Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important, in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not. - Nathaniel Hawthorne
RFE/RL Daily Report

No. 202, 20 October 1993



Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc.





RUSSIA



YELTSIN BANS PARTIES FROM RUNNING IN ELECTIONS. President Boris
Yeltsin has signed a decree prohibiting certain political parties
from participating in the December elections, ITAR-TASS and an
RFE/RL correspondent reported on 19 October. The decree also
prohibits people charged with participating in the violence from
standing as candidates. The parties include the National Salvation
Front; the militant Russian Communist Workers' Party; the Russian
Communist Youth Union; the Officers' Union and the Shchit union
in the army; and the neo-fascist Russian National Unity. These
parties were suspended after the violence in Moscow at the beginning
of October. However, two other parties suspended then are not
covered by the ban: the Communist Party of the Russian Federation
and the People's Party of Free Russia. Both are large organizations
with relatively strong local networks, and were represented in
the former parliament. Observers had warned that their continued
suspension would hinder fair elections. -Wendy Slater

CONTROVERSY OVER COMBINATION OF GOVERNMENT AND STATE POSTS. Many
members of the Public Chamber of the Constitutional Assembly
on 19-October criticized President Yeltsin's decree permitting
ministers of the Russian government to serve in a new parliament,
ITAR-TASS reported. Discussing the issue, St. Petersburg mayor
Anatolii Sobchak, who himself is a candidate, said it was absurd
that so many ministers were seeking election. Sobchak pointed
out that ministers have been put on the lists of various political
blocs whose platforms are often very different, and sometimes
in direct opposition, to each other. If these ministers get elected
on this basis, the government would hardly be able to function,
Sobchak maintained. -Vera Tolz

YELTSIN TO REMOVE MAUSOLEUM? PRESIDENT YELTSIN WILL ORDER THE
REMOVAL OF THE LENIN MAUSOLEUM FROM RED SQUARE AND THE BURIAL
OF LENIN IN THE VOLKOV CEMETERY IN ST. Petersburg, an RFE/RL
Moscow correspondent has quoted a presidential spokesman as saying.
Yeltsin also intends to issue a decree ordering the removal of
the remains of other Soviet leaders, such as Josef Stalin, Leonid
Brezhnev, Yurii Andropov and Konstantin Chernenko, all of whom
are now interred in the Kremlin wall, to Moscow's Novodevichie
cemetery or elsewhere if their families request it. In addition,
Moscow mayor Yurii Luzhkov has demanded in a letter to Yeltsin
that the red stars be removed from the peaks of the Kremlin buildings.
-Alexander Rahr

POOR INVESTMENT CLIMATE IN RUSSIA. Western bankers aired their
grievances over the investment climate in Russia at the Second
International Conference on Banking Operations in Moscow on 19
October, Reuters and Interfax reported. Russian political risk
was said to be the highest in the world after Iraq. A German
participant spoke of political and economic instability, plus
the high level of crime, corruption, bureaucracy, and incompetence.
Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Shokhin announced that Western
capital invested through 1 July 1993 amounted to only $7 billion.
It had earlier been reported that new investments in 1992 amounted
to about $1 billion, whereas an estimated $50-billion a year
is required. -Keith Bush

GERASHCHENKO ON INFLATION. Another participant was Russian Central
Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko. Unrepentant, he told the conference
that he was not in favor of a very tough monetary policy, and
that he was against sustained high interest rates as these would
add to cost inflation. He forecast that inflation in 1993 would
amount to between 1,000% and 1,300% (compared with over 2, 600%
in 1992). Gerashchenko indicated that he planned to remain in
office: "Legally, nowadays, I am in a situation that nobody could
remove me against my will, but in my country everything is possible."
Keith Bush

GAIDAR ON STRIKE THREAT. First Deputy Prime Minister Egor Gaidar
told Interfax on 19-October that he does not anticipate mass
walkouts when further austerity measures are introduced. He claimed
that the government was "able to step in to solve the problems
before they reach the walkout stage." This claim is likely to
be put to the test shortly, when bankruptcy proceedings are finally
implemented, when action is taken on interenterprise debts, and
when unemployment rises. Threats of strike action have been made
by farmers, coal miners, oil and gas workers, health and education
employees and, most ominously, by the workers in the military-industrial
complex. -Keith Bush

