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The beautiful Parliamentary Republic of Bulgaria is strategically located in the Southern-eastern part of Europe, right at the core of the Balkans. Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and the Black Sea surround this typically mountainous region. While the country has strategic access to the Turkish Straits, it regulates the different key land routes to both the Middle East and Europe.

Geographically speaking, this country is not a big one and covers just 42,823 square miles or 110,550 square kilometers. Its administration structure is a parliamentary democracy, and while president is the chief of state, the prime minister heads the government.

The Parliamentary Democracy--that has Sofia as its state capital--has evolved and gradually changed to a market economic regime in which a decision, on the costs of the commodities and services, are taken in a free price method. The state is a key member of the European Union (EU) though it joined it only recently, on January 1, 2007 to be precise.

Bulgaria Immigration will be an attractive proposition for you if you are looking to expand your business overseas and get the Permanent Residence (PR) status in Europe. Talking of business/investments--thanks to its location, that offers direct access to the key markets of the European Union (EU), the CIS, Turkey, Middle East, and the North African market--Bulgaria certainly has an edge.

Significantly, the manpower that you will get here is well educated, highly trained and multilingual. Icing on the cake: 62.2 % of the total local people in the country fall in the working age bracket (nearly 4.6 million). This is a huge number, and it will be highly useful for running a business from the Bulgarian territories!

The cost of doing business in Bulgaria is also low. You will get full support from the government. While the country has the most favorable tax regime in Europe, the corporate income tax rate here is 10%, and this is the lowest in the whole of the EU!

If we talk about population, nearly 85% (7.5 million) of the country’s 8.8 million people are ethnic Bulgarians even as the ethnic Turks constitute roughly 10% of the total, and the Gypsies, only a little more than 5%.

The republic is an amazing hotspot, with numerous interesting activities to choose from for an avid visitor. It’s one of the some exotic countries of Europe, since it has--apart from the business/investment facilities and government support for these--beautiful beaches, divine churches, and wonderful great hiking facilities, etc.

It may not have caught the attention of the world--say, like the US, Germany, and the UK--but it’s starting to change though only gradually.

While in Bulgaria, you are well connected with the rest of the world, via the nation’s 4 major airports, which are Sofia, Plovdiv, Bourgas and Varna. The country also has two main seaports, namely, Varna and Bourgas.
 

CULTURE & COMMUNITY

People of this lovely European state are highly proud of their unique culture and heritage. Interesting tales & folklore still mold their life even as legends & traditions are smoothly shared among the different generations. These are also beautifully captured in the interesting poetic songs, ceremonies, music, dance, attires and ornaments.

Bulgaria is a nation with a diverse culture and an ancient history dating that goes back to the prehistoric times. Many ancient civilizations--comprising the Thracians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Ostrogoths, Slavs, Varangians and perhaps Bulgars--have left their footprints and shaped the country’s culture, history and heritage. And due to this, the present state boasts of one of the finest folk cultures found anywhere in the world.

While the Thracian artifacts comprise countless exquisitely crafted tombs and golden treasures, the ancient Bulgars have made their presence felt in their legacy in music and original architecture. Some of the interesting Thracian rituals--like the Zarezan, Kukeri and Martenitza, for instance--are even now thriving in the modern Bulgarian art, music, and literature and enriching these.

Interestingly, the local people of the nation commonly exchange among themselves a martenitsa. It’s basically an ornamentation created using white & red yarn and sported either on the wrist or stitched to the clothes.

The ancient Bulgarian ritual of kukeri--done by the beautifully costumed male members of the Bulgarian society--seeks to fright away the wicked spirits and usher-in good yield & health to the society. Remarkably, a new characteristic practice--known as Nestinarstvo or fire-dancing--is widespread in the Strandzha area. This ancient custom includes dancing into either fire or over live cinders. Women dance into the fire with their naked feet, and surprisingly, come out unscathed.
 

Music & Dance

The nation has a long-standing musical practice which music historians can trace back to the beginning of the middle ages. And, the ritual of church singing in the country is more than 1000 years old. The folk music found in the country is pretty unique in its somewhat complex harmonies and extremely uneven rhythms.

Despite the fact that the traditional music and dance do not enjoy widespread popularity among the nation’s city youngsters, you will frequently find them being performed at the various marriage ceremonies, and usually in the different rural area festivals. They are also performed in the nation and overseas by both the amateur & professional performing artists and choirs.
 

LIFESTYLE

Bulgaria rocks; it is one such destination where it’s party time all the time even while the energy in the air is so infectious that you will yearn to be a part of the pulsating society and revel in the amazing lifestyle that is so typical Bulgarian.

All through the week in the republic, you will be spoilt for choice and greeted with many attractive leisure activities everywhere---in cities and even in its rural areas.

Since the Bulgarian cultural heritage is something to talk about, and its landscapes and man-made wonders breathtakingly good, it will not be a bad idea if you take the time to go out with your friends and/or family to discover and revel in these.

Overall, the people of the state are exceedingly attached to their traditions & culture. Actually, the entire year is marked by the different celebrations. All through the year, you will be greeted with different traditional, cultural and religious festivities. However, beyond that, the nationals are highly dynamic people also, busy with work and also sparing some time for the various leisure actions, like adventures, fishing, winter sports, to name a few.
 

Traditions

While some festivals are widely celebrated on the specific dates, others appear around the festival of Easter. Actually, you will find highly devout Bulgarians of the Christian creed in the country. Some traditions are still present and respected although the republic has now emerged as a modern country.
 

Public holidays

These are defined on the basis of the history and the Bulgarian orthodox customs & beliefs. These comprise the National Day, the Unification of Bulgaria and Independence Day, and the Bulgarian Army Day, among others.
 

Habits

Majority of the people in the country are fond of visiting the different beaches and enjoying delicious food. The nation’s East Coast has lengthy white sandy beaches with clean waters and lovely temperatures. Many of these are basically well protected areas and categorized as nature reserves. But this does not mean that you can’t still swim or dive there in. These beaches are particularly jam-packed on the various holidays and through the vacation periods.

If we talk about the cuisine, well, the sumptuous Bulgarian food has inherited Slavic, Turkish and Greek traditions, thanks to the nation’s remarkable geographical position. And, so beans, lentils, vegetables & fruits, chicken & pork--with a choice of the food stuffs unique to the nation that differ as per the seasons--are part of the maximum number of recipes.

Bulgaria--located between three coastal stretches--offers a picturesque location for a range of activities, comprising sailing, scuba diving and several other water-based hobbies. The local people also love fishing & hunting, not to mention golf.
 

STATE STRUCTURE & ECONOMY

State Structure

As mentioned elsewhere, Bulgaria is a Parliamentary Republic, a unified state with local self-government. While the nation’s official language is Bulgarian, Eastern Orthodox Christianity dominates the religious scene in the nation and followed by majority of the nationals. The country’s national state emblem is an upright golden lion beautifully embossed on a dark red, shield-shaped background. It’s portrayed on its state seal. While the country’s flag has three colors, namely, white, green and red, as mentioned elsewhere; Sofia, as mentioned in another place, is the state capital.

The government does not tolerate discrimination of any kind--on the basis of race, citizenship, culture, and sex, country of origin, religion, education, views, political associations, personal or social or property standing--and every citizen is regarded equal before the law.

Much like most other nations, the state authority of Bulgaria is categorized into the legislative, executive and legal branches. And the basis of the country’s political life is the code of political pluralism. Since the nation’s freedom way back during 1878, it has been administered by the administrations, spearheaded by nearly 50 Prime Ministers.

Economy

The basis of the national economy is free economic enterprise. Bulgaria generates positive circumstances for the free development of science, education, and the arts and offers full state support for them. Sofia also makes provisions to duly preserve the nation’s unique historical and cultural legacy. The country has undergone a major makeover over the previous 30 years. It has changed from an extensively centralized, planned economy to an open, market-based, upper-middle-income economy firmly embedded in the EU.

In its early change, the country went via a decade of sluggish economic restructuring and development, high indebtedness, and also a loss of funds. But, the advancement of the organizational reorganizations, beginning in the late 1990s, the launch of the currency board, besides the prospects of the EU accession, released a decade of remarkably high economic development and better living standards.

The state’s economy is an open market economy with a developed private sector and a limited figure of state enterprises. The state possesses and controls the important & strategic businesses in the country. The nation has been an important member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since December 1, 1996. And, as mentioned elsewhere, since January 1, 2007, it has also been an EU member.

The national economy is suitably portrayed by the economic, political & financial stability. While the nation has a strategic geographic location, it also has liberal access to the thriving markets consisting of over 560 million customers, and, perhaps, the lowest corporate tax in the whole EU at 10%.

As per the apex global organization, the World Bank (WB), the Bulgarian economy is an upper middle income economy. The nation’s economy has recorded steady growth in the recent past. The national economy heavily depends on industry, despite the fact that the service segment has begun to leave its mark and make handy contributions to the GDP growth also. Refined petroleum fuels, bismuth, copper, gold, electronics, vehicle components, iron…these are just some of the country’s key products.

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