Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise. - Sigmund Freud
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 22, Part I, 31 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BOSNIA GETS ITS FIRST POSTWAR GOVERNMENT. Oslobodjenje on 31 January
reported that the republican parliament elected a new government the
previous day. Hasan Muratovic is prime minister and heads a cabinet of
six ministries, down from the previous 12. Portfolios and deputy
ministerial posts were carefully assigned to achieve a balance between
Muslims and Croats in a manner reminiscent of the old Tito-era system of
dividing power on the basis of nationality. Croat Jadranko Prlic is
foreign minister, replacing the outspoken Muslim Muhamed Sacirbey. The
sole Serb in the cabinet is a minister without portfolio, Dragoljub
Stojanov. AFP called the cabinet an "almost powerless transition
republic." Notably missing is outgoing Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic,
who has also left the ruling Muslim Party of Democratic Action and is
expected to found a new party. The opposition Union of Bosnian Social
Democrats said the new government reflected a power deal between the
leading Muslim and Croat parties. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINE EXPELS CHINESE SPYING ON MISSILE PLANT. Three Chinese citizens
accused of trying to obtain missile technology from the giant Yushmash
missile plant in Dnipropetrovsk are to be expelled, Reuters reported on
30 January. The agency quoted the Ukrainian Security Service as charging
that they had "obtained documents for the production of rocket engines
for intercontinental ballistic missiles." Yushmash produced a number of
strategic missiles for the Soviet Union, including the SS-18. The
security service spokesman said the Chinese would be barred from
entering Ukraine for five years. He added that the Ukrainians who had
helped the men obtain information would be prosecuted. -- Doug Clarke

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT RESTRICTS CHILD ADOPTIONS BY FOREIGNERS. Ukrainian
lawmakers on 30 January voted to limit the adoption of Ukrainian
children by foreigners in response to alleged incidents of baby-selling
over the last several years, Ukrainian and international agencies
reported 30 January. Their decision provides for the establishment of a
centralized adoption monitoring agency and gives Ukrainian citizens
priority in adoptions. Lawmakers also banned intermediaries, including
non-profit organizations. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN MINSK. Yevgenii Primakov arrived in Minsk on
30 January to meet with Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, his
Belarusian counterpart Uladzimir Syanko, and Prime Minister Mikhail
Chyhir, Russian and Belarusian media reported. The leaders focused on
Russian-Belarusian integration. Syanko noted that the pace of economic
integration has fallen behind that of military and political
integration. Lukashenka said 90% of the Belarusian population supports
unification and that Belarus has made a number of moves to unify with
Russia. It is Russia's turn to take the next step, he commented.
Primakov said that integration among former Soviet republics did not
threaten any country's sovereignty and that the process was
irreversible. -- Ustina Markus

$178 MILLION INVESTMENT FOR VIA BALTICA PROJECT. The Via Baltica project
work group, meeting in Stockholm on 30 January, discussed a $178 million
investment over the next five years to improve links between Helsinki
and Warsaw, BNS reported. Some $49 million are to be spent in Estonia,
$27 million in Latvia, $38 million in Lithuania, and $65 million in
Poland. The projects in Estonia include upgrading city street networks
in Tallinn and Tartu, constructing new highways, and repairing roads and
border checkpoints, ETA reported. The respective governments will supply
most of the funds, although aid will also be obtained from the EU and
international development banks. -- Saulius Girnius

