|The discovery of a new dish does more for human happines than the discovery of a new star. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin|
No. 69, 13 April 1993
RUSSIA SHUMEIKO ON REFERENDUM. First Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Shumeiko told Ostankino TV "Novosti" on 8 April that President Boris Yeltsin will not conduct a parallel plebiscite to the 25 April referendum and will not challenge in the Constitutional Court the Congress' stipulation that more than 50% of eligible voters must vote in favor for the questions to be carried. Shumeiko also indicated that Yeltsin had made an error in asking his supporters to vote "yes" on all four questions. He said that Yeltsin's supporters should not vote for early presidential elections, because this might give the president's opponents an argument against him. Shumeiko cited recent opinion polls which said that of those people who want to participate in the referendum on 25 April, more than 50% will vote in support of Yeltsin. -Alexander Rahr CAMPAIGN AGAINST REFERENDUM. President Yeltsin's press secretary Vyacheslav Kostikov issued a statement on 12 April, reported by ITAR-TASS, which accused the parliamentary leadership of orchestrating a campaign to discredit the forthcoming referendum, and the parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov of "descending to outright lies." Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi also came in for criticism: his open opposition to Yeltsin's policies constituted "a political nonsense." At a meeting of the Civic Union on 10-April Rutskoi had criticized Yeltsin for having suggested that, should the referendum result in a vote of confidence in the president and in favor of early parliamentary elections, the Congress and parliament should be dissolved. He had also praised the republic of Mordovia for its recent decision to dissolve the post of executive president. -Wendy Slater VORONTSOV ON SANCTIONS. There is no connection between Boris Yeltsin's political struggles and the delay of the UN Security Council vote on new sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia, Yulii Vorontsov said on 12 April. Vorontsov, Russia's permanent representative to the UN, told reporters in New York that "Yeltsin will stay in power, Yugoslavia or no Yugoslavia," adding "we are not coupling any type of problems at home" with a new sanctions resolution. Vorontsov said that Russia would vote in favor of new sanctions if a peace agreement on Bosnia was not reached after another 15 days of international negotiations, RFE/RL's UN correspondent reported. -Suzanne Crow RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANK AGREES TO LIMIT CREDITS? FINANCE MINISTER BORIS FEDOROV ANNOUNCED ON 10 APRIL THAT THE RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANK (RCB) HAD AGREED TO LIMIT CREDITS AND TO RAISE INTEREST RATES, RUSSIAN AND WESTERN AGENCIES REPORTED. The three deputy governors of the Bank who sit on the Credit Policy Commission with the government had signed an agreement to limit the growth of credits in the second quarter of 1993 to 30% more than the credit issued in the first quarter, according to the New York Times of 11 April. This is in line with Fedorov's stabilization plan. However, the agreement may be short-lived. On 12 April, RCB chairman Viktor Gerashchenko told parliament that the bank plans to boost the money supply by 18% in each of the next three months in order to provide credits to industry. -Keith Bush RESOLUTIONS ON DEFENSE MATTERS. Continuing his efforts to build support within the armed forces, Boris Yeltsin met with representatives of Russian veterans' organizations on 9-April and promised to improve the benefits available to them. On the same day, he issued a resolution expanding benefits for veterans of the war in Afghanistan. Both events were reported by ITAR-TASS on 10 April. On 9 April, representatives of regional soviets meeting in Moscow issued a public address to military, interior ministry, and security officials calling upon them to act in accordance with the constitution and to avoid involvement in politics. -Stephen Foye MULTI-MILLIONAIRE ELECTED PRESIDENT OF KALMYKIA. A 30-year-old multi-millionaire, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, was elected the first president on Kalmykia on 11 April, the Russian and Western media reported on 12 April. Preliminary results showed that Ilyuzhinov, who is a deputy of the Russian parliament, had won over 65% of the votes cast in a turn-out of over 80%. The other two candidates, Maj. Gen. Valerii Ochirov, an Afghan war-veteran, and Vladimir Bambaev, a former republican communist party boss, got 29% and 2% of the votes respectively. In an interview with Komsomolskaya pravda on 9 April, Ilyumzhinov said that, if he became president, he would immediately declare a moratorium on meetings, demonstrations, and strikes; would disband parliament and the soviets at all levels, and turn Kalmykia into a second Kuwait. -Ann Sheehy TOMSK-7 AFTERMATH. In the wake of the explosion on 6 April at a nuclear processing plant in Tomsk-7, investigators were sent from Moscow on 10 April to determine the cause of the accident and the extent of contamination in the fallout area (120 square kilometers at the latest count). Russian and Western agencies reported that negligence had contributed to or caused the explosion and that a small amount (500 grams, according to Rossiiskaya gazeta of 10 April) of plutonium was involved, despite earlier denials. Environmental organizations and officials tended to disagree with the nuclear power and nuclear safety authorities on the degree and harmfulness of the contamination. The Russian Atomic Energy Agency on 12 April invited specialists from the IAEA in Vienna to visit the accident site to check the situation for themselves. The head of the Tomsk oblast administration complained that media reports had caused panic in the area, where the population had started to take iodine to prevent radiation sickness. He said that there had been cases of iodine-poisoning among children. President Yeltsin issued a decree on 9 April that demanded higher safety standards at all military and civilian nuclear installations. -Keith Bush TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA YELTSIN HOPES FOR REBIRTH OF COSSACKDOM IF HE WINS REFERENDUM. On 10-April Yeltsin sent a message to the Council of Atamans of the Cossack Hosts of Russia in which he said that the rebirth of Russian Cossackdom was one of the outstanding phenomena of democratic Russia, ITAR-TASS reported. Yeltsin said that he thought that after the referendum, "which you and I with the whole people should win," the artificial obstacles on the path to the rebirth of Cossackdom would be eliminated by their joint efforts. Yeltsin's decree of 15 March on the restoration of the traditional rights of the Cossacks has provoked considerable concern and has been suspended by the Russian parliament pending its examination by the Constitutional Court. -Ann Sheehy RUSSIAN-GEORGIAN TALKS MAKE MINIMAL PROGRESS. Four days of talks in Sochi between Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and his Georgian counterpart Tengiz Kitovani ended on 9 April with a recommitment to the agreement reached in February on the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Georgia by the end of 1995, ITAR-TASS reported. Progress was also reached on unspecified measures towards resolving the conflict in Abkhazia, but three crucial issues remain unresolved: the status of the Russian seismic monitoring facility in Eshera near Sukhumi; the presence of the 345th Russian regiment in Gudauta, the headquarters of the Abkhaz parliament; and guarding the Russian-Georgian border. -Liz Fuller GAMSAKHURDIA SUPPORTERS HOLD DEMONSTRATION IN TBILISI. Between 3,000 and 5,000 supporters of ousted Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia held a demonstration in Tbilisi on 9 April, the anniversary of the declaration of Georgian independence and of the brutal suppression by Soviet troops of a pro-independence demonstration in 1989, ITAR-TASS reported. No "excesses" were reported. -Liz Fuller FIGHTING CONTINUES IN SOUTHERN AZERBAIJAN. Fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces resumed on 9 April following the abortive announcement of a Russian brokered ceasefire, Western agencies reported. On 10 April, Azerbaijani forces launched counterattacks against Armenian villages in the north-east and south-east of Nagorno-Karabakh; the Armenian Foreign Ministry protested at what it termed an Azerbaijani incursion into the Armenian raion of Kafan, near the Iranian border, on 10 April in which eight Armenian troops were killed. Armenian forces continued the artillery bombardment of Fizuli, southeast of Nagorno-Karabakh. -Liz Fuller RUSSIA FAILS TO BROKER CEASEFIRE; AZERBAIJAN APPEALS TO IRAN. On 9 April representatives of Armenia, Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh parliament denied an ITAR-TASS report of the previous day that Russian defense Minister Pavel Grachev had mediated a ceasefire agreement during talks in Sochi. On 8-April, a leading Turkish military official said additional troops had been deployed along the Turkish-Armenian border, but on 9 April Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel was quoted in the Turkish press as ruling out military intervention. The Turkish parliament subsequently voted to send a group of human rights monitors to Azerbaijan, according to ITAR-TASS. On 9 April Armenia welcomed an offer by Russian President Yeltsin to mediate a settlement in Karabakh; no response was forthcoming from Azerbaijan, which on 11-April sent secretary of state Panakh Huseinov to Tehran for talks with Iranian officials. Iranian President Ali Akbar Rafsanjani stated that Iran was ready to take "concrete measures" to safeguard its security, but also that Iran was ready to cooperate with any other countries to bring about a peaceful settlement; there is confusion as to whether Azerbaijan has requested military assistance from Iran or merely humanitarian aid. On 12 April the Egyptian Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the fighting in Karabakh and called for an immediate cessation of hostilities, ITAR-TASS reported. Also on 12 April, the US urged Armenia to exert pressure on the Karabakh Armenian community to end the fighting, according to an RFE/RL correspondent. The prime ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan are scheduled to meet for talks in Moscow on 13 April. -Liz Fuller CENTRAL ASIAN SUMMIT NOT TO TAKE PLACE ON 22 APRIL. ITAR-TASS reported on 10 April that its correspondent in Ashgabat had been informed that the summit of Central Asian heads of state scheduled for 22-April in the Turkmen capital will not take place. Turkmen President Saparmurad Niyazov's press service, which supplied the information, seemed uncertain whether the summit was being deferred or canceled, but ITAR-TASS speculated that this information might emerge during scheduled visits of other Central Asian heads of state to Turkmenistan. Niyazov has publicly expressed doubts about the importance or usefulness of a regional "common market," preferring bilateral relations. -Bess Brown FORMER PRESIDENT OF TAJIKISTAN DIES. Tajikistan's former president, Rakhmon Nabiev, was buried in his native Khodzhent on 12 April in the presence of the country's top leadership, Russian and Western agencies reported. Nabiev was found dead, victim of a heart attack, on the previous day. He was a former republican Communist Party chief who succeeded in making a political comeback after Tajikistan's independence in 1991; he was elected to the post of president in November 1991 in what was generally considered a fair election, but proved unable to cope with the pressures exerted by the democratic-nationalist Islamic opposition. He was forced from office at gunpoint (he said) in September 1992. Two months later he told the conservative legislature that he was willing to resume the presidency, but the Supreme Soviet, despite overseeing a conservative restoration, confirmed Nabiev's removal and abolished the presidency. -Bess Brown CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE NATO BEGINS TO ENFORCE NO-FLY ZONE OVER BOSNIA. International media reported on 12 April that NATO aircraft have begun enforcing the UN's ban dating from October 1992. Also on 12 April, Serb gunners broke the cease-fire by shelling Sarajevo and Srebrenica, killing over 50 in that east Bosnian town. On 9 April Bosnian Serb commander Gen. Ratko Mladic again denied a UN request to send Canadian troops to the besieged enclave, saying that it would be "over my dead body," the New York Times reported the next day. Also on 10 April, the Los Angeles Times quoted "one outraged UN official" as saying that the UN "was set up" when Serb forces on 9 April found ammunition on board a relief shipment destined for Sarajevo. Finally, on 8 April the World Court ordered rump Yugoslavia to "prevent . . .the crime of genocide" in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the BBC said. -Patrick Moore CROATIAN GOVERNMENT SETS DOWN DOMESTIC STRATEGY. Vjesnik of 6 April and Slobodna Dalmacija of 8 April reported on the guidelines set down by new Prime Minister Nikica Valentic for his administration. The centerpiece will be reinvigorating the economy, including launching a massive public works program within 30 days to repair the infrastructure and employ up to 30,000 persons. While saying that bringing down inflation was one of his goals, Valentic made clear that "complete financial discipline" would not be imposed at the cost of reviving the economy, whose main pillars are agriculture and tourism. He also noted the need to solve the drastic energy problem, but cautioned against hasty solutions. The Prime Minister seemed to suggest that regional districts would be effectively subordinated to the central government, and added that cabinet ministers would be asked to deposit a list of their properties with the president. This appears to go less far in dealing with the problems of corruption and conflict of interest than had proposals for a public declaration by all ministers of their properties and their memberships in organizations and supervisory bodies. -Patrick Moore GREEK MACEDONIAN TALKS. Cyrus Vance and Lord David Owen met separately in New York with Greek foreign minister Mihalis Papaconstantinou and Macedonian deputy prime minister and acting foreign minister Stevo Crvenkovski, on 