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SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR 2014-04-17
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17 April 2014, Issue 3900
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
10369 subscribers of Novinite.com
142603 articles
590 interviews
9182 pictures
 
BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
Bulgaria's President Accuses Russia of Destabilizing Ukraine


Bulgaria's Presient Rosen Plevneliev accused Russia of undermining the international law and destabilizing Ukraine.read
Lavrov Confirms Russia’s Commitment to Geneva Talks


Russia will not pull out of the four-party talks on the Ukraine crisis scheduled for Thursday in Geneva, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed. read
April Snow Surprises Sofia


Citizens of Bulgaria's capital Sofia awoke on Wednesday morning to see snowfall outside their windows. read
 
 
NOVINITE INSIDER
Retail Chains State Regulations: An Exercise in Futility

» More

MORE TOP NEWS
Russia's Stroytransgaz 'Wants Share' of Bulgarian Energy Holding

Bulgaria's Railway Companies Garnished by Lenders

EC Rejects Suspending Rural Development Payments to Bulgaria

Bulgaria's Electoral Commission Initiates Personal Data Abuse Probe

CEPACA Distrains Property of Nesebar Mayor and Chief Architect

Bulgaria "Could Remain EU's Poorest Country Even after 2020"

Estonia Calls for More NATO Presence

European Parliament To Impose Restrictions On Plastic Bags

Climate Change Poses Threat to Ski Tourism in Bulgaria - Report

South Korean Ferry Death Toll Climbs to 4, Many Missing

VIEWS ON BG
UNHCR: Bulgaria's Asylum Conditions Improved


UPS & DOWNS
Grigor Dimitrov Climbs to Record High Position

Bulgaria's Unemployment Rate Remains Unchanged
POLL
How far will Grigor Dimitrov go in the ATP rankings this season?
 He will break into the top 10
 He will remain around his current 14th position
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TOP NEWS
NATO TO REACT "IMMEDIATELY" ON UKRAINIAN CRISIS

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has announced plans to "immediately" bolster collective defense at the alliance's eastern flank.

Forces "at sea, in the air, on land" are to be rapidly deployed in response to the continued Ukrainian-Russian  standoff, The Guardian quoted him as saying. read more


BUSINESS

BULGARIA'S RAILWAY COMPANIES GARNISHED BY LENDERS

The main offices of Bulgarian State Railways and National Railway Infrastructure Company have been placed under injunction upon lenders' request.

As of April 16, 2014, the state-owned companies can neither sell nor put out to lease their main headquarters buildings, both located near the Central Railway Station Bulgaria's capital Sofia. read more


NEW COASTAL CENTER TO BE CONSTRUCTED AT BULGARIA'S BURGAS PORT

Deputy Minister of Transport Petar Kirov turned the first sod for the construction of a coastal center at the port in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Burgas, Wednesday.

The construction of such a center will begin in the city of Varna as well on Thursday, Bulgarian BGNES news agency reports. Both coastal centers for vessel traffic monitoring and management and information services for the maritime transport will keep in constant connection to ensure the safe and reliable vessel traffic in Bulgarian territorial waters. read more


ANNUAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME IN BULGARIA INCREASED BY 11.3% IN 2013

The average annual income per household member in 2013 was BGN 4,814 or 11.3% more compared to 2012, according to data of the National Statistical Institute.

Wages continue to be the main source of household income representing 53.1% of the total income in 2013 compared to 52.7% in 2012, NSI's statistics on Households Income, Expenditure and Consumption in 2013 showed. read more


CHINA PARTIALLY EXPANDS FOREIGN ACCESS TO TELECOMS MARKET

China has decided to grant foreign companies a better and easier access to its telecommunications market, in a bid to make another small step toward opening its economy.

Enterprises registered in the experimental Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ) will be able to invest in projects involving "value-added services" in telecoms industry. read more


BULGARIAN STOCK EXCHANGE CELEBRATES 100TH ANNIVERSARY

The Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE) celebrated its 100th anniversary on Tuesday.

On April 15, 1914, the BSE was created through a decree of Tsar Ferdinand, investor.bg reports. read more


FINANCE

BULGARIA TO HOST 2015 IMF, WORLD BANK MEETING

Bulgaria will host the annual meetings between the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank next year.

The government decided on Tuesday to accept an existing proposal according to which the IMF-WB meetings could take place in Bulgaria, Dnevnik.bg has reported. read more


ENERGY

RUSSIA'S STROYTRANSGAZ 'WANTS SHARE' OF BULGARIAN ENERGY HOLDING

The Russia company Stroytransgaz, reportedly owned by the blacklisted Gennady Tсmchenko has proposed to buy a share in Bulgarian Energy Holding.

