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SOFIA MORNING NEWS FOR 2017-06-22
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22 June 2017, Issue 4868
by Novinite.com
Bulgaria's Daily Newspaper since 2001
7266 subscribers of Novinite.com
163311 articles
591 interviews
10553 pictures
 
BUSINESS POLITICS WORLD SOCIETY SPORTS FORUM
 
Premier Filip on a Working Visit to Brussels


Prime Minister Pavel Filip is paying a working visit to Brussels during June 20 – 21. According to the Government’s press service, the Premier will have meetings with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk and Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, IPN reports. read
Today is the Official Start of Astronomical Summer


The astronomical summer started at 7.24 on 21st of June. Today is the longest day of the year with a length of daylight of 15 hours and 19 minutes. read
Trade Union in Interior Ministry to Consider Protests Against Low Wages


The Trade Union Federation of Employees at the Interior Ministry disagrees with the minister and will discuss and decide on protests in Sofia and the country at a meeting on June 24 and 25, the federation said.read
 
 
MORE TOP NEWS
6 from Judges’ Quota Elected for Bulgaria’s Next Supreme Judicial Council

Deputy PM Valeri Simeonov: It is better to have dialogue with Turkey

Ukrainian President Will Meet Trump on Tuesday

Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva: Common history must bring together two countries, not divide them

One killed and at least five people wounded in explosion at Bogota mall

Bulgaria’s Parliament decided to increase the minimum retirement pension

Top 10 Places to Visit in Plovdiv

Justice minister Francois Bayrou is quitting French government

Forest fire in Portugal kills at least 57 people

Vanuatu's President Baldwin Lonsdale dies in Port Vila after sudden heart attack

Romanian PM ousted in no-confidence vote

Chief Prosecutor calls for less politics around judicial reform

Hard win for Bulgarian volleyball team after five-set battle


UPS & DOWNS
No Immediate Refugee Wave Threat to Bulgaria

PM Boyko Borisov: ‘Terrorist Threat For Bulgaria is Not Small’
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TOP NEWS

FINANCE

BULGARIA’S PARLIAMENT DECIDED TO INCREASE THE MINIMUM RETIREMENT PENSION

  read more


TOURISM

TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN PLOVDIV

ANCIENT THEATRE

read more


POLITICS

BULGARIA AND MACEDONIA CLOSE TO NEIGHBOURHOOD TREATY

Bulgaria and Macedonia are very close to signing their good-neighbourhood treaty, Prime Ministers Boyko Borisov and Zoran Zaev said after a meeting in Sofia. Zaev said he is confident that the signing will occur as soon as August 2, FOCUS News Agency reported.
“This is good both for Brussels and our citizens, as we do not have the right to keep the citizens of the Balkans outside the big European family for such a long time,” Borisov said.
The countries should overcome divisions, together celebrate their historical heroes and focus on infrastructure projects in order to change the Balkans in the next 10 years, according to PM Borisov.
He also said that Bulgaria wants a stable Macedonia and is ready to support and assist the neighbour on its way to NATO and EU membership. Despite the help, however, it is up to the political elite of Macedonia to make the important steps towards membership, he added.
Macedonia will seek support from Greece as well.
“Today Macedonia closes a chapter of a history of nationalism and hatred. We are opening a chapter of European future for all. The history can only bring us closer, not divide us,” Zaev said.  read more


PROF. TODOR GALUNOV: NO UNITY IN RULING COALITION ON ELECTION LAW CHANGES

It is clear that there is no unity in the ruling coalition at this stage regarding changes to the Election Code, political scientist Prof. Todor Galunov told FOCUS Radio - Veliko Tarnovo.
The recent rejection of the bill for a majority electoral system by the Parliament showed that ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (CEDB/GERB) cannot count on their main partner, the United Patriots, he said.
Galunov personally supports a mixed electoral system. At this stage, however, he sees no vision in the political elite about what is the system they want.
He believes the parties have to find a model to implement a majority element without destroying the current political system. read more


