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U.S. peacekeepers, Pfc. Dennis R. Bischoff (L), from Lawrenceville, Georgia, and Spc. Steven Kelly, from Pocono, Pennsylvania, check the papers of A truck driver at the KFOR checkpoint near the Kosovo-Macedonian in the village of Debelde, September 26, 2001. More than two weeks after the attacks in New York and Washington, U.S. soldiers continue to carry out increased patrolling along Kosovo-Macedonian border to prevent illegal crossings and weapons smuggling. REUTERS Hazir Reka
A U.S. peacekeeper, Spc Brock Olsen from Ogden, Utah patrols near a checkpoint at the Kosovo-Macedonian in the village of Debelde, September 26, 2001. More than two weeks after the attacks in New York and Washington, U.S. soldiers are continuing to carry out increased patrolling along the Kosovo-Macedonian border to prevent illegal crossings and weapons smuggling. REUTERS Hazir Reka
A shadow of a Greek NATO peacekeeper is cast over weapons collected from ethnic Albanian rebels in Krivolak, Macedonia September 26, 2001, the final day of the alliance's operation 'Essential Harvest' 30-day mandate. (Radu Sigheti/Reuters)
Hungarian metal workers carry a metal bin full of rifles, collected by NATO troops from ethnic Albanian rebels of the National Liberation Army at an army base in Krivolak, 80 kilometers (44 miles) southeast of Skopje, Macedonia, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2001. NATO officials said that more than 3,300 pieces of weaponry have been collected during the operation Essential Harvest. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)
Maj. Gen. Gunnar Lange, the Norwegian head of the NATO mission in Macedonia, left, and Brig. Barney White-Spunner, of Britain, right, talk to reporters at a press conference in Macedonia's capital Skopje, on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2001. Lange announced a successful completion of the NATO mission of collecting weapons from ethnic Albanian rebels. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
Greek soldiers check weapons collected by NATO troops from ethnic Albanian rebels of the National Liberation Army at an army base in Krivolak, 80 kilometers (44 miles) southeast of Skopje, Macedonia, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2001. According to NATO officials, more than 3,300 pieces of weaponry have been collected during the operation Essential Harvest. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)
Greeks soldiers check weapons collected by NATO troops from ethnic Albanian rebels of the National Liberation Army at an army base in Krivolak, 80 kilometers (44 miles) southeast of Skopje, Macedonia, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2001. NATO official said that more than 3,300 pieces of weaponry have been collected during the operation Essential Harvest. (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)
Ferdinand's Clock Ticks away Minutes at Covered Market. A clock of King Ferdinand ticks away the time at the Central Covered Market, as of yesterday. The clock has been restored with the financial support of Israeli-based firm Ashtrom Group. The first to set their watches right were Sofia Mayor Stefan Sofianski and Sammy Gal, CEO of Ashtrom. In 1893 Queen Victoria sent the clock to Bulgaria as a wedding present to Prince Ferdinand. Photo Marina Angelova
NATO plan for Macedonia force hits 11th-hour snag.
By Mark Heinrich
SKOPJE (Reuters) - Plans to install a NATO security force in post-war Macedonia hit a last-minute snag on Wednesday with Skopje insisting on fewer troops staying for a shorter period than the alliance wants, security sources said.
With NATO's current mission to disarm ethnic Albanian guerrillas ending on Wednesday, the alliance policy-making council had originally intended to approve the follow-on force in time to avert any possible security vacuum.
The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday endorsed the force in principle and was expected to approve it by a formal resolution later on Wednesday, without however specifying its strength or duration.
A six-week-old Western-sponsored peace accord in Macedonia is under strain from parliament's failure so far to approve reforms in return for what NATO has described on Tuesday as its "resounding success" in disarming guerrillas.
But a senior Macedonian security official who asked not to be named said two issues remained to be resolved before the follow-on security force could deploy in the Balkan republic.
"One is the number of troops. We want no more than 700, including liaison officers. The other issue is duration -- we want no longer than three months with the option to reconsider our position at the end of that period," he told Reuters.
"NATO asked for a bigger number and at least six months' deployment, if not nine. It will be up to the highest authorities here and in (NATO headquarters) Brussels to solve these issues, today we hope."
The alliance's 4,500-strong weapons-collection force is due to begin withdrawing later this week.
Demobilising ethnic Albanians say they are counting on NATO for protection in the absence so far of reciprocating legislation on civil rights reforms and an amnesty.
NATO and the Macedonian government had already agreed on a limited mandate for the force -- protecting international monitors who will oversee the reintegration of rebel territories and try to prevent intimidation by extremists on either side.
