It is not enough to show people how to live better: there is a mandate for any group with enormous powers of communication to show people how to be better. - Mary Mannes
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 176, Part II, 11 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

WALESA REGISTERS FIRST. Polish President Lech Walesa was the first
candidate to submit the 100,000 supporting signatures required for a
place on the ballot for the 5 November elections, Rzeczpospolita
reported. The deadline to submit supporting signatures expires on 28
September. Democratic Left Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski and
Freedom Union candidate Jacek Kuron are believed to be the only other
candidates to have so far collected the 100,000 minimum. In other
election news, former Broadcasting Council Chairman Marek Markiewicz on
8 September agreed to enter the presidential race, provided opinion
polls indicate sufficient support for his candidacy by mid-October. --
Louisa Vinton

ZLOTY APPRECIATION SPARKS CONFLICT IN POLAND. The value of the Polish
zloty rose by 1% against most hard currencies on 8 September, amid
renewed conflict between National Bank President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko. The
National Bank criticized Kolodko for sparking speculative purchases of
Treasury bills by suggesting the previous day that the Polish economy
could withstand dramatic appreciation of the zloty. Kolodko argued that
appreciation would work best to curb inflationary inflows of hard
currency. The bank countered that the government should reduce import
tariffs and allow exporters to retain hard-currency earnings,
Rzeczpospolita reported. -- Louisa Vinton

DOMINANT CZECH PARTY CHOOSES ELECTION LEADERS. The Executive Council of
the Civic Democratic Party (ODS) met on 9 September to choose 14 leading
politicians to spearhead the party's campaign for next year's
parliamentary elections. Two politicians will lead the campaign in each
of the Czech Republic's seven regions. Among the election leaders are
Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, six other cabinet ministers, the current
chairman and a deputy chairman of the parliament, and Czech Ambassador
to Slovakia Filip Sedivy. The list also includes two leading members of
the Christian Democratic Party, which is due to merge with the ODS
before the elections. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK PREMIER ON RELATIONS WITH HUNGARY. Vladimir Meciar on 8 September
addressed the parliament to discuss a 29 August meeting with his
Hungarian counterpart, Gyula Horn, Narodna obroda and TASR reported.
Meciar said the talks focused on the issue of the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros
dam dispute, which was taken to the International Court of Justice in
The Hague in 1993. Although the two sides are trying to reach a mutually
acceptable agreement out of court, the case will remain before the court
for now, Meciar said. Economic concerns--including the construction of a
highway between Bratislava and Gyor, to be completed by late 1997--were
also discussed. Meciar also said the controversial draft law on the
state language will be discussed with the Council of Europe before being
submitted to the parliament. Finally, the premier announced the Slovak-
Hungarian treaty will be presented to the parliament for ratification in
November. -- Sharon Fisher

UPDATE ON HUNGARIAN COALITION. The two Hungarian coalition partners--the
Hungarian Socialist Party and the Alliance of Free Democrats--have
agreed to set up two working groups to define the norms of cooperation
and to review certain provisions of the coalition agreement, which deal
with government structure, institutional guarantees, and operational
rules. Negotiations between the two partners ended last week with the
Socialists, in particular, making many compromises (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 7 September 1995). Some opposition parties have called the
present political situation in Hungary a "government crisis" or the
coalition's "loss of prestige." The government has commented that
disputes within a government coalition are "natural." -- Zsofia Szilagyi

BELARUSIAN POLITICAL CRISIS CONTINUES. Belarusian TV on 7 September
quoted Leanid Sinitsyn, head of the president's administration, as
saying the president and parliament agreed in May that the legitimacy of
the legislature was questionable since its term had expired and that it
could continue to meet only in cases of extraordinary events "such as
war." Sinitsyn thus charged that the parliamentary session that began on
6 September was destabilizing and invalid. The deputies' decision to
lower the minimum voter turnout requirement from 50% to 25% for
elections to be valid was "detrimental" to the new parliament since it
meant some deputies would have been elected under one set of regulations
and others under another. He said the president agreed that a state
cannot be without a legislature and was ready to take all necessary
measures to have a new parliament elected--but not under new
regulations. -- Ustina Markus

