Return to homeThe Thracians lived in what is now Bulgaria and
parts of modern Greece, Romania, Macedonia, and Turkey between 4,000
B.C. and the 8th century A.D., when they were assimilated by the
(AP, 7/16/07) 5000BC The Thracian village
of Nebet Tepe, later Plovdid, Bulgaria, dated to about this time. It
was redeveloped by the Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines, Bulgars and
(SSFC, 7/16/06, p.G4)
4000BC Skilled goldsmiths [proto-Thracians] lived
in the area of Varna on the Black Sea.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.T3)(SFEC, 8/2/98, DB p.22)
2100BC-2000BC Some 15,000 tiny Golden rings,
estimated at 4,100 to 4,200 years old, were found in 2005 near
Dabene, Bulgaria. They were attributed to proto-Thracians, ancestors
of the Thracians, who lived in the area until they were assimilated
by invading Slavs in the 8th century.
(SFC, 8/17/05, p.A2)
c585BC Greeks settled in the Area of Varna on the
Black Sea about this time and were followed by the Romans,
Byzantines and Turks.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.T3)
400BC In 2007 a 2,400-year-old
golden mask that once belonged to a Thracian king was unearthed in a
timber-lined tomb in southeastern Bulgaria.
359BC-336BC Philip II ruled the
Greek kingdom of Macedonia. During this period he founded Plovdiv,
(WUD, 1994, p.1081)(SFC, 7/18/96, p.E1)
100-200 Serdica was home to a Roman amphitheater.
It stood on the trade road between the Danube and Constantinople.
Known to the Romans as Serdica, it later became known as Sophia, the
capital of Bulgaria.
(AM, 7/04, p.14)
117 The Trimontium amphitheater
was built in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The area was later sacked by Attila
the Hun and the site was covered in dirt until a landslide exposed
it in 1972.
(SSFC, 7/16/06, p.G4)
650 The Khazars’ aggressive
territorial expansion drove some Bulgars westward. These Bulgars
soon founded a kingdom in the southeastern Balkans that became known
(TJOK, 1999, p.16)
681 Bulgaria’s 1st kingdom was
(WPR, 3/04, p.28)
700-800 Invading Slavs assimilated the Thracians
in the area of modern Bulgaria and parts of Greece, Romania,
Macedonia and Turkey.
(SFC, 8/17/05, p.A2)
700-800 The Madara Horseman in Kaspichan was
carved into a sandstone cliff.
(SFEC, 8/28/98, p.T4)
811 Jul 26, Nicephorus I,
Byzantine Emperor (802-11), died in the Battle at Pliska. The
Bulgarian under monarch Krum beat the Byzantines.
917 Aug 20, A Byzantine
counter-offensive was routed by Syeon at Anchialus, Bulgaria.
927 May 27, Symeon, czar of
927 Ivan Rilski (later St. John
of Rila), an Orthodox Bulgarian, chose a hermit’s life in a cave in
the mountains above Sofia, Bulgaria. His students built a complex
nearby that grew to become the Rila Monastery.
(SSFC, 7/16/06, p.G4)
1014 Oct 6, The Byzantine
Emperor Basil II (958-1025) earned the title "Slayer of Bulgars"
after he ordered the blinding of 15,000 Bulgarian troops. Basil II
was godfather to Russia’s Prince Vladimir.
10/6/98)(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basil_II)(Econ, 2/16/08, p.60)
1018 By this year Basil II had
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R6)
1850 Jun 27, Ivan Vazov, poet,
novelist, playwright (Under the Yoke), was born in Bulgaria.
1861 Feb 26, Ferdinand I, 1st
tsar of modern Bulgaria (1908-18), was born in Vienna.
1867 Khristo Botev completed
his education in Russia and returned to Bulgaria only to flee to
Romania. There he joined his friend Stephan Stambulov in promoting a
Bulgarian liberation movement through literature, journalism and
simply organizing dissidents. He was a hero of the Bulgarian
nationalist movement against Turkish rule in the 19th century—and
also a poet.
1868 Bulgaria’s Buzludzha peak
area was the place of the final battle between rebels led by Hadji
Dimitar and Stefan Karadzha and the Ottoman Empire.
1876 May, During an uprising in
central Bulgaria (part of the overall “Eastern Crisis‘ in the
Balkans from 1875-78), Khristo Botev, nationalist hero and poet,
re-entered Bulgaria with a small band of rebels. He was killed near
Mt. Veslez a few days after his return.
1876 Russia under Alexander II
invaded Ottoman-controlled Bulgaria with a mixture of humanitarian
and imperialistic motives following reports that Turks were
(SFC, 9/7/08, Books p.5)
1878 Mar 3, Russia and the
Ottomans signed the Treaty of San Stefano, granting independence to
Serbia. With the Treaty of San Stefano (and subsequent negotiations
in Berlin) in the wake of the last Russo-Turkish War, the Ottoman
Empire lost its possession of numerous territories including
Bulgaria, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia. The Russo-Turkish wars
dated to the 17th century, the Russians generally gaining territory
and influence over the declining Ottoman Empire. In the last war,
Russia and Serbia supported rebellions in the Balkans. In concluding
the Treaty of San Stefano, the Ottomans released control of
Montenegro, Romania and Serbia, granted autonomy to Bosnia and
Herzegovina, and allowed an autonomous state of Bulgaria to be
placed under Russian control.
(HN, 3/3/99)(HNQ, 2/23/01)
1878 Mar 3, The Treaty of San
Stefano was signed after Russo-Turkish War. It assigned
Albanian-populated lands to Bulgaria, Montenegro and Serbia; but
Austria-Hungary and Britain blocked the treaty's implementation.
Albanian leaders meet in Prizren, Kosova, to form the League of
Prizren. The League initially advocated autonomy for Albania. At the
Congress of Berlin, the Great Powers overturned the Treaty of San
Stefano and divided Albanian lands among several states. The League
of Prizren began to organize resistance to the Treaty of Berlin's
provisions that affected Albanians.
1878 At this time Bulgaria had
no army. By 1913, it had one of the most formidable land forces in
1885 Sep 18, A coup d’etat in
Eastern Rumelia led directly to a war between Serbia and Bulgaria.
The Balkan peace settlement established by the 1878 Treaty of Berlin
was undone when a coup d’etat in the disputed province of Eastern
Rumelia resulted in Eastern Rumelia (separated from Bulgaria in
1878) announcing its re-unification with Bulgaria. Serbian prince
Milan responded by demanding Bulgaria cede some of its territory to
Serbia. An international conference convened and became deadlocked
in November and Serbia declared war.
1885 Nov 17, The Serbian Army,
with Russian support, invaded Bulgaria.
1885 Nov 19, Bulgarians, led by
Stefan Stambolov, repulsed a larger Serbian invasion force at
1885 Nov 26, Bulgaria moved
1886 Mar 3, The Treaty of
Bucharest concluded the Serb-Bulgarian war, reestablishing prewar
Serbo-Bulgarian borders but leaving Eastern Rumelia and Bulgaria
1886 The Cathedral of the
Assumption was built in Varna, Bulgaria.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.T3)
1889 Jun 1, The first non-stop
train to Istanbul left Paris (Gare de l'Est). The train's eastern
terminus became Varna in Bulgaria, where passengers could take a
ship to Constantinople.
(Econ, 12/19/15, p.67)
1891 Bulgarian socialists led
by Dimitar Blagoev assembled secretly in the Buzludzha peak area to
form an organized socialist movement.
1894 Jan 30, Boris III
(d.1943), czar of Bulgaria (1918-43), was born.
(SFC, 9/6/00, p.A10)(MC, 1/30/02)
1895 Jul 15, Stephen Stambulov,
ex-prime minister of Bulgaria was murdered by Macedonian rebels.
1901 Sep 3, Miss Ellen Stone, a
Protestant missionary from Haverhill, Mass., was kidnapped in
Bulgaria by a Macedonian revolutionary gang, who demanded $110,000
in gold. Katerina Tsilka, her pregnant Bulgarian companion, was also
kidnapped and gave birth during her captivity to a baby girl. In
2003 Teresa Carpenter authored "The Miss Stone Affair: America's
First Modern Hostage Crisis."
(SSFC, 6/22/03, p.M4)
1903 Jan 3, The Bulgarian
government renounced the treaty of commerce tying it to
1903 Sep 8, Between 30,000 and
50,000 Bulgarian men, women and children were massacred in Monastir
by Turkish troops seeking to check a threatened Macedonian uprising.
1903 Sep 17, Turks destroyed
the town of Kastoria in Bulgaria, killing 10,000 civilians.
1905 Jul 25, Elias Canetti,
Bulgarian-British novelist, essayist (Nobel 1981), was born.
1912 Oct 17, Bulgaria, Greece
and Serbia declared war on Turkey. [see Oct 18]
1912 Oct 18, The First Balkan
War broke out between the members of the Balkan League-- Serbia,
Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro--and the Ottoman Empire. A small
Balkan War broke out and was quelled by the major powers. Albanian
nationalism spurred repeated revolts against Turkish dominion and
resulted in the First Balkan War in which the Turks were driven out
of much of the Balkan Peninsula. Austria-Hungary’s 1908 annexation
of Bosnia and Herzegovina spurred Serbian efforts to form the Balkan
alliance with its neighbors. As a result of the war on Turkey,
Serbia doubled its territory with the award of Northern Macedonia.
Albanian leaders affirmed Albania as an independent state. [see Oct
(V.D.-H.K.p.290)(CO, Grolier’s/ Albania)(HN,
10/18/98)(HNQ, 3/27/99)(www, Albania, 1998)
1912 Nov 5, Bulgarian troops in
Constantinople blockaded drinking water.
1912 Dec 3, Turkey, Serbia,
Montenegro, Greece and Bulgaria signed a weapons pact.
1912 Dec 4, An armistice was
signed to end the First Balkan War. Following several victories over
the Ottoman army, coalition forces occupied Macedonia and forced the
Ottoman Empire to seek an armistice.
1913 Feb 7, Turks lost 5,000
men in a battle with the Bulgarian army in Gallipoli.
1913 Mar 26, The Balkan allies
took Adrianople. Bulgaria captured Adrianople, ending the 1st Balkan
(HN, 3/25/98)(SS, 3/26/02)
1913 Jun 1, Serbia and Greece
concluded a secret treaty for joint action against Bulgaria; joined
by Romania. Dissatisfied with their share of the spoils, Serbia,
denied its proposed outlet to the Adriatic Sea, sought compensation
in Macedonia along the Vardar River which the Bulgarians rejected
while Greece asked for control of Thessaloniki and "a certain part"
of the eastern Macedonian territories, which Bulgaria rejected as
1913 Jun 24, Greece and Serbia
annulled their alliance with Bulgaria following border disputes over
Macedonia and Thrace.
1913 Jun 29, Anticipating
assistance from Austro-Hungary the Bulgarian army attacked its
former allies. This Second Balkan War was at first waged entirely on
Macedonian soil. Bulgaria defeated Greek and Serbian troops.
1913 Jul 1, Serbia and Greece
declared war on Bulgaria.
1913 Jul 10, Rumania entered
the Second Balkan War and four days later the Ottoman Empire joined
the general assault on Bulgaria. Faced with four fronts, Bulgarian
armies were defeated piecemeal and the government at Sofia was
forced to seek peace. Atrocities were widespread. For example, in
pursuing the Bulgarian army Greek forces systematically burnt to the
ground all Macedonian villages they encountered, mass-murdering
their entire populations. Likewise, when the Greek army entered
Kukush (Kilkis) and occupied surrounding villages, about 400 old
people and children were imprisoned and killed. Nor did the Serbian
"liberators" lag behind in destruction and wanton slaughter
throughout Macedonia. In Bitola, Skopje, Shtip and Gevgelija, the
Serbian army, police and chetniks (guerrillas) committed their own
1913 Jul 31, Bulgaria signed an
armistice concluding the 2nd Balkan War. [see Aug 10]
1913 Aug 10, The Treaty of
Bucharest ended the Second Balkan War. It was concluded by the
delegates of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece. The
entire "disputed zone" was taken by Serbia, Greece secured its
position in Thessaloniki and southeastern Macedonia, the Ottomans
regained all the territories lost in the First Balkan War to
Bulgaria with the exception of eastern (Pirin) Macedonia, and the
Romanians seized Southern Dobruja.
