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Last year, Macedonia was attacked by armed extremists, who caused not only human casualties but also much damage to agriculture, to the cattle breeding fund, water and houses, followed by displacement of over 170,000 people, Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski said Monday in his address at the World Food Summit in Rome.
Therefore, the Government was forced to redirect the funds, brining additional burden to the already small budget of the country, Trajkovski said.
"In the same period-2000/02- the country also faced a drought, which caused a drastic reduction of the agricultural production, decreasing the share of agriculture in the gross national product," Trajkovski said.
He welcomed the exceptional efforts and commitment of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to provide a sufficient quantity of food that would allow each individual to have an active and healthy life. The issue of food production and ensuring sufficient quantity of food had been a problem for many years, Trajkovski stressed. It was not a coincidence that this matter was on the UN agenda of priority issues, adopted at the Millennium Summit, he added.
"Faced with the current challenge, we are expected to introduce a new strategy to overcome this problem. The strategy should consist measures that will provide equal access for all countries to technological innovations in the agricultural production and sufficient means for its financing, " the President said.
To achieve this aim, it was necessary to undertake measures in view of improved education, overall agro-technical measures in the developing and transition countries, which would enable them to increase their agricultural production and become less dependent on food import.
Increasing of the food production required liberalization of the international trade in agriculture equipment and machinery, as well as in food products, Trajkovski said.
He expressed hope that participation of so many Heads of State and Governments at the meeting would clearly affirm the political will for consistent implementation of the FAO objectives.
"I would like to recall the importance of the "Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the "World Summit Paln of Action" adopted at the World Food Summit in November 1996, which have set the necessary programs to provide food for all. I would like to express my hope that the expectations from the Rome Declaration Paln of Action to reduce the number of people, who do not have enough food, will be met," Trajkovski said.
The Resolution, which would be adopted at the end of this Summit, was a result of long negotiations within the preparatory process, setting a strategy for hunger eradication, Trajkovski said.
Today, Trajkovski had a meeting with President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, focused on implementing of the Framework Agreement and the current situation in Macedonia and the region.
Trajkovski asked for faster ratification of the Stabilization and Association Agreement, which will confirm the European Union's support to stabilizing of the entire region.
Trajkovski also had a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, focused on bilateral relations and their intensifying. The officials also discussed on Macedonia's efforts to become NATO member and Italy's ratification of the Stabilization and Association Agreement between Macedonia and EU.
This morning, Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi opened the World Food Summit, chaired by Berlusconi. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also addressed at the meeting.
Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubcho Georgievski formally put a new 1,200 kW medium-wave transmitter "Ovce Pole" into operation on Monday.
In his address at the ceremony, Georgievski extended gratitude to the German and French Embassies for putting this project among their priorities, as it would enable for the Macedonian Radio-Radio Skopje to improve its broadcasting quality throughout the country and the region.
French Ambassador Francois Terrell said that this project presented a new opportunity for the voice from Macedonia to be spread throughout Europe, while German Ambassador Werner Burkhardt said it was a new approach to democratisation of the relations in Macedonia.
The transmitter is produced by the French company "Tales-Broadcast End Multimedia", presenting a top-product in this sphere.
The German and French Governments donated funds for procuring of the transmitter, while the public company "Macedonian Broadcast" provided financially support for its assembly. The project is worth about 2,5 million.
Today, Georgievski also put into operation a wheat granary of the private company "Mak-mlin."
The new granary has capacity of 5,000 tons and will be used for storing the wheat of the local farmers.
Around 700,000 were invested, out of which 250,000 is a credit from Tutunska Banka.
Georgievski reiterated the commitment of the Macedonian Government for economic development of the agriculture and for investing in the private sector and development of the food industry.
Addressing to the farmers from Kocani area, Georgievski emphasized that the Government would do its best to buy out the production surplus.
"This refers to the production of wheat and rice," Georgievski said, underlying that the Macedonian Government would provide enough funds to buy out this year's production.
