This is the true nature of home-- it is the place of Peace; the shelter, not only from injury, but from all terror, doubt and division. - John Ruskin
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 49, Part II, 9 March 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

NEW POLISH GOVERNMENT SETS TO WORK. At its first session on 7 March,
Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy ordered the new cabinet to present only the
government's position (and not individual or party opinions) in public.
He also made attendance at all cabinet sessions mandatory. Cabinet
veterans commented that Oleksy's style differed dramatically from that
of his predecessor: "Deliberations run smoothly, and proposals are
always followed by decisions," Transport Minister Boguslaw Liberadzki
said. On 8 March, Oleksy appointed Marek Pol, the outgoing industry
minister, as plenipotentiary responsible for the consolidation of the
economic ministries. The Democratic Left Alliance was forced to yield
the industry portfolio to the Polish Peasant Party as part of the new
coalition deal, but Oleksy clearly wanted to retain Pol in some
capacity. In an interview with Radio Warsaw on 9 March, the new
agriculture minister, Roman Jagielinski, signaled a policy departure by
arguing that only 700,000 of Poland's more than 2 million farms can
survive in true market conditions. The remainder would have to find
supplemental sources of income, he indicated, but these could not be
provided by the state budget. As promised, President Lech Walesa signed
the 1995 budget into law on 7 March. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH FOREIGN POLICY STABLE. At a press conference on 7 March, the new
foreign minister, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, said his first move in office
would be to appoint an ambassador to the Vatican. That post has been
vacant for almost a year. He said action on the concordat is a priority
but failed to indicate whether the new government as a whole supports
ratification. The Foreign Ministry will be the sole source of foreign
policy, and the practice of various ministries and political parties
sending uncoordinated missions abroad, which flourished under the last
government, will be curtailed. He also supported the establishment of an
apolitical diplomatic corps. Gazeta Wyborcza quoted unofficial sources
as saying that Bartoszewski plans to appoint Andrzej Ananicz as his
first deputy. Ananicz served as deputy foreign minister under Foreign
Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski before moving to the president's office
in February 1994. He was also one of President Lech Walesa's recent
candidates for the ministerial post. Speaking at NATO headquarters in
Brussels on 8 March, Deputy Defense Minister Jerzy Milewski stressed
that "full membership . . . without preconditions" is Poland's strategic
goal. He said Poland will not accept limited membership of the sort
demanded by Russia and will not rule out stationing NATO troops in
Poland. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

NATIONAL BANK OF UKRAINE MOVES TO STABILIZE COMMERCIAL BANKS. Only 20 of
the 228 commercial banks registered in Ukraine had statutory capitals
exceeding 500,000 ECU as of 1 January, the National Bank of Ukraine told
Interfax-Ukraine on 7 March. Moreover, only 8 commercial banks in
Ukraine have statutory capitals over 1 million ECU. To ensure financial
stabilization of the commercial banks, the central bank issued a
resolution ordering them to declare and register minimum statutory
capitals of 500,000 ECU. The banks are also scheduled to be audited by
private companies recommended by the National Bank. Well-known foreign
firms such as KPMG Peat Marwick and Deloitte & Touche are currently
auditing Prominvestbank and Hradobank, Ukraine's top commercial banks.
But the law requires that those banks be audited by Ukrainian firms as
well. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

