The road uphill and the road downhill are one and the same. - Heraclitus

No. 73, Part II, 12 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:


alliance and Center Party on 11 April reached an agreement on the new
Estonian government, BNS reported. Prime Minister-designate Tiit Vahi is
scheduled to present his 14 member cabinet on 12 April to President Mart
Laar, who has three days to approve it. The Center Party will have five
ministers, including its chairman, Edgar Savisaar, as interior minister.
Coalition Party Deputy Chairman Riivo Sinijarv and Endel Lippmaa will be
foreign and European affairs ministers, respectively, while the party's
administrative secretary-general, Andrus Oovel, will be defense
minister. The new government will probably be sworn in on 17 April. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

the 100 or so Asian refugees who were confined to two railroad cars for
two weeks while Latvia unsuccessfully tried to deport them to Russia
have escaped from the holding camp at Olaine, Reuters reported on 11
April. The Russian-language newspaper SM Sevodnya published complaints
by the escapees that the conditions at Olaine were no better than on the
train. They said the heating system at the camp had broken down.
Interior Ministry press center head Normunds Belskis said the escape had
been "well organized" and was probably aimed at complicating Latvia's
negotiations with its neighbors on illegal immigrants, BNS reported. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

Einoris was elected on 8 April to the Seimas from the Kaisiadorys
district, RFE/RL reported on 10 April. Einoris, nominated by the ruling
Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party, defeated Homeland Union candidate
Liudvikas Sabutis by 451 votes. In elections on 25 March, none of the
five candidates won a majority, forcing a run-off between Sabutis, who
won 38.4% of the votes, and Einoris (28%). Algirdas Brazauskas won the
seat in October 1992, but gave it up on becoming president in February
1993. Sabutis received the most votes in four previous by-elections, but
all were declared invalid because less than 40% of eligible voters
participated. While 43.97% of eligible voters voted on 25 March, only
43% cast ballots on 8 April. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

headed by Belarusian Popular Front leader Zyanon Paznyak, staged a
hunger strike in the parliament on 11 and 12 April, Reuters reported.
The action was to protest President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's proposed
referendum questions. The parliament rejected three of the four
questions: one on enabling the president to dissolve the parliament, one
giving the Russian language state status, and one introducing Soviet-era
state symbols. The only question approved was the issue of establishing
closer ties with Russia. Lukashenka told the parliament that the
referendum will take place regardless of the vote and that he will
dissolve the legislature if it violates the constitution. His speech was
jeered by deputies. The hunger strikers refused to leave the parliament
and were eventually dragged out of the building by the police. Foreign
Minister Uladzimir Syanko regretted the strike, saying it would create a
sensation abroad and had caused the most "unfavorable political
situation" Belarus had experienced to date. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

April reported that the parliament has rejected the privatization plan
submitted by head of the State Property Committee Yurii Yekhanurov.
Yekhanurov told the parliament that of the 2,000 enterprises slated for
privatization last year, only 1,003 have passed to private hands. He
said that the greatest opposition had come from the agricultural sector.
On a more positive note, he said the creation of auction centers has
allowed individuals to become owners of enterprises outside their
regions . Yekhanurov said the parliament's decision to reject his plan
will have little real influence and that privatization will continue. --
Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

Minister Jozef Oleksy has been invited to Moscow to participate in the
ceremonies on 9 May marking the 50th anniversary of the allied victory
in Europe, Polish media reported. President Lech Walesa's spokesman said
that Oleksy has been pressing for an invitation, ignoring Walesa's
decision not to go to Moscow but to preside instead over ceremonies in
Warsaw. He accused Oleksy of not discussing his decision with the
president. But according to the premier's spokeswoman, Oleksy has
requested a meeting with the president several times to discuss the
issue. Walesa's decision to stay in Warsaw for the V-Day commemorations
came after German Chancellor Helmut Kohl failed to invite Walesa to the
Berlin celebrations. Kohl has invited the leaders of only four
countries: the United States, Britain, France, and Russia. -- Jakub
Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH POLICE ARREST COCAINE DEALERS. Czech police on 12 April announced
the arrest of two men involved in "extensive trade with cocaine." The
head of the National Anti-drug Center said the arrests ended a two-year
undercover operation called "Blizzard," during which Czech policemen
worked closely with colleagues from Germany, Britain, and the U.S. Some
700 kilograms of cocaine were seized during the operation. The arrested
men were a Czech emigre from the Netherlands, who headed the drug ring,
and a Czech entreprenuer. A large number of weapons were reportedly
seized during house searches following the arrests. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI,

