European Prosecutor's Office raids Kovachki's companies
Monday saw an unprecedented raid: under the supervision of the European Prosecutor's Office, GDBOP and DANS entered the offices of energy companies belonging to Hristo Kovachki's group. The police operation was conducted in offices across Sofia, Pernik, Burgas, Ruse, Veliko Tarnovo and the districts of Kyustendil, Stara Zagora and Haskovo.Interior Minister Ivan Demerdzhiev confirmed the operation and promised to deliver details at a later time. The offices of Kovachki - known as the "energy boss" - are yet to comment on the events.
The European Public Prosecutor's Office, headed by Laura Kövesi, was appointed in the summer of 2021. Its mission is to investigate crimes related to fraud with euro funds and corruption within EU member states. The European Public Prosecutor's Office has powers to investigate crimes connected to the financial interests of the EU - intentional crimes, including fraud, corruption, money laundering and misappropriation of EU funds.
Transmetrics raises EUR 2.5 million
Bulgarian startup Transmetrics, which develops software with artificial intelligence to optimize large transport companies' logistics, has raised a total of 2.5 million euros.Nearly half (1.2 million euros) comes from the European Innovation Council (EIC). Another 1.2 million euros come from business angel investors, due to EIC regulation. The Council only invests in companies when half of the invested funds consist of private capital. The remaining 100 thousand euros come from the Bulgarian investment firm Impetus Capital. The money is given out via convertible loans.
This is the second major funding round Transmetrix has raised with the participation of a European structure. In 2019, the EIC invested BGN 3.25 million in the company.
Foreign tourist numbers rise sharply
Despite the lack of snow, foreign tourist visits grew by an impressive 60% in January, according to the National Statistical Institute. January is usually a vibrant period for winter resorts due to foreign tourists' ski trips, but due to the lack of snow this month, there were cancellations and many trips were rescheduled for March.More than 711 000 foreign tourists visited Bulgaria last month, 35.4% of whom only did so in transit.
The share of visitors from the EU is 45.5% (324 000). The biggest total visitor share comes from Turkey, followed by Romania, Greece and the Republic of North Macedonia.
A total of 49 300 Ukrainians also either visited or took a transit crossing via the country.