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We will amend the law and restore the volunteer squads to combat crime, Gen Boiko Borissov, IM Chief Secretary, pledged yesterday at a meeting with 120 mayors held in the village of Gorsko Slivovo. Photo Kiril Petrov
Jordan Jovtchev of Bulgaria performs on the rings during the all round competition of the 25 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in the southern Greek town of Patras April 27, 2002. Jovtchev scored 55,623 points and won the silver medal in the 6 event competition. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
Chinese President Jiang Zemin (2L) and his Macedonian counterpart Boris Trajkovski review the guard of honor during a welcoming ceremony next to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. © EPA
SITUATION IN CRISIS REGIONS.
There are no shootouts Saturday morning in Tetovo and its area, unlike the night, when shots from various types of infantry weaponry were registered, reported MIA's correspondent.
According to the Interior Department in Tetovo, some rifle shots were heard one hour after midnight in the surrounding area of Vonvardarska, Sipad and Kupenik settlements. Previously, some shots were also registered in the area of the residential complex no. 82, as well as from other town districts.
In more than ten occasions over the night, some rifle and sporadic shots were registered from the area of Lisec, Gajre, Dobroste, Odri, Semsovo,
Ozormiste, Palatica, Trebos and some other villages.
As informed by the Interior Department, several flare missiles were noticed at about 10:30 p.m. in the village of Semsevo and two detonations were heard Saturday morning at about 7:35h, coming from the area of Neraste village.
A facility in the village of Falise, near the road to Tetovo in Polog valley was set on fire at about 1:10h a.m. A team from the district Fire Department undertook activities to extinguish the fire. According to their report, the facility and three passenger vehicles were burned down and some other material damages were caused.
The Macedonian Army border patrol prevented Friday Naser Nebija from the village of Aracinovo to illegally pass from Macedonia to Yugoslavia, the Macedonian Defense Ministry reported in a press release.
Nebija had no identification documents, except a release certificate from the "Idrizovo" prison.
Escorting the trespasser to the watchtower Belanovce, fire was opened at the border patrol from a bypassing lorry, followed by an armed attack from another terrorist group from the Yugoslav territory.
After a brief clash, the Macedonian border patrol and additional group of soldiers routed the terrorist groups. There were no injured or killed soldiers.
To a request by the Macedonian Defense Ministry, KFOR troops checked the region of armed activities at the Yugoslav side and found three injured and one killed persons, who along with another captive, were handed over to the mission "Amber Fox".
It is calm Saturday forenoon in Kumanovo-Lipkovo region, as well as in the zone along the Macedonian-Yugoslav border, Kosovo part. No violations of the public order and peace were evidenced, reports MIA's correspondent.
Friday night around 19:30h near the stockrooms of Makpetrol in the village of Vaksince, a four-member armed group of terrorists in black uniforms was noticed, as informed by some army sources on site.
PRESIDENTS TRAJKOVSKI AND ZEMIN MET IN BEIJING.
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, who is in official visit to China, met Saturday with Chinese President Jiang Zemin, Presidential Cabinet announced.
The reaffirmed determination for developing and nurturing the relations between the two countries and two nations was confirmed with the Joint Statement on consolidation and promotion of the friendly relations and cooperation between Macedonia and China signed by Trajkovski and Zemin.
With the Statement, the two countries affirm that the promotion of the stable overall relations is of fundamental interest and it should be realized on the principles of mutual respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Committing for enhanced bilateral economic cooperation and trade, Macedonia and China expressed their political willingness to stimulate and support the economic relations on highest level.
Macedonia confirms with the Statement that there is only one China, that the Government of People's Republic of China is the only legitimate Government and that Taiwan is integral part of the Chinese territory.
China reaffirmed its support for Macedonia's independece, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unitarian character of the country. President Zemin fully supported Macedonia in its efforts to use the constitutional name in the United Nations and in the international relations and expressed Beijing's readiness to support Macedonian integration in the World Trade Organization.
President Trajkovski continues his official visit to China and will also meet the Speaker of Chinese National Assembly, Li Peng and Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji.
