The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity. - George Bernard Shaw
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 131, Part II, 7 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 ELECTS NEW SPEAKER. International agencies on 6 July
reported that the Crimean parliament has elected a new speaker who is
supportive of the authorities in Kiev. Deputies voted 58 to 31 to
appoint centrist Yevhen Suprunyuk as a replacement for Serhii Tsekov,
who was dismissed the previous day. Suprunyuk's election is seen as a
move toward reconciliation with Kiev and a blow to Crimea's pro-Russian
forces. Tsekov was removed because of his authoritarianism and his
failure to compromise with Kiev. Suprunyuk has said he will work on an
equal basis with both Russia and Ukraine. The new speaker is a member of
the Agrarian bloc. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS STOPS ARMS REDUCTIONS. Izvestiya on 6 July reported that
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has announced that Belarus
will suspend the withdrawal of nuclear missiles from Belarus to Russia.
Lukashenka said the decision to withdraw the weapons was a political
mistake made by the previous leadership. He also commented that it was
unnecessary since Belarus and Russia may soon reunite. RFE/RL reported
Stanislau Shushkevich, former chairman of the Supreme Soviet, as saying
the decision was a disgrace to Belarus's international image.
Shushkevich was head of state when Belarus agreed to give up its
inherited nuclear arsenal of 81 single-warhead mobile SS-25 Topol
missiles. So far, 63 missiles have been withdrawn and the remaining 18
were to have been removed to Russia this month. Izvestiya commented that
the decision to stop nuclear reductions was also prompted by financial
considerations. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN PRIVATIZATION CHIEF UNDER FIRE. BNS on 6 July reported that the
Estonian Center Party sent a letter in June to the board of the
Coalition Party asking for the dismissal of Vaino Sarnet, director-
general of the Privatization Agency. It also requested a thorough
examination of personnel at government institutions and proposed that a
bill be drawn up banning the Central Bank from holding shares in
commercial banks. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN PRESIDENT IN LITHUANIA. Guntis Ulmanis has met with his
Lithuanian counterpart, Algirdas Brazauskas, in Vilnius, Russian Public
Television reported on 6 July. Ulmanis said that the three Baltic states
needed a joint strategy to join the EU. He stressed the need for the
three countries to coordinate their policies toward other states and
cooperate in controlling their borders and illegal immigration. He also
proposed setting up a joint budget to be used toward financing cultural
and ecological projects. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIA PARDONS FORMER SOVIET GENERAL. The Lithuanian Mercy Mission on
5 July pardoned former Soviet General Ginutis Taurinskas for his
participation in anti-state activities, BNS reported. Taurinskas headed
the Lithuanian branch of the Soviet paramilitary organization DOSAAF and
participated in activities of pro-Soviet forces in Lithuania when the
Soviet Union was falling apart. When Lithuania gained independence, he
was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. Pranas Kuris, head of
the Supreme Court, justified the pardon saying that Taurinskas has
already served two-thirds of the term and, since he suffers from ill
health, it was a normal and humane act to pardon him. Opposition leader
Vytautas Landsbergis criticized the pardon. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

