When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece. - John Ruskin
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 200, Part II, 13 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

TALKS ON NEW ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT. After Prime Minister Tiit Vahi
submitted the resignation of his cabinet to the parliament on 12
October, President Lennart Meri began talks with the leaders of the main
parties on finding a new prime minister, BNS reported. Meri has two
weeks to nominate a premier who will then present his cabinet to the
parliament for approval. The Coalition Party and Rural Union (KMU)
alliance is reportedly hoping to form a ruling coalition with the Reform
Party, as a replacement for the Center Party. Reform Party Chairman Siim
Kallas said his party was split on whether to enter such a coalition and
would discuss the matter at a party conference on 14 October. Kallas and
Vahi are considered to be the most likely prime minister nominees. --
Saulius Girnius

ESTONIAN, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET. Riivo Sinijarv and Andrei
Kozyrev, meeting in Helsinki on 11 October, reached an agreement on
signing three bilateral accords but made little progress on preparing a
new border treaty, BNS reported the next day. The accords were on
cooperation in the field of customs, border representatives, and
cooperation between foreign ministries. Sinijarv was quoted as saying
"These agreements may be signed at any moment now, it only has to be
agreed who and when." The ministers also agreed that the next round of
border negotiations will take place on 23-24 October in Russia. --
Saulius Girnius

HEAD OF LITHUANIAN STATE PRIVATIZATION AGENCY APPOINTED. Prime Minister
Adolfas Slezevicius on 11 October appointed Arvydas Darulis as director
of the State Privatization Agency, BNS reported the next day. The 30-
year-old Darulis was the head of the commercial privatization department
of the Economics Ministry. Established in September, the SPA is to
implement the second stage of privatization in which state and municipal
enterprises will be sold on a cash basis. In the first stage, companies
were sold for vouchers that the population received without cost; some
of those firms later went bankrupt. Darulis said the SPA will estimate
the value of the firms and set privatization conditions, but the final
sale prices of the enterprises will be dictated by the market. --
Saulius Girnius

UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER ON ECONOMIC PROGRAM. Yevhen Marchuk, in an
interview with Ukrainian Radio on 12 October, assured Ukrainians that
the country would not be sold out to international financial
institutions but stressed that without foreign credits it will be "very
difficult to get out of the deep crisis" in the country. Commenting on
Chornobyl, Marchuk said he regretted that the figure of $4 billion has
been stated as the price for the plant's closure, since the sum scares
everyone away. He said G-7 representatives have asked instead that
concrete projects and schedules be submitted and that only then will
sums be discussed. -- Ustina Markus

CRIMEAN UPDATE. ITAR-TASS on 12 October reported that the Crimean
parliament is facing a new crisis over appointments to its Presidium.
The debate is being led by Volodymyr Klychnikov, whose Respublika
faction has no representatives on the Presidium. The parliament has also
asked the legislature in Kiev to allow Crimean deputies to carry guns.
Crimea's parliament voted in 1994 to give its deputies the right to
carry weapons in parliamentary sessions. In other Crimean news,
Sevastopol's City Council has decided that the port must remain a closed
city for another year. Ukrainians and Russians may be granted free
access before 1997, but only if the Black Sea Fleet dispute is resolved
before then. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIANS INDIFFERENT TO MULTIPARTY SYSTEM. An opinion poll by the
sociological service Hramdzkaya dumka found that most Belarusians are
indifferent to the multiparty system, Belarusian Radio reported on 11
October. Of the 100 people surveyed, 37% said they were indifferent to
the system; 33% viewed it as a positive thing; and 29% were opposed to
it. When asked how they would like to see the multiparty system develop,
the vast majority--73.2%--said they did not want a multitude of parties,
while 26.8% said they would like a wide range of parties. -- Ustina
Markus

POLISH ELECTION UPDATE. Polish President Lech Walesa said in Tarnow on
12 October that if he wins the presidential elections, he will return to
his idea of privatization by distributing large sums of money to the
entire population, with the exception of wealthy capitalists. Former
Prime Minister and presidential candidate Jan Olszewski on 12 October
met with the speaker of the U.S Congress, Newt Gingrich, who, according
to Olszewski's electoral staff, said he would seek to convince the U.S.
government that Poland be given security guarantees. Aleksander Hall and
Artur Balazs, leaders of the Conservative Party and Peasant-Christian
Party, respectively, said that six to eight presidential candidates
should withdraw from the race so that the right-wing candidate Hanna
Gronkiewicz-Waltz could win, Polish dailies reported on 13 October. --
Jakub Karpinski


CZECH GOVERNMENT, MEDIA REACT TO ATTACKS ON ROMA. Deputy Prime Minister
Josef Lux, responding to a recent attack on Roma in Breclav (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 11 October 1995), announced that the government will
prepare proposals on how to deal with rascist acts against the Romani
community, CTK reported on 11 October. Meanwhile, Czech and Romani
journalists signed a statement criticizing the government's line on race
and warning of a backlash. The same day, the government announced its
intention to fight racism on Czech streets but at the same time said it
would refuse entry into the country to anyone who could not proof they
had $20 for each day of their intended stay. Many observers believe this
measure is designed to keep Roma and others "out." -- Alaina Lemon

SLOVAK PRESIDENT IN GERMANY. Michal Kovac on 12 October began a two-day
visit to Germany at the invitation of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. In
an address to the foundation that day, the president focused on issues
concerning Slovakia's integration into Europe. Kovac is also scheduled
to meet with his German counterpart, Roman Herzog, as well as Bundestag
Foreign Committee Chairman Karl-Heinz Hornhues. Kovac told Slovak Radio
that the his son's kidnapping and subsequent arrest will not be
discussed. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK RULING PARTY SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH BUSINESSMEN. Premier Vladimir
Meciar and Vladimir Randa, chairmen of the Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia and the Party of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs (SPZ),
respectively, on 11 October signed an agreement on political
cooperation. The move came as a surprise because the SPZ ran in last
fall's elections in a coalition with the liberal opposition Democratic
Party, although the parties failed to make it to the parliament. In a
press conference on 12 October, Jan Budaj of the opposition Democratic
Union said he considers the agreement to be Randa's "personal interest."
-- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAKIA'S FIRST MCDONALD'S OPENS. Slovakia on 12 October became the
85th country to have a McDonald's, TASR reported. The restaurant, which
includes a drive-through, is located just off a highway leading south
from the central Slovak town of Banska Bystrica. McDonald's will not
open in Bratislava until 1996. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN POLITICAL UPDATE. All six political parties in Hungary are
debating the future of the socialist-liberal cabinet, Hungarian
newspapers reported on 13 October. While the coalition parties are
recovering from the abruptly terminated coalition crisis, the four
opposition parties are preparing themselves for a possible takeover. The
Hungarian Democratic Forum says that, in a coalition with the Young
Democrats and the Christian Democrats, it would be able to offer an
economic policy that would end the current economic crisis. The
Smallholder's Party, which has been labeled populist and unconstructive
by coalition politicians, says it is prepared to lead on its own. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARY TO CURB TAX FRAUD. The Hungarian government has announced draft
regulations designed to give tax authorities more power to clamp down on
tax evasion, Reuters reported on 13 October. Tibor Draskovits, state
secretary at the Finance Ministry, told a news conference that
procedures need to be tightened and obvious loopholes closed. The new
rules include allowing national tax authorities to conduct searches of a
suspect's workplace or car and obliging job centers to inform the tax
authorities if they discover that a person claiming unemployment benefit
has undeclared sources of income. The measures are aimed at reducing
Hungary's large gray economy, which is estimated to be equivalent to 30%
of GDP. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SHAKY BOSNIAN CEASEFIRE ENDS ITS FIRST DAY. The guns fell silent
throughout much of Bosnia on 12 October as the latest ceasefire came
into effect. UN observers said implementation was reasonably good,
considering that it involved disengaging large bodies of fighters who
had been in combat for some years. The BBC quoted Bosnian Prime Minister
Haris Silajdzic as saying the Serbs have finally realized that their
attempts to set up a greater Serbia have failed. Most problems centered
on the area around strategic Sanski Most in the northwest. Allied forces
are trying to press the Serbs back toward Prijedor and Banja Luka, while
the Serbs would like to retake Sanski Most itself. Meanwhile, the UN
expressed concern for the safety of 40,000 Serbian civilian refugees,
who are stranded in open country without water or medical supplies. --
Patrick Moore

