Archive for September, 2014

Children’s Museum To Open In Sofia Next Year

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

A children’s science museum, called Muzeiko, will open in Sofia next year, reports Nova TV.

Muzeiko will be aimed at children aged 5 and 12 years and will be the first children’s museum in Bulgaria and the largest in Eastern Europe.

It is expected to attract at least 150 000 visitors per year.

The three-storey building, currently under construction in Sofia’s district Studentski Grad, will include interactive exhibitions, play rooms and scientific projects.

Muzeiko costs BGN 25 M – provided by the America for Bulgaria foundation.

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BDZ Adds More Itineraries To Online Ticketing System

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Bulgaria’s State Railway Company (BDZ) added six more train routes to the pilot online ticketing system, which was launched in the end of 2013.

Customers can now also buy tickets for rapid and express trains and sleeper cars travelling along the routes Sofia-Blagoevrgad-Sofia, Plovdiv-Varna-Plovdiv and Sofia-Varna-Sofia.

The other destinations are Sofia- Gorna Oryahovitsa-Varna, Sofia-Plovdiv-Burgas, Sofia-Karlovo-Burgas and Sofia-Pleven.

The online reservation system allows the customers to book tickets both from computers and mobile devices and pay online.

Since the system was launched in December 2013, were registered 19 500 users who bought 6900 tickets.

 

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Turkish Truck Drivers Complain From Syrian Immigrants

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The Turkish international truck drivers complain from the Syrian immigrants trying to board their trucks at the Turkish-Bulgarian border, reports the BTA wire service.

According to reports, there is an increasing number of cases when the immigrants secretly board the trucks waiting at the border crossings with Bulgaria, particularly at the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint where the lines are long due to the reconstruction work on the Bulgarian side.

During the inspection the Bulgarian border authorities find the immigrants and arrest the drivers.

According to media reports, the drivers were organising patrols to keep watch on the trucks, especially at night, and demanded that the Turkish authorities step up the security in the area.

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ExxonMobil: Rockefeller’s rule

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Spend a third – but on what?

Bulgaria Is Most Preferred Outsourcing Destination In Europe

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Bulgaria is among the most preferred outsourcing destinations in the world and the only European country in the top 10 list of most attractive countries for such activities, done by the analysis company A.T. Kearney.

Bulgaria is at the ninth position among 51 countries in the world and climbs up eight positions in the list since 2011, when the previous survey was done.

According to Stefan Bumov, chairperson of the Bulgarian Outsourcing Association, quoted by Mediapool.bg, this was an important recognition of the efforts of Bulgaria’s outsourcing industry and its contribution to the economy.

In Bumov’s words, in 2013 the turnover of Bulgaria’s outsourcing sector was BGN 1 B and has increased by 60% in the past four years. The sector hires 20 000 people and in the next few years their number is expected to increase four times.

The leading positions in the A.T.Kearney ranking are taken by India, China and Malaysia.

The index takes into account 39 criteria in three categories – financial attractiveness, business environment and human resources.

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Exxon finds itself in Arctic quandary

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Questions arise about oil group’s sluggish growth and weak share price performance

The Employee Benefit That Costs Little But Delivers Big

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Sponsored Post

Employee Benefit That Costs Little

Some high-flying Silicon Valley companies are famous for the perks they provide to their employees. One of those perks at the top of the list consists of free food and beverages.

Not only do many of those companies provide coffee, soft drinks and snacks, but quite a few r actually have full restaurants on site serving hot meals each day.

At one point about six years ago it was estimated to cost Google over $70 million a year to provide free meals to its employees.

Before you fall on the floor in a faint from hearing that number, keep in mind that no one is suggesting you go broke providing free food and drink. It is possible on a modest budget to get the positive impact that comes from providing a stocked break room.

We have a few suggestions for cost effective ways to stock your break room. But first, let’s take a look at why it makes business sense to provide beverages and snacks to employees.

Four Good Reasons to Offer A Well-Stocked Break Room

1. Employee Satisfaction

Small businesses like ours may not always be able to match salaries at some larger companies, but studies show that people work in small businesses in part because they like the atmosphere. Anything you can do to make the workday more pleasant, helps your business compete in the employment market, and retain loyal employees.

Remember to try to walk in your employee’s shoes. As a business owner you might prefer an upscale lunch out once a quarter or an offsite retreat, but employees may value the little niceties that make every day more enjoyable (such as free coffee or subsidized soft drinks).

2. Productivity

Snacks and beverages keep people at the office longer and minimize trips outside the office. People whose bellies are grumbling or who need a boost of caffeine won’t be running out to pick up coffee or snacks as often, if there are options right on site.

3. Health

By providing low-calorie and low-sugar snacks and drinks, you can give employees a healthy alternative to fast food and soft drinks. Nearby restaurants may be filled with fast food and high calorie choices. You can reaffirm your company’s commitment to staying healthy by the choice of snacks you provide, and potentially contribute to a healthier workforce.

4. Cost

Yes, it costs more to provide snacks and beverages in a break room than not to. But compared to the costs of other perks, such as tuition reimbursement plans or expensive holiday bashes, it may be less expensive and appreciated more. The break room may be available to more employees, too, as more can take advantage of it but may not necessarily be able to attend a holiday party or take advantage of some benefits. Also, snacks in the break room tend to have low overhead and fewer complexities in terms of administration, compared with some other benefits — mainly just stocking and cleaning.

And there are ways to save money.

Stocking the Break Room Inexpensively

Having a well-stocked break room doesn’t mean infinite choices or that everything needs to be free.

Limit the items you provide for free. You’re not Google, after all! Most companies look at providing coffee and tea service, a bottled water cooler, and perhaps some inexpensive snacks such as pretzels and fruit.

Provide vending machines for more choices. You can always subsidize the cost of items in a vending machine. For example, you pay half the cost of soft drinks and snacks, and employees pay the other half.

Make one day of the week or month special, where you bring in food. For instance, Fridays could be the day you bring in bagels and fruit salad for everyone. Or once a month bring in pizza or a sandwich tray for lunch. And don’t forget the healthy and low-cost alternatives on those days, such as veggies and yogurt dip.

Provide refrigerators and microwave ovens to encourage people to bring their own food. Just having a place to store and heat up the meal you bring to work with you, can be a positive thing.

Buy in bulk. And shop around. You can save a lot of money just through intelligent buying.

Finally, consider letting employees have a say in the choices. You may be surprised what they opt for if you indicate what the monthly budget is. You might even consider taking a company vote giving choices for break room items. Just giving a choice may build positive sentiment in its own right, because you are empowering employees by letting them decide.

Break Room Photo via Shutterstock

The post The Employee Benefit That Costs Little But Delivers Big appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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Exxon tantalised by far-off Russian find

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Questions arise about oil group’s sluggish growth and weak share price performance

Governing by bluster leaves us in the cold

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Glib declarations designed to please the media leave the energy industry confused and supply in doubt

DPS Pledges to Maintain Financial Stability, Improve Business Environment

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

The need for a national consensus on priorities and a government formula which is a natural function of this consensus – these are two of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) political goals.

In the economy sector, DPS will work for a continuity in the area of financial stability, as well as for maintaining low levels of budget deficit, keeping the currency board until Bulgaria’s entry to the euro area and preparing to join the EU Banking Union, the party says in its program for October 5 elections.

DPS pledges to reduce the administrative burden for businesses and to provide regular state payments in the private sector. One of the main priorities of the future government should be the complex improvement of the business environment and stimulating economic activity, the party’s program reads.

Other measures in the business sector include the active and effective antitrust policy, such as the promotion and protection of competition, limiting unfair competition, especially in the agricultural trade.

The party targets the improvement of the system for the effective absorption of EU funds as a means to foster growth. Goals in this area include: extraordinary measures for accelerated adoption and implementation of projects under the previous programming period (2007-2013), preparation of a complete set of documents for the next programming period (2014-2020) and setting up the necessary administrative structures to manage and control the process of absorption.

The most important issues in the energy sector, according to the party’s platform, are the energy market liberalization, and the programs for Kozloduy NPP Units 5 and 6 life extensions. The South Stream project is possible “only in total compliance with EU legislation.”

DPS is targeting the following priorities in the justice and security system: finalization of the selection procedure for the Chief Inspector at the Inspectorate of the Supreme Judicial Council, preparation of a thorough analysis of the much needed update of the justice system reform and identifying clear priorities. In order to facilitate citizens’ access to justice, a legislative initiative on e-justice should be implemented.

Priorities in the healthcare sector include the demonopolization of the National Health Insurance Fund, the introduction of e-health services, the improvement of disease prevention and early diagnosis.

The Movement for Rights and Freedoms vows to stand for the integration of minorities and to fight Islamophobia and extreme forms of nationalism and xenophobia.

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