Enter content here
Magdalena Maleeva from Bulgaria jubilates after her 7-5, 6-1, victory over Lisa Raymond of the U.S. at the Australian Open Tennis Championships in Melbourne Friday, Jan. 18, 2002. (AP Photo/Steve Holland)
Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviyski of Bulgaria perform their free dance at the 2002 European Figure Skating Championships in Lausanne, Switzerland, Friday, Jan. 18, 2002. (AP Photo/KEYSTONE/Laurent Gillieron)
Meteorologists: Today It's Terribly Slippery. The streets will be terribly slippery today, meteorologists forewarned. To them, the people who have no urgent tasks should stay home. Initially it will rain, further to transform into a snowfall. Sofia citizens will face a new ordeal. Now they suffer from icebergs to be leaped across each and every day. Photo Kiril Konstantinov (SH)
Archbishop Phinidectos of the Greek Orthodox Church in Jordan throws flowers into the water on the eastern bank of the Jordan River during the Orthodox celebration of Epiphany Friday Jan. 18, 2002. More than 5,000 Christians from Greek Orthodox churches across the Levant marked the baptism of Jesus with a mass on the banks of the River Jordan on Friday. (AP Photo/Jamal Nasrallah)
A priest carries a bible in front of a procession containing a replica of what Ethiopian Orthodox Christians believe is the lost biblical Ark of the Covenant, during the start of the annual Timkat holiday, which celebrates the baptism of Jesus Christ, Friday Jan. 18 , 2002 in the town of Axum, Ethiopia. Local legend holds that the ark was brought to Ethiopia by the nation's first king. Belief in the ark is a central feature of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity.(AP Photo/Karel Prinsloo)
Greek Orthodox worshipers on the Israeli side of the Israel-Jordan border wave to their relatives on the Jordanian side of the Jordan River, January 18, 2002. Jordan's Greek Orthodox congregation on Friday mark the baptism of Christ on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, for the first time since Jordan sealed a peace treaty with Israel. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji
Archmendreite Chiristofos Hana of the Greek Orthodox church blesses worshippers on both sides of the river Jordan, January 18, 2002. Jordan's Greek Orthodox congregation on Friday mark the baptism of Christ on the eastern bank of the Jordan River, for the first time since Jordan sealed a peace treaty with Israel. REUTERS/Ali Jarekji
A group of Bosnian Muslims lay on a ground in front of Bosnian riot police during a protest in front of Sarajevo's central prison early Friday Jan. 18, 2002. The protest took place after Bosnia's highest court ordered the release late Thursday of six Algerians suspected of having terrorist links. U.S. officials were expected to take the men, who were rounded-up after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, into custody. (AP Photo/SAVA RADOVANOVIC)
A group of Bosnian Muslim women block the street near Sarajevo's central prison during a protest early Friday Jan. 18, 2002. The protest took place after Bosnia's highest court ordered the release late Thursday of six Algerians suspected of having terrorist links. U.S. officials were expected to take the men, who were rounded-up after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, into custody. (AP Photo/SAVA RADOVANOVIC)
Bosnian riot police apprehend a Bosnian Muslim demonstrator during a protest in front of Sarajevo's central prison early Friday Jan. 18, 2002. The protest took place after Bosnia's highest court ordered the release late Thursday of six Algerians suspected of having terrorist links. U.S. officials were expected to take the men, who were rounded-up after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, into custody. (AP Photo/HIDAJET DELIC)
FILE- A group of Bosnian Muslims block a car containing one of six Algerians suspected to have terrorist links in front of Sarajevo's central prison in this Jan. 18, 2002 file photo. Humanitarian groups in Bosnia are under close scrutiny after the arrests of the six Algerians, five of whom worked for Islamic humanitarian organizations. (AP Photo/Sava Radovanovic, File)
As Expected, Ahmeti And NLA Go Into Politics.
The former NLA political leader, Ali Ahmeti, called on the three ethnic-Albanian parties in Macedonia to nominate two representatives in the co-ordination council of Albanian political parties and former members of NLA, says the local Albanian-language daily Fakti.
Fakti daily claims that Ahmeti urged the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), Party for Democratic Prosperity (PDP) and National Democratic Party (NDP) to nominate as soon as possible their representatives in the co-ordination council. The nomination legitimacy will be backed by signatures of the party leaders.
