Hundreds of thousands without heating in the Balkans

Bulgaria MapBelgrade/Sofia - Gas shortages triggered by the Russia- Ukraine row over payments have left tens of thousands of families in Serbia and Bulgaria without the ability to heat their homes at a time of freezing cold.

While most Serbian plants have switched or were in the process of switching from natural gas to oil, some - as in the cities of Novi Sad and Pancevo, servicing some
120,000 people - have shut down as gas supplies were exhausted, reports said.

Bulgaria presses EU for permission to restart old reactors

Bulgaria MapSofia - Hit hard by the Russia-Ukraine gas row, Bulgaria on Tuesday stepped up the pressure for permission to re-start its old nuclear reactors, shut down in 2006 amid European safety concerns.

"We must prepare without delay to re-start the third reactor at Kosloduy," President Georgi Parvanov said. Bulgaria shut down two 440-megawatt, Soviet-era reactors shortly before it joined the European Union in 2007, meeting Brussels' demands.

Two even older reactors were turned off in 2002.

Parvanov said the accession contract with the EU allows Bulgaria to revive the two newer reactors in case of a crisis.

Russia-Ukraine gas row hits the Balkans hard

Russia-Ukraine gas row hits the Balkans hard Sofia - The row between Russia and Ukraine over natural gas deliveries hit the Balkans hard Tuesday, with Bulgaria and Croatia reporting a total supply stoppage and Romania a two-thirds drop.

The Bulgarian supplier Bulgargaz said delivery was terminated at Ukraine's border with Romania in the early morning, which also affected the transit of gas to Turkey, Greece and Macedonia.

The Bulgarian government was in an emergency session to discuss the crisis, as supplies may last only a few days.

Russian gas supply to Balkans terminated

Russian gas supply to Balkans terminatedSofia - The flow of Russi

Bulgarian skating champion jailed for deadly drunk-driving crash

Maxim StaviskiSofia - Former ice-skating world champion Maxim Staviiski is to spend 2.5 years in prison after an appeals court Monday overturned a lighter, suspended sentence handed to him for a deadly traffic accident he caused 16 months ago.

The court in the Black Sea port of Burgas said Staviiski must serve time for driving his massive jeep into another car in August 2007, killing a 24-year old man and gravely injuring an 18-year old girl, who remains in a coma and in a hospital in Israel.

Europe’s most ancient civilization discovered in Bulgaria

BulgariaSofia (Bulgaria), Dec 31 : A team of archaeologists has found the most ancient civilization in Europe, near Yunatsite village, Pazardzhik District, in Bulgaria.

In 2008, a joint Bulgarian-Greek team had excavated the layers of a tomb that date back from the Halcolite age.

After finding the skeleton of a young woman, they have now found the fortifying system that includes a big 5m wide wall that has surpassed the settlement, according to a report by Focus News Agency.