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statistics]

BULGARIA

the number of these officials is 130. Next follows the departmental tribunal, or court of first instance, which is competent to pronounce sentences of death, penal servitude, and deprivation of civil rights ; in specified criminal cases the judges are aided by three assessors chosen by lot from an annually prepared panel of forty-eight persons. Three courts of appeal sit respectively at Sofia, Russe, and Philippopolis. The highest tribunal is the Court of Cassation, sitting at Sofia, and composed of a president, two vice-presidents, and nine judges. There is also a High Court of Audit {'vrkhovna smetna palata), similar to the French Cour des Comptes. The judges are insufficiently paid and are removable by the Government. The Orthodox Bulgarian National Church claims to be an indivisible member of the eastern Orthodox communion, and asserts Relieion church ofcontinuity the autocephalous the Middlewith Ages. It was, however,Bulgarian declared schismatic by the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople in 1872, although dift'ering in no point of doctrine from the Greek church. The Exarch, or supreme head of the Bulgarian church, resides at Constantinople; he enjoys the title of “ Beatitude ” Blazhenstvo), receives an annual subvention of about £6000 from the principality, and exercises jurisdiction over the Bulgarian hierarchy in all parts of the Ottoman empire. The Exarch is elected by the Bulgarian episcopate, the Holy' Synod, and a general assembly (obshti sbor), in which the laity is represented; their choice is subject to the Sultan’s approval. The occupant of the dignity is titular Metropolitan of a Bulgarian diocese. The organization of the church within the principality was regulated by statute in 1883. There are eleven eparchies or dioceses in the country, each administered by a metropolitan with a diocesan council; one diocese has also a suffragan bishop. Church government is vested in the Holy Synod, consisting of four Metropolitans, which assembles once a year. The laity take part in the election of Metropolitans and parish priests, only the “black clergy,” or monks, being eligible for the episcopate. All ecclesiastical appointments are subject to the approval of the Government. There are 2106 parishes {eporii) in the principality with 9 archimandrites, 1936 parish priests, and 21 deacons, 78 monasteries with 184 monks, and 12 convents with 346 nuns. The celebrated monastery of Rila possesses a vast estate in the Rilska Planina ; its abbot or hegumen owns no spiritual superior but the Exarch. Ecclesiastical affairs are under the control of the minister of public worship ; the clergy of all denominations are paid by the State, being free, however, to accept fees for baptisms, marriages, burials, the administering of oaths, &c. The census of 1893 gives 2,606,786 persons of the Orthodox faith, 643,258 Mahommedans, 28,307 Jews, 22,617 Catholics, 6643 Gregorian Armenians, 2384 Protestants, and 718 whose religion is not stated. The Greek Orthodox community has four metropolitans dependent on the Patriarchate. The Mahommedan community is rapidly diminishing. The Catholics, who have two bishops, are for the most part the descendants of the mediaeval Paulicians ; they are especially numerous in the neighbourhood of Philippopolis and Svishtov. The Armenians have one bishop. The Protestants are mostly Methodists ; since 1857 Bulgaria has been a special field of activity for American Methodist missionaries, who have established an important school at Samakov. The Berlin Treaty (Art. V.), forbids religious disabilities in regard to the enjoyment of civil and political rights, and guarantees the free exercise of all religions. Education has made astonishing progress since the liberation of the country from Turkish rule. No educational system Education. existe in the districts before 1878

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sunkrural in ignorance, and the older tion is now totally illiterate. In the towns the schools were under the superintendence of the Greek clergy, and Greek was the language of instruction. The first Bulgarian school was founded at Gabrovo in 1835 by the patriot Neophyt. After the Crimean war, Bulgarian schools began to appear in the villages of the Balkans and the south-eastern districts. The children of the wealthier class were generally educated abroad. The American institution of Robert College on the Bosporos rendered an invaluable service to the newly-created State by providing it with a number of well-educated young men fitted for positions of responsibility. Primary education was declared obligatory from the first, but the scarcity of properly qualified teachers and the lack of all requisites proved serious impediments to educational organization. The Government has made great efforts and incurred heavy expenditure for the spread of education ; the satisiactory results obtained are largely due to the keen desire for learning which exists among the people. All the villages now possess “national” (narodni) primary schools, maintained by the communes with the aid of a State subvention and supervised by departmental and district inspectors. The State also assists a large number of Turkish primary schools, the penalties for non-attendance are not enforced, and it has been found necessary to close the schools in the rural

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districts during the summer, the children being required for labour in the fields. The age for primary instruction is six to twelve years ; in 1890, 47'01 per cent, of the boys and 16'11 per cent, oi the girls attended the primary schools ; in 1898, 85 per cent, ot the boys and 40 per cent, of the girls. In the latter year there^ were 4686 primary schools, of which 3111 were natmnaJ or communal, and 1575 denominational (including 1342 Turkish, 43 Tatar, 42 Greek, 16 Armenian, and 38 Jewish), attendee! by 348,716 pupils, representing a proportion of 10'57 per hundred inhabitants. In 1888 only 327,766 persons, or 11 per cent, of the population, were literate ; in 1893 the proportion rose to 19'88 per cent. ; in 1897 of 25,620 young men presenting themselves for military service, 12,119, or 47'27 per cent., were literate. In the system of secondary education the distinction between the classical and “real” or special courses of study is maintained as in most European countries ; there are 121 secondary schools (43 for boys, 38 for girls, and 40 mixed), for the most part with 3 classes, and 16 gymnasia (9 for boys and 7 for girls) with_7 classes. In addition to these there are 6 technical and 3 agricultural schools ; 5 of pedagogy, T theological, 1 commercial, 1 of forestry, 1 of design, 1 for surgeons’ assistants, and a large military school at Sofia. Government aid is given to students of limited means, both for secondary education and the completion of their studies abroad. The university of Sofia, of which the organization is incomplete, is still known as the high school (vishe utchilishU); it possesses a staff of 17 professors and 25 lecturers. The number of students is 288. The progress of learning has, unfortunately, tended to create a distaste for agricultural and industrial pursuits ; the daily increasing number of candidates for State employment swells the ranks of the various political parties, and the country is threatened with the growth of an educated proletariat. At the outset of its career the principality was practically unencumbered with any debt, external or internal. The stipulations of the Berlin Treaty (Art. IX.), with regard to the Finance payment of a tribute to the Sultan and the assumption of an “equitable proportion” of the Ottoman debt, were never carried into effect. In 1883 the claim of Russia (under Art. XX. of the Treaty) for the expenses of the occupation, was fixed at 26,545,625 fr., payable in annual instalments of 2,100,000 fr. The union with Eastern Rumelia in 1885 entailed liability for the obligations of that province, consisting of an annual tribute to Turkey of 2,951,000 fr., and a loan of 3,375,000 fr., contracted with the Imperial Ottoman Bank. In 1888 the purchase of the Yarna-Russe railway for 46,777,500 fr., was effected by the issue to the vendors of treasury bonds at 6 per cent. In 1889 a loan of 30,000,000 fr., bearing 6 per cent, interest, was contracted with the Vienna Landerbank and Bankverein at 85J. In 1892 a further 6 per cent loan of 142,780,000 fr. in six options was contracted with the Landerbank at 83, 86, and 89, of which 126,480,000 fr. had been issued up to 31st October 1899, together with an advance of 7,000,000 fr. In August 1899 the national debt stood as follows: Outstanding amount of the above-mentioned loans, 184,898,000 fr. ; advanced by the Landerbank (June 1889), 7,000,000 fr. ; due to Russia, 9,718,296 fr. ; arrears of the Eastern Rumelian tribute, 5,451,900 fr.: total external debt 207,068,196 fr. The total internal debt at the same date was about 33,100,000. The entire national liabilities were, therefore, approximately 240,168,196 fr. The Eastern Rumelian tribute and the rent of the Vakarel-Belovo railway, if capitalized at 6 per cent., would represent a further sum of 50,919,100 fr. On the 1st Jan. 1900 a 6 per cent, guaranteed loan of 25,000,000 fr. at 89, repayable in 5 years, was contracted with a group of foreign banks in order to meet immediate liabilities. The national debt is not disproportionately great in comparison with annual revenue. After the union with Eastern Rumelia the budget receipts increased from 40,893,262 leva ( = francs) in 1886 to 101,872,280 leva in 1894 ; the estimated revenue for 1900 was 83,827,863 leva, of which 35,294,900 were derived from direct, 29,901,000 from indirect taxation ; the estimated expenditure was 83,270,370 leva, the principal items being: public debt, 24,646,849; army, 20,773,432; education, 8,114,526; interior, 7,238,880 ; public works, 5,863,176 leva. In 1895 direct taxation, which pressed heavily on the agricultural class, was diminished, and indirect taxation (import duties and excise) considerably increased. The former is now 10'22 leva per head of the population, the latter 9'65 leva. The financial difficulties into which the country has recently fallen are to be attributed, not to excessive indebtedness, but to heavy outlay on public works, the army, and education, and to the maintenance of an unnecessary number of officials ; the economic situation has been aggravated by a succession of bad harvests. The expenditure on public works, however, will ultimately prove remunerative. The war budget during ten years (1888-97) absorbed the large sum of 275,832,017 leva, or 3577 per cent, of the whole national income within that period. Expenditure on education, which was 2,648,154 leva in 1888, reached 9,313,137 leva in 1897. The excess of expenditure over actual receipts (the S. II. —57