There is one thing more exasperating than a wife who can cook and won't, and that is the wife who can't cook and will. - Robert Frost
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 185, Part II, 22 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

INTRODUCTION OF NEW UKRAINIAN CURRENCY DELAYED UNTIL 1996. Ukrainian
President Leonid Kuchma, speaking at a news conference in Almaty,
Kazakhstan, announced that the new permanent currency, the hryvna, will
not be introduced until next year, instead of in October as planned,
Interfax-Ukraine and Reuters reported 21 September. Kuchma said Ukraine
had all the necessary economic conditions this summer but had waited too
long. He added that Ukraine has not yet reached an agreement with the
IMF on creating a currency stabilization fund. Prime Minister Yevhen
Marchuk told Ukrainian TV on 21 September that the introduction of the
hryvna was delayed because Ukraine has not yet approved a 1996 state
budget, whose current draft has been calculated in karbovantsi, the
provisional currency. In other news, the parliament adopted a law on
investment trust companies stipulating that the firms making investments
use privatization vouchers and not cash or hard currency, Ukrainian TV
reported on 21 September. -- Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

CRIMEAN LAWMAKERS APPROVE NEW REGIONAL CONSTITUTION. The Crimean
parliament gave its preliminary approval to the draft of a new regional
constitution, Ukrainian TV reported on 21 September. The draft states
that Crimea is an autonomous republic within Ukraine and governs itself
within the framework defined by the Ukrainian Constitution. It also says
Crimean Tatar, Russian, and Ukrainian are state languages but that
Russian will serve as the official language of the government. The
document does not provide for the post of president. A constitutional
commission is expected to finalize the draft and submit it to the
Ukrainian parliament for approval. However, Crimean legislators are
authorized to adopt the new constitution on its final reading. --
Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS, UKRAINE TO JOIN UN DISARMAMENT BODY. Belarus and Ukraine are
among the 23 countries approved for membership in the UN's Conference on
Disarmament, ITAR- TASS reported on 21 September. The two were among 50
nations invited earlier this year to participate in the conference as
non-members. The conference is currently working on a Comprehensive
Nuclear Test Ban treaty, which could be ready for signing by the end of
next year. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

BELARUS, SLOVAKIA SIGN VISA FREE AGREEMENT. Belarusian and Slovak
Foreign Ministers Uladzimir Syanko and Juraj Schenk, meeting on 20
September in Minsk, signed an agreement on visa-free travel, ITAR-TASS
reported. The ministers also discussed the preparation of agreements on
the protection of investments and avoidance of double taxation. Schenk
expressed an interest in obtaining from Belarus chemical products as
well as tractors and lorries, while Belarus suggested selling Slovakia
military equipment that has become surplus under the Conventional Forces
in Europe Treaty. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIAN NUCLEAR POWER PLANT TO BE CLOSED IN 10 YEARS. Prime Minister
Adolfas Slezevicius on 21 September announced that the first reactor at
the Ignalina power plant would be shut down in 2005 and the second five
years later, BNS reported. Because the closure and dismantling of the
reactors will cost at least $600 million, the government is planning to
create a special fund into which part of the income earned from the sale
of electricity will be paid. The Ignalina plant now produces about 80%
of Lithuania's electricity and exports surplus energy to Belarus and
Kaliningrad. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH POLITICIANS COMPLAIN ABOUT TV'S ELECTION COVERAGE. The Center
Alliance, which supports former Supreme Audit Commission head Lech
Kaczynski's presidential candidacy, has complained that Polish TV is
backing the Christian-National Alliance (ZChN), Rzeczpospolita reported
on 22 September. ZChN President Ryszard Czarnecki, for his part, has
said that the ZChN has been practically boycotted by Polish TV.
Meanwhile, President Lech Walesa's election committee has protested the
broadcasting of information on the president's candidacy after a news
item on another candidate, ombudsman Tadeusz Zielinski. And finally,
Kaczynski's supporters have complained about footage showing head of the
Union of Real Politics election committee Janusz Korwin-Mikke riding an
elephant when Kaczynski's press conference was not covered at all. --
Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH DOCTORS THREATEN TO STRIKE. Members of the Medical Trade Union
Club (LOK) on 21 September decided to go on strike as of 1 November to
pursue demands for higher pay, Czech media reported. LOK is supported by
around 6,000 of the Czech Republic's 20,000 hospital doctors. LOK
Chairman David Rath said a strike was necessary after the failure of
talks with Health Minister Ludek Rubas. The doctors are demanding pay
raises of more than 20%. The head of the main doctors' organization, who
has also called for Rubas to resign for his alleged incompetence in
reforming the health system, condemned the proposed strike. -- Steve
Kettle, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK POLITICAL UPDATE. On behalf of the entire opposition, Ludovit
Cernak of the Democratic Union read out in the parliament on 21
September an announcement to Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar informing
him that the Constitutional Court will be asked to review the recently
reapproved law on large-scale privatization, which cancels the second
wave of coupon privatization and introduces a highly controversial
program based on bonds. The education and cultural ministries were
sharply criticized by ethnic Hungarian deputies, and Party of the
Democratic Left Deputy Chairman Milan Ftacnik asked for the resignation
of Education Minister Eva Slavkovska. In other news, the Slovak Helsinki
Committee on 21 September criticized the government's demand that
President Michal Kovac resign. The opposition Christian Democratic
Movement said "the biggest offender of Slovakia is the Meciar
government," Sme reported. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER ON NATO. Juraj Schenk told reporters on 21
September that "the process of expanding NATO cannot happen without
Slovakia" since this would create "a certain geopolitical gap." When
asked if the recent criticism of Slovakia by U.S. Secretary of Defense
William Perry (see OMRI Daily Digest, 19 September 1995) might lead to a
change of opinion toward Slovakia's membership in the alliance, Schenk
said Perry's statements should not be "dramatized" because big
differences do not exist among Central European countries, Pravda
reported on 22 September. But speaking in Budapest on 21 September,
Perry noted that the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland were among the
top candidates for NATO membership but he did not mention Slovakia,
Reuters reported. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

PERRY IN HUNGARY. The U.S. defense secretary also said in Budapest on 21
September that he was impressed by Hungary's progress in the five
criteria for admission to NATO: commitment to protecting democracy and
ensuring the rights of minorities, creating a market economy,
establishing a civilian control over the army, maintaining good
relations with neighboring states, and bringing the military up to NATO
standards. He supported Hungary's current stabilization program. During
his two-day visit, Perry met with President Arpad Goncz, Defense
Minister Gyorgy Keleti, and Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi, OMRI, Inc.

HUNGARY EXTRADITES FORMER UKRAINIAN SECURITY CHIEF. Hungary has
extradited Victor Palivoda, a former Ukrainian security chief, to
Ukraine where he is wanted by Kiev for embezzling state funds, Hungarian
Radio said on 21 September. Palivoda, who was chief of personal security
for former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk from 1992-1994, has been
charged with abuse of power, misuse of state funds, and involvement in
dubious arms deals. He was arrested in Budapest in July after Ukraine
appealed to Interpol. According to MTI, Palivoda continues to deny he is
guilty, arguing that his arrest was aimed at discrediting his former
boss. -- Zsofia Szilagyi, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CILLER ASKED TO FORM NEW TURKISH GOVERNMENT. President Suleyman Demirel
on 21 September asked Tansu Ciller to form a new government, Reuters
reported. Ciller resigned the previous day after her coalition broke up
but was asked by Demirel to act as caretaker premier until a new
government is in place (see OMRI Daily Digest, 21 September 1995).
Ciller's office announced she will hold talks with other party leaders
"to focus on forming a government." Meanwhile, Mesut Yilmaz of the
opposition Motherland Party virtually ruled out the possibility of
forming a lasting coalition with Ciller. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