China & Macedonia Wove to Eternal Friendship.
BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhuanet) -- Chinese President Jiang Zemin and visiting Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski signed a joint statement here Saturday. The full text of the statement, titled as Joint Statement Between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Macedonia on Consolidating and Promoting Their Friendly Relations and Cooperation, reads as follows:
President Boris Trajkovski of the Republic of Macedonia paid a state visit to the People's Republic of China from 25 to 30 April 2002 at the invitation of President Jiang Zemin of the People's Republic of China. In a warm and friendly atmosphere, President Jiang Zemin had in-depth exchanges of views on the bilateral relations, regional situation and international issues of shared interest with President Boris Trajkovski, and they reached broad consensus.
1. The two sides cherish the profound friendship between the two countries and two peoples. Since the normalization of relations in June 2001, the mutually beneficial ties and cooperation between the two countries in various fields have been restored and developed rapidly to the satisfaction of both sides.
The two sides are of the view that it is in the fundamental and long-term interests of both countries and peoples to push forward the long-term, steady and overall development of their relations on the basis of the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. They reiterate that they will strictly abide by the principles enshrined in The Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Macedonia and The Joint Communique Between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Macedonia on the Normalization of Relations and other related documents, and that they will join hands to create a better future for their bilateral relations.
2. The two sides are ready to increase political dialogue at all levels, and encourage and support the exchanges and cooperation between the Governments, parliaments, other official institutions, local governments and social organizations of the two countries so as to enhance mutual understanding and trust.
3. The two sides believe that stronger bilateral economic cooperation and trade are of great significance. They stand ready to encourage and support, under conditions of the market economy, enterprises of the two countries in their efforts to step up contacts, deepen understanding, and conduct multi-form cooperation so as to facilitate continued development of the bilateral economic ties and trade. The two countries will provide facilities for the participation of each other's enterprises and personnel in their respective economic development.
The Chinese side is willing to continue to give assistance, within its capacity, to Macedonia for its economic recovery and development, for which the Macedonian side expresses its gratitude.
The two sides will continue to take positive measures to further the cooperation and exchanges between the two countries in the scientific, technological, cultural, education, health and other fields.
4. The Macedonian side reiterates that there is but one China in the world, that the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. The Macedonian side reaffirms that it will not enter into official relations in any form, or conduct any exchanges of an official nature with Taiwan, nor will it support Taiwan's membership in international organizations where statehood is required. The Macedonian side stresses that the question of Taiwan is entirely China's internal affair and that it respects and supports the efforts of China in safeguarding its national unity and hopes to see its early reunification.
The Chinese side highly appreciates the clear position of the Macedonian side on the Taiwan question.
5. The Chinese side reiterates that China supports the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Macedonia, and supports Macedonia in its vigorous efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Chinese side understands the position of the Macedonian side that to keep the unitary character of the state is of great significance to the maintenance of stability in Macedonia. It hopes to see Macedonia enjoy social stability, ethnic harmony and economic growth and thus make active contribution to safeguarding stability and promoting prosperity in Southeast Europe. The Chinese side understands and respects the choice and commitment made by Macedonia to become part of the European integration process, and highly values Macedonia's policy of good-neighborliness and friendship. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to play its part in the endeavor for lasting peace in Macedonia and the entire region of Southeast Europe.
The Macedonian side values the important role played by China in international affairs and speaks highly of the positive contribution made by China as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to safeguarding world peace and promoting stability in Macedonia and in the region of Southeast Europe.
6. Both sides believe that democratization of international relations meets the requirement of the advance of the times and conforms to the desire of the vast majority of countries and people in the international community. All countries, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, are equal members of the international community and have the equal right to participate in international affairs. All countries are entitled to choose, in light of their national conditions, their social system and road to development independently. The two sides stand ready to work with the rest of the international community for the establishment of a fair and rational new international political and economic order.
