Be willing to have it so; acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. - William James
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 194, Part II, 5 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

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN GAS DEBT. Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Foreign Economic
Relations Viktor Halushka has said that Ukraine's debt to Gazprom for
this year will reach $1 billion and can be repaid only with credits from
international financial institutions, ITAR-TASS reported on 4 October.
Ukraine's debt to Gazprom stood at $173.9 million at the end of last
month. It was reported over that summer that Ukraine was meeting its
obligations with the help of international credits, but this latest
report means it is once again slipping into debt. In order to forestall
any drastic increases in the debt, Ukrhazprom President Mykhailo
Matsyalko ordered regional gas distributors not to begin issuing
supplies until past debts have been settled. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT EXPRESSES CONDOLENCES OVER BALLOON DEATHS. ITAR-
TASS reported that Alyaksandr Lukashenka appeared on Belarusian
Television on 3 October saying "we are very sorry and share the
bereavement of the relatives of the American fliers who lost their lives
in Belarusian air space." The statement came a day after Lukashenka
claimed the military was not responsible for the incident (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 4 October 1994). Lukashenka also said that while Belarus
did not deny responsibility, much of the blame lay with the balloon
competition organizers for failing to properly inform Belarusian air
control services of the possibility of balloons flying over Belarusian
air space. -- Ustina Markus

LATVIA'S WAY GAINS ADDITIONAL PARLIAMENT SEAT. The Central Election
Commission told RFE/RL on 4 October that after counting votes from
abroad, there has been a slight change in the composition of the Latvian
Saeima. Latvia's Way has another seat, raising its total to 18, and thus
occupies first place with the Democratic Party Saimnieks. Latvia's
Socialist Party lost one seat, reducing its share to five. The same day,
the left of center DPS, the National Concord Party, and Latvia's Unity
Party agreed to form a coalition (with 32 deputies) and proposed DPS
leader Ziedonis Cevers as prime minister, BNS reported. -- Saulius
Girnius

LITHUANIA WANTS NEW WAR CRIMES TREATY WITH U.S. A spokesman for
Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas said on 4 October that lawyers
will travel to the US next month to discuss a new treaty providing for
the extradition of war crime suspects, Reuters reported. The matter was
prompted by a recent Lithuanian government cable asserting that the 70-
year-old extradition treaty with the U.S. is "not legally effective" in
the case of 88-year-old Aleksandras Lileikis. Federal prosecutors are
attempting to strip Lileikis of U.S. citizenship and deport him to
Lithuania to face charges of turning over thousands of Jews to Nazi
executioners from 1941-1944 when he was a secret police chief in
Vilnius. -- Saulius Girnius

POLAND NO LONGER NEEDS IMF SUPPORT. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance
Minister Grzegorz Kolodko, at a press conference on 4 October, said
Poland no longer needs financial support from the IMF because its
economy is doing well. He said he believed that the budget deficit will
not exceed the level for EU member states stipulated by the Maastricht
Treaty. Head of IMF Representative Office in Poland Markus Rodlauer says
that although the Poland's economy is improving, the chief threat to
stabilization is inflation (which increased by 23.8% over the past
twelve months) and its large foreign debt. The IMF is willing to help
Poland by offering consultations and advise on how to keep down
inflation, Polish dailies reported on 5 October. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

CZECH GOVERNMENT APPROVES CHANGES TO BANKRUPTCY LAW. The Czech
government on 4 October approved changes to the country's bankruptcy law
that are intended to speed up liquidation proceedings, Hospodarske
noviny reported. Justice Minister Jiri Novak said the present law,
adopted in 1993, is too rigid. Under the new proposals, fewer indebted
firms will be able to request protection against creditors' demands than
at present. In 1993, some 1,100 creditors requested that a firm to be
declared bankrupt; in 1,994, the figure was 1800 and up to the end of
July this year, 1,350. But the number of companies declared bankrupt,
though rising, is small: 60 in 1993, 288 in 1994, and this year 393.
Thousands of cases are still being processed by the courts. -- Steve
Kettle

