Year in Review 2017: Bulgaria in December

Written by on December 24, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Year in Review 2017: Bulgaria in December

The Bulgarian Parliament gives its final approval to the 2018 Budget Act after a marathon of two late-night sittings, but not without a drama. The sitting was adjourned to resolve a legal problem over measures approved at the sitting the night before, when a contradiction was created over a large sum voted for restoration of Sofia landmark Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. On December 1, the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party says that it would lodge an objection to the Constitutional Court.

The Bulgarian Parliament approves 2018 Budget Act. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

The National Assembly also adopts a declaration, which affirms Parliament’s support for the priorities of Bulgaria for the EU Presidency, which is coming up within a month.

A woman sues the Bulgarian authorities for recognition of her marriage with another woman. The case, which is pending in court, could become a precedent.

As it turns out, the EU Presidency will not be easy for Sofia residents. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

The authorities in Sofia say they will block buildings, areas and streets during Bulgaria’s EU Presidency. The measures will not exactly improve the traffic flow, which is always an issue anyway, even without the Presidency.

Bulgaria criticises the US decision on Jerusalem.

After US President Trump decides to move his embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognising Israel as Israel’s capital, Bulgaria criticises that move along with the EU. “Changing Jerusalem’s status could negatively affect the peace process”, a statement reads. Two weeks later, Bulgaria votes for an anti-Israeli resolution brought forward by Arab countries in the UN General Assembly. Shalom, the organisation of the Bulgarian Jews, welcomes Trump’s Jerusalem decision.

There have never been more mountain rescue missions in Bulgaria. Photo by Strahil Georgiev.

A record number of rescue missions in Bulgaria’s beautiful mountain ranges was registered in 2017. The country’s Mountain Rescue Service was called for help some 2,500 times so far, or about 8 times per day, on average.

Sofia Municipality finally wants to do something against toxic air.

In the EU’s dirtiest capital, what air pollution is concerned, Sofia Municipality wants to do something. Drastic measures, including driving bans, might be coming. But so far, there is mainly talk. Modern buses were purchased. Other than that, hardly any measures have been taken so far.

BSP chairlady Kornelia Ninova has an idea for the EU Presidency.

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the Movement for rights and Freedom (MRF) decide to give the Bulgarian government a present during the country’s turn at the EU Presidency: The no-confidence motion against will be delivered on January 17, 2018, the BSP’s Kornelia Ninova says.

President Roumen Radev becomes part of selfies at the Sofia Synagogue. Photo by Imanuel Marcus.

The President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Roumen Radev, follows the tradition by lighting a Menorah candle at Sofia’s Central Synagogue during this year’s Hanukkah celebration.

On December 19, Bulgaria’s Special Criminal Court finally holds the first hearing in the trial of two accused of involvement in the July 2012 terrorist attack at Bourgas Airport, which left five Israelis and a Bulgarian dead. After nine unsuccessful attempts, the trial against two Hezbollah terrorists is finally on.

Just before Christmas, on December 20, Bulgarian MPs adopt a new “anti-corruption law” that will set up a single body to oversee the fight against corruption. Critics of the bill say that its provisions will have the opposite effect. The Parliament’s move comes just 12 days before Bulgaria takes over the EU Presidency.

Year in Review 2017: Bulgaria in January



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