HEAD OF NATIONAL BANK OF BELARUS TO QUIT. Radio Mayak on 9 September
reported that head of the National Bank of Belarus Stanislau
Bahdankevich has submitted his resignation. Bahdankevich said he was
stepping down because "contradictory" banking legislation issued by the
president's administration and the prime minister demanded that
supervision of the commercial bank Belarusbanka cease and that the bank
be united with the state bank Sberbank. Under Belarusian law, only the
parliament can accept Bahdankevich's resignation. -- Ustina Markus

LATVIAN SAEIMA APPROVES REGULATIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS BUREAU. The Saeima
has approved regulations on the Human Rights Bureau that were issued by
the cabinet while the parliament was not in session, BNS reported on 8
September. The rules established an independent state institution that
would consider residents' complaints about human rights violations.
Chairman of the Saeima State Administration and Local Governments
Committee Janis Lagzdins said the institution was already operating,
although the Saeima had not confirmed its head. His committee had
drafted an alternative bill that would have narrowed the functions of
the bureau, but the Saeima rejected the draft. -- Saulius Girnius

LOW AUGUST INFLATION IN BALTIC STATES. The Lithuanian Statistics
Department announced that inflation fell from 2.7% in July to 0.4% in
August, BNS reported on 7 September. The price of consumer goods and
services rose by 3.3%, housing and energy by 2.6% and clothing by 2%,
but the price of food fell by 0.6%. The Estonian Statistics Department
reported that the consumer price index declined from 1.7% in July to
0.6% in August. The cost of goods in August increased by 0.8% (food
products by 0.4% and manufactured goods by 1.5%) and services by 0.4%.
The situation in Latvia was even more favorable, with the consumer price
index in August falling by 0.3% from July, BNS reported on 8 September.
The price of food decreased by 2%, with a 20% decrease for fruits and
vegetables. The cost of medical services increased by 2.8%. -- Saulius
Girnius

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO HITS SERBS WITH CRUISE MISSILES. International media on 10
September reported that 13 Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from
the USS Normandy in the Adriatic against the Bosnian Serb air defense
system around Banja Luka. NATO air strikes were suspended for a few
hours earlier in the day while UN commander General Bernard Janvier met
with the Serbs' General Ratko Mladic. The latter again refused to agree
to the UN's key demand that he take heavy weapons outside the 20 km
exclusion zone around Sarajevo. He had earlier claimed that the
artillery is necessary "to protect the Serbian population," the VOA
said. This marks the first use of the missiles in the Yugoslav conflict,
a step taken because piloted aircraft have had difficulty operating in
the current bad weather conditions. A NATO spokesman denied Serbian
charges that the use of the Tomahawks constituted an escalation. The
extent of the damage the missiles caused is not yet clear. -- Patrick
Moore

"BOSNIAN ALCHEMY." This is how Nasa Borba on 11 September described the
brief document signed in Geneva on 8 September by the foreign ministers
of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and rump Yugoslavia. The text is the
result of weeks of shuttle diplomacy by U.S. Assistant Secretary of
State Richard Holbrooke, who called it "an important milestone in the
search for peace." The International Herald Tribune on 9 September also
quoted him as saying that "significant differences exist between the
sides." Among the unresolved points of contention is mutual diplomatic
recognition, particularly that of Bosnia by rump Yugoslavia. -- Patrick
Moore

SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY? The accord is sufficiently broad and vague as
to allow mutually contradictory interpretations. The Bosnian government,
for example, might stress the point that the country will remain one
state, while the Serbs would point to the provision for "parallel
special relationships" with neighboring countries. That clause opens the
way for the Bosnian Serbs to have links to Belgrade similar to those the
Croat-Muslim federation will have to Zagreb. Novi list on 11 September
cited Oslobodjenje's paradoxical headline that "Bosnia [remains] whole
in two parts." The agreement does not even begin to deal with the thorny
issue of territorial divisions, except to take the Contact Group's 51-
49% figure as a starting point. It also allows for the possibility that
the results of "ethnic cleansing" will become permanent by stipulating
that displaced persons may either go home or receive compensation for
what they lost. -- Patrick Moore

