He who receives an idea from me receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mind, receives light without darkening me. - Thomas Jefferson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 174, Part II, 7 September 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 ELECTION DATE SET. The first round of the Polish presidential
elections will be held on 5 November, Sejm Speaker Jozef Zych announced
on 6 September. A second round will follow on 19 November if--as is
likely--no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote in the first
round. The scheduling neatly sandwiches Independence Day (11 November,
an occasion for military ceremonies and speeches by state dignitaries)
between the two rounds. In a televised address, Zych noted that several
presidential candidates have threatened to dissolve the parliament
should they win the elections. This was a "dangerous theory," Zych said,
as the constitution provides for no such possibility. Zych also
expressed doubt about how the state will continue to function, given the
number of high public officials who have entered the race. To win a spot
on the ballot, candidates must submit 100,000 supporting signatures
within 20 days of the publication of Zych's announcement in Dziennik
Ustaw. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI, Inc.

WALESA STRESSES SUPPORT FOR NATO. President Lech Walesa on 6 September
opened a series of weekly press conferences designed to sum up his
Presidency, Gazeta Wyborcza reported. The president denied that the
sessions were meant to help his re-election bid. Speaking on foreign
policy, Walesa argued that a NATO decision is overdue and that Poland
already meets the criteria for membership. "We are a country of a single
nation, a single faith, and we have no conflicts with our neighbors,"
the president said. Responding to remarks by Deputy Defense Minister
Andrzej Karkoszka questioning public support for NATO (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 6 September 1995), Walesa said he was convinced that most Poles
support membership and are prepared to bear the costs. Karkoszka told
reporters on 6 September that his remarks were taken out of context and
did not represent the Defense Ministry's views. -- Louisa Vinton, OMRI,
Inc.

CZECH SCREENING LAW TO BE EXTENDED. The Defense and Security Committee
of the Czech parliament on 6 September recommended extending the
country's screening or "lustration" law by two years, Hospodarske noviny
reported the following day. The current law--which bars former senior
Communist Party officials as well as members of its now disbanded
paramilitary force and the communist-era secret police from holding
various state offices--expires at the end of 1996. The government
supported a two-year extension but some committee members urged that the
law be extended to the year 2000. Proponents of extending the law say
the state administration is still unstable and needs to be protected
against possible infiltration by people connected to the former
communist regime. The government denies claims that the civil service
contains a large number of employees who should be removed under the
screening law's provisions. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT. Michal Kovac on 6 September gave
his long-awaited annual report on the state of the republic, Slovak
media reported. Kovac began by discussing the change of government in
March 1994--triggered by his last such speech--which has since been
referred to by Premier Vladimir Meciar's allies as a "parliamentary
putsch" and "constitutional crisis." He stressed that the change took
place "within the framework of the constitution" and with respect for
"the unwritten rules of parliamentary democracy." While welcoming the
efforts of Meciar's party to create a stable coalition government after
the fall 1994 elections, Kovac stressed that its policy has not been
"consensual." He referred specifically to its control over all
parliamentary posts and commissions, doubts over the right of the
opposition to present its opinions in the parliament, and questioning of
Constitutional Court decisions. Neither Meciar nor any of the cabinet
members were present for the speech. The parliament later voted to
reapprove a privatization law canceling coupon privatization and
introducing a bond program. The law was first passed by the parliament
in July but was vetoed by Kovac. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAKIA, HUNGARY BEGIN GABCIKOVO TALKS. Negotiations began in
Bratislava on 6 September on the long-term dispute over the Gabcikovo
dam (see OMRI Daily Digest, 6 September), TASR and Slovenska Republika
report. According to Gabor Gobolyos, foreign policy adviser to Hungarian
Premier Gyula Horn, Hungary is pushing for an out of court solution
because it is "unnatural" that a dispute between two neighboring
countries be resolved by a third party. Foreign Ministry State Secretary
Jozef Sestak, who heads the Slovak delegation, said the talks will focus
on finding "a practical solution to the technical, energy, financial,
and environmental questions." Further negotiations between specialists
from both countries are expected. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK ROMA RECEIVE MIXED POLITICAL MESSAGES. The United Romani Parties
organized a rally outside the presidential office in Kosice on 4
September to protest Premier Meciar's minority policies, but skinheads
blocked nearby streets, preventing Roma from reaching the building,
Narodna obroda reported on 5 September. Meanwhile, Meciar made the
symbolic gesture of attending the laying of a foundation stone for a
Romani settlement in Nalepkova, eastern Slovakia, on 6 September. Roma
make up half of the unemployed in that area, where factories have been
closing down or turning to labor from Ukraine. The report did not say
whether Romani organizations considered the project to be a sign of
support from the government or a segregationist "solution." -- Alaina
Lemon, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARIAN COALITION NEGOTIATIONS TERMINATED. After six weeks of
negotiations over disputes within the Hungarian ruling coalition,
agreement was reached that "the coalition has to remain intact, for the
sake of the country and in order to ensure the smooth future operation
of the government," Hungarian newspapers reported on 6 September.
Differences between the two partners--the Hungarian Socialist Party and
the Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ)--arose mainly over the suggestion
to increase the number of ministerial positions and Premier Gyula Horn's
announcement that he would appoint Association of Hungarian Trade Unions
head Sandor Nagy as industry minister. SZDSZ experts argued that giving
Nagy control over economic policy would threaten to block the
controversial austerity measures of Finance Minister Lajos Bokros,
launched in March. -- Zsofia Szilagyi, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARY APPROVES EXTRADITION OF FORMER UKRAINIAN SECURITY CHIEF. Hungary
is to hand over to Ukraine a former Ukrainian presidential security
chief wanted in his country, AFP reported on 6 September. Hungarian
Justice Minister Pal Vastagh approved the decision of Hungarian courts
to grant the extradition of Victor Palivoda, security head under former
Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk. He is wanted by both Interpol and
the Ukrainian authorities for abuse of power and misuse of funds.
Palivoda was arrested in Budapest on 11 July. -- Zsofia Szilagyi, OMRI,
Inc.

