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  December 19, 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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Bulgarian Culture Sydney  

Bulgarian News

RB Warns Proposed Change to Pension Law Might Destabilise Coalition
Friday, 19th December 2014

The Reformist Bloc (RB), the junior partner in Bulgaria's minory government coalition, on Thursday warned that the proposed controversial amendments to the pension insurance law might destabilise the coalition.

“GERB jeopardises the parliamentary majority and the stability of government,” said the spokesperson of the RB Radan Kanev in Parliament, criticising the intentions of GERB to amend the pension insurance laws without proper consultations.  The proposed change was agreed at a sudden meeting between GERB leader Boyko Borisov and the trade unions on Sunday.

“These amendments were coordinated neither with the state social insurance fund (NOI), nor with the social partners.  It hasn't been discussed by the Government or approved by the parliamentary social policy committee,” Kanev noted.

“Such forceful methods with unclear motivation were typical of the previous Parliament and eroded the trust in the previous majority and the Oresharski government.”

According to the new idea, the employees born after 1959 would be forced to choose whether to transfer the 5% of their social insurance contributions now held in their own name at private pension funds to the solidarity state-run fund NOI, or to keep the current situation in which 12% of the contributions go to NOI and 5% to a private pension fund.

Each employee would have the option to choose once in a lifetime.

Those who start their first job, would have a year to decide whether they want to contribute only to NOI, or to NOI and a private fund.  They would also have only one chance to choose throughout their career.

The proposal was criticised by the political parties, the business and economists, calling it a “nationalisation”, while GERB functionaries declared the amendments “democratic”.

The Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) said they would ask President Rosen Plevneliev to veto the amendments, if Parliament approves them.

“Neither of the main institutions and specialists on the matter were involved in a detailed and profound debate on the proposed amendments to the pension insurance system,” BIA noted in a statement.

”The refusal to engage in a social dialogue, the refusal to adhere to fundamental principles and global labour conventions erodes the industrial relations by affirming the model of party and government control over social cooperation by engaging with convenient and easy to manipulate social partners.”

The ABV representative in the Government, Social Policy Minister Ivaylo Kalfin, noted that the amendments were rushed through, adding that he would keep the 5% of his contributions in a private pension fund.

“This is surprising,” Kalfin said.  “The proposal does not solve any of NOI's problems, but would rather destabilise the entire system.”

Meanwhile, members of the public are organising themselves through the social networks and on Thursday evening are holding a protest under the slogan “Say no to theft”.

Bulgaria's Socialist Party Demands Cancellation of Sanctions against Russia
Thursday, 18th December 2014

The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) demands that Bulgaria initiates the cancellation of the EU sanctions against Russia, said the party press office.

The BSP parliamentary group tabled in the National Assembly a draft proposal on the need of reconsideration of the EU policies on sanctions against Russia.

The document contains three main points: a declaration of Bulgaria's National Assembly against further EU sanctions against Russia, a plan drafted by Bulgaria's Government for the gradual cancellation of the current sanctions, which will be presented to the EU Council on Foreign Affairs.  The third point is a demand for lifting of the ban on the official travels of Russian MPs to EU member states.

In the document BSP points out that the EU sanctions and the Russian contra-sanctions proved inefficient and brought suffering both to the Russians and the EU citizens.

The document was signed by BSP leader Mihail Mikov, former foreign minister Kristian Vigenin, former defence minister Angel Naidenov, former economy and energy minister Dragomir Stoinev and several other BSP MPs.

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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.