A good eater must be a good man; for a good eater must have a good digestion, and a good digestion depends upon a good conscience. - Benjamin Disraeli
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 188, Part II, 27 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

UKRAINE MAKES PROGRESS TOWARD COUNCIL OF EUROPE MEMBERSHIP. Ukraine on
26 September moved one step closer to entry into the Council of Europe
after the body's parliamentary assembly voted unanimously to approve its
membership application, RFE/RL and Reuters reported the same day. Final
approval is expected to be given on 19 October. Ukraine formally applied
for membership in July 1992, but its entry was delayed because it did
not meet many of the council's conditions for membership. But since
then, legal experts advising the council have said that Ukraine has made
"spectacular progress" in political reform and that it now complies with
the organization's principles on democracy and human rights. Ukraine is
obliged to ratify a series of international conventions within one year,
including the European Convention on Human Rights and a convention on
protection of minorities. It must also abolish the death penalty within
three years and introduce an immediate moratorium on executions. --
Chrystyna Lapychak, OMRI, Inc.

UKRAINE TO MAKE FURTHER CUTS IN ARMED FORCES. Ukraine intends to
establish a 350,000-strong military, Interfax reported on 25 September.
This goal was said to be in the government's plan of action submitted
recently to the parliament. The report said that at present, there are
slightly more than 400,000 personnel in the armed forces. The government
document was also said to call for giving priority to servicemen's
"social well-being" and for urgent measures to provide more housing and
higher salaries. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

RUSSIA HANDS OVER PALDISKI BASE TO ESTONIA. Russian Rear Admiral
Aleksandr Olkhovikov on 26 September signed a document officially
handing over the former Soviet submarine base at Paldiski to Estonia,
BNS reported. The Russian military officially left Estonia on 31 August
1994, but the 208 personnel who remained at Paldiski to dismantle the
base's two nuclear reactors are to leave the country by 30 September.
Estonian President Lennart Meri said the signing of the document marked
the real end of Soviet occupation and that he hoped Paldiski would
become a normal Estonian port. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

POPULAR SUPPORT FOR LITHUANIAN POLITICIANS, PARTIES. A poll of 1,014
residents taken on 12-19 September by the Lithuanian-British company
Baltic Surveys showed a sharp decrease in the popularity of Adolfas
Slezevicius, BNS reported on 26 September. The share of respondents
viewing him favorably has declined by 10 percentage points since August,
to 14%. Center Union Chairman Romualdas Ozolas, who has accused the
premier of corruption, is currently the most popular political figure,
having increased his favorable rating by seven points to 51%. The
Homeland Union was the most popular party, overtaking both the Christian
Democratic and Democratic Labor Parties. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

LITHUANIAN PREMIER IN PHILIPPINES. Adolfas Slezevicius, after meeting
with high-ranking officials in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and China,
arrived in Manila on 24 September for an official visit, Western
agencies reported the next day. He discussed political, economic, and
cultural cooperation with President Fidel Ramos. Officials from the two
countries signed a treaty granting each other most-favored-nation trade
status and a science and technology agreement calling for joint research
and the exchange of students. Slezevicius on 26 September visited the
former U.S. military base at Subic Bay, saying its conversion to a free
economic zone could be a model for turning former Soviet military bases
in Lithuania into special economic zones. -- Saulius Girnius, OMRI, Inc.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT IN POLAND. Jacques Santer met with Polish
President Lech Walesa and Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy on 26 September,
Polish and international media reported. He also held talks with
Cardinal Jozef Glemp, the Polish primate. Santer said that European
integration has a spiritual character and that entering the EU does not
mean relinquishing national identity. Oleksy said that Santers confirmed
all past declarations that the EU will eventually admit Poland as a
member. Leaders of those countries with EU associate agreements,
including Poland, will be invited to the EU December summit meeting in
Madrid. -- Jakub Karpinski, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH PRESIDENT, PREMIER ON PENSIONS. President Lech Walesa on 26
September said it is highly unlikely that he will sign the bill on
pensions, which foresees only one increase in pensions next year that is
2.5% above the inflation level. Polish Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy asked
Walesa not to veto the bill, since this may increase the 1996 budget
deficit by another 5 billion zloty ($2.1 billion). According to Oleksy,
the bill is misunderstood and is being used to spread misinformation
during the presidential election campaign, Polish dailies reported on 27
September. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz, OMRI, Inc.

