Bulgaria. When the parliamentary elections were held in June, the Left Opposition, led by the Socialist Party, became the biggest expectation. King Simeon II’s party NDSV, which dominated the outgoing government, lost almost half of its voters. The socialists had predicted a stronger result in the election, but were considered to have lost votes to the newly formed right-wing nationalist dissatisfaction party Attack, which received 8% of the vote. No party had its own majority after the election, and it took two months of negotiations before Bulgaria got a new government. There was a broad coalition between the left and the two largest parties, NDSV and the Bulgarian Turkish DPS. Socialist Party leader Sergei Stanisev became new prime minister.
According to countryaah, Sofia is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Bulgaria. Stanisev explained that the work to secure EU accession in 2007 was a top priority for the government and promised to take action against corruption and organized crime. New laws were passed, including to try to reform the justice system that, according to critics, was still too ineffective and permeated by corruption. But the European Commission noted in a report in October that work to curb corruption and organized crime was going too slowly and warned that entry could be postponed. The EU also pointed to shortcomings in border control and food hygiene. The day after the report was released, unknown perpetrators shot a prominent financier on the open street in Sofia. Emil Kjulev was the principal owner of the banking and insurance group DZI and one of Bulgaria’s richest men. The murder was described as pure mafia, and President Georgi Parvanov said in a comment that the aim was probably to undermine EU entry. Several similar murders had occurred earlier in the year.
During the summer, Bulgaria was hit by heavy downpours and severe floods on several occasions. Over 20 people died and 10,000 lost their homes; farmland was destroyed and infrastructure was broken. The damage was estimated to be US $ 625 million.
Even before the election, Parliament decided to end Bulgaria’s military presence in Iraq, and by the end of the year, all 400 soldiers were home.