Nothing helps scenery like ham and eggs. - Mark Twain
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 168, Part II, 29 August 1995

This is Part II of the Open Media Research Institute's Daily Digest.
Part II is a compilation of news concerning Central, Eastern, 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

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

WALESA REORGANIZES PRESIDENTIAL STAFF. Polish President Lech Walesa told
reporters on 28 August that Mieczyslaw Wachowski, the top aide who was
fired three days earlier, "is and remains my friend," Gazeta Wyborcza
reported. There were two reasons for the dismissal, Walesa said.
Wachowski needed a rest from constant accusations of misconduct, and the
president needed to reorganize his office to prepare for a second term.
Walesa on 28 August promoted presidential staffers Andrzej Zakrzewski to
minister of state (last held by Wachowski) and Andrzej Ananicz to
secretary of state. Zakrzewski met with several former Walesa aides who
had left the president's service because of disagreements with Wachowski
in an apparent attempt to regroup for the fall elections. Walesa
indicated to reporters that former Foreign Minister Andrzej Olechowski
is being courted to head the president's re-election campaign. -- Louisa
Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH BISHOPS OPPOSE POSTCOMMUNISTS. In a pastoral letter read out in
all Catholic churches on 27 August, the Polish episcopate urged
Catholics not to vote for candidates in the upcoming elections who
"participated in the exercise of power at the highest party and
government levels under totalitarian rule," Gazeta Wyborcza reported.
The Church hierarchy traditionally declines to endorse specific
candidates but instead issues general guidelines for voter behavior. The
statement supported candidates who defend "ethical and evangelical
values but also respect the views of other faiths and non-believers."
Democratic Left Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski argued that the
bishops' admonition did not refer to him. His role as minister for youth
and sport in the last two communist governments was nothing to be
ashamed of, he said. National Bank President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
commented that Kwasniewski should have another look at his own resume.
Kwasniewski joined the communist party in 1977 and was one of the its
rising stars in the late 1980s. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN LIBERALS THREATEN TO QUIT RULING COALITION. Hungary's Alliance
of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) is threatening to leave the ruling coalition
over a proposal to name a deputy prime minister to oversee the economy,
Radio Budapest and international agencies reported. The liberals argue
that such a post would diminish the power of Finance Minister Lajos
Bokros, whose controversial austerity package aimed at dealing with the
country's large budget deficit enjoys strong support from the SZDSZ.
Prime Minister Gyula Horn has stressed he intends to establish the post,
despite opposition from the coalition partner. He has also said he is in
favor of appointing trade union leader Sandor Nagy, who is generally
regarded as leader of the Socialist Party's left wing, which is opposed
to both the austerity package and market reforms that result in job
losses. The Socialists have a narrow majority in the parliament, but it
is unclear what the party's pro-market wing would do in the event of a
split with the SZDSZ. -- Jan Cleave, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PARTY CALLS FOR BREAK WITH ROMANIA. International agencies on
28 August reported that Hungary's Smallholders' Party has called on the
government to break off diplomatic relations with Romania. The call came
at a weekend meeting of opposition parties in Hungary. Prime Minister
Gyula Horn, who was present at the meeting, called for a continued
dialogue and diplomatic efforts to improve relations with Romania. --
Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN PARTY OF GYPSIES DEMANDS PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATION. Albert
Horvath, leader of the Hungarian Party of Gypsies, hand-delivered a
letter to Premier Gyula Horn demanding that the government guarantee
Gypsies parliamentary representation, MTI reported on 28 August. He said
he had to resort to delivering the letter to the Socialist Party
headquarters because he had written so many already and not received an
answer. Horvath cited constitutional paragraphs promising minorities
representation in the parliament as well as equal political and cultural
rights. He pointed out that the unemployment rate for the minority
stands at 80% and that many Gypsies earn only 6,700 forint ($55).
Without parliamentary representation, he said his party was unable to
try to make changes. Some Romani and Gypsy parties do not use the name
"Roma" in order to include those groups that do not speak Romani. --
Alaina Lemon, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN, SLOVAK PREMIERS TO DISCUSS SLOVAK LANGUAGE LAW. Gyula Horn
and Vladimir Meciar plan to meet to discuss the draft of a controversial
Slovak language law during the Central European Free Trade Agreement
meeting in the Czech town of Brno on 11 September, Hungarian media
reported on 28 August. The draft language law would require all schools,
including those predominantly or exclusively attended by members of the
Hungarian minority, to teach in the Slovak language. An estimated
600,000 ethnic Hungarians live in southern Slovakia. -- Jan Obrman,
OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS CRITICIZE LUPTAK. The Slovak Christian
Democratic Movement has again attacked Jan Luptak, deputy parliamentary
chairman and a member of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia,
for questioning the need for independent judges, TASR reported on 28
August. Christian Democratic deputy Ivan Simko was quoted as saying that
it is "incredible that the chairman of a party that nominated the
minister of justice is attacking the very pillars of a free society,
namely the independence of the judiciary." Luptak said in an interview
with Slovak TV on 17 August that "it is a mistake for society to have
independent judges [at a time] of economic transformation." -- Jan
Obrman, OMRI, Inc.

