The state is no longer responsible for free healthcare or other care. This system has been replaced by a premium-funded health insurance system, and drug costs are based on income. Private healthcare, which was banned from 1972–89, is encouraged. In 2011, there were 38 doctors per 10,000 residents.
General unemployment insurance does not exist, but some compensation is paid based on family situation and the length of unemployment. Visit AbbreviationFinder to see the definitions of BUL and acronym for Bulgaria.
The retirement age for men varies between 57-60 years and for women 52-55 years. However, the social safety net has collapsed due to galloping inflation and the country’s economic development. The value of pensions and other social insurance has been eroded, and hospitals suffer from a lack of equipment and medicine. The standard of living has dropped and about 20 percent of the population lives below the national poverty line.
Bulgaria entered the Council of Europe in June 1992. During the year, former Communist leader Todor Zhivkov arrested three former prime ministers and another former member of governments from before 1991; the prosecutors lied on corruption. The economic situation caused the Freedom and Human Rights Party to withdraw its support for Dimitrov, which led to the fall of the government.
Liuben Berov of the Freedom and Human Rights Party succeeded Dimitrov. The new prime minister was prepared to replace the land that had been confiscated from the Turkish minority by the communists. The transition to market economy continued to be a major problem and led to paradoxical situations; for example. 2 million cattle were slaughtered as private purchasers were unable to purchase such quantities after the closure of the collective system.
By allowing the former USSR to buy 2/3 of Bulgaria’s total output, foreign trade dropped dramatically; in addition, the sanctions imposed by the UN against ex-Yugoslavia meant that Bulgaria lost $ 1.5 million in transit trade revenue. In 1993, Berov expanded the reforms to deal with the introduction of market economy at a pace characterized by the IMF as extremely slow, which led to some tension in relations between Sofia and this international organization.
Still, Berov managed to stay in power until mid-1994, thanks to the support of the Freedom and Human Rights Party, the Socialist Party and the New Democracy Union, a party originating from the Union of Democratic Movements. The remaining members of this opposition coalition repeatedly accused the prime minister of wanting “to reinstate socialism.” The discrepancies between the Berov and the Freedom and Human Rights Movement regarding the rights and social conditions of Turkish Bulgarians helped to further weaken the government.
Berov supported the privatization laws in June 1994; Three months later he resigned. After 3 unsuccessful attempts to form a new government, President Yerov dissolved parliament and printed new elections. in the December elections, the Socialist Party obtained an absolute majority in the National Assembly – 120 out of a total of 240 seats – while the anti-communist Union of Democratic Movements gained 69 seats.
The Socialist leader, 35-year-old Zhan Videnov, formed a new government in January 1995 with the participation of members of the Socialist Party, Bulgaria’s National Farmer Movement and the Ecoglasnost Group. It was the first government in the history of post-communist Bulgaria to sit on an absolute majority in the National Assembly. The discrepancies between the new government and President Yelev intensified. In July, the president criticized the government’s slowness in implementing reforms that would facilitate the transition to a market economy, claiming that the Socialist Party had “genetic links” to organized crime, and that the Videnov government was therefore unable to combat this crime.
Petar Stoyanov of the Union of Democratic Movements won the first round of the November 1996 presidential election, and a month later repeated the victory with 59.7% of the vote over Socialist candidate Ivan Marazov in the crucial election round. Prime Minister Zhan Videnov resigned in December following harassment from his political opponents. The conservative groups that supported Stoyanov demanded the resignation of the government, with the support of the socialists and their allies. A number of popular demonstrations were held in the capital and in other major cities, new elections were required. Stoyanov, who, after promising to speed up the elections to be held in 1998, took office in January 1997 as president.
The election took place in April 1997 and became a triumph for the Union of Democratic Movements, gaining 137 seats in parliament, with the Socialists getting 58 and 19 going to the Union Party for the Salvation of the Country, representing the monarchists. The new government launched a tough neoliberal economic policy that lived up to the demands of the IMF, which had recommended the privatization of state-owned enterprises, considered to be deficit and the closure of more than 60,000 public sector jobs, while attempting to on reducing inflation, the public sector liberalized.