NEW MEASURES AGAINST INTERENTERPRISE DEBT. President Yeltsin
has signed a decree intended to reduce the problem of interenterprise
debt, various Russian and Western news agencies reported on 19-October.
The decree provides new, harsher penalties for overdue bills,
the issue on 1 November 1993 of promissory notes in exchange
for existing interenterprise debts, and new measures for bringing
bankruptcy proceedings against insolvent enterprises. There is
much controversy over the significance of the interenterprise
debt problem. Former Economics Minister Oleg Lobov put the amount
of debt of enterprise and construction enterprises at 11 trillion
in September (perhaps equivalent to 2/3 of GDP produced so far
this year) but Goskomstat figures suggest that debt actually
overdue is less than half this amount. Also not clear is to what
extent these figures include overdue payments from and to the
Russian state budget and other CIS states and enterprises. The
present Economics Minister, Yegor Gaidar, told Interfax on 19
October that, in his opinion, the debt problem is not severe.
-Erik Whitlock

RUSSIAN VETO FOR LIBYA? FOREIGN MINISTER ANDREI KOZYREV ALLEGEDLY
SENT A LETTER TO US SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER ON
15 OCTOBER INDICATING THAT RUSSIA MIGHT VETO NEW UN SANCTIONS
AGAINST LIBYA FOR PROTECTING TWO SUSPECTS IN THE DOWNING OF THE
LOCKERBIE FLIGHT IN 1988. The proposed vote would be for new
sanctions to freeze Libya's foreign assets, with the exception
of future oil earnings. Russian conservatives have long faulted
the Russian leadership for supporting sanctions against Libya
(and other countries) because these states were former allies
of the Soviet Union and owe large debts to Russia. The current
UN vote was postponed for one week, Western agencies reported.
-Suzanne Crow

KOZYREV DISCUSSES PEACEKEEPING. During talks in Moscow on 19
October with his Swedish counterpart and CSCE chairperson, Margaretha
Af Ugglas, Kozyrev reiterated Russia's desire to intervene in
the former Soviet Union to settle armed conflicts. Talks focused
on the CSCE role in these matters, and Kozyrev voiced support
for an expanded CSCE role, while at the same time stressing Russia's
desire to bring the conflict in Georgia under control. ITAR-TASS
reported differences of emphasis in the talks, and Kozyrev described
the discussions as having taken place in a "business-like manner,"
a phrase signaling potentially sharp disagreement. -Suzanne Crow


GRACHEV ON GEORGIA, DOCTRINE, 4 OCTOBER. In the midst of a three-day
visit to Finland, Defense Minister Pavel Grachev said on 19 October
that Russia could not offer military assistance to Georgia because
Georgia is not a member of the CIS or party to its Collective
Security Agreement, Reuters reported. While agreeing that Russian,
along with Azeri, Armenian, and Georgian troops might help secure
the road to Tbilisi, Grachev said that any other Russian actions
would be interpreted as interference in Georgian affairs. Grachev
also told his Finnish hosts that Russia's draft military doctrine
is virtually complete. He described it as purely defensive and,
according to Helsinki Radio, gave a copy to the Finnish Defense
Minister. Finally, in what may have constituted a response to
criticism of the Defense Ministry voiced a few days earlier by
Yeltsin aide Dmitrii Volkogonov, Grachev said that the army had
intervened at precisely the right moment during the 3-4 October
events in Moscow, Reuters reported. Volkogonov had stressed the
army's reluctance to take action. -Stephen Foye

MORE ON NUCLEAR WASTE DUMPING NEAR JAPAN. Japanese Foreign Minister
Tsutomu Hata telephoned his Russian counterpart, Kozyrev in the
early morning hours of 20 October to warn Russia against conducting
a second dumping of liquid nuclear wastes in the Sea of Japan,
AFP and Reuters reported. Hata, who called for an early convening
of a bilateral working group tasked with studying the issue,
suggested that recently improved bilateral relations could suffer
if Russia proceeds with its plans. Japanese authorities also
suggested that they might be willing to release part of $100
million promised earlier to aid Russia's nuclear disarmament
efforts to help dispose of the nuclear waste. Meanwhile, Russian
TV's "Vesti" reported on 19-October that the Russian Pacific
Fleet could no longer store the dangerous liquid wastes and that
a facility designed to dispose of them was not expected to be
functional for some ten years. A Russian official said that the
liquids are currently being stored in thirty-year-old tankers
and warmed that an accident could occur. He said another dumping
was planned. -Stephen Foye

