This communicating of a man's self to his friend works two contrary effects; for it redoubleth joy, and cutteth griefs in half. - Francis Bacon
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 15, Part II, 22 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
SILAJDZIC TO QUIT AS BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER. Haris Silajdzic has said he
will give up his office after objecting to new regulations that will
greatly curb the role of the central government, Oslobodjenje reported
on 22 January. His replacement will reportedly be Hasan Muratovic, who
has been handling the government's relations with NATO. Silajdzic's
announcement that he will resign comes in the wake of a long-standing
dispute with the religious hard-liners in the mainly Muslim Party of
Democratic Action (SDA). It also reflects the current shadow-boxing
going on in the SDA and in other Bosnian parties over new divisions of
offices and authority. Silajdzic's statement that he will not stay on
may prove to be only a phase in the internal SDA power struggle or it
may be part of a possible new realignment of political forces in postwar
Bosnia as the three ethnically-based parties finally face up to their
own internal divisions. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CONFUSION OVER BLACK SEA FLEET COMMAND. Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma says Black Sea Fleet commander Admiral Eduard Baltin, has been
fired (see OMRI Daily Digest, 18 January 1996), but Baltin says this is
news to him. Kuchma at an 18 January press conference said he and
Russian President Boris Yeltsin dismissed Baltin. Radio Ukraine on 19
January quoted Baltin as saying that the only word he had heard about
his status was from the Ukrainian mass media. ITAR-TASS reported that
neither the Russian Defense Ministry, the main navy headquarters, nor
the Black Sea Fleet headquarters has received any official documents on
the subject. -- Doug Clarke

UKRAINIAN LEFTISTS PREPARE ALTERNATIVE DRAFT CONSTITUTION. Members of
Ukraine's socialist and communist parties have begun collecting
signatures in support of an alternative draft constitution drawn up by
their leaderships, Interfax-Ukraine reported on 19 January. They say
their goal is to have the special commission currently debating a final
draft of the new Ukrainian constitution change provisions they are most
opposed to. The leftist forces said they strongly oppose a provision in
the current draft calling for a bicameral legislature. They added that
the selection of a Senate made up of local government representatives
would encourage regionalism. They also said they favor a strictly
parliamentary system in contrast to the presidential-parliamentary rule
outlined in the latest draft. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZED OVER STATEMENT ON NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
Several Belarusian deputies have criticized Alyaksandr Lukashenka's
statement that Belarus may be forced to redeploy nuclear weapons on its
territory if NATO expands, NTV and Reuters reported on 20 January.
Deputy parliamentary speaker Henadz Karpenka said he was at a loss for
words, and other senior deputies expressed concern that such
declarations would antagonize the West. In other news, ITAR-TASS
reported that Lukashenka said he did not support the latest CIS
agreement on imposing economic sanctions against Abkhazia. He maintained
Belarus's traditional position that the country will not send troops to
serve on foreign soil. -- Ustina Markus

LATVIA TO OPEN NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE. Foreign Minister Valdis
Birkavs and head of the UN Development Program in Latvia John Hendra on
19 January signed an international project to fund a Latvian National
Human Rights Office, BNS reported. Finland, Holland, and Sweden have
joined the UN in allocating a total of $1.7 million to set up for the
office over the next four years. The office will help inform society
about human rights and will deal with complaints about violations of
those rights. It will also cooperate with international organizations
and experts. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN INTERIOR MINISTER RESIGNS. Prime Minister Adolfas Slezevicius
on 20 January announced he had received a letter of resignation from
Interior Minister Romasis Vaitekunas, Radio Lithuania reported the next
day. President Algirdas Brazauskas had asked Vaitekunas to resign
because he closed his savings account in the LAIB bank shortly before
the government suspended its activities. Vaitekunas, however, had
delayed doing so after the Democratic Labor Party caucus voted that he
should remain in office. If accepted, the resignation will put pressure
on Slezevicius to resign because he also withdrew savings from the same
bank as Vaitekunas. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENT IN FAVOR OF PUBLISHING DOCUMENTS ON OLEKSY. Aleksander
Kwasniewski has said he is in favor of publishing documents related to
the spy allegations against Premier Jozef Oleksy. An official at the
president's office said Kwasniewski will submit to the Sejm draft
legislation providing for the publication of files from the Ministry of
Internal Affairs and the Office for State Protection. A special
commission, headed by Deputy Sejm Speaker Aleksander Malachowski, will
determine which documents are to be published. It will also deal with
complaints from those people who consider they have been falsely
documented as collaborating with the secret services, Gazeta Wyborcza
reported on 22 January. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

