Increase The Peace. - John Singleton
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 171, Part II, 1 September 1995

[NOTICE TO READERS: THE OMRI Daily Digest will not appear on 4 September,
1995, an
American holiday.]

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 SAYS SOLIDARITY REVOLUTION INCOMPLETE. Polish President Lech
Walesa, speaking on 31 August at ceremonies to mark the 15th anniversary
of the signing of the Gdansk accords that legalized Solidarity,
reiterated his determination to run for president. "The need from which
Solidarity arose has not passed," Walesa said. He called upon the
postcommunist forces to conduct an honest settling of accounts for their
past deeds. "A single 'I'm sorry' is not enough," Walesa said, in a
reference to Democratic Left Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski's
brief apology for the abuses of communism, which was submitted to the
Sejm after the 1993 elections. Gdansk Archbishop Tadeusz Goclowski
charged that the Solidarity movement went "too far in one aspect of
Christianity" by being too forgiving of the former Communists after they
surrendered power in 1989, Rzeczpospolita reported. -- Louisa Vinton

POLISH COMMISSION SETS 1996 WAGE LIMIT. The tripartite commission
representing the trade unions, employers, and the state reached
agreement on 31 August that the average wage in state firms can increase
a maximum of 21.8% next year, Gazeta Wyborcza reported. The government
is predicting annual average inflation of 19.8%, so the agreement allows
a 2% rise in real wages. The unions initially demanded a 26% limit,
fearing that government inflation forecasts were overly optimistic. The
agreement sets guidelines rather than legally enforceable limits. In
other economic news, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grzegorz
Kolodko predicted that the inflation rate for August will amount to only
0.5-0.6%. Prices fell by 0.9% in July, largely owing to seasonal
declines in food prices, yielding a year-on-year rate for that month of
27.6%. -- Louisa Vinton

CZECH ARMS TRADE FIGURES. The Czech Republic exported $55 million worth
of arms and military equipment during the first six months of this year,
Reuters reported on 29 August, citing the Ministry of Industry and
Trade. During the same period in 1994, Czech exports totaled $60
million. This year's exports included L-39 jet trainers to Bangladesh,
T-815 heavy utility trucks to India, and CZ-75 pistols for the Turkish
police. Arms imports during the first half of the year were worth $33.4
million and came mostly from Russia, Slovakia, and France. -- Doug
Clarke

SLOVAKIA CELEBRATES CONSTITUTION DAY. Slovakia on 1 September celebrates
the third anniversary of the approval of its constitution. Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar has repeatedly called for changes to the basic
law, but he remains eight votes short of 90 needed to make
constitutional changes. Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) deputy
Dusan Slobodnik, speaking with Pravda on 31 August, said that despite
having been worked out "very quickly," the document is "good" on basic
questions and its "basic structure should not be changed." Robert Fico,
legal expert from the opposition Party of the Democratic Left (SDL),
said modifications should be reviewed by a wide commission of
specialists and carried out only if supported by "all representatives of
political life." On the eve of Constitution Day, President Michal Kovac
awarded the Order of Ludovit Stur to a number of prominent Slovaks,
including several Church officials and Julius Binder, director of the
firm that built the Gabcikovo dam. Prague Spring leader Alexander
Dubcek, as well as two generals who led the anti-fascist resistance
during World War II, were given awards posthumously, TASR reported. --
Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK FIRM TO ISSUE BONDS. According to TASR on 30 August, Slovenske
Elektrarne will issue five-year bonds with a total value of 1.5 billion
koruny in November. The bonds, which are to be administered by the
Slovenska Sporitelna bank, will have a fixed interest rate and are
designed mainly for Slovak firms. It will be the largest issue of
corporate bonds thus far in Slovakia. Slovenske Elektrarne is
responsible for the construction of the Mochovce nuclear power plant. --
Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY RESPONDS TO ROMANIAN PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL. Hungarian Foreign
Ministry spokesman Gabor Szentivanyi was quoted by Radio Bucharest on 1
September as saying Romanian President Ion Iliescu's call for a
"historic reconciliation" between Hungary and Romania (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 31 August 1995) was received "with great interest" in Budapest.
Szentivanyi told the official news agency MTI that Hungary is now
waiting for "concrete proposals," which he said will be carefully
studied. He commented that only a historic reconciliation can lead to
attaining the two countries' common objective of "integration into Euro-
Atlantic structures [and] consolidation of stability and security in the
region and in Europe." However, he added, any historic reconciliation
cannot ignore unresolved issues, including "solving the problems of
national minorities in accordance with international norms." -- Michael
Shafir

