The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously. - Henry Kissinger
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 153, Part II, 8 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

SLUGGISH LAND REFORM IN UKRAINE. The State Committee on Land Resources
in Ukraine has announced that little progress has been made beyond the
first scheduled phase of land reform in the agricultural sector,
Ukrainian Radio reported on 7 August. As of 1 July, 12% of Ukraine's
farmland was transferred to so-called collective ownership by large-
scale enterprises, while only 3% was in private hands. The state
maintains ownership of 84.8 % of farmland, most of which is still leased
out to collective farms as well as private tenant farmers. The
government held 90% of farmland at the beginning of the year. The
president's top economic advisor, Anatolii Halchynsky, told Ukrainian TV
on 7 August that Kuchma is expected to issue a decree on creating a
mechanism for transferring land on collective farms to their employees,
which would constitute the second phase of land reform. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC NEWS. President Leonid Kuchma on 7 August issued a
decree obligating businesses earning hard currency in Ukraine to use the
National Bank's Interbank Currency Exchange when converting half their
hard-currency profits to karbovantsi, Radio Ukraine reported on 7
August. Companies are required to have special licenses for hard-
currency operations and must exchange half their earnings for Ukraine's
provisional currency. Recently, Ukraine banned cash transactions in hard
currency as a step toward monetary reform. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI,
Inc.

TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN BELARUS. Erdal Inonu arrived in Minsk on 7
August for a two-day visit aimed at improving relations between the two
sides, Belarusian Radio reported. Relations soured last November when
Belarus expelled two Turkish diplomats for spying and arrested a
Belarusian in connection with the case. Ankara retaliated by suspending
bilateral projects. Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize
Belarusian independence. Bilateral trade amounts to $50 million. Inonu
is scheduled to meet with his Belarusian counterpart, Uladzimir Syanko,
Prime Minister Mikhail Chyhir, and President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. An
agreement on air links and cooperation in education, culture, sports,
and protection of investments is expected to be signed. -- Ustina
Markus, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS ACCUSES RUSSIAN MEDIA OF CAMPAIGN AGAINST PRESIDENT.
Presidential spokesman Uladzimir Zamyatalin has accused the Russian
media of waging a campaign against Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka, Ekho Moskvy reported on 7 August. Zamyatalin charged that
some Russian newspapers have repeatedly put down the Belarusian leader
and portrayed his policies as "travesties." He appealed to Deputy
Speaker of the State Duma Gennadii Seleznev to take concrete measures
against such coverage. Lukashenka has censored the Belarusian media and
fired editors in chief of leading newspapers for publishing articles he
considered critical of him. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

INFLATION IN ESTONIA DECLINES IN JULY. The Estonian Statistics
Department announced that the consumer price index in July increased by
1.7%, compared with an increase of 2.3% in June, BNS reported on 7
August. The price of goods grew by 0.1%, with the 0.9% increase in the
cost of manufactured goods offsetting the 0.5% decrease in food prices.
The cost of services increased by 3.7% in July, and the largest increase
was for housing and utilities (5.3%). -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLAND DEPORTS 33 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO LITHUANIA. Deputy Director of
the Lithuanian Migration Department Almantas Gavenas on 7 August
announced that the Polish authorities deported 33 illegal immigrants
from Asian countries to Lithuania three days earlier, BNS reported. The
immigrants are being held at a detention center in Marijampole.
Lithuania, in turn, will deport the immigrants, , to the countries from
which they entered Lithuania. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH DIPLOMAT PROPOSES POSTPONING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. Deputy
Speaker of the Sejm Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz on 7 August revealed that
Polish Ambassador to Russia Stanislaw Ciosek has sent a letter to
several politicians proposing that President Lech Walesa's term of
office be extended for another two years so that the presidential
elections, scheduled for the fall of 1995, coincide with the
parliamentary elections, scheduled for 1997. Cimoszewicz said he did not
rule out that presidential aides had been behind Ciosek's initiative.
The president's spokesman said that Walesa has always favored having
presidential and parliamentary elections at the same time. Sejm speaker
Jozef Zych, presidential candidate and former Labor Minister Jacek
Kuron, and Christian-National Alliance leader Ryszard Czarnecki all
strongly criticized the idea, Polish media reported on 8 August. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