REACTIONS TO STATEMENT ON SLOVAK NEUTRALITY. Miroslav Spejl of the
opposition Social Democratic Party, at a press conference on 4 October,
reacted to statements by Slovak National Party (SNS) Chairman Jan Slota
rejecting NATO membership (see OMRI Daily Digest, 4 October 1995). Spejl
said that because "no one knows what will happen to the east of our
border or to the south of the Hungarian border," Slovakia has no choice
but to look for partners who "would help [the country] to ensure its
security." Defense Ministry spokesman Frantisek Kosicky also discounted
Slota's statements. "Slovakia does not have historical experiences with
neutrality, and the government clearly stated in its program declaration
its aim to gain membership in NATO," Kosicky told Pravda. According to
Kosicky, NATO is the "most effective existing security organization."
Likewise, Foreign Ministry spokesman Juraj Matejovsky said "Slovakia's
foreign policy orientation toward membership in NATO is unchangeable."
-- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK ECONOMIC UPDATE. A Statistical Office report published in TASR on
3 October showed that inflation rose 0.5% in August, reaching an annual
rate of 9.8%. The unemployment rate was 13.3% at the end of August, and
the trade surplus grew to 1.4 billion koruny. The state budget deficit
was 943 million koruny. In other news, according to Sme on 3 October,
31,743 of the approximately 3.5 million Slovaks who registered to
participate in the second wave of coupon privatization asked for a
refund by the 30 September deadline. The coupon program, which had been
organized by the previous government, was canceled by the parliament in
September. The new program involves bonds that will be redeemable in
five years. Meanwhile, Slovak arms producers on 4 October held their
first meeting under the new entity Holding, which was established to
help rejuvenate the industry. Former Finance Minister Julius Toth was
elected president of Holding's board of directors, TASR reported. --
Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY TO SUPPORT ROMANIA'S NATO MEMBERSHIP. Hungarian Defense Minister
Gyorgy Keleti, at a joint news conference with his visiting Romanian
counterpart, Gheorghe Tinca, said Hungary will support Romania's
membership in NATO if Romania meets NATO conditions, including the
settlement of minority issues, Hungarian and international media
reported on 5 October. President Arpad Goncz said it was in Hungary's
interests that Romania joins the EU and that both countries join at the
same "historical moment," Magyar Nemzet reported. The defense ministers
two days previously signed a joint statement on progress achieved to
date in East European military cooperation and agreed to further
strengthen their military ties, which they hope will contribute to
consolidating relations between the two countries. A key treaty between
Budapest and Bucharest has been delayed due to differences over the
minority rights of the more than 1.6 million ethnic Hungarians in
Transylvania. -- Zsofia Szilagyi and Matyas Szabo

HUNGARIAN STUDENTS PROTEST OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT. An estimated 10,000
university students on 4 October took part in an all-night vigil outside
the parliament building to protest the introduction of additional
tuition fees, Hungarian newspapers reported the next day. The students
originally demanded that the new monthly 2,000 forint ($15) tuition fees
be postponed for one year, but following talks with the education
authorities, they withdrew that demand. At the same time, they remain
firmly opposed to any additional tuition fees. According to a ministry
decree, institutions of higher education can charge up to 8,000 forint
($60) a month. When the government announced the fees in March as part
of a controversial austerity package, officials said the country could
no longer afford free higher education. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

UPDATE ON MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT'S CONDITION. Two days after the attempt
on his life, Kiro Gligorov is still in a serious and "delicate"
condition, according to international agencies. An official statement
says his situation is stable but he remains in intensive care following
a six-hour operation in which shrapnel and two blood clots were removed
from his brain. According to unconfirmed reports, Gligorov lost his
right eye. Macedonian Radio on 4 October said surgeons were fighting to
save his sight. Western diplomats were cited as saying they do not
expect Gligorov to return to office even if he recovers. Meanwhile,
about 150 people have been questioned in connection with the
assassination attempt and some detained, AFP reported. There is
speculation that extreme Macedonian nationalists may have planted the
bomb to protest the Greek-Macedonian accord, which provides for a change
of the Macedonian flag and parts of the constitution. -- Stefan Krause

ACTING MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT NAMED. Parliamentary chairman Stojan Andov--
who is also head of the Liberal Party, the second largest force in the
governing coalition--was named acting president of Macedonia on 4
October, Flaka reported the following day. According to the Macedonian
Constitution, the parliamentary chairman takes over as acting president
if the elected president dies, resigns, or is incapacitated. The
constitution also stipulates that presidential elections must take place
within 40 days if the elected president's mandate is terminated for
whatever reason. The New York Times on 5 October cited U.S. diplomat
Victor Comas as saying Andov is pro-Western and committed to a market
economy. The same report, however, quotes unnamed diplomats and
Macedonian sources as saying that Andov lacks Gligorov's "political
wisdom, flexibility, and popularity." -- Stefan Krause

MACEDONIAN POLITICIANS PLEDGE CONTINUITY. Macedonian Foreign Minister
Stevo Crvenkovski on 4 October said the attempt on Gligorov will not
mean a change in Macedonian politics, AFP reported the same day.
Crvenkovski, addressing the UN General Assembly, called the attempt a
"deliberate political act" aimed at destabilizing the country. He said
it would not "under any circumstances force us to change our course" of
democratization and good relations with all neighbors. Meanwhile, the
first round of direct Greek-Macedonian talks ended in Athens on 4
October without concrete results but in a "constructive atmosphere,"
according to both sides. Talks will resume in Skopje on 10 October. --
Stefan Krause

NATO JETS HIT SERBIAN MISSILE SITES. International media reported on 4
October that NATO jets hit Bosnian Serb radar and SAM sites in southern
and central Bosnia in the first such action since air strikes were
suspended on 20 September. The pilots found that the Serbs had locked
onto them while the jets were on a routine patrol to enforce the "no-fly
zone." Nikola Koljevic, the Bosnian Serb "vice president," told Reuters
that the attacks were "a definite step back in the peace process."
Meanwhile on the diplomatic front, U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke said he
had a "serious proposal" from the Bosnian government for a ceasefire but
gave no details. Sarajevo and Pale have very different understandings of
what a truce would involve. -- Patrick Moore

BATTLEFIELD UPDATE. Both the Serbs and the Bosnian government reported
success at the front on 4 October. Slobodna Dalmacija the following day
said that Serbian forces were continuing their counteroffensive in
western Bosnia and that fighting was particularly intense around Otoka
and Bosanska Krupa along the Una River between Bihac and the Croatian
border. Bosnian government troops of the Mostar-based Fourth Corps
reported that they had driven the Serbs off key heights near the
Sarajevo-Trnovo road and were controlling the road between Konjic and
Kalinovik, the home town of Bosnian Serb commander General Ratko Mladic,
news agencies said. -- Patrick Moore

MONTENEGRIN NEWS. Montena-fax on 4 October reported that the previous
day some 25 tons of humanitarian aid from Russia, consisting largely of
medical supplies, arrived in Podgorica. In other news, ATA reported that
Albanian officials on 1 October detained a tanker carrying some 9,000
liters of contraband fuel destined for Montenegro. This last seizure
brings the total amount of smuggled fuel seized over the past two months
to some 50,000 liters. -- Stan Markotich

CROATIAN AUTHORITIES CLOSE DOWN BILINGUAL SCHOOLS. Croatian media have
recently been reporting extensively on the Ministry of Education's
decision in late September to replace the two-language curriculum of
three secondary schools in Zagreb with a one-language curriculum. In
explaining this decision, which encountered bitter reactions from
students, parents, and teachers, the ministry said the schools were
"experimental" but that the experiment had failed. Critics suspect that
the real reason for the decision is a myopic attempt at combatting the
brain drain of a country that lives from tourism, shipping, and emigre
remittances. The head of one school who supported the two-language
curriculum was accused of manipulating the students for political
reasons and was fired, Novi list reported on 5 October. Minister of
Education Ljilja Vokic has stressed that the Croatian authorities want
to have strong control over the country's education system. -- Daria
Sito Sucic

DIFFICULTIES FACED BY CROATIAN SERB REFUGEES. According to recent
Serbian media reports, between 6,000 and 7,000 Croatian Serb refugees
want to return home but are prevented from doing so by bureaucratic
wranglings. The Serbian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has stopped issuing
collective passports for refugees, while the Croatian Government Office
in Belgrade, which handles humanitarian issues, claims it has no
instructions from Zagreb on how to deal with refugees wanting to return.
Meanwhile, the Croatian government has set a deadline for those who have
left to come back and claim their property. In related news, Croatia's
admission into the Council of Europe, as well as EU post-war aid to
Croatia, has been made conditional on the resolution of the problem of
the refugees and their property. The UN Security Council on 4 October
expressed its "deepest concern" about the status of Croatian Serb
refugees, Novi List reported on 5 October. -- Daria Sito Sucic

ROMANIAN RULING PARTY RESPONDS TO EXTREMISTS. The Party of Social
Democracy in Romania (PDSR), in a 4 October letter addressed to the
leadership of the chauvinistic Greater Romania Party (PRM), has
denounced the recent "attacks of unprecedented virulence" launched by
PRM Chairman Corneliu Vadim Tudor against President Ion Iliescu. In a
pamphlet published with the PRM mouthpiece Romania mare, Tudor accused
Iliescu of being "a brash dictator" and a "protector of impertinent
Zionists." He also commented that the president has "delivered the
country to the Jews." Tudor's reaction was provoked by Iliescu's
statement during his recent visit to the U.S. that Tudor and Gheorghe
Funar, the leader of the Party of Romanian National Unity, were
"Romanian Zhirinovskys." The PDSR's letter, which was broadcast by Radio
Bucharest, stressed that Tudor's attacks have ""seriously affected"
cooperation between the two parties. -- Dan Ionescu

ROMANIANS SEEK FREE MOVEMENT WITHIN EU. Lazar Comanescu, a spokesman for
the Romanian Foreign Ministry, has said Romania insists on unrestricted
travel within the EU for its citizens, Radio Bucharest reported on 4
October. He said Romania will bring up this issue at all talks with EU
representatives by pointing to the principle of equal treatment and
opportunities for all EU associate members. Jacques Santier, president
of the European Commission, has stressed the necessity to find a
solution to this problem, Comanescu added. Comanescu's statement was an
indirect response to the EU's recent decision to extend visa
requirements to Romania, along with some other 100 countries blacklisted
as posing a security or immigration threat to the EU. -- Matyas Szabo

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT APPEALS FOR RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS. The
Moldovan parliament has asked that diplomatic efforts be stepped up in
order to free the members of the so-called "Ilascu group" from a
Tiraspol jail, BASA-press and Infotag reported on 4 October. The four
men were sentenced to various prison terms for allegedly committing
terrorists acts during the 1992 armed conflict between Moldova and the
breakaway Dniester region. The parliament resolution, which denounces
the "mediaeval practices" of the Dniester authorities, was adopted at
the initiative of the opposition Christian Democratic Popular Front. The
front's leaders have repeatedly accused the Chisinau government of
failing to drum up international support for liberating the four
political prisoners. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIA REAFFIRMS INTENTION TO RESTART NUCLEAR REACTOR. RFE/RL and
Bulgarian newspapers report that Bulgaria has officially reaffirmed its
intention to restart the controversial Reactor No. 1 at the Kozloduy
nuclear power plant despite international objections. Director of the
Bulgarian Atomic Energy Agency Yanko Yanev said an agreement has been
reached with the International Atomic Energy Agency to shut off the unit
after the winter for further examination. Deputy Prime Minister and
Minister of Trade Kiril Tsochev met with the EU's representative to
Bulgaria to deliver Bulgaria's official position on the issue. The
official statement says that Bulgaria is one of the few countries that
has a legal framework regulating the use of atomic energy and has
ratified the convention on nuclear safety. Bulgarian papers cited
Tsochev as saying he wishes France "would not conduct nuclear tests in
Muroroa and then take on problems like our reactor." -- Stefan Krause

[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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