_ include one for the city of Sofia and its
immediate vicinity as well as one for a larger Sofia district. Each
_okrug_ is named for the city that is its administrative center. They
have areas ranging from 794 to 2,916 square miles and populations of
about 130,000 to about 650,000.

[Illustration: _Figure 3. Political Subdivisions of Bulgaria, 1973_]

The number of _okruzi_ has been changed only at times of major
governmental reorganization, the most recent of which was in 1959. The
_obshtini_, on the other hand, are in a state of relatively constant
change. Cities grow, towns become cities, new enterprises are set up and
attract population, and other factors affect the need for local
administration. Since the reorganization of 1959, when the _obshtini_
were reduced by nearly one-half--from about 1,950 to just over
1,000--their number has tended to grow again. By the late 1960s there
were about 1,150 of them.


The Bulgarians, who were mounted archers from the steppes of central
Asia, rode into the area between the Danube River and the Stara Planina
in the seventh and eighth centuries A.D. They interbred with the Slavs
and adopted a Slavic language and many Slavic customs, but they retained
enough individuality to remain readily identifiable. In spite of
horrifying defeats and treatment at the hands of Byzantines and
Ottomans, they were in the land to stay and never relinquished their
title to a share of the peninsula.

For several centuries before their independence from the Turks, the
people preferred to live in the hills, motivated by the sheer necessity
of having to escape the notice of their oppressive occupiers. They
returned to the fertile plains and valleys in large numbers only after
independence in 1878. Since 1945 there has been a major movement of
people to the cities as the country has become industrialized, and there
has been a lesser movement of the rural population resulting from the
collectivization of agricultural lands.

Each major movement has brought about some improvement over the
conditions of the period that preceded it. Settlement in the back hills
was particularly necessary during the last years of Turkish control,
when the Ottoman Empire was in decline and its local controls and
taxation became increasingly oppressive. To avoid attracting attention
to themselves, the people settled into small hamlets and built their
homes as bare and unattractive as possible.

With independence life on the plains was safer and easier. For a time
there was plenty of good land available but, as the population grew,
inevitably the land became occupied, and the size of individual
landholdings decreased. Between the turn of the century and the
mid-1980s, for example, the average landholding decreased from 18.2 to
12.2 acres, a size that was agriculturally uneconomic and that
overpopulated the rural areas. People remained poor and, although it was
no longer necessary to keep them plain, peasant homes amounted to little
more than small, bare, essential shelter.

Under the communist government, the first near-complete collectivization
program served to increase the size of farmland units in collective and
state farms to an average of about 10,000 acres each. In 1970, with an
average of less than 1,100 fully employed farmers at each of the larger
units, the ratio of farmers to acres of arable land had fallen sharply.
In 1973 the agricultural lands were again recombined, this time into
about 170 units called agroindustrial complexes. The rural population is
still, however, for the most part clustered in unplanned, nucleated
villages or hamlets. Long, single-street villages are rare. Many
villages are situated in valleys for shelter from cold winter winds. A
gradual movement to housing at the agroindustrial centers will
undoubtedly take place, but there was no indication in 1973 that the
movement would be a rapid one or that the government intended to make it
a matter of urgent priority.

Post-World War II emphasis on educational and cultural pursuits and
rural development has made more community life and more amenities
available to the rural areas. Dwelling space remains meager, with only a
little more than 500 feet of floorspace per dwelling. By 1970 central
water supplies were available to over 90 percent of the population, but
fewer than one half of the dwellings had individual service. Nearly all
dwellings have electricity.

Bulgaria has been primarily agricultural and has been overrun, pillaged,
and occupied by so many conquerors that its cities have suffered, and
their inhabitants have had less opportunity than have those in most
European countries to develop a culture. There are relatively few cities
with noteworthy associations with the country's past. There are,
however, a few notable exceptions, and some of their histories antedate
the introduction of the Bulgar people into the region. There are others
that, if not altogether new, have had rapid and well-planned growth
during the country's recent history. Modern city growth has been
accompanied by the construction of large numbers of apartment houses,
many of them built as rapidly as possible to recover space destroyed
during World War II and to accommodate the heavy influx of people to
urban areas.

Sofia was founded by the Thracians and has had a continuous history of
some importance for 2,000 years. No trace of its original founders
remains in the city, although it retained its Thracian name, Serdica,
while it was a part of the Roman Empire. It is situated in a sheltered
basin at the base of the Vitosha range, a location that has been both
strategically and esthetically desirable. Long-established
communications routes cross at the city. The most traveled and most
famous is that from Belgrade to Istanbul. It is Sofia's main street for
that portion of its route. At the city it crosses the north-south route
from the Aegean Sea to the Danube River that uses the Struma and Iskur
river valleys. Some of the other routes that radiate from the city,
particularly those to the Black Sea coastal cities, are of more local
importance than the international routes. Sofia's pleasant climate, plus
its strategic location, made the city a contender in the selection of a
capital for Rome in Emperor Constantine's reign. Its hot springs were an
added attraction to the Romans, and their baths remain.

Sofia was a thriving city under the Romans. Attila the Hun destroyed it
in the fifth century A.D., but it was rebuilt in the sixth and seventh
centuries, when its population grew to about 40,000. It declined again
under the Ottomans, and in 1878, when it was liberated, it had only some
15,000-20,000 inhabitants. It has grown rapidly since becoming the
capital of the modern state.

Sofia is the city's fourth name. Saint Sophia's sixth-century church
occupies the highest land in the city and is one of the most famous of
its landmarks, although the city was named for her several centuries
after the church was built. As the capital, the city has most of the
nation's administration and has become the educational and cultural
center of the country. It retains much charm and beauty, in spite of its
rapid growth. From its hundreds of small parks and thousands of trees,
it claims the right to call itself the garden city.

Plovdiv is the second most important city. It is older than Sofia,
having been established in the fourth century B.C. by Philip of Macedon;
it was first named Philippopolis after him. On the plain and astride the
route from Belgrade to Istanbul, it has been exposed to all who have
passed that way, for good or ill, and this is reflected in its violent
history. It has been captured and devastated in turn by Greeks, Romans,
Goths, Huns, and Turks. It was also ravished on four different occasions
by Christian armies during the Crusades.

Plovdiv has continued to be an important commercial city, having more
rail lines radiating from it than Sofia. It also has a university and
some of the country's most important museums and art treasures. The old
town center is typically Macedonian and, although it was severely
damaged by an earthquake in 1928, part of it has been termed a national
monument, to be reworked only for its restoration.

Veliko Turnovo, situated astride a mountain stream on the northern
slopes of the central Stara Planina, was the fortress capital of the
medieval Second Bulgarian Kingdom. It was also the site of the first
constituent assembly held as the country was liberated from the Turks,
and the Turnovo Constitution was adopted there in 1879. It remains an
artistic and cultural center, and some of its fine examples of Bulgarian
renaissance architecture have survived.

Varna and Burgas are the chief Black Sea ports, and Ruse is the only
major Bulgarian port on the Danube River. Burgas is a young city,
growing to most of its size in the late 1800s, and it was a more
important port than Varna until the 1950s. Varna, however, attracted the
naval academy, has become the naval base, and has acquired most of the
shipbuilding industry. Ruse has also grown rapidly. In addition to its
river trade, the first bridge across the river between Bulgaria and
Romania was built just north of the city.

A number of new towns have been built since World War II, in some cases
from the ground up. These include some at industrial complexes, others
at resorts. Madan is a new mining center in the Rodopi; Dimitrovgrad is
a new industrial town on the Maritsa River; and there are several
mountain and seaside resort cities. Zlatni Pyassutsi (Golden Sands),
opened in 1956, is one of a group of Black Sea resort cities that, upon
opening, could accommodate tens of thousands of holiday vacationers.



In spite of its three most recent wars, comparatively few Bulgarians
live outside the country in the areas adjacent to its boundaries.
Bulgarian sources estimate the total number of Bulgarians abroad at
approximately 1 million. Many of these are in Greek and Yugoslav
Macedonia and are, in fact, Macedonians who may or may not prefer to be
called Bulgarians. Other Bulgarians are in Greek Thrace, and a few are
in Romanian Dobrudzha and in Soviet Bessarabia. A scattering are settled
in other Eastern European countries, Australia, and North and South
America. There are only a few in the United States.

When The Macedonians and Gypsies in the country--whom Bulgarian official
sources include as fully integrated into the Bulgarian population--are
not counted separately, Bulgarians constitute about 91 percent of the
population. The approximately 700,000 Turks out-number all other
non-Bulgarians in the population by a large margin. Small numbers of
Greeks, Romanians, Armenians, and Jews make up a total of only about 1
percent (see ch. 4).

In the absence of official statistics, the number of Macedonians and
Gypsies are impossible to estimate accurately. It is probable that there
are a few more Gypsies than Macedonians and that they total about 5
percent of the population. Pomaks (Muslim Bulgarians), who tend to live
separately, have been persecuted on occasion and have represented a
social problem. Some authorities have listed them as a separate ethnic
group but, with diminishing emphasis on religion, local authorities
attempt to make no distinctions between them and the rest of the

Bulgaria is one of an extremely few countries in the world where the
males in the population have outnumbered the females over a considerable
portion of its modern history. This has been a phenomenon that could not
be adequately explained by events or circumstances; but of nine censuses
taken between 1887 and 1965, only in those taken in 1920 and 1947 did
the females constitute a majority. These two years following the great
wars were undoubtedly atypical in that, although Bulgaria did not suffer
great manpower losses from war casualties, the males were probably more
mobile, and many of them may not have returned to the country or, in the
immediate aftermath of the wars, may not yet have settled down (see
table 1).

_Table 1. Bulgaria, Population by Age and Sex, 1973 Estimate_

          |Number of People|                |  Male    Female|
          |  in Age Group  | Percentage of  |----------------|Females per
 Age Group| (in thousands) |Total Population|  (in thousands)| 100 Males
 Under 5  |      676       |      7.8       |   348      328 |     94
 5-9      |      609       |      7.0       |   313      296 |     94
 10-14    |      647       |      7.5       |   331      316 |     95
 15-19    |      665       |      7.7       |   340      325 |     96
 20-24    |      703       |      8.1       |   357      346 |     97
 25-29    |      629       |      7.3       |   317      312 |     98
 30-34    |      558       |      6.4       |   280      278 |     99
 35-39    |      616       |      7.1       |   310      306 |     99
 40-44    |      649       |      7.5       |   327      322 |     98
 45-49    |      668       |      7.7       |   334      334 |    100
 50-54    |      467       |      5.4       |   231      236 |    102
 55-59    |      421       |      4.9       |   210      211 |    100
 60-64    |      460       |      5.3       |   225      235 |    104
 65-69    |      372       |      4.3       |   178      194 |    109
 70-74    |      264       |      3.0       |   122      142 |    116
 75 year  |                |                |                |
  and over|      263       |      3.0       |   110      153 |    139
          |                |                |                |
 TOTAL.   |    8,667       |    100.0       | 4,333    4,334 |    100*
 * Overall ratio for total population.
 Source: Adapted from Godfrey Baldwin, (ed.), _International Population
 Reports_, (U.S. Department of Commerce, Series P-91, No. 18), Washington,

The male majority, however, narrowed and has apparently evaporated for
the foreseeable future. The reversal reflects a change in life
expectancy statistics. Around the turn of the century average life
expectancy was forty years, and females are estimated to have outlived
males by less than six months. Seventy years later, average life
expectancy had increased by twenty-five years, but females were
outliving males by an average of about four years. Projected from the
1965 census and from vital statistics information accumulated since that
time, numerical equality between the sexes came about in the late 1960s,
and in mid-1973 it was estimated that females outnumbered males by the
small majority of 4.334 million to 4.333 million.

Another exceptional feature of the Bulgarian population is the unusual
number of very old people. Nearly 1 percent of the population in 1970
was eighty years old or older, and more than 500 people were
centenarians. Of these, three-fifths were women.

People in rural areas, after having long outnumbered those in cities and
towns, became the minority in 1969. More than four-fifths of the
population was rural at the time of independence in 1878, and more than
three-quarters was still rural in 1947. The movement to the towns
accelerated with the post-World War II industrialization. Towns that
attracted industries have grown by factors of five or more since 1920,
and by far the most dramatic growth has occurred since 1947.

With 8.7 million people occupying 42,800 square miles in 1972, the
average population density for the country was 203 persons per square
mile. Regions where the densities were highest include the Sofia Basin
and the southwestern portion of the Thracian Plain. The population was
more dense than average in the western and central portion of the
Danubian plateau, in the lower eastern Rodopi, and in the vicinities of
Varna and Burgas on the Black Sea coast. It was least dense in the
higher mountains, particularly in the high western Rodopi, the Pirin and
the Rila, and along the narrow high ridge of the Stara Planina.


Warfare that was endemic to the Balkan Peninsula throughout much of its
early history, exploitation by the Ottomans, and living conditions that
contributed to a short life expectancy served to hold down the
population of the area before independence. Since 1878, although the
country has participated in four wars and most migratory movements have
been at Bulgaria's expense, the population has tripled.

Growth has been comparatively steady during the century of independence.
Its rate has fluctuated but not widely. Until 1910 it was high. It
dropped during the 1910-20 decade, which included the Balkan wars and
World War I. The period of greatest growth occurred between the great
wars, and the three decades since 1941 have been the periods of least

Vital statistics supplied by the Bulgarian government to the United
Nations in 1972 indicated an annual growth rate of 0.7 percent. This was
based on 16.3 births per each 1,000 of the population, as against 9.1
deaths. Infant mortality, included in the overall death rate, was 27.3
deaths during the first year for each 1,000 live births. In early 1973
the government was alarmed at an apparent change in the statistical
trend. Complete information for 1971 showed that, instead of 16.3 births
per 1,000, the actual figure was 15.9. Indications were that in 1972 it
was dropping to 15.4.

Internal migrations since 1878 have consisted largely of the initial
movement of the rural population from the hills to the plains and the
later movement of people from the rural areas to the towns. External
migrations have been more complex. The earliest occurred in the
aftermath of the liberation; later ones have resulted from the
animosities and territorial changes associated with the various wars in
which the country has been involved.

Having occupied the territory, Turks left in wholesale numbers when they
lost control of it. More of them departed during the Balkan wars. Large
groups emigrated in the 1920s and 1930s, and more were forced to leave
after World War II. Estimates as to the numbers involved in each move
vary widely; the two largest after 1880 were those in the 1920s and
after World War II, and the total in all emigrations of Turks probably
equals or exceeds the 700,000 that remain in the country. Natural
population increases have been such that, over the long term, the actual
number of Turks in the country has changed relatively little.

There have been smaller population exchanges with each of the other
neighbors. In the mid-1920s about 250,000 Bulgarians moved from Greek
Thrace into Bulgaria, and about 40,000 Greeks left Bulgaria for Greece.
After 1940, when southern Dobrudzha was annexed from Romania, some
110,000 Romanians were exchanged for about 62,000 Bulgarians.
Macedonians, also in considerable numbers, have chosen between Bulgaria
and Yugoslavia, requiring many of them to move.

The Jewish people, faring much better in Bulgaria during World War II
than they did in Adolph Hitler's Germany or in most of the countries
overrun by the Germans, have nonetheless emigrated to Israel in large
numbers. Before that war there were about 50,000 of them in the country,
but 90 percent or more of them emigrated during the early postwar years.

All of the major emigrations were completed before 1960. There appear to
be no reasons why others of similar proportions should occur in the
foreseeable future.

Working Force

In mid-1972 there were 5.8 million people in the working-age group
(fifteen to sixty-four years), although the legal retirement age in most
employment situations is sixty or sixty-five for males and five years
younger for females. About 4.4 million--just over one-half of the total
population and three-quarters of those of working age--constituted the
labor force. Population projections indicate that in the ten-year period
after 1972 the working-age group will increase by 0.3 million, but a
large percentage of the increase will be in the segment of the group
aged fifty to sixty-four.

About 95 percent of the males between twenty-five and sixty-four years
of age are economically active. The percentage of economically active
females is lower, but they have constituted over 40 percent of the labor
force. About 36.5 percent of the economically active are employed in
agricultural fields; of the remaining 63.5 percent, about one-half are
employed in industry. The others are in various service, administrative,
or other miscellaneous activities.

Because the country was late in emerging from a predominantly
agricultural economy, its working force has had little technological
experience. Since World War II, however, schools have been increasingly
oriented to train young people to become technologically competent, and
some success in this direction has been achieved. Whether or not the
working force is being used as effectively as is possible under the
circumstances is being debated, but the government finds a decrease in
the birthrate and its possible limiting effect on industrial production
a cause for considerable concern.



The first railroad built in the country was constructed by the British
in 1866 and connected Ruse on the Danube River with Varna on the Black
Sea. The famous and romantic Orient Express and the Berlin-to-Baghdad
route have used a common line through Bulgaria, entering the country
from Belgrade. The route crosses the western mountains at the Dragoman
Pass, continues through Sofia, Plovdiv, and down the Maritsa River
valley to Edirne and Istanbul in Turkey.

The rail network consists of about 3,775 miles of track, about 2,620 of
which were being operated in 1970. Of the portion in use, about 2,470
miles were standard gauge, and 150 were narrow gauge. Approximately 135
miles were double track, and a little more than 500 had been
electrified. Because of the terrain, the system has a large number of
bridges and tunnels and has been constructed with tighter curves and
steeper gradients than are allowed when terrain features are less
extreme. Most of the some 1,600 bridges are short, but at Ruse, where
the Danube is crossed, the river is 1-½ miles wide. Most of the
approximately 175 tunnels are also short. One is 3-½ miles in length,
but they total only about thirty miles (see fig. 4).

Route mileage is adequate to meet the requirements of the country. It
will probably not be expanded further; shorter spurs become uneconomic
and are abandoned as motor transport takes over short-haul traffic.
Programmed modernization includes improving roadbeds, ties, and track to
achieve a higher load-bearing capacity. Quantity installation of
continuously welded rail is also underway, and the busiest of the lines
are being electrified.

Although the system is adequate, performs its services reasonably well,
and continues to be the backbone of domestic transport, it suffers in
bare statistical comparisons with the other carriers. Highway transport
may carry a cargo to the rail station and get credit for a second
shipment when it moves the same goods from the train to its final
destination. Trucks also carry local freight more directly and much more
simply than railroads for short hauls. Ton mileage statistics of the
merchant marine are similarly misleading. Although the railroads remain
by far the most important domestic carrier, their share of total cargo
carried and their share of ton mileage continues to decrease (see table

The railroads also continue to give way to motor vehicles in numbers of
passengers carried. Between 1960 and 1970 the situation changed
radically; on the earlier date the railroads carried more passengers
than buses did, but a decade later they carried hardly more than
one-third as many. In long-distance passenger travel, the railroads
remained the major carrier by a narrow margin in 1970, although the
difference was narrowing.

[Illustration: _Figure 4. Communications Systems of Bulgaria, 1973_]

_Table 2. Use of Transportation Facilities in Bulgaria, 1960 and 1970_

                    |      Total Freight*     |      Ton Miles**
 Cargo Traffic:     |------------+------------|------------+------------
                    |    1960    |    1970    |    1960    |    1970
 Railroads          |    38.4    |    68.2    |   4,360    |   8,650
 Motor transport    |   128.3    |   492.8    |   1,270    |   4,940
 Seaborne shipping  |     1.1    |    14.5    |   1,530    |  24,375
 Inland waterways   |     1.6    |     3.7    |     384    |   1,145
 Air transport      |     0.007  |     0.083  |       0.2  |       9

                    |   Total Passengers**    |    Passenger Miles**
 Passenger Traffic: |-------------------------+------------+------------
                    |    1960    |    1970    |    1960    |    1970
 Railroads          |    79.0    |   106.1    |   2,260    |   3,890
 Motor transport    |    72.6    |   282.0+   |   1,020    |   3,740+
 Seaborne shipping  |     0.6    |     0.6    |      12    |      17
 Inland waterways   |     0.8    |     0.3    |      29    |      19
 Air transport      |     0.2    |     1.1    |      56    |     750
 * In million tons.
 ** In millions.
 + 1969 information.
 Source: Adapted from _Statistical Yearbook, 1971_, Sofia, 1971.

Conversion from steam to diesel and electric locomotives is proceeding
rapidly. As late as 1962 the country had no diesel locomotives and only
a few passenger-carrying electric trains. By 1972, about 80 percent of
the freight and a larger proportion of passenger traffic were carried on
diesel or electric trains. Steam locomotives will probably have been
replaced completely by 1978.


Construction is expensive, engineering problems are frequently
challenging, and the roads are difficult to maintain on the mountainous
terrain, with its many narrow and steep gorges. Ice and snow close most
routes at times during the winter months. Spring thaws and floods damage
the best roads and make the poorer roads impassable for considerable
periods. Of the approximately 21,000 miles of roadway, about 8,000 are
paved, another 8,000 have surfaces hardened with stone or gravel, but
nearly 5,000 remain dirt surfaced.


The 290 miles of the Danube River that flow along the northern border
are navigable. Other streams are too short, too shallow, or have too
great gradients to use or to allow development as waterways. The fact
that the Danube leaves the country to exit into the Black Sea from
Romania limits its potential as an avenue to seagoing trade, and the
fact that it flows along the country's periphery keeps it from being the
central feature that it is, for example, in Hungary. Bulgaria's entire
portion of the river is, however, downstream from the Iron Gate and thus
can handle 2,500-ton vessels. There are no locks or dams in this area
and, although it freezes for a short time in the winter and floods
during the spring, it is usable for an average of about 300 days per

The Black Sea is more commercially significant to Bulgaria. Burgas and
Varna are thriving ports. Burgas has been a busy port for a longer time,
but Varna has developed rapidly and by 1970 had surpassed Burgas as the
major port and had become the center of maritime industry in the
country. Between 1971 and 1975, for example, the city expects to produce
23,000-ton and 38,000-ton dry cargo ships in series production and to
build one, and possibly more, 80,000-ton tankers.

By 1970 inland waterways--which consisted exclusively of the Danube
River--were carrying only about 0.6 percent of the country's freight
cargo. Because the distances that the average cargo was transported
exceeded those of rail or road transport, however, they accounted for
about 2.5 percent of the total ton mileage. Seaborne shipping carried
about 2.5 percent of the total cargo weight but, because of the far
greater shipping distances, it accounted for nearly two-thirds of the
total ton mileage. Traffic transported by inland waterway remained
relatively constant during the late 1960s and early 1970s; traffic
carried on seagoing vessels was increasing rapidly.

United Nations reports in 1971 credited Bulgaria with the fastest
developing shipbuilding industry in the world. The pronouncement is less
meaningful than it might appear, however, because the industry started
from very little. Moreover, a major portion of the products are for
export, and much of the industry's local impact is as a production,
rather than as a transportation, enterprise. Nonetheless, the country's
capability for sea shipment increased by more than five times during the
1960s. There are no large passenger vessels in the fleet, but several
hydrofoils, some having capacities to carry more than 100 passengers,
operate between the Danube River ports.

By 1972 the merchant marine consisted of more than 100 ships, having a
total of nearly 1 million deadweight tons. It has increased at an
average rate of about 6 percent a year between 1967 and 1971, the rates
of increase accelerating in the latter part of the period.


Civil aviation was carried on by Bulgarian Civil Air Transport before
1970, when that entity was reorganized as Balkan-Bulgarian Airlines
(BALKAN). Its airplanes, all of Soviet manufacture, are identified by
BALKAN inset within a five-pointed star that is elongated to give the
impression of flight. BALKAN operates under the Ministry of Transport.

Sofia is the center of all the air operations. International routes stop
at the capitals of the six other Warsaw Pact countries and at sixteen
other cities in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. The 1973
scheduled flights also connected Sofia with eleven other cities within
Bulgaria, most of them on a daily basis.

Percentages of total cargo and passenger traffic carried by air are
insignificant, and the rates of increase in the utilization of air
transportation have been erratic. Air cargo shipments, for example,
increased by a factor of seven between 1960 and 1967 but increased
little the following year and decreased for the remainder of the



In 1878 Bulgaria emerged from Turkish rule as a homogeneous, egalitarian
peasant society centered in the family and the community. Through the
introduction of foreign economic and social ideas and institutions, the
society gradually changed during the period between the two world wars.
At the time of World War II Bulgaria actually had two social systems:
the traditional peasant society, changing but still focused on the
family and the community, and a growing urban society that focused on
the economy and the state. When the Communists took power in 1944, they
set out to destroy the old social order and replace it with one that
would reflect communist ideology. The resulting changes have been far
reaching and basic. The traditional economic and value base has been
destroyed by the elimination of private property. Social distinctions
were introduced and magnified where none or few existed. Traditional
institutions, such as the church and the family, were weakened; and new
institutions, such as mass organizations, were introduced to take their
place. Many segments of the population benefited materially from changes
that opened new opportunities for education and social advancement;
however, the price paid for these benefits was the loss of such
important motivating forces as freedom of choice, independence of
action, and the right to own income-producing property.

By the early 1970s the rate of change was slowing down, and the society
was settling into a discernible pattern. Some aspects of the old social
order seem to have survived, providing a continuity between the old and
the new. The changes that continue to affect the society are more the
result of economic growth than of social engineering.


The Bulgarian population is homogeneous in both ethnic and religious
composition. Approximately 85 percent is Bulgarian, and some 90 percent
adheres at least nominally to the Eastern Orthodox faith. The most
significant ethnic minorities are the Turks, who number about 700,000,
or 8 percent of the population; the Gypsies, estimated at 200,000, or
2.5 percent of the population; and the Macedonians, who also number
approximately 200,000. The remainder are Greeks, Romanians, Armenians,
and Jews.

The Turkish minority, once considerably more substantial in size, dates
back to the centuries of Turkish rule (see ch. 2). A steady emigration
of Turks from Bulgaria to Turkey after World War I and the expulsion of
some 150,000 in the 1950-51 period reduced their number. Most of the
remaining Turks are tobacco growers or artisans, who live in rural areas
in the eastern third of the country and along the Danube River. Their
traditional peasant conservatism, bolstered by their Islamic faith, has
made them less willing to adapt to the contemporary social order than
the rest of the population. A majority would like to emigrate to Turkey,
but the Bulgarian government has been unwilling to let them go because
the country cannot afford such a population loss.

Turkey, for its part, could not absorb the Bulgarian Turks without
seriously endangering its own economy and therefore has not encouraged
their desires. By agreement between the two governments, about 30,000
close relatives of Turks who left Bulgaria in the 1950-51 period will be
allowed to emigrate during the 1970s. The majority of Bulgarian Turks,
however, have little hope of leaving in the foreseeable future. In spite
of the desire of its members to leave the country, the Turkish minority
has posed no serious problem to the Bulgarian government. The government
has made an effort to integrate the minority into national life, at the
same time preserving its cultural distinctions, which are guaranteed by
the constitution.

Gypsies are not considered a national minority by the state, although
they consider themselves such. Strongly attached to their nomadic way of
life, the Gypsies have been reluctant to settle in a permanent place and
to integrate themselves into the national society. They continue to
follow their traditional occupations as musicians, tinsmiths, and

The existence of a Macedonian minority has been disputed over many
decades by Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. Bulgaria has consistently claimed
that Macedonians are ethnically Bulgarians, that their language is a
dialect of Bulgarian, and that their land is a part of Bulgaria.
Yugoslavia, on the other hand, has given legal recognition to a
Macedonian nationality by establishing the People's Republic of
Macedonia and by designating the Macedonian language one of the official
languages of the federal republic (see ch. 2; ch. 10).

The vast majority of Bulgarians have been born into the Bulgarian
Orthodox Church ever since the ninth century, when Boris I adopted
Christianity for his people. Until World War II a person had no legal
existence without a baptismal certificate from the church. In keeping
with Eastern Orthodox tradition, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is an
independent national church. It is inseparably linked with Bulgarian
nationhood in the minds of most Bulgarians because of the role it played
in preserving a national consciousness during the centuries of Turkish
rule and in spearheading a national revival in the nineteenth century
(see ch. 2).

A tradition of religious freedom and tolerance allowed religious
minorities to exist without friction. Even during World War II the Jews
in Bulgaria suffered little persecution in comparison with those in
other parts of Eastern Europe. No census of religious affiliation has
been taken since the Communists took power; however, according to
various estimates in 1965 there were about 750,000 Muslims; 26,000
Protestants; 32,000 Roman Catholics; and between 3,000 and 7,000 Jews.
The Muslim population included most Turks and some 50,000 Pomaks
(Bulgarians who converted to Islam during Turkish rule) living in the
rugged Rodopi mountain range.

Religious freedom is guaranteed by the constitution, but churches are
subject to strict governmental control. Formal religious education is
restricted to the training of priests. Children, however, continue to be
instructed in the rudiments of faith and ritual by their families.
Despite government efforts to secularize the milestones in the life
cycle, a large percentage of Bulgarians continue to regard the priest as
an essential officiant at baptisms, weddings, and funerals. Churchgoing
and the strict fasts prescribed by the Eastern Orthodox church have not
been carefully observed by most Bulgarians since the 1930s;
nevertheless, the people often exhibit strong religious feelings
tempered by traditional beliefs in the powers of nature, the evil eye,
and other forces. A survey conducted by the Bulgarian Academy of
Sciences in the mid-1960s classified 35.5 percent of those surveyed as
religious and 64.4 percent as nonreligious. The criteria used to
determine whether a person was religious or not was either a verbal
expression of religious conviction or regular attendance at church
services and regular prayer.


Until the time of World War I Bulgarian society was frequently
characterized as familistic, that is, personal interests and
prerogatives of an individual were subordinated to the values and
demands of the family. The family was the focal unit in society; it was
the chief training ground for the young and played the leading part in
molding the individual into the accepted pattern. The family was the
center of economic life also, particularly for the peasants, who lived
relatively self-sufficient lives. Relations with other social units and
institutions were carried out through the family rather than by the
individual. An individual had no standing in society apart from that of
his family, and individual behavior and prestige reflected on the family
as a whole. Individualism, therefore, was discouraged by constant
pressure from the family to conform to custom and tradition.

The traditional family was patriarchal and strongly authoritarian. It
reflected many features characteristic of the _zadruga_, the extended
family that formed the basis of social organization of the South Slavs,
including the Bulgarians, until its gradual decline in the late
nineteenth century. A _zadruga_ consisted of the male offspring of the
same parents and perhaps grandparents, with their wives and children,
living together and jointly owning and working the ancestral lands. The
group was ruled by the elected head, usually the oldest and most capable
male, who was responsible for directing the work, for settling disputes,
and generally for providing for the well-being of the _zadruga_ as a
whole and for each of its members.

By law and by custom, even after the passing of the _zadruga_ as a
social institution, authority over all matters concerning the family
rested with the father. In the village married sons with their wives and
children and unmarried children all tended to live under the father's
roof until his death, at which time the oldest son took over the family
homestead, and the others built their own houses nearby. The authority
of the patriarch rested, in no small measure, on his ownership and
control of the means of livelihood of the family. Sons submitted to
their father's will in order to inherit their fair shares of the

Close family relations were maintained not only with blood relatives but
with relatives by marriage and with godparents. The bond between two
families also related by marriage was as close, formally, as the bond
with blood relatives; it included not only the parents of the married
couple but also the brothers and sisters. For that reason parents took
great interest in their children's choice of mates. Similarly, the bond
between godparents and the family of the godchild was considered as
close as that of blood kin. The strong relationship between the two
families was developed partly because the same family usually provided
the godparents for another family for generations. Reciprocity of
godparenthood, however, was not allowed because a family tie was
established with the first christening. Members of families who were
related through godparenthood or through marriage could not marry
because that would have been tantamount to incest.

Age and sex determined the individual's role within the family and his
relations with other members. Men occupied a superior position, and
women were expected to show deference to their husbands and to older
male relatives. A frequently cited image of Bulgaria at that time was
the man riding a horse or donkey empty-handed while his wife walked
behind carrying a heavy load. The position and influence of the wife,
however, was far greater than this image implies. Few husbands made
decisions or took action affecting the family without prior consultation
with their wives.

Age was respected because it represented the accumulation of wisdom and
experience. This greater wisdom and experience also gave the older
members of the family authority over the younger ones. Children were
highly valued as tokens of successful marriages and as economic assets,
but they were not fussed over. Although they were expected to take their
places as active members of the family at a relatively early age by
performing light household tasks, running errands, and tending animals,
they were also given considerable freedom to play. Until they reached
maturity, children were expected to do what they were told by their
parents or by other adults without question.

This traditional family system provided for great stability. Each member
knew his place in society and knew what was expected of him, and he
generally felt secure and satisfied.

The gradual industrialization and urbanization that took place between
the two world wars slowly introduced changes into the traditional family
system--at first among the urban population and eventually among the
peasantry. Most notable among the changes was the shift toward the
nuclear family unit and the disappearance of the extended family
household. This reduced the authority of the father over his adult
children, who now formed an independent economic and social unit. It
also gave greater freedom to young people in choosing their mates and,
thereby, in their relations with each other. Within the nuclear family
the relationship between husband and wife became a more egalitarian one.
Relations between parents and children also became less authoritarian,
although the father's relations to his children continued to be rather

The changes in family life and in the role of the family in society that
began to take place between the two world wars accelerated during World
War II in keeping with the rapid rate of economic change. The greatest
assault on the traditional system, however, came in the second half of
the 1940s and early 1950s when the new communist government set out to
revamp Bulgarian society. The already dying patriarchal system was dealt
its final blow with the elimination of inheritance through
nationalization of industry and commerce and collectivization of
agriculture. After the patrimony had been eliminated, a major incentive
for submission to the patriarch had disappeared.

Another factor that contributed to the end of the patriarchal family and
to the end of parental authoritarianism was the government's appeal to
youth's desire for independence. Young people are taught to believe that
they are the foundation of the new Bulgaria and that their elders'
traditional ways are outmoded and should be discarded. In this way a
generation gap has been created, and youths wanting to escape parental
influence can count on the state for support. Their escape has been
facilitated through the expansion of educational facilities, the
expansion of employment opportunities resulting from economic and
bureaucratic expansion, and by the many youth organizations and youth
activities--all of which enable young people to spend much time away
from home and act independently of their parents.

The role of women, which had begun to change in the 1930s, was greatly
altered under the influence of ideology and of economic realities. In
social doctrine and law, women are considered equal to men and are
continually urged to demand their rights in the home and in the
community. They have also gained considerable independence of movement
through the expanded employment opportunities available to them in a
developing economy. In 1968, 80 percent of employable women worked
outside the home. A large percentage of them worked because of the
necessity to supplement the family income rather than through choice;
nevertheless, the fact that they do work outside the home has altered
the pattern of family life and the relationships of family members.
Working mothers must leave their young children in state-operated
nurseries or with relatives and thereby relinquish much of their
influence in molding the children into adults. Evidence indicates that
few mothers like to leave young children in nurseries, preferring to
leave them in the care of trusted relatives or friends. Fathers appear
to be playing a greater role in the raising of children than they did in
the traditional family.

Housekeeping is still considered to be entirely or predominantly the
responsibility of women, whether they work or not. The working woman
spends much time every day after work standing in line at food markets
and other stores, buying the daily necessities. Household appliances and
convenience foods are scarce luxuries; therefore, housekeeping is a
time-consuming and tiring activity. Even peasant women must take care of
their households and children after putting in the required hours in
cooperative labor, whereas formerly they could fit their field work in
and around their other responsibilities.

As a consequence of these changes, the traditional roles of family
members have been altered. The dominance of the head of the family has
given way to a greater distribution of decisionmaking and a greater
independence on the part of other family members. As family members
spend less time together, the emphasis in daily life is shifted from the
family to the outside world. Persons come to be looked at more as
individuals than as members of a certain family. Individuality and
personal achievement become as important as family background in
determining the status of an individual and his nuclear family.
Similarly, individual action or personal status no longer reflects on
the larger family.

In the eyes of the state, marriage is a secular matter governed by civil
law. Religious ceremonies are permitted but must be preceded by a civil
marriage. The minimum age for marriage without parental consent or
special permission from the local authorities is eighteen for both men
and women. The urban marriage rate in the 1960s was considerably higher
than the rural one, reflecting the higher percentage of young people
living in urban centers. Men generally marry between twenty and thirty
years of age, and women, between fifteen and twenty-five. The law
assigns equal rights and obligations to both partners in a marriage.
Divorce is relatively easy to obtain and no longer carries the social
stigma of former times; the divorce rate in the early 1970s was average
for Eastern Europe.

Despite changing patterns of family life, most observers find that the
cohesive force of the extended family continues to be a factor in
contemporary society. In many cases the cohesiveness is perpetuated or
even strengthened by modern phenomena, such as the chronic housing
shortage and the need for grandparents or other relatives to care for
the children of working mothers. The housing shortage has revived the
traditional system of several generations of a family sharing the same
roof. The pressures of change and the burdens of daily life hold
families together, and the traditional sense of family loyalty also
seems to survive. Members of such extended families assist each other in
finding employment, in gaining admission to special schools, or in
obtaining scarce items of food or clothing.


Before World War II Bulgaria had a basically egalitarian peasant society
with a simple social structure. A rural-urban division was more
significant than class distinctions, which were just beginning to
emerge. The Bulgarian nobility of the Middle Ages had been destroyed
under Turkish rule and was not restored with the return to monarchy; the
small middle class of merchants, industrialists, bureaucrats, and
professionals had come into existence since independence in 1878 and
lacked tradition; an urban working class was just emerging. Few
Bulgarians were more than one or two generations removed from their
peasant ancestors, which gave most people a common background.

The rural-urban differentiation was socially significant in that it
formed what amounted to two social systems with differing values,
controls, and institutions. The rural society focused on the family and
the community; its outlook was parochial. The urban society focused on
commerce, industry, and government; its outlook was national and often
international, and it was subject to continuous influences from abroad.
The two systems, however, were closely interrelated because most urban
dwellers had their roots in the village and because both the economy and
the government depended heavily on the peasant as a supporter and as a

The narrower focus of rural society provided few opportunities for
choice, and custom over the years set a pattern that was accepted as a
matter of course. Social standing depended to a large extent on how well
an individual performed within the established pattern, and the
gradations were very slight. The wider focus of urban society, on the
other hand, offered far greater opportunity for choice and freedom of
action. This made for greater differentiation between individuals than
was possible in the village.

The greater freedom and the opportunity for economic and social
advancement offered by the urban society were most noticeable in the
social contrast between the urban worker and his peasant relatives.
Although most workers had a very low standard of living, they considered
themselves emancipated from the restrictions of rural society and,
therefore, better off. When they returned to the village to visit
relatives, they were looked up to as persons who had enlarged their
horizons and bettered their lot in life.

The social contrast between the educated urban
intelligentsia--white-collar workers and professionals with a secondary
or a higher education--and the peasant was even greater. Some members of
the intelligentsia maintained a romanticized attachment to their village
origins, but most of them tried to build up their own status by
disparaging the rural population. Even the village schoolteacher and
rural physician were seen as unsophisticated country bumpkins, although
they had the same education as their city counterparts.

The urban intelligentsia saw itself and was seen by others as the top
group in society, just below the royal family, which occupied the apex
of the social pyramid. The top level of the intelligentsia, that is, the
leaders in the political, economic, and cultural spheres, became a small
entourage surrounding the king and thereby gained additional prestige
and power. The economic position of most of the intelligentsia, however,
was very precarious because there was an oversupply of graduates for
whom government employment was virtually the only outlet. Those who had
an official position held on to it against all odds. Others, who could
not find employment appropriate to their presumed qualifications, sat
around cafés waiting for openings rather than returning to their home
villages to put their education to use there.

The peasant, for his part, was distrustful of the city and of city ways.
He did not feel inferior--even to the intelligentsia whose education he
greatly admired. The peasant took pride in his land, in his
self-sufficiency, and in his adherence to custom and tradition. He was
conscious of belonging to the large mass of peasantry that shared his
point of view, his way of life, and his strong sense of tradition.
Differences in wealth and economic independence were recognized among
peasant families but did not affect their relationships, which were
basically egalitarian.

The village, town, and city in pre-World War II Bulgaria each had its
somewhat different social structure. Village structure distinguished
between peasants, artisans, and intelligentsia. Innkeepers and
storekeepers were sometimes identified with the artisans but more
frequently with the peasants because they were usually peasants who had
sold their land to engage in commerce. Artisans, on the other hand,
underwent special training to prepare them for their calling. These
special skills and the fact that artisans did not have to toil long
hours in the sun or rain put them in a higher social category than
peasants. The elite group was the village intelligentsia--the teacher,
doctor, priest, mayor, and other officials who had more than an
elementary education. Their prestige derived from their education, and
their power derived from their positions. Through their ties to the
wider world, the village intelligentsia bridged the gap between rural
and urban societies.

The social structure of towns distinguished between artisans, merchants,
and intelligentsia. In the preindustrial Bulgaria of the 1930s, the
artisans and peasants together formed the backbone of the economy. The
guild system of progression from apprentice to masterworkman still
prevailed and fostered social distinctions among the artisan group.
Merchants occupied a higher rung on the social ladder than did artisans,
primarily because they did no manual work to earn a living. The
distinction, however, was not great, and members of the two groups
generally associated with each other. The elite group in town, as in the
village, was the intelligentsia. Because towns were usually government
administrative centers and, often, garrison posts, the intelligentsia
was often quite numerous. It included all the white-collar workers,
professionals, and army officers. The town intelligentsia was a
self-contained group whose members mostly associated only with each
other. Within the group, however, distinction was made on the basis of
education and rank in the government hierarchy.

The city social structure resembled that of the towns but had additional
strata reflecting the wider range of economic activity found in the
city. The most economically and socially disadvantaged were the workers,
including industrial and domestic workers. Just above them were petty
government employees, such as janitors, messengers, and railroad men,
whose standard of living was extremely low but who could look forward to
a secure old age with a government pension and who took pride in being
civil servants. Above these lowest groups were the artisans, shopkeepers
and merchants, and the intelligentsia, as in the social structure of
towns. A few industrialists ranked among the highest because of their
economic power, but even they paid respect to university professors for
their intellect and to higher government officials for the status and
power connected with their offices.

When the Communists took power in 1944 they set out to destroy the old
social system and replace it with one based on Marxist-Leninist
ideology. The period of so-called socialist reconstruction that followed
resulted in a general leveling of social strata through the demotion of
formerly privileged groups and the promotion of formerly underprivileged
groups. Persons of peasant or worker origin received preferential
treatment in the allocation of housing and of other necessities of life
that were in short supply, in the appointment to jobs, and in access to
higher education. At the same time persons of middle-class or upper
class background were deprived of their housing, removed from key jobs,
and denied educational opportunities for their children through a
discriminatory quota system at secondary and higher schools. A policy of
equalization of incomes made little distinction between different levels
of education or skill, thus eliminating material rewards as a basis for
social stratification. The small political and economic elite that had
developed from the peasant society before 1944 was decimated and
replaced by a group of party stalwarts, most of them from lower class or
middle-class background, who rose rapidly to the top positions of
administrative and political power and became the new ruling elite.
Membership in the Bulgarian Communist Party and complete loyalty to the
leadership were the main criteria for occupying any position of

The peasants appreciated some of the material benefits granted by the
new government, such as educational opportunities for their children and
expanded industrial employment that offered new outlets for
underemployed rural youth. As a whole, however, the peasantry bitterly
resented being grouped with workers in the ideological frame of
reference of the new leaders. To the peasant, landless workers who
lacked tradition and security occupied a lower social position than he,
and he saw this grouping together as a debasement of his own status. The
blow to his pride and to his traditional position in society was
complete when collectivization deprived him of his precious land. Were
it not for the private farm plot, which allows the peasant to continue
on a very small scale his cherished way of life and thereby perpetuate
his values, the cooperative peasant would be little more than an
agricultural worker.

In the restructured Bulgarian society the peasantry, encompassing
roughly 30 percent of the population, forms the bottom of the social
pyramid. Although it derives some benefits from the educational, health,
and welfare services instituted by the government, the peasantry is the
forgotten and most disadvantaged segment of the population. Peasants
continue to work hard and long for very meager rewards, and they no
longer have the pride and satisfaction of owning their own land and of
being independent.

The next social stratum, the industrial working class, has been the
object of much glorification by the regime and has benefited most by the
social measures passed since 1944. In terms of their standard of living
and their social status, workers occupy the lowest level of urban
society; however, the educational benefits available to them and the
growing job market offer prospects for betterment and advancement. The
group has grown more rapidly than any other social class as a result of
the crash industrialization program and constitute between 40 and 50
percent of the population, as compared to about 29 percent in the
mid-1950s. Most members of the working class are peasants who have left
the village to find a better life in the growing cities and towns. Some
workers are members of the former middle or upper classes who have been
demoted by the new social order. Many members of the small prewar
working class were propelled upward out of the working class into
managerial and administrative positions of industry.

Within the working class differentiation is made according to education
and skill, which is reflected in income and prestige. Skilled workers
are still in relatively short supply; therefore, they command
considerably higher wages and are likely to receive special housing and
other privileges and inducements from employers. The higher standard of
living that these material advantages can provide and the higher level
of education required to be skilled workers enhance their prestige in
relation to the semiskilled and unskilled workers. Workers in certain
industries, such as mining and heavy industry, are favored regardless of
their level of skill. They benefit from the special status assigned to
these industries in the overall economic plan.

The middle level of contemporary society encompasses all persons in
nonmanual occupations who are not members of the ruling elite. It
includes administrators, managers, professionals, technicians, and all
categories of white-collar personnel. Next to the working class, this
has been the fastest growing social group. As a result, most of its
members are relatively young, and their social origins represent the
entire spectrum of precommunist society. Within the middle class further
differentiation is made in terms of income and prestige between persons
in the upper levels of management and the professions, who have a higher
education and those in the lower levels of technical and white-collar
employment, who have only a secondary education. The group as a whole
probably constitutes almost 20 percent of the population. The relative
size of the upper and lower levels was not known, although the lower
level was probably larger.

At the top of the social pyramid is the small ruling elite composed of
the top leadership of the party, government, security forces, mass
organizations, and the various branches of the economy. The ruling elite
also includes members of the cultural and intellectual elite who, by
virtue of their political loyalty and willingness to serve the regime,
share in the privileges usually reserved to the top leadership. By
lending their talents to the party cause, however, these individuals
often lose some of the prestige and deference traditionally enjoyed by
the intellectual elite. The main criterion for membership in the ruling
elite is power derived from approved ideological orientation and
political manipulation. Most members come from peasant or worker
families and are veterans of the communist movement of the interwar
period. Membership in the ruling elite is accompanied by considerable
insecurity because it is highly dependent on political loyalty and
correct interpretation of ideology. A change in official policy can
deprive a member of his status and of all his privileges.

Since the end of World War II, Bulgarian society has been extremely
mobile. Industrialization and socialization of the economy have created
thousands of new blue- and white-collar jobs. The attendant increase in
educational opportunities has made it possible for individuals to gain
the skill and background required to fill these jobs and, thereby, move
up the social ladder. This mobility has been aided by the government's
determined effort to reshuffle society by improving the social status
and opportunities of the formerly underprivileged groups and by denying
them to the formerly privileged ones. Because education has
traditionally been the main determinant of status, social mobility has
been directed by the state through strict control over educational
opportunities. Preference in admission to higher education has been
given to children of peasants and workers, children of long-standing
party members and children of persons killed in the resistance against
the Germans in World War II (see ch. 6). The political orientation of
the student himself and his membership in mass organizations such as the
youth union are also important factors in determining his admission to
an institution of higher learning.

In the late 1960s there was some evidence that social mobility was
slowing down and that the society was beginning to stabilize into
self-perpetuating social groups. With the slowing of economic growth the
number of job openings in the higher levels has been reduced, and the
intelligentsia can satisfy from its own ranks most of the demand for
professional and managerial personnel. The social mix of students in
higher education in the late 1960s was far from representative of the
population as a whole--only about 39 percent of the students were from
peasant or worker families, although these groups constituted about 78
percent of the population. In spite of all their admission advantages,
children of lower income families have not been able to compete
effectively with those of higher income background. Given education as a
main channel of mobility, disadvantage in educational opportunities
means lower possibility for social advancement. Political loyalty,
however, can still override all other considerations and propel a person
up the social ladder. Membership in the party, therefore, continues to
afford considerable advantage.


Bulgarians are not by nature joiners. Formal organizations were of
little significance in national life before the 1940s. Although a wide
variety of groups existed, mostly in the towns and cities, membership
was generally small and was based on strictly utilitarian
considerations. Individuals joined to derive the benefits provided by
the organization, such as easy credit, professional standing, use of
libraries and other cultural facilities, or use of sports facilities.
Few members were actively involved in the operation or the activities of
the organizations to which they belonged.

Banding together for a common purpose, however, was far from alien to
Bulgarian culture; but social organizations and informal groupings that
emerged from such banding together usually were based on kinship or on
close personal ties. The most important formal traditional organization
was the _zadruga_ (see The Family, this ch.). In a less formal vein,
wool-cording and spinning bees were important features of rural social
life before collectivization. In fact, many agricultural activities,
such as hoeing and harvesting, were undertaken by groups of friends and
relatives who joined together to take turns working on each other's
land. This joining together for the accomplishment of necessary tasks
served an important social, as well as economic, function. While working
together in such groups, individuals exchanged ideas, passed on
information and, thereby, either reinforced each other's traditional
values and mores or helped develop new ones.

The cooperative farm of contemporary Bulgaria tries to derive the same
economic advantages from cooperation as did the traditional work groups.
The traditional groups, however, were based on a voluntary joining
together of friends and relatives, whereas the grouping on the
cooperative farm is forced and impersonal. The spirit of reciprocity,
which was so important in the former work groups, has also been lost on
the cooperative farm, where the peasant works land that, in his eyes,
does not belong to him but to an impersonal entity.

In keeping with communist practice, the government and the Bulgarian
Communist Party have introduced a network of mass organizations designed
to serve specific interest groups. Most prominent among them are the
trade unions, the youth organizations, the women's organizations, and
other member organizations of the Fatherland Front (see ch. 9). Some,
such as sports clubs, discussion groups, and cultural clubs of various
kinds, are organized on community or enterprise bases. Intended to cater
to specific interests of individuals, these groups attempt to attract a
large percentage of the population into formal organizations that can be
used to promote desired norms and values or undertake specific
activities. Major emphasis is placed on collectivism, that is, working
together as a group rather than as individuals. Structurally, the
organizations are usually divided into small groups that are intended to
act as focal social units. These units engage the attention and loyalty
of an individual and then act on his behalf in relation to other social
units or larger institutions, much as the family did in traditional
Bulgarian society. The political purpose of the mass organizations,
however, makes them unattractive to most Bulgarians who have never had
much interest in organizational activities. As a result, membership in
most has been far below desired levels. As was the case with earlier
organizations, Bulgarians join them in order to derive the benefits that
they afford. Membership in a youth organization or in a trade union, for
instance, is often required to gain admission to a school or to obtain a



After a period of austerity during which the population's needs were
neglected in favor of rapid industrialization, the standard of living of
Bulgarians began to improve in the early 1960s as more goods and
services became available. The physical well-being of most of the
population has been improving steadily since the end of World War II.
Morbidity has declined noticeably, and declines in the overall death
rate and in the infant mortality rate have resulted in increased life
expectancy. Electricity and water supplies have become available even in
remote rural areas. In comparison with other Eastern European countries,
however, and particularly in comparison with Western Europe, the
standard of living in Bulgaria in 1973 was low.

Increasing exposure to living conditions in the rest of Europe and
growing incomes of most Bulgarians created pressures to improve their
own quality of life. In December 1972 the country's leadership proposed
an extensive program for improving the standard of living and satisfying
the rising expectations of the population over the next ten years (see
ch. 12). An important element of the program is the elimination of the
continuing disparity in living conditions of the rural and urban

In keeping with the socialist ideology of the state, the population is
entitled to free health care and an extensive system of social benefits.
Although these have greatly benefited the population in terms of their
physical and material well-being, their bureaucratic and inefficient
administration has been a source of considerable frustration and


Death and Morbidity

Life expectancy at birth in the late 1960s was about sixty-nine years
for males and seventy-three for females. This was a 35-percent increase
over pre-World War II figures. Although Bulgarians have had a reputation
for longevity, which has been attributed to their diet, a high infant
mortality rate and a high incidence of morbidity had combined until the
mid-1950s to keep the life expectancy relatively low. Those who survived
to middle age tended to become octogenarians or older; but they were in
a minority. Proportionately, however, there were more older people in
Bulgaria than in most other countries in the world.

The increase in life expectancy since World War II has been brought
about by a drop in the death rate from 12.2 per 1,000 in 1939 to seven
per 1,000 in 1970 for the urban population and from 13.7 per 1,000 in
1939 to 11.4 per 1,000 in 1970 for the rural population. During the same
period, infant mortality dropped from 139 per 1,000 live births to
twenty-seven per 1,000 live births. In the late 1960s the incidence of
infant mortality was 39 percent higher among rural infants than among
urban ones. More than one-half of the deaths of children under one year
of age were the result of pneumonia. The second major cause of infant
mortality was birth trauma, despite the fact that 98 percent of the
births took place in a public health facility under medical supervision.

The three major causes of death in 1970 were diseases of the heart and
circulatory system, which accounted for 252 per 1,000 deaths;
cerebrovascular diseases, which accounted for 206 per 1,000 deaths; and
cancer, which accounted for 146 per 1,000 deaths. A program of
systematic treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, which were
once widespread, has either brought them under control or eradicated
them completely. The law requires that all cases of contagious diseases
be registered with the public health service. In 1971 the greatest
incidence was reported for influenza, mumps, chicken pox, dysentery,
infectious hepatitis, and measles.

The Public Health Service

The public health service, modeled after that of the Soviet Union, is
based on the premise that the state has the responsibility to provide
free health care for the population and that such care should be uniform
and readily available. The health service is financed by the state,
supervised by the Ministry of Public Health, and administered by the
public health departments of the district people's councils. Free health
care is available to all citizens; medicine required for outpatient
treatment, however, must be paid for by the patient.

The cornerstone of the health service is the polyclinic, which provides
general and specialized outpatient aid and consultation. Polyclinics may
be attached to a hospital or may be independent units serving a
designated geographic area. A separate network of polyclinics is
attached to industrial mining, transport, and construction enterprises
to serve their workers. Each polyclinic is divided into departments for
the various specialties in medicine, and each department is staffed by
one or more doctors and auxiliary personnel. Not all polyclinics,
however, have departments for all the major fields of medicine; many
have only sections for internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology,
pediatrics, and surgery. Patients needing consultation or treatment by
other specialists are referred to the nearest hospital.

The health care provided by the polyclinic was under serious attack in
the early 1970s both from the doctors who work there and from the
patients. The main problem seemed to be overburdening and inefficiency
imposed by the system of health care. One polyclinic in Sofia, for
example, was responsible for the health care of 70,000 inhabitants of
its area. Its physicians gave routine examinations to prospective
students and job applicants, certified the legitimacy of claims for sick
leave, and diagnosed and treated all complaints from the common cold to
the most serious illness. During four hours each day, patients were seen
on a first-come-first-served basis, except in emergencies. Waiting rooms
were jammed, and people often waited for hours without seeing a doctor
because the allotted time for office consultations had expired before
their turn came.

Studies have indicated that one physician sees an average of thirty to
forty patients in the four-hour period of office consultations, and then
one-half again as many in a three-hour period of house calls, which
often cover a wide geographic area. The average consultation between
doctor and patient is six minutes, a time much too short for proper
diagnosis. The result has been frequently wrong diagnosis and wrong or
inadequate treatment.

A survey of polyclinic physicians conducted in 1970 revealed that over
50 percent of those surveyed considered the outpatient treatment
provided by the polyclinic to be ineffective. They blamed poor
organization and procedure in handling patients' needs, which resulted
in the inefficient use of physicians' time, overloading of physicians,
and shortage of drugs and equipment needed for complex treatment. More
than two-thirds of the physicians questioned indicated that they would
prefer to practice at a hospital or other medical unit and that they
planned to leave the polyclinic as soon as another opportunity was
available. The physicians recommended that their work schedule and
method of handling patients be revised to make the system more
efficient; that social workers be assigned to polyclinics to handle some
of the patients' social problems that aggravated their medical problems;
that polyclinic doctors be given more specialized training in rapid
diagnosis and other skills required by them and not by hospital
physicians; and that the remuneration of polyclinic physicians be
brought in line with their arduous assignment.

The patient's response to the inadequacy and inefficiency of polyclinic
health care has been to seek out a physician with a private practice and
pay the necessary fee. Approximately one-fourth of the polyclinic
physicians have a private practice during nonduty hours, as do almost
all specialists. By consulting a private physician rather than the free
polyclinic, the patient can choose his own doctor and establish a
personal relationship with him, hoping to develop confidence and receive
more effective treatment.

The outpatient work of the polyclinics is supplemented by a network of
special dispensaries that provide long-term care for persons suffering
from tuberculosis, venereal disease, tumors and psychoneurotic
disturbances. The sixty-one dispensaries in 1971 also had a total of
3,670 beds for inpatient care.

A network of hospitals provides inpatient treatment and specialized
diagnostic and clinical facilities. All hospitals are also teaching
centers for physicians, nurses, and auxiliary medical personnel. In 1971
there were 195 hospitals throughout the country, at least one in each
district. Certain districts, however, were inadequately equipped with
hospital facilities. The total number of beds was 57,053, or 7.6 beds
per 1,000 inhabitants. One hundred and fifty-four of the hospitals, with
a total of 47,839 beds, were general hospitals. There were also fifteen
special tuberculosis hospitals and fifteen psychoneurological hospitals
with a total of slightly over 3,000 beds in each category; five
pediatric hospitals with a total of 480 beds; four obstetric and
gynecological hospitals with a total of 740 beds; one hospital for
infectious diseases; and one for orthopedic and plastic surgery. In
addition to these district-supported hospitals, the central government
operated six hospitals with a total bed capacity of 1,036 in connection
with the special medical research institutes. Extended care and physical
therapy for patients suffering from chronic ailments were offered by 182
sanatoriums and health spas with a total bed capacity of 16,104.

The Sixth Five-Year Plan (1971-75) envisages increasing the number of
hospital beds to 8.4 per 1,000 inhabitants and focusing on those areas
of the country that are underserved. An increase in operating funds for
the hospitals is to be channeled mostly into improving plant and
equipment. Although most hospitals suffer from poor or outmoded plant
and equipment, they also suffer seriously from a shortage of staff,
particularly of nurses and auxiliary medical personnel. The plan states
specifically that alleviation of that shortage will have to be delayed.

In 1971 the country had a total of 16,183 physicians, 1.9 for every
1,000 inhabitants. The number of physicians had more than doubled in the
twenty years since 1952; most of them, therefore, were between the ages
of twenty-five and forty-five. The number of other medical personnel had
expanded along the same lines. In 1971 there were 2,464 pharmacists;
26,381 nurses; 6,016 midwives; and 5,012 feldshers. Feldshers are
paramedics trained to perform a variety of medical functions, including
simple surgery, in the absence of a fully qualified physician. Many
rural health centers are in the charge of feldshers and receive periodic
visits from specialized physicians.

Physicians and auxiliary medical personnel are all employed by the state
in the national health service. They are classed as nonproductive
workers, therefore their salary scales are lower than those for
productive workers. This has been causing a great deal of
dissatisfaction and is the principal reason for the serious shortage of
medical personnel. One Bulgarian newspaper in 1971 reported the case of
a hospital administrator trying to recruit women streetcleaners to fill
the many vacancies for nurses and aides in the hospital. The
streetcleaners refused because their wages and working conditions were
better than those for the more highly skilled positions in the hospital.


Cost of Living

Incomes and retail prices are controlled by the government and set in
accordance with the overall economic plan. The cost of living,
therefore, is also controlled and has been relatively stable. Several
increases in the minimum wage during the 1960s were paralleled by price
increases for some of the essential commodities and services. In 1973
the minimum monthly wage was raised to 80 leva per month (for value of
the lev--see Glossary), and basic wages for the lowest categories of
workers and employees were also raised to bring them into line with
wages in comparable kinds of work. At the same time, prices of certain
foods were reduced, whereas prices of some other essential goods were

Although the incomes of most Bulgarians have generally kept pace with
the rise in the cost of living, a chronic scarcity of consumer goods and
services and periodic food shortages have forced a comparatively low
standard of living on the population. As in other communist countries,
the consumer industry has been neglected in favor of other branches of
the economy. Even after the government began to place greater emphasis
on the production of consumer goods in the 1960s, rising demand
outstripped production capabilities. Even the basic needs of the
population often could not be met because of poor planning or the
inflexibility of the central planning system, which does not react
effectively to changing market conditions. It is not uncommon to have
excessive inventories of certain sizes of clothing or footwear while
other sizes are in short supply. Retail outlets are either unwilling or
unable to replenish their supplies of missing sizes until the overall
stock of the item is almost depleted, regardless of consumer demand.

The government has for some time indicated concern over the low standard
of living in Bulgaria as compared with other Eastern European countries.
One of the aims of the Sixth Five-Year Plan is to increase production of
consumer goods and meet the needs and rising demands of the population.
Limited production capacity, however, and shortages of certain raw
materials will seriously restrict the extent of possible improvements.

In December 1972 the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party
held a special plenum on improving the standard of living of the people.
This unprecedented move showed the importance that the leadership was
attaching to this subject. In an extensive report to the plenum, party
chief Todor Zhivkov presented a far-reaching program of steps to be
taken, starting in 1973, to improve the standard of living. To implement
the decisions of the plenum over the long run, the Commission on the
Living Standard was established under prominent Bulgarian Communist
Party (BKP--see Glossary) leadership.

As envisaged by the plenum, the standard of living will be raised by
pursuing a three-pronged policy: gradually increasing wages; keeping
prices stable; and making available an adequate supply of consumer goods
and services, including luxury goods and services to satisfy the demand
of those who are willing to pay the higher price. In the past, luxury
goods and services have been considered superfluous and undesirable in
an egalitarian socialist country. Higher incomes and exposure to the
living standards in other Eastern European and Western European
countries, however, have created pressure for more than just the
satisfaction of basic needs. According to some government officials,
Bulgarians are no longer satisfied with just any washing machine or
electric appliance; they want the latest automatic model and are willing
to pay for it.

In the program for increasing wages, special attention will be paid to
narrowing the gap between incomes of cooperative peasants and those of
workers. In the mid-1950s a cooperative peasant's income was only 60
percent of a worker's income. By 1971 the peasant's income had increased
to 85 percent of that of a worker, but this amount was still considered
too low by the government. To accelerate the growth of peasants'
incomes, a nontaxable minimum income was to be introduced in 1973, and
the same system of income tax was to cover both peasants and workers.
The system of remuneration on cooperative farms was to be made the same
as that on state farms, where agricultural workers are classed as
workers, not as farmers. Fringe benefits, such as pensions and
supplements for children, were also to be brought into line with those
of workers by 1975.


According to official figures, consumption has grown steadily since the
early 1960s, in spite of continued shortages of some goods. As incomes
rose and consumer goods and services became more readily available, a
greater percentage of household budgets was being spent on them. All
segments of the population spent a greater share of their income in 1971
on household equipment and on cultural and educational pursuits, which
included such durable goods as household appliances and radios and
television sets, than they did in 1962. Changes in proportionate
expenditures for other nonessentials during the 1960s reflected the
income differences and taste preferences of the different social
categories as well as their rural or urban residence.

The largest share of consumer expenditures in 1971 went for food,
ranging from 42.5 percent of total expenditures for peasants to 38.8
percent of total expenditures for white-collar workers (see table 3).
In calculating expenditures for food, the value of food production for
personal consumption was included. The relative share of expenditures on
food has been dropping since 1962. At the same time, the quality of the
diet for all population groups has improved.

_Table 3. Bulgaria, Percentage Distribution of Household Expenditures by
Population Group, 1962 and 1971_

                      | Blue Collar   | White Collar  | Co-op Farm Member
 Item                 +-------+-------+-------+-------+---------+---------
                      | 1962  | 1971  | 1962  | 1971  |  1962   |  1971
 Food                 |  46.0 |  42.3 |  44.6 |  38.8 |   46.3  |   42.5
 Alcoholic beverages  |   2.9 |   3.4 |   2.1 |   2.1 |    6.3  |    5.1
 Tobacco              |   2.3 |   1.7 |   1.9 |   1.5 |    1.3  |    1.3
 Clothing             |  13.6 |  11.4 |  14.7 |  11.3 |   13.6  |   10.3
 Housing              |   9.9 |   8.7 |   7.9 |  11.4 |    9.6  |    8.8
 Household furnishings|   3.5 |   5.3 |   4.0 |   5.3 |    4.0  |    5.0
 Culture and          |       |       |       |       |         |
   entertainment      |   4.3 |   5.3 |   6.0 |   7.8 |    2.8  |    5.4
 Health and hygiene   |   1.2 |   1.8 |   1.6 |   2.3 |    1.0  |    1.7
 Communication and    |       |       |       |       |         |
   transportation     |   2.7 |   2.8 |   3.3 |   3.4 |    1.5  |    1.7
 Taxes and fees       |   5.4 |   6.2 |   6.2 |   7.0 |    1.3  |    2.0
 Other                |   8.2 |  11.1 |   7.7 |   9.1 |   12.3  |   16.2
                      |       |       |       |       |         |
 TOTAL                | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 | 100.0 |  100.0  |  100.0
 Source: Adapted from _Statistical Yearbook, 1972_, Sofia, 1972, p. 412.

Relative expenditures on clothing were roughly the same for all
population groups, although peasants spent a somewhat smaller proportion
of their budget than families influenced by urban life-styles. The share
of the budget spent on clothing has dropped since 1962.

The relative share of expenditures for housing went down between 1962
and 1971 for the two lower income groups, who spent almost the same
proportion of their budget for that purpose. The higher income
white-collar group, however, spent over 3 percent more on housing in
1971 than it did in 1962. This group has been investing in its own
private housing rather than living in state- or industry-supplied
housing. Expenditures for household furnishings and equipment were
approximately the same for all segments of the population in 1971. They
occupied a greater share of the household budget than in 1962,
particularly among blue-collar workers.

In addition to devoting a considerably higher portion of their budget to
housing than other social groups, white-collar workers also devote more
of their budget to culture and entertainment and to health and hygiene.
This is clearly a reflection of more sophisticated tastes and a higher
standard of living. The life-style of this group includes regular
attendance at the theater, operas, and concerts; the purchase of books
and records; and a higher education for their children. This, also, is
the group that prefers to consult a private physician, who sets his own
rates, rather than to use the free public clinic.

Relative expenditures for communication and transportation services have
remained stable over the years. They vary by population group, consuming
a greater portion of the budget as one rises on the social ladder. The
proportionately higher expenditures of blue- and white-collar workers
are probably due to the expense of commuting to and from a job. The even
higher share of such expenditures in the budgets of white-collar workers
is attributable to private telephones and travel.

The greatest variation in consumption patterns between the different
population groups is evident in the proportion of expenditures devoted
to other than the enumerated categories. Although there is no indication
in the statistical material as to what kind of expenditures are
included, this entry must certainly include expenses incurred in the
cultivation of private plots and the raising of animals in the private
sector for domestic consumption and expenses incurred in providing
private services. Therefore, these expenditures take a high share of the
total expenditures of peasants and workers.

Despite expanding consumption, neither the government nor the population
is satisfied with the supply and quality of the goods and services
available. Some items, such as meat, housewares, furniture, building
materials, and various kinds of clothing and knitwear, are in chronic
short supply. Other items, such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy
products, are subject to periodic shortages. In addition, the quality
and selection of many goods do not meet the desired levels. An official
document published in 1972 decried the common practice of producing
high-quality goods for export and lower quality goods for the domestic
market. The same document also called for changing export priorities so
that the domestic needs could be met before scarce goods were exported.

Another factor limiting the satisfaction of demands for goods and
services has been the small size and inefficiency of the domestic trade
network and of the service industry. Retail outlets are state owned and
have received very low priority in the allocation of funds. As a result,
they are too few in number and are seriously understaffed, making
shopping a time-consuming and frustrating activity. Stores are reluctant
to stock new styles in response to consumer demands until their old
stocks have been almost completely depleted. High-quality and specialty
items are usually available only from private craftsmen at very high

Private craftsmen and artisans provide virtually the only service
network in the country. The service sector of the economy has been
considered as nonessential and therefore has been neglected by the state
(see ch. 12). In order to fill the gap thus created, the government
started in the mid-1960s to encourage private individuals to provide
the needed services. Many of these people are regularly employed
artisans and craftsmen in industry who provide specialized services
during their spare time. Others are pensioners or unemployed. Because
they are in great demand, they can set their own prices, and many are in
the highest income groups. The government has attempted to keep their
earnings under control through taxes and has restricted their activities
by other administrative measures, but it has made no effort to eliminate
their services.

In the report issued by the special plenum on living conditions held by
the Central Committee in December 1972, a comparison was made of actual
consumption in 1970, desired consumption levels during the next decade,
and consumption standards developed by government scientific institutes.
In most cases the actual levels were far below the standards (see table

_Table 4. Bulgaria, Actual and Desired Annual Consumption Levels_

                  |                    |         Consumption Levels
                  |                    |--------+---------------+----------
                  |                    |        |     Desired   |
       Item       |       Measure      | Actual |-------+-------+Scientific
                  |                    |  1970  | 1975  | 1980  |  Norms*
 Meat and meat    |                    |        |       |       |
   products       | pounds per capita  |   91.3 | 121.3 | 165.4 |   176.4
 Fish             |         do         |   12.1 |  17.6 |  22.0 |    22.0
 Milk and milk    |                    |        |       |       |
   products       |         do         |  335.4 | 432.2 | 551.3 |   573.3
 Vegetable oils   |         do         |   27.6 |  30.6 |  30.9 |    28.7
 Flour and flour  |                    |        |       |       |
   products       |         do         |  376.1 | 401.3 | 330.7 |   221.0
 Sugar            |         do         |   72.5 |  81.6 |  79.4 |    70.6
 Vegetables       |         do         |  196.0 | 299.9 | 352.8 |   396.9
 Fruits           |         do         |  326.8 | 394.7 | 442.0 |   442.0
 Eggs             | number per capita  |  122.0 | 159.0 | 250.0 |   265.0
 Cotton fabrics   | feet per capita    |   72.8 |  81.0 | 108.2 |   118.0
 Wool fabrics     |         do         |   12.5 |  15.4 |  19.7 |    23.0
 Shoes            | pairs per capita   |    1.7 |   2.1 |   3.0 |     4.0
 Radio sets       | per 100 households |  100.8 | 104.0 | 110.0 |   130.0
 Television sets  |         do         |   42.0 |  53.0 |  80.0 |   105.0
 Telephones       |         do         |    7.0 |   9.6 |  10.0 |    50.0
 Washing machines |         do         |   50.0 |  50.0 |  60.0 |    70.0
 Refrigerators    |         do         |   29.0 |  59.0 |  90.0 |   100.0
 Automobiles      |         do         |    6.0 |  13.5 |  30.0 |    40.0
 * As determined by research institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of
 Source: Adapted from U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Technical
 Services, Joint Publications Research Service--JPRS (Washington),
 _Translations on Eastern Europe: Political, Sociological, and Military
 Affairs_, "Statistics on Rising Living Standard Given," (JPRS 58,480,
 No. 851, 1973).


In common with other Eastern European countries, Bulgaria has suffered a
serious urban housing shortage since World War II, although large
reserves have existed in rural housing. Great numbers of workers have
left the villages over the years to find employment in the rapidly
expanding industrial centers, but housing construction has not kept pace
with this migration. During the early years of communist rule, priority
in the allocation of scarce building materials and funds was given to
the building of new plants and other industrial installations rather
than to new housing. In the 1960s only between 3 and 6 percent of the
gross national income was invested in housing construction as compared
with 20 percent or more in most Western European countries. Bulgaria has
had the lowest housing investment among the communist countries of
Eastern Europe.

In 1970 the Politburo and the Council of Ministers adopted a special
program for the solution of the housing problem within the next ten to
fifteen years. The program stated that the aim of the BKP was to enable
every family to have its own apartment, and every member of the family
his own room. In 1972 there were some 250,000 more urban families than
there were housing units.

Aggravating the housing shortage in the early 1970s was an accelerating
deterioration of old buildings. Money and materials for maintenance of
existing structures have been even scarcer than for new buildings. In
addition, many of the postwar apartment buildings were put up hastily,
using inferior materials and workmanship, and soon turned into crumbling

In order to spur housing construction without imposing too great a
burden on the state budget, the government was forced to abandon its
intention of providing low-rent housing for everyone. Instead, it has
encouraged the population to invest in its own housing. As a result,
special savings accounts for the purchase of private housing have grown
at a more rapid rate than regular savings accounts. During the 1968-70
period approximately one-third of the new housing units made available
were financed entirely by state funds, another one-third were financed
entirely by private funds, and the last one-third were financed by
private funds with the aid of loans from state sources. State
enterprises are instructed to grant their employees interest-free,
fifteen-year mortgages for the purchase of an apartment or house. Up to
4,000 leva can be borrowed for this purpose in urban areas and up to
3,000 leva in rural areas. This, however, covers less than one-half of
the cost of a two-room apartment.

Although the increasing reliance on tenant-financed housing is helping
to reduce the overall housing shortage, it has meant that most new
housing units are built for the higher income groups. Cooperative
apartments and private houses require a substantial initial investment
and the assumption of a mortgage, which are beyond the means of most
blue-collar and low-income white-collar workers. These groups continue
to rely on state-financed or industry-financed low-rent housing, which
usually has long waiting lists of prospective tenants. In order to free
more of the low-rent housing for those who cannot pay for a private
home, persons owning a second home or intending to build one are being
asked to vacate their state-supplied housing.

In 1973 the per capita area of usable housing space was 124 square feet.
New dwelling units constructed under the Sixth Five-Year Plan were to
have an average of 857 square feet each; those constructed during the
following Seventh Five-Year Plan (1976-80) will have an average of 911
square feet each. Inasmuch as possible, all new housing units
constructed before 1975 will be equipped with running water,
electricity, sewage disposal facilities, and central heat. After 1976
such amenities will be mandatory. In the mid-1960s, the latest date
available, 30.7 percent of all housing units had running water, 94.7
percent had electricity, 32.7 percent had sewage disposal facilities,
and 1.5 percent had central heat. The availability of these amenities in
housing units varied a great deal among the different social groups of
the population (see table 5).

_Table 5. Bulgaria, Percentage of Housing Units Equipped with Various
Amenities, December 1965_

                       |         |             |   Sewage   |
                       | Running |             |  Disposal  | Central
                       |  Water  | Electricity | Facilities |   Heat
 _Households_:         |         |             |            |
   Blue collar         |   29.0  |     95.2    |    32.7    |   0.8
   White collar        |   72.6  |     99.3    |    73.0    |   4.9
   Cooperative farm    |    6.5  |     91.6    |     7.2    |   0.0
   Cooperative artisan |   37.1  |     98.4    |    40.2    |   0.2
   Other               |   54.0  |     96.5    |    56.7    |   2.9
                       |         |             |            |
     ALL HOUSING       |   30.7  |     94.7    |    32.7    |   1.4
 Source: Adapted from U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Technical
 Services, Joint Publications Research Service--JPRS (Washington),
 _Translations on Eastern Europe: Political, Sociological, and Military
 Affairs_, "Aspects of Standard of Living Analyzed," (JPRS 48,717, No.
 126, 1969).


In addition to receiving free medical care, all citizens are entitled to
a variety of social benefits, including sickness and disability pay,
pensions, maternity benefits, and family allowances. Most of these are
administered by the trade unions, but pensions are under the
jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance. They are financed by the
central government and by contributions from the employers based on a
percentage of gross salaries and wages paid.

All workers are entitled to paid sick leave after three months' service.
In the case of accidents at work, there is no waiting period. Lump-sum
compensation for temporary disablement because of an accident at work
ranges in amount, depending on severity of injury and length of
service. During the period of disablement, the worker is entitled to
benefits ranging from 30 to 100 percent of his wage, depending on the
severity of the disablement and on his income. Prolonged or permanent
disability entitles the worker to a pension.

Old-age pensions are based on the years of service and kind of work
performed. The pensionable age is fifty-five for women and sixty for
men, but earlier retirement is possible for certain categories of work.
Pension payments range from 55 to 80 percent of wages based on a scale
covering the last five years of employment or, in some cases, three out
of the last five years. Higher rates are paid for work years past the
usual retirement age. Pensions are payable to dependents after the death
of the pensioner. Dependents also receive life insurance payments.
Cooperative farm members are entitled to pensions after twenty years of
work for women and twenty-five years of work for men provided they
worked 100 to 135 days each year. In 1972 it was suggested that 200 to
250 days of work per year should be required for pensions in exchange
for higher pension payments to cooperative farm members.

Pensions are collectible even if a person continues working. This system
was criticized by Zhivkov in late 1972. He suggested that persons who
continued to work after being eligible for a pension should be
encouraged to do so without drawing a pension but should, instead,
accumulate additional increments to their pension for each year worked.

In addition to old-age pensions there are pensions for special merit
payable to persons who have made an exceptional contribution to national
life and national pensions payable to fighters against fascism and
capitalism. All minimum pension payments were increased in 1972.

Under new provisions announced in March 1973, employed women will be
entitled to four months of fully paid maternity leave and six months of
leave at minimum wages for the first child; five and seven months,
respectively, for the second child; six and eight months for the third
child; and four and six months for each subsequent child. Mothers who
are students or who do not work for some valid reason will receive
minimum wages for corresponding periods. Mothers of children under the
age of ten are entitled to special annual leave. All mothers receive a
cash payment at the birth of a child; the payments are sharply
differentiated to encourage larger families. In early 1973 the payments
were 20 leva for the first child, 200 leva for the second child, and 500
leva for the third child. It was planned, however to raise these
payments to 100 leva, 250 leva, and 500 leva, respectively.

Another inducement for larger families is a system of monthly family
allowance payments for children up to the age of sixteen or until they
complete secondary school. Allowances are payable to all families
regardless of whether or not the parents work. A variety of other social
assistance benefits are available to indigents, persons disabled from
childhood, orphans, and the aged with no income.


In 1973 the country was in the process of shifting from a
forty-six-hour, six-day workweek to a 42.5-hour, five-day workweek. The
transition was being carried out district by district according to a set
schedule. It was to be completed by 1975. Persons working in
agriculture, education, and the health service, however, were to
continue to work their forty-six hour workweek, except where the actual
work involved was adaptable to a reduced workweek.

The reduction in working hours had been a much debated subject for
several years. It was first promised by the government in 1968, but its
implementation has been slow because it is predicated on the same level
of productivity and output by each enterprise as before implementation.
Pressure for reduced working hours has been strong because most
Bulgarians have very little time for genuine leisure in their daily

The lack of time for genuine leisure is the result not only of long
working hours but also of an inadequate trade and service network, a
shortage of time-saving household equipment, and an excessive
bureaucracy. All the daily chores, such as housekeeping, shopping, and
attending to other personal or family matters, are time consuming and
cumbersome. Studies have shown that all persons over the age of six
devote an average of four hours out of every twenty-four to housework
alone. The national leadership feels this is excessive and has proposed
measures to develop the service sector.

The favorite leisure-time activity of young and old, urban and rural
Bulgarians is to get together with friends for informal socializing. Men
congregate at the neighborhood tavern or their favorite café to drink
plum brandy or wine, play cards, and talk about the latest news. Women
gather to gossip at each other's homes, at the village pump, or at the
neighborhood playground or park. The evening promenade is an important
diversion for all ages and social groups. Walking back and forth at some
designated public thoroughfare in small groups of friends or relatives,
people greet each other and exchange pleasantries.

Sports are a major form of recreation for young people. Soccer is the
national sport, and the matches of major teams are followed with great
interest. Hiking and picnic excursions are popular among city dwellers
who like to get out into the country to enjoy the beauty and
tranquillity of nature. In towns and cities, the theater, operas,
concerts, and other cultural activities are popular leisure-time
diversions. The cinema is extremely popular in both town and village,
although increasing television viewing has been reducing cinema

In addition to sports, young people spend much of their leisure time
listening to popular music and also dancing. In fact, they are
periodically reprimanded by the BKP leadership for spending too much of
their time in leisure activities and not enough in socially useful



The educational system in Bulgaria, as in the Balkans generally, began
to develop in a real sense only in the nineteenth century, principally
because Bulgaria had been under Turkish rule for 500 years. As education
was of little concern to the Turks and an educated Bulgarian population
would only represent a threat to their regime, the advancement of a
formal educational system was either openly repressed or neglected by
the Turks. As a result, the literacy rate in Bulgaria was one of the
lowest in Europe at the time of liberation in 1878. During the six
decades between liberation and World War II, the educational system had
made great progress in providing basic education to young people, but
there remained a hard core of illiterates in the adult population. After
the Communists took over in 1944, a massive drive in adult education
virtually eliminated the problem of illiteracy within a decade.

The educational system under the Communists was essentially patterned on
that of the Soviet Union, and the desire on the part of Bulgarian
authorities to stay within that pattern brought about a general
cautiousness as they restructured the system to make it coincide with
the newly imposed ideology. Although educational reforms have been
enacted with great frequency, they have often dealt with matters of form
rather than of substance. The basic adherence to Soviet guidelines has
remained intact throughout the years of communist rule.

As in most Eastern European countries, the major objectives of the
Bulgarian educational system have been premised on both ideological
issues and the demands of the national economy. One of the primary goals
of the system--both stated and implicit--is the production of the ideal
communist citizen who will work for the realization of "socialist
construction" and the betterment of the socialist society. A second
major premise of the system is that the demands of the economy must be
met; this goal is to be achieved by educating skilled personnel to fill
the specific needs of its various sectors. Because of the trend toward
industrialization that obtains in all communist countries, a corollary
policy is that the study of science and technology must be emphasized
over the study of the humanities.

According to established principles, therefore, certain policies are
carried out in the process of education. People of worker or peasant
origin, who the Communists perceive as having been deprived of their
basic rights to an education in the past, are allowed to enter the
higher levels of the educational system without the usual prerequisite
examination if the necessary places are available. They generally
represent between 30 and 40 percent of the total higher education
population as compared with 80 percent of the population as a whole.

Certain communist principles form the backbone of the curriculum. Work
is perceived to be an integral part of education as are directed
extracurricular activities, and a sizable percentage of formal education
is allotted for practical and vocational training. Religious education,
which was a legacy from the past, has been dismissed as superstitious
and archaic, and virtually all religious schools have been banned. The
curriculum from the earliest years of schooling to the upper levels of
higher education is filled with such courses as Marxism-Leninism, the
history of the communist party of the Soviet Union, and the history of
the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP--see Glossary).

Under the many and varied educational reforms legislated under the
Communists, the pendulum has swung between relative emphasis on science
and technology on the one hand and the humanities on the other. Although
overall emphasis has always been on the sciences, that emphasis has
increased and decreased at various times since the communist takeover.
Between 1944 and 1948, for example, there was little overall emphasis on
technology in the curriculum. Between 1948 and 1967, however, these
subjects were emphasized to a large degree. Beginning in 1967 some
weight was again placed on the humanities. As of 1973 there had been
some manifestation of rededication to technology and science, but the
latest proposed reform regarding secondary education represented a
desire on the part of the government to fuse general education--which of
course includes the humanities--and specialized training into one

In mid-1973 problems inherent in the educational system of Bulgaria
continued to exist. One of the most serious was the inadequacy of funds
for education generally but particularly for higher education where the
need was the greatest. Another problem was that of overcrowding.
Although there was virtually no problem of teacher shortage, there were
far too many students in proportion to the number of schools. A third
problem lay in the area of foreign student exchange where relatively few
foreign students studied in Bulgarian universities and institutes and
few Bulgarian students were allowed to study abroad. Another problem on
the higher educational level was the discrepancy between students'
preference regarding their fields of specialization and government
dictates in this area. Although many students at the university level
were interested in the arts and social sciences, the government, feeling
the weight of the economy's demands, very often preempted their choices
and allocated many more places to the sciences than to the arts. The
most serious problem, however, in terms of higher education, was that
owing to a shortage of places at the university level only 20 percent of
the secondary students who applied for admission were accepted. This
shortage of places in higher education, coupled with the fact that
extremely few Bulgarian students were permitted to study abroad, meant
that a large proportion of potential students capable of serious work
were turned away from higher education altogether.


Until the late eighteenth century education made virtually no progress
in the country. Although schools did exist during the period of Turkish
rule, the Turks had no interest in furthering education among their
subjects, except insofar as it would benefit themselves. From the
fourteenth through the seventeenth centuries education remained at a
standstill. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Turks
allowed the Greek Orthodox Church to become predominant among Christians
in the area, and an intense hellenization campaign ensued with the
seeming purpose of assimilating the Bulgarians as a people into the
Greek society that surrounded them. The campaign, which was particularly
virulent in the 1750s, was successful in the schools, and the Bulgarian
language and customs were supplanted by those of the Greek.

By the late eighteenth century, however, a national revival grew in
force, stimulated in large part by Father Paisi, a monk who wrote the
first Bulgarian history, _The Slav-Bulgarian History_. This work and
Father Paisi's teachings provided an incentive for the development of
education in the country. From 1762 until liberation from Turkish rule
in 1878, education made great strides. As the churches began to throw
off the domination of the Greek Orthodox Church, more church schools
staffed by monks and priests were established within the Bulgarian
Orthodox Church framework.

Although the Greek educational system still predominated in the early
part of the nineteenth century, complemented by a rising move toward the
establishment of Bulgarian Orthodox Church schools, a movement toward
secular education was initiated at this time. Secular subjects were
introduced in the church schools, and communal schools were established.
By 1834 the first primer in Bulgarian was written, based on a western
European model, which established the basis for secondary education. In
1835 a wealthy merchant founded the first Bulgarian high school, and
within the next ten years some fifty schools had been established.

At the time of liberation, however, over 90 percent of the population
over school age was still illiterate. Only a small proportion--some 30
percent--of school-age children, those from seven to fourteen years of
age, were actually attending schools. After the Turnovo Constitution
(1879), however, which was enacted shortly after liberation, the
educational system was revitalized (see ch. 8). Elementary education
was made both free and compulsory. The state, the monarchy, and private
individuals contributed to the goal of making education as nearly
universal as possible.

In 1879 the three-year compulsory elementary school was introduced. By
1880 the period of compulsory education had been extended to four years.
In 1888 the University of Sofia was founded. The university initially
had seven faculties: history and philosophy; physics and mathematics;
law; medicine; agronomy; theology; and veterinary medicine.

In 1910 the school system, which covered a twelve-year period, consisted
of a four-year elementary school for children aged seven to eleven, a
three-year _progymnasium_ for children from eleven to fourteen, and a
five-year gymnasium for children from fourteen to eighteen. This system
continued with only slight modification until the Communists took over
in 1944. Also by 1910 both professional and vocational schools had been
established providing a relatively high quality of education in such
fields as agriculture, engineering, theology, commerce, art, and music.
Although there were many students of higher education at the University
of Sofia, about 10,000 students annually attended foreign universities,
principally in Austria and Germany.

By the end of World War I, many villages that had more than twenty
families had their own primary school. Larger settlements in more urban
areas often had their own _progymnasia_ and gymnasiums. In towns that
had 20,000 or more citizens, there were kindergartens for children from
three to seven years of age. Both religious and linguistic minorities
had their own schools, which functioned within the public school system.
Foreign schools coexisted with the public school system. Although the
curricula of the foreign schools were similar to those of the public
secondary schools, subjects were taught in western European languages,
forming a link between Bulgaria and the West.

By 1921 a three-tiered system of education--consisting of the four-year
elementary school, the three-year _progymnasium_, and the five-year
gymnasium--became officially compulsory in the first two stages. Many
children failed to attend school, however, and many villages, despite
the official policy, were without school facilities. The entire
educational system was controlled by the government through the Ministry
of Public Education, which regulated the contents of texts and courses
and the administration of exams. The model for the educational system
was essentially European, with a particularly strong emphasis on German
and Russian patterns.

In 1921 the Law of Public Instruction brought an increase in emphasis on
vocational training. Orders were issued to bring about a transition to
"vocational education and respect for labor." Eventually, schoolchildren
were forced to spend two weeks of their studies in "compulsory labor,"
a concept that was the precursor of the Bulgarian communist philosophy
of the integration of work with education. During this period the
students worked in such projects as cleaning school facilities, binding
texts, and cultivating school gardens.

In 1934 a so-called modern school was established to give the student an
alternative to the academically and socially elitist gymnasium, but
there were still a number of deficiencies in the Bulgarian educational
system. The literacy rate had greatly increased, but between 20 and 30
percent of the population was still illiterate. Although schooling was
officially compulsory, it was in fact inaccessible in smaller villages,
and many school-age children were not able to attend. Humanities were
emphasized to the virtual exclusion of technical-vocational subjects,
which were developed to only a very slight degree. Only one of five
secondary students studied technical subjects. Adult education was
virtually nonexistent.

In 1937 there were eight institutions of higher education in addition to
the University of Sofia, the country's leading educational facility. Six
of these--the Free University, the Academy of Art, the Academy of Music,
the Military Academy, the Theological Seminary, and the School of
Physical Education--were also located in Sofia. The remaining two were
business schools located in Varna and Svishtov. A large number of
Bulgarian students also chose to continue their education abroad. One of
the major problems at the time concerned the absorption of graduates
into the various fields for which they were eligible. The country was
still predominantly agricultural, and there were simply too few
positions available for the annual influx of graduates, a situation that
caused alienation and disaffection.


When the Communists came to power in 1944 they were determined to change
the system of education in Bulgaria. Not only did they seek to eradicate
certain elements--such as religion and social elitism--from the
educational system, but they also were determined to make education
universal and, insofar as possible, to create an entirely literate
society. As the educational system developed under communist tutelage,
however, governmental statements on the subject displayed an increasing
tendency to link the system with ideology and principles to the point
where the ultimate goal was the creation of the ideal Communist.

When the 1947 Constitution was formulated, it established universality
and state control over the school system as the two main policies of
education. It stated: "Every citizen has the right to education.
Education is secular, democratic and progressive in spirit. Ethnic
minorities have the right to instruction in their mother tongue; they
also have the right to develop their national culture, although study of
the Bulgarian language is compulsory.... Schools belong to the State.
Private schools can be established only by the passage of a law; such
schools are placed under State control...."

Statements in subsequent constitutions indicated an increased emphasis
on the socialist content of education and its close ties with the Soviet
model on which it was based. In 1949 the government issued a statement
declaring that education would be "in the spirit of socialism,
proletarian internationalism, and indissoluble brotherly friendship with
the Soviet Union." Two years later the government stated that "the
people's school is a powerful weapon in the hands of the Communist Party
and the people's democratic state for education and Communist
indoctrination of the people." In the present-day period both Todor
Zhivkov, who is the first secretary of the party, and the minister of
national education (formerly known as the minister of public education)
have reinforced the purpose and function of education in a socialist
society. In 1966 the minister of national education stated: "The work of
the school, its major and minor tasks--everything for which it
exists--must be subordinated to its fundamental objective: training and
educating the new man of communist society."

Certain distinctive principles form the basis for communist policies of
education in Bulgaria. Chief among these is the close patterning of the
system on the Soviet model. For this reason Bulgaria tends to be
somewhat cautious in its approach to education and reluctant to make
sweeping reforms unless the Soviets provide a model for change.

The principle of a universally accessible system of education has top
priority, and in fact the near-universal nature of education in Bulgaria
has brought about almost complete literacy. Whereas before 1944 many
Bulgarians had never attended school, in mid-1973 almost every Bulgarian
was able to attend some form of school. In some areas of the educational
system, particularly in institutions of higher education, the number of
students has increased as much as eightfold.

Another principle of communist education in Bulgaria is the concept of
socially useful work, which must be performed by all students at all
levels of education. The principle of work in education is initiated at
the very lowest levels of the system; it progresses into increasingly
longer periods as the student advances in the school system. In the
higher grades, students work for significant periods of time in
agriculture, industry, and construction. In the higher levels of
education the student must sign a document that obligates him to accept
a working assignment, which should be related to his field of
specialization, for a period of three to five years.

Another facet of the system is the eradication of old values and their
replacement with new socialist values (see ch. 4). One of the first
tasks of Bulgarian educators was to eliminate religious teachings and
practices in the schools. Religion, as a subject, was eliminated in the
early years as was the history of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
Students are taught that atheism is both reasonable and scientific;
religion is dismissed as a relic of a superstitious and undesirable
past. By the same token, students are indoctrinated strongly by
teachers, directors of extracurricular activities, and colleagues to
revere and swear allegiance to the government.

Another guiding principle of the educational system in Bulgaria, which
was initiated at the time of the takeover and still obtained to some
degree in 1973, is the concept that sons and daughters of the worker and
peasant classes should be favored in terms of their preference of access
to education, particularly at the higher levels. This policy was clearly
motivated by a desire to compensate for the exclusion of this class from
such institutions in the past. In the early communist years institutions
of higher education charged tuition, but children of the worker-peasant
classes were exempted. By 1954 this class constituted 20 percent of the
higher education population, a figure that by 1970 had risen to 78
percent. In 1973 the government was still maintaining a preferential
clause for these students in higher education and reserved 10 percent of
the places in such institutions for them.

Another principle of the educational system is the promotion of
technical or vocational education and the simultaneous downgrading of
the humanities. Academic studies were quantitatively reduced in order to
place greater emphasis on practical work. When a student has completed
his formal education in the school system, he will have at the time
spent at least one-third of his school hours working on a farm, in a
factory, or at some other enterprise. In the curriculum itself technical
subjects are given a place of greater importance than the humanities.
Although studies have indicated that a great many students seeking
admission to institutions of higher education aspire to the study of the
humanities, governmental policies have limited the number of places
available in these areas in order to train technical-vocational
specialists to meet the needs of the economy (see ch. 12).

The last important principle of Bulgarian education is the
nationalization and secularization of the school system. When the
Communists took power in the 1940s, they quickly closed all foreign and
private schools with the exception of schools for the children of Soviet
officials and diplomats. Schools of ethnic minorities fell under the
aegis of the government and thereby lost all autonomy. Ironically, in
1973 the only private school that existed was related to the Bulgarian
Orthodox Church. As the church is subservient to and dependent upon the
state, however, the existence of such a school undoubtedly represented
little threat to the government.


Between the years 1944 and 1948 the Communists set about eradicating the
prewar educational system. By 1947, when the constitution (also called
the Dimitrov Constitution) was enacted, all prewar textbooks had been
replaced by communist texts; all schoolteachers and university
professors who were considered reactionary or fascist had been replaced
by persons loyal to the Fatherland Front (Otechestven Front) government;
and all institutions of higher education had been opened to workers and
their children, whereas students thought to have fascist or reactionary
tendencies were denied admittance.

The Dimitrov Constitution stipulated further that all schools, including
those that had previously been private, would be the property of the
state; that all foreign schools would be closed for the academic year
1948-49; and that religious schools would be discontinued. Ironically,
the only denominational schools that were allowed to continue were those
that trained priests, but these schools had to have special permission
from the state in order to continue their operations.

In 1948 and 1949 another series of reforms was initiated, which,
although less sweeping than the original reforms, tended to pattern the
Bulgarian school system more closely on that of the Soviet Union. In
August 1949 a joint resolution of the BKP Central Committee and the
Council of Ministers declared that education would be carried out in the
spirit of socialism, based both on the teachings of Karl Marx and
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and on Bulgarian friendship with the Soviet Union.
The ideological studies introduced into the curriculum consisted of the
fundamental principles of Marx and Lenin, the history of the communist
party of the Soviet Union, and the history of the BKP. All of these
subjects became obligatory from kindergarten.

The second initiative in the 1948-49 reforms was the declaration that
all universities and institutions of higher education as well as the
Academy of Sciences were no longer autonomous. A third reform during
this period was the reduction from five to four years of the gymnasium,
which in turn reduced the total schooling from twelve to eleven years.
The fourth reform was the redesigning of polytechnic education to
greatly increase the number of trained graduates to fill the rapidly
escalating demands of the economy.

In statistical terms the results of the various communist reforms were
mixed. Although the number of primary and secondary schools increased
slightly overall from 1938 to 1948, there was hardly any appreciable
growth in primary schools, whereas secondary schools nearly doubled. The
number of students, similarly, barely changed in the same ten-year
period; the number of primary students actually declined, but the number
of secondary students grew appreciably (see table 6; table 7).

Higher education, on the other hand, made great strides after the
communist takeover as the number of universities and other institutions
of higher education increased by one-third. Despite the emphasis on
technical and vocational education, such schools dropped in terms of
facilities, students, and teachers during the early communist years. The
number of teachers of polytechnic subjects also declined during the
period (see table 8).

_Table 6. Number of Schools in Bulgaria, Selected Years, 1938-70_

 Level                     | 1938/39 | 1948/49 | 1960/61 | 1970/71
 Kindergarten              |     254 |   n.a.  |   6,570 |   8,037
 Primary                   |   7,291 |   7,872 |    *    |    *
 Secondary                 |     133 |     253 |    *    |    *
                           |  ------ |  ------ | ------- | -------
   Total primary-secondary |   7,424 |   8,125 |   5,877 |   4,197
 Vocational technical      |   n.a.  |   n.a.  |     236 |     132
 Secondary vocational      |   n.a.  |   n.a.  |       0 |     190
 Technical                 |   n.a.  |   n.a.  |     231 |     246
                           |  ------ |  ------ | ------- |  ------
   Total technical         |    384  |    159  |     467 |     568
 Teacher training          |      5  |    n.a. |      18 |      20
 Higher education          |     12  |     19  |      20 |      26
 n.a.--not available.
 * In 1960 the primary and secondary levels were unified under one system.

_Table 7. Number of Students in Bulgaria, Selected School Years,

 Level                     |  1938/39  |  1948/49  |  1960/61  |  1970/71
 Kindergarten              |    12,859 |      n.a. |   281,000 |   331,960
 Primary                   |   955,330 |   928,934 |         * |         *
 Secondary                 |    73,561 |   129,396 |         * |         *
                           | --------- | --------- | --------- | ---------
   Total primary-secondary | 1,028,891 | 1,058,330 | 1,212,383 | 1,154,630
 Vocational technical      |    n.a.   |    n.a.   |    42,123 |    47,253
 Secondary vocational      |    n.a.   |    n.a.   |         0 |    83,038
 Technical                 |    n.a.   |    n.a.   |    93,944 |   152,919
                           | --------- | --------- | --------- | ---------
   Total technical         |    46,925 |    31,826 |   136,067 |   283,210
 Teacher training          |       401 |      n.a. |     4,203 |     6,921
 Higher education          |    11,443 |    29,639 |    54,965 |    89,331
 n.a.--not available.
 * In 1960 the primary and secondary levels were unified under one system.

The next reforms occurred in 1957 and in 1958 and placed a much stronger
emphasis on technical-vocational training, while the years of total
schooling were again increased. The period of secondary schooling
consisted of a five-year program rather than the previous four, thus
extending the entire period of education to twelve years. The network of
professional schools was expanded significantly, and teacher training
was upgraded and given new emphasis. In 1958 there were specialized
professional schools with approximately 64,000 students studying various
aspects of industry and agriculture. At approximately the same time
there were twenty-two pedagogical schools with an enrollment of 8,989

_Table 8. Number of Teachers in Bulgaria, Selected School Years,

 Level                     |  1938/39  |  1948/49  |  1960/61  |  1970/71
 Kindergarten              |      286  |    n.a.   |   11,873  |   18,185
 Primary                   |   24,830  |   34,000  |       *   |       *
 Secondary                 |    2,874  |    4,893  |       *   |       *
                           |   ------  |   ------  |   ------  |   ------
   Total primary-secondary |   27,704  |   38,893  |   51,067  |   54,068
 Vocational technical      |     n.a.  |     n.a.  |    2,835  |    2,734
 Secondary vocational      |     n.a.  |     n.a.  |        0  |    5,720
 Technical                 |     n.a.  |     n.a.  |    5,307  |    9,045
                           |   ------  |   ------  |   ------  |   ------
   Total technical         |    2,487  |    1,109  |    8,142  |   17,499
 Teacher training          |       50  |     n.a.  |      251  |      406
 Higher education          |      588  |    1,169  |    3,883  |    7,125
 n.a.--not available.
 * In 1960 the primary and secondary levels were unified under one system.

The concept of practical work as an integral part of the curriculum was
again emphasized, and the scope of vocational training grew enormously
as vocational and technical schools increased threefold. Although all
students had to perform certain tasks as part of their basic education,
the 1957-58 reforms dictated that graduates of higher technical and
agricultural institutions had to perform one year of practical work
before graduation. As the concept of polytechnical education became
widespread at the secondary level, practical work consumed up to
one-third of the total hours of education. Although experimental
vocational training was introduced into the curricula of some gymnasiums
in this period, other gymnasiums, particularly in the rural areas,
required students to spend several hours weekly in formal vocational

In the same 1957-58 period a number of broad, rather than structural,
reforms were initiated. Schools for ethnic minorities were established
in which, despite the fact that study of the Bulgarian language was
compulsory, teaching was performed in the language of the minority
group. All schools of general education became officially coeducational,
and evening classes for workers were initiated. At the same time,
although there already had been some financial assistance, scholarships
were presented on a wide scale. In the 1957-58 academic year 46 percent
of all students in institutions of higher education received stipends
from the government. Although there were few scholarships given to
gymnasium students, with the exception of Turkish students who were
considered the least educated group, students in professional schools
and technical colleges were the recipients of a large number of
governmental stipends.

The reforms of 1959 were of more lasting significance than were the
1957-58 reforms. Unlike the latter reforms, which represented a slight
deviation from the Soviet educational model, the 1959 reforms returned
the Bulgarian system once more to the original Soviet pattern. In 1958
Nikita Khrushchev wrote a treatise called "Strengthening the Ties
Between School and Life" in which he demanded a close integration of the
educational system and the economy. Shortly thereafter, Zhivkov declared
that the 1957-58 school reforms in his own country were inadequate and
asked for a basic reorganization of the entire school system. In July
1959 a basic law, reorganizing the entire school system, was passed.

This law was entitled "Law on Establishing a Closer Link Between
Education and Practical Life and on Furthering the Development of Public
Education in the People's Republic of Bulgaria." Its stated objectives
were: "To prepare youth for life by combining education and instruction
with practical and production work" and "to imbue the young people with
a love of work and a spirit of patriotism and international solidarity."
The law proposed the introduction of polytechnic studies on an
unprecedented scale in order to provide skilled workers for agriculture
and industry. Although the main objective was to meet the demands of the
economy, it was hoped that the new emphasis on technical subjects would
break down the exclusiveness of the educated classes, while socializing
the younger generation in communist ideological terms.

In practical terms the 1959 reforms introduced a unified twelve-year
so-called secondary school--despite the fact that it included the
elementary grades as well--called the medium polytechnical school, which
totally replaced the existing five-year basic school and the four-year
medium school or gymnasium. The medium polytechnical school was divided
into an eight-year elementary course and a four-year upper course. After
completing the basic school the student was faced with four
alternatives. He could enter: the upper course, which provided general
education plus specialization in an area of production; a medium
professional school or technicum, which provided a specialized
education; a professional technical college, which prepared him for
production in the economy; or the so-called miscellaneous training,
which included courses organized by plants, factories, and cooperatives.

At the same time the new law provided for the improvement of teacher
training. All teachers who taught in the fifth level or above were
required to have a university education or its equivalent. Teachers who
taught in kindergartens or the first to fourth levels were required to
take a three-year course after the obligatory twelve-year course of

The reforms were later criticized, however, on much more far-reaching
grounds. Some felt that technical specialization was stressed to such an
extreme that the liberal arts were altogether ignored. Some complained
that, although students were overburdened with superfluous details of
overspecialized subjects, teachers were still basically unprepared to
teach these subjects. Others felt that there was a lack of correlation
between the work that the student had to perform and his or her area of
expertise. Still others realized that there was a basic clash between
the managers who supervised the worker-students and the students

Despite much criticism about the reforms, in terms of bare statistics
they were successful in greatly increasing the emphasis on
technical-vocational training. Although the number of primary and
secondary students remained approximately at the same level and the
number of primary and secondary schools declined drastically, there was
a tremendous increase in technical-vocational schools, students, and

In 1967 there was another wave of educational reform in Bulgaria, as
well as in all of Eastern Europe, that once again changed the direction
of education. Although most Eastern European countries began to
deemphasize polytechnic instruction, Bulgaria's course was more cautious
and ambivalent. On the one hand, Bulgarian educators stated that the
time allotted for practical training would be increased, while on the
other hand, efforts were made to reintroduce the humanities into the
curriculum. In the last three grades of the upper course, the curriculum
was divided into two branches: natural science and mathematics, and the
humanities. The number of general education subjects was gradually
increased, and there was renewed emphasis on foreign languages and the
social sciences.

By 1969, however, authorities once again perceived certain problems in
the educational system and proposed counteracting reforms. One problem
was the relative cost of higher education, which was expanding, as
compared to the cost of primary education, which was both cheaper and
contracting. A second problem was the question of the availability of
trained persons for the national economy because of the long periods of
schooling then required. It was argued that by the time a young man had
completed his education and his military training, he was twenty-five or
twenty-six years old. A third problem was the intense competition for
places in higher education and other postsecondary institutions. In 1969
approximately 70,000 to 75,000 students leaving secondary schools
competed with each other for 20,000 places at the university level. A
fourth problem was whether the polytechnic school should place primary
emphasis on trade specialization or on academic subjects.

In the same year serious thought was given to the solution of these
problems, and tentative measures were proposed. The major thrust of
these proposals was to enable students to meet the needs of the economy
by shortening the period of overall education. It was proposed that a
unified polytechnic school, which would fuse general and professional
elements of education, would replace the current, professionally
oriented polytechnic school. At the same time children would enter
school at the age of six, instead of the customary seven. The secondary
polytechnic school would be a ten-year instead of a twelve-year course,
allowing students to graduate at the age of sixteen. Most courses in
higher education would be reduced from five to four years, enabling
students to complete all levels of education by the age of twenty rather
than twenty-five.

The reforms would perhaps have a greater impact on the secondary system
than the other levels, as they envisioned a completely unified secondary
school system in which professional and general education would be
fused. Specialization in liberal arts, mathematics and economics,
chemistry and biology, social sciences, and foreign languages would be

In 1972 these reforms were officially proposed and passed by the Council
of Ministers. It was anticipated that they would be carried out over the
next ten to fifteen years. Although the concept of fusing general and
professional education in the new unified secondary polytechnic school
was not universally popular, the reform embodying this concept was
passed primarily because of the influence of one of its strongest
proponents, Zhivkov.

Other reforms proposed in 1972 dealt with the specific levels of the
educational system and with monetary necessities to fulfill these
expectations. As it was expected that by 1975 approximately 76 percent
of children from three to seven years of age would be in kindergartens,
the Sixth Five-Year Plan (1971-75) emphasized the development of a huge
network of kindergartens. By 1975, 85 percent of the students attending
primary school were expected to go on to the secondary level, and plans
were made to increase the construction of boarding and semiboarding
schools to accommodate these students. Secondary education was to be
made compulsory in order, in Zhivkov's words, "to give every young man
and girl the opportunity not only of acquiring scientific knowledge of
nature and society and the necessary general culture and polytechnical
education, but also of acquiring certain production and technical habits
and skills, of preparing themselves for socially useful work."

The main emphasis in the 1972 reforms, however, was on higher education.
It was anticipated that there would be some 120,000 students in higher
education by 1975. Of this number it was expected that 65,000--or
approximately half--would be specialists. Of the 65,000 specialists,
half would be engaged in science and technology. Therefore, in 1972
plans were being formulated for the construction of new buildings at
many of the major institutions of higher education.

In order to fulfill these structural changes, it was decided that both
increased expenditures and additional places for students were needed.
During the Fifth Five-Year Plan (1966-70), about 300 million leva (for
value of the lev--see Glossary) had been expended on education. In the
Sixth Five-Year Plan (1971-75) 500 million leva were to be allocated. In
addition, 30,000 more places were to be provided at the preschool level,
28,000 more accommodations at hostels, and 4,500 classrooms at all


Figures vary to some degree, but at the time of liberation in 1878
between 85 and 90 percent of the Bulgarian population was illiterate. By
the early twentieth century, however, Bulgaria had achieved the highest
literacy rate in the Balkans. Although some scholars stated that only
some 31 percent of the population over school age was literate, by 1920
nearly 50 percent of the population over school age was literate. By
1934 only 31.6 percent of the population over school age was still
illiterate, and by 1940 this figure was reduced to between 20 and 25

After the Communists took power in the country, literacy increased at a
rapid pace. In 1956 only 17.6 percent of the population over twenty-five
was illiterate, and by 1965 only 8.6 percent was illiterate. In 1973,
although total literacy for people under fifty years of age was claimed
by the government, the rate of literacy of this group was probably
somewhere between 90 and 100 percent.

Of the illiterate population in 1965, approximately three-fourths were
women and only one-fourth were men, reflecting the recency of the
emancipation of women in Bulgaria. Of ethnic groups, the Gypsies have
both the lowest levels of literacy and of education, whereas the Turks
have a significantly higher literacy rate. Jews, Czechs, Greeks, and
Russians all have a relatively high literacy level. In 1965 there were
three times as many illiterates in rural areas as in urban. Also,
illiteracy in Bulgaria was much more common among the older generation
than among the young. In 1965, of the population over 60 years of age,
approximately one-third was illiterate, whereas only a very small
percentage of the working-age group was illiterate. The government
seemed relatively unconcerned about the problem of illiteracy among the
older people, as an official stated: "The high illiteracy rate among the
older population does not present a problem since this is the population
above the working age and this group is not crucial to our economic


Administration and Finance

The 1947 constitution established both the Ministry of Education and the
Committee for Science, Art, and Culture, which held ministry status. In
1954 the Law on Public Education increased the authority of the Ministry
of Education; all general and vocational schools fell under its
jurisdiction at that time. In February 1954 the Ministry of Culture was
established. It replaced the Committee for Science, Art, and Culture and
oversaw, in broad terms, the curricula at all levels of education,
including correspondence courses.

In 1973 the executive branch dealing with the legal aspects of education
was the Council of Ministers, and the Ministry of National Education
dealt with all administrative matters. The minister of national
education is a member of the Presidium of the National Assembly as well
as of the BKP Central Committee. Similarly, the assistant ministers of
education hold high offices in the party structure. In this way the
party not only supports educational legislation but also originates it.

The Ministry of National Education has four principal tasks to perform.
Its primary duty is to direct and control the educational system in
accordance with the policies of the party and the government. It both
formulates and approves basic documents of the educational system, such
as the curricula, the school regulations, and methods. It arranges for
the publication of all school textbooks and supervises the work of the
people's councils at the local level.

The minister of national education is assisted by three vice ministers
who are appointed by the National Assembly and who head three broad
departments: the Department of General Education, the Department of
Vocational Training, and the Department of Higher Education. Also within
the Ministry of National Education are the following sub-sections:
Marxism-Leninism, physical culture, economic planning, finance,
employment, teaching materials, and cultural relations.

At the regional level the district people's councils have responsibility
for organization and instruction in all educational institutions with
the exception of schools of art, intermediate schools, and institutions
of higher education. Each council is under the authority of its
executive committee as well as the Ministry of National Education. The
Education Section of the council performs the routine tasks affecting
the educational system. The Ministry of National Education supervises
these education sections and assists them when necessary. They are also
assisted by various advisory committees.

Education in Bulgaria is generally financed by the state budget. Schools
that are deemed to have national importance are financed by the national
budget, whereas schools that have only local significance are financed
by the people's councils at the local level. Since 1964 the expenses of
many vocational training schools have been financed by various related
ministries, factories, and enterprises. These organizations have played
an increasing role in the financing of the schools since that date.

The only available figures dealing with the financing of education are
those on higher education. As Bulgaria is considerably behind most
European countries in terms of the financing of education, there is very
little public discussion of the issue. Sofia, the capital city, has one
of the most severe financial problems. In 1966 only 3.2 percent of the
total city budget was spent on matters relating to education. Generally,
financial figures for education are categorized with those for science
and culture so that it is nearly impossible to separate those figures
that deal specifically with education. In recent years educational
reformers have requested greater sums for education than were allocated
in the past.

Bulgaria's budget for education fluctuated between 133 million leva in
1960 and 491 million leva in 1971. The proportion of the total budget
allocated for education, however, actually decreased over the last eight
years of the period. In 1960 education represented 5.9 percent of the
total budget; in 1964, 9 percent; in 1967, 8.4 percent; and in 1971,
only 8.3 percent. The percentage of the Bulgarian gross national product
(GNP) earmarked for education in 1972 was inferior to that of some other
European and Asian countries. The German Democratic Republic (East
Germany) spent 5.9 percent on education; the Soviet Union, 5.8 percent;
Japan, 5.3 percent; Poland, 4.8 percent; Great Britain, 4.3 percent;
France, 3.2 percent; and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany),
3 percent. Bulgaria allocated only 0.5 percent of its total GNP to the
field of education.

Preschool Education

Before the Communists took power in 1944 kindergartens were considered
to be an unimportant factor in education. In 1921 there were only
twenty-four kindergartens in the entire country.

The Communists made a real effort to establish a far-reaching network of
kindergartens, which in the late 1940s included three types: the half
day, all day, and seasonal. No tuition was required for the half day
kindergarten, and tuition varied--depending on the income of the
family--for the other two types.

Half day kindergartens accepted children after six years of age,
preparing them for admission to elementary schools. All day
kindergartens, which were located in large towns and industrial areas,
cared for children, aged three to seven, of working mothers. Seasonal
kindergartens were established in rural areas for the children of
mothers whose work was seasonal. These schools operated from two to ten
months per year and also accepted children from three to seven years of

In mid-1973 there were crèches for children from infancy to three years
of age. Children from three to seven attended kindergarten. Although
attendance was voluntary, it was believed that over 60 percent of the
preschool-age children were enrolled in crèches or kindergartens.
Approximately 50 percent of the children in elementary school have had
their preschool education in the half day kindergartens. There were five
types of kindergartens in Bulgaria: the half day, the all day, the
seasonal, the kindergarten sanatoriums and the auxiliary kindergarten.
Kindergarten sanatoriums provided educational facilities for children
with tuberculosis, and auxiliary kindergartens were for the mentally

Elementary Education

Before the Communists took power, there were primary schools for
children between seven and eleven and _progymnasia_ for children eleven
to fourteen years old. Although both levels of education were compulsory
according to the law, many children between the ages of seven and
fourteen did not attend school. The program of the _progymnasium_ was to
enable children--who might be excluded from either a gymnasium or
vocational school for economic or academic reasons--to obtain additional
education beyond the primary level.

After 1944 the Communists undertook a major revision of elementary
education in accordance with their basic principles of education (see
Communist Educational Policies, this ch.). In 1950 a new unified school
system was established, patterned after the educational system of the
Soviet Union. This unified, eleven-year system comprised both primary
and postprimary education. In 1954 the Edict on Public Education stated
that the first eight years of this new general education were compulsory
for children from seven to fifteen years of age. Depending on the
particular needs of the individual community, children could attend
either four-year, seven-year, or eleven-year general education schools.
Generally, the four-year schools predominated in rural areas, and the
seven-year and eleven-year schools were more prevalent in larger
villages and towns.

Elementary education is still compulsory for both boys and girls from
seven to fifteen years of age. Classes are held in the morning only and
run six days a week, Monday through Saturday. The schools are known as
basic or general schools and include not only elementary education but
also the first two phases of the eleven-year polytechnic school. The
elementary course comprises grades one through four, and the
postelementary courses include classes five through eight. The
elementary curriculum includes the study of Bulgarian, mathematics,
music, art, and physical education. The postelementary curriculum also
encompasses the study of foreign languages and science. On both levels
the study of Russian is compulsory.

The purpose of this general elementary education, according to the
government, is to "provide pupils with general and polytechnic education
combined with fundamental moral, physical and aesthetic training,
instill in children a liking for work, accustom them to productive work
useful to society and prepare them for studies at a higher level." In
accordance with these principles "education in labor" was made an
integral part of the curriculum. The total curriculum of elementary
education consists of a tripartite division. The academic section is
subdivided into the sciences and the humanities. The education in the
labor section consists of work, beginning in the first year of
schooling, in shops, farms, and factories. The extracurricular section
is dominated by the work-study program of the youth organization known
as the Pioneers (see ch. 9).

Secondary Education

Before 1944 secondary education in Bulgaria consisted of the gymnasium
and the vocational school. The gymnasium was divided into three types:
the classical, the semiclassical, and the scientific. All three included
the following subjects in their curriculum: Bulgarian language and
literature; either French, German, or English; philosophy; mathematics;
history; the history of Christianity; geography; sociology; civics;
physics; and chemistry. In the scientific and classical divisions,
natural history and drawing were also given, and Latin and Greek were
presented in the classical and semiclassical gymnasiums. There was also
a normal school, or pedagogical part of the gymnasium, which added
pedagogy and physical education to the basic curriculum.

Soon after the communist takeover the combined elementary-secondary
period of schooling was reduced from twelve to eleven years. The
objectives of a secondary education were described in the following
terms: "the general promotion of the physical and intellectual
development of adolescents, the weaning of their minds from extreme
nationalist and reactionary ideas, the inculcation of the spirit of
progress, and preparation for creative participation in the economic and
cultural life of the country." The curriculum of the secondary schools
was changed in order to incorporate these goals. Latin and Greek were no
longer required, but Russian became compulsory. A new subject called
general history subsumed within it the old studies of religion, ethics,
political economy, and Bulgarian. Astronomy was added to the new

Between 1949 and 1959 other changes were introduced in the secondary
school system. There were then two principal forms of secondary
education: the general school and the technical school. Grades eight to
eleven of the general school, which were considered part of secondary
education, included study of Bulgarian language and literature; Russian;
French, German, or English; mathematics; physics; astronomy; chemistry;
biology; history; constitutional history; geography; psychology and
logic; geometrical drawing; and physical education.

Technicums and vocational-technical secondary schools, on the other
hand, offered courses ranging from two to five years that gave the
student a specialized education. Graduates of the eleven-year general
school attended these schools for two years; students who had completed
less than eleven years attended for three to five years. In 1952 labor
reserve schools were established. These factory schools offered one-year
or two-year training programs to young people from fourteen to seventeen
years of age who had already completed their elementary education.

During the 1960s the new polytechnic secondary school was introduced in
order to incorporate the elements of a general and specialized education
into one system. Although this type of secondary education continued to
be the main form of secondary education, it was criticized on two
seemingly paradoxical counts. One group of critics claimed that the
polytechnic school gave the student neither a sound general education
nor a solid base in professional training. Another group claimed that
the polytechnic school was both too narrow and too technical, depriving
the student of a broad background in general areas.

In mid 1973 there were three major types of secondary education in
Bulgaria: the secondary polytechnic or a semitechnical variation of the
gymnasium, the vocational-technical schools, and the technicums (see
fig. 5). Roughly 95 percent of students who had completed elementary
school continued in secondary education.

[Illustration: _Figure 5. The Bulgarian School System, 1973_]

Approximately one-third of students continuing in secondary education
attend the polytechnic school. The stated purpose of this kind of school
is "to provide pupils with wider scientific education and more intensive
polytechnical training, through practical production experience closely
linked with general education and technical subjects, and to prepare
them for active working and intellectual life or for their continued
studies at higher levels. This secondary course completes the pupils'
basic science studies and polytechnical preparation. The practical
experiences gained prepares them for specialization in a major branch of
production work."

Polytechnic schools can be either part of the general schools--in which
case they consist of grades nine through eleven--or separate schools in
themselves. In the latter case the course is of either four or five
years' duration. These schools are also open to factory and
office-workers who are able to remain in their positions, on a reduced
basis, while continuing their education.

Technicums are more popular than the polytechnic schools. Although
sources differ with respect to the exact percentage of elementary
students who continue their education in technicums--with some claiming
approximately 40 percent and others as high as 77 percent--probably
about 50 percent continue their schooling in this area. According to the
government the purpose of the technicums is to "train specialists at
intermediate levels for the various sectors of the national economy:
industry, agriculture, and building construction, transport services,
commerce and public health services." At the same time, however, the
technicums provide general education that corresponds to some extent
with the program of the polytechnic school.

These schools, more than the polytechnic schools, are directly related
to trends in the economy. Technicums are designed to produce supervisors
and skilled workers who will satisfy the needs of the economy. The
course of study varies from three to four years. Although some general
subjects are taught, emphasis is on the acquisition of specialized
knowledge in such fields as agriculture and engineering.

The least popular form of secondary education in Bulgaria is the
vocational-technical school, which is a form of trade school. Although
the number of students in vocational-technical schools has doubled since
1944, only approximately 20 percent of the graduates of elementary
education continue in this area. The government states that "Vocational
training schools are designed to train skilled workers for industry and
agriculture." The schools can either operate independently or be a part
of a technicum or agricultural or industrial enterprise. Although the
courses are generally open to elementary graduates, workers under thirty
who have not completed their primary education may also continue their
training in these schools.

The program of the vocational-technical school varies from one to three
years. In the case of workers under thirty, the program runs from one
to four years. Graduates of the program receive the title of skilled
workmen; they are obligated to work in their field of specialization for
three years. The curriculum in the vocational-technical school includes:
Bulgarian, Russian, physics, mathematics, and physical education. These
subjects consume only half of the allotted time; the other half is spent
working in factories or on farms.

In addition to these three basic forms of secondary education, there are
special types of secondary schools as well. Specialized secondary
schools exist for music, art, and ballet. Although most operate only on
the secondary level--requiring the completion of the elementary
school--some give the complete eleven-year program. The length of study
generally is four years. Music schools offer courses in instrumental
music, singing, musical theory, and general education. Students of dance
study at the National School of Choreography, which is divided into a
section offering classical ballet and another offering Bulgarian folk
dance. Art students study at a special gymnasium.

Another form of secondary education is the foreign language secondary
school. In these schools all instruction is given in the foreign
language selected. Russian is the most popular language, followed by
French, German, and English. Although no figures are available for
schools of other languages, in 1973 there were six English-language
schools with fifteen native English instructors. Of the total number of
places available in these language schools, 50 percent are reserved for
girls and 50 percent for boys. Of the same total, 20 percent are
reserved for children of "the active fighters against fascism and

Higher Education

In the period between the 1921 reforms and the years just before World
War II, there were nine institutions of higher education in Bulgaria.
The University of Sofia was both the largest and the oldest. The most
popular faculties in higher educational institutions at that time in
order of popularity were: education, law, economics, medicine, and
agriculture. The arts were the least popular faculty. In mid 1973
statistics were unavailable for both engineering and physical education
(see table 9).

When the Communists took power in 1944 they made sweeping changes in the
field of higher education. Universities--which had heretofore been
autonomous--were put under state control; members of the party sat on
faculty councils that selected and promoted professors. University
graduates were placed by the government and were subject to punishment
under the newly established penal code if they refused to accept

_Table 9. Number and Proportion of Students in Various Bulgarian
University Faculties, Selected Years, 1939-71_

            |     1939      |      1948     |      1960     |     1970
            |       |Percent|       |Percent|       |Percent|       |Percent
            |       |   of  |       |   of  |       |   of  |       |   of
            |Number | Total |Number | Total |Number | Total |Number | Total
 Engineering| n.a.  |  ...  |   182 |   5.4 | 1,480 |  25.5 | 5,042 |  40.6
 Agriculture|  127  |  ...  |   768 |  22.9 | 1,088 |  18.8 | 1,415 |  11.4
 Medicine   |  139  |  ...  |   729 |  21.8 |   911 |  15.7 | 1,174 |   9.5
 Economics  |  230  |  ...  |   716 |  21.3 |   889 |  15.4 | 1,895 |  15.2
 Arts       |   55  |  ...  |    86 |   2.6 |   268 |   4.6 |   319 |   2.6
 Education  |  365  |  ...  |   388 |  11.6 |   827 |  14.3 | 2,163 |  17.4
 Physical   |       |       |       |       |       |       |       |
   education| n.a.  |  ...  |    40 |   1.2 |   169 |   2.9 |   259 |   2.1
 Law        |  307  |  ...  |   441 |  13.2 |   157 |   2.7 |   142 |   1.1
            |       |       |-------+-------+-------+-------+-------+-------
     TOTAL  |       |       | 3,350 | 100.0 | 5,789 |  99.9*|12,409 |  99.9*
 n.a.--not available.
 ... not applicable.
 * Columns do not add to 100 because of rounding.
 Source: Adapted from _Statistical Yearbook, 1971_, Sofia, 1971, p. 247.

The essential task of higher education was enunciated by Premier Vulko
Chervenkov in 1954: "Higher schools must train not only qualified
specialists but also able, and conscious participants in the political
direction and building of socialism in our country." In 1949
correspondence courses were initiated for manual workers and civil
servants. Courses generally ranged from five to six years. Certain
workers were allowed to attend shorter courses given by the various
institutions while they continued to work. Although they were required
to pass examinations, they did not have to attend classes regularly.

Between 1948 and 1952 the curriculum became more and more patterned
after the curriculum of the Soviet Union. In 1948 Marxist-Leninist
studies were introduced; in 1949 political economy and the history of
the Communist Party of the Soviet Union became obligatory for all
university students. By 1950 the party newspaper, _Rabotnichesko Delo_,
reported that 150 Soviet texts were being utilized in institutions of
higher education. By 1952 students were obliged to study both
dialectical and historical materialism, the rudiments of
Marxism-Leninism, and the history of the BKP. Study of these subjects
was generally mandatory for three years.

In mid 1973 there were two major forms of higher educational
institutions: teacher training institutions and university level
institutions. In the latter category are universities, technical
institutes, agricultural institutes, medical schools, art academies, and
higher schools of economics. In 1972 there were twenty-two university
level institutions, sixteen of which were in Sofia. The remainder were
located in the provincial cities of Plovdiv, Varna, Svishtov, and Ruse.
The courses of study range from four to six years; five years is the
average period. In 1970 in proportion to the total population of the
country, Bulgaria was fourth in the world in terms of the number of
students--which constituted about 1 percent of the total
population--attending institutions of higher education, following the
United States, the Soviet Union, and Japan.

Higher education in Bulgaria is conceived primarily in terms of the
national economy. The entire educational process at the higher level is
determined by the needs and prerequisites of the economy. The government
has stated: "The main tasks of the institutions of higher education are:
to train qualified specialists, imbued with Communist ideals, for all
fields of activity, who will be conversant with the latest developments
in science and technology, to train teachers and research specialists
for the institutions of higher education and scientific organizations,
to take systematic measures to improve the qualifications of specialists
in various branches of the national economy; [and] to propagate
scientific, technical and political knowledge among the workers."

Students at the undergraduate level--with the exception of students of
worker and peasant origin--are expected to pass a written examination in
order to gain admission. Fifty percent of the total number of admissions
are reserved for people who have been employed for a two-year period.
Most graduates are obliged to work for three years after graduation in a
position assigned to them by the government. Unlike the prewar
faculties, technical and scientific faculties have had the highest
enrollments. Although education continues to draw large enrollments, in
1971 engineering had the largest number of students, followed by
education, economics, agriculture, and medicine. Law and physical
education had the lowest number of students at that time. As the State
Committee for Science, Technical Progress, and Higher Education
determines the specialization to be pursued, this list reflects more the
preferences of the government than those of the students.

Because the government determines the fields of specialization to be
pursued by students of higher education, over a ten-year period--from
1960 to 1970--the pendulum has swung away from the arts and toward the
pure sciences. The fields most preferred by the students themselves,
however, and those that earn the highest wages, are still medicine,
architecture, journalism, and foreign languages.

The State Committee for Education and Technical Progress stipulates the
number of admissions as well as the courses to be followed in graduate
work. All applicants for graduate study must have a minimum of one year
of working experience in their fields of specialization. In addition to
completion of four or five years of higher education, the applicant must
pass examinations in his field of specialization, in Russian, and in one
Western European language. The curriculum is determined by the various
research institutes of the Academy of Sciences, the Academy of
Agricultural Sciences, or other institutions of higher education. The
term of graduate study is approximately four to 4-½ years.

Beyond the usual graduate study is the doctoral program. To obtain the
doctor of science degree, the student must prepare a dissertation that
according to governmental criteria, contains "a significant scientific
contribution, new educational methods and proposals, theoretical
conclusions and discoveries of great significance for the advancement of
science, technology, and the national economy." A candidate for this
degree must either hold a candidate degree, be thoroughly accredited in
his profession, or have proof of significant contributions to the

In terms of the exchange of foreign students, there are only a
relatively small number of foreign students in Bulgaria, and only a tiny
percentage of the Bulgarian student population studies abroad. Although
theoretically opportunities exist for Bulgarian students to study in
other countries, in fact, opportunities are very limited. There are
strict regulations regarding foreign study. In 1971 the Ministry of
National Education stated that only students of parents permanently
employed abroad could study there; no students with independent sources
of income were allowed to study in foreign universities. In 1971 between
1.5 and 1.8 percent of the Bulgarian student population were foreign
students. In the academic year 1970/71 only 1,603 students studied
abroad. Of these, 1047 studied in the Soviet Union; 226 studied in East
Germany; 154 studied in Czechoslovakia; and twelve students pursued
their studies in other countries.

At the same time foreign students are not numerous in Bulgaria, although
they come from a variety of countries. As of 1972 only 1,240 foreign
students had been graduated from Bulgarian universities. Among these
graduates were 174 from Albania, 129 from Syria, 126 from East Germany,
ninety-four from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North
Korea), fifty-seven from Kenya, and fifty from the Democratic Republic
of Vietnam (North Vietnam). In the academic year 1969/70 alone, 1,882
foreign students attended Bulgarian institutions of higher education.
These students came from ninety-two countries; they include 430 students
from North Vietnam, 393 from Syria, 106 from the Sudan, forty-five from
Iraq, and twenty-two from Cuba. Although the focus in foreign student
exchange is definitely on the developing countries--for both economic
and political reasons--in 1971 foreign student exchanges with Western
countries were being increased.

Although higher education is tuition free in Bulgaria, financial
assistance is still required by a large number of students. The
percentage of students on governmental scholarships varies from year to
year, generally ranging between 30 to 40 percent. In 1965 over 39
percent of the student population received scholarships, whereas in 1970
only 30 percent received them. There are two basic conditions for
scholarships as stipulated by the state: acceptable grade averages and a
family income--per family member--that does not exceed 70 leva per

There are still severe difficulties in the field of higher education in
Bulgaria. One problem is the acute shortage of professors in the areas
of engineering and technology in institutions of higher education. At
some times the shortage is so extreme that advertisements are placed in
the newspapers in order to recruit personnel.

Another difficulty in higher education is overcrowding in the schools
and in the cities where the institutions are located. This dilemma is
particularly acute in Sofia, where most of the major universities and
institutes are located. In school year 1969/70 there were 82,573
students enrolled in higher educational institutions; of this number,
59,130--roughly three-fourths--were in Sofia. As many of the students
come to Sofia from other areas of the country, the influx of students
has created a severe housing shortage. One solution, which has been
explored to some extent in recent years, has been for students to enroll
in institutions in major cities to study in their regional areas during
the year and come to Sofia only when examinations are given.
Approximately one-third of the total student population have studied on
this basis.

A more serious problem is the issue of student preferences versus the
demands of the economy. Since the government requires trained scientific
and technological personnel, there are more admissions in these areas
than in the arts. Students, however, have indicated a greater interest
in the humanities, but admissions in these areas are few. In 1973 for
every place available in the humanities, there were six applicants. For
every place available in the sciences, there were only four applicants.
The inevitable result of such a policy is the creation of a group of
young people who are engaged either in a study not of their choice or
who have been dissuaded from the field of higher education altogether.

The most serious problem is the fact that only a small proportion of
applicants are accepted in universities and institutes because there are
simply not enough facilities available to them. In an average year there
are generally 70,000 applicants and only 15,000 acceptances. Thus,
roughly 80 percent of all applicants are rejected by the institutions of
higher education in Bulgaria. Although students are allowed to reapply
at a future date, because they are not generally permitted to study
abroad, this overflow has resulted in the problem of the so-called idle
youth. At the beginning of 1972 authorities estimated that there were
approximately 50,000 of these people. Although the government has
attempted to deal with this problem by forcing the idlers to either work
or be trained for work--and they have been quite successful, as idlers
were estimated to be down from approximately 51,000 to 9,000 in less
than six months--they have failed to deal with the root cause of the
problem, that is, insufficient places in higher education.


Between 1921 and 1932 all primary and _progymnasium_ teachers had to
complete the normal school section of the gymnasium. In 1932, however,
all normal schools were abolished, and teachers were trained in two-year
pedagogical institutes that demanded completion of the gymnasium for
admission. The pedagogical institutes were subdivided into three
sections: the humanities, the sciences, and arts and crafts. Gymnasium
teachers, in turn, had to have a university degree. Vocational-school
teachers generally were vocational-school graduates themselves.

In 1944 two new forms of teacher training, both based on the Soviet
model, were established. Teachers in the kindergartens and the four-year
elementary schools, who had already completed seven years of elementary
school, attended five-year teacher training schools. Teachers of grades
five through seven, who had completed their secondary education, trained
at two-year institutes. As before the communist takeover, teachers of
secondary education and university professors had to complete their
training at a university. Teachers of physical education, fine arts, and
music were trained at the appropriate section of an institution of
higher education.

In 1953 the government established the Institute for the Improvement of
Teachers for the purpose of providing refresher courses for teachers.
This institute also provided teachers with the proper ideological
orientation. The government stated that the objectives of this institute
were to provide the "dogmatic ideological improvement of teachers ...
and ... the study and application of [the] Soviet teaching experience."
The institute offered such courses as pedagogy, psychology, Bulgarian
language and literature, Russian language and literature, Bulgarian
history, the Bulgarian constitution, mathematics and physics, natural
science and chemistry, and geography.

In 1959, however, it was decided that all elementary-school
teachers--those who taught grades one through four--would be trained at
teacher training colleges, and all secondary-school teachers--who taught
grades five through eleven--would attend higher educational

In mid 1973 both kindergarten teachers and teachers of the first to
fifth grades were trained at intermediate teacher training institutes.
Teachers of grades five through eight also began their training at the
same institutes, where they trained for three years after the completion
of their secondary education. When they had completed this level of
their education, they continued at an institute of higher education.
Teachers of the fifth through eleventh grades had to have a diploma from
an institution of higher education. Vocational-school teachers and art
teachers were trained at appropriate faculties of higher educational

Teachers are paid at various levels depending on their academic
backgrounds and current circumstances. The three basic determinants of a
teacher's salary are his or her academic qualifications, the number of
classes covered per week, and the overall length of service. Every
teacher is entitled to a 4-percent increase in salary after every five
years of teaching. The total increase is limited to 16 percent. Teachers
who work excessively long hours are granted overtime pay. In the case of
teachers who are forced to teach in areas where living conditions are
considered difficult, extra salaries are given. Teachers who are engaged
in pilot programs receive a 5-percent supplement to their salaries in
order to repay them for the necessary research and training. Teachers
who teach in special schools, special kindergartens, and schools for
maladjusted children also receive supplemental salaries. Teachers
who--in addition to their regular duties--work in pupils' centers,
boarding schools, and evening study periods receive an additional 20
percent of their original salary.


Before World War II there were very few facilities for education that
did not fall into the standard educational system. Schools for the
handicapped, for example, were almost nonexistent. Just before the war
there were only five schools of this kind and only 400 children were
enrolled. There were three schools for the deaf, one for the blind, and
one for the mentally retarded.

By 1944 the number of schools for the handicapped had declined to four,
and only 200 children were enrolled. One of the first pieces of
educational legislation under the Communists provided specifically for
this type of school. Although the development of these schools in the
early years was quite slow, eventually, by the early 1960s, there were
seventy special schools, caring for approximately 8,000 children. These
special schools provided general schooling for the handicapped--although
the curriculum was, of necessity, modified to suit the needs of the
individual student. Emphasis was on vocational training.

The primary focus was on adult education. The major objective was to
raise the level of literacy in the country. Between 1944 and 1950 there
were special courses that were aimed at both total illiterates and
semiliterates. When, by the early 1950s, this goal had been
accomplished, these courses were reduced in number and replaced by other
kinds of adult education. Part-time courses at the secondary level were
made available for workers. Evening classes--which taught new vocational
skills and improved already existing skills--became common. Higher
education through correspondence courses opened new avenues to people
who had previously had only a vocational education.

In 1961 the first boarding schools were established. In 1971 new plans
were formulated to increase the number of such schools. It was
anticipated that 30 percent of all first to eighth graders would attend
such schools by 1975, that 50 to 60 percent would attend by 1980, and
that a full 80 percent would live in boarding schools by 1990.

There is a wide diversity of schools that do not fall into the standard
educational system. In terms of special education there are elementary
schools for the blind, deaf, mentally retarded, and children who are
otherwise handicapped. All children in these categories begin their
schooling at the age of seven with the exception of the retarded, who
begin at eight. These children attend school for eight years and may
then continue in schools of general education, technicums, or other
schools. Retarded children, after completion of the eight years, go on
to special enterprises that are supervised by the Ministry of Public

Children who are either recuperating from, or are prone to, illness
attend primary and secondary schools located in areas where the climate
is propitious for their recovery. Children in these schools are accepted
at any point between the first and eleventh grades. Although the
curriculum is somewhat modified, the basic content of the courses is
essentially the same as in the regular primary and secondary schools.
Most pupils attend these schools only temporarily, generally from four
or five months to a year.

When the Communists came to power they stipulated that private schools
could continue only if they had express permission from the government
and were operated under governmental authority. In the early years of
communist rule, diplomatic missions continued to operate schools for
the children of foreign emissaries. In 1973, however, the only private
schools were the secondary school, known in Bulgaria as a seminary, and
the Ecclesiastical Academy of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

In addition to these special schools, there are technical and vocational
schools of various kinds that are not part of the regular school system.
Between secondary and higher technical schools fall the advanced
technicums, which function on a postsecondary level. Courses generally
run from two to three years, depending on the field of specialization.
There are advanced technicums for such specializations as mining,
medicine, veterinary medicine, and industrial chemistry. All schools
include courses in Marxism-Leninism, higher mathematics, and physical
education in addition to the courses of specialization. Also on the
technical-vocational level are six-month training courses that are
organized by factories, cooperatives, and other enterprises. These
courses are designed to improve the workers' skills or to retrain
workers for other areas of specialization. These courses include both
theoretical studies and practical work.

Evening courses, correspondence courses, refresher courses, and special
research programs are also numerous in the country. Workers up to thirty
years of age who have not completed their elementary education are urged
to attend evening schools--known in Bulgaria as shift courses--or
correspondence courses. In both types of school the average length of
study is from one to three years, depending on the amount of elementary
education completed. Once these courses are completed, the worker may
continue in either a secondary polytechnic or a vocational school.
Eventually, he may go on to an institution of higher education.
Refresher courses, on the other hand, are at the higher education level
and are provided for industrial specialists in order to keep them
abreast of the latest developments in science and technology. Teachers
and researchers are encouraged to hold research fellowships that
function under the various institutions of higher education as well as
the Academy of Sciences.

The final component of specialized education is conducted by the party.
Based on Marxism-Leninism, it is geared to indoctrinate party members
but is provided for nonparty members as well. The objectives of this
form of education were summed up by Georgi Dimitrov, premier of the
country from 1946 until 1949, who stated that these schools are to
prepare "individuals in the fundamental principles of Marxism-Leninism
... in order that they become independent practical organizers and
leaders, capable of leading the masses in the struggle against the class
enemy." The instructors of party education are trained at the Institute
for Political Instruction of the Central Committee of the BKP, which in
turn supervises the work of the Central Leninist Party School. In
addition to the general dissemination of party policy by these
instructors, there are both formal study circles and political schools
that present two-year courses in the history of both the Bulgarian and
the Soviet communist parties.



Bulgaria has a proud cultural heritage that dates to early medieval
times. During the Golden Age (A.D. 893-927) of the first and second
Bulgarian kingdom, Bulgarian arts and letters dominated the Slavic
world. Exposed to the flourishing culture of neighboring Byzantium,
Bulgarians absorbed its influence, adapted it to their own Slavic
culture and language, and then spread it among the less advanced Slavic
peoples in the Balkans and to the north.

After the Turkish conquest in 1396, cultural development was retarded
for several centuries until the drive for liberation in the nineteenth
century rekindled its creative spark. In contrast to the Golden Age,
however, when Bulgarian culture was widespread, modern artistic and
intellectual expression tended to be provincial in both its audience and
its content. After independence, although interest in cultural and
intellectual matters was high, support for it was restricted to a
minority in Sofia and in a few of the largest towns. The government made
some contribution to the country's artistic development through small
subsidies to institutions and government jobs for artists and
intellectuals, but the subsidies were not always on the basis of merit.

Before World War II few people could made an adequate living through
creative work alone, with the possible exception of members of the
National Theater and Opera. The prestige of university professors,
members of the Academy of Sciences, and the leading singers, artists,
actors, and writers was high, but the financial rewards were hardly
commensurate with their standing. Despite their prestige, Bulgarian
writers and intellectuals have not enjoyed the same position of
leadership and influence that has been traditional in other countries of
Eastern Europe.

The communist government had promoted pride in the cultural heritage by
restoring and preserving the country's medieval treasures and national
revival masterpieces and by promoting traditional folk arts both in
their own right and as inspiration to other forms of artistic
expression. Considerable funds and efforts have been devoted to the
promotion of new artistic and intellectual expression, which is seen as
an important medium for the political and social education of the
people. For this reason the leadership has tried to keep artistic and
intellectual expression under control and to use it for its own

Despite controls, artistic and intellectual life is active. Not all
creative effort becomes public, and that which does not meet the
prescribed criteria of style and content is known only by its creator
and a few select friends; nevertheless, it is produced. Much of what
passes the censor is of doubtful artistic quality, but works of
considerable merit have appeared in all forms of artistic expression.
Gifted artists and writers find ways to express their talent within the
confines of government regulations.


Since 1944 artistic and intellectual expression have been subject to the
cultural policy of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP--see Glossary),
which has followed a relatively strict adherence to the concept of
Socialist Realism as developed in the Soviet Union. Under this concept
art, music, and literature are required to promote communist ideology
and present an idealized picture of communist society. In order to
impart the ideological message, artistic and intellectual expression
must be understood by the common man and, therefore, can only take the
form of straightforward representative statements.

During the period of de-Stalinization in the mid-1950s, cultural
controls became less restrictive, and artistic and intellectual
expression burst into new creativity and life. Although this outburst
never reached the proportions it did in Poland and Hungary during the
same period, the regime considered it a threat and reimposed strict
controls in the late 1950s. At that time the government was preparing
for a great push in economic development and, to further this goal,
mobilized the cultural community into service as propagandists.

Another thaw in cultural restriction occurred in the early 1960s when
several factions were struggling for control of the BKP. After Todor
Zhivkov assumed firm control of the party, writers and artists were
again required to serve the needs of the state until the fall of Nikita
Khrushchev in the Soviet Union, and an attempted coup in Bulgaria forced
Zhivkov to broaden his popular support by relaxing the BKP's control of
national life.

This ebb and flow of restriction on artistic and intellectual expression
continues and serves as a barometer for the political and economic
climate in the country. At no time since the mid-1950s did cultural
policy reach the degree of repression of the Stalinist period. The
leadership in Bulgaria, as did those in other Eastern European
countries, learned that repression was counterproductive. Instead, it
adopted a subtler method of control through the publishers, art
galleries, theater companies, and other outlets for creative expression,
all of which are run by the state in conformity with the guidelines on
cultural policy. Because a creative artist must communicate his ideas to
an audience in order to achieve fulfillment, he tends to adapt his ideas
and principles to what is acceptable to the available outlets for his
work. Thus, self-censorship has replaced direct government control for
the most part.

From a material standpoint, the life of a creative artist in
contemporary Bulgaria is far more secure than that of his counterpart in
a capitalist country. Creative expression is seen as a social function;
therefore, society owes the creative artist an assured livelihood. This
is provided either through regular salaries from publishing houses,
academies of music or art, or other agencies that employ artists or
through stipends paid to creative artists who do not have a regular
salary to depend on. Free or low-cost room and board are also available
to creative artists and their families at special artists' colonies or
retreats operated by professional unions in the creative arts and by
government agencies for the promotion of the arts and sciences. Under
this system, however, the artist is under constant pressure to produce
in order to justify his salary or stipend.

In order to qualify for any of the material advantages, in fact, in
order to function as a professional artist or scholar, an individual
must be a member of the appropriate professional union. The unions are,
for the most part, an arm of the BKP and another instrument for
enforcing cultural policy (see ch. 9). Only the Writers' Union has
demonstrated a certain degree of independence based on the recognized
power of the written word. As recently as December 1972 the union again
resisted integration into the Committee on Art and Culture, a
supradepartmental government agency having a wide range of authority in
the cultural sphere. The Writers' Union is the only professional union
in the arts that has not been integrated into the committee.

The principal aim of cultural policy since 1944 has been to popularize
the arts and sciences by making them accessible to all segments of the
population and to utilize those mediums for the promotion of communist
values. Popularization of the arts has been accomplished by greatly
expanding the facilities that present the arts to the public and by
supporting these facilities with state funds. Many new orchestras,
theater companies, publishers, and art galleries have come into
existence since World War II. Touring exhibits and road companies take
the arts into small towns and villages. Radio and television have been
extensively utilized to promote the arts and learning. Through state
support, the prices of books and admission tickets have been kept
extremely low in order to bring them within the reach of as many persons
as possible. The traditional library clubs have been reinforced by a
network of "houses of culture," which serve as cultural centers in
villages and in urban neighborhoods.


The origins of Bulgarian literature date back to A.D. 855 when the Greek
priests Cyril and Methodius designed an alphabet--Cyrillic--suitable for
the Slavic languages in order to facilitate the Christianization of the
Slavs (see ch. 2). At first the alphabet was used to translate the Bible
and other Christian religious texts, but in the Golden Age of the First
Bulgarian Kingdom several original religious and secular tests were
written by Bulgarians in their own language. In the late Middle Ages a
substantial literature in Bulgarian was created. Although the authors
were all churchmen, much of the literature was secular. A whole body of
apocryphal literature--so-called heretical tales and legends--came into
being at that time.

During five centuries of Turkish rule, no literature was produced except
the orally transmitted folksongs and ballads. Not until the second half
of the eighteenth century, when Turkish rule began to degenerate, did
Bulgarian literature revive itself as part of the awakening national
consciousness of the people. The first book to appear was Father Paisi's
_Slav-Bulgarian History_, a highly nationalistic book published in 1762
that played a major role in the struggle for liberation. During the
first half of the nineteenth century, several Bulgarian texts were
published in neighboring countries. These were extremely influential in
developing the modern Bulgarian language as their publication coincided
with the establishment of schools and the spread of education among the
Bulgarian people. A number of periodicals were also started by
Bulgarians abroad, but most of them were irregular and short lived. Of
considerable significance, however, was the collection and publication,
first in periodicals and later in book form, of the folksongs and
ballads that had kept alive the language and culture of the Bulgarians
during the five centuries of Turkish rule. Much of the interest in folk
literature came from outside the country from other Slavs in Serbia,
Croatia, Czechoslovakia, and Russia, who were going through their own
national awakening and had a kindred feeling for the Bulgarians.

The early modern literature was nationalistic and didactic. Its authors
were educators involved in the spread of education and in the
modernization of the language and revolutionaries fighting for an
independent Bulgaria. Modernization and social reform were other strong
currents permeating the literature of that time and later. Such poets as
Petko Slaveikov, Lyuben Karavelov, and Khristo Botev were strongly
influenced by the Russian social reformers and revolutionaries of the
second half of the nineteenth century. Botev was the most outstanding
poet of this era. His short, intense, and fiery poems continue to arouse
patriotic feelings of Bulgarians everywhere. Botev's revolutionary
fervor and heroism have been identified by the present-day regime with
its own revolutionary movement, and he has been accorded great honor.

In the postindependence period the dominant literary figure was Ivan
Vazov, whose influence on subsequent generations of writers has been
tremendous. Known as the national poet and father of modern Bulgarian
literature, Vazov was primarily a writer and not a crusader or
revolutionary as were his predecessors. He was steeped in the great
literature of Europe and Russia and used the Bulgarian setting and
traditions to write about universal ideas. Vazov's greatest novel,
_Under the Yoke_, describing Bulgarian life under the Turks, has been
widely translated.

Vazov and his contemporaries Yordan Yovkov and Pencho Slaveikov (son of
Petko Slaveikov) sought to direct Bulgarian literature away from its
confines of national politics and reform into a more general artistic
and philosophical outlook. They were joined in this effort by the
somewhat younger Elin Pelin, whose stories have also been widely
translated. Although these writers continued to draw much of their
inspiration from native scenery, folk themes, and village life, they
were writers of universal quality and appeal.

Later, rival literary groups, each with its journal, laid the basis for
marked development in poetry, the short story, and the novel between the
two world wars. No outstanding literary figure emerged, but writers
continued to experiment with a variety of themes and forms.

Realism had always been a strong theme in Bulgarian literature, and in
the decade after 1944 the Communists sought to utilize this tradition in
imposing Soviet-style Socialist Realism as the desired form of
expression. Writers who conformed to the prescribed style were
generously rewarded with stipends and special privileges that encouraged
a volume of writing heretofore unknown. The novel became the main
literary form as it lends itself particularly well to the prerequisites
of the prescribed literary style. Nikola Vaptsarov and Khristo
Smyrnenski have been singled out by the government as outstanding
writers in the style of Socialist Realism.

Most of the literature produced in the late 1940s and early 1950s has
been classed at best as mediocre, even by Bulgarians themselves. Several
works of that period, however, have been recognized as outstanding. The
most acclaimed of these has been Dimitur Dimov's _Tobacco_, dealing with
the revolutionary movement among tobacco workers before and during World
War II. The novel was strongly condemned when first published in 1951
but, after the relaxation of cultural controls in the mid-1950s, it was
hailed as the best novel since Vazov's _Under the Yoke_.

Dissatisfaction of the writers with the restrictions imposed on them and
discontent of the public with the monotony and lack of literary quality
of contemporary writing became evident in the mid-1950s. These feelings
broke into the open when a mild form of de-Stalinization was put into
effect in 1956 (see ch. 9). Although the so-called writers' revolt never
reached the proportions of those in Poland or Hungary, it did bring
about a short period of relative freedom in literary expression and a
number of outstanding literary works that aroused a great controversy.
Foremost among these was Emil Manov's _An Unauthentic Case_, which
describes interparty conflict. Todor Genov's play _Fear_ also received
high praise for its treatment of the corruption by power of a once
idealistic Communist.

The leaders of the writers' revolt, with one exception, were all loyal
Communists who had become disillusioned with what they saw as the
hypocrisy and dishonesty of the leadership, which they felt was leading
the people into moral bankruptcy. Their main forum was a new periodical,
_Plamuk_, edited by Manov, foremost of the rebels. The main demand of
the rebels was that an artist should be free to choose his themes and
methods of presentation provided he remain loyal to communist ideology.

When the exposure in literature of the spiritual decline of individual
Communists and of communist ideals became too embarrassing to the
leadership, tighter restrictions were reimposed in the late 1950s. The
literature of the early 1960s has been termed cathartic. By writing
about long-suppressed thoughts and emotions, writers attempted to purge
themselves of guilt for the sins of the system that they had supported.
The poetry, which was very popular with the young, had a ring of
disillusionment and pessimism.

The government leadership did not approve of this literature any more
than it did of the literature exposing faults in the system. Rather than
repress the writers as it had done before, the regime used subtle
pressures to guide writers into acceptable subjects. What followed was a
wave of naturalistic poetry and novels dealing with purely human


A dramatic tradition was developed as part of the National Revival.
Plays intended to arouse the people's national consciousness were
written by Bulgarian authors and staged by students and teachers at
library clubs in several cities (see ch. 11). After independence in 1878
the National Theater was formed in Sofia, but for several decades it
depended heavily on foreign plays and foreign theatrical talent. By the
start of World War II, however, government subsidies had helped to
develop it to a point where it compared favorably with national theaters
elsewhere in Europe.

The present-day government has heavily supported the theater as a "mass
school for the all-round ideological, ethical and aesthetical education
of the people." An extensive repertoire of Bulgarian plays conforming to
the demands of Socialist Realism and to the prescribed content and
interpretation has been built up. It is performed by some forty-six
theatrical companies throughout the country. Classics by William
Shakespeare, Johann von Schiller, Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and
others are also performed regularly, as are selected contemporary plays
by playwrights from all over the world. Unlike elsewhere in Eastern
Europe, there has been no experimental or avant-garde theater in

The presentations of the Satirical Theater in Sofia are the most daring
and innovative theatrical presentations available to the public.
Although their humor is often biting, their theatrical style seems
rather ordinary and traditional to a Western theatergoer. The Satirical
Theater is, nevertheless, the most popular theater in the country;
tickets for its performances are sold out weeks in advance. In addition
to satirical reviews, the theater presents classical satires by Bertolt
Brecht, Nikolai Gogol, Vladimir Mayakovsky, and others. On the
assumption that "people who laugh think no evil," which is an old
Bulgarian proverb, the authorities have tolerated greater outspokenness
on the part of Satirical Theater productions than in the more serious
forms of artistic and creative expression.


As a medium of artistic and intellectual expression, Bulgarian films
have lagged behind those produced in other Eastern European countries.
They have received little recognition in the West, where they are
generally considered old-fashioned in story line interpretation as well
as in technical approach. Several attempts at imitation of the
surrealism of Alain Resnais and Louis Bunuel or of some of the other
contemporary Western cinematic directors, have proved failures in the
eyes of the critics at home and abroad.

In common with other communist filmmakers, those in Bulgaria have
concentrated for years on the suffering of the people under Nazi
oppression during World War II. Most of these films about war and
resistance have a propaganda purpose that outweighs any efforts toward
artistic or technical excellence. Since the late 1960s most feature
films have focused on contemporary life and its problems. It is these
films that have shown some experimentation in contemporary cinematic
techniques on the part of Bulgarian directors.

Animated cartoon shorts have been better received by Western critics and
audiences than have feature films. Those designed and directed by Ivan
Andonov, who is also one of Bulgaria's leading actors, have been
acclaimed as outstanding.


Bulgaria is best known in the world of music for several renowned opera
singers it has produced in the twentieth century. The bassos Boris
Khristov and Nikolai Ghiaurov, in particular, rank among the great
singers of all time. A number of other singers are known on opera stages
in Europe and the Soviet Union. The country's five opera companies
provide a good training ground for young singers. The opera repertoire
relies heavily on the classics and on contemporary compositions of
non-Bulgarian origin; there are few Bulgarian operas. Nevertheless,
opera is an extremely popular form of musical entertainment,
particularly among the intelligentsia.

The interest in and love of opera among Bulgarians probably has its
roots in Eastern Orthodox Church music, which abounds in both the vocal
and dramatic elements characteristic of opera. Bulgarian clerics made
considerable contribution to the development of this music during the
Middle Ages through the introduction of certain rhythmic and structural
qualities that give orthodox ecclesiastical music its characteristic

The most typical form of musical expression through the ages has been
folk music. Through folksongs the Bulgarian language and cultural
heritage were kept alive during the centuries of Turkish rule. Turkish
influence is evident, however, in the musical quality of Bulgarian
folksongs, which are noticeably Middle Eastern in feeling. Although
there are many gay dances and happy songs in the folk repertoire, an
important segment of folk music has a sad, plaintive quality and sings
of the hardships and grief of daily life.

Bulgarian concert music is not well known outside the country. It is,
however, regularly performed by Bulgarian orchestras and has found its
way into the repertoire of orchestras in the Soviet Union and other
communist countries. Outstanding among contemporary composers is Pancho
Vladigerov, whose compositions were well received both before and after
the Communists came to power.

In the early 1970s the Bulgarian press noted a growing interest in
popular music among the youth. Dance bands and popular ensembles
proliferated in the high schools and youth clubs. Although the press
praised this interest in music as constructive, it decried the kind of
music that found most popularity. Instead of heroic "mass songs" of
Bulgarian composers, the youth showed interest only in Western popular


A rich legacy of folk arts was developed before and during the five
centuries of Turkish rule. On Sundays and festival days and at the end
of ordinary workdays, young and old in the villages would gather to
dance the intricate steps of the _horo_ (a circular group dance) and to
sing about young love, brave men, Turkish oppression, or mythical beasts
with strange features. Flutes, bagpipes, and simple stringed instruments
accompanied the songs and dances.

History and tradition were passed on from generation to generation
through legends, ballads, proverbs, and cautionary tales. This folklore
has formed the basis of much of Bulgarian literature and art since
independence from the Turks.

Other forms of folk arts were woodcarving, highly colored embroidery,
rug weaving, and icon painting. Although distinct in their regional
variations, the traditional costumes of Bulgarian peasants are simple
and drab when compared to those of other parts of Europe. Because any
wealth or material possessions were subject to Turkish confiscation,
Bulgarian peasants strove to present an image of poverty through simple
dress and housing.

In common with other Eastern European governments, the Bulgarian
government has striven to support and promote the traditional folk arts
as part of the cultural heritage of the people. Artisan co-*operatives
produce carved woodenware, rugs, weavings, embroideries, and traditional
musical instruments for sale in government shops. Numerous folk dance
groups give performances at local tourist centers and abroad. The
various folk arts have been free from restriction even during periods of
strict cultural controls; therefore, they have afforded the best outlet
for individual creativity of the serious artists as well as the folk


The golden age of Bulgarian art was, without doubt, the Middle Ages. No
art since that time has matched the magnificence and quality of the
icons and frescoes that adorn the churches and monasteries constructed
during that period. Some of the best and most prized examples of
Byzantine painting are found in the Boyana Church near Sofia, in the
Zemen Monastery in the mountains along the Yugoslav border, and in
several other small village churches. A masterpiece of early Bulgarian
art is the icon of Saint Theodor of Plateina near Preslav; it was made
of colored faience in the tenth century. True to the Byzantine style,
medieval Bulgarian art used muted colors, mostly the earthy tones of
yellows and browns, to depict somber saints and other religious figures.

Some of the Bulgarian painters developed a special style known as the
Turnovo School of art. In addition to decorating churches and
monasteries, Turnovo School artists also painted miniatures to
illustrate chronicles and religious texts. Several of these are
preserved in major European museums.

Woodcarving, silversmithing, goldsmithing, and other crafts also reached
a high level of artistry in medieval Bulgaria. Human and animal figures
were common motifs in carved wooden doors and other architectural

Medieval creativity came to an abrupt halt with the Turkish invasion,
which not only prevented new artistic expression but also destroyed and
damaged much of the existing art. Not until the National Revival of the
nineteenth century did Bulgarian artists again begin to express their
creativity in painting and sculpture.

Modern Bulgarian art had its beginning in the national awakening and
the struggle for independence of the late eighteenth and the nineteenth
centuries. As in literature, National Revival art found its themes in
the beauty of the countryside, the charm of old customs, traditional
folktales, and the heroic deeds of brave men. Stylistic inspiration came
from peasant art and ancient Bulgarian religious art. Most significant
among revival artists were Nikola Pavlovich and Vladislav Dospevaki, the
former for his introduction of Western-style realism and the latter for
his modernization of church art. As a whole, however, National Revival
art is more significant for its historic role than for its artistic

In the early years of independence, the simplicity of National Revival
art gave way to an academic style and to impressionism. Best known in
that period was Ivan Murkvichka, a Bohemian by birth, whose most
appreciated paintings dealt with peasant life. He founded the Academy of
Fine Arts in Sofia and organized the first Bulgarian art exhibit.

After World War I Vladimir Dimitrov, known as The Master, sought to free
Bulgarian painting from the influence of ethnography and literature,
although he too drew upon village motifs. Mainly a painter of people--in
individual portraits or in group compositions--he concentrated on themes
of family life and peasant work. Since World War II Dimitrov has been
hailed as a great revolutionary humanist whose stylized epic and lyrical
works depict the greatness of the people and of their suffering.

In addition to Dimitrov, the interwar period saw the formation of a
group of young painters, led by Ivan Milev, who broke away from routine
academic composition and advocated the combination of national with
modernistic elements. At this time also, Alexander Bozhinov developed
cartoon caricature as an art form to be used as a political weapon.

Contemporary art has been guided by the strictures of Socialist Realism
as interpreted at different times. Because national or peasant art is
always acceptable under these restrictions, artists have used it as an
avenue for greater freedom of expression. The influence of peasant
icons, for instance, can be seen in the work of many contemporary
artists. Peasant motifs, such as the fruits of the earth, are also
evident in much of the work. The art most acceptable to the leadership,
however, has been the kind of realism that Westerners associate with
communist art. Typical of this style is Ilia Petrov's _Partisan Song_, a
monumental canvas depicting a group of partisans triumphantly singing
after a victory over fascists. Petrov has consistently received official
praise for his work, which is seen as "national in form and socialist in

Under the influence of Zhivkov's more liberal cultural policy in the
1960s, artists began to show greater variation and creativity in style
while retaining the acceptable subject matter for their work. Many
experimented with abstracts and other avant-garde forms, but these
works were never selected for public showing or purchase by the museums
and other state agencies, which are the only significant patrons. The
artist, therefore, is usually forced to divide his efforts between those
works that will earn a living and those that will give vent to his
creative urge.

Although nonrepresentational art is not publicly exhibited, a
considerable degree of abstraction became acceptable in the late 1960s.
According to observers who have had contact with Bulgarian artists, the
public had grown bored with the prescribed style and content of artistic
production, and the government could no longer effectively enforce the
restrictions. Added to the difficulties of enforcement was the
increasing exposure of Bulgarians through tourism to the great variety
of contemporary art produced in Western Europe and in some of the other
communist countries. The most abstract and avant-garde painter in
Bulgaria is Genko Genkov, some of whose paintings hang in the National
Gallery in Sofia.

Graphic artists have been allowed the greatest freedom for abstraction.
By its very nature, graphic art tends to be abstract and stylized.
Graphic artists such as Maria Nedkova have succeeded in producing works
that are highly regarded both by the government and by the avant-garde
intelligentsia. Many graphic artists go back to Bulgarian medieval art
for inspiration in theme and style. Pencho Koulekov, for instance, who
is highly regarded in Bulgaria, uses the primitive two-dimensional
perspective, the simplification of forms, the highlighting of the
essential, and the omission of all detail that was characteristic of
early miniaturists and icon painters.

Until the time of independence, sculpture was represented almost
exclusively by decorative wood carvings. With the introduction of
Western influences, several artists turned to the use of stone. Few
Bulgarian sculptors achieved international fame, however, although the
work of some professors of fine arts in Sofia were becoming known
outside the country. Among them was the noted woodcut artist, Vasil
Zakhariev, and a former director of the Academy of Fine Arts, Ivan

The three-dimensional nature of sculpture and the classic Greek
tradition of literal representation have made it difficult for
contemporary sculptors to break away from the realistic representational
requirements of the regime. Only sculptures designed for children's
playgrounds and parks are allowed a degree of abstraction characteristic
of art created by children themselves. Observers have commented that
works considered highly modern in Bulgaria are completely traditional
and representational to the Western eye.


The architectural tradition of Bulgaria is formed on ancient Thracian,
Greek, and Roman architecture of which examples survive in several
parts of the country. Three periods stand out in the development of
distinct architectural styles over the ages. The first period was the
Middle Ages, when Bulgarian and other architects constructed some of the
great examples of early Byzantine architecture in territories that
constituted the First Bulgarian Kingdom (see ch. 2). Many of these
monuments are no longer within the boundaries of Bulgaria--notably the
churches and monastery in the Lake Ohrid region of Yugoslavia--and
others were destroyed during the centuries of Turkish rule. Among those
that have survived within the confines of the country are some of the
best examples of artistic expression and technology of the Byzantine
period. These are a source of great pride for Bulgarians, who consider
them part of their contribution to world culture.

The next period of outstanding architectural development was the
National Revival period of the late eighteenth century and the
nineteenth century. Flourishing commerce gave new life to such towns as
Plovdiv and Turnovo and created new urban centers in which affluent
merchants and artisans built homes and public buildings in a richly
ornamented style that came to be known as the National Revival style.
These two-story structures made extensive use of stone and wood, the
latter usually elaborately carved. The interiors were light and
spacious. In addition to carved doors, ceilings, and built-in
sideboards, the interiors were often decorated with wall paintings.
Typical of National Revival architecture is the Rila Monastery; its
interior walls are covered with frescoes, and its interior and exterior
abound in carved wooden structural members and decorative details. The
monastery, like other National Revival structures, reflects the
Byzantine influence in the many large arched windows, arched ceilings,
and arcades.

The third period of distinguished architectural development is the
contemporary one. Industrial growth since World War II and a rapidly
growing tourist industry since the mid-1950s have called for large-scale
construction of needed facilities. New resort towns arose on the Black
Sea; industrial new towns grew in other locations; and hotels, apartment
complexes, and public buildings were needed throughout the country.
Although much of the architecture imitates the colossal style of
Stalinist work, some of it is of high artistic quality and imagination.
The Balkantourist Hotel in Turnovo and several hotels in Black Sea
resorts are often singled out as outstanding examples of modern
architecture; they combine traditional features with modern materials
and techniques and blend them into a design that fits into the natural

Several young architects have achieved international reputations by
winning major design competitions in different parts of the world.
Winning designs have included plans for the development of the city
center of Closure, in the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany),
and the city center of Tunis, and the redesigning of the Civic Center
Plaza in San Francisco. Since the 1960s the most talented young
architects have been spending some time in Western Europe to expand
their knowledge and experience.


Isolated for five centuries from the main currents of intellectual and
scientific developments abroad and denied the education required to
undertake any scholarly or scientific activity of their own, the
Bulgarian people do not have a long tradition of scholarship and
science. Some intellectual activity did take place in the isolated
mountain monasteries, and it eventually inspired the National Revival.
Because of this isolation, however, the focus of the intellectual
activity was parochial.

The Academy of Sciences was founded in 1869 as part of the National
Revival movement and has served, together with the University of Sofia,
as the rallying point of intellectuals and scholars. After World War II
the Academy of Sciences was expanded by the incorporation of several
independent research institutions. Its membership was also vastly
increased with the admission of individuals whose loyalty to the new
government would assure the proper slant to their scholarly work. The
Academy of Agricultural Sciences was founded in 1961 to provide the
scientific know-how that would expand the output of collectivized
agriculture. The two academies coordinate and supervise all research and
scholarly activity undertaken in the country.

Emphasis in all scholarly and scientific activity has been on matters
directly applicable to industrial and agricultural development. Work in
the social sciences has been directed at the government's efforts to
transform Bulgaria into a socialist state. The work of scientists and
scholars must conform to the various theories and formulas developed by
Soviet scholars and must not dispute or contradict the basic precepts of
Marxism-Leninism as interpreted by the Bulgarian leadership. In the
early 1970s scholarly activity in Bulgaria had not yet attained the
freedom of thought and expression that has been evident in Poland and




The People's Republic of Bulgaria is a socialist state with a form of
government not too different from the Soviet model on which it was
patterned. Following the classical Marxist-Leninist ideology, it
subscribes to rule by the working class--that is, dictatorship of the
proletariat--a doctrine asserting that all power emanates from the
people and is exercised by them through the electoral process. Corollary
to this right of the people to elect national representatives is the
power to recall them through the same instrument of the ballot. In
practice, however, the dictatorship of the proletariat has been a
dictatorship of the communist party.

The government has its theoretical base in the constitution adopted in
1971, which superseded the earlier version of 1947. The 1971
Constitution provides for a representative unicameral legislature known
as the National Assembly, an executive committee within the legislature
called the State Council, and a cabinet of advisers known as the Council
of Ministers. For regional and local government the constitution
establishes a hierarchical structure of people's councils. Parallel to
the entire governmental structure there exist corresponding levels of
the Bulgarian Communist Party (Bulgarska Komunisticheska Partiya--BKP,
see Glossary) and, in practice, the party leadership at each level
exercises executive and legislative control.

The 1971 Constitution, unlike the 1947 document, explicitly sanctions
the leadership of the BKP. Its preamble unequivocally proclaims the
leading role of the BKP in the government machinery as the directing
force in promoting socialist goals and in actively participating in the
fraternity of friendly socialist countries. Particularly noteworthy is
the statement of recognition of Bulgaria's alignment with the Soviet

The 1971 Constitution also recognizes the representation of
multi-interest groups within the united Fatherland Front (Otechestven
Front), a coalition of left-of-center political groups, which had its
origins during World War II. The front has become a large umbrella for
mass organizations and is headed by the National Council of the
Fatherland Front, which functions under party auspices. As constituted
in 1973, the front remained a control mechanism or, more appropriately,
a transmission belt for the BKP.

The drafters of the 1971 Constitution of Bulgaria subscribed
to Lenin's principle of unity of power, which advocated combined
legislative-executive authority in one state organ of power. In the
1970s the State Council had assumed legislative initiative as well as
executive responsibility, whereas the National Assembly, which was
constitutionally endowed with the legislative authority, followed the
lead of the State Council.

Government is structured on two levels: national and local. The highest
legislative body, according to the constitution, is the National
Assembly, which meets only three times a year in very short sessions.
Executive direction at the national level comes from the State Council,
which theoretically is elected by and responsible to the National
Assembly. In effect, however, the council has become a superior body.
Because the National Assembly meets infrequently, the State Council
assumes legislative initiative in addition to its executive
responsibility. The third major organ at the national level, referred to
in the constitution as the government, is the Council of Ministers,
which is theoretically appointed by and responsible to the National
Assembly but is actually responsible to the State Council. National
policy decisions reach the grass roots level through the pyramidal
system of people's councils.

The judiciary, although independent in theory, is an integral part of
the government structure that operates as an adjunct of the
executive-legislative organs. By design the judicial system legitimizes
communist control and gives legal expression to party policy. The system
is structured so that the courts of law and the prosecution agency
function together, and the latter enjoys police power.


The beginnings of constitutional government in Bulgaria date back to
1879 after Russia had liberated the country from 485 years of Turkish
rule. From 1879 to 1947 the country was governed by a constitutional
monarchy based on the Turnovo Constitution, which established a
parliamentary system of government having a king at its head. Among
comparable constitutions in Europe at the time, the Turnovo document was
considered liberal and democratic in form, organization, and operation.
It was considered to be one of the most liberal in the world at that
time. Whereas most European countries limited suffrage in various ways,
all Bulgarian citizens over the age of twenty-one enjoyed the franchise.

Through a sixty-five-year span, however, the Turnovo Constitution was
revised twice, suspended twice, and violated many times. Basic to these
conflicts was the limit on the power of the king and the extent of
popular participation in government. The absence of consultative bodies
in a unicameral legislature served to widen the rift between the
executive and legislative branches.

Even after the communist takeover in 1944, the Turnovo Constitution
continued to be the charter of government until a new constitution was
adopted in December 1947. In party historiography the 1947 Constitution
is described as the work of Georgi Dimitrov, hence it became known as
the Dimitrov Constitution and remained in force until 1971.

The Constitution of 1947

In the mid-1940s, with the ascendancy of the BKP in the Fatherland Front
coalition government, there arose a need to draw up a new charter. The
changes in government structure and operation had rendered the Turnovo
Constitution obsolete, and the BKP was anxious to discard those elements
that party ideologists considered bourgeois.

Structurally the Constitution of 1947 consisted of eleven chapters and
101 articles without a preamble. It proclaimed Bulgaria a people's
republic with a representative form of government to be implemented by
universal suffrage of citizens eighteen years of age and over.

The constitution established the National Assembly as the supreme organ
of the state power and the Council of Ministers as the supreme executive
and administrative organ. During the twenty-four-year span of the 1947
Constitution, the Presidium of the National Assembly actually wielded
more power than its parent organization or the Council of Ministers,
even though such power was not ascribed to it in the Constitution. The
power of the presidium derived from the BKP positions concurrently held
by its members.

Legislative power was vested in a unicameral legislature, the National
Assembly, which was elected for a term of four years. Assembly
representatives were elected by the people on the basis of one
representative for every 30,000 people; amended in 1961 to 25,000.
Representatives served terms of four years but could be recalled at any
time before the expiration of their terms. The constitution required the
assembly to meet twice a year and on other occasions as required by its
presidium, which met in continuous session.

The many functions of the National Assembly included electing the
presidium, Supreme Court judges, and the chief prosecutor; appointing
the Council of Ministers; amending the constitution; granting amnesties;
deciding the holding of referenda; voting on the general economic plan;
settling questions of war and peace; and other legislative matters of
nationwide application.

Within the assembly the presidium--consisting of a president, two vice
presidents, a secretary, and fifteen members--was empowered with
legislative-executive authority, and it exercised judicial power in the
interpretation of laws that were binding on everyone. More importantly,
the presidium assumed the powers and functions of the National Assembly
when the latter was not in session. In effect, the small presidium
exercised the legislative function most of the time.

Executive and administrative direction was vested in the Council of
Ministers, a cabinet elected by the National Assembly. The council
consisted of a chairman, several deputy chairmen, the heads of various
commissions having ministerial rank, and the ministers. The council was
assigned the tasks of directing and administering the various ministries
that were concerned with the economy as well as with affairs of state;
the State Planning Committee; the State Control Committee; and the
Committee on Art and Culture; as well as the Committee on Science,
Technical Progress and Higher Education. In practice, the council
implemented policy decisions of the party leaders who were its
high-ranking officers.

Following the Soviet model, the first secretary of the party was also
the chairman of the Council of Ministers and, as such, was the country's
premier. It became evident through the years that the Council of
Ministers and the Presidium of the National Assembly were the ultimate
sources of governmental authority because legislation they proposed was
usually implemented by decree and approved, after the fact, by the
National Assembly.

The 1947 Constitution treated the economic and social structure of the
country extensively. It subscribed to collective ownership of the means
of production; defined rules of national economic planning and social
welfare; empowered the government to nationalize trade, industry, and
transportation; expropriated land where necessary; and restricted
ownership of private property--all in the interest of the state. The
constitution also gave the state the prerogative to establish monopolies
over production and trade.

Below the apex of the governmental pyramid lay the wide base of local
governments. These consisted of district and communal people's councils
exercising authority through their executive committees, which sat in
continuous session. The executive committees of the people's councils
cooperated closely with local party groups, and personnel were often
concurrently members of executive committees and local party committees.
Although the organization of local government was revamped in 1949, in
1951, and in 1959, by the mid-1960s it was replaced by twenty-seven
districts plus Sofia, which became a territorial administrative unit.
The decentralizing of governmental authority to the local organs of
state power was designed to bring about greater efficiency and better
supervision in matters of political, economic, and cultural interests.

The Constitution of 1971

The Constitution of 1971 was the result of the work of the Tenth
Bulgarian Communist Party Congress, which was held April 20-25, 1971, in
Sofia. This congress also produced a new program for the BKP, made
changes in statutes, elected the Central Committee of the Bulgarian
Communist Party, and adopted "Directives on the Socio-Economic
Development of the People's Republic of Bulgaria during the Sixth
Five-Year Plan (1971-75)."

The draft of the new constitution was presented for nationwide
discussion on March 30, 1971, just three weeks before the opening of the
tenth BKP congress. The congress approved the draft in its entirety on
the opening day of session. The constitution was approved through a
popular referendum on May 16 and was proclaimed law two days later by
the National Assembly. General elections under the new law took place on
June 27, 1971.

The structure and functioning of the different organs of state power as
outlined in the Dimitrov Constitution remained essentially the same
except that the State Council became a more powerful governmental body
than the Presidium of the National Assembly that it replaced and, in
effect, overshadowed the Council of Ministers in authority. The new
document continues to define Bulgaria as a people's republic but also
refers to its socialist character and to its membership in the
international community of socialist states. Two new features are the
declaration of principles in the preamble and the sanction given to the
leadership of the BKP, aided by the Bulgarian Agrarian Union (also
called the Agrarian Party) within a united Fatherland Front (see ch. 9).

The Constitution of 1971 reflects the new changes in the sociopolitical
and socioeconomic development of the country as viewed by the communist
leadership. The first chapter consists of twelve articles that briefly
define the political philosophy upon which the constitution is based and
the direction in which the party expects the country to move under the
new charter. Simply stated, the philosophy avows that Bulgaria is "a
socialist state of the working people of town and country, headed by the
working class," and "the guiding force in society and the state is the
Bulgarian Communist Party." The direction of movement expected by the
country's leadership is evidenced by the assertion that "the socialist
state shall promote the evolution of the socialist society into a
communist society." This chapter also affirms the Marxist-Leninist
principles that underlie the functioning of the state and the society.

The new document also addresses itself to significant changes in the
interrelationships between the National Assembly, State Council
(formerly the presidium), and the Council of Ministers. For instance,
the constitution expanded the right of legislative initiative to include
not only the National Assembly and the Council of Ministers but also the
State Council, the permanent commissions of the National Assembly, the
Supreme Court, the chief prosecutor, and the district people's councils.
The rationale was that the National Assembly is not a continuously
sitting body so that its functions must, of necessity, be assigned to
state bodies of a permanent nature.

Twenty articles explain the economic system and development of the
republic based on the socialist ownership of the means of production.
The constitution recognizes four kinds of ownership: state, cooperative,
public organizations, and individual or personal.

The Law on Citizen's Property passed during the session of the National
Assembly in March 1973, however, nearly abolished the private ownership
of the means of production which, according to communist theory, is the
basis for the exploitation of man by man. The new measure gave legal
expression to what had been planned since the constitution was
promulgated in 1971 and reflects the complete predominance of collective
ownership in furtherance of the spirit of the tenth BKP congress.
Private ownership is confined to "items for personal use."

Basic rights and liberties of citizens get constitutional guarantees,
but in almost every stipulation that hinges on personal, civil, and
political rights, in practice, the interest and welfare of the state
take precedence. Basic rights and obligations embrace a wide scope of
personal, civil, and political freedoms. Among these guarantees are the
right to Bulgarian citizenship; civil rights of spouses, parents, and
children; rights to work, rest, and receive health care and free
education; freedoms of speech, press, association, and demonstration;
rights to secrecy of correspondence and communication except in cases of
national emergency; and freedom of worship. All citizens are declared to
be equal before the law regardless of national origin, creed, social
status, education, or sex. Article 36 extends to women equal rights with
men. Mothers are guaranteed all-expense-paid hospitalization and
maternity care, paid maternity leave of absence, and provision for
children's care in nurseries and other establishments provided by the
government. The protective arm of the state also extends to its citizens

Rights have commensurate obligations defined by the constitution to
ensure the survival and strengthening of the socialist foundation.
Foremost among these are the obligation to work according to one's
abilities, the defense of the state, compulsory military service, and
tax obligations for state support. Treason and other high crimes against
the state, such as inciting war and disseminating propaganda, are
treated with severity.


The Central Government

The constitution exhibits an image of legislative supremacy asserting
that power belongs to the people and is exercised through such elected
representative bodies as the National Assembly and the people's
councils. The practice, however, shows executive political hegemony
exercised by the party leadership occupying positions of governmental
responsibility, such as the head of the Council of Ministers and head of
the State Council. The power exercised by a government organ is
directly linked to the party positions held by its head and by its
members. For example, Todor Zhivkov as president of the State Council (a
position that automatically makes him president of the republic) is at
the same time first secretary of the party and a member of its
Politburo. Stanko Todorov, who is chairman of the Council of Ministers
and thereby premier of the republic, is also a member of the Politburo.
Several other members of the State Council and the Council of Ministers
are concurrently members of the Politburo, the Secretariat, or the
Central Committee. This interlocking of positions, which occurs not only
at the national level but at all levels, ensures party control of the
entire governmental system (see fig. 6).

State Council

The source of executive direction and control in the government is the
State Council, a twenty-four-man executive committee within the National
Assembly elected for an indefinite term until a new National Assembly
elects a new council. It functions as a collegial executive and
legislative body, and its president assumes the title of president of
the People's Republic of Bulgaria.

The State Council of the National Assembly replaced the former
presidium, to which the 1947 Constitution had given honorific titles but
largely ceremonial functions. Conceived during a plenum of the party
Central Committee in 1968 but not established until after the
promulgation of the new constitution in 1971, the State Council was
designed to be a powerful force, both executive and legislative, in the
overall governmental structure. The best evidence to the power inherent
in the structure of the new State Council was the fact that party leader
Zhivkov chose to relinquish the premiership, which he had held for
several years, in favor of the newly created position of president of
the State Council. Zhivkov is one of a very few leaders of communist
countries who continues to retain the top position in both the party and
the government.

The State Council exercises a wide spectrum of authority that would
theoretically be the responsibility of the National Assembly. In effect
the State Council becomes the alter ego of, or a surrogate for, the
National Assembly and arrogates to itself the constitutional
prerogatives of the people and the elected legislature. Most members of
the State Council are concurrently high-ranking members of the BKP.

Among the many duties and responsibilities of the council, the most
important can be divided into two definite groups: those functions that
are specifically defined and thereby permanent and those functions that
the council assumes when the legislative body is not in session. During
wartime, when it might not be possible for the assembly to meet, the
constitution provides for the complete assumption of legislative and
executive authority by the State Council.

The State Council's specific and permanent functions include, among
others, calling the National Assembly into session, exercising the
right of legislative initiative, determining bills that should be
submitted to the people for nationwide discussion, interpreting the laws
and decrees binding on everyone, creating and eliminating departments
below ministerial level, appointing and recalling diplomatic
representatives, granting Bulgarian citizenship, ratifying international
treaties concluded by the government, and implementing the general
direction of the defense of the country.

[Illustration: _Figure 6. Bulgaria, Structure of Government, 1973_]

When the National Assembly is not in session, the State Council is
empowered to promulgate decrees and other acts of legal validity dealing
with problems arising from laws and decrees of the legislative body.
Furthermore, these acts and decrees have the force of law and need no
legislative confirmation at the next assembly session.

Additionally, the council exercises executive control over the Council
of Ministers, its members, the local people's councils, and the Office
of the Chief Prosecutor; it can repeal decisions of the ministries and
other central departments, which in effect reduces the Council of
Ministers to a grade below the State Council. In the event of war the
State Council, in the absence of the National Assembly, is empowered to
sign peace treaties, to amend the constitution, to grant amnesty, and to
change the territorial boundaries of the country. In sum, the functions
of the State Council can be categorized into executive, legislative,
judicial, and police. In carrying out these multifarious
responsibilities, six councils and two committees assist the State
Council, (see fig. 7).

Council of Ministers

The Council of Ministers is described in the constitution as "a supreme
executive and administrative body of state power." In practice the
council is more of an advisory body to the State Council than it is a
supreme body even though it oversees the day-to-day functioning of the
government. In 1973 the council consisted of a chairman (the premier),
two first deputy chairmen, five deputy chairmen, twenty ministers, and
several chairmen of committees subordinate to the council. Additionally,
there are other members in the council; they are ministers without
portfolio (two) and the deputy chairman of the State Control Committee.
Within the council there is an inner executive committee known as the
Bureau of the Council of Ministers; its membership includes the
chairman, his seven deputies, the minister of finance, and the chairman
of the State Planning Committee.

Election and organization of the Council of Ministers is done by the
National Assembly, which determines the number, kind, and names of the
ministries and of other departments with ministerial rank. For this
reason the number of ministries and central agencies may vary from time
to time. The Constitution of 1971 introduced two new features that did
not exist in the 1947 Constitution. One obliges the Council of Ministers
to give an accounting of its work to the State Council and another
limits the rights of the Council of Ministers over the executive
committees of the people's councils.

Some of the functions of the Council of Ministers overlap those of the
State Council. Categorically, these functions may be grouped together as
executive, legislative, economic (budget preparation), police, and

The Council of Ministers also has jurisdiction to form--for the purpose
of administration--committees, councils, general boards, and offices.
Also within their competence, ministers and heads of departments with
ministerial rank have the right to issue orders and rescind unlawful or
irregular acts and actions of the special bodies of the people's
councils. They also have the right to suspend acts of the executive
committee of the people's councils.

[Illustration: _Figure 7. Bulgaria, Organization of the Council of
Ministers, 1973_]

The constitution empowers the Council of Ministers to draft and
implement national economic plans for submission to the National
Assembly. The council has police power in the maintenance of public
order and security and has general command of the armed forces. Along
with the State Council it implements the direction and control of the
activities of the people's councils.

The National Assembly

The National Assembly, a unicameral legislature, is the only legislative
body of the central government, but legislative initiative has been
extended to several other governmental organs. In practice the State
Council appears to be the most powerful organ of government as well as
the principal initiator of legislative matters. The assembly, which
meets only three times each year in short sessions, would appear to have
more form than substance in the actual governmental affairs of the
country. It would seem to be impossible for anyone to become a member of
the assembly or of the State Council without prior approval of the BKP
(see ch. 9).

The assembly's 400 members represent voting districts of equal numbers
of inhabitants per delegate. The term of office is five years. This was
another innovation in that the BKP hierarchy decided that party
congresses would be held every five years instead of four and,
therefore, elections to the National Assembly should be changed in the
same manner. In the exercise of its functions, the National Assembly can
dissolve itself, and in emergency situations it may extend its term.

The manner in which the National Assembly operates, that is, the
infrequency and brevity of sessions, makes it imperative for permanent
commissions, in addition to the State Council, to carry on the
multifarious functions of the assembly. In 1971 there were twelve
permanent commissions, half of which had overlapping functions with
various ministries. The constitution does not specify how many permanent
or interim commissions the assembly should appoint but leaves such
matters of organization to the assembly itself.

Local Government

Territorially, Bulgaria is divided into twenty-eight districts
(_okruzi_; sing., _okrug_), about 200 municipalities, and about 5,500
villages. The municipalities, if size warrants, are divided into urban
constituencies (_rayoni_; sing., _rayon_), whereas villages are usually
grouped together to form rural constituencies known as _obshtini_
(sing., _obshtina_). Since 1959 the number of districts has remained
constant at twenty-eight, which includes one for the city of Sofia. The
number of urban and rural constituencies, on the other hand, changes
frequently as the population increases and as people move from the
countryside to the cities or move from cities to suburban areas.
Districts and urban and rural constituencies are governed on the local
level by people's councils, and in the 1971 elections there were almost
1,200 such councils with a total of more than 53,000 elected officials.

Each people's council has an elected executive committee, which is
constantly in session and which acts for the council during the long
periods when the full body is not meeting. On the local level the
executive committee is to the people's council what the State Council is
to the National Assembly on the national level. An executive committee
usually consists of a chairman, a first deputy chairman, several deputy
chairmen (depending on size), and a secretary. The interlocking of party
and governmental positions that is the hallmark of the central
government is repeated at the district and rural and urban constituency
levels, and often the members of a people's council executive committee
are also the most prominent members of the local party organization. An
executive committee usually serves for the entire term of its people's

In the implementation of national policy, people's councils are under
the supervision and control of higher councils all the way up to the
central government. The hierarchical and pyramidal structure of the
people's councils, wherein the lowest bodies are subject to the
direction of the next higher and of the highest bodies, is an example of
the application of Lenin's principle of democratic centralism.
Coincident with this structure of government is the parallel structure
of the BKP, whose members are in control or are influential at every

People's councils are empowered to adapt decisions and orders of higher
authorities to their own individual needs. Local councils prepare plans
and budgets in consonance with the national plans and, after decisions
have been made at the national level, the local councils conform to the
national policy. People's councils are involved in the day-to-day
affairs of their constituencies in government services and
administration, the maintenance of public order, the protection of state
and communal property, and the protection of the rights of its citizens.
In these areas the local police, known as the People's Militia, are the
instruments of the local council, but their responsibility is also to
the next higher level and on up to the Ministry of Internal Affairs (see
ch. 15).


The highest judicial organ is the Supreme Court, the members of which
are elected by the National Assembly for five-year terms. Below it are
twelve regional and ninety-three district courts, and the military
courts. The Supreme Court is a court of original jurisdiction as well as
of appellate jurisdiction. It is organized into criminal, civil, and
military divisions. In the administration of justice, courts and
prosecution are referred to as "weapons of the dictatorship of the
proletariat." Judges and assessors take part in the dispensation of
justice. These positions are elective.

The Office of the Chief Prosecutor is established to see that the laws
are obeyed by the ministries and other national departments, bodies of
local state power, economic and public organizations, and officials as
well as citizens. The chief prosecutor is elected to a five-year term.
He is subject to recall, however, before the expiration of his term and
is responsible only to the National Assembly. Again, as is true with the
Supreme Court, between sessions the chief prosecutor reports to the
State Council.

The chief prosecutor exercises wide powers in the performance of his
functions. Because he is elected by the National Assembly, he is certain
to be a loyal party member; he appoints prosecutors (district and
communal) for lower levels and can recall them before the expiration of
their terms. Together with the minister of justice, he controls the
judicial system for the communist party.

In interpreting the communist theory of "unity of power," the
constitution places the judiciary below the executive and legislative
branches of state power. It also lumps together the judicial bodies and
prosecutors in overlapping and parallel functions. The fact that judges
and lay assessors are elected indicates that the party echelons can
control the workings of the judicial machinery.


The basic election law of Bulgaria is embodied in a document adopted on
February 17, 1953, and published as the Law of Election for the National
Assembly of the People's Republic of Bulgaria. It has been amended many
times since then.

Article 6 of the 1971 Constitution extends the right to vote to every
Bulgarian citizen who has reached the age of eighteen, regardless of
"sex, nationality, race, creed, education, occupation, official or
social status, and property status." The only exceptions are those
persons under "complete tutelage." An earlier law had denied the right
to vote only to those who had been sentenced by a court.

Members of both national and local representative bodies--the National
Assembly and the people's councils--are elected by direct and secret
ballot on the basis of universal, equal, and direct suffrage.
Theoretically, they are responsible to their electorate and render an
accounting of their activities. In this frame of reference they can be
subject to recall even before the expiration of their term. In practice
they are removed at the discretion of the BKP.

The State Council schedules dates for elections to the National Assembly
and people's councils. In no case is the date fixed later than two
months after the expiration of the current mandate. The council is also
empowered to schedule dates for holding referenda on decisions of the
National Assembly. All election dates are set on weekends or nonworking
days to ensure continuous work production.

Under the election law and in accordance with the constitution,
elections are called by the State Council and conducted by the Central
Election Commission, a body created by the National Assembly and
directed by the State Council. The Central Election Commission comprises
representatives of various organizations, such as trade unions,
cooperatives, youth organizations, special professional and interest
groups, and other public organizations and societies, which must be duly
registered according to acceptable procedures established by the
National Assembly. The election commission is headed by an executive
committee consisting of a chairman, a deputy chairman, a secretary, and
twenty members, all of whom must be approved by the State Council.

Corollary to the right to elect is the right to be elected to public
office. Candidates are nominated according to electoral areas.
Theoretically, the right to nominate candidates is secured through
meetings of public organizations and such societies as trade unions,
youth organizations, cultural societies, and cooperatives. In practice,
however, candidates are nominated by the BKP leadership of these public
organizations, and their names are submitted for discussion during
meetings. This procedure ensures the candidates' election and at the
same time meets the obligation in the electoral law that nominations be
discussed at public meetings.

Lists of candidates for public office are compiled in each village,
town, and district and are submitted to the BKP-controlled National
Council of the Fatherland Front where a final list of candidates is
drawn. Only candidates nominated by the BKP, the Bulgarian Agrarian
Union, and other mass social organizations approved by the Fatherland
Front are allowed to go on the ballot. Quite expectedly, the single
slate of candidates presented by the Fatherland Front usually gets
elected unanimously.

In the parliamentary election held on June 27, 1971, voters elected
assembly deputies, people's councillors, judges, and lay assessors. Out
of 6,168,931 registered voters, 6,159,942 cast ballots, representing
99.85 percent of the electorate. A total of 6,154,082 voters, or 99.9
percent, voted for all Fatherland Front candidates as contrasted to
1,487 who voted against. About 4,373 election ballots were declared void
because of irregularities.

The speed with which election results are tallied and announced was
exemplified by the election of 1971. Two days after the election the
Central Election Commission--headed by its chairman, Angel
Velev--examined the protocols of the 400 urban constituency election
commissions and announced the results. As expected, all 400 candidates
nominated by the Fatherland Front were elected. Announcements of local
election results in towns and villages are made by the respective
executive committees of the people's councils.

The BKP's method of organizing the government after an election was
illustrated by the plenum of the Bulgarian Communist Party's Central
Committee held on July 6, 1971. It discussed and approved proposals for
candidates for chairman and deputy chairman of the National Assembly,
membership of the State Council, Council of Ministers, heads of the
different commissions, chairman of the Supreme Court, and chief
prosecutor. Nominees were submitted for discussion and confirmation
during the first session of the sixth National Assembly held on July 7,

An amendment to the 1971 Constitution on the nomination of candidates by
the leadership of public organizations obtained official sanction not
only for the purpose of expediency but more importantly to guarantee the
election of the nominees, as there had been cases of nonelection during
the previous elections for people's councils. The election law also
provides that candidates must garner 50 percent plus one vote in the
electoral districts before being declared elected. Statistics of
election results for people's councils in 1949 and 1966 showed that the
percentage of votes ranged from 96.48 percent of the voting population
in 1949 to 99.56 percent in 1966. The new amendment required that
two-thirds of the registered voters cast their ballots in favor of the
candidates before declaring that an election had taken place.



In mid-1973 political affairs and the administration of the country
remained completely in the hands of the ruling circle of the Bulgarian
Communist Party (Bulgarska Komunisticheska Partiya--BKP, see Glossary),
headed by First Secretary Todor Zhivkov. Political power was exercised
by him and by the few select officials in the Central Committee of the
Bulgarian Communist Party, particularly those who were members of the
Politburo and the Secretariat. The extent of such power was best
described by Vulko Chervenkov, onetime premier and Politburo member, who
declared that "no institution, organization, or person can be above the
Politburo and the Central Committee." This statement, made in the early
1950s, continues to be the cardinal rule of communist power in Bulgaria.

Retention of power by the party was ensured through its absolute control
of governmental machinery and of all organized activities. Virtually
every important government post was held by a high-ranking party member.
First Secretary Zhivkov, for example, was also president of the State
Council, the leading government body, which made him the top man in both
party and government. In addition to the interlocking of government and
party posts at all levels, it was also customary for the top officers of
mass organizations to be members of the party hierarchy. The continued
existence of a second political party, the Bulgarian Agrarian Union
(Bulgarski Zemedelski Suyuz--BZS), did not encroach on the
monopolization of political power by the BKP because the prerogatives of
the union had been curtailed to the point where it had become an
auxiliary of the BKP rather than a competitor. Any opposition to the
ruling elite had come from within the party rather than from outside
organizations. As recently as 1965 an abortive attempt to overthrow
Zhivkov was made, but this was the result of intraparty factionalism
rather than antiparty opposition. Zhivkov managed to avert the attempted
coup d'etat and afterward strengthened his power base within the party.

At the helm of the party for nineteen years, Zhivkov, despite occasional
intraparty struggle and friction, remained the undisputed leader and, as
such, he maintained very close relations with the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union and with the Soviet government. On the one hand the close
Bulgarian-Soviet relationship has been interpreted by Marxist
theoreticians as the application of "proletarian internationalism"--a
theory that contends that proletarian unity is "historically the higher
right than that of national self-determination." On the other hand, many
observers of Bulgarian-Soviet relations maintain that the nature of the
unequal alliance stems not only from historical and cultural
affiliations as well as political and ideological identification but,
more important, from Zhivkov's need for strong Soviet support.

At the Tenth Party Congress in 1971 Zhivkov reiterated the necessity for
close ties with the Soviet Union and introduced a five-year economic
plan that continued the long emphasis on heavy industry. The congress
reelected the Politburo, despite the advanced ages of some of the
members and their demonstrated concern for maintaining the status quo at
a time when the changes necessary to transform Bulgaria into a modern
industrial country have placed new demands on old methods and
institutions. Success or failure of the Communists' ongoing efforts to
industrialize, modernize, and communize the country depends on the
adaptability of the leadership and the political institutions to meet
the challenges of the 1970s.


After discovery of the plot to overthrow him in April 1965, Zhivkov took
steps to secure his position and to prevent future conspiracies. Because
the threat to his regime had come mainly from the army, Zhivkov and his
minister of defense often spoke to assemblies of military officers to
explain party policies and to assuage dissident feelings within military
ranks. In addition, state security functions were realigned in an
attempt to tighten the system in order that such conspiracies would not
be able to germinate in the future. The Ministry of the Interior lost
its responsibility for security to the newly created Committee of State
Security, which was under the direct supervision of Zhivkov in his
position as premier. Later, in 1968, the Committee of State Security and
the Ministry of the Interior were again merged under the latter's title.

After the abortive plot against him, Zhivkov offered some reforms to
placate disgruntled elements and to avoid a repetition of the incident.
Although the principal plotters were imprisoned, Zhivkov's reaction to
the conspiracy was one of general appeasement. This policy of
appeasement was shown by the fact that no general purges took place and
that people who could have been suspected of dissident activity were
allowed to remain in positions of authority in the party and in the
government rather than being summarily swept aside. The programs of
liberal reform that had been implemented before, but interrupted by, the
1965 plot were resumed, and Bulgaria seemed to be reaching for a
national destiny rather than accepting the role of a Soviet puppet. The
reforms affected all fields--political, economic, and cultural--and for
a time it seemed that the abortive coup d'etat had given new impetus to
Bulgarian national interests.

The promise of reform appeared to be the focal point around which the
Ninth Party Congress was convened in 1966, and at the congress party
leaders underscored the need for the widest participation in the
democratic process. Reforms, however, fell victim to the conservatism of
older party leaders, and Zhivkov did not have the personal strength or
magnetism to push forward his program. The ninth congress ended with the
reelection of the essentially reactionary Politburo and a reaffirmation
of the status quo. The bright hopes for economic, political, and social
progress that had been evident in late 1965 and early 1966 collapsed in
a return of rigid ideological dogma and a firm reliance on Soviet rather
than Bulgarian initiatives.

The failure of the ninth congress to rejuvenate the party hierarchy and
to chart a reform course for the future had repercussions throughout
Bulgarian society. Initiatives in foreign affairs that had been taken in
1965 and 1966 foundered in the retrenchment into party orthodoxy.
Negotiations that had begun with Western European countries as well as
with Balkan neighbors bore no fruit as the Zhivkov government failed to
follow up earlier moves toward better relations. Even more detrimental
to Balkan relations was Bulgarian participation in the Soviet-led
invasion of Czechoslovakia, which Yugoslavia and Romania strongly
opposed. In the cultural area the party tightened its controls over
creative artists and reorganized the Committee on Art and Culture to
better serve the needs of the government. The First Congress of Culture,
held in 1967, emphasized the constructive role of culture in society and
called for an intensification of anti-Western propaganda in order to
counter the dangerous influence of so-called bourgeois culture.

There was also great concern among party leaders about the so-called
nihilistic attitude of the country's young people. In December 1967
Zhivkov published his "Youth Theses" in an attempt to counter what the
party considered to be dangerous apathy on the part of Bulgarian youth.
Zhivkov's theses initiated some institutional reforms that dealt heavily
with patriotic education in an attempt to instill some national pride in
the young people, but about a year later patriotic education was
deemphasized. Evidently the program had aroused strong feelings of
nationalism that interfered with the pro-Soviet attitudes that have been
characteristic of Zhivkov's government. After publication of the "Youth
Theses," all youth activities came under the aegis of the Dimitrov
Communist Youth Union (Dimitrovski Komunisticheski Mladezhki Suyuz),
referred to as Komsomol, which is the junior auxiliary of the BKP. The
moves to politicize young people failed to arouse any widespread
interest, and in the early 1970s Bulgarian youth remained essentially
apolitical and apathetic.

In the economic sector the BKP blueprint for reform commonly referred to
as the New Economic Model offered innovations in decentralized
decisionmaking that delegated more responsibilities to public and state
organizations on the lower level as well as to individual enterprises.
The attention given to economic reform at the time--late 1965--was
motivated not only by Zhivkov's need to shore up his own political
position after the attempted coup but probably more so by the examples
of new economic programs that were sweeping the Eastern European
communist countries and the Soviet Union. More important than the
liberal reforms for decentralized management of the economy was the
decision to allow planning from the bottom to the top. From the time of
the enactment in 1965 up to about 1968 there were definite signs of
change. The July plenum of the BKP Central Committee in 1968, however,
formalized a number of changes that called for considerable reduction in
the autonomy of the existing public and state organizations, thus
setting aside the entire economic reform program. After the July plenum
and another in November 1968, a reorganization of state enterprises took
place in line with the new centralization policy.

During the remainder of the 1960s and into the early 1970s, Zhivkov's
position remained stable, and there were no overt threats to his regime
such as the 1965 plot to overthrow him. In 1969 and again in 1970
agreements were signed in Moscow that tied the Bulgarian economy even
closer to that of the Soviet Union. Bulgaria's position, or more
precisely the BKP's position, on relations with the Soviet Union was
summed up in a statement made by Zhivkov just before the Tenth Party
Congress in 1971: "The fraternal friendship and cooperation of the
Bulgarian Communist Party with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
and the ever broader and deeper alignment of Bulgaria with the Soviet
Union will remain the immovable cornerstone of the entire work and the
domestic and foreign policy of our party."

At the Tenth Party Congress, which was attended by General Secretary
Leonid Brezhnev of the Soviet Union, there were no startling changes
either in party policy or in high-ranking personnel assignments. The
same Politburo, with an average age of sixty-three, was returned to
office, and the party program promised no alteration in the heavily
centralized, pro-Soviet policies that had marked most of Zhivkov's
tenure. A new constitution was proposed by the party and later adopted
by the government and, although some institutional changes were
made--for example, creation of the State Council as a collective
executive branch of government--the absolute supremacy of the BKP over
every aspect of Bulgarian life was in no way diminished. On the
contrary, the power of the top leadership was probably enhanced along
with its ability to perpetuate itself in office.



Party statutes define the organization, membership, and program of the
BKP. A statute promulgated during the Sixth Party Congress in 1954
proclaimed the party to be an "inseparable part of the world communist
front" and acknowledged the Communist Party of the Soviet Union as the
leading political force within the communist bloc countries. Later party
statutes refined the basic document but did not change the premise that
the BKP looks to the Soviet party for leadership.

Central to the observance of basic communist policy is adherence to the
principles of democratic centralism. Patterned after the Soviet model,
these principles call for a pyramidal form of command responsibility in
which lower party organs are subordinated to the next higher body. This
also means that decisions of higher bodies bind those below,
individually and collectively. Party policy and practice encourage open
discussion of issues during meetings of local party units as well as
during conferences and congresses at higher levels; however, party
discipline requires unitary action after a decision has been reached by
the hierarchy.

The party hierarchy is composed of the Politburo, the Secretariat and,
to some extent, the Central Committee, the membership of which interlock
as one man may occupy two or more positions at any given time.
Theoretically occupying the apex of power is the congress of the party
that is held every five years, following the example of Soviet party
congresses. The congress is made up of delegates from various party
units on the basis of proportional representation of party members. The
main statutory functions of the congress include revising or amending
party statutes, deciding party policy, electing the Central Committee,
and receiving reports concerning past progress and future plans. It is
customary for major governmental programs or reforms to be presented to
a party congress before promulgation. The Tenth Party Congress, for
example, listened to readings of the draft of a new constitution and the
Sixth Five-Year Plan (1971-75) and approved both unanimously. Actually,
the purpose of a congress is to demonstrate unanimity and accord. The
size of the congress (1,553 delegates in 1971) and the fact that it
meets only at five-year intervals preclude carrying out its statutory
role as a deliberative and policymaking body. Public politicking or
wrangling by delegates to a party congress would be unprecedented.

Because the party congress meets so infrequently, it delegates its
functions to the Central Committee that it elects. Election of Central
Committee members is also a pro forma action wherein the congress
unanimously approves the list of names provided by the party leadership.
The Central Committee is a large working party organ, which in 1973
included 147 members and 110 candidate (nonvoting) members. The
committee is charged with the administration of party work between
sessions of the congress and the implementation of party policies
presented by the leadership. For the performance of its duties, the
Central Committee has fourteen permanently operating departments and six
schools and institutes, the latter ostensibly to promote political
educational goals. As set forth in party statutes, plenary sessions of
the committee are to be held at least twice a year, and special sessions
may be called from time to time.

Within the Central Committee sits the nine-man permanent Secretariat
headed by the first secretary who, by party structure, is the most
powerful man in the country. The Secretariat is elected by the Central
Committee during the party congress, but the election, once again, is
merely formal approval of the members already selected by the top party
leadership. Since 1954 the position of first secretary has been
continuously held by Zhivkov, who also heads the State Council and is
therefore the head-of-state. In addition to the first secretary, six
other secretaries and two members complete the composition of the
Secretariat. The main function of the Secretariat is to supervise the
implementation of party policy.

Sharing the center stage of political power with the Secretariat is the
Politburo, elected by the Central Committee in the same manner as the
Secretariat. In effect the Politburo is a self-perpetuating body, and
any change in membership is dictated by the members themselves. Composed
of eleven members and six candidate members, all Politburo members
belong to the Central Committee. They provide collective political
leadership in both party and government.

The Politburo is the policymaking and decisionmaking branch of the
party. In theory the eleven members of the Politburo are equal, but in
practice the party first secretary occupies the topmost position of
power in the party and is therefore first among equals in the Politburo.
Such is the concentration of political authority in the top bodies that
multiplicity of membership by party officials in any or all of the
central party organs is more the rule than the exception.


After the successful coup d'etat in September 1944, communist party
membership grew with unprecedented speed. From prisons and internment
camps and from self-exile abroad, party leaders began to converge in
Sofia to restructure the party and to form a new government. Party
members assisted by sympathizers helped fill the necessary manpower
requirements as functionaries and working groups in the new coalition
government. A period of intensive recruitment and propaganda followed
that swelled the number of members from 15,000 to 250,000 in just four
months. By the time the Fifth Party Congress convened in December 1948,
party membership reached 500,000. This was in part due to the merger of
the Social Democrats with the BKP in August 1948. In large part,
however, Bulgaria's egalitarian peasant society--coupled with
indiscriminate recruitment using hardly any criteria for
qualification--produced a predominantly peasant membership. Workers
accounted for slightly over one-fourth of the total membership as
compared to one-half made up of peasants.

Ironically, the intense campaign for new members was accompanied by
wide-scale purges within the party during a power struggle between the
Stalin faction and the home faction of the BKP. Led by Chervenkov, the
Moscow-oriented leaders succeeded in getting rid of their political
opponents and soon after established a Stalinist kind of government in
the country. Observers noted that this was aimed not only at weeding out
undesirable party elements but, more important, at increasing the number
of workers and consequently achieving a numerical balance with the
peasant members.

Once in full control of the party and government, the BKP hierarchy
turned its attention to more systematic methods of recruitment. By the
time the Eighth Party Congress convened in November 1962, the BKP had
528,674 members plus 22,413 candidates. It was also at about this time
that the Zhivkov government relaxed the open police terror and pardoned
6,000 political prisoners, most of them Communists.

The Ninth Party Congress, held in November 1966, provided new
regulations concerning party composition and acceptance of new members.
Qualifications of candidates had to be checked thoroughly, and only
those qualified could be accepted. Education as the main criterion of
selection was emphasized among target groups of workers, peasants,
specialists, women, and young people. As a result of this improved
recruitment procedure, the new members after the congress were 44.3
percent blue-collar workers and 32 percent women. Of this group, it was
estimated that 60.4 percent had at least a secondary education.

It was reported by the Secretariat that district (_okrug_) party
committees after the Ninth Party Congress showed improvement in
"content, style and methods of their work," and that they understood
better the political approach in guiding local economic tasks as well as
leading primary party organs in the political and organization work of
their constituencies. Furthermore, over 77 percent of full-time
secretaries of local party committees and about 90 percent of chairmen
of cooperative farms had higher or secondary education. Formal training
as well as in-service education was given serious attention. Educational
training for party members includes two-year university courses, short
courses, seminars, informal meetings, and conferences of local party

Statistics reported in 1971 showed that 25.2 percent of about 700,000
members of the BKP were women. Increasingly more important positions
were assigned to women in the party hierarchy. In the same period (1971)
there was a woman member of the Politburo, several women members of the
Central Committee, and two women ministers. Not only were women active
in party activities, but they could also be found in boards of
management of government enterprises.

Party Congresses

Party statutes formerly stipulated that congresses would be held every
four years, but a decision was made to extend the interval to five years
after the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had made the same change.
Decisions of the congresses appear as party statutes that usually
reflect the desires of the leadership and the circumstances that
necessitated the additions, deletions, or amendments to already existing
statutes. The most important innovations embodied in BKP statutes
emerged from congresses beginning with the Sixth Party Congress, held in
1954, and continuing through the Tenth Party Congress, held in 1971.

The Sixth Party Congress abolished the position of general secretary and
in its place created the post of first secretary, again following the
lead of the Soviet party, which had done the same thing after Stalin's
death a year earlier. Party leader Chervenkov, who was premier and a
Politburo member, kept those posts and allowed the election of Zhivkov
as first secretary. Zhivkov was then an unknown functionary who had
risen from the ranks of the Sofia party structure. Aside from the usual
exhortation for party unity and the changes in six Politburo positions
as well as an increase in Central Committee membership, the Sixth Party
Congress was uneventful. Zhivkov's rise to power did not take place
immediately, and a period of intraparty struggle ensued as he gradually
consolidated his authority as first secretary.

The Seventh Party Congress, held in June 1958, proved even more
uneventful. It passed the Third Five-Year Plan for the development of
the economy, the fulfillment of which was drastically reduced to three
years even before the ink was dry on the document. With Central
Committee approval, new plans for economic targets were prepared;
meanwhile, Zhivkov prepared an elaborate propaganda campaign to push
this program through. Zhivkov's Theses, as the collection of
instructions have come to be known, advocated increased cultivation and
production in agriculture and industry to obtain yields that were double
those of previous plans. An unprecedented flurry of activity followed on
the heels of extensive media coverage. Aided by the press, the Agitation
and Propaganda Department under the Central Committee's direct
supervision launched a vast campaign that surpassed even those efforts
in neighboring countries.

This period is characteristically known as Bulgaria's Great Leap
Forward, patterned after the Chinese experience, and historians put
forth political and economic motives for such an economic experiment.
Politically, after Nikita Khrushchev started his de-Stalinization policy
in the Soviet Union, the Bulgarian repercussion was evident in
Chervenkov's disenchantment with the Soviet trauma and his looking
favorably instead toward the Chinese example. The Great Leap Forward was
neither a spectacular success nor a dismal failure and achieved no more
than the expected progress in three year's time. The ensuing period
marked a return to earlier patterns and heralded the end of Chervenkov's
political career and the concurrent elevation of Zhivkov. The election
of Zhivkov's friends--Stanko Todorov and Mitko Grigorov--to full
membership in the Politburo gave him added support. Khrushchev's visit
as the head of a large Soviet government delegation did not hurt Zhivkov
but rather gave convincing proof of Khrushchev's support of the
Bulgarian first secretary. Anton Yugov was premier at this time, but it
was not long before he too was purged, the final blow coming only hours
before the start of the Eighth Party Congress.

The Eighth Party Congress in 1962 marked the end of the open opposition
to Zhivkov's leadership. With Chervenkov and Yugov out, Zhivkov was in
full control. A month earlier, in October 1962, a special plenum of the
Central Committee announced Zhivkov's assumption of government power as
premier while retaining the first secretaryship of the party. In the
economic sector, the Twenty-Year Plan of Economic Development--patterned
on that of the Soviet Union--had been passed. It featured more realistic
goals in contradistinction to its predecessor. As usual, heavy
industrial priorities ranked high in the development plan.

In November 1966 the Ninth Party Congress was held in Sofia. During the
deliberations changes were made within the Politburo whereby Zhivkov's
former protégé, Grigorov, was dropped from membership without an
explanation and Todor Pavlov, a theoretician of Marxism, and Tsola
Dragoycheva, head of the National Council of the Fatherland Front, were
added as full members. Boyan Bulgaranov and Ivan Mihailov, both older
party members, were retained--a move that indicated the influence of
older functionaries over young potential leaders. Economically, the
congress supported principles of new management, tying political
progress with economic advancement.

Collectively the aforementioned congresses accomplished little. On the
contrary the 1971 congress introduced considerable changes in the
sociopolitical and socioeconomic patterns of growth--among them the
drafting and adoption of a new constitution (see ch. 8).

Tenth Party Congress

Whatever political changes are visible in Bulgaria are the result of the
Tenth Party Congress held in Sofia from April 20 to April 24, 1971. It
was attended by 1,553 delegates representing roughly 700,000 party
members, a ratio of about one delegate for every 450 members.
Additionally, foreign representatives from eighty-nine countries were on
hand. Leading the Soviet delegation were Brezhnev, general secretary of
the Soviet party, and four other high-ranking officials.

As is customary, Zhivkov opened the congress with his usual
state-of-the-nation address, extolling Bulgarian-Soviet ties and
stressing friendship between the two countries. Included in the agenda
were the adoption of a new five-year economic plan; discussion and
adoption of the new party program; discussion and approval of the new
constitution; the election of party members to the Central Committee,
Politburo, and Secretariat; and a change in party statutes calling for a
congress every five years instead of four.

The central theme of the party congress revolved around the concern or
"care for man." To this end resolutions were passed during the
deliberations purportedly giving "everything for the sake of man;
everything for the good of man." A separate report on the subject also
emphasized the need for improving the economic plight of the people. By
the time the resolutions and directives were being implemented, however,
noticeable variations in interpretation and emphasis had taken place.
For example, the draft directives for the Sixth Five-Year Plan showed
projection of industrial production that went up by 60 percent, whereas
production of consumer goods was projected to increase by only 50

Special attention was given to the areas of education and culture by the
Tenth Party Congress. Zhivkov underscored the need to close the
educational gap between workers and peasants, who often had no more than
an elementary education, and the intelligentsia and white-collar
professionals, who had attained the secondary level and more often had
gone on to higher education.

Far more significant changes in party statutes took place in the area of
governmental operations. With the adoption of a new constitution,
modified structural arrangements were worked out, the most important of
which was the creation of the powerful State Council of the National
Assembly; the council's functions are not entirely dissimilar to, but
greater than, the presidium that it replaced (see ch. 8).

The composition of the new Politburo and Secretariat remained
essentially the same. The congress seemed anxious to demonstrate unity
by stressing continuity of tenure for its senior members. All of the
eleven Politburo full members elected in 1966 were reelected in 1971;
four were over age seventy, and the youngest was fifty years old. All
Politburo members except one had been with the party since before
September 9, 1944. Some Western observers wondered whether the retention
of the entire old guard signified stability or exemplified stagnation.
At a time when observers were expecting an infusion of new blood into
the hierarchy, the leaders chose the status quo. Zhivkov, in his closing
speech, seemingly aware that the political conservatism of the old
ruling elite left something to be desired, maintained that "the
communist is ... an official up to a certain age; but he never ceases to
educate, to inspire, to unite, and to organize the masses." In effect he
apologized for retaining the same old membership in the hierarchy.


The egalitarian character of Bulgaria's society derives from its
basically agricultural economy. Its peasant organization--the Bulgarian
Agrarian Union (Bulgarski Zemedelski Suyuz--BZS) was formed as early as
1899, making it one of the oldest agrarian organizations in Europe.
Founded to promote the well-being and educational advancement of its
members, it developed into a political party and a powerful machine that
in the 1920s became the governing party under Alexander Stambolisky.
After Stambolisky's government was overthrown in 1923, it did not rise
to power again. The party split in 1931, and in 1942 the radical half of
the party, known as the Pladne (the name of their newspaper) faction,
joined the BKP in the Fatherland Front coalition.

The BZS in the early 1970s was a secondary political party subservient
to, and controlled by, the BKP. Its membership was reported to be
120,000, of which 80,000 were cooperative farmers and approximately
15,000 were active militants in government jobs. It has a more
simplified party hierarchy, being governed by an executive council
elected by delegates of its congress, which meets every four years. The
Executive Council--corresponding to the BKP Central Committee--is
composed of ninety-nine members and forty-seven alternate members. From
among them are elected members of the Standing Committee, comparable to
the Politburo of the BKP, which directs the entire activity of the BZS.
The Standing Committee derives its authority from the Executive Council
and reports to it.

Assisting the Executive Council is the Auditing Commission, which
oversees the financial accounts of the BZS. Another leading central
organ of long historical tradition is the Supreme Council. It is not as
large as the congress, but it is important enough to make policy
decisions affecting the great mass of agrarian rank and file. It
consists of all members and alternates of the Executive Council, members
of various commissions, and all the chairmen of district committees.

There are twenty-eight district committees; 1,027 village committees;
and 3,848 local branches of the BZS below the national level.
Jurisdictionally, they all follow an orderly system of organization
whereby lower organs fall under the supervision and control of higher
organs, and all fall under the final jurisdiction of the BKP agencies
above them.

The preamble of the 1971 Constitution recognizes the existence of the
BZS as united in "purpose and action" with the BKP in the establishment
and development of the People's Republic of Bulgaria. In keeping with
this pledge, the BZS leadership and prominent members are elected to,
and in some cases appointed to, important bodies of state administration
through all levels of the government. There was an increase in the
number of BZS members elected to public office in the general elections
that followed the BKP congress in 1971. It appeared that the Communists
had decided during their congress to broaden the base of representation
by including more BZS members in the government as well as more members
from various mass organizations and the Turkish minority. Regardless of
affiliation, all candidates for office are carefully screened by the
BKP, and after election all officials are under the control of the BKP.

Of the national officials in January 1973, Georgi Traykov, leader of the
BZS, was one of two first deputy chairmen of the Fatherland Front.
Earlier, he had been released as chairman of the National Assembly,
which approved his nomination to the State Council, a move that was
politically expedient in the view of Zhivkov to establish a "closer
relationship ... between the State Council and the National Council of
the Fatherland Front."

During the Thirty-Second Congress of the BZS, held in Sofia in October
1971, the presence of high-ranking BKP Politburo members as well as
foreign delegates was very much evident. Boris Velchev, Politburo member
and secretary of the Central Committee, delivered a speech praising the
work of the BZS in its partnership with BKP in all aspects of Bulgaria's
socialist development. Domestically, BZS was lauded for its efforts in
the technological progress in agriculture resulting in the production of
large quantities of cheap produce. BZS members were also praised as good
machine operators in factories and as "innovators and frontrankers in
field brigades and livestock farms."

Internationally, the BZS maintains contacts with dozens of agrarian and
related organizations in various countries. As diplomats, national
officials among the BZS leaders had demonstrated exceptional ability in
foreign relations, especially where the regular high-ranking BKP
representatives had been found less acceptable.


Mass organizations are auxiliaries of the BKP through which the party
hierarchy exerts control over the bulk of the population. Established to
serve the immediate interests of a particular class of workers or
professionals, mass organizations work as transmission belts for the
administration of party policies and the achievement of party goals.
Most, if not all, of their chairmen are trusted and loyal BKP members.

The right to form organizations for any purpose not contrary to public
law and national security is guaranteed in the constitution. These
organizations may be political, professional, cultural, artistic,
scientific, religious, or athletic. Furthermore, unions and other
associations may be formed within public organizations and cooperatives.
In all cases the guidelines set by the BKP for the development of a
socialist state impose limitations on the operations of mass
organizations. Recognition of the BKP as the leading political party and
the subservience of all other organizations is clearly understood. The
most important mass organizations are the Fatherland Front, the Central
Council of Trade Unions, and the Komsomol and its affiliate Pioneer

Fatherland Front

The Fatherland Front grew out of the internal dissension between the
government and various political parties, in particular, the pro-Soviet
elements who objected to the alliance with Nazi Germany. In March 1942
the government launched repressive measures in an attempt to immobilize
communist activities. Working with a group of exiled Bulgarian leaders
in Moscow, Georgi Dimitrov, former secretary-general of the Communist
International (Comintern), urged action against the country's rulers,
"who have sold themselves to Hitler." As conceived by Dimitrov, the
program of the Fatherland Front aimed not only to bring down the
"Hitlerite" regime and consequently establish a "true Bulgarian national
regime" but also to declare Bulgaria neutral and dissolve its alliance
with Germany.

Established in 1942, the Fatherland Front operated underground under
communist leadership but also included other political parties.
Cooperation among these political parties, however, did not take place
without problems, mainly because each one espoused its own particular
interests and viewed the BKP with suspicion. Leaders of each party
worked as members of the National Committee (later known as the National
Council) of the Fatherland Front. It was from within the Fatherland
Front movement that the coup d'etat of September 1944 took place, the
result of which was a coalition government.

When the Communists took full control of the government and dissolved
the coalition, they retained the Fatherland Front as an umbrella
organization. The BKP, of course, is the leading force within the front,
which also includes the Bulgarian Agrarian Union and several other
organizations. In effect the Fatherland Front is an instrument of the
party through which most of the country's organized activities are
controlled and supervised. Some of the tasks relegated to the front
include the nomination and discussion of candidates for election to
central and local bodies of state authority; the right to supervise the
activities of enterprises, institutions, and organizations operating
public utilities and services; and the right to supervise activities of
workers and professionals to ensure conformance to party line and

In 1973 the Fatherland Front continued to be a large mass organization
working fully for and with the BKP. Available statistics showed a
membership of 3.86 million in July 1970, of which 3.1 million were
nonparty members. It included both individual members and collective
groups--mainly trade unions and youth organizations.

Central Council of Trade Unions

Trade unions are workers' and professionals' organizations--the
function, role, and responsibility of which echo the economic directives
and decrees of the BKP. With the abolition of capitalist ownership
declared by the Fifth Party Congress in December 1948, the structure and
activities of trade unions changed to conform to the party's management
of the economy as the vanguard of the state in its socialist
development. Since then the Bulgarian trade unions have been reliable
mainstays and faithful transmission belts of BKP policies among the
working masses. Thirteen individual trade unions unite to form the
Central Council of Trade Unions, which accepts the leading role of the
BKP in all Bulgarian affairs. In 1973 total membership in the central
council was about 2.6 million.

Following the principle of democratic centralism, all trade union
officials are elected from bottom to top but, following the pattern set
by the BKP, all candidates for union offices are carefully screened and
selected by officials at higher levels. Each trade union local is the
basic organization unit at a factory or business enterprise, and there
is an ascending hierarchical structure based on territorial
organization. At the district level there is a district trade union that
reports to the central organization. Theoretically, the trade unions are
independent and nonparty, but they are organized hierarchically, and
their activities are closely monitored and controlled by the BKP. In
effect, the trade unions look after the interests of the state rather
than the interests of the workers. To ensure party control there is an
interlocking of positions in the highest realms of the unions, the
government, and the party. For example, the chairman of the Central
Council of Trade Unions in 1973 was also a member of the State Council
of the National Assembly as well as being a candidate member of the
Politburo. At lower levels many district and local trade union
executives are also members of the district and communal people's
councils. Under this arrangement the unions take a direct part in the
management of state affairs--such as labor and labor legislation,
recreational activities, workers' sports, and so forth.

Dimitrov Communist Youth Union

Young prospective members of the BKP come from the Dimitrov Communist
Youth Union (Dimitrovski Komunisticheski Mladezhki Suyuz), also referred
to as the Komsomol. Established as the youth's counterpart of the BKP,
it is organized much as the parent structure, having a secretariat of
nine members headed by a first secretary and a bureau of seventeen
members and five candidate members that is comparable to the party
Politburo. The Komsomol is under the leadership of party committees and
is supported by the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of
National Education, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Bulgarian Red
Cross, and the Civil Defense Staff in interlocking roles of authority
and supervision. Founded as a sociopolitical organization to train the
youth in the ideological principles and goals of the BKP, the Komsomol
also serves as a source of manpower reserve in government and as an
instrument for the application of party policies and directives. In the
early 1970s membership was about 1 million (see ch. 2; ch. 15).

Despite all the attention given to youth affairs, alienation of young
people manifests itself in many different ways. There were no tangible
signs of protest such as outward demonstrations, mass rallies, or
disruptions during congresses, plenums, annual meetings, or regional
conferences to show this alienation. But the negative attitude and
sagging interest in political indoctrination and economic activities
increasingly worries party leaders. The ideological and political gap
between generations prompted the administration to prepare and publish
Zhivkov's "Youth Theses" in December 1967. This work is basically an
inspirational treatise to counter what Zhivkov averred was national
nihilism among the youth, characterized by apathy, absence of
discipline, improper family upbringing, misdirected school discipline,
and ill-prepared Komsomol programs, among other things. The theses also
deplored the "degenerate influences" of capitalist society that were
evident in conspicuous material consumption in food and beverages,
dress, music and dance, and social mobility brought about by bourgeois

In an effort to bring the youth back into line, the theses emphasized
patriotic political education within a Marxist-Leninist frame of
reference, defined the duties and privileges of the young people, and
finally directed the reorganization of the Komsomol under closer party
supervision. The initial reaction to the theses was one of increasing

In another effort to court the Komsomol-age group, political speeches
openly lauding the youth union as the instrument for the realization of
the technological and scientific as well as the military technical
training of young people and their patriotic education have been
resorted to. Further, in extolling the work and importance of the youth
union to the all-round development of Bulgarian socialist society,
Zhivkov also enjoined the youth to implement the Sixth Five-Year Plan of
the BKP.

The organization for Bulgarian children still too young for the Komsomol
is the Pioneers, also known as Young Septembrists to commemorate two
September events in Bulgarian political history--the abortive communist
coup d'etat in 1923 and the successful overthrow of the monarchy in
1944. The Pioneer organization is composed of children of elementary
school age. It is structured like the Komsomol and operates as its
junior division. A special division within the Komsomol National Central
Committee oversees the affairs and work of the Pioneers. Lower
committees at the district and municipality levels are directed by the
soviets for working with students, which are charged with youth work in
their respective territorial jurisdictions. Each district has a Pioneer
battalion that is divided into companies corresponding to school classes
and further subdivided into classroom rows, the lowest unit of Pioneer
organization. The chain of command flows from the central committee and
reaches down to the youngest member of the organization living in the
remotest part of the country. The content of academic curriculum and
party training is generally in accord with the ability levels of the

Committee of Bulgarian Women

There is no mass organization, as such, for Bulgarian women. The
Committee of Bulgarian Women, with a membership of 171 in 1973, is a
group dedicated to looking after the affairs of women in the country,
whether they be workers or housewives. The Constitution of 1971
guarantees to Bulgarian women the enjoyment of equal rights with men. In
the complex structure of the BKP-controlled government, recognition of
women as a significant working force in the socialist movement is given
great attention. An earlier provision contained in the 1947
Constitution, known as the Dimitrov Constitution, similarly guarantees
the "right to work, equal pay for equal work," and the attendant
benefits, such as paid leave, social security, retirement pension, and

Bulgarian women have become active participants in the political process
under communist rule. As noted earlier, 25.2 percent of BKP members in
1971 were women, and there was one woman in the Politburo. There were
7,000 women members of the BZS and almost half of the Komsomol members
were women (500,000); the same is true for the Fatherland Front, and
women made up 41.2 percent of the trade unions. In the unions of
writers, composers, artists, and actors women are also active. Most
teachers are women. They represented 67.7 percent of the Teachers Union.

The women's movement was active on a nationwide scale. On the initiative
of the Committee of Bulgarian Women, a plan for the development of
science and technical progress including the study of the social role of
women was presented to the presidium of the Bulgarian Academy of
Sciences. Another suggestion by the same women's group called for the
study of conditions defining women's role as "mothers, production
workers and public activists."

In the report to the plenary session of the party Central Committee in
July 1968, Zhivkov outlined the functions of the Committee of Bulgarian
Women. These included the coordination of state and administrative
organs in research institutes that studied the role of women in society.
Henceforth, according to Zhivkov, the Central Committee of the BKP would
receive reports on such research and would be directly concerned with
matters concerning Bulgarian women.

Ideological Training

How mass organizations relate to BKP party directives, orders, and
decrees is best illustrated in the area of political education and
indoctrination. The National Conference on Party Propaganda was held in
April 1970 and sponsored by the Agitation and Propaganda Department of
the Central Committee and by the district party committees. During the
conference one of the district secretaries detailed some aspects of a
three-stage system that is being applied.

The three-stage structure corresponds to the educational level as well
as to the political training and age of students. Schools in the higher
level of various district party committees and branches of the mass
organizations train administrative personnel, intellectuals, and party
activists. Training on this level includes theoretical seminars and
study groups. For intermediate personnel, including employees with a
secondary education, there are schools and institutes giving lectures
and talks on Leninism. A more elementary form of mass propaganda is
given to people with less training in theoretical political ideology;
people of advanced age fall also into this category. Political education
for this group consists of lectures in beginners' schools. Compulsory
subjects in primary party organizations are also discussed during
education sessions at party meetings. Except for Sofia, which has a high
rate of literacy, most districts employ this three-stage system of
political education. It is estimated that 60 percent of Communists in
Sofia have at least a high school education; many have college degrees
in contrast to some outlying districts where a large percentage of the
Communists have only an elementary education.

The three-stage system is also used for training newly inducted
Communists as well as youth groups. It was reported during the
conference that approximately 900 of the best party propagandists have
been sent to Komsomol organizations to train youth in the party school
system. Within the Komsomol there is evident need for considerable
changes in the training of youth in the system of political education,
designed to bring the youth closer to the practice of the principles of



Throughout the communist era in Bulgaria, that is, since World War II,
the foreign policy of the country has mirrored that of the Soviet Union.
In addition to the close relationship resulting from bilateral
agreements between the two countries, Bulgaria was also a charter member
of both the Soviet-dominated Council for Mutual Economic Assistance
(COMECON--see Glossary) and the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact)
military alliance. Bulgaria's loyalty to the Soviet Union throughout the
period is always a starting point in political writings on Eastern
European affairs.

The successive leaders of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP--see
Glossary) have consistently maintained that their country's fortunes
would rise with those of the Soviet Union. To the Bulgarian Communists,
such loyalty was not only natural from an ideological point of view but
was also the pragmatic course, given the factors of world power politics
in the postwar era. Todor Zhivkov, the BKP leader since 1954, and still
in office in 1973, continued to adhere to a policy of close alignment
with the Soviet Union and used the relationship as the foundation of his
regime. The nature of the relationship has developed along two parallel
lines: the BKP has maintained close ties with the Communist Party of the
Soviet Union at the same time that government-to-government affairs have
become increasingly intertwined.

As is true with other countries in which the communist party has become
the dominant political force, in Bulgaria the formulation of foreign
policy takes place at the highest party level--the Politburo. After the
party has announced the basic policy, the administration of foreign
affairs is handled by government ministries. The government has
repeatedly dedicated itself to the goals of the world communist movement
and, particularly, to the goal of solidarity among socialist states,
always acknowledging Soviet leadership. In the Sino-Soviet rift that
developed during the 1960s, Bulgaria continually expressed its
allegiance to Moscow and decried the divisiveness that resulted from
polycentric attitudes and actions.

In mid-1973 Bulgaria maintained diplomatic relations with eighty-two
governments, thirty-six of which had embassies in Sofia. The remaining
governments carried on diplomatic relations through their
representatives in nearby capitals. Bulgaria maintained fifty-four
embassies in foreign countries and, as a member of the United Nations
(UN), maintained an ambassador and a staff in New York. Bulgaria also
participated in the activities of many of the UN special agencies.


Historical Factors

Bulgaria emerged from World War II under the control of a coalition
government dominated by the BKP, which by 1947 had arrogated unto itself
complete power in the country. In the immediate postwar years policy and
direction concerning how the BKP should run the country was dictated
from Moscow, as was the case throughout most of the countries of Eastern
Europe. Between 1944 and 1948 eight countries had been taken over by
communist parties and had aligned themselves with the Soviet Union,
which exerted varying degrees of influence in the internal and
international affairs of all of them. Over the next twenty years
Yugoslavia and Albania broke out of the Soviet orbit completely; the
German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Poland, Hungary, and
Czechoslovakia experienced uprisings or civil disorders--in most cases
suppressed by Soviet force--and Romania asserted its right to national
self-determination on numerous occasions. Bulgaria alone remained
unwavering in its absolute allegiance to the Soviet Union.

Bulgaria chose not to follow the examples of other Eastern European
countries in seeking some degree of autonomy during the 1950s and 1960s
for many reasons. Not least among these were the historic traditions of
friendship between Bulgarians and Russians dating back to the
Russo-Turkish war that freed Bulgaria from Turkish rule in 1878.
Bulgarians are also close to the Russians in language, religion, and
cultural traditions. Additionally, having assumed power, the Bulgarian
Communists quite naturally looked toward Moscow--then the center of
world communism--for guidance and support. Many of the early postwar
leaders had spent several years as residents of the Soviet Union, where
they had been closely associated with the country's party.

Another reason for the close ties to the Soviet Union was pure
pragmatism on the part of the Bulgarian communist leaders. They were, in
effect, a minority leadership group faced with the task of imposing an
alien ideology on a reluctant majority at the same time that they were
trying to reorient the country's economy from an agricultural base to an
industrial base. The Bulgarian leaders needed the support of the Soviet

Beset by intraparty strife and lack of success in running the country
after the death of Georgi Dimitrov--the leading Bulgarian communist hero
and strong man of the early postwar years--the party leadership again
clung to Soviet support and totalitarian rigidity to perpetuate itself
in power. Even after the death of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and the
later de-Stalinization program under Nikita Khrushchev, Bulgaria's
leaders retained Stalinism as a modus operandi until the early 1960s.

After Zhivkov became first secretary of the party in 1954, there was a
long power struggle, for a third time, and it was not until the early
1960s that Zhivkov managed to eliminate his major antagonists from the
party hierarchy and stabilize his regime. During all of those years and
on through the 1960s and into the 1970s, Zhivkov continued the policy of
absolute loyalty to the Soviet Union and to its leadership.
Consequently, Bulgarian foreign policy has been a mirror image of Soviet

Principles of Foreign Policy

Bulgaria's constitution, in describing how the state serves the people
in foreign affairs, mentions "developing and cementing friendship,
cooperation, and mutual assistance with the Union of Soviet Socialist
Republics and the other socialist countries" and "pursuing a policy of
peace and understanding with all countries and peoples." Official
spokesmen proclaim that the country's international relations are
founded on the necessity for protecting national sovereignty and on the
creation of an overall attitude that would further the cause of all
nations in their development as modern states.

A quotation from the party program developed for the Tenth Party
Congress in 1971 indicates that, as far as Bulgaria's leaders are
concerned, the Soviet Union leads and Bulgaria follows. "For the
Bulgarian Communist Party and the Bulgarian people, Bulgarian-Soviet
friendship is like the sun and the air for every living creature, it is
a friendship of centuries and for centuries, one of the main driving
forces of our development, a condition and guarantee for the future
progress of our socialist fatherland and its tomorrow."


The Constitution of 1971 assigns the conduct of foreign relations to the
National Assembly, the State Council, and the Council of Ministers.
Formulation of foreign policy, however, remains a prerogative of the
BKP. The constitution states that the National Assembly implements
foreign policy but, because the assembly meets only three times each
year in short sessions, the implementation function is passed on to the
State Council during the long interim periods between assembly meetings.
Primary responsibilities of the State Council in foreign affairs (as
opposed to those limited to the periods between National Assembly
meetings) include representation of the country in its international
relations; the appointment, recall, or release from duty of diplomats
and consular officials; the ratification or denunciation of
international agreements; and the establishment of diplomatic and
consular ranks.

Although the ministries of foreign affairs and foreign trade are the
governmental operating agencies in the field of international
relations, in theory and in fact the State Council is the supervisory
body. The State Council exercises control over the activities of the
Council of Ministers and the ministries as stipulated in the
constitution. In essence, the State Council is the most powerful
government organ, not only in foreign affairs but in all governmental
activities. The interlocking of positions between the highest levels of
the party and the highest levels of the government assures that the BKP
program will be implemented.

According to the constitution, the Council of Ministers "organizes the
implementation of the home and foreign policy of the state." The council
is also charged with the concluding of international agreements and the
approval or denunciation of international agreements that are not
subject to ratification. In performing its constitutional duties in
foreign affairs, the Council of Ministers acts through the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Trade.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the administrative arm of the
government in the execution of foreign policy directives, decrees, and
decisions of the BKP and in representing the country abroad in
embassies, legations, and consular offices. The ministry, in the
prosecution of its duties and functions, employs a minister, two first
deputy ministers, four deputy ministers, and a secretary general, who
are assisted by the heads of eight geographic departments. In 1973 these
departments were designated to handle affairs with the Soviet Union,
other socialist states, the Balkans, Western Europe, Asia, the Arab-bloc
countries, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Americas.

The functional departments include: administrative, consular, political,
research and planning, cultural, documentation and archives, economic,
finance and accounting, international organization, inspectors,
personnel, press and cultural affairs, protocol, and legal. A committee
for church affairs and a diplomatic service bureau, although not
classified as regular departments, function as such. Also included is
the position of disarmament negotiator.

The Ministry of Foreign Trade functions under the direction and
supervision of a minister, a first deputy minister, and six deputy
ministers, who are almost always high-ranking members of the BKP. The
ministry itself is organized into thirteen geographic offices and seven
departments. The different geographic offices handle trade agreements
with the Soviet Union, other socialist countries, developed capitalist
countries, Asia and Latin America, and the Arab and African countries.
Other offices include foreign exchange planning and accounting,
coordination, leadership and control of foreign trade organizations,
currency and finance, economic planning, market conditions, planning,
and personnel. There are departments for statistics, secretariat and
protocol, legal and departmental arbitration, accounting and auditing,
administration, labor and wages, and control inspectorate.
Additionally, there are offices and sections not falling under any
specific category but existing independently. They are: an office for a
trade fair director general, trade representatives, a foreign trade
research institute, and a state inspection on the quality of goods for


Relations with Communist Countries

Bulgaria's foreign policy and foreign trade are circumscribed to a great
extent within the alliances formed by the Soviet Union and the communist
countries of Eastern Europe. In the early 1970s this tightly knit,
although polycentric, group continued to expect and did receive
Bulgaria's participation in preserving the status quo in Eastern Europe.
As is the case with other Eastern European countries, Bulgaria wants
Western technology and also would like to attract more Western tourists
to increase its hard currency intake. Bulgaria's motive for attracting
the West is economic rather than ideological. It is accepted within the
socialist alliances that the principle of proletarian internationalism
does not preclude diversity of trading partners of the individual member

Soviet Union

Bulgarian relations with the Soviet Union have been described as
subservient, and Zhivkov once acknowledged that he was "known for being
bound to the Soviet Union in life and death." In 1948 Bulgaria entered
into the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Aid with the
Soviet Union, which was renewed for another twenty years on May 12,
1967, and over the years the close alignment between the two countries
has taken on greater importance. Ideologically, it is well known that
Bulgaria is a loyal partner within the Soviet-dominated socialist group.
Its leaders have been schooled in Marxism-Leninism and usually look to
the Soviet Union for leadership.

Economically, Bulgaria still looks to the Soviet Union for foreign aid
and preferential trade treatment. The rapid pace with which Bulgaria has
moved toward industrialization is primarily owing to Soviet assistance.
Raw materials critical to Bulgaria's economy are supplied by the Soviet
Union and, with Soviet aid, the country has been able to construct many
large industrial enterprises. Estimates in 1967 put the number of Soviet
specialists in Bulgaria at 5,000, and the number has probably increased.
The renewal of a five-year agreement for 1971 through 1975 would serve
to increase further the Soviet share of trade in Bulgaria.

Relations with Other Communist States

Bulgaria's relations with Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland,
and Romania are largely governed by a series of bilateral and
multilateral treaties of friendship and cultural cooperation and by
military and economic alliances. The alliances are the Warsaw Pact and
COMECON. Relations with the other two communist states of Eastern
Europe, Albania and Yugoslavia, have usually followed Soviet initiatives
toward those countries.

Quite naturally, Bulgaria's major concerns in foreign affairs have dealt
with relations among the states of the Balkan Peninsula and particularly
with adjacent states. Romania, its northern neighbor, is a member of
COMECON and the Warsaw Pact but has often appeared to be a reluctant
member and since the early 1960s has stressed nationalism rather than
Marxist internationalism, causing Bulgaria, with its strong Soviet
orientation, to tread lightly in bilateral relations for fear of
offending the Soviets. Nevertheless, the Bulgarians and Romanians have
drawn closer together, probably because both countries see benefits that
might accrue from Balkan cooperation and believe that such cooperation
should in no way disturb the Soviet Union. In the early 1970s relations
appeared to be particularly good: there were frequent meetings between
leaders and government ministers, and a plan to cooperate in the
building of a huge hydroelectric project on the Danube River between the
two countries was announced.

Relations with Yugoslavia have more often than not been troubled to the
point of enmity. The problems existing between these two countries have
deep historical roots that hinge primarily on the Bulgarian contention
that Macedonia (since 1946 a federated republic of Yugoslavia) should be
Bulgarian rather than Yugoslavian. After World War II, when both
countries became communist, the Macedonian question was purposely
deemphasized but, when the Soviet-Yugoslav split occurred in 1948,
ideological differences paved the way for a renewal of the polemics on
the Bulgarian irredentist claims. In the early 1970s the polemics were
reduced to a minor level, and constructive talks leading to a
rapprochement began to occur. The changed atmosphere was attributed to
the state of relations between the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia but, for
whatever reason, the climate of relations between Bulgaria and its
western neighbor was considerably improved, and Bulgarian irredentism
was submerged.

Relations with Noncommunist States

The European Conference for Security and Cooperation held in Helsinki in
the spring of 1973 discussed the possibility of a freer exchange of
people and ideas as well as a freer flow of information between Western
European and Eastern European societies. The intensity of ideological
polemics had diminished with increasing contacts between East and West,
and the gap between the two social systems seemed narrower, especially
in regard to economic planning and development. Bulgaria, however,
publicly expressed doubts about importing anti-communist theories that
might accompany the freer exchanges of people, ideas, and information.

In a plenum of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party
in July 1973, the party leaders touched on issues of international
relations. The leaders pledged to continue a new policy of building
goodwill and enhancing relations with noncommunist European states as
well as with other developed capitalist states in all aspects of
political, economic, cultural, and other relations. Bulgaria also sought
to continue cultivating and developing friendly relations with
nonaligned friendly countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
Consistent with this policy, it pledged to render assistance to these
countries, especially where there were national liberation movements
involved in active resistance to the established regimes.

Greece and Turkey

Greece is geographically contiguous to Bulgaria, and relations between
the two countries have been alternately hot and cold depending on the
political climate of the times. In 1964 both countries signed an accord
relative to war reparations, which opened up some channels of
communication, cultural exchanges, and relaxed travel restrictions. The
move toward better relations was interrupted by the 1967 coup d'etat in
Greece, but improvement began again in the early 1970s when officials of
the two governments exchanged visits. By 1972 a newly created
Bulgarian-Greek economic cooperation commission had met in Sofia.

Difficulties between Bulgaria and Turkey have deep roots in history and
also involve the 750,000 ethnic Turks still residing in Bulgaria (see
ch. 2; ch. 4). An atmosphere of cordiality, however, had been developing
slowly as the officials of both countries cautiously negotiated to
reduce tensions between the two countries. Exchanges of high-level
visits and the signing of various economic agreements had stabilized
Bulgarian-Turkish relations by the early 1970s. The hijacking of two
Turkish planes to Sofia in 1972 disturbed the détente temporarily, but
the Bulgarian foreign minister went quickly to Turkey to make amends. In
1973 the two countries again enjoyed improved relations.

The United States

The tensions that marked Bulgarian-United States foreign relations in
the 1950s eased somewhat in the 1960s. The legations of both countries
were raised to embassy status in November 1966. This action was believed
to be an offshoot of United States efforts, particularly that of
President Lyndon B. Johnson, to "build bridges" to Eastern Europe. This
resumption of diplomatic goodwill was not pursued vigorously and, at the
time, reception to the idea in Bulgaria was generally cool. A noted
communist theoretician regarded the United States overtures as a
divisive force in the fraternal world of the communist movement,
designed ultimately to bring in a capitalist system inimical to the
ideological interest of any socialist country.

In 1973 the relations between the two countries were, however, cordial.
Observers noted an increase in trade, although it was still
quantitatively small and accounted for only between US$6 million and
US$7 million annually. Bulgaria hoped to increase this volume to US$30
million, especially by exporting high-quality tobacco to the United
States market.

Bulgaria has been seeking a consular agreement that would grant it
most-favored-nation tariff treatment in order to keep Bulgarian exports
on a competitive level with others in the United States market. Toward
this end, a Bulgarian trade delegation visited the United States in
mid-July 1973 to exchange views on expanded trade and economic relations
between the two countries. While in Washington the delegation met with
top officials from the Department of State, the Department of Commerce,
the Department of the Treasury, and the Export-Import Bank and with some
members of Congress.

West Germany

The two world wars saw Bulgaria fighting on Germany's side. Thereafter
Bulgarian policy differed from the Soviet line only once in a case that
involved relations between Bulgaria and the Federal Republic of Germany
(West Germany). When Chancellor Ludwig Erhard sounded out several
Eastern European governments with peace notes in 1966, Bulgaria along
with Romania did not publish official replies. Later that year West
German officials met with the Bulgarian foreign minister, and it
appeared that normalization of relations was in the offing. The
negotiations did not come to fruition, however, and Bulgaria fell back
in line with the Soviet Union, which at the time was hostile to West
Germany. The mere fact that Bulgaria participated in such independent
talks appeared remarkable to some observers.

During 1972 relations between Bulgaria and West Germany improved. Some
of the reasons attributed to this changing tack included the
ratification of treaties negotiated between West Germany, Poland, and
the Soviet Union; the opening of diplomatic channels between Poland and
West Germany; and the meetings of ambassadors of European countries in
Helsinki. Most important, however, was the signing of a basic treaty
that established and regulated relations between West and East Germany,
a condition set by Bulgaria before diplomatic relations could be resumed
with West Germany. The open advocacy of the Soviet Union for improved
relations with West Germany also encouraged Bulgaria to expedite the
resumption of diplomatic communications.

Other Western Countries

The mid-1960s saw party chief Zhivkov "building bridges" himself with
other Western countries. In light of Bulgaria's interest in expansion of
trade, relations with France were improved with reciprocal visits in
1966 between Zhivkov and Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville.
Also in the same year, partly as a result of these negotiations, the
French car manufacturer, Renault, established an assembly plant in
Bulgaria. Simultaneous with this move was the establishment of a
diplomatic mission in Canada. Agreements were negotiated with Belgium
and Italy on cultural, technical, and economic matters. Australia also
had a share of Bulgaria's trade attention; both countries signed a
long-term trade agreement in 1972, and an agreement was reached to
establish diplomatic relations at the embassy level.

Relations with Other States

Bulgarian interest in trade with the developing countries has increased
considerably. In 1971 and 1972 the volume of trade with third world
countries exceeded 316 million leva (for value of the lev--see Glossary)
as opposed to 113.3 million leva in 1965. The Arab countries rank first
in the amount of business conducted with Bulgaria. A considerable number
of Bulgarian experts are also engaged in the construction of industrial
enterprises in various developing countries.


Regional Cooperation

Military cooperation on a regional basis was secured for Bulgaria and
its allies (the Soviet Union, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania,
and Czechoslovakia) in a multilateral alliance known as the Warsaw Pact.
Albania, an original member, withdrew in 1968 (see ch. 16). Signed on
May 14, 1955, in Warsaw, Poland, the pact was and remains Eastern
Europe's answer to the challenges and security arrangements of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In one sense it seemed to provide
legal grounds for the Soviet Union to keep its troops in east-central
Europe as well as to secure the balance of military power in Europe,
especially after West Germany joined NATO. In another sense it confirmed
the Soviet Union's political and military hegemony in all of Eastern

The organization has two main bodies--the Political Consultative
Committee, which recommends general questions of foreign policy for
member countries, and the High Command of United Armed Forces, which
prepares military plans in time of war and decides troop deployments.
Both bodies are located in Moscow, and all its senior ranking officials
are Russians.

Bulgaria has bilateral treaties of mutual aid with each other member of
the Warsaw Pact. A multilateral agreement binds all the members to one
another in general and to the Soviet Union in particular. Within
Bulgaria Soviet officers serve as advisers at the division level and
formerly served down to the regiment level. Others serve as instructors.

Bulgaria was a charter member of COMECON in 1949. An economic alliance
among Eastern European countries, COMECON is the counterpart to Western
Europe's European Economic Community (commonly called the Common
Market). Other members are the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Hungary,
Poland, Romania, and East Germany. Mongolia and Cuba, non-European
countries, joined in June 1962 and July 1972, respectively. Albania
joined in 1949 but withdrew in 1961.

Founded as an outlet for agricultural and industrial products and as a
capital-and-labor market, COMECON, like the Warsaw Pact, binds its
members to each other and all of them to the Soviet Union. Long-term
trade agreements of five years are usually renewable at the end of each
term. It is estimated that 60 to 65 percent of the total foreign trade
of each signatory is carried on with other member countries. One of the
obvious disadvantages of the organization, however, is the absence of a
common market. Trade and commerce between the member countries are
carried out on the basis of preference and within the framework of
bilateral agreements.

Because the loose structure of COMECON does not make for effective
regional planning, member countries such as Bulgaria continue to renew
bilateral trade agreements within COMECON. The Soviet Union remains
Bulgaria's largest foreign market, accounting for more than 50 percent
of Bulgarian trade. Bulgaria also agreed to send Bulgarian workers to
the Soviet Union for heavy industrial projects.

Participation of Bulgaria on a regional level has been confined to a few
projects. Among these are a COMECON electric power grid, which serves
the western Ukraine, especially the city of Kiev; a Romanian-Bulgarian
project to construct a power dam and navigation system for sixty miles
along the Danube River; a system of high-speed expressways to connect
the capital cities of member countries; a project to modernize steel
industries and to reduce production and delivery time; and membership in
the International Bank for Economic Cooperation, headed by a former
deputy chairman of the Soviet State Bank.

United Nations Membership and Participation

Bulgaria became a member of the UN on December 14, 1955. Its delegates
are active in committee work of the UN organs and subsidiary bodies as
well as in deliberations on the floor of the General Assembly. One of
its most important committee assignments is to the so-called First
Committee, which was established as one of the original six committees
under the General Assembly's rules of procedure in 1946. It deals with
political and security matters and was headed by Milko Tarabanov, one of
five Bulgarian delegates to the UN in the session held from September
through December 1972.

Available records of General Assembly activities in 1970 showed active
participation of Bulgaria's delegates in committee work touching on such
matters as the review of administrative tribunal judgments; the question
of defining aggression; the peaceful uses of outer space; the peaceful
uses of the seabed under international waters; and the implementation of
the declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries
and peoples. Bulgaria was particularly interested in the Caribbean

As a member of the Committee on Disarmament, Bulgaria, along with
twenty-four other participating states, met in Geneva in 1970. The
committee met to consider the question of cessation of the nuclear arms
race and associated matters, such as the prohibition of emplacing
nuclear arms or other destructive weapons on the seabed. A refinement of
the comprehensive test ban treaty of 1963 extended the prohibition on
arms control to underground testing. Bulgaria, along with other Eastern
European countries, also supported draft proposals of the committee not
to undertake the "development, production, and stockpiling of chemical
and bacteriological weapons" and the consequent "destruction of such
weapons" as well as the prohibition of "biological methods of warfare."
Bulgaria, as a member of the General Assembly's First Committee, also
cosponsored a resolution to secure guarantees that the seabed would be
used only for peaceful means.

In regard to the question of nuclear and thermonuclear testing, Bulgaria
sought the early passage of an agreement to prohibit all nuclear weapons
testing while the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) were going on
between the United States and the Soviet Union. Bulgaria also
participated actively in the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer
Space. As a member of a subcommittee's working group, proposals and
working papers were submitted on the question of liability for damage
caused by objects that were launched into outer space. For its part,
Bulgaria sought to clarify the "question of applicable law" and the
"settlement of disputes."

The country was also represented in bodies dealing with economic
questions; questions of development; and social questions involving
housing, building, and planning as well as the promotion of children's
welfare. Additionally, the United Nations Conference on Trade and
Development had Bulgarian delegates in five of its working groups,
dealing with trade and development, commodities, domestic shipping,
international shipping legislation, and the transfer of technology.
Bulgaria is also a member of the Economic Commission for Europe.



Since the Communists took over the government in 1944, the mass
communications systems have been perceived as instruments of propaganda
and vehicles for party control. Because of this perception of the
significance of the media, the new government immediately claimed all
mass media as state property.

There is little if any tolerance of the free expression of ideas
throughout the entire mass communications system. Because Bulgaria is
more closely tied to the Soviet Union than most of the other Eastern
European countries, the dictates of Moscow are virtually followed to the
letter in the media. Themes that are initiated in Moscow are reiterated
almost verbatim in Sofia. The major theme of the mass media is respect
for and emulation of the Soviet Union, although recently some social
themes--such as the problems of youth and alcoholism--have been
incorporated as well.

The only sources of information and entertainment permitted to the
people are the domestically controlled mass media. Most Bulgarians
distrust information available to them from these sources but, having no
alternative, continue to use them.

Historically, of all the mass communications systems, the press has
always reached the largest number of people and has traditionally been
viewed by the government as the most effective means of informing the
general public. Although the circulation of the press dropped
drastically in the mid-1940s, it has since the 1960s once again become
the chief instrument of the mass communications system. Radio has
greatly expanded in variety and scope since the 1940s. Television,
although slow to develop and still limited in its audience relative to
other European countries, has been growing rapidly since the early 1960s
and was beginning to experiment with color in the early 1970s.

There has been little change in the Bulgarian publishing industry since
1944. Owing to the government's fear of contamination by the West or
other capitalist societies, there is very little importation of foreign
books into the country. Although books have increased greatly in terms
of sheer numbers of editions, the quantity of book titles has remained
very much the same since World War II.

Libraries range from those under the control of state ministries and
committees to local reading rooms and enterprise libraries. The latter
are generally more widely used by the people.

Since the end of World War II the film industry has grown to a great
extent. Like other instruments of the media, films are chosen for their
propagandistic value; however, since the advent of television, fewer
people have attended films.


The press--composed of newspapers and periodicals--was the most
developed of the Bulgarian media in the first half of the twentieth
century. Radio, which was introduced in the 1920s, was under the aegis
of what was then the Ministry of Post, Telegraph, and Telephone. The
production, importation, and sale of radios were unrestricted. The least
developed communications system of the day was the film industry, which
was privately owned and operated. Television was not initiated in the
country until the mid-1950s.

In the years immediately after the takeover, a strong pro-Soviet policy
was established for the media, which was still in effect in 1973. While
the new government restricted individual freedom and initiative within
the media, it demanded total support by the media of all policies of the
Soviet Union. Despite the fact that Bulgaria has never deviated from the
policy of complete commitment to the Soviet Union, after the invasion of
Czechoslovakia various media conferences were held in which calls for
stricter adherence to the Soviet line were sounded.


The government has certain distinct perceptions as to how the media must
serve the state. Propaganda permeates every aspect of life from formal
education to membership in unions and clubs to the publication of books
and pamphlets. The Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP--see Glossary) is the
main political force. It both creates the appropriate condition for the
expression of public opinion and forms public opinion itself.

At a recent conference on the mass communications system, a leading
member of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party
delineated the principal tasks of the media. The major task of the media
was "to work for the broadest possible propagation of the congress
decisions and for the mobilization of the people's physical and mental
powers to make their decisions materialize...." The second vital task of
the media was to "help form a socialist outlook on life among the
peoples and educate the new man--active fighter for the developed
socialist society, ideologically convinced, morally durable, physically
tempered, with profound awareness of duty and responsibility." The third
task was to promote the economic awareness of the people and to train
managers, specialists, workers, and farmers for the greater economic
good of the country. The fourth main task was to continue in the active
struggle against "bourgeois ideology ... and the ideological subversion
of imperialism."

A basic tenet of the Bulgarian system, however, is the belief that mass
communications must be actively supplemented by human contact on the
individual level. Iliya Georgiev, secretary of the Varna Okrug Bulgarian
Communist Party Committee, in an article on the political knowledge of
working people in 1972, stated categorically that the interest
stimulated in the people by the mass communications system must be
maintained and extended by informal means of communications, such as
district (_okrug_) seminars, meetings in enterprises and farms,
activities in the trade unions, and the Dimitrov Communist Youth Union
(Dimitrovski Komunisticheski Mladezhki Suyuz--commonly referred to as
the Komsomol).

The government has spent considerable time in assessing the extent to
which these media objectives have been achieved. In the years
immediately following the takeover, the government was consistently
distressed by continued Bulgarian feelings of friendship with the West
and the continual influence of the West upon the country. Although the
propaganda efforts of the communist government were tireless, radio
broadcasts and printed materials from the West continued to pour into

As the government's control over both the formal communications media
and the informal means of communications widened, the external threat
was perceived to be less, and governmental attention turned to the
assessment of the relative popularity of the various branches of the
media. In a recent study 3,294 people were questioned as to their
favorite source of domestic and international information. The vast
majority--64.8 percent--of those polled stated that their preferred
source was daily newspapers; 24.6 percent preferred television; and only
2.7 percent preferred radio. Although the newspapers were the favorite
source of information, they were frequently criticized by the people,
who expressed a basic lack of confidence in the press. In a second study
dealing with people's attitudes toward the press alone, 48.1 percent of
the 900 people polled said they disliked the press, and 52.1 percent
complained of the primitive quality of Bulgarian newspapers.

Young people, especially students, appeared to be even less stimulated
by the mass media than their elders. A study performed in the 1969/70
academic year indicated that students were indifferent to both domestic
political events and international developments. The pollsters concluded
that generally Bulgarian students take little advantage of the mass
media as a source of information. Unlike the broad public, whose primary
source of information was the press, students tended to see television
as their preferred source and the press and radio as secondary sources.


The 1947 Constitution, known as the Dimitrov Constitution, established
the stated rights of citizens as well as the nationalization of all
private property, including the mass communications network. Regarding
the so-called freedom of citizens, Article 88 of the 1947 Constitution
claimed: "The citizens of the People's Republic are guaranteed freedom
of the press, of speech, of assembly, of meetings and demonstrations."
At the same time, Article 10 and Article 17 prohibited the unrestricted
freedom of private property and provided for its nationalization under
the authority of the National Assembly. More specifically, Article 80 of
the constitution dealt directly with the system of mass communications:
"The state cares for the development of science and art by establishing
... publishing houses, libraries, theatres, museums, public reading
clubs, ... film studios, [and] cinemas...."

In 1956 the premier of the communist regime, Vulko Chervenkov,
emphasized the ultimate control of the party over all institutions of
the country. He stated: "No institution, organization, or person can be
above the Politburo and the Central Committee ... those guilty of
deviation from the Bolshevik rule must be held responsible and
punished." Under his successor, Todor Zhivkov, a slight liberalization
regarding freedom of the media ensued (see ch. 9). For a brief period
writers and scholars were given greater latitude of expression. When
some writers dared to openly criticize the government, however, Zhivkov
was unable to tolerate this criticism and reimposed restrictions on the
media. The ultimate authority of the party was again made manifest. In
an article in 1969, Georgi Bokov, chief editor of _Rabotnichesko Delo_
and chairman of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists, flatly rejected the
notions of freedom and independence for the mass communications system.
The stated goals of the Union of Bulgarian Journalists in the late 1960s
were "to promote the development of mass information and propaganda
media as first-rate ideological weapons in the struggle for the victory
of socialism and Communism ... the Union must constantly work to turn
the press, radio, and television into effective ideological instruments
for the Party."

In 1971, a new constitution was promulgated, but the basic clauses of
the 1947 document, regarding so-called individual freedoms and state
ownership, remained essentially intact. It was restated in Article 54
that "citizens enjoy freedom of speech, press, meetings, associations
and demonstrations." Article 46 again provided for state development of,
and control over, the mass communications system.

The results of the policy regarding the media are witnessed by numerous
examples of party control and the repression of dissidents. All
newspapers must provide space for the official news of the government,
and all Central Committee directives must be printed without alteration.
No dispatches sent out by the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (Bulgarska
Telegrafna Agentsiya--BTA)--the official news agency of the
country--are allowed to be revised. No criticism of government policies
is tolerated. Dissident individuals and groups are singled out for
criticism by the Politburo. In 1972 a Politburo member, Todor Pavlov,
accused certain writers of rejecting Socialist Realism in favor of more
bourgeois literature and art. Other writers were criticized for their
so-called subjectivistic interpretation of Bulgarian literature and were
branded as pseudoscientists.


Administrative Units

As the system has evolved, the broad outlines of propaganda have been
dictated from the Politburo, the party's chief policymaking unit. From
there policy is transmitted to the Agitation and Propaganda Department
(Agitprop), which is a major operational unit of the Central Committee.
Agitprop, in turn, is responsible for the transmission of guidelines
down to the lowest levels of party organization. Simultaneously, the
same dictates are transmitted throughout all cultural institutions by
the Ministry of Information and Communications. Under this ministry's
jurisdiction are the arts, the film industry, radiobroadcasting,
television, book and pamphlet publishing, printing, all cultural or
educational institutions, and all so-called independent artists. Still a
third channel for the transmission of the original propaganda are the
mass organizations that function in the propaganda field under direction
of either Agitprop or the Ministry of Information and Communications
(see ch. 9).

The administrative center for all media is Sofia, the capital. Eight
daily newspapers are published in Sofia and distributed throughout the
country; there are also seventeen major publishing houses in Sofia. The
National Film Board, which oversees all aspects of film production, is
in Sofia, as is Radio Sofia, which is the radio station for the entire
country. The Cyril and Methodius Library--also known as the Bulgarian
National Library--is within the confines of the city, as are the Union
of Bulgarian Writers; the Union of Bulgarian Artists; and the Union of
Composers, Musicologists, and Performing Musicians (see ch. 7).

The exportation of propaganda is under the auspices of the Sofia Press
Agency. This agency was founded in 1967 with the express purpose of
disseminating Bulgarian propaganda to other countries. Its three major
tasks are to publicize Bulgaria's achievements and successes actively to
the world; to attempt to counter anti-Bulgarian propaganda; and to
provide the various communist parties of the world with rationale in
their struggles against capitalism.

In 1972 the Sofia Press Agency was in the process of negotiating
agreements with the BTA and the Committee for Television and Radio.
Agreements had already been established with book publishers,
photographic artists, and the film industry. In early 1972 over 500
people--the majority of whom were editors and translators--were working
for the Sofia Press Agency, and contracts had been signed with
approximately 120 foreign countries. Nine magazines, translated into
eleven languages, had been published each year in 2.5 million copies. A
dual language newspaper has been published each year in 500,000 copies,
and 400 books had appeared in approximately 4 million copies. Some
15,000 articles had been written, 30,000 photographs taken, and dozens
of television motion pictures and documentaries had been filmed.

News Agency

The BTA was founded originally in 1898 in Sofia. It is the official news
agency of the country and the sole source of both foreign and domestic
news. It receives most of its foreign items from the Soviet Union news
agency but also maintains exchange agreements with Reuters, Associated
Press, and the Associated Foreign Press as well as a host of lesser
known foreign news agencies, although it tends to be more discriminating
in terms of the items selected from these sources.

In the 1960s the BTA had twenty-three correspondents posted throughout
the nation, as well as foreign correspondents in Moscow, Peking, East
Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Tirana, Belgrade, Ankara, Paris, Bonn, New
York, Vienna, Cairo, and New Delhi. Correspondents are sent on special
assignments to investigate news that is considered to be of interest to
Bulgaria. Domestic news is reproduced in Russian, English, French,
German, and Spanish, and international news is reproduced in Russian,
English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. In an average day the BTA
receives approximately 800 foreign newspapers, magazines, and bulletins
and itself produces over 125,000 words.


The predominant theme of the media remains the expression of friendship
with the Soviet Union. In 1971 a leading member of the party's Central
Committee informed members of the media that one of their primary
functions was to champion the feelings of "fraternal love, trust, and
gratitude" of the Bulgarian people for the "heroic Soviet people," at
the same time demonstrating "clearly and convincingly the unbreakable
ties linking our present and future with the present and future of the
Soviet Union."

A second common theme of the current media deals with the continuing
struggle between so-called bourgeois capitalism and socialism. The
people are, on the one hand, warned of the invidiousness of capitalistic
methods--"The veiled methods of ideological struggle applied on an even
broader scale by contemporary imperialism requires greater vigilance
from us...." On the other hand they are assured that socialism will
ultimately prevail--"their [socialist] ideas make their way with
insuperable force into the minds and hearts of working people all over
the world, gain more and more new adherents, and become a powerful
factor of social progress."

Another dichotomy that the media pose as a continuing theme is that of
religion versus socialism. Bulgarian writers triumphantly proclaim that
"religion as a component of the sociological structure of society for
thousands of years gradually withers away at an even faster pace
throughout the transition from capitalism to communism." Since one of
the major aims of the government is to eliminate religious sentiment
among the people, the public is from time to time assured
that--according to the latest survey--only 35.5 percent of the
population is considered religious or that the "Bulgarian people is one
of the least religious in the world."

Another divisive force that is frequently posed by the media is national
patriotism versus proletarian internationalism. Although
internationalism is viewed as predominant, citizens are warned against
feelings of bourgeois nationalism, since the "unity between
internationalism and patriotism is of a relative character, and there is
always the real possibility of dissension between them; they may even be
placed into a position of mutual opposition." Somehow the conflict,
according to the journal _Filosofska Misal_, is perceived as being
resolved through a higher form of patriotism that is inextricably linked
with love of the Soviet Union. Socialist patriotism is seen as a
"qualitatively new, higher form of patriotism" as expressed in "love and
gratitude toward the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the Soviet
Union organically linked with love for Bulgaria."

In accordance with the media's constant expression of admiration for,
and solidarity with, the Soviet Union, any issue that raises the
question of conflicting loyalties between the People's Republic of China
(PRC) and the Soviet Union is summarily dismissed with the reiteration
of support for the Soviet Union. One journal warned the people of the
dangers from the left in the form of the people of the PRC as well as
from the right in the form of capitalist societies: "Contrary to all
healthy logic, for years on end, the Chinese leadership has been waging
hostile propaganda campaigns against the Soviet Union ... which are in
no way inferior to the most malicious fabrications of bourgeois

When the troops of the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia in August
1968, Bulgaria once again rose to the Soviet Union's defense in complete
justification of the invasion. The BTA cited a long list of workers,
peasants, and intellectuals who were allegedly in favor of the action.
Major newspapers such as _Rabotnichesko Delo_ interpreted the event as
symbolic of proletarian internationalism, and _Zemedelsko Zname_ stated
that "it is our supreme duty to resist the common enemy and not to allow
anyone ever to tear away even one link from the chain of the socialist
community." The Czechoslovak uprising itself, as reported by the
Bulgarian press some months later, was interpreted as nationalistic and

Bulgaria's relationship with the West, as expressed by the media, has
evolved over time from overt hostility to some degree of tolerance. In
1968 the Bulgarian media openly denounced the concept of peaceful
coexistence with the West. By the early 1970s, however, although
citizens were still urged by the media to struggle against bourgeois
capitalism as epitomized by the West, a slight thaw in the cool
relations that had prevailed since the mid-1940s was detected. On the
one hand, all instruments of the media were urged to direct the people
away from foreign influences and to struggle against "bourgeois
ideology, anticommunism, and the ideological subversion of imperialism."
On the other hand, however, Western correspondents in 1973 declared that
Bulgaria was entering a period of greater flexibility with the West.

The last polemical theme of the Bulgarian mass media is known as the
Bulgarian miracle. Although success for the alleged achievement of
Bulgaria's national goals is attributed to correct socialism, the
application of Leninist principles, and the unity of party and people,
the media take every opportunity to stress the achievements of the
Bulgarian state since the advent of communism. One journal stated that
"our country strengthened and matured as a state with a modern socialist
industry, intensive mechanized agriculture, and flourishing national
culture, a state enjoying an indisputable international prestige,
respected as an economic partner and as a factor for the safeguard of

On the nonpolemical side, the Bulgarian media discuss both Bulgaria's
immediate social problems and issues that affect the world. The issue of
alcoholism is discussed relatively openly and is viewed as an issue of
national concern. Alcoholism is perceived to be related to both the
rising number of divorces and the frequency of crimes (see ch. 5; ch.

Bulgarians also have become involved in the international issue of
pollution of the environment, and the press has given the topic a fair
amount of coverage. The issue has been dealt with on a completely
nonpolemical basis; in fact the brotherhood of all forms of societies is
stressed as the means of combating the problem.



In 1944, three months after the new government took control, all
newspaper plants were made the property of the state. In the ensuing
year, the government took over the distribution of newsprint, and many
noncommunist editors and Communists were either jailed or executed. By
1945 only eight daily and weekly newspapers were permitted to publish.
Five of them were published under the aegis of a governmental or party
agency. _Rabotnichesko Delo_--which was patterned on the Soviet
_Pravda_--became the organ of the Central Committee, and _Otechestven
Front_--patterned on the Soviet _Isvestia_--became the official organ of
the government. _Izgrev_ was an organ of the Fatherland Front _Zvenos_;
_Narod_ was an instrument of the Fatherland Front (Otechestven Front)
Socialists; and _Narodna Voiska_ was an army organ. _Politika_ was not
directly affiliated with the party but was decidedly pro-Communist (see
ch. 9).

The other two newspapers, both expressing a degree of opposition, were
tolerated only through 1946. These were _Narodno Zemedelsko Zname_, an
organ of the Bulgarian Agrarian Union (Bulgarski Zemedelski Suyuz--BZS)
and _Svoboden Narod_, an organ of the Social Democratic Party. In early
1947, however, they were closed down.

The Fifth Party Congress in 1948, endeavoring to more fully exploit the
potential of the press for propaganda purposes, called upon it to serve
as the "first assistant of the Bulgarian Communist Party, of the
Fatherland Front, and of the government." The primary function of the
printed news media, as stated by that congress, was to mobilize the
working people in terms of their identification with the so-called great
socialist buildup. In the same year the Central Home of Bulgarian
Journalists was established in order to train writers in the correct
propaganda line established by the party. This institution was replaced
in 1955 by the Union of Bulgarian Journalists.

After World War II the national newspapers were generally four pages
long and consisted of news concerning Bulgaria, the Soviet Union, and
other socialist countries; progress reports regarding national economic
plans; foreign news presented with a decided anti-Western bias; and
information regarding cultural events and sports. Cartoons, which
appeared occasionally in the daily and weekly newspapers, were generally
propagandistic and dealt with so-called foreign agents, the bourgeoise,
and other so-called enemies of the people. There was little humor in the
newspapers, as their overall purpose was to portray and defend the
communist system.

The national newspapers were modeled after those of the Soviet Union, in
both style and content. During the 1940s they established ties with the
Soviet news agency, the Chinese Communist news agency, and the news
agencies in other communist countries. All international events--those
dealing with the communist-bloc countries and those dealing with the
West--were integrated through these sources.

While Stalin lived, all of his dictates were followed to the letter,
including the duplication of the Soviet example in the strong verbal
campaign against Yugoslavia. When Nikita Khrushchev succeeded him and
subsequently made some semblance of peace with Yugoslavia, the Bulgarian
press followed suit. Similarly, when the Soviets quickly quelled the
Polish and Hungarian revolts, the Bulgarian press endorsed the Soviet
versions of these events. Strict control over the press was retained in
the early 1970s, and most news still emanated from the Soviet news
agency. Censorship was seldom required, however, since all editors were
by this time acutely aware of their responsibilities to the party.

In contrast to the natural press, the provincial press concentrated on
local matters. It included, in addition to a few regularly published
newspapers, a variety of new types of publications, such as
multicirculators--which were wall posters--and the so-called bumblebees,
which were letters of accusation pointing out alleged failures of
particular individuals to maintain acceptable social standards or to
attain programmed economic goals. In broad terms, all these publications
were designed to indoctrinate specific groups of people, generally in
their places of work. The multicirculators called on workers to support
the economic goals of the government and promised them rewards if they
fulfilled the required objectives (see table 10).

_Table 10. Bulgaria, Newspaper Circulation by Frequency of Issue, 1971_

          Frequency         |        |    Annual
             of             |        |  Circulation
            Issue           | Number | (in thousands)
 Daily                      |   13   |    611,900
 Two to four times per week |   31   |    108,181
 Weekly                     |   58   |    100,880
 Less than once per week    |  604   |     16,533
                            |  ---   |    -------
     TOTAL                  |  706   |    837,494

In the early 1970s the style of Bulgarian newspapers remained
essentially the same as in the mid-1940s. National daily newspapers
ordinarily had four pages, but sometimes had from six to eight pages
when there was vital news to cover. Headlines were often printed in red,
but stories and articles were in black print. Since the late 1960s or
early 1970s advertising increased, and newspapers began to resemble
their Western counterparts to a greater extent.

In 1972 thirteen daily newspapers were published, eight of which were
printed in Sofia. _Rabotnichesko Delo_ was a descendant of the first
workers' newspaper, which was begun in 1897. It led both in importance
and circulation, was the primary organ of the BKP, and set the tone for
all other newspapers in the country. In 1950 it had a daily circulation
of 364,500 copies, and by 1960 its circulation had risen to 567,360. In
1972 this newspaper had a total circulation of approximately 650,000
copies. The second most important daily newspaper published in Sofia
was the _Otechestven Front_, the organ of the government. This
publication was initiated as an underground newspaper in 1942. As of
1972 it claimed a daily circulation of 247,000.

The other Sofia dailies and their circulations were: _Zemedelsko Zname_,
168,000; _Narodna Mladez_, the newspaper for youth, 225,000; _Trud_, the
organ of the trade unions, 200,000; _Narodna Armiya_, an organ of the
Ministry of National Defense, 50,000; _Vecherni Novini_, founded in
1951, an evening newspaper, 40,000; and _Kooperativno Selo_, the organ
of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry, 230,000. The major
provincial dailies were _Otechestven Glas_ (in Plovdiv), _Narodno Delo_
(in Varna), _Chernomorski Front_ (in Burgas), _Dunavska Pravda_ (in
Ruse), and _Pirinsklo Delo_ (in Blagoevgrad) (see table 11).

_Table 11. Bulgaria, Circulation of Newspapers and Periodicals, Selected
Years, 1939-71_

                        |   1939    |   1948    |   1960    |   1971
 _Newspapers_:          |           |           |           |
   Annual circulation*  | 130,297   | 345,905   | 602,813   | 837,494
   Annual circulation   |           |           |           |
     per capita         |      20.7 |      48.5 |      76.6 |      98.1
 _Periodicals_:         |           |           |           |
   Number               |     393   |     246   |     151   |     963
   Annual circulation*  |  11,208   |  10,421   |  20,923   |  48,605
   Average annual       |           |           |           |
     issues per capita  |       1.8 |       1.5 |       2.7 |       5.7
 * In thousands.


By 1971 there were 963 periodicals with an annual circulation of 48.6
million, roughly tripling the pre-World War II figures. Periodicals were
an extremely popular form of reading material.

Among the leading periodicals of Bulgaria are: _Novo Vreme_, a monthly
journal of the Central Committee; _Ikonomicheska Misal_, the organ of
the Institute of Economics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; _Puls_,
a publication of the Central Committee of the Komsomol; _Slavyani_, the
monthly journal of the Slav Committee in Bulgaria; _Bulgarski Voin_, the
monthly journal of the chief political department of the Bulgarian
People's Army (Bulgarska Narodna Armiya); _Resorts_, a bimonthly journal
printed in Russian, French, English, and German; and _Lov i Ribolov_.


In 1939 there were three radio stations and over 60,000 subscribers (see
table 12). Approximately one out of every 100 Bulgarian citizens owned a
radio set.

_Table 12. Bulgaria, Number of Radio Stations and Subscribers, Selected
Years, 1939-71_

                             |  1939  |  1948   |   1960    |   1971
 Radio stations:             |        |         |           |
   Mediumwave                |  n.a.  |   n.a.  |         5 |        12
   Shortwave                 |  n.a.  |   n.a.  |         2 |         4
   Ultra-shortwave           |  n.a.  |   n.a.  |         0 |        11
 Number of radio stations    |      3 |       5 |         7 |        27
 Number of relay stations    |  n.a.  |      41 |     1,347 |     1,835
 Number of radio subscribers | 62,677 | 210,366 | 1,430,653 | 2,304,567
 Number of radio receivers   | 62,677 | 201,866 |   868,950 | 1,546,163
 Subscribers*                |     10 |      30 |       182 |       269
 n.a.--not available.
 * Per 1,000 population.

As of March 26, 1948, the state controlled not only the management of
radio stations and the content of radio programs but also the
manufacture, distribution, and sale of radio equipment. The ownership
and operation of radios were subject to the chief directorate of radio
information according to the Law on Radio. Article 15 of this law stated
that private homes could only receive programs of Bulgarian radio
stations. Article 17 of the same law stated that all people wishing to
purchase radios had to receive prior authorization and pay a radio tax.

The ideological purposes of radio broadcasts are presented by the
government in quasi-cold war terms. One radio commentator, Lyuben Popov,
has described the radio as a weapon for waging war on the air. He
explained that "the struggle on the air is becoming sharper and sharper
and more and more uncompromising.... Our propaganda work is part of the
ideological struggle for victory of communist ideas." Radio is perceived
as serving two principal ends. On the domestic level it serves to
provide information as well as propaganda to the public; on the
international level it functions in a purely ideological capacity.

There are twelve mediumwave radio transmitters: two are located in
Pleven; two in Kurdzhali; two in Sofia; and one each in Plovdiv,
Blagoevgrad, Varna, Shumen, Stara Zagora, and Stolnik. There are eleven
ultra-shortwave stations: three are located in Sofia, two in Botev, two
in Slunchev Bryag, two in Kyustendil, one in Snezhinka, and one in
Plovdiv. There are four shortwave radio stations in Bulgaria. Of the
total number of twenty-seven radio stations in the country, six
broadcast in both amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation
(FM); twenty broadcast in AM only; and one located at Botev Peak
broadcasts only in FM.

Bulgarian radio stations are on the air approximately 500 hours per
week. Foreign broadcasts are transmitted approximately twenty-six hours
a day Monday through Saturday and twenty-nine hours on Sunday. These
programs are broadcast in Bulgarian, Turkish, Greek, Serbo-Croat,
French, Italian, German, English, Spanish, and Arabic and are
transmitted to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America, and South
America. The number of domestic listeners has approximately doubled over
the 1960-71 period. In mid-1973 over a quarter of the population owned
radio sets.

The leading radio programs are transmitted by Radio Sofia. Radio
Plovdiv, Radio Varna, and Radio Stara Zagora also transmit popular
programs. Radio Rodina is the main station transmitting to Bulgarians
residing abroad. Generally, radio programs consist of news bulletins
dealing with both local and international events; programs for rural
listeners and industrial workers, which deal with industrial,
agricultural, and cultural matters; programs for children, which
complement the formal educational curriculum; literary and cultural
programs; and scientific programs.

In January 1971 Radio Sofia took steps to refurbish its old programming.
Some critics felt that the old programming was lacking in variety,
causing listeners to turn to foreign broadcasts for more enjoyable
entertainment. Others within the medium wanted to have more freedom and
creativity in programming. As a result, in mid-1973 the three main
programs of Radio Sofia had a singular and distinctive character.
"Horizont" provided both general information and popular music. "Christo
Botev" had a more cultural and propagandistic nature, presenting
ideological, literary, and educational programs. "Orfei" was the program
for classical music, which was occasionally supplemented by theatrical
and literary features. The results of these changes have been mixed.
Although some critics felt that the new programs were more lively than
their predecessors, others continued to criticize them for a "dearth of
original thought, a laconic style, and a pompous tone."

Other recent developments in radio have been the establishment of radio
relay ties with nearby countries. These relay ties are expected to
increase Bulgaria's communications with the West while providing her new
partners with access to the East. In July 1972 the construction of radio
lines between Bulgaria and Turkey was completed. In December 1972 plans
for a radio relay line between Sofia and Athens were announced; the line
was to be completed by 1974. This particular line was expected to
provide Greece with access to Eastern Europe and Bulgaria with access to
the Middle East and North Africa.


Television, like radio, became a state monopoly under the control of the
Ministry of Culture on March 26, 1948, but the first strictly
experimental broadcasts were not undertaken until 1954. It was 1959
before the first regular programming--consisting of two programs per
week--was being broadcast. By 1962 programs had been increased to only
four per week.

The number of television subscribers rose from a mere 2,573 in 1960 to
185,246 in 1965 and to 1.2 million in 1971. These figures meant the
number of sets per 1,000 people were; less than one, in 1960; about
twenty-three, in 1965; and 138, in 1971. During the same period an
increasing number of transmitting stations was making reception possible
in nearly all parts of the country. By 1972 there were twenty-seven
transmitters; the major ones were located at Sofia, Slunchev Bryag,
Botev, Varna, and Kyustendil. In spite of the expansion of the network
and the increasing numbers of sets available, in comparison to other
European countries there were still relatively few television
subscribers per 1,000 of the population.

Three-quarters of the television sets are located in the cities.
Although there is only one major television program, Program I, plans
are underway for the transmission of a second program, Program II. This,
when added to the coverage of Program I, is expected to reach 95 percent
of the population by 1975.

Television is transmitted on a daily basis. The weekly programs run
between 68 and 72 hours. Television time has been apportioned more or
less according to popular taste. Of the total hours, 22 percent of
television time was devoted to documentaries, 15 percent to music, 12
percent to news, 11 percent to programs for children, 10 percent to
language and literature programs, and 8 percent to sports. There were
also special broadcasts to villages and question-and-answer programs in
industrial enterprises and cooperative farms. Unlike the rest of Eastern
Europe, Bulgaria imported very few television films from the United

One of the most recent innovations in television programming was the
transmission of a special program for tourists in 1973. Bulgarian Radio
and Television decided to cooperate with the Committee for Tourism to
promote a 1-½-hour program for foreign tourists on the Black Sea coast.
The program, as envisioned in 1973, would consist of local news,
presented on three different channels in Russian, English, and German
respectively; local events; international news; tourist information; and

Future plans for Bulgarian television were outlined in the Sixth Five
Year Plan (1971-75). Although color television programs in the 1970s
were transmitted to Bulgaria from Moscow, Bulgaria's own color
television was to be transmitted in late 1973. Along these lines,
Bulgaria planned to collaborate with Intervision--the Eastern European
television network--in the promotion of color television. In 1972 plans
were also being formulated for the construction of between 250 and 300
relay stations and additional television transmitters.


In 1939 there were 2,169 books and pamphlets published in 6.5 million
copies, and in 1948 there were 2,322 books and pamphlets published in
19.9 million copies. By 1960 the number of book and pamphlet titles had
risen to 3,369 in 30.2 million copies, and by 1971 the number of book
and pamphlet titles reached 4,188 in 46.8 million copies.

More recent studies of book and pamphlet publication conducted in 1969
and 1970 indicated that the overwhelming majority of books and pamphlets
were written by Bulgarians. Of the 3,799 books published in 1970, there
were 3,368 by Bulgarian authors. The foreign works during this year were
predominantly in Russian, 131; French, sixty-five; English, sixty-five;
and German, fifty-four. There were few books translated from Spanish and
a sprinkling of translations from other lesser known languages. Of the
translated works most were literary, followed by works dealing with the
social sciences, the applied sciences, the arts, geography and history,
the so-called hard sciences, philosophy, philology, and religion.

A 1971 study illustrates the fact that--in terms of titles alone--books
are more popular than pamphlets by a ratio of approximately three to one
(see table 13). The greatest number of book titles in 1971 were in the
areas of artistic and folkloric literature, technology and industry, and
scientific and educational texts. The smallest number of book titles
were in the areas of general handbooks, community affairs, and atheism
and religion. The greatest number of pamphlet titles, on the other hand,
were in juvenile literature, communist party literature, and science and
education. The fewest pamphlet titles dealt with atheism and religion,
Marxism-Leninism, languages, and labor and trade unions.

Because the Bulgarian publishing industry has emphasized the quantity of
books available in terms of copies rather than variety or number of
titles, there has been some serious criticism of policy, particularly
from the newspapers. In fact, among the Balkan countries, Bulgaria ranks
below Yugoslavia, Romania, and Turkey in the number of titles published
annually. One newspaper claimed that of the total number of books
published in 1972, only approximately one-third were so-called real
books, meaning that they were not simply textbooks or brochures. This
newspaper claimed that foreign literature was not well known in Bulgaria
and pointed out that the literature of Asia, Africa, and South America
had increased by only 470 titles since 1939.

The state not only is in charge of the publishing houses themselves but
also supervises the distribution of books throughout the country.
Editorial councils are the final authorities in determining the output
of individual publishing houses. The one exception to the general
administration of publishing houses is the publication of textbooks. In
this case the Committee on Art and Culture is responsible for the
printing of textbooks, and the Ministry of National Education is, in
turn, responsible for their distribution.

_Table 13. Bulgaria, Book and Pamphlet Publication, 1971_

                                      | Total Number |  Book  | Pamphlet
        Subject of Publication        |  of Titles   | Titles |  Titles
 Marxism-Leninism                     |       26     |     23 |      3
 Communist party                      |      270     |    158 |    112
 Socialist and communist construction |      181     |     97 |     84
 Foreign policy and economics         |       94     |     74 |     20
 Philosophy                           |       70     |     52 |     18
 History                              |      147     |    121 |     26
 Economics                            |       29     |     21 |      8
 Production                           |       90     |     82 |      8
 Finance                              |       15     |     11 |      4
 Labor and trade unions               |       55     |     39 |     16
 Legal and constitutional system      |       73     |     53 |     20
 Military policy                      |       38     |     28 |     10
 Natural science and mathematics      |      261     |    225 |     36
 Technology and industry              |      490     |    415 |     75
 Agriculture and cooperatives         |      284     |    214 |     70
 Trade and nutrition                  |       51     |     37 |     14
 Transportation and communications    |       75     |     64 |     11
 Community affairs                    |        4     |      4 |    ...
 Health                               |      215     |    157 |     58
 Physical education and sports        |       72     |     53 |     19
 Scientific and educational texts     |      397     |    301 |     96
 Literary criticism                   |      133     |     55 |     78
 Art                                  |      152     |    118 |     34
 Languages                            |       70     |     66 |      4
 Artistic and folkloric literature    |      609     |    534 |     75
 Juvenile literature                  |      277     |    146 |    131
 Atheism and religion                 |        8     |      7 |      1
 General handbooks                    |        2     |      2 |    ...
                                      |    -----     |  ----- |  -----
     TOTAL                            |    4,188     |  3,157 |  1,031

The party is the final arbiter regarding the acceptability of work for
publication. All party control, however, is theoretically unofficial;
censorship exists only in the sense that all power of decision regarding
publication is in the hands of party members. The official process for
publication is that the writer submits his work to the publishing house.
The publishing house then sends it, with a brief description of its
ideological content, to the Committee on Art and Culture. If the book is
approved at this stage, it is returned to the publishing house, where it
is again checked for its ideological content.

The major criterion for acceptance is the ideological soundness of the
work in question. According to a refugee playwright from Bulgaria, "The
journalist must praise the party, and government, and criticize the
West. The poet, the playwright, the novelist must uphold the communist
ideal." Since the works of leading Communists are almost always accepted
for publication, one writer has stated; "In Bulgaria dead communist
heroes are the safest bet."

The government is actively engaged in attempting to promote Bulgarian
books abroad. In the late 1960s and early 1970s books by native
authors--although in relatively small numbers--were published in such
diverse countries as Great Britain, Japan, France, Turkey, Italy, Iran,
Austria, Argentina, and Finland. According to the latest available
source on the promotion of Bulgarian books abroad, plans also have been
formulated for the publication of books in the United States, Belgium,
Brazil, and Syria.

One of the most serious problems in the publishing industry, other than
the broad issue of freedom of expression of the writers, is that of a
shortage of textbooks. In 1970 the Committee for State Control
discovered that courses in 1,013 subjects at the university level had no
textbooks whatsoever. In the University of Sofia alone, where
approximately 317 subjects were taught, textbooks existed for only 216
of these subjects; roughly half of the books for the 216 subjects that
used textbooks were out of print.


When the Communists took power in 1944, they began to allocate
relatively large sums of money to develop new libraries in both large
cities and small villages. By 1971 the country had over 10,000
libraries, whose collections numbered nearly 50 million volumes (see
table 14).

The Committee on Art and Culture maintained a number of libraries,
including the country's largest, the Bulgarian National Library. Founded
in 1878 in Sofia, it contained 814,000 works in 1971, including about
13,000 old and rare volumes, approximately 17,000 graphic works, and
some 20,000 photographs and portraits. The library published both a
yearbook and a monthly periodical.

The committee maintained two other libraries. One was the Ivan Vazov
State Library, situated in Plovdiv, whose collection included a wide
variety of periodicals, old and rare books, and archives. The other
library under the committee was the Elin Pelin Bulgarian Bibliographical
Institute, which maintained a record of all printed works in the country
and published a monthly bulletin listing all of its publications, an
annual yearbook, and a monthly list of all articles published in reviews
and journals.

In addition there were research-related libraries maintained by the
Academy of Sciences; public school libraries; university libraries;
libraries organized in state plants, factories, and cooperative farms;
regional libraries; and local libraries.

The major regional libraries were located in Burgas, Ruse, Stara Zagora,
Shumen, Varna, Velsko, and Turnovo. The best known local library was the
City Library of Sofia, which contained about 452,862 volumes.

_Table 14. Libraries in Bulgaria, 1971_

                      |                     Number
   Kind of Library    |-----------+--------+----------+-------------
                      | Libraries | Books* | Readers* | Books Lent*
 National             |       1   |    814 |     25   |      189
 Local                |      27   |  5,287 |    259   |    4,807
 Reading rooms        |   4,108   | 20,387 |  1,359   |   20,744
 Enterprises and      |           |        |          |
   government offices |   2,110   |  6,532 |    537   |    4,984
 Public schools       |   3,860   |  9,336 |    772   |    6,653
 Universities         |      23   |  2,077 |     84   |    1,320
 Specialized:         |           |        |          |
     Science          |     115   |  1,409 |     29   |      507
     Government       |      35   |    594 |     16   |      282
     Party and public |           |        |          |
       organizations  |      93   |    804 |     39   |      280
     Technical        |     212   |    864 |     54   |      398
     Medical          |      60   |    405 |     36   |      361
     Theaters         |           |        |          |
       (archives)     |     133   |    443 |      6   |       34
     Educational      |      14   |    152 |      8   |       57
                      |  ------   | ------ |  -----   |   ------
 Total specialized    |     662   |  4,671 |    188   |    1,919
                      |  ------   | ------ |  -----   |   ------
 TOTAL                |  10,791   | 49,104 |  3,224   |   40,616
 * In thousands.

The so-called public reading room was another form of library. Founded
by educated Bulgarians during the Turkish occupation as centers of
culture and education, the reading rooms have become quite widespread,
particularly in the villages, and supply books to farmworkers and other
members of the rural population. In the early 1970s there were 4,108
reading rooms with over 20 million volumes.


By 1947, after the new constitution had been enacted, the film industry
became a state monopoly. The next year the new Law on Motion Pictures
was passed, which essentially expanded on the theme of state control. It
officially abolished free enterprise in the film industry and prohibited
individual activities in the importation and exportation of films and
the private operation of movie theaters. The film industry fell under
the official control of the Bulgarian Cinematography Association, which
was under the Department of Motion Pictures of the Committee for
Science, Art, and Culture. By 1950 the entire film industry was under
the complete control of the Council of Ministers. The Department of
Motion Pictures became officially attached to the council.

One of the early laws regarding films stated that "the motion picture
must become a real fighting assistant of the party and the government
and be an ardent agitator and propagator of the government policy." The
focus of the industry was to be placed on the building of socialism
while increasing the country's bonds with the Soviet Union. Early
legislation stated that "Soviet films gave immense educational influence
and mobilized action and conscious participation in the building of
socialism for still greater friendship with the Soviet Union." This
emphasis on the relationship with the Soviet Union was not only
ideological. Soviet films also represented approximately 87 percent of
the films shown in Bulgaria from 1945 to 1956, and the Bulgarian film
industry was in large part assisted by its film counterpart in the
Soviet Union.

The film industry expanded quickly under the new government. There were
187 films produced in 1960 (see table 15). By 1965 there were
approximately 2,000 motion picture houses, roughly 83 percent of which
were in the villages.

_Table 15. Bulgaria, Films Produced and Translated, Selected Years,

                          |  1939  |  1948  |  1960  |  1971
 Full length              |    3   |   ...  |   11   |   18
   Art                    |   (3)  |   ...  |  (10)  |  (16)
   Documentary            |   ...  |   ...  |   (1)  |   (2)
 Television               |    0   |    0   |    0   |   19
 Short and medium length  |   ...  |   19   |  110   |  252
   Documentary            |   ...  |  (15)  |  (36)  |  (60)
   Popular science        |   ...  |   (4)  |  (32)  |  (61)
   Technical education    |   ...  |   ...  |  (16)  |  (21)
   Animated               |   ...  |   ...  |   (8)  |  (16)
   Propaganda             |   ...  |   ...  |  (18)  |  (94)
 Previews                 |   ...  |   53   |   66   |   58
                          |   ---  |   ---  |  ---   |  ---
     TOTAL                |     3  |   72   |  187   |  347

In mid-1973 information on the film industry indicated that the
production, distribution, importation, exportation, and exhibition of
films were still controlled by the Bulgarian Cinematography Association.
This agency was subdivided into three sections: the chief studio at the
Bulyana film center where feature films and cartoons were produced; a
second studio that produced documentary shorts and popular science films
for schools; and a third studio that specialized in newsreels.

Relative to other European countries there was little importation or
exportation of films. In mid-1973 data suggested that between 100 and
150 feature films were imported per year. These films generally came
from the Soviet Union and other Eastern European countries, although a
few were imported from Italy, France, and Great Britain. The first
Bulgarian film to be exported was _The Chain_, which was shown in
Czechoslovakia in 1964. The same year another Bulgarian film, _The
Intransigents_, was shown in Ireland, and still another, _The Peach
Thief_, was shown in Great Britain. The precise number of Bulgarian
films exported was unknown, although one writer claimed that in 1973
Bulgarian films were viewed in about seventy countries.

In mid-1973 the subject matter of Bulgarian films was characteristically
contemporary, and there was little focus on historical events. Although
a few historical films had been produced, they were in the minority. A
few films had dealt with the subject of Bulgarian resistance to the
Nazis, but they too were relatively scarce. More films were devoted to
the so-called people's heroic struggles. Most films in Bulgaria,
however, dealt with contemporary life in the country and current events.
The overwhelming majority of these films treated the conflicts and
issues of Bulgarian youth.




Under comprehensive control of the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP--see
Glossary), the economy was severely strained in mid-1973 as the result
of the dual task imposed upon it by the BKP leadership to increase
productivity rapidly and substantially and to provide a growing volume
of consumer goods and services under a newly announced program for
raising the population's low standard of living. A first step in
improving the living standard took the form of an upward adjustment in
the lowest wage brackets and a broadening of social security provisions.
Further improvements, however, were made conditional upon attainment of
the productivity and production goals.

The development of the economy and of the consumer program faced severe
limitations because of the inadequacy of domestic resources, including
basic raw materials, fuels and power, skilled workers, and trained
professional personnel. Economic development was heavily dependent on
financial and technical aid from the Soviet Union, and dependence upon
that country was to be increased in the 1971-75 period. Efforts to
overcome persistent and growth-retarding difficulties in the economy led
to frequent organizational and procedural changes in the economic
mechanism, the structure of which in mid-1973 was still in flux as a
result of decisions taken by the BKP in 1965 and in 1968.

The main trend in reshaping the organization and management of the
economy was one of concentration and centralization--a trend that led to
the creation of huge trusts in industry and distribution and of vast
agroindustrial complexes in agriculture. In the process, divisions and
lines of authority were blurred, and violations of government directives
were frequent because of their complexity and the constraints they
placed on the day-to-day operation of economic enterprises.

In the search for a more efficient organization and management pattern,
heavy reliance was placed on the introduction of complex automation into
all economic processes with the aid of a nationwide computer network--a
system of automation that would extend from the highest levels of
national economic planning down to the individual factory shop and cow
barn. No ideas have been advanced, however, on how complex automation
would solve the basic problem of the economy--the widely acknowledged
and pervasive lack of incentives to work. The methods used to grapple
with this problem were limited to a tinkering with the wage and bonus
system, administrative sanctions, political indoctrination, and


State ownership of the means of production predominates in the economy.
Collective ownership has prevailed in agriculture, but it may be
gradually eliminated in the course of the agricultural reorganization
initiated in 1970 (see ch. 13). Private ownership of productive
resources is limited to subsidiary farm or garden enterprises of
collective farmers, industrial and state farmworkers, and artisans; a
small number of individual farms on marginal lands; and noncollectivized
artisan shops. In 1971 private ownership encompassed about 10 percent of
the agricultural land but only 2.5 percent of the fixed assets used in
production. Private ownership of personal property and homes is allowed.

The proportions of national income (net material product) generated in
each of the ownership sectors in 1971 were: state, 70 percent;
collective, 21 percent; and private, 9 percent. The importance of
private enterprise in the production of food, however, is much greater
than its contribution to the national income may suggest. The private
sector has provided more than one-fifth of the crop output and one-third
of the livestock production (see ch. 13).

Whereas the leadership has promoted livestock production on private farm
plots, since 1968 it has placed increasingly severe restrictions on the
activities of private artisans, who had originally been encouraged to
expand their operations through liberal regulations issued in 1965.
Aside from providing essential services, private artisans played an
important role in supplying a variety of consumer goods for the
population. The restrictions on artisans' activities have been based on
the BKP tenet that private ownership of means of production and the use
of personal property to acquire unearned income are incompatible with
the socialist order and the country's new constitution.

Economic activities are centrally planned and directed along lines
prescribed by the BKP. The functions of planning and control are
exercised by the Council of Ministers with the aid of specialized
economic ministries, such as the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of
Chemical Industry and Power Generation, and the Ministry of Foreign
Trade, and of various governmental committees and commissions (see ch.
8). The state banking system and, more particularly, bank credit have
also served as tools for the control of enterprises and trusts.

The economic management structure has been subject to frequent changes.
In the spring of 1972 there were fourteen economic ministries, including
five ministries exclusively concerned with branches of industry and
construction. The Ministry of Agriculture and the Food Industry, as its
name implies, has functioned in two major economic sectors and has also
had substantial responsibilities in the field of distribution. Among the
committees and commissions the most important have been the State
Planning Committee, the Committee on Prices, and the Commission for
Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation. In December 1972 the
Commission on the Living Standard was created to coordinate and control
the fulfillment of the national living standard program decided upon by
the plenum of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party.
Attached to the Council of Ministers and chaired by a deputy minister,
the commission is composed of ministers and deputy ministers,
representatives of public organizations, scientists, and other members.

Since the beginning of 1971 economic management has been more highly
centralized than before. A plan for partial decentralization of economic
decision making adopted in 1965 was abandoned by 1968. The economy is
organized into trusts (officially known as state economic associations)
that unite enterprises within branches of economic sectors along
functional lines, such as metallurgy, textiles, food processing,
railroads, freight forwarding, tourism, wholesale distribution,
publishing, and filmmaking. In agriculture, trusts are known as
agroindustrial complexes; each complex unites several previously
independent farms (see ch. 13). Trusts are subordinated to economic
ministries and are ultimately responsible to the Council of Ministers.
The extent of the ministries' authority over trusts is not clear. In
some important respects trusts receive instructions directly from the
Council of Ministers.

Agroindustrial trusts number 170. In the nonagricultural sector about
sixty-two trusts were originally created, with an average of thirty
branches but as many as 106 in one instance. The process of
concentration and centralization continued on a small scale at least
until the spring of 1973, in part through the consolidation of separate
trusts. Before the reorganization, trust branches had been legally and
financially independent enterprises, and trusts served only as
administrative links between enterprises and ministries. Whereas
individual enterprises were previously regarded as the basic economic
units in the country, it is the trusts that have been officially
considered as such under the new system of management.

Trusts have assumed various functions previously performed by the
enterprises themselves. They formulate economic and technological
development policies for the trust as a whole and for each branch;
establish relations with suppliers, distributors, and financial
institutions; and centralize research and development. Trusts have also
been charged with responsibility for providing operational guidance to
their branches and for organizing the export of products that they
manufacture. Branches remain responsible for the effective organization
of operations, efficient uses of resources, and the conscientious
fulfillment of tasks assigned to them by the annual plan.

Regulations governing the authority of trusts over their branches were
intended to permit the establishment of flexible internal management
organizations adapted to the particular needs of each trust. The trusts'
policies were expected to be based on the rule that whatever the trust
could do better than the branches should be centralized in it and,
conversely, whatever the branches could do better than the trust should
be left in their field of competence. Each trust was supposed to arrive
at an optimal combination of management centralization and

The transition to the new management system involved difficulties
because of delays in issuing pertinent regulations, misinterpretation of
the regulations by trust managers, and the reluctance of enterprise
managers to acquiesce in the loss of their independence. Most of the
organizational and personnel problems were reported to have been
resolved by the end of 1971, and in March 1973 party chief Todor Zhivkov
reported that further consolidation of the new management structure had
been achieved. In the long run, greater efficiency of economic
management is to be attained through pervasive automation of all
management functions with the aid of a synchronized national network of
electronic computers.

Under the new system of trusts, profits of individual branches are
pooled and redistributed by the parent organization. Highly productive
branches may thus find themselves in the position of having to share
their profits with unproductive branches. This feature, some observers
believe, may reduce incentives to raise the level of efficiency,
increase output, and improve the quality of products.


National income (net national product, which excludes most services not
directly related to production) was officially reported to have been
10.41 billion leva (for value of the lev--see Glossary) in 1971,
compared to 10.53 billion leva in 1970. Nevertheless, the official index
of national income growth showed an increase of 7 percent from 1970 to
1971. This example illustrates the difficulty of using official
statistics to describe the structure and growth of the economy or
structural changes over a period of time.

According to the 1971 statistical yearbook for Bulgaria, the respective
shares of industry and agriculture in national income in 1970 were 49
and 22 percent. The yearbook issued in 1972, however, cited 1970 figures
of 55 and 17 percent instead. According to the earlier source, the
proportion of national income contributed by industry increased by 6.5
percent in the 1960-70 period, whereas the subsequent source shows a
growth of 17 percent for the same period. Similarly, the contribution of
agriculture to national income was reported to have declined by 36.4 and
by 33.3 percent. An upward trend in the contribution of trade to
national income was shown in the earlier source, but a declining trend
appeared in the latter.

The differences in statistical presentation resulted primarily from a
major revision of wholesale prices, introduced by the government in
January 1971. Price revisions made in earlier years, changes in the
composition of individual statistical categories and other
methodological modifications also contributed to the inconsistency of
statistical time series in value terms. Because of differences in
concept and coverage, Bulgarian national account data are not comparable
with those of the United Nations or the United States systems of
national accounts.

In the 1960-71 period national income at prices of 1957 was reported to
have increased 2.25 times, which is equivalent to an average annual 7.7
percent rate of growth. The growth of national income was more rapid in
the years 1966 through 1971 than it had been in the 1960-65 period. The
official national income index implies an average annual increase of 8.5
percent in the latter period, compared to 6.7 percent in the earlier
years. Reliable data on the growth of Bulgarian national income in
Western terms are not available. Relatively high rates of economic
growth are generally associated with early stages of industrial

In 1971 industry still lagged behind agriculture in terms of employment,
although the proportion of the labor force employed in industry had been
steadily rising, while employment in agriculture had been declining. In
the 1960-71 period employment in industry rose from 21.9 to 31.2 percent
of the labor force, and employment in agriculture declined from 54.7 to
33.4 percent of the total. During the same period employment in the
services sector increased from 9.2 to 13.4 percent of the labor force,
and gains in employment were made in all other economic sectors except
forestry, including construction, transportation and communications, and


Growth and productivity of the economy have been adversely affected by
shortages of skilled labor and of adequately trained and experienced
technical and executive personnel. In the words of the minister of labor
and social welfare, the level of worker's current training is
inconsistent with the country's industrial base; it lags behind the
requirements of the scientific and technical revolution. The lack of
required skills has contributed to frequent machinery breakdowns and to
the output of low-quality products. As a means of upgrading the skills
of workers and executives, a broad program for training and retraining
was launched in October 1972 with the cooperation of the Ministry of
National Education. About half the number of persons undergoing training
were below the age of thirty.

Other persistent shortcomings in the field of labor that have plagued
the economy and have been the target of frequent criticism and
administrative action by the leadership are inefficient organization of
labor and poor labor discipline. Inefficient labor organization has been
mainly an outgrowth of inferior management skills. Poor labor discipline
has been a consequence of inadequate work incentives. In 1972 the
minister of labor and social welfare estimated that more than 20 percent
of the working time was lost through idling and other violations of
labor discipline.

Adequate information on the structure of wages was not available in
mid-1973. The main faults of the wage system that prevailed in early
1973 after repeated revisions, however, were outlined by the BKP leader,
Zhivkov, and these faults were also discussed by labor ministry
officials from the point of view of their effect on labor productivity.
The basic wage constitutes the main incentive for work; bonuses,
premiums, and honors play a minor role. Because of the large investment
needs for industrial development and the corollary need to restrict
consumption, wages have been kept low, and the rise in wages has been
slower than the growth of productivity.

Basic wage pay has been based on the place of employment and not on the
work performed. Wage scales for identical work have differed
substantially between branches of the economy and industry. In industry,
wage scales have been lower in branches manufacturing consumer goods
than in branches producing capital goods; they have been lowest in
textile mills. Wages have been determined by job classifications within
economic and industrial branches, the workers' level of education, and
length of service. Normal increases in pay for workers remaining in the
same positions have therefore been infrequent.

Slow promotion and the disparity in wage scales contributed to excessive
labor turnover because, under the prevailing conditions of scarcity,
trained workers were able to improve their incomes through a change of
jobs. It also led to irregularities in job reclassification by employers
seeking to retain their workers through increases in pay. Wages have
been raised from time to time by the government through general upward
revisions of pay scales. This method, however, has no incentive value
because it is not directly linked to an improvement in the workers'

With a view to enhancing the stimulative effect of wages on
productivity, Zhivkov proposed a basic reform of the wage system that
would be carried out gradually in the 1973-80 period. In presenting his
proposal to the BKP Central Committee plenum, Zhivkov dwelt on some of
the major principles to be embodied in the new wage system. The minimum
wage must be higher, and the rise in wages must be more rapid than
before. Increases in basic wages must be closely linked to individual
performance and to overall labor productivity in general, pay would be
based on performance rather than on formal qualification or length of
service. To this end the sectoral approach to wage determination is to
be abandoned in favor of a functional approach that would establish a
uniform economy-wide wage scale for jobs in relation to their complexity
and hardship and to the specific conditions of work. Rigid pay scales
are to be replaced by flexible schedules providing a range of pay for
each job depending upon the ability and performance of the worker.

The reform would also gradually eliminate the egalitarian aspect of the
current wage system by providing appropriate differentials for workers
with higher qualifications. Under the current system, for example, the
salary of economists has been below that of engineers, and the salary of
engineers has been equivalent to the wages of skilled workers. This
problem has been repeatedly considered in the past, but its solution was
delayed for lack of funds.

Zhivkov also cited shortcomings of the prevailing piecework system and
suggested some long-range remedies for the ills. About 60 percent of all
workers have been employed on the piecework system. Production norms
under the system have been low because of technological advances and the
infrequency of adjustment of norms. Under these conditions workers have
been able to exceed the basic norms to such an extent that payment for
work above the norm has become a large, and in some cases the
predominant, portion of the workers' earnings. Striving to increase
their wages, workers under the piecework system have often resorted to
shortcuts that have lowered the quality of output.

Zhivkov's proposal for improvement included the introduction of more
realistic and more flexible quantitative and qualitative production
norms and a gradual transition to hourly rates of pay with bonus
payments for superior work whenever the quantity and quality of output
is not directly dependent on individual workers. Under these conditions
bonus payments would be linked to the performance of the entire working
personnel, and the importance of the bonus in wage payments would be

The wage reform has been discussed in the context of a broad program,
announced by the BKP Central Committee plenum in December 1972, for a
general rise in incomes and an improvement in the population's level of
living. In the process the difference between urban and lagging rural
incomes is to be eliminated. Implementation of the program has been made
contingent upon the attainment of greater productivity and output
through workers' efforts to surpass production and efficiency targets
set by the government. These more difficult targets must be embodied in
what have been officially labeled workers' counterplans. The BKP and
the government have launched a new form of so-called socialist
competition among workers and economic units, the aim of which is to
exceed in performance the requirements of the counterplans.

Implementation of the standard of living program began with the
introduction of wage increases, effective March 1, 1973, for workers
employed under difficult or hazardous conditions, schoolteachers and
university faculties, physicians and medical personnel, and employees of
artistic and cultural institutions. Effective June 1 the minimum wage
for all types of work was raised from 65 to 80 leva per month, and a
level of 88 leva per month was decreed for all workers earning between
80 and 87 leva. The resultant distortion of the wage structure is to be
eliminated over a period of several years.

Another important measure affecting labor was announced in March 1973--a
gradual transition from a six-day, forty-six-hour workweek to a five-day
week of forty-two and a half hours. Under the BKP directive the
transition must be accomplished without loss in production; the loss in
worktime must be compensated by a corresponding rise in productivity.
The shorter workweek had been in effect on an experimental basis for
about 17 percent of the industrial workers since 1968. In 1973 and 1974
it was to be introduced in enterprises of the material production
sector, excluding agriculture, provided that the required rise in
productivity has been assured. In 1975 the reduced workweek will be
introduced in transport, for management of state economic enterprises,
and for persons employed in the field of services other than health
services and educational institutions. Preparations for experiments with
a shortened workweek in these two areas and in agriculture are to be
undertaken in 1974 and 1975. The decree on working hours gave formal
approval to an established practice that requires workers to make up by
work on Saturdays or Sundays for worktime lost whenever official
holidays fall on weekdays.


The proportion of national income devoted annually to capital formation
(net investment) rose steadily from 22.6 percent in 1961 to 35.4 percent
in 1966 and 1967 and declined thereafter progressively to 26.8 percent
in 1971. In absolute terms annual capital formation increased from 1.06
billion leva in 1961 to 3.06 billion leva in 1970, then declined to 2.74
billion leva in 1971. More than half the net addition to capital (from
46 to 67 percent annually) consisted of fixed assets; the balance
represented equipment and inventories.

Gross investment at current prices increased from 1.4 billion leva in
1961 to 3.6 billion leva in 1971; investment was officially estimated at
3.9 billion leva in 1972 and was scheduled to reach 4.3 billion leva in
1973. The bulk of investment has been channeled into the material
production sector (including trade). The annual investment share of
this sector increased from about 74 percent in 1960 to 79 percent in
1969 and declined to 76 percent in 1971. The proportion of investment
devoted to housing and services declined correspondingly in the 1960-69
period from 26 to 21 percent and rose in the subsequent two years to 24
percent. The shift in the investment trend foreshadowed the formal
directive issued by the Tenth Party Congress in April 1971 for the
development of a program to raise the population's standard of living.

Industry has been the main beneficiary of investment funds; its share
rose to almost 50 percent in 1969 but declined slightly thereafter.
Agriculture received only about 15 percent of investment in the years
1969 through 1971, compared to 28 percent in 1960 and 19 percent in
1965. Residential investment declined from 14 percent in 1960 to an
average of not quite 10 percent in the 1969-71 period.

Building construction and installation work absorbed the largest, though
declining, share of investment--60 percent in 1960 and 46.4 percent in
1971. The share of investment spent on machinery and equipment rose by
50 percent in the 1960-69 period from 26 to 39 percent, but declined to
34 percent in 1970 and 37 percent in 1971. Imported machinery, mostly
from the Soviet Union, constituted a major though declining proportion
of investment in machinery--from two-thirds to one-half of the total in
the 1965-71 period. Other investment expenses, including geological
surveys, absorbed from 12 to 17 percent of annual investment.

New investment has been increasingly concentrated in state enterprises.
In the 1960-71 period the proportion of investment absorbed by state
enterprises increased from 68 to 83 percent, while the share of
investment devoted to collective farms declined from 18 to 8.5 percent.
Annual investment in artisans' collectives rose from 1.2 percent of
total investment in 1960 to 2.7 percent in 1968 and declined to 1.1
percent in 1971. This trend paralleled the government's policy of
initial encouragement and subsequent restriction of private artisan
activities; it suggests that the government's restrictive policy may not
have been limited to private artisans alone (see Organization, this

Private investment in residential construction declined from 12.7
percent of annual investment in 1960 to 6.5 percent in 1970 but rose to
7.2 percent in 1971. In absolute terms private investment increased from
about 174 million leva to 262 million leva. By 1973, however, new
restrictions were being introduced on housing construction by private
individuals. As much as 90 percent of the residential construction in
1960 and 70 percent in 1971 was privately financed. In the 1968-70
period about half the private investment in housing was supported by
bank loans or by loans from special funds of employing organizations.

The rise in the volume of capital per worker in the 1960-70 period as a
result of the investment activity did not produce a corresponding
increase in labor productivity; that is, the efficiency of investment
declined. Whereas the amount of fixed capital per worker in the sphere
of material production increased at an average annual rate of 10.4
percent, and the volume of machinery and inventories rose by 12.5
percent per year, output per worker increased at an annual rate of only
7.7 percent. In an effort to increase the efficiency of investment, the
Tenth Party Congress, convened in the spring of 1971, directed that 35
percent of new investment in the sphere of material production during
the 1971-75 period should be used for the reconstruction and
modernization of existing facilities. In 1972, however, the proportion
of investment used for this purpose was only 18 percent.

In the context of the eventually abandoned program for economic
decentralization, provision was made for reducing the role of the
central government budget in financing investments and for increasing
participation by investors with their own funds and bank credits. In the
sphere of material production, excluding trade, budgetary allocations in
1965 accounted for 55 percent of investment, and bank credits made up 7
percent; in 1969 investment funds from these sources constituted 21 and
32 percent, respectively. The contribution from the budget, however,
rose again after 1969 to 28 percent in 1971, whereas bank credits
declined to less than 20 percent of the investment funds. The share of
investors' own resources, including funds of local governments,
increased from 36 percent in 1965 to 52 percent in 1971. Budgetary
investment funds are being increasingly concentrated on projects in the
fields of services and raw materials production.

A satisfactory explanation of the shifts in the pattern of investment
financing is not feasible in the absence of adequate information on the
changing methods of financing economic enterprises and organizations.
The announced government policy is to shift financing progressively from
the budget to the economic trusts. The shifts did not alter the
fundamental fact that all investment funds, excluding the small private
investment, remained public property subject to governmental controls
and that the difference was merely one of bookkeeping. The change in the
channeling of public investment funds was introduced in the hope of
increasing the effectiveness of their use.

The realization of major investment projects, particularly in industry,
has been made possible by very substantial technical and material
assistance from the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, serious shortcomings
have been officially reported in the implementation of investment
programs, both in industrial and in residential construction. The main
problem has been posed by the initiation of building programs that
exceed the capacity of the construction industry and the consequent
scattering of limited resources. The situation has been aggravated by
frequently poor project planning, inferior design, delays in the
delivery of machinery and materials, poor organization of work, and
slack discipline.

As a result of the difficulties in construction, the completion and
commissioning of new industrial plants has often been delayed, and
housing construction has fallen chronically short of the volume
planned--by as much as 25 percent in 1972. The consequent failure of the
anticipated output from new plants to materialize created shortages in
various areas, thereby affecting production and market supplies
adversely and necessitating revisions of the economic plans. In an
effort to minimize these difficulties, the government adopted various
administrative measures in 1971 and 1972, including the formulation of a
list of nationally important construction projects, direct supervision
of which was assumed by the Council of Ministers. The number of projects
included in the list for 1972 was variously reported as thirty-five and
thirty-nine out of a total of more than 3,000 projects. The listed
projects consisted mainly of plants for the production of industrial


The budget constitutes the basic financial plan of the country's
leadership. It is the monetary expression of the annual socioeconomic
plan and provides for the financial flows implicit in that plan. The
budget is comprehensive; it takes into account all aspects of the
economic, social, and cultural activities of the country. In line with
the government's policy of gradually placing economic trusts and their
branches on a self-financing basis, a progressively larger share of the
funds budgeted for the economy is being retained by the trusts rather
than channeled to the budget. The sums thus retained by economic
organization rose from about 3 billion leva in 1971 to a planned level
of more than 5 billion leva in 1973. Ultimate control over the use of
these funds, nevertheless, remains with the government, and their
disposition is subject to the provisions of the budget.

The national budget is formulated by the Ministry of Finance along lines
dictated by the BKP leadership and must be approved by the National
Assembly. As a rule only very minor modifications are made in the
process of legislative review. Budgets for local governments are
prepared as a part of the national budget; in 1972 and 1973 their total
amount was equivalent to about 17 percent of the overall national
budget. The Ministry of Finance is also responsible for ensuring the
scrupulous implementation of the budget. It is assisted in this task by
a nationwide network of state and local inspectors and by agents of the
banks. Actual budgetary results are directly affected by deviations from
the annual economic plan and therefore seldom, if ever, correspond to
the original estimates, which have the force of law.

Systematic publication of budgetary data was discontinued in the
mid-1960s. Since then only scattered figures have become available
through press reports on the presentation of the budget to the National
Assembly and occasional articles by the minister of finance or other
ministry officials.

The annual budgets have grown steadily larger. The approved budget for
1973 called for revenues of 7,057 million leva and expenditures of 7,035
million leva. In 1970 actual revenues totaled 5,723 million leva, the
expenditures amounted to 5,650 million leva. Usually about 90 percent of
budgetary revenue has been derived from operations of the economy, and
the remainder has been raised through a variety of levies on the
population. The largest single item of revenue--more than 30 percent of
the total--has been collected in the form of a turnover tax on sales
that has been passed on to the ultimate consumer. The second most
important revenue source has consisted of levies on enterprises in the
form of a profits tax, a tax on fixed capital (interest charge) and
miscellaneous other deductions from income. Social security taxes based
on payrolls have been the third major source. Levied at a rate of 12.5
percent through 1972, the social security tax was raised by 20 percent
in 1973 in order to meet rising costs. In 1972 about four-fifths of the
turnover tax and two-thirds of the revenue from taxes on profits and
capital was to be derived from industry.

In December 1972 the BKP Central Committee plenum embarked upon a
gradual modification of the income tax system that would eventually lead
to a total abolition of income taxes for wage earners and collective
farmers by 1980. Initially, the existing system is to be improved by
introducing unified taxation for all blue- and white-collar workers and
collective farmers and by establishing a tax exemption equal to the
official minimum rate of pay. Gradual elimination of all income taxes
for these population groups in the 1976-80 period is to be synchronized
with the contemplated reform of wage scales. At the same time a system
of progressive taxation is to be introduced on incomes derived from
activities in the private sector that are not in conformity with the
amount of labor invested.

The most complete recent information on budgetary expenditures is
available from the approved budget for 1972. Out of a total outlay of
6,514 million leva, 3,224 million leva was earmarked for the national
economy, and 2,065 million leva was set aside for social and cultural
needs. The remaining undisclosed balance of 1,225 million leva, or 19
percent of the total outlays, must have included expenditures for
defense, internal security, and government administration. The social
and cultural expenditures included; social security payments, 1,054
million leva; education, 532 million leva; public health, 303 million
leva; culture and arts, 83 million leva; and science, 93 million leva,
in addition to 235 million leva to be provided by research organizations
and economic trusts.

Information on the budget for 1973 was more sketchy. No information had
been disclosed on the magnitude of the expenditure on the national
economy; the usually undisclosed residual was therefore also not
ascertainable. The increase in overall revenues and expenditures over
those in 1972 was about 8 percent. Outlays for social and cultural
affairs, however, were planned to increase by 11.8 percent, including
increases of 18.8 and 15.7 percent, respectively, for public health and
education. These figures reflected the government's announced program
for increasing the well-being of the population.

The BKP and government leadership look upon the budget as a major tool
for executing BKP economic policies. As expressed by the minister of
finance in 1973, the budget contains a whole arsenal of financial and
economic levers--levers that must be used ever more skillfully to raise
the efficiency of economic performance, to improve the structure of
production and consumption, and to bring about a well-balanced economy.
The budget is also considered a tool for exercising effective control
over the entire sphere of production and services, not only to ensure
smooth current operations but also to inhibit any undesirable departures
from official policy.

The disciplinary powers of the budget have yet to be more fully
developed to cope successfully with the officially reported shortcomings
in the economy. One step in this direction calls for the further
intensification of what has been officially called financial and bank
control through the lev, that is, the discretionary use of financial
sanctions, including the denial of budgetary allocations or bank
credits, to enforce strict compliance with specific plan directives.
Another advocated measure is to intensify the public campaign against
waste and the irresponsible attitude toward public funds and for tighter
financial discipline. An implacable campaign is also to be waged against
wrongs done to the citizens in the use of public funds, illegal
formation and misappropriation of funds by economic organizations,
irregularities in the supply of materials, failure to produce consumer
goods despite the availability of needed resources, accumulation of
excessive inventories, and pilferage.

Many apparent violations of economic and budgetary discipline arise
because of the frequently inadequate knowledge or understanding by
personnel at all levels of the economy of the constantly changing laws
and regulations concerning the operation and interrelation of the
diverse economic units, particularly in the area of finance. The changes
in laws and regulations are the result of an unceasing search for a
system that would provide effective incentives toward conscientious and
efficient work to all gainfully employed persons.



Since early 1971 the country's banking system has consisted of the
Bulgarian National Bank and two semi-independent banks attached to it:
the Bulgarian Foreign Trade Bank and the State Savings Bank. This
banking system emerged after three reorganizations in the 1967-70 period
and conforms to the general pattern of institutional and management
concentration in the economy. In addition to serving as the central bank
of issue, the Bulgarian National Bank, an independent agency under the
Council of Ministers, is directly responsible for financing all sectors
and phases of the economy other than foreign trade and consumer credit,
in which fields it supervises the activities of the Bulgarian Foreign
Trade Bank and the State Savings Bank. The bank is also responsible for
exercising close control over the economic units that it finances, with
a view to ensuring the fulfillment of all national economic plans and
the scrupulous adherence to existing laws and regulations.

A minimum of current information was available in mid-1973 on the
structure of the banks, the relationships between them, and their
financial operations. Official statistics are limited to annual data on
bank credits for investment and on the volume of outstanding short- and
long-term loan balances for the banking system as a whole. Data on
outstanding loans are broken down by type of borrower and, in the case
of short-term loans, also by purpose. With minor exceptions, no
information was available on the volume of loans extended, on loan
maturities, or on interest rates after 1970. Statistics had also been
published on the volume of personal savings in the accounts of the
saving bank at the end of each year.

The total amount of loans outstanding at the end of the year increased
from 3.6 billion leva in 1965 to 9.2 billion leva in 1971. The
proportion of long-term loan balances rose from 24 percent of the total
amount in 1965 to 40 percent in 1970 but declined to less than 36
percent in 1971. The increase in lending activity to 1970 was a direct
consequence of the partial shift from predominantly budgetary financing
of economic activities to a substantial measure of self-financing by
enterprises and trusts. The subsequent decline was related to the
tightening of investment credit in an effort to reduce waste in the
construction program (see Investment, this ch.). Long-term loans have
been granted predominantly, if not exclusively, for fixed investment

Of the 3.27 billion leva in long-term loans outstanding at the end of
1971, 2.61 billion leva was due from state and collective enterprises,
and 660 million leva was owed by private individuals who had borrowed to
finance home construction. Only 12.5 percent of the loan balances was
due from collective farms--an amount equivalent to barely 62 percent of
the sums owed by private individuals. Collective enterprises in industry
and services had outstanding loans of only 13 million leva. In relation
to the value of each sector's fixed assets in 1971, the proportion of
outstanding long-term loans was: state enterprises, 11.3 percent;
collective farms, 16.1 percent; and collective artisans, 2.9 percent.

Nine-tenths of the short-term loan balances at the end of 1971 were owed
by state enterprises, and one-tenth was due from collective enterprises.
Wholesale and retail trade accounted for 36 percent of the outstanding
loans; industry and construction were each liable for 28 percent.
Short-term loan balances of agriculture amounted to less than 8 percent
of the total sum, and balances of the services sector constituted less
than 0.2 percent. The largest part of short-term loans was granted for
working capital purposes, including the procurement of farm products. A
balance of almost 1 billion leva, however, was outstanding on loans for
the completion of building construction, including a small amount for

A very small, though increasing, volume of consumer loans for the
purchase of durable goods and clothing has been granted by the State
Savings Bank. The volume of such loans--36.5 million leva in 1966, 48.2
million leva in 1967, and 45.4 million leva in 1968--was equivalent to
slightly more than 1 percent of retail sales in the commercial trade
network. The outstanding balances of consumer loans at the end of the
year rose from 49.1 million leva in 1968 to 102.1 million leva in 1971.
Consumer loans may not exceed the sum of 500 leva and may be used only
for the purchase of designated goods. In 1969 the authorized list
included twenty-three categories. A sample survey in 1969 indicated that
about two-thirds of the loan volume was used to acquire television sets,
furniture, and motorcycles; another 20 percent was spent on radios,
sewing machines, and scooters.

Apart from consumer loans, the State Savings Bank grants small loans to
licensed private craftsmen for working capital and to collective and
state farmworkers and other qualified applicants for the purchase of
productive livestock, seeds, fertilizers, small tools, and other farm
perquisites. The bank also makes loans for adapting premises to the
needs of tourism; for current building repairs; and for meeting personal
emergencies, including loans to newlyweds for the acquisition of
furnishings. Depending upon the purpose of the loans, loan ceilings
range from 150 to 800 leva, and maturities extend from ten months to
eight years.

The volume of consumer loans was reported to have reached 116 million
leva in 1972. Under the economic plan for 1973, the State Savings Bank
was scheduled to make loans to individuals for the purchase of consumer
goods and other needs in the amount of 203 million leva and for home
construction in the amount of 180 million leva. The bank was also
expected to lend 141 million leva to people's councils.

Loan funds of the State Savings Bank have been derived from personal
savings deposits and, presumably, from interest payments. The bank also
conducts state lotteries for the benefit of the state budget. There is
no evidence as to whether the bank retains a portion of the lottery
proceeds for its own operations. Savings deposits increased almost
fivefold in the 1960-71 period to a level of about 3.6 billion leva--a
sum equivalent to 64 percent of total retail sales or 150 percent of
food sales through commercial and institutional channels in 1970.
According to preliminary data, savings deposits rose by 630 million leva
in 1972, and they were scheduled to increase further by 870 million leva
under the economic plan for 1973. The bulk of savings deposits has been
channeled into the budget.

The repayment record on loans by the State Savings Bank was excellent,
at least through 1969. The proportion of delinquent loans was reduced
from 3.1 percent in 1966 to 0.01 percent in 1969. This result was
achieved by a regulation that provided for penalties to be imposed on
paymasters throughout the economy who failed to withhold or to report to
the bank monthly loan payments. According to a bank official, there had
been no need to impose any penalties because the regulation itself
proved to be an adequate deterrent.

The loan repayment record of enterprises, trusts, and other economic
organizations has not been nearly so good and led to a tightening of
credit provisions in 1971. The proportion of overdue short-term loans in
the production sector increased from 10.7 percent in 1966 to 11.8
percent in 1971. Similar information on long-term loans has not been

The penalty interest rate on delinquent loans is 10 percent (it was 8
percent through 1970), compared to a normal range of 1 to 5 percent on
loans for working capital. Whenever a bank loan or supplier credit is
delinquent for more than three months and the delinquent amount exceeds
20 percent of the borrower's working capital, the borrower becomes
subject to a special credit and repayment regime, the specific
conditions of which are not known. The ultimate sanction is the refusal
of credit and, at times, even the replacement of the trust or enterprise
director. The special credit regime is also applied whenever a trust or
its branch (enterprise) stockpiles unneeded inventories; procures
materials for production without guaranteed outlets for the output;
undertakes a construction program without adequate financial provisions;
increases its obligations; or suffers a worsening of its financial
condition for any other reason.

Interest costs in excess of those planned lower the economic
organization's income and, under the prevailing incentives system, also
reduce the funds available for the payment of wages, salaries, and
bonuses. Loan delinquency and the associated penalty interest rate,
therefore, often bring about the reduction or elimination of bonus
payments and, in extreme cases, the withholding of a portion of regular
pay. Application of the more severe sanctions entails a serious
deterioration of the economic organization's finances that adversely
affects its production program. Through close contact with borrowers and
detailed supervision of their operations the bank endeavors to forestall
delinquencies and the attendant losses to the economy. In December 1972
the Council of Ministers adopted a decision to enhance the role of the
banking system in administering the economy by intensifying its
participation in the formulation of economic plans and by expanding its
authority in monitoring plan fulfillment.


The currency unit of the country is the lev, divided into 100 stotinki
(see Glossary). It is a nonconvertible currency with a variety of
exchange rates, usable only in domestic transactions. Since January 1,
1962, the lev has been officially defined to contain 759.548 milligrams
of fine gold--equivalent to 1.17 leva per US$1 at that time. This
exchange rate was valid only for commercial transactions. In the wake of
the United States dollar devaluation on December 18, 1971, the official
commercial exchange rate was set at 1.08 leva per US$1 (greenback--see
Glossary). A further revision of the exchange rate was put into effect
on February 13, 1973, which established a parity of 0.97 leva per US$1.
The subsequent decline in the value of the dollar in foreign markets did
not call forth another official exchange revaluation to mid-1973.

The official tourist exchange rate for so-called capitalist currencies
underwent similar revisions and was set at 1.65 leva per US$1 on
February 14, 1973. The noncommercial rate for ruble area countries,
based on a parity of 0.78 leva per 1 ruble, was equivalent to 0.64 leva
per US$1 until that date; thereafter, at the new ruble-United States
dollar parity, it was equivalent to about 0.59 leva per US$1.

In addition to the official exchange rates, there are three varieties of
clearing account rates. The multilateral transferable ruble is used to
clear accounts with other European members of the Council for Mutual
Economic Assistance (COMECON--see Glossary). Socialist bilateral units
arise from bilateral trade agreements with other communist countries.
Neither of these two exchange varieties has private markets abroad.
Bilateral clearing units arise from bilateral trade and payments
agreements with about thirty noncommunist trading partners. These
clearing units are traded sporadically abroad at varying rates of

The lev has been traded on the black market in exchange for so-called
capitalist banknotes or gold coins. The black market rate of the lev
fluctuated between 4.60 leva per US$1 in January 1963 and 2.58 leva per
US$1 in June 1972.

Except for small remittances or travel allocations to other communist
countries, the lev is nontransferable for residents; resident status
applies to all physical and juridical persons who have resided in the
country for more than six months, regardless of their citizenship.
Ownership of or trade in gold, foreign currencies, or so-called
capitalist securities is prohibited, as is the import and export of
Bulgarian banknotes. There are no investments by noncommunist country
nationals in Bulgaria.

Exchange transactions are administered by the Bulgarian National Bank
jointly with the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Trade, and
the Bulgarian Foreign Trade Bank. Bulgaria is neither a member of the
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development nor of the
International Monetary Fund. Statistics on currency in circulation, the
public debt, foreign exchange reserves, gold stocks, and the balance of
payments have not been published.


Foreign trade is a state monopoly. Trade policy is formulated by the BKP
and government leadership; it is translated into a complex set of laws
and regulations designed to encourage the expansion and qualitative
improvement of production for export, to promote import substitution,
and to bring about greater efficiency in production and foreign trade
operations. Control over foreign trade is shared by the Ministry of
Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Finance, and the Bulgarian National Bank
through the Bulgarian Foreign Trade Bank.

Along with other elements of the economic structure, the foreign trade
apparatus and the laws and regulations governing foreign trade have been
frequently modified. As a result, there are two basic types of foreign
trade organization: those attached to and serving individual economic
trusts with a large export volume and organizations serving several
trusts whose export activity did not justify a separate export
department. Two foreign trade organizations that imported most
industrial materials were attached to economic trusts responsible for
the domestic distribution of supplies. Foreign trade organizations
affiliated with trusts retain their legal identity and are not
considered to be branches of the trusts they serve. Relations between
foreign trade organizations and the trusts whose products they handle
are governed by contracts, the framework of which is provided by
official regulations. As a rule, foreign trade organizations carry on
their activities for the account of the trust. There are a few
organizations, however, that trade for their own account, and there are
also a few economic trusts that have the right to engage in foreign
trade activity directly.

Export plans are approved by the Council of Ministers for each economic
trust in physical and value terms and by major trading areas, that is,
member countries of COMECON, other communist countries, Western
industrialized nations, and developing countries. Trusts pass their
trade plans to foreign trade organizations. The plan of a single trust
may be apportioned among several foreign trade organizations, and many
foreign trade organizations receive plan assignments from several trusts
so that their own foreign trade plan is a composite.

Under the regulations of 1971, as amplified in 1972, and unlike earlier
conditions, the financial results of export operations are directly
reflected in the producer's profit position. This circumstance is
counted upon by the leadership to motivate trusts toward attaining
optimum efficiency in export production and toward adjusting output to
foreign market requirements. Financial incentives to surpass official
foreign trade targets are provided by allocating the producers and
foreign trade organizations a portion of the receipts from excess
exports and a portion of savings made on imports through import
substitution. Excess exports may not be made by diverting output
scheduled for the domestic market, and savings on imports may not be
made at the cost of quantitative or qualitative deterioration of the
domestic supply.

Producers for export are obligated both to produce the items called for
by the export plan in accordance with specifications and to meet
contractual delivery dates; with few exceptions, they have no direct
contact with foreign buyers. It is the responsibility of the foreign
trade organizations to seek out the most profitable markets and to
handle all physical and financial details of the trade transactions. It
is also their duty to keep producers currently informed about changing
conditions in world markets and to make them aware of needed adjustments
in production.

Standard subsidies per 100 leva, differing by trading area, are granted
on all exports. These subsidies, in effect, modify the official exchange
rate so that trade is actually conducted on a multiple exchange rate
basis. Subsidies from the state budget are also provided for exports,
the returns from which do not cover costs. Special bonuses are offered
to economic trusts and their branches that fulfill or surpass their
export assignments to noncommunist markets. Proceeds from exports are
credited to the economic trusts and not to the foreign trade

Relations between economic trusts and foreign trade organizations are
determined in broad outline by government regulations. Specific details,
however, including precise financial arrangements that are the core of
the relationship, must be worked out by the parties to the contract.
This situation provides opportunities for friction that may be harmful
to the export program. Trusts and export associations were therefore
enjoined to undertake negotiations in a cooperative spirit and to avoid
taking advantage of their monopoly position as producers or exporters.
Disputes that threaten to involve financial losses are to be settled by
the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Finance.

Total trade turnover increased more than 3.5 times in the 1960-71 period
to a level of 5 billion leva, including 2.55 billion leva in exports and
2.45 billion leva in imports. The growth of trade was erratic,
particularly in the case of imports. Over the entire 1960-68 period,
however, the average annual growth of exports and imports was almost
identical--13.9 and 13.8 percent, respectively. In the subsequent three
years exports rose almost twice as rapidly as imports, though at a
lower rate than in earlier years. The change in the relative rates of
growth during the 1969-71 period--10.5 percent for exports and 5.6
percent for imports--helped reverse the consistently negative trade
balance of the earlier period and produced trade surpluses in three
consecutive years.

The great bulk of the trade has been carried on with communist
countries, primarily the Soviet Union. The share of these countries in
total trade, however, declined from 85 percent in 1961 to 78 percent in
1970; it had fallen to 73 percent in 1966. Communist countries outside
COMECON, primarily Cuba and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North
Vietnam), accounted for only 3 to 4 percent of the trade annually. The
Soviet Union alone provided more than half the imports and absorbed an
equal amount of exports. The German Democratic Republic (East Germany)
and Czechoslovakia were the main COMECON trading partners after the
Soviet Union, but the volume of trade with these countries was very much
lower. The share of East Germany in the total trade had been 10.5
percent in 1960 but ranged between 8 and 8.6 percent in the 1965-70
period. The proportion of trade with Czechoslovakia declined from 9.7
percent in 1960 to only 4.8 percent in 1970.

The orientation of trade toward the Soviet Union has been based largely
on political factors but has also been dictated by the shortage of
export goods salable in Western markets and the inadequacy of foreign
exchange reserves (see ch. 10). Trade with COMECON members is conducted
on the basis of bilateral clearing accounts that do not involve the use
of foreign exchange. Furthermore, the Soviet Union has supplied Bulgaria
with a large volume of industrial plants and equipment in exchange for
the products of these plants. In the 1971-75 period trade with the
Soviet Union is scheduled to increase by 60 percent over the volume in
the preceding five-year period, and the share of the Soviet Union in the
total trade volume is planned to reach 68 percent.

Trade with noncommunist countries rose from about 15 percent of the
total volume in 1961 to 27 percent in 1966 but declined thereafter to 22
percent in 1970. From three-fourths to four-fifths of this trade was
accounted for by Western industrialized nations, primarily the Federal
Republic of Germany (West Germany), Italy, France and Great Britain. The
balance of the noncommunist trade was with developing countries, mainly
India, the United Arab Republic (UAR), and Iraq. Trade with the United
States has been negligible.

There has been a gradual shift in exports from agricultural to
industrial commodities and from raw materials to manufactured and
semiprocessed products. Yet in 1970 exports of agricultural origin still
constituted 55 percent of the export volume, including 8 percent of raw
farm products. The share of industrial exports rose from 25 percent in
1960 to 45 percent in 1970, of which 13 and 27 percent, respectively,
consisted of machinery and equipment. In 1972 the proportion of
machinery and equipment in exports was reported to have risen to 34

Machinery and equipment have been exported almost exclusively to
communist and developing countries. In 1968, the last year for which
information was available, machinery and equipment constituted only 1.8
percent of exports to Western industrialized nations.

Imports in the 1960-70 period consisted predominantly of machinery and
equipment, fuels, raw and processed industrial materials, and raw farm
commodities. Imports of foods and industrial consumer goods were limited
to about 10 percent per year. Machinery and equipment constituted from
40 to 44 percent of imports; fuels and industrial materials accounted
for about one-third; and agricultural raw materials made up the balance.

In the 1960-70 period the country's overall trade balance was negative
each year with the exception of 1969 and 1970. The trade deficit for the
entire period amounted to 580 million leva, including 530 million leva
in the trade with noncommunist countries and 50 million leva in the
trade with communist partners. A breakdown of the trade balance by all
four trading areas was available only for the 1965-70 period. For that
period the overall trade deficit amounted to 278 million leva. Whereas
trade with communist and developing countries had positive balances of
148 million leva and 154 million leva, trade with developed Western
countries accumulated a deficit of 580 million leva. Almost all of this
deficit was incurred in the years 1965 through 1967, when government
controls over foreign trade were temporarily relaxed in an aborted
economic reform. Under the system of bilateral agreements governing
Bulgaria's trade, the surplus in the trade with communist and developing
countries cannot be used to offset the deficit with Western trading

Data bearing on the balance of payments have never been published. The
Soviet Union has granted substantial loans to Bulgaria since 1946, some
of which were used to finance imports from that country. Bulgaria, in
turn, has made some loans to developing countries to help finance its
exports. A portion of the deficit with Western trading partners may be
offset by income from the rising Western European tourist trade,
particularly with West Germany. A reputable Western source reported
Bulgaria's indebtedness to Western nations to have been US$88 million in
1971, but the basis of this estimate and the degree of its reliability
are not known.



In the spring of 1973 the country's political and governmental
leadership expressed serious concern about the uneven growth of
agriculture over a period of several years. Although wheat production
had progressed satisfactorily and reached a record level in 1972, and
good results had also been obtained in the cultivation of tobacco and
tomatoes--both of which are important export crops--the expansionary
trend in fruit growing was reversed in 1968, and cattle raising had
stagnated for at least a decade.

The situation was particularly disappointing to the leadership because
in 1970 it had embarked on a comprehensive long-range program for
raising agricultural productivity and output through the introduction of
industrial production methods on the farms. To that end the country's
farms were consolidated into 170 agroindustrial complexes intended to
bring the advantages of scientific organization, concentration and
specialization of production, mechanization, and automation to all
phases of agricultural work. Planning for these complexes has been
concentrated at the highest government level, and any modification of
the obligatory plans requires the approval of the Council of Ministers.

In this process the traditional distinction between state and collective
property has been blurred and is slated for gradual elimination; the
same is true for the differences in status of industrial and farm
workers. The new approach to farm organization was taken despite severe
shortages of adequately trained management and technical personnel and
in the face of the demonstrated superior productivity of tiny farm plots
cultivated for their own benefit by individual farm and industrial

It is difficult to arrive at a comprehensive and balanced assessment of
agricultural development and of the situation in the 1972/73
agricultural year because of the continuing changes in the agricultural
regime and the lack of essential data. All published information,
including critical comments, emanates from controlled official sources.
The press output tends to concentrate on problem areas, treating other
aspects in uninformative generalities. Officials and press have been
especially silent on the question of the farmers' reactions to the new
agricultural order, beyond claiming the farmers' whole-hearted support
for every new agricultural edict.


Natural conditions are generally favorable for agriculture. Fertile
soils and a varied climate make possible the cultivation of a wide
variety of field crops, fruits, and vegetables, including warm-weather
crops, such as cotton, tobacco, rice, sesame, and grapes. Frequent
summer droughts, however, lead to wide fluctuations in crop yields and
necessitate extensive irrigation.

The Stara Planina (literally, Old Mountain), or Balkan Mountains, divide
the country into several climatic and agricultural regions. The broad
Danubian tableland that lies north of these mountains has a continental
climate, except for a narrow strip along the Black Sea coast. Cold
winter winds sweep across the plateau from the Eurasian land mass,
causing prolonged periods of frost, which tend to damage orchards and
vineyards. There are 180 to 215 frost-free days in the year, and summers
are hot. A continental climate also prevails in the Sofia Basin and in
the region surrounding the headwaters of the Struma River.

In the Thracian Plain, south of the Stara Planina, the continental
climate is modified somewhat by the influence of the Mediterranean Sea.
Compared to the Danubian plateau, winters are less severe, and summers
are longer and warmer. The number of frost-free days per year ranges
from 198 to 206. A near-Mediterranean climate prevails in the valleys of
the lower Struma, Mesta, and Maritsa rivers; in the Arda basin; and on
the southern slopes of the Rodopi (or Rhodope Mountains) (see ch. 3).
The mountains protect the inland valleys and basins from strong winds;
summers there are hot, and winters are mild. Yet winters are not mild
enough for the cultivation of Mediterranean crops, such as olives and
citrus fruits.

The Black Sea coast is warmer than the interior of the country in winter
but cooler in summer; from 241 to 260 days in the year are frost free.
Frequent gale storms and hot winds resembling the African sirocco,
however, have an adverse influence on crops.

Although annual rainfall is reported to average about forty inches on
the higher mountain slopes and to reach seventy-five inches in the Rila
mountain range, precipitation in most farming areas averages only twenty
to twenty-five inches per year. Rainfall measures even less than twenty
inches in the Plovdiv area and in the coastal districts of the Dobrudzha
region in the northeast. Most of the rainfall occurs in the summer
months, but the amount and timing of precipitation are often unfavorable
for optimum crop growth. Drought conditions reached crisis proportions
in 1958 and 1963 and were serious also in 1968. In 1972 most crops were
adversely affected by a spring drought and excessive rains in the early
fall; the grape crop was an almost total loss.

Soils of superior and intermediate quality make up almost three-fourths
of the country's surface. The Danubian plateau contains several grades
of chernozem (black earth), which gradually give way to gray forest
soils in the foothills of the Stara Planina. A degraded chernozem called
_smolnitsa_, or pitch soil, predominates in the Thracian Plain, the
Tundzha and Burgas lowlands, and the Sofia Basin. This central region is
encircled at higher elevations by a belt of chestnut and brown forest
soils. Similar chestnut soils are also found in the Strandzha upland, in
the basins of the eastern Rodopi region, and in the Struma and Maritsa
valleys. Brown forest soils and mountain meadow soils occur in the Stara
Planina and in the Rila, Pirin, and western Rodopi. Alluvial soils,
often of good quality, are found alongside the rivers, particularly the
Danube and Maritsa, and also in several basins.


In 1970 agricultural land comprised almost 15 million acres, or 53
percent of the country's land area. Sixty-nine percent of the
agricultural land was suitable for field crops; 4 percent consisted of
meadows; and about 6 percent was devoted to vineyards, orchards, and
other perennial crops. Natural pastures constituted more than 20 percent
of the agricultural land. Bulgarian economists have repeatedly pointed
out that the per capita acreage of farmland in the country, excluding
pastures, is among the lowest in the world.

According to official statistics the area of agricultural land increased
by 840,000 acres in the 1960s as a result of the expansion of grazing
areas by 1.1 million acres and the simultaneous loss of 270,000 acres of
cultivated land. The loss of cultivated acreage was caused by the
diversion of land to industrial and other uses and by severe soil
erosion. The acreage devoted to vineyards and orchards nevertheless
increased by 100,000 acres, or 12 percent.

Land Protection

More than half the cultivated acreage is subject to erosion.
Increasingly large areas degraded by erosion have remained uncultivated
each year, but they continue to be included in the annual statistics on
farmland acreage. The unused area of plowland expanded from 720,000
acres in 1960 to 1.26 million acres in 1970. Another 1.5 million to 2
million acres have been reported to suffer from erosion to a degree that
will make it necessary to abandon them unless corrective measures are
quickly taken. Only 70 percent of the acreage under fruit trees and
vineyards bore fruit in 1970.

The government has long been aware of the need to arrest the loss of
cultivated farmland. An intensive program of reforestation has been
carried on over many years, but the rate of replanting has not been high
enough to halt the ravages of erosion. Proposals advanced by
agricultural experts to clear abandoned mountain farmland of noxious
weeds and to develop these areas into improved pastures--measures that
would also help control erosion--have not been acted upon.

In 1967 the continued loss of valuable farmland led to the promulgation
of a special law for the preservation of land; details of this law are
not available. In 1972 the Council of Ministers issued an order,
effective January 1, 1973, that provided, in part, for payments to be
made into a special land improvement fund in the event of diversion of
farmland for construction purposes. Depending upon the quality of the
land, payments into the fund range from 162 leva (for the value of the
lev--see Glossary) to 48,560 leva per acre. Land used for afforestation,
cemeteries, and housing or public works under the jurisdiction of town
authorities is exempt from the payment requirement. The exemption also
applies to land used for open pit mining on condition that the land is
rehabilitated in accordance with plans and within time limits approved
by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food Industry (hereafter referred
to as the Ministry of Agriculture).

In 1970 the government created special district councils for the
preservation of cultivated land and, in May 1971, placed the councils
under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture. The decree of
1971 required the ministry and district governments to take decisive
measures for the increased protection of farmland. The decree also
directed the chief prosecutor's office to increase control over the
expropriation of farmland for construction and other nonagricultural
purposes and to impose severe penalties on violators of the land
protection law.

The land protection measures were not sufficiently effective. The
acreage abandoned in the 1966-70 period was three times larger than the
area abandoned in the preceding five years. In January 1973 an inspector
of the Committee for State Control stated publicly that the farmland
problem had become increasingly more serious and that the committee was
obliged to intervene in order to identify shortcomings in the land
preservation work and to assist in eliminating the deficiencies. At the
same time the Council of Ministers reprimanded a deputy minister of
agriculture and the heads of two district governments for grave
shortcomings in the preservation and use of farmland.

In an effort to gain control over the deteriorating farmland situation,
a new land protection law that replaced the law of 1967 was passed in
March 1973. The new law explicitly provided that only land unsuitable
for agricultural purposes or farmland of low productivity could be put
to nonagricultural use. Under the law expansion of towns and villages
was to be allowed only after a specified density of construction had
been reached. Construction of country homes and resort facilities was
restricted to land unsuitable for agriculture. Provision was made for
regulations that would offer material and moral incentives to use
unproductive land for construction purposes, and more severe penalties
were prescribed for violations that result in the waste of arable land.


Somewhat better results have been achieved in the expansion of
irrigation. In the 1965-70 period the irrigable area increased at an
annual average of 44,000 acres from 2.25 million to 2.47 million acres,
or 21 percent of the cultivated land. Under the Sixth Five-Year Plan
(1971-75) 494,000 acres are to be added to the irrigable area, raising
the total irrigable acreage to 26 percent of the cultivated land. During
the first two years of the plan period 124,000 acres were equipped for
irrigation, and 80,000 acres were to be made irrigable in 1973. In order
to complete the five-year irrigation program on schedule, therefore, it
would be necessary to bring under irrigation 270,000 acres in the last
two years of the plan period--a task not likely to be accomplished in
the light of past experience and of available resources.

Only about 70 percent of the irrigable acreage was actually irrigated in
the 1965-70 period. Although the irrigated area of 1.7 million acres in
1970 represented an increase of 21 percent of the acreage irrigated in
1965, it was 17 percent smaller than the acreage irrigated in 1968.

Primitive gravity irrigation is practiced on about nine-tenths of the
irrigated area. Water is distributed over the fields from unlined
earthen canals by means of furrows dug with a hoe. The work entails hard
manual labor, and a single worker can handle only about 1.25 to 2.5
acres per day. The timing of the water application and the quantity of
water used are not properly adjusted to the needs of the various crops,
so that the increase in yields is only half as great as that obtained
under optimum conditions, and about half the water is wasted. The
network of irrigation ditches also impedes mechanical cultivation of the
fields. Improper irrigation and drainage techniques have raised the
groundwater level excessively in several districts and have caused
various degrees of soil salinization in areas totaling more than 39,000

The five-year plan program for new irrigated areas calls for the
construction of stationary sprinkler systems over 25,000 acres; 469,000
acres are to be provided with portable sprinkler systems. Reconstruction
and modernization of existing basic facilities are to be limited to the
lining of canals. The ultimate longer term goal is to establish fully
automated stationary sprinkler systems in most irrigated districts. The
main problems in carrying out the irrigation program, in the view of an
irrigation authority official, are posed by the paucity of investment
funds allotted for this purpose and the contradictory nature of some of
the program's aims. Additional difficulties are presented by the
shortage of irrigation pipes and materials for their fabrication,
inadequate experience in the manufacture of advanced irrigation
equipment, and the lack of facilities for experimentation and testing.

Cropping Pattern

The area of field crops amounted to almost 9 million acres in 1970; it
had declined by 887,000 acres after 1960. The proportions of this
acreage devoted to the major types of crops were: grains, 62.5 percent;
industrial crops, 14.6 percent; feed crops, 18.7 percent; and
vegetables, potatoes, and melons, 4.2 percent. In accord with the
government's policy of intensifying agricultural production, the acreage
of bread grains had steadily declined, so that in 1970 it constituted
somewhat less than half the total grain acreage. The area of feed grains
remained fairly stable; a decline in corn acreage was virtually balanced
by an increase in the acreage of barley. A slight reduction also took
place in the acreage of pulses, but the area under rice expanded by 70

Whereas the total area of industrial crops changed very little in the
1960-70 period, a significant shift took place in the relative size of
the individual crop areas. While the acreages of oilseeds and tobacco
expanded significantly, the acreages of fibers, particularly cotton, and
of essential oils and medicinal plants declined sharply.

The area devoted to vegetables expanded by 20 percent. The tomato
acreage expanded at about twice that rate and accounted for one-fourth
of the vegetable acreage in 1970; tomatoes constitute an important
export crop. The potato acreage, on the other hand, declined by roughly
20 percent during the period.

The area of fodder crops suffered a substantial decline, particularly in
the case of annual grasses and silage crops. The loss was only partially
offset by the expansion of the perennial grass acreage.

Rapid expansion also took place in the areas of apple orchards and
vineyards. The acreage of bearing apple trees increased by about 70
percent in the 1970-70 period. During the same period the acreage of
producing vineyards grew by 24 percent, while the acreage of table
grapes increased by 2.3 times. Fruits and grapes are also important
export commodities. Expansion of the total acreage under fruit trees and
berries, however, was much slower--17 percent in the 1960-68 period--and
a decline in the acreage set in after 1968. In the spring of 1973 Todor
Zhivkov, the communist party leader, called for decisive action to halt
the unfavorable trend. He reported that plans for orchard and berry
plantings were not fulfilled in 1972; that from 27,000 to 40,000 acres
of orchards had been uprooted over a period of a few years; and that the
vineyard acreage had declined by 25,000 acres compared with the acreage
in 1968. Reasons for these developments had not been made public.

The little information available on the subject suggests that price
considerations have been the major reason for the crop acreage changes.
The price system and official regulations governing farm production have
not always operated in the manner planned by the government. Farms, for
instance, have steadfastly refused to enlarge the acreage of irrigated
corn to the extent demanded by the government, preferring to use
irrigation for more profitable crops. In 1971 the farms failed to plant
the prescribed acreage of feed crops or to expand the production of
vegetables. Public statements by the government on the reasons for these
problems have been most guarded. After a thorough review of the
situation in the spring of 1972, the Committee for State Control issued
a release that concluded by stating that the reasons for the problems
were analyzed in detail and that, after discussion, specific proposals
were made to the appropriate ministries.


The organizational structure of agriculture in all its aspects is in a
state of transition, which will not be completed for several years. The
reorganization was decided upon by the Central Committee of the BKP
(Bulgarian Communist Party--see Glossary) in April 1970 on the
initiative of Zhivkov. The latest of several laws and decrees published
in this context appeared in June 1972 with an effective date of January
1, 1973. The new organizational policy represents a tightening of
central controls over agriculture.

Agroindustrial Complexes

The basic unit in the new organizational system, which is relied upon to
realize the leadership's agricultural policies, is the agroindustrial
complex. The agroindustrial complex is an organization comprising
several previously independent, contiguous collective and (or) state
farms having similar climatic and soil conditions. The complex may also
include other organizations that are engaged in the production,
processing, and distribution of farm products or in other activities
related predominantly to agriculture.

In the fall of 1972 there were 170 agroindustrial complexes formed
through the consolidation of 845 collective farms and 170 state farms;
including the private plots of collective and state farmers, they
contained 92.5 percent of the cultivated land and accounted for 95.4
percent of the farm output. Except for a few experimental units created
in 1969, most agroindustrial complexes were established toward the end
of 1970 and in early 1971. Only a small number of private farms located
in difficult mountain areas remained outside the new system.

The average agroindustrial complex is composed of five or six farms
having a cultivated area variously reported as 59,000 to 68,000 acres
and a permanent work force of about 6,500 people. Although the large
size of the complexes has been questioned by several economists on
grounds of efficiency, Zhivkov was reported to have suggested the
possibility of eventually merging the existing complexes into only
twenty-eight districtwide units.

Types and Aims

The announced purpose of the reorganization is to increase productivity
through concentration and specialization of agriculture on an industrial
basis in accord with the requirements of the current scientific and
technical revolution and with the achieved level of maturity of the
country's economy. The reorganization is intended to increase output,
improve quality, reduce costs, and increase the exportable surplus. It
is also expected to bring about social improvement in the countryside by
raising the farmworkers' incomes and helping to reduce the differences
between town and country. Government officials intend to complete the
transition to the new organizational structure by 1980.

The original aim of the new farm policy in the late 1960s was to create
large-scale regional organizations to handle all aspects of the
production, processing, and distribution of foods and the supply of
machinery, fertilizers, and other farm needs through vertical
integration of the consolidated farm organizations with industrial and
distribution enterprises. This aspect of farm policy is to be realized
gradually over a period of years. In the meantime vertical integration
will be based predominantly on contractual relations.

A first step in vertical integration of agriculture and the food
industry was taken in December 1972 with the establishment of an
agroindustrial trust called Bulgarian Sugar. Seven agroindustrial
complexes were to be created around an equal number of sugar mills
grouped in the newly formed trust. The complexes were to average 100,000
acres in size, one-fourth of which would be used each year for the
production of sugar beets. The first such complex was established in
Ruse in January 1973. The crop rotation is to include wheat, corn, and
fodder crops which, together with by-products from the sugar production,
are to provide the feed base for livestock keeping. All farmlands in the
new organization are to become state property, and farmworkers are to
acquire the status of industrial workers subject to the provisions of
the Labor Code.

Two basic types of agroindustrial complexes are provided for by the
regulations. The first type is a membership organization in which the
constituent farms retain their juridical identity and a certain measure
of economic independence. The second type is a centralized organization
in which the constituent farms are merged and lose their separate
identities. A further distinction is made depending upon the nature of
the constituent farms and other economic organizations. Agroindustrial
complexes composed only of collective farms and other collective
organizations are called cooperative complexes. Those constituted by
state farms and other state economic organizations are known as state
complexes. If both state and collective farms or other organizations
are members, the complex is referred to as state-cooperative. The
distinctions have both legal and economic implications.

In early 1971 the form of the 139 agroindustrial complexes established
up to that time was: collective, seventy-seven; state, seven; and
state-cooperative, fifty-five. Six complexes were created as centralized
organizations in which the constituent farms lost their legal
independence. The largest of these complexes covered an area of 145,000

Legal and Economic Aspects

The legal and economic aspects of the farm consolidation are extremely
involved, and most of the problems raised by consolidation have not been
worked out even theoretically. Activities of cooperative and
state-cooperative complexes are governed by the Provisional Regulation
issued in October 1970 and by earlier regulations concerning collective
organizations in matters not covered by the Provisional Regulation.
State agroindustrial complexes are subject to the same regulations that
apply to all state economic associations (trusts). The Ministry of
Agriculture was directed to prepare a draft statute for agroindustrial
complexes by the end of 1972, which was to be submitted at an indefinite
future date to the first agroindustrial complex conference for
discussion and adoption.

Official statements and documents have emphasized the voluntary and
democratic nature of agroindustrial complexes. Zhivkov's report to the
Central Committee plenum stated that farms would be free to opt whether
or not to join a complex and which complex to join if they decided to do
so. They were also to have freedom of decision concerning the
establishment of joint enterprises. The plenum's decision used a broader
formulation by referring only to voluntarism in the formation of
agroindustrial complexes on the basis of mutual advantage. The
Provisional Regulation contains a clause that permits farms and other
organizations to withdraw from the agroindustrial complex at their own

Other provisions governing the establishment of agroindustrial
complexes, however, conflicted with the principle of voluntarism. The
composition, size, and production specialization of each complex was to
have a scientific foundation, and arbitrary decisions--as they were
called--as to which farms to include in a particular complex were not to
be tolerated. The requirement of territorial unity also nullified the
right of independent choice for most farms. Except for those located on
the borders of adjoining complexes, farms had perforce to join the
complex formed in their area. The speed with which the agroindustrial
complexes were formed throughout the entire country, with considerable
loss of independence for the farms, also suggests that the voluntary
nature of the complexes is a fiction. Available sources have contained
no reference to any change in the affiliation of farms from one complex
to another, let alone to the withdrawal of any farm from a complex. The
decree on the organization and management of agriculture that went into
effect on January 1, 1973, contained no provision for a farm's
withdrawal from an agroindustrial complex.

The major tasks assigned to the agroindustrial complexes include: the
creation of large specialized units for the various types of
agricultural production; the introduction of mechanized industrial
methods of production; the efficient application of human and material
resources; and the equitable distribution of income to workers and
managers in a manner that will provide an incentive for conscientious
work. Only preliminary official directives have been issued to guide the
agroindustrial complexes in these matters. Economists, agricultural
scientists, and officials have labored to develop a scientific basis for
the effective solution of the problems of transition.

One of the basic issues raised by the creation of agroindustrial
complexes concerns the ownership of land in the new organizations,
particularly in complexes that unite collective and state farms.
Legally, collective farm members retained ownership of the land they
contributed to the collective, although they have been unable to
exercise any ownership rights. Until 1961 collective farm members
received a rental payment for the land in the annual distribution of the
farm's income. There is an apparent official reluctance for political
reasons abruptly to convert collective property to state ownership.
Public statements have indicated that the difference between collective
and state property may be eliminated by transforming both into national
property. Under the prevailing economic system the distinction between
state and national property is purely verbal.

Private Farm Plots

In the current reorganization of agriculture there is no intention to
eliminate the time-honored institution of private subsidiary farm plots
held by collective farm members, state farm and industrial workers,
artisans, and other individuals. In the 1965-70 period private plots
constituted only 10 percent of the farmland, yet in 1968 they accounted
for 22 percent of the crop output and 33 percent of the livestock
output. In 1970 the proportions of livestock products contributed by the
private plots were: milk, 23 percent; meat and wool, 31 percent; eggs,
50 percent; honey, 70 percent; and silk, 89 percent.

Despite the support of private farm plots by the leadership, many local
officials consider them to be incompatible with the socialist system and
place various obstacles, often illegal, in the way of their operation.
In the directives for the Sixth Five-Year Plan the party reaffirmed the
importance of private farm plots as a reserve for the increase of farm
output and particularly of livestock production. In a subsequently
published decree, which lifted restrictions on livestock rearing on
private plots, the party and government again stressed that private
plots will be an important source of products for their owners and for
sale to the state.

The growing importance of private plots for collective farmers was
disclosed by income data published in the spring of 1973. In the 1960-70
period the average annual income of permanently employed collective
farmers from private plots increased from 251 leva to 620 leva, while
the average remuneration for work performed on the collective property
rose from 458 leva to 847 leva. Whereas the growth of income from
collective farm work amounted to 85 percent, income from private plots
advanced by 147 percent.


Agricultural planning has been highly centralized by the decree
effective January 1, 1973. The system of planning has been made to
conform to the system used for other sectors of the economy, with some
allowances for the specific conditions of agricultural organization and
production. Planning is to encompass long-range (ten to fifteen-years),
five-year, and annual plans that must be coordinated with a general plan
for regional development.

Planning in agriculture is to be based on the balancing of inputs and
outputs and the use of government-determined long-range norms, limits,
and indexes. Wide use is to be made of econometric models in the search
for optimal solutions. The norms, limits, and indexes are to be
elaborated in direct relation to the natural and economic conditions of
individual agroindustrial complexes, crop varieties, kinds and breeds of
livestock, farm technology, and the availability of physical resources
and manpower. The norms, limits, and indexes are to be of such a nature
as to contribute to a continuous upgrading of agricultural efficiency,
that is, they will become increasingly more demanding as time
progresses. They are binding for planners and managers at all levels
from the central government authorities down to the farm.

In essence the agricultural plan consists of state-imposed production
targets and estimates of resources to be allocated for their attainment,
together with detailed directives for the use of the resources and for
the introduction of technological improvements. Responsibility for
fulfilling the planned tasks rests upon the management of the
agroindustrial complexes. The planned targets and conditions for their
attainment are formulated for each individual complex by the State
Planning Committee together with the Ministry of Agriculture and the
local district people's council; all plans are approved by the Council
of Ministers.

Ten groups of norms, limits, and indexes enter into the formulation of
plan targets. They specify progressive technical measures to be
introduced; the physical volume of each crop and livestock product to be
sold to the state; the volume of capital investment and its specific
uses; consumption norms for all materials, parts, and products in
accordance with a list approved by the Council of Ministers; allowable
expenditures for each 100 leva of farm products and for labor
remuneration per 100 leva of total income; norms for the formation of
various operating and reserve funds and for material incentives; and
limits for the development of social amenities within the agroindustrial

The five-year plan tasks are broken down by years and may be changed
only in exceptional cases. The required changes may be made by the
Ministry of Agriculture, with the approval of the State Planning
Committee, upon request made by the executive committee of the district
people's council. Whenever a specific change is introduced, all
necessary corrections must be made to maintain the overall balance of
the plan.

The agroindustrial complexes must distribute the planned tasks handed to
them from above among their constituent units in accordance with
standards and conditions spelled out by the Ministry of Agriculture. The
district people's councils are required to take an active part in the
process of coordinating the plan and in measures for its attainment
among the units of the agroindustrial complex. On the basis of the state
plan each agroindustrial complex and its constituent parts must prepare
what has been called a counterplan, that is, a plan that sets higher
goals than those officially established.

The large size and diversified operations of the agroindustrial
complexes place a heavy demand upon the expertise of management. Most of
the available specialists do not have the requisite training to solve
the numerous problems posed by planning and operational direction under
the new conditions. Adaptation of agricultural school curricula to the
new requirements and speedy retraining of specialists are therefore
considered to be most urgent.

Some optimistic agricultural officials place high hopes in the
introduction of computer-based automatic control systems. An electronic
computer center was established at the Ministry of Agriculture in 1969,
staffed by a group of 104 enthusiastic young specialists. They undertook
the task of developing a single automated control system for agriculture
and food production in the entire country by 1975, to be based on a
number of integrated local and regional computer centers. By the end of
1970 the computer center had worked out annual plans for several farms
and a plan for hothouse production in the country. It was in the process
of finding a solution to a basic problem of the feed industry--a
solution that would also drastically reduce the industry's
transportation costs.

Considerable attention has also been given to the problem of
communication in connection with the internal direction of the
agroindustrial complexes' varied activities. Here, too, the idea has
been advanced for automated control centers from which instructions
would be issued to all operating divisions and workers in the field
through radiotelephones or similar equipment. In this context a
university instructor analyzing the management problems of
agroindustrial complexes remarked that it was premature to speak of
modern administrative and management methods as long as it was easier
and faster to go by car from the farm center to any of the neighboring
villages than to reach them by telephone.


Official data on manpower and employment in agriculture are incomplete
and incommensurate. The number of people gainfully employed in
agriculture in 1970 was reported to have been 35.2 percent of the total
in the economy, compared to 54.7 percent in 1960 and 44.9 percent in
1965. Full-time employment on farms of the agroindustrial complexes in
1970 was reported as 1,117,000 people--a reduction of 278,000 from the
1,395,000 employed in 1965. Yet the number of female collective
farmworkers alone in 1969 was reported to have been 1,682,000, more than
1 million of whom participated full or part time in the collective work
of the farms. No explanation concerning the discrepancies in these
reported figures was available. The Sixth Five-Year Plan is variously
reported to call for the transfer of an additional 220,000 or 350,000
people from the farms to nonagricultural employment.

The out-migration, mostly of young people, from agriculture brought
about a deterioration in the age structure of the remaining farm
population. The proportion of the sixteen- to twenty-five-year-old age
group on farms was only 9.2 percent in 1969, compared to 22.3 percent in
industry. Conversely, the proportion of persons fifty-five years and
older was 29.1 percent in agriculture, compared to 8.6 percent in
industry. The program for the modernization and intensification of
agricultural production and, more particularly, the planned high level
of mechanization demand the employment of large numbers of highly
skilled young people. A series of economic, social, and cultural
measures is therefore urgently needed to halt the drain of young
manpower from the farms.

By 1971 the agricultural school system had not adapted its training
programs to the actual needs of the emerging agroindustrial complexes.
At the same time a serious problem in the employment of available
technicians was presented by the scornful attitude of many farm managers
toward specialists with secondary education. In 1971 farms employed more
than 4,000 people without the requisite training in various professional
positions. Although some of them may have compensated by experience for
the lack of training, the situation was considered deplorable by a
number of agricultural economists.

Under previously prevailing conditions, payments to farmworkers differed
widely, depending upon the income levels of the individual farms. Under
the new law wages for all farmworkers are to be gradually standardized
on the principle of equal wages for equal work. Work input is to be
measured on the basis of uniform labor norms differentiated according to
natural conditions. In determining the wage level, consideration will
also be given to increases in productivity, cost reduction, and the
accumulation of investment funds by the farms. Distribution of the
farm's income is to be carried out on the basis of a resolution by the
Council of Ministers, details of which were not available in early 1973.
Its main import is that the total remuneration of farmworkers, over and
above their wages, will remain dependent upon the overall results of the
individual farms. All farmworkers are entitled to a minimum wage of 80
leva per month, and members of previously independent collective farms
retain their right to advance payments against their estimated final
income shares.

Little substantive information is available on the current practice of
remunerating people working on farms. The decree that went into effect
on January 1, 1973, directed that the formation and distribution of
incomes of all agroindustrial complexes and their constituent farms be
based on a uniform system and on the principle that each farm must be
fully self-supporting. Each farm must establish a wage fund calculated
as a percentage of its total income. In the event that this fund is
inadequate to cover legitimate wage requirements, the farms may draw
upon two other obligatory funds or resort to bank credits.



In the 1960-71 period annual investment in agriculture increased from
381 million to 548 million leva, but it declined as a proportion of
total investment from 28 to 15 percent. A substantial portion of the
agricultural investment was used to equip new state farms established on
previously collective farmlands. Investment funds were used for the
construction of farm buildings, machinery repair stations, and
irrigation facilities and for the acquisition of farm machinery. On the
basis of cultivated acreage, state farms received more investment than
collective farms, but the disproportion was gradually reduced and become
quite small by 1970. In that year state farms had about 15 percent more
fixed assets per acre of cultivated land than the collective farms.

With the formation of agricultural complexes discrimination in
investment between the two types of farms is being eliminated along with
other distinctions. Investment plans are to be uniformly based on the
needs of the entire complex regardless of the former status of its
constituent farms. Needs will be evaluated mainly on the basis of
government programs for individual kinds of production, the availability
of manpower, and the natural conditions of the farms and complexes.

Agricultural investment in the 1971-75 period was planned at about 2.7
billion leva. This sum constitutes only 13.5 percent of the total
planned investment and implies the maintenance of annual agricultural
investment at the level of 1970. It also reflects the continued
underinvestment in agriculture in favor of industry, despite the
grandiose, plans for agricultural transformation, considering that
agriculture contributed 22 percent of the national income in 1970. In
that year a Soviet economist observed that the small proportion of
national resources allotted to agriculture in the past was responsible
for the slow growth of that important economic sector and that the
increase in the mechanization of farms was not sufficient to offset the
loss of manpower. The leadership's policy of placing agriculture on an
industrial footing and mechanizing production demands increased
investment in machinery and other physical facilities. The low
investment decreed for the 1971-75 period is not in keeping with that

A national conference on construction in agriculture, convened in the
spring of 1972, was devoted to the study of shortcomings in capital
construction. The underlying causes of unsatisfactory performance were
analyzed, and persons responsible for the failures were identified. The
findings of the conference were not published, but an account of the
conference contained references to inadequate project planning, poor
design, acceptance of inferior equipment, delays in the completion of
construction, and cost overruns. A sympathetic foreign observer noted a
disproportionately large allocation of investment funds to building
construction compared with the funds allotted for farm machinery.


At the beginning of 1971 Bulgarian agriculture possessed about 53,600
tractors with a total of 1.4 million horsepower--the equivalent of about
sixteen horsepower per 100 acres of plowed land. The horsepower of the
tractor inventory increased by 2.3 times after 1960, but a portion of
that increase was offset by the loss of more than 358,000 horses and
buffalo. In 1970 Bulgaria had more tractor power per acre than any other
Eastern European communist country except Czechoslovakia and more horses
per acre than any of these countries with the exception of Hungary,
which had a slightly larger number.

Grain combines on farms numbered 9,340, or 2.4 combines for each 1,000
acres of grain crops. In this regard Bulgaria ranked above the Soviet
Union and at the average of the other Eastern European communist
countries. Nevertheless, according to the minister of agriculture, only
about 50 percent of the labor in wheat production was mechanized in
1972, even though wheat production was considered to be the most highly
mechanized branch of agriculture. In other production branches the level
of mechanization was extremely low.

According to scattered Bulgarian press reports the supply of farm
machinery is inadequate for the needs, unbalanced as to composition,
and inferior in design and physical condition. Many of the available
tractors and combines are overage and obsolete. The situation is
aggravated by chronic shortages of spare parts for both domestic and
imported equipment. Production of parts is inhibited by its relatively
low profitability, despite incentives offered by the government.

Under the Sixth Five-Year Plan farm machinery valued at 780 million leva
is to be delivered to agriculture from domestic sources and from the
Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON--see Glossary). This
machinery is to include more powerful tractors and grain combines,
milking machines, and sprinkler irrigation systems. Machinery is also to
be provided for the harvesting of corn, sugar beets, cotton, rice,
fruits, and vegetables and for the harvesting and processing of feed
crops. Adequate information on the progress of the mechanization program
during the first two years of the five-year period is not available, but
there is evidence that shortages of spare parts and trained operators
continued to immobilize substantial numbers of farm machines.


The marketing of farm products has been geared to the fixed five-year
plan quotas for sales to the state. It is based on bilateral contracts
between trusts in the food-processing industry and agroindustrial
complexes or their constituent units. Contracts are concluded for a
five-year period and are broken down by years. They cover the entire
farm output specified in the counterplans at prices officially revised
on January 1, 1973. The price system includes bonuses for quality; these
bonuses are payable only after a specified portion of the contracted
quantity has been delivered and vary in relation to the total volume of
product delivered. The intent of the bonuses is to stimulate product
improvement without encouraging production beyond the planned limits.
Excess production would destroy the balance of the plan.

Provisions of the marketing contracts were worked out by the Ministry of
Agriculture and the State Arbitration Commission with the agreement of
the government departments involved. Provisions concerning the
performance of contractual obligations were strengthened compared with
those previously in force. They established financial incentives and
sanctions not only for the contracting organizations but also for their
top managers as individuals, based upon the end results of their joint

Each food-processing trust engaged in the procurement of farm products
must establish a fund for the promotion of their production, for
improving farming methods, and for modernizing the farm's physical
facilities. The funds are to be used in the first place for stimulating
the output of products required on the domestic market and for export.
The allocation of promotional funds is to be in accord with a program
worked out jointly by the trust and the agroindustrial complex; the
program constitutes an integral part of the procurement contract.

Farms, individual farmers, and private agricultural producers may sell
some of their products at retail directly to consumers in cooperative
markets at prices not exceeding those charged by state retail stores. In
some instances and for some products sale on a commission basis through
state and cooperative outlets is also allowed. The sale of meat, meat
products, and alcoholic beverages in cooperative markets is prohibited
as is also the sale of any product through middlemen. Cooperative
markets are subordinated to the trade organs of municipal authorities.
Violations of applicable regulations are subject to penalties the
severity of which depends upon the nature of the offenses. Information
on the total volume of direct sales by agricultural producers is not
available. The share of collective farms in cooperative market sales,
however, declined from 53 percent in 1959 to 16 percent in 1970.


Growth and Structure

As a result of continued emphasis on the country's industrialization,
the share of agriculture in national income (net material product) was
only 22 percent in 1970, compared to 31 percent ten years earlier.
According to official sources, however, output continued to rise. It
increased at an average annual rate of 4.8 percent in the 1960-67
period, declined by 10 percent in 1968, and regained the 1967 level in
1970. An increase of 8 percent in the next two years raised the farm
output in 1972 to a level 50 percent above the output level in 1960. For
the entire period the average annual increase in farm output was 3.4

Livestock production was reported to have increased more rapidly than
crop production in the 1960-70 period; the respective average annual
rates of growth in output were 4.1 and 2.9 percent. Crop output in 1970
was 33 percent larger than output in 1960, whereas livestock output was
50 percent higher. Available data are inadequate to reconcile the
reported growth in the value of livestock production with a seemingly
inconsistent rise in the physical output of livestock products and
changes in livestock herds.

The structure of farm output in 1970 did not differ materially from the
structure in 1960. The share of crops in the total output declined from
67.3 to 64.7 percent, while the share of livestock production rose
correspondingly from 32.7 to 35.3 percent. The proportions of grains and
technical crops were identical in both years. The share of vegetables,
potatoes, and melons declined slightly, but the proportion of feed crops
dropped from 9.2 to 6.2 percent. The lag in the growth rate of feed
production has contributed to the difficulties in the livestock sector.


With the exception of rye, potatoes, hemp, and cotton, output of all
major crops increased substantially in the 1960s (see table 16). The
production of rye declined sharply as a result of the diversion of rye
acreage to the production of more valuable crops. By 1970 rye output had
become insignificant--less than 1 percent of the volume of wheat
produced in that year. The decline in potato production was minor, but
the output of raw cotton declined by 15 percent. The largest increases
were attained in the production of alfalfa and table grapes--crops that
are important for livestock production and export, respectively. Barley
output, important for livestock and beer production, rose by 82 percent.
Wheat output surpassed 3 million tons in 1970; it reached 3.56 million
tons in 1972.

_Table 16. Bulgaria, Production of Major Crops, Annual Average, Selected
Years, 1958-60 to 1966-70, and 1970_ (in thousands of tons)

                     |  Average  |  Average  |  Average  |
        Crops        |  1958-60  |  1961-65  |  1966-70  |   1970
 Wheat               |   2,376   |   2,208   |   2,919   |  3,032
 Rye                 |      97   |      58   |      35   |     28
 Barley              |     542   |     694   |     986   |  1,167
 Corn (grain)        |   1,298   |   1,601   |   2,147   |  2,375
 Sunflower seeds     |     281   |     338   |     462   |    407
 Hemp (dry stem)     |      62   |      49   |      62   |     55
 Cotton (raw)        |      54   |      39   |      46   |     36
 Tobacco (oriental)  |      77   |     101   |     109   |    112
 Sugar beets         |   1,328   |   1,440   |   1,862   |  1,714
 Tomatoes            |     525   |     738   |     716   |    685
 Potatoes            |     383   |     400   |     380   |    374
 Alfalfa             |     598   |     951   |   1,443   |  1,719
 Apples              |     265   |     315   |     402   |    363
 Grapes              |     721   |   1,006   |   1,133   |    884
   (Table grapes)    |    (135)  |    (267)  |    (313)  |   (263)
 Source: Adapted from _Statistical Yearbook, 1971_, Sofia, 1971, pp.

Virtually all wheat grown in the country is a hard red winter wheat of
good quality, somewhat softer than durum wheat. Cultivation of durum
wheat has been almost completely abandoned because of its low yield. The
possibility has been suggested, however, that production of durum may be
resumed eventually on the basis of newly developed, more productive
varieties. Durum wheat requirements for the manufacture of noodles,
semolina, and other products have been imported against payment in
foreign currencies.

Increases in the output and yields of crops were reported to have been
achieved through the introduction of improved plant varieties and seeds,
better cultivation practices, expanded irrigation, greater use of
fertilizers, and more effective disease and pest control. The supply of
fertilizers to agriculture, in terms of plant nutrients, increased from
about 49,000 tons in 1956 to 842,000 tons in 1968 but thereafter
declined sharply to only 692,000 tons in 1969 and 635,000 tons in 1971.
In 1972 the fertilizer supply improved by a mere 10,000 tons. The bulk
of the decline was in phosphates and potash, imports of which were
drastically curtailed after 1968, presumably because of the shortage of
foreign exchange.

The supply of pesticides also depends very largely upon imports.
Deliveries to agriculture rose from less than 10,000 tons in 1960 to
almost 12,900 tons in 1965, declined to 11,150 tons in 1969, and then
surpassed the 1965 supply by 300 tons in 1971. The need for a drastic
increase in the use of pesticides and fungicides is indicated by the
official estimate that annual losses from crop diseases, pests, and
weeds amount to from 150 to 200 million leva.

Despite the progress made, agricultural technicians continue to call
attention to the persistence of faulty practices in all phases of crop
production--practices that tend to lower crop yields and retard
agricultural growth. Traditionally a single variety of wheat has been
grown throughout the entire country, despite variations in soil and
climatic conditions. Although yields generally rose with the successive
introduction of better varieties, they remained low and of inferior
quality in areas poorly adapted for the cultivation of a particular
variety. Specialists have stressed the need for diversification of
varieties, particularly under conditions of regionally defined
agroindustrial complexes.

A task force for scientific and technical aid to agriculture, formed by
the government at the end of 1965, uncovered the appearance and rapid
dispersion of new grain diseases. Dry rot, which had assumed significant
proportions in 1961, caused the most severe losses of wheat in 1970 and
1971, when 1.2 million acres were affected by the disease, mainly in the
northern grain-growing part of the country. Wheat flower blight, long
known in Bulgaria, became particularly widespread in 1965 after the
introduction of a new wheat variety highly susceptible to that disease.
Losses from this source reached about 15 to 20 percent.

Propagation of diseases has been aided by faulty cultivation practices.
Excessively heavy seeding has been used increasingly to compensate for
inadequate soil preparation. The resultant overly thick stands of grain
are prone to lodging, which facilitates the spread of disease through
greater contact of the wheatstalks. The tendency to lodging and, thus,
to the spreading of disease is also encouraged by the improper use of
fertilizers. To compensate for the shortage of phosphatic fertilizers an
erroneous practice has developed of increasing the application of
nitrogenous fertilizers, thereby upsetting the proper balance of plant
nutrients. The resultant excessive vegetative growth weakens the grain
stalks and induces lodging of the grain. Lodging also causes heavy
losses through the germination of kernels and through major difficulties
in harvesting.

Damage to wheat and barley crops from improper use of phosphatic
fertilizers has also been reported. Substantial losses have been
incurred in the production of sunflower seeds through inexpert use of
fertilizers and insecticides, inadequate thinning and weeding, improper
crop rotation, and poor harvesting methods. The basic underlying cause
of these difficulties is the widespread lack of familiarity with modern
production methods and the inadequate supply of technically trained
personnel to guide farmers.

Livestock and Livestock Products

Despite repeated government decrees concerning measures for raising
livestock production, including various incentives, no significant
success was attained in increasing livestock herds in the period 1961 to
January 1971 (see table 17). The numbers of cattle, hogs, and rabbits
actually declined; the flocks of sheep grew by less than 4 percent; and
only the numbers of goats and poultry increased substantially. An
increase in all categories of livestock other than sheep, however, took
place in 1971. In comparison with 1948 the total number of cattle in
1971 was lower by 28 percent, and the number of cows had declined by 16
percent. The poor performance of the livestock sector, particularly with
regard to cattle, has been a source of great concern for the leadership
because of the leadership's promise of a better standard of living for
the population and the obligation to meet export commitments to COMECON
partners, particularly the Soviet Union. Exports of livestock are also
important as a source of convertible foreign exchange.

_Table 17. Bulgaria, Livestock Numbers, Selected Years, 1948-72_* (in

 Livestock |  1948   |  1961   |  1970   |  1971   |  1972
 Cattle    |  1,783  |  1,452  |  1,255  |  1,279  |  1,379
  (Cows)   |   (703) |   (547) |   (574) |   (589) |   (607)
 Hogs      |  1,078  |  2,553  |  1,967  |  2,369  |  2,806
 Sheep     |  9,266  |  9,333  |  9,223  |  9,678  | 10,127
 Goats     |    720  |    246  |    350  |    335  |    318
 Rabbits   |    128  |    470  |    164  |    277  |    350
 Poultry   | 11,380  | 23,366  | 29,590  | 33,706  | 34,102
 * Figure for 1948 as of December 25; for all other years, January 1.
 Source: Adapted from _Statistical Yearbook, 1971_, Sofia, 1971, p. 124;
 and _Statistical Yearbook, 1972_, Sofia, 1972, p. 236.

Although agriculture is almost entirely socialized, substantial numbers
of livestock are nevertheless privately owned by farm and urban workers,
artisans, and the few remaining individual farmers. In 1971 these groups
possessed virtually all the goats and rabbits, more than half the
poultry, and about two-fifths of the sheep. They also owned 27 percent
of the hogs and 22 percent of the cattle, including 30 percent of the
cows. On socialized farms all types of livestock were reduced in numbers
during the 1961-70 period except for cows and poultry. Among private
owners the decline in the numbers of cattle and hogs was more
pronounced, but substantial gains were made in the stock of sheep,
goats, and poultry. Government policies concerning prices, incentives,
and feed allocation were mainly responsible for the differences in
development within the socialized and private sectors.

Expansion of livestock herds and production has been hampered by an
inadequate feed supply. The feed shortage in the 1966-70 period was
estimated by the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences to have approximated 30
percent. Domestically produced feed concentrates have been of poor
quality and nutritionally unbalanced. In 1972 more than 45 percent of
the mixed feeds and concentrates were substandard, and requirements for
these feeds were met by less than 55 percent.

The production of feed crops increased in absolute terms during the
1960-70 period, but its rate of growth lagged by comparison with other
crops and with official plans. In 1971 and 1972 the alfalfa acreage was
supposed to be 990,000 acres, but only 840,000 acres were actually
cropped. In 1972 only 57 percent of the requirements for alfalfa and
meadow hay were met on farms of the agroindustrial complexes, and the
quality of the hay was extremely low. The inadequacy of the feed supply
in relation to the government's livestock program has been designated by
the leadership as one of the most crucial problems of agriculture.

In the 1971-75 period improvement in the feed supply is to be achieved
mainly through an increase in feed crop yields, but a certain increase
in acreage has also been planned. Results in the first two years of the
five-year period have jeopardized the attainment of the goal for 1975.
Substantial investment funds are to be provided for the modernization of
dairy barns and for the construction of feed mills with assistance from
the Soviet Union. With a view to raising productivity and output,
livestock production is to be increasingly concentrated on large
specialized farms. This policy ignored the demonstrated superiority of
livestock production on small farm plots.

Major problems in the expansion of cattle herds and livestock production
are also posed by poor management and inadequate veterinary services.
The reproduction rate of cattle is abnormally low because of the high
percentage of old, sterile cows in the herds. The incidence of diseases
of the reproductive system and of mastitis among cows is rapidly
increasing, and mortality among cattle is high. Young breeding stock is
reared in unsuitable surroundings, is ill fed, and consequently remains
underdeveloped. A large proportion of newly born calves succumb to
various diseases. There is a shortage of trained veterinarians, but
veterinarians stationed on farms and in district veterinary hospitals
are reported to feel no responsibility for the deplorable conditions.
The care of livestock also suffers from a lack of adequately trained
workers and a high labor turnover in the livestock sections of the
agroindustrial complexes. Managers and specialists at the higher levels
of the agroindustrial complexes fail to provide systematic supervision
and guidance and often exhibit a lack of interest in the livestock
enterprise. These conditions were reported to the General Assembly by a
deputy minister of agriculture.

Despite the shortage of feed, increased yields per animal were attained
in the 1960-71 period. For agriculture as a whole the output of milk per
cow rose from 1,482 to 2,281 quarts, the number of eggs per hen
increased from ninety-one to 115, and the amount of wool per sheep rose
from 5.3 to 7.4 pounds. In 1972, however, yields per cow and per hen
declined. In the socialized sector the decline in milk yield had begun
in 1968 and reached serious proportions in 1972; the egg yield remained
stable through 1970 (data for later years were not available in 1973).
In the private sector the milk yield continued to rise at least until
1970; the egg yield remained stable through 1969 and rose in 1970. In
the spring of 1973 several agricultural officials, including a deputy
minister of agriculture, were reprimanded by the Council of Ministers
Bureau for permitting the decline in yields of milk and eggs.

A study of milk production during the 1965-67 period found that farms
having milk yields of 2,110 to 2,640 quarts per cow sustained an annual
loss of 56 leva for each animal, whereas farms with yields of 3,170 to
4,287 quarts earned a net income of 111 leva per cow. The reported
national average milk yield per cow therefore indicates that most farms
produced milk at a loss.

The officially reported meat output increased by 74 percent in the
1960-68 period but declined by 11 percent in the next two years. By far
the largest increase in production to 1968--2.9 times--was reported for
beef and veal, while production of poultry meat and of sheep, and goat
meat almost doubled (see table 18). The decline in output after 1968
affected all types of meat except for poultry and rabbits. For the
entire period of 1960 through 1970, meat output rose by 55 percent,
including production increases of 150 percent for beef and veal, 160
percent for poultry, and 82 percent for sheep and goat meat. Pork
production, however, had risen by only 10 percent, and the output of
rabbit meat declined by about one-third. The reported increase in meat
production cannot be correlated with available data on changes in the
size of livestock herds. An improvement in the supply of all types of
meat other than beef and veal took place in 1971.

Production of milk and eggs also increased substantially during the
1960-71 period (see table 19). Nevertheless, domestic market supplies of
livestock products remained chronically and seriously short of demand,
in part because of the magnitude of exports. Exports of agricultural raw
materials and processed foods exceeded 1 billion leva in 1970; they had
increased 2.7 times during the decade and were equivalent to 44 percent
of agriculture's contribution to the national income. Exports of food
products alone had increased more than 3.5 times during the decade to a
total of 732 million leva.

_Table 18. Bulgaria, Production of Meat, Selected Years, 1948-71_ (in
thousands of tons)

        Meat         | 1948 | 1960 | 1968 | 1969 | 1970 | 1971
 Beef and veal       |   41 |   37 |  105 |   94 |   90 |   85
 Pork                |   74 |  134 |  194 |  167 |  148 |  169
 Sheep and goat meat |   45 |   45 |   88 |   87 |   82 |   88
 Poultry             |   17 |   36 |   70 |   78 |   93 |  111
 Other               |    1 |    4 |    2 |    2 |    3 |    4
                     |  --- |  --- |  --- |  --- |  --- |  ---
 TOTAL[*+]           |  178 |  257 |  460 |  428 |  416 |  457
 Edible offals       |   29 |   50 |   73 |   65 |   60 |   64
                     |  === |  === |  === |  === |  === |  ===
 GRAND TOTAL[+]      |  208 |  307 |  534 |  493 |  476 | 521
 * Less offals.
 + Columns may not add because of rounding.
 Source: Adapted from _Statistical Yearbook, 1971_, Sofia, 1971, p. 127;
 and _Statistical Yearbook, 1972_, Sofia, 1972, p. 232.

_Table 19. Bulgaria, Production of Milk, Eggs, and Wool, Selected Years,

 Year |     Milk      |  Cow's Milk    |   Raw Wool    |     Eggs
      |(thousand tons)|(thousand tons) |(thousand tons)|(million dozen)
 1960 |    1,120      |       744      |      21       |      102
 1967 |    1,609      |     1,210      |      27       |      140
 1969 |    1,580      |     1,205      |      28       |      127
 1970 |    1,631      |     1,250      |      29       |      135
 1971 |    1,620      |     1,290      |      30       |      146
 Source: Adapted from _Statistical Yearbook, 1971_, Sofia, 1971, p. 128;
 and _Statistical Yearbook, 1972_, Sofia, 1972, p. 233.



In mid-1973 industry continued to expand, though at a significantly
lower rate than in the mid-1960s. Industrial expansion was being
increasingly restrained by the inadequacy of domestic raw material and
skilled labor resources. Limits on an increase in imports of materials
and essential machinery were placed by the insufficiency of foreign
exchange reserve and by the need to reduce traditional exports of
consumer goods in short supply on the domestic market. The Soviet Union
continued to be the predominant supplier of raw materials, machinery,
and technical and technological assistance.

To overcome the limitations on industrial expansion, the leadership of
the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP--see Glossary) and government sought
to raise industrial productivity through concentration and
specialization of production and through improvements in the management
of material and labor resources. Strong emphasis was placed on the
introduction of automation in both production and management processes.
Heavy stress was also laid on the need to raise the quality of
industrial products in order to increase their salability abroad and
their acceptance in the domestic market.

The consolidation of industrial enterprises into a limited number of
trusts, introduced in 1971 as a measure for increased centralized
control in the search for greater efficiency, was being carried forward
by means of further regulatory and clarifying edicts. The leadership's
ultimate goal of an efficiently managed, technologically advanced,
low-cost industry remained the driving force behind all industrial
policy decisions.


Virtually all industry is state owned. In 1970 state enterprises
possessed 98.6 percent of all industrial assets; they employed 88.8
percent of the industrial work force and produced 89.7 percent of the
industrial output. Collective industrial enterprises owned the balance
of 1.4 percent of the assets, employed 11.2 percent of the workers, and
contributed 9.9 percent of the industrial output. Small private
enterprises, mostly artisan shops, accounted for only 0.4 percent of the
industrial output.


Size and Location

In 1970 the industrial establishment (excluding the private sector,
information on which is not available) consisted of 1,827 state
enterprises and 644 collective enterprises, employing about 1.02 million
and 129,000 people, respectively. More than one-half of the enterprises
in the state industry employed over 200 people, and almost one-fourth
employed more than 1,000 people. Enterprises with large numbers of
workers predominated in metallurgy; in the glass and china industry; in
clothing manufacture; and in the leather, shoe, and fur industry.
Beginning in 1971 previously independent enterprises were transformed
into branches of countrywide trusts organized along functional lines
(see ch. 12).

The territorial distribution of industry during the 1950-70 period was
determined in large part by the priority development of heavy industry,
the location of which was dictated mainly by the sites of raw material
sources and the location of major consuming centers. In this process
several cities and districts, including Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna, Burgas,
and Ruse, experienced a large population influx from rural areas and
attendant shortages of housing and public services. At the same time
many villages were deprived of their inhabitants, and homes and public
facilities were abandoned.

In 1970 the Central Committee of the BKP laid down guidelines for a
program of regional economic development, with a view to attaining an
optimal distribution of productive resources (capital and labor). The
aim of the program was to arrest excessive urban growth and the
associated demands on the country's resources for new housing and other
amenities and, at the same time, to help develop backward rural areas.
Within these guidelines, decentralization of industry has been
undertaken, and plans are being worked out for the socioeconomic
development of individual districts under the Seventh Five-Year Plan
(1976-80) and until 1990.

In this context the construction of new industrial plants in heavily
populated areas has been restricted. Further production increases in
these areas are to be attained through modernization of existing
facilities and the introduction of more advanced technology. Special
measures have also been adopted to promote economic growth in the
relatively underdeveloped districts. In part, this program is
implemented through the transfer of industrial activities, equipment,
and labor from the congested cities and districts to rural areas.
Transfers of this kind decreed by the Council of Ministers Bureau in
December 1971 and July 1972 involved 195 production units and 25,000
workers and an annual output of 225 million leva (for value of the
lev--see Glossary). Under existing plans lasting until 1975, however,
industry and employment will continue to expand in some of the most
heavily congested cities.

Supply System

The organization of a smoothly functioning materials and equipment
supply system for industry has been an elusive goal of the leadership
ever since the inception of the controlled economy. Various approaches
to the problem over a period of years have not succeeded in
accomplishing the basic task of ensuring a dependable supply of material
resources to industrial producers. As a result, the economy has been
officially reported to suffer enormous losses through production
shutdowns, substitutions of materials that lower quality and increase
costs, and hoarding of scarce materials. Heavy losses have also been
incurred through improper storage of materials, careless use that
entails excessive waste, and pilferage.

Adequate information on the organization and functioning of the
industrial supply system has not been available. The latest
reorganization of the supply system was undertaken at the end of 1971
with a view to providing a normal flow of supplies for the economic
trusts beginning in 1972. Until 1971 the supply organizations had dealt
almost entirely with individual enterprises. The reorganization was
accompanied by extensive consultations with producers of raw materials,
importing organizations, and industrial consumers. The consultations
were held in order to clarify the needs of consumers, ensure the
availability of the needed supplies, and agree upon specific measures
for timely deliveries of materials and supplies.

Particular attention in the reorganization was paid to the problem of
reducing the inventories of materials in enterprises and concentrating
them in the supply organizations. Decisive measures were taken to halt
the former practice of making deliveries of materials large enough to
cover requirements for three months or longer. Under the new system,
supply organizations are required to make periodic deliveries to
consumers on guaranteed time schedules, at short intervals, and in
quantities that do not exceed one month's requirements. Adherence to the
regulation is to be used as a standard in evaluating the performance of
supply organizations.

One of the basic elements in industrial consumer-supplier relations has
been the annual contract for estimated material and equipment
requirements needed to complete the annual production quota. For a
variety of reasons both suppliers and users have often failed to honor
these contracts, and the penalties provided for breach of contract have
not been sufficient to deter this practice. Breaches of supply contracts
have been an important cause of economic difficulties. Supply
difficulties have been particularly disruptive because of the
traditionally stringent nature of the production plans and the limited
availability of resources.

In 1972 the Ministry of Supply and State Reserves planned to take
energetic measures to strengthen contract discipline and to use
contracts as legal and economic instruments for exerting pressure on
both parties to fulfill their obligations. The minister considered it
particularly important to put an end to the practice of contract
cancellation, either under provisions of official regulations or by
mutual agreement of the parties concerned--a practice that, according to
the minister, caused huge losses to the national economy.


Manufacturing is the dominant sector of industry in terms of employment
and output. In 1971 manufacturing accounted for 93.9 percent of the
total industrial output and provided employment to 88.3 percent of the
industrial labor force. Mining and energy production contributed 3.6 and
2.5 percent, respectively, of the industrial output and employed 10.3
and 1.4 percent, respectively, of the labor force. More than half the
industrial establishment was devoted to the production of capital goods.
In 1971 the capital goods sector employed 52.5 percent of the industrial
labor force and produced 56 percent of the output. The relative
importance of the capital goods sector had been rising over a period of
years, from 36.7 percent of the output in 1948 and 47.2 percent in 1960.
During the same period the contribution of the consumer goods sector to
total output had declined from 63.3 percent in 1948 to 52.8 percent in
1960 and 44 percent in 1971. As a consequence of the priority
development of heavy industry, the supply of consumer goods on the
domestic market has been inadequate to meet consumer needs (see ch. 5).

In terms of their employment shares, the largest state industry branches
in 1971 were: machine building and metalworking, 25.5 percent; food
processing, 14.4 percent; and textiles, 11.3 percent. Next in
importance, but with much lower levels of employment, were: timber and
woodworking, 7.4 percent; chemicals and rubber, 6.1 percent; and fuels,
5.5 percent. Industrial branches that experienced the most rapid growth
in the 1960-71 period included ferrous metallurgy, chemicals and rubber,
machine building and metalworking, and fuels. Among the slowest growing
branches were timber and wood processing, textiles, nonferrous
metallurgy, and food processing.


Domestic resources of mineral fuels are inadequate for the needs of
industry. Through the limitation that it places on electric power
development, the fuel shortage--in the absence of a large hydroelectric
power potential--may become a major factor inhibiting industrial growth.
In 1968 the proportion of petroleum and natural gas in the fuel balance
was somewhat more than 42 percent; it is planned to rise to about 60
percent in 1975 and to at least 65 percent in 1980. Virtually all
petroleum and natural gas must be imported.

Coal and Lignite

Reserves of anthracite and bituminous coal are insignificant; their
production amounts to less than 2 percent of the annual coal output.
Brown coal deposits that can be mined economically are nearing
exhaustion, and brown coal production declined by about one-third in the
1960-70 period. Low-calorie lignite remains the major fuel base for
thermoelectric power stations. Reserves of this inferior fuel are large.

Coal deposits are scattered in about twenty small deposits. Because of
difficult geological conditions, however, only a few of the deposits are
exploited. Anthracite is mined in the Svoge basin, located in the Iskur
gorge area of the Stara Planina, north of Sofia. Bituminous coal is
mined in the same mountain range, in the area between Gabrovo and
Sliven. The deposit at Sliven was reported to contain a very small
quantity of coking-grade coal--a quantity far below the needs of the
iron and steel industry. In addition to large annual imports of coking
coal, Bulgaria has also imported from 250,000 to 465,000 tons of coke
per year.

The main source of brown coal for many years has been the Pernik basin
in the upper Struma valley, about nineteen miles southwest of Sofia. In
the 1971-75 period brown coal mining is to be substantially expanded at
the Bobov Dol deposit in the Rila mountain range, south of the Pernik
basin. The Babino mine in the Bobov Dol coalfield is scheduled to become
the largest underground coal mine in the Balkans. Reserves in this
deposit, however, are equivalent to only about five to six years'
production at the 1970 rate of brown coal output.

Lignite is mined mainly in the Maritsa basin, near Dimitrovgrad in the
Thracian Plain, and in the Sofia Basin. The Maritsa basin, particularly
the area known as Maritsa-Iztok (Maritsa-East), has become the basic
source of coal production, contributing about 50 percent of the
country's output. Aside from planned new mine construction, the
Maritsa-Iztok complex is to be rebuilt and modernized. Production
problems at this mine have not yet been solved satisfactorily.
Coal-bearing strata have not been fully identified; equipment is
utilized to only about 40 percent of capacity; and the organization of
labor is poor. Substantial improvement also remains to be attained in
processing the coal for market, in view of its high ash and moisture
content. Unsolved problems also remain in the manufacture of coal

In the 1971-75 period substantial investment is to be devoted to the
expansion and modernization of coal mines. New mines with an annual
capacity of about 4 million tons are to be built. Three-fourths of the
investment funds are to be concentrated on three major production
centers. The relative investment shares of these centers were planned to
be: Maritsa-Iztok complex, 41 percent; Bobov Dol complex, 25 percent;
and the Georgi Dimitrov mine at Pernik, 10 percent.

Production of marketable coal increased by 83 percent in the 1960-70
period to a level of about 29 million tons. The rise in output, however,
was confined to lignite production, which grew more than fourfold during
the decade. Production of bituminous and brown coal declined by 42 and
32 percent, respectively. Output of anthracite in 1970 equaled the
output in 1960 but was 9 percent below the production level in 1966.
Production of both anthracite and bituminous coal amounted to less than
400,000 tons in 1970. Strip mining has steadily grown in importance and
accounted for 73 percent of the output in 1970.

The Sixth Five-Year Plan (1971-75) calls for a rise in coal output to 33
million tons--an increase of about 13 percent. In the view of the
minister of heavy industry, the planned increase is not large, but its
attainment is difficult considering the character and condition of the
mines. Experience has justified the minister's assessment. In the first
two years of the five-year period, coal output rose by less than 1

Crude Oil and Natural Gas

Deposits of crude oil are located at Tyulenovo in the Dobrudzha region
and at Dolni Dubnik, east of Pleven. Natural gas fields have been
discovered near Vratsa and in the area of Lovech, south of Pleven.
Reliable information on the magnitude of crude oil and natural gas
reserves is not available. Statistics on current imports and official
projections of import requirements, however, indicate that domestic
production of oil and natural gas will continue to cover only a small
fraction of needs.

Production of crude oil rose from 200,000 tons in 1960 to 500,000 tons
in 1967 but declined thereafter to 305,000 tons in 1971. Natural gas
output, which had increased to 18.5 billion cubic feet in 1969, declined
to 16.7 billion cubic feet in 1970 and 11.6 billion cubic feet in 1971.
Imports of crude oil, mostly from the Soviet Union, increased almost
3-½ times between 1965 and 1971 to a level of 7.5 million tons. In
1972 the Soviet Union alone provided 95 percent of the country's
requirements for crude oil and petroleum products. Imports of natural
gas from the Soviet Union, through a pipeline still under construction,
are scheduled to begin in 1974 at a level of 35 billion cubic feet and
to continue at an annual rate of 106 billion cubic feet beginning in
1975. The planned 1975 import volume represents about three-fourths of
the estimated requirements in that year.

Crude oil is processed in two refineries, located at Burgas and Pleven,
with daily throughput capacities of about 16,500 tons and 5,500 tons,
respectively. Except for the small domestic output, crude oil for the
Pleven refinery is moved by rail from Black Sea ports. A pipeline
network that will connect the refinery with the ports is under
construction and is scheduled to enter into full operation in 1975. By
that date the capacity of the Pleven refinery is planned to attain
16,500 tons per day. A pipeline under construction for the transport of
petroleum products from the Burgas refinery to consuming centers at
Stara Zagora and Plovdiv is to be completed sometime in 1973.

The refinery output has not been sufficient to cover all the country's
requirements for petroleum products. Net imports of petroleum products
in 1970, including gasoline, fuel oils, and lubricating oils, amounted
to 2.5 million tons. Ninety percent of the imports originated in the
Soviet Union.

Electrical Energy

Installed electric generating capacity and production of electrical
energy increased more than fourfold in the 1960-71 period but failed to
keep pace with the country's growing requirements. Installed capacity in
1971 was 4.48 million kilowatts, including 3.65 million kilowatts in
thermal and 0.83 million kilowatts in hydroelectric stations. During the
period the proportion of hydroelectric capacity declined from 50 to 18
percent, and the production of electricity per kilowatt of hydroelectric
capacity dropped by more than one-third. The utilization of thermal
capacity declined by 13.5 percent.

New power from generating plants scheduled to begin operation in the
1971-75 period totals about 3 million kilowatts. Major power stations to
be commissioned include: hydroelectric stations--with a capacity of 1
million kilowatts--on the Sestrimo cascade, in the upper reaches of the
Maritsa River and at the Vucha cascade, southwest of Plovdiv; a thermal
power plant with a capacity of about 620,000 kilowatts at Bobov Dol,
fueled by local coal; and an atomic power station with a capacity of
880,000 kilowatts at Kozloduy on the Danube River, in the northwestern
corner of the country. According to government plans, total generating
capacity is scheduled to reach 7 million kilowatts in 1975 and 12
million kilowatts in 1980. The more distant plans include the
construction, jointly with Romania, of a hydroelectric power complex on
the Danube, at Belene on the Bulgarian bank of the river and Ciora on
the Romanian side. The Soviet Union has provided large-scale technical
and material assistance in the development of the electric power system.

Production of electrical energy amounted to 21 billion kilowatt-hours in
1971, of which 90 percent was generated by thermal stations. Energy
output in 1972 reached 22.3 billion kilowatt-hours. The Sixth Five-Year
Plan calls for an energy output of 30.5 billion kilowatt-hours in 1975,
which is equivalent to an average annual increase in output of 9.4
percent during the five-year period. In the years 1971 and 1972 energy
output rose by an average of 6.9 percent per year, so that an average
annual rise of 11 percent will be needed in the remaining years to
attain the planned goal in 1975. Consumption of electrical energy in
1975 is planned to reach 33.5 billion kilowatt-hours. The planned
deficit of 3 billion kilowatt-hours is to be covered by imports from
Romania, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union.

The electrical transmission network is well developed, and further major
improvements have been planned. The network is connected with the power
grids of Romania and Yugoslavia. A 400-kilovolt power line from the
Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in the Soviet Union was reported to
have been completed in mid-1972. There was no evidence nine months later
that power had actually been transmitted over that line.

Eighteen percent of the total electrical energy supply in 1971 was used
by the power stations or lost in transmission. Of the remaining net
supply, almost 70 percent was consumed in industry and construction;
agriculture received only 4 percent; and transport and communications
accounted for little more than 3 percent. Households were allotted about
16 percent of the net electrical supply, and the balance of 7 percent
was consumed in trade, public institutions, and street lighting. The
major industrial users of energy were metallurgical enterprises and the
producers of chemicals and rubber; each of these industrial branches
consumed one-fifth of the energy supply to industry.

Expansion of electric-generating capacity and energy output at rates
planned by the government has been hampered by a chronic lag in new
construction and by inadequate maintenance of existing facilities. The
lack of preventive maintenance and disregard of technical requirements
in the operation of equipment result in frequent breakdowns requiring
major repairs. Such repairs, particularly those involving boilers,
turbines, and transformers, pose difficult problems because of the
shortage of technically qualified repair personnel and ineffective
organization of repair work. Efficiency of operation is also adversely
affected by a high labor turnover and the difficulty of finding
qualified replacements.

The lag in the completion of new power stations, equipment breakdowns,
and insufficient water reserves for hydroelectric stations have caused
frequent power shortages, particularly at peak load hours. Elaborate
official measures have been introduced to regulate the consumption of
electricity and to eliminate waste, including a bonus system for saving
electricity. These measures have not proved sufficiently effective, and
some enterprises have been reported to earn bonuses by the simple
expedient of overstating their requirements in the formulation of the
annual economic plans. The State Inspectorate for Industrial Power and
Power Control, it was stated by officials, was not in a position to
solve the problem of economizing electric power without the active
cooperation of every enterprise, plant, and trade union. Additional
unspecified measures affecting industry were reported to have been taken
in 1973 to reduce peak power loads, and the population was advised to
use electricity more sparingly between 6:00 P.M. and 9:00 P.M.


In 1970 about 54 percent of the manufacturing industry's output was
based on industrial materials, and 46 percent was derived from
agricultural raw materials; the proportion of industrial materials in
manufacturing continued on its post-World War II upward trend in the
1960-70 period from a level of 24 percent in 1948 and 49 percent in
1960. This trend was sustained by the relatively rapid rise in the
production and imports of industrial materials compared to the slower
increase in agricultural output and imports. Because of the limitation
of domestic resources, further industrial expansion will necessitate
ever larger material imports.

Iron and Steel

The main deposits of iron ore are located at Kremikovtsi, northeast of
Sofia, and at Krumovo in the lower Tundzha valley. Other small deposits
of little or no commercial value are scattered in the Strandzha
mountains, in the western Stara Planina, and at several locations in the
Rodopi (or Rhodope Mountains). The ore in the Kremikovtsi deposit is of
low grade; it has a mineral content of about 33 percent and requires
beneficiation. Reserves at Krumovo were reported to be of better grade
but much smaller. Available evidence suggests that mining at this
deposit was discontinued after the mid-1960s. Its site is far removed
from the country's two iron and steel mills.

Reserves at Kremikovtsi were estimated a number of years ago to contain
from 200 million to 250 million tons of ore. An official
Russian-language survey of Bulgaria, published in 1969, cited a figure
of 317 million tons for total iron ore reserves but mentioned only the
Kremikovtsi deposit as one being mined. In a review of the country's
natural resources, published in a Bulgarian technical journal in
mid-1970, it was stated that known reserves of iron ore would last
another fifty years. At the average annual rate of iron ore output in
the years 1968 and 1969 the reported life span of the deposits indicates
a reserve of only 133 million tons as of 1970. Whatever the actual
reserves may be, domestic iron ore has had to be supplemented by imports
of about 1 million tons per year from the Soviet Union and Algeria to
meet the requirements of the metallurgical industry.

Reserves of steel-alloying minerals are reported to be available,
particularly manganese, chromium, and molybdenum. The quality of the
manganese ores, however, is low, and reserves of chromium are
insufficient for the needs of the economy. Output data are available
only for manganese ore. Production of this mineral declined by about 60
percent in the 1957-70 period, which suggests the depletion of known
reserves. The metal content of the manganese ore mined in 1970 amounted
to 10,300 tons. In that year the discovery of new manganese deposits in
the Obrocha area was reported, the eventual exploitation of which, it
was said, would not only provide for all domestic requirements but would
also make it possible to export manganese for an entire century.

Although small amounts of ferroalloys are also obtained as by-products
of copper, lead, and zinc smelting, imports must be relied upon to cover
substantial deficits. Imports of manganese ores and concentrates in 1969
and in 1970 were more than double the volume of domestic production, and
imports of chromium and chromite amounted to 3,400 tons in 1969. Nickel
and titanium were also imported.

Steel is produced at the integrated Kremikovtsi metallurgical combine
and at the smaller integrated Lenin Steel Works in Pernik. With Soviet
assistance the Kremikovtsi combine is being expanded to a planned annual
capacity of 2 million tons of steel and 2.2 million tons of rolled
products by the end of 1975. A third coking plant was put into operation
in the spring of 1971, and the production of coke is scheduled to reach
1.4 million tons in 1975, compared to an output of 837,000 tons in 1970.
The steel mill at Pernik is to be modernized, also with Soviet

Production of pig iron and steel increased about sevenfold in the
1960-70 period, reaching levels of 1.25 million tons and 1.8 million
tons, respectively. The same was true of rolled steel products, the
volume of which rose to 1.42 million tons. Nevertheless, Bulgaria
remained a net importer of iron and steel throughout the entire period.
In 1970 the import surplus amounted to 272,000 tons of pig iron and
96,000 tons of steel.

Nonferrous Metals

Reserves of nonferrous metals are reported to be more plentiful than
reserves of iron ore. Unofficial claims have been made that copper
reserves will meet requirements during the next fifty years despite the
planned rapid growth in output. Similarly, known reserves of lead and
zinc ores were said to be sufficient to supply the needs of available
smelters until 1990. A foreign observer, however, noted that plans for
large-scale expansion of nonferrous mining and smelting may be
frustrated by the deteriorating quality of the ores being mined and that
metal output may not rise much beyond the level attained in the late
1960s. In fact, mine output of lead and zinc in 1970 was not higher than
it had been in 1960, although the mine output of copper increased at an
annual rate of 7.1 percent from 1967 to 1971. In this context it is
noteworthy that data on nonferrous metals were omitted from the official
statistical yearbook published in 1972.

In 1972 the minister of heavy industry pointed out that the relatively
small planned increase in the output of the nonferrous metals industry
in the 1971-75 period--22.8 percent--was dictated by inadequate
supplies of raw materials. He stated that prospecting for new deposits
would be intensified and stressed the urgent need to increase the degree
of metal recovery from ores and the need to utilize fully all ore
components. Nevertheless, the minister assured his audience that the
requirements of the economy for copper, lead, and zinc in the 1971-75
period would be met from domestic production, except for 3 to 10 percent
of certain types of rolled metal. He called for the construction of
plants to extract the metal from the industry's tailings as a means for
partially eliminating the troublesome shortage.

Copper is mined south of Burgas; in the Sredna Gora mountains near the
town of Panagyurishte; and in the western Stara Planina mountains, south
of Vratsa. A deposit is also being developed at Chelopets, near Sofia.
The ore is concentrated locally and is smelted and refined in plants at
Eliseyna, Pirdop, and the Medet complex near Panagyurishte. Production
of refined copper from ores and reused scrap increased from 14,000 tons
in 1960 to 24,000 tons in 1965 and 41,000 tons in 1971. More than half
the copper output is processed into copper profiles, sheet, and wire at
the Dimiter Ganev plant in Sofia--the only plant for manufacturing
rolled products. Bulgaria has both imported and exported copper and
copper products.

Lead and zinc are obtained from mines near the towns of Madan and
Rudozem, in the eastern Rodopi, and in the western part of the Stara
Planina, at Eliseyna and Chiprovtsi. A new lead mine is under
development at Erma Reka, in the vicinity of Madan. The Rodopi mines
account for the major portion of the ore output. The ore is processed in
flotation plants near the sites of the mines and is refined at
Kurdzhali, Plovdiv, and Kurilo.

Production of refined lead and zinc rose rapidly in the first half of
the 1960s but leveled off in the second. Substantial amounts of these
metals have been exported, mostly to Western Europe. Exports, however,
have been declining both in volume and as a proportion of output. The
decline has been more pronounced in the case of lead, and lead exports
dropped from 65 percent of output in 1960 to 22 percent in 1970. The
volume of lead exports fell from 53,500 tons to 22,100 tons in the
1965-70 period. Zinc exports declined from highs of 78 percent of output
in 1965 and 58,100 tons in 1966 to 64 percent of output and 48,100 tons
in volume in 1970.

Bulgaria also possesses small reserves of gold, silver, and uranium.
Gold has been found near the town of Trun, not far from the border of
Yugoslavia. Silver and uranium deposits are located in the western Stara
Planina. The uranium ore is processed by the Rare Metals Combine near
Sofia. Gold and silver are also obtained as by-products in the smelting
of copper, lead, and zinc. Information on reserves and production of
these metals is not available. Aluminum and tin must be imported.

Other Raw Materials

There are reported to be adequate resources of nonmetallic minerals for
the production of cement and other building materials, glass, and
ceramics. Asbestos, salt, sulfur, and cement are produced in quantities
large enough to allow some exports. The quality of asbestos, however, is
low, and better grades must be imported for some uses. Exports of cement
declined from 715,000 tons in 1965 to 153,000 tons in 1970. Timber and
wood pulp from domestic sources are in short supply. Under an agreement
with the Soviet Union, Bulgaria has supplied 8,000 workers to the timber
industry of the Komi Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic for the
development of Siberian timber resources, in return for which the Soviet
Union has undertaken to export to Bulgaria about 900,000 cubic yards of
timber in 1973 and up to 2 million cubic yards per year after 1975.
Similar arrangements exist with regard to paper pulp, iron and steel,
natural gas, and other raw materials.

Domestic agriculture provides ample raw materials for the food
processing industry, but only a fraction of light industry's needs for
fibers and hides. In the 1968-70 period average annual imports of these
materials included cotton, 60,000 tons; wool, 2,900 tons; synthetic
fibers, 26,000 tons; and cattle hides, 7,700 tons. In addition to the
raw cotton, cotton textiles in the amount of 63,000 tons were imported

Because of the general shortage of domestic raw materials and the need
to conserve scarce foreign exchange, strong emphasis has been placed on
recycling waste materials. A decree on this subject was issued in 1960,
and a special Secondary Raw Materials State Economic Trust was created
in 1965. Another comprehensive decree was issued in November 1971
because, as stated in its preamble, the importance of collecting and
using waste materials had been underestimated, and the needs of the
economy were not being met. The new decree was intended to organize the
collection and processing of waste materials, including metals, paper,
rubber, textiles, and worn-out machinery and household equipment, on a
modern industrial basis under the direction of the waste materials
trust. Special provision was made in the decree concerning the handling
of unused machinery and surplus materials held by economic enterprises,
and sanctions were provided for failure to surrender or refusal to
purchase such surplus equipment and materials.


Industry's share of total annual investment rose steadily from 34.2
percent in 1960 to 47.3 percent in 1969 but declined in the next two
years to 43.9 percent. In absolute terms and in current prices, annual
investment in industry increased from 466.3 million leva in 1960 to 1.6
billion leva in 1970 and declined to 1.58 billion leva in 1971.

More than four-fifths of the industrial investment in the 1961-71 period
was devoted to the expansion of producer goods industries. The
proportion of investment funds allotted annually for this purpose was
slightly lower in the 1966-71 period than it had been in the preceding
five years; it ranged between 84.7 and 87.8 percent in the 1961-65
period and between 81.2 and 85.5 percent thereafter, except for 1970,
when it declined to an atypical low of 78.5 percent.

The bulk of industrial investment was channeled into heavy industry,
including fuel and energy production, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy,
chemicals, and machine building and metalworking. In the 1960-65 period
fuel and energy production were the major recipients of investment
funds; in subsequent years machine building and chemicals became the
primary targets of investment activity. Ferrous metallurgy was among the
five largest investment recipients through 1967, but nonferrous
metallurgy dropped from this group after 1964. Beginning in 1967
substantial investment funds were also devoted to food processing--the
major export industry and earner of foreign exchange.

Investment allotments to consumer goods industries ranged between 12.2
and 18.8 percent of industrial investment, except for an unusually high
allocation of 21.5 percent in 1970. In 1971, however, the investment
share of consumer industries dropped sharply to only 14.5 percent. The
predominance of investment in heavy industry reflected the leadership's
basic economic policy tenet that, with minor temporary exceptions, the
production of capital goods must develop more rapidly than the output of
consumer goods.

Construction of industrial plants has frequently fallen behind schedule,
causing losses of planned production and disruption of the five-year
plans. The situation became critical in the fall of 1972 because of the
failure to commission on time new facilities that were counted upon to
produce in 1973, among other products, 0.5 million tons of rolled steel;
0.4 million tons of mineral fertilizers; 30,000 tons of synthetic
fibers; 20,000 tons of cellulose; 11,000 tons of polyethylene; 0.3
million kilowatts of electric generating capacity; and a large volume of
machinery and equipment.

The main reasons for the construction lag were delays in the supply of
materials and a shortage of construction workers. In an effort to
expedite the completion of the most essential projects that were under
the direct supervision of the Council of Ministers because of their
national importance, the council created a special operational bureau
for the coordination and control of the construction activities
associated with these projects. At the same time 6,000 workers were
transferred to the priority projects from less important construction
jobs. These measures did little to solve the basic problems and merely
shifted the incidence of construction delays from one category of
projects to another.


The labor force in state and collective industry numbered 1.17 million
workers in 1971, of whom 542,000--or 46 percent--were women. The labor
force had increased by 54 percent compared with its size in 1960, and
the number of women workers more than doubled. About 88 percent of the
workers were employed in manufacturing; the remaining 12 percent were
engaged in mining and energy production. Production of capital goods
provided employment for 52.5 percent of the workers, and consumer goods
industries absorbed the remainder. One-fourth of the labor force was
concentrated in machine building and metalworking, and another
one-fourth was occupied in food processing and textile production (see
Organization and Structure, this ch.).

By far the largest proportion of women workers--26 percent of their
total number--were employed in the textiles and clothing branches of
industry, where they constituted 77 percent of total employment. Women
constituted the majority of workers in food processing--53 percent--and
accounted for 21 percent of the workers in machine building and
metalworking. Substantial numbers of women were also employed in
chemical and rubber plants, in logging and woodworking, and in the
production of leather shoes and furs. Four-fifths of all women working
in industry were in blue-collar jobs.

According to official statistics, 95 percent of the workers in 1971 were
directly engaged in production; the rest were employed in various
auxiliary occupations, such as maintenance and warehousing. Yet in
outlining means for raising industrial labor productivity in the fall of
1972, the minister of labor and social welfare included as an objective
a reduction in the proportion of auxiliary personnel to about 30 or 35
percent of the number of production workers in industry. About 17
percent of the production workers were in white-collar jobs; information
on the total number of white-collar workers has not been published.

The majority of industrial workers are paid on a piecework basis, but
the importance of piecework has been declining and has varied widely
among industrial branches. In 1971 almost 62 percent of the workers were
paid on this basis--a significantly smaller proportion than the 80
percent of workers remunerated in this manner in 1957. The proportion of
workers employed on the piecework basis in 1971 was highest in the
manufacture of clothing--89.5 percent--and lowest in the production of
coal and petroleum--25.2 percent. In construction, 84.6 percent of the
workers were paid on the piecework basis.

The average annual wage of all industrial workers in 1971 was 1,526
leva, compared to an average of 962 leva in 1960. On the whole, wages of
production workers were somewhat higher than wages of auxiliary
personnel, and the pay of white-collar production workers was higher
than that of blue-collar workers. The average wage of workers in
capital goods industries was 21 percent higher than the wage of workers
in consumer goods industries. The wage was highest in mining and lowest
in manufacturing. Within the state industrial branches, average annual
wages ranged from 2,009 leva in the production of coal and petroleum to
1,196 leva in the manufacture of clothing. Wages in collective industry
were generally lower than in state industry; the difference between the
average annual wages in these sectors was 12 percent.

Industrial productivity and growth have suffered from a shortage of
trained workers and technical personnel. The supply of skilled workers
in the fall of 1972 was reported to be only half the number needed to
fill available positions. Responsibility for this situation has been
placed, in part, on the lack of coordination between the industrial
ministries and the Ministry of National Education concerning technical
and vocational training programs. There has been a pronounced
disproportion in the numbers of trainees in the various technical
specialities, and technical training generally has not been up to the
level demanded by modern technology. Enterprises themselves have been
slow in undertaking to train their own workers. The scarcity of skilled
personnel has been accentuated by the export of trained workers to the
Soviet Union to help develop the exportation of mineral and timber
resources in return for raw material imports.

Poor labor discipline and excessive labor turnover have aggravated the
shortage of skilled workers. The turnover has been particularly high
among younger workers. Dissatisfaction with the job, or with living and
transportation conditions, and the search for better pay have been cited
as the main reasons for the turnover. Progressively severe measures have
been introduced to enforce stricter labor discipline, but their
effectiveness has been weakened by lax application. One of these
measures concerning movement of labor gave workers the right to quit
their jobs freely but stipulated that any worker seeking reemployment
had to do so through district labor bureaus set up for that purpose. The
bureaus would direct the job applicants to industries and positions
where labor was most urgently needed. Because of the shortage of skilled
labor, however, enterprise managers continued to hire new labor without
regard to the requirements of the law.

The shortage of adequately trained personnel adversely affects the
utilization of available capacity; it entails frequent breakdowns of
machinery and inhibits multishift operation of plants. More than 20
percent of worktime is usually lost through idling, and equipment is
used at no more than 50 to 60 percent of capacity. New plants completed
in 1967 had not reached full production in 1972. Productivity has also
been kept low by the lack of mechanization of auxiliary activities, such
as loading and unloading, inter- and intrashop transport, and
warehousing. In 1972 the minister of labor and social welfare stated
that labor productivity in Bulgarian metallurgy was only half as high
as in some of the advanced industrial states.

The presence of unemployment has never been officially admitted, but a
certain degree of unemployment and underemployment, nevertheless, exists
in several rural areas of the country. Recognition of this fact was
evident in the decision of the BKP Central Committee plenum, published
in March 1970, on the territorial redistribution of production forces
(relocation of industry) and in subsequent economic studies concerning
this subject.


Gross industrial output amounted to about 13.9 billion leva in 1970 and
reached 15 billion leva in 1971. According to official data, industrial
output more than tripled in the 1960-71 period. The high average annual
growth rate of 11.1 percent was accounted for, in part, by the low
initial level of industrial development, as a result of which relatively
small absolute increases in output were equivalent to high percentage
rates of growth. The contribution of industry to national income (net
material product) rose from 46 percent in 1960 to 50 percent in 1969 but
declined to 49 percent in 1970.

The most rapid growth occurred in basic industries that were given
priority in the allocation of investment and labor. Production of the
iron and steel industry rose almost ninefold, and the output of fuels,
chemicals, and rubber increased more than sixfold. The output of machine
building and metalworking industries increased 5-½ times, and the
production of electric power, building materials, and cellulose and
paper rose about fourfold. Preferential development of basic industries
continued through 1972.

The lowest growth rates among basic industries were attained by the
timber and woodworking industry and nonferrous metallurgy. Some foreign
observers have wondered when the available nonferrous ore reserves have
not been exploited more intensively. As for timber production, its
volume has been restricted by the limitation of forest resources.
Production by consumer goods industries generally increased by from 2.1
to 2.7 times, except for glass and porcelain wares, the output of which
rose almost fivefold.

By far the most important industries in terms of output value in 1970
were food processing, and machine building and metalworking; these
industries accounted for 25.4 and 20.2 percent of total output,
respectively. Next in importance, with 9.1 percent and 7.5 percent of
the total were the textile and the chemical and rubber industries. The
output of the clothing industry--4.9 percent of total output--surpassed
the production of fuels. The contributions of other industries to the
total industrial output ranged from 0.9 to 3.7 percent. The structure of
industrial output in value terms reflects, in part, the system of prices
used in valuing the output.

Although the country's industrial development has had a history of only
two decades, industry produces a wide variety of industrial and consumer
products, including machine tools, ships, computers, automatic telephone
exchanges, and television sets (see table 20). Bulgaria was also
reported to possess the largest plant in Europe, and second largest in
the world, for the production of electric forklifts and similar
industrial vehicles. The quality of many products, however, though
improving, has not measured up to average world standards. In 1972 the
chairman of the Administration for Quality Standardization, and
Metrology stated that his organization was confronted with a difficult
long-term task of developing an effective quality control system and of
catching up and keeping pace with the constantly rising world quality
standards. In his view, attainment of these goals required a fundamental
improvement of domestic quality standards, effective organizational and
technical measures, well-conceived incentives, and an enormous amount of
indoctrination of the personnel involved in production. The chairman was
confident, nevertheless, that the country's industry would eventually
outstrip the qualitative standards of developed industrial nations in
the same way that it had succeeded in outstripping these nations'
industries with regard to quantitative growth.

_Table 20. Output of Selected Industrial Products in Bulgaria, Selected
Years, 1960-71_

 Product            |       Unit     | 1960  | 1965  | 1968  | 1970  | 1971
 Electric energy    |million         |       |       |       |       |
                    |  kilowatt hours| 4,657 |10,244 |15,451 |19,513 |21,016
 Coal (cleaned)[1]  |thousand        |       |       |       |       |
                    |  metric tons   |10,630 |10,116 | 9,930 | 7,280 | 6,450
 Lignite            |       do       | 5,356 |14,926 |20,967 |21,971 |20,558
 Coke               |       do       |    20 |   733 |   817 |   837 | 1,091
 Crude oil          |       do       |   200 |   229 |   475 |   334 |   305
 Natural gas        | million        |       |       |       |       |
                    |  cubic yards   |   ... |    94 |   662 |   619 |   428
 Iron ore[2]        |thousand        |       |       |       |       |
                    |  metric tons   |   188 |   585 |   870 |   792 |   993
 Manganese ore[2]   |       do       |     7 |    13 |    12 |    10 |    12
 Pig iron           |       do       |   136 |   547 | 1,064 | 1,195 | 1,329
 Crude steel        |       do       |   253 |   588 | 1,461 | 1,800 | 1,947
 Rolled steel       |       do       |   193 |   431 | 1,028 | 1,420 | 1,752
 Steel tubes        |       do       |    11 |    10 |    19 |   114 |   136
 Copper ore[2]      |       do       |    11 |    30 |    37 |    42 |  n.a.
 Lead-zinc ore[2]   |       do       |   173 |   180 |   168 |   173 |  n.a.
 Electrolytic copper|       do       |    14 |    24 |    37 |    38 |  n.a.
 Lead               |       do       |    40 |    93 |    93 |    97 |  n.a.
 Zinc               |       do       |    17 |    66 |    75 |    76 |  n.a.
 Cement             |       do       | 1,568 | 2,681 | 3,512 | 3,668 | 3,880
 Timber             |thousand        |       |       |       |       |
                    |  cubic yards   | 5,046 | 5,680 | 5,140 | 5,166 | 4,923
 Paper              |thousand        |       |       |       |       |
                    |  metric tons   |    54 |    85 |   187 |   200 |   215
 Nitrogen           |                |       |       |       |       |
   fertilizers[3]   |       do       |    84 |   246 |   276 |   287 |   306
 Urea[3]            |       do       |     2 |    15 |   228 |   315 |   256
 Superphosphate[4]  |       do       |    41 |    94 |   136 |   148 |   146
 Pesticides[5]      |       do       |     2 |     6 |    12 |    15 |    16
 Automobile tires   |       do       |   172 |   327 |   333 |   546 |   730
 Internal combustion|thousand        |       |       |       |       |
   engines          |  horsepower    |   155 |   179 |   280 |   229 |   250
 Metalcutting       |thousand units  |       |       |       |       |
   machine tools    |                | 3,145 | 8,063 |11,160 |13,945 |14,636
 Presses            |       do       |   203 |   609 |   944 |   977 |   763
 Textile looms      |       do       |   505 |   555 | 1,088 |   676 |   437
 Tractors           |       do       |   ... | 2,800 | 2,961 | 3,493 | 4,668
 Freight cars       |       do       | 2,007 | 1,583 | 1,550 | 1,991 | 2,016
 Electric forklift  |       do       | 3,104 |16,562 |22,673 |29,641 |30,202
 Telephones         |       do       |    80 |    57 |   245 |   349 |   416
 Ships              |       do       |    12 |    11 |    26 |    27 |  n.a.
 Radio sets         |       do       |   157 |   130 |   139 |   145 |   148
 Television sets    |       do       |[6]... |    74 |   158 |   193 |   158
 Refrigerators      |                |       |       |       |       |
   (domestic)       |       do       |     3 |    41 |    91 |   134 |   140
 Electric washing   |                |       |       |       |       |
   machines         |                |       |       |       |       |
   (domestic)|      |       do       |    38 |    89 |   184 |    56 |    57
 Cotton textiles    |million yards   |   239 |   355 |   349 |   349 |   355
 Woolen textiles    |       do       |    20 |    31 |    25 |    29 |    31
 Footwear[7]        |million pairs   | 7,534 |10,062 |15,671 |13,627 |16,095
   Leather shoes    |       do       |(4,251)|(5,154)|(5,781)|(4,105)|(4,694)
 Rubber footwear    |       do       |11,239 |12,683 |13,485 |12,805 |13,683
 n.a.--not available.
 1: Anthracite, bituminous, and brown coal.
 2: Metal content.
 3: Nitrogen content.
 4: P_{2}O_{5} content
 5: Active ingredients.
 6: Fewer than 400 units.
 7: Excluding house slippers and rubber footwear.




To maintain order and to retain control of the population, party and
governmental authorities rely on a number of police and security
organizations that are able to exert physical force and, also, upon a
group of large social organizations that are able to apply social
pressures. When individuals, in spite of the efforts of the law
enforcement agencies and the social organizations, engage in antisocial
or criminal behavior, the courts are charged with handing down
appropriate sentences, and the penal institutions are concerned with
rehabilitating the individuals for eventual return to society as
cooperative and productive members.

People's Militia units throughout the country are the local police
forces that enforce the laws, combat crime, and monitor the population.
They are assisted in local law enforcement by part-time voluntary
paramilitary auxiliaries and, in serious situations, by a small,
centrally organized, full-time internal security force that can act as a
light infantry unit and move quickly to any part of the country. State
security police, evolved from the secret police of the 1940s and 1950s
but much reduced in size, deal with crimes that are national in scope or
that pose a threat to the society or its institutions. Authorities
credit the security police with having almost eliminated the possibility
of large-scale subversive activities. The militia, its volunteer
auxiliaries, and the security units are organized within the Ministry of
Internal Affairs.

Border and construction troop organizations are administered separately.
The Border Troops, charged with defense of the country's boundaries and
with control of a border zone around the country's periphery, are a part
of the Bulgarian People's Army and are under the Ministry of National
Defense. The Construction Troops are labor forces, but the bulk of their
personnel comes from the annual military draft, and they are organized
into regular military units and are subject to military regulations and

The rights of the individual citizen are defended in the 1971
Constitution and in the Criminal Code of 1968, which was not altered by
the constitution. The latter states that a crime can only be an act so
identified in the code and for which a punishment is prescribed. These
principles can and have been abused--the state is set above the
individual, and the judicial machinery is within an agency of the
executive branch of the government--but those who exercise the machinery
have become increasingly responsive to its guiding statutes. The limits
on punishments that are set down in the code allow somewhat greater
sentences to be handed down upon those committing crimes against the
state or state property than upon individuals or private property.


State and Internal Security Forces

During the time of readjustment after Joseph Stalin's death in 1953,
Bulgaria's police state period gradually came to a close. In the postwar
period until then, the country had had police machinery modeled on that
of Stalinist Soviet Union, with state security troops (secret police)
and garrisoned interior troops equipped like mobile army infantry units.
The state security troops, the garrisoned interior troops, and the
regular police forces are estimated to have totaled about 200,000 men.

Although state and internal security organs have been shifted among
ministries and renamed, and there has been an occasional move to abolish
them, they continue to exist in Bulgaria. Although the organizational
form is probably much the same as before, that is, an internal security
force and a state security police, the security apparatus has only a
fraction of its former personnel and has been shorn of its more
arbitrary powers. According to some observers, Bulgaria has emerged from
a police state, wherein security forces held arbitrary powers of arrest
that instilled fear in the people, to a police bureaucracy in which the
militia meddles in peoples' lives to the point of public frustration.
People no longer have reason to fear the tyranny of a secret police, but
they have developed a strong resentment of the petty militia regulations
that affect their daily lives.

State security functions--those that deal with espionage, treason, and
the group of so-called political crimes aimed at undermining or
upsetting the system--have been performed by a separate secret police
organization that was typical in communist systems, particularly during
the Stalinist period. An overriding preoccupation with state security
has not been as prevalent in Bulgaria as in many communist countries,
because the communist government had established itself firmly in
control of the country in a relatively short time. Nonetheless, a
sizable secret police force existed for many years and, after a reign of
terror lasting until 1948, the secret police contributed to a general
atmosphere of repression that lasted until the mid-1950s. After that
time most police functions were assumed by the People's Militia, and the
secret police faded into the background, greatly reduced in size and
importance but still functioning within one of the government

After the unsuccessful coup d'etat of April 1965, there was a resurgence
of secret police activity with the creation of the new Committee of
State Security. As the political situation stabilized in the late 1960s,
the Committee of State Security was reabsorbed into the Ministry of
Internal Affairs, where the remaining units of state security police
continue to operate. They are evidently considered necessary in order to
take care of relations with foreigners, to collect some military
intelligence at the governmental level, and to monitor any potential
espionage or criminal activities that might pose a threat to the state.
The day-to-day role of the small remnant of the internal security force
is unknown. This elite, militarized unit, however, is probably held as a
bulwark against any large-scale, organized dissension.

The People's Militia

The People's Militia (local police) deals with crime and maintains
routine day-to-day contacts with the people. The militia operates under
the control of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and has intermediate
administrative offices at the level of the _okrug_ (district) and local
police stations at the _rayon_ (municipal) or _obshtina_ (urban borough
or village commune) level. Although the primary control descends from
the Ministry of Internal Affairs, all militia organizations have a
degree of responsibility to the people's councils at their levels.

Local militia forces ordinarily work only in the areas under the
jurisdiction of their people's councils. In urgent circumstances they
may be called upon the Ministry of Internal Affairs to assist the
militia in neighboring areas, and they may even cross _okrug_ lines. To
operate outside their own areas on their own volition they must have the
permission of an agency in the ministry.

The police are charged with maintaining order, enforcing the laws,
protecting personal and public property, and regulating traffic. They
assist governmental and party agencies in the execution of their various
resolutions, orders, and instructions. They monitor the rules of
residence and the collection of taxes. In the event of natural disasters
or major accidents they are equipped to rescue, to give first aid, and
to transport victims to medical facilities. They supervise observance of
quarantine measures imposed by health authorities. They monitor drinking
establishments to ascertain that alcoholic beverages are not served to
alcoholics, obviously drunken persons, juveniles, and drivers of motor
vehicles. They are instructed to combat rowdy and irresponsible
behavior--hooliganism, begging, and vagrancy--and other antisocial
manifestations. They see that unsupervised and stray children are
provided for.

Many militia functions are peripheral to the primary police duties of
law enforcement and criminal investigation. Such functions include
social controls having diverse objectives ranging from gun control to
keeping undesirables off Sofia streets during visits of foreign
dignitaries. The police have unusual powers in dealing with beggars,
vagabonds, and others in the category that they classify as socially
dangerous. Some of the controls are directed at preventing crime; others
appear intended to reduce the possibility of incidents on occasions when
the presence of such persons could be embarrassing. The regulation
allows the police to prohibit individuals from visiting specified towns
or areas or even from leaving their residences for a twenty-four-hour
period. Some may be prohibited from meeting certain other specified
persons or from frequenting certain parts of towns. Such restrictions
can be for definite or for indefinite periods of time. Persons may be
denied the use of common carriers or the privilege of attending sports
events or of visiting certain public institutions. Some, prostitutes for
example, may be denied the right to become telephone subscribers. If
they think it advisable, the police may require some persons whom they
are monitoring to report to them on a daily or other regular basis.

Individually held weapons, ammunition, and explosives are accounted for
and are registered with the militia. Certain forestry and farm
personnel, hunters, sportsmen, and youth organizations are authorized to
retain controlled weapons. Explosives are permitted when they are
required in, for example, construction projects. By law there is no
production of cold weapons--brass knuckles, daggers, scimitars, and the
like--in the country.

The police collect or maintain a major share of local records for the
_obshtina_ people's councils. These records deal with vital statistics,
citizenship, identification, travel visas, registration of residences,
licenses and permits, and employment data. A person acquires Bulgarian
citizenship in the circumstances that are accepted in most other
countries--by ancestry, place of birth, or naturalization--but there may
be somewhat more than the usual number of situations in which he may
lose it. Persons are deprived of citizenship if they leave the country
unlawfully, leave lawfully but fail to return within a reasonable time
after their visas expire, go abroad to avoid military service, acquire
foreign citizenship in a manner not specified in Bulgarian law, or if
they conduct themselves abroad in ways that are contrary to Bulgaria's
interests or that are unworthy of a Bulgarian citizen. Persons not
ethnically Bulgarian are released from their citizenship upon
emigration, although they are not released unless all of their
obligations in the country are settled.

Laws governing the stay of foreigners in the country also are
administered and enforced by the militia. According to the revised law
that took effect in 1972, the whereabouts of a foreigner is subject to
the same rules that apply to Bulgarian citizens. His hotel or other
local address, therefore, must be reported to the militia within
twenty-four hours of his arrival at each stop. Tourists are usually
unaware that such detailed records of their stays are being maintained,
because hotel personnel ordinarily take care of the reporting. If the
visitor stays at the home of a Bulgarian, that citizen must report his
presence on the same twenty-four-hour basis.

A foreign visitor may travel freely otherwise, except that he may not go
to certain restricted areas or to the border zone at any place other
than at one of the designated crossing points. He must leave the country
when the time specified in his visa has expired unless he has a criminal
charge against him and is awaiting trial, has been sentenced and is
serving a term in prison or at a correctional labor camp, or has the
obligation to provide support for a person in the country.

Border Troops

The Border Troops are part of the Bulgarian People's Army and are
organized within the Ministry of National Defense. Border units resemble
regular military forces more than they do the police. They are
considered militarized security units, and some 15,000 men serve in

Their mission is described as safeguarding the country's frontiers
against penetration or illegal crossing. Because they are a part of the
regular armed forces, it is presumed that in time of war they would work
in coordination with those forces. If the enemy were to penetrate into
Bulgaria, the Border Troops would be expected to control the area
immediately behind the ground forces. If Bulgarian armies were driving
the enemy beyond the borders, they would probably remain at the old
border or establish a new one if the leadership expected to retain any
newly occupied territory.

The most strictly defended borders are those shared with Greece, Turkey,
and Yugoslavia, but the border with Romania is also defended. The Border
Troops operate a number of patrol boats, both on the Danube River, where
it forms the border with Romania, and along the Black Sea coast. The
troops also control the movement of people into and within a border
zone, which is a strip approximately eight miles wide in from the
border. Smuggling, however, even large-scale smuggling, is the concern
of the Ministry of Internal Affairs customs police and not of the Border

Construction Troops

A Bulgarian institution that is unique among the Eastern European
communist countries is the organization known as the Construction
Troops. Thousands of young men who are not called for service in the
regular armed forces are drafted into the Construction Troops, from
which the government derives productive labor at the same time that it
instills military discipline and political indoctrination into a large
segment of the young male population. Similar organizations have been
maintained since the establishment of the original Labor Service in the
early 1920s, which was a means of circumventing the World War I peace
terms that prohibited large conscript military forces. Obligatory
military service was restored during the 1930s and, as part of the
change, the Labor Service was militarized. It was made a part of the
army and remained so during World War II, when it became known as the
Labor Army.

Two types of compulsory labor forces emerged after the communist seizure
of power in 1944. The Labor Army continued in existence and, following
the example of the Soviet Union under Stalin and of the other states in
the Soviet post-World War II orbit, Bulgaria also placed those of its
citizens considered politically dangerous in forced labor camps. These
were the prison colonies populated by victims of the secret police,
persons who might or might not have had proper trials but who were
considered to be enemies of the party or the government. Some camps were
temporarily located at sites where large numbers of manual laborers were
needed, but more often camps were at permanent locations. Buildings at
all camps were flimsy, and facilities were minimal. In the early period,
while the Communists were establishing their control over the country,
about 1 percent of the population was imprisoned at hard labor in such
camps at any given time.

In the early 1970s the Construction Troops organization that had evolved
from the Labor Army was military in form and character. Its men were
provided from the annual draft and were subject to military regulations
and discipline. Its officers, who had regular military ranks, were
provided from the armed forces or had been prepared for that specific
assignment in the Construction Troops own school. The headquarters of
the organization, however, was a main administration responsible
directly to the Council of Ministers; it was not within either the
Ministry of National Defense or the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Furthermore, the work of the organization was heavy construction and, at
least in peacetime, the greatest portion of it was unrelated to any
requirement of the armed forces. The Construction Troops worked on
various construction projects on a five-day-week basis but assumed a
military routine on Saturdays, which were devoted to platoon and company
drill and to political education classes.

Until the mid-1960s the troops were used mainly in roadbuilding and land
reclamation. By the early 1970s more than one-half of their work was in
factory, housing, water supply, and other such construction. Its 1972
projects included building a tire manufacturing plant and a resort hotel
complex and harnessing a river for hydroelectric power, recreation, and
supplies of irrigation water and city water. One of the organization's
spokesmen claimed that there was not a large-scale project underway
anywhere in the country where its troops were not at work.

The men acquired in the annual draft serve two years, which satisfies
their military service obligation. Almost all of the conscripts in the
Construction Troops work as unskilled laborers. During or at the end of
their two-year tours, those who enjoy or show a special aptitude for
construction work may volunteer for extended duty tours and serve as
noncommissioned officers. Some of those who are accepted are sent to
technical schools for further education.

Career officers who are educated in the Construction Troops service
academy are expected to serve for ten years after graduation. This
school, the full title of which is the General Blagony Ivanov People's
Military School for Officers in the Construction Troops, offers a
so-called semihigher course of instruction. Applicants to it must have
completed their secondary education, and its three-year course can be
used for undergraduate transfer credit toward a university-level degree
elsewhere. Many graduates continue their education at the Higher
Institute of Construction and Engineering in Sofia, from which they may
receive a further career specialization and bachelor's or advanced


Authorities responsible for the civil defense program justify their
efforts by arguing that modern warfare has virtually eliminated the
difference in importance between the armed forces at the front and their
support in the rear areas. They stress that it is essential to provide
for continued production and delivery of supplies, primarily foodstuffs,
that are needed for survival. Such arguments have been effective in
Bulgaria, and civil defense training is compulsory for all citizens from
twelve to sixty years of age.

The civil defense organization is staffed at all administrative levels
in the country. It is within the Ministry of National Defense in the
national government and has committees under the people's councils in
each _okrug_ and _rayon_ or _obshtina_. Committees or working teams are
also set up in manufacturing plants, enterprises, schools, and
collectives. Indicative of the importance placed upon civil defense
activities, its national chief in the early 1970s was one of the deputy
ministers of national defense, a level shared with only the topmost
officers of the military establishment.

Civil defense tasks are divided into three categories. The first
includes provision of shelters and defense for the population, providing
warning of attack, and training of the people for implementation of
dispersal and evacuation plans and for defense and salvage work. The
second includes implementation of measures intended to maintain
production and to keep transportation, communications media, and power
supplies in operation. The third includes industrial salvage,
restoration of production, fire fighting, decontamination, and provision
of medical assistance.

Specific work assignments vary widely in differing locations and
enterprises. For example, industrial teams train to maintain or restore
production. Agricultural teams work to save crops, farm animals, or to
protect feed and watering spots. People's councils at all levels, party
and youth groups, and the mass organizations are instructed to assist in
specific ways and to volunteer in other ways as opportunities arise.

Enthusiasm for civil defense activities varies widely. One town with a
population of just over 1,000, for example, built or modified areas to
shelter 6,000 people. In more typical situations tasks such as those of
civil defense that have little to contribute to the needs of the moment
receive much lower priority.


The Communist Party and Social Organizations

The most important element in establishing control of the country at the
inception of the post-World War II communist government was the
Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP--see Glossary), with the iron discipline
it held over its carefully chosen members and its single-minded planning
and direction. After gaining control, the party attempted to retain its
exclusive character, insofar as possible recruiting as members only
those whose loyalty was unquestioned and who could organize and lead.

To maintain control based on a broader segment of the population, the
party then encouraged the development of a number of social and
special-interest organizations, designed to appeal to the interests of
as many of the people as possible and to enlist them in activities that
shape public opinion, regulate the conduct of the people, and support
the party and its policies. These organizations ranged in size from the
extremely large Fatherland Front and the trade unions to the painters,
writers, and composers unions, whose memberships numbered between 100
and 800 (see ch. 9).

With the exceptions of the party, the Fatherland Front, and the small
artists unions, these groups are called mass organizations. The small
unions do not qualify because they are far from massive in size; the
party and the front have the requisite membership, but they are set
apart from the others. The Fatherland Front attempts to gather members
from all other socially or politically active organizations in the
country, combining as many as possible of them within it. Its membership
includes nearly one-half of the country's population. The party,
although ostensibly a member organization of the Fatherland Front, is
set above all other organizations. It controls and directs the others
and requires them to support it in general and specific ways (see ch.

The largest of the mass organizations are, in descending order, the
trade unions, the Bulgarian Red Cross, the Dimitrov Communist Youth
Union (Dimitrovski Komunisticheski Mladezhki Suyuz--commonly referred to
as the Komsomol), the Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sports,
and the Bulgarian Union of Tourists. Their memberships range from about
1 million to approximately 2.5 million. The Bulgarian Agrarian Union,
the Bulgarian Hunting and Fishing Union, the Teachers Union, and the
Scientific and Technical Union are much smaller, having memberships
between 100,000 and 200,000. The Fatherland Front attracts nearly 4
million people; the party has 700,000 members.

Youth Programs

The first sizable leftist youth organization in the country, then called
the Union of Working Youth, was formed in 1926, and by 1940 it had a
membership of approximately 15,000. It and the party furnished most of
the partisan fighters that harassed the Germans and the pro-German
government of the country during World War II. Both the party and the
youth group grew stronger during the war, largely because the partisan
cause was more popular than that of the government.

The youth organization became the Dimitrov Communist Youth Union after
the war. The new name did not come about from a major reorganization or
reorientation of the group; transition to its postwar status was smooth,
but it saw fit to honor Georgi Dimitrov, who had by then become the most
powerful and famous of the party's leaders. Even after its renaming in
Dimitrov's honor, the organization has usually been referred to, in
official government communications as well as in conversation, as the
Komsomol, which is the name of the Soviet Union's youth organization.

The Komsomol became the organization through which the party reached the
nation's youth. Its responsibilities were expanded, and its membership
grew rapidly. In the ideal situation the entire youth segment of the
population of eligible age, both male and female, would be members of
the organization. In 1970 its 1.16 million members did include about 77
percent of those between fourteen and twenty-four years of age. Some of
the organization's leaders, instructors, and exceptionally active
members stay in the group beyond the upper age limit of twenty-four, but
their number is too small to alter the membership statistics
significantly. Male members outnumbered female members by a large
margin; 88 percent of the eligible males were members, only 66 percent
of the females. The disparity in membership by sex reflects the fact
that more of the organization's activities--sports and premilitary
training, for example--appeal to or are oriented toward the future
needs of the males. Membership is either a prerequisite for admission to
higher educational institutions or makes admission much easier.

Statistics notwithstanding, party and other national leaders complain
that Komsomol membership is lower than it should be, but they have
greater concern about the number who are members merely for expediency
and who are apathetic toward the organization's activities. A low point
in the Komsomol's appeal was reached during the 1960s and, sensing an
urgent need to reattract the cooperation of the nation's youth, its
programs were given a major reevaluation and overhaul beginning in about

The youth problem in 1968 was probably less serious in Bulgaria than it
was in many Western countries and other communist countries, but it had
reached proportions that warranted action. Among symptoms cited by the
authorities was apathy toward education, work, and party ideology. Young
people in rural areas seemed anxious to move to the cities, where
idleness, crime, and so-called parasitic living were increasing.
Consumption of alcohol by young people was up markedly.

Many young people were described as silent nihilists, persons who were
characterized by unresponsiveness and vast indifference. No expression
of group youth protest, for example, was recorded between the inception
of the communist government and the late 1960s. When individual
complaints were solicited, however, they appeared to come out freely.
Some said that they would have cooperated but spoke of the anemic and
empty lives of the youth organizations where the dull, boring meetings
consisted largely of upbraiding sermons full of pious admonitions and
reprimands. Others assumed an offensive posture, indulging in
self-praise, pointing out shortcomings in party work, complaining about
the lack of individual freedom and the lack of opportunity for showing
initiative, and criticizing the older generation.

Consumption of alcoholic beverages is common enough in typical families
so that early exposure to it is considered natural, but its use by young
people became excessive enough to be considered a national problem in
the mid-1960s. According to a survey published in 1971, more than 50
percent of the students in Sofia secondary schools consumed alcohol
regularly. Percentages were considerably higher in provincial secondary
schools. Few of the youthful users had consumed it over a long enough
period to have become addicted, but more than one-half of the inebriated
persons brought to sobering-up facilities in Sofia hospitals and clinics
were young people.

Authorities blame advertising of alcoholic beverages, imitation of
Western fashions, disillusionment, and monotony in daily living for most
of the increase in youthful drinking. They also blame lax parental
control, but the surveys concluded that the influence of contemporary
social habits and the pressures of peer groups were forces more
powerful than those exerted by the family.

Measures have been undertaken to reduce the so-called parasitic element
that according to party and governmental spokesmen, is composed of those
who neither study nor work. As early as 1968 the minister of national
education was given six months to organize a nationwide program to cope
with the problem, and the Center for Amateur Scientific and Technical
Activities among Youth and Children was created to coordinate planning.
The Committee for Youth and Sports, the State Committee on Scientific
and Technical Progress (renamed the State Committee for Science,
Technical Progress, and Higher Education), the Komsomol, and the trade
unions were charged with contributing ideas and assistance. As a result
of the center's activities, the next year each _okrug_ was directed to
organize schools with three-month-long vocational training courses and
to canvass its area for young people who required the instruction.
Enterprises in the _okrug_ were directed to cooperate by indicating the
skills they most needed, by furnishing facilities and, finally, by
hiring those who completed the training.

As of 1972 the program had achieved spotty or inconclusive results. Most
spokesmen considered it as satisfactory as could have been expected.
They did not consider that it reflected badly on the effort when a few
groups reported that about 30 percent of the students who completed
their classes never reported to the jobs for which they had been
prepared and that others stayed at work for only a short time. Other
observers consider that the authorities are concerned over a problem
much of which does not exist or that is blown out of proportion to its
seriousness. For example, 85 percent of the offending group were girls
or young women. A few of them were undoubtedly ideological malcontents,
members of youth gangs, prostitutes, or criminals, but a large majority
considered themselves living inoffensively at home or, at the worst,
were working at small family enterprises. In rural areas they might have
been attending the family's private agricultural plot or the privately
owned livestock.



The country's most widely quoted authorities on crime view it as a
social phenomenon, that is, actions by people within society against the
interests of the society as a whole or against the principles directing
it. Combating crime, therefore, becomes a matter both of law enforcement
and of social edification and persuasion. Although they adhere to the
argument that in a developing communist society most of the crime is
related to holdover attitudes from the old society and to unavoidable
contacts with such societies still existing, they do not expect to
eradicate crime according to any existing timetable.

Petty crime is an irritant to the leadership, not so much for the damage
or lasting effects of the individual criminal acts, but because such
acts reflect an attitude on the part of the perpetrators indicating that
they hold the society, if not in ridicule or contempt, at least in less
than proper respect. Such attitudes prompted an official in the Ministry
of Internal Affairs to state, "Social democracy does not take a
conciliatory attitude toward petty criminals, or tolerate individuals
who disturb the public order or who are engaged in a parasitical life."
The actual amount of petty crime is less worrisome to the authorities
than the fact that it is increasing. Also disturbing are statistics
showing that most of those apprehended for it are in the
eighteen-to-thirty-year age-group.

Authorities have found themselves facing a problem in relation to petty
crime that is in no way unique to Bulgaria. Misuse of government
property, including theft and pilfering, has become rampant and is
considered forgivable by those who are guilty because "everybody does
it." The courts have become reluctant to hand down harsh sentences upon
people who consider that they have done no wrong and, at least in the
opinion of some government spokesmen, lenient court sentences have
helped foster a view that theft of public property is wrong only because
it is so described in certain of the laws.

The authorities also point out that statistics accumulated on such
thefts reported in 1970 are revealing in other respects. Almost 90
percent of those recorded fell into the category of petty crime, but
about one-half of them were carried out by overcoming locks or other
barriers protecting the property. Over one-half of the persons
apprehended for such thefts were repeaters. Analysis of other records
also indicated that in all but a very few cases the most serious crimes
were committed by individuals who had begun their criminal careers by

At the same time the courts were handing down sentences of the minimum
punishment for theft or even less than the prescribed minimum. More
often than not, the culprits were given suspended sentences. Of those
convicted of serious theft, less than one-half were sentenced to a
period of deprivation of freedom considered appropriate--that is, the
six months or more prescribed in the criminal code.

More serious are the crimes of violence, political crimes, and economic
crimes involving abuse of management positions or large amounts of
property. In the period since the mid-1950s crimes of violence have
increased; political and serious economic crimes have decreased.

Citizens convicted of political crimes no longer constitute the bulk of
the prison population, as they did during the early post-World War II
period. Active or aggressively vocal opposition to the regime is usually
called ideological subversion, diversion, or revisionism, and it is
described as activity or expression of thoughts related to the old
society and not in accord with the policies of the new. It is still
listed among the more serious crimes. Officials of the Ministry of
Internal Affairs blame both external influences and dissident internal
factions for having caused the Hungarian revolution in 1956 and the
Czechoslovak troubles in 1968. They say, however, that such events are
unlikely in Bulgaria because the ministry's state security agencies are
busy combating foreign intelligence efforts and the native elements that
would bore from within. The success of their efforts is credited with
having reduced political trials to only a few each year.

Economic crimes include those of dishonest or illegal operation of an
enterprise, the misuse of socialist property by its management or
workers, currency manipulations, and improper sale or transfer of
property. If inefficient management practices are serious enough to
result in less than optimum production, they are considered criminal,
but sufficient guilt has been difficult to prove, and those accused are
rarely, if ever, prosecuted. They are occasionally reprimanded,
transferred, or dismissed for bureaucratic practices. Management
personnel who are brought before the courts are usually tried for
corruption, using their positions for personal enrichment, or violation
of administrative or financial regulations.

Workers can be prosecuted for theft, waste, willful damage, or illegal
use of materials. Poor labor discipline, shirking on the job, or
nonmalicious negligence may result in individuals or entire work shifts
being brought before party groups or trade union committees. Action in
such cases usually involves counseling, social pressure, or the like.

Consumption of alcohol is not excessive when compared with that of other
European countries, but it has been increasing steadily and has been a
major contributor to crime and antisocial behavior. During the 1960s per
capita consumption of absolute alcohol increased by a factor of nearly
50 percent, from 4.01 quarts per person annually to 5.93 quarts.
Strenuous efforts on the part of the country's leadership to combat the
trend resulted in a decrease between 1968 and 1970, but the dip in
consumption was temporary. Per capita consumption in 1971 reached the
highest level yet recorded.

Police are involved in aspects of the programs combating the rise in
consumption of alcohol and alcoholism because alcohol has figured
increasingly in crime. Nearly 90 percent of those charged with rowdiness
or disturbing the peace were under its influence, as were increasing
percentages of those apprehended on rape, assault, and murder charges.

Many more men than women have alcohol problems, but the percentage of
women problem drinkers has risen more rapidly. Similarly, consumption by
youths is less than that of adults, but the numbers of youths becoming
habitual drinkers has been increasing. Many of the campaigns against
the use of alcohol are also directed against smoking and drugs, although
neither of these is considered a cause of serious concern. Smoking is
viewed as an evil that may be damaging to the user's health but that has
no serious social consequences. By 1973 drugs had not become a serious

The police monitor a large number of alcoholics whose conditions are
chronic but who can work. These persons get a period--ordinarily from
six months to a year--of compulsory treatment. This may include work
therapy in groups that are supervised to the degree necessary to prevent
the members from acquiring alcoholic beverages.

Increasing tourism has resulted in special problems in resort areas.
Spokesmen note that what they refer to as petit bourgeois attitudes
toward moneymaking have shown up, especially at the new Black Sea
coastal resorts. Local people inflate prices for tourists, accept and
encourage tips, and buy and sell merchandise illegally. On some
occasions the Bulgarians exploit their guests; at other times the
foreigners exploit the local population. Most seriously viewed of the
adverse tourist influences are the introduction of unacceptable ideology
and foreign encouragement of moral laxity which, according to the
authorities, pervades the area. Occasionally, however, there is an
example of an ideological diversity in a direction opposite that of lax
morality. One group of tourists was evicted from the country after
distributing what the police described as forty Bibles and 150 godly
booklets. Many tourists enter the country by automobile; traffic has
become congested, and violations of traffic laws are more numerous than
the police can cope with.

Criminal Code

The criminal code's preamble states that its purpose is to protect the
society and the state, the person and the rights of its citizens, the
economy, and the state's property and laws and to educate the citizens
in the rules of life in the socialist society. It defines crimes as
socially dangerous acts that are identified and declared by law as

In addition to the qualification that a crime must be set down as such
and declared punishable, the individual is further protected by the
stipulation that he may be punished only when he has been found guilty
of one of the listed crimes by a proper court. The punishment may be
only what is set down in the code and declared consistent with the
crime, and it may be imposed only by the court trying the case.

Adults, eighteen years of age or older, are criminally liable. Minors,
between the ages of fourteen and eighteen, are criminally liable if they
are judged capable of understanding the act and its significance and of
controlling their actions. Juveniles under fourteen years of age and
mentally deficient persons unable to understand the nature or
significance of a criminal act are not criminally liable.

Courts may hand down punishments of eleven different varieties. In
addition to fines, confiscation of property, and confinement, they may
sentence a guilty person to corrective labor or compulsory residence
without confinement. They may deprive an individual of the right to
occupy certain governmental or public positions, of the right to
practice certain professions or activities, of the right to residence in
a specified place, or of the right to earn decorations and awards. If he
is on duty with the military, a court may remove his rank. It may also
administer a public reprimand, alone or in combination with another type
of punishment. The sentence, however, should be within the upper and
lower limits in the amounts of fines or the time period for which the
other sentences may apply. Such limits are set down in the code.

The death penalty is never a mandatory sentence in peacetime. It is
optional for a considerable number of crimes, but it is handed down only
if the circumstances of a particular crime that is before the court are
exceptionally serious. When the maximum sentence is deprivation of
freedom and does not include a possible death sentence, the duration of
the sentence will be no longer than fifteen years. If the maximum
sentence can be death, twenty years deprivation of freedom may be
substituted for execution.

The stipulated sentences for crimes against the state tend to be more
severe than sentences for crimes against individuals. Theft of public
property is punishable by confinement of up to eight years, of private
property by no more than three years. Robbery involving public property
may result in a sentence of from three to ten years; if it involves
private property, the range is from three to eight years.

Although the individual's rights appear to have more than ample
safeguards, the situation may be less utopian than the wording of the
criminal code would suggest. For example, a 1973 amendment to the laws
pertaining to personal property states that "when a citizen is found to
possess more property than he could reasonably have acquired from his
regular income, he is considered to have acquired it illegally unless he
can prove to the contrary."


All of the formal judicial machinery of the country is within the
governmental organization under the Ministry of Justice, but special
courts--such as those of the military establishment--may be administered
separately and independently in their lower echelons. Although the
ministry serves as a part of the executive branch of the government, as
the interpreter of laws it can check upon their compatibility with the
constitution and other legislation. It might also function as a check
upon the powers of the legislature and upon the other ministries in the
executive branch. So far as is known, however, during the framing of
legislation its professional expertise is used only to provide technical
advice on the phrasing or structure of the text, to make sure that it
says in legal terms what the framers intend (see ch. 8).

The Ministry of Justice is responsive to the policies of the BKP,
although the minister appears to be chosen for his professional
qualifications. In the early 1970s the incumbent was one of the very few
important officials in the government who did not also have a
high-ranking party position, and only one of his immediate staff was a
member of the Central Committee of the BKP. None of the others is
believed to have had an equivalent party status.

Each people's council has a legal department or a group that provides it
with legal counsel. The chiefs of such departments at _obshtina_ level
are appointed and relieved by the _okrug_ people's council.

The size and legal qualifications of the legal staff vary with the
population of the _okrug_ or _obshtina_. The departments at _okrug_
level and those of the larger _obshtini_ have staffs that are relied
upon for competence in a wide range of criminal and administrative
procedures; the legal problems that are encountered by a remote rural
_obshtina_ are usually minor.

Legal departments are charged with monitoring the activities of the
people's councils and their committees to keep them consistent with the
law; with interpreting laws for the people's councils and for
inhabitants in the area of their jurisdiction; with strengthening the
contractual and financial disciplines of the people's councils and of
enterprises within their areas; and, as a by-product, with tightening
the safeguards on public property. Most of the daily work of the
departments consists of giving legal counsel to the people's councils
and of reviewing the councils' resolutions to ensure that they conform
to national laws and party policies.

Penal Institutions

The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the overall administration,
activities, and security of prisons. Outside guards are provided by the
Ministry of Internal Affairs. According to the regulations, the primary
responsibilities of prison administrators are to rehabilitate and to
reeducate inmates.

Reeducation includes political reorientation, general education, and
vocational training. All inmates are obligated to receive political
indoctrination, which is intended to reorient them toward becoming
cooperating members of the community. All of them are also required to
perform useful labor--for vocational training, prison income, and
benefit to the state. General education is compulsory for all prisoners
under forty years of age who have not completed eight years of primary
schooling. Vocational training, other than that derived from prison
labor, varies with facilities available.

The physical facilities for confinement are classified as prisons,
labor-correctional institutions, and correctional homes. The
correctional homes are for minors. According to the seriousness of the
offense and other factors, a prisoner may be confined in light, general,
strict, or enforced strict disciplinary regimes, one of which is
specified in his court sentence. The light regime is prescribed for
first offenders who are serving time for minor crimes. The enforced
strict regime is applied to recidivists, as an alternative to the death
sentence, or to those considered dangerous or willfully and excessively
uncooperative. The stricter regimes have less comfortable cells and
furnishings, more rigid discipline, fewer individual privileges, and
tighter security.

Prisoners are segregated by age, sex, and disciplinary regime. Women and
minors serve their sentences in separate prisons or correctional homes.
They are subject to much the same schedules as those in the prisons for
male adults, except that theirs have no enforced strict regime.
According to the law, those serving in different regimes are to be
confined separately, and repeaters are to be confined in separate
prisons from first offenders. Because there are a limited number of
prisons, it may be necessary to meet the law's requirement for
separation of prisoners by having different regimes in wards or
buildings of the same prison complex.

The law on prison labor states that prisoners have the right to
employment and political education and, at the same time, that they have
the obligation to do the work and receive the political indoctrination.
Inmates are given work assignments within seven days of their arrival at
a prison. Their wages are based on the norms for the same kind of work
done in enterprises throughout the country, and the same work and safety
regulations apply. Inmates receive 20 percent or more of their wages.
None except minors, incapacitated persons, or individuals who would work
but who are for some reason unemployed may receive money from the

Prisoners have the right to communicate with the prosecutors and courts
that investigated and tried their cases and to submit petitions to them
and to the Ministry of Justice. They may also see the chiefs of their
prisons, correctional homes, or labor-correctional institutions in
person. Other rights include time outdoors, exercise, visitors,
correspondence, food parcels, possession of personal effects, and
meetings and special correspondence with lawyers or other persons having
a status or authority relative to their sentencing or confinement. The
amount of time outdoors and correspondence and the numbers of visitors
and parcels allowed vary with the severity of the inmate's disciplinary

Correspondence and parcels are opened and inspected by prison officials.
Visits are monitored; conversation must be in Bulgarian unless the
administration has or can find a person who can understand the language
to be spoken. Inmates are not allowed to gamble, consume alcohol, use
narcotics, or sell or exchange personal property with other inmates.
Minors may not smoke. Prisoners and their property may be searched.

Prisoners are rewarded for good behavior and punished for bad. When his
pattern of conduct has become apparent over a period of time and it
appears appropriate, a prisoner may be moved into a lighter or more
severe disciplinary regime. If he has insufficient time remaining in his
sentence to be moved into a different regime, he may be given extra
privileges or be denied some of those to which he would ordinarily be
entitled. Commitment to solitary confinement is limited to two weeks at
any one time.

A number of sentences do not involve confinement. For a group of
offenses related to poor working discipline, an individual can be given
a corrective labor sentence. This usually involves harder work, somewhat
longer hours, and strict supervision on the job. The law also provides
for sentences that restrict the movement of an individual. In the most
severe of these, he may be banished to and be required to remain in one
certain area. In other situations he may be prohibited from visiting
specified areas or, in the least severe case, he may visit but not take
up residence in some specified locality.

Another such sentence involves "internment without deprivation of
liberty." This sentence restricts the individual to his place of
residence or to another specified place. The term is usually from one to
three years but, in the case of a repeated crime or in some other
special circumstance, it can be for as long as five years. The essence
of the penalty is that it consists of a restriction to the confines of
the area within which the offender lives and works. He may not hold a
job outside of the area, but he does not live in a special billet, nor
is he isolated from his neighbors and local society. The usual
objective, when this type of sentence is handed down, is to keep the
individual in his home environment, where he retains responsibility for
his share of the family support and is subject to its influences.



Bulgaria's regular military forces are organized within the Bulgarian
People's Army (Bulgarska Narodna Armiya) and are subordinate in the
governmental system to the Ministry of National Defense. Approximately
80 percent of the personnel are in the ground forces. Of the remaining
20 percent about three-quarters are in air and air defense units, and
about one-quarter are naval forces.

Although Bulgaria is possibly the most staunch and sympathetic of the
Soviet Union's allies in Eastern Europe, the country has no common
border with the Soviet Union nor with any other of its Warsaw Treaty
Organization (Warsaw Pact) allies except Romania. Because Romania has
succeeded in establishing a precedent prohibiting movement of any
foreign forces across its borders--even those of its closest
allies--Bulgaria is to a large degree isolated from pact affairs. Unable
to participate in more than token fashion in pact training, short of
skilled men to care for complex equipment, and possibly restricted from
an ability to become engaged during the early days of a combat
situation, Bulgaria has undoubtedly lost some Soviet matériel support.

Because of this the forces have only small armored units, although the
military establishment as a whole is large in relation to the population
of the country. The air forces have been supplied with a few modern
aircraft, but most of its airplanes are older than those of its pact
allies. Naval forces are small. Even though logistic support has been
meager, morale has been considered good, and the men and their leaders
have been considered ideologically reliable.


The communist leadership considers only a few incidents in the history
and tradition of the armed forces before World War II to be significant.
Even in respect to that war, the sole esteemed service is that of the
partisans in their resistance movement against their own government and
against German troops in the country. Driving out the Turks to gain
national independence in 1878 is remembered, as is the abortive uprising
of the leftists against the government in September 1923. Emphasis on
only these few historical events is encouraged, at least in part,
because in much of their other warfare Bulgaria's fighting men
frequently experienced frustration or defeat, sometimes violent and

As no indigenous armed forces had been allowed during the five centuries
of Ottoman occupation, there were no national forces at the time that
independence was gained. The uprising by the local population two years
earlier, in 1876, had been heroic, and it contributed to the weakening
of the Turkish grip on the land, but it was a failure at the time. It is
still, however, remembered. On ceremonial military occasions a roll call
of the local men killed in the uprising is read aloud at memorial rites.

Participation in four wars between 1912 and 1945 produced negative
results for the country. Bulgarian forces were engaged in a major share
of the fighting during the First Balkan War (1912) but, from its
standpoint, the country received an inadequate share of the spoils at
the peace table. A year later, when Turkey and its former allies joined
forces against Bulgaria in the Second Balkan War, Bulgaria was defeated.

Allied with Germany in both world wars, Bulgaria experienced defeat
twice more, although the situation was somewhat different in World War
II. The government and nationalists bent on acquiring territory they
considered theirs--primarily from Greece and Yugoslavia--succeeded in
joining in the war on Germany's side. The population was generally far
more sympathetic to the Soviet Union, however, and during the years of
German success in the early part of the war, Bulgarian forces did little
in support of their ally. In the latter days of the war, as the Germans
were being driven back, the Bulgarians joined the armies of the Soviet
Union. In fact, the 30,000 casualties they claim to have suffered in
campaigns against the Germans were far more than were suffered in their
support (see ch. 2).

After World War II, when the Communists had gained control of the
country, training and unit organization were modeled on those of the
Soviet army; heavy matériel items were supplied by the Soviet Union; and
all other equipment was made to adapt to Soviet specifications.
Personnel considered unreliable by the new regime were weeded out as
fast as possible, and rigorous measures were taken to ensure that
political orientation considered correct in the new atmosphere would be
adhered to by those who replaced them.

Equipment received first was surplus to the needs of the Soviet Union as
three-quarters or more of its massive wartime forces were demobilized.
Replacement matériel came more slowly, having to await the reequipping
of Soviet units, but by the late 1950s the most essential combat weapons
had been upgraded.


The armed forces are subordinate to the Ministry of National Defense,
which is one of the governmental ministries whose chief is a member of
the Council of Ministers. Administration and routine operational
controls are accomplished through government channels. The party,
however, has policy authority and ultimate operational control. Division
of authority is more apparent than real because nearly all high-ranking
governmental officials are also important party members. The minister of
national defense in 1973, Army General Dobri Dzhurov, was also a member
of the party's Central Committee. Almost without exception the higher
ranking military officers are party members, as are nearly 85 percent of
the officers of all ranks. The 15 percent who are not in the party are
junior officers who are still members of the Dimitrov Communist Youth
Union (Dimitrovski Komunisticheski Mladezhki Suyuz), commonly referred
to as the Komsomol. Only a small percentage of Komsomol members become
party members, but all except a very few of the young officers are
selected for party membership when it becomes apparent that they
probably will be successful career officers.

Political education is given priority equal to that of combat training
at all levels in the military organization. Party cells are formed in
all units where there are three or more party members; Komsomol cells
exist in virtually all units. In 1972, 65 percent of the armed forces
participated in scientific-technical competitions, symposia,
conferences, reviews, exhibitions, and other Komsomol activities.

One-man command has superseded the dual control system of the 1950s. In
those days a political officer was placed alongside the commanding
officer of all units to ensure the reliability of the forces. The
political officer was in many ways equal in authority to, and
independent of, the commander. The unit commander has allegedly
reassumed a position where he is described as the central figure,
leader, planner, and organizer; he is responsible for the discipline and
combat effectiveness of his unit and for fulfilling its party tasks. The
unit commander's deputy is still a political officer in most units and,
although there is no question of his subordinate position, the political
officer is still responsible in part directly to the Main Political
Administration of the army.


The several military forces under the Ministry of National Defense are
referred to collectively as the Bulgarian People's Army. The army
includes the ground, naval, and air and air defense forces and also the
Border Troops (see ch. 15). Tradition prevails in common usage and even
in official pronouncements, so that when the term _army_ is used alone,
it invariably refers to the ground forces or the directorates and
service organizations that are common to all of the forces. Naval and
air forces are frequently referred to as though they were separate
service branches.

Uniformed military personnel permeate the Ministry of National Defense.
All deputy ministers and, with the exception of the medical branch, all
major administrative chiefs are military officers. During the early
1970s the first deputy minister of national defense was also chairman of
the General Staff and chief of the ground forces. One of the deputies
was chief of the air and air defense forces, and all of the others were
generals. Following the pattern of other Warsaw Pact armed forces
organizations, the political, rear services (logistics), training,
armor, artillery, communications, engineering, and chemical sections are
directorates, administrations, or branches responsible to the minister
of national defense. This is the case in spite of the facts that such
branches as armor and artillery are concerned primarily with the ground
forces and that others--training, for example--must be tailored to
widely different kinds of operations of all the individual services.

Bulgaria is the point of contact between the Warsaw Pact nations and
Greece and Turkey, which are the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO) countries on the southern flank of the Soviet alliance. Although
little is known of Warsaw Pact war plans, it is probable that Bulgarian
forces would be charged with containing an attack from the south.
Statements of military leaders indicate that considerable thought has
been given to the problems they would face in a nuclear war. They
apparently anticipate involvement in the initial engagements but, if
nuclear weapons are used, they would employ holding tactics, staying
alert to exploit any opportunities that might develop. Their
pronouncements repeatedly affirm a determination to perform their pact
mission to the best of their capabilities.

Ground Forces

The ground forces have approximately 120,000 men. Their major units
consist of eight motorized rifle divisions and five tank brigades. There
are also various smaller special purpose units and support
organizations. The forces are distributed among three territorial
commands having headquarters at Sofia, Plovdiv, and Sliven. The division
is the basic organizational unit in Warsaw Pact combat forces and has
about 10,000 men. Five of Bulgaria's divisions are believed to be near
combat strength, but three probably have only skeletal strengths and
would be built up with the mobilization that would accompany a major
national emergency.

Each of the other Warsaw Pact armies has a number of tank divisions. The
fact that Bulgaria has only tank brigades, which are probably one-half
or less the strength of divisions, reflects the austerity of its armed
forces. Motorized rifle divisions have one tank regiment, one artillery
regiment, and three motorized rifle regiments. The tank brigades,
because they are smaller, probably have fewer tanks than the motorized
rifle divisions.

Most of the tanks used by the Bulgarian army are the early post-World
War II model T-54. There are some newer models in the inventory, and a
few of the older World War II T-34s are still being retained. Artillery
pieces include guns and gun-howitzers from 82 mm to 152 mm, antitank
weapons up to 100 mm, and small antiaircraft guns. Some units are
equipped with short-range missiles and unguided rockets. There are
enough personnel carriers or self-propelled weapons so that all men in a
unit can be transported simultaneously.

Air and Air Defense Forces

The air and air defense forces have approximately 20,000 men, 250 combat
aircraft, an assortment of antiaircraft guns, a few surface-to-air
missiles, and a modest quantity of air defense radar and communications
equipment. Combat aircraft are organized in squadrons, usually with
twelve airplanes each. In 1973 there were six fighter-bomber, twelve
fighter-interceptor, and three reconnaissance squadrons.

The fighter-bomber squadrons use the MiG-17, an aircraft that is
obsolescent but that performs well in a ground support role. About
one-half of the fighter-interceptors are also MiG-17s, but three of the
interceptor squadrons have the newer MiG-21. The only bomber aircraft in
the air forces is the near-obsolete Il-28. The Il-28 squadron has a
reconnaissance role. A few old cargo or passenger planes provide a
minimal transport capability, but there are about forty helicopters that
can perform shorter range personnel and transport functions.

Air defense forces are positioned to provide protection for the
country's periphery as well as for a few cities and air installations.
Ground and naval forces have antiaircraft weapons to defend their own
units. Early warning radars are located mainly along southern and
western borders, and their communications lines are presumably linked
with the Warsaw Pact air defense warning network.

Naval Forces

Naval forces, with only about 7,000 men, constitute less than 5 percent
of the armed forces' personnel strength. They man a variety of vessels,
however, including escort ships, patrol boats, torpedo boats, two
submarines, and miscellaneous supply and service vessels. They also
include a contingent of naval infantry, or marines. Some of the smaller
craft make up a Danube River flotilla. Other than the torpedo- and
missile-carrying patrol boats, the major offensive strength consists of
the submarines, which are Soviet-built W-class medium boats, and about
twenty landing craft. All of the larger vessels built since World War II
have been Soviet built or designed.

Although the naval mission includes tasks confined to the portion of the
Black Sea near Bulgaria's coastline, a few fleet units have joined the
Soviet fleet for maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea, and the naval cadet
training ship sails any of the high seas. For example, it visited Cuba
on its 1972 summer cruise.


Bulgaria joined the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary,
Romania, and Albania in bilateral treaties of friendship, cooperation,
and mutual assistance during the early post-World War II period and
added another with the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) a few
years later. This group became the tighter and more formal Warsaw Pact
military alliance in 1955. Albania dissociated itself from the pact in
the early 1960s, and its treaties with Bulgaria and the other members
have not been renewed since then. Bulgaria's treaties with the remainder
of the original allies have been renewed regularly and are the cause for
official observances each year on their anniversary dates.

Although Bulgaria may be the most loyal and reliable of the Soviet
Union's allies, military cooperation between the two countries is
limited by their geographical separation. Even if Romania were to permit
Bulgaria's forces to cross its territory in order to participate in
Warsaw Pact training, it is probable that Bulgaria's role in a future
European war would be limited to southeastern Europe, an area that would
be of less immediate concern at the outset of a war between the Warsaw
Pact members and NATO. In any event, air and sea transport is in limited
supply and is not used for the delivery of large numbers of Bulgarian
troops to exercises in an area where they probably would not be
employed. As a consequence, Bulgaria sends only token forces and
observers to the larger pact exercises.

Bulgaria is not a warm proponent of ideological coexistence but is
strongly in favor of arms reductions and limitations on future weapons.
It was a member of a United Nations disarmament committee in the early
1970s, and much space in the printed media is devoted to support of
proposals for restricting deployment and use of nuclear weapons in
certain areas.



Interpolations of the United Nations estimate of the country's 1973
population indicate that there were about 2.3 million males in the
fifteen- to forty-nine-year age-group, which Bulgarian authorities
consider military age. There were also about 70,000 in the annual groups
that were reaching the draft age of nineteen each year. Those
conscripted serve two- or three-year duty tours. The basic ground force
tour is two years; that of special units and air and naval forces is
three years.

Approximately 70 percent of the military age groups, or 1.6 million
males, are considered physically and otherwise fit for military duty.
Any number of them could be called up in the event of an emergency
requiring total mobilization, but it is likely that many of the group
would be occupying positions having higher priority than basic military
duty. A somewhat larger proportion, or about 75 percent, of the
nineteen-year-olds are in satisfactory physical condition. Most of them
are drafted; a turnover of one-third of the 150,000-man regular armed
forces each year would require nearly all of the group. Because there is
very little room for flexibility, a young man's education is interrupted
unless he was actually enrolled in a university or college before he
reached the age of eighteen. In this case he continues his education but
serves his military obligation upon completion of his education.
Occupational deferments were eliminated by law in 1970, and other
deferments are given infrequently and reluctantly. Young men unfit for
military duty or for work in the Construction Troops, but who are fit to
earn a living in some other work, pay a military tax (see ch. 15).

Those who have had military service and who have not reached the age of
fifty are considered reserves. Officers remain in the reserve until the
age of sixty. Various factors--primarily occupational situations,
physical condition, and lack of reserve training--operate to erode this
force, and those considered useful, or trained, reserves constitute
one-half or less of the group. Most of the some 250,000 men released in
the latest five-year period, however, are available, physically fit, and
familiar with the weapons and equipment in use by the armed forces.


In common with its Warsaw Pact allies, Bulgaria uses equipment that is
produced or designed in the Soviet Union or that is compatible with
Soviet designs. The training program is patterned after that of the
Soviet army because the Soviet equipment dictates the training required
to maintain and operate it, and joint maneuvers participated in by any
or all of the pact forces make it necessary to employ standard
procedures and tactics.

The program is carried on in an annual cycle. Immediately after
induction a conscript's time is spent in so-called individual or basic
training. Physical exercise is rigorous, and the soldier is initiated
into the care and use of individual weapons, military drill, and the
various aspects of military existence with which he had not been
familiar and to which he must learn to adjust. He also learns individual
actions that may become necessary in group or combat situations, ranging
from personal combat techniques to first aid treatment for battle wounds
or exposure to gas or nuclear radiation.

As the cycle progresses, the individual usually becomes part of a crew
manning a larger weapon or a more complex piece of equipment. When the
crew knows its equipment, it then becomes involved in exercises of
increasing size, in which it learns to employ weapons and equipment in
coordination with other systems. The training cycle culminates in late
summer or autumn with the largest of the year's maneuvers. Although the
more important Warsaw Pact maneuvers have been held in the northern
group of Eastern European countries, smaller exercises are held in
Bulgaria and are occasionally participated in by visiting Soviet or
Romanian forces.

Air defense crews with small-caliber antiaircraft guns and tracking
radar practice in conjunction with the early warning network and air
defense communications. After target identification they practice
holding their weapons on the aircraft by radar or visual sighting.
Target aircraft average about 450 miles per hour and fly just above the

Ground forces train with a wide variety of weapons and in many
situations, but they claim special capabilities and excellence in
mountain and winter exercises. These maneuvers are scheduled to exploit
the long winter nights and fog, snow, or blizzard conditions to teach
troops how to achieve surprise in encircling movements. Troops
exercising in the snow are provided a white outergarment for camouflage.

Combined arms exercises are held when all support units are engaged in
supporting offensive operations led by tank and motorized rifle groups.
In such exercises the equipment is used as realistically as possible,
with blank ammunition and training grenades. Ultra-shortwave
communication equipment, whose normal fifty- to sixty-mile range would
suffice more than adequately in small maneuver areas, is relayed over
long distances to simulate a more typical combat situation.

Political education is the responsibility of a main administration of
the Ministry of National Defense and has status on a par with the other
most important ministry functions. The administration states its mission
as "cultivating moral-political and combat virtues that train men and
units for skillful and selfless action under the conditions of modern
warfare." Its leaders stress the point that, although large forces and
massive firepower are employed in modern combat, the complexity and use
of weapons is such that individual initiative is increasingly important.
A small group left alone to employ a highly complex weapon must be able
to make decisions and must be motivated to do the best that is possible
under any kind of unpleasant circumstances.

Political indoctrination is also aimed at combating potentially
subversive elements. Political instructors urge stronger "ideological
vigilance" and act to counter the influences of, for example, Western
radio stations.

Schools and the Komsomol, with the various youth clubs and organizations
that it sponsors, are charged with preparing predraft-age youths for
military service. A preliminary training program was reorganized and
revitalized in 1968. National leaders had noted that the physical
condition of the average conscript was becoming less satisfactory each
year and that the idea of serving in the armed forces appeared to be
meeting with resistance from a small but increasing number of youths.
They also were aware that juvenile crime was increasing. Sensing that
poor physical fitness, a reluctance to perform military duty, and
increasing crime could be related and have common causes, they
attributed much of the problem to a change in youth attitudes. Political
indoctrination and ideological subjects, presented in an attempt to
encourage a more proper attitude are, therefore, given highest
priorities in the new program.

The formal portion of the program initiated in 1968 consists of a
schedule of premilitary training, obligatory for all young men and women
between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. Facilities for it were made
available in schools for those who were students and at cooperative
farms, enterprises, or anywhere that groups of working youths were
employed. Young army officers on active duty and reserve officers in the
local area were made available for classroom and field instruction.

The party's Politburo issued a statement in March 1971 to the effect
that the Komsomol had successfully organized the required program. It
cited statistics on recreational facilities, among which were camps that
were preparing to accept 125,000 boys and girls for that summer. Camp
programs feature political instruction, physical training, sports
activities, military field training, and a wide variety of specialized
subjects. Other Komsomol cells sponsor aero clubs for those interested
in air force service and rowing, sailing, and diving clubs for those
interested in the navy. Radio communication, vehicle driving,
marksmanship, and many other subjects are sponsored at year-round
classes in local areas.

Other than preinduction orientation, conscripts get their basic
training, weapons and skills specialization, and combat training while
in the service. Noncommissioned officers may also come up from the ranks
and be prepared for better positions at in-service schools, but they may
also attend special schools and enter regular military units for the
first time with a noncommissioned officer grade. Noncommissioned officer
secondary schools were provided for in a 1971 law. The schools were to
be available to acceptable applicants who had completed the eighth grade
and were seventeen years of age or younger. The courses would last a
minimum of three years, during which students would be considered to be
on active military duty and after which graduates could continue in the
service as noncommissioned officers. If an individual did not go on with
a military career, he would be credited with a completed secondary
school education and also with the completion of his regular required
military service. Under any but exceptional circumstances, however,
graduates would be obligated to serve in the armed forces for at least
ten more years.

Cadet programs in several university-level higher military schools
provide officers for the services. Applicants to these schools must have
completed secondary school, be active members of the Komsomol, and
indicate an intention that, upon graduation, they would accept
appointment to serve in one of the armed services. They must also be
single, in excellent physical condition, and under twenty-four years of
age. Many apply during their tours of conscript service but are accepted
only if they have the prerequisite educational qualifications.

Line officers for infantry or armored units and logistics officers have
four-year courses. Engineer, signal, transportation, artillery,
electronics, and other technical specialties are five-year courses, as
are those that fit candidates for air and naval careers. The men are
commissioned in a common ceremony shortly after they have graduated.

Morale and Conditions of Service

The basic ingredients of good morale are present in good measure in
Bulgaria's armed forces. The vast majority of the troops believe in
their overall mission, take their obligation for granted, enjoy a
respected status, and receive valuable training. The country's principal
ally, the Soviet Union, is a long-standing friend and is held in high
esteem. Greece and Turkey, the countries that the men are taught to
expect to fight, are traditional enemies; so also is Yugoslavia.

In addition to being obligatory, military service is nearly universal,
and it is difficult to evade. Service life is extolled in the media, and
no widespread criticism, either of the forces as a whole or of
individuals as servicemen, is aired. Military experience provides
vocational training, much of which is beneficial to the individual and
to the national economy.

Special social benefits are available to the forces' personnel. If their
service results in unusual hardships for their dependents, the families
are given extra consideration. Monthly benefit payments to wives or
parents experiencing financial problems exceed those to nonmilitary
families by 30 percent. Wives who remain behind get preferential
treatment for prenatal or child care or while job hunting. As the men
come to the end of their duty tours, they are assisted in their
transition to civilian life, in their search for educational
opportunities, or in job placement. If disabled in the service, a
veteran gets a pension that is more liberal than usual for the same
disability acquired elsewhere and continuing assistance that includes
free transportation on public transport as well as medical treatment and
care of such things as orthopedic apparatus.


The medical service provides treatment and preventive medicine for
military personnel and, in certain circumstances, for dependents and for
persons employed by the military. Its services are also available to the
public at large during individual emergencies, if they are the most
immediately available, and on a larger scale during epidemics or natural
disasters. Military personnel may also avail themselves of emergency
facilities in nonmilitary hospitals or clinics.

Since about 1960 the medical service has been upgraded in several major
respects. That year saw the formation of a higher military medical
institute, located on the site of the army's general hospital, for
advanced, specialized training of physicians. In addition to providing
better training for military doctors, the objective was to establish a
research center for in-depth study of the special military aspects of
medical science. A more pragmatic objective was to initiate long-overdue
improvement in medical services for the armed forces. In its first ten
years the institute gave advanced instruction to 6,500 medical personnel
and an additional specialty to some 200 medical officers.

After the formation of the higher medical institute, the medical
services were given considerably broader authority over sanitation and
hygienic conditions throughout the military establishment. They
determine standards to be maintained and make inspections of living
quarters, food services, water supplies, bathing and laundry facilities,
and training and recreational areas; they give instruction in personal
and group hygiene. They also participate in the planning and design of
new barracks and any other buildings where troops work or train.

Appropriate to the enhanced status and authority of the medical service,
its section of the ministry was upgraded and has become one of the dozen
more important branches under the minister of national defense. Its
chief has been a doctor, the only major staff member who has been
neither a general officer of one of the armed services nor a
high-ranking party official.

Military Justice

Military courts, or tribunals, are special courts but are part of the
national judicial system and subject to the same codes as are the
civilian courts. In the same kind of relationship, military crimes are a
special category of crime but are listed within the overall Bulgarian
criminal code. The separation of military justice from the rest of the
judicial machinery is almost complete, however, although jurisdiction in
a criminal situation could be in question and, in its early treatment, a
case could be transferred from the jurisdiction of a military to a civil
court or vice versa. Once tried before a military tribunal, the
proceedings and sentence of a trial might be reviewed by a higher
military court or might go to the Supreme Court, but it would be
extremely rare for a case to be reviewed by a civil court. Within the
Supreme Court a review would be accomplished only by a military panel of
that court.

Military crimes are those committed on military installations or those
that relate to the performance of military duty, to military property or
personnel, to military honor, or to certain aspects of national
security. Servicemen of all ranks, military reserves during their
training or whenever they are under military control, personnel of the
police or any of the other militarized security units, or any other
persons involved in military crimes are liable to military justice. In
general, sentences for military crimes are more severe than for
equivalent crimes tried before civilian courts. For example, failing to
carry out the order of a superior is punishable by up to two years'
deprivation of freedom, and conviction for "clearly indicating
dissatisfaction with an instruction" can result in a year's confinement.
On the other hand, in many such crimes the perpetrator's fate is subject
to the discretion of his commander. If the commander determines that the
offense does not "substantially affect military discipline," he may
administer some lesser punishment without a trial, or he may refer the
case to a Komsomol or party cell in his unit and allow it to take
whatever action it sees fit. In times of war or under combat conditions
possible sentences are much more severe, and the death penalty may be
handed down for many more crimes.


Bulgaria's armed forces cost the country considerably less per man than
do those of its allies, and the amount spent on equipment and
maintenance is relatively austere. This is also indicated by the
composition of its forces, in which all armored units, for example, are
of less than division strength.

Nearly all heavier and more complex items of military hardware are
produced in the Soviet Union, and Bulgaria receives only those items
that are being replaced in the Soviet forces' inventory or that have
been produced in quantities greater than needed in Soviet units. Older
equipment, however, is seldom retained after it has become obsolete.
Armies engaged in combined operations must have compatible equipment,
and maintaining supply channels required for indefinite maintenance of
old items can become more costly than replacing them.

Each of the Warsaw Pact allies produces ammunition, small arms, some
vehicles, and spare parts for a portion of its matériel that was
originally produced elsewhere. Bulgaria, with its less developed
industrial base, produces a relatively small amount of military
equipment locally. In order to preserve items on hand, much of the
training schedule is devoted to proper storage and handling of
equipment. Because the standard of living in the country is low, most of
the troops are familiar with few luxuries and get along with fewer
nonessentials than do the forces of its more relatively affluent allies.

Ranks, Uniforms, and Decorations

Ground and air forces use the same system of ranks although, at least
during peacetime, the four-star army general rank has no equivalent in
the air or naval forces. Below the army general there are three general
grade, three field grade, and four company grade officer ranks. In
descending order the general grades are colonel general, lieutenant
general, and major general; the field grades are colonel, lieutenant
colonel, and major; and the company grades are captain, senior
lieutenant, lieutenant, and junior lieutenant. Naval officer ranks
include three admiral, four captain, and three lieutenant grades. The
ground and air forces have six enlisted grades: four sergeant and two
private. The naval forces have equivalent petty officer and seaman

According to military spokesmen there has been a continuing program to
improve uniforms since about 1958, when the forces began to replace
Soviet World War II styles with locally designed and manufactured
models. Most of the changes adopted since the original change-over have
consisted of improvements in the materials used and increasing the
number of clothing items issued to each man. Until the early 1960s, for
example, the same uniform was used by several classes of draftees. Each
draftee now receives a complete new issue and receives new trousers and
footwear each year.

New styles, several including changes in materials and minor changes in
color, were shown and tested in 1970. Issue of the newer varieties to
the forces was begun in 1972. Most changes involved tailoring details
and the use of more wrinkle-resistant and lighter, tighter woven cloth.
The aim has been to improve the appearance of the men with as little as
possible sacrifice in long-wearing qualities.

Officers continue to wear a service uniform consisting of a tailored
blouse with patch pockets and trousers that tuck into high boots. A Sam
Browne belt and sidearms are optional. The styles introduced in the
early 1970s have a vent in the blouse to make it fit in a better
tailored fashion, and they are a lighter green than their predecessors.
Ground forces have stripes and piping on caps and rank insignia that
vary in color to identify their branch of service (armored forces,
infantry, transport, engineer, and others). The enlisted men's uniform
is similar in design but has different quality material and less ornate
trim. Air forces have the same uniforms but may be identified by their
blue stripes and piping. Naval personnel wear the traditional navy blues
and whites.

Rank insignia on the uniforms seen most frequently consists of stars or
stripes on shoulder boards. Officer ranks are identified by varying
numbers of stars. The boards themselves become progressively more ornate
with higher rank. Those of the company grades are relatively plain;
those of the generals are highly ornate. Enlisted grades are shown by
stripes. Privates have none, their shoulder boards are plain; and the
number and width of the stripes increase with promotion to higher

Decorations and medals are awarded profusely, and most of them are
ornate and colorful. The highest ranking and most respected, however, is
a simple gold star, which identifies its recipient as a Hero of the
People's Republic of Bulgaria. The Order of Georgi Dimitrov and the
newer Stara Planina medal, which has been declared equal to the former
in seniority, are the next most important. These three most highly
cherished decorations are awarded in only one class each. The highest
of the orders that are presented in several classes are the Order of the
People's Republic of Bulgaria and the Madarski Konnik medal, which are
equal in seniority. They are awarded in three and two classes,


Bulgaria's gross national product (GNP) is only about one-third the
average of the other Warsaw Pact allies, and during the late 1960s and
early 1970s Bulgaria spent a smaller proportion of its GNP on defense
than did any of its allies. Although its 1973 estimated population was
less than one-half the average of its allies, it maintained about
five-sixths as many men in its regular forces. On the surface,
therefore, it would appear that the armed forces were a
less-than-average financial burden but a greater-than-average manpower

The appearances may be misleading to some degree. The country has been
the slowest of the pact nations to industrialize, and its standard of
living has been the lowest. It is probably, therefore, less able to
afford its relatively moderate defense costs. Its labor force is large
enough for the level of the country's industrialization, but there is a
shortage of skilled workers. The training and experience that young men
receive in the armed forces broaden their familiarity with complex
mechanical and electronic equipment and provide many of them with skills
that are of value to the national economy. The regime also considers
that the disciplinary habits and the political orientation acquired in
military service are of positive social value, outweighing the time that
young men are withheld from the labor force.

When extraordinary measures are required in an emergency situation--such
as during the 1972 drought--the armed forces are able to provide a mass
labor force and to contribute the use of a considerable amount of heavy
mechanical equipment. In 1972 force units were called upon to get
maximum efficiency from irrigation systems and to add to the sources of
irrigation water whenever possible. Military units also do field work on
public projects. They are encouraged to contribute the days before
public holidays, the holidays themselves, and other time that does not
interfere with training schedules.


Section I. Social

  _ABC World Airways Guide_, CDLV, May 1972, Dunstable, Bedfordshire,
    England: ABC Travel Guides.

  Anderson, Raymond H. "Bulgarians Like Zip in Wash Cycle," _New York
    Times_, May 21, 1973, 7.

  Apanasewicz, Nellie, and Rosen, Seymour M. _Studies in Comparative
    Education._ (OE-14115.) Washington: U.S. Department of Health,
    Education and Welfare, 1965.

  Baldwin, Godfrey (ed.). _International Population Reports._ (U.S.
    Department of Commerce, Series P-91, No. 18.) Washington: GPO, 1969.

  "Big Prospects for Education," _Bulgaria Today_ [Sofia], XX, No. 8,
    August 1971, 6.

  Blumenfeld, Yorick. _Seesaw: Cultural Life in Eastern Europe._ New
    York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968.

  Brown, James F. _Bulgaria Under Communist Rule._ New York: Praeger,

  Bulgaria. State Information Office with the Council of Ministers.
    _Statistical Pocket Book 1970._ Sofia: Sofia Press, 1970.

  "Bulgaria: History." Pages 385-400 in _Encyclopaedia Britannica_, IV.
    Chicago: William Benton, 1969.

  "Bulgaria." Pages 41-50 in Moshe Sachs (ed.), _Worldmark Encyclopedia
    of the Nations_, V: Europe. New York: Harper and Row, 1967.

  "Bulgaria." Pages 225-233 in _World Survey of Education_, V. Paris:
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,

  "The Buyers' Market," _East Europe_, XIV, No. 2, February 1965, 11-14.

  Carver, Elena Borikova. _Bulgarian Folk Tales._ New York: n. pub.,

  Cary, William. _Bulgaria Today._ New York: Exposition Press, 1965.

  Davis, Fitzroy. "Bulgarian Filmmakers: Looking for a Place in the
    Cinematic Sun," _East Europe_, XX, No. 3, March 1971, 29-35.

  Dellin, L. A. D. (ed.) _Bulgaria: East-Central Europe Under the
    Communists._ New York: Praeger, 1957.

  Egbert, Donald D. "Politics and the Arts in Communist Bulgaria,"
    _Slavic Review_, XXVI, No. 2, June 1967, 204, 216.

  The Europa Yearbook, 1972. London: Europa Publications, 1972.

  Evans, Stanley G. _A Short History of Bulgaria._ London: Lawrence and
    Wishart, 1960.

  Georgeoff, John. "Elementary Education in Bulgaria," _School and
    Society_, XCIV, February 5, 1966, 71-74.

  Georgeoff, Peter J. _The Social Education of Bulgaria Youth._
    Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1968.

  Georgiev, Emil, et al. _Bulgaria's Share in Human Culture._ Sofia:
    Sofia Press, 1968.

  Grant, Nigel. "Education Reform in Bulgaria," _Comparative Education_,
    VI, No. 3, November 1970, 179-191.

  ----. _Society, Schools and Progress in Eastern Europe._ Oxford:
    Pergamon Press, 1969.

  "He Who Laughs," _Bulgaria Today_ [Sofia], XVI, No. 10, October 1967,

  Hoffman, George W. _The Balkans in Transition._ Princeton: Van
    Nostrand, 1963.

  ----. "Transformation of Rural Settlement in Bulgaria," _Geographical
    Review_, XL, No. 1, 1964, 45-65.

  Ivanov, Vicho. "Vladimir Dimitrov--The Master," _Bulgaria Today_
    [Sofia], XXI, No. 5, May 1972, 20-21.

  _Jane's World Railways_, 1968-69. (11th ed.) New York: McGraw-Hill,

  Jelavich, Charles, and Jelavich, Barbara (eds.). _The Balkans in
    Transition._ (Russian and East European Studies.) Berkeley,
    University of California Press, 1963.

  Jordanov, Lyubomir, and Nikolov, Yuri. _The Bulgarian Black Sea Coast,
    A Guide._ Sofia: Sofia Press, 1971.

  Kaiser, Robert G., and Morgan, Dan. "Housing Blight Plagues Planners
    in _East Europe_," _Washington Post_, December 19, 1972, A1, A20.

  Katsarova, Raina D. _Dances of Bulgaria._ New York: Crown, 1951.

  Kossev, D.; Hristov, H.; and Angelov, D. _A Short History of
    Bulgaria._ Sofia: Foreign Languages Press, 1963.

  Lauwerys, Joseph A., and Scanlon, David G. "Education in Cities," _The
    World Year Book of Education, 1970._ New York: Harcourt, Brace and
    World, 1970.

  Manning, Clarence A., and Smal-Stocki, Roman. _The History of Modern
    Bulgarian Literature._ New York: Bookman Associates, 1960.

  Mishev, Dimitur. _The Bulgarians in the Past._ New York: Arno Press,

  Mladenov, Lyubomir. "International Recognition," _Bulgaria Today_
    [Sofia], XXI, No. 7, July 1972, 15.

  Monov, Georgi. "Semi-Boarding Schools," _Bulgaria Today_ [Sofia], XX,
    No. 8, August 1971, 7-8.

  Morgan, Dan. "Bulgaria Moving Cautiously to Better U.S. Ties."
    _Washington Post_, March 29, 1973, A15.

  Moser, Charles A. _A History of Bulgarian Literature 1865-1944._ New
    York: Humanities Press, 1972.

  "National Revival Architecture," _Bulgaria Today_ [Sofia], XXI, No.
    7, July 1972, 16-17.

  "The New Architecture," _East Europe_, XIV, No. 4, April 1965, 7-15.

  Newman, Bernard. _Bulgaria Background._ London: Robert Hale, 1961.

  Olson, Kenneth E. _The History Makers._ Baton Rouge: Louisiana State
    University Press, 1966.

  Oren, Nissan. _Bulgarian Communism._ New York: Columbia University
    Press, 1971.

  ----. _Revolution Administered: Agrarianism and Communism in
    Bulgaria._ Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973.

  Oshavkov, Zhivko. "Religious Belief in Bulgaria," _Bulgaria Today_
    [Sofia], XVI, No. 10, October 1967, 20-22.

  Parkin, Frank. _Class Inequality and Political Order._ New York:
    Praeger, 1971.

  Perl, Lila. _Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria._ Camden: Thomas Nelson,

  Petrov, Staian. _The Struggle of the Bulgarian Communist Party to
    Organize the Social Basis of the Revolution._ Sofia: Sofia Press,

  Pounds, Norman J. G. _Eastern Europe._ Chicago: Aldine, 1969.

  "The Professional Gap," _East Europe_, X, No. 10, October 1969, 40.

  Rizov, Alexander (ed.). _Bulgaria, A Survey._ Sofia: Foreign Languages
    Press, 1965.

  Rose, Harold. _Your Guide to Bulgaria._ London: Alvin Redman, 1964.

  Rothschild, Joseph. _Communist Eastern Europe._ New York: Walker,

  Rusinov, Spas. _Bulgaria: A Survey._ Sofia, Sofia Press, 1969.

  Sanders, Irwin T. _Balkan Village._ Lexington: University of Kentucky
    Press, 1949.

  Schöpflin, George (ed.). _The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe._ New
    York: Praeger, 1970.

  Severin, R. Keith. "Bulgaria's Agricultural Economy in Brief," U.S.
    Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. _Foreign
    Agriculture_, (ERS-Foreign 136.) September 1965, 1-11.

  Sharp, Samuel L., and Fedlam, Fruzsina H. _The Soviet Union and
    Eastern Europe, 1972._ (The World Series.) Washington: Stryker-Post
    Publications, 1972.

  Staar, Richard F. _The Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe_ (Rev. ed.)
    Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1971.

  _The Statesman's Year Book, 1972-73._ (Ed., John Paxton.) London:
    Macmillan, St. Martin's Press, 1972, 789-797.

  _Statistical Yearbook, 1971._ Sofia, National Information Office,

  _Statistical Yearbook, 1972._ Sofia, National Information Office,

  Stavrianos, Leften S. _Balkan Federation: A History of the Movement
    Toward Balkan Unity in Modern Times._ (Smith College Studies in
    History, XXVII, Nos. 1-4.) Northampton: Department of History, Smith
    College, 1942.

  Stillman, Edmund (and the Editors of Life). _The Balkans_ (Life World
    Library Series.) New York: _Time_, 1964.

  Stoyanov, Lludmil. "Poet, Humanist and Fighter," _Bulgaria Today_
    [Sofia], XXI, No. 7, July 1972, 22.

  Sylvester, Anthony. "The Bulgaria Paradox," _East Europe_, XVII, No.
    1, January 1968, 15-19.

  Todorov, Nikolai. "Pencho Koulekov, an Original Master of Graphic Art"
    _Bulgaria Today_ [Sofia], XXI, No. 5, May 1972, 32.

  _UNESCO Statistical Yearbook, 1971._ Paris: United Nations
    Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 1971, 59.

  U.S. Department of Army. _Communist Eastern Europe: Analytical Survey
    of Literature._ (DA Pam 550-8) Washington: GPO, 1971.

  U.S. Department of Commerce. Office of Technical Services. Joint
    Publications Research Service--JPRS (Washington). The following
    items are from the JPRS series _Translations on Eastern Europe:
    Economic and Industrial Affairs_.

    "Analysis of Changes in Average Family Budget Made," _Otechestven
      Front_, Sofia, March 27, 1973. (JPRS 58,842, No. 874, 1973.)

    "Dynamics of Personal Income Described, 1965-70," _Ikonomicheski
      Zhivot_, Sofia: December 16, 1970. (JPRS 52,476, No. 424, 1971.)

    "Household Income, Consumption Statistics Given," _Statistika_,
      Sofia, No. 5, September-October 1970. (JPRS 52,106, No. 397,

    "Light Ministry Plans to Supply Lacking Goods Revealed,"
      _Otechestven Front_, Sofia, May 7, 1972. (JPRS 56,742, No. 727,

  U.S. Department of Commerce. Office of Technical Services. Joint
    Publications Research Service--JPRS (Washington). The following
    items are from the JPRS series _Translations on Eastern Europe:
    Political, Sociological, and Military Affairs_.

    "Admission Rules to Foreign-Language High Schools," _Durzhaven
      Vestnik_, Sofia, June 8, 1971. (JPRS 53,764, No. 396, 1971).

    "Aspects of Standard of Living Analyzed," _Statistika_, Sofia, No.
      3, 1969. (JPRS 48,717, No. 126, 1969).

    "Caloric Intake of Blue-Collar Workers and Cooperative Farm
      Members," _Khranitelna Promishlenost_, Sofia, No. 2, 1968. (JPRS
      45,795, No. 8, 1968).

    "Causes for 1961-65 Infant Mortality Reviewed," _Statistika_, Sofia,
      December 1969. (JPRS 49,929, No. 187, 1970).

    "Census Studies Bulgarian Educational Level," _Statistika_, Sofia,
      November-December 1968. (JPRS 47,697, No. 81, 1969).

    "Class Influence on Consumption Analyzed," _Ikonomicheski Zhivot_,
      Sofia, October 10, 1968. (JPRS 46,866, No. 42, 1968).

    "The Communists and the Family," _Partien Zhivot_, Sofia, XVI,
      November 1971. (JPRS: 55,275, No. 485, 1972).

    "Decree on Post-Graduate Training for Specialists Issued,"
      _Durzhaven Vestnik_, Sofia, February 20, 1973. (JPRS 58,807, No.
      700, 1973).

    "Economics of Higher Education Reviewed," _Novo Vreme_, Sofia,
      September 1970. (JPRS 50,328, No. 280, 1970).

    "Health Minister Describes Public Health Plans," _Zdraven Front_,
      Sofia, June 19, 1971. (JPRS 54,178, No. 421, 1971).

    "Improvements in Standard of Living Traced," _Ikonomicheski Zhivot_,
      Sofia, November 1970. (JPRS 52,321, No. 310, 1971).

    "Military Training for Secondary Students," _Narodna Mladezh_,
      Sofia, March 20, 1972. (JPRS 55,828, No. 516, 1972).

    "Minister Cites Progress in Public Health Service," _Khigiena i
      Zdraveopazvane_, Sofia, No. 1, January-February 1969. (JPRS
      48,333, No. 110, 1969.)

    "New Model for Secondary Polytechnical School," _Vecherni Novini_,
      Sofia, January 25, 1972. (JPRS 55,447, No. 495, 1972).

    "Party Policy at Center of Educational Work," _Armeyski Komunist_,
      Sofia, December 1972. (JPRS 58,368, No. 676, 1973).

    "Physicians' Attitude Toward Polyclinics Surveyed," _Suvremenna
      Meditsina_, Sofia, No. 12, 1970. (JPRS 52,840, No. 337, 1971).

    "Religious Survey in Plovdiv Okrug Taken," _Filosofska Misul_,
      Sofia, VI, June 1968. (JPRS 46,478, No. 30, 1968).

    "Schools Experiment with New Educational Program," _Zemedelsko
      Zname_, Sofia, July 24, 1968. (JPRS 46,334, No. 25, 1968).

    "School Statistics," _Uchitelsko Delo_, Sofia, September 7, 1971.
      (JPRS 54,419, No. 435, 1971).

    "Serious Shortage of Medical Personnel Reported," _Pogled_, Sofia,
      July 19, 1971. (JPRS 54,004, No. 409, 1971).

    "Shortages of Schoolteachers in Some Areas Noted," _Trud_, Sofia,
      August 21, 1971. (JPRS 54,094, No. 415, 1971).

    "Sociological Legal Analysis of Divorce," _Khigiena i
      Zdraveopazvane_, Sofia, III, 1970. (JPRS 51,271, No. 250, 1970).

    "Specialization, Training of Polyclinic Physicians Discussed,"
      _Zdraven Front_, Sofia, June 12, 1971. (JPRS 53,958, No. 407,

    "Statistics on Rising Living Standard Given," _Naruchnik na
      Agitatore_, Sofia, No. 24, December 1972. (JPRS 58,480, No. 851,

    "Status Prospects of Medical Science Discussed," _Zdraven Front_,
      Sofia, April 24, 1971. (JPRS 53,482, No. 375, 1971).

    "Study of Services in Burgas Area Reviewed," _Narodni Suveti_,
      Sofia, No. 1, 1970. (JPRS 50,150, No. 197, 1970).

  U.S. Department of State. Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
    _Educational and Cultural Exchanges Between Communist and
    Non-Communist Countries in 1970._ (Research Study RSES-34.)
    Washington: 1971.

  U.S. Department of State. Bureau of Public Affairs. Office of Media
    Services. "Educational and Cultural Exchange Between Communist and
    Non-Communist Countries in 1971." (News Release.) December 8, 1972.

  U.S. Department of State. Geographer. Office of Research in Economics
    and Science. _Bulgaria-Greece Boundary._ (International Boundary
    Study, No. 56). Washington: 1965.

  Wolff, Robert Lee. _The Balkans in Our Time._ Cambridge: Harvard
    University Press, 1956.

  _World Christian Handbook, 1968._ (Eds., H. Wakelin Coxill and Kenneth
    G. Grubb.) New York: Abingdon Press, 1967.

  _World of Learning, 1972-73._ London: Europa Publications, 1973,

  _World Population Data Sheet, 1972._ Washington: Population Reference
    Bureau, 1972.

  Yovkov, Yordav. _Short Stories._ (Trans., Monco Mincoff and Marguerite
    Alexieva.) Sofia: Foreign Language Press, 1965.

  (Various issues of the following periodicals were also used in the
    preparation of this section: _Bulgaria Today_ [Sofia], 1967-1972;
    and _East Europe_ [New York], 1965-1973.)

Section II. Political

  Antonoff, Nicolas. _The Bulgarian Crisis._ New York: Mid-European
    Studies Center, 1953.

  ----. _The Constitutional Evolution of Bulgaria._ New York:
    Mid-European Studies Center, 1953.

  Black, Cyril E. _The Establishment of Constitutional Government in
    Bulgaria._ Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1943.

  Blemenfeld, Yorick. _Seesaw: Cultural Life in Eastern Europe._ New
    York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968.

  Bromke, Adam. "The CSCE and Eastern Europe," _World Today_ [London],
    XXIX, No. 5, May 1973, 196-206.

  Brown, James F. "Bulgaria." Pages 11-15 in Richard F. Staar (ed.),
    _Yearbook on International Communist Affairs, 1973._ Hoover
    Institution Press, 1973.

  ----. _Bulgaria Under Communist Rule._ New York: Praeger, 1970.

  Bulgaria. Central Council of the Trade Unions. _Bulgaria Traditions_,
    Sofia, 1971.

  Bulgaria. Laws, Statutes, etc.

    _Constitution of the People's Republic of Bulgaria._ Sofia: Sofia
      Press, 1971.

  Bulgaria. State Information Office with the Council of Ministers.
    _Statistical Pocket Book, 1970._ Sofia: Sofia Press, 1970.

  "Bulgaria," _East Europe_, XVII, No. 2, February 1968, 25-26.

  "Bulgaria: History". Pages 385-400 in _Encyclopaedia Britannica_, IV.
    Chicago: William Benton, 1969.

  "Bulgaria: Introductory Survey." Pages 570-588 in _The Europa
    Yearbook, 1972_, I. London: Europa Publications, 1972.

  "Bulgarian Books Abroad," _Bulgaria Today_ [Sofia], XVI, No. 10,
    October 1967, 10.

  "Bulgarian Television," _Bulgaria Today_ [Sofia], XV, No. 2, February
    1966, 36-50.

  "Bulgaria." Pages 41-50 in Moshe Sachs (ed.), _Worldmark Encyclopedia
    of the Nations_, V: Europe. New York: Harper and Row, 1967.

  "Bulgaria." Pages 789-796 in _Statesman's Yearbook, 1971-72_. London:
    Macmillan, 1973.

  "Bulgaria." Pages 205-206 in _The World of Learning, 1972-73_. London:
    Europa Publications, 1973.

  Cary, William. _Bulgaria Today._ New York: Exposition Press, 1965.

  Costello, Michael. "Bulgaria." Pages 135-157 in Adam Bromke and Teresa
    Rakowska-Harmstone (eds.), _The Communist States in Disarray,
    1965-71_. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1972.

  Davis, Fitzroy, "Bulgarian Filmmakers: Looking for a Place in the
    Cinematic Sun," _East Europe_, XX, No. 3, March 1971, 29-35.

  Dellin, L. A. D. (ed.) _Bulgaria: East-Central Europe Under the
    Communists._ New York: Praeger, 1957.

  Dinkova, Maria. _The Social Progress of the Bulgarian Woman._ Sofia:
    Sofia Press, 1972.

  Dobrev, Georgi Mihailov. "Library Organization in Bulgaria," _UNESCO
    Bulletin for Libraries_, IX, No. 8-9, August-September 1955,

  _Editor and Publisher International Year Book, 1972._ New York: Editor
    and Publisher, 1971.

  "Exposing the 'Pseudo-Marxists'," _East Europe_, XVIII, No. 7, July
    1969, 29-30.

  Feron, James. "Ideology on Decline in Eastern Europe," _New York
    Times_, March 22, 1973, A-15.

  Fischer, Lewis A. "COMECON and the Brezhnev Doctrine," _East Europe_,
    XXI, No. 10, October 1972, 4-7.

  Georgeoff, Peter J. _The Social Education of Bulgarian Youth._
    Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1968.

  Gloghinski, Bogdan (ed.). _Meet Bulgaria and Its Trade Unions._
    (Trans., Petko Drenkov, et al.) Sofia: Profizdat, 1966.

  Gsovski, V. (ed.) "Bulgaria: Motion Pictures Under New Regulations,"
    _Highlights of Current Legislation and Activities in Mid-Europe_,
    II, No. 3, March 1, 1954, 55-60.

  Gyorgy, Andrew. "External Forces in Europe." Pages 221-235 in Adam
    Bromke and Teresa Rakowska-Harmstone (eds.), _The Communist States
    in Disarray 1965-71_. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,

  Kane, Robert S. _Eastern Europe: A to Z._ New York: Doubleday, 1968.

  Karadelkov, Petko. "The Fires of Mount Bouzloudja," _Bulgaria Today_
    [Sofia], XX, No. 8, August 1971, 3-4.

  ----. "The Founders of the Bulgarian Communist Party," _Bulgaria
    Today_ [Sofia], XX, No. 8, August 1971, 2.

  Kharalampi, Georgiev H. _The Bulgarian Agrarian Union: Seventy Years
    Since the Foundation._ Sofia: Sofia Press, 1970.

  Koritarova, Roza. "The Role and the Position of Trade Unions in the
    System of Social Administration at the Contemporary Stage: A
    Report." (A report delivered by Roza Koritarova, President of the
    Central Council of the Trade Unions at the Tenth Plenum of the
    Central Council of the Bulgarian Trade Unions.) Sofia: Profizdat,

  Kraus, Wolfgang. "Is Bulgaria Closing the Gap?" _East Europe_, XV, No.
    4, April 1966, 2-11.

  Larabee, F. Stephen. "Bulgaria's Politics of Conformity," _Problems of
    Communism_, XXI, No. 4, February 20, 1972, 42-53.

  Lauwerys, Joseph A., and Scanlon, David G. "Education in Cities," _The
    World Year Book of Education_, 1970. New York: Harcourt, Brace and
    World, 1970.

  "Liberals Under Fire," _East Europe_, XXI, No. 5, May 1972, 35.

  Morgan, Dan. "Bulgaria Moving Cautiously to Better U.S. Ties,"
    _Washington Post_, March 29, 1973, A15.

  Mossechkov, Nedyalko. "University Library," _Bulgaria Today_ [Sofia],
    X, No. 7, July 1961, 25-26.

  Newman, Bernard. _Bulgarian Background._ London: Robert Hale, 1961.

  Olson, Kenneth E. _The History Makers._ Baton Rouge: Louisiana State
    University Press, 1966.

  Oren, Nissan. _Revolution Administered: Agrarianism and Communism in
    Bulgaria._ Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973.

  Ostoich, Peter D. _The Bulgarian Communist Party--Builder of a
    People's Democratic State._ Sofia: Sofia Press, 1970.

  Perl, Lila. _Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria._ Camden: Thomas Nelson,

  Popoff, Emil. "Bulgaria's Young: The Silent Nihilists," _East Europe_,
    XVII, No. 7, July 1968, 7-11.

  Rakowska-Harmstone, Teresa. "Patterns of Political Change." Pages
    323-347 in Adam Bromke, and Teresa Rakowska-Harmstone (eds.), _The
    Communist States in Disarray, 1965-71_. Minneapolis: University of
    Minnesota Press, 1972.

  Rothschild, Joseph. _Communist Eastern Europe._ New York: Walker,

  ----. _The Communist Party of Bulgaria: Origins and Development,
    1883-1936._ New York: Columbia University Press, 1959.

  Rusinov, Spas. _Bulgaria: A Survey._ Sofia: Sofia Press, 1969.

  Schöpflin, George (ed.). _The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe._ New
    York: Praeger, 1970.

  Sharp, Samuel L., and Fedlam, Fruzsina H. _The Soviet Union and
    Eastern Europe, 1972._ (The World Series.) Washington: Stryker-Post
    Publications, 1972.

  Sokolski, Alexander. "A Glance at the New Bulgarian Films," _Bulgaria
    Today_ [Sofia], XXI, No. 7, July 1972, 28-29.

  Staar, Richard F. _The Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe._ Stanford:
    Stanford University Press, 1967.

  ----. _The Communist Regimes in Eastern Europe._ (Rev. ed.) Stanford:
    Stanford University Press, 1971.

  _The Statesman's Year Book, 1972-73._ (Ed., John Paxton.) London:
    Macmillan, St. Martin's Press, 1972, 789-797.

  _Statistical Yearbook, 1972._ Sofia, National Information Office,

  Stavrianos, Leften S. _Balkan Federation: A History of the Movement
    Toward Balkan Unity in Modern Times._ (Smith College Studies in
    History XXVII, Nos. 1-4.) Northampton: Department of History, Smith
    College, 1942.

  Sylvester, Anthony. "The Bulgarian Paradox," _East Europe_, XVII, No.
    1, January 1968, 15-19.

  "Television in Eastern Europe," _East Europe_, XV, No. 4, April 1966,

  Toma, Peter A. (ed.) _The Changing Face of Communism in Eastern
    Europe._ Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1970.

  Triska, Jan F. (ed.) _Constitutions of the Communist Party-States._
    Stanford: Hoover Institution, 1968.

  United Nations. "Delegations to the General Assembly and the Councils
    Delegations to the Twenty-fifth Session of the General Assembly 15
    September-17 December 1970." Page 1083 in _Yearbook of the United
    Nations_, 1970. New York: U.N. Office of Information, 1972.

  _UNESCO Statistical Yearbook, 1971._ Paris: United Nations
    Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 1972, 700-731.

  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
    _World Communications: Press, Radio, Television, Film._ (4th ed.)
    New York: UNESCO, 1964.

  United Nations. Office of Public Information. Press Section. "United
    Nations Bodies and Their Membership, 1972." (Press Release ORG/
    713.) May 1, 1972, 1-58.

  U.S. Department of the Army. _Communist Eastern Europe: Analytical
    Survey of Literature._ (DA PAM 550-8.) Washington: GPO, 1971.

  U.S. Department of Commerce. Office of Technical Services. Joint
    Publications Research Service--JPRS (Washington). The following
    items are from the JPRS series _Translations on Eastern Europe:
    Political, Sociological, and Military Affairs_.

    "Aspects of New Constitution Interpreted," _Novo Vreme_, Sofia,
      January 1969, 1. (JPRS: 47,959, No. 93, 1969).

    "Attention Called to Problems of Working Women," _Trud_, Sofia,
      March 14, 1972. (JPRS 55,798, No. 514, 1972).

    "BCP Greetings Message Outlines Tasks of Bulgarian Propaganda,"
      Sofia, December 3, 1971. (Speech by Georgi Bokov recorded on Sofia
      Radio.) (JPRS 54,763, No. 458, December 22, 1971).

    "Book Publication Circumstances Criticized," _Partien Zhivot_,
      Sofia, II, February 1970. (JPRS 50,510, No. 197, March 25, 1970).

    "Communist Party Courts Full Support of KOMSOMOL," _Rabotnichesko
      Delo_, Sofia, March 27, 1971. (JPRS 52,862, No. 339, 1971).

    "Constitutional Problems of People's Councils Viewed," _Narodni
      Suveti_, Sofia, No. 4, 1971. (JPRS: 54,667, No. 388, 1971).

    "Control Committee Scores Serious Lack of Textbooks," _Otechestven
      Front_, Sofia, August 1, 1970. (JPRS 51,187, No. 246, August 18,

    "Czechoslovak Normalization Process Discussed," _Literaturen Front_,
      Sofia, No. 39, September 19, 1968. (JPRS 46,866, No. 42, November
      14, 1968).

    "Development of TV Relay Station Network Discussed," _Radio i
      Televiziya Sofia_, No. 11, 1969. (JPRS 50,112, No. 268, March 20,

    "The Effectiveness of Ideological Propaganda at the Contemporary
      Stage," _Politichecka Prosveta_, Sofia, July 1972. (JPRS 57,025,
      No. 592, 1972).

    "Facts, Figures on Printed Broadcast Media Published,"
      _Rabotnichesko Delo_, Sofia, November 25, 1971. (JPRS 54,716, No.
      456, December 16, 1971).

    "Further Upgrading of Role of Fatherland Front," _Novo Vreme_,
      Sofia, No. 7, July 1970. (JPRS 51,271, No. 250, 1970).

    "Greater Role Urged for People's Councils," _Otechestven Front_,
      Sofia, August 10, 1972. (JPRS: 57,149, No. 600, 1972).

    "Ideological Peaceful Coexistence Criticized," _Literaturen Front_,
      Sofia, April 18, 1968. (JPRS 45,428, No. 346, May 17, 1968).

    "Importance of Leading Role of Party Emphasized," _Politicheska
      Prosveta_, Sofia, December 1970. (JPRS 52,298, No. 309, 1971).

    "Improvement in Construction Troops Work Urged," _Trudovo Delo_,
      Sofia, January 23, 1973. (JPRS 58,600, No. 690, 1973).

    "Increased National Assembly Role Foreseen," _Pravna Misul_, Sofia,
      No. 2, 1971. (JPRS: 53,656, No. 387, 1971).

    "Medicosocial Problems of the Antialcoholism Campaign," _Nevrologiya
      Psikhiatriya i Nevrokhirurgiya_, Sofia, XI, No. 2, 1972. (JPRS
      56,973, No. 589, September 7, 1972).

    "Military Training for Secondary Students," _Narodna Mladezh_,
      Sofia, March 20, 1972. (JPRS 55,828, No. 516, 1972).

    "Minister Stoilov's Keynote Address at World Conference on
      Pollution," BTA, Sofia, April 27, 1972. (JPRS 55,907, No. 520, May
      5, 1972).

    "National Conference on Party Propaganda Reviewed," _Politicheska
      Prosveta_, Sofia, No. 5, May 1970. (JPRS 50,880, No. 233, 1970).

    "New Television Studio Opens in Ruse," _Zemedelsko Zname_, Sofia,
      November 6, 1972. (JPRS 57,590, No. 631, November 24, 1972).

    "The Obshtina Party Committees and Organizations--Political
      Leaderships," Partien Zhivot, Sofia, No. 18, December 1968. (JPRS
      47,447, No. 69, 1969).

    "Party Application of Democratic Centralism Discussed," _Partien
      Zhivot_, Sofia, No. 8, June 1970. (JPRS 51,534, No. 257, 1970).

    "Party Guidance of the Fatherland Front," _Partien Zhivot_, Sofia,
      No. 9, 1972. (JPRS 57,109, No. 598, 1972).

    "Patriotism and Internationalism Defined," _Trudovo Delo_, Sofia,
      April 16, 1969. (JPRS 48,138, No. 100, 1969).

    "Political Knowledge of Working People Analyzed," _Partien Zhivot_,
      Sofia, February 1972. (JPRS: 56,081, No. 530, 1972).

    "Qualifications for Party Membership Analyzed," _Novo Vreme_, Sofia,
      April 1969. (JPRS 48,428, No. 114, 1969).

    "Radio, TV Development, Progress Viewed," _Transporten Glas_, Sofia,
      April 7, 1971. (JPRS 53,205, No. 471, May 24, 1971).

    "Special TV Program for Tourists Inaugurated," _Otechestven Front_,
      Sofia, July 30, 1972. (JPRS 56,813, No. 579, August 18, 1972).

    "State Council Formation Discussed," _Pravna Misul_, Sofia, No. 2,
      1971. (JPRS 53,656, No. 387, 1971).

    "Strengthening of Contemporary Ideological Struggle Needed,"
      _Rabotnichesko Delo_, Sofia, August 4, 1972. (JPRS 56,851, No.
      582, August 23, 1972).

    "Study of Religiousness of Socialist Society Made," _Politicheska
      Prosveta_, Sofia, No. 10. (JPRS 47,047, No. 52, December 10,

    "Twenty-Five Years of Publishing Reviewed," _Bulgarski Knigi_,
      Sofia, September 1969. (JPRS 49,166, No. 152, October 30, 1969).

    "Youth Warned Against Western Psychological Warfare," _Mladezh_,
      Sofia, No. I, January 1973. (JPRS 58,807, No. 700, April 19,

  U.S. Department of State. Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
    "Bulgaria." Pages 61-63 in _World Strength of the Communist Party
    Organization_, (23rd annual edition.) Washington: GPO, 1971.

  U.S. Department of State. Bureau of Public Affairs. Office of Media
    Services. "Educational and Cultural Exchange Between Communist and
    Non-Communist Countries in 1971." (News Release.) December 8, 1972.

  Verin, Velko. "Getting Into Print in Bulgaria," _East Europe_, XVIII,
    No. 1, January 1969, 22-24.

  _Women in the People's Republic of Bulgaria._ Sofia: Sofia Press,

  _World Radio-TV Handbook, 1973._ (Ed., J.M. Frost.) Hvidovre: World
    Radio-TV Handbook, 1973.

  "Youth Time" _East Europe_, XXI, No. 10, October 1972, 23-24.

Section III. Economic

  Alton, Thad P. "Economic Structure and Growth in Eastern Europe." In
    U.S. Congress. 91st, 2d session. Joint Economic Committee.
    _Economic Development in Countries of Eastern Europe._ Washington:
    GPO, 1970.

  Costello, Michael. "Bulgaria." Pages 135-157 in Adam Bromke, and
    Teresa Rakowska-Harmstone (eds.), _Communist States in Disarray,
    1965-1971_. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1972.

  Dellin, L. A. D. (ed.) _Bulgaria: East-Central Europe Under the
    Communists._ New York: Praeger, 1957.

  Dobrin, Boguslav. _Bulgarian Economic Development Since World War II._
    New York: Praeger, 1973.

  Koleva, M. "Size, Structure and Efficiency of Production Funds
    Invested in Dairy Cattle Breeding." _Ikonomika Selskoto Stopanstvo_
    [Sofia], August 1971, 71-83.

  Narodna Respublika Bulgariya. Tsentralno Statistichesko Upravlenie pri
    Ministerskiya Suvet. _Statisticheski Godishnik na Narodna Respublika
    Bulgariya, 1963._ Sofia: Sofia Press, 1963.

  ----. Tsentralno Statistichesko Upravlenie pri Ministerskiya Suvet.
    _Statisticheski Godishnik na Narodna Respublika Bulgariya, 1966._
    Sofia: Sofia Press, 1966.

  ----. Tsentralno Statistichesko Upravlenie pri Ministerskiya Suvet.
    _Statisticheski Godishnik na Narodna Respublika Bulgariya, 1968._
    Sofia: Sofia Press, 1968.

  ----. Tsentralno Statistichesko Upravlenie pri Ministerskiya Suvet.
    _Statisticheski Godishnik na Narodna Respublika Bulgariya, 1971._
    Sofia: Sofia Press, 1971.

  ----. Tsentralno Statistichesko Upravlenie pri Ministerskiya Suvet.
    _Statisticheski Godishnik na Narodna Respublika Bulgariya, 1972._
    Sofia: Sofia Press, 1972.

  Osborne, R. H. _East-Central Europe._ New York: Praeger, 1967.

  Pick, Franz. _Pick's Currency Yearbook, 1972._ New York: Pick
    Publication, 1972.

  Pounds, Norman J. G. _Eastern Europe._ Chicago: Aldine, 1969.

  Rusinov, Spas. _Bulgaria: A Survey._ Sofia, Sofia Press, 1969.

  Selucky, Radoslav. _Economic Reforms in Eastern Europe._ New York:
    Praeger, 1972.

  Starodubrovskaya, V. N. _Kooperativnaya sobstvennost v selskom
    khozyastve sotsialisticheskikh stran._ Moscow: Nauka, 1970.

  _Statistical Yearbook, 1971._ National Information Office, Sofia,

  _Statistical Yearbook, 1972._ National Information Office, Sofia,

  _Statisticheskii Ezhegodnik, 1971._ Moscow: Tipografiia Sekretariata
    SEV, 1971.

  U.S. Congress. 91st, 2d Session. Joint Economic Committee. _Economic
    Developments in Countries of Eastern Europe._ Washington: GPO, 1970.

  U.S. Department of Agriculture. Economic Research Service. _The
    Agricultural Economy and Trade of Bulgaria._ (Bulletin ERS-Foreign
    256.) Washington: GPO, February 1969.

  U.S. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Mines. "The Mineral
    Industry of Bulgaria." Washington: GPO, n.d. (Preprint from _1971
    Bureau of Mines Minerals Yearbook_.)

  Wilczynski, J. _Socialist Economic Development and Reforms._ New York:
    Praeger, 1972.

  _Yearbook of National Account Statistics, 1971._ New York: United
    Nations, 1973.

Section IV. National Security

  Baldwin, Godfrey (ed.). _International Population Reports._ (U.S.
    Department of Commerce, Series p-91, No. 18.) Washington: GPO,

  Bulgaria. State Information Office with the Council of Ministers.
    _Statistical Pocket Book 1970._ Sofia: Sofia Press, 1970.

  Cary, William. _Bulgaria Today._ New York: Exposition Press, 1965.

  Dellin, L. A. D. (ed.) _Bulgaria: East-Central Europe Under the
    Communists._ New York: Praeger, 1957.

  _The Military Balance, 1972-73._ London: Institute for Strategic
    Studies, 1972.

  Newman, Bernard. _Bulgarian Background._ London: Robert Hale, 1961.

  Oren, Nissan. _Bulgarian Communism._ New York: Columbia University
    Press, 1971.

  Perl, Lila. _Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria._ Camden: Thomas Nelson,

  Popoff, Emil. "Bulgaria's Young: The Silent Nihilists," _East Europe_,
    XVII, No. 7, July 1968, 7-11.

  Pounds, Norman J. G. _Eastern Europe._ Chicago: Aldine, 1969.

  Rothschild, Joseph. _Communist Eastern Europe._ New York: Walker,

  U.S. Department of Commerce. Office of Technical Services. Joint
    Publications Research Service--JPRS (Washington). The following
    items are from the JPRS series _Translations on Eastern Europe:
    Political, Sociological, and Military Affairs_.

    "Bulgarian Criminal Code," _Sbornik postanovleniya i
      razporezhdaniya na Ministerskiya suvet na NRB_, Sofia, May 1968.
      (JPRS: 45,757, No. 5, 1968).

    "Bulgarian Customs Operations," _Otechestven Front_, Sofia, 1971,
      (JPRS: 55,110, No. 475, 1972).

    "Civil Defense Plans and Tasks," _Narodna Armiya_, Sofia, February
      21, 1972. (JPRS: 58,495, No. 685, 1973).

    "Crime Treatment in Socialist Society," _Filosofska Misul_, Sofia,
      1971. (JPRS: 53,920, No. 405, 1971).

    "Execution of Court Sentences," _Durzhaven Vestnik_, Sofia, April
      15, 1969. (JPRS: 48,065, No. 98, 1969).

    "History of Military Medical Institute," _Voenno Meditsinsko Delo_,
      Sofia, No. 5, 1970. (JPRS: 52,242, No. 308, 1971).

    "Intermediate-Level Service School Entrance Exams," _Trudovo Delo_,
      Sofia, May 12, 1970. (JPRS: 50,783, No. 228, 1970).

    "Internment Without Deprivation of Liberty," _Pravna Misul_, Sofia,
      1971. (JPRS: 56,452, No. 550, 1972).

    "Law Governing Stay of Foreigners in Belgium," _Durzhaven Vestnik_,
      Sofia, November 28, 1972. (JPRS: 58,035, No. 658, 1973).

    "Law on Universal Military Service," _Durzhaven Vestnik_, Sofia,
      August 11, 1970. (JPRS: 51,354, No. 257, 1970).

    "Medicosocial Problems of Alcoholism," _Nevrologiya Psikhiatriya i
      Nevrokhirurgiya_, Sofia, 1972. (JPRS: 56,973, No. 589, 1972).

    "Military School Cadet Entrance Exams," _Narodna Armiya_, Sofia, May
      17, 1970. (JPRS. 50,687, No. 224, 1970).

    "Military Training for Secondary Students," _Narodna Mladezh_,
      Sofia, March 20, 1972. (JPRS: 55,828, No. 516, 1972).

    "New Medals," _Armeyski Pregled_, Sofia, September 11, 1969. (JPRS:
      48,790, No. 129, 1969).

    "New Training Year," _Armeyski Pregled_, Sofia, December 1969.
      (JPRS: 49,929, No. 187, 1970).

    "New Uniforms for Officers and Noncoms," _Pogled_, Sofia, March 22,
      1971. (JPRS: 53,014, No. 347, 1971).

    "Party Program for Defense," _Otechestven Front_, Sofia, July 8,
      1971. (JPRS: 53,641, No. 386, 1971).

    "People's Councils Legal Departments," _Durzhaven Vestnik_, Sofia,
      March 6, 1970. (JPRS 50,415, No. 210, 1970).

    "Pre-Induction Military Training Reorganized," _Narodna Armiya_,
      Sofia, August 8, 1968. (JPRS: 46,551, No. 31, 1968).

    "Provisions for Servicemen, Families," _Narodna Armiya_, Sofia,
      February 8, 1973. (JPRS: 58,336, No. 676, 1973).

    "Regulations on Obshtina Militia," _Durzhaven Vestnik_, Sofia, May
      12, 1970. (JPRS: 50,920, No. 236, 1970).

    "Scientific Training for Youth," _Durzhaven Vestnik_, Sofia,
      December 6, 1968. (JPRS: 47,136, No. 56, 1968).

    "Significance of CEMA Defense Programs," _Narodna Armiya_, Sofia,
      September 22, 1971. (JPRS: 54,261, No. 549, 1971).

    "Winter Defense Exercise," _Armeyski Pregled_, Sofia, December 1969.
      (JPRS: 49,929, No. 187, 1970).

  Wolff, Robert Lee. _The Balkans in Our Time._ Cambridge: Harvard
    University Press, 1956.


  BKP--Bulgarska Komunisticheska Partiya (Bulgarian Communist Party).
  Party dates its origins from the founding of the Bulgarian Social
  Democratic Party in 1891. Through many years of factional splits,
  coalitions, changes of designation, underground operations, and front
  organizations, the BKP finally emerged from World War II (with Soviet
  backing) as the only viable political force in the country.

  COMECON--Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. Economic alliance
  founded in 1949 to further cooperation among member states. Members
  are Bulgaria, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Mongolia,
  Poland, Romania, and the Soviet Union. Headquarters is in Moscow.

  Fatherland Front--An umbrella organization for all other mass
  organizations; provides a structure for democratic electoral processes
  but, actually, is controlled by the BKP.

  greenback--United States legal tender. Term used in international
  monetary transactions since convertibility of the United States dollar
  into gold was suspended on August 15, 1971.

  lev (pl., leva)--Basic unit of currency; divided into 100 stotinki
  (_q.v._). Officially rated at the artificial level of 0.97 per US$1.
  Lev is nonconvertible and is actually exchanged at several different
  rates depending on type of transaction.

  stotinki (sing., stotinka)--100 stotinki equal one lev.

  Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact)--A military alliance founded
  in 1955. The Soviet minister of defense is traditionally the supreme
  commander of the joint pact forces. Members are Bulgaria,
  Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and the Soviet


 Academy of Agricultural Sciences: 135

 Academy of Sciences: 135

 Agitation and Propaganda Department (Agitprop): 160, 169, 187

 Agrarian Party. _See_ Bulgarian Agrarian Union

 agriculture (_see also_ agroindustrial complexes): viii, 21, 160,
     225-247, 260;
   civil defense teams, 276;
   collectivization, 3, 33, 34, 52-53, 69, 74, 77, 204;
   cropping pattern, 230-231;
   erosion, 227-228;
   faulty practices, 243-244, 245-246;
   fertilizers and pesticides, 243-244, 266-267;
   five-year plans, 228, 229, 234, 235, 236, 237, 240;
   income, 84;
   investment, 211, 238-239, 245;
   irrigation, viii, 41, 42, 44, 226, 229-230, 231, 300;
   labor, 207, 225, 237-238;
   land protection, 227-229;
   land use, viii, 45-46, 227-231;
   livestock and livestock products, viii, 225, 234, 241, 242, 244-247,
   marketing, 240-241;
   mechanization, 239-240;
   national income, 207, 241;
   organization, 231-235;
   planning and management, 235-237, 246;
   private farm plots, 204, 225, 231, 234-235, 241, 245;
   production, viii, 160, 225, 230, 241-247;
   shortage of skilled workers, 225, 237, 244, 245, 246;
   Thracian Plain, 45-46;
   trade, 178, 222, 225, 247;
   traditional, 76-77

 agroindustrial complexes: viii, 5, 53, 203, 205, 225, 231-234;
   communications problems, 236-237;
   labor, viii, 232, 237, 238, 246;
   land ownership, 234;
   legal and economic aspects, 233-234;
   marketing, 241;
   planning and management, 236;
   types, 232-233;
   voluntary nature, 233

 air and air defense forces: ix, 7, 287, 289, 290, 291, 298, 299;
   training, 294, 295

 airlines: ix, 62-63

 Albania: 35, 172, 176, 179, 180, 292;
   historic, 12, 14, 17

 alcoholism: 190, 278, 281-282

 Algeria: 257

 Andonov, Ivan: 129

 Angel, Isaac: 13

 architecture: 133-135

 armed forces (_see also_ air and air defense forces; army; navy): 7-8,
   cadet programs, 295-296;
   equipment, 288, 291, 298;
   logistics, 298, 300;
   manpower, 292-293;
   medical service, 296-297;
   military justice, viii, 297-298;
   military service, 142, 274, 275, 292-293, 296;
   morale, 287, 296;
   officers, 8, 289, 293, 298-299;
   officers' training, 275, 295;
   political indoctrination, 8, 289, 294, 300;
   ranks, uniforms, and decorations, 298-300;
   reserves, 293;
   social benefits, 296;
   Soviet aid, 291, 298;
   Soviet officers, 179;
   state and party control, 146, 288-289;
   training, 293-296, 300

 Armenians: 2, 55, 65

 army: ix, 7-8, 32, 290-291;
   border troops, ix, 7, 269, 273, 289;
   Bulgarian People's Army, ix, 273, 287, 289;
   Construction Troops, 269, 273-275, 293;
   equipment, 290-291;
   Soviet model, 288, 293

 art: 131-133;
   National Revival, 131-132;
   Turnovo School of, 131

 artisans and craftsmen: 72, 73, 86-87, 204, 211, 245, 249;
   historic, 12, 17

 artistic and intellectual expression: 21, 123-135, 162;
   First Congress on Culture--1967, 155;
   Golden Age, 7, 12, 14, 121, 126, 131, 134;
   government and party control, 7, 123, 124-125, 155, 187;
   ideological messages, 124, 128;
   library clubs, 125;
   minority groups, vii;
   National Revival, 18, 131-132, 134, 135;
   National Theater, 123, 128;
   prestige, 7, 123;
   self-censorship, 7, 125;
   Soviet model, 7, 124;
   Stalinist period, 124;
   subsidies, 123, 125, 127, 128;
   unions, 7, 125, 187, 276

 Asen: 13

 Attila the Hun: 54

 Australia, relations: 179

 Austria, historic: 17

 Bagrianov, Ivan: 28

 Balkan-Bulgarian Airlines (BALKAN): ix, 62-63

 Balkan Pact: 26-27

 Balkan wars, 1912, 1913: 21, 22-23, 288

 banks and banking: viii, 204, 215-219;
   Bulgarian Foreign Trade Bank, viii, 215, 216, 219;
   Bulgarian National Bank, viii, 215, 216, 219;
   credit, 204, 216-217;
   state lotteries, 217;
   State Savings Bank, viii, 215-216, 217

 Basil II: 13

 Battle of Ankara: 17

 Battle of Varna: 17

 Belgium, relations: 178-179

 Black Sea: viii;
   effect on climate, 43, 44, 45, 46, 226;
   patrol boats, 273;
   ports, 54;
   tourism, 196

 Black Wind: 44

 Blagoev, Dimiter: 30

 Bobov Dol: 253-254, 255

 Bokov, Georgi: 186

 border troops: ix, 7, 269, 273, 289

 Boris I: 11, 66

 Boris III: 25, 26, 27, 28, 30

 Botev: 196

 Botev, Khristo: 126

 boundaries: 2, 48-50;
   Congress (Treaty) of Berlin--1878, 2, 22;
   Greece, 49-50, 273;
   post-World War I, 25, 49;
   post-World War II, 29, 49;
   Romania, 49, 50, 273;
   Treaty of San Stefano--1878, 2, 20, 22;
   Turkey, 49, 50, 273;
   Yugoslavia, 49, 273

 Boyana Church: 131

 Bozhinov, Alexander: 132

 Brezhnev, Leonid: 3, 156, 162

 budget: 213-215

 Bulgars: vii, 2

 Bulgaranov, Boyan: 161

 Bulgarian Academy of Sciences: 245

 Bulgarian Agrarian Union: 21, 25, 26, 30, 31, 141, 150, 153, 163-164,
     165, 191;
   membership, 163, 277;
   organization, 163

 Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP) (_see also_ Politburo; State Council;
     Tenth Congress): 3, 25, 141, 157-163;
   Central Committee, vii, 3, 4, 153, 157-158, 160, 191;
   democratic centralism, 157, 166;
   first secretary, vii, 4, 140, 143, 158, 160;
   growth of, 30-36, 158-159;
   membership, 158-160, 276;
   New Course, 34;
   news organization, 192;
   nomination of candidates, 150-151;
   organization, 157-158, 284;
   Party Congresses, 3, 155, 157, 159, 160-163;
   party uprising--1923, 25-26, 30;
   pre-World War II, 25, 26;
   purges, 32, 34, 35, 36, 159, 161;
   Secretariat, vii, 3, 4, 153, 157, 158, 162-163;
   Soviet leadership, 156, 157, 160, 171;
   structure, 3, 137;
   supremacy over all aspects of Bulgarian life, 156, 184, 276-277;
   women members, 160, 168

 Bulgarian Hunting and Fishing Union: 277

 Bulgarian National Library: 187,199

 Bulgarian Red Cross: 167, 277

 Bulgarian Telegraph Agency: 186-187

 Bulgarian Union for Physical Culture and Sports: 277

 Bulgarian Union of Tourists: 277

 Bulgarians abroad: 55, 272

 Bulgars: 9, 10, 11, 52

 Burgas: 47, 54, 57, 62, 199, 227, 250, 254, 255

 Byzantine Empire: 9, 10-11, 12-17 _passim_

 Canada, relations: 178

 Carpathian Mountains: 38

 caves: 40, 47

 Central Leninist Party School: 121

 Chelopets: 259

 Chervenkov, Vulko: 3, 34, 35, 113, 115, 153, 159, 160, 161, 186

 China, People's Republic of: 35, 160-161, 189

 citizenship: 272

 civil defense: 167, 275-276

 civil rights: 142, 186, 283, 285-286

 climate: vii, 37, 42-44, 226

 Committee for Science, Art, and Culture: 106

 Committee of Bulgarian Women: 168-169

 Committee of State Security: 36, 271

 Committee on Art and Culture: 125, 140, 155, 198, 199

 communications. _See_ mass communications

 Communist Party. _See_ Bulgarian Communist Party

 Congress of Berlin: 2, 22

 Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON): vii, 171, 176,
     179-180, 240; trade with, viii, 180, 222

 Council of Ministers: vii, 4, 106, 137, 138, 141, 142, 144, 145-147,
     218-219, 220;
   administration of ministries, viii, 5;
   agricultural programs, 228, 238;
   Department of Motion Pictures, 201;
   establishment, 139;
   functions, 5, 140, 145-147, 173, 174, 204, 205, 216, 235-236, 250,
     261, 274;
   legislative initiative, 32, 140, 141;
   organization (chart), 146;
   police power, 146

 Couve de Murville, Maurice: 178

 crime: 190, 269-270, 273, 279-282;
   criminal code, 282-283;
   death penalty, 283, 298;
   economic, 281;
   juvenile, 280, 294;
   military, 297-298;
   penalties, 280, 283;
   political, 142, 269, 270, 274, 280-281, 283

 Crusades: 13

 Cuba: 117, 180, 222

 currency: viii, 14, 219-220;
   exchange rates, 219, 221

 Cyril: 11, 126

 Czechoslovakia: 106, 172;
   Bulgarian students, 117;
   relations, 175, 222;
   Soviet invasion, 1968, 155, 189-190

 dams: 42

 Danube River: viii, 41, 44, 54, 61-62, 227;
   as boundary, 49, 50;
   Iron Gate, 38, 62;
   patrol boats, 273, 291

 Danubian plateau: 38, 39, 41, 43, 226-227;
   population density, 57

 Dimitrov, Georgi: 2-3, 25, 32, 34, 121, 165, 172

 Dimitrov, Vladimir: 132

 Dimitrov Communist Youth Union (Komsomol): 155, 166-168, 169, 185,
   membership, 217-218;
   officer training, 289;
   premilitary training, 294-295;
   source of manpower reserve, 167, 294

 Dimitrovgrad: 55

 Dimov, Dimitur: 127

 divorce: 70, 190

 Dobrudzha: 15, 27, 28, 29, 40, 43, 50, 226

 Dolni Dubnik: 254

 Dospevaki, Vladislav: 132

 Dragoman Pass: 59

 Dragoycheva, Tsola: 161

 drainage: 38, 41-42

 Dzhurov, Dobri: 289

 Economic Commission for Europe: 181

 economy: viii, 5, 203-223;
   automation, 203-204, 236-237, 249;
   BKP policies, 215, 250;
   Bulgaria's Great Leap Forward, 160-161;
   decentralized management, 156, 205, 250;
   five-year plans, viii, 154, 157, 160, 250, 254, 255;
   investment, 210-213, 260-261;
   national income, 204, 206-207, 210, 300;
   New Economic Model, 156;
   organization, 204-206;
   Soviet aid, viii, 156, 175, 203, 212, 223;
   State Planning Committee, 5;
   trusts, 205-206, 220-221, 233, 251;
   Twenty-Year Plan of Economic Development, 161;
   World War I, 24;
   World War II, 28

 education: viii, 6-7, 21, 93-122;
   abroad, 96, 97, 116-117;
   administration, 96, 106-107;
   adult, 97, 120, 121;
   boarding schools, 120;
   Center for Amateur Scientific and Technical Activities among Youth
     and Children, 279;
   Communist policies, 97-99, 113, 115;
   ethnic minorities, 96, 99, 102;
   financing, 107-108;
   foreign student exchange, 94, 116-117;
   graduate, 116;
   higher (_see also_ students of worker or peasant origin, preference,
     _infra_), 6-7, 21, 94-95, 97, 98, 100-101, 104, 105, 111, 113-118;
   history, 21, 95-97;
   ideological indoctrination, viii, 6, 97-99, 100, 115, 121, 159, 169,
     284, 285;
   literacy, 21, 93, 95-96, 97, 98, 106, 120, 169;
   of prisoners, 284;
   polytechnic schools, 103, 104, 105, 110-111, 112;
   private schools, 120-121;
   reforms, 6-7, 96, 99-105, 109, 110, 159, 162;
   religious, 94, 95, 96, 98-99, 100, 121;
   scholarships, 102, 117;
   science and technology, emphasis on, viii, 58, 93, 94, 117-118, 167,
     237, 263;
   Soviet pattern, 93, 98, 100, 102, 115, 118, 119;
   special, 113, 119-120;
   state control, 76, 97-99, 100, 113, 120;
   students of worker or peasant origin, preference, 6, 73, 74, 76,
     93-94, 99, 162;
   teacher training, 101, 102, 103, 115, 118-119;
   Teachers Union, 277;
   technical and vocational schools, 96-97, 99, 100, 101-102, 104, 110,
     111, 112-113, 116, 121, 284;
   Turkish period, 16;
   work concept, 98, 101-102, 103, 109

 elections: 3-4, 149-151;
   BKP membership, 150;
   Central Election Commission, 149-150;
   Law of Election for the National Assembly, 149;
   1971 Constitution, 149;
   nominations, 150, 165;
   Secretariat, 158;
   trade unions, 166

 electric power: 255-257, 266;
   hydroelectricity, 41, 42, 176, 180, 252, 255

 Elin Pelin Bulgarian Bibliographical Institute: 199

 Eliseyna: 259

 ethnic groups:
   Armenians, 2, 55, 65;
   Bulgar, vii, 2;
   Greek, vii, 2, 55, 58, 65, 106;
   Jews, 2, 28, 34, 55, 58, 67, 106;
   Macedonians, vii, 55, 58, 65, 66;
   minority languages, vii, 97;
   Romanians, vii, 2, 55, 58, 65;
   Turks, vii, 2, 55, 65-66, 106, 177

 European Conference for Security and Cooperation: 176

 family: 65, 67-71;
   extended family (_zadruga_), 67-68, 70-71, 76;
   family allowance payments, 90;
   traditional, 67-69

 Father Paisi: 18, 95, 126

 Fatherland Front: 7, 33, 77, 100, 137-138, 139, 141, 165-166, 277;
   BKP use of, 7, 166, 276;
   _Izgrev_, official organization, 191;
   National Council (Committee), 31, 137, 150, 164;
   State Council, relationship, 164;
   World War II, 1, 29, 31-32

 Ferdinand, King: 22, 24, 25

 films: viii, 91, 129, 184, 187, 200-202;
   Soviet, 201

 finance (_see also_ budget): viii, 21

 folk arts: 126,130-131

 folk songs: 18

 forced labor camps: 273

 foreign policy: 155, 171-181;
   Chervenkov, 34;
   Communist countries, 175-176;
   conduct of, 173-175;
   historical factors, 172-173;
   irredentism, 1, 2, 9, 10, 13, 20, 21-22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 176;
   military relations (_see also_ Warsaw Treaty Organization), 292;
   noncommunist states, 175, 176-179;
   Soviet model, 35, 171, 172, 173, 178;
   Western Europe, 155, 178-179, 190

 foreigners, laws governing stay of: 272-273

 France: 178, 222

 freedom of information: 186-187

 French Revolution: 18

 Gabrovo: 253

 Genkov, Genko: 133

 Genov, Todor: 127

 geography: v, vii, xiv, 2, 137

 Georgiev, Iliya: 185

 Georgiev, Kimon: 26, 29, 32

 German Democratic Republic: 117, 172, 175, 222

 Germany (_see also_ World War I; World War II): 9, 27

 Germany, Federal Republic of: 178, 222

 Ghiaurov, Nikolai: 129

 Goths: 10

 government (_see also_ Bulgarian Communist Party; Chervenkov; Council
     of Ministers; Dimitrov, Georgi; National Assembly; State Council;
     Zhivkov): vii, 3-5, 137-151;
   BKP control, 137, 143, 149, 153;
   central, 142-147;
   Dimitrov constitution, 1947, 1, 32-33, 97-98, 100-101, 106, 139-140,
     143, 168, 186;
   Fatherland Front coalition--1944-1947, 1, 2, 31-32, 139, 158, 163,
     165, 172;
   interwar years, 25-27;
   local, _see_ local government;
   1971 constitution, 137-138, 140-142, 145, 149, 156, 162, 163-164,
     168, 173, 186;
   Soviet model, 137, 140;
   structure (chart), 144;
   Turkish rule, 16;
   Turnovo Constitution--1879, 21, 32, 138-139;
   unity of rule, 35, 138, 140, 141-142, 148, 149, 153, 157

 Greece: 26-27, 35, 177, 290, 296;
   Balkan Wars, 22-23;
   historic, 9, 10, 11, 14;
   radio relay lines, 195;
   World War I, 23

 Greeks: vii, 2, 55, 58, 65, 106

 Grigorov, Mitko: 161

 Gypsies: 55, 66, 106

 health: 79-83;
   feldshers, 82;
   hospitals, 80, 82;
   life expectancy, 79-80;
   physicians, 81, 82;
   polyclinics, 80-82;
   Public Health Service, 80-83

 history (_see also_ Turkish rule): 9-36;
   Balkan wars--1912 and 1913, 21, 22-23, 288;
   Byzantine Empire, 9, 10, 11, 12-14, 17;
   early, 9-15;
   early migrations, 10;
   feudalism, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16;
   First and Second Bulgarian Kingdoms, 1, 9, 10, 11-15;
   Golden Age, 7, 12, 121, 126, 131, 134;
   independence, 21;
   interwar years, 25-27;
   monarchy abolished in 1946, 32;
   postliberation, 20-21;
   Slavs, 2, 9, 10, 11, 52

 Holy Roman Empire: 14

 housekeeping: 70, 91

 housing: 85, 87-89, 211;
   conveniences, 53, 79, 89;
   rural, 88;
   shortage, 71, 87-88, 213, 250

 Hungary: 28, 172, 175; historic, 15, 17

 Huns: 10, 11

 hydroelectricity: 41, 42, 252, 255;
   Danube River cooperative project, 176, 180, 255

 industry: viii, 3, 5, 24, 161, 222-223, 249-261;
   civil defense teams, 276;
   economic crime, 281;
   forced labor camps, 273;
   growth, 6, 21, 34, 264;
   investment, 211, 253, 260-261;
   labor, _see_ labor;
   organization, 249-252;
   production, 263, 264-265;
   programs for improvement, viii, 5, 154, 160, 249, 250, 264;
   quality, 264-265;
   raw materials, 175, 252, 257-260;
   raw materials, fuels and power shortages, 203, 249, 252, 257, 259,
     260, 261;
   Soviet aid, 6, 175, 223, 249, 254, 255, 260;
   State Inspectorate for Industrial Power and Power Control, 256;
   state ownership, viii, 3, 32-33, 69, 249;
   supply system, 251-252;
   textile, 208, 264, 267;
   trusts, 5-6, 203, 213, 249, 250, 251

 Institute for the Improvement of Teachers: 118-119

 Institute for Political Instruction: 121

 international organizations: vii

 irredentism: 1, 2, 9, 10, 13, 20, 21-22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 176

 Iskur River: 41, 42, 49

 Italy: 9, 27, 28, 179, 222

 Ivan Asen II: 14

 Ivan Vazov State Library: 199

 Jews: 2, 28, 34, 55, 58, 67, 106;
   emigration, 34, 58;
   World War II, 28

 Johnson, Lyndon B.: 177

 judicial system: viii, 7, 138, 144, 148-149, 269, 283-284;
   Chief Prosecutor, 138, 141, 144, 148-149;
   district courts, 148;
   military courts, viii, 148, 297-298;
   party control, 149;
   penal institutions, 7, 269, 284-286;
   special courts, viii;
   Supreme Court, viii, 141, 144, 148, 149, 297

 Kalarov, Vasil: 25, 32

 Kaloyan: 14

 Kamchiya River: 46

 Karavelov, Lyuben: 126

 Khristov, Boris: 129

 Khrushchev, Nikita: 3, 34, 35, 102-103, 161, 173, 192

 Komsomol. _See_ Dimitrov Communist Youth Union

 Kostov, Traicho: 34, 35

 Koulekov, Pencho: 133

 Kozloduy: 255

 Kremikovtsi: 257

 Krumovo: 257

 Kurdzhali: 259

 Kyustendil: 196

 labor: viii, 58, 207-210, 252, 261, 262-264, 300;
   agricultural, viii, 207, 225, 232, 237-238, 246;
   BKP membership, 159;
   Construction Troops, 269, 273-275;
   employment, 207, 264;
   Labor Army, 274;
   lack of incentive, 204;
   preferential treatment of workers, 6, 73, 74, 76, 93-94, 99, 162;
   shortage of skilled workers, viii, 203, 207-208, 225, 237, 244, 245,
     246, 256, 263, 300;
   sickness and disability benefits, 89-90;
   wages, 84, 208-210, 237-238, 262-263;
   workweek, 91

 language: vii, 97, 102;
   Cyrillic alphabet, 12, 126;
   foreign, education in, 113;
   minorities, vii;
   Russian, compulsory education, 109, 110

 Lasarov, Ivan: 133

 Levski, Vasil: 19

 liberation, 1878: 1-2, 19-21, 52, 287, 288;
   Bulgarian Revolutionary Central Committee, 19;
   Congress (Treaty) of Berlin, 2, 22;
   growth of nationalism, 17-20;
   Internal Secret Revolutionary Organization, 19;
   "moderates"-"radicals", 19;
   revolution of 1876, 19-20, 288;
   Russian role in, 1, 19, 20, 172;
   Treaty of San Stefano, 1878, 2, 20, 22;
   Turnovo Constitution, 21, 32, 138-139

 libraries: 183-184, 199-200;
   Cyril and Methodius Library, 187

 literature: 125-128, 187;
   historic, 12, 14, 15;
   periodicals, 126, 128;
   _Slav-Bulgarian History_, 18, 95, 126;
   writers' revolt, 127-128;
   Writers' Union, 125

 living conditions (_see also_ health; housing): 79-91, 300;
   Commission on the Living Standard, 84, 205;
   consumer goods, shortage, 83, 84, 86;
   cost of living, 83-84, 85;
   leisure, 91;
   rural, 53, 88;
   special plenum on, viii, 83-84, 87, 203, 205, 209-210;
   workers and peasants, 84, 85

 local government: vii, 50-52, 137, 138, 140, 141, 147-148;
   budget, 213;
   cities and towns (_rayoni_), 50, 147, 271;
   civil defense, 276;
   districts (_okruzi_), vii, 50, 52, 107, 144, 147, 159, 236;
   elections, 149;
   legal departments, 284;
   police, 148, 271;
   townships (_obshtini_), vii, 50, 52, 147, 271

 Lovech: 254

 Lulchev, Kosta: 32, 33

 Macedonia: Bulgarian territorial claims, 1, 9, 13-14, 21-23, 24, 26,
     27, 28, 49, 176;
   historic, 9, 12, 14, 15, 17, 20-23, 29;
   Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), 22, 25, 26;
   People's Republic of, 66

 Macedonians: vii, 55, 58, 65, 66

 Macedonian terrorism: 23, 25, 26

 Madan: 55, 259

 Magyars: 12, 13

 Manov, Emil: 128

 Maritsa-Iztok coalfield: 253

 Maritsa River: 40, 42, 45, 49, 55, 59, 60, 226, 227, 255

 Marxism-Leninism (_see also_ ideological indoctrination _under_
     education): 141, 167, 175

 mass communications (_see also_ films; press; publishing; radio and
     television): viii, 183-202;
   administration, 187-188;
   local groups, 185;
   objectives, 183, 184-185;
   party control, 183, 186;
   pro-Soviet themes, 183, 188, 189, 191;
   public opinion, 184;
   relative popularity, 185;
   state ownership and regulation, viii, 183;
   themes, 183, 188-189, 191

 mass organizations (_see also_ Dimitrov Communist Youth Group;
     Fatherland Front): 7, 65, 76, 77, 164-169;
   BKP control through, 7, 153, 164, 165, 166;
   civil defense, 276;
   ideological training, 169;
   memberships, importance, 76;
   public order role, ix, 276;
   social pressure by, 269;
   sources of popular opinion, 7;
   trade unions, 89, 166, 185, 193, 276, 277;
   youth groups, 8, 76, 167-168, 277-279

 merchant marine: 62

 Mesta River: 42, 49, 226

 Methodius: 11, 126

 Mihailov, Ivan: 161

 Milev, Ivan: 132

 mineral resources: 37, 47-48, 252-257

 mineral waters: 48

 Ministry of: Agriculture (and Food Industry), 193, 205, 228, 233, 235,
     236, 240;
   Chemical Industry and Power Generation, 204;
   Culture, 106, 195;
   Education, 106;
   Finance, viii, 89, 204, 213, 219, 221;
   Foreign Affairs, 173-174;
   Foreign Trade, viii, 173-175, 204, 219, 221;
   Information and Communications, 187;
   Interior, 32, 35, 154;
   Internal Affairs, ix, 7, 148, 167, 269, 271, 273, 284;
   Justice, viii, 7, 32, 283-284, 285;
   National Defense, ix, 7, 8, 167, 193, 273, 275, 287, 288, 289-290, 294;
   National Education, 106-107, 116, 167, 198, 208, 263;
   Public Education, 96;
   Public Health, 80;
   Supply and State Reserves, 251-252;
   Transport, 63

 Montenegro: 22, 28

 motor vehicles: 59

 Murad I: 15

 Murkvichka, Ivan: 132

 music: 129-130

 National Assembly. (_See also_ State Council): vii, 4, 137, 138, 142,
     144, 147;
   elections, 139, 147, 149, 150;
   establishment, 139;
   functions, 4, 5, 32, 139-140, 145, 147, 148, 149, 173, 213-214;
   presidium, 139, 141, 143

 National Liberation Army: 31

 National School of Choreography: 113

 national security (_see also_ armed forces; border troops; civil
     defense; police): ix, 154, 269-286;
   organization, 270;
   police state period, 159, 270-271;
   state security police, 7, 269, 270

 nationalism: 189; historic, 16

 naval base (Varna): 54

 navy: ix, 7, 287, 289, 291, 295, 298, 299

 Nedkova, Maria: 133

 Nicephorus: 11

 North Atlantic Treaty Organization: 290

 opera: 123, 129-130

 _Otechestven Front_: 191, 192-193

 Ottoman Turks (_see also_ Turkish rule): 15-16

 Panagyurishte: 259

 _Partisan Song_: 132

 Pavlov, Todor: 161, 187

 Pavlovich, Nikola: 132

 Peasant Union Party: 32

 peasants (_see also_ Bulgarian Agrarian Union): 6, 67, 71, 72, 73, 74;
   BKP membership, 159;
   populism movement, 25;
   postliberation period, 21;
   preferential treatment for education, 6, 73, 74, 76;
   Turkish rule, 16-17, 131

 Pelin, Elin: 127

 penal institutions: 7, 269, 284-286

 pensions: 89, 90

 Pernik coalfields: 253, 254

 Peter, rebellion against Byzantine Empire: 13

 Petkov, Nikolai: 32

 Petrov, Ilia: 132

 Philip of Macedon: 10, 54

 Pioneers (Young Septembrists): 167-168

 Pirdop: 259

 Pirin range: 40, 42, 46, 57, 227

 Pleven oil refinery: 254-255

 Pliska: 11

 Plovdiv: 45, 54, 226, 250, 255, 259;
   libraries, 199;
   railroads, 59, 60;
   universities, 115

 Poland: 172, 175

 police: ix, 7, 269; People's Militia, 148, 269, 270, 271-273;
  registration of weapons, etc., 272;
  secret police (police state period), 159, 270-271;
  voluntary paramilitary auxiliaries, 269

 Politburo: vii, 3, 4, 5, 143, 153, 157, 158, 160, 161, 187;
   composition, 154, 156, 162-163;
   foreign policy role, 171

 Pomaks: 16, 55, 67

 Popov, Lyuben: 194

 population (_see also_ ethnic groups): vii, 37, 55-58;
   by age and sex, 55, 56;
   exchanges, 57-58;
   growth rate, vii, 57;
   percent, 37, 55, 65;
   rural, 56, 57

 ports: Black Sea (_see also_ Burgas; Varna): 54, 62

 Preslav: 12

 press: 183, 184, 190-193; BTA, 187, 188, 189;
   circulation, 193;
   foreign language, 188;
   party control, 186-187, 190-191, 192;
   periodicals, 193;
   provincial, 192, 193;
   public attitude, 185;
   Sofia Press Agency, 187-188;
   Soviet pattern, 191-192;
   Union of Bulgarian Journalists, 186, 191

 private ownership: 33, 140, 142, 204;
   Law on Citizens' Property, 142

 propaganda: 183, 184, 185, 187, 190, 191, 194;
   anti-Western (_see also_ Western influence), 155, 169, 188-189, 190,
   Soviet Press Agency, 187-188

 publishing: viii, 183, 187, 197-199;
   ideological content, 198-199;
   party control, 187, 197, 198;
   promotion of books abroad, 199;
   textbooks, 197-198, 199;
   translations, 197

 _Rabotnichesko Delo_: 191, 192

 radio and television: 125, 183, 184, 193-196, 267;
   color TV, 183, 196;
   foreign language, 195, 196;
   Intervision, 196;
   party control and use, 187, 194, 195;
   popularity, 185;
   programming, 195, 196;
   radio relay ties, 195;
   TV subscribers, 196

 railroads: viii, 59-61;
   Orient Express, 59

 rainfall: 43-44, 226

 Rakovsky, Georgi: 19

 religion: vii, 33, 65, 66-67, 189;
   Bulgarian Orthodox Church, 15, 19, 33, 66, 95, 98, 99, 121;
   Christianity, early, 12, 13, 14;
   church schools, 94,  95, 96, 99, 100, 121;
   Committee for Religious Affairs, 33;
   freedom of, vii, 66-67, 142;
   government control, 67;
   Greek (Eastern) Orthodox Church, 12, 16, 95;
   Jews, vii, 34, 67;
   Moslem, vii, 16, 33, 67;
   Protestants, vii, 33-34, 67;
   religious art, 131;
   Roman Catholics, vii, 14, 33, 67;
   Russian Orthodox Church, 33;
   Turkish era, 16, 66

 Rila Monastery: 134

 Rila mountains: 40, 41, 42, 46, 57, 226, 227;
   mineral resources, 253;
   Mount Musala, 40

 Rilska River: 42

 roads: 61

 Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains: 25, 39-40 _passim_, 55, 226, 227;
   as boundary, 49;
   mineral resources, 48, 257, 259;
   Pomaks in, 67;
   population density, 57

 Romania: 26-27, 35, 172, 175, 176, 256, 287;
   Balkan War--1913, 22-23;
   border crossing, 50;
   cooperative hydroelectric power complex, 176, 180, 255;
   World War I, 24

 Romanians: vii, 2, 55, 58, 65

 Romans: 9-10, 11, 12, 54

 Rositsa River: 42

 Rumili (Rumelia): 16, 20

 Ruse: 54, 115, 199, 232, 250;
   railroads, 59, 60

 Russia: 9, 17, 19, 22, 106, 172;
   Revolution--1917, 24

 Saint Sophia church: 54

 Saint Theodor of Plateina: 131

 Sakar mountains: 40

 Samuel, King: 13

 Scientific and Technical Union: 277

 sculpture: 133

 Serbia: 12, 15, 17, 22, 23, 28

 settlement patterns: 52-55

 shipbuilding: 62

 Shumen: 199

 Simeon, regency for: 28

 size: vii, 37

 Slaveikov, Pencho: 127

 Slaveikov, Petko: 126

 Slavs: 2, 9, 10, 11, 52

 Sliven: 253

 Slunchev Bryag: 196

 smuggling: 273

 Smyrnenski, Khristo: 127

 social benefits: 89-91, 142

 Social Democratic Party: 21, 30, 31, 32, 33, 159, 191

 social system: 6, 65-77;
   BKP membership, 6, 75;
   Communists, effect of, 65, 69, 73-77;
   feudal, 11;
   party elite, 6, 73-74, 75;
   peasants (_see also_ peasants), 6, 71,72, 74;
   rural-urban differences, 71-73;
   social mobility, 6, 7, 75-76;
   traditional, 6, 65, 72-73, 76-77;
   urban intelligentsia, 72, 73

 Socialist patriotism: 189

 Sofia: 40, 53-54, 250;
   Academy of Fine Arts, 132;
   administrative district, 50;
   Bulgarian National Library, 199;
   climate, 44, 53;
   education in, 107, 115, 117;
   Higher Institute of Construction and Engineering, 275;
   hot springs, 48, 53-54;
   industry, 259;
   libraries, 199;
   media administrative center, 187;
   mineral resources, 47, 48;
   Radio Sofia, 195;
   television, 196;
   theaters, 128, 129;
   transportation, ix, 59, 60, 63;
   Turkish period, 16, 17;
   University of, 96, 97, 113, 135;
   World War II, 28, 29

 Sofia Basin: 38, 41, 227

 soils: 44-45, 226-227

 Soviet Union: Bulgarian students, 116;
   Bulgarian timber workers, 260, 263;
   electricity imports from, 256;
   influence, 3, 9, 10, 29-30, 155;
   relations, 153-154, 156, 162, 171, 172, 175, 296;
   trade, viii, 175, 180, 222, 244, 257;
   World War II, 27, 28-29, 30-31, 288

 sports: 91

 Sredna Gora: 38, 42, 45, 259

 Stalin, Joseph: 3, 34, 159, 172-173, 191-192, 270

 Stambolisky, Alexander: 25, 163

 Stara Planina: 38-46 _passim_, 226, 227;
   Botev Peak, 38;
   mineral resources, 47, 48, 253, 257, 259;
   population density, 57

 Stara Zagora: 194, 199, 255

 State Committee for Education and Technical Progress: 116, 140

 State Council: vii, 137, 147;
   BKP membership, 143;
   establishment, 156, 162;
   executive council of Council of Ministers, 145, 174;
   Fatherland Front, relationship, 164;
   functions, 4-5, 143-145, 149, 173, 174;
   legislative initiative, 138, 141, 144;
   president, 143

 Strandzha mountains: 40, 47, 227, 257

 Strategic Arms Limitation Talks: 181

 Struma River: 42, 49, 226, 227, 253

 suffrage: 21, 138, 139, 149

 Suleiman the Magnificent: 17

 Svishtov: 97, 115

 Tarabanov, Milko: 180

 Tatars: 15, 17

 taxes: 84, 214

 Tenth Party Congress: 140-141, 154, 156, 157, 161-163, 211, 212;
   Soviet-Bulgarian relations, 173;
   theme, 162

 theater: 123, 125, 128-129

 Thrace: 10, 14, 15, 20, 29;
   Bulgarian territorial claims, 1, 9, 21, 23, 25, 27, 28, 49

 Thracian Plain: 38-45 _passim_, 226, 227
   agriculture, viii, 45-46;
   population density, 57

 timber: 260, 266

 Timok River: 49

 Todorov, Stanko: 143, 161

 topography: vii, 37-41

 tourism: 133, 134;
   laws on stay of foreigners, 272-273;
   official currency exchange rate, 219;
   special problems, 282;
   television programs, 196

 trade (_see also_ Council for Mutual Economic Assistance): 27, 179,
     207, 220-223, 259;
   Arab countries, 179, 222;
   balance of trade, 223;
   foreign trade organizations, 220, 221;
   historic, 14, 17, 18, 27;
   imports of minerals, 253, 254, 257, 258, 260;
   incentives and subsidies, 220-221;
   Soviet Union, viii, 175, 180, 222, 244, 257;
   state monopoly, viii, 220; U.S., 177-178

 transportation: viii, 59-63, 86;
   airways, ix, 62-63;
   Berlin-to-Baghdad route, 59;
   cargo, viii, 59, 61-62;
   merchant marine, 59;
   passenger, viii, 61;
   railroads, viii, 59-61;
   roads, viii, 61;
   waterways, viii, 61-62

 Traykov, Georgi: 164

 Treaty of San Stefano: 2, 20, 22

 Tsar Ivailo: 14

 Tsar Simeon: 12

 Tundzha River: 42, 45, 227

 Turkey (_see also_ Turkish rule; Turks): 26-27, 177, 290, 296;
   Balkan Wars, 22;
   radio relay lines with Bulgaria, 195

 Turkish rule (_see also_ liberation): 9, 13, 15-20, 52;
   administration, 16;
   culture, 15, 17, 123, 126, 130, 131, 134;
   education, 16, 93;
   reforms, 18-19;
   religion, 16, 66;
   rise of nationalism, 17-20

 Turks: vii, 2, 55, 65-66, 106, 177;
   emigration, 57-58, 66

 Turnovo: 15, 199; Balkantourist Hotel, 134

 Tyulenovo: 254

 Union of Working Youth: 277

 United Nations: Committee on Disarmament, 181, 292;
   membership, vii, 34, 172, 180;
   participation, 180-181

 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development: 181

 United States relations: 34, 35, 177-178, 222

 urban development: 53

 Ustashi: 26

 Valley of Roses: 38, 45

 Vaptsarov, Nikola: 127

 Varna: 54, 57, 62, 199, 250;
   radio and television, 195, 196;
   railroads, 59, 60;
   universities, 97, 115

 Vazov, Ivan: 126-127

 vegetation: 45-46

 Velev, Angel: 150

 Veliko Turnovo: 54

 Velsko: 199

 Vidin Kingdom: 15

 Vietnam, North: 117, 222

 Visigoths and Ostrogoths: 10

 Vitosha mountains: 40

 Vladigerov, Pancho: 130

 Vratsa: 254

 Vucha River: 42

 Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact): vii, 7, 171, 175, 179, 287,
     290, 292, 293-294, 298

 Western influence: 18, 34, 176, 185, 294

 wildlife: 47

 women: 69-70;
   alcoholism, 281;
   BKP membership, 160;
   Committee of Bulgarian Women, 168-169;
   labor, 237, 262;
   maternity leave, 90;
   penal institutions, 285;
   rights of, 142, 168;
   traditional role, 68

 Workers Party: 30

 World War I: 23-25

 World War II: 1, 9, 10, 23-25, 288;
   declaration of war against Germany, 29;
   effect, 29-30;
   partisans, 30-31, 132, 277, 287;
   relations with Soviet Union, 27, 30-31, 288;
   Soviet occupation, 28-29, 31

 youth: crime, 280, 285, 294;
   films on, 202;
   ideological training, viii, 6, 97-99, 100, 115, 121, 159, 169, 284,
   labor, 237;
   news organization, 193;
   nihilist attitude, 155-156, 167, 278-279, 295;
   sources of information, 185

 youth organizations (_see also_ Dimitrov Communist Youth Union): 8, 76,
     167-168, 277-279

 Yovkov, Yordan: 127

 Yugoslavia: 26, 35, 172, 256;
   Macedonians, treatment of, 66;
   relations, 26-27, 34-35, 176, 192, 296;
  World War II, 28

 Yugov, Anton: 35, 161

 Zakhariev, Vasil: 133

 Zemen Monastery: 131

 Zhivkov, Todor: 1, 3, 35-36;
   agricultural policy, 230, 231-232, 233;
   attempted coup against in 1965, 35-36, 153, 154, 156, 271;
   Committee of Bulgarian Women, 168-169;
   cultural policy, 124, 132;
   economic reforms, 160, 206;
   foreign policy, 35, 178;
   head-of-state, 4-5, 143, 153, 158, 160, 161;
   loyalty to Soviet Union, 1, 35, 153, 156, 171, 173, 175;
   media restrictions, 186;
   on education, 98, 103, 104;
   on Politburo
   membership, 162-163;
   pension system, criticism of, 90;
   reforms, 83, 154-155;
   Tenth Party Congress, 162;
   wage system reform, 208-209;
   "Youth Theses", 155, 167

 Zlatni Pyassutsi (Golden Sands): 55

 Zveno (link) group: 26, 32


 550-65  Afghanistan

 550-98  Albania

 550-44  Algeria

 550-59  Angola

 550-73  Argentina

 550-66  Bolivia

 550-20  Brazil

 550-168  Bulgaria

 550-61  Burma

 550-83  Burundi

 550-166  Cameroon

 550-96  Ceylon

 550-159  Chad

 550-77  Chile

 550-60  China, People's Rep. of

 550-63  China, Rep. of

 550-26  Colombia

 550-67  Congo, Democratic Rep. of (Zaire)

 550-91  Congo, People's Rep. of

 550-90  Costa Rica

 550-152  Cuba

 550-22  Cyprus

 550-158  Czechoslovakia

 550-54  Dominican Republic

 550-155  East Germany

 550-52  Ecuador

 550-150  El Salvador

 550-28  Ethiopia

 550-167  Finland

 550-29  Germany

 550-153  Ghana

 550-87  Greece

 550-78  Guatemala

 550-82  Guyana

 550-164  Haiti

 550-151  Honduras

 550-165  Hungary

 550-21  India

 550-154  Indian Ocean Territories

 550-39  Indonesia

 550-68  Iran

 550-31  Iraq

 550-25  Israel

 550-69  Ivory Coast

 550-30  Japan

 550-34  Jordan

 550-56  Kenya

 550-50  Khmer Republic (Cambodia)

 550-81  Korea, North

 550-41  Korea, Republic of

 550-58  Laos

 550-24  Lebanon

 550-38  Liberia

 550-85  Libya

 550-163  Malagasy Republic

 550-45  Malaysia

 550-161  Mauritania

 550-79  Mexico

 550-76  Mongolia

 550-49  Morocco

 550-64  Mozambique

 550-35  Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim

 550-88  Nicaragua

 550-157  Nigeria

 550-94  Oceania

 550-48  Pakistan

 550-46  Panama

 550-156  Paraguay

 550-92  Peripheral States of the Arabian Peninsula

 550-42  Peru

 550-72  Philippines

 550-162  Poland

 550-160  Romania

 550-84  Rwanda

 550-51  Saudi Arabia

 550-70  Senegal

 550-86  Somalia

 550-93  South Africa, Republic of

 550-95  Soviet Union

 550-27  Sudan, Democratic Republic of

 550-47  Syria

 550-62  Tanzania

 550-53  Thailand

 550-89  Tunisia

 550-80  Turkey

 550-74  Uganda

 550-43  United Arab Republic (Egypt)

 550-97  Uruguay

 550-71  Venezuela

 550-57  Vietnam, North

 550-55  Vietnam, South

 550-99  Yugoslavia

 550-75  Zambia

|                  Transcriber's Note:                  |
|                                                       |
| Typographical errors corrected in the text:           |
|                                                       |
| Page  17  beseiged changed to besieged                |
| Page  28  prisioners changed to prisoners             |
| Page  83  footware changed to footwear                |
| Page  86  knitware changed to knitwear                |
| Page 105  knowlege changed to knowledge               |
| Page 111  gymasium changed to gymnasium               |
| Page 129  Ghiaourov changed to Ghiaurov               |
| Page 168  activitists changed to activists            |
| Page 193  Blageovgrad changed to Blagoevgrad          |
| Page 205  offically changed to officially             |
| Page 218  organizaton's changed to organization's     |
| Page 240  officialy changed to officially             |
| Page 255  billiion changed to billion                 |
| Page 256  bilowatt changed to kilowatt                |
| Page 261  distruption changed to disruption           |
| Page 302  Vladimer changed to Vladimir                |
| Page 306  Youkov changed to Yovkov                    |
| Page 322  Ghiaourov changed to Ghiaurov               |
| Page 322  hydroelecticity changed to hydroelectricity |
| Page 323  okrugi changed to okruzi                    |
| Page 324  Rabotnickesko changed to Rabotnichesko      |

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Area Handbook for Bulgaria" ***

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