Experience is in the fingers and head. The heart is inexperienced. - Henry David Thoreau
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 218, Part II, 8 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
SERBIAN PRESIDENT DEFENDS KARADZIC, MLADIC. While rump Yugoslav leaders
have sounded a note of optimism about the possible outcome of the Dayton
peace talks, they have refused to take steps to oust indicted war
criminals and Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and his military
counterpart, Ratko Mladic. Reuters on 7 November quoted Montenegrin
Premier Milo Djukanovic, on a visit to Washington, as saying that
Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic "told me the negotiations are
being done in a constructive manner and...they should be ended by the
end of this week." Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic told reporters
"It's goes well." But Nasa Borba on 8 November stresses that Milosevic
remains firm in his conviction that fate of the Bosnian Serb leaders be
decided only after a regional peace agreement is reached. U.S. State
Department officials have said that Milosevic's position has come close
to "endangering" the peace talks but that progress was being made.
-- Stan Markotich
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN COMMUNISTS, NATIONAL DEMOCRATS HOLD RALLIES. Thousands of
Ukrainian communists held rallies in several cities on 7 November--the
78th anniversary of the October 1917 revolution--to blame the
government's economic reforms for drastically declining living
standards, international and Ukrainian media reported. "We will not
allow foreign capital to destroy our people," Petro Symonenko, leader of
the Communist Party of Ukraine, told a crowd of mainly elderly people in
Kiev. Communists in Crimea held a march calling for the restoration of
the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, several thousand national democrats
gathered in Kiev to remember the victims of communist rule. Les Taniuk,
head of the Ukrainian Memorial Society, called 7 November "a black day
in our history." He said it was on that day in 1938 that the Soviets
executed 300 Ukrainian intellectuals in labor camps on the Solovetsky
islands. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUS CELEBRATES OCTOBER REVOLUTION ANNIVERSARY. Some 9,000 people
gathered in Minsk's Independence Square on 7 November to celebrate the
78th anniversary of the October revolution, Belarusian TV reported. The
demonstrations were led by the Belarusian Communist Party, the Officer's
Union of Minsk, and the neo-Stalinist Movement for Democracy, Social
Progress, and Justice. Speakers called for uniting the peoples of the
former Soviet republics and urged people to vote for communists and
left-wing candidates in the 29 November by-elections. Meanwhile, Russian
NTV on 7 November reported that the only military parade in the former
Soviet Union took place in the Belarusian town Bobruisk. The local
garrison commander, Lt.Gen Kuskovchik, arranged for a march-past by 600
troops. Kuskovchik was in charge of the Soviet forces that launched the
crackdown in Vilnius in January 1991. -- Ustina Markus

REPATRIATION OF RUSSIANS FROM ESTONIA. Finnish ambassador to Estonia
Jaakko Kaurinkoski and Estonian Migration Fund director Andres Kollist
signed an agreement in Tallinn on 7 November allocating 10 million
Finnish markkas ($2.36 million) to support the voluntary repatriation of
Russian military pensioners and their families from Estonia to Russia,
ETA reported. Kaurinkoski said that a fifth of the sum would be
allocated immediately, with the remainder available later. He noted that
almost 3,000 Russian officers have expressed their wish to leave. --
Saulius Girnius

FIRST SESSION OF NEW LATVIAN PARLIAMENT. At the opening of the Saeima's
fall session on 7 November, President Guntis Ulmanis asked Maris
Grinblats, the prime minister candidate of the right of center National
Bloc and Latvia's Way coalition, to form the government, BNS reported.
Grinblats is facing a difficult task since his coalition and its rival,
the National Conciliation Bloc, both have 47 deputies; and NCB
candidates won all but one post in the Saeima Presidium. Anatolijs
Gorbunovs of Latvia's Way lost the chairmanship of the Saeima to Ilga
Kreituse of the Democratic Party Saimnieks by 51 to 49 votes . Alfreds
Cepanis of the DPS and Andris Ameriks of the National Harmony Party were
elected deputy chairmen. Imants Daudiss of Latvia's Way was reelected
secretary by a vote of 51 to 48. Ulmanis probably did not ask the NCB to
form the government because he considers its probable candidate for
economics minister, Joachim Siegerist, an extremist. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION UPDATE. Solidarity President Marian
Krzaklewski on 7 November said he will actively campaign for incumbent
President Lech Walesa's re-election on 19 November. The Polish Peasant
Party (PSL) has not yet decided whether to support Walesa or his rival,
Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) leader Aleksander Kwasniewski. The PSL
and SLD are ruling in coalition under SLD's Jozef Oleksy, who has
suggested that PSL support for Walesa could endanger the coalition.
Kwasniewski, asked by the press to reveal his financial assets, said he
would do so if Walesa reveals his income and tax declarations, Polish
and international media reported on 8 November. -- Jakub Karpinski