An alliance diplomat in Skopje said only that the Macedonian authorities were seeking "a lot of clarifications on the numbers and duration".
The government and most Macedonians suspect a more robust, longer-term NATO force will be misused by radical Albanians to effectively partition the country.
Another Western official, recalling NATO's 1999 air war on Yugoslavia that allowed separatist Albanians in Kosovo to break free of Serbian repression, said: "It's the strategic objective of every Albanian in this region to get NATO involved."
The new force would replace the "Essential Harvest" mission that has collected over 3,400 weapons from the National Liberation Army (NLA) and calmed tensions along truce lines by liaising assiduously with both sides.
NATO sources said earlier this week the follow-on security presence, codenamed Amber Fox, would serve up to nine months, depending on when Macedonian police, due to be reformed with many more Albanians to reflect the country's ethnic makeup, was ready to take charge in sensitive areas.
NATO adopts plan for new Macedonia mission.
BRUSSELS, Sept 26 (AFP) -
NATO on Wednesday adopted a plan for a mission in Macedonia to protect international civilian observers, a follow-up to NATO's Operation Essential Harvest, Secretary General George Robertson announced.
Technical details of the new mission, dubbed "Amber Fox", will be worked out before troops are deployed, Robertson told a press conference after a NATO defense ministers meeting here.
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski has asked the alliance to put together a "light force" of some 700 troops to protect civilian observers being sent in by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Operation Essential Harvest, a 30-day mission to collect arms from the ethnic Albanian rebel National Liberation Army (NLA) in Macedonia, ended on Wednesday.
INTERVIEW-Macedonia wants some rebel land back before reforms.
By Mark Heinrich
SKOPJE, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Macedonia's parliament is unlikely to ratify reforms crucial to a peace agreement with minority Albanians unless Skopje recovers some rebel-occupied territory first, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
NATO Secretary General George Robertson urged legislators on Tuesday to set aside "petty political interests" he blamed for inaction on reforms, saying guerrillas had done their part by disarming and parliament must now deliver to cement peace.
But Stevo Penderovski, senior adviser to President Boris Trajkovski, told Reuters on the final day of NATO's 30-day mission to collect guerrilla weapons, which Robertson called "a resounding success," that the problem was not so simple.
"Our political leaders signed the peace agreement (six weeks ago) so we will have to stick to it if we want the international community to consider our state a serious one," he said in an interview.
"But the real problem is that parliament needs motivation to pass the reforms, to prove to the Macedonian people that the peace agreement is an important step in the right direction.
"To do that, we need to see significant steps, visible progress, in returning our security forces and displaced people to occupied territories, reintegrating them, before the MPs finally vote to reform the constitution," Penderovski said.
"We must show to our public that we are regaining sovereignty in areas still under effective NLA (guerrilla) control for the MPs to finally vote on constitutional change. I don't think one can persuade them to act otherwise."
International peace monitors will oversee reintegration of insurgent areas once Skopje and NATO agree the terms of a follow-on alliance security force. Last-minute disputes over its numbers and duration of mandate cropped up on Wednesday.
NO SEQUENTIAL LINKAGE
The Ohrid peace agreement makes no linkage between reforms and the restoration of state authority in rebel regions. But it did stipulate that constitutional changes should be enacted within 45 days, which would be September 28.
Penderovski said the reforms, which would enhance the civil rights of Albanians, could be ratified between October 5 and 10 if police and refugees started coming back to occupied areas that had been ethnically mixed.
"We don't mean high risk areas," he said, mentioning entirely ethnic Albanian communities such as the mountain town where the National Liberation Army (NLA) high command is based.
"But we would like to see re-entry soon to about 30 percent of mixed territory, what we called low- and medium-risk areas."
Skopje's prescription for the sequence of steps involved in recovering guerrilla territory does not fit with that of NATO officials. They say it cannot be done peacefully until reforms and an amnesty are enacted to reassure ethnic Albanians.
Penderovski agreed an amnesty was indispensable to the peace accord and the government was looking at two ways to bring it into being.
"There are two possibilities: a public declaration by some government authority, or legislation which will require a longer procedure and would get caught up in the constitutional deliberations," he said.
"No party in parliament is willing to initiate the (motion for an) amnesty because of coming elections and general public mood (suspicious of ethnic Albanian intentions)."
"I believe there will be a decision by the end of the week. It should be a quick procedure, taking days, not months." He said the guerrillas must be given no excuse to remobilise.
The rebels burst out of Macedonia's northern mountains bordering Kosovo, the breakaway Albanian province of Yugoslavia from which they obtained arms, in February and advanced south to the gates of Tetovo and Skopje in six months of conflict.
