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SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR 2014-07-29
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29 July 2014, Issue 3987
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
10029 subscribers of Novinite.com
145015 articles
590 interviews
9310 pictures
 
BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
Bulgaria's Business Climate Indicator Tumbles in July


In July the total business climate indicator decreased by 3.2% compared to its level from June, according to the latest data released by the National Statistical Institute. read
Bulgaria's DPS 'Might Keep Gov't Mandate' - Socialist Group Chair


Bulgarian socialists' Parliament chief said Monday it was "likely" that liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) could decide not to return a mandate to form a government.read
Bulgaria's New MEPs to Stress Refugee Issues, Eurozone Accession


Bulgaria's new MEPs have cited eurozone and Schengen accession, the refugee influx, and the abolition of the progress reports of the European Commission as key priorities. read
 
 
MORE TOP NEWS
Mikov’s Election to Cement Status Quo at BSP - Analysts

Outgoing Justice Minister Calls for Consensus on Priority Goals

Trade Union: ¼ of Bulgarian Households Below Poverty Threshold

Bulgaria to Double Innovations Spending in 2015

Bulgarians' Trips Abroad Increase by 7.3% in June

Bulgaria to Promote Jams, Canned Vegetables in Russia, UAE

Bulgaria Issues Libya Travel Warning

Fatal Traffic Accidents in Bulgaria See Dramatic Increase – Expert

Child Beggars in Bulgaria's Capital 'Numbering 400'

German Transplant Patient to Receive Liver from Bulgarian Donor


UPS & DOWNS
Bulgarian President Turns 1st Sod on Scientific and Tech Park in Sofia

Bulgaria's New Environment Minister 'Has No Degree' from Munich
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TOP NEWS
BULGARIA'S PRESIDENT TO ASK DPS TO FORM NEW CABINET 'WEDNESDAY'

President Plevneliev will ask the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), to form a new cabinet on July 30, local daily 24 Chasa reported, citing the President's press office.

DPS, the junior partner in the outgoing Socialist-Liberal coalition government and the third largest political party represented in the 240-seat chamber, will be handed a mandate to form a cabinet within the current parliament after the government led by Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski resigned last week after serving less than a third of its four-year term of office.

The two biggest parties in the National Assembly, opposition GERB and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the largest partner in the government coalition, have already refused to form a new cabinet under an agreement among political leaders that no party will seek such a role within the current Parliament.

Under Bulgaria’s constitution, if the government resigns, President Rosen Plevneliev has to ask each of the political parties represented in Parliament  to form a new cabinet.

In case no party succeeds to do so or each of them declines to form a cabinet, the head of state has to dissolve the chamber, appoint a caretaker government and set a date for early elections. read more


BUSINESS

BULGARIA'S BUSINESS CLIMATE INDICATOR TUMBLES IN JULY

In July the total business climate indicator decreased by 3.2% compared to its level from June, according to the latest data released by the National Statistical Institute.

The decline is due to the more unfavorable business climate in all observed sectors – industry, construction, retail trade and service sector. read more


BULGARIA TO DOUBLE INNOVATIONS SPENDING IN 2015

Bulgaria is to spend BGN 937.9 M on innovations in 2015, including public spending and the expenses of the business sector.

The sum is nearly double the amount earmarked in 2011, when the expenses for research and development amounted to BGN 429.6 M. read more


BULGARIA TO PROMOTE JAMS, CANNED VEGETABLES IN RUSSIA, UAE

Bulgaria's State Fund Agriculture and the Fruits and Vegetables Processors Union have signed a contract for the promotion of local products in Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

The three-year project under the Promotional Programs scheme seeks to increase the consumption of Bulgarian lyutenitsa (a sort of a vegetable relish), canned tomatoes, roasted vegetables, jam and rose hip jam in Russia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the State Fund Agriculture informs. read more


BULGARIANS' TRIPS ABROAD INCREASE BY 7.3% IN JUNE

In June 2014, the number of trips of Bulgarians abroad was 411.1thousand or by 7.3% above the registered in June 2013, the National Statistical Institute reports.

