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EU security chief Javier Solana talks on a phone following his meetings with Macedonian top officials and leaders of the main Macedonian and ethnic Albanian parties, in Skopje, Friday, Oct. 26, 2001. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Bulgaria's Evgenia Radanova takes the final turn to win the women's final 500m Short Track Speed Skating Olympic Qualifying Competition Friday, Oct. 26, 2001, in Salt Lake City. Radanova is followed by China's Yang Yang (A) and Canada's Alanna Kraus who finished second and third, respectively. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
Row flared between the citizens, applying to be plugged in the central heating, and the 'Toplofikatsia' (Central Heating) employees in front of the company's headquarters at '4th kilometer' residential area in Sofia. 'For one document only we wait at several desks. The clerks are rude to us,' subscribers complain. PHOTO KIRIL KONSTANTINOV
STATEMENT OF PDP LEADER IMER IMERI.
Skopje, October 26 (MIA) - PDP leader Imer Imeri met Friday with Javier Solana, EU High Representative of Common Foreign and Security Policy, who arrived Thursday night to Skopje.
After the meeting Imeri stated that the meeting focused on the changes of Preamble of the Macedonian Constitution. "Solana and his associates propose a text, which is to be reconsidered," Imeri informed.
On the journalist question if the line "Macedonian people" is the disputable one, Imeri said, "it is about the category 'Macedonian People', but the category 'Albanian people' is also disputable."
Previously, Solana had met with the leader of the Democratic Party of the Albanians, Arben Xhaferi.
At the moment, Solana is having a meeting with SDSM Leader Branko Crvenkovski.
ARBEN XHAFERI'S STATEMENT.
Skopje, October 26 (MIA) - "We have discussed about the agreement from Ohrid and its implementation. We have been asked to find new modalities regarding the preamble.
However, our position is categorical: either all will be civilians or all will be people," DPA leader Arben Xhaferi stated after Friday's meeting with EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, whereat PDP leader Imer Imeri has been also present.
On journalist question what is the position of Solana regarding this issue, Xhaferi said "not only the stubborn position of the Albanian parties has been presented at the meeting since this problem can not be solved in a way they want." "That's why they know about our position and are trying to find new option which will be acceptable for both sides," Xhaferi stated.
Whether Albanian political parties will make possible compromise with the preamble or will demand compensation, Xhaferi stated "there is no compromise in kind of trade." "We do not find our rights in some trade deal, but in the international conventions and the interests of the Albanian people," DPA leader said.
BUCKOVSKI, SCHMID MET.
Skopje, October 26 (MIA) - Macedonian Defence Minister Vlado Buckovski Friday met with Defence Minister of Switzerland Samuel Schmid.
The talks were focused on political-security situation in the country and the region as well as on military-technical cooperation between the two countries.
Minister Buckovski informed that Switzerland has announced a donation of 50 motor vehicles in past period, which is to be realised after the stabilisation of the situation in the country.
They have also discussed the cooperation for the next year, and as a partner with which Macedonia has good cooperation, Buckovski said, there are several projects of mutual interests for the two countries.
"First of all we are interested in their assistance in regard to equipping our rescue units, for work of the units in winter conditions and their help in modernisation of the public affairs department," Macedonian Defence Minister Buckovski said, expressing assurance that the mutual projects will be realised in the near future.
Swiss Defence Minister and Federal Councillor Samuel Schmidt stated that at the meeting with Minister Buckovski they have discussed about the minorities in Switzerland. Projects for mutual cooperation are also defined.
COMMISSION FOR CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES POSTPONES ITS SESSION.
Skopje, October 26 (MIA) - The Parliamentary Commission for Constitutional Issues postponed Friday the session for adopting the text of the 8th, 9th, 15th and 18th draft amendments of the Macedonian Constitution, submitted by President Boris Trajkovski.
According to Parliament speaker and president of the Commission Stojan Andov, President Trajkovski requested the postponement explaining that "Friday's talks could speed up the political process in the country."
He announced that the 86th session of the Macedonian Parliament, where the deputies should have reviewed the nine draft amendments has been also postponed.
SITUATION IN KUMANOVO-LIPKOVO REGION.
Kumanovo, 26 October (MIA) - It is relatively calm Friday morning without any provocations, MIAs correspondent said.
Army sources report there was cease-fire violation in three occasions coming from Nikustak region directed towards Macedonian security forces on Tuesday from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
The mixed police forces, accompanied by OSCE, EU and NATO missions, continue patrolling in the villages of Lopate and Opae for five days now.
Humanitarian organizations continue with their activities to provide conditions for returning of the displaced persons to their homes in the other villages in Lipkovo region.
Representatives of NATOs Amber Fox mission to Macedonia are monitoring the situation in the village of Ropaljce Friday.
Two Islamists Sue Bulgaria in Strasbourg.
The Human Rights Court accepted the complaint of Syrian Nashif.
The Islamists Dariush al Nashif and Ahmad Mussa, expelled from the country for nattional security reasons, sue Bulgaria in the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg. Syrian Nashif was expelled from Bulgaria in 1999 for teaching children illegally. In 2000 the Jordanian Mussa, who published Islamic literature, was expelled. The two of them lodged complaints against Bulgaria in Strasbourg. The European court had Nashif's case hearing on January 25 and has accepted it, government co-agent Galina Samaras said. She defends Bulgaria in Strasbourg. The European judges have admitted that Bulgaria had violated the right of religion and sanctity of personal and family life of Nashif as well as his right for effective defence. The complaint of Ahmad Mussa was registered, too.
Simeon Will Head NMS.
