APA Journalism Prize 2005 goes to "anonymous Bulgarian woman"

Utl.: Honorary guest Kucan: "Highly emotional text" =

Vienna (OTS) - The journalism prize organised by APA (Austria Press Agency) and sponsored by Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA) "Writing for Central and Eastern Europe" was awarded today to Diana Ivanova from Bulgaria. Honorary guest Milan Kucan, former president of Slovenia, praised the article entitled "Frau Bulgarin" ("Bulgarian Woman"), which was read aloud at the awards ceremony on Wednesday evening in Vienna, as a "highly emotional text".

He went on to say that by relating very personal stories Ivanova had captured the atmosphere of the opening up of Eastern Europe. Mr. Kucan said no one who had lived in Eastern Europe during the fall of Communism would be left unmoved by her articles. Ivanova, he said, had also made her readers aware "that the Berlin Wall

has still not been completely demolished."

Mr. Kucan referred in his speech to the importance of European integration and spoke out against what he called "attempts to divide Europe into old Europe and new Europe". European history, he said, had led people to realise that "we are united by a common destiny, we rely on one another and are responsible for one another". Had people not realised this, the central European identity could never have been regained so quickly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, said Mr. Kucan.

It was the second time this year that the award with a prize of 5,000 euros was conferred. A total of 80 articles by 60 authors from twelve countries were entered, as Helmut Bernkopf, General Manager of the CEE Division at BA-CA, said. The declared goal of the award is to "to promote European integration and cross-border understanding". Against the background of what was for Europe a turbulent 2005, the theme of this year�'s event was "EU in Crisis - Is Enlargement Over?", as APA foreign political chief and jury chairman Ambros Kindel explained.

After the sense of a new era in the year of enlargement 2004, he said, the euphoria died down with the rejection of the EU constitution in France and the Netherlands as the focus shifted to crisis rhetoric, said APA Editor-in-Chief Michael Lang. Therefore it was, he said, all the more important to overcome prejudices.

The winner convinced the seven-member international jury with a series of articles entitled "Guten Tag Melancholie" ("Hello, Melancholy"). The text "Frau Bulgarin", read at the award ceremony by actor Fritz Friedl, tells of an unknown woman from Bulgaria living in Vienna who symbolises the melancholy of foreigners from the East.

Further information and the winning article: www.apa.at/cee-award

Picture(s) for this report can be obtained from the AOM/Original Bild Service, and in the OTS photo archive at http://bild.ots.at or directly at



APA - Austria Presse Agentur

Ambros Kindel

Head of Foreign Politics Desk

Tel.: +43/1/360 60-1400



Bank Austria Creditanstalt (BA-CA)

Edith Holzer

International Press Office

Tel.: +43-50505-57126

mailto: edith.holzer@ba-ca.com