Schaeuble voiced doubts on the bank's asset purchase plans
The Euro­pe­an Cen­tral Bank (ECB) will keep the mon­e­tary pol­i­cy loose for as long as it takes to push ultra-low infla­tion in the Euro­zone back up clos­er to the 2% lev­el, its pres­i­dent Mar­io Draghi said last Wednes­day. "Mon­e­tary pol­i­cy will remain accom­mo­da­tive for a long time and I can tell you that the (ECB) Gov­ern­ing Coun­cil is unan­i­mous in com­mit­ting itself to using the tools at its dis­pos­al to bring infla­tion back to just under two per­cent," Draghi told Europe 1 radio. Two day ear­li­er, Draghi told MEPs that he is pre­pared to use more uncon­ven­tion­al meas­ures to spur growth in the Euro­zone.
Socialists urge Commission's VPs to refrain from veto
The €300bn EU growth fund will be made up of "fresh sour­ces", includ­ing pub­lic fund­ing, said Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent-des­ig­nate Jean-Claude Junc­ker, emerg­ing from a meet­ing with EP Pres­i­dent Mar­tin Schulz and S&D par­lia­men­ta­ry group lead­er Gian­ni Pit­tella on the eve of the hear­ing of the can­di­dates for mem­bers of the Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion, ANSA report­ed.
The new public service is particularly important for the implementation of the Youth Guarantee
The EU launched on 23 Sep­tem­ber a new coop­er­a­tion struc­ture help­ing Mem­ber States fur­ther coor­di­nate their pol­i­cies and actions against unem­ploy­ment and rein­forc­ing the Euro­pe­an eco­nom­ic gov­ern­ance frame­work.
Producers hit by Russia ban
Maria Koleva, Brus­sels
The INTA Com­mit­tee MEPs held an exchange of views on 24 Sep­tem­ber with agri­cul­ture and trade spe­cial­ists from the Com­mis­sion on the cur­rent EU-Rus­sia trade rela­tions with a spe­cial focus on the impact of the mutu­al sanc­tions intro­duced ear­li­er in the sum­mer on the EU mar­ket. These mutu­al sanc­tions are already hav­ing a neg­a­tive effect on the EU pro­duc­ers and, should they per­sist, they could have a longer-last­ing impact on growth and jobs, MEPs affirmed.
Carbon leakage risk aroused disputes
Maria Koleva, Brus­sels
A res­o­lu­tion draft­ed by Bas Eick­hout, Dutch MEP from the Greens/EFA Group, that calls on the Com­mis­sion to with­draw its draft deci­sion for giv­ing free CO2 emis­sions allow­an­ces and put for­ward a new more real­is­tic pro­pos­al, was reject­ed by the ENVI Com­mit­tee MEPs with 34 against, to 30 in favour and 3 absten­tions.
Erasmus changes lives of millions of Europeans
The Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion announced the find­ings of the Eras­mus Impact Study last Mon­day, which con­firmed that the EU's 27-year-old stu­dent exchange scheme boosts employ­a­bil­i­ty and job mobil­i­ty.
People in poverty called on EU to keep its commitments
Maria Koleva, Brus­sels
Peo­ple liv­ing in pov­er­ty and anti-pov­er­ty activ­ists from 30 coun­tries across Europe had their tra­di­tion­al Euro­pe­an meet­ing in Brus­sels from 22 to 24 Sep­tem­ber, and this time the key top­ic of dis­cus­sion was around the chal­len­ges in fund­ing the com­bat against pov­er­ty.
Sofia refrains from anti-IS coalition
The Bul­gar­i­an gov­ern­ment has not been dis­cuss­ing the coun­try's par­tic­i­pa­tion in the US-led coa­li­tion against the rad­i­cal group 'Is­lam­ic State', Defence Min­is­ter Veli­zar Shal­a­man­ov said last Wed­nes­day at the open­ing of the Sofia Secu­ri­ty Forum. In his words, the Bul­gar­i­an air force was not capa­ble of tak­ing part in joint oper­a­tions because of its equip­ment and lim­it­ed capa­bil­i­ties.
Kalotina-Sofia motorway construction underway
Vas­il Nan­chev
The con­struc­tion of the 32-kil­o­me­tre motor­way sec­tion from Kalo­ti­na to the Hra­bar­sko road junc­tion near Sofia may be com­plet­ed with­in 3 years, said Lazar Laz­ar­ov, chair­man of the Man­age­ment Board of Road Infra­struc­ture Agen­cy (RIA).
Buffer zone an illusion
Piotr Buras
NATO will not help Ukraine direct­ly, and nei­ther will the EU. But those who think they can turn it into a buff­er between the West and Rus­sia are wrong. A more imag­i­na­tive and flex­i­ble con­cept is need­ed than try­ing to make 2014 Ukraine into 1950s Aus­tria. The recent NATO sum­mit changed lit­tle, but did clar­i­fy the sit­u­a­tion. The West will not inter­vene in the Ukrain­i­an-Rus­sian war. Ukraine can count on tech­ni­cal and finan­cial sup­port in its bid to mod­ern­ise its army, but no actu­al mil­i­tary help to speak of.
Angering gods in the Balkans
Miroslav Rizinski
On the occa­sion of the 1150th anni­ver­sa­ry of the mis­sion of Saints Cyril and Metho­di­us to Great Mor­av­ia, the Czech Tel­e­vi­sion and Bar­ran­dov Stu­di­os Pra­gue, along with co-pro­duc­ers from Slo­va­kia and Slo­ve­nia, have shot a film enti­tled "Cyril and Metho­di­us - The Apos­tles of the Slavs". This his­tor­i­cal saga, under the direct­or­ship of Petr Niko­laev, is adver­tised as the first Czech mov­ie in the 'do­cud­ra­ma' style, sim­i­lar to anal­o­gous his­tor­i­cal pro­duc­tions of BBC.
Hopes for climate change deal
UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­er­al Ban Ki-moon urged the heads of state par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Unit­ed Nations Cli­mate Sum­mit last week to "do their fair share" to pro­tect the plan­et by lim­it­ing glob­al warm­ing to 2°C. Ban said lead­ers are "not here to talk, but to make his­to­ry". The same mes­sage was addressed to world lead­ers by Leon­ar­do DiCa­prio who said: "You can make his­to­ry... or be vil­i­fied by it".
Airstrikes target IS oil money
The lat­est wave of US-led air­strikes aimed at chok­ing off IS rev­e­nues killed at least 14 mil­i­tants and five civil­ians in Syr­ia last week, a mon­i­tor­ing group said. Among the tar­gets hit were the IS head­quar­ters in Deir Ezzor prov­ince, a train­ing camp and sev­er­al oil refin­er­ies, accord­ing to the dis­si­dent group Syr­i­an Obser­va­to­ry for Human Rights.
Air France-KLM drops controversial project
The man­age­ment of Air France-KLM scrapped its con­tro­ver­sial project to expand the low-cost oper­a­tions of its Trans­av­ia brand last Thurs­day in the hope that the move would final­ly put an end to the long­est pilot strike in the com­pa­ny's his­to­ry, report­ed AFP. The air­line said in a state­ment that it pro­posed the imme­di­ate with­draw­al of the Trans­av­ia Europe project in order to end the con­flict quick­ly.
Russia, South Africa sign nuclear deal
Rus­sia will sup­ply eight nucle­ar pow­er units to South Afri­ca until 2023 under the agree­ment signed in Vien­na last Mon­day. These will be the first nucle­ar pow­er plants using Rus­sian tech­nol­o­gy in Afri­ca, with a com­bined capac­i­ty of 9.6 giga­watts, Rus­sian agen­cy ITAR-TASS report­ed.
Chemicals maker Merck acquires Sigma-Aldrich
Ger­man drugs and chem­i­cals mak­er Merck KGaA said it agreed to acquire US-based Sig­ma-Aldrich for $17bn in cash to boost its Merck Mil­li­po­re lab sup­plies busi­ness in the big­gest take­o­ver in the group's his­to­ry, lift­ing its shares.
Art metaphysics to enchant Brussels
Maria Koleva, Brus­sels
On 3 Octo­ber, at the Alfi­can Art Gal­lery in Brus­sels, the exhi­bi­tion of Bul­gar­i­an art­ist Val­en­tin Kov­at­chev will open. Aft­er last year's suc­cess with Met­a­phys­i­cal Spa­ces, Kov­at­chev, who for 22 years has been liv­ing in Mal­a­ga, Spain, now pre­sents in the Bel­gian cap­i­tal his Met­a­phys­ics. In it, an exqui­site touch is embed­ded in ima­ges, objects and nature vibrate in dynam­ic sounds, and there is a geom­e­try of lights and puls­es. His paint­ings pre­cise­ly cor­re­spond to Igor Strav­in­sky's con­vic­tion that: "It is not enough to hear the music, it must also be seen."
True stories move us
Dimitar Nikolov, Novinar Daily
Our female pro­tag­o­nist falls into a finan­cial trap, which is char­ac­ter­is­tic not only of the finan­cial crunch in Bul­gar­ia, but also world­wide. It is true that we went through a great many ordeals.
Antigone suffers in political zombieland
Mari­ana Par­va­no­va
The world of pol­i­tics is large­ly pop­u­lat­ed with zom­bi­es. The so-called undead look like reg­u­lar peo­ple on the sur­face but death ooz­es from every fiber of their being in the pre­miere of direct­or Ivan Dob­chev's pro­duc­tion of Antig­o­ne, by Jean Anouilh, staged at Sofia The­a­tre.
Standing guard to the capital
Ade­li­na Loza­no­va
The medi­e­val for­ti­fied city of Cherv­en is sit­u­at­ed about 30 kil­o­me­tres south of Rous­se and is part of the Rusen­ski Lom Nature Park.
In Brief
Final North Atlantic Council for Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Ras­muss­en (R) attend­ed his last North Atlan­tic Coun­cil as sec­re­tary gen­er­al on 26 Sep­tem­ber. He will be suc­ceed­ed by Jens Stol­ten­berg on 1 Octo­ber. Pho­to: EPA

Protest in Berlin against NSA surveillance
A pro­test was held out­side the Reich­stag in Ber­lin on 25 Sep­tem­ber against the activ­i­ties of the US Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Agen­cy (NSA). Pho­to: EPA

Strike shuts down Lisbon subway for 2nd time this month
A strike has shut down the Lis­bon sub­way for the sec­ond time in a month as trade unions con­tin­ue to fight the gov­ern­ment's pub­lic trans­port pol­i­cy. Pho­to: EPA

Successful end of talks on two EU-Canada treaties
EC Pres­i­dent Jose Bar­ro­so trav­elled to Otta­wa on 26 Sep­tem­ber for the EU-Cana­da Sum­mit. The  sum­mit was an oppor­tu­ni­ty to cel­e­brate the suc­cess­ful end of nego­ti­a­tions on two EU-Cana­da major treat­ies: the EU-Cana­da Stra­te­gic Part­ner­ship Agree­ment (SPA) and the Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nom­ic and Trade Agree­ment (CETA). "Cana­da is one of the EU's old­est and clos­est part­ners. And now that our nego­ti­at­ing teams have com­plet­ed their work on both the CETA and the SPA, we can real­ly talk about a com­pre­hen­sive stra­te­gic part­ner­ship," Bar­ro­so said ahead of the sum­mit.

Over €11bn to support reforms in enlargement countries
The Euro­pe­an Com­mis­sion has unveiled details of how the EU will sup­port reform efforts in the West­ern Bal­kans and Tur­key for the next 7 years. The fund­ing, agreed on by the EU last year, totals €11 bil­lion and will be avail­a­ble through the new Instru­ment for Pre-acces­sion Assist­ance (IPA II). The Com­mis­sion's announce­ment pro­vides an indic­a­tive split of the fund­ing among the coun­tries and defines the pol­i­cy pri­or­i­ties to be fund­ed.

ESA to test-fly experimental space plane in November
The Euro­pe­an Space Agen­cy (ESA) has dis­patched its exper­i­men­tal Inter­me­di­ate eXper­i­men­tal Vehi­cle (IXV) space plane to French Gui­ana for its sec­ond test flight in Novem­ber. The 5m-long space plane will be lift­ed atop a Vega rock­et from the Euro­pe­an space­port in Kour­ou to the alti­tude of 320km and then it will climb on its own up to 420km above the Earth, the alti­tude of the Inter­na­tion­al Space Sta­tion's orbit.

Brussels hosts New Europe
The 2014 New Europe Fes­ti­val, an event that pre­sents the cul­ture of coun­tries that either recent­ly joined the Euro­pe­an Union or that have start­ed mem­ber­ship talks, was opened on 25 Sep­tem­ber in Brus­sels. Called Myth­ic Lands, the sec­ond edi­tion of the event is under the aus­pi­ces of the embas­sies of the four coun­tries fea­tured this year - Bul­gar­ia, Greece, Roma­nia and Mold­o­va. In addi­tion to prose, poet­ry, music and films, the pro­gramme of the week-long fes­ti­val includes a tra­di­tion­al arts and crafts fair, tast­ings and infor­ma­tion about inter­est­ing tour­ist des­ti­na­tions. A folk dance show fea­tur­ing ensem­bles from Bul­gar­ia, Greece and Roma­nia will close the fes­ti­val.

Vis­it­ors clink beer mugs in a tent at the Okto­ber­fest in Frank­furt. More and more cit­ies in Ger­ma­ny hold their own local beer fes­ti­vals in Sep­tem­ber and Octo­ber keep­ing the 'Ba­va­ri­an atmos­phere' with vis­it­ors wear­ing tra­di­tion­al cloth­ing. Pho­to: EPA

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