Firewalkers in Greece honor Saint Constantine in mystery-shrouded, centuries-old ritualsMay 25, 2023 GMT
LAGKADAS, Greece (AP) — Sotirios Gkaintatzis danced across burning coals, his stomping bare feet raising sparks and puffs of smoke as he held aloft an icon of Saints Constantine and Helen.
Gkaintatzis is the leader of a group of anastenaria -- the devotees of St.
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The leaders of Bulgaria’s two main rival political parties reached a deal Monday to form a coalition government with a rotating prime minister intended to end a long-running political impasse in the corruption-plagued European Union member country, which has held five elections in the past two years.
EU commissioner nominated to lead Bulgaria’s next governmentMay 10, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A European Union commissioner from Bulgaria was nominated Wednesday for the post of prime minister, as the Balkan country struggles to end a two-year period of political instability and economic hardship.
Farmers in Romania, Bulgaria protest Ukrainian grain influxApril 7, 2023 GMT
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — Farmers in Romania and Bulgaria staged protests Friday to express their anger over the European Union’s response to a glut of agricultural products from Ukraine that they say are flooding local markets and undercutting prices.
Bulgaria: Borissov proposes coalition after contested voteApril 5, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, whose center-right GERB party clinched a narrow win in Bulgaria’s parliamentary election, invited his political opponents Wednesday to talks on forming a government.
Borissov appears winner of Bulgaria’s parliamentary electionApril 3, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The center-right GERB party of ex-premier Boyko Borissov appeared to be the winner of Bulgaria’s parliamentary election, the country’s central electoral commission said Monday, with 99% of the ballots counted.
Narrow lead for reformists in Bulgaria parliament voteApril 2, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A reformist coalition led by former Prime Minister Kiril Petkov is the likely winner of Bulgaria’s parliamentary election after exit poll results showed it placing first on Sunday.
Bulgaria heads to 5th election in 2 years, but 6th may loomMarch 31, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarians are heading to the polls on Sunday for the country's fifth general election in two years, amid concern over the war in nearby Ukraine, political instability, and economic woes in the European Union’s poorest member.
Bomb threats close schools across Bulgaria for 2nd dayMarch 28, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Dozens of schools across Bulgaria were closed and their students evacuated for a second consecutive day following bomb threats that were made by email and phone.
Most of the threats received Tuesday were directed at schools in the capital, Sofia, and in the Black Sea ports of Varna and Burgas.
Bulgaria scraps large quantities of expired COVID vaccinesMarch 6, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian health authorities said Monday that 2.8 million of expired COVID-19 doses will be destroyed this year in addition to the 2.3 million doses that have already been scrapped in the country with the lowest vaccination rate in the European Union.
Norway’s Steen Olsen earns 1st World Cup win in slalomFebruary 27, 2023 GMT
OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Norwegian ski racer Alexander Steen Olsen earned his first World Cup win after AJ Ginnis of Greece was disqualified for missing a gate in a slalom event held on a snowy Sunday at the Palisades Tahoe resort.
Bulgaria bans neo-Nazi event after public outcryFebruary 25, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Authorities in Bulgaria on Saturday banned an annual torch-lit march in downtown Sofia in honor of a late general who led the pro-Nazi Union of Bulgarian National Legions during World War II.
EU dampens Bulgaria’s hopes of joining eurozone before 2025February 23, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A senior European Union official on Thursday dampened Bulgaria’s aspirations for a swift adoption of the euro currency as the Balkan country doesn't meet all required entry criteria.
Bulgaria: 43 migrants found in van days after 18 found deadFebruary 20, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian police discovered 43 migrants, including ten children, hidden in a van in the west of the country, officials said Monday, just days after authorities found the bodies of 18 migrants concealed in a lumber truck.
Bulgaria detains 7 over deaths of 18 migrants found in truckFebruary 18, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Authorities in Bulgaria have detained seven people in connection with an abandoned truck in which 18 people believed to be migrants were found dead, police said Saturday.
The bodies were discovered Friday in a secret compartment below a load of lumber in the truck, which was left on a highway not far from Bulgaria's capital, Sofia.
Bodies of 18 migrants found in abandoned truck in BulgariaFebruary 17, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Police in Bulgaria on Friday discovered an abandoned truck containing the bodies of 18 migrants, who appeared to have suffocated to death.
The Interior Ministry said that according to initial information, the truck was carrying about 40 migrants and the survivors were taken to nearby hospitals for emergency treatment.
With eye on Russia, Greece and Bulgaria expand gas dealFebruary 16, 2023 GMT
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The leaders of Greece and Bulgaria have announced plans to expand natural gas cooperation with a deal that could help other countries in the region lower their dependence on Russian energy.
US sanctions Bulgarian officials, firms for corruptionFebruary 10, 2023 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department on Friday announced sanctions on five current and former Bulgarian officials, as well as five entities accused of illicit personal gain, undermining the country’s democratic institutions and perpetuating “corrosive dependence on Russian energy sources.”
Bulgaria’s ex-energy chief charged over Russian gas cutoffFebruary 8, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian prosecutors on Wednesday charged a former energy minister in the previous, pro-Western government with mismanagement that allegedly caused losses of 45 million euros ($48 million) to the country’s major state-run gas operator.
North Macedonia honors hero also claimed by BulgariaFebruary 4, 2023 GMT
SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia on Saturday marked the birthday of a 19th century revolutionary amid tight security in the capital of Skopje due to fears of clashes between opposing nationalist groups from North Macedonia and Bulgaria.
Bulgaria’s president calls nation’s 5th election in 2 yearsFebruary 2, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria’s president dissolved the National Assembly on Thursday and called early parliamentary elections for April 2 in hopes of resolving the country's a bid to settle the European Union and NATO member’s prolonged political impasse and biting economic woes.
Bulgaria and Serbia diversify energy suppliesFebruary 1, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The presidents of Bulgaria and Serbia on Wednesday launched the construction of the Bulgarian part of a gas link that is designed to diversify the energy supplies of a region that until recently was almost fully dependent on natural gas deliveries from Russia.
Balkan neighbors vow to avoid clashes over national heroJanuary 30, 2023 GMT
SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — The interior ministers of North Macedonia and neighboring Bulgaria met Monday to discuss security arrangements ahead of weekend celebrations to honor a 19th century revolutionary viewed as a hero in both countries.
Bulgaria angry at ‘hate crimes’ in neighbor North MacedoniaJanuary 26, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria may suspend joint projects with North Macedonia over the beating of a Macedonian citizen who identifies as Bulgarian, Foreign Minister Nikolay Milkov said on Thursday.
Bulgaria to hold 5th election in 2 years after talks failJanuary 24, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria will hold another parliamentary election — its fifth in two years — after the Socialist Party on Tuesday announced that it had failed to form a government and had returned the unfulfilled mandate to the country’s president.
Austria remains opposed to expanding EU visa-free travelJanuary 23, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said Monday he stands against expansion of the European Union's visa-free Schengen area because of his country’s concerns over illegal migration.
Bulgaria, North Macedonia condemn ethnic-related violenceJanuary 22, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The foreign ministers of Bulgaria and North Macedonia paid a joint visit to a hospital Sunday where a North Macedonian citizen who identifies as Bulgarian is being treated after he was severely assaulted.
Bulgaria’s president asks Socialists to form governmentJanuary 16, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — President Rumen Radev of Bulgaria gave the Socialist Party a mandate Monday to form a new government in a last attempt to avoid the country's fifth general election in two years.
Bulgaria seeks to change EU-funded recovery plan over coalJanuary 12, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria’s Parliament on Thursday decided to demand that country’s government renegotiate the energy part of an EU-funded post-pandemic recovery plan, to save the country’s coal-fired power plants from closure.
Bulgaria closer to early election as coalition talks failJanuary 9, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria moved closer to yet another election Monday after a reformist party failed to secure a majority in parliament to form a new government.
It's now up to Bulgarian President Rumen Radev to decide who he'll next assign the task of forming a government after Prime Minister-designate Nikolay Denkov failed to convince a deeply fragmented parliament to approve proposed reforms and cobble together a working coalition within the allotted seven-day time span.
