Bulgaria News (Novinite) (Sofia News Agency) Real time news provider in English that informs its readers about the latest Bulgarian news - economic, political and cultural, foreign media analysis on Bulgaria and world news.

  • Alpha Research Pollster: Over Half of Bulgarians See New Government Formation as Priority
    on April 14, 2021 at 3:50 pm

    About 57.5 per cent of Bulgarians want to see a new government formed, while 30.4 per cent want the country to hold another parliamentary election, according to a poll by Alpha Research for public broadcaster Bulgarian National Television’s weekly talk show Referendum. The National Assembly elected on April 4 will hold its first sitting on April 15, with all eyes on the possible formation of a government. GERB leader Boiko Borissov, whose party got the largest share of votes, will not have sufficient support in the new National Assembly for any government nominated by him to be voted into office. The Alpha Research poll found that 68.1 per cent of Bulgarians saw the most immediate priority for a new government as health care. In second place was judicial reform and in third, economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. Separately, a poll by Alpha Research commissioned by the Media Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung found that more than half of the Bulgarians believe that they have been kept well-informed by the media during the parliamentary election campaign in April. Most voters have followed the news on TV. At the same time the influence of the social media and online news portals has been on the rise. The political communication of the parties is regarded as insufficient and incomprehensible. One in two respondents criticised the one-sided communication by many politicians in the social media. More than 50 per cent of the Bulgarians are satisfied with the information they received from the media during the parliamentary election campaign. They believe to be well and very well-informed.  In turn, about 30 per cent of the respondents claimed that they would like to be better informed. Just less than nine per cent of the respondents said that the media influenced their voting decision in contrast to almost two-thirds (61 per cent) who claimed that the information presented in the media did not make them change their decision. Television has remained the most popular source of information during the election campaign. Private television stations were preferred by about 59 per cent of the respondents, followed by Bulgarian National Television, preferred by 44 per cent. The social media (33 per cent) and online news portals (17 per cent) come next. Print media were the source of information for only three per cent of the respondents. The coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing restrictions interfered with the organisation of public events and discussions, meaning that direct contact with voters was missing. This situation contributed to the political communication taking place to a large extent in the media. However, the political parties did not avail themselves of this opportunity. Only one in three (about 35 per cent) were very or to a large extent satisfied with the communication of the politicians, while almost half of the respondents have criticised the information presented by the parties during the election campaign, what is more, the majority of the latter (27 per cent) claim that the parties informed the public in a poor and incomprehensible manner. The growingly one-sided communication of some politicians who ran their election campaign entirely in the social media was received with incomprehension. More than half of the respondents (56 per cent) were convinced that it is only the traditional media that can succeed in playing the important role of an intermediary between the voters and the parties. Asking questions and comparing points of views is what reporters do. Almost 27 per cent shared their concern that the predominant use of the social media can be dangerous because it promotes the spread of fake news, manipulation and compromising information. “Democracy thrives in an environment of open competition and freely expressed opinions and arguments. That is why it is not beneficial when politicians disseminate one-sidedly their opinion via the social media”, Hendrik Sittig, Head of the Media Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung said. “I’m glad, however that so many Bulgarians criticise this failure and thus recognise the importance of independent journalism.” The findings were presented on April 14 by Boriana Dimitrova, director of Alpha Research during an online discussion held by the Media Programme South East Europe of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung./The Sofia Globe  

  • Recovery Instrument NextGenerationEU Ready to Be Implemented, Bulgaria’s Recovery Plan Delayed
    on April 14, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    The Commission adopted on Wednesday the Funding strategy that will ensure all necessary elements are already in place as borrowing under the temporary pandemic recovery instrument NextGenerationEU to be financed on the most advantageous terms. The EU executive will use it to raise up to around €800bn in current prices until 2026. The size of NextGenerationEU would translate into borrowing volumes of on average €150bn per year between mid-2021 and 2026, which will make the EU one of the largest issuers in euro. Using diverse funding instruments and techniques, the Commission will expand the investor base for EU securities, facilitate the smooth repayment of borrowed amounts, and deliver all funds as required on the most advantageous terms for EU citizens. Saying that the NextGenerationEU is a game changer for European capital markets, Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner in charge of Budget and Administration, explained that the funding strategy will operationalise the NextGenerationEU borrowing, “so we will have all necessary tools in place to kick-start the social and economic recovery and promote our green, digital and resilient growth”. The message is clear: as soon as the Commission has been legally enabled to borrow, we are ready to get going, the Commissioner asserted. Meanwhile it became clear that Bulgaria is late with the completion and presentation of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, the President of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria Plamen Dimitrov warned. The plan must contain measures and reforms in fields such as competitiveness, productivity, education and skills, healthcare, employment, social, economic and regional cohesion. The incumbent Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev said he will leave this important task to the new government which further delays the plan’s submittal to EC and hence the receipt of recovery funds for an indefinite time.

  • Bulgaria: Crime Group of Vote Buyers Busted, Members Are MP Candidates
    on April 14, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    A criminal group involved in vote buying has been uncovered, prosecutors said. Among the participants was a candidate for MP and municipal councilor. The crime ring was funded by a person living in a country outside the European Union. From his place of residence, the man transferred money to the Republic of Turkey, and from there the "mules" brought the cash to the territory of Bulgaria. The group has been operating from February 6 until the election day - April 4, across the whole country. It had a pyramid structure. At the top was an organizer, who owns four commercial companies, runs a hotel complex, a cable TV and a factory. He has also maintained close relationship with the informal party leader. The spokesperson for the Prosecutor General, Siyka Mileva, announced who the participants in the group were: “One is a person who had immunity at the time, a candidate for a Member of the National Assembly. The second participant in the group is a person who was a former candidate for MEP, a former deputy mayor of a municipality in Bulgaria and a current municipal councilor in the same municipality. The third participant is a person with a strong influence in certain neighborhoods with a predominantly Roma population." Three of the detainees are under arrest, and one is released on his own recognizance.    

  • Covid-19: Denmark Permanently Ceases Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine
    on April 14, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    Denmark becomes the first country that has ceased giving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid concerns about rare cases of blood clots, the first country to do so entirely. The move is expected to delay the country's vaccination programme by several weeks.  European Medicines Agency last week announced a possible link with clots but said the risk of dying of Covid-19 was much greater. Several European countries have previously suspended the jab briefly. Most have now resumed vaccinations with AstraZeneca for older population groups. On Tuesday, the US, Canada and the European Union paused the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for similar reasons. Both vaccines work by a similar method, known as adenoviral vectors. Danish officials said that all 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be withdrawn until further notice. Almost one million people in Denmark have been vaccinated, with approximately 150,000 of them receiving the AstraZeneca jab.  The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are also in use. Denmark was first country to postpone use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March. It was followed by numerous other European countries.

  • Bulgaria Marks 200 Years from the Birth of Great Bulgarian Revolutionary Georgi Rakovski
    on April 14, 2021 at 1:31 pm

    Today Bulgaria celebrates the birth of Geori Rakovski but the entire 2021 is devoted to his name. It is 200 years since the birth of the ideologue, organizer and leader of the national liberation movement in Bulgaria and 40 years since the construction of the Pantheon of the revolutionary in his hometown. Georgi Stoykov Rakovski was born in Kotel. His childhood years were spent in his hometown. He was born in wealthy family and could have an easy life but chose otherwise. Throughout his entire life, Rakovski was devoted to the revolution and liberation of Bulgarian people.  He created the “First Bulgarian Legion”, drew up three plans for the Bulgarian liberation, traveled all over Europe spoke several languages ​​and was highly educated. His interest in history was exceptional because he claimed that a people who cannot know themselves and their own background cannot do anything important. Over the years, Rakovski worked as a lawyer, developed a business with the redemption of tax collection, wrote poems, organized the first Bulgarian military unit while the country was still under Ottoman rule.   "He was practically the first Bulgarian spy, because together with his associates, using his acquaintance with Ottoman dignitaries, he managed to be appointed chief translator of the Turkish Danube Army. He used this post to create new centres of the resistance movement and to supply the Russians with intel information” says the curator of Rakovski’s museum in his home town Kotel.  Being in exile, in addition to being an avid historian, ethnographer, philologist, he also proved to be an exceptional publicist. In his short life he managed to edit and publish 4 newspapers. Rakovkski wrote novels and poems  the most famous of which is “Gorski Patnik”.  Rakovski died at the age of 46 from tuberculosis in exile in 1867. He was buried in Bucharest. 18 years later, the Ruse Volunteer Society fulfilled his covenant and transferred his remains to Bulgaria in a special coffin. Initially they were kept in the church" Sveta Nedelya "in Sofia. Later in 1942, due to the insistence of the people of Kotel, the remains of their famous fellow citizen were transferred to his hometown. At that time a monument to Rakovski was already erected in Kotel. His remains were laid to find final rest in the pantheon under a marble sarcophagus there.  Today, 200 years after Rakovski's birth generations of Kotel residents are proud of the work and heritage of their famous fellow citizen. He is considered not only symbol of Bulgarian National Revival but a figure of European magnitude. Throughout 2021, as part of the national celebrations on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Rakovski's birth, events in memory of the feat of the ideologue of the national liberation movement in Bulgaria are planned in eight Bulgarian cities.