Macedonia: Dnevnik daily says NLA will establish political party.
Skopje, - The leadership of the so-called National Liberation Army (NLA) held a series of meetings over the past few days. The talks focused on creation of a political party that will take a part in the upcoming parliamentary elections, the local daily Dnevnik said. Referring to reliable sources, this daily claims that NLAs political elite has already held its founding assembly and named its candidates in several cities throughout Macedonia.
No name has been given so far to NLAs political party, however, this nameless party appeared determined to make all necessary preparations for building a political party infrastructure, Dnevnik daily says. NLA-led campaign is underway to attract persons who were not members of the NLA.
A vast majority of ethnic-Albanian population in Macedonia welcomed the NLAs decision to found its own political party. The only problem that remains unsolved is the political party status of Ali Ahmeti. Some of his close associates presumed that Ali Ahmeti should be at the helm of the NLAs political party, whilst, others presumed that Ahmeti is to join the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), headed by Arben Xhaferi. Dnevnik daily says the most extremist members of NLA had dropped out of NLA and sided with the so-called ANA (Albanian National Army). NLAs renegades took the most sophisticated weapons before joining the ANA.
NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE IMF MISSION CONTINUE IN THE MINISTRY OF FINANCE.
The International Monetary Fund Mission led by Bixvajit Banerjee and the Macedonian Minister of Finance, Nikola Gruevski, reviewed on Wednesday several aspects of the planed and realized macroeconomic parameters for this year and made preliminary estimations for the year 2002.
Regarding the macroeconomic policy for this year the macroeconomic aggregates were determined based on the relaxed macroeconomic ambiance, the sustainable macroeconomic stability and the established development, especially in the production and export.
However, due to the worsened security situation and additional expenses for the defense and security of the country, the preconditions on which the macroeconomic policy was founded have altered, same as the opportunity for direct export and production.
Under the newly created security circumstances, the production and the export decreased, and development started to mark negative trends. The industrial production also decreased, and agriculture also marked losses.
Before a meeting with Gruevski, Banerjee said the negotiations would focus on the new percent of GDP, its projection for the following year as well as for the prognosis for the needed resources in the budget for 2002.
In regard to the previous negotiations, Banerjee said, "these are not negotiations but assessments of the current situation in order to help the Macedonian authorities to achieve peace and to be prepared for the donor's conference."
Answering on journalist question how much money Macedonia will receive at the donor's conference, Banerjee said that it would depend on assessments of the needs.
Regarding the possibility for increase of the salaries of the administrative employees that announce protests, Banerjee said that this would be discussed after the donor's conference.
Informing on the realised meetings in the Ministry of Economy, Banerjee stressed that they have discussed the frameworks of holding of the donor's conference on which basis preparations would be made as well as for the budget for the next year.
NATO TROOPS HAVE COLLECTED 3,875 PIECES OF WEAPONS FROM THE SO-CALLED NLA.
In the framework of the "Essential Harvest" operation, the NATO troops have collected total of 3,875 pieces of weapons from the so-called NLA. The NATO operation for disarmament of the Albanian terrorists in Macedonia ends today.
At today's press conference, Brigadier General Barney White Spunner reported that the so-called NLA members voluntarily surrended four tanks and armored transporters, 17 air defense systems, 161 logistic support systems, 483 machineguns and 3,210 automatic rifles, as well as 397,625 pieces of mines, explosives and ammunition.
Commander of the Task Force Harvest, General Gunner Lange said he expected the so-called NLA to be disbanded, because, as he said, "they promised to do so."
Mr. Spunner said he strongly believed that the so-called NLA would be disband, which, as he said, was supported by the voluntarily surrendering of three thousand pieces of weapons and 400,000 pieces of mines, explosives and ammunition. He added that the surrended weapons had good quality.
"Regardless what happens in the future, the number of incidents in Macedonia drastically decreased in the past 30 days," Lange said.
According to Lange, about 2,000 NATO soldiers would stay in Macedonia, and they will continue with their tasks at the KFOR Read headquarters, in the national logistic elements, as well as in the NATO Center for Cooperation and Coordination.
"Based on the request of the Macedonian government, NATO is making plans to deploy additional troops who will provide additional protection to the EU and OSCE teams. If the North-Atlantic Council asks from us to carry out this role, we will prepare new mission and we will make sure not to loose the tempo of establishing sustainable peace and environment of trust," he said.
Bulgaria: Trud daily says Macedonia should return Bulgarian churches and monasteries.
