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SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR 2014-09-02
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2 September 2014, Issue 4017
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
9920 subscribers of Novinite.com
145730 articles
590 interviews
9399 pictures
 
BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
Bulgaria's Outlook 2020 Officially Approved


The working paper called Outlook 2020: Bulgaria and NATO in European Defense has been unanimously approved at Monday's Council of Ministers session, the ministerial press office says.read
Bulgaria's Georgieva to Be Appointed EU Budget Commissioner - Report


Kristalina Georgieva, outgoing EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, is likely to be appointed Budget Commissioner in the next EC panel, according to sources close to the matter. read
Grigor Dimitrov Defeats David Goffin, Reaches US Open 4th Round


Number seven seed, Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov held off a strong challenge from David Goffin to reach the fourth round of the US Open, Sunday. read
 
 
NOVINITE INSIDER
Georgi Parvanov: Bulgaria 'Cannot Be a Hawk' on Russia

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MORE TOP NEWS
Bulgaria's Public Debt Sees Significant Increase in July

Bulgaria’s Prison Officers Stage National Protest

Ukraine Soldiers, Rebels Clash at Luhansk Airport

Russia 'Not EU's Strategic Partner Anymore' - Mogherini

Sofia Prosecution Demands Detention for Nikolai Kobliakov

Power of Siberia Pipeline Construction Kicks Off

Phantom Voters in Bulgaria 'Surpass 1.2 M'

Temenuzhka Yankova Appointed Deputy Chief of Bulgaria's Revenue Agency

Turkey Summons US Charge d'Affaires over Spying Report

Ukraine, Belarus Make Up for Russians on Bulgaria's Property Market

VIEWS ON BG
Haqqani: Is It Worth for Azerbaijan to Take a Risk over Bulgaria?


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Sofia's Public Transport Company Gets New Busses

Sofia Zoo Closed
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TOP NEWS
TSVETAN VASILEV TO MAKE PROPOSAL ON KTB WITHIN DAYS – CENTRAL BANK

The Bulgarian National Bank (BNB) has received answers to the letters it had sent to Bromak JSC and the State General Reserve Fund of Oman, Corpbank's major shareholders.

Both Vasilev, Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank or KTB)'s majority shareholder, and the SGRF a have replied to a demand from the BNB that they table their proposals for a potential capital and liquidity support for KTB, currently under special supervision, in accordance with Bulgarian and EU legislation. read more


BUSINESS

BULGARIA'S AGRICULTURE MINISTRY RECEIVES APPLICATIONS FOR AID FOR RUSSIAN FOOD EMBARGO

Bulgaria's Agriculture Ministry has announced it is receiving applications for aid to compensate the damage caused by the Russian import ban.

The total budget of the aid scheme for all EU Member States amounts to EUR 125 M, and an additional EUR 30 M for peaches and nectarines. read more


BULGARIAN INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION OPPOSES MINIMUM WAGE HIKE PROPOSAL

The Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) has opposed the proposal to increase the minimum wage and the social security contributions.

BIA explains in a media statement that it firmly opposed the plans to cope with the chronic deficit in the systems of social security and health insurance through an administrative increase in the minimum insurance income. read more


FINANCE

BULGARIA'S PUBLIC DEBT SEES SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN JULY

Bulgaria's public debt at the end of July 2014 amounted to EUR 9.4242B, according to data revealed by the Ministry of Finance.

In just a month, Bulgarian government debt has increased by almost EUR 1.31B. The main reason for the growth is the issuance of eurobonds at the international capital markets, the Financial Ministry report showed. read more


PROTESTS TO BE STAGED IN SUPPORT OF KTB ACROSS BULGARIA

A number of Bulgarian towns and cities are to see demonstrations calling authorities to draft a plan which could help Corporate Commercial Bank (CorpBank or KTB).

Initiators of the rally have argued a plan should help depositors to use their accounts, which have been frozen since KTB was placed under conservatorship on June 20 following a bank run which prompted the financial company to request central bank BNB to take the step.

A similar event was held on Friday in the capital Sofia and also in the major cities of Plovdiv, Varna, and Burgas.

read more


BGN 2 BANKNOTE REPLACED WITH COIN IN 2015

The paper note of BGN 2 will be replaced with a coin in 2015, according to Bulgaria's National Bank sources cited by Standart News.

The new coin will be made of two metals just like the BGN 1, but unlike it the inner part will be yellow and the outer circle will be white. read more


ENERGY

LESS THAN 5% OF BULGARIA'S GAS NEEDS COVERED BY LOCAL PRODUCTION

Less than 5% of natural gas consumption in Bulgaria is provided through domestic production, according to data of state-owned gas company Bulgargaz for H1, 2014.

Bulgargaz informs that local supply amounted to only 64 million cubic meters in the first six months of the year, down by around 1/3 compares to the level in H1, 2013. read more


POWER OF SIBERIA PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION KICKS OFF

Russian President Vladimir Putin has attended a ceremony to mark the first weld of the Power of Siberia held Monday.

The pipeline will deliver gas to China from Russia's far east.

Putin was quoted by the website Lenta.ru as saying earlier that the project would have a positive impact on the gas supply of Siberia as well and would lead in time to a merger of the country's entire grid into a single network.

In his words, this could also enable Moscow to redirect the flow of gas in accordance to the international environment.

The first amounts of gas are to be pumped into the pipeline in 2019.

China announced it was planning to start its own segment in the first half of 2015 and was hoping it could even become operational earlier than what Russian estimates have pointed, or by 2018.

The Power of Siberia pipeline, a project that had been stalled for ten years, was given a new lease of life at the Russia-China summit in Beijing on May 20 and 21, when a deal on supplies of 38 billion cubic meters of gas to China every year over the next three decades was sealed by the two heads of state, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jingping, respectively.

The historic contract is estimated at USD 400 B. read more


PROPERTIES

UKRAINE, BELARUS MAKE UP FOR RUSSIANS ON BULGARIA'S PROPERTY MARKET

Bulgaria is still at the forefront of preferred destinations for Russian-speaking real estate buyers, an investment company says.

Data from Green Life, an entity building and selling holiday properties in the country, shows the market has not yet been affected by the turmoil in Ukraine's east or by the tensions over the breakaway of Crimea.

A drop in inquiries made by Russians goes has been observed, but alongside this trend the number of Ukrainian citizens purchasing dwellings here is 10% up, the website Money.bg reports.

Citizens of Belarus and Kazakhstan choosing to have properties in Bulgaria is also on the rise, Green Life estimates.

Its figures dismiss previous forecasts that the holiday property markets could be affected by the sanctions which EU leaders have imposed on Moscow.

Teofil Petrov, who works for the company, says even though inquiries dwindled twofold in June and July compared to the same period of 2013, it has managed to attract more customers from the ex-Soviet countries. read more


DEFENSE

BULGARIA'S OUTLOOK 2020 OFFICIALLY APPROVED

The working paper called Outlook 2020: Bulgaria and NATO in European Defense has been unanimously approved at Monday's Council of Ministers session, the ministerial press office says.

In a statement sent to the media, the office adds that the Outlook will be put forward for a public debate in the coming days.

Caretaker Defense Minister Velizar Shalamanov earlier explained a number of military experts and heads of various military agencies have worked hard to make amendments to the initial draft version of the document which sparked controversy by describing Russia as threatening Bulgaria's security and fighting an "information war".

The interim cabinet also decided at the Monday meeting that the paper would be made public on Wednesday, September 3, just a day before a NATO summit kicks off in Wales. read more


OVERHAULED VERSION OF BULGARIA'S OUTLOOK 2020 TO BE UNVEILED WEDNESDAY

The government's Security Council has discussed amendments in a controversial report of the Bulgarian Defense Ministry outlining the upcoming reforms in the sector.

The document, called Outlook 2020: Bulgaria and NATO in European Defense, had to be overhauled as it contained the notion of "an informational war" with Russia in which it said Bulgaria is involved.

Interim Prime Minister Georgi Bliznashki returned the document for amendments, insisting the text should not describe Russia's policies on Ukraine as a threat to Bulgaria's security.

Bliznashki urged that the report should display a more balanced and moderate stance.

Outlook 2020 was published on the Defense Ministry's website last week prior to the forthcoming NATO summit in Wales scheduled for October 4-5, but was removed within hours.

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has defended the document saying it reflects NATO's position in the Ukrainian-Russian standoff.

The new draft version is to be tabled at the next Council of Ministers meeting on Wednesday, prior to the summit. read more


OVERHAUL OF BULGARIA'S OUTLOOK 2020 NEEDED – GENERAL MIHO MIHOV

Bulgaria's Security Council does not have the authority to approve the Outlook 2020: Bulgaria and NATO in European Defense document, according to General Miho Mihov.

In an interview for Bulgaria's National Radio, Mihov, former Chief of General Staff of the Bulgarian Armed Forces, and current ABV Movement candidate MP, has expressed hope that the controversial report of the Bulgarian Defense Ministry will be amended and will not be approved at the government's Security Council meeting, Monday. read more


GERMANY OKS ARMS DELIVERIES TO KURDS IN FIGHT AGAINST IS

The German government has approved a move to send a weapons package to Iraq's Kurdish regional authorities fighting Sunni insurgents called Islamic State (IS).

Berlin gave the green light delivery of 16 000 combat weapons 40 machine guns, 240 anti-tank grenades, 500 anti-tank missiles and 10 000 hand grenades at a ministerial meeting late on Sunday, German weekly Der Spiegel wrote on its website.

The supplies should help 4000 of the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in their push against IS, which has made significant gains in Iraq and also in Syria over the past months.

Jeeps and five Dingo 1-type armored vehicles are also to be deployed to Iraqi Kurdistan.

The arms' value stands at EUR 70 M.

Germany is also to grant EUR 50 M of aid to address the humanitarian crisis raging across the region since the IS offensive reached Iraq's north.

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen has explained the step with the need to support local authorities' efforts in the critical situation, as the developments in Iraq could pose a threat to Germany's own national security.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has described the decision as a "tough one", since this is the first time Berlin is sending weapons to a region where battles are fought at the time.

German supplies are due by end-September. read more


BULGARIA IN EU

BULGARIA'S GEORGIEVA TO BE APPOINTED EU BUDGET COMMISSIONER - REPORT

Kristalina Georgieva, outgoing EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, is likely to be appointed Budget Commissioner in the next EC panel, according to sources close to the matter.

Citing Bulgarian sources speaking on condition of anonymity, news portal Euractiv suggests that Georgieva will be awarded the budget portfolio. read more


DOMESTIC

TEMENUZHKA YANKOVA APPOINTED DEPUTY CHIEF OF BULGARIA'S REVENUE AGENCY

Temenuzhka Yankova has been appointed Deputy Executive Director of Bulgaria's National Revenue Agency (NRA) through an order of caretaker Finance Minister Rumen Porozhanov.

She has been nominated by the NRA Executive Director Boyko Atanasov and she will be in charge of Tax and Social Security Methodology and Tax and Social Security Practice, according to a media statement of the Finance Ministry. read more


3 OUT OF 4 SENIOR EXECUTIVES OF BULGARIA'S AGRICULTURE FUND REPLACED OVERNIGHT

A total of three out of four senior executives of Bulgaria's State Fund Agriculture were replaced on Friday.

An official media statement of the Ministry of Agriculture only mentions the removal of its Executive Director, Atanas Dobrev, who was replaced by Lozana Vasileva. read more


THREAT TO DPS LEADER'S LIFE 'RECEIVED' DURING PREVIOUS PARLIAMENT

A threat to Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) leader Lyutvi Mestan emerged during the term of the former legislature, the National Service for Protection (NSO) said.

The National Service for Protection under the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, which has made the announcement for private national channel bTV, has refused to elaborate on the threat submitted from "public order and security services".

Mestan has been guarded by the NSO since the signal was received last year, and the service is to decide after the snap poll on October 5 whether he should remain under its protection. read more


EUROPEAN ELECTIONS 2014

PHANTOM VOTERS IN BULGARIA 'SURPASS 1.2 M'

About 1 200 000 "phantom voters" can be found in Bulgarian elections lists, Mihail Konstantinov, formerly a high-profile official in charge of elections, believes.

Konstantinov, who is a former Central Electoral Commission (CEC) Deputy Chairman and also headed Information Services (a state-owned company counting the ballots), told the Bulgarian National Television that phantom voters carried a high risk of abuses.

He also argued their presence within the lists undermine public trusts, and this "is something far more dangerous".

Konstantinov called for the introduction of an "active registration" method that in his view would properly address the issue.

"A person who is not in Bulgaria should not be in election lists here. Those who are in the country and want to vote, [should] state their wish and are included in the lists," he elaborated.

Stefan Manov, who is heading civic councils of Bulgarians abroad, exapleined the lists were based on population data including all Bulgarian citizens with a birth certificate and a Uniform Civil Number (EGN).

Manov said "dead souls" appeared there when a certain municipality did not have information of people who had passed away. read more


SOCIETY

BULGARIA’S PRISON OFFICERS STAGE NATIONAL PROTEST

Hundreds of prison workers from across Bulgaria have held a national protest in front the Justice Ministry in the capital Sofia.

In a peaceful demonstration, they have reiterated their calls for the old working conditions, which were recently changed, to be restored. read more


TRAINED TAXI DRIVERS TO HELP PARAMEDICS IN BULGARIA’S SOFIA

The first team of taxi drivers paramedics will cruise the streets of Bulgaria’s capital city of Sofia as of September 1, Monday.

So far, the program includes 15 fully equipped vehicles which can be used for the provision of medical assistance in case of car crashes and other accidents, Bulgarian National Radio informed. read more


INCIDENTS

BISON DIES IN SOFIA ZOO

A bison was found dead on Monday morning at the Sofia Zoo, authorities say.

This is the seventh similar incident in less than ten days, with a baby capricorn and a yak having died last week and a camel and three gaurs the previous one.

Prior to its death the bison had been ill, according to information quoted by private national channel bTV.

The latest version explaining the mysterious developments shows they might have been caused by pesticides in the animals' fodder. read more


SPORTS

GRIGOR DIMITROV DEFEATS DAVID GOFFIN, REACHES US OPEN 4TH ROUND

Number seven seed, Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov held off a strong challenge from David Goffin to reach the fourth round of the US Open, Sunday.

After losing the first set with 0-6, the 23-year-old Dimitrov managed to hit back immediately using an array of powerful groundstrokes to hit 11 winners and earn a crucial break that allowed him to serve out the set 6-3. read more


CRIME

SOFIA PROSECUTION DEMANDS DETENTION FOR NIKOLAI KOBLIAKOV

Sofia City Prosecutor's Office has submitted a formal request that Russian-French citizen Nikolai Kobliakov remain in detention.

Kobliakov, a businessman known to be a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was arrested at the Sofia Airport on July 31, but was freed three days later.

The Sofia City Court then ruled the charges against him did not constitute a criminal offense.

A month on, however, a demand for his extradition issued by Russian authorities has arrived in Bulgaria, according to the website Dnevnik.bg.

The court is due to sit later on Monday to decide whether Kobliakov is to be taken into custody. read more


TENS OF TURKISH POLICEMEN ARRESTED OVER 'PLOTTING' AGAINST GOV'T

A total of 33 police officers have been detained in Turkey on suspicions of 'plotting against the government', local media outlets say.

Police officials have not immediately commented.

Among the detainees were 14 high-ranking officers, according to Hurriyet Daily News.

Some of them were involved in last December's corruption probes targeting government officials, including four government ministers.

In July a number of Turkish policemen were arrested for allegedly having set up an organized criminal gang and having tapped phone number.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (who was Prime Minister back then) described their actions as part of activity conducted by Islamist cleric Fethullah Gullen against him and others in power. read more


BULGARIAN BORDER POLICE SEIZES HEROIN WORTH BGN 5.7M

Bulgarian police have intercepted an international drug trafficking ring, seizing a shipment of 46kg of heroin worth BGN 5.7M.

On August 24, Bulgarian border police stopped a Mercedes car with a Belgian registration plate. The vehicle, driven by a Turkish national living in Belgium, was stopped for an excise duty goods probe, according to reports of the Customs Agency. read more


VIEWS ON BG

HAQQANI: IS IT WORTH FOR AZERBAIJAN TO TAKE A RISK OVER BULGARIA?

Click here to read the story:
www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=163043


WORLD

UKRAINE SOLDIERS, REBELS CLASH AT LUHANSK AIRPORT

Kiev forces have pulled back from the airport of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine after having fought pro-Russian separatist for hours.

The country's security council confirmed the move in a statement quoted by UNIAN news agency.

Meanwhile reports emerged that a Ukrainian warship had been attacked by separatists in the Azov sea. Kiev says the cutter was assaulted from the coast.

If verified, this will be the first at-sea incident since the conflict erupted in April.

While the latest battle was raging, it was also announced a new Russia-Ukraine meeting is due to be held Monday with the brokerage of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and will be aimed at easing down tensions in Ukraine's east.

Unlike a number of previous meetings, rebel representatives are likely to attend. read more


RUSSIA 'NOT EU'S STRATEGIC PARTNER ANYMORE' - MOGHERINI

The next EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for having repeatedly failed to hold on to international commitments.

Mogherini, who was picked by EU leaders to become the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Sunday, also slammed Moscow for having refrained from the slightest effort to put pressure on pro-Russian rebels acting in Ukraine's east.

In an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera [It], the outgoing Italian Foreign Minister said partnership between Brussels and Moscow had been based on the prospects that Ukraine could choose a "European scenario" for its development and this could turn into a "positive step".

In her words, however "at the will of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin this partnership does not exist. At the moment Russia is not a strategic partner anymore, but continues to have a strategic importance to our continent," she explained.

Mogherini is due to head the European diplomatic service on November 1.

Prior to being elected, she repeatedly came under fire as some EU member states argued she is "too soft" on Russia. read more


TURKEY SUMMONS US CHARGE D'AFFAIRES OVER SPYING REPORT

Turkey's Foreign Ministry has summoned the US charge d'affaires over a media report that the United States had spied on Turkey intensively since 2006.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told journalists on September 1 that the Foreign Ministry had summoned the U.S. charge d'affaires, currently the senior American diplomat in Ankara, "to demand an explanation" on the case, according to reports of Today's Zaman. read more


FIVE KILLED IN PLANE CRASH IN US COLORADO

Five people were killed after a single-engine plane crashed on Sunday afternoon near an airfield north of Denver in US state of Colorado.

The Piper PA-46 aircraft went down near the Erie Municipal Airport, about 40 km northwest of Denver, Peter Knudson, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, said. read more


OPINIONS

GEORGI PARVANOV: BULGARIA 'CANNOT BE A HAWK' ON RUSSIA

Bulgarian cannot afford to be hawkish in its relations with Russia, President (2002-2011) Georgi Parvanov said on Monday.

Parvanov, who is currently the leader of the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (ABV), told the guests of a discussion organized by his party and dedicated to Bulgarian-Russian relations.

"We are arguing that the modern architecture of present-day Europe cannot be directed against Russia. We hope that this will be understood by the current European and world leaders, since the challenges posed to big powers and communities are to big [and we cannot] allow such confrontation," Cross News Agency quoted Parvanov as saying.

He lambasted President Rosen Plevneliev, who took over from him in 2012, over the positions that the current head of state has reiterated on the Russian-Ukrainian standoff.

Parvanov described some of them as "sounding defiant" without any provocation from the other side.

"I fear this line, which met justified criticism and which was voiced in the so-called defense strategy... could appear in the stance of the head of state at the forthcoming NATO summit."

The previous President's comments referred to the controversial working paper known as "Outlook 2020" which explicitly situated Bulgaria in an information war with Russia and called the latter a threat to the country's national security. The text has now been amended and is to be made public before the NATO summit in Wales on September 4 and 5.

Parvanov did not save his criticism for left-leaning ministers ("of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Energy") within the former socialist-led cabinet, whose behavior in office showed hostility toward Russia.

Bulgaria should stand up for its right to a "more specific" relation with Russia and ABV "is ready to initiate a conversation in this direction," Parvanov underlined.

He also described Defense Minister Velizar Shalamanov, who has recently come under fire over Outlook 2020, as "Minister of War", a role "[Shalamanov] assigned himself". read more



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