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News from Bulgaria / Oct 11, 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] PRESIDENT ZHELEV ASKS FOR ASSISTANCE

  • [02] "ENVIRONMENT FOR EUROPE" CONFERENCE IN SOFIA

  • [03] DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER IN UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  • [04] PRESS REVIEW

  • [05] UDF ADDRESSES THE LOCAL ELECTIONS

  • [06] BULGARIAN BOOK PUBLISHING


  • [01] PRESIDENT ZHELEV ASKS FOR ASSISTANCE

    Sofia, October 10 (BTA) - Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev sent messages to the heads of state of the European Union member-countries and to the President of the European Commission insisting on their active assistance in removing Bulgaria from the EU visa blacklist.

    The Bulgarian Head of State stresses that in the next six months Bulgaria is going to take all possible and necessary actions for the attainment of that objective, the press office of the Presidency said.

    Last week the Consultative Council on National Security considered the specific steps the state institutions should take for Bulgaria's removal from the EU visa black list. The National Assembly adopted a declaration instisting that the citizens of Bulgaria be treated on an equal footing with the citizens of the other Central and Eastern European countries associated with the EU.

    Sofia, October 10 (BTA) - At a meeting today, the Consultative Council on National Security (CCNS) chaired by President Zhelyu Zhelev discussed issues concerning Bulgaria's participation in already effective and newly established multilateral exports control regimes. Bulgaria's bid for membership in the COCOM successor organization as a co-founder was high on the agenda, says an official announcement read by President's Spokesman Valentin Stoyanov to journalists.

    The CCNS, which includes the Prime Minister, the Chairman of Parliament, cabinet ministers and representatives of all the parliamentary groups, gathered for the second time this month. Last Tuesday it discussed Bulgaria's remaining on the EU blacklist.

    The participants in the meeting arrived at the conclusion that Bulgaria is interested in participation in the effective and newly established multilateral export control regimes on an equal footing. This would be in compliance with the liberalization of Bulgaria's foreign trade regulations and would give it access to modern high technologies which are very important for the economic reforms in the country and the attraction of foreign investments, Spokesman Stoyanov said.

    The CCNS mapped out specific measures to speed up the codification of the export control over goods and technologies with dual use and weapons, to stabilize and improve the national mechanism for the application of that legislation, and to intensify diplomatic activities for the realization of Bulgaria's interests in this sphere.

    Deputy Prime Minister Kiril Tsochev informed the participants in the meeting on the nuclear safety of the Kozlodoui N-plant, the annoucement says.

    After the meeting National Assembly Chairman Blagovest Sendov was the only participant who agreed to answer journalists' questions. Asked whether Bulgaria would be admitted to the COCOM successor organization, he said that "there is time until December when the decision on it will be made, and in the meantime all measures will be taken so that Bulgaria be admitted to membership in the COCOM successor organization." Sendov said that the CCNS members demonstrated a consensus during the discussion of the Kozlodoui N- plant.

    [02] "ENVIRONMENT FOR EUROPE" CONFERENCE IN SOFIA

    Sofia, October 10 (BTA) - So far 40 countries have confirmed their participation in the October 23-25 Third Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe" in Sofia, Environment Minister Georgi Georgiev said before the members of the Parliamentary Committee on Environmental Protection and Waters as he familiarized them with the preparation of the conference. It will also be attended by 40 non- governmental organizations, Minister Georgiev stated. None of the countries expected to take part in the conference has refused to send a delegation, he said.

    The foreign delegations will be offered to visit the Kozlodou Nuclear Power Plant and to see for themselves that the plant operates safely.

    A number of round-table talks, discussions and meetings will be held parallel to the conference, which is to be attended by some 500 foreign and Bulgarian participants. During the conference Bulgaria expects to sign an agreement on the fulfillment of the debt for nature swap transaction with Switzerland, as well as agreements for cooperation in nature protection with Slovakia, Belarus, Russia, Greece and France.

    [03] DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER IN UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY

    Sofia, October, 10 (BTA) - As a delegate to the 50th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister Irina Bokova met with Madeleine Albright, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Issues connected with the peaceful settlement of the conflict in former Yugoslavia and the postwar economic reconstruction of the region were on the agenda.

    Bokova noted that Bulgaria is interested to participate in the international reconstruction projects, which would help offset its losses sustained as a result of the application of UN sanctions. The Bulgarian Deputy Foreign Minister also outlined the major fileds, in which Bulgarian companies and enterprises could offer assisitance in the economic reconstruction of the region.

    Madeleine Albright paid attention to the importance of a lasting economic stabilization of the Balkans and Bulgaria's role in this respect. She praised the Bulgarian proposals for the attainment of this goal and familiarized Deputy Foreign Minister Bokova with the latest results of the discussions and the prospects for the implementation of the peace plan for former Yugoslavia. The UN reform and other issues on the agenda of the 50th Session of the UN General Assembly were also discussed.

    Irina Bokova discussed the same problems with the permanent representatives to the UN of Spain, Juan Antonio Barnuevo and of Italy, Francesco Fulci. Deputy Minister Bokova raised the question of Bulgaria's removal from the EU blacklist and stressed the country's desire for active and efficient cooperation with the EU member- countries. Barnuevo and Fulci promised to support the draft resolution on the assistance to third countries affected by the Yugosanctions. The draft resolution will be moved by the Bulgarian delegation to the session. Issues of mutual interest were also discussed.

    Bokova also met with Pavel Bratinka, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic and Chairman of the Czech interdepartmental committee on European integration. She briefed Bratinka on the initiatives of the Bulgarian Government at the 50th session of the UN General Assembly and Bulgaria's readiness to take active part in the postwar economic reconstruction of the Balkans and the implementation of regional infrastructure projects. Bokova thanked for the Czech Republic's support for Bulgaria's Central European Initiative membership bid.

    [04] PRESS REVIEW

    Bulgarian Patriarch Maksim tomorrow leaves for Serbia, "24 Chassa" writes. This is Maksim's first call on his Serb counterpart Pavle, according to the paper. The Bulgarian Patriarch will deliver 500,000 leva in assistance for the Serb Orthodox Church. The visit will fully normalize relations between the two churches, theologians say. The cannon requires the Patriach to call on the heads of all sister churches after his enthronement. Poor relations between Bulgaria and Serbia in the 1970s made such a visit impossible.

    The government decision to restart the first, oldest reactor of the Kozlodoui nuclear power plant remains in the highlights of the press. "Germany and France called us threat number one in Europe," "Standart News" writes. "France and Germany have consistently topped the list of objectors against Kozlodoui," the report says. It recalls France supplies 72% of its energy needs from nuclear plants and has renewed nuclear tests, yet remains our staunchest accuser. The problem is not the reactor, environmentalists believe. Europe is angry with the Government's refusal of EC aid for the development of the energy sector; after we do not take money from the West, we cannot be dictated terms, "Standart News" experts say.The reactor begin operating at full capacity in two days, "Pari" writes. It quotes Deputy Prime Minister Kiril Tsochev as saying, "We are firm, because we are in the right." The cabinet will not be swayed by French and German threats not to take part in a eco-forum due to be held here, the financial daily "Pari" also writes.

    The press keeps covering the condition of Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov after the attempt on his life, and the progress of the police investigation.

    [05] UDF ADDRESSES THE LOCAL ELECTIONS

    Sofia, October 10 (BTA) - "The opposition Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) will consider it a success in the local elections (to be held on October 29) if the number of its voters is increased at the the expense of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)," UDF Leader Ivan Kostov said today after a meeting of the UDF top leadership. UDF, which ruled the country from late 1991 till late 1992, declared it would work for winning the elections in Sofia and the other big cities. "The priority of UDF is Sofia," Kostov stated.

    Today the top leadership of UDF released a special address appealing to Sofianites to cast their votes for the UDF mayoral candidate, Stefan Sofiyanski. "For Sofianites the forthcoming elections have a political implication. It will influence directly the political and electoral atmosphere in the whole country," the address says. The UDF can win the elections in Sofia in the first round. "This victory may be achieved if you cast your votes for the candidate of the Union of Democratic Forces Stefan Sofiyanski. Any other choice means a waste of votes, tension all over the country and playing into the hands of the BSP," it is said in the address. The votes for ex-caretaker prime minister Reneta Indjova, the mayoral candidate of the Popular Union (the second largest force in parliament), will be votes against the UDF, the address reads. "There is a real danger for these votes to divide the people with democratic convictions, thus giving the power away to the Communists in Sofia," the address says.

    The leaders of the Popular Union, a coalition of the Democratic Party (DP) and Anastasia Moser's Bulgarian Agrarian National Union (BANU), declined to comment on today's address of the UDF. DP leader Stefan Savov said that his party would not let itself be involved in an intolerant election race.

    Speaking on behalf of the Popular Union, BANU leader Anastasia Moser told BTA that if Stefan Sofiyanski garners more votes than Reneta Indjova, they will shift their voters' support to Sofiyanski. "Unfortunately, the UDF has not made a similar statement," she said.

    The ruling Democratic Left coalition (BSP, the Alexander Stamboliiski Bulgarian Agrarian National Union and the Eco-Glasnost Political Club) has nominated and supports mayoral candidates in all the 289 municipalities and buroughs and in 3,011 population centres in the country, Nikolai Dobrev, member of the BSP leadership, told a news briefing today.

    The BSP coalition has nominated or supports 6,832 candidates for municipal councillors; the ranking of 3,300 of them on the list gives them a chance of being elected, he said.

    According to Klara Marinova, who is in charge of public relations, among the advantages of the Democratic Left in its election campaign is the existence of a nationwide network of local structures of the political forces united in the coalition and the fact that the coalition's canvassing is geared to local peculiarities. "Another advantage is using the potential of the judiciary and the executive branch in parallel to the potential of the BSP structures," she added. The guiding principle in the election campaign of the BSP-led coalition is its positive spirit, Marinova said. In her view, the weak point of the Democratic Left canvassing is its insufficiently detailed approach to the mass media.

    [06] BULGARIAN BOOK PUBLISHING

    Sofia, October 10 (BTA) - Bulgarian book publishing has been reviving and seeking ways to gain recognition. An initiative to that end is the first in Bulgaria "Season of Bulgarian Book", which is organised by the National Book Centre in cooperation with the National Palace of Culture and the unions of Bulgarian writers and translators. According to B. Lambovski, Director of the Centre, the only chances of survival for the Bulgarian book is that it gains national and international recognition.

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