GERMAN CHANCELLOR IN POLAND. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, visiting
Poland for the first time since 1989, addressed a joint session of the
Polish parliament on 6 July. He said the European Union will do
"everything in its power to put Poland on the right track . . . [but]
there will be no shortcuts." "Admitting Poland to the European Union is
interdependent with its joining NATO but will not necessarily come at
the same time," he added. Kohl also stressed that "no country can forbid
another country to take part in any alliance . . . [but] it is necessary
above all to cooperate with Russia in constructing European security."
Polish and international media reported that Germany has offered its
active cooperation in building east-west highways and railroad lines in
Poland and in investing in economic zones along these routes. Kohl is
scheduled to pay a visit to Auschwitz during his three-day visit. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CENTRAL PLANNING OFFICE ON POLISH ECONOMY. The Polish Central Planning
Office on 6 July issued a report comparing Poland's economy in 1994 with
those of other East European countries. Polish and Slovenian growth
rates were the biggest in the region, reaching 5%. Poland is expected to
occupy first place with Estonia in 1995, with 6%. Polish exports rose
22% in 1994; but Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania registered bigger
growths. Inflation in Poland in 1994 was 32.2%, compared with 10.2% in
the Czech Republic and 320% in Russia. With regard to unemployment,
Poland placed seventh in Europe as a whole (with Macedonia, the rump
Yugoslavia, and Spain topping the list). Poland was the only country in
the region whose foreign debt decreased, but it has the region's second
largest such debt in relation to GNP (42%), after Hungary (72%).
Poland's budget deficit amounted to 2.7% of GNP in 1994, compared with
10.4% in Hungary and 9.3% in Russia, Polish media reported on 7 July. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH PRIMATE JOINS HISTORIC JAN HUS COMMEMORATION. For the first time
ever, the head of the Catholic Church in the Czech Republic has taken
part in a service marking the death of Protestant reformer Jan Hus. On 6
July--the 580th anniversary of Hus being burnt at the stake as a heretic
by the Church--Cardinal Miloslav Vlk joined evangelical Church leaders
for a service at the Bethlehem Chapel in Prague where Hus preached. At a
ceremony in Hus's hometown Husinec, President Vaclav Havel said the
Catholic Church could help heal religious divides in the country by
rehabilitating Hus. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAKIA'S RULING PARTY THREATENS TO BAR SOROS. Prime Minister Vladimir
Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) on 6 July demanded an
apology from U.S. billionaire and philanthropist George Soros for
statements he made earlier this week at an economic forum in Crans
Montana, Switzerland. Soros, who was awarded the forum's top prize, said
the historic opportunity presented by the collapse of communism in
Eastern Europe has been missed. He noted that in many post-communist
countries, nationalist ideologies were combining with business interests
in a classic recipe for fascism. Soros cited Serbia as an example and
said Croatia also showed similar tendencies. He then mentioned the
Slovak premier as an example of a strongly entrenched leader who has not
always supported privatization and liberalization. International media
reported Meciar's party as saying that unless Soros apologizes, HZDS
deputies will support a motion in the parliament to bar him from the
country as persona non grata. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

CAR EXPLOSION IN BRATISLAVA. A car exploded several hundred meters from
the Slovak government offices in Bratislava on 6 July, Slovak media
reported. Police said the two occupants of the car were killed in the
explosion, but they have refused to comment on the reasons or motives
for the incident until an investigation has been completed. Some media
have speculated that rival Bratislava gangs were seeking to settle
accounts. Unofficial sources were quoted as saying that the explosion
might be connected to the recent arrest of Italian mafia boss Domenico
Branco. Italian police arrested Branco in cooperation with the Slovak
police, which were reportedly tipped off by informants in the Bratislava
underworld. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

HEAVY FIGHTING AROUND SREBRENICA. International media on 7 July reported
that tank, mortar, and artillery fire erupted the previous day between
Serbian attackers and Muslim defenders of the eastern Bosnian enclave of
Srebrenica. Government spokesmen said it was the heaviest Serbian attack
since the UN declared the place a "safe area" in 1993. The BBC reported
that a UN relief convoy was shot at near Tuzla, apparently from Bosnian
Serb lines., while the International Herald Tribune noted a similar
attack on relief vehicles heading into Sarajevo across Mt. Igman.
Vjesnik quoted UN sources as reporting successes by the Bosnian army
around Bosanska Krupa near Bihac, while Novi list reported that Krajina
Serb forces are grouping around Knin. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

ZUBAK GIVES THE RAPID REACTION FORCE A DEADLINE. Bosnian Croat leader
and president of the Croatian-Muslim federation Kresimir Zubak has told
the Rapid Reaction Force that it must leave Herzegovina by the end of
the month if his questions regarding its mission have not been
satisfactorily answered by then, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung on 7 July. Reuters the previous day noted that the UN has stated
that the British and French commanders will have tactical control over
any RRF missions but that each action must be approved by the cautious
UN civilian bureaucracy. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT SINGLES OUT SERBS. The VOA on 7 July said
that Amnesty International has issued a report on human rights
violations in the former Yugoslavia. The study argues that the Serbs are
responsible for most, if not all, of the atrocities in Bosnia but that
all sides hold prisoners of conscience or have sent prisoners to work
under dangerous conditions. The Serbs press-gang young men in Serbia on
behalf of the Krajina and Bosnian Serb armies. They have also tortured
or otherwise ill-treated ethnic Albanian former policemen in Kosovo. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

CROATIAN JOURNALISTS DEFEND FERAL TRIBUNE. Novi list on 7 July carried a
statement by the Croatian Journalistic Society criticizing the recent
attacks by thugs on the independent satirical weekly Feral Tribune. The
declaration argues that one may think whatever one wants of that
particular paper but that nobody has the right to use violence against
freedom of expression. In other developments, AFP on 5 July reports on
growing social unrest in Croatia. Some 140,000 out of 760,000 workers
have not been paid in months, and the situation of the 800,000
pensioners and 385,000 refugees is also precarious. Protests by unpaid
workers have taken on political overtones, as the demonstrators argue
that the elite of the ruling party are enriching themselves while
ordinary people face hard times. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BILDT IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. Nasa Borba on 7 July reported on European
Union mediator Carl Bildt's arrival in Sarajevo the previous day.
Bildt's visit is intended to revive the peace process, but he has
already expressed doubts over prospects for lasting peace. AFP quoted
him as saying there will be "more war in Bosnia rather than peace. . . .
There might be a solution, but it is not immediately at hand." Bildt
also noted that negotiations with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
are key to facilitating the peace process. Milosevic on 6 July met with
Alvaro de Soto, UN deputy secretary for political affairs, but De Soto
gave few details about the discussions. The VOA said that journalists
asked Bildt if he planned to visit Bosnian Serb headquarters at Pale but
that he replied he is "not a tourist" and has no need to go there. --
Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

MONTENEGRIN HOTEL CHAIN REWARDS ANTI-GREEK VACATIONERS. Montena-fax on 6
July reported that the rump Yugoslavia's Maestralturs hotel chain is
involved in the continuing controversy over the rump Yugoslavia's 2 July
European basketball championship win in Athens. When the rump Yugoslav
national anthem was played, Greek fans, who had seen their team lose to
the rump Yugoslav team in an earlier game, booed. Now as a reward to
vacationers who can prove they have canceled vacations to Greece in
protest at the fans' behavior, Maestralturs is offering a 20% discount.
-- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

RUGOVA MEETS WITH GLIGOROV. Ibrahim Rugova, president of the Kosovar
shadow state, met with Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov in Skopje
after visiting the U.S., Spain, and Albania, according to the Kosovar
Daily Report and MIC on 6 July. The two leaders discussed the situation
in Kosovo and Macedonia, as well as bilateral relations. There was no
official statement on the disputed Albanian-language university in
Tetovo, but both sides confirmed that "peace and stability in the
Balkans can be guaranteed only by settling [outstanding] issues through
talks and political means and by strengthening the European option [for]
the Balkan states." Elsewhere, Fehmi Agani, deputy leader of the ruling
Democratic League of Kosovo, said after meeting with representatives of
the ruling Serbian Democratic Party in Belgrade that "the atmosphere was
surprisingly cordial," Politika reported on 7 July. -- Fabian Schmidt,
OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN, HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS TO MEET? Radio Bucharest on 6
July, citing Radio Budapest, said Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo
Kovacs has proposed meeting with his Romanian counterpart, Teodor
Melescanu, to discuss the bilateral basic treaty. The possibility of
talks between the two ministers was also discussed by President Ion
Iliescu and Prime Minister Gyula Horn at their meeting in Cannes. But
Kovacs said he had doubts about how successful such an encounter would
be. In a related development, Adevarul on 7 July reported that the
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR) has decided to begin
"civic disobedience" actions if its demands for changing the recently-
passed education law are not met by President Ion Iliescu. UDMR leaders
and Iliescu are scheduled to meet on 8 July. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI,
Inc.

