The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. - Thomas Carlyle 1975-1881
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 25, Part II, 3 February 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 MOVES AGAINST PARLIAMENT . . . Polish President Lech Walesa on 2
February sought the opinion of the Sejm and Senate speakers on the
dissolution of the parliament, fulfilling the single constitutional
prerequisite to a formal dissolution order. (The opinion of the two leaders
is not binding on the president.) He cited the three-month deadline for
adopting the budget as grounds for the potential dissolution. Walesa also
sent the 1995 budget to the Constitutional Tribunal for review. He argued
that it is unlawful because revenues are based on unconstitutional tax
legislation imposed after the start of the tax year. In an interview with
Radio Warsaw, Walesa warned he will dissolve parliament unless the ruling
coalition removes "crooks and incompetents" from the government and reaches
agreement with him on vacant ministerial, ambassadorial, and police posts.
The president vowed not to use force but did not rule out a situation of
dual power in which the president and parliament each attempted to impose
their will while insisting that the other was illegal. -- Louisa Vinton,
OMRI, Inc.

. . . WHILE POLISH PARTIES SAY DISSOLUTION UNLAWFUL. Poland's parliament
and extraparliament parties unanimously condemned the potential dissolution
of the parliament as "illegal and unconstitutional." The Senate passed a
resolution on 2 February urging the parliament leadership to convene a
session of the National Assembly (which would be required to impeach
Walesa). But Sejm speaker Jozef Oleksy opted for a less confrontational
course, arguing that impeachment proceedings could not begin on the basis
of a presidential "intention." Walesa refused Oleksy's request for a
meeting on 2 February. Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek said the Church hierarchy
was prepared to mediate. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PRIME MINISTER AT RISK? Waldemar Pawlak commented from Washington
that he will begin consultations with the president, parliament, and ruling
coalition as soon as he returns to Warsaw on 3 February, Radio Warsaw
reports. The prime minister attributed Walesa's moves to the upcoming
presidential elections, arguing that the courts should decide on the guilt
or innocence of officials suspected of crimes. Pawlak's ouster is one
conceivable outcome of the conflict. Gazeta Wyborcza reports that Pawlak's
coalition partners in the Democratic Left Alliance have concluded that "the
Pawlak era is over" and begun urging their colleagues in the Polish Peasant
Party to remove their leader. Most parliament parties seemed to think that
rebuilding the government would placate Walesa and forestall the
debilitating conflict following a presidential attempt to dissolve the
parliament. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT REVIEWS 1995 DRAFT BUDGET . . .  Ukrainian parliament
commissions have begun reviewing the 1995 draft budget submitted by the
government, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 2 February. Deputy Finance
Minister Stanislav Bukovinsky told Interfax that the draft foresees such
"unpopular but necessary" measures as a 465% increase in wholesale prices
and an average wage increase of only 340% in an effort to cut the budget
deficit to 5% of GDP. Projected revenues would reach 4.32 quadrillion
Ukrainian karbovantsi. The government plans to introduce a levy on oil and
gas, lift many tax breaks and privileges, increase property taxes by
2,000%, introduce a liquor tax, and issue state bonds on the domestic
market, Bukovinsky said. The Ukrainian government is also prepared to cut
social programs, including tax breaks and financial support of victims of
the Chornobyl nuclear disaster and free breakfasts at schools. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND PROPOSES DEBATE ON NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE IN GOVERNMENT. After
reviewing the draft budget, the Presidium of the Ukrainian Parliament
decided on 2 February to debate a possible vote of no confidence in the
government, Interfax-Ukraine reported. Parliament speaker Oleksander Moroz
said Presidium members were critical of the government's proposed cuts in
social programs and its plans to introduce larger hikes for prices than
wages. He also said some leaders accused the government of failing to
implement parliament directives and of being slow to introduce bills on
implementing economic reforms proposed by Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING. Ukrainian Radio reported on 2 February
that the Ukrainian National Security Council met under the chairmanship of
President Leonid Kuchma to discuss problems within Ukraine's armed forces
and participation in international military structures. Volodymyr Horbulyn,
the president's adviser on national security, said the council discussed a
document on safeguarding the country's security. It also debated the
development and deployment of the Ukrainian armed forces, including border
guards and Interior Ministry forces. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIANS SAY RUSSIANS "SQUANDERING" BLACK SEA FLEET. Dmytro Stepanyuk, a
member of the Ukrainian parliament's temporary commission on the situation
in Crimea, told a Simferopol press conference on 2 February that a "mass
squandering" of Black Sea Fleet property has taken place. Interfax quotes
him as saying that the fleet's leadership has rented out 29 sites belonging
to the fleet and intends to sell another 14. He said several fleet sites in
Ismail have been sold to a commercial firm and claimed that the money from
the deal has been transferred into the accounts of "several people from the
Black Sea Fleet leadership." Stepanyuk charged that these actions take no
account of the upcoming division of the fleet between Russia and Ukraine,
and he recommended that "the reaction of the Ukrainian leadership should be
rather tough." -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

