874.00/475: Telegram

The Minister in Bulgaria (Sterling) to the Secretary of State

17. My telegram of May 19, 3 p.m. Capital and country entirely quiet and new régime functioning apparently with general approval. Parliament already dissolved. Coup d’état organized by Army, by old leaders of 1923 coup and by heads of so-called Zveno group which has wide ramification in army and political circles and which advocates radical political reforms on Fascist lines. Officially at least the King was not cognizant of plot and had no choice but to accept situation.

Announced program and decrees already issued indicate complete change in political structure of country: concentration of power, consolidation of Ministries and of political administrative divisions of Kingdom with appointed local officials, economic reorganization and drastic economies in Government. Also imposition of authority of Central Government in Macedonia. No changes in foreign policy indicated except resumption of relations with Soviet Russia. Rapprochement with Yugoslavia emphasized.