CROATIA REMAINS FIRM ON EASTERN SLAVONIA. Croatian Foreign Minister Mate
Granic said in Geneva on 9 September that Serbia is trying to "buy time"
and keep control of prosperous eastern Slavonia by not recognizing
Croatia. Ranking diplomat Miomir Zuzul told news agencies that Zagreb
wants a peaceful solution to the problem but that it is prepared to wait
only two or three more months. Reuters reported the following day that
there was no sign of Croatia or Serbia implementing an agreement to
withdraw heavy weapons from the confrontation line there. Slobodna
Dalmacija on 11 September quoted Health Minister Andrija Hebrang as
saying that some 70% of the Croatian medical personnel, who fled Krajina
following the Serbian conquest of it in 1991, now refuse to go back.
Nasa Borba reported on the pilot project for Donji Lapac of the Serbian
Community in Croatia's Commission for Human Rights. The aim is to
encourage Krajina Serbs to return home, but the Serbs fear their
property has been destroyed and that they will not enjoy full rights. --
Patrick Moore

ROMANIAN EXTREMIST PARTY WANTS "AUTHORITARIAN RULE." Corneliu Vadim
Tudor, leader of the extremist Greater Romania Party, told a press
conference carried by Radio Bucharest on 8 September that one of his
party's two slogans for the 1996 general elections will be "[Romania
needs] two years of authoritarian rule." Tudor said it was not true that
Romania's wartime dictator, Marshal Ion Antonescu, had been responsible
for ordering massacres of Jews. On the contrary, he said, hundreds of
thousands of Jews "owe him their lives" and it was "outrageous" for Jews
to "claim from Romania restitution or compensation of billions of
dollars for an invented Holocaust." Tudor also said that in view of the
NATO strikes in Bosnia--which had transformed that organization, as well
as the UN, into "executioners of the Serbian people and into murderers
of children"--the Romanian people should be asked in a referendum
whether they still wanted to join NATO, whose "hands are stained with
the blood of Iraqi and Serbian infants." -- Michael Shafir

FIRST NATO MILITARY EXERCISE IN ROMANIA. A NATO exercise involving 440
troops from Germany, Luxemburg, Holland, Turkey and the U.S. (from among
member states) and Bulgaria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania (from among
the signatories of the Partnership for Peace program) began on 10
September near the Transylvanian town of Sibiu. The exercise, the first
of its kind in Romania, will last five days and simulate the setting up
of peacekeeping units and extending humanitarian help, National Defense
Minister Gheorge Tinca said in an interview with Radio Bucharest on 9
September. At a press conference in Sibiu, he said in response to a
question about Russian President Boris Yeltsin's position on NATO
enlargement that Moscow was entitled to its own opinions but that the
issue concerns "the sovereign decision of Central European states that
wish to be integrated into NATO structures." -- Michael Shafir

MOLDOVA WILL NOT JOIN NATO. Moldova is taking part in the Partnership
for Peace program but does not intend to join NATO structures because it
is a neutral state, Foreign Minister Mihai Popov said at a press
conference in Chisinau at the end of Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis
Birkav's visit to Moldova. BASA-press reported on 8 September that Popov
said Moldova "would not like to play the role of buffer between the two
blocs and its security should not be damaged." In his opinion, the PFP
program should involve rather than isolate Russia. Popov and Birkavs on
8 September signed a protocol on cooperation and consultations and
initialed a treaty of friendship, Moldovan press agencies reported. --
Michael Shafir

RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR ON TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM MOLDOVA. Aleksandr Papkin,
Russia's new ambassador to Moldova, told the Chisinau Russian-language
daily Kishinyovskie Novosti that the countdown for the withdrawal of his
country's troops from Moldova will begin only when the State Duma
ratifies the withdrawal agreement. BASA-press on 9 September quoted
Papkin as saying the government has already taken "some concrete steps"
to reduce the contingent, although it was not legally obliged to do so
before ratification of the agreement. He said the three-year timetable
for the withdrawal was imposed "by natural factors" and that the
"evacuation of munitions in a shorter period is impossible." -- Michael
Shafir

