The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. - Dostoevsky
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 213, Part II, 1 November 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
TRANSYLVANIAN BISHOP MAKES "ALTERNATIVE RECONCILIATION" PROPOSAL.
Reformed Church Bishop Laszlo Tokes, honorary chairman of the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania, has revealed the contents of an open
letter addressed to the presidents of Hungary and Romania calling for an
"alternative reconciliation proposal" between the two countries.
Romanian TV on 31 October reported that Tokes proposed following the
model of southern Tyrol, where the German-speaking minority was granted
autonomy, rather than the French-German reconciliation model, as
suggested by President Ion Iliescu. He also criticized the Hungarian
government for neglecting the problems of the Hungarian minority in
Romania. * Michael Shafir

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^HEADLINES^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Final Results of Croatian Elections
Romanian Opposition Leader in Critical Condition
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

EU "CEREMONIAL" MEETING WITH EAST EUROPEAN FOREIGN MINISTERS. East
European foreign ministers of the countries with EU association accords
were supposed to meet with their counterparts in Luxembourg on 31
October, but EU foreign ministers were represented instead by deputy
ministers or ambassadors, according to an RFE/RL correspondent. EU
Commissioner for External Affairs Hans van den Broeck told the gathering
that the region will receive 11 billion ECUs ($14.3 billion) by 2000 to
assist democratic and economic transition. Asked why he was not
attending the meeting, British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind told
AFP on 30 October, "There is a limit to what can be achieved by
ceremonial meetings." The meeting of the foreign ministers is part of a
process of what the EU calls "structured dialogue" to help prepare
associate members for admission to the EU. * Michael Mihalka

UKRAINIAN LAWMAKERS VETO PRESIDENTIAL DECREE. The Ukrainian parliament
has vetoed a presidential decree transferring most of the powers held by
local councils to local administrations, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 31
October. Deputies have set up a commission aimed at resolving
differences between President Leonid Kuchma and the legislature over the
distribution of local government authority. Kuchma recently issued the
decree in accordance with a June constitutional agreement between
himself and a majority of legislators giving him greater executive
powers, including the right to overrule local councils. * Chrystyna
Lapychak

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT VOTES TO JOIN COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Reuters on 31
October reported that the Ukrainian parliament has voted to join the
Council of Europe. Some deputies, however, have expressed reservation
over one of the long-term requirements for membership in the
organization-the abolition of the death penalty. Parliamentary speaker
Oleksandr Moroz has argued that nine out of 10 Ukrainians favor keeping
capital punishment. Meanwhile, Ukrainian Radio the same day reported
that Kiev is trying to convince the EU to lift its export quota on
textiles from Ukraine. Officials at the Ministry of External Economic
Relations told the head of Britain's trade department, Sir Derek Hornby,
that Ukraine has lost $1 billion because of the restrictions. * Ustina
Markus

HEARINGS BEGIN OVER FATE OF SEPARATIST GROUPS IN SEVASTOPOL. A district
court in the Crimean port city of Sevastopol has begun hearings on the
future of two pro-Moscow separatist groups, Interfax-Ukraine reported on
30 October. The court is considering charges by Crimean and Sevastopol
prosecutors that the Russian Community of Sevastopol and the Crimean
Movement of Voters for the Republic of Crimea are guilty of inciting
inter-ethnic discord and publishing material calling for the "violation
of Ukraine's territorial integrity." * Chrystyna Lapychak

U.S. MILITARY DELEGATION IN BELARUS. An American delegation led by U.S.
State Secretary's Special Adviser on CIS Affairs James Collins and US
Defense Secretary's Adviser on International Security Ashton Carter met
with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in Minsk on 31 October,
Interfax reported. After the talks, it was announced that Russian
strategic rocket troops are to be withdrawn from Belarus next year after
the last strategic missiles are removed from the country. Collins
praised Lukashenka for his readiness to increase cooperation with NATO
within the context of the Partnership for Peace program and said the US
would give $1 million to Belarus to reimburse it for its participation
in the program. * Ustina Markus

