Greece to present reforms to lenders
Eurozone officials were ready last Wednesday to discuss Greece after Athens said it would finally present a list of reforms for legislation to show it is serious about acting on pledges to secure aid, news wires reported.
Cap on biofuels from food crops
Maria Koleva, Strasbourg
A legislation that proposes a ceiling on biofuels that are derived from food crops, such as sugar, starch and vegetable oils, and hastens up the advanced biofuels from waste or residues, as well as new sources such as seaweed, was voted on by the full chamber in Strasbourg on 28 April.
Part-time workers in the EU would prefer to work more
Among the 44.1 million persons in the EU working part-time in 2014, 9.8 million were underemployed, meaning they wished to work more hours and were available to do so, according to the latest Eurostat European Labour Force Survey.
New plan to curb harmful drinking
Maria Koleva, Strasbourg
Europeans are the world champions in consumption of alcohol, amounting to approximately 10 litres per capita a year. Excessive drinking has harmful consequences in many aspects.
Forget light plastic bags, turn green
Maria Koleva, Strasbourg
The new rules obliging EU governments to act to drastically curb the use of plastic carrier bags were backed by the MEPs during the EP plenary in Strasbourg on 28 April. These rules were already informally agreed with the Council.
Hewlett-Packard opens technological lab in Sofia
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Iravan Hira, general manager of Hewlett-Packard Bulgaria, inaugurated the company’s technological laboratory in Sofia on 29 April, BTA reported. Minister of Transport, Information Technology and Communications Ivaylo Moskovski and the US Ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. Marcie Ries also attended the ceremony.
Migration needs principle approach
With the emergency summit in Brussels the Mediterranean migrant crisis finally got top level attention. The intractable nature of the irregular migration problem never lent itself to decisive action let alone solutions. But the recurring drama is now fuelled by so much conflict and unrest around us that this is no longer an unfortunate 'side-show'. EU leaders responded to the drama with increased resources for search and rescue and strong language on countering the smugglers. This is both welcome and necessary, and the least that could have been expected.
Another Marshall Plan to save crisis-ravaged euro
Just months since taking power in January, Greek’s Syriza coalition faces obstacles at every turn, from an intransigent European Central Bank to an unyielding European Council. The ECB in particular has rejected Greek proposals for short-term bridge financing to allow for more time to negotiate medium- to longer-term structural reforms. So once again, we’re on the cusp of crisis as Greece and its creditors struggle to find a deal before an upcoming June deadline, with the country’s exit from the eurozone a genuine possibility. Little help appears forthcoming across the Atlantic as well. During a trip to Washington earlier this month by Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, neither the International Monetary Fund or the US government offered much help, hope or new ideas. But as it happens, Europe has a solution in its hands: the European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s biggest lender backed by more than one country. The EIB should use its financial firepower to make much-needed investments in infrastructure such as roads and schools.
Major reshuffle in Saudi rule
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz named his powerful interior minister as heir to the throne and a son as second in line, under a shakeup that also saw the world's longest-serving foreign minister replaced, news wires reported last Wednesday. Mohammed bin Nayef was named crown prince and deputy prime minister in a high-level reshuffle of the country's top jobs. Bin Nayef will replace King Salman's half brother Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz as next in line to the Saudi throne.
Baltimore erupts in protest, racial intolerance in US grows
Angry crowds swept through Baltimore last week - smashing windows, looting stores and setting fires - after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died after suffering a spine injury in police custody. Eyewitnesses said parts of the city were turned into a “war zone”.
Russia tightens ban on EU food imports
Russia is considering bolstering its ban on EU agricultural imports by restricting fruit and vegetable re-exports through European countries, amid alleged “numerous cases of document forgery”. The Agricultural Ministry in a statement said that it is already banning imports from countries like Bulgaria as many European countries are using the country as a base to export their produce into Russia.
China plans to merge big state firms to 40
China will likely cut the number of its central government-owned conglomerates to 40 through a series of mergers, as Beijing pushes forward a plan to overhaul the country's underperforming state sector.
Uber turns to multitask, delivers food, products
Uber is planning to launch a merchant delivery program that would allow online shoppers to get same-day delivery of goods through both UberRush couriers and Uber drivers. The company has been testing product deliveries with its UberRush bike couriers since last year.
Christo gilds Italian lake
For 16 days in the summer of 2016, Bulgarian artist Hristo Yavashev-Christo’s latest project will transform an Italian lake. Christo’s plan is to gild the piers of Lake Iseo in Lombardy, northern Italy, so that when viewed from a distance any stroller on the piers will appear to be walking on water. The Floating Piers project uses 70,000 square metres of shimmering yellow fabric carried by a modular floating dock system of 200,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, which will undulate with the movement of the waves. Visitors will experience this work of art by walking on it from the town of Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the privately-owned island of San Paolo. The mountains surrounding the lake will offer a bird’s-eye view of The Floating Piers.
Printmaking is the most intimate kind of art
Jean Solomonov, Lyon
It is natural that I have learnt a lot from my father, and most of all I have learnt his love of detail and his finesse of execution. I have to admit, I have tried many other techniques, such as oil, gouache, and watercolour, until I finally returned to the classical technique of working on a copper plate and my father’s press.
Famous artist Stoimen Stoilov painted his conversation with the sea in the form of two large-scale allegorical paintings. The works were commissioned by the University of Economy in Varna. The two monumental works, The Allegory of the Sea and the Allegory of the Shore, have been placed in the central lobby of the university’s building.
The town of bear-wrestler
Located some 100 kilometres east of the capital Sofia and nestled in the Sredna Gora Mountain is the small town of Klisura, best known for its tragic role in the April Uprising of 1876 and the selflessness and grim resolve demonstrated by its residents.