Archive for May, 2010

German President Horst Koehler Resigns

Monday, May 31st, 2010

German President, Horst Koehler, announced Monday his surprising decision to resign after only one year in his second term.

Koehler, 67, explains his decision with criticism from a number of German politicians of his remarks about German military missions abroad, linking them with business interests. He made the controversial remarks in a radio interview after a recent visit to Afghanistan.

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Top Bulgarian Media Side with Prime Minister Borisov

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Bulgaria’s media bosses and editor-in-chiefs are coming forward one by one Monday with official statements declaring the cabinet is not exerting pressure on their publications and programs.

The statements are triggered by a letter of Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, sent to them Sunday, demanding a response about allegations the government of the his ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party is interfering with the content they publish and air.

The letter, distributed by Borisov’s Chief of Staff, Rumyana Bachvarova, was caused by words of Bulgaria’s President, Georgi Parvanov, who said Saturday that Borisov and the cabinet are pressuring media in the country.

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Bulgarian Municipalities to Go Bankrupt over Slashed Subsidy

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The 15% reduction of the state subsidy for Bulgarian municipalities will leave the smaller of them in a state of bankruptcy, according to representatives of the local authorities.

The cut is envisaged in the draft bill for the revision of the 2010 state budget, which has already been approved by the Cabinet, and is expected to be voted by the Parliament in mid June.

Originally, the Bulgarian government wanted to cut the subsidy for the local authorities by 20% – or by BGN 182 M….

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Bulgaria PM, Stock Exchange Reps Discuss Floating Stakes

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The management of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange is expected to confer with the prime minister this week to discuss the privatization of shares in state-owned companies to enliven the local stock exchange and boost revenues.

“The meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borisov was scheduled to take place last Friday, but was postponed,” Finance Minister Simeon Djankov told Darik radio.

Fifty companies, currently managed by the economy ministry, will go into the recently set-up State Consolidation company, which bundles minority stakes in state-owned firms prior to sale, the government decided last month.

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Parma Signs Bulgaria’s Bojinov From Manchester City in Days

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Parma is expected to keep Valeri Bojinov permanently by reaching an agreement with Manchester City within days, Italian media reported.

Reports suggest City want EUR 4 M for the hitman, who has made an impressive performance since joining the Ducali on loan last summer, scoring eight goals in 29 games.

Parma however is expected to try to bag him for much less – EUR 1 M.

Source

Italian Festival in Bulgaria Launched in Sofia

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The Italian Institute for Foreign Trade and the Italian Embassy in Sofia announce the launch of the Italian Festival in Bulgaria.

The festival is held between May 30 and June 11 and aims at highlighting goods made in Italy – furniture, lighting, clothing, shoes, jewelery, automobiles, food and beverages.

The program includes the debut in Bulgaria of the new Fiat 500 Cabrio, events in stores of the brands Bulgari, La Perla, VJC Versace, and targets a closer collaboration with Bulgarian distributors.

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Israel Labels Gaza Aid Convoy ‘Terrorist Provocation’

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, declared Monday that the organizers of the flotilla, which tried to reach the Gaza Strip despite the Israel blockade, are terrorists connected to Hamas and Al-Queda.

Aylon said his country “regrets any loss of life and did everything to avoid this outcome,” but accused the convoy of a “premeditated and outrageous provocation,” describing the flotilla as an “armada of hate”.

At a press conference, the Deputy Foreign Minister further informed weapons have been found aboard the ship seized by Israeli commandos.

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Condemnation, Protests Follow Israeli Aid Convoy Attack

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Turkey, Greece and Sweden have demanded explanations from their Israeli ambassadors as Israeli commandos killed at least 10 people in pre-dawn raids on a flotilla of six ships carrying aid for the Palestinian territory of Gaza early Monday.

“We are shocked by reports of killings and injuries of people on board boats carrying supplies for Gaza, apparently in international waters,” said a joint statement from Robert Serry, U.N….

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Bulgarians’ Travels Abroad Slump by 50% in Q1 2010

Monday, May 31st, 2010

The trips of Bulgarians abroad during the first quarter of 2010 have been 853 700, the National Statistics Institute data shows.

The data was published Monday and reveals that compared to the same period of 2009, the number of trips is down over 32%. The number of trips abroad is down over 50%, while of those inside the country – down over 30%.

Source

Bulgaria Ties Pension Amounts with Years of Service

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Bulgaria’s Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Totyu Mladenov, informed Monday that the cabinet had made significant progress in the pension reform negotiations with the labor unions and the employers.

One of the measures in the reform is the establishment of a retirement bonus system, which will tie the amount of the monthly pensions with the number of years of service with women, who have worked more than 37 years, and men – more than 40, receiving more money.

Mladenov said this measure will reduce the early retirements, especially of employees of the Interior and Defense Ministries.

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