IMF RELEASES CREDIT TO BELARUS. Belarusian Radio reported on 2 February
that the IMF released a $100 million credit to Belarus on 30 January. The
first part of the IMF credit package, worth approximately the same amount,
was released in June 1993. Most of that credit was used to pay for Russian
energy supplies. The new credit will go toward building up the Belarusian
National Banks' hard-currency reserves and implementing the country's
economic reforms in accordance with IMF conditions. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI,
Inc.

SHUSHKEVICH TO STAND IN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS. Stanislau Shushkevich, former
chairman of the Supreme Soviet, will run in the Belarusian parliament
elections in May, Belarusian Radio reported on 2 February. Shushkevich's
supporters will be the same democratic groups that upheld his candidacy in
the June 1994 presidential elections. Shushkevich has no party affiliation.
-- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

75TH ANNIVERSARY OF TARTU TREATY. About a dozen members of the Petserimaa
League picketed the Russian Embassy in Tallinn on 2 February, the 75th
anniversary of the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty, BNS reports. Under
that treaty, Russia recognized Estonia's independence and pledged to make
no claims on Estonian territory. The league wants the return to Estonia of
the some 2,000 sq. km Petseri/Pechory region, which Russia seized after
World War II. Even though the Estonian Constitution defines the country's
borders in accordance with the Tartu treaty, Prime Minister Andres Tarand
expressed willingness to give up territorial claims if Moscow recognized
the document as valid. Russia insists that the treaty lost its validity
when Estonia joined the USSR in 1940. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIA PASSES LAW ON TAXES AND DUTIES. The Saeima on 2 February passed a
law on taxes and duties to go into effect on 1 April, BNS reports.
Taxpayers will be required to declare their income themselves and pay taxes
owed. Any cash transaction exceeding 1,000 lati ($1,830) must be reflected
in income declarations. Businesses, moreover, are allowed to make cash
transactions of up to 3,000 lati only. Anything over this sum must be
transferred by wire. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIA TO END PRIVATIZATION FOR INVESTMENT VOUCHERS. The Lithuanian
parliament on 31 January adopted a resolution invalidating as of 1 July the
law on initial privatization of state property passed in 1991, BNS reported
on 2 February. The law gave residents investment vouchers to purchase
apartments and shares in state enterprises. As of early January, 70% of
state enterprises and 78% of state capital offered for privatization had
been sold. The value of the unsold property is approximately that of the
unused investment vouchers, but it is expected that some vouchers will not
be redeemed. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH PRIVATIZATION CHIEF RELEASED FROM JAIL. Jaroslav Lizner, former chief
administrator of the Czech voucher privatization scheme, was released from
jail on 2 February. Lizner was arrested on 31 October 1994 in possession of
8 million koruny and charged with taking the money as a bribe to mediate in
a share deal. The case is the biggest corruption scandal to date in the
Czech Republic. Mlada fronta dnes quoted Lizner's defense lawyer as saying
his client intended to return to work soon. Although he has been replaced
as head of the Center for Coupon Privatization, Lizner's work contract is
still valid. Previous requests for Lizner to be released from prison were
denied on the grounds that he could attempt to influence witnesses in his
case. His eventual release means the investigation against him is
effectively complete. A decision on putting Lizner on trial will be made
shortly, Czech media report. If convicted of corruption, he could face up
to three years in jail. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN TREATY MAY BE SIGNED BEFORE MARCH. Hungarian Foreign
Minister Laszlo Kovacs, after recently meeting with his Slovak counterpart,
Juraj Schenk, said the chances are good that the two countries will sign a
bilateral treaty before March, an RFE/RL correspondent in Strasbourg
reports. The two met on 1 February to sign the Council of Europe's
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and to
discuss the treatment of the large Hungarian minority in Slovakia. Hungary
stipulated that Slovakia sign the convention as a condition for the
bilateral treaty, which will enshrine the inviolability of the current
Slovak-Hungarian border. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK FIRMS MAKE SIZABLE PROFITS. TASR reported on 1 February that ship
maker Slovenske Lodenice Komarno netted 40 million koruny in 1994
(approximately $1.3 million) and hired 230 new employees. The firm exported
14 cargo ships to Russia, Germany, and Turkmenistan. Meanwhile, Slovak
steel giant VSZ Kosice registered after-tax profits of 650 million koruny
in 1994--an increase of 230% over the previous year. The firm, which
exports to Germany, the U.S., Poland, Hungary, and Italy, produced almost
10% of Slovakia's 1994 GDP. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

WHAT'S GOING ON AMONG THE BOSNIAN SERBS? Several publications from rump
Yugoslavia on 3 February take up the question of divisions among the
Bosnian Serb leadership. According to the independent Nasa Borba and
Montenegro's Monitor, tensions between the civilian and military
leaderships came to a head last weekend with the resignation of the second
man in the army's command structure, General Manojlo Milovanovic. The
general reportedly suffered a heart attack soon after resigning. There are
also accounts of long-standing frictions between Milovanovic's
boss--General Ratko Mladic--and civilian chief Radovan Karadzic. The
military blames the civilians for the poor physical state of the army and
its equipment and for setting too ambitious goals for such an army. One
example is the current offensive around Bihac, which has failed to capture
the town and left the Bosnian government forces still holding key strategic
positions. Nasa Borba and NIN also discuss tensions between Karadzic and
the Banja Luka Serb leadership, which recently sent a delegation to
Belgrade to ask Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to end his formal
blockade of the Bosnian Serbs. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERB-CROAT RELATIONS DEADLOCKED OR JUST BEFORE A "PLEASANT SURPRISE"? Nasa
Borba on 3 February writes that at the beginning of 1995, there was much
speculation that Belgrade and Zagreb may set up full diplomatic relations
soon. But Croatia's subsequent refusal to extend UNPROFOR's mandate and the
resulting growth of tensions between Zagreb, on the one hand, and Belgrade
and Knin, on the other, have left matters up in the air. Rump Yugoslav
Foreign Minister Vladislav Jovanovic says his Croatian counterpart, Mate
Granic, may still visit Belgrade this month, although Granic notes that any
such trip will have to be connected with Serbia's full recognition of
Croatia in its official frontiers. Both Serbia and Croatia continue to
avoid taking a clear stand on the latest international plan to solve the
Krajina question, but NIN says the Croatian opposition mistrusts President
Franjo Tudjman's handling of the issue and is apprehensive about any
"pleasant surprise" that the government may unveil to improve relations
with Belgrade. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

LORD OWEN SAYS MILOSEVIC WILL NOT ALLOW WAR TO BE EXPORTED TO SERBIA.
Serbian and Croatian dailies on 3 February report on the visit the previous
day by EU mediator David Owen and his UN counterpart, Thorvald Stoltenberg,
to Belgrade and Zagreb. Nasa Borba says Owen sees nothing wrong with a new
international conference on Bosnia, as the French have proposed, but he
argues that it must be well prepared. He also says that the time is not
right for such a gathering until "some details" are solved through
lower-level talks, including the question of Bosnia's future constitutional
order and the borders on the map partitioning that embattled republic. He
stresses the importance of UNPROFOR's presence for peace in Croatia and
adds that Milosevic will not allow its departure to lead to an expansion of
the war to Serbia and Montenegro. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung adds,
however, that Owen feels Tudjman will reconsider his decision and renew
UNPROFOR's mandate. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN INFORMATION MINISTER ON JOURNALIST ETHICS. Ratomir Vico, in an
interview with the state-controlled daily Borba on 3 February, said the
Serbian government is "not looking for anything but objective reporting"
from foreign and domestic journalists. His remark comes amid the
authorities' ongoing crackdown on the independent media, notably the
once-independent Borba, now known as Nasa Borba. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI,
Inc.

ROMANIAN-U.S. DEFENSE GROUP MEETS. Radio Bucharest reports that at a
meeting on 2 February of the Romanian-U.S. working group on defense,
discussion focused on European security, the evolution of Euro-Atlantic
security structures, military cooperation between Romania and the U.S., and
NATO's Partnership for Peace program. The two delegations are led by
Secretary of State Ioan Mircea Pascu and assistant to the U.S. Defense
Secretary John Nye Jr. Nye was quoted by Radio Bucharest as saying that
U.S. military will participate in joint exercises within the framework of
the PFP program. The U.S. delegation was received the same day by Romania's
President Ion Iliescu and by Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca. It also held
talks with Alexandru Timofte and Petre Roman, chairmen of the Defense
Commissions of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, respectively. -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA, MOLDOVA SIGN MORE PROTOCOLS ON 14TH ARMY. Three additional
protocols on the planned withdrawal of the 14th Russian Army from eastern
Moldova were signed in Chisinau on 2 February, Interfax and Radio Bucharest
report. The documents, which complete the framework bilateral agreement
concluded on 21 October 1994, deal with the transportation of troops and
equipment, inspections of the 14th army in accordance with international
conventions, and a social safety net for departing troops and their
families. The negotiations were conducted by a Russian delegation led by
Vladimir Kitayev, special envoy of Russian President Boris Yeltsin, and a
Moldovan team headed by First Deputy Foreign Minister Nicolae Osmochescu. A
group of military experts from the Russian delegation met on 1 February in
Tiraspol with Gen. Alexandr Lebed, commander of the 14th army; Igor
Smirnov, president of the self-styled Dniestr Republic; and other local
leaders. The withdrawal is expected to take place within the next three
years, but no schedule has been worked out so far. Further documents are
expected to be signed this year. Interfax quoted a source at the
headquarters of the 14th army as saying that the total ammunition stored in
Transdniestria amounts to 410,000 tons, of which some 50,000 cannot be
moved for technical reasons and will have to be destroyed on the spot. --
Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN MINERS STAGE HUNGER STRIKE IN WAKE OF CORRUPTION SCANDAL. Miners
at Albania's largest chrome mine at Bulqize staged a hunger strike to
demand the dismissal of mine director Gezim Dauti and a 10% wage increase
promised in October 1994. Reports of the number of miners who went on
strike vary, with the Tirana daily ASD saying 15 to 20 took part and Zeri i
Popullit claiming 200 were involved. Reuters reported on 2 February that
about 20 miners ended the strike but without winning any concessions. ASD
on 3 February quoted Albanian trade union leader Mustafa Shengjergji as
saying the strike came in the wake of a corruption scandal. He noted that
the state control commission investigating the mines in November discovered
evidence of "large-scale corruption." The commission demanded the dismissal
of Dauti and the head of the local branch of the Finance Ministry, but no
action has yet been taken. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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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