Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece. - Vladimir Nabokov
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 136, Part II, 14 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

SEWAGE SPILL THREATENS WATER SUPPLY IN EASTERN UKRAINE. International
agencies reported on 14 July that Ukrainian authorities are encouraging
residents of Kharkiv, eastern Ukraine, to leave the city until supplies
of fresh drinking water are restored. The breakdown of the city's sewage
treatment system ten days ago has caused a massive spill of raw sewage
into the Siverskodonetsk River, the main source of fresh water.
Virtually all commerce has stopped since fresh water supplies were
limited to two hours a day. Only bakeries, hospitals, and power stations
have continued operating. Repairs to the sewage plant are under way, but
some 200,000 cubic meters of sewage have continued to pour daily into
the river. The pollution threatens the densely populated industrial
regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk, and Luhansk, where some 10 million people
live. Sewage has reached the Donetsk region and is expected to reach
Luhansk in the next few days. From there, it may cross into Russia,
potentially threatening the Don River, of which the Siverskodonetsk is a
tributary, AFP reported. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUSIAN LOCAL COUNCILS' TERM EXTENDED. The Belarusian Constitutional
Court, at the request of parliamentary speaker Mechyslau Hryb, has
prolonged the current local councils' term until the first session of
the newly elected Council of Deputies, Belarusian TV reported on 12
July. Hryb also requested that the court confirm the new parliament as
the legitimate legislature in the country, but the court rejected this
appeal. In elections earlier this year, Belarusians failed to elect
enough deputies to form a new parliament because of low voter turnout.
The old parliament's term has now expired, and there is no new
legislature to replace it. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

MAJORITY OF NON-CITIZENS APPLY FOR ESTONIAN RESIDENCY. BNS on 13 July
reported that preliminary data shows some 324,000 non-citizens have
applied for residence and work permits in Estonia. The deadline for
applications was 12 July. In all, there are around 380,000 non-citizens
living in Estonia. The preliminary figure means more than 80% have
applied for legal status to remain. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

DIPHTHERIA IN LATVIA. In the first six months of 1995, 213 cases of
diphtheria were reported in Latvia, resulting in 15 deaths, BNS reported
on 13 July. The preceding year, 250 cases and 24 deaths were registered
for the year as whole. The 1995 figures mean there are 8.4 cases of the
disease per 100,000; thus, the country is considered to have an epidemic
on its hands. A vaccination campaign has started, since most of the
population has not been immunized against diphtheria. -- Ustina Markus,
OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PREMIER, PRESIDENT DISCUSS PRIVATIZATION BILL. Premier Jozef
Oleksy on 13 July failed to persuade Polish President Lech Walesa not to
veto the privatization and commercialization bill, Polish media reported
on 14 July. Commercialization entails turning state-owned enterprises
into joint-stock companies governed by commercial law but still retained
by the State Treasury. The 30 June bill provides for the privatization
of the most important branches of industry to take place under
parliamentary control. The ruling coalition is close to achieving the
two-thirds majority needed to override the veto. -- Jakub Karpinski,
OMRI, Inc.