BAHRAIN BANK EXITS INVESTMENT IN BULGARIAN FERTILIZER GIANT

Bahrain-based First Energy Bank (FEB) has exited its investment in a Bulgarian producer and distributor of fertilizers, Arabian Business reported.
FEB had invested in December 2013 jointly with Borealis in Feboran, an investment vehicle set up in Bulgaria to acquire a 20.3 percent equity stake in Neochim, a company listed on the Sofia Stock exchange.
Neochim accounts for a significant share of Bulgaria’s ammonium nitrate output and operates one ammonia plant, two nitric acid plants and an ammonium nitrate plant in Dimitrovgrad in southern Bulgaria.
FEB said in a statement that it has sold its 60 percent stake in Feboran to Borealis, without disclosing a value for the deal. 
Mohamed Ghanem, CEO of FEB, said: “This was a very successful investment for the bank and we would like to extend our appreciation to our joint venture partner Borealis with whom we hope to be involved in other similar investments in the future within the petrochemical sector."/ Focus News Agency read more


GEORGI DIMOV: DIVIDING LINE BETWEEN BRUSSELS AND ANKARA REMAINS DEEP DESPITE ATTEMPT FOR SUPPORT

The dividing line between Brussels and Ankara remains a deep one, Georgi Dimov, former consul general of Bulgaria in Edirne, told FOCUS Radio’ Good Morning Bulgaria.
Despite good manners during the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim to Athens and Turkey’s attempt to receive support regarding the EU, Ankara remains far from achieving its goals, he said. “Greece defended itself and its Euro-Atlantic interests by refusing to extradite the Turkish military men,” he added.
He made comparisons between Yildirim’s visit to Greece and the visit of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to Turkey. Common aspects are the EU, Gulenists and energy. The differences are the Cyprus problem, accidents in Aegean Sea and protocol dissimilarities between the visits. The Bulgarian visit to Turkey was entirely official, while the one to Greece included an unofficial part.
According to Dimov, there are no prospects for a warming in relations between Ankara and Berlin in the near future due to differences on too many issues.
"Almost a year after the failed coup d'état in Turkey, the situation remains unchanged - the purges and controversies within the country will continue," he forecast./FOCUS News Agency/ read more


BRITAIN'S MAY PROMISES TO LISTEN ON BREXIT AS QUEEN PRESENTS GOVERNMENT PROGRAM

British Prime Minister Theresa May promised on Wednesday to listen more to businesses' concerns about Brexit as Queen Elizabeth formally opened parliament by announcing the government's program for the next two years, Reuters reported.
Chastened by an election result which left her Conservative Party short of a majority in parliament, May also watered down pledges on social care reform, education, corporate governance and energy markets.
The queen told lawmakers from both the upper and lower houses of parliament that the government is committed to building "the widest possible consensus" on Brexit, working with parliament, devolved administrations, business and others.
What is usually a ceremonial address, dominated by costumed pageantry, has become a crucial test of May's ability to run the country during its most testing period for generations.
"My government's priority is to secure the best possible deal as the country leaves the European Union," the queen said.
The Queen's Speech, prepared by ministers and read out by the monarch, comes at a time of unprecedented political flux, with May yet to secure a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to prop up her government.
"The election result was not the one I hoped for, but this government will respond with humility and resolve to the message the electorate sent," May said in remarks introducing the policy plan.
"First, we need to get Brexit right. That means getting a deal which delivers the result of last year’s referendum and does so in a way that commands maximum public support."

