One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love. - Sophocles
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 27, Part II, 7 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 DEMANDS PAWLAK'S OUSTER. During a stormy meeting with the
parliament leadership broadcast live by Polish TV on 6 February,
President Lech Walesa demanded that a new government be formed by the
end of the month. He indicated he would dissolve the Sejm if the
coalition failed to comply. "[Marshal Jozef] Pilsudski would have done
it long ago," he said. In repeated emotional statements, Walesa argued
that he was being attacked unfairly from all sides and "dragged through
manure" by potential rivals for the Presidency. He charged the ruling
coalition with being guided by nothing more than the "will to survive"
and with failing to clean house, despite clear evidence of corruption.
"Poland does not have the time to sit at a yellow light," the president
said, threatening to take decisions into his own hands. Pawlak met with
Walesa briefly before the parliament meeting, Gazeta Wyborcza reports.
The president apparently demanded his resignation. -- Louisa Vinton,
OMRI, Inc.

TURNING POINT FOR POLISH COALITION. Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak
rejected all criticism of his government and insisted that the cabinet
was working steadily, not just ensuring its own survival. Democratic
Left Alliance (SLD) leaders asserted that the two-party coalition has
not outlived its usefulness and accused Walesa of unjustly focusing on
the government's "shortcomings." They repeated the SLD's standard
reservations about government policy: bad public relations, over-
centralization of economic structures, and disregard for local
government. In a statement issued on 6 February, the SLD demanded that
Walesa sign the 1995 budget and stop "blackmailing" the parliament.
Government lapses could be corrected only thereafter, it said. But both
SLD and Polish Peasant Party (PSL) officials acknowledged in private
that ministerial changes were imminent. Some PSL leaders were reportedly
even willing to accept Pawlak's replacement by someone from the SLD,
provided the PSL was granted control over the post of Sejm speaker (now
held by the SLD) in exchange. The coalition meets on 7 February to
discuss the "reconstruction" of the cabinet. Meanwhile, the opposition
Freedom Union debated proposing a no-confidence vote in the government,
Rzeczpospolita reports. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH HEADS OF INTERNATIONAL SPACE AGENCIES.
Ukrainian Radio reported on 6 February that Leonid Kuchma met with the
heads of the Ukrainian, Russian, U.S., and Norwegian space agencies to
discuss maintaining cooperation in space technology. The report said
Ukraine's cooperative links were at risk owing to the country's economic
crisis. Russia, which had called the meeting, proposed developing the
automatic "Zenith" rocket for commercial use. The U.S. firm Boeing is
reportedly interested in developing the "Zenith," as are the Norwegian
company Kvarner and the Russian firm Energia, which developed the
"Buran" rocket. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

POLL SHOWS MOST UKRAINIANS DISSATISFIED WITH LIVING CONDITIONS, YET WANT
REFORMS. A public opinion poll sponsored by the Washington-based
International Foundation for Electoral Systems and conducted in December
by the Kiev Sociological Institute revealed that nearly 92% of
Ukrainians are dissatisfied with the general situation in their country.
But just over 63% believe democratic reforms will help, The Economist
reports in its 4-10 February issue. Although 77.9% of the 1,200
respondents admit they are regularly short of money for food, 72%
support the policies of President Leonid Kuchma (after factoring out 20%
who responded they didn't know). The poll shows a marked increase in
support for Kuchma since November when a survey taken by Socis-Gallup
revealed a 47.6% approval rating for the president. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIA, BELARUS SIGN AGREEMENTS. Belarusian and Lithuanian Presidents
Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Algirdas Brazauskas on 6 February signed
treaties on good-neighborly relations and cooperation and on the
demarcation of their common border, RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reports.
Deputy foreign ministers of the two states signed accords transferring a
resort in Druskininkai to Belarus and giving Lithunania installations
moderating the water level of Lake Druksiai, which is used to cool the
atomic power plant at Ignalina. Lukashenka will address the Seimas on 7
February before returning to Belarus. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

