There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in. - Graham Greene
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 184, Part II, 21 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

NATO AGREES ON ENLARGEMENT STUDY. NATO ambassadors on 20 September
approved the enlargement study stipulating "how" and "why" NATO plans to
expand to the east, international agencies reported the next day. The
study does not indicate who the next candidates will be, nor does it set
a timetable for membership. Criteria for membership include a commitment
to democracy, human rights, a free-market economy, and democratic
control of the military. New members will not be required to base
nuclear weapons or other NATO troops on their soil. The study sets the
goal of NATO enlargement as "enhanced stability for the entire
Euroatlantic region without drawing new lines of division." The document
is to be made available next week to participants in NATO's Partnership
for Peace program. The NATO Council of Foreign Ministers will decide
whether to approve the study in December. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC UPDATE. The National Bank of Ukraine, in an apparent
effort to liberalize the currency market, has permitted authorized
commercial banks to buy hard currency on the interbank currency exchange
and sell it to the population, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 19
September. But it has limited the karbanovets' fluctuation in value
against the U.S. dollar to within 10% of the official exchange rate set
by it. Bank officials said the move was an attempt to narrow the gap
between the cash and non-cash exchange rates of Ukraine's provisional
currency. In other news, the parliament voted to include pipeline
maintenance firms on its list of some 6,000 state-owned enterprises
ineligible for privatization, Interfax-Ukraine reported 19 September. --
Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

CRIME IN BALTIC STATES. In the first eight months of 1995, the number of
registered crimes was 24,542 for Latvia, 40,103 for Lithuania, and
25,878 for Estonia, BNS reported recently. The crime rates per 10,000
residents were 96.3, 107.9, and 173,4, respectively. Compared with the
same period in 1994, the number of crimes declined by 9% in Latvia but
grew by 12.8% in Lithuania and 11.1% in Estonia. The number of economic
crimes decreased by 3.2% in Estonia but increased by 18.7% in Latvia and
8.1% in Lithuania. The number of registered smuggling cases increased by
142.4% in Lithuania, 120% in Latvia, and 63.6% in Estonia. -- Saulius
Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

ESTONIAN ECONOMICS MINISTER SURVIVES NO CONFIDENCE VOTE. The Estonian
parliament on 20 September rejected a no confidence motion against Liina
Tonisson, BNS reported. The motion, proposed by 22 deputies, blamed
Tonisson for continuing scandals around privatization and the firing of
the director-general of the Silmet factory in Sillamae that produces
rare metals. The deputies said they realized the motion would fail,
since the ruling coalition had expressed its full support for the
minister. But they added that they had wanted to draw greater public
attention to the issue. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE PLEDGES TO HELP LATVIAN ARMY. Defense Minister Valerii Shmarov,
meeting with Latvian Prime Minister and Defense Minister Maris Gailis on
19 September, said Ukraine was prepared to offer material and technical
assistance to the Latvian Armed Forces and to cooperate in training
officers and military specialists, BNS reported the next day. Shmarov
said that he understood Latvia's desire to join NATO and commented that
the two countries could work together through the Partnership for Peace
program. He also had meetings with President Guntis Ulmanis and Foreign
Minister Valdis Birkavs on 20 September and visited the Baltic
Peacekeeping Battalion's training center at Adazi. -- Saulius Girnius,
OMRI, Inc.

FORMER WALESA ADVISER ON PRESIDENT'S LEGAL ACHIEVEMENTS. Lech Falandysz,
speaking at a press conference on 20 September about Lech Walesa's
achievements as regards legislation, said the president vetoed 23 bills
and sent 24 draft bills to the Sejm during his five years in office.
Falandysz said that he always sought to interpret unclear Polish
"constitutional laws" to the president's advantage, paving the way,
among other things, for granting the president the power to decide who
has the defense, foreign, and internal affairs portfolios. The press
called this procedure a "Falandization of law." -- Jakub Karpinski,
OMRI, Inc.

