You always pass failure on the way to success. - Mickey Rooney
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 39, Part II, 23 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.

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

DATE SET FOR PAWLAK'S REMOVAL. The Sejm leadership has scheduled the
constructive no-confidence motion for 1 March, Rzeczpospolita reported
on 23 February. The Sejm will vote simultaneously to remove Prime
Minister Waldemar Pawlak and confirm Jozef Oleksy as his replacement.
Only after President Lech Walesa formally appoints Oleksy as prime
minister can the proposed cabinet be submitted to parliament. No final
cabinet lineup has been settled. Oleksy meets with Walesa for a fifth
time on 27 February to discuss candidates for the disputed defense and
foreign affairs portfolios. In public statements Oleksy has insisted
that the coalition will propose its own candidates for confirmation
regardless of presidential opposition. Rzeczpospolita reported, however,
that Oleksy has privately told party colleagues that he will give up the
mission if agreement is not reached on the two posts. Meanwhile, Deputy
Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko has set conditions
for remaining in office, including clear authority over decision-making
and a coalition commitment to carry out long-delayed pension reform.
Gazeta Wyborcza reported that Kolodko also wants to build a strong new
economic policy team (to include Marek Borowski, Dariusz Rosati, and
current Minister of Industry Marek Pol). Oleksy's determination to
exclude ministers facing misconduct charges is meeting opposition from
the Polish Peasant Party (PSL). Pawlak is particularly insistent that
Foreign Trade Minister Leslaw Podkanski remain in office, and PSL
officials have begun reciting arguments about the "presumption of
innocence." -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE ESTABLISHES NEW SECURITY AGENCY TO FIGHT ORGANIZED CRIME.
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has ordered the establishment of a new
government agency to combat growing organized crime in the country,
Interfax-Ukraine reported on 22 February. Kuchma announced the measure
after he reprimanded three top law enforcement officials, Prosecutor-
General Vyacheslav Datsyuk, Interior Minister Volodymyr Radchenko, and
Security Service Chief Valery Malikov, for unsatisfactory and
inefficient performance in fighting extortion and racketeering. The new
agency would serve to supplement the existing law enforcement agencies,
but would focus mainly on "mafia activities." Select employees of the
Ukrainian Security Service, the successor to the former KGB, are
expected to undergo an additional year of special training to make up
new specialized units within the new agency. -- Chrystyna Lapychak,
OMRI, Inc.

LEFTIST FORCES DEMAND MORE AIR TIME ON UKRAINIAN TELEVISION. Over 500
members of communist and socialist parties and organizations picketed in
front of Ukrainian Television and Radio's broadcasting facilities in
Kiev on 22 February demanding more air time, Reuters and Ukrainian
Television reported the same day. Organizers of the protest met with the
management of the state-run television company to air their grievances,
which focused on what they called an anti-communist bias in the
station's programming. Management said it has carefully abided by
Ukraine's law on the mass media, adopted by parliament, and has not
favored any political group in its programming. The leftist leaders
addressed the crowd of mostly older people by calling for new elections
and a return of communists and socialists to power in Ukraine. In order
to accomplish this, leftists need greater access to the media,
organizers said. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN DEBATE ON TREATIES. The basic treaties currently under
negotiation with Romania and Slovakia were the focus of discussion on 22
February in a parliamentary debate on foreign policy, MTI and Radio
Budapest report. Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs and Prime
Minister Gyula Horn stressed that the treaties would improve the
situation of the Hungarian minorities and promote Hungary's integration
into Western institutions. Alliance of Free Democrats foreign policy
spokesman Matyas Eorsi also spoke out in favor of signing the treaties,
stressing that they should be signed even if they do not contain
guarantees for the minorities' cultural autonomy. Eorsi recently warned
that Hungary should only sign treaties which contain adequate guarantees
for minority rights. The opposition parties said the government would
betray the Hungarian minorities if it made further concessions on
minority rights. Describing the plight of Hungarian minorities as
"dramatic," Hungarian Democratic Forum chairman Lajos Fur warned that by
giving up guarantees on minority rights the government would "help
sacrifice over three million Hungarians." (See related Romanian story in
Southeastern Europe section). -- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

