25 OCTOBER 1940, Page 1

From Rumania to Bulgaria Whilst the Italians are still laboriously

supplying their Egyptian front and marking time in apparent expectation Of German moves further north, attention becomes more concentrated on the Balkans. Germany is consolidating her position in Rumania, securing control not only of the vital oilfields but of the whole economic life of the country. General Antonescu's Government still exists, but it is acquiescent and ignored, with power in Rumania even less than that of the Vichy Government in France, since many of its purely domestic functions have been taken over by the irresponsible and pro- German Iron Guards. The plight of Rumania is virtually that of a subjugated country; and the Germans having secured it by bloodless victories are in a position to use it as a jumping-off ground for further adventures. Whither, and by what means? Geographically Bulgaria stands next in the path, and the present Nazi plan is to win it not by threats but by bribes—by appeals to her traditional territorial ambitions. In the past she has set her eyes longingly not merely on Dedeagatch on the Aegean, but on Kavalla and even Salcnica. There are elements in the Bulgarian Army which strongly favour Germany and look to her to help them in settling old scores and satisfying old ambitions. The inaction and silence of Russia have discouraged the pro- Russian Bulgarians, and there are few signs that the object- lesson of the fate of Rumania has been fully appreciated at Sofia. German " tourists " are already penetrating the country, the usual advance guard of a more formidable army. It is unlikely that Bulgaria will offer serious resistance to the further southward march of Genriany towards Istanbul and the Aegean, if and when she thinks such a step safe or timely.