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

No. 197, Part II, 10 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

PHYSICAL ASSUALT ON FORMER CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER. Serhii Tsekov,
former speaker of the Crimean legislature, was beaten up on 9 October as
he and his wife were leaving their Simferopol apartment building, RFE/RL
and Interfax-Ukraine reported the same day. Tsekov suffered two broken
ribs, bruises, and a head injury. Representatives of the Republican
Party of Crimea, who favor the region's secession from Ukraine and of
which Tsekov is a member, told a news conference they believed the
attack on Tsekov was politically motivated. Ukrainian Interior Ministry
officials say they have arrested the alleged assailant, although
Tsekov's wife claimed there were two attackers. Crimean authorities have
launched an investigation into the incident. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN UPDATE. The Central Electoral Commission has announced that
239 candidates have registered so far to compete for the 141 vacant
parliamentary seats, Belarusian TV reported on 6 October. By-elections
are scheduled for 29 November. According to Belarusian Radio on 9
October, 4.1 million citizens (52.7% of the population) have
participated in the check privatization process. The Ministry of
Statistics has reported that the lowest-paid group in Belarus are social
workers, whose average wage in July totaled 430,000 Belarusian rubles
($37). Agricultural workers earn slightly more ($45), while those
employed in the cultural sphere receive $47 and teachers $58. Bank
workers earned the most--2.3 times the average wage or $129. -- Ustina
Markus

UPDATE ON ESTONIAN BUGGING SCANDAL. The Council of the Estonian Center
Party (EK) on 9 October decided to reject the Coalition Party's demand
that EK leader Edgar Savisaar resign as interior minister because of his
alleged involvement in illegal recordings of telephone conversations
between Savisaar, Prime Minister Tiit Vahi, and opposition leader Siim
Kallas, Western agencies reported. The police found the recordings
during a search in late September of the offices of the private Security
Intelligence Agency, one of whose owners was an adviser to Savisaar from
April to September. EK council member Andra Veidemann said that "if the
Coalition Party keeps insisting on Savissar's resignation without
presenting proper grounds for such a demand, it will inevitably lead to
the collapse of the coalition." -- Saulius Girnius

ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT POSTPONES RATIFICATION OF RUSSIAN TREATIES. The
parliament on 9 October postponed discussing the ratification of the
treaties signed by Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Lennart Meri in July
1994 by removing it from this week's working agenda, BNS reported. While
the opposition abstained and the six Russian faction deputies voted
against, 40 deputies of the ruling coalition approved postponing the
discussion, arguing that it was not yet clear which Estonian laws would
have to be changed by the ratification. Noting that the Russian
Federation Council ratified the treaty on Russian troop withdrawals in
early October and that on social guarantees for military retirees in
late July, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official said the
postponement demonstrated Estonia's "irresponsibile" attitude toward
international obligations. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENT, PRIMATE MEET IN WARSAW. Lech Walesa on 9 October
received Cardinal Jozef Glemp, who celebrated morning mass in the chapel
of the Presidential Palace. They discussed the upcoming presidential
elections, in which Walesa is one of 17 candidates for the presidency.
Polish TV said that the primate, speaking off the record, promised
Walesa he would seek to convince Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the right-of-
center candidate and Walesa's main rival, to withdraw from the race. But
later, both the cardinal's secretary and Polish TV denied that Glemp had
made such a statement. Polish dailies on 10 October point out that the
Church has not endorsed a presidential candidate, though some clergymen
have come out in support of Walesa. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH HEALTH MINISTER FIRED. Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus on 9
October announced he is replacing embattled Health Minister Ludek Rubas,
Czech media reported. President Vaclav Havel was due on 10 October to
name Transport Minister Jan Strasky to succeed Rubas, who has been under
strong criticism from health service workers and politicians for his
alleged failure to reform the service. Some doctors planned to strike
over Rubas's intransigence, and Klaus told journalists Rubas had failed
to communicate well. Rubas, who has been health minister for 27 months,
is the fifth minister to lose his post since the four-party government
was formed in July 1992. Strasky's job as Transport Minister goes to
Vladimir Budinsky, current chairman of the parliament's economics
committee. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK PRESIDENT'S AUSTRIAN BANK STATEMENT IS A FAKE. The Vienna-based
Raiffeisen Zentralbank AG, in an official announcement on 9 October,
said Michal Kovac does not hold an account there and alleged that a bank
statement published by Slovenska Republika two days earlier was
falsified (see OMRI Daily Digest, 9 October). The date on the bank
statement--25 May--was a public holiday in Austria, and all banks were
closed on that day. Narodna obroda reports that the bank plans to take
legal action. Jan Smolec, editor-in-chief of Slovenska Republika and a
parliamentary deputy for the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
(HZDS), said the bank's denial does not prove the evidence to be false.
Kovac told Sme on 10 October that the aim of the whole affair could have
been to win over the eight opposition deputies needed to remove him from
office. In other news, Vladimir Lamacka has been replaced as director of
the police investigation department by Jan Kostov, an investigator from
Banska Bystrica, a HZDS stronghold. -- Sharon Fisher

