One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love. - Sophocles
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 66, Part II, 3 April 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.
Back issues of the Daily Digest, and other information about OMRI, are
available through OMRI's WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/OMRI.html

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT TAKES DIRECT CONTROL OF CRIMEAN GOVERNMENT. Leonid
Kuchma issued a decree on 1 April temporarily placing the Crimean
government under his direct control and reinstating the recently deposed
Crimean prime minister, Anatolii Franchuk, in his post, Reuters and
Radio Ukraine reported. Crimean legislators ousted Franchuk and a deputy
prime minister on 22 March in retaliation for Kiev's recent decision to
annul what it saw as the separatist Crimean Constitution and to abolish
the Crimean Presidency. Under the 1 April decree, the appointment of the
Crimean premier and cabinet must be approved by Kuchma until the Crimean
parliament has drawn up a new constitution by mid-May. That document has
to be approved by Kiev, as ordered recently by the Ukrainian parliament.
Kuchma last week warned Crimean deputies that he would dissolve their
94-member assembly if they failed to renounce separatism and continued
to violate Ukrainian law. Serhii Tsekov, speaker of the Crimean
legislature, said the decree reduced Crimea to the status of a colony.
He also voiced frustration with the Russian leadership's unwillingness
to come out in support of Crimea. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY IN UKRAINE. William Perry, during a visit to
Ukraine on 31 March and 1 April, met with Ukrainian Defense Minister
Valerii Shmarov, Foreign Minister Henadii Udovenko, and parliament
speaker Oleksandr Moroz, international agencies reported. Perry was
positive about Ukraine's disarmament efforts, noting that the country
had removed all warheads from its 46 SS-24 strategic missiles (which
carry 10 bombs each) and almost half its 130 six-warhead SS-19 missiles
ahead of schedule. He visited the Pervomaisk missile base, where he
watched an SS-19 missile cut into scrap metal. Perry said the U.S.
intends to give Kiev aid for involvement in the Partnership for Peace
program and will cover part of the expenses connected with U.S.-
Ukrainian military exercises in the Transcarpathian Military District in
May. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ODESSA SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH TURKISH REGION. Ukrainian Radio on 31 March
reported that the head of Odessa Oblast Council, Mykola Bohoyavlensky,
signed an agreement with a Turkish delegation from Kastamonou on
economic and cultural cooperation. The two regions will open naval,
trade, and cultural representations on each other's territory and will
also start an air link between Odessa and Inebol. Odessa has called for
economic autonomy from Kiev and demanded that it be made an economic
free zone. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIA'S KMU AND CENTER PARTY SIGN GOVERNMENT COALITION. Tiit Vahi,
head of the Coalition Party and Rural Union (KMU) alliance, and Center
Party Chairman Edgar Savisaar signed an agreement on 31 March forming a
government coalition, BNS reported. The two leaders, whose parties
control 57 of the 101 parliament seats, said the coalition could be
expanded if other groups were willing to accept the government program,
which Vahi will have to present to the parliament by 6 April. The
coalition agreement does not envision any major changes in government
policies. Greater integration into the European Union and NATO remain
important goals. No changes are foreseen in the laws on citizenship and
aliens, and the kroon will remain pegged to the German mark. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIA DETERMINED TO DEPORT ASIAN REFUGEES. Latvian Interior Minister
Janis Adamsons told Reuters on 2 April, after returning from a working
visit to Germany, that he will do everything possible to deport the more
than 100 Iraqi, Afghan, and Palestinian refugees stranded in two
railroad cars in the border town on Karsava. UNHCR officials assert that
the refugees are asylum seekers who "should at least be given temporary
refuge," while Adamsons said they were economic refugees who had paid
Russian criminals to smuggle them to the West. An Interior Ministry
official said the refugees will probably be taken to a reception center
at Olaine, a small town 25 kilometer south of Riga, until they can be
deported. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

EU ASSISTS LITHUANIA TO SOLVE BORDER CROSSING PROBLEMS. Deputy Minister
of Transportation Algirdas Sakalys told a news conference on 31 March
that the European Union granted Lithuania 5.2 million ECU ($6.9 million)
to implement a three-year program aimed at resolving border crossing
problems, BNS reported on 1 April. The money will be used primarily to
develop the infrastructure at customs posts with Belarus and Kaliningrad
Oblast. Sakalys made the announcement at the end of an international
conference in Vilnius on transportation and customs problems, attended
by representatives from the Baltic States, Russia, Belarus, Moldova,
Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Bulgaria. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLAND'S FREEDOM UNION CHOOSES BALCEROWICZ, KURON AS LEADERS. Economic
reform architect Leszek Balcerowicz ousted former Prime Minister Tadeusz
Mazowiecki as chairman of Poland's largest opposition party, the Freedom
Union (UW), at the party's second congress on 1-2 April, Radio Warsaw
reported. Mazowiecki had led the UW since its formation after his defeat
in the 1990 presidential elections. Party delegates voted 313 to 174 for
Balcerowicz, reflecting the desire within the UW for a more dynamic
leadership. They also chose former Labor Minister and veteran opposition
activist Jacek Kuron as the UW's presidential candidate. Kuron defeated
former Defense Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz by 242 to 231 in the second
round of voting. Former Prime Minister Hanna Suchocka was eliminated in
the first round. The vote for Onyszkiewicz showed strong support within
the UW for a centrist candidate perceived as above the conflicts that
have threatened to divide the party. Kuron has long topped all Polish
opinion polls on public trust in politicians, but his left-wing past
effectively rules out any election alliance with right-of-center post-
Solidarity parties. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

