On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers. - Adlai Stevenson

No. 97, Part II, 20 May 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 


Mykhaylo Myaskovsky, two members of the Ukrainian legislature from the 
Odessa region, were killed in a car accident outside Kyiv on the night of 
16 May, UNIAR and ITAR-TASS reported. Drahomaretsky was the chairman of 
the Supreme Council Control Commission on Privatization and Myaskovsky, 
first secretary of the Odessa regional Committee of the Communist Party of 
Ukraine and a member of the Supreme Council on Foreign Affairs and CIS 
Relations. The two men were on their way to Odessa to participate in a 
session of that city's council. -- Roger Kangas

demonstrated in the streets of Simferopol on 18 May to mark the 52nd 
anniversary of Stalin's order to deport them to Central Asia, 
international media reported. More than 200,000 Tatars have returned to 
Crimea in recent years, but rally organizers noted that they no longer 
have a homeland and are a minority in Crimea. Demonstrators called for 
creating a Crimean Tatar state within an independent Ukraine. Statements 
were also made in support of Chechen independence, with some demonstrators 
carrying Chechen flags and portraits of slain Chechen leader Dzhokhar 
Dudaev. Reuters on 18 May reported that the Ukrainian government has 
approved an additional $20 million aid package for Tatar resettlement. 
Ukrainian officials have stressed, however, that the issue should be a 
policy concern for Russia, Uzbekistan, and other states as well. -- Roger 

BELARUSIAN HUNGER STRIKER RELEASED. Belarusian Popular Front leader 
Vyachaslau Siuchyk, who has been hospitalized since 15 May owing to kidney 
failure caused by a hunger strike, was released from prison on 17 May, 
Reuters reported. Siuchyk has been charged with organizing a rally last 
month to protest the pro-Russian policies of President Alyaksandr 
Lukashenka. Those charges have not been dropped, and he has been ordered 
not to leave Minsk. The Belarus Prosecutor's Office said the release of 
his BPF colleague Yury Khadyka, who is still on a hunger strike, will be 
discussed today. Russian President Boris Yeltsin, campaigning in the 
Siberian city of Omsk on 19 May, said he has had to give Lukashenka a 
lesson in democracy, adding that he asked him to release all those 
arrested in connection with the April rally. -- Saulius Girnius 

and Constantinople on 16 May agreed to restore relations severed by Moscow 
after Constantinople announced in February that the Autonomous Estonian 
Orthodox Church would come under its jurisdiction, Western agencies 
reported the next day. The Constantinople patriarchate agreed to impose a 
four-month moratorium on its jurisdiction declaration. During this period, 
congregations in Estonia will have to decide to which patriarchate they 
wish to belong. The decisions of those congregations that have already 
made a decision will remain in effect. Although 54 of the 84 congregations 
have expressed support for Constantinople, more than two-thirds of 
believers belong to those favoring Moscow. -- Saulius Girnius

(LVP) on 17 May decided to revoke its earlier decision to quit the ruling 
coalition, BNS reported. Chairman Alberts Kauls, whose firing as 
agriculture minister prompted the party's decision to quit, is a member of 
a commission set up to meet with Prime Minister Andris Skele to discuss 
the LVP's conditions for remaining in the coalition. Those stipulations 
include allowing the LVP to retain the Agriculture Ministry, transferring 
the Hipoteku un Zemes Banka to the Agriculture Ministry's jurisdiction, 
reorganizing the ministry, and protecting local market from foreign 
agricultural imports. -- Saulius Girnius 

Congress of the Lithuanian Democratic Labor Party (LDDP) on 18 May elected 
Seimas Chairman Ceslovas Jursenas as the party's new chairman, RFE/RL's 
Lithuanian Service reported the next day. Jursenas defeated Seimas 
Agriculture Committee Chairman Mykolas Pronckus by a vote of 330 to 82. 
Former chairman Adolfas Slezevicius resigned in February after being 
dismissed as prime minister. Jursenas said the party faces a serious 
challenge in the upcoming parliament elections in October Current 
budgetary problems could force the government to make unpopular decisions, 
and candidates should be willing to admit the party's mistakes, he noted. 
The second part of the congress, to be held in September, will decide 
which members run in the elections. -- Saulius Girnius

