Logic, n. The act of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human understanding. - Ambrose Bierce
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 205, Part II, 20 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

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

TRADE UNIONISTS PICKET UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT. Between 3,000 and 5,000
trade unionists picketed the Ukrainian government in Kiev on 19 October,
demanding payment of back wages and wage hikes, international and
Ukrainian agencies reported. They also demanded increased government
support for ailing enterprises and an end to short work weeks without
pay. The protesters were joined by teachers, researchers, and physicians
as well as members of the Communist Party of Ukraine and the Chornobyl
Union. Members of the recently banned radical nationalist Ukrainian
National Assembly also took part to demand their official reinstatement.
Deputy Prime Minister Anatolii Kinakh announced that the government will
form a commission to address the trade unionists' demands. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES NEW PROSECUTOR-GENERAL. Lawmakers on 19
October voted to replace Prosecutor-General Valdyslav Datsiuk, who
resigned last week, with Hryhorii Vorsinov, the 60-year-old chief
prosecutor in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ukrainian TV reported the same day.
The vote reflected deputies' opposition to the Ukrainian government's
suspension of the death penalty as a condition for winning Council of
Europe membership. Reuters on 18 October reported Vorsinov as saying the
move to halt death sentences was premature amid rising crime in the
country. Opinion polls have revealed that only 5% of Ukrainians oppose
the death penalty. Legislators also voted to reject the former
prosecutor-general request to strip former acting Prime Minister Yukhym
Zvyahilskyi of his parliamentary immunity. Deputies concluded the
charges against Zvyahilskyi, who is in hiding in Israel, were
unsubstantiated. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

WORLD BANK TO GRANT CREDITS TO UKRAINE. The head of the World Bank
office in Ukraine said that the World Bank has approved a $700 million
credit to Ukraine, Interfax reported on 19 October. He added that the
bank plans to extend an additional $2 billion to Ukraine over the next
two years. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINE DEVELOPS NEW MILITARY DOCTRINE. Ukrainian Radio and Interfax on
19 October reported Ukrainian Defense Minister Valerii Shmarov as saying
Ukraine is developing a new military doctrine. Shmarov was in Crimea for
talks with Russian Black Sea Fleet commanders on handing over the bases
in Myrno and Novoozer to Ukraine. The defense minister said it was not
possible to proceed with Soviet-era assumptions that Ukraine was
surrounded by hostile forces. He emphasized that Crimea was overrun with
troops and suggested cutting the 500 military units stationed there to
350. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT SHAKES UP INTERIOR MINISTRY. Interfax on 19 October
reported that following the dismissal of Yurii Zakharenka as interior
minister, 10 or so top Interior Ministry officials have been arrested
over the past few days on charges of accepting bribes. ITAR-TASS
reported that Zakharenka was fired for "gross violations of financial
discipline." In other news, NTV on 19 October reported President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka as saying he would assume direct rule if the
November by-elections failed to produce a new parliament. He continues
to reject the old parliament's authority, despite a ruling by the
Constitutional Court saying that it is the legitimate legislature. The
president recently stopped paying deputies' salaries, except those of
presidium members. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT URGES FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH U.S. Lennart Meri, in
separate meetings in Washington on 19 October with Vice President Al
Gore and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms,
proposed a free trade agreement between the U.S. and Estonia, a RFE/RL
correspondent in Washington reported the next day. In a speech to the
U.S.-Baltic Foundation, Meri said that a free trade agreement makes
"simple business sense" because it would have "minimal" impact on
sensitive market sectors in the U.S. while broadly encouraging American
investment in Estonia. Meri travels to New York to attend the 50th
anniversary celebrations of the UN and will visit the West coast and
Mexico before returning home on 3 November. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT SUBMITS 1996 BUDGET TO PARLIAMENT. Prime Minister
Adolfas Slezevicius on 19 October submitted to the Seimas a draft budget
for 1996. The draft will be discussed as of 9 November, BNS reported. It
envisions expenditures of 7.54 billion litai ($1.885 billion) and income
of 6.95 billion litai, resulting in a budget deficit of about 2% of GNP.
The budget, based on an anticipated 15% rate of inflation during the
year, provides for 12-15% wage hikes for government workers and larger
allocations for education, social needs, and health care. -- Saulius
Girnius

