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Bulgarian report
by Euro Reporter
2012-06-16 10:35:32
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Bulgaria puts “vampire” skeleton on display

Bulgaria's history museum plans to display a "vampire" skeleton next week after unearthing the 700-year-old remains of two men stabbed through the chest with iron rods. Archaeologists, excavating a monastery near the Black Sea city of Sozopol, discovered the skeletons which were buried in a pagan ritual that they said was aimed at keeping the men from turning into vampires. "This was a pagan belief widespread in the Bulgarian lands in the 12th to 14th centuries. People were very superstitious then," National History Museum head Bozhidar Dimitrov said.

"Throughout the country we have found over 100 such 'vampire' burials of mainly noblemen from the Middle Ages who were branded bloodsucking immortals." Dimitrov explained that these people were considered bad during their lifetime and according to pagan beliefs could become vampires after death and continue to torment the living. "That's why they were often pierced with rods, wooden or metal," he said.

The Balkan country, which remained pagan until it embraced Christianity in the ninth century, borders Romania -- birthplace of the 15th century ruler often associated with the popular fictional character upon which Dracula is based. Romania's notorious 15th century ruler Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler was no vampire, but his cruelty and name inspired the fictional Dracula created by novelist Bram Stoker. The finds in Bulgaria have sparked interest from vampire enthusiasts all over the world and the small Balkan country may seek to capitalize on its pagan heritage.


Investors look at the region as a whole, we need to provide good environment

Countries in South East Europe, to some extent, are mutually dependable – mutual dependence of the banks and business, of foreign investments, infrastructure, security and energy. It is high time to turn this mutual dependence into an opportunity,” Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev said at the summit of the South East European Co-operation Process (SEECP) in Belgrade. “I hope that we all realise that the investors look at the region as one whole, not as separate countries. The number of the investors in the region is decreasing because of the crisis and it is highly important to provide together a better business environment, infrastructure and regulations,” Plevneliev remarked.

“Bulgaria has always supported the European perspective of the West Balkans. We greet Croatia for its success in the negotiations process. Serbia got a status of a member state candidate and we wish it luck in this process,” the Bulgarian president commented. “We encourage continuing the policy of the open doors of NATO, which was confirmed at the last summit of the Alliance in Chicago.”

“The further strengthening of the process depends on us and the Regional Cooperation Council,” Plevneliev remarked. “Bulgaria has always stressed on the importance of the intensive regional cooperation, development of the good regional relations and finding solution to the bilateral issues in the spirit of the European values. The enlargement process supposes integration of partners and not unsolved issues. I welcome the positive development of the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. The cooperation in the field of security and fight against organised crime and corruption is both condition and guarantee for success of our regional cooperation,” Plevneliev said further.


Bulgarian President vetoes judiciary act amendments

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has imposed a veto on a set of amendments to the Judiciary Act, according to a press statement issued by the President's Office on Friday. Pursuant to Art. 101, para. 1 of the Constitution, the President is returning the Bill Amending and Supplementing the Judiciary Act passed on June 7, 2012 to Parliament for new debates and redrafting. The presidential decree imposing the veto is dated June 14, 2012.

The veto involves provisions stipulating that members of the Supreme Judicial Council (VSS) and the VSS Inspectorate, including their current staff, will be automatically promoted to a higher rank after the expiration of their terms in office (the so-called "career bonus"). The presidential decree does not cover a provision allowing the current VSS members to appoint the next Chief Prosecutor. Under the newly adopted amendments, the procedure for appointing Chairpersons of the Supreme Court of Cassation (VKS), the Supreme Administrative Court (VAS) and the Chief Prosecutor is to start 6 months before their terms in office expire. Iskra Fidosova, Chair of the Parliamentary Legal Committee and MP of centre-right ruling party GERB explained a few days ago that the administrative deadlines stipulated in the law do not allow the current VSS to appoint the new Chief Prosecutor.

The widespread debates about the possibility of the current VSS panel deciding on the next Chief Prosecutor led to the conclusion that the GERB government is seeking a convenient appointment. The presidential veto does not involve the EC-recommended direct appointment of VSS members by all magistrates rather than by delegates. The latest amendments to the Judiciary Act are said to provide for greater representation, with each voting delegate representing five judges or prosecutors instead of ten, as was the case earlier. The European Commission has repeatedly insisted that the direct vote for VSS members should be introduced in 2012, prior to the expiration of the current panel's term in office in October, but the GERB Cabinet preferred to postpone the change to 2017.

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