GERMANY INVITES BARTOSZEWSKI TO PARLIAMENT SESSION. Polish Foreign
Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski has been invited to address the
Bundestag and Bundesrat session on 28 April marking the 50th anniversary
of the end of World War II. He will be the sole foreign guest to address
the joint session of the German parliament, Rzeczpospolita reported. The
invitation was designed to smooth ruffled feathers resulting from the
failure to invite President Lech Walesa to attend ceremonies in Berlin
on 8 May to which leaders from France, Britain, the U.S., and Russia
were invited. Bartoszewski told reporters on 31 March that Walesa did
not have time to attend the Berlin event and had not in any case
expected an invitation, but both the foreign minister and presidential
officials had previously protested that the failure to invite Walesa
disregarded Poland's contribution to the Allied victory. -- Louisa
Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH GOVERNING PARTY TO STAY IN COALITION. The Civic Democratic
Alliance (ODA) has denied speculation that it is considering leaving the
government, Czech media reported. ODA leaders, meeting on 1-2 April,
said a police investigation into corruption charges against the head of
the party's Secretariat is politically motivated, but ODA chairman Jan
Kalvoda, changing his earlier position, said the affair did not
implicate the party as a whole. Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Josef
Lux, head of the Christian Democratic Union-People's Party, offered a
merger to the smallest group in the four-party governing coalition, the
Christian Democratic Party (KDS), in advance of next year's parliament
elections. The KDS is already discussing the possibility of joining
forces with other parties. A poll published on 3 April showed that the
government has lost six points in its popularity rating in the last
month, dropping to 52%. Support for the opposition has grown five
points, to 45%. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK WORKERS HOLD PARTY CONGRESS. The Association of Slovak Workers
held a party congress on 1-2 April in Banska Bystrica, Slovak media
reported. Representatives of the party's three coalition partners were
present, as well as the four government members who were nominated by
the ASW. Reporters from the dailies Sme, Novy Cas, and Smer dnes were
not given accreditation to attend the congress. An internal party
conflict prompted three of the party's parliament deputies--Miroslav
Kocnar, Marian Polak ,and Klement Kolnik--to leave the congress early.
Kocnar said he left "in order to avoid being jointly responsible for the
ASW's future policies. This party will have big problems in the next
half a year because its current methods of work cannot survive." Jan
Luptak was reelected party chairman on 2 April, receiving 163 of 174
valid votes, and five new deputy chairmen were elected. According to
Luptak, the departure of three deputies from the congress will not
damage the party's stability. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIA FIGHTING INTENSIFIES. International media on 3 April reported
that fighting in several parts of Bosnia continues to intensify,
including in the northwest pocket of Bihac. Bosnian government radio on
2 April said that waves of Serbian and rebel Muslim infantry and tanks
pounded the area, notably around the town of Velika Kladusa. According
to at least one local amateur radio report, "everything [was] burning
from shelling." Reuters the same day quoted UN spokesman Herve Gourmelon
as saying that only 185 explosions could be accounted for in the area
around Velika Kladusa, a number that the UN representative dubbed "not
exceptional." In other news, the U.S. ambassador to Bosnia on 2 April
announced that his departure from Sarajevo would take place on 19 April.
Ambassador Victor Jackovich, in a statement made available to the press,
said several members of staff will also be leaving over the next few
months. He added that "My departure--and that of my colleagues--should
be viewed as regular rotation for a posting in an environment as
difficult and risky as Bosnia." -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ZAGREB HAILS UNCRO . . . Croatian media have continued their coverage of
Zagreb's official reaction to the UN Security Council's passage on 31
March of Resolution 981, which permits a scaled-down UN mandate for
Croatia under the banner of UNCRO in Croatia (a derivative of UN
Confidence Restoration Operation). Vjesnik reports that Croatian Foreign
Minister Mate Granic welcomed the resolution, acknowledging that it
contains the much sought-after reference to Croatia in its title and
saying it "reaffirms the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the
Republic of Croatia." The newspaper on 1 April published the text of the
resolution, which affirms that the new UN mandate is expected to see the
shifting of some forces to positions along Croatia's international
borders and away from monitoring positions held by Croatia's own rebel
Krajina Serbs. Nasa Borba reported on 3 April that the Krajina Serb
leadership has predictably emerged as the most vocal opponent of the new
mandate, insisting that any change to the previous UN mandate is wholly
unacceptable. Reuters on 1 April quoted Milan Martic, president of the
self-styled Republic of Serbian Krajina, as saying the latest Security
Council Resolution "ignored the real situation . . . [which] will bring
into question our consent to the stay of peacekeepers in [Krajina]." --
Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

