Social-Economic and Political Development of Bulgaria
From 1944 to Our Days

The Period of State Socialism

A socialist society was built in Bulgaria in the period from 1944 to 1989. The most important means of production were state and co-operative property, and the Communist Party had the leading role in the state and political sphere.

Remarkable successes had been reached in the social-economic and cultural development of the country on that basis. In the discussed period the fixed capitals grew more than 22 times and from a backward agrarian country with about 75% of peasant population Bulgaria turned into an average industrial-agrarian state.

Examples:

Export

Raw materials and processed agricultural products comprised 99.6% from the Bulgarian export in 1939.

Machine-building production comprised 55% from the Bulgarian export in 1983.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): in 1989 it was 26 times more – the National Income was 12 times more – the Income per Capita of the population was 11 times more than in 1939.

Important feature of the industrialization of Bulgaria: it was NOT carried out at the expense of the village.

The industrialization created enough working places, so it was not accompanied with unemployment. At the same time it supplied the agriculture and the people employed in that sphere with the necessary machines and other industrial goods.

The total agricultural production in 1989 was 2.65 times more than in 1939 – the plant growing was increased 2.19 times, and the stockbreeding – 3.46 times.

In 1989 the relation between the industrial and the agricultural productions was 85% to 15%.

Education

The industrialization changed also the educational structure of the society.

In 1989 Bulgaria was at 26th place in the world by the percentage of specialists with higher technical education in relation to the whole population.

The progress in the sphere of human development was especially remarkable – even the enemies of socialism were forced to acknowledge the fact that about 1989 our country had at its disposal highly qualified human resources. In the 70-ties and 80-ties the Bulgarians with higher education were 3.1% from the population. By that index our country left behind highly developed countries like France, Italy, Norway and others. According to UN data, in the middle of the 80-ties Bulgaria was at 29th place in the world by its general development – ahead of Greece, Turkey, South Korea, etc.

In compliance with the basic law of socialism, much attention was directed to the achievement of fuller satisfaction of the working people’s constantly growing needs.

Health Care and the other activities connected with it: they had a decisive role for the increase of the average expectation of life.

The Average Expectation of Life in Bulgaria was

Health Care in Bulgaria was free of charge and accessible for all!

In 1944 the country had a poorly developed Health Care net. There were only 1.6 hospital and 0.3 sanatorium beds with 5 (five) doctors and 1 (one) dentist per 10,000 residents.

In 1989 these data changed as follows:

  • 54 hospital beds,

  • 5.4 sanatorium beds,

  • 34 doctors, and

  • 7.4 dentists

  • per 10,000 people.

    By these indices Bulgaria reached one of the first places in the world, leaving behind many West-European countries.

    House building

    Thousands of houses and flats were being built in the country per year both in the towns and in the villages.

    During the period between 1965 and 1989 the house building was increased from 253 to 374 houses/flats per 1000 people from the population. That increase was from

  • 233 to 346 flats in the towns, and from

  • 271 to 443 houses in the villages.

  • Besides, the relative share of the total expenditure for housing per person from a family did not exceed 7.3%.

    Socialism abolished

  • unemployment,

  • poverty,

  • beggary,

  • drastic income differences among the different categories of people.

  • The criminality was several times lower than it was in the countries in Western Europe.

    But notwithstanding that remarkable progress in the economics and culture, the attempt to build up a socialist society in Bulgaria did not succeed because of the shortsighted and treacherous policy of the Communist party top nomenclature under the rule of Zivkov in Bulgaria and Chrustov in the USSR. In the years after the XX Congress of the Soviet Union’s Communist party, and the Bulgarian Communist Party’s April Plenary Session that nomenclature managed to gradually gain command over all the top state and party structures. Afterwards it successfully forced its revisionist-reformist monopoly in the ideological sphere.

    In the years of the so-called "perestroika" the reactionary forces gained full mastery both in the state and party sphere – and the open restoration of capitalism started.

    II. The Restoration of Capitalism from 1989 till 2006

    Home Policy

    A privatization process started in Bulgaria after the 10th of November 1989. Its aim was to distribute the common national property – the public property! – to private owners. The former party nomenclature in the face of Andrei Lukanov as a Prime Minister asked the USA Administration to help the restoration of capitalism in Bulgaria. USA sent experts and the plan "Ran-Utt" was worked out.

