Archive for the ‘World news’ Category

The European Parliament Supported a New Postponement of Brexit

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

EP: The UK is responsible for leaving the EU without an agreement.


The UK would have overall responsibility for leaving the EU without an agreement. This is stated in a resolution adopted today by the European Parliament.

The EP finds it possible to give an additional delay to the withdrawal. The withdrawal agreement is fair, balanced and provides legal certainty, MEPs noted in the resolution adopted with 544 votes in favor, 126 against and 38 abstentions.

The existing withdrawal agreement respects London’s “red lines” and EU principles, the resolution states. The EP stresses that the agreement protects the rights and life choices of EU citizens and British citizens, provides an opportunity for a financial settlement of London’s EU obligations, and responds to the request for a transitional period.

“The agreement further provides the necessary precautionary measure for Ireland by safeguarding the Belfast Agreement and ensuring North-South cooperation,” the text said.

The EP is ready to return to the original EU proposal for a Northern Ireland-only precautionary measure. MEPs welcome the consideration of “alternative options”, if legally applicable and credible, and in line with the EU’s core views. They stress that they will not approve a withdrawal agreement without a safeguard for Ireland.

The EP notes that even if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement, its financial obligations, protection of citizens’ rights and compliance with the Belfast agreement will not be abolished. These are prerequisites for the support of MEPs for any future EU-UK relations, the resolution quoted by the EP press service said.


Interpol drops Red Notice for Zhelyaz Andreev

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Officially, the red bulletin on the search for Zhelyaz Andreev from Interpol has been dropped. He announced this at a briefing at the Council of Ministers.

Andreev was an employee at an American call center in Bulgaria. He was investigated by the United States and detained briefly on suspicion of violating the arms embargo on Syria. In his words, this is the best news for him in a long time.

Zhelyaz Andreev: Once again, I would like to thank my girlfriend, who has been with me since the beginning of this problem, my family and friends, the state institutions, Mr. Tsatsarov, for the efforts he has made, Mr. Borissov, to all the ministers who stood behind me, and showed that this is another case in which the state can protect its citizens.

After meeting with Zhelez Andreev in his Facebook profile, Prime Minister Borissov thanked all Bulgarian institutions for helping Zhelyaz and other young people not be detained and extradited to the United States.


The Council of Ministers Signed the Contract For the Construction of the Bulgarian part of Turkish Stream

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Bulgartransgaz EAD and Consortium Arcad Association are currently signing in the Council of Ministers the contract for the construction of the Bulgarian part of the Turkish Stream, which envisages the construction of a pipeline from the Turkish-Bulgarian to the Bulgarian-Serbian border.

The ceremony at the Granite Hall is attended by Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova, Russian Federation Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, Saudi Arabian Ambassador Mesfer bin Abdullah.

This is an important step in the relations between Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia.

The value of the contract is EUR 1.102 billion. The pipeline has to be constructed and put into operation for 615 days, with a linear infrastructure of about 300 metres ready within the first 250 days.


Saudi Arabia Will Resume Its Oil Production by the End of September

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Oil production in Saudi Arabia will be fully restored by the end of September, authorities said. At the same time, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is leaving for the kingdom to discuss the next steps after the airstrike against Saudi oil facilities.

Saudi Arabia will be able to quickly recover oil. Attacking drones against the facilities of the giant Aramco caused a temporary shutdown and halved oil production, equivalent to 6 percent of world production.

Saudi Minister of Energy: “Full production capacity will be restored to 11 million barrels per day by the end of September and up to 12 million barrels per day by the end of November.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Jeddah on the Red Sea for talks with Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The goal is to coordinate efforts against Iranian aggression in the region, according to an official statement from the State Department. Pompeo blamed Iran for the attack, and Tehran denies.

At the same time, senior US officials quoted by the BBC claim that the location of the attack was identified, and that is southern Iran – in the northern Gulf.

In the wake of the coup against Saudi oil infrastructure, gold prices plunged, and Donald Trump even allowed the release of certain volumes from US strategic reserves. The markets gradually calmed down and the US president made it clear that he no longer needed to use the reserve.


The European Parliament is Discussing Brexit

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

The European Parliament is discussing the current situation around the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union. After two and a half years of negotiations – the Brexit scenario remains bargain-free.

31 October – the day on which Britain has to leave the EU already seems so close. The ticking clock – the final handshake seems still impossible.

Just two days after the meeting in Luxembourg between Boris Johnson and Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission described the relations between the two negotiating parties as friendly. But he warned that the risk of Britain leaving without a deal was real. These words were met with applause from a group in the room, and Juncker identified them as an agitator. And he insisted once again on reaching an agreement.

The two negotiating parties still cannot understand the safeguard mechanism at the Irish border. Boris Johnson wants it removed. Jean-Claude Juncker invited the UK to make written proposals for alternatives, but there are currently no alternatives.

Jean-Claude Juncker – President of the EC: We can still do something about an arrangement that is still desirable and possible. The main issue is the buffer in Ireland. This buffer aims to avoid the hard border on the island of Ireland, to preserve the integrity of the single market and, above all, Ireland’s place on that market. And also to protect North-South cooperation with the island economy.

Michel Barnier – EU chief negotiator for Brexit: Obviously, the British government must provide support to the Northern Irish government in order to guarantee its exit from the EU. This is about involving the various institutions in the implementation of the safeguard mechanism. We remain available to listen to all British proposals. Our ambition is the strategic partnership between the EU and the UK.


Bulgaria Will Finance Lung Transplants in Non-EU Countries

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

Bulgaria will also finance lung transplants in countries outside the European Union. This intention of the Ministry of Health has so far suppressed the protest of those waiting for a lung transplant in Bulgaria and their relatives.

They protested in front of the health ministry and accused the minister of the department that he had left them with no alternative after the only transplant clinic for Bulgarians stopped receiving foreigners.

The Minister of Health replied that amendments to the Ordinance have already been prepared to resolve the issue.

18 Bulgarians are waiting for a lung transplant. According to patients and their loved ones, the only option  is to become health emigrants.

Todor Mangorov, President of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association: From May 2017, a single lung transplant has been performed. This protest was organized by the Ministry of Health to remind the Minister of Health that the work of caring for patients who need a lung transplant is taking an extremely long time.

The health minister responded to protesters that transplants could soon be funded in countries outside the European Union. This will change with an ordinance that is first subject to public consultation.

Kiril Ananiyev, Minister of Health: There are only a few days left to pass this debate and it will be signed and will enter into force. We talked about the US, Russia, Belarus, Turkey.

Patients and NGOs supported the idea and stopped the protest. According to them, however, the procedure will take a long time.

This year, Bulgarian doctors are trained to perform life-saving surgeries at a clinic in Vienna. The first lung transplantation in Bulgaria is expected to be completed in 2021.


Fintech Startups Are Going to Take a Lot of Banks’ Revenue

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

The global payment business, which covers everything from card payments to remittances abroad, will generate about $ 1.5 trillion this year, according to Accenture. But new players are entering the market, reports. Now banks dominate the payments sector, but by 2025, when that market grows to $ 2 trillion, banks can lose $ 280 billion, or about 15% of the total payment revenue. And the reason for this is the alternative services that are already gaining popularity, notes Reuters.

Banks are facing increasing competition from start-up technology companies (fintech startups) such as California-based payment providers Stripe and Square, as well as PayPal and London-based TransferWise, which offer individuals and small businesses lower-cost foreign currency payments.

According to Accenture, more and more payments are instant, and this eliminates the need for credit cards that generate revenue for banks. In addition, payments are increasingly being made directly to the end seller through new technologies. Increased competition also means reduced margins and an accelerated trend towards free payments.

“The digital boom means that banks need to radically change their perceptions about the structure of their income,” Accenture reported. “The channels that once brought billions of dollars to banks will cease to exist,” the company warned.


Donald Trump Is Ready to Approve a Initial Trade Deal with Japan

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

On Monday, President Donald Trump told the Congress that the United States and Japan are ready to enter into a restricted trade agreement that will reduce some of the bilateral tariffs and set conditions for digital commerce, Wall Street Journal reports.

Trump and his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, previously announced at the G7 summit in France in August that they had reached an agreement, in principle, to reduce bilateral agricultural and industrial customs tariffs.

The two sides said earlier that they expect to sign the agreement at the UN General Assembly in New York this month. By sending a formal notice to the Congress, Donald Trump can now move forward with the signing of this agreement. However, the letter to the Congress did not specify the terms of the transaction.

A deal in which Tokyo lowers its agricultural tariffs may allow American farmers to compete better in Japan.

US agricultural exporters have been at a disadvantage in the Japanese market since Trump withdrew from the agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was concluded between 12 member states.

President Trump has confirmed that Washington has reached a trade agreement with Tokyo, but declined to assure Japan that, if necessary, it will not impose high tariffs on vital Japanese car exports to the United States.


FOCUS: The Parliament Adopts Amendments to the Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Act on First Reading

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

The Parliament has adopted amendments to the Combating Trafficking in Human Beings Act on first reading, Focus News Agency reported. 

The bill was adopted with 122 votes in favour, one against and five аbstentions. The bill tabled by the Council of Ministers was adopted without debate in plenary. The proposed amendments were necessitated by the need to comply with the international legal instruments to which Bulgaria is a party, as well as to eliminate contradictory provisions that have proven to be inapplicable. The changes relate to developments in the institutional framework for combating trafficking in human beings, as well as to the National Mechanism for Counselling and Assisting Victims of Trafficking, adopted by the Council of Ministers. 

Another part of the amendments concerns the harmonisation of national legislation to the requirements of international law. They also cover victim protection. According to the movers, the adoption of the proposed bill will lead to greater clarity in the implementation of the law, transparency of the performed control over the activities regulated by it, and to the fulfilment of Bulgaria’s commitments to the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.


The Innovative SIMPL Long-Term Car Service with Full Assistance Launches in Bulgaria for the First Time

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

The innovative SIMPL service launches for the first time in Bulgaria. SIMPL provides a long-term car rental with full assistance by a personal assistant. The proposal is from Eurolease Group and will provide individuals and small businesses with as much convenience as possible.

“The SIMPL service is conformable to the dynamic life of the modern day people who are looking for convenience without being overwhelmed by assets. The asset is a burden, and the car can easily be considered a service, not a commodity, ” Ivaylo Petkov, CEO of SIMPL said.

The service is suitable for modern thinking people with an active lifestyle, for whom time is the most valuable resource, as well as for companies with a small fleet.

SIMPL will offer long-term rental for every make and model of a new car. The service also includes a personal assistant – a person who will take care of the full service of the car, which will save time and care. The requesting of services by the user will occur through a mobile application, which aims to further facilitate the user in using the service.

In the case of a long-term SIMPL car rental, the user owes a monthly fee, which includes the net car rental, as well as all related costs. The size is determined depending on the class of the car and the conditions of use. All expenses, such as servicing, insurance and more, are included in the basic fee and thus everyone can plan with sufficient security the funds to allocate for a future period. At the expiration of the rent, which is usually within 3 years, the customer can return the old car and take a new one. “Having a car made simple” is a promise that the SIMPL team is committed to.