One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love. - Sophocles
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 141, Part II, 21 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

UKRAINIAN ATOMIC ENERGY COMMITTEE SAYS CHORNOBYL IS SAFEST PLANT. AFP on
20 July reported that the Ukrainian Atomic Energy Committee has declared
the Chornobyl nuclear power plant the "best and most reliable" of the
country's five atomic energy stations. The committee said the two still-
functioning reactors at the plant operated with 98.9% efficiency in the
first half of this year, compared with the Ukrainian average of 84.7%.
Committee officials said the plant will continue to operate unless the
West provides the funding to shut it down. President Leonid Kuchma has
promised to close the facility by 2000 if Western donors are found to
finance an alternative gas-fired power-generating station and a new
sarcophagus to encase the ruined fourth reactor. -- Chrystyna Lapychak,
OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE TO RECEIVE BRITISH ANTARCTIC BASE. Britain will hand over its
research base at Faraday in Antarctica to Ukraine, AFP reported on 20
July. The British government in 1993 decided to restructure its research
activities in Antarctica and planned to make the Faraday base either an
automated facility or hand it over to another country. Ukraine expressed
interest in the base in order to continue its scientific research in
Antarctica, which ceased after the USSR broke up. The base will be
transferred to Ukraine on 31 March 1996. In exchange, Ukraine promised
to respect the Antarctic treaty and give Britain and the international
community scientific data free of charge. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS STILL HASN'T SIGNED IMF LETTER. Belarusian Television on 19 July
reported that the government still has not signed a letter that must be
sent to the IMF board of directors by 27 July if the country wishes to
receive its stand-by credit. The letter lists the economic measures
Belarus plans to take in the near future. If the Belarusian government
cannot present a concrete report on economic progress by that date, the
release of the credit will be delayed at least until the board's next
meeting, which is scheduled to take place at the end of the year. --
Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

EESTI GAAS PROFITS. BNS on 19 July reported that one of the top profit
earners in Estonia is the natural gas distributor Eesti Gaas. The
company made a 12 million kroon ($1 million) profit in 1994, with
shareholders earning 30% in dividends. The Estonian government holds the
majority stake (39%). Other major shareholders include the Russian gas
enterprise Gazprom (30.6%) and the German company Ruhrgas, which bought
a 14.67% stake in May. Private investors hold 7.5% of the share, and the
government says it intends to sell a further 5% to private individuals
through privatization vouchers. The company's biggest problem is
consumer debt, which amounts to 70-130 million kroons. -- Ustina Markus,
OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN OPPOSITION WANTS EARLY PARLIAMENT SESSION. Thirty-four Latvian
opposition deputies on 20 July submitted a draft resolution requesting
that the fall Saeima session begin that day, BNS reported. Maris
Grinblats, head of the Homeland and Freedom caucus, said the reason for
the resolution was to prevent the cabinet from passing regulations with
the force of law in the period between sessions, as allowed by the
constitution. The opposition opposes the cabinet's draft regulations on
banking, which will be put to the vote on 21 July. -- Ustina Markus,
OMRI, Inc.

