The road uphill and the road downhill are one and the same. - Heraclitus
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 195, Part II, 6 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 PRESIDENT ON GROWING SUPPORT FOR LEFTIST FORCES. Leonid Kuchma
told a news conference on 4 October that large segments of the
population are showing support for the left-wing opposition, Radio
Ukraine reported on 4 October. But he noted that the growing popularity
of communists and socialists, mainly among pensioners, was more a
protest against declining living standards than support for communist
ideas. Kuchma blamed the fragmented legislature for delays in adopting
badly needed legislation, which he said have led to large economic
losses. He added that the parliament's failure to adopt a resolution
allowing implementation of a new tax code has caused the government to
lose a substantial amount of revenue. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINE, POLAND TO SET UP JOINT BATTALION. Ukrainian Defense Minister
Valerii Shmarov and his Polish counterpart, Zbigniew Okonski, have
signed a communique stating that Ukraine and Poland will set up a joint
peacekeeping battalion, Interfax and AFP reported on 5 October. The
battalion is expected to be operational by November 1996 and will carry
out peace missions within international bodies. Shmarov was on a two-day
visit to Poland to discuss a number of issues, including air defense,
border cooperation, and NATO's Partnership for Peace program. Both
defense ministers affirmed their commitment to closer military
cooperation and decided to meet at least every six months. -- Ustina
Markus

BELARUSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT TO RESOLVE DISPUTE OVER PRESIDENTIAL
DECREES. Belarusian Radio on 5 October reported that the Belarusian
Constitutional Court has begun considering the legality of the first of
six presidential decrees under scrutiny. The decree deals with the state
budget and temporary measures to reduce expenditures. The parliament
asked the court to review the decree since it considers that it, rather
than the president, has the authority to approve budgetary revenues and
expenditures. Interfax the previous day reported that parliamentary
speaker Mechyslau Hryb asked the Court to examine whether amendments to
the law on elections are constitutional. The parliament amended the
election law so that elections can be considered valid if 25% of the
electorate vote, instead of the previous 50%. President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka has opposed the change, saying a parliament could not have
deputies elected under two different election laws. -- Ustina Markus

POST-ELECTION COALITION FORMED IN LATVIA. Joachim Siegerist, leader of
the Popular Movement for Latvia, said on 5 October that he will support
the left-wing coalition led by Democratic Party Saimnieks chairman
Ziedonis Cevers, BNS reported. The two groups will have only 48 deputies
but are expected to gain either the support--tacit or otherwise--of the
Socialist Party to ensure the election of Cevers as prime minister.
Siegerist, who is a radical rightist, said he would have preferred
forming a coalition with the rightist National Bloc but that one of its
leaders For the Fatherland and Freedom chairman Maris Grinblats, had
rejected his proposal. -- Saulius Girnius

NEW ECONOMICS MINISTER IN LITHUANIA. President Algirdas Brazauskas on 5
October accepted the resignation of Aleksandras Vasiliauskas and
appointed Vytas Navickas as his replacement, BNS reported. Navickas
served as economics minister from April 1990 to May 1991 and since then
has been a deputy minister. He said that his ministry's primary task
will be the integration of the Lithuanian economy into Europe. --
Saulius Girnius

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER SUMS UP U.S. VISIT. Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, on
returning from New York on 5 October, said "we have great chances to
gain the status of nonpermanent member in the UN Security Council." The
Czech Republic's term as a nonpermanent member is drawing to a close,
and it is likely that Poland will be granted membership over Albania.
Asked about the appointment of a new ambassador to Russia, Bartoszewski
said the issue was still pending, Polish dailies reported on 6 October.
-- Dagmar Mroziewicz