MOST BELARUSIAN SCHOOLCHILDREN TO STUDY IN RUSSIAN. Following the May
referendum on giving the Russian language equal status with Belarusian,
it appears the majority of first graders will be taught in Russian,
Belarusian Radio reported on 28 August. Of the 25,000 first graders in
Minsk, 11,000 will be taught in Russian and 5,000 in Belarusian. The
parents of the remaining 9,000 have not yet decided in which language
they want their children to receive instruction. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI,
Inc.

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN UKRAINE. Ukrainian Radio on 28 August reported
that foreign investment in Ukraine increased in the first six months of
the year to $560 million. The biggest investors are Germany and the
U.S., which respectively account for 20% and 19% of total foreign
investment. They are followed by Britain, Russia, Cyprus, Switzerland,
Ireland, and the Netherlands. Most investment has gone into the machine
building industry, metals, domestic trade, the food business, and light
industry. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

FINNISH PRESIDENT VISITS LATVIA. Martti Ahtisaari, at the start of a
two-day visit to Riga on 28 August, met with his Latvian counterpart,
Guntis Ulmanis, BNS reported. They discussed the financial situation in
Latvia and how Finland could assist Latvia to join the European Union.
Finnish and Latvian Foreign Ministers Tarja Halonen and Valdis Birkavs
signed an accord on formally handing back to Latvia its pre-war embassy
building in Helsinki. The ministers also discussed the possibilities of
introducing visa-free travel between the two countries, Finnish
assistance to Latvian border guards, and cooperation in combating
organized crime. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH DEFENSE MINISTER IN LITHUANIA. Zbigniew Okonski and his
Lithuanian counterpart, Linas Linkevicius, on 28 August signed protocols
on cultural cooperation and the transfer of military equipment to
Lithuania, RFE/RL reported. They also discussed the formation of a joint
UN peacekeeping battalion. Okonski met with President Algirdas
Brazauskas, Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius, and Foreign Minister
Povilas Gylys. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT DEMANDS ACTION. The attack on Sarajevo's Markale
market on 28 August left at least 37 dead and 87 wounded, international
media reported the following day. Soon after the shelling, Prime
Minister Haris Silajdzic said that Bosnia's participation in the peace
process should be suspended until NATO clarified its role in protecting
Sarajevo as a UN-designated "safe area." Foreign Minister Muhamed
Sacirbey stressed that "there must be some credibility restored by the
international community in not allowing terrorism to undermine their own
peace process [or] their own credibility." President Alija Izetbegovic
promised revenge against the Serbs, adding that "as far as the killers
are concerned, my message to them is we shall strike back . . . and very
soon too." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBS DENY INVOLVEMENT IN SHELLING . . . Nasa Borba on 29 August said
the entire Bosnian Serb leadership has denied any connection with the
Sarajevo attack. As was the case with the previous shelling of the
market on 5 February 1994, the Serbs suggested that the government
bombarded its own people for devious ends. The Serbian civilian leader,
Radovan Karadzic, told SRNA that "the Muslim side, as usual, on the eve
of important moments in the negotiations, staged a massacre of its own
population to sabotage the peace process." His information minister
called it "a classic act of Islamic terrorism." The military commander,
General Ratko Mladic, said his men were not responsible. Bosnian Serb
Radio claimed that soon after the Markale incident, government forces
shelled a Serbian Orthodox church near Sarajevo and killed a member of a
wedding party. There has generally been a pattern of the Serbs denying
war crimes and accusing the Muslims or Croats of similar things each
time the Serbs have done something particularly condemnable. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

