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

No. 227, Part II, 21 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
OFFICIAL RESULTS OF POLISH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. According to the
official results of the 19 November run-off election, Democratic Left
Alliance leader Aleksander Kwasniewski won 51.72% of the vote, while
incumbent president Lech Walesa received 48.28%. Turnout was put at
68.23%. Kwasniewski won in 34 provinces, mostly in northern and western
Poland, while Walesa was successful in 15, mostly in the southeast of
the country. Speaking immediately after the official results were
released, Kwasniewski said there are more things uniting Poles than
separating them. Acknowledging Walesa's "indisputable place in history,"
he promised to pursue the path of reform and reiterated the goal that
Poland join NATO and the EU, Polish and international media reported
(See related stories in Russian section). -- Jakub Karpinski
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN PREMIER SACKS TOP COAL, NUCLEAR ENERGY OFFICIALS. Prime
Minister Yevhen Marchuk told a government meeting on 20 November that he
has asked Minister of Coal Industry Viktor Poltavets and State Committee
on the Use of Nuclear Energy Chairman Myhkailo Umanets to resign,
Ukrainian TV and Reuters reported the same day. Marchuk said both
officials' lack of initiative to begin restructuring the coal and
nuclear energy industries has exacerbated the crisis in the energy
sector. By firing Poltavets, Marchuk also met another demand made by
coal miners, whose strike last week forced the government to pay 5
trillion of the 20 trillion karbovantsi it owes them in wage arrears.
The premier promised that no new money will be printed and no new taxes
introduced to settle the debt, but he gave no details on the source of
the funds. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT DEFENDS CENSORSHIP. Belarusian TV on 20 November
carried a speech by Alyaksandr Lukashenka in which he denied that his
media policies amounted to heavy-handed censorship. The president said
he was willing to support "media that worked constructively" and gave as
an example the TV company Myr, which, he said, is "working toward the
consolidation of [the CIS] countries and peoples." Referring to the
newspapers he had closed down for "twisting facts," Lukashenka
challenged them to take him to court and prove they had not been
"unconstructive." -- Ustina Markus

U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY VISITS BALTIC STATES. William Perry, at the
beginning of a three-day tour of the Baltic States, met with Estonian
President Lennart Meriin in Tallinn on 19 November. The next day he
discussed with Prime Minister Tiit Vahi military cooperation and NATO
membership. He noted that NATO expansion was a long process and that new
member states would have to fulfill five criteria: democratization, a
free market economy, civilian control of the army, military training
according to NATO standards, and good relations with neighbors, BNS
reported. Perry then flew to Vilnius for talks with President Algirdas
Brazauskas and Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius. On 21 November ,
Perry travels to Riga for meetings with Latvia's leaders. -- Saulius
Girnius

LITHUANIAN CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONVENES IN VILNIUS. The
Lithuanian Christian Democratic Party convened for its annual conference
in Vilnius on 18-19 November, BNS reported the next day. Former Foreign
Minister Algirdas Saudargas was elected party chairman, replacing
Povilas Katilius, who was elected chairman of the party's board. The
conference adopted a party manifesto proposing that democracy in
Lithuania be based on Christian values, advocating a social market
economy rather than socialism or liberal "laissez faire" capitalism. The
manifesto rejects "any plans to have our country play the role of
middleman between East and West" and supports Lithuanian membership in
the EU and NATO. -- Saulius Girnius

COURT FAILS TO RESOLVE DISPUTE OVER PRAGUE CATHEDRAL. The Prague
District Court has failed to decide who owns St. Vitus Cathedral and
other buildings in Prague Castle claimed by the Catholic Church, Mlada
fronta dnes reported on 21 November. The court decided to return the
case to the lower court that 11 months ago ruled that the cathedral was
illegally nationalized by the communist regime in the 1950s and should
be returned to the Church. After a public outcry, based on the medieval
cathedral's being a national monument that should remain in public
hands, President Vaclav Havel's office appealed the decision. The
district court judged that there were several procedural errors in the
lower court's ruling. "It is no joy that the question of ownership is
being dragged out," said Miloslav Fiala, spokesman of the Czech Bishops
Conference. "But we will respect the decision," he added. -- Steve
Kettle