POLAND PREDICTS STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH. The Central Planning Bureau has
forecast that Poland's gross domestic product will grow by 6.5% this
year, Gazeta Wyborcza reported. Exports are expected to rise by 20% to
$27.5 billion and imports by 27.5%. Industrial output is forecast to
rise by 10.5%, with growth slowing slightly as the result of the zloty's
appreciation. Spending on fixed investment will increase by 10%,
following last year's 7.1% rise. The latest inflation forecast is 22% at
year-end and 28% as an annual average. In another indication of strong
growth, Poles bought nearly 155,000 new cars in the first half of 1995.
Sales were up by 19% for domestic models and 13% for imports over the
same period last year. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK DRAFT LAW ON UNIVERSITIES DRAWS CRITICISM. Lev Bukovsky, rector
of Pavol Jozef Safarik University in Kosice, has said the government's
latest version of the law on universities is "unacceptable," Narodna
obroda reported on 8 August. Bukovsky stressed that top representatives
of the university have rejected the draft law, which was sent to them by
the Ministry of Education for their response in late July. The draft law
would allow the ministry to create and eliminate university departments
and decide how many students would be accepted to study a given field.
Officials at a number of Slovak universities have criticized the law,
saying it would restrict academic freedom. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK TRADE FIGURES. Slovak exports in the first half of 1995 rose
22.2% to 123.95 billion koruny, Narodna obroda reported on 8 August. The
biggest share of exports went to the Czech Republic (35.8%), followed by
Germany (18.9%), Italy (4.8%), Austria (4.7%), Hungary (4.5%), Poland
(4%), and Russia (3.3%). The share of exports to EU member countries
reached 37.7%. Meanwhile, imports totaled 125 billion koruny, bringing
Slovakia's six-month trade deficit to 1.1 billion koruny. Sme on 8
August quoted Economy Ministry official Stefan Burda as saying increased
imports of Russian oil are the reason for the trade deficit. -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

NEW ROMANI ORGANIZATION ESTABLISHED IN HUNGARY. Seven Romani
organizations met in the Hungarian town of Nyiregyhaza on 7 August to
form the Coordinating Federation of Roma Organizations in Northeastern
Hungary, MTI reported the same day. The organizations come from the
three counties with the largest Romani population, where the combined
unemployment rate is one of the highest in Hungary. The federation will
seek to create more jobs for Roma and will prepare for the 1998 local
and parliamentary elections. It stressed that it hopes to field
candidates who have the backing of a majority of the Romani community in
order to "avoid dissension and meaningless debate." -- Alaina Lemon,
OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SUSAK SAYS OPERATION STORM IS OVER. Croatian Defense Minister Gojko
Susak told Hina on 7 August that Croatia was demobilizing. He also said
that military operations in the former Sector North and Sector South
were over, the BBC noted on 8 August. He denied British and Serbian
reports that there was a conflict of interests between Croatia and
Bosnia. Some 6,000 Serbian soldiers had been resisting near Topusko, but
Susak said they were surrounded and giving up. The UN, however, said
that the Serbs were still fighting and that the Croats were shelling the
area. International media reported that the agreement whereby the Serbs
in effect surrendered broke down by mid-day on 7 August when the Croats
said the Serbs had "tricked" them. Croatian artillery went into action
and at least two Serbs were killed. Serbian resistance was strongest in
the Banija and Kordun areas. There were confusing and sometimes
contradictory reports -- including Bosnian Serb air raids on up to five
Croatian towns, the downing of two Serbian Orao jets, a Croatian air
raid on a column of Serbian refugees near Banja Luka, the burning of six
Serbian villages by Bosnian government forces, and the blocking of roads
into Bosnia by the Bosnian Fifth Corps, which reportedly trapped
thousands of Serbian refugees. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIA SENDS TANKS INTO EASTERN SLAVONIA. International media on 7
August reported that columns of Serbian tanks were heading across the
border into eastern Slavonia, the richest of Serbia's conquests in the
Wars of the Yugoslav Succession. Croatia then sent two crack brigades to
the border area, including the Tigers. Croatian media reported on 8
August that the Serbs shelled Osijek, but the area otherwise appeared to
be quiet. AFP quoted the British Foreign Office as saying that Britain
"would not welcome" a Croatian move into eastern Slavonia. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

"BIGGEST SINGLE MIGRATION OF SERBS IN HISTORY." This is how Belgrade
Radio described the mass flight of Krajina Serbs into Bosnia and Serbia,
the BBC reported on 8 August. If this description is accurate, the
present migration would exceed that of 30,000 families into Habsburg
territory in 1690 and the epic retreat of the Serbian army in World War
I. The latest estimates are of 150,000 people on the move; but this is
not certain, given Croatian reports that prewar Krajina had a total
population of only 400,000. Croatian officials on 8 August said that the
figure of 150,000 was grossly exaggerated and that the entire population
of Serb-held Krajina was only 120,000. The refugees appear to prefer to
go to Serbia than Bosnia, and the men in particular are reported to want
to get as far from the front as possible. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

ZAGREB CALLS BILDT PERSONA NON GRATA. Croatian officials on 7 August
slammed charges by EU mediator Carl Bildt that the flight of the Serbs
was "ethnic cleansing" and declared him persona non grata for several of
his recent remarks. The Croats noted that they encouraged the Krajina
Serbs to stay while Serbian media urged them to leave. They also pointed
out that many of the Serbs were living in homes and had property taken
from Croats following the deliberate "ethnic cleansing" of the area that
started in 1991. The UN said it would soon begin investigating reports
of human rights violations by the Croats in Knin. International media
reported cases of abuse of Serbian civilians and of looting, but there
appears to be no evidence of the systematic brutality associated with
Serbian forces in Bosnia and Croatia. The International Herald Tribune
on 8 August quoted Croatian officials as denying charges by the UN that
Croatian soldiers used Danish peacekeepers as human shields over the
weekend. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN SERB LEADERS BLAME MILOSEVIC FOR KRAJINA'S COLLAPSE. One of the
casualties of Operation Storm was the myth of Serbian military
invincibility, effectively embarrassing experts who predicted that only
armies in the hundreds of thousands could dislodge them. Many Krajina
Serbs were baffled and bitter that Knin fell in a single day, and one
told the 7 August New York Times that "it's a great shock
psychologically after it has been built up that we are winners. We all
expected Serbia to protect us. Everyone thinks [Serbian President
Slobodan] Milosevic has betrayed us." Radovan Karadzic and other Bosnian
Serb leaders have also charged Milosevic with "betraying Serb
interests," as "Vice President" Biljana Plavsic put it. Karadzic said
that "several factors in Serbia were directly responsible for the
destabilization of the Republic of Serbian Krajina," AFP reported. --
Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BELGRADE CALLS FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST CROATIA. Serbia on 7 August called
for sanctions to be imposed against Zagreb, international media
reported. In a letter to the UN, Belgrade described Croatia's victory
over the Krajina Serbs as an act of "shameless aggression" and said the
international community "must undertake concrete and resolute measures
against such criminal and genocidal acts." Meanwhile, Nasa Borba on 8
August reported that the Serbian Orthodox Church has issued an appeal
for humanitarian aid for Serbian refugees. It also said that the Serbian
and Montenegrin republican governments are no longer "fit" to lead the
Serbian nation. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

MARTIC FLEES. BETA on 7 August reported that the "president" of the
former Republic of Serbian Krajina had fled following Croatia's victory
in Krajina and is currently somewhere on Serb-occupied Bosnian
territory. Earlier reports concerning Milan Martic's whereabouts had
speculated that he had either committed suicide or had been
assassinated. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

MLADIC CHOOSES GREEK DEFENSE LAWYER. Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko
Mladic has appointed Greek lawyer Alexandros Lykourezos to defend him at
the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, AFP
reported on 7 August. A spokesman for the lawyer said Lykourezos is
currently in Belgrade to discuss details of the defense. Mladic was
charged with genocide and crimes against humanity by the tribunal, and
in July a warrant for his arrest was issued. Lykourezos is one of
Greece's most prominent lawyers. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

MACEDONIAN-YUGOSLAV DONKEY SMUGGLING AFFAIR. A group of rump Yugoslav
citizens are suspected of having organized a smuggling enterprise at the
border between Kumanovo and Presevo, BETA reported on 7 August. The
smugglers used donkeys without riders to transport goods across the
border. Their activities were discovered when a donkey lost its baggage,
which contained "something very valuable." Smuggled goods were allegedly
drugs and arms. BETA also noted that the price for donkeys in Macedonia
has risen to between 500 and 1,000 DM, depending on how well trained the
donkeys are. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA ON CROATIAN OFFENSIVE. Romania's Foreign Ministry, in a
statement released on 7 August and broadcast by Radio Bucharest,
expressed "deep concern" over the Croatian offensive in Krajina. The
statement said the recent offensive "contributed to perpetuating an
extremely dangerous situation that could lead to the expansion of
military operations with wider implications for the entire zone." It
stressed that Romania, as a neighbor, "directly perceives the state of
insecurity" in the region. Bucharest called for an immediate resumption
of peace talks and offered to mediate in the conflict. The leading daily
Adevarul described the outburst of joy in Zagreb over the victory in
Krajina as "grotesque." It also deplored the fate of the 200,000 Serbs
who have had to take refuge in neighboring Bosnia. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,
Inc.

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT ADOPTS PRIVATIZATION RULES. The Bulgarian
government on 7 August adopted the regulations for mass privatization,
Reuters reported the same day. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for
Economic Development Rumen Gechev said the program is based on the Czech
coupon privatization model. Companies will be on sale for both vouchers
and cash. "The combined approach pursues two aims: to transfer state
property into private ownership, and . . . to allow an inflow of fresh
funds into the enterprises," Gechev said. Up to 200 enterprises will be
included in the first round of mass privatization, which is scheduled to
start by the end of 1995. Between 31% and 70% of state-owned enterprises
will be privatized with vouchers, depending on investor interest. Some
20% will be offered to the employees at a preferential price, while 10%
will be kept in reserve for possible restitution claims, Kontinent
reported the following day. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

CHIEF EDITOR OF ALBANIAN DAILY FINED. Arban Hasani, editor in chief of
Populli PO, has been fined 100,000 lek ($1,000), for defamation, Gazeta
Shqiptare reported on 5 August. The secret service SHIK brought charges
against him for wrongly reporting that a SHIK officer ordered the
killing on 14 January 1994 in Shkoder of Xhovali Cekini, a member of the
opposition party Democratic Alliance. A man has since been arrested for
committing the crime. Allegations that the killing was organized by
circles close to the ruling Democratic Party appeared in the independent
media but were never confirmed. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

NEW ALBANIAN CONSULATE IN NORTHERN GREECE. An Albanian consulate has
opened in the northern Greek town of Ioannina, Gazeta Shqiptare reported
on 5 August. Preparations for the new consulate began in 1992, but the
opening was delayed owing to deteriorating relations between the two
countries in 1994. The Albanian Foreign Ministry has reportedly not yet
appointed a consul-general. Meanwhile, construction of a new facility at
the Albanian-Macedonian border checkpoint at Qafe e Thanes have gotten
under way, BETA reported on 4 August. The new facility is expected to
speed up considerably cross-border traffic. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,
Inc.

GREECE SENDS AID TO KRAJINA REFUGEES, CRITICIZES WEST. Greek Defense
Minister Gerasimos Arsenis on 7 August announced Greece will send
medicine, food, and clothing to Serbian refugees from Krajina,
international agencies reported the same day. The first two planes will
leave on 8 August, and the aid will be distributed by the UN. Greece
will also send doctors to the region and is considering treating some of
the wounded at Greek military hospitals. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister
Karolos Papoulias condemned the Croatian offensive against Krajina,
saying "no difference was ever solved by military means" and urging a
peaceful solution. Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs
Georgios-Alexandros Mangakis the same day criticized the U.S. and
Germany for backing Croatia's offensive against the rebel Krajina Serbs.
-- Stefan Krause, 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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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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