1913 Sep 29, The Treaty of
Constantinople was signed. Turkey obtained not only Adrianople, but
also Kirk Kilissé and Demotica. The Bulgarians were not even left
masters of the one railway leading to Dedeagatch, their sole port on
the Aegean Sea.
1914 Nov 20, Bulgaria
proclaimed its neutrality in the First World War.
1915 Sep 24, Bulgaria mobilized
troops on the Serbian border.
1915 Oct 11, A Bulgarian anti
Serbian offensive began.
1915 Oct 16, Great Britain
declared war on Bulgaria.
1915 Oct 19, Russia and Italy
declared war on Bulgaria.
1916 Sep 1, Bulgaria declared
war on Rumania as the First World War expanded.
1916 Sep 27, Constance of
Greece declared war on Bulgaria.
1917 Jan 5, Bulgarian and
German troops occupied the Port of Braila in East Romania.
(HN, 1/5/99)(WUD, 1994, p.178)
1918 Mar 3, Germany,
Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and Russia signed the
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World
War I. Germany and Austria forced Soviet Russia to sign the Peace of
Brest, which called for the establishment of 5 independent
countries: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine. The
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which ended Russian participation in World
War I, was annulled by the November 1918 armistice. The treaty
deprived the Soviets of White Russia.
(HN, 3/3/99)(LHC, 3/1/03)(AP, 3/3/08)
1918 Sep 30, Bulgaria pulled
out of World War I.
1919 Nov 27, Bulgaria signed
peace treaty with Allies at Neuilly, France, fixing war reparations
and recognizing Yugoslavian independence.
1923 Jun 9, Bulgaria’s
government was overthrown by the military.
1930 Oct 4, King Boris
Cobourgh-Gotha III married Giovanna of Savoy, the daughter of
Vittorio Emanuele, the former king. Queen Ioanna died in 2000 at age
(SFC, 2/29/00, p.A19)
1933 Feb 27, Germany's
parliament building, the Reichstag, caught fire. The Nazis blamed
the Communists and used the fire as a pretext for suspending civil
liberties and increasing their power. Georgi Dimitrov, a Bulgarian
Communist, was one of the accused plotters, but was acquitted. After
WW II Dimitrov became the 1st premier of communist Bulgaria. In 2003
Ivo Banac edited "The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov."
(AP, 2/27/98)(HN, 2/27/99)(WSJ, 6/6/03, p.W9)
1935 Apr 21, King Boris of
Bulgaria forbade all political parties.
1935-1943 Georgi Dimitrov, a Bulgarian communist
selected by Stalin, led the Comintern.
(WSJ, 6/6/03, p.W9)
1939-1945 No Bulgarian Jew was killed during the
(SFC, 9/6/00, p.A10)
1940 Jul 2, Georgi Ivan Ivanov,
1st Bulgarian space traveler (Soyuz 33), was born.
1941 Mar 1, Bulgaria joined
the Axis as the Nazis occupy Sofia.
(WUD, 1944, p.1683)(HN, 3/1/98)
1941 Mar 3, Moscow denounced
the Axis rule in Bulgaria.
1941 Mar 5, Britain severed all
relation with Bulgaria and prepared for an air attack on Bulgaria.
1943 Mar, Bulgarians occupying
Macedonia rounded up and deported 7,148 (7,144) Macedonian Jews from
Skopje, and cities of Bitola and Stip to the Treblinka death
camp in German-occupied Poland. Of a pre-war population of
some 8,000 Jews, only 350 remained after the war.
(Econ, 7/16/11, p.88)(AP, 3/12/18)
1943 Aug 16, Bulgarian czar
Boris III visited Adolf Hitler.
1943 Dec 10, Allied forces
bombed Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
1943 Dec 11, U.S. Secretary of
State, Cordell Hull, demanded that Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria
withdraw from the war.
1943 Bulgarian King Boris
Cobourgh-Gotha III died shortly after he yielded to pressure from
Adolph Hitler to ally with Nazi Germany. Prince Simeon (6) acceded
to the thrown and reigned under regencies until 1946 when the
monarchy was abolished.
(SFC, 2/29/00, p.A19)
1944 Aug 26, Bulgaria announced
that it had withdrawn from the war (World War II) and that German
troops in the country were to be disarmed.
1944-1947 King Simeon II reigned over Bulgaria
when he was 6 to 9 years old. The Communists sent him packing.
(SFC, 6/27/97, p.A16)
1946 Sep 8, Bulgaria ended its
monarchy. The monarchy was abolished in a referendum called by
communists installed by the Soviet Army. Georgi Dimitrov became the
1st premier of communist Bulgaria. In 2003 Ivo Banac edited "The
Diary of Georgi Dimitrov."
(SFC, 2/29/00, p.A19)(MC, 9/8/01)(WSJ, 6/6/03,
1947 Sep 23, Nikola Petkov
(b.1893), one of the leaders of the Bulgarian Agrarian National
Union, was hanged.
1949 Jan 1, Bulgaria
inaugurated a 5-year plan.
(EWH, 1968, p.1193)
1949 Jun 25, Communist Deputy
Premier Traicho Kostov was arrested and charged with ideological
deviation and treason. He and ten associates were found guilty and
executed on Dec 16.
(EWH, 1968, p.1194)
1949 Jul 2, Premier Georgi
Dimitrov (b.1882), the founding leader of Bulgarian communism, died
in Moscow while undergoing medical treatment. His remains were
placed in a marble mausoleum in Sophia. He was succeeded by Vassil
Kolarov. Dimitrov’s remains were buried in 1990. In 2003 Ivo Banac
edited "The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov."
(EWH, 1968, p.1194)(SFC, 9/10/99, p.A12)(WSJ,
6/6/03, p.W9)(SFC, 9/10/08, p.A5)
1949 Dec 14, Bulgarian
ex-Premier Traicho Kostov was sentenced to die for treason in Sofia.
1950 Feb 21, The United States
formally broke relations with Bulgaria.
1952 Vincentius Bossilkov, the
Bishop of Nikopolis, was convicted at a Stalinist-era show trial for
refusing to accept a law aimed at removing the local Catholic Church
from Vatican jurisdiction. He was tried, tortured, shot and buried
in a common grave. He was beatified in 1998.
(SFC, 3/16/98, p.A9)
1954 Mar 4, In Bulgaria
Communist ruler Todor Zhivkov began a 35-year dictatorship.
During his rule he authorized a forced assimilation drive against
the 1 million ethnic Turks. Over 100 were killed and some 310,000
1954 A new bridge across the
Danube linked the cities of Ruse, Bulgaria, and Giurgiu, Romania.
1955 May 14, Representatives
from eight Communist bloc countries: Soviet Union, Albania,
Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland &
Romania, signed the Warsaw Pact in Poland. Andras Hegedues signed
(AP, 5/14/97)(SFC, 10/26/99, p.B4)(MC, 5/14/02)
1964 Cytosine, produced under
the brand name Tabex, was first marketed in Bulgaria. It was
produced by the Bulgarian pharmaceutical company Sopharma AD and
became widely available in the Formerly Socialist Economies of
Europe (FSE). The cytisine derivative varenicline was approved in
2006 as a smoking cessation drug.
1968 Aug 3, The Bratislava
statement conceded Czechoslovakia’s right to pursue its own path.
The conference was held in Bratislava, Slovakia, for representatives
of the communist and workers' parties of the People's Republic of
Bulgaria, the Hungarian People's Republic, the German Democratic
Republic, the Polish People's Republic, the Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics, and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
1969 Georgi Markov, a renowned
writer and journalist, fled communist Bulgaria and settled in
London, where he worked for the Bulgarian-language service of the
British Broadcasting Corp.
1971 May 18, The 3rd Bulgarian
constitution went into effect.
1971 Jul 4, In Bulgaria Marin
Naidenov Minkov (1914-2012) was named Patriarch of the country’s
1972 Communist Party officials
told Muslim men to change their names to something more Bulgarian. A
protest in Breznitsa left 8 dead.
(SFC, 3/27/00, p.A12)
1977 Bulgaria’s foreign
minister Petar Mladenov became a member of the policy-making
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.D5)
1978 Sep 6, Bulgarian defector
Georgi Markov, living in London, was stabbed in the leg by a man
carrying an umbrella; Markov died four days later, an apparent
victim of the Bulgarian secret police using a ricin-coated pellet.
The assassin was later identified as Francesco Gullino (Guillino,
Giullino), code name Piccadilly, an Italian-born Dane, operating
under instructions from Vasil Kotsev, Bulgaria’s top spymaster.
(AP, 9/7/08)(Econ, 9/6/08, p.61)
1978 Sep 11, Georgi Markov, a
Bulgarian defector, died at a British hospital four days after being
stabbed by a man wielding a poisoned umbrella tip. British
investigative reporter Peter Earle (d.1997 at 71) revealed that
Markov was jabbed by an East German agent with a poison tipped
umbrella on Waterloo Bridge. The original report stated that Markov
died of a heart attack. In 1993 Danish authorities charged a Dane of
Italian origin, Francesco Guillino, with killing Markov. Guillino,
who reportedly had worked for the Bulgarian secret services since
1972, denied any wrongdoing and eventually was freed. In 2005
journalist Hristo Hristov authored “Kill Vagabond," in which he
presented new evidence confirming that the hit was planned and
carried out by Bulgaria's communist-era secret service.
(SFEC, 4/27/97, p.B8)(AP, 9/11/98)(AP,
6/16/05)(SFC, 6/17/05, p.W5)
1980 In 1980, Konstantin Pavlov
(1933-2008), Bulgarian poet and screenwriter, was granted the Grand
Prix at the Karlovy Vary film festival for his screenplay of the
1981 Bulgarian philosopher
Zhelyu Zhelev (1935-2015) published a book called "Fascism" that
likened communism to fascism but it was almost immediately withdrawn
from the shelves. The book was republished after the fall of the
1981 Elias Canetti (1905-1994),
Bulgarian-born British novelist and essayist, won the Nobel Prize in
Literature. His ancestors were Sephardic Jews who had been expelled
from Spain in 1492.
1981 The Bulgarian communist
regime built the Buzludzha Monument on a 1,441-meter-high peak to
commemorate events in 1891 when the socialists led by Dimitar
Blagoev assembled secretly in the area to form an organized
1983-2002 Bulgaria experienced an average of 7.4
self-immolations a year during this period, most of them politically
(Econ, 3/23/13, p.60)
1988 Dec 27, Bulgaria stopped
jamming Radio Free Europe after more than 3 decades.
1989 Nov 10, In Bulgaria
Communist ruler Todor Zhivkov (1911-1998) was thrown out of office
after a 35-year dictatorship. The ouster was led by Foreign Minister
Petar Mladenov who later became president.
11/29/96, p.B3)(SFC, 5/2/97, p.A14)
1989 Bulgaria's State
Security was dissolved. It had worked closely with the Soviet KGB,
operated a network of some 100,000 agents and informers and was
dissolved following the collapse of the communist regime.
1989 To avoid assimilation
300,000 Turks left Bulgaria. The communist government of Bulgaria
deported 340,000 ethnic Turks.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A11)(Econ, 2/11/17, p.70)
1989 Bulgaria’s new government
apologized for "crimes of the past" and rescinded the 1972 Communist
law for Muslim men to change their names.
(SFC, 3/27/00, p.A12)
1990 Feb 3, The parliament of
Bulgaria elected economist Andrei Lukanov to replace a hard-line
Communist as premier. Lukanov became the prime minister after rising
to the number 2 spot of the Communist hierarchy under Zhivkov. He
oversaw the party’s formal break with Stalinism and victory in the
first free elections.