CONTROVERSY OVER SLOVAK TV BROADCAST. Jan Havlat, the lawyer who
represents both Michal Kovac Jr. and Martin Syc-Mily in the Technopol
fraud case, on 20 November sent a letter of complaint to Slovak
Television (STV), Sme reported. Havlat complained about STV's prime time
broadcast on 18 November of a 20-minute statement by Peter Krylov, who
was jailed in Munich in connection with the Technopol case. Krylov
accused Kovac Jr., Syc-Mily, and others of organizing the fraud; he also
gave their full names and explained details of the case. Havlat
criticized STV for violating the principle of "presumption of innocence"
(neither Kovac Jr. nor Syc-Mily has been formally charged in Slovakia),
and he demanded that his clients be allowed to air their views during
the same time slot. Dusan Kerny, editor-in-chief of STV's main news
program, promised to broadcast the responses of Havlat's clients. --
Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK POLITICAL UPDATE. The parliament on 20 November approved
Prosecutor-General Michal Valo's request that the ban on divulging
information about the Slovak Intelligence Service (SIS) be lifted,
Narodna obroda reported. The request was made to the chairman and
members of the parliamentary Separate Control Organ (OKO)--which was set
up in November 1994 to oversee the SIS--in connection with a report OKO
presented to the parliament on 5 May. On the basis of the report, the
parliament passed a vote of no confidence in President Michal Kovac.
Also on 20 November, the parliament failed to approve the first version
of a bill on anti-communist resistance, which was submitted by the
opposition Christian Democratic Movement. A second version, put forward
by the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia, will be discussed at
the next session. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER RESPONDS TO SLOVAK ACCUSATIONS. Laszlo Kovacs
on 18 November dismissed the Slovak claim that Hungary has interfered in
Slovakia's internal affairs (see OMRI Daily Digest, 20 November 1995).
He told MTI that the Hungarian government's stance on Slovakia's new
language law cannot be described as interference, since international
agreements specify that the issue of minority rights is not simply a
domestic affair. In a heated parliamentary debate on foreign policy,
Hungarian Premier Gyula Horn on 20 November said that the Slovak
language law and the Romanian education law are not conducive to
achieving advanced democracies. As regards the Slovak language law, the
Hungarian government will make its views known at international forums,
he said. Horn added that the government will appeal to those heads of
state who welcomed the Hungarian-Slovak basic treaty before the Paris
conference on stability last spring. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

LOW TURNOUT AT HUNGARY'S MINORITY ELECTIONS. According to the official
results of the Hungarian minority elections on 19 November, 138 minority
local governments were elected across the country, Hungarian media
reported. The Central Registration and Election Office reported that
only 40,000 of the 2.5 million eligible voters--or 1.73%--cast their
ballots. Sixty-one Roma councils were elected, 38 German, and 13 Slovak.
-- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN TV CHIEF RESIGNS. Adam Horvath resigned as president of
Hungarian Television (MTV) on 20 November, saying he could not stay in
his current position if the media bill is passed by parliament, Magyar
Hirlap reported. MTV Vice President Ferenc Szekely will run MTV until a
new president is elected. MTV officials attributed Horvath's resignation
to several discriminatory provisions in the media bill, primarily the
restrictions placed on the president's powers during the transitional
period. The media bill was submitted to the parliament on 17 November
and is expected to be passed this year. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

