A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday. - Jonathan Swift
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 80, Part II, 23 April 1996


From omripub@omri.czTue Apr 23 10:07:44 1996
Date: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 15:25:58 +0200
From: OMRI Publications 
Reply to: Open Media Research Institute Daily Digest 
To: Multiple recipients of list OMRI-L 
Subject: OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 80, 23 Apr 96

OMRI DAILY DIGEST
No. 80, Part II, 23 April 1996

New OMRI Analytical Briefs:
- "Uighurs Casualty of "Confidence Building" in Asia," by Lowell Bezanis

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
CONSTITUTIONAL DEBATE CONTINUES IN UKRAINE. Ukraine's parliament on 23
April continued to debate the draft constitution, ITAR-TASS reported.
Last week, parliament rejected the first reading of the Parliamentary
Constitutional Commission's draft and has now received five alternative
drafts for review. The Communists' draft preserves the system of local
councils and rejects the institution of the presidency. The Christian
Democrats' draft is almost identical to the one prepared by the
Parliamentary Constitutional Commission, except that it balances power
among the elected assemblies, the president, and the country's courts,
where the commission's draft allocates more power to the president. The
1993 draft constitution is also up for consideration. -- Ustina Markus
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

SOCIALISTS ON UKRAINE'S CONSTITUTION. The socialist caucus in Ukraine's
parliament held a press conference on 20 April giving their view on the
constitutional debate, Ukrainian TV reported. According to the head of
the caucus, Ivan Chuzh, the draft presented by the special Parliamentary
Constitutional Commission, only protects the upper classes. The
socialists oppose the draft's article on the protection of private
property, although they do not oppose private property itself. Chuzh
said it was necessary to adopt a constitution, but that the socialists
are opposed to a national referendum on the constitution since it could
lead to separatism. -- Ustina Markus

ECOLOGICAL, HEALTH WOES IN UKRAINE. The river Horyn in northwestern
Ukraine, which supplies drinking water to that region and to southern
Belarus, is threatened by phosphorous pollutants from the enterprise
Rovnaozot, ITAR-TASS reported on 22 April. The enterprise, situated on
some 60 hectares of land, has already contaminated underground water
sources. Around 5% of lakes in the area have become "dead" as a result
of industrial pollution. Some water sources in each of Ukraine's 25
oblasts have tested undrinkable. In the Lviv oblast, which has the most
contaminated drinking water in the country, 640 children and some 200
adults have contracted a gum disease caused by too much fluoride in the
water. -- Ustina Markus

DEADLINE APPROACHES FOR ESTONIAN RESIDENCE PERMIT APPLICATIONS. Piia
Oobik, head of the Citizenship and Migration Department Immigration
Sector, noted that aliens in Estonia have until the end of April to hand
in residence permit applications, BNS reported on 22 April. Only aliens
with residence permits can continue to reside legally in Estonia after
12 July. Illegal aliens will be deprived of the right to social
maintenance benefits and pensions; by law, every alien without a
residence permit should be issued an order to leave the country on 12
July, but this will be impossible to implement. Over 330,000 aliens have
handed in residence applications, but less than 20,000 have received
residence permits so far. -- Saulius Girnius

NORWEGIAN PREMIER VISITS LATVIA. Gro Harlen Brundtland began a two-day
visit to Latvia on 22 April that is aimed at strengthening economic
ties, BNS reported. Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs and
Norwegian Ambassador Knut Toraasen signed agreements on customs and oil
research cooperation, the exchange of embassy buildings in Oslo and
Riga, and the introduction of a Norwegian sea monitoring system in
Latvia. In addition to meetings with President Guntis Ulmanis, Prime
Minister Andris Skele, and Parliament Chairman Ilga Kreituse, Brundtland
participated in the openings of a Norwegian art exhibition and the
Norwegian Business Days Fair. -- Saulius Girnius

RESIGNATION OF LITHUANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER REQUESTED. The ruling
Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party (LDDP) faction on 22 April called for
the resignation of Linas Linkevicius, Radio Lithuania reported.
Linkevicius formally resigned from the LDDP a week earlier, claiming
that it was unable to solve big problems and had little political
future. He later offered to remain in the LDDP faction when his
resignation threatened his ministerial post, but the LDDP rejected his
proposal. Faction leader Gediminas Kirkilas called Linkevicius's exit
from the LDDP "treason" and said the faction would request that party
member Prime Minister Mindaugas Stankevicius ask President Algirdas
Brazauskas to fire Linkevicius as Defense Minister. -- Saulius Girnius

FORMER POLISH PRIME MINISTER CLEARED OF SPY ALLEGATIONS. Col. Slawomir
Gorzkiewicz, the Deputy Military Prosecutor in Warsaw, said at a news
conference on 22 April that he decided to close the case against former
Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy. Gorzkiewicz said the investigation
established no direct evidence against Oleksy who was suspected of
transmitting secret information to Soviet and Russian agents in Poland.
Former Internal Affairs Minister Andrzej Milczanowski made public the
espionage allegations against Oleksy in December, after former President
Lech Walesa lost the presidential election to Aleksander Kwasniewski,
then the leader of the ruling Democratic Left Alliance (SDL). Oleksy
became leader of SDL after President Kwasniewski was elected.
Gorzkiewicz said that a four-page hand-written report by an unidentified
Russian agent was the main piece of evidence in the Oleksy case, but
intelligence agents failed to verify the document's authenticity. --
Jakub Karpinski

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER IN PRAGUE. Qian Qichen ended a three-day visit
to the Czech Republic on 22 April after talks with President Vaclav
Havel, Czech media reported. Havel, a former anti-communist dissident,
expressed concerns about political persecution in China, and also called
for a degree of autonomy for Tibet. Havel angered the Beijing
authorities last year when he met Taiwanese Premier Lien Chan and
expressed regret that Taiwan is not a member of the UN. During his
visit, Qian also met Trade and Industry Minister Vladimir Dlouhy and
leading Czech industrialists to discuss economic cooperation. Bilateral
trade between the Czech Republic and China last year amounted to more
than 7.5 billion crowns ($275 million dollars). -- Steve Kettle

BOMB EXPLODES IN PRAGUE. A bomb exploded in downtown Prague shortly
after midnight on 22 April causing around one million crowns ($35,000)
worth of damage to shops but no injuries, Czech media reported. The
device was placed outside a leather goods shop owned by a Turkish
businessman in a popular tourist street close to the Charles Bridge. The
street was deserted at the time of the explosion. Police said they
received no warning of the bomb's presence and said the attack was the
first of its kind in central Prague. They added that it could be
connected to a blackmail attempt, a settling of accounts, or organized
crime. -- Steve Kettle

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER RECALLS AMBASSADOR TO VATICAN. Juraj Schenk on
22 April confirmed that three days earlier he recalled Slovak Ambassador
to the Vatican Anton Neuwirth for consultations, but said relations with
the Vatican remain unchanged, Praca reported. Schenk denied allegations
that the move is connected with the Vatican's recent appointment of
Slovak Archbishop Dominik Hrusovsky as Papal Nuncio in Belarus, a step
which the opposition press called "political exile," claiming it weakens
the pro-government wing of the Catholic Church in Slovakia. Schenk said
the nature of the consultations with Neuwirth is an internal affair of
his ministry, and he added that the ambassadors to Britain and Cyprus
were recalled simultaneously. He did not say whether their recall is
connected with preparations for their dismissal, which would require
presidential approval. Before taking his current post, Neuwirth was a
top representative of the opposition Christian Democratic Movement. --
Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY WITHDRAWS CANDIDACY FOR TOP OSCE POST. The Hungarian Foreign
Ministry on 22 April officially withdrew its nomination of Istvan
Gyarmati--Hungary's ambassador to the OSCE--for the post of OSCE
Secretary-General after Slovakia foiled the nomination, Nepszabadsag
reported the next day. Despite the fact that Gyarmati enjoyed support
from the majority of the OSCE countries, Slovakia maintained a firm and
consistent opposition to Gyarmati's nomination. Hungarian foreign
ministry officials say that after fierce competition between Visegrad
country nominees, it is unlikely that the future OSCE head will be a
Visegrad native. (Current Secretary-General Wilhelm Hoynck's term will
expire in 45 days.) At the same time, Bratislava's move may further
aggravate already tense relations between Hungary and Slovakia.
Meanwhile, Slovak Foreign Minister Jurej Schenk told Slovak Radio on 22
April that Jan Kubis, Director of the OSCE Center for Conflict
Prevention, has been nominated for the post. -- Zsofia Szilagyi and
Sharon Fisher

