Friday, 26 March 2010

er we go er we go er we go !

Bulgaria are set to start their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign at Wembley against England on September 3.
The random fixture draw for the Group G qualifying group was made Thursday in Tel Aviv after the managements of the different countries recently failed to come to an agreement over the dates.
Euro 2012 finals will be hosted by Poland and the Ukraine in the summer of 2012.
Group G Fixtures:
3 September 2010: England v BULGARIA
7 September 2010: BULGARIA v Montenegro
8 October 2010: Wales v BULGARIA
26 March 2011: BULGARIA v Switzerland
4 June 2011: Montenegro v BULGARIA
2 September 2011: BULGARIA v England
6 September 2011: Switzerland v BULGARIA
11 October 2011: BULGARIA v Wales

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Come fly with me..

Irish low-cost air carrier Ryanair will hold in April talks with Bulgaria's Plovdiv airport for starting flights, the executive director of the airport announced.
Ryanair representatives will visit Bulgaria from April 6-15. They are scheduled to confer also with Transport Minister Alexander Tsvetkov and visit Plovdiv airport to possibly finalize an agreement.
According to Plovdiv airport executive director Doychin Anguelov the attraction of low-fare air companies is part of the airport strategy to increase its passengers and revenues.
Ryanair has been planning to launch flights to Plovdiv airport for several years.
Plovdiv is expected to become even more attractive for air companies as of April 1, when its fees will be sharply reduced and will stand three times lower that the fees at the airport in the capital Sofia.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Easter Hols

Easter this year falls in the first weekend in April.Some years it is as much as two weeks different to Easter in the West.However it is the same in East and West this year.
Easter traditionally heralds the start of the holiday season and in the past few years it has heralded the arrival of around 10,000 Romanians into the resorts of Albena,Golden Sands and Varna.Romanians are attracted here by the cheap deals available in the hotels and the cheap prices for food and drink.The Romanian resorts are generally more expensive and the service poorer.
Romanians are however an absolute nightmare as drivers, if people thought that Bulgarians are not good drivers they are models by comparison to their northern neighbours.

Bansko News

Cheated Brits Protest Bansko Real Estate Fraud

British homeowners are mounting a peaceful demonstration in the Bulgaria ski resort of Bansko on Wednesday, to protest against being cheated out of their investments.
Scores of British people have, over the past two years, paid out large sums of money - estimated in millions of pounds sterling - on family housing in the Four Seasons complex in the town.
However, they have not been able to take possession of their property, because it has been sold on to a third party.
The investors are accusing the Bulgarian real estate company "Zekom" and its director, Roman Romanov, of illicit dealing. They say that Romanaov lied not only to them, but to the real estate agency involved in the transactions - "Rockarch Estates", a London-based company.
The British contingent had bought up to 70 apartments at a "green" stage, paying out more that GBP 6 M between them, but they still cannot gain access to their properties.
The current problem with the Bansko complex is that the owners, who are business former associates - Nadia Sabeva and Reneta Kachashka - are entrenched in a legal battle.
Nadia Sabeva had sold 70% of the residential area to her partner Roman Romanov without notifying Kachashka, forging company documents and inserting false signatures on them on her behalf.
Both criminal and civil cases have entered Razlog Regional Court and Blagoevgrad District Court, according to Boris Borisov, a lawyer who is representing Reneta Kachashka.
She has argued that her associates Nadia Sabeva and Roman Romanov drained bank accounts large sum of money from the company by forgery of documents and her signature, in order to sell on the luxury apartments in the Four Seasons Hotel to another of their companies.
The British group have already tried mass protests to draw attention to their ongoing problems. They held a similar demonstration outside the complex at the end of February, and attracted considerable attention in the British press.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

property maps get better

Over 50% of Bulgaria Cadastral Maps Include Errors - Report

Over half of Bulgaria’s cadastral maps include incorrect and inaccurate data which blocks the correct purchase, sale and partition of property.
This data was revealed at a seminar of the Notary Chamber in Plovdiv with the participation of the Supreme Administrative Court Deputy Chair, Galina Solakova.
The erroneous cadastral maps have produced a large number of lawsuits to remedy the mistakes - there are currently over 200 pending, Solakova reported.
A new electronic system for providing information over the cadastre and the property register in Bulgaria was officially presented on February 2.
Alongside the new law on cadastre and the property register, notaries are also now preparing to receive a system that allows them access to the property boundaries on the register – which will make property fraud much more difficult. Notaries have already been given access to the Interior Ministry database to prevent ID document fraud.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Bang !

Bulgaria's Veliko Tarnovo Rocked by Gas Blast

Bulgaria's town of Veliko Tarnovo was rocked on Saturday evening by an explosion.
The blast has occurred in the town’s main street, and is reported as having been caused by a leaking gas tank.
The gas spread through the property, and was ignited by a lit grill, according to a local police official.
Eye-witnesses have spoken of people fleeing the building, a shop, with bloody faces. There have been no reports of severe injuries or of casualties.

Down on the farm....