LITHUANIA RECALLS AMBASSADOR FROM LATVIA FOR CONSULTATIONS. Deputy
Foreign Minister Albinas Januska on 31 October announced that Ambassador
to Riga Rimantas Karazija was being recalled "for an indefinite period
to clear up current relations between Latvia and Lithuania," BNS
reported. This is the first time that Lithuania has recalled an
ambassador since regaining independence. Januska said that Latvia's
decision to sign an oil exploration agreement with foreign companies
without considering numerous Lithuanian protests was contrary to the
spirit of good neighborliness and Baltic solidarity. Lithuania had asked
that no agreement be signed before the two countries settle the issue of
their sea borders. * Saulius Girnius

NO CONFIDENCE VOTE AGAINST LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT SUBMITTED. Leaders of
the Conservative faction on 31 October submitted a no confidence motion,
signed by 52 deputies, against Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius, BSN
reported. Party board chairman Gediminas Vagnorius said the purpose of
the motion was to force changes in the economic and social policies of
the government and halt corruption. The government has 14 days to
respond to the motion; the Seimas will then vote in a secret ballot
after discussion. It is unlikely that the motion will receive the 70
votes needed for passage, but the vote will show if the ruling
Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party is truly unified. * Saulius Girnius

UPDATE ON POLISH PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. Former Supreme Auditing
Commission President Lech Kaczynski, backed by the Center Alliance (PC),
has become the second presidential candidate to withdraw from the race,
after Marek Markiewicz (see OMRI Daily Digest, 30 October 1995). PC
leaders said the party has switched its support to former Prime Minister
Jan Olszewski, Polish TV reported on 31 October. Meanwhile, Polish TV on
31 October ended a series of live interviews with the presidential
candidates. Candidates were also given three minutes of air time to
present their programs. *  Jakub Karpinski in Warsaw

POLISH POLITICAL NEWS. Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko on 31 October
submitted the draft 1996 budget to Sejm Deputy Speaker Aleksander
Malachowski. Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy the same day accepted the
resignation of Deputy Finance Minister Elzbieta Chojna-Duch, who,
according to media reports, has not paid taxes for an apartment rented
to Vietnamese tenants. She explained that she had acted in her sister-
in-law's name, to whom the apartment belonged. Oleksy said that Chojna-
Duch had resigned earlier but that he had delayed accepting her
resignation until the draft budget was ready. * Jakub Karpinski in
Warsaw

CZECH CENTRAL BANK ACTS TO STOP RAIDS ON INVESTMENT FUNDS. The Czech
National Bank on 31 October said it has banned a small bank from buying
shares and from continuing with a huge advertising campaign designed to
help it win control of some of the country's biggest investment funds.
The aggressive television and press campaign conducted by Plzenska Banka
had cost more than 1 billion koruny ($38.4 million) by 23 October,
Hospodarske noviny reported. Though the largest banks (who control many
of the big investment funds) have closed ranks to stop Plzenska Banka's
lightning raids, the Finance Ministry refused to allow the huge Komercni
Banka fund to protect itself by removing its shares from open trading.
The CNB said it was not clear who was behind Plzenska Banka, while Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus termed the bank's campaign-based on the slogan
"Small shareholders, cry"-as false, dirty and unethical. * Steve Kettle

SLOVAKIA, RUSSIA AGREE TO COMPLETE MOCHOVCE. After a 31 October meeting
in Moscow, Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar and his Russian
counterpart, Viktor Chernomyrdin, signed six bilateral agreements,
including one on the completion of the controversial Mochovce nuclear
power station, Western and Russian agencies reported. Under the
agreement, the Russian firm Atomenergoexport, with $150 million of
Russian financing, will complete the first two of four planned VVER-440
reactors at Mochovoce. Meciar and Chernomyrdin also discussed a proposed
pipeline for delivering Russian natural gas to Slovakia, for which a
deal could be signed this November, and the possible creation of a free
trade zone between the two countries. Slovakia and Russia continue to
disagree over NATO expansion, however, as Meciar said Slovakia remains
committed to joining NATO, which Russia opposes. Still, he added that
Slovakia's concept of a safe Europe is based on the creation of a
"continental security system including Russia." * Sharon Fisher and
Scott Parrish