BOSNIANS FIND ANOTHER MASS GRAVE. AFP reported on 12 October that
Bosnian government forces have discovered a grave containing 15 bodies
in the village of Kokic, near Jajce, which the allied armies recently
captured. The apparent murders took place in 1992, when the Serbs took
the area and then burned and destroyed all the nearby villages.
Meanwhile in New York, the Security Council has condemned the latest
Serbian wave of "ethnic cleansing" directed against the few remaining
Muslims and Croats in northern Bosnia. It asked about the fate of most
of the males, who are unaccounted for and presumed to have been killed.
-- Patrick Moore

WESTERN OFFICIALS ON RELATIONS WITH RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. German Foreign
Minister Klaus Kinkel on 12 October suggested that ties between Germany
and Serbia ought to improve once a peace settlement is reached in the
Balkans, AFP reported the same day. "No people in the former Yugoslavia
must be excluded from such ties, Kinkel reportedly observed in a foreign
policy speech delivered in Berlin. Meanwhile, Montenegrin President
Momir Bulatovic and British Minister of State for Foreign and
Commonwealth Affairs Nicholas Bonsor met in Podgorica on 11 October to
discuss the regional peace process. Bonsor also used the opportunity to
remark that relations between Belgrade and London might be "restored"
once sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia were lifted, Tanjug reported.
Finally, BETA on 12 October reported that EU mediator Carl Bildt has
observed that sanctions against Belgrade can be suspended once a peace
accord is signed. -- Stan Markotich

MACEDONIA ADMITTED INTO OSCE. Macedonia has been admitted as a member of
the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, RFE/RL
reported, citing a statement by the Macedonian Information Ministry on
12 October. Its membership, which becomes effective on 14 October,
follows Macedonia's admission into the Council of Europe earlier this
month. -- Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN NATIONALIST LEADER BLACKMAILS POLITICAL PARTNER. Corneliu Vadim
Tudor, leader of the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party (PRM),
has threatened to reveal "illegalities" committed by the leadership of
the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR), if the PDSR decides to
put an end to its partnership with the PRM because of Tudor's attacks on
President Ion Iliescu. Gheorghe Funar, leader of the extreme nationalist
Party of Romanian National Unity, called on all members of the so-called
"red-quadrangle" coalition to put an end to disputes among them.
Evenimentul zilei on 13 October reported that the PRM has invited the
recently retired nationalist General Paul Cheler to join its ranks.
Cheler has publicly protested the recent decision to place him on
reserve. Meanwhile, Nicolae Manolescu, leader of the opposition Party of
Civic Alliance, told the Senate that Tudor's parliamentary immunity
should be lifted. -- Michael Shafir

RELIGIOUS ASSISTANCE REINTRODUCED INTO ROMANIAN ARMY. Romanian Patriarch
Teoctist and Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca have signed an agreement on
reintroducing permanent religious assistance for soldiers and officers
serving in the army, Radio Bucharest reported on 11 October. The
agreement between the Orthodox Church and army states that soldiers of
all confessions have a right to religious assistance from the church to
which they belong. At the same time, it prohibits any form of
proselytism. -- Matyas Szabo

ROMANIAN PYRAMID SCHEME BOSS TO STAY IN JAIL. Prosecutors on 12 October
appealed against a court ruling to cut the jail sentence of Ioan Stoica
from six to two years, Reuters reported the same day. Stoica, who headed
the Caritas pyramid scheme that collapsed in 1993, would have been
released within days if the Cluj court's decision to reduce his sentence
had not been appealed. He has spent more than a year in jail awaiting
trial and would have been eligible for parole. Stoica was convicted in
June of fraudulent bankruptcy and defrauding investors, although the
conviction was based on only a tiny proportion of the equivalent of
millions of US dollars invested in his "get-rich" scheme. -- Michael
Shafir

MOLDOVAN-GERMAN DECLARATION. A declaration signed in Bonn by visiting
Moldovan President Mircea Snegur and Chancellor Helmut Kohl states that
Moldova and Germany undertake to develop bilateral relations on the
basis of the principles of international law, equality of rights,
sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of borders, and
respect for human rights, including those of national minorities.
Infotag on 12 October reported that the two sides also signed agreements
on cultural cooperation, taking care of graves of German soldiers killed
in action on Moldovan territory during World War II, and transportation.
Snegur, in a meeting with Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, expressed
willingness to back Germany's efforts to become a permanent member of
the UN Security Council and to secure German as one of the working
languages of the Council of Europe. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT SENDS PRIVATIZATION PLAN TO PARLIAMENT. The
socialist-led government on 12 October endorsed and submitted to the
parliament its latest plan for mass privatization, RFE/RL and Bulgarian
media reported. The plan, modeled on the Czech voucher privatization
system, is expected to be approved by the parliament in the next few
weeks. The cabinet draw up a list of 1,227 enterprises in which
Bulgarians will be able to invest. According to the plan, the state will
retain control over large enterprises, since only 25% of their shares
will be privatized. Up to 65% of the shares in medium-size enterprises
and up to 90% in small enterprises will be offered to investors. --
Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN SOCCER PLAYERS SET UP PRIVATE BANK. Bulgarian top soccer
players announced on 12 October that they will set up a private bank,
Reuters reported the same day. Lyuboslav Penev of Atletico Madrid, who
is the chairman of the bank's founding committee, said "instead of
investing our money in banks based abroad, we prefer to invest and work
with our money in Bulgaria." The bank will be called National and is
expected to have the 500 million leva ($7.35 million) needed for a
domestic license within a few months. The license can than be issued six
months after application documents are submitted to the Bulgarian
National Bank. -- Stefan Krause

BERISHA IN BRUSSELS. Albanian President Sali Berisha, during his visit
to Brussels on 12 October, met with NATO ambassadors and Secretary-
General Willy Claes, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 13 October. Berisha
told the ambassadors that a solution to the Kosovo crisis must be found
within the framework of any peace settlement in the former Yugoslavia
and demanded it should be put on the Contact Group's agenda. Berisha
also expressed his country's desire to become a full member state of
NATO. Claes praised Albania for playing "an active and positive role by
respecting the embargo" against the rump Yugoslavia. He also noted the
fast-growing cooperation between the Albanian military and NATO. On 13
October, Berisha began a three-day visit to Italy. -- Fabian Schmidt

TURKISH-GREEK DISPUTE. The foreign ministries of Greece and Turkey have
exchanged strongly worded protests over the education of ethnic Turks
dwelling in Greece's region of western Thrace, the Turkish Daily News
reported on 12 October. Students in three towns in the region have not
been attending lessons for the past week in protest at a Greek
government decision to revise the educational system. Ethnic Turks and
the authorities in Ankara suspect the Greeks will attempt to replace
teachers sent over from Turkey or local ethnic Turks serving as
teachers. The Turkish Foreign Ministry accused Greece of violating the
Lausanne Treaty, which governs the status of minorities in both
countries. In other news, Athens and Ankara traded charges concerning
their respective Aegean Sea policies at the UN General Assembly, the
Turkish Daily News reported the next day. -- Lowell Bezanis

TURKISH POLICE TO BIHAC. At the request of the Bosnian and Croatian
government, Turkey will send 50 policemen to Bihac to help organize and
oversee the return of displaced Bosnians, AFP reported on 11 October,
citing Turkish police and foreign ministry sources. -- 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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