Язык имеет большое значение еще и потому, что с его помощью мы можем прятать наши мысли. - Вольтер
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 61, Part II, 27 March 1995

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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

LEFT LOSES IN LITHUANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS. Although the ruling Lithuanian
Democratic Labor Party (LDLP) doubled its share of deputies in the 56
city and raion councils in the 25 March elections, it was a clear loser,
RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reported on 26 March. The Homeland Union won
29.1% of the vote and obtained 426 seats; the LDLP, 19.9% and 291 seats;
the Christian Democratic Party, 16.9% and 247 seats; and the Peasants'
Party, 6.9% and 101 seats. The Polish Electoral Alliance won 55 seats,
including 19 of the 27 seats in the Vilnius raion. The Center Union, the
Social Democratic Party, the Union of Political Prisoners and Deportees,
and the National Union won 74, 72, 56, and 49 seats, respectively.
Turnout was only 42.5%, but the vote demonstrates considerable
dissatisfaction with the current government. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI,
Inc.

RUSSIA PROTESTS EXPULSION FROM ESTONIA. The expulsion on 24 March of
Petr Rozhok, representative of the ultra-nationalist Russian Liberal
Democratic Party, prompted the Russian State Duma to pass a non-binding
resolution to impose economic sanctions against Estonia, BNS reported.
Estonia's Citizenship and Migration Department on 22 March ordered
Rozhok to leave the country within 24 hours, charging him with "inciting
ethnic, racial, and religious enmity." He was arrested and escorted to a
train to Moscow. Although the Russian embassy in Tallinn and the Russian
Foreign Ministry protested the expulsion of Rozhok as an abuse of human
rights, he was not welcomed in Moscow's train station by representatives
of his party, nor did the media cover his arrival. -- Saulius Girnius,
OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT RESCHEDULES CRIMEAN ELECTIONS. Ukrainian
legislators on 24 March voted by 249 to 15 to reschedule municipal
elections in Crimea from 29 April to 25 June and to bar foreign citizens
from voting or running for office, Interfax-Ukraine and Reuters reported
the same day. The Ukrainian parliament also repealed a Crimean law
allowing local conscripts to serve military duty in Crimea. But it
stopped short of taking direct control of the region's government,
despite its decision the previous week to abolish Crimea's Presidency
and constitution. Meanwhile, Anatolii Franchuk is refusing to accept his
dismissal as prime minister by the Crimean parliament and says he plans
to contest the decision in court, ITAR-TASS reported on 25 March. His
replacement, Anatolii Drobotov, former Crimean agriculture minister, was
barred on 24 March by Ukrainian police from entering the prime
minister's office in Simferopol. In related news, more than 1,000
residents gathered in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol on 26 March
demanding that the peninsula be returned to Russia and protesting what
they called Kiev's hostile acts toward the region. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

BORDER CONTROLS TIGHTEN AS EU SCHENGEN AGREEMENT TAKES EFFECT. The EU
Schengen agreement, which took effect on 26 March, eases border controls
among its seven members but has slowed traffic to the east,
international agencies report. Border controls ended for Spain,
Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
Increased delays were reported on Germany's eastern borders with Poland
and the Czech Republic. Eberhard Roese, deputy head of the Bavarian
border police, said, "There were problems on the eastern borders above
all because we could not separate the traffic at our small crossing
points and so all entering travelers had to wait." Czech TV reported
long lines at the frontier. Poland, meanwhile, says it will not separate
EU from non-EU traffic at its borders. "We will not agree to Poles being
treated as second category citizens," Tomasz Lis, head of the Foreign
Ministry's Consular Department, said, according to Reuters. --  Michael
Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH TRADE UNIONS STAGE ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATION. Trade unionists
throughout the Czech Republic on 25 March staged the biggest anti-
government demonstration since the fall of communism. Organizers said
90,000 people took part in a rally in downtown Prague protesting
government social policies, while the police put the figure at 60,000,
Mlada fronta dnes reported. Richard Falbr, chairman of the Czech and
Moravian Chamber of Trade Unions, and other speakers protested
government plans to raise the pension age, cut child support benefits,
and introduce tuition fees for higher education. Opposition politicians
joined the demonstration, but Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus called it
"absurd," Rude pravo reported. Falbr said he did not think the protest
would affect the government's plans, adding that further mass
demonstrations may be called. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

