Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought. - Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 231, Part II, 29 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
KARADZIC SAYS HE BACKS DAYTON AGREEMENT. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic told CNN on 28 November that he supports the peace pact. He
added, however, that time would be needed for its implementation and
that his government would have to build new housing for Serbs from
Sarajevo and other areas assigned to the Croat-Muslim federation. He
used a conciliatory tone and avoided the bluster and references to
bloodbaths that characterized his spate of interviews in recent days.
Karadzic said that U.S. troops did not have to worry about "incidents"
if they "came as friends." -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINE ON SENDING TROOPS TO BOSNIA, ANGOLA. Defense Minister Valerii
Shmarov told a news conference on 27 November that Ukraine is willing to
send Ukrainian peacekeepers to enforce the Dayton accord in Bosnia, but
not under NATO command, UNIAN reported. He said Kiev has proposed to
place Ukrainian troops under separate French command, although NATO
would retain overall control of the mission. Shmarov also said that
Ukraine has agreed to a UN proposal to send 1,200 engineers to Angola.
Meanwhile, international agencies reported Shmarov as saying Kiev would
follow Moscow's lead and seek relief from some restrictions in the 1990
CFE treaty. While Ukraine has met most CFE targets in arms cuts and
troop reductions, the defense minister hopes to strengthen its military
presence on the southern flank, bordering the Black Sea, Moldova, and
Romania. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

OCSE OFFICIAL SUGGESTS CRIMEA RETAIN QUOTAS FOR ETHNIC MINORITIES. OSCE
High Commissioner on Ethnic Minorities Max van der Stoel has recommended
in a letter to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Hennadii Udovenko that Crimea
retain quotas for ethnic minorities for representation in the regional
legislature, Ukrainian TV reported on 27 November. The quota system,
which until recently provided for 14 seats in the 98-member Crimean
assembly to be reserved for Crimean Tatar representatives, was left out
of the new Crimean Constitution, prompting protests by the Tatar
minority. The quotas set aside one seat each for the Bulgarian, German,
Greek, and Armenian minorities on the peninsula. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUS PRESIDENT'S ALLEGED PRAISE FOR HITLER CAUSES CONTROVERSY.
Opposition parties in Belarus have blasted Alyaksandr Lukashenka over a
leaked interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt in which he
praised Hitler, Western agencies reported on 28 November. Izvestiya,
citing a Belarusian Radio broadcast, quotes Lukashenka as saying
"Germany was once built up out of the ruins with the help of a strong
hand. Not everything that was connected to a certain Adolf Hitler in
Germany was bad." Opposition leaders said the president's comments
showed a lack of respect for the many victims of World War II. A
presidential spokesman said that the controversy was a "ruse that was
circulated by the Belarus nationalists on the eve of the run-off
[parliamentary] elections." -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIA ORDERS REGISTRATION OF ALL EXPLOSIVES. Prompted by the 70 or
so bombings this year, the Lithuanian government on 27 November issued a
decree ordering the registration of all explosive materials, BNS and
Western agencies reported the next day. The decree says that people will
not be punished for illegal possession of explosives if they are
voluntarily handed over to the police. The authorities' inability to
stop the bombings has been severely criticized and led to an abortive
parliamentary vote of no confidence in Interior Minister Romasis
Vaitekunas on 28 November The minister remained in office since the
ruling Democratic Labor Party decided not to participate in the vote. --
Saulius Girnius

RESIGNATION OF POLISH KEY MINISTERS ACCEPTED. Polish Prime Minister
Jozef Oleksy on 28 November accepted the resignations of Foreign
Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Internal Affairs Minister Andrzej
Milczanowski, and Defense Minister Zbigniew Okonski. The three ministers
asked for their resignations to take effect on 20 December, two days
before the inauguration of President-elect Aleksander Kwasniewski. Under
Polish constitutional law, the holders of all three portfolios are
appointed after consultations with the president. Oleksy said that,
despite speculation to the contrary, it "would be quite astonishing" if
the three posts were offered to members of the opposition, Polish
dailies reported on 29 November. -- Jakub Karpinski