EIGHT FIRED AFTER ACCIDENT AT SLOVAK STEELWORKS. VSZ on 31 October fired
two managers and six technicians, blaming them for the recent carbon
monoxide leak that killed 11 people, TASR and Reuters reported. The
decision was made by the boards of the company's subsidiaries, VSZ Ocel
and VSZ Keramika, which dismissed their production manager and technical
director, respectively, and recommended the dismissal of six
technicians. VSZ will provide a total of 1 million koruny ($33,000) for
the families of victims. The Slovak Office of Work Safety announced on
31 October that in the first nine months of 1995, 80 fatalities occurred
in workplace accidents, TASR reported. * Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN POLITICAL UPDATE. Prime Minister Gyula Horn on 31 October
announced he expects to meet his Slovak counterpart, Vladimir Meciar,
next week to discuss the Slovak language bill. He added that he will ask
Meciar to submit a bill that does not violate the rights of ethnic
Hungarians. With regard to relations with Romania, Horn said he had
agreed with Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu to restart talks on the
basic treaty. * Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

FINAL RESULTS OF CROATIAN ELECTIONS. Reuters on 31 October reported that
the Croatian Electoral Commission had announced that with nearly all the
ballots counted from the 29 October elections, the governing Croatian
Democratic Union won with about 44.8% of the votes. It was followed by
the five-party coalition led by the Peasant Party with 18.4% and the
opposition Social Liberals with 11.6%. AFP on 31 October reported that
observers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
(OSCE) were among those who pointed out polling irregularities.
According to a statement issued by the observers, voters were "not
always guaranteed" a secret ballot and "numerous bulletins were filled
in publicly." The observers added, however, that "the atmosphere was
positive in general." * Stan Markotich

SERBIAN PRESIDENT VOICES "OPTIMISM" ON PEACE TALKS . . . Nasa Borba on 1
November reported that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic the previous
day declared his "optimism" as he left for the U.S. to attend peace
talks slated to open on 1 November in Ohio. Also attending the talks
will be Croatian President Franjo Tudjman and Bosnian President Alija
Izetbegovic. Representatives from the U.S., the EU, and Russia will
mediate. "Our aim is peace," Milosevic said. AFP quoted the Serbian
president as saying that "We are all hoping . . . that a fair and
lasting peace will finally be established. . . . It will be lasting and
fair in so far as the peace accord will protect in an equitable fashion
the interests of the [Serbian, Croatian, and Moslem] peoples and all the
citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina." The Serbian delegation also includes
Bosnian Serbs-notably Momcilo Krajisnik, the speaker of the Bosnian Serb
assembly-who continue to advocate the partitioning of Bosnia-
Herzegovina. * Stan Markotich

. . . WHILE CROATIAN PRESIDENT SAYS HE IS "HOPEFUL." As he left for the
Ohio talks, Franjo Tudjman remarked he was "hopeful" a peace deal could
be hammered out that would lead to a stable peace in the war-torn former
Yugoslavia, AFP reported on 31 October. He further noted that "it is
difficult to say that something is certain . . . after all the
conferences we have had since 1990." It is expected that Tudjman will
not stay for the duration of the talks, and that Foreign Minister Mate
Granic will take over as chief Croatian negotiator. * Stan Markotich

EXPULSION OF MUSLIMS CONTINUE IN NORTHWESTERN BOSNIA. According to the
UNHCR, Bosnian Serbs are continuing to expel Muslims from the Banja Luka
region. A UN spokesman quoted local police as saying the Muslims had "no
right" to demand protection. Meanwhile Bosnian Prime Minister Muhamed
Sacirbey demanded that the UN Security Council launch an investigation
into the fall of Srebrenica in July. He added that the peace talks will
not succeed unless the council insists on investigating "ethnic
cleansing" around Banja Luka, Reuters reported on 31 October. Sacirbey
also accused Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic of ultimate
responsibility for the slaughter of thousands of people after the fall
of Srebrenica. He commented that he should not be a party in the Ohio
peace talks. * Fabian Schmidt

