The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none. - Thomas Carlyle 1975-1881
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 221, Part II, 13 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
CROATIAN-MUSLIM AGREEMENT SIGNED. Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic
and his Croatian counterpart, Franjo Tudjman, signed a new document in
Dayton on 10 November. The pact will strengthen the Croatian-Muslim
federation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which was established with American
mediation in early 1994. The alliance has proven highly effective in
recent months on the battlefield, but results have otherwise been slim.
There remains much mistrust stemming from the 1993 internecine war, and
local kingpins on both sides are reluctant to share power. International
media said that the new agreement allows for the return of some 100
refugee families from each side, the reuniting of divided Mostar, and
the setting up of a customs union. Slobodna Dalmacija and Novi list
reported on 13 November that Izetbegovic has ordered officials to begin
work immediately on the return of refugees to Bugojno, Travnik, Jajce,
and Stolac. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT INSISTS ON REFERENDUM ON NEW CONSTITUTION. Leonid
Kuchma stepped up the ongoing war of words between himself and the
Ukrainian parliament over political reforms during a weekend visit to
Kharkiv. Ukrainian TV reported on 12 November that Kuchma said his
version of the country's postcommunist constitution calls for a strong
executive. He insisted that his version be approved in a national
referendum. "If parliament doesn't agree to hold a referendum, then I
will call one," he told Ukrainian TV. He said the left's proposal to
abolish the Presidency and make Ukraine a parliamentary republic "would
be a disaster." -- Chrystyna Lapychak

CRIMEAN TATAR DEPUTIES END HUNGER STRIKE. Nine deputies from the Crimean
Tatar caucus in the Crimean legislature have ended their 10-day hunger
strike but vowed to continue to press their demands by staging acts of
civil disobedience throughout the region, Ukrainian TV and Reuters
reported on 12 November. The Mejlis, the Crimean Tatars' internal
assembly, ordered Tatars throughout Crimea to begin a campaign of non-
violent civil disobedience to pressure the ethnic Russian majority in
the Crimean parliament for equal status for their language and greater
political influence in the new regional constitution. Crimean lawmakers
have conceded to some demands by adopting a proportional electoral
system assuring them a share of seats in their 98-member assembly. They
also voted on 11 November to exempt all Crimean construction firms--
together with the Crimean Tatar charity organization Krym, involved in
resettling Tatars returning from exile in Central Asia--from profit and
value-added taxes. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BLACK SEA FLEET TO GIVE UP DONUZLAV BASE. Admiral Eduard Baltin,
commander of the Baltic Fleet, has ordered that all military units
belonging to the Crimean Naval Base at Lake Donuzlav be disbanded by 15
January 1996, Radio Ukraine reported on 10 November. Komsomolskaya
pravda reported in August that a secret directive had been issued to
turn this base over to Ukraine. The base is supposedly the most modern
one in the fleet, and the Russians have proposed that Ukraine base its
navy there. -- Doug Clarke

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE COURT RULING. Russian TV on 10
November reported that Alyaksandr Lukashenka will not recognize the
Constitutional Court's rulings on parliamentary elections or the
illegality of some of his decrees. Lukashenka said there will be no
elections under the new law, which reduces the minimum turnout from 50%
to 25%. He declared elections will take place only under the law
stipulating 50% turnout. In other news, Nezavisimaya gazeta on 11
November reported that Lukashenka has dismissed Industry Minister
Uladzimir Kurenkau. The president had criticized Kurenkau for the
continued decline in industrial production. Data from the Ministry of
Statistics show that industrial production fell by 20% in the first nine
months of the year, compared with the same period last year. -- Ustina
Markus

VIETNAMESE DEPUTY PREMIER IN LATVIA, LITHUANIA. Nguyen Khanh, on a visit
to Latvia from 6-8 November, signed agreements with Latvian Foreign
Minister Valdis Birkavs on promotion and protection of mutual
investments and on economic cooperation. Vietnam is interested in
selling textile goods, fruit, and food stuffs and in obtaining chemical
industry products and radio equipment. The two sides are also preparing
an agreement on avoidance of double taxation. Khanh met with Lithuanian
Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius on 9 November in Vilnius and with
President Algirdas Brazauskas the next day, BNS reported. -- Saulius
Girnius

