The discovery of a new dish does more for human happines than the discovery of a new star. - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 71, Part II, 10 April 1996

New OMRI Analytical Briefs:
- "Belgrade, Skopje Establish Diplomatic Ties," by Stan Markotich and
  Stefan Krause
- "Quotes from Slovak Ruling Party's Congress," by Sharon Fisher
- "Both Past and Present are Important to Polish President's Visit
  to Russia," by Jakub Karpinski

Available on the World Wide Web:
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Analytical/Index.html

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
IFOR WARNS BOSNIAN FACTIONS ABOUT WEAPONS VIOLATIONS. Brigadier Andrew
Cumming on 9 April said that IFOR has sent a letter to all three sides
in Bosnia warning them that they are not complying with rules on heavy
weapons, Onasa news agency reported. At issue is the storage of air
defense weapons. Cumming said that "nobody is going to start flying back
into Bosnia if there are a number of air defense systems loose in the
country." Meanwhile in Pale, the Bosnian Serbs freed three out of the 19
or 20 prisoners they are keeping. The government side also continues to
hold a number of Serbs, some of whom they have officially declared and
some not. Meanwhile, war crimes tribunal authorities in The Hague took
custody of Zdravko Mucic, who was delivered to Schiphol airport by
Austrian police. Mucic, a Croat, is charged with war crimes against
Bosnian Serbs while he was the commander of the Celebici prison camp in
central Bosnia, Nasa Borba reported on 10 April. -- Patrick Moore
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

IMF, UKRAINE NEGOTIATE NEW CREDIT. The IMF and Ukraine are negotiating a
new stand-by credit worth $900 million, AFP reported on 9 April. The
loan is intended to replace a $1.6 billion credit that expired on 6
April. Ukraine made use of only $700 million of that loan. Since it is
now too late to extend and increase that credit, agreement is to be
reached on a new loan. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN, UKRAINIAN LEADERS ATTEND CHORNOBYL CONFERENCE. Belarusian
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Ukrainian Prime Minister Yevhen
Marchuk arrived in Vienna on 9 April to participate in a four-day
conference on Chornobyl, international agencies reported. Marchuk told
delegates that Ukraine intends to close down Chornobyl by 2000 but can
do so only if it receives financial support. He said that support has
not materialized to date. Lukashenka stressed that Belarus must use 20-
25% of its annual budget to deal with the consequences of the Chornobyl
accident. He appealed to foreign countries to contribute $125 billion to
help in that effort. More than 700 participants are attending the
conference. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN PREMIER DENIES OWING RUSSIA RUBLES. Tiit Vahi has denied there
is any need for Estonia to repay Russian rubles it withdrew from
circulation when the country switched to its own currency, BNS reported
on 9 April. Vahi was responding to Russian demands for compensation for
the missing rubles. He proposed instead that Russia compensate Estonia
for money frozen in accounts in the Russian Vnesheconombank and for
damage caused by Russian troops in Estonia. The Estonian Foreign
Ministry has not yet given an official reply to the demands. -- Ustina
Markus

LITHUANIAN POLITICAL UPDATE. Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas
has appointed Antanas Zenonas as Economy Minister, BNS reported on 6
April. He has also scheduled parliamentary elections for 20 October. The
last such elections were held in October 1992. -- Ustina Markus

FORMER FIRST SECRETARY ON MARTIAL LAW IN POLAND. Stanislaw Kania, first
secretary of the Polish United Workers Party from 1980-1981, on 9 April
gave testimony at the trial of former Internal Affairs Minister Czeslaw
Kiszczak, Polish dailies reported. Kiszczak, who held office from 1981-
1990, is accused of authorizing police units to shoot at miners from
Wujek and Manifest Lipcowy collieries in December 1991, when martial law
was declared in Poland. Kania said he had been against martial law,
although preparations for its proclamation began during his term in
office under heavy Soviet pressure. Kania was replaced as first
secretary in October 1981 by Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski. -- Jakub
Karpinski

SLOVAK CABINET TO TAKE PRESIDENT TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT. The Slovak
government on 9 April decided to turn to the Constitutional Court over
President Michal Kovac's refusal to appoint Labor and Social Affairs
Minister Olga Keltosova as ambassador to the UN, Narodna obroda
reported. The cabinet argued that although the president has the
constitutional right to approve or reject ambassadorial candidates, the
constitution does not allow him to make an appointment conditional on
certain demands being met. Kovac said he would approve Keltosova's
appointment if she distanced herself from a cabinet statement issued in
September calling for his resignation. She has refused to comply. --
Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK PRESIDENT VETOES LAW ON PROTECTION OF REPUBLIC. Meanwhile, Kovac
on 4 April rejected the law on the protection of the republic, asking
the parliament to eliminate those provisions that "violate freedom of
expression, information, and assembly," Slovak media reported on 10
April. The parliament can override Kovac by voting again for the law,
but opposition parties have promised to take it to the Constitutional
Court. Cardinal Jan Chryzostom Korec published a statement in Praca on 9
April stressing that, "To damage the nation, the state, and Slovakia is
immoral; however, to restrict citizens' freedom of expression can be
even more immoral." -- Sharon Fisher

