A tablecloth restaurant is still one of the great rewards of civilization. - Harry Golden
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 111, Part II, 8 June 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

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT AND PRESIDENT REACH COMPROMISE ON POLITICAL REFORM
BILL. The Ukrainian legislature and President Leonid Kuchma on 7 June
reached a compromise over greater executive authority to implement
political and economic reforms, international and Ukrainian new agencies
reported the same day. Lawmakers voted 240 to 81 to approve a so-called
constitutional agreement allowing the law on separation of powers to
take effect until Ukraine adopts a new constitution. Kuchma told
legislators that the treaty, to be signed on 8 June, may prompt him to
cancel the 28 June plebiscite on confidence in himself and the assembly.
Kuchma called the legally non-binding poll in an effort to break the
political deadlock over his political reform law. Kuchma told the
parliament that his drastic measure indicated that Ukraine was only one
step away from the kind of violent confrontation seen in Russia and
other CIS states as a result of similar standoffs. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

CRIMEAN PRIVATIZATION CHIEF DEMANDS LIFTING OF KIEV'S MORATORIUM.
Oleksander Kotelnikov, chairman of the Crimean State Property Fund, has
demanded that Ukrainian authorities lift a moratorium on privatization
in the region and allow Crimean lawmakers to adopt a privatization
program for the peninsula, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 7 June.
Kotelnikov told Crimean deputies that the protracted dispute between
Kiev and Simferopol over who has jurisdiction over the region's property
means Crimeans will get a much smaller share of the privatization pie
than Ukrainians from other regions. He said the moratorium has prevented
the Crimean authorities from adopting an economic development program
for the peninsula. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

FORD TO OPEN ASSEMBLY PLANT IN BELARUS. Representatives of the Ford
Corporation in Minsk met with President Alyaksandr Lukashenka on 7 June
to finalize plans to set up an auto assembly plant in Belarus, Interfax
reported the same day. Lukashenka promised government support for the
project, which should be ready to assemble Fords from ready-made
components within 15 to 20 months. The American executives said Ford
chose Belarus for its geographical location, cheap labor, and internal
stability. They also pointed to the removal of trade barriers with
neighboring Russia, which, they said, will broaden the market for their
cars. Lukashenka inquired about the possibility of setting up a joint
venture to manufacture special cars for the country's 400,000
handicapped. He said Belarus needed about 1,500 such vehicles annually,
while Russia delivered only 25 to 30 a year. -- Chrystyna Lapychak,
OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS FINLAND. Tiit Vahi, accompanied by
Foreign Minster Riivo Sinijarv, was in Helsinki on 7 June for a one-day
visit, BNS reported. Vahi held talks with President Matti Ahtisaari and
Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen. He also visited the energy concern IVO
International, whose subsidiary ESTIVO is cleaning up radioactive water
at the former Soviet submarine base at Paldiski, 35 kilometers west of
Tallinn. Sinijarv and his Finnish counterpart, Tarja Halonen, signed a
treaty on cooperating to fight crime. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN MILITARY PLANE CRASHES. One of Latvia's two L-410 Turbolet
transport planes crashed at the Lielvarde airfield, 40 kilometers south
of Riga, on 7 June, BNS reported. The two pilots were killed in the
crash, whose cause has not yet been officially determined. Latvian Prime
Minister and acting Defense Minister Maris Gailis were scheduled to fly
on the plane the following day to Brussels for a meeting of defense
ministers participating in NATO's Partnership for Peace program. The L-
410s were built in Czechoslovakia but donated to Latvia by Germany.
Latvia also has two AN-2 Colt aircraft and five MI-2 helicopters. --
 Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

