{"title": "Bulgaria-Press-October 28","content": "
DISCHARGED MINISTER? 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 writes. '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 1993. * * * '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.