|The essence of our effort to see that every child has a chance must be to assure each an equal opportunity, not to become equal, but to become, different- to realize whatever unique potential of body, mind and spirit he or she possesses. - John Fischer|
No. 194, 12 October 1994
RUSSIA RUSSIA'S MILITARY STRENGTH PUT AT 1.7 MILLION. The prestigious International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) estimates in its annual report The Military Balance 1994-95 that Russian military manpower stands at 1,714,000--some 216,000 less than a year ago. The report, published on 11 October, said that 950,000 of the total were conscripts. Although the new IISS figure is well below the official authorized level, other Russian and Western analysts have put the number of personnel actually in uniform even lower, at about 1.5 million. The IISS said no combat formations--even the elite airborne and peacekeeping units--had more than 75% of their authorized strength. While owning that it was difficult to establish reliable figures for Russian defense spending, the institute estimated the 1994 defense budget at $78 billion, a decline in real terms of over 40% in comparison with Soviet military spending in 1989. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. RUBLE COLLAPSE CONTINUES. The beleaguered ruble lost over a fifth of its value against the dollar on 11 October, falling a record 845 points to end at 3,926 to one, according to Western agencies. A Central Bank injection of $80 million at the close of trading stopped the ruble from going over 4,000 to the dollar. The crisis was set in motion in September when the Central Bank stopped intervening to support the value of the currency and has been exacerbated by panic selling. Central Bank Chairman Viktor Gerashchenko blamed currency speculators for the fall and said it would not last. Government officials met behind closed doors late on 11 October to discuss ways of stabilizing the ruble, and the parliament is expected to debate the crisis today; State Duma Chairman Ivan Rybkin said some deputies might use the occasion to propose a vote of no confidence in the government. Acting Finance Minister Sergei Dubinin has denied rumors that the government will freeze hard-currency deposits, seize hard-currency savings accounts, or halt market trading of the ruble, ITAR-TASS reported. -- Penny Morvant, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA, IRAN AND THE CASPIAN COOPERATION COUNCIL. Following talks in Moscow on 10-11 October between Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mahmoud Vaezi and his Russian counterpart Albert Chernyshev (the former Soviet and then Russian Ambassador to Turkey), a conference opened outside Moscow on 11 October of senior diplomats from the Caspian littoral states. Interfax quoted Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigorii Karasin as stating that the participants would approve the final draft of an agreement on a regional cooperation organization, apparently deriving from the Caspian Sea Cooperation Council (of which Russia is a member) created at the ECO meeting in Tehran in February 1992 and that would resolve all questions pertaining to the use of the Caspian and its resources. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIA SUBMITS CSCE REFORM PLAN. At the CSCE review meeting in Budapest, Russian chief delegate Yurii Ushakov described the CSCE as "clinically dead" but went on to reaffirm Russian proposals for "strengthening" it, Western agencies reported on 10 and 11 October. The proposals include reorganizing the CSCE into an all-European security body and giving it a "coordinating" role over such "regional" organizations as NATO and the CIS. Ushakov termed the proposed arrangement a "division of labor." He acknowledged that it stood no chance of acceptance before the December summit of the CSCE but wanted it to remain "a basis for discussion." The US and other delegations reaffirmed their opposition to the proposed reorganization and to any subordination of NATO to the CSCE. On behalf of the European Union, whose rotating presidency it currently holds, Germany rejected "any special rights for any state in any part of the CSCE area." In a counterproposal to Russian claims to such a role in the CIS area, Germany submitted a EU plan for strengthening the CSCE by making it an instrument of "first resort" in regional crisis management. CSCE members would have to use its mechanism first before turning to other bodies. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. CHECHNYA UPDATE. A group of Chechen parliamentarians led by Abdula Dadaev began talks on 11 October with Russian State Duma deputies on proposals to "normalize" Russian-Chechen relations, Interfax reported. If progress is made, talks will continue at a higher level. Interfax further quoted the chairman of the opposition Provisional Council, Umar Avturkhanov, as claiming that the collapse of the Dudaev regime was imminent; Avturkhanov denied claims by Ruslan Khasbulatov that the Provisional Council had requested the dispatch of Russian troops to Chechnya and characterized Khasbulatov's peacemaking mission as divisive and counterproductive. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. DUMA MEMBER CHARGES TATAR PRESIDENT WITH AUTHORITARIAN RULE. In a speech to the Tatar legislature on 10 October in Kazan, State Duma deputy Ivan Grachev accused President Mintimer Shaimiev of authoritarian rule, declaring that Tatarstan "is not a free republic" as long as "it has a boss who has a firm grip on all branches of state power." In Grachev's view, such a regime has the right to exist if it guarantees stability and progress; but that, he believes, has not been the case. He said that in Shaimiev's four years in office, production had declined faster in Tatarstan than elsewhere in Russia. Grachev is convinced that what the republic needs is a professional parliament capable of checking the president and local governors. He urged the parliamentary opposition to vote against a bill on constitutional amendments and government reform in the republic, arguing that it would consolidate the power of the president for another seven years at least. -- Charles Carlson, RFE/RL Inc. MINISTRIES PROTEST INCOME TAX FOR SERVICEMEN. According to Interfax of 11 October, the heads of a number of Russian ministries have protested to President Boris Yeltsin regarding a Finance Ministry proposal to levy income tax on service personnel. The agency said that the heads of the Ministries of Defense, Internal Affairs, and Civil Defense, Emergencies, and Natural Disasters, as well as the heads of the Federal Counterintelligence Service, Border Guards, and Federal Agency of Government Communications, had warned Yeltsin in a letter that the tax would cause widespread dissatisfaction among servicemen and prompt them to break their contracts. The Finance Ministry was said to have argued that military wages had outstripped those of employees in other state-funded bodies. In response, the military gave the salary of a platoon commander as an example, saying that it was 40% lower than the average in industry. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. KURIL QUAKE DAMAGE DETAILED. The recent earthquake in the Kuril Islands caused an estimated 203 billion rubles' worth of damage to military facilities, according to Interfax on 11 October. Of the 324 buildings in five military towns, 83 were totally destroyed and 167 badly damaged. The Russian Pacific Fleet has seven ships and two planes conducting rescue operations and repairs in the quake area, according to its press center. A ship was said to have left Vladivostok that day with building machinery for Iturup Island, while another ship was scheduled to leave the next day with food and construction equipment for Kunashir Island. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL Inc. TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA NEW PRIME MINISTER CONFIRMED IN KAZAKHSTAN. RFE/RL learned on 12 October that Kazakhstan's Supreme Soviet had confirmed President Nursultan Nazarbaev's nominee for the post of prime minister, Akezhan Kazhegeldin, who had held the post of first deputy prime minister in the government of former Prime Minister Sergei Tereshchenko. On 11 October Nazarbaev asked Tereshchenko's cabinet to resign, asserting that it was unable to implement the reform program, Interfax reported. Nazarbaev said that Kazhegeldin had headed the team that drafted the former government's reform program and that in the process Kazhegeldin had encountered resistance from some cabinet members. In May the newly elected parliament passed a no-confidence vote in the policies of Tereshchenko's government, citing the inability of his anti-crisis program to stop the decline of Kazakhstan's economy. Nazarbaev then announced that he was giving Tereshchenko until the end of 1995 to show results. -- Bess Brown, RFE/RL Inc. RUSSIAN-ARMENIAN BASING AGREEMENT IMMINENT? Continuing his visit to Erevan, on 11 October the chairman of the Russian Federation Council, Vladimir Shumeiko, addressed the Armenian parliament and met with Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossyan. Ter-Petrossyan subsequently told Interfax that an agreement on the status of Russian military bases in Armenia would be signed in Moscow soon and that it would be the first to grant Russian troops "the universally acknowledged status." Speaking at a news conference, Shumeiko characterized Russia's relations with Armenia as closer than with any other Soviet successor state; he said that the two countries "had practically the same view" on strategy for the future development of the CIS and on bilateral economic, trade, and military relations. It was, however, in Shumeiko's view "too early" to speak of a possible Russian-Armenian confederation. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. IMF LOAN FOR ARMENIA. Talks between Armenian Prime Minister Hrant Bagratyan and IMF officials in Erevan in late September and at the annual meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Madrid earlier this month have resulted in a softening of terms for the anticipated IMF credits to Armenia, Interfax reported. The IMF will grant a $500 million loan to Armenia, to be made available in two equal installments, on condition that the Armenian government implements tougher credit, monetary, and taxation policies, including price liberalization and an increase in customs duties and food taxes. The IMF had reportedly previously refused to extend credits to Armenia on the grounds that these could be used for the purchase of arms to be used in the Karabakh conflict. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. FURTHER CRACKDOWN IN AZERBAIJAN. In the wake of last week's failed coup, on 10 October Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev issued a decree imposing a 60-day state of emergency and curfew in Gyandzha, where supporters of ex-prime minister Suret Gueinov allegedly tried to seize power, Interfax reported. The Azerbaijan People's Assembly duly ratified the decree on 11 October, according to a correspondent for RL's Azerbaijani service. Although government spokesman Gabil Guseinov told Interfax that "no serious government reshuffle" was expected in the next few days, on 11 October Baku Radio broadcast the names of nine government officials dismissed for their role in the alleged coup and a further seven fired for shortcomings. In addition, a total of 56 officials of the National Security Ministry, including the head of the Azerbaijan Bureau of Interpol, have also been dismissed in connection with the events in Gyandzha. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE FIGHTING ON AT LEAST THREE FRONTS IN BOSNIA. International media reported on 11 October that Bosnian government and rebel Serb forces were exchanging fire in at least three areas of that embattled republic: near Doboj in the north along the Serb supply corridor; near Mostar; and near Bugojno, a strategic town in west-central Bosnia. Sarajevo, by contrast, was largely quiet, and trams resumed running under UN escort. AFP nonetheless reported that the Serbs have given the Muslims ten days to clear their remaining troops out of the Mt. Igman demilitarized zone. In heated discussions between UN commander General Sir Michael Rose and Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, the Serbs made other demands as well, including the renegotiation of the June 1992 agreement on the Sarajevo airport. Some observers have suggested that the Serbs want to make sure they gain control of the facility if the UN is ordered out. In other developments, three Serb tanks briefly entered the Sarajevo weapons exclusion zone, and UN officials confirmed that the Serbs expelled the last Muslims from the village of Borati, near Rogatica, in eastern Bosnia, Reuters reported. Finally, AFP reported from Brussels that UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali has softened his opposition to NATO retaliatory attacks against several targets rather than against just one, although he remains opposed to such sorties being made without warning. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. SERBS THREATEN TO DEMAND UNPROFOR WITHDRAWAL. Borba on 11 October ran an interview with Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in which he repeated the threat he has made in recent days that the Serbs may ask UNPROFOR to leave. Karadzic again charged the UN with favoring the Muslims, which contrasts with the Bosnian government's view and that of some UN staff, who have charged that UNPROFOR's command bends over backward to keep a good working relationship with the Serbs. Karadzic said the Bosnian Serb leadership would soon decide on its position on UNPROFOR. His statements, however, may be little more than posturing, since the Bosnian Serb side depends on UN humanitarian aid--the delivery of which is, in turn, dependent on UNPROFOR--to feed its civilian population in many areas. This dependency will increase as a result of the blockade declared by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and the onset of winter. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. SEARCH FOR POLISH POLICE CHIEF CONTINUES. The advisory committee attached to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which includes representatives of major political parties and has considerable influence, rejected on 10 October yet another of Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak's candidates for police chief. The former head of the Polish police, Zenon Smolarek, resigned several months ago amid accusations of corruption. The appointment of a new police chief has been held up by disputes over personal prerogatives between Prime Minister Pawlak and Minister of Internal Affairs Andrzej Milczanowski, who was appointed by President Lech Walesa. Pawlak has already turned down several candidates proposed by Milczanowski, while his own candidates have been rejected by the advisory committee. Commenting on the deadlock, Rzeczpospolita on 11 October said the disputes focus on the issue of political control over the police, adding that "the police's stability is, unfortunately, of secondary importance." -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. WALESA