UZBEK PRESIDENT IN LITHUANIA. Islam Karimov, at the start of his two-day
visit to Lithuania, met with his Lithuanian counterpart, Algirdas
Brazauskas, on 7 June, RFE/RL reported. The two presidents signed a
declaration on increasing cooperation. Foreign Ministers Abdulaziz
Kamilov and Povilas Gylys signed agreements on trade and economic
cooperation, joint efforts to combat customs violations, as well as
cultural, educational, and scientific cooperation. Karimov is scheduled
to meet with Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius, Seimas Chairman
Ceslovas Jursenas, and Lithuanian businessmen on 8 June. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIAN HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST IN POLAND. Sergei Kovalev who was
recommended by the Solidarity trade union and the Freedom Union party
for the Nobel Peace Prize, met with Polish President Lech Walesa on 7
June. Kovalev praised Walesa's decision to refuse an invitation to
attend VE Day commemorations in Moscow last month. Meeting with the
Freedom Union caucus, Kovalev said: "We are children of European
culture. We should fight together with those who know better what is
good for us," Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 8 June. -- Jakub Karpinski,
OMRI, Inc.

FRENCH PHILOSOPHER HONORED BY CHECHENS IN WARSAW. French philosopher
Andre Glucksman on 7 June was awarded the Knight of the Grand Cross of
Honor by Abdul Kadyrov, the European representative of Chechen President
Dzhokhar Dudaev. The opposition Confederation for an Independent Poland
and the Chechen Information Center in Cracow organized the award
ceremony, which took place in the Sejm. Glucksman said that Chechens
were "martyrs who have suffered for all of Europe and who, today, are
the victims of a new form of red and black fascism," Polish and
international media reported. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECHS TO UNILATERALLY SCRAP PAYMENTS SYSTEM WITH SLOVAKIA. The Czech
government on 7 June decided to unilaterally abolish the clearing system
that has governed trade payments with Slovakia since the two countries
split, Czech media reported. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said he has
received no reply to a letter sent to his Slovak counterpart, Vladimir
Meciar, in which Klaus proposed abolishing the system. Slovak Finance
Minister Sergej Kozlik, apparently contradicting other officials'
statements that Meciar has already written to Klaus, told Sme that
Meciar's reply was "hanging in the air." If the parliament abrogates the
necessary legislation at its June session, the system will likely be
scrapped on 1 October and all future trade will be conducted in hard
currency. Ending the system, under which the Czechs have run up monthly
deficits for more than a year, will be a further step toward making the
Czech koruna convertible and will remove one barrier to the Czech
Republic's entry into the OECD. -- Steve Kettle

CZECH RAIL WORKERS DECLARE STRIKE ALERT. The Czech Republic's 105,000
rail workers on 7 June threatened to call an all-out strike if their
wage and other demands are not met within eight days, Czech media
reported. Rail unions, claiming their members' wages have fallen behind
other groups, have rejected offers of modest increases as inadequate.
They are also calling for the resignations of all railroad heads, saying
they are mismanaging the rail network. The railroad general manager has
already submitted his resignation but is still in office. "We are ready
to compromise on all points except raising wages," union leader Jaroslav
Dusek said. The management and the Transport Ministry say that they do
not have the funds to meet the workers' demands and that any substantial
pay increase will have to be accompanied by a reduction in staff. --
 Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK OPPOSITION ECONOMIST CRITICIZES PRIVATIZATION SCHEME. Brigitta
Schmoegnerova, a leading member of the Democratic Left Party, has
described the Slovak government's voucher privatization plans as
"another nail in the coffin of the Slovak Republic," Slovak media
reported. Under the government proposal, the 3.5 million Slovak citizens
who have already signed up for voucher privatization will each receive
government bonds worth up to 10,000 koruny with five or six years
maturity (See OMRI Daily Digest, 7 June 1995). Schmoegnerova called the
bond scheme a "populist move" that would only confuse voucher holders.
Distributing bonds rather than vouchers that are exchangeable only for
shares in companies is not equal to voucher privatization, she argued.
Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, speaking on Slovak Television on 6 June,
revealed yet another aspect of his government's new privatization
strategy--the ban on privatizing strategically important state
enterprises. Meciar explained that this would enable the government to
acquire what he termed "golden shares" in power, gas, weapons, and
chemical facilities. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION NOMINATES PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE. Hungary's
parliamentary opposition parties--the Christian Democrats, the Hungarian
Democratic Forum, and the Young Democrats/Hungarian Civic Party--agreed
on 7 June to field a joint presidential candidate to challenge the
incumbent, President Arpad Goncz, who has been nominated by the ruling
Liberal-Socialist coalition. Hungarian media reported that the
opposition candidate is Ferenz Madi, a university professor and
education minister in the previous government. His chances are
considered slim because the ruling coalition has a two-thirds
parliamentary majority needed to elect the president. The vote is
scheduled for 19 June. -- Jiri Pehe

