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Overview

Bulgaria - Overview


Bulgaria is located in south-eastern Europe. It has borders with Greece, Romania, Turkey, Macedonia and Serbia, and a Black Sea coastline on the Black Sea. The interior is very mountainous, with lowlands in the north and south-east of the country.

Previously a satellite of the Soviet Union, Bulgaria first held democratic elections in 1990, after the collapse of communism. Since then it has experienced much political instability, economic difficulties and other problems including a high level of corruption and organized crime, but is undergoing many reforms and hoping to achieve EU membership in 2007.

The capital city of Sofia is Bulgaria's main government, business, shopping and entertainment centre, and has a large number of ancient ruins and historical buildings. The city owes its origins to the presence of mineral water springs. An interesting feature here is the yellow paving in the administrative district.

Other main cities in Bulgaria include Plovdiv, the second largest city; Varna, a coastal resort with a very lively nightlife; Vratsa, a scenic city in the north-west of the country which is a commercial and business centre as well as a tourist attraction, and Bansko, a medieval town in the mountains which is now a winter sports resort and a popular expatriate area of residence. Burgas, on the Black Sea, is another popular expat destination.

Expatriates from western Europe, especially the U.K., have recently been moving in fairly large numbers to Bulgaria, attracted by the low cost of living, scenic countryside and low property prices. Bulgarian real estate is rapidly increasing in price and is currently thought by many to be a good investment.

However, foreign residents complain of high levels of pollution in areas away from the coast, unattractive urban areas with drab communist-era buildings, frequent power cuts and water shortages and a lack of good quality healthcare. Those living in the rural areas and coastal resorts seem to be more satisfied with their surroundings.


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Expat Health Insurance Partners


Aetna

Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.

Cigna

Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.