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Zhivkov Says Bulgaria Faces Catastrophe

Sofia, June 7 (NCA/) - Bulgaria's former state and party leader Todor Zhivkov says the country's current crisis could lead to dictatorship. Zhivkov is frequently referred to as a dictator himself, having ruled Bulgaria as Communist Party leader for more than 30 years.

Zhivkov was released from house arrest only two months ago, after being detained in 1989 on charges of abuse of power.

Today Zhivkov told reporters he is appealing to Bulgarians to unite to save Bulgaria from catastrophe. Saying "dictatorship" was possible, he added that "the traditional Bulgarian parties have proved incapable of solving Bulgaria's problems." And he suggested that what he called a "popular movement" could be formed to deal with the crisis. Zhivkov said he would not head such a "movement" or new political party, and would not run for president this year.

Zhivkov said poverty, crime and the declining birth rate are the main problems Bulgaria faces.