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
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

Vol. 1, No. 1, 2 January 1995

We welcome you to the first issue of the Open Media Research Institute's
Daily Digest - a compilation of news concerning the former Soviet Union and
East-Central and Southeastern Europe. The Daily Digest picks up where the
RFE/RL Research Institute Daily Report, which recently ceased publication,
left off.
Contributors include OMRI's 30-member staff of analysts, plus selected
freelance specialists. OMRI is a unique public-private venture between the
Open Society Institute and the U.S. Board for International Broadcasting.

RUSSIAN ASSAULT ON GROZNY CONTINUES. Despite Russian President Boris
Yeltsin's statement to a meeting of the Russian Security Council on 26
December that the "first military stage" of the campaign to bring Chechnya
back under Moscow's control was at an end, and his announcement in a
televised address on 27 December that he had given orders to halt the bombing
of Grozny, air raids on the city continued on 28-29 December. Russian
government officials denied, however, bombing an oil refinery on the western
outskirts of Grozny, claiming that it had been sabotaged by Chechen
militants. The Russian leadership ignored an offer by Chechen President
Dzhokhar Dudaev on 29 December to begin "unconditional negotiations," and
rejected his proposal on 30 December for a New Year's cease fire on condition
that Russian troops begin withdrawing from Chechen territory, according to
the Boston Globe of 31 December. After what The Washington Post (31 December)
termed a relative lull on 30 December, the following day, after renewed
aerial bombardment, Russian troops backed by tanks and helicopter gunships
launched a major assault on Grozny and succeeded in occupying several
administrative buildings in the town center despite ferocious resistance from
Chechen forces. Fierce fighting continued on 1 January for control of the
presidential palace; more Russian troops were brought into Grozny after
nightfall, according to Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, who claimed
that Russian troops controlled the city center but estimated that it would
take "another five to six days" to establish complete control of the city.
Dudaev's whereabouts are not known, nor are there any reliable figures on
either military or civilian casualties over the past two days. -- Liz Fuller,
OMRI, Inc.

INTERNATIONAL REACTION. On 1 January US National Security Advisor Anthony
Lake expressed concern over Russia's military tactics in Grozny and the
ensuing high number of civilian casualties, but reiterated US support for
Russia's territorial integrity, Western agencies reported. Incoming Senate
majority leader Robert Dole hinted that continued violence could affect
future US economic aid to Russia. The Turkish Foreign Ministry likewise
issued a statement on 1 January casting doubt on the chances of achieving
peace in Chechnya by brute force and regretting civilian casualties. Russian
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev reiterated his argument, voiced at a news
conference in Moscow on 30 December, that the Russian military intervention
in Chechnya was "a tragedy," but that Moscow had no alternative, given that
it could not tolerate secession. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

GAIDAR: USING FORCE IN CHECHNYA "CRIMINAL." "We lost the battle for Russian
democracy in Chechnya, now we must do everything to prevent losing it in
Russia proper," Egor Gaidar, once Yeltin's acting prime minister and the
architect of market-oriented reform in Russia, told RFE/RL on 1 January. The
use of force against the breakaway republic was a "crime" and those who had
committed it should be put on trial, Gaidar said, adding that not only
Yeltsin but also those Russian officials who either had planned or
implemented the events in Chechnya must be held responsible. According to
Gaidar, the Russia's Choice parliamentary faction, of which he is the leader,
was going to reconsider an earlier decision to take part in the Russian
government, perhaps recalling its members in the government. (Currently, four
members of Russia's Choice occupy minister or deputy minister positions in
Chernomyrdin's cabinet, including First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly
Chubais.) In early December the Russia's Choice parliamentary faction decided
to refrain from recommending the resignation of their ministers from the
government, but Gaidar said that the situation has changed and must be
reevaluated.The head of Yeltsin's staff, Sergei Filatov, was quoted by the
Boston Globe on 31 December as downplaying the damage to Yeltsin's position
resulting from the Chechen crisis; he said that the rupture between Yeltsin
and his former allies in the democratic reform movement was "only temporary,"
and that "there is no danger to reform or democracy, everything will return
to the previous state."-- Julia Wishnevsky and Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

