Optimism for Bulgaria

Can Voting Be Exciting Again? Louisa Slavkova Answers in the Affirmative

By the time Louisa could vote in an election, democracy was well established in Bulgaria, but enthusiasm for voting was on the wane. The Bulgaria-specific reasons for this are manifold, but the outcome is also consistent with what happens worldwide. “Paradoxically, the more democracy you begin to have, the lazier you become as a democrat,” Louisa says.

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Crafting New Life to an Industrial Site: A Vision for Smilyan

In that vision, the whole region has become a magnet for creative people building businesses that espouse slow consumption, honor traditional crafts, and promote a sustainable use of resources—and for visitors embracing those values. In that environment, guests and locals exchange experience and bond over shared meals of Smilyan beans and other local delicacies.

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A Bookstore Named Hope Offers Hope and Great Gifts

The Nadezhda bookstore in Plovdiv’s Trakia neighborhood is a special place. Everything from the positive name—nadezhda in Bulgarian means hope—to the welcoming interior and friendly staff is designed to make you feel at home. Inside you are not just a customer but a dear guest who is greeted by the biggest smiles you have seen and offered a small souvenir with a message—a small token of gratitude for your patronage.

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IME: Smart Recovery Requires Building Local Capacity

It is the go-to resource for socio-economic analyses on Bulgaria’s regions. Whether you are an investor looking at Gabrovo’s engineering potential, a local planner in Ruse interested in attracting educational investment, or an expansion-minded business in search of areas with low taxation, efficient local administration, and a qualified workforce, the Regional Profiles of the Institute for Market Economics (IME) are your first stop.

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