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Bulgaria's Roads, Tourism Staff a Setback

Date: 29.05.2006

Bulgaria's bumpy roads and the staff at shops and restaurant can be a disappointment to visitors, Irish top journalist Patrick Smyth told the Sofia News Agency in an exclusive interview.

Smyth, who is Foreign Editor at the leading newspaper Irish Times, traveled to Bulgaria last week to visit several historical sites.

"The strength of the country's cultural vibrancy" was his brightest impression, and Smyth also said that other Irish have been attracted to the country as well.

"Many are already coming, but largely to the Black Sea coast where increasingly they are buying holiday homes. There is s much more to see and it is really good value," according to the journalist.

In his words, Bulgaria seemed ready to join the European Union, but Smyth underlined that entering the bloc would not automatically bring economic success in. Bulgaria needs to invest in the education of its young people, Patrick Smyth advised.

Talking about what he would change in Bulgaria if he could, he said staff in shops and restaurants had "the occasional habit to treat customers as if they are doing you a favour."

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