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN FRANCE. Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, on an
official visit to France, met on 13 July with French European Affairs
Minister Michel Barnier. According to Bartoszewski, Barnier "stated very
clearly that he approves of the progress our country is making toward
European Union membership," Polish and international media reported. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH ATTITUDES TOWARD GERMANY. According to a public opinion poll
published by Mlada fronta dnes on 14 July, 51% of Czechs trust Germany,
while 47% distrust the country. (In comparison, 75% of Czechs trust the
U.S.) Only 48% of respondents agreed with the statement "Germany is a
fully democratic country where a renewal of Nazism is out of the
question," while 46% disagreed. Even so, 83% of respondents consider
Czech-German relations good. With regard to the Sudeten Germans, who
were expelled from Czech territory after World War II, 80% of Czechs
believe that they are mainly concerned about the return of confiscated
property. 37% said the Sudeten Germans want to divide the Czech Republic
and annex border territory. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT REMOVES ANOTHER PRESIDENTIAL POWER . . . The Slovak
parliament on 13 July voted in favor of amending the law on the army to
transfer the power to appoint the chief of staff from the president to
the government, Pravda and Reuters reported. The parliament passed the
amendment in June, but President Michal Kovac sent it back to the
parliament for further discussion, where it required only a simple
majority to be passed again. Before the 13 July vote, the coalition
refused to allow Kovac's chief of staff, Jan Findra, to explain the
president's reasons for vetoing the amendment. Opposition Party of the
Democratic Left Chairman Peter Weiss said this refusal showed a "deep
lack of political culture." Kovac has been embroiled in a feud with
Premier Vladimir Meciar. Earlier this year, the parliament removed the
president's power to appoint the Slovak Information Service chief and
passed a non-binding no-confidence vote in Kovac. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND PASSES MORE ECONOMIC LEGISLATION. Also on 13 July, the
parliament approved a law on the protection of state privatization
interests, which includes a list of strategic firms to be excluded from
privatization. The parliament also passed two amendments to laws on
securities and investment firms and funds. In a press conferences on 13
July, the Democratic Union and the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)
expressed sharp criticism to the amendment canceling the second wave of
coupon privatization (see OMRI Daily Digest, 13 July 1995). DU Deputy
Chairman Roman Kovac warned that the amendment will cause a deceleration
of, if not a complete halt to, the economic transformation process. KDH
Deputy Chairman Mikulas Dzurinda called the amendment "unconstitutional
and needlessly confusing. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK TRADE UNIONS CALL FOR PUBLIC PROTEST. In an open letter dated 13
July, Slovak Confederation of Trade Unions (KOZ) President Alojz Englis
called on all trade unions to organize public discussions and support
rallies during July and August, Sme reports. According to Englis, the
government failed to accept requests from the KOZ not to increase public
transportation fees on 1 July without adequate compensation for the
socially disadvantaged. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

FAR LEFT HUNGARIAN PARTY WANTS REFERENDUM ON NATO MEMBERSHIP. Gyula
Thurmer, leader of Hungary's extraparliamentary Labor Party, said on 13
July that his party will urge a referendum on whether Hungary should
join NATO. He maintained that the people rather than politicians should
decide the issue and that the decision should be made before Hungary and
NATO reach an agreement on admission. "Hungarians are concerned about
this problem and the majority have sufficient information about the
advantages and disadvantages of NATO membership to be able to decide,"
he noted. Thurmer also said he was aware that the government wanted a
referendum on joining NATO when talks on conditions for admission had
been completed, but Thurmer argued that was leaving it too late. -- Jiri
Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

"BIGGEST 'ETHNIC CLEANSING' YET IN THE BOSNIAN CONFLICT." This is how
the VOA on 13 July described the expulsion of some 30,000 mainly Muslim
refugees from the Dutch base at Potocari, north of Srebrenica, to
Bosnian government lines and ultimately to makeshift camps in Tuzla.
Only some 400 refugees remain at Potocari, from where the Serbs have
taken 55 Dutch peacekeepers hostage. It is unclear where the Serbs got
the vehicles and the fuel to mount such a huge and obviously well-
planned operation. Familiar patterns of systematic Serbian behavior have
emerged once again: terrified civilians dumped on the edge of a heavily-
mined no-man's land that had to be crossed in darkness; military-age men
carted off in another direction for "screening"; young women abducted
and not heard from again; and robberies, abuses, and rapes reported. One
UN spokesman said "there is no justification in the world" for the
Serbs' actions. Another told Reuters that "the scale of the operation
has been flabbergasting." AFP quoted Bosnian Serb commander General
Ratko Mladic as saying that "all the civilians who expressed the desire
to leave the enclave were evacuated this afternoon." -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

