If you're sure you understand everthing that is going on, you're hopelessly confused. - Walter Mondale
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 212, Part II, 31 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

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^TODAY'S TOP STORY^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CROATIA'S GOVERNING PARTY WINS ELECTIONS. With nearly 80% of the ballots
counted, President Franjo Tudjman's Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) has
retained its parliamentary majority, Croatian media reported on 31
October. The HDZ secured some 44% of the vote and is thus likely to have
between 71 and 75 of the 128 parliamentary seats, including 12 allotted
to Croatian voters abroad. But the failure to win a two-thirds
parliamentary majority means that Tudjman will be unable to introduce
constitutional changes granting the presidency wider powers. Support for
the HDZ seems to have waned most in the capital. Hina on 30 October
reported that the HDZ won a majority of votes for the Zagreb City
Assembly in only three of the city's 17 constituencies, gaining 36.55%
of the vote. In the 1993 elections, the HDZ had the support of nearly
43% of voters in Zagreb. -- Stan Markotich

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^OTHER HEADLINES^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Slovak Steelworks Blame Subsidiary for Leak
Romanian Students Suspend Strike
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT TO INCREASE TAXES TO COVER BUDGET DEFICIT. The
Ukrainian government says it will increase business taxes to raise 8
trillion karbovansti to cover the 1995 budget deficit, which is larger
than expected, Interfax-Ukraine and UNIAN reported on 30 October.
Finance Minister Petro Hermanchuk told a cabinet session that this
year's budget deficit would exceed the IMF target by 24.6 trillion
karbovansti to reach 7.3% of GDP. He said that because it had received
only 58.9% of projected annual revenues by the end of September, the
government would be forced to raise taxes on company profits, exchanges
and auctions, and casinos by 2%, 3%, and 5%, respectively. Hermanchuk
said the low revenues were due to a lingering industrial crisis, which
caused a 12.7% decline in GDP in the first nine months of the year. --
Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN DISARMAMENT UPDATE. Ukrainian Radio on 30 October reported
that Ukraine has deactivated 80 SS-19 missiles and dismantled 40 silos.
As all of the SS-24s were deactivated last October, this means that 90%
of Ukraine's nukes have been deactivated. Colonel Oleksandr Serdyuk said
there were financial problems connected with disarmament. The U.S., the
Netherlands, and Canada have made part of their promised contributions
toward the effort, but France, Britain, Spain, and Italy have given none
of the assistance they pledged. Serdyk said if more aid is not
forthcoming Ukraine may have to slow down the process. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULINGS. The Belarusian Constitutional
Court has ruled that parliamentary amendments to the electoral law
lowering the minimum voter turnout from 50% to 25% are valid, Belarusian
Radio and Russian TV reported on 30 October. The amendments came in the
wake of voters' failure to elect at least two-thirds of deputies in
parliamentary elections. Fearing that no new parliament would ever be
elected owing to voter apathy, the legislature lowered the threshold for
minimum voter turnout. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka responded by
saying he would not recognize a parliament elected under two different
sets of rules. Earlier, the court ruled that the old parliament was the
legitimate legislature until a new one was elected, despite Lukashenka's
refusal to recognize its legitimacy. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT IN U.S. Lukashenka on 30 October completed his
week-long visit to the U.S., Belarusian Radio reported. Lukashenka was
in New York for the 50th anniversary of the UN, after which he traveled
to Detroit and Chicago to meet with businessmen and members of the
Belarusian diaspora. Head of the Presidential Administration Mikhail
Myasnikovich was positive about the results of the visit, saying
Lukashenka had "opened the doors for foreign investment in Belarus." --
Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT CHAIRMAN VISITS LITHUANIA. Toomas Savi, at the
beginning of a three-day visit to Lithuania, on 30 October met with his
Lithuanian counterpart, Ceslovas Jursenas, to discuss bilateral
cooperation in achieving membership in the European Union, BNS reported.
Savi noted that the formation of a new government in Estonia would not
result in any changes in foreign policy and that it was hoped that a
border agreement with Russia could be reached soon. The Estonians also
participated at the ceremonial opening of a monument in the Antakalnis
Cemetery dedicated to those who died fighting for Lithuanian
independence in 1991. Savi is to hold talks with Prime Minister Adolfas
Slezevicius and visit Kaunas on 31 October. -- Saulius Girnius

