|We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome|
No. 199, 15 October 1993
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc. RUSSIA YELTSIN REPORTEDLY PREPARING DECREE ON CONSTITUTIONAL REFERENDUM. President Boris Yeltsin is preparing a decree on holding a constitutional referendum simultaneously with the parliamentary elections on 12 December, ITAR-TASS reported on 14-October. According to the agency, voters would be asked one question: do you accept the constitution of the Russian Federation? The final draft constitution has not been prepared yet. Later on 14 October, a member of the presidential apparatus told RFE/RL that in fact there has been no final decision on this matter and no decree has been signed yet. -Vera Tolz RUSSIA'S CHOICE TO HOLD FOUNDING CONGRESS. The pro-democratic electoral bloc "Russia's Choice" will hold its founding congress on 16-17 October in Moscow, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 October. President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin plan to attend. Yeltsin had attended meetings of democrats before. More than 1,000 delegates from Russian provinces are expected at the congress, which will elect the leadership of the organization. Founding members of the organization are First Deputy Prime Minister Egor Gaidar, Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, former State Secretary Gennadii Burbulis and other leading reformist politicians. Observers do not exclude the possibility that "Russia's Choice" may soon transform itself into a strong political party. -Alexander Rahr SHAKHRAI'S PARTY ALSO TO MEET. Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Shakhrai's Party of Russian Unity and Concord will hold its founding conference in Moscow on 16-17 October, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 October. Shakhrai said that his party will not join the large democratic bloc "Russia's Choice". He noted that he wants to form his party on the basis of regional politics with a "minimum of participation of Moscow politicians." He stated that rumors of his resignation were "strongly exaggerated." He announced his intention to run for a seat in the State Duma and said that he does not plan to put forward his candidacy for the post of president. He rejected the opinion of some of his colleagues that deputies should not combine their legislative work with a job in the government structures. In his opinion, that delimitation of functions leads to dual power and confrontation. -Alexander Rahr FIFTEEN NEWSPAPERS BANNED, TWO OTHERS TO CHANGE NAMES, EDITORS. The Ministry of Information issued a ban on fifteen Russian newspapers, most (but not all) of which are published in Moscow, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 October. The publication of the majority of these newspapers, either extremely nationalistic or communist, had been suspended on 4 October. The ministry also banned the St. Petersburg TV program "600-Seconds." The ministry accused the newspapers and the TV program of destabilizing the situation and helping to organize violence in Moscow last week. The ministry also said two main pro-Communist newspapers, Pravda and Sovetskaya Rossiya, can resume publication only if they reregister under new names and with new chief editors. The staff of Sovetskaya Rossiya appealed to Russia's new procurator general, Aleksei Kazannik, asking him to override the ministry order. -Vera Tolz GRACHEV BACKS YELTSIN; DENIES DISCORD IN MINISTRY OF DEFENSE. Speaking to a meeting of Afghan War veterans, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev said on 14 October that Boris Yeltsin should remain President until at least 1996, Reuters reported. Grachev, who has offered Yeltsin crucial support over the last year, said that Yeltsin was the only man who could steer Russia out of its current crisis, that he saw no other alternative to Yeltsin, and that the Russian people continue to believe in Yeltsin. A Grachev aide, meanwhile, has denied rumors of an impending purge within the Defense Ministry, said to be related to allegations that certain military commanders opposed the decision to use military forces against the White House on 4-October. Elena Agapova told Radio Rossii on 14-October that the military leadership had acted in concert on 3-4 October and that allegations of splits within the High Command represent an attempt to sow discord among Russia's top military commanders. -Stephen Foye EC TALKS POSTPONED. Russia has requested that talks between President Yeltsin and European Community leaders scheduled for 18 October be postponed. According to a Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesman on 14 October, Russian authorities said the visit could not take place because of scheduling problems. The meeting, which has not yet