Give Peace A Chance. - John Lennon and Paul McCartney
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 56, Part II, 19 March 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 FEDERAL POLICE ENTER GRBAVICA. The Sarajevo suburb was "in
flames" on the eve of being ceded to federal control, Oslobodjenje
reported on 18 March. Grbavica passed into government hands around dawn
on 19 March, the day on which all territorial exchanges in Bosnia were
to be completed in keeping with the Dayton agreement. Sarajevo thereby
became a fully reunited city. Federal police were welcomed by the 1,000-
2,000 mainly elderly Serbs who braved days of Serbian violence and
virtual anarchy to stay in their homes. The police set up checks of
those wanting to enter Grbavica to make sure that only former residents
came in, Reuters reported. This was to thwart attempts by Muslim gangs
to bother the Serbs and loot their property, as happened in Ilidza.
Onasa on 18 March quoted NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana as saying
that "in forcing people to leave, the Bosnian Serb authorities have
behaved abominably, and the actions of the federation authorities have
been far from reassuring." The BBC added the next day that many felt
IFOR had not done enough, either. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CHRISTOPHER IN UKRAINE. U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher
arrived in Ukraine on 19 March for meetings with President Leonid
Kuchma, parliamentary Speaker Oleksandr Moroz, Prime Minister Yevhen
Marchuk, and Foreign Minister Hennadii Udovenko, ITAR-TASS reported.
Talks are to focus on a wide range of subjects, including disarmament
and the Russian-Ukrainian-U.S. trilateral treaty, economic reforms in
Ukraine, and the Balkan conflict. Christopher will leave Kyiv for the
Czech Republic the same day. -- Ustina Markus

LUKASHENKA ON INTEGRATION WITH RUSSIA. Belarusian officials met at
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's residence on 18 March to discuss an
agreement on a union between Russia and Belarus that is expected to be
signed by the Russian and Belarusian presidents at the end of the month
or in early April, ITAR-TASS reported. According to Lukashenka, union
between the two countries is dictated by the times and cannot be
rejected. He said all reasonable political forces in Russia and Belarus
must work with the presidents to correct past mistakes. Lukashenka
recommended that the Belarusian parliament look into ways of speeding up
the integration process at its next session and said he would be willing
to attend the session if parliament would support his proposals. --
Ustina Markus

NATO SEMINAR CONCLUDES IN LATVIA. Sixty officers from Latvia, Lithuania,
Estonia, and Romania attended an 11-15 March seminar in Jurmala, BNS
reported. NATO North West Allied Force Staff head Ola Aabakkem said it
was the first seminar on the territory of the former USSR conducted by
NATO experts for Partnership for Peace members. The seminar was devoted
to the planning and management of international exercises, ranging from
staff drills of separate units to broad multinational maneuvers. --
Saulius Girnius

PROPOSAL TO GUARANTEE STABILITY OF LITHUANIAN CURRENCY REJECTED. Prime
Minister Mindaugas Stankevicius, Bank of Lithuania Chairman Reinoldijus
Sarkinas, and representatives of the major political parties declared on
15 March that the law on the stability of the litas would not be
changed, Radio Lithuania reported. The ruling Lithuanian Democratic
Labor Party had earlier supported a proposal by President Algirdas
Brazauskas that the law be amended to guarantee the value of the litas
until the end of 1998 in order to boost foreign investment. Opposition
parties were against the amendment, asserting that it would have a
negative effect on the economy. -- Saulius Girnius

OPPOSITION ALLIANCE IN POLAND. Former Prime Minister Jan Olszewski, the
leader of the Movement for the Restoration of Poland (ROP), spoke on 18
March with Solidarity trade union leader Marian Krzaklewski in Gdansk,
Polish media reported the next day. Olszewski said the two would form a
"programmatic union that will continue Solidarity's halted revolution
after victory at the polls." The "programmatic union" would include the
Solidarity-sponsored draft constitution of which Olszewski was a co-
author. Olszewski said the chances of a common Solidarity-ROP electoral
bloc and its electoral victory "border on certainty." ROP can count on
3% to 9% of support and Solidarity on 10% to 16% in a parliamentary
election, according to a Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) poll
conducted on 7-12 March. Parliamentary elections are scheduled for next
year. -- Jakub Karpinski

