Bulgaria seizes almost 100 kilos of heroin en route to Europe

Bulgaria seizes almost 100 kilos of heroin en route to Europe Sofia  - Bulgarian customs officials have seized almost 100 kilos of heroin in two shipments from Turkey, it was announced in Sofia Saturday.

A package of 73 kilos was found in a mini-bus owned by a Romanian citizen and an additional 24.4 kilos was seized from a bus on a regular line from Istanbul to destinations in Bulgaria. No other details were given.

Bulgarian cental bank chief resigns under pressure

Bulgarian cental bank chief resigns under pressure Sofia - The Bulgarian parliament on Thursday relieved central bank chief Ivan Iskrov of his duties hours after he tendered his resignation amid a clash with the new ruling coalition.

Iskrov, governor of the Bulgarian National Bank, handed in his resignation to the parliament at the start of the working day, speaker Tsetska Tsacheva said.

Bulgaria's legislature voted 108-59 to accept Iskrov's resignation. The parliament has 240 seats.

Archeologists discover two ancient golden rings in Bulgaria

Archeologists discover two ancient golden rings in BulgariaWashington, August 19 : A team of archaeologists in Bulgaria has found two golden rings, along with other priceless finds.

The discovery was made by the TEMP expedition led by archeologist Diana Dimitrova, wife of the late Georgi Kitov, one of the most prominent Bulgarian archeologists.

Her team found two golden rings in the mound near the South-East village of Krushare, in the Sliven Region.

The archeologists also found more golden coins in a leather purse.

Bulgaria steps up labour controls

Bulgaria steps up labour controls Sofia - Bulgaria is set to step up labour controls in order to curb the economy's booming unregistered labour sector and boost dwindling budget revenue, the country's labour minister, Totju Mladenov, said Monday.

There are some 400,000 people working in Bulgaria's "black labour market," according to the government. In comparison, at the end of 2008, there were 2.4 million registered employees in the country.

Bulgaria plunges deeper into recession

Bulgaria plunges deeper into recessionSofia - The Bulgarian economy shrank by 4.8 per cent year-on-year in the second quarter as the country plunged deeper into recession, the National Statistical Institute said in a preliminary report on Monday.

The second-quarter decline followed a 3.5-per-cent fall of the gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2009, the NSI estimated. The final second-quarter figure is due in September. (dpa)

Macedonian court sentence sparks row with Bulgaria

Macedonian court sentence sparks row with BulgariaSkopje/Sofia - A diplomatic row over a prison sentence Macedonia handed to a Bulgarian national could signal growing ethnic tensions and further burden Skopje's already stalled bid to join the EU and NATO, media said Thursday in both countries.

Macedonia recently sentenced 23-year-old mother-of-two Spaska Mitrova to three months in prison over her refusal to allow her Macedonian husband child visitation rights.

Bulgaria names new head of anti-corruption agency

Bulgaria names new head of anti-corruption agency Sofia - Bulgaria's government on Monday named former counter-espionage chief Tsvetlin Jovchev as the new head of the powerful anti-corruption agency DANS.

Jovchev, 45, replaced Petko Sertov in the position a month after parliamentary elections led to a change of leadership in the Balkan country. Sertov reportedly stepped down due to the erosion of Western trust in Bulgaria in the face of the country's rampant corruption.

Bulgaria plans to adopt euro in 2012-2013, Sofia says

Bulgaria EconomySofia - Bulgaria plans to replace the lev with the Europe's single currency, the euro, in 2012 or 2013, Finance Minister Simeon Djankov told daily 24 Chasa Monday.

"We have a chance in the last year of the mandate to introduce the euro," Djankov said.

Bulgaria will meet all criteria for the implementation of euro by the end of the year but if the budget deficit exceeds 3 per cent "it will put off our euro zone entry by two more years," he said.

Archaeologists start excavation of medieval fortress in Bulgaria

Archaeologists start excavation of medieval fortress in BulgariaSofia (Bulgaria), August 3 : The second archaeological expedition to excavate the Bulgarian medieval fortress Krakra near the western city of Pernik has begun.

According to a report by the Sofia News Agency, the expedition is part of the initiative "Preserve the Bulgarian (Heritage)" of President Georgi Parvanov, who is himself a native of Pernik.

Archaeologists believe the Krakra fortress was most likely founded after 809 AD when the Bulgarian Khan Krum conquered the region.

Bulgarian parliament approves new government

Bulgarian parliament approves new government Sofia - The Bulgarian parliament on Monday approved a minority government led by former Sofia mayor Boyko Borisov, three weeks after the parliamentary elections took place.

The parliament approved the centre-right government with 162 votes for and 78 against.

The conservative GERB party won 116 seats in the parliament in the July 5 election, and was only five seats short of a majority in the 240 seat assembly, the Sofia News Agency reported.

Archaeologists discover nymph sanctuary in Central Bulgaria

Archaeologists discover nymph sanctuary in Central BulgariaSofia (Bulgaria), July 27 : A team of archaeologists has found a sanctuary in Central Bulgaria where the nymph cult used to be celebrated in ancient times.

According to a report in the Balkan Travellers, the sanctuary was found by archaeologists in the vicinity of the Nicopolis ad Istrum ancient site, located near the town of Veliko Tarnovo in central Bulgaria.

The experts discovered an alley, leading to a spring and covered with limestone tiles decorated in a standout relief.

Heat wave hits Balkan, one fatality

Heat wave hits Balkan, one fatalityBelgrade/Zagreb/Pristina/Sofia - A heat wave hit the Balkans Friday, causing one fatality in western Serbia amid extremely high temperatures in cities across the region.

Temperatures around 40 degrees Celsius were reported in several towns in Serbia on Thursday, but unofficial measurements in downtown Belgrade showed a high of 44 degrees. Meteorologists expect temperatures of around 42 degrees on Friday.

Bulgaria gets new government

Bulgaria gets new government Sofia - Bulgarian Prime Minister-designate Boyko Borisov on Thursday presented his new cabinet, local media reported.

The new government will consist of 15 ministers, among them former senior World Bank economist Simeon Djankov who is to be the new Minister of Finance and Margarita Popova former head of a special unit investigating frauds with EU funds who was nominated as the Justice Minister.

Serbian Ratko Dostanic new coach of Levski Sofia

Serbian Ratko Dostanic new coach of Levski Sofia Sofia - Bulgarian league champions Levski Sofia have fired coach Emil Velev and in his place appointed Serb Ratko Dostanic, media reported Thursday.

The sacking of Velev came as a shock as Levski qualified for the second qualifying round of the Champions League after a 9-0 victory over Sant Julia.

Under Velev, Levski won the Bulgarian championship for the 26th time in their history. Dostanic was a former coach of Slavia Sofia and Vardar Skopje. (dpa)

Bulgarian MPs with collaborator past are banned from key posts

Bulgarian MPs with collaborator past are banned from key postsSofia  - Bulgarian MPs who collaborated with the communist secret service will not be allowed to assume key posts in the national assembly, Bulgaria's new government decided Wednesday.

The proposal was adopted by 146 votes to 32. Parliamentarians with state security records will not be able to head parliamentary commissions or join international delegations.

The files of the notorious secret service were made public shortly before Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007.

Suzlon Energy enters ‘Bulgarian Market’

Suzlon Energy enters ‘Bulgarian Market’Wind power major Suzlon Energy Ltd has entered an agreement by Suzlon with Technomash, Bulgarian Industrial Group to deliver 12.6 MW of capacity through six of Suzlon S88-2.1 MW wind turbines.

The project will come up in the province of Dobrich in North-East Bulgaria, and be supplied in financial year 2009-2010.

In a separate release, Suzlon Energy has revealed its plans to raise $90 million (about Rs 434 crore) through issue of convertible bonds in international markets.

Anti-corruption campaigner to be Bulgaria's new justice minister

Boyko BorisovSofia  - Prime Minister-designate Boyko Borisov has named the head of a special unit investigating frauds with EU funds as Bulgaria' new justice minister, local media reported Monday.

Margarita Popova's nomination came just two days before the EU Commission releases a report on Bulgaria's fight against corruption and organized crime.

Last year, the European Union blocked 500 million euros (711 million dollars) worth of aid to Bulgaria because of persistent corruption. Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007.

Borisov, whose GERB party won a majority in July 5 elections, is expected to present his full cabinet sometime this week.(dpa)

Bulgaria's tourism to slump after years of rapid growth

Bulgaria's tourism to slump after years of rapid growthSofia  - Bulgarian hoteliers had become used to good earnings over the years of strong growth, but are facing grim prospects now as the economic crisis has forced worldwide belt-tightening.

Pressed by a dwindling number of visitors and stiff competition from its equally hard-pressed southern neighbour Turkey, Bulgaria finds its Black Sea hotels cutting prices virtually on a daily basis.

Sofia mayor to head Bulgaria's next government

Sofia mayor to head Bulgaria's next government Sofia - Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov on Thursday tasked former bodyguard, police official and now Sofia Mayor Boyko Borisov with building the country's next government.

Borisov received the mandate two days after the new Parliament convened for the first time since the July 5 elections, with his GERB party holding 116 of the legislature's 240 seats. He now has a week to propose the cabinet list.

New Bulgarian parliament convenes

New Bulgarian parliament convenesSofia  - The new Bulgarian parliament was sworn in Tuesday, as the new majority promised to fight deeply-rooted corruption to reclaim the lost confidence of European partners.

"Over the past 20 years laws were often replaced by schemes," Cvetan Cvetanov, one of the leaders of the GERB party, the winner of the July 5 elections, told the assembly.

He also said the new cabinet would implement urgent measures to combat the economic crisis.

GERB's Cecka Cacheva was elected as the first female speaker of the Bulgarian parliament since the fall of Communism in 1989.

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