The essence of our effort to see that every child has a chance must be to assure each an equal opportunity, not to become equal, but to become, different- to realize whatever unique potential of body, mind and spirit he or she possesses. - John Fischer
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 190, Part II, 29 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

UKRAINIAN PREMIER IN U.S. Yevhen Marchuk, during his trip to Washington,
met with U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Senate majority leader Bob
Dole, Interfax and Ukrainian TV reported on 27-28 September. He also
addressed a government roundtable on US assistance for Ukrainian
reforms. The US officials urged that privatization be sped up to boost
U.S. investment in Ukraine, and Gore promised the U.S. would use its
influence to increase aid to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Foreign
Minister Hennadii Udovenko called for the lifting of UN sanctions
against rump Yugoslavia in a speech to the UN General Assembly,
Interfax-Ukraine reported 28 September. Udovenko said the embargo was
counterproductive in promoting a peaceful settlement of the conflict. --
Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT APPOINTS TWO NEW MINISTERS. Leonid Kuchma has
appointed Serhii Holovatyi, a reformist deputy and founder of the
Ukrainian Legal Foundation, as Ukraine's new justice minister, Ukrainian
TV reported on 27 September. He also replaced the Ministry of Culture
with a new Ministry of Culture and Art. Dmytro Ostapenko, director of
the Ukrainian National Philharmonic, was named to head the new ministry.
-- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINE AGREES TO G-7 PLAN TO SHUT DOWN CHORNOBYL. Ukrainian Environment
Minister Yurii Kostenko on 28 September said his government has agreed
in principle to a plan proposed by experts from the G-7 industrial
nations for shutting down the Chornobyl nuclear power plant by 2,000
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 28 September 1995), Ukrainian TV and RFE/RL
reported the same day. Kostenko said Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma
responded favorably to the proposal for restructuring Ukraine's energy
sector after closure of Chornobyl. He said a plan of action would be
ready by mid-October and that Ukraine and the G-7 would sign a final
agreement in November. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUS RESUMES DESTRUCTION OF CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS. President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka on 28 September said that Belarus has resumed the
destruction of weapons as required by the 1990 Conventional Forces in
Europe treaty, Interfax reported, He said the destruction was stopped in
March because of a lack of funds and that its resumption had been
prompted by German assurances in August that Western governments will
guarantee financial aid for the destruction program. Meanwhile, ITAR-
TASS the same day quoted a Russian general as saying Belarus has
temporarily suspended the transportation of strategic nuclear weapons to
Russia. Vladimir Verkhovtsev told a Moscow press conference that the
removal of the weapons would not take long once the political decision
to resume it was made. -- Saulius Girnius and Doug Clarke

WALESA VETOES PENSION BILL. Polish President Lech Walesa on 28 September
vetoed the bill on pensions, which foresees only one increase for
pensioners next year (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 September 1995). "Old-
age or disability pensions are not a matter of charity or state
benevolence," Walesa said in a speech on Polish TV. Prime Minister Jozef
Oleksy said earlier that rejection of the bill would mean a collapse of
the state's finances. Oleksy also warned against seeking to make
political capital out of the bill during the presidential campaign. --
Jakub Karpinski

CZECH DEPUTIES REFUSE TO GIVE UP PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITY. The vast
majority of deputies in the Czech parliament on 28 September voted
against a bill that would limit immunity for parliamentary deputies,
Mlada fronta dnes reported. Among other things, the bill would have
abolished the immunity of deputies in the case of traffic violations. In
other news, the opposition Social Democratic Party on 28 September asked
President Vaclav Havel to veto the extension of the lustration law
passed the previous day. -- Sharon Fisher

CZECH PARLIAMENT PASSES LAW ON NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS. The parliament
on 28 September approved a law allowing for the creation of non-profit
organizations in 1996, Lidove noviny and Hospodarske noviny reported.
Under the legislation, such organizations can be founded by private
individuals living in the Czech Republic as well as by the state. They
will be exempt from property taxes as well as levies on inheritances and
gifts but will have to pay other taxes, duties, and administrative fees.
Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Ivan Kocarnik said non-profit
organizations will not be allowed to redistribute their profits to the
advantage of the founders but only to reinvest them. Kocarnik expects
the new law to encourage the development of non-government organizations
in social services, culture, sport, health care, and education. The
organizations can be financed through investments, gifts, inheritances,
and grants from the state or local budget. -- Sharon Fisher

