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March 2019
Bulgaria's business, economy and politics explained in 128 pages of quality reporting

Stories in this report

Bulgarian parties gear up for election year

The European Parliament elections this spring will be a grand rehearsal for the local elections in the autumn – and possibly a snap vote

Novichok shock

Did Moscow test lethal substance in Sofia before Salisbury?

Rumen Radev steps up his game

The Bulgarian head of state has grown bolder as he enters the third year of his term but he is still some way from launching a new political project

Back to basics: Nationalists vs Roma

Now that most asylum seekers have left Bulgaria, far right parties are turning to their favorite scapegoat – the stigmatized Roma minority

When civic engagement works in Bulgaria

Bulgarians are often said to be insufficiently engaged civically but some cases prove otherwise

Bulgaria embarks on a massive rearmament program without clear priorities

The process of selecting a new jetfighter for the Air Force has demonstrated the Ministry of Defense’s inability to manage complex projects

Bulgaria continues its weapons export spree

Saudi Arabia consolidates its place as a top small arms export destination for the third year running, despite human rights abuses and uncertainty about where weapons end up

Brexit: What if there is no deal?

Although highly unlikely, the risk of UK’s departure from the EU without a formal agreement is still looming

Macedonia's new name could teach Bulgaria a thing or two

Sofia is unhappy that its role in the untying of the Macedonian-Greek Gordian knot has been ignored

When Europe catches a cold

The European economy is losing steam, and Bulgarian national statistics show a disappointing investment and consumer activity

Bulgarian businesses grapple with ill-considered new tax regulations

In an effort to crack down on the shadow economy, the National Revenue Agency has introduced new regulations that are crippling the business of hundreds of thousands of companies

Bulgaria’s euro bid moves a step closer

The positive outcome of ECB’s asset quality review of Bulgarian banks will be the real entry ticket

What should Bulgaria expect from the euro?

It is now clear that euro zone membership has improved the economic performance of new member states

Will Volkswagen Arrive in Kremikovtzi?

Bulgaria has an unprecedented opportunity to attract a major car maker

TV masters and puppets

Bulgarian businessman Kiril Domuschiev is buying Nova TV in a purchase that will tighten the media grip of the ruling GERB party

Hemus: a highway project rife with corruption opportunities

The Road Infrastructure Agency recently demonstrated how the authorities flagrantly flout public procurement procedures and transparency

Pirates of the Black Sea

The seizure of a Libyan oil tanker by the Bulgarian authorities has drawn the country into an international scandal. The case has also shown how easily Bulgarian courts can be circumvented

When Bulgaria is too expensive

The Canadian owner has ceased production at ALC’s plants over a labor shortage, higher wage costs and failure to get a price increase from BMW

The death of once mighty Bulgartabac

The bulgarian tobacco holding controlled by Delyan Peevski has closed all production units but the authorities see no problem

Bulgaria’s new factories

Two-thirds of the largest investment projects are in Northern Bulgaria. The top investor is Germany

The hub of northern Bulgaria

Pleven has many advantages: existing ones such as aviation training and medical education, and untapped ones like logistics and manufacturing

Sofia moves ahead with new business district plan

A new business district is in the pipeline in the southeastern suburbs of Sofia.

The Venezuelan Connection

Bulgaria’s national security agency has launched a probe into potential laundering of money from Venezuela via local private lender Investbank

Fibank gets a makeover ahead of exam

Bulgaria's biggest private, domestically-owned lender – Fibank, reinforces its balance sheet, bracing for the ECB's asset quality review

Bulgaria’s c-bank urges greater caution in lending

For the first time, the regulator warns of potential risks for Bulgarian banks associated with the ECB's asset quality review

With its head buried in the coal

Bulgaria is the only EU Member State with a significant coal sector that hasn’t begun restructuring

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