WANTS MORE POWER. President Lech Walesa told a nationwide radio audience on 11 October that "there is a need for strong government" in Poland and that it should be exercised by the president. He went on to say that such a government could be achieved either through "systemic change or by breaking the law." He also said he was sometimes "on the legal borderlines" but that "he was motivated by [higher] goals and not personal ambition." Walesa then appealed for the expansion of his executive powers within the framework of "law and democracy." He demanded, in particular, the right to recall individual ministers and the government as a whole. The constitution does not provide the president with those prerogatives. Walesa is currently involved in a dispute with the minister of defense over control of the military. He demanded the minister's resignation, but the parliament decided there were no grounds to dismiss the minister. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. JARUZELSKI INJURED IN ASSAULT. Former communist President Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski suffered a head injury when he was assaulted on 11 October in the city of Wroclaw by an elderly farmer. Jaruzelski was taken to the hospital, but doctors were reported by Gazeta Wyborcza on 12 October as saying he was well and would be released soon. The newspaper said the assailant was a retired farmer who had sustained considerable financial losses as a result of the imposition of martial law in 1981. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL Inc. BAVARIA DEMANDS INVESTIGATION OF SHOOTING BY CZECH POLICE. Bavarian Internal Affairs Minister Guenther Beckstein wrote to his Czech counterpart, Jan Ruml, on 11 October saying that people are increasingly "asking themselves whether their safety and health can be guaranteed while visiting the Czech Republic." On 9 October, a policeman in the town of Pribram seriously wounded a German tourist during a dispute over illegal parking. A Czech policeman was charged last month in connection with the fatal shooting of a German motorist in Frantiskovy Lazne. Beckstein is demanding a thorough investigation into the latest incident, stressing that "complete openness with the authorities in Bavaria is essential to avoid long-term strains in our relations." -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. DANISH MONARCH IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. Queen Margrethe and her husband, Prince Henrik, arrived in the Czech Republic on 11 October for a three-day visit. The royal couple are to meet with President Vaclav Havel and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus and tour Prague's Old Town. They will then travel to Slovakia. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK CABINET CONTINUES TO PRIVATIZE. The Slovak cabinet on 11 October approved 12 of the 15 privatization projects submitted by the Privatization Ministry, TASR reports. The ministry's state secretary, Gabriel Palacka, told journalists that these projects were ready several months ago but the cabinet did not want to deal with them before the election campaign got under way for fear of political misuse. Because some of the firms are having serious financial difficulties, the cabinet wanted to avoid delaying privatization decisions any longer, Palacka said. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. SLOVAK PARTIES DISCUSS PARLIAMENTARY POSTS. Representatives of all political parties in the new parliament met on 11 October to prepare for the first parliamentary session, which according to the constitution must be called by the president within 30 days of the announcement of the final election results. Movement for a Democratic Slovakia member Ivan Gasparovic said after the meeting that there were no concrete results and that further talks would be held in two weeks. With regard to the MDS's decision to ask the Constitutional Court to review the validity of the Democratic Union's petition lists, Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Jan Carnogursky said if no decision is made before the first parliamentary session opens, deputies from the union will be sworn in as members. -- Sharon Fisher, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON RELATIONS WITH NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES. Laszlo Kovacs, speaking to reporters on 11 October, described the normalization of relations with Slovakia, Romania, and the former Yugoslavia as Hungary's most urgent foreign policy task, MTI reports. Kovacs noted that his ministry has already sent positive signals to Bratislava and Bucharest indicating that Hungary is ready to start negotiations on a basic treaty. He reiterated that such a treaty should contain clauses guaranteeing the inviolability of borders and the observation of minority rights in accordance with European norms. Kovacs said the clause on minority rights should be either included in the treaty or mentioned in it, with a separate accord outlining the norms governing minority rights. In Kovacs's view, Hungarian minority fears that Budapest