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Bulgaria New PM Borisov Sacks 4 Ministries, Adds 2 in GERB Cabinet

Novinite – Bulgaria’s incoming Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, who formally presented Thursday the Ministers in his new cabinet, has changed the structure of the Bulgarian government.

Borisov has removed four of the Ministries in the Stanishev government of the three-way coalition.

In his new cabinet does not include a Ministry of State Administration (headed by Nikolay Vasilev in the Stanishev government), and a Ministry of Emergency Situations (formerly headed by Emel Etem).

Borisov has also sacked the positions of Ministers in charge of EU Affairs (formerly headed by Gergana Passy), and of the Deputy Minister in charge of the absorption of EU funds (headed by the special Deputy PM Meglena Plugchieva in the Stanishev government. 1

However, the GERB leader and new PM, Boyko Borisov, has created a brand-new Ministry of Sports out of the State Youth and Sports Agency, which will be headed by Svilen Neykov, a long-time Bulgarian rowing champion and coach, and husband of Bulgaria’s 2008 Beijing Olympics golds medalist Rumyana Neykova.

Borisov has also created the position of a Minister without a portfolio to be occupied by the Director of the Bulgarian National History Museum Bozhidar Dimitrov; Dimitrov is going to be responsible for the Bulgarians abroad.

In addition, Borisov has restructured the former Ministry of Economy and Energy to include the former State Tourism Agency.

Thus, the new structure is the Ministry of Economy, Energy, and Tourism. It will be headed by Traycho Traykov, who is the big surprise in the list of Ministers announced by Borisov on Thursday.

American Vonn extends Super-G streak, World Cup lead

Lindsey Vonn of Vail, Colo., won her fourth consecutive super-giant-slalom race Sunday and promised to chase more trophies on the women’s World Cup circuit after a successful stop in Bansko, Bulgaria.

“There is no conservative skiing for me,” the 24-year-old Vonn said. “I have to be really aggressive — that’s my strategy.”

After three races in Bulgaria, the defending overall World Cup champion widened her lead in the standings to 391 points over second-place Maria Riesch of Germany. Vonn also moved into contention for the Super-G season trophy a day after clinching the downhill title, joining Picabo Street as the only Americans to win back-to-back downhill titles.

Vonn won the Super-G in 1 minute, 14.49 seconds, sweeping aside concerns caused by an injured thumb and a bruising fall in training three days earlier. Fabienne Suter of Switzerland was second, 0.58 seconds behind.

“I think all my disciplines are better this year,” Vonn said. “Super-G has been the best season in my life, above and beyond what I expected this year.”

Vonn has been competing with her right thumb in a splint since she required surgery after slicing a tendon on a champagne bottle while celebrating after winning a gold medal at the world championships in Val d’Isere, France, last month.

“It’s definitely very painful when I’m starting and also in slalom,” she said. “I think it also affects my balance. I was able to win today. I’m happy that it’s not holding me back too much.”

Lizeroux triumphs: Julien Lizeroux of France won a men’s World Cup slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, for his second victory of the season.

Ivica Kostelic of Croatia finished 11th and retained a narrow lead in the overall standings. Kostelic has 837 points, two more than Benjamin Raich of Austria.

Americans excel at nordic worlds: The United States entered the nordic world championships in Liberec, Czech Republic, in the usual fashion, with modest goals. One medal might have been perceived as a success.

But the Americans collected six medals, including four golds. In the 35 previous world championships since 1925, the U.S. won a total of three medals — a gold, a silver and a bronze. The U.S. gold medalists this year were two-time winner Todd Lodwick, Lindsey Van and Bill Demong.

“It’s absolutely incredible to have six world-championships medals. I’m speechless,” said Lodwick, who is from Steamboat Springs, Colo.

Bobsled

Holcomb is golden: Steven Holcomb took “The Night Train” to the top of the podium at the world championships in Lake Placid, N.Y., lifting the weight of a 50-year drought from the U.S. men’s team.

