Greece and creditors break bailout deadlock
The Greek government agreed last Monday to make new reforms to cut up to 2% of GDP in spending in the coming years in order to break the deadlock with creditors over next bailout tranche.
Brexit Bill passed in House of Lords
Theresa May has won the first round in her battle with the Lords to secure authority for triggering the Brexit process by the end of next month as last Tuesday House of Lords gave an unopposed second reading to the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill after a marathon two-day debate involving more than 180 speakers, news wires reported.
Enforcing protection of customers shopping online
At the first Competitiveness Council under the Maltese Presidency that took place in Brussels on 20 February, industry and research ministers from EU countries agreed on a general approach to strengthen consumer protection cooperation in the internal market.
Energy consumption below its 1990 level
In 2015, gross inland energy consumption, which reflects the energy quantities necessary to satisfy all inland consumption, in the EU amounted to 1626 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), which is below its 1990 level (-2.5%), although not much, and down by 11.6% compared to its peak of almost 1840 Mtoe in 2006, the Eurostat announced in a special report.
Deporting migrants easily
Germany has called for the EU to scrap human rights safeguards so migrants can be deported to countries currently considered unsafe, according to a leaked government paper cited by news agencies.
Over 110 polling stations to be opened abroad
Over 110 polling stations will be opened abroad in preparation for the upcoming early general elections on 26 March, reveal the Central Election Commission’s interim data on the foreign locations that will be provided with ballot boxes. In compliance with Bulgarian law, voting booths will be set up in all of the country’s embassies and consulates, which for this particular vote means 103 cities in 75 countries. Separately, Bulgarians residing abroad have time to declare their intention to vote in a process aimed at opening additional polling stations where needed.
Fight on CETA not over yet
Maria Koleva, Brussels
A week ago the European Parliament concluded the ratification process at the EU level on CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada, adopting the accord by 408 votes to 254, with 33 abstentions. CETA will be provisionally put in place immediately after the Canadian parliament ratifies it and the kick off is expected in April.
Mudslinging in race for Elysee
The race for the Elysee Palace has become a bitter struggle. The three main contenders for the presidential elections in two months are now embroiled in a vicious exchange of mudslinging. Latest opinion polls show far-right presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen retaining the lead and wining 26% of the vote in the first round on 23 April.
Ukraine's new fragile ceasefire
An agreement to halt fighting and withdraw heavy weapons from the front line in eastern Ukraine came into force last Monday, after it was brokered over the weekend, news wires reported. Over the next days the truce was said to be largely holding, despite the Ukrainian army reporting one soldier being killed and another injured in the past 24 hours. According to separatist commanders, there had been very little fighting.
Iraqi forces retake Mosul airport
Iraqi federal police forces, backed by US air support, last Thursday took control of IS-held Mosul airport. "We have entered the airport and engineering units are clearing the roads," Hisham Abdul Kadhem, commander of the Rapid Response's Scorpion Regiment, told AFP inside the airport. Earlier in the week Iraqi forces, with aerial support from the US-led coalition, pushed back IS fighters.
Uncertainty weighs on trade growth
World Bank's latest report suggests global trade growth is constrained by a number of factors, like policy uncertainty, rising protectionism and threats to unwind trade agreements. The latest annual paper from the bank, “Global Trade Watch: Trade Developments in 2016” points out that all these factors negatively impacted trade in Europe and the United States last year.
Southern Gas Corridor to be completed by 2020
Azerbaijan aims to finalise the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) by 2020, according to Azerbaijan President ?lham Aliyev. Speaking at “On the Road to Price Stability?
Amazon promises to open 15,000 new jobs in Europe
Amazon announced last week that it plans to increase its European workforce by more than 30% by the end of the year. In a press release, the company said that in 2016 it added 10,000 jobs in Europe.
Europe welcomes Marina Abramovic
The first major retrospective in Europe by Marina Abramovic has already come to fruition at the museum for modern and contemporary art in Stockholm, Moderna Museet, and it will stay open until 21 May 2017.
I want to blaze a trail
Ovanes Torosian always finds himself at a loss what to answer when someone calls out to him on the street, “I saw your movie!” The most demanded actor in Bulgarian cinema over the past decade has performed in at least 20 feature films, 15 short films, and a load of student filmmakers’ productions.
World's music elite gather in Rousse
Over 600 musicians from 17 countries from across the world will participate in 44 events at the 57th March Music Days International Festival to be held in Rousse.
Wonders on display
The most interesting finds from the 2016 archaeological fieldwork in Bulgaria have been on display at the National Institute of Archaeology with Museum at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in downtown Sofia since 14 February.