A good eater must be a good man; for a good eater must have a good digestion, and a good digestion depends upon a good conscience. - Benjamin Disraeli
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 215, Part II, 3 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BOSNIAN REFUGEE DEAL REACHED IN DAYTON. Bosnian President Alija
Izetbegovic and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman have reached agreement
on a deal that would see the return of hundreds of Muslim and Croatian
refugees, international media reported on 2 November. A joint statement
by the two leaders stressed that the deal addresses only "the first
phase" of the refugee issue. In another development, AFP reported that
the Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian delegations at the talks have so far
received four draft proposals from international mediators focusing on
the broad question of peace, a constitutional structure for the Bosnian
state, electoral issues, and "the separation of military and
paramilitary forces." -- Stan Markotich
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN-G7 TALKS FAIL TO RESOLVE CHORNOBYL CLOSURE. International
agencies on 2 November reported that talks in Kiev between Ukraine and
the G7 on a timetable and financing for Chornobyl's closure broke down
without any agreements being signed. Ukraine demanded a precise
financing schedule listing the exact sum each country is to contribute,
the dates the money is to be released, and through which banks. The G7
countries, for their part, wanted a precise timetable for Chornobyl's
closure. The G7 package promises $1.8 billion in loans to Ukraine and a
further $450 million in grants. Ukraine is to contribute $900 million.
The money is to be spent on launching two new reactors and modernizing
Ukraine's energy sector. -- Ustina Markus

CRIMEAN TATARS STAGE HUNGER STRIKE. Ten members of the Crimean Tatar
caucus in the Crimean legislature have begun a hunger strike demanding
that lawmakers restore quotas of seats reserved for ethnic minorities
and left out of the new regional constitution, UNIAN and ITAR-TASS
reported on 2 November. The deputies--all of whom are members of the
Kurultai faction--insist that the Crimean parliament reconsider its
decision to omit a clause in Article 14 of the new constitution that
would have retained a quota of 14 seats to represent some 200,000
Crimean Tatars living on the peninsula. The clause was included in the
old constitution, annulled by Ukrainian authorities in March as
separatist. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

CRIMEAN LAWMAKERS APPROVE DRAFT CONSTITUTION. After approving Article 1
on 1 November, lawmakers have approved the remaining articles of the
draft constitution. The document provides for three state languages:
Russian, Ukrainian, and Tatar but designates Russian as the official
language of government. It also asserts that the Crimean government is
the leading authority in the region and that is led by a prime minister
appointed by the Crimean parliament. The head of the Crimean Security
Service is to be appointed by the chief of the Ukrainian Security
Service with the approval of the leaders of the Crimean Assembly.
Ukraine's interior minister names his representative to head the Crimean
branch of the Interior Ministry with the approval of the Crimean
legislature. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

EU OFFICIAL ON BELARUS. Interfax on 2 November reported that European
Commission member Hans van den Broek said Belarus was "on the farthest
approaches from being admitted into the European Union." Van den Broek
was on a one-day working visit to Minsk. He said he assumed Belarus
would put forward its candidacy to be admitted to the EU but warned that
first it must ensure not only economic stability but also democratic
reform. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN ARMS DEALS ANGER RUSSIA. ITAR-TASS on 3 November reported
that Belarus has been negotiating another arms deal that is harmful
Russian interests. Last year Minsk reportedly sold an anti-aircraft
missile system to the U.S. Now it is said to be attempting to sell two
top-of-the-line SU-27 fighter aircraft from its base at Baranovichy.
Documents on the sale have been handed over to the aircraft
manufacturing plant at Komsomolska-na-Amure. The deals are perceived in
Moscow as detrimental to both Russia's defense capacity and its arms
exports. The documents will be handed over to the Russian State Duma for
appropriate action, according to the news agency. -- Ustina Markus

LATVIA ADOPTS PENSION LAW. The Latvian parliament on 2 November adopted
a law on pensions, BNS reported. Earlier recommendations that the
pension age be raised to 65 were defeated. Men will be able to draw
pensions at 60 and women at 55. Those who are of pension age, however,
can continue working, and their contributions to the social fund will
increase the size of their pensions. Latvian citizens will receive
pensions for all years worked, regardless of where, while non-citizens
will be paid only for the years worked in Latvia. -- Saulius Girnius

