Love cures people--both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. - Karl Menninger
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 51, Part II, 13 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

G-24 SAYS NO REFORM, NO AID. The Group of 24 industrialized countries on
10 March warned Eastern Europe that if reforms do not continue, aid will
cease, Reuters reported. A statement released that day said there were
concerns about "the possible effects on the pace of reform resulting
from certain recent political developments. . . . Recipient governments
are encouraged to continue pursuing active reform policies, [which] are
important to the future development of G-24 assistance." A senior
official at the European Commission said that the recent ouster of the
reform government in Estonia and developments in Slovakia are on
people's minds but added that the warning extends to all countries in
the region. The commission coordinates aid from the G-24, which has
pledged 74.7 billion ECUs since 1989. Another official noted that
compared with the $100 billion a year that eastern Germany receives from
the federal German authorities, aid to the region has been modest. --
Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

RFE/RL BEGINS LIVE BROADCASTS FROM PRAGUE. Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty began live news broadcasts from their new operations center in
Prague on 10 March. A statement released by the U.S. radios says that
broadcasters from the Russian, Ukrainian, South Slavic, and Latvian
services delivered the first newscasts from studios in the former
Federal Assembly Building. RFE/RL broadcasts news and current affairs
programs in 21 languages to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Responding to an offer from the Czech government and president to
relocate to Prague, President Bill Clinton ordered last July that RFE/RL
move to the Czech capital from Munich, Germany, where the radios have
been based since 1951. Congress approved the President's decision in
August 1994. RFE/RL broadcasts from Prague will expand over the next
three months, and the Munich facility will be closed down by 30 June. --
Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN UKRAINE. Ukrainian Television on 11 March reported
that while Ukraine's population exceeds 52 million, the country
attracted only some $200 million in foreign investment in 1994. In
contrast, the Czech Republic and Hungary, each of which has only one-
fifth of Ukraine's population, secured $1.4 billion and $750 million,
respectively. Much of the blame for this lies with the government and
the legislature, the report said. But it is hoped that recent
legislation aimed at encouraging investors and the plan to make
substantial headway in privatization this year will help change the
situation. Meanwhile, IMF head Michel Camdessus arrived in Kiev on 10
March, international agencies reported. With regard to Ukraine's energy
debt with Russia, Camdessus said he had raised the subject with Russian
President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin during
his recent visit to Moscow. Camdessus met with parliament speaker Olek-
sander Moroz, who argued that the IMF's demand that Ukraine's budget
deficit be kept down to 4.2% was unrealistic. He suggested that 7.2% was
a more likely figure. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ANOTHER BOMB EXPLOSION IN CRIMEA. Interfax on 12 March reported that a
bomb exploded in Crimea near the home of Crimean Deputy Prime Minister
Arkadii Demidenko, killing the person holding the device and breaking
several windows. Demidenko has not ruled out that he was the target of
the explosion, and police are investigating a possible link between the
latest explosion and threats against Crimean Prime Minister Anatolii
Franchuk. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ZHIRINOVSKY IN BELARUS. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of Russia's Liberal
Democratic Party, attended the Belarusian Liberal Democratic convention
in Minsk on 11 March, Interfax reported the same day. Zhirinovsky told
the convention that Russia now has two enemies, the U.S. and China,
which have masterminded the stillbirth of the CIS and provoked armed
conflicts in Russia. He said the West is using differences between the
Russian president and mayor of Moscow to stage a coup d'etat, which, he
claimed, will take place on 18-25 March. If the coup fails, he
continued, two Russian nuclear power stations will be blown up and a
U.S.-led UN contingent will enter Russia on the pretext of protecting
remaining nuclear power stations. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

US BUSINESS DELEGATION TOURS BALTIC STATES. Ruth Harkin, president of
the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, headed a delegation of
banking, telecommunications, transport, and energy specialists who
visited Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia on 6-10 March, BNS reported. The
purpose of the tour was to help American companies find suitable
partners for investments. Several agreements were reached, including a
saw mill project worth $4 million in Lithuania and telecommunications
projects in Latvia. President Bill Clinton expressed support for
strengthening economic ties with the Baltic States at a conference on
trade and investment in Eastern Europe that took place in Cleveland in
January. The tour can be seen as a concrete follow-up to the conference.
-- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

DUTCH COMPANY LIKELY TO RECONSTRUCT LITHUANIAN AIRPORT. Lithuanian Prime
Minister Adolfas Slezevicius told a press conference on 9 March that the
Dutch electronics company Philips appears to have won the contest to
convert the former Soviet military airport at Zokniai to commercial use,
BNS reported the next day. Philips estimates that the reconstruction can
be carried out within a year at a cost of about $24 million and that the
investment can be recouped within seven years if there are at least 13
flights a day. Zokniai is one of the largest air bases in Europe. After
runways and lighting are repaired and a new navigation system installed,
it will be a major competitor among European commercial airports. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

