Life is what happens to us while we're making other plans. - John Lennon
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 207, Part II, 24 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

BLACK SEA FLEET NEWS. Over 70 percent of Black Sea Fleet vessels are in
disrepair, Interfax reported on 21 October. As there is no procedure to
pay for maintenance work, no contracts have been signed with Russian
enterprises to do repairs this year. The fleet is still 462.77 billion
karbovantsy ($2.64 million) in debt for past repairs. In other fleet
news, Interfax reported on 23 October that Ukrainian Defense Minister
Valerii Shmarov has said Ukraine has no interest in the fleet's base at
Myrne. The fleet was preparing to transfer its facilities to Ukraine's
navy on 15 October, which would have effectively made the Ukrainian navy
responsible for the 10,000 inhabitants of Myrne. Shmarov said it would
be more expedient to transfer the town to Crimean authorities. -- Ustina
Markus

UKRAINIAN OFFICIAL DENIES SUSPENSION OF DEATH PENALTY. Deputy Justice
Minister Susanna Stanyk told the Ukrainian Parliament that the
government is not yet prepared to reject capital punishment, ITAR-TASS
reported 20 October. She denied the death penalty had been suspended
last week as announced by Ukraine's newly appointed Justice Minister
Serhii Holovatyi in the wake of the country's acceptance into the
Council of Europe. Stanyk said the decision is the prerogative of
parliament and not the Justice Ministry. Parliament has no plans for
debate on the death penalty this year. Stanyk said 74 death sentences
were handed down last year in Ukraine and 60 were carried out. One
execution was completed this year, she said. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN PEASANTS ASSEMBLY OPPOSES LAND MARKET. The first all-Ukrainian
Peasants Assembly held on 21 October in Kiev approved a list of demands
to the government that includes greater state control of the economy and
a ban on land sales, UNIAN reported the same day. Some 200 delegates
from several regions insisted the government fully finance the
agricultural sector. Participants blamed the low turnout for the
gathering on farm managers who, they claim, prevented employees from
attending. Others said the turnout reveals a high degree of apathy among
Ukraine's peasants. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN ELECTION NEWS. Registration of candidates for the 29 November
by-elections to the Belarusian parliament began on 20 October,
Belarusian television reported. The nationalist opposition Belarusian
Popular Front announced that it was fielding 65 candidates. The BPF
believes the country's very sovereignty is at stake and wants enough
nationalist deputies in parliament to bloc any moves to undermine the
country's independence. -- Ustina Markus

UPDATE ON BELARUSIAN BALLOON ATTACK. The Belarusian Foreign Ministry
announced on 20 October that a criminal case has been initiated in
connection with the 12 September downing of a U.S. hot-air balloon that
resulted in the deaths of the two pilots, Belarusian television
reported. The announcement followed the completion of preliminary
results of an investigative commission, which included U.S. and German
aviation experts. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN CENTER PARTY ELECTS NEW LEADERSHIP. At the extraordinary
congress of the Estonian Center Party on 21 October, Andra Veidemann was
elected head of the party with 136 votes, just four more than her rival
Siiri Oviir, BNS reported on 23 October. Tiit Made and Krista Kilvet
were elected deputy chairmen. Former Chairman Edgar Savisaar did not
attend the congress but sent a letter stating that the secret taping of
other top politicians was not connected to the party. He was fired as
interior minister on 10 October as a result of the scandal, and his
party's coalition with the Coalition Party and Rural Union broke up. --
Saulius Girnius

NEW ALLIANCES DISCUSSED BEFORE POLISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. Polish
President Lech Walesa is "absolutely" convinced he will win the November
presidential elections, he said on 23 October in Florence, Italy. As the
chances grow that Walesa and Democratic Left Alliance leader Aleksander
Kwasniewski will meet in the election's second round on 19 November,
many candidates are trying to convince their rivals to resign. Central
Bank President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz said some right-wing candidates
are ready to step aside and give her their support. Some of the
Christian-National Alliance leaders are playing down their support for
Gronkiewicz-Waltz and hinting at possible support for Walesa, Polish
dailies reported on 24 October. -- Jakub Karpinski

