We are so bound together that no man can labor for himself alone. Each blow he strikes in his own behalf helps to mold the universe. - K. Jerome
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 5, Part II, 8 January 1996


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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
KOSCHNICK SAYS MOSTAR WILL NOT BE ANOTHER DIVIDED BERLIN. EU
administrator of Mostar Hans Koschnick has rejected a demand by the
Croatian mayor to divide the town, following a series of incidents
between Croats and Muslims, Nasa Borba reported on 8 January. Tensions
grew with the killing of a Muslim teenager on New Year's Day by Croatian
police and continued through the fatal shooting from Muslim lines of a
Croatian policeman on 6 January. Meanwhile, sniper fire and rocket-
propelled grenades were exchanged over the city's division line.
Koschnick told Reuters on 7 January that the division of Mostar would
mean the failure of the Muslim-Croat federation in Bosnia, and he again
threatened both communities that he would leave unless they showed
greater readiness to cooperate. Meanwhile, the Muslim mayor of Mostar
asked NATO for help amid the current tensions, Reuters said. -- Daria
Sito Sucic and Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINE TO SUBMIT DRAFT AGREEMENT ON BORDERS. Interfax and Radio Mayak
on 6 January reported that Ukraine plans to submit a draft agreement on
its borders at the 12 January meeting of CIS foreign ministers. Deputy
Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko said Ukraine finds it
"inadmissible" to divide its borders into "internal" and "external"
ones. He rejected arguments that this stance would impede integration
within the CIS. Russia and the Council of Commanders of CIS Border
Guards reportedly oppose Ukraine's position, but Hryshchenko said a
number of other CIS states support it. -- Ustina Markus

BANKING PROBLEMS IN BELARUS. Belarusian Radio on 5 January reported that
the Prosecutor-General's Office will begin criminal proceedings against
executives at the Belarusian Savings Bank following an investigation
that found widespread irregularities in their financial dealings. The
Ministry of Finance reportedly loaned the Savings Bank $25 million to be
used to index people's savings to inflation. Instead, the money was
deposited in bank accounts abroad and used to offer credit to commercial
establishments. Meanwhile, Interfax and Radio Mayak on 6 January
reported that President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has ordered an
investigation into gold coins minted in the U.S. for the Savings Bank.
The coins were found to be faulty; and the National Bank of Belarus has
refused to recognize the coins as legal tender. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIA TO PURCHASE RADARS FROM FRANCE. The Estonian government on 4
January announced it will take out a 108 million kroon ($9.4 million)
loan to buy early-warning radar systems from Thomson CSF of France, ETA
reported the next day. The radars will be located on the Russian border
and will be capable of tracking ground, airborne, and sea targets. Most
of the loan will come from the French Banque Paribas, with the remainder
being supplied by the Japanese financial corporation Marubein. --
Saulius Girnius

EBRD TO INVEST IN LATVIA'S UNIBANKA. Latvian Privatization Agency
Director-General Janis Naglis has said the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development on 5 January agreed to invest 4.5 million
lati ($8.1 million) in Unibanka in late March or early April, BNS
reported. The investment will raise the bank's capital to 16 million
lati. Sweden's Swedfund and Estonia's Tallinna Pank are also likely to
purchase shares in Unibanka. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN FOREIGN, DEFENSE MINISTERS RESIGN. Foreign Minister Povilas
Gylys and Defense Minister Linas Linkevicius on 5 January handed in
letters of resignation to President Algirdas Brazauskas saying they
could not continue to work in the administration of Prime Minister
Adolfas Slezevicius, Radio Lithuania reported. They were evidently
displeased with Slezevicius's decision to remain in office even after he
had admitted to removing his savings from the Lithuanian Joint-Stock
Innovative Bank two days before its activities were suspended.
Linkevicius said he would remain in the Democratic Labor Party (of which
Slezevicius is chairman) because there were "many people in the party
who were genuinely decent." Brazauskas said he would announce shortly
whether he would accept the resignations. -- Saulius Girnius