would seek to normalize its relations with neighboring countries at their expense have now subsided. -- Edith Oltay, RFE/RL Inc. HUNGARIAN FOREIGN TRADE DEFICIT. Deputy State Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Trade Gabor Gulacsi said Hungary's foreign trade registered a $2.6 billion deficit at the end of August, MTI reported on 10 October. Exports rose in value by 12.2% to $6.3 billion and imports by 16.1% to $8.9 billion, compared with the same period last year. Industrial production rose by 7.5%. Meanwhile, the Hungarian National Bank devalued the forint by 1.1% against convertible currencies beginning 11 October. The bank said the devaluation was necessary to sustain the competitiveness of exports achieved after the forint was devalued in August 1993. -- Edith Oltay, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIAN PRESIDENT SHARPLY ATTACKS FORMER KING. Ion Iliescu, at a press conference on 11 October, launched a sharp attack on former King Michael, who was recently barred from entering the country. Iliescu said that Michael "placed himself in a humiliating situation" by trying to force entry into Romania and that he was misused as a "tool" by certain political circles. Meanwhile, a deputy for the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania asked the Chamber of Deputies on 11 October to declare "the foreign citizen Michael of Hohenzollern" persona non grata for having "illegally crossed Romania's border" in December 1990 and October 1994. -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL Inc. ROMANIAN POLICE SEIZES URANIUM. Romania's Internal Affairs Ministry, in a communique broadcast by Radio Bucharest on 11 October, announced that seven people were arrested as they tried to sell uranium and strontium in a village in Vrancea County. The seven (three Moldovan citizens, two Jordanians, and two Romanians) were asking $400,000 for seven kilograms of uranium and an unspecified amount of strontium. The radioactive material was seized by the police. A smaller amount of uranium was confiscated in Bucharest in September. -- Dan Ionescu, RFE/RL Inc. DEATH TOLL RISES IN BULGARIA. Reuters on 11 October reported that the death toll from an explosion the previous day at a thermal power station in southeastern Bulgaria now stands at eight and that 12 individuals are in critical condition. An unnamed official said the cause of the accident is linked to the collapse of a reservoir filled with boiling hot water. The official said the reservoir's walls caved in owing to metal fatigue. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. BERISHA ANNOUNCES REFERENDUM ON CONSTITUTION. News agencies reported from Tirana on 11 October that President Sali Berisha has announced a popular vote on the country's new basic law on 6 November. His Democratic Party and its allies lack a two-thirds majority in the parliament, which the opposition and some of his allies argue is necessary to pass the document. Berisha's proposal for a referendum was approved in parliament on 10 October after the opposition staged a walkout. At issue is not so much the constitution itself as what has become an ongoing power contest between Berisha and his ex-communist opponents. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL Inc. UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT UNVEILS ECONOMIC, SOCIAL REFORMS. Leonid Kuchma on 11 October revealed to parliament his proposals for economic and social reform, Interfax reports. The proposals stress economic liberalization, including the privatization of firms, an overhaul of the tax system, land reform, and price liberalization. Reuters reports Kuchma as saying that such a plan is necessary because of Ukraine's "unprecedented economic crisis which threatens the very foundation of independence and even the survival of the Ukrainian nation." Parliament is scheduled to vote on the plan next week. Kuchma has hinted he will proceed with its implementation, irrespective of the outcome of the vote. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. BELARUS BANS FOREIGN CURRENCY USAGE. Belarus has placed a ban on domestic foreign currency exchanges, Reuters reports on 11 October. Deputy Premier Sergei Ling said the ban is part of the economic reforms undertaken since Belarus dropped a recent plan for forging a monetary union between Belarus and Russia. Belarus's ruble is expected to become the sole medium of exchange in retail trade by the end of 1994. -- Stan Markotich, RFE/RL Inc. MOLDOVA WORRIED BY TRUCE BREACHES. In another violation of the armistice convention signed by Russian and Moldovan Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Mircea Snegur in 1992, Russia has unilaterally removed a "peacekeeping" battalion from the security zone, allowing "Dniester" units to fill the vacuum, according to a report presented to a plenary session of the Moldovan parliament on 7 October by Maj. Gen. Victor Catana, Moldova's chief delegate to the Russian-Moldovan-"Dniester" Joint [Armistice] Control Commission. Other "Dniester" units, whose strength far exceeds the convention's