Subnational Capital Markets in Developing Countries: From Theory to Practice

By John Petersen; Mila Freire | Go to book overview

Chapter 27
Eastern and Central Europe
Bulgaria

With the exception of Sophia, weak local finances,
uncertain transfers, and a fragile hanking system
stall local government borrowing.

Peter D. Ellis and Kremena lonkova


Lessons

Decentralization in Bulgaria during the 1990s was slow and
painful, occurring amid political instability and stressful eco-
nomic conditions. A unitary state with a tradition of highly cen-
tralized control, Bulgaria has been reluctant to adopt new poli-
cies and implement reforms. The ad hoc design of
intergovernmental relations has greatly limited the autonomy of
local governments, which face many fiscal guidelines imposed
by the central government. Local governments rely heavily on
transfers from the center (shared taxes and grants), which have
been subject to uncertainty and lack of transparency. As macro-
economic conditions have improved, the intergovernmental fis-
cal system has recently stabilized, but tight central government
control continues to constrain local authorities in developing
and implementing their budgets.

-487-

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