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

No. 203, Part II, 18 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

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT ACCEPTS PROSECUTOR-GENERAL'S RESIGNATION. President
Leonid Kuchma has accepted the resignation of Prosecutor-General
Vladyslav Datsiuk, Ukrainian TV reported on 17 October. Datsiuk
submitted his letter of resignation on 10 October, claiming persistent
interference by the parliament had made it impossible for him to remain
in this post. He was also the subject of a prolonged political battle
between lawmakers and the president, with deputies twice voting to
dismiss him. Kuchma supported his efforts in battling corruption,
including several high-profile inquiries into top legislators, who
claimed his actions were politically motivated. Kuchma is expected to
nominate Hryhoryi Vorsinov, the chief prosecutor in Dnipropetrovsk
Oblast, to replace Datsiuk. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINE'S MEMBERSHIP IN COUNCIL OF EUROPE IMMINENT? President Leonid
Kuchma met with a delegation from the Council of Europe in Kiev on 17
October, Ukrainian Radio reported. Kuchma assured the delegation that
Ukraine will carry out all obligations demanded of council members. The
same day, it was announced that the death penalty has been suspended to
fulfill membership requirements, making Ukraine the first former Soviet
republic to take this step. Deputy Prime Minister Vasyl Durdinets said
the relevant clause will be removed from the criminal code within two to
three years. An RFE/RL correspondent reported on 18 October that
officials from the Council of Europe anticipate that Ukraine will be
formally accepted as a member that day. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINIAN-POLISH STATEMENT ON BORDERS. The Ukrainian and Polish
embassies in the U.S., responding to a statement by Senator Kay
Hutchinson, issued a joint statement denying there were any border
problems between the two countries, Ukrainian Radio reported on 17
October. Hutchinson had told the U.S. Senate a week earlier that the
Polish-Ukrainian border is a potential hot spot and that border disputes
between Poland and Ukraine continued. Poland and Ukraine categorically
denied there are any border disputes whatsoever. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINE NOT TO MEET CFE DEADLINE. Ukraine cannot meet the 16 November
deadline to destroy its excess conventional weapons, according to a
Foreign Ministry official in charge of disarmament, ITAR-TASS reported
on 17 October. Vladimir Balashov said that the treaty covers naval
infantry and coastal troops equipment and that Ukraine does know what
its share of this equipment is because it has not yet agreed with Russia
on the division of the fleet. A Ukrainian Defense Ministry official last
month said Ukraine will have no trouble meeting the Conventional Forces
in Europe treaty deadline. Balashov also said Ukraine was ready to agree
to the "temporary basing of the Russian Fleet on its territory until the
Russian Federation creates its own base." -- Doug Clarke

VAHI RENOMINATED FOR ESTONIAN PRIME MINISTER. President Lennart Meri on
17 October nominated Tiit Vahi as his candidate for prime minister, BNS
reported. Vahi resigned on 11 October after the dismissal of Center
Party Chairman Edgar Savisaar as interior minister. Vahi has two weeks
to form a government, which must then be approved by the 101-seat
parliament. He leads the Coalition Party and Rural Union alliance of 41
deputies and is expected to seek a coalition with the Reform Party,
which has 19 deputies, and perhaps the Rightists (five). He has no plans
to continue the coalition with the Center Party, which had five
ministers in the previous government. Meri is unlikely to play a role in
the formation of the new cabinet because he leaves on 18 October for a
two-week trip to the U.S. and Mexico. -- Saulius Girnius

LATVIA, CHINA PLAN TO INCREASE TRADE. The head of the Europe section of
the Chinese Ministry of Economic Cooperation and the director of the
Latvian Foreign Ministry Multilateral Relations Department, signed in
Riga on 17 October a protocol to increase the volume of trade, BNS
reported. The document also provides for transit through Latvian ports,
developing tourism, and improving business relations between
entrepreneurs in the two countries. Volume of trade between the two
countries was more than $27 million in 1994 but fell to only $6 million
in the first half of 1995. -- Saulius Girnius

