The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are infliciting it upon me. - Frederick Douglass
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 26, Part II, 06 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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT ARRESTS SERBIAN GENERAL FOR WAR CRIMES. International
media report on 6 February that a Bosnian Serb general, a colonel, and
six other high-ranking officers have been arrested in recent days by
government forces. When and under what circumstances the developments
took place is unclear, but the BBC said that the general took a wrong
turn in a Sarajevo suburb. News agencies, however, suggested that the
mainly Muslim forces grabbed the Serbs en route to a meeting with IFOR.
The Bosnian Serb general staff has protested the arrests, saying they
violate the Dayton treaty's provisions on freedom of movement. General
Djordje Djukic was one of General Ratko Mladic's commanders who kept
Sarajevo under siege. The International Herald Tribune quotes former
Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic as saying that the arrest and
prosecution of war criminals must be a top priority issue. -- Patrick
Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN COAL MINERS CONTINUE STRIKE OVER UNPAID WAGES. Union leaders
have said striking coal miners in Ukraine intend to continue their
protest until all their demands are met, UNIAN and Ukrainian TV reported
on 5 February. Seventy-two of the country's 227 coal pits remain shut,
while workers at another 105 mines have suspended coal deliveries. Union
leaders said they will call a general strike if the government does not
address their demand for payment of back wages over the next several
days. Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Pynzenyk, speaking to Ukrainian
Radio, said he supported at least one of the strikers' demands--imposing
import duties on Russian coal and increasing import tariffs on Polish
coal. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

ESTONIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN UKRAINE. Siim Kallas arrived in Kiev on an
official visit on 5 February, Ukrainian radio reported. He met with his
Ukrainian counterpart, Hennadii Udovenko, to discuss bilateral
cooperation within the framework of international organizations. ITAR-
TASS quoted Kallas saying that although Estonian foreign policy is
oriented toward the West, businessmen in Estonia are interested in
"activating ties with former Soviet states." He added that Estonia wants
to ratify an agreement on free trade with Ukraine. -- Ustina Markus

GERMAN ENVIRONMENT MINISTER IN BELARUS. Angela Merkel, visiting health
care centers in Homel on 5 February, said Belarus and Ukraine should
decrease their dependence on German humanitarian aid for dealing with
health problems resulting from the Chornobyl disaster, ITAR-TASS
reported. Merkel added that people living in contaminated areas must
undergo medical tests, otherwise the effects of the disaster will
continue to plague the population for more than a decade. -- Ustina
Markus

DIFFERENCES WITHIN ESTONIA'S RULING COALITION OVER TAXATION PROPOSAL.
Estonian Prime Minister Tiit Vahi on 5 February admitted there are sharp
disagreements between his Coalition Party and the Reform Party over tax
questions, BSN reported. Vahi said the RP's proposed bill not to tax
income that companies use for investments or for creating new jobs is
acceptable only if the RP presents a plan on how to cover the budget
shortfall. RP caucus deputy chairman Heiki Kranich said the bill would
not cause a budget deficit since it would go into effect only next year.
-- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN PREMIER LIKELY TO BE REMOVED. Seimas chancellor Neris
Germanas told Radiocentras on 5 February that he is sure the parliament
will support President Algirdas Brazauskas's decree on dismissing Prime
Minister Adofas Slezevicius, Radio Lithuania reported. Germanas noted
that about half of the members of the ruling Democratic Labor Party
caucus will join the opposition in supporting the president's decree.
Brazauskas said that if Slezevicius is removed, he will nominate a
current minister to take his place in order to speed up the formation of
a new government. But he did not say who that minister would be. --
Saulius Girnius

COAL MINERS STRIKE IN POLAND. Eight coal mines in southern Poland were
idle on 5 February following strike calls by the Solidarity trade union,
Polish and international media reported. Some 220,000 workers at other
mines in the southern coal mining district of Silesia rallied in support
of the strike. The miners are demanding bonus payments for 1995 and
government guarantees that planned changes in social security policy
will not affect their right to retire after 25 years' service. -- Jakub
Karpinski

