ZHivya s lyud'mi, ne zabyvaj togo, chto ty uznal v uedinenii. V uedinenii obdumyvaj to, chto uznal iz obscheniya s lyud'mi. - L.N.Tolstoj

Vol. 1, No. 5, 6 January 1995

We welcome you to 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 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.

Due to network congestion, many subscribers did not receive some issues of
the Daily Digest. The Daily Digest is archived weekly and subscribers may
access missing issue themselves. To review a list of the available weekly
archive, send an e-mail message containing the sentence INDEX OMRI-L to
The computer will return an index listing; to have a file sent to you, send
an e-mail message containing the sentence GET FILENAME to
NB: use the filename specified in the index.


President Boris Yeltsin's order of 4 January to halt the
bombing of Grozny at midnight that night, bombing raids
on Grozny and neighboring villages continued on 5 January,
Ostankino Television reports. Dudaev's forces remained in
control of the center of Grozny but were surrounded by
Russian forces, according to the Russian government press
center. Ostankino further reported that on 5 January the
Chechen "government of national reconciliation," headed
by Salambek Khadzhiev, issued a statement supporting the
restoration of constitutional order in Chechnya but
condemning as "a mistake" the ongoing bombing of
peaceful towns and villages that could result in nationwide
protests. Speaking in Mozdok (North Ossetia) on 5 January,
Federal Counter-Intelligence head Sergei Stepashin rejected
the prospect of a protracted guerrilla war in Chechnya,
vowing to eliminate the Chechen opposition, according to
Interfax. Discussing the reasons for the failure of Russian
troops to establish control in Grozny, Segodnya disclosed
on 5 January that neither the Defense Ministry nor any
other power structure has units specially trained for urban
combat against a well-armed enemy. Spetsnaz forces are
trained for acts of sabotage and reconnaissance but have
never been used to storm urban areas. The Georgian
government has sent troops to the Georgian border with
Chechnya to prevent Chechen forces from entering
Georgia, Interfax reported on 5 January. In Moscow, State
Duma deputies from Russia's Choice, Yabloko and the
December 12 liberal-democratic union continued to collect
signatures to press for an emergency debate on Chechnya,
Interfax reported on 5 January. The Democratic Russia party
unveiled a new peace initiative for Chechnya comprising a
cease-fire, the withdrawal of all Russian military formations
and armor from Grozny, and the release by both sides of
prisoners of war, to be followed by negotiations at
government level on a peace settlement. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI,

Kohl said on 5 January that he had informed Russian
President Boris Yeltsin by phone the previous day that
although he regarded the conflict in Chechnya as an
internal Russian affair, he considered the civilian casualties
too high, according to The New York Times of 6 January. In
Washington, according to a separate report in The New
York Times, senior White House aides have drafted a letter
for President Clinton's approval appealing to Yeltsin to
stop inflicting civilian casualties in Chechnya and to
consider the proposal made earlier this month by the EU to
involve the OSCE in the search for a solution to the
Chechen crisis. The Washington Post of 6 January quoted
US Secretary of State Warren Christopher as stating that his
Russian counterpart, Andrei Kozyrev, informed him by
telephone on 4 January of the Russian leadership's
willingness to involve the OSCE. UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali affirmed on 5 January that the UN is
likewise prepared to mediate in the Chechen dispute if
asked, according to AFP. Also on 5 January the Pakistan
Foreign Ministry denied charges made the previous day by
the Russian Foreign Ministry that Afghan refugees were
being sent from Pakistan to fight as mercenaries in
Chechnya, AFP reported. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

of the Federal Counter-Intelligence Service, Sergei
Stepashin, knows the identity of the man responsible for the
death in October 1994, of Moskovsky komsomolets
investigative journalist Dmitri Kholodov, who was killed by
an exploding briefcase, Izvestiya reported on 6 January.
Spokesmen for both the FSK and for Yeltsin's office denied
claims that Stepashin had sent a letter to Yeltsin a month
ago informing him of the circumstances of the murder and
the name of the perpetrator, whom Izvestiya identified as
serving in a paratroop regiment which was at that time
deployed in Sokolniki and has since been sent to Chechnya.
-- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

