It is not enough to show people how to live better: there is a mandate for any group with enormous powers of communication to show people how to be better. - Mary Mannes
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 85, Part II, 2 May 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

MAY DAY RALLIES IN UKRAINE PROTEST ECONOMIC REFORMS. Thousands of
leftists throughout Ukraine marked May Day by protesting President
Leonid Kuchma's market-oriented reforms, Interfax-Ukraine and UNIAR
reported the same day. Between 4,000 and 5,000 people rallied in Kiev
and were addressed by such leftist leaders as parliament speaker
Oleksander Moroz and Ukrainian Communist Party Chairman Petro Symonenko.
In the Crimean capital of Simferopol, some 3,000 to 5,000 residents
protested Kiev's recent crackdown on Crimean separatism and demanded
Kuchma's resignation. Several thousand so-called national democrats held
an alternative rally in Kiev calling for anti-communists to unite
against the leftist movement. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN ELECTION UPDATE. Segodnya on 28 April reported that the
Belarusian media have refrained from reporting on the election campaign
so as not to anger President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, who has threatened
severe penalties against publications that write about any candidate.
Candidates are allowed to spend only $50 on their campaigns, which is
sufficient to print one plain leaflet per 15 voters. A mere 20 billion
Belarusian rubles have been allotted for the elections, while more than
100 billion rubles have been set aside for World War II victory
celebrations. The first round of the elections are scheduled to take
place on 14 May. Runoff elections are unlikely, especially if the
nationalist opposition (which is highly critical of Lukashenka) fares
well. According to media reports, many voters do not know the names of
candidates in their districts or even when the elections are to take
place. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN FOREIGN POLICY TO REMAIN UNCHANGED. New Estonian Prime Minister
Tiit Vahi, in a speech to foreign diplomats in Tallinn on 28 April, said
he will make no changes in the country's foreign policy, BNS reported.
Vahi noted that the main objectives were normalization of relations with
Russia and integration into European structures. He said that Foreign
Minister Riivo Sinijarv is scheduled to sign an association agreement
with the European Union on 29 May. The next priority will then be
joining GATT or the World Trade Organization. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI,
Inc.

LATVIA DEPORTS ASIAN REFUGEES AGAIN. Latvia on 28 April expelled again
the five refugees whom it sent to Russia on 26 April but who were
returned the next day, BNS reported. One of the refugees, an Indian
whose documents showed that he had arrived from Belarus and not Russia,
was sent to Belarus. An Afghan woman with three children who had not
completed all departure formalities was sent to an unnamed CIS country.
Interior Ministry Police Department Head Aldis Lieljuksis told a press
conference that four Kurdish refugees who were being held at the Olaine
detention camp would also be deported to Belarus at their own request.
-- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

BRZEZINSKI IN LITHUANIA. President Jimmy Carter's national security
adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, addressed a Polish-Lithuanian conference
in Vilnius on 29-30 April. Brzezinski, meeting with Lithuanian President
Algirdas Brazauskas on 1 May, said that Lithuania has made great
progress in reforms but much more was needed to be accepted as a member
of the European Union, RFE/RL reported. Brzezinski also held talks with
Foreign Minister Povilas Gylys and gave a lecture at the University of
Vilnius. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER ADDRESSES GERMAN PARLIAMENT. Wladyslaw
Bartoszewski, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, addressed
the two chambers of the German parliament on 28 April in a session held
to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. He
recalled how Stalin had prevented Poland from being recognized as one of
the victorious allies at the end of the war. Bartoszewski, the only
foreign speaker invited to the commemorative session, appealed to the
West not to sell out Poland again because of Russian interests. He
received a standing ovation. Bartoszewski was only the fourth foreign
dignitary to address the German parliament. The previous three were
presidents: Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Francois Mitterrand. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

GERMAN PRESIDENT IN CZECH REPUBLIC. Roman Herzog arrived in the Czech
Republic on 1 May for a two-day private visit at the invitation of
President Vaclav Havel, Czech media reported. Havel, in his regular
weekly radio talk on 30 April, said the Czech-German dialog has begun to
accelerate recently and should help remove obstacles to improving
bilateral relations. Herzog is due on 2 May to lay a wreath at the
Terezin (Theresienstadt) concentration camp, north of Prague, to mark
the 50th anniversary of its liberation. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK OPPOSITION TO REMOVE EDUCATION MINISTER? Opposition deputy Jan
Langos, at a press conference on 28 April, said the participation of Eva
Slavkovska in the current government "damages the interests of Slovakia
on its path to the EU and NATO." He added that the opposition will try
to remove Slavkovska from her post at the next parliament session,
scheduled to begin on 3 May. Reasons for the decision include
Slavkovska's past as a historian, when she took part in "a falsification
of history," as well as her moves against the Hungarian minority,
particularly the decision to implement "alternative" (bilingual)
education in Hungarian schools, CTK reported. Slavkovska recently
attended an exhibit celebrating the achievements of Slovakia's World War
II President Jozef Tiso. The opposition Party of the Democratic Left has
said that the governing Movement for a Democratic Slovakia and the
Association of Workers should distance themselves from attempts by
Slavkovska's Slovak National Party to rehabilitate Tiso. -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PUBLIC EMPLOYEES DEMONSTRATE. About 5,000 public employees,
mostly teachers, marched through Budapest on 1 May to protest planned
government austerity measures, Western news agencies reported. Laszlo
Kispap, chairman of the Union of Higher Education Teachers, warned that
planned tuition fees of 2,000 forint per month for university students
"will spell the end of equal opportunity." Until now, higher education
has been free in Hungary. Union members representing government
employees also took part in the rallies to protest plans to cut ministry
staff by 10-20%. -- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PARTY CHANGES ITS NAME, RE-ELECTS PRESIDENT. Hungary's
smallest parliament party, the Alliance of Young Democrats, voted
overwhelmingly on 30 April to add "Hungarian Civic Party" to its
Hungarian acronym, FIDESZ. It also re-elected its 31-year-old leader,
Victor Orban, Western news agencies reported. The party is seeking new
political allies after its former liberal associate, the Alliance of
Free Democrats, joined a coalition government with the Hungarian
Socialist Party. Orban said surveys showed that most of his party's
supporters are in favor of an alliance with the center-right Hungarian
Democratic Forum and Christian Democratic People's Party. -- Edith
Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CROATIA LAUNCHES NEW OFFENSIVE. At dawn on 1 May, several thousand
Croatian troops began an attack from the north, west, and east into
Sector West of Krajina. It was the Croatian army's biggest offensive
since Operation Maslenica in January 1993, which also had the stated
goal of a limited strategic objective. The current thrust officially
aims at securing the section of the Zagreb-Belgrade highway between
Novska and Nova Gradiska following a series of incidents there on 28-29
April. But Croatian forces also took several villages and UN observation
posts not only in Sector West but in Sector South as well. Troops in
Sector West captured the site of the World War II concentration camp at
Jasenovac and seem to be trying to take Okocani to the north of the