CZECH PREMIER SAYS RELATIONS WITH GERMANY HAVE CALMED DOWN. Vaclav
Klaus, after meeting with German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel in Bonn
on 20 January, said that relations between their two countries are calm
and undramatic, Czech media reported. Kinkel last week said Czech-German
negotiations on a joint parliamentary declaration are "disastrously
bogged down" (see OMRI Daily Digest, 19 January 1996), but Klaus said
the talks could proceed without delay. -- Steve Kettle

CZECH OPPOSITION WANTS REFERENDUM ON NATO MEMBERSHIP. Delegates to a
conference of the Czech Social Democratic Party over the weekend
overwhelmingly voted in favor of the question of NATO membership being
put to a referendum, Czech media reported. The government of Prime
Minister Vaclav Klaus has accepted the possibility of a referendum on
joining the EU but says a plebiscite on NATO is unnecessary because
membership in the alliance does not involve relinquishing any
sovereignty. Social Democrat leader Milos Zeman said that if a
referendum on NATO is held, his party will recommend membership. --
Steve Kettle

SLOVAK PRIME MINISTER BACKS DOWN ON GERMAN NAME ISSUE. Vladimir Meciar,
visiting Bonn on 19-20 January to attend a Bertelsmann Foundation
conference, told German Foreign Minister Kinkel that Germany can decide
for itself what its official name is to be in Slovak, thus settling a
dispute that has blocked the signing of several bilateral treaties.
Meciar's government previously insisted on the Cold War name--the German
Federal Republic--rather than Germany's preferred name: the Federal
Republic of Germany. In other news, Meciar on 20 January said that the
Slovak-Hungarian treaty will be signed by the end of March. Slovak
parliament chairman Ivan Gasparovic announced the previous day that the
treaty's ratification will not be included in the parliament session
beginning on 31 January. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY DIVIDES UP SURPLUS PRIVATIZATION REVENUE. The cabinet on 18
January reached a compromise over how to spend 240.3 billion forints
($1.7 billion) in surplus privatization revenues, Hungarian dailies
reported the next day. Some 100 billion forints will be allocated to the
State Treasury, 92 billion forints will be used to repay state debts,
and the remaining 48.3 billion forints will stay with the State
Privatization and Holding Co. The country's Finance Minister Lajos
Bokros and Privatization Minister Tamas Suchman had been at odds over
the issue in recent weeks, with Bokros in favor of using all extra
revenues to repay the foreign debt and Suchman advocating spending the
money on infrastructure development. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

TROOPS IN BOSNIA MEET DEADLINE FOR WITHDRAWAL . . . The withdrawal of
government, Serbian, and Croatian forces from the zones of separation
took place in Bosnia by midnight on 19 January, the deadline set in the
Dayton peace accords, international and local media reported. IFOR
commander Admiral Leighton Smith said there was "substantial compliance
on the military issues of the peace agreement by all parties." However,
although the some 1,400 minefields along the 1,000 km-long zones have
been identified, not all mines have been removed, as called for by the
agreement. Speaking in Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana
praised progress to date but expressed concern about the continuing
conflict in Mostar, which, he said, was the "key for the whole peace
process." -- Michael Mihalka

. . . BUT PRISONER EXCHANGE NOT YET COMPLETED. According to the
International Committee of the Red Cross, only 217 prisoners were
released by the midnight 19 January deadline laid down in the Dayton
accords. IFOR commander Admiral Leighton Smith, citing ICRC sources,
said that 318 prisoners remain in Bosnia, 151 in Serbia, and 177 in
Croatia. The Bosnian government is refusing to release more prisoners
until the Bosnian Serbs account for some 1,000 Bosnian Muslims who are
thought to be in Bosnian Serb labor camps and thousands more believed to
have been killed. -- Michael Mihalka

NEW REVELATIONS ABOUT MASS KILLINGS. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
for Human Rights John Shattuck on 21 January spoke of what the BBC the
next day called "mass killings and crimes against humanity" committed by
the Bosnian Serbs. He referred to a warehouse at Kravice, near
Srebrenica, where up to 2,000 people were shelled to death or shot as
they fled. The VOA's Croatian Service quoted him as saying that he even
saw blood on the ceiling and that he would pass on evidence to the war
crimes tribunal in The Hague. Shattuck feared that up to 7,000 Muslims
could have been massacred in the wake of the Serbian seizure of
Srebrenica last July. He noted that what he found in the area confirmed
reports he had heard from witnesses and survivors. -- Patrick Moore

KASAGIC ON MASS GRAVES. Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Rajko Kasagic told
Radio Kragujevac that his government has no information on what happened
in a Ljubija mine where 8,000 Muslims and Croats were allegedly disposed
of by Serbs in 1992 (see OMRI Daily Digest, 12 January 1995), Nasa Borba
reported on 22 January. He rejected claims about mass killings in the
Srebrenica and Prijedor areas, saying that there was a lack of evidence
and that "these accusations are old as war itself." He also said that
Bosnian Serb authorities will allow UN Special Envoy for Human Rights
Elizabeth Rehn to visit the sites of alleged mass graves from 4-8
February in order "to stop disinformation." -- Daria Sito Sucic

WHAT WILL IFOR DO? Central to the discussion about investigating
possible sites of atrocities in Bosnia is the role of the NATO troops
there in carrying out or assisting in the investigations. IFOR's
position is that it will not carry out such missions on its own but will
provide protection for international investigators who request it. IFOR
spokesmen have been quick to add that they have received no such
request. Shattuck noted, however, that the Serbs are trying to hide or
destroy evidence near Srebrenica and at the Ljubija mine. NATO
Secretary-General Javier Solana said that IFOR will prevent the
destruction of evidence, but he would not say how, AFP reported on 22
January. -- Patrick Moore

SERBIAN INFORMATION MINISTER CRITICAL OF INDEPENDENT MEDIA. Ratomir
Vico, in an interview with Deutsche Welle cited by BETA on 19 January,
said independent broadcasters in Serbia will not be granted frequencies
because their reporting is anti-government, inaccurate, and patently
"one-sided." Vico went on to lambaste the German press, which he said
continued to be biased in its reporting of the Balkan conflicts. He said
the German media had inaccurately portrayed the Serbs as "the sole
aggressors." -- Stan Markotich

MONTENEGRIN UPDATE. Montena-fax on 19 January reported that an official
Montengrin delegation completed a visit to Hong Kong and was traveling
to neighboring Macao for a one-day stay. The purpose of the visits was
to promote Asia-Pacific investment and Montenegrin economic cooperation
with Asian communities. -- Stan Markotich

MINOR CABINET RESHUFFLE IN ROMANIA. Nicolae Vacaroiu on 19 January made
some changes in his government, Romanian and international media
reported the same day. Dan Ioan Popescu, formerly deputy minister of
trade, replaced Petru Crisan, who resigned last month amid allegations
of corruption, as trade minister. Alexandru Stanescu, a deputy minister
of industry, has taken over the portfolio following the resignation of
Dumitru Popescu, criticized for the slow pace of rebuilding this sector.
Vacaroiu also said Research and Technology Minister Doru Dumitru Palade
has resigned but that his replacement will be announced later this
month. This is the fifth cabinet reshuffle since Vacaroiu became premier
in autumn 1992. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION PARTY CHOOSES NEW LEADER. Ion Diaconescu on 19
January was re-elected chairman of the National Peasant Party-Christian
Democratic. Romanian and international media reported that the 78-year-
old Diaconescu, defeated party deputy chairman Ion Ratiu. He replaces
Corneliu Coposu, who died last year. The ballot took place on the first
day of the party's congress. -- Michael Shafir

