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Bulgaria’s Social Minister Bisser Petkov: The government approved the draft law on people with disabilities, their rights will be secured with a financial resource of BGN 486 million

Bulgaria’s Social Minister Bisser Petkov: The government approved the draft law on people with disabilities, their rights will be secured with a financial resource of BGN 486 million

17 October 2018 | 16:28 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The government has approved the draft Disability Act, the rights of people with disabilities will be secured with a financial resource of 486 million BGN, said Bulgaria’s Minister of Labour and Social Policy Bisser Petkov at a news briefing at the Council of Ministers, Focus News Agency reports.
“Today, at its regular meeting, the Council of Ministers approved the draft Disability Act. This is how the government fulfilled its commitment to adopt a law on people with disabilities, according to the Action Plan signed on 9 October,” Minister Petkov said, pointing out that the law was adopted in the form it was tabled.
“The law provides for measures to support people with disabilities - both financially and in terms of building an accessible environment, as well as supporting employers in setting up and adapting workplaces for people with disabilities. I would like to emphasise that the rights of people with disabilities and the measures envisaged in the bill are covered for next year by a financial resource totalling BGN 486 million. I want to thank the prime minister and my colleagues for supporting the finalisation of the draft,” the social minister also said.
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Minister Biser Petkov: On Monday we should have a new draft of amendments to the law on people with disabilities

Minister Biser Petkov: On Monday we should have a new draft of amendments to the law on people with disabilities

17 August 2018 | 14:13 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. A new draft of amendments to the law on people with disabilities should be ready on Monday, Minister of Labour and Social Policy Biser Petkov said after a meeting with mothers of children with disabilities in the government headquarters, Focus News Agency reports.
“During the meeting, we received a promise from Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev to determine the status of the specialised body for people with disabilities that will be created by 2020. We commented on other open issues related to the funding to national organisations, the criteria for representativeness they should comply with. We also commented on the plan to integrate the information systems for people with disabilities and create a profile for people with disabilities. Deputy Minister of Health Jeni Nacheva presented to the working group the intentions to make changes regarding the medical devices in order to better control them,” which should be prepared by the end of the year, Petkov said.
He explained that some amendments to the law on people with disabilities will come into effect on January 1, 2019, while others will be implemented at a later stage. “The deadlines will be further specified. By the end of the day anyone of the working group could submit proposals, and on Monday we should have a new draft” for public consultations, he said.
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PM Boyko Borissov: By year-end, we will have e-register for people with disabilities

PM Boyko Borissov: By year-end, we will have e-register for people with disabilities

7 August 2018 | 13:49 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. By the end of the year, we will have an electronic register for people with disabilities, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told reporters. “Mr. Tomislav Donchev is ready with the information system. We will need up to BGN 1 million for it,” Borissov said, quoted by Focus News Agency. He recalled that an inspection is ongoing in the day care centres. “We have a lot of information about what is going on and we are taking measures,” he said. “In the new budget, we will have BGN 150 million more in this system. If we continue working as until now, additional funds could be provided over the next years,” the prime minister stressed. “All systems need more funding,” Borissov said and recalled that over 6 billion was paid on CorpBank, the Russian reactors and the US power plants. “This is [equivalent to] two Hemus highways,” he concluded.
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Poll: 69% of Bulgarians agree that protests by mothers of children with disabilities show real problems

Poll: 69% of Bulgarians agree that protests by mothers of children with disabilities show real problems

3 August 2018 | 12:25 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The mothers’ protests and other social protests in recent weeks are clearly seen as an indicator of real problems, Bulgarian polling agency Gallup International, not related to Gallup Inc, said. According to its latest survey, 69% agree that this type of protests rather indicate real problems against 8% who think they are rather motivated by political ambitions. Another 18% admitted they did not know enough about it. For the rest, it was difficult to answer the question.
The survey also indicates that over 1.8 million adult Bulgarians came across some news story they thought was fake or untrue, in the last week of July alone.
“Perhaps this could partly explain the general distrust of the reports about rinderpest in Strandzha: 37% believe there was rinderpest, but 48% do not believe it. […] The data shows a serious problem with trust in any public information in Bulgaria,” the agency said.
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PM Borissov: Parents of children with disabilities will join working groups for legal changes

PM Borissov: Parents of children with disabilities will join working groups for legal changes

31 July 2018 | 15:23 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The parents of children with disabilities will participate in the working groups drafting legal changes in order to monitor their work, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said after a meeting with the parents, Focus News Agency reports.
The parents’ representatives pledged to keep their camps in front of the Parliament until the problems are completely solved.
Borissov said the authorities will check if all 700,000 people who should receive support according to the information system for people with disabilities actually exist. Work continues on the draft laws on people with disabilities, personal assistance and social services which should be presented in September, he said. According to the information system, the state has to support over 700,000 people with disabilities, while 88,000 need assistance. The prime minister declared that next year the state can allocate BGN 150 million more than the BGN 1 billion this year. He said he expects a pragmatic solution.
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Burgas: Protests of people with disabilities and their families continue

Burgas: Protests of people with disabilities and their families continue

27 July 2018 | 16:06 | FOCUS News Agency
Burgas. The protests of people with disabilities and their families continue in Burgas, Gergana Mavrova, organiser at local level, told Focus Radio. “Those in power have committed to time frames, but they continue to insist on dividing personal assistance between the two laws as some article. We think the point of this is to prevent its precise and clear regulation. We were even accused of anarchic acts. Apparently, according to the minister, the fact that we want a decent life is equal to anarchy,” she said. She further said that the new law that is currently drafted is a copy of the old one with nothing new in it. Mavrova added that all people protesting in different cities in the country will join the national protest in Sofia on July 30 at 5.00 pm in front of the Parliament.
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Minister Biser Petkov: We are doing our best to draft and submit bills for people with disabilities this autumn

Minister Biser Petkov: We are doing our best to draft and submit bills for people with disabilities this autumn

25 July 2018 | 11:21 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. We are doing our best to prepare bills and submit them in Parliament this autumn so as to improve the situation of people with disabilities in Bulgaria, Minister of Labour and Social Policy Biser Petkov said during his hearing in Parliament on progress on the legal changes, Focus News Agency reports. Regarding the law on people with disabilities, the minister said that one of the most important areas is ensuring accessible environment. Regarding the amendments to the law on social services, Petkov said that the working group will continue working intensively in August. He hopes that the group will be ready with the draft in the middle of September, one month ahead of schedule. The submission of the bill can be expected in late October or early November after the completion of due procedures, the minister said.
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President Rumen Radev: The protests by mothers of children with disabilities require quick and fair legislative solutions and financial commitments

President Rumen Radev: The protests by mothers of children with disabilities require quick and fair legislative solutions and financial commitments

10 July 2018 | 12:26 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The protests by the mothers of children with disabilities deserve deep sympathy from the society and require quick and fair legislative solutions and financial commitments, President Rumen Radev said at the opening of a round table on people with disabilities as a resource for the primary labour market, Focus News Agency reports. The forum aims to bring up the issue of full integration of all people with disabilities in Bulgaria, for which a number of psychological barriers must be overcome, the president said. In his words, full integration means a public environment in which children with disabilities can enter kindergarten, study in school and university and then work on an equal basis with the others. Providing pension and personal assistance to people with disabilities is a must and a public duty, but the criterion for their full integration is their employment, he said. Nearly 445,000 Bulgarians receive pension for permanently reduced work capability, and only a small part of them work under labour contracts, according to official data cited by Rumen Radev.
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BSP’s proposal to cancel summer vacation for MPs was rejected

BSP’s proposal to cancel summer vacation for MPs was rejected

29 June 2018 | 14:04 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. BSP’s proposal to cancel the Parliament’s summer vacation was rejected, Focus News Agency reports. 68 MPs supported the proposal, 10 voted against it and 104 abstained. The suggestion was re-voted and rejected.
The opposition party wanted to cancel the Parliament’s vacation from August 1 to 31 in order to make legislative changes for people with disabilities, saying that their patience was now exhausted because of the unbearable conditions they have to live in.
The MPs have enough time to adopt the law on personal assistance by the end of July if they immediately start work on it, Ombudsman Maya Manolova told reporters in parliament before submitting the draft law. “I hope this will be the first step in reforming the social system, the policies for people with disabilities,” she said.
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Filip Popov, BSP: It is not human that MPs and government officials sunbathe while mothers and children with disabilities protest this summer

