» Sofia Morning News is a daily online newspaper published by Sofia News Agency (novinite.com), the biggest real time news provider in English in Bulgaria. It covers the latest economic, political, cultural and sports news happening in Bulgaria, major world events and foreign media analyses.

SUBSCRIBE FOR SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR FREE
* E-mail:
Turn on "Flash News" (Flash News email bulletins will be distributed on an ad hoc daily basis, depending on the current news but will be limited to no more than two on a particular day.)
 
Or REGISTER NOW! to take full advantage of Novinite.com subscription services.

If you are already a subscriber, please click here to login and access the full archive..


   SEE LATEST ISSUE:
SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR 2015-03-05
Find us on:   
Download for:   
Sofia: min 2°, max 6°
Varna: min 5°, max 8°
Plovdiv: min 4°, max 9°
USD: 1.75821
EUR: 1.95583
GBP: 2.69435
5 March 2015, Issue 4171
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
9928 subscribers of Novinite.com
149634 articles
590 interviews
9776 pictures
 
BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
Bulgaria's Interior Minister Resigns


Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov has handed his resignation, the government's press office has confirmed. read
Pakistan 'to Table Own Fighters Offer' to Bulgaria


Pakistan is to make its own proposal to Bulgaria concerning the overhaul of its aircraft fleet, media reports suggest.read
Bulgaria's Chief Prosecutor, FBI Head Discuss Tackling Terrorism, Corruption


Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov discussed on Wednesday measures for fighting terrorism and tackling corruption with FBI Director James Comey, who is on an official visit to Bulgaria. read
 
 
MORE TOP NEWS
Bulgarian Now Ex-Minister of the Interior Refuses to Retract Resignation

Three Nominations Said to Be Considered for Bulgaria's New Interior Minister

NATO Deploys Ships to Black Sea for Training with Bulgarian Navy

Bulgaria PM, Azerbaijan President 'to Unblock Nabucco Project'

IMF Mission Starts Visit to Bulgaria

Bulgaria IntMin Resignation 'Not Final Decision', MPs Say

Bulgarian Parliament Dismisses BSP's Proposal for Early Retirement

EU States Agree to Put Off End to Mobile Roaming Charges Until 2018

Juncker, Merkel Play Down Talk of Third Greek Bailout

Probe into Nemtsov Murder Pursuing Several Lines of Inquiry

PepsiCo and Coca Cola to Close Production Facilities in Russia

Majority of Russians Oppose Military Action in Donbass

Mine Blast in Eastern Ukraine 'Kills 30'

Bulgarian Deputy PM Kalfin Vows Support for Business Collaboration with Russia

Skiers Speak Out Against FIS Reaction to Dangerous Race Conditions

Hungary to Classify Paks NPP Expansion Deal for 30 Years

US Extends Sanctions Against Russia, EU Ready to Follow Suit

At Least 110 Bulgarians to Compete in European Games 2015

62 % of Bulgarians Oppose Issue of New BGN 16 B Debt – Survey

CIA: Bulgarian Population is Less Than 7 Million People

Bulgaria’s Cash Credit in Mobile Microfinance Deal with Unit of Philippines’ Leading Telecom

4000 Workers Go on Strike in one of Bulgaria's Biggest Plants

Border Police Allocates BGN 1.37M to New Vehicles to Counteract Refugee Wave


UPS & DOWNS
France's Louvre to Exhibit Treasures of Thracian King Seuthes III

Bulgaria Drops to 106th in World Press Freedom Index
QUOTE OF THE DAY

"No. Haircut is a dirty word. I've learned that much... Just as we don't want to hear the word 'troika' anymore, so our creditors don't want to hear the word haircut. I can understand that."

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis commenting [DE] on Athens' wish to have its external debt reduced, an idea to which international lenders have so far shown reluctance.

POLL
Was Boris Nemtsov really murdered while crossing a bridge near the Kremlin?
 Yes
 No
 Can't say
|  Results
 Other: share in the forum
OPTIONS
Print all stories
Recommend to a friend
News Archives

Editorial Staff
Contact us
Advertise here

Unsubscribe
SOFIA MORNING NEWS is proudly distributed in the following hotels:
TOP NEWS
BULGARIA'S INTERIOR MINISTER RESIGNS

Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov has handed his resignation, the government's press office has confirmed.

