Live all you can: it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that what have you had? - Henry James
OMRI DAILY DIGEST</head>

No. 122, Part II, 24 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 REVIEW DRAFT CONSTITUTION. The Ukrainian Parliament
has begun an article-by-article debate over the draft constitution,
Ukrainian TV and UNIAN reported. Deputies reviewed the draft's preamble
and 10 articles on 21 June, but many critical clauses failed to garner
the required absolute majority vote. President Leonid Kuchma told a
gathering of newspaper editors the next day that if legislators fail to
reach a compromise by 25 June, he would call a national referendum on
the draft. Kuchma said the torpid review process demonstrated that the
legislature was incapable of adopting the constitution, and accused
Speaker Oleksander Moroz and the communist caucus of dragging out the
debate until the Russian presidential runoff on 3 July, alleging that
they have pinned their own political hopes on a communist victory there.
The communists said they would lobby citizens to vote against the draft
constitution in such a referendum. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

YELTSIN IN BELARUS. Russian President Boris Yeltsin was in Brest on 22
June, international agencies reported. Yeltsin took part in a ceremony
commemorating the Nazi invasion with Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka, and attended a session of the Supreme Council of the [Russo-
Belarusian] Community. Observers interpreted the visit as a campaign
tactic, since it received wide media coverage and Russian law forbids
free TV campaign ads until the week before the 3 July runoff election.
Lukashenka, the only CIS leader not to endorse Yeltsin prior to the
first round of Russian elections, offered supportive words to Yeltsin
during his visit, saying he would be crowned with victory. Despite the
endorsement, Yeltsin cautioned Lukashenka that the slower pace of
privatization in Belarus could impede integration. The visit was marked
by separate rallies in Minsk by communists and the anti-Lukashenka
opposition. Both ended peacefully. -- Ustina Markus

INTIMIDATION OF BELARUSIAN RADIO LIBERTY CORRESPONDENT. The wife of a
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent was beaten up by two
assailants in Minsk, Ekho Moskvy reported on 22 June. Her attackers
broke into her apartment at night while her husband was away, beat her,
and told her to tell her husband about it. Nothing was taken from the
apartment. The following day, NTV reported her husband saying the attack
was not a robbery, but an act of intimidation against him. He denied
having any connections with legal or illegal businesses, and said the
attack was directed against his journalistic activities. -- Ustina
Markus

ESTONIAN COURT ACQUITS DEFENDANTS OF 1992 RUBLE SALE. A Tallinn court
acquitted Tiit Pruuli, adviser of former Prime Minister Mart Laar, and
businessmen Agu Kivimae and Marek Strandberg on 21 June of charges
resulting from a sale of rubles collected when Estonia introduced its
own currency in June 1992, ETA reported. The court ruled that the
defendants did not violate currency export-import regulations because
they obeyed the instructions of the Monetary Reform Committee, which at
that time had greater authority. The revelation of the secret sale to an
unknown buyer in Russia sparked a political scandal that contributed to
Laar's resignation in 1994. Foreign Minister Siim Kallas, who headed the
Bank of Estonia at that time and was a member of the committee, said
claims that the rubles were sold for more than their real value were
nonsense because no Russian bank was obligated to buy them. -- Saulius
Girnius

U.S. UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE VISITS LITHUANIA. John White began a two-
day visit to Lithuania on 21 June with a meeting with Prime Minister
Mindaugas Stankevicius, ELTA reported. Stankevicius repeated the worries
of his counterparts in Latvia and Estonia about proposed changes in the
Conventional Forces in Europe agreement permitting more Russian tanks in
the Pskov region. White praised Lithuania's active role in the
Partnership for Peace program and expressed condolences over the death
of a Lithuanian officer serving in the IROR forces in Bosnia. White also
met with National Defense Minister Linas Linkevicius, commander of
Lithuanian armed forces Gen. Jonas Andriskevicius, and other senior
officials. -- Saulius Girnius

POLAND TO LAUNCH SWEEPING GOVERNMENT REFORMS. The Sejm on 21 June
approved a sweeping reform plan to limit the government's role in the
economy and streamline decision-making, Reuters reported. According to
Cabinet Chief-of-Staff Leszek Miller, the plan would "decentralize
government powers and strengthen the position of provincial governors."
Under the program, control over most state firms will be transferred
from ministries to provincial governors, leaving only some 200
strategic, large companies under government supervision. The plan will
also merge some ministries, scrap others, and create new ones. A
"treasury ministry" supervising all state assets is due to be created in
October, while the privatization ministry will be replaced with a
Privatization Agency. "As a result [of the plan], many current power-
sharing conflicts will be avoided," said Marek Pol, a minister in charge
of the reform. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

GDANSK SHIPYARD WORKERS PROTEST IN WARSAW. Several thousand workers
protested outside government headquarters on 21 June against the closure
of the Gdansk shipyard, international media reported. "Get your red paws
off the shipyard," workers shouted in protest of the ex-communist
Privatization Minister Wieslaw Kaczmarek's bankruptcy plan for the yard,
as union chiefs submitted a petition demanding talks with the
government. The Solidarity trade union, which organized the
demonstration, claims the closure of the historic shipyard is an act of
revenge by the government for the opposition that arose there in the
1980s. Meanwhile, President Aleksander Kwasniewski urged that the issue
be discussed "not in political but in economic and social terms."
Kaczmarek argues that bankruptcy is the only way to start a turnaround
of the state-controlled yard, which is burdened with debts and loss-
generating contracts. Of Poland's five shipyards, only one has undergone
successful restructuring so far. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

CZECH PRIME MINISTER AT EU MEETING. Speaking to journalists at the EU
summit in Florence on 22 June, Vaclav Klaus said he was able to explain
the results of the recent Czech parliamentary elections to "our partners
from member and associated countries." Klaus argued that Europe
considers it unique that in the Czech Republic "the parties that have
presided over radical reforms remain the strongest" after the elections.
Klaus added that the expansion of the EU is so certain that "it is not
even being discussed anymore." Klaus said his meeting with German
Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the first such meeting in several years, "was a
first important step toward removing the media-created cliche about our
alleged repeated failure to meet." -- Jiri Pehe

MECIAR SNUBBED BY COALITION PARTNER. Deputies of the coalition Slovak
National Party (SNS) snubbed Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar on 21 June,
joining the opposition in a vote to include opposition members on a
committee overseeing the Slovak Intelligence Service, Slovak media
reported. The next day, the Central Committee of the Association of
Workers of Slovakia (ZRS) expressed conditional support for the Meciar-
led coalition, announcing that the ZRS does not intend to leave the
coalition but "expects the coalition agreement to be observed," Slovak
media reported. Also on 22 June, an official of Meciar's Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia told journalists that "the situation in Slovakia is
beginning to stabilize," because the opposition Party of the Democratic
Left has allegedly expressed support for Meciar's government. But APA
quoted SNS chairman Jan Slota as warning Meciar to stop policies that
will result in the break-up of the coalition. -- Jiri Pehe

HUNGARIANS ALLOWED TO PURCHASE FOREIGN SECURITIES. According to a draft
government decree, Hungarian citizens will be allowed to buy foreign
securities from 1 July, Magyar Hirlap reported on 24 June. In the
beginning, securities can be acquired only through brokerages in Hungary
and transactions will be limited to AAA graded securities with longer
than a one-year term. While bonds and shares themselves will have to be
brought into the country, yields must be converted into Hungarian
forints. From January 1997, however, the scope of securities available
will be broadened to all bonds and shares that fall into to the
"recommended to investors" category. Passage of such an amendment was a
condition of Hungary's membership in the OECD. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN CROATS DENY ATTEMPTING TO PRESERVE HERCEG-BOSNA. After having
been heavily criticized by both their federal Muslim partners and the
international community (see OMRI Daily Digest, 20 and 21 June 1996),
three Bosnian Croat leaders on 23 June denied Croats were trying to
preserve a separate mini-state of Herceg-Bosna, AFP reported. Bosnian
Foreign Minister Jadranko Prlic, Federation Defense Minister Vladimir
Soljic, and head of the Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) Bozo Rajic
said their move to restructure the Herceg-Bosna government was
misunderstood, and was actually a way to gradually transfer authority to
the Bosnian federation. Meanwhile, Bosnian Croats on 22 June stoned
buses carrying more than 200 Bosnian Muslims trying to visit their
former homes in Pocitelj, south of Mostar, AFP reported quoting a
Bosnian radio report. The local Croat police did not react, AFP
reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

