Только тогда станешь человеком, когда научишься видеть человека в другом. - А. Н. Радищев
OMRI DAILY DIGEST Part II

Vol. 1, No. 13 part II, 18 January 1995

We welcome you to the Open Media Research Institute's Daily
Digest Part II--a compilation of news concerning East-Central
and Southeastern Europe. Part I, covering Russia,
Transcaucasia and Central Asia, and the CIS, is distributed
simultaneously as a second document.

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.

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

PAWLAK, PRESIDENT REMAIN AT ODDS. Polish Prime Minister
Waldemar Pawlak offered on 17 January to hold "immediate
consultations" with President Lech Walesa on filling the two
empty posts at the "presidential" ministries, Radio Warsaw
reports. Clearly unnerved by Western criticism prompted by
charges from departing Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski
that the government is deviating from the established, pro-
Western foreign policy course, Pawlak again emphasized that
Poland's priorities are EU and NATO membership. Speaking to
reporters on his departure for the Czech Republic, Walesa
criticized coalition plans to appoint "directors" to the two
vacant ministries as a way of circumventing the
constitutional requirement of presidential approval for
ministerial candidates. This would be an "attack on
democracy," Walesa said. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH COALITION FIGHTS BACK. In a move that is certain to
heighten hostilities between the ruling coalition and the
president, Sejm Speaker Jozef Oleksy (who represents the
Democratic Left Alliance) indicated to other parliament
leaders on 17 January that he is considering calling a
session of the National Assembly for 4 February, Gazeta
Wyborcza reports. On that date, the three-month
constitutional deadline for passage of the budget expires.
The Assembly is a joint session of the Sejm and Senate. The
parliament has already approved the budget, but there is
still debate over whether the deadline has already been met
or will be fulfilled only when the president signs it into
law. Much of the press speculated that calling the session
would be an implicit threat to force the president to stand
before the State Tribunal should he attempt to dissolve the
parliament. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

WALESA SAYS RELATIONS WITH CZECHS ARE BETTER. After arriving
in Prague on 17 January, Walesa said relations with the
neighboring Czech Republic have improved after a cool period.
"Before, I used to come to Prague to knock down problems that
were bothering both nations; today, I am here to build,"
Czech media reported Walesa as saying. Czech President Vaclav
Havel said Walesa's visit demonstrated the end of a period
when Poles and Czechs had nothing to say to each other. In
the presence of the two presidents, Interior Ministers Jan
Ruml and Andrzej Milczanowski signed an agreement allowing
people living near the Czech-Polish border to cross the
frontier freely without needing passports. Walesa's two-day
visit is due to end on 18 January when he travels to towns
close to the Czech-Polish border. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