Makfax News Agency quotes Fakti Daily as saying the co-ordination council will be made up of six representatives of ethnic-Albanian parties and three former members of disbanded NLA. Fakti daily claims Ali Ahmeti is very likely to chair the council referring to sources in DPA, PDP and NDP, Fakti daily discloses the names of DPAs nominees The Vice President of Parliament, Iljaz Halimi and Deputy Minister of Health, Muharem Nexhipi.
Makfax News Agency says DPAs leadership convened for a meeting Thursday and backed the initiative of the former NLA political leader. As far as PDPs nominees, the deputy head of PDP Azis Polozani and DPAs parliamentary deputy Ismet Ramadani are very likely to become members of the council. NDP said it will put forward its candidates once the leading figures convene for meeting.
Fakti Daily claims the outmost objective of this pan-Albanian council is to step up the implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement and to encourage the engagement of Albanian potential in accomplishing a durable peace.
Nato Secretary General Robertson Cancels His Visit To Macedonia.
Skopje, January 18 (MIA) - The NATO Secretary General, George Robertson had to postpone his visit to Macedonia, scheduled for Friday. Due to the bad weather conditions, as MIA finds out, Robertson's flight from Tirana was canceled and he couldn't arrive in Macedonia, as scheduled. The date of his visit will be scheduled additionally.
No Patrolling Of Mixed Police Teams In Chelopek Today.
Skopje, January 18 (MIA) - Ethnically mixed police teams did not patrol in all villages, which were encompassed with the Plan for return of police in Kumanovo, Gostivar and Skopje region. There were no patrols only in Celopek, where trust-building measures are still being implemented. Police teams also continued with patrols in Tetovo settlement Teke. As informed by the Spokesman of the Government Coordinate Body for Crisis management Zoran Tanevski, Gostivar villages Cajle, Balin Dol and Raven were not part of the plan starting from today, because of the created conditions for 24-hour patrols of police.
President Petar Stoyanov will promote Boyko Borisov to the rank of General.
President Petar Stoyanov will promote Col. Boyko Borisov to the rank of General tomorrow at a ceremony that would take place at the presidential office, the presidential press-secretariat announced. Minister of the Interior Georgy Petkanov proposed the Ministry of the Interior Chief Secretary Boyko Borisov to be promoted General for his good work in the struggle against drug trafficking and highway fees. The Cabinet accepted the proposal.
Kostov Expels N. Mihaylova from the UDF.
If she retires from the battle the re-election of Ekaterina Mihaylova is sure, members of the NEC say. To them Kostov tries to drive the leader of the UDF MPs out from the UDF itself, too. He pressed Nadezhda Mihaylova to accept the post of a regional coordinator of the Stability Pact, if nominated.
Lawyer of Karamanski To Defend the Mayor.
Legal advisor of Karamanski will take up the case of Sofia mayor. I choose Penyo Grozev and gave him power of attorney to represent me before the court and to carry out my defence in the trial for the Eurobond loan, Stephan Sofiyanski said for 'Standart'. I know him since several years. Lawyer Penyo Grozev defended the well-known Ivo Karamanski in the case on the attack in 'Poor - Rich' casino. Today Penyo Grozev submitted two claims to the Supreme Cassation Prosecutor's Office on my behalf, Sofiyanski said. The first one challenges the accusation, while the other one - the bail. Sofiyanski is accused in not holding a competition for selection of agency to map up the credit rating of Sofia, and that he had chosen the commissioner in the Eurobond loan again without competition.
The new party entitled National Movement Simeon II would be announced officially on January 26.
The Chairman of the Bulgarian Women Party Vesela Draganova and Deputy Chairman of the National Movement Simeon II Veselin Bliznakov met Premier Simeon Koburg-Gotha and discussed with him the forthcoming establishment of the party National Movement Simeon II. The date January 26 for holding the constituent assembly of the party was confirmed and the unity between the Bulgarian Women Party and the Oborishte National Revival Union was strengthened, Vesela Draganova said after the meeting. The party National Movement Simeon II would unite 10 parties. The meeting also adopted the draft documents of the new party. According to Vesela Draganova, there would be a possibility for the Bulgarian Women Party to become a part of the National Movement Simeon II.
NMS Party Leader to Be Elected Late at Night.
The NMS deputies yesterday opposed the decision to hold the constituent assembly of the party as late as 4.00 p.m. It means we'll have to vote well into the morning hours, they said. "It's a shame to hold a sitting after the sunset", said Stella Bankova. "As a doctor of medicine I can assure you that an hour and a half after any meeting starts people are incapable of thinking rationally and making correct assessments", said Dr. Andrey Shterev, who is in charge of organization. The NMS leader will be elected by a direct vote, by show of hands, he added.
NMS MPs Revolt against Panayotov.
If it is him to head the NMS party, I'll leave it, Nonka Matova is explicit.
"If Plamen Panayotov is to be proposed for leader of the NMS party, we shall leave the constituent assembly," said yesterday NMS deputies when informed that Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is given to remain only an honorary leader of the new formation. NMS should be transformed into a political party on January 26 at the National Palace of Culture. "If it is Panayotov to head the party, I'll think twice before becoming its member," Nonka Matova said yesterday. Some 30 of her colleagues share her opinion, thinking that Panayotov has to step down as NMS PG Chairman. At the constituent conference heated debates are to be conducted between the group around Plamen Panayotov and Ognian Gerdjikov on the one hand, and that of their most ardent opponents, lead by Emil Koshlukov, on the other, NMS MPs believe. According to the schedule, Simeon is to take the floor at the end of the forum.
Bulgarian volunteers for Afghanistan will be warned about the dangers.
Bulgarian Army General Staff Superior Gen. Miho Mihov said that he would insist that all the candidates for participation in the peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan be completely instructed about the risks they would face. He talked about it with his visiting Latvian counterpart Col. Raimonds Graube, who is a former Soviet officer with big experience from Afghanistan. Mentioning other dangers in Afghanistan like land mines, harmful insects, animosity of local population, etc., Gen. Miho Mihov said that the Bulgarian peacekeepers should be ready for everything in view of the bad experience other armies have from Afghanistan. The Cabinet has entrusted Deputy Supreme Commander of the operations Gen. Kolev to be in charge of the selection of the volunteers and of supplying detailed information about Afghanistan. The strength of the Bulgarian troops that would be sent to Afghanistan (whether they would be 20 or 40 servicemen) would become clear after the return of the three Bulgarian officers that left for Kabul today to look at the situation there. According to Ministry of Defense, the mission would be longer than expected and would require at least 40 Bulgarian peacekeepers.
Bulgarian Contingent in Kabul Gets Vaccinated, They are Paid $1,800 Each.
Bulgarian military men, to take part in Bulgaria's peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, will be paid about $1,800 each. This is what their travelling allowances, amounting to $60 daily per capita, make, Defense Minister Nikolay Svinarov elaborated. Bulgaria's participation with 40 persons in the Enduring Freedom operation in Kabul was approved at a sitting of the cabinet yesterday. The military contingent to Afghanistan is to cost 2.92 million levs. The chemical bathing and laundry complex is to render services to 5,000 British soldiers.
Roumyana Kyuchukova Carried Away 'Mister Economy' Prize.
CEO of MobilTel Roumyana Kyuchukova is the first lady being awarded with "Mister Economy' prize of 'Economy' magazine. The award is delivered for contribution to the economic development of this country by scientific and economic concept and successful industrial practice. In the poll carried out within the economic experts Kyuchukova got the better of Vice-Premier Nikolay Vassilev, Finance Minister Milen Velchev, the Currency Board - presented by Martin Zaimov - head of Emission' Department with the BNB, and Prof. Ivan Angelov. The award is a bronze statuette 'The Fisherman and the Gold Fish' of sculptor Stavri Kalinov. 'Mister Economy'2001' is organized for the sixth time in a row. Prof. Georgi Petrov, Todor Valchev, Ivan Kostov are prize winners so far. The award was re-named to 'Mrs Economy' especially for Roumyana Kyuchukova, sponsors elaborated.
Ecological Catastrophe Threatens Danube.
A danger from an ecological character threatens the Danube river, Romanian newspaper 'Kotidianul' announced yesterday, cited by BTA. Because of the unscrupulousness of an Yugoslav owner of ship transporting petrol products, a huge catastrophe could take place on the Danube river. A convoy of four tankers got stranded five days ago in the region of the Romanian port of Kalafat. One of the tankers started to dangerously keeling over. To experts there is great possibility that the ship capsized and pollutes the river. Till now the tanker has keeled 3 degrees, if it keels over by 7 degrees, it could capsize and 200 tons of naphtha could pour into the river.
