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• Elezioni Parlamento Bulgaro - Exit poll: GERB 32%, BSP 28%
• Ue-Bulgaria, anniversario a più velocità
• Sinergia tra attori bulgari e compagnia italiana: Come in un romanzo
• Bulgaria: legislative ai confini dell'Ue
• Bulgaria, nel villaggio dei musulmani che teme il ritorno dei nazionalisti
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 BTA 
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• (DF) European Commission to Consider Additional Financing for Bulgaria to Guard EU External Border
March 27 (BTA) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker sent a letter to President Rumen Radev expressing the Commission's readiness to examine Bulgaria's long-term needs of additional financing for guarding the EU external borders, the President's Press Secretariat said.
• (DF) Final Results of Parliamentary Eelections Show Gerb as Winner with 32.65% of the Votes
March 27 (BTA) - Based on 100 per cent of the tally sheets processed by the constituency election commissions by 4:45 p.m. Monday, GERB won 32.65 per cent of the votes in Sunday's parliamentary elections, and the BSP for Bulgaria coalition took 27.20 per cent, the Central Election Commission said.
• (DF) PACE, OSCE Observers Present Bulgarian Parliamentary Elections Preliminary Conclusions
March 27 (BTA) - The observer delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) presented their observations related to the Bulgarian parliamentary elections at a news conference Monday. These were their preliminary conclusions before their final report.
• (DF) Volya Party Leader Mareshki Stresses Importance of Forming Cabinet around Strategic Goals
March 27 (BTA) - Volya [Will] party leader Vesselin Mareshki said, speaking at his first news conference after the March 26 elections, that the most important thing now is forming a stable government. Volya polled about 4.15 per cent of the votes, making it the fourth force in the next Parliament.
• (DF) GERB Wins Elections in Sofia's Three Constituencies
March 27 (BTA) - GERB won Sunday's parliamentary elections in all three Sofia constituencies, the Central Election Commission said after all the tally sheets were processed.
• (DF) Radan Kanev Resigns as Leader of New Republic, Democrats for Strong Bulgaria
March 27 (BTA) - Radan Kanev resigned the leadership of the New Republic coalition and the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party after the results of Sunday's parliamentary elections were announced.
• (DF) Final Results of Voting Abroad: GERB 24.45%, DOST Second with 17.49%
March 27 (BTA) - Based on 100 per cent of the tally sheets of voting abroad processed by 10 a.m. Monday, GERB took 24.45 per cent of the votes in Sunday's parliamentary elections, the DOST Alliance is second with 17.49 per cent, and the BSP for Bulgaria coalition is third with 12.54 per cent.
• (DF) Most Cases on Violations during Elections in Bourgas, Veliko Turnovo
March 27 (BTA) - The prosecution service has instituted 91 pre-trial proceedings for violations of voting rights in Bulgaria, of which 22 were launched in Bourgas and Veliko Turnovo each and 21 in Sofia. Plovdiv trails the table with nine pre-trial proceedings.
• (DF) Voting Abroad: 90.46% of Tally Sheets Give GERB 24.52%, DOST Second with 17.32%
March 27 (BTA) - Based on 90.46 per cent of the tally sheets of voting abroad processed by 9 a.m. Monday, GERB took 24.52 per cent of the votes in Sunday's parliamentary elections, the DOST Alliance is second with 17.32 per cent, and the BSP for Bulgaria coalition is third with 12.75 per cent.
• (PE) Press Review
Sofia, March 27 (BTA)
• (DF) Elections: 97.17% of Tally Sheets Give GERB 32.63%, BSP for Bulgaria 27.10%
March 27 (BTA) - Based on 97.17 per cent of the tally sheets processed by the constituency election commissions by 9 a.m. Monday, GERB won 32.63 per cent of the votes in Sunday's parliamentary elections, and the BSP for Bulgaria coalition took 27.10 per cent, the Central Election Commission said.
• (DF) DOST Alliance's Evgeni Mihailov: "All Played against DOST"
March 27 (BTA) - "We have witnessed a restoration of communism," DOST Alliance MP candidate Evgeni Mihailov commented on Nova Television. "Regardless of whether DOST crosses the 4 per cent threshold or not, these elections must not be recognized as legitimate. Everybody else played against DOST: 20 [parties and coalitions] against 1, including by violating the constitutional rights of Bulgarian citizens.
• (DF) United Patriots' Valeri Simeonov: "Somewhat Disappointed"
March 27 (BTA) - "I am somewhat disappointed, we expected more," United Patriots co-leader Valeri Simeonov said on Bulgarian National Television. "It is not certain that the United Patriots will participate in the government, if GERB asks them to, or will only offer their support in Parliament as in the previous legislature."
