The road uphill and the road downhill are one and the same. - Heraclitus
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 112, Part II, 9 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

NEW UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER APPOINTED. President Leonid Kuchma, in his
first move since obtaining new executive powers under a deal with the
parliament, appointed              54-year-old Yevhen Marchuk as prime
minister, international and Ukrainian news agencies reported on 8 June.
Marchuk is the former chief of Ukraine's security service. His
appointment came as no surprise because he has served as acting prime
minister since the government was dismissed by the Ukrainian legislature
in April. Marchuk's confirmation followed a ceremony at Kiev's Mariinsky
Palace, where the president and lawmakers signed a compromise accord to
end a prolonged struggle over Kuchma's recently approved political
reform law. The communist caucus, which opposed provisions giving Kuchma
expanded powers to carry out political and economic reforms, boycotted
the ceremony. Communist leaders likened the political deal to a
constitutional coup. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

KUCHMA AND CRIMEAN LAWMAKERS REACH COMPROMISE ON POLL. The Ukrainian
president has agreed to a compromise proposal by Crimean lawmakers and
canceled his March decree placing the Crimean government under his
direct control, UNIAR and Ukrainian Television reported on 8 June.
Kuchma overturned his decision after the Crimean legislature canceled a
regionwide non-binding referendum on union with Russia and Belarus,
which was scheduled during local elections on 25 June. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak , OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN FINANCIAL MEETING. Kuchma on 8 June met with the directors of
20 of Ukraine's biggest commercial banks to discuss the state of the
country's underdeveloped banking system, UNIAR and Ukrainian Television
reported the same day. The lack of domestic and foreign investment in
Ukraine can be blamed not only on the lack of vital economic legislation
but also on the poor state of the banking system, participants of the
meeting concluded. There are only 217 banks with 1,860 branches in
country with a population of 52 million people, said Oleksander
Suhonyako, president of the Association of Ukrainian Banks. A clearer
mechanism for declaring bankruptcy and increased privatization of
Ukraine's state-owned enterprises would help resolve the debt crisis.
Enterprises owe Ukrainian banks billions of karbovantsi. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR TOUGH ECONOMIC MEASURES. Alyaksandr
Lukashenka, at an 8 June special meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers and
Security Council, has called for tough measures to strengthen the
Belarusian economy, Reuters and Interfax reported the same day.
Lukashenka said that despite a drastic decline in production,
inventories were overflowing and directors of enterprises were not
seeking new markets to sell those goods. Most of the country's mainly
state-owned businesses have been unable to meet their burgeoning debts,
and some have not paid employees since January. Lukashenka described
enterprise managers as " scroungers and idlers"  and said they should be
forced " against their will"  to change the way they operate. He
boasted, however, that his administration's tight fiscal policy has
stabilized Belarus's financial situation and lowered monthly inflation
from 40% to 3.5%. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

MAY INFLATION IN ESTONIA. The Estonian Statistics Department reported
that the consumer price index increased by 2.6% in May, BNS reported on
7 June. The price of services grew by 6.6%, primarily due to an increase
of 9.9% in housing costs and utilities. A 1.1% rise in the cost of
manufactured goods was offset by a 1.3% decline in food prices,
resulting in an overall drop of 0.4% in the cost of goods. The monthly
inflation rate in April was 1.0% following rates of 3.5%, 2.9%, and 2.4%
in the first three months of 1995. Compared with May 1994, the price of
goods and services increased by 27.1%. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

NEW LATVIAN EDUCATION MINISTER. The Saeima on 8 June approved the
nomination of Janis Gaigals as minister of education and science, BNS
reported. Born in 1956, Gaigals headed the Riga Craftsmanship School and
was an adviser to the previous education minister, Janis Vaivads, who
resigned on 8 May over a pay dispute between educators and the
government. The ruling Latvia's Way nominated Gaigals even though he is
not a formal member of that party. -- Saulius Girnius , OMRI, Inc.

