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Bulgarian report Bulgarian report
by Euro Reporter
2015-07-12 11:14:05
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European human rights court asks Bulgaria to stop demolition of illegal houses in Garmen

bulgaria_400_01The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has asked the Bulgarian government to stop the demolition of illegal dwellings in the Roma neighbourhood of the village of Garmen until housing has not been provided for the vulnerable families. The court has responded to a request for urgent measures, which had been submitted by non-government organisations, ahead of the planned second stage of demolition, which is scheduled to take place on Monday.

The EctHR calls on the government to stop the demolition unless it makes a firm commitment to provide housing of the vulnerable families, daily Dnevnik reports. The first stage of demolition of illegal buildings in the Kremikovtsi neighbourhood of Garmen municipality took place at the end of June, when four houses were demolished. The demolition was necessitated after a series of protests against the illegal buildings, which were preceded by clashes and escalation of tension between local Bulgarian and Roma residents.

The court has asked the Bulgarian government to respond what measures it has taken to provide accommodation and support for the vulnerable persons and whether the measures foresee the separation of children from their parents. According to the NGO, which filed the complaint, the selective unfavourable treatment of Roma people amounted to ethnic discrimination and gross violation of basic human rights, which are guaranteed in the constitution and international law. The complaint was filed by the Equal Opportunities Initiative with the assistance of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee and the Access to Information Programme.

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Retail chains in Bulgaria obliged to pay suppliers within 30-Day deadline

Changes to the Competition Protection Act envisaging a 30-day deadline for payments of retail chains to suppliers passed second reading in Bulgaria’s Parliament on Thursday. The amendments were initiated by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP). A number of proposals of the socialists were rejected, including the controversial concept of significant market power and the requirement that contracts between retailer and supplier be made public, according to Sega daily. The newly introduced 30-day deadline is also included in an EU Directive.

The legal changes envisage the abolition of a number of unfounded fees imposed on suppliers in exchange for no service, including the so-called “birthday fee”, charged on the anniversary of a big store, and the fee charged upon the opening of a new store. Bulgarian producers no longer face a ban on selling their output at different prices at different sites.

Commenting on the newly adopted legal changes, Kornelia Ninova from BSP said that many Bulgarian companies had gone bankrupt or had been forced to cut staff as a result of the failure of retailers to pay on time. She described the conclusive adoption of the legal amendments as success, despite the fact that four years of efforts had gone into it. Ninova predicted that retailers would not increase prices due to the new provisions.

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Bulgarian exports to third countries register 10.4 % increase

Between January and May, Bulgarian exports to third countries increased by 10.4 % compared to the same period in 2014 and amounted to BGN 6.8 B. This is revealed by the preliminary estimates of the National Statistical Institute (NSI), which were released on Friday. The main trading partners of Bulgaria were Turkey, China, Serbia, the USA, Russia and Singapore, which accounted for 50.6 % of Bulgarian exports to third countries. In May, Bulgarian exports to third countries decreased by 0.7 % compared to the same month in 2014 and amounted to BGN 1.4 B. In the first five months of the year, Bulgarian imports from third countries decreased by 1.1 % compared to the same period in 2014 and amounted to BGN 7.8 B. The greatest volume of goods was imported from Russia, Turkey, China and Ukraine. In May, Bulgarian exports from third countries decreased by 9.3 % compared to the same month in 2014 and amounted to BGN 1.6 B.

Between January and May, the balance of trade of Bulgaria with third countries was negative and amounted to BGN 982.7 M. In May, the Bulgarian balance of trade with third countries was also negative and amounted to BGN 183.5 M. In the first five months of 2015, Bulgaria registered the greatest increases in exports of fats, oils and waxes from animal and plant origin and diverse ready products, while the greatest drop was recorded in the export of mineral fuels, oils and similar products. In the same period, the greatest increase was registered in Bulgarian imports of foods and live animals and unprocessed (raw) materials unsuitable for consumption (excluding fuels), while the greatest drop was recorded in the import of soft and alcohol drinks and tobacco.

When the figures on trade with the EU are included, which were released on Thursday, it becomes clear that Bulgaria exported goods at the value of BGN 18.4 B in the first five months of the year, which was an increase of 11.6 % compared to the same period in 2014. In May alone, the total Bulgarian export amounted to BGN 3.7 B, which represented an increase of 6.8 % compared to the same month last year. Between January and May, Bulgaria imported goods at the value of BGN 21 B, which was an increase of 4.4 % compared to the same period in 2014. In May alone, the total Bulgarian imports amounted to BGN 4.2 B, which was an increase of 1.2 % compared to the same month last year. In the first five months of the year, the total balance of trade was negative and exceeded BGN 2.6 B, which was a decrease of more than BGN 1 B compared to the same period in 2014.


       
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