If we are to live together in peace, we must first come to know each other better. - Lyndon B. Johnson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 87, Part II, 4 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

EU COMMISSION ISSUES WHITE PAPER ON EAST EUROPEAN MEMBERSHIP. The
European Union Commission on 3 May issued a 300-page "white paper"
delineating extensive legislative changes necessary for East European
countries to join the EU, international agencies reported the same day.
The report must still be approved by the EU summit in Cannes next month.
EU Commissioner for Foreign Affairs Hans van den Broek stressed that the
white paper was neither legally binding nor a guarantee of EU
membership. But he added that its implementation "will be an important
factor when the time comes to decide how closely aligned [the East
European countries] are to us and when to begin [membership]
negotiations," he said. The plan applies to the six East European
countries that already have association agreements--Bulgaria, the Czech
Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia--as well as the three
Baltic states, which are expected to sign such agreements at the Cannes
summit. It includes provisions on competition and social and
environmental standards. Van den Broek indicated that East European
countries will have to fulfill most conditions before they can begin
negotiations on membership. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE REFUSES TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM CROATIA. Ukrainian President
Leonid Kuchma told reporters in Rome on 3 May that Ukraine will not
withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Croatia, Reuters reported. The UN
Security Council on 29 April approved plans to cut peacekeeping forces
there following a request from the Croatian government. Ukrainian
Foreign Minister Hennady Udovenko, who is accompanying Kuchma on his
three-day official visit to Italy, said the UN request for the Ukrainian
withdrawal was unexpected. He called it "illegal" and "groundless."
Udovenko noted that Kuchma has sent a letter to UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros Ghali requesting an explanation. A total of 1,200
Ukrainian soldiers are participating in peacekeeping operations in
Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE SECRETARY-GENERAL IN LITHUANIA. Daniel Tarschys,
during a brief visit to Vilnius, held talks with Lithuanian President
Algirdas Brazauskas and Seimas chairman Ceslovas Jursenas on 3 May, BNS
reported. The main purpose of his visit was to attend the opening
session of a two-day international conference on Yiddish culture,
organized by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on
Culture and Education. Tarschys told Jursenas he was pleased that the
Lithuanian parliament ratified the European Human Rights and Basic
Freedoms Convention the previous week. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR DISCLOSING NAMES OF KGB AGENTS. Guntis
Ulmanis, believing that the lists of Latvian KGB agents should be made
public, is discussing with leaders of the Saeima factions the
possibility of opening the KGB archives, Interfax reported on 3 May.
Lidija Doronina Lasmane, an employee of the State Center for Documents
on the Consequences of Totalitarianism, told the press that there are
some former KGB agents among the 55 scientists, artists, and other
public figures nominated for Latvia's highest award, the Order of the
Three Stars, for their services to Latvia in restoring and fostering
independence. Disclosing the names of the former agents would likely
increase tension before the fall parliament elections. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

OPINION POLL ON PARTY PREFERENCES IN POLAND. Rzeczpospolita on 4 May
published the results of an opinion poll on party preferences conducted
in April by the Sopot Social Research Bureau. The postcommunist
Democratic Left Alliance won the support of 25% of the respondents, the
Freedom Union 18%, the Polish Peasant Party 12%, Solidarity 11%, the
Labor Union 10%, and the Confederation of an Independent Poland 6%.
According to the poll, these six parties would be represented in the
Sejm if elections had been held last month. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI,
Inc.

CZECH GOVERNMENT PREPARES TO ABOLISH CLEARING SYSTEM WITH SLOVAKIA. The
Czech government on 3 May instructed Finance Minister Ivan Kocarnik to
prepare plans for abolishing the clearing system with Slovakia, which
has regulated bilateral trade payments since the breakup of
Czechoslovakia. Under the system, goods up to 130 million ECU per month
are paid in local currencies; amounts beyond that limit must be paid in
hard currency. The Czechs have exceeded the limit every month since mid-
1994, blaming a 10% import surcharge imposed by Slovakia and a 5%
overvaluation of the Slovak koruna. Hospodarske noviny reports that
Slovak Finance Minister Sergej Kozlik said his government does not
intend to cancel the import surcharge (originally intended to be lifted
by the end of 1994) but would merely reduce it next year to 7.5%. Kozlik
also said Slovakia was prepared for the end of the clearing system,
which would mean all future bilateral trade would be paid in hard
currency. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK POLITICAL NEWS. The Slovak parliament, at its session beginning
on 3 May, voted to accept a statement on the 50th anniversary of the
victory over fascism, Slovak media reported. It also voted to hold
closed-door discussions on the body controlling the Slovak Information
Service. Ivan Lexa, who was elected to the parliament last fall as a
representative of the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, currently
heads both the SIS and its supervisory body. A bill presented by Economy
Minister Jan Ducky on state support for small and medium-sized firms was
also approved. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PRIVATIZATION PETITION KICKS OFF. The Committee for the
Protection of the Rights of Owners of Investment Coupons on 2 May
approved the text of a petition calling for a referendum on the second
wave of coupon privatization. The petition is sponsored by former
privatization ministers Milan Janicina and Ivan Miklos as well as the
opposition parliament deputies Mikulas Dzurinda, Viliam Vaskovic, and
Laszlo Nagy. It asks that coupons be payable 10 months after the
announcement of the referendum results and that property worth at least
80 billion koruny be sold off, Pravda reported on 4 May. -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARY COMPLAINS ABOUT IMF. Hungarian Finance Minister Lajos Bokros on
3 May complained that the IMF and other international creditors are not
providing the Hungarian government with enough support for planned
economic reforms, Western news agencies report. Bokros, addressing a
meeting in Budapest of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said "some of the
foreign institutions, such as the IMF, are not supportive enough. They
say more and more measures should be introduced within a shorter period
of time." The IMF and the World Bank have made new loans to Hungary
conditional on the successful implementation of the country's austerity
package. Announced in March, the package includes sharp cuts in social
welfare benefits, public sector wage caps, and redundancies among public
sector employees. -- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

MORE SERBIAN ROCKETS HIT ZAGREB. Another group of Orkan missiles landed
on the Croatian capital on 3 May, killing one and wounding 43. A
visiting Austrian ballet troupe and groups of children were involved,
and UNICEF condemned the attack. International media reported that the
mood in Zagreb was nonetheless defiant, and one journalist told the BBC
that it is a mystery why the capital has not been hit more often in the
four years of conflict. The nearest Serbian lines are 50 kilometers from
Zagreb, and the Orkans have a range of 60 kilometers with payloads of 45
kilograms of explosives. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

CROATIAN TROOPS APPARENTLY IN CONTROL OF SECTOR WEST. The Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung on 4 May reported that the Croatian army appears to
have largely retaken all of the former UN protected area in western
Slavonia. The BBC on 3 May said that the flow of Serbian refugees into
Bosnia has stopped because the Croats now control the north side of the
Sava bridge to Bosanska Gradiska. UN personnel held hostage by the Serbs
have been freed, and a cease-fire negotiated. The Serbs took journalists
to see the refugees and charged the Croats with massive human rights
violations, but it is speculated that Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic and his lieutenants in Knin and Pale earlier decided to write
off Sector West as indefensible and cut their losses. A journalist for
Globus said that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman is not trumpeting the
victory but that it is a big success for him because it will enable
40,000 west Slavonian refugees to go home. The refugee problem is
Croatia's biggest domestic political and social issue. The United States
and Russia, however, have called on Croatia to withdraw its forces to
the positions they occupied before the current offensive. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

