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. 23, Part II, 01 February 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
NEW POLISH PRIME MINISTER APPOINTED. President Aleksander Kwasniewski on
1 February appointed Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, deputy Sejm speaker and
deputy leader of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), as prime minister.
Leaders of the ruling SLD and Polish Peasant Party (PSL) the previous
day nominated Cimoszewicz as their joint candidate. Cimoszewicz, a 45-
year-old lawyer, was a member of the Polish communist party from 1971
until its dissolution in 1990. He was the SLD's presidential candidate
in 1990 and justice minister from 1993-1995. Cimoszewicz replaces Jozef
Oleksy, who resigned last month over allegations that he spied for
Moscow. Cimoszewicz is expected to receive the Sejm's approval with
ease, since the SLD-PSL coalition has 303 mandates in the 460-strong
legislature. -- Jakub Karpinski
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN UKRAINE. Yevgenii Primakov arrived in
Ukraine for an official visit on 31 January, Russian and Ukrainian
agencies reported. Talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Hennadii
Udovenko, were intended to make progress toward resolving some long-
standing bones of contention. But the issue of Sevastopol's status was
kept off of the agenda, and Primakov again stressed that the division of
the Black Sea Fleet was a precondition to signing the long-delayed
treaty on friendship and cooperation. With regard to NATO expansion,
Udovenko said Russian and Ukrainian interests must be taken into
account. He reiterated Ukraine's fears of becoming a buffer zone between
NATO and countries in the CIS Collective Security Pact. Primakov
stressed that Russia categorically opposed any NATO expansion, although
it could not veto such a move. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINIAN MINERS THREATEN NATIONWIDE STRIKE. Miners at 162 of Ukraine's
254 state-owned coal pits are set to begin a nationwide strike to
protest their employers' failure to pay up to six months of wages,
Ukrainian TV reported on 31 January. Workers at another 75 mines have
pledged to halt coal deliveries. In a last-minute effort to prevent the
strike, Prime Minister Yevhen Marchuk said on Ukrainian TV that the
government has managed come up with 2 trillion karbovantsi ($10 million)
to pay one monthly wage to the miners without spurring higher inflation.
Marchuk blamed the crisis on the lack of restructuring in the coal
sector and the failure of other industries to pay the mines for coal
supplies. He said the state was responsible only for 1 trillion of 30
trillion karbovantsi wage arrears, adding that President Leonid Kuchma
is ready to issue several decrees aimed at speeding up reforms in the
coal industry. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT APPOINTS NEW REPRESENTATIVE IN CRIMEA. Leonid Kuchma
has appointed Ukrainian lawmaker Dmytro Stepaniuk as his representative
in Crimea, Ukrainian TV reported on 31 January. Stepaniuk, who replaces
Valerii Horbatyi, worked with the Ukrainian and Crimean parliamentary
committees on the new Crimean constitution. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT TO ISSUE NEW DECREE ON BUSINESSES. Alyaksandr
Lukashenka is preparing to sign a decree on businesses in the private
and legal sectors, Belarusian Radio reported on 31 January. The decree
would require all non-state enterprises to re-register. The president is
also drawing up a decree imposing stricter state control over the
manufacture and sale of alcohol and tobacco products in Belarus. --
Ustina Markus

ESTONIA SIGNS RADAR PURCHASE LOANS. Estonian Finance Minister Mart
Opmann on 31 January signed loan agreements with the French Banque
Paribas and the Japanese Marubeni corporation on the purchase of a
border radar system from the French Thomson CSF company, BNS reported.
The loans--DM 10.04 million ($6.8 million) and DM 3.94 million,
respectively--are to be paid back by 2002. Opmann said that, unlike the
arms deal with Israel several years ago, there had been an open
international tender, which he said set a good precedent for the future.
-- Saulius Girnius

OPPOSITION TO VOTE FOR LITHUANIAN PREMIER'S DISMISSAL. Leaders of the
opposition parties on 30 January stressed again they will vote for the
dismissal of Adolfas Slezevicius on 8 February, Radio Lithuania
reported. But they also supported calling early parliamentary elections
in June, rather than in October as scheduled. Opposition leader Vytautas
Landsbergis will not participate in the vote, since he does not return
from the U.S. until 10 February. Algirdas Kuncinas, a deputy head of the
ruling Democratic Labor Party (LDDP) caucus, said the next day that the
caucus make a final decision on 7 February. -- Saulius Girnius

