Moite Planini Tue, 13 Jul 2021 09:32:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Moite Planini 32 32 Covid-19 in Bulgaria: All but 3 districts are green zones Tue, 13 Jul 2021 07:41:28 +0000

25 of the 28 districts in Bulgaria are Covid-19 green zones, which according to the report of the National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD) for the 14th day period to July 11th.

Three districts are yellow zones, which means an infection rate between 20 and 59.9 per 100 inhabitants.

These three districts are Sofia City (23), Sofia District (32) and Vidin (23).

The districts with the lowest infection rates are Kurdjali and Yambol, both four per 100,000 inhabitants.

In the Plovdiv district the infection rate is nine per 100,000 inhabitants, in Varna 13, Burgas 14 and in the Rousse district six per 100,000 inhabitants.

The NCIPD report a week earlier showed 24 out of 28 counties as green zones.

The situation shown in the latest report contrasts with the seven consecutive weeks that ended in early May 2021 when every district in Bulgaria was a red zone from Covid-19 – which means an infection rate of 120 or more in 100,000 residents.

(Figure: NCIPD)

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s ongoing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria please click here.

The Sofia Globe’s reporting on the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

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Fibank again voted as the Bulgarians’ favorite brand Tue, 13 Jul 2021 07:01:00 +0000

Fibank headquarters

SOFIA, BULGARIA, July 13, 2021 / — For another year, Fibank (First Investment Bank) took first place in the Financial Institutions category of Bulgaria’s most popular brands, the only consumer ranking in the country. The award went to Mr. Nikola Bakalov, Chairman of the Board and CEO of the bank.

More than 45,000 users took part in the thirteenth edition of Favorite Brands of Bulgaria. They voted in 3 rounds, with the three leading brands competing against each other in the final. For the third year in a row, Fibank was the undisputed leader in the Financial Institutions category and was able to convince its competitors.

The competition “Favorite Brands of Bulgaria” does not use a jury for the nominations or the ranking, only the votes of the users. The results show consumer preferences for specific brands in different industries. Fibank was also awarded the Favorite Brand Award in 2019 and 2020 and won first place in the banking category in 2018.

Ivailo Alexandrov
Fibank (First Investment Bank)
+359 2 800 2753
email us here

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US Congress delegation visits Sofia and Varna Tue, 13 Jul 2021 06:39:09 +0000

July 12, 2021

US Congress delegation visits Sofia and Varna

During their visit to Sofia and Varna July 8-11, the U.S. Congress delegation spoke to government, religious, and civil society organizations on a wide variety of topics, including regional cooperation, freedom of the media, religious diversity and tolerance, security, and ethnic minority issues .

The US Congress delegation consisted of Sen. Roger F. Wicker, Sen. Ben Cardin, Sen. John Cornyn, Sen. Thom Tillis, Rep. Joe Wilson, Rep. Lloyd Doggett, Rep. Steve Cohen, Rep. Andy Harris, Rep. Richard Hudson, Rep. Marc Veasey, Rep. Trent Kelly, and Rep. Gwen Moore.

“We brought a dozen members of the US Congress to Sofia this week to demonstrate their support for the Three Seas Initiative and also to connect with Bulgarian leaders and people about our common values ​​and basic human rights,” said Senator Cardin. “We met with a number of faith communities to underline our commitment to religious tolerance, one of the cornerstones of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. We visited a Roma settlement to learn more about the difficulties this minority continues to face in order to secure equal rights. At our bilateral meeting with President Radev, members raised concerns about the precarious state of freedom of the press in Bulgaria, and we received assurances that the government here will step up its efforts to protect and strengthen independent professional journalism. The protection of civil and human rights is an essential part of any democracy and we look forward to learning more about how Bulgaria protects fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. “

During their stay in Sofia, members of the delegation attended events at the Three Seas Summit, where they met government officials from Bulgaria and other European nations. At their meetings, they discussed the importance of the Three Seas Initiative for development, stability and security in the region. The delegation also experienced Bulgaria’s rich culture by visiting historical sites in Bulgaria, including the Rila Monastery, Boyana Church and the Varna Archaeological Museum.

On July 10, US Ambassador Herro Mustafa and a delegation from the US Congress in Varna visited the Bulgarian naval base in Varna. They were kindly received by Defense Minister Georgi Panayotov, the Chief of Defense, Admiral Emil Eftimov, and the Commander of the Navy, Rear Admiral Kiril Mihaylov. During the visit, the delegation discussed the importance of the US-Bulgarian partnership in the region and how we can strengthen our already solid security cooperation in the Black Sea. “The Black Sea region has seen a worrying rise in tension recently. Our visit to the region is intended to keep us informed of the situation and to demonstrate our strong, enduring and bipartisan support for Bulgaria and our other NATO allies and partners in the region, ”said Senator Wicker.

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Poll in Bulgaria announces paralysis as protest parties no longer have a majority Mon, 12 Jul 2021 08:20:17 +0000

An anti-establishment party headed by singer Slavi Trifonov is faced with the daunting task of forming a new government in Bulgaria after narrowly taking second place in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

There Is Such a People (ITN), founded by the celebrated musician and television presenter, received around 23.7 percent of the vote and will need the support of at least one of the despised traditional parties as well as the other two so-called protest parties to form a majority .

Boyko Borisov, the Conservative leader who ruled Bulgaria for the past 12 years, appeared to be at the mercy of the opposition. His Gerb party led the poll results, but it reached just 23.9 percent, according to the Central Election Commission, with 95 percent of the votes counted Monday morning, and there is a lack of allies with whom a coalition could be formed.

Democratic Bulgaria, another protest party, was on track to win 12.6 percent, while anti-transplant Stand up! Mafia out! Movement was 5 percent and thus just exceeded the threshold of 4 percent to move into parliament.

Trifonov must secure the support of at least one of two smaller established parties, the Socialists, which won 13.6 percent, or the Turkish Minority Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRP), which received 10.6 percent.

Analysts said that once overseas votes are counted, ITN could emerge as the largest party. But Bulgaria, the poorest EU member state, is likely headed for an unstable government, if not political paralysis.

Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, center, the leader of the Gerb party, speaks to the media outside a polling station in Sofia © Vassil Donev / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Borisov is very unlikely to be able to form a government because the other parties have vowed not to cooperate with Gerb. But protest groups lack the voices to rule alone and are reluctant to team up with either the socialists or the MRP who they believe have perpetuated a corrupt political system.

“We are nowhere politically because the so-called protest parties didn’t even have enough votes together to form an independent government,” said Hristo Ivanov, a leader of the liberal Yes, Bulgaria !, part of the Democratic Bulgaria Alliance, the Financial Times said on late sunday.

“The result means 110-115 MPs, but I don’t expect anything beyond that,” said Ivanov. “You need at least 122 for a majority. It’s a very difficult situation in which you can’t just call new elections.”

Trifonov, a popular folk-rock singer, kept silent about his plans during the election campaign and confused his potential coalition partners. Bulgarians know little about what his ITN party stands for or about their new MPs in parliament. Ivanov has called his potential coalition partner a “black box”.

Borisov oversaw some economic developments, including upgrading infrastructure, but was unable to shake off lingering transplant accusations that boiled over months of protests last year.

The demonstrations undermined support for Gerb and made it “inviolable” for political partners, according to several analysts and opposition politicians.

“Young people continue to go abroad. Corruption stifles any business initiative. Something has to change, ”38-year-old engineer Nikolay Galabov told Reuters after casting his vote in Sofia.

In an interview last week, the former prime minister dismissed the transplant allegations as unfounded and said the opposition was pushing the agenda of a left-wing “mafia”.

Sunday’s vote was a repeat of the unsuccessful early April elections that failed to form a government. Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev, a staunch opponent of Borisov, has set up an interim administration. Although there was no democratic mandate, it set about cleaning up the public administration, revising the procurement procedures and dismissing officials who were deemed corrupt.

“As soon as the people saw Borisov out of power, they didn’t see an appropriate proposal for a new government in the political market,” Ivanov said, pointing out the low turnout.

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COVID-19 in Bulgaria: 16 new cases – Mon, 12 Jul 2021 07:25:13 +0000

16 new cases of coronavirus have been registered in Bulgaria in the past 24 hours. According to the Unified Information Portal, no one died. New infections were identified by 5989 tests (less than 0.27% were positive).

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Bulgaria reached 422,462. They were proven by 3,327,708 tests. The death toll in our country is 18,140. The active cases are 8006. Of these, 826 people were hospitalized, 104 of them in intensive care units.

A person with a positive coronavirus test has recovered in the past 24 hours. The total number of those cured in our country is 396,316.

2095 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the past 24 hours. Their total number since the start of vaccination in our country is 1,852,583. 848,792 people completed the vaccination cycle (that is, with two doses).

Among the medical staff, 13,450 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed, including 3,859 doctors, 4,551 nurses and 2,255 paramedics.

By district, most of the new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours have been recorded in Sofia (7), followed by Stara Zagora (3). Only in the districts of Sliven and Vratsa (2 each) and Veliko Tarnovo and Targovishte (1 each) are there still newly infected people. In terms of the total number of infected people, the capital is again in first place (109,915), ahead of Plovdiv (36,846), Varna (31,561), Burgas (27,455) and Blagoevgrad (18,769).

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Institute for Music welcomes three new singing faculties Mon, 12 Jul 2021 05:11:36 +0000

Photos submitted

Counterclockwise from top right: Lauren Clare, Lenora Green and Jonathan Stinson.

The Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Department of Music is proud to welcome three new singing faculties to the University of Arkansas. These bring diverse experience and research in the fields of opera, jazz science, music theater and various special projects to the Institute for Music.

“We are very excited to welcome Lauren Claire, Lenora Green and Jonathan Stinson,” said Ronda Mains, Chair of the Department of Music.

Jeffrey Murdock, Vocal and Choral Studies Coordinator added, “These new faculty additions will be groundbreaking for our vocal and choral studies and for the department as a whole. Our students are fortunate to work with these scientists. “- Educators.”

Mains said the professional achievements of these new faculty members are inspiring, and the passion everyone has for education and student success will help prepare U of A’s music students well for their future.

Portrait of Lauren ClareLauren Clare joins the Faculty of the Faculty as a Music Teacher after serving a year as an Associate Professor in the Faculty. Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, Clare began her professional career as a singer in 2001 when she gave a solo recital for the Carol Brice Series at the age of 17, when Oral Roberts University, Lauren returned home to be a choir member Singing in the Cimarron Opera Company’s summer production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe. In the fall of that year, Clare began studying coloratura soprano at the prestigious Wanda L. Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University, where she graduated with honors from the Master of Music program in singing.

In 2009, Clare moved to the Fayetteville area and began working as a local singer / songwriter under the pen name Ren. In 2011, she founded what is now known as The Allie Lauren Project. The Allie Lauren Project is an avant-garde collective of classical, alternative and jazz musicians and has performed for the Oklahoma Film & Music Office SXSW Film Panel Event, Tourism Roadshows, Norman Music Festival, 35 Denton, Backwoods Music Festival, Sunday Twilight Concert Series, Wheeler Summer Music Series, Oklahoma City’s New Year Opening Ceremonies, and other numerous performances for the Oklahoma City Arts Council.

Clare has also performed works from this project in Chicago, St. Louis, New York City and London. In 2018, The Allie Lauren Project was nominated by the Heartland Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for a regional Emmy Award for her work with Outsiders Productions and Play It Loud Season II at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resorts. In addition to her work for The Allie Lauren Project, Clare has spent time giving private singing and piano lessons, writing and producing works for hip-hop artist Jabee, and performing jazz standards for Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra events. She also worked with her tribe, the Chickasaw Nation, on production for her composition, which was featured as the theme song for the nation’s 2019 annual meeting.

Portrait of Lenora Green-TurnerLenora Green-Turner is appointed as teaching assistant for music in the faculty of the faculty. Green-Turner, an American soprano from Macon, Georgia, was celebrated by Opera news as an impressive singer and the New York Times as an expressive singer.

She has sung roles like Mimi (La Boheme); Mary (Highway 1, USA); Countess Susanna (Il Segreto di Susanna); First Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), title role Suor Angelica, Berta (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), High Priestess (Aida), Antonia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann). Green-Turner also holds many awards, including the Jane Willson Emerging Artist Award, Leo Rogers Scholarship / Sarasota Opera Guild; MONC Encouragement Award, regional NATS, William Knight Competition, MTNA Young Artist Program, former Artist-In-Residence for Stax Music Academy, LeMoyne-Owen College and Opera Memphis (2013-2017). Green-Turner earned her DMA and MM from the University of Michigan and her Performance Diploma from Indiana University.

Green-Turner is a member of Exigence, led by Eugene Rogers, and works with the Sphinx Organization, a non-profit organization promoting diversity in classical music. She is also the founder and CEO of Green Room Studios LLC; a private vocal studio that helps singers find their authentic creativity. She is excited to join the prestigious University of Arkansas School of Music and give students a new perspective on finding their place in the music industry. She and her husband Anthony J. Turner Jr. are looking forward to this new adventure.

