He who knows nothing is nearer the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. - Thomas Jefferson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 183, Part II, 20 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

SLOVAK CABINET ASKS PRESIDENT TO RESIGN. The Slovak government on 19
September issued a statement, broadcast on Slovak Radio, calling for the
resignation of Michal Kovac. Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, who has
been embroiled in a long-running dispute with Kovac, had sent Kovac a
letter inviting him to attend the 19 September session but did not
mention the topic of discussion. According to presidential spokesman
Vladimir Stefko, Kovac responded by asking Meciar to be more specific.
Meciar replied that "the only point of the meeting" would be to discuss
Kovac's remarks "against the cabinet and representatives of the
coalition." Kovac refused the invitation, Pravda reported. The
government complained that Kovac had refused its invitation and had
"seriously damaged the prestige of the head of state as a symbol of
Slovakia." -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN CRITICIZED BY ETHNIC HUNGARIAN PARTY. Miklos
Duray, chairman of the ethnic Hungarian Coexistence movement, at a press
conference on 19 September criticized statements made the previous day
by parliamentary chairman Ivan Gasparovic. Gasparovic had told Slovak
Radio that the Slovak-Hungarian treaty could not be ratified until
several laws were approved, including those on the state language and
the country's territorial organization. Gasparovic said ratification
"should take place by the end of the year," while Duray stressed that
the treaty's ratification cannot be conditioned on the acceptance of
certain laws. Coexistence also rejected the cabinet's plans for defining
eight territorial districts, none of which would be more than one-third
ethnic Hungarian. It argued that the cabinet does not want the Hungarian
community to have "a single deputy" in the parliament. -- Sharon Fisher,
OMRI, Inc.

PENSIONERS PICKET UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT. Several thousand pensioners,
including many World War II veterans, picketed outside the Ukrainian
Parliament building on 19 September to protest austerity measures,
Ukrainian TV and Reuters reported the same day. A leader of a veterans'
group read out a list of 15 demands to the parliament session, which
included pension increases and greater benefits for the elderly.
Lawmakers ordered the government to find money to meet their demands by
15 October. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Petro Hermanchuk said this
year's budget deficit may exceed the 7% of the GDP approved by the IMF
because the government received only 44% of expected revenues by August,
Ukrainian TV reported on 18 September. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

CRIMEAN LAWMAKERS DEBATE NEW CONSTITUTION. The Crimean parliament on 19
September debated the provisions of a new regional constitution,
Ukrainian Radio reported the same day. Deputies sparred over changes and
amendments to the September 1992 Crimean Constitution, which is expected
to serve as a foundation for the new document. According to the current
draft, the autonomous region will retain the right to adopt its own
budget, approve its own law on citizenship, and re-establish its
Interior Ministry. The post of president is not included in the
document. The Crimean legislature will be authorized to adopt the new
constitution. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT PASSES DECREE ON SECURITY COUNCIL. President Leonid
Kuchma on 19 September signed a decree changing the composition of the
Council of National Security and the Presidium of the Council of
National Security. The Presidium, which is headed by Kuchma, includes
presidential national security adviser Volodymyr Horbulin; deputy prime
minister in charge of questions on national security and extraordinary
situations Vasyl Durdynets; Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk; the head of
the security service, Volodymyr Radchenko; and Defense Minister Valerii
Shmarov. Meanwhile, ITAR-TASS on 19 September reported that Ukraine has
carried out its obligations for tank reductions under the CFE treaty
with the scrapping of the final T-54 tank at a repair plant in Lviv. --
Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

