History is made out of the failures and heroism of each insignificant moment. - Franz Kafka
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 209, Part II, 26 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

NEW ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVED. The Estonian parliament on 26 October
approved the government proposed by Prime Minister Tiit Vahi, Reuters
reported. President Lennart Meri is required to approve the decision by
2 November. The Reform Party replaces the Center Party as the coalition
partner of the Coalition Party and Rural Union alliance. Reform Party
Chairman Siim Kallas replaces Riivo Sinijarv as foreign minister and has
also been named deputy prime minister. The party also received the five
ministries formerly held by the Center Party: education, interior,
social affairs, economics, and transportation and communications. --
Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT APPOINTS PRIVATIZATION COMMISSION. The Seimas on
25 October approved the formation of a 13-member commission on the
privatization of state and municipal property, BNS reported. The
commission will be headed by Director of the Vilnius-based Institute of
Economics Eduardas Vilkas and includes nine deputy ministers. Its
primary function will be to supervise the activities of the State
Privatization Agency, which was established in September and charged
with implementing the second wave of privatization (in which properties
will be sold for cash only). -- Saulius Girnius

UKRAINE CRITICIZES RUSSIA OVER TRADE, BORDERS. Deputy Foreign Minister
Kostyantyn Hryshchenko on 25 October said Ukraine has handed Russia a
note asking that the demarcation of the border between the two countries
begin and that the status of the Azov Sea be decided, Ukrainian TV
reported. Hryshchenko discounted Russian statements that demarcating the
border would impede free trade. He added that Ukraine was ready to
unilaterally demarcate the border. Interfax the previous day reported
Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk as saying Russia has withdrawn about 200
categories of goods covered by the free trade agreement, causing losses
of $1.5 billion for Ukraine. Marchuk threatened to take retaliatory
measures, even though these would contravene agreements signed by
Ukraine and the IMF. -- Ustina Markus

MILITARY INSTALLATIONS TO CLOSE IN CRIMEA. Russian Public Television on
25 October reported that the Ukrainian Defense Ministry is formulating a
protocol to hand over military installations in Crimea to local civil
authorities. Crimea is the most heavily militarized region in Ukraine,
and some of the installations on the peninsula are of no use to the
country. Crimean authorities are to recieve 16,000 hectares of former
military land. The only installations that have not been agreed on are
military sanatoriums. The Defense Ministry would like to hand these over
to the privatization fund and build housing for military personnel using
the money the sanatoriums bring in. Military space installations will be
abolished, since these were built to handle up to 200 satellites and
Ukraine owns only one. -- Ustina Markus

UPDATE ON POLISH PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. With the presidential elections
looming, political parties are considering the possibility that
incumbent President Lech Walesa, who is second only to Democratic Left
Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski in recent polls, will be re-
elected. Rzeczpospolita on 26 October quotes the Freedom Union's (UW)
presidential candidate, Jacek Kuron, as suggesting that it is impossible
to decide who would be worse--Kwasniewski or Walesa. UW leader Donald
Tusk resigned from the party's presidium in protest against Kuron's
statement. Tusk is the former head of the Liberal Democratic Congress,
which supported Walesa in the 1990 presidential elections. Some
candidates are trying to convince others to resign in the hope that the
chances of candidates other than Kwasniewski and Walesa would be
improved. -- Jakub Karpinski

POLISH PREMIER ON U.S. VISIT. Jozef Oleksy, on his arrival from New York
on 25 October, said U.S. administration officials were worried about
changes in Poland's foreign policy after the presidential elections in
November. Oleksy said he assured them that Poland's foreign policy,
market reforms, and democratic development would not change. He was
optimistic that Poland would be granted non-permanent membership in the
UN Security Council for 1996-1997. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER CONTRADICTS HAVEL OVER TAIWAN. Josef Zieleniec,
in an official reaction to remarks made by President Vaclav Havel, said
on 25 October that the Czech Republic recognizes only one China, the
People's Republic, Mlada fronta dnes reported. Havel told reporters in
New York after attending the UN General Assembly that it was
"regrettable" that Taiwan, a prosperous and democratic state, was not a
member of the UN (see OMRI Daily Digest, 25 October 1995).
Traditionally, China has been one country but now there are two states,
Havel added. Zieleniec, however, stressed that in line with other
countries, "we regard Taiwan as a part of Chinese territory." In June,
China strongly protested a private visit to the Czech Republic made by
Taiwan's Prime Minister Lien Chan. -- Steve Kettle