7. The two sides stress that the United Nations, as the most broadly based inter-governmental organization composed of sovereign states, is irreplaceable in terms of its authority and important role for safeguarding world peace and stability as well as addressing other international issues and etc. The two sides reaffirm their strict compliance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and maintain that the leading role of the United Nations and its Security Council should be safeguarded and enhanced in international affairs. The two sides are satisfied with their cooperation in the United Nations and other international organizations and stand ready to further strengthen their coordination. The Chinese side understands the strong desire of Macedonia for its own constitutional name to be used within the UN system and supports the positive efforts made by Macedonia in resolving the issue.
8. Both sides believe that terrorism is a serious challenge to the human civilization and that it poses a threat to international peace and security. The two sides support that fight against global terrorism and call for the prevention and suppression of terrorist acts in any form. The two sides stress that no double standards should be allowed in the fight against terrorism. They maintain that international cooperation and solidarity should be boosted on combating international terrorism, and that the leading role of the United Nations and its Security Council should be brought into full play so as to eradicate the root cause of terrorism.
Eighteen-day Vacation for MPs.
The next parliamentary session is scheduled for May 15.
The Bulgarian MPs voted for Easter vacation from 2nd to 12th of May. In contrast to them, the ordinary people will be on vacation only from 1st to 6th of May. Actually the MPs will holiday for 18 days. Already yesterday most of them set off to their native places. The next session of the parliament is scheduled for May 15. During the last week Chairman of Parliament, Ognyan Gerdzhikov, appealed to the MPs to make the vacation shorter to pass the delayed laws. However, yesterday he personally proposed the vacation to last till May 12. Dr. Atanas Shterev of the NMS, who earlier insisted on canceling the Easter vacation at all, didn't oppose the idea this time. Thus the deputies unanimously voted for a longer holiday. They didn't even extend their working hours yesterday, although two bills included in their week's schedule, had not been voted. "Simeon will not leave us at peace, we'll be busy with the establishment of the party", complained the NMS deputies on leaving the parliament. The sitting of the NMS political council is planned for Monday. Its preliminary agenda does not include the analysis of the results of the midterm local elections. The NMS leadership will discuss the regulations of the financial activity of the party. They will also discuss the nominees for the auxiliary commissions and councils.
Simeon Came back from USA at Dusk.
PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha came back from the USA at dusk, catching by surprise the ministers who didn't manage to meet him at the airport. A glass eagle is the special gift President Bush gave to Simeon. It's a very nice symbol, said the PM minutes after getting off the plane. Simeon explained that he will first look through his mail and get informed about the current events in the country. "This time there have been no scandals, but there was an earthquake", he added. On Monday Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is meeting the members of the Academic Council and the students from the University for National and World Economy, where he will be awarded the honorary badge of the University. He will put his signature in the Golden Book of the University, in which the first signature was made by his father, King Boris III.
President Purvanov: Classified Information Act Important for Bulgaria's Membership in NATO.
Bourgas (on the Black Sea), April 27 (BTA) - The Classified Information Act is one of the important laws Bulgaria has to adopt on its road to NATO membership, President Georgi Purvanov told journalists at an impromptu briefing in Bourgas Saturday.
Purvanov added that the other candidate countries have already passed similar laws. However, the secret police files issue is a different matter, the President said. "This is something secondary. I am now studying how the secret police files are treated in the new act and will announce my stand later," he added.
Taking a question on the choice of a new chief of the general staff of the Bulgarian army, Purvanov said he is meeting Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha on the issue on Monday.
Before this meeting, however, he will meet the three candidates for the post to hear their views and concepts.
President Purvanov started a tour of Bourgas Region on Saturday. He met Bourgas Mayor Yoan Kostadinov and visited the Bourgas Free University.
During his first visit to a higher educational establishment in his capacity as President, Purvanov accepted an invitation to read a lecture in Bourgas in September.
Meeting students and the academic leadership of the University, Purvanov said he would try to initiate a debate on the problems of higher education.
BSP: Bulgaria Knew No Such Poverty Ever.