RULING SLOVAK PARTY REJECTS PROPOSED PROGRAM FOR PARLIAMENT SESSION. The
HZDS, in a statement released on 9 October, described the program
proposed by the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) for the
upcoming extraordinary parliament session as "useless" and said it was
an attempt "to mislead the public." The session, which begins on 10
October, was called to deal with the conflict between the police and the
SIS, but it is unlikely that the program will be approved. All
opposition parties have agreed on a common approach to the session. In
other news, Democratic Union Chairman and former Prime Minister Jozef
Moravcik cut short a U.S. visit because "the future development of
Slovakia is currently being decided." Moravcik called for the removal of
Slovak Information Service director Ivan Lexa as well as Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar, commenting that Meciar is unable to uphold
international agreements. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN LABOR MINISTER REFUSES TO WITHDRAW RESIGNATION. Labor Minister
Magda Kosa-Kovacs has refused to withdraw her resignation, despite
Premier Horn's attempt to persuade her to do so, Hungarian media
reported on 10 October. Horn hoped she would agree to stay in office
once differences over the issue of sick leave were resolved. Kosa-
Kovacs, who is a member of the Socialist Party, held talks with Horn on
9 October. Nepszabadsag reported that they discussed a wide range of
issues and that Kosa-Kovacs resignation seems to be due to differences
between the Finance and Labor Ministries. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARY SENTENCES SERBIAN GANGSTER. Marinko Magda was sentenced by the
Hungarian court to life imprisonment for committing four murders in
Hungary, Reuters reported on 6 October. The court said the 32-year-old
former French Foreign Legion soldier committed "premeditated murders,
some of them with particular cruelty." Magda belonged to a Serbian gang
called the "Commando of Death," which committed a series of armed
robberies in Hungary and the former Yugoslavia in 1993-1994 in which 17
people were killed. Once he has served 25 years in prison, he will be
expelled to rump Yugoslavia. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

FIRST ROMANI NEWSWIRE TO BE LAUNCHED IN HUNGARY. A non-profit Romani
newswire will begin trial operations in Hungary next month, Nepszabadsag
reported on 9 October. One of the organizers said that too many non-
credible, non-Romani sources distribute unreliable information on Roma
and that Roma thus need their own agency.But the wire agency will
initially be staffed mostly by non-Roma. It will use MTI's facilities to
transmit news and says it will not be associated with any Romani
organization or party. The agency will receive funding from a variety of
foundations to help ensure objectivity. Hungary already has a Romani
television program and several publications. -- Alaina Lemon

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO PLANES HIT SERBS NEAR TUZLA. Six jets of the Atlantic alliance
attacked the Bosnian Serb command-and-control center near Tuzla on 9
October. The Serbs had shelled a refugee camp and later killed a
Norwegian peacekeeper. The BBC quoted Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic as saying that the shells were fired by "the Muslims" against
their own people in the hope of bringing in NATO on their side. This is
frequently the Bosnian Serb line following particularly outrageous acts
against civilians. Croatian dailies on 10 October reported that Bosnian
government forces stand poised to take the strategic town of Mrkonjic
Grad, western Bosnia. Finally, the Bosnian government has suspended
implementing the latest cease-fire because the preconditions of
restoring energy and water supplies to Sarajevo have not been met. --
Patrick Moore

SERBS STEP UP "ETHNIC CLEANSING." The International Herald Tribune
reported on 10 October that Bosnian Serbs are clearing the last Muslims
and Croats out of northern Bosnia, an area where the Serbs were in the
minority before the war. An aid official called it a "life-threatening
situation," and there are reports that men and boys have been taken away
and killed. Meanwhile in The Hague, the war crimes tribunal has heard
the first testimony in the trial of Serbian concentration camp guard
Dragan "Jenki" Nikolic. Judge Richard Goldstone said it was time to hear
"the voice of the victims," the BBC reported on 9 October. A Muslim
cleric told of the atrocities committed by Serbian "special forces."
Nikolic is believed to be still at large on Serbian-held territory. In
another development, Croatian officials announced the discovery of a
mass grave of murdered Croatian civilians in an area recently retaken
from the Serbs. -- Patrick Moore

SERBIAN UPDATE. Following his meeting with Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic in Belgrade on 9 October, EU mediator Carl Bildt told
reporters that the main focus of discussion was the upcoming peace talks
scheduled to be held in the U.S. on 31 October, BETA reported.
Meanwhile, the same agency reports that the Helsinki Committee for Human
Rights in Serbia has observed that campaigns to forcibly mobilize
refugee youths in Serbia have intensified recently and that the Ministry
of Interior appears to be behind the latest wave of press-ganging. --
Stan Markotich

MEETING ON MUSLIM-CROAT FEDERATION. Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic
has met with Kresimir Zubak and Ejup Ganic, president and vice president
of the Muslim-Croatian Federation, to discuss the future form of the
federation, the BBC reported on 9 October. Izetbegovic said progress on
the federation was slow, but he emphasized the goodwill on both sides.
Zubak underscored the need for the federation to be up and running as
soon as possible. Meanwhile, Bosnian Minister for Refugees Muhamed Cero
said the Croatian government's desire for Bosnian refugees to be quickly
resettled is interference in Bosnia's internal affairs. He added,
however, that the Croatian government's decision to abolish refugee
status for Bosnian refugees has been suspended. -- Daria Sito Sucic

TUDJMAN ON WAR CRIMES IN CROATIA. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman,
asked at a 6 October news conference about recent war crimes in Croatia,
said some of the 120,000 Croatian refugees who have returned to their
homes in Krajina cannot resist the desire for revenge. According to the
BBC on 9 October, he condemned all acts of revenge and looting. Tudjman
also said that accusations of war crimes were aimed at preventing
Croatia from regaining eastern Slavonia. Asked about the possibility
that Krajina Serbs will return, Tudjman said they could come back on an
individual basis, but it was not possible that all 250,000-300,000 be
allowed to return. -- Daria Sito Sucic

MACEDONIA RATIFIES ACCORD WITH GREECE. The Macedonian parliament on 9
October ratified the interim accord with Greece, international agencies
reported the same day. Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski called the
agreement "one piece of a complex mosaic," saying it ended one of the
most difficult periods for Macedonia and paved the way to normalizing
relations with both Greece and the rump Yugoslavia. "Macedonia is a
state with solid foundations, we are clear about where we are going, and
we will not change tack," he said. Greece is expected to lift the
embargo by 13 October; and a Greek government delegation arrived in
Skopje on 9 October for the second round of talks, which will focus on
opening liaison offices in Skopje and Athens as well as on visa and
transit regulations. Meanwhile, Nova Makedonija on 10 October reported
that Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov's condition is stable and that
rehabilitation treatment is having a "positive effect." -- Stefan Krause

INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION CONFERENCE IN BUCHAREST. The 94th conference
of the Inter-Parliamentary Union opened in Bucharest on 9 October,
international media reported. President Ion Iliescu, Chamber of Deputies
Chairman Adrian Nastase, and Senate Chairman Oliviu Gherman addressed
the opening sesssion. Nastase was elected chairman of the week-long
conference, which is to discuss the global political and economic
situation, the role of parliaments in fighting corruption, and the
future role and strategy of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. UN Secretary-
General Boutros Boutros Ghali, in a message read to the gathering, said
if emergency measures are not taken to restore the financial health of
the UN, the organization will suffer irreversible damage. -- Michael
Shafir

MOLDOVAN PARTY PROPOSES EARLY PRESIDENTIAL, PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS. The
Social Democratic Party of Moldova (PSDM) has issued a statement
suggesting that presidential and parliamentary elections be held early
and at the same time, Infotag and Radio Bucharest reported on 9 October.
The PSDM believes that holding elections early rather than waiting for
another 14 or so months would not only reduce the "ruinous consequences"
of the tension between the parliament and the government but would also
exclude a possible confrontation between the newly elected president and
parliament. -- Matyas Szabo

MOLDOVAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON CONFLICT WITH TIRASPOL. Mihai Popov,
addressing the UN General Assembly on 9 October, said any proposal for a
solution to the conflict with the breakaway republic of Transdniester
must provide for Moldovan integrity and sovereignty over all its
territory. Citing a Foreign Ministry press release, BASA-press reported
that Popov said a political settlement to the conflict would have to be
based on the "complete, orderly, and unconditional withdrawal of the
Russian troops, in accordance with bilateral agreements and OSCE
resolutions." He expressed hope that Russian decision-makers would speed
up the enforcement of the 1994 Moldovan-Russian agreement on the
withdrawal. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES PRIVATIZATION LIST. The Bulgarian
government on 9 October approved a list of enterprises to be included in
the first wave of mass privatization. According to Kontinent, the firms
have a combined capital of 210 billion leva ($3.09 billion). Some 65% of
the assets will be privatized, while 35% will "be controled by the
state," the newspaper said. Demokratsiya reported that apart from a few
companies such as Neftohim and Plama (Bulgaria's two biggest oil
refineries), most enterprises on the list are losing money or are de
facto bankrupt. The list was reportedly drawn up by Kalin Mitrev, head
of the Center for Mass Privatization, which comes under the direct
control of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN SOCIAL DEMOCRAT MEETS WITH EUROPEAN LEGISLATORS. Skender
Gjinushi, head of the Social Democratic Party of Albania, has met in
Brussels with socialist deputies from the European Parliament, Koha Jone
reported on 10 October. The meeting took place three days before
Albanian President Sali Berisha's visit to the EU's headquarters in
Brussels on 12 October. Gjinushi rallied for support against the law
condemning genocide and crimes against humanity committed in communist
Albania, which was approved by the parliament last month. The Albanian
opposition argues that the law aims to weaken its chances in the
upcoming elections. Article 3 of the law states that those who held high
government posts before 31 March 1991 cannot run in elections until
2002. Under the law, Gjinushi, who was minister of education before that
date, would not be able to run. -- Fabian Schmidt

TURKEY, ESTONIA DISCUSS CFE. Estonian Foreign Minister Riivo Sinijarv
held talks with his acting Turkish counterpart, Coskun Kirca, in Ankara
on 9 October, the Turkish Daily News reported the next day. Their
discussions reportedly focused on Russia's efforts to alter the
Convential Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty. Both countries are seeking a
solution that would not change the level of conventional arms near their
borders, Sinijarv told a press conference in Ankara. They also signed
agreements pledging cooperation on tourism and transport. -- Lowell
Bezanis

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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