ROMA DEMONSTRATE OUTSIDE CZECH GOVERNMENT BUILDING. Around 40 leaders of
Romani groups demonstrated outside the Czech government building on 25
October during a cabinet meeting to protest the treatment of Roma in the
Czech Republic, Czech media reported. Carrying candles and placards with
the names of Roma killed in racist attacks, the demonstrators stood in
largely silent protest for more than one hour. Prime Minister Vaclav
Klaus told reporters he had not been aware that the protest was being
held and that he would have met the Roma had he known they were outside
his office. "It was an error of coordination," Klaus said. -- Steve
Kettle

EU, U.S. WORRIED ABOUT SLOVAKIA. Four European diplomats in Slovakia on
25 October delivered a note to Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar voicing
concern that steps taken against President Michal Kovac could endanger
democracy. The diplomats--representing the EU, Spain, France, and Italy-
-emphasized the importance of allowing the expression of differing
political opinions, Narodna obroda reported. The U.S. Embassy in
Bratislava the same day issued a statement correcting Slovak
parliamentary chairman spokesman Lubos Jurik's remark the previous day
that U.S. President Bill Clinton evaluated events in Slovakia "very
positively." According to the embassy, Clinton is interested in Slovakia
but "at the same time is anxious" about the situation there, Pravda
reported. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK NATIONAL PARTY ACCUSES PRESIDENT OF TREASON. The Slovak National
Party (SNS) on 25 October decided to bring charges of treason against
President Michal Kovac, Narodna obroda reported. SNS Chairman Jan Slota
first discussed the charges on 20 October following statements made by
Kovac during his recent visit to Germany (see OMRI Daily Digest, 23
October). The SNS called for a parliamentary commission to be created to
investigate the situation. Meanwhile, the Democratic Union and the Party
of the Democratic Left (SDL) on 25 October rejected claims by the ruling
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) that it will find the votes
needed to dismiss the president among the opposition. All deputies from
the DU and SDL have signed statements rejecting the attacks on Kovac. --
Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT DELAYS RATIFICATION OF TREATY WITH HUNGARY. Dusan
Slobodnik, chairman of the parliament's Foreign Relations Committee, on
25 October announced that the ratification of the Slovak-Hungarian
treaty will be delayed until December, Narodna obroda reported. The
treaty was signed by the Slovak and Hungarian prime ministers in March,
and the Hungarian parliament ratified it in June. When asked why the
ratification was being delayed, Slobodnik responded "because of a
shortage of time." Discussions of the treaty in parliamentary committees
will start in November. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY NARROWS SCOPE OF SCREENING LAW. A senior Interior Ministry
official on 25 October said the ministry has drawn up a bill amending
the screening law to cover only those who have had to take an oath of
office before the president and the parliament, Magyar Hirlap reported
the next day. Under the law, anyone who collaborated with or was a
member of the security service or the fascist Arrow Cross party cannot
hold a government post. The paper noted that since only 500-600 people
are affected, screening could be completed by next summer. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

