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290. Czech town celebrates Day of Bulgaria

News BG: 2008-11-04

The Czech town Ceske Budějovice celebrates today day of Bulgaria.

Main organizers of the event are the Bulgarian embassy in the Czech republic and Euro Direct České Budějovice.

Throughout the day the visitors will be able to attend lectures and cultural events connected to Bulgaria.

The Czechs will have the chance to explore the exhibition Beautiful Bulgaria. The ceremony will be attended by the Bulgarian ambassador Zdravko Popov and the director of the Bulgarian cultural institute in Prague Boyan Panchev.

The chief of the Bulgarian state agency on tourism Stela Baltova will make a presentation on the topic Bulgaria Your exact aim, which will be directed to the tourist branch.

The presentation will finish with tasting of Bulgarian wine.

Later in the day a lecture on Bulgaria as a new EU member state will be given in the university in the town.

The entrepreneurs are also not forgotten. They will have the opportunity to get acquainted with the conditions for business in Bulgaria through the presentation Bulgaria a business partner.

The day of Bulgaria will end with an exhibition of the archaeologist Nikolay Ovcharov accompanied by the performance of Bulgarian folk songs.

After the end of the program the guests will have the possibility to taste the traditional Bulgarian cuisine.

289. 78% of foreign investment - concentrated in Sofia

News BG: 2008-11-03

"In 2007-2007 78% of foreign investment in Bulgaria is concentrated in Sofia and for the last 15 years - 50 percent of foreign capital is invested in Sofia".

This was announced by the deputy mayor of Sofia Minko Gerdzhikov on an international conference for the application of the Lisbon strategy for regional development of Sofia.

The conference is carried out in the building of the Sofia city-hall. According to Gerdzhikov, able-bodied Sofia citizens are 700 000 people, while the average work salary is 31% higher compared to the rest of the country and is 287 Euro.

Prerequisites for attracting a large percentage of foreign investors in the capital are the location of the city, where three trans-European corridors cross each other, the lower salaries than the average European salaries and the big number of Bulgarians with university degrees graduating each year.

Among the most developed sectors in the capital are the real estate business, transport and communications. 33 percent of the country's GDP is produced by the capital and it increases each year by 13-15%.

288. Driving with lights on for the winter

Sofia Echo: 2008-11-01

All motorists should have the light of their motor vehicles on while driving during the day as of November 1 2008, the Traffic Act says. The period for driving with lights applies for winter months and ends at the end of March 2009.

The practise was enforced last year in an attempt to bring the number of road accidents caused by lack of visibility. Now all motors vehicles should have their light on otherwise motorists would face fines of 20 leva. In the first 10 days after November 1, the Traffic Police officers will only warn motorists for the new rule and check their lights. After that policemen will be in their right to impose fines.

According to Traffic Police statistics, quoted by Bulgarian-language Novinar daily, last winter a total of 233 people have died in road accidents, of which 74 were pedestrians.

Traffic Police data also said that 40 per cent of the victims were killed in dark sections of the roads. To change this statistic, the police together with municipalities will check street lights especially around bus stops and pedestrian crossings.

Police's projections based on their statistics are that 135 people will die on Bulgarian roads by the end of 2008.

Beside the lights, winter tyres and windscreens will also be on the Traffic Police's check list. Usually, with the coming of the winter season, workshops in Sofia and other big cities are jammed with people wanting to change their summer tyres with winter ones.

The best thing to do is to call and book a reservation in advance otherwise people risk going from one shop to another and waiting for the mechanics to have a free window. In that case,those who buy new sets a tyres from the shop usually receive privileged treatment.

The change of just the two tyres on a two-wheel drive vehicle usually costs about 20 leva. The price of a middle-ranked brand new winter tyre varies between 80 to 120 leva.

287. Leading architectural studios short-listed for design of Government centre

Wise Property: 2008-10-31

The Regional Development and Public Works Ministry has short-listed six architectural studios for the design of a Government centre, meant to rise on the area near the sixth km of the Tsarigradsko Chaussee Boulevard in Sofia, Dnevnik daily reported.

Out of 19 applicants, the ministry short-listed Foster+Partners, a London-based firm led by world-renown architect Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid Architects, French studio Dominique Perrault Architecture, Obedinenie G-3, the studio of Bulgarian architect Georgi Stoilov, Italian studio Massimiliano Fuksas Architetto and consortium ADAIS proekt with Stoilov presiding over 18 companies involved in design, construction and planning.

The selected six studios need to present their initial concepts by February 2009. Their projects will be evaluated by an international jury, which will choose one firm to be commissioned with the design.

The Government centre would spread on 60ha, and the initial plans envision the construction of administrative buildings, hotels, residences for diplomats and sports centres.

Meant to be carried out as public-private partnership, the Government would seek investors that would fund the costs of the project. Instead, the investors would be given the right to build offices and shopping centres on sections of the same plot.

286. British Producers with remixes of Bulgarian hits

News BG: 2008-10-30

British producers and artists will remix a selection of Bulgarian hits on occasion of the 75 anniversary of the British Council.

The music project called "Switched On!" will develop in the following phases:

First Phase - choice of songs

Bulgarian songs from the beginning of 1991, the year in which British Council opens its first office in Bulgaria, up to 2000 will be chosen by fans at the site of the project.

Suggestions for songs will be accepted until November 15.

Second Phase - Voting

Fans will vote for their favorite songs and the first ten will be chosen for remixing.

The voting will take place from November 15 to December 6.

Music producers from the United Kingdom and Bulgaria will make remixes of the chosen songs in January and February 2009.

At the end of February a remix workshop will take place in Sofia.

The end of the project will be marked by a huge party in Sofia's party centre "4KM", where the winners will be presented.

285. Resort operator Albena to sell two seaside projects

Wise Property: 2008-10-29

Bulgarian resort operator Albena AD has put up for sale its upscale holiday complex in Byalata Lagouna (White Lagoon) area, on Bulgarias northern Black Sea coast.

The project is up for grabs for 42.5 million euro, and comprises two units of 177 flats, a spa centre with an indoor and an outdoor swimming pool, a beach, a tennis court, a restaurant, a sweet shop, a supermarket and a parking lot.

Albena unveiled in June plans to build on the 2.2ha land plot after failing to sell it. The complex should be finished by the end of 2010 at a cost of 17 million euro.

The resort operator has also put up for sale its Balchik Gardens project due to sprout in the coastal town of the same name. The investor is asking for eight million euro, VAT excluded, for ten buildings of up to five floors with a total floor space of 22 600 sq m and retail outlets. The company is putting the finishing touches of two of the buildings.

No buyers have shown up yet for the whole Byalata Lagouna project but six or seven of the flats have already been sold.

284. Borovets among the most preferred destinations for the British

News BG: 2008-10-28

The Bulgarian ski resort Borovets is on third place in a ranking of the best winter destination according to the British, writes in the report of the British post transport service, cited by the Daily Telegraph.

The report makes a research on 14 winter resorts in Europe and North America using the correlation between the prices of the ski equipment, the accommodation and the food. According to the report, the Romanian resort Poiana Brasov is the best destination for the British tourists.

The Slovak Vysoke Tatry comes second, reasserting the first three positions for East European countries.

The only other participant from Eastern Europe in the ranking is the Slovenian Krainska gore, which holds the sixth place.

The ski resorts in North America are the most expensive ones for the British skiers and took the last two places in the ranking, showed also the annual report.

283. 'Nestle' liked the spring water in the Bulgarian town of Sopot

News BG: 2008-10-27

Experts from Nestle liked the spring water in the Bulgarian town of Sopot for bottling. According the them the water has the necessary qualities being consumed by babies.

The French experts claimed that in the nearest future they will present their intentions for concession of the spring.

The spring water fountains in Sopot are 27 in total. Most of them are constructed in 18 and 19 century.

282. New office, retail building to rise on Tsarigradsko Chaussee in Sofia

Wise Property: 2008-10-25

Belgian company Ilpa Development will invest 25 million euro in the construction of a combined office and retail building on Tsarigradsko Chaussee in close proximity to the Metro and Technomarket superstores.

Arco Real Estate, the company presenting the project on the market, said that the investor was seeking buyers for parts or the entire building. According to website investor.bg, Ilpa Development initially had plans to sell the building off plan. The construction already began and it is expected that the project would be completed by 2010.

The Ellipse Center will feature 10 floors with offices of the highest class A and retail spaces spread on 19 000 sq m. Currently, office units, each of which is 908 sq m, are being sold separately, but an entire floor could also find its buyer. The price starts from 1700 euro a sq m.

A showroom of 1326 sq m has also been envisioned, along with two levels of underground parking garages with 134 parking spaces. The plan features a bar and a restaurant occupying 1000 sq m.

The building itself will be shaped as a ellipse and a bit lopsided, for there will be a five-meter difference in levelling between the first and the last floor. The facade will be constructed with diamond-shaped windows.

281. Martenitsa is Bulgaria's best known symbol

News BG: 2008-10-24

The martenitsa is Bulgaria's best known symbol, followed by a misty morning in the Rhodope Mountains and the gangsters.

These are among the best known Bulgarian symbols that foreign readers of the Bulgarian magazine Vagabond chose.

The campaign "Symbols of Bulgaria" started officially on July 21. 1229 people have voted at the site of the magazine.

Foreigners, living in Bulgaria, as well as Bulgarians outside their home country are those, who took part in the campaign, the most active outside Bulgaria being those in Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Greece and Turkey.

Survey, taken by "Vagabond" magazine shows that the symbols of Bulgaria, chosen by foreigners are entirely different from those, chose by Bulgarians.

The foreigners ignore The Madara horseman, chosen by Bulgarian, as their top-symbol, as well as the Bulgarian rose and the yoghurt, comments Anton Georgiev from "Vagabond" magazine.

"One of the most peculiar participants in the list is not an object or a concept, but a feeling - a misty morning in the Rhodope. We all have seen that - at dawn, in the Rhodopes, the mist is still not risen, but the sun shines through it and one can almost hear the scream of a bag-pipe, even if there is no bag pipe around".

Here is the whole list:

Martenitsa 25, 1 %

Misty morning in the Rhodope Mountains - 24, 8 %

Gangsters -11, 9 %

Sexy girls - 9, 1%

Rakia and cigarettes smoke - 7, 6%

The expression - "In a minute" - 6, 8 %

The cosmopolitan capital Sofia with a church, a mosque and a synagogue -4, 7 %

The overbuilt of the Bulgarian seaside - 4, 2 %

Expensive cars and donkey carriages - 3, 9 %

Street dogs -1, 7 %

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