POLISH GOVERNMENT APRROVES INCREASE IN MILITARY EXPENDITURES. The
government has approved a 3% increase in military expenditures. Oleksy
noted that "conditions in the army are very unsatisfactory from the
point of view of the standards that would be obligatory for Poland if it
were to join NATO." The premier also announced a five-year plan for the
modernization of the army, Polish dailies reported on 27 September. --
Dagmar Mroziewicz, OMRI, Inc.

CZECH PARLIAMENT PASSES HARD CURRENCY LAW. The Czech parliament on 26
September passed a hard currency law that will make the Czech koruna
fully convertible, Czech and international media reported. Under the
law, limits on the amounts of Czech koruny individuals can exchange for
other currencies will be abolished. Czechs will also be allowed to
directly invest abroad and will no longer be obliged to offer their hard
currency to Czech banks. Both Czech citizens and companies will be
allowed to buy real estate abroad without limitations. The law also
liberalizes the system under which foreign banks can lend to Czech
companies. The International Monetary Fund is expected to soon confirm
the full convertibility of the koruna with a statement that the Czech
Republic has fullfilled the conditions of full convertibility, while
Western banks are expected to gradually start accepting Czech koruny in
exchange for other hard currencies. -- Jiri Pehe, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK SECRET SERVICE ACCUSES POLICE OF PRESSURING ITS AGENTS. Slovak
Information Service (SIS) director Ivan Lexa on 26 September sent a
letter to Attorney-General Michal Valo accusing police investigating the
kidnapping of President Michal Kovac's son of "using criminal methods"
in their investigation, Slovenska Republika reported. Lexa argued that
Bratislava police have used "psychological pressure" against SIS agents
and revealed state secrets by publicizing names of two SIS employees
suspected of involvement in the kidnapping. He demanded that the
Bratislava police department be taken off the case. Lexa has also filed
charges against Jaroslav Simunic, the police investigator originally
assigned to the case, who was removed after revealing possible SIS
involvement. Lexa is a close ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, who
has been involved in a long-running dispute with President Kovac. Also
on 26 September, police released a suspect in the case at the request of
the regional prosecutor for Bratislava. Police investigator Peter Vacok
has asked Lexa to reveal whether the man is an SIS employee. -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVAK POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS. The Slovak Constitutional Court on 26
September rejected a proposal by 30 opposition deputies that the
constitutionality of a law on the organization of ministries and other
central organs of the state administration be examined. According to
Constitutional Court Chairman Milan Cic, "the law is in harmony with the
constitution because it is not in conflict with it." Meanwhile, Sme
reported on 27 September that 47 opposition deputies have asked the
court to review the amendment to the large-scale privatization law
passed on 6 September, which cancels coupon privatization. -- Sharon
Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN POLITICAL AGREEMENT REACHED . . . The foreign ministers of
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and rump Yugoslavia approved a plan in New
York on 26 September to provide a postwar constitutional framework for
Bosnia. The republic will have free and democratic elections under OSCE
supervision 30 days after monitors in major towns confirm that freedom
of movement, speech, and the media have been restored, as well as basic
human rights and the right of the refugees to return home or receive
compensation for their property. Voting will take place in both the
Croat-Muslim federation and the Bosnian Serb republic, Hina reported. A
parliament, presidency, and Constitutional Court will be set up, with
two-thirds of the legislature and presidency elected from the federation
and the remaining third from among the Serbs. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI,
Inc.

