In Brief

ABulgaria to assess impact of Burgas-Alexandroupoli pipeline SOFIA (Reuters) – Bulgaria will decide whether to stay on board with a Russian-led trans-Balkan oil pipeline project after Sofia assesses the impact of the link on the Black Sea country’s environment, officials said yesterday. Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said the Environment Ministry’s assessment report of the planned 1-billion-euro oil link from the Bulgarian Black Sea port of Burgas to the Greek port of Alexandroupoli, due to carry Russian crude to Greece, could take up to 18 months. «If the ministry does not issue a report… showing that this project is legal and meets our standards, then it is actually not beneficial to Bulgaria,» Borisov told reporters. «Otherwise you will be planting an environmental bomb.» Bulgaria’s new center-right government, which won July elections, has been reviewing its participation in major Russian-backed energy projects agreed by the previous administration to see whether they match the national interests and the European Union’s agenda. Sentiment and dinar boosted by Serbia’s EU trade pact BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s currency surged yesterday after the European Union boosted the former Yugoslav republic’s membership prospects by approving a trade deal that had been on hold. The interim trade agreement, unblocked by EU foreign ministers on Monday, was the first formal accord between the Balkan country and the 27-nation bloc after almost two decades of international isolation. The deal is part of a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU and provides for the abolition of customs duties over six years and the reform of Serbia’s laws on competition and state subsidies. IMF-Romania The International Monetary Fund is «pretty firm» on its demand that Romania pass a 2010 budget with a deficit of 5.9 percent of gross domestic product to resume a 20-billion-euro aid deal, an IMF representative said yesterday. The shape and timing of Romania’s 2010 budget remain uncertain after a hotly contested presidential election which had been expected to unlock political deadlock and bring the International Monetary Fund back to the table quickly. (Reuters) Bosnian growth Bosnia’s economy is expected to grow 0.5 percent next year while its recovery is expected only in 2011 when it will grow by 3 percent, Bosnia’s central bank governor Kemal Kozaric said yesterday. «Next year will remain very difficult for the Bosnian economy. GDP will be at 0.5 percent and further recovery is expected only in 2011,» Kozaric told Reuters. Bosnia has turned to the International Monetary Fund to help it battle the impact of the global crisis but the release of the second tranche of its 1.2-billion-euro standby deal depends on further spending cuts. (Reuters) Turkish output Turkey’s industrial production surprisingly rose for the first time in 16 months on the year in October, data showed yesterday, backing estimates the economy may rebound stronger than expected after a steep contraction. Industrial production rose by 6.5 percent, the Turkish Statistics Institute said, compared to a Reuters poll forecast of a 3 percent year-on-year contraction in October. (Reuters)

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