WALESA MEETS WITH OPPOSITION LEADERS. Polish President Lech Walesa has
begun talks with leaders of the opposition parties. On 28 November, he
met with the Freedom Union leaders Leszek Balcerowicz and Bronislaw
Geremek. Balcerowicz said that an agreement was possible between his
party and the four opposition groups not represented in the Sejm.
According to Rzeczpospolita on 29 November, Walesa said he had different
ideas. The daily suggests the possibility of creating a Walesa-led
political institute reminiscent of the "citizens' committees" founded in
1989. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH REPUBLIC JOINS OECD. Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec and
Jean-Claude Paye, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development, on 28 November signed documents admitting
the Czech Republic as the first post-communist country to the OECD. The
Czech parliament is expected to ratify the agreements in December, after
which the Czech Republic will become the OECD's 26th member. Following
the signing ceremony at OECD headquarters in Paris, Zieleniec said being
accepted into the organization signified that industrialized countries
valued the Czech Republic's successful economic development since 1989,
Czech media reported. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK PRESIDENT SIGNS LANGUAGE LAW . . . Michal Kovac on 28 November
signed the controversial law making Slovak the only official language in
Slovakia and restricting the use of other languages in public life.
According to presidential spokesman Vladimir Stefko, Kovac considers the
law "necessary and important" in fulfilling the constitutional article
stating that Slovak is the "state language on Slovak territory," Sme
reported. Kovac signed the law, despite the fact that the parliament has
not yet passed a bill on minority languages; but he said he received a
promise from Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar that the cabinet would
submit such a bill to the parliament in the near future. -- Sharon
Fisher

. . . AS OPPOSITION THREATENS TO APPEAL. Frantisek Miklosko, deputy
chairman of the opposition Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), told
Reuters that his party does not understand why Kovac signed the law "in
the hope that Meciar would keep his promise." Miklosko said his party
considers it "a bad law," and he noted that the KDH will challenge it in
the Constitutional Court. Representatives of the Hungarian coalition
called the law unconstitutional and also promised to appeal. According
to Stefko, if the government does not submit the minority languages bill
shortly or if the rights of minorities are limited before it is passed,
Kovac will take the law to court. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES TRANSIT OF NATO TROOPS. The Hungarian
parliament on 28 November overwhelmingly gave its assent for the Nato
Implementation Force (IFOR) to transit Hungarian territory, establish
logistics bases, and use Hungarian airspace and designated airports
before performing peacekeeping operations in Bosnia, Hungarian media
reported. MTI quotes "reliable sources" as saying that a technical team
of 200-300 Hungarian soldiers will take part in the peacekeeping
operations by building and guarding a bridge along a stretch of the Sava
River. NATO requested the participation of Hungarian troops when Foreign
Minister Laszlo Kovacs visited Brussels last week. In an opinion poll
conducted in Hungary the same day, the majority of respondents were
opposed to the idea. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

NEW HUNGARIAN MINISTERS. Socialist deputy Peter Kiss was sworn into
office on 28 November as minister of labor beginning 1 December,
Hungarian media reported. He replaces Magda Kosa Kovacs, who resigned in
late September. Balint Magyar of the SZDSZ is that party's nominee for
minister of culture and education, replacing fellow party member Gabor
Fodor, Nepszabadsag reported on 29 November. Fodor resigned last week
after disagreeing with a government decision to cut state funds.
Hungary's stabilization program has prompted six ministers to leave the
cabinet so far this year. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC SAYS HE BACKS DAYTON AGREEMENT. Bosnian Serb leader Radovan
Karadzic told CNN on 28 November that he supports the peace pact. He
added, however, that time would be needed for its implementation and
that his government would have to build new housing for Serbs from
Sarajevo and other areas assigned to the Croat-Muslim federation. He
used a conciliatory tone and avoided the bluster and references to
bloodbaths that characterized his spate of interviews in recent days.
Karadzic said that U.S. troops did not have to worry about "incidents"
if they "came as friends." -- Patrick Moore

GERMAN CABINET DECIDES TO SEND TROOPS TO BOSNIA. The German cabinet on
28 November decided to send 4,000 troops to the former Yugoslavia,
Western agencies reported the next day. The troops will consist largely
of auxiliary personnel, including medical and transport units, and for
the first time will be guarded by their own troops. To date, Germany has
avoided sending combat troops to the former Yugoslavia because of
sensitivities over World War II. The troops will be based in Croatia.
The Bundestag is expected to endorse the cabinet's decision next week.
The opposition Social Democrats have said they will vote for the
deployment. -- Michael Mihalka

PRO-PALE SERBS TO LEAVE SARAJEVO? UN officials in Sarajevo said tens of
thousands of Bosnian Serbs would rather leave than live in the Muslim-
Croat Federation, Nasa Borba reported on 28 November. A UNHCR spokesman
estimated that 40,000-60,000 Serbs live in the Serb-controlled part of
the city (Bosnian Serb leaders put the figure at 120,000-150,000). He
added that they do not trust the Bosnian government, despite its call
for Serbian civilians to stay in their homes. It is unclear how the
Bosnian government intends to differentiate between those who actively
participated in the war and those who did not. Meanwhile, pro-government
Serbs in Sarajevo have urged fellow Serbs in the Pale-controlled parts
of Sarajevo to accept the Dayton agreement and not be manipulated by
Pale, the BBC reported, quoting Radio Sarajevo. -- Daria Sito Sucic

TURKISH PREMIER IN BOSNIAN CAPITAL. Tansu Ciller on 28 November paid a
one-day working visit to Sarajevo aimed at investigating how Turkey can
contribute to Bosnia's postwar reconstruction, international media
reported. She noted that Turkey was prepared to help train Bosnian
soldiers, and she opened a branch office of the Turkish Foreign
Ministry, to be run by the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency.
Her visit is part of an effort to highlight Turkey's ties to Bosnian
Muslims in the run-up to parliamentary elections scheduled for 24
December. -- Lowell Bezanis

SERBIAN PRESIDENT PURGES PARTY OF "HARDLINERS." Tanjug on 28 November
reported that a number of top-level nationalist leaders of the ruling
Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) were removed from their posts on the eve
of the rump Yugoslavia's national holiday. According to the news agency,
three prominent hardliners were sacked from executive ranks to be
replaced by purported moderates. Mihailo Markovic and Borisav Jovic,
long-time aides of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic who helped found
the party, were removed as vice presidents, while Milorad Vucelic was
ousted as leader of the SPS in the parliament. Replacing them are
Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic, former Premier Nikola Sainovic, and
federal President Zoran Lilic. AFP reported that Jovic said in an
interview with Radio B 92 that he had no idea what prompted the
dismissals. -- Stan Markotich

CROATIAN UPDATE. The Croatian Sabor (the lower house of the parliament)
on 28 November unanimously elected Vlatko Pavletic as its speaker,
Vjesnik reported. The new government won a vote of confidence by 77 to
five with 39 abstentions. Hina reported that opposition parties
criticized the government for failing to present its economic program
and demanded that the Sabor discuss the Dayton peace agreement. Also on
28 November, Pavletic received a delegation of Bosnian Posavina
expellees, who staged a protest rally outside Zagreb's town hall. Some
170,000 Croats lived in Bosnian Posavina before the war; about 3,000
Muslims and Croats are estimated to have lost their lives in its
defense. -- Daria Sito Sucic

DID TUDJMAN SELL OUT POSAVINA CROATS? Evidence continues to mount that
the Croats at the Dayton conference made little or no effort to regain
the Posavina. Bosnian Croat leader Kresimir Zubak told Novi list on 29
November that the delegation split over the Posavina question. Zubak is
from northern Bosnia and opposes the agreement. Hina quoted Bosnian
Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic as saying that Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic got up at the opening session and "in front of everybody said
that there existed an agreement with the Croats about the area and that
there was nothing left to discuss." Silajdzic added that the Americans
provided the Croat-Muslim federation with crucial support on the
questions of Sarajevo, Gorazde, and the constitution, but "where there
was no American support, we didn't get what we wanted." -- Patrick Moore

SLOVENIA OPPOSES BELGRADE'S ATTEMPTS TO ASSERT JURISDICTION OVER ASSETS.
Hina on 28 November reported that representatives from Bosnia-
Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia met in Ljubljana to
discuss and coordinate strategies aimed at countering Belgrade's efforts
to assert control over access to foreign assets once held by the former
Yugoslavia. With the recent suspension of sanctions, Belgrade is
apparently attempting to gain control over foreign-currency and gold
reserves. Slovenia's Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler said "the succession
issue should be discussed apart from the peace process. It has nothing
to with war in Bosnia." He also observed that all of the Yugoslav
successor states should have an equal say over the contested assets. --
Stan Markotich

ROMANIAN PREMIER IN RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. Nicolae Vacaroiu on 27-28 November
paid an official visit to Serbia and Montenegro, Radio Bucharest
reported. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu and
Trade Minister Petru Crisan. In a series of interviews, Vacaroiu
stressed it was the first visit paid by a head of government to that
country since the lifting of U.S. sanctions. He also said the talks
focused on resuming traditionally close economic ties, and he expressed
hopes that bilateral trade would reach $1 billion a year. Vacaroiu met
with senior officials, including Yugoslav President Zoran Lilic and the
presidents of Serbia and Montenegro, Slobodan Milosevic and Momcilo
Bulatovic. The two sides signed a series of bilateral agreements,
including one on promoting and protecting mutual investments. -- Dan
Ionescu

STUDENTS, TEACHERS DEMONSTRATE IN BUCHAREST. Thousands of Romanian
teachers protested in Bucharest on 28 November over low pay and the poor
state of education, Radio Bucharest and international media reported.
The teachers were joined by Bucharest University students, who have
resumed earlier protest actions against a controversial education law
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 18-20 October 1995). Representatives of
teachers' trade unions handed over their demands to the Government, and
agreed to start negotiations next week. Meanwhile, the Senate adopted a
set of modifications to the education law, already passed by the Chamber
of Deputies. According to a senate official, most of the students'
claims were thus met. -- Matyas Szabo

MOLDOVAN-DNIESTER SUMMIT CALLED OFF. Moldovan President Mircea Snegur
and the president of the self-styled Dniester republic, Igor Smirnov,
have called off a meeting scheduled for 29 November, BASA-press
reported. Dniester Vice President Aleksandr Karaman was quoted as
blaming Chisinau for allegedly presenting Tiraspol with "unacceptable
proposals and ultimatums." Chisinau repeatedly signaled its willingness
to grant the breakaway region broad autonomy, but Tiraspol insists on
full recognition of its independent statehood. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN ETHNIC TURKISH PARTY ASKS PRESIDENT FOR HELP. The Central
Council of the Movement for Rights and Freedom (DPS) on 28 November
asked President Zhelyu Zhelev to assist in the "normalization of the
situation" in Kardzhali, Standart reported the following day. Rasim Musa
of the DPS was elected mayor of that city, but the governing Bulgarian
Socialist Party (BSP) demanded that the election be invalidated (see
OMRI Daily Digest, 20 November 1995). The Municipal Electoral Commission
declared the elections valid and the Regional Court in Kardzhali
rejected the BSP's petition. Nonetheless, the government-appointed
provincial governor has so far not confirmed Musa's election or called a
meeting of the city council, Demokratsiya reported. -- Stefan Krause

TURKISH POLICY SHIFT ON CFE? Ankara has announced its willingness to
accept an unspecified modification in the Conventional Forces in Europe
treaty, Turkish and Western media reported on 28 November. Turkey
previously was adamantly opposed to any modification of the treaty. An
unnamed official told AFP that Turkey may accept such changes as long as
they meet its security needs. -- Lowell Bezanis

BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION. Parliamentary delegations from 11
countries participating in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
organization met in Ankara on 28 November, international media reported.
The meeting opened with an appeal for closer cooperation. Turkey's
parliamentary chairman, Ismet Sezgin reproached Russia for hosting a
session of the Kurdish parliament-in-exile, while Gennadii Seleznev,
deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy and
Communication, said the event was in keeping with pluralism and
democracy in Russia, Yeni Yuzyil reported on 29 November. -- Lowell
Bezanis

[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