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President Radev, Foreign Minister Zaharieva Support Call for Reforming UN

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The UN member states must achieve consensus about conducting reforms that would increase the organization’s work efficiency and speed up the decision-making process during crises, President Rumen Radev commented for Bulgarian journalists here the expected results of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, as quoted by his Press Secretariat on Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister for justice reform and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva also supports US President Donald Trump’s and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ call for less bureaucracy in the UN, more efficiency and closeness to the people, it transpired from a statement Zaharieva made here Monday. President Radev heads the Bulgarian delegation, which is in New York to take part in the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly. Minister Zaharieva took part in a UN General Assembly meeting about reforming the organization, organized and chaired by President Trump, her Ministry reported. Crises arise and develop very quickly, while reaching a consensus often times takes too long, said Radev. During the meeting, Zaharieva also conferred with the prime ministers of Albania and Macedonia, Edi Rama and Zoran Zaev, respectively, as well as with her counterparts from Macedonia, Romania, Croatia and the Netherlands.

Karakachanov: Bulgari supports unity and territorial integrity, offers help in resolving name issue

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Bulgaria supports Macedonia’s state unity and territorial integrity and is ready to help in resolving the name dispute with Greece, Bulgarian Defence Minister Krasimir Karakachanov stated Monday after the meeting with his Macedonian counterpart Radmila Sekerinska in Skopje. I want to underline this explicitly in order to end political speculation – we support the state unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia. We do not have a problem with the name of the Republic of Macedonia, we recognize the country under its constitutional name. We are ready to help in resolving the dispute with other countries in order doors for full-fledged NATO membership to finally open for Macedonia, Karakachanov said. Karakachanov and Sekerinska underlined that today’s meeting was held to show the bilateral treaty signed by the two countries will not be left to mere words.

Industrial Energy Consumers Urge Postponement of New Natural Gas Rates

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The Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (BFIEC) have sent a letter to Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev warning them of grave consequences from a contemplated change in the rates for transmission of natural gas from October 1, 2017. The letter, which was also sent to the news media, says that the matter has been discussed many times with the Energy Minister and the energy regulator but the position od the BFIEC has been ignored. “What was proposed is only a partial delay of the price increase and this is no solution”, the Federation says. BFIEC say that while they are not against the requirements for transposing the EU rules, they believe that this cannot be a goal per se and that the key principles for proportionality and nondiscrimination should continue to apply. “Considering the specifics on the Bulgarian energy market, we categorically call for postponing the proposed model until a realistic and comprehensive impact assessment is prepared with the participation of all stakeholders and the flaws are eliminated”, the Federation says. They tell the Prime Minister and his deputy that as these flaws impact the fundamental development, liberalization and functioning of the natural gas market, they might resort to “measures which are unusual for the industry and organize protests”.

President, FM Go to New York for 72nd UN General Assembly Session

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President Rumen Radev will make a working visit to the US on September 18-24 and will represent Bulgaria at the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly. On September 18, Radev will participate in the annual Tribute to the Heroes of the Global Campaign Against Extremism and Intolerance and will deliver an address. He will talk with US Jewish organizations. On September 19, the President will participate in the opening of the General Debate of the 72nd Regular Session and will hold bilateral meetings with counterparts. On September 20, Radev will address the General Assembly at around 7 pm Bulgarian time. On September 21, the Bulgarian head of State will hold a working meeting with US business representatives, organized by the Business Council for International Understanding, and will familiarize them with his country’s investment opportunities. On September 22, Radev will meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. On September 23 and 24, Radev will visit Chicago to meet with the local Bulgarian community. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva will be on Radev’s delegation.

Foreign Minister: Creation of Employment and Prospects before Young People to Fight Radicalization

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The creation of jobs and more prospects before the young people is among the most efficient ways for fighting radicalization and extremism along with the development of appropriate educational programmes, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said at the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Affairs Ministers (Gymnich) in Tallinn, quoted by her Ministry. In her opinion the Government should focus on the reasons provoking vulnerability among the younger population. Zaharieva also noted the priority importance of the European perspective for the countries of the Western Balkans including in the context of the risks of radicalization and manifestation of extremism. The Republic of Bulgaria has been making consistent efforts to fight terrorism and forceful extremism. The country has ratified the main multilateral conventions in the field of the fight against terrorism and radicalization.

Sugareski : €188 milion provided for improving road, rail and communal infrastructure

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At today’s press conference the Minister of Infrastructure and Comunication Sugareski said that in just 100 day the Goverment provided 188.4 milion euro in grants for improving road,rail and communal infrastructure and Macedonia is becoming part of the transport comunity of Balkan countries and the EU. He pointed out that 131 milion € of grants Eu have been provided for the construction of the railiway line to Bulgaria on Corridor 8 and with the memorandum signed with the Bulgarian Ministry of Transport and Comunications, the two countries are obliged to build completely new railroad by 2027 at the least. In this month Macedonia will sign a bilateral agreement with the EU to finance the Gradsko-Drenovo expressway.

: Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia Energy Ministers Discuss Gas Supply Projects

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Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia will deepen their cooperation on projects ensuring the security of gas supplies to Southeast Europe. This was agreed by the energy ministers of three Balkan countries: Temenouzhka Petkova of Bulgaria, Giorgos Stathakis of Greece, and Alexander Antic of Serbia. The sides agreed that the diversification of gas supplies will make it possible to have competitive prices and meet the challenges in the region. Petkova underscored the strategic importance of the Greece-Bulgaria interconnector for ensuring natural gas supplies from various sources. “The Bulgarian government firmly supports the project and is negotiating extra funding with the European Commission”, she said. She expressed confidence that Greece and Serbia will play an important role in the development of Europe’s Balkan Gas Hub. First and foremost, if the concept of the Bulgarian government is to be implemented, the infrastructure should be built with Bulgaria’s neighbours and gas supplies from at least three different sources should be available. The creation of a single regional energy market will meet the three countries’ priorities for security of deliveries and affordable prices for consumers, Petkova said.

Bulgaria Sets Priority on EU Membership for All Western Balkan Countries

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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva Saturday said that one of Bulgaria’s key foreign policy priorities is to see all countries of the Western Balkans join the EU when they are ready because the region is not stable yet. Zaharieva is in Varna for the 10th Summer University of GERB’s Youth organization. Her recent visit to Montenegro gave her grounds to believe that Bulgaria and Montenegro can set a good example to the Balkans. The Foreign Minister said she was glad the Balkans are one of the key priorities of the European External Action Service. Zaharieva also said there is no way only a certain group of countries can bear the brunt of the migrant crisis. “We should not close our eyes to the fact that those are not refugees but illegal immigrants. If we are to stem their flow, we should not only show solidarity with one another, we should mount a concerted effort. The situation now is worst in the Mediterranean and we should show solidarity with Italy”, she said.

 

Parliament Opens New Session

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The five parliamentary groups read out declarations at the opening of Parliament’s new session on Friday. GERB Floor Leader Tsvetan Tsvetanov said the new session is of key importance in view of Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency in the first half of 2018. The National Assembly will play a very important role as it will host six events. He stressed that it was on Bulgaria’s insistence that the Western Balkans became one of the priorities of the EU Presidency Trio of Estonia, Bulgaria, Austria. He stated that GERB will firmly counter any attempts to denigrate the state bodies for political purposes. “The opposition should realize that [spreading] fake news about the political opponent is not the way to win popular approval”, he said. BSP for Bulgaria Floor Leader Kornelia Ninova noted that the new session was opening on the eve of two important events: Bulgaria’s EU Council Presidency and the drafting of the national budget for 2018. She pledged her group’s support for the policies of Bulgaria’s EU Presidency because this is in the national interest. BSP for Bulgaria will propose a new Bulgarian Development Bank Bill to refocus it to SMEs. Ninova also stressed that her group sets a high priority on anti-corruption legislation. Addressing the legislature on behalf of the United Patriots Parliamentary Group, its Floor Leader Volen Siderov cited the border fence against illegal migrants and the increase of the minimum pension as examples of constructive and effective thinking with a tangible result. Siderov insisted on acknowledgment of the coalition Government’s achievements, citing the easing of administrative burden for companies. “The Presidency of the EU Council requires a new vision and a new governance formula based on fundamental consensus”, Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) Floor Leader Mustafa Karadayi said, reading a declaration on behalf of his parliamentary group. According to the MRF leader, the new parliamentary session has a serious law-making agenda, and the last stage of preparations for the Presidency of the EU Council is forthcoming. Volya calls on Parliament to focus on two essential things during the present session: improving people’s living standards and curbing corruption, Plamen Hristov MP said in a statement on behalf of the Volya Parliamentary Group.

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