Browse through our Interesting Nodes on Russia A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Tuesday, 7 April 2020
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

News from Bulgaria, 96-09-27

Bulgarian Telegraph Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Embassy of Bulgaria <bulgaria@access1.digex.net>


EMBASSY OF BULGARIA - WASHINGTON D.C.

BTA - BULGARIAN TELEGRAPH AGENCY

27 September, 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES ANSWERS TO E.C. QUESTIONS
  • [02] FOREIGN MINISTER PIRINSKI'S MEETINGS IN NEW YORK
  • [03] TRADE MINISTER HOPES BULGARIA WILL JOIN W.T.O. SOON
  • [04] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS DECISIONS
  • [05] PRIVATIZATION ACT AMENDED
  • [06] YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION ENDS VISIT
  • [07] NETHERLANDS TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
  • [08] 16 PRIVATIZATION FUNDS HAVE MONEY IN TROUBLED BANKS, VOUCHER PRIVATIZATION CHIEFS SEE NO PROBLEM
  • [09] RESTRICTIONS ON GOLD TRADE RULED ANTICONSTITUTIONAL
  • [10] LIQUID FUEL PRICES UPDATED
  • [11] BULGARIAN EQUIPMENT ON MIR SPACE STATION

  • [01] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES ANSWERS TO E.C. QUESTIONS

    Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - Today the Bulgarian Government approved the answers to the additional questions posed by the European Commission for the purpose of drafting an opinion of Bulgaria's application for membership in the European Union. "The additional questions totals 40 pages, we have information showing that the other candidate countries have received additional questionnaires of the same volume," Pavlina Popova, Chief Adviser to the Secretariat of Eurointegration with the Council of Ministers, told a news conference after the Government's meeting.

    Bulgaria's answers to the basic questionnaire, set out on 7,000 pages, were handed to Thomas O"Sullivan, Head of Delegation of the EC, by Irina Bokova, Deputy Foreign Minister and Secretary for European Integration, on July 31, 1996. The EC considered the answers in August and asked for additional information in regard to some of the sections in the questionnaire at the beginning of September, Pavlina Popova said today. The additional questions are part of the usual procedure; their purpose is to make things more precise and they follow the structure of the questionnaire itself, she pointed out. The EC did not ask for additional information about consumer protection, audio visual policy, culture, statistics, foreign economic relations, cooperation for development, foreign policy and security policy. The EC asked for more details about customs and the legislation concerning finance, agriculture, posts and telecommunications. The answers to the additional questions will be handed over to an EC delegation early next week. The EC is expected to draft its opinion on the membership applications of all the associated countries by the end of this year.

    [02] FOREIGN MINISTER PIRINSKI'S MEETINGS IN NEW YORK

    Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - Bulgarian Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski, who is visiting New York to attend the 51st Session of the UN General Assembly, had a series of bilateral meetings, the Foreign Ministry's Information department said.

    Foreign Minister Pirinski conferred with Paddey MacKernon, secretary of political affairs at the Irish Foreign Ministry and representing Ireland as the country holding the presidency of the European Union. The sides considered the relations between Bulgaria and the EU, interaction in regard to some specific items on the agenda of the 51st Session of the UN National Assembly and the support the EU could possibly provide for meeting Bulgaria's request to get compensation for the losses and damages it had suffered by observing the embargo against former Yugoslavia.

    Foreign Minister Pirinski had a meeting with Richard Schifter, adviser at the US National Security Council. The sides discussed regional cooperation among the countries in Southeastern Europe in the light of the Balkan foreign ministers' declaration issued at the meeting they had in Sofia in early July 1996. The US administration's initiative for the development of cooperation in Southeastern Europe was also considered.

    Foreign Minister Pirinski met with Maris Rikstinsh, State Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Latvia. The sides focused on the prospects for the advancement of relations between the two countries and exchanged views on regional cooperation in the Balkans and the Baltics respectively (at the moment Latvia chairs the Baltic Cooperation Council). Pirinski and Rikstinsh coordinated the holding of consultations on the experience of multilateral cooperation among the Baltic countries in Sofia, with the participation of senior Latvian diplomats.

