He who knows nothing is nearer the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. - Thomas Jefferson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 149, Part II, 2 August 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

SLOVAK GOVERNMENT ON ROMA DEATH. The cabinet on 1 August approved a
statement expressing sorrow over the death the previous day of the
Romani youth who was beaten up and set on fire by skinheads (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 25 July 1995). The government condemned the "use of any
kind of violence, brutality, racism, [and] civil and ethnic hatred." It
also promised to implement protective measures to prevent similar
occurrences in the future, Pravda reported. Meanwhile, Maria
Bartosikova, parliamentary deputy for the ruling Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), told Sme on 2 August that the incident "was
not a racist attack" but simply a statement by "people who want to live
in peace, who oppose those who steal from them, beat them, damage
houses, and threaten their children." -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK NATIONALISTS ON PROTECTION OF REPUBLIC. Slovak National Party
(SNS) Chairman Jan Slota on 2 August said his party will request that
discussion on amending the criminal code to provide for protection of
the republic be scheduled for the September parliamentary session. On
plans to implement alternative education, Slota said "every normal
Slovak citizen and parent should want his child to master the state
language." He also noted that Education Minister and SNS member Eva
Slavkovska, who has often been attacked by the opposition, has the "full
trust and support of the SNS." With regard to the frequent allegations
that the SNS and ethnic Hungarian political parties cannot exist without
the other, Slota noted that the SNS would be "very pleased if there were
not a single Hungarian political party" in Slovakia. Slota also repeated
previous allegations that the opposition is preparing a "parliamentary
putsch" this fall. According to Slota, "dirty money" that will be used
to "buy" deputies from the ruling coalition arrived in Slovakia last
week. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC NEWS. Viktor Pynzenyk, former deputy prime minister
for economic reforms, told Holos Ukrainy on 29 July that monthly
inflation in Ukraine rose from 4.6% in May to 4.8% in June but that
interest rates continued to fall, from 122% annually to 91.9% in the
same period. Pynzenyk said the National Bank of Ukraine's annual
refinancing rate fell from a high of 300% last year to 60% in June. He
added that real wages in Ukraine have risen by 6.5% since last September
but that the stabilization of the exchange rate meant that the average
wage vis-a-vis the dollar rose from $26.40 per month in January to
$47.90 in May. On a less positive note, Ukrainian Radio reported
recently that Ukraine's GDP declined 12% in the first half of 1995. --
Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN-ROMANIAN BORDER COOPERATION. Viktor Bannykh and Dimitrie Luca,
commanders of the Ukrainian and Romanian border guards, are preparing to
sign a treaty on cooperation over border issues, Ukrainian Radio
reported on 31 July. The two commanders said that the situation along
the Ukrainian-Romanian border was stable and that there was no evidence
of conflicts brewing there. The Ukrainian side said one problem along
the frontier was the increasing number of illegal immigrants on the
Ukrainian-Moldovan border who are crossing into Romania. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT RATIFIES EU ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT. The Estonian
parliament unanimously ratified the association agreement with the
European Union at an extraordinary session on 1 August, BNS reported.
Estonia, together with Latvia and Lithuania, signed the agreement on 12
June. The EU last year signed similar association agreements with
Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania.
Estonia's agreement will go into effect after the parliaments of the EU
member countries ratify it. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIA TO SELECT CANDIDATES FOR SERVICE IN BALTBAT. Juris Kiukucans, a
senior official in the Latvian National Armed Forces, told BNS on 1
August that the first candidates for the Latvian unit of the Baltic
Peacekeeping Battalion will be selected early next week. Baltbat needs
130 soldiers, but only 75 troops who served in the Soviet army or are
serving in the Latvian armed forces have expressed willingness to join
Baltbat. Training is scheduled to begin on 16 October, and the Baltbat
units will participated in UN peacekeeping missions in 1997. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH FINANCE MINISTER ACCEPTS TV BOARD'S AUDITS. Polish Finance
Minister Grzegorz Kolodko, representing the treasury as the owner of
Polish Television, announced on 1 August that he has approved the PTV
Board of Director's audits for 1994, Polish media reported. The minister
postponed his decision in May. His announcement puts an end to rumors
that both the board and PTV chief Wieslaw Walendziak would be removed
before the presidential elections. Walendziak has been accused of right-
wing sympathies by the left-wing ruling coalition. -- Jakub Karpinski,
OMRI, Inc.

