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News from Bulgaria / Oct 13, 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] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS DECISIONS

  • [02] MASS PRIVATIZATION PROGRAMME GOES BEFORE PARLIAMENT

  • [03] STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT ZHELEV'S SPOKESMAN

  • [04] DEPUTY P.M. KONAKTCHIEV DEPARTS FOR MALTA

  • [05] JOHN MAJOR RECEIVES U.D.F. LEADER IVAN KOSTOV

  • [06] MEETINGS OF BULGARIAN PATRIARCH MAXIM IN BELGRADE

  • [07] JAPAN TO FINANCE ENVORONMENTAL PROJECTS IN BULGARIA

  • [08] 47 STATES HAVE CONFIRMED PARTICIPATION IN SOFIA


  • [01] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS DECISIONS

    The Kozlodoui Nuclear Power Plant will have no problems with fuel in the coming winter period, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Kiril Tsochev. The fuel for Unit Five, which was to be delivered by September 17, will arrive at the end of the month and the reactor will be brought on stream. Unit Three will then be shut down for routine maintenance, Mr Tsochev specified. The suspended coal deliveries from Ukarine call into question the operation of the Varna Thermoelectric Power Station. "We are looking for alternatives, including energy imports," the Minister said.

    "The service life of 14 out of a total of 22 Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft owned by the Balkan Bulgarian Airlines expires in 2001 - 2002, and it is time we think about their replacement," Transport Minister Stamen Stamenov said at the Government Press Office. He hopes that next Thursday the Council of Ministers will consider a draft decision on the extension of a 45 million leva loan to the air carrier from the State Fund for Reconstruction and Development. If the loan is not made effective, Balkanair will have to slash its international services which bring this country not only commercial but political prestige as well, the Minister believes. He stressed the need to work out a strategy that would allow the Balkan Bulgarian Airlines to break even at some point. "The company's big problem is the operational lease which turned out a heavy burden," Mr Stamenov said. A 20 million US dollar security deposit for the lease of aircraft is blocked in Western banks, leaving the carrier without operating funds.

    January - September inflation has added up to 23.18 per cent, according to a report of the National Pricing Commission, presented to the Council of Ministers. The National Statistical Institute said foods went up 12.19 per cent up, nonfoods 28.02 per cent and services, 51.67 per cent.

    [02] MASS PRIVATIZATION PROGRAMME GOES BEFORE PARLIAMENT

    The Government today adopted the mass privatization progrmme and the final version of the list of state-owned enterprises which will be privatized through investment vouchers. The two instruments are going before Parliament today. One day after the law-makers endorse them, the Centre for Mass Privatization will give the go-ahead to the campaign. "We are logistically ready, on a signal from the National Assembly, to start registration of the voucher books on October 20," said the Director of the Centre for Mass Privatization Kalim Mitrev after the Cabinet meeting. He claimed that all deadlines set in the preliminary government programme have been met so far.The final version of the mass privatization list contains 1,227 commercial partnerships: 685 in industry, 70 in industry, 306 in agriculture and food-processing, 73 in transport, 21 in trade, one in culture, 56 in the tourist industry, and five in the energy sector. Thirty-seven companies have been dropped out because their liabilities exceed their assets by October 12. These are mainly food- processing enterprises whose state of finances is affected by loans contracted for payment to producers this season, explained Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development Roumen Gechev. The other parameters of those companies are adequate and they may be put up for voucher privatization later on, he added. At the insistence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Kiril Tsochev, ten trading companies have been removed from the mass privatization list because of restitution problems and unascertained legal status. They include Sofia's Central Department Store, Bulgarplod, Agromachinaimpex, Metalsnab-Holding, Plovdiv Fair and Corecom. The fixed capital of the enterprises included in the list aggregates 211,336 million leva. Of this capital 42 per cent, or an estimated 89,830 million leva, will be privatizable against investment vouchers. By excluding the companies with deviations in one indicator or another, the most viable, operative enterprises have found themselves in the list, Mr Gechev said. Units with decapitalization or debts exceeding the admissible limit have been included only as an exception, according to the programme. A comprehensive analysis of these units proved that their development prospects for the coming years are unimpaired. The Neftochim oil refinery of Bourgas (on the Black Sea) is the largest company on the list. Its fixed assets are valued at 13,545 million leva, of which 3,700 million worth are put up for voucher privatization.

    [03] STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT ZHELEV'S SPOKESMAN

    A statement by President's Spokesman Valentin Stoyanov describes as provokative yesterday's declaration of the Association of Reserve Intelligence Officers, which demands that the Bulgarian President apologizes for having allegedly said that Bulgarians were involved in the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II. In the declaration the Association insists that Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev and former prime minister Filip Dimitrov "apologize officially, publicly and personally to the Bulgarian people for their allegations that Bulgarian institutions and nationals were involved in the attempt on the life of Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981, as well as the politicians who chimed in and the advisors who advised them of the existence of a Bulgarian connection." "President Zhelyu Zhelev has never linked Bulgaria's name with the assassination attempt and has always insisted that the case should be clarified and the stain from Bulgaria's image removed," the President's Spokesman said. According to Presidential Spokesman, it is well known that President Zhelev backed the formation of a special public commission, headed by American professor Allen Weinstein, to investigate the circumstances around the so-called Bulgarian trail. The commission found no evidence despite the cooperation it was provided by the Bulgarian authorities. "President Zhelev has at all occasions said that Bulgaria is most interested in the complete clarification of the case, so that the country gets rid of the burden of the degenerate Communist regime and gains the place it deserves in the democratic world," the President's Spokesman said.

