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Bulgaria opts out of growing genetically modified crops
1 October 2015 - Bulgaria has told the European Union it will ban the cultivation of crops with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) under EU rules that allow member states to opt out of GMO cultivation, the agriculture ministry said in a statement on 1 October. (more)

Bulgaria President opens Rozhen National Folklore Fair
18 July 2015 - Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev opened the Rozhen National Folklore Fair, on Friday, 17 July, the press centre of the President's Office announced. After 9-year break Rozhen Festival is revived. The fair's goal is to popularize the Bulgarian folk dance and song. The President said that the Rozhen Festival is a symbol of unification and patriotism. In his words, it is evidence for the rich spirituality and strong roots of Bulgarian people, as well as source for people genius of the eternal Rhodope folklore and traditions. (more)

Bulgaria: Plovdiv uncovers its ancient past
9 September 2014 - You might be forgiven for thinking Plovdiv, Bulgaria, looks like Rome or Athens. But those cities are infants compared to this place, which has a pretty good claim on being the oldest city in Europe. Reporter Christa Larwood discovers whether Plovdiv can use this ancient history to bring new life to its streets. (more)

IT outsourcing boom boosts Bulgaria
10 August 2014 - Excellent IT and language skills have helped Bulgaria's outsourcing sector boom, raising hopes that it could prop up the badly stagnating economy of the EU's poorest country. After a timid start 15 years ago, the Balkan country is now a hub for information technology and back-office outsourcing. As well as call centres, firms offering software and web development, data services and technical support are attracting business from foreign companies finding it cheaper to sub-contract abroad. (more)

Bulgaria tops lavender oil producers ranking
16 July 2014 - Bulgaria is the world's biggest producer of lavender oil. The Balkan country has doubled its production from 60 metric tonnes in 2011 to an expected 120 tonnes this year, as other Balkan countries cut production, according to one of the country's top producers. 'Bulgaria took advantage of this niche,' said Filip Lissicharov, owner of Enio Bonchev lavender oil company in this central Bulgarian town. Nikolay Ninov, an expert at the state-run laboratory for essential oils, said the lavender industry can be a boon for Bulgaria as it struggles to overcome poverty. (more)

Bulgaria set for bumper rose oil harvest
28 May 2014 - Luxury perfume makers around the world can expect a bumper yield of rose oil from Bulgaria this year. Distillery owner Filip Lissicharov says yields have recovered following a bad few years when production was laid low by unfavourable weather conditions. Rose oil is a key ingredient in luxury perfumes. Lissicharov's company, Enio Bonchev Production, runs the oldest rose oil extraction facility in the Balkan country. Bulgaria produces 1,500 kilogram (3,300 pounds) of rose oil a year and is one of the world's largest exporters along with Turkey and Morocco. (more)

Bulgaria recovers ancient gold artefacts from smugglers
14 April 2014 - Bulgaria's state security agency said it had recovered a trove of 15,000 priceless gold artefacts dating back to the third millennium BC from a smuggling ring. Officials said the collection, which included three gold necklaces worn by women of high social status, would be given to Bulgaria's National Museum of History. 'These amazing golden findings are 1,500 years older than the Trojan War and 2,500 years older than all Thracian treasures we know,' Bozhidar Dimitrov, the director of the museum, told a news conference on Monday. (more)

New bridge opens between Bulgaria and Romania
14 June 2013 - A new bridge linking Bulgaria and Romania across the Danube River was opened Friday with hopes that it will spur growth in one of Europe's poorest regions. The 282 million euros ($375 million) project was backed by 106 million euros from the European Union, which both countries joined in 2007; the rest came from national financing and private investments. The cable-stayed, steel and concrete bridge has two traffic lanes in each direction, a railway line, two pedestrian paths and a bicycle track. Overall, the bridge is 3,598 meters (11,804 feet) long, with 1,791 meters over the river. (more)

The Balkans IT sector is booming
26 April 2013 - There is a deep well of talent in Romania and Bulgaria. They may be the European Union's two poorest members, but their low labour costs, skilled workers, and strategic location are underpinning a technology boom. Multinational companies are using their expertise for customer support, software development, and business process outsourcing. Oracle, SAP, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Siemens all have business centres or operations in the region. The FBI has even set up an office in Romania and helped to train specialist police agents. (more)

Bulgarian government redirects funds to help the poor
28 March 2013 - Bulgaria's interim government, installed after the previous administration was toppled by large-scale protests about poverty, will create new jobs and help the poorest with their energy bills ahead of elections. The government said on Thursday it would find the money by redirecting 41 million levs ($27 million) from day-to-day expenditure by ministries and spending on new highways. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Bulgaria: 'Valley of Roses' a beautiful setting for training Russian-speaking teachers of Transcendental Meditation
13 June 2014 - In the geographical centre of Bulgaria, in the heart of the Valley of the Roses, where the world's finest rose oil is produced, courses are being offered for people who practise Transcendental Meditation. A 'Total Knowledge Course' was recently offered there, giving participants 'an encyclopedic overview' of the profound knowledge Maharishi Mahesh Yogi brought to light in his Vedic Science and technologies of consciousness. Currently 35 participants from Russian-speaking countries in the larger region are enrolled in a training course to become certified as teachers of Transcendental Meditation--a scientifically validated technique to reduce stress and enliven coherence and peace in the collective consciousness of communities, cities, and whole nations. (more)

High quality organic rose oil being developed in Valley of the Roses, Bulgaria
13 June 2014 - Near the geographical centre of Bulgaria lies the famed Valley of the Roses. Dr Donka Hodjeva, director of the Transcendental Meditation programme in Bulgaria, and her husband Ivan, an expert engineer, have 20 hectares of roses in the valley in organic cultivation of Rosa alba, from which highest-quality organic rose oil is being developed. The small town where it will be distilled is called Turiya. Among many similarities between the ancient language of Bulgaria and ancient Vedic Sanskrit, in the Vedic literature Turiya is defined as transcendental consciousness, a state of complete inner silence and peace in mind and body--parallel to the known effects of rose oil in Maharishi Ayur-Veda aromatherapy, to soothe and balance mind, body, and emotions. (more)

Bulgaria: Organic roses flourishing in famed Valley of Roses
9 July 2012 - An agricultural project in Bulgaria is cultivating 20 hectares of roses in the country's renowned Valley of Roses. This area produces the world's most highly prized roses, which are used in the production of essential oils and rose water. The project, undertaken by directors of the Transcendental Meditation programme in the country, is 100 per cent organic, and this year's yield of 13 tonnes of rose petals was three and a half times what was expected. (more)

Bulgaria: High quality organic rose oil being produced in beautiful Valley of the Roses
18 July 2011 - Bulgaria is renowned as the producer of a large percentage of the rose oil used in the world, distilled from roses grown in the unique climatic and soil conditions of the beautiful Valley of the Roses. Over the past several years a new project has been established to grow organic roses in the region, including the distillation of a very special and refined quality of rose oil. (more)

Bulgaria: Founders of Transcendental Meditation Programme honoured via transatlantic teleconference
25 February 2011 - The first Teachers of the Transcendental Meditation Programme in Bulgaria were honoured at a recent event in the capital city, Sofia. A group of faculty from Maharishi University of Management and Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, they had travelled to Bulgaria in 1989 to begin offering the programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Over several months in 1989-1990 they taught the technique to thousands of people, creating a peaceful, positive influence of coherence and harmony during a time of great transition in the nation. (more)

Bulgaria: New interest in Transcendental Meditation inspired by Global Country of World Peace leader's visit
25 February 2011 - The recent visit to Bulgaria of Dr Bevan Morris, Prime Minister of the Global Country of World Peace, inspired a new level of interest and enthusiasm for Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes among news media, educational leaders, the general public, and Transcendental Meditation participants throughout the nation. (more)