    The plan "Ran-Utt" in essence aimed at turning Bulgaria into a neo-colony.

    Agriculture was hit first. The so-called "Liquidation Commissions" were created, and they started to give back away the land to the original owners and their heirs before the organization of the Socialist Co-operative Farms.

    The result was

  • destruction of the land-consolidated socialist agricultural farms;

  • sold away or stolen or directly destroyed agricultural machines and other farm equipment;

  • liquidation of thousands of cattle and small farm animals;

  • neglected and in consequence plundered away farm building, and watering system equipment.

  • Everything built up for four decades was annihilated.

  • Examples:

    The share of the agriculture and the forestry enterprise in the 2001 Bulgarian GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is only 5% – or 3,530 millions of decares while in 1989 the agriculture and forestry enterprise comprised 69,301 millions of decares.

    The yields in some agricultural branches drastically fell down and even reached lower levels than those before 1939.

    The best part of the newly created petty landowners had neither the means nor the machines to cultivate their land and solved the problem by leaving it to the weeds. In consequence there are now about 16 millions of decares uncultivated arable land in Bulgaria – i.e. about 35 % of all Bulgarian arable land.

    Conclusion:

    In the sphere of agriculture the country was pushed several decades back.

    The natural resources are being steadily annihilated since 1989.

  • forests as big as a 100 football grounds are being cut down every day all over the country;

  • 2.5 millions of cubic meters of wood is being destroyed per year.

  • Since 1997 a new stage of the restoration of capitalism has started

    Then the party of the United Democratic Forces (UDF) came to power. A Currency Board was introduced and one of the results was the constant increase of the foreign trade deficit (negative balance). For the period between 1997 and 2004 the foreign trade deficit grew up with more than 400 %: in 2004 it reached the record of 3,6 billions of Euro.

    A process of mass privatization of all the state property started. The policy of deliberate plundering of the state enterprises continued: the aim was to bring them to bankruptcy in order to be bought afterwards for next to nothing.

    The same criminal policy had been carried out also by the government of the former Bulgarian king Simeon Borisov (a coalition between the National Movement Simeon II – NDSV, and the Movement for Rights and Liberties or DPS a party that allegedly protect the Turkish minority’s interests in Bulgaria).

    The merciless looting of Bulgaria entered its last phase last year, when the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) had come to power with a small majority after the parliamentary elections and a coalition among it, the party of Simeon II and DPS was formed in the summer of 2005.

    The main purpose of the ruling criminal oligarchy of nowadays is to finalize the transformation of the country into a colonial appendage of the monopolist capital.

    We offer here some concrete proofs for the criminal activities of the last three Bulgarian governments:

  • The biggest metallurgical works in Bulgaria – "Kremikovtsi" – was sold at the symbolic price of 1 (one) $. The lucky buyer granted solid sums to the foundation of the Premier’s wife.

  • Thanks to that privatization the yearly steel production fell down with more than 200 tonnes, and the number of the workers was cut off from 15,000 to 7,000.

  • The profitable Air Company "Balkan" – it had assets abroad for hundreds millions of dollars – was sold for only $ 150,000. In 2001 its foreign owner deliberately brought it to bankruptcy.

  • That deal was again contracted with scandalous clauses - and again the buying firm granted solid sums to the Premier’s wife’s foundation. The property of the Air Company – which included two big hotels – was sold out, and the profit was transferred through offshore firms to Israel.

  • The dockyard in the city of Varna at the Black Sea coast – it was at the 19th place in the world! – was also deliberately brought to bankruptcy and sold away for next to nothing.

  • The Bulgarian Telegraph Company (BTK) was sold in 2005 to an USA offshore firm for 220 million Euros – that sum was equal to the company’s yearly profit. Soon after that sale, the private mobile operator "M-tel" - it used to work only with the BTK net - was sold to an Austrian Company for 1.6 billion Euros!

  • In the beginning of 2006 a "deal" was contracted with an USA company for the sale of the Bulgarian Cinema Center "Bojana Film" for the sum of 6.25 million Euros.

  • The real price of only the land and the buildings of "Bojana Film" is more than 40 millions of Euro - according to independent experts.