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA



DIPLOMATIC REACTIONS TO GEORGIAN CRISIS. The forces of ousted
Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia are only 15 miles west
of Kutaisi, which is poorly defended by Dzhaba Ioseliani's Mkhedrioni,
according to The New York Times of 20 October; Gamsakhurdia's
troops also captured Shevardnadze's home town, Lanchkhuta, on
19 October, Iberia reported. On 19 October Russian Foreign Minister
Andrei Kozyrev responded to Georgian parliament chairman Eduard
Shevardnadze's plea for military aid by suggesting that Russia,
in conjunction with other CIS member states, should safeguard
transport on the Poti-Tbilisi road, Western agencies reported.
Also on 19 October, the UN Security Council reaffirmed support
for Georgia's territorial integrity and condemned Abkhaz violations
of the 27 July ceasefire and human rights violations, according
to an RFE/RL correspondent. -Liz Fuller

RAFSANJANI IN TASHKENT. Iranian President Ali-Akbar Rafsanjani
began his state visit to Uzbekistan-the first stop on his tour
of four Central Asian countries and Azerbaijan-on 18 October
by appealing for calm and stability in Central Asia, Reuters
reported. Speaking at a news conference after what he termed
"fruitful" talks with Rafsanjani, Uzbek President Karimov stated
that Uzbekistan would open an embassy and chamber of commerce
in Tehran, and that agreements had been signed on cooperation
in mining and for joint oil and gas prospecting. Karimov also
called on Iran to help mediate an end to the fighting in Tajikistan,
according to AFP of 19 October quoting IRNA. Three members of
the Uzbek opposition movement Birlik have been warned not to
leave their homes for the duration of Rafsanjani's visit, an
RFE/RL correspondent reported on 19 October. Liz Fuller

NAZARBAEV IN CHINA. On 18 October, the first day of his visit
to the PRC, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev held talks with
his Chinese counterpart Jiang Zemin on political, trade and economic
cooperation; they also agreed to set up a group of experts to
discuss nuclear testing sites in their respective countries,
ITAR-TASS reported. The two presidents subsequently signed a
joint declaration on the basis for mutual relations and various
other agreements. On 19 October Nazarbaev discussed with Premier
Li Peng long-term cooperation in the spheres of power engineering,
metallurgy and agriculture and improving transport links. -Liz
Fuller

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE



UKRAINE ADOPTS MILITARY DOCTRINE. Ukraine's parliament met in
closed session on 19 October to debate security issues. According
to Western agencies, the parliament approved a military doctrine
which makes nuclear disarmament conditional on Western security
guarantees. During a break in the session President Leonid Kravchuk
told reporters that Ukraine will ratify START-1, eliminating
130 SS-19 missiles, but added that this does not cover the 46
SS-24 missiles also located in Ukraine. Ukraine's nuclear status
thus remains unclear. The parliament also decided to reduce the
number of soldiers in the Ukrainian armed forces to 450,000 by
1995. The current size of the armed forces has been estimated
at from 525,000 to over 700,000, making it the second largest
army in Europe, after Russia's. Ukrainian sources have not confirmed
the adoption of the doctrine. -Ustina Markus

KRAVCHUK BLAMES WEST FOR DISARMAMENT DELAY. Kravchuk has accused
the West of not helping Ukraine in its efforts to disarm, Reuters
reported on 19-and 20 October. The parliament has repeatedly
delayed ratification of START-1 because of inadequate security
guarantees from other nuclear powers and inadequate financial
assistance in dismantling the nuclear weapons. Kravchuk told
reporters that, as a result, the country has no alternative but
to keep some nuclear weapons on its territory, although he reiterated
Ukraine's intention to ratify START. The criticism comes just
before a visit by US Secretary of State Warren Christopher to
Ukraine. -Ustina Markus

KIEVANS ON UKRAINE'S NUKES. Ukrainian television on 14 October
reported the results of an opinion poll on Ukraine's nuclear
status conducted in Kiev by the Center for Democratic Initiatives
and the Institute of Sociology of Ukraine's Academy of Sciences.
The poll showed that 22% of Kievans are categorically opposed
to having nuclear weapons in Ukraine; 27% want to keep the weapons
until Ukraine receives adequate security guarantees from the
international community; 33% feel Ukraine should declare itself
a nuclear power and simultaneously promote an initiative for
complete universal disarmament. -Ustina Markus