HUNGARY SAYS "YES" TO NUCLEAR WEAPONS. Foreign Ministry administrative
state secretary Ferenc Somogyi, during a visit to the U.S., said on 25
October that Hungary fully accepts NATO requirements, including the
readiness to deploy nuclear weapons on its territory if necessary, The
Washington Times and Hungarian newspapers reported. Somogyi met with
U.S. officials and delivered a speech to a UN General Assembly
committee. Meanwhile, Turkish Defense Minister Vefa Tanir--in Budapest
on 25 October for a meeting with his Hungarian counterpart, Gyorgy
Keleti--said that Turkey fully backs Hungary's intention to join NATO,
since this move would contribute to strengthening security in Central
Europe. The two ministers signed a framework agreement on military
training and military-industrial cooperation. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN PEACE TALKS ON HOLD FOR A DAY. International media on 26 October
reported that peace talks between Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic,
Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, and Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic, slated for October 31 in the U.S., will be delayed by one day
to allow the three leaders to meet first with Russian President Boris
Yeltsin in Moscow. Meanwhile, Reuters on 25 October reported that
President Tudjman will attend only the first few days of the talks,
which, according to some U.S. officials, may continue for up to four
weeks. Should Tudjman return to Zagreb, Croatia is expected to be
represented by Foreign Minister Mate Granic. -- Stan Markotich

NATO SENDS SURVEY TEAMS TO BOSNIA. NATO has begun to send soldiers into
Bosnia to gather information on infrastructure such as bridges, roads,
and communication, international agencies reported on 25 October.
According to U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry, the units will help
NATO plan for the deployment of a 60,000-strong peacekeeping force after
a peace agreement is reached. German Defense Minister Volker Ruhe is
quoted as saying that the main force could be deployed three to four
days after an agreement is signed, but he estimated that this would take
place in mid-November. U.S. President Bill Clinton, meanwhile, warned of
"grave" consequences if the U.S. fails to send ground troops to Bosnia,
arguing that the Yugoslav war may otherwise develop into a larger
European war. -- Fabian Schmidt

THOUSANDS OF MUSLIMS MISSING AFTER FORCED EXPULSIONS. According to the
UNHCR, thousands of Muslim men from the Banja Luka, Prijedor, and Sanski
Most regions are missing after being captured by Bosnian Serb forces,
Reuters reported on 25 October. More than 6,000 people were forcefully
expelled from the region in early October by units fighting alongside
accused war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic, alias "Arkan." Most of those
expelled have been pushed over the border into government controlled
territory. The UNHCR, however, said that the refugee influx stopped
about ten days ago and that an estimated 2,000-3,000 people are missing.
-- Fabian Schmidt

TRILATERAL MEETING PAVES WAY FOR RETURN OF BOSNIAN REFUGEES. The
presidents of Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Turkey, meeting in New
York on 23 October, signed an agreement aimed at creating the conditions
for the safe and voluntary return of refugees from Velika Kladusa and
Cazin who were among rebel Muslim forces in northwestern Bosnia and are
currently in Croatia, HINA reported on 24 October. The foreign ministers
of the three countries agreed on the size of the contingents each
country will send to take part in the joint police forces to be deployed
in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. Meanwhile, the Bosnian Ministry of
Justice has demanded that Croatia extradite rebel Bosnian Muslim leader
Fikret Abdic, HINA reported on 23 October. -- Daria Sito Sucic

CROATIAN NEGOTIATORS MEET AGAIN WITH REBEL SERBS. Slobodna Dalmacija
reported on 26 October that Croatian negotiators resumed talks the
previous day with representatives of the rebel Serbs who continue to
occupy a portion of eastern Slavonia. Reuters on 26 October reported
that a deal to avert a conflict between Croatia and rebel Serbs over the
occupied land is almost at hand. It quotes one diplomatic source as
saying that "on the substance of the agreement, we're 98.5% there."
Meanwhile, Nasa Borba cited Ivan Pasalic, leader of the Croatian team,
as suggesting that there were no breakthroughs in the latest round of
talks in the Serb-held town of Erdut. -- Stan Markotich

CROATIAN POLICE ARREST ALLEGED SPIES. Croatian authorities on 24 October
arrested 15 people who are accused of spying for Serbia and the Yugoslav
Army, including Radovan Jovic, a human rights activist and a participant
in the Fourth Helsinki Citizens Assembly in Tuzla, Nasa Borba reported
on 26 October. The Croatian Ministry of Internal Affairs alleges that
the 15 people (13 Serbs and two Croats) are suspected of gathering
intelligence for the so-called Republic of Serbian Krajina (RSK), the
BBC reported on 26 October. All suspects are Croatian citizens, except
one person whose citizenship "has not been determined"--an indirect
reference to Jovic, who is from Belgrade and worked as a lawyer in Glina
in the RSK. -- Daria Sito Sucic

