We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 170, Part II, 31 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

POLISH OFFICERS GATHERED SIGNATURES SUPPORTING PRESIDENT. In a report to
the Sejm on 30 August, Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Jerzy Zimowski
confirmed that signatures supporting President Lech Walesa's candidacy
in the upcoming elections were collected among soldiers of the special
Vistula units (NJW), subordinated to the ministry. An investigation
revealed that signatures were gathered in six of the eight units "with
the knowledge and approval" and, in some cases, even direct
participation of commanding officers, Radio Warsaw reported. NJW
commander Vice Admiral Marek Toczek, who was dismissed last week,
destroyed the petitions when Gazeta Wyborcza exposed the signature
campaign. Presidential candidates must gather 100,000 signatures to
qualify for the ballot. Press reports had linked ousted presidential
aide Mieczyslaw Wachowski to the signature effort. Deputy Defense
Minister Jan Kuriata assured the Sejm that the armed forces'
"apolitical" status would be respected during the election campaign, but
many deputies expressed skepticism. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

MORE TROUBLE FOR WALESA. In another embarrassment for Lech Walesa, the
president's son was involved in a car crash on 30 August, apparently
while driving under the influence of alcohol and without a valid
license. Slawomir Walesa crashed into a Jaguar stopped at a red light in
Warsaw and was later taken to a government clinic, Radio Warsaw
reported. The president's son received a two-year suspended prison
sentence and had his license revoked in 1992 after causing an auto
accident in Gdansk. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH SEJM CRITICIZES NATIONAL BANK. The Sejm on 30 August voted 270 to
107 to approve the enactment of the 1994 budget and the performance of
last year's government (headed by Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak),
Gazeta Wyborcza reported. But a report on 1994 monetary policy presented
by National Bank President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz was rejected, and the
bank was chastised for inadequate cooperation with the government.
Deputies from the ruling coalition charged that the money supply had
reached 213.8 trillion zloty by year-end, far above the planned 169
trillion. Gronkiewicz-Waltz put the actual figure at about 180 trillion,
saying the higher sum was linked to this year's currency reform. Deputy
Prime Minister Grzegorz Kolodko again blamed the central bank for
higher-than-anticipated inflation. Gronkiewicz-Waltz walked out when
Kolodko took the floor. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

POLAND'S TYMINSKI OFFERS CASH. Stan Tyminski, the eccentric emigre who
defeated Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki in the first round of the
1990 presidential elections before losing to Lech Walesa in the second,
has offered $1 for every supporting signature collected for his
presidential campaign. Tyminski, who now leads a fringe political
grouping, Party X, made his $100,000 offer via the Internet, Gazeta
Wyborcza reported. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH REPUBLIC TO SIGN CLASSIFIED INFORMATION AGREEMENT WITH U.S. Czech
Minister Without Portfolio Igor Nemec on 30 August announced that the
Czech Republic will sign an agreement with the U.S. on the protection of
classified information, Czech media reported the next day. According to
Nemec, the U.S. has said such an agreement is a precondition for
military cooperation between the two countries and will also allow Czech
firms access to U.S. technology that would otherwise be unavailable. The
Czech Republic is a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace program,
which seeks to foster military cooperation between NATO and former
Warsaw Pact countries. U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry is due to
visit the Czech Republic in September to attend joint military maneuvers
involving Czech, U.S., and German units. -- Jan Obrman, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK, HUNGARIAN PREMIERS HOLD CONFIDENTIAL TALKS. Vladimir Meciar and
Gyula Horn on 29 August held confidential talks aimed at improving
bilateral relations, Western agencies reported. A spokeswoman for the
Slovak prime minister was quoted as saying that the two officials met in
a Slovak mountain resort. She said no information would be released
until Meciar and Horn briefed their respective parliaments. The talks
were likely to have focused on the Slovak draft language law--which,
critics claim, discriminates against the ethnic Hungarian minority in
Slovakia--and on the delayed ratification of a bilateral friendship
treaty. The treaty has been ratified by the Hungarian parliament but
still not approved by Slovak deputies. -- Jan Obrman, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC UPDATE. The Ukrainian government convened on 30
August to finalize a draft of the 1996 state budget, which President
Leonid Kuchma is expected to submit to the parliament by 1 September,
Ukrainian TV and Interfax-Ukraine reported the same day. The current
draft reveals a planned budget deficit of 15% of GDP (a figure harshly
criticized recently by IMF representatives in Kiev) but the government
plans to order ministries and local administrations to take steps to
reduce the projected deficit to 6% of GDP next year. In other news,
State Property Fund officials revealed that privatization of enterprises
in the agro-industrial complex has been proceeding very slowly,
Ukrainian TV reported on 30 August. Only 14% of enterprises slated for
privatization since 1993 have been transferred to private ownership,
including 274 food-processing plants, grain elevators, and other
agriculture-related enterprises. The officials blame the poor financial
situation of the enterprises as well as resistance by local authorities
for the slow pace of privatization. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN ENERGY CONSUMPTION. In the first six months of 1995, Ukrainian
private businesses used eight times more fuel than private households,
Ukrainian Radio reported on 30 August. Fuel consumption was reduced in
the state sector by 16%, while state fuel reserves on 1 July were down
25% on the 1 October 1994 level. Coal and mazut reserves were down 19%
and 48% on last year. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

