Friday, 28 May 2010

Property of the Month for May 2010

Here is a real bargain.A recently renovated three bed house with a 1000m2 of land, a garage, off street parking for three cars and an inground swimming pool.Not only that but it comes with a detached shop on the main street of the very popular village of  Obrochishte just 4km from the Black Sea resort of Albena and 35km from the airport.This house has been refurbished to a high standard, and all for just 75,000 Euros.Please click on the post title for this and further offers.

Thursday, 27 May 2010


It has been announced that Ryanair will fly to Plovdiv from September.This is for the ski trade but the lower airport taxes are attracting the low cost airlines.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

House of the Month June 2010

This is my websites house of the month for June.Three bedrooms all en suite with balconies, 234m of built space, a 700m2 garden, lovely forest views,BBQ,parking for two cars and space for a pool, and only 20 minutes from Varna and the airport.All for only 110,000 Euros or 93,000 Pounds.Click on the post title for more offers.

Flight News


The biggest low-cost air company in Bulgaria is considering launching flights to and from the country's second largest city of Plovdiv.
At a special news conference Tuesday, the management of Wizz Air Bulgaria announced the registration of its newest aircraft Airbus A-320, which will be the company's third plane with Bulgarian registration.
The low-cost operator also confirmed the news about the launch of four new routes from Sofia including flights from the Bulgarian capital to Paris, Frankfurt, Bologna, and Madrid. Wizz Air's first Sofia-Bologna flight was launched on Saturday, May 22, with a promotional price of the tickets of EUR 33.99.
Kristian Krastev, Wizz Air executive manager for Bulgaria, has announced that the company will plan 45 new jobs in the country. Wizz Air Bulgaria expects over 700 000 passengers in 2010. Last year Wizz Air carried more than 590,000 passengers to and from Bulgaria, marking a whopping 76% rise over the previous year.
“We will continue to invest in Bulgaria because we feel safe here. Our company plans to start shortly flights to and from Plovdiv. The potential of the Plovdiv Airport is yet to be utilized, it will undergo dynamic development,” Krastev said.
Wizz Air is the biggest low-cost air company in Central and Eastern Europe. The company plans to add more flights to its schedule from Sofia to Eindhoven and Valencia, which will be serviced three and four times a week respectively.
The low-cost company currently holds 11% of the Bulgarian aviation market, preceded only by the national carrier Bulgaria Air.
It plans to service a total of 10 million passengers across Europe in 2010, compared with 7,8 million in 2009, which marked a 33% rise over 2008.

Uncle's Comment: The operative word here is 'considering' actually doing is a different thing.Second point is where are the flights from/to Plovdiv coming from.Plovdiv is mainly used for charter flights to get to Pamporovo for skiing.In the summer there is not much demand but maybe this will open up this part of Bulgaria to tourism and maybe the housing market.Plovdiv itself is an interesting city with some nice architecture.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Football Crazy

Bulgaria Tax Officials Happy with Top Footballers Probe

Bulgaria's National Revenue Agency have checked the property and bank deposits of more than 70 top flight football players for suspected tax evasion and claim the probe is yielding results.
“There is not a single highly paid player, who declare the minimum salary of BGN 220,” Krassimir Stefanov, head of the Revenue Agency, said on Friday. “Some of them even declare incomes as high as BGN 50,000 per month.”
The garrulous wives of Bulgarian footballers, who are more than happy to talk about the luxurious life they lead, are believed to have prompted government officials to investigate top soccer players for suspected tax evasion at the end of last year.
The tax officials were impressed by the players' wives TV appearances, in which they don't miss to brag about the expensive cars of their husbands and all the possessions they have.
The National Revenue Agency announced a total of 261 Bulgarian top flight football players are under scrutiny for suspected tax evasion.
The action is a follow-up to previous checks of players and top flight clubs that revealed millions of levs of unpaid taxes and social securities.

Weather or not !

I dont know what',s up with our weathermen and women but the forecasts lately appear to be 100% wrong !.Today is supposed to be 21C and sunshine, it's now cold and dark clouds gather.The forecast has been wrong all week.I think the next time they tell me its going to be cold and raining I shall put on my bermuda shorts and hawaiian shirt !.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Mnogo Cigare !


The Bulgarian Parliament passed Tuesday, at second read, the more liberal rules for smoking in public spaces and abolished for good the full smoking ban.
The smoking ban was voted by the previous Parliament and was supposed to become effective on June 1, but the current Members of the Parliament approved the amendments of the Health Care Act, proposed by the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party.
Smoking will now be allowed in separate smoking spaces inside restaurants, bars, coffee shops, railroad stations, airports, ports, and bus stations. In restaurants with less than 50 square meters, the owner is to decide it the establishment will be smoking or non-smoking. In office buildings, employers have the right to designate special smoking spaces. In nigh clubs smoking will be allowed without the requirement to have separate non-smoking places.
The Opposition accused GERB of lobbing and human rights violation.
Only 85 MPs were present for the vote with 65 voting for the abolishment of the full smoking ban and 20 against.

