Sofia, November 21 (BTA)
The double murder of two children, 5 and 3, by their mother in the southwestern town of Sandanski dominates the headlines of Saturday’s newspapers. Troud runs a front-page story about the tragedy. The mother, who admitted to killing her two children, a boy and a girl, is described as mentally unstable. She had not been diagnosed, however, and her condition deteriorated in recent moths, likely causing her to slaughter her children. Telegraf, Monitor and 24 Chassa also cover the tragic story.
Telegraf frontpages a story about how restaurants are trying to make up for lost revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictive measures by inflating prices for New Year’s celebrations. The higher prices will make up the losses restaurants will suffer due to the health authorities’ requirement that they use at no more than 50 per cent of their available capacity to accommodate customers. Many restaurants and entertainment establishments have opted not to work at all during the holidays, because they would be unable to make a profit with the current restrictions in place.
24 Chassa writes in a front-page article that there is a new trend in holiday travel abroad, where tourist packages include COVID-19 PCR tests, if the destination country introduces such a requirement. The number of holiday package offers has decreased tenfold compared to last year, both for Bulgaria and abroad.
Monitor leads with a story about online education amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the changes to the ordinance on inclusive education, promulgated in the State Gazette on October 27, students who are learning remotely from home via e-mail or Viber, and fail to send back their homework, will be marked as absent.
The US Embassy in Sofia and the America for Bulgaria Foundation’s USD 1 million donation to the fight against COVID-19 in Bulgaria is covered by the press.
24 Chassa quotes the US Embassy that it is starting jointly with the America for Bulgaria Foundation a campaign to fight COVID-19 worth USD 1 million, mottoed “Healing Together”. The money will be allocated over the next two months for providing medical services and equipment. The news is covered by Telegraf, Monitor and Troud as well.
Capital online writes that the A1 Bulgaria mobile operator has officially launched the first cells of its 5G network in Sofia. It will initially only cover the central parts of the city, main residential and business areas. Its plans are to have 5G available in all towns with a population of over 10,000 by the end of the first quarter of 2021. The company is the second Bulgarian mobile operator to launch a commercial 5G network on the market, after Vivacom did so at the end of September in the central parts of all regional cities in Bulgaria.
Troud writes that Parliament adopted conclusively amendments to the Obligations and Contracts Act, introducing a 10-year unconditional extinctive prescription for money debt claims on natural persons regardless of whether the prescription has been tolled. This means the end of the so called eternal debtor, as after the 10-year period expires, citizens will not longer be chased after for unpaid debts to utilities, mobile operators, banks, debt collectors, quick loan companies, and even debt to other natural persons. Right now, people could be indebted until the end of their lives and their debt could be transferred to their heirs. The new amendments will become effective three months after they are promulgated in the State Gazette, which will happen sometime at the end of next February. The changes will be valid for people who are currently indebted as well. 24 Chassa also covers the topic.
24 Chassa and Troud write that the Chiren natural gas storage facility will be expanded next March.
Troud quotes Prime Minister Boyko Borissov as saying that the Bulgarian natural gas transmission network is absolutely modernized and reversible. He was speaking during an inspection of a the Rasovo compressor station together with Bulgartransgaz chief Vladimir Malinov. What’s most important, in Borissov’s words, is that Bulgarian businesses will be able to get natural gas supplies from wherever they wish for the cheapest price. Later in the day, the Prime Minister visited the Chiren gas storage facility, where an expansion is planned. He ordered that the preparatory works on this be completed by next February or March.
Troud: There will be three Christmas markets in Sofia this year, but there will be no food consumption or tables. Open air stages and cultural events are also banned, the Sofia coronavirus task force decided. The markets will function while strictly observing the anti-epidemic measures. The organizers will have to provide security guards, who will monitor and enforce the measures, such as preventing people from crowding. Face masks will be mandatory for both vendors and customers at the markets.
24 Chassa writes that the US are disappointed from Bulgaria’s decision to block the start of North Macedonia’s EU accession process. The newspaper quotes a position issued by the US Department of State in response to this country’s decision to block the start of EU membership talks with Skopje. The US Department of State call on Sofia and Skopje to resolve their bilateral issued outside the Eu accession process and push forward their common goal of North Macedonia EU membership. According to Washington, the EU’s decision to start accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania this March is a positive step and serves to disprove the false allegations that the transatlantic community has abandoned the Balkans. Meanwhile, young Macedonians burned the Bulgarian flag. The act was filmed in Gazi Baba municipality and posted online by VMRO-DPMNE’s youth organization. The burning of the Bulgarian flag was condemned by North Macedonia’s Foreign Ministry.
Telegraf quotes Prime Minister Boyko Borissov as saying that COVID-19 vaccines will be free, voluntary, safe and certified by the European Medicines Agency. “They will help us deal with the pandemic and go back to our normal lives,” he is quoted as saying. Borissov held a working meeting with Health Minister Kostadin Angelov after his video conference on Thursday evening with other EU leaders. Bulgaria has also allocated 15 million leva for antigen tests, which will be put to use when the morbidity plateau is reached, as testing people at this point will offer a clearer picture, he is quoted as saying further.
24 Chassa writes that Australian national Jock Palfreeman is no longer barred from leaving Bulgaria. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder, but was released early and can not leave this country. The decision was made by the Supreme Administrative Court on Friday, when the judges lifted Palfreeman’s ban on leaving the country, which was issued by the head of the Migration Directorate on September 1, 20111, when the Australian was a defendant in a case for the murder of Bulgarian student Andrey Monov.