The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up. - Paul Vale´ry
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 7, Part II, 10 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BAZOOKA ATTACK ON SARAJEVO TRAM. International media on 10 January
reported that one person was killed and 19 civilians injured the
previous day when a 64 mm antitank rocket hit a tram on the main
thoroughfare, known as Snipers' Alley. Part of the projectile also hit a
U.S. vehicle nearby. IFOR returned fire on Serb-held Grbavica, and
French troops stormed a building there but the attackers had escaped.
Tanks and five 90 mm cannons aimed at Grbavica are now in place around
the Holiday Inn, near the site of the incident. Tram service has
meanwhile resumed. The Serbian general staff in Banja Luka said nobody
was injured when IFOR fired on the Serb-held suburb. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN-RUSSIAN OIL NEGOTIATIONS. Russian oil supplies to the Czech
Republic and Slovakia are still suspended pending negotiations between
Russia and Ukraine over transit fees through Ukraine, Interfax reported
on 9 January. Oil supplies were halted at the beginning of the year
after Ukraine announced it was increasing the price for pumping one ton
of oil through 100 kilometers of its territory by 10% to $5.20.
Ukraine's State Committee for Oil and Gas said that 39 Russian
enterprises and joint ventures have concluded agreements with Ukraine to
pump 7 million tons of oil through the Druzhba pipeline at the new rate.
But under an agreement on fuel and energy signed in October 1994,
transit tariffs can be changed only by agreement reached at government
level. Ukraine's State Committee for Oil and Gas has sent a letter to
its Russian counterpart expressing its willing to negotiate the issue.
-- Ustina Markus

CRIMEAN DELEGATION IN KIEV. A Crimean parliamentary delegation headed by
its speaker, Yevhen Suprunyuk, is in Kiev for talks with Ukraine's
legislature, ITAR-TASS reported on 10 January. Suprunyuk met with
Ukraine's parliamentary speaker, Oleksandr Moroz, to discuss articles in
the Crimean constitution that Kiev says contravene the Ukrainian
constitution. These include the issues of citizenship, state symbols,
and territorial signs. A Ukrainian parliamentary commission has been
examining the Crimean constitution since the end of last year. Moroz
told the Crimean delegation that if the problematic articles were
amended, Ukraine's parliament would confirm the constitution already
approved by the Crimean legislature. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIA'S POPULATION DECLINE IN 1995. The State Statistics Department on
9 January released preliminary figures showing that the population of
Estonia declined by some 17,000 in 1995 to 1.475 million, ETA reported.
The number of births dropped from 14,178 in 1994 to 13,700 in 1995 and
the number of deaths from 22,150 to 21,100. The percentage of ethnic
Estonians in the republic was 64.2%, with Russians accounting for 28.7%.
-- Saulius Girnius

UPDATE ON LITHUANIAN BANK PROBLEMS. Bank of Lithuania Chairman Kazys
Ratkevicius on 9 January told the Seimas that there was no general
banking crisis in Lithuania, but only difficulties in the Joint-Stock
Innovative (LAIB) and Litimpeks Banks, Radio Lithuania reported. He said
recent investigations by independent experts estimated Litimpeks' bad
debts at 87-142 million litai ($21.75-35.5 million) and LAIB's at 207-
420 million litai. President Algirdas Brazauskas has so far declined to
submit Ratkevicius's resignation to the Seimas for confirmation. This
suggests he agrees with the IMF that changes in personnel should be made
only after the current bank problems are resolved -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENT VISITS GERMANY. Aleksander Kwasniewski, accompanied by
Foreign Minister Dariusz Rosati, arrived in Germany on 9 January for his
first visit abroad as president. He met with Chancellor Helmut Kohl in
Bonn and President Roman Herzog in Berlin. Kwasniewski, who flies to
Paris on 10 January, stressed the importance of France and Germany in
Poland's aspirations for membership in NATO and the EU, Polish and
international media reported. -- Jakub Karpinski

SEJM ON DEPUTIES' DECLARATIONS OF ASSETS The Sejm's By-Laws and
Legislative Commissions have finished drafting the bill on the mandates
of deputies and senators. Declarations by deputies and senators of their
personal assets will remain a state secret, Rzeczpospolita reported on
10 January. Their spouses' assets are also to be mentioned in the
declaration, even if they are separate from their own. Deputies are to
submit declarations both at the beginning and at the end of their term
in office. Penalties will be enforced for false information. -- Dagmar
Mroziewicz

FOREIGN MINISTERS TAKE OVER CZECH-GERMAN NEGOTIATIONS. Czech Foreign
Minister Josef Zieleniec and his German counterpart, Klaus Kinkel, have
decided to take personal control of negotiations designed to remove
blocks in their countries' bilateral relations, Czech dailies reported
on 10 January. The negotiations, aimed at producing a joint declaration
to be adopted by the Czech and German parliaments, have been conducted
for almost one year at the level of deputy foreign minister and are
progressing slowly, if at all. The major issue is the consequences of
the expulsion of 3 million Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia at the
end of World War II. During a visit to Helsinki on 9 January, Zieleniec
said he hoped to meet Kinkel soon; he added that it was important to
finalize the proposed declaration or know the reasons why it could not
be concluded. Kinkel on 6 January said he hoped a "final reconciliation"
with the Czech Republic can be drawn up quickly. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAKS THINK OPPOSITION SHOULD HELP CONTROL SECRET SERVICE. An opinion
poll conducted by the FOCUS agency in December shows that 68.9% of
Slovaks believe the opposition should be represented in the
parliamentary Separate Control Organ (OKO), which oversees the Slovak
Information Service. Only 10.7% said the OKO's current composition is
correct, while 22.4% were undecided, Sme reported on 10 January. Even
supporters of the three ruling parties do not think the opposition
should be excluded from OKO; the majority is either opposed to its
exclusion or undecided. The same FOCUS poll showed that only 14.7% of
Slovaks trust the SIS, while 49.9% suspect that the agency took part in
the abduction of President Michal Kovac's son in August, Narodna obroda
reported on 8-9 January. Repeated attempts by the opposition to expand
OKO have been rejected by the parliamentary majority. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN POLICE TO SERVE IN BOSNIA. A senior Interior Ministry official
on 9 January said the government has accepted a UN Security Council
request to send a 50-member unarmed police contingent to Bosnia-
Herzegovina, Hungarian media reported. At present talks are under way to
clarify details, primarily on how the project will be financed. Foreign
Ministry spokesman Gabor Szentivanyi told reporters that the Hungarian
police team may leave for Bosnia in February or March, primarily to act
as advisers and provide security for escort teams. He also confirmed
that Russia has officially applied for and received permission to use
Hungarian air space to fly its IFOR contingent to Bosnia. --  Zsofia
Szilagyi

PLAN TO COMBAT BLACK MARKET EMPLOYMENT IN HUNGARY. The Interest
Coordination Council, which is composed of government, trade union, and
employer representatives, have drawn up a plan to create a central
registry on labor data to combat black market employment, Magyar Hirlap
reported on 10 January. Unions and employers agreed on the need for
increased controls on employees and proposed that related legislation be
passed later this year. Employers will soon have to keep a so-called
employment diary on their employees. Fines of up to 50,000 forints can
be imposed on companies that fail to provide the required documents. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ARE SERBS TESTING IFOR? The Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes, reporting on
the 9 January tram attack in Sarajevo, suggested that the Serbs are
testing the limits of IFOR's patience. The Bosnian Serb command denied
that their side was responsible, and Tanjug claimed that the Bosnian
government forces have shelled Serbian positions elsewhere in the
republic. Hina quoted Bosnian Vice President Ejup Ganic as warning IFOR
that it stands to find itself in the same hapless role as UNPROFOR if it
does not make a quick and strong response to Serbian provocations. He
stressed that the indicted war criminals Radovan Karadzic and General
Ratko Mladic were personally responsible for the attack and that they
are trying to rekindle the fighting in order to scuttle the Dayton peace
agreement. Reuters reported that average Sarajevans were scorning NATO
and saying it is no better than UNPROFOR. -- Patrick Moore

