I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. - Rev. Martin Luther King 1929-1968
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 65, Part II, 31 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

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT THREATENS TO DISSOLVE CRIMEAN LEGISLATURE. Ukrainian
President Leonid Kuchma, at Ukrainian government session attended by
Crimean leaders, threatened to dissolve the Crimean legislature if it
failed to renounce separatism and continued to violate Ukrainian law,
Reuters and Radio Ukraine reported on 30 March. Kuchma added that he
would take steps to subordinate the Crimean government to the Ukrainian
president or government, effectively stripping Crimean leaders of their
powers. The Ukrainian government also declared the 22 March dismissal by
Crimean deputies of the Crimean prime minister and deputy prime minister
as illegal. It added that the Crimean cabinet, led by Anatolii Franchuk,
should continue to function, ITAR-TASS reported the same day. The
speakers of Crimea's local councils, who also attended the session,
voiced support for the Ukrainian government's ruling on the dismissals.
These were widely viewed as retaliation for Kiev's decision on 17 March
to annul what it considered Crimea's separatist constitution and to
abolish its Presidency. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

DIPHTHERIA OUTBREAKS IN UKRAINE PROMPT MASS VACCINATION CAMPAIGN.
Thirty-eight people have died of diphtheria so far this year, prompting
the Ukrainian Health Ministry to call for a mass vaccination campaign in
the three regions that have been struck hardest by the disease, Reuters
reported on 30 March. The ministry announced that 1,029 people have been
diagnosed with the illness, primarily in southern Ukraine, Crimea, and
Kiev. The World Health Organization predicted that Ukraine will have
4,000 cases this year, with a potential 20% mortality rate. In an effort
to halt the spread of the highly contagious disease, the Finnish Red
Cross has announced it will begin a vaccination program near Kiev aimed
at some 9 million Ukrainians in that area, international agencies
reported. The $2.2 million program will be funded by the EU. --
Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

DANISH PRIME MINISTER VISITS BALTIC STATES. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen on 28
March traveled to Latvia, following a three-day visit in Lithuania,
RFE/RL's Lithuanian Service reported. Rasmussen held talks with
President Algirdas Brazauskas, Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius, and
other officials to discuss helping Lithuania join European structures
and NATO. The two premiers attended the signing of a contract between
Lithuanian and Danish companies to extract oil from the Baltic Sea near
Klaipeda. Rasmussen on 28-29 March met with President Guntis Ulmanis,
Prime Minister Maris Gailis, Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs, and other
officials. He discussed introducing visa-free travel between Latvia and
Denmark, an arrangement that Estonia and Lithuania already have.
Rasmussen on 30 March held talks with President Lennart Meri, Prime
Minister Andres Tarand, Prime Minister-designate Tiit Vahi, and other
officials. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

ASIAN REFUGEE FATE STILL UNCLEAR. The 100 or so Asian refugees who have
been shuttled on a train between the Baltic States and Russia for a week
spent 29-30 March in two train cars in Latvia's Karsava train station,
BNS reported. They are now being looked after by the Ludza District
Council and the city's Red Cross, but Latvian border guards are still
preventing reporters from talking to them. The refugees, who according
to a Russian Foreign Ministry statement came from Kazakhstan and
Belarus, have displayed signs from the train's windows saying: "We Want
Sweden" and "Save Us Train Refugees." Four of the refugees were
hospitalized in Lithuania and two more were taken to a Latvian hospital
on the night of 29 March. A UNHCR official is reported to have arrived
in Pskov, near the Latvian border, to investigate the situation. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIA'S KMU, CENTER PARTY INITIAL POSITIONS ON COALITION. The
Coalition Party and Rural Union (KMU) and the Center Party on 29 March
initialed their joint positions for a government coalition, BNS
reported. But Center Party board member Siiri Oviir said his party was
still holding talks with other groups on a possible alternative
coalition and would probably make a final decision over the weekend on
whether to join with the KMU. KMU leader and Prime Minister-designate
Tiit Vahi must present his cabinet by 6 April. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI,
Inc.