PRISONER EXCHANGE, ARRESTS IN BOSNIA. Radio Croatia and international
media report on 19 October that an exchange of 6,000 Croat and
Muslim prisoners has begun under the auspices of the Red Cross
and UNPROFOR. About 1,000 prisoners have so far been exchanged.
Meanwhile, Radio Croatia charges, quoting local radio reports
from Cazinska Krajina (the "Bihac Pocket"), that Bosnian government
troops have arrested more than 750-people loyal to Fikret Abdic,
who declared the region autonomous last month. Reports also allege
that Bosnian government troops have tortured arrested civilians.
Bosnian army officials have accused Abdic and his followers of
working in alliance with the political and military leadership
of the Bosnian Serb Republic. -Milan Andrejevich

BALKAN CONFERENCE PROPOSAL SPURNED. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic has rejected a proposal by Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic
to convene a Balkan conference to deal with Bosnia, Croatia,
and Kosovo, and said he prefers to continue negotiating the stalled
Owen-Stoltenberg plan to partition Bosnia. On 19 October Ivica
Dacic, a spokesman for Serbia's ruling Socialist Party (SPS),
accused Washington of applying a "double standard" in renewing
threats to bomb Bosnian Serb positions and complained that "Serbia
is again being singled out as the scapegoat." Dacic also ruled
out the convening of an international conference on the crisis
in the former Yugoslavia. He argued that such a meeting would
meddle in Serbia's internal affairs, in which he included the
future status of the predominantly Albanian province of Kosovo.
Zoran Djindjic, a leader of Serbia's opposition Democratic Party,
remarked that such a conference would only be a forum for expressing
conflicting viewpoints. -Milan Andrejevich

ISTRIAN AUTONOMY MOVEMENT SPREADING? THERE ARE SIGNS THAT AN
AUTONOMY MOVEMENT IN SLOVENIAN'S ISTRIAN PENINSULA IS SPREADING,
ACCORDING TO SLOVENIAN MEDIA REPORTS ON 18 AND 19 OCTOBER. Radio
Koper reported that the Istrian autonomy movement, backed by
the minority Italian population in both the Croatian and Slovenian
regions of the peninsula, are stepping up their campaign to create
a separate state entity with strong reliance on neighboring Italy.
The moderate Istrian Democratic Assembly (IDS) and the more radical
Community of Italians are seen as the driving forces behind such
efforts. Radio Serbia quotes a spokesman for the IDS as saying
that the Croatian government is trying to change the demographic
make-up of Istria by forcing minorities to emigrate and resettling
those areas with displaced Croats from Serb- controlled areas
in Croatia. -Milan Andrejevich

YELTSIN SNUBS SNEGUR. On an official visit to Moscow on 18-19
October, Moldovan President Mircea Snegur failed to obtain a
meeting with Yeltsin and managed only to hold economic talks
with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. Hoping to capitalize
on the involvement of Dniester communist fighters in the Moscow
rebellion and on the vocal support which he himself and Moldova
had expressed for Yeltsin throughout that and other crises, Snegur
had intended to raise with Yeltsin the question of the withdrawal
of Russian troops from Moldova, the political resolution of the
Dniester issue, the fate of Moldovan detainees in Tiraspol, and
other pressing matters. Instead, Snegur was told on the second
day of his visit that Yeltsin was indisposed and could not see
him, Moldovan officials told the RFE/RL Research Institute. This
appears to be the strongest in a series of signals from Moscow
that Dniester involvement in the Moscow rebellion is not affecting
Russian policy toward Chisinau and Tiraspol. -Vladimir Socor


RUSSIAN ECONOMIC SUPPORT TO "DNIESTER REPUBLIC". Deputy Prime
Minister Nikolai Kiba told the Supreme Soviet in Tiraspol on
19 October, as reported by Basapress, that Russia had delivered
35 billion rubles worth of fuel and raw materials to the "Dniester
republic" in the first 9 months of 1993. The deliveries are being
handled by Russia's state firm Rosskontrakt and are covered by
credits extended earlier, Kiba said. He stressed that the deliveries
continue on schedule. The "Dniester republic" from time to time
discloses isolated aspects of the various forms of economic support
it receives from Russia. Expectations in Chisinau and elsewhere
that Russia would now cut off economic support in retaliation
for the Dniester fighters' involvement in the Moscow rebellion
are not being borne out. -Vladimir Socor