PM Boyko Borisov has accepted his decision.

Vuchkov stepped down during a Council of Ministers session, according to 24 Chasa daily.

Ministry officials had first been unavailable for comment. read more


BUSINESS

BULGARIA’S CASH CREDIT IN MOBILE MICROFINANCE DEAL WITH UNIT OF PHILIPPINES’ LEADING TELECOM

Bulgaria’s Cash Credit has joined forces with Philippines-based Voyager Innovation to offer mobile-based microfinance services in the Asian country.

Announcing its strategic partnership agreement with Cash Credit, Voyager Innovation said in a statement the partners will jointly aggressively rollout a mobile-based microfinance program within the first half of the year, applying big data analytics to offer innovative financial services to Smart’s combined subscriber base of over 75 million. read more


4000 WORKERS GO ON STRIKE IN ONE OF BULGARIA'S BIGGEST PLANTS

Workers have started an effective strike in one of the biggest factories in the Yambol vicinity and in the country - Yazaki Bulgaria.

No term has been specified as to when the protest will end. read more


FINANCE

IMF MISSION STARTS VISIT TO BULGARIA

A regular IMF Article IV mission starts a ten-day visit to Bulgaria on Wednesday to discuss key short-term and medium-term macroeconomic forecasts and assumptions, the Finance Ministry has said.

The mission headed by Mrs. Michele Shannon will also discuss the government’s policies for ensuring macroeconomic growth and economic recovery drivers, the ministry said in a statement. read more


ENERGY

BULGARIA PM, AZERBAIJAN PRESIDENT 'TO UNBLOCK NABUCCO PROJECT'

Bulgaria and Azerbaijan's leaders are to seek a renewal of the Nabucco gas pipeline project which came to a halt a few years back, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov has announced.

His comments came at a press conference following a meeting with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev, who is on a visit to Sofia on Wednesday.

He told reporters that as early as "today [Wednesday] we will go with President [Ilham] Aliyev to the EU Commission to present the project for Nabucco's renewal," most media outlets quoted him as saying. read more


DIPLOMACY

BULGARIA'S CHIEF PROSECUTOR, FBI HEAD DISCUSS TACKLING TERRORISM, CORRUPTION

Bulgarian Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov discussed on Wednesday measures for fighting terrorism and tackling corruption with FBI Director James Comey, who is on an official visit to Bulgaria.

Their meeting was also attended by US Ambassador to Bulgaria Marcie Ries, the prosecution's press service reports. read more


BULGARIAN DEPUTY PM KALFIN VOWS SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS COLLABORATION WITH RUSSIA

During a Moscow visit Wednesday, Deputy PM and Social Policies Minister Ivaylo Kalfin discussed opportunities for improvement of trade and economic relations with Russia.

''The economic relations with Russia are extremely important for Bulgaria,'' Kalfin said. ''I believe that in a time of crisis every chance that the business can take, should not be missed. I am convinced that there are ample cooperation opportunities for both sides.'' read more


FBI'S COMEY SAYS HE AND BULGARIA PM BORISOV 'THINK ALIKE'

FBI head James Comey met on Wednesday Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in Sofia while on a visit officially said to deal with security cooperation.

Borisov and Comey also discussed the fight against organized crime and cyber-crime, terrorism, and the US official's forthcoming meetings with his counterpart, DANS head Vladimir Pisanchev, and Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov.

The guest said after the closed-door meeting that he and Borisov "think alike", as quoted by the BGNES news agency.

Comey also pledged to help build "strong ties" between Bulgaria and the US in terms of security and anti-terrorism measures. He added he was sure he "would be back" in Bulgaria many times. read more


AZERBAIJAN PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN BULGARIA ACCOMPANIED BY KEY GOV'T MEMBERS

Azerbaijan's President Alham Aliyev is on a visit to Sofia along with ministers of foreign affairs, transport economy, energy and communication.

Aliyev comes at the invitation of his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev. His visit follows the two statesmen's meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan's capital, in September of last year when they pledged increased bilateral cooperation in energy.  
Back then Plevneliev attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the Southern Gas Corridor, a system of pipes part of which will pass near Bulgaria's territory.

Bulgaria is now eyeing to avail of the prospective pipeline that will pump natural gas from Azerbaijan, and in September signed agreements on gas deliveries though they did not involve concrete parameters.

Sofia at the same time hopes to attain energy diversification through its interconnection grid to reduce dependence from Russian resources.

Unlike a series of visits by foreign leaders in January, Aliyev's was confirmed two weeks in advance.

The full list of Aliyev's delegation includes Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, Economic Development Minister Shahin Mustafayev, Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev, and Ali Abbasov, who currently takes the Communications and Information Technologies portfolio.

On the Bulgarian side, various ministers are due to take part in a meeting including Nikolay Nenchev (defense), Vezhdi Rashidov (culture), Bozhidar Lukarski (economy), Temenuzhka Petkova (energy), Krasen Kralev (sports) and Irena Georgieva (Deputy Tourism Minister). read more


DEFENSE

PAKISTAN 'TO TABLE OWN FIGHTERS OFFER' TO BULGARIA

Pakistan is to make its own proposal to Bulgaria concerning the overhaul of its aircraft fleet, media reports suggest.

Currently the US, Italy and Sweden have been bidding to answer Bulgaria's need to have a squadron of 16 fighter jets replacing the existing one which is made up of Russian-made outdated MiGs.

Islamabad's offer is to include JF-17s, multirole 4++ generation fighters which it has been producing jointly with China since 2007, according to daily Presa.

JF-17's engine is Chinese-made, but is constructed under Russian license and resembles that of MiG-29. The Pakistani vehicle is however considered to be more advanced, since MiG-29s are 4-generation aircraft.

Bulgaria has been seeking for a few years to update its aircraft fleet, with various governments in a row failing to take any decision.

Out of 15 offers submitted to Bulgaria's Defense Ministry, a total of 3 have been shortlisted, coming from Italy (offering Eurofighters), Sweden (Gripen) and the US (F-16).

The US option, F-16 fighters from Tucson, Arizona, includes aircraft that have already been removed from service. However, the author notes that even though the vehicles would virtually be a "gift", the need for thorough repairs would generate higher costs for the buyers than if new jets are acquired.

Sweden's proposal to sell Gripen aircraft is the only one involving new vehicles which are to be delivered two years on from sealing a contract. According to Presa's report, within this stretch of time, Sofia could be granted used Gripen fighters for training. Various officials are backing the idea of buying newly-built fighters, including Air Force Commander Maj Gen Rumen Radev and his predecessor Miho Mihov (also ex-Chief of Defense, currently an MP heading Parliament's Defense Committee). read more


NATO DEPLOYS SHIPS TO BLACK SEA FOR TRAINING WITH BULGARIAN NAVY

NATO ships, assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2), arrived in the Black Sea on Wednesday to operate and train with ships from the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish navies.

The training will comprise simulated anti-air and anti-submarine warfare exercises, simulated small boat attacks and basic ship handling maneuvres, NATO Maritime Command's press service reports. read more


BORDER POLICE ALLOCATES BGN 1.37M TO NEW VEHICLES TO COUNTERACT REFUGEE WAVE

Chief Directorate Border Police is to counteract the expected refugee influx on the Bulgarian-Turkish border with new off-road vehicles.

The information is based on a tender released in the last days of February, according to a BGNES reporter. read more


DOMESTIC

BULGARIAN NOW EX-MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR REFUSES TO RETRACT RESIGNATION

Veselin Vouchkov, the now ex-Minister of the Interior announced that he will not be retracting his resignation submitted Wednesday.

The statement was made after he met with the leaders of the right-party Reformatorski Blok and center-right ruling GERB party in Parliament today. read more


THREE NOMINATIONS SAID TO BE CONSIDERED FOR BULGARIA'S NEW INTERIOR MINISTER

There are three potential successors to Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov, 24 Chasa daily reported on Wednesday, several hours after Vuchkov resigned.

According to unofficial preliminary information, the potential candidates are Yordan Bakalov, Kalin Georgiev and Metodi Andreev, 24 Chasa said. read more


BULGARIA PM ACCEPTS INTMIN'S RESIGNATION

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has accepted the resignation of Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov, a Deputy PM says.

