Fear of life in one form or another is the great thing to exorcise. - William James
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 232, Part II, 30 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
MORE THAN 5,000 STILL "MISSING" FROM SREBRENICA. UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros Ghali has written in a report that as many as 5,500
people remain unaccounted for in the wake of the Serbian conquest of
Srebrenica and Zepa in July, international media reported on 30
November. Investigations by the Christian Science Monitor's David Rohde
and other journalists suggest that thousands of Muslim male civilians
were massacred by indicted war criminal General Ratko Mladic's troops.
Boutros Ghali wrote that his own latest study "and other reports provide
undeniable evidence of a consistent pattern of summary executions, rape,
mass expulsions, arbitrary detentions, forced labor and large scale
disappearances." German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel told the Bundestag
that the top Bosnian Serb leaders must be tried as war criminals.
Meanwhile in Sarajevo, the UN warned the Serbs that they face action by
the Rapid Reaction Force if they do not stop blocking relief convoys
bound for Gorazde. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

BELARUSIANS FAIL TO ELECT NEW PARLIAMENT. Belarusian Central Election
Commission Head Alyaksandr Abramovich on 30 November announced that 20
new deputies were elected to the parliament the previous day, Western
agencies reported. This raises the number of deputies to 139--35 short
of the two-thirds needed for the 260-member parliament to be valid. Over
60% of eligible voters cast ballots for 865 candidates in 141 districts
where deputies were not elected in May. Runoff elections will be held on
10 December. -- Saulius Girnius

UKRAINE SEEKS COMPENSATION FOR TRADE LOSSES DUE TO SANCTIONS AGAINST
SERBIA. Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk told visiting Bulgarian parliament
speaker Blagovest Sendor that Ukraine, like Bulgaria, hopes to win major
contracts for Ukrainian enterprises to participate in the rebuilding of
Bosnia as compensation for the $4 billion trade losses incurred as a
result of the UN sanctions against rump Yugoslavia, Eastern Economist
Daily reported on 29 November. Marchuk said his government is seeking
international recognition that Ukraine was one of the countries that
financially suffered the most from lost trade along the Danube River.
Otherwise, he said, it will be difficult for Ukrainian enterprises to
compete with large Western companies for Bosnian contracts. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak

BALTIC MILITARY LEADERS SUPPORT DEFENSE UNION. Following two days of
talks in Jurmala, the heads of the Baltic armed forces on 29 November
said they supported establishing a defense union to support one other if
attacked, Reuters reported. It is unclear, however, whether the
governments are ready to sign such an agreement. The commanders issued a
joint statement saying that the meeting had "mirrored steadily improving
relations." They agreed that soldiers should receive part of their
training in Western countries and that joint maneuvers would be held
next year, some of which would take place within the framework of NATO's
Partnership for Peace program. -- Saulius Girnius

CEVERS IS NEW CANDIDATE FOR LATVIAN PREMIER. President Guntis Ulmanis on
29 November asked Democratic Party Saimnieks Chairman Ziedonis Cevers to
try to form a new government, Reuters reported. Cevers, born in 1960, is
the prime minister candidate of the National Conciliation Bloc--a
coalition of three leftist parties and the Popular Movement for Latvia,
led by right extremist Joachim Siegerist. Even though the NCB has a
majority in the Saeima, Ulmanis did not nominate Cevers earlier since
Siegerist was the economics minister candidate. Cevers said he dropped
Siegerist for health reasons, but Latvian newspapers said reports of the
latter's injury in a car accident in Italy were but a ruse to explain
his withdrawal. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH FINANCE MINISTER IN PARIS. Grzegorz Kolodko on 29 November headed
a visiting Polish delegation to the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) in Paris, international media
reported. Kolodko noted that OECD membership is crucial if Poland wants
to enter the EU by the year 2000. OECD Secretary-General Jean-Claude
Paye said he expected Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and South Korea to join
the organization by the end of 1996. -- Jakub Karpinski

DEBATE ON POLISH ARMY BUDGET. Deputies from the Democratic Left Alliance
and the Freedom Union have criticized the draft of the Ministry of
National Defense's 1996 budget. They argue that the salaries of senior
officers are too high and that the personnel structure has not changed
since the demise of the Warsaw Treaty. They also point out that the
large number of senior officers (34,100) is one of the reasons why 64.7%
of the budget is destined for salaries in the army, Gazeta Wyborcza
reported on 30 November. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

CZECH TRADE UNIONS SELL DAILY. Controversial businessman Vladimir
Stehlik has bought control of the Czech trade unions' daily newspaper
Prace, Czech media reported on 29 November. It was not until 28 November
that union leaders became aware of the sale, which took place last week
and was negotiated by the company that administers union property,
according to Prace. The daily, which was founded 51 years ago, has been
losing money and circulation but is still among the 10 best-selling
Czech national dailies. Lidove noviny reported that Stehlik has paid a
10 million koruny ($385,000) deposit on the purchase of 51% of Prace,
which he intends to rename Ceska prace. Stehlik is head of a steelworks
that has debts totaling hundreds of millions of koruny. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK COURT DISSOLVES TWO COMMISSIONS. The Constitutional Court on 29
November ruled that the parliament's creation of investigative
commissions is unconstitutional, Sme and Pravda reported. Christian
Democratic Movement Deputy Chairman Ivan Simko, who represents the 42
opposition deputies who appealed to the court over the issue, said at
least two commissions will have to stop working immediately--the one
investigating the March 1994 "constitutional crisis," which marked the
fall of Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's previous government, and the
one investigating the death of Prague Spring leader Alexander Dubcek.
The former is especially controversial since its purpose is to gather
evidence to dismiss President Michal Kovac from office. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAKIA TO ACQUIRE MORE MIGS FROM RUSSIA. As part of Russia's repayment
of its debt, Slovakia will acquire seven Russian MiG 29 fighter planes
and one MiG 29 UB, which is designed for training, Pravda reported on 29
November. According to Slovak Defense Ministry State Secretary Jozef
Gajdos, the total value of the eight jets is $200 million. Slovakia
received six MiG-29s worth $180 million from Russia in 1993. -- Sharon
Fisher

HUNGARY RESPONDS TO SIGNING OF SLOVAK LANGUAGE LAW. Hungarian Foreign
Minister Laszlo Kovacs has described Slovak President Kovac's signing of
the language law as "regrettable," saying the goal of the Hungarian
government remains ensuring that minorities have unrestricted use of
their native language. Matyas Eorsi, chairman of the parliament's
Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed his disappointment and said the
signing would sour relations between the two countries. Meanwhile,
Victor Orban, chairman of the parliamentary committee on European
integration consulted EU Commissioner for External Affairs Hans van den
Broek. Orban said he thinks that the European Commission sees no problem
with the language law, adding that Brussels' position testifies to an
"erroneous assessment" of the situation. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CHIRAC CALLS FOR CHANGES IN DAYTON AGREEMENT. International media on 28
November reported that French President Jacques Chirac has called for
greater security guarantees for Sarajevo's Serbs. The U.S., however,
said that the agreement initialed in Dayton is the one that will be
signed in Paris on 14 December. Washington fears that tampering with any
one part of the patiently assembled package could cause the whole thing
to come undone. It is unclear what prompted Chirac's statements.
Elsewhere, Hina reported on 29 November that Franjo Komarica, the
Croatian bishop of Banja Luka, has called on Croatian troops to respect
Serbs and their property in the areas of western Bosnia to be returned
to Serbian control. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on 27 November
reported that uniformed Croats were looting and burning Serbian
property. -- Patrick Moore

FINAL DETAILS OF NATO DEPLOYMENT PLAN HAMMERED OUT. NATO defense
ministers, meeting on 29 November in Brussels, resolved the remaining
questions about the alliance's deployment plan for Bosnia, Western
agencies reported. The "enabling" force, which will to clear airfields
and set up headquarters, is expected to begin arriving in Bosnia on 1
December. Most of the 60,000 troops should be deployed within 30 days of
the signing of the peace treaty, expected to take place in Paris on 14
December. However, questions remain about disarmament and
reconstruction. U.S. Defense Secretary William Perry said the U.S. will
arm the Bosnian army within six months if talks prove unsuccessful on
arms reduction. Austria on 28 November made a formal offer of 300 troops
for Bosnia. The Czech government followed suit the next day by
announcing it would send up to 1,000 men. -- Michael Mihalka

UPDATE ON PURGE OF SERBIAN SOCIALISTS. The Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung on 30 November reports on the continuing purge of nationalist
hardliners in Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party of
Serbia. In addition to prominent national figures such as Mihailo
Markovic, chief party ideologist, several lesser-known personalities
have also been removed, including Radovan Pankov, a party leader in
Vojvodina, and Tanjug chief Slobodan Jovanovic. There is speculation
among the Western media that Milosevic is trying to distance himself
from the nationalists in the wake of the Dayton peace talks. Meanwhile,
RFE/RL on 29 November reported that one of the ousted, Borisav Jovic,
who is a long-time Milosevic ally and among the party founders, recently
published a manuscript implicating Milosevic in instigating and waging
war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. -- Stan Markotich

UN SPECIAL ENVOY FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNED ABOUT KOSOVO. Elizabeth
Rehn, following a two-day visit to Kosovo, has expressed concern about
the effects of ethnic tensions in Kosovo, AFP reported on 28 November.
She said that "quite obvious very serious...incidents have happened."
She added that she was "very concerned about the terribly big difference
in opinion and views between Serb authorities and Albanians, especially
regarding the very important questions of education and health care."
Shadow state President Ibrahim Rugova, meanwhile, repeated demands for
an international conference on Kosovo and the southern Balkans.
According to AFP, "tens of thousands of police are deployed in the
region to cool interethnic tension." -- Fabian Schmidt

BIG SHAKEUP DUE IN CROATIAN MILITARY? Nedjeljna Dalmacija on 29 November
wrote that it has an unconfirmed scoop on an impending complete overhaul
of the army, navy, and air force to bring them into line with NATO
standards. Once the arms embargo is lifted, equipment will be modernized
and improved, but there will be big problems in replacing large numbers
of trucks and other Warsaw Pact materiel "of dubious quality." There
will be a wholesale retirement of officers with a background in the
former Yugoslav army, because their outlook is too rooted in its
doctrine and thinking. Two generals who might succeed Zvonimir Cervenko
as chief of staff are Ante Gotovina or Ante Roso, both of whom received
their training in the French Foreign Legion. -- Patrick Moore

CROATIA, IRAN DISCUSS COOPERATION. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman met
with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati in Zagreb on 29
November to discuss "trilateral cooperation between Bosnia, Croatia, and
Iran," AFP reported. Valayati pledged Iran would help Bosnia and Croatia
reconstruct their countries, while Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak
said Croatia and Iran are expected to sign a military cooperation
agreement before Christmas, HINA reported the same day. Valayati said
that once the arms embargo against Croatia is lifted, Iran has no
reservations about military cooperation. This view was also expressed by
representatives at a two-day meeting of the Organization of the Islamic
Conference in Tehran, which ended on 29 November. The delegates pledged
"military, economic, humanitarian, and judicial aid" to Bosnia and
stressed the need for a military balance between Bosnia, Croatia, and
Serbia. -- Daria Sito Sucic

SLOVENIAN, CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET. Slovenian Foreign Minister
Zoran Thaler met with his Croatian counterpart, Mate Granic, at Bezanec
Castle, just north of Zagreb, on 29 November, Hina reported. Both
ministers agreed the meeting was "successful and useful," noting they
had discussed plans for talks between the Slovenian and Croatian prime
ministers for January 1996. Thaler said Ljubljana supported Croatia's
efforts to achieve EU membership. For his part, Granic reportedly
briefed Thaler on developments at the recently concluded Dayton peace
talks. Both ministers indicated that bilateral cooperation was a
priority and raised the issue of Belgrade's attempts to seize control
over overseas hard currency assets of the former Yugoslavia. -- Stan
Markotich

SLOVENIAN GOVERNMENT RESISTS CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS. STA on 28
November reported that the cabinet of Janez Drnovsek will not agree to
holding elections in the spring of 1996, some six months before they are
slated. The announcement came in the wake of recent pressure by
Christian Democratic Party (SKD) members who had proposed early polling
as means of reactivating foreign policy and domestic economic reform.
The governing coalition is made up of the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDS), the United List of Social Democrats (ZLSD), and the SKD. -- Stan
Markotich

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION ATTACKS CABINET OVER ECONOMIC POLICIES. Romania's
main opposition bloc on 28 November threatened to initiate a vote of no
confidence in the government over its economic and social policies,
Reuters reported. A spokeswoman for the Democratic Convention of Romania
(CDR) was quoted as saying the motion was necessary because of "the
government's poor economic performance." The CDR blamed Nicolae
Vacaroiu's left-wing cabinet for the depreciation of the national
currency and for plunging living standards. It added that it would table
a no-confidence motion if the ruling Party of Social Democracy in
Romania supported the government's austerity draft budget for 1996. The
CDR recently issued a political program pledging to radically improve
the country's economic situation within 200 days if it won the 1996
elections. -- Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN SECRET SERVICE WORRIED ABOUT COMPUTER USERS. A report on the
Romanian Intelligence Service's activities from October 1994 to
September 1995, published earlier this month, has provoked heated
parliamentary debates, Radio Bucharest reported on 28 November. The
report claims, among other things, that foreign secret services are
increasingly using computer techniques to collect data on Romania's
economic, social, and political situation. Niculae Ionescu-Galbeni, a
deputy for the opposition National Peasant Party-Christian Democratic,
warned against extending the concept of "threats to national security"
to the economic and social sectors. -- Dan Ionescu

HEALTH CARE WORKERS DEMONSTRATE IN BUCHAREST. Trade unions from the
Romanian health care sector on 29 November protested in downtown
Bucharest over low pay and budget cuts in the sector, Romanian media
reported. Union representatives from 40 regional branches took part in
the meeting. The demonstrators were joined by other professional groups,
including teachers and workers from the timber industry. Marius Petcu,
leader of the health care workers' trade union, said if the government
does not meet the protesters' demands, they will appeal to international
organizations. -- Matyas Szabo

BULGARIAN AIRLINES IN DIRE STRAITS. State-owned Balkan Bulgarian
Airlines on 29 November announced that it risks losing its three leased
Airbus planes if the government does not offer financial assistance,
Western agencies reported. Balkan owes $8.5 million in leasing fees to
the Dublin-based Japanese company Orix. Two planes are impounded in
Amsterdam and London, and the third is grounded in Sofia. Balkan is
facing severe financial problems which forced it to suspend a number of
international flights in October (see OMRI Daily Digest, 20 October
1995). So far, there has been a marked lack of interest in Balkan's
privatization. -- Stefan Krause

TWO BULGARIAN JOURNALISTS FIRED FOR SUPPORTING DISSENTING COLLEAGUES.
Bulgarian National Radio Director-General Vecheslav Tunev on 29 November
dismissed two journalists working on BNR's "Hristo Botev" program,
Kontinent reported the following day. Georgi Vasilksi and Petar Kolev on
28 November broadcast a statement supporting journalists from Radio
Horizont (BNR's other channel) who had recently issued a declaration
accusing BNR's management of censorship (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27
November 1995). According to other Bulgarian media, journalists from the
private Radio Darik also came out in support of their colleagues at
Radio Horizont. -- Stefan Krause

AMERICAN MARINES START TRAINING IN ALBANIA. Some 350 U.S. marines from
the Sixth Fleet Expeditionary Force on 29 November began a six-day cold
weather training in the northern Albanian Lure Mountain region, Koha
Jone reported. Reuters the previous day quoted Albanian Defense Ministry
sources as saying the training was likely to have been organized to
accustom U.S. troops to Bosnia's climate and terrain for later
deployment there. U.S. military attache Lt.-Col. Steven Bucci did not
confirm future deployment in Bosnia but said the troops would "train to
use equipment they do not usually use." Albanian President Sali Berisha
has repeatedly offered air and port facilities to the United States and
to NATO troops. -- 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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