PROGRESS IN SEALING REACTORS IN ESTONIA. Estonian government
representative Arvo Niitenberg said Russian specialists should finish
building concrete seals around the two nuclear reactors at the former
submarine base at Paldiski by 22 September, BNS reported on 30 August.
Financial problems delayed the purchase of concrete earlier in the
month. Russia is required to complete handing over the base to Estonia
by 30 September. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

NEW NATIONAL AIR COMPANY IN LATVIA. Latvian Privatization Agency
Director Janis Naglis said an agreement was signed on 29 August
establishing a new national air company, BNS reported the next day. The
company will have a registered capital of $12.1 million and will be
owned by Latvia (51.03%), Baltic International USA (20.04), and SAS
(16.53%) airlines as well as two Scandinavian funds (6.2% each). The
existing Latavio airline will be reorganized into a department handling
charter flights and transport cargoes. The new company will begin
operations in September and will use only Western airplanes to carry
passengers. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO BLASTS BOSNIAN SERBS . . . International media on 31 August
reported that by sundown the previous day, there were four waves of
attacks by at least 60 NATO planes belonging to five countries in
Operation Deliberate Force. Their targets were Bosnian Serb military
installations around Sarajevo, Gorazde, Tuzla, and Mostar in the largest
such operation in NATO's history. The British, French, and Dutch
artillery of the Rapid Reaction Force on Mt. Igman pounded targets
nearby. Only one plane--a French Mirage 2000--was downed. Its two pilots
parachuted into Bosnian government territory, the BBC said. Some five EU
monitors were killed, but it is not clear how they died. Bosnian Serb
Radio said that damage was "massive" and that seven civilians were
killed, but the VOA correspondent in Sarajevo noted that one has to take
"anything the Bosnian Serbs say with a grain of salt." -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