POLISH SENATE SPEAKER VISITS LITHUANIA. Adam Struzik, during an official
two-day visit to Lithuania, told the Seimas on 8 June that Poland and
Lithuania have a common aim in joining the EU and NATO, BNS reported.
While stressing the need to maintain friendly relations with Russia, he
said the demilitarization of Kaliningrad Oblast would increase security
in the Baltic Sea region. Struzik also met with members of the Seimas
Foreign Affairs Committee and representatives of Polish social
organizations. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

SOLIDARITY CONGRESS IN GDANSK. Solidarity trade union president Marian
Krzaklewski was reelected in Gdansk on 8 June. Polish President and
former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, addressing the congress, called
for the creation of a broad pro-reform bloc before this years
presidential elections. Meanwhile, Supreme Court President Adam
Strzembosz, who is running for the presidency, also opted for unity in
the upcoming elections in a letter to the congress, Rzeczpospolita
reported on 9 June. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PREMIER ADDRESSES SEJM. Jozef Oleksy, in his first speech to the
Sejm since his inaugural address in March, said on 8 June that Poland's
economic performance is good and that inflation is the price to be paid
for high industrial output, growing exports, and the reduction of
unemployment, Polish and international media reported. -- Jakub
Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CONTROVERSY IN POLISH DEFENSE MINISTRY. Polish Deputy Defense Minister
Jerzy Milewski, speaking in the Sejm on 8 June, criticized Defense
Minister Zbigniew Okonski for saying in an interview with Wprost that
the Polish army is " not mature enough"  to adopt West European command
structures. Okonski, who wants to dismiss Milewski, attacked his deputy
for telling the same magazine that he doubted there is civilian control
of the Polish army, Gazeta Wyborcza reports on 9 June. -- Jakub
Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK RESPONSE TO CZECH MOVE TO ABOLISH CLEARING SYSTEM. A Slovak
government official on 8 June responded to the Czech government decision
the previous day to unilaterally abolish the Czech-Slovak payments
clearing agreement used in bilateral trade. TASR reported that Czech
Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus sent a letter to his Slovak counterpart,
Vladimir Meciar, explaining the decision and pointing out that " he has
not yet received a response to his letter [to Meciar] of 10 May."  In
that letter, Klaus proposed the abrogation of the agreement. The Slovak
government official argued, however, that a letter from Meciar to Klaus
was faxed (and its receipt confirmed) two hours before Klaus sent his
letter to Meciar. -- Jiri Pehe , OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK DIPLOMATIC NEWS. Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk on 7 June
arrived in Finland for an official visit--the first by a high-ranking
Slovak diplomat since the split of Czechoslovakia on 1 January 1993,
TASR reported. Schenk and his Finnish counterpart, Tarja Halonen,
focused on the state of Slovak-Hungarian relations in their meeting on 8
June. Slovak Deputy Prime Minister Katarina Tothova began a two-day
visit to Strasbourg the same day, where she held talks with Council of
Europe officials on adapting Slovak laws to meet CE norms. Finally,
Slovak Defense Minister Juraj Sitek left for Belgium to attend a meeting
of the North Atlantic Council for Cooperation. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PREMIER ON BOSNIA. Gyula Horn, speaking at Washington's
National Press Club on 8 June, said the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina proves
that the countries of East-Central Europe should aim for a historic
reconciliation. " If we keep looking into the past and licking old
wounds, we shall not have the energy to solve our present problems,"
the Hungarian premier said. He argued that a continuation of the Bosnian
conflict could adversely affect security in East-Central Europe.
According to Horn, the quickest way to end the war is to persuade
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to isolate the Bosnian Serbs. --
Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN SERBS SAY THEY WILL LIFT ROADBLOCKS TO SARAJEVO. The Bosnian
Serb leadership on 8 June agreed to reopen land routes to the Bosnian
capital, allowing humanitarian aid to pass, international media
reported. According to Reuters, the Bosnian Serbs have also agreed to
guarantee the safety of UN truck drivers delivering aid on the territory
they control and to provide escorts. Bosnian Serb vice president Nikola
Koljevic described the development as " an important step"  and added
that " we really believe in further peaceful developments."  Meanwhile,
the BBC on 9 June reported continued shelling of Sarajevo, where at
least two people were killed, and Gorazde. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

NATO DEFENSE MINISTERS AGREE ON BOSNIA. The BBC on 9 June reported that
NATO defense ministers, meeting in Brussels, reached a consensus on the
creation of a rapid response force in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The U.K. is
slated to provide the bulk of the 10,000-strong reinforcement to the
war-torn country. The New York Times on 9 June cites British Defense
Minister Malcolm Rifkind as stressing that the new forces will fire in
self-defense but will not " blast their way through resistance to ensure
that relief supplies are delivered and other UN tasks are carried out."
However, both Rifkind and French officials have raised the specter of
withdrawal if the parties involved do not accept the UN role. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

SERBS HAND OVER REMAINS OF BOSNIAN FOREIGN MINISTER. Vjesnik and Nasa
Borba on 9 June reported that the remains of Bosnian Foreign Minister
Irfan Ljubjankic have been handed over to Bosnian authorities in Bihac.
Ljubjankic was killed on 28 May when his helicopter was downed in Bihac
by hostile Serbian fire. The Bosnian justice minister and five others
also died in the incident. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

MORE KOSOVAR POLICEMEN SENTENCED. A court in Gnjilan on 8 June sentenced
15 ethnic Albanians to up to three years in jail, Reuters reported the
same day. The former policemen are charged with creating a separatist
shadow-state police force. Seven were tried in absentia and the court
dropped charges against another four. In the largest legal proceedings
ever in Kosovo, the trials of 159 ethnic Albanian former policemen are
under way, while 16 policemen were sentenced in April. Defense lawyers
have denied the charges, saying the policemen formed a trade union, not
a paramilitary force. About 3,500 ethnic Albanian policemen were fired
in 1991, after the abolition of Kosovar autonomy two years previously.
-- Fabian Schmidt , OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT RENEWS CRITICISM OF UNION LEADERS. Ion Iliescu has
again criticized leaders of the country's main trade union organizations
for planning more labor protests later this month, Radio Bucharest
reported. Presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu told journalists on 8
June that union leaders have broken an understanding mediated by Iliescu
on 22 May that should have served as the basis for a final agreement
between the unions, government, and employers. He repeated the assertion
that recent strikes in the energy sector were politically motivated.
Chebeleu also criticized the timing of the next big rally announced by
the unions. A two-week protest is scheduled to begin on 14 June, the day
when the opposition plans to commemorate victims of the June 1990
government-sponsored violence against pro-democracy demonstrators. --
Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN OFFICIAL ENDS VISITS TO ROMANIA. Csaba Tabajdi, Hungarian
state secretary dealing with Magyars living abroad, ended a five-day
visit to Romania on 8 June, Radio Bucharest reported. Tabajdi said at a
press conference in Cluj-Napoca that he had met with local authorities
and representatives of the Magyar minority from several counties in
Romania. He spoke of " concern and anxiety"  in connection with an
education bill currently being discussed by the Romanian parliament.
Tabajdi described the law as a " touchstone for Romanian-Hungarian
relations."  He said Hungary is expecting its neighbor to meet European
standards by passing a law that is " acceptable to the Magyar minority."
-- Dan Ionescu , OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN SENATE CHAIRMAN IN MOLDOVA. Oliviu Gherman, heading a
parliamentary delegation, began a two-day official visit to Moldova on 8
June, Radio Bucharest reported. Gherman, who is also chairman of the
ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania, met with Moldovan Premier
Andrei Sangheli, Foreign Minster Mihai Popov, parliamentary chairman
Petru Lucinschi and Dumitru Motpan, leader of the ruling Moldovan
Agrarian Democratic Party. Addressing the parliament in Chisinau the
same day, Gherman recalled that Romania was the first state to recognize
the independence of the Republic of Moldova. He also stressed Romania's
support for Moldova's admission into various international
organizations, including the Council of Europe. Gherman will meet with
Moldovan President Mircea Snegur on 9 June. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

