The only thing one knows about human nature is that it changes. - Oscar Wilde
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 112, Part II, 10 June 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

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CENTRAL EUROPEAN PRESIDENTS MEET IN LANCUT, POLAND. The presidents of
Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia,
Slovenia, and Ukraine met in Lancut, southeastern Poland, on 7-8 June to
discuss European integration. Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski
said expanding the EU and NATO should be a natural move crowning the
integration process that started after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, specially invited to the meeting by
Kwasniewski, stressed that a new European security system should not
exclude Russia. The meeting was the fourth of its kind; the first one
was in July 1993, in Salzburg, and the next will take place in Slovenia
in 1997. -- Jakub Karpinski

BREAKAWAY UKRAINIAN, BULGARIAN ORTHODOX CHURCHES RECOGNIZE EACH OTHER.
Patriarch Filaret of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv
Patriarchate and Metropolitan Inokentiy of Sofia from the breakaway
Bulgarian Orthodox Church, announced on 8 June that the two breakaway
churches have recognized each other, Radio Ukraine reported. The
hierarchs took part in a special religious service at St. Volodymyr
Cathedral in Kyiv. Neither church is recognized by any of the Orthodox
ecumenical patriarchs. Meanwhile, Patriarch Maksim of the official
Bulgarian Orthodox Church concluded a visit to Kyiv that featured
meetings with Patriarch Volodymyr of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of
the Moscow Patriarchate and Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Kuras, Ukrainian
TV reported on 7 June. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

MORE NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT FUNDS PROMISED FOR BELARUS. The U.S. promised
Belarus an additional $12.9 million in aid for strategic disarmament,
ITAR-TASS reported on 7 June. The money raises the total sum allocated
to Belarus under the Nunn-Lugar program to $28.9 million. It will be
used to dismantle missile infrastructure and destroy liquid rocket fuel.
In all, the U.S. has promised $123 million in aid to Belarus to
eliminate nuclear weapons. Also on 7 June, the Belarusian parliament
ratified an agreement with Russia on legal exchanges over issues related
to the stationing of Russian strategic forces on Belarusian soil.
Russian public television reported that 150 temporary barracks--
environmentally "clean" and radiation-free--have been handed over to
Belarus. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIA'S FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO BE TRIED FOR ILLEGAL ARMS TRADING.
The Prosecutor General's Office has endorsed formal criminal charges
against the former chief of the Estonian army Central Staff Col. Arvo
Sirel, BNS reported on 7 June. He is charged with negligence and faces a
maximum term of one year in prison if found guilty. Sirel is accused of
failing to exercise proper control over some of his staff's official
purchases of weapons. Last fall Estonia bought 1,309 guns as well as
ammunition from the Finnish company Ultramatic Oy. Some of the weaponry
was then sold to private individuals on the premises of the Central
Staff. -- Saulius Girnius

LATVIA RANKS FIFTH IN CONVICTS PER CAPITA. Prison Department's
Coordination Center head Vitolds Zahars said that Latvia with 357
convicts per 100,000 residents ranks fifth in the world in per capita
prison population, BNS reported on 7 June. The four countries with
higher rates are the U.S., Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. The maintenance
of one prisoner costs Latvia 2.4 lati ($4.3) per day. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN BANKRUPT BANKS BEGIN PAYOFFS. Some of Lithuania's bankrupt
banks have begun paying out compensations to their depositors, BNS
reported. No bank complied with the 4 June deadline set by the
government, but six of the nine were paying out compensations up to
4,000 litai ($1,000) to disabled people, single pensioners, and heirs of
deceased depositors two days later. Compensations to other groups of
depositors will begin on 6 August and 17 September. The three banks that
are not paying compensations are the Lietuvos Verslas, Sekunde, and
Nida, which are moving to new headquarters. -- Saulius Girnius

