Жизнь - то же самое, что играть в ресторане на скрипке, котрую впервые взял в руки. - С. Батлер
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 130, Part II, 6 July 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

CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT SACKS SPEAKER. Crimean parliament speaker Serhiy
Tsekov on 5 July lost a vote of confidence in the 98-member assembly,
international and Ukrainian news agencies reported the same day.
Deputies voted 54 to 35 against Tsekov, with the majority Russia Bloc
accusing him of grabbing too much power and being too soft on Crimean
autonomy. Reformers and Crimean Tatar deputies blamed Tsekov for the
recent violent clashes between Tatars and alleged racketeers. They also
criticized him for failing to introduce economic reforms and head off
growing crime in the region. Later the same day, deputies failed to
elect a new chairman and postponed a second vote to 6 July. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

CHORNOBYL PLANT OFFICIALS WARN SARCOPHAGUS IS CRACKING. Officials at the
Chornobyl nuclear power plant warned that the concrete-and-metal tomb
enclosing the ruined No. 4 reactor was in danger of collapsing, Reuters
reported on 5 July. An official in charge of the sarcophagus said plant
workers were patching up 1,000 square meters of cracks on the tomb's
roof and walls. He added that the steel pillars supporting the structure
were in danger of collapsing and that plans were being made to
strengthen them. A French-led consortium is expected to present plans
for a permanent Sarcophagus-2, but there are no pledges of financial
aid. Ukraine has promised to shutdown the stricken power station by 2000
but has repeatedly stressed it needs financial assistance to pay for a
new tomb and to build a new gas-fired electricity plant to replace the
5-7% of energy Chornobyl produces. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT AGREES TO PRICE HIKES. Belarusian Radio on 5 July
reported that Alyaksandr Lukashenka has agreed to increase the cost of
services effective from the beginning of this month. The price hikes are
one of the conditions the IMF has insisted upon before it releases the
second tranche of a stand-by loan to Minsk. Sixty percent of the costs
of services will now be covered by consumers, and only 40% subsidized by
the state. The prices of a number of consumer goods were freed in
November, leading to popular unrest. Lukashenka then backtracked and
ordered that prices be brought down to earlier levels, a move that
threatened credits from the IMF. He eventually relented and freed prices
again under pressure from the IMF and some of his advisers. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIAN ECONOMICS MINISTER RESIGNS. International agencies on 5 July
reported that Alexandras Vasiliauskas has resigned, following Prime
Minister Adolfas Slezevicius request to do so because of shortcomings
during his year in office. These included not passing laws on the second
wave of privatization and failing to promote small businesses. Some
1,000 demonstrators had gathered the previous day near the parliament
building to demand the government's resignation. Many demonstrators had
lost their savings when a number of small banks and credit companies in
the country closed down. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION TO CONTINUE ITS WORK. The Polish
parliament's Constitutional Commission on 5 July rejected a motion by
the Freedom Union that it interrupt its work because of the presidential
campaign (see OMRI Daily Digest, 5 July 1995). Only seven commission
members supported the motion, while 35 voted against. The ruling
Democratic Left Alliance would like the commission to complete its work
in September. Commission head Aleksander Kwasniewski predicts that a
nationwide referendum on the new constitution could be held in the
spring of 1996, Polish media reported on 6 July. -- Jakub Karpinski,
OMRI, Inc.

RESTITUTION IN WARSAW. Warsaw Mayor Marcin Swiecicki on 5 July handed
over 28 property certificates to the owners of 14 properties in Warsaw
that were confiscated under the October 1945 decree "communalizing" all
real estate in Warsaw. Some 17,000 buildings and 14,148 hectares of land
were seized at that time. Several thousand applications for the
restitution of property in downtown Warsaw are still waiting for an
administrative decision to be made, Polish media reported on 6 July. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

ANOTHER DISMISSAL AT SLOVAK RADIO. Slovak Radio Director Jan Tuzinsky on
4 July dismissed Martin Bartisek, editor in chief of Slovak Radio's
Channel 1. Michal Michalcik, previously head of the international
editorial office, was appointed to Bartisek's post, TASR reported.
Tuzinsky said Bartisek was dismissed because he did not identify with
the program's goals and the "principles of Slovak Radio." Earlier this
year, a number of Slovak journalists protested the dismissal of a Slovak
Radio U.S. correspondent who, in their opinion, was fired for political
reasons. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

ECONOMIC NEWS FROM SLOVAKIA. The National Bank of Slovakia on 4 July
reported that inflation reached 2.2% over the first three months of
1995. The annual rate of inflation stands at 11.3%. Although food prices
decreased in the first quarter, the price of industrial goods grew by
4%, construction costs by 6%, and the price of building materials by 9%.
The National Bank's hard currency reserves at the end of March stood at
$1.96 billion, up $224 million since the end of 1994. -- Jiri Pehe,
OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PREMIER CRITICAL OF IMF. Gyula Horn on 5 July told Reuters
that the International Monetary Fund has set "unrealistic monetary
targets" for Hungary. Horn called on European Union governments to
provide more assistance for the economic transformation not just of
Hungary but of the whole Central European region. He said Hungary cannot
agree to the IMF condition that this year's Hungarian budget deficit be
half of last year's. According to Horn, his government is unable to
implement a reduction of that size in just one year. "The IMF does not
appreciate political risks of economic transition. Those solutions that
exist in the West can only be applied partially in Central Europe and in
Hungary in particular," argued the premier. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

DISSATISFIED HUNGARIANS. A Gallup poll of 18 countries published on 4
July shows that Hungarians are one of the world's most dissatisfied
nations, international and Hungarian media reported. When asked how they
viewed their lives, 51% said they were discontent. Mexicans were the
second most dissatisfied nation in the poll, with a 50% rating.
Icelanders were the most content, with a disenchantment rate of only 5%,
followed by Canadians and Germans. Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn
was the second least liked national leader in the survey. Fifty-six
percent of respondents disapproved of Horn's activities; only 25% were
happy with his performance. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

"ZUBAK DEMANDS PRECISE ANSWERS." This is how Vjesnik on 6 July headlines
its story on talks between Bosnian Croat leader Kresimir Zubak and
French General Andre Soubirou. The Croats refuse to let the newly
arrived troops of the Rapid Reaction Force into Tomislavgrad until key
questions are cleared up regarding the RRF's mission. The Muslims and
Croats want to know, among other things, why the troops are being
deployed only in peaceful territory under their control and not in
Serbian-held or battlefront areas. Suspicion is rife that the RRF does
not want to antagonize the Serbs and will simply protect a UNPROFOR
withdrawal from Bosnia. EU mediator Carl Bildt also talked to Zubak and
promised answers within a few days, AFP reported. The VOA and Nasa Borba
added that a UN commander said the RRF will force open a relief route to
Sarajevo but that UN headquarters in Zagreb promptly overruled him. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN PLANE FIRES AT BIHAC POWER PLANT. A Serbian Super Galeb jet,
apparently based at the Udbina airfield in Krajina, flew into Bosnian
airspace on 5 July and fired rockets at the Ostrozac power plant. It is
unclear what damage, if any, was done to the facility, which is the only
source of electricity for the embattled Bihac pocket. Bosnian government
forces have been gaining territory there at Serbian expense. The VOA
said that NATO did not retaliate against the violation of the no-fly
zone because it could not determine that the plan had actually come from
Udbina. Nasa Borba wrote on 6 July that NATO has no record of the flight
at all. Reuters the previous day quoted Bosnian Prime Minister Haris
Silajdzic as saying he wants an explanation from NATO leaders in
Brussels. On a related subject, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien
said the war in Bosnia has become a threat to global security because it
has thrown into question the ability of international organizations to
deal with a crisis. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

FERAL TRIBUNE EDITORS LAMBAST GOVERNMENT'S SILENCE. Novi list on 6 July
carries a statement by the editors of the independent satirical weekly
criticizing national, regional, and local authorities for their silence
following attacks against the paper on 26 -27 June. Thugs grabbed and
publicly burned copies of Feral Tribune with journalists and television
cameras present but no police. The editors suspect the governing party
of at least complicity in the attacks, which were applauded by neo-
fascist leader Mladen Schwarz. At least some of the thugs were from
Australia, where right-wing sentiment is strong among Croatian
emigrants. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON RUMP YUGOSLAV SANCTIONS. Nasa Borba on 6 July reports that the
UN Security Council the previous day voted 14 to 0 to continue easing
some sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia. Russia abstained from the
vote. Sanctions related to travel and sports and cultural events will
continue to be eased for an additional 75 days, until 18 September. They
were first relaxed on 5 October 1994 following an announcement by
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic that Belgrade's contacts with the
Bosnian Serbs side would be severed, except for humanitarian aid. Recent
media reports, however, suggest that Milosevic was insincere about
breaking relations with the Bosnian Serbs (see OMRI Daily Digest, 5 July
1995). -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

SANDZAK'S MUSLIM NATIONAL COUNCIL WRITES TO BILDT. Sulejman Ugljanin,
president of the Muslim National Council of the Sandzak, has sent a
letter to EU mediator to the former Yugoslavia Carl Bildt reporting on
the political situation in the region. The council claims that "terror
and ethnic cleansing" are continuing. It also calls on the special group
on the Sandzak at the Geneva conference to invite the parties involved
to discuss a solution to the status of the Sandzak, Montena-fax reported
on 5 July. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN EXTREMISTS WITHDRAW DEMAND FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO. Valer
Suian, executive secretary of the extremist Party of Romanian National
Unity (PUNR), has said that the PUNR's demand that it receive the
foreign affairs portfolio was "just a joke," Cronica romana reported on
6 July. Adrian Nastase, executive chairman of the Party of Social
Democracy in Romania, had rejected the demand by its junior coalition
partner as "blackmail" (see OMRI Daily Digest, 5 July 1995). -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA ON PENDING BILATERAL TREATIES WITH NEIGHBORS. Vasile Sofineti,
deputy spokesman for the Romanian Foreign Ministry, told a press
conference on 5 July that "preliminary consultations" between Moldova
and Romania began in Bucharest the same day, Radio Bucharest reported.
The treaty will be "examined by experts from the two ministries" at a
later date. Sofineti said the treaty will "embody the special,
privileged, and preferential relationship" between the two states. In
response to a question about the possible inclusion of Recommendation
1,201 in the treaty with Hungary, Sofineti said experts negotiating the
document wish to have no outside interference and are "leaving all doors
open" in order to successfully conclude the discussions. He said
preparations were under way for a meeting between the two countries'
foreign ministers, who would seek to agree on a document that can be
approved by their respective parliaments. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN PREMIER IN CHINA. Nicolae Vacaroiu on 3 July began a five-day
visit to China, Radio Bucharest reported the same day. He met with his
counterpart, Li Peng, Foreign Minister Qian Qichen, and President Jiang
Zeming. The talks focused on economic and technological cooperation.
Radio Bucharest on 5 July reported that the two sides signed accords on
long-term economic cooperation, public health, and mutual recognition of
academic degrees. Vacaroiu is also meeting with businessmen in the
different parts of China that he is visiting. His Asian tour includes
visits to Vietnam and Pakistan. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

SNEGUR, SMIRNOV AGREE ON NON-VIOLENCE. Radio Bucharest and Reuters on 5
July reported that Moldovan President Mircea Snegur and Igor Smirnov,
leader of the separatist Dniester region, agreed in Chisinau the same
day not to use military force or political pressure to settle the
conflict in the region. They also agreed to ask Ukrainian President
Leonid Kuchma to mediate. (Ukrainain parliament chairman Olexandr Moroz
said during a visit to Chisinau last month that Ukraine was ready to do
so.) Radio Bucharest reported that the two sides agreed on the Moldovan
leu being used as a "parallel currency" in the breakaway region,
alongside the coupon-ruble. It also reported that the agreement was
signed by representatives from Russia and the OSCE, both of which are
mediators in the conflict. Snegur and Smirnov, however, could not agree
on the future legal status of the area. Smirnov insisted on a separate
Dniester state within a confederation with Moldova, while Snegur was
unwilling to offer more than autonomy to the region. -- Michael Shafir,
OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PROSECUTOR-GENERAL SLAMMED OVER DRUG DECISION. Bulgarian
officials on 5 July attacked a decision by the country's prosecutor-
general, Ivan Tatarchev, not to confiscate illegally planted opium
poppies, Reuters reported the same day. At least 22 hectares planted
with opium poppies are known to exist, in violation of Bulgarian law as
well as the UN convention on drugs. Tatarchev, who was asked by the
Ministry of Health to investigate the issue, said growing the plants
does not in itself constitute drug production. Health Minister Mimi
Vitkova he was "astonished" by Tatarchev's stand, adding that Bulgaria
will be censured by the UN. Bulgaria no longer grows poppies that are
used in the production of pharmaceuticals. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

TURKISH PRESIDENT ON TIES WITH BULGARIA. Turkish President Suleyman
Demirel, during his official three-day state visit to Bulgaria,
announced on 5 July that Turkey and Bulgaria are planning to set up a
free trade zone, but he provided no details, international media
reported. Demirel also spoke to the Bulgarian parliament, expressing
satisfaction over Bulgaria's treatment of its ethnic Turkish minority
since the collapse of communism. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK-TURKISH WAR OF WORDS OVER PKK. Following the recent meeting
between Greek deputies and the leader of the separatist Kurdistan
Workers' Party (PKK) in Lebanon, Turkey has repeated allegations that
the Greek government is backing the PKK, AFP reported on 5 July. Four
Greek legislators from the ruling socialist party and two from the
opposition participated in the visit. Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman
Omer Akbel said that Ankara "will not drop this matter," adding that
documents and photos of the Greek deputies shaking hands with the PKK
leader have been turned over to the Greek ambassador in Ankara. The
charges prompted a swift denial on 4 July. Greek government spokesman
Evangelos Venizelos called the claims "unfounded and defamatory." He
said "Turkey must learn that this strategy of . . . exporting its
domestic problems . . . constitutes a flagrant violation of
international law and further alienates Europe and the West in general."
-- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIA REQUESTS DEFENSE TREATY WITH NORWAY. Norway has received a
request from Albania for a bilateral defense treaty, AFP reported on 5
July. According to a spokesman for the Norwegian Defense Ministry
Albanian authorities have approached the Norwegian embassy in Tirana
about such an accord. The Norwegian ministry is considering the request.
-- 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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OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved.


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