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A model displays a denim outfit, as a part of Bulgarian designer Vasko Vasilev's collection in Sofia, late November 27, 2001. REUTERS/Dimitar Dilkoff
Exhumation Between Dzepciste And Trebos Ended.
Tetovo, November 27 (MIA) - The final activities for exhumation of the location between the villages of Dzepciste and Trebos are carried out Tuesday where it is presumed that one of the three mass graves is found in which massacred bodies of the six kidnapped Macedonians are buried, MIA's correspondent reports.
The Investigative Judge in the elementary court in Tetovo, Aleksandra Zafirovska, expects that the exhumation will end today.
She said that the process of determining the identity of these persons was a long one and could last for 4-6 months.
According to Tetovo Court investigative judge Aleksandra Zafirovska, the exhumation was completed and the hole was closed.
Teams of the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Skopje, the representatives of judicial organs, the Hague Tribunal, the EU and the OSCE monitoring missions, and the NATO Amber Fox mission are present at the exhumation site.
Zaforivska did not specify when the opening of two other alleged mass graves would start.
PRESIDENT TRAJKOVSKI MEETS EURO-COMMISSIONER CHRIS PATTEN.
President of the Republic of Macedonia Boris Trajkovski, who is in three-day visit to Brussels, met on Tuesday with Euro-Commissioner of Foreign Affairs Chris Patten.
The meeting was focused on the cooperation between Macedonia and the European Commission, implementation of the Association and Stabilization Agreement between Macedonia and the EU, and the forthcoming Donors' conference for the country.
Trajkovski and Patten agreed that the Donors' conference must be successful and should be attended by as many donors as possible, who would provide significant donations for Macedonia.
Reporting that the World Bank would join in the donors' conference, Euro-commissioner Patten said that therefore Macedonia ought to sign agreement with the IMF prior to the conference.
As Patten said, 26,5 million have been granted to Macedonia through the KARDS program. Macedonia had also received 42 million as regular assistance from the EC and 7 million through ECHO. In regard to the macroeconomic assistance, Patten said that besides the promised 50 million, Macedonia would receive additional 18 million.
President Trajkovski pointed out the need of development a precise calendar for implementation of the Association and Stabilization Agreement.
On Wednesday, President Trajkovski will address the North-Atlantic Council, where he will present Macedonia's efforts for implementation of the Framework Agreement, as well as Macedonia's activities for integration into NATO.
During his stay in Brussels, President Trajkovski will also meet with NATO Secretary General George Robertson and with EU High Representative of Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana. Trajkovski is also due to meet with Chairperson of the European Parliament Nicole Fountain and with several members of the European Parliament.
On Thursday, President Trajkovski is going to meet with Belgian King Albert II.
In regard to Macedonia's preparations for getting a membership in the World Trade Organization, Chief of President's Cabinet Zoran Jolevski met on Tuesday with Antonino Patini, person in charge of reception of new WTO members.
At the meeting, Patini expressed support to Macedonia's soon integration in the WTO. According to the announcements, representatives of Macedonia and of the WTO will take place next week in Geneva. The meeting will be focused on the adjustment of Macedonia's legislation to the WTO standards, as well as to the customs and trade liberalization processes.
PRESS CONFERENCE WITH ASSEMBLY SPEAKER STOJAN ANDOV.
Speaker of the Macedonian Assembly Stojan Andov said at Tuesday's press conference that he withdrew the draft-decision for dissolving of the Parliament as the deputies expressed disbelief at him, as submitter of the decision.
"According to the Framework Agreement parliamentary elections should have been held on January 27, so I used my right as a deputy to suggest such decision," Andov stressed.
He explained that if the elections were held on January 27, the last deadline for calling the elections was Tuesday, when the decision for dissolving of the Parliament should have been made.
"Coordinator of SDSM Nikola Popovski expressed his disbelief as I have suggested the decision, adding that I was not obliged with Framework Agreement, which according to him was agreement of the parties and not a state one," Andov said.
He stressed that it was underlined in the Framework Agreement that the elections should be held January 27, reminding that the Chairman of the Assembly calls the elections.