Uncle's Comment: Some of this is quite good.A complete smoking ban simply forces out the smokers and they really need to be accommodated in smoking zones.However they idea of smoking and non smoking tables is just plain stupid, passive smoking is a major problem and this current practice does nothing to address it.

Monday, 17 May 2010

This is a really crap story...

UK tabloid Daily Star informs its readers that a "massive" influx of migrants entering the UK from Bulgaria can be expected in the wake of the economic crisis.

According to the newspaper, which cites its source as Bulgarian newspaper Standart, "a massive 29 per cent of the population can no longer afford to eat, while one in five earn less than £90 a month (about 200 leva) for full-time work".

The Daily Star quotes figures saying that more than 2000 immigrants a month came to the UK from the former Eastern Bloc nation before the recession, then the numbers began to dwindle. According to the newspaper, "now Bulgarian officials believe similar numbers could start heading to the UK again, despite our (the UK's) population standing at over 61 million".

The article goes on to quote a Bulgarian official as saying: "Britain is the No 1 target for people leaving our country. It’s where they believe they can most easily pick up work."

The paper concludes by saying that "the influx is set to be one of the trickiest issues for new immigration minister Damian Green".

Uncles Comment: For the poorest the diet is poor but this is just alarmist nonsense.Usually the young economically mobile leave, most cannot afford to.

Security Matters

I had an interesting meeting the other day with a UK company offering really interesting internet based technology here in Bulgaria.Basically it offers camera surveillance on your property plus the opportunity to control equipment in your property, from your computer in the UK.For example you can turn on lights in your house or in the swimming pool or the swimming pool pump, or you can see that the grounds maintenance is being done.The clients can have from one to 32 cameras.The cameras are movement sensitive and will send a report to you every time there is an 'event'.It's surprisingly cheap.
If anyone is interested then please e mail me on info@gobg.co.uk or ask questions via this blogs comment section.

Last nights storms

Here is a nice u tube film of last nights events in Bansko !.Click on the post title for the link.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Money matters

Bulgaria FinMin: Revised Budget 2010 Taps into Fiscal Reserve

Bulgaria's finance minister has confirmed reports that the revised 2010 budget law taps into the fiscal reserve as the government battles recession and seeks for ways to fill in the budget gap.
“This is the most reasonable way because it is free of charge. People say “Save money for rainy days.” This is exactly what the fiscal reserve is for,” Minister Simeon Djankov said on Sunday.
“Every other option means that Bulgaria will have to fork out more money for foreign banks. This is unreasonable for the time being,” he added.
According to the finance minister the revised budget bill will be fully prepared next week when the cuts in the administration expenditures are finally clear.
The center-right cabinet, which swept to power in July last year, had to revise the budget after it decided to slash public spending by 20% instead of increasing value added tax to back the public finances.
It has already give the green light to a plan to cut state wages, freeze pensions and sell public property to keep a low budget deficit and maintain fiscal stability.
The fiscal reserve will slump from BGN 6.4 B to BGN 4.5 B at the end of the year, shows the revised budget that the government has tabled in parliament and which local Sega daily has obtained.
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov had previously said the country will issue debt to fill in the fiscal reserve and give a sign to foreign observers that the currency board is stable.
Bulgaria operates in a currency board regime, under which the lev is pegged to the euro, and is obliged to keep a fiscal reserve. At the end of March it stood at BGN 6.3 B, flat month-on-month, and down from BGN 7.95 B in the same period a year ago, data showed.
Bulgaria passed a 2010 budget planning for a 0.7% deficit, but was forced to revise that target to 2.4% at the start of the year.
Bulgaria’s budget deficit will reach 2.8% of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, after 3.9% in 2009, according to a European Commission forecast.
The government forecasts economic growth of 1% this year after a 5.1% contraction in 2009.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Greece is the word....

OK so we have now seen the trillion dollar bailout of the Greek fantasy economy, what does this mean for the rest of the Eurozone  and Bulgaria in particular ?.
The implications are actually quite serious, Greece as a Balkan state is a major investor in Bulgaria, for instance Piraeus Bank is a major player here.Greece's public debt has now been downgraded to 'junk bond' staus, this means that the interest rates on repayment are very high, as the risk is assessed to be greater. All Greek related assets are as a result tainted with this crisis.
Bulgarias economy has suffered a body blow with the news that the outgoing governmemnt borrowed and spent substantially in its last few weeks in office, coupled with the Greek news its not good, but the big players in the Eurozone cannot afford to mess the Greek situation up.

Cameron and Clegg - A marriage made in hell

I have been watching UK political developments with a mixture of amusement and horror.Along with many others I had presumed that after a short flirtation with the Tories that the Liberals would enter into a grand coalition with the other progressive forces.The fact that they have entered into a full blown coalition with the Tories merely demonstrates the allure of power.It represents a monstrous betrayal of any political ideals that the Liberals ever had.For a few cabinet seats and some nod toward electoral reform they are tied in with reactionaries who are hell bent on butchering public services.
This is the death knell of the Liberal Democrats as a centre-left force.If they get electoral reform then they will get more MP's and a semi permanent place on government but they will be bereft of any legitimacy.Its a smart career move for Clegg but it will split his party, and this government will, I am sure, implode after a few months.
Now Labour have a chance to regroup and re-evaluate.There are some good people left there and hopefully Blairite baggage can be shed so that Labour becomes a european style Social Democratic Party.My prediction is that Labour will be back in goverment within 18 months.

Things are looking up !

The fall in housing prices in Bulgaria will continue in the next several months before the real estate market sees a stabilization, a study of Colliers International shows.
The 3 main factors supporting the buyers' market now are the large variety of offers, flexibility of investors and favorable bank mortgage terms, according to Colliers International, Bulgaria.
In the first quarter of 2010, the average listing prices for housing in Sofia have fallen down by 3% with the most significant reductions registered in the Malinova Dolina suburb – 9%, followed by 7% in the affluent Boyana and Dragalevtsi suburbs, and 6% in the suburbs of Borovo and Manastirski Livadi.
Prices in the Sofia districts Ivan Vazov and Dianabad, however, have remained the same or fallen by less than 1%.
In addition, in the first quarter of 2010, mortgage interest rates are also down, the amount financed by the banks is up and there are additional bonuses. Investors further compete for buyers by offering flexible financing programs such as rent-to-buy and differed payments.
On the other hand side, according to Colliers International, buyers in Bulgaria are now much more informed; they seek a balance between price and quality and pay attention to the construction materials that have been used, the location and the infrastructure, leading to a large fall in the so-called “off plan” purchases.

Uncle's comment: This reflects my view that the market is bottoming out and that 2010 is the time for investors to get out of their slumber and take another look at Bulgaria.

Farewell Dimitar !

The Manchester United striker, Dimitar Berbatov, announced Thursday he will no longer play with Bulgaria's national football team and is leaving them after 11 years.
During his press conference, Berbatov, who is also the captain of team, did not state a particular reason, just a combination of several ones – fatigue and inability to do more for the national team, a knee problem, the need to give way to younger players, focus on his play with the UK club, and on his family and his baby daughter and spare them the huge stress he has been subjected to as the nationals' captain.
According to numerous speculations, Berbatov is withdrawing over harsh and persistent media attacks and non-stop criticism of his performance with the national team, however, he said Tuesday he is not at all upset and criticism is not the reason behind his decision.
“No one has achieved anything by being upset. I have a goal in life and in my career and I follow my plan,” Berbatov explained.
The player's debut with the national team was in November 1999 against Greece. He scored his first goal against Chile in 2000 and has a total of 18 goals as part of the team, but has been strongly criticized in the last years for lacking leadership abilities.

Uncles Comment: The national tean has gone absolutely nowhere and it has had no real success since the 1980's !

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Not so sunny at Sunny Beach !

State Succeeds in Ousting Bulgaria's 'Sunny Beach' Board

The Bulgarian State finally succeed to replace the Managing Board of the country's largest beach resort “Sunny Beach” after a 9-year rule of the minority shareholders.
The shuffle was proposed by the Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, Traicho Traikov. The State is the majority owner with 75% of the shares.
The CEO, Malina Stratieva, the representative of the minority private shareholders, former weapons trader and now hotel owner, Mladen Mutafchiiski, and the State representative, Eli Anavi have all been ousted.
They are replaced by Traikov's Deputy for Tourism, Ivo Nikolov, Konstantin Lefterov, municipal councilman from the Black Sea town of Nessebar, the Deputy Regional Governor, Zlatko Dimitrov, among others.
Also on Tuesday, the branch organization of the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party in Nessebar issued a declaration stating the replacement of the Board is an event that equals only the creation of the resort.
According to the declaration, in the last years, the vacation place has been subject to pillage, too much construction, scandals, conflict of interests, waste of resources from the privatization for ineffective projects, sale of land plots without pubic tenders, criteria and appraisals, violations in the renting of parking lots and much more.
Meanwhile, the Nessebar Town Hall stated their position that those hotel owners who, in the last 10 years, have turned the former “green resort” in “a mafia concrete ghetto” and at the same time managed State property must be held responsible.
“Sunny Beach is Bulgaria's prime example of the merge of organized crime, political lobbying, power and corruption,” the municipal statement reads, adding they were pressured to purchase the resort's infrastructure at unfavorable prices, which triggered scandals each season about the maintenance of the streets, lighting, green areas and other infrastructure.
“In addition, some, still unsolved, murders haunt our memories, such as the last one – of former Chair of the Municipal Council, Dimitar Yankov, who openly opposed Mladen Mutafchiiski,” the Nessebar Town Hall declaration reads.