ceilings, have penetrated the security zone with the consent of the Russian "peacekeeping" command, ITAR-TASS cited the report as saying. Russia has recently sought a substantial cut in the tripartite peacekeeping force, arguing that it can no longer finance its contingent and that the situation on the Dniester has substantially stabilized. Chisinau fears that the Russian "peacekeepers'" disengagement would leave the "Dniester" forces in a commanding position from which they would be able to mount militarily and politically advantageous "provocations." Moldovan officials see Russia's moves as aimed at pressuring them into formally requesting the Russian "peacekeepers" to stay or, alternatively, conferring that mandate on Russia's 14th Army and thus legalizing its presence. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL Inc. MILITARY TRANSIT THROUGH LITHUANIA. Russia is to receive on 12 October the draft agreement on military cargoes through Lithuania, Lithuania Radio reports. The draft, approved by the Lithuanian government earlier this month, provides for a system of single permits issued by the Defense Ministry. Cargoes that can go only by rail would be subject to other regulations laid down by the Lithuanian government. The parliament alone can give permission for the transit of armed military personnel and will do so only if asked by the United Nations or other international organizations. Russia's first reaction to the draft is expected on 17 October at a meeting in Moscow between members of the Lithuanian and Russian parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committees. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. CANDIDATE FOR LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT SEAT. The Presidium of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party has decided to support Centrist Union candidate Rasa Melnikiene in the November by-election in Kaisiadorys, the RFE/RL Lithuanian Service reported on 11 October. The parliament seat was won by Algirdas Brazauskas in 1992, but he resigned when he became president the following year. Four subsequent elections were deemed invalid due to insufficient turnout. The Liberal Party also expressed its support for Melnikiene. Earlier this month, the main opposition group, the right-of-center Homeland Union, nominated Liudvikas Sabutis as its candidate in Kaisiadorys. The ruling Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party has not yet named a candidate. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL Inc. LATVIAN POLITICAL PARTIES PREPARE FOR PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. Preparations have begun in Latvia for the next parliamentary elections, scheduled for October 1995. Politicians from the right-wing political parties belonging to the National Bloc coalition have designated members of what Diena on 10 October dubs a "shadow cabinet." The People's Front of Latvia, a popular movement with some 1,911 members, has decided to become a political party. It is to call itself the [Political] Party People's Front of Latvia, Diena reported on 9 October. The leadership of Latvia's Way has met to discuss the party's election chances. Prime Minister Maris Gailis says in a report submitted to the party leadership that Latvia's Way has currently only 272 members and candidate members and only 7 branch offices outside Riga. These figures show that the party has not grown as much as was anticipated. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. LATVIANS DISLIKE TAXATION SYSTEM. A recent opinion poll conducted by the State Reforms Ministry and the Social Research Center indicates that most Latvians dislike the existing taxation system: 63.7 percent of the respondents consider it "poor" and 64.4 percent are unhappy with the way tax revenues are used. Slightly less than 21 percent described the taxation system as "very poor." State Reforms Minister Vita Terauda said the Latvians' negative attitude could be largely explained by "the lack of knowledge" of the existing system, BNS reported on 7 October. Meanwhile, Arturs Kodolins of Latvia's Finance Ministry said new tax laws have been drafted that are in line with European Union requirements. The new legislation would not only improve the entire system but also stimulate industrial development, he noted. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL Inc. [As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Penny Morvant and Jan Cleave) The RFE/RL DAILY REPORT, 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, is available through electronic mail by subscribing to RFERL-L at LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU Inquiries about specific news items should be directed as follows (please include your full postal address when inquiring about subscriptions): Mr. Brian Reed RFE/RL, Inc. 1201 Connecticut Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20036 Telephone: (202) 457-6912 Fax: (202) 457-6992 Internet: REEDB@RFERL.ORG Copyright 1994, RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.
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