SLAVONIAN SERBS REJECT US-UN PROPOSED DRAFT AGREEMENT. The self-declared
ethnic Serbian Assembly of the Srem-Baranja Region on 31 October
approved the refusal by their negotiator Milan Milanovic to a draft
agreement, proposed by UN negotiator Thorvald Stoltenberg and U.S.
Ambassador Peter Galbraith. The accord would have put eastern Slavonia
under UN control for two years. Milanovic demanded a period of five
years, while Croatia has said it will accept 12 months, AFP reported the
same day. * Fabian Schmidt

CROATIA THREATENS TO STRIKE BACK. Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic
has threatened that Croatian forces will strike back if the Bosnian
Serbs attack Dubrovnik again. Referring to an alleged attack on 29
October, Granic is quoted by Reuters on 31 October as saying that
"similar attacks will not be tolerated." The Bosnian Serbs deny the
charges and accuse the Croatian army of launching the attack on the
weekend. Meanwhile, the UN said it plans to withdraw 6,000-8,500 of the
18,000-strong contingent as a cost-cutting measure and in expectation of
60,000 NATO troops arriving after a peace settlement, AFP reported.
* Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER IN "CRITICAL" CONDITION. Corneliu Coposu,
leader of the opposition National Peasant Party Christian Democratic,
was hospitalized on 30 October in Bucharest and his situation is
"critical," Radio Bucharest announced on 31 October. Coposu suffers from
a lung ailment and has undergone surgery in Germany, where he has often
been hospitalized during the last two years. * Michael Shafir

EUROPEAN INVESTMENT BANK FINANCES NEW PROJECTS IN ROMANIA. European
Investment Bank Vice President Wolfgang Roth on 31 October signed in
Bucharest an agreement granting a loan of 60 million ECU to Romania for
the modernization of its electricity supply structure, Radio Bucharest
announced the same day. He said he hoped Romania will soon become a
member of the EIB. * Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN STUDENTS RESUME, THEN POSTPONE STRIKE AGAIN. Moldovan students
on 31 October briefly resumed their protest strike but later agreed to
postpone it again, international agencies reported. The strike was
renewed after students learned that a parliamentary debate on the
government's performance, scheduled for 31 October, had been postponed
until 7 November owing to the opening in Chisinau of a conference of
foreign ministers from member states of the Black Sea Economic
Cooperation Council. Parliamentary deputy chairman Dumitru Motpan told a
delegation from the striker's committee that the debate in the
parliament on President Mircea Snegur's initiative to change the name of
the country's official language from "Moldovan" to "Romanian" has been
postponed because Snegur wants first to consult parliamentary factions.
In a related development, Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli on 31 October
met a delegation of the National Federation of Student Organizations to
discuss proposals for improving the students' economic situation.
* Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION PREPARES FOR COOPERATION IN LOCAL ELECTIONS.
Cooperation talks between the opposition parties due to take part in the
second round of the local elections seem well under way, Standart
reported. The leaders of the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS), the
People's Union (NS), and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and
Freedom (DPS) are due to meet on 1 November to discuss the possibility
of a nationwide agreement. In some towns, including Sofia, the NS has
already withdrawn its candidates in favor of the better-placed SDS
candidates. In ethnically mixed regions, the SDS will support DPS
candidates, SDS chairman Ivan Kostov said. In Sofia, the SDS is
demanding that the runoff be set for 5 November, after the Communal
Electoral Commission on 31 October changed the date from 11 to 12
November. * Stefan Krause in Sofia

ALBANIA WANTS KOSOVO INCLUDED IN PEACE TALKS. Albanian Deputy Foreign
Minister Arian Starova, during a visit to Greece, repeated calls that
Kosovo be included in U.S. efforts to forge a comprehensive peace
agreement for the Balkans. Reuters on 31 October quoted Starova as
saying that "they cannot ignore Kosovo and they should address this
issue by putting it on the agenda." * 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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