(SFC, 10/5/96, p.A10)(AP,
1990 Jun, Bulgaria’s former
Communist Party, renamed the Socialist party, won parliamentary
(SFC, 5/2/97, p.A14)
1990 Jul, Bulgaria’s Pres.
Petar Mladenov resigned under pressure from the anti-communist
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.D5)
1990 Nov, Bulgaria’s Andrei
Lukanov fell from power under a wave of protests and strikes.
(SFC, 10/5/96, p.A10)
1990 Dec, Bulgaria’s Socialist
dominated Parliament formed a coalition government headed by
nonparty lawyer Dimitar Popov. It included the opposition Union of
Democratic Forces (UDF).
(SFC, 5/2/97, p.A14)
1990 Bulgaria’s Parliament
chose philosopher Zhelyu Zhelev as president. He won the first
democratic election in 1992 remaining in office until 1997.
1990 The body of Georgi
Dimitrov was removed from its mausoleum in Sophia and cremated.
(SFC, 9/10/99, p.A12)
1990-1997 Bulgaria’s Socialist Party drove the
country to the brink of bankruptcy.
(SFC, 6/18/01, p.A10)
1991 Bulgaria’s .UDF won a
modest majority in parliament in the fall, but its government was
ousted in a no-confidence vote after 11 months in power.
(SFC, 5/2/97, p.A14)
1991 In Bulgaria Albena
Simeonova established the Foundation for Ecological Training and
(USAT, 4/22/96, p.4-D)
1992 Bulgaria’s Communist
leader Todor Zhivkov was convicted of embezzling state funds. He was
freed in 1997.
(WSJ, 1/21/97, p.A1)
1993 Jun 28, Boris Christoff
(b.1914), Bulgaria born bass singer, died in Rome.
1993 In Bulgaria Albena
Simeonova established the environmental group Green Parliament.
(USAT, 4/22/96, p.4-D)
1993 Bulgaria banned dancing
bears, but performances continued through 2002. In 2000 Four Paws, a
Vienna animal rights group, opened a bear sanctuary at Belitsa.
(SFC, 7/8/02, p.A3)
1994 Dec 18, Bulgaria’s
Socialist Party (ex-communist) won a parliamentary election. Premier
Zhan Videnov’s Socialist government won a parliamentary majority.
(www.projects.v2.nl/~arns/Texts/Chrono/BG.html)(SFC, 6/6/96, p.C5)
1994 Arms exports from Bulgaria
generated about $250 mil., a three-fold increase over a year
(WSJ, 7/24/95, p.A-7c)
1994 Emil Kuylev (1956-2005), a
former police officer, founded the Bulgarian-Russian Rosexim bank
and acquired in 2002 the state insurance company DZI, making his
business into the largest banking and insurance firm in Bulgaria.
1995 Dec, Bulgaria's Parliament
endorsed the government's decision to apply for full membership to
the European Union.
(WSJ, 12/4/95, p.A-8)
1996 Apr 22, Albena Simeonova,
founder of Green Parliament in Bulgaria was a Goldman Award winner
for her campaigning against nuclear power and other environmental
(USAT, 4/22/96, p.4-D)
1996 May 21, Bulgaria's PM Zhan
Videnov was struggling to keep the country’s economy intact. The
local currency, the lev, slumped to 116 leva to the dollar.
(WSJ, 5/21/96, p.A-12)
1996 May 25, King Simeon
returned to Bulgaria. He may run for president but must get waived
constitutional requirement that candidates must have been residents
for the previous 5 years. He was forced into exile by the communist
rulers at age 9.
(SFC, 5/26/96, p.C-11)
1996 Jun 6, Bulgaria's currency
was plummeting and crime was rampant. People were dispirited and the
official economy was 90% state-owned and under management by former
Communists. Pres. Zhelyu Zhelev doubted whether the Socialist Party
would be able to rescue the country.
(SFC, 6/6/96, C2,5)
1996 Jun 14, Bulgaria passed
legislation to give joint ventures at least 50% foreign owned a five
year tax holiday, and required that half of the forgiven tax sums be
invested in the same businesses.
(WSJ, 6/14/96, p.A10)
1996 Jun, The average monthly
wages in Bulgaria fell to about $65 from $122 in May.
(WSJ, 8/19/96, p.A7C)
1996 Jul 1, In Bulgaria there
was sharp increases in taxes, excise duties and electricity and fuel
(SFC, 7/2/96, p.A10)
1996 Jul, Bulgaria reached an
agreement with the IMF and $582 million was pumped in with another
$200 million promised by the World Bank.
(WSJ, 8/19/96, p.A7C)
1996 Jul, Inflation in Bulgaria
hit 23% for the month.
(SFC, 9/9/96, p.A11)
1996 Aug 11, Vangelia
Gushterova (84), a blind peasant woman with supposed clairvoyant
powers, died in Bulgaria of cancer.
(SFC, 8/12/96, p.C5)
1996 Oct 2, In Bulgaria former
PM Andrei Lukanov was assassinated. It was said that he had new
proofs of corruption in the highest power circles. In 2003 5 men
were convicted and sentenced to life in prison without chance of
(SFC, 10/5/96, p.A10)(AP, 11/28/03)
1996 Oct 27, Bulgaria's
anti-Communist opposition candidate, Petar Stoyanov, led the
elections against Ivan Marazov with 44% vs. 27%.
(SFC, 10/28/96, p.A10)
1996 Nov 3, In Bulgaria’s
presidential elections Petar Stoyanov (44) won with 61.9% of the
(SFC, 11/4/96, p.A11)
1996 Bulgaria’s GDP fell 10%
and foreign debt went up to more than $9 billion, equal to the size
of the economy. Wages have fallen to $20 per month from 120.
(WSJ, 2/28/97, p.A1)
1996-1997 In Bulgaria fourteen banks went bankrupt
in a little over a year.
(Econ, 7/5/14, p.62)
1997 Jan 8, Bulgaria’s ruling
party backed Nikolai Dobrev for premier.
(WSJ, 1/9/97, p.A1)
1997 Jan 10, In Bulgaria
protestors trapped legislators of the ruling Socialist Party inside
parliament. The economy was still 90% state-owned and inflation last
year topped 300%.
(SFC, 1/11/96, p.A8)
1997 Jan 19, Bulgaria’s Pres.
Peter Stoyanov was sworn into office and he immediately called for
new parliamentary elections.
(SFC, 1/20/96, p.A13)
1997 Feb 3, Bulgaria's Premier
designate Nikolai Dobrev was selected by the Bulgaria’s Socialists
to lead a new government. Thousands hit the streets with students
and transport workers in protest.
(SFC, 2/4/97, p.A9)
1997 Feb 4, Bulgaria’s
ex-Communists backed down and agreed to new elections in April.
(WSJ, 2/5/97, p.A1)
1997 Apr 19, In Bulgaria the
United Democratic Forces (UDF) under Ivan Kostov won elections with
52% of the vote. The former Communist’s renamed Socialist Party won
(SFEC, 4/21/97, p.A8)
1997 May 2, Bulgaria’s average
salary was reported as $30 a month and the average pension $4 a
(SFC, 5/2/97, p.A18)
1997 May 21, In Bulgaria Ivan
Kostov was elected the new premiere by the parliament. He planned
reforms for the economy, cleanup of corruption, and gaining
admission to the EU and NATO.
(SFC, 5/22/97, p.C3)
1998 Nov 23, An Arctic cold
wave was reported to have killed 71 people across Europe over the
last 3 days. 36 deaths were in Poland and 24 in Romania and
(SFC, 11/24/98, p.A14)
1999 Mar 26, In Bulgaria some
10,000 people protested NATO strikes; in Greece some 15,000 marched
on the US embassy in protest; in Bosnia some 3,000 Serb youths
turned violent in Banja Luka over the NATO strikes.
(SFC, 3/27/99, p.A11)
1999 Apr 18, NATO requested
from Bulgaria the use of its airspace.
(WSJ, 4/19/99, p.A1)
1999 Apr 20, Bulgaria and
Romania offered to let NATO use their airspace to bomb Yugoslavia.
(WSJ, 4/21/99, A22)
1999 Apr 29, In Bulgaria an
errant NATO HARM missile hit a home in Gorna Banya on the outskirts
of Sofia. There were no casualties.
(SFC, 4/30/99, p.A13,D2)
1999 Jun 30, In Bulgaria
finance minister Muravei Radev announced that 40% of state assets
would be sold and dozens of companies closed.
(SFC, 7/1/99, p.A15)
1999 Aug 21, In Bulgaria a
planned explosion in Sophia of the mausoleum that once housed the
body of former Communist leader Georgi Dimitrov failed to collapse
the structure. It took a week to collapse the structure.
(SFEC, 8/22/99, p.A18)(SFC, 9/10/99, p.A12)
1999 Nov 10, Communism ended in
Bulgaria and the country began its transition to democracy.
1999 Nov 22, Pres. Clinton
visited Bulgaria and promised more aid if the economy stabilized and
the movement toward democracy continued.
(SFC, 11/23/99, p.A14)
1999 Dec 10, The EU granted
preliminary consideration for membership to Bulgaria, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Malta.
(SFC, 12/11/99, p.A16)
1999 Bulgaria cut 3 zeroes from
(Econ, 8/28/04, p.67)
1999 Bulgaria agreed with the
EU to close the two oldest reactors in the Kozlodui nuclear power
plant by the end of 2006 because of safety concerns. 2 newer
1,000-megawatt reactors were to stay running until the next decade.
1999 Bulgaria privatized the
troubled Kremikovtzi steel plant selling 71% to businessman Valentin
Zahariev for one dollar and a promise to rehabilitate the plant.
(WSJ, 8/4/08, p.A8)
2000 May 31, Petar Mladenov,
former Bulgarian president (1989-1990), died at age 64.
(SFC, 6/2/00, p.D5)
2001 Apr 23, It was reported
that Simeon Borisov Saxe-Coburgotski, the former Czar Simeon II of
Bulgaria, had recently announced plans to form a political party.
(SFC, 4/23/01, p.A8)
2001 Apr, Customs agents in
Bulgaria confiscated a transport plane from the Czech Republic with
6 howitzers and a cache of AK-47 rifles. The plane was scheduled to
go to Georgia but had flight plans for Eritrea.
(WSJ, 12/11/01, p.A15)
2001 Jun 17, In Bulgaria voters
in parliamentary elections supported the national Movement of Czar
Simeon II (64), who was eligible to become prime minister. PM Ivan
Kostov conceded. Simeon’s party won 120 of 240 seats.
(SFC, 6/18/01, p.A10)(SFC, 7/13/01, p.A14)
2001 Jul 12, In Bulgaria Simeon
Saxe-Coburgotski (64), the former King Simeon II, was chosen as
Prime Minister. He promised to solve the country's problems in 800
(SFC, 7/13/01, p.A14)(Econ, 11/1/03, p.46)
2001 Dec 21, In Sofia,
Bulgaria, at least 7 young people were killed when they rushed the
entrance of a downtown disco.
(SFC, 12/22/01, p.A5)
2001 In Bulgaria Socialist
Georgi Parvanov (44) won 53% of the presidential vote against
incumbent Petar Stoyanov. This signaled discontent with the pace of
reforms of PM Simeon Saxcoburggotski.
(SFC, 11/19/01, p.A14)(WSJ, 11/19/01, p.A1)
2002 May 23, Pope John Paul II
visited Bulgaria, his 1st to the Orthodox nation of just 80,000
(SFC, 5/24/02, p.A13)
2002 May 31, Bulgaria signed an
agreement with the US to destroy its Cold War-era missiles. The US
planned to pay the costs of destruction.
(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A11)
2002 Jun 9, The Bulgaria
Socialist Party re-elected Sergei Stanishev (35), its young,
reformist leader, in a landslide victory for the social democratic
wing of the party over aging communist hard-liners.
2002 Sep 26, NATO planned to
issue invitations in November to Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Expansion would commit
the current 19 members to defend the borders of the new members.
(SFC, 9/26/02, p.A1)
2002 Oct 9, The European
Union's executive Commission declared Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania,
Slovenia, and Slovakia nearly ready for EU membership and
recommended they be invited to join in 2004. Romania and Bulgaria
likely will be delayed until 2007 because of weak economies, the
Commission said, adding Turkey was the weakest link among
2002 Nov 21, The Baltic nations
of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania joined former communist states
Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia as the next wave of NATO
2003 Mar 7, In Bulgaria Ilya
Pavlov, owner of the energy and tourism-related company Multigroup
and Bulgaria's richest man, was killed by a sniper in Sofia. Pavlov,
a former wrestler, was instrumental in the demise of the Kremikovtzi
2003 Nov 28, In Bulgaria 5 men
were convicted and sentenced to life in prison without chance of
parole for the 1996 assassination of former Prime Minister Andrei
2003 Dec 24, It was reported
that U.S. and Russian experts recovered 37 pounds of weapons-grade
uranium, enough to develop a nuclear warhead, from a closed atomic
facility in Bulgaria.
2003 Dec 27, In Iraq insurgents
launched 3 coordinated attacks in the southern city of Karbala,
killing 12 people, including six Iraqi police officers, 2 Thai
soldiers and 5 Bulgarians.
(AP, 12/27/03)(AP, 12/28/03)(SSFC, 12/28/03,
p.A3)(WSJ, 12/29/03, p.A1)
2004 Jan 2, Bulgaria reported
that more than two dozen Bulgarian soldiers are refusing deployment
in Iraq, following the deaths of five countrymen.
2004 Mar 29, Pres. Bush hosted
a White House ceremony to welcome Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania,
Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia into the NATO alliance.
(WSJ, 3/30/04, p.A1)
2004 Mar, The population of
Bulgaria was about 7.9 million, down from 8.9 million in 1989.
(WPR, 3/04, p.28)
2004 Apr 2, In Brussel an
official ceremony welcomed Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia,
Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia into the NATO alliance.
(SFC, 4/3/04, p.A11)
2004 May 3, Bulgaria sent 24 of
its soldiers home after they complained about being unprepared for
duty in Iraq.
2004 Jul 14, Militants in Iraq
said they killed a captive Bulgarian truck driver and threatened to
put another hostage to death in 24 hours. Georgi Lazov (30) and
Ivaylo Kepov (32) were kidnapped Jun 29.
(AP, 7/14/04)(USAT, 7/4/04, p.5A)
2004 Sep 30, Bulgaria adopted
changes to its criminal justice system to meet EU demands for
joining the group in 2007.
(WSJ, 10/4/04, p.A15)
2004 Dec 7, Libya listed three
conditions under which it is prepared to drop charges against five
Bulgarian nurses condemned to death on suspect charges of spreading
2004 Dec 28, Albania, Bulgaria
and Macedonia gave political support to a $1.2 billion private
trans-Balkan pipeline that will allow Russian and Caspian crude oil
to avoid Turkish waters.
(WSJ, 12/29/04, p.A7)
2005 Jan 1, Bulgaria was
forecast for 4% GDP growth with a population at 7.7 million and GDP
per head at $3,590.
(Econ, 1/8/05, p.87)
2005 Jan 21, Bulgarian
President Georgy Parvanov told parliament that he would like to see
Bulgaria's 450-strong troop contingent out of Iraq before the end of
2005 Feb, Bulgaria’s parliament
passed a law authorizing the confiscation of illegally obtained
assets. Widespread money laundering had manifested itself in a
construction boom in tourist areas and other sudden explosions of
wealth. The audacity of the crime bosses, who intimidate normal
Bulgarians with their gun-toting entourages, has angered many and
may play a role in whether Saxe-Coburg will hold on to power in
2005 Mar 4, In Iraq Pvt. Gardi
Gardev, a Bulgarian soldier, was killed by friendly fire." President
Georgi Parvanov summoned U.S. Ambassador James Pardew on Mar 7 and
complained about the lack of coordination between coalition troops
2005 Apr 13, The European
Parliament approved the entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the EU in
2007, but it said both countries still need to carry out necessary
2005 May 28, Bulgarian
President Georgi Parvanov flew Tripoli to meet with Libyan leader
Moamer Kadhafi, days before a Libyan court rules on the appeal of
five Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death over an AIDS-tainted blood
2005 Jun 25, Bulgarians voted
in general elections. The ex-communist Socialist party was expected
to see the Socialists topple ex-king PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg and take
over the tough task of steering the country into the EU in 2007.
2005 Jun 26, In Bulgaria with
99.6% of the votes counted, the Socialists had 31% of the vote,
while the ruling center-right National Movement of PM Simeon
Saxcoburggotski had 20%. The Movement for rights and Freedoms, a
party for ethnic Turks, won 13%.
(AP, 6/26/05)(WSJ, 6/27/05, p.A12)(Econ, 7/2/05,
2005 Jul 15, Officials said
heavy rains and flash floods have killed 20 people and inundated
tens of thousands of homes in Bulgaria and Romania.
2005 Aug 15, Bulgaria's three
largest parties formed a coalition under a Socialist prime minister,
resolving seven weeks of stalemate threatening to hold up the Balkan
state's aspirations for EU entry in 2007.
2005 Aug 16, Bulgaria's
Parliament overwhelmingly approved historian Sergei Stanishev (39),
the leader of the Socialist Party, as the country's new prime
minister bringing to power his socialist-liberal coalition
2005 Aug 17, Libya called on
the Bulgarian government to negotiate a payment to win amnesty for
five Bulgarian medics and a Palestinian sentenced to death for
allegedly infecting 400 children with the AIDS virus.
2005 Aug, Georgy Iliev, owner
of a Bulgarian First League football club and brother of the founder
of the VIS security-guard business that was banned for racketeering,
was shot down in a bar he owned.
2005 Sep 2, Bulgaria said it
has begun preparations to withdraw its 400 troops from Iraq.
2005 Oct 10, Shinka Manova, a
high-ranking Bulgarian customs official, was slain in Sofia. He was
allegedly protecting the smuggling business of the mafia.
2005 Oct 14, Bulgaria adopted a
new penal procedure to remedy a judiciary system that has been
criticized for failing to jail well-known criminals.
2005 Oct 26, Emil Kyulev (49)
owner of Bulgaria's largest insurance and banking group,
DZI-Rosexim, was shot dead in the street in Sofia in the latest in a
series of killings to jolt the country, which has been told to crack
down on organized crime if it wants to join the EU.
(AP, 10/26/05)(Econ, 10/29/05, p.50)
2005 Dec 23, Bulgaria and Libya
agreed to set up a special fund for AIDS-infected children in Libya,
where five Bulgarian nurses face the death penalty after being
convicted of causing the infections.
2005 Dec 25, Libya's Supreme
Court scrapped death sentences against five Bulgarian nurses and a
Palestinian doctor and ordered a retrial of the cases which have
harmed Tripoli's efforts to build ties with the West.
2005 Dec 27, Ukraine and
Bulgaria said all their troops had left Iraq. Poland said it would
remain but reduce its number of troops by 600 next year.
2005 In Bulgaria businessman
Valentin Zahariev sold the troubled Kremikovtzi steel plant for $110
million to Pramod Mittal, the brother of steel magnate Lakshmi
(WSJ, 8/4/08, p.A8)
2005 Bulgaria’s GDP per head
(Econ, 1/6/07, p.43)
2006 Jan 6, Bulgarian officials
said Gazprom was pushing it to switch to a system in which it pays
transit fees and charges Sofia market prices. Bulgaria rejected the
offer and said its current is good to 2010.
(WSJ, 1/9/06, p.A11)
2006 Jan 21, The families of
426 HIV-infected Libyan children asked for $12 million in
compensation for each child as part of efforts to resolve the case
of five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor charged with
intentionally infecting the children.
2006 Jan, Hewlett-Packard
announced that it will open a global delivery service center in
Sofia, Bulgaria, in June with some 1000 Bulgarian employees.
2006 Feb 22, Bulgaria's
parliament endorsed a government decision to send a 120-member
non-combat unit to Iraq.
2006 Mar 24, Officials said
Bulgaria and the US have reached an agreement allowing the US
military to use several military bases in Bulgaria.
2006 Apr 13, The Danube reached
record-high levels in Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia, flooding fertile
farmland as authorities in southeastern Europe considered ordering
2006 Apr 27, Thousands of
Bulgarians demonstrated against a deal to allow US troops to use
military facilities in the country.
2006 Apr 28, In Bulgaria
Secretary Rice signed a Defense Cooperation Agreement, which
included a US lease of 3 bases in Bulgaria.
2006 May 26, In Bulgaria
lawmakers overwhelmingly approved an agreement allowing US troops to
use Bulgarian military facilities.
2006 May 30, In Bulgaria more
than 10,000 people protested in the streets of Sofia to demand
changes in the government's economic and social policy, which they
blame for the country's rising cost of living.
2006 Sep 26, The European
Commission recommended that Bulgaria and Romania join the EU next
year, but under some of the harshest terms ever faced by new
2006 Oct 2, Vladimir Kramnik of
Russia and Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria played to a draw in Game 6 of
the world chess championship after Kramnik agreed to resume
competition after a dispute over bathroom breaks threatened to halt
2006 Oct 22, Bulgarians voted
for the president who will lead their country into the EU. Incumbent
Georgi Parvanov won 64% of the vote against his main rival,
ultranationalist Volen Siderov. Turnout was only 38% of Bulgaria's
6.4 million eligible voters, short of the 50% required by law to
allow Parvanov to avoid a runoff. Most power in Bulgaria rests with
the prime minister and parliament. But the president does have veto
powers, giving him the right to send any bill back to parliament. He
also represents the state abroad, leads the armed forces and can
sign international treaties. The president is elected for a term of
five years, renewable only once. The runoff was set for Oct 29.
(AP, 10/22/06)(WSJ, 10/24/06, p.A1)
2006 Oct 24, Britain said
Bulgarians and Romanians will have only limited rights to work in
Britain for at least a year after their countries join the European
Union on January 1.
2006 Oct 29, Bulgarian
President Georgy Parvanov won re-election to a second five-year term
with an unassailable lead in his run-off battle against
ultra-nationalist challenger Volen Siderov. Turnout was between 35
2006 Oct 30, A Russian company
won a bid to construct a second nuclear plant in Bulgaria.
2006 Nov 15, In Bulgaria
Bozhidar Doychev, the director of the department responsible for
communist-era archives, was found dead at his desk, shot with his
own gun. Lawmakers had recently voted to open the archives.
2006 Dec 6, Lawmakers in
Bulgaria adopted a much-delayed law to open the archives of its
former communist secret service, but also voted to keep a small
portion of the files secret for "national security reasons."
2006 Dec 7, In northeastern
Bulgaria a truck collided with a bus, sending both vehicles off a
bridge into a river and killing at least 17 people.
2006 Dec 19, A Libya court
convicted five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor of
deliberately infecting 400 children with HIV and sentenced them to
death, despite scientific evidence the youngsters had the virus
before the medical workers came to Libya. The verdict, which will be
automatically referred to Libya's Supreme Court, drew quick
condemnation from European nations. The six later had their death
sentences commuted, and were transferred to Bulgaria, where they
were pardoned and set free.
(AP, 12/19/06)(AP, 12/19/07)
2006 Dec 31, In Bulgaria 2
Chernobyl-era nuclear energy units were shut down at Kozloduy as an
accession to Bulgaria’s joining the EU. This led to a cut in energy
exports and to soaring energy prices in the Balkans.
(Econ, 2/10/07, p.51)(http://tinyurl.com/2oyyok)
2007 Jan 1, Bulgaria and
Romania joined the EU. Some 30,000 Israelis gained EU citizenship
due to their dual registration in Romania.
(WSJ, 10/4/07, p.A11)(AP, 1/1/07)
2007 Mar 2, Bulgaria's
Socialist-led government survived a no-confidence on a motion filed
by the opposition, claiming that the government was unable to cope
with a health care crisis.
2007 Mar 15, Bulgaria, Russia
and Greece signed a deal in Athens to build a 175-mile pipeline to
transport Russian oil to a port in northern Greece.