WILL CROATIA'S APPETITE GROW WITH THE EATING? Up to 1,000 Croatian
soldiers have begun moving into parts of Sector South of Krajina in the
Dalmatian hinterland. Tensions are growing in the Gospic-Medak area in
particular, as the Serbs fire back. AFP quoted France's UN ambassador
and acting president of the Security Council as saying he "hopes this
will not lead to new fighting." But the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
notes that France, which also holds the EU chair, has failed in its move
to suspend that body's preliminary talks with Croatia on a trade and
cooperation agreement in retaliation for the current offensive. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS SURROUNDING YUGOSLAV CONFLICT. International
mediators Lord Owen and Thorvald Stoltenberg have invited Krajina
President Milan Martic and Foreign Minister Milan Babic to talks in
Geneva. Nasa Borba on 4 May reported that Bosnian President Alija
Izetbegovic has called off his planned trips to London and Paris from 6-
8 May in view of the current tensions in Croatia and Bosnia. Finally, 4
May marks the 15th anniversary of the death of former Yugoslav President
Josip Broz Tito. NIN, which features him on the cover of its latest
issue, and Politika report on the debate over his legacy; and the daily
runs the headline: "Tito lives, if only in polemics." -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN OPPOSITION BACKS KRAJINA SERBS. Serbian opposition leaders are
emerging as strong backers of the Krajina Serbs. Nasa Borba on 4 May
reported that Democratic Party of Serbia leader Vojislav Kostunica, at a
news conference the previous day, sharply criticized Belgrade for its
alleged failure to defend the Krajina Serbs against what he dubbed "the
criminal act of the Croatian military against Serbian civilians."
Kostunica stressed that Belgrade has an obligation to defend ethnic
Serbs in Krajina. He also commented that the Croatian authorities'
attacks have not been undertaken unilaterally but are part of an alleged
anti-Serbian international conspiracy supported by Western powers,
especially Germany and the U.S. Meanwhile, Vojislav Seselj, ultra-
nationalist leader of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and an accused war
criminal, has urged anyone interested in supporting the Krajina war
effort to contact a local SRS office for help, AFP reported on 2 May. --
Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

SULEJMANI SENTENCED IN MACEDONIA. Fadil Sulejmani, director of the self-
proclaimed Albanian-language university of Tetovo, was sentenced to two-
and-a-half-years in prison for inciting a riot, Flaka reported on 4 May.
One man was killed when hundreds of ethnic Albanians protested the
closure by police of the university after its inauguration in February.
Milaim Fejziu, deputy leader of the local branch of the International
Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, was sentenced to six months in
prison for "participating in a rally obstructing the police from
performing their duties." Macedonian law does not provide for
universities teaching only in Albanian, but negotiations on Albanian-
language courses at Skopje University are under way. -- Fabian Schmidt,
OMRI, Inc.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE SAYS DISMISSED ROMANIAN MAYORS SHOULD BE REINSTATED.
The Council of Europe delegation examining the case of 133 Romanian
mayors who have been dismissed or suspended says they should be
reinstated and granted "moral and material damages." At a press
conference in Bucharest carried by Romanian Television on 3 May, the
delegation also recommended curtailing the "excessive prerogatives" of
prefects, who represent the government at local level. Radio Bucharest
said a detailed report will be forwarded to the council's Parliamentary
Assembly and Council of Ministers. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN NUCLEAR PLANT DUE TO OPEN IN OCTOBER. The manager of Romania's
first nuclear plant has said the facility is expected to begin
operations in October, Reuters reported on 2 May. Viorel Marculescu said
tests at the Cernavoda power station were endorsed by experts from the
International Atomic Energy Agency. The plant is located 170 kilometers
east of Bucharest on the River Danube. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA ON 14TH ARMY WITHDRAWAL. The Romanian Ministry of Foreign
Affairs, in a declaration carried by Radio Bucharest on 3 May, said it
was "surprised" by the Russian State Duma's 26 April resolution on the
withdrawal of the 14th army from Moldova (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27
April 1995). The declaration calls the resolution "an attempt to delay
the pullout of Russian Federation troops temporarily stationed on the
territory of the Republic of Moldova." It also backs the Moldovan
Foreign Ministry's position that the Russian government should act "in
good faith" regarding the ratification of the withdrawal agreement
initialed by Russia and Moldova on 21 October 1994. -- Michael Shafir,
OMRI, Inc.