"Previously the Assembly should be dissolved. No one proposed that, although I have mentioned that I would propose it. It is legal and within my obligations," Andov stressed.
After two-day debate in the Assembly Andov was convinced that "no one wants early parliamentary elections."
He announced that he has scheduled the 93rd Assembly session on Wednesday, where the election of judges, presidents of Courts of law and appointment of director of the Agency for administration officers are on the agenda. The Assembly commissions have previously discussed all these items.
Andov expects Macedonian Prime Minister Ljubcho Georgievski to submit a request in the next few days for holding a session on appointing new ministers and deputy ministers.
The 88th session, where items from the economic sphere are on the agenda, might continue this week.
Stojan Andov said that the Assembly should adopt the Law on local self - government, which is on the agenda of Tuesday's session of the government, during the next week.
ANDOV WITHDRAWS DRAFT-DECISION FOR DISSOLVING OF PARLIAMENT.
Chairman of the Macedonian Assembly Stojan Andov withdrew the draft-decision for dissolving of the Parliament, which is the only item on the agenda and halted the 91st session.
Andov explained that the draft-decision for dissolving of the Parliament was in compliance with the Framework Agreement, according to which the parliamentary elections should be held on January 27 and the deputies should leave their functions before that.
Andov who proposed the decision for dissolving of the Parliament withdrew it because of the remarks from Coordinator of SDSM parliamentary group Nikola Popovski, who said that Andov should not behave "as a representative of the Framework agreement," because he did not participate in its creation.
Answering to the accusations Andov pointed out that he only respected the agreed issues included in the Agreement.
During the Tuesdays debate on the draft-decision, Zarko Karadzoski from VMRO DPMNE assessed that if the elections were held in January "they would not be legal and fair elections, as 10% of the Macedonian territory is not controlled by the Macedonian security forces." According to Karadzoski it should be realized that the current situation in the country does not allow holding of early elections. He suggested the parties to agree about the date for holding the elections, and not to resolve that issue with an amendment as SDSM has proposed.
Replying to Popovski, Karadzovski stressed that delusion should not be created that VMRO DPMNE is not for early elections, but the parties should agree which date is most convenient for holding the elections.
Rizvan Sulejmani from PDP believes that the conditions for holding fair and democratic elections are not met. According to him, it is essential to adopt new laws on local self-government, territorial division and elections first and then to hold the early parliamentary elections.
During the parliamentary debate on Monday Coordinator of VMRO DPMNE parliamentary group Cedomir Kraljevski said that the party generally supports the idea for early elections, as they are the most democratic act. But he stressed that they should be held in calm atmosphere.
"We are still far from reintegration of more than one third of the state territory, almost half of the displaced persons, mainly Macedonians cannot return to their homes, the case with the kidnapped Macedonians has not been resolved yet and the damages of the Macedonian economy from the military conflicts are enormous," he added.
"It is obvious that the situation at this moment does not allow us to start a new adventure with the dissolving of the Parliament or to organize early elections on only part of the territory, with many displaced and kidnapped persons and destroyed economy," Kraljevski said.
VMRO DPMNEs position is that SDSMs proposal for dissolving of the Parliament could be accepted but on February 28, 2002 and the elections could be held April 27 but under one condition: SDSM to return in the Macedonian Government is order to claim the responsibility along with the other political parties for resolving the situation in the country.
"The request for returning of SDSM in the Government is not a bluff of the ruling party, but an awareness of the actual situation in the country, and the necessity to overcome the daily and marketing needs of the parties, and the entire potential to be used for resolving the problems we have faced and we are still facing," Kraljevski said.
SDSM Coordinator Nikola Popovski said that the idea for dissolving of the Parliament was good, politically correct and valid decision that should be made.
The parliamentary group of SDSM will support the decision for dissolving of the Parliament with the amendment they have submitted, according to which the Parliament should be dissolved by the end of February and the early elections to be held in April 2002. In the meantime the Assembly should adopt several laws arising from the Framework agreement.
According to the coordinator of the Democratic Party of the Albanians Zamir Dika the party would not vote in favor of dissolving of the Parliament.