2007 May 20, An exit poll
showed that Bulgaria's ruling Socialist party won the country's
first elections for the European Parliament with 23.9% of votes,
despite voter frustration with rampant corruption and poverty.
2007 May 27, A Libyan court
acquitted 5 Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian medic of charges of
slandering policemen by protesting that their confessions had been
extracted under torture.
2007 Jun 2, Bulgarian PM Sergey
Stanishev said he had accepted the resignation of two ministers,
following a corruption scandal that has shaken his centre-left
2007 Jun 11, Pres. Bush arrived
in Bulgaria and met with President Georgi Parvanov.
2007 Jun 15, Activists in
Bulgaria bought the freedom of the country’s last three dancing
bears. They will get to rest their paws at a mountain sanctuary, in
an apparent end to the centuries-old performance tradition in the
Balkans. Bears had still performed, even though the practice was
outlawed in 1993, when there were 20 to 30 such bears in the
2007 Jul 11, Manol Velev, a
Bulgarian businessman, was shot and left in a coma. Velev was
married to Bulgaria’s sports minister and had paid for the 2006
re-election campaign of Pres. Georgi Parvanov. Velev was released
from the hospital on December 6, 2007 and faced extensive
2007 Jul 17, Libya's foreign
minister said the death sentences for five Bulgarian nurses and a
Palestinian doctor accused of infecting hundreds of Libyan children
with HIV have been commuted to life in prison. The ruling came after
the families of the children each received $1 million and agreed to
drop their demand for the execution of the six.
2007 Jul 24, Five Bulgarian
nurses and a Palestinian doctor, sentenced to life in prison in
Libya for allegedly infecting children with HIV, came home to
Bulgaria and were greeted with tears and hugs, and a presidential
pardon that allowed them to walk free after 8 1/2 years behind bars.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Qatar mediated the release and
hinted the Gulf country may have had a broader role in resolving the
2007 Jul 28, Libya said the
Czech Republic, Qatar and Bulgaria contributed to an international
fund to support hundreds of children who contracted HIV at a Libyan
hospital in the 1990s. Libya also denounced a decision by Bulgaria's
president to pardon six medics from life jail terms in an AIDS case
as a "betrayal" and an "illegal procedure."
(Reuters, 7/28/07)(AFP, 7/28/07)
2007 Aug 2, Bulgaria said it
had decided to write off Libya's communist-era debt as a
contribution to an international fund for the victims of an AIDS
epidemic blamed by Tripoli on six Bulgarian medics.
2007 Sep 3, Bulgaria donated
$56.6 million in Soviet-era debt owned by Libya as its contribution
to a deal that led to the release of six medics convicted of
infecting Libyan children with HIV.
2007 Oct 28, Bulgarians voted
in municipal elections that attracted a record number of candidates
given the scheduled influx of millions of euros in EU funding over
the next few years. The vote will prove a mid-term test for the
ruling centre-left coalition government of PM Sergey Stanishev.
2007 Nov 23, Bulgaria’s
Interior Ministry said police have arrested nine people and broke a
huge counterfeiting ring that churned out foreign passports and
other documents and distributed them across Europe.
2007 Dec 12, A new report said
the trafficking of Bulgarian women as sex slaves brings in about 1.8
billion euros ($2.6 billion) a year for the gangs behind it, making
it the country's most profitable criminal activity.
2007 Dec 12, Ashraf Juma Hajuj,
the Palestinian-born doctor held with five Bulgarian nurses in a
Libyan prison for over eight years, filed suit in Paris against
Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi for torture. The six medics, who always
maintained their innocence, said they were subjected to torture,
including beatings, electric shocks, food and sleep deprivation, and
even sexual abuse, in order to confess to their alleged crime.
2007 Georgi Parvanov, president
of Bulgaria, was named as a collaborator with communist secret
services. He said he was approached to edit a book and did not
realize he was dealing with spooks.
(Econ, 5/31/08, SR p.13)
2007 In Bulgaria Delyan Peevski
was fired as a deputy minister of emergency situations in a
corruption scandal. He was eventually cleared after an investigation
established no wrongdoing, however, and was reinstated in the post.
Peevski and his mother, Irena Krasteva, control a network of
national newspapers and television channels.
2008 Jan 18, Russian President
Vladimir Putin clinched a key pipeline deal with Bulgaria that
strengthens Moscow's grip on European gas markets before issuing a
stern warning about the future status of Kosovo.
2008 Feb 28, In Bulgaria a
night train traveling from Sofia to the northeastern town of Kardam
caught fire. Officials said at least eight people died, adding that
the toll could rise.
2008 Apr 4, A Bulgarian
official revealed that the country's communist-era border troops
killed East Germans and others who tried to get to the West by
sneaking across this Balkan country's borders during the Cold War.
Documents detailed at least two cases in which citizens of then
communist East Germany were killed, one in 1974 and one in 1988.
Archives also showed that 22 Bulgarians were shot while trying to
escape to Greece or Turkey between 1964 and 1967.
2008 Apr 7, In Bulgaria gunmen
killed Georgy Stoyev, the country’s best-known author of books on
the mafia. The night before, Borislav Georgiev, the chief executive
of a large energy company, was killed in his apartment building with
two bullets to the head.
2008 Apr 13, Bulgaria's
powerful Interior Minister Rumen Petkov resigned amid a snowballing
corruption scandal that exposed links between top crime-busters and
2008 Jun 28, In Bulgaria
extremists throwing rocks, bottles and gasoline bombs attacked the
capital's first gay pride parade which included some 150
2008 Jul 18, A report of the
European Union Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) was leaked to the media.
According the report, which was sent to Bulgarian Deputy Prime
Minister Plugchieva two weeks ago, businessman Lyudmil Stoykov, who
sponsored the president's election campaign, and his associate Mario
Nikolov, who is a sponsor of Parvanov's Bulgarian Socialist Party,
were involved in large-scale abuses of EU funds.
2008 Jul 23, The European
Commission froze almost euro500 million ($800 million) in aid to
Bulgaria, citing corruption, organized crime, severe spending
irregularities and alleged vote-buying in a country that only joined
the EU last year.
2008 Jul, Bulgarian prosecutors
indicted Alexander Tomov, chief executive of the Kremikovtzi steel
plant, for millions of euros that they say were transferred to a
soccer club and then to offshore companies controlled by Tomov. The
former politician had been hired by Pramod Mittal in August 2007 to
stop the financial bleeding at the Kremikovtzi steel plant.
(WSJ, 8/4/08, p.A8)
2008 Aug 6, A Bulgarian court
declared the Kremikovtzi steel plant to be insolvent. Ukrainian
billionaire Kostyantin Zhevago and Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal SA
competed to take over the plant operations following the insolvency
(WSJ, 8/7/08, p.B2)
2008 Jul, Bulgaria’s population
stood at about 7.5 million people, down from 10.5 million since the
(Econ, 7/26/08, p.63)
2008 Sep 14, Archaeologist
Georgi Kitov (b.1943), an expert on the treasure-rich Thracian
culture of antiquity, died of a heart attack while excavating a
temple in central Bulgaria.
2008 Sep 28, Konstantin Pavlov
(b.1933), Bulgarian poet and screenwriter, died. He was among the
few Bulgarian intellectuals who dared to assert their professional
independence during the 1945-89 communist regime. Some of his most
popular volumes of poetry are "Sweet Agony" (1991), "The Murder of
the Sleeping Man" (1992) and "A Long Time Ago..." (1998).
2008 Nov 25, Bulgaria lost
euro220 million ($286 million) in promised payments from the EU
because of its failure to tackle corruption.
2008 Dec 17, Bulgaria's last
155 troops stationed in Iraq returned home. 13 Bulgarian soldiers
and six civilians have died in Iraq since 2003. Bulgaria also has
troops in international military missions in Afghanistan, Kosovo and
2009 Jan 3, Russian gas flows
to four European Union countries fell normal levels after Moscow cut
off supplies to Ukraine in a pricing row with no talks in sight to
resolve the dispute. Bulgaria's Bulgargaz joined energy firms in
Poland, Romania and Hungary in saying they had noted falls in
2009 Jan 6, A natural gas
crisis loomed over Europe, as a contract dispute between Russia and
Ukraine shut off Russian gas supplies to six countries and reduced
gas deliveries to several others. Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia,
Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments.
2009 Jan 14, Russia and Ukraine
wrangled over gas supplies again. Bulgaria and Slovakia, cut off by
the row for a freezing week, launched missions to plead for Russian
gas flow to be restored.
2009 Jan 15, Bulgarians held a
rally outside parliament for the second day to demand that their
government resign because of alleged corruption and a deepening
2009 Jan 20, In Belgium the
“Entropa" art installation at the EU headquarters, by Czech artist
David Cerny, covered up the part that showed Bulgaria as a squat
toilet after protests from the aggrieved nation.
2009 Feb 8, Voters in
Switzerland approved an expanded labor deal with the European Union
that allows Romanians and Bulgarians to work in the Alpine republic.
2009 May 28, In Bulgaria a bus
careered down a mountainside and plowed through pedestrians heading
to a religious festival, killing at least 16 people and injuring at
2009 Jun 7, Europe leaned to
the right as tens of millions of people voted in European Parliament
elections, with conservative parties favored in many countries
against a backdrop of economic crisis. Center-right parties won the
most seats in the election. Only 43% of 375 million eligible voters
cast ballots. In Bulgaria the xenophobic Ataka party won 12% of the
(AP, 6/7/09)(Reuters, 6/8/09)(SFC, 6/8/09,
p.A5)(Econ, 2/6/10, p.58)
2009 Jun 23, Bulgarian
authorities detained Agim Ceku (59), a former Kosovo prime
minister (2006-2008), on an international arrest warrant issued by
Interpol at Serbia's request. He is wanted for war crimes allegedly
committed during the 1998-1999 war when he was military chief of the
Kosovo Liberation Army, made up of ethnic Albanian guerrillas.
2009 Jun, In Bulgaria Plamen
Momchilov (46), a cherry farmer, was killed by cherry thieves as he
tried to keep them out of his orchard. Later, nine thieves were
arrested and confessed to beating Momchilov to death with sticks and
shovel handles. They were sentenced to 99 years in prison but as of
2011 were free pending an appeal.
2009 Jul 5, Bulgaria held
parliamentary elections. The Conservative opposition center-right
GERB party, led by ex-wrestler Boyko Borisov, won elections with
39.7% of the vote as voters punished the governing Socialists for
failing to crack down on corruption.
(Reuters, 7/5/09)(AP, 7/6/09)(Econ, 7/11/09,
p.52)(Econ, 1/9/10, p.51)
2009 Jul 13, Turkey and four EU
countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary) formally agreed
to route the Nabucco natural gas pipeline across their territories,
pushing ahead with a US- and EU-backed attempt to make Europe less
dependent on Russian gas.
(AP, 7/13/09)(Econ, 7/18/09, p.47)
2009 Sep 5, The sightseeing
boat Ilinden, carrying 55 Bulgarian tourists, sank in Lake Ohrid on
Macedonia's western border, and 15 people drowned.
(AP, 9/5/09)(AFP, 9/6/09)
2009 Sep 16, In Bulgaria Sport
Minister Svilen Neikov ordered a probe after the numbers 4, 15, 23,
24, 35 and 42 were selected by a machine, in a different order, on
consecutive draws televised live on Sept. 6 and Sept. 10. No one won
the Sept. 6 draw, but 18 people guessed correctly in the Sept. 10
contest and each received 10,164 leva ($7,585, euro5,150) in prize
2010 Jan 5, In Bulgaria gunmen
shot dead Bobbie Tsankov, a popular radio show host and crime
journalist, and critically injured two other men in a busy part of
the capital, Sofia.
2010 Jan 14, Hundreds of
Bulgarians protested against planned legal amendments allowing mass
monitoring of emails, electronic messages and phone calls to fight
crime and corruption.
2010 Apr, In Bulgaria former
defense minister Nicolay Tsonev was arrested in a hospital as part
of a broad crackdown against organized crime.
(Econ, 5/29/10, p.54)
2010 May 4, Spain’s Interior
Ministry said Spain has taken in a second former inmate from the
Guantanamo Bay prison for terrorism suspects. Another Guantanamo
detainee was sent to Bulgaria. This left about 181 prisoners at
Guantanamo Bay prison.
(AP, 5/4/10)(SFC, 5/5/10, p.A2)
2010 Jun 23, Bulgaria says it
will send 65 more troops to the NATO-led force in Afghanistan in
2010 Jul 28, In Bulgaria
archeologist Kazimir Popconstantinov found a box while digging under
the alta of an early Christian church off the coast of Sozopol. The
box bore an inscription with the name of St. John the Baptist and
allegedly contained some of his bone fragments.
(Econ, 8/21/10, p.43)
2010 Sep 9, The European
Parliament called on France to suspend its expulsion of gypsies. The
rare criticism of an EU state was backed by 337 lawmakers meeting in
Strasbourg, France, with 245 opposed and 51 abstentions. To date
France had deported 8,000 people to Romania and Bulgaria this year
(AP, 9/9/10)(Econ, 9/18/10, p.73)
2010 Bulgaria’s population was
about 7.6 million and included a 750,000 Turkish minority.
(Econ, 2/6/10, p.58)
2011 Jun 18, In Bulgaria nearly
1,000 marchers joined the fourth gay pride rally in Sofia. Gay pride
rallies were also held in Croatia and Hungary. Hundreds of police
were on duty to protect the marchers following calls by extremist
groups to stop the demonstrations.
2011 Jul 16, Bulgarian railway
workers found seals on a train carriage door broken, and the door
not properly closed. 64 unarmed missile warheads from the train
transporting military equipment to Bulgaria from Romania were
missing. The components were said to not be dangerous.
2011 Oct 23, Bulgaria held
elections. Rosen Plevneliev, the candidate of the ruling
center-right GERB party, was favored to win in the presidential
elections that tested the government's popularity and the EU
nation's ability to overcome concerns about vote-buying and
corruption. Plevneliev finished first with 40.11%, and Ivailo Kalfin
of the opposition Socialist Party second with 28.96%. A run-off was
set for Oct 30. The winner will replace incumbent Georgi Parvanov,
who was barred by law from seeking a third term in office.
(AP, 10/23/11)(AP, 10/27/11)
2011 Oct 30, Bulgarians voted
between Rosen Plevneliev (47), a member of the ruling center-right
party, and Ivailo Kalfin (47), a leftist ex-foreign minister. The
president leads the armed forces and can veto legislation and sign
international treaties. Plevneliev won the election with 52.56%.
Socialist challenger Ivailo Kalfin took 47.44% and conceded defeat.
(AP, 10/30/11)(AP, 10/31/11)
2012 Feb 3, The death toll from
a severe cold spell in Eastern Europe rose to 222, including 101 in
the Ukraine, 37 in Poland, 24 in Romania and 16 in Bulgaria.
2012 Feb 6, In southern
Bulgaria a 2.5-meter (8-foot) flood hit 700 houses in the village of
Bisser, near the Greek border, after the dam on the Ivanovo
reservoir collapsed. 8 people were killed in the flooding and 10
others were missing.
2012 Feb 7, Swollen rivers in
Bulgaria and Greece burst their banks, leaving dozens of homes
underwater. The Maritsa River to overflow its banks, leaving dozens
of homes under water in the city of Svilengrad near the Greek
border. In Greece the river Evros burst its banks near the country's
northeastern border with Bulgaria.
2012 Mar 29, In Bulgaria Massud
Barzani, the leader of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan, sought
investment in the region's farming, health and construction sectors
during a meeting with PM Boyko Borisov.
2012 May 18, Leaders of
Bulgaria, Qatar and Turkey agreed to study joint infrastructure
projects like the construction of a new motorway from Istanbul
2012 Jul 18, In Bulgaria a
suicide attack at Burgas airport killed 5 Israeli tourists and a
Bulgarian bus driver. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for
the bomb blast. It was later confirmed that the suicide bomber did
not act alone. In 2013 one alleged terrorist was identified as
Australian citizen Meliad Farah (b.1980), also known as Hussein
Hussein. The second was Canadian citizen Hassan El Hajj Hassan
(b.1988). The bomber was later said to have been of Algerian origin
and trained in camps in South Lebanon.
(Reuters, 7/18/12)(AFP, 7/19/12)(SFC, 7/25/12,
p.A2)(AP, 7/25/13)(Reuters, 4/7/14)
2012 Oct, In Bulgaria some
5,000 Roman items were put at the disposal at the National History
Museum in Sofia. They were seized at a border crossing with Serbia,
just few miles west of Ratiaria, an ancient Roman settlement
threatened by looters.
2012 Nov 6, In Bulgaria
Patriarch Maxim (b.1914), as Marin Naidenov Minkov, died in Sofia.
He weathered a revolt over his communist-era ties to lead the Balkan
country's Orthodox Christians for more than 40 years.
2012 Nov 30, It was reported
that Bulgaria is offering citizenship to foreigners ready to invest
at least half a million euros ($650,000).
2012 Dec 9, Officials said 4
people have died in Croatia and 2 in Serbia as a result of blizzards
in southwestern Europe over the weekend. The death toll in the
region reached at least 9 people, with deaths in Bulgaria amd
Kosovo, as the cold snap continued through the week.
(AP, 12/9/12)(SFC, 12/15/12, p.A2)
2012 Dec 20, Authorities
declared a state of emergency in northeastern Bulgaria as heavy snow
and freezing temperatures are causing disruptions in both Bulgaria
2013 Jan 19, In Bulgaria Oktay
Enimehmedov (25) tried to shoot a gas pistol at Ahmed Dogan (58),
the leader of his country's ethnic Turkish political party, at a
conference in Sofia. The gun failed to fire and Enimehmedov was
wrestled to the ground and beaten.
2013 Jan 29, In Bulgaria
Zlatomir Ivanov (44), a convicted underworld boss, was shot and
seriously wounded outside a courthouse in Sofia. His bodyguard
managed to return fire but was wounded in the leg.
2013 Feb 5, Bulgaria linked
Lebanon's militant group Hezbollah to the bomb attack on a bus last
July that killed five Israeli tourists. Two of the suspects linked
to the bombing had entered the country with an Australian and a
2013 Feb 6, A top Bulgarian
security official said the two living suspects behind a bus attack
that killed five Israeli tourists in Bulgaria last year have been
identified and both are now living in Lebanon.
2013 Feb 16, Bulgaria’s PM
Boiko Borisov fired Simeon Djankov, his finance minister and deputy
prime minister. Djankov was unpopular for his austerity policies.
(Econ, 2/23/13, p.52)
2013 Feb 20, Bulgaria's
center-right government of PM Boiko Borisov resigned after days of
violent protests fueled by outrage over rising energy costs,
corruption and a general economic decline in what is already the
EU's poorest nation. In early March Pres. Rosen Plevneliev announced
a caretaker cabinet led by Marin Raykov.
(AP, 2/20/13)(Econ, 3/23/13, p.60)
2013 Mar 14, Bulgaria's
Christian Orthodox Church leader, Patriarch Neophyte, decried a
recent wave of self-immolations and suicides after four people set
themselves ablaze in the past month.
(SFC, 3/15/13, p.A2)(http://tinyurl.com/b65z6h8)
2013 Mar 20, A Bulgarian man,
Plamen Goranov (36), set himself on fire to protest poverty in his
country, becoming the 6th to do so in a month.
(SFC, 3/21/13, p.A2)(Econ, 3/23/13, p.60)
2013 May 12, Bulgarians voted
in parliamentary elections. The center-right Citizens for Bulgaria's
European Development party (GERB) of former PM Boiko Borisov won
31%, falling far short of winning a majority needed to form a
government. with no willing partners to join a coalition. This left
the second-place (27%) opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (DPS) in
position to lead a new government.
(AP, 5/12/13)(AP, 5/13/13)(Econ, 5/18/13, p.60)
2013 May 18, Russia's Sergey
Karjakin won the €100,000 ($130,000) Norway chess championship after
drawing against Veselin Topalov of Bulgaria.
2013 May, Bulgaria’s
unemployment was at 13-14%, up from 6% in 2007.
(Econ, 5/18/13, p.60)
2013 Jun 14, The Bulgarian
parliament's quick appointment of legislator and media mogul Delyan
Peevski (33) to head the country's security service sparked massive
protests and prompted the president to demand the decision be
immediately reversed. Parliament soon reversed the nomination.
(AP, 6/14/13)(Econ, 9/21/13, p.56)
2013 Jun 14, A new bridge
linking Vidin in Bulgaria with Calafat in Romania opened. It was
just the 2nd on the 500-km stretch of the Danube River that forms
the common border between the Balkan neighbors.
2013 Jul 18, In Bulgaria
demonstrators who have conducted for 35 straight days
anti-government protests in Sofia, now called for a round-the-clock
blockade of the Parliament building.
2013 Jul 24, Bulgarian police
broke through a blockade of protesters and released more than 100
lawmakers, journalists, and staffers stuck inside the parliament
building in the capital, Sofia, ending the latest flare-up of
anti-government sentiments in the country but doing little to
resolve the overall unhappiness of the public with their government.
2013 Sep 4, In Bulgaria
hundreds of protesters rallied in Sofia in front of parliament,
demanding the resignation of the Socialist-led government that they
accuse of having murky links to influential business circles.
2013 Nov 1, Bulgaria's ruling
alliance asked the country's top court to quash a widely criticized
ban on arable land acquisitions by foreigners to avert infringement
action by the EU.
2013 Nov 10, In Bulgaria
several thousand people protested in Sofia to demand that the
nation's Socialist-backed government step down to make way for early
2013 Nov 12, Bulgaria's premier
and president issued a joint appeal against xenophobia following a
number of racist incidents as the EU's poorest country struggles
with an influx of Syrian refugees. Protesters tried to blockade the
parliament, clashing with police as they demanded the country's
left-leaning government resign and early elections be called.
(AFP, 11/12/13)(AP, 11/12/13)
2013 Nov 16, In Bulgaria tens
of thousands of supporters of the main political parties gathered in
Sofia and Plovdiv at pro- and anti-government rallies, reflecting
the division that has paralyzed the nation for months.
2013 Nov 20, About 4,000
Bulgarian workers rallied against low wages and a lack of jobs, in a
possible sign that opposition to the Socialist-led cabinet may be
spreading beyond daily protests staged mostly by students.
2014 Jan 1, The European
Commission said Romanians and Bulgarians now have the right to work
in any of the European Union's 28 countries but "no major increase"
in emigration is expected.
2014 Jan 18, Police in central
Greece said they had arrested seven people including five Bulgarians
for attempted baby trafficking.
2014 Jan 29, A cold spell and
snowstorms was sweeping across parts of central and eastern Europe,
disrupting power supplies, travel and schools. Bulgaria reported 4
deaths in recent days due to the weather.
2014 Mar 7, Macedonian police
said they have arrested 13 people, including the head of a customs
office at the Macedonia-Bulgaria border crossing, on suspicion of
participating in a ring smuggling designer clothing from Greece and
2014 Mar 14, A Bulgarian
policeman was killed and three officers wounded in a shootout with
Petko Petkov (52), who had threatened the pupils and the headmaster
of a school in the central town of Lyaskovets.
2014 Apr 28, Bulgarian
prosecutors charged two senior magistrates (Veselin Pengezov,
chairman of the Sofia appeals court, and Petar Petkov, head of the
military appeals court) with embezzling EU funds in a scandal that
has further dented public trust in the judiciary system of the EU's
poorest member state.
2014 May 8, Bulgarian
prosecutors charged Maria Divizieva, the prime minister's chief of
staff, with aiding in the embezzlement of EU funds, two weeks after
charges were pressed against two top magistrates in the same case.
2014 May 26, Bulgaria's main
opposition party called for an early general election after winning
the most votes for seats in the European Parliament, contending the
country's Socialist-led coalition government lacks public support to
2014 Jun 3, The European Union
told Bulgaria to suspend preparatory work on the Russian gas
pipeline South Stream, which will bypass Ukraine to bring supplies
into the heart of Europe. The EU said that work on the line should
not proceed until the Bulgarian government gives clear answers on
antitrust concerns over ownership.