.. . . WHILE BOSNIA AND MACEDONIA RECEIVE NEW MANDATES. The UN Security
Council has also passed Resolution 982, permitting the UN mandate in
Bosnia-Herzegovina to be extended until 30 November. Hina on 2 April
reported that Resolution 983 has also received the Security Council's
approval. The document stipulates that UNPROFOR in Macedonia "shall be
known as the UN Preventative Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) . . . and that
the mandate of UNPREDEP shall continue for a period terminating on 30
November 1995." -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN AIRLINER CRASHES NEAR BUCHAREST. A TAROM plane carrying 50
passengers and a crew of 10 crashed at Balotesti, in the vicinity of
Bucharest, on 31 March shortly after taking off from Otopeni
international airport, Romanian and international media reported. The
plane, an Airbus A-310, was on a regular flight to Brussels. There were
no survivors. Most of the passengers were Belgian. Romanian media on 1
April speculated whether the cause was sabotage. The daily Evenimentul
zilei on 3 March reported that the French ambassador to Bucharest
received an anonymous phone call saying a bomb had been planted on the
plane. The caller said he did not belong to any organization. The
Romanian Intelligence Service dismissed the report as "irrelevant."
Nicolae Brutaru, the general manager of TAROM, ruled out pilot error but
said the airline was considering every other possible cause. -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ILIESCU ON TELEVISION CONFLICT. President Ion Iliescu on 30 March
described the hunger strike by TV trade union leader Dumitru Iuga as an
"abuse," Radio Bucharest reported. He said the parliament had been wrong
to make "too many concessions" on appointments to the Radio and
Television Managerial Council and that the trade unions had "no say" in
the matter. He added that the management of Romanian TV should not have
let the trade unions elect the representatives of TV employees, arguing
that this contravened "the spirit of the law." An additional mistake, he
said, was to allow "non-professional staff" to participate in the
elections. Meanwhile, Radio Bucharest on 31 March reported that Eugen
Preda, former director-general of Romanian Radio, said in an open letter
to the parliament that the elections to the Managerial Council (now said
to have been unlawful by the majority party and its allies) were
conducted after the parliament's two commissions on mass media and
culture failed to clarify who was entitled to participate in the vote,
though they were repeatedly asked to do so. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI,
Inc.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON STUDENT STRIKE. Radio Bucharest quoted Mircea
Snegur as saying he would continue to "search for a compromise" with the
strikers, "despite demands to end the strike by radical methods." Snegur
did not say who was making such demands. He also commented that the
negotiations were "encountering difficulties." The president of the
strikers' committee, Anatol Petrenco, said the strike would end only if
Article 1 of the constitution is changed to stipulate that Romanian,
rather than "Moldovan," is the country's official language. He added
that the provision saying that the state ensures the right to use
Russian and other languages spoken in Moldova should be replaced by a
new formulation. The strikers said that the parliament has not included
a debate on Article 1 on its agenda, despite promises by Snegur. They
also noted that parliament chairman Petru Lucinschi canceled a scheduled
meeting with strike leaders. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

UZBEK PRESIDENT IN CHISINAU. At the end of his two-day visit to
Chisinau, Islam Karimov signed with his Moldovan counterpart, Mircea
Snegur, a document outlining a friendship and cooperation treaty,
Interfax reported on 31 March. Seventeen other agreements on, among
other things, trade and scientific and cultural cooperation were also
signed. Karimov pledged firm support for Moldovan independence and said
Uzbekistan believed all disputes should be solved peacefully and without
external interference. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA, GREECE CALL FOR LIFTING OF YUGOSLAVIA SANCTIONS. Bulgarian
Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski and his Greek counterpart, Karolos
Papoulias, meeting in Sofia on 1-2 April, called for an end to the
international sanctions against rump Yugoslavia, AFP reported. They
proposed a conference of the region's main countries to press for the
sanctions to be lifted. Pirinski asked neighboring countries hit by
trade losses resulting from the embargo to appeal jointly to the United
Nations and other international organizations for compensation.
Papoulias proposed that Bulgaria, Belarus, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine,
and possibly Russia hold a conference in Athens later this month to
discuss a common strategy. Pirinski suggested that Albania, Austria,
Italy, Macedonia, and Slovenia also attend. He added that Bulgaria is
ready to accept $3 million from the International Monetary Fund in
compensation for trade losses due to the sanctions. -- Stefan Krause,
OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN JUDGES RESIGN IN SIGN OF PROTEST. The chief judge of Tirana's
district court and his deputies resigned on 31 March in protest at
government interference in their work, international news agencies
reported the same day. They accused Justice Minister Hektor Frasheri and
his deputy of interfering in the court's work and trying to bring it
under the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry and government. Frasheri,
they said, tried to stop certain cases from being heard and to influence
the hiring and firing of even low-level employees. Gazeta Shqiptare
cited chief judge Agim Bendo as saying "our resignation is a protest
against the decisions of the justice minister." A Justice Ministry
spokesman called the resignations "hasty and unmotivated," insisting
that the Justice Ministry's actions "have been based in law." -- 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
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