Kovalev, a deputy speaker of the State Duma, has been
appointed minister of justice, Russian television newscasts
reported on 5 January. Elected to the Duma on the
Communist Party list, Kovalev has reportedly fallen from
grace within his faction, which opposed the use of force in
Chechnya. At the end of December, Yeltsin appointed
Valentin Kovalev the chairman of a commission that, he
said, was to monitor human rights in Chechnya. He then
also named human rights campaigner Sergei Kovalev as the
commission's chairman, presumably to confuse the public.
Kovalev's predecessor, Yurii Kalmykov, was appointed
justice minister in spring 1993, after having agreed to
incriminate Yeltsin's then arch-enemy, Vice President
Aleksandr Rutskoi. A member of a similarly small Caucasian
nation (Cherkess), Kalmykov resigned his post in December
1994 in protest of use of the military in Chechnya. -- Julia
Wishnevsky, OMRI, Inc.

propaganda on the Chechen developments surpassed the
Bolsheviks "and even Dr. Goebbels," human rights envoy
Sergei Kovalev told RFE/RL at a Moscow airport on arrival
from Grozny via Nazran on 5 January. According to
Kovalev, Russian officials have so far failed to say "a word of
truth" about the developments in Grozny. Kovalev believes
that Yeltsin was misinformed by his hawkish friends and
bodyguards, albeit not to the same extent as the rest of the
nation, because, Kovalev explained, only a very stupid
person could believe the mendacious Russian officials. Later
that day, in the packed conference hall of Izvestiya,
Kovalev provided a detailed account of the sufferings of
Russian and Chechen civilians who fell victim to Russian air
raids. Kovalev opined that without the invasion, Chechnya
would have remained a part of the Russian Federation and
that the military action was counterproductive in the case of
Chechnya and would be so in other republics. Kovalev
added that, in his view, the Chechen developments would
also encourage the East Europeans to join NATO as soon as
they could. "I came with the intention to look in the eye
those officials responsible for the handling of Chechnya,"
Kovalev told the news conference as reported by Izvestiya.
The human rights champion is scheduled to meet with
Yeltsin on 6 January. -- Julia Wishnevsky, OMRI, Inc.

DRAFT BUDGET. Deputy Finance Minister Andrei Vavilov
announced on 5 January that food worth about 200 billion
rubles would be sent to Chechnya and that pensions had
already been paid in "areas freed from illegal formations,"
Interfax reported. Vavilov added that the Finance Ministry
would soon prepare proposals on adjusting the draft 1995
budget in light of the Chechen conflict. The previous day
the Duma's budget committee had asked the government
for detailed data on changes to the budget draft, Committee
member Aleksandr Pochinok said he believed that if
military operations continued, the country would need a
special military budget. Meanwhile, the head of the Federal
Migration Service, Tatyana Regent, said that there are more
than 200,000 refugees from Chechnya but that only 56,000
have asked for refugee status. Regent said the worst situation
was in Dagestan's Khasavyurt Raion and Ingushetia. She said
the Federal Migration Service has already spent 11 billion
rubles on accommodation for refugees. -- Penny Morvant,
OMRI, Inc.

January The New York Times reported that Russian Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin signed a decree freeing oil
companies from their obligation to sell over half of their
production domestically at artificially low prices. Currently,
Russian consumers pay only 30% of the world market price
for their oil. The IMF, World Bank and the US have been
pressing for the elimination of the quota for Russian oil
companies. The decision may be decisive in obtaining $13
billion in hard currency loans from the IMF and World
Bank which Russia has been counting on for the 1995
budget. The decree has not yet been published and The
New York Times cites World Bank officials as their source.
-- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

Currency Exchange trading on 5 January, the Central Bank
sold $114 million, with the difference between supply and
demand at $115.03 million, according to Interfax on 6
January. Session traders offered $254.8 million for sale, with
the demand being at $369.83 million. Reports indicate that
the Central Bank sold around $114 million. The Central
Bank closed the trading session at 3,623 rubles to $1.
Dealers believed that the sharp decline of the ruble over
the first two trading days in 1995 (73 points) is related to the
government's financial obligation to quell the conflict in
Chechnya and restore the republic's crumbled economy. A
5 January broadcast on Russian Radio said that experts also
attributed the ruble decline to the expectation of
inflationary growth and also the increasing influx of hard
currency in Russia. -- Thomas Sigel

Committee reports that those Russians with the highest
incomes have 15 times as much as the lowest. In a 5 January
report in Vechernyaya Moskva, statistics indicated that in
1993 the ratio was 11:1 and in 1991 it was 4.5:1. In January
through November 1994, 10% of the population received
30% of the total income, while the poorest 10% received
only 1.9%. About 65% of the population had incomes below
the average level. By the end of 1994, average salaries and
wages were just over the equivalent of $100 a month. --
Thomas Sigel, OMRI, Inc.

