Date: 3 May 2011 Full link...
Montana District occupies the central part of North Bulgaria with a total area of 3635 square kilometers, which is 3.2 percent of the territory of Bulgaria. Northern boundary of the area is the Danube, which is the state border with Romania. Southwest area bordered by Serbia to the south is bounded by the northern slopes of Stara Planina. Contiguous area in a westerly direction is Vidin, in the east - Vratsa District and the South – Sofia.
An important advantage of areas related to its location, is the fact that it passes through two European transport corridors network TINA - Corridor ¹ 4 (road E 79) Vidin-Montana-Vratsa-Sofia-Tower (FP I-1) and corridor ¹ 7 (Danube).
Here you can get the shortest road link from Vidin to Sofia - secondary road II - 81 through saddle „Petrohan” which serves the port of Lom, as it provides a link to the Greek port of Thessaloniki. These factors can have a stimulating effect on the overall development of industry, agriculture, trade and tourism in the area.
The area is divided into eleven administrative municipalities: Berkovitsa Boychinovtsi, Brusartsi, Varshets Valchedram, George Damyanovo, Lom, Medkovets Montana Chiprovtsi and Yakimovo. The districts Montana, Vidin and Vratsa are Northwest Planning Region.
The landscape of district Montana is very varied. Northern area is located in the Danube Plain, and in a southerly direction landscape gradually turns into mountain, covering parts of Fore. Southern area include the most massive part of Western Stara Planina, with highest peak called “Kom” - 2016 m. Here is and the Petrohanski Saddle, and it is the shortest path from northwest to southwest Bulgaria. The slopes of the Old Mountain are covered with deciduous and coniferous forests.
The climate in the region is temperate with cold winters and warm summers. The average annual temperature is 11.1 degrees. The main rivers are Ogosta, Tsibritsa and Lom. They have small amounts of water and have little practical importance for irrigation. The territory of Montana are dams "Ogosta" and "Srechenska bar” and and about 50 micro dams of local importance. Dam "Ogosta" is located along the “Ogosta” river as part of the irrigation system, it is the biggest in Bulgaria with earth-fill wall and one of the biggest on the Balkan Peninsula, with 500 million cubic meters water. Dam “Srechenska bar”, with a useful volume of 15.5 million cubic meters was built as a source of water supply in the cities Montana, Vratsa, Berkovitsa, Mezdra and other settlements in both areas. Mineral springs are among the most precious natural resource of the area. With national importance are thermal springs in the municipality Varshets - town of Varshets and village Spanchevtsi used to treat cardiovascular diseases, diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system, endocrine-metabolic, the locomotors etc. Springs with mineral water, which may have economic significance, are located in the village Barzia and also in villages and Borovtsi Zamfirovo, Berkovitsa municipality. Soils have a clear zonation in north-south direction.
Danube plain is characterized by fertile black soil, in the Fore are distributed gray forest soils and in the Balkan area - brown forest and mountain-meadow soils. The characteristics of the majority of soils are very favorable for the development of key sectors of agriculture and livestock. In Berkovitsa municipality has specific favorable conditions for growing strawberries and raspberries. The minerals in the area are of local importance, mainly construction materials - lime, industrial minerals, granite, diabase. In Chiprovtsi municipality has Fluorite deposit. Examined is a deposit of lignite coal at Lom coal basin between the rivers Tsibritsa and Lom, an area about 300 square km, but is with low calorific value and is not exploited. There are ores of Iron, silver and lead in Municipality Chiprovtsi /Stara Planina/, where the yield is terminated. Copper, silver and gold - the villages of Govejda, Diva Slatina, Dalgi del and Kopilovtsi.
With greater economic importance are deposits of clay and marl. There are a deposits of refractory clays near villages of Klisuritsa and Dolna Riksa. In the region acting careers for open pit mining of construction materials - limestone, sand, clay, gravel. Overall quality and quantity of utility deposits prevent the development of extractive industries with significant economic importance. Forest wealth include arrays of beech, oak, white pine, black pine and spruce. Spread are many herbs, some of which are St. John's wort, marjoram, lemon balm, yarrow, lime, black elderberry, black and red haw, red peony, etc. In the forests of “Stara Planina” mountain you can meet typical for this geographical zone animal varieties. Common are deer, red deer, fallow deer, wild boar, hare, rabbits, pheasant. In terms of wildlife Danube region is famous for its rich diversity of species of birds. There have been over 100 bird species, most of which are permanent, while others are passing.
