» 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.

* 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..

Find us on:   
Download for:   
Sofia: min. 18°C, max. 31°C
Plovdiv: min. 20°C, max. 33°C
Varna: min. 17°C, max. 28°C
26 July 2016, Issue 4602
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
8707 subscribers of Novinite.com
158178 articles
590 interviews
10513 pictures
Juncker Says Turkey 'In No Position' to be EU Member

All negotiations for Turkey to join the EU will stop immediately if Turkey reintroduces the death penalty, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said.read
Bulgaria's Last King 'among Presidential Nominees' of Socialist Party

Bulgaria's last King and former Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is among those who received nominations to become presidential candidates of the socialist opposition, news website Dnevnik.read
Flowers for Hillary Clinton Turn into Nighmare for Maxim Behar

The article first appeared on Standart newspaper. PR Expert Maxim Behar gained a global recognition last month, after being included in this year's edition of the Global Power Book of the authoritative British weekly PR Week.read
Flowers for Hillary Clinton Turn into Nighmare for Maxim Behar

» More

Bulgaria Accuses Russia of Airspace 'Provocations'

Ansbach Attacker 'Had Islamist Videos, Addressed IS'

Suicide Blast Outside Music Festival in Germany Leaves 12 Injured

Motorway Crash Injures 21 Migrants in Bulgaria

NY Times: By Bulgaria's Beautiful Black Sea

Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson to Open Plovdiv Salon of Arts in September

NY Times: By Bulgaria's Beautiful Black Sea

Direct Investment into Bulgaria on the Rise Y/Y

A Third of Bulgarians Facing Energy Poverty

"We fully realize that the ones who head Islamic State are not quite religious people at all. These are people fighting for power, for territories."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov commenting on the Islamic State (IS) group and other issues.

Do you expect a surge in migration pressure on Bulgaria’s southern borders in the wake of the foiled coup attempt in Turkey?
 There will only be a mild increase.
|  Results
 Other: share in the forum
Print all stories
Recommend to a friend
News Archives

Editorial Staff
Contact us
Advertise here

SOFIA MORNING NEWS is proudly distributed in the following hotels:

The 27-year-old Syrian national who blew himself up in Ansbach, Bavaria had been granted humanitarian status by Bulgaria, authorities in Sofia say.

After being registered in September 2013, he filed a request for protection. read more



Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev said on Sunday an increased number of violations of the country's airspace by Russian military aircraft had been observed over the past weeks.

"Our fighter jets are ready to intercept them," he told private national NOVA TV broadcaster.

At least ten cases of violation have been recorded over the past ten months, according to Nenchev.

The development constitutes "provocation toward Bulgaria and its Air Force," in his words.

The aircraft had turned off their transponders that allow for them to be more easily located.

The frequent need scramble jets, however, brings additional expenses to the ministry, he made clear.

There has been no official comment from the Foreign Ministry in Moscow as of Monday afternoon.

Bulgaria last year repeatedly denied Russian aircraft, supposedly carrying humanitarian aid for Syria, to fly over its territory, in a move that drew anger from Moscow. read more



The Syrian man who blew himself up in Germany wounding 12 people was supposed to be sent back to Bulgaria after his protection request had been rejected, German officials say.

Why the development did not take place was not immediately clear, according to a spokesperson of Germany's Federal Interior Ministry.

Deportation of asylum seekers whose requests are turned down lies with the German "states" and not federal authorities.

“Syrians cannot at the moment be deported to Syria at the moment, but that doesn’t mean that Syrians overall cannot be deported,” The Guardian quotes ministry spokesperson Tobias Plate as telling a regular government news conference.

Earlier, German- and English-language media had reported that the 27-year-old Syrian national had made two suicide attempts after being denied protection. read more


Bulgaria's last King and former Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is among those who received nominations to become presidential candidates of the socialist opposition, news website Dnevnik.bg reports.

It also quotes Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)'s head Korneliya Ninova as ruling out the prospect of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha being endorsed.

The BSP is the heir to the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP), which ruled Bulgaria for most of the Cold War. Saxe-Coburg-Gotha was in exile at the time, only returning to Bulgaria when the country was ten years into democracy.

It is not yet clear how many nominations he garnered within the party, with members of regional and municipal BSP structures having voted at conferences that are due to end Tuesday.

Ninova for her part is among those who gathered the biggest number of votes in the open nomination process, BSP lawmaker and former Energy Minister Dragomir Stoynev has told the Bulgarian National Radio.

Two other "most popular" ones among socialist party members are national Ombudsman Maya Manolova, MEP Iliana Iotova, former Regional Development Minister Kostadin Paskalev, and legendary actor Stefan Danailov.

Ninova has repeatedly ruled herself out. However, earlier in July she publicly challenged Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, saying she would launch her own bid if he decided to announce his within 48 hours.

Other nominations that have been mentioned by BSP lawmakers include Gen Miho Mihov, from left-wing ABV (a former Chief of Defense) and Bulgarian Air Force Commander Gen Rumen Radev.  

Stoynev has told BNR that it is likely for socialists to announce the name of a presidential candidate in mid-August, amid Ninova's promises it could happen by the time of the annual party meeting at Buzludzha.

The BSP is also in talks with ABV, the party of Georgi Parvanov who is a former socialist leader and was President of Bulgaria between 2002 and 2012, and a smaller left-wing party called Movement 21 that also splintered off the BSP.

Ninova has said meetings with both parties are due later this week, once the process of nominating potential candidates is over.
No major political party has announced a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections as of July 25 noontime, even though the vote itself will not be held later than end-October or early November. read more



Jethro Tull co-founder Ian Anderson is coming to Plovdiv on September 03, 2016.

His concert will mark the opening of this year's Salon of the Arts in Bulgaria's second-largest city.

The Best of Jethro Tull by Ian Anderson will be a show highlighting the best pieces done by the British rock band that was founded way back in 1967 and kept being somewhat active by 2014, when Anderson announced it was coming to an "end".

In June 2004, they arrived in Bulgaria to perform at the National Palace of Culture.

This year, it will be Plovdiv's Roman Theater.

The setlist will include Living in the Past, Cross-Eyed Mary, Locomotive Breath, Aqualung, Thick As A Brick (Part 1) and others.

Tickets are at BGN 65 M (standard) and BGN 85 (Golden Circle) and are sold via Eventim.

Entry will be free of charge for children aged under seven.

Described by Rolling Stone magazine as "one of the most commercially successful and eccentric progressive rock bands", Jethro Tull rose to fame in the late 60s with the distinctive sound of Anderson's flute, with the latter claiming he had only been playing the instrument for a few weeks when he started to use it on stage. read more



A cargo vehicle tumbled over over the weekend, leaving twenty-one migrants injured on Trakia motorway, police say.

Six of them were hospitalized with multiple traumas.

The vehicle, en route to Sofia, hit the containment parapet between the two lanes on Saturday afternoon.

It had Sofia license plates, according to police officials quoted by Focus News Agency.

The migrants, who claimed to be from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq (but had no identity documents), were found in the bodywork.

The driver, however, was missing from the scene. read more



Click here to read the story:



Police found Islamist videos on the mobile devices and a laptop used by 27-year-old Syrian who blew himself up in Ansbach, Bavaria, officials say.

"Salafist" content was discovered on the devices, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann is quoted by Germany daily Frakfurter Allegemeine Zeitung as saying.

According to Herrmann, a message was found in one of the videos found on a phone that was addressed directly to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the head of the Islamic State (IS) group, and pledged alliance to him. Therein the Syrian explained he was acting in the name of God.

Earlier, it was reported that the perpetrator had applied for protection in Germany but his request was turned down and he was to be deported to Bulgaria.

Police in Bavaria had so far downplayed suggestions of any Islamist link, arguing these represented only Herrmann's personal views. read more


All negotiations for Turkey to join the EU will stop immediately if Turkey reintroduces the death penalty, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said.

His comments come in the wake of a foiled military coup attempt which has resulted in the arrest of thousands of soldiers, police, judges, teachers, civil servants, and others in just over a week. Tens of thousands have been removed or dismissed.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reiterated several times that the option to reincorporate capital punishment into the country's legislation is alive as there has been support among the population. The country has been in a state of emergency since last week.

Juncker, however, has noted that a country that includes death penalty in its arsenal has no place in the EU.

"I believe that Turkey, in its current state, is not in a position to become a member any time soon and not even over a longer period," Reuters quotes Juncker as saying on French TV station France 2.

Erdogan, however, told Al Jazeera last week that his country had been kept "waiting for 53 years" on the door of the European Union and asked rhetorically if all countries that are already in the bloc were more eligible, claiming Turkey was "more advanced" in a range of areas, from human rights to economic opportunities.

While Turkey was officially recognized as a candidate to join the EU in 1999, an association agreement was signed back in 1963.

The issue of accepting Turkey into the bloc has been polarizing for years, with some EU politicians pointing to political, religious or security grounds to reject the idea.

Turkish TV stations in the meantime are reported as saying that arrest warrants have been issued for 42 journalists in the country over alleged links to the network of US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom Turkey accuses of being behind the thwarted coup. read more


A man has blown himself up the town of Ansbach, southern Germany, injuring 12 people, German media report.

Of these, three have been seriously wounded. read more



The article first appeared on Standart newspaper.

PR Expert Maxim Behar gained a global recognition last month, after being included in this year's edition of the Global Power Book of the authoritative British weekly PR Week. The book is a ranking of the world's best PR experts in 2016. This is the latest recognition for Behar, who is also President of the global PR association ICCO. He is the only representative of Central and Eastern Europe within the ranking.

"When I was starting my business 22 years ago, I had many dreams, many of them came true. But I never thought I would move so swiftly and successfully in a highly competitive international environment," Behar has told Standart, a newspaper he co-founded back in the early 1990s.

"My name among the hundred most influential PR experts from around the world mostly obliges me to be even better and even more professional, more organized and most of all - an even better manager. The value added remains for Bulgaria. Whether or not my name will be heard certain circles, whether it will be that of Ralitsa Vassileva or Veni Markovski, whether that of Stoichkov, Berbatov, or Grigor Dimitrov, whether it will be Matey Kaziyski or Radostin Stoychev, whether Irina Bokova or Kristalina Georgieva... each one leaves in their own business and their own audience part of what we call "branding of Bulgaria. This is a process that will go on for decades and the most joyous thing is that there are an increasing number of participants in it."

While Behar has told Standart that journalism is still close to his heart, he admits the profession nowadays has dimensions other than the ones he knew earlier and requires totally different professional qualities.

"I put an emphasis on the word "professional. Personal qualities like honesty, integrity, moral and everything in this group will always be absolutely important. Not only for journalism of course, but for journalism in particular, because through this profession authoritative "pens" often have an impact on millions, and now, through social media - potentially billions as well. In this sense, the two professions -journalism and PR business - are very similar and quite equally responsible. In PR companies things are created that journalists often multiply through their media, we create important content and often bear equal responsibility with that of colleagues in the media. To me, the change of profession happened somewhat imperceptibly, gradually and logically. After the legendary and quite romantic years at Standart newspaper I decided to try doing a business that would help then scarce investors in Bulgaria to understand better our country, and also our media. I worked around the clock, I would read hundreds of pages every day and it is until now that I have been doing that. This business just captivated me an awful lot. There are the typical categories in business in it - profit, investment, hiring people, day-to-day management, making easy or tough decisions. But in the PR business there is also what keeps me vigilant even nowadays and pushes me to become better and better - creativity and an innovative approach to every single project and to every single client. By the hour, by the minute."

The PR business, however, is also packed with critical situations. And if up until ten years ago there would be at least eight hours to take decisions, since there would be a lot of time for the next day's newspaper to be out, today even 8 minutes are too much. "In the very second a publication is on the social media we have to reach by the speed of lightning. This is why there are two important factors which today, in 2016, are irrevocable for good crisis management - perfect preparation and constant, minute-by-minute following of social media. Without these, there is no professionalism."

For all the years of its existence M3 Communications Group, Inc. did nearly 5800 projects, his eyes having gone through each one of them. He is proud of not having had even a single failure. There are situations one could never forget, though.

"When years ago we organized the first ever visit of the first lady of the US to Bulgaria - Hillary Clinton, we worked more than a month with a young man named Bane, producer (that was what his position was called) of the visit on behalf of the White House as well as one full team of security experts. It was them, even as we were doing the first program for the opening of a women's conference with the participation of Hillary, who categorically banned flowers from the floor, as something might be hidden there. However sometime around midnight before the opening of the conference, which was supposed to be at the National Theatre, Bain showed up and turned to me astounded: "Max, where are the flowers? I cannot allow my first lady to go on stage without flowers ..." My long explanations about instructions from the Secret service, weren't helpful at all: Bane wanted his flowers later not later than 5 AM."

"I walked around several 24/7 flower shops, but none had in stock such a large quantity of flowers. I woke the then boss of marketing of "Sheraton" Iskra Ekimova imploring her to help, but she explicitly refused to deliver flowers from the hotel, Hillary already resided there after all... I thought of Kempinski Hotel [now Marinela]. Virginia Dencheva, who was Director for Bulgaria at the time, surprisingly picked up the mobile phone at 2 AM and muttered, half-asleep: "I'm doing it only for you, get them, but by noontime they should be back, otherwise the boss will kill me if he understands..." We called several taxis, loaded the flowers, Hillary opened the conference and then immediately returned the flowers to Kempinski. Since it had been exhausting, and I had not slept the previous night, I sat down to drink a coffee in the lobby. Passing by me, the boss of the hotel, an Irishman, stopped, looked me in the eyes and said: "I watched the conference with Hillary directly on TV and found that use the same company for flowers. They are really good, aren't they..."

The onset of Standart newspaper is also filled with fond memories. "Even back in 1992 when we started with my good friend Valeri Zapryanov, we introduced Bulgaria's first ever computer system for approval of print materials. Each of the editors signed their material with a signature, I naturally chose "Max", as most of friends call me even nowadays. With great surprise, however, I noticed that many of the materials I signed were not being printed and one day I rushed angrily into the computer room, where the legendary designer, Svilen, whom for some reason everyone called Goyko, explained to me innocently, but with logic: "Well, Boss. You right "Max" on articles and I remove them [in Bulgarian, "мах" is the root of a verb meaning "to remove"]. You should put "tur" [the root of the word "put"/"place"] and I will put them into the newspaper from now on."

"It is stories that make up history. This is what I love the most: to make history. It is all that remains. Nothing else."

Asked about the secret of success, Behar says:

"I have an important formula that follows me all these years. Skills x Effort x Concentration. One should undoubtedly have skills, common knowledge, quick reactions, motivation, desire - all of these I add to skills. One should also place the maximum effort to make sure the skills will turn into professional ones and also to concentrate on the important things. That's all. However, one should take into consideration that the action in this formula is multiplication. If one of the three multipliers is zero, the final result is also zero. I always try to keep good indicators in every one of the multipliers and my biggest problem has always been with the third one - concentration. I do diverse things, both in Bulgaria and in many other countries, and sometimes it is not easy for one to set their priorities quickly. When I was beginning this business in Bulgaria, there was no-one to learn from, we were among the first ones in the market. A lot of work, a lot of projects, and often chance helped me to meet with people such as Terence Billing, Sally Costerton, Martin Sorrell, David Gallagher, Lars-Eric Grontham, Jack Martin, whose names I am sure mean nothing to you but they are great professionals, big names in contemporary PR, with some of them running companies worth billions at the moment. Only Terence Billing, my mentor, friend and first teacher is not alive now. But the big conference hall in my Sofia office bears his name, so fortunately we mention him many times a day." read more

All rights reserved (c) Novinite Ltd., 2001-2016.
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.