GORBACHEV, OTHERS WARN OF DICTATORSHIP. Interviewed by Nezavisimaya gazeta on
31 December, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev warned that Russia was
sliding into dictatorship with its handling of the Chechen crisis. Gorbachev
said all policy decisions in Russia are taken by a "small group that has
taken refuge in the palace (Kremlin)"--a development that signals "the
regime's shift to dictatorship." Indeed, according to some sources, only a
handful of top government officials have supported the use of force against
the rebel Caucasian republic, while polls have shown that a majority of
ordinary Russians opposed it. At the same time, the Russian VIPs who have
condemned reported atrocities in Chechnya include the head of the Russian
Orthodox Church, Patriarch Alexii II, a number of top military generals--such
as Boris Gromov, the last commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan and now a
deputy defense minister--and the overwhelming majority of President Boris
Yeltsin's former liberal allies. In an interview with RFE/RL (also on 31
December), one such former supporter, Sergei Yushenkov, chairman of the State
Duma Defense Committee, condemned the invasion as an indication that "a
police regime, supported only by fascists and ultranationalists has been
formed in Russia." -- Julia Wishnevsky , OMRI, Inc.

YELTSIN PONDERS PEACE IN NEW YEAR ADDRESS. Late on 31 December Yeltsin
delivered his televised New Year's address to the nation, emphasizing
prospects for peace in 1995, also summarized by ITAR-TASS. While mentioning
Chechnya only once by name, it was clear that the situation in the war-torn
region and conflict in general were paramount for Yeltsin, as he directed
"greetings to those . . . who are maintaining the security of our country,
defending its borders." Yeltsin also directed special remarks to Russians
living abroad, "in the countries of the CIS and the Baltic region," saying
that Moscow government remained firmly committed to "do everything possible
to defend (their) legal rights and interests." -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

SOSKOVETS SAYS WORST OVER FOR RUSSIAN ECONOMY. In a New Year's interview,
First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets said Russia had survived the first
stage of reforms--freeing prices and opening up the economy--and must now
stabilize production and revive economic activity, Western and Russian
agencies reported. He argued that there was no further danger of an economic
catastrophe but said the government could not afford to ease up on reforms
although Russians were getting increasingly fed up with them. He acknowledged
that investment had been low in 1994 and highlighted problems in debt payment
but also noted that inflation and interest rates had fallen and savings had
risen. The government's major priority in 1995, he said, was to increase
investment. He ruled out higher taxes but noted there was some room for
spending cuts in the agricultural and coal mining sectors; he admitted,
though, that such cuts could provoke considerable opposition. Soskovets'
assessment of the economic situation was more optimistic than many reported
in preceding days. Both Economics Minister Evgenii Yasin and former Finance
Minister Boris Fedorov, leader of the 12 December parliamentary caucus,
expressed the fear on 29 December that the Russian intervention in Chechnya
would sabotage the government's stabilization plan. Yasin told RIA on 1
January that 3 trillion rubles ($850 million) would be needed to rebuild
Chechnya, an estimate that did not include the cost of the military operation
or restoring the republic's oil industry. -- Penny Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

PRIVATIZATION CHIEF CALLS FOR STATE TAKEOVERS. Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir
Polevanov, who succeeded Anatolii Chubais as chairman of the State Property
Committee in November, has described some privatization as a threat to state
security and says he is preparing a law on nationalizing enterprises in
certain sectors of the economy including the aluminum, oil and gas, and
military industrial sectors, agencies reported on 31 December. Polevanov said
he was worried about the influence of foreign investors, who were buying
sufficient shares to gain representation on companies' boards. He claimed to
have the support of Yeltsin and part of the government for his policies;
Chubais is said to be against Polevanov's nationalization line. -- Penny
Morvant, OMRI, Inc.

TRANSCAUCASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA

AZERBAIJAN OPPOSITION FORMS ALLIANCE TO OVERTHROW PRESIDENT. A number of
former highly-placed Azerbaijani officials have formed an alliance with the
aim of overthrowing President Heidar Aliev and revising the terms of the
"deal of the century" signed in September, 1994, between the Azerbaijani
leadership and a consortium of eight Western oil companies, a correspondent
for Radio Liberty in Baku reported on 30 December. The individuals involved
are former-president Ayaz Mutalibov (who has lived in exile in Moscow since
his ouster by the Azerbaijan Popular Front in May, 1992); ex-prime minister
Suret Huseinov, who was dismissed for his alleged involvement in an abortive
coup in October, 1994; former defense minister Rahim Kaziev; and the leader
of the Talysh secessionist movement, Alikram Gumbatov. The two latter men had
escaped from a high-security prison in Baku where they were being held on
charges of crimes against the state in late September 1994. -- Liz Fuller,
OMRI, Inc.