WARSAW POLICE CHIEF RESIGNS OVER CAMPAIGN SCANDAL. Warsaw police chief
Aleksander Superczynski on 7 November resigned after the weekly Nie
revealed he had lent police radio and alarm equipment to Andrzej Pastwa,
who was claiming to be "president of the All-Polish Public Committee for
Lech Walesa's Presidency." Pastwa, who has twice been sentenced for
fraud and recently served a 10-year prison sentence, used the borrowed
equipment for private use in his car. Jerzy Gwizdz, the chief of
Walesa's electoral staff, denied that such a committee existed, Polish
media reported on 8 November. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH PREMIER WANTS TO SCRAP SOME ECONOMIC MINISTRIES. Vaclav Klaus on 7
November said he would like to get rid of some economic ministries next
year. "Privatization is coming to an end," he told Czech Radio, noting
that the Czech Republic has a Privatization Ministry, Economics
Ministry, Ministry of Trade and Industry, and Ministry for Economic
Competition (anti-monopoly office). He said that only two or three of
these ministries should remain. It is widely expected that the
Privatization Ministry will be abolished after next June's elections.
Klaus on the weekend also proposed scrapping the Culture Ministry
immediately after the elections, but other cabinet members and President
Vaclav Havel have expressed reservations about such a move. -- Steve
Kettle

'EMINENCE GRISE' BEHIND CZECH RAIDING BANK OWNS UP. The deputy chairman
of Agrobanka, the Czech Republic's largest private bank, admitted on 7
November that the bank helped finance a campaign in which the small
Plzenska banka spent more than 1 billion koruny ($38.4 million) gaining
large stakes in important investment funds (see OMRI Daily Digest, 1
November 1995). Pavel Janda told reporters that Agrobanka reached an
agreement with Plzenska banka after becoming aware that it had bought a
significant amount of shares in Agrobanka's own fund. He said Agrobanka
will continue to support Plzenska banka's attempts to buy small
shareholders' stakes in selected funds, including putting its 350 branch
offices at the campaign's disposal. A group of young bankers called
Motoinvest, the leading figures in the campaign, said they have reached
an agreement to buy out their main rival for control of Plzenska banka,
the state insurance firm Ceska Pojistovna. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK GOVERNMENT TO FINANCE NEW DAILY. The cabinet on 7 November
approved 15 million koruny in financial support for the creation of an
"old-new" daily, Nova Smena mladych, whose goals are promoting national
ideals and strengthening Slovak sovereignty, Sme reported. The previous
Smena merged with Sme in July. Prime Minister Valdimir Meciar's allies
have often complained that only one daily--Slovenska Republika--is loyal
to the coalition. The cabinet also approved a bill on the protection of
personal information in information systems. In other news, three
deputies from the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS),
including Slovak Information Service (SIS) director Ivan Lexa, are being
replaced during the current session because their dual positions
contradict the conflict of interests law, which went into effect on 1
November. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES BILL ON FOREIGN CURRENCY. The parliament on
7 November passed a bill on foreign currency legislation making the
Hungarian forint convertible in all current account transactions
beginning 1 January, Hungarian newspapers reported the next day. The new
legislation liberalizes foreign currency transactions primarily for
individuals rather than entrepreneurs. Although an annual foreign-
currency allowance of $800 remains in force, individuals will be able to
transfer foreign currency abroad and use their forint-based banking
cards around the world--irrespective of their allowance limit. After
Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, Hungary is the last of the
Visegrad countries to introduce current account convertibility of its
currency. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HEAD OF HUNGARIAN PREMIER'S PRESS OFFICE RESIGNS. After six days in
office, Henrik Havas has resigned from his post as head of the new
Communications and Press Office at the Prime Minister's Office,
Hungarian media reported. Havas accused the press of "unobjective" and
"overcritical" reporting of the case of Endre Mihalyi, one of his
appointees in the office (see OMRI Daily Digest, 7 November). He denied
responsibility, saying he could not have known that a police
investigation against Mihalyi was under way. Prime Minister Gyula Horn
said he considers Havas innocent and counts on his future cooperation.
All of Havas's staff members have also resigned except for office
manager Peter Szegvari, who has been asked to set up a new team by the
end of November. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBS IN EASTERN SLAVONIA READY TO FIGHT. Serb-held eastern Slavonia
returns to the agenda at the Dayton peace conference following the local
Serbs' rejection of the latest proposal by international mediators. AFP
on 7 November said that the issue "could become the linchpin of an
overall solution to the Balkan crisis." The Serbs wrote UN Secretary-
General Boutros Boutros Ghali that the proposed plan offered them only
the choice of "losing their identity or leaving the region." Reuters
reported that the Serbs are still willing to talk, but their demand for
a referendum is unacceptable to Zagreb. "The morale of our soldiers is
high," Major-General Dusan Loncar, commander of Serbian forces in
eastern Slavonia, told a news conference in Vukovar. He added that "no
one should be in any doubt about their willingness to fight." Earlier
this year, Serbian forces in western Slavonia and in Krajina melted away
before advancing Croatian troops. -- Patrick Moore