A scandal has erupted in the City Council of Bulgaria’s Plovdiv as several councilors have been caught milking virtual cows on the Facebook application Farmville.
The councilors were first detected playing Farmville two weeks ago during the debates for Plovdiv’s 2010 budget.
The discovery was made by the Chair of the Council, Ilko Iliev, who reacted strongly scolding the eager Internet farmers. However, his reaction was to no avail, as the dedicated councilors continued developing their Facebook farms during the City Council meetings, local media have reported.
They were aided in this laudable endeavor by the wireless Internet network established as part of a recent all-out repair of the City Hall building worth BGN 2 M. The Plovdiv Municipality also recently purchased powerful brand-new laptops for all its 51 councilors.
However, the real scandal erupted during Thursday’s meeting of the City Council when the most persistent Farmville enthusiast, Dimitar Kerin from the nationalist party Ataka, was voted out of the committee he was part of because of his Facebook addiction.
The proposal to remove Kerin from his respective municipal committee came from Todor Hristov, a former member of Kerin’s party, who has argued that Kerin “needs more time for his virtual farm.”
Thus, Kerin was removed from his committee with 20 votes in favor and 19 votes against; as a result, he has lost the additional pay he received as a member of a municipal committee.
The troubled councilor, Dimitar Kerin, has defended himself by saying he was not the only one in the City Hall watering virtual egg plants. He said he had reached only Level 40, whereas Daniela Zhelyazkova, a councilor from the rightist Democrats for Strong Bulgaria party, was already at Level 46.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Things are looking up !

Positive economic news at last !.Industrial production grew by 4.9% in the fourth quarter and wages by 11.3%.The economy is still contracting but these are good signs, though one wonders how there can be this wage growth when unemployment is 10.26% ..... somewhat confusing.
On a related note there has been a 50% increase in Bulgaria related searches on Primelocation.Let us hope that this translates into sales.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Flight News


UK airlines British Airways will renew its flights to and from Bulgaria's sea capital Varna as of April 1, representatives of the company announced on Wednesday.
The price of the one-way ticket on a flight from Varna to the airport Gatwick has been set at EUR 35 and EUR 70 for a return ticket, airport fees excluded.
The company said it is testing special ticket prices for flights from Sofia and Varna to the United States and Canada, varying from EUR 281 to 291.
The tickets for Varna – London destination will be on sale from March 28, but only those passengers who travel from April 1 to May 31 can avail themselves of the cheaper prices.
British Airways have also announced a new price of EUR 99, airport fees included, for a one-way ticket from the Bulgarian capital Sofia to Gatwick. There is only one condition - passengers will have to book their flight online.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Funny weather season

Yesterday was glorious, sunny 10 C, today is cloudy and freezing, Sunday will be 19 C.These extremes in temperatures are typical of March/April here, every day you look at the window and wonder what it will be !.

Demographic Time bomb

Bulgaria is probably worse affected by changing population than many other countries.By 2025 there will be 1.5 million less working people than in 2000.This is partly due to emigration and partly due to an ageing population.

The impact of these changes on public services will be massive.The health service will be put under enormous pressure and the state will struggle to raise sufficient revenues.Society will become more dependent on the millions sent back by the Bulgarian diaspora.

The government is trying to address the issue by trying to set up schemes to keep the over 65's economically active but as the Finance Minister has pointed out when there is 19% unemployment among the non retired it is a bit difficult to justify.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Euro Football news

It has been announced that the dates for Bulgaria's Euro 2012 qualifying games in Group G cannot be agreed by that groups members.Consequently the dates will be decided by a draw.So we still await the Bulgaria v England date in Sofia.

Summer's Coming !

The first foreign tourists arrived in Varna yesterday.A party of 164 German pensioners arrived for a hotel/spa break in Golden Sands and Sunny Beach.They pay 1000 Euros for the holiday plus 290 Euros for the health treatment.Nice work if you can get it !.
All I can garner from the press statements is that they are predicting an increase in German and Romanian tourism, ominously British tourism appears to have largely dropped out of the equation.Ominously because they are the biggest spenders and because they are the mainstay of the property market.

Taxing Times in the Tax office

Bulgaria Ex Top Taxwoman Officially Charged on 4 Counts

The Sofia City Prosecutor filed Wednesday official charges against the former Director of the Bulgarian National Revenue Agency (NRI), Maria Murgina.
Murgina is charged on 4 counts – 2 criminal breach of trust , 1 for putting employees under duress and 1 for a false property declaration.
In April – June 2006, Murgina had used her position to give illegal directions to two NRI high-ranking employees thus commuting breach of trust. The duress charge stems from Murgina, allegedly, forcing the Director of the Regional NRI Office in the Danube city of Silistra to resign. The 4th charge comes over false data in her declaration submitted with the National Audit Office.
The probe against Murgina was launched in February 2009, after the State Agency for National Security (DANS) stripped the former NRA Director of her right to access classified information and amidst mounting accusations of huge organized draining of Value Added Tax (VAT) and political cover-up.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Sad News

I am sad to report exclusively that an englishwoman died on last nights Varna-Luton airplane.It appears she was taken ill during the flight and that a doctor on board could not resuscitate her.All attempts at Luton airport to revive her also failed.The sources for this news story were passengers on board.It appears that the lady was only in her forties. Tragic.