Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality. - Goethe
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 216, Part II, 6 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
TIGHT CONTEST BETWEEN KWASNIEWSKI, WALESA IN FIRST ROUND OF POLISH
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. According to preliminary results released by the
Warsaw-based Public Opinion Research Center (OBOP), Democratic Left
Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski won 34.8% of the vote and
incumbent President Lech Walesa 33.3% in the first round of the Polish
presidential elections. The two will compete on 19 November in the
second round of elections. Former Labor Minister Jacek Kuron, the
candidate of the Freedom Union, came in third with 8.9%. He was followed
by two former prime ministers: Jan Olszewski (7%) and Peasant Party
leader Waldemar Pawlak (4.8%). National Bank President Hanna
Gronkiewicz-Waltz received 2.7%. At 64.6%, turnout was larger than at
any presidential or parliamentary elections since 1989. The final
results of the first round will be released on 7 November. --  Jakub
Karpinski in Warsaw
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CRIMEAN TATARS CONTINUE HUNGER STRIKE, DESPITE CONCESSIONS. Members of
the Crimean Tatar caucus in the regional parliament are continuing their
hunger strike, despite the fact that lawmakers have approved an
electoral system guaranteeing Tatar representation under a new
constitution, Reuters and Ukrainian Radio reported on 4 November.
Deputies adopted a compromise the same day to change an article in the
draft constitution after Crimean Tatar legislators declared a hunger
strike to protest the removal of a clause providing for a quota of seats
to represent the 250,000 Tatars in the region. The parliament voted 67
to four to use proportional representation in the next elections,
thereby ensuring Tatars up to 15% of seats. Kurultai caucus members
believe the decision is inadequate, since some 64,000 Tatars who have
resettled on the peninsula still do not have Ukrainian citizenship and
therefore cannot vote. They are continuing their hunger strike to demand
more guarantees of equal status for the Crimean Tatar language with
Russian and Ukrainian and official recognition as a people. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak

UKRAINIAN TROOPS IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. Ukrainian Defense Minister
Valerii Shmarov has said Ukraine is willing to contribute troops to a
new peacekeeping force in Bosnia, but not one under NATO command,
Reuters reported. This position can be attributed to Ukraine's non-
aligned status. Shmarov said Ukraine was looking for a way to
participate in peacekeeping operations outside of NATO's command. --
Ustina Markus

UPDATE ON BELARUSIAN PARLIAMENTARY CRISIS. Reuters reported that 81 out
of 97 Belarusian deputies meeting informally on 4 November supported
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's demand that the minimum voter turnout
for the 29 November by-elections remain at 50% rather than 25% This is a
severe blow to parliamentary speaker Mechyslau Hryb, who has been
elected a deputy and has been lobbying for the 25% threshold to ensure
that a new parliament is elected. Interfax reported Lukashenka as
telling voters in the Myadel district not to vote for anyone they did
not know personally. He also accused parliamentary candidates Stanislau
Bahdankevich (former chairman of the National Bank of Belarus) and Yurii
Zakharenka (former interior minister ) of being frauds. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINIAN MILITARY DELEGATION VISITS ESTONIA. Maj.-Gen. Anatolii
Palamarchuk, Ukrainian army deputy chief of staff, and Elvo Priks, vice
chancellor of the Estonian Defense Ministry, on 3 November signed a
protocol identifying the main areas of military cooperation between
their countries in 1996, BNS reported. During his two-day visit,
Palamarchuk also met with Estonian commander-in-chief, Lt. Gen.
Aleksandr Einseln; Defense Minister Andrus Oovel; and parliamentary
chairman Toomas Savi. Priks said Estonia would investigate the possible
purchase of Ukrainian light infantry weapons and equipment as well as
sending its officers to Ukraine's military colleges. -- Saulius Girnius