MASS GRAVE IN AUSTRIA MAY CONTAIN BODIES OF HUNGARIAN JEWS. A mass grave
from World War II, possibly containing Hungarian victims of the
Holocaust, has been found in Lambach, eastern Austria, Hungarian dailies
reported on 1 February. Experts--including Simon Wiesenthal, head of the
Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna--say many Hungarian Jews were very
likely buried there. The grave, which is near to a death camp that held
Hungarian Jews, was discovered during the construction of a new
hydroelectric plant. Work on the plant has been suspended since the mass
grave was discovered. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN TECHNICAL BATTALION LEAVES FOR CROATIA. The last contingent of
the 400-strong Hungarian technical unit left for Croatia on 31 January
to serve as part of NATO's multinational peace-implementation force,
Hungarian dailies reported. The unit will build a bridge over the Sava
River, linking their base with an area of Bosnia populated mainly by
Serbs. Reuters the same day quoted a NATO commander as saying that the
integration of Hungarian troops into the IFOR force is going well. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN OPPOSITION DEPUTIES MEET ACROSS DIVIDE. The Onasa news agency
and AFP on 31 January reported that Bosnian Serb opposition deputies
from Banja Luka arrived in Sarajevo for a meeting with their
counterparts there. The visitors were led by Liberal Party leader
Miodrag Zivanovic and the hosts by Social Democratic chief Sejfudin
Tokic. They issued a declaration that called for the participation of
opposition parties in organizing upcoming elections, the renewal of
economic contacts, the punishment of war criminals, and the right of
refugees to go home. A joint opposition council will be set up to
encourage mutual trust, and an economic delegation from Banja Luka will
go to Tuzla. Zivanovic added: "Democratic forces in Banja Luka believe
that our lives cannot be built on ideas which understand an absolute
reduction of life to ethnic background, which are advocated by the
ideology of blood and evil, and which represent the past and a myth." --
Patrick Moore

CROAT-MUSLIM FEDERATION GETS NEW GOVERNMENT. Just one day after the
Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina received its first postwar cabinet, one
of its components, the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina followed
suit. Prime Minister Izudin Kapetanovic presented the parliament with a
list of 12 ministers and deputies reflecting an ethnic balance between
Muslims and Croats. There are also two ministers without portfolio. Most
of the posts deal with purely internal matters, but there is a defense
minister, namely Vladimir Soljic. A Muslim deputy questioned how Soljic
could be appointed when he is also a deputy in the Croatian Sabor, but
Federation President Kresimir Zubak answered that Soljic gave up his job
in Zagreb on being appointed to the cabinet. Oslobodjenje reported on 1
February that the new government is young by traditional Yugoslav
standards, with the average age of the ministers being 46. * Patrick
Moore

MORE "TERRIBLE DISCOVERIES" IN BOSNIA? Elisabeth Rehn, UN special
reporter for human rights in the former Yugoslavia, told the Stern
weekly magazine about possibility of more "terrible discoveries" of mass
graves in Bosnia, AFP and Nasa Borba reported. She said of the estimated
200-300 mass graves in Bosnia, some may be attributed to the Croats or
Muslims. Besides the Srebrenica mass graves, she mentioned three graves
near the east Croatian town of Vukovar and others near Banja Luka and
Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina, some of which were bigger than 20 square
meters. Rehn criticized IFOR for not patrolling grave sites to protect
evidence being destroyed. -- Daria Sito Sucic

SNIPER ATTACKS ON THE RISE; MUJAHIDEEN LEAVE. Two sniper attacks on IFOR
vehicles were reported on 31 January. One British soldier was wounded.
NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, speaking in Copenhagen the same
day, refused to blame any of Bosnian factions for the attacks., saying
"It's not for us to point a finger at anybody." He added that 45,000 men
of the 60,000-strong IFOR have already arrived in Bosnia. Meanwhile, a
NATO spokesman in Sarajevo said that the last group of Islamic
"mujahideen" have left the country. But NATO officers say that a number
of Islamic volunteers remain in the country after marrying local women
or otherwise integrating with the local population. -- Michael Mihalka

BOSNIAN SHORTS. Edmina Babahmetovic, a 53-year-old Muslim woman from
Banja Luka, has returned to her flat, restored to her by a Serbian
court. Reuters said on 1 February that she still receives threats from
armed Serbs. AFP the previous day quoted Pale parliamentary speaker
Momcilo Krajisnik as saying the search for the missing may go on for
years. The news agency added that outgoing republican Prime Minister
Haris Silajdzic blasted the Bosnian parliament for not doing anything to
stop the fall of Srebrenica and Zepa last July. Onasa quoted the
Croatian deputy prime minister as saying that indicted war criminal
General Tihomir Blaskic will soon be extradited to The Hague. He is
wanted for atrocities against Muslim villagers in Ahmici in April 1993.
-- Patrick Moore

SERBS STONEWALLING IN EASTERN SLAVONIA. AFP on 1 February quoted The New
York Times as saying that Serbian leaders in eastern Slavonia have yet
to admit openly that the region will return to Croatian sovereignty in a
maximum of two years. Serbian authorities continue to use vitriolic
language against Croatia and are conducting a propaganda campaign among
Serbian refugees to encourage them to settle in Eastern Slavonia. The
article said it is suspected that the Serbs have no intention of
honoring the agreement on returning the region to Croatia signed by the
Serbian and Croatian presidents in November. Meanwhile in Zagreb,
refugees from Posavina issued a declaration on 30 January to demand that
they be allowed to go home, Onasa reported. The group, based in
Slavonski Brod, said that they want to return to the area, which has
been assigned to the Serbs by the Dayton accords, in the hope of
restoring it to Croatian control. -- Patrick Moore

UN MILITARY OBSERVERS TO BE DEPLOYED IN EASTERN SLAVONIA. The UN
Security Council on 31 January authorized the deployment of 100 UN
military observers to eastern Slavonia for six months, beginning end of
April, AFP and Hina reported the same day. The observers will join 5,000
peacekeepers in the region and oversee the demilitarization of the area.
Meanwhile, the UN Peace Force closed its main headquarters in Zagreb.
During its four-year mission in the former Yugoslavia, 213 Unied Nations
soldiers were killed and 1,485 soldiers wounded, Hina reported. -- Daria
Sito Sucic

SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER ON THE HAGUE. Nasa Borba on 1 February reports
Vojislav Kostunica, leader of the Democratic Party of Serbia, as saying
the previous day that the Hague-based International War Crime Tribunal
was an organization that "had to be worked with." The tribunal, he said
"is a force in international relations that must be respected. In the
past, Kostunica has had ties with Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic
and General Ratko Mladic, both accused war criminals. -- Stan Markotich

SLOVENIA BUYS ARMS FROM ISRAEL. Delo on 31 January reported that
Ljubljana has agreed to purchase defense communications equipment worth
some $100 million from the Israeli firm Tadiran. Defense Minister Jelko
Kacin reportedly closed the deal on 12 January. Ljubljana is obligated
to buy the system by 1999. Equipment deliveries have already begun. --
Stan Markotich

UN FORCE IN MACEDONIA TO BECOME INDEPENDENT. UN Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros Ghali on 31 January recommended that UNPREDEP be
transformed into an independent mission reporting directly to the UN
headquarters, AFP reported the same day. So far, UNPREDEP has been
reporting to UNPROFOR in Zagreb. The change, which has to be approved by
the Security Council could become effective on 1 February. UNPREDEP
currently has about 1,000 soldiers stationed in Macedonia. -- Stefan
Krause

ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN GERMANY. Teodor Melescanu on 31 January
paid a one-day official visit to Germany, Romanian and international
media reported. he met with Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, Development
Aid Minister Carl-Dieter Spranger, and Defense Minister Volker Ruehe to
discuss Romania's European and NATO integration as well as the
development of bilateral economic relations. Kinkel stressed that
Romania needs to push ahead with domestic reforms, while Melescanu
pointed out that Germany is Romania's most important trade partner,
accounting for 17% of Romanian imports and 18% of its exports. Talks
with Ruehe concentrated on military cooperation, especially on officer
training programs. The German Defense Ministry has agreed to send a
senior logistics officer as an adviser in Bucharest. -- Matyas Szabo