FORMER BELARUSIAN BANK HEAD JOINS DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION. Stanislau
Bahdankevich, former head of the National Bank of Belarus, has
officially joined the Union of Democratic Parties of Belarus, Belarusian
Radio reported on 18 September. Bahdankevich, who submitted his
resignation earlier this month, had opposed monetary union with Russia
and advocated market economic reforms, including halting state subsidies
to unproductive enterprises. He was among the last leading government
officials who openly opposed some of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's
initiatives. -- Ustina Markus, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES 1996 DRAFT BUDGET. Prime Minister Tiit Vahi
told reporters on 19 September that the key priorities of the 1996 draft
budget, approved that day by the cabinet, were education, culture, and
law and order, BNS reported. Expenditures for culture and education
would account for 23% of the budget, while those for the Interior and
Justice Ministries would be 13% and 4.1%, respectively. Vahi also noted
that local governments would get a greater share of revenue by receiving
all land taxes and 66% of personal income taxes. The budget still has to
be approved by the parliament. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

PARLIAMENTARY HEARINGS ON MARTIAL LAW IN POLAND. The parliamentary
Commission on Constitutional Accountability on 19 September heard former
Minister of Internal Affairs Miroslaw Milewski, who held that post from
1980-1981 and is considered to have been a "Moscow man" who advocated
taking tough measures against Solidarity before the introduction of
martial law in December 1981. Milewski did not deny his contacts with
KGB residents in Poland but argued that they arose from his professional
duties and that he was only carrying out orders, Polish media reported
on 20 September. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

OPINION POLL ON POLISH PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCES. According to a poll
carried out by the Warsaw-based Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS)
and published in Gazeta Wyborcza on 20 September, Democratic Left
Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski, the unquestionable favorite of
the first round of elections, will lose to Polish National Bank
President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz in the second round. The Confederation
of Independent Poland leader Leszek Moczulski sent a letter on 19
September to other right-wing candidates proposing his withdrawal from
the race on the condition that negotiations be held on future policies
and the composition of a new government, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 20
September. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH POLICE ARREST DEPUTY. Republican Party deputy Jan Vik was arrested
on 19 September at a party meeting in Znojmo. He had been sought by
police for almost two months after the parliament was recalled from its
summer recess and voted to lift Vik's immunity so that he could face
charges of "spreading alarmist news." Vik's signature was on an order to
print 1 million leaflets that claimed that the Czech and German
governments had made a deal to rehabilitate Sudeten Germans expelled
from Czechoslovakia after World War II (see OMRI Daily Digest, 17 and 18
July 1995). Czech media report that Vik was driven to Prague but refused
to answer police questions because his lawyer was not present. He was
later released from custody. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

PERRY IN CZECH REPUBLIC. U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry and
Czech Defense Minister Vilem Holan on 19 September signed a bilateral
agreement on the exchange and protection of classified military
information, Czech media reported. The agreement enables the Czech army
to obtain information about American weapons with a view to purchasing
them. In return, the Czechs promised to rework legislation that does not
correspond to NATO norms on the protection of classified data. Perry
confirmed that the U.S. will provide information on F-16 fighters, which
Czech politicians want to buy to replace aging MiG-21s. -- Steve Kettle,
OMRI, Inc.