Bulgarian government sources cited by Mediapool agency also revealed that Stroytransgaz, which might take part in the construction of the South Stream pipeline's Bulgarian section, has also expressed interest in Energoremont Holding, a producre of energy equipment and spare parts. read more


TOURISM

CLIMATE CHANGE POSES THREAT TO SKI TOURISM IN BULGARIA - REPORT

An analysis of the impact of climate change in Bulgaria predicts a lengthened summer season and a serious threat to winter tourism.

According to the analysis, which has been published on the website of the Ministry of Environment and Water, the projected increase in temperatures and the decrease in the number of rainy days in summer, spring and autumn are expected to result in a longer summer season at the expense of a shorter winter season. read more


BULGARIA IS ROMANIAN TOURISTS' ALL INCLUSIVE PARADISE

Vacations in Bulgaria are still most preferred by Romanians, writes the Romanian daily Adevarul. 

The main attractions are the cheap, traditional and pleasant holidays. “This is why the trend to go to the all inclusive paradise – the Bulgarian coast – continues this year,” says the newspaper. 

According to the daily, the staff at the Bulgarian resorts is always kind and smiling and the services are of the best quality. “There is entertainment for everyone, fine sand, staff speaks Romanian and the food is abundant,” writes the author. 

According to the head of the Dobrich traffic police, Zhulian Minev, quoted by Bulgaria's wire service BTA, there will be increased traffic control along the I-9  main road between Durankulak and Malko Tarnovo border crossings. 

Minev said the police expects an increased number of Romanian travellers who would come to celebrate the Easter holidays in the Bulgarian Black Sea resorts. read more


BULGARIANS TO SPEND EASTER HOLIDAYS IN GREECE, ITALY, CROATIA

Bulgaria's tourist business does not expect significant influx of visitors for Easter, as traditionally, most Bulgarians prefer to spend the holiday at home.

Those Bulgarians who have decided to travel for Easter, traditionally choose destinations such as Greece, Italy and Croatia, Svidna Dineva of Association of Bulgarian Tour Operators and Travel Agents (ABTTA) told Dnevnik.bg. read more


POLITICS

APPROVAL RATINGS OF BULGARIA'S PARLIAMENT, PRESIDENT DECLINE - POLL

Only some 15.1% of Bulgarians approve of the work of the President, according to a study conducted between 1 -12 April 2014 by the Institute of Modern Politics.

Some 37.5% of the polled have given negative feedback on President Rosen Plevneliev's performance. A total of 31% of the respondents find it difficult to label Plevneliev's performance as either good, or unsatisfactory. read more


DIPLOMACY

BULGARIA'S PRESIDENT ACCUSES RUSSIA OF DESTABILIZING UKRAINE

Bulgaria's Presient Rosen Plevneliev accused Russia of undermining the international law and destabilizing Ukraine. 

He urged the EU and NATO to support the Ukrainian people in its bid to decide on its own future through honest elections, rather than through backroom machinations. 

“When one powerful country simply destabilizes, establishes a sphere of influence and is ready to send in special forces, pretending to be self-organized squads, and two weeks later awards them in Kremlin, we have to realize, that this is not right,” Plevneliev said in front of law students and professors in the Sofia University Law Department. 

“Who has the right to decide Ukraine's fate – the people of Ukraine in honest and open elections, a new referendum, or great nuclear powers who will negotiate on peripheries, centers and spheres of influence,” asked Plevneliev. 

According to him, reshaping of borders in Europe should not be that easy, “because we all know how dangerous it is when a powerful country undermines the international law and order.”

Later Plevneliev told reporters that Bulgaria is an active NATO member and must address the changed balance of power in the Black Sea region. 

“We must strengthen our defense abilities,” he said. “We are witnessing a deliberate destabilization and we must not leave it unchecked.” read more


BULGARIA IN EU

EC REJECTS SUSPENDING RURAL DEVELOPMENT PAYMENTS TO BULGARIA

The European Commission has not suspended rural development payments to Bulgaria, according to Roger Waite, EC Spokesman for Agriculture and Rural Development.

In a Wednesday interview for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR), he specified that an accounting procedure was underway on costs for 2013 and it was too early to say whether Bulgaria would lose money under the program and to identify the amount of the losses. read more


BULGARIA "COULD REMAIN EU'S POOREST COUNTRY EVEN AFTER 2020"

Bulgaria could still have to catch up with average European levels of economic and social development after 2020, a report by the National Audit Office argues.

Lack of priorities in distributing EU funds between 2014-2020 might be one of the reasons leading Bulgaria to lag behind, according to the document's conclusions, quoted by Investor.bg. read more


MEPS SEEK MANDATORY "MADE-IN" LABELING TO BOOST PRODUCT SAFETY

The European Parliament voted Tuesday to make "Made-in" labelling mandatory for non-food products sold on the single market.