2014 Jun 8, US Sen. John M
McCain visited Sofia, Bulgaria, and warned PM Plamen Oresharski over
the danger of proceeding with the South Stream gas pipeline from
(Econ, 6/21/14, p.52)
2014 Jun 19, In Bulgaria flash
floods killed at least 12 people including two children, with others
missing after torrential rains lashed the east of the country.
2014 Jun 27, In Bulgaria
rattled depositors withdrew some $550 million from The First
Investment Bank (FIB) in a matter of hours. Authorities appealed for
calm and arrested several people suspected of instigating the
crises. Operations at the Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) were
suspended on June 20 following a run that took 20% of deposits. Some
200,000 depositors and companies were left stranded without access
to their funds.
(Econ, 7/5/14, p.62)(Econ, 10/11/14, p.64)
2014 Jun 29, Bulgarian police
arrested five people for allegedly using text messages, e-mails and
phone calls "to spread false information that caused detriment to
commercial banks and destabilized the banking system."
2014 Jun 30, Bulgaria sought to
stabilize its banks with rescue money after what the government
called a criminal plot to undermine them with rumors triggered runs
2014 Jul 29, Flooding in
eastern Europe left at least 3 people dead in Bulgaria and
(SFC, 7/30/14, p.A2)
2014 Aug 5, Bulgaria named
Georgi Bliznashki as interim prime minister until a snap election on
2014 Aug 6, Bulgaria's newly
appointed PM Georgi Bliznashki promised to restore public trust in
political institutions in the short time that his caretaker
government is in office.
2014 Aug 27, Bulgarian poet
Valeri Petrov (born as Valeri Nissim Mevorah in 1920), died. His
many translations included the complete works of Shakespeare.
2014 Oct 1, In Bulgaria a
series of powerful blasts at an explosives plant killed 15 employees
and injured three others late today, just two months after
government officials warned of serious safety breaches at the
factory in the village of Gorni Lom.
2014 Oct 5, Bulgaria held snap
parliamentary elections. The center right GERB party, led by Boyko
Borisov (55), won with 32.7 percent. The Socialists came second with
(Reuters, 10/5/14)(AP, 10/6/14)
2014 Nov 3, A Bulgarian woman
(39) was rushed to hospital after setting fire to herself outside
the president's office, as Pres. Rosen Plevneliev discussed the
formation of a new government following an inconclusive election
2014 Nov 6, Bulgaria's central
bank stripped Corporate Commercial Bank, the country's
fourth-biggest lender, of its license and announced that it will
launch bankruptcy proceedings against the bank, which had negative
capital of leva 3.75 billion ($2.4 billion). Main shareholder
Tsvetan Vasilev, who is out of the country, has been charged with
2014 Nov 7, Bulgaria's
parliament formally approved the country's new center-right
government in an attempt to restore stability and spur economic
development in the poorest EU member country.
2014 Nov 25, Bulgarian police
raided a mosque in the town of Pazardzhik and detained Ahmed Mussa
Ahmed, a Roma Muslim religious leader suspected of spreading
propaganda for the Islamic State group.
2014 Dec 11, In Bulgaria some
6,000 people protested in Sofia against government plans to raise
the retirement age by four months to 63 years and 8 months for men
and to 60 years and 8 months for women.
2014 Dec 19, In Bulgaria a
powerful explosion at an ammunition plant in the southeast killed
one worker and wounded four others near the village of Maglizh.
2015 Jan 14, Bulgaria said it
would extend a barbed wire fence along its border with Turkey by a
further 130 km (80 miles) in an attempt to prevent a growing number
of refugees, mainly from Syria, entering the EU member state.
2015 Jan 15, US Secretary of
State John Kerry pledged to support Bulgaria's efforts to wean
itself off dependence on Russian energy at the launch of an annual
strategic dialogue between the two NATO allies.
2015 Jan 30, Zhelyu Zhelev
(b.1935), Bulgaria’s first non-communist president (1990-1997),
died. He was hailed as a hero of freedom and democracy.
2015 Jan 30, NATO said it will
deploy small units in six Eastern European nations to help
coordinate a spearhead force set up in response to Russia's actions
in Ukraine. The units in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland,
Bulgaria and Romania will be the first of their kind there.
2015 Mar 20, The EU and Balkan
countries launched a campaign aimed at stemming the flow of fighters
from southeastern Europe to join jihadists in the Middle East. The
Balkans are generally considered to include Albania, Bulgaria,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, about half of Croatia, Greece, the Republic
of Macedonia, Montenegro, most of Serbia, and the European part of
2015 Mar 20, Bulgaria's
authorities said they had discovered the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird
flu virus in two dead pelicans in a nature reserve in northeastern
part of the Balkan country, close to neighboring Romania.
2015 Apr, In Bulgaria
businessman Emilian Gebrev was poisoned by an unidentified
substance. The Investigative group Bellingcat later reported an
alleged Russian military intelligence agent (45) had arrived in
Bulgaria a few days before Gebrev was poisoned. The arms industry
executive survived, but authorities didn't know who poisoned him.
Sergei Fedotov, a suspect in the attempted killing of ex-spy Sergei
Skripal in 2018, visited Bulgaria three times this year and was
there when Gebrev was poisoned.
(AP, 2/10/19)(AP, 2/11/19)
2015 Jun 23, US Defense
Secretary Ash Carter announced that the United States will
pre-position tanks, artillery and other military equipment in
eastern and central Europe, moving to reassure NATO allies unnerved
by Russian involvement in Ukraine. Carter, during a trip to Tallinn,
said the Baltic states - Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia -- as well as
Bulgaria, Romania and Poland agreed to host elements of this heavy
2015 Jul 15, Bulgaria’s
interior ministry said a man (21), suspected of belonging to a
network of Islamist hackers responsible for attacks on more than
3,500 websites worldwide, has been arrested. The man was said to be
part of a group using the acronym MECA (Middle East Cyber Army).
2015 Aug 28, Poland's defense
ministry signed a preliminary agreement with Bulgaria to modernize
the Balkan country's Soviet-era fleet of MiG-29 fighter jets.
2015 Sep 8, Bulgaria, a member
of NATO, said it has refused permission to an unspecified number of
Russian aircraft to cross its airspace late last week, amid growing
US fears that Moscow is boosting military support to Syria’s
2015 Oct 1, Bulgaria said it
has told the European Commission that it will ban growing crops with
genetically modified organisms (GMOs) under a rule that allows
European Union countries to opt out of GMO cultivation.
2015 Oct 14, Bulgaria denied
access to its airspace to a Russian plane carrying humanitarian aid
for Syria, as Moscow failed to file an application on time.
2015 Nov 6, In Bulgaria a man
(28) stabbed a 15-year-old girl to death on the steps of a secondary
school in Sliven, then wounded a teacher and another man before
shooting and critically wounding himself.
2015 Nov 27, Bulgaria's
parliament ratified an agreement with NATO ally Poland for the
repair of its ageing Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, part of a push
by the Balkan country to reduce its reliance on Russia.
2015 Dec 9, Bulgaria's Justice
Minister Hristo Ivanov resigned after parliament watered down
changes to the constitution in a vote which he said would prevent
genuine reforms to the country's graft-prone and inefficient
2015 Dec 13, Bulgaria shut its
busy border crossing with Turkey as 14 customs officials were
detained in an anti-corruption raid.
2016 Feb 6, In Bulgaria 2
female migrants found dead in a mountainous rural region due to
freezing conditions near the southeastern town of Malko Tarnovo.
2016 Feb 19, Bulgarian truckers
sealed off all six checkpoints along the country's land border with
Greece to protest at weeks of intermittent blockades by Greek
farmers that have disrupted road traffic.
2016 Feb 26, Bulgarian
authorities investigated the apparent shooting death of Omar Nayef
Zayed, a Palestinian wanted by Israel for a 1986 killing, inside the
Palestinian Authority's embassy in Sofia. Zayed (52) had escaped
from Israeli custody 25 years ago and has lived in Sofia since 1994.
2016 Apr 22, Foreign ministers
of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and Macedonia said they will work to
improve coordination along southern Europe's migrant trial.
2016 Apr 25, In central
Bulgaria 2 workers were killed in an explosion in Kazanluk at
Arsenal, the country’s biggest weapons maker.
2016 May 4, Three Bulgarian
police officers were injured when anti-Roma protesters tried to
break through a cordon during a demonstration in the southern town
of Radnevo. Some 2,000 people took part in the protest over an
incident two days earlier in which four Roma men have been charged
with the attempted murder of three young men.
2016 May 8, Bulgaria's
Socialist Party (BSP), the biggest opposition party in the Balkan
country, chose a new leader with the task of winning back
disaffected voters and pushing for an early general election.
Kornelia Ninova (47), the first female leader in the BSP's 125-year
history, won 395 votes from delegates at the party's congress, with
her predecessor Mihail Mikov coming second on 349.
2016 May 10, Bulgaria's deputy
prime minister and labor minister, Ivailo Kalfin, resigned from his
post after his center-left ABV party said it would withdraw its
support from the center-right government.
2016 Nov 6, Bulgarians voted in
a first round of a presidential election. Left-leaning air force
General Rumen Radev (53), seen as sympathetic to Moscow, won the
first round, dealing a blow to PM Boyko Borisov (57). Radev took
25.45 percent of the vote, followed by ruling center-right GERB
party candidate Tsetska Tsacheva with 21.97 percent. A run-off will
take place on Nov. 13.
(AFP, 11/6/16)(Reuters, 11/8/16)
2016 Nov 13, Bulgaria held
elections. PM Boiko Borisov quit following the victory of Rumen
Radev, who favored improved ties with Russia and had the backing of
the opposition Socialists.
2016 Nov 23, Bulgarian state
prosecutors charged outgoing defense minister Nikolay Nenchev with
failing to honor an agreement with Russia for repair of its
Soviet-era fighter jets, arguing that the move had left the country
without an effective air defense.
2016 Nov 24, In southern
Bulgaria about 2,000 migrants, most from Afghanistan, were involved
in a conflict that reportedly erupted over the Harmanli refugee camp
being put under quarantine following an alleged outbreak of
infectious diseases and an outbreak of panic among local residents.
About 400 migrants were detained after clashes with police that left
2016 Dec 10, In Bulgaria at
least five people were killed and 29 injured when a cargo train
derailed and exploded in the northeastern Bulgarian village of
Hitrino, demolishing about 50 houses and public buildings.
2017 Jan 6, In Bulgaria
snowstorms paralyzed traffic and cut electricity to hundreds of
thousands of people. In Romania atomic energy producer
Nuclearelectrica was forced to shut down its No. 1 reactor.
2017 Jan 19, In Bulgaria Rumen
Radev took his oath of office as president, preparing the way for
him to formally take over the post from Rosen Plevneliev on Jan 22.
2017 Jan 25, The EU's executive
arm said Bulgaria and Romania must do more to meet European Union
standards on crime, corruption and judicial reform.
2017 Feb 15, US troops deployed
in Bulgaria and armored vehicles and heavy equipment are to arrive
by the end of the week under a planned NATO operation to support its
Eastern European allies.
2017 Mar 24, Bulgarian
nationalists blocked for several hours the three main crossing
points with Turkey to prevent coaches bringing in thousands of Turks
with Bulgarian passports to vote in March 26 elections. Later in the
afternoon police put an end to the protests after caretaker PM
Ognyan Gerdzhikov called for the blockade to be lifted.
2017 Mar 25, Bulgarian
nationalists kept up their protests at the Turkish border against
Bulgarian citizens living permanently in Turkey who are coming in to
vote in Bulgaria's election.
2017 Mar 26, Bulgarians voted
for the third time in four years in an early election. The strongly
pro-EU GERB was seen taking 96 of parliament's 240 seats, leaving it
short of a majority and certain to seek a deal with the third-placed
United Patriots, an alliance of three nationalist parties expected
to take 27 seats. GERN leader Boyko Borisov faced an uphill battle
to build a stable coalition government.