DAYTON DEADLINES COME AND GO. Two "last-chance" deadlines declared by
the U.S. State Department came and went on November 20-21, and still no
peace agreement was announced. The BBC said that the three groups of
"Yugoslavs called the Americans' bluff." Regional and international
media stressed that the problem remains territorial issues, specifically
the Posavina corridor in the north and the status of Sarajevo. The
Bosnian and Serbian delegations at different points each had their
respective aircraft's engines started, and German media said that only a
telephone call from President Bill Clinton dissuaded his Croatian
counterpart, Franjo Tudjman, from leaving as well. The final deadline
passed after a late night marathon session. -- Patrick Moore

HAVE THE TALKS DIED? State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said that
"these talks have not failed. The negotiators continue to negotiate."
Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey, however, said the talks had
indeed collapsed. Off the record, unnamed U.S. officials also told news
agencies they were pessimistic. The BBC quoted Bosnian President Alija
Izetbegovic as telling Bosnian Radio on 21 November that the talks were
in a crisis but had not failed. Speculation now centers on the
possibility of continuing discussions in Dayton for an unspecified
length of time or holding them at some future date elsewhere, such as
Paris. The Dayton round has dragged on for three weeks amid Spartan
living conditions and a virtual news blackout. Tudjman has twice left on
business and returned. The problem remains that core issues are
unsettled and that no side has been totally defeated on the battlefield
and hence forced to negotiate a settlement. -- Patrick Moore

FIRST MUSLIM ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH WAR CRIMES. Nasa Borba and Novi list
reported on 21 November that an unidentified Bosnian Muslim was arrested
in the Netherlands on 15 November at the request of the Hague-based
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The man is
suspected of having killed a large number of Bosnian Serb civilians
while serving with the Bosnian Croat army, and he is expected to be
formally charged within a month. Of the 52 men indicted for war crimes
to date, 45 are Serbs, including Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic
and General Ratko Mladic. The remaining seven are Croats; but to date,
apart from the unidentified Bosnian Muslim, only one of the 52 has been
arrested, namely the Serbian prison guard Dusko Tadic. Croatia wants
some Muslims charged with war crimes for atrocities committed against
Croatian civilians in 1991 when the Muslims in question were serving
with the rump Yugoslav army. -- Patrick Moore

CROATIA, RUMP YUGOSLAVIA AGREE ON PRISONERS, MISSING PERSONS. The
Croatian and Serbian foreign ministers have signed an accord in Dayton
on the immediate release of all detainees as a part of a general
agreement on prisoners and missing persons, Reuters reported on 20
November. According to unofficial estimates, more than 10,000 Croats
have been missing since 1991. An investigation is to be launched into
the fate of those still unaccounted for. In another development,
Minister for Refugees Adalbert Rebic announced his resignation owing to
"numerous obligations elsewhere," Slobodna Dalmacija reported the next
day. -- Daria Sito Sucic

BELGRADE OFFICIAL SAYS NO EXTRADITION FOR WAR CRIMINALS. The Bosnian
Serb news agency SRNA on 19 November reported that Borisav Jovic, the
chairman of the rump Yugoslav legislature's Foreign Policy Committee,
said Belgrade is not prepared to turn over accused war criminals to the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Jovic said
that sending accused criminals to the Hague to face charges would
violate the rump Yugoslav constitution, which purportedly stipulates
that rump Yugoslav nationals may not be handed to a "foreign" tribunal.
Jovic did, however, reiterate Belgrade's official line on war crimes,
observing that "we oppose them, and we will prosecute criminals if there
are any." * Stan Markotich

ROMANIAN EXTREMIST LEADER PROPOSES EXPANDED NATIONALIST ALLIANCE.
Speaking at the National Convention of the Party of Romanian National
Unity (PUNR) in Bucharest on 17 November, PUNR chairman Gheorghe Funar
proposed that the chauvinist Greater Romania Party (PRM) join the
National Unity Bloc (BUN), which includes the PUNR, the Democratic
Agrarian Party, and the Romanian Ecologist Movement. Addressing the
gathering, PRM chairman Corneliu Vadim Tudor said there has never been
any conflict between the two parties. Curierul national on 18 November
wrote that Funar told the PUNR gathering that his party has no intention
of leaving the alliance with the PDSR. Also on 18 November, Funar was
re-elected chairman of the PUNR. He accused President Ion Iliescu of
attempting to stage his ouster. Presidential spokesman Traian Chebeleu
on 20 November rejected the accusation. -- Michael Shafir

STOCK EXCHANGE OPENS IN BUCHAREST. Romania's first stock exchange since
World War II opened on 20 November in Bucharest, Radio Bucharest and
international agencies reported. A total of seven companies were quoted
at the opening session, with five more due to appear in the near future,
exchange officials said. Of the seven listed companies, only one is
completely in private hands; the Romanian state still holds a 70% stake
in the other six. The opening of a stock exchange was one of the
conditions set by IMF for the granting of new credits to Romania.
Initially, it will operate only once a week. -- Matyas Szabo

SNEGUR SAYS SUMMIT MEETING "QUESTIONABLE." At a meeting with head of the
OSCE Permanent Mission to Moldova Michael Wygant, President Mircea
Snegur welcomed the decision to prolong the mission and the "firm
position of most OSCE members at a recent meeting in Vienna in support
of Moldova's efforts to remove Russian troops from its territory."
Snegur said his next meeting with Igor Smirnov, scheduled for 29
November, was now "questionable" because the Tiraspol leadership is
seeking help from the Russian State Duma and requesting the recognition
of "their illegitimate, self-proclaimed republic." He added that the
"Tiraspol leaders are taking their time, are waiting for the results of
the parliamentary elections in Russia and, in fact, are grossly
violating our earlier agreements." The Moldovan Ministry of Foreign
Affairs called on all UN and OSCE members to express disapproval of the
Duma's resolution on the Transdniestrian problem, Infotag reported on 20
November. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN, GREEK, UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET. Georgi Pirinski,
Karolos Papoulias, and Hennadii Udovenko met in Sofia on 20 November to
discuss possible cooperation between their countries, Reuters reported
the same day. They agreed to boost cooperation in regional
transportation, telecommunications, and natural gas and oil pipeline
projects "through coordinated initiatives." In separate talks with
Papoulias and Udovenko, Pirinski discussed joint participation in
rebuilding the war-battered former Yugoslav republics. Udovenko and
Pirinski also signed a trade and economic cooperation agreement. Also on
20 November, Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos arrived for a three-
day state visit and met with Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev to
discuss the situation in the former Yugoslavia and bilateral relations.
-- Stefan Krause

LARGE OIL DEPOSITS DISCOVERED IN ALBANIA. According to Albanian Mineral
Resources and Energy Minister Abdyl Xhaja, more than 440 million tons of
oil-deposits have been discovered in the regions of Durres, Patos, and
Tirana, AFP reported on 21 November. Contracts for exploitation have
reportedly been signed with Shell, OMV, BHP, OXY, and Agip, which had
invested more than $100 million dollars over the past two years in on-
and off-shore prospecting. The firms are expecting to spend another $60
million in 1996. Current on-shore production of an estimated 1,200
barrels a day could shortly rise to 20,000 barrels. More than 200
foreign firms have been asked to study production possibilities. --
Fabian Schmidt

STOCK MARKET TO OPEN IN ALBANIA. Albanian Finance Minister Dylber Vrioni
said a stock market will open in March 1996, Reuters reported on 20
November. It will trade shares in Albania's recently privatized
companies. The government is preparing to set up a register of shares.
So far, 20 holding companies have been privatized through the sale of
vouchers; and there are now 4,068 shareholders in Albania, of whom 2,700
are employees of the privatized companies. According to Vrioni, another
25 enterprises will be privatized soon. Rothschild Bank, Greek Alfa
Financing, Salomon Brothers, Merrill Lynch, and a Bulgarian group have
already requested information on Albanian investment funds. A minimum of
$20,000 is required to set up an investment fund, and foreigners may own
no more than 50%. -- 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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