The EP voted on plans to tighten up product safety requirements and market surveillance rules so as to strengthen consumer protection in the EU. read more


DOMESTIC

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT TO MARK 135TH ANNIVERSARY OF TARNOVO CONSTITUTION

Bulgaria's Parliament will hold a ceremonial sitting to mark the 135th anniversary of the adoption of the Tarnovo Constitution.

The Tarnovo Constitution was Bulgaria's first Constitution. It was adopted on April 16, 1879 by the Constituent National Assembly held in the city of Veliko Tarnovo. It remained in effect until December 4, 1947, with amendments in 1893 and 1911. read more


EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 2014

BULGARIA'S ELECTORAL COMMISSION INITIATES PERSONAL DATA ABUSE PROBE

Bulgaria's Central Electoral Commission (CEC) has vowed to refer personal data abuse tip-offs to the Commission for Personal Data Protection and the prosecuting authority.

In a Wednesday interview for private TV station bTV, CEC Spokesperson Kamelia Neykova explained that the competent authorities would examine the matter and decide whether there had been violations in the collection of signatures in support of political parties for the European Parliament elections on May 25. read more


MEP MONIKA PANAYOTOVA WILL NOT RUN IN EU ELECTIONS

Bulgarian center-right GERB's MEP Monika Panayotov announced she will not run in European elections due on May 25.

Panayotova said she had already requested to be removed from opposition party GERB's lists, Dariknews.bg reports. read more


SOCIETY

BULGARIANS WORK TWICE LONGER FOR OWN HOME

The average Bulgarian household hast to give its entire 7-year income to buy a 75 sq/m home, while the other Europeans need between 2.5 and 4 yearly incomes, shows a 2012 survey. 

It was presented by the Minister of Investment Planning Ivan Danov. 

According to him, Bulgaria has the least social housing in the EU and his ministry will work for the increase of the number of such homes. 

Danov's ministry will develop a plan for easing the access to homes of low income families by increasing the number of residential buildings. 

According to him, the project will require the cooperation between the state and the business. The state and the municipal authorities will provide lots for free, while the business “will build, manage and maintain the social housing in exchange of certain rights.” read more


CAR 'FLIES' WITH 252 KM/H ON A FIRST CLASS ROAD

Police traffic camera in Bulgaria's town of Vratsa intercepted a BMW doing 252 km/h at a road with a 90 km/h speed limit.

The violation happened at the exit of Vratsa in the direction of Mezdra. The chief of traffic police in Vratsa Yanko Haralampiev said the driver is not from the town. read more


ENVIRONMENT

ASPIRING MEMBER STATES RISK VIOLATING EU POLLUTION LIMITS

Several new European coal plants, authorized by the Energy Community, risk breaching EU pollution limits if they proceed according to their plans.

Commitments made under the Energy Community treaty by Moldova, Ukraine among others oblige them to comply with the EU's Industrial Emissions Directive by 1 January 2018, Euroactiv.com reports based on EU law firm analysis. read more


EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TO IMPOSE RESTRICTIONS ON PLASTIC BAGS

The EU member states must limit the use of plastic bags by 80% by 2019, according to amendments passed by the European Parliament at first reading. 

The MEPs recommended the imposing of taxes, limitations and bans on use of plastic bags. According to them the discarded plastic bags are one of the main environmental pollutants. 

A survey shows that in 2010 the average European used 198 plastic bags per year and a total of 8 B were discarded. If the current trend continues, the use of plastic bags would increase significantly. 

According to the amendments, the goal is their use to be decreased by 50% by 2017 and up to 80% by 2019. 

The thin bags – less than 50 microns thick – must be replaced by such of recycled paper or biodegradable bags. read more


APRIL SNOW SURPRISES SOFIA

Citizens of Bulgaria's capital Sofia awoke on Wednesday morning to see snowfall outside their windows.

Unseasonably cold temperatures have gripped much of the country just days before the Easter holidays. In the higher areas, snow cleaning vehicles had to be dispatched overnight. read more


CULTURE

‘SPIRIT OF BURGAS 2014’ FESTIVAL CANCELED OVER LOW FUNDING

The annual music festival Spirit of Burgas will not take place in 2014, it was revealed.

The main reason is that the budget for this year does not allow the festival to return to its traditional 3-day format, Burgas municipal director of festivals and concerts Dimitar Madzharov outlined. From a logistical point of view, the festival can be organized, but it would not be able to attract more famous bands than in previous years, something which the fans demand. read more


SPORTS

BULGARIA BIDS TO HOST HOMELESS WORLD CUP 2016

Bulgaria bids to host the Homeless World Cup 2016, organized by a social organization of the same name which advocates the end of homelessness through sport.