In comparison with the same month of the previous year an increase was observed in the total number of trips of Bulgarians to Serbia – by 43.5%, Romania – by 29.4%, France – by 26.6%, the Czech Republic – by 25.7%, Italy – by 21.3%, Macedonia – by 20.2%,the United Kingdom – by 16.7%, Germany – by 15.8%, Spain – by 12.6%. read more


ENERGY

MONTENEGRO 'INTERESTED' IN SOUTH STREAM PIPELINE - ECONMIN

Montenegro's Economy Minister Vladimir Kavaric announced that his country desired to be included in the South Stream gas pipeline project.

"South Stream is part of the diversification opportunities for our energy sources and also an opportunity to increase competitiveness of our economy. We have not yet received an official invitation, but there were negotiations with representatives of [Russian energy concern] Gazprom on that issue," Kavaric was quoted by Montenegro's leading daily Vjesti as saying.

The minister explained that Gazprom representatives had held talks with Gazprom authorities over Montenegro's gas demand.

Kavaric's statements follow comments from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said on Sunday Budapest was still willing to "cooperate" with Gazprom on the project, despite the EU's stance on the need to reduce European gas dependence on Russia.

They also come a week after Serbia, which is one of the countries to host the pipeline, was advised by the European Commission to freeze the project until discrepancies with Russia on pipeline were smoothed out.

Serbian Prime Minister Alexander Vucic, for his part, insisted that South Stream was "a good deal" for his country, as its construction would inject some EUR 350 M into local companies, regardless of whether the pipes would become operational or not.

In June Bulgaria, the country where South Stream enters the EU, halted activities on the pipeline after the EU Commission insisted it do so.

Brussels argues issues of competition and flawed public procurement, but also violation of the EU's Third Energy Package prescribing liberalization of energy production and supplies, are underpinning the construction. read more


EC INITIATES GAS SUPPLY TALKS BETWEEN OETTINGER, NOVAK

The European Commission is initiating a meeting between EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow this week.

The two are to discuss gas supplies to Ukraine and EU countries. read more


POLITICS

BULGARIA ISSUES LIBYA TRAVEL WARNING

Bulgaria on Monday warned its citizens against all travel to Libya due to escalating tensions in the North African country.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry in Sofia also strongly recommended Bulgarians currently in Libya to leave immediately. read more


BULGARIA IN EU

BULGARIA'S NEW MEPS TO STRESS REFUGEE ISSUES, EUROZONE ACCESSION

Bulgaria's new MEPs have cited eurozone and Schengen accession, the refugee influx, and the abolition of the progress reports of the European Commission as key priorities.

The MEPs gave a press conference Monday at the European Parliament Information Office in Bulgaria to present their agendas in the new European Parliament. read more


DOMESTIC

BULGARIA'S DPS 'MIGHT KEEP GOV'T MANDATE' - SOCIALIST GROUP CHAIR

Bulgarian socialists' Parliament chief said Monday it was "likely" that liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) could decide not to return a mandate to form a government.

Atanas Merdzhanov, Chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)'s Parliament group, told the Bulgarian National Radio that the DPS, a coalition partner in the outgoing socialist-led government, could decide to use te mandate that it is due to receive from President Rosen Plevneliev on Wednesday.

He cited current "cooperation" between the DPS and GERB (the latter being the opposition in the acting Parliament) as a factor behind such a potential development.

Over the past few days leaders of political parties have consecutively been handed a mandate to form a government at Bulgaria's Presidency, with both GERB and BSP having declined to do so.

The procedure was triggered after Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski resigned on Wednesday.

Under a previous agreement between parties, none of the parliamentary groups is to seek to forge a cabinet so that a fast-track procedure leading to the dissolution of Parliament and the appointment of a caretaker government on August 6.

The outgoing "Oresharski" cabinet stepped down after relations with junior partner DPS soared in June.

Center-right GERB, on the other hand, is considered to have improved its relations with the DPS in March, when leaders Boyko Borisov and Lyutvi Mestan had a "cup of coffee", a widely discussed event after years of tensions. Until then conservatives had blamed liberals for Bulgaria's most serious problems, especially at the beginning of their term in office in 2009.

Just hours after the BSP's National Congress at which Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov was elected Chairman of the party, Merdzhanov announced it was not yet clear whether the socialists would run alone in the elections or would use the "Coalition for Bulgaria" formula applied previously.

Sergey Stanishev renounced his Chair position at the BSP after the Congress, but retained his presidency at the Coalition for Bulgaira, a BSP-led group of parties set up for electoral purposes. read more


MIKOV’S ELECTION TO CEMENT STATUS QUO AT BSP - ANALYSTS

The election of Mihail Mikov as head of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) will maintain the status quo at the party, political analysts told bTV channel on Monday.

