Век живи - век учись тому, как следует жить. - Сенека

No. 74, Part II, 13 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


12 April stormed out of the parliament during a heated debate on a bill
that would give him the right to appoint the prime minister and cabinet
without the legislature's approval, international agencies reported the
same day. The current law requires the parliament's approval for the
posts of prime minister and ministers of defense, foreign affairs,
economy, and finance. The new one stipulates that a newly appointed
government has to submit its program to the parliament for approval
within two months. It also gives the parliament the right to veto the
program. Left-wing deputies attacked the bill as anti-democratic and
authoritarian. Kuchma reportedly wants the law adopted so that he can
form a new government. The parliament last week passed a no-confidence
vote in the current cabinet. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

have emerged on why nationalist deputies staging a hunger strike were
evicted from the parliament building in the early hours of 12 April.
Syarhei Naumchik, coordinator of the Belarusian Popular Front, told
Interfax that security officials entered the parliament building at
night to search for an alleged bomb. Some 200 armed police later stormed
the building and threw out the hungers strikers, beating several in the
process. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka admitted he had sent in the
troops but claimed it was to protect the deputies in the wake of a bomb
threat. ITAR-TASS quoted Lukashenka as saying he could think only of the
deputies' security when he heard about the bomb. He said he knew nothing
about the beatings but claimed the deputies had sought to hinder the
bomb search. Prosecutor General Vasil Shaladonau said it would have been
impossible for an anonymous caller to report a bomb to the police
through the intercom since the dialing numbers are available only to
senior government and police officials. An investigation into the events
is to be launched. Meanwhile, another bomb was reported to have been
planted in the national television and radio building. The anonymous
caller who reported it said it would explode if the broadcasts did not
stop. Lukashenka ordered the building cordoned off. -- Ustina Markus,
OMRI, Inc.

European Commission's Foreign Affairs Directorate, and representatives
of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania initialed the so-called Europe
Agreements on 12 April in Brussels, Western agencies reported. The
accords must now be approved by the European Parliament, the 15 national
parliaments of the Union, and the three Baltic parliaments. Under their
terms, the Baltic States will join Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic,
Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria as associate EU members. Compared with
agreements signed by the six Eastern Europe countries, the accords
between the EU and the Baltic States are more ambitious as regards the
timing of full membership. The Commission statement issued the same day
says: "The transition period of the agreements will end at the latest on
31 December 1999 instead of 2004 or 2005." -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI,

ESTONIAN, LATVIAN FISHING DISPUTE. Latvian and Estonian officials in
Riga on 12 April were unable to break the deadlock over a fishing
dispute, Reuters reported. Estonian coastguard vessels have frequently
detained Latvian trawlers trying to catch herring around the island of
Ruhnu in the Gulf of Riga, which Tallinn considers its territorial
waters. Aado Luksepp, director of the Estonian Maritime Inspectorate,
said that the spawning grounds of the fish were primarily in Estonian
waters, since the Dauguva River pollutes Latvia's share. Latvia has
threatened to take the matter to the International Court of Justice in
The Hague. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

single permit for Russian military planes to fly over its territory this
month, although several planes have flown with permits issued in March,
BNS reported on 12 April. The low-altitude flight on 29 March of three
Russian MI-29 helicopters carrying rockets over residential areas of
Vilnius prompted the opposition to call a special Seimas session on 5
April and to propose a total ban on all Russian military flights.
Foreign Minister Povilas Gylys noted that permits for military flights
have been issued in accordance with temporary regulations adopted on 20
July 1992. He added that a formal protest has already been sent to
Russia over the flights. Russia admitted that the pilots violated safety
regulations and said they would be punished. The Seimas on 11 April
rejected the proposed ban. The Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party faction
decided the previous day that a ban was unnecessary and that new flight
regulations should be drawn up. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

MEMBERSHIP. Douglas Hurd, on a one-day visit to Poland on 12 April, said
after a meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski that
"We in Britain are convinced that Poland will join as a full member of
NATO and the EU, that these are irreversible processes." He said it was
too early to suggest when Poland might enter the EU. Countries wishing
to join have first to implement the necessary economic reforms, and the
EU has to amend, among other things, its agricultural policy. In an
interview with Rzeczpospolita on 12 April, Hurd said: "There is no link
between Russia's meeting its obligations under the Conventional Forces
in Europe Treaty and decisions about expanding NATO." He invited
President Lech Walesa to attend the V-Day celebrations in Britain, but
Walesa's office announced that the president will stay in Warsaw.
Foreign Minister Bartoszewski will attend the ceremonies in London. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