GDANSK SHIPYARD GOES BANKRUPT. The Gdansk shipyard's shareholders voted
on 8 June to stop the shipyard's activity, Polish dailies reported on 10
June. A motion to declare the company bankrupt will be deposited in
court in two weeks. The shipyard, called the cradle of Solidarity, was
the scene of the August 1980 strike that led to the creation of the
Solidarity trade union, which had nearly 10 million members by 1981. The
bankruptcy motion was approved by 79 percent of the shareholders, but
small shareholders, comprising large numbers of company employees, were
overwhelmingly opposed. The Polish state controls a 61 percent share in
the shipyard. The bankruptcy motion cited a lack of financial resources
to cover the company's debts for last year, totaling $31.7 million. A
new company, the New Gdansk Shipyard, will be created for one year and
will employ 3,000 people, half the current number of employees. -- Jakub
Karpinski

SLOVAK POLICE ON DEATH OF FORMER COLLEAGUE. Police Vice President Anton
Manak claimed during a 9 June TV debate that investigations into the
explosion of Robert Remias's car in April have shown that the cause was
"clearly a technical defect." Remias, an ex-policeman, was a close
friend of former Slovak Information Service agent Oskar F., who said he
participated in the kidnapping of President Michal Kovac's son. Manak
claimed that Remias did not have a "clean conscience; he moved in
criminal surroundings and committed crimes." Meanwhile, the opposition
has rejected such assertions and has claimed that Remias was the victim
of "a political murder." Jozef Ciz, investigator of the Kovac Jr.
kidnapping, said Remias told him that he was being followed; however, he
rejected protection since he would not be able to meet Oskar F., who is
hiding abroad. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK POLITICAL UPDATE. Meeting on 7 June, Slovak opposition parties
called for representation on the bodies overseeing the Slovak
Information Service, TV, radio, and the National Property Fund (FNM),
TASR reported. Although his party did not attend the meeting, Party of
the Democratic Left Chairman Jozef Migas said that if deciding between
early elections and entrance into the current government, "we would
choose early elections," Narodna obroda reported on 10 June. Slovak
National Party chairman Jan Slota told Sme that his party--a junior
coalition partner--wants to become "a mediatorŠbetween opposition and
coalition parties with the aim of calming current tensions." Meanwhile,
Olga Keltosova of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia said her
party hopes to win the 1998 elections so that "it will not need
coalition partners." In other news, the opposition Democratic Union and
the ethnic Hungarian Coexistence movement on 7 June gained full
membership in Liberal International. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN PREMIER WOULD REINSTATE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. Prime Minister
Gyula Horn said during a weekend political forum that Hungarians should
decide in a referendum whether to restore the death penalty, Hungarian
dailies reported on 10 June. Horn added he would vote "yes" on such a
referendum. The statement, clearly aiming to restore Horn's popularity
among workers, surprised Justice Minister Pal Vastagh, who responded
that a popular vote on the issue would not be possible without a ruling
by Hungary's Constitutional Court. Restoration of the death penalty
would violate several international agreements and cause Hungary to lose
its membership in the Council of Europe, Vastagh added. Lawyers later
commented that Hungarian law does not provide for referenda on issues
regulated by international agreements. Public debate over the death
penalty has intensified recently as crime and mafia operations have
increased. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARY UNVEILS STATUE OF MARTYRED PREMIER. President Arpad Goncz on 6
June unveiled Hungary's first public statue of former Premier Imre Nagy,
who led the 1956 uprising against the Soviets and was executed by
collaborators after the uprising was crushed, Hungarian dailies
reported. Thousands of spectators, including leading politicians,
attended the ceremony, which marks the 100th anniversary of Nagy's
birth. The life-size bronze statue was unveiled on Vertanuk [Martyrs']
Square in central Budapest, one of the bloodiest scenes of the uprising.
Meanwhile, there is talk between Hungarian and Russian officials on
possibly naming a Moscow street after Nagy. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBS TO RETURN TO MOSTAR? Leading officials of the Serbian Orthodox
Church visited Mostar on 7 June and held a service in the ruined church
building to launch its reconstruction, Onasa reported. Bishop Atanasije
Jevtic thanked the Muslim mayor of eastern Mostar, Safet Orucevic, for
everything going smoothly. The bishop said that his visit could mark the
beginning of the return of Mostar's Serbs, most of whom live nearby in
eastern Herzegovina. Jevtic added that the church does not have much
influence on the Serbs, but he hoped that "reasonable people" would
prevail. Oslobodjenje commented on 9 June, however, that the church has
been a staunch backer of Serbian nationalism and has not sufficiently
distanced itself from war crimes. -- Patrick Moore

