As courage endagers life even so fear preserves it. - Leonardo Da Vinci
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 217, Part II, 7 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BOSNIAN ARMY COMMANDER SAYS PEACE DEPENDS ON MILOSEVIC. General Rasim
Delic told the Sarajevo paper Dnevni Avaz that Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic is the one to make "crucial decisions" for the
Serbian side. Hina on 6 November quoted him as adding that he did "not
know whether [Milosevic] is yet willing to do so." The general stated
that his troops will do their part to implement any peace agreement once
it is finalized. But Mlada Fronta Dnes on 7 November noted that Delic
also said that "if the talks do not succeed, the Bosnian army will
launch a new liberation campaign." In another development, seven French
soldiers were lightly wounded when three gunmen attacked them at
Vrapcici, near Mostar, on 5 November. AFP quoted a French spokesman as
saying "we have no idea who [the attackers] were." The gunmen escaped,
apparently wounded. * Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

DONETSK STRIKES EASE UP. Interfax on 6 November reported the Ukrainian
Coal Industry Ministry as saying that protest actions in the Donbass
were decreasing. Workers at over 20 mines staged rotational strikes on
2-3 November. Three days later, strikes were reported continuing at only
five mines. Miners have been demanding payment of back wages, pensions,
and other benefits. In other news, leftist forces in Donetsk intend to
ask the parliament and the people to "voice no confidence in President
Leonid Kuchma and his anti-popular course" during the 7 November
celebrations marking the anniversary of the October 1917 revolution.
* Ustina Markus

KUCHMA MEETS WITH CHERNOMYRDIN. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, in
Israel for the funeral of assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak
Rabin, met with Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin after the
burial ceremony, ITAR-TASS reported on 6 November. The two leaders
discussed problematic issues in Russian-Ukrainian relations. Details of
the discussion were not made available. * Ustina Markus

NEW ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT SWORN IN. Prime Minister Tiit Vahi and fourteen
other ministers took oaths of offices on 7 November, ETA reported. The
Coalition Party and Reform Party have six ministers each and the Rural
Union three. Since parliamentary deputies are required to suspend their
memberships on becoming ministers, the Reform Party will have four new
deputies. The parliament's Reform Party coalition also elected Valve
Kirsipuu to replace Siim Kallas as its leader. * Saulius Girnius

LATVIAN PRESIDENT OPPOSES SIEGERIST AS MINISTER. Guntis Ulmanis, in an
interview with Diena on 6 November, said he opposed the inclusion of
Joachim Siegerist, chairman of the Popular Movement for Latvia, in the
cabinet, Reuters reported. Ulmanis said Siegerist has made extremist
statements in the past, adding that he "cannot agree and never will
agree that such a person should be in the government of Latvia." The PML
is a member of the National Conciliation Bloc, which reportedly chose
Siegerist as its candidate for economics minister. Siegerist did not run
for the parliament because of insufficient knowledge of Latvian. He is
now hinting that he will accept the post of deputy economics minister
until he gains the necessary proficiency in Latvian. * Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIA, DENMARK SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT. Deputy Defense
Minister Valdas Sarapinas and his Danish counterpart, Per Carlsen,
signed in Vilnius on 6 November a military cooperation agreement for
1996, BNS reported. Cooperation is envisioned to be more intense than
this year: more bilateral visits of military specialists are planned,
several dozen Lithuanian officers will be trained in Danish military
academies, and Lithuanian soldiers will participate in Partnership for
Peace exercises in Denmark. Denmark is the first country with which
Lithuania has signed a military cooperation agreement. * Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION UPDATE. According to unofficial results
released by PAP, Democratic Left Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski
won 35.11% of the vote and incumbent President Lech Walesa 33.11% in the
5 November elections. Turnout was 64.79%. Meanwhile, the Freedom Union,
three former prime ministers of Solidarity-led governments (Tadeusz
Mazowiecki, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, and Hanna Suchocka) and two former
foreign ministers (Krzysztof Skubiszewski and Andrzej Olechowski) have
expressed their support for Walesa. Kwasniewski on 6 November said that
if he wins the second round, he will ask Walesa to be Poland's chief
negotiator for entering NATO, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 7 November.
* Dagmar Mroziewicz

CONTROVERSIAL SLOVAK PARLIAMENT SESSION. Opposition deputies have met to
discuss the agenda of the parliament session scheduled to begin on 8
November, Sme reported. The parties agreed to reject calls by the Slovak
National Party (SNS) for the creation of a parliamentary committee to
investigate the activities of President Michal Kovac. They also decided
that although there is a need for a new language law, they will not
support the current version, which they called unconstitutional, anti-
minority, and anti-Slovak. Meanwhile, representatives of the Democratic
Union on 6 November met with ethnic Hungarian deputies to discuss the
draft laws on the state language and on anti-communist resistance.
According to DU Deputy Chairman Jan Budaj, both bills are aimed at
driving a wedge between opposition parties, TASR reported. Parliamentary
chairman Ivan Gasparovic told Slovenska Republika on 7 November that the
issue of the DU mandates will not be discussed during the current
session. * Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK INTELLIGENTSIA OPPOSES GOVERNMENT POLICIES. The Forum of
Intelligentsia of Slovakia-which includes a number of well-known
scholars, actors, and writers-on 6 November issued a statement
expressing opposition to government policies. "Slovak society is being
turned into a boxing ring" in which political opponents of the current
government are being labeled "people who insult the nation" or "traitors
[bought by] Western agencies," the group said. The forum also said
Slovakia is becoming a "European disappointment" that may have
"unforeseeable consequences," Pravda reported. In other news, the
Liberal International, meeting on 4-5 November in Opatija, Croatia,
accepted two resolutions on Slovakia. With regard to the DU mandates,
the LI demanded that the coalition stop its attempts to change the
election results. It also requested that the government start a dialogue
with minorities. The Hungarian Civic Party became the first Slovak party
to be accepted as a regular member, while Coexistence and the DU
maintain observer status, Sme reported. * Sharon Fisher

CONTROVERSY OVER HUNGARIAN OFFICIAL IN PREMIER'S PRESS OFFICE. Hungarian
media on 6 November reported that Endre Mihalyi, a newly appointed staff
member of the Prime Minister's Press Office is currently being
investigated by the police for embezzling funds at his previous work
place. Henrik Havas, a well-known journalist who heads the office, said
Mihalyi will not be taken on until the investigation is over. In the
future, staff members will be asked to make a statement on whether any
proceedings are under way against them. The office was recently created
to advance dialogue between the government and society. * Zsofia
Szilagyi

HUNGARY'S HIGHEST TAX BRACKET TO BE SET AT 48%? Magyar Hirlap on 7
November reported that the Finance Ministry has drawn up a tax schedule
imposing a 48% tax on those whose annual income exceeds 1 million
forints ($7,600), instead of the current 44%. The new tax schedule comes
in the wake of a bill on personal income tax approved by the government
on 26 October. The only main difference between this bill and the 1995
tax legislation is that the zero tax bracket has been eliminated.
Although talks within the Interest Coordination Council-a group composed
of government, employer, and employee representatives-are under way, the
Finance Ministry said it will not back down from its plan to collect
480 billion forints in personal income tax next year, adding that if
necessary, the highest tax bracket could be set at 48% or somewhere near
that figure. * Zsofia Szilagyi