Most probably, no recommendations will be necessary to become a member of the future NMS party, MPs from the majority said yesterday. Recommendations were required to become a member of the BCP and the UDF, when the latter took over power. The now ruling party will keep its name and will most probably be headed by the Premier, Petko Ganchev from the NMS said. To Vessela Draganova, it should be specified which of the parties will be the mandate-holder. If the parties are banned, the deputies will have to become independent MPs, because the newly established formation would not be registered by the CEC.
Bulgaria to Open 2 More Chapters for EU.
Bulgaria will open two more chapters of the future contract on Bulgaria's admission to the EU, said sources from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. These are: chapter 2 - 'Free Movement of People', and chapter 13 - 'Social Policy and Employment'. This will transpire at the successive sitting of the Intergovernmental conference on Bulgaria's EU admission on the level of chief negotiators in Brussels. Meglena Kouneva is Bulgaria's chief negotiator with the European Union. Thus Bulgaria would have opened negotiations on 23 chapters. The negotiations for 12 of them would have been already closed.
EU Cast off State Employee Act.
British team and Minister Kaltchev put heads together to thoroughly amend the text composed by Tagarinski.
The State Employee Act will be overhauled, said yesterday in Rousse Minister of Sate Administration, Dimitar Kaltchev. Currently, a British team is working on it, which has to draft amendments to all articles. Bulgaria will not be accepted in the EU with the acting State Employee Act. Its main flaw is that it is cementing the officials to their posts, no matter how efficiently they perform, explained Minister Kaltchev. Another weak point of the currently acting act is that it doesn't allow a person to hold a responsible position if he or she doesn't have a 12-year record of service in administration. "What makes a chief bank accountant any worse than his colleague in administration?", asked the Minister. Updating the state administration and forming the so-called e-government is another "conditio sine qua non" we are working on now to ensure Bulgaria's integration in the EU, Kaltchev added.
Border Instruction for Use.
In the village of Shtit, old women believe that life is beautiful, it doesn't matter it's not fair. Photo by Marina Angelova
Borders between countries are drawn by politicians, they bear memory of wars, bloodshed, bargains, that's why they are so ugly, winding and illogical.
Among things that worry me most, apart from economic crimes, is the fact that very powerful foreign groupings infiltrate into Bulgaria. The new groups, unexposed as yet, cannot be kept under control and the problem with them may become very serious. Especially now when terrorism has raised its head. Usually they penetrate our country in the region between the Toundzha and the Maritsa Rivers. This a 37-km-long strip, mostly steep "goats'" paths, told "Standart" Boiko Borisov, Chief Secretary of the Interior Ministry.
Seen on the map, these 37 km look twined as a whip. The Maritsa runs where it is written "Kapitan Andreevo". The Toundzha suddenly peters out as soon as it crosses our border and flows into the Turkish territory. Reaching Edirne, it dives into the Maritsa and both rivers run on together. The borders are drawn by politicians, they remember wars, bloodshed and bargaining. That's why they are so ugly, winding and illogical. Building a road involves engineers who think how to make it straight. Borders are different. Along the highways there are villages - Shtit, Pashovo, Sladoun, Matochina. Here the road ends. A bit to the side, still on the Bulgarian territory, are the villages of Mikhalich, Varnik, Prisadets. Once, to go to these villages was tantamount to traveling abroad. Today anyone can visit the borderline area, though few people do it. The highway is not potholed, not because the mayor is so efficient, but because the passing cars are few. The local people have a very rational explanation - the young have no money. Gas and bus fare cost money. From the village of Shtit the border is at a stone's throw. The local fields touch with the Turkish ones. In the scattered houses 165 people live. All of them are tobacco farmers. In February people from other villages come, so the population almost doubles. The aliens also grow tobacco, but they have no land of their own. They till the local land and then share whatever they have grown with the land-owners. According to several old women, who flock up in the square, life here is not so bad, but it's not fair. Five-six people die in Shtit every year, as if there is some weird schedule. Two children have been born recently. Evidently, life has chosen to go on here. From the hills above the village of Matochina, Edirne is seen as from a bird's eye view. The minarets stick up, shining like torches in the sun. From Matochina on the road comes to end. The one covered with asphalt. There are other roads, though. You won't find them on the map or see road signs along them. But local people know them well. They know where they start, where they lead and who is treading them. But here at he border people are less talkative. That's their nature.
Passi: The voice of Don Quixot reached us.
'How many Bulgarian politicians could say that they have the honesty of Don Quixot? The voice of Don Quixot reached our government', Foreign Minister Solomon Passi said before the ambassador of Spain after the celebration dedicated to the 91th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It was held in Sofia University the day before yesterday and the occasion was the presentation of the 50th edition of 'Don Quixote'. 'We look with hope to the forthcoming Spanish chairmanship of the EU. We appriciated connections that already unite Spain and Bulgaria and hope that soon the countries will become partners in the Euro Atlantic structures', Minister Passi said.
Second Battle for HTP.
Tenders on 36 power plants should provide finance injection for the budget.
The privatization Agency (PA) put on the market second portion of attractive ventures. After the hotel and restaurants in 'Slanchev Bryag' (Sunny Beach) resort, now 36 small HPP (Hydro Power Plant) are to be sold at an open auction. And if the hotels have brought to the budget revenues to exceed 85 million levs, then the small HPP are expected to gain four times as much at least. Their sale is in line also with the statement of Finance Minister Milen Velchev that further on the budget is also to be filled mainly by privatization revenues. In fact, the privatization of the small power plants is only a dress rehearsal to the core privatization on the energy field. Seven power distribution ventures in Sofia, Plovdiv, Pleven, Varna, Gorna Oryahovitsa and Stara Zagora will be placed on the market after the HPPs. The power plants in Varna and Rousse are to follow them.