CANDIDATES FOR LATVIAN PREMIER ON ECONOMIC PRIORITIES. Ziedonis Cevers
and Maris Grinblats, prime minister candidates of the National
Conciliation Bloc and National Bloc, have revealed their economic
priorities, BNS reported on 3 November. Grinblats said improved control
over state income and next year's budget were the key issues to be
settled by the new government. He also noted that he would continue the
privatization of the Latvian Gas company. Cevers said that his most
serious concerns would be the fight against smuggling and organized
crime, preparing credit and investment programs, and introducing a
regime of economizing in the country. Decrees would be issued only after
consultations with entrepreneurs, he commented. -- Saulius Girnius

HAVEL SUPPORTS SENDING CZECH TROOPS TO BOSNIA. President Vaclav Havel on
5 November said it is "essential" that Czech troops take part in any
international peacekeeping force sent to Bosnia. "We cannot be absent
from these units if we seriously mean our statements that we want to
take joint responsibility for the security situation in Europe and if we
seriously want to be a member of NATO," Havel said in his weekly radio
talk. A Czech contingent has already been serving in the UNPROFOR units
in Croatia. Defense Minister Vilem Holan, talking to reporters on 4
November, also supported sending Czech troops to Bosnia. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK POLITICAL UPDATE. Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar on 3 November
responded to statements by President Michal Kovac (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 3 November 1995) by saying the parliament or the people will
have to take action since Kovac does not have the "courage" to resign,
Pravda reported. In other news, Peter Weiss of the opposition Party of
the Democratic Left (SDL) on 4 November said he will not run for
reelection as party chairman at the next SDL congress in May. Weiss said
he hopes to remain a member of the party leadership and continue to work
for the SDL's admission into the Socialist International. Weiss's future
as party chairman had been in question ever since last fall's elections,
when the SDL fared much worse than expected. -- Sharon Fisher

CONTINUED CONTROVERSY OVER SLOVAK LANGUAGE LAW. Representatives of
Slovakia's Hungarian coalition, returning from Strasbourg on 3 November,
said the Council of Europe has promised to discuss the state language
bill with Slovak representatives, Sme reported. The Hungarians have
claimed the draft law is unconstitutional and violates international
norms and the Slovak-Hungarian treaty. Pal Csaky of the Hungarian
Christian Democratic Movement said that if the parliament passes the
bill, the Hungarians will bring the case to the European Court of Human
Rights in Strasbourg. Meanwhile, the Permanent Conference of the Civic
Institute criticized the other opposition parties for not taking a stand
against the bill, which "will damage the culture of entire Slovak
society, not just the Hungarian minority," Pravda reported. Deputy
Premier Katarina Tothova on 3 November argued that the bill is in line
with the constitution and international conventions signed by Slovakia.
"Slovakia is a sovereign state that has the full right to pass
legislation on the state language," Tothova said. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY, ROMANIA REOPEN TREATY TALKS. Hungarian Foreign Ministry State
Secretary Ferenc Somogyi and his Romanian counterpart, Marcel Dinu, on 3
November resumed talks aimed at settling sensitive ethnic minority
issues and restarting treaty negotiations. The talks were the first
since negotiations on the Hungarian-Romanian treaty were suspended in
July. The two officials stressed that the negotiations were preliminary
and aimed at clarifying Romanian proposals made in September, including
a joint political declaration and a "code of conduct" on cooperation in
the field of national minorities. Talks on the final texts of the joint
agreements are expected to start early next year, after Hungary makes
its own proposals, Dinu said. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN WORKERS DEMAND WAGE HIKES. Following warning strikes in the
energy sector last week, health workers have scheduled a one-day strike
for 11 November to demand higher wages, Hungarian media reported. The
police plans a national demonstration on 2 December to press their
demands for wage hikes. Magyar Hirlap reported that three unions--
representing teachers, public library employees, and university
professors--set up a joint strike committee on 5 November demanding a
25% increase. They say that if the government does not name a
negotiating team within five days, they will stage a nationwide strike.
Finance Minister Lajos Bokros said the government cannot yield to
demands for wage hikes. If it were to do so, it would have to give up
plans to reduce real wages and would be effectively saying the rigorous
stabilization program is unnecessary. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CROATIAN SERB REBELS SET NEW CONDITIONS. International media on 5
November reported that Croatian Serb negotiator Milan Milanovic rejected
peace proposals from U.S. ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith and UN
mediator Thorvald Stoltenberg. Milanovic represents the Serbs of eastern
Slavonia, the last sliver of the former Krajina still in Serbian hands.
He said that any transition to Croatian rule must be at least three
years, while Zagreb wants two at the most. Milanovic also stated that
supervision must be in the hands of UN troops, not those of NATO, as
Croatia demands. The Serbian official also insisted on a referendum by
local Serbs for autonomy, which Zagreb rejects. Croatian President
Franjo Tudjman and his military chief, General Zvonimir Cervenko, warned
again over the weekend that Croatia reserves the right to restore
sovereignty over eastern Slavonia by military means if talks fail. --
Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN SERBS DEFY U.S. DEMANDS TO DROP LEADERS. Bosnian Serb Prime
Minister Rajko Kosagic told SRNA on 5 November that his people "will not
permit the Americans or the Muslim authorities of Sarajevo to dictate to
us their choice for (our) leaders. The Serb people will decide
themselves, since they alone can elect or dismiss their
representatives." He was apparently responding to suggestions by U.S.
Secretary of State Warren Christopher that indicted war criminals
Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic are unacceptable as postwar
leaders. Kosagic said the U.S. could demand that the two be put on trial
for war crimes, "which would be the equivalent of putting the entire
Serb people on trial for alleged crimes." In another development, AFP on
5 November reported that the Bosnian Serb army has charged the interior
minister with giving an illegal order to special police units to pull
back from front lines. They demanded that Karadzic overrule the
minister. -- Patrick Moore

U.S., UN OFFICIALS SEE CAPTURED JOURNALIST. Officials on 5 November met
with David Rohde, a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor who
was apparently captured by Bosnian Serbs on 29 October. This was the
first contact Rohde had been allowed to Western representatives, and it
came only after vocal protests by U.S. diplomats at the Dayton peace
talks. The officials said he was healthy but exhausted and serving a 15-
day sentence for what SRNA on 3 November called illegal border crossing
and falsifying documents. Rohde has spearheaded reporting on the
Srebrenica massacres of Muslims by Serbs. On 25 October, he ran an
article quoting local Serbs as confirming the killings, for which Rohde
said that Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic is ultimately
responsible. -- Patrick Moore

NEW CROATIAN PRIME MINISTER APPOINTED. President Franjo Tudjman has
announced his decision to relieve Prime Minister Nikica Valentic of his
duties and to appoint Zlatko Matesa as his replacement, Novi List
reported on 6 November. Matesa will present his new government on 7
November. In Valentic's government, Matesa was minister in charge of
relations with the EU and other international financial and trade
institutions. He said his new cabinet is one of continuity, but he also
underscored his determination to find new ways to improve the economy.
-- Daria Sito Sucic

POWER STRUGGLE WITHIN SERBIAN MEDIA GIANT. Nasa Borba on 6 November
reported that a conflict within the Politika publishing house reached a
"red-hot" pitch over the weekend. Zivorad Minovic, former editor of the
daily Politika from 1985-1991, and Hadzi Dragan Antic, current director
of Politika publishing, appear to be involved in a power struggle. Nasa
Borba speculates that Antic, backed by Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic, will likely succeed in ousting his opponent. -- Stan
Markotich

GREEK PRESIDENT IN ROMANIA. Costis Stephanopoulos, on an official visit
to Romania on 2-3 November, addressed the Romanian parliament and met
with President Ion Iliescu, Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, and other
officials, Romanian media reported. The two sides signed an agreement on
cultural cooperation. Stephanopoulos, in a private capacity, also
visited Iasi, where he met with members of Romania's Greek minority. --
Michael Shafir

CHINESE OFFICIAL ENDS ROMANIAN VISIT. Hu Jintao, a member of the
Political Office of the Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, on
3 November ended an official visit to Romania, Rompres reported on the
same day. Vasile Vacaru, deputy chairman of the major coalition party,
the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR), said his formation has
accepted an invitation to participate in the CCP conference in Bejing in
November. The PDSR and the CCP are to "consolidate" their political
cooperation. Hu also met with Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu and other
Romanian officials. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIA TAKES PART IN NATO EXERCISES. Romania is participating in the
Partnership for Peace naval maneuvers that began in the Aegean Sea on 3
November and will continue until 10 November. Three NATO countries
(Greece, Italy, and the U.S.) are taking part, AFP reported. --  Michael
Shafir

MOLDOVAN-UKRAINIAN MILITARY COOPERATION. Ukrainian Deputy Defense
Minister Ivan Bizhan on 2 November ended a visit to Moldova, BASA-press
reported the next day. A Moldovan Defense Ministry official said the two
sides concluded a protocol on cooperation in logistics and drafted a
cooperation plan for 1996, which is to be signed during Ukrainian
Defense Minister Valerii Shmarov's visiti to Moldova later this month.
The plan coordinates transit operations on the territories of the two
states and provides for Moldovan officers to train at Ukrainian military
institutions. -- Michael Shafir

PROTEST DEMONSTRATION IN CHISINAU. About 3,000 people demonstrated in
Chisinau on 4 November, demanding payment of wage and pension arrears,
Interfax and BASA-press reported. Some people have not received payments
for six months. The demonstration was organized by the Moldovan
Independent Trade Union Federation. The protesters also called for
increased government measures to tackle unemployment and for incomes and
bank deposits to be indexed. -- Michael Shafir

ECONOMIC DECLINE IN MOLDOVA. According to data cited by BASA-press on 3
November, Moldova's GDP from January-September 1995 was about 5 billion
lei ($1.1 billion), representing a decrease of 8.7% over the same period
in 1994. The government's Department of Statistics said GDP dropped by
19.4% in the first quarter of 1995, 9.6% in the second quarter, and 1,4%
in the third. Industrial output was 88% of the 1994 level, while
agricultural output registered an 8% drop. Exports dropped by 26% and
imports by 12 %. The deficit in the trade balance rose to 114 million
lei ($25 million). -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS UPDATE. Runoffs for mayoral candidates were
held in some municipalities on 5 November, 24 chasa reported the
following day. In the central Bulgarian town of Stara Zagora, the
candidate of the united opposition, Tsanko Yablanski, won 55.6% of the
vote. In most other towns, a second round will be held on 12 November.
Meanwhile, the director of Plovdiv prison punished inmates awaiting
trial by not allowing them to watch a soccer match on TV because those
entitled to vote had unanimously cast their ballots for the opposition
Union of Democratic Forces. --  Stefan Krause in Sofia

RAMIZ ALIA FACES NEW TRIAL. Former Albanian President Ramiz Alia and
Prime Minister Hekuran Isai have been accused of bearing responsibility
for the killing after 1990 of a number of Albanians at the country's
borders. Fourteen families from Kolonja and Delvina have brought charges
against the two communist-era leaders, arguing that since they held the
highest positions in the country, they were responsible for the killing
of their relatives, who had tried to leave the country, Gazeta Shqiptare
reported on 4 November. After 1990, the penal code no longer specified
leaving the country as "high treason." -- Fabian Schmidt

ATHENS DEMANDS OPENING OF GREEK SCHOOLS IN ALBANIA. Gazeta Shqiptare on
4 November reported on Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos's
"unexpected" demand that Albania open schools for the Greek minority.
Stephanopoulos, in an interview with the Greek daily Ta Nea, said he
would refuse to visit Albania until his demand has been met. Meanwhile,
Republika on 5 November reported on the "massive return of [Albanian]
immigrants from Greece." The paper claims that Greek police continue to
discriminate against Albanian immigrants, noting that about 15 have been
maltreated by law enforcement officials. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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