Saturday, 31 October 2009

Boyko Bulgarian's PM Leads Prudence By Example

The more I hear of Boyko Borisov in his role as PM the more impressed I am with his ideal and sensible view of solving problems. And by golly has Bulgaria got problems! This is a classic example of improved budgeting that basically involves a little bit of sensible prudence. Brave Boyko, you have my vote on this idea, let’s hope you continue to lead by example.

Boyko Bulgarian's PM Leads Prudence By Example

Bulgaria's new prime minister, Boiko Borisov, has banned entertainment allowances at the council of ministers and told employees to pay for their guests' coffee as part of cost-cutting measures.

Dinners and lunches for visiting delegations will be the only exception, the government's press office said.

It said the government's office had been spending 7,000 levs (USD5,372) a month on flowers and refreshments, which will now be saved as the Balkan country struggles to avoid a budget deficit.

"We will set a personal example," media quoted Borisov as saying.

"My understanding is that when you have a guest, you go and pay yourself just like I pay for my own coffee. If one is very dear to me, I will treat them, if not, I will not treat them."

The order to cut entertainment allowances is likely to be extended to all ministries and regional governors' offices and is expected to save 1 million levs (USD769,200) a year, government spokesman Nikolai Boev said.

The European Union's poorest nation has been hard hit by the global crisis which put an end to 12 years of economic growth.

Borisov's centre-right government won a parliamentary election in July on a promise to crack down on rampant corruption and fight the recession.

It has already cut public spending by 15% to avoid an end-year deficit that could put pressure on Bulgaria's lev currency peg to the euro.

The government, which expects the economy to contract by 2% next year after shrinking by 6.3% in 2009, has pencilled in a budget deficit of 0.7% of GDP next year but will aim for a zero gap in a bid to speed up eurozone entry and avoid a prolonged recession.

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Friday, 30 October 2009

Bulgarian President Planning An Expensive Trip (Although Denied)

I couldn’t agree more to cutting this proposed trip and set an example of cost cutting. What justification is there to go there anyway on the backs of Bulgaria tax payers (those that pay it anyway!) If there is business to attend to and I’ve suggested this before, use video conferencing. One wonders for what reasons these trips are planned, surely there has to be a motive other than just fancying a trip there!

Bulgarian President Planning An Expensive Trip (Although Denied)
Bulgaria’s right-wing Blue Coalition has urged President Georgi Purvanov to call off a planned trip to Australia and New Zealand, saying that the "exotic" expedition cannot be justified at a time when the Government is trying to cut costs – and in any case, Bulgaria sells the Antipodes little more than a bit of cheese.

Speaking to journalists in Parliament, Blue Coalition MP Assen Agov said that estimates were that the trip by Purvanov, who would be accompanied by a delegation, would cost 500 000 leva.

Bulgaria was facing an economic crisis and it would be appropriate for the head of state to be seen to be cutting costs along with Government departments, Agov was quoted as saying by Bulgarian news agency BTA. Trade relations with Australia and New Zealand were too scant to justify the trip, he said.

Agov said that, in any case, the head of state of both Australia and New Zealand lived in London – England’s Queen Elizabeth II.

The plan to go to Australasia was as puzzling as Purvanov having travelled to Izmir in Turkey to watch a volleyball match, and his recent trip to Cyprus, Agov said, adding that there was a lack of clarity about how much money was spent on presidential travel, and how it was paid for.

President Purvanov’s office released a 470-word media statement responding to the Blue Coalition’s statements.

According to the statement, Purvanov’s visits to Korea, from October 25 to 27, and to Australia from October 28 to 31, had been planned in advance as part of the President’s foreign policy activities for 2009.

Purvanov’s office denied that he planned to visit New Zealand.

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Thursday, 29 October 2009

Earthquakes Strike Again In My Area - After Estate Agents Reassurances

Yet more earthquakes in the area I live in, (Tundzha/Yambol.) Funny, but when IU first moved over here Estate Agents told me that earthquakes only occur in the mountain regions of Bulgaria and the Thracian Plain doesn’t not have any problems with earthquakes. Well it seem that the mountains have no problems but the Thracian Plains are inundated with quakes recently. Would I have moved to another area if I were told the truth? Actually no, earthquakes are part and parcel of life here, no insurance, just rebuild your buildings when it strikes and that is what I have done recently! Bloody Estate Agents - don’t believe a word they tell you, wherever you are in the world - THEY ARE AFTER YOUR MONEY!

Earthquakes Strike Again In My Area - After Estate Agents Reassurances
A series of mild earthquakes were felt in Bulgaria, starting at 12.21pm on October 28 2009, Bulgarian news agency BTA said.

Scientists from the Seismological Centre and the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Institute of Geophysics triangulated the tremor at about 245km south-east of the capital city, Sofia.

The earthquake was 3.2 on the Richter scale, near Toundja municipality in the Yambol region, the Civil Protection National Service said.

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) confirmed that a 3.1-magnitude tremor epicentred 57km south-east of the town of Stara Zagora, was felt, causing no damage or injuries.

The follow-up to the tremor was slightly stronger, 3.2-magnitude, pinpointed at 10km underground, this time 54 km south-east of Stara Zagora.

The last jolt was a mild 2.8-magnitude at 1pm about 57km north-west of the Turkish city of Edirne, and 26km west of the Bulgarian town of Elhovo,

According to initial reports, there were no casualties from the tremors. There are also no reports of residential structural damage or damage to infrastructure.

