We are all apt to believe what the world believes about us. - George Eliot
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 113, Part II, 11 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

UKRAINIAN JUSTICE MINISTER RESIGNS. Justice Minister Serhii Holovaty, a
prominent reformer, resigned on 10 June amid signs of a government
reshuffling, Radio Liberty reported. One of the chief authors of the
draft Ukrainian constitution that is now under debate in parliament,
Holovaty was appointed by President Leonid Kuchma last September. The
reason for his resignation has not been disclosed. Meanwhile, a closed
government session held on 10 June was expected to produce a reshuffling
of ministers in charge of economic policy, as suggested by the new prime
minister, Pavlo Lazarenko. Last week, Lazarenko said the acceleration of
land privatization would be his chief reform priority this year. --
Chrystyna Lapychak

NEW PARTIES, CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS FORMED IN UKRAINE, CRIMEA. The
Ukrainian Ministry of Justice has registered the country's 40th
political party, the Popular Democratic Party headed by Anatolii
Matvienko, UNIAR reported on 4 June. Meanwhile, the Crimean Party was
founded in Simferopol, Radio Ukraine reported on 9 June. Led by Lev
Marynsky, a Ukrainian legislator and manager of the Imperia firm, the
new regional party was formed to protect the interests of local
entrepreneurs. In Kyiv, leading economists, financiers, and religious
and political figures established the International Union of Ukrainian
Entrepreneurs, Ukrainian TV reported on 8 June. Former President Leonid
Kravchuk was elected chairman. In turn, leftist politicians and labor
leaders met in Kyiv to found Labor Ukraine, a national union of civic
organizations concerned with the social welfare of workers. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak

MORE OMON TROOPS ARRIVE IN BELARUSIAN CAPITAL. A detachment of 30 OMON
police officers was brought into Minsk from Baranovichy, Ekho Moskvy
reported on 8 June. Militia commanders justified reinforcing the OMON
forces because of restiveness in the city. More troops from Brest,
Pinsk, and other cities are being prepared for a move to Minsk. On 10
June, representatives of industrial trade unions began picketing the
government building protesting low wages and wage arrears. Alyaksandr
Bukhvostau, head of the agricultural machinery trade union, said
workers' living standards have fallen so much in the first quarter of
the year that it is practically impossible for them to make ends meet.
-- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT ON RUSSIAN ELECTIONS. Alyaksandr Luka-shenka has
taken a "peculiar" position on the Russian elections, Radio Rossii
reported on 9 June. He refused to support President Boris Yeltsin at the
last CIS summit meeting of presidents in Moscow, saying such support
would hurt Yeltsin. After Yeltsin said he had been obliged to give his
Belarusian colleague a few lessons in democracy at the summit because of
arrests following demonstrations in Minsk, Lukashenka said Yeltsin's
statement was merely an election tactic and that Yeltsin had never
spoken to him on the subject. The Belarusian leadership appears ready to
integrate with Russia, regardless of who is elected as president. --
Ustina Markus

ESTONIA SIGNS FINANCIAL MEMORANDUM WITH EU. Finance Minister Mart Opmann
and charge d'affaires of the European delegation Niall Leonard signed
the financial memorandum of the EU's PHARE national program on 10 June,
ETA reported. The memorandum provides a credit up to 26 million ECU
($20.8 million) to be used within two years. The funds are intended for
projects on integration into the EU and fulfillment of Estonia's Europe
Agreement (6 million ECU), promotion of exports (3 million ECU),
regional development (5.5 million ECU), state administration (6.5
million ECU), and infrastructure development (5 million ECU). In 1991-
1995, Estonia received 69.7 million ECU in aid from PHARE. -- Saulius
Girnius

LITHUANIA REPORTS FURTHER GROWTH IN CRIME. Chief Commissar of the
Criminal Police Visvaldas Rackauskas said on 10 June that 26,735 crimes
were registered in Lithuania in the first five months of 1996, an
increase of 4.5 percent over the same period last year, BNS reported.
About two-thirds of the crimes were thefts, but their number had
decreased by 4.6 percent compared with 1995. Thefts of articles from
motor vehicles increased by 112 percent, but the number of stolen cars
declined by 16.8 percent. The success rate of the police in solving
crimes increased by 3.5 percent, to 42.9 percent. -- Saulius Girnius

FORMER MINISTER ISSUES MEMORANDUM ON POLISH-UKRAINIAN RELATIONS. Former
Polish Foreign Affairs Minister Andrzej Olechowski, a leader of the "One
Hundred" movement, presented on 10 June a memorandum on Polish-Ukrainian
relations created jointly with the Ukrainian Rukh. The memorandum
proposes top-level meetings every six months, transformation of the
consultative presidents' committee into an intergovernmental working
group, creation of a Polish-Ukrainian Institute in both capitals,
creation of a common inter-ministerial group for European integration,
and conducting of joint military exercises. The memorandum was signed
by, among others, two former presidents: Poland's Lech Walesa and
Ukraine's Leonid Kravchuk, and by Poland's former prime ministers:
Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki, and Hanna Suchocka. The
document is to be presented in Kyiv on 12 June by Liberal Party leader
Oleh Soskin. -- Jakub Karpinski

POLISH PUBLIC OPINION ON INSTITUTIONS. President Aleksander Kwasniewski,
elected in November last year, has a 63% approval rate, according to a
poll conducted by Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) in May and
published in Gazeta Wyborcza on 11 June. Approval of the president grew
5% since April. Disapproval of him also grew: from 14% to 19%.
Kwasniewski's predecessor, Lech Walesa, had in 1993-1995 the approval of
20-30% of respondents and disapproval of 50-70%. The government is
approved by 53% of respondents, the Sejm by 51%, and the Senate by 45%.
Some non-political institutions have higher approval rates than the
president: Polish Radio is approved by 83% of respondents, the army by
73%, the TVP by 71%, the ombudsman by 69%. -- Jakub Karpinski

FRENCH AIRLINER MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING IN PRAGUE. An Air France plane
flying from Warsaw to Paris made an unscheduled landing in Prague on 10
June after an anonymous bomb threat, international media reported. Czech
authorities evacuated 73 passengers and seven crew members from the
Airbus A-320 but found nothing suspicious aboard the jet. The pilot
requested the emergency landing after receiving the warning, possibly by
radio from Warsaw. -- Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK COALITION TALKS CONTINUE. Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar held
private talks with his coalition partners in Trencianske Teplice on 10
June in an effort to resolve controversies, Narodna obroda reported. "We
reached a 100% consensus," Slovak National Party (SNS) Chairman Jan
Slota announced after the meeting. Both Slota and Association of Workers
of Slovakia Chairman Jan Luptak refused to give details; however, they
both reportedly looked angry when leaving the meeting, and talks are
scheduled to continue on 12 June. According to CTK, Slota presented a
recorded conversation that showed Deputy Premier and Finance Minister
Sergej Kozlik's personal interest in the 31 May replacement of the pro-
SNS management at the state insurance firm Slovenska poistovna. The new
management is reportedly close to Meciar and Kozlik's party, the
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia. Slota also noted that Meciar's
health is "better." -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK MINORITIES CRITICIZE CABINET'S POLICIES. Leaders of Slovakia's
Ruthenian, Ukrainian, Hungarian, Czech, and Bulgarian organizations on
10 June expressed disagreement with the government's minority policies,
Praca reported. In a joint declaration, the groups noted that although
the cabinet presents Slovakia to international organizations as a
country offering above-average minority rights, the situation of some
minority cultural organizations is "undignified." Financing through the
state cultural fund Pro Slovakia is "unsatisfactory," they said, adding
that "an incredibly large amount of money [intended for minority
cultural activities] is spent on private projects or political
activities." The group demanded a constitutional law on the status of
minorities as well as laws on the use of minority languages and on
minority cultural organizations. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY'S GOVERNMENT PLANS TO SET UP ALTERNATIVE CRIME-FIGHTING BODY.
Leading politicians, including Prime Minister Gyula Horn and Interior
Minister Gabor Kuncze, during a 10 June session of the national security
committee agreed to set up a central crime-fighting directorate in a bid
to curb black-market activity and organized crime, Hungarian dailies
reported. Kuncze said that the new body, which might be established by 1
September, will be directly subordinated to the national police
commander and will employ an estimated 850 people. Magyar Hirlap
reported that the Interior Ministry wants to obtain the 600 million
forints ($4 million) originally earmarked for the aborted central
investigative office to establish the new body. Last month, Horn
withdrew his controversial proposal to set up a similar office, which
would have been subordinated directly to the prime minister's office and
would thus have interfered with Kuncze's sphere of influence. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