FORMER LATVIAN KGB MINISTER APPEALS LIFE SENTENCE. 87-year old Alfons
Noviks has appealed the life sentence for genocide handed down to him by
a Riga court on 13 December, BNS reported on 30 January. Noviks was
found guilty of being one of the chief organizers of mass deportations,
persecutions, and murders of thousands of Latvians from 1941 to 1949.
His defense lawyer insists he did not commit any criminal offense but
was simply fulfilling his duties. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRESIDENT, DEFENSE MINISTER MET WITH MILITARY LEADERS. Aleksander
Kwasniewski and Stanislaw Dobrzanski on 30 January met with Polish
military leaders, including Chief of General Staff Tadeusz Wilecki. Last
week, the defense minister had transferred jurisdiction over the General
Staff's finances to the ministry. Kwasniewski reportedly supported both
this and other changes aimed at limiting Wilecki's powers. Wilecki was a
close associate of former President Lech Walesa. He is to go on leave
next week but Dobrzanski denied rumors of his dismissal, Polish dailies
reported. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH PRIVATIZATION CHIEF'S SENTENCE REDUCED. A Prague appeals court on
30 January reduced Jaroslav Lizner's jail sentence for corruption from
seven to six years. Lizner, former head of the Center for Coupon
Privatization, was arrested on 31 October 1994 after meeting with
businessmen interested in buying shares in a dairy firm. He was carrying
more than 8 million koruny ($300,000) in a briefcase. Like the original
court verdict handed down last October, the appeals court rejected
Lizner's claims that the money was a deposit on the sale of the shares,
ruling that it was a bribe he had solicited for mediating the deal. The
court also confirmed a 1 million koruny ($37,500) fine imposed on
Lizner, the highest state official to be convicted of corruption in the
Czech Republic. There is no further appeal. -- Steve Kettle

GERMAN CONDUCTOR QUITS IN PRAGUE AMID ALLEGATIONS OF CZECH NATIONALISM.
Gerd Albrecht on 30 January announced his resignation "with immediate
effect" as chief conductor of the Czech Philharmonic, Czech and
international media reported. He told Culture Minister Pavel Tigrid that
he was leaving for political reasons, not artistic ones. Earlier this
month, Tigrid stripped Albrecht of his duties as artistic director of
the Czech Philharmonic, following articles in the German press
portraying the German-born conductor as a victim of Czech nationalism.
The controversy over Albrecht has inflamed Czech-German relations,
currently bogged down over such unresolved issues as the expulsion of
Sudeten Germans and compensation for victims of Nazism. -- Jan Cleave

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER ON COUNCIL OF EUROPE. Juraj Schenk on 30 January
told reporters that the CE should not apply double standards when
judging the situation of ethnic minorities in a new or established
member country. Discussing parliamentary chairman Ivan Gasparovic's
recent proposal that the CE Parliamentary Assembly compile a "White
Book" on standard ethnic rights, Schenk noted that all CE members could
then be monitored by the same objective criteria. Schenk expressed
support for Russia's recent admission to the CE, noting that non-
acceptance of the country would have meant support for anti-democratic
forces. Meanwhile, Arpad Duka-Zolyomi of the ethnic Hungarian
Coexistence movement said the CE was "naive" to think it will force
Russia to implement democratic changes by this move, TASR reported. --
Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN TREATY TO BE RATIFIED IN MARCH? Slovak parliamentary
chairman Gasparovic on 30 January announced that ratification of the
Slovak-Hungarian treaty will be postponed until March, after the
parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee has drawn up an interpretation
clause on CE Recommendation No. 1201, which deals with autonomy for
minorities. Although Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar has promised that
the treaty will be ratified in March, some Slovak officials would prefer
to wait until CE experts provide an official interpretation of the
recommendation, Slovak media reported. -- Sharon Fisher

UPDATE ON "OILGATE" SCANDAL. The Hungarian parliamentary commission
probing the "oilgate" affair has turned to Premier Gyula Horn and the
secret services for further information, Hungarian dailies reported on
31 January. Commission chairman Ervin Demeter said the cabinet's earlier
investigation did not provide sufficient information. The government
last fall investigated whether some high-ranking Socialists had been
involved in suspicious deals related to Russian-Hungarian oil shipments
and repayment of the Russian state debt. The cabinet concluded that no
violation of law had been committed but suggested that Andras Dunai, son
of the current industry minister, and Otto Hujber, chairman of the
Socialist Party's entrepreneurial section, might have been involved. The
parliamentary commission investigating "Oilgate," composed of four
opposition and four coalition party members, was set up at the
initiative of the opposition. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NEW BOSNIAN PRIME MINISTER FACES DAUNTING TASKS. After being named prime
minister on 30 January, Hasan Muratovic outlined the social and other
issues facing his administration, saying they would "frighten any
government in the world." Oslobodjenje on 31 January said he mentioned
huge social obligations to war refugees, the injured, and the families
of dead soldiers and missing persons. Pensioners, demobilized soldiers,
the police, the army, and the education system pose additional problems.
Muratovic noted that Bosnia wants to join both the EU and NATO, adding
that "as for . . . Croatia, we'll do our best to make that relationship
an example for good cooperation between countries in this region."
Regarding Serbia-Montenegro, the new prime minister said "we must
develop and normalize that relationship step by step." Earlier, Fifth
Corps commander General Atif Dudakovic said that the Bosnian army will
be reorganized along NATO lines. -- Patrick Moore