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

U.S. RESCUES PILOT DOWNED OVER BOSNIA. International media reported on 8
June that Captain Scott F. O'Grady, who piloted the F-16 shot down by
the Serbs on 2 June, has been picked up near Bihac by "NATO search and
rescue forces" and taken to the USS Kearsarge in the Adriatic. A NATO
spokesman added that the mission took place once contact with O'Grady
had been made. President Bill Clinton said that "Captain O'Grady's
bravery and skill are an inspiration. So are the bravery and skill of
those who took part in the operation to rescue him. They are all
American heroes." -- Patrick Moore

SERBS TO FREE MORE HOSTAGES? The Bosnian Serbs may soon free more of the
remaining 145 UN peacekeepers they are holding captive. The BBC on 8
June quoted the independent Serbian news agency Beta as saying the
operation is being held up only because the men are scattered over a
wide range of territory. A Serbian lobbyist told the VOA that the Serbs
took the hostages as "the least hostile action" they could think of.
Speculation is rife inside former Yugoslavia and abroad as to what
exactly prompted the Pale leadership to take nearly 300 UN personnel
captive in the wake of NATO air strikes and what the role of Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic has been. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

WILL THE RAPID RESPONSE FORCE BE TOOTHLESS? British, French, UN, and
Russian diplomats have been talking at length about the mandate and
command structure of the proposed RRF, the BBC reported on 8 June. It
appears that the force will be simply an extension of UNPROFOR,
restricted in its ability to punish aggressors and subordinated to the
UN's hesitant civilian command. The UN head of peacekeeping operations,
Kofi Annan, told AFP that "it will use force as it is allowed under
peacekeeping operations. It is not going to go into a combat mode. It is
not a fighting force.... We will have such presence that at some local
levels perhaps we will not be harassed as much." It is difficult to see
how such remarks can be reconciled with those of French Foreign Minister
Herve de Charette, who said: "We have decided to get out of the morass
in Bosnia. We have proved this from the military angle, and we have the
political will." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBS POUND SARAJEVO. Bosnian Serbs on 7 June continued to blast
Sarajevo with heavy weapons, which are supposed to be banned from the
area, prompting a response from government forces. In Washington, the
secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
continued efforts by the Clinton administration to distance itself from
or qualify the president's recent remarks to the effect that U.S. ground
troops might be sent to Bosnia if requested by NATO. Secretary of
Defense William Perry told a Congressional committee that he does "not
believe that the Bosnian war poses a threat to U.S. interests grave
enough to risk the lives of thousands of our troops." -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

GROWING TENSIONS WITHIN KRAJINA LEADERSHIP. The Croatian Serb rebel
government on 6 June held a meeting in eastern Slavonia with nine out of
17 ministers present. Frictions are growing in the wake of the loss of
western Slavonia and in the face of Croatian military inroads near Knin.
The main split is between those around President Milan Martic, who
favors a still vaguely defined union with the Bosnian Serbs, and allies
of Milosevic close to the recently sacked prime minister, Borislav
Mikelic. The latter argue that the union would mean that sanctions
against Pale would be imposed against Knin. Former President Goran
Hadzic, an enemy of Martic, threatened that resource-rich eastern
Slavonia will secede if the union goes ahead. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,
Inc.

