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Bulgarian Simona Paycheva performs with the ball during the team competition at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship in Madrid October 19, 2001. REUTERS/Paul Hanna


A model displays an winter outfit as a part of Bulgarian fashion house Enita's collection during Bulgarian Fashion Festival in Sofia, October 19, 2001. REUTERS/Dimitar Dilkoff


A model displays a red wedding dress as a part of Bulgarian fashion house Modeliany's collection during Bulgarian Fashion Festival in Sofia October 19, 2001. REUTERS/Dimitar Dilkoff


Prince Andrew: London Supports You Unreservedly, said Prince Andrew at the inauguration of the new building of the British embassy at 9, 'Moskovska' St. in Sofia yesterday. Later on, after an official reception in honor of the Prince at the residence of ambassador Richard Stagg, the Duke of York went with his cortege to meet Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha at Vrana. Photo Kiril Konstantinov (SH)


A policeman in special protective gear carries a suspicious envelope from a site in downtown Varna, some 500 kilometers (311 miles) east of Sofia, Bulgaria, Friday, Oct. 19, 2001. The envelope was taken to a laboratory for analysis. Several such envelopes have appeared in Bulgaria in recent days, and so far all have been confirmed as hoaxes. (AP Photo/Petar Petrov)


Lyulin Stamenov/Sofia Echo. Officers from the Civil Protection agency clear white powder that was spread over an automatic teller machine in Sofia's Ovcha Kupel district on Wednesday amid fears of a possible anthrax contamination.



Brussels, October 19 (MIA) The speed and efficiency in granting EU assistance for Macedonia and plans for scheduling a Donors conference for the country were the main topics at the meeting between Macedonian Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva and Euro-Commissioner Christopher Patten, held in Brussels on Friday.

MIAs correspondent from Brussels reported that at the meeting, Mr. Patten pointed to the need the political peace process in Macedonia to be completed within the agreed timeframe, and stressed that assistance would be provided sooner if the political situation in the country was stabilized.

Patten said that the EU has already made agreements with the authorized Macedonian institutions for distribution of aid for repairs to the electricity network in the regions impacted by the crisis and for reconstruction of the damaged houses.

Reporting on the damage caused in Macedonia during the crisis, Minister Mitreva stressed that returning of the displaced persons should be set as priority.

In regard to the parliamentary procedure for adoption of the constitutional amendments, Mitreva said she hoped that this would be realized in the spirit of the achieved cooperation between the political leaders in the country.

Both Mitreva and Patten stressed the significance of the cooperation between Macedonia and IMF.

On Saturday, Macedonian Foreign Minister Mitreva will participate at the meeting focused on the struggle against terrorism, which will take place in Brussels, where she will address the participants. Minister Mitreva will realize meetings also with EU High Representative of Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, Foreign Minister of Belgium Louis Michelle, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lind, and Foreign Minister of Lichtenstein Ernst Valch.

Besides the EU members, the meeting will be also attended by representatives from the countries candidates for EU membership, the EFTA (European Free Trade Association) members and the countries from the Association and Stabilization Process. The meeting will be also attended by representatives of Russia, Ukraine and Moldova.

Simeon and Slavi Vying for Title.


Polled journalists will decide who's the most worthy 'Man of the Year'

Showman No 1 Slavi Trifonov enters a direct competition with the PM Saxe-Coburg-Gotha for the prestigious title "Man of the year". It's awarded annually after a journalistic poll conducted by the 'Club M' magazine. The 12-th edition started yesterday over a glass of 'Johnny Walker'. The world-famous whiskey will pour freely at the ceremony in the Army Club in November. Mayor Stephan Sofianski is the third nominee. Linesman Nikola Videnov, who collected spilled from a train thousands of levs and took them to the police, ranks forth. The winner will become a bearer of an unique sward, wrought each year by maestro Vassil Popov, president of 'Caesar', in person. 'The Man of the Year' will get a individually numbered bottle of 60-year-old 'Johnny Walker'. 'Miss TV-charm 2001' will be singled out at the grandiose party, too.

Albena Atanassova

Defence Ministry and Fire Brigade Mobilized against Anthrax.


The Ministries of Defence and of Environment and Water, and the Fire Brigade will also join the staff for combatting biological threats, Minister of Health Care Bozhidar Finkov said. He added, that the Ministry will provide 140,000 levs. They will be spent for equipments of microbiological labs, new protective garments and modern reactives. The Ministry of Health Care considers the possibility Bulgaria to ask help from the World Health Organization (WHO). Now instructions for combat against biological threats are being drafted.


London Fully Supports You.


Prince Andrew, Duke of York.

Being in Bulgaria is a great pleasure to me. I'm not the first member of my family to visit your country and it gives me pleasure to continue our relations with Bulgaria. The United Kingdom fully supports Bulgaria and the fact that we inaugurate new buildings of the embassy and the British Council is an unequivocal testimony of our support. I'm certain that our cooperation will further develop and enrich. I understood that all embassy employees were very glad to work in this modern building. I wish all Bulgarians visiting the embassy to feel pleased to work with us.


Prince Andrew Welcomed by Scottish Pipes.


Simeon's cat driven out of the 'Vrana' residence because of Duke's allergy.

'Hello, everybody!,' was Prince Andrew's greeting to the journalists, awaiting for him in front of the new building of the British embassy in Sofia. Two minutes before the arrival of Prince Andrew employees of the embassy raised the flag of the York Duchy together with the ones of the EU and Great Britain. A similar flag with dragons, a lion and an harp on it fluttered on the limo. 'Why are so many journalists present?,' the Prince asked the employees from the embassy. They answered him that the arrival of a member of the British Royal family was always a remarkable event in Bulgaria. After seeing the building and being introduced to the employees, the Duke of York came out for the official inauguration. The Scottish group 'Deaf Shepherds' welcomed the guest with Scottish pipes in front of the British Council today in the afternoon. The young people came especially from Scotland to greet the Duke with a concert. Earlier he retired with the premier for lunch at 'Vrana' residence. Because of his visit Simeon's cat has been away from the residence for a week now. All traces of the household pet had been carefully cleaned from the premises because of Prince Andrew's allergy for cats.

Svetlozar Bahchevanov


British Ministers Don't Wage War against Media.

Standartnews INTERVIEW: BBC journalist Nick Higham.

Margaret Thatcher was suspicious of the BBC, the present government is courting the tabloids, says BBC journalist Nick Higham.

- Mr Higham, how do British journalists work with the authorities?

- There are two ways depending on the spheres in which reporters are engaged. I, for one, work with the Ministry of Culture, Mediae and Sport. Our relations are rather typical. They send me reports 3 or 4 times weekly. The press officers contact me by phone when they think they've got an interesting piece of news. I also call them if I have some questions or would like to take an interview from the minister. The press officers are state employees. They haven't been appointed for political considerations. Their role is not to conduct any campaign whatsoever, but to be sure that the public is aware of the government policy.

- Does it mean that those employees are not changed with the change of every government?

- Yes. Also, in every ministry there are two employees to shape up the government policy of the ministry. These are the special political councillors. They decide on how the policy of the ministry should be worded. Although conversations with them are informal, they are very useful. The councillors explain the ideas and intentions of the minister, what is behind a speech or move of his. After the latest elections the new ministers invited all journalists in the branch to get acquainted with them. We are very often invited to dinners. They frequently give interviews.

- How would you react if instead of specific information, your premier said: 'Tell the people to trust me, we are here and work'?

- This can't happen. Britain's Prime Minister doesn't give news conferences or interviews too often, except in cases like the attacks on Afghanistan. Once weekly he answers to questions put to him in parliament. Britain's premiers know that links with the media are extremely important.

- Has anyone deviated from this line of conduct?

- No. All of them cope with the media in different ways. Some are more suspicious than others. For example, the premier of the Tories - Margaret Thatcher was particularly suspicious of the BBC. She thought us to be too liberal. However, the attitude of the now ruling Labor Party to the tabloids is liberal because most of them are right-oriented. Despite all that, Tony Blair's cabinet made lots of efforts to win them over. He provided them exclusive information, premier-signed articles, he established personal contacts with the editors of these newspapers.


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