Year in Review 2017: Bulgaria in July

Written by on December 17, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Year in Review 2017: Bulgaria in July

The month of July starts with excessive heat. Up to 44 degrees Centigrade are being measured in many towns and villages. On July 1, a total of 17 districts are under a Code Red dangerous weather warning.

The heat on July 1 triggers a Code Red dangerous weather alert. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

After the scorching heat, torrential rain does damage in the Bulgarian town of Samokov.

Due to the start of the summer vacation, the number of passengers at Sofia Airport skyrockets. As a result, the airport can not deal with everyone on time. Extremely long waiting times are the consequence.

Long lines develop at Sofia Airport , even at 5am. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

Bulgaria has a new EU Commissioner in Brussels. In a secret ballot vote in the European Parliament, MEPs approve the appointment of Maria Gabriel as European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society. Out of 683 MEPs, a total of 517 vote in favour, surpassing the threshold of two-thirds support required for an approval of the appointment.

Maria Gabriel becomes European Commissioner on July 4. Photo by BNR.

In the meantime, the Bulgarian capital Sofia is one huge construction site. Yet another important traffic artery, Boulevard Praga, is being closed since it needs to be refurbished. This street was hardly passable with all its craters.

Yet another boulevard closes in Sofia. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

At the beginning of July, Trakia Motorway is extremely busy thanks to the vacationers who travel to the Black Sea, to Turkey or to their home towns. During the first days of the month, more than 20 get injured in two chain crashes on this motorway.

The Bulgarian Dossier Commission names names two individuals in President Radev’s staff as former State Security people, but the country does not seem to notice, as usual. Coming to terms with its past does not seem to be among Bulgaria’s strengths.

Borissov wants new fighter jets, rather than previously owned ones.

In the discussion about the acquisition of new fighter jets for the Bulgarian Air Force, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov says his sole requirement in the process was that they should be new. This seems to mean, Borissov does not want to take the Romanian path. The neighbouring country recently purchased use F-16 fighters from Portugal.

Days later, President Radev, a former Air Force general himself, accuses the government of procrastinating, regarding the fighter jet acquisition.

Progress in Bulgara: Police officers don’t have to pay for their uniforms anymore. Photo by I. Marcus.

The National Assembly in Sofia has a brilliant idea. On July 13, it approves amendments that will provide for the Interior Ministry to reimburse police who had to pay for their own uniforms. The step was taken after recent protests by Bulgarian police, who earn 700 to 1,000 leva (352 to 504 euro) per month.

The Kostinbrod chairperson of the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, part of the United Patriots, the grouping of ultra-nationalist and far-right parties that is the minority partner in government, is taken into custody for alleged involvement in people-trafficking of foreign migrants.

Sofia shows off 40 brand-new eco buses. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

Sofia Municipality takes some steps designed to improve the terrible air quality in the capital. They purchase 70 eco buses made in Turkey, and show off 40 of them next to Nevski Cathedral.

Just two blocks down the road, the Bulgarian Parliament adopts a declaration supporting the draft for a good neighbourliness agreement with the Republic of Macedonia.

Year in Review 2017: Bulgaria in June

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