IZETBEGOVIC WANTS DEMILITARIZATION OF BANJA LUKA. Bosnian President
Alija Izetbegovic has demanded that the Bosnian Serbs demilitarize their
embattled northwest Bosnian stronghold and set up a civilian authority.
He said that the refugees could then stay on in the town and that the
Bosnian army would not enter it. He called for the full lifting of the
siege of Sarajevo and the restoration of utilities. The president also
wants free access to Gorazde among his conditions for approving a 60-day
ceasefire, the BBC said on 22 September. The VOA reported, however, that
the Serbs have already rejected a truce. The Croatian and Bosnian
offensive appears to have stopped, and Croatian troops have begun to
pull back. Clashes have nonetheless been reported in central and
southern parts of the republic. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BOSNIAN SERB LEADER CALLS FOR REJECTION OF PALE REGIME. Nasa Borba on 22
September interviewed Mirko Pejanovic, a member of the Presidency of
Bosnia and Herzegovina and the president of the Serbian Citizens'
Council. Pejanovic is a leading spokesman of the more than 100,000
"forgotten Serbs" who support a multi-ethnic state, live under Bosnian
government control, and reject the nationalist leadership of Radovan
Karadzic. Pejanovic urged Serbs in areas run by Pale to set up local
self-government bodies and to contact UNPROFOR and the Bosnian
authorities. He said the Serbs have an inalienable right to equality and
autonomy and that the council will raise these issues in upcoming talks
in Washington. Pejanovic also argued that there can be "no just
solution" without the return of refugees to their homes. -- Patrick
Moore, OMRI, Inc.

BATTLEFIELD UPDATE. There are conflicting reports on the actual state of
affairs on the front lines, but Nasa Borba said on 22 September that
Prijedor, Mrkonjic Grad, and Sanski Most remain under Bosnian Serb
control. Reuters stated that disappointed Croatian troops were ordered
to pull back as they were about to enter the empty town of Bosanski
Novi. Vjesnik noted that the allied forces are only 25 km from Banja
Luka, while Slobodna Dalmicija added that the Bosnian army is
approaching Doboj. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quoted the UNHCR
as saying that 432 mainly Muslim civilians were rounded up in a stadium
in Doboj, robbed, put on buses, and dumped at the front. Reuters
Television said it had proof of the murder of some Serbian civilians by
Croatian troops, while AFP stated that Serbian planes from Banja Luka
dropped cluster bombs on Croatian positions. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,
Inc.

WHERE IS GENERAL MLADIC? Novi list reported that the Croats and
government forces now appear to control about 50% of the republic's
territory, a gain of about 4,000 sq km since the offensive began.
Slobodna Dalmacija on 21 September concluded that the current partition
plan has been overtaken by events and that the Serbs will have to be
content with 25% of the total territory. The Independent and the
International Herald Tribune discussed one of the great mysteries
surrounding the dramatic recent developments, namely the disappearance
of General Ratko Mladic at a time when his troops were on the run. It
appears that he was hospitalized in Belgrade, but that he is now
elsewhere. Speculation centers on theories that Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic has punished him for his hard-line stand on keeping
guns around Sarajevo or that he has voluntarily taken himself out of a
no-win situation. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

SERBIAN RADICALS HOLD MASS RALLY. A rally organized by the
ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS) outside the federal rump
Yugoslav parliament on 21 September attracted some 20,000 people, Nasa
Borba reported the next day. Keynote speaker Vojislav Seselj, an accused
war criminal and SRS leader, vowed that his opposition to Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic would continue unabated. The SRS has
accused the president of betraying Serbian nationalists. Seselj noted
that "for us Radicals, the only place is either in prison or in power."
How much support Seselj has managed to draw from refugees who have
entered Serbia since Croatia reclaimed Krajina is unknown. -- Stan
Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ETHNIC ALBANIANS SENTENCED IN KOSOVO. Thirty-eight former ethnic
Albanian police officers in Kosovo were sentenced on 21 September to
prison terms of between one and six-and-a-half years on charges of
conspiring to form a breakaway state of Kosovo, AFP reported. The former
police officers were found guilty of "'hostile association' in militias
threatening the 'territorial integrity of Serbia' by seeking to create
an independent state of Kosovo." They were reportedly beaten and
tortured in prison while awaiting trial in attempts to extract
confessions from them. In a separate development, after Serbian media
reported that ethnic Serbs being resettled in Kosovo are experiencing
food and clothing shortages, Serbian police officials throughout the
province reportedly began looting marketplaces. -- Stan Markotich, OMRI,
Inc.