"Bulgaria knew no such poverty ever," reads a declaration of the Coalition "For Bulgaria" PG which Rumen Ovcharov, deputy chairman of the PG, voiced from the parliamentary rostrum on the occasion of the end of the National Assembly's session. To Socialists, the economy is not thriving and the only growth is that of the inflation - 5.2 percent. The trade deficit is up by 28 percent as compared with the same period of the last year. The industry sales fell by 10 percent. The BSP data shows that the cost of living was 288 levs per capita. Half of the Bulgarians live under the poverty threshold. 70 percent of the unemployed are waiting on the labour market for more than 9 months and only 30 percent of them are granted aids.
Labourists Invited Stanishev to London.
BSP leader Sergei Stanishev is leaving on a 5-day working visit to the UK at the invitation of the Labour Party, it transpired yesterday. His visit to London starts of May 7 and is part of his European shuttle. His first meeting there will be with Robin Cook who chairs the European Socialist Party. The agenda of the talks will be Bulgaria's pending NATO and EU membership. Stanishev is expected to also raise the issue of the BSP admission to the Socialist International.
Let Deputies Get Fluent in Bulgarian.
It transpired that at the National Assembly they will start teaching the MPs foreign languages. The deputies reportedly do study them already but individually. From now on they are going to be taught in groups. This is right, for in the group the grades are usually higher than the individual ones. Well, as far as the MPs are to start learning languages at long last, let them start with the Bulgarian. Let them first take several lessons in Bulgarian and become fluent in their mother tongue, rather than stammer both from the rostrum and before the media. And let the MPs pay for these lessons themselves. Otherwise, the disgrace with the lectures of Harvey Thomas, Thatcher's imagemaker, is inevitable. Few days ago he familiarized the MPs with the details of communications with the media before an almost empty house. Well, the deputies would know better if they are paying out of their own pockets.
Filchev: Financial Oligarchies Press Themis.
The judicial power is under the pressure of mighty finance and economic oligarchies and the media circles, Chief Prosecutor Nikola Filchev said at the international conference "Judicial Power and Independence". Prosecutor No 1 refused to give out particular names when journalists asked him to specify which financial groups he meant. To Filchev, the justice worldwide is crisis-stricken. The judicial power is formally independent, but actually it suffers from the influence of the legislative and executive authorities, he said further. In his opinion, Themis has always been between law and politics.
A Rose to Cost 3 Levs on Palm Sunday.
Bulgarians are going to present each other with carnations on St. Lazarus' Day and Palm Sunday. Carnations are the cheapest flowers on the market - they cost from 0.20 to 0.80 levs each. The roses will cost 3 levs at the least. The blue-chip bouquets start form 20 levs and could exceed 100 levs. Almost all flowers in the shops all over the country are imported from Holland or South Africa.
No Easter Bonuses for Pensioners.
"There will not be Easter fringe benefits for pensioners," said Social Minister Lidia Shouleva in parliament yesterday. "If we pay bonuses of 44 levs per capita to all 2.4 million pensioners, 110 million levs would be necessary and this sum is not envisaged in the budget," Shouleva elaborated. Bonuses could be allotted by end-year. From June 1 on, all pensions granted till 2001 will be raised by 6 percent, Shouleva reminded.
Police Raids on Drunk Drivers during Easter.
From today driver's license will be taken away for speeding.
Road police is planning massive raids on drunken drivers during the Easter holidays. The chiefs of the road police have sent a circular order to all divisions throughout the country to tighten the control during the holidays. The road police will be on alert for tipsy drivers. The officers will also be after drivers who don't use safety belts. They will be fined 20 levs. Radar traps will be set for speeding drivers. According to the new road traffic regulations enforced yesterday, the fines for speeding remain unchanged, but you may lose your driver's license if caught speeding twice.
Sofia, April 27 (BTA) - There are no guarantees that Italy's Enel Power will take part in the Gorna Arda (Upper Arda river) water intake system project.
For the time being the time frame of the concession and the price of electricity which Enel might offer are unknown, Gorna Arda hydro energy company CEO Ismet Sever said, commenting on a declaration Friday by Turkey's Ceylan Holding that it has no intentions of stepping out of the project.
The economic feasibility study carried out by Enel will be completed by the end of May. Then this Italian company will decide whether to join the project as a strategic investor.
So far Enel has made no offers to the Board of Directors of the Gorna Arda hydro energy company, Sever said. According to him, if Enel declines participation, Bulgaria should continue looking for a new strategic investor.
This investor will be sought by both shareholders in the company - Ceylan Holding and the National Electricity Company.
The first condition for the project to start working is the apportionment of "Dolna Arda" (Lower Arda river), Sever said. Without this the price of electricity generated will be between 15 and 20 cents which is above the world parameters for hydroelectric power plants of the Gorna Arda type. The banks will refuse to credit such a project, Sever believes. If Dolna Arda is included in the project, the price of electricity will go down to 6-8 cents.
At their general meeting on April 18 the shareholders of the Gorna Arda hydro energy company decided to draw up proposals for speeding up the project by June 15. These proposals will include the issue of the participation of a strategic investor.
In November 1998 Bulgaria and Turkey signed an agreement and a protocol on cooperation in energy and infrastructure. These referred to the implementation of projects for building the Gorna Arda hydro energy cascade and part of the Maritsa motorway against electricity import from Bulgaria.
NEC and Ceylan Holding set up a joint venture for the implementation of the Gorna Arda project. However, Ceylan Holdings' subsequent bankruptcy left the project in limbo. Ceylan Holding was named contractor of the project by the Turkish side.
At the end of January 2002 Italy's Enel Power energy company, which is part of the Enel Group, the Bulgarian Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works and the National Electricity Company signed a Memorandum on the Gorna Arda project. Then an Enel Power representative said that if the project proves economically viable, Enel Power would step in as chief investor and invest 300 million US dollars.
The Memorandum, provides for the Italian company to analyze the possibilities for building the cascade.
100-Plus Entrants in Canoe/Kayak Balkan Championships in Plovdiv (Updated)
Plovdiv (Southern Bulgaria), April 27 (BTA) - More than 100 canoe/kayakers of Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania and Greece competed Saturday at the Canoe-Kayak Balkan Championships in Plovdiv. Turkey send the leaders of its Federation.
Following are the results:
Canoe singles (C1) - men, 1,000 m: Stanimir Atanassov (Bulgaria) 4:06.51 min., Andreas Kilikaridis (Greece) 4:08.50 min., Silvio Simocenko (Romania) 4:17.18 min.
Kayak singles (K1) - men, 1,000 m: Magiar Geza (Romania) 3:50.24 min, Yordan Yordanov (Bulgaria) 3:50.83 min, Janik Stepan (Romania) - 3:51.84 min.
K1 women, 1,000 m: Anka Matescu (Romania) 4:26.86 min., Dilyana Dacheva (Bulgaria) 4:33.91 min., Branka Solak (Yugoslavia) 4:36.05 min.
Canoe doubles (C2) - men, 1,000 m: Florin Popescu and Mitica Prikob (Romania) 3:51.08 min., Dimiter Atanassov and Aunan Aliev (Bulgaria) 3:54.99 min, Dimiter Chilingirov and Nikolay Bouhalov (Bulgaria) 3:55.71.
Kayak doubles (K2) - women, 1,000 m: Bonka Pindeva and Dilyana Decheva (Bulgaria) 3:59.13 min, Mariana Ciobanu and Lidia Rusanescu (Romania) 4:02.24 min, Antonia Panda and Antonia Nadji (Yugoslavia) 4:04.71 min.
K2 men 1,000 m: Marian Dimitrov and Alexander Stefanov (Bulgaria) 3:26.70 min, Josepf Soti and Dragan Zornik (Yugoslavia) 3:28.94 min, Vassile Zurigan and Barian Baban (Romania) 3:96.70 min.
Bulgarian and Romania scored the greatest number of points.
In the men's kayak events Bulgaria won two gold and two silver medals and Romania two gold, one silver and one bronze medal. Yugoslavia came third with one silver and three bronze medals.
In the men's canoe events Bulgaria won two gold and two silver medals and the Romanians two gold and two bronze medals.
In the women's kayak events Bulgaria and Romania won two gold and two silver medals each.