FORMER SECURITY POLICEMAN JAILED IN POLAND. A Polish court has jailed a
former security policeman for five years for beating and maltreating
captives during interrogations in 1948, Polish and international media
reported on 19 March. The regional court in Radom, south of Warsaw,
found Marian Nowak, 79, guilty on all six counts in the case). -- Dagmar
Mroziewicz

POLAND CLAIMS HELICOPTER PARTS SEIZED IN JORDAN NOT ILLEGAL. The general
manager of the Polish helicopter builder Swidnik on 8 March said that
the spare parts seized in Jordan the previous day were civilian in
nature and did not violate the UN arms embargo against Iraq. Reuters
quoted Mieczyslaw Majewski as saying the shipment "had nothing to do
with arms." He added that his company had received a UN permit in 1995
to export parts for civilian helicopters to Iraq. According to CET,
Jordanian authorities said spare parts and equipment for military
aircraft were concealed in a consignment of agricultural equipment that
was seized at the Amman airport after arriving from Warsaw. Majewski
said the parts were agricultural sprayers that could be fitted to
helicopters and had been imported by a Jordanian firm. -- Doug Clarke

CZECH GOVERNING PARTY SUBMITS ELECTORAL LISTS. The Civic Democratic
Party (ODS) of Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus on 18 March submitted its
lists of candidates for the parliamentary elections to be held on 31
May-1 June, Czech media reported. The ODS was the first party to deliver
its lists to regional election committees; the deadline for registering
is 1 April. Up to 18 parties are expected to contest the elections.
Klaus himself will be a candidate in northern Moravia, standing directly
against opposition Social Democrat leader Milos Zeman. Among those on
the ODS lists are candidates from the small Christian Democratic Party
(KDS), which will soon cease to exist following its merger with the ODS.
KDS leaders said they would apply on 19 March to have their party
removed from the Interior Ministry's register of political groupings. --
Steve Kettle

CZECHS LIFT SANCTIONS AGAINST RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. President Vaclav Havel on
18 March signed a law lifting sanctions against rump Yugoslavia, Czech
media reported. The law, in line with UN resolutions, was passed by the
parliament six days earlier. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus, during a visit
to Belgrade on 4 March, said he hoped trade links would redevelop
rapidly after the lifting of sanctions. -- Steve Kettle

CZECHS FORM INTERDEPARTMENTAL COMMITTEE ON NATO MEMBERSHIP. A special
coordinating committee including members of the Foreign Ministry and the
Defense Ministry as well as representatives of the finance, industry,
and trade sectors has been established, Radio Prague reported on 15
March. A representative of the Defense Ministry was quoted as saying the
committee would coordinate all activities regarding Czech integration
into NATO. He said he hoped the committee would eventually produce a
"National Plan of Compatibility With NATO." -- Doug Clarke

CZECH POLITICIAN POSTS 'NO-ROMA-ALLOWED' SIGN. A candidate from the Free
Democrats-Liberal National Social Party (SD-LSNS) in southern Moravia,
Rudolf Baranek, has barred Roma from a hotel he operates, CTK reported
on 18 March. After some Roma allegedly took $400 from the cash desk,
Baranek posted a sign announcing a ban on all Roma. Romani
representatives in Breclav have labeled the act racist, which Baranek
has denied. A party co-chairman of the SD-LSNS called Baranek's act
indefensible, recommending that the sign be taken down, but he declined
to call it racist. -- Alaina Lemon

MORE SLOVAK CELEBRATIONS OF WARTIME STATE. More than 1,500 Slovaks on 16
March gathered in Bratislava to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the
founding of the Nazi-allied Slovak state. The event was co-sponsored by
the Confederation of Political Prisoners, the Association of Slovak
Soldiers, the Andrej Hlinka Society, the Slovak Society for the
Protection of Human and National Rights, and the nationalist cultural
organization Matica slovenska. Historians who addressed the crowd
praised the state and its president, Jozef Tiso, and noted that Slovaks
do not need to feel "any collective guilt." Attempts to rehabilitate the
wartime state were criticized by opposition parties, the president's
office, the Slovak Anti-Fascist Fighters' Union, and other groups. --
Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN SMALLHOLDERS' RALLY PROVOKES RANCOR. The two governing-party
caucuses are considering concrete measures against the opposition
Smallholders Party (FKGP) in reaction to a harsh anti-government speech
by FKGP Chairman Jozsef Torgyan last week, Hungarian media reported. In
his speech, the populist Torgyan labeled ruling political elites
"disgusting pseudo-liberal worms and vultures that have inundated [our]
country" and added that "as spring is coming, it is time for Hungarians
to launch a 'de-worming' campaign." Torgyan also called on the cabinet
to resign and promised to create a "Canaan of milk and honey." The
socialist-liberal coalition and the opposition Young Democrats
explicitly dissociated themselves from Torgyan's tone, saying it was
inadmissible in a parliamentary democracy to describe the advocates of
an internationally accepted political trend as worms and vultures. The
Socialists suggested an end to all parliamentary cooperation with
Torgyan and his party. The coalition liberals oppose such a move,
arguing that it would grant Torgyan a wider opportunity to attack the
governing parties. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