RAILWAY STRIKE CONTINUES IN SILESIA. Representatives of all trade unions
of the Polish State Railways (PKP) opposed the latest agreement granting
the striking Silesian railway workers an increase of 74 zlotys ($30.2)
per month effective 1 November. The unions throughout the country
demanded for increases for other districts as well; if they are not
granted, a general strike is likely. The Polish State Railways assess
the total losses resulting from stopping and redirecting trains at 63.2
million zlotys ($25.8 million) since the strike began on 17-18 October,
Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 24 October. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

REPORT: CIVILIANS MUST CONTROL POLISH MILITARY. Poland must establish
true civilian control of the military in 1996 if it wishes to have any
chance of joining NATO, according to a Euroatlantic Association report.
Gazeta Wyborcza on 23 October quoted Janusz Onyskiewicz, one of the
report's authors, as saying the U.S. was worried about the Polish
standards of civilian control of the military. The report said that for
Poland to meet Western standards, the Sejm should oversee defense policy
and the Defense Ministry's budget and the General Staff should be
subordinate to a "civilian-military Ministry of Defense," with a
completely apolitical minister. -- Doug Clarke

ROMANI CHILDREN TARGET OF ATTACK. Three Romani girls were hospitalized
in Karvina after about 15 Czech skinheads threw them to the ground and
kicked them in the head, Premiera TV reported on 23 October. Witnesses
said the attack on a group of 10 Romani children was premeditated. One
of the injured girls said that as the men were kicking her, they shouted
racial epithets. One of the attackers has been identified and
apprehended, and may be charged with breach of the peace and grievous
bodily harm. If the attackers are proved to have had a racial motive,
they may face additional penalties. -- Alaina Lemon

SLOVAK ROUNDUP. The third investigator in the case of the abduction of
President Michal Kovac's son, Maj. Jozef Ciz, was appointed on 23
October by Jan Kostov, director of the police investigation department,
Sme reported. Both Ciz and Kostov are from Banska Bystrica, a stronghold
of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. Ciz's two predecessors were each
dismissed after announcing suspicions that the Slovak Information
Service was involved in the abduction. In other news, during its
congress on 21 October, the opposition Social Democratic Party reelected
Jaroslav Volf as chairman. Volf defeated Ivan Laluha, who was said to be
leaning toward cooperation with the government coalition. That same day,
the leftist Hungarian Peoples' Movement for Moderation and Prosperity
held its first assembly. Chairman Gyorgy Gyimesi said his party
considers the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia "a political
partner," Sme reported. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER ON TREATY WITH SLOVAKIA. Gyula Horn, in an
interview with the Slovak daily Pravda on 23 October, dismissed efforts
to include an "interpretation" clause in the Hungarian-Slovak treaty
that would stress Slovakia's explanation of the treaty's controversial
points. "I believe the signed version of the Hungarian-Slovak treaty is
formulated entirely unambiguously," Horn said. The treaty was signed in
March, but the Slovak parliament has yet to ratify the agreement,
although Hungary did so in June. Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar
is apparently concerned that the ratification will damage his coalition,
since the radical Slovak National Party refuses to support the treaty.
Parliament Chairman Ivan Gasparovic insists laws on the state language
and territorial arrangement need to be passed before ratification is
possible. Meciar promised to get approval from the Council of Europe
before passing the language law; earlier this month Deputy Premier
Katarina Tothova said the CE recommended only a few minor changes. --
Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN, SLOVAK PRESIDENTS MEET. At the New York UN headquarters on 23
October, Hungarian President Arpad Goncz and his Slovak counterpart
Michal Kovac discussed the future of the basic treaty, the Slovak
language law, and mutual support in European integration, Hungarian and
Slovak newspapers reported the next day. On Slovakia's controversial
language law, Kovac said he will not sign a bill that is outside Council
of Europe standards. Goncz was strongly criticized by opposition
politicians in Hungary for missing the 23 October commemorations of the
1956 Hungarian uprising. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARY TO SELL BUDAPEST BANK. On 20 October the Hungarian government
signed a declaration of intent with GE Capital Services on the future
sale of Budapest Bank, Hungarian newspapers reported the next day. GE
Capital Services had made a bid for 53% of the state-owned bank, the
third Hungarian bank to be privatized. The Hungarian Finance Ministry,
which owns 48% of the bank, has been pushing hard for a deal before the
end of the year. --  Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CROATIA TALKS WITH REBEL SERBS. Croatian and rebel Serb negotiators
emerged from talks in Osijek on 23 October agreeing that "significant"
steps had been taken in averting conflict and accepting reincorporation
of the occupied territories of eastern Slavonia under Croatian
authority, international media reported the same day. Croatian
negotiator Hrvoje Sarinic, echoing sentiments expressed by UN envoy and
talks co-chairman Thorvald Stoltenberg, said that "the principle of a
peaceful reintegration was accepted [by the Serb side], though some
matters must still be discussed." A draft agreement calling for the
peaceful reintegration of occupied eastern Slavonia into Croatia was
presented at the meeting, and talks are slated to resume on 25 October.
-- Stan Markotich

