A congress of the Bulgarian Communist Party, or BKP, known historically as the April Plenum, was launched in Sofia. As a result of the Soviet Union's rejection of the personality cult for Stalin, the plenum accused his Bulgarian follower, Valko Chervenkov, of totalitarianism - and sacked him. Some political prisoners were released. Thus started the process of liberalising the regime. In reality, what would mythically go down in history as "The April Line" largely substituted the old cult for a new one – that for the Communist Party leader and later head of state Todor Zhivkov.
6 April 2000
Lawyer Hristo Danov, a special envoy of President Petar Stoyanov, met Valentina Siropulo, Christiyana Valcheva, Valya Chervenyashka, Snezhana Dimitrova, Nasya Nenova and Dr Zdravko Georgiev in Libya. The Bulgarian medical workers had been arrested a year earlier and accused of deliberately infecting 400 Libyan children with the HIV virus. Upon his return to Sofia, Danov announced that the nurses had been subject to torture. The drama would continue: Dr Zdravko Georgiev was convicted of currency violations and spent four years in prison. The five nurses as well as a Palestinian doctor, Ashraf Al-Hajuj, were sentenced to death. After negotiations between the EU and Libya, the six were extradited to Sofia on 24 July 2007 and pardoned by President Parvanov. Danov did not live to see their arrival at Sofia Airport; he died in 2003.
6 April 2001
In an historic speech after returning from his 50-year-long exile, former King Simeon Saxe-Coburg promised the Bulgarians "morality in politics" and a "considerable" improvement in their living standard "within 800 days." His political address was a roaring success – two days later hundreds of people thronged the Rakovski Street in Sofia to become the founders of the Simeon II National Movement, or NDSV, now called National Movement for Stability and Progress. Three months later the NDSV won the parliamentary election and Saxe-Coburg became prime minister.
21 April 1999
"NATO Out!" protesters marching through Sofia kept shouting. Then in opposition, the Bulgarian Socialist Party, or BSP, led by its leader Georgi Parvanov, objected to the planned Allied air strikes in Yugoslavia. The government of the United Democratic Forces, or ODS, did not succumb to the pressure and allowed NATO to use Bulgaria's air space, while refusing to provide an air corridor for Russia. The country would apply for NATO membership in December and did join the organisation five years later. By an ironic quirk of fate, this happened during Parvanov's first term in office as Bulgaria's president – when he was already pro-Western.
24 April 2008
A memorial service in the Surp Hach Armenian Church, flowers at a monument in front of it, and a concert marked the Day for Commemoration of the Victims of Genocide Against the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1922, in Burgas. The City Council decided to play down an earlier parliamentary refusal to officially bill the early 20th Century events "genocide." The local government's stance created mixed reactions: satisfaction among 1,300 members of the local Armenian community, and disapproval from neighbouring Turkey.
25 April 2005
The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices group performed Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" in Bulgarian, in Luxembourg. It marked the beginning of the ceremony in which President Georgi Parvanov and Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg signed Bulgaria's Accession Treaty. Bulgaria became an EU member on 1 January 2007, but would lose 520 million euros of EU funding due to corruption and fraudulent practices a year later.
70 years ago, on 10 March 1943, Bulgaria's pro-Nazi government decided to defy Berlin and halt the deportation of Bulgaria's 50.000 Jews. This was down to the actions of one man - Dimitar Peshev. Just two years later he faced Communist justice and found himself on trial for his life. His niece Kaluda Kiradjieva remembers