POLAND TO JOIN OECD LATER THIS YEAR. Polish Deputy Prime Minister and 
Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko on 17 May announced Poland will receive 
an invitation in July to join the Organization for Economic Cooperation 
and Development (OECD). Formal membership is to be granted in October, 
Rzeczpospolita reported. At a press conference in Warsaw on 17 May, 
Kolodko said Poland has met all the conditions for membership, except for 
passing new legislation on a banking code of secrecy and on allowing 
financial authorities to have access to companies' book-keeping accounts. 
A bill on both matters was recently adopted by the lower house of the 
parliament and is expected to be approved by the Senate soon. Kolodko said 
OECD membership will be a "giant step toward the European Union." -- 
Dagmar Mroziewicz

POPULARITY OF POLAND'S EX-COMMUNISTS GROWS. According to a recent opinion 
poll conducted by the Warsaw-based CBOS agency, the popularity of the 
Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) is increasing. Of those respondents who 
said they would vote if elections were held now, 23% opted for the former 
Communists, who are also a member of the ruling coalition. In March and 
April, 19% favored the SLD. The CBOS commented that the party appeared to 
have recovered from the negative impact of the spy allegations against its 
leader, former Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy. The poll also revealed that 
13% of potential voters would support the right-wing Movement for the 
Reconstruction of Poland and 12% would cast their ballot in favor of the 
Polish Peasant Party. The centrist Union for Freedom (UW), now the biggest 
opposition party in the parliament, received 8% support and the Solidarity 
Union 10%. -- Dagmar Mroziewicz

CZECH EDUCATION FOR ROMA CRITICIZED. The Prague-based Citizen's Solidarity 
and Tolerance Movement (HOST) has issued a report on the state of Romani 
education in the Czech Republic, CTK reported on 17 May. The report's main 
criticism is that the government has failed to address inequities in the 
education system. An earlier press release from HOST revealed that the 
80-page report targets seven areas: de facto segregation in special 
schools, where Roma are labeled retarded; violence against Romani 
children; teachers' lack of response to racism in class; lack of funding 
for Romani education; lack of access for Roma to higher education; the 
absence of Romani teachers; and the lack of state resolve to address the 
situation. -- Alaina Lemon 

Remias, who was killed in a car explosion on 29 April, has accused the 
Slovak secret service (SIS) of being responsible for his death, Slovak and 
international media reported. Remias's parents told the media that their 
son--a friend of a key witness in the case of the abduction of President 
Michal Kovac's son--had been shadowed by the SIS constantly in the days 
leading up to his death. They accused SIS Director Ivan Lexa of hiding the 
truth about Kovac Jr.'s kidnapping and having their son's death on his 
conscience, adding that Prime Minister Vladmir Meciar also bore 
responsibility. The Slovak government has brought charges against two 
priests and a journalist who, at a memorial service for Remias last week, 
publicly accused the SIS and government circles of murdering him. -- Steve 

MOSCOW PATRIARCH IN SLOVAKIA. Aleksii II on 17 May began a four-day visit 
to Slovakia, Slovak and international media reported. On 19 May, he 
conducted a service in the east Slovak town of Presov, which was attended 
by more than 20,000 people, including President Michal Kovac. The Moscow 
patriarch also dedicated a church in Michalovce and held a memorial 
service in Svidnik for 4,000 Soviet soldiers who died during the 
liberation of Slovakia in World War II. -- Steve Kettle 