PRE-ELECTION POLL IN ESTONIA. Eesti Sonumid published in late January
the results of a poll conducted by the EMOR agency on the 5 March
Estonian parliament elections, BNS reported on 6 February. The Coalition
Party and Rural Union electoral alliance, led by former Prime Minister
Tiit Vahi and former President Arnold Ruutel, won the most support in
the poll, with 28%. Five other parties also exceeded the necessary 5%
threshold to gain parliament seats: the Moderates (13.6%), the Center
Party (11.6%), the Reform Party (9.4%), the Pro Patria and National
Independence Party union (6.1%), and the Rightists (5.8%). Four
coalitions and six parties received less than 3.8% and thus seem
unlikely to gain seats. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

MORE THAN 60,000 RUSSIAN CITIZENS IN ESTONIA. An official of the Russian
Embassy in Tallinn said that by 1 February, 61,401 residents of Estonia
had obtained Russian citizenship, BNS reported on 6 February. Estonian
authorities noted that 48,491 mostly Russian speakers have become
naturalized Estonian citizens since 1992. The Russian parliament amended
the country's citizenship law extending the deadline for granting
Russian citizenship to former USSR citizens from 6 February 1995 to 31
December 2000. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

DEBATE ON SLOVAK PARTY'S EXPULSION FROM PARLIAMENT CONTINUES. Dusan
Macuska, chairman of the parliament Mandate and Immunity Committee's
commission investigating the legitimacy of the Democratic Union's
parliament mandates, said on 6 February that his work is still
unfinished and that he wants to set up a new parliament investigative
commission empowered to take further action, Narodna obroda reports.
Macuska's five-member commission, which consists only of members of the
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and the Slovak National Party, found
after the fall 1994 elections that the DU did not have the required
legitimate signatures. Both the Electoral Commission and the
Constitutional Court have ruled since that the DU collected the 10,000
signatures necessary to compete in the elections, but discussion
continues on removing the party's 15 deputies from the parliament.
During an SNP press conference on 3 February, Bartolomej Kunc said the
issue could be brought before the Constitutional Court once again, and
the court could "change its standpoint under the influence of new
evidence," Pravda reported. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN BRUSSELS AND WASHINGTON OVER YUGOSLAV SUMMIT. Nasa
Borba reports on 7 February that EU foreign ministers the previous day
agreed in Brussels to endorse the French proposal for yet another major
international gathering to deal with the ongoing crisis in the former
Yugoslavia. Guests would include Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic,
his Croatian counterpart, Franjo Tudjman, and Bosnia's Alija
Izetbegovic. Politika writes that Izetbegovic would be invited only in
his capacity as leader of the Bosnian Muslims, however, not as the
president of an internationally recognized state. The pro-Milosevic
daily also notes approvingly that one of the goals of the meeting, which
would aim at no less than a global solution to the former Yugoslavia's
problems, would be to deepen the isolation of Bosnian Serb leader
Radovan Karadzic. Reuters reports, however, that US Secretary of State
Warren Christopher continues to be skeptical about such a gathering. He
warns against having too great expectations and stresses that such a
meeting must be very carefully prepared. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

OTHER NEWS FROM THE YUGOSLAV WAR ZONE. The BBC's Croatian Service on 7
February quoted US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke as
saying that further talks with the Bosnian Serbs are pointless unless
they first accept the current peace plan. Holbrooke is regarded as the
architect of recent US policy stressing the need for direct contacts
with Karadzic's headquarters at Pale. Meanwhile in Belgrade, Politika
deals with official Serbia's response to Dutch UNPROFOR reports from 3
February that up to 20 helicopters have flown missions from Serbia to
eastern Bosnia. The daily quotes the rump Yugoslav General Staff as
denying that it has any military presence beyond its own borders.
Finally, from the Croatian battle front, Vjensik quotes UNPROFOR sources
as saying that 5 February witnessed a record number of violations--168
in all--of the cease-fire agreement between Croatia and its rebel Serbs.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

CROATIAN AGRARIAN LEADER DIES. Croatian Radio on 6 February announced
the death the previous day following a long illness of Drago Stipac
(74), the leader of the Croatian Peasant Party (HSS). Amid the collapse
of communism, Stipac was instrumental in reviving the HSS, which was the
most important political party in Croatia between the two world wars. He
never achieved his dream of returning the HSS to the center stage of
political life, but it did acquire a strong following in some rural
areas and plays a role in local and regional government there. Stipac
and his party were also prominent on the fragmented political opposition
scene. A lifelong supporter of the HSS who was jailed by both the
fascists and the communists for his beliefs, Stipac was also a past
president of the Croatian Society of Political Prisoners. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

PRESS CAMPAIGN FOR SERBIAN COLONIZATION OF KOSOVO. The Serbian
government-controlled daily Borba has launched a media campaign to
support a government program offering potential Serbian settlers
interest-free credits to build houses in Kosovo. The paper carried two
articles on 7 February calling for more Serbian settlements in Kosovo.
One article reported about an economist from Pristina who wrote a letter
to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic offering to exchange his house
in Serbia proper for one in Kosovo and to move back. The other,
headlined "Kosovo Is Serbian," dealt with Radmilo Bogdanovic, president
of the Serbian parliament Security Committee and a former interior
minister. Bogdanovic has tried to convince Serbs to settle in Kosovo,
saying that "the situation of public order, peace, and personal security
in Kosmet (Kosovo-Metohija) is not always satisfactory . . . but it is
safer, for example, than in Belgrade or Kragujevac." Independent Nasa
Borba on 7 February raises doubts about the program, arguing that it
does not make sense to settle people to a region that already is densely
populated and where most industry has stopped working. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN DELEGATION VISITS RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. A Russian delegation headed
by Deputy Premier Oleg Davydov visited the rump Yugoslavia on 6
February, state-controlled Borba reported the next day. Davydov met with
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and the prime ministers of Serbia
and Montenegro to discuss economic relations between rump Yugoslavia and
Russia and the international sanctions against Belgrade. The delegation
supported the idea of lifting the sanctions, observing that the
international community's hesitation to do so "imperils peace and
security on the wider European scene." -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN ETHNIC ALBANIANS WALK OUT OF PARLIAMENT COMMISSION. Four
ethnic Albanian deputies walked out of the legislative commission of the
Mace-donian parliament, Nova Makedonija reports on 7 February. They did
so to protest a bill on identity cards, which, they claim, limits ethnic
minorities' rights. The deputies were demanding that the identity cards
be printed in the language of the holder. Present regulations provide
for cards to be printed only in Mace-donian. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,
Inc.

ROMANIAN INTERETHNIC DISPUTE CONTINUES. Presidential spokesman Traian
Chebeleu said on 6 February that the commemoration of 19th-century
Szekler historian and ethnographer Balasz Orban at Odorheiul Secuiesc
the previous day was a "provocation organized by leaders of the
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania" and had "offended the
Romanian state," Radio Bucharest reported. The commemoration, attended
by HDFR President Bela Marko and Hungary's ambassador to Romania, began
with the singing of the Hungarian national anthem. In a clear allusion
to the Party of Romanian National Unity, Chebeleu said such acts help
those who proposed legislation forbidding the unauthorized singing of
foreign anthems and the hoisting of foreign flags. Following the
commemoration, PRNU leader Gheorghe Funar dispatched a letter to
President Ion Iliescu accusing him of failure to defend the constitution
and the rights of Romanians. He also said that Iliescu was insisting on
signing a basic treaty with Hungary, which he described as a country
that "interferes in our domestic affairs, plots against our country's
territorial integrity, and fights against Romania in European
institutions," Western agencies report. Funar also claimed Iliescu was
seeking a secret arrangement with Hungary and the United States to
change Transylvania's status. Chebeleu said the letter demonstrated that
its author was "[mentally] unbalanced." Following Funar's attack on
Iliescu, Adrian Nastase, executive president of the Party of Social
Democracy in Romania, told the PSDR leadership that relations with the
PRNU could not improve as long as Funar remained president of that
party. Nastase also said Funar's statements about President Iliescu
amount to "a declaration of war against us." -- Michael Shafir, OMRI,
Inc.