HAVEL: GERMANS SHOULD BE AT WWII CEREMONIES. The Czech government,
during its session on 22 February, approved plans for official
commemorations of the end of World War II, but disagreements emerged
among government members and other politicians over whether German
officials should be invited to participate. Both President Vaclav Havel
and Parliament Chairman Milan Uhde said they were in favor of inviting
Germans. Havel said on Czech television that "if a decision is made to
invite representatives of major war powers, then the contemporary
democratic Germany should also be represented." Transportation Minister
Jan Strasky and representatives of the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters
(war veterans) said they were opposed to German participation. Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus urged that the issue not be made into "a domestic
political problem." -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK INFORMATION SERVICE DIRECTOR RESIGNS. The head of the Office of
the President, Jan Findra, said at a press conference on 22 February
that SIS Director Vladimir Mitro handed in his resignation to President
Michal Kovac, Sme reports. The directors of intelligence and
counterintelligence, Igor Cibula and Stefan Straka, respectively, also
resigned from their posts but will work until 1 March if no replacements
are found. In an interview with CTK, Cibula said he and Straka handed in
their resignations to Mitro on 13 February, and on the same day Mitro
handed in his resignation to Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. Cibula
resigned because he does not have Meciar's trust, which he considers
"the basic condition for the performance of the . . . director of
intelligence." He said the SIS leadership resigned mainly to avoid
confrontation with the government. According to Sme of 22 February, one
of the candidates for SIS Director is Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
parliament deputy Ivan Lexa, whom Kovac rejected for that post as well
as that of privatization minister in 1993. According to the
constitution, the president is responsible for removing and appointing
the SIS director. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PETITIONERS COLLECT 100,000 SIGNATURES. According to Sme of 23
February, organizers of a petition "against the violation of freedom of
speech in Slovakia" have collected 100,512 signatures. The petitioners
are most concerned with the cancellation of three political satires
which were among the most popular programs on Slovak TV: "An evening of
Milan Markovic," "Apropo TV" and "Halusky." On 22 February they sent a
letter to parliament chairman Ivan Gasparovic and STV Director Jozef
Darmo asking for a meeting. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIA TO BECOME EU ASSOCIATE MEMBER WITHOUT TRANSITION PERIOD.
Estonian Foreign Ministry Deputy Chancellor Priit Kolbre, the leader of
his country's 17-member delegation for talks with the European Union in
Brussels, said that Estonia would sign its association agreement with
the EU without a transition period, BNS reported on 22 February. Estonia
was also the only East European country to sign a free-trade agreement
with the EU without a transition period. Estonian ambassador to Brussels
Clyde Kull noted that by accepting such terms the EU recognized that
Estonia's transition to a market economy is working. The associate
membership agreement is expected to be initialed in March, signed by the
end of June at the latest, and would go into effect after ratification
by the Estonian and European parliaments. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

SIGNIFICANT CHANGES IN ESTONIAN PRE-ELECTION POLL. Eesti Sonumid
published on 20 February the results of a telephone poll on the 5 March
Estonian parliament elections, BNS reported. The poll was conducted on
14-15 February by the EMOR agency. The leading party, with 17% of the
votes, was the Reform Party led by Bank of Estonia President Siim
Kallas. The Center Party was second with 9%, followed by the Coalition
Party and Rural Union (CPRU) electoral alliance with 8%, the Pro Patria
and National Independence Party union with 6%, and Moderates and
Rightists with 3%. An EMOR poll in late January had placed the Reform
Party in fourth position with 9.4% behind the CPRU (28%), Moderates
(13.6%), and the Center Party (11.6%). (OMRI Daily Digest, 7 February
1995). -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

WHAT IS HAPPENING OVER TUZLA? The BBC on 23 February reports on the
fast-developing story surrounding the mysterious flights of C-130
transport planes over Tuzla on 14 February. The Washington Post broke
the story two days earlier, and more discussion appeared in Nasa Borba
on 22 February and Globus the following day. According to the BBC, it no
longer appears that NATO denied UN reports that the flights had taken
place in order to cover up its own incompetence. Instead, it seems that
the U.S. may be trying to mask its own operations to supply the Bosnian
army or to protect other countries engaged in such an effort. The BBC
concluded that what had taken place over Tuzla was a low-altitude supply
drop of a kind that only the U.S., British, or French air forces have
the technology to make. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

TENSIONS BUILDING BETWEEN SERBS AND CROATS. Nasa Borba on 23 February
carried several stories reflecting the general anticipation that a new
Serb-Croat conflict could break out once UNPROFOR leaves by 30 June.
Croatian Prime Minister Nikica Valentic said that peace is possible by
the end of the year provided UNPROFOR gets out. This reflects President
Franjo Tudjman's belief that ending the peacekeepers' mandate will
provide the necessary impetus for a negotiated settlement, but the
remarks could also be taken another way. The paper goes on to cover a
visit by Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic to the embattled Posavina
corridor connecting Serbia with Serb-held territories in Bosnia and
Croatia. His parliamentary speaker, Momcilo Krajisnik, told crowds that
"without Posavina there is no [Bosnian] Serb Republic, and without that
it is not possible for all Serbs to live in one state." Meanwhile,
prominent Krajina politician Milan Babic said that the recent decision
of Krajina and Bosnian Serbs to set up a Supreme Defense Council is a
step toward a greater Serbian federation. Nasa Borba, for its part,
suggests that the purpose of the agreement may have more to do with
putting political pressure on Croatia than with real military aims. That
paper pointed out the previous day, moreover, that Bosnian Serb "foreign
minister" Aleksa Buha was in Belgrade on a visit to meet top Serbian
officials, probably including President Slobodan Milosevic. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

UN AID CONVOY REACHES CAZIN. International media reported on 23 February
that a 10-truck relief convoy finally entered Bosnian government-held
territory in the Bihac pocket the previous day after being held up by
Serbs and their allies. AFP notes that fighting continued in the Velika
Kladusa and Bosanska Krupa areas, with tensions rising around Srebrenica
as both sides dig more trenches. Not all is gloomy, however. Vjesnik
reports on the meeting between Croatia's Cardinal Franjo Kuharic and the
Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan Jovan Pavlovic, who is responsible for
"Zagreb, Ljubljana, and all of Italy." Nasa Borba notes that Roman
Catholic Bishop Ratko Peric has gone to Trebinje in Serb-held eastern
Herzegovina to bring some relief supplies and to hold talks with Serbian
Orthodox leaders. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

WITHER AVRAMOVIC? Nasa Borba on 23 February carries a story which
reports on speculation entertained in some political circles that
National Bank Governor Dragoslav Avramovic has been "removed from public
life" for about the past two months, and not only because of personal,
especially health, reasons, but because there may be serious
disagreements within official circles over the further implementation of
Avramovic's economic reform programs. Avramovic has been widely credited
within the rump Yugoslavia for effecting an economic miracle, when in
January 1994 he stemmed hyperinflation raging at a monthly rate of 315
million%, bringing it down to low single digits by pegging the value of
the dinar to the German mark and the country's hard currency reserves.
-- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

