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April.
27, April-2001.

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Friday.

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GEORGIEVSKI, CRVENKOVSKI MEETING.

MIA

Macedonian Prime Minister and VMRO - DPMNE leader Ljubcho Georgievski met Friday leader of the Social Democratic Alliance Branko Crvenkovski. At the meeting, the leaders stated the position of the political parties regarding the establishment of the wider coalition of the Government.

According to the statement from the Premiers Cabinet the leaders stated that there are still differences in the position that disables the realization of the idea on establishment of the wider coalition.

Aware of the responsibility and the challenges that Macedonia face, both Georgievski and Crvenkovski agreed to endow further efforts in order to coordinate their positions.

It is expected the talks to continue within the next few days.

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CAMPAIGN "LETS KEEP THE ENVIRONMENT" STARTS.

MIA

Macedonian Minister of Environment and Urban Planning Marjan Dodovski promoted the official start of the public, educative, media campaign under the general motto "Lets keep the environment". The campaign aims to promote the natural resources and the environment in Macedonia.

Macedonian Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning donated DM 40,000 to finance the campaign, which will be led along with the agency "Publicis."

"This is a step forward toward the improved communication between the Ministry and the public, which aims to introduce the citizens to the undertaken activities by the Ministry and to motivate them to protect the environment," Minister Dodovski stated.

He also informed that the Public Relation Office as well as the Macedonian Information Center of Environment could provide information about the environment.

Aleksandra Dilevska Simova, director of agency "Publicis" informed that according to the survey undertaken in several Macedonian cities, the citizens need more information on the environment.

Minister Dodovski also informed that DM 5 million were provided for the activities of saving the Lake Dojran. He announced that he would visit Romania Saturday, where he would participate at the SEE Summit of the environment ministers.

Macedonian President Trajkovski to Meet Bush in U.S. on May 1.

Agence France Presse

SKOPJE, Apr 27, 2001 -- (Agence France Presse) Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski will meet U.S. President George W. Bush in Washington on May 1 during a three-day trip to the United States, officials in his cabinet said Friday.

Although Trajkovski briefly met Bush at a Balkans leaders meeting in Washington in February, the trip will be the first working visit by a Macedonian president since the former Yugoslav republic gained independence 10 years ago.

Trajkovski will meet Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Congress members and top officials from the International Monetary Fund, his office said.

Powell extended Bush's invitation during a meeting with Trajkovski here earlier this month, when he urged Skopje to push on with talks to defuse community tensions which exploded into open warfare between the army and ethnic Albanian rebels in March.

Before visiting the United States Tuesday, Trajkovski will travel to Romania on Sunday on the invitation of President Ion Iliescu.

While there he will also meet with Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

Bulgaria Awaits Ruling on Former King's Election Bid.

Reuters

SOFIA, Apr 27, 2001 -- (Reuters) Bulgaria's Supreme Court of Appeals will rule on Saturday whether to let former King Simeon II contest a June 17 general election, the court said on Friday.

Simeon, the first former monarch in post-communist eastern Europe to enter politics in his homeland, is fighting a court ruling which earlier this week refused to register his movement in the poll because papers were not in order.

Since its launch three weeks ago the National Movement for Simeon II has gained strong popular support, becoming a third force in the race for power along with the ruling reformist party and their Socialist opposition.

Supreme Court chairman Ivan Grigorov told the session considering Simeon's appeal on Friday that the ruling would be announced on Saturday -- a working day in Bulgaria to make up for a public holiday on Monday.

Simeon, a Madrid-based businessman, was banished from Bulgaria as a child after a rigged referendum abolished the monarchy in 1946.

The prosecution has raised objections to Simeon's movement on the grounds that there are insufficient details about its foundation meeting, such as when it was held and the names of founders. But his lawyers said the objections were groundless because the foundation meeting was widely reported by local media.

"We hope for a positive decision by the Supreme Court of Appeals," Simeon's lawyer Plamen Panayotov told reporters.

If the former king wins the appeal he could still beat a May 2 entry deadline set by the central electoral commission.

A survey by the local MBMD polling agency published this week showed 76 percent of respondents thought it was wrong to stop Simeon from standing. Of them, 63 percent said the decision to bar him was politically motivated.

Simeon has led recent public opinion polls, with up to 50 percent saying they would back him. The ruling Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) and the ex-communist opposition Socialist Party both have the support of about 20 percent of voters.

The UDF swept to power in 1997 after nation-wide protests ousted the Socialists. But its initial public support has been eroded by corruption scandals, high unemployment and widespread poverty.

In an address earlier this month, Simeon pledged to fight corruption and improve people's lives in 800 days.

He also called for changes to Bulgaria's political system, fueling speculation he might seek to re-instate the monarchy. Bulgaria's status as a republic is guaranteed by the constitution.

Even if the court rules against him, Simeon could still run in the election by forming a coalition with one of the other parties. Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov, on a visit to Washington earlier this week, said he would let Simeon stand on a UDF ticket.

King Provokes Summit.

Standart

A 90-minute meeting of the three major statesmen took place yesterday 6 hours after the King's case hearing in the Supreme Court of Appeals. At 4.40 p.m. sharp PM Kostov entered the office of President Stoyanov. Some minutes later, former chairman of the parliament, Yordan Sokolov, followed him. The three have been talking for an hour and a half. I informed the Head of State about my visit to the USA, was Kostov's brief comment after the meeting. The PM was evidently in a bad mood.

PM Kostov did not answer the question : "Did you discuss pre-election issues?" He declined to elaborate on what precisely he informed President Stoyanov about. The car of the ex-parliamentary chairman pulled over right in front of the central entrance of the Presidential HQ and this way Sokolov evaded journalists. "Evidently, it was an extraordinary meeting and it was decided at the last moment," an employee from the President's press office said. Last Friday the first court sitting on the registration of the "National Movement Simeon II" (NMS) took place. Then PM Kostov met President Stoyanov. On Monday the court refused to register the NMS. Then Kostov and Stoyanov reportedly discussed the forthcoming visit of PM to USA, elaborated the press officers of the Council of Ministers and the Presidency at the time. According to sources from UDF HQ, however, the topic of both the first and the second meetings with Stoyanov was the King's party.
Elena Staridolska
Nedelina Aneva

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