Reuters Photo Former King Simeon II 
to become Prime Minister
(София, 2001)
Big changes are occurring in Bulgaria since I visited the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences last year (November 2000), to promote scientific cooperation and exchange of ideas. Following  the amazing popular victory of ex-king Simeon's NDS party on June 17, 2001, Mr Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (formerly Simeon II), has accepted his party's unanimous approval of his candidacy for Prime Minister,( As in the UK, the role of Prime Minister in Bulgaria is powerful. Committed to economic reform and in particular raising the average monthly income from 250 Lev (90 pounds sterling), to 400 Lev within 800 days, the new PM will have his work cut out with plenty of other problems.
Bulgaria borders onto trouble-spot Macedonia (as well as Greece, Turkey, Yugoslavia and Romania), and has a history of difficult relations with that country. Membership of the EU must also be a big priority and fulfilling the necessary conditions will take many years. My impressions were that this country has a lot going for it; with the new leader and his massive popular support, maybe this is the turning point.
A special plea from the world scientific community to King Simeon, "please do something about the lack of resources, equipment, consumables to keep the equipment running, and not to forget the empty library shelves, currently staff have to travel abroad to read the literature (!), and naturally young talented people that the Country urgently needs have been leaving to further their careers elsewhere."                                                       София
Simeon Borisov Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was born in Bulgaria in 1937 and educated in England and America. He was proclaimed King when he was six years old, succeeding his father, Boris, who was killed at the end of world War II. Deposed by the Communists in 1946, he fled to Egypt before settling in Madrid where he became Chairman for 13 years of the Spanish subsidiary of Thomson-CSF (Thales SA) and as a business consultant made many connections in Europe and the Middle-East.
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