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Bulgaria News Roundup

Bulgaria to avoid recession. The EC has stated that it anticipates Bulgaria will avoid recession during 2009 and the following year. The European Commission consider Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic and Romania wil keep out of recession but have considerably less growth than expected. The EC has forecast economic growth in Bulgaria will be 1.8% this year and then 2.5% in 2010. Bulgaria is also expected to manage its budget deficit.


Bulgaria with low unemployment rate

One of the items top of the agenda at last week's meeting of EU ministers for labour and social policy was employment. How to avoid mass unemployment and any necessary crisis measures were discussed. Fortunately, Bulgaria is one of the EU states with the lowest rates of unemployment in the union.

Fraport continues Bulgarian airport investment

Despite the current global financial crisis, improvements at Varna airport are surging ahead.

The General Executive Director of Fraport says that the concessionaire will continue to invest 20 million euros in Varna airport on the Black Sea coast under a 35 year arrangement. About half will go towards a new passenger terminal and the terminal will be started in the coming months and is scheduled to complete early 2011. The Director stated that traffic at Varna had increased by 30% this winter and that bookings for 2009 summer season are close to last year's numbers.

Measures to support business

Five new measures have been brought in by Eurobank EFG to held both businesses and households. A credit line of 20 million BGN has been issued for small and medium size businesses. Those applying for Visa and Amex credit cards in the next month will pay only half of the normal annual fee. Deposits on a four month term can obtain 9% annual interest if in BGN, with 7% if in euros, when opened between 16 and 30 April this year. Maestro card holders will have no service or transaction fees during the same period. Additionally there will be no fees for early repayment of loans during the same timeframe.

Prison inmates sent to work

What an excellent idea! Help has been delivered with the garbage crisis in the capital city, Sofia - by prison inmates. Justice Minister, Meglena Tacheva, has granted permission to use inmates to assist in the removal of waste in the city. Eighty convicted individuals who are serving light sentences in Sofia prison are helping to clean up Sofia's streets.