garia's Religious Institutions under Fire," in Radio Free Europe Research Reports 1.38 ( September 29, 1992), pp. 60-66.
Savov, Stefan (1924- ). Savov, the son of a businessman-politician, studied at the University of Sofia when, during early in World War II, he was drafted into the Bulgarian army. When the communists took power, Savov's father was arrested and imprisoned. The family was then exiled to Dob-rudja. From his student days on, Savov was an ardent anticommunist. Although he was permitted to complete his studies for a degree in law, he was arrested and sent to a concentration camp for his views. After his release, he worked in construction as a laborer for more than ten years. After that, he worked as a translator of Spanish language works.
In 1990, Savov became involved in politics. His impeccable anticommunist credentials led him to become the president of the Democratic party. In the first free elections held, he was sent to parliament by the voters as a deputy where he became deputy chairman of the assembly's Foreign Relations Committee. In 1991, he was elected president of the Bulgarian parliament. Savov, a founding member of the Democratic party, was elected president of the Union of Democratic Forces in 1992, and the leader of its parliamentary caucus.
Kjell Engelbrekt, "Bulgaria: Union of Democratic Forces Closes Ranks," in Radio Free Europe Research Report 2.16 ( April 16, 1993), pp. 10- 13.
Trade Policies. In 1949, Bulgaria became a charter member of the CMEA or COMECON, an organization created by the Soviet Union. Its purpose was to become a counterpart of the European Common Market. However, the CMEA differed from the latter in that its members had bilateral treaties with the Soviet Union but not with each other. Various economic tasks were distributed not through agreements but through Soviet commands. By 1962, 82 percent of Bulgaria's foreign trade was flowing into the economies of CMEA members, the bulk of this volume going to the Soviet Union. Yet, Bulgaria's major produce, agriculture, was in serious decline; its industrial goods were of low quality. Thus, they could be sold only in the Soviet bloc.
The state organs in Bulgaria traditionally had a monopoly over foreign trade long before the communist conquest of power. In fact, the state institute conducting foreign trade before and during World War II was simply taken over when the communists assumed authority. There was some private trade, especially in agricultural products during the war, but this was now completely eliminated. The Bulgarian Agricultural Bank, also established during the old regime, and a network of credit-cooperatives financed by it, were now state agencies buying up all agricultural products at fixed prices, determined by the State Planning Office. Before World War II, Bulgaria borrowed heavily from French financial institutions. In 1944, Yugoslavia and Greece, as well as the Soviet Union, would not demand heavy reparations from a fellow People's Democracy. It was also very unlikely that Bulgaria would receive help from the West-