MASS PRIVATIZATION TO START EARLY IN POLAND. The Polish government on 17
October announced that the mass privatization program will begin on 22
November, one week earlier than planned. Minister for Ownership
Transformation Wieslaw Kaczmarek said that certificates for
participating in the program will cost 20 zloty ($8.2). A document
outlining the course of privatization in 1996 was approved by the
government. It provides for the privatization of, among others, large
chemical enterprises, Polish Copper, Polish Airlines LOT, and Polish
Baltic Shipping Lines, Polish dailies reported on 18 October. -- Jakub
Karpinski

CZECH HARD CURRENCY RESERVES AT RECORD HIGH. Czech hard currency
reserves stood at close to $15 billion early this month, Mlada fronta
dnes reported on 18 October. The paper quoted Czech National Bank (CNB)
spokesman Martin Svehla as saying the CNB held $11.8 billion of the
total sum. He added that in the first half of this year, 30% of the
bank's reserves were accounted for by short-term or speculative capital.
A further overwhelming influx of such funds has been braked by measures
introduced by the Bank since then, he noted (see OMRI Daily Digest, 23
June 1995). The bulk of the $500,000 increase in the reserves from
September to October resulted from a Dutch-Swiss consortium's partial
payment of a $1.32 billion stake in the communications company SPT
Telecom. -- Steve Kettle

24 KILOS OF SEMTEX STOLEN FROM CZECH DEPOT. Police in Brno said on 17
October that they are seeking two men who stole 24 kilos of red Semtex a
week ago from a storage depot run by the explosives manufacturer
Synthesia Semtin, Czech media reported. The thieves broke into the depot
and escaped without an alarm being raised, despite the fact that it is
guarded by soldiers. Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry in Prague was
evacuated on 17 October after an anonymous bomb threat. The same
happened a day earlier at one of Prague's biggest hospitals, while an
amateur letter bomb, which proved to be harmless, was sent to Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus last week. -- Steve Kettle

OFFICIAL INVESTIGATING ABDUCTION OF SLOVAK PRESIDENT'S SON IS DISMISSED.
Bratislava regional prosecutor Robert Vlachovsky, who is overseeing the
investigation into the abduction of Michal Kovac Jr., has dismissed Maj.
Peter Vacok, who was working on the case, TASR reported on 18 October.
Vacok is the second investigator to be fired from the case. His
predecessor, Maj. Jaroslav Simunic, was removed in September and later
resigned from the police force. In late September, Slovak Information
Service director Ivan Lexa, a close political ally of Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar, filed criminal charges against Simunic, Vacok, and
Vladimir Lamacka, who was removed as director of the police
investigation department on 9 October. Lexa accused the police of "using
criminal methods" in their investigation and of applying "psychological
pressure" against SIS agents. Police investigators have found evidence
that the SIS was involved in the abduction, but political involvement in
the case could delay its resolution. -- Sharon Fisher

BRITAIN WARNS SLOVAKIA ABOUT DEMOCRACY. British Foreign Secretary
Malcolm Rifkind on 17 October issued a warning to Slovak Foreign
Minister Juraj Schenk, who is in Britain for a three-day official visit.
Expressing concern about political developments in Slovakia, Rifkind
said the country will win entry to the European Union only if it meets
basic democratic standards, Reuters reported. A British official said
Britain is helping Slovakia prepare for EU entry, but he stressed that
"a great deal" of work remains to be done. "The EU partners, including
the UK, have been very concerned about the trend of recent political
development in Slovakia," he said. Schenk told reporters that Slovakia
would like to join NATO "as soon as possible" and that the legal and
economic conditions for EU entry should be fulfilled by 2000. -- Sharon
Fisher

