Matthias's Feed
May 28, 2014

EU’s Balkan citizens take anti-immigrant vote in their stride

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Britons have a right to worry if Romanians move in next door, or so says the man who triumphed in European Parliament elections. But despite such hostility, Romanians themselves still cherish the European Union as their best chance of escaping poverty.

Some fear a deepening demonization of immigrants from Romania and neighboring Bulgaria following last weekend’s victories of right-wing Eurosceptic parties in France, Denmark and Britain, where the UK Independence Party of Nigel Farage trounced the established parties.

May 7, 2014

Bulgarian car parts boom brings hope to EU’s poorest state

RUSE Bulgaria (Reuters) – In its glory days, Ruse, a town along the Danube river trading route, was a thriving economic hub that was home to Bulgaria’s first chamber of commerce and known as ‘little Vienna’ for its Austrian-style buildings.

A hundred years on and after decades economic decline under Communism, its location on the southeastern edge of Europe, near Turkey and bordering Romania, is helping attract investors such as Witte Automotive, a German car part maker that supplies majors including Ford.

Apr 10, 2014

Bulgaria torn between old friends and new partners over Crimea

SOFIA, April 10 (Reuters) – Georgi Kadiev is, like many of
his fellow Bulgarians, caught between Russia and the West.

A member of parliament with the ruling Socialist party, his
government has gone along with sanctions on Moscow over its
annexation of Crimea, but at the same time he feels the cultural
and historical pull of Bulgaria’s long association with Russia.

Apr 7, 2014

Romania readies tax cuts to spur economy

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania will scrap the tax on profits that companies reinvest in the country and cut some other levies to help create jobs and secure economic growth of around 3 percent this year, the finance minister said on Monday.

The government will also reduce firms’ social security payments by 5 percentage points, slash value-added tax on certain foods and, once it can afford to, introduce a lower income tax rate for low earners, Ioana Petrescu told Reuters in an interview.

Apr 3, 2014

Bulgaria says no long term threat to South Stream pipeline

SOFIA, April 3 (Reuters) – The standoff between the West and
Russia over Ukraine may temporarily disrupt building the South
Stream gas pipeline, but there is no long term threat to the
project for now, Bulgaria’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

The future of the 2400 km (1,490 mile) line from Russia via
the Black Sea to Europe, avoiding Ukraine, has been cast into
doubt after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Bulgaria, almost
entirely dependent on Russian energy supplies, would be a major
beneficiary of the pipeline.

Apr 1, 2014

Exclusive: Bulgarian nationalists may topple government over Russia sanctions

SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s nationalist Attack party will work to topple the government if Sofia backs a new round of Western sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Crimea, the party’s leader told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

Attack holds the balance of power in the Bulgarian parliament, and its threat is an extreme example of the domestic pressures European governments face in taking a position on the worst crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War.

Feb 26, 2014

Romanian leaders reassure investors as government splits

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s president and prime minister said they were still committed to reforms agreed with the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday, after a split in the ruling coalition threatened the IMF deal and worried investors.

After a weeks-long standoff with the government, President Traian Basescu abruptly threw his weight behind the latest review of a 4 billion-euro aid agreement that is key to the credibility of the European Union’s second-poorest state.

Feb 26, 2014

Romanian president reassures investors as government splits

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romanian President Traian Basescu sought to soothe investors on Wednesday by throwing his weight behind a 4 billion-euro aid deal with the International Monetary Fund that has looked under threat from a split in the ruling coalition.

Basescu had previously refused to ratify the latest review of the deal, which is key to the economic credibility of the European Union’s second-poorest state. He objected to proposals for a new fuel tax and a bank loan-support scheme.

Feb 26, 2014

Reforms, presidential vote in focus after Romania coalition splits

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Ministers from Romania’s Liberals resigned from the government on Wednesday, a day after the party quit the ruling coalition in a break-up that will trigger a confidence vote and has changed the dynamics of a presidential election in November.

The rupture has left the rump of Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s Social Democrat-led alliance with a slender majority in parliament, which will likely prompt him to ask an ethnic Hungarian party to join the government to shore up his support.

Feb 25, 2014

Romania’s ruling coalition ruptures as elections loom

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania’s Liberal party pulled the plug on the coalition government on Tuesday, in a break-up that might disrupt five years of economic reform backed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the European Union’s second poorest state.

The second-largest member of Prime Minister Victor Ponta’s ruling alliance, the Liberals announced the split after crisis talks late into the evening in Bucharest. Its ministers will submit their resignations to the prime minister on Wednesday.