Sofia, - According to Macedonias official doctrine, the Republic of Macedonia is populated by a nation that has nothing in common with Bulgarian nation. Given that this country claims that Macedonian nation has no links with Bulgarian nation, it should hand in all churches and monasteries built by Bulgarians, Sofias daily Trud said.
Makfax news agency quotes Trud daily as saying some 700 churches and 74 monasteries in Macedonian cities of Bitola, Resen, Prilep, Ohrid and Skopje had been built by Bulgarians.
Trud daily gives no details on how Macedonia is to hand over or return the churches and monasteries that are allegedly in Bulgarian possession. Whether Macedonia should pull down these Bulgarian churches and transfer them to Bulgarias territory in pieces, or Bulgaria might come to Macedonia and take-over the control on these places of worship allegedly built by Bulgarians.
The story run by Sofias daily Trud is a reaction to a story run by Skopjes daily Utrinski Vesnik, saying that Macedonia will call upon Bulgaria to return the plundered treasure.
Trud daily acknowledges that thousands of valuable objects of cultural heritage, originating from Aegean and Vardar Macedonia have been placed in Bulgarian museums. This daily claims these valuable objects have been brought by some 600.000 refugees, who had emigrated from Macedonia into Bulgaria within the period of 1878-1944.
Trud daily also acknowledges that a significant part of these priceless objects had been collected by military ethnographers of Bulgarian Army during the World War I, some of these objects had been brought by Bulgarian scientists who had been visiting Macedonia on various occasions.
Notwithstanding the fact that these objects, originating from Aegean and Vardar Macedonia are currently in Bulgaria, Trud daily claims that these objects are part of Bulgarian history. However, this daily seems to have forgotten the possibility to return these objects to the original owner. Nonetheless, Trud daily has not forgotten to ask for returning of 700 churches and 74 monasteries.
Ferdinand's Clock Ticks away Minutes in the Covered Market.
The Israeli firm 'Ashtrom Group' restored Queen Victoria's gift to the Prince.
A clock of King Ferdinand shows the time in the Central Covered Market in Sofia as of yesterday. It is a possession of Municipal enterprise 'Old Sofia', but was restored with the financial support of the Israeli firm 'Ashtrom Group', its CEO Sammy Gal said. The clock was restored for 9 months by Todor Todorov. The unique object was made in England and is dated to the 1860-1880 period. However, the stamp of the person who had made the clock can be seen nowhere. Therefore several days ago Municipal Enterprise 'Old Sofia' approached several British museums with an inquiry about its origin. The clock is supposed to have showed the time at Windsor Palace. In 1893 Queen Victoria sent it to Bulgaria by a special train as a wedding present to Ferdinand, at the time still a Prince, and Princess Marie-Louise. The unique object was an exhibit in the famous collection of clocks possessed by King Boris III. After 1944 the clock counted the minutes for communist leader Georgi Dimitrov who lived in the palace by 1949. In 1950 the clock was thrown in the palace basement as an object symbolizing the bourgeois decline. Three years later it was delivered to the Museum of Sofia's History without a receipt or written statement, said Petar Mitanov, chief of Municipal Enterprise 'Old Sofia'. The clock presents a cabinet of black wood with relief bronze ornaments, little angel figurines with trumpets and a dragon. It counts out every quarter of an hour by playing different tunes, which are 8 in all. Like the clock in Cambridge however, another 6 tunes can be chosen by means of a special hand, restorer Todor Todorov says. In it there is also a mechanism to switch off the clock at night. Other clock faces show the day and month.
Stoyanov Loses the Election before Its Start.
Peter Stoyanov will lose the presidential election even before its start, show the data of the 'Alpha Research' agency. The figures speak for themselves - 40.8% of the electorate will vote for the nominee, whoever he may be, of the NMS II. Stoyanov will get 31%. Particularly dramatic will be the vote for a possible independent candidate of the UtdDF - he would win the ridiculous 3.9%. Naturally, if he is not Stoyanov, but someone else. The reasons for things to reach this awkward for Stoyanov situation are several. In the first place - for five years on end he headed all kinds of ratings as the most popular politician and not because he had done anything too much. But because nothing depended on him. The dazzling rate was a result of his charismatic speeches rather, than of any crucial moves in politics. Secondly - Stoyanov was and still is a product of Kostov's UDF. In the turbulent spring of 1997 Kostov made him visit townships to quell conflicts within the UDF ranks. Later on the 'UDF' president began talking about corruption, but evaded saying anything more specific about it. And he lost a lot of the people's respect. And in the third place - in the mind of the majority of Bulgarians he isn't the independent candidate he pretends to be. People still remember his words at the 11 UDF Conference in February 2000: 'I'm a UDF member'. And they are not inclined to believe his new aureole. In this connection our people has a very precise proverb: 'Think twice before you speak out'.
NATO Insists on BG Army Reinforcement.
NATO demanded that Bulgaria should have at least 48 combat aircraft.
The Organization requested that Bulgaria increase the number of military officials in the army and dismiss civilians. This is a disguised reinforcement of the army, a well-informed source told "Standart" especially. The organization's HQ spread the notes on the army reform in a recent circular to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence. This fact is not officially announced yet. Edgar Buckley, Deputy on the Military Operations and Planning under the Secretary General of the Treaty, brought an expert team in the summer for the inspection of structures and personnel of the Bulgarian army. The NATO leadership had critical remarks about some of the major parameters in the 2004 Plan, the source added. They do not agree to include civilians in the 45,000 army quota and insist on their dismissal, he elaborated. There are 350 officers working in the HQ, commanding the 70-thousand strong Bulgarian army, and about 4000 clerks in the administration of the Ministry of Defense, the informed sources said. In the notes, NATO required that we should also have 48 combat aircraft in good working condition. Currently, BG army has 28 only.
An UDF Militant Expelled for a Bouquet
for the Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The city rule of the UDF in Kiustendil proposed that Slavcho Izpoldgiiski, Chairman of a "blue" club was excluded from the party. The motive - he presented a bunch of flowers to Premier Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha at the later's visit to Kiustendil. The Party prosecution will also charge Izpoldgiiski for the fail of the party in municipality at the general elections. Reformers are always inconvenient, Slavcho Izppoldgiiski said. He declared against Kostov's policy and requested the resignation of the local UDF leadership.
The business network of Bin Laden.
Editor's Note: Two weeks ago, a middle-aged resident of Sofia came to the editor's office. We named him Ivan Ivanov, mainly because it's not his real name. Then he told us how Osama bin Laden personally received him, while the people of the top terrorist asked him for information about the nuclear power plant in Kozloduy and records of the USA aircraft that flew over Bulgaria during the Kosovo crisis. Last week we published unique photos which Ivanov took during the construction of one terrorists' base. The Bulgarian told us how Bin Laden took part in a global communication project "Iridium" and was provided with an enormous data base by the USA and satellites. Today, he has given the details on
He has 28 companies with 11 agencies in 9 countries of the world, Spain and Germany including.Osama bin Laden is the owner of 39 companies and agencies in 9 countries. The base of the legal business network of Bin Laden is the powerful SBG company (Saudi Binladin Group) founded as early as 1931 by Osama's father, Muhammad bin Ladin Currently, as "Der Schpiegel" of Germany also reported yesterday, a feverish winding up of all offices and agencies of the Group is underway throughout the world. Just to what degree can it cover up their previous activity and contact is a moot question. What is in fact SBG and in what countries of the world are they officially registered. The list is given below:
1. Saudi Binladin Group, Prince Abdullah St., Al Rawdah DistrictP.O.B. 8918, Jeddah 21492, Saudi Arabia. Tel: 966-2-664 3033 Fax: 966-2-664 3221/3225Telex: 607439 SBG.The main activity is in architectural and interior design, as well as civil construction, maritime facilities and power stations. Contracting and project development. Telecommunications. Manufacturing. Trade, franchising and distribution
2. Architectural & Interior Design Division966-2-631 7949966-2-631 8078POB 11789Jeddah, 21463Saudi ArabiaConstruction and interior design of residences and complexes.
