Bulgaria

ROUNDUP: Suter clinches downhill win as Vonn cements World Cup lead

Suter clinches downhill win as Vonn cements World Cup lead Bansko, Bulgaria  - Fabienne Suter of Switzerland claimed her first alpine ski World Cup victory of the season with a downhill win in Bansko, Bulgaria on Friday, while Lindsey Vonn of the United States was again on the podium to increase her overall lead.

Suter posted 1 minute 45.68 seconds for a comfortable 1.15-second advantage over Austrian Andrea Fischbacher. Vonn shared third place with Nadia Fanchini of Italy, both 1.24 seconds back.

Suter clinches first World Cup downhill win as Vonn cements lead

Fabienne SuterBansko, Bulgaria - Fabienne Suter of Switzerland claimed her first alpine ski World Cup victory of the season with a downhill win in Bansko, Bulgaria on Friday, while Lindsey Vonn of the United States was again on the podium to increase her overall lead.

Suter posted 1 minute 45.68 seconds for a comfortable 1.15-second advantage over Austrian Andrea Fischbacher. Vonn shared third place with Nadia Fanchini of Italy, both 1.24 seconds back.

India, Bulgaria sign agreement on exemption from visa requirement

India, Bulgaria sign agreement on exemption from visa requirementThe Union Cabinet today approved the signing of an agreement between India and Bulgaria on exemption from visa requirement for the holders of Diplomatic and official/service passports.

The agreement is scheduled to be signed during the visit of the Foreign Minister of Bulgaria to India on March 3.

Submerged ancient Thracian city to see daylight in Bulgaria

Submerged ancient Thracian city to see daylight in BulgariaSofia  - Discovered under centuries-old layers of dirt in 1948, then submerged under 20 metres of water, the ancient city of Seuthopolis is to emerge once again in a bold rescue project.

The magnificently preserved city, founded by the Thracian king Seuthes III in 323 BC, was discovered in central Bulgaria during the construction of a dam on the Tundzha river.

Italy returns 2,200 smuggled works of art to Bulgaria

Italy returns 2,200 smuggled works of art to Bulgaria Sofia - Italy has returned Tuesday 2,200 works of art to Bulgaria, which were smuggled from the country after the fall of the Communist regime.

The prehistoric and antique works were turned over to the Historical Museum in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

Among them were Thracian and Roman bronze and silver figures, jars and coins. The ancient pieces were confiscated from two Bulgarian families in Italy.

Bulgaria's Communist party voluntarily gave up power in 1990 after demonstrations calling for political reforms. (dpa)

Italy returns 2,200 smuggled works of art to Bulgaria

taly returns 2,200 smuggled works of art to BulgariaSofia - Italy has returned Tuesday 2,200 works of art to Bulgaria, which were smuggled from the country after the fall of the Communist regime.

The prehistoric and antique works were turned over to the Historical Museum in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.

Among them were Thracian and Roman bronze and silver figures, jars and coins. The ancient pieces were confiscated from two Bulgarian families in Italy.

Bulgaria's Communist party voluntarily gave up power in 1990 after demonstrations calling for political reforms. (dpa)

Bulgarian retail prices up by 0.8 per cent in January

Bulgaria MapSofia - Bulgarian retail prices went up by 0.8 per cent in January, the growth mostly fueled by cost of food, the National Statistical Institute said Friday.

Bulgaria projected a 6.7 per cent inflation rate for the 2009 budget, after posting a higher-than-planned 12.3 per cent rate last year.

The Balkan country has been a member of the European Union since 2007. (dpa)

Swiss vote in favour of free movement with Romania and Bulgaria

Geneva  - Swiss voters overwhelmingly supported a government- backed motion to extend cooperation with the European Union in a referendum on Sunday.

Some 60 per cent supported expanding the existing deal with 25 European states and allow free access to citizens of the two youngest EU members Romania and Bulgaria. dpa

Bulgaria shocked by macabre family murders

Sofia - Bulgaria was in shock Thursday over a macabre family murder in the south of the country which left two children dead and five others seriously injured.

The 29-year old man, apparently distraught by feuding with his in- laws, killed and decapitated his two sons, aged five and eight, in a street in the village of Osikovo on Wednesday night.

He then went on to the family home, doused it with gasoline and set it on fire. His wife, her parents and two other relatives sustained life-threatening injuries in the blaze, and were being treated in a Sofia hospital, the interior ministry said.

The killer, presumably armed and considered extremely dangerous, fled and was still at large despite a massive police search. (dpa)

Bulgarian president backs pipelines bypassing Ukraine

BulgariaMoscow - Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov meeting in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, on Thursday called for more urgency in building alternative pipeline routes to carry Russian gas to Europe bypassing Ukraine.

The former Soviet state, which is almost wholly dependent on Russian gas for heat, was severely hit by a dispute between Russia and Ukraine last month that severed its supplies of gas for nearly two weeks amid freezing temperatures.

Protesting Bulgarian farmers block traffic, borders

BulgariaSofia - Bulgarian farmers blocked border crossings and roads in the north and south of the country Wednesday, demanding higher prices for agricultural products, local media reported.

At Russe, the only bridge across the Danube along Bulgaria's border with Romania, was also blocked. The barricades were being briefly lifted once in every two hours to allow some of the waiting trucks passage to Romania.

To the east, at Vidin, police removed a human chain formed by protestors to end the blockade of a ferry across Danube and a roadblock was lifted on a road leading to Romania at Oryachovo, between Russe and Vidin.

Bulgarian President Parvanov to discuss gas in Moscow

Bulgaria MapSofia - Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov would travel to Moscow Wednesday to discuss measures aimed at averting another gas crisis, local media reported Tuesday.

He would meet both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, it was announced in Sofia.

Bulgaria, which depends almost exclusively on Russian gas it receives across Ukraine and Romania, was hit hard by the gas row between Moscow and Ukraine in January. (dpa)

Greeks farmers continue to block border crossing with Bulgaria

BulgariaAthens - Greek farmers protesting low prices for their products continued to block the main border crossing with Bulgaria on Friday.

Thousands of farmers lifted their road blocks in the northern prefectures of Macedonia and Thrace after accepting an emergency aid package by the government.

In the past week and a half, thousands of farmers used their tractors to create more than 70 roadblocks along all the main highways across Greece.

Bulgarian parlaiment wants old Kozloduy reactors restarted

BulgariaSofia- Saying the country is under pressure from the global financial troubles and wary of another gas crisis, Bulgaria's parliament ordered Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev's cabinet on Friday to explore the possibilities for the restart of dormant nuclear reactors.

The assembly voted 140-48 for the motion to prod the government into trying to negotiate a new lease of life for two of the four Soviet-era reactors at the Kozloduy power plant.

The 2006 closure of two 440-megawatt reactors, considered unsafe by the European Union, was one of the conditions Bulgaria had to meet to join the bloc in 2007.

Bulgaria to restart nuclear reactor in face of gas row

BulgariaSofia - Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev said on Friday that his country would restart a Soviet-era nuclear power reactor at Kozloduy, in the face of severe ongoing gas shortages due to the energy dispute between Ukraine and Russia.

Bulgarian news agency Focus reported that Stanishev said his government had decided to begin the 45-day technical preparation process to restart the reactor, because the country had still received no gas from its Russian supplier.

Earlier on Friday, Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov called for a new European Union energy policy in the wake of the ongoing dispute.

Bulgaria calls for new EU energy policy

BulgariaSofia - Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov has called for a new EU energy policy in the wake of the ongoing gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine.

In a speech on national security Friday in Sofia, Parvanonv said that it was "important to build a dependable partnership" between the states of the Caspian littoral.

Parvanov added that the proposed Nabucco pipeline project, which would see gas distributed from the Caucasus without passing through Russian or Ukrainian territory, was not just about a physical project, but also about politics.

EU presidency ready to remove Bulgarian "toilet" art installation

BulgariaBrussels - The Czech presidency of the European Union said Thursday it was ready to remove a controversial art installation in Brussels depicting Bulgaria as a psychedelic Turkish toilet, following protests in Sofia.

The installation by Czech artist David Cerny is located in the main entrance hall of the council building in Brussels, where EU summits take place.

It is meant to poke fun at national cliches and stereotypes of the EU's 27 member states with an 8-ton jigsaw resembling a plastic scale model of an EU map.

Sofia police uses teargas on demonstrators, arrests 30

BulgariaSofia - Bulgarian police used teargas and batons Wednesday to disperse a protest in downtown Sofia, arresting around 30 violent demonstrators, local media reported.

Several police were also injured in the clash, chief commissioner Pavlin Dimitrov said.

Demonstrators, apparently including hooligan football fans, previously hurled snowballs and bottles at the parliament building and a police cordon keeping them at distance from the legislature.

The riot police moved in with force reportedly after receiving a tip that a bomb was set to explode at the scene.

Bulgarian Premier Stanishev in Moscow, Kiev for urgent gas talks

Bulgarian Premier Stanishev in Moscow, Kiev for urgent gas talksSofia - Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev left Wednesday for a one-day trip to Moscow and Kiev and urgent talks about the Russian-Ukrainian gas row which has shoved much of the Balkans into a deep crisis.

In Moscow, Stanishev was due to meet both Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev and the management of the Russian Gazprom, his cabinet said in Sofia.

Stanishev would then fly to Kiev, for talks with Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko and Premier Yulia Timoshenko.

Bulgaria reports reception of gas from Ukraine

BulgariaSofia - The Ukraine has begun delivering gas again to Moldavia and Bulgaria, in fulfilling a pledge Kiev had made, Bulgarian Economics and Energy Minister Petar Dimitrov said Saturday.

Dimitrov said he had received information from a centre in charge of monitoring gas distribution in the Balkan region about the resumption of gas deliveries, which are coming from Ukraine's own reserves.

Earlier, Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko in a telephone call with his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Parvanov had promised to supply gas from Ukraine's own reserves, with Kiev aiming to supply Bulgaria with 2.5 million cubic metres per day.

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