    [04] DEPUTY P.M. KONAKTCHIEV DEPARTS FOR MALTA

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Territorial Development and Construction Doncho Konaktchiev departs today for Malta for the international forum Crans-Montana. Deputy P.M. Konaktchiev said in the Government's press office that at the meeting he will draw the attention to trans-border infrastructure projects and systems and Bulgaria's place in them, as well as the prospects for this country's participation in the post-war reconstruction of the territories of former Yugoslavia. "We shall also raise the issue of the so-called "lists" because Bulgaria has been unjustly placed in that position," Deputy Prime Minister Konaktchiev said. In connection with the country's non-removal from EU negative list Mr Konaktchiev said that Bulgaria has its motives and international supporters to request that this "technical error" or "misunderstanding" be corrected.

    [05] JOHN MAJOR RECEIVES U.D.F. LEADER IVAN KOSTOV

    London, October 12 (BTA) - Ivan Kostov, Chairman of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF), met with John Major, leader of the British Conservative Party and Prime Minister of Britain, the UDF said in a press release. Mr Kostov and UDF Deputy Chairman Alexander Bozhkov are official guests at the Conservative Party conference in Blackpool. The relations between the two political oraginzations were on the agenda of the two leaders. Mr Kostov and Mr Bozhkov conferred with British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, European Commission Vice President Sir Leon Brittan, Commissioner in charge of foreign tarde, and Sir Geoffrey Pattie, Vice Chairman of the Coservative Party in charge of international issues. The two UDF leaders raised the question of Bulgaria's removal from the EU visa blacklist. Mr Kostov and Mr Bozhkov also met with Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, with the former Polish prime minister Jan Krzysztof Bielecki and with representatives of other democratic parties of Central and Eastern Europe, who attended the conference, the press release says.

    [06] MEETINGS OF BULGARIAN PATRIARCH MAXIM IN BELGRADE

    The Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim met today in Belgrade with the Serb Patriarch Pavle, President Slobodan Milosevic and Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic, the special correspondent of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT) said in the main news cast. Patriarch Maxim and senior Bulgarian clergymen are on a visit to Belgrade since yesterday. High on the agenda of the official talks with Serb Patriarch Pavle was the issue of the Bulgarians in the Western outlands (territories which Bulgaria lost to Serbia under the 1919 Treaty of Neyilly). Patriarch Maxim pressed the issue of holding religious services in Bulgarian language in these regions and familiarized the Serb patriarchate with the ecclesiastical grievances of the Bulgarians living there. Patriarch Pavle welcomed the idea and said that his church has no intentions of Serbianizing the Bulgarians, the BNT correspondent said. The issue of the Western outlands was also discussed at Patriarch Maxim's meeting with Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje Kontic. Maxim expressed his hope that the Yugoslav Government will cooperate for settling the ecclesiastical problems of the Bulgarians in the Western outlands. Kontic said he does not understand the term "Western outlands" and asked if the Bulgarian Patriarch is not laying claims to Yugoslav territories. Patriarch Maxim said that he is considering the issue only in spiritual terms. The talks also focused on the bilateral relations and the potential role in them of the two churches. Maxim's meeting with Serb President Milosevic was described as friendly. Milosevic expressed his wish that the border between Bulgaria and Serbia becomes symbolic, as, in his view, had it not been for the superpowers, Bulgarians and Serbs would have been one people, the BNT correspondent said.

    [07] JAPAN TO FINANCE ENVORONMENTAL PROJECTS IN BULGARIA

    Following negotiations between the governments of Bulgaria and Japan, Japan is going to extend a 59.55 million US dollars preferential loan for the reconstruction of the Works for Non-Ferrous Metals in Plovdiv (Southern Bulgaria). The reconstruction is intended to stop the leakage of sulphur dioxide and to settle the problem of waste waters treatment. Japan is going to extend another 20 million US dollar loan for settling the environmental problems of the Eliseina Mines (Western Bulgaria). The enterprise in Eliseina needs reconstruction of its facilities for purifying industrial gases from powder and sulphur dioxide and of waste waters from arsenic and heavy metals. The loans bear an annual interest of 2.7 percent and the term for their payment is 30 years with 10 years grace period. Today the Council of Ministers approved the draft agreement between the two governments on the preferential loans. Environment Minister Georgi Georgiev said that the application of environment-friendly technologies will have a double effect: eliminate hazards to nature and at the same time increase production profitableness.

    [08] 47 STATES HAVE CONFIRMED PARTICIPATION IN SOFIA

    Environment Minister Georgi Georgiev reported that the Government has approved the stanpoint of the Bulgarian delegation on the main documents of the third ministerial conference "Environment for Europe", which is to take place on October 23-25 in Sofia. The conference will be held under the auspices of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov and will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Roumen Gechev. Until the present moment 47 states and 40 international financial institutions have confirmed their participation in the forum, Minister Georgi Georgiev said. None of the countries expected to take part in the conference has refused to send a delegation, despite such claims in western press reports. The forum is expected to approve a general report on the "Sofia Initiatives" for speeding up the implementation of the programme for environmental actions in Central and Eastern Europe, a generalizing financial report on environment protection, a European strategy for biological and landscape diversity, an environmental programme for Europe, directions for ensuring public access to information about environment protection and participation of the public in decision making on environment issues. At its concliding session the forum is expected to adopt a declaration of ministers.

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