We are always the same age inside. - Gertrude Stein
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 202, Part II, 17 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

UKRAINE'S SOCIAL WELFARE SYSTEM IN NEED OF REFORM. Participants of a
World Bank roundtable in Kiev in which Ukrainian government officials
also took part concluded that the parliament's recent decision to raise
the country's poverty threshold underscores the need to overhaul the
social welfare system and accelerate the pace of privatization, Radio
Ukraine reported on 16 October. Officials pointed to recent government
statistics indicating that some 90% of the population require social
protection, chiefly because of low and unpaid wages in the still huge
state sector, and that the country lacks a stable middle class. Deputy
Finance Minister Volodymyr Matviichuk said the government needed to
limit direct welfare payments to the poorest segments and reinvest the
savings into industry to raise production and earnings. Interfax-Ukraine
quoted Matviichuk as warning this year's budget deficit could reach 8.1%
of GDP because of the large amount of uncollected revenues and the slow
pace of privatization. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN UKRAINE. Ukrainian Radio on 16 October reported on
Ministry of Statistics data showing that foreign investment in the first
half of 1995 totaled $566 million, of which 62% went to Kiev, Donetsk,
Odessa, Dnipropetrovsk, and Lviv Oblasts. The bulk of foreign investment
was used to buy enterprises undergoing privatization. Despite fears in
some quarters that the country is about to be bought up and exploited by
foreigners, the ministry was positive about the effects of foreign
participation in privatization. Most of the privatized enterprises are
reportedly functioning more effectively, employing additional workers,
and paying higher wages. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN INTERIOR MINISTER DISMISSED. Belarusian Interior Minister
Yurii Zakharenko was dismissed by President Alyaksandr Lukashenka on 16
October, Reuters reported. Recently, there had been rumors of his
imminent dismissal. While no official reason was given for his removal,
it is believed to be connected with the disclosure that 3,000 policemen
quit after Lukashenka passed a decree depriving them of various
privileges, including free public transport, rent subsidies, and tax
breaks. Security Council head Viktar Sheiman has been appointed to
replace Zakharenka. This latest dismissal leaves KGB Chairman Uladzimir
Yahorau as the only head of a power ministry to have remained in office
since July 1994, when Lukashenka made the appointments. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER CHALLENGES PRESIDENTIAL DECREES.
Interfax on 15 October reported that Belarusian parliamentary speaker
Mechyslau Hryb has said he plans to ask the Constitutional Court to
consider the legality of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's recent
government appointments. Lukashenka last week named Leanid Sinitsyn and
Vasil Dauleheu as deputy prime ministers and made Mikhail Myasnikovich
head of the president's administration. He also appointed Leanid Maltseu
as defense minister. Hryb claims that deputy prime ministers and power
ministers can be appointed only with the consent of the parliament,
which has not approved the appointments. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUS RESUMES ARMS REDUCTIONS, BUT MONEY SHORT. Belarus on 16 October
resumed destroying conventional weapons under the CFE treaty. Arms
reductions should have been completed by November but were suspended in
February because Minsk did not have the funds to continue. Reuters
reported that the head of the Belarusian Defense Ministry's arms control
agency, Mikhail Volachkau, said Minsk would not be able to meet the
deadline since there is enough money to cover only a third of the last
stage of arms reductions. -- Ustina Markus

GERMAN ARMED FORCES COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF VISITS ESTONIA. General Klaus
Naumann in Tallinn on 16 October promised President Lennart Meri that
Germany would continue to assist in training Estonian military officers,
BNS reported. Defense Minister Andrus Oovel presented Naumann with an
Estonian defense concept that will be presented to the parliament. He
also asked for aid for developing Estonia's air control and monitoring
system. Naumann had meetings with his Estonian counterpart, Lt. Gen.
Aleksander Einseln, and parliament deputy chairman Arnold Ruutel. He
left for Latvia on 17 October. -- Saulius Girnius