COUNTERFEIT CASES SURGE. The Ministry of Interior's
Economic Crime Department said that Russia is suffering a
counterfeiting boom, according to a 5 January report in
Trud. In 1993 there were more than 7,000 cases of
counterfeiting and 492 trials; 9.5 billion bogus rubles, 20
million rubles worth of privatization vouchers and $2.5
million of counterfeit foreign currency were confiscated. In
1994 these activities have at least doubled, the report said.
The Economic Crime Department said that forgery
techniques are improving and that it is difficult to track the
criminals because they find refuge throughout the CIS,
notably in the Caucasus and Chechnya. -- Thomas Sigel,
OMRI, Inc.


The Dashnak Party will continue to operate in Armenia
despite the "temporary" ban imposed on its activities by
President Levon Ter-Petrossyan on 28 December (see Daily
Digest of 2 January), according to the Snark News Agency of
5 January citing party leader Ruben Akopyan, who predicted
that arrests of party activists for purely political reasons will
continue. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

January, Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev was appointed to the
post of Interior Minister 47-year-old Colonel Madalbek
Moldashev, Interfax reported. A career security officer,
Moldashev worked three years in Afghanistan; he was
subsequently a secretary of Akaev's presidential security
council. In an interview with Interfax, Moldashev affirmed
his intention of restructuring the work of the ministry and
bringing in qualified professionals in order to restore
public order. Also on 5 January, Akaev introduced to the
staff of his administration newly-appointed Secretary of
State Zhumabek Ibramov, the former head of the city
administration in Bishkek. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.

ROUND OF PEACE TALKS. Interfax on 5 January reported
that the Russian Federal Border Service Information agency
had been told by the head of the UN mission in Tajikistan,
General Hassan Abbaz, that he had been informed by Akbar
Turadzhonzoda, a deputy chairman of the opposition
Islamic Revival Movement, that the opposition will not
participate in the fourth round of UN-mediated peace talks
scheduled to begin on 15 January. Also on 5 January, Tajik
Presidential Press Secretary Davlatali Davlatov told
journalists that despite the incident on the Tajik-Afghan
border on 2 January in which nine Russian border guards
were killed and eleven wounded, the Tajik government still
wants to continue a political dialogue in the hope of
resloving the internal conflict. -- Liz Fuller, OMRI, Inc.


RUSSIA. Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius told a press
conference in Vilnius on 5 January that Russian troops are
continuing to transit Lithuania in accordance with an
agreement signed in November 1993 for their withdrawal
from Germany, RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reports.
Although Slezevicius has repeatedly stated that all countries
have to comply with the government's rules for the transit
of military and dangerous cargoes from 1 January 1995, he
said intensive talks are still under way with Russia on various
issues. Slezevicius might settle the transit question and other
questions such as granting mutual most-favored-nation
status at a planned meeting in late January with his Russian
counterpart, Viktor Chernormyrdin. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI,

AUSCHWITZ LIBERATION. President Lech Walesa's aide
Andrzej Zakrzewski on 5 January said survivors of Auschwitz,
Nobel Peace Prize winners, and representatives of 26 states
will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death camp's
liberation at the end of the month, Reuters reports. The two-
day gathering will be hosted by Walesa. On 26 January, the
Nobel laureates will meet in Cracow to put the finishing
touches to an appeal for worldwide peace and tolerance.
The following day, a series of ceremonies will take place at
Auschwitz, including a period of silence at the camp gates,
speeches, wreath-laying, and finally the lighting of candles
on the platform where many of the 1.5 million people killed
at the camp arrived by train from all over Europe. Among
the heads of states who have said they will attend are the
presidents of Austria, Belarus, Croatia, Latvia and Slovenia.
Germany will be represented by President Roman Herzog,
Israel by the speaker of its parliament, and Russia by either
President Boris Yeltsin or Premier Viktor Chernomyrdin.
Invitations have been sent to 92 Jewish groups and attempts
are being made to reach all Auschwitz survivors to invite
them, Zakrzewski said. -- Jan Cleave, OMRI, Inc.