Lawmakers will have to approve the speech in a vote, expected next Thursday, that will be a de facto vote of confidence. Minority governments are a rare occurrence in British parliamentary politics where the electoral system usually produces a governing majority./FOCUS News Agency/ read more


CHIEF PROSECUTOR CALLS FOR LESS POLITICS AROUND JUDICIAL REFORM

Chief Prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov called for more law and less politics to enable the judicial reform. He spoke at a chess meeting with investigators and members of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), with the participation of Russian chess player and MP Anatoly Karpov, a reporter of FOCUS News Agency said.
Tsatsarov said that firstly those who lead this match (the demands for judicial reform) have to say what this reform is about. “If I hear clear ideas, I could comment on them," he said.
He went on saying that the first direct election of SJC members by the judges and the prosecutors is the meaningful response about the judicial reform.
The debate for the judicial reform includes the creation of an independent institution able to investigate potential irregularities linked to high-ranking prosecutors. read more


CONFERENCE ON CYPRUS WILL TAKE PLACE IN SWITZERLAND

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide announced on Friday that the Conference on Cyprus will take place in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, Ekathimerini writes.


Speaking after meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Eide said that both sides made it clear to him they will be going there on June 28 “with the ambition to solve the problem,” but conceded that clinching an agreement “is not a given.”
“We have to be honest about that. It is not getting easier just because we go to Switzerland but there is determination and willingness that I can register now that we go with that ambition,” he said. “If we succeed it doesn’t mean that all work is over and we can go straight to a referendum.” read more


HELMUT KOHL, GERMANY’S CHANCELLOR DIES AGED 87
DIPLOMACY

MINISTER EKATERINA ZAHARIEVA: COMMON HISTORY MUST BRING TOGETHER TWO COUNTRIES, NOT DIVIDE THEM

The common history must bring together two countries, not divide them, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva told Bulgarian National Television with regard to the visit of Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to Bulgaria.
She said there is mutual trust and goodwill at a high level between the two countries.
“A few really historic things happened yesterday. Firstly, the Prime Minister of Macedonia made strong messages for the opening of a new chapter in the relations between the two countries. Secondly, the visit to the monument to Tsar Samuel. Thirdly, the decision to celebrate together our common history. So with yesterday's visit we began to implement the not yet signed (friendship) treaty,” she commented.
Zaharieva hopes to finalise the treaty on August 2./Focus News Agancy/ read more


DEPUTY PM VALERI SIMEONOV: IT IS BETTER TO HAVE DIALOGUE WITH TURKEY

It is better to have a dialogue with Turkey than an exacerbation in relations, Deputy Prime Minister Valeri Simeonov told BTV’s morning show.
The recent visit of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov to Turkey and his meeting with Turkish President Recep Erdogan was a right move. Turkey is a neighbor country with which Bulgaria has to deal carefully, Simeonov said.
"We should not be interested that much in the global relations between Turkey and the EU. Let us make a readmission agreement, guarantee that our territory will not be crowded with refugees, but we could return them and they will accept them," he added.
He also said that Bulgaria ranks first among the EU states in the protection against migrants and one of the reasons for this is the fence on the Bulgarian-Turkish border, which is close to completion./ Focus News Agency read more


TRUMP MEETS UKRAINE'S PRESIDENT, U.S. ADDS TO RUSSIA SANCTIONS

President Donald Trump met with Ukraine's president on Tuesday and expressed support for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine but said nothing about Russia's role, while the U.S. government added to sanctions over Moscow's actions, reported Reuters.
Trump sat down in the Oval Office with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko for talks on the same day the U.S. Treasury Department added two Russian officials and 36 other individuals and entities to its list of those facing sanctions over Moscow's activities in Ukraine.
Trump's meeting with Poroshenko was officially called a "drop-by" visit after the Ukrainian leader's separate session with Vice President Mike Pence. With TV cameras rolling, Trump said "a lot of progress has been made" between the two countries and that the pair had "very, very good discussions."
The sanctions target Ukrainian and Russian officials and companies that U.S. authorities accuse of helping Russia tighten its grip on the Crimean peninsula, a part of Ukraine annexed by Russia in 2014 in a move Western leaders denounced as illegal.
Poroshenko called Trump, whose first five months in office have been dogged by a controversy over whether his presidential campaign team last year colluded with Russia, "one of the most reliable supporters" and "strategic partners" for Ukraine./ Focus News Agency/ read more


UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WILL MEET TRUMP ON TUESDAY

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will meet U.S. President Donald Trump in Washington on Tuesday, Poroshenko's office said, Reuters reported.
"It is very important that my meeting, as the Ukrainian president, in the White House will be earlier than Putin's meeting," it quoted Poroshenko, who is already in the United States, as saying.
It will be their first meeting since Trump took office on Jan. 20 read more


PROF. ANNA KRASTEVA: BREXIT MANAGES TO CONSOLIDATE PRO-EUROPEAN ATTITUDES AND REDUCE EUROSCEPTICISM

Brexit manages to consolidate pro-European attitudes and reduce Euroscepticism, political scientist Prof. Anna Krasteva, an expert in European politics, told FOCUS Radio’s Good Morning Bulgaria.
It is very important that the European citizens have become more Europeans amid Brexit, she said. According to a recent poll in 10 European countries, a clear majority of 63% like the European Union and want to stay within it, versus only 18% who would like to leave the union. Secondly, Euro-optimism is increasing in many countries such as Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, even the UK. It has increased by 10%, she noted.
If the European and British leaders succeed in identifying a joint opportunity for the two societies in this difficult Brexit period, then they will meet people’s expectations, Krasteva commented.
Nevertheless, the divorce will be a long and tough battle, according to her. For the first day of negotiations, the score is 1:0 for the EU, she added. The UK entered the negotiations too ambitious, seeking simultaneously a divorce and new relations thereafter. As a very complex balance and a big, crucial, leadership challenge, Brexit is difficult for now for Theresa May and the British press has not saved criticism. May’s stand is very weakened from different perspectives, Krasteva said.

  read more


DEFENSE

MINISTER RADEV: ONLY 5 KM LEFT FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE PROTECTION FACILITY AT THE BORDER BETWEEN BULGARIA AND TURKEY

Minister Valentin Radev: Only 5 km left for the completion of the protection facility at the border protection facility between Bulgaria and Turkey. This was said by the Interior Minister Valentin Radev, FOCUS News Agency reported
"Now it seems to me that there must be a second phase - to build on. This facility is the physical, mechanical barrier. It would be better if we succeed with these funds, because we have given 100 million euros only to us for the fence and everything related to it, and now to build and add to where there is a need, Radev pointed out. read more


CHAMPS-ELYSEES CAR ATTACKER WAS ON TERROR WATCHLIST

A driver who attacked police on Paris's Champs-Elysees on Monday was a 31-year-old man who had been on a security watchlist since 2015 for membership of "the radical Islamist movement," sources close to the probe said.
The man died after ramming a car into a police van on the prestigious avenue. Police sources told AFP that a Kalashnikov assault rifle, handguns and gas canisters were found in the vehicle./ Focus News Agency

  read more


DOMESTIC

HRISTO SMOLENOV: TERROR HAS LED TO HOSTAGE SYNDROME

Terror has succeeded in "infecting" European society and has led to a hostage syndrome, security expert Hristo Smolenov said in an interview for FOCUS News Agency with regard to the attempted attack in Brussels on Tuesday.
He said this syndrome can be seen in the behaviour of certain circles, including political ones. This hostage behaviour, in connection with the well-known Stockholm syndrome, leads to strange reactions of resignation towards the perpetrators against the European freedom. It is about the society’s self-censorship. In particular, Smolenov criticised repetitive suggestions “we will not surrender, we are not afraid” by the media and interviewed persons which deny the fact that people are indeed afraid.
“I mean, if this suppressed fear is not treated with organisational-political and special means, if it is not taken into account as part of a new approach to the psychological war that is currently taking place, it can lead to unexpected consequences,” he stressed.
“Good must now feel its responsibility to the future, and it goes through the mobilisation of societies by building up a public network to counter the terrorist threat, through vigilance,” according to Smolenov./FOCUS News Agency/ read more


6 FROM JUDGES’ QUOTA ELECTED FOR BULGARIA’S NEXT SUPREME JUDICIAL COUNCIL

Five Supreme Judges and one Chairperson of a District Court have been elected members of the next Supreme Judicial Council from the judges’ quota. This was decided by the judges at the first direct elections of the governing body of the judiciary on 18th of June. The General Assembly meeting ended shortly before 23:00 and the results were announced, according to BNT.