TWO SLOVAK OPPOSITION PARTIES UNITE. The National Democratic Party,
which broke away from the Slovak National Party in early 1994, merged
with former Prime Minister Jozef Moravcik's Democratic Union on 24-25
March, Slovak media reported. Moravcik was re-elected DU chairman by 102
out of 108 votes, while DU members Milan Knazko, Jan Budaj, and Roman
Kovac, together with former NDP Chairman Ludovit Cernak, were elected
deputy chairmen. Former DU Deputy Chairman Viliam Vaskovic, in an
interview published in Pravda on 24 March, said there was internal
disagreement over the future ideological direction of the party. Knazko
told Sme on 24 March that the party would be oriented to the right of
center, but Moravcik stressed at the congress that the DU would be a
liberal party of the center. The DU and NDP ran on the same ticket in
last fall's elections, but the NDP was considered a national liberal
party and DU more socially oriented. The DU was created in April 1994 by
two parties that broke away from the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, at an MDS congress on 25-26
March, was re-elected party chairman, receiving 224 out of 225 votes. --
Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT VETOES ANOTHER TWO LAWS. Michal Kovac has returned two
laws passed by the parliament earlier this month. One of those laws
deals with foreigners residing in Slovakia; the other empowers state
secretaries to vote in the absence of ministers at cabinet sessions.
Kovac had previously vetoed a law transferring the power to appoint and
remove the Slovak Information Service director from the president to the
government. Parliament chairman Ivan Gasparovic announced that the three
returned laws--together with bills on parliament elections, on the role
of the state in education, on social security, and on Slovak Television
and Slovak Radio--will be discussed at the next parliament session,
scheduled for 5 April, Sme reported. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT FORCES ON THE MOVE. International media reported that
Bosnian government forces on 24 March took one key Serbian
communications tower at Stolice in the Majevica hills near Travnik and
another the next day on Mt. Vlasic near Tuzla. By 27 March, however, it
was unclear what the government units had captured, although they seemed
to have taken some territory from Serbian forces. In a diplomatic
development, Nasa Borba on 27 March reports that Bosnia's ambassador to
Switzerland, Muhamed Filipovic, met the previous week in Belgrade with
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic at the Serb's initiative. Filipovic
said that Bosnia has now opened up a diplomatic channel to Serbia as it
is concerned about the status of the Muslims living there. The
International Herald Tribune on 25 March suggested that both the
offensive and the Filipovic initiative indicate that Sarajevo wants to
show its ineffective foreign partners that it can take charge of its own
affairs. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

KARADZIC SAYS IT'S "LAST CALL" FOR BOSNIAN PEACE." International media
on 24 March quoted Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as responding to
his military losses by calling for immediate and direct negotiations.
Two days later, he wrote to world leaders asking them to "bring a halt
to the Muslim offensives." The Bosnian government says, however, that
Karadzic must accept the Contact Group's peace proposal before talks can
begin. Elsewhere, Karadzic made what the BBC on 27 March called "a rare
public appearance in combat fatigues," and one German television report
on 25 March said he had threatened to take Tuzla. On 26 March, he called
for a general mobilization of all Bosnian Serbs and threatened to
confiscate the property of all reservists who do not return home from
abroad. Karadzic made the same threats last year. Nasa Borba on 27 March
reported on a meeting in Belgrade of the Serbian Civic Council, which
represents Bosnian Serbs who reject Karadzic and his nationalism. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

