The first snow of the winter 2019 season descended on Bulgarian capital city Sofia on December 3. The snowfall began in the morning, as the dropping
Bulgarian capital Sofia sees first snow of winter 2019

Bulgarian capital Sofia sees first snow of winter 2019

Bulgarian capital Sofia sees first snow of winter 2019

Bulgarian capital Sofia sees first snow of winter 2019

Bulgarian capital Sofia sees first snow of winter 2019

Bulgarian capital Sofia sees first snow of winter 2019
Bulgarian capital Sofia sees first snow of winter 2019
  • 2019-12-03 15:35:06 10 days ago
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The first snow of the winter 2019 season descended on Bulgarian capital city Sofia on December 3. The snowfall began in the morning, as the dropping temperatures turned what was previously a drizzle into snowflakes.

Perhaps owing to the calendar date – first snows in Bulgaria in recent years have tended to come in mid-to-late November – this time the annual occurrence did not catch authorities by surprise.

Sofia city hall said that it has already deployed teams to sprinkle anti-icing mix on streets and pavements, primarily in areas with steeper inclines.

Although the snow cover was still thin, the city hall had a total of 166 snowploughs spread over 67 locations in the city ready to spring into action if the snowfall intensified, Bulgarian National Television reported.

The Road Infrastructure Agency said it had a total of 1800 snowploughs on standby and had already started anti-icing activities on roads in mountainous areas.

The agency said that the necessary supplies for the winter season had been distributed to the staging areas and up to 3000 vehicles could be used to clear snow and de-ice roads, if needed.

It already restricted traffic on the Troyan Pass, banning vehicles of more than 12 tons, in order to clear the fallen snow.

Forecasters issued a “code yellow” alert of potentially hazardous weather for 18 districts on December 3, in western, southern and central Bulgaria, but the country’s meteorology institute was yet to issue any warning for December 4.

The weather forecast said that the snowfall was expected to stop overnight, with clearer skies on December 4 and daily highs ranging from zero degrees Celsius in Sofia to 5C on the country’s Black Sea coast.

Night-time temperatures were expected to fall below freezing point, mainly between -5C and -2C, but falling as low as -12C in Smolyan, southern Bulgaria, and -9C in Gabrovo, central Bulgaria.

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Bulgarian capital Sofia sees first snow of winter 2019

Kostenets is leading Bulgarian EDEN destination for balneo tourism

Kostenets is leading Bulgarian EDEN destination for balneo tourism

The Bulgarian Ministry of Tourism selected the new Bulgarian EDEN destinations (European Destinations of Excellence) under the project Health and Well-being Tourism. The project drew the attention of various Bulgarian municipalities with health and balneo routes. Kostenets Municipality became the winner destination and Samokov (Belchin village), Banite, Sapareva Banya and Ardino municipalities are the runners-up destinations. Kostenets Municipality is a traditional balneo destination for the treatment and rehabilitation of respiratory diseases, diseases of the musculoskeletal system and the peripheral nervous system. The purpose of the project is to promote emerging and little known Bulgarian tourist regions, which have developed specific services based on the local natural resources, equipment and infrastructure for development of health and balneo tourism.


Parliament approves appointment of Sacheva as new Labour Minister

Parliament approves appointment of Sacheva as new Labour Minister

Bulgaria’s National Assembly voted on December 3 to approve Prime Minister Boiko Borissov’s nomination of Denitsa Sacheva as Minister of Labour and Social Policy, replacing Bisser Petkov in that portfolio.

Petkov stepped down on November 29, his resignation requested by Borissov and accepted on the same day. A terse government statement said that it was not due to one immediate issue, but “based on reasons accumulated over time.”

It gave no further details about those reasons, but the statement said that Borissov “believes that the speed at which the Labour and Social Policy Ministry is working does not meet social and political expectations.”

Over the weekend, Borissov nominated Sacheva, who had previously served as deputy labour minister but was most recently deputy education minister.

The appointment of Sacheva was approved by 114 votes in favour and 106 against, with three abstentions. The votes in favour came from MPs for Borissov’s GERB and the two ultra-nationalist parties that make up the junior partner in the ruling coalition.

The opposition parties – the socialists and predominantly ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms – were joined by ultra-nationalists Ataka, whose MPs otherwise back the government, in voting against Sacheva’s appointment.

Bulgaria’s Parliament does not normally sit on Tuesdays, but it scheduled a special sitting on December 3 to debate and vote the 2019 healthcare and social security budgets. The process is normally a lengthy one and the bills’ passage would not have been helped by the two-hour debate that preceded the vote on Sacheva’s appointment.

Socialist MPs criticised the reshuffle, with party leader Kornelia Ninova pointing out that it was the eighth ministerial change in the current administration, Borissov’s third as prime minister.

The now-habitual exchanges of accusations and counter-accusations followed, with the opposition MPs expanding their criticism not only to the government’s social policies, but education as well, given Sacheva’s previous government position.

(Denitsa Sacheva takes her oath of office in the National Assembly on December 3. Photo: parliament.bg)

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