ROMANIAN HUMANITARIAN AID FOR RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. The National Red Cross
Council on 21 September announced that Romania will grant humanitarian
aid to refugees on the territory of the rump Yugoslavia, Radio Bucharest
reported. The aid, consisting mainly of staples and clothing worth 800
million lei (some $400,000), was approved by Romania's government. The
same source said the move has been given the green light from the
Security Council committee in charge of supervising the implementation
of the UN embargo against Serbia and Montenegro. A first transport is
scheduled to take place next week. -- Dan Ionescu, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIAN PREMIER SURVIVES NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE. A vote of no confidence
in Zhan Videnov on 22 September failed to muster the required majority,
Reuters reported. Of the 232 legislators present, only 102 supported the
vote, initiated by the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS), while 130 voted
against. The Bulgarian Socialist Party, which holds 125 seats in the
240-member parliament, was supported by the Bulgarian Business Bloc,
which has 12. The People's Union and the ethnic Turkish Movement for
Rights and Freedom had announced they would vote against Videnov. The
SDS initiated the vote because it holds Videnov responsible for the
killing of 14 soldiers in a road crash (see OMRI Daily Digest, 13 and 21
September 1995). It was the first no-confidence vote in Videnov since he
was elected prime minister in January 1995. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA URGED TO SHUT DOWN NUCLEAR REACTOR. The G-7 ambassadors to
Bulgaria on 21 September handed a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Kiril
Tsochev demanding that Unit 1 of the Kozloduy nuclear plant be shut down
permanently because it poses a security threat to the region,
Demokratsiya reported the following day. Tsochev said the memorandum is
based on outdated analyses and does not take recent improvements to the
reactor into account. Yanko Yanev, head of Bulgaria's Nuclear Safety
Agency, said the reactor can be operated safely. Unit 1 was shut down in
February for refueling, repairs, and inspections and is scheduled to be
brought back on line in the next weeks. Bulgaria is reluctant to close
down any of the four units at Kozloduy because the reactor provides
around 40% of Bulgaria's electricity. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

BULGARIA REPLACES AMBASSADORS. The Bulgarian government on 21 September
asked President Zhelyu Zhelev to issue decrees on replacing a number of
ambassadors, Bulgarian newspapers reported the following day. The
ambassadors to the UN, the Council of Europe, the Vatican, Belgium,
Switzerland, Portugal, Poland, Albania, and Hungary will be replaced. In
the case of UN ambassador Slavi Pashovski (see OMRI Daily Digest, 21
September 1995), Zhelev blamed the government for excluding the diplomat
from the Bulgarian delegation. 24 chasa cited Zhelev as saying that he
is the lawful ambassador and thus cannot be excluded from the
delegation. Pashovski said in an interview with Trud that his exclusion
changes the constitutional balance and deprives the president of his
right to represent Bulgaria through ambassadors selected by him. --
Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT VOTES OUT SUPREME COURT JUSTICE. The Albanian
parliament has voted to remove Supreme Court head Zef Brozi and to name
Avni Shehu, Brozi's deputy, as his replacement, international media
reported on 21 September. This move comes in the wake of a long-standing
feud between Brozi and the government. Brozi has argued that a Supreme
Court justice can be removed only if he commits a serious crime or is
proven to be incompetent. He was not available for comment on the
parliamentary vote. The opposition Socialist Party boycotted the ballot.
-- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ALBANIAN COURT UPHOLDS SENTENCE ON HOXHA. The Supreme Court on 21
February upheld a one-year prison sentence on Ilir Hoxha, eldest son of
the late communist dictator Enver Hoxha, Reuters reported the same day.
In June, Hoxha was found guilty of "inciting national hatred by
endangering the public peace, calling for hatred against parts of the
population,...[and] calling for vengeance" in an interview with Modeste
in April. In other news, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 20
September reported that the Albanian Helsinki Committee called the
conditions in the remand prison of Peshkopi "disgraceful." Prisoners are
held in "dank, subterranean cells with low ceilings" for up to one year,
the report says. -- 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
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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