UKRAINE BANS RADICAL NATIONALIST GROUP. Reuters on 6 September reported
that the Ukrainian Justice Ministry has outlawed the radical Ukrainian
National Assembly. Members of the group, however, said they will ignore
the decision and fight the ruling in court. A Justice Ministry spokesman
said the UNA was stripped of its registration and that it would be
violating the law if it continued its activities. Ukrainian officials
had been threatening to ban the controversial organization since July,
when the funeral of a Ukrainian Orthodox Patriarch turned violent.
Ukrainian officials said that UNA and Church leaders provoked riot
police into attacking a crowd of mourners by attempting to bury the
patriarch in St. Sophia's Cathedral. The UNA and UNSO have repeatedly
drawn criticism by sending members to fight as armed mercenaries or
offering other forms of support to separatist groups in such hot spots
as Chechnya and Transdniester. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

KUCHMA APPOINTS FIRST DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma has appointed Pavlo Lazarenko, the 42-year-old administrator of
the heavily industrial Dnipropetrovsk region, as Ukraine's first deputy
prime minister, Ukrainian Radio and ITAR-TASS reported on 5 September.
Lazarenko will be tasked with finding ways to reverse declining
production in industry and agriculture. The new first deputy prime
minister will head eight other deputy premiers who were named by Kuchma
in July. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

LATVIAN PEACEKEEPERS NOT TO BE SENT TO CROATIA. The Latvian platoon due
to travel to Croatia as part of the Danish UN peacekeeping battalion
will not be sent after all, BNS reported on 6 September. It was not
given the UN peacekeeping mandate because the Security Council plans to
withdraw all peacekeepers from Croatia by 30 November. Saeima Foreign
Affairs Committee Chairman Aleksandrs Kirsteins said that the parliament
would have to approve the platoon's participation in other peacekeeping
duties, such as in Macedonia. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