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Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Under Age Sex In Bulgaria - Normal With Gypsies

There was no mention here whether this was a Bulgarian or Bulgarian Gypsy child. Getting married at 11 years old must surely indicate that this was a Gypsy girl. Will anything be done as this is a Gypsy issue? I doubt it, underage sex, marriage and other underage issues is part of their alien culture in Bulgaria.

An 11-year-old girl gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the southeast Bulgarian city of Sliven Thursday night.

The news has been confirmed by the head of the maternity ward in the Sliven Hospital, Dr. Sonya Mihaylova, who also said the youngest mothers the ward had seen earlier were aged 12.
The baby of the 11-year-old mother weighs 2,5 kg. The father is 19. The young mother’s parents are in Spain. The young “family” is taken care of by the father’s mother.

The young mother came in at about 9:30 pm, gave birth in one hour, and wanted to leave because her “wedding was the same night”, in the words of Dr. Mihaylova.

“There is no one from her family, there is no one we could talk to, her parents are in Spain, and no one can make decisions for her without their agreement,” said Dr. Mihaylova, as quoted by BGNES, while refusing to discharge the girl and her baby before making sure they are totally fine. The hospital has alerted the Child Protection Agency about the case.

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Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Clunk Click Every Trip? - Not Quite In Bulgaria

Driving mentality in Bulgaria borders on the Kamikaze scenario. Many drivers have a death wish and amongst many crazy driving antics not wearing seat belts are a common practice. Only the other day I was waiting outside a clothing shop (waiting for my Bulgarian partner who was in there of course) and decided to do a count of non seat belt wearers in vehicles that drove pass. Of the hundred or so that passed there was almost a 50% of drivers not wearing seat belts. It is no surprise that the report paints a true picture of what happens on the roads here from what I witness every day.

Clunk Click Every Trip? - Not Quite In Bulgaria

Bulgarian traffic police KAT will initiate a safety campaign under the slogan "Saving 300 lives – use safety belts" on October 23, which will last until November 11 2009, the Bulgarian National Television said on October 22.

The organisers have said that in order for the campaign to yield positive results, it will have to be taken seriously by drivers and that everyone must actively participate in it.

"It is important that people are motivated, that they use their safety belts because they want to, not because it will save them from getting a fine. It must become a second nature to them, a reflex if you will," said KAT chief commissioner Krassimir Kostov, as quoted by BNT.

Statistics show that in Bulgaria, front seats safety belts are used in 85 per cent of the trips between cities and by 65 per cent within urban areas. The alarming statistic, however, is that when it comes to the use of rear seats safety belts, the usage in Bulgaria drops down to zero per cent.

By contrast, in most Western European countries, front seat safety belts are used by about 95 per cent of the population, whereas rear seat belts – by about 85 per cent.

According to KAT's Alexi Kessiakov, as quoted by the BNT, "over 330 people lost their lives in 2008, deaths which could have been prevented had the people used safety belts. Of the 112 people who died last year and were rear-seat passengers, only eight of them used the belt".
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Monday, 26 October 2009

More EU Money Wasted On A Bulgarian VIP Trip

What a pointless waste of money this is. How much is the cost of this trip and what will it achieve? - Lots of dosh and nothing respectively. All that will happen is that the commissioner will get treated like royalty told a load of lies and that’s it. What’s wrong with getting a report via email or having a videoconference at the fraction of the cost? Another EU extravagant spending from on rich people born with a silver spoon in their mouth’s who incidentally probably haven’t had to do a decent day’s work in their lives!

More EU Money Wasted On A Bulgarian VIP Trip

European Regional Policy Commissioner Paweł Samecki is to visit Bulgaria on October 22 and 23 to see the impact of the EU’s cohesion policy in the South-West (Sofia) and North-Central (Gabrovo) regions, the EC said.

Samecki will meet Prime Minister Boiko Borissov and members of the Cabinet, and visit some of the major EU-backed infrastructure developments currently underway in the country, including the Sofia metro extension and Lyulin Motorway.

"Bulgaria has every opportunity to make the best use of the 9.5 billion euro of EU investments available until 2013," Samecki said.

"In my view the authorities have recently taken appropriate actions to tackle problems and I congratulate them for the willingness they have demonstrated to meet challenges head-on. The selection of good projects, stable and competent management, and good control systems are crucial to ensure the maximum impact of EU assistance for the Bulgarian people," he said.

Samecki will meet Borissov and Simeon Dyankov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, as well as four other Cabinet ministers responsible for implementing the EU’s cohesion policy: Rosen Plevneliev (Regional Development and Public Works), Traicho Traikov (Economy, Energy and Tourism), Aleksandar Tsvetkov (Transport, Information Technology and Communication), and Nona Karadjova (Environment and Water).

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Sunday, 25 October 2009

Foreign Rich Git Gold Diggers Raping Bulgaria's Lands

Don’t you just hate money minded companies raping nature? It really is typical of this materialist world to reduce a part of a beautiful countryside into a slag pile minus any traces of gold within. Who will benefit from this gold digging exploit? Not Bulgaria that's for sure, but some foreign money minded already rich company who have masses of collateral finance to invest in this. Let’s hope they don’t find any gold in their search and p*** off.