POLISH MASS PRIVATIZATION BEGINS, INFLATION DROPS. Poland's long-delayed
mass privatization program finally has finally begun with the allocation
of leading (33%) shares in 413 companies worth $3 billion to the 15
National Investment Funds. Fund managers on 18 July completed the
selection process ahead of schedule. Tradable certificates entitling the
bearers to one share in each fund are expected to go on sale in mid-
November for a sum equal to 5% of the average wage; 28 million Poles are
eligible. In other economic news, prices rose by 1% in June, the lowest
monthly rate since August 1991, Gazeta Wyborcza reported. The Central
Planning Bureau predicted that prices could even fall in July, by 0.3-
0.5%, thanks to seasonal declines in food prices. Industrial production
was up 11.7% over June 1994. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PARTIES MOBILIZE FOR PRIVATIZATION VOTE. The vote to override
President Lech Walesa's veto of the controversial "commercialization"
legislation, scheduled for 21 July, has turned into a political showdown
between the ruling postcommunist coalition and the opposition. The
coalition controls just short of the two-thirds majority necessary to
override. Attendance will likely decide the outcome, with all parties
declaring full mobilization. Critics argue that the bill is designed to
provide the coalition with new sources of political patronage and will
slow privatization by requiring Sejm approval for sales in energy,
banking, telecommunications, and other sectors. The president plans to
challenge the law before the Constitutional Tribunal if the Sejm
overrides the veto. All opposition parties have criticized the bill, and
the Solidarity union has threatened to strike if it is passed. -- Louisa
Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER CRITICIZES ETHNIC HUNGARIAN LEADERS. Juraj
Schenk on 20 July accused the leaders of the three ethnic Hungarian
parties in Slovakia of deeply damaging the interests of the country,
Slovak media reported. He was reacting to remarks made by one of the
leaders, Laszlo Nagy, after the three returned from a visit to the U.S.
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 19 July 1995). Schenk accused them of
misrepresenting Slovak foreign policy and disparaging their homeland. He
said he will ask the mandate and immunity committee of the parliament to
consider their statements. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

THOUSANDS STILL MISSING FROM SREBRENICA. Mlada fronta dnes on 21 July
reported that thousands of people who fled Srebrenica, especially
military-aged men, remain unaccounted for. The VOA on 20 July said that
refugees who have reached Tuzla tell "shocking stories" of rapes,
beatings, robberies, and killings. Some people were arbitrarily taken
off the buses and not seen again. One massacre reportedly took place
when Serbs dressed in UN uniforms and driving UN vehicles tricked
refugees into coming out of the woods where they had been hiding and
mowed them down. The stories told in Tuzla are apparently fairly
consistent but cannot be independently confirmed because the Serbs will
not let UN monitors into areas under their control. The Security Council
on 20 July passed a resolution that, among other things, reminded the
Serbs that individuals will be held accountable for the war crimes they
commit. The Belgrade weekly NIN on 21 July called Srebrenica "a ghost
town." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

ZEPA DOES NOT WANT SREBRENICA'S FATE. International media on 21 July
reported that the Bosnian Serb forces are in effective control of Zepa
but that local Bosnian army forces refuse to surrender and face what
appears to be certain death. The Serbs insist on classifying all Muslim
males between 18 and 55 as prisoners of war, and the men fear they will
be killed or, at best, sent to a concentration camp. When talks broke
down late in the afternoon of 20 July, the Serbs shelled the town. The
government troops responded by firing mortars at both the Serbs and the
79 Ukrainian peacekeepers, whom they blame for doing nothing to protect
the UN-designated "safe area." The Serbs meanwhile have brought up buses
to prepare for what the VOA called "the ethnic cleansing" of Zepa and
its 17,000 Muslims. BETA on 20 July reported that the U.S. has written
to the Bosnian Serbs asking them to allow international humanitarian
organizations access to Zepa. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

PRESSURE GROWS FOR ACTION IN BOSNIA. Bosnian Prime Minister Haris
Silajdzic told CNN on 20 July that "there is a time for words and a time
for action. . . . The time comes when babies are cut in half, young
girls raped and grown up people [are] numb with terror --that is a time
for men to act. This is the time to act in Bosnia or leave Bosnia
alone." The International Herald Tribune quoted U.S. Speaker of the
House Newt Gingrich as saying that "the notion of a small band of
barbarians directly taking on the civilized democracies and winning is a
threat to the survival of the security system and we should respond to
it with whatever level of coercion is ultimately required." The EU
administrator of Mostar, Hans Koschnick, told AFP that "the hypocrisy of
the current international policy in Bosnia is no longer bearable." The
New York Times on 21 July, however, said that President Bill Clinton
"deserves credit for avoiding American combat fatalities." -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

