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OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 147, Part II, 31 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

NEW APPOINTMENTS TO UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma has made several new appointments to the recently named
government, Ukrainian TV reported on 27 July. He appointed Vasyl
Yevtukhov, a leader of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of
Ukraine, as deputy prime minister for the energy complex. Former Deputy
Premier Ihor Mitiukov is special representative of the government to the
European Union in charge of coordinating international financial
assistance to Ukraine. Kuchma also re-appointed Mykhailo Kaskevych as
labor minister and named Mykhailo Kovalko to head a new State Committee
on Energy Conservation. Finally, he liquidated two state committees, on
rare metals and on the light and textile industries, by merging them
with various ministries. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE SWITCHES CHANNELS FOR RUSSIAN PUBLIC TV BROADCASTS. Zinovii
Kulyk, director of Ukrainian State TV and Radio, has announced that as
of 1 August, Russian Public TV will no longer broadcast on Channel 1,
the national channel with the strongest signal, UNIAR and Reuters
reported on 27 July. The Russian broadcasts will be switched to
Ukrainian TV's Channel 2, cutting back its potential audience from 92%
of viewers to 70% nationally. He explained the move was prompted by
Russian Public TV's failure to pay in full its annual fees, around $8.8
million. Russian Public TV is the most popular channel in Ukraine
because its programs tend to be of a higher quality than those of
Ukrainian TV. Many nationalists from western Ukraine, as well as Kulyk
himself, have frequently complained that Russian coverage of Ukrainian
affairs is biased toward Russian interests. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI,
Inc.

PRIVATIZATION FALTERING IN BELARUS. Belarusian Radio on 28 July reported
that Belarus has not been able to privatize state agricultural
enterprises because of unspecified problems. Earlier this year, the
Cabinet of Ministers approved a program calling for the privatization of
such entities by the beginning of July. In all, 75 state and 606
communal enterprises in agriculture and food production are slated to be
privatized this year. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

FIRST CITIZENS TAKE ALLEGIANCE OATH UNDER NEW LATVIAN CITIZENSHIP LAW.
Forty-three people on 28 July became the first individuals to obtain
Latvian citizenship under the citizenship law passed in 1994, BNS
reported. Naturalization Board Chairwoman Eizenija Aldermane told
reporters that the government will probably grant citizenship to about
200 people during the next week and to about 5,000 by the end of the
year. The candidates must pass tests in the Latvian language, history,
and constitution and must also swear an oath of allegiance. Former
employees of the KGB cannot claim Latvian citizenship. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIA'S BUDGET REVENUES ON TARGET. Finance Minister Reinoldijus
Sarkinas on 28 July announced that Lithuania's budget revenues in the
first half of the year totaled 1.763 billion litai ($441 million) or
99.7% of the planned amount, BNS reported. The collection of an
additional 149 million litai in the second quarter of the year erased
almost all the large deficit of the first quarter. The collection of all
types of taxes improved significantly. The planned six-month revenues
for individual income taxes were fulfilled 94.1%, for corporation profit
taxes 93.5%, for value-added tax 96.3%, and 170.6% for excise taxes. --
Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH LAW FACES CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE. President Lech Walesa
announced in Gdansk on 30 July that he will challenge the new
"commercialization" law before the Constitutional Tribunal, Gazeta
Wyborcza reported. The Sejm overrode the president's veto on 21 July.
The president is expected to question provisions in the law that require
the Sejm's approval for privatization in selected sectors, on the
grounds that this violates the division of powers among executive,
legislative, and judicial branches. "We cannot destroy what we have
achieved through five years of economic reform to serve the interests of
a single social group," Walesa said, referring to the ruling coalition.
The Sejm can vote to overturn Constitutional Tribunal decisions. --
Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

ARE BOSNIAN SERBS USING CZECH "STEALTH-SPOTTER?" NATO officials have
"serious suspicions" that a Czech electronic system that can detect the
latest "stealth" aircraft is being used by Bosnian Serb forces, Mlada
fronta dnes reported on 31 July, quoting unnamed sources close to NATO
headquarters. The daily said suspicions that the "Tamara" detection
system was in use grew from the shooting down of an American F-16
fighter over Bosnia-Herzegovina in early June. The Czech Foreign
Ministry said no Tamara system has been exported to the former
Yugoslavia since the Czech Republic came into existence. The government
on 26 July authorized the makers of Tamara, which detects the electronic
emissions from a target aircraft's avionics, to export one of the
devices. Mlada fronta dnes reported on 29 July that the recipient will
be Kyrgyzstan. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT VETOES MORE LEGISLATION. Michal Kovac on 28 July
returned two more laws to the parliament for further discussion: one on
investment firms and funds and another on securing state holdings in
strategic companies. The previous day, he vetoed a privatization
amendment canceling the coupon privatization program and replacing it
with a bond scheme. The President's Office said the legislation would
limit the rights of owners and change Slovak regulations retroactively,
without consideration for the shareholders' wishes, Pravda and TASR
reported. With regard to the privatization amendment, Kovac's office
said it was marked by a "basic change of concept," which endangers the
stability of the legal system guaranteed by the constitution. -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK OFFICIALS ATTACK U.S. MEDIA. Roman Hofbauer, a parliamentary
deputy of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, is currently
leading an attack on the U.S. media. Hofbauer sent a letter to U.S.
Ambassador to Slovakia Theodore Russell complaining that the U.S. press
uses sources originating outside Slovakia and reports on Slovakia's
political scene in an "non-objective and disparaging way," TASR reported
on 26 July. The U.S. Embassy responded by issuing a statement saying
that Hofbauer "demonstrated regrettable ignorance about how the
independent press functions in a democratic society." In an interview
with TASR on 28 July, Hofbauer said his complaints were based on
articles sent to him by Slovak Americans who feel "deeply provoked and
offended." The Permanent Conference of the Civic Institute on 28 July
called on the Slovak Foreign Ministry to distance itself from Hofbauer's
statements, noting that they put the country's foreign policy
orientation into doubt. Meanwhile, Slovak officials have also launched
attacks against RFE/RL's Slovak Service, whose license is up for renewal
this year. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

TUDJMAN STANDS FIRM ON KRAJINA. International media on 31 July reported
that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman called a six-point agreement
between the Krajina Serb rebels and UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi
"unacceptable." The Serbs pledged to stop shelling Bihac and to pull
their troops out of Bosnia, although they have previously denied
involvement there and although the plan has no timetable. The Serbs
would have received some benefits, including a share of aid shipments
and a promise that UNCRO would deploy on Mt. Dinara, from which the
Croats can shell Knin. Tudjman said instead that UNCRO must be stationed
on all of Croatia's frontiers and that "this is particularly urgent
because in recent days there have been new shipments of troops and
equipment from the [rump] Yugoslav army across the Danube." He added
that the Serbs must join serious talks about the reintegration of
Krajina into Croatia. This includes reopening pipeline, railway, and
highway links as well as guaranteeing the Serbs some autonomy in the
Glina and Knin areas and a package of rights as an ethnic minority.
Tudjman on 29 July warned the Serbs to negotiate or be reincorporated
into Croatia by force. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MLADIC SAYS CROATS "WILL PAY DEARLY." Bosnian Croat and Croatian units
on 28 July took Glamoc and the key town of Grahovo, which controls land
communications between Knin and Bosnian Serb territory. Serbian refugees
have been fleeing to Knin ever since, but UN officials on 31 July did
not provide an estimate of how many people have been involved. Figures
of about 5,000 refugees were given on 28 July. Krajina and Bosnian Serb
leaders subsequently declared heightened states of emergency in their
respective areas. Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic told
Tanjug on 30 July that the Croats "will pay dearly" for their conquests.
Some commentators noted that his men still control the high ground
around the two towns and that the Serbs elsewhere might be tempted to
fire rockets at Zagreb or shell the Dalmatian tourist centers. Fighting
around Bihac appears to have subsided amid reports that the Croats are
consolidating their gains while some Krajina Serb units are leaving to
defend Knin. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

DID THE DUTCH AID MASSACRE OF MUSLIMS? The daily De Volkskrant on 28
July wrote that the Dutch UNPROFOR commander had made a deal with Mladic
whereby the Dutch could leave Srebrenica but Muslim men between 17 and
60 would be taken and "debriefed." It now seems certain that many or
most of the men from Srebrenica were massacred and that a similar fate
met the men from Zepa who did not flee into the woods. The French group
Doctors of the World on 30 July said that military-aged men from both
"safe areas" had "completely disappeared." The BBC on 29 July reported
that Zepa had been looted and burned, while its Muslim civilian
negotiator had been "detained" and his military counterpart had
"disappeared." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MAZOWIECKI FEARS FOR THE MISSING. The BBC on 29 July quoted former UN
human rights envoy Tadeusz Mazowiecki as saying that witnesses told him
of having seen decapitated and limbless corpses, while others spoke of
Serbian soldiers carrying the heads and limbs of their victims. He said
he feared that at least half of those still missing have met grisly
deaths. Mazowiecki was speaking in Poland after having resigned his post
in protest over the failure of the international community to act
against genocide in Srebrenica in Zepa. He pointed out that "cutting off
noses is not a civilized action, nor is silent consent." -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BELGRADE CAUTIOUS ON KRAJINA . . . Official Belgrade reaction to
developments in and around Krajina was muted, international media
reported. As Croatian and Bosnian Croat troops moved toward Knin, the
Krajina capital currently held by rebel Croat Serbs, Belgrade refrained
from offering them direct support, calling instead for a diplomatic
resolution to the situation. AFP reported federal rump Yugoslav
President Zoran Lilic as saying that the rump Yugoslavia "demands that
all warring parties meet immediately around the negotiating table,
without pre-conditions." BETA added that Lilic also renewed calls for
lifting international sanctions against Belgrade, which, he said, would
serve to promote regional peace and frustrate the ambitions of
"extremist elements" advocating war. AFP reported that Belgrade failed
to back calls by the Krajina Serb mission in Belgrade for a rally to
protest what the mission dubbed "Croatian aggression." -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

. . . BUT CONDEMNS CROATIA. Meanwhile, Belgrade has condemned Croatia
for what was described as Zagreb's "aggressive behavior" in Bosnia-
Herzegovina, AFP reported. Reuters on 30 July reported that retreating
Bosnian Serb forces in the area called for Belgrade's direct
intervention on their behalf but received no direct commitment from the
Serbian capital. Belgrade, however, appealed for "energetic
international political action" to halt Croatian "aggression." -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

FOURTEEN MACEDONIAN OFFICIALS SACKED FOR CORRUPTION. The Macedonian
government has sacked 14 senior officials in an anti-corruption campaign
over two weeks, Reuters reported on 28 July. According to government
spokesman Ismail Gjuner, no ministers were being held responsible. Those
dismissed include Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Dimitar Belcev, Urban
Development Ministry Under-Secretary Bogdan Karanfilovski, and a high-
ranking official from the Interior Ministry, Blagoja Toskovski. The
dismissals are part of a major purge ahead of elections next year. --
Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT ON EMBARGO AGAINST RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. The Romanian
government has again rejected accusations in the independent media that
it broke the UN embargo against the rump Yugoslavia. A spokesman for the
government was quoted by Radio Bucharest on 28 July as saying that
limited oil shipments to the rump Yugoslavia were approved by the UN
Security Council to help maintain a joint Romanian-Yugoslav power
station on the Danube. The government-backed Vocea Romaniei wrote the
next day that Petre Mihai Bacanu, head of the daily Romania libera, will
probably be asked to pay 30 billion lei (some $15 million) in damages
for having alleged in an 26 July article that the cabinet endorsed oil
contraband with Serbia. Meanwhile, The New York Times on 30 July
reported numerous cases of Romanian oil smuggling into Serbia, including
the overtanking of Yugoslav passenger jets during stopovers in
Timisoara. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