SLOVAK PRESIDENT COMES UNDER INCREASING PRESSURE. Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar, addressing a sport stadium full of supporters (about
one half of whom were reportedly women over 40) on 5 October, said "the
nicest" way to remove President Michal Kovac would be to pass a law
ending his term in office, Pravda and TASR reported. If this does not
work, Meciar said, "we will consider a referendum." He added that the
issue "should be discussed in the parliament, on the streets, on town
squares, and at work." Culture Ministry spokeswoman Marta Podhradska, in
an interview with Slovak Radio on 5 October, admitted that her ministry
has called on state administration offices to sign a letter asking for
Kovac's resignation. The National Property Fund's executive committee
has also called on the president to resign. -- Sharon Fisher

HEAD OF SLOVAK GREENPEACE EXPELLED FROM CZECH REPUBLIC. Lubica
Trubiniova and several other Slovaks have been banned from entering the
Czech Republic for one year because they took part in a blockade on 1-3
October of the main entrance to the Czech nuclear plant Temelin, Pravda
and Lidove noviny reported on 6 October. Trubiniova was detained on 2
October and compelled to leave the country within 24 hours. She
described her punishment as "a clear tendency of the Czech state to
repress...public criticism about the government's decision to complete
the plant." Trubiniova alleged there has been no public discussion on
the project. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN STUDENTS STRIKE DEAL WITH GOVERNMENT. Hungary's students
struck a deal with Prime Minister Gyula Horn and Minister of Culture
Gabor Fodor on 5 October, Hungarian newspapers and international media
reported the next day. While the students accepted the need for basic
tuition fees, the government agreed to suspend plans to have additional
fees imposed by institutes of higher education. Paying for tuition is
part of the austerity package that has triggered protests across the
country this year. Tamas Bauer, leader of the Alliance of Free Democrats
(the junior coalition partner in the Socialist-led government) told
Hungarian TV on 5 October that he hoped the government would not give in
to pressure, "because then everyone will take to the streets with their
grievance." Meanwhile, Minister of Labor Magda Kovacs Kosane announced
her resignation on 5 October citing conflicts between the Finance
Ministry and the Labor Ministry over the former's proposal on sick pay,
Nepszabadsag reported. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN FOUNDATION AWARDED "ALTERNATIVE NOBEL PRIZE." A Hungarian
foundation that promotes Romani entrepreneurship in business,
agriculture, and education has received the 1995 Right Livelihood Award,
which will be officially presented on the eve of the Nobel prize
ceremonies, international media reported on 4 October. The Hungarian
Self-Reliance Foundation will share the $250,000 award with Serbian,
Thai, and Indonesian human rights organizations. The foundation aims to
help the many Roma who have lost work in recent years, offering them
opportunities to retrain and acquire basic legal and financial
knowledge. -- Alaina Lemon

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN CEASE-FIRE SIGNED. International media on 6 October reported
that an American-mediated cease-fire was signed the previous day. The
latest in a series of at least 35 truces was approved by Bosnian
President Alija Izetbegovic in Sarajevo and by Bosnian Serb leaders
Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic in Belgrade, with Serbian
President Slobodan Milosevic as a witness. Croatia is not a party but
accepted it. Fighting for last-minute advantages can continue until the
pact comes into force, which will be at 12:01 a.m. on 10 October, or, if
full gas and electricity supplies have not been restored to Sarajevo by
then, at 12:01 a.m. on the day after their restoration. It remains in
effect for 60 days or until a peace conference concludes, whichever is
later. Clear orders for implementation must be given to men in the
field, and civilians must be treated well and prisoners released. Roads
connecting Gorazde with Sarajevo and Belgrade will be reopened. --
Patrick Moore

CLINTON TO SPONSOR PEACE TALKS. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 6
October reported that the Bosnian government made a key concession by
abandoning its demand that Banja Luka be demilitarized. The
International Herald Tribune said that President Bill Clinton announced
"proximity talks" would begin in the U.S. on 25 October. Delegations of
"the warring parties" will sit in separate rooms while American
diplomats shuffle back and forth between them. The purpose will be to
finalize a settlement, including what amounts to a partition of the
ethnically mixed republic. A final treaty would then be signed in Paris.
-- Patrick Moore