Illicit Ports Operate Along Danube.
Bosses of illegal structures disposed also licenses on port activity.
Several illicit ports were discovered along the Danube river. They receive unregistered ships and freight, said in Varna Peicho Manolov - new head of the 'Port Administration' agency. The illicit ports are working in full capacity close to the state-run ventures. Meanwhile the near-by wharfs stay empty. The bosses of the illegal structures reportedly disposed also licenses on execution of port activity. To Peicho Manolov, it's not clear, as how did they obtain those licenses. The agency's new chief will clarify the situation at the spot next week. He, however, denied to reveal the exact number and location of the illicit wharfs.
Bulgarians: Chernoy means investments.
80% of the People Think That without Money from Abroad the Country Will Sink in Poverty and Misery. Young and educated people are convinced that there shouldn't be restrictions for foreign capitals.
The 'Sova Harris' Agency
Bulgarians want foreign investments, but for now some of them are afraid of the foreign investors. That is what the survey of the 'Sova Harris' agency shows. It was carried among 788 adult Bulgarians in the big cities of the country on January 7-8, 2002. It aims to examine the level to which we are tolerant to the entering of foreign investors in Bulgaria. The social reactions are contradictory. As a whole half of the interviewed think that there shouldn't be any restrictions before the foreign investors in Bulgaria. This opinion is more widely spread among the young and educated people. Yet about forty percent think that there should be restrictions. What are the acceptable restrictions? A consensus exists, that the foreign investors should be allowed to Bulgaria only if they can prove the origin of their money - that's what more than 80% of the adult Bulgarians think. That opinion prevails among the ones, who think that there shouldn't be restrictions on the activity of the foreign investors. It's obvious that the legitimacy of the capitals invested in Bulgaria is regarded by most of the people as an imperative demand, which goes beyond the parameters of the concrete investment policy. The second question, which provokes prevailingly restrictive reactions to the foreign investors is about letting or not foreign investors in spheres of the national economy that are national priorities. Two thirds of the interviewed think that foreign investors shouldn't be permitted in these spheres, while 18% share the opposite opinion. These data show that unconquered fear by the foreign investments exists in society as a whole. Another embarrassing fact is that 36% of the people support the opinion that the foreign investors should be stopped so that the country should not to be sold for a mere song. This opinion is more widely spread among the old and uneducated people - an indirect confirmation of the hypothesis that to great extend its spreading is due to old ideological prejudices, too. At the same time the opinion that the country needs foreign investments has established. Approximately 80% think that if we don't attract foreign investors the country will continue to sink in poverty and misery. The collapse of old ideological prejudices with the already mass understanding that the foreign investments are a real necessity for the country characterizes the most essential contradiction in the thinking of people on this issue. To the interviewed the tree most popular names of investors are Chernoy, Murdoch and Sterzing in this order. The social reactions to the foreign investors and investments in Bulgaria show that the traditional in this aspect distrustfulness isn't fully overcome yet. And at the same time there are enough reasons to be said that the public tolerance increases and the majority of Bulgarians have overcome their fears and prejudices in this aspect.
Georgi Parvanov Will Be More Active Than Stoyanov.
INTERVIEW Standartnews: Georgi Karasimeonov
The new president will strive to fulfil his promises and compete for a second term, forecasts political analyst Prof., Georgi Karasimeonov.
- Prof. Karassimeonov, can we claim that the president has already turned into a traditional and stable institution in Bulgaria?
- The handover of the post by Peter Stoyanov to Georgi Parvanov is an interesting moment in terms of the legitimization of the presidential institution in Bulgaria. Parvanov will have to uphold the new image of the Bulgarian president. Because it is for the first time following 1990 for a socialist to become president of the country. And to co-exist with a right-wing government.
- Foreign newsagencies repeatedly qualified the phenomenon as strange - an ex-king and a former communist.
- Despite this I think that we'll witness a new political model. Naturally, there will be differences between president and government. However, Georgi Parvanov and Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha alike, are personalities of a democratic political culture. They are agreeable, open to debates and evade any decisions from the position of force. With the unity of opinion concerning the country's foreign political orientation, I don't see a likelihood of any dramatic clashes and violation of a civilized, though strained at times, dialogue.
- In what way will continuity in the institutions be manifested?