NEW POLISH ORGANIZATION FORMED IN LITHUANIA. A new public organization,
the Congress of Lithuanian Poles, was founded on 14 October in Vilnius,
RFE/RL reported on 16 October. One of its founders, former Supreme
Council deputy Czeslaw Okinczyc, said the organization will not be
involved in political protests but will seek more constructive ties and
close cooperation with the country's authorities. It will thus play a
sharply different role from that of the Union of Lithuanian Poles.
Okinczyc and Seimas deputy Artur Plokszto became members of the
organization's program council, which will be headed by a Vilnius high
school director. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PREMIER, FOREIGN MINISTER IN DISCORD. Polish Foreign Minister
Wladyslaw Bartoszewski told reporters on 15 October that Prime Minister
Jozef Oleksy has obstructed the nomination of several ambassadors and
undersecretaries of state at the Foreign Ministry. Bartoszewski added
that such nominations are the prerogative of the foreign minister.
Gazeta Wyborcza on 17 October suggested that the conflict might have
been stoked by former employees of the ministry who now work for the
premier. The prime minister's spokesperson said Bartoszewski's statement
came as a surprise to the prime minister's office and can be seen within
the context of the forthcoming presidential elections. Gazeta Wyborcza
commented that Bartoszewski does not want to resign but wants to regain
control over diplomatic affairs. -- Jakub Karpinski and Dagmar
Mroziewicz

CZECH SOCIAL DEMOCRATS LOSE SUPPORT. Opinion polls published in Czech
dailies on 17 October show the ruling Civic Democratic Party (ODS)
increasing its lead over the opposition Social Democrats (CSSD).
According to the Institute for Public Opinion Research (IVVM), the ODS
has a steady 27% support, while the CSSD dropped to 18% this month. The
gap was narrowest in August (25% to 23%), prompting discussion that the
CSSD will mount a serious challenge in next June's elections. The Center
for Empirical Research put the ODS on 28% and CSSD on 20% (27% and 23%,
respectively, in August). According to IVVM, the present coalition would
win, with a majority sufficient to make constitutional changes, if
elections were held now. IVVM put the Christian Democratic Union-Czech
People's Party, expected to be the powerbroker after the elections, in
third place with 8%, ahead of the Communists (7%) and Civic Democratic
Alliance (6%). -- Steve Kettle

MORE PERSONNEL PURGES IN SLOVAKIA. Maria Klimova, director of the
Foreign Ministry personnel department, said in Bratislava on 12 October
that preparations have been made for the dismissal of "the first batch
of ambassadors," Pravda reported two days later. According to Klimova,
this step is the result of "unfinished work" assigned to the ambassadors
at an April meeting in Bratislava. Klimova complained that although the
ambassadors were asked to help improve Slovakia's image, particularly in
the media, some have not reacted to "shocking" articles aimed against
Slovakia. Foreign Ministry State Secretary Jozef Sestak, in an interview
with Slovak Radio on 16 October, said that in his ministry, "it is an
absolutely common matter that people come and go." Defending "the good
name" of Slovakia is not only the basic responsibility of diplomats but
also of every citizen, Sestak stressed. Sme on 14 October reported that
another wave of dismissals of hospital directors has begun and that
Slovak TV is preparing to dismiss some 120 employees. Meanwhile, Tomas
Hasala, the government's 23-year-old spokesman, has quit, Pravda
reported on 17 October. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY BEGINS PRIVATIZING ELECTRIC ENERGY SECTOR. The Hungarian State
Privatization and Holding Company (APV Rt.) on 16 October launched the
privatization of Hungary's $4.5 billion electric energy sector, AFP
reported the same day. Executive director of APV Rt. Bela Kunszler said
Hungary wants to sell 24% of the Hungarian Electricity Works (MVM Rt.),
as well as stakes of between 46.15% and 49.23% in six regional
electricity supply companies and holdings of between 34% and 49.7% in
seven power stations. Hungary's sole nuclear power station and the
National Electricity Distribution Company will continue to be 100% owned
by MVM Rt. Bids are to be submitted by the end of November, and APV Rt.
hopes that sale contracts can be signed within 20 days. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN PREMIER MEETS WITH AMERICAN INVESTORS. Gyula Horn on 16
October met with representatives of Emerging Markets Managements, a
group of American investors, who acknowledged Hungary's current reforms
and ensured Horn of their readiness to make further investments in the
country, Magyar Hirlap reported the next day. Horn told the group of
investors, whose total investments in Hungary to date total some $70
million, that economic indicators were improving and that the leadership
is determined to continue with its economic stabilization plan.
Meanwhile, Horn told the parliament on 16 October that he will visit
Croatia and Serbia in the near future to help start economic
reconstruction efforts there. He noted that the former Yugoslavia's
economic reconstruction is of great importance for Hungary, whose
economy has suffered large losses since the outbreak of war in the
region. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC BAGS FOUR GENERALS. Bosnian Serb civilian leader Radovan
Karadzic succeeded at the recent session of the Bosnian Serb parliament
in removing four of the top military leaders: the second in command,
General Milan Gvero; intelligence chief General Zdravko Tolimir; and
local commanders Generals Djordje Djukic and Grujo Boric. The official
reason given for the shakeup was the need to rejuvenate the top command,
but the International Herald Tribune on 17 October called it a snub to
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, who is regarded by many Bosnian
Serbs as having betrayed them. The BBC said the purge showed that
Karadzic "is back on top" at the expense of military leader General
Ratko Mladic. -- Patrick Moore