POLISH-RUSSIAN ROUNDTABLE IN WARSAW. Several dozen Polish and Russian
foreign policy experts met in Warsaw last weekend to discuss bilateral
relations, Polish media reported. Polish Foreign Minister Dariusz Rosati
said Poland has already decided for NATO membership, and all the Polish
delegates--including the post-communists-- argued that entering NATO is
in Poland's interests. The Russian participants, however, argued that
NATO extension opposes Russian interests. -- Jakub Karpinski

FORMER POLISH PRESIDENT'S INSTITUTE REGISTERED. The Lech Walesa
Institute was registered by a Warsaw court on 2 February, Polish media
reported. The foundation's aims are to preserve the national
inheritance, support the decentralization of the state, and disseminate
the social teachings of the Catholic Church. Aides and supporters of
former President Lech Walesa, including former Defense Minister Zbigniew
Okonski and former Internal Affairs Minister Andrzej Milczanowski, are
members of the foundation's board. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH OFFICIALS FINALLY MEET WITH ROMANI REPRESENTATIVES. Minister
without portfolio Igor Nemec and Labor Minister of Labor and head of the
Council on Minorities Jindrich Vodicka met with Romani representatives
in Prague on 2 February, CTK reported. Discussions focused on
unemployment and job opportunities among Romani. Executive Chairman of
the Romani Democratic Congress Ivan Vesely said this was the first
serious meeting between Romani and government representatives since
1993. Nemec called the meeting "informative" but added that Romani
issues would be better resolved at the municipal level. Anti-racist
measures taken by local authorities have frequently been considered
inadequate. -- Alaina Lemon

SLOVAK PARTY TO TAKE ANTI-COMMUNIST LAW TO COURT. Party of the
Democratic Left (SDL) spokesman Milan Istvan on 5 February said his
party will lodge a complaint with the Constitutional Court against the
law on the immorality and illegality of the communist regime. Istvan
said the SDL "condemns all the crimes and groundless repression
committed under the previous regime." But he added that the law is
questionable from legal and political standpoints since it allows for
retroactive prosecution, which he said is "anti-constitutional," and
bans the ideology of the previous political system, Narodna obroda
reported. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK PRIME MINISTER ON BANKING. Vladimir Meciar told Slovak Radio on 5
February that the state does not guarantee deposits in any of the
country's banks. Meciar noted that by introducing the protection of bank
deposits, the government and parliament "will correct a situation that
has been bad for a long time," although "no one would have said so out
loud." According to Pravda, the National Bank of Slovakia approved a
bill guaranteeing deposits a year ago, but the government has not yet
addressed the issue. -- Sharon Fisher

PROMINENT HUNGARIANS CRITICIZE DRAFT SCREENING LAW. More than 100
prominent Hungarians from Hungary and abroad on 2 February addressed an
open letter to Hungarian authorities warning that the cabinet's draft
screening law is lacking in various respects, Hungarian media reported.
The signatories pointed out that the draft law allows citizens only to
look at files kept by the internal security service, while those
maintained by other intelligence services will remain inaccessible. The
bill is soon to be discussed in the parliament. Among the signatories to
the letter were chairman of the Slovak Coexistence movement Miklos
Duray, poet Gyorgy Faludy, historian Ferenc Fejto, philosopher Agnes
Heller, and Bishop Laszlo Tokes from Romania. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BIG MONEY NEEDED FOR BOSNIAN RECONSTRUCTION. Nasa Borba quotes Bosnian
Prime Minster Hasan Muratovic as stressing that Bosnia needs a lot of
money and soon. Muratovic estimates the bill at $3 billion per year for
the next five years, and he quoted a World Bank projection of $5.1
billion in emergency aid for the infrastructure alone. Onasa on 30
January had cited the transportation minister as saying that if he gets
the money, his first priority will be to rebuild the Ploce-Mostar-
Zenica-Doboj-Tuzla road connection and then the railroad that links
Ploce via Doboj to Hungary, Banja Luka, and Tuzla. He dismissed ideas
about building a new railroad system independent of the Republika Srpska
and called for the reconstruction of the prewar route. -- Patrick Moore

