• Bulgarian PM Borissov Receives Prestigious Award from Hungarian PM Viktor Orban

    Budapest, November 30 (BTA special correspondent Hristo Vodenov) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban conferred the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit on his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov at a ceremony in Parliament. It is the second highest class of merit awarded to civilians.

    Borissov is visiting Hungary on Wednesday at Orban’s invitation.

    Orban emphasized the excellent friendship between Hungary and Bulgaria, which not only goes back in history but is part of the two countries’ present and future. Europe is behaving as if it has not learned anything in the past centuries and has forgotten everything, at a time when its fate is being decided at Bulgaria’s border, said Orban. More…


  • AGERPRES premieres at UN – Romania’s first Facebook Messenger NewsBot and “The realm between waters” documentary

    AGERPRES National News Agency launches on Wednesday at the UN headquarters in New York the first Facebook Messenger NewsBot of Romania – AGERPRES NewsBot, and the “People of the Danube Delta, the realm between waters” video documentary, a story about the Danube Delta told by people for whom Romania will always be at home.

    AGERPRES NewsBot helps Facebook users identify the most important news items of the Agency, in an easy, interactive and practical manner. Thus, those who will access AGERPRES NewsBot will be able to read, using Facebook Messenger, news items in English in the areas of Culture, Economy, Politics and Sports.

    Moreover, AGERPRES NewsBot users can subscribe to a weekly overview of the most important news, which will be delivered every Sunday, at 15:00. In Romania, AGERPRES NewsBot will be available starting 1 December, at 13:00 hrs. The Romanian version will be available soon.

    AGERPRES NewsBot is part of the AGERPRES Innovation Lab project, an initiative of the National News Agency devoted to creating an innovation environment, aimed at testing and deploying the newest media production and broadcast techniques on a national and international level.

    The “People of the Danube Delta, the realm between waters” video documentary, which will be presented as a first at the UN headquarters, isn’t only a monography of the localities which, in history, have been closely linked to the destiny of a nation, but a material which entices to a journey to a world where everything seems to be coming from other times and where the challenge comes from only one question: “What can be saved, preserved and passed on?”

    With the aid of the air and underwater shooting, the AGERPRES Video team has tried to illustrate as best as possible the reality of a place which isn’t presented as a tourist’s eye view. The trailer of the documentary the “People of the Danube Delta, the realm between waters” can be watched on the online video channel of the News Agency.

    Moreover, the full documentary will be available online starting 1 December on AGERPRES VIDEO Facebook page and on the www.agerpres.ro public website.

    The two premieres take place as part of the event organised by AGERPRES Romanian National News Agency and the Permanent Mission of Romania to the United Nations.

    On the occasion of the event in New York, AGERPRES will also exhibit part of its huge photo archive, images depicting the most important moments of Romania’s activity at the UN, the main peace-keeping operations Romania participated in, as well as images reflecting the Romanian cultural-artistic, social, sports and political life.

    The event benefits from the support of the Romanian Commercial Bank (BCR), an Erste Group member.

  • First World Congress on Creative Tourism and Ancient Civilizations Opens in Sofia

    Sofia, November 29 (BTA) – Opening the First World Congress on Creative Tourism and Ancient Civilizations in Sofia, UN World Tourism Organization Secretary General Taleb Rifai said that three things must be in place for culture and tourism to be linked: to promote and safeguard the heritage of world civilizations, to create sustainable creative tourism strategies, and to promote partnership between tourism and the creative industries.

    The event is attended by more than 20 ministers, deputy ministers and delegates from 40 countries. Prime Minister Boyko Borissov attended the opening.

    Rifai said that tourism generates 7 per cent of trade and 30 per cent of services worldwide. More…


  • Greece’s New Democracy Party Leader Visits Sofia

    Sofia, November 28 (BTA) – The leader of Greece’s New Democracy party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, talked with Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev and Prime Minister Boyko Borissov during a visit to Sofia on Monday.

    Plevneliev and Mitsotakis discussed current matters figuring on the EU agenda and the challenges facing Southeastern Europe, the President’s Press Secretariat reported.