BELGIUM SUPPORTS HUNGARY'S NATO MEMBERSHIP DRIVE. Hungarian Defense
Minister Gyorgy Keleti on 6 November received support for Hungary's bid
to join NATO from his visiting Belgian counterpart, Jean-Pol Poncelet,
Hungarian media reported the next day. With regard to Russian leaders'
concerns about the eastward expansion of the alliance, both ministers
stressed that while Russia is a major power, accession is the sovereign
decision of independent countries and cannot be vetoed by Moscow. On the
subject of stationing Belgian peacekeeping forces in Bosnia, Keleti
confirmed that Hungary will give all possible assistance when the troops
pass through Hungarian territory. It is also conceivable, he said, that
Hungarian medical or logistical units will join the international force.
* Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBIAN PRESIDENT SAID TO BE "UPSET." Nasa Borba on 7 November reported
that Serbian President Slobodan "Milosevic is upset because he thinks
the Americans brought him to Dayton on false pretenses." Milosevic is
said to be most concerned about the demand that his negotiating team
agree to the ouster of Bosnian Serb civilian leader Radovan Karadzic and
his military counterpart, General Ratko Mladic, before the
implementation of any regional peace accord. Milosevic is reportedly not
opposed to Karadzic and Mladic facing trial at the Hague on charges of
war crimes, but he has stressed that both men must first be convicted in
Serbia of any wrongdoing. He also insists that the Dayton talks focus
only on issues agreed to in advance, which allegedly do not include the
fate of the Bosnian Serb leaders, Reuters reported. * Stan Markotich

BOUTROS GHALI SAYS DUTCH DID "GOOD WORK." The Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung on 7 November quoted the UN secretary-general as saying that the
small "Dutchbat" stationed at Srebrenica had acted within the limits of
its mandate. He noted that UN member countries did not make available
anywhere near the number of troops that the world body had requested for
peacekeeping in the first place. The Dutch have been widely criticized
at home and abroad for allegedly turning a blind eye to Serbian
massacres of thousands of Muslims, primarily civilian males, in July.
Boutros Boutros Ghali said it was not Dutchbat's assignment "to defend
the enclave" and that he has "no criticism [of the Dutch]. They
performed good work." Meanwhile Nasa Borba reported that in Banja Luka,
the number of Serbian refugees stands at 71,750. More than 60,000 have
been moved out of reception points and into "individual accommodations."
* Patrick Moore

SARAJEVO GAS SUPPLIES CUT BACK. Three weeks after natural gas again
started flowing to the Bosnian capital, supplies have been reduced
again, Hina reported on 6 November. A UN official said the reasons are
technical and not political. Besides the great losses of gas due to the
makeshift pipelines, the biggest obstacle is money. UN experts estimate
that supplies for November will cost around $1 million, while the total
for the winter will be $20-30 million. Meanwhile, the Russian gas
supplier Gazprom wants to charge the Bosnian government for October gas
deliveries, while agreeing to freeze a debt from previous years. The
spokesman said that the UN has been looking for international donors but
without results. * Daria Sito Sucic

BOSNIAN REFUGEE AGREEMENT NOT YET IMPLEMENTED. Implementation of the
agreement reached in Dayton on 2 November by Bosnian President Alija
Izetbegovic and Croatian President Franjo Tudjman to allow 600 families
inside Bosnia to return home has not yet begun. According to a 6
November AFP report, Sarajevo accused Bosnian Croat authorities of not
allowing several hundred Muslim families to return to Jajce, while
Tudjman blamed "extremists" on both sides. At the same time,
repatriation of Velika Kladusa refugees organized by the UNHCR on a
voluntary basis has successfully started, Hina reported on 6 November.
* Daria Sito Sucic

SANDZAK PARTY DEMANDS UNITY OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA. The Executive
Committee of the Party of Democratic Action of Sandzak issued a
declaration saying a "just peace" is not possible "without the unity of
Bosnia-Herzegovina [in its internationally recognized borders]; the
return of refugees to their houses; and free, democratic elections under
international control." The declaration, published by Montena-fax on
6 November, also states that no war criminals be allowed to participate
in elections. * Fabian Schmidt

CROATIA ANNOUNCES MAJOR OIL FIND. The Croatian oil company INA has
discovered an important new oil and gas field near Bjelovar. AFP on
6 November quoted INA spokesmen as saying it will be the third-largest
such field in Croatia and that it is expected to yield 70 tons of oil
and 3 million cubic meters of natural gas daily. The annual revenue is
expected to be $3 million. Plans are under way to begin operations
before the end of the year, despite the onset of harsh winter weather.
* Patrick Moore

BALKANS HIT BY BLIZZARDS. Local and international agencies on 6 November
reported that heavy snowstorms in the Balkans have disrupted
transportation, shut down ports and airports, and contributed to a dozen
traffic deaths in Romania. In Sarajevo, the supply route over Mount
Igman was blocked and there were a rash of traffic accidents, some
involving UN vehicles. The Bulgarian Black Sea port of Varna and the
Romanian port of Constanta were closed due to four-meter high waves. The
weather caused a backup of trucks and buses on the main Bulgarian
highway to Greece and Macedonia. A large number of roads and some
airports had to be closed in Romania. In Moldova, hundreds of villages
were plunged into cold and darkness when heavy snow disrupted
electricity supplies. * Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN ACTORS STAGE PROTEST. Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu received
a delegation of Romanian actors on 6 November after they had staged a
protest march in Bucharest to demand pay increases and better working
conditions. Local and international media reported that actor Ion
Caramitru, who heads the actors' trade union, said the monthly wage of a
professional actor-150,000 lei ($66)-was not enough to survive on, while
technical staff in theaters earned about half that amount. The union,
which represents 13,000 actors and technical staff, is demanding a 70%
rise. * Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN PREMIER ON ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE. Vacaroiu told a 6 November
meeting with ministers and officials in charge of the country's economic
structures, that from January to September, imports considerably
exceeded exports. Vacaroiu said immediate measures must be taken to
redress the country's trade balance but added that agreements concluded
with the EU and GATT must be respected. Romanian TV reported the premier
saying imports geared toward investment are welcome but that imports of
consumer products are often "competing unfairly " with local goods.
* Michael Shafir

AMERICAN PRAISE FOR MOLDOVA. US Ambassador James Collins, at the head of
a delegation in Chisinau on a one-day visit, said the U.S. reconfirms
its support for Moldova's sovereignty, independence, and territorial
integrity, Infotag reported on 6 November. Collins, who is special
adviser to the secretary of state for the new independent states, told a
press conference that Washington considers Moldova to be a leader in
political and economic reforms among those states. He added that the
U.S. welcomes the Chisinau-Moscow agreement on Russian troop withdrawal
and will be backing all efforts for its implementation. "As an
independent state, Moldova has a full right to decide whether or nor
foreign troops should remain on its territory," Collins said. The
delegation met with President Mircea Snegur, Prime Minister Andrei
Sangheli, parliamentary chairman Petru Lucinschi, and other officials.
* Michael Shafir

CHIEF EDITOR OF ALBANIAN OPPOSITION PAPER FACES TRIAL. Blendi Fevziu,
chief editor of the opposition Democratic Alliance's weekly Aleanca, is
facing trial for "slander," Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 7 November.
Blerim Cela, head of the anti-corruption agency, has accused Fevziu and
Democratic Alliance deputy Perikli Teta (who enjoys parliamentary
immunity) of incorrectly reporting his involvement in the illegal
activities of the oil import firm EPIDAMN, including falsifying
documents. Fevziu claimed that the state lost about $1.6 million as a
result of these activities, while Teta published a list of politicians
who he claims were involved in corruption. * Fabian Schmidt

TURKISH GOVERNMENT WINS PARLIAMENTARY CONFIDENCE VOTE. The week-old
coalition government of Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Ciller's center-
right True Path Party (DYP) and the social democratic Republican
Peoples' Party (CHP), led by Deniz Baykal, has won a vote of confidence
in the parliament by a margin of 243 to 171, international media
reported on 5 November. Baykal, who was instrumental in bringing down
the coalition in September and subsequently helped  block Ciller's
efforts to form a minority government, will serve as deputy prime
minister and foreign minister. The Turkish Constitutional Court must now
decide if early elections, announced for 24 December, can take place.
* Lowell Bezanis

[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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