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SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR 2016-09-26
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26 September 2016, Issue 4654
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
7680 subscribers of Novinite.com
159024 articles
590 interviews
10524 pictures
 
BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
Bulgarian PM Borisov: I Offered That All EU Borders Be Closed


“The closing down of the Balkan route does not merely mean the closing down of the Bulgarian-Turkish border.read
EU to Invest Billions into Countries Affected by Migrant Crisis


EU Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva has said the union will provide assistance to the countries that were most affected by the inflow of migrants.read
EU Council Head Calls for Stricter External Border Control


European Council President Donald Tusk has said Europe needs to work out ways to achieve a more effective control on its external borders.read
 
 
MORE TOP NEWS
Bulgaria's PM to Call for Migrant Centers out of EU at Vienna Meeting

Bulgaria Should Prioritize Gas Links with Greece, Romania - EU Official

Bulgarian Energy Commission Chairman Dobrev: No Problems Expected Concerning EC Approval of NEC Loan

Banker Levon Hampartzoumian: Bulgaria's Economy Is in Good Shape at Macro Level

Macedonia's PM 'Promised to React' on Bulgarian Monument Desecration

Desecrated Bulgarian Memorial Plaque 'Was Illegal', Skopje Says

EIB OKs EUR 7.3 B for Investment in Europe




UPS & DOWNS
Direct Investment into Bulgaria on the Rise Y/Y

A Third of Bulgarians Facing Energy Poverty
POLL
Should Bulgaria continue to support Irina Bokova for UN Secretary General after September 26?
 Bulgaria should support Bokova until the race ends, regardless of her result
 Bulgaria should withdraw its support for Bokova if she doesn't show good enough ranking on Septembner 26
 Bulgaria should stop backing Bokova immediately
 Doesn't matter, Bulgaria stands no chance of producing the next Secretary General
|  Results
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TOP NEWS

BUSINESS

BANKER LEVON HAMPARTZOUMIAN: BULGARIA'S ECONOMY IS IN GOOD SHAPE AT MACRO LEVEL

People have confidence in the Bulgarian lev, the financial system and the banks. The growth of deposits and credits is proof of that, stated Levon Hampartzoumian on Nova TV.

According to the banker, the growth in credits is smaller and unevenly distributed among cities since enterprising people are to be found mostly in bigger cities. read more


FINANCE

BULGARIANS ABROAD SENT BGN 1 B BACK HOME IN 2016

Bulgarians abroad have sent over BGN 1 B to their relatives in the country since the beginning of 2016, reported bTV, citing BNB data.

The largest amount of nearly BGN 200 M was sent by Bulgarians in the USA, followed by Spain and Greece with BGN 174 M and BGN 68 M, accordingly. read more


ENERGY

BULGARIAN ENERGY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN DOBREV: NO PROBLEMS EXPECTED CONCERNING EC APPROVAL OF NEC LOAN

The Chairman of the Energy Commission in Parliament Delyan Dobrev does not expect any problems to arise concerning the necessary approval of the European Commission for the granting of state aid to the National Electric Company (NEC)

Bulgaria is preparing to grant an interest-free loan to NEC. NEC will use it to pay Atomstroyexport for the equipment ordered for the Belene plant. read more


BULGARIA SHOULD PRIORITIZE GAS LINKS WITH GREECE, ROMANIA - EU OFFICIAL

Bulgaria should work to complete the interconnectors linking its gas transportation networks with Greece and Romania, the EU Commission spokesperson for Specific Energy Union Projects has said.

Jakub Adamowicz's comments for the Bulgarian National Radio follow assurances on behalf of Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova that the link with Romania will be up and running later this year.

Sofia and Athens are separately working together to conduct market tests for the forthcoming Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) that authorities hope to kickstart construction within months.

The EU hopes to see the gas systems of the three countries linked to enable priority gas projects such as Slovakia-backed Eastring.

Adamowicz has thus dashed Sofia's hopes that its Balkan Gas Hub project would get support from Brussels in the short term, saying Bulgaria has to go through the list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI) of the EU.

"Interconnectors have to be operational and to conduct reverse flow. This is very important from the perspective of flexibility, as it, to a large extent, provides guarantees of supply."

"It is only after that that we believe projects which were not included in the strategic list can begin to be built," he has added. read more


POLITICS

BULGARIAN PM BORISOV: I OFFERED THAT ALL EU BORDERS BE CLOSED

“The closing down of the Balkan route does not merely mean the closing down of the Bulgarian-Turkish border. The external borders of the EU must be dear to everyone as much as their own national frontiers.

I offered them to close all borders in the EU – from the UK to Bulgaria, from Italy to Finland and let in migrants through official border checkpoints only. As stipulated in the law. To fence off all of Europe and help all persons who are in dire straits, those who are not economic migrants but are running from the wars. read more


GERMANY'S CDU, CSU CLOSE TO INTRODUCING LIMIT ON REFUGEE ADMISSION

The ruling German parties – the German Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union - are close to taking a decision on introducing a limit on refugee admission, reported TASS.

CDU, whose leader is Angela Merkel, is ready to discuss a concrete number which would “correspond to the interests of the country”. read more


BULGARIA IN EU

BULGARIA PM URGES COMMITMENT TO EU-TURKEY MIGRANT DEAL, HOTSPOTS OUTSIDE EUROPE

The migrant deal with Turkey is “by far the lesser of two evils”, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister has said, giving indications he has called on European leaders to give Turkey a visa-free regime.

Borisov has commented on migration issues after a summit bringing 10 European leaders together in Vienna to discuss possible measures in the light of a continuing inflow of migrants. read more


BULGARIA WAITING FOR CANADIAN VISA WAIVER TIMETABLE SOON

Bulgarian MEP Andrey Kovatchev has reiterated that Sofia and Bucharest will refuse to sign a the free-trade deal between EU and Canada unless an indication is given about the removal of Canadian visa requirements for the two respective countries.  

Canada is to send the signal soon, Kovatchev has told the Bulgarian National Radio.

"We have direct negotiations with Canada, of course with support from European institutions," he has said.

Earlier this year, Canada said it could not remove visa requirements for Bulgaria and Canada - the only two member states for which the restriction is still being enforced, prompting Bulgaria and Romania to threaten they would block the deal with the EU.
 
This week, however, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said he had agreed with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that a roadmap for visa liberalization would have to be prepared in Sofia to pave the way for the step. read more


DOMESTIC

BULGARIAN MUNICIPALITIES WITH BAD DEMOGRAPHIC INDICATORS TO INTEGRATE REFUGEES PERMANENTLY

Bulgarian municipalities with bad demographic indicators may integrate refugees permanently. However, it is not clear yet which three pilot municipalities will work on the project of integrating the refugees permanently.

This became clear after the announcement of the Executive Director of the National Association of Municipalities Ginka Chavdarova on BNR. Recently, at a forum on refugees, it was announced that there are 3 municipalities which will work on such a project. read more


SPECIAL TRAFFIC ORGANISATION AFTER END OF FOUR-DAY HOLIDAY

The Ministry of Interior and the Road Infrastructure Agency will attempt to secure the normal return of the persons who travelled during the four-day holiday.

For this reason, a special organisation of traffic has been implemented in the areas where renovation works are taking place, cargo vehicles have been banned and, besides traffic policemen, there will be mobilised officials of the Security Police. read more


PUBLIC BICYCLES SYSTEM TO BE LAUNCHED IN SOFIA

The commission for the selection of a concessionaire for the construction and management of public bicycles in Sofia has opened the documents of four participants: Metropolis Group AD offering annual concession payment of EUR 63,920.87 for a 9-year concession, SOBike DZZD with annual concession payment of EUR 80,000 for a 10-year concession, Velo Archer Sofia DZZD offering EUR 111,111.11 for a 10-year concession and Citizen Association Sofia Bike offering EUR 700,000 for an 8-year concession.

The concessionaire selected must construct 33 stations with 12-14 bicycles, a total of 400 bicycles for initial implementation in the broad city centre and a subsequent expansion in other parts of the city, reported Sofia municipality. read more


BULGARIA, US SIGN AGREEMENT ON DNA PROFILES, FINGERPRINTS EXCHANGE

Bulgaria and the United States have signed an agreement that will allow the exchange of dactyloscopic (fingerprints) data and DNA profiles in an effort to boost cooperation in fighting crime, the Bulgarian Interior Ministry has said.

Under the document, an equal and reciprocal exchange of information needed for the prevention and investigation of serious crime cases will be secured between law enforcement institutions of the two countries. read more


HEMUS HIGHWAY BLOCKED

There is an enormous queue of vehicles on the Hemus highway, from Yablanitsa in the direction of Sofia.

Traffic is very heavy at the Vitinya and Topli dol tunnels. read more


BULGARIAN MALE ARRESTED IN GREECE FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING

A 21-year old Bulgarian man has been arrested in Northern Greece on charges of human trafficking, reported Ekathimerini online edition.

Twenty seven illegal migrants were discovered in the truck driven by the Bulgarian. All of them are Syrian. read more


ABV DEPUTY CHAIRMAN RUMEN PETKOV: INTERIOR MINISTRY CANNOT ANSWER SIMPLE QUESTIONS

The Interior Ministry cannot answer a simple question – how many foreigners reside in Bulgaria and what the source of their income is in order to do so, stated the Deputy Chairman of ABV Rumen Petkov at a press conference on the problems of security in Bulgaria and anti-terrorism.

“How many foreigners are there who live in hotels, apartments, how much do they pay and where does the money come from,” asked Petkov. read more


SOCIALIST PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RADEV: WE NEED DECISIVE CHANGE IN REFUGEE POLICY

 

“A decisive change is needed and it must happen at these elections. We are the alternative to the government. There is no other alternative,” stated the presidential candidate nominated by an initiative committee and supported by BSP General Rumen Radev. read more


OBITUARIES

BULGARIAN UNION OF BANAT LEADER NIKOLAI MIRKOVIC PASSES AWAY

“It is with profound sorrow that I announce that the leader of the Bulgarian Union of Banat and the most prominent figure in contemporary Bulgarian life in Romania General Nikolai Mirkovic passed away on Saturday night,” said Professor Plamen Pavlov from the Veliko Tarnovo University.

General Mircovic served two mandates as deputy in the Romanian Parliament. He was also Secretary of the Lower Chamber of Deputies, added Pavlov. read more


SPORTS

BULGARIAN WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL TEAM QUALIFIES FOR EUROVOLLEY

The national women's volleyball team of Bulgaria will be able to participate in the European volleyball championship next year after beating Switzerland on Friday.

It took the Bulgarians five games to defeat their opponent 3:2 (20:25, 25:17, 23:25, 25:15, 15:12), with local sports websites suggesting they had underestimated the Swiss team. read more


EU

EU COUNCIL HEAD CALLS FOR STRICTER EXTERNAL BORDER CONTROL

European Council President Donald Tusk has said Europe needs to work out ways to achieve a more effective control on its external borders.

"We have to guarantee in practice and politically that the Western Balkans route for illegal migrants is closed forever," Austrian daily Die Presse quotes Tusk as saying.

Tusk's remarks have opened a meeting of Balkan countries with Germany, Austria and Hungary, initiated by the government in Vienna.

Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern has said that the current pace of discussions among Central and Southeast European countries, which have different approaches to the issue, is not satisfactory.

He has added the problem can be dealt in the best possible way if ways to enforce border controls and provide assistance back in protection seekers' countries of origin.

EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos has warned for his part that the EU needs to find solutions for the much discussed resettlement of migrants from Greece to take part, with only 4140 of the 66 000 having been relocated. The latter figure refers to the number Brussels took on the commitment to relocated from Grece after the influx into the country peaked last summer.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is also attending the conference.

read more


EIB OKS EUR 7.3 B FOR INVESTMENT IN EUROPE

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has said it has approved EUR 7.3 B in loans for investment across Europe and around the world.

At a meeting in Malta's capital Valetta, its Board of Directors gave the green light for the funding to be allocated to strategic infrastructure, the environmental and knowledge economy as well as private sector schemes.

Of these loans, eighteen, to the tune of EUR 2.8 B will be backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI). The financing will be for 47 new projects.

Some EUR 2.2 B will be allocated for the upgrade of railroad infrastructure in Lithuania and Poland, new passenger trains for use in the UK, Belgium, Germany and Ukraine and new schools across Ireland.

Some EUR 40 M will be earmarked for new support or social housing and private investment in Malta itself.

The EFSI, part of the EIB group, is one of the three pillars of the EU investment plant - known as the "Juncker plan" - that is aimed at unlocking EUR 315 B in new investment across Europe.

read more


EU TO INVEST BILLIONS INTO COUNTRIES AFFECTED BY MIGRANT CRISIS

EU Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva has said the union will provide assistance to the countries that were most affected by the inflow of migrants.

Georgieva, who is responsible for the EU's budget and human resources, has made her comments after jointly presenting the EU investment plan for confict-stricken countries with Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief.

She has not elaborated which countries will receive the assistance in question.

The plan is to allocate EUR 3.5 B that will be used to attract private investment into these countries.

The crisis in Syria in particular has left its mark on neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, but also Southern European countries such as Italy and Balkan states.

read more


BULGARIA'S PM TO CALL FOR MIGRANT CENTERS OUT OF EU AT VIENNA MEETING

Curbing the flow of migrants into Europe will be the focus of a meeting held by the leaders of ten countries on Saturday.

The Prime Ministers of Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia, and Slovenia are expected to be joined by European Council President Donald Tusk and EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos. Romania's Interior Minister Petre Tobă will also be attending.

In an interview aired late on Friday by Austrian public broadcaster ORF, Borisov has said he will push for the establishment of reception and accommodation centers for migrants located out of the EU.

"To flood states with Greece, Italy and Bulgaria with refugees while Hungary and Austria erect fences at their borders is neither European nor democratic," he has said.

The meeting is being called at the initiative of Austria's Chancellor Christian Kern.

Enforced external border protection will also be discussed, ahead of the widely expected European Border and Coast Guard that will be launched from Bulgaria on October 06, with Avramopoulos set to attend. read more


HUNGARIAN PM ORBAN: EU MUST BUILD GIANT CITY FOR REFUGEES IN LIBYA

“The EU must build a giant city for refugees on the Libyan coast in order to control the process of granting asylum to people from Africa before they reach Europe,” stated Hungarian PM Viktor Orban at a meeting of 10 heads of state in Vienna on Saturday.

Orban, who closed the southern border of Hungary with barbed wire, announced that the EU must take “total control” over its external borders. He suggested that the Libyan government manage the camp. read more


SOUTHEAST EUROPE

DESECRATED BULGARIAN MEMORIAL PLAQUE 'WAS ILLEGAL', SKOPJE SAYS

Macedonia's Foreign Ministry has declared "illegal" a Bulgarian memorial plaque placed on Kaimakchalan peak, at the Macedonian-Greek border, which a journalist from Skopje claims to have demolished.

In a statement [MK], the institution notes that it expects of Bulgaria to respect internationally recognized procedures used to place memorials on foreign territory. read more


MACEDONIA'S PM 'PROMISED TO REACT' ON BULGARIAN MONUMENT DESECRATION

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said his Macedonian counterpart Emil Dimitriev assured him there would be a response from authorities to the desecration of a memorial plaque allegedly committed by a Macedonian journalist.

"I don't want to comment," he has told reporters after a summit in Vienna.

But he has warned that "since they smash Bulgarian monuments with hammers... they will have unpleasant encounters afterwards."

"They" is an apparent reference to Macedonian authorities, since Borisov goes on:

"And when they expect help, they will not receive it. We didn't wait for anyone to ask us, we sent foods, water [in response to the floods of August in Skopje and Tetovo], all citizens were content."

"On Wednesday the government also approved BGN 0.3 M [in financial assistance] for them. Is this what we deserve for our brotherly attitude? Does it contribute to our friendship? Does it contribute to Macedonia's integration in the EU?" read more


TURKEY RAISES CONCERNS OVER US ARMING OF SYRIAN KURDS

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he is concerned about Washington's decision to provide weapons to organizations posing a threat to Turkey.

In a Bloomberg interview, he has said the supply of arms to the People's Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria, is "a source of concern".

"A very serious mistake is being committed before the world's eyes," he has said.

He has fended off claims support for the PYD/YPG is needed as the they are fighting the Islamic State (IS) group, warning "Al-Nusra in the same way is fighting Daesh." (Al-Nusra is the old name of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, the considered an Al Qaeda affiliate, while Daesh is an acronym of IS).

Earlier this week, Ankara warned it would not take part in an operation to free Raqqa, the Syrian "stronghold" of IS, if Kurds are involved.

Ankara believes that PYD/YPG are affiliated to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) with which it called a short-lived ceasefire in 2013 after a decades-long insurgency. read more


NEW QUAKE HITS ROMANIA'S VRANCEA

A 3.1-magnitude earthquake has hit the area of Vrancea in Eastern Romania, the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Centre has said.

The new tremor comes after the powerful quake that shook the country's east and was felt in Northeastern Bulgaria, Moldova and parts of Ukraine.

There have been no immediate reports about damage caused by either quake.  

The epicenter of the second one was 18 km away from the village of Nereju and 139 km north of the capital, Bucharest.

read more


MOODY'S DOWNGRADES TURKEY TO 'JUNK RATING'

Turkey's long-term issuer and senior unsecured bond ratings have been cut by one notch to Ba1, the rating agency said in a press release on Friday.

The outlook is "stable", in view of the government's balance sheet which will allow for the "absorption of shocks and flexible responses" and of the "large and flexible economy which continues to register positive growth and the government’s strong fiscal track record.” read more


STRONG EARTHQUAKE HITS EASTERN ROMANIA

There have been no reports of injured people after a strong earthquake hit the area of Vrancea in Romania, a known seismic zone.

The epicenter was at a depth of 112 km beneath the surface, 153 km north of the capital Bucharest local media quote officials from Romania's geophysics institute as saying.

Romanian officials set the magnitude at 5.3, while the Euro-Mediterranean Seismological Center puts it at 5.6 on the Richter scale.

The quake that occurred around 02:11 local time (EEST) was also felt throughout Northeastern Bulgaria and parts Moldova and Ukraine, according to the EMSC. In Bulgaria's capital Sofia, which lies in the west and is further from the area, some residents also say they were waken up by the quake.

In the Danubian city of Ruse, which is kilometers away from the border with Romania, some residents took to the streets in panic, the public radio BNR reports.

A devastating quake in the area of Vrancea in 1977 produced significant camage and claimed lives in Northern Bulgaria, with nearly 120 victims in the town of Svishtov. As many as 1578 people died in Romania alone, most of them in Bucharest. read more


BULGARIAN HISTORICAL MUSEUM TO RESTORE KAIMAKCHALAN MONUMENT

 

The National Historical Museum (NHM) has decided to restore the Bulgarian military monument at Kaimakchalan, announced the Director of NHM Bozhidar Dimitrov. read more


UKRAINE

UKRAINE DEMANDS 'SPECIAL PARTNERSHIP' WITH NATO

Ukraine has filed a "special partnership" request with NATO, state news agency UNIAN has said.

The document was sent in an official letter from Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, before a Ukraine-NATO Commission meating in Brussels. read more



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