The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are infliciting it upon me. - Frederick Douglass
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 175, 13 September 1993

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



PROSECUTOR BRIEFS PARLIAMENT ON CORRUPTION. On 10 September,
Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Makarov addressed the parliament
on corruption, Russian television reported. (Makarov had chaired
the special commission of the Office of the Russian Prosecutor-General
that was set up to check the allegations of corruption among
members of the Yeltsin administration made by Vice President
Aleksandr Rutskoi in April). Makarov said that 41 of the 50 instances
cited by Rutskoi had been confirmed by his commission, while
9-had proved to be erroneous. Six criminal investigations had
been initiated, including one against the head of the Federal
Information Center, Mikhail Poltoranin, who was accused of abuse
of office and of forgery. Following Makarov's report, the commission
was disbanded at his request to avoid further political tensions.
-Julia Wishnevsky

PARLIAMENT PROVIDES PROTECTION FOR DISSENTING OFFICIALS. After
hearing Makarov's report, parliament adopted some critical measures.
A bill on criminal liability for officials violating the immunity
of either the president or vice president of Russia was adopted
at the first reading. Those found guilty of this offence would
be liable to up to 8 years of imprisonment. The bill was adopted
upon the recommendation of Prosecutor General Valentin Stepankov
to protect Vice President Aleksandr Rutskoi, who had been barred
from entering his Kremlin office by presidential guards a few
days earlier. Parliament also decreed the establishment of a
special security service for judges of the Constitutional Court.
(Last spring the head of Yeltsin's bodyguards stopped the protection
of members of the Constitutional Court after they had ruled a
number of Yeltsin's decrees unconstitutional). -Julia Wishnevsky


PARLIAMENT SETS UP GROUP TO CONSULT YELTSIN ON CONSTITUTION.
On 10-September, the parliament set up an eight-member group
to consult with President Yeltsin on coordinating constitutional
reforms. The group is headed by parliamentary speaker Ruslan
Khasbulatov and includes the secretary of the parliament's Constitutional
Commission Oleg Rumyantsev, the head of the parliament's Council
of Nationalities Ramazan Abdulatipov and a leader of the pro-Communist
opposition Vladimir Isakov, ITAR-TASS reported. Meanwhile a working
group set up last week by Yeltsin to finalize the draft constitution,
met for the first time on 10 September. The group's head, deputy
chairman of the parliament Nikolai Ryabov told ITAR-TASS that
the group will be mainly preoccupied with political rather than
legal issues. He said the focus of the group's discussion is
the division of powers as envisaged by the draft constitution
and relations between the central government and Russia's regions
and republics. Four representatives of the hardline parliamentary
opposition, including Isakov, had joined the working group, according
to ITAR-TASS on 11 and 12 September, President Yeltsin having
agreed to Ryabov's suggestion to this effect in a letter of 11
September. -Vera Tolz

RYABOV REPRIMANDED. Parliamentary speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov
has reprimanded his deputy, Nikolai Ryabov. During a parliamentary
session, Khasbulatov told his subordinate that if he continued
to disregard the Constitution, he would be removed, ITAR-TASS
reported on 10 September. Hardliners in parliament had demanded
Ryabov's ouster because of his switch to the president's camp.
Ryabov, in turn, accused parliament of having become a new kind
of CPSU Central Committee. According to the present Constitution,
Ryabov, as Khasbulatov's deputy, must act only upon the authorization
of the speaker. President Yeltsin's appointment of Ryabov to
chair a group of politicians that will draft a final version
of the new constitution provoked the uproar against Ryabov in
the parliament. -Alexander Rahr

YELTSIN AIDE, SHAKHRAI ON FEDERATION COUNCIL. Yeltsin aide Yurii
Baturin told ITAR-TASS on 10-September that replies had been
received from 139 of the representatives of legislative and executive
power as regards the creation of the Federation Council. Baturin
said that 90 were completely in favor, 20 were in favor with
reservations, and 6 against (he did not reveal how the remaining
23 replied). Baturin said the president's administration was
not hurrying events, and was hoping that not only the heads of
administrations but also the heads of the parliaments and soviets
would come round to supporting it. In Novosibirsk Deputy Premier
Sergei Shakhrai said the council would be stillborn if several
regions such as Novosibirsk oblast refused to participate, ITAR-TASS
reported on 10 September. Shakhrai mentioned the possibility
of Novosibirsk oblast taking part as an observer. -Ann Sheehy


