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News from Bulgaria / Oct 10, 95

From: bulgaria@access1.digex.net (Embassy of Bulgaria)

Bulgarian Telegraph Agency Directory

EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA - WASHINGTON D.C.

BTA - BULGARIAN TELEGRAPH AGENCY


CONTENTS

  • [01] HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT IN BULGARIA

  • [02] GOVERNMENT DECISIONS

  • [03] ON THE KOZLODOUI NUCLEAR PLANT

  • [04] CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT IN BOSNIA

  • [05] PHARE PROGRAMME AGREEMENT

  • [06] NO BULGARIAN CONNECTION IN GLIGOROF'S ASSASINATION ATTEMPT

  • [07] SPANISH AMBASSADOR JORGE FUENTES INTERVIEWED


  • [01] HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT IN BULGARIA

    Sofia, October 9 - "I am fully convinced that as a result of my visit here the cooperation between our two states will gain momentum and will get better chances for promotion," Hungarian President Arpad Goncz said after his talks today with President Zhelyu Zhelev and the meeting between the two official delegations.

    Shortly after his arrival the Hungarian President had a half an hour tete-a-tete meeting with Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev. After that there was a meeting between two official delegations, which, in addition to advisors of the two presidents include also deputy ministers of transport and of agriculture. Two bilateral accords: a convention for plant protection and a veterinary agreement, were signed at noon.

    "The current visit offers an opportunity to exchange information and synchronize our watches on the issues concerning bilateral relations and multilateral cooperation," President Zhelev told reporters after the talks. According to the Bulgarian President, both in the private talks and in the meeting between the two delegations, the parties familiarized each other with the political processes in Bulgaria and Hungary and with the progress of the reforms in these countries. The two presidents addressed also multilateral cooperation and particularly the Central European Initiative and CEFTA, in which, according to President Zhelev, Hungary supports Bulgaria in its efforts to get full membership.

    "We also dwelled on issues, concerning multilateral cooperation in the framework of European structures: the European Union, NATO, the WEU. We share the common belief that rather than compete, our two states should help each other on the road to the European structures; and in that connection Hungary, which is at least two years ahead of Bulgaria, may come very useful for this country," Mr Zhelev said.

    "In talks, what is important it is not just their topic, but also the way they are held. We conferred in a very good manner, in an atmosphere of complete understanding on the fact that we are following similar roads, no matter that Bulgaria and Hungary are in different regions of Europe," President Goncz said. "We discussed a number of fields, in which cooperation between institutions and ministries would help deepen the relations between the two states," Arpad Goncz said. In his view, the foreign ministries, for instance, may cooperate on the two countries' European integration, on their status in international organisations, they may also coordinate their positions and hold regular consultations. "This was a lesson we gave to the transport ministries, which could meet and discuss issues, concerning the European infrastructure; the Economic Ministries may discuss the spheres in which to deepen their cooperation," the Hungarian President said.

    [02] GOVERNMENT DECISIONS

    Sofia, October 9 (BTA) - A list of some 1,300 enterprises for voucher privatization enters Parliament Thursday, after being approved by the Council of Ministers at an extraordinary session today. This is one-third of the companies in Bulgaria, said Kalin Mitrev, chief of the Mass Privatization Centre at the Government press office today.

    The list approved by the Cabinet comprises 745 industrial enterprises, 347 agricultural and food processing enterprises, 69 construction companies, 58 transport companies, 31 commercial firms, 10 cultural establishments, 57 tourist companies and five power engineering companies, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development Roumen Gechev said.

    Several enterprises at an advanced stage of cash privatization may be struck off the list, Gechev believes. Their number will be specified tomorrow, he added.

    The basic capital of the enterprises offered for privatization totals some 210,000 million leva, according to Deputy Prime Minister Gechev. They will be sold at 42% of their actual value or for shares for around 90,000 million leva. The Privatization Act provides for parallel cash and mass privatization, some enterprises being sold only for cash and others for cash and vouchers. Mass privatization will be effected in two waves. According to Government estimates, the first wave will start next spring.

    The Government has approved three patterns of mass privatization. Only a 25% share of large enterprises, including oil refineries, the chemical works in Devnya and large tourist resorts will be put up for mass privatization during the first wave. Up to 65% share of medium- size enterprises in which the state wishes to retain a controlling interest will be offered for mass privatization while for most small and medium- size enterprises, above all in the food processing industry, this share will be 90%. Some 10% of the shares of the companies put up for mass privatization will be left to meet possible restitution claims. No banks have been included in the mass privatization list, Gechev said. According to him, this issue will be discussed once again during the second mass privatization wave.

    By adopting this list the Council of Ministers completed the preparation of mass privatization, Mass Privatization Centre chief Mitrev said. The list will be debated in Parliament on Thursday, together with the bill amending the Privatization Act. The bill determines the range of the programme for voucher privatization, defines the term investment voucher and regulates preferences in mass privatization.