EU REPRESENTATIVE OFFICE IN LITHUANIA. Lithuanian Foreign Minister
Povilas Gylys and European Union Commissioner for Liaisons with Eastern
and Central Europe Hans van den Broek signed a treaty in Brussels on 30
October establishing a European Commission delegation to Lithuania, BNS
reported. An EU representative office is scheduled to be opened in
Vilnius by the end of the year. Gylys also gave a lecture on Lithuanian
foreign and security policies at the Belgian Royal Institute for
International Relations before traveling to Luxembourg to attend the
meeting on 31 October of the foreign ministers of the 15 EU countries
and 10 associate EU member countries. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH FOREIGN MINISTER ON CITIZENSHIP. Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, in an
interview with the German magazine Focus on 30 October, commented on the
German practice of inheriting citizenship "even if only one of the
person's great-grandmothers was German." Bartoszewski said that if this
practice continues, Poland will have soon 30 million Germans living in
the country and that such a development is neither in Poland's nor
Germany's interest. Horst Waffenschmidt, under-secretary at the German
Internal Affairs Ministry, said on 30 October that though many Germans
living in Poland are demanding confirmation of their German citizenship,
they do not intend to move to Germany. German citizenship is for them a
kind of "insurance policy," Rzeczpospolita reported him as saying. --
Jakub Karpinski in Warsaw

POLISH DEFENSE COMPANIES JOIN FORCES. More than 100 Polish defense
companies have established the Polish Chamber of Producers for State
Defense, Nowa Europa reported on 30 October. Chamber spokesman Janusz
Brandt said the organization's purpose was to "protect Poland's defense
industry from economic degradation and the disappearance of intellectual
potential." The Polish arms sector is made up of 31 core enterprises,
with several hundred other companies supplying parts and components. --
Doug Clarke

CZECH, GERMAN PRESIDENTS DISCUSS SUDETEN ISSUE. Vaclav Havel and Roman
Herzog on 30 October attended a session in Dresden of the Czech-German
commission of historians investigating the role of the Sudeten German
minority in pre-war Czechoslovakia and their subsequent expulsion from
the country. Both presidents supported the preparation of a declaration
to resolve the issue and stabilize Czech-German relations, Czech media
reported. But Herzog warned that any hasty declaration would not stand
the test of time and therefore the text has to be carefully worked out.
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said last week he hoped the preparation of
the declaration will be completed before the end of this year. In a
television interview, Havel urged Germany neither to hark back to
"certain matters that happened after the war" not to insist on pursuing
legal and property claims that are "unrealistic and unrealizable." --
Steve Kettle

SLOVAK STEELWORKS BLAME SUBSIDIARY FOR LEAK. VSZ President Jan Smerek on
30 October announced that the probable cause of damage to the pipe that
leaked carbon monoxide, killing 11 people, was a repair carried out by
VSZ Keramika. According to Smerek, Keramika failed to take all the
necessary safety precautions and required a "disproportionate" amount of
time to repair the pipe, Pravda reported. Local residents have
complained about VSZ's delay in informing the public about the leak. But
Smerek stressed that information was not even passed on within VSZ and
its subsidiaries until well after the leak began. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK POLITICAL UPDATE. The ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
(HZDS) said in a statement issued on 30 October that the diplomatic
notes sent by the EU and U.S. (see OMRI Daily Digest, 26 and 30 October
1995) are "further proof" of President Michal Kovac's "negative
activities." The party praised HZDS Chairman and Prime Minister Vladimir
Meciar for "continuing tirelessly in his work for the benefit of Slovak
citizens," despite "pressure from the opposition, headed by Kovac." It
also stressed that Kovac's "moral failure" will be resolved
democratically and constitutionally. In other news, Dusan Macuska, who
heads a commission established by the parliamentary Mandate and Immunity
Committee, has claimed the opposition Democratic Union collected only
8,219 of the 10,000 valid signatures needed to run in last fall's
elections, Sme reported on 28 October. DU Deputy Chairman Ludovit Cernak
said on 30 October that several opposition deputies have asked Interior
Minister Ludovit Hudek for the results of the police investigation into
the matter. If the results are not released by 2 November, the DU
deputies will be forced to take "radical measures," Cernak said. --
Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK ROMA UNEASY ABOUT HEALTH MINISTER'S STATEMENT. The Union of
Romani Political Parties of Slovakia (URPSS) has expressed concern about
a statement made last week by Health Minister Lubomir Javorsky, a member
of HZDS. During a HZDS rally in Kosice, Javorsky said, in the presence
of Meciar, that "the government will do everything to ensure that more
white children than Romani children are born," Narodna obroda reported
on 28 October. The URPSS has called for a demonstration, scheduled for
15 November in Kosice. -- Sharon Fisher