The position of this party is that Annex B from Framework Agreement should be realised first, what includes adopting new laws on local self government, territorial division and elections, laws on use of languages, book of regulations for Assembly work, and then to hold the early parliamentary elections.
"These laws are strictly related with this composition of the Assembly. This Parliament should work until it fulfils the obligations from Annex B," Dika said, adding that also technical conditions should be created for holding the early elections.
PDP also believes that the Assembly should fulfill the obligation for adopting certain laws arising from Framework Agreement first and then to dissolve. PDP Coordinator Naser Ziberi stressed that this Parliament should not transfer its obligations to another parliamentary composition that would be established after January 27 the day selected for holding the early elections.
Ziberi also thinks that first appropriate conditions should be created for holding fair and democratic elections that should be held in relaxed atmosphere with direct or indirect participation of OSCE and the European institutions in charge with enforcement and monitoring of the elections.
Risto Spanakov from New Democracy stated the position of the party that the dissolving of the Macedonian Parliament would be "counterproductive." New Democracy believes that several preconditions should be met for holding the early elections such as: establishing control over entire Macedonias territory, returning of all displaced persons to their homes and conducting valid census. Until these conditions are met, New Democracy will vote against the holding of parliamentary elections.
Chairman of the Macedonian Parliament Stojan Andov said that he proposed the draft-decision for dissolving of the Parliament as according to the Framework Agreement it should be adopted at latest by Tuesday.
He believes that it is not correct to block the work of the Assembly as "SDSM, PDP and VMRO - True Macedonian Reform Option did when the Law on Defense should have been adopted."
Regarding the accusations that he postponed the constitutional changes arising from the Framework Agreement, Andov explained that he did that as it was necessary to change the proposed amendments and to allow to the Parliament, the state leadership and the public to convince the foreign factor that "mistake has been made i.e. the amendments should not be adopted in the same form they were proposed." According to Andov, he insisted the amendments to be supported by all deputies and at least two thirds from the deputies of Albanian belonging to vote in favor of the amendments.
"I think I did a good job, and if anyone thinks I did something wrong can raise the issue on responsibility," Stojan Andov said.
Regarding the draft-decision for dissolving of the Assembly Ljupco Anusev from the Democratic Alternative reminded that his party has proposed dissolving of the Parliament even prior to the adoption of the Constitutional amendments. "The position of the party is well known - we requested early elections immediately after we left the Government," Anusev said.
Petar Gosev from the Liberal - Democratic Party said that he is for holding early elections, which according to him should have been held last year.
Mersel Biljali from PDP is also for early elections and will vote for dissolving of the Parliament as according to him "the Assembly in the existing composition does not work functionally."
Gjorgji Spasov from SDSM believes that the Assembly should vote for dissolving of the Parliament on Monday and their amendment should be accepted in order to hold the elections on April 27, 2002.
Parliamentarian Filip Petrovski from the party VMRO-DPMNE said had nothing against holding of early elections. However, he considers that there are no conditions for holding of successful elections. In that respect, he does not accept the arguments of the SDSM party that the problems in Macedonia are solved and early elections should be scheduled.
Radmila Sekerinska form SDSM said she would vote for dissolving of the Parliament because of personal and party reasons, while Delco Ickov from VMRO-DPMNE said his party would achieve its best result if the elections took place on January 27. "However, there are no conditions in the country for scheduling of the elections in January," he added.
Speaker of the Macedonian Parliament Stojan Andov convened a continuation of the 91th session on the Parliament dissolving for tomorrow.
STATEMENT BY GOVERNMENTAL SPOKESMAN GJORGJI TRENDAFILOV.
"The Government decided Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski to take over the obligations of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and deputy Prime Minister Zoran Krstevski to take over the responsibilities of the Minister of Defense until the Government's composition is completed," spokesman of the Macedonian Government Gjorgji Trendafilov said on Tuesday.
The Government also reviewed several issues related to the national budget, but the talks were only preliminary and based on recommendations from the authorized ministries.
Based on suggestion from the Ministry of Economy, the Government decided to legalize the vehicles with foreign driving plates, but only if these vehicles are not older than 10 years and if possess a build-in catalyst.