DISPLAY OF AIR POWER "NOT SEEN SINCE THE GULF WAR." This is how the VOA
on 21 July described the White House's plan outlined the same day at the
London meeting of the Contact Group countries plus Italy, Ukraine, the
Netherlands, Canada, and Spain. International media suggested that the
Serbs will be warned against attacking Gorazde, Sarajevo, or Tuzla or
taking peacekeepers hostage. If they do not heed the warnings, their
capital at Pale, command centers, missile sites, radar installations,
fuel dumps, or other targets may be attacked. Britain is especially
concerned for the fate of 300 of its peacekeepers at Gorazde and has
reportedly endorsed the American plan. France wants U.S. helicopters to
ferry 1,000 French troops into Gorazde, and reports are contradictory as
to whether Washington has brought Paris around to its point of view.
Elsewhere, Serbian media on 21 July reported that Bosnian Serb leader
Radovan Karadzic has offered to swap some territory held by his men
around Sarajevo in return for Gorazde. His men shelled downtown Sarajevo
that same day. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBS MAKE GAINS AROUND BIHAC. Krajina Serb forces aided by local Muslim
renegades have taken much territory in the west of the Bihac pocket, the
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on 21 July. Hina the previous
day quoted Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic as saying that Zagreb
will take steps to protect the enclave, the fall of which would greatly
improve land links between Krajina and the Bosnian Serbs. Bihac will
doubtless be on the agenda when Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and
his Bosnian counterpart, Alija Izetbegovic, meet in Split on 22 July. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN RADICALS PRAISE BOSNIAN SERB FORCES. The Serbian Radical Party
(SRS), led by accused war criminal Vojislav Seselj, has sent
congratulations to the Bosnian Serb forces, BETA reported on 20 July.
SRS deputy leader Maja Gojkovic told a 20 July press conference that the
Bosnian Serb assault on the Zepa enclave constitutes its "liberation"
and the destruction of a base that had been used for "terrorist action"
by the Bosnian Muslim forces. Gojkovic warned the international
community against becoming embroiled in the war in Bosnia, predicting
that the Bosnian Serb forces will continue their advances and turn their
attention to the "liberation" of Gorazde. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

TOURIST-FRIENDLY BELGRADE? BETA on 20 July reported that tourism in the
rump Yugoslav capital for the first five months of 1995 was up
significantly over the same period in the previous year. An estimated
333,000 tourists visited Belgrade between January and May, with 311,160
coming from abroad. The number of foreign visitors to Belgrade is up an
estimated 50% over the same period in the past year, while the number of
domestic tourists has risen by about 40%. The lion's share of foreigners
in Belgrade came from various parts of the CIS, with Greece, Italy,
Bulgaria, and Romania accounting for most of the balance. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

MILOSEVIC CALLS FOR NATIONAL EQUALITY IN KOSOVO . . . Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic, visiting Kosovo for the first time since 1992,
called for "a policy of national equality" in which "every citizen will
be equal," Reuters and BETA reported on 20 July. At a rally in Kosovska
Mitrovica, he called on ethnic Albanians to sideline their political
leaders and embrace the Serbian administration. Milosevic also visited
the metallurgic works in Trepca where he expressed his "deep
satisfaction" about the return to work of 1,200 ethnic Albanians who had
boycotted the facility since the abolition of autonomy in 1989. Hinting
at charges of atrocities allegedly committed by Albanians in the 1980s,
he said: "We must get away from such cruelties and never return to them,
no matter whoever they be against, Serbs, Albanians, Turks or Muslims."
-- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

. . . WHILE KOSOVAR INFORMATION MINISTRY DENOUNCES HIS STATEMENTS. The
Ministry of Information of the self-declared Republic of Kosovo
responded sharply to Milosevic's statement that Kosovo will become "a
region of mutual understanding, cooperation and coexistence." It
declared that his name "stands for the introduction of a system of
violence and apartheid, for the killing of Albanians [and] their
imprisonment, the occupation of Kosovo, the [dismissal] of hundreds of
thousands of Albanians from their jobs, large-scale campaigns of raids
and tortures, the staging of dozens of political trials, ethnic
cleansing, and the colonization of Kosovo with Serbs." The ministry
concluded that all Milosevic's visits to Kosovo have aimed at mobilizing
the Serbian minority against the Albanians, Kosova Communication
reported on 20 July. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

