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  October 24, 2014 

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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ABV Will Stay Out of Gov't, But Will Back Some GERB Policies
Thursday, 23rd October 2014

Differences remain between conservative GERB and left-wing ABV and the latter will not take part in the government, ABV's Ivaylo Kalfin said Thursday.

Speaking to journalists after a second round of negotiations between the two parties, Kalfin however added his party would throw its support behind certain policies offered by the center-right party of Boyko Borisov.

In the joint statement of GERB and ABV after their closed-door talks the two parties underscored their agreement "in principle" on policies in areas such as the judiciary and security.

Kalfin, on the other hand, reiterated his party's proposal that a grand coalition be formed with the participation of Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) and the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).

GERB and ABV failed to agree on taxation and budget, with conservatives insisting the current tax legislation should remain untouched, while the left-wing party supports the introduction of the progressive tax system.

Negotiations are to be held with the nationalist coalition called Patriotic Front later on Thursday.

Two more parties, the BSP and the right-wing Reformist Bloc, were picked by GERB for the second round of consultations to form a government.

Reformists supprisingly met GERB's leader Borisov at his party's headquarters on Tuesday, while no specific date has been set for talks with socialists.

GERB has often described the right-wing coalition as its "most natural" partner.

The conservatives, who won October 5's snap poll, are expected to be handed out a mandate to from a government after Parliament is convened next Monday.

A total of eight parties made it into the National Assembly after the vote, with many experts and political leaders themselves predicting long and difficult negotiations.



PF Urges Power Price Freeze, Anti-Crime Steps Ahead of Talks with GERB
Thursday, 23rd October 2014

Freezing power prices and boosting police presence in regions with high rates of crime attributed to Roma population will be two key demands of Bulgaria’s nationalist coalition Patriotic Front in a new round of talks with GERB on Thursday.

Krasimir Karakachanov, leader of VMRO party that is part of the Patriotic Front, said in an interview for 24 Chasa daily that the potential participation of the PF in a government coalition with centre-right GERB hinges on these two conditions.

PF representatives meet GERB in Sofia at noon time on Thursday in a second round of consultations over formation of a government coalition following October 5 early elections in which GERB won most votes but remained short of outright majority.

GERB has 84 of the 240 in the 43rd National Assembly that is scheduled to hold its first meeting on October 27.  The PF have 19 seats, which makes them the fifth-largest group out of the eight parties and coalitions that passed the 4% threshold to enter parliament.

Bulgaria’s energy regulator DKEVR raised power prices by 9.8% on average as of 1 October in a bid to help troubled National Electricity Company (NEK) reduce huge deficits on its balance sheet and stay afloat.  The previous price hike, by an average of 2%, took effect on July 1.  Raising electricity prices is a sensitive issue in Bulgaria, the EU’s poorest member state, where power bills account for a considerable portion of households’spending.

Karakachanov also said the PF will push for an overall review of price formation in the energy sector .

“Why are we exporting cheap electricity generated by Kozloduy [nuclear power plant] and Maritza East 2 [coal fired power plant] while here we are buying expensive power from [coal fired] Maritza East 1 and Maritza East 3?” Karakachanov said.

“Let’s have it the other way round and lower the profitability rate of the latter ones.”

Kozloduy and Maritza East 2 are state-owned, while Maritsa East 1 is owned by US-based AES Corporation.  Maritsa East 3 is majority owned by another US-based company, ContourGlobal .

According to Karakachanov, the long-term power purchase agreements with the US investors can’t be an obstacle to defending Bulgaria’s national interests.

Referring to burglaries of homes of mostly elderly people in remote villages across Bulgaria widely blamed on Roma population living there, Karakachanov urged police to introduce round-the-clock video surveillance in those areas rather than sporadically send patrols which usually are unable to find the perpetrators.

 “It is intolerable to leave a Bulgarian pensioner, who had paid his bills and social insurance for 45 years, to be robbed by our Roma brethren,” Karakachanov said.

The PF also demands that Bulgarian nationals residing in Turkey, who have the right to vote in parliamentary elections in Bulgaria, cast ballots only in polling stations opened in the Bulgarian embassy and consular offices in the neighbouring country.  The move will aim to prevent potential voting fraud suspected to favour Bulgaria’s mainly ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) which draws large portion of its support from Bulgarian expats living in Turkey.

 

 



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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.