FATE OF ESTONIAN TRANSPORT MINISTER. Prime Minister Andres
Tarand told a press conference on 17 January that he will not
decide before 15 February whether to ask Transport and
Communications Minister Andi Meister to resign, BNS reports.
The Estonian National Independence Party is demanding
Meister's resignation, arguing that since Meister left the
ENIP in December it no longer had the ministry that the
current coalition agreement had assigned to it. Tarand said
that Meister was given three weeks to solve "certain concrete
tasks in the field under his government" and if he succeeded
he would not be asked to resign. Tarand refused to say what
the "concrete tasks" were, but admitted that they were of a
"political, not technical" character." -- Saulius Girnius,
OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN HEALTH MINISTER RESIGNS. Health Minister Normunds
Zemvaldis denied on 17 January that his resignation the
previous day was connected with pressure from the Cabinet or
the Welfare Ministry, BNS reports. "It's fatigue, it's health
problems, it's other problems," he said. Unofficial sources,
however, suggest that Prime Minister Maris Gailis had
suggested the resignation. Zemvaldis mentioned three possible
candidates as his replacement while the Latvia's Way party
proposed Physicians Society Chairman Peteris Apinis. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES 1995 BUDGET. The Belarusian
parliament approved the state budget for 1995 on 17 January,
international agencies reported. The budget complies with IMF
conditions for releasing credits to the country. The budget's
revenues were set at 13.06 trillion Belarusian rubels ($1.11
billion) and spending at 15.74 trillion rubels ($1.34
billion). This left a deficit of some 2.7 trillion rubels, or
4% of the country's GDP. The IMF had specified a deficit
within that range as a condition for the release of credits.
Taxes are the main source of revenue, and the main
expenditure will be social services, 19.28%. A further 13.5%
will be spent on eliminating the aftereffects of the 1986
Chornobyl disaster; 7.8% will be spent on external economic
activity, including the maintenance of embassies; law
enforcement agencies are allotted 4% of the budget; the
military will receive 5.7%. The budget also aims to reduce
inflation to 1-2% by the end of the year. -- Ustina Markus,
OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT RECONVENES. The Ukrainian Parliament
convened its third session on 17 January with socialist
speaker Oleksander Moroz calling on legislators to avoid
confrontations and seek cooperation among themselves and,
more importantly, with President Leonid Kuchma, Radio Ukraine
reported on the same day. Among the issues scheduled for
debate is a controversial new law on the division of powers
submitted by Kuchma, giving the president sweeping executive
powers and sharply limiting the parliament's authority, which
the deputies preliminarily approved in December. Radio
Ukraine also reported that the large Communist faction in
parliament may once again attempt to introduce for debate a
possible lifting of the ban on the former Communist Party of
(Soviet) Ukraine. A vote on the party's reinstatement last
autumn was ruled illegal after violations of voting
procedures were discovered. The session is scheduled to last
until July. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

SLOVAKIA'S NUCLEAR FACILITIES UNDER REVIEW. Slovak and French
builders, Slovenske Elektrarne Bratislava and Electricite de
France, on 17 January defended the construction of Slovakia's
nuclear power plant at Mochovce and refused to accept an
invitation from the Austrian Environment Ministry to attend a
public discussion on the subject, Reuters reports. On 16
January, Austrian President Thomas Klestil asked his Slovak
counterpart Michal Kovac to ensure that the builders attend
the meeting, scheduled for 23-24 January in Vienna, but the
firms expressed reluctance, expecting it will turn into an
anti-nuclear demonstration. According to TASR of 17 January,
international auditors and consultants studying the costs,
environmental impact and safety of the plant have concluded
that the completion of Mochovce is "economically
advantageous" for Slovakia. The European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development is expected to decide by March
whether to offer the loan needed to finish construction of
the plant. Only if Mochovce is completed can Slovakia close
down its Chornobyl-style plant at Jaslovske Bohunice, which
is presently being inspected by the International Atomic
Energy Agency. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN SCREENING COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN REFUSES TO RESIGN.
Jozsef Eigner, the chairman of the committee of judges
screening high-ranking officials for ties to the former
internal security service or to paramilitary groups that
participated in the armed suppression of the 1956 revolution,
told a press conference on 17 January that he will not
resign, MTI reports. The parliament's National Security
Committee asked Eigner to resign last week on the grounds
that he passed sentences between 1945 and 1963 that were
annulled by parliament in 1990. Those sentences involved
border violations and unlawful possession of arms. Eigner
said that he revealed everything about his past when he was
nominated to head the screening committee under the previous
conservative government. The head of the National Security
Committee, former prime minister Peter Boross, voted against
the decision to ask Eigner to resign; he argued that the
National Security Committee had no legal means of forcing
Eigner to resign and that the call for his resignation will
only serve to make the work of the screening committee
impossible. -- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIANS GIVE UN ULTIMATUM OVER TUZLA AIRFIELD. The New York
Times reports on 18 January that the Bosnian government has
told UN commander General Sir Michael Rose to reopen the
Tuzla airfield by 1 February or pull out the UN forces now
stationed there. The paper says there are over 200 men
involved, while news agencies put the figure at 450. The UN
is supposed to reopen the airfield for relief flights and
first tried to do so last March. But Serb gunners in
surrounding hills made this impossible, so Rose allowed a
Serb liaison officer to be smuggled into the airfield area to
verify that no government military flights would be allowed.
The Bosnian authorities, however, have long regarded Rose as
pro-Serb and objected to the presence of Colonel Slavko
Guzvic, the liaison officer. The BBC added that the Muslims
suspect Guzvic of involvement in war crimes. The New York
paper noted further that it is "not clear how Rose could
justify the Serbian officer's presence at the airport, since
the UN headquarters in Tuzla is located elsewhere." --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

OTHER BOSNIAN DEVELOPMENTS. News agencies on 17 January quote
UN spokesmen as saying that the Serbs forced some 500 Muslims
and Croats out of their homes in the past two weeks. The main
areas involved are Banja Luka, Kotor Varos, Bosanska
Gradiska, Kljuc, and Doboj. Elsewhere, France announced that
General Bernard Janvier will take over the UNPROFOR command
for the former Yugoslavia from General Bertrand de Lapresle
when the later finishes his assignment in March. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

UN ASKS CROATIA TO RECONSIDER ABOUT UNPROFOR. News agencies
reported on 17 January that the Security Council made its
first official response to Croatia's decision announced last
week not to renew UNPROFOR's mandate at the end of March. The
15-member body asked Croatia to reconsider the move,
stressing that the forces are vital to regional security. The
statement added that the Council understands Croatia's
frustration over the continued Serbian occupation of one-
third of its territory. Vecernji list notes on 18 January
that President Franjo Tudjman and other top government
officials met the previous day with US ambassador Peter
Galbraith. The UNPROFOR issue appears to have been at the top
of their agenda. Elsewhere, that same paper indicates that
continued contacts at various levels have failed to break the
impasse in relations between Croatia and Slovenia. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

WILL KARADZIC GAIN FROM OPPOSITION PARTY CONTACTS? The 16
January edition of the weekly Vreme poses this question in an
article analyzing contacts between Serbia's opposition
parties, notably the Democratic Party (DS), the Democratic
Party of Serbia (DSS), the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and
the leadership of the Bosnian Serbs. Related queries explored
include: "How great is the political effect of the
pilgrimages by the Serbian opposition for Dr. Karadzic?" and
"What does this all mean on the international, Bosnian, and
Serbian political scenes?" According to the piece, leaders of
the above mentioned parties have a record of lending support
to Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, notably since
backing his decision to reject an international peace plan
for Bosnia and Herzegovina turning over control of 49% of the
country to the Bosnian Serbs. While Serbia's President
Slobodan Milosevic and his Socialist Party of Serbia endorsed
this plan, the opposition parties' decision to side with
Karadzic has done little to change the regional balance of
political power, notes the article. In conclusion, it
observes that the opposition is too "weak and disunited . . .
and shall remain that way for the foreseeable future" for
Milosevic to seriously worry about its activities, a fact
which is "impossible" for Karadzic to miss. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN WORKERS RESUME PROTESTS. At a rally on 17 January in
the western Romanian town of Resita, some 2,000 workers
demanded better pay and improved working conditions. Their
claims included a minimum net monthly wage of 300,000 lei, a
13th monthly salary, and the payment of back wages. According
to Radio Bucharest, the meeting was staged by the trade
unions at the local machine building factory. In December
Resita was the scene of strong labor protests, which ended
only after Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu agreed to an aid package
for the town's ailing metal industries. Participants in the
rally said the government has failed to meet its pledges. A
spokesman for the demonstrators said more protests are
planned. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN RULING PARTY REJECTS HUNGARIAN AUTONOMY. In a
statement broadcast by Radio Bucharest on 17 January, the
National Council of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in
Romania "firmly rejected" recent statements of the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania on possible autonomy for the
country's ethnic Magyar population. The communique spoke of
an "anti-constitutional" approach, which might seriously
affect the rule of law in Romania. The PSDR also expressed
surprise over the setting up of a Council of HDFR mayors and
counselors at Sfantu-Gheorghe in southern Transylvania. It
asked HDFR leaders to "renounce a policy that leads to
manifestations of extremism, irredentism and chauvinism."
Most political parties, including the HDFR's allies from the
Democratic Convention of Romania, have already criticized
that party's statements on territorial autonomy based on
ethnic criteria. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