POLAND MAY BUY U.S. JET FIGHTERS. Polish Defense Minister Zbigniew
Okonski on 1 August announced that Poland was considering buying at
least 100 U.S. F-16 fighters, CET reported the next day. U.S. Secretary
of the Air Force Sheila Widnall, who was in Warsaw from 31 July-2
August, said the U.S. government has decided to let Polish experts see
classified details of the F-16 and will send a team to Poland within 30
days. Okonski said that Poland needed to replace its force of 220 aging
MiG-21 fighters within three years and that it was considering French,
Swedish, and Russian aircraft as well as the F-16s. He said the four
countries will present their candidate aircraft at the air force base in
Deblin, central Poland, later this month. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

CZECHS CONFIRM SALE OF "STEALTH-SPOTTER" TO KYRGYZSTAN. Trade and
Industry Ministry spokesman Kamil Cermak on 1 August confirmed that the
Czech government has authorized the sale to Kyrgyzstan of an electronic
system that can detect the latest "stealth" aircraft, Mlada fronta dnes
reported. The "Tamara" device, which costs around $17 million and can be
mounted on trucks, is ready for export but has not left Czech territory,
Cermak added. He told Czech TV that it is "highly unlikely" that a
Tamara is being used by Bosnian Serbs (see OMRI Daily Digest, 31 July
1995). Cermak said no Tamara systems have been sold to former Yugoslavia
but it cannot be ruled out that a customer government had re-exported
one to a third country. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBS HIT CROATS WITH JETS, ROCKETS. The 2 August Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung reported that Krajina Serbs attacked Gospic with rockets the
previous day. They also hit Croatian forces near Strmica with three
Galeb jet aircraft. The International Herald Tribune quoted Bosnian
government sources as saying that Belgrade has made great efforts in
recent months to beef up the armed forces of the Krajina and Bosnian
Serbs. Rump Yugoslavia has sent tanks, aircraft, missiles, and up to
40,000 troops, who could easily have been hidden among local Serb
forces. Foreign military observers nonetheless saw troops around Zepa
wearing rump Yugoslav army patches. Bosnian General Mustafa
Hairulahlovic said that "the Yugoslav army is operating in the middle of
our country." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

KARADZIC, MARTIC APPEAL TO MILOSEVIC FOR HELP. Bosnian Serb leader
Radovan Karadzic and his Krajina counterpart, Milan Martic, held a
crisis meeting on 1 August and urged Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic to come to their aid, the BBC reported. The move is probably
designed as a political ploy to force Milosevic to take a public stand
on behalf of the Serbs of Bosnia and Krajina. The Serbian president has
fallen out with his two former proteges over tactics and power
relationships, but their strategic goals remain the same. Milosevic has
made sure that in Croatia and Bosnia as well as in rump Yugoslavia, the
Serbian military machine is both well integrated and funded. This was
shown by Serbian payroll and other documents captured by the Croats in
Western Slavonia in May. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. HOUSE VOTES TO LIFT ARMS EMBARGO. The House of Representatives
voted 298-128 on 1 August to end the embargo against the Bosnian
government. Like the measure passed in the Senate, it will only come
into effect after considerable delay and does not provide for any arms
sales or training. The VOA said that President Bill Clinton feels he can
get enough votes to enforce his expected veto, but the bills passed both
houses with strong bipartisan support. Elsewhere, NATO officials agreed
on a plan to protect the remaining UN-declared Bosnian "safe areas" even
if the Serbs only mass troops there and even if the Krajina Serbs attack
from Croatian territory. But it remains to be seen whether NATO will
want to face Serbian air defense systems and have pilots shot down. A
European diplomat told the International Herald Tribune on 2 August that
the problem is further complicated by the British, French, and Russian
willingness to accept a Serbian project to redraw the map of Bosnia,
which Washington and Bonn oppose. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

AKASHI CALLS ANOTHER MEETING. UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi will hold
talks in Geneva on 3 August with Croatian and Krajina Serb
representatives. The VOA said the previous day that there is little
chance of a breakthrough and that Croatia agreed only because of Western
pressure. Slobodna Dalmacija quoted UN officials as saying that Croatian
troops are preparing to attack Knin. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
reported that the German Foreign Ministry has warned all German tourists
to leave the Croatian coast south of Rijeka and the islands south of
Split. This could further hamstring Croatia's efforts to revive its
vital tourist industry. Finally, the International Herald Tribune said
that the UN has accused the Bosnian army of using snipers in Sarajevo
against the civilian population. The government denounced the charges,
saying that "instead of doing its duty, the United Nations wishes to
blame both sides equally. By doing so, [it] can justify remaining
impassive." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MILOSEVIC REITERATES COMMITMENT TO PEACE. Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic on 1 August sent letters to Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko
Mladic and Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic appealing for peace,
international media reported. According to Reuters, Milosevic noted that
continued fighting would result in "enormous human and material losses."
The letters were sent one day before the international Contact Group's
scheduled meeting in Washington. The BBC on 2 August reported that
Milosevic contacted Mladic and Izetbegovic just hours before Karadzic
and Martic issued appeals for military backing from Belgrade. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

NIMITZ IN MACEDONIA. U.S. special envoy Matthew Nimitz, mediating in the
Greek-Macedonian dispute, ended a two-day visit to Macedonia on 1
August, Nova Makedonija reported the following day. Nimitz met with
Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov and Foreign Minister Stevo
Crvenkovski. Talks focused on the prospects for direct Greek-Macedonian
talks and for normalization of relations. The Macedonian side stressed
its willingness to participate in such talks, but only on an equal
footing. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

AMNESTY FOR TWO ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN MACEDONIA. Two ethnic Albanians
sentenced two years ago for allegedly preparing an armed uprising have
been amnestied by Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov, Flaka reported on
2 August. Seven more Albanians sentenced on the same charges were
released after completing their terms. Among the released were two
former secretaries of the Party of Democratic Prosperity and a former
deputy defense minister. The Albanians were sentenced for allegedly
building up a network of people who were to take part in an armed
uprising, but Albanian politicians in Macedonia claimed that the trials
were staged and repeatedly demanded that the accused be released. *
Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA LAUNCHES NEW WAVE OF PRIVATIZATION. Romanian authorities on 1
August started the distribution of nominal coupons as part of a plan to
accelerate the privatization process in accordance with a law passed
this spring. In an interview with Radio Bucharest, Minister of State
Mircea Cosea, chairman of the government's Council for Coordination,
Strategy, and Reform, put the value of each coupon at 975,000 lei (some
$485). The voucher cannot be sold but can be traded for shares in state
firms slated for privatization. Romania plans to privatize some 3,000
state-run enterprises this year. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION ATTACKS AGRICULTURAL POLICY. Leaders of Romanian's
main opposition parties on 1 August met in Bucharest to examine the
government's agricultural policy, Radio Bucharest reported. They said
they planned to ask the parliament to discuss at an extraordinary
session the government's ability to purchase this year's wheat harvest,
which totals more than 7 million tons. They were particularly critical
of the fact that the state-owned Romcereal company has a monopoly on
wheat purchases in Romania. The opposition also wants the parliament to
pass a law on support for Romanian agriculture. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,
Inc.

