By Steven Otfinoski
Examines the folk, faith, way of life, politics, tradition, historical past, and geography of Bulgaria, emphasizing its transition from a communist to a unfastened country.
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Additional info for Bulgaria (Nations in Transition)
President Zhelev, who had lost much of his popularity by railing against the Socialist government but doing little to improve the situation, lost his bid for reelection in the primary. Ivan Marazov (i-VAN maRA-zof), the Socialist candidate, came in a poor second to UDF candidate Petar Stoyanov (PE-tar sto-YA-nof) (b. 1952), who won about 45 percent of the vote. A month later Stoyanov won the final round with more than 60 percent of the vote. Numerous strikes and demonstrations took place across the country as the people voiced their deep displeasure with the Socialist government.
Less formal than Chervenkov, Zhivkov presented himself as a “man of the people” whose humble beginnings and lack of charisma reinforced this public image. His strong allegiance to the Soviets was seen by many Bulgarians as fitting in a country where the Russians were still looked up to as liberators. Among Zhivkov’s achievements in his 33-year reign were the collectivization of Bulgarian agriculture, so complete it served as a model for other Eastern European countries; the resumption of relations with the West, however tentative; and a rapprochement with religion, cul- TERRORISM, WAR, AND STABILITY AT A PRICE ■ 23 assassination attempt by a Turkish nationalist who claimed the plot had been engineered by Bulgarian and Soviet intelligence agents.
I respect the people too much to promise things without knowing that I can deliver,” said a sadder but wiser Simeon. But there have been signs of improvement. There was a 4 percent economic growth in Bulgaria from 2000 to 2002. Both Simeon and President Purvanov have made meaningful efforts to gain their country’s membership in the EU and NATO by 2004. Disillusioned yet hopeful, the Bulgarian people soldier on, looking to a brighter day. NOTES p. 28 “A good-natured man . ” New York Times, January 15, 1997, p.