Vuchkov stepped down at a cabinet meeting earlier on Wednesday, shortly before he was to table his proposals for a new Secretary of the Interior Ministry.

Borisov, who was meeting FBI Director James Comey at the time, told reporters that "when a resignation has been submitted", he accepts it. read more


BULGARIA INTMIN RESIGNATION 'NOT FINAL DECISION', MPS SAY

Some lawmakers in Bulgaria's Parliament have questioned the meaning of Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov's move to resign.

Vuchkov stepped down during a Wednesday cabinet session and Prime Minister Boyko Borisov accepted his resignation.

But Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who chairs the ruling GERB party's group in Parliament and who served as Interior Minister in Borisov's previous government, hinted the situation might develop further.

In his words, a vote on the resignation might be avoided in Parliament, since Vuchkov's decision "can be a result of emotions".

Meetings of GERB officials with Vuchkov are due later on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Radan Kanev, who co-chairs junior coalition partner Reformist Bloc, also called on Vuchkov to retain his post.

"My personal impression is that there is no final decision, there is the possibility of more conversations," the Bulgarian National Radio quoted Kanev as saying after a meeting attended by all four Deputy Prime Ministers and members of all four parties related to the government. read more


RESIGNATION OF BULGARIA INTMIN VUCHKOV PROMPTS MIXED REACTIONS

Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister Rumyana Bachvarova has called the decision of Interior Minister Veselin Vuchkov to resign on Wednesday "unexpected".

Commenting after a cabinet meeting where Vuchkov surprisingly stepped down, she declined to name a potential successor to Vuchkov, reminding this could only be in line with the "quota" principle according to which Bulgaria's government was composed last year.

Most minister seats belong to the senior coalition partner, conservative GERB, and the remainder go to the Reformist Bloc, and one has been allocated to left-wing Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV). Bachvarova's comment suggests that GERB will  produce the next Interior Minister as well.

Reactions were not late on the sidelines of Parliament, where opposition MPs interpreted the development as a negative sign. read more


BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT DISMISSES BSP'S PROPOSAL FOR EARLY RETIREMENT

The Bulgarian Parliament dismissed the proposal of opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) for early retirement on Wednesday.

Initially, the amendment to the Social Insurance Code was adopted with 94 votes in favour, 76 votes against, while 15 MPs abstained, daily Dnevnik reports. read more


SOCIETY

62 % OF BULGARIANS OPPOSE ISSUE OF NEW BGN 16 B DEBT – SURVEY

According to the latest survey of Mediana agency, 62 % of Bulgarians oppose the issue of new BGN 16 B debt, while only 10 % approve it.

The latest survey on the social and political attitudes, which was conducted in the period of the parliamentary debate and approval of the debt, was issued on Wednesday. read more


CIA: BULGARIAN POPULATION IS LESS THAN 7 MILLION PEOPLE

According to data published in the CIA World Factbook, Bulgarian population has dropped below 7 million people.

The data was refering to the middle of 2014, and showed that Bulgarian population in fact amounts to 6,724,716 people. According to the CIA website, the information has been gathered based on population census, migration processes, life expectancy and others. read more


SPORTS

SKIERS SPEAK OUT AGAINST FIS REACTION TO DANGEROUS RACE CONDITIONS

After the Super-G races at the Bulgarian ski resort Bansko were cancelled on Friday and Saturday on account of the heavy fog, a number of skiers complained about the harsh conditions and the FIS reaction on Sunday.

Despite the similar situation, ski federation made sure that the competition went ahead anyway, thus posing a danger to a number of skiers, Reuters reported. read more


AT LEAST 110 BULGARIANS TO COMPETE IN EUROPEAN GAMES 2015

At least 110 Bulgarians will represent the country in the first European Games, which are scheduled to take place in Baku between June 12 and 28.

For some of the sports, such as wrestling and judo, the continental games will have the status of European championship. read more


WORLD

HUNGARY TO CLASSIFY PAKS NPP EXPANSION DEAL FOR 30 YEARS

Hungarian Parliament approved on Tuesday the classification of some data in the contract on the expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant for a period of 30 years rather than 15.

