“Justice requires that everyone should have enough to eat. But it also requires that everyone should contribute to the production of food.”

Elias Canetti (Bulgarian playwright and novelist, 1905-1994)


When Bulgaria joined the European Union in January 2007, Cyrillic became the third official alphabet.

Bulgaria has some catching-up to do. It is one of Europe’s laggards in the Reporters Without Borders’ rankings: 2009: 68th, 2010: 70th.

Christo (of Christo and Jeanne-Claude) was born in the Bulgarian city of Gabrovo.


The most profound changes in Bulgaria started after the great financial crisis of the late 1990s, when inflation was up to 1,000%. Ever since then Bulgaria has been booming. The construction and real estate industries, in particular, have enjoyed rapid growth. Especially the English and Irish are interested in buying old Bulgarian houses. The English Diaspora is already firmly anchored, even having its own newspaper, 'The Frontier Times'.
Bulgaria A member of the ERSTE Foundation Community from Bulgaria: Ivan Krastev, political scientist and Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, and also member of the Advisory Board of ERSTE Foundation.

However, along with the money came corruption, too: Transparency International’s 2009 index ranked the country 71st, level with Greece and Romania, as the most corruption-affected countries in EU’s 27-member bloc.

People who have not been able to benefit from the upswing are the Roma people in particular. But programmes aimed at fostering education and enabling participation in the labour market are slowly being established.


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