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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bulgaria,

Bulgaria, one of the EU's newest members (joining in January 2007), has been through mammoth changes in the last few years. Many of the cities and resorts have been undergoing construction booms galore, tempting buyers from Western Europe with relatively cheap property.Bulgaria's beach and ski resorts are expanding quickly as a result. The main cities have shrugged off their weary Communist-era image and have become vibrant and attractive, with well-kept boulevards, varied shopping and lively nightlife. Spectacular mountains occupy half the country's territory and the swathe of golden beaches along the 370km- (232-mile-) long Black Sea bring in hordes of tourists from around the world.Visitors can stay in towns and villages that have aimed to preserve the authentic Bulgarian spirit and hospitality. Bulgaria is especially proud of its rich folklore traditions, and folk dances, music, national costumes and traditional rituals play an important part in the life of Bulgarians.Bulgaria has had a turbulent history and recently experienced radical political changes. Having been a satellite of the Soviet Union for nearly half a century, Bulgaria chose its first democratically-elected president, Zhelyu Zhelev, in 1990. A constitution was adopted in 1991, the political parties were restored, and privatisation and restitution of the land started. Such changes escalated in the run-up, and subsequent accession, to the European Union in 2007

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