He who knows nothing is nearer the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. - Thomas Jefferson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 81, Part II, 25 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

POLAND, HUNGARY TO COORDINATE NATO MEMBERSHIP EFFORTS. Polish Prime
Minister Jozef Oleksy, speaking during his two-day official visit to
Hungary, has said that Hungary and Poland will cooperate in their
efforts to join NATO and the European Union. His Hungarian counterpart,
Prime Minister Guyla Horn, noted that both Hungary and Poland regard the
process of joining NATO as "irreversible." Meanwhile, Hungarian Defense
Minister Gyorgy Keleti, who on 24 April began a three-day official visit
to Germany, discussed the inclusion of East European countries in NATO
with German Defense Minister Volker Ruhe. Hungarian and German media
quoted Ruhe as saying that Hungary's membership in the EU and NATO are
in Germany's interest. Ruhe also noted that Bonn feels an obligation to
help clear the way for Hungary to join both organizations. -- Jiri Pehe,
OMRI, Inc.

FBI TRAINING ACADEMY OPENS IN BUDAPEST. FBI and other federal agents
will start training 33 Hungarian, Czech, and Polish police officers at
the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest. The academy was
opened on 24 April. Hungarian and international media report that
policemen from 23 former communist countries will attend the eight-week
courses. "As crime becomes international, so crime prevention must turn
international," Hungarian Internal Affairs Minister Gabor Kuncze said at
the opening ceremony. U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI Director
Louis Freeh were prevented from attending the ceremony by the Oklahoma
bombing. Referring to the bombing, U.S. Ambassador Donald Blinken said
the "reasons are self-evident for opening such a facility." The
academy's faculty will initially consist of six teachers from the FBI
and other federal and state agencies. As the courses evolve, the staff
will become more international. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN MILITARY REORGANIZATION. The Ukrainian Ministries of Defense
and Health have agreed that in peace time, military doctors will be
removed from military units and organized into civilian medical groups,
Ukrainian Radio reported on 22 April. The decision was taken to try to
make better use of resources and manpower. The ministries are to draw up
a plan for the reorganization of military units and submit it to the
Cabinet of Ministers for confirmation. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN ELECTION UPDATE. Belarusian Television on 23 April reported
that the registration period for candidates in the parliament elections
has ended and the campaign period begun. In all, 2,396 candidates have
registered to run for the 240 parliament seats. The opposition
Belarusian Popular Front is fielding the most candidates, followed by
the communist party and the centrist Party of Popular Accord. One-third
of the candidates are independents. A number of candidates have been
disqualified owing to irregularities in the registration process. In
Vitebsk, the registration forms of one-third of all candidates have been
declared invalid. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS EXPANDS OIL PROCESSING. Belarusian oil processing in the first
quarter of 1995 was up 45.6% on the same period last year, Interfax
reported on 24 April. The total amount processed from January-March 1995
was 3.65 million tons. But oil extraction was down 97.9% or 488,963
tons. The Russian-Belarusian oil concern Slavneft estimates that 40% of
the oil processed in Belarus will be sold on the domestic market and the
rest abroad. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BALTIC ASSEMBLY MEETING. The sixth session of the Baltic Assembly on 22
April adopted 14 documents but failed to pass resolutions on sea border
agreements and a joint policy for illegal immigrants, BNS reported.
Estonian parliament deputy chairman Arnold Ruutel was elected president
and his Lithuanian and Latvian counterparts, Egidijus Bickauskas and
Maris Budovskis, vice presidents for the assembly's next session, to be
held in Tallinn in December. The Baltic deputies to the Council of
Europe Parliamentary Assembly handed out three Baltic Assembly documents
to the council's political committees on 24 April: resolutions on
Chechnya and the end of World War II in Europe as well as a statement on
Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev's recent remarks that Russia may
use force to defend Russians living abroad. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI,
Inc.