SREBRENICA WOMEN TEMPORARILY STOP DEMONSTRATIONS. Women refugees from
Srebrenica, who have staged demonstrations in Tuzla on 29-30 January,
have agreed to stop their protest until a 1 February meeting between the
Bosnian and Tuzla-Podrinje governments and the International Committee
of the Red Cross (ICRC), Oslobodjenje reported on 31 January. Some 1,000
women and children have been demonstrating against the ICRC's
"passivity" over 8,000 missing men from Srebrenica. They have promised
to step up their action if more information on their relatives is not
provided by 1 February. -- Daria Sito Sucic

ELECTION COMMISSION SET UP IN BOSNIA. A commission responsible for
overseeing Bosnian elections under OSCE auspices was named on 30 January
in Sarajevo, international and local media reported. The seven-member
panel is composed of representatives from the United States, Canada,
Britain, Germany, and the three Bosnian factions. Under the Dayton peace
accords, elections must take place before September. Meanwhile, the
current, past, and future OSCE Chairmen-in-Office--Foreign Ministers
Flavio Cotti (Switzerland), Lazlo Kovacs (Hungary), and Niels Helveg
Petersen (Denmark)--met in Sarajevo on 30 January with Bosnian President
Alija Izetbegovic, vice president of the Moslem-Croatian Federation Ejup
Ganic, and vice president of the self-declared Republika Srpska Nikola
Koljevic. Cotti said the meeting was "extremely positive," but Koljevic
stressed that the issues of refugees, control over the media, and
Serbian control over Sarajevo may prove obstacles to holding elections
by September. -- Michael Mihalka

RUMP YUGOSLAVIA ASKS FOR ASSETS TO BE UNFROZEN. Nasa Borba on 31 January
reports that rump Yugoslav Premier Radoje Kontic has sent a letter to
his French, British, Swiss, and Danish counterparts, as well as to U.S.
Secretary of State Warren Christopher, asking that overseas assets of
Belgrade's national bank be unfrozen. Those assets were frozen in 1992,
following the introduction of sanctions against the rump Yugoslavia for
its role in supporting and fomenting the Bosnian Serb war effort. Kontic
reportedly wrote that "since sanctions have been suspended there is no
further need to block [rump Yugoslav] assets. . . . Continuation of the
embargo would call into question the principle of equal treatment of all
parties . . . of the former Yugoslavia." -- Stan Markotich

SLOVENIAN MINISTERS TENDER RESIGNATIONS. Four Slovenian ministers, all
members of the United List of Social Democrats (ZLSD), handed in their
resignations on 30 January. This move follows in the wake of the ZLSD's
split with the governing coalition. The outgoing ministers held the
economics, labor, science, and culture portfolios, Reuters reported.
ZLSD secretary Dusan Kumer said both the resignations and the party's
split with the governing coalition were prompted by the ZLSD's
disapproval of government policy, which, he said, does not offer enough
help to underprivileged people and troubled companies. -- Stan Markotich

ROMANIAN TELECOMMUNICATION MINISTER SUSPENDED. Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu
on 30 January suspended Adrian Turicu as telecommunications minister,
Romanian media reported. Turicu is one four ministers appointed in
August 1994 by the chauvinistic Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR)
to the cabinet, which is dominated by the Party of Social Democracy in
Romania (PDSR). He was accused of having illegally replaced the director
of the Romtelecom company, a member of the PDSR, last autumn. A PDSR
official said the PUNR will continue to have the portfolio. But PUNR
Deputy Chairman Ioan Gavra was quoted by Jurnalul national as saying
that Turicu's dismissal may mean the end of the current cabinet.
Friction between the PDSR and PUNR has increased since PUNR Chairman
Gheorghe Funar attacked the ruling party in two letters to President Ion
Iliescu. -- Dan Ionescu