. . . BUT PROBLEMS GALORE REMAIN. The agreement leaves open a host of
questions, including the composition of the government and the control
of foreign policy, defense, and the police. It also sounds very similar
to the arrangement that was in place when the Serbs launched the war in
1992 and that was a recipe for gridlock. The question of territorial
divisions remains unsolved, and the Bosnian government has been charged
by some of its own citizens with having agreed to partition the country
with war criminals. It is also unclear who will represent the 150,000 or
so "forgotten Serbs," who refuse to recognize Radovan Karadzic's
authority and remain loyal to a multiethnic Bosnia. U.S. President Bill
Clinton nonetheless said "we are making progress and we are determined
to succeed," the International Herald Tribune reported on 27 September.
-- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

GENERAL MLADIC REAPPEARS. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 27
September said that Croatian and Bosnian Serb forces exchanged artillery
fire across the border region between Slavonski Brod and Novska. The
International Herald Tribune and Nasa Borba reported that the Bosnian
Serb commander, General Ratko Mladic, resurfaced at a press conference
in Banja Luka after having been out of public view for some time. He
said that he feels "better than most people my age" and endorsed solving
"disputed questions by diplomatic means." But he warned that "if war
continues, even greater suffering will be produced, not only in this
area but wider as well." The indicted war criminal also blasted an
"armed media and diplomatic war going on against the Serb people, the
purpose of which is to demonize and deprive them of their legitimate
rights." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

TUDJMAN INSISTS ON REFUGEE REPATRIATION. Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman has announced that Croatia will continue repatriating refugees
on territories recaptured from Bosnian Serbs during the recent Croatian-
Bosnian government offensive in western Bosnia, despite UN warnings not
to do so, Reuters reported on 25 September. Under Tudjman's plan, out of
a total of 200,000 Bosnian Croat and Muslim refugees in Croatia, 100,000
will be returned to "liberated" areas of Bosnia. Croatian officials
claim that the Bosnian government has agreed to this decision, but
Bosnian Minister for Refugees Muhamed Ceric told the Onasa news agency
that his government was not consulted on the issue. UNHCR officials in
Zagreb say that if refugees are repatriated close to the current front
lines, their safety cannot be guaranteed. -- Daria Sito Sucic, OMRI,
Inc.

BOSNIAN PREMIER ON NEED FOR BETTER RELATIONS BETWEEN MUSLIMS AND CROATS.
Haris Silajdzic has stressed the importance of improving relations
between Bosnia's Muslims and Croats to facilitate the distribution of
territories taken by the allies. He said that differences are being
overcome through dialogue, Nasa Borba reported on 25 September.
International media say the relationship between the allies is tense due
to the lack of agreement over who will control which territories.
Meanwhile, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic has written a letter to
Tudjman protesting that the Bosnian Muslim minority in Croatia--which
was the second largest national minority there after the Serbs,
according to the 1991 census--does not have guaranteed representatives
in the parliament, unlike some other minority groups. -- Daria Sito
Sucic, OMRI, Inc.

SLOVENIAN PREMIER ON EUROPEAN UNION ISSUES. Slovenian Prime Minister
Janez Drnovsek, in an interview with Vienna's Der Standard on 23-24
September, reaffirmed Slovenia's commitment to joining and backing the
EU, observing that membership is a priority for Slovenia. But he added
that "we are trying to broaden our trade relations with other groups of
countries." He also discussed Italian-Slovenian bilateral ties,
suggesting that what appear to be Rome's efforts to impede, if not
altogether block, Slovenian moves to join the EU may be placing renewed
strain on relations that have seemed to be improving since early 1995.
-- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH CLINTON. Ion Iliescu met with U.S.
President Bill Clinton in the White House on 26 September, international
agencies reported. They discussed, among other things, bilateral
economic relations, the granting of permanent most-favored-nation status
to Romania, and the prospects for its admission to NATO. Iliescu said
after the talks that Clinton praised Romania's economic reforms so far,
its democratization process, and its initiative for a "historic
reconciliation" with Hungary. But a senior U.S. official was quoted by
Reuters as saying that while the White House's attitude on MFN was
"positive," the granting of permanent status was still conditional on
continued progress on several issues, including fair treatment of the
country's Hungarian minority. Defense Secretary William Perry stressed
after meeting with Iliescu that one of the five conditions for the
former communist countries' admission to NATO was the settlement of
conflicts with neighbors. -- Michael Shafir and Matyas Szabo, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIA LAYS DOWN CONDITIONS FOR RUSSIA'S ADMISSION TO COUNCIL OF
EUROPE. The Romanian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the
Council of Europe has laid down three conditions for Russia's admission
to the council, Radio Bucharest reported on 25 September. It said that
Russia should return Romanian state treasures that Russia failed to
return after WW I; the former 14th army contingents should be withdrawn
from Moldova; and the European Parliament should declare the Ribbentrop-
Molotov pact of 1939 "null and void." That agreement led to the
annexation of large chunks of Romanian territories that are now part of
Ukraine and the Moldovan Republic. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT TO AMEND PROPERTY RESTITUTION LAW. The Chamber of
Deputies on 26 September voted to accept a Constitutional Court ruling
that two articles of the property restitution law passed by the
parliament earlier this year violate the country's basic law. Radio
Bucharest reported that the Liberal Party '93 and the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania did not vote in protest at what they
called the Constitutional Court's muted criticism of the law. The court
ruled that the article limiting restitution to Romanian citizens
resident in the country restricted the freedom of movement. It also
objected to an article that made no distinction between property legally
or illegally confiscated. In the case of the latter, the property would
have to be returned to the owner after the parliament reformulated the
law. While the legislation now extends the right of compensation to all
Romanian citizens, regardless of where they reside, it limits
restitution to one apartment and provides only minimal compensation for
other confiscated property. -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

MOLDOVA PROTESTS RUSSIAN-BACKED ARRESTS IN TIRASPOL. The Moldovan
delegation to the Joint Control Commission for Transdniestrian Conflict
Settlement protested on 26 September that Lt.-Gen. Valerii Yevnevich,
commander of the Russian forces, had supported the arrest of two
Moldovan policemen, Infotag reported the same day. The delegation termed
the arrest an "undisguised provocation by the Tiraspol secret services"
aimed at "undermining the negotiation process and destabilizing the
situation in the region." Yevnevich declared that the two were arrested
"as Transdniestrian citizens for crimes committed while serving in the
region's militia." The Moldovan delegation responded that the statement
indicated the Russian commander's support for the "illegal, groundless
and provocative action." -- Michael Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

AMMUNITION DESTRUCTION TO RESUME IN MOLDOVA. The Russian Group of Forces
in Moldova (formerly the 14th army) will resume destroying obsolete
ammunition next week, Lt.-Gen. Valerii Yevnevich told ITAR-TASS on 26
September. The destruction was suspended on 17 August after local
authorities complained about the danger the operation posed to the local
environment. Yevnevich indicated that money was now the local
authorities' most pressing concern and said if the situation continued
to develop along these lines "the only thing left for me to do will be
to send a bill to the local authorities for the blasting operations." He
indicated that 5,600 pre-WWII mines and shells have been destroyed and
that another 4,000 await destruction. -- Doug Clarke, OMRI, Inc.

GERMANY SAYS BULGARIAN NUCLEAR REACTOR MUST NOT REOPEN. German
Environment Minister Angela Merkel on 26 September urged Bulgaria not to
put back into service Unit 1 of the Kozloduy nuclear reactor, Reuters
reported the same day. Merkel said everything must be done "to prevent
this reactor starting up without sufficient safety precautions." Unit 1
was shut down in February for refueling, repairs, and inspections; it is
scheduled to be brought back on line in the next few weeks. Bulgaria so
far has rejected pleas to close down any of the four units at Kozloduy
because the reactor provides around 40% of Bulgaria's electricity.
Merkel said that "Bulgaria's energy worries ahead of the forthcoming
winter are understandable but safety must have priority." -- 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
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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