SLOVAK CABINET UNEASY ABOUT "DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGN." The government on
17 October expressed "serious concern" about the "massive disinformation
campaign" aimed at Slovakia's "international isolation," Slovenska
Republika reported. Agriculture Minister Peter Baco called attention to
a recent article in The Economist on the abduction of President Michal
Kovac's son. Baco accused the opposition of contributing to "the
liquidation of our state on international soil." Kovac's recent visit to
Germany was also criticized, since he traveled there "without the
knowledge" of the foreign minister and at the invitation of the Konrad
Adenauer Foundation, which "cooperates with the opposition Christian
Democratic Movement." The cabinet delayed discussion of the
controversial state language law until next week. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PREMIER ON VISIT TO CROATIA, SERBIA. Gyula Horn told the
parliament on 16 October that the purpose of his visit to Zagreb and
Belgrade is to help start economic reconstruction efforts there,
Hungarian media reported. He noted that this is of primary importance
for Hungary because its economy has suffered significant losses since
the outbreak of war in the region. He also commented that as acting head
of the OSCE, Hungary will do everything in its power to secure the
earliest possible resolution to the Yugoslav crisis. Horn the next day
met with leaders of four parties representing Croatian and Vojvodina
Hungarians to discuss how his visit can help the situation of ethnic
Hungarians in the region, according to Hungarian media on 18 October.
Vojvodina Hungarians said they asked the premier to pressure Belgrade to
move most Serb refugees out of the Vojvodina region to other parts of
Serbia. Representatives of Hungarians in Croatia told reporters they
want to take part in any negotiations on the future of eastern Slavonia.
Hungary and Croatia have signed a basic treaty and an accord on the
mutual protection of minorities, but Budapest's links with Belgrade are
rather tense at present. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN SERBS REOPEN CONCENTRATION CAMP--FOR THEIR OWN PEOPLE. The
Guardian on 17 October reported that the notorious Omarska prison camp
complex is full again, this time with Serbian refugees. As when Muslim
and Croat inmates were held in 1992, there is little food or shelter,
the guards are abusive, and men are beaten and taken away--this time to
be press-ganged. Refugees said they were robbed by paramilitaries
commanded by the internationally wanted war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic
"Arkan." The British daily echoed the refugees' sentiments in noting
that "the Arkanovci have proved themselves to be far more efficient
looters than fighters." -- Patrick Moore

GANIC SAYS SERBS WILL RECEIVE LESS TERRITORY. Slobodna Dalmacija on 18
October reported that Prijedor is half empty as its Serbian inhabitants
flee before advancing allied forces. It added that Croatian soldiers in
Mrkonjic Grad have discovered the corpses of six Muslims whom Serbian
soldiers used as human shields. Nasa Borba quoted Bosnian Vice President
Ejup Ganic as saying that the Serbs will no longer be able to claim 49%
of the republic's territory in view of their recent losses on the
battlefield. Reuters on 17 October noted that the U.S. has selected the
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base outside Dayton, Ohio, as the site for
the planned peace talks involving the presidents of Serbia, Bosnia, and
Croatia. American officials claimed it was difficult to find equal
accommodations elsewhere for three heads of state. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN SERB "PATRIOTIC FRONT" DEMANDS PURGE. Bosnian Serb opposition
parties have joined to form the Patriotic Front, Nasa Borba reported on
18 October. Calling the recent sacking of four generals and the prime
minister "cosmetic," they demanded that "the main guilty parties" be
fired and that there be "radical changes" in the leadership. In a letter
to civilian leader Radovan Karadzic, they did not specify exactly whom
they meant. Reuters said the Bosnian Serb military leadership has
rejected the firing of the four generals and blamed the civilian
authorities for the recent monumental losses. A statement issued in
Belgrade pointed to "the failures of state policy and especially [the
civilians'] incapability to assert the results of our struggle at the
international level, [including] determining the borders of the
Republika Srpska." SRNA noted that Bosnian Serbs have appealed to
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic to "protect the Republika Srpska
and its people." -- Patrick Moore

INTERNATIONAL NEGOTIATORS IN BELGRADE. International media on 18 October
report that U.S. representative Richard Holbrooke, EU envoy Carl Bildt,
and Russian negotiator Igor Ivanov are in Belgrade. According to
Reuters, the purpose of their visit is "to brief Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic on the accelerating Bosnia peace process." -- Stan
Markotich

