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Yambol ↓

Geography

Yambol region lies in the south-eastern part of Bulgaria. It covers a territory of 3355,5 sq.km. which is 3,1 % of the total country area. It is bordered by the Sliven, Bourgas, Haskovo and Stara Zagora region. The southern border follows the state frontier line of the Republic of Bulgaria and the Republic of Turkey. There are 5 municipalities within the region: Bolyarovo, Elhovo, Straldja, Tundja and Yambol.
Relief
The Middle parts of Tundja valley spread over the most of the region’s territory: Yambol field 120m above the sea level, Elhovo field 100 m above the sea level, the Bakadjicite, parts of the St. Iliisky, Manastirsky and Dervensky uplands. The hilly plain relief predominates 100 – 150 m. above the sea level.

Climate


The North areas of the Middle parts of Tundja valley are characterized by trans-continental climate, while in the south parts of the region predominate continental Mediterranean climate. Along the Tundja River valley influences the local “White sea” wind. The average annual temperatures are 12 -12,5C, the average January temperatures are 0,6 - 1,2 С, respectively the average July temperatures are 22,6 - 22,8 C. The mild winter and the long vegetation period create favorable conditions for second crops cultivating. This possibility is practically not in use mainly because of the insufficient level of precipitations and the necessity of artificial irrigation. The average annual precipitations are between 530 - 540 l/sq.m.

Soils


The soil resources within the region are varied. Humus soils take considerable areas of the Middle Tundja lowlands suitable for grain, fodder and industrial crops. Maroon soils are spread along the St. Iliisky, Manastirsky and Dervensky uplands suitable for cultivating fruit plantations, vineyards, tobacco and so on. Alluvial-meadow soils are spread along the river valleys and are suitable for vegetable, rice and other crops growing.
Ores and minerals
The mineral resources are in limited quantities. Of economic importance is the lignite, excavated along the ledges of Middle Tundja River. The lignite field near Elhovo expands within an area of 60 sq.km. The power of the three coal beds is between 2,65 to 3,85 m, while the deposits reach 600 mln. tones. Deposits of granite are found near the village of Granitovo. Deposits of gabbro with high decorative quality are also found near the villages of Goliam Manastir and General Toshevo.

Water resources


Water resources within the region are limited. The Tundja River, the fourth of its size within the country is 398 km long flows through the region. Its essential tributaries are Mochuritca, Popovska and Calnica river. They are characterized by snow-rain rate, autumn-winter high water and sharply defined maximum in February. Under the influence of essential spring and summer precipitations the winter high water transfers into secondary spring high water so in the river rate forms an abounding in water phase during the period from November to April, through which flows 80-90% from the annual flow volume. The dam lake Malko Sharkovo is built on the Popovska river near the village of Malko Sharkovo with embankment wall with 55 mln cubic meters maximum volume capacity. There are mineral springs near the village of Steffan Karadjovo and Pravdino and the town of Straldja. The curable quality of the mineral water near the village of Steffan Karadjovo is similar to the quality of water at "Karlovi vari"- Czech Republic. This water has hydro carbonate (calcium-magnesium) mineralization.

Territorial resources


In the structure of the land fund within the region predominate agricultural lands. They take 76.9 % of the total region territory. The total forest area covers 15.5% of the region’s territory.
Forestry The total forest area is 22 262 ha, of which 73.8% state one, private – 10.1% and municipal – 16.1%. As wood kinds there predominate pine-trees, poplars, acacia, hornbeams, oaks. There are eight shooting lodges built. Here is established Game Shooting holiday-house for promotion game shooting tourism – deers, pheasant, wild pigs, ceclics and etc. The conditions are suitable for promotion of hunting tourism and game shooting of deers, pheasants, wild boars, etc. There are eight shooting lodges built. The perspectives in the forestry development are building a game shooting holiday house.

