We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us. - George Eliot
Part II of the 3 October 1995 OMRI Daily Digest was not succesfully delivered by the listserv. Here is a retransmission of that part. OMRI Publications Department OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 191, Part II, 2 October 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


Preliminary results of the Latvian parliamentary elections on 30
September-1 October indicate that nine of the 19 slates have broken the
5% barrier to win seats in the parliament, BNS reported the next day.
According to those results, the left-of-center Democratic Party
Saimnieks will have 18 seats, the radical right Popular Movement for
Latvia and the current ruling party Latvia's Way 17 each, the radical
nationalist For the Fatherland and Freedom 14, the right of center
Latvian National Conservative Party 8, the Farmers' Union and Latvian
Unity Party 7 each, and leftist Latvian Socialist Party and National
Harmony Party 6 each. The major surprise was the success of the Popular
Movement for Latvia, whose leader, the German-Latvian activist Joachim
Siegerist, was expelled from the current parliament for non-attendance
and did not run again because of insufficient knowledge of Latvian. --
Saulius Girnius

TALLINN'S TWO LARGEST DAILIES MERGE. The Estonian capital's two major
dailies, Eesti Paevaleht and Eesti Sonumid, on 29 September announced
they will unite from the following day under the name of Eesti
Paevaleht, BNS reported. The first issue of Eesti Paevaleht appeared on
3 June with the merger of three right-of-center newspapers. The
newspaper's chief editor Kalle Muuli said the merger leaves his paper
without a serious rival in Tallinn but will still compete with the
Tartu-based Postimees. -- Saulius Girnius

government has set up a body within the Ministry of Environment and
Nuclear Safety to monitor safety precautions at nuclear power plants,
nuclear waste storage sites, and nuclear fuel production facilities,
Radio Ukraine reported on 29 September. The body will be called the Main
State Directorate for Control over Nuclear Safety. In other news,
President Leonid Kuchma said that although he agreed with a G-7 proposal
to restructure Ukraine's energy sector to compensate for the planned
shutdown of Chornobyl by 2000, the closure of the facility will
nonetheless require $4 billion in foreign aid, Radio Ukraine reported on
30 September. The G-7 last week said its plan would cost $1.44 billion
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 28 September 1995). -- Chrystyna Lapychak

between Ukrainian Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk and IMF Managing
Director Michel Camdessus in Washington on 29 September, the IMF
approved granting Ukraine the third tranche--worth $350 million--of a
stand-by loan, UNIAN reported the following day. Camdessus said his
meeting with Marchuk convinced him that there were no serious
differences of opinion between Ukraine and the IMF. Marchuk also met
with U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin to discuss setting up a
Ukrainian treasury, forming a securities market, establishing mortgage
procedures, and drawing up a program to reorganize Ukraine's engineering
industry. Marchuk described the talks as "businesslike" and
"constructive." -- Ustina Markus

ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN BELARUS. Russian TV on 30 September reported that
the parliamentary by-election campaign has begun in Belarus. In the last
round of elections, only 45% of seats were filled, leaving 141 vacant.
At least two-thirds of the 260 parliamentary seats must be filled before
the new parliament can convene. By-elections are scheduled for 29
November. Parties that have so far registered with the Central Electoral
Commission include the Social Democratic bloc, four liberal parties, the
Union of Democrats, the Peasant's Party, and Citizen's Action, an
alliance of the Citizen's Party and Green World Party. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUS TO FORM RAPID DEPLOYMENT FORCE. The 103rd airborne division in
Vitebsk and the 38th airborne brigade in Brest will form the basis of a
new rapid deployment force, high-ranking Ministry of Defense officials
told Interfax on 28 September. They said the new units will recruit only
volunteers and will deploy in helicopters, armored personnel carriers,
or "landing vessels." They added that since Belarus's new defensive
military doctrine does not require offensive units that can be deployed
at long range, the military's large transport aircraft will be sold. --
Doug Clarke

overruled President Lech Walesa's veto of the bill on pensions, which
foresees only one 2.5% increase in pensions next year. A failure to
override the veto could have meant that inflation would rise to some 30%
and the budget deficit would double. The president has one week to sign
the bill or send it to the Constitutional Tribunal. Observers point out
that there are some 9 million pensioners in Poland and that their votes
count in the upcoming presidential elections. -- Jakub Karpinski

presidential candidates were officially registered with the Central
Election Commission: incumbent President Lech Walesa; former prime
ministers Jan Olszewski and Waldemar Pawlak (who is also leader of the
Polish Peasant Party); party leaders Aleksander Kwasniewski (the
Democratic Left Alliance), Leszek Moczulski (the Confederation for an
Independent Poland), and Janusz Korwin-Mikke (the Union of Real
Politics); Polish National Bank President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz;
ombudsman Tadeusz Zielinski; former National Auditing Commission
President Lech Kaczynski; former Labor Minister Jacek Kuron; former
National Radio and Television Council Chairman Marek Markiewicz; metal-
worker Kazimierz Piotrowicz; cabaret performer Jan Pietrzak; businessman
Bogdan Pawlowski; business school rector Tadeusz Kozluk, and Beer
Lovers' Party activist Leszek Bubel. The deadline for registering was
midnight on 29 September. Two candidates are still waiting for their
registrations to be approved: radical peasant activist Andrzej Lepper
and radical nationalist Boleslaw Tejkowski. -- Jakub Karpinski