The Government also discussed on the Draft Law for local self-government, a project which has been developed for a longer period and which is expected to provide concrete results in regard to citizens' execution of their rights.
In regard to the mass grave located between the villages of Dzepciste and Trebos, Trendafilov said that according to information submitted to him this morning, someone has opened the mass grave before the experts' teams, which complicates the factual situation about the findings.
The Government also discussed on the changes in the authorities of the ministries of education and health. Trendafilov underlined that the appointment of Vlado Janevski for director of the Skopje Clinic Center was done properly.
NEGOTIATIONS WITH IMF ON STAFF MONITORING PROJECT START TUESDAY.
A Macedonian negotiating team, led by Minister of Finance Nikola Gruevski, started negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), led by Bishvaxit Banerjee, on the Staff Monitoring project.
Chief of the IMF mission Banerjee said that these negotiations, which are to be concluded by the middle of the next week, aim to reach an agreement for the Staff Monitoring Project, which is a step forward to the donors' conference for the Republic of Macedonia. As announced, the conference is to be held in the period between December 14-20, 2001.
It is about a program, as Banerjee explained, formulated by the Macedonian Government, while the IMF should determine if the Government is able to fulfill the obligations foreseen with the project.
The implementation of the program, he added, is important for the donors' conference. Namely, by IMF's approval, the donors would gain more confidence. The project is scheduled to start on January 1, 2002 and last till June. If the Macedonian side fulfils all the foreseen obligations, the negotiations with IMF on a Stand By Arrangement would be initiated.
The Chief of the IMF mission, Banerjee, said that the aims of his visit to Macedonia are not only the negotiations on the Staff Monitoring Project, but also to review the annual report that Macedonia, sam as the other countries, is obliged to elaborate and submit before IMF. Macedonia is late with this year's report, but still it provides an overlook in the Macedonian economy within the last 18 months, as well as some possibilities to determine the main challenges for the next period of time. The report, as Banerjee said, will represent an opinion exchange between the Government of the Republic of Macedonia and the IMF.
Answering the journalist's question about the lowered excise to the cars in Macedonia, the IMF Chief said that IMF believes that "such lowering of the excise is acceptable, but it is supposed to be combined with an appropriate system for registration of the automobiles."
Next week, as he informed, a special mission of the fiscal department at the IMF is to arrive in Macedonia, which is to focus on the indirect taxes in Macedonia. They will also review the issues related with the excises and value added taxes.
Gen. Atanasov resigned.
The Director of the National Security Service to the Ministry of the Interior Gen. Atanas Atanasov submitted his resignation. The press-secretariat of President Petar Stoyanov reported that Gen. Atanas Atanasov submitted his resignation personally to the Bulgarian head of state. According to the report, he would announce the motives of the resignation tomorrow.
Burnt Building in Sofia Iced up.
We live just behind the Council of Ministers, but there isn't anybody to help us, people living in the building in 'Triaditza' street said.
We have no water, but our homes are flooded. We have no heating, despite the flames that were raging here not long ago. We have no electricity, but the moon shines above us, because the roof collapsed. Thus people from 'Triaditza' street describe the night after the huge fire in Sofia. On Sunday 15-meter high flames burnt to ashes the building on 'Triaditza' street behind the Council of Ministers. One man died and another one with a second degree of cauterization is in the 'Pirogov' hospital. The flames ruined the roof and the attic, the pipes were leaking, the electricity was off. The only thing in the building which is functioning, are the phones. Icicles grip the walls of the flats. 'We live in Sofia downtown, just behind the building of the CM, but there's nobody willing to help us. Nobody is there to see that our rooms are colder than the weather outside', Emilia Napletova said.
The court released a Serb war criminal wanted by Interpol Released on 2,000 Levs Bail.
The foreigner has a 20-year sentence for crimes against humankind.
