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335. Ahead of New Year

Focus: 2008-12-30

In the Eve of the New Year celebrations it turns out that 77% of Bulgarians intend to stay at home for the New Year celebration, show results from a poll made by the National Opinion Research Centre (NCIOM).

Most of the adherents of domesticity are women over the age of 50, people that live in villages and people with poor living standard.

A total of 7% of Bulgarians will celebrate around clubs, restaurants, winter resorts or will travel abroad. Mobile would be those under 30 and with stable incomes.

However, Bulgaria is preferred not only during holidays, but also for permanent settling. The Greek Ta Nea daily comments that Bulgaria is a point of attraction for many Greeks not only as a tourist destinations, but also as a possibility for investments in real estates.

In 2007 the Greeks that had bought properties in Bulgaria are 2%, while in 2008 1%, mostly from Northern Greece.

According to a survey of NCIOM, 56% could give aside between BGN 20 and BGN 100 from their personal finances for the holidays. 17% would spend between BGN 100 and BGN 200 per a person from a household for a rich dinner.

23% of the adults in Bulgaria cannot put aside any money for the holidays and will have a budget of BGN 20.

That is why Christmas discounts are coming just on time. Discounts for different winter goods for the holidays vary from 20% to 50%, a reporters check of FOCUS News Agency showed.

Despite the traditionally high prices along the Vitoshal Boulevard (the most popular Sofia market street), you can find winter coats at the price of up to BGN 100.

Christmas and New Year discounts are valid for more elegant clothes from the spring-summer collection too.

The check showed that people are buying second-hand books en masse. However, there are also people willing to buy luxury books as presents, if the book is worthy.

334. BDZ provides 29 trains with extra carriages

Focus: 2008-12-29

Bulgarian State Railways (BDZ) has provided 29 trains with extra carriages today, press centre of the company informed. The carriages would run with nine express trains in nine directions Sofia- Burgas, Sofia- Gorna Oryahovitsa, Gorna Oryahovitsa Sofia, Sofia Yambol, Plovdiv Vratsa, Vratsa Plovdiv, Plovdiv Varna and Varna Plovdiv.

333. Most expensive highway section inaugurated in Bulgaria

Wise Property: 2008-12-28

A 75 million leva section of highway, only four km long and an integral part of the southern half of the Sofia ring-road has been officially opened for traffic on December 23.

The project was predominantly funded from the state budget.

The road itself is a thorough change of the ring road, not simply a partial reconstruction or refurbishment, but a comprehensive expansion aimed at easing traffic congestion as much as possible.

Where this section of the Sofia ring road once had two lanes in total, it now features six lanes, plus two local-express lanes and two pavements were incorporated to facilitate pedestrians, plus emergency lanes.

Furthermore, the construction of the sector Dragalevtsi to Simeonovo and the adjacent junctions have also been completed.

Prime minister Sergey Stanishev, Sofia mayor Boyko Borissov and Road Infrastructure Agency head Yanko Yankov unveiled on December 23 the most expensive highway section ever build in Bulgaria.

"The construction of a three km long section of the Sofia ring road which will reach the Kambanite borough is to be inaugurated in February," Boyko Borisov was quoted as saying by Focus news agency.

"The project for the northern half of the ring road has already been processed and filed by the Sofia municipality. Its aim is to complete and facilitate the ring road and help relieve traffic congestion on the Trakiya and Lyulin motorway" he said.

332. Kulata-Promahon border checkpoint opened

Focus: 2008-12-23

Kulata-Promahon border checkpoint has been opened, the press center of the Interior Ministry announced.

Border Police say the strike of Greek farmers ceased at 09:50 a.m. on Tuesday. Vehicles can cross the checkpoint in both directions. The tractors have headed for the interior of the country.

331. Denmark and Spain open their labor market for Bulgarians

News BG: 2008-12-22

After a decision of the Spanish government, the two year moratorium for access of Bulgarian citizens to the Spanish labor market is being lifted.

According to the Spanish media, citing the Labor Minister Celestino Corbacho and the Secretary General for the EU Lopes Garido, the reason for the decision is the good economic growth of Bulgaria.

In their announcements they add that there are prerequisites "for the migration flow to reverse" and the immigrants to return to their countries.

Regarding the repeal of the moratorium, the Bulgarian embassy has received a telephone greeting from the immigration advisor in the autonomous government of Madrid Xavier Lascetti and a declaration, in which it is being underlined that the "moratorium was unjust and useless" for the Bulgarian citizens in Spain.

Since May 1 2009 Denmark will remove the restrictions of the labor market, imposed with the transition measures in the free movement of workers, for citizens of the member states, joined after 2004, including Bulgaria and Romania.

According to information of the permanent representation of Denmark in the EU, the decision has been taken this month.

330. Utrinski Vesnik: Bulgarian independence has nothing to do with Macedonia

Focus: 2008-12-25

Bulgaria insists to celebrate certain holidays together with Macedonia, the Macedonian historian Ivan Katardzhiev said in an interview with the Utrinski Vesnik daily.

According to him the fact that the Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev has marked 100 years of Bulgarian independence is a result of a policy, conducted from the middle of the 90s of the last century, when Bulgaria insists to celebrate some holidays with Macedonia thus confirming the thesis that the two are one whole.

This is nonsense, we want cooperation and holidays but after some conditions are met, Katardzhiev said.

329. Plovdiv University teaches language students hints to job success

Sofia Echo: 2008-12-19

Philology students at Plovdiv University Paisii Hilendarski are receiving training in business skills from industry professionals in a new university programme, a press statement on December 15 2008 read. The first lecture takes place on December 16.

Themes of instruction include how to increase one's market competitiveness and how to succeed at multinational companies, with a particular focus on technology. The goals is to expand concepts of professional possibilities in the current economic situation, University vice-dean of the philology faculty Petya Burkalova said. She was also down as saying that she expected the courses to be beneficial to students learning Polish, Czech, French, German, Greek and English.

Moin Kazi, group manager of global and strategic operations at Sutherland Global Services, and Petko Mirchev, head manager of human resources management company Bulwork, will be talking about the possibilities at modern IT companies and introducing students to European practices and how they fit into the puzzle.

This lecture comes as the start of a new project at Plovdiv University that aims to acquaint young people with the requirement of the labour market and actual offers and possibilities available.

328. Construction on Mega Mall Lyulin starts

Wise Property: 2008-12-18

Construction on Mega Mall Lyulin, at the intersection on Blvd Tsaritsa Ioanna and Blvd Dobrinova Skala, has started. Initial work for the mall will focus on building the infrastructure linking it with the metro station, as the construction company is contemplating a direct link between metro station Zapaden Park and the mall's underground parking lot.

Mega Mall is set to open for business in October 2010, spanning four levels, with a 24 000 sq m area available for rent. Last month it was announced that the Slovenian trading company Mercator has signed a contract to rent a total of 3054 sq m in the new mall, as reported by Investor.bg.

The main investor in Mega Mall Lyulin is the Austrian company for real estate investment Real 4 You Immobilen GmbH, via its daughter company Magnum Bulgaria GAMMA Ltd. The consulting company, which offers parcels for rent in the mall, is Raifaizen Imoti EOOD, and the total investment in the project so far has been estimated at 55 million euro.

The portfolio of Real 4 You consists of more than 100 projects. These include hypermarkets, trading parks and centres, eight real estate complexes, four office buildings and six hotels valued at a total of more than one billion euro. The company operates in Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia and Czech Republic and, now, Bulgaria.

327. Bulgaria ranks sixth in demand for real estate

Sofia Echo: 2008-12-17

English-language countries have shown a remarkable interest in Bulgarian property, according to data from Globaledge.co.uk, which has more than 1.4 million international orders for real estate from around the world.

The analysis is based on demand from the English-speaking world (UK, USA, Australia, Ireland and Canada), and the information was categorised and processed for each country and dates from September until December 2008.

The English speaking world's love affair with Spain continues with Spanish real estate by far the most desired. Tenerife, Majorca and the Costa Blanca are all more popular destinations than Paris or most French destinations, bearing in mind that France occupies second places.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the research is Portugal, which ranks last of the 11 countries listed. Having accumulated only a meagre three per cent of votes from clients and having only generated three per cent of interest for purchase, Spain's sunny neighbour is at the bottom of the pit. Portugal not only lags significantly behind other traditional destinations such as Spain, France and Italy, but recent reports indicate that Portugal's real estate in 2008 became increasingly expensive, losing its competitive edge in the process.

The Middle East ranks fourth with 8.6 per cent of total demand volume. Over 70 per cent of the applications for real estate in the Middle East are all centred around one particular area Dubai.

Central and South America are ranked fifth with eight per cent of total demand on the Internet. Panama is the most popular destination with 20 per cent, followed by Mexico with 11.4 per cent.

Bulgaria ranks sixth out of eleven, with 7.2 per cent interest. Seventh place is occupied by Cyprus with 7.1 per cent followed by the Caribbean with 5.6 per cent. Jamaica was the regional leader with 12.9 per cent of the pie, followed by the Dominican Republic with 6.6 per cent.Eastern Europe is ninth, with 5.4 per cent and Turkey is tenth with 4.6 per cent.

The analysis is extrapolated from a database of clients in the United Kingdom, USA, Australia, Ireland and Canada, countries that do not themselves participate in this particular list.

326. US company AES invests in Bulgarian power engineering

News BG: 2008-12-16

The start of the American investment of the company AES in Bulgarian power engineering was given in the presence of Premier Sergey Stanishev and the US ambassador in Bulgaria Nancy McEldowney.

The project plans the construction and exploitation of a wind park near Kavarna, which will add another 156 megawatts to the Bulgarian power engineering of renewable sources.

This will take place in an extremely short period of time - the end of 2009, the beginning of 2010, Stanishev pointed out.

He emphasized that the invested 240 million Euro are very significant for the Bulgarian economy and especially encouraging, that this happens now, when in the whole world there is a financial and economic crisis.

AES is the biggest industrial investor in Bulgaria since 1989, as their investments reach 1.2 billion Euro in the new capacity of the electric power station "Maritza Iztok", the Prime Minister pointed out.

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