Portrait of Jonathan StinsonJonathan Stinson joins the faculty as a music teaching assistant. As a baritone, Stinson has appeared in leading and supporting roles in opera houses across North America and Europe, including Cincinnati Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Kentucky Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Memphis, Dayton Opera, Cleveland Opera, Central City Opera, Ohio Light Opera , Opera New Jersey and abroad in Italy, England and Bulgaria. He made his international debut in 2010 in Cortona, Italy, in the title role of Don Giovanni.

During the 2019-2020 season he sang Lescaut in Manon Lescaut at Cleveland Opera and performed as a soloist with Connecticut Choral Artists in Handel’s Messiah. Stinson has performed as a soloist with the Kentucky Symphony, the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, the Carmel Bach Festival, the Orchestra of Northern New York, Lafayette Symphony, Liberty Symphony, and Battle Creek Symphony. His most recent solo works include the Requiem by Fauré, Duruflé and Brahms, Bach’s Complete Christmas Oratorio, Mendelssohn’s Von Himmel hoch, Handel’s Messiah, Israel in Egypt and Alexander’s Feast, Britten’s Cantata Misericordium, Vaughan-Williams ‘Dona Nobis Pacem and John Adams’ The wound dresser.

As a prolific composer, Stinson has written seven song cycles, two one-act plays for young audiences, two opera vignettes and several choral works. His song cycles have been performed in the United States and Germany, and his children’s operas have been produced by the Atlanta Opera, Opera Memphis, and Seagle Music Colony, among others. In 2015, his hymn “Beloved” won the Grand Prix of the ninth annual international hymn competition sponsored by the First Baptist Church in Worcester, Massachusetts.

From 2013-2018 Stinson was assistant professor for singing at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. In 2018 he moved to the UK to accept the position of Senior Lecturer in the Musical Theater, where his research focused on vocal health and the efficiency of all vocal styles, especially musical theater. Stinson was a regional finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and received the “Bel Canto Award” at the Orpheus National Voice Competition. He holds a degree in vocal performance from Oberlin Conservatory (BM), Indiana University (MM), and the University of Cincinnati-College-Conservatory of Music (DMA). He is a member of the Faculty of Singing and Musical Theater of the Varna International Music Academy in Bulgaria every June.

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row2k Starting Five: Bermuda’s Dara Alizadeh – coverage of the Olympic Games Mon, 12 Jul 2021 04:09:35 +0000

Two-time boat race winner and UPenn graduate Dara Alizadeh takes part in his first Olympic Games and represents Bermuda in the M1x

1. What inspired you to do your first rowing session? was there anything memorable about that?

I was originally a wrestler in high school and loved it. However, my high school rowing coach suggested I try rowing which I was a little skeptical and not really interested in at first, but my parents said I had to at least try. I remember getting into a foursome with a helmsman and it was very rocky, but it was a beautiful day down by the river which probably helped me decide it was fun.

2. Was there a training session, race, or other event that made you fall in love with the sport or knew you might not be that bad at rowing? When you thought you could make it to the national team?

There was one training session in my junior year in high school where I won my first direct seat race against an older student, and I realized I was okay with that. For a national first team I think I was pretty shocked on my first strike day in the first draft of the 8+ Down in the Charlottesville U23 selection that they gave the keys to a Penn guy, but it was the fastest boat by far that I’ve been in there before, and it gave me a big boost. Aside from a single workout, I think it really boosted my confidence to take the next step every time, from high school, college, U23, boat racing to senior level racing.

3. Best race / training, worst race / training?

Best race was Burk Cup 2014, Penn vs. Northeastern. In total, 0 people picked us to win, I don’t even think Penn thought a win was possible, but we raced like we had nothing to lose. In the 1000 we had 7 places and suddenly we wanted to win this race. The best training time was Cambridge Blue Boat in 2018, we had a camp before the boat race in Nottingham and the boat just went so well together and clicked this week.

Probably the worst practice was a Penn tradition called Ted Nash Row where we rowed 73 miles in a day. That was pretty rough.

The worst race was Linz 2019 which drove the MX1 for Bermuda after sculpting for 3 months. Humiliation doesn’t even begin to describe it, but it was a learning experience

4. The best / everything you’ve done in this sport that nobody knows about?

I am two-time Sveti Duje Regatta Champion in Split, Croatia – nobody talks about that anymore. I also won the best hair at the 2021 BUCS regatta. It’s the little things that count.

5. Any / most important advice for young rowers?

Rowing is the only sport you can achieve if you’ve never seen a rowboat to get to the top of a college rowing career.

