..I would say that there is really no 'La Costra Nostra' as such, but there have been, and probably are still many, groups of organised and heavilly set blokes that do naughty things. Some of them drive nice mercedes, and are covered in gold etc. However, show me a country/any major city in in the world where there is no such thing as organised crime. Show me that and I'll get you a pair of glasses and we'll look again
I would definately agree with some of the comments on this thread, i.e if you start to do big business in the capital or the sea side and 'eat into' the profits of the local 'mutri' then it may indeed be a problem. I mean, if you wanted to open a strip bar, or a night club, opposite mr.bigs, your going to expect a visit. Again, that is surely par for the course here in Bg, back in blighty or anywhere else. Have your wits about you, use a bit of sense, and I don't think you will have any problems.
As also stated Bulgarian family units tend to be stronger, in my experience, than back in the UK, and its definately true that many families are in business together. Also many families have a firearm in the household, another trait that is not common back in the UK. However neither, or a combination of these things, should mean that the family be libelled as being 'mafia'. I have come across many family units as described above and non have been involved in criminal activities like, racketeering, prositituion or drugs.
The word mafia, I feel, is more often than not used to describe what is a way of life for families over here. Sure there is 'some' orgainsed crime, and 'some' corruption, but what you will find is that street crime, hoolaganism and general rowdiness, is much less present in this beautiful country than it is in the UK.
Dont be put off by pre-conceptions, and the image that many people portray out here, use some common sense, stay lucky and you will be fine.