COTTI VISITS BOSNIA BEFORE DECISION ON ELECTIONS. Swiss Foreign Minister
and OSCE President Flavio Cotti arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina on 23 June
for a series of meetings with both Bosnian and Republika Srpska
officials, international and local media reported. After talks with
Bosnian Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic, Cotti said the OSCE was not
subject to any pressure, though all Western governments want the Bosnian
elections to be held by the agreed September deadline, Hina reported.
Muratovic said Bosnian authorities would take all measures necessary to
create conditions for free elections, whenever they take place. Cotti is
expected to disclose the decision on the elections date on 25 June. --
Daria Sito Sucic

SERBS BEING BULLIED OUT OF SARAJEVO. Seventy-two Serbs have been
intimidated into leaving formerly Serb-held suburbs of Sarajevo, Onasa
quoted UN spokesman Alexander Ivanko as saying on 21 June. He added that
more are preparing to go if the situation does not improve. "We are
especially concerned over the harassment of [members of the] Serbian
Democratic Initiative (SDI), the only organization that is trying to
protect Serbs in those areas," Ivanko said. The UN is particularly
concerned about SDI member Bogdan Jovanovic, whom federal police
arrested some weeks ago on suspicion of war crimes, Ivanko added.
Jovanovic remains in jail but no charges have been brought against him
and no evidence has been produced. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN SERB FOREIGN MINISTER DENIES HE WILL REPLACE KARADZIC ...
Apparently in response to the international community's anger at the
nomination of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic as the governing
Serbian Democratic Party's (SDS) candidate for the presidency of the
Republika Srpska (RS) (see OMRI Daily Digest, 21 June 1996), leaks to
news agencies from within the RS suggested that Karadzic will leave the
presidency this week to concentrate on SDS affairs, and that Foreign
Minister Aleksa Buha will replace him. Buha himself denied the story as
"journalistic speculation," Nasa Borba reported on 24 June. Karadzic has
been endorsed by the Banja Luka SDS and by the Society of Refugees in
Brcko, which claims to represent 15,000 people. Also in Banja Luka,
Mayor Predrag Radic, a former Karadzic ally as the candidate of the
opposition Democratic Patriotic Bloc of the Republika Srpska, AFP
reported on 23 June. -- Patrick Moore

... WHILE SERBIAN 'DEMOCRATS' SUPPORT KARADZIC CANDIDACY. Democratic
Party (DS) representative Slobodan Vuksanovic said at a 21 June press
conference in Belgrade that the DS could endorse a possible run by
Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic in upcoming elections in the
Republika Srpska. Vuksanovic described Karadzic's possible run as
"legitimate" and said his party's position is that the Bosnian Serb
leader "thus far has shown that he is responsible to his people, always
seemingly placing their interests above his own." On the same theme, in
a 19 June interview with OMRI, DS leader Zoran Djindjic said that the DS
would participate in RS elections, adding that Karadzic's Serbian
Democratic Party (SDS) had "a legitimate [wing] ... that can be worked
with." -- Stan Markotich

MILOSEVIC'S WIFE GAINS MONTENEGRIN SUPPORT. Rade Lakusic, chair of the
League of Communists-Movement for Yugoslavia of Montenegro (SK-PJCG)
said on 21 June that his party would formally join a coalition with the
Yugoslav United Left (JUL), an organization headed by Mira Markovic,
wife of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. Montena-fax reported the
same day that Lakusic said his party and Markovic's would vie for seats
in forthcoming Montenegrin elections, adding that JUL "is a movement
that promotes the humanist and socialist ideals that are not pressed
enough [here] in Montenegro." -- Stan Markotich