ROMANI FESTIVAL BEGINS IN BUDAPEST. An international festival of Romani
culture officially opened in Budapest on 31 August, international media
reported. In a keynote speech, Hungarian President Arpad Goncz
emphasized the importance of the Roma's contribution to world heritage.
He noted that Roma live in many countries but are without their own
country and thus often feel they "do not belong." Goncz noted that the
Budapest festival would show that they and their culture are part of the
world's heritage. Organizers of the festival, called "Rom Som" (which
means both "I am a human being" and "I am a Rom") said the aim was to
show the wealth of Romani culture. -- Jiri Pehe

CONFUSION OVER BELARUSIAN DECREES. ITAR-TASS and Interfax on 31 August
reported confusion over whether President Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed a
decree stripping deputies of their immunity, thereby allowing deputy
Syarhei Antonchyk and local council deputy and head of the Independent
Trade Unions Henadz Bykau to be arrested. Officials at Lukashenka's
headquarters say the president never signed such a decree. Chairman of
the Supreme Soviet Mechyslau Hryb reportedly met with the president and
changed some articles relating to the status of deputies, but not the
article dealing with deputies' immunity. Adding to the confusion,
Segodnya reported that Lukashenka signed a decree on 31 August that both
suspended the activities of the Independent Trade Unions and allowed for
the arrest of deputies. -- Ustina Markus

INDIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN BELARUS. Belarusian TV on 30 August reported
that Salman Khursheed has concluded an official visit to Belarus.
Khursheed met with Prime Minister Mikhail Chyhir, head of the
President's Administration Leanid Sinitsyn, and Minister for Foreign
Economic Relations Mikhail Marynich. Discussions focused on trade
potential and economic ties between the two countries. Belarusian-Indian
trade stood at only $8 million in the first half of this year. In an
effort to spur trade, it was decided to set up an international
committee on trade, economy, and technical cooperation. Marynich said
India was interested in Belarusian technology, while Belarus wanted to
obtain medicine from India. -- Ustina Markus

MEETING OF BALTIC, NORDIC FOREIGN MINISTERS. The foreign ministers of
the Baltic States and the Nordic Council countries met on 30-31 August
in Kolding, Denmark, to discuss cooperation between the two groups, BNS
reported. The Nordic ministers welcomed the associate membership
agreements of the Baltic States with the EU. The two groups agreed that
a future European security structure should be developed in cooperation
with Russia. Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs signed a free trade
agreement with Iceland, an accord with Denmark on mutual assistance in
customs, and a protocol with Sweden on the establishment of an economic
committee. -- Saulius Girnius

ESTONIA, POLAND SIGN DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT. Defense ministers
Andrus Oovel and Zbigniew Okonski signed a bilateral agreement on
defense cooperation on 31 August in Tallinn, BNS reported. The
ministries will join forces to work out defense concepts, build up
defense structures, and eliminate environmental damage at former Russian
military bases. Poland will also train Estonian officers. In a surprise
remark after the signing, Oovel said that Estonia would support Poland's
becoming the first former Warsaw Pact country to join NATO. -- Saulius
Girnius

LATVIAN PARLIAMENT RATIFIES EU ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT. The Saeima on 31
August ratified the associate membership agreement with the European
Union, BNS reported. The agreement, signed on 12 June, still has to be
ratified by the parliaments of the 16 EU countries. -- Saulius Girnius

