To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else. - Emily Dickinson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 22, Part II, 31 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.

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

WALESA THREATENS "DECISIVE STEPS." President Lech Walesa has demanded
that Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak appoint new defense and foreign
affairs ministers by 3 February, Gazeta Wyborcza reports. The president
also insisted that Pawlak name a new ambassador to the Vatican; this
post has been vacant for nearly a year. During a meeting with the
president on 30 January, Pawlak again reneged on previous pledges to
present candidates for the vacant cabinet posts. Press spokesman Leszek
Spalinski warned that the president would take "decisive steps to
prevent the paralysis of government" if the new deadline was not met. He
did not specify what steps the president had in mind, but acknowledged
that Walesa had telephoned Sejm Speaker Jozef Oleksy on 26 January to
propose the "self-dissolution" of the parliament. Parliamentary leaders
nervously contemplating Walesa's next move on the budget nonetheless
took heart in the president's decision to agree to meet with them on 6
February. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH GOVERNMENT UNDER SIEGE. A rapid response to the president's
ultimatum seems unlikely, as Pawlak departs on 31 January for an
unofficial visit to the US, returning only on 3 February. The normally
taciturn prime minister made an initial attempt to shore up the
government's sagging popularity with an unscripted television address on
28 January. In announcing his decision to accept the resignation of
national police commander Zenon Smolarek, Pawlak praised both Smolarek
and the police, and made no reference to the corruption charges that
prompted the resignation. Gazeta Wyborcza found the prime minister's
phrasings so obscure that it provided readers with explanatory
footnotes. Virtually all political forces criticized the speech as an
inadequate response to corruption allegations hanging over prominent
members of the ruling coalition. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

AGREEMENT ON FINANCING BALTBAT TRAINING SIGNED. Deputy Defense Ministers
Jonas Gecas (Lithuania), Janis Davidovics (Latvia), and Tarmo Molder
(Estonia) on 30 January in Vilnius signed an agreement on financing the
Baltic Peacekeeping Battalion (BALTBAT) exercises at the Adazi training
center in Latvia, RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reports. Gecas said that
Lithuania earlier this month sent 36 officers to Adazi for courses in
English-language and officer training that will last six to eight
months. The officers will then train 110 Lithuanian soldiers who, joined
by similar sized groups from Latvia and Estonia, will later form the
battalion. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

SOCIETY OF LITHUANIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS AND EXILES FORMED. The Society
of Lithuanian Political Prisoners and Exiles was formed on 28 January in
Vilnius as an "independent patriotic social organization," RFE/RL's
Lithuanian Service reported on 30 January. Parliament deputy Antanas
Stasiskis was elected its chairman. The creation of the society had been
prompted by the conversion during the summer of the Union of Political
Prisoners and Exiles from a social organization into a political party,
thus leaving out members who belonged to other political parties.
Lithuanian press reports that no representatives of right-wing political
parties attended the constituent assembly were incorrect: Homeland Union
Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis arrived before its closing to give a
speech. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

PANICKING WORKERS SHUT DOWN CHORNOBYL NUCLEAR REACTOR. Operators at the
Chornobyl nuclear power plant panicked after noticing a small leak in an
emergency cooling system and shut down a reactor late on 29 January,
with no evident release of radiation, international media reported on 30
January. Ukrainian authorities attributed the sudden shutdown to an
overreaction by tired workers, who took the station's no. 3 reactor off
line after an alarm signaled a problem. The operators were apparently
uncertain of the seriousness of the incident. A similar accident shut
down the same bloc last October. The shutdown left Chornobyl, which
provides about 7% of Ukraine's energy, with a single operating reactor.
Reactor no. 2 has been closed since a fire in 1991, while reactor no. 4,
which exploded in April 1986 also due to operator error, remains
enclosed in a deteriorating steel-and-concrete sarcophagus. The
Ukrainian Parliament is scheduled to debate a bill on nuclear energy
usage and safety during the week beginning 5 February, Radio Ukraine
reported on 30 January. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN DELEGATION IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. A Ukrainian delegation led
by Deputy Economics Minister Lada Pavlykovska visited Prague this week
to discuss technical aid from the Czech Republic and expand cooperation
between the two countries, Ukrainian television reported on 30 January.
Pavlykovska said that Ukraine looked to the Czech Republic as an example
of the economic reform process which transformed it from a command
economy to a market one. She said that while Ukraine welcomed the advice
of experts from the US, England and France, these countries did not
truly understand Ukraine's problems, while Czech experts have a better
understanding, having gone through the same process themselves. --
Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

RUTHENIANS HOLD CODIFICATION CEREMONY IN BRATISLAVA. The Ruthenian
Revival, a cultural organization of Ruthenians living in Slovakia, held
a ceremony on 27 January to celebrate the codification of the Ruthenian
language, Smena reported on 28 January. Meanwhile, Ukrainian groups in
Slovakia have protested the move, claiming that Ruthenian is only a
dialect of the Ukrainian language and that the Ruthenian nation does not
exist, TASR reported. In the 1990 census, 17,000 people in Slovakia
declared Ruthenian nationality, compared with 14,000 who said they were
Ukrainian. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

WEAK ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN SLOVAKIA? According to a study by the
Forecasting Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, the
macroeconomic indicators which form the base of the government's program
declaration are overly optimistic. While the government plans for GDP
growth of 5%, lowering of the inflation and unemployment rates below 10%
and a budget deficit of less than 3% of GDP, the institute predicts that
the recovery is still "very weak." According to the study, GDP growth
should reach between two and 4.3 percent in 1995, but is dependent on
the continuation of the current economic policy, stress on the
currency's stabilization, a lowering of the inflation rate and a
continuation of the positive trade balance, Sme reported on 28 January.
According to figures released by TASR on 27 January, Slovakia's exports
grew to 215.52 billion koruny in 1994, while imports reached 211.46
billion koruny. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

NO CHANGES IN HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT PROGRAM. A joint communique issued by
the leadership of the ruling coalition parties, the Hungarian Socialist
Party and the Alliance of Free Democrats, states that the resignation of
Finance Minister Laszlo Bekesi will not result in any changes in
government policy, Magyar Hirlap of 31 January reports. It declares that
economic policy will continue to focus on stabilizing the economy by
cutting budget and balance of payment deficits. The communique states
that any modifications to the draft law on privatization, which has
already been submitted to parliament, requires the consent of both
coalition parties. The statement also promises quick government action
to end long delays in appointing public officials and in submitting
vital legislation to parliament. Prime Minister Gyula Horn is to
disclose the names of his candidates for unfilled government posts and
for the president of the Hungarian National Bank within two weeks. The
coalition parties pledge to make every effort to appoint ombudsmen and
new constitutional judges and to restart negotiations on the draft law
on the media. -- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

DIPLOMATS SEEK SOLUTION TO KRAJINA QUESTION. Dailies in Serbia and
Croatia on 31 January follow closely the latest efforts by international
diplomats to find a political arrangement for the third of Croatian
territory held by rebel Serbs. US Ambassador Peter Galbraith and his
colleagues known as the Z-4 group met the previous day with Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman and also with Serb leaders in Knin. Vecernji
list quotes Tudjman as saying he will study the diplomats' latest
proposal, but it seems clear that his government and the Serbs still
have very different expectations. Zagreb insists on the full
reintegration of the territories into Croatia and is prepared to give
the Serbs only local autonomy in the Knin and Glina districts, where
they made up a majority before 1991. The Serbs, however, want
recognition as an independent state with its own currency and police
force. The also want UNPROFOR to stay and make the renewal of its
mandate a precondition for any agreement with Tudjman. Politika quotes
top Croatian officials as saying they will not tolerate a "state within
a state," and that autonomy on the model of South Tirol is the best they
can offer. The BBC's Croatian Service, meanwhile, reported at length on
the international diplomats' proposals and suggests that the key to any
solution lies with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

IZETBEGOVIC OPTIMISTIC ON FEDERATION WITH CROATS. Vecernji list on 31
January quotes Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic as saying that he
does not expect any new conflict to break out between Muslims and Croats
and stresses that Bosnia needs its Croats and Serbs in order "to be
Bosnia." He does not, however, see any future for his people or for
Macedonians in a reconstituted Yugoslavia under Milosevic, saying that
the Muslims and Macedonians would have no more rights than the Sandzak
Muslims or Kosovo Albanians have today. Elsewhere, the BBC's Croatian
Service reports that Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic repeated
Izetbegovic's call for the Bosnian Serbs to be given a three-month
deadline to accept the Contact Group's peace plan, which would roughly
coincide with the end of the current cease-fire period. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

KINKEL IN THE BALKANS. Sarajevo on 31 January will play host to German
Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, international media report. The previous
day he visited Zagreb, where he tried to convince Tudjman to extend
UNPROFOR's mandate. He was probably given a polite hearing, but Germany
no longer carries the diplomatic weight it did in Croatia when Hans-
Dietrich Genscher was foreign minister. Washington now is probably
Zagreb's most important partner ahead of Bonn, with Vienna and the
Vatican also playing important roles. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