IZETBEGOVIC LINKS RETURN OF SERBS, MUSLIMS. President Alija Izetbegovic
on 8 June addressed a rally to mark the capture of Zuc hill during the
war. He linked the return of Serbs to Sarajevo with that of Muslims to
their homes in eastern Bosnia. "We need our expelled citizens to return
to their homes so that Bosnia can be Bosnia again. In order to have
[Muslims] returning to Podrinje [the Drina valley] Serbs must return to
Sarajevo too. Not Chetniks [Serb extremists], but Serbs. I can put this
in the opposite order too. In order to have the Serbs returning to
Sarajevo--something they have been asking for--the [Muslims] must return
to Foca, Visegrad, Rogatica, Prijedor," AFP quoted him as saying. To
date, few, if any, refugees have returned to their homes in territories
under the control of another ethnic group. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN UPDATE. British UN peacekeepers testified to the international
war crimes tribunal that they were tortured by Serb captors last year,
the BBC reported on 9 June. In Vienna, the Bosnian government said it is
working on a solution to the impasse that is blocking the signing of the
arms control agreement, which is required by the Dayton agreement and
was concluded last week. The Serbs insist on signing separately, while
the government demands that they sign as part of the Bosnian delegation,
AFP reported on 9 June. Dayton specifies that foreign relations are the
responsibility of the national government, but the Serbs want to be
treated as an independent state. -- Patrick Moore

SERBIAN PRESIDENT QUESTIONS IMPARTIALITY OF WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL.
Slobodan Milosevic, in an interview with Der Spiegel published on 10
June, responded to mounting international calls for his help in
apprehending accused war criminals by questioning the impartiality of
the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. Reuters
on 8 June quoted him as saying: "I do not believe that this tribunal is
an institution for defamation, but it is completely clear from its
public conduct up to now that it is a political and not a legal
institution....Justice can only be done when the same standards apply
for all. Unfortunately, the work of the tribunal in The Hague has until
now offered no basis for such an impression." -- Stan Markotich

AGREEMENT BETWEEN CROATIAN RULING PARTY AND OPPOSITION? Negotiations
began between the ruling Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) and the
opposition Croatian Social Liberal Party (HSLS), Croatian media reported
over the weekend. The HSLS presented on 9 June a list of their requests,
including a change in the constitution concerning the powers of the
parliament, government, and president, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 10
June. HSLS also requests a fulfillment of commitments towards the
Council of Europe, some short-term and momentary measures, and changes
in media policy and staff. Leaders from other parties expressed
disappointment that they were not informed of the negotiations. -- Daria
Sito Sucic

CROAT WAR CRIMES SUSPECT ARRESTED. Croatian police on 8 June arrested
Zlatko Aleksovski, who has been indicted by the International War Crimes
Tribunal for former Yugoslavia for allegedly participating in a massacre
of Muslims in the Bosnian village of Ahmici in November 1993, AFP
reported. The Croatian Justice Ministry said Aleksovski would be
"treated in accordance with Croatian law and with the war crimes
tribunal's demand for extradition." Aleksovski is kept in custody in the
Croatian port town of Slit and will be dealt with according to the
amended law which allows the extradition to The Hague of those wanted
for war crimes. -- Daria Sito Sucic

ROMANIAN ELECTORAL UPDATE. Results of local elections held on 2 June do
not provide conclusive evidence as to what is likely to happen in the
parliamentary elections scheduled for 3 November. The main coalition
formation, the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) won most of
the votes for mayor (21.8%) and was first in the ballot for local
councils (19.1%). But in the ballot for county councils, considered a
more accurate gauge of electoral trends at national level, the
opposition Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR) scored higher (17.8%)
than the PDSR (16.9%). An alliance of the democratic opposition headed
by the CDR would, according to these results, have a larger share of the
vote (43.4%) than the PDSR and its prospective allies in the already
disbanded "red quadrangle" coalition (31,8%). Meanwhile, President Ion
Iliescu has given his approval to the PDSR to start gathering the
necessary 100,000 signatures of support for his candidacy for president,
although he has not officially announced that he will run, Radio
Bucharest reported on 8 June. -- Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN PARTY FAVORING REUNIFICATION HOLDS CONGRESS. The fifth congress
of the Christian Democratic Popular Front (FPCD), which supports
reunification with Romania, reiterated this option on 10 June, Radio
Bucharest reported on the same day. The FPCD said it wanted
reunification to follow the German or "other peaceful" model and added
that it was the only political formation in Moldova to pursue the
country's integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures. The
party deferred a decision on which candidate to support in the
presidential election scheduled for November. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLEDŠ An extended plenary meeting of the
Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) on 9 June decided on structural and
personnel changes in Prime Minister Zhan Videnov's government, which the
parliament approved the next day, Bulgarian media reported. Montana
region Governor Krastyu Trendafilov took over the Agriculture Ministry
from Svetoslav Shivarov, who stays on as deputy premier. Deputy
Education Minister Lyubomir Dachev replaced Kliment Vuchev as industry
minister. The state Energy Committee was transformed into a ministry
under its present Deputy Chairman Rumen Ovcharov. Ivan Marazov took over
the Culture Ministry from Georgi Kostov. A proposal by Videnov to close
down the Ministry of Economic Development headed by Rumen Gechev, who is
also deputy prime minister, was voted down. According to Demokratsiya,
Videnov's concrete proposals--aimed at getting his government out of its
grave crisis--took both the party leadership and the BSP's coalition
partners by surprise. -- Stefan Krause

ŠAS POPULAR PROTESTS CONTINUE. Days before the ruling BSP plenary
meeting, about 1 million people took to the streets on 7 June to
protests the government's economic and social policy, Reuters and Trud
reported. Protest meetings took place in many towns, and workers went on
warning strikes throughout the country, demanding salary increases and
the government's resignation. The government last month announced strict
austerity measures and price and tax hikes agreed on with the IMF.
Incidents were reported between police, opposition deputies, and taxi
drivers, when the latter staged a demonstration outside the parliament
building and tried to pass police-guarded fences put up by order of
Parliament President Blagovest Sendov. In other news, former Tsar Simeon
II on 9 June visited Plovdiv, where he was enthusiastically welcomed by
some 200,000 people. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN PRESIDENT ORDERS ELECTION RERUNŠ Sali Berisha has decreed that
the parliamentary elections be held again in 17 out of 115 electoral
districts, Reuters reported on 8 June. Berisha said the new voting would
take place on 16 June and called on all political parties to
participate. The Central Electoral Commission had earlier acknowledged
that "serious irregularities influenced the final result of the voting"
in the 17 districts. The U.S. and the EU had advised the government
earlier to redo elections in an unspecified number of districts.
Meanwhile, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights and
the Albanian Helsinki Committee called on the Albanian government, the
OSCE, the Council of Europe and the United Nations to declare the
elections invalid and said that human rights had been violated before,
during, and after the polls on 26 May. -- Fabian Schmidt

ŠBUT OPPOSITION SAYS IT IS NOT ENOUGH. The Socialists, the Social
Democrats, and the Democratic Alliance said they would boycott the re-
run and demanded full new elections with international monitoring.
Democratic Alliance leader Neritan Ceka said: "We are absolutely not
interested in this type of election," and Socialist leader Servet
Pellumbi added that the "opposition cannot be included in such kinds of
ploys," pointing out that "the decree was a challenge to the EU, U.S.
and the OSCE, because all of them are waiting for the OSCE's final
report on the elections." Social Democrat leader Skender Gjinushi said:
"We cannot accept a partial re-run if there is no general recognition of
all the violations. Berisha's decree is not the solution. This is the
president's ploy to hide (the manipulations) from the world," Reuters
reported. The Socialists say they have prepared evidence of
irregularities and manipulation in 107 districts. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Susan Caskie

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