We may live without friends; we may live without books; But civilized man cannot live without cooks. - Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 139, Part II, 19 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

UKRAINE WANTS TROOPS OUT OF ZEPA. Volodymyr Yelchenko, head of the
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's UN department, has urged the UN to withdraw
Ukraine's troops from the enclaves of Zepa and Gorazde to avoid a "huge
tragedy," international agencies reported on 18 July. Bosnian Muslims
are threatening to use 79 Ukrainian peacekeepers in Zepa as a shield
against attacks by Bosnian Serbs. Meanwhile, Bosnian Serbs have
reportedly surrounded Ukrainian peacekeepers with land mines near Zepa
and have threatened to kill them if NATO uses air strikes. Yelchenko
said there were no plans to withdraw Ukrainian peacekeepers from Bosnia,
but he urged the UN to use its new Rapid Reaction Force to rescue them
from the besieged enclaves. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei
Kozyrev has warned against using the RRF to rescue the Ukrainians. He
said that while the safety of the peacekeepers was a priority, such a
use would change the RRF's role from peacekeeping to fighting and
therefore make the UN a party to the conflict. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI,
Inc.

POLICE BEAT MOURNERS AT UKRAINIAN PATRIARCH'S FUNERAL. Police clashed
with mourners in an attempt to prevent them from burying Volodymyr
Romanyuk, head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in St. Sophia's
Cathedral on 18 July, international agencies reported. Members of the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church had requested permission to bury the patriarch
on the grounds of the cathedral, which is a national monument
administered by the government. Liberals in the government upheld the
request but were overruled. About 1,000 mourners disregarded the
government's decision and marched toward St. Sophia's, where they dug an
improvised grave. This prompted riot police to use water cannons, tear
gas, and truncheons to stop them. The patriarch was finally buried in
the makeshift grave. Meanwhile, the decision to deploy riot police at
the funeral was criticized by nationalist politicians. The government
will meet to determine who ordered their deployment and where the
patriarch should be buried. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER IN BELARUS. Adolfas Slezevicius met with his
Belarusian counterpart, Mikhail Chyhir, in Minsk on 18 July, BNS and
Belarusian Radio reported. The purpose of the visit is to discuss the
implementation and ratification of agreements between the two countries.
Slezevicius said that earlier agreements have not been implemented
because both sides lack the funds to realize them and because trade
between the two countries is not developing. The prime ministers are
also to discuss supplies of Lithuanian electricity to Belarus and the
export of oil products from Belarus through the Lithuanian port of
Klaipeda. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIA WILL NOT GIVE RUSSIAN LANGUAGE OFFICIAL STATUS. The Estonian
government on 18 July rejected proposals by the Narva and Sillamae
municipal governments to allow the Russian language to be used for
official documents in those cities, BNS reported. It said that the use
of Russian in local government would contravene the country's language
laws. Justice Minister Paul Varul had said previously that the language
law needed to be changed to take into account the situation in the two
cities, where Russians make up over 95% of the population. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

EBRD CREDITS TO ESTONIA. As of 5 July, the EBRD made 1.73 billion kroons
($155 million) available to Estonia in loans, BNS reported on 18 July.
So far, Estonia has claimed only one-quarter of the funds, having
recently decided not to use the remainder. Some 320 million kroons have
been made available for renewing Tallinn's sewage system, 148 million
kroons for increasing equity capital in the Estonian Savings Bank, and
157 million kroons for an environmental project. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI,
Inc.