IFOR DEPLOYS MORE TROOPS IN SARAJEVO. IFOR has deployed additional
troops in the former Serb-held areas of Sarajevo to reassure the local
population, international and local media reported. Those areas are due
to be handed over to the Bosnian government by March 20. The decision,
taken by the international community's Carl Bildt, has angered the
Bosnian government. But US Dayton peace accord negotiator Richard
Holbrooke dismissed Bosnian government concerns. Speaking in Davos,
Switzerland, on 5 February, Holbrooke said the issue was not "critical."
Meanwhile, only 215 UN policemen out of the expected 2,000 have been
deployed. -- Michael Mihalka

U.S.-EU DIFFERENCES CONTINUE OVER BOSNIAN RECONSTRUCTION. The EU and the
U.S. still have considerable differences over the allocation of funds
for Bosnian reconstruction, international media reported. Holbrooke
denied on 5 February that there was a "crisis" in EU-U.S. relations but
admitted that a "funding problem" exists. The World Bank wants donor
countries to confirm pledges for the estimated $5.1 billion needed for
Bosnian reconstruction before a scheduled conference in April. Pledges
for only $520 million were made at a December meeting. Holbrooke also
stressed Bosnia was the "testing ground for what we used to call the
West's post-Cold War foreign policy." -- Michael Mihalka

RUMP YUGOSLAV PREMIER ON SANCTIONS, WAR CRIMES. Premier Radoje Kontic
has said that Belgrade will cooperate with the International UN War
Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, Nasa Borba reported on 6
February. But he has also stressed that Belgrade cannot be held
responsible for the actions of Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and
Gen. Ratko Mladic, since the rump Yugoslavia has "no jurisdiction" over
them. Kontic added that the issue of lifting sanctions against rump
Yugoslavia must not be linked to the issues of war crimes and
extradition. -- Stan Markotich

KOSCHNIK ON SOLUTION TO MOSTAR REORGANIZATION. Hans Koschnik, the EU
administrator of Mostar, on 4 February met with the president and vice
president of the Bosnian Federation as well as an aide to the
international community's Carl Bildt to inform them of his proposal to
reorganize Mostar into "six municipalities and one central district,"
Hina reported. Koschnik has also met with the mayors of the western and
eastern parts of Mostar--Mijo Brajkovic and Safet Orucevic--to discuss
the issue. The full details of Koschnik's proposal are to be announced
on 6 February. Brajkovic said that the Croatian side cannot accept the
term "district" but would agree to the idea of joint authorities in the
same building. Orucevic told Oslobodjenje that the Muslim side agrees in
principal with the proposal. -- Daria Sito Sucic

SUIT TO BE FILED AGAINST TUDJMAN? Editor of the magazine Erasmus Slavko
Goldstajn has warned Croatian President Franjo Tudjman that he will file
a suit against him if he goes ahead with his plan to turn the Jasenovac
Memorial Center into a memorial center for Croatian war victims, Nasa
Borba and Politika reported, citing the Croatian weekly. In an open
letter to Tudjman, Goldstajn said that Tudjman's plans are strongly
opposed by the Jewish community in Croatia. He noted that some 17,000
Jews were killed in Jasenovac and that the total number of victims of
fascist terror there amounted to 80,000. -- Daria Sito Sucic

MACEDONIAN TV DIRECTOR FIRED, MINISTER RESIGNS IN PROTEST. Macedonian
Radio and TV Director-General Melpomeni Korneti on 4 February dismissed
the director of the Macedonian TV station Saso Ordanoski, MIC reported
the next day. Korneti argued that Ordanoski was fired for disrupting
scheduled programming and for his editorial policy. He also charged
Ordanoski with failing to uphold the "principle of truthful and
objective information." But the editorial board of Macedonian TV said
Ordanoski's dismissal was "contrary to the principles of freedom of the
press and to international standards...oriented toward a democratic and
free press." Meanwhile, Minister without portfolio and government
spokesman Ismail Gjuner on 5 February resigned in protest at Ordanoski's
dismissal, Nova Makedonija reported. Gjuner said that Ordanoski had been
good not only for Macedonian journalism but also for the country's
"young democracy." -- Fabian Schmidt

MONTENEGRIN ALBANIANS PROTEST DISCRIMINATION OVER INFRASTRUCTURE EX-
PENDITURES. Secretary of the Democratic Alliance of Albanians in
Montenegro Muhamet Nikaj has said the current Montenegrin government is
severely discriminating against its Albanian community, the BBC
reported, citing Albanian TV on 3 February. Nikaj argued that Albanian-
inhabited areas near Ulcinj, Plav, and Gusinje have been largely left
out of any plans for infrastructure development. He added that the
Montenegrin authorities are continuing to "ghettoize" Albanians in
various ways. -- Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENTARY COMMISSION SUBMITS REPORT ON 1989 REVOLT. The
parliamentary commission investigating the bloody 1989 anti-communist
revolt has submitted its report to the Senate, according to Romanian
media on 5 February. Senator Valentin Gabrielescu of the National
Peasant Party-Christian Democratic, who heads the commission, said the
report was incomplete since investigators failed to locate the secret
bank accounts of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. Gabrielescu repeated
accusations that Romania's current leaders and other ex-Communists had
"hijacked" the December 1989 popular uprising. The government mouthpiece
Vocea Romaniei on 6 February responded by decrying "fabrications by some
people and publications about the Romanian revolution." -- Dan Ionescu

STRIKES IN ROMANIA. Some 40,000 coal miners on 6 February staged a one-
day strike to demand better social conditions and higher wages, Romanian
media reported. The strike took place after representatives of miners'
trade unions failed to reach an agreement with government officials. The
miners have threatened an all-out strike on 12 February if their demands
are not satisfied. In a separate development, some 4,500 employees at
the Rodae car plant in Craiova on 5 February went on a warning strike
and announced plans for an unlimited strike later this week in support
of demands for higher pay. The technical staff of Romania's national air
company have also threatened a warning strike if negotiations with the
Labor Ministry over a collective work contract fail. -- Matyas Szabo

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT THREATENS TO DISMISS CABINET. Mircea Snegur on 5
February said cabinet ministers will be dismissed if no solution is
found by 1 April to pay pension and pay arrears to the population, BASA-
press and Infotag reported. Snegur did not rule out the possibility that
the entire cabinet would be dismissed. He noted that the huge arrears
may provoke mass protests and thus destabilize the country. Snegur's
comments were made during a meeting with cabinet ministers in charge of
economic and social issues. According to the president's office, pension
arrears total 100 million lei ($22 million) while wage arrears amount to
200 million lei. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN COURT INVALIDATES KARDZHALI ELECTIONS. The Kardzhali Regional
Court on 5 February invalidated the election of Mayor Rasim Musa and the
city council, Bulgarian media reported. Musa, a member of the ethnic
Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom (DPS), was elected last November
by a margin of 658 votes over the Bulgarian Socialist Party candidate.
The BSP, alleging irregularities such as the casting of double votes and
voting by non-residents, had demanded that the elections be declared
void. The court ruled that there were 1,217 cases of illegal voting in
the mayoral run-off and 827 in the city council elections. DPS Chairman
Ahmet Dogan said his party will recall its mayors and councillors
nationwide and stage protests in Kardzhali. -- Stefan Krause

HOLBROOKE CANCELS VISIT TO GREECE, TURKEY, CYPRUS. The U.S. State
Department on 5 February announced that Assistant Secretary of State
Richard Holbrooke has canceled visits to Athens, Ankara, and Nicosia,
AFP reported the same day. Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who was
blamed by the opposition for backing down in the recent crisis with
Turkey over an Aegean islet, had made it clear that Holbrooke would not
be welcome in Athens. At the same time, Simitis announced that Athens
will undertake a major diplomatic initiative to win support from
European and NATO partners in its dispute with Turkey. Holbrooke's
visits were aimed at reducing tension between Greece and Turkey and to
lay the groundwork for a possible new peace initiative on Cyprus. In
related news, Greece has protested to Turkey over an incident in which
Turkish coast guard boats allegedly fired on two Greek fishing vessels.
-- Lowell Bezanis

[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
 
         

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