Roads in the Balkans.
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Following up one of the six subjects to which we gave editorial attention a week ago, that of likely business in the Balkan States when and after the present state of war comes to an end, it may surprise some of our supporters to know that Bulgaria is by no means devoid of a road system. The Government, of that country, some eight years ago, began actively to develop its internal economy in this particular, and. much of the progress that has been made is due to the excellent work that has been carried on by M. P. Karakulahoff, chief of the section of roads and bridges in the Ministry of Works, Sofia. It is interesting to find, even in these early days or road-construction throughout Bulgaria, that a classification of "good, middling, and bad" has been. adopted. At, the end of last year, there were approximately 2200 miles of good roads, 1850 miles of middling roads, and 1530 miles of bad roads. The largest proportion of the bad roads is in the neighbourhood of the capital : the kreise of Sofia possesses
510 miles of bad roads, compared with 300 miles of middling roads and 280 miles of good roads. That sec
tion of the country, however, is exceedingly mountainous, and that factor probably accounts for the apparently-unfavourable state of the roads in it. Compared with a total of £159,000 that was expended upon "new roads and improvements in the year 1008, and a sum of 2200,000 which was set aside. to be spent in the year 1911, we are authoritatively
informed that Bulgaria intends to improve her highways at a rate of expenditure which may run into as much as half a million sterling per annum, so soon as matters settle down. At the moment, some 2,500 miles of new highways are in course of construction or have already been laid out for immediate cutting. Naturally, while the war and its many antecedent preparations were in hand, road-building was, except in particular instances to suit the likely military exigencies of the time, allowed to fall into the background. There it remains for the present.
There is little doubt that motors of all kinds, and certainly agrimotors amongst 'them, will be in demand for .Bulgaria and the rest of the Balkan ;States when next year's trade begins to open up. It will be the fault of our home manufacturers if they do not obtain a big share of these orders, especially when one bears in mind the high proportion of trade in agricultural machinery which comes to this country from AustriaHungary, Roumania and Russia. Some 160 copies of our Overseas Annual will find their way to picked destinations in the Balkan States and Roumania as soon after its publication as we deem it expedient to despatch them.