U.S. ENVOY LEAVES FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. U.S. envoy Robert Frasure has left
former Yugoslavia after failing to secure an agreement with Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic providing for the lifting of sanctions
against rump Yugoslavia in exchange for Belgrade's recognition of
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Nasa Borba reported on 8 June. The daily also noted
that the U.S. envoy appears to think that Milosevic has little influence
over the Bosnian Serbs. Nasa Borba also reported that former rump
Yugoslav Premier Milan Panic visited Belgrade on 7 June. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

KOSOVAR PARLIAMENTARIANS AT FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTRY. A delegation from
the Kosovar shadow-state parliament visited the French Foreign Ministry,
Kosova Daily Report said on 7 June. The Kosovar legislators warned of an
escalation of the situation in the region and stressed that the Kosovars
have been pursuing a policy of peaceful resistance in recent years. A
French Foreign Ministry representative expressed his admiration for that
policy and said France has been closely watching developments in former
Yugoslavia. He added that his country is aware of the complexity of the
Kosovo crisis and supports "an acceptable and just solution." -- Fabian
Schmidt

ROMANIAN UNIONS VOW TO CONTINUE PROTESTS. Romania's three main labor
organizations --the National Confederation of Romania's Free Trade
Unions-The Brotherhood, the National Labor Bloc, and Alfa Cartel--told
journalists on 7 June that they plan to hold a two-week protest
beginning 14 June. They also said they were not prepared to stay out of
politics and will continue to demand the cabinet's resignation. The
planned rally will coincide with the fifth anniversary of a 1990 anti-
government protest that was brutally crushed by the authorities.
Opposition parties also plan rallies on that day, but the unions said
their protests are separate. President Ion Iliescu urged the three
organizations to suspend their protests and resume talks with the
government. He said union leaders were playing "a dangerous [political]
game that contradicted the unions' social mission." -- Dan Ionescu,
OMRI, Inc.

UNESCO HEAD IN ROMANIA. Federico Mayor, director-general of UNESCO,
began an official visit to Romania on 6 June, Radio Bucharest reported.
He was received the same day by Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor
Melescanu and the next day by President Iliescu, Premier Nicolae
Vacaroiu, and Culture Minister Viorel Marginean. Mayor pledged that his
organization will continue to support educational programs for Romania's
youth as well as programs for the preservation of its cultural heritage
and natural environment, including a series of ecological projects in
the Danube Delta and Dobruja. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT MEETS TIRASPOL LEADER. Mircea Snegur on 7 June held
talks in Chisinau with a delegation from the breakaway Dniester region
headed by Igor Smirnov, Interfax and BASA-press reported. The meeting
was opened by Michael Wygant, head of the OSCE mission to Moldova, who
read out an appeal for reconciliation from OSCE acting chairman Laszlo
Kovacs. Snegur, in a statement released after the meeting, spoke of
"constructive and productive" negotiations. But most press reports said
there was no breakthrough on the future status of the Dniester region
within the Republic of Moldova. The two sides announced another round of
talks for 5 July. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS CONTROVERSIAL LAW ON RALLIES. The Moldovan
parliament on 7 June adopted a law on public demonstrations at its first
reading, Infotag and BASA-press report. The law says that rallies may be
prohibited if their aim is to slander the state and nation or subvert
the constitutional system. It also prohibits rallies near public
buildings, including hospitals, railway stations, and enterprises. The
opposition voted against the law, calling it an anti-democratic
document. It vowed to bring the issue to the attention of international
organizations, including the Council of Europe. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,
Inc.

ALBANIAN PRESIDENT MEETS ITALIAN NATIONAL ALLIANCE DEPUTIES. President
Sali Berisha met with deputies from the Italian National Alliance,
Rilindja Demokratike reported on 7 June. Berisha told the Italian
parliamentarians that "relations and cooperation between the two
countries have developed well and brought good results." He also praised
Italy for considering the possibility to issue visas for Albanian
seasonal workers. -- 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 OMRI Daily
Digest is distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe,
send "SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the
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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
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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

Copyright (c) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved.


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