Georgievski will also visit publishing and graphic enterprise "Evropa 92," and will meet with the residents of Orizaru municipality on Monday evening.
The new law for election of MPs ought to be adopted promptly, because there are other provisions that depend on it and which will determine the election bodies and mechanisms, Macedonian Assembly Chairman Stojan Andov said at a press conference Monday.
After that law is adopted, as Andov said, a new composition of the State Election Committee ought to be elected, and than the Committee ought to create the other election bodies and to organize the elections, and all of this takes time.
The deadline for scheduling elections, according to the existing election law, is july 7.
"If a law for election of MPs is not adopted by july 7, than I will have to schedule the elections. If we want to respect the timeframe for the elections, meaning September 15, the elections will have to be scheduled now, or otherwise I will either have to violate the existing law, or I will have to postpone the elections," he said.
According to Andov, "there are no difficulties for adoption of the laws that come from the Framework Agreement, except for the law on passports."
The Assembly Chairman believes that the adoption of the laws is proceeding with difficulties because the leaders of the four parties - signatories of the Framework Agreement have arranged to hold additional consultations for some of the laws that originate from the Ohrid Accord.
"So far, we have adopted four laws from the election package," Andov said.
Asked whether the new law for MPs could be rejected, Andov said that "no one has such intentions."
Asked if he would talk to the US envoy for the Balkans James Holmes, Andov said that "there are no new moments that I could report on to the international envoy."
Andov said that they could talk only about 'the situation on the terrain, meaning conditions to be provided for returning of the IDPs and possibilities to be provided for organizing fair and democratic elections.
Macedonian Minister of Interior Affairs Ljube Boskovski closed Monday his official visit to Sweden by a meeting with Swedish top police officials and experts in national security and intelligence.
In a presence of the Swedish Cooperation Agency, the first copy of a feasibility study on development of the Macedonian Police was presented to Boskovski. Next week, an expert group of the Swedish Police would visit Macedonia and present the study in the country.
Today's talks were also focused on global terrorism and organized crime. In this respect, the officials suggested to intensify the cooperation between the Macedonian and Swedish Police by a protocol, which is to be signed during the visit of Swedish expert team next week in Skopje.
Boskovski briefed his hosts about the current security situation in Macedonia.
Challenging of the Macedonian-Yugoslav Border Delineation Agreement by the Kosovo protectorate was not na´ve and could be interpreted as a beginning of new crisis in the region, Boskovski said.
The officials also discussed on other possibilities for intensifying of the bilateral cooperation, particularly in exchange of information and experience, as well as personnel training.
The Body for Structural Reforms of the Macedonian Government adopted on Monday the decision of the beneficiaries assembly of the "FAS October 11" factory for opening of a new tender for sale of the factory.
Minister of Economy Besnik Fetai and president of the Body Besnik Fetai said that the results from the tender should be announced in 15 days. He also said that FAS "October 11" would not be offered for sale by parts as so far, but integrally.
Although the workers from the FAS "October 11" own 23% of the stocks, Minister of Finance Nikola Gruevski said that still their demand the factory not to be sold to the Bulgarian "Mariner" was respected.
The Body also decided to open a tender for sale of the "Jugohrom" company, and the World Bank ought to submit its remarks on Tuesday. Minister Fetai explained that there were several interested companies, but most serious candidate was the German "Krup-Tiesen.

Sofia, June 10 (BTA) - Macedonian Culture Minister Ganka Samoilovska -Tsvetanova arrives June 11 on an official visit here, the Bulgarian Culture Ministry's press centre told BTA.
The purpose of the visit, which is at the invitation of Culture Minister Bozhidar Abrashev, is to discuss bilateral cultural ties, as well as events within the 2002 - 2004 joint programme of the two countries' culture ministries.
Bulgaria Closes Another Three Chapters at Negotiations with EU.
Luxemburg, June 10 (BTA exclusive by Zornitsa Venkova, National Television correspondent) - Bulgaria closed another three chapters at Monday's round of negotiations with the European Union (EU).