DESPONDENCY IN BANJA LUKA. Allied and Serbian forces continued to
exchange salvoes between Sanski Most and Prijedor on 16 October. The
total number of Serbian refugees fleeing the allied advance now appears
to be some 100,000. Nasa Borba on 16-17 October reported on the
situation in Banja Luka, where most of these people have gathered, and
noted that the "humanitarian situation is catastrophic." The paper said
that Serbs there have lost faith in Belgrade and their own politicians
and that the old rift between Banja Luka and Pale is growing. There is
talk of an eventual evacuation of the Bosnian Serb "stronghold." --
Patrick Moore

MORE REPORTS OF WAR CRIMES. The Independent on 16 October noted that
fighting is now concentrated along the Banja Luka defense line running
from Prijedor south to Sanski Most and southeast to Mrkonjic Grad. This
area saw some of the worst Serbian atrocities against Muslims and Croats
in 1992, and the allied forces are interested in looking at reported
mass graves. Reuters quoted UNHCR officials as saying that the Serbs
appear to be getting ready to resume "ethnic cleansing" following a few
days' break. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 17 October cited
UNHCR personnel as adding that the current peace talks have given the
war criminals more time to do their dirty work. Reuters said that up to
4,000 Muslim and Croat males are unaccounted for. Of these, according to
the International Herald Tribune, 500 alone come from Sanski Most. The
Times and Daily Telegraph on 16 October presented accounts of revenge
killings of Muslim civilians by Serbs fleeing Sanski Most. -- Patrick
Moore

TENSIONS MOUNT OVER EASTERN SLAVONIA. A standoff continues between the
Croatian authorities and rebel Serbs as to the time and venue for a new
round of talks on the peaceful return of eastern Slavonia to Croatian
sovereignty. President Franjo Tudjman and other top Croatian officials
have continued to state that Zagreb will reintegrate the area by
military means if talks fail. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 17
October said that 22 Croatian army tanks have left northern Bosnia for
Nasice near eastern Slavonia, and the Financial Times the previous day
reported that at least 2,500 troops did not return from Bosnia to their
Adriatic garrisons. -- Patrick Moore