NATO WILL NOT KEEP PEACE IN MOLDOVA. A NATO official on 19 January told
a group of Moldovan journalists attending a seminar in Brussels that he
"cannot imagine even for a second" that the mission of peacekeeping in
Moldova would be taken over by a NATO multinational force. He said the
Transdniester dispute should be settled politically with the assistance
of international organizations, including the UN and the OSCE. With
regard to the Russian proposal to give peacekeeping status to the
military contingent now deployed in the breakaway region, the official
said any decision should take into consideration "Russia's interests and
the situation there and only with the approval of the OSCE," Infotag
reported. -- Michael Shafir

NEW BULGARIAN MINISTERS NOMINATED. The Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP)
and its coalition partners--the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union
"Aleksandar Stamboliyski" and the Political Club Ekoglasnost--on 21
January nominated new trade and agriculture ministers, Duma reported. If
approved by the parliament, Atanas Paparizov (BSP) will replace Kiril
Tsochev as trade minister, while Agrarian Chairman and Deputy Prime
Minister Svetoslav Shivarov will take over the Agriculture Ministry from
Vasil Chichibaba. Tsochev and Chichibaba resigned over the ongoing grain
crisis. Paparizov and Shivarov were the only candidates, and their
nomiations were unanimously approved by the ruling parties. Also on 21
January, the BSP nominated Lyubomir Filipov as governor of the Bulgarian
National Bank. --  Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES CHANGES TO PERSONAL INCOME TAX. The
Bulgarian cabinet on 18 January approved changes to the tax code,
including raising the minimum annual tax-exempt income from 30,000 leva
($412) to 36,000 leva ($494), Bulgarian media reported. Traders will
have to make advance tax payments. According to Pari, the progressivity
of the tax in all but the lowest brackets has been increased. In other
news, the parliament's legal commission approved laws on the collection
of state loans, tax administration, and tax procedures. The opposition
criticized the proposed creation of a Service for Prevention and
Discovery of Tax Violations, which would have access to information on
bank accounts and conduct on-site inspections, as a violation of
privacy. -- Michael Wyzan

MORE COMMUNIST-ERA OFFICIALS ARRESTED IN ALBANIA . . . Nine Albanian
former communist officials have been arrested on charges of authorizing
deportations and other political actions violating communist
legislation, Reuters reported on 21 January. Among those arrested were
former Interior Ministers Hekuran Isai and Simon Stefani, former Supreme
Court Chief Judge Aranit Cela, and former Prosecutor-General Rrapi Mino.
The group also included high-ranking officials of the Sigurimi and
former politburo members. These latest arrests bring the number of
communist-era officials detained over the past five weeks to 30. --
Fabian Schmidt

. . . AND RAMIZ ALIA TO BE NEXT? Former Albanian President Ramiz Alia
may also face arrest soon, Albania reported on 21 January. Tirana
prosecutors said about 70 charges have been brought against Alia by
individual citizens and the National Forum of Intellectuals. Among other
things, he is accused of involvement in authorizing the killing of
Albanians trying to flee the country as well as the killing by the
police of three opposition activists during demonstrations on 2 April
1991. Alia has already served a prison sentence for abuse of power. He
was released in June 1994 following the introduction of a new penal code
and a various amnesties by President Sali Berisha. -- Fabian Schmidt

NEW "REFORMIST" GOVERNMENT IN GREECE. The government of newly appointed
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis was sworn in on 22 January, Western
media reported. Simitis has appointed a number of so-called reformists
to replace ministers loyal to former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou
and downsized the cabinet from 51 to 41 members. Theodoros Pangalos
replaces Karolos Papoulias as foreign minister. Former EU Commissioner
Vaso Papandreou will head the newly formed Development Ministry, which
includes the industry, commerce, trade, and tourism portfolios. Both
ministers are regarded as strongly pro-EU. Simitis retained Defense
Minister Gerasimos Arsenis and Interior Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos,
both Papandreou loyalists, as well as Education Minister Georgios
Papandreou, the former premier's son. Finance Minister Alekos
Papadopoulos and Economy Minister Jannos Papantoniou also keep their
posts, suggesting that austerity measures will continue. -- Stefan
Krause

[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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