• (DF) Borissov: "Election Results Oblige GERB to Form Cabinet"
March 27 (BTA) - Speaking at the GERB Party headquarters in Sofia shortly after exit polls showed that his formerly ruling party had won the most votes in Sunday's early parliamentary elections, GERB leader and two-time prime minister Boyko Borissov said that these results impose on his party an obligation to form a cabinet. He thanked all Bulgarians who voted for GERB. "We have a clear victory. The votes reconfirm that GERB should be the leading party in government," Borissov said.
• (DF) Reformist Bloc-People's Voice's Peter Moskov: "Right Unable to Learn Lessons"
March 27 (BTA) - "The votes cast for the coalition give us a hope that the Right wing will be represented in the next Parliament, but this will remain unclear until all votes are counted," said Peter Moskov of the Reformist Bloc - People's Voice Coalition.
• (DF) Hristo Ivanov: "Yes, Bulgaria Showed that It Is the Most Dynamic New Player"
March 26 (BTA) - I am hopeful because Yes, Bulgaria showed that its is the most dynamic new player in the Bulgarian democratic space. We demonstrated that we can attract new votes, said Hristo Ivanov, Yes, Bulgaria leader, in interview for Nova TV.
• (DF) Mustafa Karadayi: "Bulgaria Needs a Value-based Majority"
March 26 (BTA) - One thing is clear so far based on the interim results from the elections: we have to congratulate GERB and BSP for their results, but we want to congratulate all Bulgarian citizens who participated and those who wanted to but were unable to.
• (DF) Vesselin Mareshki: "Volya and I Were Most ?ttacked by Black PR and Fake News"
March 26 (BTA) - "Volya and I were most attacked by black PR and fake news throughout the campaign. This demotivated quite a few of the voters and they did not go to the polls. If we are in opposition, we will be shedding light on the problems, the thefts, the lawlessness in all spheres.
• (DF) BSP's Kornelia Ninova: "We Are on the Right Track"
March 26 (BTA) - In a statement in the headquarters of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), leader Kornelia Ninova said that the BSP has doubled its performance from the last parliamentary elections. "We reconfirmed the result from the first round of voting in the presidential elections, when the party vote is counted. This proved that we are on the right track and we will continue to work for the change we have started," Ninova said.
• (DF) Exit Polls Give GERB Lead over BSP for Bulgaria
According to exit polls, GERB won Bulgaria's early parliamentary elections on Sunday, gaining the most votes and leaving BSP for Bulgaria some 4 per cent behind. Five or six political forces have crossed the 4 per cent threshold to parliament: GERB, BSP for Bulgaria, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), United Patriots, Volya and, possibly, Reformist Bloc-People's Voice. GERB has polled between 1,100,000 and 1,150,000 - as many as the 1,072,491 it got in the previous parliamentary elections in 2014. For its part, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) has received about a million votes, doubling its electoral support from 505,527 in the previous parliamentary elections. Curiously, the United Patriots (a coalition of the National Front for Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB), the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) and Ataka) got slightly over 300,000 votes on Sunday, more than 200,000 less than the half a million garnered by their candidate Krassimir Karakachanov in the November 2016 presidential elections. Even in the previous parliamentary elections, the sum total of votes cast for the Patriotic Front (NFSB and IMRO) and Ataka approximated 390,000. The MRF, too, suffered a substantial decline, with a little over 280,000 votes (excluding those cast in Turkey), some 30,000 more than the showing of Plamen Oresharski whom they backed in the presidential elections and around 200,000 less than their result in the 2014 presidential elections.
• (DF) GERB Leader Borissov: Election Results Show that GERB Has an Obligation to Form Government
March 26 (BTA) - Speaking in GERB's party headquarters in Sofia shortly after exit polls from the March 26 general elections showed that the formerly ruling GERB party wins the most votes, GERB party leader and two-time prime minister Boyko Borissov said with these results his party has an obligation to form a government. He thanked all Bulgarians who voted for GERB. "We have a clear victory. The votes reconfirm that GERB should be the leading party in the governance," Borissov said.
