How I Celebrated the New Year Eve in the Regent Almaty hotel


ALMATY, Jan 13


I celebrated the New Year Eve 2000 at the luxurious the Regent Almaty hotel. I may say that I was not disappointed. Moreover, I am going to celebrate the next New Year Eve in the Regent Almaty hotel also. Why? I may mention at least three reasons.

The first reason seems not serious, but when you occasionally say that you are going to spend the New Year Eve in the Regent, the expression of your interlocutors� faces satisfies your self-respect. It is quite understandable, as the Regent five stars are not just a figure. The splendid hotel rises nearby the Republican square and it is quite pleasant to watch it, especially in night, not to say to be present at the Millenium Party.

Second. The celebration of the New Year 2000 is the event that happened once in our life. If you celebrated the millenium in Almaty, the Regent was the best place for that. Judge yourself. I put on my best French suit, while my wife � her wonderful evening dress. These dress would not have done in any night club in the city, but if we talk of restaurants, we should gradually shift to the third reason.

The third reason. The night club and the restaurant have one big �minus� � they cannot replace each other. While there are three restaurants, bars, the night club and the ballroom� First thing that stroke us when we arrived to the hotel, was a huge line of cars and crowds hurrying to the celebration. At last we elbowed our way to the entrance, gave our coats in the cloak-room and take our tickets�

Inside it was warm, light and fuss. You came into to the celebration atmosphere � there are cheerful guests in masks, sparkly tinsel, ladies in evening and even ball dresses everywhere. The impatient mass of people makes a hum consisting of Christmas crackers, loud and other noise. Having looked around, we go to the Lobby-bar situated in the foyer and settle in soft arm-chairs anticipating the Millenium Party. We start from the Grand Ballroom. Though it is not a ball, but it looks quite similar. A pleasant light, fine table and a polite staff. On the dance site some couples are dancing making surprising pas. For the time being we leave the ballroom and go to Asian Cafe, where we enjoy international dishes to the accompaniment of a jazz orchestra. After Asian Cafe we fall into the atmosphere of revelry of the night club Xanadu and led by the expressive Latin-American rhytmes joined dancing people. Your shyness when you think at first that you cannot dance samba and rumba disappears, as you watch all guests� bodies moving astoundingly. Having broken away from the crowd of dancing people we go to the table, where we can drink. By the way, the assortment of drinks met requirements of most sophisticated admirers. Meanwhile, after the inflammatory belly dance, a woman comes to the scene and takes off her bright-red dress with a light movement of her arm. When we were a bit tired from extreme entertainment, we joined a lot of people walking in the hotel, as there was enough space - 15 stores. By the way, people keeping the Oraza fast (the Muslim holy Fast) could celebrate the New Year in the proper atmosphere of the Turkish restaurant The Bosphorus. Having appreciated the skill of the chief-cook of Belvedere restaurant, we ended from where we had started � we returned to the ballroom and danced to the accompaniment by Parviz Nazarov�s lyrical songs, then � rhythmical melodies by Vostok ensemble. Gradually the night comes to its end and we leave the holiday house, the beautiful Regent Almaty hotel.

Stars Light up on Christmas



The annual Christmas celebration in Kazakhstan held in the big hall of the Scientists� House organized by the Multinational Arts Club Sozvezdie caused joy to all present guests and population of the southern capital. The concert brass and classic program of the charitable party was devoted to Christmas. Chorus of the musical-chorus school 1, chorus gymnasium 79, musical school 10 as well as most gifted pupils from the Seleznyov choreographic school Malika Usenova, Nikolai Korshunov, Inessa Vozhinskaya, and from the Kulyash Baiseitova musical school � Olga Dzevitskaya, Nurgul Nasypzhanova, the laureate of the Zhubanov competition Aizhan Nurkenova participated in the concert. Anton Mayevsky, a very talented boy from Zhanya Aubakirova�s college performed Campanella by N. Paganini. He is the laureate of International competitions, who gained the premium of the Polish Embassy. The audience was impressed by the performance of the laureate of the National Competition of Young Performers Yerbolat Akhmedyarov, a pupil from Aubakirova�s college, who performed Scherzo # 3 by Chopin. This performance stroke with Akhmedyarov�s professionalism and skill. The audience also applauded to Asken Kulbekov who performed variations from Corsair ballet.

Famous Fugue Fa-Major, Prelude, Ave Maria by Bach, Nocturne, Waltz # 5 by Chopin, Adagio by Chaikovsky, etc. performed at the party. Miss Pretty-1996 Zhenya Yugai and Marina Philippova, a teacher from the musical-chorus school 1, were narrators of the program of the concert Today Start Light up for You.

The US ambassador to Kazakhstan Richard Jones with his wife, the Vatican Ambassador Marian Ole�, the Byelorussian ambassador Larisa Pakush, the Italian ambassador�s wife Livia Piajezi, the Polish ambassador Danuta Gavecka, as well as the Honk Kongbank chairman of the Board Brampton Mundy.

The Apostolic Nunnciature of the Vatican Embassy sponsored the party.

Switzerland 2000: forecasted a lower deficit

By Alessandro RAIMONDI

BERN, January 19


The sun seems to be shining again on the Swiss federal budget after the recent presentation of the important fiscal document by Kaspar Villiger, head of the Finance Dept. of the Confederation.

In fact the economic study for 2000 envisages a reduction of the federal deficit of 2.2 billion SF compared to the deficit recorded in 1999. Calculations on hand, the previous expectation which fixed this year�s deficit to some 2.5 billion Swiss Francs, shrinks in a way that the red figure will appear less intense, being of �only� 1,741,000,000 SF, allowing Switzerland a saving of 759 million SF.

Three the main factors characterizing such favourable perspective due to an increase of revenues: a lift of the T.V.A. value, the introduction of a tax on gambling casinos, and the doubling of a forfait tax applied on trucks crossing this Alpine country. With these measures the Confederation estimates to cash some 45,634 billion SF.

On the other hand, the envisaged result might prove better if the country expenditure would not increase as well. The amount of money the Confederation will have to spend this year will mark a sounding + 2.3% from the figure for 1999, generated by the increase of costs for public transportation, asylum and the local A.V.S., so much to sum up some 47,375 billion Swiss Francs!

The expenditure linked to the asylum issue, a topic which divides the Swiss public opinion, is being increased of 300,000,000 SF: from the 1.3 billion SF of 1999 to the 1,600,000,000 for this millennium year. Without this item Switzerland�s federal budget would have reached a substantial breakeven.

�The 2000 estimate of expenditure has been based � Mr. Villiger has explained � on the assumption that unemployment will not exceed 2.5% of the workforce, and that the economic growth of the country will target a nominal 3%�. There�s room to be optimistic about it.

This week in the 20th century

January 18, 1912 English explorer Robert F. Scott and his expedition reached the South Pole, only to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them to it. (Scott and his party perished during the return trip.)

January 18, 1943 during World War Two, the Soviets announced they�d broken the long Nazi siege of Leningrad.

January 18, 1996 Lisa Marie Presley-Jackson filed for divorce from Michael Jackson.

January 19, 1966 Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India.

January 19, 1981 the United States and Iran signed an agreement paving the way for the release of 52 Americans held hostage for more than 14 months.

January 19, 1995 Russian troops regained control of the presidential palace in Grozny, the capital of the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

January 20, 1841 the island of Hong Kong was ceded to Great Britain. (It returned to Chinese control in July 1997.)

January 20, 1942 Nazi officials held the notorious Wannsee conference, during which they arrived at their �final solution� that called for exterminating Jews.

January 20, 1981 Iran released 52 Americans it had held hostage for 444 days, minutes after the presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan.

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