  • Under the pressure of the European Union the Bulgarian governments undertook the engagement to close the Bulgarian Nuclear Station "Kozlodui" at Danube River. That action will inflict billions of dollars losses to the Bulgarian people. From an exporter Bulgaria will be turned into an importer of electricity. The prognoses are that for the Bulgarians the electricity price will be raised with nearly 60%.

  • In 2005 the highway "Trakia" was given away under concession for 35 years to a Portuguese firm without any auction – just because of the connections of the same firm with the Prime Minister Simeon Saxkoburgotski.

  • According to the contract clauses the Bulgarian state takes over the obligation to pay that firm 1.2 millions of Euro per kilometer for repair: it exceeds the normal price with 220% and will inflict losses to the state of more than 600-700 millions of Euro. Notwithstanding the apparent criminal character of the deal, the Bulgarian Parliament declared that it was profitable for Bulgaria.

  • The foreign debt of Bulgaria of 1.1 billions of Euro in 1989 grew up to more than 12 billions of Euro at the end of 2004. Only for one year of Simeon Saxkoburgotski’s rule – 2004 the Bulgarian foreign debt had been increased with 1.6 billions of Euro!

  • For only about a decade Bulgaria was deadly hit with

  • deindustrialization

  • plundering of the public property, and

  • pauperization of the population

  • at an unbelievable scale.

    In 2001 the share of the industry and construction in the Bulgarian GDP was only 16% (14,105 millions of US dollars) from their share in 1989 – 90,527 millions of US dollars.

    The situation in Bulgaria in 2004

  • the GDP was only 37% from the GDP in 1989;

  • the individual consummation was 55% from that in 1989;

  • the nominal salary was 47% from that in 1989;

  • the yearly pension was 41% from that in 1989;

  • the minimum yearly income was $3370, received by one million of people – in 1989 it had been 1440 million US dollars, but received by only 15,500 people.

  • According to data of the Main Prosecutor’s Office the expected revenue from the privatization in the period from 1997 to 2001 had to be about 25 billions of Bulgarian leva, but only 2-3 billions enter the state treasury.

    The privatization process in Bulgaria caused

  • drastic increase of the unemployment,

  • drastic worsening of the life standard, and

  • mass immigration.

  • The Immigration Blow

    Today it is accepted that the Bulgarian immigrants are more than one million, a good part of them being highly qualified people. According to the Bulgarian Academy of Science till the beginning of 2006 Bulgaria had lost more than 13 billions of Bg leva ($ 1 = 1.5… Bg leva) from the immigration of specialists who had received their education and qualification in Bulgaria at the expense of the Bulgarian state and taxpayers.

    About 5000 Bulgarian women per year become victims of the illegal traffic of people abroad. With the "assistance" of marriage, fashion/beauty or work agencies they are turned into "white slaves" of the Western capitalist world.

    Health Care in Capitalist Bulgaria

    The Bulgarian Constitution declares that Health Care and Education in Bulgaria are free of charge but today many Bulgarians have not the demanded financial means to avail themselves of these services.

    After the introduction of the paid health care on the 1st of July 2000 about 1,1 millions of Bulgarians lost any access to medical help.

    At the end of the 90-ties only 2.5 % from the Budget were allotted to the health care. (In Cuba health care is provided with 10-12 % from their Budget.)

    15 % from the Bulgarians have no health insurance; the insured ones are subjected to all kinds of humiliations to get to the most elementary medical services – to say nothing about the inaccessible very expensive medicines!

    Czechia, Poland, Romania, Greece, and Turkey subsidize the different kinds of life-saving medicine with 80 Euro per insured citizen – Bulgaria allots only 15 Euro for the same.

    From an inquiry it becomes clear that every fifth Bulgarian has to give bribes to receive some medical help.

    In 2005 more than 250,000 cancer and renal patients were refused free of charge life-saving medicines. That problem is still not fully solved by the government and the Parliament where the commercial agents of the multinational pharmacological corporations have very solid positions.

    At the same time, as magazine "Forbes" announces, the ex-king and Premier, Simeon Sazkoburgotski, is among the richest people in Europe: his fortune is estimated to be 400 millions of Euro.

    The Bulgarian working class labors in sinister conditions:

  • 100 Euro average salary,

  • 12 or 16 hours work day,

  • extra work on Saturdays and Sundays,

  • ban of any trade union activities in the private sector,

  • considerable increase of fatal labor accidents,

  • daily open and arrogant breaking of the workers’ human and civic rights.