POLISH BISHOPS ON DIALOGUE. Three Polish bishops--Jozef Zycinski,
Andrzej Suski, and Tadeusz Pieronek--on 19 October published the
Episcopate's declaration "On the Need for Dialogue and Tolerance during
the Building of Democracy." The bishops defend the right of the nation
to know the truth about the past and condemn the practice of destroying
archives or making them inaccessible. According to the bishops, the
archives are not the "private property of parties, ministries, or
institutions." They reminded that a precondition for forgetting is the
confession of one's guilt and an attempt to redress wrongdoings,
Rzeczpospolita reported on 20 October. -- Jakub Karpinski

POLISH CABINET DISCUSSES 1996 BUDGET. The Polish cabinet on 19 October
discussed the draft budget, which has been changed several times by the
Ministry of Finance. With agriculture and the army accounting for 2.6%
and 2.43% of GDP, government expenditures have been increased by 1.2
billion zloty ($0.5 billion). This amount would be balanced by tax
revenues. Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko said the budget reflected
economic changes. Meanwhile, inflation is reported to be slowing down
and the unemployment rate decreasing, Rzeczpospolita reported on 20
October. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

CZECH PRESS BILL CAUSES CONTROVERSY. The Czech government on 18 October
approved a draft law on the press that would deprive journalists of the
right to protect their sources and no longer require government
institutions to provide information to journalists "in an appropriate
manner." The original draft law, submitted by Czech Culture Minister
Pavel Tigrid, contained both provisions. Supporters of the government
version have argued that the Czech Constitution gives all citizens the
right to information, making such a provision redundant. A number of
Czech journalists and politicians have criticized the draft law. Some
suggested that journalists may revert to the practice, common among
dissident journalists during the communist era, of claiming they
"accidentally" found documents containing important information and
giving no source. -- Jiri Pehe

ROMANI PRESS IN CZECH REPUBLIC. The Citizens' Association for Romani
Press in Brno told TASR on 19 October that there is still not enough
interest among Roma in Romani journals and papers published in the Czech
Republic. Geyza Orlet, deputy chairman of the association and chief
editor of the Romani weekly Romano Kurko, said that Romas' low interest
in public affairs is partly due to their low social position. Orlet also
pointed out that "there is not enough Romani news on the stands" because
newsstand owners fear possible reprisal and violence from extremist
groups. He added that Roma may not know about all the 15 or so Romani
publications that appear regularly. -- Alaina Lemon

INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED INTO SLOVAK POLICE ACTIVITIES. Jozef Kubin of
Bratislava's regional prosecutor's office on 19 October announced that
he has started investigating Slovak Information Service director Ivan
Lexa's recent charges against police investigators. Stressing that the
matter is secret, he gave no further information. Jan Budaj of the
opposition Democratic Union pointed out the same day that Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar had announced the dismissal of Peter Vacok, who was
leading the investigation into the abduction of the president's son,
before the dismissal actually took place. Budaj argued that Ludovit
Hudek's failure to prevent Vacok's dismissal showed he has "ceased to be
interior minister" and is now a "pawn in the hands of Meciar."
Meanwhile, DU Deputy Chairman Ludovit Cernak criticized Slovak TV for
not allowing him to respond to new allegations that his party did not
have enough signatures to compete in last fall's elections (10,000 were
required). According to Cernak, a police investigation has found that
11,313 signatures were valid. However, police have not released an
official statement. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON BOSNIA. Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo
Kovacs, speaking after the Geneva meeting of the OSCE "troika" (the
foreign ministers of Italy, Hungary, and Switzerland, which are the
past, present, and future OSCE chairmen-in-office), said the OSCE is
expected to play a major role in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina, including
organizing free elections, Reuters reported on 19 October. Kovacs, who
is currently OSCE chairman-in-office, said the OSCE is expected to help
promote human rights and the protection of minorities as well as
supervise the disarmament of the warring sides. Kovacs, who accompanied
Hungarian Premier Gyula Horn on his recent visit to Croatia, added that
he expected NATO to be responsible for the military implementation of a
peace accord and the EU to be given the leading role in economic
reconstruction. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

