Bulgaria Too Much, Too Soon

Slowing the pace of reform

As the Soviet Union's most loyal ally in Eastern Europe, stolid Bulgaria has always followed in Moscow's footsteps. The economic reform drive launched by Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev seemed no exception to that rule. In a startling turn away from its hard-line policies of the past, the regime headed by Communist Party Leader Todor Zhivkov, 76, swiftly followed Gorbachev's lead. From promised press freedoms to plans for a new commercial banking ! system, Zhivkov's program seemed intended, as a Western diplomat in Sofia put it, "to out-Gorbachev Gorbachev."

No more. Since the New Year, virtually all of Bulgaria's new initiatives appear...

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