highway. On 1-2 May, the Croats also sought unsuccessfully to bomb the
bridge connecting Krajina with Bosanska Gradiska and Bosnian Serb supply
routes beyond. International media added that the UN Security Council on
1 May called on the Croats to end their attack, while UN mediators tried
to hammer out some sort of cease-fire agreement between Croats and
Serbs. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

WHAT LIES BEHIND THE CROATIAN ATTACK? The size, speed, and scope of the
attack suggest that it was well planned in advance and that the
incidents on the highway, including the fatal stabbing of a Serb at a
gasoline station, may not have been entirely spontaneous. Vecernji list
on 2 May referred to the operation going according to plan, while Nasa
Borba on 29 April noted that President Franjo Tudjman was holding a
series of mass meetings aimed at mobilizing support for him and his
government. The state-run media in Croatia have joined in the enthusiasm
for the current offensive. Vjesnik ran a headline on 2 April calling it
"a legitimate act of self-defense." The timing of the move is also
suspect, coming just as the Bosnian cease-fire expires and UNCRO's
mandate is about to be more clearly defined. Zagreb may well have
calculated that a thrust aimed at securing the free flow of traffic on
the highway would bring it little criticism from abroad. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

WHAT WILL THE SERBS DO? The first important response by Krajina forces
in Sector West was to retrieve their big guns stored under UN
supervision. But Sector West is their weak link and was reassigned to
Croatia under the Z-4 peace plan earlier this year. International media
on 2 May quoted Krajina leader Milan Martic as threatening to shell
Croatian cities. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic promised help; and
on 1 May, his men shelled Dubrovnik. It appears, however, that the
Croats and Bosnian government forces may be launching a concerted
campaign to force the Serbs to fight on several fronts at once and
thereby prevent them from concentrating their overextended forces. The
obvious question now is not only what can Knin and Pale do to regain
their footing but what will Belgrade do to back them. -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN CEASE-FIRE ENDS. As the cease-fire in Bosnia-Herzegovina came to
an end on 1 May, Yasushi Akashi, UN envoy to the former Yugoslavia,
expressed hope that hostilities would not escalate, AFP reported on 1
May. Akashi, who was in Sarajevo attempting to hammer out a new cease-
fire agreement to no avail, said "each of the parties has separately
assured me that it will demonstrate maximum restraint." Prior to the
expiry of the cease-fire, the BBC on 29 April reported that two Galeb
fighters entered Bosnian's northwestern Bihac pocket from the Serb-
occupied Croatian region of Krajina. In a separate development, Bosnian
Serb forces shelled the central Bosnian town of Maglaj on 29 April,
using phosphorus bombs. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PREMIER, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT IN ROMANIA. Zhan Videnov,
during a one-day visit to Romania on 28 April, met with President Ion
Iliescu and his Romanian counterpart, Nicolae Vacaroiu. The two premiers
said at a joint press conference that it was necessary to strengthen
economic cooperation in the areas of transportation networks (including
the construction of a new bridge over the Danube) and tourism, Radio
Bucharest reported the same day. They also agreed to increase
collaboration on joint foreign policy aims, such as integration into
European structures and compensation for losses suffered as a result of
the embargo on rump Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, former U.S. President George
Bush paid a two-day private visit to Romania at the invitation of Invest
Group, an organization uniting private entrepreneurs. Bush, in a speech
broadcast live by Radio Bucharest on 29 April, said that Bucharest must
accelerate economic reforms if the 1989 revolution is not to become a
meaningless event. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN TV STAFF RE-ELECT COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES. Philosopher Gabriel
Liiceanu and Neculai Constantin Munteanu, a former RFE/RL editor, head
the list of four candidates elected by Romanian TV employees to
represent them on the Radio and TV Administrative Council, Radio
Bucharest reported on 28 April. The TV staff has thus ignored the stance
of the major coalition partner, the Party of Social Democracy in
Romania, that only TV employees can be elected to the council. Both
Liiceanu and Munteanu were elected on 25 July 1994, the first time a
ballot for the council was held. Liiceanu refused to appear before the
Senate's commission on mass media because that body is chaired by former
dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's court poet Adrian Paunescu. Munteanu's
candidacy was endorsed by the parliament commissions on mass media but
failed to receive the backing of the parliament's joint plenum. The
latest elections were held in order to fill the council seats that