Foreign Rich Git Gold Diggers Raping Bulgaria's Lands

South-east Europe (ed. Bulgaria and Serbia) focused Canadian gold miner EurOmax Resources Limited (TSX-V: EOX) has commenced drilling programmes at its Bulgarian properties to test mineralised veins in preparation for early production.

The current three hole diamond drilling programme at Breznik is aimed at obtaining diamond drill-core for metallurgical testing and test all four mineralised veins.

The Breznik project is estimated to have a JORC compliant indicated resource of 1,079,000 tonnes grading 2.01 grammes per tonne (g/t) gold and 6.05 g/t silver and an inferred resource of 689,000 tonnes at 1.79 g/t gold and 5.66 g/t silver. The resource was calculated only for the main vein over a strike length of 800 metres, while mineralization has been mapped over a strike of more than 3 kilometres. Most of the drill holes reported high grades from 3.5 g/t to 54.1 g/t.

The company is currently evaluating the potential of this deposit for exploitation of the higher grade material with a low impact underground mining operation.

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Saturday, 24 October 2009

Fraud Online - Wise Up Then It Will Go Away

I have to be quite honest about this report and say that the people who get to lose money on these scams must be stupid. Anyone knows that you should never give your password away. Because there are so many people who are silly enough to do this give license for more scammers to take advantage of the ignorance of computer users. I quite enjoy getting some of these scam emails as I just vent my anger with my reply which includes threats that hopefully will shake them in their boots when they read it.

Hundreds of thousands of leva have been stolen from Bulgarian bank accounts online over the past few years, Bulgarian news agency BTA quoted an Interior Ministry annoucement as saying on October 19 2009.

Police could not give an exact count on the number of bank accounts hit by hackers, the websites or the exact amount of money stolen, because many of the victims had not yet noticed the missing money or have not called the police, BTA said.

There were several ways for hackers to drain money from people's bank accounts online, police said and asked people to be careful when shopping online.

One of the most common schemes, police said, was the so-called fishing method, where a hacker use a computer programme to send emails to a list of randomly generated e-mail addresses, "informing" the client that there is a problem with his or her online bank account.

The victim is then asked to send a reply to the "alert" and to specify his or her user name and password.

Experts advice not to open such emails, even though their emails addresses in many case are very similar to those used by genuine companies and banks……..

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Friday, 23 October 2009

Funds For Bulgarian Gypsy Children

World Bank

Good to see sometign positive happening to the Gypsy kids, but it is a drop in the ocean with the number that need help. Unfortunately the Gypsy way of life leads most children to be in need and investement in education and cultural reform and respect would best be served for Gypsy children of the future.

Bulgaria is set to receive 40 million euros from the World Bank for projects to help Roma children integrate into society, Labour and Social Policy Minister Totyu Mladenov said.

Mladenov, speaking at a the two-day regional seminar: Social inclusion - the priorities of national and regional policies for social Europe, on Monday, said that half of the money from the project will be invested in social policies, while the remainder would be allocated for the reconstruction and building of creches, Novinite reported.

Municipalities and NGOs that meet World Bank criteria will be eligible to use money from the project. The main target group will be Roma children and children with disabilities that need a “more accessible environment”.

The project will last from 2009 to 2013 and the first results will become clear in 2011, Mladenov said.

Image by blahmni via Flickr

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Thursday, 22 October 2009

Political Gain From A Ridiuclous Suggestion - i.e. Ban Gambling In Bulgaria

This has nothing to do with morals, funds for the government or care for the Bulgarian people. This is entirely to do with Ivan Kostov trying to gain more popularity. I have made my views clear on this leech of a politician before about his desire for power and chameleon political stance to get this. Who would ever conceive that gambling could be banned in Bulgaria anyway, after all who runs the gambling business?

Political Gain From A Ridiuclous Suggestion - i.e. Ban Gambling In Bulgaria
Ivan Kostov, leader of the right-wing Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria (DSB) called for a ban on gambling in Bulgaria, Bulgarian news agency Focus said on October 20 2009.

"Currently taxation on gambling in Bulgaria fails to contribute significant funds to the Budget while the damage gambling causes is huge," said Kostov, a former prime minister and former finance minister.

"People who lobbied to keep gambling free of excise duties lied that this would bring higher revenue to the Budget and that the state would get money in return. I support the idea of a complete ban on gambling in Bulgaria, because it doesn't bring revenue, causes damage and probably the only people who benefit from it are the gambling bosses," Kostov said.

On October 15 2009, the Government approved a plan to introduce identical tax rates for all games of chance. Thus, the state lottery and private fixed-odds sports betting bookmaker Eurofootball will pay 12 per cent instead of 10 per cent of their betting turnover.

According to Eurofootball, the increase will mean 30 million leva losses for the sector in 2010.

"A large section of gambling operators in Bulgaria are facing bankruptcy, while at the same time Bulgaria could increase revenue collection from online gambling games to 160 million leva annually if it introduces a swift and efficient regulatory framework," Eurofootball said in a statement on October 18 2009.

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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Miro - Bulgaria's Eurovision Choice

I am a fan of Miro next year's Bulgarian Eurovision nominated singer. Having seen him over the years I must say he is probably one of the top quality pop singers in Europe. He has the looks as well. Let’s hope last year’s voting rig is solved, but we all know there will be another controversy for publicity of the event course! That’s entertainment for you….