History and culture
The story of Montana is centuries old and dates back to ancient times. In antiquity the region was inhabited by the Thracian tribe "Tribals". After becoming part of the Eastern Roman
Date: 3 May 2011 Full link...
Empire, in the region appear settlements like Montanenzium /Montana/, Almus /Lom/ and Medeka /Varshets/, later come Slavs and Bulgarians. Contemporary culture of the area has kept strong influence of different eras, but deep in its essence it is a Bulgarian, European and universal spirit.
Eclectic character is seen not only in cultural and historical monuments exposed in many museums, but also the colors of the urban environment. Northwest part and its natural center - Montana remain spiritual territory of the illustrious musician Diko Iliev. Worthy of his followers today are not one and two orchestra in region. Theatre "Dragomir Asenov", the Historic Museum, the Library "Geo Milev" and Art Gallery "Kiril Petrov" are cultural institutions that are important for Montana and the region. In all community centers, there is museum collection or art gallery. There are many organized events such as workshops for painting, wooden and ceramic sculpture festivals and competitions in other kinds of contemporary art and culture. For the first time in our history "cultural club" appears in Lom in a secular school by the teacher and patriot Krastio Pishurka in 1848. National Cultural Center/NCC/ "Postianstvo" is one of the first in Bulgaria, it was founded in 1856 by the teacher Krusty Pishurka. There is created and the first Bulgarian Theatre in 1856. The first show in there is "Mnogostradalnata Genoveva". So Krusty Pishurka becomes founder and creator of the first Bulgarian Theatre - the first director, producer, script-writer and actor. Amateur theater has won many awards and reviews from festivals and Lom Opera Theatre is awarded the Order of "Cyril and Methodius" - First Grade. Record of the jubilee performance "Merry Widow" on the occasion of 75th anniversary of Opera Theater, has been included into the "Golden Fund" of the Bulgarian National Radio. The Library in NCC "Postianstvo" - Lom was established in 1848 in the school where a teacher was Krusty Pishurka. It is public, and is the biggest in municipality of Lom. With over 107,000 library items - books, periodicals, valuable music material. Here are stored 163 incunabula, rare and valuable books. Another valuable fund is "Kraevedskata" collection, which is consisted of 27 volumes. Municipal Art Gallery "Polomie" is a center of cultural exchange and place for the implementation of various national and international exhibitions.
Roman Fortress "Kaleto" in Berkovitsa is archeological site, supplemented by national monuments like the house Museum "Ivan Vazov", the Clock Tower since 1762, the unique Churches "Nativity of the Virgin” since 1843 and "St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker" since 1871, the Art Gallery and the Ethnographic Museum defined Berkovitsa as a city with rich history and culture.
In the cultural calendar the town of Berkovitsa holds the copyright for international forum "Patent Leather Shoes" - children's festival of song and creativity. "Berkstok" - rock festival, "Berkfest" - festival of amateur films, "Ashiklar singing and dancing" - folk fest, "Celebration of the Balkan" and "Feast of raspberry" - are also very popular tourist fun fairs.
Centenary is the tradition of the group at Community Center "Hristo Botev" in town Varshets. And the amateur actors from the community center "Probuda" already 75 years preserve and develop folk traditions of their region.
Both spiritual centers are carriers of numerous awards from national and regional festivals.The presence of four monasteries, including cultural pearl of the Northwest - Klisura monastery St. Cyril Methodius, who is fourth largest in Bulgaria and is the largest diocesan monastery. Lopushanski "St. John the Baptist", Chiprovtsi "St. Ivan Rilski", Dobridols "St. Trinity" and hundreds of churches, helps to create rich opportunities for kindling the divine spark in every believer.
On 31.12.2009 Montana's population is 155,899 people or 2.06% of the total for the country (7,563,710), with an average density of 42.9 persons per sq.km. at 61.8 average. Compare to previous year decline was 1.5% overall, the men are 1238 less, and women 1154. These are relatively high, compared with the average national, decrease of 0.6%. Analysis of age structure shows a deepening of the process of aging. Indicative of this is the coefficient of age dependency, reflecting the ratio between the number of people in "dependent" ages (under 15 and 65 and over) per 100 persons and the population in the "independent" ages (15 to 64 years).