History


The earliest data, regarding settlements in the region are from the 7-th century B.C. Some of the artifacts found are exhibited in world famous museums, including the Louvre. There are more than 270 archaeological monuments in the region. Some of the most prominent and distinguished archaeological sites include the following: the Ancient settlement of Cabile, the prehistoric tombs by the village of Drama, the remains of Yambol Medieval castle and the Monastery of the Middle Ages in Voden. The Ancient settlement “Cabile” is a National archaeological reserve and a nature preserved site being the most important Thracian settlement in Bulgaria –it originates from the third century B. C. Cabile was the capital city of the Country of Odrisses, which was headed of Bazilevs (King) Spartok. Over than 30 castles, 70 settlements and 1000 tombshave been revealed in the region. The Roman Emperor Deocletian founded the town of Yambol in 293 year. In the year 705 Yambol region was included within the boundaries of the Bulgaria.

Social structure

Bulgarians make up 89.86 % of the population; Roma account 6.2 % and Turks 2.68 %. The population has decreases 11.6 % over the last 10 years. The birth rate is about 7 per 1000 people; the mortality rate is about 13 per 1000 people. Regarding education: 5.9 % have a university degree; 36.5 % have graduated from secondary school and 49.3 % have a lower educational degree. 3334 people over the age of 15 are illiterate. The unemployment rate is about 15 %, but higher within the municipality of Straldzha, where it is more than 30 %. At the end of 2005 the number of unemployed people was 10889 (15.35 %).

Economic structure:

Primary, secondary and tertiary sectors
The industry in the Yambol Region relies on a considerable variety of branches. The existing industrial enterprises have preserved good production capacities with all facilities functioning and highly qualified staff employed. The expansion and development of small and medium-size private enterprises and firms (more than 17000) plays a big role in the industrial development of the region and the process of economic acceleration. The key target is the reconstruction of the existing industrial potential, drawing national and foreign investments to guarantee a stable production increase, the renovation of the final products in order to raise their competitive ability within the domestic and foreign markets.
The Primary sector: There are extremely good opportunities for ecological clean agriculture production within the region. The existing of favourable climate conditions and traditions in the cultivation of perennial and other agricultural plants are prerequisites and the basis for creation of new perennial plants with quality planting materials as well as competitive aspectual and select composition in the vine and fruit growing industry. Half of the fertile land in the region is used for growing grain. Production is between 2500 and 3000 kg/ha. There are about 20000 cows, 54000 pigs, 102000 sheep, 250000 poultry, and more than 16000 beehives. Among the biggest and most prominent companies working in this sector include: Pigs Reproduction – Kalchevo village; KOS (agricultural research and producing); Agricultural Cooperatives Nova Idea; Kargon; Agra 97 etc.
The Secondary sector: The industrial sector of the region includes traditional areas such as: construction; electrical engineering; metal and wood – working industries; tailoring, textile and furrier industries; food and drink production; glass and ceramic industries etc. The Yambol industrial zone has been gas supplied. The leading enterprises are: Hydraulic Elements and Systems; Palfinger – Tenevo; SILA agricultural machinery manufacturer; Papas-Olio (vegetable oil producer); Textile factory Tundja; Yambolen Chemical plant; Vidona (dressings and sauces); EFEB (frozen vegetables); Hegra and Retro-uyut (furniture); Karil&Tanya, Kabile LB and Bulgarian Yogurt (milk, cheese and ice-cream producers); Aliance-Agricole (goose products); wine producers Domein Boyar; Stara Izba1924 and Chateau RUKO; clothing producers Yanitza; Neven; Niya-Style; Yasha; Kara; Cottons Industry; Tonzos etc; shoe producers Sam Bens; STIP; Dama Pika etc; HVK (candy and cookies producer); Bread and Sweets production; Yambol BT (tobacco manufacturer) etc.
The Tertiary sector: This includes well-developed infrastructure companies, health, social and financial services. There are two multifunctional 657-bed hospitals within the region. Big infrastructure companies include Promishlena Energetika (Industrial Energetic); Water-supply and Sewerage; Telecommunications; OverGasEngineering; Road Ways Control; Electrodistribution; Bulgarian Post – branch Yambol; GeoStroyEngineering; Polisstroy and InfrastroyEngineering (construction) etc. Throughout the region there are Banks, Insurance companies, Taxes and Duty Services; Regional and Local Courts; Police; Financial Control Services; Social Assistance; Employment Service etc.