KRAJINA SERBS STAGE EXERCISES WITH 100 TANKS. AFP reported on 26 March
that Croatia's Serbian rebels are conducting big maneuvers in Slavonia.
Some of their heavy weapons were taken from UN collection points, but at
least 13 modern T-72 and M-84 tanks were secretly "moved into Croatia
from Serbia on pontoons thrown across the Danube." Krajina's leader
Milan Martic attended the exercises. Croatia said it did not protest the
maneuvers in order "to avoid poisoning the peace process." -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

PRISON RIOT IN MACEDONIA. Some 400 prisoners climbed onto the roof of
Idrizovo prison near Skopje on 23 and 24 March to demand an amnesty from
the Macedonian government, Reuters reported the same day. The prisoners
were protesting the authorities' break with the tradition of offering
amnesties after presidential and parliamentary elections. The last
elections took place in October 1994. Justice Minister Vlado Popovski on
26 March issued an ultimatum to the prisoners that was to expire at
noon, on 27 March. AFP cited Popovski as saying that if the prisoners do
not give up their protest, the government will "use all means to restore
order." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

MASS RALLIES OF KOSOVARS IN WESTERN EUROPE. Tens of thousands of ethnic
Albanians from the Serbian province of Kosovo gathered in Bonn and
Zurich on 25 March to demand international recognition of Kosovo as an
independent state, Reuters and AFP reported the same day. According to
the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), 65,000 people demonstrated in
Bonn and 25,000 in Zurich. Officials estimated 40,000 demonstrators in
Bonn and 12,000 in Zurich. The LDK also said that demonstrations took
place in the U.S. and Australia. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN FARMERS STAGE PROTEST IN IASI. Between 3,000 and 6,000 farmers
demonstrated in Iasi on 25 March to protest delays in returning land
seized by the communists, Radio Bucharest and Reuters report. They
called for the 1991 Land Law to be revised and for more government
support for agriculture. The demonstration was organized by the National
Peasant Party-Christian Democratic, the largest party within the
Democratic Convention of Romania, the main opposition alliance. PNT-CD
Chairman Corneliu Coposu and CDR Chairman Emil Constantinescu, who
addressed the rally, blamed the left-wing government for the difficult
situation in the agricultural sector. Iasi has traditionally been a
stronghold of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania, which won
the 1992 elections with strong rural support. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN SECRET SERVICE CELEBRATES FIFTH ANNIVERSARY. The Romanian
Intelligence Service marked its fifth anniversary on 25 March with the
opening of a new building for the Romanian Higher Institute of
Information, the service's training school. The festivities were
attended by President Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu,
Chief-of-Staff Gen. Col. Dumitru Cioflina, Interior Minister Doru Ioan
Taracila, and other high-ranking officials. Leading representatives of
the opposition, including PNT-CD Chairman Corneliu Coposu, were also
present. Radio Bucharest quoted SRI head Virgil Magureanu as saying that
his organization's image was improving and that its activities are now
similar to those in countries with democratic traditions. The SRI has
often been criticized for allegedly perpetuating some of the practices
of the former communist political police. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

SELF-STYLED DNIESTER REPUBLIC HOLDS ELECTIONS, REFERENDUM. Elections
took place in the self-styled Dniester Republic on 26 March, Western
agencies reported. A referendum was also held on whether the 14th
Russian Army should remain in the region "as a guarantor of peace and
stability." The region's pro-Russian leaders organized the plebiscite in
an attempt to reinforce their separatist claims. Participation was
reportedly high. According to preliminary results, 94% of the voters
cast their ballot in favor of the continued presence of the 14th army
there. But Moldovan Foreign Minister Mihai Popov said his government
would reject the results of both the local elections and the referendum,
and he called the Dniester region a "ghost republic created with the
support of Moscow." Moldova has scheduled local elections for 16 April.
-- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN GOVERNMENT ON STUDENTS' PROTESTS. The Moldovan government said
protests staged by students are "illegal and directed against the
state." The statement was released after a cabinet meeting on 26 March.
Meanwhile, protests continued for the seventh consecutive day in
Chisinau and elsewhere, with demonstrators demanding that courses in the
Romanian language and Romanian history be restored in schools. Romanian
newspapers reported that Chisinau on 26 March ordered that the frontier
between Moldova and Romania be closed. More demonstrations are expected
on 27 March, the anniversary of Bessarabia's union with Romania in 1918.
-- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