KOVAC: APPENDIX NOT PART OF BASIC SLOVAK-HUNGARIAN TREATY. In an
interview with the Hungarian daily Nepszabadsag on 23 April, Slovak
President Michal Kovac said the Slovak National Council's one-sided
interpretative addendum of the Slovak-Hungarian basic treaty does not
constitute part of the treaty and therefore, will not affect contractual
relations between the two countries. Kovac said that the aim of the
addendum is to reassure those in Slovakia concerned by the Council of
Europe's Recommendation 1201, and added that the interpretation will in
no way affect the Hungarian side. He also asserted that he reserves the
right to appeal to the Constitutional Court if the constitutional rights
of ethnic minorities are curtailed as a result of the state language
law, Magyar Hirlap reported. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC DEMANDS INQUIRY OVER BRITISH MOVE TO BANJA LUKA. Bosnian Serb
civilian leader Radovan Karadzic continues to be upset over the move of
the British headquarters to Banja Luka (see OMRI Daily Digest, 22 April
1996). AFP quoted Karadzic's news agency, SRNA, as saying that Karadzic
"ordered an inquiry to find out who promised to set up the British
divisional headquarters in Banja Luka despite the opposition of
parliament and the leadership of the Republika Srpska...Stationing of
foreign troops in Banja Luka will be detrimental to this city, which is
the most important cultural, university, and business center in the
Republika Srpska." At issue is a test of wills not only between Karadzic
and the British, but also between the Bosnian Serb leadership in Pale
and the one in Banja Luka, which wants its city to become the capital.
Meanwhile in Stockholm, the Chief Justice of the international war-
crimes tribunal, Richard Goldstone, said that Karadzic and Gen. Ratko
Mladic, also an indicted war criminal, are becoming increasingly
marginalized and that the chances of arresting them are improving. --
Patrick Moore

RULES SET FOR BOSNIAN ELECTIONS. The OSCE on 22 April issued a 12-page
booklet setting down the rules for the elections slated to take place by
mid-September. Called "the most complex elections in history," balloting
will involve seven levels of government, from the presidency of the
republic to local officials. Election supervisor Robert Frowick said
that the vote will require freedom of association, expression, and
movement, as well as a politically neutral atmosphere. This is quite a
tall order for Bosnia and it is not clear whether the elections will
actually take place. The Bosnian government representative, Kasim Begic,
was unhappy with the provisions in the booklet which allow for refugees
to vote in their new places of residence rather than in their prewar
homes, as specified in the Dayton agreement. Begic also wanted tighter
controls on participation by parties from Croatia and Serbia,
Oslobodjenje reported on 23 April. -- Patrick Moore

FINLAND RECOGNIZES RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. Finland became on 22 April the tenth
country to recognize rump Yugoslavia as the Federal Republic of
Yugoslavia, following similar moves by France, Britain, Sweden, Denmark,
Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, and Germany, Beta reported
that same day. Finnish officials have remarked that their decision was
in accordance with EU policy that enabled recognition once rump
Yugoslavia and Macedonia moved towards bilateral recognition on 8 April.
AFP added that on 18 April the European Parliament criticized those
countries which have recognized the rump Yugoslavia, suggesting that the
decision failed to incorporate consideration of continuing human rights
abuses in Serbia's predominantly ethnic Albanian Kosovo province. --
Stan Markotich