12 April in an effort to resolve the differences between their two countries. Among the isssues remaining are establishing an official name for the UN's newest member, which was admitted to that body under the temporary designation, "The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and the matter of Greek unhappiness with Macedonia's choice of a flag. According to Reuters, the discussions are also expected to deal with confidence-building measures meant to lessen tensions between Athens and Skopje. The mediators hope to conclude deliberations by the time Vance retires at the end of April. Media were cautioned to expect little information during the coming weeks in light of the highly senstive nature of the deliberations. -Duncan Perry DLOUHY IN MOSCOW. On 10 April Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Vladimir Dlouhy returned from an official three-day visit to Moscow, Czech Television reported. He signed a new bilateral treaty on trade and a series of other documents on economic, scientific, and technical cooperation. Jan Obrman MECIAR RALLIES FOR THE SUPPORT OF EX-COMMUNISTS. Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar met with leaders of the ex-communist Party of the Democratic Left to discuss the party's possible support for his minority government, Slovak media reported on 9 April. At the meeting it was agreed that representatives of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (MDS) and the PDL would regularly meet to discuss political issues; Meciar and Peter Weiss, the chairman of the PDL said this was necessary because the difficult situation in Slovakia might result in "right-wing extremism." While MDS officials signaled their interest in employing more PDL members in the diplomatic corps and in the state administration, both Meciar and Weiss rejected the creation of a coalition between the two largest Slovak political parties. The meeting between leaders of the two parties was apparently prompted by the decision of 8-MDS deputies in the Slovak parliament to leave their party and join a new parliamentary group headed by former foreign minister Milan Knazko. In a televised address to the nation on 11 April, Meciar compared the "betrayal" of the MDS deputies to the betrayal of Jesus Christ by Judas. -Jan Obrman FURTHER DECREASE OF CZECH UNEMPLOYMENT RATE. The Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs released a report on 9 April, saying that the unemployment rate has been continuously decreasing in the past months and fell below 3% in March, CTK reported. A ministry spokesman indicated that there was a lack of workers in many places, saying that the unemployment rate in Prague was at 0.3%. The ministry expected, however, an increase of unemployment later this year owing to the privatization process and the new law on bankruptcy. A ministry official said that the rate could reach 8% nationwide and up to 28% in certain regions in the second half of the year. Jan Obrman CZECHS AND SLOVAKS CLOSE BORDERS TO EC PRODUCTS. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have joined Poland and Hungary in banning imports and transit of livestock and meat products from the EC, CTK reported on 12 April. The decision followed an EC ban introduced last week on imports of live animals, meat, milk, and dairy products from Eastern Europe until 10-May, allegedly designed to prevent the spread of the hoof and mouth disease. The Czech foreign ministry declared that the EC's decision was unjustified and amounted to protectionism. Deputy Foreign Minister Pavel Bratinka told CTK that the ban made little sense as EC inspectors recently found that the disease did not exist in the Czech Republic. Virtually all Czech parties called on the government to issue a strong protest to EC representatives. Slovakia joined the initiative without any official comment. Jan Obrman HUNGARY BANS LIVESTOCK AND DAIRY IMPORTS FROM EC. On 8 April, Hungary banned imports of livestock and dairy products from the European Community and Austria, MTI reports. Hungary's move came following the EC's ban on meat and dairy products from most countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to stop the spread of hoof and mouth desease. Austria and Poland also joined the ban. Hungarian government spokeswoman Judit Juhasz expressed '"shock" over the EC's ban and predicted that it will result in substantial financial lossess for Hungarian agriculture. Pointing out that EC experts have recently certified that Hungary was free of the disease, Juhasz accused that EC of imposing the ban out of "trade political considerations." The Hungarian government also protested against Poland's move to join the ban but has not yet taken countermeasures. -Edith Oltay POLISH AGRICULTURE MINISTER RESIGNS. Agriculture Minister Gabriel Janowski resigned on 8 April in protest against what he termed the government's "economically flawed" decision to set guaranteed minimum prices for wheat and rye at a level lower than the market rate. Accepting Janowski's resignation, Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka simultaneously dismissed two of his deputies. She appointed another deputy, Janusz Bylinski, to head the ministry. Bylinski, like his predecessor, is a member of the small Peasant Alliance that belongs to the government coalition. According to PAP, Janowski said that the minimum prices had been one of the four conditions set by the party for remaining in the coalition. The party's leadership will discuss its continued membership in the coalition on 16 April. -Anna Sabbat-Swidlicka POLLS IN BALTIC STATES. Opinion polls taken in the Baltic States on 23-29 March indicate considerable differences in the popularity of its leaders, BNS reported on 8 April. Latvian parliament chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs was viewed positively by 51%, negatively by 26% with 23% unsure. Similar ratings for Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas were: 41, 14, and 45%, for Estonian President Lennart Meri: 38, 43, and 19%, for Latvian premier Ivars Godmanis: 22, 57, and 22%, for former Lithuanian premier Bronislovas Lubys: 40, 16, and 43%, and for Estonian premier Mart Laar: 43, 42, and 15%. In Estonia the activities of the parliament and government were viewed positively by 37 and 40% and negatively by 51-and 49% . In Latvia both institutions were viewed negatively by 71% and positively by only 9%. In Lithuania 26% viewed the parliament's work as positive, and 37% as negative. while the government's work was viewed positively by 26% and negatively by 20%. -Saulius Girnius BALTIC STATES OFFER ON HOUSING FOR RUSSIAN SOLDIERS. On 8 April the Council of the Baltic States issued a joint statement signed by the three heads of state welcoming the plan by US President Bill Clinton to help Russia by building housing for its withdrawing military personnel, Radio Lithuania reports. The statement notes "We are ready to meet with American and Russian officials at any time and in any place to discuss participation in this program." -Saulius Girnius ANDREJEVS SEES VISIT TO US AS SUCCESSFUL. Latvian Foreign Minister Georgs Andrejevs described his meeting with US Secretary of State Warren Christopher on 8 April in Washington as successful, BNS reported on 12 April. Andrejevs noted that Christopher had told him that it would be incorrect to view President Clinton's lack of comment on Yeltsin's statements in Vancouver about the human rights situation in the Baltic States as tacit consent. Christopher backed the Latvian request for international observers at the next round of Latvian-Russsian troop withdrawal talks and said that the US would cut in half the US humanitarian aid to Russia if a clearcut withdrawal schedule were not presented by 1 October. During the visit a Latvian-US fishing pact allowing Latvian ships to fish within 200 miles of American coasts was also signed. -Saulius Girnius STEPASHIN VISIT TO LITHUANIA. Sergei Stepashin, the chairman of the Defense and Security Committe of the Russian parliament, completed a three-day visit to Lithuania on 8-April, Radio Lithuania reports. After meetings with President Algirdas Brazauskas, Seimas chairman Ceslovas Jursenas, opposition leader Vytautas Landsbergis, and other government officials, Stepashin said that the main aim of his trip to establish serious relations between the parliaments of the two countries was fully achieved. He noted that since Lithuania showed a "constructive civilized European approach" to human rights and national minorities the pullout of Russian troops wold proceed on schedule. Brazauskas also told him that he would be willing to meet Yeltsin before the 25 April referendum to sign joint protocols on the troop pullout and their property. -Saulius Girnius BELARUS: PARLIAMENT OPTS FOR CIS SECURITY PACT. The Belarus Supreme Soviet on 9 April overrode the objections of parliamentary chairman Stanislau Shushkevich and voted to strengthen ties with Moscow by joining the CIS collective security agreement, concluded in Tashkent on 15 May 1992. According to Belinform-TASS, the vote instructing Shushkevich to sign the pact "with certain reservations" was 188 in favor, with 34 against and 30-abstentions. Reuter reported on 9 April that Government ministers had firmly backed joining the CIS pact during the debate, and Foreign Minister Pyotr Kravchenko was quoted as saying that "collective security does not contradict the principle of neutrality." On 7 April, according to Reuter, Defense Minister Pavel Kozlovsky had criticized Belarus' existing policy of neutrality, and said that the rupture with Moscow had left the Belarus armed forces a shambles. Summing up the feelings of those opposed to the Pact, Shushkevich warned that the decision, which calls for a united defense policy with Moscow, could undermine Minsk's relations with other neighboring states. -Stephen Foye UKRAINIAN OFFICERS UNION STAKES OUT HARDLINE POSITION. Meeting in Kiev on 10-11-April, members of the influential Union of Ukrainian Officers adopted a resolution that called for the following: maintenance of Ukraine's status as a nuclear power; suspension of the Yalta agreement that regulates Russian and Ukrainian activities with respect to the Black Sea Fleet; and the discharge of all officers not taking an oath of allegiance to Ukraine or who are in some fashion obstructing the construction of a Ukrainian national army. The results of a survey were disclosed at the meeting which reportedly revealed that some 80% of Ukrainian officers surveyed were prepared to take extreme measures if their social problems were not resolved, while only 30% were said to have expressed strong loyalty to independent Ukraine. Defense Minister Konstantin Morozov addressed the assembly, which elected as chairman Maj. Gen. Aleksandr Skipalsky. Ukrinform-TASS reported on the meeting. -Stephen Foye BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT PRESENTS DRAFT BUDGET . . . On 8 April Bulgaria's Finance Minister Stoyan Aleksandrov presented a 1993 draft budget to the National Assembly. Envisaging an eight per cent deficit, the budget may be barely acceptable to international financial institutions, notably the International Monetary Fund. Before releasing more credits, the IMF wants the Bulgarian parliament to pass a budget and to adopt legislation on bancruptcy and value-added tax. The proposed budget foresees an annual inflation rate of 60%, which even Prime Minister Lyuben Berov admitted was probably too optimistic. -Kjell Engelbrekt . . . AND HAS NOW SPENT 100 DAYS IN OFFICE. The budget was introduced to the Bulgarian parliament on the 100th day of Berov's cabinet in power. In the 12-April issue of Demokratsiya, the Union of Democratic Forces parliamentary group presented a detailed criticism of the government's performance thus far. The UDF caucus warned that the lack of a stable parliamentary majority ready to accept full responsibility for the actions of the cabinet could "politically destabilize" the country. Leaders of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which are supporting the government, advocated limited changes in the cabinet. They particularly urged Berov to appoint a Minister of Foreign Affairs, a post he currently holds himself. -Kjell Engelbrekt BULGARIA HALTS DEMOLITION OF RED ARMY MONUMENT. Following scuffles between police and large groups of elderly comunists, the Bulgarian government on 12 April suspended the demolition of a 40-metre (120 feet) Red Army monument in Sofia's city center, Western agencies report. Protesting the decision to dismantle the monument-taken by the UDF-dominated city authorities-a BSP spekesman declared that the act amounted to an attempt to "rehabilitate fascism and renouncing the antifascist opposition." In another statement, Russian Ambassador Aleksander Avdeev warned that the fate of the monument would "not be viewed indifferently by Russians, since millions of our people died in the struggle against fascism." Avdeev also called on Bulgaria to keep its obligations under the Russian-Bulgarian friendship treaty signed last year, according to which objects of historic or cultural value to any of the two parties should be maintained. -Kjell Engelbrekt WAVE OF WORKERS' PROTESTS IN ROMANIA. On 12 April tens of thousands of workers joined rallies and warning strikes across Romania to protest the government's economic policies and deteriorating living standards. Some 15,000 people shouted anti-government slogans in central Bucharest, while trucks and buses blocked the downtown area bringing traffic to a near still-stand. The blockade was organized in spite of a ban on the use of state-owned vehicles for strikes and rallies staged by the trade unions, issued by the cabinet on 9 April. Radio Bucharest reported similar protests from Sibiu, Constanta, Tirgu-Mures and other Romanian cities. The rallies were the first major trade union challenge against Nicolae Vacaroiu's minority left-wing government since it took office in November 1992. Romania's main trade union confederations further threatened to stage a nationwide strike on 20 April if the government goes ahead with plans to eliminate all state subsidies for staples and basic services as for 1-May. -Dan Ionescu [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Wendy Slater and Jan B. de Weydenthal 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.1 No. 6, January 12, 1993 RFE/RL Daily Report RFE/RL Daily Report No. 6, January 12, 1993 1
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