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Varna - The "best" City For Living In Bulgaria

The Black Sea city of Varna enjoys the best conditions for living and working in Bulgaria, according to a survey conducted by Darik Radio in association with Bulgarian language daily 24 Chassa.

The research, conducted in October and November, ranked 35 Bulgarian cities according to 40 criteria. These included the availability of green areas, the number of kindergartens, road conditions, public access to wireless Internet, climate, investment, unemployment rate, recreational opportunities, cleanliness, signposting, facilities for disabled people, architecture, airport availability, parking and health service as well as the crime rate and various other benchmarks.

The study's aim was to evaluate the quality of life in Bulgarian cities at the turn of 21st Century. The findings did not claim to be completely scientific because only some of the criteria could be assessed through statistics. Listeners to Darik Radio and readers of 24 Chassa offered subjective evaluation of the other "quality" criteria.

Radosvet Radev, executive director of Darik radio, said that people living in the "best" cities would feel proud but that residents and local governors of "under-performing" cities would be motivated to work harder to improve their surroundings. He noted that the Top 35 chart is not the culmination but rather the beginning of an ongoing process that will be followed closely by the media.

Assen Gagauzov, Regional Development and Public Works minister, said that 52 per cent of his Ministry's programme, or 800 million euro in absolute terms, would be allocated to restoration and infrastructure improvements in Bulgarian towns. This should result in the towns enhancing their competitiveness.

Real estate prices in the best-rated cities were likely to increase, Radev implied.

Here are the results of the study.

Top 10 - The Best Cities for Living in Bulgaria
1 Varna
2 Plovdiv
3 Veliko Turnovo
4 Sofia
5 Bourgas
6 Rousse
7 Stara Zagora
8 Blagoevgrad
9 Kyustendil
10  Kurdjali