SERBS KEEP UP CAMPAIGN OVER SARAJEVO. Bosnian Serb leaders are
continuing their efforts to force a change in the Dayton agreement,
which specifies an early return of Serb-held parts of Sarajevo to
government control. Nasa Borba on 10 January reported that Karadzic held
a meeting with Sarajevo Serbian intellectuals who said that they wanted
to remain in the town but under Serbian authority. Pale's parliamentary
speaker Momcilo Krajisnik wrote to the international community's Carl
Bildt to ask for a postponement of the transfer until 15 September. He
claimed that his government had so far prevented Serbs from starting "a
mass exodus or burning [their] houses." Rumors have been rife for some
time that the Serbs plan to torch their suburbs rather than hand them
over intact. Reuters reported that the Serbs are preparing to transfer
Odzak in northern Bosnia to the government but have stripped it bare and
are leaving "a ghost town." -- Patrick Moore

FIREFIGHTS IN MOSTAR. The situation remains tense in Mostar as well as
in Sarajevo. Reuters reported on 10 January that the Croats the previous
night fired two rifle-propelled grenades into a Muslim army camp, ending
a three-day lull in the fighting. Mutual shelling followed that
incident. The situation was quiet but tense on 10 January, and EU
officials were pleased that the Croats called off a demonstration slated
for that day. The U.S. is particularly worried that the situation in
Mostar could thwart its efforts to shore up the Croatian-Muslim state.
Slobodna Dalmacija and Vecernji list in recent days have suggested that
the Muslims are making life difficult for the Croats in central Bosnia
and preventing refugees from returning. Die Welt reported that the
military, crime, and smuggling are heavily intertwined on both sides of
the divide in Mostar. -- Patrick Moore

NATO TO AID UN IN CROATIA. NATO will aid the UN force expected to be
deployed in eastern Slavonia, The New York Times reported on 10 January.
The relationship will resemble the much-criticized one between NATO and
the UN in Bosnia before IFOR took over the mandate there. The U.S. had
long resisted any role for NATO in Croatia. A former US diplomat,
Jacques Klein, who is also a major general in the U.S. Air Force
reserve, will head the UN mission in Croatia. The 5,000-strong force
reflects a compromise between UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros
Ghali, who wanted 9,000 troops, and the U.S., which was in favor of a
much smaller contingent. -- Michael Mihalka

UPDATE ON IFOR DEPLOYMENT. Almost 60% of IFOR has arrived in the former
Yugoslavia, international agencies reported on 9 January. Of the
expected total of 60,000, about 31,000 troops are in place in Bosnia and
another 4,000 are in Croatia and Hungary providing logistic support.
About 5,000 of the expected 20,000 U.S. troops have arrived. Abut 11,000
of the planned 13,000 British troops and 7,500 of the 10,000 French
troops are in position, although many of the these were previously
assigned to the UN force. IFOR is tasked to begin patrolling the line
separating the Bosnian Serbs and the Muslim-Croatian federation by 19
January. -- Michael Mihalka

SERBIAN CHURCH LEADER WRITES TO U.S. PRESIDENT. Nasa Borba on 10 January
reported that Patriarch Pavle has written to Bill Clinton to express
dissatisfaction over the "redrawing" of the map of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
According to Pavle, a large number of monasteries and territories
belonging to the Serbs of Herzegovina are to fall under the jurisdiction
of the Muslim-Croatian Confederation. "It is entirely unacceptable that
after Dayton, in a secretive manner and to the detriment of the Serbs,
the Dayton map is changing so as to take away from the Serbian people a
significant portion of territory in Herzegovina," he commented. -- Stan
Markotich

BBC LAUNCHES MACEDONIAN SERVICE. The BBC World Service on 9 January
launched a news service in Macedonian under the direction of Southeast
European specialist Stephen Ashley, Reuters reported the same day. News
bulletins, features, and English lessons will be broadcast on state-run
Macedonian Radio and on local radio stations. BBC World Service Managing
Director Sam Younger said the service has around 2 million potential
listeners in Macedonia and neighboring districts in Albania, Bulgaria,
Greece, and Serbia. -- Stefan Krause