The first one concerns the free movement of goods. Bulgaria does not want to be allowed a transitional period in this respect.
Concerning the free movement of people, it was agreed that the EU member states can restrict the access of Bulgarians to their labour markets for a period of maximum seven years after Bulgaria's accession to the EU. Bulgaria will have the right to respond by applying the same measures in regard to the countries that restrict the access of Bulgarians to their labour markets.
Despite the restrictions, if a Bulgarian national and a national of a country that is not an EU member apply for a job, preference will be given to the Bulgarian national.
The third chapter concerns tax policy. Bulgaria has the right not to approximate the excise duty charged on cigarettes with the European standards. "As far as that part of the chapter which deals with value added tax is concerned, Bulgaria achieved the best possible conditions," Deputy Finance Minister Gati al-Djebouri said.
The foreign ministers of the 15 EU member states debated the enlargement process on Monday morning without reaching a consensus on subsidizing farmers in the new member-states. The ministers undertook to take measures for further advancement of the negotiation process with Bulgaria and Romania.
The Netherlands Will Support Bulgaria's EU Accession Effort.
Luxembourg, June 10 (BTA exclusive by national television corr. Zornitsa Venkova) - Foreign ministers Solomon Passy of Bulgaria and Jozias Van Aartsen of The Netherlands signed Monday in Luxembourg a memorandum of understanding and partnership. The document envisages that The Netherlands help Bulgaria in its progress in the EU accession talks through cooperation in justice, home affairs, agriculture, environment protection and finances, among others.
"This is one of the many things that will help our country become better prepared for EU accession," Passy commented after the ceremony.
Bulgaria is the second state after Poland with which The Netherlands sign such a document.
Three Bids for BTC Privatization Submitted by Deadline.
Sofia, June 10 (BTA) - Three sets of bidding documents for the purchase of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company (BTC) have been submitted to the Privatization Agency (PA). The deadline for tentative bids expired at 18:00 hrs local time on Monday.
Three representatives of Advent International, a foreign investment fund, entered the building of PA 11 minutes before the expiration of the deadline.
Going out, they neither confirmed nor denied the submission of a tentative offer.
A consortium of Koc Information and Technology Group and Turk Telecom submitted their offer for BTC a little before 17:00 hrs local time, Murad Ardak, a representative of the consortium told journalists. He did not say whether the consortium had applied for a licence for a third GSM operator.
Turkey's Koc holding group has a leading position in the consortium.
Some time before the representatives of the Turkish consortium, the officials of another company went to the secretarial office of the PA but they declined to identify it by name.
The tentative bids will be opened on Tuesday morning.
However, the PA does not commit to disclose the candidate buyers on the same day.
The tentative bids contain documents evidencing the candidate's legitimacy and a proposal for the purchase of up to 65 per cent of the BTC assets which is not binding. The PA reserves its right to reject a candidate buyer offering to purchase less than 51 per cent of the BTC assets.
The tentative purchase price is specified in euros.
Candidate buyers can name either a fixed price or a price range, explaining what circumstances would influence the price amount.
Besides a price proposal, the set contains a business programme, an investment plan and an employment plan for a period of three years.
The two-round competitive bidding for the privatization of BTC was opened on April 4 this year. The initial deadline for submitting offers was extended.
Agriculture Minister Bans Import, Transit of Cloven-Footed Animals from Argentina.
Sofia, June 10 (BTA) - Agriculture and Forests Minister Mehmed Dikme issued an order on Monday banning the import and transit of domestic and wild cloven-footed animals from Argentina, the Agriculture and Forests Ministry's information directorate said.
The ban also concerns materials and products, as well as animal feed and components for animal feed produced from such animals without thermal treatment guaranteeing destruction of the virus of foot-and-mouth disease, FMD.
The ban is being introduced in connection with the announcement about FMD cases in Argentina on June 6, the press release says.
