On Wednesday Sofia and Bulgaria were shaken by the death of two young women, aged 22 and 26, in a tragic car accident that took place just before midnight on Tuesday. The two were walking on the sidewalk when they were hit by debris from a SUV, which had just crashed into a taxi and a motorcycle and had split into two. The driver turned out to be a 35-year-old ex-footballer with 50 recorded traffic violations, including driving under the influence of drugs, who had never been indicted or stripped of his driving license. He escaped from the scene but was arrested around 13:00 on Wednesday. In other news:
Greek, Bulgarian PMs to inaugurate gas interconnector on Friday
The prime ministers of Bulgaria and Greece, Kiril Petkov, and Kyriakos Mitsotakis will participate in a ceremony for the official opening of the Greece-Bulgaria gas interconnector (ICGB) on Friday, Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported, citing the Greek environment and energy minister Kostas Skrekas. The ceremony will be held in Komotini, where the Greek part of the pipeline ends. According to the Greek publication, Mr Skrekas, who spoke at a conference organized by the Economist magazine, said that the facility will be operational by the end of the month. He also noted that, thanks to the liquefied natural gas unloading terminal on the island of Revitusa, up to 80 percent of Bulgaria's daily natural gas needs are already being covered.
Brussels greenlights 11 bln worth of EU funding for Sofia for the 2021-2027 period
On Wednesday, the European Commission gave the green light to Bulgaria's proposed framework for investment of EU funds for the new programming period 2021-2027. The publication of the document will pave the way for the approval of new operational programs and the possible start of the implementation of some of them in the second half of the year. The framework was yet another strategic document that was adopted way later than anticipated due to the political crisis of 2021 and the absence of an elected government to approve it. The Partnership Agreement covers a total of five European Funds - the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund +, the Cohesion Fund, the Fair Transition Fund and the European Maritime, Fisheries and Aquaculture Fund - worth a total of 11 billion euro. These funds will be used to implement a total of 10 national programs.
WCC regains ground, GERB and Vazrazhdane skid in latest Alpha Research poll
The largest parliamentary faction WCC appears to have regained support after the fall of the cabinet and the dismissal of Parliament Head Nikola Minchev by the anti-government coalition of GERB, Vazrazhdane, TISP and MRF.
This is the main finding from an Alpha Research poll published on Wednesday - WCC improves its score by almost 2 percent (18.4 to 20.2) compared to April, while their main opponents GERB practically are virtually unchanged (21.7 percent in April compared to 21.5 now). The party that caused the rift in the ruling coalition, TISP, is already projected to fall below the 5 percent threshold for entering the next Parliament, while the radical Russophile Vazrazhdane faction is losing steam, down from 9.4 percent down to 7.9 percent.