• (DF) Parliamentary Elections: Poll Results
Polling agencies announced their results for Sunday's parliamentary elections in Bulgaria. Market Links said GERB is first with 31.82 per cent, followed by the BSP for Bulgaria coalition with 28.95 per cent. The United Patriots - NFSB, Ataka, VMRO polled 8.49 per cent, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) 7.72 per cent, the Volya party 4.89 per cent, and the Reformist Bloc - People's Voice coalition 4.19 per cent. Yes, Bulgaria polled 3.49 per cent and the DOST Alliance took 2.75 per cent. A Gallup International poll gave GERB 32.8 per cent and BSP for Bulgaria 28.4 per cent. The poll results for the other parties are as follows: United Patriots - NFSB, Ataka, VMRO 8.8 per cent, the MRF 7.8 per cent, and Volya 4.6 per cent. With 3.8 per cent the Reformist Bloc is below the 4 per cent barrier to Parliament for now. Alpha Research gave the following results: GERB 32.2 per cent, BSP for Bulgaria 28 per cent, United Patriots 9.8 per cent, MRF 9.7 per cent, Volya 5.1 per cent, and Reformist Bloc - People's Voice 4 per cent. Below the 4 per cent barrier are: Yes, Bulgaria with 2.9 per cent, DOST 2.7 per cent, New Republic 2.6 per cent, and ABV-21 Movement 2.4 per cent. Based on these results of the Alpha Research poll, the parties and coalitions win seats as follows: GERB between 86 and 88, BSP for Bulgaria between 75 and 77, the MRF between 25 and 27, the United Patriots between 25 and 27, Volya between 13 and 15, the Reformist Bloc - People's Voice 10 or 11 seats.
• (DF) Voting Day Proceeds Peacefully
March 26 (BTA) - Voting day began peacefully on Sunday, the Interior Ministry reported. The security situation at polling stations was normal during the previous night. At 7 a.m. the polling station premises and the election materials in them were handed over to the respective election commissions. The Interior Ministry has no information about any acts that could jeopardize the election process. In the capital Sofia, 2,360 police officers and gendarmes are providing security during the day.
• (DF) Tension, Resentment and Rows in Voting Sections in Turkey
March 26 (BTA exclusive by Nahide Deniz) - Bulgarian expatriates in Istanbul are turning out in large numbers to vote in the snap elections to the Bulgarian Parliament. Turnout was already high in the early hours. Only seven voting sections have been set up in Istanbul, although half of the 19,000 applications for voting in Turkey were filed in this mega-city.
• (DF) Voter Turnout at 42.7% by 5 PM
March 26 (BTA) - The voter turnout in Sunday's early parliamentary elections in Bulgaria was 42.74 per cent as at 5 p.m. Sofia time. A total of 2,910,601 people cast their ballots by that time, Central Election Commission Spokesperson Kamelia Neikova said.
• (DF) More than 13,800 Bulgarians Voted in Turkey by 1 pm
March 26 (BTA) - By 1 pm on Sunday, 13,816 Bulgarians had voted in Turkey, up from 5,000 at 10 am, Central Election Commission Spokesperson Alexander Andreev said. By that time, 2,296 Bulgarians had voted in Germany, 3,256 in Britain, 1,410 in Greece, 1,672 in Spain, and 1,138 in France.
• (PE) Press Review
Sofia, March 26 (BTA)
• (DF) Leaders of Political Forces Vote for Change and Security
March 26 (BTA) - Leaders of the political forces represented in the previous Parliament voted for change and security and expressed a hope for a high voter turnout.
• (DF) Voter Turnout at 25.71% by 1 PM
March 26 (BTA) - Voter turnout in Sunday's early parliamentary elections in Bulgaria was 25.71 per cent as at 1 p.m. Sofia time, the Central Election Commission (CEC) told a news briefing. A total of 1,723,555 people cast their ballots by that time. The rate was higher than at the same hour in the 2014 parliamentary elections, when it stood at 23.24 per cent.
• (DF) Voting Day Proceeds Peacefully
March 26 (BTA) - Voting day began peacefully on Sunday, the Interior Ministry reported. The security situation at polling stations was normal during the previous night. At 7 a.m. the polling station premises and the election materials in them were handed over to the respective election commissions. The Interior Ministry has no information about any acts that could jeopardize the election process. In the capital Sofia, 2,360 police officers and gendarmes are providing security during the day.
• (DF) 10,000 People Vote Abroad by 10 a.m. Bulgarian Time
March 26 (BTA) - About 10,000 people voted abroad by 10 a.m. Sofia time in Sunday's Bulgarian parliamentary elections, Central Election Commission Spokesperson Alexander Andreev reported. Voter turnout in overseas localities is impossible to measure because anyone willing (and eligible) to vote can be added to the voting lists at any time.
• (DF) President and Prime Minister Hope Next Government Will Be Formed Quickly after Elections
March 26 (BTA) - Bulgarian leaders cast their ballots in Sunday's early parliamentary elections and made remarks to the media. President Rumen Radev said: "I voted with the hope of every Bulgarian for a better, modern and prosperous Bulgaria. It is up to all of us." Radev voted in a polling station at the MacGahan Transport School in Sofia. Taking a journalist's question, he said the government has taken all necessary measures to ensure that the elections proceed peacefully. Asked about voter turnout, the President said it was up to the political parties to encourage voters to go to the polls and the caretaker government has created all necessary conditions.