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

OPERATION DELIBERATE FORCE SWINGS INTO THIRD DAY. International media on
1 September reported that the UN and NATO attacks on Bosnian Serb
positions are continuing. Planes have completed more than 500 sorties,
and artillery on Mt. Igman blasted Serbian guns and other targets. Bad
weather caused a temporary let-up in operations the previous day. A NATO
spokeswoman in Naples told reporters that the operation is nonetheless
taking place in stages and that "things are going on" even if this is
not readily apparent. The Serbs claimed that their "capital" in the ski
resort of Pale was being hit as well, and reporters there said a loud
boom caused windows to rattle. UN spokesmen said press reports that UN
commander General Bernard Janvier would meet with the Serbs' General
Ratko Mladic were "premature." -- Patrick Moore

CLINTON BLASTS SERBIAN "SAVAGERY." U.S. President Bill Clinton told
reporters in Hawaii that Operation Deliberate Force is "the right
response to savagery." He said that the Serbs have "everything to lose
and nothing to gain" by continuing the war and that "NATO is delivering
that message loud and clear." International media on 1 September also
noted that NATO spokesmen stressed that the attacks will continue until
the Serbs end their stranglehold on Sarajevo, Tuzla, and Gorazde. NATO
efforts continue to be popular in Sarajevo, where one policeman told
Reuters that the alliance should "bomb them and bomb them some more
until these Chetnik [Serbian] bastards beg for the mercy they never
showed anybody in this war." -- Patrick Moore

KARADZIC CALLS RAIDS UNNECESSARY . . . Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic said that military action against his side is unwarranted
because the Serbs have signed on to the peace process. AFP on 1
September reported that he wrote UN special envoy Yasushi Akashi that
the attacks' purpose is "to weaken our power and our negotiating
position." Karadzic added that further raids "would accelerate
preparations for a long conflict that the international community would
not be able to win." The internationally wanted war criminal concluded
that "if NATO continues its attacks, that means it wants to put an end
to the peace process." -- Patrick Moore

. . . WHILE MLADIC URGES RESISTANCE. General Mladic took a different
tone from that of his civilian rival, Nasa Borba reported on 1
September. He called on both the army and the general population to
resist the attacks. Novi list said that the Serbs fired rockets at the
besieged town of Gradacac and other areas of northern Bosnia. The Serbs
claimed to have captured the two French pilots shot down on 30 August,
but it appears that the men are at large and hiding on Bosnian Serb
territory. The BBC said that they had sent radio signals to that effect.
Meanwhile, the five EU monitors that the Serbs originally reported as
dead were taken to Visegrad, once a mainly Muslim town on the Drina that
was the site of some of the first massacres and "ethnic cleansing" in
1992. After some hesitation, the Serbs released them to go to Zagreb,
Reuters reported. In Pale, there was great anger over the air attacks
among Bosnian Serb military personnel and civilians, while some "spoke
about taking revenge on any foreigners they could get their hands on."
-- Patrick Moore

HOLBROOKE PRAISES BELGRADE-PALE AGREEMENT . . . U.S. special envoy
Richard Holbrooke, before leaving Belgrade for Zagreb on 31 August, said
that "serious substantive negotiations" could begin after Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic and the Bosnian Serbs formed a joint
negotiating team, Reuters reported on 31 August. Holbrooke is quoted as
saying: "We consider President Milosevic's announcement that he can now
negotiate for the Bosnian Serbs something of a procedural breakthrough."
Milosevic announced that the Bosnian Serbs will give him a veto over the
terms of a peace deal. -- Fabian Schmidt