LATVIAN, LITHUANIAN PREMIERS DISCUSS BORDER DISPUTE. Maris Gailis and
Adolfas Slezevicius agreed in telephone talks on 2 November on the need
to determine their sea borders peacefully, BNS reported. Slezevicius
accepted Gailis's suggestion that a third party be invited to help
settle the border dispute. The premiers also agreed that representatives
from the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry and parliament travel to Riga next
week to acquaint themselves with the agreement on oil exploration that
Latvia signed on 31 October with the American Amoco and Swedish OPAB oil
companies. Gailis confirmed that no exploratory work for oil in the
disputed area would be started before an agreement with Lithuania is
signed. He also noted that any contract with the oil companies would
have to be ratified by the new parliament that holds its first session
on 7 November. * Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN UPDATE. Campaign staff of Aleksander
Kwasniewski, leading candidate in the 5 November Polish presidential
elections, have accused the secret services of intervening in the
campaign, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 3 November. Kwasniewski's staff
suspects the secret services of revealing to the press the financial
assets of Kwasniewski's wife (a topic that has received much press
attention) and of organizing violent protests at Kwasniewski's campaign
meetings. Spokesmen for President Lech Walesa, who has control over the
secret service, and the Internal Affairs Ministry denied the
accusations. Presidential candidates Leszek Moczulski and Bogdan
Pawlowski withdrew from the race on 2 November, asking their supporters
to vote for Walesa. The presidential campaign ends at noon, on 3
November. -- Jakub Karpinski in Warsaw

POLISH SENATE REJECTS PROPOSED REFERENDUM ON DISTRIBUTING STATE
PROPERTY. The Polish Senate on 2 November rejected a presidential
proposal for a referendum on dividing up state and communal property.
The president was asked by Solidarity to make the proposal. Senators
criticized the proposed questions as unclear and violating the
constitution. The president the same day signed a cooperation agreement
with Solidarity stating that the president will put his right to
initiate legislation at Solidarity's disposal, Warsaw dailies reported
on 3 November. -- Jakub Karpinski in Warsaw

CZECH PARLIAMENT TIGHTENS CONFLICT OF INTERESTS LAW. By a near-unanimous
vote, the Czech parliament on 2 November passed wide-ranging revisions
to the law on conflict of interests. As of 1 January, government
ministers, other high state officials, parliamentary deputies, and
members of the still-to-be-created Senate will have to declare any
potential conflict of interests involving not just themselves but also
their spouses and close relations. Members of the government will be
barred from engaging in any business activities. All those covered by
the law will have to declare additional income and gifts of higher value
than their monthly salary and, after next June's elections, declare all
property they own or sell. The need for a new law was discussed for
almost three years, following a series of scandals involving leading
politicians. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK PRESIDENT LAUNCHES COUNTERATTACK. Michal Kovac, in a speech on 2
November broadcast on Radio Twist and Slovak Radio, reacted to a series
of attacks by Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar and his allies aimed at
forcing the president's resignation. Kovac called on Meciar to "give up
plans to usurp and concentrate power" and to move toward cooperation.
Sharply criticizing the activities of Meciar's coalition, Kovac demanded
that Meciar change his domestic policy, which is "challenging the
principle of a law-abiding state and leading Slovakia into international
isolation." Meciar's party--the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
(HZDS)--said Kovac's speech demonstrated his collaboration with
opposition parties and said the address was "undignified" for a head of
state, Pravda reported. -- Sharon Fisher