Date: 3 May 2011 Full link...
And if the country value is 45.1%, in the district Montana is 55.5 percent. Aging leads to changes in its basic structure - distribution, below and above working age. In 2009, 57.8% of the population of district Montana is of working age, with 63.1% for the country. The increase in this category, is mainly due to legislative changes made in determining the age limit. The population below working age in the district for 2009 is 14.0% of the total population from 14.5% for the country, it is retaining the level of the previous 2008. Population over working age in Montana region for 2009 was 28.2%, and 22.4% for the country. It's also the level of the previous year. Population over working age only the municipality of Montana is below the national average, while in all other municipalities, it is well above this benchmark. In the municipalities like G. Damyanovo, Medkovets, Chiprovtsi, and Yakimovo this category is over 40% of the population. District Montana is characterized with some of the highest values of negative population growth. This is due to the low birth rate, but especially to the high values of the mortality. In 2009 birth rate for the region is 9,5% to 10.7% for the country, mortality rate was 19,9% in the area and 14.2 percent for the country. In 2009 live new born children were 1485 , of whom 1,036 in the cities and 449 in the villages. Compared to the previous year are born 113 more children. As a growing trend is emerging and a marriage and wedlock births in number and proportion, respectively 486 and 999 illegitimate marriage in 2009 at 446 and 926 wedding wedlock in 2008.
The infant mortality rate is an indicator which is very sensitive to changes in the dynamics of the magnitudes of which are calculated. In 2006, its value for Montana is 9.8% at 9.7 percent for the country, in 2007 reached 17.6% in the area at 9.2 percent for the country, through 2008 its value fell to 12.4 percent for the area, and 8.6 percent for the country. 2009 the value is down to 9.4 percent with 9.0% overall for the country. Infant mortality is characterized by large differences in the attribute of "residence" - while in the urban in 2009 it was 8.7%, in villages it is 11.1%.
In 2009 in Montana died 3126 people, mortality rate is 19.9%, while for the country this figure is 14.2%. These differences are largely due to the high proportion of aging population in the region. Changes in birth and death rates determine changes of natural growth, which in 2009 at the district was minus 10.4 percent, at minus 3.5 percent average for the country. Population decline is caused and by a negative mechanical growth. In 2009 in the region have settled 3,283 people and the emigrants were 4034 people, so the mechanical growth was minus 751. According to data from the 2001 census, the population distribution of Montana on ethnicity has two main groups: Bulgarian - 86.4% and Romani (Gypsy) - 12,5%. Other ethnic groups make up 1.1 percent. Main religion is Orthodox Christianity - 94.4 percent of the population. Analysis of the current demographic condition shows critical reduction of the total population in all cities of the region and the depopulation of the smaller and remote villages. This problem should be to the attention of the authorities at all levels and it must received a stable support and national decision by creating economic incentives for development, which could help to overcome the demographic crisis.
Date: 3 May 2011 Full link...
Analysis of data for the period 2005 - 2007, shows that there haven't been significant changes in the economic structure and ratio between the sectors industry, agriculture and service stays the same. In the economic structure of the region, as well as national level, the leading sectors are industry and services. The industrial sector for years, dominates the regional economy. Significantly, it provides the most jobs in the area. In 2007, the sector employs 55.7 percent of the population. There are many reasons why the industry sector currently is a leading slot in Montana, but the main one is the export orientation of the sector. Sales revenue for 2005-2007 are indicative in this respect, although in 2007 there was a decline and they are 46.5%, while the previous year were 50.2%. The export orientation of this sector, however, makes it most vulnerable about economic recession. Compared with all others, industry sector suffered the most by the economic crisis. The loss of some foreign markets quickly affect the amount of sales and in 2009 forces some companies to cut jobs, causing escalating unemployment in the area.