STRIKES IN RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. Some 5,000 workers from the Rakovica metal
works, after striking for two weeks, on 16 October protested in front of
Serbian government offices in Belgrade. They demanded a "systematic
solution for their company's further survival," payment of back pay, and
the dismissal of the ministers for industry, trade, and finance, Nasa
Borba reported. Strikes have spread to Montenegro, including the
Bjelasica Holding Company, which was hit on 16 October. The Teachers'
Union also announced a strike unless back pay is delivered, Montena-fax
reported on 17 October. The same source added that Croatian Serb
refugees are moving from Serbia to Montenegro, thus creating a
humanitarian problem. Meanwhile, double-digit monthly inflation was
recorded there in September, the first time this year that inflation has
exceeded 10%. -- Daria Sito Sucic

ROMANIAN-EU PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE MEETS. The Romanian-European Union
Parliamentary Committee began a two-day meeting in Brussels on 16
October, Radio Bucharest reported. The committee, set up in April in
accordance with Romania's association agreement with the EU, monitors
the agreement's implementation and seeks to promote a political dialogue
between the two sides. The current meeting focuses on Romania's
prospects for joining European structures. European Parliament President
Klaus Haensch and EU foreign affairs head Hans van den Broek, addressing
the inaugural session, praised Romania's efforts to adapt to EU
standards in various spheres. They were quoted by Radio Bucharest as
promising that the EU would re-examine a decision to include Romania on
the so-called EU "black list" of countries whose citizens are required
to have visas for travel in EU member states. Meanwhile, President Ion
Iliescu ended his two-day visit to Tunisia on 16 October. Four bilateral
accords (on investments protection, economic and technical cooperation,
tourism, and health) were signed, Radio Bucharest reported. -- Dan
Ionescu

SZUROS DENIES STATEMENT QUOTED BY REUTERS. Matyas Szuros, leader of the
Hungarian delegation to the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference in
Bucharest last week, denied that he had referred to "Szekler enclaves"
in eastern Transylvania in an interview with Reuters (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 11 October 1995), Romanian dailies reported on 16-17 October.
Szuros said the mistake was the result of a translation error,
explaining that "territorial autonomy" was translated as "enclave". In a
separate development, officials from the Romanian and Hungarian defense
ministries met in Romania to discuss NATO expansion in Eastern Europe
and bilateral relations, Radio Bucharest reported. -- Matyas Szabo

MOLDOVAN OPPOSITION ORGANIZATION BECOMES PARTY. A leading Moldovan
opposition organization, the United Democratic Congress (CDU), has
renamed itself the Moldovan Party of Democratic Forces at its fifth
congress in Chisinau, BASA-press and Infotag reported on 16 October. The
party has branches in more than 30 districts and representatives in the
parliament and local government. Valeriu Matei, who was elected leader
of the new party, said the current government is unable to stop the
economic decline. The meeting called for the government's removal and
accused it of pushing the country into the CIS sphere of interests. --
Matyas Szabo

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION CALLS FOR SUSPENSION OF TV CHIEF. Union of
Democratic Forces (SDS) caucus leader Yordan Sokolov on 16 October asked
the office of the prosecutor-general to suspend Director of National TV
Ivan Granitski and start legal proceedings against him, Demokratsiya
reported the following day. Granitski has twice refused to broadcast a
declaration by SDS Chairman Ivan Kostov and an SDS statement protesting
the "violation of the provisional statute" of the state-run media.
According to that document, national media are obliged to reflect the
diversity of political views, and political parties have the right to
present their views on TV and radio. Sokolov argued that Granitski
exceeded his authority and demanded that he be suspended until the case
is brought to court. * Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN WASHINGTON. Safet Zhulali and U.S.
Secretary of Defense William Perry signed a military agreement in
Washington on 16 October, Lajmi i Dites reported the next day. Perry
said that the agreement is an important step for bilateral military
relations and a basis for better military cooperation. Albania and the
U.S. signed a memorandum in October 1993 to develop military cooperation
and have held nine joint military exercises in Albania this year. Five
U.S. experts are attached to the Albanian Defense Ministry. Zhulali
praised the "extraordinary role" that the cooperation with the U.S. has
played in the reform of the Albanian military and in ensuring security
in the region. Albania provides facilities for the U.S. Navy and air-
bases for American spy-planes that gather information over Bosnia. --
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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