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The Irish know not to place their money at home for real estate and property after Dublin was cited as worst in a survey, across 27 capital cities, for property investment performance; for the second year in a row.

Irish investors are actively acquiring investment property elsewhere in Europe - and no less than in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital. Looking for a good return and a bargain the Irish property investment company, West Incorporated has signed a contract on the "Telephone Palace" in downtown Sofia at about half the value the building had in 2008. The Irish certainly know a bargain when they see one and are one of the most savvy EU countries, having taken advantage of every possible EU assistance over many years thus spreading much wealth across the country.

The transaction was confirmed at 22.5 million euros, with the total project investment estimated at over 100 million. The building comprises 17,400 sq.m over six floors and is an instantly recognisable landmark in the capital. What West Incorporated are going to do with the building is now known, although the CEO, Brian Connelly, said that he wanted it to be a 'magnificent re-energized landmark in Sofia, that would offer people unmatched experience, where historical, cultural and architectural heritage meets modern and futuristic lifestyle.'

In an unexpected move the Fishery Agency has imposed bans on fishing across the country. Nearly all fishing in the Black Sea will be banned, and freshwater lakesĀ  within the country will see the ban introduced as well. The restrictions will remain for the whole of 2010 with the aim of re-stocking fishing levels and preserving the biodiversity in Bulgaria's waters.

All fishing within 1 km of the coast is banned, with commercial fishing only permitted beyond that distance. Most lakes, rivers and reservoirs are included.

Whilst many Bulgarians and holidaymakers who are keen fisherman will not applaud this ban on their hobby, it is a good opportunity for fish levels to improve. Fishing takes place throughout nearly the entire year in Bulgaria without any break, resulting in seriously depleted stocks, some near to extinction. This is a step in the right direction.

The most popular article during the last two weeks, and indeed throughout the whole of January, has been Property price predictions for 2010. If you've yet to read the article, it is found in the Property Section