OFFICE. With no compromise reached between the coalition parties over 
Gyula Horn's plan to set up a central investigative office to curb black 
economy activity, tension between the Socialist Party and the Alliance of 
Free Democrats (SZDSZ) is increasing, Hungarian dailies reported on 18 
May. Unconfirmed reports suggest that Interior Minister Gabor Kuncze 
(SZDSZ) is considering resigning if he is unable to push through his 
version of the plan, Magyar Hirlap reported on 20 May. Last week, Kuncze 
vetoed Horn's proposal, but the premier is insisting on going ahead with 
the costly plan. The SZDSZ stressed again that it is in favor of improving 
the efficiency of existing organizations instead of setting up a new 
office. A similar coalition dispute occurred last fall when the SZDSZ 
refused to approve Horn's plans to create new positions in the government 
and to introduce personnel changes. Horn was eventually forced to withdraw 
those plans. -- Zsofia Szilagyi 


IS KARADZIC STEPPING DOWN? Bosnian Serb leader and indicted war criminal 
Radovan Karadzic announced this weekend that he was giving up some of his 
duties as Bosnian Serb president to concentrate on such domestic issues as 
refugees and the economy, international and local agencies reported on 19 
May. Karadzic delegated some of his powers, including contacts with the 
international community, to Vice President Biljana Plavsic, a hard-liner 
known as the "Iron Lady of the Bosnian Serbs." While the rump Yugoslav 
news agency Tanjug reported that Karadzic has stepped down as Bosnian Serb 
president, the Bosnian Serb agency SRNA reported that he has only 
delegated some of his functions. Meanwhile, the international community's 
High Representative for Bosnia Carl Bildt visited Pale on 19 May to 
clarify controversial reports on Karadzic's resignation. He noted that 
Karadzic appeared to be withdrawing from "public life," AFP reported. -- 
Daria Sito Sucic 

on 18 May endorsed Karadzic's dismissal of Rajko Kasagic, the moderate 
Bosnian Serb prime minister supported by the international community (see 
OMRI Daily Digest, 16 and 17 May 1996). Deputies also approved his 
replacement by Gojko Klickovic, a hard-liner who oversaw the exodus 
earlier this year of the Sarajevo Serbs, which was marred by massive 
looting and arson, AFP reported on 18 May. In his first statement to 
reporters, Klickovic opposed setting up a single Bosnian state, which is 
stipulated in the Dayton peace accord. AFP on 19 May quoted him as saying 
that "integration within Bosnia is out of the question." Klickovic also 
said that the Bosnian Serb people will "never allow" Karadzic to be sent 
for trial to The Hague-based war crimes tribunal because "there is no 
reason for him to go there." -- Daria Sito Sucic 

BOSNIAN SERBS PLAY FOR TIME. The scenes of the past weekend were familiar 
to those who have long followed the Bosnian conflict: an international 
negotiator met in a series of sessions with Bosnian Serb leaders, Serbian 
President Slobodan Milosevic, and then the Bosnian Serbs again. He never 
received a direct answer to his main demand--in this case, that Karadzic 
be dumped as president--but rather a series of promises that seemed to go 
at least part way to achieving that end. Bildt was told, among other 
things, that Karadzic would "be neither seen nor heard," that a referendum 
would be held, and that Plavsic would take over his international 
obligations. Karadzic, however, has no foreign duties because no 
representative from abroad is supposed to meet with the indicted war 
criminal. The Dayton agreement, moreover, says clearly that he has no 
political future and that Milosevic is obliged to help hunt him down and 
bring him to justice. Much of Bosnian opinion regards the latest moves 
from Pale as "cosmetic," Oslobodjenje reported on 20 May. -- Patrick Moore

Civic Council (SGV), which remained loyal to the Bosnian government 
throughout the war, says that several legal difficulties stand in the way 
of Serbs wanting to live in Sarajevo again. Many of these people were 
among the 60,000 who were pressured by the Bosnian Serb authorities into 
abandoning their flats and houses earlier this year but who now want to go 
back after spending months in makeshift camps. The SGV says that they have 
difficulty in obtaining Bosnian passports and that their flats have been 
occupied by Muslim refugees from Srebrenica and Zepa, Onasa noted on 18 
May. A group of independent intellectuals charged that all three sides are 
practicing "silent ethnic cleansing" and point to Sarajevo, Banja Luka, 
and both parts of Mostar as examples, Oslobodjenje noted on 20 May. 
Elsewhere, the SGV joined Muslim parties in criticizing the current 
election rules for Mostar, saying that they make it impossible for 90% of 
the Serbs from there to vote because refugees are barred from the ballot. 
-- Patrick Moore 

died in Belgrade's military medical academy on 18 May. According to a 
statement issued by the Bosnian Serb military authorities, Djukic died 
after "being ill and exhausted by the trial in The Hague," Reuters 
reported. He was 62 years old and had appeared before the International 
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on charges relating to his 
role in the 43-month siege of Sarajevo. The general, who had pleaded not 
guilty, was released by The Hague on compassionate grounds and allowed to 
return to his family in Belgrade. A doctors' report concluded that 
Djukic's terminal pancreatic cancer had reached an advanced stage. Djukic, 
a logistics officer, was captured by the Bosnian government on 30 January 
1996. -- Stan Markotich

POPE'S VISIT TO SLOVENIA. John Paul II concluded his first-ever visit to 
Slovenia on 19 May by celebrating Mass in Maribor with an estimated 
120,000 worshippers. The previous day, he celebrated his 76th birthday in 
the nation's capital. Slovenian political leaders thanked the pontiff for 
supporting Slovenia's independence, noting that the Vatican was among the 
first states to recognize Slovenia as an independent country. Finally, 
John Paul donated $50,000 to the Roman Catholic Church in Slovenia to 
enable it to assist refugees from the wars throughout the former 
Yugoslavia, international media reported on 18 May. -- Stan Markotich

BULGARIA'S "BLACK FRIDAY." Bulgaria's ongoing financial and economic 
crisis peaked yet again on 17 May when two banks were placed under the 
Bulgarian National Bank's administration, Bulgarian media reported. BNB 
Governor Lyubomir Filipov announced that the First Private Bank and the 
state-controlled Mineral Bank were being "placed under special supervision 
owing to the real possibility of insolvency." Meanwhile, local media 
reported that consumers triggered a panic on what was dubbed "Black 
Friday," trying to withdraw all assets from the defunct banks. The 
following day, Kontinent reported that following the banks' insolvency, a 
major restructuring of the banking system cannot be avoided. Premier Zhan 
Videnov, speaking on state TV and radio, pledged financial reforms and 
asked for "backing from the whole of society." The government has already 
drawn up a plan for economic reform, including the closure of some 64 
unprofitable firms. -- Stan Markotich 

ALBANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN GREECE. Safet Zhulali arrived in Athens on 19 
May for talks with his Greek counterpart, Gerassimos Arsenis, and 
President Kostis Stephanopoulos, AFP reported. The talks are to focus on 
military cooperation within the framework of NATO's Partnership for Peace. 
Zhulali will also visit Greek military facilities. Meanwhile, hundreds of 
Albanian immigrants began returning from Greece to vote in the 26 May 
elections; their number is expected to increase by the thousands. The 
Greek police have supplied them with special border- crossing permits, and 
travel agencies have increased the number of buses traveling to Albania 
and reduced fares. Some 250,000 Albanian immigrants are currently working 
in Greece. Finally, Albania and Greece on 17 May signed a framework 
agreement on legalizing the status of the mostly illegal immigrants. It 
will take effect in September, after four Greek- language schools have 
opened in southern Albania. -- Fabian Schmidt 

Party leader Fatos Nano has sent a letter to Albanian dailies urging 
voters to oust the Democratic Party in the elections, Reuters reported on 
19 May. Nano said the Socialists will guarantee "liberty and security." He 
accused President Sali Berisha of abusing his powers and of running a 
"banana republic." Nano still has three years to serve for 
misappropriating funds, but the Socialists say he is a political prisoner. 
Meanwhile the Democratic Party organized a pop music and fashion show 
spectacle for 30,000 people at a Tirana stadium on 19 May. The same day, 
the road to Shkoder was blocked for hours by demonstrators hoping to 
prevent Socialist leaders from going there, but none of those leaders 
showed up. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc. 
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