ROMANIAN EXTREMIST SENATOR TO LOSE IMMUNITY? Prosecutor-General Vasile
Manea Dragulin, in a letter to the justice minister, has asked that the
Senate start procedures for lifting the parliamentary immunity of
Senator Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the leader of the chauvinistic Greater
Romania Party (PRM), Radio Bucharest reported on 25 October. The move
comes in the wake of Tudor's attacks against Romanian President Ion
Iliescu and Virgil Magureanu, head of the Romanian Intelligence Service.
Also on 25 October, the National Bloc, an alliance of small political
groups dominated by the PRM, issued a communique saying Dragulin wanted
to prevent Tudor from running in the next presidential elections against
Iliescu. -- Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN STUDENTS SUSPEND STREET DEMONSTRATIONS... Several hundred
students on 25 October rallied in downtown Bucharest, despite bad
weather, Romanian media reported. Cristian Urse, leader of the Bucharest
University Students' League, later announced that the protests will
continue but street demonstrations will be suspended until 30 October
because of the religious holiday of Saint Demetrius (26 October) and
because Orthodox Church leaders from abroad are in Romania to attend the
Romanian Patriarchate's 70th anniversary celebrations. Urse also said
that student organizations were discussing possible changes in the
education law with leaders of the parliamentary parties. -- Dan Ionescu

...WHILE MOLDOVAN STUDENTS PREPARE FUTURE PROTESTS. Chisinau students
have temporarily suspended demonstrations in order to mobilize for a
nationwide protest action, Infotag reported on 25 October. Student
League Chairman Oleg Cernei said students will continue their passive
protest by not returning to the classroom. Strike committee chairman
Anatol Petrencu said the active strike will be resumed on 31 October.
The students are hoping that the entire population will support their
demand for the government's resignation, he added. -- Matyas Szabo

SOFIA ENVIRONMENT CONFERENCE ENDS, KOZLODUY STAYS ON LINE. The three-day
Environment for Europe conference ended on 25 October with a pledge by
Europe's environmental ministers to phase out unsafe nuclear facilities
as soon as possible, Reuters reported the same day. A closing communique
signed by more than 40 ministers said unsafe reactors should be shut
down through international cooperation and urged all countries with
nuclear reactors to join the International Convention on Nuclear Safety
as soon as possible. The final statement mentioned neither the
controversial Bulgarian reactor Kozloduy nor French nuclear tests.
Meanwhile, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic
Development Rumen Gechev said Bulgaria will not immediately shut down
Kozloduy, but he did not rule out talks with the EU. He said there is no
document from experts proving the reactor is unsafe and added that
Bulgaria "will take no decision...under political pressure without
concrete proof from the experts." -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS UPDATE. The Central Electoral Commission on 25
October set the date for the second round of the upcoming local
elections for 12 November, Pari reported. A second round will be
conducted wherever no mayoral candidate received a majority in the first
round. The three candidates with the most votes will participate in the
second round. The first round, in which municipal councils and mayors
will be elected, will take place on 29 October. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN DAILY STANDART IN TROUBLE. Valeri Zapryanov, editor-in-chief
of the influential Sofia daily Standart, and his three deputies resigned
on 25 October, Kontinent reported the following day. Zapryanov gave no
reason for his resignation, while the other three said they resigned in
support of him. Valeri Kostadinov, director-general of the Standart News
Publishing House, said no one was fired and that he had not accepted
anyone's resignation. Krasimir Stoychev, whose media conglomerate Tron
owns Standart, told Pari that he wanted to move Zapryanov to the post of
editor-in-chief of the Standart News Publishing House after a three-
month vacation. Stoychev said that the daily needs "new ideas" and that
changes were necessary. Standart appeared on 26 October, but its future
remains uncertain. -- Stefan Krause

[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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