By the way the woman in the picture is called Galia and comes originally from our home town of Yambol. They did a pop hit duet together around three years ago. I don’t rate here as a good singer but she enjoyed the success with Miro – Not heard much from her since apart from being kicked out of VIP brother a couple of years ago.

Bulgarian pop singer Miroslav Kostadinov will represent Bulgaria at the 2010 Eurovision song contest, public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television, which organises the Bulgarian qualifying competition and broadcasts the final event, said on October 18.

Eager to avoid the controversy that dogged the local qualifying event on all but one occasion, BNT changed the rules so that the Bulgarian representative is no longer chosen following a text vote. Every year, critics say that the text vote is manipulated and rigged in the favour of one competitor.

Instead, this year the nominee was picked by a committee of 51 composers, song-writers and musicians.

Kostadinov, usually referred to as Miro of Karizma, after the popular duet he was a part of, was voted by 10 of the committee's members. Last year's runner-up, Polya Genova, was second with seven votes.

BNT will next produce and release five songs for Miro, with viewers voting in with text messages to pick the winning song that will represent Bulgaria at the 2010 Eurovision contest in Norway.

BNT justified the change by saying that its attempts to find the "most democratic" way to designate a winner were "misunderstood and caused a lot of controversy".

A row marked Bulgaria's very first Eurovision campaign, when pop quartet Kaffe were accused of rigging the anonymous vote. Last year's campaign produced an equally bitter row when Krassimir Avramov won the qualification contest, but promptly exited at the semi-final stage.
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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Bulgarian Law - Corrupt Then And Probable Corrupt Now

This just confirms the corruption that is infiltrated in all levels of society in Bulgaria. Just read the quote, which gives some details that, could quite easily be turned into film script. It is quite disturbing to know that this type of thing goes on in Bulgaria on our doorsteps. Bring people to justice seems a bit ironic when the law here even now is probably just as corrupt.

Bulgarian Law - Corrupt Then And Probable Corrupt Now
Bulgaria's police have arrested one of the suspects for ordering the murder of Stoyan Stoyanov, a businessman whose body was found after he had been missing for 1,5 years.

The suspect, Galiv Kostov, was detained on Friday, Bulgaria’s Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, announced Sunday. Kostov is a former judge in the Varna District Court, he later worked as an attorney, and is currently a private officer of the court. Kostov has been detained for 72 hours, and on Monday he will be placed under permanent arrest at the request of the Burgas District Prosecutor’s Office.

The second suspect for ordering Stoyan Stoyanov’s murder is Svetlin Mihaylov, a former Director of the State Receivables Collection Agency in 2002-2006. Mihaylov is not currently in Bulgaria, that is why the Ministry of Interior has issued an European Arrest Warrant.

Minister Tsvetanov announced that the murder of the businessman from the city of Burgas Stoyan Stoyanov was organized because of a disputed real estate property of 2,5 decares on the Black Sea coast close to the city of Burgas.

Tsvetanov said initially the plotters decided to kill Stoyanov in front of his house. However, the first group they hired to carry out the murder failed, and they hired a second group.

Thus, the night of March 6, 2008, Stoyan Stoyanov was kidnapped in front of his home, and was taken to the resort of Obzor. There he and the kidnappers had a conversation with him, and then killed him.

According to the police, Kostov and Mihaylov wanted to sell Stoyanov the coastal property in question, and initially Stoyanov was eager to buy it at any price. Later, however, he gave up because they demanded too much money. When Stoyanov was kidnapped, they tried to make him buy the property, and had him killed when he refused. Minister Tsvetanov said the whole crime took about two hours.

After the meeting in Obzor, the executors of murder took the businessman to a forest in the Dyulinski Pass, and shot him in the head, and they buried his corpse. The corpse was discovered by the police on Thursday thanks to witnesses’ testimonies.

According to the evidence of the police, the former judge Galin Kostov, and the former top civil servant Stanislav Mihaylov hired two men – Stoyan Kolev and Neno Atanasov – to organize the kidnapping and murder of the 36-year-old businessman. Kolev and Atanasov were detained in Burgas at the beginning of July 2009, and have been kept in the arrest ever since.

The two organizers in turn hired two other men to carry out the kidnapping and murder – Manol Hadzhiev, and another man who is currently known to the police only under the name “Vesko”.

Manol Hadzhiev was the one who physically murdered Stoyan Stoyanov. However, Hadzhiev was found killed in Varna in August 2008. According to the police he and Vesko were supposed to get EUR 30 000 each for killing Stoyanov but the payment was delayed, and Manol Hadzhiev started seeking his money, and was killed as a result. The police are still looking for Vesko as his identity is still unknown.

The organizers Kolev and Atanasov were detained on July 7, 2009, just a day before the investigation of Stoyanov’s murder was about to expire. Shortly after that the Burgas Prosecutor Angel Angelov said those who ordered Stoyanov dead were competitors of his firm Graniti.
The 36-year-old Stoyan Stoyanov is a widower with an 8-year-old son. He was expecting a baby with his girlfriend when he was kidnapped.

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Monday, 19 October 2009

Get Out Of The Hot Kitchen Stanishev

Sergey Stanishev has been in the hot kitchen for quite a while now. It’s about time he got out. Current premier rightly has taken over a government that hasn’t listened the Bulgarian people and has failed them miserably. Criticism has been going on for quite while now it is obviously getting to the previous PM. I don’t think anyone feels sorry for Stanishev having to put up with all these digs apart from him of course. Will time let people forget what he has done? No, Bulgaria a slave to Europe is a legacy he will have to carry on his shoulders for life and beyond.