Bulgarians celebrate Epiphany with traditional ritualsJanuary 6, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Thousands of young men are plunging into rivers and lakes across Bulgaria to retrieve crucifixes, in an old ritual marking the feast of Epiphany.
By tradition, a crucifix is cast into the waters of a lake or river, and it is believed that the person who retrieves it will be freed from evil spirits and will be healthy through the year.
Bulgaria signs deal to use Turkey’s gas terminalsJanuary 3, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria on Tuesday gained access to Turkey’s terminals and gas transmission network under a long-term deal that will help the country replace supplies once provided by Russia.
Bulgaria’s president launches new bid to form governmentJanuary 3, 2023 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian President Rumen Radev asked the second-largest political party in parliament on Tuesday to form a government, seeking to prevent the country from sliding to its fifth general elections in two years.
Bulgaria summons Russian envoy over warrant for journalistDecember 29, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The Bulgarian foreign ministry on Thursday summoned Russia’s ambassador to explain why Moscow has placed a Bulgarian journalist working for an international investigative website on a list of wanted persons.
Highway, schools closed after ammonia leak in eastern SerbiaDecember 26, 2022 GMT
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — A key international highway in eastern Serbia remained closed on Monday, along with schools and other public institutions in the area, following an ammonia leak that sickened dozens of people.
Dozens of people hospitalized by ammonia leak in SerbiaDecember 25, 2022 GMT
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — A freight train carrying ammonia derailed in eastern Serbia on Sunday, sickening dozens of people and closing a main international highway, officials said.
A state of emergency was declared in the town of Pirot, with authorities telling residents not to leave their homes.
Bulgaria signs deal for nuclear fuel from non-Russian sourceDecember 22, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria’s only nuclear plant on Thursday signed a deal with Westinghouse Electric Sweden to provide nuclear fuel for one of its reactors, in a bid to diversify its energy supplies,
Bulgaria: Parliament rejects proposed technocrat governmentDecember 14, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria’s parliament on Wednesday failed to elect a government proposed by the center-right GERB party to resolve a political impasse that has gripped the European Union’s poorest member country.
Bulgarian parliament approves military aid to UkraineDecember 9, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian lawmakers on Friday approved the country’s first military assistance package to Ukraine involving a classified list of weapons prepared by the government.
The National Assembly voted 148-46 with one abstention in favor of the weapons to Kyiv following months of political squabbling on the issue in the Balkan NATO member state.
EU urges Bulgaria to probe shooting of refugee at borderDecember 6, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The European Commission on Tuesday urged Bulgaria to thoroughly investigate the alleged shooting by Bulgarian guards of a Syrian refugee on the country's border with Turkey.
Bulgaria rejects media report about refugee shot at borderDecember 5, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria rejected accusations that its border guards shot a Syrian refugee in October after a video released Monday showed a man being fired at on European country's border with Turkey.
Center-right coalition tapped to form Bulgarian governmentDecember 5, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgarian President Rumen Radev on Monday tapped the largest group in parliament, the center-right GERB-UDF coalition, to form the country's new government.
Accepting the mandate, prime-minister-designate Nikolay Gabrovski said he will propose a cabinet “that is farther from political talk, from confrontation and closer to professionalism”, and able to deal with the multiple crises the country is facing now.
Bulgarians protest reinstatement of paper election ballotsDecember 1, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Hundreds of people attended a street protest in Bulgaria's capital Thursday to oppose a revision of the Election Code that reinstates paper ballots, which the previous reformist government had replaced with voting machines.
German president presses N Macedonia on EU-required reformsNovember 29, 2022 GMT
SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has urged North Macedonia to acknowledge the presence of an ethnic Bulgarian minority in the country, amid other actions required to speed up its European Union accession process.
Bulgaria to let Russian oil refinery export despite EU banNovember 22, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria will allow a Black Sea refinery owned by a Russian oil company to keep operating and exporting oil products to the European Union until the end of 2024 despite warnings by Brussels that it is against the bloc’s sanctions.
Bulgaria detains 5 suspects in deadly Istanbul bombingNovember 19, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Police in Bulgaria have detained five people in connection with the bombing that killed six people in Turkey's largest city last weekend, the Bulgarian prosecution service said Saturday.
Thousands protest in Bulgaria for higher salariesNovember 11, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets on Friday to demand higher salaries to compensate for surging inflation that has hit the European Union's poorest member.
The demonstration was organized by the country’s two largest trade unions.
Bulgarian border policeman shot dead at border with TurkeyNovember 8, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A Bulgarian police officer has been shot dead at the border with Turkey, the interior minister said Tuesday.
The incident occurred at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, when an unidentified person shot at a border police officer and a serviceman who were patrolling a stretch of the border near the village of Golyam Dervent, minister Ivan Demerdzhiev said.
Bulgaria’s parliament approves military aid for UkraineNovember 3, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A majority of Bulgaria's lawmakers on Thursday approved sending the country's first military aid to Ukraine.
N. Macedonia bans use of names linked to fascismNovember 2, 2022 GMT
SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia’s parliament adopted a law Wednesday that prevents organizations and cultural clubs from using names considered linked to fascism, a response to Bulgarian clubs with names of controversial figures opening in the country and sparking protests.
North Macedonia starts construction of rail link to BulgariaOctober 29, 2022 GMT
SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia has begun building a railway linking it to Bulgaria, a project decades in the making.
The project is part of Pan-European Corridor VIII, a route stretching about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) from the Albanian port of Durres in the west to Bulgaria's ports of Varna and Burgas in the east.
Bulgaria to buy a second batch of eight new F-16s from USOctober 27, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria’s caretaker government said Thursday it has approved the purchase of a second batch of eight new F-16 fighter jets needed to bring its air force in line with NATO standards.
Bulgaria’s fragmented parliament fails to elect new speakerOctober 19, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria’s fragmented parliament failed to elect a new speaker Wednesday, heralding a continuation of the political gridlock that has gripped the country for two years.
Lawmakers convened for the first time since Bulgaria's Oct 2.
Ethnic Bulgarian group’s name stirs anger in North MacedoniaOctober 7, 2022 GMT
SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Left-wing supporters and nationalists in North Macedonia both voiced anger Friday at an ethnic Bulgarian association's move to name itself after a Bulgarian monarch who is deeply resented for his country's role in World War II.
2 migrants struck and killed by train in eastern SerbiaOctober 7, 2022 GMT
BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Two migrants have been killed by a train in eastern Serbia, near the border with Bulgaria, police said on Friday.
The accident happened around 8 p.m. Thursday on the railway connecting the towns of Pirot and Dimitrovgrad, a spokesman told The Associated Press.
Arms factory explosion in Bulgaria kills 1, leaves 2 missingOctober 4, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — An explosion in a weapons factory in southern Bulgaria killed a 55-year-old man and left two women missing Tuesday.
Health officials have confirmed the death of the man and said one woman was taken to hospital with a severe brain injury.
Bulgaria: Borissov offers coalition, doesn’t want PM’s postOctober 4, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, whose center-right GERB party emerged as the winner of Bulgaria’s parliamentary election, invited his political opponents Tuesday to talks on forming a government.
Center-right party wins on pledges to stabilize BulgariaOctober 3, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — The center-right GERB party of ex-premier Boyko Borissov appeared to be the winner of Bulgaria’s parliamentary election, the country’s central electoral commission said on Monday, with nearly 99% of the ballots counted.
Exit poll: Center-right GERB party will win Bulgarian voteOctober 2, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — An exit poll in Bulgaria suggested Sunday that the center-right GERB party of ex-premier Boyko Borissov, a party blamed for presiding over years of corruption, will be the likely winner of Bulgaria’s parliamentary election.
EU chief: New Greece-Bulgaria gas pipeline ‘means freedom’October 1, 2022 GMT
SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Bulgaria opened a natural gas link with Greece at a ceremony Saturday attended by the leader of the European Union's executive arm, who emphasized the bloc's determination to stop relying on Russian energy imports.