SILAJDZIC SAYS SERBS "POISED FOR THE KILL" AROUND ZEPA. The BBC on 14
July said that Bosnia's prime minister believes that the UN-declared
"safe area" at Zepa is next on the Serbs' list as they seek to eliminate
government-held pockets and free up their scarce manpower for use
elsewhere. Berlin's Tageszeitung the previous day reported that the
remote area consists of the villages of Luka, Slap, and Zepa and is of
no strategic value. Some 15-20,000 mainly Muslim refugees are gathered
in the valley by Mt. Zlovrh. AFP quoted Bosnian Serb authorities as
claiming that "representatives" from Zepa and the "safe area" of Gorazde
are ready to recognize Pale's authority. Bosnian Serb officials said
that "all the inhabitants of the two enclaves who wish to will be
transferred in total security to the limits of Serbian control." Bosnian
Serb leader Radovan Karadzic added that he hopes to conquer Bihac,
Tuzla, and Sarajevo as well. The International Herald Tribune noted on
14 July that the Serbs have told Zepa's 79 Ukrainian peacekeepers to
leave. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

CONFUSION IN THE WHITE HOUSE . . . Karadzic called for a new
international peace conference to "ratify" his forces' control of 70% of
Bosnia's territory, AFP reported on 13 July. The VOA and the French news
agency said that U.S. President Bill Clinton dubbed the fall of
Srebrenica "a serious challenge to the UN mission," adding that "unless
we can restore the integrity of the UN mission, obviously its days would
be numbered." He agreed in telephone conversations with his French
counterpart Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl that one
should "reinforce the UN mission" and that the allies should have a
common policy, but he did not spell out what that policy is. Clinton
added that the arms embargo against the Bosnian government could be
lifted only in concert with the allies and if the UN mission collapsed.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali has dispatched
mediator Thorvald Stoltenberg to the region. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,
Inc.

. . . WHILE FRANCE DEMANDS ACTION. But Paris seems intent on showing
that its calls for a tough response to the Serbs are more than just
posturing. AFP on 14 July reports that France wants an immediate reply
from its Western allies on its call for military intervention to defend
the UN "safe areas" from the Serbs. "The situation cannot wait," Defense
Minister Charles Millon told the radio station France Inter. "If in 48
hours we do not have a response on the part of the Western powers,
France will have to draw the conclusions." Millon did not specify what
measures he has in mind but said the French contribution to the Rapid
Reaction Force is ready to act. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

AND THE LESSONS FROM IT ALL? International media continued to discuss
the significance of the fall of Srebrenica, and virtually all agreed it
was a watershed. Some commentators wrote that UNPROFOR must remain
because its key task is to ensure the delivery of relief shipments. Some
questioned whether this point is valid, since the Serbs block most
convoys and value the soldiers chiefly as hostages. Other observers
noted that UNPROFOR may have to stay, since any withdrawal could be
fraught with dangers. The VOA on 13 July quoted one top U.S. diplomat as
calling the fall of Srebrenica the greatest Western collective failure
since the 1930s. One commentator added that all diplomatic efforts in
Bosnia to date have lacked a serious threat of force and that force "is
the only language" the Serbian leaderships in Belgrade and Pale seem to
understand. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

KONTIC CALLS FOR "FAIR SOLUTION." Rump Yugoslav Prime Minister Radoje
Kontic has called for "the immediate cessation of all military
operations and direct talks between the warring parties (in Bosnia) on
the basis of the 'Contact Group' peace plan," international agencies
reported. Kontic did not mention the capture of Srebrenica but added he
opposed "military pressure or war by anyone." He also said he was
opposed to bringing in external military factors or to a retreat of
UNPROFOR or a modification of their mandate. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,
Inc.

