» 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.

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SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR 2015-07-28
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28 July 2015, Issue 4295
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
9617 subscribers of Novinite.com
152717 articles
590 interviews
10097 pictures
 
BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
Turkey Hasn’t Asked for ‘Substantial’ NATO Help - Stoltenberg


NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that Turkey has not asked the Alliance for “substantial military support” in its fight against the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants. read
Wildfire in Bulgaria's Rila Mountain Contained


A wildfire in the Rila Mountain in Southwestern Bulgaria has now been fully contained, the local firefighters' service says.read
Greece Starts Talks on New Bailout Package with Creditors


Discussions on a third bailout package have started in Athens between Greek authorities and representatives of Greece’s international creditors, the European Commission announced on Monday. read
 
 
MORE TOP NEWS
Turkey PM Hails Strikes on IS, PKK before NATO Meeting

No Agreement to Set up No-Fly Zone in Turkey, US Official Says

Corruption Enabling Human Trafficking in Bulgaria, US State Dept Says

Turkish Authorities Warn of Possible Terror Attacks in Cities

Workers at Bulgaria’s Military Plant VMZ Sopot Demand Pay Rises

Cost of Bulgaria’s Struma Motorway Swells by BGN 3 M due to Anti-Landslide Measures

Banking Supervision in Bulgaria 'Not Strictly Applied' in Past Years

Fight against Smuggling Has Fetched Revenues of over BGN 2 B - Bulgaria’s PM

Bulgarian Employers, Trade Unions to Protest Planned Power Price Hike

EU Commissioner for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic to Visit Bulgaria on September 15

Bulgarians Complete More Holiday Trips, Excursions Abroad in June

Council of Europe anti-torture Committee Head Condemns Bulgaria’s Failure to Report Police Brutality Cases

Sofia Museum Hosts Louvre Exhibition on Egypt

Bulgarian Archaeologists Discover 11th Century Rakia Distillation Vessel

Bulgarian Cameraman Drowns While Trying to Rescue Teenager

Wildfire Forces Evacuation of 10,000 Campers in southern France

Cost of Macedonia's Skopje 2014 'Soared to EUR 560 M'

Bulgaria's Ludogorets Signs Promising Sao Paulo Winger

Bulgaria's Stoevi Sisters Win Russian Open Grand Prix

Draw Determines Tough Opponents for Bulgaria in 2018 World Cup Qualifiers

Multifunctional Sports Hall to Open next to Sofia Central Railway Station

A Nondemanding Wife

Mummy Music

VIEWS ON BG
Corruption Enabling Human Trafficking in Bulgaria, US State Dept Says


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

Russia Claims Bulgaria Is Seeking to Partition Macedonia
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TOP NEWS
TURKISH AUTHORITIES WARN OF POSSIBLE TERROR ATTACKS IN CITIES

Turkey’s state intelligence agency MIT and Istanbul police have warned of possible terror attacks in major cities following military operations against the Islamic State (IS) group and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, todayszaman.com reported on Monday.

The Istanbul Police Department warned all of its units of possible attacks in crowded areas in the city, particularly on public transport vehicles, police buildings as well as vehicles used by security forces. read more


BUSINESS

COST OF BULGARIA’S STRUMA MOTORWAY SWELLS BY BGN 3 M DUE TO ANTI-LANDSLIDE MEASURES

Bulgaria’s Road Infrastructure Agency (RIA) has allocated an additional BGN 3 M to anti-landslide fortification in two sections of the Struma motorway.

GBS Infrastructure Construction AD has been awarded nearly BGN 500 000 without a tender to build a wall at the 317th kilometer of the Struma motorway (Lot 1) in an area plagued by a landslide in spring, according to reports of Capital daily. read more


WORKERS AT BULGARIA’S MILITARY PLANT VMZ SOPOT DEMAND PAY RISES

Dimitar Atanasov, trade union representative at Bulgarian state-owned military plant VMZ Sopot, has said that workers plan to stage a protest to demand pay rises and streamlined operations.

Atanasov told the Bulgarian National Radio Monday that the Economy Minister was not to blame for the current state of affairs at the plant, adding that he had been misled by Yulian Naskov, outgoing member of the Board of Directors of VMZ Sopot. read more


FINANCE

BANKING SUPERVISION IN BULGARIA 'NOT STRICTLY APPLIED' IN PAST YEARS

Banking supervision procedures were not strictly applied in Bulgaria in recent years, the head of the country's national auditing body has said.

Tsvetan Tsvetkov, who heads the National Audit Office, has told the Bulgarian National Television that more information about supervision activities carried out at the Bulgarian National Bank (BNB), the country's central bank, is to be provided in a report which is being prepared by his agency and which is due in October.

Asked about an example of mismanagement and inefficiency at the Banking Supervision department, he has refused to elaborate.

This comes more than a year after the developments at the collapsed Corporate Commercial Bank (KTB) which was Bulgaria's fourth-largest lender before being exposed to a bank run and placed under conservatorship.

Since then, supervision officials have been repeatedly blamed for the debacle and for allegedly failing to apply the oversight needed.

The audit that is now being conducted spans between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2014. There have been two heads of the BNB's Banking Supervision Department (Rumen Simeonov and Tsvetan Gounev) for that time. Both have been charged with abuse of office.

read more


FIGHT AGAINST SMUGGLING HAS FETCHED REVENUES OF OVER BGN 2 B - BULGARIA’S PM

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has claimed that anti-smuggling measures have generated over BGN 2 B in budget revenue since the beginning of 2015.

Speaking at the opening of a wastewater treatment plant in the southern town of Rakovski on Sunday, Borisov informed that the proceeds generated by anti-smuggling activities went to the construction of EU-funded wastewater treatment plants. read more


ENERGY

BULGARIAN EMPLOYERS, TRADE UNIONS TO PROTEST PLANNED POWER PRICE HIKE

More than 1000 firms will participate in a protest against the planned hike of electricity prices for businesses, which will take place in 28 Bulgarian cities on Wednesday.

The largest protest will be held in the capital Sofia with 5000-6000 people expected to attend the demonstration in front of the building of the Council of Ministers. read more


EU COMMISSIONER FOR ENERGY UNION MAROS SEFCOVIC TO VISIT BULGARIA ON SEPTEMBER 15

European Commission Vice-President in charge of Energy Union Maros Sefcovic is to visit Bulgaria on September 15.

The visit of Sefcovic to Bulgaria will be part of his Energy Union Tour, which was launched in May. read more


TOURISM

BULGARIANS COMPLETE MORE HOLIDAY TRIPS, EXCURSIONS ABROAD IN JUNE

In the month of June, Bulgarians completed 468 319 trips abroad, which represented an increase of 13.9 % compared to the same month last year.

This is shown by the latest figures of the National Statistical Institute (NSI), which were released on Monday. read more


BULGARIA IN EU

COUNCIL OF EUROPE ANTI-TORTURE COMMITTEE HEAD CONDEMNS BULGARIA’S FAILURE TO REPORT POLICE BRUTALITY CASES

Mykola Gnatovskyy, President of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), has argued that police brutality constitutes a systemic problem in Bulgaria.

In an interview for mediapool.bg, he claims that Bulgaria fails to make progress in the sphere, despite the recommendations from the CPT and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. read more


CULTURE

SOFIA MUSEUM HOSTS LOUVRE EXHIBITION ON EGYPT

An exhibition on Ancient Egypt is now on display at the Sofia History Museum in the downtown area of Bulgaria's capital.

Titled "Meeting an Egyptian Priest", it tells part of the story of Nachthorheb, whose 1.5 m tall statue is the centerpiece of the exhibition.

Nachthorheb, an important official in the Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt (664-525 BC), was in charge of running the protocol and a number of other matters at the palace of the pharaoh, whom Egyptians considered a living deity.

Visitors will also see 21 other artifacts from the Louvre which illustrate different aspects of life of Ancient Egyptians.

Since earlier this year, Sofia History Museum (whose official English-language website is apparently still under construction)
has been located in the old public baths building not far from the St Nedelya Square. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00-18:00.

It will host Meeting an Egyptian Priest until September 13, days before its first exhibition dedicated to Sofia opens (though no final date has yet been set). read more


ARCHAEOLOGY

BULGARIAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS DISCOVER 11TH CENTURY RAKIA DISTILLATION VESSEL

Bulgarian archaeologists recently discovered an 11th century fragment of a distillation vessel used for the production of the country's traditional fruit brandy, which is known as rakia.

The fragment was uncovered during the excavation works, which are being conducted by the National Historical Museum (NIM) at the medieval Lyutitsa fortress. read more


INCIDENTS

WILDFIRE FORCES EVACUATION OF 10,000 CAMPERS IN SOUTHERN FRANCE

Some 10,000 holidaymakers had to leave three campsites in southern France on Monday due to a wildfire, thelocal.fr reported.

The fire broke out in early afternoon on Bagnols-en-Forêt road around the Pin de la Lègue campsite and spread on about 30 hectares of land near the town of Frejus. About  50 fire trucks, 200 firefighters, and water planes have been mobilized to fight the blaze. read more


WILDFIRE IN BULGARIA'S RILA MOUNTAIN CONTAINED

A wildfire in the Rila Mountain in Southwestern Bulgaria has now been fully contained, the local firefighters' service says.

Only smaller sections of the blaze are yet to be extinguished, but the danger of spreading has been eliminated, Nasko Vasev, who heads the Interior Ministry's local fire fighting unit in the town of Kyustendil (the nearest town to the affected area), has told Focus News Agency.

In his words, the fire has been halted from all four sides.

The forest fire broke out on Thursday evening in an area just a kilometer from the landmark Rila Monastery, and local authorities had feared that the building might be affected.



By Sunday, however, it had been contained from three sides, continuing only on the northwestern slopes.

read more


BULGARIAN CAMERAMAN DROWNS WHILE TRYING TO RESCUE TEENAGER

A Bulgarian cameraman drowned on Sunday near the Black Sea resort of Albena while helping a 16-year-old girl out of the water.

The incident unfolded after the working hours of life-guards, when Grigor Kumitski, 36, and a group of friends saw the teenager was desperately trying to get out.

Private national bTV station reports it was not allowed to go into the water on that day due to a strong undertow.

As Kumitski entered with two other men, two passers-by called life-guards who had been in the area.

The 16-year-old's life was successfully saved, but Kumitski died after being taken out by the guards.

The cameraman had been known for shooting a number of TV series and movies including The Foreigner, a 2011 movie by director and actor Niki Iliev. read more


SPORTS

BULGARIA'S LUDOGORETS SIGNS PROMISING SAO PAULO WINGER

The Bulgarian reigning football champion Ludogorets signed a contract with one of the most promising players of Sao Paulo – Jonathan Renato Barbosa – Cafu.

The 24-year-old Brazilian, who plays as a winger, joins the Bulgarian team after having played eleven matches for Sao Paulo this season. read more


BULGARIA'S STOEVI SISTERS WIN RUSSIAN OPEN GRAND PRIX

Bulgarian badminton players – sisters Gabriela and Stefani Stoevi won the Russian Open Grand Prix, which took place in Vladivostok.

In the final, which was played on Sunday, the Bulgarians defeated Johanna Goliszewski and Carla Nelte from Germany. read more


MULTIFUNCTIONAL SPORTS HALL TO OPEN NEXT TO SOFIA CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION

A multifunctional sports hall spanning an area of 1500 square meters is to open right next to the Sofia Central Railway Station.
The 48x30 sports hall is almost ready.

It has a separate entrance just a few meters away from the railway station. read more


DRAW DETERMINES TOUGH OPPONENTS FOR BULGARIA IN 2018 WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS

The draw for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, which was held in Saint Petersburg on Saturday, determined tough opponents for the Bulgarian men's national football team.

Bulgaria was drawn in qualification group A along with the teams of the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Belarus and Luxembourg. read more


VIEWS ON BG

CORRUPTION ENABLING HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN BULGARIA, US STATE DEPT SAYS

Click here to read the story:
www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=170074


SMILES

A NONDEMANDING WIFE

"Darling... I thought my salary won't be enough for you," a newlywed tells his bride.

"It will! It's just that I am wondering..."

"What, darling?"

"What are you going to live off?" read more


MUMMY MUSIC

Q: What kind of music do mummies listen to?

A: Wrap music. read more


WORLD

NO AGREEMENT TO SET UP NO-FLY ZONE IN TURKEY, US OFFICIAL SAYS

There is no agreement with Ankara to establish a no-fly zone in Turkey, a senior US administration official has said, the CNN reported on Monday.

Speaking ahead of a NATO meeting on Tuesday called at Turkey’s request to discuss the country’s military operations against the Islamic State group and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, the official said  the arrangement granting the US access to air bases in Turkey to crack down on IS militants is essentially creating "nearly the same effect" as a no-fly zone. Turkey agreed on Friday to open its Incirlik Air Base to aircraft  from the US-led coalition against IS. read more


TURKEY PM HAILS STRIKES ON IS, PKK BEFORE NATO MEETING

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said "everyone should see" that a move by his country to use its force effectively can "change the game in Syria, Iraq and the entire region".

Davutoglu's comments come as Ankara has called in consultations of NATO ambassadors under Article 4 of the alliance's founding treaty.

The article allows the member states to "consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened".

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg later confirmed that a meeting of ambassadors will meet for consultations on Tuesday, in a session held under Article 4 for a fifth time in the alliance's history. Two of the four meetings so far were also initiated by Turkey, in 2003 and 2012 respectively.

The latest developments follow a suicide bombing blamed on the Islamic State (IS) group rocked the town of Suruc near the border with Syria claiming dozens of lives and leaving more than 100 wounded.

It prompted a move by Ankara to launch air strikes on IS positions in Syria, but also on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Iraq last week, thus giving Kurdish rebels ground to claim the two-year-long ceasefire has been breached. read more


TURKEY HASN’T ASKED FOR ‘SUBSTANTIAL’ NATO HELP - STOLTENBERG

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that Turkey has not asked the Alliance for “substantial military support” in its fight against the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants.

"Turkey has a very strong army and very strong security forces. So there has been no request for any substantial NATO military support," AFP quoted Stoltenberg as saying in an interview with the BBC. read more


SOUTHEAST EUROPE

GREECE STARTS TALKS ON NEW BAILOUT PACKAGE WITH CREDITORS

Discussions on a third bailout package have started in Athens between Greek authorities and representatives of Greece’s international creditors, the European Commission announced on Monday.

A Greek government spokeswoman, however, said that high-level talks would not begin until later this week, according to the BBC. read more


COST OF MACEDONIA'S SKOPJE 2014 'SOARED TO EUR 560 M'

The price tag of the so-called Skopje 2014 project has risen to EUR 560 M, up from the initially announced EUR 80 M, an investigative network has argued.

In a report published Monday, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) has unveiled the results of its eight-month investigation which includes data procured through Macedonia's Access to Public Information Act and a host of official documents.

Skopje 2014 was envisaged to include some 40 monuments, sculptures, facades and nu buildings - a number which has tripled in the past months, BIRN explains, putting the number of publicly financed objects within the project at 130.

There are many buildings yet to be finished, which "fuels suspicions" the final price tag could additionally rise.

"The costs of security and maintenance are constantly sucking up more funds from the state budget," the network notes.

There is a single construction company which earned some EUR 163 M, or roughly a third of all the public money spent on Skopje 2014.

Authors of monuments and sculptures, on the other hand, were given hefty fees for their work sometimes surpassing millions of euro.

This comes against the backdrop of a political crisis in the Southeastern European nation where unemployment was around 30% in 2014 and GDP and where the government's democratic credentials have often been questioned by opposition, activists and foreign diplomats alike.

Authorities, however, are yet to comment on the allegations.

BIRN's article is available here. read more



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