CHURCH-STATE TENSIONS IN POLAND. Polish Primate Cardinal Jozef Glemp
statement on 10 March that "the PRL [Polish People's Republic] still
exists and there's no need to create a PRL II" drew sharp protests from
the ruling coalition. Glemp was referring to Prime Minister Jozef
Oleksy's pledge in his inaugural address that Poland faced no threat of
a "PRL II," despite the presence of former communists in the government.
Glemp also described work on the new constitution as "defense of the
ancien regime," Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 11-12 March. Spokesmen for
both the government and the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) issued
protests asserting that the ruling coalition is seeking a dialogue with
the Catholic hierarchy and suggesting that Glemp was to blame for any
impasse. The Constitutional Commission, headed by SLD leader Aleksander
Kwasniewski, has been unable to reach agreement with Poland's
denominations on how to define Church-state relations in the draft
constitution. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

DIVISION WITHIN POLAND'S FREEDOM UNION. The Freedom Union (UW), Poland's
largest opposition party, adopted a "charter of economic freedoms" in
Sopot on 11-12 March. UW Chairman Tadeusz Mazowiecki endorsed former
Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka as the party's presidential candidate,
whereas UW parliament floor leader Bronislaw Geremek supported former
Labor Minister Jacek Kuron, Radio Warsaw reported on 13 March. UW
members remain deeply divided over whether to seek an election alliance
with other "post-Solidarity" parties or a "historic compromise" with the
postcommunist Democratic Left Alliance. Tension is also building over an
anticipated contest for the chairmanship between Mazowiecki and economic
reform architect Leszek Balcerowicz, who recently joined the UW.
Balcerowicz made a major address in Sopot arguing that "a party
dominated by emotion . . . cannot be effective politically" and
stressing that even the most brilliant election program need not bring
victory without effective organization. Most rank-and-file UW members
apparently favor a solution keeping both Mazowiecki and Balcerowicz in
leadership positions. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

GERMAN WAR DEAD NOT TO GET SEPARATE CEMETERY. Up to 2,000 German
soldiers who died in the Czech Republic during World War II will be
buried in the same cemetery as Russians, Americans, and other war dead,
Czech media report. The remains of the German soldiers were collected
from western and northern Bohemia but have been kept in a workshop in
Cheb while the town council decided what to do with them. The council
originally approved a plan by the German war graves organization for the
Germans to have their own cemetery, but the council that took office
after local elections last November rejected the idea. A compromise
whereby the Germans will be buried alongside some 200 Russian soldiers
and 70 Americans, Belgians, French, Hungarians, and Poles was approved
by the Cheb council on 10 March. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

POWERS OF SLOVAK CABINET OFFICE STRENGTHENED. The Slovak parliament on
10 March voted to strengthen the powers of the cabinet office,
particularly as regards control over ministries and enterprises, Sme
reported the next day. State secretaries will be able to vote in place
of ministers at cabinet discussions, and the government will be able to
appoint the leadership of various central organs of the state
administration. The parliament also approved a cabinet proposal to
create the new Ministry of Construction and Public Works. Critics said
these measures were another attempt to centralize power. Meanwhile,
another round of talks on the Hungarian-Slovak treaty on 10 March in
Budapest ended without any results, Pravda reported on 11 March. The
next round is due to begin on 14 March in Budapest. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

WORKERS CONFERENCE IN CENTRAL SLOVAKIA. A worldwide conference of
workers and labor parties was held in Banska Bystrica on 11-12 March.
Organized by the Association of Slovak Workers, which is a member of
Slovakia's governing coalition, the conference was attended by 189
delegates from 44 countries. The delegates approved an open letter to
governments stating that the UN Social Development Summit in Copenhagen
"is proof of the inability of all governments to solve tragic problems,"
Pravda reported. The statement was particularly critical of the IMF, the
World Bank, and the EU. The next conference is scheduled to take place
in Paris in 1996. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARY DEVALUES FORINT, WILL CUT SOCIAL SPENDING. At a press conference
on 12 March, Hungarian Finance Minister Lajos Bokros, flanked by Prime
Minister Gyula Horn and Hungarian National Bank President Gyorgy
Suranyi, announced a series of harsh economic measures designed to
reduce the country's spiraling debts, MTI and Western news agencies
report. Bokros announced that as of 13 March, the forint will be
devalued by 9% in order to improve the competitiveness of exports while
curtailing consumption. He said that wage controls will be introduced at
state-owned companies and an 8% duty imposed on all imports beginning 20
March. Bokros also announced that as of 1 July, the government will pay
family allowances only for low-income citizens and that in September,
general tuition fees will be introduced at state-owned universities. He
argued that the measures were necessary to restore international
investor confidence in Hungary. Disagreeing with the measures, Minister
for Social Welfare Pal Kovacs and Bela Katona, minister without
portfolio in charge of the secret services, offered their resignation.
-- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