BLEAK SOCIAL PICTURE FOR CROATIA. Nasa Borba on 21 February reported on
recent studies and polls regarding the state of Croatian society. The
prognosis is poor, with every fifth person living below the poverty
level. Some 30% of the population eat meat only once a week, and half of
the people have only one meal per day. Another 45% view their future as
uncertain, and over 100,000 people have emigrated in the past four
years. Deteriorating social conditions have apparently given the lie to
President Franjo Tudjman's 1992 campaign slogan: "From victory to
prosperity," although the war and the accompanying dislocation and
devastation have been as much to blame as any policy that the government
has or has not followed. One last statistic: with 25 suicides per
100,000 people, Croatia has the fifth-highest suicide rate in Europe. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA REPORTS PROGRESS IN NEGOTIATIONS WITH HUNGARY . . . A spokesman
for the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry said on 22 February that
experts from the ministry and from the Hungarian Foreign Affairs
Ministry had finalized the aide-memoire which is to accompany the basic
treaty between the two countries, Radio Bucharest reported. Mircea
Geoana said the aide-memoire will be signed by the two sides at the end
of the month or in early March. Romania had hitherto said there was no
need for any other document to accompany the basic treaty. The new round
of negotiations began in Bucharest on 21 February. On the treaty itself,
Geoana said some progress has been made but it was too early to "make a
global judgment." (See related Hungarian story in East-Central Europe
section) -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND ON NATO PROPOSAL TO RUSSIA. Geoana told Reuters on 22 February
that NATO plans to offer Russia a broad new security relationship, which
would allow NATO to expand eastwards. He said he learned about the plan
from German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe when he visited Bucharest last
month. Geoana did not give details of the proposal, but said Romania
supports it because it believes that a partnership relationship between
Russia and an enlarged NATO would bring "stability and security." --
Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

TIRASPOL ANNOUNCES REFERENDUM. The Supreme Soviet of the self-styled
Dniester republic has decided to hold a referendum on the withdrawal of
the Russian 14th army, Radio Bucharest reported on 22 February. The
referendum will be held concomitant with the local elections scheduled
for 26 February. In a press release, the Dniesterian Supreme Soviet says
the accord initialed between Chisinau and Moscow on the withdrawal of
the 14th army had been concluded without the participation of Tiraspol
and without taking into consideration its opinion. -- Michael Shafir,
OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS RESTITUTION LAW. Zhelyu Zhelev returned an
amendment to the restitution law to parliament on 22 February, Pari
reported the following day. The amendment, which was passed on 9
February, provided that tenants can stay another three years in
restituted property. Zhelev was cited as saying that the new law is the
easiest way of doing something, but that it does not solve the problems.
A law defending the rights of the tenants as well as those of the owners
is necessary, the president added. Zhelev also rejected the law on
formal grounds, as both the first and second reading took place on the
same day. Krasimir Premyanov, leader of the Socialist parliamentary
faction, said that the BSP was dissatisfied with Zhelev's decision, and
that he hoped the law would be passed a second time by 24 February, the
day the old reclamation ban expires. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

LEADER OF BULGARIAN BUSINESS BLOC UNDER FIRE. Georges Ganchev's election
as deputy might be declared null and void, Demokratsiya and Pari report
on 23 February. According to the Bulgarian constitution, only Bulgarian
citizens without another citizenship can be elected to parliament or as
president. According to Demokratsiya, the US embassy in Sofia confirmed
that Ganchev is still a U.S. citizen. Chief State Prosecutor Ivan
Tatarchev declared that in this case he will ask the Constitutional
Court to annul Ganchev's election. Ganchev had declared that he gave up
his U.S. citizenship in order to run for president in the 1991/1992
elections. The U.S. embassy said it never received the respective
documents. Ganchev did not comment on the reports, telling journalists
"do not bother me with nonsense." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

CONFLICT BETWEEN ALBANIAN PRESIDENT AND PARTY LEADER. Democratic Party
leader Eduard Selami said that he is under pressure to resign from
within his own party, Koha Jone reported on 22 February. Selami had
offered his resignation in late January after criticizing the government
for failing to realize certain points in the party program. Selami then
demanded that the party leader should also be prime minister, arguing
that this would help promote the party's interests and adding that there
is a gap between the government and the party. In early February,
however, the party leadership, including Albanian President Sali
Berisha, rejected Selami's resignation, but meanwhile Selami said that
Berisha called for his resignation after a meeting of the party's
national council on 21 February. The president's spokesman said that
Selami's demands for a change of government were unacceptable, Rilindja
Demokratike reported on 22 February. An extraordinary party congress on
5 March will decide on Selami's future. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Pete Baumgartner

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
distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe, send
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