KULIKOV: RUSSIA MAY GIVE BULGARIA TANKS. Marshal Viktor Kulikov, former
military commander of the Warsaw Pact armed forces and now an adviser to
Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, has suggested that Bulgaria
might receive some of the tanks Russia must destroy under the
Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, BTA reported on 5
June. This message was conveyed by Bulgarian Industry Minister Kliment
Vouchev following his meeting that day in Sofia with Kulikov. Bulgaria
would then destroy older tanks in its inventory to meet its CFE limits.
Such a " cascading"  of excess weapons is common within NATO but has not
occurred among the former Warsaw Pact states. -- Doug Clarke , OMRI,
Inc.

MILITARY SEA EXERCISE IN BULGARIA. A one-day military sea exercise took
place along Bulgaria's Black Sea coast on 8 June, international agencies
reported. Dutch, Greek, Italian, and Turkish ships from NATO's southern
fleet in the Mediterranean and eight Bulgarian ships participated in the
maneuvers, which are taking place within the framework of the
Partnership for Peace. NATO ships are expected to hold another joint
exercise in Bulgaria and Romania later this year. -- Fabian Schmidt,
OMRI, Inc.

DRUGS SEIZED IN BULGARIA. Bulgarian customs officers seized 21.7 kg of
heroin at the Turkish border on 7 June, AFP reported the following day.
The heroin, worth an estimated $3.3 million, was hidden in a British
truck and two British citizens were detained. The consignment brings the
total heroin haul this year in Bulgaria to 101 kg. -- Fabian Schmidt ,
OMRI, Inc.

ENVER HOXHA'S SON SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR. Ilir Hoxha, the youngest son of
Albanian communist dictator Enver Hoxha, was sentenced to one year in
jail on 8 June, AFP and Reuters reported the same day. Hoxha was found
guilty of " inciting national hatred by endangering public peace"  and
of calling for " vengeance"  and " hatred against parts of the
population"  in an interview with the newspaper Modeste. Hoxha was
quoted as saying during the trial that " The day will come when all
those who have betrayed my father will have to answer for their
actions."  He is the first person to be tried under a new penal code
that took effect in Albania on 1 June. Hoxha denied the charges, saying
his trial was motivated by political revenge. -- Fabian Schmidt , OMRI,
Inc.

TURKEY AND GREECE CLASH OVER TERRITORIAL WATERS . . . The Turkish
parliament on 8 June passed a resolution empowering the government to
take military measures against Greece, Reuters reported the same day.
The resolution follows the Greek parliament's decision to ratify the Law
of the Sea Convention, which would allow Greece to extend its
territorial waters. The resolution says that " the parliament has
decided to invest the government with all powers to take all measures
including military steps deemed necessary to protect the vital interests
of our country."  The resolution, however, was proclaimed " to the world
and Greece with friendly sentiments."  Ankara claims that an extension
of the six-mile zone to twelve miles around the Greek Islands would make
70 percent of the Aegean Sea Greek and choke Turkey's access to the high
seas. -- Fabian Schmidt , OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND AGREE ON NATO MILITARY BUDGET. Turkey and Greece agreed at a
meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels to freeze a series of
bilateral disputes that have blocked the adoption of the 1995 NATO
military budget, AFP reported on 8 June. Under pressure from NATO
allies, Turkey agreed to lift for six months its veto on adopting the
military budget. Greece, for its part, pledged that for a period of
three to four months, it would suspend its opposition to the financing
of key NATO headquarters in Izmir. -- 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
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Copyright (c) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. All rights
reserved.


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