    Foreign Minister Pirinski conferred with his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos. They concentrated on the nest steps in the development of cooperation in the Balkans after the Sofia meeting of Balkan foreign ministers, talking about the preparations and the holding of the next Balkan foreign ministers' meeting which Greece would host in 1997.

    Foreign Minister Pirinski had a meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Abel Matutes y Juan. The sides appreciated the good Bulgarian-Spanish relations in politics and culture and pointed out their shared desire for activating commercial and economic contacts. The Bulgarian-Spanish business seminar, which is to be held this November in Spain and attended by Bulgarian Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Atanas Paparizov, is expected to boost relations in this field. The two foreign ministers considered some items of mutual interest on the UN General Assembly's agenda.

    Foreign Minister Pirinski met with his Cuban counterpart Roberto Robaina Gonzales. The sides agreed that there are real possibilities to develop bilateral relations in trade and investment. They reached an understanding in principle on the exchange of visits by representatives of different areas of mutual interest. The foreign ministers exchanged information about each country's priorities at the 51st Session of the UN General Assembly.

    [03] TRADE MINISTER HOPES BULGARIA WILL JOIN W.T.O. SOON

    Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - The Government approved a protocol on Bulgaria's joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) today. "We hope that following ten years of negotiations, Bulgaria will be admitted to membership in the WTO at the meeting of its General Council in Geneva on October 2 1996," Atanas Paparizov, Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation, told a news conference today. According to the procedure, if no member country raises objections, the protocol on Bulgaria's accession to WTO will be signed on the very same day, October 2.

    "We have found mutually acceptable solutions with all the countries we talked with so far; this gives ground to hope Bulgaria will be admitted to the WTO by a consensus on October 2," Paparizov pointed out. If this happens, Bulgaria will probably participate in the next ministerial conference to be held in Singapore in December, which is expected to determine the future of the WTO. This country's membership in the TWO will make it possible for it to take part, on an equal footing, in all multilateral negotiations on the development of the world trade system and to apply the procedure for resolving disputes, and will also contribute to the creation of a climate favouring foreign investments, the Bulgarian Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation explained.

    Bulgaria's membership in the WTO is the major condition to open negotiations on joining the Central European Free Trade Area. "During the International Technical Fair in Plovdiv (which opened on Monday in the second biggest city in this country, situated in South Central Bulgaria), we had talks about it with Romania and Slovenia; we expect to reach an agreement with them by the end of this year," Paparizov said.

    Today the Council of Ministers authorized Atanas Paparizov to sign a cooperation agreement with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. "The document will be of great importance for Bulgaria's future integration into the organizations of the countries with the market economy countries," Minister Paparizov said.

    [04] COUNCIL OF MINISTERS DECISIONS

    Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - Today Cabinet issued a decree regulating the import and transit carriage of waste and hazardous substances. The waste and hazardous substances which are allowed and respectively banned for importing and transit carriage are included in separate lists. Permits to foreign carriers are issued only if they present a bank guarantee that they will recover the expenses in case of possible pollution of the environment.

    The Government decreed a 30-percent increase of the minimum wage of the employees of state-owned enterprises and social welfares (child and unemployment benefits) as of October 1 adjusting them to inflation. The minimum working wage will become 5,500 leva (currently one US dollar exchanges for 229.96 leva). Those employed in the field of culture will have a 50 percent increase of their payments.

    The government approved a report on measures related to women's rights, equality and participation in public life. The measures are mapped out in compliance with Bulgaria's commitments taken at the Fourth World conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995.

    The Cabinet decided that the Professional Qualification and Unemployment Fund extends a 400 million leva's worth loan to pay compensations to redundant employees and workers of state-financed enterprises as a result of the implementation of the structural reform. (Currently their number is about 7,000, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Mincho Koralski said.) The funds will be recovered immediately after the remittance of the 30 million US dollars' worth loan negotiated with the World Bank.

    The Council of Ministers approved a program on the establishment of employment and structural development societies in the Madan and Roudozem municipalities (ore-mining areas in Southern Bulgaria with a high level of unemployment). "We drew from German experience in drafting these programs," Minister Koralski said today. The Professional Qualification and Unemployment State Fund will extend 92 million leva for the realization of the program. The German Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs will also fiance the program.