- In all his statements Parvanov lays accent on his intentions to share and use the experience of both the two ex-presidents. In the established democracies it is something quite natural.
- What type of president will Parvanov be?
- We should stress here the role of a number of factors, including the specific personal characteristics. Zhelev was an 'activist' president. In the sense that he tried to influence things from the point of view of his personal outlook. And it is what resulted in his confrontation with the UDF. Stoyanov was more party-biased, particularly so on an internal political plane. Except for the last few months he was in the shadow of the UDF. This is the reason why he got the negative vote. He failed to prove his position of an above-party leader of the nation.
We don't know what type of conduct Parvanov will follow. He has voiced a desire to be an 'activist' president. His advantage is in that he was chairman of the BSP. Stoyanov was a rank-and-file UDF MP and became president, to a great extent, with the support of Ivan Kostov. As a former leader of the BSP who had acquired the post thanks to his own personality, Parvanov has wider possibilities in store to be more-independent than the political force which nominated him and be much more active in the country's foreign and home policies.
- To what extent will Parvanov be able to fulfil his promises that he will be a socially-minded president?
- Naturally, this will be difficult. Still, he is in a position to do a lot. The head of state can determine the agenda of society. Such an attempt, though a limited one, was launched by Stoyanov concerning the problem of corruption. In this respect, apart from being more free in his moves, Parvanov will also think of a second mandate. He will strive to fulfil to the maximum his promises concerning the nation's social status.
Bulgarian, Latvian Top Brass Exchange Information on Operations in Afghanistan, Cambodia.
Sofia, January 18 (BTA) - General Miho Mihov and Colonel Raimonds Graube, chiefs of the Bulgarian and the Latvian General Staff, shared experience in force development, information on Bulgaria's participation in peacekeeping operations and the participation of Latvian officers in operations in Afghanistan as part of the former Soviet army, the two told journalists.
Col. Graube, who has been on a three-day official visit here since January 16 at Gen. Mihov's invitation, was familiarized in detail with the Bulgarian military reform and the development of the active force and the reserve, visited the rapid reaction corps and the 68th brigade for special operations, as well as the headquarters of the Multinational Peace Force South Eastern Europe (MPFSEE) in Plovdiv (South Central Bulgaria).
The Bulgarian and the Latvian army have many things in common, although the Latvian army started developing from scratch after the country declared its independence, Gen. Mihov and Col. Graube said. The two countries' paths in this directions will obviously converge some day in view of their bid to join NATO, Col. Graube said. He called the meeting, which is the first of its kind, "historic". Defence Minister Nikolai Svinarov told Graube the two armies would not be rivals in their preparation for NATO membership. They will keep each other informed in the process of adopting NATO standards.
Bulgaria is glad to share with Latvia its experience of peacekeeping operations, since both countries will send contingents to participate in the multinational humanitarian mission in Afghanistan, the two said. "Other countries need not gain negative experience the way our army did during the Cambodia mission," Gen. Mihov said.
An advance party of the Bulgarian General Staff left for London on Monday and will be flown to Afghanistan on Monday by an RAF aircraft. They are to find out details about living conditions and the requirements the Bulgarian platoon must meet, among other things, Gen. Mihov said. The Bulgarian servicemen must have as much information as possible about that country, where the average life expectancy is 48 years and the illiteracy rate is high, which speaks volumes about local conditions, he said.
Serbian forces preparing deployment in northern Kosovo under UN flag, TV says.
[Presenter] As BK TV has learned from unofficial sources, around 20 members of the Serbian police are preparing for a peace mission in northern Kosovo-Metohija. They should be sent there in February, reportedly under the United Nations flag.
[Reporter] This is said to be an advance contingent of a larger MUP [Serbian Interior Ministry] unit which is supposed to take over some of the policing tasks in the Kosovska Mitrovica region. The group is reportedly tasked with preparing logistics for the terrain, establishing sites for the accommodation of the unit and lines of communications with other UNMIK [UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo] units as well as with defining procedures for carrying out police operations.
Immediately after his appointment to this six-month duty, the current Kfor commander, French General Marcel Valentin, denied any possibility of an imminent return of Yugoslav, that is, Serbian forces to Kosovo. US General William David, who commanded the multinational brigade East from June to December last year, did not, however, rule out the possibility of a return of Serbian forces to Kosovo in an exclusive interview with BK TV in June 2001...