CZECH GOVERNMENT APPROVES 1996 BUDGET. The Czech government on 20
September unanimously approved a balanced budget for 1996 with revenues
and expenditures each totaling 497.6 billion koruny (over $19 billion),
Hospodarske noviny reports. The final figure is 35 billion koruny more
than the Finance Ministry originally proposed because of revised
predictions of GDP growth. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus said GDP is
expected to grow by 4.8% next year. Expenditures will increase by 14.4%
in 1996, with spending on pensions, housing, security, the environment
and transport infrastructure being given the highest priority. The Czech
Statistics Office, meanwhile, revised upwards its estimate for GDP
growth in the second half of 1995 from 3.6% to 4.1% compared with the
same period last year. -- Steve Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH ILLEGAL ARMS NOT BOUND FOR EUROPE. The 5,700 Skorpion submachine
guns seized by Czech detectives on 15 September during an illegal export
attempt were not bound for a European country, Interior Ministry
spokesman Jan Subert told CTK on 19 September. The forged export
documents said that the weapons were bound for the Dominican Republic.
Subert said the police had a good idea as to their real destination.
While he would not name the recipient, he said the evidence ruled out
both the Dominican Republic and all European countries. -- Doug Clarke,
OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT REJECTS CALL TO RESIGN. Michal Kovac on 20 September
rejected the cabinet's demand the previous day that he resign. In a
statement read to journalists, Kovac rebuffed the cabinet's accusations
that he is "fragmenting the constitutional system and destabilizing the
country." He said that "if the aim of the Slovak government is to
frighten the president and to force him to resign by escalating tension,
I declare I will remain in the office to which I was democratically
elected." The formulation of the cabinet's statement was reminiscent of
the 1950s, "when tens of thousands of our citizens suffered on the basis
of fabricated accusations," he added. The president also announced that
he is willing to open a dialogue with Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar at
any time. Meciar's party--the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia--
responded to the president's statement by saying that he was "once again
putting his personal interests above the interests of society," Sme
reported. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE DUBCEK'S DEATH. The
parliament on 20 September voted to establish a commission to
investigate the circumstances of the death of Prague Spring leader
Alexander Dubcek, who died in November 1992 as a result of complications
from a car accident. The proposal was put forward by the opposition
Social Democratic Party (SDSS), of which Dubcek was chairman until his
death. Current SDSS Chairman Jaroslav Volf failed to be elected to head
the commission. The parliament also approved a foreign currency law that
will make the Slovak koruna more convertible as of October, Narodna
obroda reported. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARY READY TO DISCUSS ILIESCU INITIATIVE. Hungarian Foreign Minister
Laszlo Kovacs on 20 September said Hungary was open to the historic
reconciliation proposed by Romanian President Ion Iliescu but added that
the initiative appeared to be more of a "political than of a binding
character," Reuters reported on 21 September. In July, Hungary and
Romania broke off negotiations on a bilateral treaty aimed at settling
the sensitive issue of minority rights for Romania's 1.7 million ethnic
Hungarians. Iliescu suggested last month that the two Central European
neighbors should cast aside decades of mutual suspicion and acrimony and
settle their differences, following Germany and France's example after
World War Two. -- Zsofia Szilagyi, OMRI, Inc.

IMF CRITICIZES HUNGARIAN ECONOMIC POLICY. Following two weeks of
negotiations with Hungarian officials, an IMF delegation has criticized
aspects of Hungarian economic policy, Magyar Hirlap reported on 21
September. The IMF was dissatisfied with the slow pace of the social
security reform and the type of privatization deals recently concluded.
But it approved of the government's economic plans for the next three
years and its proposals to reform the state budget. Although the
delegation also expressed approval of Hungary's stabilization program to
date, it did not suggest when the long-awaited credit agreement would be
signed. Talks between Hungary and the IMF will continue in Washington in
October. -- Zsofia Szilagyi, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

TURKISH PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS. Tansu Ciller on 20 September handed in
her resignation to President Suleyman Demirel, Western agencies
reported. Demirel accepted the resignation but asked Ciller to act as
caretaker premier until a new coalition is formed. Ciller's resignation
came after the coalition between her conservative True Path Party and
the social democratic Republican People's Party (CHP) broke up over
domestic security issues. CHP leader Deniz Baykal had declared that the
coalition was "effectively finished" and that Ciller should resign to
allow for early elections. The CHP's decision to leave the coalition was
prompted by differences over economic, social and human rights issues as
well as its declining popularity and its supporters' resistance to
Ciller's austerity course. Meanwhile, Mesut Yilmaz of the conservative
Motherland Party has also demanded early elections, diminishing Ciller's
chances to form a new coalition for the rest of the term, which is due
to end in the fall of 1996. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