ELECTIONS IN GAGAUZ AUTONOMOUS REGION. Four candidates have registered
with the Central Electoral Commission of the autonomous Gagauz region in
Moldova to run in the elections for the region's bashkan (leader),
Infotag reported on 2 May. The elections are due to be held on 28 May.
The four candidates are Stepan Topal, former president of the self-
proclaimed Gagauz republic; Gagauz parliament chairman Mikhail
Kendigelean; George Tabunshik, former first secretary of the Komrat
Committee of the Moldovan Communist Party; and Dimitri Croitor, chairman
of the Ceadir-Lunga regional Executive Committee. Infotag says Tabunshik
is the favorite to win the elections. At the same time as the elections
for bashkan, the population of the autonomous region will elect a new
Gagauz parliament and a referendum will be held to decide whether the
region's administrative center will be at Komrat or Ceadir-Lunga. --
Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN MINISTERS ANNOUNCE ANTI-CRIME MEASURES. Justice Minister
Mladen Chervenyakov and Interior Minister Lyubomir Nachev on 3 May
discussed measures against rising crime in Bulgaria, Bulgarian
newspapers reported the following day. Chervenyakov was quoted as saying
that "non-traditional crime necessitates non-traditional measures,"
including telephone-tapping and audio and video surveillance. He also
noted that the proposed measures are temporary ones and will not turn
Bulgaria into a police state. The measures are expected to be approved
by the government on 4 May. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH BSP TO DISCUSS LAND LAW. Zhelyu Zhelev on
3 May met with representatives of the Bulgarian Socialist Party to
discuss their controversial views on an amendment to the land law.
Standart reported the following day that Zhelev proposed a compromise
but the Socialist rejected his proposal. No details on the compromise
were given. Zhelev vetoed the amendment on 27 April and said he will
take the matter to the Constitutional Court if the parliament overrides
his veto. Also on 3 May, the parliament approved the budget of the
Justice Ministry, which amounts to 610 million leva ($9.4 million). The
Supreme Judicial Council had asked for 2.5 billion leva ($38.5 million).
-- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK AND KURDISH DEMONSTRATORS ATTACK TURKISH MINISTER. Turkish
government spokesman and Minister of State Yildirim Aktuna was attacked
by about 500 demonstrators outside the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki
on 3 May, AFP reported the same day. The demonstrators threw stones,
lemons, and other objects at Aktuna's car as he tried to enter the
consulate to attend a dinner in his honor. At least two persons were
injured, Reuters reported. Aktuna arrived in Greece on 2 May on an
unofficial visit to Eastern Thrace and Thessaloniki. Speaking in
Komotini, he referred to the Muslim population of Eastern Thrace as
"Turkish." This remark triggered complaints from Greece, which insists
there are only "Muslims of Greek citizenship." Greek Prime Minister
Andreas Papandreou described Aktuna's behavior as "unacceptable."
Meanwhile, Turkey protested the attack on Aktuna to the Greek
ambassador. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

UN SECURITY COUNCIL CONCERNED OVER ALBANIAN SANCTIONS BUSTING. A
Security Council committee monitoring UN sanctions against rump
Yugoslavia has expressed concern about the illegal flow of oil from
Albania to Montenegro. According to Argentine Ambassador to the UN
Emilio Cardenas, the Security Council believes that "between 100% and
150% in excess of local [Albanian] consumption may be flowing north."
But he admitted that he does not know the origin of the oil, Reuters
reported on 3 May. The Albanian government earlier announced it will
take measures against oil smuggling. Other news agencies report that
sanctions busting by Albanians has reduced drastically since prices for
oil smuggled from Romania dropped. -- 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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OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
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