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310. Ancient city of Nessebar celebrates 25-year anniversary as cultural monument

Frog News: 2008-11-29

Nessebar celebrates its 25-year anniversary as an UNESCO World heritage site with official concerts, processions and exhibitions. It was declared a heritage site in 1983. The festivities will continue for three days December 6, 7 and 8 with an exciting diverse program organized by Nessebar municipality. Nessebar has been the only Bulgarian town that is a world heritage site since 25 years and we should celebrate the occasion, said Nessebar mayor Nikolay Dimitrov at a press conference. The festivities will be dedicated to the residents of the museum city, who have come to realize that not only is the city unique; its monuments require special care and preservation. On December 7 the museum will be open until late so that visitors can see the latest archaeological discoveries. Some of them are worthy to be featured in any world-famous museum. Most of the items are still undergoing restoration. Some of them will be part of a national exhibit, which opens at the National History Museum in Sofia on December 19.

309. Biggest solar energy plant in SE Europe opens in Bulgaria

News BG: 2008-11-28

A photovoltaic park with installed power of 1 Mwp was built by the Bulgarian enterprise InterSol in the regions of Paunovo village, Ihtiman municipality, informed the company investor.

The solar facility is the biggest of its kind not only in Bulgaria but in Southeast Europe. The energy plant is situated at an area of 45 decares on which over 13 thousand slim thin layer amorphous silicon solar modules, produced by Japanese company.

The thin layer modules secure maximum productivity during the summer season and can absorb the diffused light in the winter explains the manager of SunSevice, the company which conducted the construction and assembly works.

The Bulgarian SunService used the services of the German IBC Solar AG as a consultant. For the whole project, which was completed within a year, less than 4 million euro have been invested. Two thirds of the money have been secured through a bank loan. The main part of the bank crediting is a loan from a credit line for energy efficiency of the European bank for reconstruction and development.

The new electric plant saves 900 tones carbon emissions, which would have been emitted in the atmosphere provided raw fuel materials were used. The electricity productivity of the new solar plant near Ihtiman will equal at least 1 250 Mwh/MWp.

Ventseslav Petrov, chairman of the board of directors in InterSol and executive director of Advance Equity Holding explains that the leading motif in the investment is the construction of a modern and effective installation which to reimburse the invested in it resources in a fast way.

308. Property rentals soar in major Bulgarian cities

Wise Property: 2008-11-26

Bulgaria's four biggest cities - Sofia, Plovdiv, Varna and Bourgas - have see a significant shift in the trends of the real estate sector, in particular the growing interest in property rental, data from real estate agency Address showed on November 24.

The double digit increase on the market in 2008 has been credited to the sharp demand of property rentals, as a consequence of the global financial crisis and the subsequent decline in demand for purchase of single family homes, flats or planned unit developments.

Address Real Estate's research showed that between January and October, the major trend in the real estate market was shifting towards rentals, observing a significant growth of 12 per cent in the market for the last three quarters.

The largest interest is aimed at two-room flats, where the demand has increased by over 14 per cent, which has come at the expense for single-room flats or studios, which have registered a cooling off with a six per cent drop in demand, mainly because rental prices were very close to those charged for two-room apartments.

Three-room flats are also on the up, recording a three per cent raise.

Nationwide, amongst the four largest cities in Bulgaria, in the port town of Varna the increase has been the steepest, followed by Sofia, Plovdiv and Bourgas, Address Real Estate said, as quoted by Focus news agency.

Rental demand in Varna was 13 per cent on the up for the first three quarters. compared to the eight per cent figure recorded in Sofia. The biggest demand in the capital is gravitating towards the Sofia centre, and the neighbourhood of Lozenetz, as well as the large residential boroughs of Mladost and Lulin.

Bourgas rated last in the table with 5.43 per cent increase, the cheapest rate of all major towns in Bulgaria.

The data showed that prospective clients were generally unconcerned whether the flat was in a newly constructed building or in a relatively old one. The main factors in making their decision is whether the flat has undergone recent refurbishment and whether it has the necessary appliances. Tenants generally are reluctant to be burdened with refurbishing the flat themselves, whereas prospective buyers are keen on making the choices themselves and having the flat built custom.

Fully-furnished apartments are generally of older construction and on average command higher prices. New construction on the other hand, is exactly that brand-new flats with no furniture or electric appliances.

307. Demand for real estate properties in Bansko ski resort plummets

Frog News: 2008-11-25

So far 197 construction licenses have been issued in Bansko, which is twice as low as last year. Data of brokers indicates that most plots appropriate for construction of properties or hotels have been sold and over 80% have been built up. It emerged that demand for properties in the ski resort has leveled off. This is due to the global economy crisis, experts maintain. The property market in the biggest nearby town, Blagoevgrad, is not what it was 2-3 years ago. In 2003 there was a boom of investments in Bansko. At the time huge sums were invested in agricultural plots lacking infrastructure. Over time things changed. Things are going in the direction of a normal market, not lack of one, brokers assure. Properties in the process of construction are being finished; there are no abandoned construction sites. Bansko district administration informs that the infrastructure in the resort is undergoing development.