. . . AND PROMISES FURTHER ATTACKS. The International Herald Tribune on
31 August said that U.S., British, and French commandos operating behind
Bosnian Serb lines prepared for the attacks for months by identifying
targets. It appears that the first day's strikes largely succeeded in
attaining their initial goal of taking out Serbian anti-air defenses and
the radar system. The VOA on 31 August spoke of the ground in Pale
shaking. NATO spokesmen made clear that the raids will not be
proportionate to previous actions of the Serbs and that the attacks will
not be limited in scope or area. The goal is to force the Serbs to
modify their behavior while denying them the means to continue their
aggression. State Department official Nicholas Burns told CNN that "the
Bosnian Serbs . . . ought to have concluded that there is no military
victory in sight for them. The tide of the war has turned against them.
Their dream of a greater Serbia is no more [and] it's time to face the
responsibility of peace." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN SERBS REMAIN DEFIANT. The BBC on 31 August quoted the Bosnian
Serb military command as saying that they will not withdraw their heavy
weapons and will resist future NATO attacks. Pale's "foreign minister,"
Aleksa Buha, gave the first public reaction from the Bosnian Serb
leadership. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 31 August quoted him
as saying the attacks had nothing to do with the shelling of the Markale
market on 28 August. He suggested that some broader plot was unfolding.
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic said that if the West thinks it can
intimidate the Serbs, then its "calculations . . . are wrong." Bosnian
President Alija Izetbegovic praised the attacks and French President
Jacques Chirac's role in organizing them, but said they were long
overdue. He stressed that the Serbian heavy weapons must be destroyed
and that it will not be enough to secure the Serbs' signature on yet
another demilitarization agreement. Favorable reactions to the strikes
also came from London, Bonn, Paris, Ankara, and Zagreb. NATO Secretary-
General Willy Claes said that "the attacks will not end until the Serbs
change." Vjesnik ran the headline: "The Blue Helmets Neutralize Serbs."
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIA CONDEMNS AIR STRIKES. The rump Yugoslav government has condemned
the NATO air attacks and UN artillery strikes against the Bosnian Serbs,
Tanjug reported on 30 August. It demanded that the military action be
halted immediately and negotiations resumed "as the only way to reach a
lasting and just peace in Bosnia." The ruling Socialist Party of Serbia
joined the chorus, denouncing both the air raids and the massacre at the
Sarajevo market place, Nasa Borba reported on 31 August. But Vojislav
Kostunica, leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Serbia, compared
the attacks to bombardments by Nazi Germany during World War II, while
Vojislav Seselj, alleged war criminal and leader of the Serbian Radical
Party (SRS), called for a "heavy counteroffensive." According to
Montena-fax, the leader of the SRS branch in Montenegro called Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic an "enemy of the Serbian people" and part
of a "communist-Ustasha coalition." -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

KARADZIC AGREES TO "HARMONIZE" BOSNIAN SERB POLICY WITH BELGRADE.
Bosnian Serb and rump Yugoslav leaders, meeting in Belgrade on 29
August, signed an agreement on coordinating their positions at peace
negotiations, BETA reported two days later. According to the
International Herald Tribune on 31 August, the agreement means that "the
Bosnian Serbs let the [rump] Yugoslav government speak for them in the
Bosnian peace process." BETA argued that Milosevic was not anxious to
sign the agreement since it "means taking responsibility for what
happens in Bosnia." The groundwork for the agreement may have been laid
at a meeting in Belgrade on 27 August between Bosnian Serb leader
Radovan Karadzic, Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic, speaker
of the Bosnian Serb parliament Momcilo Krajisnik, and Milosevic. BETA
reported that at that meeting, Milosevic "talked the hard-core Bosnian
leaders into at least formally accepting the peace initiative." But the
news agency added that "it is unclear . . . what concessions [they are]
prepared to make in practice." -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

HOLBROOKE MEETS WITH MILOSEVIC. U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke held urgent
talks with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade after
meeting with Bosnian President Alia Izetbegovic in Paris. Holbrooke
described their four-hour discussions about the U.S. peace plan as
"important and productive," the International Herald Tribune reported on
31 August. BETA also reported that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic
is in Belgrade and is "almost certain" to meet with Holbrooke. It
speculated that such a meeting may take place in the presence of
Milosevic and may result in the "signing of some kind of document"
accepting U.S. proposals for an end to the war. Holbrooke had previously
threatened that the Bosnian Serbs will be exposed to heavy air strikes
if the peace initiative "does not show any progress," adding that the
Serbs are "the main obstacle to peace." The U.S. peace plan has not yet
been published but reportedly grants the Serbs "local self-rule," within
a Bosnian federation. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR "HISTORICAL RECONCILIATION" WITH HUNGARY.
Ion Iliescu, in a speech marking the 55th anniversary of the temporary
loss of northern Transylvania to Hungary, called for a "historical
reconciliation" with Budapest based on the German-French model. Iliescu,
whose address was broadcast live on Radio Bucharest on 30 August, said a
joint political declaration could be accompanied by a "judicial
document" specifying what mechanisms and instruments should be used in
the process. He added that a "code of conduct" should be drawn up to
deal with national minority issues. Iliescu also said Romania was ready
not only to start negotiations on such a reconciliation at once but also
to renew discussions on the bilateral treaty. He warned Hungarian
politicians not to pose as defenders of Hungarian minority rights in
neighboring countries or attempt to exercise control over those rights
from abroad. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

VAN DER STOEL ON MINORITY RIGHTS IN ROMANIA. Radio Bucharest on 30
August reported that Max van der Stoel, visiting OSCE High Commissioner
for Ethnic Minorities, told Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu that the
"situation of national minorities in Romania has improved a lot." Van
der Stoel expressed the hope that "unjustified doubts" over the new
education law in Romania will be overcome, making it possible to "give
the green light to the process of Romanian-Hungarian reconciliation."
The high commissioner said Iliescu's speech on reconciliation was "very
important indeed." -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

POLL SHOWS ROMANIANS CRITICAL OF GOVERNMENT. An opinion poll published
on 30 August in the daily Adevarul showed that a large majority of
Romanians are critical of Nicolae Vacaroiu's government. The survey,
carried out among 1,000 respondents by the Bucharest-based Center for
Research on the Quality of Life, revealed that 79.5% consider the
executive's performance on ensuring a "decent living standard" as either
"weak" or "very weak." Eighty-five percent returned the same verdict on
the government's efforts to create new jobs. Performance on protecting
families with children was judged to be "weak" or "very weak" by 74.8%
of the respondents; 61.9% expressed the same opinion about the adequacy
of unemployment benefits. The performance of police in combating
corruption was considered to be unsatisfactory by 45.8% of the
interviewees. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

U.S. AMBASSADOR SAYS ROMANIA, POLAND SHOULD ANCHOR SECURITY IN REGION.
U.S. Ambassador to Romania Alfred Moses told students at the Black Sea
University on 30 August that Romania and Poland should be the anchors of
Central European security and lead the process of integration with the
West, Reuters reported. He said such a framework would not threaten
Russia and would remove the "historical temptation to intervene in the
affairs of the region to gain hegemony and change its destiny." -- Doug
Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIA DENIES ROLE IN YUGOSLAV BORDER KILLINGS. The Albanian Interior
Ministry has said that no Albanian citizens were involved in the attack
on a Yugoslav border patrol on 29 August, Reuters reported the next day.
The ministry accused the Serbian authorities of "killing and sacrificing
their own uniformed people only to accuse Albanians." It described
claims that a group of ethnic Albanians fled to Albanian territory after
shooting dead a rump Yugoslav soldier near the border at Djakovica as
"irresponsible" and having been "invented" by the Serbian authorities.
Tirana also accused Belgrade of creating "tension and hostility toward
Albanians." -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIA PRESIDENT WELCOMES NATO OFFENSIVE. Sali Berisha praised the NATO
attacks on Bosnian Serb positions as a "direct response to the massacre
committed in Sarajevo by Serbian terrorists [and] an honorable answer to
all the criminal acts, including genocide, they have committed during
the war in the former Yugoslavia," Zeri i Popullit reported on 31
August. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Alfred Serreqi arrived in Greece to
meet with top officials to discuss improving bilateral relations and the
Balkan crisis, international agencies reported. German and U.S. military
delegations traveled to Tirana to discuss military cooperation with
Defense Ministry and military officials and to prepare for a U.S.-
Albanian military exercise called "Peaceful Albania," scheduled to begin
in September. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIANS SHOPPING FOR ARMS IN UKRAINE? Col. Bektesh Kolasi, head of the
Albanian Ministry of Defense's Armaments Directorate, is heading a
delegation visiting Ukraine, ITAR-TASS reported on 31 August. The press
service of the Ukrainian military said the Albanians will visit a
military unit "to acquaint themselves with weaponry used by the
Ukrainian Land Forces." They were also scheduled to visit two defense
factories and discuss "military and technical cooperation." -- Doug
Clarke, 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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