Krasimir Shekerdzhiev, Atanaska Disheva, Olga Kerelska, Boryana Dimitrova and Sevdalin Mavrov are the new members of the Supreme Judicial Council in the College of Judges, the Chair of the Electoral Commission of the General Assembly of the Judges, Svetla Dimitrova, announced after the re-vote held on Sunday evening. read more


TRADE UNION IN INTERIOR MINISTRY TO CONSIDER PROTESTS AGAINST LOW WAGES

The Trade Union Federation of Employees at the Interior Ministry disagrees with the minister and will discuss and decide on protests in Sofia and the country at a meeting on June 24 and 25, the federation said.

The employees disagree with low wages. They will start talks with other trade unions both inside and outside the Interior Ministry for their support to the protests. read more


TRIAL OF BURGAS AIRPORT TERRORIST ATTACK FAILS TO START FOR 5TH TIME

For the fifth time, Bulgaria’s specialized court failed to proceed with the case of the terrorist attack at Burgas airport (Sarafovo). The case was again postponed on 19th of June because of irregular summoning of some of the Israeli citizens injured in the attack and one of the legal entities. Also, the Bulgarian lawyer of the Israelis has brought before the court objective reasons for his absence and said he did not want the hearing to proceed, according to BNT.

On 18th of July, 2012, a bomb exploded in a bus with Israeli tourists just arriving for their vacation in the Bulgarian coastal city of Burgas. The blast killed five Israeli citizens, a Bulgarian bus driver and 35 people were injured. The seventh victim was the bomber himself. The two suspects accused in-abstenia are Meliad Farah, holder of Australian passport and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, a Canadian passport-holder and Lebanese citizenship. read more


THE BULGARIAN JUSTICE MINISTER IS ON A WORKING VISIT TO BRUSSELS ON 19 AND 20 JUNE

The Bulgarian Justice Minister Tsetska Tsacheva will make a working visit to the Belgian capital Brussels on June 19 and 20, the press center of the ministry said.

The visit includes meetings with Christine Roger, the Director General of DG Justice and Home Affairs, General Secretariat of the EU Council, Pavel Svoboda, Chair of the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI), and Paraskevi Mihu , Deputy Secretary General of the European Commission.

It is expected that the during the meetings there will be discussions on the priorities for the Ministry of Justice during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, as well as current issues on the European agenda. read more


SOCIETY

RAINY WEATHER TODAY IN BULGARIA, CONDITIONS FOR TOURISM ARE BAD

Conditions for tourism on the mountains are bad, the Red Cross’ Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) told FOCUS News Agency.
Almost everywhere there will be rainy weather. It will be cloudy and foggy. The wind is moderate. read more


SPACEX DELAYS BULGARIA SATELLITE AGAIN, PLANS 'DOUBLEHEADER'

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said Sunday that the rocket launch company could be in line for a twin bill this weekend.

At about 3:29 p.m., the company posted on Twitter that its launch of a Bulgarian satellite, which had been planned for Monday morning, was going to be pushed back to either Friday or Saturday. read more


ENVIRONMENT

TODAY IS THE OFFICIAL START OF ASTRONOMICAL SUMMER

The astronomical summer started at 7.24 on 21st of June. Today is the longest day of the year with a length of daylight of 15 hours and 19 minutes.