UKRAINE JOINS TRANSDNIESTRIAN PEACE PROCESS. Ukrainian Charge d'Affaires
in Moldova Yevhen Levitsky told Infotag on 8 September that a
representative of President Leonid Kuchma will participate in the
Chisinau-Tiraspol negotiations scheduled for 13 September. Ukrainian
Premier Yevhen Marchuk said at the end of a visit to Moldova last month
that his country will take part in the peacekeeping process (See OMRI
Daily Digest, 30 August 1995). Levitsky said Ukraine's participation has
been approved by both sides in the conflict as well as by the Russian
and OSCE mediators. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN POLITICAL ROUNDUP. The Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) on 8
September announced it will ask for a vote of no confidence in the
government, Standart reported the following day. The SDS said it was
responding to Prime Minister Zhan Videnov's refusal to dismiss Interior
Minister Lyubomir Nachev and Transport Minister Stamen Stamenov, whom
the opposition blames for the death of 14 soldiers in a road crash (see
OMRI Daily Digest, 14 and 25 August 1995). In other news, about 15,000
people demonstrated in Sofia on 9 September to mark the 51st anniversary
of the communist accession to power in 1944, which they described as the
"victory over fascism," AFP reported the same day. Some 5,000 SDS
supporters staged a demonstration to commemorate the victims of the
communist regime. -- Stefan Krause

GREECE, RUSSIA ON BOSNIA. Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev on 8
September met with Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and Foreign
Minister Karolos Papoulias in Thessaloniki, AFP reported the same day.
Both sides criticized the NATO air strikes against the Bosnian Serbs and
once again called for a political solution to the crisis. Kozyrev told a
news conference that Russia and Greece will begin joint efforts to end
the crisis. The three leaders also reached a verbal agreement to go
ahead with the construction of a $1 billion oil pipeline from the
Bulgarian Black Sea port of Varna to Alexandroupolis, in northern
Greece, international agencies reported the same day. -- Stefan Krause

GREEK-MACEDONIAN UPDATE. The foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia,
Karolos Papoulias and Stevo Crvenkovski, on 9 September left for New
York, where they are expected to sign a bilateral agreement on 14
September, AFP reported. Before leaving Athens, Papoulias said the small
number of problems to be settled are no obstacle to signing the accord.
He described the agreement as "a historical accord...that at last frees
[Greek] foreign policy." Greek media suggested that Greece will propose
that the name issue be resolved by Macedonia's using two or even three
names--one for internal use and one or two for international and Greek
use. -- Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN ALBANIA. At the end of his two-day visit to
Albania, Romanian Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca was received by
President Sali Berisha, Radio Bucharest announced on 9 September, citing
ATA. Tinca and his Albanian counterpart, Safet Zhulali, signed a joint
declaration on cooperation. Tinca said talks focused on the exchange of
information about the two countries' armies, cooperation possibilities,
participation in the Partnership for Peace program, and the two
countries' membership in NATO. -- Michael Shafir and Fabian Schmidt

FORMER LEADER OF ALBANIAN YOUTH FORUM RELEASED FROM PRISON. Arben Lika,
former leader of the Albanian Youth Forum and parliamentary deputy for
the Democratic Party, has been released from prison after serving about
10 months for smuggling cigarettes worth some $30,000 and forging
documents, Koha Jone reported on 9 September. The 27-year-old Lika was
arrested at the end of October 1994 and sentenced to ten years in prison
by a Tirana court. The First Court of Appeal reduced his sentence to
three years and Supreme Court Chief Judge Zef Brozi subsequently gave
him a 14-month sentence. Koha Jone noted that there are no legal
obstacles preventing Albania's youngest legislator from returning to the
parliament. -- Fabian Schmidt

[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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