What happened in your country this week? 25-01-2015


I decided to take into account the suggestion brought to me in last week’s news round-up to include some links in Bulgarian. I can’t promise that I will continue doing it, but here goes:

Part 1 of 3


  • The NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg came on a visit this week. EN First he held a press conference with our President Rossen Plevneliev. Articles: 1, 2, Video. Then he was received by our Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. Articles: 1, 2(BG), 3, EN. Lastly, he met with Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev. BG EN, Photo, Video

  • Economy Minister Bozhidar Lukarski met Monday with Ukraine’s Ambassador to Bulgaria Mykola Baltazh and announced that although Bulgarian exporters are seriously injured by the sanctions on Russia, the country will not back away from its current pro-sanctions stance and would focus efforts on finding alternative markets, and expressed hope that Ukraine would be one of them. BG EN

  • President Plevneliev and Vice President Margarita Popova gave speeches on Wednesday on account on the 3rd year of their terms in office. EN Articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Bulgarian links: Full speaches, Press conference Q&A, The 3rd year of the Prez in office in pictures

  • Government established a Council for Development which will discuss all contentious issues in the ruling coalition as well as decide on issues related to the strategic development of the country. EN

  • Parliament approved on Wednesday the updated strategy on judicial reform after a 4-hour debate with 174 “for”, 4 “against” and 18 “abstained” votes. BG EN

  • Cabinet adopted on Wednesday the government's programme on stable development of the country for the period 2014-2018. BG, Link to the full programme in Bulgarian (PDF), EN

  • Justice Minister Hristo Ivanov went to Romania on Friday to discuss anti-corruption policies with his Romanian counterpart Robert-Marius Cazanciuc. BG EN

  • Deputy Prime Minister Meglena Kuneva said on Friday that she will propose at a meeting of EU justice and home affairs ministers in Riga next week the setting up of a centre for prevention of illegal arms trafficking through the Western Balkans as part of the European Union’s anti-terrorism effort. BG EN

Corruption, Justice, Crime & Incidents

  • The Haskovo Regional Court ruled to extradite to France a French citizen of Haitian origin, suspected of having been in close contact with the Kouachi brothers, who had killed 12 people at the Paris office of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. He will be extradited to France to face charges of participation in an organised crime group whose aim was the organisation of terrorist acts. BG EN

  • A disciplinary action was taken against 15 out of all 17 border policemen at the Kapitan Petko Voyvoda border checkpoint with Greece on Monday, who are suspected of human trafficking. According to unofficial information 9 officers have been proposed for dismissal, while lower degrees of penalties were demanded for the other 6. BG EN

  • A Bulgarian national and a Pakistani national were arrested on Thursday over helping 12 foreign nationals, Afghan and Pakistani nationals, stay in Bulgaria illegally. BG EN

  • Customs officers at the Sofia International Airport thwarted on Thursday an attempt by 2 Chinese nationals travelling from Madrid to Sofia to smuggle into Bulgaria 2 million European baby eels, a critically endangered species protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. The baby eels were urgently transported to the rescue centre at the Public Aquarium in Varna. BG EN

  • 2 Bulgarian nationals have been arrested along with the other 3 crew members of a Maltese tanker vessel, flying a Moldova flag, by Libyan authorities in Tripoli for alleged smuggling of oil products, the Foreign Ministry announced Saturday. BG EN

  • A male Turkish tourist was taken to hospital in Razlog after suffering broken ribs and eventually had internal bleeding, while skiing in the nearby resort of Bansko on Saturday. EN

  • 2 members of a Varna-based criminal gang, believed to be responsible for three cases of murder in areas near the center of Sofia, were arrested and indicted on Sunday (today), with their leader still being sought. BG EN

/r/europe Thread