Bulgaria will produce electric cars
Bulgaria will produce electric cars

The Minister of Economy Kiril Petkov and representatives of the German manufacturer of electric cars Next.e.GO signed a memorandum for the construction of a plant for the production of electric cars. The factory will be located on the site of the Balkan plant in Lovech and will have to operate for up to 2 years. The planned capacity is 20,000 cars per year, and the investor plans to seriously exceed this number.

The value of the investment is 140 million euros. In addition, the Bulgarian state does not commit to any preliminary financial incentives until the plant exceeds the bar of 10,000 cars produced.

“Not a single lev will be given until the production starts. Incentives will be given when they produce and sell 10,000 cars. The second stage is 20,000 cars. For the first time we are doing so that the Bulgarian state does not take risks. In the end. the incentives we will give will be much less than what we will receive as taxes “, Minister Petkov reported.

In particular – the state will give an incentive of 30 million euros when the capacity of the plant reaches 20,000 cars produced and sold annually, he said when asked by News.bg.

Bulgaria has been in competition with three other Balkan countries to attract the German automaker. Our advantage was not in the incentives we promised, but in the added value we offer, said the head of the economic department. And in particular – most of the suppliers are located in Bulgaria, and most importantly – many of the parts are produced again in our country.

“With another thing that attracted them – a promise of zero corruption. A promise that the state does not hinder them at any stage,” said Minister Petkov.

For now, the plans are to produce two models of the company in Lovech. However, the intention of the investor is to expand the portfolio significantly, but this will be done in stages, Ali Vesvai from the board of directors of the German automaker answered a question from News.bg.

A total of 602 companies from around the world have shown interest in our country, Petkov said. Of these, 129 have sent letters with direct investment intentions, 218 have expressed interest, and 255 want to explore possible cooperation.

“To my surprise, during these 5 weeks we received 602 letters from companies from all over the world,” boasted the head of the Bulgarian economic ministry.

Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 – the genius of electricity and PR
Nikola Tesla was born on July 10, 1856 – the genius of electricity and PR

Today, July 10, in the village of Smiljan in Austria-Hungary, today’s Croatia, Nikola Tesla was born – the man who, according to some, more or less “invents the twentieth century” and is the “patron saint” of modern electricity.

There is no other person in the history of science like Nikola Tesla, who has so captured the imagination of his contemporaries that to this day he is almost a mythological hero.

He is undoubtedly one of the pioneers in the history of electromagnetic technology. As an inventor, he was very prolific, with about 300 patents in at least 26 countries. He was just as remarkable as a person – eccentric, with an exceptional memory and bizarre habits.

These qualities make him a favorite of admirers of conspiracy theories and alternative scientific hypotheses. Many people are convinced that Nikola Tesla invented almost everything, and in the age of the Internet, more and more sites with fake stories fan Tesla’s mania and accumulate numerous myths.

He discovered alternating current, wireless power transmission, for the first time developed the principles of remote control, the basis of high-frequency current therapy, designed the transformer and the first electric clock and much more – there are more than three hundred patents for inventions in different countries. He invented radio before Marconi and Popov, received three-phase electricity before Dolivo-Dobrovolski. All modern electricity would be impossible without his discoveries.

No one disputes that Nikola Tesla was a great engineer. Nikola Tesla is a genius of electrical engineering, but most of all he is a genius of PR. Let it be clear that Tesla, although an influential inventor, was not a scientist. The basic laws of the physics of electricity were discovered not by him, but by Faraday, Maxwell, Hertz, Om and others. It’s just that Tesla manages to put these laws into practice.

An ultra-modern flying taxi have been demonstrated in Paris – to be used at the Olympics in 2024
An ultra-modern flying taxi have been demonstrated in Paris – to be used at the Olympics in 2024

The machine, which looks like a small helicopter, can carry two people and some luggage.

A German company demonstrated state-of-the-art air taxis in Paris, world media reported.

The demonstration flight was made at Bourges Airport. The company plans to use air taxis as early as 2024 during the Olympic Games in the French capital.