cabinet on 11 April approved its memorandum on economic policy, Sme
reported. The draft, submitted by Deputy Premier and Finance Minister
Sergej Kozlik, is intended to strengthen the trust of the IMF in the
government's reform program. The fund delayed the third installment of
Slovakia's stand-by loan earlier this year. The cabinet also approved a
bill on supporting small and medium-sized businesses. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK DEFENSE MINISTER IN U.S. Jan Sitek, during his visit to the U.S.,
met on 11 April with Secretary of Defense William Perry, Pravda
reported. The two leaders signed an intergovernment treaty on protecting
secret military information. The document determines which information
is to be exchanged between Slovakia and the U.S. Perry said the treaty
signaled that the two countries "have reached a new phase of security
cooperation," adding that the U.S. wants to help the country widen its
activities with NATO. Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd,
during a one-day visit to Slovakia on 11 April, met with President
Michal Kovac, Premier Vladimir Meciar, and Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk
to express "strong" support for Slovakia's membership in the EU and
NATO. But he stressed the importance of further reforms, noting that
only countries that have "shed the Communist system and are clearly
open, tolerant, and democratic" will be welcome, Reuters and Sme
reported. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

EBRD DROPS MOCHOVCE FROM AGENDA. The European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development ended its annual meeting with the issue of funding for
the Slovak nuclear power plant at Mochovce dropped from the agenda,
international agencies reported on 12 April. Slovakia had requested that
the EBRD delay taking a decision on a loan to fund the completion of the
Soviet-built reactor. Austria has campaigned against the reactor, and
Austrian Foreign Minister Alois Mock told Slovakia on 10 April that
adherence to strict nuclear safety standards should be a requirement for
EU membership. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARY'S ROMA FORM OWN GOVERNMENT. Roma representatives from across
Hungary elected a 53-member national Roma government at a meeting near
Budapest on 9 and 10 April, international and Hungarian media reported.
The new body will represent Roma interests in areas such as local self-
government, rural development, employment, housing, and education.
According to official estimates, 500,000 Roma live in Hungary; but
unofficial estimates put the number at almost 1 million. Under the 1993
legislation on minorities, the Roma government will receive about
$500,000 to finance Roma causes, a senior Internal Affairs Ministry
official said. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.


BOSNIAN SERBS ATTACK GORAZDE. International media on 11 and 12 April
reported on the fighting throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, observing that
Bosnian Serb forces have besieged the "safe area" town of Gorazde, in
the eastern part of the country. An estimated 13 artillery shells
pounded the city in the early evening of 11 April, prompting the UN to
call for NATO planes to pass over the area. Bosnian government radio
reported casualties, including "tens wounded," but those accounts remain
unconfirmed. Intensifying clashes between Bosnian government forces and
Bosnian Serbs on Mount Majevica in the northeast were reported on 11
April. The Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA said that Serbian forces
prevented a communications tower in the area from being taken. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

NEWS FROM SARAJEVO. Reuters on 11 April reported that UN officials have
been unable to forge an agreement with Bosnian Serbs on the reopening of
Sarajevo airport, closed two days earlier when Bosnian Serb fighters
sprayed bullets at a U.S. plane transporting relief supplies. Also on 11
April, Bosnian Serb soldiers removed a heavy gun from a UN storage site
near Sarajevo, only to return it several hours later without
explanation. Meanwhile, the Croatian news agency Hina, citing Bosnian
television, quoted Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic as asking the UN
and NATO to take action to prevent Serbian attacks on Sarajevo and "to
declare a demilitarized area within a 20 km-radius of the city."
Izetbegovic also warned Bosnian Serbs besieging Sarajevo of an all-out
attack if their actions do not cease. He also threatened not to opt for
an extension of the cease-fire, due to expire on 30 April, should
Belgrade fail to recognize Bosnia-Herzegovina or if the Bosnian Serbs
reject an international peace plan, The International Herald Tribune
reported on 12 April. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

CROATIA TO DEMOBILIZE TROOPS. According to Hina on 11 April, Croatian
Defense Minister Gojko Susak has announced that President Franjo Tudjman
has resolved to demobilize some 30,000 troops. The demobilized soldiers
will return to civilian jobs, especially in regions where production is
adversely affected by labor shortages. "We'll demobilize our men but
this will not reduce our combat readiness," Susak was quoted as saying.
But he did not specify which troops will be affected by the decision. --
Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

on 11 April reported that a top Croatian spokesman has called for the
removal of Asians and Africans from UN contingents in Croatia, soon to
be known as UNCRO. The spokesman said that European troops better
understand Croatia's problems and have more clout with the local Serbs.
It is also well known that Croatia hopes that greater European
involvement in UNCRO would mean more European support for Zagreb.
Croatia regards the Jordanian, Argentine, Nepalese, and Kenyan units in
particular as mainstays of the Serbian black market economy, and
President Franjo Tudjman has criticized the Third World contingents as
undisciplined and unprofessional. The UN, however, says that host
countries do not determine the ethnic composition of peacekeeping
forces, which must reflect the heterogeneous nature of the world body.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN MACEDONIA. Klaus Kinkel on 11 April arrived
in Skopje on a one-day visit, international agencies reported the same
day. Kinkel met with President Kiro Gligorov, Prime Minister Branko
Crvenkovski, Foreign Minister Stevo Crvenkovski, and other officials. He
said the Greek embargo against Macedonia was a "mistake" and called on
both sides to settle their dispute quickly. He also said that the EU
members are showing solidarity with Greece but that the other 14 members
are not trying to conceal the fact that the Greek embargo is "wrong."
Kinkel promised to facilitate closer ties between Macedonia and the
"European and transatlantic structures." He noted that it is
particularly important that Macedonia be admitted into the OSCE. --
Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

press conference on 11 April, delivered a long speech reminiscent of a
"state of the nation" address. He said Romania has achieved a certain
degree of macroeconomic stabilization and that there are signs that the
country's political life is "maturing." Romania is increasingly
perceived abroad as an "oasis of stability," he said. Iliescu praised
his country's efforts to join Euro-Atlantic structures, stressing that
Romania's decision to push for integration into NATO was based solely on
defensive needs. He added that Romania was interested in consolidating
relations with its neighbors, singling out those with Hungary, which he
described as "normal." Iliescu expressed hopes that a basic treaty with
that country could be signed soon. Finally, he deplored the early start
to the election campaign, which, he said, could put a strain on
political life at a time when political and social peace were needed.
Elections are scheduled for fall 1996. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

WORKERS' PROTESTS IN ROMANIA. Some 20,000 people on 11 April marched
through downtown Bucharest to protest a wage freeze in the state sector
and other economic and social policies of Romania's current left-wing
government. The protest was staged by the National Confederation of
Romanian's Free Trade Unions--The Brotherhood, the country's biggest
labor organization. Union representatives the same day reached an
agreement with the government aimed at defusing the tension, but
demonstrators continued to rally for several more hours. Also on 11
April, railway workers in the town of Pascani took control of the local
station and depots, disrupting rail traffic throughout the whole region.
Transport Minister Aurel Novac pledged to try to meet most of their
demands for better working and living conditions. But the action
continued until the early hours of 12 April, when it was ended by the
police. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

STUDENTS BLOCK TRAFFIC IN CHISINAU. About 2,000 students on 11 April
blocked traffic in downtown Chisinau, while several hundreds more
picketed the headquarters of the state TV and Radio Company. According
to Interfax and Radio Bucharest, the demonstrators requested firm
guarantees that their social and political demands--including that
Romanian rather than Moldovan be proclaimed the country's official
language--be met. Negotiations with a government commission have
apparently been deadlocked over the past few days. The students' protest
is now in its fourth week. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

parliament on 11 April adopted the state budget on its first reading,
the domestic media reported the following day. The budget was approved
by the government on 30 March. It 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 it is estimated that inflation will drop to 40-50% from
121.9% in 1994. Prime Minister Zhan Videnov said average wages in
industry will rise to 8,922 leva ($135) in 1995, Standart reported. --
Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER IN RUSSIA. Aleksander Meksi arrived in Moscow on
10 April for a two-day visit, dpa and Interfax reported the same day.
Meksi and his Russian counterpart, Viktor Cherno-myrdin, signed on 11
April five agreements on economic and scientific cooperation, including
accords on the prevention of double taxation and mutual investment
protection. They also initialed a friendship and cooperation treaty that
will go into force after being signed by the presidents of the two
countries. Meksi's visit to Moscow is the first by an Albanian premier
in 30 years, AFP reported on 10 April. Moscow and Tirana broke off
diplomatic relations in December 1961 and did not restore them until
1990. -- Fabian Schmidt and Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi, on a two-day visit to Croatia, has
denied accusations that his country is violating the UN embargo against
rump Yugoslavia, Reuters reported on 11 April. Hina cited Serreqi as
saying that Albania respects and will continue to respect the embargo
but that small amounts of fuel are being smuggled into rump Yugoslavia.
The foreign minister said the accusations are aimed at neutralizing
Albania's efforts to focus attention on the rights struggle of ethnic
Albanians in Serbia's Kosovo province. He told Croatian radio that "a
solution for Kosovo must be part of the overall solution" to the war in
the former Yugoslavia. Serreqi and his Croatian counterpart, Mate
Granic, signed a protocol on cooperation between their two ministries.
-- 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
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