A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. - Jonathan Swift
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 199, Part II, 12 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

ESTONIAN PRIME MINISTER RESIGNS. Tiit Vahi on 11 October, after firing
Interior Minister Edgar Savisaar because of his alleged involvement in
the electronic bugging of leading politicians, submitted his resignation
to President Lennart Meri, BNS reported. Estonian law requires the
parliament to approve his resignation, which will also result in the
dismissal of his cabinet. Leaders of the Coalition Party and Rural Union
decided to withdraw from their coalition with the Center Party, and it
appears likely that Vahi, if asked by Meri to form a new government,
will choose the Reform Party as a new coalition partner. Probably in an
effort to preserve the ruling coalition, Savisaar resigned as chairman
of the Center Party and pledged to quit politics entirely. -- Saulius
Girnius

LATVIAN STATE AIRLINE DECLARED BANKRUPT. The Latvian Commercial Court on
11 October declared Latavio bankrupt, BNS reported. The airline's total
value is estimated at 7 million lati ($13.3 million), but it owes 9.266
million lati to Banka Baltija. A state administrator is to be appointed
for Latavio within three days. Latavio lost its regular scheduled
flights to the newly created Air Baltic in September and had recently
been offering only charter flights. The company has 560 employees. --
Saulius Girnius

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES GOVERNMENT ECONOMIC PROGRAM. Ukrainian
lawmakers on 11 October approved a government economic program that
includes austerity measures to keep down inflation, international
agencies reported the same day. The plan is aimed at stimulating
investment and boosting production by lowering the corporate tax rate to
just under 50% for most industries, with special emphasis on exporters.
It foresees cuts in social spending and a monthly inflation rate under
2.4% in 1996, compared with 7.5% this year. Reformers have criticized
the program as not radical enough, while leftists in the legislature
oppose it as too austere. The government now has a year to implement its
plan without interference from the parliament. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

DISPUTE OVER FLAG DISRUPTS CRIMEAN LEGISLATIVE SESSION. A dispute
between pro-Moscow deputies and Crimean Tatar representatives over which
flag or flags should be hoisted in the Crimean legislature's assembly
hall disrupted a session of the regional parliament on 11 October, Radio
Mayak reported the same day. An attempt by legislators from the
Republican Party of Crimea, who advocate the peninsula's secession from
Ukraine, to display the Russian flag prompted protests from the Crimean
Tatars' Kurultai faction. Kurultai members responded by attempting to
hoist the flag of the Crimean Tatars next to the Ukrainian flag.
Parliamentary speaker Yevhen Supruniuk adjourned the session in an
effort to resolve the quarrel. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT BACKS PARLIAMENT. The Belarusian
Constitutional Court has ruled that the 1990-elected parliament has the
legal right to continue fulfilling the legislature's functions until a
new parliament is elected in the November by-elections, Reuters reported
on 11 October. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has denounced the
parliament as illegitimate, because elections failed to bring in a new
legislature in May. There was no comment from the president's office on
the ruling, but the conservative deputy Mykola Skarynin said the ruling
shows the president has been "systematically violating the
constitution." -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN APPOINTMENTS. Belarusian Radio on 11 October reported that
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has signed a decree naming Leanid
Sinitsyn and Vasil Dauhaleu, who headed the president's administration
and president's control service, respectively, as deputy prime
ministers. Mikhail Myasnikovich, who was a deputy prime minister, has
been made head of the president's administration, while acting Defense
Minister Leanid Maltseu has been confirmed in that post. Meanwhile,
Reuters reported that four independent papers have been ordered closed
by the president's office. The Ministry of Culture and Press denied any
knowledge of orders to shut down the papers. RFE/RL reported the same
day that two independent newspapers will no longer to be printed by the
state publishing house, the largest printing press in the country. --
Ustina Markus

POLISH UPDATE. Lech Walesa, speaking at his weekly press conference on
11 October, said he had asked his lawyers whether he could ratify the
Concordat, over the head of the parliament. He also praised Chief of
General Staff General Tadeusz Wilecki for his recent article in defense
of the army. Some politicians have insisted that Wilecki was
overstepping his mark as a member of the military by making political
statements. Meanwhile, Primate Jozef Glemp said the same day that the
Episcopate would not endorse any candidate in the upcoming presidential
elections. He added that if some bishops did so, they would not be
representing the Episcopate's views, Polish dailies reported. -- Jakub
Karpinski

YELTSIN ADVISOR: NEW MILITARY DOCTRINE NOT AIMED AT POLAND. Any changes
in Russia's military doctrine will not be directed against Poland, Yurii
Baturin, national security adviser to Russian President Boris Yeltsin
told Rzeczpospolita on 11 October. Baturin two days previously called
for a new doctrine, recalling that the present one, adopted two years
ago, was supposed to be temporary only. The article noted that the
authors of the present doctrine stressed Russia's "geopolitical
situation" was worsening. -- Doug Clarke

CZECH GOVERNMENT TACKLES MONEY LAUNDERING. The Czech government on 11
October approved a draft law intended to curb money laundering, Czech
media reported. Under the proposed law, banks, share dealers, casinos,
and other betting organizations will have to identify and report the
names of people involved in any transaction exceeding 500,000 koruny
($20,000). If the parliament passes the law, it is likely to come into
effect on 1 April 1996, three months before general elections are held.
The amount of "dirty" money in the Czech economy is not known, but there
have been frequent allegations that the coupon privatization process
provided a perfect screen for widespread money laundering. -- Steve
Kettle

CZECH FINANCE MINISTRY HALTS RIGGED TV GAME SHOW. The Finance Ministry
on 11 October shut down part of a live television bingo show that is the
subject of an alleged multi-million koruny fraud, Czech media reported.
Ministry spokeswoman Ludmila Nutilova said the order was temporary and
how long it lasted would depend on police investigations into the scam.
Two people have been arrested so far, accused of manipulating computer
data to fix the drawing of winning numbers in one section of the show.
-- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK OPPOSITION SPLIT. A division between the leftist and non-leftist
opposition groups deepened after the failed extraordinary parliament
session on 10 October, with the Common Choice (SV) coalition announcing
it would hold a meeting separate from the other opposition parties. The
SV blamed not only the coalition but also the opposition Christian
Democratic Movement for increasing political tensions. Of the 13 SV
deputies who attended the meeting, seven supported the statement. In a
press conference the following day, Party of the Democratic Left (SDL)
Chairman Peter Weiss, who had abstained from the vote on the statement,
said his party "sits firmly on its own opposition stool" and called the
coalition's methods "arrogant, uncultured, incompetent, and
disrespectful of democratic principles." -- Sharon Fisher

PRIVATE SLOVAK FIRM STOPS PRINTING SME. Concordia Press director
Frantisek Mana on 10 October announced to Sme his decision to cease
production of the daily and refused to discuss the matter further,
citing economic reasons. Sme officials hinted at political motives
behind the move, saying the paper's debts to Concordia do not exceed 1
million koruny. Sme's 11 October edition was published by the state-
owned firm, Danubiaprint, but the company refused to continue publishing
the paper. On 12 October, the daily was printed in the southern Slovak
town of Komarno; and according to a statement published that day, Sme
officials did not know what would happen in the future. Mana told TASR
on 11 October that there are no "dark forces" behind his decision to
stop printing the paper. -- Sharon Fisher

DUTCH PREMIER BACKS SPEEDY ENTRY TO EU FOR HUNGARY. Wim Kok has
expressed strong support for Hungary's speedy integration into the EU
and NATO, Reuters and Hungarian newspapers reported. Following talks
with visiting Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn in The Hague, Kok told
a news conference that while he would prefer Hungary's entry into the EU
and NATO in relatively quick succession, he was aware of the potential
to upset Russia. "A balance must be maintained that allows trust," he
noted. Horn said that Hungary's ties with the Netherlands seemed "the
best among all the Western countries," despite the controversial
Hungaroton privatization deal, in which the Holland-based Polygram lost
the tender to a consortium of Hungarian musicians that had made a
significantly lower bid, Magyar Hirlap reported. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN CEASEFIRE BEGINS. International media on 12 October reported
that the latest of at least 35 Bosnian truces came into effect at 12:01
a.m. local time. AFP quoted UN officials as saying that "things look
generally quiet" and that the next item on their agenda is to get the
Serbian and allied sides to agree on the location of the front lines.
The International Herald Tribune quoted Bosnian government soldiers of
the victorious Fifth Corps as saying "we'll see you for coffee in Banja
Luka," which suggests that at least some soldiers may not take the truce
very seriously. UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali nonetheless
expressed "deep satisfaction" that the ceasefire has begun. -- Patrick
Moore

"WE SEE NO GRAIN OF HUMANITY." This is how an International Red Cross
official described the Bosnian Serbs' continued expulsion of Muslim and
Croatian civilians from northern Bosnia, the International Herald
Tribune reported on 12 October. Slobodna Dalmacija puts the figure at
9,000, with men mostly unaccounted for. The paper also says that
internationally wanted war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic "Arkan" arrived in
the area on 21 September to launch "the terror campaign." Elsewhere, AFP
cited humanitarian organizations as saying that 40,000 panicked Serbian
civilians are fleeing before the allied advance. The International
Herald Tribune quoted Serbian officials in Prijedor as telling their
people not to leave and saying that "these are decisive moments of the
struggle for freedom, honor, and existence of the Serbian people." --
Patrick Moore

BELGRADE GROUP PROTESTS PRESS-GANGING. BETA on 10 October reported that
the Center for Anti-war Action in Belgrade has launched a protest
against recently revived campaigns in Serbia to forcibly draft refugees.
The center has sent an open letter to Serbian Interior Minister Zoran
Sokolovic condemning the revived practice of forcing refugee youths
across the Serbian border and into Croatia's eastern Slavonia, where
they are reportedly being pressed into service by paramilitary units. --
Stan Markotich

MACEDONIAN POLICE ARREST PRO-BULGARIAN POLITICIANS. Krasimir
Karakachanov, leader of the Sofia-based Internal Macedonian
Revolutionary Organization-Union of Macedonian Associations (VMRO-SMD),
on 11 October said that the Macedonian police over the weekend arrested
a number of politicians known for their pro-Bulgarian position,
Bulgarian newspapers reported the following day. The VMRO-SMD has
accused the Macedonian government of a "gross violation of human rights"
and of taking advantage of the assassination attempt on Macedonian
President Kiro Gligorov. According to Demokratsiya, several officials of
the pro-Bulgarian Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-
Fatherland Party were arrested, and the party's headquarters and other
offices were searched. -- Stefan Krause

SLOVENIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES DRAFT BUDGET. Slovenia's three-party
governing coalition on 10 October unanimously approved the 1996 budget
proposal, STA reported the following day. Expenditures are expected to
total some 570 billion tolars (some $5 billion). A significant
proportion of expenditures is earmarked for health, education, and
infrastructure. Premier Janez Drnovsek expressed satisfaction that the
budget had been unanimously approved, since earlier debates dealing with
state spending suggested a consensus would be difficult, if not
impossible, to reach. -- Stan Markotich