TUDJMAN AND U.S. REACH COMPROMISE ON PEACEKEEPERS. Hina on 12 March
reported on Croatian President Franjo Tudjman's address to the UN Social
Development Summit in Copenhagen, on his press conference with U.S. Vice
President Al Gore, and on his statement upon returning to Zagreb. The
president said "the current international presence [meaning UNPROFOR]
may continue to perform functions related to its mission in Bosnia-
Herzegovina and functions essential to the continued implementation" of
a package of agreements regarding Croatia and its Serbian-held
territories. "The US has pledged to assist Croatia in restoring its
sovereignty over the whole of its territory," and there will be
"international control of Croatia's borders with Serbia, Montenegro, and
Bosnia-Herzegovina." Tudjman stressed that the current UNPROFOR mandate
will end on 31 March, as he declared in January, and that any future
agreement will "ensure the main task of Croatian state policy, which is
to control the Croatian borders." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

"THE DEVIL LIES IN THE DETAILS.' This is how Croatian UN Ambassador
Mario Nobilo described to the BBC the problems in negotiating a new
mandate for "an international presence" in Croatia. He added that Zagreb
wants to reintegrate the 30% of its territory held by rebel Serbs "by
peaceful means" but stressed that Croatia would take back Krajina by
force to prevent a lasting partition of the country. The BBC commented
that it will be harder to negotiate the new mandate than the old one,
and the BBC's Croatian Service in its 13 March British press review
concluded that total confusion reigns as to what Tudjman's statements
will mean in practice. It is clear, however, that he insists on an
international force of Western troops to patrol his borders with
neighboring republics, which a Serbian diplomat in Washington called "a
non-starter" for all Serbs. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

TUDJMAN'S STATEMENTS RAISE QUESTIONS RATHER THAN GIVE ANSWERS. Numerous
questions surround the Croatian president's declarations. To what extent
had he been bluffing on wanting to end UNPROFOR's mandate? What forms of
pressure have been exerted on him by Washington and Bonn in the
meantime? What incentives might he have been given? Has he emerged as
the winner in the current diplomatic game by obtaining a Western
presence to guard at least some major crossing points of Croatia's
international borders? How big will that force be and how large the
continued "international presence" in Krajina? What if Serbia and the
Bosnian Serbs fight to prevent the arrival of NATO or other Western
troops on their borders? What will happen on the front lines and in
Croatia's domestic and international politics if the de facto partition
indeed continues? -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN UPDATE. In addition to ongoing harassment against rump
Yugoslavia's independent media, Belgrade authorities appear to be
readying for a sustained campaign against charitable organizations.
Among those targeted is the Soros Foundation, which last week was
attacked in the state-run press and by government officials. The
independent daily Nasa Borba on 11-12 March reported that officials from
Serbia's Education Ministry joined the assault, describing the work of
the foundation in supporting student scholarships and stipends as
"illegal." -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

NEWS FROM MACEDONIA. Unknown offenders vandalized some 130 Christian
Orthodox tombs in Kumanovo during the night of 10-11 March, AFP reported
on 12 March. The incident followed a similar incident involving about 40
Albanian tombs on 20 February. Meanwhile, deputies from the ethnic
Albanian Party of Democratic Prosperity ceased their boycott of
parliament sessions, Vecer reported on 10 March. The boycott began in
late February in protest at the crackdown on the Albanian-language
university in Tetovo. Also on 10 March, Nova Makedonija reported that
Gerd Ahrens, coordinator of the working group on ethnic and national
minorities at the Geneva Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, met with
representatives of the Macedonian government to discuss higher education
in Albanian and possible forms of local self-administration. The talks
will continue in Skopje on 30 March. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

TWO MORE PARTIES TO QUIT DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION OF ROMANIA. The National
Council of the Liberal Party '93 on 11 March voted not to sign the
Democratic Convention of Romania's revised protocols of 17 February. The
decision appears to have caused a split within the party. Several
leading figures in the PL--including deputies Crin Antonescu, Stelian
Tanase, and Ioan Ghise--warned that the PL's withdrawal from the CDR
could lead to political isolation. Tanase told a Radio Bucharest
correspondent that efforts were being made to set up a new liberal party
to replace the PL within the CDR. Meanwhile, the National Committee of
the Party of Civic Alliance on 12 March said it dismissed as "an
ultimatum" the demand that it sign the February protocols in order to
remain within the CDR. PAC President Nicolae Manolescu stressed that his
party had been coerced into making the decision to leave the CDR. -- Dan
Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

ILIESCU MEETS EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT. Romanian President Ion Iliescu on
10 March met in Brussels with European Commission President Jacques
Santer, Reuters reported. The meeting, attended also by Romanian Foreign
Minister Teodor Melescanu and EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans van
den Broek, focused on Romania's ties with the EU. Iliescu and Santer
discussed Romania's long-term prospects for EU membership and how it can
take full advantage of its association agreement with the EU, which went
into effect on 1 February. An EU spokesman said after the meeting that
the commission urged Romania to step up its economic and political
reforms if it wanted to entertain realistic hopes of joining the EU.
Iliescu was on his way to Copenhagen to attend the UN Social Development
Summit. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN-AMERICAN MILITARY EXERCISE. Albanian and U.S. forces began a
joint military-medical exercise on 12 March, Populli PO reported the
same day. The exercise, which is taking place in the northwest of the
country, focuses on evacuations from mountainous areas. Turkish,
British, French, and Bulgarian Troops are also participating in the
maneuvers. -- 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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