(AP, 3/26/17)(Reuters, 3/27/17)
2017 May 9, Bulgarian
prosecutors charged former Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov with
mismanagement that led to state losses of about 500 million levs
($278 million) related to signing contracts in breach of public
procurement rules. Mitov said he was surprised with the charges and
noted that Bulgarian ministries have been using similar practices
2017 May 10, Switzerland's
government said it will temporarily limit the number of workers from
European Union member states Bulgaria and Romania who can access
Swiss jobs, after an influx from the countries in recent months.
2017 May 21, Bulgarian customs
agents reported the seizure of some 423 kg (933 pounds) of heroin
worth an estimated $34 million at a border checkpoint with Romania
in a truck heading for the Netherlands. The drugs were thought to
have originated in Iran.
2017 Jun 4, In southern
Bulgaria ten migrants were killed and seven were injured after a
minivan transporting them overturned on a highway near the city of
Pazardzhik. The Bulgarian driver (16) of the vehicle, who did not
hold a driving license, was also killed.
2017 Jun 5, In Bulgaria Sofia's
Special Criminal Court found John "Ivan" Zahariev (21), a dual
Australian-Bulgarian citizen, guilty of training as a terrorist with
the intention of carrying out a terrorist act and sentenced him to
four years in prison for planning to commit an act of terrorism.
2017 Jul 11, Major NATO
exercises in Eastern Europe began in Bulgaria involving 25,000
military personnel from more than 20 allied and partner countries as
the US seeks to reassure NATO's European allies.
2017 Jul 13, Bulgarian
prosecutors charged Veselin Mareshki, the deputy speaker of
parliament, with extortion. They said he threatened seven pharmacy
owners between 2012 and 2015 with damage to their outlets if they
did not transfer part of their business to him or halt operations.
2017 Aug 1, Macedonian PM Zoran
Zaev and Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov signed a friendship
treaty in Skopje in a move designed to end years of diplomatic
wrangling and boost Macedonia's European integration. Bulgaria still
does not recognize the Macedonian language, which it views as a
dialect of Bulgarian.
2017 Oct 24, Bulgarian air
force pilots refused to fly their Soviet-built MiG-29 jets for
planned training on Oct. 25, blaming safety concerns and a lack of
2017 Oct 26, Authorities in
Belgium, Britain and Bulgaria arrested some 25 people in overnight
raids targeting smugglers who allegedly helped people immigrate
2017 Nov 17, In central
Bulgaria nine people were killed and 19 others were injured when a
minibus crashed into a truck on a highway near the village of Mikre.
2017 Dec 11, Bulgaria said it
has asked Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG to overhaul and maintain
its 15 aged MiG-29 fighter jets in a four-year deal worth up to 81.3
million levs ($49 million).
2017 Kapka Kassabova,
Bulgaria-born writer, authored “Border: A Journey to the Edge of
(Econ, 2/11/17, p.70)
2018 Jan 1, Bulgaria, the
European Union's poorest country, assumed the six-month, rotating
presidency of the bloc for the first time since it joined the EU in
2018 Jan 2, Bulgaria’s
President Rumen Radev vetoed anti-graft legislation passed by the
parliament, saying the bill failed to offer the means to effectively
investigate corruption networks.
2018 Jan 8, In Bulgaria Petar
Hristov (49), a wealthy businessman, was shot to death outside his
company's office in the capital, Sofia.
2018 Jan 10, Bulgaria said it
will join Poland in its appeal against a European Commission's
decision to impose stricter limits on toxic pollutants coal-fired
plants emit. Coal-fired power plants produce about 40 percent of
2018 Jan 12, Bulgarian
lawmakers voted to leave a contentious anti-corruption bill
unchanged even after the President Rumen Radev refused to sign it
into law. Under the constitution, Radev now has no choice but to
approve the bill.
2018 Jan 15, Macedonia's
parliament ratified a landmark friendship pact with Balkan neighbor
Bulgaria designed to dampen a historic rivalry in a region beset by
old ethnic and territorial disputes.
2018 Jan 22, The prime
ministers of Bulgaria and the Czech Republic called for swift reform
of the European Union's asylum system.
2018 Jan 23, Bulgaria’s former
intelligence chief Kircho Kirov was sentenced to 15 years in jail
for what prosecutors described as the misappropriation of 5.1
million levs ($3.19 million) of public funds between 2007 and 2011.
2018 Jan 29, Bulgarian
prosecutors said they would investigate wealthy Bulgarians who drive
luxury cars or own expensive real estate, part of a drive to
demonstrate to the European Union that the country is serious about
2018 Jan 29, Conservation group
WWF stepped up pressure on Bulgaria to withdraw a decision to allow
more construction of ski runs and lifts in the mountainous 400 sq km
Pirin National Park home to bears and wolves, saying the UNESCO
World Heritage Site should be preserved.
2018 Feb 14, Bulgaria's ruling
GERB party withdrew from parliament a European treaty designed to
combat violence against women after language around gender roles
triggered uproar in the European Union's poorest country.
2018 Mar 6, Bulgaria chose
Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG (RSK MiG) to overhaul and maintain
its 15 aging, Soviet-made MiG-29 fighter jets until 2022. Sofia has
said it needs to keep its Soviet-era aircraft operational after
plans to buy eight new fighter jets from a fellow NATO state hit a
2018 Mar 27, Bulgaria, which
holds the rotating EU presidency, said it has recalled its
ambassador from Russia to discuss the nerve agent attack in Britain
which London blames on Moscow.
2018 Mar 27, Bulgarian
prosecutors said they have launched an investigation into the owner
of a herd of around 100 horses after they were found starving to
death or already dead on snow-bound Mount Osogovo.
2018 Mar 28, A Bulgarian state
commission said renowned psychoanalyst and philosopher Julia
Kristeva (76), who has lived in France since 1965, worked as an
agent and collaborator with the Balkan country's secret service
during the communist era. Foreign Policy magazine has ranked Kristev
as one of the 100 greatest thinkers of the 20th century.
2018 Mar 30, Bulgaria's PM
Boyko Borissov said his country, the current chair of the European
Union presidency, will not expel Russian diplomats in response to a
nerve agent attack in England that the British government has blamed
2018 Apr 13, In Bulgaria a
passenger bus flipped over on a highway near Sofia, killing at least
six people and leaving 22 others injured, including one child.
2018 Apr 27, A two-day
operation led by Belgian prosecutors seized servers and data from
Islamic State propaganda outlets in a multi-country effort aimed at
tracking down radicals and crimping the group's ability to spread
its violent message. The operation involved authorities in the US,
Canada, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Romania.
2018 May 16, The Bulgarian
government approved the purchase of up to 10 new or used fighter
jets to replace its ageing Soviet-designed MiG-29s as well as the
purchase of 150 combat vehicles.
2018 May 23, The European
Central Bank issued a report on the progress toward membership among
seven European Union member countries that have not yet joined the
19-country euro. the ECB expressed concern about Bulgaria's high
business debt, corruption and weak education and skills training.
2018 Jul 10, The European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said Bulgaria has opened a
new plasma melting plant that will treat and dispose of radioactive
waste at its Kozloduy nuclear power plant.
2018 Jul 18, Hundreds of
farmers from around Bulgaria rallied in the capital Sofia against
the government-ordered mass slaughter of livestock following the
first outbreak in the EU of the highly contagious Peste des Petits
2018 Jul 20, Bulgaria's
parliament voted to bar the government from signing bilateral
agreements with other European Union countries on readmitting
migrants who arrived in Europe via the Black Sea state.
2018 Jul 27, Bulgaria's top
court ruled that a European treaty to combat violence against women
violates the constitution, likely eliminating any chance the treaty
can be ratified.
2018 Jul 28, In Bulgaria tens
of thousands of supporters of the opposition Socialist Party (BSP)
rallied to protest poverty and corruption and demand an early
2018 Jul 29, In Bulgaria
Chinese dancer Sinuo Chang and Canadian ballerina Yuan Zhe Zi Xuan,
also known as Jessica Xuan, won the top prizes at the Varna
International Ballet Competition, the oldest ballet competition in
2018 Aug 22, Bulgaria's
government approved an action plan that envisages the country
entering the "waiting room" for euro membership and also joining the
European Union's banking union by the end of June next year.
2018 Aug 25, In Bulgaria a
tourist bus flipped over on a highway about 50 km (30 miles) north
of Sofia, killing at least 16 people and leaving 18 injured.
2018 Sep 13, Two journalists
were detained by Bulgarian police after they found burning and
shredded documents while working on a story about suspected fraud
involving European Union funds.
2018 Sep 29, Bulgarian customs
officials said they have seized 712 kg (1,566 pounds) of heroin
found in two Iranian trucks entering Bulgaria from Turkey.
2018 Oct 6, Bulgarian
authorities discovered the body of television reporter Viktoria
Marinova (30) in the northern town of Ruse near the Romanian border.
Her body was dumped near the Danube River after she reported on the
possible misuse of European Union funds in Bulgaria. Prosecutors
later said Marinova had been raped, beaten and suffocated.
(AP, 10/8/18)(AP, 10/9/18)
2018 Oct 9, German police
arrested a suspect in the rape and killing of a television
journalist from Bulgaria whose work highlighted corruption in the
East European country. Severin Krassimirov (21), a Bulgarian
citizen, was arrested outside the city of Hamburg.
2018 Oct 30, Bulgarian
authorities said they have busted a criminal ring run by state
officials who sold fake documents to foreigners seeking to obtain
Bulgarian passports that grant the right to live and work throughout
the EU. Prosecutors pressed charges against the head of the State
Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, Petar Haralampiev, who was arrested
along with 20 other agency officials in police raids across the
2018 Nov 5, Bulgarian
prosecutors said more than $1.35 million in fake banknotes have been
seized and three men charged in Varna for suspected membership in an
organized crime ring making counterfeit bills.
2018 Nov 12, Bulgaria joined
the growing ranks of EU nations opposed to a United Nations pact
that aims to regulate the treatment of migrants worldwide.
2018 Nov 21, The Bulgarian
Parliament approved the resignation of Deputy PM Valeri Simeonov
after a month of street protests over his remarks about disabled
people. Parliament elected Mariana Nikolova to replace him.
2018 Nov 29, Hundreds of
Bulgarian coal miners and energy workers protested to demand
government guarantees that their jobs will be preserved amid bids by
the European Union to close mines and tackle climate change. 150,000
jobs were reportedly at risk.
2018 Dec 5, Bulgaria's
government confirmed that it would not join the United Nations pact
for better regulating worldwide migration, set to be adopted later
2018 Dec 5, Bulgarian
authorities said they have seized a huge amount of weapons and
munitions during police raids in the capital Sofia and a small
village in central Bulgaria.
2018 Dec 22, Balkan leaders
from Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia gathered in the Serbian capital of
Belgrade as part of a regular regional initiative to foster
cooperation on an array of issues such as migration and trade.
2019 Jan 6, In Bulgaria
thousands of Orthodox Christian worshippers plunged into icy rivers
and lakes across the country to recover crucifixes cast by priests
in ceremonies commemorating the baptism of Jesus Christ.
2019 Jan 11, In Bulgaria two
snowboarders died in an avalanche. Heavy snowfall this week in the
Balkans has closed down schools, left some remote villages cut off
and disrupted traffic and power supplies in many areas in the
region. At least 20 weather-related deaths have been reported in
Europe over the past week.
2019 Jan 18, Bulgarian special
police forces arrested 43 people in coordinated raids across the
country on a suspected terrorism financing ring.
2019 Jan 22, Bulgaria said it
plans to stop allowing wealthy foreigners to buy citizenship against
investment, saying the scheme had failed to bring any significant
economic benefits for the country.
2019 Jan 27, Bulgarian Vice
President Iliana Yotova said she had signed the final document
revoking the citizenship of Russian millionaire Sergey Adonev (57)
in May 2018. According to Bulgarian law, her office has the final
say about granting or revoking citizenship. It was revoked over a
20-year-old fraud conviction in the United States.