UPDATE ON SLOVAK-RUSSIAN RELATIONS. Meciar, returning on 3 November from
a four-day trip to Russia and Turkmenistan, denied that Slovakia wants
to form a customs union with Russia. Meanwhile, the opposition reacted
negatively to Meciar's visit, saying he is putting too much emphasis on
the East. The Party of the Democratic Left on 2 November expressed
concern about Slovakia's increasing economic contacts with Russia and
stressed that Meciar has not convinced anyone that Czech-Russian
financing of the Mochovce nuclear plant (see OMRI Daily Digest, 1
November) is the best option regarding safety issues. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN NEO-NAZI TRIAL OPENS. Two neo-Nazi leaders have appealed to
the right to free speech at their trial in Budapest, which began on 1
November. The two men, along with several others, are charged with
inciting racial hatred at numerous meetings where they denied that the
Holocaust took place. They have also been accused of using prohibited
symbols and circulating neo-Nazi propaganda material. Both denied the
charges, saying that Hungarian neo-Nazi circles were formed "to serve
the Hungarian nation . . . and to protect Hungarian culture and
language." Meanwhile, liberal deputies suggested that President Arpad
Goncz's earlier proposal to redefine what is meant in the criminal code
by combatting extremism and incitement against minority groups. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

HEROIN SEIZURE IN HUNGARY. Hungarian customs officials on 2 November
found almost 14 kg of heroin in a Bulgarian car at the Romanian border ,
Hungarian newspapers reported. The smugglers said they wanted to travel
to Western Europe with their haul. The amount of drugs seized in Hungary
so far this year totals 493 kilograms. Meanwhile, Hungary and Ukraine
the same day reached an agreement to improve coordination to curb cross-
border crime. The accord comes in the wake of a series of attacks by
Ukrainians on tourist buses in eastern Hungary. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN REFUGEE DEAL REACHED IN DAYTON. Bosnian President Alija
Izetbegovic and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman have reached agreement
on a deal that would see the return of hundreds of Muslim and Croatian
refugees, international media reported on 2 November. A joint statement
by the two leaders stressed that the deal addresses only "the first
phase" of the refugee issue. In another development, AFP reported that
the Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian delegations at the talks have so far
received four draft proposals from international mediators focusing on
the broad question of peace, a constitutional structure for the Bosnian
state, electoral issues, and "the separation of military and
paramilitary forces." -- Stan Markotich

MILOSEVIC, TUDJMAN AGREE TO FIND PEACEFUL SOLUTION IN SLAVONIA. Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman and his Serbian counterpart, Slobodan
Milosevic, agreed in Dayton to continue talks on eastern Slavonia, AFP
reported on 2 November. Both sides pledged to work toward "full
normalization of their relation" on the basis of " full respect" for
human rights and the right of all refugees to return home or receive a
just compensation. The aim is to find "a peaceful resolution . . . as
rapidly as possible," a U.S. State Department spokesman said. As yet,
the two sides appear to have agreed only that Croatia and Serbia will
not intervene militarily. U.S. Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith and
UN negotiator Thorvald Stoltenberg began a visit to the region on 2
November. -- Fabian Schmidt

HAS MILOSEVIC ABANDONED BOSNIAN SERB LEADERS? BETA on 2 November
reported that Bosnian Serb civilian leader Radovan Karadzic and his
military counterpart, General Ratko Mladic, are likely to resign from
their posts in the very near future, apparently because of pressure to
do so from the U.S. According to the report, Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic, eager to accept some key US demands, has agreed to the idea
of the two leaving their posts. AFP the same day reported that "a few
days ago" at a meeting in Pale, the Bosnian Serb leadership agreed in
principle that Karadzic and Mladic would step down. U.S. State
Department official Nicholas Burns has said "We don't believe these two
individuals should be among the leaders of the new state that emerges
from a peace agreement." -- Stan Markotich

BOSNIAN MUSLIMS RECOUNT MASSACRES. AFP on 2 November reported accounts
of massacres by Bosnian Serbs in Sanski Most who earlier this week were
among a group of 303 Muslim civilians and 21 soldiers exchanged for 135
Serbian troops and two civilians. They told The Guardian that Serbian
paramilitaries executed at least 11 men before fleeing from the
approaching Bosnian Army; 30 prisoners who were taken from a factory
outside Sanski Most are still missing. Eleven bodies have been found,
Bosnian government officials and foreign observers reported that another
110 remain scattered around the town and surrounding villages. -- Daria
Sito Sucic

