Bulgaria: Big Beat in the Balkans

Bulgaria's Todor Zhivkov may still toady to the Kremlin's foreign-policy wishes (see above), but when it comes to internal matters, he is as reform-minded as any other Eastern European.

At the Bulgarian Party Congress last week, Zhivkov proudly detailed "an all-round upsurge" in the nation's economy — the product of a quiet three-year-old reform experiment that has placed 60% of Bulgaria's industry on a profit-incentive basis.

In factories freed from the rigid grip of central planning, Zhivkov reported output improved and labor productivity nearly tripled. Partly as a result, Zhivkov was able to promise Bulgarians "TV sets, refrigerators, washing machines, vacuum cleaners,...

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