NEW POLISH DEFENSE MINISTER APPOINTED. Stanislaw Dobrzanski, a 46-year-
old historian from the Polish Peasant Party, on 5 January was appointed
defense minister, Polish dailies reported. Dobrzanski was a member of
the former communist-allied Peasant Youth Association. More recently, he
was secretary of the Defense Committee in Jozef Oleksy's government.
Following his appointment, Dobrzanski said "the key to NATO lies in
Poland" but added that Poland's legal system "needs to be adjusted,
beginning with the constitution." He also stressed the need to adjust
defense legislation to ensure full civilian control over the military, a
condition for NATO membership. -- Jakub Karpinski

UPDATE ON OLEKSY AFFAIR. Sejm Speaker Jozef Zych on 5 January appealed
to politicians and the media to stop "passing judgment" on Prime
Minister Jozef Oleksy's alleged spy activities. Zych met the same day
with Internal Affairs Minister Jerzy Konieczny, chief military
prosecutor Gen. Ryszard Michalowski, head of the Sejm commission
investigating the Oleksy affair Lucyna Pietrzyk, and head of the Sejm
Administration and Internal Affairs Commission Zbigniew Bujak. -- Jakub
Karpinski

CZECH PREMIER ON GULF TOUR. Vaclav Klaus began a tour of Gulf states on
6 January to promote Czech trade in the area and seek investment, Czech
and international media reported. In Abu Dhabi, Klaus met with the
deputy prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheik Sultan ibn
Zayed al-Nahayan. Klaus said the Czech Republic could take advantage of
the UAE's position as a re-export center to further contacts with
countries such as Pakistan and India, Pravo reported on 8 January. He
also discussed with Sheikh Sultan the possibility of the Czech Republic
buying oil from the UAE and told local businessmen it was time to invest
in the Czech Republic. Trade between the two countries amounted to only
$15.5 million in the first 10 months of 1995. Klaus is also scheduled to
visit Dubai and Kuwait. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK COALITION PARTY REVEALS PRIORITIES FOR 1996. Slovak National
Party (SNS) deputy Vitazoslav Moric told a press conference on 5 January
that the party will continue to block Slovakia's entry into NATO, TASR
and Slovak Radio reported. Responding to recent statements by
representatives of the ethnic Hungarian Coexistence movement on
establishing territorial autonomy in Slovakia, Moric said he would not
be opposed "if that territory included Jager, Miskovec, half of
Budapest, and Balaton [all located in Hungary], as Slovak territories."
SNS deputy chairperson Anna Malikova, noting that the SNS wants to
intensify contacts with parties abroad with a similar orientation, said
a meeting will be prepared between SNS chairman Jan Slota and Austrian
Freedom Party chairman Jorg Haider. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY CONCERNED ABOUT PROTECTION OF BOSNIAN TECHNICAL CONTINGENT.
Following a five-hour debate, the parliament's Defense Committee on 7
January approved reports by Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti and Foreign
Minister Laszlo Kovacs on preparations for the 400-strong Hungarian
technical contingent's deployment and on IFOR's guarantees for the
contingent's protection, Hungarian media reported. Some opposition
deputies claimed that Keleti misled the parliament when he said NATO
guarantees were accomplished facts; they pointed out that he had no
written agreement to that effect. Kovacs said the British Embassy last
week confirmed on behalf of its government that British armed forces
will provide protection for the Hungarian contingent in the British
zone. He added that the Hungarian unit will undertake its mission in
Bosnia only if IFOR signs an agreement guaranteeing its protection. The
opposition want a special parliamentary session to be convened to debate
the issue further. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

LEFTISTS DEMAND DISMISSAL OF HUNGARIAN FINANCE MINISTER. The leftist
caucus of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) on 6 January demanded
that Finance Minister Lajos Bokros and MSZP Vice President Laszlo Mate
be dismissed from both the party and the government, Hungarian media
reported. Some leftists argued that unless significant personnel changes
are made at the MSZP's March congress, the party will lose the 1998
general elections. Csaba Hamori, a former secretary-general of the
Communist Youth League, was elected to the leadership of the caucus.
Divisions within the senior coalition party have been growing since the
announcement of radical austerity measures last March. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

IFOR UNDER CONSTANT ATTACK IN BOSNIA. Reuters on 8 January reported that
NATO officials have become increasingly worried about the security of
their troops after a series of firing incidents. An Italian soldier was
shot near Sarajevo last week. British troops on 5 January were attacked
by Bosnian Serbs near Sanski Most. A French plane on 7 January was hit
by bullets near Sarajevo airport; and British troops were attacked again
in central Bosnia next day. An IFOR spokesman in Sarajevo said the
attacks did not cause serious damage or injury and that fire had been
returned in most cases, Hina reported on 7 January. In another
development, Lt.-Gen. Michael Walker, who is in charge of IFOR land
forces, warned that NATO troops in Bosnia lack the manpower to ensure
the free movement of civilians across ethnic front lines, Reuters said.
He was responding to charges by the Bosnian government that NATO has not
fulfilled its duty to ensure the safe passage of civilians under the
Dayton peace accord. -- Daria Sito Sucic

BOSNIAN SERBS LAUNCH PUBLICITY CAMPAIGN. Bosnian Serb Vice President
Nikola Koljevic appeared on Greek TV on 7 January to launch a new
publicity drive, the BBC reported. It appears to be part of the campaign
to promote Serbian interests by political means, which Bosnian Serb
leader Radovan Karadzic first announced after the Dayton agreement was
signed. The latest installment involves a fundraising effort to
transport 15,000 Serbian schoolchildren from the Sarajevo suburbs to
stay with relatives in Bosnian Serb territory, in Serbia, or in Greece.
Koljevic said the Bosnian Serb authorities wanted the children to spend
the rest of the school year away from Sarajevo because of the current
"period of uncertainty." Meanwhile in Kragujevac, Bosnian Serb Prime
Minister, Rajko Kasagic, told a radio audience that he is "determined"
to apply the Dayton accords. He suggested that the treaty was necessary
in order to free Serbia from the sanctions. -- Patrick Moore

WILL INTERNATIONAL POLICE DEAL WITH ISLAMIC FIGHTERS? The slowness in
setting up the international police force for Bosnia is having
repercussions in Podbrijezje, near Zenica, AFP noted on 5 January. The
area witnessed sharp fighting during the Croatian-Muslim war of 1993,
and now Turkish peacekeepers keep a sometimes difficult truce. One
problem is the presence of the Islamic fighters, who must leave under
the terms of the Dayton agreement. In departing the Croatian village,
they are now carting off everything they can. Local Croats fear that
many will come back, since they are not foreigners who are obliged to
leave but rather Bosnian young men who became Islamic warriors in the
course of the conflict. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN FACTIONS AGREE ON SETTING UP MILITARY LIAISONS. The parties to
the OSCE-sponsored talks on confidence-building measures in Vienna
agreed on 5 January to set up military liaisons at each other's military
headquarters within 10 days, international agencies reported. The
Muslim-Croatian federation and the Bosnian Serbs also provided
preliminary military data on the number and location of certain weapons
and factory sites but failed to agree on the type of weapons and
military units that would be subject to inspection. Meanwhile, at the
talks on arms control in Vienna, the parties agreed to provide complete
data on their armed forces and weapons when they reconvene on 16
January. -- Michael Mihalka

GERMAN INTERIOR MINISTERS DECIDE TO RETURN BOSNIAN REFUGEES. The
Conference of German Interior Ministers on 6 January decided to return
refugees from Bosnia by mid-1996, AFP reported the following day. German
Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel is expected to discuss the issue in talks
with Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, Prime Minister Haris
Silajdzic, and Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey in Sarajevo on 8
January. Some 320,000 refugees would be affected by the decision, which
has been strongly protested by the German opposition and refugee
organizations. -- Fabian Schmidt

SERBIA'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUPPORTS SARAJEVO'S SERBIAN COMMUNITY.
Serbia's nationalist opposition Democratic Party on 7 January issued an
appeal to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and federal rump Yugoslav
authorities to press diplomatically for demands made by the Serbian
community in Sarajevo's suburbs, BETA reported. The appeal said that if
the president and federal authorities do not [help] create the
conditions for the Serbs of Sarajevo to safeguard their local autonomy
and safety, more than 100,000 people will flee Sarajevo. Last week, BETA
reported that the DS plans to establish a branch in the Republic of
Srpska. A convention is slated for the end of January, when a party
leadership and platform are to be approved. -- Stan Markotich

KOSOVAR CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS REJECT AUTONOMY COMPROMISE. Mark Krasniqi,
head of the Kosovar Christian Democratic Party, has rejected the idea of
autonomy for Kosovo, Nasa Borba reported on 8 January. Krasniqi pointed
out that "the Albanian people will not accept autonomy since they called
for an independent and neutral Kosovo" in the recent referendum.
Krasniqi also demanded that Kosovo be demilitarized and made a UN
protectorate. The Christian Democrats received 3.1% of the vote in 1992
illegal shadow-state parliamentary elections and seven mandates in the
125-seat parliament. Albanian President Sali Berisha recently called for
a compromise solution to the issue of Kosovar independence. -- Fabian
Schmidt

MACEDONIAN PRESIDENT MAKES FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE SINCE ATTACK. Kiro
Gligorov on 7 January made his first public appearance since the attempt
on his life on 3 October 1995, Nova Makedonija reported the next day. He
attended an Orthodox Christmas mass in Skopje. In an interview with Nova
Makedonija on 22 December 1995, Gligorov announced he would resume his
duties at the beginning of 1996. -- Stefan Krause

PROTESTS OVER MISTREATMENT OF MOLDOVAN JOURNALISTS. International
journalists' organizations, including the Paris-based Reporteres sans
Frontieres and the Committee for Freedom of the Press, have protested
the alleged mistreatment of two Moldovan journalists by local policemen,
BASA-press reported on 4 and 6 January. The two reporters, a married
couple, were tortured for two hours by four men wearing police uniforms
and were told they would be killed if they continued to write about
police officers involved in a racketeering ring. The couple works for
Mesagerul, a publication of the opposition Party of Democratic Forces in
Moldova. Moldovan Interior Minister Constantin Antoci launched an
inquiry into the incident, which reportedly took place at the end of
December. -- Dan Ionescu

MOLDOVAN, RUSSIAN EXPERTS DISCUSS WITHDRAWAL SCHEDULE. Russian and
Moldovan military experts have met in Chisinau to discuss the
implementation of the 1994 withdrawal treaty, ITAR-TASS reported on 6
January. Lt. Gen. Valerii Yevnevich, commander of the Russian troops
stationed in the Transdniestr region, said the Russian and Moldovan
delegations agreed that some military equipment would begin to be
withdrawn in late January. He added that the question of the full
withdrawal of Russian troops could be resolved only by the Russian
government. -- Constantine Dmitriev

NEW WAVE OF MASS PRIVATIZATION STARTS IN BULGARIA. The latest Bulgarian
mass privatization program is scheduled to get under way on 8 January,
AFP reported. Vouchers for the sale of shares in 1,063 companies with a
total official value of 80.47 billion leva ($1.12 billion) will be sold
at post offices throughout the country. Bulgaria's 6.7 million adult
citizens can each buy vouchers totaling 25,000 leva ($348) for a
registration fee of 500 leva ($7). The vouchers can be used at auctions
starting in June 1996. Bulgarians living abroad cannot participate, but
foreigners can take part through investment funds provided they are
registered as a financial institution and have engaged in similar
activities at home for at least five years. Another wave of mass
privatization has been announced for 1997. -- Stefan Krause

SEVEN DIE AS BRIDGE COLLAPSES IN BULGARIA. The collapse of a pedestrian
bridge in the southeastern Bulgarian town of Elhovo on 6 January claimed
at least seven lives, Reuters reported. Around 80 people--mostly women
and children--were watching the traditional Saint Jordan celebrations
from the bridge when it gave way, hurling them into a river. Two persons
were still missing when the search for survivors was called off late on
7 January; nine people were receiving hospital treatment. President
Zhelyu Zhelev, parliamentary chairman Blagovest Sendov, and Interior
Minister Lyubomir Nachev visited Elhovo the same day the accident
occurred. Nachev said Sofia had asked Turkey to help in the search for
survivors. -- Stefan Krause

U.S. SPECIALISTS COMPLETE ALBANIAN RADAR STATION. U.S. army specialists
have completed the construction of a radar station in Dobrinje, in the
northern Albanian district of Tropoja, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 6
January. The Albanian army will be given control over the station, which
can monitor air traffic over most of Europe. Meanwhile, Tirana airport
is concerned about safety because of the large number of daily flights
and the poor state of the runway. A Transportation Ministry official
noted that the German company Siemens won the contract to reconstruct
the airport in 1993 but the Berliner Bank has not yet approved a loan
because it is waiting for further guarantees from the Albanian company
Albtransport or the Albanian government, Koha Jone reported the same
day. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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            Copyright (C) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                             All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570
 
         

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