FRENCH MILITARY DELEGATION VISITS ROMANIA. A military delegation from
the French Defense Ministry's Strategic Affairs Department, led by
General Alain Faupin, has met in Bucharest with members of the bicameral
parliament's defense commissions, Romanian media reported on 30 January.
Faupin said Romania's integration into NATO will probably not take place
in the near future, since this move needed to be carefully prepared. --
Matyas Szabo

MOLDOVAN-DNIESTER SUMMIT POSTPONED. A meeting scheduled for 31 January
between Moldovan President Mircea Snegur and president of the self-
proclaimed Dniester republic Igor Smirnov has been postponed, BASA-press
and Infotag reported. According to Moldovan officials, the chief reason
for the postponement was Tiraspol's insistence that Chisinau allow the
delivery of Dniester bank notes printed in Germany through Moldovan
territory. At a 30 January meeting with the head of the OSCE mission in
Moldova, Snegur deplored the fact that the Dniester leadership was
setting pre-conditions for the dialogue with Chisinau. He also described
the idea of the Dniester's own currency as "inadmissible" and contrary
to the Moldovan constitution. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION WANTS PARLIAMENTARY CHAIRMAN TO RESIGN. The Union
of Democratic Forces (SDS) on 30 January demanded that Blagovest Sendov
resign as chairman of the parliament, Pari reported. Sendov, meeting
with Russian President Boris Yeltsin in Moscow the previous day, had
said "there is no necessity for NATO expansion." The SDS issued a
declaration saying Sendov had violated the constitution by expressing a
position not approved by the parliament. On returning to Sofia, Sendov
did not deny having made the statement, but parliamentary Foreign Policy
Committee Chairman Nikolay Kamov said Sendov had told him in a telephone
conversation that he had not made it. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. The SDS National
Coordinating Council (NKS) on 30 January proposed that preliminary
elections be held in order to find a joint opposition candidate for the
presidential elections scheduled for late 1996. The SDS candidate is to
be nominated by secret ballot at a national conference in March.
Standart reported that the NKS adopted another proposal stating that
anyone who has opposed SDS interests or has left the union cannot be
nominated as SDS candidate. This provision is directed against incumbent
President Zhelyu Zhelev. SDS Chairman Ivan Kostov will not be a
candidate, Standart added. Vasil Mihaylov, chairman of the New Social
Democratic Party and a member of the SDS leadership, told Trud it would
be "high treason" if the opposition did not nominate a joint candidate.
-- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN ELECTION LAW OPPOSED BY TWELVE PARTIES. Twelve opposition
parties in Albania have opposed a new election law scheduled to reach
the parliament on 1 February, Reuters reported on 30 January. The
opposition argues that the law would favor the ruling Democratic Party
by increasing the number of direct candidates to the parliament from 100
to 115 and decreasing the number elected by proportional representation
to 25. Under this provision, smaller parties would have only a limited
chance to gain parliamentary representation, the opposition claims.
Elections are expected to take place in June. -- Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIA, ISRAEL SIGN ECONOMIC AGREEMENTS. Albanian President Sali
Berisha has signed two economic cooperation agreements with Israeli
Premier Shimon Peres, international agencies reported on 30 January. The
agreements establish "favored-nation-status" between the two countries
and provide for Albanians to be trained in Israel. Berisha urged Israeli
businessmen to invest in Albania. -- Fabian Schmidt

GREECE, TURKEY WITHDRAW FORCES IN ISLET DISPUTE. The crisis over the
uninhabited islet of Imia eased on 31 January, as Greece and Turkey
started pulling back their naval forces following mediation by U.S.
Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke, Reuters reported the
same day. U.S. President Bill Clinton and UN Secretary-General Boutros
Boutros Ghali urged the two sides to seek a peaceful solution. Greece
agreed to take down its flag from the disputed islet and withdraw its
soldiers, while Turkish troops will leave a nearby islet they landed on
last night. Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said a bilateral
agreement was reached and "the biggest units have already been
disengaged." But his Turkish counterpart, Deniz Baykal, denied the
existence of such an agreement, saying the withdrawal simply means a
return to the status quo ante. -- 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


   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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