Bulgaria: Popular newspaper publishes extensive article about Transcendental Meditation
25 February 2011 - One of the most popular daily newspapers in Bulgaria recently published a very comprehensive, full-page article about the Transcendental Meditation Programme, based on an in-depth interview with Dr Bevan Morris, Prime Minister of the Global Country of World Peace, during his visit to the country. (more)

Consciousness-Based Education in the news: Bulgaria
25 February 2011 - Consciousness-Based Education was one of many aspects of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes explored in a recent, substantive article published by a major Bulgarian newspaper. The article drew from an extended interview with Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management, USA, who is also Prime Minister of the Global Country of World Peace. (more)

Major news story in Bulgaria highlights peace-creating programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
25 February 2011 - A full-page article recently published in a major Bulgarian newspaper gives an in-depth consideration of the programmes of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The article includes an extended discussion of Maharishi's initiatives to create invincible coherence, harmony, and peace in the collective consciousness of every nation through group practice of the Transcendental Meditation Programme and Yogic Flying. (more)

Worldwide achievements of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes inspire Bulgarians
25 February 2011 - A large number of Bulgarians who practise Transcendental Meditation came out to greet the Prime Minister of the Global Country of World Peace, Dr Bevan Morris, on the first day of his recent visit to the country. Dr Morris gave an extensive lecture in the capital city, Sofia, encompassing the lifelong achievements of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and reporting news of many developments in Maharishi's programmes around the world in the past few years. (more)


Flops
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Bulgaria chokes on air pollution fuelled by poverty
22 February 2014 - A recent study by the European Environment Agency (EAA) found that Bulgaria, the EU's poorest nation, has four of the five most polluted cities in the bloc. Experts say old cars and chronic traffic jams are to blame, made worse by the capital's location in a lowland surrounded by mountains. Out of the 250,000 cars bought in 2013, only 20,000 were new, says Lyubomir Dorosiev, head of a used car dealer association. 'We have become Europe's vehicle cemetery since car catalytic converters are obligatory in developed countries. Experts say old cars and chronic traffic jams are to blame, made worse by the capital's location in a lowland surrounded by mountains. Out of the 250,000 cars bought in 2013, only 20,000 were new, says Lyubomir Dorosiev, head of a used car dealer association. 'We have become Europe's vehicle cemetery since car catalytic converters are obligatory in developed countries. But the culprit for more than half of this small Black Sea nation's air pollution -- 58 per cent -- is smoke emanating from home stoves, according to Bulgaria's environment protection agency. And grinding poverty -- especially in the smaller towns -- has driven up the share of people burning wood, coal, and all kinds of waste to ward off the chilly east Balkan winters. (more)

Syrians fleeing war face hardship in Balkans
24 November 2013 - Idris Hassan, his wife and their three children fled the carnage of the Syrian war, hoping to find peace and safety in western Europe. Instead, they are stuck in an overcrowded Bulgarian refugee camp -- living in a freezing tent without enough food or running water. Thousands of Syrian and other refugees from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa, who make a dangerous journey from their war-ravaged countries, often end up in crammed settlements in the Balkans after being blocked at the borders of wealthy Western European nations. 'We left our country to look for a peaceful, better place to live, where we could give our children proper education,' Hassan, 44, said sitting by a fire outside his tent in the Harmanli camp in southern Bulgaria. 'But now we see that Bulgaria is a poor country which struggles to provide food for its own people.' Aid officials say that the humanitarian situation is particularly alarming in Bulgaria, which has faced massive influx of migrants that far outnumbers its capacities. Bulgaria, one of the EU's newest and poorest members, borders Turkey -- a Muslim nation that has become a magnet for Syrians fleeing the war. 'It is appalling that people seeking refuge in the European Union are being trapped in limbo in such awful conditions with winter rapidly approaching,' said Barbora Cernusakova, an EU team researcher at Amnesty International. (more)

Bulgaria's air is dirtiest in Europe, study finds, followed by Poland
15 October 2013 - The air in the small Black Sea nation of Bulgaria is thicker with several major air pollutants than the air in any other country in Europe, according to a new study prepared by Europe's environmental regulators. Bulgaria has the highest concentrations of the two major varieties of particulate matter, which are tiny airborne droplets or gas particles that come from smokestacks, vehicle tailpipes or a variety of other sources. They can lead to health problems from asthma to cancer. Bulgaria also has the highest concentrations of carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, according to the report by the European Environment Agency. The pollution in Bulgaria's capital of Sofia is evident to anyone who has spent any time there. 'When you put on a washed white shirt and take a walk for a couple of hours in Sofia, when you come back you can see that the collar and the front have a yellow-gray hue,' said Alex Melamed, a 25-year-old business student who lives in the city of about 1.2 million people. 'Sometimes I do the following experiment: I walk around in Sofia and do not touch anything, when I come back and wash my hands, the soap gets dirty.' But Bulgaria is hardly alone in having air quality challenges. While Bulgarian cities lead in the concentration of particulates, Poland is a frequent runner-up, and cities in northern Italy lead in ozone, according to separate data provided by the agency. (more)

6 die in Bulgaria as bus carrying Israelis bombed
18 July 2012 - A bomb exploded on a bus carrying Israeli youth in a Bulgarian resort Wednesday, killing at least six people and wounding 32, officials said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it 'an Iranian terror attack' and promised a tough response. Israeli officials also have long feared that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrilla group would try to attack Israelis abroad. Hezbollah has accused Israel of assassinating a top leader in Damascus in 2008 and vowed vengeance. Israel has never admitted involvement in the death. In the past two decades, Bulgaria has witnessed car bombings and other explosions, but such attacks are typically linked to rivalries between criminal gangs. The apparent nature of Wednesday's attack was unusual for the country, possibly unprecedented, and the death toll exceptionally high. (more)

Bulgaria corruption results in EU suspending funds
25 July 2008 - The European Commission issued a scathing indictment of corruption in Bulgaria on Wednesday, suspending aid worth hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) and barring two key payments agencies from receiving EU funds. The two reports on Bulgaria -- one on funds and the other on judicial reform -- were the harshest criticism ever levelled by Brussels at a member state. A report on fellow newcomer Romania, which also joined in January 2007, pointed to political and judicial obstruction of corruption trials but avoided sanctions. (more)

Bulgaria's image suffers as crime flourishes
12 May 2008 - European Union newcomer Bulgaria has seen its reputation hit a low, marred by its failure to tame chronic graft and crime. Some investors say the situation in the Balkan country has become worse than in neighbouring Romania, ranked the most corrupt EU nation by Transparency International. Investing in Bulgaria without paying bribes or encountering the mafia is almost impossible, they say. (more)

Bulgaria: Protected environment threatened by property boom
7 July 2007 - Bulgaria's Environment Ministry is to fight a Supreme Court decision revoking the protected status of a Black Sea nature park, a ruling that opens the door to the construction of holiday homes. The decision has drawn ire from a coalition of conservationists and national figures worried Bulgaria's countryside is falling prey to a property boom fuelled in part by foreign demand for cheap second homes. (more)

European Union uneasy over Bulgaria's organized crime
20 December 2006 - The European Union let Bulgaria join largely because of its promise to crack down on organized crime, but as the accession date looms there seems to be no end in sight to mafia-style violence. (more)

Bulgarian Parliament approves US military deal
27 May 2006 - Bulgarian lawmakers on Friday overwhelmingly approved an agreement allowing US troops to use Bulgarian military facilities.

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Bulgarians protest US use of Bulgarian military facilities
28 April 2006 - Thousands of Bulgarians demonstrated Thursday against an agreement that would allow US troops to use military facilities in the country. (more)

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