Services are a sector that employs a significant proportion of the population. This sector is the main direction in which to develop the small and family business. The main indicators for the period 2005-2007 no big fluctuations, which indicates that services are one of the most stable and balanced in terms of investment and return on investment. The agriculture is traditional sector for District Montana. Over the years the sector has gone through many crisis and through many structural reforms, and now slowly and difficult is recovering. Its economic indicators are characterized by very low values to be retained throughout the period after 2001. There is an indication that the sector albeit with low rates started to recover, for the period of 2005 - 2007, there is increasing of the value of fixed assets, and in 2007 their share reached 14.0%, while it their values were 11% in 2005. Gradually, but very slowly, can observe modernization of the sector, it is due to the absorption of EU funds for rural development and schemes for direct payments to farmers.
For the successful development of the sector in the future, are required additional investment in modern agricultural machinery and equipment, introduction of new technologies, improved varieties of crop, renewal of the natural stock of animals. In the analysis of sales revenue is reported upward trend in almost all economic activities during the period, as seen from the chart below. The trend is most evident in two of them - industry and trade, repair and maintenance, the values in 2007 show a steady increase compared to 2005. Although not as clear, similar trends are present and in the construction and agriculture. Negative trend is observed in the important subsector for the region, such as transport, storage and communication. Traditional for the district of Montana, agriculture also lagging behind other subsectors.
With a share of 45.5 percent from sales revenue for 2007 industry dominate over the other economic activities. Second with 35 percent ranks trade, repair and maintenance, third is the construction with a share of 6.5 percent, while the agriculture is only 3.2 percent, and the transport and storage - 2.9%.
Comparing the values of this indicator for the period 2001-2003 seems to be shifting of the shares on the top five most developed economic activities. The share of industry increased from 38.8% in 2003 to 45.5% and is leading, the expense of trade, repair and maintenance, which from first place with 39.0 percent in 2003 retreat to 35% in 2007. Growth has in the construction side - from 4.8% to 6.5%. There is a decrease in share of transport, storage and communications from 4,3 to 2,9%, while agriculture, forestry and fishery reserves unchanged share of 3.2 percent throughout the period.
The need to attract additional investments in areas such as agriculture, transport and storage, hotels and restaurants is obvious. They register anxiety low sales revenues during the period, but are important to achieve a more balanced and stable development of comprehensive regional economy.
Industry is one of the major sectors in the area, which employs about 35% of all employees. In 2005 industrial production was 300 366 leva, and in 2007 increased almost twice to 538 257 leva.
The graph below illustrates the output of industries, occupying the first five places in productivity.
It appears that in the reserved ratios between all the subsectors grew, the most rapidly developing industry are machinery and equipment, and the transport, which for two years has increased its production more than double. Manufacture of food products and beverages is the second most productive sector in the the area, and third ranks, metallurgy and metal production. Production of textiles and clothing has its permanent place in the economy of the area and retains his fifth position on productivity.
It should be borne in mind that in 2009 the economy of Montana is strongly influenced in a negative aspect of the economic crisis, mainly because much of area businesses are export oriented. The loss of foreign markets leads to a substantial fall in sales, which in turn causes escalating unemployment, because companies cut jobs, to continue existing and to preserve market positions.
From the statistics on the number of non-financial enterprises by economic sector for 2006, is obvious that the private sector almost completely dominates the structure of the regional economy. From total of 3970 enterprises, for 2006, 3938 are private sector companies, and only 32 are enterprises in public sector. Data on the structure of enterprises show that by the number of employees in 2006 dominated micro enterprises - 3520 from total 3970. Small business with up to 49 employees are 364 companies, medium business up to 250 employees are 72, and large with over 250 employees - 14 enterprises.
General conclusions about the state of the economy in District Montana.
Overall, based on the results of the analyzed data on the structure of enterprises in the regional economy may be concluded that:
- In the structure of economy, the industry and the services remain the most developed sectors;
- Agriculture remained at very low level of development;
- In the economy dominated micro, small and somewhat medium enterprises, but the image of the regional economy continues to be determined by large companies;
- The main economic indicators rise but remain below the national average;
- Although there has been progress in providing an enabling environment for investment in the area, the level of investment continues to lag behind;
- The main economic activities are concentrated in the municipality of Montana and in particular in the district center;
- There is a contrast in economic development of municipalities and settlements outside the municipal centers;
- Slow uptake of new and high-technology.
Despite the favorable trends, the picture is not accurate, since it is not reflected negative changes, occurred in early 2009, due to the economic crisis, in which are the country and the world. There are Bankruptcies, reducing the number of employees and investment.