President Vaclav Havel on 1 October said he is against holding elections
to the Senate at the same time as next June's parliamentary elections.
The long-awaited creation of an 81-member Senate was approved by the
parliament on 27 September (see OMRI Daily Digest, 28 September 1995).
In his weekly radio talk, Havel welcomed the passing of the legislation
and said the Senate may not have extensive powers but it will be a
"significant constitutional safety fuse" as a second parliamentary
chamber. He admitted that holding the first Senate elections alongside
the regular parliamentary elections would be the cheapest solution but
argued that it would better fit the "logic of the constitutional system"
to hold them separately. He suggested that the Senate elections take
place six months after the parliamentary ballot. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK POLITICAL UPDATE. Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, in an interview
with Slovak Radio on 29 September, responded to the deepening conflict
between the Slovak Information Service and the police, highlighted by
SIS director Ivan Lexa's recent complaints to the attorney-general and
interior minister about the "criminal activities" of police officers
investigating the abduction of President Michal Kovac's son. Meciar
noted that "a certain tension" exists between the police and the SIS but
claimed he does not have enough information on the matter since the
investigators of the Kovac Jr. case "are informing the president but not
the interior minister or prime minister." Meciar said there is an effort
to find someone from the SIS guilty in order to trigger the removal of
his government, which since April has been responsible for appointing
and dismissing the SIS director. -- Sharon Fisher

took place in Slovakia on 29 September in memory of a Romani youth
murdered in July in Ziar nad Hronom, TASR reported the same day. Rock
bands taking part said the audience was protesting skinhead activities
and racial violence. Also on 29 September, Romani political activists in
both the Slovak and Czech republics met with government officials to
discuss possible legislation against racism. The next day, some 100
people, including Roma, demonstrated against fascism in Ceske
Budejovice. Police held back a group of about 60 skinhead observers. --
Alaina Lemon

an interview on 30 September that improving the economy will have to
take precedence over many leftist traditional values for some time,
Magyar Hirlap and international media reported. But Horn, who is facing
criticism from the left-wing of his party for introducing the toughest
austerity package of economic reforms in Hungary since 1989, said he was
not abandoning those values completely. He stressed that he had not
forgotten the concerns of the Left and that present measures were only
temporary. Horn, who was recently forced to abandon plans to appoint
trade union leader Sandor Nagy to the cabinet to avoid a coalition
split, said he was in favor of Nagy playing an important political role
in Hungary in the future. -- Zsofia Szilagyi


BOSNIAN ARMY READY FOR BANJA LUKA. Bosnian troops in Kljuc told AFP on 1
October that they are eager for a fight and to take the Bosnian Serb
stronghold of Banja Luka. Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic
told the French news agency that Serbs and Muslims might someday be able
to live together "like French and Germans" but that for now, he knew of
"no Serb man, woman, or child" who would live on "the same street" as
Muslims. From Sarajevo, the BBC on 30 September said that the road from
there to nearby Croatian-held Kiseljak would take about two weeks to
open because the Serbs had mined and booby-trapped it in preparation for
blowing it up. AFP on 1 October quoted UN sources as standing by their
report that the Bosnian Serbs fired the shell that hit a Sarajevo market
on 28 August. The Sunday Times and Voice of Russia had questioned that
finding. -- Patrick Moore

CEASEFIRE ELUDES HOLBROOKE. U.S. mediator Richard Holbrooke spent the
weekend shuttling between Sarajevo, Belgrade, Zagreb, Sofia, and back to
Sarajevo. The BBC reported on 30 September that he looked "tired and
frustrated." Holbrooke himself said that "all fundamental issues--
Sarajevo, Gorazde, constitutional questions--remain unresolved...[and
the sides are] very far apart." He noted that the Serbs and the Bosnian
government even have very different concepts of a ceasefire. The BBC on
2 October suggested that he encountered differences in Zagreb as well.
The VOA added, however, that Holbrooke at least publicly acknowledged
one of Croatia's main concerns--that eastern Slavonia is a key issue in
a complex peace process. Hina said that Foreign Minister Mate Granic
brought this point home to the UN on 30 September. -- Patrick Moore

offended Croatia and the Croatian army" is how Cardinal Franjo Kuharic,
the primate of Croatia, responded to reports of killings, lootings, and
torchings by Croatian troops in the former Serbian Krajina. Reuters on 1
October said he addressed an open-air mass for 3,500 soldiers and
officers at Marija Bistrica, adding that nothing justifies harming a
human being, regardless of his ethnic origin. The cardinal is highly
respected and was an outspoken critic of the war with the Muslims in
1992. Vecernji list the same day noted that three-quarters of the Roman
Catholic churches in Krajina were destroyed during Serbian rule, while
only 2.5% of Orthodox buildings met such a fate. -- Patrick Moore

...AS DO U.S. AND OTHERS. Mlada fronta dnes on 2 October said that the
EU has issued a report condemning "terror against civilians" by Croatian
troops in Krajina. Western news agencies reported that the Croatian
Helsinki Committee accused Croatian troops of killing 12 elderly Serbs
in the village of Varivode. Hina added on 30 September that John
Shattuck, U.S. assistant secretary of state for human rights issues,
called for an end to the "climate of impunity" in Krajina and "major
human rights abuses." He warned of "the imperative of ending all forms
of ethnic cleansing as part of this peace process." Croatian Interior
Minister Ivica Kostovic noted "isolated cases of burning and looting and
reports of the killings of civilians," adding that "Croatia will take
the most energetic steps without delay." -- Patrick Moore

Vojvodina Hungarians and the Democratic Community of Vojvodina
Hungarians--following a meeting with Hungarian Premier Gyula Horn,
President Arpad Goncz, and State Secretary Csaba Tabajdi on 29
September--have decided to work out a concept for autonomy, Magyar
Nemzet reported on 30 September. Horn said his government will raise
problems faced by the 300,000 ethnic Hungarians in Vojvodina at all
possible international forums to make sure their minority rights are not
neglected in the upcoming settlement of the conflict in the former
Yugoslavia. To date, disagreements between the two parties in Vojvodina
have blocked progress toward defending Hungarian minority rights in the
province. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

parliamentary Committee for International Relations has claimed that
owing to the deterioration in Slovenian-Italian relations, Slovenian
minority rights are endangered in Italy, Nasa Borba reported last week.
Meanwhile, Slovenia still has not resolved the demarcation of Adriatic
maritime borders with Croatia. Globus on 28 September reported that
Slovenia has proposed that it have complete control of the Gulf of
Piran, which would give it access to the sea. In return, Slovenia would
be prepared to make concessions in other Slovenian-Croatian disputes. It
has set 5 October as a deadline for Croatia to make a decision on the
proposal, but Zagreb is unlikely to agree in view of Croatian fishing
and shipping interests. -- Daria Sito Sucic

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT IN U.S. Ion Iliescu on 29 September was received in
Washington by U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Radio Bucharest reported. The
two leaders discussed bilateral relations, the situation in the Balkans,
and ecological issues. At the Romanian ambassador's residence in
Washington, Iliescu met with representatives of big commercial and
industrial firms. The next day, he visited the Boeing and Microsoft
companies in Seattle. Iliescu said he hoped Romania's partner firms in
the U.S. would lobby for his country to be granted permanent most-
favored-nation status. -- Dan Ionescu

Taracila and Jan Ruml on 29 September met in Bucharest to discuss police
cooperation in combating organized cross-border crime, Romanian
Television and CTK reported. Ruml said the number of illegal immigrants
in the Czech Republic from Romania has dropped sharply since 1992 and
that his ministry gives credit to the Czech-Romanian readmission
agreement, which allows for illegal immigrants to be returned to their
country of origin. Ruml was received the same day by Romanian Prime
Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, who noted that good relations between the two
countries are reflected in the economic sphere. -- Matyas Szabo

has said that Moldova is becoming a crossroads for illegal immigrants,
drug traffickers, and mercenaries heading to the former Yugoslavia,
Reuters reported on 28 September. According to Calmoi, about 5,000
people, mainly illegal immigrants from Islamic countries, were arrested
this year while trying to cross the Moldovan-Romanian border. He said
that a "big criminal syndicate" with connections in Russia, Ukraine, and
Romania is helping illegal groups to cross the Moldovan frontiers.
Calmoi said his ministry would strengthen ties with other former Soviet
republics to fight organized crime more efficiently. -- Matyas Szabo

UPDATE ON EU-BULGARIAN RELATIONS. According to Duma on 2 October, Prime
Minister Zhan Videnov rejected opposition accusations that his cabinet
had not made enough efforts to prevent Bulgaria from being included on
the EU's blacklist of countries posing a security or immigration threat
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 28 September 1995). According to Videnov, EU
diplomats had assured Sofia that Bulgaria's inclusion on the list was
"not acute for our country." Spain's ambassador to Bulgaria, Jorge
Fuentes, was quoted as saying that Spanish Prime Minister Felipe
Gonzalez has urged that Bulgaria be dropped from the list. Fuentes said
"there is no political or practical reason" for Bulgaria to be on the
list. -- Stefan Krause

Karolos Papoulias on 29 September accused Turkey of "attempting to
intimidate Greece" over the issue of the country's territorial waters,
Reuters reported the same day. In a speech to the UN General Assembly,
Papoulias said Turkish threats of war if Greece extends its territorial
waters from six to 12 miles are a direct violation of the UN charter,
which forbids the use of threats or force. He said that the guiding
principle of Greek foreign policy is to establish of good-neighborly
relations with all countries of the region but that Turkey "is following
a different approach in her policies vis-a-vis [Greece]." -- Stefan

[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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