ESTONIAN FERRY RUNS AGROUND. More than 1,000 passengers and crew were
evacuated safely from the ferry MS Tallink after it ran aground early in
the morning of 22 April shortly after leaving Helsinki, Reuters
reported. The accident, which occurred in heavy fog, was apparently
caused by a "miscalculation" of the ship's pilot. The ship was towed
back for repairs to Helsinki harbor within four hours and the passengers
were taken to Tallinn later that day. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER IN SOUTH AMERICA. Adolfas Slezevicius,
accompanied by Transportation and Energy Ministers Jonas Birziskis and
Aleksandras Stasiukynas, Bank of Lithuania Chairman Kazimieras
Ratkevicius, and other officials, began a three-day state visit to
Venezuela on 23 April, BNS reported the next day. He is scheduled to
meet with President Rafael Caldera, the parliament chairman, and various
ministers. Slezevicius is to arrive in Colombia on 27 April for talks
with President Ernesto Samper Pizano, Foreign Minister Rodrigo Pardo,
and other government officials. He hopes, among other things, to find
investors for the Butinge oil terminal and to discuss purchases of a new
type of fuel costing 30% less than the Russian black oil currently used
by the power plant at Elektrenai. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER IN LATVIA. Grzegorz Kolodko on 22 April met
with Latvian Prime Minister Maris Gailis to discuss prospects for
cooperation, BNS reported. He noted that there are more than 250 Polish-
Latvian joint ventures in Latvia and stressed the need for establishing
a Liepaja-Gdansk ferry line. Kolodko also told a press conference that a
free trade agreement between the two countries will probably go into
effect on 1 January 1996. Poland is unwilling to sign such an agreement
until Latvia has an association membership agreement with the European
Union and joins either GATT or the World Trade Organization. Official
talks on the free trade agreement will begin in July. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN U.S. Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, on a three-day
visit to the U.S., met with Vice President Al Gore and Secretary of
State Warren Christopher on 24 April. Addressing the Washington-based
Institute for Strategic and International Studies, he argued in favor of
Poland's membership in NATO. Bartoszewski is scheduled to meet with
Defense Secretary William Perry and National Security Adviser Anthony
Lake. He will also hold talks with representatives of the Jewish
community. (Bartoszewski was granted honorary Israeli citizenship for
his part in rescuing Jews during the German occupation.) -- Jakub
Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

BERLIN-MOSCOW TRAIN LINK TO BE IMPROVED. Representatives of German,
Polish, Belarusian, and Russian railroads, meeting in Warsaw on 24
April, agreed to modernize the Berlin-Warsaw-Minsk-Moscow connection,
international agencies report. The trains will travel at an average of
160 km per hour, and the Berlin-Moscow trip will be reduced by 9 hours.
-- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

SHAKE-UP OF CZECH PRISON SERVICE FOLLOWING MURDERER'S DEATH IN JAIL.
Justice Minister Jiri Novak on 24 April fired the head of the Czech
Republic's prison service as well as the warden and deputy warden of a
jail where a confessed murderer died under suspicious circumstances,
Czech media reported. Frantisek Kahanek, who confessed to the sexually
motivated murder of a 10-year-old boy, died in custody on 9 April, one
day after being arrested. Police and prison officials initially denied
that inmates or warders were involved in his death, but a post-mortem
showed Kahanek died from injuries possibly sustained during his arrest
or in jail. Four prison guards have been jailed on charges of assault
and abuse of power, while a police spokesman who gave false information
has been sacked. "After five years of trying to humanize the prison
service came the Kahanek case. The relevant officials have to take
responsibility," Mlada fronta dnes quoted Novak as saying. -- Steve
Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

MAJOR SLOVAK TRADE UNION CRITICIZES PRIVATIZATION METHODS. The KOVO
trade union, in an open letter to the Slovak government, notes that all
post-revolution governments and parliaments have implemented economic
reforms that were painless only for themselves and a narrow group of
supporters. According to KOVO, current high-level political
representatives "speak about the need to make the privatization process
transparent [and] the necessity to decriminalize the process.
Unfortunately, these are only words . . . reality is the direct
opposite." The union also claimed that the course of privatization is
decided by political loyalty to the current leader and governing power.
Chairman of the KOVO board Jozef Krumpolec told Sme that since the
revolution, current Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar has served in the
government longer than any other official. Thus, his government is also
responsible for the present "legislative gaps," Krumpolec argued. --
Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

CONTROVERSY OVER EDUCATION IN SLOVAKIA. Ethnic Hungarian teachers and
parents, meeting in the southern Slovak town of Komarno on 23 April,
have issued an open letter to Slovak officials and citizens criticizing
the government's preparations for "alternative" (bilingual) education.
They also raised objections to the recent law on educational
administration, which grants the Ministry of Education the authority to
appoint school directors, and called for educational autonomy and
collective rights. Democratic Union Deputy Chairman Roman Kovac, at a
press conference on 25 April, said his party does not support
educational autonomy for Hungarians living in southern Slovakia, since
the region is mixed, not "ethnically clean." Michal Kovacic, who heads
the Teachers' Forum of Slovakia and attended the meeting in Komarno,
told Sme that the problems of Slovak and Hungarian teachers "are
practically identical" and that both groups are opposed to the law on
educational administration. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK ECONOMIC NEWS. Following a sharp drop in January, Slovak
industrial production grew by 0.5% in February. Construction increased
by 11.5% and goods transport by 5.5% percent. The  unemployment rate
fell in March to 14.59%, down from 15.12% the previous month.
Unemployment was highest in the district of Rimavska Sobota (28.04%) and
lowest in Bratislava (4.74%). Average monthly nominal wages in
industrial firms with 25 or more employees fell by 6.4% to 6,199 koruny,
Sme reported on 25 April. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL MOVES AGAINST BOSNIAN SERB LEADERS. International
media reported on 25 April that the Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal in The
Hague issued a statement the previous day naming suspected war
criminals, including Bosnian Serb civilian leader Radovan Karadzic, his
military counterpart, General Ratko Mladic, and former special police
chief Mico Stanisic. Charges include genocide, torture, and rape. Chief
Justice Richard Goldstone told a press conference that steps toward a
formal indictment are now under way. Also named are Bosnian Croat forces
for the deliberate murder of innocent Muslim civilians in the Lasva
valley in 1992 and 1993. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. WILL KEEP CONTACTS TO SUSPECTED WAR CRIMINALS. A State Department
spokesman told news agencies on 24 April that Washington welcomes the
investigation of war criminals but that it will keep diplomatic channels
open to the Bosnian Serb leadership. The 25 April Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung added that UN officials in Bosnia criticized the announcement
from The Hague, which they said would make their relations with the
Bosnian Serbs more difficult and hurt chances for an extension of the
current cease-fire. AFP points out that Bosnian Serb media are ignoring
the entire story. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER UNIMPRESSED BY INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. Haris
Silajdzic has said the closure of Sarajevo airport by Karadzic's men
shows that the international community is allowing the Serbs to
"humiliate them at will." He said the international community is
"extremely impressionable" and its tolerance "unbelievable." Meanwhile a
State Department spokesman said that Washington wants UN intervention to
reopen the airport. He added that "we are not prepared to let the Serbs
dictate the activities of our diplomats," AFP reported on 24 April. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

KRAJINA SERBS END BLOCKADE OF HIGHWAY. Croatian Serb rebels have ended
their brief attempt to close the Zagreb-Belgrade highway at two points.
President Franjo Tudjman's chief of staff, Hrvoje Sarinic, said earlier
that Croatian forces would reopen the route if the Serbs did not do so
voluntarily. Nasa Borba on 25 April reported that the Krajina Serbs will
refuse to allow UN vehicles displaying the new name UNCRO, rather than
the former UNPROFOR, to enter their territory. The Serbs reject any
suggestion that they remain part of Croatia and are not an independent
state. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN ROUNDUP. Serbian Patriarch Pavle on 24 April dedicated a new
church in the west Serbian city of Valjevo. The patriarch, in his
address, alluded to the situation in the former Yugoslavia, noting that
true believers have "brotherly love for all and even for enemies who
know not what they do." Meanwhile, a new communist party has been
founded in the rump Yugoslav republic of Montenegro. Serbia's opposition
Democratic Party has sent a delegation to Germany headed by party leader
Zoran Djindjic, Nasa Borba reported. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN KILLED AT MONTENEGRIN BORDER. An Albanian has been killed by
Yugoslav border guards near a village between Podgorica and Shkoder,
Koha Jone reported on 25 April. The 27-year-old Kol Lek Ivanaj was
crossing the border to Montenegro on 23 April, together with two other
Albanians, when they were stopped by border guards. According to the
Albanian Interior Ministry, the three men were trying to reach Albanian
territory when the guards shot Ivanaj in the back, seven meters inside
rump Yugoslavia. Montenegrin and Albanian experts are expected to
investigate the site on 25 April. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN ALBANIANS ANNOUNCE RALLIES. The ethnic Albanian Democratic
People's Party and a group that split away from the Party for Democratic
Prosperity (PPD) in April 1994 have said they will stage protest rallies
on 26 April, Reuters reported on 24 April. The trial of Fadil Sulejmani,
director of the self-declared Albanian-language university in Tetovo, is
to begin on that date. Sulejmani is charged with instigating mass
rebellion at the inauguration of the university in February 1995. The
police prevented the university from opening, arguing that it was
illegal and provoking clashes in which one Albanian was killed.
Sulejmani had earlier warned the authorities not to attack the
university, saying that "200,000 Albanians will rise to our defense, and
they have guns and grenades." The PPD, the leading ethnic Albanian party
in Macedonia, is not officially supporting the rallies. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

STOLEN JEWISH ART RETURNED TO BUDAPEST MUSEUM. Gen. Ion Pitulescu, head
of the Romanian General Police Inspectorate, on 23 April handed over the
remainder of a collection of Jewish art treasures stolen from a Budapest
synagogue in December 1993, Radio Bucharest reported. Most of the
artifacts were found in Romania and returned in August 1994. According
to Hungarian National Police Chief Sandor Pinter, more than 30 gold and
silver artworks and religious objects from the 16th to 18th centuries
were returned on 23 April alone. Hungarian Jewish leader Gusztav Zoltai
said the treasures, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, have to be
restored before going on display in the Budapest Jewish Museum later
this year. Pitulescu, at a ceremony in Budapest marking the return of
the stolen artworks, seized the opportunity to praise cooperation
between the Romanian and Hungarian police in general. -- Dan Ionescu,
OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN BUCHAREST. Georgi Pirinski on 24 April
paid a working visit to the Romanian capital, Radio Bucharest reported.
He discussed with his Romanian counterpart, Teodor Melescanu, how to
boost bilateral relations and regional cooperation. The two leaders
agreed that the top priority was to improve the infrastructure,
including roads and border crossing points. Melescanu said after the
meeting that the two countries plan to build up to 10 new crossing
points across the Danube. He noted that the traffic through the two
states has dramatically increased in recent years owing to the situation
in the former Yugoslavia. Melescanu also said that Romania and Bulgaria
will ask the European Union for assistance to improve travel routes
between the two countries. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER DENIES ATTEMPTS AT RECOMMUNIZATION. Zhan
Videnov, addressing the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on 24
April, said there are no attempts to reestablish communist structures in
Bulgaria's administration and economy, 24 chasa reported the following
day. Videnov warned of the consequences the sanctions against rump
Yugoslavia may have for neighboring countries. He said the economic
losses caused by the embargo threaten the political stability of these
countries, and he called for a gradual lifting of the sanctions. Videnov
stressed that Bulgaria will not participate in any military action in
the Balkans, even under the auspices of international organizations.
Also on 24 April, former Prime Minister Filip Dimitrov told RFE/RL that
Videnov's position on Serbia was "scandalous and cynical." He urged the
parliament and government "to express [Bulgaria's] will to join NATO."
-- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

FRENCH NEGOTIATOR WILL NOT BE HEARD AT ALBANIAN TRIAL. Nicola Arsidi, a
French citizen who was hired by the Albanian government in 1991 to
negotiate forgiveness of Albania's foreign debts, will not be heard at a
trial against former Prime Minister Vilson Ahmeti, former National Bank
Governor Ilir Hoti, former Trade Bank Directors Ardian Xhyheri and Agron
Saliu, and Trade Bank Deputy Director Agim Tartari. The five officials
are charged with misappropriating $1.2 million intended as payment to
Arsidi. In all, Arsidi was to have received $1.6 million. Andi Celiku,
head of a Tirana court, said all efforts to summon Arsidi and his
colleagues have failed, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 23 April. -- 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
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