    The Cabinet ministers approved a draft intergovernmental agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina on the reciprocal protection and promotion of investments.

    Today the Council of Ministers decided to propose to Parliament to ratify a framework agreement between the Republic of Bulgaria and Siemens Inc. - Berlin and Munich. The agreement provides the extension of 100 million Deutsche marks' worth tied credit for the needs of the Bulgarian health care.

    The government approved a report on measures related to women's rights, equality and participation in public life. The measures are mapped out in compliance with Bulgaria's commitments taken at the Fourth World conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995.

    [05] PRIVATIZATION ACT AMENDED

    Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - The Privatization Agency is to be subordinated to the minister of economic development, according to amendments to the Privatization Act which passed today.

    The amendments cut the number of the Privatization Agency's Supervisory Board members from 12 to seven, of whom four will be elected by Parliament and three appointed by the Government. The incumbent Board members will be dismissed but will perform their duties for a month until they are replaced.

    The amendments envisage the Council of Ministers' transferring shares left over from mass privatization auctions to a special fund. The fund will be a joint-stock company with state participation and two-tier management. Its aim will be to finalize privatization. The unsold shares will be offered at the second stage of mass privatization or on the stock exchange, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development Roumen Gechev.

    The Council of Ministers has the right to draw up a list of state- owned enterprises which will be sold for specific purposes, such as provision of funds needed for public debt reduction and for bank deposit protection.

    [06] YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION ENDS VISIT

    Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - Radovan Bozovic, Chairman of the Chamber of Citizens of the Federal Assembly of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) described his talks in Sofia as successful and friendly. Bozovic was ahead of a FRY parliamentary delegation which was on a three-day visit here.

    The meetings at the Bulgarian Parliament, Government and Presidency confirmed the understanding, friendship and readiness for cooperation between Bulgaria and FRY, Bozovic said upon his departure from this country. The Yugoslav MPs were received by National Assembly Chairman Blagovest Sendov, Prime Minister Zhan Videnov and President Zhelyu Zhelev.

    "Our talks were a continuation of the series of useful meetings held in the recent years during which the sides exchanged opinions on all issues important for the bilateral relations and on various initiatives for regional cooperation," Bozovic stated.

    All minorities in FR Yugoslavia, not only the Bulgarian one, actually enjoy their institutional rights, Radovan Bozovic said before journalists. He expressed his hope that the promotion of economic and cultural cooperation in the Balkans will upgrade the minorities' collective rights. According to Bozovic, the minority issue should not give rise to confrontations, politicizing and should not burden inter- state relations but give impetus to friendship and good neighbourliness. As a man engaged in education Bozovic thinks there should be more Bulgarian classes in FRY schools attended by Bulgarian children. The Education Ministry should decide on this issue on its own, he added.

    [07] NETHERLANDS TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE

    Sofia, September 26 (Ekaterina Kazassova of BTA) Dutch technical assistance to Bulgaria will be resumed under a protocol of intent signed today between Minister of Trade and Foreign Economic Cooperation Atanas Paparizov and Foreign Trade Minister Anneke van Dok - van Weele of the Netherlands. Such an agreement is important because the Dutch government wants Dutch companies to expand their business in Bulgaria and invest more in its economy, Mrs van Dok said after the protocol was signed. She arrived here on Tuesday.

    A programme which was in effect until 1993 will be restarted. In 1990-93 the Netherlands ministry of economic affairs executed a programme for bilateral assistance to Bulgaria which consisted of various technical assistance projects in areas including agriculture, tourism, transport and energy. Under the programme 16 million guilders were disbursed in grants. Under today's protocol the programme is to be restarted in 1997. The Netherlands is showing interest in four areas: privatization and development of the power industry, agriculture, telecommunications and the reconstruction of Sofia airport, Paparizov said after the signing of the protocol.

    Investment facilities - an instrument guaranteeing investment and joint ventures - can be used in Bulgaria. They will facilitate the drawing up and implementation of joint projects by Bulgarian and Dutch companies. These are the practical dimensions of the document signed today, Paparizov said.

    Later today Mrs van Dok and the Dutch delegation were received by Prime Minister Zhan Videnov. The forthcoming signing of a bilateral agreement on reciprocal investment protection topped the agenda.

    Videnov familiarized the guests with amendments to the Foreign Investment Act which passed on first reading on Wednesday. He set forth the Government's intentions for speedy privatization of several large enterprises. At a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development Roumen Gechev earlier this afternoon, Mrs van Dok expressed her conviction that the decisions taken by the Bulgarian Parliament would encourage foreign investors.

    [08] 16 PRIVATIZATION FUNDS HAVE MONEY IN TROUBLED BANKS, VOUCHER PRIVATIZATION CHIEFS SEE NO PROBLEM

    Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - Sixteen privatization funds have their money in banks placed under special supervision by the central bank on Monday. Mass privatization chiefs, however, do not see any problem in this.

    Seven funds have placed their money at Elitbank. Others have chosen Balkanbank, Dobroudjanska commercial bank, Slavyani commercial bank, the Economic Bank and TSBank. Some of these banks are even co-founders of privatization funds.

    Experts say it remains unclear whether this will prevent privatization funds from getting a licence. The Securities and Stock Exchanges Committee (SSEC) will come out with an official stand after the central bank's decision on the nine banks is gazetted.

    The privatization funds are not depositors, they are just using the banks as public vaults, according to Mass Privatization Centre chief Kalin Mitrev. Under an order of the National Bank of Bulgaria (BNB, the central bank), privatization funds' money in depositaries are considered off-balance sheet and there is no problem drawing at any time.

    The first voucher privatization auction is due on October 7 when the public will bid for shares in 968 state-owned enterprises. Their total capital is 86,000 million leva distributed in 87 million shares. A total of 1,050 enterprises have been earmarked for voucher privatization.

    [09] RESTRICTIONS ON GOLD TRADE RULED ANTICONSTITUTIONAL

    Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - The Constitutional Court today unanimously ruled anticonstitutional two articles of the Transactions in Currency Assets and Exchange Control Act which regulate trade in gold, silver, platinum and gems, said the rapporteur, Judge Alexander Arabadjiev. The two articles were challenged by Prosecutor General Ivan Tatarchev.

    The articles in question authorize the sale of gold, silver, platinum and gems to natural persons by state-owned trading companies. One of the articles which was ruled anticonstitutional banned any transactions in gold and platinum articles and gems between natural persons.

    Judge Arabadjiev said the ruling applied to two provisions of a law enacted in a different socioeconomic environment, which indisputably are inadequate to the present-day realities, to constitutional principles and the effective laws on economic activity, he said. The Transactions in Currency Assets Act passed in 1966 and has repeatedly been amended. The latest amendments were made in 1993.

    [10] LIQUID FUEL PRICES UPDATED

    Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - The Cabinet today raised liquid fuel prices from September 27 by 15.5 per cent on average. Following are the new prices: A-98 129 leva/litre; A-96 127 leva/l; A-93 104 leva/l; A-91 103 leva/l; A-86 97 leva/l; unleaded petrol A-95 123 leva/l.

    Diesel oil will cost 90 leva/l, up 32.4 per cent; liquefied petroleum gas will cost 79.70 leva/l, up 13.5 per cent.

    The price rise was prompted by a rise in petrol prices by four dollars per tonne on the Mediterranean market, as well as by a 13.5 per cent rise in the dollar against the lev, said National Pricing Commission Chairman Dimiter Grivekov. Fuel prices will push up all other commodity prices by about 1.4 per cent.

    [11] BULGARIAN EQUIPMENT ON MIR SPACE STATION

    Sofia, September 26 (BTA) - Three apparatuses made by teams including Bulgarian experts are flying aboard the Mir space station, said Peter Getsov, Director of the Institute of Space Studies with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

    A mini-variety of wheat is being grown in a Bulgarian-made greenhouse. A Bulgarian-American apparatus monitoring 128 physiological functions is used in studying human reactions during prolonged flights. An apparatus made by western, Russian and Bulgarian experts studies nature from a distance.

    Bulgarian scientists are involved in the development of a space apparatus which forecasts earthquakes, Getsov said. Twenty-eight satellites will be launched by the year 2001 which will give preliminary information on quakes and other natural disasters.


    Bulgarian Telegraph Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    bta2html v1.00 run on Monday, 30 September 1996 - 12:28:15