During the demonstration, the machine, which looks like a small helicopter, flew for about 3 minutes and traveled nearly 500 meters without people on board.

According to its creators, it will initially be operated by licensed pilots. Over time, however, air taxis will become fully automatic.

Volocopter Demo at Paris Air Forum on YouTube:

A journey like a movie –  to the Harry Potter Bridge in Scotland
A journey like a movie – to the Harry Potter Bridge in Scotland

The famous Glenfinan viaduct, through which the train passes in the films about the boy wizard, is 120 years old

The Hogwarts Express train, which rushes to the Hogwarts School of Wizards in the Harry Potter movies, is not a computer animation. The bridge he crosses, too.

Both are based in Scotland and are legendary attractions even before the movies.

The real name of the train is the steam train “Jacobyte” and the viaduct – Glenfinan. Traveling on the route of just over 130 km is one of the best experiences you can book in Scotland.

The route of the steam train journey begins near the highest mountain in Britain – Ben Nevis, and ends in the coastal town of Malaga.

From the final stop of the train you can board the ferry to the Isle of Skye – an unearthly place shrouded in fog.

Surprisingly, the Glenfinan Viaduct is at an honorary age of 120 years. Construction of the section from Fort William to Malaga (steam train route) began in 1896. It was officially opened in 1901.

Unusual rumors have surfaced about its construction. Despite numerous studies that refute this claim, the rumor persists that a whole horse fell into one of the pylons of the viaduct during construction. The pylons were examined with mini cameras and scanned, but the remains of a horse were never found.

Ever since fans of the boy wizard followed in the footsteps of their favorite character, the viaduct has gained unprecedented fame. Some more reckless followers, probably believing in their own supernatural powers, narrowly missed a close encounter with the oncoming train as they walked along the viaduct. This caused the British transport police to issue an official warning to tourists not to walk on the transport facility.

The other problem with the Scottish authorities is that many tourists only reach the viaduct instead of seeing more Scottish beauties.

The Glenfinan Viaduct can be seen not only from the train (which is pulled by a steam locomotive only in summer), but also from the side (where the view is actually more impressive). It is located north of the A830, also known as the Road to the Islands and considered one of the most scenic roads in Scotland. Those who decide to continue their journey beyond the fabulous world of Mr. Potter will see sandy beaches, green hills and sunsets over the sea and islands in the distance.

The Germans stormed Mallorca, Lufthansa released jumbo jets
The Germans stormed Mallorca, Lufthansa released jumbo jets

The island is sometimes jokingly called the “17th German state”

The German airline Lufthansa is taking “emergency measures” due to the jump in reservations for the Spanish island of Mallorca, sending jumbo jets to transport passengers from Frankfurt, AFP reported.

In recent months, there has been a sharp increase in reservations from Germans thirsty for the sun, as fears of a pandemic have subsided thanks to declining cases and advances in vaccination in Europe.

To meet demand, Lufthansa will replace the 215-seat Airbus A321, which typically serves the Frankfurt-Mallorca route, with a 364-seat Boeing 747-8.

The huge jumbo jet, called the “Queen of Heaven”, is the largest aircraft in the Lufthansa flotilla. Usually this type of machine flies on transatlantic routes, but most of them were stopped due to the pandemic.

The jumbo jet will be used for four weekends in July and August, when it is the peak of the summer tourist season in Europe.

Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist destinations among Germans, and the island is sometimes jokingly called the “17th German province”. Before the pandemic, it was visited by about 5 million German tourists each year

Eurovignette: provisional deal on new road haulage charging rules
Eurovignette: provisional deal on new road haulage charging rules

EP and Council negotiators reached a deal on new road charging rules for trucks to transition from time-based to distance-based charging, reducing CO2 emissions.

A provisional agreement reached on Wednesday between the European Parliament and Council negotiators will update the rules defining charges EU member states can impose on trucks and lorries, but also buses, vans and passenger cars using trans-European transport (TEN-T) network roads. The aim of the new rules is to move road charging from a time-based model to distance-based or an actual kilometres-driven system, to better reflect the polluter-pays and user-pays principles.

