Police pursue suspect after truck tragedy
Police are still hunting a driver, thought to have fled to Greece, following the discovery of 18 dead migrants in a truck outside Sofia on Friday.
The individuals, reportedly Afghan citizens, were crammed into an overcrowded truck transporting wood. The vehicle, which had come through the Turkish border, was believed to be heading to Serbia and then on to Germany and the United Kingdom.
The driver of the truck, which contained 50 migrants, reportedly fled, leaving many injured persons aboard.
The news again highlighted Bulgaria's porous border. This was the primary reason cited by the the EU for rejecting Bulgaria's Schengen application.
State's losses for not adopting the Euro
Deputy Prime Minister Atanas Pekanov has estimated that Bulgaria will incur annual losses of between BGN 300 and BGN 400 million for remaining outside the euro.
Pekanov estimates that based on the lower credit rating, the state will have to pay about BGN 200-250 million more to pay its debt due to higher interest rates. Separately, additional interest for businesses is around BGN 50-60 million higher than if Bulgaria had joined the single currency.
Expats who send money to Bulgaria are also burdened with more expenses. With more that BGN 2 billion flowing in annually from abroad, the losses from currency conversion run to about BGN 50 million.
Pekanov also criticized Vazrazhdane for organizing a referendum against the Eurozone. "Everyone has the right to an opinion but not the right to spread fake news," he said.
O'Brien slays Magnitsky deniers
The United States stands by its list of those sanctioned under the global Magnitsky Act, according to the head of the Sanctions Coordination Service, James O'Brien.
"We have not been misled by anyone. We do our own research. We have many sources of information and we are confident in our conclusions," O'Brien said.
O' Brien refuted former Energy Minister Rumen Ovcharov's claim that he was included in the list at the request of nuclear fuel giant Westinghouse, which competes with Russian companies to enter the Bulgarian market. He stressed that that Ovcharov was sanctioned for actions that predated any matters concerning the commercial interest of the American company.