|If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. - Carl Sagan|
No. 55, 22 March 1993
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc. RUSSIA YELTSIN'S ADDRESS TO NATION. President Boris Yeltsin appeared on national TV and radio on 20 March to announce his response to the recent Eighth Congress of People's Deputies which had stripped him of many powers. He said that the Congress had demonstrated the "revanche of the communist party nomenklatura," and had destroyed the constitutional division of powers. He accused the Constitutional Court of failing to act against the attack on the constitution. Repeating earlier accusations of parliament's having assumed governmental powers, Yeltsin announced that he as president had to take responsibility for the country, and so had signed a series of decrees, introducing "a special regime," and scheduling for 25 April a vote of confidence in the president and vice president, together with a vote on the draft of a new constitution and on a draft law on parliamentary elections. He said that the Congress would cease to exist under the new constitution, but that Congress and parliament would continue to sit until fresh elections, although any decisions they took against the president's decrees or government's resolutions would have no legal force. He listed urgent economic measures which Prime Minister Chernomyrdin was being asked to take, and said that the vertical system of executive power was being reintroduced. Finally, he said that the Novosibirsk and Irkutsk oblast heads of administration and a number of government staff had been dismissed for infringing the law. Wendy Slater PARLIAMENT STARTED THE PROCESS OF YELTSIN'S IMPEACHMENT? THE EXTRAORDINARY SESSION OF THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT OPENED ON 21 MARCH TO CONSIDER PRESIDENT YELTSIN'S INTRODUCTION OF "A SPECIAL REGIME" IN RUSSIA. The session, broadcast live on Russian TV, adopted a resolution calling on the Constitutional Court to rule on whether Yeltsin's decision was in accord with the constitution. In his address to the parliament, Constitutional Court Chairman Valerii Zorkin said that the court had on its own initiative already begun a hearing on the constitutionality of Yeltsin's decree. The extraordinary session of the Congress, which is constitutionally empowered to impeach the president, is expected to open on 24 March. Russian Procurator General Valentin Stepankov said that his office would probably prosecute those responsible for drafting Yeltsin's decree as well as "those who signed it" when they receive a copy of the text. Julia Wishnevsky RUTSKOI CALLS YELTSIN'S DECISION "ANTICONSTITUTIONAL." Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi failed to support Yeltsin's decision to introduce "a special regime." On 21 March, ITAR-TASS distributed Rutskoi's letter to the president, written on the eve of Yeltsin's TV address, in which the vice president urged the president not to sign the decree "on a special regime." On 21 March, Rutskoi addressed an emergency session of the parliament condemning Yeltsin's decree as "anti-constitutional." The vice president called on the parliament, however, "not to take hasty counter decisions to those announced by the president," the Russian media reported. Vera Tolz CABINET SUPPORTS YELTSIN AGAINST PARLIAMENT. The Cabinet of Ministers has demonstratively supported President Boris Yeltsin in his power battle with parliament. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, who himself had not been consulted or informed about the introduction of a special regime, defended the measure in front of the parliament on 21 March, ITAR-TASS reported. The whole cabinet attended the extraordinary parliamentary session. Later, Chernomyrdin appeared on national TV, surrounded by the ministers of defense, security, and internal affairs, to emphasize the cabinet's support for Yeltsin. In an extraordinary cabinet meeting, all ministers voted in favor of supporting the introduction of "a special regime." Only the Minister of Justice, Nikolai Fedorov, abstained. Alexander Rahr GOVERNMENT STATEMENT: SECURITY MINISTRIES BEHIND YELTSIN? WESTERN SOURCES REPORTED ON 21 AND 22 MARCH THAT THE RUSSIAN MINISTERS OF DEFENSE, SECURITY, AND THE INTERIOR WERE AMONG THOSE WHO SIGNED THE 21 MARCH GOVERNMENT STATEMENT EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR YELTSIN. According to ITAR-TASS, the statement lauds the efforts "of a democratically elected president to prevent anarchy, chaos, political confrontation, separatism, nationalism, and crime, [and] to preserve the unity and integrity of the Russian Federation." The statement also contained a declaration that the defense, security, and interior ministers "remain loyal to constitutional principles" and will "ensure order" without involving armed units subordinated to them. In their remarks to parliament on 21 March, the three ministers emphasized their "neutrality," a stand that again suggested support for Yeltsin and that was criticized by Khasbulatov as "toothless, vague, and non-committal." Stephen Foye GRACHEV REMARKS TO PARLIAMENT. In addition to asserting the army's neutrality in his remarks before the parliament on 21 March, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev complained that the army was becoming increasingly politicized and appeared to lay the blame for that development primarily on the legislature and the Procurator General's Office. Grachev, who said he had spoken by telephone earlier that day with military district and fleet commanders, cautioned that tensions among military personnel in the Moscow region were rising. He warned that these developments could result in bloodshed and raised the specter of nuclear or chemical arms being used in the event that real hostilities broke out. Grachev's speech was broadcast by Russian TV. Stephen Foye REACTIONARY OFFICERS' GROUP CRITICIZES GRACHEV, YELTSIN. Grachev's remarks appear to have been inspired at least in part by a meeting of reactionary officers held in the parliament center on 20 March. According to a Russian TV "Vesti" report later that day, the gathering, described as a meeting of the Moscow Military District All-Army Officers Assembly, was in fact organized by the leader of the arch-conservative Officers' Union, Stanislav Terekhov. Terekhov accused Grachev of high treason and declared that the army could not remain outside politics. According to "Vesti," the group expressed its support for Khasbulatov. On the same day, Austrian TV reported that right wing officers would like to see Grachev replaced by Gen. Vladislav Achalov, a former deputy defense minister who was arrested for participation in the August 1991 attempted coup. Achalov was quoted as saying that the army would protect parliament should Boris Yeltsin declare a state of emergency. Achalov is now an advisor to Khasbulatov. Stephen Foye CIVIC UNION PROMOTING RUTSKOI AS NEXT PRESIDENT. Speaking after an emergency meeting of the Civic Union, its leader Nikolai Travkin said the bloc is promoting Rutskoi as Russia's next president in the wake of the parliament's decision to challenge Yeltsin's decree on a special regime. Travkin was quoted by Western agencies on 21 March as saying that Rutskoi's chances of becoming head of state "have never been so strong." The Civic Union criticized Yeltsin's declaration of special rule. Another leader of Civic Union, Arkadii Volsky, said that he suspects Yeltsin's decree will be modified in the next few days. Volsky added, however, that he believes Yeltsin does have the right to hold a referendum on Russia's future. Vera Tolz MORE SUPPORT FOR YELTSIN. Former Russian State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis, co-leader of Democratic Russia Galina Starovoitova, and Lithuanian opposition leader Vytautas Landsbergis told the RFE/RL Research Institute on 21 March that they regard the introduction of a special regime in Russia as the only way to save reform. According to Burbulis, Yeltsin should have introduced special rule earlier. He said that Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai was the author of Yeltsin's decree. Burbulis strongly criticized Rutskoi's opposition to Yeltsin and said that the latter should now resign as vice president. He said that the heads of administration, whom he had personally selected in 1991, will support the president. He predicted that the parliament will lose the battle because it has no serious alternative leader who can challenge Yeltsin as president today. Alexander Rahr REACTIONS TO SPECIAL REGIME. The leaders of Western industrial nations have supported Boris Yeltsin's measures, arguing that they regard the Russian president as the major guarantor of reform, Western news agencies reported on 21 March. No Western politician condemned his actions. Some leaders, such as US President Bill Clinton, appear to have been previously informed by Yeltsin of his decision to introduce special rule. Meanwhile, Yeltsin's supporters and opponents lined up for demonstrations in Moscow, but the number of demonstrators appeared to be relatively low--about 2,000 on each side. The Civic Union appealed to its supporters to refrain from demonstrations. Democratic Russia plans to hold a mass meeting in support of Yeltsin on 28 March. Meanwhile, reactions in Russia's regions were mixed as some local soviets expressed opposition to the introduction of "a special regime." Alexander Rahr GORBACHEV SUGGESTS EARLY ELECTIONS. In an interview with RFE/RL on 20 March, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev condemned Yeltsin's declaration of "a special regime" in Russia as a demonstration of the "lack of respect for the highest organ of power, which is the Congress according to the Constitution." Gorbachev said that early elections rather than a referendum could solve the crises he attributed to the mistakes in implementing market-oriented reform. Julia Wishnevsky TRANSCAUCASIA & CENTRAL ASIA GORBACHEV CALLS ON CLINTON TO CONTINUE FUNDING RFE/RL. Speaking on 20 March at the celebrations in Moscow of the 40th anniversary of Radio Liberty's first broadcasts to the Soviet Union, Gorbachev called on the Clinton administration to continue funding Radio Liberty. Gorbachev said the radio station is a "stabilizing influence in an unstable time," and that it is very necessary as Russia seeks to transform itself from a totalitarian state into a democracy. Vera Tolz GRACHEV ACCUSES GEORGIA OF TRYING TO INCITE RUSSIA. A Russian war plane was downed by Georgian anti-aircraft fire near Sukhumi early in the morning of 19 March, killing the Russian pilot, Western agencies reported. A Georgian military spokesman claimed the plane was on a bombing raid, while the head of the Russian Air Force press service told journalists that the plane was trying to prevent two Georgian warplanes from attacking a Russian military target in Abkhazia. Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze made a personal appeal to Russian President Boris Yeltsin to take decisive action to halt the "senseless conflict" between Russia and Georgia. On 20 March ITAR-TASS quoted Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev as accusing Georgia of "using all means, including fraud and provocation" in order to draw Russia into the Abkhaz-Georgian conflict. Addressing a news conference in Tbilisi on 21 March, Shevardnadze warned that Russia "was facing civil war," and expressed his support for Yeltsin's course of action as "the only way out of the situation," Western agencies reported. Liz Fuller UZBEKISTAN PROMISES TO REMAIN IN RUBLE ZONE. Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov has promised Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin that Uzbekistan will remain in the ruble zone, ITAR-TASS reported on 20 March. Chernomyrdin was in Uzbekistan to discuss economic cooperation and to sign a number of agreements, including one on credit and monetary policy. One of the most important issues for Russia is ensuring dependable supplies of cotton for Russian textile mills which have nearly come to a halt at least twice in the last year because of price and currency disputes between Uzbekistan and Russia. Karimov promised Chernomyrdin that Uzbekistan will honor all its earlier agreements on supplying cotton to Russia. Bess Brown TIES BETWEEN XINJIANG AND CENTRAL ASIAN STATES ENCOURAGED. China's Foreign Minister Qian Qichen was quoted by Xinhua on 19 March as telling National Peoples' Congress deputies from the Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region that Xinjiang should expand economic ties with the Central Asian states. Qian was quoted as warning that the present cross-border trade in consumer items from China will decline as the Central Asian economies become stronger, and China may find itself cut off from the Central Asian market. China initially reacted with caution to the independence of the Central Asian states, perhaps fearing that the Turkic-speaking peoples of Xinjiang would be affected by the model of new neighboring Turkic-speaking independent states. In the course of 1992, however, China established diplomatic relations with the new states and actively sought to develop trade ties. Qian's statement to the Uigur deputies suggests that the Chinese government is confident of its control of the situation in Xinjiang. Bess Brown CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE EASTERN EUROPE SUPPORTS YELTSIN. In addition to quick expressions of support from the USA, Canada, Japan and the EC nations, most Eastern European governments and leaders indicated on 21 March that they too stand behind the beleaguered Russian leader's decision to rule by decree. The Hungarian government says it sees Yeltsin as the best guarantee for democracy and the resolute carrying out of the country's transition process, Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky told Radio Budapest. The Russian parliament, Jeszenszky said, is not yet a fully democratic institution and Yeltsin's desire to ask the Russian people what kind of political system they want is "perfectly justified." CTK reported that Czech President Vaclav Havel said that he believes Yeltsin's decision will help to solve the political crisis in Russia. He also said that "it is in the interest of the entire world that Russia does not abandon the road toward democracy and a market economy." Warsaw Radio reports a Polish Foreign Ministry statement saying that Warsaw is watching the events in Moscow with "gravity and concern" and expressing optimism that the authorities will be able peacefully to resolve the crisis "in the spirit of the observance of law and democracy." In Sofia presidential spokesman Valentin Stoyanov explained to Bulgarian Radio that Yeltsin's "formal nondemocratic act was provoked by the need to stop the creeping communist restoration being carried out by old legislative institutions. Petre Roman, leader of Romania's ruling National Salvation Front, was more cautious in a statement to Romanian Radio: Likening the situation to the time of the August 1991 coup in Moscow, Roman continued, "In my opinion, our country should openly support the democratic process and the persons and forces favoring democracy." Charles Trumbull & RI staff SUPPORT FROM THE BALTICS. Baltfax reported on 21 March that Lithuanian Seimas chairman Ceslovas Jursenas said that leaders in the republic support Yeltsin since he will observe Russia's international commitments. Latvia's ambassador to Russia Janis Peters noted that his country is interested in a stable, democratic Russia which in his opinion Yeltsin personifies. Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar after talks with former Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Karlsson said that they both support Yeltsin in his efforts to overcome the power crisis in Russia. Saulius Girnius KRAVCHUK CALLS FOR MODERATION. Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk issued a statement expressing the "serious concern" of the Ukrainian leadership and the people over developments in Russia, Ukrinform-TASS reports on 21 March. Stating that he "decisively" supports the reformist course of the Russian leadership, Kravchuk said that one could not agree with a situation whereby the popularly elected president and the legislature were seeking to deprive each other of power "without consulting the people." The statement calls on the president, the parliament, the government, and all citizens of Russia to show "wisdom and moderation" in the difficult situation. Roman Solchanyk KNAZKO RECALLED, TWO NEW MINISTERS APPOINTED. Slovak Foreign Minister Milan Knazko was recalled from his post by President Michal Kovac on 19 March, Slovak and international media report. Following his ouster, Knazko told reporters that he was recalled because "I became inconvenient to the cabinet because I did not have the same opinions, especially those of the prime minister." According to Knazko, "authoritarian ways of solving problems started to play a larger role in governing the country." Prime Minister Meciar had accused Knazko of incompetence and of failing to represent Slovakia's interests abroad. Kovac told Slovak TV on 19 March that he moved against Knazko in order to prevent a political crisis. He said that Meciar threatened to resign as prime minister if the president did not force Knazko out. Since a new government would have been difficult to form, Meciar's resignation, argued Kovac, could have forced the holding of new elections. Also on 19th, Kovac appointed Jozef Moravcik, the last foreign minister of Czechoslovakia before it split on 1 January 1993, the new Slovak minister of foreign affairs. Jaroslav Kubecka, who was the last Czechoslovak minister of economy, was appointed Slovak minister of economy, to replace Ludovit Cernak who resigned earlier in the day. Jiri Pehe RUMP YUGOSLAV ARMY HELPS CUT OFF SREBRENICA. The 22 March New York Times reports that the federal forces are working in tandem with Bosnia Serb forces to seal off the eastern Bosnian Muslim enclave. The Serbs have repeatedly denied any connection between Belgrade's forces and those in Bosnia, but many foreign observers have long noted the close cooperation between the two in pursuit of a greater Serbia. Meanwhile, international media said on 19 March that a UN aid convoy finally got through to Srebrenica after being held up for days by Serbs, and the following day the UN evacuated nearly 700 Muslims from the besieged town. The BBC said that the Serbs had probably agreed to the move because the evacuation was in keeping with Serb plans to "cleanse" the area of Muslims. The Muslims seek refuge in Tuzla, from which over 200 Serbs are expected in turn to be evacuated. The operation is directed by the UN commander in Bosnia, Gen. Philippe Morillon, who is now well into the second week of his hands-on involvement in Srebrenica, which some Serbs have now dubbed "Morillongrad." Patrick Moore DANUBE UPDATE. Romania has asked the UN Security Council to rule on a demand by rump Yugoslavia to allow its barges to pass through the Iron Gates Two dam. Belgrade claims Romania has no right to hold up Yugoslav "domestic traffic" on the Danube. On 19 March Radio Bucharest quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Mircea Gioana, who said Romania had sent a letter to the Security Council's sanctions committee requesting clear instructions whether the barges are covered by the sanctions. Meanwhile, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 19 March that the United States is providing six patrol boats to Romania and Bulgaria to help enforce the sanctions. Radio Bucharest quoted a State Department spokesman, who said that the boats, three to each country, will reach Constanta on 9 April, accompanied by a team of instructors. The unarmed boats are of the "Whaler" type and can operate in any weather. Michael Shafir ZHELEV AGAIN DENIES MILITARY BUILDUP. On 21 March President Zhelyu Zhelev renewed assurances that no Bulgarian troops are being moved to the Serbian border. Zhelev told Bulgarian Radio that there are "absolutely no grounds" for suspecting Sofia of military preparations, but that Bulgaria might have become a pawn in "a game played between those who insist on military intervention by NATO in ex-Yugoslavia and those who believe [the conflicts] should be solved by political means." He pointed out that Bulgaria, in order to disprove similar allegations, at an earlier point invited several military attaches to inspect the border by helicopter. Zhelev also called "anachronistic" an idea put forward by a deputy to the Russian parliament to form an association of states belonging to the Byzantine cultural area. Kjell Engelbrekt POLISH COALITION DIGESTS PRIVATIZATION DEFEAT. After the narrow defeat of the government's "mass privatization" package in the Sejm on 18 March, the fate of both the program and the ruling coalition remained unclear. An extraordinary cabinet meeting scheduled for 22 March is expected to determine whether the government will make a new attempt to push the mass privatization program, in preparation for over two years, through the parliament. Privatization Minister Janusz Lewandowski offered to step down after the vote, but Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka expressed her continued support for him and his policies. The Christian National Union issued reprimands to nine of its deputies who broke rank to vote against the program. Parliamentary wags expressed relief that Defense Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz, who pushed the wrong button by mistake during the vote, did not have nuclear weapons at his disposal. Some coalition members advocated seeking support from the former communist Democratic Left Alliance; others proposed lobbying the post-Solidarity opposition parties; and still others argued that new elections were the only option, given the coalition's lack of a stable parliamentary majority. The Sejm on 19 March discussed but postponed a vote on a new election law, which aims to limit fragmentation by setting a 5% threshold (8% for coalitions) for parliamentary representation. Louisa Vinton GUILTY VERDICT IN WALESA SLANDER TRIAL. A regional court in Brzeg handed down guilty verdicts on 18 March in the case of two students accused of slandering President Lech Walesa, Gazeta Wyborcza reports. Although the prosecutor had demanded suspended prison sentences, the students were sentenced instead to modest fines. The students admitted to having called Walesa an agent of the communist secret police during demonstrations in June and November 1992, but claimed the trial was "dishonest" because no attempt was made to examine the president's files. The court cited similar statements made by prominent politicians as an extenuating factor in the sentencing. Louisa Vinton HUNGARIAN POLICE SET UP FRAUD SQUAD. Hungarian police have set up a new financial crime unit to trace tax and customs fraud, illegal trade, computer crime, and money laundering, Radio Budapest and Western news agencies reported on 16 March. The head of the unit, Erno Kiss, said it is needed because the number of fraud and embezzlement cases has grown sevenfold in the past three years. He said that the new unit's work is hindered by loopholes in legislation and the lack of an efficient banking information system that could help trace fraud. Kiss urged banks to report any suspicious money transfers. Edith Oltay HUNGARIAN, ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET. Geza Jeszenszky and Teodor Melescanu met in Gyula, Hungary, MTI on 20 March 1993. A Hungarian Foreign Ministry spokesman said the issues discussed included the opening of new border crossings, development of economic relations, minority problems, and the basic treaty between the two countries. According to the Hungarian side, too much emphasis was given to the border issue by the Romanians, since Hungary had already signed international agreements about the unchangibility of the present borders. Melescanu said in a Hungarian TV interview that agreement has to be reached by the two countries so Romania can be integrated into Europe; Romania expects Hungary's support in this regard. The atmosphere of the meeting was described by MTI as relaxed. Karoly Okolicsanyi ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS CENSURE MOTION. By a vote of 260 to 192 on 19 March Parliament rejected a motion of censure proposed by the opposition against the Vacaroiu government. The debates were interrupted by a scuffle provoked by the remarks of Corneliu Vadim Tudor, a senator from the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party. Michael Shafir MOLDOVA PROTESTS ARMISTICE VIOLATIONS. A meeting of the joint (Russian-Moldovan-"Dniester") armistice commission broke down after Moldova protested against violations of last year's Yeltsin-Snegur armistice convention. It charged that Russian peacekeeping troops tolerate the introduction of "Dniester" military units, including "border guards" manned by Russian Cossacks, in the demilitarized zone and aggressive picketing of the last remaining Moldovan police building and court house in Bendery, also in violation of the security zone regime. Moldova's statement, made public on 18 March, again complained that the Russian peacekeeping troops provide a cover for the formation of unlawful "Dniester" state and military structures. Vladimir Socor MOLDOVA--"ASSOCIATE, NONSIGNATORY MEMBER" OF CIS. On an official visit to India, President Mircea Snegur told a news conference in New Delhi that Moldova's relationship to the CIS is that of an "associate member, nonsignatory of the charter" and that Moldova "does not desire the transformation of the CIS into a political or a military organization," Rompres reported on 19 March. Vladimir Socor UKRAINE TO MARK SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF FAMINE. A decree issued by President Leonid Kravchuk provides for the official marking of the sixtieth anniversary of the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine, Ukrinform-TASS reports on 19 March. The famine, which is widely recognized as having been organized by Stalin, will be marked in September 1993. Roman Solchanyk GERMANY AGREES ON LEGAL ASSISTANCE WITH BALTICS. On 16 March in Vilnius Lithuanian Deputy Justice Minister Stasys Sedbaras and German Federal Justice Ministry official Peter Wilkitzki signed a protocol on legal assistance in criminal cases, BNS reported on 19 March. The protocol calls for legal cooperation in accordance with the Criminal Law Convention of the Council of Europe, exchange of information on persons suspected of crimes, and holding talks on the return of stolen property. Lithuania has signed similar agreements with Poland, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Latvia, and Estonia. The following day a similar protocol on legal assistance between Germany and Latvia was signed in Riga. Latvia's Minister of Justice told the press that the protocol does not have the status of a formal accord, pending the Council of Europe's recognition of Latvia joining the Council's convention on legal assistance, but he added that German officials are assuring the Latvians that the Council has already given the go ahead, BNS reported on 18 March. Saulius Girnius & Dzintra Bungs ESTONIA CANCELS COMMON VISA AGREEMENT WITH BALTIC STATES. Prime Minister Mart Laar announced on 18 March that the Estonian government has unilaterally decided to back down partly from the common visa agreement with Latvia and Lithuania signed in March 1992, BNS reported on 19 March. The reason for the move was those two countries' failure to effectively control their eastern borders. Now, citizens of about 40 countries will be able to enter Estonia with Latvian or Lithuanian visas, but all others will have to obtain separate Estonian visas. The implementation of the ruling will become effective in two weeks after the Estonian Foreign Ministry sends formal notification to Latvia and Lithuania. Saulius Girnius LITHUANIA ASKS FOR EXTRADITION OF PARFENOV. Latvian Prosecutor General Janis Skrastins has received a formal request from his Lithuanian counterpart, Arturas Paulauskas, for the extradition to Lithuania of former Riga OMON deputy commander Sergei Parfenov, currently serving a jail sentence in Latvia, BNS reported on 19 March. The request was in part prompted by an article in Respublika of 5 March that claimed that Parfenov participated in the attack on the Lithuanian customs post at Medininkai on 31 July 1991 during which seven customs officials were murdered. Lithuania expects that it will need about three months to question Parfenov on the OMON attacks on the Medininkai and other customs post on the Latvian-Lithuanian border. Saulius Girnius FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN HUNGARY. According to domestic and foreign economic reports on 10 March, several major companies and banks are extending their activities into Hungary. For an undisclosed sum PEPSICO, the US food and drink group, has acquired a 79% interest in FAU, a leading Hungarian soft drink company, and said it will invest $115,000,000 in the Budapest area in the next five years. FAU had previously produced Pepsi products under licence for the Budapest area. The Hotel Duna Intercontinental has been sold to the Marriott Hotel Group for $52,000,000 in a deal said to have been financed by an Austrian bank. The French hotel group ACCOR, has reportedly entered the final stage of talks with Hungary's privatization authorities for the acquisition of a 51% stake in Pannonia, the country's main midmarket hotel chain. Finally, the Bayerische Hypotheken-und-Wechselbank, established with starting capital totaling DM 20,000,000, began its activities on 10 March in Budapest. Judith Pataki [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Wendy Slater and Charles Trumbull THE RFE/RL DAILY REPORT IS PRODUCED BY THE RFE/RL RESEARCH INSTITUTE (A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the assistance of the RFE/RL News and Current Affairs Division (NCA). The report is available by electronic mail via LISTSERV (RFERL-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU), on the Sovset' computer bulletin board, by fax, and by postal mail. For inquiries about specific news items, subscriptions, or additional copies, please contact: in North America: Mr. Brian Reed, RFE/RL, Inc., 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 or -6907; Fax: (202) 457-6992 or 828-8783; Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications Department, RFE/RL Research Institute, Oettingenstrasse 67, 8000 Munich 22, Germany;.Telephone: (+49 89) 2102-2631 or -2624; Fax: (+49 89) 2102-2648, Internet: PD@RFERL.ORG 1993, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.RFE/RL Daily Report
write to us
with your comments and suggestions.