PRIVATIZATION AGENCY FOUNDED IN LITHUANIA. The Lithuanian cabinet on 6
September announced it will establish a State Privatization Agency, BNS
reported. Government consultant Aloyzas Duksa said a head of the agency
will be appointed in two weeks. The decision is the first step in
implementing the law on the privatization of state and municipal
property, which was passed in July. During the first stage of
privatization, begun in September 1991, some 5,700 properties or 85% of
government firms were sold on the basis of investment vouchers
distributed free of charge among the population. Beginning in January
1996, all new privatization projects will be conducted on a cash basis
only. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO AIR STRIKES AROUND SARAJEVO CONTINUE. International agencies on 7
September reported that NATO jets continued the air strikes they had
resumed the previous day. NATO targeted military installations around
Sarajevo, including barracks at Lukavica and Butila. NATO commander for
Southern Europe Admiral Leighton Smith said reports indicated "very
successful results" but gave no details. The UN. Rapid Reaction Force
joined in the attacks with artillery and fired rounds at a Serbian
mortar that opened fire on traffic on the Mt. Igman road. NATO insists
on the complete withdrawal of Serbian weapons from the 20 kilometer
exclusion zone around Sarajevo, the reopening of the airport, free
movement for the UN and aid workers, and an end to all attacks on the
capital as well as three other "safe areas." More than 1,500 sorties
have been flown since 30 August, when NATO planes began their raids. --
Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

SERBS REFUSE TO WITHDRAW HEAVY GUNS. The Bosnian Serb Army is quoted by
Reuters as saying that NATO's "unscrupulous and barbaric" air strikes
have killed about 100 civilians in the past week and wounded hundreds
more. Meanwhile, Bosnian Serb chief of staff General Manojlo Milutinovic
talked of "minor losses" among his soldiers and "several" civilian
casualties, BBC reported on 7 September. UN spokesman Alexander Ivanko
said that Bosnian Serb military commander Ratko Mladic is in a "defiant
mood" but that he hopes he will start complying with UN demands. Bosnian
Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic called the raids a "terrible
bombardment" of a magnitude that "hasn't been seen since the Second
World War." However, he proposed only reopening Sarajevo airport to UN
and humanitarian flights. Karadzic told reporters that "we have
withdrawn as much as we could. But we can't withdraw (all) what we
possess [since we have] to protect ourselves." The UN. says the Bosnian
Serbs have made no substantial withdrawals. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI,
Inc.

IS THERE A RIFT BETWEEN KARADZIC AND MLADIC? Karadzic has denied that
there is a rift between himself and Mladic, insisting that he is running
the self-declared "Republika Srpska." Karadzic is quoted as saying "I am
in control" after being absent since 1 September, Reuters reported on 7
September. The Bosnian Serb leadership will meet in Pale the same day to
discuss its strategy, the BBC reported. Meanwhile, the search continued
for two French pilots shot down in the first round of the air strikes.
NATO questioned Bosnian Serb allegations that the pilots were captured.
-- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

DIPLOMATIC UPDATE. Representatives of the Conference of Islamic States
and the Contact Group will meet in Paris on 7 September, international
agencies reported. U.S. special envoy Robert Holbrooke will explain his
peace proposal to the diplomats. The foreign ministers of Bosnia,
Croatia, and the former Yugoslavia are preparing to meet in Geneva the
following day for preliminary peace talks. Holbrooke, continuing his
shuttle mission, briefed Croatian President Franjo Tudjman on 6
September. He denied that Washington was deliberately using air power to
bomb the Bosnian Serbs into taking their place at the negotiating table.
"This has nothing to do with peace negotiations. It is related to the
UN's attempt to enforce its mandate. . . . If it affects the
negotiations, that's not its intent," Reuters reported him as saying on
6 September. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION CHALLENGES GOVERNMENT'S FARM POLICY. Romanian and
international media on 6 September reported that Romania's opposition
parties has initiated a motion to discuss the government's mishandling
of the bumper 1995 wheat crop. According to Chamber of Deputies'
regulations, the debate must be held within six days. The parties accuse
the government of failing to end state monopoly on grain trading and
storage. They also say the lack of credits for grain purchase is
destroying private farming. The motion does not qualify as a no-
confidence vote and cannot unseat Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu's government.
An attempt by the Liberal Party '93 and the Democratic Convention of
Romania to hold a no-confidence vote failed to receive enough support
from among other opposition factions. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN TURKEY. Teodor Melescanu on 6 September
ended a three-day visit to Turkey, Radio Bucharest announced. He
conducted talks with his Turkish counterpart, Erdal Inonu, on bilateral
relations and the Bosnian crisis. The two leaders signed agreements on
cooperation and the restoration of historical monuments. Melescanu was
also received by President Suleyman Demirel and other Turkish officials.
-- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