. . . BUT UN DOES NOT BELIEVE THEM. Few people outside Serbian circles
seemed to believe Karadzic and his fellows, however. The UN on 29 August
announced that it had "concluded beyond all reasonable doubt" that
Bosnian Serb forces fired the 120mm mortar round into an area packed
with innocent civilians. It was not immediately clear what action, if
any, would follow. Air strikes or use of the Rapid Reaction Force nearby
were the two most likely options. The UN statement added that "all
options are being reviewed, including the use of air power." Even the
usually mild-mannered special envoy, Yasushi Akashi, said there would be
"very strong action." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN SERBS WELCOME U.S. PEACE PLAN. The International Herald Tribune
on 29 August said U.S. mediator Richard Holbrooke was somewhat cautious
in his recommendations as to what should be done. Holbrooke, the
"architect" of the short-lived policy of direct talks with Pale last
winter, is now promoting Washington's latest effort to secure peace by
effectively partitioning Bosnia. The Sarajevo government rejects any
attempt to destroy the unity of the country. But the Bosnian Serb
"legislature," meeting on Mt. Jahorina in the early hours of 29 August,
welcomed Holbrooke's efforts for "a durable and just peace." Karadzic
applauded the plan, saying earlier on Bosnian Serb Radio that "the
American initiative, as far as we know, takes into account a maximum of
Serb interests, and I hope our parliament will welcome this offer
favorably." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

WHAT DID THE DUTCH KNOW IN SREBRENICA? The Bosnian Serb legislators also
agreed that they and rump Yugoslavia would be represented at future
international conferences by a joint delegation. The measure had been
suggested by EU mediator Carl Bildt, SRNA said. Meanwhile, Bosnian and
Serbian media continued to speculate on persistent but unconfirmed
reports that Mladic has tried to arrest Karadzic. The two
internationally wanted war criminals have been publicly at odds over a
variety of issues related to tactics and power. In Gorazde, British
forces completed their withdrawal ahead of schedule, leaving behind only
two military observers and a political analyst. The Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung on 28 August reported on the continued row in the
Netherlands over the behavior of Dutch peacekeepers following the fall
of Srebrenica in July. They have been charged with turning a blind eye
to massacres of Muslims and other war crimes in order to avoid clashing
with the Serbs. The latest reports suggested that the Dutch virtually
had to stumble over mounds of corpses as they were leaving the area. AFP
said that the Serbs still refuse to allow an independent investigation .
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

MORE REFUGEES EXPECTED IN VOJVODINA . . . A peace conference in the
Hungarian town of Szeged, attended by nongovernmental representatives
from 15 countries, has expressed fears that another 70,000 Krajina Serbs
will be settled in Vojvodina, which has large Hungarian, Croatian, and
other Central European minorities, Hungarian TV1 reported on 27 August.
Meanwhile, Hina on 28 August said that 565 ethnic Croatian refugees
arrived in Croatia from Vojvodina on 28 August. The mass expulsion of
Croats and Muslims from Banja Luka and other areas in northwestern
Bosnia continued on 28 August, Croatian Radio reported. Some 300 people
crossed the River Sava from Srbac to Davor, and more refugees are
expected to arrive. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

. . . BUT MINISTER FOR MINORITIES SEES NO DIFFICULTIES. Margit Savovic,
rump Yugoslav minister without portfolio in charge of civil liberties
and minority rights, has denied that Serbian refugees in Kosovo and
Vojvodina will disturb the ethnic balance there, Tanjug reported on 27
August. Savovic charged "certain countries" with using the refugee
crisis to "interfere in Yugoslavia's internal affairs." Vjesnik on 29
August said that paramilitary troops under internationally wanted war-
criminal Zeljko Raznjatovic, alias "Arkan," have begun press-ganging
refugees in Serbia for deployment in eastern Slavonia. -- Fabian
Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

VAN DER STOEL IN ROMANIA. Amid renewed tension in Romanian-Hungarian
interethnic relations in Transylvania, Max van der Stoel, the OSCE High
Commissioner for Ethnic minorities, began a four-day visit to Romania on
28 August, Radio Bucharest announced the same day. He met with leaders
of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania and is also scheduled
to meet with Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, Chamber of Deputies
chairman Adrian Nastase, Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, government
coordinator of the Council for National Minorities Viorel Hrebenciuc,
and deputy justice and education ministers. Van der Stoel will also
participate in a symposium on international legislation for national
minorities. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PREMIER IN MOLDOVA. Yevhen Marchuk on 28 August began a two-
day visit to Moldova, Infotag reported the same day. He met with his
Moldovan counterpart, Andrei Sangheli, and parliamentary chairman Petru
Lucinschi. During the visit, thirteen agreements on economic cooperation
are to be signed as well as an accord on the protection of minority
rights. Sangheli said the Moldovan side intends to raise the issue of
agreements that have been signed but not implemented. The Ukrainian
parliament has not yet ratified a treaty on friendship and cooperation,
signed in October 1992, and other agreements have also not been
observed. Radio Bucharest reported on 29 August that Marchuk proposed
setting up a customs-free trade zone between the two countries and that
his hosts responded to the proposal "with interest." Chisinau is also
planning to raise the issues of border demarcation and Moldovan cargo
transit through Ukrainian territory. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVA PROTESTS RUSSIAN ARMS TRANSFER TO TIRASPOL. The Moldovan
government on 28 August officially protested the intention of the
Russian military in Transdniester to transfer armaments to the
authorities of the breakaway republic, Radio Bucharest announced the
same day. Valerii Yevnevich, head of the Russian military in
Transdniester, was quoted as saying the equipment about to be transfered
to Tiraspol cannot be used for military purposes. He had previously said
that a team of officers from the Materials Resources Direction of the
Russian Defense Ministry were in Tiraspol to deal with the transfer of
the army's assets in Slobozia, Parcani, and Bender. BASA-press reported
on 25 August that according to Yevnevich, both the staff and equipment
of the Russian battalions in Bender and Slobozia are to be transferred
to the garrison in Tiraspol. He said that to date, no equipment has been
transferred either to the Transdniestrian authorities or to Russia. He
also noted that more than 5,600 missiles and mines have been destroyed
and 3,800 remain intact. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

CONFLICT OVER MOLDOVAN ORTHODOX CHURCH. The Bessarabian Metropolitan
Seat, which is subordinated to the Bucharest Patriarchate, has sued the
Moldovan government for refusing to register the seat for three years,
BASA-press reported on 25 August. A court in Buiucani will start
examining the lawsuit later this week. The Moldovan Orthodox Church, to
which most Orthodox believers in the country belong, is subordinated to
the Moscow Patriarchate. Last week, Moldova's State Service for
Religious Problems proposed that the Moldovan Orthodox Church should be
subordinated to the Patriarchate of Constantinople as a compromise
measure. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIA OPPOSES LIFTING OF SANCTIONS AGAINST RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. Albanian
Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi, during the visit to Tirana of his
Egyptian counterpart, Amr Moussa, has stressed again that sanctions
against the rump Yugoslavia should not be lifted unless the Kosovo
conflict is resolved. Moussa and Serreqi said their countries have
identical views on the crisis in the former Yugoslavia. Moussa added
that Egypt considers the settling of Serbian refugees in Kosovo to be an
"attempt to alter the demographic structure in Kosovo, [which is]
unacceptable," Reuters reported on 28 August. According to BETA, Moussa
also met with President Sali Berisha and Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi
to discuss Egyptian investments in Albania and other forms of
cooperation. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

SENIOR U.S. OFFICIAL IN ATHENS FOR BALKAN TALKS. White House
communication manager George Stephanopoulos arrived in Athens on 28
August, Reuters reported the same day. Stephanopoulos will meet with
Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias,
and the main conservative opposition party leader, Miltiades Evert, on
29 August to discuss the situation in the Balkans. The talks will focus
on Greece's differences with neighboring Turkey, the Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia, and the war in Bosnia. -- 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
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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