AIR ATTACKS ON BOSNIAN SERBS INDEFINITELY SUSPENDED. International media
on 20 September reported that NATO and the UN announced the same day
that air attacks against Bosnian Serb targets have been indefinitely
suspended. But Admiral Leighton Smith, commander of NATO's southern
command, and General Bernard Janvier, UN commander in Bosnia, issued a
joint statement saying that "any subsequent attack on Sarajevo or any
other safe area, or other non-compliance with the Exclusion Zone,
freedom of movement or the functioning of the airport would be subject
to investigation and resumption of air strikes." The Bosnian Serbs'
"compliance" with the demand to remove heavy weapons around Sarajevo led
to the suspension of air strikes. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN UPDATE. Reuters on 21 September reported that Bosnian Serbs and
Bosnian government forces the same day traded artillery fire as
government troops continued their advance toward Doboj. The BBC World
Service on 21 September reported that Bosnian government forces are
continuing a northward push from Ozren Mountain, headed in the direction
of Doboj. Meanwhile, Bosnian Serb media report that Bosnian Serb forces
have successfully "countered" a Bosnian government and Croatian
offensive against the Bosnian Serb stronghold of Banja Luka. Reuters,
however, cites UN sources as observing that Bosnian government and
Croatian forces are halting their advance on Banja Luka and withdrawing
some units. In another development, SRNA quotes Serbian paramilitary
leader and internationally wanted war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic, alias
Arkan, as saying "We arrived [in Banja Luka] to defend the Serbian
people and take back what belongs to us." Arkan, with about 1,000 of his
paramilitary supporters, is believed to be in the vicinity of Banja
Luka. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN PRESIDENT SAYS HE REMAINS COMMITTED TO PEACE. UN mediator
Thorvald Stoltenberg and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, following
a meeting in Belgrade on 20 September, issued a joint statement saying
"it was necessary to bring about the end of [regional] hostilities,"
Tanjug reported. Milosevic reaffirmed his commitment to a diplomatic
resolution to the Bosnian crisis. Meanwhile, Nasa Borba on 21 September
reported that rump Yugoslav Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic, who is
in Paris to begin talks with French officials, arrived with the message
that "the desire for peace is not a signal of [Belgrade's] weakness." --
Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

CROATIA'S LOWER HOUSE DISSOLVED. The lower house of Croatia's parliament
dissolved itself on 20 September, Croatian media reported. This move
paves the way for early elections, widely rumored to be scheduled for 28
October. It is expected that early voting will strengthen President
Franjo Tudjman and his Croatian Democratic Community's hold on power. --
Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

AMERICAN CULTURAL CENTER IN MONTENEGRO TO CLOSE. Montenafax on 19
September reported that the American Cultural Center in Podgorica is
slated for closure by April 1996. The report suggests the move is linked
to budgetary cuts. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ETHNIC HUNGARIANS ON ILIESCU INITIATIVE. Bela Marko, chairman of the
Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania, has welcomed the initiative
by Romanian President Ion Iliescu for a "historic reconciliation" with
Hungary, Radio Bucharest reported on 20 September. Marko said, however,
that similar proposals and negotiations have yielded no concrete results
in the past. The issue of ethnic minorities, he added, requires a legal
solution, not just a "declaration of intentions." He also said that the
Romanian government's plan to appoint a member of the chauvinistic Party
of Romanian National Unity as a prefect of Mures County, where a large
Magyar minority lives, was "an unfriendly gesture, contrary to proposals
for reconciliation." -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVA HOLDS CONFERENCE FOR FOREIGN INVESTORS. A three-day conference
designed to bring together foreign investors and Moldovan businessmen
started in Chisinau on 20 September, Infotag reported. Some 200
potential investors from 25 countries are participating in the event,
organized by the Moldovan government with assistance from the World Bank
and the UN Development Program. Moldovan President Mircea Snegur told
the delegates that Moldova wants to provide an adequate political,
legal, and economic environment for foreign investment. The legal
framework should allow investors to participate in the privatization
process and operate on the local securities market, he added. Foreign
investment has been rather modest in Moldova, amounting to less than
$100 million. Some 450 joint ventures are registered with the
authorities. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES NO CONFIDENCE VOTE. The National Assembly
on 20 September discussed the no confidence vote in Prime Minister Zhan
Videnov, Demokratsiya reported the following day. The vote was submitted
by the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) in connection with the death of
14 soldiers (see OMRI Daily Digest, 13 September 1995). SDS Chairman
Ivan Kostov held Videnov personally responsible for the incident, saying
the government is unable to deal with rising crime and deaths in the
army. Bulgarian Socialist Party faction leader Krasimir Premyanov said
crime in the army went down considerably when the SDS was in power in
1991-1992. The Bulgarian Business Bloc announced it will not support the
SDS, while the People's Union and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights
and Freedom said they will vote against Videnov. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI,
Inc.

BULGARIAN AMBASSADOR TO UN DEFIES GOVERNMENT. Slavi Pashovski,
Bulgaria's ambassador to the UN, is not included in the official
Bulgarian delegation for the organization's next General Assembly,
Demokratsiya reported on 21 September. Pashovski blasted the government
in a program on state radio, saying it repeatedly ignored his earlier
calls for consultations before ordering him to return to Sofia last
week. According to Trud, the government sent him a one-way ticket, after
which Pashovski decided not to return. Deputy Foreign Minister Irina
Bokova called on him to resign, because he had "distanced himself from
the government." Pashovski was appointed by the government of the Union
of Democratic Forces in 1991. -- Stefan Krause, 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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