Central Europe Review: politics, society and culture in Central and Eastern Europe
Vol 2, No 9
6 March 2000

Bulgarian News C E N T R A L   E U R O P E A N    N E W S:
News Round-up for Bulgaria
News from Bulgaria since 28
February 2000

Nadia Rozeva

Third March -Bulgaria's national holiday was celebrated last week. Prime Minister Kostov was invited by the Plovdiv Citizen Club to give a speech entitled Third March, the Bulgarian National Identity and Bulgaria's Way Toward a United Europe. Festivities were held throughout the country.

Her Royal Majesty Giovanna, widow of Tsar Boris III (1918-1943), died on February 26, after a short illness in Estoril, Portugal, notified the press secretary of His Royal Majesty Simeon II. Bulgarian President Stoyanov and Prime Minister Kostov sent their sincere condolences to the family of the late Queen Giovanna. The Queen-Mother was buried in the Saint Francis of Assissi church in Italy, where she married Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria in 1930.

Tests revealed that the concentration of heavy metal sediments in the sludge on the banks of the Danube river exceeds the permissible levels. The sediments, however, were not associated with the recent cyanide accident at the gold smelter in Baia Mare, Romania but rather attributed to pollution from the industrial activities of Danubian countries. The river flora and fauna are also being tested for heavy metals but the results are not yet available.

Eighteen Bulgarian companies will participate in a program for Certified Solution Providers for Microsoft products. Two of the companies, Bora Systems and ITCE, are Microsoft partners, while the rest are participants in the program and solution providers. "These companies have the experience and the expertise to provide assistance to Bulgarian customers", Frank McCosker, Microsoft's Director for Bulgaria, said last week. McCosker also said that Microsoft would provide these companies with the best training and access to software.

Slovak President Rudolph Schuster and Prime Minister Eduard Kukan will arrive on an official visit to Bulgaria this week to meet with President Peter Stoyanov.

Bulgaria banned the import of beef from Denmark last week, due to reports of "mad cow" cases. "Our duty is to protect the health of the Bulgarian consumer and for that reason already today we issued an order banning the import of live cattle, beef and beef products from this country, including veterinary preparations used for cattle," Dr. Ilyan Bucharov, Director of the Bulgarian Veterinary-Medical Service, said last week for the Bulgarian National Radio.

The Sofia Municipality will issue a new lot of Eurobonds, due to mature in 2003, worth between EUR 70 and 100 million, Sofia Mayor Stefan Sofiyanski said last week. The proceeds from the sale of the Eurobonds will be used mostly in the area of transportation. Sofia released the first issue Eurobonds worth EUR 50 million last June. The bonds, maturing in 2002, were listed on the Luxembourg stock exchange and were bought by foreign investors in seven hours. The French Paribas was co-issuer. Standard and Poor's assigned Sofia a credit rating of B+ last November, and this rating has not been adjusted since.

Bulgaria's Constitutional Court declared unconstitutional the United Macedonian Organization-Ilinden (OMO-Ilinden-PIRIN) on Tuesday last week. The court's decision was based on Article 22 Paragraph 2 of the Bulgarian Constitution, which prohibits organizations whose activity is directed against Bulgaria's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the unity of the nation.

The fifth Partners EXPO Spring exhibition will take place in Pleven, the largest town in northwestern Bulgaria, from 11 to 16 April. Over 200 Bulgarian and foreign companies will participate in the event. The highlight of this year's show will be presentations by 50 Israeli companies with serious investment plans in Bulgaria, the organizers said.

Nadia Rozeva, 3 March 2000




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