UPDATE ON HUNGARIAN COALITION. The Hungarian Socialist Party and the
Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ) have still not reached agreement on
the issue of the cabinet reform proposed by socialist Premier Horn and
strongly opposed by the SZDSZ, Nepszabadsag reported on 19 September.
The SZDSZ are also opposed to the Socialists' idea of renegotiating the
original coalition agreement as the next attempt to ease differences
within the coalition. Deputies have warned that the continuation of
disputes between the ruling parties could endanger political stability
and lead to the country's loss of credibility abroad. Relations between
the coalition parties have become more tense since last week, when the
Constitutional Court declared further parts of the Finance Minster Lajos
Bokros's austerity package unconstitutional. -- Zsofia Szilagyi, OMRI,
Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ALLIES NOW CONTROL 60% OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. Croatian, Bosnian, and
Bosnian Croat forces hold 60% of Bosnia. The 20 September Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung added that it has been confirmed that the Croats have
taken Bosanska Kostajnica and Bosanska Dubica, while the Bosnian Fifth
Corps has moved into Bosanski Novi. The fate of Prijedor remains
unclear. Reuters on 19 September noted that government troops have also
made major gains in the Ozren salient and that "the new line runs from
Rjecice, north of Maglaj, to Bosansko Petrovo in the east." The BBC
reported that Croatian and Bosnian authorities have agreed on who will
administer the various territories "regardless of who liberated them."
Meanwhile around Sarajevo, Bosnian Serbs continued to pull their heavy
weapons out of the exclusion zone. In New York, the UN Security Council
condemned the Serbs for the death of two Danish peacekeepers near Bihac.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc., OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIA, CROATIA AGREE TO HALT OFFENSIVE. International media on 19
September reported that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman met in Zagreb
with his Bosnian counterpart Alija Izetbegovic and Bosnian Croat leader,
Kresimir Zubak. The two countries' foreign ministers were also present,
along with the Croatian defense minister and the Bosnian chief-of-staff.
The two sides agreed to suspend their military advance to allow U.S.
envoy Richard Holbrooke, who was also present, an opportunity to explore
the chances for a political solution. The diplomat said that things were
coming along "step by step." U.S. Senate majority leader Bob Dole stated
that despite his great admiration for the U.S. negotiators, the actions
on the ground were having a greater impact than "all the skills of the
U.S. diplomats put together," Croatian media noted. -- Patrick Moore,
OMRI, Inc.

FATE OF BANJA LUKA HANGS IN THE BALANCE. Bosnian Foreign Minister
Muhamed Sacirbey told AFP on 19 September that his troops would not
enter Banja Luka in order to facilitate a peaceful settlement and to
prevent panic. Reuters the next day said, however, that Bosnia still
insists on "the effective surrender" of the Serbian stronghold. The BBC
quoted Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic as warning the Serbs that an
attack could come if they continued to resist reintegration into the
republic. Nasa Borba said on 20 September that "there is no [Bosnian
Serb] state without Banja Luka." Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic
stated that his forces will "take revenge" now that they have
"consolidated their defenses." His "vice president," Nikola Koljevic,
told AFP that his people would reject Sacirbey's offer of dialogue and
that the allied advance was "very bad for the peace process." -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

CROATIAN PARLIAMENT DEBATES ELECTION LAW. Croatian media continue to
report that the Sabor is discussing a bill introduced by the ruling
Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ). President Franjo Tudjman is
expected to call early elections to the lower house by the end of the
year to enable the HDZ to capitalize on the popularity of the army's
recent successes against the Serbs. The bill would reduce the number of
seats from 138 to 127, of which 80 would be elected by party lists and
only 28 by a direct district vote. An additional 12 deputies would be
elected by party lists among the 420,000 registered voters working
abroad. A party would need 5% of the total vote, instead of the current
3%, to gain entry into the parliament. All these measures are expected
to favor the HDZ, which also enjoys control over the most important
media as well as substantial funds. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN UPDATE. Nasa Borba on 20 September reported that Vojislav
Seselj, leader of the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) and
accused war criminal, has reissued a call to Belgrade citizens to
assemble outside the federal legislature on 21 September to protest NATO
air strikes against Bosnian Serbs and the policies of Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic. He also invited representatives of the opposition
Democratic Party and Democratic Party of Serbia to attend, advising
participants to leave all weapons at home. In another development,
Orthodox Church leaders in the rump Yugoslavia appear to be allying ever
closer with ultranationalist sentiment. BETA on 19 September reported
that Metropolitan Radovic has sent U.S. President Bill Clinton a letter
condemning American involvement in recent NATO air strikes against
Bosnian Serbs and alleging "genocide" against the Serbs. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ILIESCU ON NATO, RUSSIA. Romanian President Ion Iliescu was quoted by
Radio Bucharest on 19 September as saying that his country's
"participation in joint exercises with NATO within the Partnership for
Peace program and the wish to join [that organization were] not directed
against anyone, hence not against Russia either." He added that Romanian
was seeing NATO's presence in Eastern Europe as a factor of stability.
Iliescu was speaking in Bucharest at a joint press conference with his
Lithuanian counterpart, Algirdas Brazauskas. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