April told parliament leaders that a constitutional amendment
subdividing the Czech Republic into regions should be adopted before
next year's parliament elections to prevent the issue from being
politicized during the election campaign. The president was indirectly
responding to a statement by Parliament Chairman Milan Uhde one day
earlier saying that regions are unlikely to be set up before 2,000. The
Czech Constitution, adopted in 1992, requires the creation of regions,
but the parliament has been unable to pass a constitutional amendment.
Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus has repeatedly said that regional reform is
not a priority for his Civic Democratic Party, which dominates the Czech
government. Representatives of two coalition parties--the Civic
Democratic Alliance and the Christian and Democratic Union--said on 12
April that their parties will push for the creation of regions before
the 1996 parliament elections. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT SIGNS VETOED LAWS. Michal Kovac on 11 April signed
three laws that he vetoed earlier this year and the parliament recently
passed again, Pravda reported on 13 April. The laws are on the residence
of foreigners in Slovakia, on the organization of ministries and other
central bodies of the state administration, and on the Slovak
Information Service. Hungarian Christian Democratic Movement chairman
Bela Bugar, at a press conference on 12 April, expressed fear about the
possible use of the SIS to discredit opposition politicians. The party's
spokesman noted that the HCDM wants the opposition to unite to send the
laws to the Constitutional Court for review. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI,

SLOVAK MINISTERS ON MOCHOVCE. Slovak Deputy Premier and Finance Minister
Sergej Kozlik, meeting with EBRD representatives in London, told bank
president Jacques de Larosiere that the Slovak government is opposed to
several points of the agreement on the completion of the nuclear energy
plant at Mochovce, Praca reported on 13 April. Kozlik said the cabinet's
main concern are the high costs of completing the project. He also noted
that the recent decision by Standard and Poors to increase the National
Bank of Slovakia's rating means that Slovakia should have no problem
finding funds from other sources if necessary. The Slovak government is
interested in working out a deal involving the EBRD, Electricite de
France, and Siemens, together with a loan from Russia and the
participation of the Czech Republic, in order to keep down expenses.
Meanwhile, Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk on 12 April said that
regardless of who builds Mochovce, it must meet current safety
standards. Responding to a statement by Austrian Foreign Minister Alias
Mock on 10 April that Slovakia will have difficulties joining the EU if
it chooses to complete Mochovce, Schenk said he is convinced that when
the time comes to decide about EU membership, the problem of Mochovce
will be resolved, Sme reports. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

Suzuki told a news conference on 12 April that his firm has stopped
exporting cars from Japan to Europe and will sell cars assembled in
Hungary through the European dealer network, Western news agencies
reported. He said the change is prompted by high European import duties.
To meet the demand of the European market, Magyar Suzuki will double its
output in 1995 to 40,000 vehicles and increase its work force from 840
to 1,000. The parent firm will invest 2-3 billion forint ($17-$25
million) this year to finance the expansion. Suzuki said his firm plans
to raise the Hungarian content in its vehicles to around 80% from the
current 52% and increase the Western European content, now about 11%. --
Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.


BOSNIAN UPDATE. International media on 13 April continue to report on
the escalating violence throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. A mortar shell
the previous day hit Sarajevo, wounding at least seven people. Reuters
reported that Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic has sent a
strongly worded protest to the UN military command saying that all
recent allegations of Serbian attacks on Sarajevo are "incorrect [and]
tendentious." According to Vjesnik, Bosnian army helicopters attacked
Serbian positions, including around Donji Vakuf, in central Bosnia. Hina
reports that Serbian forces have launched attacks on several fronts.
Meanwhile, representatives of the international Contact Group postponed
a scheduled visit to Sarajevo on 12 April, after failing to receive
safety guarantees from the Bosnian Serbs. Nasa Borba reported that
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, following meetings with
representatives of the Contact Group, said that rump Yugoslav
recognition of Bosnia-Herzegovina in exchange for a lifting of sanctions
against Belgrade is not in the offing. Finally, a new suspension bridge
was opened in Mostar on 12 April at the site of the historic medieval
structure destroyed in late 1993 when fighting erupted between Croats
and Muslims. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

carries a story suggesting that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and
high-ranking members of his regime may be directly responsible for war
crimes throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. The story is based in part on
documents smuggled out of Serbia by 45-year-old Cedomir Mihailovic, a
former member of Serbia's secret police who recently defected. "One of
the documents, dated May 24, 1992, appears to include directions from
the Serbian state security services in Belgrade on the running of
concentration camps in Bosnia," The New York Times reports. If the
documents prove authentic, they will provide concrete evidence directly
linking Belgrade to war atrocities. Milosevic has consistently denied
any direct involvement in the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

Alessandra Guerra, at a press conference in Ljubljana on 12 April,
announced that Italy has plans to invest in Slovenia's infrastructure.
She said that Italian interest in Slovenia was prompted by a "need for
developing the infrastructure between western and eastern Europe" in
order to yield "strengthening international cooperation," AFP reported.
Slovenian-Italian relations have improved of late, not least because of
Italy's decision in early March to cease opposing Slovenian efforts to
negotiate associate membership in the European Union (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 6 March 1995). -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

spokesman for the Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR), told
journalists on 12 April that his party was ready to abide by the pact
with the Party of Social Democracy in Romania. With regard to a possible
government reshuffle, Radio Bucharest quoted Valcu as saying that the
PUNR was entitled to another ministerial portfolio and would be
interested in the post of culture minister in the event that it became
vacant. The extreme nationalist PUNR joined the government in August
1994. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

power plant is expected to begin generating power next month, Atomic
Energy of Canada told RFE/RL on 12 April. The Canadian company is
helping build the facility, which is located at Cernavoda. The project
was started in 1979 by former communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu with
Canadian government loans and technical assistance. It is years behind
schedule and has been plagued by construction problems. Ken Petrunik,
vice president of Atomic Energy of Canada, said his company is to assist
in the construction of a second reactor in Romania, estimated to cost
about $710 million. Romania hopes to cover part of the expenses by
selling electricity to neighboring countries. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON MOLDOVAN STUDENTS' PROTEST. Some 5,000 students and professors
demonstrated again outside the government building in Chisinau on 12
April, Reuters reported. They formed a human chain and chanted such
slogans as "Down with the government" and "We are Romanians." Protesters
also picketed the building of the state TV and radio company for the
second consecutive day, demanding air time and fair coverage of their
protest action. In a separate development, Moldovan President Mircea
Snegur told a group of Moldovan journalists on 12 April that he was
"amazed" at the stance of "various Russian circles" on the Transdniester
issue. He singled out the State Duma's recent decision to debate the
"inadmissibility" of withdrawing the 14th Russian army from the Dniester
region. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN POLICE CHIEF RESIGNS. Col. Hristo Gatsov, chief of the
Bulgarian National Police, resigned on 12 April after a young man died
in police custody, Bulgarian newspapers reported the following day.
Gatsov, who was appointed police chief in November 1994, said he felt
"morally obliged" to quit under the circumstances. Hristo Hristov, a 22-
year-old, was arrested in Sofia on 6 April and died a few hours later of
a massive hemorrhage. The autopsy showed he had a torn aorta and several
broken ribs as a result of severe beating. The six policemen who
questioned him were arrested; Sofia City Prosecutor Nestor Nestorov said
they will be charged with murder. If found guilty, they face prison
sentences of up to 20 years or the death penalty. The opposition called
for the resignation of Interior Minister Lyubomir Nachev, who was quoted
by Duma as saying he cannot be considered guilty "in this concrete
case." Nachev has refused to step down. Pari reported that personnel
changes in Sofia's police force are expected within the next few days.
Meanwhile, Standart cited Gen. Mincho Bengarski, secretary at the
Interior Ministry, as saying that 18 people have died over the past year
owing to "carelessness" on the part of the police." -- Stefan Krause,
OMRI, Inc.

Zhulali and his Turkish counterpart, Mehmet Golhan, on 12 April signed a
military cooperation agreement in Tirana, Western agencies reported the
same day. Under the terms of the agreement, Turkey will train Albanian
officers and provide material assistance to the Albanian army. Zhulali
and Golhan stressed that the agreement is not directed against a third
country. Golhan, who was in Tirana on a three-day visit, said his
country is concerned about the resumption of hostilities in Bosnia-
Herzegovina, as there is a risk that "the conflict will spill over into
the entire Balkans." He said "Turkey will spare no effort to prevent
this." -- 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
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