TV JOURNALISTS TO SET UP INDEPENDENT CHANNEL. On 12 September,
a group of leading Russian TV journalists announced their intention
of setting up an independent TV channel. Speaking on the Ostankino
TV weekly political program "Itogi," its moderator, Evgenii Kiselev,
said the new channel would be started by journalists from both
the Ostankino and Rossiya state-run TV companies. He said the
new channel plans to start broadcasting news programs in October.
Called "Segodnya" (Today), it will be co-hosted by well-known
newscasters Tatyana Mitkova and Mikhail Osokin. Kiselev said
he and other journalists are quitting the state-run TV operations
because they believe that truly informative programs can be done
only by stations that do not rely on the state for support. This
year, the control of Russia's state-run media by the political
leadership has been the subject of intense discussion by journalists
concerned at attempts by the legislative and executive branches
of power to use the media in their power struggle. -Vera Tolz


YELSTIN WANTS COMPROMISE ON PRIVATIZATION. President Yeltsin
has asked First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Lobov and Deputy Prime
Minister Anatolii Chubais to reconcile their differences on privatization
policy, Russian and Western news agencies reported on 11-September.
Lobov has lobbied for a revaluation of Russian capital stock
and privatization vouchers to account for inflation and enable
fairer competition between domestic and foreign investors. Yeltsin,
who was initially won over to Lobov's position, has now rescinded
the 30-August decree, which incorporated many of Lobov's proposals,
in response to objections by Chubais and others. Chubais says
the Lobov approach would mean "abandoning [mass] privatization"
as it would raise the nominal value of capital stock by a much
greater factor than that of the vouchers. -Erik Whitlock

YELTSIN REJECTS PARLIAMENT'S BUDGET AGAIN. President Yeltsin
used a technicality to avoid signing into law the parliament's
draft budget for 1993, the Financial Times reported on 11 September.
The parliament overrode Yeltsin's original veto of its budget
which envisages a deficit almost twice as large as Yeltsin and
the Cabinet of Ministers would like. In doing so, however, the
parliament changed the name of the budget law, thus giving Yeltsin
the opportunity to veto the legislation again. On the same day,
governmental advisors Andrei Ilyaronov, Sergei Vasiliev and Anders
Aslund suggested that it made little difference which budget
ultimately became law because state spending was no longer under
the control of the Ministry of Finance or Cabinet of Ministers.
-Erik Whitlock

SHAPOSHNIKOV STAYING IN MOSCOW. Contrary to reports broadcast
by Radio Rossii and Russian Television on 9 September, Marshal
Evgenii Shaposhnikov has not been appointed Russian ambassador
to New Zealand. In a brief interview with Izvestiya on 10 September,
Shaposhnikov confirmed that he had been offered the post, but
stated that he had turned it down. -John Lepingwell CIS

MOROZOV CRITICAL OF MASSANDRA AGREEMENT. According to a report
carried by UNIAR on 10-September, Ukrainian Defense Minister
Konstantin Morozov has informed President Leonid Kravchuk that
he will disclaim all responsibility for Ukraine's southern defenses
if the Massandra agreement to sell Ukraine's half of the Black
Sea Fleet is implemented. Kravchuk has reportedly ordered that
a study be prepared, to be discussed at a Ukrainian Security
Council meeting on 17-September. Reuters reported on 11 September
that Ivan Plyushch, the speaker of the Ukrainian parliament,
also opposes the agreement. However, Admiral Eduard Baltin, the
fleet's Russian commander, has sent a telegram to Yeltsin and
Kravchuk expressing his support for the agreements and claiming
that the "overwhelming majority" of the fleet's officers support
the agreement, according to UNIAR on 10 September. The Ukrainian
naval officers' union had earlier denounced the agreement. -John
Lepingwell

UKRAINE DENIES SUPPLYING ARMS TO AZERBAIJAN. On 9 September the
Armenian foreign ministry presented a formal note of protest
to Ukraine over reports that Ukraine was supplying Azerbaijan
with weapons, an RFE/RL correspondent reported on 9 and 11-September.
In response, the deputy chief of the Ukrainian security service's
press service, Viktor Varenyk, denied that Ukraine was sending
Azerbaijan modern military equipment. Varenyk said that Ukraine
did have an agreement to repair Azerbaijani tanks, but it was
not sending anything more than repaired tanks to Azerbaijan.
-Ustina Markus