KOSOVO SERBS DEMAND CLARIFICATION FROM MILOSEVIC. An unspecified number
of Serbian Defense Movement supporters held a rally at the monastery of
Gracanica near Pristina on 22 June, Beta reported. The demonstration's
leaders had earlier sent a petition to President Slobodan Milosevic
demanding he give an answer as to what future they can expect for
Kosovo. Milosevic, however, did not appear, and neither did any
representative of his Socialist Party of Serbia or the government. Some
40,000 Serbs and Montenegrins reportedly signed the petition. The head
of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Aleksandar Despic, had
caused fear among Kosovo Serbs by saying that Serbia may need to divide
from Kosovo in the future. The leaders of the petition also plan to form
a political party. Meanwhile, the Liberation Army of Kosovo sent a
letter to Deutsche Welle claiming responsibility for the recent
shootings of Serb policemen. -- Fabian Schmidt

ILIESCU IN ITALY. Romanian President Ion Iliescu on 21-22 June paid a
visit to Italy, Radio Bucharest reported. Iliescu, who took part in the
Florence EU summit, met with businessmen in Torino and Milan on 21 June.
He visited the Torino-based Fiat company, one of Europe's largest car
producers, and the headquarters of the San Paolo banking group. At a
press conference in Florence after the summit, Iliescu said on 22 June
that isolation was no alternative to EU integration, irrespective of the
costs that process may incur. -- Dan Ionescu

CONFERENCE ON CONSOLIDATING MOLDOVA'S STATEHOOD. A conference on
"Building Up and Consolidating the Statehood of the Republic of Moldova"
was staged in Chisinau on 21 June, Moldpres reported. The gathering,
attended by senior Moldovan officials including President Mircea Snegur,
Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli, and Parliament Chairman Petru Lucinschi,
focused on ways to consolidate the state structures of the former Soviet
republic, which proclaimed its independence on 27 August 1991. In an
opening address, Snegur praised his country's progress toward democracy
and reform, and urged the authorities to work out a "clear concept" for
Moldova's integration into the community of European states. -- Dan
Ionescu

BULGARIAN ROUNDUP. President Zhelyu Zhelev was awarded the annual prize
of the Crans Montana Foundation on 21 June for his work for democracy,
RFE/RL reported. The prize was presented by Swiss Foreign Minister and
OSCE President Flavio Cotti, who stressed Zhelev's commitment to
democracy. Zhelev asked the West for understanding of the difficulties
former communist countries face in the transition process, arguing that
the transition to a free-market economy placed enormous burdens on
ordinary people. In other news, the Bulgarian civil defense accidentally
triggered an air-raid alert on 23 June. The error was discovered before
military planes took off. According to Trud, military and civil-defense
officials were completely unprepared and in case of a real attack would
have been unable to protect Sofia. Novinar reported that most air-raid
shelters have been rented out as warehouses. -- Stefan Krause

FINAL ALBANIAN ELECTION RESULTS ANNOUNCED ... According to the Central
Electoral Commission (KQZ), the Democratic Party will get 122 or 85% of
the 140 seats in the new parliament. The Socialist Party won 10 seats,
the Republican Party and the ethnic Greek Party for the Defense of Human
Rights and Freedoms won three seats each, and the Balli Kombetar won
two. However, the Socialist Party considers the election results
manipulated and plans to boycott the parliament. The Council of Europe
(CE) Parliamentary Assembly's political committee will hold a closed-
door meeting on 24 June with the OSCE, eight Albanian political parties,
and the KQZ to prepare for a 26 June emergency meeting of the full
assembly. A two-thirds majority of the assembly may advise the CE's
Council of Ministers to suspend Albania's membership in the
organization. -- Fabian Schmidt

... WHILE ALBANIAN PRESIDENT RULES OUT NEW ELECTIONS. Sali Berisha,
attending the Crans Montana Forum on 22 June, announced that "there will
be no new elections in Albania. On behalf of all those who freely voted
in a sovereign country, I am making this very clear," AFP reported.
Earlier the ruling Democratic Party had rejected a call by the European
Parliament for fresh elections and called a resolution to that effect
"aggressive." -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Tom Warner


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