been rescheduled, was intended to work on speeding up the process of signing a cooperation agreement between the Community and Russia, Western agencies reported. -Suzanne Crow ATTITUDE OF REPUBLICAN PARLIAMENTS TO SELF-DISSOLUTION, NEW ELECTIONS. The North Ossetian parliament decided on 14 October that the new elections to the parliament would not be held until 27 March 1994, ITAR-TASS reported. It did, however, decree that the lowest tier of soviets should be abolished immediately. The Buryat parliament reversed the earlier decision of its presidium declaring Yeltsin's decree of 21-September unconstitutional, but did not get round to discussing early elections for lack of a quorum after 40-deputies walked out. The Jewish Autonomous Oblast soviet decided against dissolving itself. -Ann Sheehy NIKOLAI MEDVEDEV ON UNCOOPERATIVE REPUBLICS. Nikolai Medvedev, the head of the department for work with territories of the president's administration, told Radio Rossii on 14 October that the refusal of some republican parliaments to hold early elections was causing serious concern. Medvedev said that in a number of republics elections were not planned until March 1994 and in Mordovia until June 1994. He said he was worried that the results of the elections could be falsified where they were held under the aegis of the local soviets. Medvedev also criticized the chairman of the Kabardino-Balkar parliament for saying that the present republican parliament should function until new elections were held. Yeltsin's decree of 9 October reforming the regional soviets only recommended the republics to take similar action. -Ann Sheehy MEETINGS IN SUPPORT OF KHASBULATOV BANNED IN GROZNYI. Meetings in defense of the former speaker of the Russian parliament, Ruslan Khasbulatov, a Chechen by nationality, now under arrest, have been banned in the Chechen capital, Groznyi, ITAR-TASS reported on 14 October. A meeting demanding Khasbulatov's release had already been going on for four days in one of Groznyi's main squares. Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudaev has long regarded Khasbulatov as an enemy, but he has the support of the university staff, who sponsored his election to the Russian parliament, and there is an armed group that threatens to use force against those opposing the meeting. -Ann Sheehy MAKASHOV CHARGED. General Albert Makashov, a longtime opponent of Boris Yeltsin and a leader of the military forces supporting the Russian parliament, was charged on 13 October with "organizing mass unrest," according to AFP and Reuters. Makashov reportedly could face a jail sentence of up to 15 years. It is believed that the former commander of the USSR Volga-Ural Military District, who also was a candidate in the 1991 Russian Presidential election, led the 4 October assault by parliamentary forces on the Moscow mayor's office and the Ostankino television center. -Stephen Foye GOLUSHKO ON ROLE OF MINISTRY OF SECURITY IN OCTOBER EVENTS AND ITS FUTURE. Minister of Security Nikolai Golushko said that during the October events, the anti-Yeltsin opposition had prepared to seize power by military means, according to Ostankino television and ITAR-TASS of 14 October. Speaking at a press conference in Moscow, Golushko stressed that not a single Army formation sided with the disbanded parliament. (Military Counterintelligence, which controls the loyalty of the troops, is under the supervision of Golushko's ministry). Golushko also said that the anti-Yeltsin insurgents have no support among the "working class". He stated that no division of his own ministry joined the supporters of Rutskoi and Khasbulatov, except for several officers in Irkutsk's regional administration. He admitted, however, that a group of retired state security officers joined the former minister, Viktor Barannikov in the "White House". Finally, Golushko denied rumors about disbanding of his ministry and his retirement. Golushko said that some departments of his agency will be reorganized. He proposed strengthening the different services for protection of government bodies and consolidating them under the aegis of the Ministry of Security at the federal level -Victor Yasmann NEW EXPORT REGULATIONS TO BE INTRODUCED. The Russian Central Bank has developed new regulations to stop the flow of illegal exports, Biznes-TASS reported on 14-October. The regulations were worked out in conjunction with the State Customs Committee and attempt to unify the export control functions of the two agencies, the head of the main department of currency regulations of the Central Bank, Viktor Melnikov, said. He also said that the regulations were formulated in consultation with a number of specialists from commercial banks. The new system will be effective from 1 January 1994 for strategically important commodities, e.g. energy carriers and metals, and for others from 1-March. -Erik Whitlock INDONESIA CONSIDERING RUSSIAN FIGHTER AIRCRAFT. Indonesia's Defense Minister said on 14 October that his country was considering buying Russian MiG-29 fighter planes in order to decrease its dependence on Western arms suppliers, AFP reported. The statement, which may also be aimed at driving down the price of competing Western systems, comes amid growing tensions between Jakarta and Washington over Indonesia's human rights record in East Timor. -Stephen Foye TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA RUSSIA CALLS ON ABKHAZ TO STOP ETHNIC CLEANSING. On 14 October the government of the Russian Federation issued a statement condemning violence, looting and plundering by Abkhaz troops of the civilian population in Abkhazia, and demanding that the Abkhaz authorities take measures to halt "human rights violations and mass-scale ethnic cleansing", ITAR-TASS reported. -Liz Fuller KYRGYZSTAN DRAWS UP MEASURES TO HALT RUSSIAN OUTMIGRATION. The Kyrgyz presidential apparatus has compiled and submitted to the government for approval a program of measures aimed at stemming the ongoing outmigration of the Russian-speaking population, ITAR-TASS reported. During the first six months of 1993, 57,000 people, including almost 30,000 Russians left Kyrgyzstan. In the four years since the last census the Kyrgyz share of the population has risen from 52.4 to 56.5 per cent. -Liz Fuller CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE WALESA ACCEPTS PAWLAK, WITH RESERVATIONS. President Lech Walesa grudgingly agreed on 14 October to appoint Polish Peasant Party (PSL) leader Waldemar Pawlak as prime minister. Faced with a commanding majority in the parliament, the president yielded in his demand that the Democratic Left Alliance-PSL coalition present the names of three candidates for the post. Walesa said he will appoint Pawlak "immediately" after receiving the outgoing government's resignation. He prefaced his announcement with the suggestion that any future constitution give the president the right to demand three candidates or reject the candidate proposed by the Sejm. At an earlier press conference in the Sejm, Walesa expressed doubts that Pawlak, his "protege" and "friend," is competent to cope with the tasks that face him, but pledged to respect the will of democracy. In an address to the new Sejm, Walesa reminded the deputies that "the real arrangement of political forces in society is not in full accord with its representation in the parliament." Stressing that Poland is opening a "new chapter but not a new era," Walesa also encouraged the parliament to pursue continuity in foreign and economic policy. -Louisa Vinton POLISH SEJM ELECTS LEADERS. In keeping with the coalition bargain, the SLD's Jozef Oleksy was elected Speaker of the Sejm on 14 October, PAP reports. The SLD and PSL were supported in this ballot by most of the deputies from the opposition Democratic Union (UD). The vote was 357 to 22 with 58 abstentions. Oleksy, a well-liked economist, is deputy chairman of the Social Democracy of the Polish Republic, the direct successor to the communist party (PZPR) and the party that dominates the SLD. A communist party member since 1968, Oleksy was a PZPR voivodship first secretary from 1987-89; he also served as a minister in the short-lived government headed by Mieczyslaw Rakowski in 1988-89. The Sejm also voted to reduce the number of deputy speakers from five to three, electing Jozef Zych (PSL), Aleksander Malachowski (Union of Labor), and Olga Krzyzanowska (UD) to these posts. The solid majority controlled by the PSL and SLD gave the parliament's work an efficiency only rarely achieved since 1989. The Polish Senate holds its inaugural session on 15 October. -Louisa Vinton SUCHOCKA GOVERNMENT PREPARES TO RESIGN. Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka's press secretary told Polish TV that, in keeping with constitutional requirements, the prime minister will sign the government's letter of resignation on the morning of 15 October. The resignation will be submitted to President Walesa as soon as possible, the spokesman said, but it was not clear if this was a matter of hours or days. The "little constitution" stipulates that the president (rather than the Sejm, as was the case in the past) accepts the government's resignation. As its last act, the outgoing government submitted 55 pieces of draft legislation to the new Sejm on 14 October. The draft bills-the fruit of four months in office without a sitting parliament-include the "pact on state firms," a copyright protection act, a complete overhaul of the public administration, and the concordat with the Vatican. -Louisa Vinton POLAND'S PRIVATIZATION MINISTER RACES CLOCK. The Suchocka government is going out in a blaze of privatization. As its final hours ticked away, Privatization Minister Janusz Lewandowski chalked up new successes in his effort to sell off as many state firms as possible before turning over power. An 80% share in the Stomil rubber factory was sold on 14 October. A German firm purchased an 80% stake in the Famot lathe plant on the same day. On 12-October, domestic investors signed a letter of intent to buy the Ozarow cement factory, which has annual sales worth $44-million. The "capital privatization" of two huge export firms-Rolimpex and Stalexport-was initiated on 11-October; shares will be available for public auction in six months. The Swedish Trebruk concern purchased an 80% share in the Kostrzyn paper factory on 7 October, saving the company from bankruptcy. 1,700 of Kostrzyn's 17,000 residents work for the plant. Trebruk paid only $41 outright but pledged to invest $55 million and cover the factory's debt. Finally, Nestle won the exclusive right to negotiate a joint venture with Goplana, Poland's last major state-owned chocolate factory, on 11 October. In other privatization news, Suchocka appointed 14 members to the "selection commission" that is to choose management firms for the mass privatization program. The new parliament names the other five members. -Louisa Vinton DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SERBIAN PARLIAMENT. Serbia's 250 seat parliament concluded a fifth day of heated debate over a motion of no confidence in the Socialist government of Nikola Sainovic. In a surprise move, deputies of the main opposition Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), have called for the resignation of Serbia's Interior Minister Zoran Sokolovic. In what appears to be a turn around from the previous four days of debate, the head of the SPO delegation in parliament, Milan Mikovic, warned that "either the chief of police [Sokolovic] or he together with the Prime Minister or the entire government will fall." He went on to say the coalition DEPOS, in which the SPO is the main member, would vote against Sainovic. SPO deputy Bogoljub Pejicic later told reporters that the SPO would give the government of Socialist Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic a vote of no confidence unless Sokolovic resigned. Sokolovic was criticized for his inability to explain several unresolved murders in Belgrade and a policeman's attack on a legal advisor of a local theater while waiting in line to purchase flour. The SPO, headed by Vuk Draskovic, walked out of parliament last week saying it will not support the Serbian Radical Party's motion to oust the Socialist government of Nikola Sainovic. Debate over a vote of no confidence is expected to conclude on 15 October. In order to oust Sainovic, 126 votes are needed. SRS and DEPOS have a total of 123 seats. Radio and Television Serbia carried the report. -Milan Andrejevich BOSNIA ROUNDUP. On 14 October, Serbian leaders urged an immediate resumption of peace talks for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Serbia's President Slobodan Milosevic and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in a joint statement said that there are increasing signs that Muslims in several regions of Bosnia are pressing for peace and have protested against Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic's rejection of the Owen-Stoltenberg peace plan. Both leaders maintained that "[Bosnia] Muslim leaders are not being backed by their own people," and pointed to the creation of the Autonomous Province of Western Bosnia (APZB) and moves to create similar independent enclaves in Tuzla and Zenica as evidence of the growing rift among Muslims. Nikola Koljevic, Vice President of the Bosnian Serb Republic said that his government would propose the signing of separate peace agreements with Muslims because "more and more regions want separate truces with Serbs." Radio Serbia also reports of a rift among Muslims in Travnik. The predominantly Muslim Bosnian government denied the Croatian and Serb media reports of the divisions calling them disinformation. Meanwhile, UN commander Gen. Jean Cot said that his forces will not interfere in the conflict between Muslims in the APZB, according to Radio Croatia. -Milan Andrejevich YUGOSLAV CHARGE ABOUT VOJVODINA. In a 14-October letter to UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, rump Yugoslavia's UN ambassador Dradomir Djokic charged Hungarian Foreign Minister Geza Jeszenszky with making, in his recent UN speech, "unjustified and malicious" accusations about alleged Serbian persecution of the Hungarian minority in rump Yugoslavia's Vojvodina province. RFE/RL's New York correspondent reported that Djokic said Hungarians were leaving to avoid military service in the Serbian army and were subjected to "overwhelming pressure" from Hungarian authorities and institutions. Hungarian government spokeswoman Judith Juhasz rejected the charges as "groundless" and told MTI Belgrade could not mislead the international community as the latter has many observers in Hungary "who know very well who is doing what" in Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia. A lengthy report in the 13 October issue of The Los Angeles Times provides fresh on-the-spot evidence of Serbian nationalist threats and acts of vandalism aimed at spreading fear among Vojvodina's ethnic Magyars to make them leave the province. So far, over 35,000 of Vojvodina's 350,000 Hungarians have left and sought refuge in Hungary. -Milan Andrejevich and Alfred Reisch KLAUS TRAVELS TO US, RUML TO RUSSIA. An RFE/RL correspondent in Washington reports that Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus arrived in New York on 14-October, where he started a week-long tour of the US and Central America. In New York, Klaus was scheduled to meet with Madeleine Albright, the Czech-born US Ambassador to the United Nations. On 15-October, Klaus travels to Washington for talks at the White House with Vice President Al Gore. The Czech Premier is also scheduled to meet with representatives of international financial institutions. Czech Interior Minister Jan Ruml traveled on 14 October to Moscow for a two-day working visit. He is expected to hold talks with Russian Interior Minister Viktor Yerin and Security Minister Nikolai Golushko as well as with the chief of Russian counterintelligence, Yevgeni Primakov. According to CTK, the talks will focus on cooperation in fighting organized crime and terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and the illegal trade in weapons. -Jiri Pehe SLOVAKIA, UKRAINE SIGN READMISSION AGREEMENT. On 14 October, Slovak Interior Minister Jozef Tuchyna and Valerii Hubenko, Chairman of the Ukrainian State Committee for the Protection of Borders, signed an agreement under which people who have illegally crossed the common Ukrainian-Slovak border can be returned to their respective country. International media report that in the first six months of 1993, the Ukrainian authorities detained more than 5,000 people who had attempted to cross the Ukrainian-Slovak border illegally. It is expected that the number of people crossing the border illegally may grow dramatically in the near future. Slovakia has signed similar readmission agreements with Poland, Romania, and the Czech Republic. -Jiri Pehe HUNGARY AND UKRAINE PROTEST ABOUT SERB DANUBE BLOCKADES. On 13 October Hungary's Ambassador to the United Nations, Andre Erdos, filed a complaint to the UN's Security Council about continuing blockades of the Danube by Serbian groups tacitly encouraged by the rump Yugoslav authorities, Reuters reports. According to the complaint, 12-river convoys including Hungarian, Romanian, Slovak, and Ukrainian ships were being detained at Belgrade and Zimun or waiting on the Romanian section of the river for over a week. The Hungarian MAHART shipping company estimates that its losses due to the blockade could reach 1 billion forint by the end of the year. On 14 October Ukrainian TV reported that the Ukrainian ambassador in Moscow had handed a formal protest from the Ukrainian foreign ministry to the rump Yugoslav embassy on the same issue.--Alfred Reisch and Bohdan Nahaylo ILIESCU'S AFRICAN TOUR. Romanian president Ion Iliescu arrived in Zimbabwe on 14-October for the first leg of a tour of several African states. Radio Bucharest quoted Iliescu as saying before boarding the plane that the tour includes also Mauritius, (where he will participate in a two-day conference of French-speaking countries), South Africa and Kenya. On the afternoon of his arrival, Iliescu had a first meeting with the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mubabe.-Michael Shafir ROMANIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS TO LOSE IMMUNITY IN CORRUPTION CASES? REUTERS REPORTED ON 14 OCTOBER THAT ROMANIA'S PARLIAMENT APPROVED AN ANTI-CORRUPTION RESOLUTION GIVING THE JUSTICE MINISTRY THE POWER TO STRIP PARLIAMENTARIANS OF IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION. Radio Bucharest's dispatch, however, did not mention this part of the resolution. It said the resolution referred, among other things, to the "possibility" of suspending incumbent members of the executive from office while under suspicion of corruption. The prerogative of suspension, however, remains with the president. The resolution said authorities should fight corruption more firmly and the president should dismiss government members found guilty. A government inquiry commission, meanwhile, has accused former prime minister Petre Roman of improperly obtaining a villa while in office. Roman's opposition Democratic Party denied the charges. -Michael Shafir BOMB BLAST IN TIRANA LINKED TO EMBASSY STAFF. An RFE/RL correspondent reports that officials from Albania's foreign ministry are alleging that an explosive that went off in the rump Yugoslav embassy on the evening of 11 October might have been planted by embassy staff. According to an ATA report on 14-October, the foreign ministry alleges that the explosion is part of a plan by Belgrade's "leading circles" to pin the responsibility for the incident on groups in Albania and to use the incident as a pretext for spreading the current violence in the Balkans southwards. ATA also reports that the foreign ministry has attempted to file an official protest letter with rump Yugoslavia's senior diplomat in Albania, Mirko Manojlovic, but that he has allegedly refused to accept the letter. Albanian media report that there were no injuries in Monday's blast. -Robert Austin and Stan Markotich KARBOVANETS, ZAICHIK TUMBLE. The karbovanets lost over 25% of its value vis-a-vis the dollar on the Ukrainian Interbank Currency Exchange on 14 October, according to Ukrinform-TASS. It was not obvious from the report why the karbovanets took the sudden plunge-trading at 17,800 to the dollar at the start to 24,100 at the finish of the session, but one factor may have been frustrated expectations on the part of the trading community that the low fixed exchange rate for the mandatory sale of 50% of hard-currency export earnings would soon be removed. The new Prime Minister Yefim Zvyahilsky and Minister of Finance Hryhorii Pyatachenko are said to oppose its removal. In a related story, ITAR-TASS reported that former Economics Minister Viktor Pynzenyk is bringing charges against the Ukrainian Central Bank before the Arbitration Court for introducing the fixed exchange rate, which he refers to as "an illegal, absurd and criminal decision." The fixed rate was introduced in mid-August. Also on 14 October, the zaichik lost 50% of its value vis-a-vis the ruble on Belarusian exchange markets, Reuters reported. The reason given by the Dmitry Zhuk, spokesman for the Belarusian National Bank, was that the state has stopped selling rubles to Belarusian enterprises at discounted rates. -Erik Whitlock LEBED RESIGNS AS "DNIESTER" LEGISLATOR THREATENS TO REQUEST TRANSFER. Lt. Gen. Aleksandr Lebed, commander of Russia's 14th Army in Moldova, resigned on 14-October his recently won mandate as a deputy to the "Dniester republic" Supreme Soviet, Basapress reports from Tiraspol. Lebed further informed the assembly that he will request to be transferred elsewhere owing to his loss of confidence in the "Dniester republic" leadership. In recent days Lebed tried in vain to persuade that leadership to dismiss senior security officials involved in the dispatch of Dniester fighters to support the rebellion in Moscow. -Vladimir Socor ESTONIAN, LATVIAN TALKS WITH RUSSIA TO PROCEED NORMALLY? VASILII SVIRIN, HEAD OF THE RUSSIAN DELEGATION FOR TALKS WITH ESTONIA, TOLD THE PRESS ON 14-OCTOBER THAT THE RECENT DEVELOPMENTS CONCERNING THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT SHOULD HAVE LITTLE EFFECT ON MOSCOW'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH TALLINN AND NOTED WITH SATISFACTION THE ESTONIAN SUGGESTION THAT THE NEXT ROUND OF BILATERAL TALKS TAKE PLACE AT THE END OF OCTOBER. The next round of Latvian-Russian talks is to start on 18-October in Moscow and the principal topic of negotiations will continue to be the withdrawal of Russian troops from Latvia. Currently there are 252-Russian army units stationed in 267 military sites in Latvia. Furthermore, Russia still has 26 warships, 26-other ships, and 11-submarines based in Latvia, Diena reported on 14-October. -Dzintra Bungs NUGIS STILL ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER. BNS reported on 14 October that the incumbent Ulo Nugis of the Pro Patria Party was reelected speaker of the Estonian parliament. With no other candidates contending for the position, Nugis received 82 out a possible 101 votes. The deputies still have to elect other parliamentary leaders whose term of office also expired on 5 October. -Dzintra Bungs LATVIA HIKES SALES TAX TO 18%. On 14 October, the Latvian Saeima passed bills raising the value-added tax on 1 November from 12% to 18%. The tax on farmer-produced foodstuffs will be 10% until 1 June 1994 when it too will rise to 18%. The government says that the revenue is needed provide a firm foundation for the next budget, Diena reported. -Dzintra Bungs [As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Liz Fuller and Stan Markotich 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, 80538 Munich, 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
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