The Agriculture and Forests Ministry says that until now Bulgaria has only imported boned meat at special conditions, including obligatory cooling of the meat at a temperature of 2C to 6C for 25 hours. Exports of Argentinean produce need to come from EU-approved slaughterhouses. The special conditions for import of Argentinean meat were also necessitated by the large number of FMD outbreaks in 2000 there, the press release says.
Sofia, June 10 (BTA) - Bulgaria and Albania will sign an intergovernmental agreement on readmission, the press office of the Interior Ministry said.
The signing will take place during the visit of Albanian Minister of Public Order Stefan Cipa who arrives in Sofia on June 11.
Cipa and his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Petkanov will discuss issues of bilateral interest, development of cooperation between the two countries' interior ministries and identify measures for future joint measures against organized crime.
Sofia, June 10 (BTA) - Turkey fully supports Bulgaria's bid for NATO membership, Ali Iliksoy, Deputy Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly told Bulgarian National Assmebly Chairman Ognyan Gerdjikov at their meeting on Monday, the press centre of the Bulgarian Parliament said.
Iliksoy said that Turkey was following with satisfaction Bulgaria's progress towards membership of the European Union (EU) and NATO. "I am convinced that soon we will be shoulder to shoulder - this is important for both countries."
Turkey has good relations with the Bulgarian Government, Iliskoy said. He described as important the participation of two ministers who are ethnic Turks in the Cabinet. "The presence of members of the Turkish minority is a guarantee for their integration in the society on an equal footing."
At the meeting with Iliksoy Gerdjikov expressed satisfaction with the development of relations between Bulgaria and Turkey.
Iliksoy leads a Turkish parliamentary delegation on an unofficial visit to Bulgaria made in connection with the work on a joint two-year programme on the conservation and restoration of cultural monuments in the two countries.
The delegation will visit Shoumen, Razgrad and Plovdiv. The programme will be signed at the end of June, the press centre of Parliament said.
Meeting Stefan Danailov, Chairman of the Committee on Culture of the Bulgarian National Assembly, Iliksoy said that Turkey would fulfil its promise regarding the restoration of Bulgarian cultural, historical and religious monuments in Turkish territory.
Danailov expressed readiness to organize a meeting of representatives of the culture committees of the countries in the Balkan peninsula.
The Turkish guests met with Ivan Iskrov, Chairman of the parliamentary Budgetary and Finance committee, who also chairs the Bulgaria-Turkey Friendship Group in the National Assembly.
Iskrov thanked for Turkey';s support at the meeting of NATO's Parliamentary Assembly held in Sofia.
Iliksoy congratulated Bulgaria on its progress in the process of negotiations with the European Union.
BTA Presented before European Alliance of Press Agencies.
Krakow, Poland, June 10 (BTA) - The Bulgarian national news agency, BTA, was presented under the motto "Surviving in the Wind of Change" at an Extra General Assembly of the European Alliance of Press Agencies (EAPA) held in Krakow. Senior administrators of national media of 27 countries discussed the topic "News Agencies in Times of Uncertainty." They showed interest in BTA's autonomous status which ensures independence of the information policy, BTA's positions on the domestic and international media markets, mixed funding, and the technological boom of the last few years.
One of the central topics at the seminar was the need for a new market policy and legal measures which news agencies should take against the unauthorized use of their product, particularly on the Internet. Other topics pertained to ownership, funding, relations with the State and public institutions, and rules ensuring independence of information services.
EAPA is an organization with a 45-year-long history, with member agencies from 28 countries. Under the Alliance's statutes, each country can only be represented by its national news agency. The members of the organization include Agence France Presse, The Press Association Limited (UK), DPA (Germany), ITAR-TASS (Russia), EFE (Spain), APA (Austria), ANSA (Italy), ANA (Greece), the Anatolian News Agency (Turkey), PAP (Poland), CTK (the Czech Republic), and MTI (Hungary).
In Krakow, BTA was represented by its Director General Panayot Denev and Chief Secretary Yana Kozhouharova.

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