FURTHER REVISIONS OF ESTONIAN ELECTION RESULTS. Announcement of the
final election results has been delayed pending final results from
Argentina and the U.S., BNS reported on 8 March. Officials from the
National Electoral Committee, however, said previous reports that the
Rightists had won five seats would probably be changed because latest
figures indicated that the Rightists received only 4.997% of the votes
or 0.003% shy of the needed 5%. Interior Minister Kaido Kama won enough
votes to gain a seat as an individual, so he may be the only Rightist in
the parliament. The Coalition Party and Rural Union alliance will
receive two more seats, raising their total to 43, and the Reform Party
and Center Party will have one more seat each, bringing their totals to
20 and 17, respectively. The most prominent Rightist who will probably
lose his seat is Ulo Nuglis, speaker of the parliament since 1992. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN CABINET ADOPTS RULES FOR FOREIGN LOANS. State Minister for
Foreign Resources Indra Samite noted that the regulations on the
distribution, use, and payment for foreign loans, adopted on 7 March,
require that at least 60% of those credits go outside Riga and the Riga
district, BNS reported on 8 March. The Finance Ministry will select
commercial banks to process foreign loans, taking into account Bank of
Latvia recommendations and reports by international auditors on the
previous year's earnings. The banks will not receive loans exceeding
their own capital. Foreign loans will also be used to finance national
investment programs. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLL SHOWS GROWING DISILLUSIONMENT IN LITHUANIA. A poll conducted by the
British-Lithuanian company Baltic Surveys in November as part of the
European Union's Eurobarometer survey shows that dissatisfaction in the
country's development is growing, BNS reported on 8 March. Only 22%
believed that Lithuania was heading in the right direction, with 71%
asserting the opposite. Dissatisfaction with the development of
democracy was expressed by 62%. Only 22% thought that social and
economic rights were respected, with 74% asserting the opposite. Support
for a market economy was still expressed by 46%, with 37% saying that
such an economy was wrong. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REJECTS GERMAN CLAIM. The Czech
Constitutional Court on 8 March rejected an ethnic German's claim for
the return of property confiscated from his family after World War II.
Under decrees issued by President Eduard Benes, 3 million Sudeten
Germans were expelled from Czechoslovakia at the end of the war and
their property expropriated. Plaintiff Rudolf Dreithaler's family was
not expelled but their house in the North Bohemian town of Liberec was
seized under the decree on "enemy property." The court rejected
Dreithaler's arguments that Benes was not empowered to issue the decree
and confirmed its validity. The Munich-based Sudetendeutsche
Landsmannschaft, the most vocal of the Sudeten German groups still
demanding the abolition of the Benes decrees, called the Constitutional
Court's decision "nationalistic and an obvious violation of the ban on
discrimination," Mlada fronta dnes reported. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH PRIVATIZATION CHIEF FORMALLY CHARGED WITH CORRUPTION. The former
chief administrator of the Czech Republic's privatization program,
Jaroslav Lizner, was formally charged on 8 March with soliciting and
receiving a bribe, Czech media reported. Lizner was arrested in October
after meeting with businessmen and carrying more than 8 million koruny
in a case. He spent more than three months in jail but was released on 2
February. State attorneys have made formal charges against Lizner, but a
date for his trial has not been set. Lizner could face up to three years
in jail if convicted. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

HAVEL WORRIED BY POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN SLOVAKIA. Czech President
Vaclav Havel on 8 March told his Slovak counterpart, Michal Kovac, he is
worried by undemocratic political developments in Slovakia, Czech media
reported. "After President Kovac informed me about the situation in
Slovakia, I expressed my disquiet about some phenomena that awaken
misgivings as to what extent all [politicians] have adopted proven
democratic forms of behavior," Havel said. Following their meeting at
the Czech president's country residence, Kovac said some Slovaks were
dissatisfied with government's actions that they view as undemocratic.
He cited the discussion over whether Democratic Union deputies were
properly elected to the Slovak parliament and relations between the
government and himself. Both Havel and Kovac, however, judged that
Czech-Slovak relations were "above average." -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT APPROVES BUDGET PROPOSALS. The Slovak parliament on 8
March approved three proposals on the budgets of the National Property
Fund (FNM) and the state health and social insurance companies. The FNM
budget includes a proposed sum of 65 million koruny for the purchase of
apartments for fund employees, a provision that raised an uproar among
opposition deputies. Democratic Union deputy Viliam Vaskovic complained
that the sum is higher than the 50 million koruny for environmental
protection in the state budget, which was passed the previous day. After
the opposition raised a series of points about the proposed budget for
the General Health Insurance Company, the parliament approved a proposal
by Slovak National Party Chairman Jan Slota that the discussion be
closed. Following a short discussion on the Social Insurance Company,
the deputies also approved that budget. National Democratic Party deputy
Anton Hrnko later complained that Slovak Television's report on the
session was "one-sided" because it did not convey the mood of the
discussion, Pravda reports. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

FOREIGN-CURRENCY RESERVES OF SLOVAK NATIONAL BANK EXCEED $2 BILLION.
Slovak National Bank Governor Vladimir Masar on 8 March informed
journalists that the bank's foreign currency reserves exceed $2 billion,
Pravda reports. Foreign currency reserves at commercial banks total
$1.478 billion, pushing Slovakia's total to $3.508 billion, excluding
gold. Meanwhile, a 9 March Praca report on the country's economy at the
end of January showed annual inflation at 11.7%, an unemployment rate of
15.2%, a trade deficit of 0.7 billion koruny, and a state budget deficit
of 2 billion koruny. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN BUDGET DEFICIT. According to data released by the Finance
Ministry on 8 March, Hungary's budget deficit at the end of February
amounted to 83.6 billion forint or almost 30% of the year-end target,
MTI reports. A spokesman for the ministry warned that effective measures
are needed to prevent or cut the further growth of the deficit. He
pointed out that revenues totaled 168.5 billion forint, which was far
less than planned, while expenditures rose to 252.1 billion forint.
Revenues from privatization, which were expected to reach 25 billion
forint during the first two months of the year, did not materialize at
all, the spokesman said. Consumption-related revenues were half of the
two-month target, and net value-added tax revenues were only 0.4% of the
annual target. -- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

STRONG PRESSURE ON CROATIA TO ALLOW UNPROFOR TO STAY. Novi list reported
on 9 March that Zagreb has never been under such pressure from its
friends as it is now, following President Franjo Tudjman's decision not
to renew UNPROFOR's mandate when it runs out on 31 March. The paper
quotes Foreign Minister Mate Granic as saying that Croatia stands to
have all its foreign relations "frozen" if it does not change its mind.
Nasa Borba, however, suggests that a deal is indeed in the offing, with
Croatia "seeking a high price" to allow a limited amount of peacekeepers
to remain. It is unclear exactly what would be involved in such an
arrangement. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MOVES TO SHORE UP CROATIAN-MUSLIM FEDERATION. The 8 March Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung covered the talks near Bonn between Foreign Minister
Klaus Kinkel and the Croatian and Muslim leaders of the Bosnian
federation, Kresimir Zubak and Ejup Ganic. Germany and the U.S. are in
the forefront of efforts to breathe life into the federation, which
still exists largely on paper. The idea seems to be that if the Bosnian
Serbs cannot be brought around to a negotiated settlement, then at least
a partial solution based on the Croat-Muslim state must come about. But
the BBC's Croatian Service on 9 March suggests that the new Croatian-
Muslim joint military command has not yet been finalized because of
Muslim objections. Vjesnik, however, quotes Sarajevo's Oslobodjenje as
indicating that the pact is a done deed after all. -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

KRAJINA SERBS READY "VOLUNTEERS." Oslobodjenje reports that the
Croatian-Muslim pact means that the Serbs are no longer the strongest
single force in the region. Nasa Borba says that the Krajina Serbs have
nonetheless signed up an extra contingent of 5,000 "volunteers" and
expect Serbia to mobilize if war breaks out between Zagreb and Knin. The
paper also runs the story that Krajina President Milan Martic has lost a
parliament vote to unseat Prime Minister Borislav Mikelic, whom the BBC
describes as more open than Martic to talks with Zagreb. Should
negotiations resume, a Croatian Social Democratic woman's conference has
called for the inclusion of women in the talks, Novi list says. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVENIAN-ITALIAN RELATIONS. Nasa Borba on 9 March reported that Italian
officials have warned Ljubljana that Rome is still able to block
Slovenia's progress toward European Union membership. The warning comes
in the wake of 6 March accounts of the EU giving officials the green
light to start negotiations on an association agreement with Ljubljana.
Italy recently dropped its veto on such an agreement. Meanwhile, Nasa
Borba also reported that Slovenia, Croatia, and Macedonia have been
extended membership in the World Bank. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

MELESCANU DISCUSSES ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN TREATY WITH GOVERNMENT PARTNERS.
Romanian Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu on 8 March met with
Gheorghe Funar, chairman of the Party of Romanian National Unity, and
Adrian Paunescu, first deputy chairman of the Socialist Labor Party,
Radio Bucharest reported. Melescanu updated the two leaders on progress
toward concluding the basic treaty with Hungary. Funar told Romanian
Television that he opposed some of the draft's provisions. The daily
Ziua reported on 8 March that it was Funar who had leaked the draft to
the press one day earlier, to the dismay of both President Ion Iliescu
and the PSDR leadership. Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Mircea
Geoana told a press conference in Bucharest that leaking details on
negotiations went against diplomatic practice. After the 8 March
meeting, Melescanu informed the parliament's Foreign Relations
Commission that local autonomy could be granted to administrative
territories, including those inhabited by national minorities, within
the limits established by the Romanian Constitution. Greater Romania
Party leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor told the meeting he opposed any
mention of autonomy or of mutual "monitoring" of the treaty's
implementation. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN INTELLECTUALS PROTEST REVIVAL OF "SECURITATE METHODS." Nine
prominent Romanian intellectuals on 8 March protested what they see as
the Romanian Intelligence Service's use of methods employed by the
secret police under Nicolae Ceausescu. In an open letter published in
the daily Romania libera, they said an RIS agent had questioned a
neighbor of the philosopher Horia R. Patapievici, claiming that the
latter was involved in money-laundering. The agent is alleged to have
drawn the neighbor's attention to articles critical of President Ion
Iliescu published by Patapievici and to the fact that he free-lances for
RFE/RL. Patapievici is at present in Germany on a fellowship. -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA ABOLISHES VISA REQUIREMENT FOR U.S. CITIZENS. Foreign Affairs
Ministry spokesman Mircea Geoana on 8 March said that Romania has
decided to "unilaterally abolish" visa requirements for U.S. citizens
who visit the country for up to 30 days, beginning 15 March. The measure
is aimed at improving relations and facilitating travel to Romania by
American businessmen in particular. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

NEW PARLIAMENT COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE 1991 KILLINGS IN ALBANIA. The
Albanian parliament has set up a commission to investigate the deaths of
demonstrators during the revolt on 20 February 1991, when a statue of
former communist leader Enver Hoxha was torn down. Nine people died in
the clashes, including a 15-year-old youth. The commission will be made
up of five deputies from the Democratic Party, two Socialists, one
Social Democrat, and a representative of the other parliament parties.
Democratic deputy Ali Spahiu proposed that a monument to the victims of
the revolt be erected in Tirana, Dita reported on 9 March. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGER STRIKE IN ALBANIAN TEXTILE FACTORY. At a textile factory in
Berat, 1,200 employees, including 700 women, began a hunger strike,
Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 9 March. The strike is aimed at securing
negotiations with the government on resuming production at the factory
and on collective work-contract. The workers are also demanding that the
government fight corruption within the factory. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,
Inc.

GREECE ELECTS PRESIDENT. Kostis Stephanopoulos was elected Greek
president on 8 March, Reuters reported the following day. Of the 300
parliament deputies, 181 from the governing Panhellenic Socialist
Movement and the nationalist Political Spring party voted for
Stephanopoulos. Athanasios Tsaldaris of the conservative New Democracy
party received 109 votes. The nine communist deputies and one
conservative independent abstained. Stephanopoulos was a minister in
governments led by New Democracy between 1974 and 1981. After losing a
battle for the chairmanship of New Democracy, he formed the Political
Renewal party, which was disbanded in 1994 after failing to win a single
seat in national and European elections. Following his election as
president, Stephanopoulos said his duty is "to remind [political
parties] that solutions enjoying the broadest possible support are the
most correct, effective, and beneficial for the country." Prime Minister
Andreas Papandreou said Greece "gained a president whose character
transcends party politics." Stephanopoulos is expected to be sworn in on
10 March. -- Stefan Krause, 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
distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe, send
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