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370. Bulgarian DJs take Hollywood by storm

Frog News: 2009-02-09

The US company West Vibe Publishing signed a contract with DJs Baltazar & JackRock. All their original mixes will be included in the company catalog and featured in films, TV commercials, video games and more.

They signed the contract with West Vibe Publishing last week in California during DJ Baltazars US tour. The tour included performances in clubs in LA, Las Vegas and Chicago and was very successful. The Bulgarian DJ has received more invitations to perform in the US. He is among the pioneers of electronic music in Bulgaria. He has been a professional DJ since 1998. Apart from clubs he has performed in rave parties and on TV and radio electronic music shows. He started producing his own music with his partner JackRock in 2003. Theyve dropped several discs, remixes and CD compilations. They also wrote the music score for the DVD movie Clinique Noir #2.

369. Russia repays the rest of the USSR debt to Bulgaria

News BG: 2009-02-07

Russia and Bulgaria signed an intergovernmental agreement for redeeming the rest of the debt of the ex-USSR to Bulgaria.

The ceremony of the signing took place in the presence of both states after their meeting in Kremlin, BTA reported.

The total volume of the Russian debt towards Bulgaria, which has remained from the ex-USSR, was around 100 million dollars.

Moscow promised to repay the debt in its entirety by 2004 though a shipment of atomic fuel for "Kozloduy" and a special production for the Bulgarian army.

This agreement, however, was not executed because of different circumstances, ITAR-TASS reports.

368. Blue Mountain Aparthouse is constructed in Beli Iskar

Sofia Echo: 2009-02-06

A residential complex called Blue Mountain Aparthouse will be built in the village of Beli Iskar, part of the resort destination Samokov Borovets. The complex, which will have holiday apartments to rent, lies just below the Rila National Park and on the Samokov-Borovets tourist route.

New ski slopes and facilities are planned to be built in the region that will descend all the way to the village of Beli Iskar. The village is seven km from Samokov and 72km south of Sofia under the towering summit of Musala Mountain, part of the Rila range, the highest mountain in the Balkan peninsula and south-eastern Europe.

The village, surrounded by a breathtaking environment of thick forests, has tremendous tourist potential. However this may not delight environmental activists opposed to further deforestation. Just one kilometre above the village lies the Rila National Park.

The main investor in the project is Artstudio OOD, headed by engineer Atanas Atanassov. The approved project is a brainchild of Arch-Design M, managed by Andrei Stratiev, and the project is scheduled to start construction in Spring 2009, the consulting company overseeing the process being Multiplex Engineering.

Blue Mountain Aparthouse has a total area of 1700 sq m, on a steel hill with a view to the east. The condominium's design is meant to be modern, practical and in harmony with the mountain and surrounding nature, according to Atanas Atanassov, reported by Stroitelstvo Gradut.

Resort apartments are between 70 and 70 sq m. The building will be equipped with four large storage areas as well as a ground floor designated for shops.

The most important asset of the condominium, however, according to its designers from Arch-Design, is its private, concealed atmosphere and its proximity to the Rila National Park. The eco-route and the international European tourist route is also close to Beli Iskar, making the place ideal for those attracted to mountain climbing, hiking, skiing and snowboarding.

367. Galeria Rousse wants to become town's biggest mall

Sofia Echo: 2009-02-05

Polish developer Global Trade Centre has secured the land for its fourth project in Bulgaria, the Galeria Rousse commercial and recreation complex at Lipnik Boulevard in the Danube River town, Stroitelstvo Gradut weekly reported.

The design was done by Sofia architectural firm Studio 17.5, headed by Plamen Nanov. The company that will carry out the construction of the mall is yet to be selected.

The complex is meant to accommodate stores, boutiques, large supermarket chains, fast-food outlets, restaurants, a cinema complex and a large underground parking lot. The total built-up area of the complex will be 119 400 sq m, of which 59 700 sq m above ground and 59 700 sq m are underground.

The mall will be equipped with a wide array of auxiliary facilitates a communications centre, offices for the management and staff, an administrative building, large storage and logistic facilities. The two-level underground parking lot is designed to accommodate 1297 vehicles.