Early this morning, with an ancient Thracian ritual, hundreds of people from all over the country welcomed the sun on the longest day of the year at the rock sanctuary of Zaichi Vrah over the Thracian and ancient town of Kabile, Yambol district. read more


CULTURE

SUMMER FESTIVAL OPERA OPEN 2017 - PLOVDIV

From June 10 to July 29, 2017 at the Ancient theatre Plovdiv

Program:  read more


DANCE SHOW NEO DERVISH AT THE ANCIENT THEATER IN PLOVDIV

NEO DERVISH - dance and music show by Ziya Azazi and 3inSpirit for the first time at the Ancient theatre- Plovdiv 


SPORTS

EXPECTED LOSS FOR BULGARIA FROM BRAZIL

Cordoba, Argentina, June 16, 2017 – Wallace de Souza scored a team-high 12 points as Brazil convincingly dominated Bulgaria 3-0 (25-15, 25-19, 25-22) in Friday's World League third week action.


The highflying Brazilian showed the way as the Canarinhos delivered a strong team performance with Lucas Saatkamp and Ricardo Lucarelli Souza both scoring 9 each. Bulgari's top performer, Jani Jeliazkov (7 points) couldn't compensate for his team's failing, especially in defense, while star Tsvetan Sokolov did not enjoy a successful match.


As hosts of the 2017 Final Six, Brazil have already booked a seat to the table in Curitiba. But Renan Dal Zotto's men had to set the record straight after a 3-1 defeat, just their second of the stage, at the hands of their forthcoming opponents. A week has passed since Tsvetan Sokolov scored 19 points on them and Brazil had no intentions of being gracious as Evandro M. Guerra headed into the rematch as the second best spiker of the 2017 World League with 63 (57.27%).



Bulgaria, on the other hand, has Nikolay Nikolov (0.86 avg per set), the competition's top blocker. The Europeans desperately needed a win, only their fifth against Brazil in 25 games, to straighten their 3-3 record and keep their hopes of qualifying alive.

 

HARD WIN FOR BULGARIAN VOLLEYBALL TEAM AFTER FIVE-SET BATTLE

PEOPLE

VANUATU'S PRESIDENT BALDWIN LONSDALE DIES IN PORT VILA AFTER SUDDEN HEART ATTACK

Vanuatu's widely revered President, Baldwin Lonsdale, has died after suffering a sudden heart attack in the Pacific island nation's capital of Port Vila, Focus News reported.
Mr Baldwin, who had served as President since September 2014, died in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Dan McGarry, media director at the Vanuatu Daily Post, said hundreds of people had stood in a vigil held after Mr Lonsdale's death to pay their respects to the highly regarded head of state. read more


WORLD

5.3 EARTHQUAKE STRIKES THE COAST OF WESTERN TURKEY

An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 struck off the coast of western Turkey on Saturday, according to the country's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).


The quake struck Izmir's Karaburun district at 10.50 p.m. local time (0850MT), the authority said. The quake followed a previous earthquake of 4.2 magnitude which struck at 10:33 p.m. read more


THERESA MAY: 'LONDON VAN INCIDENT IS POTENTIAL TERRORIST ATTACK'

British Prime Minister Theresa May said an incident in which a van ploughed through pedestrians near a mosque in north London overnight was being treated "as a potential terrorist attack", AFP reported.
"I will chair an emergency meeting later this morning. All my thoughts are with the victims, their families and the emergency services on the scene," she said in a statement on Monday. read more


LONDON VAN CRASH: CASUALTIES AS VEHICLE COLLIDES WITH PEDESTRIANS

Several people have been injured after a van struck a crowd of pedestrians near a north London mosque in what police have called a "major incident", reported BBC.

One person was arrested following the collision near Finsbury Park Mosque in Seven Sisters Road. read more


ONE KILLED AND AT LEAST FIVE PEOPLE WOUNDED IN EXPLOSION AT BOGOTA MALL

A French national was killed and at least five people wounded Saturday when an explosion rocked an upscale Bogota mall, the mayor said.
"This cowardly terrorist attack at the Centro Andino mall is deeply distressing," Mayor Enrique Penalosa said, without giving details on the blast or who may have been behind it.
A French national, a woman, was killed, he said.
President Juan Manuel Santos condemned the attack and ordered National Police chief General Jorge Nieto to investigate.
Police said an explosion tore through a restroom area of the mall, crowded with shoppers ahead of Father's Day, in an upscale area of the Colombian capital that is popular with foreign nationals. / Focus News Agency read more


ROMANIAN PM OUSTED IN NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE

JUSTICE MINISTER FRANCOIS BAYROU IS QUITTING FRENCH GOVERNMENT

France's justice minister Francois Bayrou, a key ally of President Emmanuel Macron, told AFP Wednesday he was quitting the government, as his party battles a funding scandal.
"I have taken a decision not to be part of the next government," Bayrou said, adding that he would hold a press conference at 5:00 pm (1500 GMT). Bayrou's small centrist MoDem party is facing allegations it used European parliamentary funds to pay assistants actually based in France./ Focus News Agency read more


FOREST FIRE IN PORTUGAL KILLS AT LEAST 57 PEOPLE

At least 57 people have been killed by huge forest fires in central Portugal, with many dying in their cars as they tried to flee the flames, the government said on Sunday.

Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, described the blazes – which have injured dozens more people – as “the greatest tragedy we have seen in recent years in terms of forest fires”, and warned the death toll could rise. read more


EU

MERKEL READY TO CONSIDER MACRON EUROZONE REFORM IDEAS

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday she was prepared to "consider" new French President Emmanuel Macron's proposals for a shake-up of the eurozone, AFP reported.
Speaking to business leaders, Merkel said "we could of course consider a common finance minister, if the circumstances are right," citing one of Macron's frequently touted ideas.
"We could also consider a euro-budget if it is clear that we are really strengthening the structure of the economy and doing sensible things," she added, backing another suggestion by the French leader./ Focus News Agency read more


FRENCH POLICE FOUND CHAMPS ELYSEES ATTACKER'S WEAPONS

A man who rammed a car into a police van in Paris stored a cache of weapons at his home and held a gun permit despite being on a secret service list of people linked to radical Islam, police sources and French officials said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
A judicial source said investigators were compiling an inventory of the arms and equipment found in the 31-year-old's home. The man, who died in the attack, was also carrying in his car an assault rifle, two pistols, ammunition and two large gas canisters when he rammed a police convoy on Monday.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the individual first received a permit to possess a gun before he was flagged to intelligence agencies as a potential militant threat. At the time there was no reason to deny him the permit, Philippe said.
Philippe said it was "quite possible" the license was active at the time the attacker was on a security watchlist. Three sources close to the investigation confirmed it was.
"Nobody can be happy, and certainly not me, that someone who has been flagged to security agencies can continue to benefit from such an authorization,".  

  read more


BRITAIN, EU TO START HISTORIC BREXIT TALKS

Britain starts formal talks to leave the EU on Monday, seeking a deal "like no other in history" despite entering fiendishly difficult negotiations with a badly weakened government, reported AFP. read more


BULGARIAN AMBASSADOR TO LONDON: 'ATTACK AT FINSBURY PARK MOSQUE IS DEFINED AS POTENTIAL TERRORIST ATTACK'

''The attack near the mosque in Finsbury Park in London is defined as a potential terrorist attack'', the Bulgarian ambassador to the UK and Northern Ireland, Konstantin Dimitrov, said, according to  FOCUS News Agency.

So far, there is no information about injured Bulgarians.

''The investigation is at its early stage, we observe the situation'', Dimitrov added. The investigation began immediately after the attack and the area was cut off by the police. read more


SOUTHEAST EUROPE

PREMIER FILIP ON A WORKING VISIT TO BRUSSELS

Prime Minister Pavel Filip is paying a working visit to Brussels during June 20 – 21. According to the Government’s press service, the Premier will have meetings with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk and Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn, IPN reports.


The discussions between the officials will center on the internal political situation, the Moldova –European Union agenda, financial assistance, regional situation and other topical issues. read more



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