1. ADMINISTRATIVE AND TERRITORIAL SYSTEM - consists of four municipalities:
Population: 149918 inhabitants
Territory: 1367 square km
Settlements: 45: 2 towns and 43 villages
Sliven Municipality is situated on the South-Eastern Bulgaria. It is on the first place by its territory among the municipalities in Sliven region. It verges on the South with Yambol region, on the East – with Bourgas region, on the North – with Kotel Municipality, on the West – with Tvarditsa Municipality and on the South-West – with Nova Zagora Municipality.
Citizens of Sliven number 114869 people
Population: 23 098 inhabitants
Territory: 858.1 square km
Settlements: 22: 1 town and 21 villages
Kotel Municipality is situated on the South-Eastern Bulgaria on the border between the East and Middle Balkan Mountains. It is on the third place by its territory among the municipalities in Sliven region. It verges on the South with Yambol region, on the East – with Bourgas region, on the North – with Veliko Tarnovo, Shoumen and Targovishte regions, and on the South-East – with Sliven Municipality.
The population of Kotel numbers 7675 people
Population: 47351 inhabitants
Territory: 876,858 square km
Settlements: 34: 1 town and 33 villages
Nova Zagora Municipality is situated on the South-Eastern Bulgaria. It is on the second place by its territory among the municipalities in Sliven region. It verges on the South-East with Yambol region, on the West – with Stara Zagora region, on the North – with Tvarditsa Municipality, and on the North-East – with Sliven Municipality.
The population of Nova Zagora numbers 26530 people
Population: 16 297 inhabitants
Territory: 442, 4 square km
Settlements: 10: 2 towns and 8 villages
Tvarditsa Municipality is situated on the South-Eastern Bulgaria. It embraces the Southern slopes of the Elena –Tvarditsa’s part of the Balkan Mountains, the hills of the Central Mountains, a part of the Tundja River’s valley and a part of the dam “Jrebchevo”.
It is on the forth place by its territory among the municipalities in Sliven region. It verges on the East with Sliven Municipality, on the South – with Nova Zagora Municipality, on the West – with Stara Zagora region, and on the North with Veliko Tarnovo region.
The population of Tvarditsa numbers 6 816 people
2. Location, borders, territory, population
Sliven Municipality is situated on the South-Eastern Bulgaria in the planned region of the same name with a center the town of Bourgas.
Sliven region with its 3544,066 square km embraces 3,19% of the territory of Bulgaria, which puts it on the fifteenth place among the other regions. It verges on the South with Yambol region, on the East – with Bourgas region, on the North – with Veliko Tarnovo, Shoumen and Targovishte regions, on the South-West – with Stara Zagora region.
The conterminous location of the region is a favourable circumstance for its development. To a great extent its chances for development depend on the opportunities for integration with other neighbor regions, also creating preconditions for common use of resources and potentials for development.
As per information from the census for 2001, 218474 inhabitants live in Sliven region, which presents 2,81 % of the country’s population. The region is on the fourteenth place by this index among the other twenty-eight Bulgarian regions. Number of citizens is 144 563 and of people, living in villages - 73 911.
The region is divided into 4 municipalities /administrative units/- Kotel, Nova Zagora, Sliven and Tvarditsa. Sliven Municipality is the largest one - 38,55% of the territory and 62,32% of the population. Then follow: Nova Zagora Municipality - 24,74% of the territory and 20,94% of the population; Kotel Municipality - 24,22% of the territory and 9,91% of the population; Tvarditsa Municipality - 12,49% of the territory and 6,83% of the population.
The town of Sliven is the regional centre - 100 134 citizens, which is one of the largest towns in the country. The second largest town in the region is Nova Zagora and then follows Kotel and Tvarditsa.
Sliven region has a diverse relief. On the South of the Balkan Mountains it embraces the Tundja hilly and low-mountainous region, the Nova Zagora’s, Kermen’s and Sliven’s fields. On the North they are surrounded by the Elena-Tvarditsa and Sliven Mountains, by the Vratnik pass and bifurcate in the Ketel-Varbitsa part. That is why in Sliven Municipality could be outlined two relief wise regions: semi-mountainous and mountainous on the North and plain – on the South.
Sliven Municipality is situated on the sub-Balkan plain in the zone of transitional-continental climate. In the region of Sliven, winter is mild and summer is relatively warm. Annual temperature +12,4 С. Winter temperature: - 2 / + 1.2 С, Summer temperature +16,1 до + 23.2 С.
Water resources in the region are not abundant. River Tundja is the main water resourceof the Municipality, with a water basin of about 7 880 square km, the largest affluent of Maritsa River. It is the fourth longest river in Bulgaria: 398 km. It is used mainly for irrigation. The dam “Jrebchevo” is constructed on river Tundja, with capacity of over 400 million cubic metres and is used mainly for irrigation.
Sliven is crossed by the rivers “Luda Kamchia”, “Asenovska”, “Blatnitsa” and “Stara reka”.