• (DF) Voter Turnout by 10 a.m. Stands at 8.44%
March 26 (BTA) - Voter turnout in Sunday's early parliamentary elections in Bulgaria was 8.44 per cent as at 10 a.m., the Central Election Commission reported. A total of 574,657 people had cast their ballots by that time.
• (DF) Bulgarians Vote for Parliament Sunday
March 26 (BTA) - Bulgarians are going to the polls on Sunday to elect their new lawmakers. These will be the country's tenth parliamentary elections since the start of democratic changes in 1989 and the fifth to be held before the legislature has served its full four-year term of office - in fact, the third snap parliamentary poll in a row since 2013.
• (DF) Bulgarian Weightlifting Legend Ivan Abadjiev Dies
March 25 (BTA) - Legendary weightlifting coach Ivan Abadjiev died at the age of 85, his family said. Abadjiev was born in Novi Pazar on February 12, 1932. He was a silver medalist at the 1957 World Weightlifting Championship in Tehran and took part in the Rome Olympics in 1960.
• (DF) Bulgaria Will Employ Even More Energy When Taking Over EU Presidency - Head of State
March 25 (BTA) - "Upon taking over the EU Presidency, Bulgaria will continue with even greater energy its commitment to the future common European project. We will work in close cooperation with the other member states and the European institutions and will support any effort that would allow us improve our Union keeping its hitherto achievements," Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev said here quoted by his Press Service.
• (PE) Press Review
Sofia, March 25 (BTA)
• (DF) Caretaker PM: Every Single Bulgarian Has Power to Elect Who Governs Country
March 24 (BTA) - Caretaker Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdjikov Friday made an address to the nation on the eve of the March 26 early parliamentary elections, saying that every single Bulgarian has the power to elect who will govern this country. The address was released by the government's information service.
• (DF) Central Bank Refuses Preliminary Approval of Application by D Commercial Bank to Acquire 100 Per cent of Share Capital of Victoria Commercial Bank
March 24 (BTA) - The National Bank of Bulgaria (BNB, the central bank) has refused to issue a preliminary approval required by law of an application by D Commercial Bank to acquire 100 per cent of the share capital of Victoria Commercial Bank - a subsidiary of the now-failed Corporate Commercial Bank, BNB said in a press release Friday.
• (DF) CERN Will Support Technologically Establishment of Regional Centre of Hadron Therapy in Bulgaria
March 24 (BTA) - CERN will support technologically the idea about the establishment of a centre of hadron therapy in Bulgaria, CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti said at a news conference with Minister of Education and Science Nikolai Denkov.
• (DF) Protestors Block Bus from Turkey as It Tries to Enter Bulgaria On Suspicions that It Brings "Voting Tourists"
March 24 (BTA) - Protestors Friday prevented the entry into Bulgaria of a bus coming from Turkey via the Kapitan Andreevo checkpoint, the Interior Ministry said. The Ministry said the protestors are supporters of a political party without naming it.
• (DF) Exacta: Six Political Forces Likely in Next Parliament
March 24 (BTA) - The next Parliament will likely have six political forces, according to a poll by Exacta Research Group made public Friday, two days ahead of early general elections in Bulgaria. The poll was taken March 17-22 among 1,000 adult respondents in 91 population centres.
• (PE) Press Review
Sofia, March 24 (BTA)
• (DF) Miners, Owner Reach Agreement in Manganese Mine Conflict
March 24 (BTA) - A standoff between miners and the owner of a manganese mine in the northeastern village of Obrochishte came to an end late on Thursday when an agreement was signed with the mediation of Energy Minister Nikolai Pavlov and Ombudsman Maya Manolova.
• (DF) Social Minister Endorses List of Eligible Beneficiaries of Food Donations
March 24 (BTA) - Labour and Social Policy Minister Galab Donev has endorsed a list of entitled beneficiaries of food donations from food banks, said his Ministry. The list includes 14 groups of people, among them pensioners whose pensions are at and under the poverty line; lone seniors (over 65 years of age), people with 50 per cent and over of disability, families of disabled children and households which were entitled to heating allowances during the previous heating season.
• (DF) President Radev: Bulgaria Does not Give, but Also Does not Accept Lessons on Democracy
March 23 (BTA) - Bulgaria does not give, but also does not accept lessons on democracy, especially from countries that do not observe the rule of law, said President Rumen Radev here on Thursday in response to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's earlier comment about the upcoming Bulgarian general elections and how this country exerts serious pressure on its citizens of Turkish origin.
• (DF) Turkish President Erdogan, Social Minister Urge Bulgaria to Provide Conditions for Fair, Transparent Elections
March 23 (BTA exclusive by Nahide Deniz) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday refuted claims that Turkey is interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. Turkey has always respected the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all countries, Erdogan said and went on to call on Bulgaria to ensure conditions for fair and transparent elections on March 26, to enable all its citizens to vote in peace and security.