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ISLAMIC FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN SARAJEVO. The foreign ministers of
Iran, Egypt, Morocco, Malaysia, Pakistan, Senegal, Saudi Arabia, and
Turkey held a closed session in the Bosnian capital on 9 April to
discuss offering mainly economic rather than military assistance. The
eight countries constitute the Islamic Contact Group for Bosnia. The
Malaysian defense minister was also in Sarajevo, where he met with his
Bosnian counterpart to review the security situation. Meanwhile in
Manama, UN Ambassador Muhamed Sacirbey told businessmen, officials, and
bankers from six Gulf Arab states that Bosnia needs private investment
to repair war damage totaling $80-$100 billion, Onasa reported. Sacirbey
stressed that investment, not aid, is the key to Bosnia's future. --
Patrick Moore

BRITAIN TO RECOGNIZE RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. A representative of the Foreign
Office on 9 April said Britain will recognize the rump Yugoslavia as the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. He added that bilateral relations are to
be upgraded to the ambassadorial level. Reuters quoted the spokesman as
saying that "this is a welcome development which reflects the changed
circumstances in the region following signature of the Bosnia Peace
Agreement." -- Stan Markotich

CROATIAN UPDATE. President Franjo Tudjman told visiting Canadian Foreign
Minister Lloyd Axworthy that Croatia favors normalization of relations
in the region but is opposed to any kind of integration or new
Yugoslavia, Nasa Borba reported on 10 April. The Croatian PEN club has
protested the new press law as a curb on freedom of expression, Politika
noted. The PEN club, which is regarded as a highly prestigious
institution among residents of the former Yugoslavia, also
"disassociated itself" from its member Vladimir Seks, who is vice
president of parliament, for his role in promoting the legislation. The
parliament's president, Vlatko Pavletic, warned that the proposed law on
cooperation with the tribunal in The Hague must be passed if Croatia
wants to ensure its admission to the Council of Europe, Slobodna
Dalmacija wrote. Finally, Czech President Vaclav Havel told Globus that
democracy and the civil society need to be strengthened in Croatia. --
Patrick Moore

MONTENEGRIN OPPOSITION PARTY ON RECOGNITION OF MACEDONIA. The opposition
Liberal Party of Montenegro has said that Belgrade's recognition of
Macedonia is likely to pave the way for improved relations between
Belgrade and other states of the former Yugoslavia. But it added that
the recognition of Macedonia was "overdue" and prompted by the "urging
of the international community." Nada Bukilich, a Liberal Party
representative, was quoted by Montena-fax on 9 April as saying that
recognition is likely to smooth over outstanding differences over the
question of succession. -- Stan Markotich

SLOVENIAN FOREIGN MINISTER FALLS OUT OF FAVOR? Lojze Peterle, head of
the Slovenian Christian Democratic Party, which supports the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party, has said his party has no choice but to urge
that Zoran Thaler be removed from the post of foreign minister. Peterle
maintains that Thaler, a Liberal Democrat, has failed to mend fences
with neighboring Italy, which, he said, is a necessary step for
Slovenia's entry into the EU. According to the Serbian news agency Beta,
Peterle has argued that Thaler's failure to improve relations with Rome
has contributed to Slovenia's tarnished image within the international
community. -- Stan Markotich

U.S. CONGRESSMAN TIES SUPPORT FOR ROMANIA TO EXCLUSION OF EXTREMISTS
FROM GOVERNMENT...Tom Lantos, in Bucharest on 9 April, said he is ready
to help Romania obtain most-favored-nation status and join NATO--on
condition that "no extremist party" is included in Romania's government
after the fall elections, Reuters and Romanian media reported. Lantos
was speaking after meetings with Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu,
President Ion Iliescu, and Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca. Radio
Bucharest cited Lantos as saying he is ready to offer help to Budapest
and Bucharest to reach an agreement on the basic treaty, but he added
that he is sure this will not be necessary since the two sides will
reach an agreement by themselves. He also said Romania has to improve
its record of treating national minorities and singled out the issue of
the Hungarian-language university in Cluj. -- Michael Shafir