Serb war criminal Dragan Arambasic was detained in Bulgaria and taken to the Sofia City Court yesterday on the request of Croatia for his extradition. Croatia's authorities filed him to Interpol for retrieval because of war crimes during the war in Bosnia in 1992-95. He was sentenced in default to 20 years of imprisonment in Croatia. Sources from the Sofia City Prosecutor's Office said that there are crimes against humankind among the listed ones. In the court room, it transpired that on the part of Croatia the legal procedure was not observed in line with the request for extradition. This is why the court postponed the trial for March, next year. Yesterday the court ruled out also Dragan Arambasic to be released on a 2 000 levs bail. To now, he was detained in the Sofia Central prison. It was not made clear, however, when and under what circumstances he was arrested.
53 Children Were Saved from the Winter Trap.
24 Hours Lasted the Drama on Drawing Plovdiv Pupils Out of the Snow-Drifts. The teenagers spent the night at chalet at the Phodopes, in threes on a bed, with no power and water.
Fifty three Plovdiv families haven't slept a wing the whole Sunday night, when their children proved prisoners of the heavy snowfall at the Phodope Mountains. After a 24-hour drama, the teenagers were saved from the icy trap, thanks to the joint efforts of teachers and parents. The group from 'Paisii of Hilendar' secondary school in Plovdiv went to a trip at 'Stroitel' (Builder) rest-house on Friday afternoon. On Saturday, however, the snow covered the path and blocked the children from the world. The natural calamity cut off the power cable in the hut, the water also broke off. The hut-keepers lacked oil to put in operation the breakdown generating set. The bus which was to take back the children, drifted in the deep snow. Driver Ivan Nachev managed to get in touch by his cell phone with the deputy-directress Violeta Govedarova. She asked a backing up from Civil Protection and the road services in 'Rhodepes' district.
There Isn't Any Agreement with the USA on prices at Sarafovo Airport Yet.
The Americans will pay for the use of Sarafovo airport for the 'Enduring Freedom' operation, defence minister Nikolai Svinarov said. He specified that by force of the bilateral agreement the price would be reasonable. According to him there hasn't been any concrete contracting as yet. It will take place later. 'We shall notify you of the amount', Svinarov added. He has explained that foreign minister Solomon Passy counts the NATO planes which land near Bourgas. Such was the decision of the CM - all data to be provided by the Foreign Ministry. This Wednesday the Defence Minister will submit to the cabinet the amendments to the defence law.
Faith is More Important than Bread.
The Bulgarians saved as much as 0.45 levs each in September last, the data of the National Institute of Statistics show. It is almost as much as the price of an "Arda" package of cigarets. Or a piece of cheese-cake, bought in a more decent coffee shop. The Bulgarians are fabulously patient. And are no more economically or politically naive, the way they were 12 years ago, to expect that the new government is able to better their life as if with one wave of a magic wand. But they are aware who is to blame for their poor plight. Because, meanwhile, the Swiss bank accounts of some Bulgarians keep on swelling with hundreds of million local francs. Which means that Margarit Mitsev's endeavour to save out of one's breakfasts has evidently become widely popular. Such a way of distribution of the national income is typical of the underdeveloped world, rather than of Europe, at which we aim our aspirations. The economic progress and the raising of the living standards are processes of many years, depending on many factors. A trial, however, is a thing situated in time not so unending. And the Bulgarians, according to a native sociologist, are more angry, rather than unbearably poor. And they want to see the culprits for the exported wealth and ruined investments occupying the right place in the right clothes. Regardless of their party affiliation. As the saying goes, it will not provide more bread. But it is to provide faith, that things in Bulgaria are really developing for the better. And sometimes faith is needed even more than bread is.
Bessarabian Bulgarian Wins World Title in His Debut, Passlar ended as the most convincing champion.
The champion promises not to yield his distinction.
Bessarabian Bulgarian Nikolai Passlar won his first world title for men during his debut at the 35th world freestyle wrestling championship in Sofia. At the final he defeated Iranian Amat Tavolyan by 6:1 and became the most convincing champion. With the titles of Passlar and Serafim Barzakov (63 kg) and the silver medal of Krassimir Kochev (97 kg), our team is again second in the world after 16 years. 'I took to the Iranian from the very start and he softened down. My coach Alexander Zoubrilin told me to catch him tight and squeeze him', Passlar said after the victory. 'I felt I would be the champion immediately after the first point. Ivan Tsonov has been encouraging me since I'm in the national team. As for the title, I dedicate it to myself. I have deserved it, let anyone try to snatch it away from me', Passlar said.
It Hurts, We're Hungry, Our Life Passed Here.
For 3 years 5 thousand shipbuilders have been waiting for the new owner and jobs.
The drama of the Varna shipyard began in February 1999. For almost three years 5000 shipbuilders have been trying to explain themselves why they were left without jobs and their daily bread. The life of many of them has passed in the shipyard. Today their memories are bitter, admit the people who have lost all their faith. And they recall that the mass-scale dismissals throughout all these years left jobless whole families which had earlier been employed in the shipyard. Yordan Stoyanov dedicated 33 years of his life to our shipbuilding. And three years before pensioning he was left in the street - without a job or any prospect to earn his living because of his age. We worked for so many years without any problems, everything was O.K. No one could even imagine what would happen, the workers commented at their successive protest rally several days ago. Look at us, we have been left with a pair of shoes and they will also leave us soon, says the apparently excited Hristo Totev, another year-long foreman in the Varna shipyard. For three years now I've been trying to find another job, but to no avail, his colleague Boika Alexieva adds. Who will employ me at this age, she sighs. She and her husband worked in the plant for twenty years. And she tries to answer the question of why the shipyard - the biggest in the Balkans was ruined. We are deep in debts, a colleague of hers adds. After the dismissals many of the shipbuilders decided to take to private business, relying on the 1000 lev compensation they got. However, problems were not late to come. Since half of the population in the city is unemployed. How should there be bread for all in the branch. They remember how on the eve of Easter they called on businessmen - and not only from Varna - to provide sweet Easter bread for each one of the shipbuilders. They still harbor the pain of the humiliation within themselves. You can't work all life long for this state and finally turn out to be in the street to live on charity, Hristo Totev says. The Bulgarian is no pessimist, he will always find a way out of the situation. Concerning the Varna shipbuilders however, this national trait is about to disappear. What is in store for us, no one can say, or promise something good, either...
Taxi-Driver Wounded With 3 Bullets.
Two gangsters wounded severely a taxi-driver from the Yambol 'Sani-Taxi' company. Three bullets were shot in him. One broke his jaw and passed through the man's back of the neck. He is in poor condition, said yesterday sources from the Elhovo hospital. 52-year-old Georgi Georgiev was waiting clients near 'Venera' photo studio in down town Yambol.
Charming Girl from Sofia Is Super Model 2001.
16-year old Tanya Indzhova studies in the French Language School and dreams to become a writer.
Tanya Indzova (in the middle) together with her runners-up - Nataliya Milkova and Nadezhda Kalinova, who became front-page girl of 'Cola Light' Evgeniya Kalkandzieva, who turned to be equally brilliant at the world beauty competitions as well as on the business stage, for the third time organizes the biggest fashion forum in Bulgaria - the 'Visages Models Look' contest. The chief of the 'Visages' agency greeted in Sofia some of the most famous representatives of the European and American show business that attended the competition to single out a super model of the year. All of them came to Hall 1 of the National Palace of Culture (NPC) as members of the jury. It had to choose only three girls out of 72 beauties from 29 towns in the country.
Tanya Indzhova from Sofia won the competition 'Visages Model 2001' on Sunday evening in Hall No 1 of the NPC (National Palace of Culture). The charming brunette captivated the jury, members of which were some of the leading figures of famous agencies in Paris, Milan, Dusseldorf, New York, Barcelona, Zurich, Athens and Madrid. Editors of the American 'Vogue' newspaper and Ricardo Gai himself were among the members of the jury. All of them compete for the right to engage her with a contract for $100,000. Only ten minutes after the start of the show, Tanya became the front page girl of the shoe plant 'Nota Bene' with a one-year contract. But Miss Indzhova will have to combine many kinds of activities, because she's a pupil in the French Language School in Sofia, she is keen on her occupations with literature, because she wants to become a writer and, at the same time, she's a real Internet maniac. Her runners-up are 16-year old Nataliya Milkova from Pernik, who will receive a $50,000 contract and 17-year old Nadezhda Kalinova from Shoumen, who will work for $30,000 in the European agencies, partners of 'Visages'. 'The girls who want to succeed on the Bulgarian and world cat-walks have to be ones of strong character, charm and perfect manners. Because the styles in fashion change, but professionalism is always fashionable. Beautiful women are our messengers in the world. This evening there will be winners, but nobody will lose', Zheny Kalkandzhieva said. Urkan Eres, choreographer of the grand show, said in Bulgarian: 'I'm happy that I'm with you for the sixth time. I love you, because you are very beautiful'.
Bakardzhiev - Threat to UDF Cause.
INTERVIEW Standartnews: Nadezhda Mihailova
The UDF remains the leader in the right-wing political space, Nadezhda Mihailova maintained.
- Ms Mihailova, how are you to comment on Evgenii Bakardzhiev's expulsion from the UDF?
- What happened today, should not be thought of as a clash between personalities. Through its decision, the UDF made a clear-cut sign to people. We showed that we've understood the signal we were given at the elections. People supported the UDF during all these years in the name of our cause. Our followers did not wish to see this cause parceled out between individual persons. The attack launched against the UDF leaders and the attempts to destabilize the party months before the National Conference is a sign in no want of commentaries.
At the present moment, Bulgaria again found itself at the crossroads. The very fact that at the June general election peopled backed up a fairy-tail and at the presidential election they voted for the BSP leader, shows that they are feverishly seeking after a version to lead to a better life. This is why now it is important that the UDF remains a strong and influential party, in order to guarantee the non-reversibility of the road to Bulgaria's prosperity.
- Do you believe that the UDF is able to be the leader in the right-wing political space?
- We are the leader in this space even now. The UDF is the only parliamentary opposition and the only centre-right party which was recognized by the European right-wing. The UDF is also the party with its own individuality and a 4-year successful tenure. In this respect, the UDF has a great potential and it is this very potential that should be turned into an attractive force and consolidating core in the right-wing political space.
- How will you comment on the NMS decision to register the movement as a popular party? Do you think that, by doing it, the movement penetrates the UDF-occupied space?
- Anyone is free to set up a party and call it as one wills. I am not familiar with the statutes and the program of the party, to grasp the type of the future formation. Let's see what kind of a policy it is to follow in future and then to term its place in the political place.
Selim Mehmed asked information about the visit of the Pope John Paul the 2nd in Bulgaria.
The Chief Mufti Selim Mehmed met the Director of the Pope John Paul the 2nd protocol Renato Bochardo and the papal legate in Sofia Antonio Bennini in order to get information about the initiative of the Pope to organize joint prayers on December 14, which is the end of the Ramadan, and on December 24, which is the birthday of St Francis. The Chief Mufti Selim Mehmed thanked for the information and said he would also take part in the initiative.
Yugoslavia/Kosovo: Serbian parties are not invited to join governing coalition.
Pristina, - The coalition Return, made up political parties of Kosovar Serbs, has not yet been invited to participate in formation of the new government.
This statement was released by a representative of Kosovar Serbs Gojko Savic, who had signed the UNMIK Head Hans Haekkerups certificate, based on which, 22 mandates garnered by coalition of Serbian parties enter into effect. We have to redouble our efforts in helping the Serbian population in Kosovo. We have to provide safety for Kosovar Serbs, in particual a safe and sustainable environment that would enable a duly return of displaced persons, Savic said.
Yugoslavia/Kosovo: World Congress of Albanians - platform on unification.
Prizren, - The 1st World Congress of Albanians is underway in Kosovos city of Prizren. The participants of the two-day congress are due to adopting a Pan-Albanian political platform, including commitments and determination for uniting of Albanian states.
The Albanian population throughout the world totals some 15.2 million. The number of Albanians will climb to 20 million over the next 10 years, the Chairman of Albanian League Simon Kuznini said while delivering the opening speech.
Therefore, we need to think about the future and the possibility to unite all ethnic Albanian countries into one state.
The Commander of Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) Agum Cheku and the Head of Kosovo Alliance for Future Ramush Haradinaj backed the independence of Kosovo.