There are 20 million refugees waiting at the doorstep of Europe because of constantly fueled unnecessary conflicts
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande have called for a “unified” response to the complicated situation in Europe, following emergency talks on the migrant crisis in Berlin last Monday. They condemned anti-immigrant riots in Europe, while pressing all EU countries to help deal with the continent’s tide of refugees. Meanwhile, Italy is taking extraordinary measures in anticipation of another 20,000 migrants, the country’s interior ministry announced last week. At the same time, Austria said that it was mobilising 500 soldiers to help handle the migrant crisis. Hungarian authorities reported they were almost finished raising the wall along the Serbian border and mobilised another 2,106 law enforcement officers to protect national borders.
Western Balkans summit in Vienna sought inways of getting a grip on the migrant influx
The EU is set to start accession talks with Serbia very soon, the 28-nation bloc's enlargement commissioner said on 27 August at a Western Balkans summit in Vienna. "The atmosphere is such that we should very soon start official accession talks with Serbia," EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn said after Serbia and its ex-province Kosovo acted to help overcome decades of animosity. They signed energy and telecoms pacts 25 August after EU-mediated talks in Brussels.
 
The Paris Agreement should reaffirm the 2 degree Celsius objective
Maria Koleva, Brussels
The window of opportunity to meet our target of keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees is closing fast, Miguel Arias Canete, Commissioner for climate action and energy, told a press conference in Brussels on August 20 about EU preparations for the Paris Climate Conference.
 
Greece heads for snap elections
Having secured a multi-million bailout aimed to keep it afloat for the years ahead, Greece last Thursday officially headed towards snap elections, after opposition parties failed to assemble a coalition government in parliament.
Thousands pass through Macedonia, Serbia en route to EU
Thousands of refugees from the Middle East are headed last week to Central Europe after being stranded for two days on Macedonia's border with Greece, local media reported. Following the wave of 7,000, at least 2,000 more migrants poured into Serbia from Macedonia, with the intent on heading north through Hungary to more prosperous European countries such as Germany or Sweden.
In late summer, the number of victims at sea increases
The International Organization for migration (IOM) reported on 25 August that deaths of all migrants and refugees attempting to reach Europe by sea in 2015 now totals 2,373. The death toll recorded on this same date in 2014 was 2,081.
Bulgarian companies to drill Turkmen gas
Bulgarian companies may take part in the exploration and drilling of oil and natural gas, as well as in the construction and technical servicing of the electricity, gas and oil infrastructure on the territory of Turkmenistan. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow held a meeting in Ashgabat on 25 August, the press office of the Bulgarian Council of Ministers reported. During the talks Borisov brought up the subject of how Bulgarian companies could drill oil in Turkmenistan.
Elections on 25 October will cost BGN 51million
The upcoming elections and referendum scheduled for 25 October will cost Bulgarian taxpayers BGN 51m, according to the shorthand record of the Cabinet’s meeting published on Wednesday, 26 August.
Greek crisis, Dutch drama
Dina Pardijs
The Greek crisis may have claimed an unexpected new victim: Dutch PM Mark Rutte. In a five hour debate last week on the Dutch support for the latest bailout for Greece, the leader of the largest government party VVD was attacked by members of parties from across the political spectrum. The man who is often called the 'tefal-premier' for his ability to sail through debates unscathed seemed visibly unsettled. Since the position of the main parties was clear before the debate, support for the Greeks was never in danger. Interesting is what the various U-turns and reverse U-turns of Dutch politicians indicate about the effect of the Greek crisis on one of the founding countries of the EU.
When China sneezes, the world gets sick
Prof. Mihail Konstantinov
China is the more important of the two existing Chinese countries. With a total area of 9.6mn km2 (approximately 6mn mi2), it is the world's fourth largest country behind Russia, Canada and the US. It is also the leader in terms of population with 1.38bn people, closely trailed by India with 1.26bn, the US occupying a distant third place with 325mn and Indonesia completing the Top 4 with 245mn.
NATO in largest airborne drills
Nearly 5,000 soldiers from 11 NATO member states are taking part in the biggest allied airborne drills in Europe since the end of the Cold War, news wires reported. They will pass through four weeks of “simultaneous multinational airborne operations” across Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Romania, as fighting involving pro-Russian separatists escalated in eastern Ukraine.
IS ruins 2,000-year-old temple
Islamic State militants have destroyed a temple at Syria's ancient ruins of Palmyra, the 2,000-year-old Roman-era city. Activists said the militants used explosives to blow up the Baalshamin Temple on its grounds, the blast damaged some of the Roman columns around it. UNESCO called the act a war crime.
Emergency oil summit sought
Iran endorses an emergency OPEC meeting and would not disagree with it, Iran's Oil Minister, Bijan Zanganeh said last Sunday. According to him an emergency OPEC meeting may be "effective" to stop the oil price slump. Algeria said earlier this month that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries could hold an emergency meeting to discuss the drop in oil prices. OPEC is not due to meet until 4 December.
China fears, growth doubts grip markets
Markets are watching for China's next move as signs of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy stack up, raising expectations it will act to stoke growth.
BHP Billiton posts worst profit since 2003
The world’s biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, posted last week a sharp fall in profit and cut its long-term forecast for Chinese steel demand.
Sleepless nights
Bistra Dimitrova
Opera in the open air in the new artistic venue in Plovdiv, Kapana quarter, is only one of many surprises, which the 11th edition of the Night of Museums and Galleries will offer to its visitors on 11 and 12 September. One of Bulgaria’s major cultural events will be held under the motto Night/Plovdiv and the organisers have prepared more than 100 events.
Troubadours will always be needed
Vanya Kostova
These are mostly young and bright people, which only disproves the claims that their generation reads less and less, and has become intellectually poor.
Csontvary's magic
Maria Koleva, Budapest
Retrospective exhibition “The lonely cedar - Csontvary’s genius” is undoubtedly one of the most dazzling cultural events in Budapest this year. It takes place at the former Army Headquarters building of the Buda Castle and was curated by Gabor Gulyas.
Cape of 40 maidens
Adelina Lozanova
Situated some 60 kilometres northheast of Bulgaria's main seaport of Varna the long, picturesque and rocky Kaliakra Cape cuts more than two kilometres into the Black Sea. The cape was a strategic fortress overseeing sea roads in the region for a long time, starting in early antiquity.
In Brief
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Train attack heroes awarded Legion d'Honneur
 
