Bulgaria is a country that is generally not a misfit indicator of progress, but relatively poor economic data, weak social capital and poor management. So it's not surprising that its population is one of the most dissatisfied in the world of their lifestyle.
So to take a brief look of Bulgaria's annual ranking for prosperity of the London-based NGO Legatum Institute. In the ranking of 142 countries (plus two areas without state status) is has been rated at 48th, but data from 2010-2011. is indicating that Bulgarians are only the 132 position on life satisfaction.
Key Indicators for Bulgaria
The bulk of the discontent comes from the weak economic conditions and poor management. Only 9.2% believe their government fights poverty (40% of the world average), 26% are satisfied with their standard (62.8% of the world), and 49% agree that could succeed with hard work (81.7% the world). Less than one quarter (22.6%) trust the justice system (53.3% of the world).
Bulgaria has not changed its position from last year's ranking, but then were surveyed only 110 countries. Since 2009. Bulgaria has run about 46 to 48th, and this year it is in front of Latvia, and behind Greece.
(Report Legatum Prosperity Index 2012)
In the ranking of economic indicators Bulgaria is ranked 93rd, in governing 72th, in trust among members of society 85th, in personal freedom 59th. Bulgaria is at the bottom of the group of top 50 countries where the main role for the prosperity of society play entrepreneurship and responsible management that feed each other with energy and lead to even greater progress. Almost immediately after that its starts the group of developing countries that are more important health and education.
Democracies are 27 of the top 30 countries and in an increasingly global world tolerance towards immigrants began to play a very important role, because where it is large, societies prosper more, say the authors.
This time the index has added 32 countries and so their total number reached 142. Thus Prosperity Index covers 96% of the world population and 99% of global GDP. Classification is an attempt to combine economic performance with subjective assessment of people's lives and the situation in their country.
Hardly a surprise that Scandinavian countries are again at the top, that European economies going down dramatically and the club of the "Asian Tigers" quickly rose in the rankings. Norway, Denmark and Sweden are the top three. In Europe as a whole increased prosperity - Netherlands climbs to 8, Ireland is the tenth and Germany on 14 position. But two-thirds (24 of 33) European countries have retracted since 2009. Quickly moving up are Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, but is significant that along with China and Saudi Arabia are in the group "prosperity without liberty."
Unprecedented collapse of the U.S. outside the top 10 countries in the world is one of the surprising findings in the report. From the Legatum Institute The authors state that "the American dream is in serious crisis," and the country, occupying 12th place, has given way in 5 of the 8 categories in the index has come down with eight items on the list and fewer Americans believe that if you work hard, you will succeed.
What are the most prosperous in the world:
5. New Zealand
What are the most prosperous economies:
9. Hong Kong
Which is best managed:
2. New Zealand
European Commission (EC) has launched an inquiry against Bulgaria because of the introduced in mid-September by the energy regulator so called 'access fee' to renewable energy producers. This was announced by chairman of the 'Bulgarian Wind Energy Association' Sebastian Noethlichs during a round-table on the problems and challenges facing the production of electricity from renewable energy sources. It was attended by representatives from both the sector itself and a number of ambassadors and representatives of the banking sector.
Verification of the EC started in connection with the complaints filed by the associations in the sector due to a charge, which takes between 1 and 40% of the revenues of green plants. Against the decision of the regulator, the case was filed in the Supreme Administrative Court. Later, the minister of economy and energy Delian Dobrev said that he has no information about the launched inquiry, but would not explain why the fee was introduced in a first place. Himself, Dobrev and President of the regulatory body, Angel Semerdzhiev were strangely unwilling to maintain a dialogue with the renewables industry as they, or their representatives did not attend the event, despite the invitation.
During the discussions, the lack of dialogue with the institutions was highlighted as one of the major issues facing investors in the country.
Effects of the 'Access fee'
Sebastian Noethlichs presented data showing that with the introduction of the fee, renewable energy project with a capacity of up to 200 kilowatts will have pay off time between 21-25 years. In larger projects over 5 MW of these terms are 23 to 30 years. Such return does not meet the conditions agreed with the banks and these projects are actually in bankruptcy. Mr. Penkov from Solarvision also presented their calculations, according to which the deficit for green energy in the system for the period July 2012 - July 2013 would be 200 million lev, and the funds collected from the access fee will total less than that amount. This does not mean that this shortfall will be covered, as the deficit is formed in supply companies, and access fees collected by the electricity companies. Even under the umbrella, these companies can not pass it on their costs and revenues, as this would be cross-subsidizing them.
According to Mr. Penkov the caused deficiency is apparently due to erroneous methodology for calculating of the prices and margins by the regulator. Solarvision's calculations, in addition to the green margin calculations, however, have demonstrated that another deficit of 300 million lev will accumulate with the highly efficient co-generation power production. This means that the allowance that all users pay for this energy will be sufficient to pay the total amount of electricity produced from heating companies. While with the green energy production is attempted the deficit to be covered by the 'access fee' with the co-generation installations this can be done only by an increase in the allowance, which will lead to a hike in electricity price for consumers.
The effects on the business environment
"We do not want to interfere with the discussion about electricity prices, but we want predictability so we can do our job," said the CEO of UniCredit Bulbank Levon Hampartzoumian. "In good years the otherwise scares capital available for the business in Bulgaria, can provide economic growth of 1-2%. If we want more growth, foreign capital should come to Bulgaria, and it is interested to do so, if it can make profits." he added.
Ambassadors who attended the event, also expressed concern about the unpredictable business environment that is created in Bulgaria. Ambassador to South Korea Cheng Bi - Ho said he hoped that the government will decide to not discriminate against renewable energy sector.
In September, the unemployment rate in the euro zone - taking into account seasonal employment - rose to 11.6 percent from 11.5 percent in August, according to the European statistical institute 'Eurostat'. Unemployment in the European Union (EU) remained unchanged at 10.6%.
As in the countries of the monetary union and the EU as a whole, unemployment has increased sensitivity compared to September 2011, when rates were respectively 10.3% for the euro area and 9.8% for the EU.
Eurostat estimates that the September unemployment in the EU were 25.751 million, of which 18.49 million were in the euro zone.
Compared to August, unemployment in the EU as a whole has increased by 169 thousand, while the euro - compared with 146 thousand in September 2011 unemployment in the community has increased by 2.145 million in the euro zone - with 2.174 million
Countries with the lowest unemployment rates were 4.4 percent in Austria, Luxembourg and Germany 5.2% and Netherlands - with 5.4 percent. The highest unemployment rate remains in Spain - 25.8%, and Greece - 25.1%, the data for Greece in July.
Unemployment in Bulgaria for September remains unchanged from the August level of 12.4%. In the EU, higher unemployment rates are persistent in Greece, Spain, Latvia, Portugal, Slovakia, Lithuania and Ireland. According to the Employment Agency unemployment in Bulgaria in September was 10.6 percent e.
In October, the annual inflation in the euro zone is expected to fall to 2.5 percent from 2.6 percent in September.
Tracking closely the Greek, Bulgarian companies are the most irregular in the payment of its obligations, reveled the study of market research firm "Ipsos" investigating the current
practices among 2,200 firms from 10 European countries. The company engages in debt collection.
The poll cited commercial firms in the service sector, industry and trade, some of which supply goods and services to other companies and some of them - end-users. For companies working with customers, the share of timely payments as a percentage of the total is 71.9% and for companies working with business clients, the figure is 66 per cent. Typically, companies seek external service recovery when it comes to overdue debts from other companies, experts commented.
Bulgarian companies have the highest share of receivables written off then in Romania - over 8% for 11.4 per cent for Romanian companies, according to the survey. In Bulgaria liabilities are derecognised after the five-year limitation period specified Svetla Petrova. She said that unlike other countries in Europe the large Bulgarian companies wait several months or even years, while taking steps to debt collection, while companies in Western countries sought help much earlier.
If steps are taken to recover the amounts in the first three months, the success rate is 90-95 percent, but if you wait a year or two - tends to zero, said Mrs. Petrova.
Companies in the industry derecognised largest share claims. Problems remain in tourism and construction sectors.
In comparison with data from similar study of current practices last year's trend for the payment of arrears is deteriorating, and increases the percentage of receivables written off, says the data. However, the level of optimism among companies in Bulgaria is one of the highest in comparison with other European countries, with Romania, Russia and Germany are the most pessimistic, the survey showed.
Chinese manufacturer of electric vehicles and electric buses 'Build Your Dreams' (BYD) is interested in partnership with the Metropolitan Municipality and to invest in future technology park near Bozhurishte, which is expected to attract Bulgarian and foreign high-tech companies.
The announcement came from the industrial cluster "Electric Vehicles" after the visit to Bulgaria by the general manager of BYD Europe Yangping Chen. In addition to representatives of the cluster, the Chinese manager had a meeting with the Executive Director of "Capital Autotransport" AD Slav Monov with whom they discussed the possible import of vehicles for environmental Sofia.
The offer of the Chinese company is to prepare a business case for the introduction of a test line elektrobuses upon which Bulgarian managers to guide their future strategies for greening transport in cities.
With the commissioning of an electric bus economies of operation shall be paid for 4-5 years, experts explained the Bulgarian cluster. According to them, the advantage of applying these buses is that their full operation without replacing the battery for a period of ten years, which means that more than five years they will run without the municipality to has to pay for charging them with gas or liquid fuels.
As well as a manufacturer of electric Chinese company BYD is the exclusive provider of global mobile giants like Nokia, Motorola and Samsung. The Chinese hold half the global market for batteries for mobile phones.
In recent years the company has an active presence in the European market and develop business with partners from the UK, Netherlands, Switzerland, Hungary and others.
At best, peripheral countries of the eurozone have completed the restructuring of economies in half revealing report Moody's Investors Service, quoted by Bloomberg.
Economic imbalances that caused the debt crisis are still there and that is why structural reforms must continue, says the analysis of the rating agency.
"Adjustments, both in the periphery and in the core of the Eurozone, are occasionally sensitive," says a report published today by the agency. "The process, however, at best is half finished."
Politicians from affected peripheral countries are trying to restructure their economies to generate growth, they need to pay their debts. The European Union (EU) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) offered support to Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain for at least 393 billion.
Moody's reported some progress in terms of trade balance and competitiveness of labor, but stresses that governments can not afford to delay reform. The report does not mention credit ratings of individual countries.
"The crisis that Sweden and Finland have experienced in the early 90's, taught us that solving the imbalances caused in most cases by credit bubbles in the private sector, may take several years," says the report. "Structural reforms are essential to achieving sustainable results."
Since the crisis the price of labor in Spain is down 5.9% and in Greece - by 7.8%, while in Ireland - by 13.7%. This helps exports and economic growth at a time when governments are trying to implement budget savings.
So far Italy has not managed to reduce its trade deficit by adjusting the price of labor and higher competitiveness.
"Improving the competitiveness of peripheral countries of the euro zone is mainly due to improved efficiency due to the fact that employment decreases faster than production levels," said the analysis.
Federal and state prosecutors are investigating U.S. German Deutsche Bank (Deutsche Bank) and several global banks for alleged illegal cooperation with Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions, said in it's publication the newspaper "New York Times" quoted by AFP, on Monday.
U.S. authorities suspect that the Bank has made billions of transactions on behalf of Iranian entities through its branches in the U.S. between now and 2008. Ministry of Justice of the United States said that the investigation is in early stage and at this time there is no reason to believe that the bank violated U.S. law since 2008.
A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the inspection, noting, however, that early in 2007 the management of the financial institution has decided to give new contracts with partners from countries such as Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea, already concluded to be limited as far as possible.
European Commission (EC) will offer in September, the European Central Bank (ECB) to take over supervision of key financial institutions in the euro area, Reuters reported, citing a publication in the German newspaper Handelsblatt.
Envisaged under the supervision of the ECB to move the German savings banks and cooperative banks, for which Germany hoped that would not be so strictly controlled.
The German edition, which relies on anonymous sources familiar with, the EC will propose national regulators continue to monitor the operation of banks in their respective countries and the ECB to intervene only in extreme cases, when he sees "serious risks".
In countries outside the euro area banking supervision will continue to be made by national regulators.
The agency reminds that the EU leaders agreed at the end of June to create a single banking supervision in the euro area as a condition for direct recapitalization of banks with funds from the rescue fund community currency.
German newspaper, however, indicate that the ECB may need to begin to control all banks in the euro area, not just the biggest.
"It is difficult to determine which bank is a major bank, so you must ensure that a future EU banking supervisory system will be able to cover all financial institutions," said Steffan de Rink, a spokesman for the Financial Services Commissioner Michel Barnier which has prepared the proposal.
Commission is also examining opportunities outside the euro area countries also engage in the banking union, and to supervise insurers, who often sell their products through banks.
By the end of next week the Ministry of Finance will submit for consideration by the government project to determine changes in interest rates on bank loans, changes to fees collected by financial institutions, including loans to 400 lev within the law. This was announced in the morning on state television by the Deputy Prime Minister Simeon Djankov.
He noted that these issues remain and in the afternoon talks with banks would be held.
He once again stressed that his proposals are clear and obvious European practice.
Djankov explicitly underlined that his main office is entitled to propose such laws and does not need an approval of the banking sector, to make them reality. "We may have differences, but ultimately I want this to happen for the (benefit of) consumers," said Deputy Prime Minister in response to a question what was the biggest difference between his position and that of the bankers in respect of the fees.
For most of the fees that banks made by recipients of loans at the moment, he suggests, or be outlawed, or to be shared between borrower and bank.
"Now you pay someone to calculate the value of assets, which guarantee loans while in most countries, costs are shared approximately 50:50. Bank also has to pay because of the interest received on this loan," said some time ago from the TV back on air the finance minister.
The most debated in the public domain proposal, however, was associated with the introduction of base interest rate, which is the basis for the formation of lihivite loan - EURIBOR or SOFIBOR.
On this topic bankers were convinced that such change is inevitable and it is better to happen now, said Deputy Prime Minister to date.
He said that two weeks supervisory board of the Silver Fund will be ready with amendments in the law for him that will allow money to investors in state or municipal securities, and later in corporate. The Fund should more actively managed, because now the law loses 40-50 million lev because his money without standing interest in BNB. This motivates the idea Djankov again part of the funds be used to repay external debt, whose maturity is January 2013 This, it is more logical than for the purpose to seek foreign loans. He compared the situation to that of a man who has saved money, but instead use them for your needs, keep them under your pillow, and pull credit with high interest. He said opponents of the idea were middlemen who are 40-50 million lev in the form of fees, when Bulgaria enters the market of government debt. What they could to understand what speaking against the idea of Silver Fund money be used for this purpose.
Regarding comments that the fiscal reserve has decreased alarmingly, Djankov explained that this topic appears every January and be sure in April. The reason for this was that because NMS Bulgaria has debt payments in January and also other obligations and money at this time of year there, nowhere else to be taken apart from the fiscal reserve. In this case it is 1.5 billion lev - debt and farm payments. In March, however, the reserve would be returned to its level of about 4.1 billion levs.