    [03] ON THE KOZLODOUI NUCLEAR PLANT

    Sofia, October 9 (BTA) - A Reuter report of October 6 quoted EU, French and German high-ranking officials who questioned the prospects for success of the October 23-25 Third Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe" in Sofia in the wake of the Bulgarian Government's decision to restart Unit One of the Kozlodoui Nuclear Power Plant. In September G7 presented a demarche to the Bulgarian Government, urging Bulgaria not to put into operation Kozlodoui's Unit One, which had been upgraded, for safety reasons. This prompted the Bulgarian Environment Ministry to send BTA a declaration which reads:

    "The Ministry of the Environment of the Republic of Bulgaria sees the quoted statements as a counter-productive attempt to unilaterally impede and divert large-scale dialogue among the countries participating in the Environment for Europe process. The Third Ministerial Conference on the Environment offers every opportunity for an open dialogue on contentious issues of regional environmental policy, including questions of the safety of the nuclear power plants operating in Europe. The Environment Ministry favours the intention of some countries to discuss at the Conference proposals to assist the Central and East European countries in the restructuring of their energy sector along with the other items on the agenda of the Conference.

    "However, the Environment Ministry cannot accept the fact that the sovereign decision of the Bulgarian Government to restart Unit One of the Kozlodoui Nuclear Power Plant, taken after four inspections and sanctioned by the International AtomicEnergy Agency, is set as a precondition for participation in theThird Ministerial Conference. The Sofia forum should take everyopportunity for well-intentioned discussion within the framework of structured dialogue between the EU member countries and theassociated countries on problems of European environmentalcooperation, as well as the opportunities for dialogue within theframework of the specialized international organizations.

    "In compliance with its mandate the Bulgarian Government is continuing its efforts to provide the most favourable conditionsfor the success of the Third Ministerial Conference," the declaration says.

    Sofia, October 9 (BTA) - "Reactor One of the nuclear power plant in Kozlodui already works at 55 per cent of its capacity and is in good repair," Deputy Prime Minister Kiril Tsochev said in the Government's press office today. The commissioning programme is under way and in two days the reactor will be operating first at 75 per cent and then at its full capacity. The Government receives daily reports on the current state of the N-plant.

    "We shall persist and stick to our stand, because we are right," Minister Tsochev said in connection with the warning of environment ministers of France and Germany that they would boykott the meeting of environment ministers in Sofia at the end of this month. "There is still no evidence to prove that the N-plant poses a danger," Mr Tsochev reportedly told EU Ambassador O'Sullivan.

    [04] CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT IN BOSNIA

    Sofia, October 9 (BTA) - Bulgaria welcomes the ceasefire agreement between the warring parties in Bosnia, Bulgarian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Radko Vlaikov today told the media. He described the ceasefire as a key element in the latest positive developments resulting from the US peace initiative supported by the Contact Group.

    The Spokesman recalled Bulgaria has supported a peaceful political settlement ever since the start of the war.

    On the eve of enforcement of the ceasefire agreement, Bulgaria once again calls on the warring parties to show restraint, to consider the importance of the accord, and refrain from any actions which may postpone or obstruct the negotiated ceasefire, the Foreign Ministry Spokesman said.

    Hoping the accord will turn into reality, Bulgaria reiterates its hope it will clear the way, within the agreed timeframe, to an international conference which would negotiate a lasting, fair and final peace settlement, the Spokesman said in conclusion.

    [05] PHARE PROGRAMME AGREEMENT

    Sofia, October 9 (BTA) - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Kiril Tsochev and E.U. Ambassador Thomas O'Sullivan signed today a tentative programme for cooperation under PHARE programme for 1995. The ministries are expected to sign individual programmes with their Western European partners and with Ambassador O'Sullivan.

    The 60 million ECU, granted under PHARE, will be utilized in 1996 and 1997. ECU 2 million will be used under the European Integration part of the programme for harmonization of Bulgarian legislation with the EU laws, ECU 32 million will go for development of infrastructure, including nuclear safety, transport and power engineering, ECU 21 million will be used for support of human resources and 5 million will go for agriculture.

    "This is the last individual tentative programme, which Bulgaria is signing with the EU for a period of one year," Mr Tsochev said. The signing of a programme for the period 1996-1999 which Bulgaria insisted to be chiefly directed at investment projects, has been planned.

    [06] NO BULGARIAN CONNECTION IN GLIGOROF'S ASSASINATION ATTEMPT

    Sofia, October 9 - It is only logical to seek the forces interested in the removal of Kiro Gligorov among those circles in Skopje and Belgrade which are actively working for returning Macedonia within the boundaries of present day Yugoslavia, Krassimir Karakachanov, leader of the parliamentary represented opposition Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization Union of Macedonian Societies (IMRO- UMS), said at a news conference today. He did not rule out the version of the attack being "economically motivated".

    The theses of a "Bulgarian connection" in the attempt were launched in Belgrade and Athens, Karakachanov said. He said that according to the information of the Bulgarian IMRO, the population in the Republic of Macedonia believed that the attack was the work of Macedonia's northern neighbour or of its structures.

    There is no political force in Bulgaria interested in the removal of Kiro Gligorov, the IMRO-UMS leader said. It is in Bulgaria's interests for Macedonia to be an independent state and not part of Yugoslavia or Southern Serbia, Karakachanov said.

    [07] SPANISH AMBASSADOR JORGE FUENTES INTERVIEWED

    "Madrid will do its best to have Bulgaria excluded from the EU blacklist" caps an interview of Spanish Ambassador Jorge Fuentes in "Troud".

    "The EU decisions are not taken quickly, therefore this cannot be expected to happen in the coming days or even months. But I am convinced that it is logical to assume that Bulgaria will be excluded from the blacklist," Mr Fuentes says in the interview.

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