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT IN VIENNA, FRANKFURT. Ion Iliescu met with Austrian
Chancellor Franz Vranitzky and President Thomas Klestil in Vienna on 11
October, Romanian TV reported. They discussed bilateral relations, the
Hungarian minority in Romania, Bucharest's initiative for a
reconciliation with Budapest, and the future of the region in the wake
of the ceasefire agreement in Bosnia. Iliescu earlier the same day
launched the German version of one of his memoirs at the Frankfurt
International Book Fair. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN POLITICAL ALLIANCE ENLARGED. The Bloc of National Unity (BUN),
a political alliance set up in December 1993 by the extreme nationalist
Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR) and the Democratic Agrarian
Party, has been enlarged. Radio Bucharest and Romanian TV reported on
10-11 October that the Ecologist Movement of Romania has joined the BUN.
The signatories have agreed to run on separate lists in the local
elections due in early 1996 and to support the best-placed candidate
among them in the run-offs. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN STUDENTS GO ON STRIKE. Students from Bacau, Ploiesti, and
Galati went on strike on 10 October, Romanian media reported on 10-11
October. They are demanding the abolition of a special tax on students
who have to repeat a year, reduced fares on public transportation,
changes in the scholarship-awarding system, and more dormitories. A
large number of professors joined a demonstration in Galati supporting
their demands. Radio Bucharest on 11 October reported that Queen Ana,
the spouse of Romania's former King Michael, who is currently paying a
visit to Romania, stopped by the site where the student demonstration
was held. The radio said the students greeted her arrival with shouts of
"no politics." -- Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT VISITS GERMANY... Mircea Snegur met with German
Chancellor Helmut Kohl in Bonn on 11 October, Moldovan and international
agencies reported. The two leaders signed an agreement on bilateral
ties. Kohl said Germany supported Moldovan sovereignty and territorial
integrity, and he underscored the importance of reaching a peaceful
settlement in the Dniester breakaway region. Snegur replied that
Chisinau has made a reasonable compromise by proposing a special status
for the region, but Tiraspol is "probably waiting for the results of the
forthcoming parliamentary elections in Russia." During his three-day
visit, Snegur is also scheduled to meet with President Roman Herzog,
Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, and Bundestag deputies. -- Michael Shafir

...AND SUPPORTS INITIATIVE FOR ALL-PARTY FORUM. Snegur, speaking before
his departure to Germany, said he supports the Social Progress Party's
initiative for a forum composed of all political forces in the country,
including the Gagauz and Dniester region, to overcome the country's
political crisis, Moldovan and international agencies reported on 10-11
October. He proposed the forum be organized under presidential
patronage. A memorandum of conciliation signed by such a large-scale
gathering would be a "true accord" between all parts of the society,
Snegur concluded. -- Matyas Szabo

HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT CONCLUDES VISIT TO BULGARIA. Arpad Goncz, on the
last day of his visit to Bulgaria, addressed the Bulgarian parliament,
international media reported. He was applauded by the opposition when he
stated Hungary's wish to join both EU and NATO. During talks with
Bulgarian Prime Minister Zhan Videnov, Goncz discussed the possibility
of future regional cooperation between the two countries within the
Central European Initiative and CEFTA. Videnov emphasized that Bulgaria
will do everything in order to be eligible for CEFTA membership,
including paying back the 86 million transferable ruble debt to Hungary
as soon as possible, partly in a barter deal for Bulgarian medicines.
Prior to joining CEFTA, however, Bulgaria wants to conclude a bilateral
free trade agreement with Hungary. -- Zsofia Szilagyi and Stefan Krause

WESTERN ENERGY FOR BULGARIA? Western ambassadors to Bulgaria on 11
October asked Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Kiril Tsochev
to examine the possibility of shutting down Reactor No. 1 of the
Kozloduy nuclear power plant in return for electricity from the West,
Bulgarian newspapers reported the following day. According to Reuters,
French Industry Minister Yves Galland told the National Assembly in
Paris that France had made such a proposal to Spanish Prime Minister
Felipe Gonzalez, the current EU president; President of the European
Commission Jacques Santer; and the German government. Galland said that
existing connections make such a transfer possible. -- Stefan Krause

FIRST ARREST AFTER PASSAGE OF GENOCIDE LAW IN ALBANIA. Shefqet Peci, who
was a deputy parliamentary speaker and transport minister under
communism, was arrested on 11 October and accused of ordering the murder
of 21 villagers from Buzemadhi, near Kukes, in 1944 in his capacity as a
partisan army commander. Peci is the first person to be accused under
the Law on Genocide, passed on 20 September 1995. Meanwhile, leaders of
the Democratic Alliance and the Social Democratic Party agreed to
petition the Council of Europe to repeal some articles of the law,
Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 11 and 12 October. -- Fabian Schmidt

[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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