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BULGARIA


  
  

 

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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $ 19,859 15,608 13,600 69
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 2,130 1,790 1,650 106
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

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Update No: 156 - (27/05/10)

Into NATO's anti-missile shield
Bulgaria stated its readiness to join NATO’s anti-missile shield in Europe. The Alliance plans to start establishing the system after a summit in November. “The new strategy will confirm that the main task of NATO is to protect the territories and population of the member states. At the same time, it is going to indicate the roads for the transformation of the Alliance so that it is prepared to protect itself from the new threats,” explained the NATO Secretary-General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Rasmussen arrived on a two-day official visit to Bulgaria as a part of his tour of the member states aiming at securing their support for the new strategic concept of the Alliance and the establishment of the shield. The shield will cost 200 million euro which will be paid by all 28 NATO countries.

Brussels makes effort to persuade Russia to join the endeavour and negotiations with Moscow are still to be held at the summit in Lisbon.

NATO Secretary General thanked Bulgaria for its contribution to NATO mission in Afghanistan. Rasmussen asked Bulgaria’s Prime Minister, Borissov that Bulgaria would send there more instructors to train the local security forces. Borissov promised 10 or 12 experts, medics among them,

NATO yes; the EU maybe - but maybe no
Unlike NATO, the EU, which Bulgaria joined in January 2007, is not a uniformly popular subject in the new member state. At first it was certainly so; indeed most Bulgarians were starry-eyed about Brussels. Less so now, after more than two years of carping about the scale of crime and corruption prevailing in Bulgaria – and Romania, its fellow entrant in 2007. Every Bulgarian has heard of the European anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and resents the slur on natonal honour that its nosy attentions imply.

Surge for GERB
Nevertheless, the European destiny of Bulgaria can be in little doubt. Indeed, there is nothing like an economic crisis to make people realise that. This is doubtless why GERB, led by PM Borissov, came to power last year in July.

He is proving an effective prime minister in a difficult time. It is not easy to rule over an ex-communist nation. He has the advantage of never having been a communist. Less than a year on, he is still benefiting from the honeymoon effect.

 


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