  • The Bulgarian Parliament vote laws against the working class: they give the private owners rights to continuously elongate the 8-hour working day and to ignore other social protections of their workers.

    In consequence the cases of unorganized strikes multiply.

    Death Rate in Bulgaria

    Today capitalist Bulgaria is at the first place by death rate in Europe; by birth rate it is at one of the last places.

    The infant mortality in Bulgaria is 4 (four) times higher than it is in all the European countries.

    Bulgaria is at one of the top places in Europe

  • by the number of deaths of children victims of violence, and also

  • by the number of children, abandoned by their parents because of the lack of means to meet their needs.

  • Research data, collected by the State Agency for Children Protection in 2003 show that more than 70% of the Bulgarian children had not received enough biologically active substances; besides, about 7% of the children were under the normal weight for their age because of malnutrition.

    Average Life Expectancy in Bulgaria today

    Only for about 15 years the average life expectancy has dropped with 7-8 years.

    For one year only the population has decreased with 40,224 or with 0.5%.

    Diseases like tuberculosis which was liquidated in socialist Bulgaria now are flourishing again, taking lives away; other diseases – for instance, infarct and insultus – assume alarming proportions.

    Besides, because of the merciless exploitation and the working people’s helpless situation due to, first, the criminal indifference of the state and, second, to the private owners’ cruel exploitation, about 50% of the Bulgarians break under the stress they are forced to live in: in 2005 about 13% of them had serious psychic diseases.

    Specialists think that 20% more would receive the same diagnosis if they have the necessary sums to dare to look for medical help.

    Drug Dependence

    The years of capitalism restoration are marked also with unbelievable increase of the drug dependent young people.

    In the times of the state socialism in Bulgaria there were only 140 registered drug dependent people.

    The investigation of the Foundation "Friedrich Ebert" (published in 2002) show that in the years of capitalism’s restoration the above quoted figure has increased with about 1357 times. The drug dependent young people in Bulgaria during that investigation had reached the figure of 200,000.

    Education in Bulgaria Today

    Till 1989 all the children had the opportunity to study.

    50,000 schoolchildren leave schools every year in the period between 1989 and 1999. No wonder that the number of the illiterate young people is drastically increased.

    Only about 250,000 schoolchildren went to school in 2001 or 21 % of all the 1.2 million schoolchildren.

    Many children in Bulgaria are cruelly exploited. International Labor Organization data point out that 83,000 children from 5 to 17 had worked in Bulgaria in 2005.

    The University fees have made the higher education inaccessible for many young people who could have studied free of charge in Socialist Bulgaria.

    Prostitution

    It was unknown phenomenon for Bulgaria before 1989 – today it is widespread.

    About 20 000 Bulgarian women prostitute in Western Europe only –according to Interpol’s data.

    Misery makes people do monstrous things – for instance, some Bulgarian parents have fallen low enough to start selling their babies. The police published data about 250 known cases of that type for the last 4 years. Most of the babies are sold in Greece.

    Channels are created for the sale of children to pedophiles in Western Europe. (Information was disclosed that the German Embassy in Sofia had assisted a certain part of that traffic.)

    People sell their kidneys for the sums of $2,500 to $5,000 to rich Turks and Israelis: for the same kidneys the buyers pay $50,000 to the criminal surgeons!

    The Bulgarian Trade Union KNSB has announced data – using as a base March 2006.

    They insist that 367.56 Bg leva are needed monthly to provide normal life for one person – 146.75 Bg leva are the absolute poverty limit.

    The real average income of 168.95 Bg leva per person covers only 45,9 % from the necessary sum for normal life. For that period 63.5 % of the Bulgarians are with income of 180 Bg leva per person – that figure includes also the 49.1% with an income per person of 150 BG leva.

    It means that 2/3 from the Bulgarian families have no means to live normally and many of them are very near the absolute poverty limit.

    In the same period only 8.3 % from the Bulgarian families had more than 300 BG leva monthly income.

    The official data point out that the unemployment in Bulgaria is 11.7 % but according to the Trade Unions it is 17-18 %.

    As it gets clear from the quoted data, the results of the so-called "transitional period to market economics" are disastrous for the best part of the Bulgarian people.