• (DF) No Indications for Increased Terrorist Threat in Bulgaria - Defence, Interior Ministers
March 23 (BTA) - No indications are present for an increased terrorist threat in Bulgaria, caretaker ministers of defence, Stefan Yankov, and of the interior, Plamen Uzunov, said Thursday, in Stara Zagora and Vidin, respectively, commenting the situation after Wednesday's Westminster attack in London.
• (DF) President Radev Cables Condolences to Queen Elizabeth II over Terrorist Act in London
March 23 (BTA) - Bulgarian President Rumen Radev cabled condolences to Queen Elizabeth II over the recent terrorist act in London, Radev's Press Secretariat reported Thursday. An attacker killed three people and injured 40 before being shot dead by police near parliament in London on Wednesday.
• (DF) Regional Transport Investment Conference Held in Sofia
March 23 (BTA) - A Regional Transport Investment Conference is taking place in Sofia on Thursday and Friday, organized by the European Commission's Mobility and Transport General Directorate.
• (DF) 28 Migrants Found in Burning Truck near Border with Turkey
March 23 (BTA) - Twenty-eight migrants were found in a burning truck near the Rezovo Village at the Bulgarian-Turkish border, the Regional Directorate of the Interior in Bourgas said.
• (PE) Press Review
Sofia, March 23 (BTA)
• (DF) Turkish Minister Urges Bulgaria Not to Allow Tension at Border before Elections
March 23 (BTA exclusive by Nahide Deniz) - Turkish Labour and Social Policy Minister Mehmet Muezzinoglu urged Wednesday the Bulgarian authorities not to create obstacles at the checkpoints for the Bulgarian immigrants in Turkey, who wish to vote in Bulgaria on Sunday.
• (DF) Donald Tusk to Visit Bulgaria
March 22 (BTA) - In a telephone conversation President Rumen Radev thanked European Council President Donald Tusk for his support for the inclusion of Cohesion Policy in the Rome Declaration, which will be adopted by the EU state and government leaders on March 25, Radev's press secretariat said. The conversation took place on his initiative.
• (DF) National Ombudsman Manolova Confers with OSCE Mission to Bulgaria
March 22 (BTA) - National Ombudsman Maya Manolova has conferred with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) mission to Bulgaria, said Manolova's Office on Wednesday.
• (DF) Barometer Bulgaria: GERB With Negligible Lead on Socialists, Outcome Remains Unclear
March 22 (BTA) - An express poll by Barometer Bulgaria found that GERB has a negligible lead on the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and it will remain unclear to the very election day which one will win the most votes on March 26. The poll was taken by phone among 806 eligible voters on March 21-22.
• (DF) Bulgaria Approves Draft Rome Declaration
Sofia, March 22 (BTA) - The Council of Ministers has approved Bulgaria's position for its participation in the March 25 Rome Summit of the state and government leaders of the EU Member States, the government information service said.
• (NW) Bulgarian Video Wins New York City Drone Film Festival
March 22 (BTA) - The 2D Run video by freerunner Ilko Iliev and photographer Marin Kafedjiiski won the New York City Drone Film Festival and the X-factor category award, dnevnik.bg reports. The video has over half a million views on YouTube, after parts of it were used in a Samsung commercial broadcast on the night of the Oscars.
• (DF) Bulgaria Has No Legal Ground to Extradite Bulgarian Border Police Officers with Nurder Indictment in Turkey
March 22 (BTA) - The Bulgarian Prosecution Office said Wednesday that no legal ground exists for the extradition of four Bulgarian border police officers who were indicted for murder by Turkey the previous day. So far no extradition request has been received from Turkey, the statement goes.
• (DF) Tax and Non-Tax Revenue Increase to LV 3.2 Bln in January 27 - March 20
March 22 (BTA) - Statistics on revenue collection in the first months of 2017 shows some positive trends. According to figures from the National Revenue Agency and the Customs Agency, tax and non-tax revenue in January 27 - March 20 totalled 3.2 billion leva, which is 220 million leva more than this time last year, government spokesperson Irina Belcheva said after the government's weekly meeting Wednesday.
• (DF) PACE to Observe Parliamentary Elections in Bulgaria
March 22 (BTA corr. Nikolay Jeliazkov) - A 15-member delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), led by Marie-Christine Dalloz, will visit Bulgaria from 24 to 27 March 2017 to observe the conduct of the parliamentary elections there, alongside observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, PACE said on Wednesday.
• (DF) Miners in Manganese Ore Mine Go on Hunger Strike for Higher Pay
March 22 (BTA) - The miners of the Obrochishte manganese ore mine went on a hunger strike, leader of a new-created trade union in the mine Protection Ivailo Todorov said. The miners demand higher salaries, and urge the government to reconsider the concession agreement for the manganese deposit. Todorov said that the hunger strike was preceded by a two-week long protest for higher pay which did not elicit a reaction from the management of the mine.
