Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important, in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not. - Nathaniel Hawthorne
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 12, Part II, 17 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BOSNIAN PRISONERS BEING HELD IN SERBIA? The Guardian reported on 17
January that some 800 Bosnians from Srebrenica and Zepa are being held
at two secret camps in Serbia, AFP said. Some men who had been freed
said that they were treated "like animals" and the Red Cross reported
"some abnormalities" in conditions. The Red Cross is in Belgrade trying
to negotiate the remaining prisoners' release. Meanwhile, the overall
prisoner exchange within Bosnia has been frozen over Bosnian demands for
information on missing persons (see OMRI Daily Digest, 16 January 1996).
The Serb delegation chief told TV Pale, moreover, that things could drag
on "for another month" over the fate of 200 Serbs he claimed are being
held in Croatia. Croatian Television the previous night had mentioned
that the Bosnian Croats had released nine prisoners in a unilateral
goodwill gesture. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT DEBATES BUDGET. Ukraine's parliament debated this
year's budget at its session on 17 January, ITAR-TASS reported. The
budget envisages a 6% deficit. Deputies proposed placing tight
restrictions on the government's authority over the budget, and putting
a moratorium on its activities related to changing revenues and
expenditures in parts of the budget. -- Ustina Markus

TWO LATVIAN PARTIES OPPOSE ALTERNATIVE CITIZENSHIP LAW. Latvia's Way and
the Green Party issued statements on 15 January urging voters not to
support the alternative citizenship law proposed by the For the
Fatherland and Freedom union, LETA reported the following day. The
statement of Latvia's Way noted that only 1,199 persons had received
citizenship under the current law and that there was thus no danger that
mass naturalization will threaten the continuity of the Latvian nation
and existence of Latvia as a state. The restrictive nature of the
alternative law would encourage the political isolation of Latvia,
threatening its integration into European structures, hindering foreign
investments, and raising internal tensions. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN AMBASSADOR IN LONDON DISMISSED FOR CRITICIZING PREMIER.
President Algirdas Brazauskas signed a decree on 16 January removing
Ambassador to the United Kingdom Raimundas Rajeckas from his post as of
10 February, BNS reported. Rajeckas, who had headed Brazauskas's
presidential campaign and served as his senior advisor in 1993,
criticized Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius in a newspaper interview
earlier this month. He said the decision by Slezevicius to remain in
office even though he had withdrawn his personal savings from a
commercial bank two days before its activities were suspended showed
that he "lacked decency, honor, and a conscience." Rajeckas had said
that if he were recalled for these remarks he would return to Lithuania
and participate actively in the election campaign, although not for the
ruling Democratic Labor Party. -- Saulius Girnius

NAZARBAYEV IN BELARUS. The President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan
Nazarbayev, arrived in Minsk on 17 January for an official visit, ITAR-
TASS reported. During the visit Nazarbayev is expected to sign an
agreement on friendship and cooperation with his Belarusian counterpart
Alyaksandr Lukashenka. In addition, agreements will be signed on the
rights of Kazakhs living in Belarus and Belarusians living in
Kazakhstan, and on cultural and educational cooperation. Most talks are
expected to focus on economic issues. Kazakhstan is Belarus's third
largest trading partner within the CIS, after Russia and Ukraine. --
Ustina Markus

POLISH PRIME MINISTER MAY RESIGN. For the first time since allegations
were made that he had contacts with KGB operatives in Poland, Jozef
Oleksy said on 16 January that he may consider resigning if the
prosecutors' proceedings and the conclusions of the extraordinary Sejm
commission prove to be disadvantageous for him. Polish dailies on 17
January extensively quote an article in the Poznan weekly Wprost that
describes the Oleksy affair as the "tip of the iceberg" and reports that
there were more registered KGB informers among Oleksy's party, the
Social Democracy of Poland, which is the core element of the ruling
Democratic Left Alliance.Wprost quotes the codenames of three such
informers, including Oleksy; the other two were not identified.
President Aleksander Kwasniewski said on 16 January that "the topic of
Oleksy's resignation does not exist today." -- Jakub Karpinski

POSSIBILITY OF POLISH GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLE. Gazeta Wyborcza reports on
17 January that a government reshuffle is possible as an outcome of the
spy allegations against Oleksy. The Polish Peasant Party (PSL), a junior
coalition partner, would obtain the Prime Minister's post if Oleksy
resigned, the daily said. PSL leader Waldemar Pawlak was Oleksy's
predecessor. The decisions of the Sejm commission investigating the
affair are expected on 31 January. The prosecutors' office was to rule
concerning a formal accusation by 20 January, but an extension of this
term is possible. Any government changes may therefore be delayed. --
Jakub Karpinski

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER CRITICIZES GERMANY. Josef Zieleniec on 16 January
accused Germany of raising new demands that complicate the completion of
a declaration on bilateral relations, Czech media reported. Zieleniec
told a news conference that his German counterpart Klaus Kinkel insisted
that the Czech side formally distance itself from the "injustice" of the
expulsion of Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia after World War II. The
two foreign ministers met in Bonn on 12 January and failed to make a
breakthrough in the stalled negotiations (see OMRI Daily Digest, 15
January 1996). "This way of escalating demands in meetings cannot lead
to the [desired] goal," Zieleniec said, adding that he was nonetheless
convinced agreement on the declaration can still be reached. "The ball
is now in the German court," he said. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK PRIME MINISTER ACCEPTS NATIONALISTS' DEMANDS. Vladimir Meciar on
16 January announced that the conditions set by the Slovak National
Party (SNS) concerning the ratification of the Slovak-Hungarian treaty
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 16 January) have been accepted. "The coalition
problem is resolved," he said. According to Meciar, the SNS's demands
will be addressed at one of the cabinet's upcoming sessions, Narodna
obroda reported. In other news, government spokeswoman Ludmila Bulakova
on 16 January said that Meciar will not meet with German Chancellor
Helmut Kohl during a trip to Bonn this weekend to attend a Bertelsmann
Foundation conference. Bulakova said Meciar will deliver two speeches at
the conference and has no time left to meet with Kohl, TASR reported.
Meciar is interested in making an official visit to Germany, rather than
having "just a short appointment" during a conference, she stressed. --
Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK FOUNDATIONS LAUNCH ATTACK ON CABINET BILL. Slovakia's Third
Sector Association on 15 January officially began its campaign against a
government bill on foundations, Narodna obroda reported on 17 January.
The association is particularly opposed to regulations which would
require the consent of the relevant ministry for a foundation to
register with the Interior Ministry and which would require a
foundation's start-up capital to be proportional to its aims. The
cabinet's bill, which was initiated by Justice Minister Jozef Liscak,
was prepared by the justice and finance ministries and the cabinet
office. -- Sharon Fisher

FORMER HUNGARIAN PREMIER LEAVES NOTES BEHIND. The late Communist Party
chief and Prime Minister Karoly Grosz left behind hundreds of pages of
documents on the change of regime and politicians instrumental in
bringing it about, Nepszabadsag reported on 16 January. Grosz, who died
last week, was apparently prompted by the British government to sum up
his views in writing about the transformation. He reportedly also wrote
about his last conversations with Communist Party head Janos Kadar. In a
related development, Nepszava published an interview with Grosz on 11
January -- conducted in 1991 on condition that it be published only
after his death -- in which he harshly criticizes some of Hungary's
former or current politicians, including Prime Minister Gyula Horn and
former Premier Miklos Nemeth. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

PALE CHANGES TACTICS ON SARAJEVO. A top-level meeting of the Bosnian
Serb leadership held on 15 and 16 January has decided to try a new
approach to force a change in the Dayton agreement's provision that
certain Serb suburbs will pass to government control. Instead of talking
of a "possible" mass exodus and torchings, Radovan Karadzic and
parliament speaker Momcilo Krajisnik told SRNA that they would would
work with the international community's civilian affairs chief Carl
Bildt. They want him or international arbitrators to agree to maintain
the status quo until elections are held between mid-June and mid-
September. In the meantime, they will tell their people to stay put. --
Patrick Moore

WHAT ARE THE SERB GOALS IN SARAJEVO? AFP reported on 16 January that
Pale has apparently decided that an exodus would deprive it of any say
in the future running of Sarajevo. Earlier reports had suggested that
Pale wanted to send the Sarajevo Serbs to Brcko to firm up Serbian
claims to the disputed strategic corridor there. The Sarajevo Dnevni
Avaz noted on 17 January that anti-nationalist Serbs are seeking IFOR's
help to prevent an exodus. They also aim to reassure the population
through an amnesty for ordinary Bosnian Serb soldiers. -- Patrick Moore

FRENCH TROOPS TAKE SARAJEVO UTILITIES "INTO PROTECTIVE CUSTODY." This is
how NATO commander Admiral Leighton Smith described IFOR's latest action
in Serb-held suburbs, the VOA's Croatian Service reported on 17 January.
Oslobodjenje added that water, power and gas are affected, and that the
operation involved 150 French soldiers with 10 light tanks and 20
armored vehicles. -- Patrick Moore

INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS OVER BOSNIA CONTINUE. The BBC reported on 16
January that UNHCR chief Sadaka Ogata closed the one-day conference
dealing with the phased but flexible repatriation of Bosnian refugees
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 16 January 1996). Meanwhile in Stockholm, an
OSCE gathering dealing with elections said that it may not be possible
to hold them this year, AFP reported. The participants also said that
absentee voting, for which there is a provision in the Dayton agreement,
must be permitted. The treaty also says, however, that casting a ballot
indicates an intention to return to the area for which one is voting.
Finally, the VOA's Croatian Service noted on 17 January that computers
were stolen from a UN office in Zagreb. They may hold sensitive data on
human rights in Croatia . -- Patrick Moore

HAGUE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL SEEKS IFOR'S SUPPORT. Critics of IFOR have
charged that it has followed the example of UNPROFOR and been far too
timid in interpreting its mandate. Points in question have included
ensuring freedom of movement throughout Bosnia and dealing with war
crimes. A spokesman for the International Criminal Tribunal for the
Former Yugoslavia told AFP on 16 January that Justice Richard Goldstone
will meet NATO Secretary General Javier Solana on 19 January to discuss
cooperation. Goldstone is interested in IFOR's ensuring freedom of
movement for those investigating possible atrocities. He also seeks its
help in arresting indicted war criminals. An IFOR press spokesman told a
briefing on 14 January that IFOR had received no formal request to date
for assistance in investigating mass graves. Vecernji list reported on
17 January that Washington favors a more liberal interpretation of the
mandate but that London and Paris are reluctant to become involved in
the issue of war crimes. -- Patrick Moore

OSCE ARMS CONTROL TALKS POSTPONED. Scheduled OSCE-mediated arms controls
talks in Vienna were postponed on 16 January because rump Yugoslavia was
not yet ready with its data, Reuters reported. Under the Dayton peace
accords, Bosnia, Croatia and rump Yugoslavia are required to provide
inventories of heavy weapons -- including tanks, armored personnel
carriers, large caliber artillery, airplanes and combat helicopters.
"Technical reasons" were cited for the delay. Instead of a full session,
the OSCE official chairing the arms talks, Norwegian general Vigleik
Eide, held talks with individual delegations. -- Michael Mihalka

BOSNIAN PULLBACK ON SCHEDULE. Bosnian Serb and Muslim-Croat troop
withdrawals from the 4-kilometer wide zones of separation throughout
Bosnia are proceeding on schedule and NATO Brigadier Andrew Cumming said
on 16 January that NATO expects the 19 January deadline to be met,
western and local media reported. "We're looking at 70% compliance by
now and we do expect compliance," NATO commander Admiral Leighton Smith
told reporters in Sarajevo. "The military is being really cooperative."
Local media reported that troop withdrawals have been completed in
several places, including the Posavina corridor and Mostar. There was
less confidence that the requirement to remove or destroy all mines in
the zones of separation and to mark the ones in the rest of the country
would be achieved by the same deadline. "There are so many that we will
probably still be finding mines a decade from now," said one NATO
official. -- Michael Mihalka

SERBIA TO GET NEW "DEMOCRATIC" PARTY. Politika on 17 January reports
that Dragoljub Micunovic has said he will be involved in founding a new
political party, which sources speculate is to be called the Democratic
Party of the Center (DSC). Micunovic, former president and among the
founders of the Democratic Party (DS) currently controlled by Zoran
Djindjic, was expelled from DS ranks on 2 December. Micunovic now
reportedly says his new party may appeal to disaffected DS members. --
Stan Markotich

ROMANIAN RULING PARTY SEEKS CABINET RESHUFFLE. The left-wing Party of
Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) on 16 January urged Premier Nicolae
Vacaroiu to reshuffle his cabinet, Reuters reported. Party executive
chairman Adrian Nastase told journalists that a reshuffle would give the
party "dynamism and impulse" to fulfill its program, especially a plan
for accelerating the privatization of state-owned industries. According
to that plan, mass privatization should have been completed by the end
of 1995. But the deadline had to be extended until 31 March, due to
Romanians' failure to trade their coupons and vouchers for shares in
particular enterprises. Vacaroiu, who attended a meeting of the PDSR
standing bureau, was quoted by Jurnalul national as saying that the
cabinet would discuss the reshuffle later this week. -- Dan Ionescu

OSCE CHAIRMAN VISITS MOLDOVA. Flavio Cotti, Swiss foreign minister and
acting OSCE chairman, on 16 January began a visit to Moldova, BASA-press
and Infotag reported. Cotti met with Moldovan President Mircea Snegur,
Parliament Chairman Petru Lucinschi, and Foreign Minister Mihai Popov.
Snegur informed Cotti of the steps taken by his administration to settle
the conflict in eastern Moldova, including the drafting of a special
status for the Dniester region that is based on OSCE recommendations. He
further said that the Moldovan, Russian, and Ukrainian presidents were
planning to sign a joint memorandum to speed up the settlement of the
crisis. Asked at a press conference about the possible presence in
Moldova of a multi-national OSCE force, Cotti said that his organization
lacked funds to conduct peacekeeping operations, and therefore preferred
"prevention diplomacy." -- Dan Ionescu

UPDATE ON ZHIVKOV APPEAL. The General Assembly of the Bulgarian Supreme
Court's criminal divisions on 16 January failed to muster the quorum
needed to reach a decision on the appeal of former Communist dictator
Todor Zhivkov to review his seven-year sentence,Trud reported the
following day. Zhivkov was convicted in 1992 of misappropriating public
funds; due to ill health, he is under house arrest. Meanwhile, under the
headline "Judicial idiotism turns the criminal Zhivkov into a martyr,"
Social Democratic Party Chairman Petar Dertliev complained in an article
for Standart that Zhivkov never stood trial for crimes against humanity
committed during his rule. -- Stefan Krause

RACE FOR PAPANDREOU SUCCESSION IS ON. Four top politicians from the
ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) have announced their
candidacy for the post of Greek prime minister, Western media reported
on 17 January. Former Industry Minister Kostas Simitis and Defense
Minister Gerasimos Arsenis are said to have the best chances to succeed
Andreas Papandreou, who resigned on 15 January. Interior, Public
Administration and Decentralization Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who
has deputized for Papandreou since November, and former Foreign and
Defense Minister Jannis Charalambopoulos, are given less chances.
PASOK's Central Committee was meeting on 17 January to discuss the
party's future course until the next party congress due in summer. The
presidency of the parliamentary faction will also meet that day to
discuss the procedures for the election of a new premier. The actual
voting is expected to take place the following day. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW TAKES EFFECT. The Albanian government
passed a standing order on the implementation of an anti-corruption law
that was approved by parliament early last year, Albania reported on 17
January. According to the law, all state employees have to declare their
property and explain how they financed it. The order defines the
procedures of declaration. State employees are also obliged to declare
their incomes and those of their family members up to five years after
resignation. A special commission of parliament will be created to
investigate officials suspected of corruption. -- Fabian Schmidt

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

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