Country Information

 

The Lev is the currency used in Bulgaria. It has been used since 1881. The small unit of the Lev is called the stotinka. 100 stotinka make up one Lev. The name of the currency used to mean lion, but has since changed to its present name. The ISO currency code for the Lev is BGN. In 1999, the Lev was revalued at the rate of 1,000 old Levs for 1 new Lev. The ISO code for the old Lev was BGL. Bulgaria's exchange rate is fixed to the euro at 1.95583 BGN to 1 euro. All Bulgarian currency is 100% backed up by foreign exchange reserves. In 2007, Bulgaria is planning on joining the European union, thereby replacing the Lev with the euro.

Moody's Rating
Ba2
S&P Ratin
BB-+

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Political Structure

Bulgaria's government is a parliamentary democracy. It has 28 provinces, and is led by the president. The president and vice president, who are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms, head the executive branch. The Legislative Branch, the Narodno Sobranie has 240 seats (members are elected by popular vote and serve four-year terms). The Judicial Branch is made up of the Supreme Administrative Court, Supreme Court of Cassation, and the Constitutional Court. There are 12 members of the Supreme Judicial Court each of whom are elected for 9-year terms.

  • Prominent Figures: The president of Bulgaria is Georgi Sedefchov Purvanov. The prime minister is Simeon Borisov Sakskoburggotski. Seven members called the governing council headed by the governor, Ivan Iskrov, run the Bulgarian National Bank
    .

Unique Characteristics

In 2007, Bulgaria will be joining the European Union. In 1988, Bulgaria established a working relationship with the EU. Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, submitted an application for EU membership in 95; two years later negations began. Accession negations began in 2000, and ended in June 2004 with the agreement that Bulgaria would be joining the EU as a full member in January of 2007. Bulgaria will receive 240 million euro, as well as 2.2 billion euro in 2007-09. IN April of 2005, Sofia signed the EU Accession Treaty, which was ratified on May 11, 2005. The treaty states that the EU can postpone Bulgaria's accession if they feel that they are at a risk of being unable to fulfill certain requirements. Bulgaria has to enact strict reforms on its judiciary and public administration systems. They also have to shut down two Soviet nuclear reactor plants by 2006. This has a brought about a lot of controversy because the plant supplies almost half of the countries electricity needs.

Key Economic Factors

Before the fall of communism, Bulgaria had a strong agricultural sector and a great industrial sector that concentrated on steel, heavy chemicals, electronics, information technology, and armaments. Post-communism showed that these developments were not well suited for a democratic environment. The 90's saw a loss of protected markets, and slow agricultural reform, which led to a decrease in output. Since then, Bulgaria has been concentrating mainly on industry. The Gross Value Added (GVA) is a measurement in the estimation of the GDP. It measures how much each individual producer has added to the economy. The services share of the Gross Value Added (GVA), has increased from 29.5% in 1989 to 58.8% in 2002, which has indicated a shift towards a service oriented economy rather than an industrial one. In the same time, industry's share has declined from 59.4% to 28.7%. Tourism has had a healthy influx in recent years, with the GVA in communications doubling between 1997 and 2002. The share of the private sector has also increased in the last 20 years, reaching 72% in 2002. Bulgaria is one of the poorest countries in Europe.

Exchange Rates

BGN
AUD
CAD
EUR
JPY
GBP
USD
1 BGN
=
10.7640.7390.51358.8290.4160.572
1 AUD
=
1.30910.9680.67177.0110.5450.749
1 CAD
=
1.3531.03310.69379.5850.5630.774
1 EUR
=
1.9511.491.4421114.7780.8121.117
1 JPY
=
0.0170.0130.0130.00910.0070.01
1 GBP
=
2.4041.8361.7771.232141.41411.376
1 USD
=
1.7471.3351.2920.896102.7980.7271

Travel

FLIGHTS from WASHINGTON to BULGARIA Price
Bourgas Starting from
$1,479
Sofia Starting from
$708
Varna Starting from
$807

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