The investment details of the project have not been disclosed, nor is it clear when construction would begin and when the mall would open its doors.

366. Developer Plaza Centers buys controlling stake in Sofia project

Sofia Echo: 2009-02-04

Plaza Centers NV, the Dutch-registered property developer that focuses on Central and Eastern Europe, said on February 3 that it acquired the controlling stake in an unnamed 75 000 sq m project in Sofia.

Plaza acquired 51 per cent in the project for 2.78 million euro and took on 4.36 million euro worth of debt, which was 51 per cent of the project's debt liability, the developer said in a statement on London Stock Exchange, where the company is listed.

The local developer will retain the remaining stake as joint venture partners in the project, with Plaza managing the construction, the company said.

"The design phase of the project is already underway for the planned 75,000 sqm gross built area, inclusive of parking spaces, with zoning approval for the construction of retail and office space as well as extensive parking," according to the statement.

"The site is ideally located at a main junction, 2.7 km from the centre of Sofia. The gross development budget for the project is expected to be 75 million euro, with construction anticipated to commence in 2010."

It will be Plaza's second project in Bulgaria, after the company bought a 20 000 sq m shopping centre development project in Shoumen in November 2007.

Plaza Centers, an indirect subsidiary of Elbit Imaging Ltd, is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Warsaw Stock Exchange. Its parent company's shares are traded on both the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange in Israel and the Nasdaq in the US.

365. Pazardjik Mall construction postponed until 2010

Sofia Echo: 2009-02-03

Litos Ibuilt OOD has delayed construction of the trade complex in the city of Pazardjik by a year, according to town mayor Todor Popov, as quoted by Stroitelstvo Gradut.

The manager of the construction company, Ivo Koloushev, informed him officially by letter that the company would place any further investments on hold in light of the economic crisis and related altered projected costs.

In July 2008, Litos Ibuilt declared that it would invest 6.5 million euro for a new mall in Pazardjik, which was to be completed by the end of 2010.

According to blueprints, the project would encompass a total of 1661 sq m, near the Saint Georgi church in the city centre. The project is a brainchild of Studio 17.5 OOD Sofia, whereas DS build will be entrusted with the foundation construction, with Stroi Control Correct being the consulting company.

The mall will consist of 120 shops, which will be rented out, an entertainment centre, restaurants and boutiques. It will also have an area designated for small children.

The initial investment intentions and the total cost of the project were made by Litos Ibuilt on May 30 2008 when the symbolic first sod was turned. However, construction has not started at all. The only work accomplished so far is the removal of the old tarmac of the former municipal parking lot with a total area of 1661 sq m, for which the company paid in excess of 840 000 leva.

364. Relax in the warm embrace of Sandansky, Southwest Bulgaria

Frog News: 2009-02-02

Sandansky city park features more than 200 exotic flora species. The mineral water in the city flows from a myriad of thermal springs in the region. Sandansky is the warmest Bulgarian city. It is located 220-240 m above sea level, close to the Greek border.

The mineral water helps prevent a variety of illnesses affecting the peripheral nervous system and the respiratory system, insomnia, stress and fatigue. A tribe, the Medi, populated the present-day area of Sandansky from the 5th century B.C. onward. After the Roman Empire moved into the region the settlement was enlarged. Excavations began in 1917. in recent years the city has become a leading center of archaeology in Bulgaria. The cultural heritage unique early Christian architecture, decorative and mosaic art on a European quality level has transformed the city into a noteworthy center of European cultural tourism. The museum of archaeology in the city is located in situ, on the site where the remains of the early Christian Basilica of Bishop John used to be. There are a variety of attractions in the vicinity Melnik, the smallest city and wine capital of the country, the Pyramids of Melnik, Rojen Monastery and the area Rupite, famous for its thermal waters.

363. February starts with St.Trifon day

Frog News: 2009-02-01

The name of this month comes from the Latin "februum", which means "purification". With the idea of treatment is custom Februa, implemented on 5 February in honor of the god of death Februus. Then the ancient Romans organized last year for the holidays. During the solemn rites made sacrifices to buy their sins and is cleaned in anticipation of next year. Februa rethink today is one of the most attractive holidays - St. Valentine, who recorded each year, Catholics and Protestants in the world.

