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SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR 2015-09-01
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1 September 2015, Issue 4325
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
9517 subscribers of Novinite.com
153248 articles
590 interviews
10186 pictures
 
BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
Bulgaria DefMin to Ask EU for Help against Migrant Smuggling


Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev has said he is to demand help from Europe in the fight against people smuggling in relation to the deepening migrant crisis in the continent.read
Bulgaria MP to Table Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill


Independent lawmaker Velizar Enchev has announced he is to put forward in September a bill that would allow for cannabis to be used for medical purposes.read
Bulgaria Plans to Initiate EU Discussion to Make Anti-IS Strategy More Efficient


Bulgaria plans to initiate a discussion within the EU on the need to add new elements to the bloc’s strategy for combatting the Islamic State (IS) group, the country’s Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov has said. read
 
 
NOVINITE INSIDER
Takashi Koizumi: Bulgarian Rose Becoming Increasingly Popular in Japan

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MORE TOP NEWS
Varna to Host 11th World Animated Film Festival

Bulgaria Gov't Mulls Changing Falcon Plane after Failure

Bulgaria's Dimitrov Defeats Australia's Ebden to Progress to 2nd Round of US Open

Bulgaria Police Helping Patrol along Hungary-Serbia Border

FDI in Bulgaria’s Non-Financial Sector Drops by 5.9% in 2014  

Bulgaria Fin Min Expects 0.7% Budget Surplus as of End-August

Bulgaria Reports 0.9% Budget Surplus as of End-July

Bulgaria 'Offers Azerbaijan Energy Cooperation Package'

SE Europe's Largest Observatory Facing Closure over Lack of Funding

Clashes, Grenade Explosion Take Place Outside Ukraine’s Parliament

Takashi Koizumi: Bulgarian Rose Becoming Increasingly Popular in Japan

Careful with That Hook, Eugene


UPS & DOWNS
Bulgaria Boasts 92 % Absorption Rate of EU Funds - PM Borisov

Hungary Detains Fourth Bulgarian over Dead Migrants Found in Truck in Austria
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TOP NEWS
BULGARIA 'OFFERS AZERBAIJAN ENERGY COOPERATION PACKAGE'

The Bulgarian government has unveiled a package of energy cooperation projects on which it would seek to work with Azerbaijan, Bulgaria's Ambassador to the country has said.

According to reports by the Trend News Agency, Baku is being offered to take part in the construction of filling stations, gas depots, and oil refineries.

"Bulgaria is interested in buying Azeri gas and government plans are about a billion cubic meters per year," Trend quotes Ambassador Emil Karimov as saying.

Mr Karimov has added that the volume could go up in the future.

Gas supplies from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria via the future Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) network are tied to the construction of additional infrastructure, namely the Bulgaria-Greece interconnector (IGB), which has suffered from several delays over the past months. If successfully built and linked to TAP, the IGB could carry gas to the rest of Southeast Europe, though other routes to transport the volumes from the new infrastructure are also being considered.

In Karimov's words, Azerbaijan is studying the projects tabled by Bulgaria and is analyzing their economic viability.

The respective energy ministries are yet to comment. read more


BUSINESS

FDI IN BULGARIA’S NON-FINANCIAL SECTOR DROPS BY 5.9% IN 2014  

Foreign direct investment into Bulgaria’s non-financial sector decreased by 5.9% last year, reaching EUR 21.95B, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) announced on Monday.

The biggest share of foreign direct investment (FDI) went into industry – EUR 8.95B, according to preliminary data, the NSI said. Services followed with EUR 4.58B in FDI attracted in the course of 2014. read more


FINANCE

BULGARIA FIN MIN EXPECTS 0.7% BUDGET SURPLUS AS OF END-AUGUST

Bulgaria’s central government budget is expected to show a surplus of BGN 601M equivalent to 0.7% of the projected 2015 GDP as of August 31, the Finance Ministry said on Monday.

The expected figure is improvement on end-August 2014, when the central government budget showed a deficit of BGN 1.28B, or 1.6% of GDP, the Finance Ministry said in a monthly budget forecast. read more


BULGARIA REPORTS 0.9% BUDGET SURPLUS AS OF END-JULY

Bulgaria’s central government budget showed a surplus of BGN 789M equivalent to 0.9% of the projected 2015 GDP at the end of July, the Finance Ministry announced on Monday.

This compared with a budget gap of BGN 1.15B, or 1.4% of GDP at the end of July 2014. read more


DEFENSE

BULGARIA DEFMIN TO ASK EU FOR HELP AGAINST MIGRANT SMUGGLING

Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev has said he is to demand help from Europe in the fight against people smuggling in relation to the deepening migrant crisis in the continent.  

Nenchev has made his comments after the Luxembourg Presidency announced it had called in an emergency Justice and Human Affairs Council session on September 14 aimed at working on a better response to the migrant influx.

In his words, days before the event he is set to meet with European counterparts in an unofficial session in Luxembourg where he is planning to ask for "more solidarity on behalf of European partners".

This came after an incident which claimed the life of 71 migrants in Austria, near the border with Hungary. As of Monday morning a total of 4 Bulgarian nationals have been detained as part of an ongoing investigation and are suspected of having taken part in a people smuggling ring. read more


BULGARIA IN EU

BULGARIA PLANS TO INITIATE EU DISCUSSION TO MAKE ANTI-IS STRATEGY MORE EFFICIENT

Bulgaria plans to initiate a discussion within the EU on the need to add new elements to the bloc’s strategy for combatting the Islamic State (IS) group, the country’s Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov has said.

In an interview for 24 Chasa news daily published on Monday Mitov said that migrants are using the so-called Balkan route to reach western Europe increasingly often, which requires changes to be made to the existing EU strategy for addressing the problem.    read more


WORKERS FROM BULGARIA, ROMANIA ARRIVING IN BRITAIN NEARLY DOUBLE IN YEAR TO MARCH

Workers from Romania and Bulgaria have led a jump in European migration to Britain, the Daily Mail reported in its online edition.

“Some 53,000 people from the two countries arrived in the year to March – nearly double the 28,000 in the previous 12 months,” according to dailymail.co.uk. read more


DOMESTIC

BULGARIA MP TO TABLE MEDICAL CANNABIS LEGALIZATION BILL

Independent lawmaker Velizar Enchev has announced he is to put forward in September a bill that would allow for cannabis to be used for medical purposes.

He has warned that "thousands of people suffering in Bulgaria" could find a means to alleviate their pain if they are able to use a mouth spray and has underlined that legalizing smoking has never crossed his mind.

In a Monday interview with private bTV station, citing the experience of several EU countries and a number of US states which have approved medical cannabis, he asserted that "everybody opposing this is also opposing their practices."

Earlier, Enchev launched a petition [BG] calling for the move, explaining he wanted to have "people's voice" heard.

Launched in mid-August, the petition has gathered some 3730 signatures (as of Monday, 13:30 EEST).

It followed an exchange of comments between him and Health Minister Petar Moskov on allowing medical cannabis, a step about which Moskov is cautious, fearing it could be easily mixed up with legalization.

Enchev, a former spy, has been known for often going against the opinions of "party" lawmakers, and he quit the nationalist Patriotic Front (PF) coalition just days after being elected Parliament on its ticket.

In June, Enchev submitted to Parliament an official inquiry to Health Minister Petar Moskov which included the list of diseases whose symptoms which some researchers firmly believe medical cannabis could relieve - including "cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis," and many others.

"Unfortunately this is a taboo issue in Bulgaria. What is more, two years ago a person diagnosed with MS in Lovech was brought before court because he planted marijuana after having read in specialized medical publications that cannabis deals successfully with the development of his illness."

Enchev is referring to Marin Kalchev, who was acquitted in March with the judge citing "numerous international studies" which proved the effect of medical cannabis.

But Minister Moskov believes that THC-based mouth sprays (THC is the most active ingredient in cannabis) could bring about "marijuana smoking" which "poses more risks to the human boby than the disease itself."

There have been proposals in the past months by Israeli companies and researchers to cooperate in Bulgaria on medical cannabis.

read more


SOCIETY

SE EUROPE'S LARGEST OBSERVATORY FACING CLOSURE OVER LACK OF FUNDING

Rozhen Observatory, the largest in Southeast Europe is running out of funds and might have to stop working in October, its management has warned.

Located 90 km south of Bulgaria's second-biggest city Plovdiv, the astronomical facility announced a few days earlier it needed BGN 260 000 if it was to be run every day until the end of the year, with shortage in funding for water and electricity.

Bulgaria is facing Rozhen's financial needs as the country is to host the 2016 International Astronomy Olympiad, scheduled to take place either near Plovdiv or Smolyan. 

"All big observatories across the world are supported by the state... We will lose our observatory - and if it stops working we will never be able to get it back on track," Nikola Petrov, who heads the facility, told the Bulgarian National Radio on Monday.

He was referring to the need to provide regular maintenance to the equipment which could not be used again if switched off over a long period of time.

"The problem with astronomy... We do not generate material wealth, but everything created as a result [of astronomical studies] is used elsewhere - and we cannot have revenues directly from it," Petrov added.

Several members of the Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAS), which set up Rozhen in 1981, earlier called on citizens to donate money and help save the observatory.


read more


CULTURE

VARNA TO HOST 11TH WORLD ANIMATED FILM FESTIVAL

For several days in September, the Bulgarian Black Sea city of Varna will be hosting a festival which was once a young and ambitious contender to become a key event in the world of animated movies.

Dozens of pieces will vie to become best feature films, short films, student films, children's films, or TV series for 2015. Though most of them are European (Russia and Belarus included), some come from countries such as Israel, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Chile.

Screening will take place between September 9 and 13 at the Festival and Congress Center in downtown Varna. This year's edition will be the fifth year in a row since a small group of organizers first decided to revive a once promising event.

Starting in 1979, the festival initially managed to draw a host of renowned filmmakers from all around the world. Back then, and until 1989, it was held on a biennial basis and worked under the patronage of the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA)

It worked in tight cooperation with partner festivals at Annecy, Zagreb, Ottawa and Hiroshima.

After cultural funding was considerably slashed amid political and economic changes, it was abandoned to be brought back to life only years later.

The full selection of films is available here. read more


INCIDENTS

BULGARIA GOV'T MULLS CHANGING FALCON PLANE AFTER FAILURE

Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski has said the government might opt for another Falcon aircraft for the Prime Minister and other members of the Bulgarian government after an incident on Sunday.

In an interview for private national NOVA TV channel, Moskovski said repeated failures would lead to a replacement of the plane if the producer is unable to guarantee systemic technical failures can be addressed.

On Sunday, the aircraft with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov on board failed to reach the city of Plovdiv, southern Bulgaria, from Varna Airport in the northeast of the country.

The plane hovered over Varna during attempts to retract the landing gear after take-off. When this proved unsuccessful, it landed back at the same airport.

The PM was due to attend the opening ceremony of a new sports hall in Plovdiv.

This is the second similar incident in just months, the previous one having taken place in February.

Moskovski added the vehicle was to be taken "directly to the producer's factory in France so that a full check-up is made there".

"I am worried this failure happens quite often," he added. read more


SPORTS

BULGARIA'S DIMITROV DEFEATS AUSTRALIA'S EBDEN TO PROGRESS TO 2ND ROUND OF US OPEN

Grigor Dimitrov proceeded to the second round of the 2015 US Open on Monday, defeating the Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden in three sets.

The 17th seed Bulgarian came through by a comfortable 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over Ebden in New York. read more


SMILES

CAREFUL WITH THAT HOOK, EUGENE

A seaman meets a pirate in a bar, and talk turns to their adventures on the sea. The seaman notes that the pirate has a peg-leg, a hook, and an eye patch.

The seaman asks, "So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?" The pirate replies, "We were in a storm at sea, and I was swept overboard into a school of sharks. Just as my men were pulling me out, a shark bit my leg off."

"Wow!" said the seaman. "What about your hook"? "Well", replied the pirate, "We were boarding an enemy ship and were battling the other sailors with swords. One of the enemy cut my hand off."

"Incredible!" remarked the seaman. "How did you get the eye patch"? "A seagull dropping fell into my eye," replied the pirate.

"You lost your eye to a seagull dropping?," the sailor asked incredulously. "Well," said the pirate, "it was my first day with my hook." read more


EU

BULGARIA POLICE HELPING PATROL ALONG HUNGARY-SERBIA BORDER

Bulgarian and Hungarian police officers are performing joint patrols along Hungary's borders with Serbia as Budapest is seeking to stem the rising influx of migrants.

This follows arrests of Bulgarian nationals on suspicions of active involvement in a migrant smuggling ring.

On Sunday, Austrian police discovered the dead bodies of 71 migrants in a truck near the border with Hungary. Four Bulgarians and an Afghan man have been detained so far in relation to the incident.

The Central European nation is taking measures to deal with the tens of thousands of migrants who try to cross into the country every day. Some 140 000 have been detained while trying to enter since the year began, but tens of thousands make their way across the border every week.

Hungary last week completed the border fence two days ahead of schedule amid concerns over the swelling numbers of asylum seekers from Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa.

Thousands of border police officers have been dispatched to guard the border, and the number is set to rise to 3000 in September.

read more


UKRAINE

CLASHES, GRENADE EXPLOSION TAKE PLACE OUTSIDE UKRAINE’S PARLIAMENT

About a hundred policemen were wounded in protests outside Ukraine’s parliament building on Monday as lawmakers approved on first reading amendments to the constitution that will give greater autonomy to the eastern regions controlled by Russian-backed rebels, newswires reported.

A loud explosion was heard when an unknown individual threw a grenade into police ranks, according to Ukriane’s unian.info. The blast caused severe injuries. read more


DIPLOMATIC CHANNEL

TAKASHI KOIZUMI: BULGARIAN ROSE BECOMING INCREASINGLY POPULAR IN JAPAN

Novinite has asked Japan's Ambassador to Bulgaria Takashi Koizumi to comment on international nuclear affairs and also on bilateral relations, in a month when the world marked the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings.

Mr Koizumi's first diplomatic appointment was to the Japanese Embassy in Bulgaria, where he was Third Secretary for Cultural, Political and Economic Affairs from 1979 to 1982, and that was followed by a term as Second Secretary at the same embassy in 1988-1991.

Apart from having obtained a degree from a Tokyo university, he graduated in 1978 from the Sofia University where he studied Literature - and is quite fluent in Bulgarian. read more



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