Будьте внимательны к своим мыслям, - они начало поступков. - Лао-Цзы

No. 21, Part II, 30 January 1995

This is Part II of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.  Part
II is 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.


HUNGARIAN FINANCE MINISTER RESIGNS. Laszlo Bekesi announced his decision
to resign at a meeting of the Hungarian Socialist Party's parliamentary
group on 28 January in Siofok, MTI and Western news agencies report.
Bekesi cited differences of opinion between himself and Prime Minister
Gyula Horn over the pace of economic reforms and privatization. Earlier
this month, Horn stopped a transaction to privatize a Hungarian hotel
chain and dismissed the official in charge of privatization. Bekesi
strongly disapproved and correctly predicted that Horn's intervention
with the privatization process would send negative signals to foreign
investors. Bekesi also rejected Horn's latest proposal to appoint a
privatization minister and thereby take responsibility for privatization
out of the domain of the finance ministry. The privatization minister is
to report directly to the prime minister. -- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

IMPLICATIONS FOR THE COALITION. Bekesi's resignation was a further blow
to the already divided HSP and Alliance of Free Democrats governing
coalition. The AFD entered the coalition on the condition that Bekesi,
the architect of the HSP's liberal economic program, be appointed
finance minister. The AFD supported Bekesi in the coalition against the
numerous HSP left-wing opponents of a liberal economic policy, and
condemned Horn's meddling with privatization policy. While both Horn and
AFD chairman Ivan Peto denied that Bekesi's resignation triggered a
coalition crisis, tensions in the coalition clearly reached new heights.
Peto warned the government against modifying the economic reform program
formulated by Bekesi. -- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

submitted a second constitutional challenge to the 1995 tax law, based
this time on the principle that legislation cannot have retroactive
effect. The bill was signed into law after the start of the current tax
year, largely owing to the president's own delaying tactics. In comments
to Gazeta Wyborcza (28-29 January), presidential legal adviser Lech
Falandysz said the challenge would prevent Walesa from signing the 1995
budget before his 30-day deadline expires on 3 February. Falandysz
argued that the new delay would give Walesa authority to dissolve the
parliament. The constitution allows the president to dissolve the
parliament if it fails to meet a three-month deadline (measured from the
date the government submits the draft to the Sejm) for the "adoption" of
the budget. The current political upheaval hinges on whether "adoption"
takes place when the Sejm votes to approve the budget, or only when the
president signs it into law. Constitutional Tribunal chairman Andrzej
Zoll took the unusual step of pointing out on Polish TV that a previous
tribunal ruling had defined the moment of adoption as the Sejm's vote.
The president's office disputes this interpretation, insisting that "if
the president does not sign the budget by 4 February, the parliament is
not protected from dissolution." Such threats are likely intended to
improve Walesa's bargaining position in advance of a meeting with
coalition leaders (anticipated in the next few days) to discuss the
appointment of new ministers of defense and foreign affairs. -- Louisa
Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

HIJACKER IN ESTONIA COMMITS SUICIDE. Vladimir Buzhko, a 36-year old
locksmith from Vorkuta who hijacked a Russian plane from Syktyvkar to
St. Petersburg in mid-November, hanged himself in a Tallinn psychiatric
hospital on 28 January, agencies reported. Bozhko surrendered peacefully
in Tallinn and sought political asylum. On 19 January, the Estonian
government rejected his asylum appeal (see OMRI Daily Digest, 20 January
1995) and on 26 January decided to deport him to Russia. Bozhko had
threatened to commit suicide if he was returned to Russia. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

the Medininkai customs post on 25 January detained a truck traveling
from Briansk to Telsiai, which was emitting high radiation, agencies
reported. They discovered about two tons of radioactive tungsten hidden
in a secret compartment. The radiation levels inside the truck reached
3,600 microroentgens an hour, far in excess of the level of 15 to 20
microroentgens considered safe. Tungsten is not naturally radioactive so
it is not clear whether the radioactivity was acquired from the truck
,which might have earlier carried some other radioactive cargo, or from
a prior storage place. The radioactive cargo was delivered to the
Ignalina Nuclear Power Station for safekeeping, Interfax reported on 29
January. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS TO CUT MILITARY FURTHER. Defense Minister Anatol Kastenka told a
news conference in Minsk on 26 January that about 65,000 members of the
armed forces will be shed under an on-going reform program. According to
Interfax, he said that 96,000 servicemen and 64,000 civilians were
currently in the armed forces. He did not break down the proposed
reduction between military and civilian personnel. Kastenka said that
the military will also give up jurisdiction over 15 defense plants,
several hospitals, 59 housing departments and 140 military
commissariats. He also indicated that two regiments of Russian strategic
rocket forces remained in Belarus, fielding 36 mobile SS-25 ICBMs. These
figures were unusual, in that an SS-25 regiment normally has only nine
launchers. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