3. Binladin Group InternationalKey contractor in civil architecture, power stations, water processing plants and airports.966-2-631 3887966-2-632 0446POB 41008Binladin PlazaJeddah 21521KSA
3.1. 202-3352300202-3352500POB 162 DokkiGizzaEgypt
3.2 962-6-811727962-6-811914POB 830264AmmanJordan
3.3 961-1-742530961-1-7427357&8 FloorJreidini BuildingSpears Street, SanayehBeirutLebanon
3.4 60-3-230127160-3-230127012A & B 12th FloorUBN Tower10 Jalan P Ramlee50250Kuala LumpurMalaysia
3.5 971-691500971-691350POB 1555DubaiUAE
4. Electrical & Mechanical EngineeringElectrical and mechanical equipment and interior design.966-2-6670092966-2-6604976POB 3143Jeddah 21471KSA
5. Mohammed Binladin Organisation Design & ConstructionConstruction of roads, bridges and tunnels.966-2-687 9222POB 958Jeddah 21421KSA
6. Huta-Hegerfeld Saudia LtdConstruction of ports' facilities966-26825413966-2-6623205POB 1830Jeddah 21441KSA
7. National Company for FoundationsSpecial charity fund.966-2-6322200966-2-6321386POB 9887JeddahKSA
8. Project Management & Development Co.Sub-contractor of individual construction sites.966-2-662 3074966-2-662 0220POB 4843Jeddah 21412KSA
9. Public Buildings & AirportsConstruction of airports and adjacent facilities, hospitals and schools.966-2-632 2200966-2-632 1386POB 9887Binladin PlazaJeddah 21423KSA
10. Special Buildings Division Design & ConstructionConstruction of residences and complexes.966-2-631 2280966-2-631 1596POB 41007Binladin PlazaJeddah 21521KSA
11. BEMCO Mechanical & Electrical Engineering ContractorsConstruction of water purifying systems and channels.966-2-667 0092966-2-660 9432POB 3143Jeddah 21471KSA
12. Adhesive Manufacturing Company Limited MortarsProduction of construction and facing materials.966-2-6941283966-2-6941556POB 41019Jeddah 21521KSA
13. Art Company for Crystal IndustryProduction of glass and crystal construction materials, ornamental stone tiles, etc.966-2-6941080966-2-6940320POB 51457Jeddah 21553KSA
13.1 966-4-8236804966-4-8236804POB 1926MedinaKSA
14. Al-Salem GroupA big affiliated company of SBG966-2-6692380966-2-6609432POB 3143Jeddah 21471KSA
15. Al Salem Air Conditioning Co. Industrial966-2-6606977966-2-6650584POB 15019Jeddah 21444KSA
16. Al Salem Light Industries Stainless steel food processing equipmentProduction of kitchenware and public laundries' equipment.966-2-6380510966-2-6380511POB 9270Jeddah 21413KSA
17. Al Salem Schroeder LightingManufacturing of electric lighting facilities for civil buildings, stadiums and airports.966-2-6654616966-2-6607864POB 9270Jeddah 21413KSA
18. Amino Molding CompoundManufacturing of mineral fertilizers and urea966-3-3417605966-3-3416871POB 11431Jubail Industrial City, 31961KSA
19. Jeddah Electrical Distribution Assemblies Co.Distribution of low- and medium-voltage electric appliances. Special license-holder of the General Electric (USA)966-2-6364339966-2-6376742POB 6838Jeddah 21452KSA
20. Metal Artwork Saudi Co. GatesInterior design.966-2-6609296966-2-6606821POB 15019Jeddah 21444KSA
21. The Modern Factory for Casting Sanitary Fittings (MOFAC)Interior design966-1-4983967966-1-4983747POB 63156Riyadh 11516KSA
22. Mimar Industrial GroupThe key group for control and management of the activity abroad. Very broad scope and range of activity.Trade in textile and light industry products.961-1-861953961-1-867212BeirutLebanon
22.1 Trade in textile and light industry products.44-181-568186944-181-5682246LondonUK
22.2 Trade in electrical systems for industrial lighting.34-6-132594334-6-1325591ValenciaSpain
22.3 Production and trade in construction materials.966-2-6319123966-2-6320960POB 11789Jeddah 21463KSA
22.4 Manufacturing, distribution and trade in sports outfits.44-181-995382244-181-7478321The StudioEssex PlaceLondonW4 5UT, UK
23. Palwa Beleuchtungs GmbH Crystal chandeliersManufacturing of lighting appliances6078 4001Steinschonauer Strasse 4Gross-UmstadtGermanyThe company was closed on Monday, according to "Der Schpiegel".
23.1 151-0367151-0369Cuenca 8746970 AlacuasValenciaSpain
24. Precast Manufacturing Co. PrecastManufacturing of fixtures and barring elements.966-2-6940481966-2-6941284POB 22404Jeddah 21495KSA
25. Saudi Company for Development of Construction & TradingFurniture manufacturing.966-2-6940967966-2-6940967POB 11789Jeddah 21463KSA
26. The Gypsum & GlassManufacturing of ornamental architectural elements in Arabic and European style.966-2-6312280966-2-6311596POB 41007Jeddah 21521KSA
27. The Woodwork Factory HandcraftManufacture of interior office equipment and furniture.966 2 6940976966-2-6941973 POB 11789Jeddah 21463KSA
28. Marble & Granite InternationalManufacture of interior office equipment and furniture.966-2-6940442966-2-6940242POB 41019Jeddah 21521KSA
Before I have already mentioned that SBG work mainly as major contractors. They take up big projects, and afterwards make advantageous contracts with sub-contractor companies. Naturally, the most profitable offers they leave up for their subsidiaries. In the wrestling between smaller firms for winning sub-contracting projects, the victory depends primarily on who offers what graft or commission. In most cases those who offer the deal take the lion's share. The very investments pay-off system is naturally serviced by banks which work for SBG.The major of them are:
AMRO BANKCITYBANKARAB BANKAL AHLI BANK OF KUWAITDUBAI ISLAMIC BANKABU DHABI COMERCIAL BANK
What SBG has built around the world cannot be numbered. But no doubt, everyone saw the big mosques in Mecca, Kuala Lumpur and Islamabad. Gorgeous palaces in Abu Dhabi, airports in Cairo and Dubai, artificial canals in other Arab countries, etc. If we chalk out revenues from drug-trafficking and narcotics manufacture, the readers might be curious to learn that the key profit "items" are alcohol distilling, trafficking of people, prostitution, manufacture and trade in forged US dollars. However this is the criminal aspect of their business, which a different topic for discussion.