ZHAN VIDENOV TO FORM NEW BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT. Chairman of
the Bulgarian Socialist Party Zhan Videnov was asked on 17
January by President Zhelyu Zhelev to form a new government,
Standart reported the following day. The Executive Bureau of
the BSP will decide on the structure and the program of the
government on 19 January. The names of the ministers will be
presented to Zhelev on 23 January and to parliament on the
25th. The new cabinet will include four deputy prime
ministers, who will supervise the economy, infrastructure and
investments, social questions, and culture, respectively.
Videnov admitted that he has problems in finding appropriate
candidates for the economic positions, as he does not want to
include ministers from former cabinets. On foreign policy, he
said that parliament and the Foreign Ministry should play a
bigger role, implying that there might be frictions between
government and president. "We will make all efforts to build
up regional, continental and global security structures of
the Euro-Atlantic type," Reuters quoted Videnov as saying on
17 January. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

UNION OF DEMOCRATIC FORCES WANTS COOPERATION AMONG BULGARIAN
OPPOSITION. The National Coordinating Council of the UDF on
17 January issued a declaration on cooperation among
opposition parties, Demokratsiya reported the following day.
UDF chairman Ivan Kostov said that everyone voting against a
socialist government is part of the opposition. The aim of
the UDF is to effectively oppose the BSP if it acts against
reforms and national security, Standart said on 18 January.
The UDF also wants to reach an agreement on joint legislative
initiatives, the paper reported. The UDF leadership also
discussed possible changes of its statutes, which will be
decided on 24 January. These changes would turn the UDF into
a party, although its present status as a coalition of
parties would be officially retained, Standart said. --
Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

NEGOTIATIONS ON BULGARIA'S DEBT TO GERMANY WILL RESUME SOON.
Negotiations with Germany on Bulgaria's debt will continue
after the formation of the new government, Standart reported
on 18 January. Bulgaria owes Germany 532 million transfer
rubles, or about DM 1.2 billion. Part of the sum includes
Bulgarian debts to the GDR, which stopped buying Bulgarian
products while Bulgaria was still importing goods from it.
Officials of the Bulgarian Finance Ministry said the
obligations should be covered by increasing trade with
Germany, exporting tobacco, wine and products of "Balkancar".
-- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

TEN PEOPLE DIE IN ALBANIAN BLOOD FEUDS. Ten people have been
killed in a week of blood feuds around Albania, Gazeta
Shqiptare reported on 18 January. Meanwhile, police have
caught three out of 20 prisoners who escaped from Tirana
prison in the night from 15 to 16 January, the newspaper
added. According to a declaration of the Ministry of Justice,
published in Rilindja Demokratike on 17 January, among those
who fled were dangerous criminals who had been sentenced for
murder and rape. Bedri Como, deputy director of the country's
prisons, said the escape was well-organized and the prisoners
received outside help, Reuters reported on 16 January. A
reward of 100,000 lek (or about $950, which is twice the
average annual salary) has been offered for information
leading to the prisoners' recapture. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,
Inc.

SANDZAK MUSLIM LEADER DISMISSED. Rasim Ljajic, General
Secretary of the mainly Muslim Party of Democratic Action of
Sandzak, was dismissed at a party congress on 14 January, the
independent Borba reported on 17 January. Ljajic had offered
to leave already last July. Borba said that the resignation
had to do with Ljajic's unhappiness with leading trends in
the party. According to Politika on 18 January, Ljajic
opposed the idea of a separation of Sandzak from rump-
Yugoslavia as advocated by party leader Sulejman Ugljanin. --
Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIA AND NATO TO HOLD MILITARY EXERCISE. Albania will hold
its first joint military exercise with NATO in the context of
Partnership for Peace at the end of January, Reuters reported
on 17 January. The exercise, code named Sarex 95, will be
held on the Albanian coast with a unit of the US 6th Fleet.
According to Defense Ministry spokesman Pandeli Ristani,
Italy, Britain and Germany have confirmed their participation
with ships, helicopters and troops. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,
Inc.

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by 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
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