Bulgaria’s 2011 census got underway on February 1, not without some teething troubles in the online phase of the exercise – and with a reminder that foreigners permanently or temporarily resident in the country should also take part, or face a fine of 120 leva.
However, those foreigners who would prefer to take part online rather than answer questions from a census taker could do so only if at least one person in the household has Bulgarian citizenship and an EGN, a Bulgarian identity number – a category that, for example, would embrace those foreigners with a Bulgarian spouse.
Other foreigners to be counted in include tourists and people in Bulgaria on business trips. The principle is that the "reference moment" of the census is the midnight that February 1 started, so everyone present in the country and eligible for inclusion in the census should be reported.
Some foreigners are exempt from the census, including diplomats and other representatives of foreign governments, foreign military personnel and their families, people resident in properties owned by foreign governments and representatives of international organisations.
Foreigners unable to speak Bulgarian can request census takers able to speak, respectively, English, French or Russian. To make the request, call the helpline, 0700 16 310.
On the National Statistical Institute (NSI) website, nsi.bg, a sample of the census form in English was available.
After the initial online phase, ending February 9, the in-person interviews by census takers were scheduled to start from February 10 and continue until February 28.
Glitches and gremlins The online version of the census went live as midnight brought the start of February, and the NSI said on the afternoon of the first day that several thousand people already had filled in the form on the internet.
However, the process did not go without teething troubles, even though the NSI had sought to pre-empt some concerns, notably by saying that the online census system was designed to allow 400 000 people to be online simultaneously without the system crashing, while the institute also issued an assurance that information given online would be secure and confidential.
Bulgarian National Television said on February 1 that the main problem appeared to be the transmission of passwords enabling the completion of the form. By the evening, this problem was fixed by having the password appear on the screen instead of being sent to a user’s e-mail.
The system, designed to alert users of errors, appeared to be not working as it should, going by a report on the website of Dnevnik.
Among problems reported by users were difficulty in finding the appropriate classification to describe their occupations, an absence of being able to describe oneself as retired but working temporarily, and some categories of employment not being provided for, while some users complained that the system did not accept the notion that a kitchen could serve a double purpose as a living room (thus throwing out calculations of the area of a residence) – and nor, so some Dnevnik readers said, could the system accept that an eight-year-old child could be literate.
Ahead of the census, the NSI estimated that about 40 per cent of Bulgarians would take part online.
Plans are for the results of the census to be released in about February 2012.
Simeon Saxe-Coburg and his spouse Margarita opened a new heating and insulation system at the Tsar Ferdinand Hospital for Pulmonary Diseases in Iskrets, a project implemented thanks to the Embassy of the Sovereign Order of Malta in Sofia and the Nando Peretti Foundation.
According to the law's provisions, the commission will have the power to investigate individuals without prior notification and would not require a criminal conviction in order to launch an investigation.
Sofia Echo Media is part of the Economedia Group.
The news and information content on this website is provided by our editorial team and is copyrighted.
Any unauthorised reproduction or use of it is strictly forbidden. Reproduction of this website's content is permitted only
with prior written permission from the Editor-in-Chief, should be propertly acredited and provide an active link back to our site.
Comments posted by the website's visitors are independent of the editorial materials and do not represent the views of sofiaecho.com.
Sofia Echo Media cannot be held responsible for the statements contained in visitor comments.
The percentаge change in the shares' prices are based on the price of the last transaction of the current session compared to the
price of the last transaction of the previous session. Bulgarian Stock Exchange data is not real-time, but updated every 15 minutes,
and should not be used as a basis for decisions about buying or selling stock options.