MOLDOVAN ELECTORAL ALLIANCE BECOMES PERMANENT. The Alliance of
Democratic Forces (AFD), which was initially set up as an electoral
bloc, has become a permanent political alliance, Infotag announced on 31
July. The AFD comprises seven parties and organizations, including the
United Democratic Congress (CDU) and the Party of Liberal Democracy. CDU
Chairman Valeriu Matei said the AFD members will continue to preserve
their individual political identities, though future mergers are not
excluded. He dismissed speculation that AFD members may be absorbed by
the Party of National Revival and Concord or the Party for Social
Progress, two new formations that split from the ruling Agrarian
Democratic Party of Moldova. Like the AFD, these two parties are seeking
to establish themselves as centrist forces. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS UPDATE. Standart on 2 August reported that the
opposition failed to agree on a common mayoral candidate for Sofia. A
meeting scheduled for the previous day was canceled when representatives
of the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) did not show up. SDS Deputy
Chairman Petar Stoyanov denied that a meeting was scheduled, but
representatives of other parties contradicted him. Meanwhile, the
Constitutional Court on 1 August announced it will review the local
election law in September. Both the SDS and President Zhelyu Zhelev had
asked the court to review some of the law's provisions that, they claim,
contradict the constitution. Judge Ivan Grigorov was cited by
Demokratsiya as saying that irrespective of its ruling, the court "will
not complicate or hamper . . . the elections." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,
Inc.

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT SAYS HIS ELECTION WAS "A DEAL" BETWEEN PARTIES.
Zhelyu Zhelev, in an interview with Bulgarian Radio on 1 August, said
his election by the Grand National Assembly in August 1990 resulted from
a deal between the Bulgarian Socialist Party and the Union of Democratic
Forces. He rejected allegations that the BSP dictated the conditions for
his elections. According to Zhelev, the Socialists agreed on his
election in order to avoid an early ballot. He also denied allegations
that the BSP tacitly supported his re-election by popular vote in 1992,
saying the party did everything to remove him from office. Zhelev said
that during his five years in office, restitution was stopped,
privatization has not taken place, and land restitution is proceeding
very slowly. These are the reasons for the growing crime rate, he added.
-- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN PEASANTS CUT OFF WATER TO TIRANA. Some 70 farmers on 29 July
took control of the Bovilla pumping station, north of Tirana, and cut
off the water supplies to the capital to protest a dam project that
would drive them from their land, Reuters reported on 1 August. Supplies
were restored the same day, and the farmers were taken into custody.
They have accused the government of breaking a promise to give them land
and housing equivalent in value to what they would lose. The dam is
expected to be completed next year. The government reportedly has
declared the pumping station a strategic installation and ordered a
permanent guard stationed there. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

NEW ALBANIAN TV, RADIO DIRECTOR APPOINTED. Bardhyl Pollo, former
director of Radio Tirana's foreign service, has been appointed director
of Albanian Radio and TV, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 2 August. BETA on
1 August quoted Pollo as saying that his priorities are
"professionalism, program restructuring, and increased independence for
journalists." -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

INTERNATIONAL PROTESTS AGAINST ALBANIAN CENSORSHIP. The Article 19
International Center against Censorship has sent a letter to Albanian
President Sali Berisha protesting the arrest of Filip Cakuli, chief
editor of the satirical magazine Hosteni 2000, and the journalist Naim
Noka, Koha Jone reported on 1 August. Both journalists were detained in
late June by the secret service SHIK until they agreed to change the
covers of their next issues (see OMRI Daily Digest, 3 July). The German
satirical magazine Titanic has also issued a protest saying that items
confiscated during the arrests had been given to the Albanians during a
visit to Germany in February. Elsewhere, the International Federation of
Journalists protested the trial against the chief editor of Populli PO,
Arban Hasani. He faces charges that his newspaper wrongly reported that
a SHIK officer was arrested for ordering a killing. -- 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
electronically to OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
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. ISSN 1211-1570


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