Educational and cultural structure


There are 70 schools and colleges with more than 20000 students. Nationally famous are the Mathematical High School, the Language School, the Technical Colleges, and IT school. There is the Art Gallery; Historical Museum; Ethnographic Museum; Chamber Orchestra; Drama Theatre; Library; Youth House; more than 30 Community centers with libraries and cultural clubs (Chitalishte). The musicians, painters and artists from Yambol are famous throughout the whole Europe. The Yambol Basketball club YambolGas was the national champion in 2002.

Tourism

The integrated tourism product includes: the abundant cultural history, the unique archaeological objects and the cultural traditions and events within the region.
The ancient town of Kabyle, a centre of Thracian, Hellenic, Roman and medieval life and culture is an invaluable site with centuries-old history and treasures with universal importance, a symbol of the intransient and the eternal.
Kabyle is one of the most ancient Thracian settlements in our lands. Residential life here originates around an ancient cult centre – the Sanctuary, which is also an ancient solar observatory. At the beginning of ІІІ century B.C. Kabyle is the capital of the Odris country, lead by Spartok, who first among the Thracian governors is given the title of "bazileus" - king. During the III – II century B.C. the town mints its own bronze and silver coins with the effigy of the cult statue of Artemis Phosphoros, a defender of the town. The Roman troops conquer the town in 72 B.C. During the year 45 A.D. Kabyle becomes a part of the Roman province of Thrace and at the beginning of the second century, turns into one of the most important military camps, defending the area from the Black Sea to Thrimonzium and Adrianopolis. It is demolished by the Goths at the end of the third century. After inauguration of the Christianity as the official religion, Kabyle becomes an important early Christian religious centre. By the end of the fourth century the town slowly declines. The vast archaeological excavations implemented at its area uncover a big part of the town with valuable finds. There is not any other Bulgarian town of the kind where the different layers could reveal such a prolonged historical period. The excavations in Kabyle are subjects of discussions as being implemented since 1982 “Settlement’s Life in Thrace” national and international symposia. An archaeological base with studies, laboratories and studios for carrying out restoration and research work has been constructed near the park. Since 1986 within the park has been functioning an archaeological Museum, in which most interesting from various excavations finds at an area of 960 square meters have been exhibited.

The Historical Museum in Yambol keeps unique exponents from the ancient history of the region. The Art Gallery, named after the world famous Yambol painter George Papazov, possesses works of the most prominent Bulgarian artists and more than 600 unique icons from the past. In Yambol are being organized and take place various cultural events: National Exhibitions of Decorative Arts, Experimental Photography Exhibition STILB, National Festival of the Puppet Theatres, the Golden Diana Musical Days and many others. They will become a part of an integrated cultural tourist product. The Elhovo Ethnographic Museum has a national importance with its great variety of national costumes and jewelleries. The towns and villages in Yambol region had saved their folk traditions during the centuries and they are being displayed at numerous holidays, festivals and concerts: Marasha Pee (Marasha Sings) – in Straldja, Rodilo Se, Prerodilo (Born, Born Anew) – in Yambol, Vurbova Svirka Sviri (A Willow Whistle Whistles) in Bolyarovo; the Festivities of Amateur Art Bakadjik; Christmas customs, famous Mummers’ festivities and many others. Many craftsmen works, made by local skilful masters, preserve the folk traditions and forms. One of the various offers also includes tasting of famous Yambol wines and grape brandies in authentic wine-cellars in the region. The existing opportunities for recreational and curative tourism can also be of an interest to tourists as offered in the rest-houses and the complexes at the mount of Bakadjik, where the air is curable as for pulmonary and lung diseases. There are unique plants and birds in the reserves of Balabana, Gorna and Dolna Topchiya, located around the town of Elhovo. Along the river valley of Tundja there are sites proper for hunt and ecological tourism. Nationally presented sports are basketball, acrobatics, boxing, wrestling and shooting. These attractive for many tourist events and sites will be included in a tourist product.

Environmental conservation


The environmental situation is relatively clean. For environmental protection and the improvement of the ecological condition to meet EU and international standards, it is necessary that by 2006 purifying stations and depot for solid daily waste products to be built. Also, a separated waste collecting facility, first in the big towns and then gradually in the villages throughout the region, will be constructed as well.

Macroeconomic statistics


The number of the working firms in the region is about 17000. 76.4% of them are Personally Dealers; 4.8 % are Ltd Companies, 3.2 % Shareholder Companies, 10.1% are self-insured people and 97.9% are private. Within the sectors: 81.3% work in Service sector; 11.4% - in the industrial sector and 7.3% - in agricultural sector.
The total income in the region (not including the financial sector) in 2004 was about 290 Million Euro. The expenditures were about 472 mln Euro. Net proceeds from sales were about 472 mln Euro. More than 80 % of net proceeds from sales came from trading and services sectors.
Up to the end of 2004, the region’s tangible assets costs were about 132 mln Euro. The direct foreign investment were 4,32 mln USD. The new investments in the 2005 and 2006 in machinery and textile industries are more than 40 mln Euro.

International relations


We keep contacts constantly with ambassadors and specialists from Germany, Ukraine, Turkey, Great Britain, Greece for discussing subjects of a mutual interest, including also possibilities for improvement of the relations between administrative structures, businesses and the citizens within these countries. Through the activities of the Yambol Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Industrial Association sustained initiatives for commercial and business relationships with other countries have been built. The municipalities within the Yambol region fulfil relations and partnership in economic, administrative, ecological and infrastructure subjects in conjunction with the municipalities and specialists from France, Turkey, Spain, USA.
Some enterprises from the Yambol region trade successfully with Turkey, Greece, Norway, Italy, Macedonia, France, Sweden but so far foreign trade is relatevely limited.

Interregional cooperation:


Under the management of the Regional Governor work six committees which discuss and determine problems and issues, common to all the municipalities in the region:
- Regional Development Council;
- Employment’s Board;
- Energy Efficiency Council;
- Work Environmental Conditions Council;
- Ethnical and Demographic Problems Council;
- Transport Commission;
- Standing Committee of population preserve from disasters, failures and accidents.
These bodies work according the Bulgarian legislation. They all have more than 30 regular meetings yearly. All project concerning regional development, unemployment decrease, transport infrastructure and routs and some of the work environmental conditions and ethnical issues are discussed there.

International cooperation:


It is constructed a new border crossing station at the village of Lessovo, Yambol region, on the Bulgarian – Turkey border. The regional administration works for trans-border cooperation with the Turkish administration, NGOs and businesses, cultural and other institutions.
Several enterprises in the Yambol region have been established with the collaboration and assistance of foreign capitals and funds – from Norway, Greece, Turkey, Italy and France.
The cross border cooperation with the Republic of Turkey is being developed. During the years 2006 – 2007 we will work on infrastructure projects, funded by the PHARE Program of the European Union: roads, purifying stations, borderline stations, telecommunications, etc. Will be stimulated the development, the contacts and relations in the spheres of tourism, education, culture, environment and the cooperation and collaboration between the local authorities, the NGOs and enterprises between both our countries. For this purpose the Yambol region and Tekirdag and Edirne regions of Turkey signed contracts for such cooperation.

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