LEFT-WING SOCIALISTS ON FUTURE OF HUNGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY. Hungarian
Socialist Party Vice President Gyorgy Janosi, speaking to a gathering of
nearly 100 left-wing Socialist deputies on 30 October, said the party
must limit internal disputes and develop new programs. He warned that if
it continued to search for scapegoats, both the party and the
parliamentary caucus would be in danger of breaking up, the Hungarian
press reported on 31 October. Janosi also pointed out that there is no
alternative to the government's stabilization program and that the
population must be prepared for further sacrifices. Socialist deputy
Ferenc Kosa suggested that the left-wing of the divided socialist caucus
draw up its own platform. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION CALLS FOR ACTION AGAINST SLOVAKIA'S LANGUAGE BILL.
Alliance of Young Democrats deputy Zsolt Nemeth has described the Slovak
language bill as "scandalous" and noted that, by signing the Hungarian-
Slovak basic treaty earlier this year, the government has become an
accomplice to the "devastation" caused by Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir
Meciar. Several opposition speakers supported his remarks. Meanwhile,
Environment Minister Ferenc Baja told the parliament on 30 October that
the government will urge neighboring countries to join a convention
obliging signatories to announce industrial accidents. His statement
follows the 27 October explosion in eastern Slovakia and the Slovak
authorities failure to notify the Hungarians until the following
morning. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

U.S. HOUSE VOTES AGAINST SENDING TROOPS TO BOSNIA. The US House of
Representatives on 30 October voted 315 to 103 in favor of a non-binding
resolution expressing opposition to the sending of U.S. troops to Bosnia
without the consent of Congress, AFP reported the same day. The
resolution states that "in the negotiation of any peace agreement
between the parties to the conflict in the Republic of Bosnia and
Herzegovina, there should not be a presumption, and it should not be
considered to be a prerequisite to the successful conclusion of such a
negotiation, that the enforcement of such an agreement will involve
deployment of United States Armed Forces...." Reuters on 31 October
cites unnamed U.S. officials as saying that the three Balkan delegations
scheduled to meet in Ohio on 1 November will "not agree to peace...if
U.S. troops will not help other NATO members to enforce it." Chief
mediator and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke added
that the resolution may "weaken the negotiations." -- Stan Markotich

BOSNIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS DIVISION OF BOSNIA. Alija Izetbegovic has said
he is going to the Ohio talks with "moderate optimism." He stressed his
delegation will reject a partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Reuters
reported on 30 October. He also insisted on a united Sarajevo and
adequate international forces to ensure the peace process. Aid for
reconstruction must be tied to human rights, Izetbegovic argued.
Holbrooke pointed out that it "is going to be very, very hard to reach a
peace agreement." Serbian President Milosevic, representing the Bosnian
Serbs, Croatian President Tudjman, and Izetbegovic will discuss a peace
agreement in the presence of representatives of the Contact Group. --
Fabian Schmidt