...WHILE FUNAR CALLS HIM "ENVOY OF HUNGARIAN IRREDENTISM." Gheorghe
Funar, chairman of the Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR), said in
a declaration broadcast by Radio Bucharest that Lantos's visit was aimed
at pressuring Romania into signing the basic agreement with Hungary
under conditions advantageous to Budapest. He called Lantos, who is of
Hungarian origin, "an envoy of Hungarian irredentism." The PUNR is still
a member of the ruling coalition, although the main coalition partner,
the Party of Social Democracy in Romania, has said it intends to end its
alliance with Funar's group. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER FORESEES "ARMS RACE IN REGION." If Hungary
were granted NATO membership before Romania, there could be an arms race
in the region, Romanian Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca said in an
interview with the Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap on 9 April. Tinca also
suggested that instead of competing for NATO membership, the two
countries should accelerate talks on the pending basic treaty, improve
bilateral relations, and promote the so-called historic reconciliation.
Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs responded that Hungary is
neither in a race to improve its military arsenal nor competing for NATO
membership with any country. He added that Hungary would like to see its
neighbors join NATO as soon as possible because that would improve
bilateral relations and the situation of ethnic Hungarian minorities. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

ROMANIAN PREMIER OPPOSES DEBATE ON RESTITUTION OF JEWISH PROPERTY.
Nicolae Vacaroiu is opposed to a parliamentary debate on a draft law
allowing the restitution of Jewish property confiscated between 1938 and
1989, Evenimentul zilei and Cotidianul reported on 10 April. The bill
was proposed by Adrian Severin of the Democratic Party-National
Salvation Front. Vacaroiu says anti-Semitic legislation of the 1930s and
early 1940s has been corrected by laws passed in the late 1940s by the
communists. Any new laws, he argued, should deal with all confiscated
property, not just that belonging to Jews. He also noted that the bill
would place impossible burdens on the state budget. -- Michael Shafir

GUARDS BAR MOLDOVAN DEFENSE MINISTER FROM ENTERING OFFICE. Guards barred
Gen. Pavel Creanga from entering his office on 9 April, Reuters
reported. Creanga told the agency that the army's actions were in
defiance of a recent Constitutional Court ruling, adding that the army
is still under the direct command of President Mircea Snegur. Infotag
reported that Snegur has asked the parliament to appoint Chief of Staff
Col. Pavel Chirau as Creanga's replacement. Parliamentary sources told
the agency that the legislature is unlikely to consider the request
without first hearing the opinion of Premier Andrei Sangheli, who has
refused to approve Creanga's dismissal. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION SIGNS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS AGREEMENT. Bulgaria's
major opposition forces on 9 April agreed to support a joint candidate
in the upcoming presidential elections, Standart reported. The agreement
provides for primary elections on 1 June in which members of the
opposition will choose between incumbent President Zhelyu Zhelev and
Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) Deputy Chairman Petar Stoyanov. Zhelev
is supported by the People's Union and several smaller parties. The
mainly ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom is part of the
united opposition but is to take a neutral stand in the primaries.
Zhelev and Stoyanov signed the agreement in the presence of all
opposition leaders. Zhelev had announced earlier that he will withdraw
his candidacy for a second term if he loses to Stoyanov in the
primaries. -- Stefan Krause

FORMER BULGARIAN TSAR TO VISIT SOFIA IN MAY. Simeon II has announced he
will visit Bulgaria for two weeks beginning 25 May, Bulgarian dailies
reported on 10 April, citing an interview with Le Figaro. Simeon said he
will travel "on a one-way ticket" but will return to Madrid if he
"cannot do anything useful." He said he wants to hold talks in Sofia to
find out "what the reality is there." Simeon left Bulgaria after a
communist referendum abolished the monarchy in 1946, but he has retained
his Bulgarian citizenship. Prime Minister Zhan Videnov on 6 April said
that the government sees Simeon as an unwelcome guest but added that he
can nonetheless visit the country, RFE/RL reported. The government has
repeatedly called on Simeon to renounce any idea of reclaiming the
throne or restoring the monarchy. -- Stefan Krause

COUNCIL OF EUROPE CHAIRWOMAN IN ALBANIA. Lenny Fischer, chairwoman of
the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, visited Albania on
9 April, Gazeta Shqiptare reported. Albanian President Sali Berisha told
Fischer that Albania is committed to respecting all its obligations as a
council member. Recently, the rapporteur of the council's Legal Affairs
Committee criticized the Albanian government for not keeping promises it
had given when admitted to the council last summer, including
guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary, Koha Jone reported.
Albania has also not yet abolished capital punishment; and in several
cases, judges have handed down the death sentence. Another disputed
issue is the continued imprisonment of Socialist Party leader Fatos
Nano, whose conviction for misappropriation of funds has not yet been
reviewed. -- Fabian Schmidt

[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
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