» Sofia Morning News is a daily online newspaper published by Sofia News Agency (novinite.com), the biggest real time news provider in English in Bulgaria. It covers the latest economic, political, cultural and sports news happening in Bulgaria, major world events and foreign media analyses.

SUBSCRIBE FOR SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR FREE
* E-mail:
Turn on "Flash News" (Flash News email bulletins will be distributed on an ad hoc daily basis, depending on the current news but will be limited to no more than two on a particular day.)
 
Or REGISTER NOW! to take full advantage of Novinite.com subscription services.

If you are already a subscriber, please click here to login and access the full archive..


   SEE LATEST ISSUE:
SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR 2015-07-07
Find us on:   
Download for:   
Sofia: min 16°, max 32°
Varna: min 18°, max 30°
Plovdiv: min 18°, max 33°
USD: 1.77674
EUR: 1.95583
GBP: 2.76247
7 July 2015, Issue 4277
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
9656 subscribers of Novinite.com
152341 articles
590 interviews
10054 pictures
 
BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
PM Tsipras Appoints Euclid Tsakalotos as Greece’s New Finance Minister


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has appointed Euclid Tsakalotos as Greece’s new finance minister following the resignation of Yanis Varoufakis, according to Greek media reports on Monday. read
Prices of Visas to Bulgaria Go Up for Russian Citizens


The agency issuing visas to Bulgaria for Russians has moved to raise the price of visas as of June 29.read
Unrefunded VAT to Bulgarian Companies at BGN 113.6 M by end-May


By May 31, 2015 the state owed BGN 113.6 M in unrefunded value-added tax (VAT) to companies, according to data presented by Bulgaria’s Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov in a written response to a question addressed to him. read
 
 
NOVINITE INSIDER
After a Night of Euphoria, Greece Will Have to Wake Up Sober

» More

MORE TOP NEWS
EU Leaders React to Greek Referendum Results, FinMin Resignation

Greek FinMin Varoufakis Steps Down

Putin Discusses Greek Referendum Outcome with Tsipras

Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Loses Case for Sitnyakovo Palace at Second Instance Court

Greek Banks to Reopen on Thursday - FAZ

German EconMin Warns Greeks 'Need Help'

EU Leaders to Discuss Situation in Greece Following Referendum Results

ECB Keeps Cash Aid to Greek Banks Flat Despite Liquidity Shortage

Bulgaria 'Should Avail Itself of Developments in Greece'

Bulgaria C-Bank's Outgoing Chair 'Was Reelected Under Pressure' - Former FinMin

Salaries in Bulgarian Administration Will Not Rise in 2016

IMF ‘Stands Ready to Assist Greece’ – If Asked

Bulgaria Needs to Substantially Boost Innovation Performance in EU – Minister

Uber Gets Slammed with Fines in Bulgaria

Roma People in Garmen Refuse Social Assistance

Bulgaria Loses to Argentina in Last Volleyball World League Match

Police in Brussels Intercept Ecstasy Import Scheme from Bulgaria

Deadline Approaching for Iran Nuclear Deal

Bulgaria Interested in Turkish Stream, Russian Official Says

Bulgaria's Energy Watchdog to Go On with Power Price Hike

Reuters: Europeans Switching to Destinations in Spain, Bulgaria Following Tunisia Terrorist Attacks

Bulgaria’s President Starts 2-Day Visit to Ukraine on Tuesday

Bulgaria FM Visiting Ukraine's Odessa

Bulgaria's Agriculture to Be Granted EUR 7.5 B EU in Next Years

After a Night of Euphoria, Greece Will Have to Wake Up Sober

Greece Doesn't Need a Finance Minister

Today's Quote: Yanis Varoufakis


UPS & DOWNS
Bulgaria Wins 'Most Impressive Borrower in CEE' Award

Russia Claims Bulgaria Is Seeking to Partition Macedonia
QUOTE OF THE DAY

"I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride."

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis making his final remarks as the country's Finance Minister, shortly after announcing on Monday that he will resign due to some Eurogroup members' "certain preference" for his absence from their meetings.

POLL
Will Greece have to abandon the euro after the massive "No" vote in the July 5 bailout referendum?
 Yes
 No
|  Results
 Other: share in the forum
OPTIONS
Print all stories
Recommend to a friend
News Archives

Editorial Staff
Contact us
Advertise here

Unsubscribe
SOFIA MORNING NEWS is proudly distributed in the following hotels:
TOP NEWS
ECB KEEPS CASH AID TO GREEK BANKS FLAT DESPITE LIQUIDITY SHORTAGE

The European Central Bank on Monday said it will keep its financial assistance to Greek banks unchanged, further tightening the screws on the Greek lenders.  

“The Governing Council of the European Central Bank decided today to maintain the provision of emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) to Greek banks at the level decided on 26 June 2015 after discussing a proposal from the Bank of Greece,” the ECB said in a statement on its website. read more


BUSINESS

IMF ‘STANDS READY TO ASSIST GREECE’ – IF ASKED

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday it was ready to help Greece – if asked to do so – following the referendum that rejected the bailout-for-reforms deal proposed by international creditors.

"The IMF has taken note of yesterday’s referendum held in Greece,” the managing director of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, said in a statement posted on the IMF website. read more


BULGARIA NEEDS TO SUBSTANTIALLY BOOST INNOVATION PERFORMANCE IN EU – MINISTER

Bulgaria’s Economy Minister has described the regular introduction of new technology as a sine qua non for retaining competitiveness and boosting labor productivity and income levels.

“Bulgaria’s economy needs a well-functioning innovative environment that can guarantee opportunities for a swift transition to the production of high added value products,” Bozhidar Lukarski declared at a conference in Varna on sustainable economic growth and employment organized by the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association and the Employers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC). read more


UBER GETS SLAMMED WITH FINES IN BULGARIA

Bulgaria's competition watchdog has ruled that Uber should pay BGN 200 000 in fines on four counts, the agency's spokesperson has announced.

The reasons cited are breaching competition rules, refusal to pay the license fees required by a company that offers transport services to passengers, and failure to cooperate with Bulgarian authorities by providing information they requested.

Mario Gavrilov, who represents the Commission for Protection of Competition (CPC), told public broadcaster BNT on Monday that the companies fined by his institution are Uber BV and Rasier Operations, both registered in the Netherlands and both offering Uber's services.

In his words, transportation offered by both entities are identical to those of taxi drivers, but ihe case of Uber BV and Raiser Operations no license fee has been paid, and no account whatsoever on revenues has been presented to Bulgarian authorities.

This, Gavrilov added, contributes to a non-competitive environment on the market.

Since it set foot in Bulgaria last year, Uber has sparked much outrage from taxi drivers and, subsequently, from government officials. Both have voiced doubt that activities of the transportation company comply with the law.

In June, a legal amendment was passed on a first reading which makes it obligatory for drivers who transport passengers for money to have a taxi license. read more


FINANCE

UNREFUNDED VAT TO BULGARIAN COMPANIES AT BGN 113.6 M BY END-MAY

By May 31, 2015 the state owed BGN 113.6 M in unrefunded value-added tax (VAT) to companies, according to data presented by Bulgaria’s Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov in a written response to a question addressed to him.

“The unrecovered tax credit is owed to persons undergoing tax inspection procedures and they are to recover the tax after the completion of the procedures,” Goranov stated, assuring that the National Revenue Agency strictly adhered to the VAT recovery deadlines. read more


ENERGY

BULGARIA INTERESTED IN TURKISH STREAM, RUSSIAN OFFICIAL SAYS

Bulgaria is "also interested" in the realization of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline project, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily A. Nebenzya has said.

In an interview with Russian news agency Interfax published on the website of the Foreign Ministry in Moscow [RU], he has explained that "many countries in Southern Europe" are interested in the project.

After mentioning a few of them (Hungary, Macedonia and Greece, which will also host a leg of the new pipeline), Nebenzya is asked by the reporter: "What about Bulgaria?"

"Bulgaria is also interested," he replies. "Earlier it was supposed that a gas distribution hub will be situated on its territory. But circumstances unfolded in a  way that we were led by the nose about South Stream for so much time that it turned impossible. Now Bulgaria can receive gas via the hub which it being planned at the border of Turkey with Greece."

Russia ditched the South Stream gas pipeline project, which would have carried gas via Bulgaria, Greece and Hungary to Austria and Italy, citing Sofia's reluctance to unblock construction permits. read more


BULGARIA'S ENERGY WATCHDOG TO GO ON WITH POWER PRICE HIKE

Energy regulator KEVR's head Ivan Ivanov has said that his agency will not backtrack on plans to increase power prices for industrial consumers by up to 20%.

"Until now [household and industrial] consumers were not put on an equal footing, since businesses and the free market paid two times less than household users.. What KEVR has to do is to introduce this equality," Ivanov explained in an interview with private national NOVA TV channel on Monday.

"This is [how things are] in Europe, and this prepares the Bulgarian electricity market for the energy exchange, where fees and "liabilities to society" [taxes] cannot exist," he added.

Ivanov's comments come against the backdrop of plans by KEVR, the Commission for Energy and Water Regulation, to push up power prices which was fervently attacked by businesses and by the government itself.

On July 26 over 1000 companies with production facilities in Bulgaria took part an hour-long national strike to protest the planned increase.

This resulted in KEVR putting off a final decision on prices, but voting a slight increase that will be in force from August.

Government officials sought last week to offer an alternative proposal which would prevent a price hike by forcing energy producers to contribute to a special fund (the newly set up Energy Security Council) by pouring in 5% of their revenues.

Bulgaria's energy system is marked by a debt burden of more than BGN 3 B (EUR 1.5 B) at the state-owned utility, the National Electricity Company (NEK), and a number of cabinets have been looking into ways to tackle imbalances.

read more


TOURISM

PRICES OF VISAS TO BULGARIA GO UP FOR RUSSIAN CITIZENS

The agency issuing visas to Bulgaria for Russians has moved to raise the price of visas as of June 29.

The measure has been in force since June 29 (last Monday) and was introduced due to the rouble's fall against the euro, an official statement [RU] reads.

Visa officials on both sides are yet to comment.

The new amount of money needed to obtain a Bulgarian visa is RUB 2135 (EUR 34.16), up from RUB 1960 (EUR 31.36), express news reports. The new fees are also said to be applied to citizens of Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and Armenia.

Fast-track visas are now worth RUB 4270 (EUR 68.32) instead of RUB 3920 (EUR 62.72) for Russians and Ukrainians, while Moldovans, Georgians and Armenians will have to pay RUB 300 more - RUB 3660 (EUR 58.86).

"Visa application and procession fees are collected in roubles but calculated on the basis of the euro. This is why, according to the dynamics of currency exchange rates, prices in roubles might fluctuate," a statement on the website of Bulgaria's Embassy to Moscow reads.

This comes against an expected 25-30% decrease of Russian and Ukrainian tourists to the Black Sea this summer. read more


REUTERS: EUROPEANS SWITCHING TO DESTINATIONS IN SPAIN, BULGARIA FOLLOWING TUNISIA TERRORIST ATTACKS

Bulgaria could be one of the countries benefitting from the deflection of the tourist stream away from Tunisia, according to a Reuters report, as quoted by South China Morning Post.

European destinations such as Spain, Bulgaria and even Greece could become preferred destinations for tourists looking for relatively low-cost all-inclusive packages. read more


DIPLOMACY

BULGARIA’S PRESIDENT STARTS 2-DAY VISIT TO UKRAINE ON TUESDAY

Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev will arrive in Kiev on July 7 for a two-day official visit at the invitation of his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.

The talks between the two heads of state will focus on the current state of political dialogue, trade and economic partnership, bilateral relations in the spheres of energy, tourism, and education, and Ukraine’s EU prospects. read more


BULGARIA FM VISITING UKRAINE'S ODESSA

A visit of Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov to Odessa Oblast in Ukraine has entered its second day.

Mitov is in Odessa on June 5-6. On Sunday he met Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin, who visited Bulgaria in mid-February.

The two ministers, who also held a meeting with the Bulgarian community in Odessa (which is thought to be numbering about 150 000), talked over projects which could help small and medium enterprises. read more


BULGARIA IN EU

BULGARIA'S AGRICULTURE TO BE GRANTED EUR 7.5 B EU IN NEXT YEARS

EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has said Bulgaria's agriculture sector will see EU investment worth around EUR 7.5 B over the next 6-7 years.

“These are big investments, indeed. Around EUR 4 billion are direct payments, while the rest are under the operational programmes for rural development. This allows providing assistance to the producers. It is possible to assist sectors facing difficulties,” Focus News Agency quoted Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, as telling journalists in Brussels.

This comes days before his visit to Sofia scheduled for July 10, when he is set to meet President Rosen Plevneliev, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, and Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva. The top item on their agenda will be a demand placed by Sofia for a six-month extension (until mid-2016) of the time the country has to  absorb some EUR 0.5 B allocated under the old (2007-2014) rural development program.

Another issue, compensations for Bulgarian farmers hit by Russia's embargo on food imports, will also be discussed.

Hogan, however, said on Monday Bulgaria was not among the countries severely affected by the ban like Poland and Romania.


read more


DOMESTIC

SIMEON SAXE-COBURG-GOTHA LOSES CASE FOR SITNYAKOVO PALACE AT SECOND INSTANCE COURT

Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and his sister Maria-Louisa have lost the case for the Sitnyakovo royal residence at the court of second instance, according to a media statement of the Sofia Appellate Court.

Under the ruling of the Sofia Appellate Court, as cited by Trud daily, Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and his sister are not the owners of the property. read more


BULGARIA 'SHOULD AVAIL ITSELF OF DEVELOPMENTS IN GREECE'

Bulgaria should be ready to make use of the new situation in Greece, the co-chair of junior coalition partner Reformist Bloc (RB) said on Monday.

At a press conference in the northeastern town of Dobrich, Radan Kanev explained there are "huge opportunities" for Bulgaria and Romania given the developments in Greece, and results of the Sunday referendum (in which the terms of an agreement with international lenders were rejected) are just a case in point.

The outcome of the referendum, however, is a negative development for Bulgaria because it suggests destabilization in an "extremely important" neighboring country, the Bulgarian News Agency quotes Kanev as saying.

In his words, Bulgaria should adopt constitutional changes to make sure that the rule of law will be cemented and the way will be paved for Bulgaria to embark on re-industrialization, to boost the flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) and to open "hundreds of thousands of new jobs". read more


BULGARIA C-BANK'S OUTGOING CHAIR 'WAS REELECTED UNDER PRESSURE' - FORMER FINMIN

Ivan Iskrov had been reelected on his position as a Chair of the Bulgarian National Bank under pressure during the first Boiko Borisov cabinet.

The statement was made by Former Finance Minister Simeon Djankov in an interview for bTV, who was in office at the time. read more


SALARIES IN BULGARIAN ADMINISTRATION WILL NOT RISE IN 2016

Salaries of people emplyed in administrative positions across Bulgaria will not be raised in 2016. Any increase could be made possible only trough laying off of employees.

The nominal expense for salaries across the ministries should be kept at the same level as of 2015. read more


SOCIETY

ROMA PEOPLE IN GARMEN REFUSE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE

Six families residing in some of the illegal buildings in the Garmen municipality have refused to use the social services they have been offered.

Four out of all six of them have continued living in the houses that were already demolished over the course of the past one week. Two more houses are scheduled to be leveled on July 13, as reported by the Agency for Social Assistance to the Bulgarian Labor Ministry. read more


SPORTS

BULGARIA LOSES TO ARGENTINA IN LAST VOLLEYBALL WORLD LEAGUE MATCH

The Bulgarian men's volleyball team was defeated on Sunday by Argentina in their second encounter in the FIVB Volleyball WOrld League match in Varna, Bulgaria.

Bulgarians lost 1:3 (19:25, 26:24, 17:25, 18:25) after an easy victory against Argentina in the previous match on Saturday. read more


CRIME

POLICE IN BRUSSELS INTERCEPT ECSTASY IMPORT SCHEME FROM BULGARIA

Police in Brussels have intercepted a drug trafficking channel through which ecstasy pills were imported from Bulgaria.

The drug trafficking channel was detected on a tip-off of a woman who had suffered systematic abuse by her husband for years on end, according to reports of the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency based on local media outlets. read more


SMILES

GREECE DOESN'T NEED A FINANCE MINISTER

After Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis stepped down, PM Alexis Tsipras shrugged: Greece has no finance, so it doesn't need a Finance Minister anymore! read more


WORLD

DEADLINE APPROACHING FOR IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL

The foreign ministers of the six world powers that need to make a final decision regarding the Iranian nuclear program will be gathering Monday in Vienna. China, Israel, Russia, the US, Germany and the EU will all have a say in the matter.

The agreement needs to be contracted until end day Tuesday and if so it will be historical in its significance. Representatives of all world powers participating in the negotiations have stated that they do not wish to postpone the deal any longer and will be aiming for a prompt reaching of a deal on the controversial issue. read more


EU

GREEK BANKS TO REOPEN ON THURSDAY - FAZ

Banks in Greece will reopen on Thursday, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported on Monday.

The maximum daily limit of EUR 60 for cash withdrawals at ATMs will remain in force until banks reopen, the FAZ said on its website. read more


GERMAN ECONMIN WARNS GREEKS 'NEED HELP'

Germany's Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel has said Athens needs "urgent" humanitarian aid.

He has also warned Greece is a "politically torn" country threatened by insolvency which needs humanitarian assistance from all EU member states.

However, Athens must also "put forward present new proposals that go beyond what has been presented until now," according to Der Spiegel.

This comes as the EU's economy and finance ministers have been commenting throughout the day on the rejection of bailout terms offered by Greece's international creditor in a referendum the country held on Sunday, July 5.

read more


EU LEADERS TO DISCUSS SITUATION IN GREECE FOLLOWING REFERENDUM RESULTS

In response to the Greek referendum, the Eurozone leaders have decided to discuss the stuation at an extraordinary meeting to be held Tuesday, the Bulgraian National Radio reported.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk has announced that he has called the meeting of representatives from the 19 countries participating in the currency union. He, however, refrained from commenting on the results from the Greek referendum held Sunday. read more


SOUTHEAST EUROPE

PM TSIPRAS APPOINTS EUCLID TSAKALOTOS AS GREECE’S NEW FINANCE MINISTER

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has appointed Euclid Tsakalotos as Greece’s new finance minister following the resignation of Yanis Varoufakis, according to Greek media reports on Monday.

Tsakalotos, alternate minister for international economic relations, took over from Varoufakis as lead negotiator in Greece's bail-out talks with international creditors in April after lenders and several Eurozone finance ministers had expressed their displeasure with Varoufakis’ negotiation style. read more


EU LEADERS REACT TO GREEK REFERENDUM RESULTS, FINMIN RESIGNATION

Upon the recent news concerning the resignation of Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, a number of EU leaders have stated their opinions.

Meanwhile, discussions on the Greek referendum results and the best steps forward in the Greek fiscal crisis are taking place all over Brussels. read more


GREEK FINMIN VAROUFAKIS STEPS DOWN

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has announced he will be stepping down from his position.

He published the information on his personal blog, explaining the situation. read more


RUSSIA

PUTIN DISCUSSES GREEK REFERENDUM OUTCOME WITH TSIPRAS

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have discussed the outcome of the bailout referendum held in Greece the day before, the Kremlin said on Monday.

In a telephone conversation held on the initiative of the Greek side the two leaders also discussed "some issues of the further development of Russian-Greek cooperation," the Kremlin press service said in a statement. It didn’t elaborate. read more


OPINIONS

AFTER A NIGHT OF EUPHORIA, GREECE WILL HAVE TO WAKE UP SOBER

In Bulgarian we say that after a cart tumbles off track, we can think of many possible routes we could have considered to prevent this from happening.

The translation is tricky - just as Greece's bailout referendum was on Sunday night, with a cheering crowd flocking to the streets to celebrate their victory after having said "No." read more



All rights reserved (c) Novinite Ltd., 2001-2015.
You are permitted to use any of the articles only if you obligatory quote the source: Sofia News Agency (www.novinite.com)
Sofia Morning News is a registered trademark No 33727/10.08.1998 under the Bulgaria's Patent Office.

If you do not wish to receive Sofia Morning News you can unsubscribe here.