According to Mariya Pirgova, with Mikov’s election at the top post on Sunday the BSP has broken away from its image of being a party of Bulgaria’s 25-year long transition to political democracy, while Ognyan Minchev believes that BSP has yet to prove itself as a modern political formation capable of expanding its influence among the younger generations of Bulgarian citizens.

Minchev said that Mikov’s election will cement the status quo within the party which, he believes, will mean BSP will be faced once again with the same old issues of alleged collaboration with shady economic groupings while in power and failure to prevent its term of government from ending in collapse of statehood. Or, as Minchev put it, “Stanishev is leaving to stay”.

Mariya Pirgova believes that with Mikov at the helm of the party, which is facing early parliamentary elections this autumn, the BSP will prevent a split within its ranks.

At the 48th Congress of the BSP on Sunday Mikov won a run-off vote against outgoing Economy and Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev to succeed Sergey Stanishev who has headed the party for the past 13 years. read more


FORMER PRESIDENT'S PARTY 'READY FOR TALKS' WITH BSP

ABV, the party of Bulgarian President (2002-2011) Georgi Parvanov, is ready to hold negotiations with the Bulgarian Socialist Party, former MEP Ivaylo Kalfin said.

Kalfin represented the BSP in the European Parliament until January 2014 but joined Parvanov's ABV to head the party's own European Parliament elections list as the party splintered off the socialists as an independent organization.

He told private national channel NOVA TV that his party, which portrays itself as an alternative on the left side of the spectrum, ruled out that any discussions with former BSP Chairman Sergey Stanishev could take place.

Stanishev, who left the BSP presidency after the July 27 National Congress of the party at which outgoing Parliament Speaker Mihail Mikov took over, retained his position as a Chairman of the Coalition for Bulgaria, a grouping of parties spearheaded by the BSP.

He called for dialogue with the ABV to counter conservatives, including GERB, which was the opposition to the BSP-DPS cabinet in resignation.

Kalfin reiterated previous warning coming from his party that "dependence on corporate interests, obscure governance and lack of commitment to carrying out political tasks will topple BSP from power".

He argued that the National Congress did not address key issues at the BSP, but rather sought to keep them concealed.

read more


BULGARIA'S PRESIDENT TO GIVE GOV'T MANDATE TO THIRD-LARGEST PARTY

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev is to hand a mandate to form a government to the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), a coalition partner in the outgoing cabinet.

Plevneliev is due to take the step on Wednesday after the two biggest parties in Parliament, GERB and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), refused to use the opportunity and seek a new cabinet after the one led by Plamen Oresharski resigned on Wednesday.

The constitution states that, after a government resignation, the President has to allow all parties present in the National Assembly to forge a new cabinet, before disbanding the current one, appointing a date for early elections and setting up a caretaker government.

However, under an agreement among political leaders reached at Bulgaria's Presidency, no party is to seek such a role within the 42nd (acting) Parliament, and DPS is also expected to return its mandate on Monday.

Oresharski's government resigned following nearly fourteen months in office, nearly two months after a weak performance of the main ruling BSP at the EU elections opened a rift with its coalition partners from the DPS.

It has been the second cabinet to resign since 2013, when GERB leader, and then Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, stepped down amid protests over plummeting living standards. read more


SOCIETY

OUTGOING JUSTICE MINISTER CALLS FOR CONSENSUS ON PRIORITY GOALS

Outgoing Justice Minister Zinaida Zlatanova has called on political parties to agree on a declaration listing the goals in the sphere of judicial reform in the next 7 years.

Zlatanova and her colleagues at the Justice Ministry reported their achievements at a press conference on Monday, saying that they had accomplished as much as time had allowed them to. read more


TRADE UNION: ¼ OF BULGARIAN HOUSEHOLDS BELOW POVERTY THRESHOLD

23.3% of households in Bulgaria live below the poverty threshold, according to Nikolay Nenkov from the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (CITUB).

Nenkov gave a press conference Monday to present a report on the cost of living in June 2014. read more


FATAL TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS IN BULGARIA SEE DRAMATIC INCREASE – EXPERT

Death toll on Bulgarian roads is growing again, after a 4-5-year period of drastic decline, according to Aleksi Stratiev, former head of the Traffic Police.

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of fatal traffic accidents in 2014, compared to the death rates in 2012, Stratiev told Nova TV. read more


CHILD BEGGARS IN BULGARIA'S CAPITAL 'NUMBERING 400'

Over 400 children can be found begging in the streets of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, data from the Sofia Municipality has shown.

The figures have been registered during the Mobile Work with Children in the Street project launched at the Municipality in 2010, according to the information cited by the Bulgarian daily Monitor.

Thirty-six children have been saved from begging since the beginning of this year, with five of them currently accommodated in orphanages, Monitor reports.

It quotes social workers, who explain that "a vast part" of kids caught begging were forced by their parents to do so.

As an "interesting" detail they point that most of the children falling into that category are not from minority groups, but rather Bulgarians.

"[Some kids] admitted they had occasionally earned over 1000 monthly from begging. The money was taken away by their parents. Children were just glad they were not hungry. Their relatives however did not give them too many titbits lest they put on too much weight and stop arousing pity," social workers added.

Most of the child beggars are concentrated in Sofia's downtown regions such as Sredets, Lozenets and Triaditsa.

read more


HEALTH

GERMAN TRANSPLANT PATIENT TO RECEIVE LIVER FROM BULGARIAN DONOR

A liver from a Bulgarian donor has been transported to Germany as part of the cooperation with the organization for organ exchange Eurotransplant.

The organ was transported to Germany due to the lack of appropriate recipients on Bulgaria's national transplant waiting list, according to the press office of the Health Ministry. read more


SPORTS

GRIGOR DIMITROV TO SKIP TOURNAMENT IN WASHINGTON OVER ILLNESS

Bulgarian top tennis player Grigor Dimitrov will skip the ongoing tournament in Washington D.C. because of a flu and a sinus infection.

The tournament director Jeff Newman said that Grigor will be missed this year, however his health comes first. He wished Dimitrov good luck until the end of the season, Bulgarian Dnevnik reports. read more


WORLD

GREEK CIVIL SERVANTS TO STAGE STRIKE IN ATHENS

Greek civil servants will go on strike in the capital city of Athens from 11 am until the end of the workday, Monday.

They will gather in front of the Court of Appeal, which is to rule on a previous judgement today, having declared strikes in the public sector unlawful, Bulgarian National Radio reports. read more


ROMANIA, US TO LAUNCH OBSERVATION FLIGHTS OVER RUSSIA, BELARUS

A joint mission of Romanian and US inspectors is to make observation flights over the territory of Russia and Belarus in the period July 28 – August 1.

The mission is conducted within the frame of the Open Skies Treaty. The observation flights will be done on a Romanian reconnaissance aircraft Antonov An-30, Sergei Ryzhkov, head of the Russian National Center for Reducing Nuclear Threat said, as cited by Itar-Tass. read more


RUSSIA FORCED TO PAY USD 50 B TO FORMER YUKOS OWNERS

A Hague-based court of arbitration ruled Monday that former majority shareholders of once-thriving oil concern Yukos should be awarded USD 50 B of damages.

According to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Moscow is to pay nearly half of the sum claimed by former owners, the Financial Times reported.

The three-member panel described Russian actions against Yukos in mid-2000s as "illegal" expropriation.

Yukos was the oil giant of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who was Russia's richest man at that time.

While many describe him as an "oligarch", others criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin for having committed an infringement on his company to deal with potential opponents and also with Khodorkovsky's huge-scale private initiative in the energy sector.

Khodorkovsky was arrested in 2003 and sentenced in 2005 to nine years of imprisonment, but was pardoned by Putin and released in November last year.

The former Yukos CEO and largest shareholder did not take part in the owners' claim lodged by the former Yukos holding company GML, and Leonid Nezvlin, a former associate to Khodorkovsky, will be the biggest single beneficiary.

Russia is expected to appeal, and Yukos' former chief legal counselor Dmitry Gololobov was quoted by Bloomberg as saying the country could hire the best international lawyers, which would extend "the affair" by another ten years.

The ruling comes amid proposals for a fresh round of Western sanctions against Russia over the situation in Eastern Ukraine and Moscow's alleged support for armed rebels in the Donbass region.

Russian media outlets had reported before the court sitting that the decision would favour shareholders.

Daily Kommersant had revealed the ruling would involve less than 50% of the USD 114 B sought. read more



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