CZECH, SLOVAK, RUSSIAN FIRMS TO CONSTRUCT MOCHOVCE. Following
consultations in Bratislava on 28 September on the completion of
Slovakia's nuclear plant at Mochovce, Skoda Praha was officially
confirmed as the general contractor for technological aspects of the
project, Hospodarske noviny reported. Prague-based Energoprojeckt, along
with several Russian firms, was chosen as the plant's general designer,
while Hydrostav Bratislava and Bratislava-based Elektrosystemy were
selected to oversee construction and electrical equipment, respectively.
According to Slovak Economy Minister Jan Ducky, the security system will
be provided by the German firm Siemens and the French company Framatome.
The sources of funding have not yet been determined, but it is probable
that the Czech banks Komercni banka and Ceska sporitelna will be the
project's major source of investment, Mlada fronta dnes reported. --
Sharon Fisher

ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATION IN BRATISLAVA. Between 10,000 and 15,000
demonstrators gathered in Bratislava on 28 September to protest Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar's authoritarian style of government, Slovak and
international media report. The rally was organized by the Committee for
the Freedom of Speech as well as by several youth organizations.
Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Jan Carnogursky, referring to the
abduction last month of President Michal Kovac's son, told the
demonstrators that "the chief of the secret service, Ivan Lexa, is
arrogantly preventing the investigation of the kidnapping, and Meciar
supports him. Is that not a sign that both are implicated in the
kidnapping?" -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PREMIER ABANDONS PLANS FOR CABINET RESHUFFLE. Hungarian
Premier and Socialist leader Gyula Horn on 28 September withdrew his
plans to carry out a cabinet reshuffle and agreed not to take any
measures that would infringe the coalition agreement of 1994, the
Hungarian press reported the next day. The two coalition partners--the
Hungarian Socialist Party and the Alliance of Free Democrats--now
consider their long tug-of-war to be over. The Socialists, especially
Horn, had been pressing for a reshuffle to improve the way the
government works. Meanwhile, the parliament is likely soon to pass
legislation providing for the convertibility of the forint, according to
Hungarian press reports. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARY SAYS HEAVILY ARMED EX-YUGOSLAVIA POSES THREAT. Hungarian Foreign
Minister Laszlo Kovacs told the UN General Assembly on 28 September that
huge stockpiles of arms in the former Yugoslavia are a threat to
neighboring countries, Hungarian newspapers and international media
reported the next day. Kovacs stressed his country's concern for the
ethnic Hungarian minority in the Serbian province of Vojvodina. He
called for a comprehensive peace settlement for the former Yugoslavia
that would guarantee minority rights. Meanwhile, Hungary is concerned
about the several thousand ethnic Hungarians living in eastern Slavonia
(now under Serbian control), many of whom were recently singled out for
forced labor. According to Sandor Jakab, deputy of the Democratic
Community of Hungarians in Croatia, five of them have been killed by
Serbs. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

NATO PRESENTS ENLARGEMENT STUDY. NATO on 28 September briefed
participants in the Partnership for Peace program on its enlargement
study, international media reported the same day. The study addresses
the "how" and "why" of NATO enlargement but not the "who" and "when." It
states that new members will come under NATO's "nuclear umbrella" even
though nuclear weapons need not be based on their soil. One reason for
Russia's opposition to NATO enlargement has been the possible deployment
of nuclear weapons in neighboring countries. NATO Secretary-General
Willy Claes said NATO will seek to continue involving Russia in European
security matters. -- Michael Mihalka

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CROATIAN OPPOSITION MAKES ELECTION PACT. Seven ideologically diverse
parties ranging from the far right to the moderate left reached an
agreement on 28 September to field joint candidates in the 29 October
parliamentary elections. The VOA reported that they want the governing
Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) to face only one challenger in each
district so as not to divide the opposition vote. The HDZ controls most
of the media and an extensive patronage network and is expected to
profit from popular support for the Croatian military's lightening
victories against the Serbs this year. A new electoral law for the 127-
seat Sabor also favors the HDZ by allowing for only 28 deputies to be
elected on a district basis, as opposed to at-large candidacies on party
lists. The number of seats reserved for the Serbian minority has been
reduced, and 12 deputies will be elected at large by Croats abroad in
what is seen as an attempt by the HDZ to obtain at least a two-thirds
majority in the Sabor. The opposition has been weak thanks to a
combination of its own ineptitude and the HDZ's skillful use of power.
-- Patrick Moore

BLEAK PICTURE FOR CROATIAN SERBS. Nasa Borba on 29 September quoted a UN
spokesperson as saying that only about 1,000 Serbs are left in the Knin
region, and that virtually all of them are elderly. She added that 73%
of Serbian houses in the area have been burned or otherwise rendered
uninhabitable and that torchings and looting continue. One of the main
Serbian political leaders in Zagreb, Milorad Pupovac, told Reuters that
"the basic problem for those [Serbs] left is they are not integrated
into Croatian society. From the psycho-political point of view, Serbs
are just not welcome." Tanjug on 28 September reported that UN mediator
Thorvald Stoltenberg arrived in eastern Slavonia for talks with Serb
rebels, saying "this is a last chance for a settlement of the conflict
in the former Yugoslavia." -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN WRAPUP. Fighting continued around Kljuc and Mt. Ozren, Nasa
Borba reported on 29 September. Western news agencies noted that the
Serbs are consolidating their position around Banja Luka and Bosanski
Novi, while Serbian gunners have shelled Konjic and Zenica. UN and
European observers said that some brief fighting has taken place between
Croats and Muslims over newly captured territory but that the alliance
between them is more or less holding. One diplomat told AFP that "at the
end of the day, Croatia has two objectives: to protect its borders and
to gain entrance to the European Union." For these reasons, good
relations with the Muslims are in the Croats' long-term interest, as
Zagreb's friends in Washington and Bonn tirelessly point out. -- Patrick
Moore

WHITE HOUSE SUPPORTS SUIT AGAINST BOSNIAN SERB LEADER. The Clinton
administration has endorsed a lawsuit against Radovan Karadzic filed by
two Bosnian women who have charged him with war crimes, the
International Herald Tribune reported on 28 September. After a lower
court ruled that the civil lawsuit could not be brought against the
Bosnian Serb leader, the women turned to the U.S. Court of Appeals.
Another indicted war criminal, Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladic, has
arrested the military officers considered responsible for the defeat
that Bosnian Serbs suffered during the Croatian-Bosnian offensive, Nasa
Borba reported on 29 September. -- Daria Sito Sucic

SERBIAN OPPOSITION CRITICIZES BOSNIAN PEACE PLAN. Reuters on 29
September quoted Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) leader Vojislav
Kostunica as saying the latest Bosnian peace initiative plan "will not
survive." He added that long-term prospects for the survival of Bosnia-
Herzegovina were bleak and suggested that there will be a rapprochement
between Belgrade and the Bosnian Serbs. Meanwhile, Nasa Borba on 29
September quotes Vojislav Seselj, leader of the Serbian Radical Party
and accused war criminal, as calling the Bosnian peace plan "a
capitulation and a defeat for Serbian national policy." -- Stan
Markotich

ROMANIAN, HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN NEW YORK. Teodor Melescanu
and Laszlo Kovacs, in New York to take part in the UN General Assembly
session, met to discuss Budapest's reaction to President Ion Iliescu's
proposal for a historic reconciliation between the two countries, Radio
Bucharest reported on 28 September. Kovacs said the Hungarian government
is already studying the submitted documents. He stressed that solving
outstanding problems in bilateral relations should precede the proposed
reconciliation, adding that the issue of minority rights requires a
legal framework to include specific commitments. Melescanu told Radio
Bucharest that the first meeting to discuss concrete diplomatic steps
will be held soon. -- Matyas Szabo

