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SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR 2014-10-21
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21 October 2014, Issue 4059
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
9756 subscribers of Novinite.com
146901 articles
590 interviews
9536 pictures
 
BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
Bulgaria’s President: New Elections Are Not an Option


Bulgaria needs a functioning Parliament and a government elected by it, according to President Rosen Plevneliev. read
Conservators at Bulgaria’s Corpbank Submit Audit Report


The conservators at Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank, KTB) have submitted to the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) the audit report of the financial institution. read
Cooling of US-Russia Relations to Last Long Time - Russian FM


A long period of severing ties between Washington and Moscow should be expected amid attempts to solve the Ukraine crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned.read
 
 
MORE TOP NEWS
ABV’s Kalfin Says GERB-BSP Coalition Could Provide Stability

Tsvetan Vasilev: BNB Not Willing to Discuss Options to Restructure Corpbank

Chinese Corporation to Build Romanian Nuclear Reactors

Court Issues Life Sentence for Ghastly Murder in Sofia Park

Bulgaria's Varna Registers Higher Revenues, Fewer Tourists in Summer 2014

8,000 New Jobs Created in Bulgaria Under Employment Project

Road Agency Chief Warns about Shortage of Funds for Winter Maintenance

Finance Ministry Reopens 10.5-Year Issue of BGN-Denominated Govt Securities

Kozloduy NPP Completes Planned Annual Overhaul of Unit 6

First Albanian PM Visit to Serbia in 70 Years Postponed


UPS & DOWNS
Varna Hospital To Transplant Stem Cells For Leukaemia Treatment

Serbia-Albania Match Abandoned after Flag-Carrying Drone Sparks Clashes
QUOTE OF THE DAY

"The people gave us a problem that even mathematicians cannot solve at the moment."

GERB's leader Boyko Borisov commenting on scenarios about the next Bulgarian government after a party meeting on October 20, 2014.

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TOP NEWS
BULGARIA'S GERB TO HOLD NEW GOV'T TALKS WITH FOUR PARTIES

Center-right party GERB is to hold another round of negotiations with four parliamentary parties this week, its leader Boyko Borisov said.

Borisov announced after a Monday meeting of the leadership, mayors, municipal councilors, MEPs and MP-elects from GERB the right-wing coalition Reformist Bloc would be the first political entity conservatives will meet for talks.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), which earlier vowed to remain in opposition, is also among the four to hold talks with GERB.

The two remaining parties are the Patriotic Front, a nationalist coalition with which GERB agreed on joint participation in the next cabinet, and left-wing Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV), with which conservatives found common ground on Sunday.

Borisov also told the Bulgarian National Television a coalition involving only the Reformists should be considered "a last resort" to avoid new early elections. read more


BUSINESS

EMPLOYMENT AGENCY DIRECTOR DECRIES INEFFICIENCY OF JOB SCHEMES

Asen Angelov, Executive Director of Bulgaria’s Employment Agency, has underscored the inefficiency of labor market policy, drawing attention to the fact that they have remained unchanged for over eight years and have only had a temporary effect.

In a Monday interview for 24 Hours daily, Angelov explains that nearly 400 000 people have undergone various trainings but the impact on the labor market has been rather insignificant both in terms of labor productivity and sustainability. read more


PRESIDENT PLEVNELIEV TO OPEN 10TH WORLD MEETING OF BULGARIAN MEDIA

Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev will open the 10th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media at the Central Military Club in Sofia, Monday.

The traditional forum brings together journalists from Bulgaria and abroad. The annual event will be take place between October 19 and 23 at three different locations -Sofia and the Serbian towns of Bosilegrad and Tsaribrod (Dimitrovgrad), which are home to Bulgarian communities,Bulgarian Telegraph Agency reports. read more


FINANCE

CONSERVATORS AT BULGARIA’S CORPBANK SUBMIT AUDIT REPORT

The conservators at Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank, KTB) have submitted to the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) the audit report of the financial institution.

KTB was placed under conservatorship by the Bulgarian National Bank on June 20 due to a bank run. read more


TSVETAN VASILEV: BNB NOT WILLING TO DISCUSS OPTIONS TO RESTRUCTURE CORPBANK

Bulgaria's central bank is resorting to "absurd" excuses to avoid carrying out its legal duties about Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank or KTB), its owner has said.

In a statement on his website, Tsvetan Vasilev also points out the bank is actually serving the interest of a coalition called "PPP", but stops short of revealing what stands for the abbreviation.

He also suggests "all available resources", including "prosecution... supervisors [and] auditors", are being used toward the goal of "ruining the financial institution".

The coalition is about to pave the way for the bank's liquidation and the plundering of its assets, Vasilev declares.

KTB is under special supervision conducted by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) since June 20, when a bank run depleted its liquidity.

Vasilev also refutes earlier claims of the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), which says the Vienna-based fund EPIC, reportedly representing the three major shareholders at KTB (Vasilev himself, the Omani State General Reserve Fund, or SGRF, and Russian VTB bank) does not actually include the Omani fund, the entity that owns nearly a third of KTB.

He accuses KTB's supervisors of dividing its credit portfolio into four parts (ranging between "best assets" and "worst assets"), ignoring the portfolio's specific structure on which "the successful and quick rise of the institution" was based in the past 14 years.

Citing examples of how the pillage of Corpbank is being prepared, Vasilev stresses he is ready to fight for his bank "until the end" and to go on with attempts to restructure the bank, reiterating this end has become the project of his life.

The banker says the consortium he earlier set up to work on the recovery of KTB will most likely try to inject capital (probably using Vasilev's own company Bromak) into the financial institution by paying back approximately BGN 2 B of loans in return for the ownership of some assets and projects financed by the bank. In his view, such a step could provide sufficient liquidity and would restore the level of capital back to what the regulator requires. read more


FINANCE MINISTRY REOPENS 10.5-YEAR ISSUE OF BGN-DENOMINATED GOVT SECURITIES

Bulgaria’s Finance Ministry reopened the 10.5 year issue of Government Securities (GS) issued on 15 January 2014 with maturity 15 July 2024.

The issue is a reference one in terms of the harmonized long-term interest rate as regards the assessment of the convergence level which is part of the Maastricht criteria in 2014, according to a media statement of the Finance Ministry. read more


ENERGY

KOZLODUY NPP COMPLETES PLANNED ANNUAL OVERHAUL OF UNIT 6

The planned annual overhaul of unit 6 of Bulgaria’s Kozloduy nuclear power plant has been completed and it has been reconnected to the energy grid.

The N-plant unit was recharged with fresh nuclear fuel. read more


TOURISM

BULGARIA'S VARNA REGISTERS HIGHER REVENUES, FEWER TOURISTS IN SUMMER 2014

Hotels in Bulgaria's Black Sea city of Varna have reported some BGN 163M revenue in the period June-August, according to data released by the regional statistical office.

Despite the cold and rainy start of the season and the crisis in Ukraine, which led to a decrease in the number of tourists, revenues from hotel stays were an average of 3% higher than in 2013, the Bulgarian newspaper Trud reports. read more


DOMESTIC

BULGARIA’S PRESIDENT: NEW ELECTIONS ARE NOT AN OPTION

Bulgaria needs a functioning Parliament and a government elected by it, according to President Rosen Plevneliev.

Speaking Monday at the opening of the 10th World Meeting of Bulgarian Media at the Central Military Club in Sofia, he noted that he was impressed by the decorum and the constructive approach which had accompanied the first round of talks on forming a government. read more


ABV’S KALFIN SAYS GERB-BSP COALITION COULD PROVIDE STABILITY

Bulgaria needs to have a stable government coalition that will place state interests above those of political parties, a leading member of left-wing ABV movement said on Monday.

“This can be achieved through a coalition between GERB and BSP,” Ivailo Kalfin said on bTV station, referring to the centre-right party led by former premier Boyko Borisov and the Socialists which together have 123 of the 240 seats in the new Parliament elected in the snap vote held on October 5. “That’s the way it is in Austria, in the Netherlands”. read more


GERB STARTS CLOSED-DOOR MEETING TO DISCUSS GOV'T OPTIONS

A session of conservative GERB party's officials is being held behind closed doors in the Bulgarian capital Sofia on Monday.

Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB)'s leadership, mayors, municipal councilors, MEPs and MP-elects are discussing results of the consultations their party held with the other seven political entities that made it in Parliament following the snap elections on October 5.

Each day of the past week saw meetings of GERB with other parties. An outright agreement on government cooperation was reached only with the Patriotic Front (PF), a nationalist coalition.

Right-wing Reformist Bloc (RB), widely tipped as GERB's "most natural" partner in government, held seven-hour-long talks with the election winners, but failed to shake hands.

GERB nevertheless made clear it could give Reformists a second chance to negotiate.

President (2002-2012) Georgi Parvanov's ABV, or Alternative for Bulgarian Revival, surprisingly reached an agreement as well, but the two parties are expected to hold a second meeting only at an expert level.

GERB has ruled out any alliance with the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), the third political force dominated by ethnic Turks and has explicitly denied it would count on its support to form any kind of government. Any joint government action with former journalist Nikolay Barekov's Bulgaria without Censorship has also been declared out of the question.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) had earlier vowed to remain in opposition in the next cabinet, and subsequently failed to agree with GERB on most of its policy proposals.

The meeting of conservatives with ultra-nationalists Ataka was called off after the latter insisted talks in Parliament should be aired live, even though negotiations with all other parties had taken place behind closed doors. read more


SOCIETY

8,000 NEW JOBS CREATED IN BULGARIA UNDER EMPLOYMENT PROJECT

A total of 8,000 new jobs will be financed under an employment project as the first framework contracts with employers have already been signed, Bulgaria's National Employment Agency announced.

Some 5,000 unemployed Bulgarians are expected to be hired by the end of October 2014, money.bg reports. read more


ROAD AGENCY CHIEF WARNS ABOUT SHORTAGE OF FUNDS FOR WINTER MAINTENANCE

As Bulgaria braces for the first snowfall scheduled for Friday, the Road Infrastructure Agency warns about the shortage of funds for seasonal road maintenance.

Lazar Lazarov, Chair of the Management Board of the Road Infrastructure Agency (RIA), explained Monday that the winter road maintenance regime would be introduced after November 1, provided that the weather conditions required the measure. read more


TWO SYRIAN CHILDREN DETAINED IN BULGARIA’S VELIKO TARNOVO

Two Syrian children were detained at a gas station in Bulgaria’s town of Veliko Tarnovo.

The boys tried to escape after illegally crossing the Turkish border, private TV station TV 7 reported. read more


CRIME

COURT ISSUES LIFE SENTENCE FOR GHASTLY MURDER IN SOFIA PARK

Nikolay Rusinov has been sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of 28-year-old Yana Krasteva in Sofia in 2011.

The sentence was issued by the Sofia City Court on Monday. read more


SMILES

RELATIVITY

"When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity."

Albert Einstein read more


WORLD

TURKEY TO ALLOW IRAQI KURDISH FIGHTERS TO ENTER SYRIA TO DEFEND KOBANE

Turkey will allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to cross into Syria to fight Islamic State militants, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday.

Cavusoglu’s statement marks a major shift in the position of the Turkish government which has been under pressure from Turkey’s own Kurdish population to let Iraqi Peshmerga fighters join Syrian Kurds battling IS. read more


US DROPS ARMS TO KURDS FIGHTING IS DESPITE TURKISH WARNINGS

Kurds fighting Islamic State (IS) in the Syrian town of Kobane have received US weapons and medical aid, the Pentagon says.

The move comes against the backdrop of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's declarations over the weekend that Ankara would not allow Washington to supply the Kurds with arms.

US Central Command said in a statement deliveries made by C-130 transport aircraft are designed to enable resistance against the town of Kobane, which many are still worried could fall to IS.

Officials believe the air strikes, combined with "continued resistance to ISIL on the ground" killed hunreds of fighters and destroyed or damaged pieces of ISIL combat equipment and fighting positions."

Though Turkey voted earlier in October to allow its soldiers to put boots on the ground in both Iraq and Syria to prevent a major offensive of IS, no action has been taken further than deploying tanks and armored vehicles along the common borders.

Ankara has also stopped short of helping Kurds fighting IS, claiming they are not different from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), perceived as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the US. Last week the Turkish military also carried out strikes on the PKK, marking the first spark of tensions since Erdogan and the organization's jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan agreed on peace, with Ocalan calling on his supporters to lay down arms.

US President Barack Obama held phone conversation with Erdogan early on Sunday, according to the White House's press office.

The two reportedly agreed to work together against the militants, but Erdogan made clear no-one should expect from his country to allow arms deliveries to the Syrian Kurds.

Kobane has seen some of the fiercest fighting in the past months as Iraq and the West are seeking to stop the expansion of IS, a Sunni militant group that controls terrotories in Iraq and Syria.

Earlier Germany sent military equipment to Kurdish fighters in Iraq.