• (PE) Press Review
Sofia, March 22 (BTA)
• (DF) State Agency for National Security Revokes Sojourn Permit of Yet Another Turkish National
March 22 (BTA) - The State Agency for National Security (SANS) said in a press release Wednesday that it revoking the sojourn permit of yet another Turkish national seen as a threat to national security. It is claimed that the person fostered anti-Bulgarian attitudes in areas with mixed population and posed a threat to the unity of the nation.
• (NW) Pink Flamingo Population Increasing in Bourgas Lake
March 21 (BTA) - The population of pink flamigoes in the Atanassovsko Lake near the Black Sea city of Bourgas has increased to 13, which is all-times high for the region, the Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) said. Long years of observation so far have not registered such numbers in the lagoon.
• (DF) United Patriots Threaten to Block Border with Turkey to Stop "Voting Tourists" for March 26 Elections
March 21 (BTA) - The Bulgarian border with Turkey was near-blocked briefly on Tuesday by supporters of the nationalist United Patriots coalition in a bid to stop what is widely referred to as "voting tourists": Bulgarian migrants to Turkey who traditionally vote in Bulgarian elections in large numbers.
• (DF) More Than 2,000 People to Be Involved in Section Election Commissions Abroad
March 21 (BTA) - The Foreign Ministry's Permanent Secretary Elena Shekerletova Tuesday said that 2,049 people will be involved in 371 section election commissions abroad.
• (DF) Transport Minister Moves for Calling Off Sofia Airport Concession Procedure
March 21 (BTA) - Transport Minister Hristo Alexiev has moved for calling off the concession procedure for the Sofia Airport. At a news conference here Tuesday, he said that the decision was based on an analysis, a number of meetings with stake holders and a detailed examination of the concession terms. One of Alexiev's arguments when he submits the proposal to the government next week is that the state interest is not protected.
• (DF) Environmentalists Demand Complete Ban on Neonicotinoide Insecticides
March 21 (BTA) - Six environmental NGOs have sent a letter to Agriculture and Food Minister Hristo Bozukov and the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency head Damyan Iliev, asking for support for imposing a complete ban on active insecticide substances such as imidacloprid, clothianidine and thiamethoxam. They also demand full application of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) risk assessment guidance with respect to bees at approval of use of any kind of pesticide in the EU.
• (DF) Eco-Standards Attainable through Comprehensive Measures across Industries and Countries - Mining and Geology Chamber
March 21 (BTA) - In an analysis released to BTA on Tuesday, the Bulgarian Chamber of Mining and Geology (BCMG) argues that climate change targets are attainable through comprehensive measures taken across industries and countries. Cutting back on coal mining in Germany, Poland and Bulgaria will cause social damage and tension for which those countries are unprepared, and the local economies are not flexible enough to cope with the shock of such a move.
• (DF) Prosecution Magistracy Checks Registration of Two Parties Chaired by Businessman-turned-politician Mareshki
March 21 (BTA) - The Sofia City Prosecution Office is going to check the registration of the political parties Volya [Will] and the National Movement for Freedoms and Democracy, acting on an alert from Central Election Commission (CEC). In the alert CEC notes that a check should be made whether Vesselin Mareshki, a businessman-turned-politician who is running in the March 26 early parliamentary elections, meets the provisions of the Political Parties Act. The CEC says that Mareshki is entered as leader of the two parties, the first registered in 2007 in the dockets of the Sofia City Court, and the second, registered three years earlier.
• (PE) Press Review
Sofia, March 21 (BTA)
• (DF) President Holds Working Meeting on Security, Forthcoming Elections
March 20 (BTA) - Bulgarian President Rumen Radev Monday held the latest in a series of working meetings with the Prosecutor General and the heads of the security services, the head of State's Press Secretariat said. The participants in the meeting discussed the holding of the March 26 early parliamentary elections and national security.
• (DF) Reformist Bloc-People's Voice Coalition Asks President, Central Election Commission to Limit Voting in Turkey to Bulgarian Embassy, Consulates
March 20 (BTA) - In an open letter to the Central Election Commission and to President Rumen Radev, the Reformist Bloc-People's Voice coalition has asked for a closure of the voting sections in Turkey outside the Bulgarian Embassy and consulates and for stopping "voter tourism", the coalition said on Monday.
• (DF) Information Services JSC Reports 7 Per Cent Rate of Return for 2016
March 20 (BTA) - Information Services JSC reported earnings of 20.1 million leva and an annual profit of 1.45 million leva for 2016, the Bulgarian Ministry of Transport, Information Technology and Communications said on Monday. The company's profit was 8 per cent greater than the level set in the 2016 business plan. Its rate of return stood at 7.2 per cent, it cut costs by 2 per cent and increased the profit per employee by 8 per cent.