There is an abundance of thermal springs in the region of Sliven Municipality. The thermal springs near Sliven and Nova Zagora –Banya village and the Korten thermal spa (Nova Zagora Municipality) are important water resources. They are important for the development of balneological tourism. Sliven thermal spas are balneological resort of a national significance, and the balneological resort in Banya village is of a local importance. There are many sanatoriums, holiday houses, and swimming-pools. The temperature of Sliven thermal springs is 48 degrees C and a capacity 17 liters per a second. The water is particularly valuable in the treatment of gastro-intestinal and hepato-biliary disorders, diseases of the skeletal and muscular system and the peripheral nervous system etc.
Soils in Sliven region are various. Carbonate humus resin soils in the South part of the region (Nova Zagora Municipality), humus resin soils – on the South of the Saint Ilia’s hills, lye humus resin soils – on the North of the Saint Ilia’s hills (Nova Zagora Municipality) are typical of the region.
Soils in Sliven’s field are mainly alluvial-meadow and resin soils. In the semi-mountainous part (Tvarditsa Municipality, Sliven Municipality) predominate the cinnamon forest soils. In the North part of the region, where the terrain is mountainous and semi-mountainous, the soils are light gray forest soils (Kotel Municipality), lye cinnamon forest soils (on the slopes and ridges of the Balkan Mountains and the Central Mountains).
Mineral resources in Sliven region are not abundant. There is a coal-field on the territory of Tvarditsa Municipality, but the extraction activity was stopped. There are copper ores fields in the region of Prohorovo village, Nova Zagora Municipality. The extraction activity was stopped. Near Strupets village is the only quartz field, but the extraction activity was almost stopped because of a low demand. There is also quartz for ferrous-silicon near the Goliamo Chochoven village. The extraction activity was stopped. There is a dolomite field in Borov dol village, Tvarditsa Municipality, the extraction activity was stopped. The only field in the country for white sandstones for facing is near Kipilovo village, Kotel Municipality.
Agricultural lands predominate in the territorial structure of the region. They present 52.0 % of its territory. Forests embrace 40 % of the territory of the region and "Settlements" fund presents 3.5 %.
Forest vegetation is presented by broad-leaved and coniferous woods (beech-trees, hornbeams, oak-trees, pine-trees, maple-trees, lime-trees, spruces) and also different type of bushes and grassy plants (hazel bushes, cornel-trees, blackberry bushes, briers, juniper, wild snowdrops, crocus, primrose, fern). About 30 types are protected and most of them are also herbs. The fauna is presented by more than 160 species, 36 of which are protected. Most important are the rapacious birds (Gypaetus barbatus,Neophron percnopterus, Falco cherrug, Falco peregrinus and others). Vertebrate animal are about 123 and 160 species, 20 of which are representatives of birds and they all are protected in the Bulgarian Red book.
Diversity of relief in the region, combined with the soils and climate conditions, are good opportunities for development of many agricultural activities - agriculture, tourism, food industry etc.
Climate is a good precondition for fast development of vine-growing and increasing the part of workable vine-growing areas.
3. General economic characteristics
Various branch and sub-branch industrial structure, well developed industry and infrastructure of industrial zones are typical for the region. Sliven and Nova Zagora are the largest industrial centers in the region, but different industrial branches are developed in Tvarditsa and Kotel.
Best soils and climate conditions for development of agriculture are in the South, plain part of the region in Nova Zagora Municipality and in a part of Sliven Municipality.
Favourable geographical location and climate conditions, nature, rich cultural-historical heritage and developed infrastructure of the region create favourable conditions for attracting local and foreign investors and for future development of region’s economy. Investment activity for 2001 increased, as per information from National Statistics Institute.
The gross domestic product per a person of Sliven region for 1999 is 2524 lv and 2182 lv for 2000. Average rates for the country for the same years are in comparison 2841 lv and 3115 lv.
By number of companies Sliven region took the thirteenth place in 2000, with 63 companies per 1000 people active population, as in 93% of the companies work up to 10 people (micro-companies).
Economical structure with a preponderance of services branch (49.6% average incomes from sales in the period 1998 - 2001) over the industrial branch (43.2% average incomes from sales in the same period) is typical for Sliven region. Делът на аграрния сектор е около 6-7%.
In the industrial structure dominates manufacturing industry, and the extractive industry for the period 1998 - 2001 decreases with 40%. The part of building increased from 7.4% in 1998 to 12.4% in 2001. By sub-branches of manufacturing industry the region is specialized mainly in textile and knitwear industry /36,7 % за 2001/, then follow food and beverage and tobacco industries / 28,7 %/.
Sliven is the larger industrial centre in the region, but different industrial branches are developed in Nova Zagora, Tvarditsa and Kotel. Typical for Tvarditsa Municipality was the coal production, which dominated in the near past, but at present it is liquidated. Most favourable soils climate conditions for development of agriculture are in the South, plain part of the region – in Nova Zagora Municipality and in a part of Sliven Municipality.
Sliven Municipality has a dominating significance for the regional economy with 82% net incomes from sales, 73% employees in private and public sectors, 73% active companies, 93% of acquired fixed tangible assets for 2001.
The chart below illustrates the correlation of the main economical sectors of the four municipalities.
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