SLOVAK PARTIES SIGN COALITION AGREEMENT. On 19 October Movement
for a Democratic Slovakia Chairman Vladimir Meciar and his counterpart
from the Slovak National Party, Ludovit Cernak, signed a coalition
agreement, TASR reports. The agreement was also initialed by
the chairmen of the parliamentary clubs of the MDS, Ivan Laluha,
and of the SNP, Marian Andel. No details of the agreement were
given. Meanwhile, Party of the Democratic Left Chairman Peter
Weiss told TASR that he doubts the coalition "would improve the
foreign political image of Slovakia." He also said relations
between the PDL and the MDS will now change. Hungarian Christian
Democratic Movement Chairman Vojtech Bugar said the coalition
"will not solve the problems on the Slovak political scene" and
that "it is not clear whether all representatives of the SNP
will support the MDS." -Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK PRESIDENT VETOES CHURCH RESTITUTION BILL. On 19 October
Michal Kovac returned the bill on restitution of church property
to the parliament for renewed discussion, TASR reports. The bill,
which was passed by the parliament on 29 September, was based
on a proposal approved by the cabinet on 20-July. Although Kovac
expressed agreement with the cabinet's proposal, he said he does
not approve of some of the amendments included in the parliament's
version. He said the bill passed by the parliament includes a
clause that the Church would receive buildings presently owned
by the state, by individuals who are financially supported by
local administrations, or by cooperative farms. The bill says
that this property should be returned without compensation, even
if a private individual has bought the property. Kovac said this
solution "is contradictory to the protection of ownership rights,
which are anchored in the Slovak constitution" and thus demands
that the state offer compensation to owners whose property is
repossessed. -Sharon Fisher

MECIAR'S PARTY NO LONGER AHEAD IN SLOVAKIA. For the first time
since the June 1992 elections, when the Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia won 37.3% of the popular vote in Slovakia, the MDS came
in second place in an opinion poll, TASR reports on 19-October.
A September poll carried out by the Journalistic Study Institute
in Bratislava shows the Party of the Democratic Left in first
place with 10.8%, the MDS in second with 10.2%, the Christian
Democratic Movement in third with 7.3%, and the Slovak National
Party in fourth with 5.6%. A total of 19.6% of respondents said
they would not vote for any party. The results are significantly
different from the September poll of the Slovak Statistical Office,
which showed the MDS ahead with 15%, followed by the PDL with
12%, and the SNP and CDM both with 7%. -Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK INDUSTRIAL STATISTICS. On 15 October the Statistical Office
released industrial figures for the second quarter of 1993. In
this period, employment in industrial sectors declined 6.1% compared
with the same period last year. Employment in industrial firms
with 25-or more employees shrank by 6.3%, while employment in
industrial firms with fewer than 25-employees doubled. Of the
employees in firms with fewer than 25 employees, 73.8% of were
employed in private firms. The average monthly salary in Slovakia
was 5,348-koruny, 22.1% higher than last year; in private firms
it was 5,627 koruny, representing an increase of 25.1%. Gross
profit of industrial firms remained unchanged compared with the
same period last year. Exports to the Czech Republic fell 20%
against last year's figures. -Sharon Fisher

MAJORITY OF CZECHS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE ECONOMY. According to
an opinion poll published by CTK on 18 October, 51% of the Czech
population believes that the country's economic situation will
improve over the next five years. The poll, conducted by the
Center for Empiric Studies in September, revealed that 26% of
the Czechs expect little or no change in their economic situation,
while 23% expect a deterioration. It is predominantly older people
and Czechs with a low educational background who are convinced
that they will be worse off in five years. The Center for Empiric
Studies conducted a similar poll among the deputies of the Czech
Parliament. While 77 of the 150 legislators (including 19 members
of opposition parties) expect improvement in the economy over
the next five years, 10 responded that there will be no change,
and 11 expect a deterioration in living standards. -Jan Obrman


ROMANIAN CULTURE MINISTER RESIGNS OVER SEX SCANDAL. Culture Minister
Petre Salcudeanu announced on 19 October that he is resigning
over sexual harassment charges. In an interview with Radio Bucharest,
Salcudeanu denied the charges but said that he will step down
because of the damage they cause to the ministry. The alleged
molestation of a female ministry employee, who reported it to
the press, is being investigated by a parliamentary panel. Salcudeanu
was appointed culture minister in late August. -Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION SUBMITS NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION. On 19 October
Romania's opposition called a parliamentary no-confidence debate
on the minority left-wing cabinet headed by Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu.
The motion was officially submitted by the Democratic Party-National
Salvation Front, led by former Premier Minister Petre Roman,
and was joined by parties from the Democratic Convention of Romania.
It argues that the cabinet violated the constitution by failing
to have four new ministers, appointed on 28-August, endorsed
by the parliament; and mentions the "scandalous conduct of some
ministers," including Salcudeanu. The motion further asks Iliescu
to designate a new prime minister. This is the third no-confidence
motion this year. The previous two failed. The government's alliance
of leftist and nationalist parties has a slim majority in the
parliament. -Dan Ionescu

