Fear of life in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise. - William James
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 77, Part II, 19 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

LITHUANIA WANTS EXPLANATION OF KOZYREV'S STATEMENT. The Lithuanian
Foreign Ministry on 18 April called in the Russian ambassador in
Vilnius, Nikolai Obertyshev, to explain Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev's remarks that Russia might use military force to protect
Russians living abroad, BNS reported. Kozyrev also said that Estonia and
Latvia were the only two former Soviet republics in which there was talk
about a deliberate policy of banishing ethnic Russians. Obertyshev
promised Lithuanian Foreign Ministry Secretary Albinas Januska that he
would offer an official explanation and said he was certain that the
statement did not apply to Lithuania. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIA, BELARUS AGREE ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. Lithuanian and
Belarusian Environment Ministers Bronius Bradauskas and Mikhail Rusy
signed in Minsk on 14 April an agreement on cooperation in the field of
environmental protection. Gintautas Siulys, first secretary in the
Lithuanian embassy in Minsk, told BNS on 18 April that a joint working
group has been set up to monitor protection of water resources,
vegetation, and animals as well as industrial waste recycling and other
environmental projects. Bradauskas also urged Belarus to sign the Vienna
convention on third countries' responsibility in dealing with the
consequences of nuclear accidents, He said that Belarus's reluctance to
join the convention is preventing Lithuania from receiving international
assistance to upgrade its nuclear power plant at Ignalina. He was told
that the Belarus Environment Ministry has advised the government to join
the convention but that the matter is still under consideration. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRODUCTION DOWN. The Ministry of Statistics has announced
that in the first quarter of 1995, the country produced goods worth 28.7
trillion Belarusian rubles, Belarusian Television reported on 17 April.
If inflation is taken into account, this figure represents an 11% drop
from the same period in 1994. Consumer goods registered the biggest fall
and were down by some 2 trillion rubles. The shortfall has fueled
inflation. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT SPLIT OVER ITS DISSOLUTION. The pro-Russian Crimean
parliament has split over the issue of dissolving itself and founding a
new legislature. Reuters reported on 18 April that 42 deputies out of a
total of 98 have asked Kiev to dissolve the assembly, while Ukrainian
Radio reported that 50 deputies led by Tatar leader Refat Chubarov have
requested that a new parliament be formed. Also on 18 April, Ukrainian
activists were prevented from hoisting a Ukrainian flag in front of
Simferopol's city hall. Within minutes, the flag was torn down by an on-
duty policeman. The activists had official permission to raise the flag,
but deputies from the "Russia" and "Russia-Unity" factions were opposed
to such a move. The militia also prevented the pro-Russian groups from
raising a Russian flag. But the flag of the Crimean Republic was hoisted
in front of the city hall. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE WANTS TO INCREASE ARMS EXPORTS. The Ukrainian government has
ordered the Ministry for Engineering and the military-industrial complex
to increase exports, according to a government press release carried by
Interfax. Enterprises under the ministry's supervision were reported to
have established contacts with partners in 60 countries and to have
exported goods worth $1.5 billion in 1994. Some of these exports would
not have been military equipment. By comparison, Russia sold arms worth
$1.5-1.7 billion last year. The report said that the ministry has been
told to raise the export share of its total production to 20-25% in 1995
and to 25-30% next year. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

IS POLISH GOVERNMENT PREPARING CHANGES IN TV MANAGEMENT? The Financial
Control Office has issued a report on Polish Television's (TVP)
finances, according to Gazeta Wyborcza on 18 April. The report states
that TVP is not ensuring that free-lance producers keep to their
submitted budgets, that it rented space for its advertising office
instead of constructing a new building, and that it has no fewer than 20
people working in its legal department. These policies have been
defended by the TVP management, but the Polish daily claims that the
report can be used by the finance minister to recall TVP President
Wieslaw Walendziak, whose independent actions have not always found
favor with the government. The law on radio and TV states that only the
TVP Supervisory Board has the power to recall the TVP president. The
commercial code, however, states that the owner of a company can dismiss
the president and board of directors if blatant mismanagement can be
proven. In the case of TVP, which is state-owned, the minister of
finance is empowered to act as the sole representative of the owner. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PARTIAL CENSUS TO TAKE PLACE IN MAY. Poland's first official
census since 1988 will be held from 18-31 May, the Central Statistical
Office announced on 18 April. Some 10,000 polling agents will visit
600,000 households to collect data on incomes, unemployment, migration,
housing conditions, and other social issues. About 5% of Poland's
population of 38 million will be covered by the census. A full census is
not planned until 2000. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH PRESIDENT'S POPULARITY AT RECORD HIGH. Vaclav Havel's popularity
has risen to its highest level since he became Czech president 28 months
ago, according to an opinion poll published by the Czech press on 19
April. Havel won an approval rating of 78%, up three points since the
last poll, taken by the Center for Empirical Research in February. The
gap between Havel and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus widened to 24 points.
Klaus's popularity, which dropped 17 points in the year to February,
remained stable at 54%. But Klaus's Civic Democratic Party stayed well
ahead of other parties, with 29%. It was followed by the opposition
Social Democrats (20.6%) and the Communist Party (9.7%). The Civic
Democratic Alliance's rating continued to fall, to 7.9%. But the poll
indicated that the four government parties would gain 119 of the 200
parliament seats if a general election were to be held now. -- Steve
Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

NEW HEAD OF SLOVAK INFORMATION SERVICE APPOINTED. Government spokesman
Tomas Hasala on 18 April announced that Ivan Lexa, a deputy of the
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and a close ally of Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar, has been named director of the Slovak Information
Service. The move follows the recent passage of a law transferring the
power to appoint the SIS director from the president to the government.
Praca reports that Meciar, in naming Lexa, referred to him as "the most
competent [person] for the post." President Michal Kovac rejected Lexa
for the position in 1993. Vladimir Mitro submitted his resignation as
SIS director in February after a dispute with the government. Also on 18
April, Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk submitted to the cabinet a proposal
on setting up a nongovernment agency aimed at improving information
about Slovakia abroad. Several other ministries will participate in the
project, and the final version of the law is expected to be ready by the
end of May. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

FRANCE WANTS UN SECURITY COUNCIL SESSION ON BOSNIA. International media
reported on 18 April that Paris has demanded a special meeting of the
leading UN body in order to grant peacekeepers permission to use force
more easily in response to attacks. France has also threatened to pull
out its 4,500-member UNPROFOR contingent unless the cease-fire is
extended beyond 1 May and unless peace talks resume. The demands come in
the wake of the killing of two French soldiers in Bosnia and of
increased Serbian shelling of Sarajevo. But the key factor behind the
calls seems to be the hotly contested presidential election on 23 April
in a country where the Bosnian war and the safety of peacekeepers
attract voters' attention. AFP notes that Prime Minister Edouard
Balladur has stressed the possibility of withdrawal, while his rival
Jacques Chirac wants ultimatums to be issued and air strikes to follow.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

OTHER BOSNIAN DEVELOPMENTS. The 19 April edition of the Los Angeles
Times reported that Bosnian Serb forces the previous day refused to
guarantee the safety of an aircraft taking U.S. Ambassador Victor
Jackovich from Sarajevo to his new posting in Slovenia. He was forced to
use the hazardous land route instead. Secretary of State Warren
Christopher noted that Bosnia "is a very dangerous place for Americans
to serve" and called the Serbian move "unjustified and outrageous." But
a BBC commentary on the latest French demands and on Christopher's
remarks suggested that the international community's weakness in the
face of aggression to date makes it unlikely that the Serbs will take
the latest threats seriously. Meanwhile in Serb-controlled Bosnian
territory, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic visited Banja Luka and
the front lines in central Bosnia where he promised a shakeup in the
civilian and military leaderships. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH MEDIATORS. Nasa Borba on 19 April reported
that Slobodan Milosevic met the previous day with UN envoy Thorvald
Stoltenberg and EU mediator Lord Owen. According to Reuters, the
international mediators expected to discuss Belgrade's alleged
violations of the rump Yugoslavia's blockade of the Bosnian Serbs. But
Tanjug reported only that the talks centered on "further activities
aimed at the intensification of the peace process." Meanwhile, Politika
reported that Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle gave an interview to the
Slovenian daily Dnevnik in which he said that before the war started, he
"knew nothing" about Zeljko Raznatovic, alias Arkan, who is the leader
of the Serbian paramilitary "Tigers" and currently wanted by Interpol
for genocide. Pavle also noted that he first learned from the Swedish
embassy in Belgrade that Arkan "listens only to the orders of the
Serbian patriarch." -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

CROATIAN OPPOSITION PARTY CLAIMS HARASSMENT. Novi list on 14 April
quoted the Croatian Independent Democrats as charging that the Interior
Ministry has formed a special unit to spy on the party and bug its
telephones. Other opposition parties have voiced similar complaints, and
some have experienced mysterious bombings of their offices or have found
their leaders evicted from their apartments. Nasa Borba on 18 April
reported on other evictions, namely of Serbs, and on other violations of
human rights encountered by Serbs living in areas under Croatian
government control. The article was based on materials compiled by the
Croatian Helsinki Committee. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

ISTRIANS CALL FOR AUTONOMY. The First World Congress of Istrians, which
closed in Pula on 15 April, endorsed a declaration calling for broad
autonomy for Istrians in Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy as well as for
minority rights, Belgrade and Zagreb dailies reported. The congress said
that Istria should become a Euroregion linking the three countries,
according to the full text of the meeting published in Slobodna
Dalmacija on 19 April. A group loyal to the Croatian government tried to
introduce an alternative resolution that did not endorse autonomy, which
the Zagreb authorities regard as subversive. Vjesnik charged that
autonomy would "open a Pandora's box." Politika, however, ran a headline
saying "Istrians want no borders" and called the alternative resolution
"an unsuccessful provocation" by Croatia's governing party. Some
observers predict that Zagreb still intends to have the last word. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

KOSOVO UPDATE. Three unidentified ethnic Albanian politicians have been
sentenced to two-year prison terms by the Pec local court, international
agencies reported on 18 April. The accused have been charged with
planning secession from Serbia. A lawyer is quoted as saying that it was
"a staged political trial." Meanwhile, the number of ethnic Albanian
policemen from Kosovo who have been charged with creating a shadow
Kosovar Interior Ministry has risen to 71. The former policemen, who
deny the charges, are among the 172 ethnic Albanian police officers who
were arrested between November and December 1994. According to official
sources, 11 policemen continue to evade the authorities. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN SUPREME COURT OVERRULES MAYOR'S DISMISSAL. Romanian Television
on 18 April reported that the Supreme Court of Justice has overruled a
government decision to dismiss Nicolae Vrabiescu, mayor of a Bucharest
municipal district and a member of the opposition National Peasant
Party-Christian Democratic. Vrabiescu was fired in March allegedly for
abuse of power, violation of the law, and neglecting the interests of
the district's residents. His name was added to the long list of
opposition mayors dismissed by the government. Vrabiescu appealed the
decision to a Bucharest municipal tribunal, but the hearing was
repeatedly postponed. The Supreme Court, ruling that the tribunal should
hear the case, reinstated Vrabiescu as mayor until a decision is reached
by the lower court. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN OPPOSITION LEADER SLAMS PRESIDENTIAL INITIATIVE. In an
interview with Interfax on 18 April, Valery Senik, chairman of the
opposition Socialist Party of Moldova, criticized President Mircea
Snegur's initiative to amend the country's constitution. Snegur,
responding to the demands of striking students and teachers, has
proposed that Article 13, which stipulates that the state language is
"Moldovan," be amended (see ORMI Daily Digest, 18 April 1995). Senik
said he doubted that the parliament would approve the change, since
neither Snegur's Democratic Agrarian Party nor the opposition left-wing
bloc were likely to support it. Together, these factions have a majority
of 84 out of 104 deputies. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT AND PREMIER CLASH OVER NATO MEMBERSHIP. Prime
Minister Zhan Videnov on 18 April said Bulgaria is in no hurry to apply
for NATO membership, Bulgarian newspapers reported the following day. He
said Bulgaria's candidacy for full membership will be appropriate when
NATO evolves into a "system of collective and regional security." He
also noted that the government is not ready to meet the terms of full
membership if these include deployment of nuclear weapons and foreign
troops in Bulgaria. President Zhelyu Zhelev, in his annual speech on
foreign policy, said on 17 April that his country deserves to become a
member of NATO because it is an oasis of calm in the turbulent Balkan
region, Reuters reported the same day. He said it is "very important
that Bulgaria declares clearly and categorically its urgent request for
NATO membership." Zhelev argued that Bulgaria's inclusion in the Western
military alliance would create "a NATO triangle on the Balkans pitched
between Ankara, Sofia, and Athens," since Bulgaria has good relations
with both neighbors. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREECE, ALBANIA NEGOTIATE OVER MINORITIES. Greece and Albania on 18
April resumed talks on the status of the ethnic Greek minority in
Albania and of Albanian workers in Greece, AFP reported the same day.
The talks, which were broken off 11 months ago, are taking place in
Athens at the level of state secretary. Greece is expected to press for
further rights of the Greek minority in the education system, while
Albania's main concern is the possible legalization of Albanians who
work and live illegally in Greece. Negotiations between Athens and
Tirana had been suspended after an attack on an Albanian army barrack in
April 1994 and the subsequent arrest and trial of five ethnic Greeks in
Albania led to serious tensions between the two countries. -- Stefan
Krause, OMRI, Inc.

COMMUNIST ALBANIA TRAINED FOREIGN TERRORISTS. Blerim Cela, head of the
Albanian anti-corruption agency, has said that Albania trained and
financed foreign terrorist groups from 1964 to 1970, international
agencies reported on 18 April. He said that an $11.6 million "solidarity
fund" was created and that small Marxist-Leninist groups--mainly from
Sudan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Ecuador--attended training
courses at Albanian military schools and in the Albanian army. About $4
million from the fund were used to support left-wing groups in Italy,
Germany, and France and to promote Enver Hoxha's publications in foreign
languages. Another $400,000 were reportedly appropriated by deputy party
leader Namik Dokle to buy a printing machine for the party newspaper
Zeri I Popullit in Denmark or Canada. The machine never materialized. --
Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

HOXHA'S SON UNDER HOUSE ARREST. The son of the late Albanian dictator
Enver Hoxha has been placed under house arrest on charges of calling for
an uprising in an interview about his father, international agencies
reported on 18 April. Hoxha reportedly said that "it was not the people
who toppled the monument of my father, but the mob. The people were the
ones who went out to protect him." He added that "ordinary people in
Albania are afraid. They no longer have an Enver Hoxha to protect them."
He is also quoted as threatening that "one day, those people who scoffed
at my father and my family will have to pay for it." -- 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
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.
To receive the OMRI Daily Digest by mail or fax, please direct inquiries
to OMRI Publications, Na Strzi 63, 140 62 Prague 4, Czech Republic; or
electronically to OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
Tel.: (42-2) 6114 2114; fax: (42-2) 426 396

OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
expanded analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For
Transition subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ


[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