CHOLERA IN ROMANIA, MOLDOVA. Reuters, citing Health Ministry sources,
reported on 5 September that the number of cholera cases in the Romanian
Danube Delta has risen to 57 and that the disease is spreading upstream.
In neighboring Moldova, a fifth person has died from cholera and the
number of those infected has jumped to 220, Infotag reported the next
day. The latest death occurred in the breakaway Dniester region, whose
authorities are blamed by Chisinau for having failed to react promptly
to the spread of the disease from neighboring Ukraine. -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

NEW JEWISH SCHOOLS IN MOLDOVA. A Jewish school was opened on 3 September
in Chisinau and a Jewish college--the first of its kind in the countries
of the former Soviet Union--will begin operating in the second half of
September, BASA-press reported on 4 September. The school is the second
Jewish educational institution in Chisinau, where there are also two
Jewish kindergartens and a Jewish library. The college, named the Jewish
People's University, was set up with the support of the U.S. Jewish
organization Joint, which has opened a branch in Moldova. An
international symposium on Jewish history and culture, attended by
delegates from the U.S., Israel, Russia, and Ukraine will take place on
9-12 September at the Department for National Minorities. -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA, EU SET UP JOINT PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE. Bulgaria and the
European Union on 6 September set up a joint parliamentary commission
designed to forge closer ties on economic and political issues, Reuters
reported the same day. The committee held its first session in Sofia
that day, marking the official beginning of Bulgaria's EU associate
membership, which came into effect on 1 February 1995. Bulgarian Foreign
Minister Georgi Pirinski said his country will draw up a national
strategy for its integration into the EU, while parliament chairman
Blagovest Sendov said EU associate membership is a "fundamental and
irreversible priority of the country in line with its national
interests." -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

WILL GREECE COMPROMISE ON NAME OF MACEDONIA? Greek Foreign Minister
Karolos Papoulias on 6 September hinted for the first time that Greece
may compromise on the name of its northern neighbor Macedonia, AFP
reported the same day. Asked if he were ready to discuss names including
the word "Macedonia," Papoulias said "We have . . . some difficult
negotiations in front of us and I cannot prejudge the results." He said
the Greek side continues to be against the use of the name Macedonia but
talks were continuing. Meanwhile, the business community in the northern
Greek town of Thessaloniki welcomed the latest developments "with relief
and satisfaction." Iordanis Adamidis of the Union of Greek
Industrialists put the annual losses caused by Greece's economic
blockade of Macedonia at $90 million. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

CONTROVERSY AT ALBANIAN SUPREME COURT. Chief judge Zef Brozi has
challenged Justice Minister Hektor Frasheri, who fired three Supreme
Court judges, arguing they were former agents of the communist-era
secret police. The three judges deny the charges; but on 5 September,
police surrounded the court, forcibly removed one judge, and prevented
two others from entering. Brozi said he sought to intervene and was
himself pushed away by the police. He argued that the justice minister
cannot fire employees of the Supreme Court, international agencies and
Koha Jone reported on 6 and 7 September. -- 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
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Please note that there is a new procedure for obtaining permission to
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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