ROMANIA CRITICIZES UKRAINIAN ENVOY. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mircea
Geoana, at a press conference on 1 November, said Romania was
"surprised" by Ukrainian special ambassador Vladimir Vasilenko's recent
statements on the Romanian-Ukrainian basic treaty. Vasilenko heads the
Kiev side in parleys on the treaty. Romanian media reported that Geoana
rejected Vasilenko's accusations that Romanian insistence on mentioning
the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in the treaty constitutes an attempt to
question the borders between the two states. He also criticized his
comment that Bucharest's position was influenced by internal political
considerations. Vasilenko was violating the two side's agreement not to
involve the press in the parleys, he said. The last round of treaty
negotiations ended in Bucharest on 26 October, apparently without any
results. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN FINANCE MINISTER ON 1996 BUDGET. Finance Minister Florin
Georgescu told a press conference in Bucharest on 1 November that the
1996 budget was one of "austerity" aimed at "reducing to a minimum non-
productive costs" and encouraging the growth of public services. The
budget foresees a 4.5% growth in GDP, a 4.7% growth in industrial
production, a 3.5% increase in agricultural production, and an 8.8% rise
in investments. Inflation is forecast at 20%. The budget was submitted
to the parliament after discussions with representatives of the
opposition parties, Romanian media reported. -- Michael Shafir

EU OFFICIAL PRAISES MOLDOVAN PROGRESS. EU External Affairs Commissioner
Hans van den Broek said in Chisinau on 2 November that "Moldova's
success in establishing a genuine democracy is convincing" and that
"economic stabilization has been achieved and true progress made in
privatization and restructuring," Reuters and Moldovan agencies reported
the same day. Van den Broek paid a one-day visit to Moldova, meeting
President Mircea Snegur, parliamentary chairman Petru Lucinschi, and
Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli. He said the parliaments of EU member
states and the European Parliament are likely to ratify next year a
cooperation partnership agreement signed in 1994. --  Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT INITIATES JUDICIAL REFORM. Moldovan President Mircea
Snegur has sent to the parliament a legislative proposal calling for the
abolition of the death penalty. He has also petitioned the
Constitutional Court to comment on whether the basic document should be
changed to provide for judges to be appointed for life after an initial
five-year term, Infotag and BASA-press reported on 30 October and 1
November. Meanwhile, the Moldovan parliament on 1 November adopted laws
on state security and state security organs, BASA-press reported on the
same day. Threats to state security are defined as "actions whose
purpose is the violent change of the constitutional regime, suppression
of independence and territorial integrity, provoking civil war or
military actions against the state, [and] treason through helping
foreign states in organizing hostile acts" against Moldova. -- Michael
Shafir

EXPLOSION AT BULGARIAN ARMS PLANT. Bulgarian Radio on 2 November
reported a major explosion the same day at the Arsenal plant killing one
person and wounding three. Minister of Industry Kliment Vuchev said a
fire caused the blast and added that damage was serious. Arsenal is
located in the town of Kazanlak and is one of the nation's largest arms
production centers. -- Stan Markotich

ALBANIAN POLICE LOSES BATTLE WITH FUEL SMUGGLERS. Albanian police lost a
fierce five-hour battle with fuel smugglers armed with automatic weapons
and grenades near the Montenegrin border, Reuters reported on 2
November. During a routine check, police managed to block the path of 20
smugglers and 10 fuel trucks but suddenly found itself surrounded by
armed men. After five hours of fierce fighting, local police and special
Interior Ministry forces from Tirana ran out of ammunition and were
forced to leave, abandoning three destroyed police vehicles. The
smugglers continued their journey. The Interior Ministry was not
immediately able to confirm the battle. -- Fabian Schmidt

BOMB ATTACK ON HOUSE OF ALBANIAN INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER CHIEF. Unknown
assailants on 1 October carried out a bomb attack on the house of
Nikolle Lesi, chief editor of Koha Jone, according to Gazeta Shqiptare
on 3 November. Nobody was injured in the attack, which caused
considerable damage to Lesi's apartment. Lesi said the assault must be
seen against the background of the upcoming parliamentary elections. He
said that in his capacity as chief editor, he was recently offered
thousands of dollars to support "a big party in the elections"; he
rejected that offer. He did not specify who had offered him the money.
Gazeta Shqiptare reported that five suspects have been detained but gave
no details. -- 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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