TUDJMAN PROMISES NO ATTACK ON EASTERN SLAVONIA. International media on
19 October reported that Croatian President Franjo Tudjman told U.S.
envoy Richard Holbrooke that he would seek the return of eastern
Slavonia by peaceful means. Slobodna Dalmacija the following day noted,
however, that Croatia reserves the right to use whatever means necessary
to recover the last Serb-held area on its territory if talks prove
useless. Washington, Bonn, and London have repeatedly threatened Zagreb
with sanctions and with restrictions on access to Western institutions
should force be used. Croatian Television on 17 October ran footage from
rebel Serbian TV in Vukovar, which included the message: "Brother Serbs!
The moment for the final reckoning with the Ustashe [pejorative for
Croats] has come! We will free this Serbian land. We have enough
weapons. . . . We will fight to the end . . . and win!" -- Patrick Moore

WAR CRIMES UPDATE. Hina on 18 October carried a statement from Croatian
Interior Minister Ivan Jarnjak, who reported on investigations of
murders of Serbian civilians in the former Krajina. Some 25 suspects
have been arrested, including persons with police records. The minister
said they are "just vultures." Novi list on 20 October reported that the
Serbs held 350 Muslims from Bosanski Novi for five days without food or
water in a bus depot before expelling them. The Serbs also murdered
about 100 local Muslims who had refused to leave their homes. The
International Herald Tribune added that Western diplomats report that
some 2,000 Muslim men are still unaccounted for in northern Bosnia and
that it is feared they have been killed or are about to be. The U.S.
State Department has "gathered evidence of widespread killings of
civilians by Serbian forces" in the area recently. -- Patrick Moore

FRENCH UNIMPRESSED WITH KARADZIC'S STORY ON PILOTS. Paris continues to
reject Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's claim that the two downed
French airmen have been kidnapped by mysterious abductors. French and
international media quote officials as saying that they suspect the
pilots have been killed. Meanwhile in Sarajevo, French troops detained
EU mediator Carl Bildt at the Sarajevo airport. The furious Bildt
screamed "this is absolutely intolerable" when he was finally allowed to
leave the dugout, the International Herald Tribune said on 20 October.
Bildt has been tipped to replace outgoing UN mediator Yasushi Akashi. --
Patrick Moore

BELGRADE AUTHORITIES BAN SERBIAN RADICAL PARTY RALLY. The Serbian
Interior Ministry has issued a ban on a Serbian Radical Party (SRS)
rally scheduled for 20 October, Nasa Borba reported. Vladimir
Zhirinovsky, leader of the Russian Liberal-Democratic Party, was
expected to take part in the rally. SRS party leader and accused war
criminal Vojislav Seselj on 18 October told BETA that the meeting "would
be held at all costs." Nasa Borba reported on 20 October that he
announced a "walk down the Belgrade streets" as a demonstration of
"national dissatisfaction with the current regime." Seselj and
Zhirinovsky also have meetings scheduled for the following day with the
Bosnian Serb and Croatian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic, Momcilo
Krajisnik, and Milan Martic. -- Daria Sito Sucic

SERBIAN AUTHORITIES TO RENEW ATTACK ON INDEPENDENT MEDIA? BETA on 19
October reported that Belgrade's Center for Anti-War Action has warned
that a renewed regime attack on independent media in the rump Yugoslavia
may be in the offing. According to the report, the likeliest targets of
any renewed campaign are small local media voices. BETA reports that the
editor of Borskih novina recently received a six-month prison sentence
for publishing an unflattering caricature of several political leaders
from the former Yugoslavia. It suggests that other editors may be
subject to the same treatment. -- Stan Markotich

GLIGOROV LEAVES HOSPITAL. Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov was
released from hospital on 18 October and is now continuing his
recuperation at home, the Bulgarian daily 24 chasa reported on 20
October, citing the independent Macedonian TV station A1. Gligorov's
doctors said his condition is stable and good and that he has not
completely lost vision of his right eye, as stated earlier. It was also
reported that Gligorov did not meet with outgoing UN Special Envoy for
the former Yugoslavia Yasushi Akashi. Instead, Akashi met with
Gligorov's wife, Nada. -- Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN COALITION SPLITS. The Central Executive Bureau of the ruling
Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) on 19 October decided to
sever ties with its long-time ally, the extreme nationalist Greater
Romania Party (PRM), Radio Bucharest reported. PDSR Executive Chairman
Adrian Nastase explained the decision by the PRM's refusal to disavow
attacks on President Ion Iliescu in its weekly. Nastase further said
that the PRM has failed to respect the protocols of the alliance, which
forbid "any manifestation of racism, anti-Semitism, extremism, and
totalitarianism." Romanian media noted that the split leaves the
coalition with only 45% of the vote in the parliament and may herald the
fall of Nicolae Vacaroiu's cabinet. -- Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN STUDENTS TO CONTINUE PROTESTS . . . Following discussions with
government officials, leaders of the Bucharest Students' League have
decided to continue their protests, Romanian media reported on 19
October. More than 15,000 students protested in Bucharest the same day,
demanding, among other things, the reversal of the government's recent
decision to impose university fees. "Our protests will continue until
all our demands are met," Cristian Urse, leader of the student league,
was quoted as saying. -- Matyas Szabo

. . . WHILE MOLDOVAN STUDENTS ANNOUNCE INDEFINITE STRIKE. Thousands of
students and teaching staff on 19 October participated in a rally in
Chisinau for the second consecutive day, Moldovan agencies reported.
They demanded the resignation of the government, which they hold
responsible for deteriorating living conditions in the country. They
also insisted that Romanian be reinstated as the state language instead
of "Moldovan," as specified in the 1994 constitution. Protest leaders
announced that a general strike will be staged until all demands are
met, despite police threats that the strike's organizers will be
prosecuted. President Mircea Snegur, in a message addressed to students,
tried to convince them to stop their protest. -- Matyas Szabo

BULGARIAN AIR CARRIER SUSPENDS INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS. State-run Balkan
Airlines is to suspend a number of international flights, RFE/RL
reported on 19 October, citing Transportation Minister Stamen Stamenov.
The minister said that Balkan lost more than 800 million leva ($11.8
million) during the first nine months of 1995 "due to unprofitable
flights." Some 39 out of Balkan's 59 international routes make losses,
but some will be retained due to the "political and economic importance"
of the travel links, including the flight to New York. Procedures for
privatizing Balkan began in 1992 but were suspended earlier this year,
due to a lack of investors. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN GREECE. Dimitar Pavlov arrived in Athens
on 18 October on a three-day visit. Greek and Bulgarian media reported
that he held talks with his Greek counterpart, Gerasimos Arsenis,
parliamentary speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, and Deputy Foreign Minister
Georgios Romaios. Pavlov and Arsenis discussed prospects for further
cooperation in foreign and defense policy and possible ways to
consolidate peace in the Balkans. With regard to Greek press reports
that NATO is developing scenarios to grant Western Thrace autonomy if
ethnic tension breaks out there, Arsenis said that they had not talked
about "non-existing scenarios" but that he had briefed Pavlov on the
repercussions of the reports in Greece. Kaklamanis said Greece will
promote tighter relations between Bulgaria and the EU. In other news,
Slovenian Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler was in Sofia on 18 and 19
October to discuss bilateral and regional issues, Bulgarian radio
reported. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN GETS UNDER WAY. Skender Gjinushi, leader of
the Albanian Social Democrats, and Arben Imami, head of the Democratic
Alliance, kicked off with their joint election campaign in Kukes. Both
parties declared they do not intend to form an election coalition but
want to cooperate during the election campaign under the name "Pole of
the Center." They also announced the creation of an office intended to
protect them and their members from political intrigues, Gazeta
Shqiptare reported on 20 October. The office is also to defend the
interests of both parties in legal proceedings against the law on
genocide at the European Court in Strasbourg (see OMRI Daily Digest, 25
September 1995). -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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