CONTRADICTORY REPORTS ON ROMANIAN MINISTER'S DISMISSAL. Radio Bucharest
on 31 January quoted President Ion Iliescu's spokesman as saying that
the president has endorsed Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu's decision to sack
Telecommunications Minister Adrian Turicu. He later issued another
statement saying that the president was still considering the case but
that no final decision has been taken. Turicu is a member of the
chauvinistic Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR), an ally of the
ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania. Vacaroiu's decision to
suspend him is considered an indication of an imminent split of the
parties' coalition. -- Dan Ionescu

DNIESTER PARLIAMENT AGAINST STATE OF EMERGENCY IN ECONOMY. The Supreme
Soviet of the self-proclaimed Dniester republic on 30 January voted to
suspend a state of emergency in economy beginning the next day, BASA-
press reported. Deputies argued that President Igor Smirnov has so far
failed to present an anti-crisis program, and they urged him to do so by
10 February. The state of emergency, which had been imposed by
presidential decree on 12 January, is mainly administrative and includes
severe restrictions on civic freedoms and political activities. It is
unclear whether the parliament's vote means a de facto end to the state
of emergency. On 31 January, the Dniester government continued to abide
by Smirnov's decree when it banned the use of the Moldovan leu in cash
transactions in the region. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT CALLS GOVERNMENT "DANGEROUS." Zhelyu Zhelev on 31
January launched a renewed attack against the Bulgarian Socialist Party
(BSP) and the government of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov. Standart quoted
him as saying that "Bulgaria needs a new, democratic government," since
the BSP government has become "simply dangerous for Bulgaria [and] its
national security and interests." He accused the cabinet of returning to
totalitarian methods of government and tolerating crime and corruption.
"You can't fight corruption when you yourself are corrupt or are in some
way associated with it." Zhelev also criticized the government for
alienating some of Bulgaria's neighbors and not wanting to joint NATO.
-- Stefan Krause

JOURNALIST ARRESTED IN ALBANIA. Altin Hazizaj, a journalist for the
independent daily Koha Jone, on 31 January was arrested after entering a
building in Tirana from which police were evicting former political
prisoners. The prisoners were squatting in the building because of a
lack of housing in the capital. Hazizaj entered the building to report
on the case. He has been charged with beating two policemen, but an OMRI
correspondent reports that Hazizaj does not appear physically capable of
beating policemen. The arrest appears to be the latest in a number of
attacks against Koha Jone. Since 26 January, police have been impounding
delivery vans belonging to the daily. -- Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT DECLARES GENOCIDE LAW LEGAL. The
Constitutional Court has dismissed an appeal by the Socialist and Social
Democratic Parties against the disputed genocide law (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 18 January 1996), Lajmi i Dites reported on 1 February. The two
parties said the law violated their basic freedoms because it bans
communist-era high-ranking officials from running for public office
until 2002. Under the law, Socialist Party leader and former Premier
Fatos Nano and Social Democratic leader Skender Gjinushi, who was also
education minister under President Ramiz Alia, will be banned.
Constitutional Court Chief Judge Rustem Gjata ruled that the Albanian
constitution allowed "reasonable limitations on the freedom" of people
who led repressive regimes. -- Fabian Schmidt

GREEK PRIME MINISTER RECEIVES VOTE OF CONFIDENCE. Kostas Simitis on 31
January received a vote of confidence from the parliament, Reuters
reported the same day. Some 166 deputies voted for his government, 123
against, and three abstained. The ruling Panhellenic Socialist Movement
has 168 mandates. In the parliamentary debate before the vote, Simitis
defended both the agreement to withdraw Greek and Turkish naval forces
from the area around the disputed islet of Imia and the decision to
lower the Greek flag there in order to ease tension. Miltiadis Evert,
leader of the conservative New Democracy party, argued that "the removal
of Greek troops and the lowering of the Greek flag constitute an act of
treason." He called on Simitis to resign. -- Stefan Krause

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

The OMRI Daily Digest offers the latest news from the former Soviet
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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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