Countryaah, the country began to slowly recover after the
political crises and economic chaos of recent years. Prime
Minister Ivan Kostov's government succeeded in creating
political stability and reducing inflation to 6.1%, compared
with 1997, when prices in early spring increased by over
200% a month. One of the main reasons for the success was
that the government took a firm grip on the economy, and
according to the rules for the specially appointed foreign
exchange inspection, the central bank now has to buy and
sell the Bulgarian currency live at a fixed value of 1,000
live against the 1D mark. In addition, the central bank was
prohibited from lending money directly to the government,
which must therefore limit its expenditure to the amount
covered by taxes or can be borrowed commercially.
However, the work of introducing a modern market economy
was slow. Privatization continued, but there were particular
difficulties in the companies that had been bought by the
employees, and there they were hesitant to carry out
modernization as these often lead to layoffs. Registered
unemployment decreased during the year from 14.2% in 1997 to
11%. However, there may be a large number of darkness.
Bulgaria still has a long way to go when it comes to the
rights of minorities, especially those of the Roma
(gypsies), but a party-wide committee was set up to improve.
At the end of the year, the parliament in Sofia voted by
a large majority to abolish the death penalty.