KARADZIC'S "CONTRIBUTION" TO PEACE TALKS? SRNA reported on 7 November
that Bosnian Serbs are continuing to hold David Rhode, a correspondent
for The Christian Science Monitor, who investigated the Serbian
massacres of Muslim male civilians at Srebrenica. He was charged with
illegal entry into Serbian territory and with falsifying documents, but
now he is also accused of "the most serious form of espionage," which
carries a jail sentence of between three to 15 years. SRNA added,
however, that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has received an
appeal from Rhode's father and "is considering the possibility of
pardoning [the journalist] as a sign of good will and as a contribution
to the peace talks in Dayton." Meanwhile, the rift between Karadzic and
his military continues. Politika on 8 November reported that a top
Bosnian Serb commander, General Manojlo Milovanovic, has publicly called
Pale "the only government in history that attacks its own army." --
Patrick Moore

UNHCR WORRIES ABOUT PLIGHT OF REFUGEES. A UNHCR spokesman in Sarajevo
called the Croatian authorities' "voluntary" return of 11,000 refugees
to western and northwestern parts of Bosnia a forcible relocation
motivated by political and military reasons, AFP reported on 7 November.
Mainly Croats evicted from Serb-held northern Bosnia were resettled to
territories recaptured by allied forces in September and October, thus
creating "ethnically pure ghettos, which is a total mockery of the
commitments to multiethnicity." Accusing the Croatian government of
ignoring international criticism about human rights abuses, a draft UN
resolution has been amended to warn the Croats, AFP reported the next
day. The UNHCR also says that Muslims and Croats recently evicted from
their homes around Banja Luka by the Serbs are forced to sleep in the
open, despite heavy snow, Reuters reported on 7 November. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

CROATIA GETS NEW GOVERNMENT. Croatian and international media on 7
November reported that Prime Minister Zlatko Matesa has announced his
new cabinet, which he called "a government of continuity." Foreign
Minister Mate Granic and Defense Minister Gojko Susak both keep their
jobs. The only changes are at the ministries of the economy, culture,
agriculture, and justice, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted the
following day. Matesa's predecessor, Nikica Valentic, reportedly
resigned mainly for personal reasons. He is credited with bringing down
the annual inflation rate from 2,000% to 2%, as well as with doubling
the average monthly wage from about DM 250 to DM 500. Croatia has a
presidential system of government, and prime ministers have changed
fairly frequently under President Franjo Tudjman. --  Patrick Moore

ROMANIAN CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES AMENDS EDUCATION LAW. The Chamber of
Deputies on 7 November approved several amendments to the education law.
Cristian Urse, leader of the Students' League at Bucharest University,
told Romanian TV that the amendments do not meet all the students'
demands. He said some taxes to which the students object have been
retained, campus premises have not been declared out of bounds for
police authorities, and their demand for representation on the
universities' councils and senates has been rejected. The students, Urse
said, are now waiting for the Senate to pass its own version of the
amended law. If their demands are not met in that version either, they
will resume protest actions, he warned. -- Michael Shafir

HUNGARIAN TV BROADCASTS BANNED IN ROMANIA. Hungarian media on 8 November
reported that Romania's National Media Council has decided to ban
broadcasts by Duna TV, a Hungarian satellite program on cable network.
The head of the council told ethnic Hungarian deputy Ferenc Baranyi that
no license will be issued to cable television companies "for a certain
period of time." He said that according to information received by the
council, Duna TV broadcasts create suspicion between ethnic minorities
and the majority and are capable of "whipping up artificial tension." --
Zsofia Szilagyi

CHINA TO OPEN MARKET TO ROMANIAN PRODUCTS. Hu Jintao, a member of the
Chinese Communist Party's Central Committee, has said in Bucharest that
China will give priority to the import of Romanian products, Romanian
media reported on 7 November. The Chinese delegation was received by
Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and President Ion Iliescu. Iliescu
said economic ties between the two countries could be further expanded
and that bilateral trade could reach some $1 billion per year. -- Matyas
Szabo

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES GOVERNMENT REPORT. The Moldovan parliament
on 7 November approved the government's report on its activities between
April 1994 and September 1995, Radio Bucharest reported the same day.
Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli said the executive was successful in
ensuring macroeconomic stability, improving the tax system, and
expanding foreign trade. Over 1,200 enterprises were privatized,
together with 70% of state-owned housing, Sangheli said. -- Michael
Shafir

ETHNIC TURKISH PARTY IN BULGARIA CLAIMS POLICE THREATENED ITS VOTERS.
The ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom (DPS) on 6 November
accused the police of threatening its voters in the town of Kardzhali,
Standart reported the following day. DPS deputy Remzi Osman said police
threatened party members and told them not to be "too active" in the
local elections run-off. The DPS candidate in Kardzhali is leading the
field after the first round. Police said the accusations are unfounded
and that they were only making "routine controls." Meanwhile, five
people admitted that they have received money from DPS activists. A DPS
spokesman said that the party distributed money to "socially weak
families." -- Stefan Krause in Sofia

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT COMPLAINS HE WAS CENSORED ON TV. Zhelyu Zhelev said
his statement expressing his outrage over the assassination of Israeli
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was censored by state-run TV, 24 chasa
reported on 7 November. Zhelev said he made the statement in his
capacity as head of state and thus no editor or media chief has the
right to cut his statements. The president called the incident "a
scandal" and said it was a sign that there is censorship on Bulgarian
TV. One minute was cut from Zhelev's three-minute statement. The
president has not yet decided whether he will appeal to the
Constitutional Court about the matter. -- Stefan Krause in Sofia

UPDATE ON ALBANIAN BOMB ATTACK. Nikolle Lesi, chief editor of Koha Jone,
who survived a bomb attack on his house in Lezha on 1 November, has met
with Attorney-General Alush Dragoshi and Deputy Interior Minister Agim
Shehu, Koha Jone reported on 8 November. Dragoshi and Shehu assured Lesi
of their determination to speed up the investigation into the attack.
Meanwhile, Neritan Ceka, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance,
discussed with Dragoshi the role of the Prosecutor-General's Office, the
secret service, and other state bodies in the upcoming elections.
According to Ceka, the discussion focused on the relationship between
the state and opposition journalists. -- 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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