306. Sunny Beach resort to sell its infrastructure

Frog News: 2008-11-24

SB AD will part with its last property streets, alleyways, canals and parks, reported Malina Stratieva, executive director of the resort. The sale should be finalized by the end of this year. Nessebar municipality offered to buy the infrastructure, which is valued at BGN 47 million without VAT. If no sale agreement is reached by the end of the year the infrastructure will be sold to a private company, which happened in Golden Sands resort. Sunny Beach offered to pay the sum in installments over six years. The negotiations with Nessebar municipality have been ongoing for more than a year and a half, but no agreement on the price has been reached.

305. First real snowfall of the season hits Sofia alone

Sofia Echo: 2008-11-22

While the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences describes the current condition of Sofia as 3 degrees Celsius and light, short-duration rain, the forecast from the window points to an even falling of large-flake snow, and temperatures cold enough to allow it to stick to the ground.

Other weather stations confirm that Sofia is currently the coldest location in the country, with cities elsewhere, like Plovdiv, Rousse and Varna, enjoying morning temperatures of 7 to 16 degrees Celsius and sun. It appears that the warm wind that whipped Sofia on November 21 2008 has moved along to the rest of the country, a forerunner of the wintry atmospheric front.

The snow, the 2008/09 winter season's first in city conditions, is expected to stop by November 23.

304. Thracian chariot discovered in a mound in Bulgaria

News BG: 2008-11-21

The archaeological summer in the Bulgarian region of Sliven continues even in November.

Archaeologists from Nova Zagora discovered a well-preserved chariot for funeral of a Thracian aristocrat.

The discovery was made at the so called East mound near the village of Karanovo. The chariots has four wheels and a basket, informs sliveninfo.

The specialists believe it dates back to 1-3 century AD. The archaeologists claim they have stumbled on a secondary funeral in the Thracian mound.

The archaeologists are working in very unfavorable climate conditions and at an unusual time because of the treasure hunters raids.

A month ago the minister of culture announced it will finance a 24-security of the Mound in Karanovo exactly because of the robbers, who are destroying the historical heritage.

Additional funds were given for urgent investigations because of which the archaeologist continued to dig in November as well.

It is believed that five years ago the treasure hunters have stolen another chariot.

303. One of Vitosha's best known symbols, the stone runs, being destroyed

News BG: 2008-11-20

The Danube-Carpathean Office of the Global Conservation Organization warns about the serious ecological dangers Sofia mountain Vitosha faces due to financial interests.

The information on WWF site reads:

"At the beginning of October 2008, in the oldest national park in the Balkans, with two million Sofia citizens as witnesses, Vitosha mountain's most famous symbols "the stone runs" were destroyed.

The destroyer is named "Vitosha Ski AF", owner of the ski lifts and installations, but not the ski paths, which are part of the state forest fund. All the violations have been done against four Bulgarian laws and the European environmentalist legislation.

But no one has been punished.

The fellowship has illegally built a ski path through a stone run, using detonations, which is absolutely forbidden. The stones, which have been marked for removing by Sofia Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Waters, remained untouched.

From the "Vitosha Tulip" ski path without any permission whatsoever rocks have been dug out with the use of heavy machinery and have been heaped on the two sides of the path, which is extremely dangerous for the skiers and can lead to erosion.

18 dka of stone runs and flora have been destroyed.

Because of the ski paths in the planned ski zone at least 200 dka of Spruce forests will be felled and 300 dka of high mountain pastures will be urbanizes.

In order to sustain the artificial snow, chemicals will be used in the mountain, which is the main water supplier for ? of Sofia.

The environmentalists from "Coalition for the Bulgarian Nature" prepare a complaint to the European Comission because of the tolerated destroying of habitats from the European Ecological Network NATURA 2000 and the lack of any reaction from the state institurion in charge"

302. House prices in Rousse down by 10% report

Wise Property: 2008-11-18

House prices in Bulgarias Danubian city of Rousse have fallen by 10 per cent, and will continue to fall, Bulgarian National Television (BNT) quoted the head of the citys construction chamber, Georgi Stoev, as saying on November 16 2008.

The extent to which prices will fall will depend on the investment intentions of entrepreneurs and the lending policy of banks, Stoev said.

He said that in recent years, growth in construction had been about 15 per cent, much higher than in other sectors.

The economic situation meant that developers were paying less for land. However, luxury properties would maintain current prices levels, Stoev said.

BNT said that experts had predicted job losses in Bulgarias construction industry in the next few months.

This was because of stagnation in the construction industries in Germany, Spain and Greece, where many Bulgarians work.

Stoev said that Bulgarians currently working in construction in other European Union countries would return, and because they were well-trained and skilled they would displace people working locally who were less well-qualified.

BNT said that specialists held that a decrease in the volume of construction in Bulgaria would affect other sectors such as mining, production, transport and trade.

301. Russian parliamentary delegation is in Bulgaria

News BG: 2008-11-17

A delegation led by the chairman of the Group for cooperation with the Bulgarian national assembly in the Upper chamber of the parliament of the Russian federation Victor Gluhih will be on a working visit to Bulgaria from 17 to 19 November 2008.

On 17 November the delegation will meet the minister of transport Peter Mutafchiev, the minister of regional development and public works Assen Gagauzov and the mayor of Sofia Boiko Borissov.

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