You always pass failure on the way to success. - Mickey Rooney
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 240, Part II, 12 December 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/Index.html

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^TODAY'S TOP STORY^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BOSNIAN SERBS TO RELEASE FRENCH PILOTS. Two downed French pilots are to
be freed by their Bosnian Serb captors on 12 December, international
media reported the same day. Reuters, citing "Serbian security sources,"
said the pilots were slated to cross the River Drina and into Serbia
sometime between 10:00 and 10:30 CET on 12 December. Their freeing is
expected to eliminate the last potential barrier to the 14 December
signing of a peace treaty in Paris ending over three years of war in
Bosnia-Herzegovina. It seems that officials in Serbia brought decisive
pressure to bear on the Bosnian Serbs. Rump Yugoslav Defense Minister
Pavle Bulatovic on 11 December hinted to a visiting NATO delegation that
the Bosnian Serbs would soon issue "positive" news about the pilots. --
Stan Markotich
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIANS ELECT SEVEN OF 45 VACANT PARLIAMENTARY SEATS. Ukrainian
voters elected seven deputies in by-elections for the 45 vacant seats in
the 450-member legislature, including Ukrainian Prime Minister Yevhen
Marchuk, Ukrainian and international agencies reported on 11 December.
Marchuk won nearly 84% of the vote in the rural Myrhorod district in
Poltava Oblast. Also elected as representatives from Crimea were
recently ousted Crimean Premier Anatolii Franchuk and his son, Ihor
Franchuk. The success of all three new lawmakers is viewed as a
vindication of government policies. Central Election Commission
officials said runoffs will take place in two weeks in 11 districts
where no candidate gained 50% of the votes. New elections are scheduled
in 27 districts where low voter turnout invalidated the vote. --
Chrystyna Lapychak

UPDATE ON BELARUSIAN ELECTIONS. According to international agency
reports on 11 December, 198 seats in the 260-member legislature have now
been filled--more than enough for the new parliament to convene. There
has been some confusion over how many deputies were elected from each
party. Most reports maintain that independent candidates now have 96 or
so seats and that the communists and agrarians have the most seats. The
Mass Media Center in Minsk gave the following breakdown: Party of
Communists of Belarus, 42 seats; Agrarian Party, 33; the Party of
Popular Accord, 8; the United Civic Party, 7; the Social Democratic
Hramada, 2; and the Party for All Belarusian Unity and Accord, 2. No
candidates from the nationalist opposition Belarusian Popular Front were
elected. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINE RECEIVES BLACK SEA FLEET SHIPS, BASES, BUT FEW OFFICERS. The
Ukrainian Navy's press service on 10 December reported that Ukraine's
Naval Commission began to receive garrisons and weapons of the ex-Soviet
Black Sea Fleet the previous day, Interfax reported. While it noted that
"several officers" asked for permission to continue their service in the
Ukrainian Navy, Russian sources told a different story. ITAR-TASS
reported the same day that only three out of 200 officers and 19 out of
300 warrant officers wanted to stay with the Ukrainian fleet. It quoted
a Ukrainian spokesman as saying that what happened has been a "real
shock" for the Ukrainians and that there is "no one to serve on the
ships and [naval] sites that have been turned over to us." -- Doug
Clarke

CRIME IN THE BALTIC STATES. Visvaldas Rackauskas, a senior official at
the Lithuanian Interior Ministry, told a press conference on 11 December
that the 55,500 crimes reported in Lithuania in the first eleven months
of 1995 represented a 6.3% increase over the same period in 1994, BNS
reported, This crime rate of 149.3 crimes per 10,000 population was
lower than in Estonia (242.6) but higher than in Latvia (140.8). The
number of serious crimes or felonies increased by 38.1%, but this was in
part due to changes in the criminal code to what was considered a
felony. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIA SUBMITS APPLICATION FOR EU MEMBERSHIP. Lithuanian Foreign
Minister Povilas Gylys, during his visit to Madrid on 11 December,
submitted Lithuania's application to join the EU to Spanish State
Secretary for European Affairs Carlos Westendorp, BNS reported.
President Algirdas Brazauskas and Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius
signed the application on 8 December at the urging of the Seimas. Gylys
proposed that the EU begin negotiations on full membership with all
associate members simultaneously, shortly after the EU intergovernmental
conference early next year.  -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENT-ELECT ON NEW APPOINTMENTS. Aleksander Kwasniewski has
nominated former Defense Deputy Minister Danuta Waniek, who is also
leader of the Parliamentary Women's Group, as the head of his
chancellory. Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy, after meeting with Kwasniewski
on 11 December, said that they would like to staff the ministries of
defense, foreign, and internal affairs with people from outside the
ruling coalition, Polish dailies reported on 12 December. -- Jakub
Karpinski

POLAND TO START NEGOTIATIONS WITH EU IN 1998. Gazeta Wyborcza on 12
December reported that negotiations on Poland's EU membership will not
start until 1998, six months after the Maastricht II conference. The
Polish cabinet has begun talks with the EU about changes that must be
made to become a member. Rzeczpospolita quotes Prime Minister Jozef
Oleksy as saying that the Polish energy sector and agriculture will
require a longer period to make necessary changes. But postponing the
liberalization of the Polish fuel market will slow down foreign
investment in this sector, representatives of international oil
companies maintain. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT REJECTS DELAY ON HUNGARIAN TREATY. By a vote of 62 to
18, the parliament on 11 December rejected a motion calling for the
ratification of the Slovak-Hungarian treaty to be postponed. The
proposal was made by Bartolomej Kunc of the Slovak National Party and
was supported by deputies from all three coalition parties. Proposals
were also rejected to include opposition deputies in OKO, the
parliamentary organ supervising the Slovak Information Service (SIS),
and to discuss SIS involvement in the abduction of President Michal
Kovac's son. In connection with the conflict of interests law, Movement
for a Democratic Slovakia deputy and Slovak Radio director Jan Tuzinsky
gave up his parliamentary seat and was replaced by Jozef Henker, Slovak
media reported. -- Sharon Fisher

EU OFFERS FUNDS TO SLOVAKIA. Slovak Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk and EU
Ambassador to Slovakia Georgios Zavvos on 11 December signed agreements
on EU financial assistance to Slovakia totaling at least 200 million ECU
over the next five years, Slovak media reported. The 1995 allocation,
totaling 42 million ECU, will be used for private sector development,
infrastructure, support of EU integration, development of human
resources, and the Tempus program. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY'S OPPOSITION IS AGAINST ENERGY PRIVATIZATION. The Smallholders'
caucus has turned to the Constitutional Court to protest the
privatization of the energy sector, which it calls a "crime against the
nation". It says it is concerned that the foreign buyers will save money
by modernizing the sector with 1950s technology and simply collect the
guaranteed 8% profit from the state, Vilaggazdasag reported. Like the
Smallholders, other groups fear that the privatization of these
strategic industries will not serve the long-term interest of the
Hungarian economy, since majority foreign ownership will have a negative
effect on the country's trade balance and GDP growth. Meanwhile, some
local governments in the northeastern part of the country, as well as
the Pest County authorities, have complained about the privatization of
the gas distribution company Tigaz, whose majority shares were sold to
Italy's Italgas. They claim that nobody asked them whether they wanted
to sell their holdings. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

NO AGREEMENT IN HUNGARIAN-SLOVAK TALKS ON LANGUAGE LAW. Slovak Foreign
Minister Juraj Schenk, following talks in Budapest with his Hungarian
counterpart Laszlo Kovacs, told a press conference in Bratislava on 11
December that since his country's language law neither threatens nor
affects human and minority rights, it cannot be an issue of bilateral
dispute, Hungarian media reported. Schenk had asked the Hungarian
government to moderate its critical attitude toward the language law,
because, he said, it may adversely affect the ratification of the basic
treaty. Kovacs stressed that the Hungarian government will appeal to
international institutions and pressure the Slovaks to implement
European norms in the pending law on minority languages. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN SERBS CARTING OFF FACTORIES FROM SARAJEVO TO SERBIA. The Pale
authorities on 12 December are to hold a referendum on the Dayton
agreement among the Serbs of Sarajevo under their control. U.S. and
other officials have called the treaty a done deal and refuse to
recognize the ballot. RFE/RL said on 11 December that some Bosnian Serbs
have already begun fleeing the suburbs slated to pass to government
rule. The broadcast added that the Pale authorities are allowing the
people to leave for Serbia but strictly controlling how much of their
property they can take along. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the
next day wrote that the Bosnian Serb authorities have begun carrying off
industrial units and other equipment to Serbia. The International Herald
Tribune reported on a multiethnic demonstration in government-held parts
of Sarajevo to urge the suburban Serbs to stay. -- Patrick Moore

GOLDSTONE REFUSES TO GRANT KARADZIC A REPRIEVE. AFP on 11 December
reported that Justice Richard Goldstone of the Hague-based International
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia immediately turned down a
Russian request to "suspend legal action" against the top indicted
Bosnian Serb war criminals. The Russians apparently wanted a reprieve
for Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic to enable at least
Karadzic to attend the Paris meeting on 14 December. The Pale
authorities called over the weekend for Karadzic to represent them in
Paris, but Karadzic's presence would be odd--to say the least--because
the treaty to be signed there bans war criminals from public office.
Meanwhile in Zadar, a Croatian military court sentenced 16 Krajina Serbs
to prison terms for war crimes. The only accused who was actually
present was given ten years. -- Patrick Moore

ARE THE CROATS HIDING SOMETHING IN MRKONJIC GRAD? Bosnian Croat forces
blocked the movement of five British armored personnel carriers in
central Bosnia on 10 December, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
reported two days later. They had previously pledged to allow the
British to pass. Croatian police also escorted journalists out of the
city, which was taken by Croatian forces in the wake of Operation Storm
but which goes back to the Serbs under the terms of the Dayton
agreement. The UN and others have charged the Croats with conducting a
"scorched earth" policy in the area. In this latest incident, reporters
counted four burning houses before they were forced to leave. -- Patrick
Moore

CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON DAYTON ACCORD. Mate Granic told a joint
session of the parliament on 11 December that with the signing of the
Dayton agreement, the biggest achievement for Croatia was the
affirmation of its territorial integrity, Novi List reported the next
day. Granic explained that if Croatia had refused to sign, sanctions
would have been imposed because of its military presence in Bosnia-
Herzegovina. He also revealed that Croatian troops had been within two
or three days of taking the Bosnian Serb stronghold of Banja Luka but
had held back because of international concern over a new flood of
refugees. In other news, Granic's first aide said that at the London
conference, the Croatian delegation had forced a debate on eastern
Slavonia, although the agenda did not include it. The delegates had
insisted that no solution for Bosnia could be found without a settlement
in eastern Slavonia, the BBC reported on 12 December. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

RUMP YUGOSLAVIA, BULGARIA TO RESUME TRADE RELATIONS. The Bulgarian daily
Duma on 12 December reported that a visit to Belgrade by a Bulgarian
trade delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister
Kiril Tsochev, will result in the restoration of "normal trade" between
the two Balkan states. During his visit, Tsochev signed a protocol with
Belgrade authorities on restoring trade and economic relations. Tsochev
and his team met with Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minister and Finance
Minister Jovan Zebic. Zebic greeted his guests by thanking Bulgaria for
its "objective approach" to relations with Belgrade during the wars
throughout the former Yugoslavia. -- Stan Markotich

KOSOVAR SHADOW STATE TO OPEN OFFICE IN WASHINGTON. The Kosovar shadow
state government announced it will open an information office in
Washington, Reuters reported on 11 December. The State Department
welcomed the decision but said it would not constitute a diplomatic
mission. The Kosovar shadow state so far has offices in Bonn, Brussels,
Geneva, London, and Tirana. Meanwhile the UN human rights committee
approved a resolution, to be voted on by the General Assembly next week,
condemning human rights violations in Kosovo. -- Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIAN COALITION MEMBER TO LEAVE ALLIANCE? Chairman of the Socialist
Labor Party (PSM) Ilie Verdet has said that the protocol signed in
January with the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) was "null
and void" because it "never functioned." Radio Bucharest and Libertatea
quote him as saying that the PSM "never participated in the government"
since it only backed the PDSR politically. He added that the PSM might
back a no-confidence motion in the government, regardless of what side
of the political spectrum the motion comes from. Since the alliance
between the PSDR and the Greater Romania Party (PRM) disintegrated, the
PSM has said several times that its alliance with the main coalition
partner has ceased to function. But Adrian Nastase, executive chairman
of the PSDR, said this did not stop the PSM from continuing to demand
positions for its members in local government. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIA, GERMANY TO COOPERATE IN COMBATING INTERNATIONAL CRIME. Romanian
Minister of Interior Doru Ioan Taracila and his German counterpart,
Manfred Kanther, have signed a cooperation agreement on combating
organized international crime, Romanian media reported on 9 December.
The document, initialized in Bonn during Taracila's visit to Germany,
provides for cooperation between the two police forces in capturing
Romanian criminals in Germany, who have been making the headlines in the
German press over the last few weeks (see OMRI Daily Digest, 7 December
1995). -- Matyas Szabo

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT TO RUN AGAIN. Mircea Snegur told an 8 December press
conference marking the fourth anniversary of his election that he will
run for another term if the Party of Revival and Conciliation of Moldova
asks him to, BASA-press and Infotag reported. But he added that it was
"premature" to announce his candidacy now. Snegur expressed
dissatisfaction with economic cooperation within the CIS, adding that
Moldova will never abide by CIS political-military agreements. On the
pace of reform, Snegur said that the country was "lagging behind the
opportunities offered by history." In an allusion to the government of
Andrei Sangheli, he said that unlike those who opt for "discrediting
opponents" instead of "giving an honest account of their performance,"
he had "nothing to hide." -- Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT DEBATES TRANSDNIESTER'S LEGAL STATUS. The Moldovan
parliament has discussed the draft on the legal status of the
Transdniester region, Infotag and BASA-press reported on 8 December. The
draft envisages guaranteeing divisions of political power between
Chisinau and Tiraspol as well as preserving the ethnic, cultural,
linguistic, and religious traditions of the Transdniester population.
Tiraspol, however, recently proposed that the Transdniester and Moldova
build their relations as two independent states, each with its own
constitution. It also envisages establishing collaboration "on a
contractual basis" between the two states' armed forces, interior
ministries, and banks and other financial establishments. -- Michael
Shafir

CHANGES IN BULGARIAN CABINET IMMINENT? Following a meeting of the
Executive Bureau of the governing Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the
major Bulgarian dailies on 12 December are speculating about possible
changes in the government lineup. According to those reports, Justice
Minister Mladen Chervenyakov and Interior Minister Lyubomir Nachev may
be replaced after the next plenary meeting of the BSP Supreme Council,
scheduled for January 1996. Standart reports that there is widespread
dissatisfaction within the party with the way the judicial system in
functioning. Kontinent and 24 chasa cite leading party officials as
saying that both Chervenyakov and Nachev are not doing enough to fight
growing crime. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIA SAYS MACEDONIA STIRS UP ANTI-BULGARIAN FEELINGS. Bulgarian
Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Hristov on 8 December accused the
Macedonian authorities of using the 3 October attempt on the life of
Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov as a pretext to stir up anti-
Bulgarian feelings in Macedonia. Reuters cited Hristov as saying that
"impermissible forms of pressure" were being exerted on "people who
consider themselves to be Bulgarian." He added that some people were
detained for days without charges being brought against them. Macedonian
police on 9 December continued their raids of Skopje suburbs in
connection with the assassination attempt, Vecher reported on 11
December. -- Stefan Krause

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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


   Greg Cole, Director
   Center for International Networking Initiatives
   The University of Tennessee System                Phone:  (423) 974-7277
   2000 Lake Avenue                                    FAX:  (423) 974-8022
   Knoxville, TN  37996                     Email:  gcole@solar.rtd.utk.edu
   

 
         

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