IZETBEGOVIC CONDEMNS MUSLIM VIOLENCE. Bosnian President Alija
Izetbegovic has written Interior Minister Avdo Hebib to criticize
attacks by Muslims against Serbs and their property in Ilidza, Onasa
reported on 18 March. He seemed intent on preventing such incidents in
the future. The president said that "Serbs who have decided, despite the
crazed Pale propaganda and threats, to stay in Sarajevo deserve our full
protection, and they must get it.  With a feeling of bitterness, I
listened in the past days to reports about the behavior of a group of
[Muslim] residents.  We want an integral and democratic Bosnia. [Pale]
wants a divided and ethnically cleansed Bosnia. Our goals diametrically
differ from theirs, so the paths and methods are different as well.
There will be no integral and democratic Bosnia without strict respect
of laws and human rights for all." -- Patrick Moore

SERBIAN PRESIDENT ON BOSNIAN ELECTIONS. Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic said in Geneva on 18 March that elections in Bosnia-
Herzegovina ought to be held as soon as possible. "The best way to
stabilize the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is to overcome current
problems, to apply the Dayton peace accord in a coherent fashion, and to
speed up preparation of the elections," he said. "Only representatives
and institutions elected in a regular fashion can guarantee a normal
life in the Republika Srpska as well as the [Muslim-Croat] federation
and in the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina." He seemingly referring to
Bosnian Serb leaders not elected but appointed by an assembly in 1991.
Both AFP and Tanjug reported Milosevic's remarks. -- Stan Markotich

SLOVENIAN JOURNALISTS ON STRIKE. Journalists employed at the state-
funded Radio and Television Slovenija Corporation went on strike on 18
March, demanding higher salaries and improved working conditions for
freelancers and causing a news blackout on RTV Slovenija. Roughly 10% of
the company's 350 employees are freelancers. Full-time staff members
have asked for a 15% pay increase, which would bring an average monthly
gross salary to $1,200. Union officials have vowed to continue with
their job action until their demands are met, according to Belgrade's
Beta, while management representatives say they will keep the avenues of
dialogue open. -- Stan Markotich

RUMP YUGOSLAVIA EASES BORDER TRAFFIC WITH ALBANIA AFTER 15 YEARS. The
rump Yugoslav government on 14 March announced a plan to scrap exit
visas for ethnic Albanians who want to travel to Albania, international
agencies reported. The Albanian government welcomed the move as a "step
in the right direction," adding that "the free communication of people 
would contribute to understanding and a spirit of a dialogue in the
region." Kosovar and Montenegrin Albanians have needed exit visas since
1981, when Albanian students rallied for the establishment of a Kosovar
republic. ATSH reported on 18 March, however, that the ruling had not
yet taken effect. In related news, on 15 March, police detained Kosovar
human rights activist Adem Demaci for two hours and confiscated
documentation on human rights abuses that he intended to present to the
European Parliament. -- Fabian Schmidt

BALKAN DIPLOMATIC UPDATE. Italian Foreign Minister Susanna Agnelli
visited Skopje and Tirana on 18 March. Talks with the respective
presidents and foreign ministers focused on future association
agreements of the Balkan countries with the European Union. Both Albania
and Macedonia said EU association is a high priority. Macedonia urged
that individual Balkan countries that meet the necessary association
criteria not be forced to wait for their neighbors, Reuters and MILS
reported. Meanwhile, Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos called on
Belgrade not to recognize Macedonia until the name issue is resolved
between Athens and Skopje, MILS reported. The Macedonian agency also
noted that Macedonian Foreign Minister Ljubomir Frckovski has accepted
Pangalos's invitation to visit Athens. Macedonian sources say the
meeting will take place at the end of March or the beginning of April.
-- Fabian Schmidt and Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL WARNS OF FOREIGN TERRORISM. General
Vasile Lupu, deputy chief of the Romanian Intelligence Service, said
that Hezbollah, Hamas, and other terrorist groups are planning to use
Romania as a base for terrorist action, international agencies reported
on 18 March, quoting a Romanian newspaper. According to Lupu, opponents
of peace in the Middle East and other militant groups are particularly
active among Iranian and Palestinian students at Romanian universities.
Lupu also claimed to have proof that the Kurdistan Workers' Party was
considering opening an Eastern European headquarters in Romania, which
would allegedly open the way for the traffic of weapons, ammunition, and
explosives through Romania. -- Matyas Szabo