TENSIONS GROW BETWEEN BULGARIAN PRESIDENT AND GOVERNMENT OVER "MULTIGRUP
AFFAIR." Zhelyu Zhelev and the governing Bulgarian Socialist Party have
both been accused of close ties with the private financial organization
Multigrup, Bulgarian newspapers reported on 27 March. Filip Dimitrov,
former leader of the Union of Democratic Forces, asked the present
government about its alleged ties with Multigrup. Prime Minister Zhan
Videnov responded by saying there are connections between the
organization and UDF. He said Zhelev's presidential campaign in 1991 was
financed by Multigrup. Multigrup Vice President Dimitar Ivanov confirmed
that Zhelev received support from members of Multigrup because his
program was "close" to their views on how to move toward a market
economy, Duma reported. Valentin Stoyanov, Zhelev's spokesman, told
Darik Radio that Zhelev immediately returned the money to Multigrup. The
financial organization unites some of Bulgaria's largest private
enterprises. It is also said to control large parts of the Bulgarian
economy and to have strong political influence. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,
Inc.

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES AMENDMENT TO LAND LAW. The Bulgarian
parliament has approved the first paragraph of an amendment to the land
law, Demokratsiya reported on 25 March. The amendment was passed by the
Socialist majority the previous day. Under the amended law, companies
with foreign capital would not be allowed to own land. The parliament
agricultural commission proposed dropping this paragraph, arguing that
it will obstruct investment in the agricultural sector. The change was
voted on 24 March in order to meet the two-week deadline between the
first and second readings of the amendment. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES TO COOPERATE. The People's Union is to
cooperate with the Union of Democratic Forces, Demokratsiya reported on
27 March. A document issued after a two-day meeting of the PU's
leadership calls for cooperation of all "non-communist forces" in
Bulgaria based on equality and "mutual respect of ideological and
organizational principles." The PU leadership suggested that the
opposition nominate joint mayoral candidates in the next local elections
but that municipal councilors be elected on party tickets. Anastasiya
Dimitrova-Mozer, joint leader of the PU, said that a meeting with the
UDF leadership will probably take place later this week. -- Stefan
Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN SHOT IN STORMING OF U.S. EMBASSY. A 19-year-old man was shot in
the leg by police when some 200 young Albanians tried to enter the U.S.
embassy, international agencies reported. According to hospital
officials, the condition of the wounded man was satisfactory following
an operation. Young people have been gathering outside the embassy since
23 March, in the mistaken belief that jobs were on offer in the U.S.
Newspapers recently ran advertisements for the American immigration
lottery. According to Reuters, eyewitnesses alleged that another two
people were injured by shots, but police denied the reports. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK POLICE ARRESTS MORE ANTI-ALBANIAN TERRORISTS. Greek police on 25
March arrested another two men suspected of being members of the
Northern Epirus Liberation Front (MAVI), international agencies reported
the same day. Police found seven assault rifles in the garden of the two
men's home in the suburb of Pallini, east of Athens; the weapons are
believed to have been stolen in a cross-border raid on an Albanian
military camp in April 1994. After the arrests, police launched a
nationwide search for MAVI terrorists, conducting house searches in
northern Greece and road checks near the Albanian border. Reuters on 26
March quoted a police official as saying that "we have good leads and
believe that more arrests will follow soon." -- 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
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