UPBEAT REACTIONS TO CEASE-FIRE. Clinton on 5 October said that pact
marks "another solid step on the hard and hopeful road to peace,"
international media reported. Tanjug quoted Karadzic as saying it was
"another big step toward peace" and that, if it holds, it is "the
beginning of the end of the war." The International Herald Tribune cited
Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic as commenting "we will respect it,
and I also think the Serb side will respect it." Russian President Boris
Yeltsin pledged "active support for efforts at reaching a peace
settlement." -- Patrick Moore

OTHER BOSNIAN DEVELOPMENTS. Even before the cease-fire comes into
effect, representatives of the Contact Group, plus Italy, Spain, the
Netherlands, and Canada, meet in Rome on 6 October with delegates from
Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia to discuss postwar reconstruction. The
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted that Canada intends to withdraw its
peacekeeping contingent by the end of November. The UN Security Council
on 5 October warned both Croatia and Bosnia to provide better treatment
to Serbian civilians. And the Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA reported
that Bosnian Serb troops have recaptured Kljuc, but there is no
independent confirmation of the story. -- Patrick Moore

CONTRADICTORY REPORTS ON GLIGOROV'S CONDITION. Macedonian Radio on 5
October quoted the doctors attending Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov
as saying his condition is stable, Reuters reported the same day. Vecher
quoted one of the doctors as saying the results from the X-rays are good
and no operations are planned for the moment. Meanwhile, Bulgarian
Interior Minister Lyubomir Nachev said Gligorov's condition is "more
serious than has been officially announced and it is getting worse,"
according to RFE/RL. He added that Gligorov "is already blind in one eye
and his right arm has been amputated." "A tragic end is possible,"
Nachev commented following a meeting with Bulgarian intelligence chief
Brigo Asparuhov. -- Stefan Krause

MACEDONIA CHANGES FLAG. The Macedonian parliament on 5 October voted to
change the country's flag, international and Macedonian media reported.
The new flag, which depicts a sun with eight broad rays instead of the
16-point Star of Vergina, was approved by 110 legislators, with one vote
against and four abstentions. The nationalist Internal Macedonian
Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National
Unity called the adoption of the new flag "illegal." Under the Greek-
Macedonian accord signed on 13 September, Macedonia agreed to change its
flag and clarify parts of its constitution. Greece, for its part, will
lift its blockade on Macedonia. Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou
expressed his satisfaction at Macedonia's decision, saying he hopes
talks between Athens and Skopje will lead to closer ties. -- Stefan
Krause

OPPOSITION COALITION TO FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY IN CROATIA. Croatian media
have been reporting extensively on the election coalition of five
opposition parties, described by their leaders as "purely centist." The
coalition aims at protecting political pluralism and preventing only one
party--the ruling Croatian Democratic Unity (HDZ)--from running the
country (see OMRI Daily Digest, 29 September 1995). The coalition has to
receive at least 11% of votes to win seats in the parliament but its
leaders believe it will win at least 20%, Vjesnik reported on 4 October.
It is the first time that a key regional party, the Istrian Democratic
Union (IDS), has joined a national coalition. The IDS, which is highly
popular in Istria, previously rejected forming a coalition with the HDZ.
-- Daria Sito Sucic

ROW CONTINUES OVER ILIESCU'S REMARKS IN U.S. Presidential spokesman
Traian Chebeleu has rejected as "disqualifying, absurd, and trivial" the
attacks launched by Greater Romania Party (PRM) Chairman Corneliu Vadim
Tudor against Ion Iliescu (see OMRI Daily Digest, 5 October 1995). Radio
Bucharest quoted Chebeleu as saying that Tudor's overreaction was based
on misinterpreted and unverified reports in the U.S. press. He also said
that the president could not demean himself to respond to Tudor's
attacks. But he added that Romania's judicial organs have the duty to
defend the presidential institution. Also on 5 October, Tudor's party
expressed "stupefaction over the ultimatum" sent by the ruling Party of
Social Democracy in Romania that the PRM clarify its position. It also
threatened to denounce the alliance protocols with the ruling party. --
Dan Ionescu

ITALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS ROMANIA. Susanna Agnelli, on an official
visit to Romania on
4-5 October, discussed bilateral cooperation with her Romanian
counterpart, Teodor Melescanu, and met with President Ion Iliescu,
Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu, and the chairmen of the two houses of the
parliament, Radio Bucharest reported. The Romanian officials praised
Italy's support for Romania's admission into European structures. But
they raised the question of visa requirements for Romanian citizens
visiting Italy. Agnelli and Melescanu exchanged the instruments of
ratification for a Friendship and Cooperation Treaty between their
countries. -- Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN, HUNGARIAN NEWS AGENCIES TO COOPERATE. The state-run new
agencies Rompres and MTI have signed in Bucharest a cooperation
agreement, Radio Bucharest reported on 5 October. The agreement provides
for the exchange of news and services as well as professional assistance
to correspondents. MTI director-general Karoly Alexa said the Hungarian
public is interested in all news about Romania, not just that concerning
the Hungarian minority. He stressed that for this reason, it is
important to have a Hungarian correspondent in Bucharest and a Romanian
one in Budapest. The two news agencies are not allowed to interfere in
each other's reporting and, where necessary, will cite each other as
primary sources. -- Matyas Szabo

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT PROTESTS INCLUSION ON EU BLACKLIST. Bulgarian
deputies on 5 October protested the EU's decision to include Bulgaria on
the so-called "blacklist" of 101 countries for which visas are required,
RFE/RL and Reuters reported the same day. In an official declaration,
they said the decision was "discriminatory." Former Prime Minister Filip
Dimitrov of the Union of Democratic Forces said introducing such
requirements "is unfair and penalizes ordinary Bulgarians." He added
that including Bulgaria on the blacklist "only plays into the hand of
those skeptical about our integration into the EU." Bulgaria and Romania
are the only two East European countries with associate EU membership
that are on the list. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN BUSINESS BLOC FALLS APART. Three parliamentary deputies from
the Bulgarian Business Bloc on 5 October officially left the party and
its parliamentary caucus, Standart reported the following day. The BBB
has thus lost the status of parliamentary faction, since, with only nine
deputies, it is one short of the required minimum of 10 legislators. The
three deputies said they disagreed with the politics of the party's
leadership and accused their colleagues of "infantilism and immorality."
Over the past few months, BBB deputies had repeatedly threatened to
leave the caucus. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ADDRESSES UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Alfred Serreqi,
speaking at the 50th session of the UN General Assembly on 3 October,
focused most of his remarks on the conflicts in the Balkan region, ATA
reported the same day. "The tragedy of the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina
is due to Belgrade's desire for the creation of a greater Serbia," he
said. Serreqi also condemned Serbian police terrorism against the
majority Albanian population of Kosovo. "A tragedy of unprecedented
scale will erupt in Kosova unless Belgrade authorities are subjected to
international pressure to halt their policy of confrontation," he noted.
He praised Kosovar Albanian leaders, saying it was their policy of
peaceful resistance that had largely succeeded in so far averting
conflict in the province. -- Stan Markotich

TURKISH PREMIER-DESIGNATE ANNOUNCES NEW CABINET. Tansu Ciller on 5
October won presidential approval for a minority government
conditionally supported by two small right-wing parties, the Nationalist
Action Party (MHP) and Democratic Left Party (DSP), international and
Turkish media reported the same day. In order to win a vote of
confidence, Ciller is counting on the support of nine independent
deputies and 14 renegades from the Motherland Party and Republican
Peoples Party, Milliyet reported the next day. The new cabinet is drawn
entirely from the ranks of Ciller's True Path Party. Both the MHP and
DSP have made their support conditional on Ciller's successful
resolution of an ongoing strike by 350,000 public sector workers. --
Lowell Bezanis

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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