In addition, to encouraging the wider use of more environmentally friendly vehicles, under the new rules EU countries will need to set different road charging rates based on CO2 emissions for trucks and buses, as soon as additional rules on CO2 classes for vehicles are set, possibly in 2023, and based on environmental performance for vans and minibuses as of 2026, with considerable charging reductions for zero or low emission vehicles.

From vignettes to tolls

MEPs secured that members states will phase out “vignettes” (time-based road charging) across the core TEN-T network from 2029 for heavy-duty vehicles (trucks, lorries and buses) and instead will start applying tolls (distance-based charges). However, member states will still be able to retain vignettes for a specific parts of this network, if they can prove that a new mode of charging would mean disproportionate costs relative to expected revenue.

Charging vans and cars

To ensure equal treatment and fair competition, the new rules will be extended not only to buses, but also to lighter vehicles, such as, vans, minibuses and passenger cars. EU countries choosing to charge these vehicles will be able to use toll or vignettes systems. To ensure occasional users and drivers from other EU countries are treated fairly, the provisional deal also created shorter validity periods (one day, one week or 10 days) and price caps on “vignettes” that can be imposed on passenger cars.

Five years from the entry into force of these rules, the Commission will assess the charging practice of light-duty vehicles in order to decide if vans used for commercial purposes should follow the same charging models as trucks and if there should be more robust rules on road charges for private cars.

More transparency

MEPs ensured that three years after the entry into force of the agreed rules member states will report publicly on tolls and user charges levied on their territory, including information on the use of these revenues. For MEPs, it is important to make sure that the revenues generated from these charges contributes to sustainable transport, infrastructure and mobility.

EP rapporteur Giuseppe Ferrandino (S&D, IT) said: “These new rules represent a milestone in achieving the ambitious decarbonisation policies that we set at the beginning of this Parliament’s legislature. This is also why I am very satisfied with the agreement we reached on the earmarking of some tolls. In full respect of their autonomy, member states will now have the tools they need to be active players in addressing the great environmental challenge we face.

The elimination of the vignette for heavy vehicles will standardize a system that is currently excessively fragmented. We will give a strong signal to the world of transport that encourages the use of cleaner vehicles. I am very pleased to have obtained the introduction of the one-day vignette for all vehicles in circulation, which will allow travellers in transit to pay a fair price for their journey. This is also a positive development for tourism: it ensures that travellers will not be penalized.”

Next steps

The informal deal on Eurovignette rules still needs to be approved by the Council’s Committee of Permanent Representatives and Parliament’s Transport and Tourism committee, and then the Council and Parliament as a whole.

Russia resumes flights with nine countries
Russia resumes flights with nine countries

The headquarters made such a decision taking into account the epidemiological situation.

Russian tourists will have to wait for border opening

Russia will resume flights with Great Britain on June 2. And from June 10, regular flights will be resumed with Austria, Hungary, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Morocco and Croatia, as well as charter flights with Albania. The headquarters made such a decision taking into account the epidemiological situation in these countries, TASS reports.

Regular flights on the Moscow – London route will be operated three times a week on a reciprocal basis.

“Based on the results of the discussion and taking into account the epidemiological situation in individual countries, the operational headquarters decided to resume on a reciprocal basis from June 10, 2021, regular international flights with the following states: Austria (Moscow – Vienna twice a week); Hungary (Moscow – Budapest twice a week); Lebanon (Moscow – Beirut once a week); Luxembourg (Moscow – Luxembourg once a week); Mauritius (Moscow – Port Louis twice a week); Morocco (Moscow – Rabat twice a week); Croatia (Moscow – Zagreb twice a week), ”the journalists were told.

In addition, from June 10, charter flights with Albania on the Moscow-Tirana route will be resumed once a week.

The headquarters also said that the number of regular flights per week to Greece, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Qatar, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, as well as to Egypt and Serbia, will increase.

“From June 10, the number of flights with Greece on the Moscow – Athens route will be increased by two flights a week, with Azerbaijan (Moscow – Baku), Armenia (Moscow – Yerevan), Qatar (Moscow – Doha), Uzbekistan (Moscow – Tashkent) and Tajikistan (Moscow – Dushanbe) – for one flight a week, with Egypt (Moscow – Cairo) and Serbia (Moscow – Belgrade) – up to seven flights a week, ”the message says.

Russia will extend the ban on flights to Turkey after June 1

The reason is the same – the outbreak of coronavirus in this country

The Russian headquarters for the fight against coronavirus will extend the ban on flights to Turkey, writes TASS, citing sources. The decision will be made in connection with the covid-situation in Turkish resorts – rest, according to the headquarters, is still unsafe. The previous term of restrictions expires tomorrow, June 1. It was decided to extend the current restrictions on air traffic with Turkey and Tanzania until June 21, 2021 inclusive.

They started talking about extending the flight ban back in mid-May, but then the headquarters had to deny a possible extension of the sanctions. And Aeroflot, without waiting for an official notification, closed the sale of tickets for all flights to Turkey until the end of June, with the exception of two flights a week to Istanbul permitted by the headquarters.

Back in April, Russia limited air traffic with Turkey and Tanzania from April 15 to June 1. The decision was made at a meeting of the operational headquarters for the fight against coronavirus, the reason is a sharp increase in the number of COVID cases in Turkey. As for Tanzania, in this country, the registration of those infected with the coronavirus is not kept, and no certificates of the absence of COVID-19 are required from visitors.

In a statement, the headquarters noted that regular flights with Turkey will be limited to two flights a week from Moscow to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Moscow on a reciprocal basis. Charters are also suspended. Export flights remain. Russian tour operators are advised to stop selling tours until June 1. The head of the headquarters for the fight against coronavirus in Russia, Tatyana Golikova, noted that air traffic with these countries will be resumed if the situation there stabilizes.

The restriction of air traffic was discussed last week. If at the beginning of the year 10-15 thousand new cases were recorded daily in the country, then by April the figure had grown to 55 thousand cases per day. Now in Turkey, according to Hopkins University, 3,849,011 cases of COVID-19 have been officially detected. Also earlier, the head of Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova, stated that it was from Turkey that most of the new strains of coronavirus were imported to Russia.

For the first time, Russia closed flights with Turkey in March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic was declared all over the world. In August, the country became one of the first to resume flights.

EU-UK relations: parliament adopts temporary contingency measures
EU-UK relations: parliament adopts temporary contingency measures

On Friday, Parliament adopted measures to ensure basic road and air connections in case no agreement is reached on EU-UK future relations.

  • Basic air connectivity: the temporary rules ensuring certain air services between the UK and the EU continue for a maximum of six months were adopted with 680 votes in favour (3 against, 4 abstentions). This includes rights for UK and EU air carriers to continue to fly over and make technical stops on EU territory, as well as serve direct routes to the EU. Also a limited number of specific pandemic-related cargo flights will be allowed.
  • Aviation safety: the regulation ensuring various certificates for products, parts, appliances and companies remain valid was adopted with 680 votes in favour (3 against, 4 abstentions). This will avoid UK and EU aircraft that use these products and services being grounded.
  • Basic road connectivity: the temporary rules ensuring road freight and road passenger transport for a maximum of six months were adopted with 680 votes in favour (4 against, 3 abstentions). This will allow carriage of goods as well as coach and bus services coming to Europe and going to the UK to continue.


EU rules will no longer apply to and in the UK after the end of the transition period. The targeted contingency measures aim to avoid serious traffic disruptions and considerable delays in case there is no agreement on EU-UK future relations in place by 1 January 2021. The contingency measures will cease to apply, if an agreement is reached.

MEPs also approved the Commission’s proposal to extend reciprocal access by EU and UK vessels to each other’s waters until 31 December 2021 by 677 votes in favour, 4 against and 6 abstentions. Read more here.

Next steps

All temporary rules have to be adopted by the Council. They will enter into force after publication in the EU Official Journal and become applicable if a similar set of measures is adopted by the UK.