On 24 August French President Francois Hollande (C) bestowed France's highest honour on three Americans and a British who overpowered a gunman on a train bound for Paris. Photo: BTA

Merkel welcomes Denmark's PM
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Denmark's PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen (R) on 28 August with military honours in front of the German Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: EPA

Silver coin commemorates Unification of Bulgaria
 
A partially gilded silver coin commemorating the 130th anniversary from the Unification of Bulgaria was presented during a ceremony at the Bulgarian National Bank. Photo: BGNES

Boosting Danube region transnational projects
 
The EU will invest around €222m in 13 countries in the Danube region in order to strengthen the transnational cooperation in the region. The funds include more than €200m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and about €20m from the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA). Boosting innovation, preserving the natural and cultural assets of the Danube region, improving the connectivity and supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy will form the key focus of the new programme.

Lithuania seeks aid for farmers hit by Russia ban
 
Lithuania requested €50m in EU aid to help its dairy farmers who deal with low milk prices and a Russian embargo on agricultural goods from the Union last Monday. Lithuanian PM Algirdas Butkevicius said that exports of milk and dairy products had declined by 34% in his country, which made the situation 'critical'. The global fall in milk prices, coupled with the Russian import ban, which had seriously hit dairy farmers across the EU is due to be discussed at a special meeting in Brussels on 7 September.

Romania backs Moldova in energy projects
 
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta called for a Romanian gas pipeline to be extended to Chisinau, the Moldovan capital. „To depend on a single supplier means a reduction in energy independence and, implicitly, in the state’s independence,” Ponta said. He was in Chisinau last Thursday to mark Moldova's 24th anniversary of independence from the Soviet Union. Ponta announced Romania will give Moldova 100 million euro in financial aid in a gesture of support for its EU membership bid.

Google rebuts Europe on antitrust charges
 
Google on 27 August rejected claims from the EU’s top antitrust official that the company favored some of its own search results over those of rivals, saying there was significant competition in the region’s online search market and that the company’s services increased choice for local consumers. The company’s response is the latest chapter in a long investigation into the Silicon Valley technology giant, which would face fines worth billions of dollars if it is found to have broken the EU’s antitrust rules.

Charging phones for free
 
Unique for Bulgaria Solar-Powered Battery Charger for mobile phones is available to consumers in Varna. People in the city can charge their phones for free by plugging into one of six micro-USB connectors. The device was created by electrical engineer Stefan Stefanov (pictured). Photo: BTA

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