    The Bulgarian people have been victimized by the basic economic law of the imperialism – the crazy pursuit of the "Maximum Profit for Minimum Time".

    In consequence, today an insignificant percent from the Bulgarian population owns and uses all the good things of life.

    There are enormous numbers of proofs on the basis of which one can draw the definite conclusion that policy of Genocide is deliberately carried out against the Bulgarian people for more than 15 years – and all Bulgarian governments after 1989 are responsible for it.

    Foreign Policy

    The basic feature of Bulgaria’s international situation in the years of the Restoration of Capitalism is that it has lost its sovereignty and independence – and has turned into a neo-colony of the imperialism.

    Together with the destruction and pillaging of the Bulgarian public property, the Bulgarian governments after 1989 have gradually turned the country into one of the most loyal satellites of the USA.

    They have given up its territory to USA-NATO to use it for military aggressions against other countries and peoples.

    In 1999 Bulgaria took part in the aggression of NATO against Yugoslavia by placing its air space at the disposal of the aggressors.

    On the 6th of April 2001 – without being a NATO member – Bulgaria signed a Memorandum giving up its territory almost unconditionally to NATO and its allies.

    Meanwhile another process was going on in Bulgaria: the process of removing every politically demonstrated influential opposition that resisted the Bulgarian foreign policy of the local servants of the USA imperialism.

    In 2000 one of the greatest political parties in the country, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) – that had demonstrated itself as an opponent of NATO – changed its position, and joined the camp of the right political forces.

    Although the majority of the Bulgarian people was against Bulgaria’s NATO membership, there was not any politically demonstrated opposition in the country – and in 2004 Bulgaria became a member of that aggressive pact.

    The Bulgarian ruling elite turned the country into an accomplice in the USA’s crimes in Iraq.

    First, it gave up to the aggressors Sarafovo Air Basis at the Southern Black See shore where the USA bombers refueled.

    Second, they sent to Iraq an occupational battalion of 500 troops.

    There are no official data about the expenses for that battalion - paid by the Bulgarian people! – but approximate calculation points out that they are about 500 millions of Euro.

    The ex-Prime Minister, Simeon Saxkoburgotski admitted that only for the period between August 2003 – July 2004 Bulgaria had spent 120 millions of Euro for its participation in the occupation of Iraq.

    14 troops were killed in Iraq – the percentage is 2.8 (having in mind the number of the Bulgarian occupational troops there) while the USA’s losses are 1.3 % - calculated on the basis of the total number of USA’s troops in Iraq.

    Today the Bulgarian occupational units are dislocated also in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    In addition the ruling elite burdened the Bulgarian people with about $10 billion more for the rearmament of the Bulgarian Army after NATO’s standards.

    The Bulgarian flunkeys of foreign masters have enriched themselves in the years of the criminal transitional period to capitalist economics. To preserve the accumulated riches and the benefits they are deriving from the present system of exploitation and oppression, last year they took a decisive step towards the liquidation of the remnants of Bulgaria’s national independence.

    Without taking under consideration the Bulgarian people’s opinion, the ruling oligarchy asked officially Washington to deploy military bases in Bulgaria.

    That criminal policy – obviously suggested and pushed forward by USA – was successfully finalized.

    During her visit in Sofia the USA State Secretary Condoleezza Rice signed an Agreement with the Bulgarian government on 27-28 of April 2006 for deployment of USA military bases in Bulgaria.

    According to that Agreement USA troops will be deployed in three military bases on the Bulgarian territory. They will be used for the future aggressions of the USA’s imperialism.

    Sociological researches show that 60 % of the Bulgarians are hard opponents to the bases, 26 % hesitate, and only 14 % are for them.

    The ruling elite tries to manipulate people with the lie that the USA bases will guarantee Bulgaria’s security and the Bulgarians will derive great economic benefits. But these arrogant lies could not ensure the support of the majority of the population for their criminal foreign policy.

    It is clear why the Bulgarian government has refused to carry out a referendum for the USA bases on Bulgarian territory – in the same way and for the same reasons it has refused a referendum for Bulgaria’s membership in NATO – and will not allow a referendum for Bulgaria’s membership in the European Union.

    Bulgarian Left Youth Group
    "23rd of September"
    Sofia/April 2006

    Translated into English by
    Blagovesta Doncheva, May 2006

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