"The host should be selected early next year. We still have no information about the other candidates, but chances are high for Bulgaria in case there aren't any non-European countries that have volunteered to organize the prestigious forum," said Viktor Kirkov, Executive Director of Sports Management Bulgaria which holds the rights for the project in Bulgaria. read more


CRIME

CEPACA DISTRAINS PROPERTY OF NESEBAR MAYOR AND CHIEF ARCHITECT

Bulgaria's Commission for Establishing Property Acquired from Criminal Activity (CEPACA) destrained the property of the Mayor and the Chief Architect of the coast town of Nesebar. 

The property of the Mayor Nikolai Dimitrov was evaluated at BGN 1.8 and that of the Chief Architect Valentin Dimov – to almost BGN 900 000, reports Bulgaria's public radio BNR. 

The investigation against them started in December 2012 after they were accused of illegal construction on the town's sand dunes, which are a protected area. 

The commission inspection established that the discrepancy between the income of Dimitrov and the acquired property in the past 10 years is around BGN 2 M. In Dimov's case it is a little over BGN 1 M.


Upon the request of the CEPACA, the Burgas region court allowed the distrainment of five residential properties, six fields, company shares, bank accounts and an automobile Mercedes, owned by the mayor Dimitrov and his immediate family. 

The court distranied 11 properties of the architect Dimov and his family, including a two houses, a passenger and a freight automobile, company shares and bank accounts.

According to the Confiscation of Illegally Acquired Assets Act, the CEPACA has three months to file with the court a request for the confiscation of Dimitrov and Dimov. read more


TRIAL AGAINST BULGARIA'S EX-INTMIN ADJOURNED AGAIN

Sofia City Court has once again put off the trial against former Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov, as a juryman was not present.

Wednesday's court session was to address a BGN 50 569 (around EUR 25 285 EUR) embezzlement claim and to include hearings of high-profile witnesses. read more


VIEWS ON BG

UNHCR: BULGARIA'S ASYLUM CONDITIONS IMPROVED

Click here to read the story:
www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=159873


WORLD

PUTIN, LAVROV WARN AGAINST USE OF ARMY IN EASTERN UKRAINE

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that Ukraine was "on the verge of civil war" and described the actions of Ukraine's military in the east as "unacceptable".

Putin made the first comment during a phone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whereas the second was in a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as RIA Novosti reported. read more


LAVROV CONFIRMS RUSSIA’S COMMITMENT TO GENEVA TALKS

Russia will not pull out of the four-party talks on the Ukraine crisis scheduled for Thursday in Geneva, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed.

"The meeting remains on the agenda. We are extremely hopeful that the efforts being used now, and including those by the Russian administration, will take effect and any use of force against the protesters (in eastern Ukraine) will cease", Lavrov stated, cited by RIA Novosti. read more


ESTONIA CALLS FOR MORE NATO PRESENCE

Estonia is worried by Russia's actions in Ukraine and favors increased military presence on its territory as a security measure.

The President of the Baltic country, Toomas Hendrik Ilves, told CNN that the unpredictability of Russia's actions means the region is in need of more security. read more


GOVERNMENT, OPPOSITION IN VENEZUELA MARK PROGRESS IN TALKS

Venezuela's government and opposition representatives made their first breakthrough in negotiations called to wind down tensions in the country.

After five hours of negotiations, the two sides agreed to enhance the strength and role of the Truth Commission that would investigate into the violence rocking Venezuela since February, the Spanish newspaper El Pais reported. read more


SERBIA'S VUCIC OFFERS SOCIALISTS TO ENTER COALITION

The Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) has offered seats in government to the socialists, led by outgoing Prime Minister Ivica Dacic.

SNS, together with the socialists, has ruled Serbia since 2012, but called early elections to gain more support, which it is saying to need to successfully implement radical reforms. read more


SOUTH KOREAN FERRY DEATH TOLL CLIMBS TO 4, MANY MISSING

The latest death toll from the capsized ferry off the coast of South Korea has climbed to 4, with 292 people still unaccounted for.

The Sewol Ferry was carrying 459 people from the port city of Incheon to the resort island Jeju when it capsized at around 9 AM local time on Wednesday, CNN reports. 325 of the passengers were school children from the capital Seoul. read more


SOUTH KOREAN FERRY CAPSIZES, AT LEAST 2 DEAD

A ferry with 459 people has capsized off the coast of South Korea, leaving at least 2 dead.

Rescue operations are under way, with over 30 vessels involved in the operation. The bodies of 2 victims, one of them a female crew member, have been recovered, the BBC reports. read more


OPINIONS

RETAIL CHAINS STATE REGULATIONS: AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY

Bulgaria's Parliament passed at first reading the amendments to the Competition Protection Act. They regulate the business relations between the  retail chains and the Bulgarian producers and impose various requirements on the chains.

The MPs from the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) who tabled the amendments claim they would introduce consistent policies for protection of national producers, markets and consumers. 

Today the BSP MP Borislav Gutsanov even said that 20% of all the goods in those chains must be Bulgarian. read more



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