The only certainty is that nothing is certain. - Pliny the Elder
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 204, Part II, 19 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, 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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
JOURNALISTS: A directory of OMRI analysts covering Eastern Europe and
the former Soviet Union is now available. You can access it from OMRI's
World Wide Web page (http://www.omri.cz/SD/SDIntro.html) or
request a hard copy by sending an e-mail to specialist@omri.cz

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINE JOINS COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Ukraine on 18 October was formally
accepted into the Council of Europe, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. A
ceremony marking its admission will be held in Strasbourg on 9 November.
Ukraine announced on 17 October that it will strike the death penalty
from its penal code in order to fulfill Council of Europe norms. The
suspension of capital punishment has met with opposition from some
quarters. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINIAN COMMUNISTS WANT REFERENDUM ON RUSSIA. The Ukrainian Communist
Party has joined initiative groups that want a referendum on Ukraine's
relations with Russia, Russian Public TV reported on 18 October. The
initiative groups must gather 3 million signatures to hold such a
referendum. The communists want the referendum also to address the issue
of national symbols, the status of the Russian language, and
establishing a union within the framework of the CIS. Meanwhile, a new
parliamentary faction called Union has been formed by 34 deputies whose
aim is to unite Russia and Ukraine. Nationalist deputies in the
parliament have asked the prosecutor-general's office to consider Union
in the same light as extremists and other anti-state groups. -- Ustina
Markus

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT FORMS COMMISSION TO MONITOR PAYMENTS CRISIS. Leonid
Kuchma has formed a special commission to monitor the country's growing
payments crisis, UNIAR reported on 18 October. He appointed First Deputy
Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko as chairman. Lazarenko told reporters
that government ministries and agencies have only a vague idea of the
real state of inter-enterprise and bank indebtedness. The government has
instructed the Statistics Ministry to monitor the debts of 150,000 state
organizations and firms. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UPDATE ON ZVYAHILSKYI CASE. A special commission of the Ukrainian
parliament has concluded that former Prosecutor-General Vladyslav
Datsiuk misled the legislature about the ongoing criminal investigation
into former acting Prime Minister Yukhym Zvyahilskyi, UNIAN reported on
17 October. Following a meeting with Zvyahilskyi in Israel last week,
commission members concluded that Datsiuk's request that lawmakers strip
Zvyahilskyi of his parliamentary immunity was "not sufficiently
justified and contained prejudicial information." Zvyahilskyi is accused
of selling jet fuel while he was acting premier during the Leonid
Kravchuk's presidency. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN DELEGATION IN IRAQ. The Iraqi News Agency on 18 October
reported that a Belarusian delegation was in Iraq discussing improving
ties between the two countries. The delegation was led by Uladzimir
Malteen from the president's office. Malteen reportedly congratulated
Saddam Hussein on his recent referendum victory and said it "represented
a victory for Iraq and justice." The referendum has been criticized by
Western officials as a sham. -- Ustina Markus

LITHUANIAN PEACEKEEPING MISSION RETURNS HOME. The Lithuanian platoon
Litplat-3, which was serving as part of the Danish UN peacekeeping
battalion in Croatia, returned to Lithuania on 17 October, Radio
Lithuania reported. The platoon's scheduled six-month tour was
terminated by a UN decision to withdraw the Danish forces. Povilas
Malakauskas of the Foreign Ministry International Relations Department
said he decision to send the platoon to Lithuania rather than Denmark
suggested it will not be reassigned to another peacekeeping mission in
the former Yugoslavia. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENT, PREMIER DISAGREE OVER FOREIGN MINISTER. Lech Walesa on
18 October threw his support behind Foreign Minister Wladyslaw
Bartoszewski, who is involved in a dispute with Prime Minister Jozef
Oleksy over ambassadorial nominations. According to the foreign
minister, recent nominations have been blocked by the premier (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 17 October 1995). Walesa demanded an end to practices that
prevent the foreign minister from performing his legal duties. A
government's spokesperson said the prime minister accepted 12 out of
Bartoszewski's 16 nominations, Polish dailies reported on 19 October. --
Jakub Karpinski

POLISH ELECTION UPDATE. Solidarity's National Commission on 18 October
voted to support Walesa in the presidential elections, scheduled for 5
November, after delegates to the Solidarity national congress backed the
incumbent president. Walesa received 62% of the delegates' votes; former
Prime Minister Jan Olszewski 23%; and Central Bank President Hanna
Gronkiewicz-Waltz 10%. Meanwhile, the parliament's Constitutional
Commission has made provisions in the draft constitution for a three-
tier system of territorial administration. Since 1975, Poland has had
only a two-tier system, providing for counties and provinces, Polish
dailies reported on 19 October. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH PARLIAMENT OVERRIDES HAVEL'S VETO. The Czech parliament on 18
October approved for the second time extending the screening or so-
called lustration law, which bans former police agents and high
communist officials from public office. Deputies last month voted to
extend the screening law to 2000, but President Vaclav Havel vetoed it
on 6 October (see OMRI Daily Digest, 9 October 1995), arguing that an
extension was premature since the law does not expire until the end of
1996. In his opinion, the lustration law was a protective measure during
revolutionary times and extending it could be seen to indicate that the
Czech Republic is unable to create a system based on the rule of law. --
Jiri Pehe

FORMER CZECH PRIVATIZATION HEAD SENTENCED TO 7 YEARS. Jaroslav Lizner,
former head of the Czech Republic's Center for Voucher Privatization, on
18 October was sentenced to seven years in prison by a Prague district
court after being found guilty of accepting bribes and abuse of public
office. Lizner was arrested in summer 1994 when he accepted an 8 million
koruny ($296,000) bribe to pass on important economic information to a
Czech company. In addition to the prison sentence, Lizner was fined 1
million koruny ($37,000) and banned from holding public office for 10
years. -- Jiri Pehe

ROMA BANNED FROM MORAVIAN SWIMMING BATHS. A worker at the swimming baths
in Vsetin, Moravia, told reporters that Roma are not admitted for
"hygienic reasons" Zemedelske Noviny reported on 18 October. He cited a
town document justifying the prohibition, but the Vestin deputy mayor
said no such document existed, while adding he is in favor of a
"stronger attitude" toward Roma. The director of the baths denied that
bath regulations mentioned Roma, saying only "dirty, ill, or lice-
infested people" were barred. He claimed that in the summer, Roma jump
the fence surrounding the baths and bathe in their clothes. He did not
mention whether other locals do the same. A Vsetin restaurant also
recently announced that it will not serve Roma, even though such racial
discrimination breaches Czech law on consumer protection. -- Alaina
Lemon

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER DENIES REUTERS REPORT. Juraj Schenk, continuing
his visit to Britain on 18 October, denied a Reuters report the previous
day that Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind had issued a warning to
Slovakia (see OMRI Daily Digest, 18 October 1995). Speaking on Slovak
Radio, Schenk said the British side expressed interest in "the
completion of the process of democratization in Slovakia. What they
said, however, was clear in the sense that they support our efforts
toward integration," Pravda reported him as saying. -- Sharon Fisher

BLEAK OUTLOOK FOR SLOVAK ENTREPRENEURS. Meeting with President Michal
Kovac on 18 October, Union of Businessmen, Entrepreneurs, and Farmers
(UZPR) Chairman Pavol Prokopovec expressed fear that small and medium-
sized businesses could disappear in Slovakia. He pointed out that some
65,000 small entrepreneurs have already returned their licenses.
Prokopovec expressed support for Kovac "as the representative of
democracy in Slovakia," TASR reported on 18 October. In a surprising
move, the UZPR's rival--the Party of Businessmen and Entrepreneurs
(SPZ)--on 11 October signed a cooperation agreement with the ruling
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY'S SOCIALISTS SERIOUSLY DIVIDED. Hungary's ruling Socialist Party
is deeply divided one month before a crucial party congress in late
November, Reuters and Hungarian newspapers reported on 18 October. A
slump in the party's popularity, divisions over economic policy, and
mounting dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Gyula Horn's governing
style are expected to make that meeting particularly explosive. Party
sources say Horn's position as party chairman is unlikely to come under
threat at the congress, but they suggest the controversial government
austerity package may have to be softened. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HEAD OF LARGEST HUNGARIAN TRADE UNION FEDERATION QUITS. Sandor Nagy,
head of MSZOSZ, the country's largest trade union federation, officially
resigned from his post on 18 October, Hungarian newspapers and AFP
reported the next day. He told a news conference that MSZOSZ is
generally disappointed with the socialist-led government because it does
not stand up for leftist values. However, observers say that Nagy's
resignation was prompted by growing criticism among union activists that
Nagy, who is also an MSZP deputy, does not represent union interests
well enough. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC SAYS FRENCH AIRMEN "KIDNAPPED . . ." Bosnian Serb leader
Radovan Karadzic told reporters on 18 October that the two French pilots
shot down on 30 August have been kidnapped by unknown men. The pilots
were allegedly undergoing medical treatment for injuries sustained in
the crash when the mysterious abductors arrived. Karadzic suggested the
kidnappers might be Muslims but did not indicate how a Muslim band might
have gotten through what was presumably a tight security net. He also
promised an investigation. The VOA on 19 October said it was the first
admission by the Bosnian Serbs that they held the pilots. -- Patrick
Moore

. . . BUT FRANCE CALLS HIS STATEMENT "GROTESQUE." Liberation reported on
19 October that the issue of the airmen had been at the top of the
agenda of Foreign Minister Herve de Charette when he arrived in Belgrade
the previous day. The paper quoted unnamed French officials as saying
that they felt that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic "knows nothing
about the fate of the pilots and that is rather disturbing." Another
called Karadzic's story "grotesque," adding that "either the two pilots
are dead and Karadzic does not want to say, or they are mocking us." --
Patrick Moore

KARADZIC CALLS TERRITORIAL MAP THE MAIN ISSUE. Nasa Borba on 19 October
quoted the Bosnian Serb leader as again stressing that "the map" remains
the key question for a future settlement. He added that Pale's ties to
Belgrade have been "normalized" and that his own relations with Bosnian
Serb commander General Ratko Mladic are "good." The Daily Telegraph
quoted Karadzic as rejecting any claims that territorial gains by the
allied armies in recent months mean that the Serbs will get less than
the 49% of the republic's territory specified in the current partition
plan. "We won't accept the result of this aggression," he declared in
Banja Luka. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung stated that Bosnian Croat
forces hold 30.6% of the total land area and government troops 21%. --
Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN SERBS CONTINUE TO ARREST FOREIGN JOURNALISTS. UNPROFOR officials
in Sarajevo have confirmed that in addition to two Turkish journalists
captured by Bosnian Serbs on 13 October and kept in a military prison
near Sarajevo, Bosnian Serb police have detained one British and two
American journalists at Pale, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 19 October.
Negotiations on their release have already started through the mediation
of UNPROFOR and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The Serbs
have made the Turkish journalists' release conditional on the freeing of
two Serbian journalists held by Bosnian government forces. But according
to SRNA, the Serbian journalists have been killed in prison, BETA
reported on 19 October. No independent sources have confirmed this
story. Meanwhile, U.S. envoy Richard Holbrooke told Oslobodjenje that
Sarajevo should not become a new divided Berlin, while the BBC on 19
October quoted Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic as saying that
Sarajevo must remain undivided. --  Daria Sito Sucic

RUMP YUGOSLAVIA, BOSNIA TO OPEN LIAISON OFFICES. Nasa Borba on 19
October reported that U.S. envoy Holbrooke announced in Sarajevo that
Bosnia and rump Yugoslavia have agreed to open "liaison offices" in each
other's capital. The announcement comes in the wake of Holbrooke's talks
in Sarajevo with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic and in Belgrade
with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Holbrooke described this
latest move as "a small step" toward improving ties between the two
countries, which have had no official relations since war broke out in
Bosnia in 1991. Belgrade has a similar "liaison" with Zagreb, but the
arrangement has failed to produce any diplomatic breakthroughs. -- Stan
Markotich

RUMP YUGOSLAV ARMY TESTS COMBAT PREPAREDNESS. Tanjug on 17 October
reported that the Yugoslav Army General Staff issued a statement
acknowledging that the Novi Sad Corps, based in Serbia's northern
Vojvodina province, was holding maneuvers to test combat readiness.
Reportedly involved in the exercise were infantry, mechanized, air, and
maritime (river) units. Tanjug said troops were "well-trained" and
"highly motivated." -- Stan Markotich

NATIONAL MOVEMENT FOR THE LIBERATION OF KOSOVO CALLS FOR RESISTANCE.
According to Gazeta Shqiptare on 19 October, the National Movement for
the Liberation of Kosovo in its publication Clirimi has called for an
armed uprising to gain independence and to end the current deadlock. The
movement, however, is rather isolated within the Kosovar political scene
and does not represent the majority of Kosovar Albanians, who support
the policy of peaceful resistance pursued by shadow-state President
Ibrahim Rugova. -- Fabian Schmidt

MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT TO LEAVE HOSPITAL "VERY SOON." Medical sources in
Skopje were quoted by AFP on 18 October as saying that Kiro Gligorov
will be able to leave hospital "very soon." Gligorov, who was seriously
wounded in an assassination attempt on 3 October, is still undergoing
treatment, but doctors say his "condition has been fine for several
days." Gligorov is scheduled to have talks with outgoing UN Special
Envoy for the former Yugoslavia Yasushi Akashi on 18 October at the
hospital. Meanwhile, delegations from Macedonia and Greece are
continuing their talks in Athens on the opening of liaison offices in
each other's capitals. -- Stefan Krause

HUNGARIAN PREMIER IN CROATIA. Gyula Horn, during an official visit to
Zagreb on 18 October, met with President Franjo Tudjman and Prime
Minister Nikica Valentic, Croatian and Hungarian newspapers reported the
next day. The two premiers said after their meeting that discussion
focused on the current situation in the region, with special attention
given to bilateral economic relations. Horn said Hungary is willing to
participate in the reconstruction of the Croatian and Bosnian economies
by offering assistance worth $1 billion. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

ROMANIAN STUDENTS CONTINUE TO PROTEST FEES. Students on 18 October
continued to stage protests in Bucharest and other cities to oppose
official plans to implement university fees, Romanian media reported.
Education Minister Liviu Maior defended the new fees, saying they
applied only to students who fail to take their exams and have to repeat
the year. But student leader Cristian Urse claimed that the authorities
were intending to introduce "various" charges. A student delegation was
later received by Maior and other ministers, and Premier Nicolae
Vacaroiu spoke briefly to student leaders. The two sides signed a
protocol aimed at paving the way for a compromise. But Radio Bucharest
later quoted Urse as saying that the protests would continue, since the
government is trying "to throw dust in the students' eyes." -- Dan
Ionescu

MOLDOVAN STUDENTS RESUME PROTESTS. More than 8,000 students and teachers
on 18 October marched through Chisinau to protest official cultural
policies and deteriorating living conditions, BASA-press and Infotag
reported. The demonstration marked the resumption of a wave of students
protests and strikes in the spring that sparked a political crisis in
Moldova. Professor Anatol Petrencu, head of the republican strike
committee, stated that the main goal of the protest action was to force
the government to resign. He also said the students continued to insist
that the official language be renamed Romanian (instead of "Moldovan")
and that the "history of the Romanians" be taught in schools and
universities. The organizers said the protests would continue. -- Dan
Ionescu

SUSPECT CHARGED WITH MURDER OF FORMER BULGARIAN DEPUTY MINISTER. Plamen
Mironov, director of the insurance company "BG-Plan," was arrested on 17
October and charged with the murder of former Deputy Education Minister
Lambo Kyuchukov, Demokratsiya reported on 19 October. Bogdan Karayotov
of the National Investigation Agency confirmed that proceedings against
Mironov have started but gave no details about the motive or the
evidence. Kyuchukov was killed on 7 July near Sofia (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 10 July 1995), two hours after meeting with Mironov.
Demokratsiya reports that he had signed a cooperation contract with "BG-
Plan" and tried to convince the Education Ministry to become a client of
the company. Mironov's lawyer said there is no evidence against his
client and demanded that he be released. -- Stefan Krause

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
Union and East-Central and Southeastern Europe. It is published Monday
through Friday by the Open Media Research Institute. The OMRI Daily
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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