LITHUANIA BEGINS NEGOTIATIONS ON JOINING WTO. Deputy Foreign Minister
Algimantas Rimkunas is heading a Lithuanian delegation that began
negotiations in Geneva on 10 November on Lithuania's becoming a member
of the World Trade Organization, BNS reported. At the first session of a
working group, Rimkumas presented a Lithuanian memorandum on foreign
trade and reported on the current state of the economy, the system of
regulations for domestic and foreign trade, and progress in economic
reform. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH JUSTICE MINISTER CALLS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL TRIBUNAL RULING. Jerzy
Jaskiernia has said he wants the Constitutional Tribunal to rule on
whether politicians should also declare property owned by their spouses,
Polish dailies reported on 13 November. He added that Democratic Left
Alliance leader and presidential candidate Aleksander Kwasniewski had
not given false information about his wife's assets but rather had
"concealed the truth." The Prosecutor-General's Office in Warsaw said
the decision whether to launch an inquiry into Kwasniewski's case will
be reached before the second round of presidential elections on 19
November. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

CZECH INFLATION SLOWS, FOREIGN INVESTMENT GROWS. Consumer prices in the
Czech Republic rose by 0.6% in October, Czech media reported on 13
November. According to figures issued by the Statistics Office, prices
were 8.1% higher than in October 1994, the lowest such comparative
figure since economic transformation began. Inflation for the whole of
1995 is expected to reach 9.5%. Meanwhile, the Czech National Bank said
direct foreign investment for the first nine months of this year totaled
$1.98 billion. The bulk was accounted for by the $1.32 billion paid by a
Dutch-Swiss consortium for a stake in the telecommunications firm SPT
Telecom. Since 1990, direct foreign investment has totaled $5.275
billion. -- Steve Kettle

PETITION DRIVE LAUNCHED TO OUST SLOVAK PRIME MINISTER. Robert Krajnak, a
35-year old beer distributor, on 11 November placed an advertisement in
the opposition daily Sme calling on Slovaks to sign a petition to remove
Vladimir Meciar. The full-page advertisement includes the headline "I
was born under a totalitarian regime; I do not want to die under one."
Krajnak needs to gather 350,000 signatures to call a referendum on
Meciar's dismissal. Meciar's party--the Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia--won 35% of the vote in last year's elections and remains the
most popular party in Slovakia. The next parliamentary elections are
scheduled for fall 1998. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN, SLOVAK PREMIER AT ODDS OVER LANGUAGE BILL. Hungarian Prime
Minister Gyula Horn said Hungary will seek urgent consultations with the
Council of Europe after no progress was made in talks with his Slovak
counterpart, Vladimir Meciar on Slovakia's controversial language bill,
Hungarian and Slovak newspapers reported. The two leaders met in Berlin
on 10 November while participating in an international conference on
European integration. Meciar stressed that the bill does not alter or
affect the use of minority languages and that further consultations with
Horn are difficult since the bill is now before the parliament. In other
news, the Conference of Bishops of Slovakia and several other Church
organizations have expressed opposition to aspects of the language law,
Pravda reported on 11 November.-- Zsofia Szilagyi and Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN HEALTH WORKERS STAGE DEMONSTRATION. Some 60,000 health workers
demonstrated outside Hungary's parliament building on 11 November,
demanding a 35% wage increase, a 10% increase in state funds for health
institutions in 1996, and the possibility of early retirement, Hungarian
media reported. Mihaly Kokeny, political state secretary at the Ministry
of Welfare, told Nepszava on 12 November that the health workers' wage
demands could not be met in the first half of 1996, and he proposed
further negotiations. The health workers say they will stage strikes if
the government does not guarantee a wage hike. The health workers are
the third group to protest the government's rigorous stabilization
program. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION LEADER OUTLINES NEW PLATFORM. Jozsef Torgyan, the
populist leader of the Smallholders' Party, on 11 November told a crowd
of 10,000 at a Budapest sports hall that he expects early elections by
next fall and that his party is likely to repeat the 1945 election
victory of its predecessor, the historical Smallholder's Party,
Hungarian newspapers reported. The Smallholders popularity reached that
of the Socialists in September owing to growing popular discontent with
the ruling coalition. Torgyan said his party's top priority is to
provide an alternative to "the ransacking liberal-bolshevik power." As
part of its economic program, the Smallholders' Party will examine the
country's external and internal debts and release all relevant details
once it takes power, Torgyan said. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