DELAY LIKELY IN HUNGARY'S PUBLIC TV AND RADIO TRANSFORMATION. After long
delay, the cabinet finally ordered the financial screening of public
media organizations, Hungarian media reported on 8 June. The auditing of
Hungarian TV and Radio and the satellite Duna TV was stipulated as a
condition for the transformation of those organizations into
corporations. All three institutions are on the verge of financial
collapse. The media law requires that the auditing be finished by the
end of June, and the corporations are to be set up in August. That pace
is untenable; even media experts of the governing elites admit that the
deadlines are impossible to meet. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CROATIAN POWER-SHARING STALEMATE. The president of the Croatian Social
Liberal Party (HSLS), Vlado Gotovac, said he assumes there will be no
continuation in negotiations on power-sharing that started last week
between the HSLS and the ruling Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ),
Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 11 June. Secret negotiations between the
two parties have encountered shock and criticism, which Gotovac tried to
defuse on 9 June by presenting to the public a set of conditions handed
to HDZ by HSLS. HDZ on 10 June presented to the HSLS in return its own
program of starting points for the negotiations. Gotovac commented that
the HDZ program was vague and did not respond to the HSLS conditions. --
Daria Sito Sucic

CONFERENCE ON SERBS IN CROATIA CANCELED. Representatives of the Croatian
Helsinki Committee (HHO) informed the public that the conference "Serbs
in Croatia--yesterday, today, tomorrow," which was scheduled for the end
of June, will be canceled due to the campaign against it by the Croatian
state-run media, Nasa Borba reported on 11 June. The conference was
labeled by the media as anti-Croatian and boycotted by the state
authorities, the opposition, and the church. HHO president Ivan Zvonimir
Cicak said that most of the opposition and Catholic Church leaders share
the government's negative attitude regarding the return of Serbs to
Croatia, which is one of five conditions presented to Croatia for
membership in the Council of Europe. -- Daria Sito Sucic

SERBIAN ULTRANATIONALIST LEADER ADMITS "THE SERBS HAVE LOST." Deputy
Vice President of the Serbian Party of Unity (SSJ), Borislav Pelevic, on
10 June called for normalization of relations between rump Yugoslavia
and Croatia. The SSJ, led by accused war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic,
alias "Arkan," ought to accept that "the war is over. The Serbs have
lost," said Pelevic. Referring to the territory of eastern Slavonia once
held by rebel Serbs but now returned to Croatia, Pelevic said the loss
was cemented in November 1995, when Croatian authorities concluded an
agreement with the rebel Serbs. "We are not happy to have Croats as
neighbors  but as things are we must cooperate with them," he added. --
Stan Markotich

RUMP YUGOSLAV MILITARY DEVELOPMENTS. Deputy Commander of the rump
Yugoslav Army General Staff, Major General Radoslav Martinovic, said on
9 June that Belgrade will not allow the Dayton accord to bring rump
Yugoslavia into a militarily "unfavorable" position with respect to the
other signatories. The general said rump Yugoslavia "will not reduce in
any meaningful sense its military potential. In cases where it is
expected to do so, [Belgrade] may opt to have the purpose of some
hardware  changed," Montena-fax reported. In another development, on 11
June Nasa Borba reported that there appears to be a shake-up in the rump
Yugoslav defense and military establishment. -- Stan Markotich

U.S. BANKERS VISIT RUMP YUGOSLAVIA. A delegation of major U.S. banks,
headed by Fulvio Dobric, visited with their rump Yugoslav counterparts
on 10 June, Tanjug reported. The U.S. delegation was the first of its
kind to visit Belgrade since sanctions against rump Yugoslavia were
lifted in 1995. The U.S. delegation refused to reopen banking links, at
least until the rump Yugoslav banks rejoin international financial
institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. -- Stan Markotich

SERBS STAGE "ANTI-MUSLIM ORGY." This is how UNHCR spokesman Kris
Janowski on 10 June described the actions of about 100 angry Serb
civilians the previous day, AFP reported. The "welcoming committee"
confronted the UN representatives and Muslims wanting to visit Koraj
near Serb-held Doboj. The Serbs chanted anti-Muslim insults and chased
the UN vehicles in cars. Janowski noted that only one attempt in 10 by
Muslims to visit their former homes in the past 10 days has succeeded.
He added that the UNHCR's "job is linked to unification [of the separate
entities into one Bosnia] and here it hasn't worked, basically.  We're
still seeing a huge wall of hostility especially by Republika Srpska
toward any moves that would bring the formerly warring ethnic groups
together again." There has been no effort by IFOR to enforce the central
Dayton principle of the right of refugees to go home. -- Patrick Moore

SLOVENIA SIGNS EU AGREEMENT. Slovenia officially signed a partnership
agreement with the EU on 10 June at a Luxembourg meeting of EU foreign
ministers, making it the tenth country to do so, AFP reported. Following
the signing, Slovenian Premier Janez Drnovsek officially submitted an
application for Slovenia's EU membership. -- Stan Markotich

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION ALLIANCE INSISTS ON RAISING ELECTORAL HURDLE. The
parliamentary faction of the main opposition alliance, the Democratic
Convention of Romania, on 10 June demanded that the Chamber of Deputies
revise the electoral law and raise the minimum percentage of votes
necessary for a party to gain representation from 3% to 5%, Radio
Bucharest reported. Before the local elections held on 2 June, the Party
of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR), the main governing formation, had
also favored raising the "electoral hurdle." Following its relatively
poor performance in the local elections, however, the PDSR changed its
position, apparently fearing that a higher hurdle would leave out
prospective coalition partners, in particular extremist formations such
as the Greater Romania Party and the Party of Romanian National Unity.
-- Michael Shafir

ZIMBABWEAN PRESIDENT IN ROMANIA. Robert Mugabe on 11 June ends a three-
day visit to Romania by signing a commercial accord between the two
countries, Romanian media reported on 10-11 June. Mugabe was received by
President Ion Iliescu, Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu, and the chairmen of the
two chambers of parliament. -- Michael Shafir

KYRGYZ PRESIDENT VISITS MOLDOVA. Askar Akayev, on a one-day visit to
Chisinau, and his Moldovan counterpart, Mircea Snegur, on 10 June signed
11 documents on cooperation between their two countries, local press
agencies reported. Akayev said that his country has "always demonstrated
a firm stance in condemning separatism anywhere" and that Kyrgyzstan was
backing "the wise, flexible, and firm policy" of Snegur for the settling
of the conflict in the Transdniester region. He also said that the
"preservation and deepening of CIS integration" will be possible only if
Boris Yeltsin wins the Russian presidential election. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN CABINET RESHUFFLE: TOO LITTLE TOO LATE? Not only the
opposition, but also members of the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party
(BSP) have criticized the government changes made on 10 June, Bulgarian
and Western media reported. Former Prime Minister Andrey Lukanov said he
"won't support the reshuffle, because it is inadequate," while former
BSP Chairman Aleksandar Lilov called it "partial and insufficient,"
adding, "now is our last chance to form a strong government with or
without [Prime Minister] Zhan Videnov." Lukanov and Lilov are seen as
the main backstage power brokers within the BSP. Former Sofia party
leader Aleksandar Marinov said the government might fall by a no-
confidence vote on 13 June. He said Videnov's "authoritarian positions"
are one of the most serious problems. Meanwhile, Lilov and parliamentary
Foreign Policy Commission Chairman Nikolay Kamov announced they will not
seek the BSP presidential candidacy, Duma reported. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN POLICEMEN SENTENCED FOR KILLING SUSPECT. A Sofia military
court on 10 June convicted six policemen of killing or helping to kill a
suspect in custody, 24 chasa reported. Four of the officers received
prison terms of between four and 20 years, while two received suspended
sentences. The officers beat 22-year old Hristo Hristov to death in a
police cell on 5 April 1995. Hristov, who had no criminal record, had
been arrested on suspicion of theft earlier that day. When his parents
came to see him in the evening, they found him dead and handcuffed to a
radiator. An autopsy established that Hristov died of massive
hemorrhage; his aorta was torn and several ribs were broken as a result
of severe beating. Bulgarian National Police Chief Hristo Gatsov
resigned over the case on 12 April 1995. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN POLICE CONTINUE TO HOLD MEMBER OF ELECTORAL COMMISSION. Dritan
Belinjeri, a member of the electoral commission in the Tirana district
Vurri e Bamit, has been in police custody since the parliamentary
elections on 26 May, Poli i Qendres reported on 11 June. The 21-year-old
Belinjeri, who was representing the Democratic Alliance on the
commission, was reportedly arrested for protesting "open violations [of
the electoral procedure] by the head of the commission." He has
allegedly been beaten badly. Meanwhile, Gazeta Shqiptare reported that
Democratic Party leader Tritan Shehu expressed his readiness for a
round-table dialogue with the opposition. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Susan Caskie

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