EU FOREIGN MINISTERS AGREE ON RECONSTRUCTION PLAN FOR FORMER YUGOSLAVIA.
The foreign ministers of the EU have agreed to provide $2 billion in
reconstruction aid for the former Yugoslavia. At a meeting in Luxembourg
on 30 October, they adopted a policy paper stating that Bosnia-
Herzegovina should remain a single state in its internationally
recognized borders and should be composed of two entities--the Muslim-
Croatian federation and the Republic of Srpska, Reuters reported the
same day. The policy paper also stressed the need for a multi-ethnic
society based on the rule of law and with respect for human rights. Aid
approval is dependent on an agreement being reached in Ohio. The EU
expects the U.S. and the Islamic countries to pay another $2 billion
each. -- Fabian Schmidt

FIRST CIVILIAN CONVOY IN MORE THAN THREE YEARS REACHES GORAZDE. The
first civilian convoy arrived safely in Gorazde on 30 October,
international media reported. The convoy was carrying humanitarian aid.
Another civilian convoy is scheduled to run on 1 November. Until now,
only UN convoys were able to reach the enclave occasionally. Meanwhile,
the Bosnian government and the Bosnian Serbs have exchanged more than
500 civilian and military prisoners in Koprivna, near Sanski Most,
Reuters reported on 30 October. According to the Financial Times on 30
October, the UN reported shelling by Bosnian Serbs near Dubrovnik. --
Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIAN STUDENTS SUSPEND STRIKE. The recently established National
Alliance of Student Organizations (ANOS) on 30 October announced it is
temporarily suspending the strikes and that the students will return to
classes beginning 31 October, Radio Bucharest reported. Student
representatives will meet on 6 November in Bucharest to discuss progress
toward meeting their demands and to decide whether new forms of protest
are warranted. The decision came after the Chamber of Deputies said on
30 October that it will reexamine the education law; the students have
objected to some of its provisions. ANOS said its decision was also
prompted by political parties' attempts to make political capital out of
the students' demands. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN DIPLOMAT ARRESTED ON SUSPICION OF CORRUPTION. Benone Ghinea,
who served as commercial attache at the Romanian embassy in Johannesburg
from 1991-1995, has been arrested on suspicion of bribe-taking in
connection with the 1994 purchase of 12 Puma helicopters from the South
African arms manufacturer Armscor, AFP reported on 30 October, citing
Romanian police sources. According to the Romanian press, Ghinea
pocketed $400,000 from the deal. The Romanian government has denied any
involvement (see OMRI Daily Digest, 25 October 1995), but opposition
parties say the sale could not have taken place without official
approval. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS UPDATE. According to data released by the
Central Electoral Commission on 30 October, the Bulgarian Socialist
Party (BSP) received 41% of the vote cast for municipal councils, while
its mayoral candidates received 37.8%. The Union of Democratic Forces
and its candidates garnered 24.7% and 27.2%, respectively, the People's
Union 12.3% and 15.8%, the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and
Freedom 8.2% and 7.7%, and the Bulgarian Business Bloc 5.0% and 3.5%.
The turnout for municipal councils was 54.7%, and for mayors, 53.1%.
Meanwhile, BSP Sofia branch leader Aleksandar Marinov blamed the party's
national leadership for the BSP's poor showing in the capital, Standart
reported on 31 October. He claims that the party used the wrong tactics,
thereby causing the defeat of its candidate, Ventsislav Yosifov. --
Stefan Krause in Sofia

BULGARIAN BUSINESS GROUP LINKED TO ATTEMPT ON GLIGOROV'S LIFE. The Greek
newspaper Thessaloniki on 30 October published an article alleging that
the Bulgarian Multigrup business conglomerate was behind the attempt to
kill Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov on 3 October. An article by
Spyros Kouzinopoulos, director of the Greek Macedonian Information
Agency, says Multigrup is "linked to the mafia and enriches itself
through illegal trade with Serbia and [Macedonia] in violation of the
embargo against rump Yugoslavia." Macedonian media have also pointed to
Multigrup as possibly carrying out the bomb attack. Multigrup Chief
Secretary Boyko Draganov said the company will take those responsible
for the article to court, 24 chasa reported on 31 October. -- Stefan
Krause in Sofia

[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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