The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. - Dostoevsky
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 196, Part II, 9 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

NO OFFICIAL NATO DECISION ON POSTPONING ENLARGEMENT. Following East
European and Russian media reports on 6 October that NATO defense
ministers, meeting in Williamsburg on 5-6 October, decided to postpone
making a decision on enlargement until January 1997, a NATO source on 9
October said such a decision can be made only by NATO foreign ministers,
international agencies reported. While there has been no such official
decision, most experts believe that NATO will not decide on enlargement
before the Russian and U.S. presidential elections in 1996. A new U.S.
president would not take office before January 1997. -- Michael Mihalka
and Dagmar Mroziewicz

CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE AGREES ON NEW MEMBERS. The Central European
Initiative, convening in Warsaw on 7 October, agreed to accept Albania,
Belarus, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine as members at a foreign
minister's conference in early 1996. international agencies reported.
The group urged the international community to support post-war
reconstruction of Bosnia and Croatia. Some members, including Italy and
Slovenia, initially opposed enlargement because they felt it would
divert the group from one of its initial purposes--to facilitate
membership to such West European institutions as the EU. -- Michael
Mihalka and Dagmar Mroziewicz

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT TAKES CONTROL OF NATIONAL GUARD. Leonid Kuchma, in a
decree issued on 7 October, has taken "operational control" of the
National Guard, Ukrainian TV reported. The decree said the move was to
ensure the efficient use of the guard in "protecting Ukraine's
sovereignty and territorial integrity, the lives and personal dignity of
[its] citizens, and their constitutional rights and freedom from
criminal infringements." ITAR-TASS estimated the guard to number some
40,000 and added that in late January, some units were subordinated to
the Interior Ministry. It noted that while Ukrainian law banned the use
of the armed forces in dealing with internal conflicts, the National
Guard could be employed to this end. -- Doug Clarke

UKRAINIAN ECONOMIC ROUNDUP. President Leonid Kuchma has issued a decree
setting up a special presidential consultative council on banking
activities, Ukrainian TV reported 6 October. The council, to be headed
by National Bank of Ukraine chairman Viktor Yushchenko, will coordinate
the activities of the government, the National Bank, and commercial
banks. Interfax-Ukraine, citing a Statistics Ministry official on 7
October, reported that monthly inflation in Ukraine jumped to 14.2% in
September. The highest increase occurred in the service sector, where
prices rose 24.6%. In other news, the Ukrainian parliament on 6 October
voted to approve a new law on privatization of agriculture-related
industry, which will provide farmers with a majority stake in most
enterprises, Interfax-Ukraine reported the same day. The legislation
stipulates that 51% of shares in food-processing plants and other
agricultural firms be transferred at no cost to farms that supply them
with produce. The rest can then be sold to farms or employees for
privatization vouchers or money. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUS TO RESUME CFE REDUCTIONS. Russian Public Television and Interfax
on 7 October reported that Belarus will resume reducing conventional
weapons in accordance with the CFE treaty on 15 October. President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka in February ordered that the dismantling of
weapons be stopped because of financial difficulties. Since then,
Germany and the U.S. have promised $230 million in aid. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN, LITHUANIAN INFLATION RISES IN SEPTEMBER. The Estonian
Statistics Department announced that the consumer price index increased
by 2.1% in September, compared with only 0.6% in August, BNS reported on
6 October. The cost of services and goods rose 2.4% and 1.8% (1.9% for
food and 1.6% for manufactured goods). In Lithuania, inflation in
September was 2%, compared with only 0.4% in August. The cost of food
increased by 2.4%, while clothing rose by 3.3%, medical services by
2.4%, and rent and fuel by 0.4%. In the first nine months of the year,
the consumer price index increased 20.8% in Estonia and 22.6% in
Lithuania. -- Saulius Girnius

DEPOSITORS OF BANKRUPT LATVIAN BANKS RECEIVE COMPENSATION. A Latvian
Finance Ministry spokesman has said that some depositors of the bankrupt
Latvijas Tautas Banka and Banka Baltija have received partial
compensation for deposits lost in the banks, BNS reported on 7 October.
The compensation was limited to a maximum of 200 lati ($375); 526
depositors with LTB received a total of 76,523 lati and 2,824 with Banka
Baltija 494,249 lati. Former BB president Talis Freimanis, charged with
misappropriation of bank funds and sabotage, was released from prison
and placed under house arrest on 5 October, primarily due to poor
health. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENT SENDS BILL ON PENSIONS TO CONSTITUTIONAL TRIBUNAL. Lech
Walesa has sent the bill on pensions to the Constitutional Tribunal,
after the Sejm on 29 September overruled his veto (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 2 October 1995). Under the new bill, pension increases in 1996
would be pegged to prices instead of wages. Pensions are expected to
increase by 19.5% (2.5% over the inflation rate, estimated at 17%). The
president said it is unjust to keep public sector wages at 5.5% above
the inflation rate, while pensions exceed it by only 2.5%, Polish
dailies reported on 7 October. -- Jakub Karpinski and Dagmar Mroziewicz

CZECH PRESIDENT VETOES EXTENSION OF SCREENING LAW. Vaclav Havel on 6
October returned to the Czech parliament the extension to the screening
law it passed nine days earlier (see OMRI Daily Digest, 28 September
1995). Havel, in an article in Mlada fronta dnes on 7 October, argued
that extending the law to the year 2000 was premature, since the current
law is not due to expire until the end of 1996. The lustration law,
which bans former secret police agents and high communist officials from
public office, was adopted in 1991 as a protective measure during
revolutionary times, Havel wrote. Extending it could suggest that the
Czech Republic has been unable to create a normal system of rule of law
since then. Leaders of governing parties said they will submit the law
to a re-vote. Overturning a presidential veto requires 101 votes in the
200-member parliament. -- Steve Kettle

PRO-GOVERNMENT DAILY ON SLOVAK PRESIDENT'S BANK ACCOUNT. Slovenska
Republika, owned by Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), on 7 October published a copy of a bank
statement for Michal Kovac's alleged Austrian account showing assets of
over 23 million schillings ($2.3 million). In an accompanying
commentary, Jan Smolec, the paper's editor-in-chief and an HZDS deputy,
said he had received the bank statement by fax. But in a statement
released to TASR that same day, Kovac denied that he had ever opened
such an account. He said if the money really exists, he will withdraw it
immediately and distribute it to Slovak orphanages. Kovac also said he
will file suit against the daily's publisher and Smolec. In other news,
according to a Sme report on 9 October, Vladimir Lamacka has been
removed from his post as director of the police investigation
department. Lamacka was recently criticized by Slovak Information
Service director Ivan Lexa for his handling of the investigation of the
abduction of Kovac's son. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PREMIER REJECTS LABOR MINISTER'S RESIGNATION. Gyula Horn has
rejected the resignation of Labor Minister Magda Kosa-Kovacs, who
explained her decision by citing differences of opinion with other
ministers over the government's social welfare policy, Hungarian
newspapers reported on 7 October. Hungary's Finance Ministry wanted to
extend the period for which employers must pay employees sick leave to
25 days from the current 10 days, which the Constitutional Court
declared unconstitutional. Kosa-Kovacs's compromise proposal of 15 days
was rejected at a cabinet meeting, after which she submitted her
resignation. The Socialist Party asked Kosa-Kovacs to reconsider her
resignation and said it would review the controversial decree once
again. She is the fifth member of the socialist-liberal coalition to
have stepped down in the last 15 months. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN ANTI-ROMANI, ANTI-SEMITIC PAMPHLETEER PROSECUTED. A youth who
published anti-Romani and anti-Semitic pamphlets and sold them to
skinheads has been brought to trial for inciting hatred against
minorities in Hungary, MTI reported on 8 October. The prosecutor said
that the boy, aged 17, was a high school student in Eger who produced
the leaflets on a computer, cut and pasted racist newspaper articles,
sprinkled them with quotes from fascist leaders, and added his own
articles. He was aided by a young girl who copied the pamphlets on a
machine at her mother's office. Both are being tried at a juvenile
court. -- Alaina Lemon

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBS SHELL REFUGEE CAMP TWICE. Bosnian Serb forces shelled the Zivinice
refugee camp just south of Tuzla on 8 and 9 October and the northern
Bosnian village of Tesnjaka on 8 October. The combined death toll is 17,
with an additional 100 wounded. The Serbs attacked at least seven places
in northwest Bosnia on 9 October in what Reuters described as an "armor
and infantry [offensive] across a broad front." Reacting to the shelling
of Zivinice, President Alija Izetbegovic called the Serbs "terrorists"
and demanded that NATO knock out the Serbian guns responsible. Planes of
the Atlantic alliance attempted a strike during the night but turned
back because of bad weather. NATO spokesmen said they would try again,
and Izetbegovic said his government might leave the "peace process" if
they did not. -- Patrick Moore

SACIRBEY PRAISES COMMON MUSLIM, CROATIAN INTERESTS. Bosnian Foreign
Minister Muhamed Sacirbey told Vecernji list on 9 October that the
Muslims and Croats are not engaged in a marriage of convenience but that
they have key mutual interests and will continue to have them once the
war is over. He noted that Croatia and Bosnia will "go into Europe"
together and that Serbia and Montenegro have degenerated into "new
fascism." The vitality of the alliance was shown again on the
battlefield over the weekend, and AFP reported that Bosnian and Croatian
forces were fighting in a joint action at Bosanska Krupa. Novi list on 7
October quoted Croatian President Franjo Tudjman as confirming that
regular Croatian troops are still in Bosnia. Vjesnik on 9 October said
that the Bosnian army has requested the help of Bosnian Croat forces.
The paper also quoted UN sources as denying Serbian reports that Kljuc
had fallen to Bosnian Serb troops. Serbian propaganda has been trying
doggedly to discredit the Croatian-Muslim alliance. -- Patrick Moore

BELGRADE WELCOMES LATEST CEASEFIRE DEAL. Rump Yugoslav state-run and
pro-government media report that officials have welcomed the latest
Bosnia ceasefire accord, signed on 5 October and slated to go into
effect on 10 October. Politika Ekspres on 6 October lauded Serbian
President Milosevic's "decisive" role in the process, observing that
"Milosevic was the first one to put his signature on this historic
agreement." Tanjug the following day quoted Socialist Party of Serbia
spokesman Ivica Dacic as saying the accord was regarded by his party as
a step toward lasting peace in Bosnia. Montenegrin Premier Milo
Djukanovic, quoted by Serbian Radio on 6 October, added his voice to the
list of officials backing the accord, saying it was "encouraging." --
Stan Markotich

MONTENEGRIN PREMIER CRITICAL OF BELGRADE. Milo Djukanovic on 6 October
criticized federal rump Yugoslav authorities for their alleged failure
to honor commitments to deliver fuel supplies and for running up debts
on the republic's pension fund, AFP reported that same day. The report
suggests this is yet another move on the part of the Montenegrin premier
to distance his republic from Serbia and that the premier may in effect
be announcing his intention "to play a more active role in the foreign
policy of the region." But Djukanovic's ambitions may be counterbalanced
by Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic, who has given no sign of
wanting or aiming to rupture ties with Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic. -- Stan Markotich

MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT'S CONDITION SAID TO BE IMPROVING. Vecher on 9
October reported that Kiro Gligorov is conscious and received visits
from his family and state officials over the weekend. Macedonian Radio
had reported two days earlier that Gligorov's condition was improving,
adding that his respiratory system is functioning normally and the
condition of his right eye is "satisfactory." Medical sources said a
team of French ophthalmologists arrived in Skopje on 8 October to
examine him further and prepare for a second operation. Meanwhile, a
second person--Hristo Hristomanov, a minister of agriculture in
socialist Macedonia--died on 7 October from injuries sustained in the
assassination attempt, Nova Makedonija reported on 9 October. No one has
yet claimed responsibility for 3 October car bomb. Experts from the
U.S., Great Britain, and Germany have arrived in Macedonia to help with
the investigation. -- Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN, HUNGARIAN PREMIERS MEET IN WARSAW. Nicolae Vacaroiu and Gyula
Horn, meeting on the weekend in Warsaw, where both attended a meeting of
the Central European Initiative, agreed to set up a joint commission to
examine educational reform, which has been the subject of an ongoing
dispute between Bucharest and Budapest. Radio Bucharest said the joint
commission will review the question of minority-language education in
the two countries and reveal its conclusions at Romanian-Hungarian
summit meetings. In a related development, Evenimentul zilei on 7
October quoted Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca as saying Hungary and
Romania will join NATO at the same time, because the "security interests
of the region" require such joint action. Tinca made the declaration
upon returning from Budapest. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT LEADS OPINION POLL. A public opinion poll conducted
for the Soros Foundation by the Institute for Research on the Quality of
Life shows President Ion Iliescu and the Party of Social Democracy in
Romania (PDSR), with which he is closely associated, are well ahead of
their political rivals. Iliescu was backed by 38% of the respondents,
followed by Emil Constantinescu of the Democratic Convention of Romania
(CDR), with only 16%. The PDSR was supported by 34% of the respondents
and the CDR by 21%. The poll was conducted from 15-22 September among a
representative sample of 1,175 and the results published in Adevarul on
7 October. Presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for
autumn 1996. -- Michael Shafir

IS DISPUTE BETWEEN ILIESCU, EXTREMISTS SUBSIDING? Evenimentul zilei on 7
October reported that the two sides involved in the conflict over
remarks attributed to President Ion Iliescu about extreme nationalist
leaders Corneliu Vadim Tudor and Gheorghe Funar (see OMRI Daily Digest,
5 and 6 October 1995) are seeking to play down the issue. Tudor, who is
leader of the Greater Romania Party (PRM), said at a press conference on
6 October that despite some criticism, his party considered Iliescu's
visit to the U.S a success. But he accused several of Iliescu's close
associates of misleading the president. Funar, leader of the Party of
Romanian National Unity, said he was still expecting a clarification of
the president's remark that he and Tudor acted in "Zhirinovsky-like
manner." Meanwhile, Oliviu Gherman, the chairman of the Party of Social
Democracy in Romania (PDSR), denied that his party's reaction to Tudor's
attacks on Iliescu was "an ultimatum." In a related development, the
Democratic Convention of Romania said it was willing to collaborate with
the PDSR if it renounced its alliance with the extremists. -- Michael
Shafir

BULGARIA RESTARTS NUCLEAR PLANT, DESPITE INTERNATIONAL PROTESTS.
Bulgaria on 6 October reconnected Reactor No. 1 of the Kozloduy nuclear
power plant to the country's electricity network, AFP reported the
following day. The EU environment ministers criticized the decision,
saying they will express formal disapproval at the Pan-European
conference of environment ministers in Sofia later this month. An EU
official was quoted by Reuters as saying that the decision to reconnect
the reactor "will pose big problems for the Sofia meeting." Standart on
9 October reported that the German and French environment ministers,
Angela Merkel and Corinne Lepage, have threatened to boycott the
meeting. -- Stefan Krause

STATE DEPARTMENT PROTESTS ALBANIAN JUDGE'S DISMISSAL. The U.S. State
Department has sent a fax to Albanian President Sali Berisha protesting
dismissal of Supreme Court Judge Zef Brozi, DITA reported on 8 October.
This is the second time within one week that the State Department has
denounced the Albanian parliament's decision to remove Brozi. The fax
reportedly states that the parliament's decision is illegal and
"evidence" offered by the Albanian government to justify the move is
unconvincing. -- Fabian Schmidt

NEW ALBANIAN MONARCHIST PARTY FOUNDED. A breakaway faction of the
monarchist Legality Movement on 6 October--the 100th anniversary of King
Ahmet Zogu's birthday founded a new party--the National Party of
Legality, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 7 October. Abdi Baleta, one of
the former leaders and founders of the Democratic Party of the Right
(PDD), participated in the founding meeting. Baleta lost his post in the
PDD during a political struggle with his former party co-founder Petrit
Kalakulla at the party's congress in May. -- Fabian Schmidt

[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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