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Bulgaria Jan-Feb fiscal deficit up 30pc SOFIA: Bulgaria's budget deficit rose 30 percent in the first two months from a year earlier, the finance ministry said on Monday, primarily because of higher payments on debt and healthcare. It said the increase was also due to one-off effects in tax law changes that lowered revenues. The fiscal deficit stood at 732 million levs ($480.5 million) at the end February from 565 million levs in the same period a year ago. Protests over low living standards and high utility bills toppled a centre-right government in February and an interim administration will now rule until May 12 election. It has pledged to maintain fiscal prudence needed to avoid pressure on a currency peg to the euro and run a deficit of 1.3 percent of GDP in 2013, from 0.5 percent in 2012, though it redirected some funds within the budget to help the poorest. Bulgaria has struggled to restart ...

Slovenia will not be the next Cyprus LJUBLJANA: Slovenia will not be the next euro member to need a financial rescue as it can afford to wait for lower borrowing costs before issuing new debt, its top economic official said on Friday. The new centre-left government was widely expected to raise money on financial markets shortly after taking office on March 20 but has not done so because Slovenia's borrowing costs have soared due to the turmoil in Cyprus. Investors are betting ...
Eiffel tower evacuated following bomb threat KARACHI: Reportedly, the Eiffel Tower was evacuated after a prank caller phoned-in a bomb threat. Close to 1400 people were cleared from the nation’s biggest tourist attraction following a request from tower operators after receiving the call.The French Police then searched the area with sniffer dogs and set up security perimeters. No explosives were found and the site was re-opened for the public.The tower has been evacuated occasionally because of such warnings, once last year ...
Pope Francis to lead first Easter celebrations VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis prepared to lead his first Easter Sunday celebrations with tens of thousands of people expected in St Peter's Square for a mass marking the holiest day in the Christian calendar.The ceremony will be followed by a special "Urbi et Orbi" blessing for Rome and the world that the pope will deliver from the same balcony where he made his first public appearance after his election this month.At an Easter Vigil in ...
Three dead after building blaze in Paris suburb AUBERVILLIERS: Three people died and 13 were injured after a blaze broke out in a seven-storey building housing squatters in the Paris suburb of Aubervilliers.The fire started late Saturday on the third floor of the building, forcing several people to jump out their windows in an attempt to escape the flames.One person died after jumping and another burned to death on the third floor. The third died in hospital.Four of the injured were in a ...
French PM says pension reform to keep retirement age of 62-paper PARIS: A plan to reform France's state pension system will leave in place the official retirement age of 62, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told a French newspaper."We won't touch the official retirement age," Ayrault said in an interview with Journal de Dimanche. "The main theme of our decisions is fairness."France is under pressure to fix a short-term pension deficit which Ayrault said would swell to 20 billion euros ($25.68 billion) by 2020 if unaddressed.Ayrault ...
London Olympic Park opened to public tours LONDON: The public were allowed into Britain's Olympic Park this weekend for the first time since the 2012 Games, with a behind-the-scenes tour of its transformation into a new neighbourhood of London. More than 23,000 tickets have already been sold for the hour-long accompanied tours, organisers said, which offer a sneak preview before the Stratford site begins to open in July. Visitors don hard hats and high-visibility jackets to tour what is still a construction ...


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
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