Get Out Of The Hot Kitchen Stanishev
Former Bulgarian Prime Minister, Sergey Stanishev, stated Friday that his successor, Boyko Borisov, and the GERB government behave as election runners not as a government.
“Fight the economic crisis, secure economic growth, decrease the unemployment, and improve the living standard in Bulgaria instead of fighting the beaten government,” Stanishev told Borisov and Finance Minister Djankov from the Parliamentary floor referring to his own cabinet whose parties lost the July 2009 general elections.

Stanishev, who is the leader of the Bulgarian Socialst Party, said that 2010 would be harder economically than 2009, and urged the GERB government to adopt a governance program.
“Why did the balanced budget turn into a priority in a time of crisis? Most budget-funded systems are having it very rough because of the imposed limitations,” Stanishev declared pointing out the difficulties in the state railways BDZ, and the social institutions.

“Bulgaria is going to restore its 2008 economic development no earlier than 2012, i.e. at the end of the term of the present government, and such a pace of recovery is not satisfactory for us,” the former PM stated pointing out the Bulgarian government forecast a GDP decline of 2% in 2010, whereas most other countries were already expecting positive economic growth.

Stanishev also said a EC report from October 14 praised Bulgaria as one of the five EU economies facing lowest risk was the result of the policies of his government. At the same time, the GERB cabinet continued blaming the emerging issues on the former governing team.

“Mr. Prime Minister, the tender for the corvettes was carried out by your government in 2004. For four years, my government staved off the French attacks for starting the deal. I have not signed any contracts for the purchase of French corvettes, and I am made no financial commitments in that respect,” the former Prime Minister declared referring to the government of Simeon Saxe-Coburg (2001-2005) when Borisov was the Interior Ministry Secretary.
Thus, he replied to Borisov’s claims that Stanishev had promised to buy two corvettes from France while the state budget no could not afford the deal.

“How come the Belene Nuclear Power Plant is of interest for Germany, Russia, France, even Macedonia, but not for the Bulgarian government?” Stanishev asked regarding the hesitancy of the GERB government to complete the construction of the Belene plant with state money, or at least with state-guaranteed loans, as the former cabinet had planned.

“I remind you that the interest of Gaz de France and Dalkia in buying the Sofia heating utility Toplofikatsia is not a product of your visit in Paris, but dated back years. However, your unwillingness to start its privatization did not allow the French companies to participate,” Stanishev said referring to the time when Boyko Borisov served as Sofia Mayor.

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Sunday, 18 October 2009

Medical and Education Funds Spent Wisely In Bulgaria Is The Key

Welcome to the EU, Bulgaria!!

Who says Bulgaria wants to be an average European state? This is a quote that just typifies what is the EU is doing to Bulgaria. It wants to make it another sterile country with a EU identity and forgo its character and culture. It may just be the percentage spent on health and education, but as far as I know the education system in Bulgaria is far better than many other EU countries with such a low investment., It’s how you spend the money not how much you put into it that counts! But then top dogs, even in Bulgaria are supposedly far too intelligent to realise that.

Bulgaria spends less for healthcare and education than other EU member states and much more for power fields. This is what minister of Finance Simeon Dyankov said at an extraordinary sitting of the Bulgarian Medical Association (BMA).

“This misbalance is as it follows: Bulgarian will spend about 4,2% GDP for healthcare as it is about 50% less than the average compared to the rest EU member states. If a country wants to become an average European states this means that it would allot much resources for these two fields and less for the power ones”, the Minister said.

Image by Doomster via Flickr
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Saturday, 17 October 2009

Bulgaria The Hot Spot - Or Should I Say A Hotter Spot?

This report is typical of a worldwide problem of global warming and evidence that the greed of humans will become the demise of this planet soon than later. It will eventually become a toxic desert void of life and no matter what green-based environmental campaigns are made greed and selfishness, a natural trait of man will rule. From a different perspective it will aid my sweet corn, tomatoes and grape crops over the next ten to twenty years. I don’t care too much about skiing either. Then I’ll be too old and ready for the grave and gladly won’t see Bulgaria as a desert thereon.

A European Commission Environment News Alert seems to confirm the general view that Bulgaria is experiencing progressively higher temperatures.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has already reported that the global average annual temperature increased by 0.74°C since 1991. But local studies are equally important. And, as far as Bulgaria is concerned, research indicates an increase in annual mean temperatures in the south-western region of the country, an area currently characterised by hot, Mediterranean-like summers and cold winters.

Results were reported for two main areas: Bankso (936m) and the mountain area of Musala Peak (2925m).

"Until the 1990s there was little variation in the average annual temperature (-3.0°C) in the Musala Peak area. However, in the 1990s, the average annual temperature rose to -2.7°C, and has been -2.5°C since 2001. In Bankso the average annual temperature was 8.1°C in the 1970s. In the 1990s the average annual temperature rose to 9.1°C; and has been 9.6°C since 2001," says the report.

Statistics also indicate a general shortening of the winter season accompanied by longer summers and fewer days with temperatures below 0°C. These changes have implications for the stability of this area in terms of soil structure, water retention and the ecosystem as a whole, says the report.