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER IN LATVIA. Qjan Qichen and his Latvian
counterpart, Valdis Birkavs, on 30 March signed a protocol on
consultations between their ministries, BNS reported. Qichen is heading
a 15-member delegation that is to hold talks on cooperation in the
economic, financial, science, education, and communication fields . He
met with Prime Minister Maris Gailis and is scheduled for talks with
President Guntis Ulmanis, Saeima Chairman Anatolijs Gorbunovs, and other
officials. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLAND TO REVISE KUKLINSKI VERDICT? Poland's Supreme Court has ordered a
review of the treason verdict handed down in 1984 to Col. Ryszard
Kuklinski, the high-ranking military officer who provided U.S.
intelligence with the plans for martial law in 1981, Rzeczpospolita
reported. The court argued that the military tribunal that tried
Kuklinski failed to consider whether his acts were motivated by
patriotism and the desire to prevent a foreign invasion. Kuklinski, who
lives in the U.S. under an assumed identity, was sentenced to death in
absentia; an amnesty later reduced the sentence to 25 years
imprisonment. The Polish justice system's failure to overturn the
verdict has become a rallying cry for right-wing forces. Supreme Court
Justice Adam Strzembosz, who recently announced his candidacy for
president, conceded on 30 March that he had prepared the court's
decision. Military authorities have argued consistently that espionage
is treasonous, regardless of the foreign power served, and have urged
Kuklinski to seek a presidential pardon. Justice Minister Jerzy
Jaskiernia (a former communist party official) told reporters on 30
March that the case has been re-examined repeatedly over the past 10
years, but nothing had happened to warrant a revision of the verdict. --
Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLAND OPENS SECRET POLICE ARCHIVES. Internal Affairs Minister Andrzej
Milczanowski signed an order on 30 March opening Stalinist secret police
(UB) archives dating from 1944-1956 to prosecutors, courts, historians,
and journalists. No information on informants will be released, however.
Milczanowski said his ministry would not vouch for the authenticity of
archival documents. He added that secret police archives dating up to
1965 would also be opened shortly, in keeping with the 30-year principle
observed in international practice. Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 31 March
that the archives are a mess and that only 25% of the materials have
been reviewed or classified. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH LEADERS REJECT INTELLECTUALS' INITIATIVE ON SUDETEN GERMANS.
President Vaclav Havel and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus have rejected an
appeal by Czech and German intellectuals for the Czech government to
start talks with Sudeten German groups. "Governments can meet only with
governments," Havel said during his visit to New Zealand, according to
Mlada fronta dnes on 31 March. Klaus told Lidove noviny he could not
deny the intellectuals the right to think there should be a meeting with
Sudeten German representatives. But he commented: "I can only express my
opinion that it will not be like that." Former dissidents and historians
were among the 105 intellectuals who earlier this week issued the
appeal, called "Reconciliation 95." Their move was prompted by the
reopening of the issue of the expulsion of 3 million Sudeten Germans
from Czechoslovakia at the end of World War II. Other Czech political
leaders also rejected the initiative. Mlada fronta dnes reported that
the rector of Charles University in Prague and the chairman of the Czech
Academy of Sciences believe that "Reconciliation 95" could worsen Czech-
German relations. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK OPPOSITION CRITICIZES EDUCATION BILL. Christian Democratic
Movement deputy Frantisek Miklosko, at a press conference on 30 March,
expressed opposition to the government's bill on education, which will
be discussed in the parliament session beginning 5 April. The draft law
would give the education minister the right to name the directors of the
school administration, who in turn would have the right to name the
directors of schools. Democratic Union deputy Eva Rusnakova, in an
interview with Sme, said the law could lead to an escalation of tension
between the government and the Hungarian minority. Meanwhile, in an
interview with Pravda on 31 March, Party of the Democratic Left deputy
Robert Fico said the government's bill on foreigners residing in
Slovakia, which was vetoed by the president but will be discussed again
at the next parliament session, contradicts European norms on human
rights. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOFTWARE PIRATING IN SLOVAKIA. According to a representative of Business
Software Alliance, approximately 90% of software in Slovakia is used
illegally, compared with 86% in the Czech Republic, 87% in Hungary, and
98% in Russia, Pravda reports on 31 March. Meanwhile, Slovak Police
Corps spokesman Dusan Ivan told the newspaper that in 1994 there were
517 cases of economic crime, resulting in losses totaling 1.837 billion
koruny. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN STUDENTS PROTEST TUITION FEES. Some 15,000 students
demonstrated outside the Ministry of Finance in Budapest on 30 March to
protest the government's decision to introduce tuition fees at all
colleges and universities in Hungary at the beginning of the fall 1995,
international and Hungarian media report. According to the government
decision, students would pay 2,000 forint ($19) a month. In a petition
to Finance Minister Lajos Bokros, the demonstrators demanded that the
government cancel its plans. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

UNCRO FOR CROATIA? One day before UNPROFOR's peacekeeping mandate
expired in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Security Council endorsed three
draft resolutions calling for the continued presence of UN peacekeeping
forces there, Nasa Borba reported on 31 March. One resolution permits a
scaled-down force to remain in Croatia. According to Vjesnik, that force
has been dubbed UNCRO (UN Confidence Restoration Operation). The name
was apparently intended to meet Croatian President Franjo Tudjman's
demand that "Croatia" be reflected in the title. But Reuters on 30 March
reported that Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic had ruled out simply
calling the force UNCRO since it did not include the full name of his
country. The resolution was amended to state that the name of the force
is "UNCRO in Croatia which shall be known as UNCRO," according to
Reuters. An estimated 1,000 peacekeepers may be stationed along
Croatia's international borders, apparently in response to Zagreb's
demands that the force be charged with monitoring Croatia's frontiers
with Serbia and Bosnia rather than its borders with Croatia's rebel
Krajina Serbs. Details of how the proposal is to be implemented remain
sketchy. UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali has been asked to
resume talks with involved parties on the proposal's implementation and
to report back to the Security Council on 21 April. Meanwhile, Krajina
leaders have renewed their opposition to altering the UNPROFOR mandate,
Nasa Borba reported. The UN Security Council is expected to meet again
on 31 March to discuss the mandate. Resolutions on peacekeepers in
Macedonia and Bosnia leave those missions basically unchanged. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

SARAJEVO AIRLIFT SCALED DOWN. AFP on 30 March reported that the
humanitarian airlift to Sarajevo has been "scaled down to 40% of normal
capacity" due to Bosnian Serbs' unwillingness to permit deliveries to be
made from the airport to the besieged city. Meanwhile, international
agencies reported the same day that Bosnian government offensives appear
to be bogging down because of continued heavy snowfall. In other news,
the Indonesian news agency Antara on 31 March reported that Jakarta
expects to send to Bosnia a battalion of soldiers specializing in
clearing away mines. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

BILL ON BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA MUSTERS SUPPORT IN TURKISH PARLIAMENTARY
COMMITTEE. The Turkish Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has
approved a bill authorizing the Council of Ministers to lift the arms
embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina, state-run TRT television reported on
30 March. The bill is aimed at enabling the Bosnian government to
exercise its right of self-defense. -- Lowell Bezanis, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN OFFICIAL HINTS AT CHANGE IN KOSOVO POLICY. Mihajlo Markovic, one
of the leading ideologists of the Serbian Socialist Party, has called
for a dialogue with Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, international news
agencies reported on 30 March. Markovic, in an interview with the
Albanian independent weekly Koha, proposed a "debate on the re-
establishment of Kosovo's territorial autonomy," which was revoked by
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in 1989. Markovic said that it was
time for Serbs and Albanians (the latter account for some 90% of
Kosovo's population) to try to live together and give up violence. "We
are all suffering, and nothing can be solved by force," he said.
Markovic's remarks indicate a possible shift in Serbian policy toward
Kosovo. But in the meantime, Serbian nationalists are planning a rally
in Pec on 8 April to demand an even tougher stand toward the Kosovo
Albanians. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT IN ITALY. Ion Iliescu on 29 March met with his
Italian counterpart, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro, Premier Lamberto Dini, and
the heads of the Italian parliament's two chambers, Radio Bucharest
reported. Senior Italian officials showed particular interest in
Romania's democratization and reform process and pledged to continue to
support Romania's integration into European structures. Economic
cooperation, including closer contacts between Romanian and Italian
firms, was high on the agenda. After a stopover in Genoa, the Romanian
delegation returned to Bucharest on 30 March. Iliescu told Radio
Bucharest on 31 March that his five-day trip to Albania, Italy, and the
Vatican confirmed the positive trend in Romania's relations with those
countries. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

RAILROAD WORKERS DEMONSTRATE IN ROMANIA. Some 4,000 railroad
construction workers demonstrated on 30 March in Bucharest for better
pay and increased job security, Radio Bucharest reported. Following a
rally in Revolution Square, the protesters marched to the government's
headquarters, where they presented their claims. Union leaders stressed
that a lack of state investment in the sector would result in the loss
of up to 30,000 jobs. According to Romanian Television, similar protests
were staged in the towns of Constanta and Brasov. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,
Inc.

EU WORRIED BY DEVELOPMENTS IN BREAKAWAY MOLDOVAN REGION. The European
Union expressed concern and regret over the local elections and
referendum in the self-styled Dniester Republic on 26 March. Radio
Bucharest, citing Moldpres, reported on 30 March that the EU, in a
declaration read out at a meeting of the OSCE Standing Council in
Vienna, said Tiraspol's initiatives could have a negative impact on
efforts to find a political solution to the crisis in Transdniester,
since they run counter to the constitutional order in Moldova. It also
deplored the fact that leaders in Tiraspol took actions contradicting
the provisions of the agreement between the Republic of Moldova and the
Russian Federation on the withdrawal of the 14th army, initialed on 21
October 1994. The EU said it hopes this agreement will take effect as
soon as possible. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES 1995 BUDGET. The Socialist-led government
on 30 March approved the state budget for 1995, Bulgarian newspapers
reported the following day. The final draft of the budget provides for a
deficit of 47 billion leva ($700 million), or 5.6% of GDP. Expenditures
are estimated at 387 billion leva ($5.8 billion), and revenues at 340
billion leva ($5.1 billion). GDP is expected to amount to 800-850
billion leva ($12.0-12.8 billion), while inflation is expected to drop
to 40-50% from 121.9% in 1994. The estimated budget deficit has risen
from the 42 billion leva projected on 24 March, because the government
wants to grant the army and police more money. It also needs funds to
finance its social projects, Kontinent reported. According to
Otechestven Front, 20% of the budget deficit will be financed directly
by the Bulgarian National Bank. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREECE DENIES ALBANIAN BORDER SHOOTING. Greece on 30 March denied that
border guards shot at a group of four illegal Albanian immigrants,
killing one and wounding another, Reuters reported the same day. The
Defense Ministry and the army general staff categorically denied a
report by the Albanian daily Koha Jone stating that the incident took
place on 27 March about 15 kilometers inside Greece. The newspaper
quoted one of the four Albanians as saying he was detained but later
released and ordered to tell the Albanian authorities about the
incident. He said that a 37-year-old Albanian was killed, while the
wounded man was taken to a hospital in the Greek town of Kastoria. Koha
Jone did not report on the fate of the third Albanian. The Albanian
Interior Ministry has no knowledge of the incident, a ministry spokesman
said. -- 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
"SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the quotation
marks and inserting your name where shown) to
LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU No subject line or other text should be
included. The publication can also be obtained for a fee in printed form
by fax and postal mail. Please direct inquiries to: Editor, Daily
Digest, OMRI, Na Strzi 63, 14062 Prague 4, Czech Republic or send e-mail
to: omripub@omri.cz

Telephone: (42 2) 6114 2114 Fax: (42 2) 426 396


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole