The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity. - George Bernard Shaw
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 222, Part II, 14 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
HAGUE TRIBUNAL INDICTS BOSNIAN CROATS FOR WAR CRIMES. The International
War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on 13 November charged six
prominent Croats for the systematic murder of Muslims in central
Bosnia's Lasva valley between May 1992 and May 1993. The key figures are
the Croatian Democratic Community's Dario Kordic and Croatian Defense
Council (HVO) General "Tihomir" Blaskic. Kordic also held the HVO rank
of colonel and was vice president of Mate Boban's Croatian Community of
Herceg-Bosna. The other four are a HVO brigade commander, the mayor and
police chief of Vitez, and a prison warden. The Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung on 14 November reported that this brings the tribunal's total
indictments to 52, including 45 Bosnian Serbs and seven Bosnian Croats.
The International Herald Tribune quoted Hague sources as saying that
they may have an indictment of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
"soon." -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT MEETS WITH ETHNIC MINORITY LEADERS. Leonid Kuchma
met with leaders of ethnic minority organizations on 13 November,
Interfax-Ukraine and UNIAR reported the same day. He agreed to set up a
temporary commission to deal with inter-ethnic problems in Crimea at the
request of Refat Chubarov, a leader of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis.
Chubarov asked Kuchma for his assistance in ensuring that the interests
of the Crimean Tatars are taken into account when Kiev and Crimean
authorities divide powers between them. Kuchma said he would consider
the creation of a permanent presidential commission to maintain ties
with ethnic minority organizations. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN, LITHUANIAN PREMIERS MEET. Mikhail Chyhir and Adolfas
Slezevicius met on 10 November in Hrodna to discuss ways to expand
economic cooperation, BNS reported. Lithuania agreed to help Belarus
send more goods to the West through its port of Klaipeda. A proposal to
close some of the border crossing points used by only 10-15 people a day
was rejected. It is likely that Belarus will purchase more electricity
from Lithuania's Ignalina power plant, since Slezevicius agreed that
Belarus could pay for it not only in cash but also in agricultural
technology and fertilizers. -- Saulius Girnius

EU OPENS REPRESENTATION IN ESTONIA. Guenther Burghardt, the director-
general of the European Commission's foreign relations department, and
Estonian European Affairs Minister Endel Lipmaa signed an agreement on
13 November to open an EU representative office in Tallinn, ETA
reported. The exact date of the opening has not been set but will
probably be in December. Also on 13 November, Burghardt discussed with
Prime Minister Tiit Vahi Estonia's relations with Russia, possible
financial aid for developing communications and transport systems, and
problems in the republic's infrastructure. Burghardt arrived in Estonia
two days earlier and held talks with Foreign Minister Siim Kallas and
Education Minister Jaak Aaviksoo. -- Saulius Girnius

SMALL FIRE AT LITHUANIAN ATOMIC POWER PLANT. A small fire occurred in
the machine room of the nuclear power plant at Ignalina on 12 November,
Reuters reported the next day. One of the pipes in the hydraulic system
cracked and leaked a lubricant that ignited. A machinist put out the
flames with a fire extinguisher even before professional firefighters
arrived. Officials say that the fire posed no danger to the environment
and that on a nuclear safety scale of zero to six, it would rate a zero.
The first reactor was shut down but was back in operation within 24
hours, following speedy repairs. Western experts are traveling to
Ignalina to provide a safety upgrade since there were two other minor
accidents in August. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS UPDATE. With only another five days until
the second round of the presidential elections, the Polish media
continues to focus on the assets of the two remaining candidates:
Democratic Left Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski and incumbent
President Lech Walesa. Kwasniewski revealed his and his wife's assets on
13 November, asking Walesa to do likewise. Justice Minister Jerzy
Jaskiernia and Kwasniewski's chief election campaigner, Danuta Waniek,
have raised questions about Walesa's statement that his main source of
income has been the $1 million he received in 1989 for the movie rights
to his autobiography. They have queried whether Walesa has actually paid
a 45% private income tax on that sum. Walesa initially mentioned that
$500,000 remains in his possession and the next day he cited a figure of
$300,000. Waniek asked what had happened within 24 hours to $200,000,
Polish dailies reported on 14 November. -- Jakub Karpinski

CEFTA AGRICULTURE MINISTERS AGREE TO CUT CUSTOMS DUTIES. Ministers from
the four countries of the Central European Free Trade Agreement--Poland,
the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary--agreed on 13 November to
reduce or abolish custom duties on many agricultural goods, Hospodarske
noviny reported. Meeting in Prague, the ministers signed an agreement to
eliminate from 1 January duties on items such as some live animals,
tropical and dried fruit, coffee, and tea. Duties on another 101
commodities--among them poultry, hops, sugar beet, margarine and
vegetable oils--are to be reduced, while those on a group of so-called
"sensitive items," which account for 55% of agricultural trade within
CEFTA, will be gradually reduced through bilateral agreements. -- Steve
Kettle

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT REMOVES ANOTHER PRESIDENTIAL POWER. The parliament on
13 November approved an amendment to the law on referendums authorizing
the parliament, rather than the president, to decide whether the
contents of a petition calling for a referendum meet conditions
stipulated in the constitution, Narodna obroda reported. The amendment
also removes the requirement that citizens' identification numbers
appear next to their signatures. Jan Cuper of the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) said the new version is "more democratic"
than its predecessor. In spring 1994, President Michal Kovac rejected a
drive from the HZDS for a referendum on early elections and other
issues, saying there were not enough valid signatures on the petition
lists. Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar recently threatened to call a
referendum to shorten Kovac's term in office. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK FINANCE MINISTRY CLOSES OPTIONS EXCHANGE. The Finance Ministry
has stripped the Bratislava Options Exchange (BOB) of its license to
organize a public stock market and ordered it to stop trading as of 13
November, Pravda reported the following day. BOB Secretary-General
Vladimir Karasek called the ministry's decision "unfortunate," saying it
will damage Slovakia's entire capital market. The BOB opened in April
1993 and quickly became the most active of Slovakia's three exchanges
following the introduction of one-day futures. These were prohibited in
mid-October after a new securities law was approved, but U.S. options
were introduced in an effort to revive interest in the BOB. The Finance
Ministry reportedly wants to create conditions for a unified stock
market in Slovakia. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY WELCOMES CROATIAN-SERBIAN PEACE ACCORD. Political State
Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office Csaba Tabajdi, following
separate meetings in Budapest with representatives of two ethnic
Hungarian organizations in Croatia, said on 13 November that the
Hungarian government welcomes the agreement between Serbs in eastern
Slavonia and the Croatian authorities whereby the region is to be
returned to Croatia. But at the same time, he said he shares the concern
voiced by ethnic Hungarians in the region, Hungarian media reported. A
Foreign Ministry official said Hungary also welcomes the intention--so
far expressed only by Croatia--to guarantee refugees safe passage home.
He added that Hungary will support the return of refugees to eastern
Slavonia, just as it supported their arrival in the region. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN MONK'S REMARK ON "ALIENS" SPARKS DISPUTE. A heated debate
erupted in the parliament on 13 November over an anti-Semitic remark by
Franciscan monk Othmar Faddy at a recent Smallholders' Party rally,
Hungarian media reported. A guest speaker at the gathering, Faddy had
called for "aliens" to be swept out of the country. The Franciscan Order
dissociated itself from his remark, and most deputies said it was
unacceptable that such a statement should have been made at a rally
organized by a party espousing Christian ideas. Smallholders' Party
leader Torgyan argued that Faddy had demanded only that criminals be
forced to leave the country. Faddy told Nepszabadsag he was referring to
those non-Hungarians who came to Hungary to destroy the country, such as
terrorists and black market traffickers. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN SERB LEADERS SAY KARADZIC WILL STAY ON. The Pale leadership
issued a statement to SRNA denying reports that its civilian and
military leaders will resign in a deal to escape prosecution for war
crimes. AFP on 14 November quoted the text as saying that "President
[Radovan] Karadzic is president of the Serbian Democratic Party, a
powerful political force, and even if he wanted to, he could not retire
from politics because of his party obligations. The resignation of
General [Ratko] Mladic is also ruled out and cannot be demanded by
anyone from the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina or the international
community." Meanwhile, U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns
noted that "there's no question in our minds that Mr. Karadzic and
General Mladic, as leaders of the Bosnian Serbs, are responsible,
individually, for the massacres at Srebrenica and Zepa, for the
massacres at Banja Luka and for many, many other massacres in years
past." -- Patrick Moore

CROATS WORRIED ABOUT EASTERN SLAVONIA. Praise has come from U.S.
President Bill Clinton, as well as from Belgrade and Moscow, for the
peace agreement on eastern Slavonia (see OMRI Daily Digest, 13 November
1995), but many Croats are not happy. AFP on 14 November reported that
some refugees fear that Serbs who chased them from their homes will now
be able to stay and consolidate their demographic and political
positions. "Once more, we have been sacrificed by our president {Franjo
Tudjman}," grumbled one man. "He's the one that should be sent to live
there with the Serbs who massacred us." Local Croatian kingpin Branimir
Glavas told Reuters on 13 November that he sees trouble ahead if the
Serbs try to establish their own fiefdom. Vjesnik reported the next day
that the Serbs have pumped out at least half a million tons of oil from
the area since they took it in 1991. -- Patrick Moore

SERBIAN RADICAL DENOUNCES MILOSEVIC. The Sueddeutsche Zeitung on 14
November reported that ultranationalist leader of the opposition Serbian
Radical Party (SRS) Vojislav Seselj has denounced Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic for presiding over what he called the greatest defeat
of Serbia since the massive battlefield losses inflicted by the Ottoman
armies at Kosovo Polje in 1389. Seselj was referring to Milosevic's
recent role in the Dayton talks. He described the president's
participation in drawing up a pact that may provide for transferring
rebel Serb-held parts of eastern Slavonia to Croatian control as one of
the "biggest-ever sell-outs" of Serbian national interests. Nasa Borba
on 14 November quotes the SRS leader as suggesting that no part of
Serbia is safe from Milosevic and that "next in line are the Republic of
Srpska, Montenegro, Kosovo, Sandzak and Vojvodina." -- Stan Markotich

SERBIAN OPPOSITION DIVIDED. Nasa Borba on 14 November reported that
recent efforts by the Serbian opposition Democratic Party (DS) to forge
an alliance with the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) are floundering.
The larger DS alleges that two mainstream "democratic" parties are
fragmenting the electorate and thereby weakening the opposition vis-a-
vis the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia. But Milorad Jovanovic,
spokesman for the DSS, urged the DS to concentrate on unifying its own
membership before talking about unity with other parties. Despite
describing themselves as "democratic," both the DS and DSS have curried
favor with accused war criminal and Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic. -- Stan Markotich

MONTENEGRIN JOURNALIST ARRESTED. Montena-fax on 10 November reported
that Vladimir Jovanovic, a journalist for the Montenegrin independent
weekly Monitor, has been barred from leaving the country to attend a
media workshop in Ljubljana. He has been detained on charges of having
false documents. Reporters without Borders wrote a letter of protest to
Milosevic in which they expressed the suspicion that Jovanovic has been
arrested because of his statement suggesting that the attempted
assassination of the Macedonian president was orchestrated by Serbian,
Russian, and Bulgarian mafias, Beta reported on 11 November. -- Daria
Sito Sucic

ROMANIA'S KING MICHAEL REFUSED ENTRY VISA. Romania's exiled King Michael
has been refused an entry visa to attend the funeral of opposition
leader Corneliu Coposu, Radio Bucharest reported on 13 November.
Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu said Michael would be granted
a visa only if he unequivocally recognized Romania's current
constitutional order. Michael's wife, Ana de Bourbon Parma, and one of
their daughters, Princess Margareta arrived in Bucharest the same day.
Michael, who was forced into exile in 1947, has been allowed to visit
his native country only once (in 1992) since the demise of the communist
regime. -- Matyas Szabo

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT IN EGYPT. Romanian President Ion Iliescu on 13
November began a two-day official visit to Egypt, Romanian and Western
media reported. He met with his Egyptian counterpart, Hosni Mubarak, to
discuss ways to boost bilateral political and economic relations. They
also discussed the situation in the former Yugoslavia and the prospects
for NATO's expansion in Eastern Europe. Iliescu is also scheduled to
debate the conflict in Bosnia with the head of the Cairo-based Arab
League, Esmat Abdel Meguid. Also on 13 November, Romania and Egypt
signed three protocols on cooperation in foreign affairs, health, and
labor. Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa told journalists that Egypt
hoped to double the volume of its trade with Romania to $1 billion in
the coming years. -- Dan Ionescu

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT, DEPUTIES DISCUSS LANGUAGE ISSUE. Mircea Snegur on 13
November discussed with a group of deputies his legislative initiative
to amend the constitution to state that the country's official language
is Romanian, BASA-press and Infotag reported. Snegur rejected
accusations that he was driven by political ambitions when he launched
the initiative in April. He also made clear that he opposed the idea of
a referendum on the language issue. Most of the deputies attending the
meeting supported his standpoint and spoke out in favor of a compromise.
-- Dan Ionescu

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DELINQUENCY IN CHISINAU. An international
conference on crime and public security in the Black Sea region ended in
Chisinau on 11 November, BASA-press and Radio Bucharest reported. The
participants--who included including experts from the region as well as
from Germany, Great Britain, and the U.S.--discussed the social problems
that have arisen from "post-Soviet militarism." They also considered the
risk of the region becoming a buffer zone between the Balkans and flash
points east of the Black Sea. The participants appealed to the countries
surrounding the Black Sea to create a regional security system. --
Matyas Szabo

INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED INTO BULGARIAN TV BOSS. An investigation has been
launched into the activities of Ivan Granitski, director-general of
Bulgarian National TV, Demokratsiya reported on 11 November. The Union
of Democratic Forces has accused Granitski of repeatedly denying its
representatives access to air time and has asked that he be suspended
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 17 October 1995). Deputy Prosecutor-General
Vladislav Spasov confirmed that an investigation has begun, saying there
is already enough material to prove Granitski violated the provisional
statute on the state-run media. Granitski could be dismissed legal
proceedings get under way. If convicted, he would face up to five years
in prison. -- Stefan Krause

FORMER SUPREME COURT JUDGE LEAVES ALBANIA. Zef Brozi, the former head of
the Albanian Supreme Court, has left Albania for the U.S., the newspaper
Albania reported on 14 November. In September, Brozi was dismissed by
the parliament, despite the lack of a quorum. He was replaced by his
deputy, Avni Shehu. Since then, Brozi has expressed fears of political
persecution. Albania speculates that Brozi took the decision to leave
the country after police surrounded his house on 4 November and
confiscated his diplomatic passport. The paper also quotes him as saying
that "the state is preparing something against me." Meanwhile, ATSH
quotes Shehu as saying that the courts "have never before been more
independent than now." -- Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIAN JOURNALISTS PROTEST PRESSURE ON MEDIA. The Albanian Association
of Professional Journalists on 11 November issued a statement expressing
concern about the frequent pressure put on journalists by the judiciary
and other public bodies. The association reported cases of journalists
who, it claimed, have been illegally detained by the police. It appealed
to the government to take measures against the "repression on the
freedom of press and journalists." In particular, the association
mentioned Blendi Fevziu, chief editor of Aleanca, who has been charged
with slander for linking the head of the State Control Commission to a
corruption affair. It also charged that the police has not properly
investigated the bombing of Koha Jone chief editor Nikolle Lesi's house
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 3 and 7 November 1995). -- 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
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            Copyright (C) 1995 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570


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