Holcomb was the class of the field on all four runs of the four-man competition at Mount Van Hoevenberg and piloted the black USA-1 sled to the gold medal. It was the first triumph for the United States in four-man at the world championships since Arthur Tyler won in St. Moritz, Switzerland, in 1959.

“I can’t believe, finally, after 50 years we got it done,” Holcomb said. “We were definitely the team to beat today. It all came together.”

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/othersports/2008800721_digs02.html

Bulgarian breaks chess marathon record

A Bulgarian grandmaster appears to have broken the world record for the highest number of chess games played simultaneously, organizers said Monday.

Kiril Georgiev played a total of 360 games simultaneously, winning 284, drawing 70 and losing six, during a marathon that lasted 14 hours and 8 minutes in Sofia’s Inter Expo Center, the organizers said.

The record number of games and the winning percentage of 88 percent will allow Georgiev to apply formally for entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. His percentage total is reached by having each win count as a point and each draw as a half point. That means Georgiev scored 319 points out of a possible 360.

The Guinness Book says the current record for most simultaneous games played was set in 2005 by Susan Polgar, the Hungarian-American four-time women’s world champion.

Polgar played 326 games, winning 309, drawing 14 and losing only three.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2009/02/24/afx6087431.html

Bulgaria’s Georgiev aims for chess world record

Bulgarian grandmaster Kiril Georgiev on Saturday began 360 chess games in an attempt to break the world record for the largest number of simultaneous games played.

“Georgiev began playing 360 games Saturday morning,” Bulgarian chess federation chief Stefan Sergiev told AFP.

The grandmaster was making an average of three moves an hour, while moving among the long rows of chess tables occupied by opponents who ranged from children to pensioners.

Georgiev has to win 80 percent of the games in order to break the previous record set by Hungarian-American chess champion Susan Polgar in 2005.

Polgar played 326 games, winning 309 of them, drawing 14 and losing only three.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gXz5D2q8zM8t9Poqe9uIulN2yiRQ

Bank loans in Bulgaria to Grow 4.4% in 2009

Bank loan growth in Bulgaria in 2009 will be 4.4%, forecast the managing partner in PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Bojidar Neychev.
The slowing down of growth compared to last year is 58.5% but unlike Western Europe, Bulgaria still expects some growth from the provided loans.
Bulgaria will recover from the crisis easier and more quickly thanks to its less developed economy, the expert explained. 
Savings in Bulgaria measured against the GDP are 15% while in Central and Western Europe this percent is rather lower – like in Great Britain where savings amount to 1% of the GDP. 
The Chinese and Romanian economies do better in this aspect with respectively 45% and 23% of the countries’ GDP.
The foreign investment due to enter Bulgaria will be half the last year’s amounts but still much more than the investments in the well developed economies.
Natalia Malcheva

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Categories: Bulgarian Sports Tags: ,

Bulgaria Young Tennis Star Dimitrov Takes Top Ranked Nadal to Decider

Bulgaria’s young tennis star, Grigor Dimitrov, pushed world number 1 Rafael Nadal all the way in an enthralling hard court contest in Rotterdam, Netherlands late Thursday. Top-ranked Rafael Nadal eventually prevailed 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 and will now proceed to the ABN Amro quarter-finals.

Dimitrov showed he wasn’t nervous or intimidated when the 478th-ranked wild card from Bulgaria broke Nadal for 4-4, only to lose his serve again at 5-5 as Nadal won the first set.

Dimitrov, last year’s Wimbledon and U.S. Open junior champion broke Nadal at 4-3 in the second and held on to force a decider.

There, Nadal’s experience was the difference, as he saved two break points and finally won after 2 hours and 25 minutes.

“He will certainly be a great player and for sure reach the top 10,” Nadal said about Bulgaria’s young prospect after the tough game.

Categories: Bulgarian Sports Tags: ,