The Paradox of Anti-globalisation.
By Guy Verhofstadt,
Prime Minister of Belgium*
Mr Guy Verhofstadt, Prime Minister of Belgium, and the current President of the European Union, in which capacity he attended the recent G7/G8 summit in Genoa. This open letter gives his view of the events that took place in Genoa. It includes a personal proposal for reviewing the way in which G8 meetings are organised. An international meeting to discuss the contents of this open letter will be held in the auditorium of the University of Ghent (Belgium) on 30 October 2001.
A message to the anti-globalisation protesters,
In Seattle, Gothenburg and Genoa tens of thousands of people took to the streets to express their views. A real breath of fresh air in this post-ideological age. If only there had not been all that meaningless violence we could almost have applauded them. Anti-globalisation protests are a welcome crosscurrent at a time when political life has become rather dull, sterile and technocratic. Indeed, this crosscurrent is good for democracy. But what is your actual message? Do you espouse the views of the 'Black Block', which violently opposes any form of private property? Or perhaps your views are better represented by the 'Slow Food' campaign, a mundane club that spreads chic pamphlets invariably stressing the importance of eating correct food in the better restaurants?
What is suddenly so wrong with globalisation? Until recently even progressive intellectuals were singing the praises of a worldwide market, which, they said, would bring prosperity and well-being to countries where before there was only poverty and decline. And they were right. Experience has shown that the per capita income of a country's population rises by 1% for every 1% that it opens up its economy. This explains the wealth of Singapore, which contrasts so sharply with the poverty of a closed economy such as Myanmar. In short, prior to Seattle, globalisation was not a sin but a blessing for mankind. This was in stark contrast to the dissenting voices on the far right that bemoaned the loss of identity in a globalised world. But ever since Seattle, you have been shunning globalism as if it were a modern-day form of bubonic plague, sowing poverty and ruin.
Of course, globalisation, as a movement that disregards national borders, can easily deteriorate into a form of "selfishness without frontiers". For the rich West, free trade is naturally something that should be embraced wholeheartedly... as long as it is not in products that can harm Western economies. No sugar from Third World countries. No textiles or manufactured garments from North Africa. In this regard, then, your anti-globalisation protests are well founded. The much vaunted free world trade moves largely in one direction: from the rich Northern countries to the poor South.
But I would also like to point out a number of contradictions in your way of thinking. You oppose American hamburger chains, reject soya that has been genetically modified by multinational corporations, and condemn worldwide brand names that influence buying habits. Many of you feel that everything must return to a small, local scale. We must go back to the local market, to the local community. And yet not when it comes to migration... Then, globalisation suddenly becomes an aim. Large numbers of homeless people drift along the borders of Europe and North America, staring wide-eyed into the shop window of a prosperous society. Millions of illegal immigrants live as homeless pariahs, in pitiful conditions, hoping against hope that somehow they can tap into Western riches. But it is precisely the absence of free trade and investment that drives them to the West in the first place.
Another contradiction resides in the fact that, while opposing globalisation, you strongly urge tolerance towards lifestyle diversity. Surely, we owe the fact that we live in a multicultural and tolerant society to the process of globalisation? I thought that nostalgia for the narrow-minded societies of our forefathers was the sole domain of conservatives who glorify the past, of extreme right-wingers who believe in the superiority of their own race, and of religious fanatics who live and die by the Bible or the Koran. In this way, anti-globalisation protests unwittingly veer dangerously towards extremist, 'populist' right-wing views. The only difference is that you oppose multinationals because of the alleged harm they cause to the South, whereas the extreme right, such as Le Pen in France, condemns multinationals because he wants to retain control over his own economy.
