Lots Of Hope And Hardship

Bulgarians like to tell the story of a man who decided to cut off his cat's tail. The reason: to reduce the time the pet spent entering and leaving the house, thereby reducing heating bills. But the man tried to be merciful. Instead of slashing the tail in one stroke, he chopped it off an inch at a time. For eight years and seven governments after communism collapsed in Bulgaria, reforms followed the same painful incremental path. Then the new reformist government of Ivan Kostov announced that there would be no more small cuts. It would chop off the tail once and for all, with drastic and painful reforms that would encourage a free-market economy.

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