January NATO press release announced that Belarusian
Foreign MinisterUladzmir Syanko will visit NATO
headquarters on 11 January to sign the Partnership for
Peace Framework Document. Belarus will become the 24th
member of the PfP, leaving Tajikistan as the only country
on the territory of the former Soviet Union not to have
joined. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

Belarusian Television reported criticisms by journalists of
the authorities' recent decision to ban four independent
newspapers from publishing a report by deputy Syarhei
Antonchyk on corruption in the administration. The
journalists said they hoped the heads of the Publishing
House would reconsider their decision since the newspapers
could still circulate the text of the report to their
subscribers, "even if it means going beyond the country's
borders." They stressed that the newspapers would continue
to be published. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

Ukraine intends to cut its 1995 budget deficit to 4-5% of GDP
with the help of foreign credits and short-term state bonds,
presidential adviser Anatoly Halchynsky told a news
conference on 4 January, Reuters reports. A presidential
decree and other steps are being drafted as government
officials prepare to review the draft budget on 10 January
before forwarding it to parliament, he said. Ukraine must
pass a budget in order to qualify for a $1.5 billion IMF
stand-by loan. Last year, Ukraine had to struggle with huge
energy debts, a 27.8% decline in production, a 26% drop in
revenue, high inflation and massive credits to the
agricultural sector, in order to halve a 20% deficit to obtain
a $371 million IMF loan. This year, Ukraine plans to
overhaul the financing system for the farm sector and
privatize large segments of the agricultural industry,
Halchynsky said. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

SAYS. While nearly 70,000 Jews have emigrated from
Ukraine in the last five years, over half a million remain,
many playing an active role in the revival of Judaism since
Ukraine declared its independence in 1991, Kiev-based
Orthodox Rabbi Yaakov Bleich says in an article in The
New York Times on 6 January. The New York-born rabbi
has during the past five years presided over a renewal of
Jewish life in Ukraine, including the opening of 12 Jewish
schools and 38 synagogues. Although openly anti-Semitic
slogans can be heard from groups such as the
ultranationalist UNA-UNSO, both the Ukrainian government
and the religious establishment have gone out of their way
to stress reconciliation with Jews, the 30-year-old rabbi said.
-- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

REFERENDUM. The four parties in the Czech government
are divided over putting the question of possible
membership in the European Union to a referendum,
Mlada Fronta Dnes reports on 6 January. The Christian
Democratic Union on 5 January called for a plebiscite on
the issue, but the Civic Democratic Alliance and the small
Christian Democratic Party said it was unnecessary. CDA
Deputy Chairman Daniel Kroupa said voters gave their
agreement to eventual EU membership by supporting
parties that advocate such a step in the 1990 and 1992
general elections. Opposition parties favor a referendum
and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, leader of the dominant
Civic Democratic Party, agrees. "Although in all other cases
I have a negative view about the need for referenda, in this
case I am in favor," Klaus said. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

MILITANTS. Czech Interior Ministry spokesman Jan Subert
denied a report in the German weekly Der Spiegel
according to which the Czech Republic sold arms to
Algeria's Muslim fundamentalists. However, Subert
cautioned that "it is not possible to guarantee that arms
exported cannot be exported to a third country." Czech
media reported Subert as saying on 4 January that Czech
weapons can be found in various parts of the world. In his
words, the former communist regime exported arms in such
a way that it was possible for various terrorist groups and
extremist organizations to obtain them. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI,

The Czech Republic paid a total of 300.9 million ecu to
Slovakia in 1994 for overstepping the clearing account
monthly limit in bilateral trade, while Slovakia paid the
Czech Republic only 46 million ecu, Rude Pravo and TASR
report. In December alone, the Czech Republic exceeded
the 130 million ecu limit by 16.72 million ecu. Slovakia
overstepped the clearing account limit several times in late
1993 and early 1994, but the situation began to improve
after the government implemented a 10% import surcharge
in early March. Although Slovakia hopes to continue the
import surcharge in 1995, the approval of the World Trade
Organization and the IMF is required. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

CLEAN UP. An official from Hungary's National Water
Administration on 5 January said it will take months to
remove all traces of the pollution caused by an oil spill in
neighboring Romania, Reuters reported the same day. A
leak from the Romanian Suplacul de Barcau oil field into
the Barcau River was reported on 30 December. Oil spilled
over into the Hungarian part of the river (known as the
Berettyo) earlier this week. Janos Tarjan was quoted as
saying that the slick had polluted a 57-kilometer stretch of
the river in Romania but that Hungary had managed to
contain its spread by using booms and floating barriers.
Hungarian workmen have reportedly removed more than
125 cubic meters of oil sludge from the river this week.
Officials said they thought oil is no longer leaking into the
river but noted they have received no details from the
Romanian authorities. -- Jan Cleave, OMRI, Inc.


BOSNIAN UPDATE. International media report on 6
January that the UN commander in Bosnia, General Sir
Michael Rose, expects to meet with representatives of the
Bosnian government and of Serbian rebels in the course of
the day. He hopes to finalize an agreement on verifying the
current cease-fire, which would involve joint inspections by
helicopter. The first flight would probably be to Mt. Igman
near Sarajevo, where government forces have delayed their
withdrawal. Another outstanding issue is the fighting in the
Bihac pocket. The BBC said that the UN wants 6,000 more
troops to help monitor the ceasefire. -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

reported on 5 January about the Serbs living on territory
controlled by the Bosnian government. They number as
many as 150,000, with up to 40,000 living in Sarajevo. They
fear that they will be reduced to the legal status of a national
minority (as opposed to their current position as a "people
of the state") as long as the government and the outside
world regard Radovan Karadzic and his self-proclaimed
republic as the sole representatives of all Bosnian Serbs.
The "forgotten Serbs" promote their interests in a low-key
fashion and are reluctant to set up their own political party
lest it is accused of being a "Trojan horse introduced by
[Serbian President Slobodan] Milosevic." These Serbs have
lost jobs in some companies and are often regarded with
suspicion by Muslims and Croats, but they are still well
represented in the media and generally have had few
problems in maintaining ethnically mixed marriages and
friendships. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

YUGOSLAVIA. AFP reported on 5 January that 23 trucks
are stranded on a narrow mountain road on the
Montenegrin-Bosnian frontier following a failed attempt to
smuggle gasoline, oil and cigarettes into Bosnia and
Herzegovina. They sport license plates from Montenegro,
Sarajevo, Modrica, Bijeljina, Trebinje, and even Knin.
Meanwhile, Politika on 6 January writes about another road,
the newly reopened highway connecting Zagreb and
Belgrade. One can travel through Serbian-held territory to
Croatian-controlled areas, but not into Serbia itself. The
Belgrade daily speculates that Slovenes and Macedonians
may soon be allowed to cross that frontier and notes that
Slovenes currently are free at least in theory to travel
throughout all areas of the former Yugoslavia. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN BLACK SEA PORT . . . A heavy storm and
waves up to 10 meters sank two ships in Romania's main
Black Sea port of Constanta in the evening of 4 January,
Radio Bucharest and Western agencies reported on 5
January. The vessels, registered in Malta and Hong Kong
respectively, each had a crew of 27. They sank after hitting a
barrier protecting the harbor entrance. Romanian officials
said there was little hope of finding survivors because bad
weather was making rescue efforts practically impossible.
The bodies of at least 10 seamen were reportedly washed
ashore on 5 January. In an interview with Radio Bucharest,
Transport Minister Aurel Novac said that authorities had
warned the ships not to approach the harbor because of
high winds and seas but that the two captains apparently
ignored the warning. A third vessel, a Romanian barge
loaded with 976 tons of phosphates, sank near Agigea, some
20 kilometers south of Constanta. No casualties were
reported. Heavy snow storms also disrupted road and rail
traffic all over Romania and caused problems with central
heating and water supplies in several Romanian towns,
including Bucharest. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

and storms have paralyzed most of Bulgaria, domestic
newspapers reported on their front pages on 5 and 6
January. Most of the secondary roads in the country are
blocked by snow , while in northern Bulgaria about 200
towns and villages are cut off from electricity and partly
from water. Standart reported on 5 January that two people
were killed in car accidents in the Ruse area, in northeastern
Bulgaria, while a third person froze to death on Mount
Vitosha near Sofia. Trud reported on 6 January that the Civil
Defense is prepared to evacuate residents living in villages
near rivers in southeastern Bulgaria. The Black Sea ports of
Varna and Burgas were closed on 4 January because of
strong winds and rough seas but were reopened the
following day. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

DICTATORSHIP?" Bulgaria needs an "economic
dictatorship" to prevent an eventual political and military
dictatorship," Socialist legislator Nikola Koychev told
RFE/RL's Bulgarian Service on 5 January. He defined
economic dictatorship as "well-directed and well-applied
norms of economic relations" and noted that practices and
ethics in the Bulgarian economy are at a very low level.
While producers' prices have increased 16 times over the
past four years, prices on the market are 46 times higher.
The dictatorship would be directed against those who do
not meet their obligations to the state and against
speculators. Koychev said that it is too early for further
liberalization of Bulgaria's economy, which at the moment
is in a phase of "anarcholiberalism." Koychev is likely to be
one of the deputy prime ministers in Bulgaria's next
government headed by the Socialists. Kontinent remarked
on 6 January that the BSP will guarantee itself a long-lasting
dominating role in Bulgarian politics if it follows sound and
moderate economic policies and successfully carries out its
priorities. On the same subject, 24 chasa stated that the
"BSP likes the Czech model of mass privatization." -- Stefan
Krause, OMRI, Inc.

CONTROLLED ENTERPRISES. The formation of a new
government will bring about personnel changes at the top
of many state-controlled enterprises, 24 chasa reported on
6 January. "Very well-informed sources" in the BSP said that
the governor of the Bulgarian National Bank, Todor
Valchev, is ready to resign. One of Valchev's advisers,
however, said that he will not resign and will finish his term,
which expires in mid-1995. Lyubomir Kolarov of the BSP
said that the directors of Bulgarian Television, radio and
the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency should also hand in their
resignations. BTA director Stefan Gospodinov said he is
ready to step down "if the new majority does not agree with
our work." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

REPUBLIC. In a statement to ITAR-TASS, Moldovan First
Deputy Foreign Minister Nicolae Osmochescu said in
Chisinau on 5 January that a final solution to the Chechen
problem cannot be found by military means. Osmochescu
also announced that representatives of the leaderships in
Chisinau and Tiraspol, the capital of the self-styled
"Dniester Republic," will meet on 11 January. The talks will
focus on economic issues of mutual importance. He added
that the problem of a special status for the Transdniester
region will be the focus of later rounds of talks aimed at
finding a compromise to the long-standing conflict between
Chisinau and Tiraspol. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

According to figures from the Italian Interior Ministry,
Albania is the sixth-largest source of immigration, with
32,197 legal immigrants, Koha Jone reported on 6 January.
Albania, however, is in second place as far as illegal
immigration is concerned: out of 500,000 illegal immigrants,
about 70,000 are Albanians. Of an estimated total of 100,000
Albanians, 78% are male and 2.5% children. With regard to
both legal and illegal migrants to Italy, Albania is in third
place after northern Africa and ex-Yugoslavia. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND ABOUT 150,000 IN GREECE. Most of the mainly
illegal Albanian immigrants who returned home for the
Christmas holidays "have returned to Greece normally"
because Albanian-Greek relations improved in late 1994,
Koha Jone reported on 6 January. Greece expelled about
70,000 illegal Albanians earlier last year following an
Albanian trial of five ethnic Greeks who were charged with
espionage and separatist activities. Greece demanded the
prisoners' release, but their six-to-eight year prison terms
were merely reduced in an amnesty on 25 November.
President Sali Berisha nonetheless ordered the release of
one of the five on 24 December, but Greek Foreign Minister
Karolos Papoulias called the release of the remaining four a
"precondition for a Greek-Albanian dialogue." -- Fabian
Schmidt, 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 Daily Digest is distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To
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Natasha Bulashova,Greg Koul
Updated: 1998-11-

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