Allied Heads of State and Government are gathering in London on Tuesday (3 December 2019) to commemorate the 70th anniversary of NATO. In 1949, the U
The the 70th Anniversary of NATO Gathers Political Leaders in London

The the 70th Anniversary of NATO Gathers Political Leaders in London

The the 70th Anniversary of NATO Gathers Political Leaders in London

The the 70th Anniversary of NATO Gathers Political Leaders in London

The the 70th Anniversary of NATO Gathers Political Leaders in London

The the 70th Anniversary of NATO Gathers Political Leaders in London
The the 70th Anniversary of NATO Gathers Political Leaders in London
  • 2019-12-03 17:05:07 10 days ago
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Allied Heads of State and Government are gathering in London on Tuesday (3 December 2019) to commemorate the 70th anniversary of NATO. In 1949, the United Kingdom was one of NATO’s twelve founding members and London was the home of NATO’s first headquarters. Leaders will take decisions to further strengthen the Alliance and continue its adaptation. This evening, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will host a reception for NATO leaders at Buckingham Palace.

Also on Tuesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will discuss the main themes of the leaders’ meeting at a major public diplomacy event in London, NATO Engages: Innovating the Alliance.

On Wednesday leaders will meet at The Grove Hotel to address current security issues and take decisions to ensure that NATO remains fit for the future.  They are expected to agree on a number of measures, including further improvements to the readiness of Allied forces, recognizing space as an operational domain, and updating NATO’s action plan against terrorism. 

Leaders are also due to have a strategic discussion on Russia, the future of arms control, as well as the rise of China. Allies are also expected to assess the progress being made on burden sharing in the Alliance.  This has been the fifth consecutive year of rising defence investment, with European Allies and Canada due to spend $130 billion extra by the end of 2020, with that figure rising to $400 billion by the end of 2024, NATO press centre reported.

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The the 70th Anniversary of NATO Gathers Political Leaders in London

NATO Expects a Tenfold Increase in Defense Spending by 2024 Compared to 2018.

NATO Expects a Tenfold Increase in Defense Spending by 2024 Compared to 2018.

By 2024, NATO expects defense spending in the alliance (excluding the US) to increase nearly tenfold over 2018 spending. This is shown by the data provided by NATO today.

While the Allies (excluding the United States) spent $ 43 billion last year on defense, after five years, the cost is expected to reach $ 400 billion. The latest figures for 2019 indicate a 4.6% year-over-year increase in military spending.

Secretary-General of the Pact Jens Stoltenberg said today that NATO remains the place where Europe and North America talk daily. According to him, there are sometimes differences in the alliance, but the strength of the organization is that it always overcomes them and manages to provide mutual protection.

Stoltenberg announced that the leaders of the Pact countries will discuss issues with Russia, China, Afghanistan and the security of telecommunications networks at their meeting in London next week. We do not see a direct threat from Russia to any NATO country, but Moscow is putting forces into new combat capabilities, including nuclear ones, while terminating the treaty for the removal of small and medium-range missiles, the Secretary General noted. In his words, the alliance must be able to respond to threats from any direction.

We're increasing military spending, not to the liking of US President Donald Trump, but because of the changing security situation. The view that the US is moving away from NATO is wrong, Stoltenberg said.

(DF) Parliament Passes Conclusively 2020 National Health Insurance Fund Budget Act

(DF) Parliament Passes Conclusively 2020 National Health Insurance Fund Budget Act

Sofia, December 3 (BTA) - At an extraordinary plenary sitting on Tuesday, Bulgaria's Parliament passed conclusively the 2020 National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) Act. GERB and the United Patriots voted in favour, and BSP for Bulgaria and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) voted against.

At 4,640,733,700 leva, the health insurance revenues are nearly 400 million leva more than in 2019. Of these, 3,107,134,200 leva will come from health insurance contributions (264,880,000 leva more than in 2019) and 1,533,599,000 leva from health insurance transfers.

The budget allocates 2.2 billion leva for hospital care, 244 million leva for primary off-hospital care, nearly 265 for specialist off-hospital care, 1.2 billion leva for medicines, and almost 180,000 leva for dental activities.

The final version of the law provided for an extra 12 million leva for off-hospital care: 6 million leva more for primary off-hospital care, 3 million leva more for specialist off-hospital care, and 3 million leva more for medical diagnostics.

The health insurance contribution rate remains unchanged at 8 per cent.

The total debt of Bulgarian hospitals now approximates 500 million leva, of which 150 million leva are owed to the NHIF.

During the plenary debate, the Left-wing opposition demanded a 4.9 billion leva health insurance budget and moved that medicines for children under 14 should be free of charge as from next year and that the allocation for hospital care should be increased by 5.3 million leva, which could come from a waiver of NHIF's fees paid to the National Revenue Agency.

"As long as hospitals continue to be treated as commercial corporations, the problems in the sector will not be solved," Socialist MP Georgi Mihailov commented.

BSP for Bulgaria also opposed a withdrawal by parliamentary Healthcare Committee Chair Daniela Daritkova MP of GERB of a motion to exclude the financing of essential cancer treatment medicines from the budget framework, arguing that in this way the prices of these medicines will soar and patients will be forced to buy them abroad. Daritkova countered that if this exclusion was kept, it would be tantamount to "signing a blank check for 100 million leva". This made it possible to add 68 million leva to the allocation for medicines for special medical purposes and 31.9 million leva to the financing for cancer medicines.

The majority pushed through a motion enabling children with cancer to continue their free-of-charge treatment after they turn 18. Daritkova argued that this provision will guarantee that the sick children will be able to continue their therapy without changing their status once they attain majority. The opposition, however, saw this as imposing segregation and age discrimination.

Health Minister Kiril Ananiev told journalists that the new healthcare model will be elaborated in 2020 so as to implement it in 2021. He reassured the public that the allocation for medicines for rare diseases and cancer has not been decreased and these medicines will be available to patients. LG

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