TOUGH ENVIRONMENTAL LAW ADOPTED IN ROMANIA. The Romanian Senate on 19
September passed the Law on Environmental Protection that severely
punishes individuals or enterprises that cause massive pollution, Radio
Bucharest reported. The bill provides for prison terms of between six
and 10 years for failing to take emergency steps in case of nuclear
accidents or for deliberately releasing toxic substances into natural
waters. The import of toxic waste is punished with up to six years in
jail. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT RESUMES WORK. The parliament of the Republic of
Moldova on 19 September reconvened after the summer recess, BASA-press
and Infotag reported. In an inaugural address, parliamentary chairman
Petru Lucinschi warned against increasing polarization as a result of
the current political crisis in the country. The main opposition party,
the Christian Democratic Popular Front (FPCD), announced that its
deputies might walk out if the executive and legislative did not reveal
what efforts have been made to free the so called "Ilascu group," jailed
in the breakaway Dniester region. FPCD Chairman Iurie Rosca was quoted
as saying that his party repeatedly asked the authorities in Chisinau to
intervene on the behalf of Ilie Ilascu and his associates, who are being
detained in Tiraspol under charges of terrorism. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI,
Inc.

DNIESTER AUTHORITIES BAN LATIN SCRIPT. All schools in Moldova's
breakaway Dniester region that "provide education in Moldovan based on
the Latin script" will be closed down by 10 November, the local
authorities announced on 19 September. Tiraspol accused Chisinau of
breaking earlier agreements by helping finance Latin-script tuition on
the left Dniester bank. A Moldovan Education Ministry official said that
all Romanian-language schools in the Dniester region would be
transferred to the right bank of the Dniester River if Tiraspol enforced
its restrictions. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

PARLIAMENTARY CONTROL OVER BULGARIAN STATE MEDIA UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The
Constitutional Court on 19 September ruled that the parliament's control
over the state media is unconstitutional, Demokratsiya reported the
following day. Under a "provisional status" adopted in 1991, Bulgarian
state television, radio, and the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency are
controlled by a parliamentary committee pending the adoption of a new
media law, which has yet to be passed. The Constitutional Court ruled
that the committee may appoint the directors-general of the three state
media but will no longer be entitled to approve regulations, structures,
programming, financing, or the board of directors. The court also ruled
that the president, prime minister, chairman of the parliament, and
representatives of the Supreme and Constitutional Courts will have
unlimited access to TV and radio but that the heads of parliamentary
committees will no longer enjoy this privilege. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,
Inc.

BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS NAME SOFIA MAYORAL CANDIDATE. The Sofia
organization of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) on 19 September
named Ventsislav Yosifov as its mayoral candidate for the upcoming local
elections, Duma reported the following day. In a first vote, the BSP
delegates decided to support a nominally independent rather than a party
candidate. In a second vote, Yosifov won the nomination over Aleksandar
Karakachanov of the Green Party. Yosifov is head of the First Private
Bank; his candidacy was proposed initially by a so-called initiative
committee. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN COURT RULES AGAINST EX-PREMIER. Albania's Constitutional Court
on 19 September ruled that the Supreme Court is neither legally nor
constitutionally empowered to hear an appeal sought by jailed Socialist
leader and former Premier Fatos Nano. Nano has been serving a 12-year
sentence since April 1994 partly for his role in a funds
misappropriation scandal. Supreme Court Chair Zef Brozi, who has been
seeking greater judicial autonomy for the court, said he was not certain
how the Supreme Court justices would react to the Constitutional Court's
ruling, Reuters reported. -- Stan Markotich, 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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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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