Archive for April 18, 2009

Another Bulgarian businessman kidnapped.

The alarming trend continues with yet another Bulgarian businessman vanishing, three days after the 70-year-old Kiro Kirov was released by his kidnappers.

Vene Sotirov (64) has been missing since the evening of April 16. According to broadcaster bTV, there is a strong possibility that he was abducted in or near the Sofia borough of Souhata Reka, where he was last seen.

According to broadcaster Darik News, the abduction was carried out by the same group that kidnapped Kirov, but as of now there is no ransom demand made.

In fact, apart from kidnapping speculation from bTV and Darik, there is no such official information confirmed by the authorities.

Sotirov owns a chain of stores in Sofia and is involved with catering, Dnevnik daily reported. According to 24 Chasa daily, Sotirov was a member of the supervisory board of the First Eastern International Bank, now the International Asset Bank, alongside the president of Slavia Sofia football club Ventsislav Stefanov and former MP Dimitar Lambovski, among others.

Until 1996, he was in the executive board of the Central Cooperative Bank.  Sofia Echo

Bulgarians still need work permits to work in Belgium

Belgium decided to lift its labour restrictions on nationals of eight Eastern European countries but not Bulgarians and Romanians, Reuters said on April 17 2009.
The decision for lifting the ban on May 1 2009 still has to be approved by a full session of Belgium’s cabinet, which will meet to discuss the issue on April 24.
Belgium will allow workers from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, eight countries that joined the European Union five years ago, to work freely in the country, Reuters said.
Bulgarians and Romanians, however, will have to wait until 2011 to work in Belgium without work permits.  
Out of 25 EU member states, 11 have restrictions in place for Bulgarians and Romanians. Ireland was the most recent country to extend restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians – until 2011. Germany, Austria and the UK have also confirmed that restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians will remain.

Hungary and Portugal opened their labour markets to nationals of the two Balkan countries on January 8 2009.

Just before New Year’s Eve, Greece and Spain did the same. Denmark, which currently imposes some restrictions, has also announced that it will stop applying restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian workers from May 1 2009, when it will also end all restrictions for workers from the eight EU member states that joined in 2004. Sofia Echo