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Country information - Bulgaria
Country name - conventional long form : Republic of Bulgaria
Country name - conventional short form : Bulgaria
Country name - local long form : Republika Balgariya
Country name - local short form : Balgariya
Government type : parliamentary democracy
Capital - name : Sofia
Capital - time difference : UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
National holiday : Liberation Day, 3 March (1878)
Population : 7,262,675 (July 2008 est.)
Nationality - noun : Bulgarian(s)
Nationality - adjective : Bulgarian
Languages : Bulgarian 84.5%, Turkish 9.6%, Roma 4.1%, other and unspecified 1.8% (2001 census)
Currency (code) : lev (BGN)
Currency code : BGN

Bulgaria is located Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Romania and Turkey. The climate is temperate; cold, damp winters; hot, dry summers. The terrain is mostly mountains with lowlands in north and southeast.


This entry usually highlights major historic events and current issues and may include a statement about one or two key future trends.
Background : The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. Northern Bulgaria attained autonomy in 1878 and all of Bulgaria became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1908. Having fought on the losing side in both World Wars, Bulgaria fell within the Soviet sphere of influence and became a People's Republic in 1946. Communist domination ended in 1990, when Bulgaria held its first multiparty election since World War II and began the contentious process of moving toward political democracy and a market economy while combating inflation, unemployment, corruption, and crime. The country joined NATO in 2004 and the EU in 2007.

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