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Bulgaria: Poll Indicates A Shift In Priorities

Sofia, 21 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - A Bulgarian poll, conducted after the downfall of the Socialist cabinet and the formation of a care-taker government, suggests 99.6 percent of the Bulgarians surveyed use their savings to buy food.

RFE/RL's correspondent in Sofia reports that the results of a survey conducted by a Bulgarian polling firm (BBSS Gallup International-associated with the U.S. Gallup organization) indicate Bulgaria's deep economic crisis has significantly changed people's priorites.

Our correspondent says the poll suggests money is quickly replacing the importance of family. The poll says 72 percent of the Bulgarians surveyed agree with the statement: "money is the most important thing in life." Only 20 percent disagreed with it. Our correspondent reports earlier polls had indicated "the family" as the top priority.

However, our Sofia correspondent also says Bulgarians have not yet completely accepted "capitalist thinking." Other poll results indicate Bulgarians still have doubts about free-enterprise. Seventy-two percent of those surveyed think that having a gap between rich and poor social classes is "not good for Bulgaria," while 13 percent believe a "class-based society" would be beneficial for the country. But, then again, 78 percent of those surveyed did not think they could ever become rich.

And, in response to another question, 32 percent of the Bulgarians who were surveyed said they would emigrate immediately if given the chance.