remained unoccupied after the legislature's vote on 4 April (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 5 April 1995). -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT SAYS UNIFICATION WITH ROMANIA NOT POSSIBLE. Mircea
Snegur told a Japanese publication that he sees no possibility whatever
for Moldova to be reunified with Romania, Radio Bucharest reported on 29
April, citing the BBC. He said Moldova will remain independent and
expressed the hope that future bilateral relations will be similar to
those between the U.S. and Canada. Moldova, he added, will continue to
make efforts to forge close links with Bucharest, including taking such
steps as abolishing visa requirements and setting up a free exchange
zone between the two countries. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN LEADER SAYS RUSSIA OPPOSES 14TH ARMY WITHDRAWAL. Nicolae
Andronic, deputy chairman of the Moldovan parliament, told Interfax on
28 April that Russia opposes the withdrawal of the 14th Army and that
Chisinau must seek the support of international organizations on the
matter. Also on 28 April, Interfax reported that the Russian Foreign
Ministry released a statement saying that the 14th army "plays an
important positive role in stabilizing the situation" in the
Transdniester region and that its withdrawal should not be "immediate
and hasty." In a related development, Interfax reported that the
commander of the 14th Army, General Alexander Lebed, received a Defense
Ministry directive dated 19 April stating that the army's 220-strong
officer corps must be halved. Lebed said he would resign if forced to
abandon his own proposed plans for reform. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE SETS CONDITIONS FOR MOLDOVA, ALBANIA. The Political
Committee of the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly has linked
Moldova and Albania's admission to the council with progress on human
rights, Radio Bucharest and Reuters reported on 28 March. The Assembly
will vote in June whether to grant Moldova and Albania membership
status. The committee said membership for Moldova should be tied to its
treatment of separatists in the Dniester region and that Albania should
abolish the death penalty and ratify the European convention on
safeguarding minority rights. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS HOLD MAY DAY RALLY. The ruling Bulgarian Socialist
Party, for the first time since the demise of communism, celebrated May
Day with a rally, AFP reported. Prime Minister and BSP Chairman Zhan
Videnov said that "the situation that we have inherited is especially
serious" and that people are "living poorly and with difficulty." He
noted that the government is committed to its pre-election promises and
will continue to fight inflation and unemployment. Some 30,000 people
took part in the rally, but the Confederation of Independent Trade
Unions refused to participate. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION HOLDS NATIONAL CONFERENCE, REELECTS LEADER. The
Union of Democratic Forces, at its seventh National Conference on 29-30
April, re-elected Ivan Kostov as chairman of the National Coordinating
Council, Demokratsiya reported on 2 May. It also established a National
Executive Council, which will take decisions between sessions of the
Coordinating Council. The latter's membership was enlarged from 15 to
140 to include representatives of parliament factions and regional
organizations. The conference abolished a ban on former communist party
members becoming members of the UDF. Kostov said that the UDF must be
open to all non-socialist voters and must broaden its program beyond
anti-communist rhetoric. The conference proposed the cooperation of all
non-socialist forces in the October local elections. -- Stefan Krause,
OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN POLICE BAN MAY DAY DEMONSTRATIONS. May Day demonstrations
planned by the Confederation of Albanian Trade Unions in Tirana were
banned by the police, Koha Jone reported on 29 April. Only private
meetings outside the city were reportedly allowed. Police argued that
demonstrations in downtown Tirana would endanger public order and cause
traffic chaos in the capital. Meanwhile, more than 3,000 people on 29
April protested the killing of an Albanian by Montenegrin border guards
two weeks earlier, international agencies reported the same day. --
Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIA CLOSES BORDERS TO KURDISH IMMIGRANTS. Following reports about
the illegal smuggling by boat of mainly Kurdish, Chinese, and Pakistani
immigrants from Albania to Italy, Albania has closed its borders to
Kurdish immigrants, Koha Jone reported on 30 April. The Interior
Ministry allegedly ordered border checkpoints to refuse entrance to all
those people "who have no justified reason" to enter the country,
international agencies reported. Albania does not require visas for
Turkish and many other citizens, but media reports failed to say whether
visa requirements are now in force. -- 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
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