Hungary will take EUR 10 B loan from Russia for the upgrade of its only nuclear power plant, which will be constructed by Rosatom, Daily News Hungary reports. read more


US EXTENDS SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA, EU READY TO FOLLOW SUIT

EU leaders and US President Barack Obama expressed readiness on Tuesday to extend the sanctions against Russia in case the Minsk ceasefire is further violated.

This happened at a video conference between Obama and the leaders of Germany, France, UK, Italy and European Council President Donald Tusk, EurActiv reports. read more


EU

EU STATES AGREE TO PUT OFF END TO MOBILE ROAMING CHARGES UNTIL 2018

EU member states on Wednesday proposed to postpone scrapping mobile roaming charges by three years until 2018 at least.

At present, mobile phone customers in the EU face extra roaming charges for calls, text messages or internet usage in member states other than their own.  read more


JUNCKER, MERKEL PLAY DOWN TALK OF THIRD GREEK BAILOUT

It is “premature” to talk of a third bailout for Greece, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday, playing down talk of a new rescue package being considered for the debt-ridden eurozone member.

"We are going to focus on implementing what was agreed in the Eurogroup," Juncker said at a joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Brussels. read more


RUSSIA

PROBE INTO NEMTSOV MURDER PURSUING SEVERAL LINES OF INQUIRY

Investigators of the assassination of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov are pursuing several lines of inquiry, including a contract killing, the head of the Russian Security Service Alexander Bortnikov has said.

The outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin was shot dead on Friday on a bridge over Moscow river several hundred meters away from the Kremlin walls, one of the most heavily policed areas in the Russian capital. Nemtsov was buried at Moscow’s Troyekurovo cemetery on Tuesday. read more


PEPSICO AND COCA COLA TO CLOSE PRODUCTION FACILITIES IN RUSSIA

A number of companies are now considering closig their production plants in Russia on account of the devaluation of the Russian ruble and the unfavorable economic conditions.

Among them are PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. AG as reported by the Wall Street Journal. read more


MAJORITY OF RUSSIANS OPPOSE MILITARY ACTION IN DONBASS

Close to 60% of the Russian people are against military deployment of Russian forces in Donbass even if tensions escalate.

Merely 25% of people would support military action with Russian participation, while 16% found the question difficult to respond to. read more


UKRAINE

MINE BLAST IN EASTERN UKRAINE 'KILLS 30'

At least 30 people have been left dead by a blast in the Zasyadko coal mine in Ukraine's east, in an area controlled by rebels, according to media reports.

More than 40 are thought to be trapped underground, Lentra.ru quotes a Donetsk People's Republic official as saying.

According to Vladimir Tsymbalenko, who oversees technology in the self-proclaimed "People's Republic", has described the toll as "preliminary estimates". In his words, the number of wounded is at least 14.

The website of the "Republic"'s administration has reported only one death, but more details are yet to emerge.

There were 230 workers in the mine at the time of the "explosion", the reasons for which are not yet known as of 10:40 local time. read more


UKRAINE MPS MULL SETTING UP 'PARLIAMENT POLICE' AFTER TUESDAY FIGHT

A Ukrainian lawmaker has proposed the creation of a "parliamentary police" after a new brawl that ended up violently on Tuesday, Russian media report.

Dmitro Dobrodomov told Ukrainian TV channel 112 "serious fights" required the measure if such incidents are to be prevented in the future.

The fight emerged as Oleg Lyashko, the leader of the Radical Party, hit Sergey Melnichuk, a lawmaker who passed to the ruling majority and was called "carcass" by the former MP. The term is commonly used in Ukraine's Parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, for lawmakers who take the step, supposedly "for money" as MPs remaining in opposition usually argue.

You can watch video footage of Tuesday's event here. read more



All rights reserved (c) Novinite Ltd., 2001-2015.
You are permitted to use any of the articles only if you obligatory quote the source: Sofia News Agency (www.novinite.com)
Sofia Morning News is a registered trademark No 33727/10.08.1998 under the Bulgaria's Patent Office.

If you do not wish to receive Sofia Morning News you can unsubscribe here.