• (DF) GERB Alerts Prosecution Office about "Gross Violation" of Election Code by DOST Alliance MP Candidate
March 20 (BTA) - The Kurdjali, South Central Bulgaria, Chapter of the GERB Party has alerted the Kurdjali Regional Prosecution Office about what it calls "a gross violation" of the Election Code and the provision of Article 162 (1) of the Penal Code. The alert concerns Mihridjan Ismail Izet, an MP candidate on the list of the DOST Alliance, who published on her Facebook profile the representation of a foreign flag and the years 1341-2017.
• (DF) Vice President Yotova: 'We Need Comprehensive New Policy in Migration Field'
March 20 (BTA) - "We need a comprehensive new policy in the field of migration and refuges," Vice President Iliyana Yotova said. She was speaking at Monday's discussion titled "60 Years after Rome: Building Together European Democracy".
• (DF) Justice Minister: "We Have Will for Irreversible Reforms"
March 20 (BTA) - Justice Minister Maria Pavlova met with European Commission Deputy Secretary General Paraskevi Michou, the press centre of Pavlova's Ministry said. "The caretaker government has the will and resolve to continue the process of reforms in an irreversible manner - not only because of the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) but also because they are in the interest of the whole society," the Justice Minister is quoted as saying.
• (DF) Total Hourly Labour Cost 8% Up in 4th Quarter of 2016
March 20 (BTA) - Preliminary data of the National Statistical Institute (NSI) for the fourth quarter of 2016 indicate that the total hourly labour cost rose by 8 per cnet compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. The total hourly labour cost grew by 8.1 per cent in industry, by 9.4 per cent in services and by 2.2 per cent in construction.
• (PE) Press Review
Sofia, March 20 (BTA) -
• (DF) Gallup International a Week before Elections: 5+1 Political Formations to Enter Parliament
March 19 (BTA) - It will be determined in the last days of the elections campaign whether the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) or GERB will win the elections, according to an opinion poll carried out by the Gallup International polling agency among 1,012 people in the March 10-15 period.
• (DF) Defence Minister Yanev: We Have Readiness to Protect State Border
March 18 (BTA) - "We have readiness to protect the State border, but given the current situation in the country, no additional measures are planned right now to increase the number of personnel," Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Stefan Yanev told journalists here on Saturday. He added that the situation along the Bulgarian borders is calm, while the number of illegal border crossing attempts has dropped in the past two months.
• (DF) Swiss Company Opens New Plant with 100 Jobs in Montana
March 18 (BTA) - The Swiss Palemontech company opened here on Saturday a plant with 100 new jobs. Northwest Bulgaria is the EU's poorest region.
• (DF) President Radev Supports National Position against Proposed EU Rules for Large Combustion Plants
March 17 (BTA) - President Rumen Radev on Friday supported Bulgaria's national position against planned changes to the European Commission Best Available Techniques Reference Document for Large Combustion Plants. The news was reported by Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association Chairman Vassil Velev after President Radev met with the Bulgarian Employer Organizations' Association to be updated on its priorities for 2017.
• (DF) Dogan Praises "Unifying Patriotism", Borissov Sees Statement as "Opening Door" for MRF Coalition with Nationalist Parties
March 17 (BTA) - In a "political message" published on his party's website Thursday evening, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) Honorary Chairman Ahmed Dogan praised what he called "unifying patriotism" in Bulgaria as a "unique cultural, historical and political phenomenon". Responnding to the statement Friday, GERB leader and former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov saw it as opening the door for a post-election coalition between MRF and the nationalist parties.
• (DF) Bulgaria Revokes Sojourn Permit of Turkish National over Threat to National Security
March 17 (BTA) - The Interior Ministry said Friday that they have enforced an order by the State Agency for National Security (SANS) for revoking the sojourn permit of a Turkish national seen as a threat to national security. The announcement would not say what specifically the man was engaged in.
• (DF) Race to Parliament Remains Too Close to Call - AFIS Poll
March 17 (BTA) - Less than a fortnight before polling day, the winner in the forthcoming early parliamentary elections remains unclear, the AFIS agency found in a self-financed poll taken between March 12 and 16 among 1,010 respondents in the capital city, the regional centres and other towns and villages.
• (DF) Central Election Commission Orders Removal of Billboard Depicting GERB Leader Borissov in General's Uniform
March 17 (BTA) - The Central Election Commission (CEC) has ordered regional governors across the country to immediately remove billboards depicting GERB leader Boyko Borissov in a police general's dress uniform against a background of the Bulgarian flag, captioned PP GERB. The campaigning materials lack the text that vote buying and selling is a crime, as is required under Article 183, Paragraph 2 of the Election Code.
• (DF) Mining and Quarrying Industry Generates More than 2.9 Billion Leva Annually in Additional Impact to Economy
March 17 (BTA) - The additional impact on the economy generated by the mining and quarrying industry amounts to more than 2.9 billion leva annually according to data from 2015, Governing Partner in the Industry Watch Bulgaria think thank Luchezar Bogdanov said Friday, presenting an analysis of the social and economic impact of the mining and quarrying industry.
• (DF) Caretaker PM: "Measures Have Been Taken against Interference of Turkey in Bulgarian Elections"
March 17 (BTA) - Caretaker Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdjikov said on Friday that measures have been taken against "Turkey's interfering in the election process in Bulgaria". "There are certain attempts which we do not like but they are being cleared," Gerdjikov said at the sidelines of a ceremony for the tenth anniversary of the creation of administrative courts in Bulgaria.
• (DF) Health Ministry, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association Sign Memorandum of Cooperation
March 16 (BTA) - Health Minister Ilko Semerdjiev, the Chairperson and the Director of the Association of the Research-based Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in Bulgaria (ARPharM), Zoya Paunova and Deyan Denev, signed here on Thursday a Memorandum of Cooperation and Partnership, the Health Ministry reported in a press release.
• (DF) Monitoring Shows Dominant Presence of GERB, Socialist Party in Media Coverage of Election Campaign
March 16 (BTA) - The presence of the two dominant political forces in Bulgaria, GERB and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), in the news media prevails during the campaign ahead of the March 26 general elections. The same is also valid for the two political leaders, GERB's Boyko Borissov and BSP's Kornelia Ninova, according to the results of media monitoring conducted by the Institute for Social Integration - Sofia (ISI) show. The results were presented at a BTA-hosted news conference Thursday.
• (DF) Major Tobacco Buyers Quit Bulgarian Market - Agriculture Minister
March 16 (BTA) - Major tobacco buyers are exiting the Bulgarian market, while smaller companies are buying smaller quantities, Agriculture and Food Minister Hristo Bozukov told reporters in Kurdjali.
• (DF) Bulgaria Has Plan to React in Case EU-Turkey Migrant Deal Is Terminated
March 16 (BTA) - Bulgaria has a plan for reacting, even if the EU-Turkey refugees agreement is terminated, said here on Thursday caretaker Defence Minister Stefan Yanev, asked to comment recent statements by a Turkish minister.
• (DF) Chief Prosecutor of Romania's National Anti-corruption Directorate Kovesi Presents Her Country's Experience in Sofia
March 16 (BTA) - In the past year, more than 800 people holding senior posts, including ministers, MPs, magistrates and mayors, have received final verdicts for corruption, Chief Prosecutor of Romania's National Anti-corruption Directorate Laura Kovesi said here Thursday, speaking at a conference about Romania's experience in fighting corruption.
• (DF) BTA Presents 60 Years Bulgaria in UNESCO Exhibition
March 16 (BTA) - An exhibition consisting of around 150 photographs from BTA's archives, which track Bulgaria's 60 year history in the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will be displayed between March 20 and 26 at the central lobby of the St Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. The exhibition's official opening will be at 6:00 on March 23.
• (DF) Bulgaria Recorded 1.6% of EU's First Time Asylum Applicants in 2016
March 16 (BTA correspondent Nikolay Jeliazkov) - With 18,990 first time applicants registered in 2016, Bulgaria recorded 1.6 per cent of all first time applicants in the EU Member States, according to Eurostat data.
• (DF) Caretaker PM: Bulgaria Should Show Clearly It Wants to Enter Eurozone ERM II
March 16 (BTA) - Speaking at a public discussion on the Future of Europe and the Bulgarian Presidency of the EU held in Sofia Thursday, Prime Minister Ognyan Gerdjikov said that Bulgaria should show clearly that it wants to enter the eurozone European Exchange Rate Mechanism ERM II. "Bulgaria should have a plan to enter this most intimate EU circle and that calls for political will," Gerdjikov noted.
• (DF) Central Election Commission Stops Distribution of Book Smearing Parliamentary Candidates of Yes, Bulgaria! Coalition
March 16 (BTA) - Following a complaint by the Yes, Bulgaria! coalition, the Central Election Commission (CEC) stopped the distribution of a book that smears several parliamentary candidates of the coalition. The decision was made public Wednesday evening, shortly after Yes, Bulgaria! made public their alert to the election authorities.
• (DF) President Radev Receives Chief Prosecutor of Romania's National Anticorruption Directorate Kovesi
March 15 (BTA) - President Rumen Radev Wednesday conferred with Chief Prosecutor of Romania's National Anti-corruption Directorate Laura Kovesi, Radev's press secretariat said. The meeting took place at Radev's invitation which was made in November 2016.

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