BOSNIAN SERB LEADER SHOWS SOLIDARITY WITH ARKAN. Bosnian Serb civilian
leader Radovan Karadzic on 23 October inspected troops led by Serbian
accused war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic, alias Arkan. Arkan and the
roughly 300 men under his command have said they would travel to
Croatia's eastern Slavonia but that their original departure date of 22
October had to be delayed for "technical reasons." Following the
inspection ceremony in Bijeljina, Karadzic, who is also an accused war
criminal, remarked that Arkan's paramilitary "Tigers" will always be
"welcome" on Bosnian Serb territory, AFP reported on 23 October. -- Stan
Markotich

BOSNIAN SERBS APPOINT KASAGIC AS NEW PREMIER. The self-styled Bosnian
Serb parliament has named Rajko Kasagic, mayor of Banja Luka, the new
premier and has asked him to form a government, SRNA reported on 23
October. Premier Dusan Kozic resigned on 15 October in the wake of
legislators' demands that civilian and military leaders responsible for
Bosnian Serb battlefield losses be held accountable and purged. (See
OMRI Daily Digest, no. 201, 16 October 1995.) -- Stan Markotich

LEADING MUSLIM PARTY ANNOUNCES NEW NEGOTIATING POSITIONS . . . The Party
of Democratic Action (SDA), the leading Bosnian Muslim Party, accepted
new negotiating positions for the upcoming Ohio talks on Bosnia-
Herzegovina at a session held on 20 October in Fojnica, near Sarajevo,
BBC reported on 22 October. Bosnian President and SDA Chairman Alija
Izetbegovic underscored the poor functioning of the Muslim-Croat
Federation and proposed that the issue of Sandzak (a part of rump
Yugoslavia with an ethnic-Muslim majority) should be included in the
peace process. Nikola Koljevic, the deputy president of the Republic of
Srpska, said the new platform is "a time bomb for the peace
negotiations," Nasa Borba reported on 23 October. The SDA also proposed
partial demobilization of soldiers to provide a work force to revive the
economy. -- Daria Sito Sucic

. . . AND SO DO BOSNIAN SERBS. The Bosnian Serb platform for
negotiation, discussed in Bijeljina on 23 October, calls for a Union of
Bosnia-Herzegovina which "can only be a federation of states," BBC
reported the next day. The Republic of Srpska's delegation deputy
speaker, reporting on the 19 October meeting with Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic, claimed his full support of Bosnian Serb requests in
the peace negotiations scheduled for 31 October in Ohio. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

ROMANIAN STUDENTS' PROTEST UPDATE. Students in Bucharest on 23 October
continued a series of street protests started last Tuesday, Radio
Bucharest reported. More than 10,000 people blocked traffic in the
capital, shouting anti-government slogans and demanding the dismissal of
Education Minister Liviu Maior. The demonstrators marched to parliament
headquarters and presented proposals for amending the education law. The
Chamber of Deputies agreed in principle that the amendments be discussed
in its commissions for education and law. Students in Cluj and Suceava
staged rallies in support of their Bucharest peers that drew 15,000 and
1,000 participants, respectively. -- Dan Ionescu