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



NAGORNO-KARABAKH PEACE TALKS. Representatives of Nagorno-Karabakh
and Azerbaijan agreed on 10 September to extend the ceasefire
agreed on 31-August for an additional two days, until 13 September,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported. Azerbaijani deputy parliament
chairman Affiatdin Dzhalilov and Nagorno-Karabakh's Foreign Minister
Arkady Gukasyan met in Moscow on 12 September to prepare for
a meeting between Azerbaijan parliament chairman Geidar Aliev
and Nagorno-Karabakh representatives, but no progress was made,
according to AFP; a second round of talks will take place on
13-September. On 12 September the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued
a communique warning Armenia against any attempt to change existing
borders in the Caucasus and calling for a swift resolution of
the Karabakh conflict, ITAR-TASS reported. -Liz Fuller

NEW GEORGIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED. On 11 September Georgian parliament
chairman Eduard Shevardnadze named a new Council of Ministers
which includes three new deputy prime ministers: Irina Sarishvili,
one of the leaders of the radical National Democratic Party;
Amiran Kadagishvili, a prominent Georgian businessman; and Nikoloz
Lekishvili, a former Tbilisi City Party Committee first secretary
who is currently head of the parliament commission on industry
and communications, the Georgian Information Agency reported.
Shevardnadze himself has temporarily assumed the duties of Interior
Minister, and on 12-September was planning to introduce a state
of emergency nationwide in the hope of neutralizing armed supporters
of ousted president Zviad Gamsakhurdia who are currently occupying
several towns in western Georgia. -Liz Fuller

STATE OF EMERGENCY IN KAZAKHSTAN AFTER CHOLERA OUTBREAK. A state
of emergency has been declared in Almaty and the capital's airport
has been closed to flights originating in Asia in the wake of
an outbreak of cholera, Russian and Western sources reported
on 12 September. According to AFP, quoting Radio Rossii, some
200 cholera cases have been identified; Reuters reported that
markets have been closed in Almaty after 13-people who bought
food in one of the city's farmers' markets contracted the disease.
Officials in Kazakhstan were reported to believe that cholera
had been brought into the country from Pakistan after 30-passengers
on a flight from Pakistan were found to be suffering from the
disease. -Bess Brown

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



THE HEAVIEST FIGHTING IN CROATIA SINCE 1991. This is how UNPROFOR
civil affairs chief Cedric Thorn-berry summed up the renewed
conflict that began on 9 September with a Croatian attack on
three Serb-held villages in the Gospic area of Krajina. The Serbs,
international media add, have put up dogged resistance and on
12 September hit Somobor and a Zagreb suburb with rockets. They
have also announced a list of up to 30-sites they might target
for further rocket attacks, and in the meantime they have shelled
Karlovac and the Gospic area. Following what Croatian Television
depicted as a somber and tense meeting of the top defense and
security council, President Franjo Tudjman announced a unilateral
24-hour cease-fire. Meanwhile, the UN began efforts to broker
a broader truce, but the BBC noted that the Serbs are unlikely
to agree as long as the Croats hold onto the captured villages.
Domestic political pressure is, however, intense on the Tudjman
government to recapture the up to one-third of Croatian territory
held by rebel Serbs, and, as one international observer put it,
"we could be in for quite a lot of trouble." -Patrick Moore

MUTINY IN BANJA LUKA. The situation in war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina
over the weekend appeared relatively quiet compared to what went
on in Croatia, with the major exception of the Serb-held town
of Banja Luka in the northwest. On 10 September at least two
units of soldiers blocked access roads with tanks and took control
of key buildings. They demanded the arrest of corrupt officials
and war profiteers, who, The Guardian on 11 September reported,
have allegedly "increased their wealth with the blessing of the
powers that be, spitting on the graves of our dead soldiers."
Tensions between soldiers who see themselves fighting and dying
out of patriotism on the one hand, and profiteers on the other
have been present on all three sides of the conflict, and suggestions
that the Bosnian Serb leadership engineered the putsch to get
rid of powerful Banja Luka personalities have not been proven.
Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and military chief
Gen. Ratko Mladic have both gone to the town, which, Politika
reports on 13 September, is quiet. Meanwhile, the London Times
said on 10-September that Serb extremists destroyed the last
of Banja Luka's 16 mosques, two of which were UNESCO-registered
and dated back to the early 17th century. -Patrick Moore

SERBIAN BLOCKADE UPDATE. Macedonia became one of the last countries
to tighten sanctions against rump Yugoslavia by stopping freight
traffic on 4 September. President Kiro Gligorov said: "of all
Serbia's neighbors, the sanctions affect Macedonia most because
we don't have an exit to the sea, we don't have other good alternative
streets or railroads . . . [and] that will have economic, social,
and other consequences," Vreme reports on 13-September. According
to Reuters, UN observers at one Macedonian border post reported
still in July that up to 200 trucks crossed every night. Elsewhere,
food-starved Serbia closed the border to Montenegro for trucks
with flour and other goods, Vreme adds. "No single cucumber"
can cross the Serbian-Montenegrin border anymore "without permission
of the Serbian trade ministry," the weekly notes, adding that
Montenegro might stop the export of salt, coal, and aluminum
in response. But Borba says on 12-September that the Serbian
trade minister denies there is a blockade against Montenegro,
while that same paper the next day quoted Montenegrin President
Momir Bulatovic as similarly playing down reports of a blockade.
-Fabian Schmidt

FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS SLOVAKIA WANTS TO JOIN NATO. In a 12 September
televised debate on European security structures Jozef Moravcik
said the idea that Slovakia could be a neutral country is "naive."
According to Moravcik, membership of the Visegrad Four nations
in NATO is "very important" because it will "provide a guarantee
for good neighborly relations." He also said that membership
in NATO should secure Slovakia's entry into the European integration
process, which will create conditions "for internal stability
and prosperity." Commander of the Slovak Army Julius Humaj said
that while Slovakia does not possess the military criteria for
entry to NATO, the more important matters for entry are political
will and the acceptance of existing members. -Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK COURT SAYS CE RECOMMENDATIONS NOT LEGALLY BINDING. In
response to a 31 August request of Minister of Transport Roman
Hofbauer to determine whether Council of Europe recommendations
have legal supremacy over Slovak law, Constitutional Court Chairman
Milan Cic said the CE recommendations concerning minority rights
standards "do not have and cannot have-.-.-. legal implications
for the state organs of the Slovak republic," CTK reports on
11 September. Cic also said that according to a 1990 law of the
Slovak National Council, "the right to change names of communities
belongs to the government of the Slovak Republic," and not to
local decision makers. Hofbauer's request concerns the issue
of whether Hungarian communities should be allowed to post signs
in the Hungarian language alongside the Slovak ones. Hofbauer
recently ordered the signs be removed, leading to protests from
the country's large Hungarian minority. -Sharon Fisher

HAVEL FAVORS RESTITUTION OF JEWISH PROPERTY. Czech President
Vaclav Havel favors a new law to regulate the return of property
confiscated from Jewish communities by the Nazis and never returned
to them after the war, CTK reports on 12 September. Havel made
it clear, however, that a possible law on the restitution of
Jewish property should not be linked to other restitutions. Prague
officials are reportedly concerned that a return of Jewish property
confiscated before February 1948 could encourage Sudeten Germans
to demand a restitution of their property seized after the war.
Earlier, on 9 September, Havel also called for a solution to
the dispute between government coalition parties over the restitution
of Catholic Church property expropriated after the war. The President
told Czech Parliament Chairman Milan Uhde that, for instance,
he supports the return of St. Vitus Cathedral at the Prague Castle
to the Church. -Jan Obrman

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS HUNGARY. Czech Foreign Minister
Jozef Zieleniec held talks on 10-September in Budapest with his
Hungarian counterpart Geza Jeszenszky, Prime Minister Jozsef
Antall, President Arpad Goncz, and Hungary's parliamentary foreign
relations committee, MTI reports. The two sides agreed that bilateral
relations are good and contribute to the strengthening of stability
in Central Europe. Preparations for a new bilateral treaty are
under way, bilateral trade is improving, and Hungary supports
the Czech Republic's bid for the East European nonpermanent seat
at the UN Security Council in 1994-95. According to Zieleniec,
admission into NATO will involve for the Czech Republic a "longer
process" rather than a "concrete step" because its geopolitical
situation differs from that of Hungary; but should Hungary and
Poland be admitted, Prague could not imagine being left out.
Zieleniec also said European integration would in the long term
solve the national minority questions, as the region was not
yet ready to implement strict European norms in that field. -Alfred
Reisch

HUNGARIAN PREELECTION MOVES. The leadership of the opposition
liberal party Alliance of Free Democrats on 12 September voted
to propose to its national council Gabor Kuncze, a 43-year old
economist and leader of its parliamentary faction, as head of
its electoral list in the 1994 general elections. This means
that Kuncze would be the AFD's prime minister-designate. At the
11-12 September meeting of the presidium and parliamentary faction
of the Hungarian Socialist Party, chairman Gyula Horn reached
an agreement with Matyas Szuros, vice chairman of the Hungarian
parliament, who in recent weeks had repeatedly criticized his
own party. Szuros will remain in the HSP and enter next year's
electoral race under its banner; he also agreed to express his
eventual criticisms of the HSP first before party forums rather
than going public, MTI reports. -Alfred Reisch

BUCHAREST WON'T WITHDRAW JESZENSZKY INVITATION, BUT . . . On
10 September the Romanian government officially rejected demands
by the Party of Romanian National Unity to cancel the visit of
Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky, due to begin on the
15th. Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said a dialogue with
Hungary would help relations and contribute to defending the
national interests of both countries. At the same time, Melescanu
said the government "understands" the concerns of the PRNU. In
a message addressed to the nationalist organization Vatra Romaneasca
on the occasion of the country-wide conference of the organization,
President Ion Iliescu stated that Vatra (whose political arm
is the PRNU) has been "an element of stability and equilibrium
for the country," and praised its "encouragement and promotion
of national values." Iliescu also said he was "convinced" that
in the future Vatra will "orient itself even more [than in the
past] towards cultivating a climate of tolerance and mutual understanding,"
thus proving that "extremist and xenophobic manifestations" are
"foreign to the spirit of our people." Several other political
formations issued statements related to the Hungarian national
minority. The opposition Party of Civic Alliance said the memorandum
sent by the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania to the
Council of Europe was "not legitimate and untimely." More bluntly,
in a statement carried by Radio Bucharest on 10 September, the
Greater Romania Party demanded again outlawing the HDFR, calling
it "a terrorist" organization. -Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION WANTS POLITICIANS TO DECLARE ASSETS. The
main opposition alliance, the Democratic Convention of Romania,
called on 10-September to adopt regulations requiring persons
in public office to declare their personal assets, an RFE/RL
correspondent reports. The president of the DCR, Emil Constantinescu,
told reporters in Bucharest that the alliance will propose that
parliament obligate politicians, including government employees
and the president's staff, to declare their assets and business
holdings of family members. The initiative comes against the
background of the public debate on corruption. -Michael Shafir


BARTHOLOMEW I ENDS BULGARIAN VISIT. On 12-September Bartholomew
I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Istanbul, ended a five-day visit
to Bulgaria. Besides touring important religious sites, Bartholomew
used the opportunity to meet several top Bulgarian politicians,
including President Zhelyu Zhelev. News agencies report that
one of Bartholomew's chief aims was to try and initiate a process
which eventually could close the existing deep rift in the Bulgarian
Orthodox Church. Inspired by the visit, a conference of church
officials on 9 September called on the Board for Religious Affairs
to help mediate in the conflict between Metropolitan Pimen, who
has established a rival Holy Synod, and the incumbent Patriarch
Maksim, appointed in 1971. The main objection to Maksim is that
a Convention of Clergy and Laity, which according to church statutes
shall elect a Patriarch every four years, has not been called
for 40-years. Bartholomew's visit has nonetheless been widely
perceived as indirect support for Patriarch Maksim. -Kjell Engelbrekt


ZHELEV ASKS FOR PERMANENT MFN STATUS. In an interview on 11 September,
President Zhelyu Zhelev revealed that he has asked the United
States to grant Bulgaria permanent most-favored-nation trading
status. Zhelev told Darik Radio that a better trading status
could help to compensate for some of the losses Bulgaria is suffering
because of the United Nations sanctions against rump Yugoslavia.
He said the request was expressed in the response to a letter
from Vice President Al Gore, who had voiced US concerns that
Bulgaria might stop honoring its commitment to the UN embargo
because of the high costs. -Kjell Engelbrekt

MOLDOVAN PROTEST TO RUSSIA. On 10 September the government issued
an official statement describing the recent escalation of Gagauz
demands, coordinated with the "Dniester republic," for the confederalization
of Moldova as a "direct result" of recent visits to those two
would-be republics by Russian parliamentary deputies "who support
the rebirth of the USSR." The latest Transdniester and Gagauz
demands "confirm the fact that these two unlawful formations
were created in order to blackmail Moldova and keep it within
the former empire's zone," the statement, carried by Moldovapres,
said. -Vladimir Socor

KUCHMA TO CONTINUE DUTIES. Following Prime Minister Leonid Kuchma's
resignation on 9 September, President Leonid Kravchuk has asked
him to continue carrying out his duties until the parliament
reconvenes on 21 September, Ukrainian Radio reported on 10 September.
While Kuchma agreed to the president's request he still plans
to resign, along with the whole higher rank of the cabinet of
ministers, once parliament meets. It is rumored that one of the
main candidates being considered to replace Kuchma is the Kharkiv
Oblast deputy, Oleksandr Maselsky. Other candidates are the president's
representative in Lviv Oblast, Stepan Davymuka, and the president's
representative in Mykolaiiv Oblast, Anatolii Kinakh. -Ustina
Markus

BELARUS, RUSSIA SIGN ECONOMIC AGREEMENT. On 8 September Prime
Ministers Viktor Chernomyrdin and Vyacheslau Kebich signed an
agreement uniting the monetary systems of Russia and Belarus,
Radiefakt reported on 10 August. The agreement also set prices
for natural gas from Russia and its transport costs, and placed
the Belarusian state gas transport enterprise, Beltransgaz, under
the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom. Kebich and a representative
of the Belarusian National Bank, Stanislau Bahdankevich, also
signed an agreement to stay in the ruble zone along with six
other former Soviet republics. ITAR-TASS reported on 10-September
that Bahdankevich hailed the accord as more than just a monetary
union, but also an economic one as well. -Ustina Markus

WORLD BANK ON BELARUS. Basil Kavalsky, who oversees World Bank
operations in Belarus and Ukraine, said Belarus has begun making
progress in its economic reforms, Reuters reported on 12 September.
If the country continues with its reforms, he said, the bank
will be willing to help Belarus. Belarus, however, has to assure
the bank that any assistance will go toward restructuring the
economy, and noted that attention should be paid to privatization
and changing taxation policies. The bank is currently processing
a $100million loan for Belarus. -Ustina Markus

POPE IN ESTONIA. On 10 September Pope John Paul II concluded
his week-long visit to the Baltic States with a 10-hour stop
in Tallinn, Baltic media report. From the airport he traveled
to the St. Peter and Paul Church, where he met representatives
of the small Catholic community in Estonia and then held an ecumenical
service with Lutheran and Orthodox clergy at the Lutheran St.
Nicholas Church. After a meeting with President Lennart Meri,
he held an outdoor Mass in City Hall Square, attended by about
6,000 people. As in Latvia he did not reply to pleas to urge
the speed up the withdrawal of Russian troops from the countries,
but stressed the need for respecting the language and culture
of other ethnic communities. -Saulius Girnius

IMF DELEGATION IN LITHUANIA. On 9 September Adalbert Knobl, head
of the IMF's Baltic Division, told a press conference in Vilnius
that the IMF is satisfied with the Bank of Lithuania's monetary
policy, especially its successful curbing of inflation, BNS reported
on 10-September. Knobl praised the decision of bank chairman
Romualdas Visokavicius and Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius
the previous day to cancel their previously established limit
of 60% interest on loans granted by commercial banks. He, however,
criticized the bank for not holding hard-currency auctions and
the parliament for the law on money it had passed before its
summer recess. -Saulius Girnius

UNEMPLOYMENT AND DEFLATION IN LATVIA. The number of registered
unemployed in Latvia rose from 69,900 on 3 August to 73,100 on
7 September. There were 89,300 people seeking work of whom 17,500
had been out of work for more than six months and thus no longer
eligible to receive unemployment compensation. The consumer price
index in August, however, was 1.7% lower than in July. Food prices
decreased by 4% offsetting slight increases in the price of other
manufactured products and services, BNS reported on 11-September.
-Saulius Girnius

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Keith Bush 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),
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or additional copies, please contact: in North America: Mr. Brian
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Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications
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