BULGARIA DOESN'T APPEAL ARBITRATION RULING OVER ATOMSTROYEXPORT DEBT
The Bulgarian government announced it didn't appeal the arbitration ruling that obliged it to pay nearly EUR 630 M to Russian company Atomstroyexport for equipment made for an abandoned nuclear plant project.
Late on Wednesday, it sent a statement citing White and Case, an international law firm working with governments, companies and financial institutions. read more
TURKEY TO COMPLETE WALL WITH SYRIA IN 5 MONTHS
Turkey has already built a 200-km-long wall by the border with Syria and will put up the rest within five months, a Turkish daily says.
Pro-government daily Star quotes a Turkish official familiar with the project as assuring construction will be completed by the end of February. read more
AZERBAIJAN, BULGARIA AGREE ON GAS DELIVERIES FROM 2020
Azerbaijan with supply Bulgaria with gas that will be destined for the "Balkan Gas Hub", according to the Bulgarian Energy Ministry.
The decision was taken at the 4th intergovernmental committee in Baku, where 2020 was confirmed as a beginning.
A protocol that will pave the way for a study into gas deliveries options to third countries was also signed at the meeting.
Gas from Shah Deniz 2, a deposit in Azerbaijan, will flow via Bulgaria's interconnectors with Turkey and Greece starting from 2023, the statement also reads.
The Balkan Gas Hub, however, is a project with no clear timetable which the Bulgarian government has voiced intention to carry through, but which the EU Commission warns should not be executed before Bulgaria completes its gas links.
Deputy Energy Minister Zhecho Stankov, who participates in the delegation, has also said Azerbaijan has shown interest in Bulgaria's gas deposit of Chiren. read more
BULGARIA TO STUDY OPTIONS FOR AZERBAIJANI GAS SUPPLIES - ENERGY MIN
Bulgarian and Azerbaijani officials are set to discuss the prospects for gas deliveries at an intergovernmental session on Thursday and Friday, Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova has said.
UN TOP JOB: BULGARIA DROPPED BOKOVA PARTLY 'AT URGE OF BERLIN' - FT
Petkova will not be attending the discussions, with Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski heading the delegation.
She has recalled that the Bulgarian National Radio that an agreement between the respective state-owned gas suppliers, Bulgargaz and SOCAR, for the delivery of 1 billion cubic meters a year via the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB).
Construction of IGB, however, is yet to begin.
Petkova has added a meeting of a workgroup between the Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH), a parent company for all state-owned assets in energy, is to be called soon.
Earlier in September, a SOCAR official also said his company was exploring the options to set foot on Bulgaria's energy market. read more
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov changed his country's nomination for UN Secretary General in part "at the urging of Berlin, which favours Ms [Kristalina] Georgieva," the Financial Times has said.
BULGARIA'S PM, UK DEFMIN DISCUSS MIGRANT READMISSION AGREEMENTS
One of the reasons is that Georgieva "hails from the same centre-right European political family as Chancellor Angela Merkel," FT notes following the replacement of UNESCO head Irina Bokova by Georgieva as Bulgaria's nominee to take over the United Nations.
Mention is made in the text of a reported German lobbying for Georgieva's candidacy in Russia - with Moscow having shown preference for Bokova previously - which sparked an exchange of rhetoric between the two countries. Berlin denied making effort to secure Russian support for Georgieva.
In a story titled "Nudged by Berlin, EU's Georgieva jumps into UN leadership race", FT notes that the change in nomination "was preceded by months of political manoeuvres from Berlin to Moscow, via Sofia".
"I have to do in a week what other candidates have done in a year," Georgieva has told FT and has admitted to facing a tough challenge.
She has said she admires Kofi Annan as a former UN Secretary General, recalling he was also a late entry into the race.
Georgieva has also stated she would never have accepted a nomination from a third country.
Her late appearance in the race, however, has upset "some within the UN", with a UN official being quoted as saying "non-permanent members feel it has undermined a push for transparency" and that "she has skipped the hard stages."
The latter phrase is a reference to informal hearings at the UN and an unprecedented debate at the UN General Assembly earlier this year. read more
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov met with British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon who was on a visit to Sofia on Wednesday, the cabinet says.
Migration was the key issue in their coversation. read more
BULGARIA ONLY TOOK IN 6 MIGRANTS FROM GREECE SINCE SEPTEMBER
Bulgaria compares to most other EU member states which have not accepted a big enough share of the 160 000 migrants from Italy and Greece, EU data released on Wednesday shows.
Bulgaria has so far taken in only six people, all from Greece, the same figure that was reported by the State Agency for Refugees early in August.
A majority of the relocations so far have been from Greece and not from Italy. France (1721 from Greece and 231 from Italy,), the Netherlands (548/178), Finland (430/260). Portugal (372/183) and Spain (313/50) are the EU countries that have accepted the biggest number of relocations.
EU member states including Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, and Slovakia haven't taken any refugees from Italy.
TWO-THIRDS OF DEATHS IN BULGARIA LINKED TO CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
Countries like Belgium (29), Germany and Luxembourg (20 each) have taken in less than 30 migrants.
The deadline, September 2017, was agreed last autumn with regard to some 120 000 people, with Bulgaria committing itself to take 1600 people under the migrant relocation scheme.
Overall, only 5651 asylum seekers have been resettled since the agreement, 4455 of them from Greece and 1196 from Italy.
Some EU member states, especially the four members of so-called Visegrad Group (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic) have defied quotas. Hungary is even set to hold a referendum on the issue later this week.
An earlier system, the European Resettlement Scheme agreed in July 2015, has resulted in 10 695 people being rehomed. read more
Two in every three Bulgarians die from cardiovascular diseases, national statistics show.
BULGARIA RANKS 46TH IN BLOOMBERG'S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM INDEX
The data, published on the occasion of the World Heart Day, reveals that more than 70 000, out of 100 000 death cases on an annual basis, were caused by myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease, brain stroke, or heart failure.
Between 13 and 15 000 cases of heart attack are registered every year, according to the figures of Bulgaria's Health Ministry and the National Statistical Institute.
Acute myocardial infarction claims nearly six thousand lives every day.
Men aged over 45 and women over 55 are the most vulnerable groups.
An infographic prepared by Medigo, a global network of medical experts, shows that coronary artery disease and stroke are expected to be the top two killing diseases in Europe in 2030, claiming 1.9 million and 1.2 million lives, respectively.
Medigo has added that "coronary artery disease and stroke will be the biggest killing diseases in almost every region in 2030," with the exception of Africa.
The infographic also shows that out of 50 million adult deaths globally, a total of 14 million were caused by either of the two diseases. A million were caused by heart failure. read more
Bulgaria is among the countries with the least efficient healthcare systems in the world, data published by Bloomberg shows.
BULGARIA GOVT CONFIRMS ARREST OF FRENCH NATIONAL EN ROUTE TO TURKEY
Out of 55 countries studied by the Bloomberg index, Bulgaria has dropped by three spots compared to its results in 2009 (the index ranks countries as of 2014).
Two years ago it had the 46th most efficient healthcare system, while in 2009 it ranked 43rd.
This places it in a better position compared to Libya, Belarus, Serbia and the United States (47-50th), but in a worse one than Denmark, Venezuela, Ecuador and Kazakhstan (42-45).
The average life expectancy in 2014 was 75.41 years, which compares to Romania (75.60), Iran (75.39), Hungary (75.87), Serbia (75.53) or China (75.78).
Data for Bulgaria matches information obtained by international medial experts' network Medigo which suggests average life expectancy in Bulgaria was 75 years in 2015, up from 71 years in 2000 lower than the 2030 estimate, which is 2030.
"This puts Bulgaria slightly below the predicted European average for 2030, which will be 80. However, Bulgaria will still have a higher life expectancy than countries like Russia (71), Ukraine (73) and Turkey (77)," Medigo has told Novinite.
The index measures life expectancy, health-care spending per capita and relative spending as a share of gross domestic product.
Among Bulgaria's neighbours, Greece fared well by moving up nine spots compared to 2009 - from 22nd back then to 13th in 2014.
Since 2009, Hong Kong and Singapore have retained their places as the countries with the best and second-best healthcare system, respectively. Last come Colombia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, and Russia.
A 20-year-old French national was detained at the border between Bulgaria and Turkey over suspected terror links, Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova has said.
FRENCH NATIONAL DETAINED IN BULGARIA
Her words have become the first official comment on French media reports about the detention.
Le Figaro, however, had earlier announced the detention had taken place on the Bulgaria-Serbia border.
According to Bachvarova, authorities arrested the French national at Kapitan Andreevo border crossing, as he was to enter Turkey.
The Interior Ministry has refused to name the site where the suspect is being held, citing "security grounds." read more
A French national supposely linked to jihadist groups has been detained on the Bulgarian-Serbian border, media report.
The man was en route to Turkey and was on a recognizance order at a police in the French ity of Rouen, but raises suspicion from authorities after failing to arrive for his daily inspection at a police department. They then contacted Bulgarian authorities to ask for his arrest. read more
TURKEY'S STATE OF EMERGENCY SHOULD BE EXTENDED - SECURITY BODY
The National Security Council (MGK) of Turkey has recommended an extension of the state of emergency announced in the country in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt in July, state-run Anadolu Agency says.
In a nearly six-hour meeting, the council has agreed the measures is needed "in order to ensure the continuity of the effective implementation of the measures aiming to protect our democracy, the rule of law and the rights and freedoms of our citizens," according to a statement.
The state of emergency was initially declared on July 20 for a three-month period to make sure a proper response is issued to the coup attempt. However, an extension was mentioned as early as then and is possible under the law.
Turkey's Constitution, however, does not allow for a state of emergency to be in force for more than six months.
One of the measures taken over the past months of emergency rule, along with the detentions and dismissals of thousands of people as part of a probe into the coup attempt, was the suspension of the European Convention on Human Rights.
'IRINA OR KRISTALINA?' A UN RIVALRY FUELLED BY AN INDECISIVE BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT
Another recommendation has been made with regard to Ankara's long-standing demand that a "terror-free zone" and a "no-fly zone" should be set up in northern Syria, according to Hürriyet Daily News.
The MGK also believes "an international definition of terrorism must be made and the important of cooperation must be underlined" to prevent any contradictory interpretations, in the light of what it calls EU countries' "insensitive" attitude regarding meetings and exhibitions by Kurdish groups.
Ankara accuses the EU of siding with members of Kurdish groups in Syria and Turkey that it considers affiliated to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The latter is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU, and the US. read more
"I don't remember either the Bulgarian Socialist Party or Parvanov - or Oresharski - coming and asking the biggest party when they were to submit a candidacy. Did anyone come and ask me, ask for my opinion or for that of GERB? No."
That was what Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov told reporters when asked about a no-confidence motion being prepared by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). Plamen Oresharski and Georgi Parvanov were a former Prime Minister and a former President, respectively. read more