JOVANOVIC ON ISTRIA. Politika on 31 January reports on controversial
comments made by rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister Vladislav Jovanovic.
According to the account, Jovanovic, in a recent interview with an
Italian paper, described at least portions of Istria as territory which
Croatia "holds under occupation" but which is rightfully Italian. In
other news, the same Belgrade daily reports that a group of former
federal parliamentary deputies, who last year broke with opposition
leader Vuk Draskovic, have formed a new political party, Narodna saborna
stranka, with their colleague Slobodan Rakitic as its first president.
Finally, the state-run Borba, under the headline "Bulgarians Wish to Go
to Serbia," announces that a protest meeting will be held in the
Bulgarian city of Vidin on 6 February because of imposed travel
restrictions to Serbia. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ANTI-SERBIAN DEMONSTRATION IN BULGARIA. Mirjana Markovic, wife of
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, was greeted with jeers and anti-
Serbian posters in the city of Plovdiv on 30 January, 24 chasa reported
the following day. Participants in a demonstration for the rights of the
Bulgarian minority in Serbia carried posters saying "The Neuilly Treaty
is dead", "Freedom for the Bulgarians in Serbia" and "The Western
Regions [former Bulgarian territories which Serbia acquired in 1919] are
ours." Markovic was in Plovdiv to present the Bulgarian edition of her
new book at the invitation of the "Slavyani" foundation. -- Stefan
Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ILIESCU ON ROMANIA'S ETHNIC HUNGARIANS. A spokesman for President Ion
Iliescu read out at a press conference on 30 January a presidential
statement on the war of words between the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania and the extreme-nationalist Party of Romanian
National Unity over the issue of broader autonomy for Romania's Magyar
minority. Iliescu put the blame for the recent escalation of ethnic
tension in Romania on HDFR's policies, and accused some of the party's
leaders of "diabolic perseverance" in promoting the idea of "ethnic-
territorial autonomy." On the other hand, however, Iliescu denounced as
"irrational" and "ill-timed" recent statements by PRNU chairman Gheorghe
Funar, which, he said, included insulting remarks aimed at the Hungarian
people. Funar, who asked Iliescu on 27 January to declare a state of
emergency in three counties with large Hungarian populations, rejected
Iliescu's criticism. Also on 30 January, the Council of the Democratic
Convention of Romania, the country's main opposition alliance and which
includes the HDFR, discussed the implications of the recent polemics.
Radio Bucharest said that apparently no consensus could be reached
within the DCR, with the Party of Civic Alliance and the Romanian
Social-Democrat Party taking a more critical stance against the HDFR. --
Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

GERMANY WILL SUPPORT ROMANIA'S EFFORTS TO JOIN NATO. German Defense
Minister Volker Ruehe, on a two-day visit to Bucharest, said on 30
January that his country will support Romania's efforts to join NATO,
Reuters reports. Ruehe added that Germany will join in military
exercises to be held in Romania later this year as part of NATO's
Partnership for Peace program. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT MEETS CLINTON. The President of the Republic of
Moldova, Mircea Snegur, who started an official visit to the United
States on 28 January, was received on 30 January by President Bill
Clinton. The US administration assured Snegur that it will continue to
support economic reforms in Moldova and pledged to give that country
another $22 million in technical assistance. Snegur asked the US to
support Moldova in its efforts to seek the withdrawal of the 14th
Russian Army from Moldova's territory. He suggested that international
monitoring was necessary to ensure that the withdrawal would take place
on schedule and under "normal conditions." Western sources reported that
Snegur met on the same say with US Defense Secretary William Perry. He
also had talks with representatives of the State Department,
Congressional leaders and senior officials from the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ON FOREIGN POLICY. Zhan Videnov said that
Bulgaria will follow a "pragmatic, transparent and open" foreign policy
with neighboring countries, Duma reports on 31 January. The Socialist
newspaper cited an interview published in the Greek weekly To Vima on 29
January. Videnov stated that Bulgaria's Balkan policy is a continuation
of its European policy, and that the aim is to "establish European
standards in the conduct between the Balkan countries," adding that the
formation of blocs and spheres of influence will lead the Balkan
countries into confrontation. In an interview with Trud, Foreign
Minister Georgi Pirinski said that the government's decision to attach
economic priorities to Bulgaria's foreign policy does not mean
subordinating it to foreign trade. Forms and means will be worked out,
however, by which foreign policy will assist the economic development of
Bulgaria, Pirinski added. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN EDUCATION MINISTER STILL UNDER FIRE. Some 50 scholars and
employers of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences protested against the
election of Ilcho Dimitrov as Minister of Education and Science,
Demokratsiya reported on 31 January. In an open letter, they said that
Dimitrov's appointment will effect not only education and science but
also domestic and foreign policy and Bulgaria's international standing.
Dimitrov "contributed to the division of the nation" during the first
time he was Education Minister in the 1980s, the authors say, adding
that they will do everything to alert the Bulgarian and international
public if there are any "attempts to restore totalitarianism in
Bulgaria." The ethnic Turks' Movement for Rights and Freedom also
repeatedly protested against the election of Dimitrov. The last MRF
declaration, published on 30 January, accuses the BSP of hostility
towards the ethnic minorities and of trying to restrict their rights and
says the MRF will resist any attempt of the "xenophobic minister" to
deprive the minorities of their rights in the field of education and
culture. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN DEMOCRATIC LEADER OFFERS RESIGNATION. The leader of the ruling
Democratic Party, Eduard Selami, has offered his resignation, Gazeta
Shqiptare reported on 31 January. The paper says that Selami has
criticized the government for failing to carry out certain points in the
party program. Selami has proposed that the party leader should also be
prime minister, arguing that this would help promote the party's
interests. He argues that the government is making a mistake by "not
listening to the voice of the party" and adds that "there is a gap
between the government and the Democratic Party, which is in power and
must carry out its policies." The Democratic Party has decided that its
most pressing aims are passing laws on social insurance and on buying
and selling land, and implementing rapid privatization by issuing stocks
and starting the restitution of real estate. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,
Inc.

[As of 12:00 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 Institute. The Daily Digest is
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