A PEACEFUL SOLUTION IN EASTERN SLAVONIA? International media on 12
November reported that representatives of the Croatian government and
rebel Serbs in Croatia signed an agreement at separate ceremonies to
return eastern Slavonia to Croatian control. The pact was drawn up by
Tudjman and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic in Dayton and mediated
by U.S. Ambassador Peter Galbraith and UN negotiator Thorvald
Stoltenberg. Its 14 points provide for a transition period of one year,
with a possible extension for another year; demilitarization of the
region; UN supervision; local elections before the end of the
transition; full human rights for all nationalities; and the right of
all refugees to return to their homes and property. It comes into effect
as soon as the UN Security Council endorses it. Galbraith said that the
pact marks the return of the region's multiethnic character, but Reuters
reported that local Croats are skeptical. -- Patrick Moore

DID KARADZIC TRY TO MAKE A DEAL WITH WASHINGTON? German media on 13
November reported that Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his
military counterpart, General Ratko Mladic, have offered to leave public
office in return for not being extradited to The Hague. The two
internationally wanted war criminals reportedly made the offer through
Milosevic in Dayton, but the Serbian weekly NIN was quoted as saying
that U.S. diplomats refused it. An existing draft agreement on Bosnia's
constitutional future would ban indicted war criminals from holding
office. It is unclear whether Karadzic and Mladic have offered to
withdraw from public life altogether. -- Patrick Moore

SHATTUCK PLEASED WITH BANJA LUKA TALKS. John Shattuck, assistant U.S.
state secretary for human rights, said after his 10 November talks with
Banja Luka's mayor that for the first time, Bosnian Serb authorities
have admitted to arresting Muslim civilians, some of whom have not been
accounted for, Reuters reported the next day. He estimated that nearly
1,400 Banja Luka Muslims have been either arrested or taken to forced
labor camps. However, he underscored that there is no evidence of mass
killings in the area, unlike in Srebrenica. The mayor promised that
Muslims and Croats wanting to leave the area will be allowed to do so
and that their property will not be confiscated. Meanwhile, the UN
sanctions committee has authorized rump Yugoslavia to import natural
gas, liquid petroleum gas, and heating oil from Russia--on condition
that the gas flow to Sarajevo not be interrupted, Reuters reported the
same day. -- Daria Sito Sucic

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER DIES. Corneliu Coposu, chairman of the
National Peasant Party-Christian Democratic (PNTCD) and a leading figure
of the opposition Democratic Convention of Romania, died in Bucharest on
11 November at the age of 79, Radio Bucharest reported. Coposu, who
spent more than 17 years in jail under communism, was considered a
symbol of anti-communist resistance. In December 1989, he revived the
historical National Peasant Party, which had been banned in 1946. The
party later added "Christian Democratic" to its name to better define
its political orientation. Western agencies reported that thousands of
people paid their last respects to the PNTCD leader. King Michael, who
lives in exile in Switzerland, has demanded a visa to attend Coposu's
funeral on 14 November. -- Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN EXTREMIST PARTY WITHDRAWS SUPPORT FOR CABINET. The chauvinistic
Greater Romanian Party (PRM) on 10 November announced it was withdrawing
its support for the current cabinet, Romanian media reported. PRM leader
Corneliu Vadim Tudor, speaking at a press conference, criticized the
government for failing to respect the commitments it made in 1992. He
also demanded early elections in order to "heal Romanian society." The
PRM, which used to be a member of a four-party coalition supporting
Nicolae Vacaroiu's cabinet, was forced out of the alliance following
Tudor's attacks on President Ion Iliescu. -- Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT REJECTS BISHOP TOKES'S "ALTERNATIVE RECONCIL-IATION"
PROPOSAL. Ion Iliescu on 12 November rejected Bishop Laszlo Tokes's
alternative proposal for Romanian-Hungarian reconciliation (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 1 November 1995), Radio Bucharest reported. He said that
proposal, based on the South Tyrol model, led to the "extremist
conclusion" that the only way toward reconciliation would be to grant
autonomy to the Hungarian minority. Iliescu further accused Tokes of
"systematically spreading lies about the situation of the Hungarian
minority in Romania." Meanwhile, Bela Marko, leader of the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania, said Iliescu's proposal for
reconciliation was not a serious attempt to resolve differences but was
merely aimed at postponing a bilateral treaty between Romania and
Hungary, Reuters reported on 10 November. -- Matyas Szabo