...WHILE NEGOTIATIONS MAY END IN DEADLOCK. Milosevic, however, is
reported to have guaranteed the Bosnian Serbs that he will achieve
certain "minimums," such as the division of Sarajevo, the widening of
the Brcko corridor, and the delineation of a "compact territory" that
would include the handing over of Gorazde to the Serbs. The Bosnian
government and Croats would doubtless reject such proposals. Meanwhile,
German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel met with Bosnian Prime Minister
Haris Silajdzic in Bonn and encouraged him not to accept any solution
violating the territorial integrity of Bosnia. French President Jacques
Chirac also insisted Bosnia should retain its integrity as a state,
adding that "any other solution would be an insult to our values and to
the future." -- Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIAN REACTION TO NATO AIR STRIKES AGAINST BOSNIAN SERBS.
Presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu told a press conference on 31
August that the NATO air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs were a
"natural consequence" of the determination to "take all necessary
measures for implementing the Security Council decisions about the
protection of civilians," Radio Bucharest reported the same day.
Chebeleu added that political decision-makers should not, however,
become "entangled in the logic of force, which can by no means lead to a
solution." Foreign Ministry spokesman Mircea Geoana the previous day
called the shelling of Sarajevo by the Bosnian Serbs a "criminal act."
-- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH VAN DER STOEL. OSCE High Commissioner for
National Minorities Max van der Stoel on 31 August met with President
Ion Iliescu, Radio Bucharest reported. Van der Stoel praised Iliescu's
appeal the previous day for a historic reconciliation with Hungary,
saying he hoped it will have positive echoes in both Hungary and the EU.
Van der Stoel also met with leaders of the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania (UDMR). UDMR chairman Marko Bela told Romanian TV
that President Iliescu's appeal is "an important declaration of
intention, but one that flagrantly contradicts reality." -- Michael
Shafir

SNEGUR WANTS PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM. President Mircea Snegur, speaking as
chairman of the new Party of Revival and Conciliation of Moldova (PRAM),
on 30 August denied accusations by his political adversaries that he has
already launched his campaign for the elections due in December 1996.
Infotag reported Snegur as saying his party proposes to replace the
present parliamentary system with a presidential one because the
existing system has led to "nothing but endless debates." He added that
the changeover should be evolutionary, not revolutionary. Snegur also
commented that the proposal should not be seen as an attempt to set up a
"presidential dictatorship" but as advancing the idea of a presidential
republic where "all democratic norms are duly observed" but problems
"are solved much faster and efficiently." His party also wants to
replace the present single-chamber parliament with a bicameral one. --
Michael Shafir

MOLDOVA MARKS ROMANIAN LANGUAGE DAY. Moldova on 31 August marked the
"Day of Our Romanian Language," an official national holiday. Government
officials and President Mircea Snegur participated in ceremonies near
the burial sites of individuals linked to the struggle for cultural
rights of Romanian-language poets and writers as well as Romanians in
general. -- Michael Shafir

ELECTRICITY HIKES IN BULGARIA. Electricity for private households
increased by 25% and for industry by 38% on 1 September, Kontinent
reported the same day. Prices for central heating, warm water, and coal
remain the same for households and have increased by 20% for industry.
Pensioners will receive monthly compensation of 140 leva ($2.10), far
less than originally announced by the government (see OMRI Daily Digest,
11 August 1995). Compensation for the hikes is estimated to cost the
state about 600 million leva ($8.84 million) per month. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN GREECE. Alfred Serreqi arrived in Athens on
31 August for a two-day official visit aimed at improving Albanian Greek
ties, Reuters reported the same day. He met with his Greek counterpart,
Karolos Papoulias, before official talks began. Greek Foreign Ministry
officials said the talks will focus on the status of Albania's ethnic
Greek community and the estimated 300,000 Albanians living and working
illegally in Greece. Greece has linked the question of legalizing an
unspecified number of Albanian seasonal workers to establishing more
Greek minority schools in Albania. Athens also wants the return of
property seized by the former communist regime from the Albanian
Orthodox Church and the lifting of visa requirements for Greek citizens
traveling to Albania. Serreqi rejected the establishment of independent
Greek schools in Albania and walked out of a meeting on 1 September,
Greek officials were quoted as saying. -- Stefan Krause

[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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