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER IN MACEDONIA. Josef Zieleniec on 22 April was in
Skopje on a one-day official visit, Nova Makedonija reported. Zieleniec
met with his Macedonian counterpart, Ljubomir Frckovski, President Kiro
Gligorov and other officials. Zieleniec and Frckovski gave a positive
assessment of the perspectives for bilateral cooperation. They said a
number of mostly economic agreements will be drawn up and should be
ready to be initialed soon. Meanwhile, the same daily reported that
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski canceled an official visit to
Macedonia scheduled for 24-25 April. Strahil Chervenkov, head of the
Bulgarian Foreign Ministry's Southeastern European Department, was cited
as saying the visit was postponed because of "frequent anti-Bulgarian
reports in the Macedonian media which do not create the atmosphere for a
ministerial visit." -- Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN SENATE STRIPS EXTREMIST POLITICIAN OF IMMUNITY. The Romanian
Senate on 22 April voted to strip Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the leader of
the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party, of his parliamentary
immunity. The Prosecutor General's Office has accused Tudor of
"offending public authorities" by insulting President Ion Iliescu and
Director of the Romanian Intelligence Service Virgil Magureanu. There
are also 16 other pending cases against Tudor brought on by private
plaintiffs. An RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest reported that the
Senate's decision might prevent Tudor from running for president in the
fall elections. Romanian law forbids persons with a criminal record from
running for the presidential office. Even if the sentence were not
passed till then, Tudor's candidacy could be contested in court by
private persons, Evenimentul zilei wrote on 23 April citing Senate
Judicial Commission chairman Ion Predescu. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIA, YUGOSLAVIA, INITIAL BILATERAL TREATY. The Foreign Ministers of
Romania and rump Yugoslavia, Teodor Melescanu and Milan Milutinovic, on
22 April initialed in Bucharest a 20-year friendship treaty, Romanian
and international media reported. The treaty will be officially signed
by the two countries' presidents later this year. Milutinovic was also
received by President Ion Iliescu and by the chairmen of the bicameral
parliament, Adrian Nastase and Oliviu Gherman. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER MAINTAINS HE HAS ONLY BULGARIAN CITIZENSHIP.
Georgi Pirinski on 22 April said that he renounced his U.S. citizenship
in 1974, 24 chasa reported. Reacting to allegations that constitutional
provisions might prevent him from running for president, he said he was
"surprised that the matter is being discussed without anyone asking me."
Pirinski, who is considered one of the most likely presidential
candidates of the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), was born in
New York in 1948. Under the Bulgarian constitution, the president and
parliamentary deputies are not allowed to have dual citizenship.
Pirinski's statement is the first indication from him directly that he
may run for president. Meanwhile, Parliamentary President Blagovest
Sendov said he will run for president if the BSP nominates him, but that
he will be "very pleased" if this does not happen because he expects the
election campaign to be "extremely brutal." -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN ROUNDUP. Ahmed Dogan, leader of the mainly ethnic Turkish
Movement for Rights and Freedom, will visit Turkey again within the next
three weeks and meet with Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and the
Organization of Turkish Immigrants from Bulgaria in Bursa, Bulgarian
media reported. Dogan returned from his first "official" visit to Turkey
on 20 April, during which he met with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel
and other political leaders. In other news, one worker was killed and
six injured in an explosion in a wood-processing plant in Veliko
Tarnovo, Kontinent reported. The accident happened when a turbine caught
fire. Similar incidents occurred in that plant in 1981, 1991, and 1993.
Zhelyazko Hristov, Deputy Chairman of the Confederation of Independent
Trade Unions in Bulgaria, said that 1,215 workers have been killed in
industrial accidents since 1990 and 131,249 injured. -- Stefan Krause

ETHNIC TENSIONS RISE AFTER KILLING OF STUDENT IN KOSOVO. The killing of
a 20-year-old Albanian student by a Serb civilian in Pristina on 21
April has instigated several shootings throughout Kosovo, resulting in
four additional deaths and four injuries, international media reported.
Reportedly, the student was shot dead from the fifth floor of a nearby
apartment house while leaving a birthday party. Police arrested the
culprit, who claimed he thought the Albanian was stealing his car.
Elsewhere, more than 1,000 demonstrators from Kosovo noisily protested
the recognition of rump-Yugoslavia by several EU countries outside a EU
foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg, Reuters reported on 22 April.
-- Fabian Schmidt

MAJOR CHANGES IN ALBANIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADERSHIP. Eight members of
the Democratic Party's leadership have been purged in an unexpected
meeting of the party's National Council on 21 April, Koha Jone reported
on 23 April. The meeting took place only two weeks after a party
congress in which the new leadership was elected. Among those purged are
the former party leader Eduard Selami and former Secretary-General
Tomorr Dosti. Others include former Finance Minister Genc Ruli, former
Vice Premier and Agricultural Minister Rexhep Uka, and the head of the
state control commission, Blerim Cela. Koha Jone noted that party leader
Tritan Shehu did not participate in the meeting and claims that he was
not invited by President Berisha, who was chairing the conference. --
Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Deborah Michaels

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