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES HIGHER WAGES. The government on 18 March
decided to raise the minimum salary for people employed in the state
sector to 3,040 leva ($39) as of 1 April and to 3,340 leva as of 1
October, Duma reported. The minimum pension will be increased to 1,800
leva and 2,000 leva on the respective target dates. The cabinet also
decided to fully compensate people paid directly out of the state budget
if inflation rises above the projected 20%, provided it does not exceed
25%. Average wages of state employees are to rise by 10% in 1996 (by 30%
in the education sector). The government announced its decision during a
meeting of the National Council for Tripartite Cooperation, which
comprises representatives of the government, trade unions, and
employers. The union representatives left the meeting demanding "new
starting levels" for wages and compensation based on real rather than
projected inflation rates. The employers also voiced displeasure with
the government plan. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIA, GREECE SIGN MILITARY PLAN. Officials of the defense ministries
and general staffs of Bulgaria and Greece on 15 March signed a 70-point
military-cooperation program for 1996, Bulgarian media reported. The
annual programs are based on a 1992 agreement. The 1996 program calls
for joint exercises on the territories of both countries as well as in
their territorial waters. For the first time, it also calls for joint
special-forces exercises. -- Doug Clarke

SON-IN-LAW OF FORMER BULGARIAN DICTATOR ACQUITTED. Ivan Slavkov, head of
the Bulgarian Olympic Committee and the Bulgarian Soccer Association and
a member of the International Olympic Committee, on 15 March was found
not guilty of embezzlement and illegal firearms possession, Reuters
reported. The son-in-law of former communist strongman Todor Zhivkov in
an interview with Pari on 12 March had called the trial against him
"boring" and had ridiculed it by claiming he intended to use his
sporting rifles "to overthrow the government," adding that he was
referring to "the former one, since this one will overthrow itself."
Meanwhile, Slavkov's son Todor, who had been behind bars for a year on
charges of participating in a group rape in 1988, was released from
prison on 18 March and placed under house arrest, Duma reported. His
trial was scheduled to start on 18 March but has been postponed until 16
April. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN TOWN DECLARES IMPRISONED SOCIALIST LEADER HONORARY CITIZEN. The
Socialist-dominated municipality of Tepelena declared Socialist leader
Fatos Nano an honorary citizen, international agencies reported on 17
March. Nano is serving the remaining two years of an original 12-year
sentence for misappropriation of humanitarian-aid funds in the prison of
Tepelena. The Socialists regard Nano as a political prisoner and point
to various irregularities in his detention and trial. The honor was
awarded in defiance of the ruling Democratic Party. Elsewhere, a court
in Saranda has sentenced five communist activists for distributing
propaganda leaflets. The leader of the group was sentenced to four years
in jail and three others to six months each. A fifth was given a three-
year suspended sentence. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Tim Rostan

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
Digest is distributed electronically via the OMRI-L list. To subscribe,
send "SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L YourFirstName YourLastName" (without the
quotation marks and inserting your name where shown) to
LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
No subject line or other text should be included.
To receive the OMRI Daily Digest by mail or fax, please direct inquiries
to OMRI Publications, Na Strzi 63, 140 62 Prague 4, Czech Republic; or
electronically to OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
Tel.: (42-2) 6114 2114; fax: (42-2) 426 396

Please note that there is a new procedure for obtaining permission to
reprint or redistribute the OMRI Daily Digest. Before reprinting or
redistributing this publication, please write omripub@omri.cz for a copy
of the new policy or look at this URL:
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/DigestReprint.html

OMRI also publishes the biweekly journal Transition, which contains
expanded analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For
Transition subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ

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

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole