Archive for the ‘World news’ Category

Bulgarian Mayors Set up Tourism Management Organisation for Rose Valley Region

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

The mayors of several municipalities and regional authorities took part in Kazanlak in the establishment of a tourism management organisation for the Rose Valley region, Sliven Municipality said, reports Focus News Agency. 

The newly established organisation will primarily focus on health and cultural tourism related to balneotherapy, wellness, culture and festivals, as well as adventure and ecotourism, mountain hiking and recreation.


Bulgartransgaz Creates Subsidiary for Gas Distribution Hub

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Bulgartransgaz EAD has set up its subsidiary Gas Hub Balkan EAD in connection with the initiative for the construction of a gas distribution hub in Bulgaria. In a press release, the company said the creation of the subsidiary was pursuant to the decision by the Council of Ministers and the Parliament to amend Bulgaria’s 2020 energy strategy. In the future Bulgartransgaz will keep at least 51% in the subsidiary, which will develop a liquid gas exchange in Bulgaria, with a segment for bilateral trade. Initially, Gas Hub Balkan will give the participants in the natural gas market in Bulgaria and the region the opportunity to use a trading platform in line with Art. 10 of Regulation (EU) No 312/2014 establishing a network code on gas balancing of transmission networks. The proposed gas hub will improve energy security, diversify gas supply sources and routes and ensure competitive prices for consumers, Bulgartransgaz said.


The Biggest Bulgarian-Macedonian Business Forum Opened in Skopje

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

The biggest Bulgarian-Macedonian businesss forum was opened in Skopje on 17th of January, reports BNT. 

Bulgaria is represented by a government delegation headed by Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev, which also includes the Deputy Minister of Economy, the Deputy Minister of Tourism and the Director of the Executive Agency for Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

More than 50 Bulgarian companies from the mining indusrty, food, transport, and construction sectors, as well as mayors from the two countries participate in the event.

The purpose of the forum is to promote business relationships. Macedonia is a traditional trading partner of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria will also open a trade representation in Skopje.


Tobacco Factory in Blagoevgrad Stopped Working Leaving 200 People Without Jobs

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Bulgartabac factory in Blagoevgrad stops working, but there is still no clear position on whether it is temporary or not. From more than 2,000 employees years ago, currently the factory employs about 200 people. A few days ago they were told that they had to submit notices of termination on the grounds that there was not enough work, reports BNT. 

The redundant workers are expected to receive between 4 and 5 salaries depending on the length of service, as well as the right to be on the dole for four months with minimum size of unempleoyment benefits. Currently, there is no formal opinion from Bulgartabac if the plant in Blagoevgrad ceases activity.

Central trade union organisations have not been formally notified of the employer’s intentions, the alerts were filed by people working in the cigarette factory. According to the chair of the tobacco federation of Podkrepa, Yuli Manoilov, the closure of the largest enterprise in the area will seriously affect the economy of the city.

Yuli Manoilov, Chair of the Tobacco Federation at Podkrepa trade union: For people it means some hard months, years, until they find new jobs. People working in the tobacco industry are narrow specialists who worked for many years only in this profession. They are specialists in this industry and it depends how much they are already prepared for what would appear to them as an opportunity in further activity.

According to the chair of the Tobacco Federation at Podkrepa, bad management had led to staff cuts at the plant. According to the privatisation contract, Bulgartabac has a commitment to keep the object of production until 2021 in Bulgaria, but it is not specified where.


Bulgaria and Macedonia will Work for Joint Border Control

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev and Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Kocho Angushev agreed to work together for relieving border crossing formalities and for joint border control, reports BNT.

The two met in the framework of Deputy Prime Minister Donchev’s official visit to the Bulgarian-Macedonian Business Forum, held in Skopje on 17th of January.

A common priority for the two countries is the construction of transport corridor № 8 and the Skopje – Sofia railway line. Bulgaria will do everything necessary to accelerate the completion, said Deputy Prime Minister Donchev.

Deputy Prime Minister Kocho Angushev stressed that the Republic of Macedonia is interested in strengthening cooperation with Bulgaria in the energy sector as well. Donchev and Angushev agreed to review and ease all rules and administrative regimes that are a burden on investment and trade between the two countries.

Macedonia is interested in participation in Belene Nuclear Power Plant and “Balkan” gas hub projects.

The country could participate as a partner, said Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev.


419 Schools Are in a Flu Vacation

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

419 schools are in a flu vacation, reported NOVA TV. 

Most of them are in the districts of Plovdiv and Stara Zagora. There are 140 in Plovdiv, and 120 in Stara Zagora. There are also several schools in other areas. This was announced by the Minister of Education and Science Krassimir Valchev, reported.

According to the Minister, on Thursday, more schools in the country are expected to stop working because of the flu epidemic.



US to Begin Nuclear Treaty Pullout Next Month

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

The US has rejected Moscow’s offer to inspect a new Russian missile suspected of violating a key cold-war era nuclear-weapons treaty, and warned that it would suspend observance of the agreement on 2 February, giving six-month notice of a complete withdrawal, reported the Guardian.

The under-secretary of state for arms control and international security, Andrea Thompson, confirmed the US intention to withdraw from the treaty after a meeting with a Russian delegation in Geneva, which both sides described as a failure.

Donald Trump took US allies by surprise when he announced his intention to leave the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty in October. The agreement led to the destruction of thousands of US and Soviet weapons, and has kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for three decades.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, accused the US of intransigence, saying Moscow had offered to allow US experts inspect the suspect missile, which it insists does not infringe the limits laid down in the treaty.

“However, US representatives arrived with a prepared position that was based on an ultimatum and centred on a demand for us to destroy this rocket, its launchers, and all related equipment under US supervision,” Lavrov said.

Thompson noted that the US had been demanding Russian transparency over the missile for more than five years. She confirmed that the offer of inspections was not enough and that the US was demanding the destruction of the missile system, known as the 9M729.

“We explained to our Russian counterparts specifically what they would need to do in order to return to compliance in a manner that we can confirm, verifiable destruction of the non-compliant system,” Thompson said.

“To see the missile does not confirm that distance that missile can travel, and at the end of the day that’s the violation of the treaty,” Thompson said in a phone briefing for reporters.

She said that there were currently no plans for a follow-up talks on the INF before the 2 February deadline laid down by the Trump administration, though US and Russian diplomats would be meeting, including at a summit of the Nato-Russian council next week.

Thompson said that if Russia did not show willingness to comply with the treaty by the deadline, the US would suspend its own obligations, meaning that the US defense department could start research and development on missiles with ranges currently banned by the INF, from 500 to 5,500km.

At the same time, she told reporters, the US would formally give notice of its withdrawal from the treaty, which could come into effect on 2 August.

After that, there would be no restrictions on deployment of medium-range missiles in Europe or the Pacific.

The Obama administration had complained to Russia about its new missile but had not threatened to leave the treaty. Diplomats said that Trump’s third national security adviser, John Bolton, persuaded him to withdraw, despite opposition from the state and defence departments, and from European allies.

After a reported appeal from Germany’s Angela Merkel, the administration agreed to a two-month delay, to give a last chance for diplomacy to save the INF.

Thompson confirmed that the Russian delegation in Geneva had raised their concerns about US missile defence launchers which Moscow says can be adapted to fire offensive missiles. She said that the US officials had repeated US insistence that the launchers were compliant with the INF, and provided documentary evidence.

The Trump administration was criticised by former officials and arms control advocates for not pursuing the Russian offer of inspections.

“We’ve spent years trying to get something – anything – out of the Russians on INF. The Russian offer of an exhibition of the 9M729 is not enough, but it is something,” Alexandra Bell, a former senior state department official who is now senior policy director at the Centre for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

“Perhaps it is a foundation on which to build. Not trying to take advantage of this opportunity is to leave diplomatic options on the table and that’s just foolish.”

Daryl Kimball, the head of the Arms Control Association said: “If the INF is terminated on 2 August, there will be nothing to prevent Russia from deploying nuclear missiles that threaten Europe and the Trump administration will have no hesitation in pursuing the deployment of INF-prohibited weapons in Europe.”


Ministry of Education is Preparing a New Program: IT Business Enters School

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

A new national program prepares the Education Ministry – “IT business enters school”. This was announced by the Minister of Education, Krassimir Valchev, at a hearing in the National Assembly, reported the Bulgarian National Television.

The program is part of the measures to enhance digital education in Bulgarian schools and the link with the labor market.

Krassimir Valchev, Minister of Education and Science: The idea is to encourage the interaction between schools and the IT sector. This includes both participation in IT business lessons and teacher training in IT companies, which should deepen the interaction between educational institutions and the IT sector.


Bulgaria Has Active Role in Juncker Plan

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Bulgaria ranks 7th in the EU when scale of investments through the Juncker Plan is concerned, according to the Bulgarian National Radio. 

The country has been doing a good job. There is no room for worry, as the projects financed so far would be further supported by Brussels.

This is what European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen told BTA.

The new investment program for the period until 2027 is focused more towards preserving nature, towards small and medium-sized companies, and innovation. The future program is easier for implementation, Katainen says. Companies seeking financing would submit their projects to the European Central Bank or its local representation.


Airbnb Will Pay 4 People to Live Amongst Locals in a Remote Italian Village for 3 Whole Months

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

There’s so much we can gain from traveling. From trying new food to learning about different cultures and going on adventures, it’s always wonderful to break away from the everyday and do something different, reported 

In order to truly immerse ourselves in the culture of our vacation destination, sometimes we enjoy staying where people really live instead of in hotels. Sites like Airbnb make this easy and affordable. In fact, in 2018, Airbnb was ranked the number one hotel chain by Budget Travel, and it’s not even really a hotel chain.

Sure, staying in a home or even a castle through Airbnb can be less expensive than staying in a hotel, but wouldn’t it be even better if you got paid to stay at an Airbnb destination?

Now you can.

This is not a fantasy, and the location is truly amazing. We’re talking about a small rural town in Italy called Grottole. Airbnb is partnering with Wonder Grottole to pay 4 lucky people to live in Italy this summer.

It gets even better. Not only will these four people get to live in a traditional home in the Italian countryside, they will also get to immerse themselves in the lifestyle of the tiny town. The trip goes from June through August, and they will spend the first month learning things like how to prepare Italian cuisine, how to grow vegetables and how to speak Italian.

After the first month, the chosen four will act as Airbnb Experience hosts teaching the skills they’ve learned to travelers.

We know. It still sounds too good to be true. We promise; it’s not.

Grottole is hoping this this rare opportunity will help revitalize the small village. “The small village of Grottole, with only 300 inhabitants and more than 600 empty homes is at risk of disappearing and is asking for your help!”

On the application, there’s a place to choose reasons why you would like this opportunity. They range from reasons like “I’m burned out, I need a break” to “I want to give my support to save a dying village.”

If you would like to apply for this 3-month paid trip to Italy, you can fill out the application here. It’s sure to be the trip of a lifetime.
Would you like to live in Italy this summer? Are you going to apply?