Bulgaria. Former Interior Minister Atanas Semerdzhiev was sentenced in April to four and a half years in prison for destroying archival material from the old Communist regime’s security police. In 1990, Semerdzhiev ordered the destruction of tens of thousands of files from the security police archives. The material could have shed light on accusations of the regime’s persecution of political opponents.
According to Countryaah website, national day of Bulgaria is every October 5. Pope John Paul II visited Bulgaria in May, explaining that he himself never believed in the suspicions that a Bulgarian conspiracy would have been behind the murder trial against him at St. Peter’s Square in Rome in 1981. Foreign Minister Solomon Passy expressed great relief and said that Bulgaria had fought hard for 20 years. to cleanse their name.
Turkish-born assassin Mehmet Ali Agca claimed at one time that he was hired by the Bulgarian security service, which in turn would have acted on orders from the Soviet KGB. The motive was said to have been the fear of an anti-communist revolt inspired by John Paul. The Pope’s visit to Bulgaria also meant a close relationship between the small Catholic minority and the dominant Orthodox church.
At the NATO Summit in Prague in November, Bulgaria, along with six other Eastern European countries, received an invitation to join the military alliance. However, Bulgaria did not join the group of ten countries which in December were approved as members of the EU from 2004. Together with neighboring Romania, Bulgaria must aim for 2007.
The main remaining barriers to Bulgaria’s entry into the EU were corruption, the weak legal system and discrimination against Roma. The EU also calls for the closure of four aging nuclear reactors, a process that started in December. Although the EU adjustment meant tangible economic reforms, an overwhelming majority of Bulgarians were positive to EU membership.
However, the ex-wife and the head of government Simeon Sakskoburggotski lost a lot in popularity. When he was elected in June 2001, his party received half the parliamentary mandate, but just over a year later, only 10% of the population was satisfied with his efforts.