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Word Count: 515
Over the course of the past two months January and February 1997 Bulgariahas undergone some sweeping political changes and its economy has deterioratedinto further collapse The following is an attempt to describe the eventswhich took place in Bulgaria in January and February of 1997 This is somewhatof a difficult task given the current rate of political economical and socialchanges which are occurring in Bulgaria What follows is an account of theevents which have taken place in Bulgaria over the last two months ie Januaryand February of 1997 subject to the news material which was available tome and to the time constraints of this projectBulgarias economic crisis exploded into popular outrage at the beginningof January 1997 when previously quiescent Bulgarians poured into the streetsto demand that the governing BSP leave power now rather than when theirfour-year term expires at the end of 1998After a month of mostly peaceful daily protests that paralysed Sofia andbrought much of the countrys business to a halt the Socialists who lackthe kind of fiercely loyal police and media that have sustained PresidentSlobodan Milosevic in neighbouring Serbia submitted to the protesters demandson Wednesday February 5th 1997 They agreed to hand over power to a caretakergovernment until new elections in mid-April which they are unlikely to winwhen recent polls conclude that only 10 of the population currently supportthe BSP Wed better celebrate now because we have very hard days aheadsaid Ivan Kostov leader of the opposition United Democratic Forces Source OMRI Daily Digest 18th February 1997 The newly elected Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov named an interim cabinetheaded by Sofia Mayor Stefan Sofianski to oversee the country and its collapsingeconomy until a new parliament is chosen in general elections scheduled forApril 19 The appointment means that the mass protests forced the leadersof the Socialist majority in parliament to agree to a new ballot 20 monthsbefore the end of their elective term Sofianskis caretaker cabinet includesstrong critics of the BSP and has announced it
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