Australia is, as of Monday, officially involved in the fight against the Sunni extremists, sending 200 troops to help the Iraqi forces.
 

read more


LUFTHANSA PILOTS TO START 8TH STRIKE SINCE APRIL

Pilots of German Lufthansa airlines have announced their plans on Sunday to start a 35-hour strike, Monday in their continuing dispute over retirement benefits.

The pilots union, Vereinigung Cockpit, said in a statement the strike will start at 11:00 GMT on Monday and would end at 21:59 GMT on Tuesday. Short- and medium-haul flights from Germany will be affected, union spokesman Markus Walh said. read more


SOUTHEAST EUROPE

FIRST ALBANIAN PM VISIT TO SERBIA IN 70 YEARS POSTPONED

A trip of Albania's Prime Minister Edi Rama to Serbian capital Belgrade was put off for November after Rama spoke to Serbian counterpart Aleksandar Vucic, officials say.

The unprecedented visit was scheduled for last week, but heightened tensions over an abandoned football game prompted Belgrade and Tirana to change plans.

Serbian PM's press office now reported the meeting would take place on November 10, stressing in a statement the two heads of government "will not let go of the opportunity to meet and word for regional stability and to turn a new page" in terms of political and economic relations.

Wednesday's match ended just before the end of the first half at the request of the Albanian team, after a flag-waving drone flew over the Partizan Stadium in Belgrade carrying an image of Greater Albania, causing a melee among players and fans.

Belgrade calls the event "a provocation", something Tirana fervently denies. Serbian media reports even suggested Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama's brother, Olsi, who was in the VIP box during the match, was behind the indicent.

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic welcomed on Monday Albania's decision to postpone the visit, but added his country has the "political will" to overcome the issue. read more


CHINESE CORPORATION TO BUILD ROMANIAN NUCLEAR REACTORS

China Cheneral Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has been selected as the investor to develop two 740-MW units at the Cernavoda NPP, the Romanian state-owned energy utility Nuclearelectrica has said.

Nuclearelectrica and CGN signed in November 2013 a letter of intent about the projects, but the Chinese entity is now the winner of the tender to construct units 3 and 4, after also being the single bidder, Romania Insider reports.

A joint venture is to be set up where CGN will be the majority shareholder.

Previous estimates had suggested the project would carry a price tag of EUR 6.5 B, but the last feasibility study is now expected to be reviewed. Initially it was expected construction would cost about EUR 4 B.

Negotiation and signing of a memorandum of understanding about the joint implementation of the project are the next steps to be expected.

The two Canadian CANDU-type, 700-MW reactors operating now at the Cernavoda NPP in the country's south-east account for nearly a fifth of Romania's annual electricity needs. read more


RUSSIA

COOLING OF US-RUSSIA RELATIONS TO LAST LONG TIME - RUSSIAN FM

A long period of severing ties between Washington and Moscow should be expected amid attempts to solve the Ukraine crisis, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned.

In an open lecture organized by the ruling party United Russia, Lavrov declared Russia would strive to expose the utopic nature of any attempts to reinstate a unipolar model in the world.

Relations of Russia with the US are turning soar partially due to the Ukraine crisis, which in his view needs united effort and not unilateral sanctions, but also because "the general reassessment of the Americans about their place in the world, the realization of what happened in the last decade, of the lack of alternative to the trend toward polycentrism [and] toward the strengthening of the new centers of political and economic power and political opinion will take time," ITAR-TASS quoted him as saying.

These processes are now "under way... within the G-20 group, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), within the BRICS," Lavrov believes, adding the world is undergoing "a change of eras."

"The end of history was proclaimed, but did not happen. It became evident that today's stage of international relations is characterized by competition, and not only in economics or finance, but competition between value orientations and development models," he argued.

Sergey Lavrov also reminded Russia was ready to initiate a debate on disarmament as the US has repeatedly proposed, including in areas such as missile defense and deploying weapons in space.

In his words, the level of interaction with Washington "depends on the progress in seeking solutions to a number of international issues."

"Americans cannot understand it is in their interest to have Russia as an ally," he underlined.

read more


RUSSIA TO BAN IMPORT OF ANIMAL FAT, MEAT BYPRODUCTS FROM EU

Russia will impose a temporary ban on imports of animal fat and meat byproduct from the European Union.

According to a media statement of Russia’s veterinary service Rosselkhoznadzor, the ban takes effect on October 21. read more



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