ROMANIA REACHES AGREEMENT WITH EXIMBANK. According to RFE/RL on 29
September, Romania has become the fourth Central European country to
conclude a cooperative financing agreement with the U.S. Export Import
Bank (Eximbank). President Ion Iliescu was present for the signing of
the agreement, which greatly increases financing available for projects
within Romania and possibilities for including Romanian products in
joint U.S.-Romanian projects in third countries. Iliescu on 29 September
met with IMF and World Bank officials. According to RFE/RL, the talks
were successful and Bucharest has a good chance of receiving the second
half of the IMF stand-by agreement, which is due to expire in December.
Romania received the first half of a transformation loan in May 1994 but
has been unable to meet the fund's performance criteria to receive the
second half. -- Michael Shafir

NATO AIR AGREEMENT SIGNED IN ROMANIA. Radio Bucharest and Reuters on 29
September reported that an agreement on harmonizing civilian and
military airspace standards was signed in the Romanian mountain resort
of Sinaia between NATO, on the one hand, and Romania, Slovenia, and
Albania, on the other. The agreements requires the signatories to
upgrade their air traffic control and air space surveillance to NATO
standards. -- Michael Shafir

CHISINAU, TIRASPOL DEADLOCKED ON "MOLDOVAN-LANGUAGE" SCHOOLS. Officials
from Chisinau and Tiraspol on 28 September failed again to reach
agreement on resolving the issue of schools in the Dniester region that
offer instruction in the "Moldovan" language using the Latin script,
Infotag reported. The representatives of the breakaway republic say the
Latin script may be used only in schools "financed by anybody but not by
the Dniester budget." BASA-press quoted Aleksandr Karaman, vice
president of the Dniestrian region, as saying that if "Moldovan-language
schools do not acquire a legal status by 10 October, they will be
closed." These schools have to be registered with local authorities and
must accept the Tiraspol Education Ministry curriculum. -- Matyas Szabo
and Michael Shafir

BULGARIA EXPRESSES INCREASED DEFIANCE OVER NUCLEAR ISSUE. Deputy Premier
Kiril Tsochev, speaking on Bulgarian Radio on 28 September, said
Bulgaria will reopen a reactor at the controversial Kozloduy nuclear
plant if the facility meets technical inspection standards. The results
of a national Atomic Energy Commission review, currently under way and
slated for completion on 1 October, will determine whether the reactor
will be restarted, Tsochev said. He added that Bulgaria "is not waiting
for [foreign] permission to restart the reactor." There has been
widespread international concern about safety standards at Kozloduy,
most recently voiced by Germany (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 September
1995). -- Stan Markotich

ALBANIAN UPDATE. Montena-fax on 28 September reported that the foreign
ministers of Greece and Albania, Karolos Papoulias and Alfred Serreqi,
met the previous day in New York. The Greek side was reported as saying
that talks were "beneficial to both sides," despite the fact that little
progress was made on outstanding issues such as the status of the Greek
minority in Albania. In another development, MIC on 28 September
reported that the Tirana daily Koha Jone has taken the government to
task for its foreign policy toward neighboring Macedonia. According to
the report, Tirana's "softer" attitude toward Macedonia compares
unfavorably with Greece's hardline approach. Koha Jone alleged that
Tirana's failure to lobby for ethnic Albanian interests in Macedonia has
made it "clear to Albanians [in Macedonia] that the borders between the
two countries are definite, telling them exactly where their place is."
-- Stan Markotich

DEMIREL RECEIVES TABUNSHCHIK. Turkish President Suleyman Demirel on 27
September met with Georgi Tabunshchik, leader of Moldova's Gagauz
autonomous region, TRT TV reported the same day. Demirel again pledged
"every kind of support" for the Gagauz people but noted that the
consolidation of Gagauz autonomy must be accomplished peacefully. A
major goal of Turkish foreign policy since 1991 has been promoting the
interests of Turkic speakers throughout the region. -- Lowell Bezanis

[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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