You are asking many of the right questions. But do you have the right answers? Nobody now denies the existence of climate change and global warming. But such issues can only be dealt with through global commitments. Everybody recognises the importance of free world trade for the poorest countries. But this also requires global social and ecological standards. Look at the immoral speculation that preyed on weak currencies such as the Mexican peso and the Malaysian ringit a few years ago. The most effective way of combating this kind of speculation is through the creation of larger monetary zones (another form of globalisation). The prospect of coming up against the dollar or the euro will scare off speculators more than any tax.
I do not think it makes any sense to be unreservedly for or against globalisation. The question is rather how everybody, including the poor, can benefit from the manifest advantages of globalisation without suffering from any of its disadvantages. When can we be sure that globalisation will benefit not only the happy few but also the massed ranks of the Third World's poor?
Again, your concerns as anti-globalists are extremely valid. But to find the right solutions to these valid questions we need more globalisation, not less. That was exactly the point of James Tobin. That is the paradox of anti-globalisation. Globalisation can, after all, serve the cause of good just as much as it can serve the cause of evil. What we need is a global ethical approach to the environment, labour relations and monetary policy. In other words, the challenge that we are faced with today is not how to thwart globalisation but instead how to give it an ethical foundation. I would call this 'ethical globalisation', a triangle consisting free trade, knowledge and democracy; alternatively, trade, aid and conflict prevention.
Democracy and respect for human rights are the only sustainable ways of avoiding violence and war and of achieving trade and prosperity. The international community has still not managed to impose a worldwide ban on small arms or to set up a permanent international criminal court.
Moreover, increased aid is needed from the rich West. It is shameful that more than 1.2 billion people still do not have access to medical care or a decent education. Trade alone will not be enough to solve the problems of the least developed nations. Even with more trade there is still a need for increased development cooperation to build harbours and roads, schools and hospitals, and to construct a stable legal system.
Finally, world trade needs to be further liberalised. If all world markets were fully opened up to competition then the total income of developing countries would be boosted by $700 billion per year, or 14 times the total development aid that they currently receive. No more dumping of Western agricultural surpluses on Third World markets. No more exceptions for bananas, rice or sugar. The only trade ban would be on weapons. 'Everything but arms' must be the motto of all future negotiating rounds of the World Trade Organisation.
More free trade, more democracy, greater respect for human rights and more development aid: is that enough to make ethical globalisation a reality? Certainly not! What is missing is a powerful instrument to enforce it. We need a global political body that is as powerful as the globalised market in which we already live. The G8 of the rich countries must be replaced by a G8 of existing regional partnerships. A G8 where the South is given an important and deserved place at the table to ensure that the globalisation of the economy is headed in the right direction. In other words, we need to create a forum where the leading continental partnerships can all speak on an equal footing: the European Union, the African Union, Mercosur, ASEAN, the North American Free Trade Agreement, etc.
This new G8 can and must be a place where binding agreements on global ethical standards on working conditions, intellectual property and good governance can be entered into. At the same time, this renewed G8 could lay down the guidelines and give the necessary encouragement to the major international organisations and negotiating bodies such as the WTO, the World Bank and Kyoto. This G8 would no longer be dominated exclusively by the big wealthy countries; instead, everyone in our world community would be represented. In this way it could provide a forceful answer to global problems such as international trafficking in human beings.
We saw such a process emerge in an embryonic stage at the Kyoto Protocol negotiations in Bonn, where finally a breakthrough was made as a result of agreements between the Umbrella Group, the European Union and the group of less developed countries, against the wishes of the greatest power on earth, the United States of America.
But of course we do not need to wait for the first meeting of the new G8 to begin the process of ethical globalism. We could start in our own European backyard. Why shouldnt we systematically test every decision made in the European Union for its impact on the weakest societies on earth? Does it widen or narrow the gulf between the rich Northern countries and the poor South? What is the result of this decision - or of the lack of a decision - on worldwide ecological problems? And why shouldnt we call for an opinion from a high-level non-European body? Because in this respect you are absolutely right. Even when we are driven by the very best intentions, it is only natural for us to be more concerned with the interests of a multinational oil company or of the European sugar beet farmers than with the fate of the Ogoni people in the Niger Delta or the meagre incomes of workers on sugar cane plantations in Costa Rica.
*The open letter of Prime Minister of Belgium, Mr. Guy Verhofstadt, was published today in 75 countries all over the world - from Europe, including the EU candidate countries, to North and South America, Asia and Africa. The Belgian Government selected the most authoritative newspaper in each of the countries concerned.