GREEK VOLUNTEERS FOUGHT ALONGSIDE BOSNIAN SERBS. AFP on 13 July reported
that a dozen Greek volunteers fought along Bosnian Serbs who captured
Srebrenica. According to a report in the Greek daily Ethnos, they raised
the Greek flag over the town's destroyed Orthodox church. Since the
start of the war, about 100 Greeks have fought in a "guard of
volunteers" based in Vlasenica, in central Bosnia. They were recruited
in Belgrade, and liaison offices have been set up in Athens and
Thessaloniki. A student working in one of the offices said he received
may calls from "patriotic" candidates and claimed to have fought himself
in Bosnia for six months. He added the Greek authorities "never caused
any problems" and that the Greek intelligence service was in touch with
the volunteers. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT ON HUNGARIAN MINORITY DEMANDS, RELATED ISSUES.
Presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu on 12 July said President Ion
Iliescu "appreciates" the Romanian-ethnic parliamentary parties
unanimous rejection of the "unjustified and exaggerated demands" of the
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR), Radio Bucharest
reported. With regard to the appeal addressed to Iliescu by Gheorghe
Funar, leader of the Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR) (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 12 July 1995), Chebeleu said in the future, Iliescu will
"ignore the personal opinions" of the PUNR leader and take into
consideration only the collective views of his party's Standing Bureau.
In a message to graduates of the National Defense College, Iliescu said
the same day that Europe was "still menaced" by the revival of
"ultranationalist, xenophobic, [and] separatist" views that "feed some
revisionist and irredentist-linked autonomous tendencies." -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA'S FIRST NUCLEAR REACTOR TO BEGIN OPERATING BY YEAR'S END. An
official at the Cernavoda nuclear power station said Romania's first
nuclear facility will be in service by the end of the year, Reuters
reported on 13 July. Carmen Stancu, spokeswoman for the station on the
Danube, said the nuclear reactor's primary circuit will be loaded with
heavy water this week and the generator will be connected to the
national grid by year's end. The plant was loaded with uranium last
month. The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency monitored
that operation. Cernavoda was begun more than 15 years ago. Work was
interrupted in 1990 when a survey revealed that almost 40% of the
welding was faulty. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN MILITARY HOT LINE? Radio Bucharest on 13 July
reported that Romanian Chief of Staff Col. Gen. Dumitru Cioflina and
Hungarian Minister of Defense Gyorgy Keleti have agreed to set up a hot
line between the countries' defense ministries. The line should begin
functioning this autumn and will be installed with U.S. help. Romanian
TV, however, reported only that "the possibility" of installing such a
link has been discussed. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES LOCAL ELECTION LAW. The National Assembly on
13 July passed the law on local elections on its second reading,
Demokratsiya reported the following day. Under the new legislation, the
three mayoral candidates who receive the most votes in the first round
of elections take part in the second. The opposition objected to this
provision, saying it favors the governing Bulgarian Socialist Party.
Opposition deputies demanded that either the two best-placed candidates
or all candidates who gain a certain percentage go on to the second
round. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT ADOPTS SECURITY CONCEPT. RFE/RL on 13 July reported
that the Bulgarian government has adopted a national security concept
that provides for the eventual drafting of a national military and
foreign relations doctrine. Defense Minister Dimitar Pavlov said the
document called for civilian control over the country's defense system.
Bulgaria will strive to be a factor of peace and stability in the
region, he added. The security concept will be submitted to the
parliament, which will decide whether to adopt it as law or consider it
as offering guidelines. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK EXTREMISTS CHARGED WITH MURDER OF ALBANIAN SOLDIERS. A former
Greek army officer and a former Greek police officer on 13 July were
charged with the murder of two Albanian soldiers during a cross-border
raid in April 1994, Reuters reported the same day. The extreme-right
Northern Epirus Liberation Front (MAVI) claimed responsibility for the
attack on an Albanian army camp in Peshkepi, where 15 Kalashnikov rifles
were stolen. The weapons were found in a crackdown on MAVI members last
March, which led to the arrest of eight men who were charged with
illegal possession of firearms. New evidence led Prosecutor Apostolos
Papatheodorou to charge the two former officers with murder. Under Greek
law, the six other men cannot be charged in Greece with murders
committed on Albanian soil, since they are Albanian citizens. Instead,
they have been charged with endangering Greek relations with a
neighboring country and risking war. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

GREEK-ALBANIAN COMMISSION MEET IN TIRANA. The joint Greek-Albanian
commission met in Tirana on 13 July, Lajmi i Dites reported the same
day. Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister Arian Starova and Greek Secretary-
General in the Foreign Ministry Konstantinos Georgiou discussed
juridical and diplomatic questions as well as border and defense
relations. The talks also focused on work migration, education, and
cultural and economic cooperation. -- 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
quotation marks and inserting your name where shown) to
LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
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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