In the Bulgarian folk tradition the second month of the year is called Small Sechko. According to old people, this is not only one of the coldest days of the year when everything is "cut and care. Connected him with the god of death Februus and magical time in which everyone should repent.

362. Madonna to stage concert in Bulgaria in 2009

Sofia Echo: 2009-01-31

After long years of waiting, Madonna will finally have concert in Bulgaria after the singer decided to extend her Sticky&Sweet Tour in Europe, Madonna's website said on January 30 2009.

The launch of this year's part of the tour that started in 2008 will be on July 4 in London. Stops will include appearances in places where Madonna never played before, such as Werchter in Belgium, Marseille in France, Hamburg in Germany, Oslo in Norway, Helsinki in Finland, Tallinn in Estonia, Ljubljana in Slovenia as well as stops in Romania, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria, it has been confirmed by Live Nation, Madonna's website said.

The date and the venue for Bulgaria has not been announced yet but given previous visits of world famous artists such as George Michael, Metallica or Depeche Mode, the choice could be between Vassil Levski national stadium and Lokomotiv Sofia football club stadium, both of which are in Sofia. Ticket prices had not been announced either.

This is a first for me. I've never extended a tour before. I'm excited to be going back on the road, visiting places I've never been and returning to places I love, said Madonna about the new run of dates.

"This new run of dates will further solidify Madonna's position as one of the top selling touring artists of all time," said Arthur Fogel, Live Nation's Chairman of Global Music and CEO of Global Touring/Artist Nation said on Madonna's website.

In 2008, the Sticky & Sweet Tour was seen by about 2.35 million fans in 58 cities. It posted record-breaking ticket sales everywhere, including 650 000 tickets sold in her series of South American dates, 72 000 tickets at Zurich's Dübendorf Airfield - the largest audience ever assembled for a show in Switzerland, 75 000 tickets in London and four sell outs in New York's Madison Square Garden (60 364 tickets).

Special Guest for Sticky & Sweet 2009, Paul Oakenfold has long been one of the most important - if not the most important - name in modern club culture. He has remixed The Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dog, Muse New Order, The Cure, Massive Attack and even Elvis Presley and produced The Happy Mondays.

361. The X Files apartment blocks vanish in Varna

Sofia Echo: 2009-01-30

The new digital map of Varna has surpassed all previous errors of its kind observed in Bulgaria to date. Entire apartment blocks, constituting whole boroughs, have magically disappeared from the mapping process.

There were such cases before, but this is about buildings built after 2007, Krasimira Bozhkova, the head of the Varna mapping agency, told Sega daily. She says that the responsibility ultimately lies with Varna municipality which is entrusted with registering all new construction in the area, and which had postponed the timely submission of the appropriate documentation pertaining to the buildings in question.

The new mapping is already active in four regions of the city and hundreds of citizens, primarily from the borough of Primorski, have been queuing before the agency responsible for the registration debacle. Their properties can be submitted and registered properly for the appropriate payment of course. They also have to submit an appraisal form, documentation of proof of ownership, parcel grids, home disclosure forms and house sketches, etc. The company responsible for the properties' accreditation must fulfill its task within a year. However, for citizens of some boroughs Mladost, Asparuhovo and Vladislavovo, this period expires in May 2009.

Such problems have been observed elsewhere in the country in Sandanski eight floors from a 10-storey building mysteriously disappeared, and there have been similar problems in Sofia as well.

The scheme to digitalise the mapping of the entire country in a single database is, some may argue, fundamentally flawed from the onset. There is an ongoing campaign suggesting that another 100 million euro is required to accomplish this feat. The Agency for Registry's boss, Daniela Miteva, says that 100 million is needed if the project is to be feasible within the next three to five years. Alternatively, it will be ready within 20-30 years". Seven years ago Bulgaria received 33 million euro from the World Bank for this sort of register, which is to be unveiled this month. However, the real estate data uploaded within that registry comprises a very small part of the project. Real estate archives in Bulgaria exist going back 100 years, and Miteva believes that in order for the entire information to be scanned and processed, 100 million euro and 100 employees are urgently needed.

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