TUDJMAN REELECTED PARTY LEADER. Hina on 15 October said Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman was reelected president of the governing
Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) at the party's third congress. He
ran unopposed and took 1,199 out of 1,247 votes. Mate Granic, Gojko
Susak, Jadranka Kosor, Ivic Pasalic, and Franjo Greguric were elected
vice presidents. Tudjman stressed that the party must shun extremes, but
the common denominator among his deputies appears to be personal loyalty
rather than any ideological position. The Croatian Peasant Party (HSS)
also held its convention, which was addressed by leaders of some other
opposition parties, including the Liberals and the Independent
Democrats. They stressed that Croatia must not become a one-party state.
The HSS is challenging the HDZ for the 12 seats reserved for Croats
living abroad. -- Patrick Moore

MONTENEGRIN-ALBANIAN FLOUR SMUGGLING. Shkoder police and customs
officials on 16 October confiscated 200 tons of flour from Montenegro
bound for Albania, Gazeta Shqiptare reported. The smugglers were
arrested in a village near the checkpoint between Shkoder and Ulcinj.
The Albanian daily said smuggling flour from the rump Yugoslavia has
begun because of the low price of flour in Vojvodina and on the Kosovo
plains. Elsewhere, Montena-fax on 16 October ran a report alleging that
Montenegrin authorities initially failed to disclose information on, and
later tried to play down, the sinking of a tanker carrying 30 tons of
bitumen in the Bay of Hoti in Lake Shkoder on 24 September. -- Fabian
Schmidt

STUDENTS PROTEST IN BUCHAREST. Thousands of students on 17 October
marched in downtown Bucharest to protest plans to implement new
university fees, Radio Bucharest reported the same day. The rally
followed strikes over the past few days at universities in the provinces
protesting the new charges, which range from $100 to $2,300, depending
on which courses are taken. The students are also calling for amendments
to a controversial education law recently adopted by the parliament and
demanding that the internal affairs minister be summoned to the
parliament to account for the actions of policemen at previous student
demonstrations. Several opposition parties, including the Liberal Party
'93, have expressed support for the students. -- Dan Ionescu

ROMANIA MARE ATTACKS SECRET SERVICE CHIEF. In its latest issue, the
weekly of the chauvinistic Greater Romania Party (PRM) has published a
letter, allegedly written by a group of senior SRI officers, accusing
Virgil Magureanu, head of the Romanian Intelligence service (SRI), of
"gross interference in politics" and of appointing his close associates
to top positions within the service, Mediafax reported on 17 October.
The accusations were made in the form of 15 questions to Magureanu. The
anonymous authors of the letter threatened to published "irrefutable
proof" supporting their charges should the SRI chose to ignore the
criticism and leave the questions unanswered. Romania Mare in June
published a similar letter from 300 army officers accusing President Ion
Iliescu of having "liquidated" the Romanian army under pressure from
NATO. -- Dan Ionescu

MOLDOVAN GOVERNMENT BACKS INITIATIVE FOR POLITICAL FORUM. The Moldovan
government on 17 October said it supported an initiative by the Social
Progress Party (PPS) to hold a round-table conference of all political
forces in the country, Infotag reported. The president, prime minister,
and parliamentary chairman are also invited to attend the conference,
whose aim is to overcome Moldova's current political crisis. The PPS was
founded this summer by a splinter group from the ruling Agrarian
Democratic Party of Moldova. It is considered the brainchild of
parliamentary chairman Petru Lucinschi, a former Central Committee
secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIA TO PROMOTE SILKWORM INDUSTRY. Reuters on 17 October reported
that Bulgarian officials plan to deal in part with the problems of
unemployment and economic demands imposed by the "needy and landless" by
encouraging such people to take part in the revival of the country's
ancient silkworm industry. The idea is to revive a tradition that can be
"a major means of earning a livelihood in various regions," Social
Minister Mincho Koralski said. Meanwhile, Bulgarian media on 17 October
reported that the first six-kilometer-long section of Sofia's
underground rail system made a trial run on 17 October. This part of the
system is slated to begin operating in early 1996. -- Stan Markotich

[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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