Bulgaria-Press-October 28 BTA - 1999/10/29
This is the headline of a leading story in "24 Chassa".
Quoting unnamed sources the paper says that Defence Minister Georgi
Ananiev has been dismissed.
The paper writes, however, that the news has not been
officially confirmed or denied. The paper cites Stoyana Georgieva,
Chief of the Government's Information Service, as declining to
confirm the information. According to Georgieva, cabinet changes, if
any, would be conducted after December 10 when Bulgaria is expected
to be invited to launch EU accession talks.
Cabinet replacements are likely because of the incumbents'
failure at the local elections, the paper says. Prime Minister Ivan
Kostov reportedly told President Peter Stoyanov that three ministers:
of Defence Georgi Ananiev, of Justice Vassil Gotsev and of Health
Peter Boyadjiev were to be ousted. Finance Minister Mouravei Radev
was reportedly also among the possible replacements.
PRESIDENT STOYANOV'S MEETING WITH THE UDF LEADERS
All papers highlight the meeting between President Stoyanov and
the National Executive Council of the Union of Democratic Forces
(UDF) Tuesday evening. The papers quote the President as saying that
he will not name corrupted officials as responsibility for this rests
with the Government and the UDF leadership.
"Without Proofs," reads the headline of a signed commentary in
"Demokratsiya". The MPs of all parliamentary groups backed the
position that one should cite concrete facts when speaking about
corruption, the paper says. Principally, they approved of the
President's statement on corruption made after the second round of
the local elections last Sunday. But the spending of many of the
MPs seem to exceed their salary, worth 700-800 Deutsche Marks, the
commentary says. "There are not and won't be proofs. But people do
not need any. Voters prefer to take respective actions - by simply
not going to the polls."
Bulgarians already consider corruption more dangerous than
crime, "24 Chassa" writes citing an opinion poll conducted by Vitosha
Research and Coalition 2000 polling agencies. Interviewees
reportedly ranked it as the third most dangerous phenomenon following
unemployment and low incomes. "Douma" and "Monitor" also cite the
opinion poll which shows that the Cabinet is ranked third among the
institutions where they believe corruption to be most widely spread.
"Bribe Shakes Cabinet," reads the headline of a commentary in
"24 Chassa". According to the author, the fight against corruption
is still reduced only to investigating doctor and teachers. This
commentary as well as a story in "Sega" point as one of the main
obstacles to the fight against corruption the lack of a public
register where senior officials declare their property and income on
an annual basis as well as the lack of a law defining corruption.
"Troud" runs an interview with ex-president Zhelyu Zhelev
quoting him in the headline as saying that Stoyanov should name the
corrupted. Zhelev says that Stoyanov should make public the names of
the officials who gained notoriety through being involved with
corruption. Zhelev says that one needs substantial proofs to accuse
a person of corruption but that there are many "well-known" secrets
as the fact that "officials have been participating in privatization
deals through their relatives".
Zhelev points as theoretically most extreme development
launching of a war between the President and the Government and
between the President and the majority which could split, i.e. to
the repetition of past events.
"Sega" writes that Prime Minister Ivan Kostov will report about
corruption before the President on Thursday. They would reportedly
talk following a joint meeting of the parliamentary groups of the UDF
and the Popular Union. Attending would be ministers. The MPs are
expected to approve implementation of cabinet changes, the paper
"Sega" runs an interview with Deputy Prime Minister Alexander
Bozhkov who says that he agrees 90 per cent with the President's
words. Bozhkov says he does not agree with the President's statement
that there are corrupted in the highest echelons of power that should
be ousted regardless of their contribution to the UDF. In Bozhkov's
view such statement should either be substantiated with concrete
names or should not be made at all. Corruption is not a problem that
should be spoken of in general terms, Bozhkov says.
PRESIDENT STOYANOV'S VISIT TO SLOVENIA
Covering the first day of President Stoyanov's visit to
Slovenia, the papers write about the possibility that Slovenia
introduces visas for Bulgarians.
The dailies focus on Slovenian President Milan Kucan's
statement that Slovenia is about to start issuing visas for
travelling Bulgarians as of next year if this country is not invited
for EU entry talks at the Helsinki summit.
According to a commentary in "Troud", Ljubljana has chosen the
most inappropriate moment (President Stoyanov's visit) to announce
its plans in regards to the visas. However, this news will not
embarrass Bulgarians as it is easy to circumvent small Slovenia when
travelling to Europe, the paper says.
UPCOMING VISIT BY BILL CLINTON
The "Troud" and "24 Chassa" papers come up with various
scenarios for US President Bill Clinton's visit here in November.
According to "Troud", Clinton may deliver a speech in front of the St
Alexander Nevski Cathedral of Sofia so as to thank the Bulgarians for
the support to NATO during the air strikes against Yugoslavia.
"24 Chassa" says that the speech may be possibly delivered
before the National Assembly. Hillary Clinton will not come to
Sofia; the US President will probably be accompanied by his daughter,
Chelsea. Possible travels in the countryside were rejected by the US
side because of the cold weather and Clinton's short stay. Clinton
will visit only Sofia. Apart from President Stoyanov he is scheduled
to meet Prime Minister Kostov. Discussions were held about possible
meeting of the guest with businessmen.
* * *
"Bloodshed in Armenian Parliament", "Armenian Statesmen
Killed", "Armenian PM Murdered in Parliament". This is but a sample
of the headlines in the Thursday papers on the dreadful incident in
Armenia. The papers report that the assassination was masterminded by
former journalist Nairi Ovanyan who had worked briefly in Bulgaria in
* * *
"Troud" writes in a headline that tax officers will not pay
charges for the public transport. The paper cites texts of the draft
Code of Tax Procedure saying that tax officers' expenses on the
public transport will be covered by the budget.
* * *
"Kozlodoui N-plant's Reactors 1,2 Closed Already Now," writes
"Zemya" in a frontpage headline. The Government will request from
Parliament a broad mandate for negotiations with EU on
decommissioning Kozlodoui's first two units ahead of schedule in
exchange of financial compensation of 80 million US dollars per year
for each reactor, the paper writes.
* * *
"Monitor" describes the project on the construction of the
Upper Arda Cascade as megalomaniac and unnecessary unless Bulgaria
closes its N-plant.