BAN ON DASHNAK PARTY UPHELD. On 29 December the Armenian Ministry of Justice
upheld the temporary ban imposed the previous day by President Levon
Ter-Petrossyan on the activities of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation
(Dashnaktsyuytun) on the grounds that a clandestine terrorist organization
subordinate to the ARF(D) was allegedly engaged in racketeering and smuggling
drugs from Beirut to Moscow, that it had perpetrated the murders of former
Armenian KGB Chairman Marius Yuzbashyan in 1992 and former Erevan Mayor
Ambartsum Galstyan in December 1994, and that it was planning further
political assassinations, a correspondent for Radio Liberty in Erevan
reported. Spokesmen for the Dashnak party have denied the existence of such
an organization.The Ministry of Justice ruled that the ARF(D) violated
existing legislation on political parties and on the legal status of foreign
nationals living in Armenia. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

NEW TAJIK MINISTERS NAMED. Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov has named the
chief of his personal staff, 56-year-old Talbak Nazarov as foreign minister,
and 52-year-old Tukhtaboy Gafurov, a former deputy prime minister, as economy
minister, Interfax reported on 29 December. Izatullo Khayeyev, a former
minister of foreign economic relations, was appointed the new head of the
presidential staff. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

POPULARITY POLL IN ESTONIA. A poll conducted by the EMOR research company in
December showed that Prime Minister Andres Tarand, former Supreme Council
Chairman Arnold Ruutel, and parliament chairman Ulo Nugis were the most
popular political figures in Estonia, BNS reported on 29 December. Tarand was
supported by 66% and opposed by 6%, with similar ratings of 66% and 17% for
Ruutel, and 59% and 17% for Nugis. The ratings for the leading opposition
party leaders, Coalition Party Chairman Tiit Vahi (49 and 26) and Centrist
Party leader Edgar Savisaar (48 and 34), were higher than those for former
Prime Minister and still Pro Patria Party Chairman Mart Laar (32 and 48). --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIA REFUSES RESIDENCY TO FORMER SOVIET ACTIVIST. Ceslovas Blazys,
director of the Lithuanian Migration Department said that immigration
authorities had turned down the residency request of Valerii Ivanov, the
former leader of the pro-Soviet Edinstvo organization, and have asked him to
leave the country by 22 January, BNS reported on 28 December. If Ivanov does
not depart by that time he could be forcibly deported and not be allowed to
return to Lithuania for five years. Ivanov, a Russian citizen born in
Lithuania, was released in October after serving a three-year sentence for
participating in the January 1991 attempt to overthrow the Lithuanian
government. Ivanov speaks operly of his plans to continue political
activiities among Lithuania's Russian community and immigration officials
believe that he could be a threat to the country's security and public order.
-- Saulius Girnius , OMRI, Inc.

LUKASHENKA PASSES ANTI-CORRUPTION DECREE. Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka issued a decree against corruption in the private sector on 30
December, Reuters reported. The decree referred to a growing wave of crime in
the country's private commercial structures which was blamed on the lack of
regulation in private businesses. The decree gave the government the right to
dissolve private businesses which violated the country's price-setting
policies, and allocated more money to law enforcement agencies to fight
crime. The Chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Mechyslau Hryb, criticized the
decree, saying it was unnecessary since existing legislation already dealt
with corruption. Other officials said the decree gave security forces more
power which they feel could impinge on democratic freedoms. -- Ustina Markus,
OMRI, Inc.

SPECIAL COMMISSION TO HAMMER OUT DIFFERENCES IN UKRAINIAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW.
Representatives of various parliamentary factions and President Leonid
Kuchma's administration have formed a commission to work out the main points
of contention in a constitutional law on the division of powers, which
parliament initially approved on 28 December. Reuters reported that, despite
strong opposition among deputies, the Communist-dominated legislature gave
its preliminary approval to the controversial legislation, which would boost
the constitutional powers of the president and sharply limit parliament's
authority. Many deputies and observers have voiced doubts that the
legislation would receive the required two-thirds vote in its current form.
As it stands, the law would give Kuchma the power to appoint a Cabinet of
Ministers, dissolve parliament if it dragged its feet on economic reforms and
subordinate local elected officials to the president. Parliament would have
the authority to launch impeachment proceedings against the president under
certain conditions. Kuchma has insisted that the law was critical to ensure
implementation of badly-needed reforms. -- Chrystyna Lapychak , OMRI, Inc.

POLISH ZLOTY SHEDS FOUR ZEROS. Poland on 1 January introduced a new currency
that lops four zeros off the bank notes currently in circulation,
international agencies report. One US dollar will now buy 2.4 new zloty,
compared with 24,000 old zloty. The redenomination is aimed at simplifying
accounting and finances, which since the hyperinflation of 1989-1990 have
involved numbers in the billions and trillions. The new and the old zloty
will exist side by side over the next two years, during which the old one
will gradually be removed from circulation. Five new bills, featuring great
Polish kings, and nine coins are to be introduced. The currency
transformation will cost the Polish Central Bank the equivalent of $20
million. Bank Chair Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz was quoted by AFP as saying the
revaluation showed the Polish currency was getting stronger. -- Jan Cleave,
OMRI, Inc.

HAVEL CALLS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL HOLES TO BE PLUGGED. President Vaclav Havel on
1 January called on the Czech parliament to pass a law that would finally
enable a Senate to be created. The Czech constitution provides for a
bi-cameral legislature but Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus and other leading
politicians have repeatedly said a Senate, which would review and amplify the
work of the current assembly of deputies, is unnecessary. In his televized
New Year's Day address, Havel warned that the absence of constitutional
institutions could undermine the rule of law in the country and weaken
citizens' faith in politicians and democratic institutions. He also called on
parliament to fulfill another constitutional provision, the reform of
regional government and administration throughout the Czech Republic, before
the next parliamentary elections due in 1996. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

KLAUS ON CZECH REPUBLIC'S GOALS IN 1995. In an interview with TV Nova on 1
January, Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said that the chief objective of
his government in 1995 is the reform of the country's welfare system.
According to Klaus, welfare and social payments should be paid in such a way
that "only those who need them get them." The prime minister argued that new
laws providing for such a reform must be adopted in 1995 because "1996 is an
election year . . . and a reform of the welfare system will cause conflicts
among political parties." Asked about the question of the Senate, Klaus said
that he did not consider the establishment of the parliament's upper chamber
as a topical issue. "I will neither hinder nor accelerate [the creation of
the Senate]", Klaus said. Speaking about foreign policy goals, the prime
minister said that in 1995 the Czech Republic will intensify its efforts to
gain membership in the European Union. He argued that the country's four
immediate neighbors are "our most natural partners." -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT'S NEW YEAR'S ADDRESS. On 1 January Michal Kovac spoke on
Slovak Television and Radio about developments during the past year. He noted
that Slovaks went to the polls three times, survived a dramatic governmental
and parliamentary crisis, and witnessed an economic turnaround and an
improvement in the country's international position. According to Kovac, the
solution to the crisis in March had both negative and positive effects; the
creation the cabinet headed by Jozef Moravcik calmed the political scene,
increased the trustworthiness of Slovakia abroad and improved the country's
economic position, giving reason for optimism in 1995. The results of the
parliamentary and local elections were, in Kovac's opinion, a legitimate
expression of the will of Slovak citizens which must be respected, and the
new cabinet should remain in office for the entire term. Among negative
developments during the year which deserve priority attention, Kovac noted
the high unemployment rate in several regions, the low standard of living for
pensioners, and the difficulties for new graduates to find employment.
Emphasizing the importance of understanding and political cooperation, Kovac
appealed to Slovak citizens not to surrender to apathy and to cease all
hositily and hatred. Kovac said his relations with Premier Vladimir Meciar
have improved and he hopes that the spirit of reconciliation will spread
throughout the political scene as well as among citizens. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK GOVERNMENT HOLDS MEETING IN ZILINA. Lured by free beer, wine and
sausage, on 23 December some 20,000 Slovaks attended a public meeting of
government members and their political parties as well as Matica Slovenska
Chairman Jozef Markus in Zilina's Andrej Hlinka Square. Meciar proclaimed
that the political crisis is solved and that everything was done for the sake
of "peace, democracy and to renew normal political and social development,"
Slovenska Republika reported on 27 December. He criticized his political
opposition and said that the functioning of the current parliamentary system
allows for permanent instability. One possible solution to this problem would
be to switch to a presidential system, Meciar said. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI,
Inc.

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS 1995 BUDGET, PLANS PRICE HIKES. By a vote of 251
to 83 with one abstention, the Hungarian parliament last week approved a
government budget providing for a deficit of 282.6 billion forint ($2.5
billion), international agencies report. Unlike its predecessors, the 1995
budget does not include charges for servicing Hungary's gross foreign debt of
$27.55 billion; those charges total some 164.3 billion forint. Meanwhile, the
daily Nepszabadsag on 29 December reported on price hikes that are to go into
effect in 1995 as part of socialist Premier Gyula Horn's austerity program.
Consumer prices for natural gas and electricity will soar by 53 and 65%
respectively. Telephone charges are to increase by 50%, railroad fares by
20%, and gasoline by an average of four forint per liter. The newspaper also
reported that producer prices of foodstuffs may go up by as much 25%, owing
to an expected increase in value-added tax. Inflation in Hungary reached 20%
in 1994, down from 23% the previous year. -- Jan Cleave, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

YET ANOTHER BOSNIAN CEASEFIRE . . . The holiday period witnessed a series of
diplomatic developments affecting the Bosnian crisis. First, international
media reported on 24 December that a ceasefire between Bosnian Serb and
government forces came into effect that day. Implementing a truce was part of
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's package of promises to former US
President Jimmy Carter earlier in the month. International media then
reported on 28 December that UN commander General Sir Michael Rose got Muslim
rebel leader Fikret Abdic to agree to the truce. UN representative Yasushi
Akashi also played a role in the ongoing shuttle diplomacy. On 29 December,
Politika quoted a UN spokesman as saying that the ceasefire had cut military
activity in the embattled republic as a whole by 60%. Nonetheless in
Sarajevo, December saw at least one explosion per day in apartment complexes,
with four explosions taking place on the 26th alone. Vjesnik ran the story on
29 December. On the 31st, Sarajevo marked the 1,000th day of the Serb siege.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND A NEW STAGE IN THE "PEACE PROCESS." The Los Angeles Times reported
on 1 January that the Christmas ceasefire had been transformed into a
four-month truce running to 1 May. During that interval the Contact Group
plans to sponsor peace talks "on the basis of the acceptance of the peace
plan of the Contact Group as a starting point," even though there is no
mention of the plan in the actual ceasefire agreement. Reuters noted that the
formulation used for the new talks marks a climb-down from the Group's
earlier take-it-or-leave-it position on its own proposal and constitutes a
concession to the Serbs. They will also benefit from the ceasefire's
provision that freezes present battle lines, disengages the Serb and
government forces, and positions UNPROFOR units between them. A similar
arrangement has enabled the Serbs to hold onto their conquests in Croatia
virtually undisturbed for the past three years. It nonetheless remains
unclear whether either side is interested in anything more than a brief
respite in the fighting during the harsh winter. The New York Times quoted
Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic as saying that a test of Serb
intentions will be whether they observe the ceasefire in Bihac in particular.
In any event, the BBC reported on 2 January that Rose met with Serbian and
government commanders at the Sarajevo airport the previous day and began work
on establishing local ceasefire committees. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN AUTHORITIES TRY TO TAKE OVER INDEPENDENT DAILY. The Serbian press has
reported in recent days on the latest attempt by President Slobodan Milosevic
to consolidate his nearly complete control over the media. The daily Borba is
his latest target, and since 26 December two versions of the paper have
appeared. The one is edited by current editor-in-chief Gordana Logar and is
produced by the majority of Borba's staff. The other is headed by Dragutin
Brcin, a career communist functionary appointed by Milosevic in his latest
attempt to take over the paper by using shaky legal arguments. Logar told the
BBC on 27 December that she and her staff could probably continue publishing
for another two weeks, but that they expect more trouble because of the
government's hold over printing facilities. She added that the authorities
were irked by Borba's policy of reporting "all the news," including some
Bosnian topics that the official media ignore. Her paper is now running daily
accounts of support for it from journalists, human rights groups, and
political figures from all over the world. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN LEADERS ON 1994-1995. President Ion Iliescu said on 30 December that
the year that passed had been "rich insofar as [Romania's] foreign relations
are concerned" and had marked important achievements on the road to the
country's integration in the European and Euro-Atlantic structures. On these
aims of Romania's foreign policy, Iliescu said, there was a full consensus of
all Romanian political forces. Iliescu was interviewed by Radio Bucharest in
a special program on the year that passed and the year 1995. Prime Minister
Nicolae Vacaroiu said in the course of the same broadcast that the government
had done all it could to ease the burden of the "present difficult economic
situation" and one of its main preocupations in the new year would be to help
those with lower incomes. Vacaroiu said monthly inflation in 1995 would not
be higher than 2.2% and annual inflation would not exceed 29%. -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS LIFTING CHIEF JUDGE'S IMMUNITY. A parliamentary
committee rejected a request by the chief prosecutor to lift the immunity of
Supreme Court Chief Judge Zef Brozi, international agencies reported on 29
December. Chief Prosecutor Alush Dragoshi had accused Brozi of wrongfully
ordering the release of a Greek citizen convicted of drug smuggling, but the
committee ruled parliament was not empowered to lift his immunity. At a news
conference Brozi suggested Dragoshi was just the instrument of a plan by
President Sali Berisha to have him removed. Brozi was the only prominent
Democratic Party official to criticize party leader Berisha for backing a
referendum on a new Albanian constitution in November that was, in any event,
defeated by the voters. -- Fabian Schmidt , OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN POLICE EXPEL KOSOVAR LEGISLATORS. Twenty members of the former
parliament of Kosovo and two journalists of the Kosovar exile daily Rilindja
were arrested by Macedonian police on 25 December and expelled to Kosovo,
Borba reported on 27 December. Kosovar President Ibrahim Rugova and the
Albanian parliament sharply criticized the expulsions, Reuters reported on 29
December. The legislators had fled Kosovo for exile in Macedonia after the
old communist-era parliament of Kosovo was abolished by the Serbian
government in 1990. After the abolition the members of parliament, led by
President of Parliament Ilaz Ramajli, met illegally on 7 September 1990 in
Kacanik and adopted a constitution which declared Kosovo a full-fledged
Yugoslav republic. Later a referendum on independence and free elections on
the basis of the Kacanik constitution were held in Kosovo. To date, however,
the new parliament elected in May 1992 as the legislature of the Kosovar
shadow state has not met. Instead, the Kosovar exile government was appointed
by Ramajli's parliament, which continued its work until December 1993 when
its term ended. -- Fabian Schmidt , OMRI, Inc.

IVAN KOSTOV ELECTED CHAIRMAN OF BULGARIA'S UNION
OF DEMOCRATIC FORCES. Ivan Kostov was elected chairman of the National
Coordinating Council of the Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) on 29 December.
Kostov was supported by eleven of the 15 parties that are members of the UDF
coalition. Demokratsiya reported that Vasil Gotsev and Krum Slavov were
elected as his deputies, while Christo Biserov is the new chief secretary.
Ivan Kostov had served as finance minister from 1990 until 1992 in the
governments headed by Dimitar Popov and by former UDF leader Filip Dimitrov.
As finance minister, Kostov succeeded in slowing down inflation considerably
and maintaining good relations with international lenders despite Bulgaria's
decision to suspend payments of its foreign debt. On the other hand he was
widely criticized by those who consider his policies responsible for
increasing unemployment and the decline in living standards in Bulgaria. In a
first statement after his election Kostov said that his main priorities will
be to prevent further splits within the coalition, to coordinate the
parliamentary work of the opposition parties and to regain the trust of the
Bulgarian electorate. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

(Compiled by Pete Baumgartner and Steve Kettle)

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet Union and
East-Central and Southeastern Europe. It is published Monday through Friday
by the Open Media Research Institute. The publication can also be obtained in
printed form by fax and postal mail.

Please direct inquiries as follows:
North America: Tom Ort, OMRI, 888 Seventh Ave., New York, NY, 10106
Telephone: (212) 887-0605. Fax: (212) 489 845.

Elsewhere: Editor, Daily Digest, OMRI, Na Strzi 63, 14062 Prague 4, Czech
Republic. Telephone (422) 6114  2114.  Fax: (422) 426 396.


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

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