A disagreement may be the shortest cut between two minds. - Kahlil Gibran
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 120, Part II, 20 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 LAWMAKERS FAIL TO AGREE ON PROCEDURE FOR ADOPTING NEW
CONSTITUTION. Ukrainian legislators have postponed a debate over the
draft Ukrainian constitution until 21 June after failing to agree on the
procedure for its adoption, Ukrainian TV reported on 19 June. Communist
deputies had insisted that the debate be delayed until 9 July and that
each article be reviewed, while center-right lawmakers had wanted an
immediate vote on the draft as a whole and a third reading. Both
proposals were rejected. The stalemate prompted Serhii Teleshun, a top
presidential adviser, to claim that if the legislature fails to make a
decision soon, a large group of deputies might simply appeal to
President Leonid Kuchma to call a national referendum on the draft. --
Chrystyna Lapychak

KYRGYZSTAN, UKRAINE SIGN FRIENDSHIP TREATY. Kyrgyz President Askar
Akayev signed a treaty on friendship and cooperation with his Ukrainian
counterpart, Leonid Kuchma, in Kyiv on 19 June, Ukrainian Radio
reported. The two presidents also signed a number of other agreements on
economic cooperation and academic exchanges. In a meeting with Ukrainian
parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz, Akayev discussed problems facing
the 90,000-strong Ukrainian diaspora in Kyrgyzstan. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINE TO RECEIVE MORE CREDITS. The IMF will allow Ukraine to draw the
second monthly installment, worth some $100 million, from its $867
million stand-by loan at the end of the month, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported on 19 June. The same day, AFP reported that the European
Commission will lend Ukraine 200 million ECUs ($246 million) for
economic reforms. The credit will be released in two tranches if Ukraine
continues with its economic reforms, and the shutdown of the Chornobyl
nuclear power station. ITAR-TASS reported that the World Bank will also
give Ukraine a $250 million credit to reconstruct its coal industry. --
Ustina Markus

KYIV MAYOR TO BUILD MEMORIAL FOR ORTHODOX PATRIARCH. Acting Kyiv Mayor
Oleksander Omelchenko has pledged to build a memorial on the sidewalk
outside the walls of St. Sophia's Cathedral where Patriarch Volodymyr of
the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate was buried nearly
a year ago, Reuters reported on 18 June. Omelchenko has ordered city
funds to be used for a marble monument with a cross and columns on the
late patriarch's makeshift grave in the pavement. Mourners and Church
activists failed to receive government permission last year to lay the
patriarch to rest inside the cathedral grounds. Omelchenko said the
cash-strapped city would allocate the equivalent of $71,000 "to correct
this wrong." -- Chrystyna Lapychak

PRESIDENTIAL APPOINTMENTS IN BELARUS. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
has issued a decree making personnel changes in the Security Council
Commission for Fighting Crime and Narcotics, Belarusian TV reported on
18 June. New members appointed to the commission include deputy head of
the President's Administration Alyaksandr Abramovich, Interior Minister
Valyantsin Ahalets, and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Ivan Antanovich.
-- Ustina Markus

PROGRESS IN SETTLING ESTONIA'S BORDERS. Delegates from Estonia, Latvia,
and Russia, meeting on 18 June in Aluksne, Latvia, decided that the
borders of those countries would meet on the Pededze River, BNS reported
the next day. An official document, probably an international agreement,
will be drawn up but can be concluded only after Latvia and Estonia sign
border agreements with Russia. Estonia and Finland on 19 June concluded
an accord settling their sea borders. However, they still have to sign
trilateral agreements with Russia and Sweden on establishing joint
borders. The Finnish-Estonian agreement is expected to be ratified by
the respective parliaments later this year. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIA CHANGES VOTING REGULATIONS FOR PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. The
Seimas on 19 June voted 65 to 21 with seven abstentions to change the
voting regulations for parliamentary elections, Radio Lithuania
reported. Of the 141 deputies, 71 will continue to be elected directly
and 70 from party lists. Voters, however, will now have the opportunity
to influence the order of preference of the candidates on the party list
they support by expressing a positive or negative opinion of each
candidate on the list. They may also express no opinion, leaving the
order of deputies as determined by the various parties. The ruling
Democratic Labor Party supported the change, while some opposition
deputies voted against it, saying it will be much more difficult to
guarantee no irregularities in vote counting. -- Saulius Girnius

TENSIONS IN POLISH RULING COALITION. Members of the postcommunist
Democratic Left Alliance (SLD), a senior partner of the coalition that
has ruled Poland since 1993, have increasingly come under attack from
deputies belonging to the junior partner, the Polish Peasant Party
(PSL). PSL deputies recently called for the removal of Privatization
Minister Wieslaw Kaczmarek, a member of the SLD (see OMRI Daily Digest,
14 June 1996). The weekly Nie, which supports the SLD, published on 18
June a front-page report that Sejm Speaker Jozef Zych (PSL) was
imprisoned 35 years ago after accounts had failed to balance at a summer
youth camp where he had been a supervisor. Leszek Miller (SLD), chief of
the Government's Office, said recently that his party may also call for
the removal of other PSL ministers. -- Jakub Karpinski

SLOVAK JUNIOR COALITION PARTNERS STEP OUT OF LINE... The Slovak National
Party (SNS) and the Association of Workers of Slovakia (ZRS) sided with
the opposition at the parliament session that began on 19 June, Slovak
media reported. Several proposals were added to the parliament's agenda
with SNS and ZRS support, despite opposition from the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). These included the expansion of the board
overseeing the Slovak Information Service, changes in the leadership of
the National Property Fund, Supreme Supervisory Office control over the
fund, and an amendment to the law on strategic firms. An opposition
proposal for changes in the composition of the boards overseeing Slovak
TV and Radio was rejected, however. SNS chairman Jan Slota does not
consider his party's behavior a violation of the coalition agreement. --
Sharon Fisher

...AND RULING PARTY CALLS SPECIAL MEETING. Following the parliament
session, HZDS Chairman and Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar called a
special meeting in Trencin of party representatives from around
Slovakia, Slovenska Republika reported. HZDS spokesman Vladimir Hagara
quoted Meciar as saying that "relations in the coalition are not as they
should be; the coalition partners have [not abided by] the agreement."
Hagara also noted that some local SNS and ZRS officials "are strongly
inclined toward the HZDS." In other news, HZDS deputy and well-known
businessman Karol Konarik has been hospitalized after being physically
attacked in Banska Bystrica during the night of 17 June, Narodna obroda
reported three days later. Konarik was accompanied by a high-ranking
regional police official, who was also injured. -- Sharon Fisher

STILL NO CONCLUSION IN HUNGARIAN "OILGATE" INVESTIGATION.
Representatives of the Socialists and the Free Democrats--the two
governing parties--on 19 June walked out of a meeting of the commission
investigating the so-called "Oilgate" scandal, Hungarian media reported.
They claimed they were protesting the regular absence of opposition
members at sessions of the commission. Opposition deputies and the press
previously revealed several Socialist Party members' involvement in
suspicious deals related to Russian-Hungarian oil shipments, including
the present trade and industry minister and his immediate predecessor.
Magyar Hirlap on 20 June reported that the commission found major
irregularities in the work of an inter-ministerial commission set up to
assess bids for settling the Russian debt with oil shipments. Otherwise,
an ominous silence has surrounded the "Oilgate" affair since the
parliamentary commission began operating six months ago. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT OPENS DEBATE ON NEW CONSTITUTION. The parliament on
19 June began debating the new constitution and appeared most divided
over whether to include social rights in that document, Hungarian
dailies reported. The junior coalition party Alliance of Free Democrats
and the opposition Young Democrats are generally opposed to the idea,
while most other parties are in favor. A leading SZDSZ deputy said that
although all parties agree that the state must undertake social
commitments, no Western constitution defines such rights as individual
rights. The question is especially important as the country is reforming
the welfare system. Incorporating social rights could slow down such
reforms, as was the case last year when the Constitutional Court struck
down several provisions of the stabilization program. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

U.S. TO START FIRST MAJOR REDEPLOYMENT OUT OF BOSNIA. Soldiers of the
First Armored Division Headquarters, the Division Support Command, and
various liaison groups will begin IFOR's first significant move out of
the war-torn republic on 23 June. They will leave Lukavica in northern
Bosnia for Slavonski Brod, in Croatia, AFP reported on 19 June. There
has been much discussion in Western capitals about keeping the
peacekeepers in Bosnia into 1997 to deter any renewal of fighting, and
U.S. Secretary of Defense William Perry has endorsed the idea. President
Bill Clinton, however, has made election year promises that U.S. forces
will leave Bosnia by December 1996. Meanwhile in the Adriatic, NATO and
WEU ships suspended their arms control patrols, known as operation Sharp
Guard following the end of the UN's arms embargo on the former
Yugoslavia. Finally, British commander Gen. Michael Jackson said he will
leave his post on 26 June with mixed feelings. He is especially
concerned with the failure to enforce the Dayton agreement's civilian
provisions. Britain's 8,700 troops constitute IFOR's second-largest
contingent. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN SERBS SET AGENDA FOR BRCKO. The Republika Srpska's legislature,
meeting in Pale on 19 June, elected Vitomir Pavlovic, a professor of
international law in Banja Luka, as the Serbs' representative to the
arbitration commission that will settle the fate of Brcko, as specified
in the Dayton agreement. The parliament also directed the cabinet to set
down the Serbian position on the future of the northern Bosnian town and
the surrounding land corridor that links the western and eastern halves
of the republic, Nasa Borba noted. Pavlovic said that previous
international conferences had "never disputed" that Brcko will remain
Serbian and that "it was agreed in Dayton that the Republika Srpska
should have 20 km more in that region," Onasa reported. The Bosnian
government favors making a neutral zone out of Brcko, which had a mainly
Muslim population before the war. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN SERBS TO SET UP SPECIAL WAR CRIMES COURT. The Bosnian Serb
parliament also adopted the proposal to establish a war crimes court to
try Bosnian Serbs indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal for the former
Yugoslavia, Nasa Borba reported. Parliamentary speaker Momcilo Krajisnik
proposed setting up the court because the constitution of the Republika
Srpska prohibits extradiction of its citizens. Officials have thus
legalized their persistent refusal to meet the Hague-based criminal
tribunal's demands to extradite indicted war criminals Radovan Karadzic
and Ratko Mladic. The Bosnian Serb parliament also passed a partial
amnesty for people indicted or convicted for "disturbing the Republic
Srpska's social order." -- Daria Sito Sucic

ROW OVER NEW HERCEG-BOSNA GOVERNMENT CONTINUES. Bosnian Vice President
Ejup Ganic told the Bosnian Federation Constituent Assembly on 19 June
that the establishment of the new government of Herceg-Bosna was a "huge
step backward," Onasa reported. He also deplored the "lack of political
liberties" on the territory controlled by the Croatian Defense Council.
Opposition parties have proposed that both Federation President Kresimir
Zubak and Vice President Ganic be relieved of their duties because they
have not upheld the signed agreements on the federation. Zubak said he
and Ganic were unable to perform 80% of their duties because the
institutional framework was lacking, Hina reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

RUMP YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENT PASSES LAW ON STRIKES. The rump Yugoslav
parliament has adopted a law on strikes that bans members of the
government administration and the police force from going on strike,
Beta reported on 19 June. The new law also stipulates that those
providing essential public services, such as teachers and hospital
personnel, do not hold strikes that "interfere with the work process."
Other strikes may be held only on the respective company's premises. --
Fabian Schmidt

FINAL RESULTS OF ROMANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS. Romania's Central Electoral
Office on 19 June released the final results of the local elections held
earlier this month, Radio Bucharest reported. The ruling Party of Social
Democracy in Romania (PDSR) received 26.49% of the vote, winning 2,742
mayoralties. The opposition Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR) came
second with 26.45%, followed by the Social Democratic Union (USD) with
13.15%. The PDSR won 23.8% of the local councilor posts, the USD 15%,
and the CDR 13.4%. The CDR won the most county councilor posts, followed
by the PDSR and USD. -- Dan Ionescu

STORMY DEBATE IN ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT OVER SECRET SERVICE ACTIVITIES. At
a session of the parliament's two chambers on 19 June, Senator Vasile
Vacaru, head of a joint parliamentary commission supervising the
Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), spoke of "serious deficiencies" in
the way the service functions, Radio Bucharest reported. Vacaru pointed
to confidential documents having been leaked and phones tapped. SRI
Director Virgil Magureanu defended his organization. He also accused
Corneliu Vadim Tudor, leader of the extremist Greater Romania Party, of
trying to bring the SRI into disrepute and of forming an illegal
intelligence structure of a paramilitary nature. Tudor vehemently denied
the accusations and asked for Magureanu's dismissal. Members of the
democratic opposition also called for the director's removal. -- Dan
Ionescu

DNIESTER SENIOR OFFICIAL ON LEBED'S NEW FUNCTIONS. Grigorii Marakutsa,
chairman of the Dniester Supreme Soviet, welcomed the appointment of Lt.
Gen. Aleksandr Lebed as secretary of the newly created Security Council
of the Russian Federation and as presidential aide for national security
issues, Infotag reported on 19 June. Marakutsa expressed the hope that
the former commander of the 14th Russian Army "will promote the Dniester
conflict settlement." Referring to Lebed's strong criticism of the
Dniester leadership during his tenure in Tiraspol, Marakutsa said
"personal ambitions must yield to state interests." Lebed has described
Igor Smirnov, president of the self-proclaimed "Dniester Moldovan
Republic," and his associates as "criminals." -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN AGREEMENT WITH IMF, WORLD BANK POSTPONED UNTIL SEPTEMBER. The
World Bank's Board of Directors will not consider Bulgaria's application
for a structural adjustment loan until early September, Demokratsiya
reported on 20 June, citing the bank's representative in Sofia, Alberto
Mussalem. The bank is waiting for progress on structural reform,
including the closure of unprofitable enterprises, before it releases
$60-80 million to used to launch social programs for displaced workers.
Meanwhile, the IMF's Executive Board is to meet on 12 July to consider
Bulgaria's application for a $400-450 million standby credit, but the
newspaper notes that the board will likely postpone doing so until the
World Bank decides on its loan. Since foreign debt payments before the
end of September will total $499.6 million and the country's foreign
reserves are below $600 million, any delay in receiving international
support may be disastrous. -- Michael Wyzan

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS PART OF MEDIA LAW. The parliament on 19 June
passed articles regulating the activities of a National Council for
Radio and TV, which will be formed to oversee media operations,
Kontinent and Standart reported. The opposition opposed a provision
putting the council in charge of ensuring that the media abide by the
law and their licensing agreements, saying it violated the constitution.
The council can appoint and dismiss the directors-general of national TV
and radio with a two-thirds majority. It will be financed by the state
budget. Until now, media chiefs have been elected and dismissed by the
parliament and the state media's operations controlled by a
parliamentary commission. The changes become effective only after the
media law is passed in its entirety. -- Stefan Krause

U.S. WANTS ALBANIA TO HOLD NEW ELECTIONS... U.S. State Department
spokesman Nicholas Burns has said "fairness seemed to be lacking" in the
Albanian election process, AFP reported. He has asked Tirana to organize
new and "totally democratic" elections in cooperation with the OSCE.
Burns argued that opposition parties were given only six or seven days
to prepare for the election re-run in 17 constituencies last weekend and
that international monitors noted "gross irregularities" in the
elections on 26 May. Meanwhile, the Tirana-based Society for Democratic
Culture, a U.S.-funded non-governmental organization, has accused the
state-run media of biased coverage of the ballots, Reuters reported. --
Fabian Schmidt

...BUT ALBANIAN PRESIDENT GOES AHEAD WITH HIS AGENDA. Sali Berisha has
announced that the new parliament will convene on 1 July, Reuters
reported. However, the Socialists, the Social Democrats, the Democratic
Alliance, and other opposition parties will boycott the legislature.
Socialist deputy leader Namik Dokle said "the Socialist Party does not
recognize the results of the election and considers the new parliament
to be illegitimate," AFP reported. The Socialists, the strongest
opposition party, won five of the 115 direct seats in the 140-member
parliament. -- Fabian Schmidt

CROATIAN PRESIDENT IN ANKARA. Franjo Tudjman arrived in Ankara for a
two-day state visit on 19 June, Western and Turkish media reported. Four
cooperation agreements in defense, education, technology, and tourism
were signed the same day. The long-awaited defense agreement foresees
cooperation in military training, logistics, and the military industry.
Turkey has already signed such agreements with Bosnia-Herzegovina and
Macedonia. -- Lowell Bezanis

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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