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  January 25, 2015 

Rodina Sydney - the Bulgarian Community and Culture Association

The Bulgarian Community in Sydney

The Bulgarian Community and Culture Association "Rodina" is the focal point for Bulgarians and the Bulgarian culture in Sydney and New South Wales.  We organise regular BBQs, dances and social events as well as support the Bulgarian School in Sydney.  Our community includes people with Bulgarian heritage, partners of Bulgarians and people interested in the Bulgarian Culture.  As part of Multi-Cultural Australia we aim to contribute and enrich its diverse culture.  We also provide orientation and help for Bulgarians newly arrived in Sydney and New South Wales.

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Bulgarian News

Finance Ministry Reverses Controversial Changes to Pension Insurance
Saturday, 24th January 2015

Bulgaria's Finance Ministry reversed its decision regarding the social insurance contributions of newly insured persons.

According to amendments that were hastily adopted at the end of 2014, those entering the labour market for the first time were provided with a period of one year to decide whether to contribute to a private pension fund or the solidarity fund of the National Social Security Institute (NOI).

The controversial changes were resisted by representatives of the private pension funds, the employers' organisations and the junior coalition partners from the Reformist Bloc (RB).

Hundreds of citizens submitted complaints to the Ombudsman, electronic daily Dnevnik reports.

The Finance Ministry published on its website on Friday proposals for new amendments to the Social Insurance Code, which foresee the reversal of its earlier decision.

According to the proposed changes, those entering the labour market for the first time will have a period of three months during which to choose a private pension fund.

In case the person fails to choose one, the allocation will happen automatically, which was the case before 31 December 2014.

This proposal coincides with the ideas suggested by MPs from the RB.

The draft texts also foresee that people insured in universal pension funds will have the right to transfer their contributions back and forth between NOI and the private funds, but no more than once a year.

The last such switch can be made five years before retirement.

These provisions are much more acceptable than the changes adopted in December, which established that the Council of Ministers is to define the rules for the transfer between funds.

The contributions for a second pension, which are transferred from a private fund to NOI, will go to the Silver Fund.

The contributions are to be stored in the Silver Fund until the retirement of the individual or until the person decides to transfer them back to a private fund.

This will guarantee that individual contributions will be preserved intact in the Silver Fund.



Bulgarian Cabinet Makes Governance Programme Public
Saturday, 24th January 2015

The Bulgarian Council of Ministers published its detailed governance programme on the government's website on Friday.

Although the programme was adopted on Wednesday, it was made public only after the first meeting of the Council for development, electronic daily Dnevnik reports.

The Council for development, which was established last week, is the body where parties of the ruling coalition will discuss contentious issues.

The programme has 177 pages and contains 21 chapters – each of them covering a certain policy area.

In the section on foreign policy, the government foresees strengthening Bulgaria's influence in the European institutions as well as establishment of trade relations with Russia and the major Asian countries.

As regards the economy and tourism, the cabinet will aim at attracting more high-income tourists and will provide bankrupted businessmen with a second chance.

The expenses on defence are set to increase to 2 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2018, while video surveillance will be increased in order to fight crime and ensure internal order.

The programme envisages reform of the museums and greater transparency of media ownership.

The improvement of the road infrastructure in northwestern Bulgaria is identified as one of the priorities of the government's regional policy.

As regards healthcare, the programme foresees that salaries of emergency medics will increase twofold.

The chapter on education provides an online system for external assessment and training of pupils through work experience.

For its social policy, the government foresees an increase in the weight of work experience from 2017 and less working poor.

As regards finances, there will be a new tax policy model.

In terms of energy, the South Stream project remains in the programme, as an official decision on its cancellation is still lacking, Deputy Prime Minister Rumyana Bachvarova said.



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About Us

The Bulgarian Cultural and Social Association "Rodina" promotes Bulgarian culture, traditions and language among the Bulgarian community in NSW.  For over 30 years we have been fostering knowledge and understanding about the Bulgarian culture and history by organising social events, forums, exhibitions, performances and other public initiatives.  We seek to strengthen the social, economic, educational and cultural ties between Australia and Bulgaria.  Therefore, maintaining a close relationship with Australian organisations and institutions in Australia is of significant importance to us.  As part of Multi-Cultural Australia we aim to contribute and enrich its diverse culture.  Rodina collaborates and co-operates with other Bulgarian and cultural organisations in Australia.