Bulgarians residing outside the country to vote in 75 countries in the upcoming early elections
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.
17 others have also been charged in the CorpBank case
The fugitive banker Tsvetan Vassilev and 17 other individuals will be tried by the Specialised Criminal Court for siphoning off BGN 206m from the now failed CorpBank. Vassilev, who has been identified as the leader of the organised crime group, is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years of incarceration. The most serious charge against him is for gross misappropriation of funds.
A married couple of former scholarship students funded by billionaire speculator Geo­rge Soros are holding together the marriage between the oligarchic party Yes, Bulgaria and the protester Movement for European Unity and Solidarity (DEOS), which is already evincing signs of discord.
Spewing campaign fables
The fake news factory of Prokopiev’s media is churning out misleading items again, trying to draw attention away from the oligarch’s own aspirations.
In Brief
Access of SMEs to European internal market eased
EU Member States must make a concerted effort to facilitate the access of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to the internal market, deepening the process of European integration. President Rumen Radev (not pictured) and European Commissioner for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elzbieta Bienkowska supported this view at a meeting in Sofia, 23 February. Commissioner Bienkowska also took part in the Entrepreneurship for Growth forum.

Sofia-Istanbul express railway line restored
The railroad connecting Turkey’s largest city and Bulgaria’s capital Sofia was reopened on 20 February. The line has been restored following the completion of a reconstruction of the section between Istanbul and the border checkpoint Kapikule. Travelling from Istanbul to Sofia by train will take about 10 hours, said Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Ahmet Arslan. He noted that extra carriages will be added to the Istanbul-Sofia express to serve a connection with the Romanian capital Bucharest and the Serbian capital Belgrade.

Koprivshtitsa folklore festival officially on UNESCO list
Koprivshtitsa has received the official certificate for its inscription into UNESCO’s cultural heritage list. At a special ceremony held at the organisation’s headquarters in Paris on 21 February, Director-General Irina Bokova presented the mayor of Koprivshtitsa Gencho Gerdanov with the document inscribing the Festival of Folklore in Koprivshtitsa in UNESCO’s Register of Good Safeguarding Practices of the world’s intangible cultural heritage. For 50 years now the Festival of Folklore in Koprivshtitsa has been showcasing the wide variety of genres and extraordinary wealth of Bulgaria’s folk heritage.