ROMANIA, CHINA AGREE ON "DIPLOMATIC FORMULA." The Romanian Foreign
Ministry, in a press release from Beijing carried by Radio Bucharest on
6 July, says Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu has "expressed
satisfaction" with the results of his visit to China. The ministry said
"representatives of the Chinese People's Republic appreciated the fact
that Romania recognizes a single China and [has confirmed] its intention
to establish no diplomatic relations and to exchange no official visits
with Taiwan." The official news agency Rompres says that formula "leaves
the door open to economic and trade relations between Romania and
Taiwan." -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN CURRENCY IS NOW CONVERTIBLE. Leonid Talmaci, president of the
Moldovan National Bank, announced on 6 July that the Moldovan leu has
become a convertible currency, Infotag reported the same day. Talmaci
said foreign investors are now likely to invest more willingly in
Moldova, where the currency is stable and inflation low. He also said
inflation fell from 2,000 % when the leu was introduced in November 1993
to 110% in 1994 and will not exceed 10% in 1995. Meanwhile,
Privatization Minister Ceslav Ciobanu on 6 July said that approximately
400 more enterprises are to be privatized by September 1995, Infotag and
BASA-press reported. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVA REMEMBERS VICTIMS OF SOVIET REGIME. Radio Bucharest and BASA-
press on 6 July reported that a memorial granite stone dedicated to the
victims of the Soviet regime was unveiled in Chisinau's Valea Morilor
park the same day. The memorial stone stands where the NKVD headquarters
were situated in 1940. On 6 July 1949, nearly 41,000 people where
deported to Siberia under the pretext of the struggle "against kulaks."
Of these, some 80% perished. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

DEMIREL ENDS VISIT TO BULGARIA. Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on 6
July concluded an official three-day visit to Bulgaria, international
media reported. On the last day of his visit, he spoke to the
predominantly ethnic Turkish population of a town some 400 kilometers
northeast of Sofia. He described his audience as "good citizens of
Bulgaria," remarking that in recent years, the Bulgarian government has
demonstrated a sound record of protecting the Turkish minority's rights.
He also described Bulgaria's Turkish community as a "bridge" between
Bulgaria and Turkey. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. PREPARES DEPLOYMENT OF SPY PLANES FROM ALBANIA. The U.S. army's
first shipments of equipment for deploying unmanned Predator spy planes
arrived in Gjader on 6 June. The unmanned planes will be operated by
remote control over Bosnia-Herzegovina by about 100 U.S. military and
civilian staff, Reuters reported on 6 June. Information gathered by the
system will be passed onto NATO and the UN command for Bosnia. The first
military operation to use the Predator system is also the first time the
U.S. has conducted a key military operation in Albania. The operation is
scheduled to last for 60 days but may be extended. -- Fabian Schmidt,
OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN SUPREME COURT, JUSTICE MINISTRY DISCUSS COURTS' BUDGET.
Albanian Supreme Court Judge Zef Brozi and Minister of Justice Hektor
Frasheri have begun discussing the budget of the country's courts,
Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 7 July. Brozi had earlier criticized
Frasheri's plans to subordinate the courts' budget to the ministry's
authority. He claimed that a bill proposed by the ruling Democratic
Party in June was designed to undermine the independence of the courts,
which had a separate budget in 1994. The democrats withdrew the bill
after Brozi strongly protested it. -- 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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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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