    Plevneliev said the dynamic dialogue between Bulgaria and Greece has helped the two countries to have a strong leadership voice in the region’s development and attain shared goals within the European Union. More…mitsotakis_sofia

  • Cristi Puiu’s “Sieranevada” promoted in US, special screenings scheduled until December 6

    Cristi Puiu’s “Sieranevada” – Romania’s proposal for the Oscar “Best Foreign Language Film” – will be screened in Los Angeles until December 6, as part of the promotion campaign of the movie in the US, reads a statement sent on Monday to AGERPRES.

    According to the film producers, meetings with the press and the American critics are scheduled.

    The actors Rolando Matsangos and Judith State are present at all screenings dedicated to the members of the American Film Institute.

    The actors’ participation as well as the promotion campaign of the movie into the Oscar race is backed up by the Romanian Cultural Institute and the Romanian National Film Center.

    The movie “Sieranevada”, featuring Mimi Branescu, Dana Dogaru, Sorin Medeleni, Ana Ciontea, Judith State, Marin Grigore, Rolando Matsangos, Catalina Moga, Ilona Brezoianu, premiered in Romania’s cinemas in the beginning of this autumn.

    The action of “Sieranevada” follows protagonist Lary and takes place three days after the shooting in the meeting room of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris and forty days after the death of his father, when Lary, a doctor in his forties, together with his young wife reunite with the family on Saturday to commemorate the deceased. However, the event does not go according to plans. More…

  • Greek Cypriot side says Cyprus negotiations must continue at three parallel levels

    The Greek Cypriot side considers that Cyprus talks must continue at three parallel levels, after the negative outcome of the talks between Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, CNA has learned.

    According to a well-informed source, the first level concerns the continuation of the discussion on the territorial adjustment criteria, with a view to reach an agreement on them, use them to draft a map and determine a date for a multilateral conference on security and guarantees. In this framework the Greek Cypriot side considers the intention of Greece and Turkey, and more specifically of the Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras and Turkey`s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to hold discussions with a view to prepare the ground for the multilateral conference as a positive step.

    The second level concerns discussions on pending issues in all other chapters related to the internal aspects of the Cyprus issue, and the third other related issues which do not however concern the six chapters discussed at the negotiations, as the financial aspects of the solution and the assessment of the banking sector in the Turkish occupied areas, as well as the first day of the solution.

    Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci held in November two rounds of UN-led talks in Mont-Pelerin on the territory aspect of the Cyprus problem. The UN announced after the end of their talks that despite their best efforts, they were not able to achieve the necessary further convergences on criteria for territorial adjustment that would have paved the way for the last phase of the talks.

    Efforts to continue the UN-led peace talks on Cyprus continue this week, with the focal point being the return to the island of the UN Secretary General`s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, who had on Monday separate meeting with the leaders. British and US officials will also be visiting the island this week.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May last year, with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

    CNA/MK/GCH 2016

  • Iohannis: Anniversaries of historic milestones urge us to reflect on each generation’s contributions to development

    Anniversaries of historic milestones and achievements urge us to reflect on the contributions of each generation to the development of our society, President Klaus Iohannis said in a message read out at a solemn session of the Romanian Academy on Monday that remembered the December 1, 1918 Greater Union and the beginning of WWI.

    “Anniversaries of historic milestones and achievements urge us to reflect on the contributions of each generation to the development of our society. The lessons of the past, tragic or heroic as they may be, must be understood and responsibility must be taken for them, reflected in the vision and values in which we bring up and educate our children. Because, as it is easy to see, each generation should recommit and defend the European values to which we have adhered as a country. They can be endangered by hatred and intolerance, and it is the duty of political and cultural elites to offer each generation bridges to knowledge, dialogue and solidarity across the ditches of ignorance, demagoguery and populism,” Iohannis said in his message delivered by his adviser Sergiu Nistor.