FORMER 14TH ARMY NOW ALL-RUSSIAN. The former 14th Army stationed in the
Dniester region of Moldova is now "fully Russian," according to Russian
Defense Minster Pavel Grachev. Interfax on 10 November quoted him as
saying that all the conscripts recruited in the Dnestr region have been
dismissed and replaced by draftees from Russia. He added that the
structures set up by former commander Lt.-Gen. Aleksandr Lebed that
engaged in counterintelligence, intelligence, sabotage, and other such
activities had been removed from the division. -- Doug Clarke

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION WINS MAYORALTY IN SOFIA . . . Stefan Sofiyanski,
the mayoral candidate of the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS), won the
run-off in the capital on 12 November, Standart reported the following
day. According to several exit polls, Sofiyanski gained between 56% and
62% of the vote, while the nominally independent Ventsislav Yosifov, a
banker supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), won between 38%
and 44%. The Municipal Electoral Commission put turnout at 45%. Many
media outlets had conducted a campaign against Sofiyanski; and on 11-12
November, 24 chasa and 168 chasa reported that Sofiyanski had been a
member of the Bulgarian Communist Party since 1984. Sofiyanski denied
those reports, saying the party membership card reprinted in the
publications was falsified. -- Stefan Krause

. . . BUT SOCIALISTS WIN MOST MAYORAL SEATS IN PROVINCES. According to
preliminary results released by the Central Electoral Commission, BSP
candidates won in 20 out of the 27 former administrative centers. In
addition to Sofia, the SDS won in the Black Sea port of Varna and in the
city of Gabrovo in runoffs on 12 November. It was also successful in
Stara Zagora on 5 November and in the country's second-biggest town,
Plovdiv, in the first round on 29 October. In Kardzhali, where a vote
along ethnic lines had been feared, the candidate of the ethnic Turkish
Movement for Rights and Freedom beat the socialist candidate on 12
November. The Socialists also took the majority of the mayoral seats in
smaller towns and villages. -- Stefan Krause

FATOS NANO DOES NOT WANT HIS CASE REVIEWED. Albanian Socialist Party
leader Fatos Nano said he will not participate in the review of his case
by the Supreme Court, international agencies reported. Nano, in a letter
to his lawyer, described the trial as a "farce" and added that "there is
no more time to lose in such trials." Nano expects to be released from
prison if the Socialists win the upcoming elections. Nano has three
years left to serve after he was convicted of misappropriation of
Italian aid funds. The Socialist Party claims he is not guilty and is a
political prisoner. -- Fabian Schmidt

MASS GRAVES FOUND IN ALBANIA. A mass grave containing the bodies of some
40 people has been discovered in the courtyard of a local radio station
in Shkoder, Reuters reported on 10 November. The victims are believed to
have been political prisoners killed over a 20-year period by the
communist regime. Among them are thought to be those who led a revolt in
1985 in the Qafa e Barit jail and were later executed. Other mass graves
have been found near Tirana in recent weeks. Albanian officials estimate
that more than 400,000 Albanians were politically persecuted by the
Communists and more than 7,000 of them executed. -- Fabian Schmidt

[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
through Friday by the Open Media Research Institute. The OMRI Daily
Digest is distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe,
send "SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the
quotation marks and inserting your name where shown) to
LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
No subject line or other text should be included.
To receive the OMRI Daily Digest by mail or fax, please direct inquiries
to OMRI Publications, Na Strzi 63, 140 62 Prague 4, Czech Republic; or
electronically to OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
Tel.: (42-2) 6114 2114; fax: (42-2) 426 396

Please note that there is a new procedure for obtaining permission to
reprint or redistribute the OMRI Daily Digest. Before reprinting or
redistributing this publication, please write omripub@omri.cz for a copy
of the new policy or look at this URL:
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/DigestReprint.html

OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
expanded analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For
Transition subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ

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


[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole