|He who receives an idea from me receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mind, receives light without darkening me. - Thomas Jefferson|
No. 230, 7 December 1994
RUSSIA DUDAEV MEETS GRACHEV, AGREES TO RELEASE RUSSIAN PRISONERS. At talks in the North Ossetian village of Orzhonikedzevskaya on 6 December, Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudaev and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev both pledged to desist from the further use of force in the ongoing standoff, Russian and Western media reported; Dudaev further agreed to release the Russian troops taken captive during the abortive attempt by the opposition Provisional Council to storm the Chechen capital on November 26-27. Grachev declined to predict what further steps the Russian leadership might take to resolve the conflict, which will be discussed by the Russian Security Council on 8 December. Dudaev affirmed that he would be prepared to meet with President Boris Yeltsin if necessary, according to AFP. Meanwhile, Interfax quoted Provisional Council chairman Umar Avturkhanov as stating on 6 December that the opposition would be prepared to comply with Yeltsin's demand to end military operations and surrender their arms provided that the Chechen government forces do the same. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. OSSETIA-INGUSHETIA: EMERGENCY STATE INVALIDATED. At a closed session on 6 December, Russia's Federation Council narrowly voted against approving Yeltsin's 2 December decree extending until 31 January 1995 the state of emergency in parts of North Ossetia and Ingushetia. Deputies argued that the state of emergency in force from November 1992 until 2 December 1994 had been ineffective and had failed to contribute to solving the region's problems. Its invalidation will, however, seal that failure by removing minimum security guarantees for the repatriation of 60,000 Ingush forcibly evicted from North Ossetia in November 1992 with Russian military support. Ingushetia accuses the Moscow-instituted Provisional Administration in the state of emergency area and North Ossetia's pro-Moscow authorities of foiling the pilot program, mandated by another presidential decree, to return 600 Ingush families to four villages in Prigorodnyi Raion. Only 114 families have returned as of 5 December, ITAR-TASS reported; and they are experiencing harassment, apparently intended to deter the mass of Ingush refugees from returning. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. MORE ANTI-NATO POLEMICS. Following his 5 December anti-NATO speech to the CSCE summit in Budapest, Yeltsin told Russian journalists that "Russia cannot reconcile itself to NATO's border moving right up to the Russian Federation's border" and that "Russian citizens' natural concern explains Russia's sharp response" to NATO's planned enlargement, ITAR-TASS reported on 6 December. Yeltsin called for consultations with NATO and, particularly, with the US to jointly "work out a concept of admitting new members to NATO" and "seek mutually acceptable compromises" on NATO's enlargement. The remarks seemed to mistake Ukraine's western border for Russia's, to claim a voice for Russia in NATO decision-making, and to invoke popular nationalism as an alibi for government policy (although opinion surveys do not show any significant public concern over NATO). Meanwhile, State Duma Chairman Ivan Rybkin and Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Vladimir Lukin, quoted in The Times and The Guardian of 6 December, warned Western interlocutors that Russia would turn the CIS into a military alliance and take security measures in the Baltic area in response to NATO enlargement. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. ONE SLOT IN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REMAINS VACANT. Contrary to expectations (see Daily Report of 6 December), the Russian Constitutional Court will not resume work as a result of yesterday's session of the Council of the Federation. According to the law, all 19 vacancies for judges must be filled before the Constitutional Court may start to hear cases. Yet only one of two candidates nominated by Yeltsin--namely, the deputy director of the Military Academy of Economics, Finance, and Law, Vladimir Strekozov--was approved by the higher chamber of the Russian parliament. The other, MVD Major General Sergei Vitsin, was voted down, thus leaving one position vacant. The Russian Constitutional Court has been paralyzed since October 1993, when Yeltsin suspended its activities by decree. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. JOURNALISTS PROTEST AGAINST OFFICIAL LIES. A joint statement signed by the Russian Union of Journalists, the Committee for the Defense of Free Speech and the Rights of Journalists, and the public Committee for the Defense of Glasnost was distributed on 6 December among Russian news agencies and other media. The journalists condemned officials who had provided the media with inaccurate information, noting in particular the initial denials by Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev and some other military commanders of any involvement by the Russian Army in the Chechen war. "Blatant lies have become the hallmark of the authorities' attitude to the press," ITAR-TASS quoted the journalists as saying. -- Julia Wishnevsky, RFE/RL, Inc. "SHADOW ECONOMY" ESTIMATED AT 20 PERCENT OF GDP. State Statistics Committee Chairman Yurii Yurkov said on 6 December that his job was being complicated by the country's growing "shadow economy," composed of individuals and companies who do not declare their incomes and pay no tax, Reuters reported. He estimated that the undeclared economy accounted for some 20 percent of Russian GDP. According to Yurkov, statisticians add 40 percent to legitimate figures they receive for goods and services in an attempt to take into account hidden sales, companies working without licenses, and private individuals involved in unlicensed imports. The committee's deputy chairman, Vladimir Sokolin, said that in the first ten months of 1994 GDP was 85 percent of what it had been in the same period the previous year and that services, where the gray economy is particularly important, accounted for 55 percent of GDP. A new draft law on statistics, prepared with the help of experts from the IMF, the World Bank, Germany, France, and the UK, has been submitted to the government. -- Penny Morvant, RFE/RL, Inc. MILITARY SAYS 518 NONCOMBAT DEATHS IN SIX MONTHS. In an article in the military newspaper Krasnaya zvezda of 6 December, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that 518 servicemen had died during noncombat duty in the first six months of 1994. The ministry claimed that the figure was 18 percent lower than in the previous year. It said that 57 percent of the deaths were as a result of accidents, 27 percent due to suicide, 3.4 percent because of hazing, and 8.5 percent the results of premeditated murders. The Defense Ministry claimed that its noncombat death rate "corresponded to world standards" and was linked to the increasing violence in Russian society. Others have claimed that the death rate is far higher. In June a Russian civil rights organization charged that as many as 25-30 soldiers and officers died daily--a yearly rate of more than 9,000. On 6 December a representative of Mother's Rights told western agencies that the annual death toll was more than 4,000 and that the situation was not improving. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. MILLIONS OF CHEMICAL SHELLS DUMPED OFF RUSSIAN COASTS. Environmental activist Lev Fedorov told a Greenpeace conference in Moscow on 5 December that some 4.5 million shells filled with chemical agents had been dumped off Russia's coasts by Soviet authorities following the end of World War II. As reported by AFP, Fedorov charged that no one had officially admitted what had happened to the shells--which contain mustard gas, lewisite, hydrocyanic acid, and phosgene. He said that they had been dumped in the White, Barents, Kara, Black, and Okhotsk Seas as well as in the Sea of Japan. Russia has only admitted dumping some shells in the Baltic. He warned that they had become dangerous after twenty years, because of chemical corrosion of the metal shells. -- Doug Clarke, RFE/RL, Inc. CIS PEACEKEEPING DEVELOPMENTS. The CSCE summit in Budapest ended on 6 December capping two months of intensive negotiations on peacekeeping operations in CIS states. Unwilling to accept CSCE supervision or internationalization of those operations, Russia failed to obtain the long-sought-after mandate or some other form of political endorsement as peacekeeper in the CIS. On the main test issue, Karabakh, there was no agreement on the composition of a CSCE peacekeeping force. The conference condemned Abkhazia's expulsion of ethnic Georgians and secession from Georgia and reaffirmed Georgia's territorial integrity; but it was unable to make a decision regarding international peacekeeping, conceding the primary roles there and in South Ossetia to Russia and the UN. Addressing the conference, Georgian parliament chairman Eduard Shevardnadze complained that the Russian disengagement forces had actually cemented the secessionists' gains and he deplored the ineffectiveness of successive international missions and resolutions, unable to prevent forcible seizures of territory and ethnic cleansing. Moldova fared distinctly better. The conference called for the early entry into force of the bilateral agreement on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova, CSCE monitoring of its implementation, observance of Moldova's territorial integrity in settling the Dniester conflict, and CSCE and Russian mediation of that negotiation. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CSCE SUMMIT TEMPORIZES ON NAGORNO-KARABAKH. On 6 December delegates to the CSCE Budapest summit approved a document that effectively strengthens Russia's hand in mediating a settlement of the Karabakh conflict on its own terms. The document specifies the merging of the parallel CSCE and Russian mediation efforts within the framework of the CSCE and the appointment of two cochairmen of the combined mediation effort. (These will presumably be Anders Bjurner, the current acting chairman of the CSCE Minsk Group, and Vladimir Kazimirov, the aggressively hard-line coordinator of the Russian mediation effort.) Crucially, the document pledges support for the UN Security Council resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh that call for the liberation of occupied Azerbaijani territory, and pledges speedy negotiations on a political settlement of the conflict. Only after such a political settlement is reached will a decision be made on the actual deployment, with a mandate from the UN Security Council, of a CSCE peacekeeping force, the composition of which has still to be determined. The Karabakh Armenians have consistently stated that they will not withdraw from occupied Azerbaijani territory until a CSCE peacekeeping force has been deployed on the ground. -- Liz Fuller, RFE/RL, Inc. RUSSIA WARNS MOLDOVA. At the CSCE summit in Budapest and in several international forums in recent weeks, Moldova called for international monitoring of the eventual withdrawal of Russia's 14th Army and for consideration of the possibility of sending an international peacekeeping contingent to replace the Russian disengagement units being withdrawn from Moldova. In response, Russian diplomats told ITAR-TASS on 3 December that "these unilateral initiatives by the Moldovan leadership will complicate its relations with Moscow and can adversely affect Moldova's economy, which largely depends on Russian energy, raw materials, and markets." The Russian diplomats were identified as being "involved in the settlement of the Dniester problem." Moldovan officials told the RFE/RL Research Institute that they had already been given these warnings privately, before the Russian diplomats went public. -- Vladimir Socor, RFE/RL, Inc. CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE CSCE FAILS TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT BOSNIA. International media reported on 6 December that the CSCE summit ended in Budapest without any reference to Bosnia in its final declarations. Russia blocked the adoption of two documents, one on Bihac and the other on the situation in the former Yugoslavia, Vjesnik reports on 7 December. The Los Angeles Times notes that both texts would have condemned the Serbs and their policies of "continuing warfare and ethnic cleansing." It also refers to the Russian success as "the latest in a series of humiliating setbacks for the United States and its allies over Bosnia." The VOA quoted German Chancellor Helmut Kohl as having demanded at least a tough declaration on Bihac. Bosnia's delegate said he was "forced to conclude that the international community is capitulating to the aggressors and accepting the breakup of my country." -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. SERBS VIOLATE HOSTAGE EXCHANGE DEAL. The Los Angeles Times also reports that the UN failed "to appease gunmen who bargain with human lives [and] the humiliating capitulation backfired, bringing more humiliation." The UN had offered to send a Spanish captain as a substitute hostage for a seriously ill Jordanian officer held by the Serbs at Banja Luka. The Serbs agreed, but then grabbed the Spaniard without surrendering the Jordanian. A UN spokesman said "it's absolutely outrageous." The Independent, meanwhile, reports that the Serbs intend to use the military airfield where the hostages are held as human shields. Finally, The Philadelphia Inquirer quotes a top aide to US Senator Jesse Helms, the incoming Foreign Relations Committee chairman, as saying "if the Serbs want to keep this stuff up, then make them bleed." -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. RIFT AMONG BOSNIAN SERBS IN THE OPEN? The mysterious visit of Bosnian Serb legislators to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic on 5 December has largely been greeted with silence by those directly involved, Borba reports on 7 December. AFP the previous day quotes Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, however, as saying that the delegation had no mandate in Belgrade and was trying to split the Bosnian Serb legislature. Borba, by contrast, cites the delegation leader as saying their mission was "official." Meanwhile in Geneva, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic obtained a promise from leaders of Islamic countries to replace UNPROFOR troops if any are withdrawn. Finally, Reuters on 6 December quotes UN sources as saying that Croatian forces and those of the Krajina Serbs are both engaged in fighting in Bosnia, while The Independent reports that a recent helicopter explosion in Zagreb was connected with arms smuggling. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. FIRST ALBANIAN UNIVERSITY IN MACEDONIA. The first Albanian-language university in Macedonia is to open on 17 December, Flaka e Vellazerimit reports. To be located in the western Macedonian city of Tetovo, which is regarded as a center of ethnic Albanian nationalism, the new university is already controversial and may face an official ban from Skopje. The Education Ministry has said the Albanian university is unconstitutional because national minorities must satisfy their needs within the existing education system. The Albanians, however, charge that the government has ignored their long-standing demands for higher education in the Albanian language. Fadil Sulejmani, president of the university's board, is quoted by Illyria on 1-3 December as saying that after waiting one month for an answer from Skopje, the board has decided to proceed with the opening of the university. The university will have six departments, 15 classrooms for an initial total of 3,000 students, and a 100-strong faculty earning an average of DM 400-500 a month. -- Louis Zanga, RFE/RL, Inc. OTHER DEVELOPMENTS AROUND THE BALKANS. Serbian dailies on 6 December reported that President Milosevic may be trying to refloat the idea of a Balkan confederation--one of the hardy perennials of the region's politics for over a century--that would include Serbia-Montenegro, Macedonia, and Greece, with Romania and Bulgaria to join later. Nova Makedonija on 6 December, for its part, quoted Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov as telling journalists at the CSCE summit that he welcomes recent Greek moves to lift Athens' veto on EU ties to Skopje and Greece's partial easing of its embargo as a sign of "good will." Finally, Reuters said in Tirana that Albania plans to free the five ethnic Greeks sentenced on espionage charges. The story is based on a reported interview with President Sali Berisha by the Athens daily Ta Nea. -- Patrick Moore, RFE/RL, Inc. POLISH CONCORDAT POSTPONED INDEFINITELY. Poland's Constitutional Tribunal on 6 December refused to take a position on the Sejm's decision to postpone ratifying the concordat between Poland and the Vatican until a new constitution is approved. The tribunal said the decision was basically procedural (that is, dealing with the daily operations of the parliament) rather than legislative and as such was beyond the purview of the tribunal mandate. The concordat was signed in 1993, but the leftist-dominated Sejm postponed its ratification in July 1994 to ensure that its provisions comply with the country's new basic law. The decision was appealed by President Lech Walesa and several parliamentary groups. It is now almost certain that the concordat will not be ratified in the foreseeable future. According to Gazeta Wyborcza on 7 December, an episcopate spokesman commented that while the tribunal's position will have to be "respected," it will not help improve Church-state relations. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc. NEW LAY CATHOLIC BODY SET UP IN POLAND. The National Council of Lay Catholics, established by Poland's episcopate, held its inaugural meeting in Warsaw on 5 December. The 20-30 strong council is to serve as a "forum for discussion through which new methods of the Church's pastoral activity can be developed," Rzeczpospolita reported on 6 December. It is the second lay Catholic organization to be set up within recent weeks. Catholic Action, a large body uniting lay Catholics involved in various public activities, was formed last month. -- Jan de Weydenthal, RFE/RL, Inc. HAVEL'S SPEECH AT THE CSCE SUMMIT. Czech President Vaclav Havel told the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe on 6 December that "nobody should stop anyone from aspiring to join or affiliate with a group with which he feels linked geographically, historically, culturally, and in terms of civilization and security." International press agencies reported Havel as saying that some European states, notably those still belonging to the Soviet zone of influence, maintain good relations with NATO and the European Union and are aiming for rapid integration into those organizations. In Havel's opinion, "any attempt to stop the process would compromise the peaceful organization of Europe." Havel criticized "the community of democratic states" for acting too slowly to incorporate the former Soviet bloc countries. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. CZECH PREMIER ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT. In a lengthy evaluation of the country's economic and political reforms, Vaclav Klaus told the parliament on 6 December that his government's policies have been the cause of "our state's exceptional political stability." With regard to foreign policy, Klaus identified membership in the European Union as "our top priority," praised the Partnership for Peace program as a step toward full membership in NATO, and stressed the need for good relations with Germany and other Western countries. He argued that cooperation with Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia should focus on such practical matters as trade, rather than on attempts to build regional alternatives to NATO and EU membership. Klaus highly praised the country's economic results, citing low inflation and the success of the privatization process. He also warned against the growth of bureaucracy and against various lobbies pressuring the government and parliament. Most opposition parties criticized Klaus's speech as government propaganda. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK PRESIDENT ON CSCE. In a speech to the CSCE summit in Budapest on 6 December, Slovak President Michal Kovac supported the strengthening of the organization but warned that such a process should not weaken existing European security structures. Kovac argued that the CSCE and existing organizations should work together more closely to achieve common goals. The Slovak president said admission to NATO is one of the top priorities of his country. He suggested that the CSCE adopt "a code of behavior of its member states in the area of security." Noting that Slovakia "views ethnic minorities as an important enrichment of our society," the Slovak president recommended that the CSCE member states observe the principles of the general agreement on protecting ethnic minorities that was approved by the Council of Europe. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. SLOVAK DEFENSE MINISTER ON THE SLOVAK ARMY. Speaking at a meeting in Trencianske Teplice, Pavol Kanis recommended that Slovakia reduce its army personnel to a level below that stipulated by the Vienna disarmament agreements. According to those agreements, the Slovak Army should have no more than 46,667 soldiers by November 1995. Slovak media quote Kanis as saying that Slovakia must consider what kind of army it needs and how much money it can afford to spend on it. He said some experts have recommended reducing the number of army personnel to 35,000. Kanis noted that while the army requested 19 billion koruny from the state budget in 1995, the budget proposal approved by the government provides for only 12.9 billion koruny. -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. MECIAR ON PRIVATIZATION LAWS. Prime Minister-designate Vladimir Meciar told Slovak Radio on 6 December that he expected the Slovak parliament to pass two laws recently vetoed by Slovak President Michal Kovac. The laws, passed at an extraordinary parliament session on 3 and 4 November, abolished all privatization laws approved by the government of Jozef Moravcik after 6 September and transferred the power to make privatization decisions to the National Property Fund. Saying the president is entitled to his opinions, Meciar noted he would recommend that the president's veto and the outgoing government's proposals be rejected as "irrelevant." -- Jiri Pehe, RFE/RL, Inc. ILIESCU MEETS GONCZ. After attending the CSCE conference in Budapest, Romanian President Ion Iliescu was received by his Hungarian counterpart, Arpad Goncz, Radio Bucharest reported on 6 December. Presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu said the two politicians discussed, among other things, the views espoused by representatives of the Hungarian minority in Romania, including their demand for territorial autonomy. Also discussed was the belief that the situation of the Magyar minority in Central Europe is a "key problem of European stability." Iliescu said such stances "are feeding mistrust and encourage some extremist positions." He also invited Goncz to visit Romania. -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. TOKES ON ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN RELATIONS. Radio Bucharest on 6 December reported that in a letter to Hungarian Premier Gyula Horn, published the same day in Magyar Nemzet, Reformed Bishop Laszlo Tokes said that despite the improvement in official Romanian-Hungarian relations, the situation of the Hungarian minority in Romania continues to deteriorate. Tokes, who is also honorary president of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania, also noted there is no indication that the Romanian side intends to solve the problem of the Hungarian minority before concluding the bilateral basic treaty. He concluded that the Hungarian government would be mistaken to show a "conciliatory attitude" because of "CSCE or other pressures." -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. ROMANIAN WORKERS PROTEST UNPAID WAGES. Thousands of workers protested in the western industrial town of Resita against the government's failure to pay wages since October and against Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu's failure to visit Resita, despite having been urged to do so by workers' representatives. Radio Bucharest reported on 6 December that the workers gathered outside the prefect's office, shouting slogans against the government. According to Rompres, they tried to storm the office but were calmed down by trade union leaders. Prefect Train Zamfir told them wages would be paid on 7 December and the premier would "surely come to Resita in January." -- Michael Shafir, RFE/RL, Inc. GERMANY'S ROLE IN LIFTING GREEK VETO ON AID TO ALBANIA. Germany, which currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the EU, played a key role in lifting the Greek veto on granting the first $18.5 million installment of a EU loan package to Albania, Demokracia reported on 2 December. The package is worth a total of $43 million. Greek Secretary of State for European Affairs Yannos Kranidiotis said the lifting of the veto was a result of his meeting with German Foreign Affairs Minister Klaus Kinkel, adding that "everything is done through the approval of the German chairmanship." Kranidiotis also said that Greece would start a dialogue with Albania to solve "existing disagreements"--a step that can be seen as a friendly gesture toward Albania. -- Louis Zanga, RFE/RL, Inc. SOARING PRICES IN BELARUS. The Belarusian government has introduced steep increases in the prices of milk, meat, and bread, Interfax reports. As of 7 December, the cost of milk and dairy products is to double and meat and bread prices will increase by 30 percent. Announcing the decision on 5 December, Belarusian Prime Minister Mikhail Chyhir said the price hikes are aimed at winning a $308 million loan from the International Monetary Fund. He said the government has sent the IMF a memorandum vowing to pursue a strict reform program and is "rushing to free prices to show our position as to price-setting." Later this month, rents are to increase by 600 percent, the cost of heating by 500 percent, and electricity and gas prices by 50 percent. -- Jan Cleave, RFE/RL, Inc. BALTIC LEADERS REJECT YELTSIN'S HUMAN-RIGHTS ALLEGATIONS. In his address to the CSCE conference in Budapest on 5 December, Russian President Boris Yeltsin again claimed that the human rights of "millions of Russians in some CIS countries and the Baltic states" were being violated. He also said that Estonia, in particular, was oppressing the Russian Orthodox Church. These charges were rejected by the presidents of the Baltic States when they addressed the conference later on 5 and 6 December. The Baltic leaders also objected to the inclusion of a statement in the summit's final document expressing concern about the observance of human rights in their countries. Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs told BNS on 6 December that "the Baltic issue" will apparently not be included in the final document. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. PROSECUTOR WITHDRAWS FROM ESTONIAN EX-PREMIER CASE. Public prosecutor Silvia Vospert told the Tallinn City Court on 6 December that she was withdrawing from the bribery case against former Estonian Prime Minister Indrek Toome because she had received a murder threat the previous day, BNS reports. Vospert said she had also been offered a bribe in exchange for Toome's release. A hearing scheduled that day to consider Toome's release from custody was postponed until 7 December so that a new prosecutor could be appointed. Toome was arrested on 28 November in a sting operation after giving a police official 30,000 kroons ($2,400) for three fraudulent Estonian passports. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. LITHUANIA COMPLETES INVESTIGATION OF SOVIET COUP ATTEMPT. The Lithuanian Prosecutor's Office has completed its investigation of the failed Soviet coup attempt in January 1991, BNS reported on 6 December. Although more than 50 persons are charged with participating in the coup, only seven are likely to be tried because the others are currently living in Russia and Belarus. Russia has refused to extradite suspects to Lithuania, saying it cannot hand over Russian citizens. Belarus, for its part, claims not to know the whereabouts of people wanted by Lithuania. The principle suspects, currently held in a Vilnius prison, are former chairman of the pro-Moscow Lithuanian Communist Party Mykolas Burokevicius and its ideological head, Juozas Jermalavicius. Both were extradited by Belarus in January. -- Saulius Girnius, RFE/RL, Inc. LATVIAN TEACHERS PROTEST IN RIGA. Demanding higher wages, thousands of Latvian teachers staged a protest march in Riga on 6 December, Latvian media reported. Further negotiations between teachers' representatives and members of the government are scheduled for 7 December. Teachers began a five-day warning strike on 5 December to demand a 16 percent wage increase as of 1 January 1995, which the government rejected. Since then, the teachers' trade union has called for educators' salaries to be raised to the level of average salaries of state employees. The teachers also want the government to allow elderly teachers to receive both wages and retirement pensions. -- Dzintra Bungs, RFE/RL, Inc. [As of 1200 CET] (Compiled by Jan Cleave and Penny Morvant) 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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