Focus on the process, the score takes care of itself.

Don’t talk about the “sacrifices” you make while rowing. You make decisions, not victims. Rowing is hard, embrace it.

Have fun.

Hometown: St. Georges, Bermuda
Place of birth: Brookline, MA, USA
Current Location: Cambridge, UK
Association membership: Bermuda Rowing Association, Cambridge University Boat Club, UTS Rowing, Cambridge Boat Club
Started rowing: 2008
Date of birth: August 27, 1993
Height: 6’4
Weight: 90kg
Secondary school: The Belmont Hill School
Basic training: University of Pennsylvania
Graduate education: Cambridge University
Training location: Ely, Cambridge
Current trainer: Rob Baker
National teams: USA U23 8+ 2015 (Plovdiv, silver), Bermuda 1x 2019 – today

International results: USA U23 8+ 2015 (Plovdiv), Bermuda 1x (WM 2019 Linz, Olympic qualification 2021 Rio, WM2 2021 Luzern)

National results: Boat Race wins with Cambridge in 2018 and 2019

row2k Starting Five: Bermuda's Dara Alizadeh

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Covid-19 in Bulgaria: No new deaths last day, 0.26% tested positive Sun, 11 Jul 2021 21:46:03 +0000

The Covid-19 death toll in Bulgaria remains at 18,140 after no new deaths were recorded on July 11 – the third Sunday in a row that no new deaths were recorded.

The National Information System’s July 12 report said that of 5,989 tests taken on Sunday, 16 – about 0.26 percent – were positive.

To date, 422,462 cases of new coronavirus have been confirmed in Bulgaria, of which 8006 are active, the latter representing an increase of 15 on the previous day.

The report said one person recovered on the previous day, bringing the total to 396,316.

826 patients with Covid-19 are in hospital, an increase of four the day before, 104 in the intensive care unit, unchanged from the previous day.

No medical staff tested positive on Sunday, bringing the number to 13,450 to date.

In Bulgaria, a total of 2095 vaccine doses against Covid-19 were administered on Sunday, making a total of 1,852,583.

To date, 848 792 people have completed the vaccination cycle, 793 of them on Sunday.

(Archive photo: Plovdiv municipality)

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s ongoing coverage of the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria, please click here.

The Sofia Globe’s reporting on the Covid-19 situation in Bulgaria is supported by the embassies of Switzerland and Finland.

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Voting underway in Bulgaria’s July early parliamentary elections Sun, 11 Jul 2021 07:29:44 +0000

Voting is underway in Bulgaria‘s second parliamentary elections in 2021.

The July 11 early parliamentary elections are a consequence of the 45th National Assembly, elected on April 4, not having voted a government into office, and thus having been dissolved.

Twenty-three political parties and coalitions, with a total of more than 5000 candidate MPs, are competing for the 240 seats in the 46th National Assembly. To win a share of those seats, a contestant must get at least four per cent of valid votes cast.

Voting hours are from 7am to 8pm. The Electoral Code allows election officials to extend voting until 9pm at a polling station where a queue remains at 8pm.

As amended by the 45th National Assembly, the Electoral Code requires that voting must be done using a machine at a polling station where more than 300 voters are registered, in this election a total of 9401 in Bulgaria. There is machine voting at 273 polling stations abroad.

There are just more than 13,000 polling stations within Bulgaria, and more than 780 in foreign countries.

If a technical problem prevents a voting machine being used, the Central Election Commission is empowered to decide that a polling station may go over to using paper ballots.

To provide for this, about 7.4 million paper ballots have been printed.

On the morning of July 11, technical problems were reported with voting machines in some places, including, for instance, one case at a polling station in the Sofia district where a machine had an incorrect date and time setting.

There was a similar problem in Cherven Bryag, where a machine’s time was out by an hour. According to Bulgarian National Radio, if necessary, voting there could be extended by an hour.

The law forbids media reporting exit polls on their websites or radio and television stations before the official end of election day in Bulgaria.

The post-8pm exit polls may not present a fully accurate picture of the outcome of the July 11 vote, because voting in foreign countries will proceed until 8pm local times. In Bulgaria’s April regular parliamentary elections, votes cast abroad played a notable role in the outcome. Amendments to the Electoral Code approved this year have made possible a significant increase in polling stations abroad.

In some places in Bulgaria, a ban on the sale of alcohol in shops, bars, restaurants and other public places is in effect on election day. These include Plovdiv, Shoumen, Vratsa and Svishtov.

The Central Election Commission has until July 15 to announce the votes won and the share-out of seats in the next National Assembly. The following day, candidate MPs who have stood and won in more than one electoral district must declare from which one they have been deemed to be elected.

On July 18, the commission must declare the names of those who have been elected MPs.

For further details about the July 11 parliamentary elections, please visit The Sofia Globe’s Election Factfile.

(Screenshot from a video posted by the CEC about how to use a voting machine)

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New elections in Bulgaria: Young voters want lying-weary ‘green’ solutions | In the depths | DW Sat, 10 Jul 2021 14:59:26 +0000

“We urgently need more digitization, legal reforms and a pension increase,” explains Daniel Yanev, a 26-year-old Bulgarian who lives in Berlin. In the summer of 2020 he took an active part in protests against the then government in his home country. “I just cannot accept that Bulgaria is not realizing its economic potential and that people’s standard of living is still well below the EU average. And that’s because of the pervasive corruption and the way public money will be used wasted in Bulgaria, “Yanev told DW.

On July 11th, Bulgarians will be called to the ballot box for the second time this year after attempts to form a government after the April 4th elections have failed. Young people who took to the streets last year want to cast their vote again in order to finally promote change in the corruption-plagued Balkan country – even if they have to interrupt their summer vacation to do so.

Daniel Yanev is one of the founders of ‘Are you lying?’ Fact check platform

Together with friends, Daniel Yanev set up a fact-checking platform whose name translates to “Are you lying?” During the election campaign, the founders research whether politicians are spreading untruths or manipulative statements and publish their findings online. “We pay particular attention to checking statements on the areas of business and health,” says Daniel. “Incorrect information on such topics is particularly dangerous.”

Although Daniel has already decided which party will receive his support on election day, he is at a loss – because even members of “his” party sometimes do not tell the truth. “Working on the ‘Are you lying’ platform taught me to think critically.”

Suffer from corruption

“Corruption is the main scourge of our country,” agrees Boris Bonev. In 2015, together with other young activists, he founded “Save Sofia”, an NGO watchdog group that monitors and criticizes the policies of the Bulgarian Mayoress Yordanka Fandakova and the city administration.

Boris Bonev, co-founder of Save Sofia

Boris Bonev, co-founder of the watchdog NGO “Save Sofia”

Bonev, who studied business administration and innovation and technology management in Paris, and the “Save Sofia” platform are constantly making suggestions on how Sofia can become a more modern, innovative and “greener” city. In 2019, the now 33-year-old ran for mayor’s office with an independent ticket and received more than 10% of the votes.

The fight begins in Sofia

The victories of the opposition in the Hungarian capital Budapest and the Turkish metropolis of Istanbul show, according to Bonev, that the dismantling of a corrupt system, as it was built in Bulgaria by former Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in recent years, has to begin on the whole in cities. “The battle for Bulgaria begins in Sofia,” says Bonev with conviction.

Boyko Borisov gives a speech, small EU flag in his left hand

Boyko Borisov was the Bulgarian Prime Minister until May 12, 2021

According to the latest corruption index from Transparency International, 90% of Bulgarians consider corruption at government level to be a problem. “People are fed up with living in the poorest and most chaotic cities in Europe, under a government run by corruption rather than prudent decisions,” says Bonev.

“Green” solutions

Bonev’s NGO “Save Sofia” has declared its support for nine of the candidates nominated by the Alliance “Democratic Bulgaria” (DB). The DB is an association of parties, which also includes the “Green Movement”. With the move of DB in the course of the elections in April 2020, Bulgaria has Green MPs for the first time since the 1990s. Of the nine DB candidates approved by Save Sofia, five are representatives of the Bulgarian Greens.

Panoramic view of a high pollution area in Sofia, Bulgaria

Every year air pollution kills hundreds of people in the Bulgarian capital

“Our organization is part of the so-called Green Wave in Europe,” says Bonev. He is convinced that Bulgaria and the capital Sofia in particular urgently need green solutions. “The fight against air pollution, which kills hundreds of people in Sofia every year, is one of our top priorities. The other important goal is to reduce car traffic. This can only work if alternatives are provided.”

The 26-year-old activist Daniel Yanev is also looking for alternatives. Bulgaria needs a new generation of politicians – modern, young and independent: “In the elections on July 11th, I will support candidates who are experts and have no dubious past.” According to Yanev, such people are not only needed for Bulgarian politics, but also for the economy of the EU member state.

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