Government & Economy - Historic and current facts on how Bulgaria is governed.
The country, since the fall of the socialist government in 1996 (due to a major economic downturn) has experienced macro economic stability and positive growth rates since then and due in part to the introduction of a currency board in 1997.
Bulgaria exists under what is now a stable parliamentary democracy with a majority in Parliament and public concensus on key social and economic priorities.
Bulgaria's post-Communist Constitution came into effect in July 1991, and formed the legal basis of the new Parliamentary Republic. The head of state is the President of the Republic, elected by a direct popular vote every five years, and assisted by a Vice-President.
Among the duties of the President are to announce elections for parliament and local government, conclude treaties, promulgate laws, appoint and recall chiefs of diplomatic missions and other permanent representatives of Bulgaria, and act as supreme commander of the armed forces.
The presidential institution is relatively weak, as the constitution does not allow this office to initiate new laws or veto illegal acts, although the President is able to bring a law back to parliament for further consideration.
Parliament consists of a single chamber, the National Assembly, with 240 deputies elected for four years. It exercises parliamentary control over the executive body. It is a permanently acting body, and is supported by the work of standing and ad hoc committees elected by it. Its main activities are the control of legislation, the state budget, taxes, and setting the date for presidential elections.
The Council of Ministers is the supreme executive body of the government, and normally, though not necessarily, consists of elected members of parliament. The right to initiate new legislation is vested in the deputies and the executive body - the Council of Ministers.
Parliament is headed by Prime Minister Saxe-Coburg who is the only monarch in the world that has been chosen by his people to take on a post that was not given to him by right of succession. Having become King at the age of 6 he was then exiled at the age of nine only to return to Bulgaria some 55 years later to be elected Prime Minister. The current members of the cabinet can be viewed by clicking the link below.
Currently Bulgaria demonstrates a stable and predictable macro economic climate showing growth at 4.5% (one of the highest in Europe), annual inflation at 3.8% and extremely strong growth figures in the tourism industry. It boasts low rates of taxation across the board and has one of the lowest cost centres in Europe even though the workforce is highly skilled and qualified.
Bulgaria's foreign debt has dropped by nearly EUR 2 billion and is one of the main reasons why Moody's, the influential rating agency, has upgraded Bulgaria's credit rating in foreign currency from B1 to Ba2. Bulgarian Parliament's foreign and local currency rating has also been upgraded to Ba1.
Foreign Investment into Bulgaria in the first three months of 2003 totalled US$ 181 Million, an increase of 43.7% over the same period in 2002. By the end of 2003 Bulgaria attracted US $ 3 billion in foreign investment over the preceding 3 years which represents almost one half of foreign investment made in the preceding 11 years.
More and current details can be found by clicking on the link following for The Bulgarian Foreign Investment Agency.