Filip Popov, BSP: It is not human that MPs and government officials sunbathe while mothers and children with disabilities protest this summer

21 June 2018 | 14:11 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. It is not human that the MPs and government officials sunbathe on the beaches in Bulgaria or abroad while the children with disabilities and their mothers protest in the summer months, BSP MP Filip Popov told reporters in Parliament, Focus News Agency reports. The party has proposed cancellation of the Parliament’s summer vacation until the problem of children with disabilities is solved. It urged the government to submit legislative proposals by the end of July. In a press release, BSP said that it has prepared own texts.
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Ombudsman Maya Manolova: I will stand by protesting mothers to the end

Ombudsman Maya Manolova: I will stand by protesting mothers to the end

21 June 2018 | 13:31 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. The bill we drafted with the mothers did not receive support from the National Council for Integration of People with Disabilities and their problem is unlikely to be solved, Ombudsman Maya Manolova told BNT this morning. She said that an additional BGN 100 million could boost the number of people receiving assistance to 77,000, compared to BGN 169 million spent and only 11,158 people assisted at present. “I will stand by the protesting mothers to the end, I will stand behind their cause to the end,” Manolova said. “I’m saying it to reassure them, but also because it is a fair cause, they want to fight the injustice. They fight not only for themselves. It is not true that this bill divides, the current situation divides the people with disabilities,” the ombudsman said.
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PM accepts deputy labour minister resignation

PM accepts deputy labour minister resignation

20 June 2018 | 11:46 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has accepted the resignation of Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Policy Rositsa Dimitrova. The government press office said that the reason for Dimitrova to resign was public sensitivity in relation to her participation in the 11th session of the Conference on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, held in New York.
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Bulgarian Ombudsman: For the first time in 2017, the number of complaints from children increased – before I took office, they did not recognise the institution as their defender

Bulgarian Ombudsman: For the first time in 2017, the number of complaints from children increased – before I took office, they did not recognise the institution as their defender

14 June 2018 | 16:02 | FOCUS News Agency
Sofia. For the first time in 2017, the number of complaints from children increased – before I took office, they did not recognise the institution as their defender, Bulgaria’s Ombudsman Maya Manolova told Parliament presenting her 2017 activity report, Focus News Agency reports. In her words, upon taking office, she found that there was no single complaint filed by a child with the institution. “This meant that children did not recognise us as defender of their rights,” the Ombudsman said, adding that the number of complaints relating to children’s rights has significantly increased. “This is also the result of a campaign for promoting the Ombudsman as a child rights defender which we organised with my team. We actually met with more than 3,000 pupils in 10 schools in different cities,” Manolova said.
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Parents of children with disabilities protest in Burgas and Varna

Parents of children with disabilities protest in Burgas and Varna

11 June 2018 | 14:57 | FOCUS News Agency
Burgas/Varna. Parents of children with disabilities are protesting in Burgas and Varna, in support of the protest in Sofia, Focus Radio has reported. They said the protests would continue indefinitely until their demands were fulfilled.
“We want our children to become visible to the politicians,” Milena Raykova, an organiser in Burgas and mother of a child with Down syndrome, said during the protest. “I also have an elder daughter who is involved by accident in this difficult everyday life and I want to prevent her from one day automatically becoming her sister’s sitter. With the current system, this is inevitable,” the woman said, adding that it was a problem for the whole of society.
Among other demands, they want a detailed register of people with disabilities, allowances of at least two minimum wages and a revision of work disability assessment, with a lifelong term for the illnesses by which one’s condition is not expected to improve.
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PICTURE OF THE DAY
Saudi consulate in Istanbul. October 17, 2018;
Saudi consulate in Istanbul. October 17, 2018;

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Prize drawing in Q&A game European Test for Masters. July 30, 2018;
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