I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. - Booker T. Washington
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 214, Part II, 2 November 1995

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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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BALKAN PEACE TALKS OPEN. U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and
Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke on 1 November convened
peace talks in Dayton, Ohio, bringing together Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, and Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic, international media report. Before the talks,
Holbrooke stressed at least a measure of success was imperative, as
failure may prove costly. "If we don't succeed, the war will resume and
it will resume at a higher level," Reuters quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile, Christopher has said that any peace accord must enshrine four
basic principles: Bosnia's existence as a single state; a special status
for the capital, Sarajevo; protection of human rights and the bringing
to justice of those involved in war crimes and atrocities; and the
return to Croatian jurisdiction of rebel Serb-held Slavonia. -- Stan
Markotich
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CRIMEAN LAWMAKERS ADOPT FIRST ARTICLE OF CRIMEAN CONSTITUTION. Crimean
deputies have approved Article 1 of a new regional constitution that
defines Crimea as an autonomous part of Ukraine, effectively ending a
prolonged political battle between Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russian
separatists over the status of the peninsula, Ukrainian TV reported on 1
November. The article asserts that relations between Crimea and Ukraine
are to be governed by their respective constitutions. It also declares
Sevastopol to be part of Crimea and provides for its citizens to elect
representatives to the Crimean parliament. But Ukrainian laws will apply
with regard to the city's special status as the base of the Black Sea
Fleet. Deputies are to continue reviewing the rest of the draft
constitution over the next few days and will then submit it to the
Ukrainian legislature for approval. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

DELAYS IN UKRAINIAN-ROMANIAN TREATY. Natalya Zarudna, head of the
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry's information department, has said
differences remain between Ukraine and Romania preventing an agreement
on friendship and cooperation from being signed, Ukrainian Radio
reported on 31 October. According to Ukraine, Romania does not agree to
the inclusion of a clause renouncing any territorial claims on each
other. Earlier, it was reported that a compromise wording--condemning
the Molotov-Ribbentropp pact of 1939 but renouncing future territorial
claims--was drawn up. But it now appears that it has been rejected by
the Romanian side. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT MAY WITHHOLD ELECTION FUNDS. In response to the
Constitutional Court's ruling that confirmed the validity of amendments
lowering minimum voter turnout for parliamentary elections to 25%,
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has said he may block financing for the
elections, Reuters reported on 1 November. Lukashenka said he was
opposed to changing the electoral law and that if candidates wanted to
be elected to parliament, they should "fall on their knees and beg the
electorate to vote." The president also reiterated his threat to
institute direct presidential rule if the "destabilization of society"
continued. -- Ustina Markus

IMF ASKS BELARUS TO STOP INTERVENING IN CURRENCY MARKET. The IMF has
asked the National Bank of Belarus to stop intervening in the country's
currency exchange in attempts to stabilize the Belarusian ruble against
the dollar, Belarusian Radio reported on 1 November. The IMF said the
NBB had been propping up the ruble at 11,500 to $1 since January, but
the program for macroeconomic stabilization to which the Belarusian
government and the IMF agreed in September calls for freeing the ruble's
exchange rate from "administrative regulation." The IMF recommended
lowering the exchange rate to 15,294 to $1 by next January. Otherwise,
it said, Belarus risks losing future tranches of a $300 million stand-by
loan. -- Ustina Markus

NEW ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT PRESENTED TO PRESIDENT. Secretary of the State
Chancellery Uno Veering on 1 November faxed a list of the new government
to Seattle to President Lennart Meri, who has three days to approve it,
BNS reported. The government will again be led by Prime Minister Tiit
Vahi and retains seven ministers. Six new ministers from the Reform
Party have been nominated: Siim Kallas (foreign affairs), Mart Rask
(interior), Toomas Vilosius (social affairs), Jaak Aaviksoon
(education), Andres Lipstok (economy), and Kalev Kukk (transport and
communications). Tiit Kubri from the Rural Union has been nominated
minister for regional affairs. It is likely that the cabinet will take
its oath of office on 6 November. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH INTERNAL MINISTER TO REVEAL INFORMATION ON SECRET POLICE AGENTS.
Polish Minister of Internal Affairs Andrzej Milczanowski said he would
disclose the names of the secret police agents who spied on the student
activist Stanislaw Pyjas if requested to do so by a prosecutor or judge.
Pyjas was followed by some 14 security agents for two years before his
death in May 1977. It is widely believed that he was murdered by the
secret police. Recent amendments to the police law state that the
minister can disclose information on secret agents if it may help to
reveal murderers. Until now, Milczanowski has refused to disclose
information on secret police agents from the communist era, Zycie
Warszawy reported on 2 November. -- Jakub Karpinski in Warsaw

POLISH ELECTION UPDATE. According to a 26-29 October poll by the Warsaw-
based Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS), Democratic Left Alliance
leader Aleksander Kwasniewski will win 32% of the vote in the 5 November
presidential elections. Current President Lech Walesa received 26%,
former Labor Minister Jacek Kuron 8%, ombudsman Tadeusz Zielinski 5%,
former Prime Minister Jan Olszewski 4%, Central Bank President Hanna
Gronkiewicz-Waltz 3%, former Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak 3%, radical
peasant activist Andrzej Lepper-3%, and Liberal Party leader Janusz
Korwin-Mikke 2%, Warsaw dailies reported on 2 November. Walesa's support
has grown by 10% since September and Kwasniewski's by 7%, while
Gronkiewicz-Waltz has sunk by 13%. -- Jakub Karpinski in Warsaw

CZECH HOSPITAL DOCTORS GO ON STRIKE. Hospital doctors in the Czech
Republic went on strike on 1 November or staged token protests for
higher pay and against what they consider the near-collapse of the state
health service. Up to 5,000 doctors and nurses demonstrated outside the
Health Ministry in Prague and rallies were held in other towns, Czech
media reported. Emergency treatment for patients was maintained, and
some doctors worked normally but donated their day's pay to medical
charities. The leader of the doctor's group that organized the strike
said industrial action, such as refusing to perform abortions and
carrying out normal administrative tasks, will continue until their
demands are met. New Health Minister Jan Strasky on 30 October presented
a package of short-term reform proposals, but the more militant doctors
called these vague and insufficient to call off their action. -- Steve
Kettle

SLOVAK JOURNALIST ATTACKED. Peter Toth, a journalist with the opposition
daily Sme who has been reporting on the investigation into the abduction
of President Michal Kovac's son, was physically attacked near his
Bratislava apartment on 31 October, Narodna obroda reported. Before the
attack, an unknown man phoned Toth to ask for a meeting, but no one
showed up. Toth did not see the attacker's face. Sme, in its extensive
coverage of the Kovac Jr. case, has published information and interviews
pointing to involvement by the Slovak Information Service (SIS). SIS
director Ivan Lexa, an ally of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, on 11
September filed charges against Sme and two other opposition dailies for
their coverage of the case, saying the papers aimed to discredit the
service. -- Sharon Fisher

CONTROVERSY OVER SLOVAK LANGUAGE LAW. Miklos Duray, chairman of the
ethnic Hungarian Coexistence party, told Praca on 2 November that the
Slovak language law violates the country's constitution and the Slovak-
Hungarian treaty. The most recent version of the bill was approved by
the cabinet on 24 October and will be discussed later this month by the
parliament. According to Duray, ethnic Hungarian deputies will not
support the treaty if certain controversial legislation is passed first.
Representatives of Slovakia's ethnic Hungarian parties are scheduled to
meet with Council of Europe secretary general Daniel Tarschys on 2
November to discuss the government's draft language law. In other news,
Meciar and his Hungarian counterpart, Gyula Horn, will meet in Berlin on
10 November to discuss the language law. -- Sharon Fisher

TRADE UNION PROBLEMS BREWING IN SLOVAKIA. Deputy Prime Minister Jozef
Kalman on 31 October reacted to a statement by the Confederation of
Trade Unions the previous day declaring a "state of crisis." Kalman
called the statement "a precipitate step" that was opposed to the spirit
of "social partnership and participation" in finding mutually acceptable
solutions to problems, Praca reported on 2 November. Trade unions held a
demonstration in Bratislava on 23 September to protest government social
policies, particularly the cabinet's cancellation in July of lower
public transportation fares for the socially disadvantaged. The
government has yet to meet union demands. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PREMIER VISITS BRITAIN . . . Gyula Horn, during a 36-hour
visit to Britain aimed at improving economic and political ties, said on
31 October that admission to EU and NATO are of equal importance to
Hungary for economic, political, and security reasons, Hungarian
newspapers reported the next day. Horn met with his British counterpart,
John Major, who pledged that Britain would do its best to promote
Hungary's accession to both institutions; EBRD president Jacques de
Larosiere; and other high-ranking officials. Horn said that Hungarian
foreign policy aims to decrease tension and forge good neighborly
relations in Central and Eastern Europe. He suggested that assurances be
given to Russia and Ukraine that NATO expansion will not represent a
security threat to them. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

. . . AND THREATENS RESIGNATION. On his return to Hungary, Horn, who is
also Socialist Party leader, said that if the prime minister is not
allowed to be also head of a political party, a new person will have to
be found to replace him in both jobs, Hungarian media reported on 2
November. His statement appears to have ended a dispute within the party
about the separation of the two posts. Many socialist deputies,
including those most critical of allowing one person to hold both
positions, seem uneasy about a separation under such conditions. The
issue of separating the two posts came up several months ago when the
socialist caucus became increasingly critical of Horn's moves as
premier. Until now, Horn had seemed willing to accept the idea. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BALKAN PEACE TALKS OPEN. U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and
Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke on 1 November convened
peace talks in Dayton, Ohio, bringing together Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, and Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic, international media report. Before the talks,
Holbrooke stressed at least a measure of success was imperative, as
failure may prove costly. "If we don't succeed, the war will resume and
it will resume at a higher level," Reuters quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile, Christopher has said that any peace accord must enshrine four
basic principles: Bosnia's existence as a single state; a special status
for the capital, Sarajevo; protection of human rights and the bringing
to justice of those involved in war crimes and atrocities; and the
return to Croatian jurisdiction of rebel Serb-held Slavonia. -- Stan
Markotich

DID CHIRAC PREVENT NATO AIR RAIDS IN SREBRENICA . . . Die Tageszeitung
on 1 November carried a story, based on UN and French sources close to
the government, saying that on French President Jacques Chirac's orders,
UN commander General Bernard Janvier did not authorize air raids to
prevent the fall of Srebrenica. The paper said that Janvier rejected
five requests by the Dutch peacekeepers in Srebrenica for air support
after the Bosnian Serbs started attacking the town on 6 July. Die
Tageszeitung further said that Chirac gave the order not to fly air
raids at the beginning of July, even before the Serbian offensive, and
that the French and U.S. secret services were aware of Serbian plans. --
Fabian Schmidt

. . . BUT ONLY AFTER SECURITY COUNCIL REACHED AGREEMENT? At a UN
Security Council meeting on 24 May, the three Contact Group members
Britain, France, and Russia called for abandoning Srebrenica Zepa and
Gorazde and the U.S. and Germany "tacitly consented," AFP and Die
Tagezeitung reported on 1 November. The French government has declined
to comment. Meanwhile, the rump Yugoslav government denied reports in
The Washington Post on 29 October saying that its troops were involved
in the conquest of Srebrenica. It also denied the existence of prison
camps for Bosnian Muslims on rump Yugoslav territory. -- Fabian Schmidt

BOSNIAN SERBS HAND OVER EVIDENCE TO WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL. The Association
Of Camp Detainees 1991 handed over dossiers, based on testimony given by
10 victims and witnesses to the International War Crimes Tribunal at The
Hague. The association says the documents reportedly attest to the
killing of 60 Serbs and the torture of many more. They also name "10 to
20 perpetrators," including "very high officials of the Bosnian and
Croatian governments," AFP reported on 1 November. -- Fabian Schmidt

SERBIAN POLICE RAIDS IN KOSOVO. Serbian police, including those from the
economics section, raided ethnic Albanian homes and shops in various
towns throughout October on the pretext of searching for arms, Kosova
Daily Report said on 1 November. According to Kosovar shadow-state
sources, police maltreated 34 Albanians in Urosevac alone and severely
beat up seven others. The government claims that the Serbian police
raided shadow-state schools and universities and "almost every Albanian-
owned shop and firm [in Urosevac] and the surrounding villages." --
Fabian Schmidt

MACEDONIA ADMITTED TO PHARE PROGRAM. The Foreign Ministers Committee of
the European Union has accepted the EU Commission's recommendation to
admit Macedonia to the PHARE program, Macedonian Radio reported on 1
November. The move was announced during a two-day visit to Macedonia by
a European Parliament delegation. The 13 September Greek-Macedonian
agreement has removed the last obstacle to Macedonia's admission, which
should unlock considerable financial assistance for the country. --
Michael Wyzan

ROMANIAN REACTIONS TO BISHOP TOKES' "ALTERNATIVE RECONCILIATION"
PROPOSALS. Reacting to Reformed Bishop Lazslo Tokes' "alternative
proposal" for a Romanian-Hungarian reconciliation (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 1 November 1995), presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu said
that the honorary chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of
Romania "lacks credibility" because of his repeated "anti-Romanian
attitudes" and his spreading "lies" abroad about the situation of the
Hungarian minority. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mircea Geoana told a
press conference in Bucharest that Tokes' proposal shows he was
demanding autonomy based on ethnic criteria, which, he said, is rejected
by all European states and "undermines stability in our region," Radio
Bucharest and Reuters reported. -- Michael Shafir

LEADER OF ROMANIAN EXTREMIST PARTY RESIGNS. Mircea Hamza, a deputy
chairman of the extremist Greater Romania Party (PRM), has resigned his
post. In an open letter to PRM leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor published in
Evenimentul zilei on 2 November, Hamza said the PRM started out as a
patriotic party but has turned into one displaying "grotesque wholesale
attitudes against Hungarians, Jews, and Gypsies." Hamza denounced
Tudor's attacks on Romania's efforts to become integrated into European
structures, saying that "by implication" this amounts to opting for "the
zone represented by Russia." He added that Tudor has "blindly and
grossly" attacked President Ion Iliescu, thereby insulting all Romanians
who voted for him. -- Michael Shafir

BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION COUNCIL IN CHISINAU. A meeting of the
Black Sea Economic Cooperation Council in Chisinau on 1 November decided
to speed up efforts to set up a Black Sea Trade and Development Bank.
The meeting was supposed to be attended by the foreign ministers of
member states, but only those from Moldova and Romania (which has taken
over the chairmanship for the next six months) were present; the
remaining countries sent their deputy foreign ministers, Infotag
reported on 1 November. The decision to set up the bank was taken in
early 1995 but has been ratified only by Albania and Greece. It was
agreed that Greece, Turkey and Russia will have 16.5% of the shares
each; Romania, Ukraine, and Bulgaria 13.5% each, and the remaining five
countries 2% each. -- Michael Shafir

ZHIRINOVSKY'S PARTY TO SUPPORT TRANSDNIESTRIAN INDEPENDENCE. Visiting
Russian State Duma deputy Nina Krivelskaya, addressing the parliament of
the breakaway Transdniestrian region, said that the Russian Liberal
Democratic Party, headed by Vladimir Zhirinovsky will offer all possible
assistance in promoting the recognition of Transdniestrian independence,
Infotag reported on 1 November. Krivelskaya, who is heading an
unofficial delegation of the State Duma, said her party's goal was to
restore a "unified state" within the "borders of the former Czarist
Russian Empire." Meanwhile, the Transdniestrian parliament on 1 November
voted to hold a referendum on joining the CIS, Infotag reported the same
day. The referendum will be held jointly with the parliamentary
elections, scheduled for 24 December. Voters will also be asked to
approve the recently passed Transdniestrian constitution. -- Michael
Shafir

TOP JUDGES SAY NO "VACUUM" IN BULGARIA'S LEGAL SYSTEM. The
Constitutional Court on 31 October ruled that there is no "vacuum" in
the country's legal system, 24 chasa reported the following day. The
court decided that if a law is declared unconstitutional, the previous
version of that law is to become valid again. In cases where there are
no earlier versions, the law is to be regarded as invalid, The judges
had been asked to rule on the question by Prosecutor-General Ivan
Tatarchev, who wanted to know the practical consequences of declaring a
law unconstitutional. -- 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
Union and East-Central and Southeastern Europe. It is published Monday
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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