POLISH PREMIER CRITICIZES PRESIDENT'S VETO OVER PRIVATIZATION BILL.
Jozef Oleksy on 18 July said that President Lech Walesa's veto over the
privatization and commercialization bill is "disadvantageous for
millions of workers at state firms and for hundreds of thousands of
farmers," Polish and international media reported. The bill gives the
Sejm a decisive say over the sale of key industries. The ruling left
wing coalition of the Alliance of Democratic Left and the Polish Peasant
Party is just a few votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to
overrule the veto. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECHS PROTEST EU ANTI-DUMPING INVESTIGATION. Czech Trade and Industry
Minister Vladimir Dlouhy on 18 July said he intends to protest
investigations by EU anti-dumping officials against Czech steel
producers. "The firms are acting in accordance with all laws and
regulations, and therefore we support them," he told journalists. Czech
steel producers denied the dumping charges, brought by the dominant
German-led steel producers association Eurofer. They stressed they were
respecting quota limitations. Eurofer is concerned that Czech producers,
who have raised their share of the EU steel market from 1.7% in 1991 to
almost 5%, could make further inroads if quotas are abolished next year,
Mlada fronta dnes wrote. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK HUNGARIAN LEADERS IN U.S. Laszlo Nagy, leader of the Hungarian
Civic Party in Slovakia, told journalists on 18 July that the United
States is preparing "more energetic steps to protect democracy in
Slovakia," Sme reported on 19 July. Nagy last week visited the U.S. with
the leaders of the two other parties in Slovakia's Hungarian coalition.
He said American officials with whom they spoke expressed the opinion
that Slovakia is out of line with the other countries of the Visegrad
Four in terms of the development of economic transformation and the
protection of human and minority rights. Nagy also met with financier
George Soros, whom Slovak governing parties want to declare persona non
grata for remarks critical of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. Nagy said
Soros was well informed about the situation in Slovakia. -- Steve
Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA DENIES LINKS WITH HUNGARIAN DEATH TRUCK. Romanian police have
denied any local links with the deaths of 18 Sri Lankans found in a
truck in Hungary (see OMRI Daily Digest, 17 July 1995), Reuters
reported. Hungarian police, suspecting that the Sri Lankans joined the
Bulgarian truck in Romania, have been searching for two Romanian
drivers. The Romanian Foreign Ministry has declined to comment on the
issue. Meanwhile, Bulgarian police say they are looking for members of
an international gang believed to be involved in the smuggling of Tamil
immigrants through the Balkans to Western Europe. Bulgarian Interior
Minister Lyubomir Nachev was quoted as saying that information received
by his ministry shows there is a "widespread, well-organized system for
smuggling people from Asia." Nineteen Sri Lankans who survived the
ordeal have been arrested and may be repatriated. -- Jan Cleave, OMRI,
Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC THREATENS WEST, DEFENDERS OF GORAZDE. Bosnian Serb leader
Radovan Karadzic on 19 July demanded that Bosnian government soldiers in
Gorazde surrender "immediately." He apparently did not say what would
happen if they did not. AFP noted that he also claimed that "our forces
will restore order and peace" in Gorazde, which, he said, was a base for
attacks against the Serbian army. Karadzic also warned outside powers
against trying to protect the UN-designated "safe area" and threatened
to blast intruding aircraft or helicopters out of the sky. "We will not
allow foreign armed forces to protect our enemies," he concluded.
Meanwhile, Nasa Borba reported that a delegation from Karadzic is in
Rome to seek Pope John Paul II's intervention to end the conflict. Since
Serbian propaganda has demonized the Vatican throughout the Wars of the
Yugoslav Succession, it is difficult to guess what Karadzic now has in
mind--except possibly to embarrass the pontiff. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,
Inc.

SITUATION IN ZEPA "GROWS MORE SERIOUS BY THE HOUR." This is how the VOA
on 19 July described the fate of the UN-designated "safe area" most
likely to fall next to the Serbs. Bosnian Serb forces are continuing
their mortar and artillery assault, which enables them to avoid a
potentially costly infantry attack. They have also been shelling
Gorazde, and AFP said that Krajina Serb forces have launched "an intense
attack" on Bihac. The Serbs, who suffer from a manpower shortage, now
appear to be attacking three "safe areas" at once, rather than picking
them off one-by-one. Meanwhile in Tuzla, refugees from Srebrenica
reported that they were chased by Serbs wearing UN insignia and driving
UN vehicles. -- Patrick Moore (see related item under Ukraine), OMRI,
Inc.

CONFUSION REIGNS OVER INTERNATIONAL ROLE IN CONFLICT. AFP on 19 July
suggested that the major Western powers are unlikely to agree on a
coherent approach when top officials meet in London on 21 July. The
British want "the same old UN policy of containment," while the French
seek to reinforce the defense of Gorazde on the ground. President Bill
Clinton and his top security advisers, however, have set down their
latest Bosnian policy. It calls for decisive air strikes outside the UN
command structure against the Serbs. Secretary of State Warren
Christopher said that "it's common ground now that the status quo cannot
be maintained." The administration is under pressure from the French to
stop Serbian aggression, and the Republican majority in Congress wants
to lift the arms embargo against the Bosnian government. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MILOSEVIC FINDS FRIEND IN ROMANIA. Romanian Radio and TV on 18 July
reported on the visit by Adrian Nastase, chairman of the Chamber of
Deputies and former foreign minister, to Serbia and Montenegro. He met
with President Slobodan Milosevic and other top officials. The Romanians
stressed their willingness to help reintegrate Belgrade into European
structures and the need for a negotiated settlement in Bosnia with the
involvement of Serbia. Above all, Nastase called for the lifting of
sanctions, which adversely affect Romania and Serbia's other neighbors.
Serbia and Romania have traditionally had good relations and are now
governed by former communist elites. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

WOMEN STAGE HUNGER STRIKE IN SERBIA. Nasa Borba on 19 July reported that
for the past two days, three women have staged a hunger strike outside
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's offices in Belgrade. All three
women have male relatives who have been kidnapped by the Serbian
authorities and press-ganged for military service. Belgrade authorities
began rounding up ethnic Serbian refugees on 11 June from among those
who had fled to the province of Vojvodina. The refugees were then
enlisted for military service in Serb-conquered territory outside rump
Yugoslavia (see OMRI Daily Digest, 22 June 1995). -- Stan Markotich,
OMRI, Inc.

ISRAEL, JORDAN TO COOPERATE ON BOSNIAN REFUGEE AID. A spokeswoman for
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told AFP on 18 July that King Hussein
telephoned to suggest that Israel send troops to support Jordan's 2,000
men in protecting the Muslims. Rabin ruled out dispatching ground forces
but will coordinate relief work with Jordan. Israel says it is the only
Middle Eastern country to host Bosnian Muslim refugees, having settled
90 of them on a kibbutz in 1993. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS SACKED IN MACEDONIA. Six senior and about 150
lower-ranking government officials in Macedonia have been sacked in a
crackdown on corruption, Reuters and MIC reported on 18 July. The six
senior officials included civil servants at the Foreign and Urbanism
Ministries as well as four trade inspectors. The crackdown focused on,
among others, the Foreign Ministry's economic department and the
Ministry for Agriculture, where officials are suspected of illegally
issuing import permits for pesticides. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

BONN, PARIS REMIND ROMANIA OF EU CONDITIONS. Reuters on 18 July reported
that Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu's talks in Paris with
his German and French counterparts focused on Romania's prospective EU
membership and human rights issues. A joint statement carried by Radio
Bucharest said France and Germany support Romania's drive to become more
closely associated with European and Transatlantic bodies such as the
EU, NATO, and the OSCE. French Foreign Minister Herve de Charette said
it was not possible to set a timetable for Romania's EU membership,
adding that intensified economic reform, privatization, and the
development of a market economy are the key conditions. De Charette also
said that he and German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel told Melescanu
they would like to see rapid agreement between Romania and Hungary on
minority rights. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA'S CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULES ON EDUCATION LAW . . . Romania's
Constitutional Court on 18 July unanimously ruled that the law on
education passed by the parliament on 28 June is constitutionally legal.
The Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR), backed by several
members of opposition parties, asked the court to examine the law. Radio
Bucharest said the court concluded that the law respected not only the
Romanian Constitution but also the Universal Declaration on Human Rights
and all other international treaties to which Romania is a signatory. --
Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

. . . WHILE HUNGARIAN MINORITY PREPARES PROTESTS. The UDMR, in a
statement carried by Romanian Television on 18 July, announced a number
of protest actions against the education law. It said it will appeal to
all European governments and international bodies as well as to the
Council of Europe's commission on national minorities. The heads of the
Churches of which the Magyars are members will protest the law in
Strasbourg, and the UDMR's youth organization will organize a march to
that city to deliver a list of 500,000 supporters of a legislative
initiative on a proposed education law. The initiative was ignored by
the parliament. Protest meetings will also be organized in the
Transylvanian towns of Targu Secuiesc and Odorhei. -- Michael Shafir,
OMRI, Inc.

SMIRNOV ADAMANT ABOUT STATEHOOD DEMAND. Igor Smirnov, president of the
breakaway Transdniestrian region, said statehood was the "only
guarantee" that agreements between Tiraspol and Chisinau would be
respected, Infotag reported on 18 July. Smirnov told Transdniestrian
leaders and representatives of public organizations, industrial
management, and mass media that Moldovan President Mircea Snegur had
"sidestepped" the Transdniestrian demand for statehood at their last
meeting, saying that Tiraspol was ready to submit the problem to a
referendum. Smirnov also said he supported Ukrainian participation in
the talks on reaching a settlement but objected to Romanian
participation. He noted there was a need to demarcate what he termed as
the "Transdniestrian-Ukrainian border." -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZES GOVERNMENT POLICIES. Zhelyu Zhelev, in an
interview with Standart on 19 July, criticized Prime Minister Zhan
Videnov's government for not implementing economic reforms and failing
to deal effectively with crime and corruption. Zhelev said that while
the economic situation seems to be improving, this may only be a
seasonal phenomenon. He noted that to achieve a lasting improvement,
mass privatization has to be launched and land restitution continued.
With regard to growing crime and corruption, Zhelev said the government
has failed completely because the Bulgarian Socialist Party is
"genetically connected" to criminal circles. He urged the opposition to
cooperate in the upcoming local elections but also criticized it for not
taking enough action on many issues. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES ARMY LAW. The National Assembly on 19 July
adopted the law on defense and the armed forces, Bulgarian media
reported the same day. According to the law, the parliament is empowered
to declare war and conclude peace, ratify international conventions, and
adopt long-term programs for the army's development. It also decides on
dispatching troops abroad and has to approve the deployment of foreign
troops in Bulgaria or their transit through the country. The parliament
can also declare a state of war or emergency at the request of the
president or the government. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT REVIEWS MEDIA STATUTE. The Constitutional
Court on 18 July began reviewing the constitutionality of a provisional
statute on national radio and TV, Kontinent reported. Prosecutor-General
Ivan Tatarchev asked the court to do so, claiming that the current
provisions violate the constitution, which provides for the independence
of the media and forbids censorship. At present, the state media are
controlled by the parliamentary commission on TV, radio, and the
Bulgarian Press Agency. Among other things, the commission controls TV
and radio programming schedules, which, Tatarchev argued, constitutes
censorship. He also said that the commission is not empowered to take
decisions on it own and that by doing so, it violates the constitution.
-- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

EX-LEADER OF ALBANIAN YOUTH FORUM RECEIVES REDUCED SENTENCE FOR
SMUGGLING. The Albanian Supreme Court has sentenced Arben Lika, former
leader of the Albanian Youth Forum and former deputy for the Democratic
Party, to 14 months in prison for smuggling cigarettes, Populli PO
reported on 19 July. Lika was initially sentenced to a two-year prison
term, but an appeals court increased his sentence to three years at the
request of the Prosecutor's Office. Lika had hoped to be released
following the latest ruling, but the court reportedly decided that he
has "some days left" to spend in prison. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN-ITALIAN POLICE SEEK TO IMPROVE COOPERATION. Italian Ambassador
to Albania Paolo Foresti has met with the police chief of Vlora, Gazeta
Shqiptare reported on 19 July. The two men, together with high-ranking
officials of the countries' secret services, discussed measures to
combat the illegal migration of Kurds and Chinese from Albania to Italy.
Following a meeting with Pjeter Arbnori, speaker of the Albanian
parliament, Foresti said both countries are working to improve
cooperation against organized crime. An Italian parliamentary delegation
focusing on Mafia activities is expected to visit Albania on 25 July,
BETA reported on 18 July. -- 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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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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