    The destiny of an entire nation will come to fruition only if it is underpinned by the vision and responsibility of the political class, as well as by dedication, sometimes to sacrifice of entire generations, reads the presidential message, adding that “On December 1 we honour the WWI heroes and all those who achieved the Greater Union, who paved the way for modern Romania, a country built by and for equal citizens, irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds, mother tongue or religious affiliation.”

    Iohannis says “entering WWI on the side on the Entente was more than just an opportunity for national reintegration, as it also was a decided step toward embracing political values and a Western destiny.”

    “With all the vicissitudes and a whole half century of totalitarianisms, the significance of the 1918 moment has not been lost. Despite efforts to marginalise or hijacking it for ideological purposes, the memory of the Greater Union has nurtured our hopes for a democratic, European destiny that are to be found in the construction of a pluralistic democracy after the December 1989 Revolution. The Greater Union proved to be the achievement of the historic vocation of all of Romania’s provinces and that it is also our fundamental identity beacon. It was, is and will be inspiration for all those who understand that no effort is too big when we design policies for the common good.”

    Speaking about the contribution of Romania to the world security architecture, Iohannis said in his message that one century afterwards we have to give the nation the projects Romania deserves to get. More…

  • Residential building permits decline 0.3pct ten months into 2016

    Building permits for residential construction woks in Romania declined 0.3 percent in the first ten months of 2016, y-o-y, to 33,462, according to data released on Monday by the National Statistics Institute (INS).

    “January 1 — October 31, 2016, 33,462 building permits were issued for residential construction works, down 0.3 percent compared to January 1 — October 31, 2015, as reflected in the development regions : Sud-Est (-562 permits), Sud-Muntenia (-409), Nord-Est (-303), Bucharest-Ilfov (-190) and Sud-Vest Oltenia (-49). Building permits for residential construction works were up in the following regions: Nord-Vest (+685 permits), Vest (+439) and Centru (+304),” according to INS.

    In October 2016, 3,415 permits for residential construction works were issued, 55.2 percent of which was in the countryside.

    A breakdown by regions of the October 2016 figures as against October 2015 indicates a rise in permits for residential construction works in Bucharest-Ilfov (+264 permits), Nord-Vest (+119), Nord-Est (+30), Vest (+16) and Centru (+15). More…

  • UN official holds Monday separate meetings with leaders aiming to resume dialogue

    The UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide will meet separately on Monday with the leaders of the two communities, in a bid to resume dialogue for a Cyprus settlement.

    These are the first meetings to be held after the talks in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, where the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the criteria for territorial adjustments and their reflection on a map.

    Eide will meet first with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, at 10.00 Cyprus time (08.00 GMT) and an hour later, he will meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks are underway to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country, under a federal roof.


  • Bulgarian Prime Minister Calls Emergency Meeting over Refugee Centre Unrest, Postpones Visit to Hungary


    Sofia, November 25 (BTA) – Outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borissov Friday evening said some 1,000 persons would be resettled in closed-type holding centres using shipping container-style homes and former barracks along the border, to be guarded as people who break public order.

    He was talking in front of the refugee centre in the southern town of Harmanli which became the scene of unrest on Thursday.

    The new sites should be ready within a week, and the Harmanli registration and reception centre will be reserved for families only.

    Borissov said that from now on, migrants will be regarded as belonging to one of two groups: those who are waiting calmly for a decision under the EU Asylum Directives, and those who break the law and flout the Bulgarians’ tolerance.

    The main instigator of the riot in Harmanli has been identified, the Prime Minister said. The man served a year and a half in a German prison for drug pushing and has been in Bulgaria for four months. He will be expelled immediately.

    Borissov called an emergency meeting Friday at the Council of Ministers after Thursday’s unrest.

    Borissov postponed his one-day visit to Hungary.

    Some 400 migrants have been detained after Thursday’s unrest at the migrant centre in Harmanli. Another 15 have been arrested for damaging property.

    Twenty-four police officers have been injured and have undergone medical examination, the Interior Ministry said.

    After 8 pm on Thursday night tensions among the residents escalated, Bulgarian National radio reported. In order to restore order, the police resorted to using water cannon, blank and rubber bullets and other auxiliary means. More…

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