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION PARTY SAYS COUNTRY FACES DANGER OF FASCISM. Radio
Bucharest reported on 6 February that the Democratic Party-National
Salvation Front faction in the Chamber of Deputies issued a declaration
saying the four-party agreement concluded between the formations backing
Nicolae Vacaroiu's government "opens the path to fascism" in Romania.
The DP-NSF said the pact increased the access to power of "extremist,
intolerant, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, nostalgic, [and] restorationist"
parties. It called on the Party of Social Democracy in Romania to
renounce its alliance with the extremists and to "begin serious
negotiations with the democratic parties" in an attempt to pull the
country out of its present crisis and "guarantee Romania's process of
democratization." The DP-NSF said the current government does not enjoy
the confidence of the electorate and called on Premier Vacaroiu to ask
parliament for a vote of confidence. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA THREATENED BY EPIDEMICS? Duma on 6 February reports that if
Sofia's water supplies do not increase, the capital may be threatened by
epidemics capable of spreading across Bulgaria. Sofia has been suffering
water shortages for several months and faces strict regulations since
January. Construction of a new water pipeline linking rivers in the Rila
Mountains to the Iskar dam has been halted since residents of the
Sapareva Banya region formed a human chain on 23 December and prevented
workers from entering the construction site. Deputy Prime Minister
Doncho Konakchiev said the government will take the Sapareva Banya City
Council to court if it does not rescind its 5 February decision to halt
the project, Standart reported. The government decided on 6 February
that work on the pipeline is to continue and that the pipeline will be
ready by 20 March, Duma reported the next day. Meanwhile, Sofia
University specialists claim they have proof that the present crisis was
caused deliberately and does not result from a lack of water, Kontinent
wrote on 6 February. They say the water in the Iskar dam is sufficient
to cover the needs of Sofia's population and industry. -- Stefan Krause,
OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA'S 1995 DRAFT BUDGET. The first draft of the 1995 state budget
has been submitted to the cabinet by Finance Minister Dimitar Kostov,
Kontinent reports on 7 February. Revenues are estimated at 321 billion
leva ($4.8 billion) and expenditures at 348 billion leva ($5.2 billion).
The estimated budget deficit of 27 billion leva ($400 million) equals 3-
3.5% of estimated GDP. Inflation is projected to reach 40-50% in 1995
(the government estimated inflation at 35-40% in 1994, but it reached
121%). The draft budget is to be discussed later this month. Prime
Minister Zhan Videnov has said the 1995 budget has top priority and will
be passed by the end of March. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH CALLS FOR FAIR TRIAL IN ALBANIA. The U.S.-based
organization Human Rights Watch/Helsinki called on the Albanian High
Court to maintain the highest standards of impartiality in the trial of
four ethnic Greeks to begin on 8 February. The Greeks are accused of
espionage and illegal possession of arms. In a press release on 7
February, the organization criticized an earlier lower court trial of
the Greeks for its "numerous violations of both Albanian and
international law." It also criticized the conditions of arrest,
treatment under detention, denial of defendants' access to counsel, and
the failure to ensure a fair and public trial. The Greeks were sentenced
to between six and eight years, but their terms were reduced and one of
the accused was released in an amnesty in November and December. Freeing
the remaining four may be welcomed by President Sali Berisha, who is
under pressure from Greece to release the prisoners. But Berisha has
said he will not challenge the court's decisions. -- 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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