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29 July 2015, Issue 4296
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
9617 subscribers of Novinite.com
152741 articles
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BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
Bulgarian MPs Decide Only Question on E-Voting to Appear on Referendum


The referendum, which has been proposed by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, will feature only the question concerning the introduction of remote electronic voting. read
NATO Backs Turkey’s Fight Against ‘Terrorism’


NATO supported Turkey’s increased role in the fight against Islamic State (IS) on Tuesday. “The security of the Alliance is indivisible, and we stand in strong solidarity with Turkey,” NATO said in a statement following a 90-minute emergency meeting of ambassadors from the 28 member states of the Alliance convened at Turkey’s request. read
Bulgarian President Criticises Parliament for Ignoring Citizens' Will


Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said on Tuesday that the decision of the parliament to include only the question on electronic voting in the forthcoming referendum, did not take into full account the will of the nation to define the rules on the election of its representatives. read
 
 
NOVINITE INSIDER
Greek Embassy: Greece Has Done a Lot for Bulgaria

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MORE TOP NEWS
Bulgaria Expresses Solidarity with Turkey – FM

Close to 2.5 Million Bulgarians Live Below Poverty Line - Study

Bulgaria’s May Gross Foreign Debt Down 4% from 2014

Industry, Retail Lead Drop in Bulgaria’s Business Confidence Index

NATO Expresses Solidarity with Turkey over Terror Attacks

Energy Watchdog Chair – Further Postponement of New Power Prices Is Impossible

Gaddafi Son Saif al-Islam Sentenced to Death

Monument to Elias Canetti Unveiled in Bulgaria's Ruse

Thracian Polearm Among Archaeological Finds in Bulgaria's Perperikon

Greek Embassy: Greece Has Done a Lot for Bulgaria


UPS & DOWNS
Bulgaria Wins 'Most Impressive Borrower in CEE' Award

Russia Claims Bulgaria Is Seeking to Partition Macedonia
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TOP NEWS
BULGARIAN MPS DECIDE ONLY QUESTION ON E-VOTING TO APPEAR ON REFERENDUM

The referendum, which has been proposed by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, will feature only the question concerning the introduction of remote electronic voting.

This was decided by the Bulgarian Parliament on Tuesday with 131 MPs voting in favour, 41 voting against, while three abstained, daily Dnevnik reports. read more


BUSINESS

MAJORITY STAKE IN BULGARIAN SOFTWARE COMPANY FADATA BOUGHT BY BRITISH INSURANCE CO, US PE FIRM

Bulgarian software company Fadata, a leading vendor of software solutions for financial and insurance business, has new owners - UK-based insurance services group Charles Taylor, and The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm.

Riverside and Charles Taylor have acquired an 80% stake in Fadata, with the current management of the software company retaining a 20% stake, according to a media statement of Fadata. read more


INDUSTRY, RETAIL LEAD DROP IN BULGARIA’S BUSINESS CONFIDENCE INDEX

Bulgaria’s business confidence index fell by 1.8 percentage points in July compared to the prior month due to worsened expectations of managers in industry, retail trade and services sectors, official data showed on Tuesday.

The business confidence index in the industrial sector dropped by 2.9 points in July compared with June as managers said they expect the business climate to be more unfavourable during the next six months. read more


BULGARIAN REGIONAL MINISTER: SECTION OF STRUMA MOTORWAY TO BE LAUNCHED ON FRIDAY

Bulgarian Regional Minister Lilyana Pavlova said on Tuesday that the section of Struma motorway between the town of Sandanski and the border checkpoint Kulata will be most likely launched on Friday evening.

Pavlova noted that the construction of the section of the motorway was still ongoing and works were being carried out round the clock, she said in an interview for private bTV station. read more


FINANCE

BULGARIA’S MAY GROSS FOREIGN DEBT DOWN 4% FROM 2014

Bulgaria’s gross foreign debt decreased by 1.59 B, or 4% at the end of May compared to the end of 2014, reaching EUR 38.18 B, or 88.9% of the projected 2015 Gross Domestic Product, official data showed on Tuesday.

On a year-on-year basis gross foreign debt increased by EUR 975 M, or 2.6% compared with May 2014, according to preliminary data released by the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB). read more


ENERGY

ENERGY WATCHDOG CHAIR – FURTHER POSTPONEMENT OF NEW POWER PRICES IS IMPOSSIBLE

Ivan Ivanov, Chair of the Commission for Energy and Water Regulation (KEVR), has said that there is no option to further postpone the entry into force of new electricity prices.

Speaking after a Tuesday meeting of KEVR, he commented that the demands of trade unions and employers’ associations for a new postponement could not be met as the law did not allow for that step. read more


DIPLOMACY

BULGARIA EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH TURKEY – FM

Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov stated on Tuesday that Bulgaria expresses solidarity with Turkey.

His comments come after the request of Turkey for a special meeting of the North Atlantic Council to be convened under Article 4 of the Washington Treaty. read more


DOMESTIC

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT CRITICISES PARLIAMENT FOR IGNORING CITIZENS' WILL

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said on Tuesday that the decision of the parliament to include only the question on electronic voting in the forthcoming referendum, did not take into full account the will of the nation to define the rules on the election of its representatives.

Plevneliev reminded that more than half a million Bulgarians had supported in a petition the holding of a referendum on three questions of considerable importance not only for the election process, but also for the democratic development of the country. read more


BULGARIAN DEPUTY PM: ANTICORRUPTION, JUDICIAL REFORM ARE TWO SIDES OF SAME COIN

Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva said on Tuesday that the fight against corruption and the judicial reform represented the two sides of the same coin.

Kuneva stated this at a roundtable discussion organised by the Centre for the Study of Democracy, daily Sega reports. read more


REFORM OF VOTING RULES, JUDICIARY KEY TO SOLVING BULGARIA'S PROBLEMS – PRESIDENT

Nearly all of Bulgaria's problems have their origin in the judicial system and electoral law, President Rosen Plevneliev has said.

This is the first time he has compared changes to voting rules and the judicial reform, two issues which he supports avidly.

In an address to Parliament which he used to present his proposal for questions in an upcoming referendum on election rules, the head of state has called on lawmakers to approve the list of three questions which will be offered to citizens to have their say this autumn.

Plevneliev made his point during an extraordinary meeting of MPs just days before their summer recess.

The three issues he wants Bulgarians to be asked about are the introduction of a majority system, compulsory voting, and remote electronic voting.

“Weak economic growth, corruption... all are results of an ineffective judicial system and unsustainable electoral process,” he argued from the rostrum, adding both reforms required “the will and support of the people” in order to be realized.

This is the second time Plevneliev is seeking to organize the referendum after the same set of questions was rejected by Parliament last year. The poll was then proposed by an Initiative Committee thought to be affiliated to the President and it had to collect 0.5 million signatures in a petition to force Parliament into calling a referendum. A vast part of the signatures collected, however, were declared void.

If made by a head of state, such a request has to be considered by Parliament under Bulgaria's constitution.

MPs are due to decide later on Tuesday whether or not to support the questions. Their approval would pave the way for the President to set a final date for the referendum.

He warned the current voting rules failed to provide stability and led to “ceaseless accusations of manipulation and vote buying instead” and helped keep many Bulgarians “away from the country's political process.”

Defending compulsory voting, he explained that the more Bulgarians take part in elections, the more legitimate their vote will be and the more confidence institutions will instill.
 
On the option of remote voting, he opined that it is up to the state to give every Bulgarian citizen an opportunity to cast a ballot, even beyond the country's borders, and even in local elections and referendums (under the law, Bulgarians can vote in Bulgarian elections in polling stations set up by embassies abroad, but only to pick a Parliament and a head of state).

A vote on the referendum questions is one of the four items on the agenda as the deadline is looming to finally approve the questions and for President Plevneliev to set October 25 as a date for the national poll.

He maintains the referendum should be held on that date in order to coincide with local elections, a step which is expected to make it easier and cheaper to organize both votes. read more


BULGARIA’S PRESIDENT TO PRESENT REFERENDUM QUESTIONS IN PARLIAMENT

Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev will present his proposal for referendum questions on election legislation on Tuesday in Parliament.

Plevneliev will address MPs during an extraordinary parliamentary meeting, according to the President’s press office. read more


SOCIETY

CLOSE TO 2.5 MILLION BULGARIANS LIVE BELOW POVERTY LINE - STUDY

More than 2 460 000 Bulgarians or 34 % of the country's population live below the poverty line of BGN 295 per month.

This is revealed by the latest figures of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria (KNSB). read more


ENVIRONMENT

4-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE IN GREECE FELT IN BULGARIA

An earthquake measuring 4 on the Richter scale was registered Tuesday morning in Greece near the country’s border with Bulgaria, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

The earthquake struck at 7:03 a.m. on Tuesday. read more


CULTURE

MONUMENT TO ELIAS CANETTI UNVEILED IN BULGARIA'S RUSE

A statue depicting Nobel Prize winner Elias Canetti was unveiled over the weekend in the town of Ruse, northeastern Bulgaria.

German-language author Elias Canetti, born in Bulgaria on July 25, 1904, is a novelist, playwright, and non-fiction writer whose family moved to the UK (and later elsewhere) when he was aged seven.

He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1981, becoming the only laureate born in Bulgaria.

Canetti died in Zürich in 1994.

In 2005, the town of Ruse also started handing out biennially the Elias Canetti award to novelists and playwrights to mark the centenary since his birth.

The statue itself was carved by Georgi Chapkanov, a renowned Bulgarian sculptor, who also attended the unveiling ceremony. read more


SOFIA BREATHES FESTIVAL TO START THIS SUNDAY

For a sixth year in a row August will be marked by the Sofia Breathes urban culture festival.

In separate events due every Sunday of the month, the streets where the festival will take place will be closed to traffic to give way to pedestrians, art performances, and vendor stalls offering food, beverages, and handicraft items.

The venues picked for Sofia Breathes on the following five Sundays of August are:

August 02 - the Small Five Corners (just next to Slaveykov Square)

August 09 - Pirotska Str

August 16 - Angel Kanchev Str

August 23 - Tsar Ivan Shishman Str

August 30 - Oborishte Str

As of July 28, 2014, the website of Sofia Breathes offers no other information than the dates of the events. read more


ARCHAEOLOGY

THRACIAN POLEARM AMONG ARCHAEOLOGICAL FINDS IN BULGARIA'S PERPERIKON

Bulgarian archaeologists have unearthed a peculiar close combat bladed weapon used by the Thracians, Prof Nikolay Ovcharov has said.

The rhomphaias, which can measure up to 1.5 m, are relatively rare finds in Bulgaria where only 13 of them have been found so far.

There are as many as 700 artifacts discovered in this year's excavations, daily Standart quotes Prof Ovcharov as telling journalists on Monday.

With some fresh funding worth BGN 220 000 (EUR 110 000) granted by the government this year, works are expected to continue smoothly through to September, and Perperikon's Acropolis (believed to have been the tallest building there) and a palace-shrine could be completely uncovered by September, Ovcharov believes.

Along with other Bulgarian and international archaeologists, he has often described Perperikon as the country's most famous archaeological site at present.

Summer excavations at the site kicked off in June, and a number of new discoveries have been announced including a Roman temple and an ancient square in the center of the rock city. A number of coins, some dating back to the Byzantine era and others to the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, have also been unearthed. read more


INCIDENTS

WILDFIRE RAGES NEAR BULGARIA'S BOBOSHEVO

A wildfire has been raging near the village of Sopovo, located in the municipality of Boboshevo in western Bulgaria.

The fire initially originated in pastures, but later spread to beech and oak forests, daily Dnevnik reports. read more


CRIME

PROSECUTING AUTHORITY RESUBMITS INDICTMENT AGAINST EX-DEPUTY PARLIAMENT SPEAKER HRISTO BISEROV

The Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office has resubmitted an indictment against Hristo Biserov, former Deputy Parliament Speaker and former MP from liberal party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS).

The Sofia City Prosecutor’s Office submitted the indictment against Biserov on April 9 but on May 5 it was returned for revision. read more


WORLD

NATO BACKS TURKEY’S FIGHT AGAINST ‘TERRORISM’

NATO supported Turkey’s increased role in the fight against Islamic State (IS) on Tuesday.

“The security of the Alliance is indivisible, and we stand in strong solidarity with Turkey,” NATO said in a statement following a 90-minute emergency meeting of ambassadors from the 28 member states of the Alliance convened at Turkey’s request. read more


GADDAFI SON SAIF AL-ISLAM SENTENCED TO DEATH

Saif al-Islam, a son of Libya's slain leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, has been sentenced to death over war crimes a Libyan court believes he committed during the 2011 uprising.

Eight other senior members of Gaddafi's regime have also been sentenced including former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi.

Saif al-Islam's death sentence will be performed by a firing squad.

After Gaddafi was toppled in 2011, Saif al-Islam fled to Niger, but was extradited from there last year. read more


NATO EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH TURKEY OVER TERROR ATTACKS

NATO expressed solidarity with its member Turkey on Tuesday over recent terror attacks in the country as Alliance ambassadors gathered for a meeting to discuss the Turkish military campaign against the Islamic State group and Kurdish rebels.

"Terrorism can never be tolerated or justified; we stand in strong solidarity with our ally," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an opening statement. read more


PEACE PROCESS WITH KURDISH MILITANTS CAN’T CONTINUE - TURKISH PRESIDENT ERDOGAN  

Turkey can't continue a peace process with the Kurdish rebels who are attacking Turkish targets, the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday. 

It is impossible to continue “the peace process with those who target our national unity and brotherhood,” Erdogan told reporters on Tuesday before leaving on an official visit to China, according to hurriyetdailynews.com. read more


TURKEY-IRAN PIPELINE BLAST HALTS GAS SUPPLIES

An explosion late on Monday suspended gas transport along a pipeline between Turkey and Iran, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız has said.

The pipes were caught in flames due to the blast which was extinguished quickly, state-run Anadolu Agency quotes him as saying.

In Yıldız's words, transportation is set to continue as soon as repair works are finished.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the incident.

The development which took place in the Ağrı province, whose population is predominantly Kurdish, comes at a time of renewed tensions between the government and the Kurdish population. Ankara embarked on air raids against Iraq-based targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an outlawed group with which a ceasefire had been in place since the spring of 2013.

A string of recent attacks, carried out alongside a suicide bombing in the town of Suruc (supposedly by the Islamic State group), have been blamed on the PKK and other Kurdish groups.

On Monday, the Turkish state intelligence agency MIT warned there might be terror attacks in major cities in retaliation to the operations against IS and PKK. read more


DIPLOMATIC CHANNEL

GREEK EMBASSY: GREECE HAS DONE A LOT FOR BULGARIA

The Greek Embassy in Sofia has sent out a statement to media outlets to point to Greece's contribution to the Bulgarian economy.

It has reminded that Greece has helped open a total of 70 000 jobs in Bulgaria, with investment worth EUR 2.5 B in the past years.

Greece is also described as "the country which strongly backed the legitimate accession of Bulgaria into the European Union" and "the country with 2500 students in Bulgarian universities".

The statement also sets out concrete projects into which Bulgaria's southern neighbor has invested, namely "part of the state-of-the-art Trakia motorway" and the equipment for oncological hospitals in the towns of Kardzhali, Vratsa and Smolyan (for which it provided nearly EUR 2.033 M in funding).

It also mentions the embellishment of the capital Sofia and Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second-largest city, two projects for which Greece granted USD 65 000 and USD 27 000, respectively.

Tuesday's statement comes against the backdrop of a move by the government in Sofia to support European funding for Greece. In mid-July Bulgaria's Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said the cabinet would not hinder the allocation of a EUR 7 B bridge loan to Athens.

Combined with the words of PM Boyko Borisov who earlier had said Bulgaria should be ready to support a new bailout program for a "neighborly state", that was met with mixed feelings by part of Bulgarians and some analysts who wondered why a poorer state should help a wealthier one get back on its feet. Others argue it is time for Bulgaria to show solidarity.

The statement, however, makes no reference to official (or unofficial) Bulgarian comments or positions with regard to the situation in Greece. read more



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