Changes in rain and snowfall (precipitation) were not so obvious. Analysis suggests precipitation fell between 1955 and 1995 for the Bankso region. The annual number of days with snowfall at Musala Park during 1973-2006 has fallen for both summer and autumn. However, the report concedes that measurements of precipitation in high mountain regions can be unreliable and could even have an error rate of 15 per cent for rain and 50 per cent for snow.

However, the report that the changes reported - notably rising temperatures - would have a long-term effect on local ecosystems.

"Generally it is thought the ecosystem changes in this region (southwestern Bulgaria) could be similar to those occurring in the Alps. These changes may also have socio-economic impacts, for example, less reliable snow in the ski resorts and effects on the water supply. More droughts are expected which could have a future impact on water reservoirs and irrigation in neighbouring Greece," says the report.

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Friday, 16 October 2009

Bulgaria and Manchester United's Berbartov Now A Father

Bulgaria and Manchester United's Berbartov Now A Father

This was actually bigger news that the World Cup qualifying football match! Well Dimitar has kicked off his fatherhood and will now need his fortune earned to support her. No doubt she will have the best start in life with the fortune he has accumulated. It will be interesting to see where she is brought up, Bulgaria or a more ‘up market country? All said and done I wish the Elena and Dea the best of health.

Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov has become the father of a baby girl, hours after scoring a hat trick in Bulgaria's 6-2 victory over Georgia in a World Cup qualifier.

Berbatov's longtime girlfriend, Elena, gave birth to their first child at a Sofia hospital Thursday. The girl has been named Dea.

Berbatov said on his Web site: "There have been no complications, and both the mother and baby daughter are healthy."

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Thursday, 15 October 2009

IKEA in Bulgaria! - Oh No!

Oh dear, and I though I had escaped IKEA by coming to Bulgaria. I don’t mind their goods, but I know the stores are the same worldwide and are horrendous for men. Women just love to browse and walk along the mandatory paths that send you past every single item on sale there. I just like to go in get what I want and come out - You can’t do that in IKEA. If IKEA had a mail order service it would be the most successful company in the world. When they do get here, they won’t see me there for dust! I like Bulgarian furniture, simple, practical and of course the cheapest in Europe!

Fourlis Holdings, the Ikea franchise-holder for Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria, plans to open its first Bulgaria store by 2013, Bulgarian-language Dnevnik daily quoted Reuters on October 14 2009.

Fourlis planned to open up to 12 new stores in the Balkans, including Bulgaria, Reuters quoted a CEO Apostolos Petalas. According to Reuters, Fourlis considered opening not one but two stores in Bulgaria.

This is not the first time Fourlis has revealed plans to open an Ikea store in Bulgaria. The first statements appeared in 2005. Later, it was announced that the first store would open its doors in Sofia in 2010.

Reportedly the company even bought land near the city ring road. In January 2009, Greek media went even further by saying that Fourlis had increased its stake in its Bulgarian Ikea franchise to 100 per cent and, secondly, its plans were to operate three Ikea stores in Bulgaria by 2013.

Currently, the nearest Ikea stores to Bulgaria are in Bucharest and Thessaloniki which has developed shopping tour services as many Bulgarians have started shopping there on weekends.

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Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Free Rakia Making Goes On In Bulgaria - For Now Anyway

Free Rakia Making Goes On In Bulgaria - For Now Anyway

Power to the people, power to the rakia making in Bulgaria may it live on forever! It is for sure that any government in Bulgaria would fall at the next election if they decide ban or put tax on home made rakia. The EU have also tried to enforce this but have failed at the first hurdle. Time however will eventually kill the homemade spirit such a shame that this will eventually happen.

Bulgaria's new government has abandoned plans to increase alcohol taxes due to public anger that this would threaten a centuries-old tradition of making wine and rakia brandy at home. The centre-right government of the Gerb party had hoped to raise an extra 60 million levs (R335m) a year for the health and pension systems. But Prime Minister Boiko Borisov back-pedalled on the plan on Sunday following rising discontent among Bulgarians.

Image via Wikipedia

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Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Danube A New Power Source For Bulgarian And Romania

Danube A New Power Source For Bulgarian And Romania

This is good news coming from countries that need to have a more independent source of energy. Environmentally it seems the best option but I do wonder whether the loss of water surge beyond the power system in place will affect wildlife further down the river. Even with this other options to generate power would be more than likely have a detrimental effect. Let’s see whether the EU has something to say about this venture.

Balkan neighbours Bulgaria and Romania are considering construction of two hydroelectric plants on the Danube River, which makes their common border, a Romanian official was quoted as saying Sunday.

Tudor Serban, a Romanian ministry of economy official told the News In news agency the two countries would try to win EU funding for the joint projects. He gave no other details.

A Communist-era project of a Bulgarian-Romanian hydroelectric complex on the Danube has been abandoned after the collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989.

Image by brewbooks via Flickr
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Monday, 12 October 2009

Who Will Be The EU President? - It Is Sure To Be A Comedian

The more I hear and see of the former Tsar Simeon Saxe-Coberg, the more I don’t like him. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has led a life of luxury every since. He is a failed Prime Minister and has apparently only came back from Spain to save his assets and land in Bulgaria after communism fell. He is actually a laughing stock for impressionists on TV. I really don’t’ know what the fuss is all about really with this repost as he has no chance of getting his ponsed up title of EU President anyway as Blair will probably get it. I really could care an ounce anyway as they are all comedians!

WhoWill Be The EU President? - It Is Sure To Be A Comedian

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister has made it clear he will not nominate former Tsar Simeon Saxe-Coburg for the race for the soon-to-be-created post of European Union President.
Boyko Borisov, who once served as a bodyguard to the former Tsar and Prime Minister Saxe-Coburg, vehemently opposed the suggestion made earlier in the week by former Foreign Minister Solomon Passy.

“This issue has been decided by another race that took place a few months ago,” Boyko Borisov commented, referring to the general elections in July when his party GERB swept an overwhelming victory.

“He [Simeon Saxe-Coburg] threw me out on the street and left me alone,” Borisov, who was also former Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry, commented.

Bulgaria’s last Tsar, Simeon Saxe-Coburg, who also served as the country’s prime minister in 2001-2005, was surprisingly tipped to become the European Union’s President by Solomon Passy, honorary president of the Atlantic Club in Bulgaria and former foreign minister.

“There are just a few personalities in Bulgaria, which are suitable for the post. One of them certianly is Simeon Saxe-Coburg. Even when he was still a prime minister of a country non-member of the European Union, he was called Mr Europe,” Passy said on Tuesday.

Passy did not hesitate to draw parallels with the unexpected election of Bulgarian Irina Bokova as UNESCO Director General.

“This example shows that if the country has no problem to nominate a candidate to lead an organization of 200 nations, there should be no obstacles to pick a runner for the presidency of a family made up of 27 countries,” he commented.

Simeon Saxe-Coburg was Tsar of Bulgaria between 1943 and 1946 when at the age of eight he was exiled by the communist regime to Spain, where he spent most of his life.

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Sunday, 11 October 2009

Bulgarian Muslim's Proking Religious Emotions?

I wouldn’t put it past the Muslims to have done this themselves to stir religious emotions and point fingers at anti-Muslim movements that don’t’ exist. A wide following of Christian Orthodox in Bulgaria is how it is here. Muslim movements are aggressive and use various dastardly means by extremists and activists who are more criminal than religious. I could be wrong though.

Bulgarian Muslim's Proking Religious Emotions?
A hundred-year-old mosque was burnt to the ground on October 7 2009 in the Bulgarian town of Nikopol. Firefighters arrived swiftly on the scene, according to several eyewitness reports, but the blaze already had engulfed the entire structure.

Imam Gyursel Mimishev told Bulgarian National Television (BNT) that the fire was an act of arson by local activists from the Movement of Rights and Freedoms (MRF), the party led and supported in the main by Bulgarians of ethnic Turkish descent. He said that their motivation was that he is a supporter of Prime Minister Boiko Borissov's GERB Government.

Nikopol mayor Valerii Zheliaskov rejected allegations that this was a case of politically-motivated arson. He said it was simply an accident. Police have declined to comment as the investigation is continuing.

On October 7 2009, Mimishev told Bulgarian news agency BTA: "I believe that this was arson – mind you, not emanating from ethnic hatred or anything like that, but politically-motivated".

Zheliaskov said: "There is no ethnic tension in Nikopol, and there never was. People here get on with their daily lives, and religion here is not an issue, I don’t believe that this was perpetrated with any sinister motive, I think it was an accident".

There were 110 attacks on mosques and Islamic places of worship in the country in 2008, according to Bulgaria’s Chief Mufti. He said that no one had been brought to justice. Authorities say that in 2000 another mosque in Nikopol was torched, but the perpetrators were still at large.

Meanwhile authorities have pledged 25,000 leva for the restoration of the two mosques in Nikopol and the one in Blagoevgrad, which was also recently subjected to acts of vandalism, a Government press release announced on October 8

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Saturday, 10 October 2009

Amazon's Kindle Takes Bulgaria Into It's Fold

This is great news for me personally as I was a bit naffed off by being excluded last year as I live in Bulgaria. Being a writer this will be a great asset where my writing can be shown off to a wider audience and of course perhaps more ebooks sales than I am currently for my book Simple Treasures in Bulgaria. Bulgaria is coming into the new age of a bigger world of online business right now from all angles.

Amazon's Kindle Takes Bulagria Into It's Fold
A new version of Amazon's Kindle e-reader will for the first time make wireless downloading of English-language content to the device available outside the US, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told Wired Magazine in an interview published on October 6 2009.

The new Kindle, sold as the Kindle with US and International Wireless, was not just intended for Americans traveling abroad. According to Bezos, Amazon's sales patterns showed what he referred to as a sizable demand for English-language books in countries that speak other languages. Until now, English-language books were hard to find, expensive and slow to arrive, Bezos told Wired Magazine.

The new Kindle would make this process snappy and easy, without the need for additional wireless contracts or fees. The new device, priced at $279 (190 euro), will start shipping on October 15 2009, but can be pre-ordered before that date.

The current model, with US-only wireless, would continue to be on sale, at a reduced price of $259 (175 euro).

The new Kindle was identical to the current model, except for the radio, Bezos said.

The device would use AT&T's wireless network, which provides Amazon with a read in 100 countries worldwide, instead of Sprint that the older model uses.

According to Wired Magazine, despite Amazon negotiating an arrangement with publishers that it was to pay royalties depending on the territory of purchase, about one third of the Kindle store would not be available in all countries.

Amazon statistics showed that in early 2009, of books available in both electronic and paper version, 35 per cent of copies sold by Amazon were Kindle versions. The percentage has since gone up to 48 per cent, Bezos was quoted by Wired Magazine as saying.

According to Buglarian daily Dnevnik, the new Kindle would not be able to use the experimental Kindle web browser in Bulgaria.

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Friday, 9 October 2009

Prostitution In Bulgaria - Free Medical Service Brought In

Why the hell doesn’t money like this go toward something more worthy? To me this just is a go sign for more prostitution. There are people in Bulgaria who are some of the poorest in Europe, prostitutes make money and their illegal earnings should pay for the medical service and advice. Legalise prostitution and bring in a mandatory medical service from earning and there would be no need for funds from outside the system.

Prostitution In Bulgaria - Free Medical Service Brought In
The first health centre for prostitutes in Bulgaria is to open in the Black Sea city of Bourgas, said on October 5 2005.

The facility is to provide first-grade assistance and advice, free condoms, lubricants, "and other auxiliary accessories for safe sex", the report said.

The project is set up the Bourgas municipal health department in conjunction with the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Programme financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, or simply The Global Fund, and it is co-ordinated by Assena Mateeva.

The organisers have given their assurance that "anonymity is respected and that everyone will be accepted".

According to Monitor, "the conditions and services provided to the people in this facility are of the highest quality possible, and everyone will be treated and/or advised, no questions asked".

To date, the Global Fund has given Bulgaria nearly 18 million euro to help the country combat and curtail its domestic AIDS problem over the course of the next three years, Bulgarian National Radio said on April 2 2009.

The 18 million euro will help efforts to curtail the spread of the disease and improve the quality of life of people in Bulgaria who have HIV.

AIDS awareness offices have been set up nationwide in Bulgaria, sponsored by the Global Fund, including 10 clinics, 19 facilities for anonymous and free testing and counselling, as well as centres set up in Roma communities across Bulgaria. Furthermore, 12 mobile medical offices have also been funded from the same subsidy.

The Global Fund is a public-private partnership, established in 2002, but is often considered part of the United Nations, in part because the World Health Organisation (WHO) provides many administrative services to the Global Fund secretariat and is also based in Geneva, Switzerland.

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Thursday, 8 October 2009

Bulgaria's Human Development Standing Quite Low - Why?

I just don’t know where they get these figures from. My experience here in Bulgaria leads me to believe that there is a healthier way of life than the UK, which is graded at around the mid 20s. I am more than happy to live with these figures that belie what I see and experience on ground level here. I suppose they must have taken the gypsy communities into account here, which is certain to weigh heavily on Bulgaria’s standing in this league.
Bulgaria's Human Development Standing Quite Low - Why?
Bulgaria is 61st globally in the annual Human Development Index ranking released Monday by the UN.

The index compiled by the UN Development Program (UNDP) ranks 182 countries based on such criteria as life expectancy, literacy, school enrolment and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.

According to the index, Norway is the most attractive country, whereas Niger has the worst performance. The 2009 UN Development Index is based on data from 2007.

Norway, Australia, and Iceland are the places with the best living standards, whereas Afghanistan and Sierra Leone are at the bottom of the ranking together with Niger.

Bulgaria’s 61st position is based on its human development index of 0,840; this is an increase from 2000, when the figure was 0,803. The countries with indexes above 0,900 are defined as countries with very high human development.

Bulgaria is ranked 67th under the life expectancy criteria (73,1 years), 26th under adult literacy rate (98,3%), 49th under combined gross enrolment ratio (82,4%), and 69th under GDP per capita (USD 11 222 per capita - purchasing power parity).

Of Bulgaria’s neighbours, Greece is ranked 25th, Romania – 63rd, Montenegro – 65th, Serbia – 67th, Albania – 70th, Macedonia – 72nd, and Turkey – 79th.

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Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Snails In The Business Fast Lane In Bulgaria

Having harvested and eaten Bulgarian snails and made my own recipe (Snail Gratin) from the snails I have to confess that the experience was better than any snails sampled in France. I disagree that they are not a delicacy in Bulgaria. This is big business but like anything else needs investment and that is what holds many enterprise back – Bar Mafia funded of course.

Snails In The Business Fast Lane In  Bulgaria
On a quiet patch of land apparently devoid of inhabitants, Krasimir Kostov's farm is silently booming as more than one million snails, hiding from the sun under planks of wood, munch their way to market.

"Indeed, you cannot tell ... there is a farm here. But snails do not moo," notes the suntanned breeder.

Businesses may shut by the day across Europe, and Bulgarian agriculture has been declining for 20 years, but snails — a delicacy particularly popular in France and Italy — have become a dynamic niche for the European Union's poorest country.
September is harvest season and demand is outstripping supply for "escargots", as the French call them ("ohlyuvi" in Bulgarian). The country has seized the chance to reinforce a position exporting luxury foods that are rarely consumed at home.

"This year we have orders from France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands," said Simona Mollova, consultant at the cluster.

A jar of snails with sauce weighing 0.4 kilos (14 ounces) costs 50 euros ($72), while high-quality gourmet packs fetch from 55 to 235 euros ($342) . By contrast, a kilo (2.2 pounds) of the live snails Bulgaria breeds ranges from 2.5 to 4.O ($6) euros.
France and Italy, Europe's largest consumers, devour between 25,000 to 36,000 tons of snails annually, but with the population of the prized Helix pomatiain decline in the west, the industry relies mostly on east European imports.

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