PARIS CLUB GIVES MACEDONIA MORE TIME TO PAY DEBTS. The Paris Club of
government creditors has agreed to reschedule Macedonia's official
debts, Reuters reported on 19 July. Macedonian Finance Minister Jane
Miljovski said the creditors called the accord "satisfying." The deal
will give Skopje up to 15 years to pay the bulk of its nearly $300
million debt. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIA, TURKEY SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT. Macedonia and
Turkey on 20 July signed an agreement on military cooperation providing
for the exchange and training of military experts and joint military
exercises, international agencies reported the same day. The document
was signed during a visit to Skopje by Turkish army Chief of Staff Gen.
Ismail Hakki Karadayi, who met with his Macedonian counterpart, Gen.
Dragoljub Bocinov, and Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov. Karadayi
stressed that the accord "is not directed against the security of a
third country." It is the third and broadest document that the two
countries have signed on military cooperation. Karadayi's visit came
just one week after Turkish President Suleyman Demirel traveled to
Macedonia to sign a 20-year friendship treaty. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,
Inc.

ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN TALKS ON BASIC TREATY. International agencies
reported on 20 July from Bucharest that Romania and Hungary continue to
differ over the pending basic treaty. The differences are centered on
the Council of Europe's Recommendation 1201. Bucharest has now agreed to
include it in the treaty on condition that a common interpretation is
reached. Experts from both sides are to attempt to narrow the remaining
gaps. Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said at a joint news
conference that the common interpretation must exclude any idea of
territorial autonomy based on ethnic criteria. President Ion Iliescu,
after receiving Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs, noted that the
demands for territorial autonomy were "ambiguous" and created "confusion
and artificial tension." Kovacs argued it was up to the Council of
Europe to interpret the recommendation. He also expressed "concern" over
the law on higher education passed by the Romanian parliament last
month. On returning to Budapest, Kovacs said that he was not planning
another meeting with Melescanu and that it was Romania's "turn to come
up with a new initiative." -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN SECURITY SERVICE ACCUSES NATIONALIST POLITICIAN OF SECURITATE
LINKS. The Protection and Guard Service has accused Corneliu Vadim
Tudor, leader of the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party, of
having collaborated with Ceausescu's secret police, the Securitate,
before the dictator's ouster. The PGS was responding to a campaign
conducted by Tudor against Dumitru Iliescu, who heads the service. It
also rejected Tudor's accusations of corruption. The PGS's reaction was
contained in a press release published by the daily Evenimentul zilei on
20 July. Tudor has often been accused of having had links with the
Securitate, but this is the first time the allegation has been made by a
successor organization to the Securitate. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

14TH ARMY AMMUNITION TO BE DESTROYED IN MOLDOVA. The RIA news agency on
20 July, quoting a spokesman for the Transdniester region, reported that
all ammunition belonging to the Russian 14th Army would be destroyed at
a new testing range 25 kilometers from the Moldovan town of Rybnitsa. In
February, a 14th Army source told Interfax that the army had 410,000
tons of ammunition stored in Transdniester, including 50,000 that could
not be removed "for technical reasons." -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER SURVIVES NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE. Safet Zhulali has
survived a no-confidence vote brought against him by the opposition
Socialist Party, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 21 July. The Socialists
claimed that during the campaign for the referendum on a new
constitution, Zhulali violated the principle of political independence
in the army by rallying for President Sali Berisha's constitution
proposal. Zhulali survived a previous no-confidence vote brought by the
Socialists, who charged him with being involved in arms trade with the
Bosnian Serbs. -- 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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