HEAD OF ROMANIAN SECRET SERVICE ADDRESSES PARLIAMENTARY PANEL. The joint
parliamentary commission supervising the activity of the Romanian
Intelligence Service (SRI) on 9 January began hearings on the recent
publication of the Securitate file of SRI head Virgil Magureanu,
Romanian media reported. Corneliu Vadim Tudor, leader of the extremist
Greater Romania Party, reiterated earlier accusations against the SRI
chief and asked the parliament to dismiss, or at least temporarily
suspend, Magureanu for alleged serious failings. A former SRI deputy
director, Gen. Victor Marcu, told the commission that Magureanu's
publication of the file infringed legislation stipulating that personal
files of the former communist secret police are to remain classified for
40 years. Magureanu described his action as a defensive step aimed at
preempting Tudor, who was planning to publish the same file in his
weekly Romania mare. -- Dan Ionescu

YELTSIN APPOINTS NEW SPECIAL ENVOY TO MOLDOVA. Russian President Boris
Yeltsin has appointed Yurii Karlov as his new special envoy to the
negotiations on settling the Dniester conflict, BASA-press and Infotag
reported on 9 January. The 59-year-old Karlov is a career diplomat who
worked at the Soviet embassy in Bucharest and in the Soviet Foreign
Ministry. In a recent interview, Karlov pleaded for "maintaining
Moldova's territorial integrity while granting the Dniester region as
broad authority as possible." Together with the head of the OSCE Mission
in Moldova and an Ukrainian special envoy, Karlov will act as a mediator
in the talks between the authorities in Chisinau and Tiraspol. Those
talks are currently frozen following an unsuccessful Moldovan-Dniester
summit in September. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT DEBATES NO CONFIDENCE MOTION. The Bulgarian
National Assembly on 9 January discussed a no confidence motion in the
government of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov, Bulgarian newspapers reported
the following day. The motion was submitted by the Union of Democratic
Forces (SDS) because of the ongoing grain crisis, for which it holds the
cabinet as a whole responsible. Opposition deputies said the government
was "hostage to economic groups" and accused it of irresponsible
policies. They argue that the shortage was caused by excessive grain
exports. Some Socialist deputies argued that the grain crisis can be
solved but concrete measures have to be taken, including possible
personnel changes. Trud reported that 18 Socialist deputies have
demanded the government's resignation. The parliament is to vote on the
motion on 10 January. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN DEPUTY PREMIER DENIES RESIGNATION REPORTS. Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister of Trade Kiril Tsochev on 9 January denied reports
that he had handed in his resignation to Prime Minister Zhan Videnov,
Bulgarian media reported. Government Parliamentary Secretary Plamen
Valkanov said neither the government nor the BSP caucus is in possession
of any documents confirming the rumors. -- Stefan Krause

ANOTHER FIVE ALBANIAN COMMUNIST OFFICIALS TO BE ARRESTED. Tirana's
Municipal court has ordered the arrest of another five former communist
officials, bringing the number of those to be arrested for alleged
crimes against humanity to 21. The Forum of Albanian Intellectuals has
accused a total of 36 people of violating communist-era law. Among those
whose arrests were most recently ordered are former communist party
Central Committee member Sulejman Bushati and former Deputy Interior
Minister Zylyftar Ramizi, ATSH reported on 9 January. -- Fabian Schmidt

GREEK PARLIAMENT DEBATES NO CONFIDENCE MOTION. The Greek parliament on 8
and 9 January debated a no confidence motion filed by the conservative
New Democracy (ND) party, Greek and Western media reported. ND Chairman
Miltiadis Evert called the motion an "initiative of institutional
responsibility" with the goal of giving "the nation once again...a
government." Interior Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos accused Evert of
seeking "petty party benefits" instead of helping solve Greece's
problems. The small nationalist Political Spring party support the ND,
while the Communists say they "refuse to be an accomplice" to the
motion. The parliament is expected to vote on the motion on 10 January.
-- Stefan Krause

TURKISH ISLAMIST LEADER MANDATED TO FORM GOVERNMENT. President Suleyman
Demirel on 9 January mandated Islamist Welfare Party Chairman Necmettin
Erbakan to form a new government, Reuters reported the same day.
Following the December 1995 elections, his party's caucus is the largest
in the parliament, with 158 seats out of 550. Erbakan says there is a
"100% chance" that his party be included in a coalition, but the four
secular parties represented in the parliament have ruled out such a
possibility. Erbakan is Turkey's first Islamist prime minister-
designate. -- Stefan Krause

[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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