POLISH BISHOPS ASSESS ELECTIONS. The Polish bishops' conference
met in Warsaw on 15 October to discuss the "difficult and complicated
situation" arising from the victory of left-wing parties in the
recent elections. In a communique carried by PAP, the bishops
said they respect the election results but hope that the new
coalition will use its majority position to continue political
and economic reform. They urged the coalition parties to recognize
that other parties, both in and outside the parliament, received
nearly two-thirds of the total votes. The bishops expressed their
readiness "to cooperate, in accordance with the principle of
the independence and autonomy of Church and state, in all matters
serving the individual and the common good." At the same time,
they warned that the Church will not take a neutral stance on
moral questions, especially abortion, and called on the parliament
to respect the Church's "right" to a presence in politics, schools,
and the mass media. In remarks to Polish TV, Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek
disassociated the Church from any responsibility for the defeat
of right-wing parties in the elections. -Louisa Vinton

ESTONIAN ELECTION RESULTS EXPECTED TODAY. Baltic media report
that the final results of the Estonian local elections held on
17 October are expected to be announced on 20-October. Early
results suggest a defeat for both the parties in the ruling parliamentary
coalition and the opposition forces led by Edgar Savissaar. Russian
moderates also appear to have made a strong showing. Irregularities
were noted in Kohtla-Jaerve during the elections, but the city's
election commission decided they were not so serious as to necessitate
holding new elections. -Dzintra Bungs

MORE ON RUSSIAN TROOPS IN LATVIA, ESTONIA. Col. Gen. Leonid Mayorov
of Russia's Northwestern Group of Forces and Estonian Minister
for Roads and Communication Andi Meister signed a document on
19-October in Tallinn completing the turnover to Estonia of the
property of the Russian military's hydrographic service in that
country, Baltic media report. According to Latvian President
Guntis Ulmanis, Russia is eager to keep control over the Skrunda
radar until 2003 and may agree to the speedy withdrawal of its
forces from Latvia if Latvia acquiesces on this point. Ulmanis
said a compromise is needed but expressed misgivings about Russia's
maintaining military facilities on Latvian territory, given that
such facilities paved the way for Latvia's annexation by the
USSR in 1940, Diena reported on 19-October. -Dzintra Bungs

LATVIAN RUBLE PHASED OUT. As of 18 October, the lats is the sole
official currency in Latvia, Baltic media report. This means
that the Latvian ruble, introduced in May 1992 as an interim
currency in the gradual changeover from the Soviet ruble, is
no longer accepted as legal tender. -Dzintra Bungs

HUNGARIAN PROSECUTOR ORDERS PROBE OF 1956 SHOOTINGS. On 19 October,
the Chief Prosecutor's office ordered an investigation opened
into shootings that occurred during the 1956 revolution, MTI
reports. Security police shot randomly into defenseless crowds
in Mosonmagyarovar and Budapest in 1956. An earlier investigation
was halted by the military court because the statute of limitations
had expired. A ruling by the Constitutional Court this week made
the reopening of the investigation possible. The court ruled
that both the Geneva Convention and international legal practice
permit the prosecution of atrocities committed during the 1956
revolution. -Judith Pataki

EXCESSIVE DEMANDS HAMPER BULGARIAN LAND REFORMS. On 19 October
officials announced that a government program designed to restore
state lands to pre-communist owners was being adversely affected
by inflated claims. According to an agriculture ministry report,
former owners have staked claims to 35,000 more hectares of land
than actually exists. The ministry report maintains that some
courts, which have allegedly not investigated claims satisfactorily
before making awards, have played a large role in creating the
current problems. Georgi Khinchev, an agriculture ministry representative,
said that to date slightly more than 28% of all lands claimed
have been returned to their rightful owners. Reuters carried
the story. -Stan Markotich

[As of 1200 CET] Compiled by Stephen Foye and Louisa Vinton







THE RFE/RL DAILY REPORT IS PRODUCED BY THE RFE/RL RESEARCH INSTITUTE
(A DIVISION OF RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, INC.) with the
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The report is available by electronic mail via LISTSERV (RFERL-L@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU),
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Internet: RIDC@RFERL.ORG or Elsewhere: Ms. Helga Hofer, Publications
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