MORE DEMONSTRATIONS IN CHISINAU. Thousands of students on 23 October
resumed their protest in Chisinau after a two-day break, BASA-press and
Infotag reported. Demonstrating against an article in the constitution
that names "Moldovan" the country's official language, the students
blocked traffic on the city's main avenue for one hour and picketed the
mayor's office. At a meeting of the strike committee the same day,
Anatol Petrencu, the committee's leader and a university professor,
suggested suspending the strike until parliament discusses President
Mircea Snegur's initiative to amend the constitution. But student leader
Oleg Cernei said that the protests should continue, since no precise
date for debates on amending the article has been set. -- Dan Ionescu

WORLD BANK TO OPEN CREDIT LINE TO MOLDOVA. The World Bank's permanent
representative in Chisinau, James Parks, said the bank will open a
credit line to Moldova at the beginning of next year, ITAR-TASS reported
on 23 October. Parks said the project will support small- and mid-sized
enterprises in Moldova. The total cost of the project is estimated at
$49 million, of which $35 million will be granted by the World Bank,
$6.5 million by the Moldovan government, and the rest by European
countries and the EU. The credit will be granted until July 2000. --
Matyas Szabo

GREEK-MACEDONIAN TALKS ON NAME TO START SOON. Greek government spokesman
Tilemachos Hytiris announced on 23 October that Greek and Macedonian
diplomats will hold separate talks with UN mediator Cyrus Vance to set a
timetable for negotiations on Macedonia's name, AFP reported the same
day. Greek Ambassador to the UN Christos Zacharakis will meet Vance on
24 October, and Greek-Macedonian talks are expected to start in late
October or early November. Greece objects to the name Macedonia, which
it says implies a claim on its northern province of that name.
Meanwhile, international media report that Australia on 23 October
established official diplomatic relations with Macedonia. -- Stefan
Krause

EAST-WEST HIGHWAY TO BE BUILT IN THE BALKANS. The presidents of Albania,
Bulgaria, and Turkey, Sali Berisha, Zhelyu Zhelev, and Suleyman Demirel,
respectively, and the acting Macedonian president and parliament
speaker, Stojan Andov, agreed on 23 October to build a trans-Balkan
highway, Bulgarian daily 24 chasa reported the next day. The road, which
will cost an estimated $1 billion, will link the Albanian port of Durres
with the Turkish city of Istanbul, via Skopje and Sofia. AFP cited a
Turkish presidential statement that construction is scheduled to take
four years. -- Stefan Krause

SHOOTOUT IN KOSOVO. Unidentified gunmen ambushed a police car and
seriously injured three Serbian policemen in Batlava, in the Kosovo
region of Serbia, on 23 October, international media reported the same
day. Following the attack, police started intensive raids on private
homes and arrested a number of ethnic Albanians. Eight Albanians were
detained; three were later released. -- Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIAN WW II PARTISAN DIES IN PRISON. Shefqet Peci, an 89-year-old
former commander of the WW II Fifth Partisan Brigade died in the prison
hospital of Tirana on 22 October, Republika reported on 24 October. Peci
was arrested on 11 October and accused of ordering the execution without
trial of 21 villagers from Buzemadhi in 1944. Peci is the first person
to be accused under the Law on Genocide from 20 September 1995 (see OMRI
Daily Digest 12 October). During the communist period, Peci was
transport minister and deputy chairman of parliament. Family members
said Peci was completely deaf, had broken bones due to old age and was
almost unconscious when he was arrested. He had started a hunger strike
the day after the arrest. -- Fabian Schmidt
[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Susan Caskie

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
Digest is distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe,
send "SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the
quotation marks and inserting your name where shown) to
LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
No subject line or other text should be included.
To receive the OMRI Daily Digest by mail or fax, please direct inquiries
to OMRI Publications, Na Strzi 63, 140 62 Prague 4, Czech Republic; or
electronically to OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
Tel.: (42-2) 6114 2114; fax: (42-2) 426 396

Please note that there is a new procedure for obtaining permission to
reprint or redistribute the OMRI Daily Digest. Before reprinting or
redistributing this publication, please write omripub@omri.cz for a copy
of the new policy or look at this URL:
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/DigestReprint.html

OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
expanded analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For
Transition subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ

            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole