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Aug 27, 2015

Soccer-Little Astana not ready for group stages, says coach

SOFIA, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Rank outsiders Astana are not ready to make their maiden appearance in the group stages of the Champions League, according to their Bulgarian coach Stanimir Stoilov.

The Kazakh team were drawn in Group C on Thursday alongside twice winners Benfica, 2014 runners-up Atletico Madrid and regular Champions League combatants Galatasaray.

Jul 6, 2015

Bulgaria eyes Poland fighter deal to cut dependence on Russia

SOFIA (Reuters) – To reduce its dependence on Russia, Bulgaria is working to sign a contract with Poland as early as July to service Sofia’s Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets, maintained until now by Russia, Defence Minister Nikolay Nenchev said on Monday.

A standoff between the West and Russia over Ukraine has forced Bulgaria, part of the Soviet-dominated Warsaw Pact during the Cold War but a NATO member since 2004, to walk a tightrope over its military, energy and trade relations with Russia.

Jun 29, 2015

Greece’s wary neighbors hope bank crisis doesn’t come their way

SOFIA/SKOPJE (Reuters) – Petar Bakhchevanov withdrew some cash from an ATM in Bulgaria’s capital on Monday as a test to make sure the deepening debt crisis in neighboring Greece had not spread to the Greek-owned bank where he keeps his savings.

Millions of people in ex-Communist Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Romania have deposits in banks owned by Greek lenders, putting this corner of south-eastern Europe in the frontline if there is contagion from the Greek crisis.

Jun 23, 2015

Bulgaria’s central bank governor to quit in July, smooth transition seen

SOFIA, June 23 (Reuters) – Bulgarian central bank Governor
Ivan Iskrov will resign on July 10, three months before the end
of his term, he said on Tuesday, paving the way for smooth
transition of power in a move welcomed by markets.

The search for a new governor is already under way in
Bulgaria following the 2014 collapse of Corporate Commercial
Bank (Corpbank), which triggered the biggest banking
crisis in the Balkan country since 1990s.

Jun 22, 2015

Balkan states brace for banking contagion from Greek drama

SOFIA/SKOPJE, June 22 (Reuters) – If Athens defaults on its
international debts, Greece’s ex-Communist neighbours will run a
risk of contagion transmitted via the Greek-owned lenders which
control large chunks of their banking sectors.

Officials in Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and
Serbia say they have, in essence, quarantined the local banks by
cordoning off their capital so even if the Greek parent
collapses, the subsidiaries will survive.

Jun 22, 2015

Bulgaria’s central bank chief to quit within days-finance minister

SOFIA, June 22 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s finance minister said
on Monday the governor of the central bank would step down this
week, but the bank itself could not confirm the announcement.

“We have a clearly voiced commitment of the Bulgarian
National Bank’s governor Ivan Iskrov that he will tender his
resignation this week,” Vladislav Goranov told reporters.

Jun 17, 2015

Bulgaria gives green light to set up anti-corruption unit

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s government on Wednesday approved the formation of a special unit to investigate high-level corruption, seeking to convince the European Union it is serious about tackling graft.

Brussels has repeatedly criticized the Balkan country for failing to jail corrupt officials or overhaul its inefficient judiciary. Bulgaria and neighboring Romania hope progress in these areas will lead to them being allowed to join the EU’s Schengen zone, in which passport-free travel is permitted.

Jun 10, 2015

Sanctions push central Europe’s armies further from Russia

BRATISLAVA/SOFIA (Reuters) – A European Union embargo on arms imports from Russia, imposed last year in response to a pro-Russian rebellion in Ukraine, is speeding the demise of central Europe’s remaining military ties to its former overlord.

The sanctions have also driven a limited regional market in locally-manufactured Russian spares to help tide central European armed forces over in an accelerated transition to Western weaponry.

Jun 3, 2015

Bulgaria eyes referendum on voting rules to build trust

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s president on Wednesday proposed a referendum on voting rules to try to restore public trust in the Balkan country’s politicians after years of instability and scandals.

The referendum, which if approved would be held alongside local elections in late October, would ask voters to choose whether they want to elect some lawmakers directly rather than from party lists, whether to make voting compulsory and whether to allow electronic voting.

May 11, 2015

Bulgarian central bank officials probed over Corpbank activities

SOFIA, May 11 (Reuters) – Bulgarian prosecutors have
launched an investigation into two central bank officials
suspected of deliberate mismanagement as they took over the
running of insolvent lender Corporate Commercial Bank (Corpbank)
in November.

The investigation is the latest in a string that opened in
the aftermath of Corpbank’s collapse last June, which also
include probes into the activities of top central bank
officials, the bank’s main shareholder and its auditors.

    • About Angel

      "I'm a sports correspondent based in Sofia. Alongside writing about Bulgarian sport I help the Sofia bureau by covering politics, economics and culture."
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