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Prince Charles Praises Reforms in Bulgaria

March 13, 2003
Prince Charles Praises Reforms in Bulgaria

Prince Charles praised Bulgaria's development since his last visit to the country back in 1998.

 

High-profile Bulgarian politicians and leading businessmen warmly welcomed the Prince of Wales on the first day of a visit to the country, which is hoped to give another boost to relations with Great Britain.

 

Right after his arrival at 4:30 pm, the heir apparent to the British throne headed for his first scheduled meeting with Bulgaria's head of state President Parvanov in the Jaguar of the British Ambassador in Sofia Ian Soutar. He waived to the Bulgarian journalists twice - upon stepping on Bulgaria's territory and again from his automobile. Guards were positioned at every fifty meters along the route of Prince Charles, with armed with sniper rifle guns policemen at the most risky places.

 

President Parvanov noted the personal contribution of Prince Charles to the development of trade, economic, cultural and educational relations between the two countries.

 

Later, His Royal Highness had a tete-a-tete meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Saxe-Coburg who is a distant relative of his.

 

After that, His Royal Highness was a special guest for nearly two hours to the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum (BBLF).

 

"I see a great deal of change in Bulgaria since I was last here. I look forward to spotting certain changes over the next few days," Prince Charles said.

He also praised the development of the Forum, which promotes business ethics in Bulgaria, impressed by the growing number of its members. The Forum was established by His Royal Highness and then President Stoyanov back in 1998 with twelve founding members. Now the members of the Forum are ninety-six.

"I hope that corporate social responsibility is becoming even more imbedded in Bulgaria," The Prince of Wales said commenting on the impact of the Forum in Bulgaria.

 

He said that The Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum may be young but under the dynamic leadership of its chairs it has grown equal in range and activities to other similar organizations established earlier.

 

He advised the members of the Bulgarian Business Leaders Forum to engage more actively with the community in general by get ting the managers out of the office to solve local problems.

 

He was accompanied there by Prime Minister Saxe-Coburg who was obviously touched by the visit of His Royal Highness. "I can say that His Royal Highness has done a great deal to make this world a better place," the prime minister said in his address at the BBLF conference.

 

Later the Prince of Wales attended a dinner, hosted by President Parvanov.

HRH Prince Charles is accompanied by two of his personal aides and his press attache. Fifteen British journalists joined their Bulgarian colleagues in covering the visit of Prince Charles in Bulgaria.

 

Prince Charles' cortege is not large and security measures seemed to induce less respect.

 

In another development, one of Prince Charles's closest aides has resigned, as an internal report criticised the running of the royal household. The report, by the prince's private secretary Sir Michael Peat, considered a range of issues and alleged misconduct at St James's Palace, including sales of royal gifts by servants. "The review does not make comfortable reading in some parts, but I accept full responsibility and all the recommendations," Prince Charles said, quoted by BBC, in Sofia


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