Viktor Pynzenyk says the Ukrainian government wants to accelerate
economic reforms, but cannot expect to succeed without international
aid, dpa reported on 28 January. Pynzenyk told world business leaders at
the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that Ukraine will
eventually be able to implement reforms without outside help. At the
moment, however, the demand for imported products, especially vital
energy sources, is high, according to the deputy prime minister, who is
charge of the country's economic reform plan. If the demand is not met,
the government could lose its mandate among citizens already tired of
coping with severe hardships and a successor government may follow a
different path, Pynzenyk said. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

that the director of the Kharkiv National Institute of Physics and
Technology, Viktor Zelensky, said Ukraine has the capability to produce
nuclear fuel and needs only funding to develop the industry. All
Ukraine's nuclear fuel is currently processed in Russia. Zelensky would
like to see Ukraine develop its own processing industry using Western
technology which produces superior fuel to Russia's. In other news, the
parliamentary chairman, Oleksander Moroz, said he will try to speed up
the financing for the production of T-80UD tanks at the Malyshev plant
in Kharkiv. The plant should begin producing the tanks by the end of
1995. The new models are considered to be better protected against anti-
tank weapons, and are more mobile and quicker. Production has been
slowed by financial problems. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

Democratic Alliance, one of four parties in the Czech governing
coalition, has been shaken up by the resignation of a senior member who
accused the party's leader of damaging the country's interests. Tomas
Jezek, a co-founder of the CDA and creator of the Czech Republic's mass
privatization program, left the party on 27 January, saying accusations
made by CDA leader Jan Kalvoda that the counter-intelligence service
spied on the party were the last straw for him. He said Kalvoda was
trying to divert attention from a continuing affair over a 52-million
koruny debt the party has outstanding. The cabinet last week rejected
Kalvoda's charges as not proven, with even CDA ministers voting against
their party leader. Kalvoda said the CDA was stable and not in danger of
an internal split, Czech media report on 30 January. But Trade and
Industry Minister Vladimir Dlouhy told Czech Radio that Jezek's
resignation was not a good sign for the party. "The alliance is not in
an easy situation," Dlouhy added. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

Slovak Workers, which is a member of the governing coalition, called for
a referendum on membership in NATO and the EU during a meeting of its
central council on 28 January. Party representatives also said that
privatization has failed to rejuvenate the economy but has instead
served to destruct industry, agriculture and the country's entire
economic base, Narodna obroda reported. The party said it intends to
revise privatization legislation and to prosecute those who misused it.
The party also expressed support for the cabinet's program declaration,
which stresses Western integration and a continuation of privatization.
-- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

in Sme on 28 January, Christian Democratic Movement leader Jan
Carnogursky said he received an invitation from Prime Minister Vladimir
Meciar to cooperate on foreign policy. The first offer dealt with
participation in an informal group with several members of the Movement
for a Democratic Slovakia as well as the president to discuss foreign
policy issues, the second was to take part in preparations for the
upcoming visit of Pope John Paul II to Slovakia, and the third concerned
political guarantees for foreign investors. Carnogursky said he rejected
the first offer but accepted the second and third. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.


BOSNIAN UPDATE. The BBC reports on 30 January that the UN hopes to
evacuate 194 seriously ill or wounded persons from Gorazde in the course
of the day, but that final approval has not yet arrived from Bosnian
Serb headquarters. International media said over the weekend that heavy
fighting continued in the Bihac pocket between government troops and
forces led by local kingpin Fikret Abdic with Serbian backing. The New
York Times notes the official commemoration of the 1,000th day of the
siege of Sarajevo, with mayors from around the world in attendance. The
paper adds, however, that the prevailing mood in the city is one of
"outrage," and that Sarajevans demand that Bosnian Serb leaders
responsible for the war and "ethnic cleansing" be brought to trial. The
daily reports that Sarajevans feel that the Serbs will never accept a
negotiated peace because their leaders fear an international
investigation of their crimes. Reuters on 29 January suggests, however,
that the Serb leaders have little to worry about. It quotes a Western
diplomat as saying that no outside power has the political will to bring
to bear the necessary force to move the Serbs to a settlement. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

meeting of cultural workers among the Croats of northeast and central
Bosnia, whose communities were all but wiped out in the war with the
Muslims in 1993. The session noted that the Croatian authorities have
neglected the plight of the Bosnian (as opposed to Herzegovinian) Croats
and that the Roman Catholic Church has been these people's strongest
defender. It also mentioned that the Bosnian Croats in Tuzla, Travnik,
Vares, and elsewhere are largely at the mercy of the Muslim authorities.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

TOUGH TIMES FOR CROATIA. The BBC on 28 January said that Prime Minister
Nikica Valentic announced some cabinet changes to help streamline
government "at a difficult time for Croatia." The broadcast also noted
that the Paris Club has suspended talks on postponing debt repayments in
the wake of Croatia's decision not to renew UNPROFOR's mandate.
Negotiations are slated between Croatian authorities and Krajina Serbs
on 30 January, but neither side appears to have modified its stand
enough to permit hope for a political settlement. The morning's British
dailies devote much space to the question of a new war in Croatia when
UNPROFOR leaves, the BBC's Serbian Service reports. Opinions suggest
that the Croatian military is strong, but not strong enough to retake
Krajina. President Franjo Tudjman nonetheless seems to be banking on the
idea that neither Serbia nor the international community would take
action should he try to "liberate the occupied territories." He is also
counting on Belgrade to sell out the interests of the Krajina Serbs in
order to get favorable terms in a Bosnian settlement. And while neither
Zagreb nor the Serbs say they want a new war, incidents could take place
that could escalate into major fighting. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SESELJ GOES FREE. The flamboyant leader of the opposition Serbian
Radical Party (SRS), the ultranationalist and accused war criminal
Vojislav Seselj, was released from prison on 28 January, international
media reported that day. Seselj was sentenced to a month in jail on 29
September 1994 for spitting on parliamentary speaker Radoman Bozovic,
but on the day he was due for release he was sentenced to an additional
three months for his attempt to provoke a brawl in the federal
parliament last May. Seselj reportedly walked out of Belgrade's central
prison to be met by some 300 flag-waving SRS supporters, whom he greeted
with pledges of remaining defiant against his one-time ally, now staunch
opponent, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI,

ROMANIAN CABINET ON HUNGARIAN ISSUE. In a statement released on 27
January, Romania's government expressed "deep concern over recent
actions" taken by the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania, the
main political organization of the country's Hungarian minority. The
communique accused the HDFR of seeking "ethnic autonomy," which it
described as being alien to the spirit of the Romanian Constitution and
the laws on local administration. The government, the statement added,
was not prepared to make any concessions on the issue. Also on 27
January, Viorel Hrebenciuc, Secretary General of the Romanian
government, returned from Budapest, where he had apparently tried to
mend the bilateral ties affected by recent polemics over the future of
the Hungarian minority in Romania. A meeting with Hungarian Premier
Gyula Horn was canceled at short notice. In a separate development,
Bishop Laszlo Toekes said at a press conference in Budapest that the
anti-Magyar drive staged by nationalist and communist forces in Romania
could "jeopardize the democratic process" in that country. He further
said that accusations that he had collaborated with the communist secret
police were a "calumny" and an attempt to crush the democratic
opposition in Romania. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ON ECONOMY. Zhan Videnov on 26 January said
that the main task of the new government is to revive the country's
economy, dpa reported the same day. At his first press conference as
prime minister, he said that the key to economic recovery lies in the
"massive privatization " of state-owned companies, which still make up
about 95% of Bulgaria's enterprises. The government wants to launch a
privatization program in the second half of 1995, which will be based on
the Czech coupon model. At the same time, the direct selling of
enterprises will continue. The newly founded Ministry of Economic
Development is supposed to promote privatization and to encourage
foreign investments. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos on 27 January called on the Greek
government to end the trade embargo against Macedonia, AFP reported the
same day. In an television interview, Pangalos said that the ban should
be lifted before 1 February, when the European Court opens proceedings
against Greece in a lawsuit filed by the European Commission. He said
earlier that the embargo was a "fiasco" and a "source of additional
tensions" between the two countries, which only makes a settlement of
the dispute more difficult. Greek government spokesman Evangelos
Venizelos said on 25 January that lifting the trade ban was out of the
question. Meanwhile, Greece blamed Poland for the decision of Greek
Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias not to attend the commemoration of
the liberation of Auschwitz on 27 January, international news agencies
reported. Venizelos stated that "it was an unfortunate event on the part
of the Polish government" to raise Macedonia's flag at the ceremony.
Papoulias canceled his visit to Auschwitz after Poland took this
decision. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

TWO US MARINES SHOT IN ALBANIA. Two US Marines, taking part in the first
training exercise with Albanian naval units, were shot and wounded while
on a liberty call in the port city of Durres, Reuters reported on 29
January. They were evacuated to a US Army hospital in Germany. One is in
a serious but stable condition after doctors removed his spleen and one
of his kidneys. The other was discharged from the hospital. According to
Albanian police, the shooting followed a bar-room argument about an
Albanian girl and one person was arrested. The military exercises,
involving Albanian, British, German and Italian troops, ended on 29
January. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

KOSOVO UPDATE. The International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights
reported serious cases of torture and interrogation without lawyers
present involving about 200 ethnic Albanians arrested since November
1994 in the Serbian province of Kosovo, Reuters reported on 29 January.
Most of the arrested Albanians are former policemen, who were dismissed
in 1990 following the abolition of Kosovo's autonomy. The policemen are
suspected of forming an interior ministry for the self-proclaimed
Republic of Kosovo. The arrests, however, follow a petition issued by
Serb nationalists in Kosovo accusing Belgrade of failing to fulfill
promises to check the Albanian political movement and to resettle Serbs
in the province. In January, Belgrade announced a program offering
potential Serbian settlers interest-free credits for building houses in
Kosovo. -- 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
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