14TH ARMY RESUMES AMMUNITION DESTRUCTION. Russian troops in the
Transdniester region of Moldova have resumed the destruction of old
ammunition, their commander told ITAR-TASS on 27 July, one day after the
operation was halted by local authorities. Maj. Gen. Valerii Yevnevich
said that a new site has been chosen for the destruction some 25 km from
the town of Rybnitsa and 3.5 km from the nearest residential area.
Yevnevich estimated that all the old ammunition would be destroyed by 15
September. He said that the troops were currently disposing of mines
made in 1936. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS HOLD PARTY CONFERENCE. The Bulgarian Socialist
Party on 28-29 July held a national party conference in Sofia, Bulgarian
newspapers reported on 31 July. The delegates approved the Socialist-led
government's policies during its sixth months in office, which, they
said, were in keeping with the party's election platform. They also
approved the program for the rest of the BSP's term but called for
stepped-up efforts in privatization, the energy sector, and fighting
crime. Winning the local elections in October was described as the BSP's
most important task in the near future. Demokratsiya reported that
former party leader Aleksandar Lilov urged that a reshuffle take place
in order to improve the cabinet's effectiveness. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,
Inc.

BULGARIAN PREMIER ATTACKS PRESIDENT, CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. Zhan Videnov,
speaking at the BSP conference, strongly criticized President Zhelyu
Zhelev and the Constitutional Court, Reuters reported on 28 July.
Videnov said both were obstructing the policies of his government.
Zhelev, he commented, "blocks the rule of the Democratic Left [and]
behaves more like a candidate [for] opposition leader than . . . a head
of state," whereas the Constitutional Court "behaves like an alternative
parliament." The Constitutional Court in June backed Zhelev in his row
with the BSP over an amendment to the land law, arguing it violated the
constitution. Videnov also said that the "confrontation between the
institutions of the legislative, judicial, and executive powers [is]
typical for countries in transition." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN TV DIRECTOR SACKED. The Albanian parliament on 28 July
dismissed Skender Bucpapa, director of Albanian TV and Radio, as well as
other high-ranking officials, BETA reported the same day. The opposition
had criticized Bucpapa frequently for bias toward the ruling Democratic
Party and for declining to address major political and social problems
in Albania. Members of the Democratic Party recently alleged abuse of
office by Bucpapa. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

SECRET MEETING BETWEEN ALBANIAN, SERBIAN SOCIALISTS. The Albanian and
Serbian socialist party leaderships on 29 July held a secret meeting in
Sofia, BETA reported the next day. No details have been released on
either the topics discussed or the outcome of the talks. Representatives
of the Albanian Socialists had participated in the Conference of the
Balkan Left in Belgrade on 21-22 July, which called for lifting
sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

GREECE DEMANDS SOLE RIGHT TO STAR OF VERGINA. Greece took an
unprecedented step in its row with Macedonia over the Star of Vergina,
the Athens daily Kyriakiatiki Elevtherotypia reported on 30 July. The
Greek government in early July demanded that the UN World Intellectual
Property Organization grant Greece the exclusive rights to the symbol,
which dates back to the times of ancient Macedonia. Greece regards it is
a purely Greek symbol, and strictly opposes its use on the Macedonian
flag. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

TURKISH ISLAMISTS PROTEST BOSNIAN ARMS EMBARGO. More than 50,000 Turks
in Konya protested the arms embargo against Bosnia-Herzegovina on 29
July. Shouting "God Is Great," the demonstrators burned U.S. and UN
flags and demanded an immediate end to the embargo, Reuters reported the
same day. Turkey was one of eight Organization of Islamic Conference
states that on 26 July declared the UN embargo "invalid" and gave the
West a "last chance" to take concrete action before they defied the arms
embargo. Meanwhile, Anatolia, the semi-official news agency, on 25 July
reported that Turkey plans to sign a military cooperation accord with
Bosnia in early August. -- Lowell Bezanis, 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. ISSN 1211-1570


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