Some things have to be believed to be seen. - Ralph Hodgson

No. 130, Part II, 8 July 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:


new constitution that demands a new government within three months,
Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko and his cabinet resigned on 5 July,
international agencies reported. President Leonid Kuchma accepted the
resignations, and asked Lazarenko's government to act as caretaker until
a new government is named. Kuchma said he plans to reappoint Lazarenko.
Under the constitution, parliament must approve that appointment, but
the left-wing majority is demanding several portfolios in exchange for
backing Lazarenko. The constitution also stipulates that government
officials cannot hold parliamentary seats. -- Ustina Markus

RUSSIAN MONEY IN UKRAINE. Russian investors sent about $2 billion to
Ukraine during the Russian election campaign, said a National Bank of
Ukraine official, Radio Mayak reported on 5 July. Most of the money was
invested in bonds. Since Boris Yeltsin has been reelected president of
Russia, the bank expects much of that investment to be reinvested in
Russia. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUS LOSES VOTING RIGHT. Belarus lost its right to vote in the
Council of Europe because it failed to pay its dues, Ekho Moskvy
reported on 5 July. Belarus has not paid dues in nine months, and on 1
June its debts to the council stood at some $10 million. -- Ustina

Belarus are negotiating a new schedule for the withdrawal of the 18
nuclear missiles remaining in Belarus, Radio Rossii reported on 6 July.
According to the schedule confirmed by Russia's and Belarus's defense
ministers in December 1995, all nuclear missiles were to have been
removed from Belarus by June 1. Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka suspended that withdrawal because of financial difficulties.
Belarusian officials assured Moscow they will abide by their disarmament
obligations this year, but they want compensation for valuable materials
in the missiles. -- Ustina Markus

NEW FACTION IN LATVIAN PARLIAMENT. Six deputies who left the Popular
Movement for Latvia (TKL) faction on 18 June set up on 4 July a new
faction, For People and Justice, BNS reported. Gunta Gannusa was elected
head and Janis Strods her deputy. Members of the new faction want to
represent the Christian People's Party, the former Popular Front of
Latvia. The faction will support government reforms, but it is unclear
whether it will formally join the ruling coalition. The coalition now
has nine factions and eight independent deputies. -- Saulius Girnius

KIELCE POGROM ANNIVERSARY. Polish authorities and Jewish leaders on 7
July commemorated the 50th anniversary of the "Kielce pogrom." At least
42 Jews, survivors of Nazi extermination, were killed on 4 July 1946 by
a mob that included military and militiamen in the southern Polish town.
At the ceremony, Kielce Mayor Boguslaw Ciesielski said, "I can do only
one thing, ask for forgiveness." Polish Prime Minister Wlodzimierz
Cimoszewicz said Poles need to "work toward true Polish-Jewish
brotherhood." -- Jakub Karpinski

POLISH PARLIAMENT DELAYS CONCORDAT. The Sejm adopted on 3 July a motion
to delay ratification of the concordat with the Holy See until a new
constitution is adopted. Hanna Suchocka's centrist government in July
1993 signed the concordat, which was criticized by the leftist
politicians ruling Poland since fall of 1993. Also, the Sejm sent to
commission on 5 July four drafts of lustration laws that would require
candidates for high government offices to be screened for cooperation
with the former communist secret services, Polish dailies reported on 6
July. -- Jakub Karpinski

HILLARY CLINTON IN PRAGUE. The wife of the U.S. president arrived in
Prague on 3 July for a four-day visit. She met with Czech officials and
representatives of the non-profit sector and educational and health care
institutions, Czech media reported. In a 4 July speech at Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty, Clinton spoke about newly emerging democracies in
Eastern Europe. "Improving democracy is a never-ending task, as my own
country knows well," she said. Clinton said Americans can learn about
the price of freedom from East European countries and can share their
experiences. -- Jiri Pehe

3 July reapproved a law on Slovakia's territorial division, overriding a
veto by President Michal Kovac, Slovak media reported. The law divides
the country into eight regions and 79 districts. Before the vote, Kovac
addressed the parliament, objecting to the reduction of Bratislava's
independent status and calling for a delay in the law's implementation.
Opposition deputies said the reform will cost much more than government
estimates and that the law is the first step to changing the electoral
system from a proportional to a majority one. On 4 July, the parliament
approved a bill outlining powers of the new regions and districts. Also
on 4 July, Foreign Ministry spokesman Juraj Matejovsky announced the
recall of Slovakia's ambassador to Britain and Ireland, Jan Vilikovsky.
-- Sharon Fisher

HILLARY CLINTON IN BRATISLAVA. During a half-day visit to Slovakia on 6
July, Clinton and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeline Albright criticized
the Slovak government and said the country is not yet ready for
integration into Western structures, Slovak and international media
reported. Clinton said that for a democracy and a free market economy
"to blossom fully," there must be certain conditions, including respect
for the rule of law, a free press, an independent judiciary, and respect
for minorities. Clinton and Albright met with Prime Minister Vladimir
Meciar, President Michal Kovac, and Bratislava Mayor Peter Kresanek. --
Sharon Fisher

amended the screening law that requires investigating public officials
who have taken oaths before parliament or the president, Hungarian media
reported. The law calls for screening about 600 persons--including all
deputies, the president, government members, ombudsmen, members of the
Constitutional and Supreme Courts, and president and vice-presidents of
Hungarian Radio and Hungarian Television--for working with the secret
police. Except for a few provisions, it will expire on 30 June 2000. If
the supervisory committee finds that a person cooperated with the secret
service, that person will be exposed if they do not resign within 30
days. The original law, passed two years ago, was repealed by the
constitutional court for being too vague. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

representatives of Jewish organizations on 3 July agreed to create a
"Hungarian Jewish Heritage Foundation" to compensate for property
confiscated from Jews during World War II, Hungarian dailies reported.
The foundation will be headed by a board of directors, to include Jewish
leaders, government officials, and independent members. The foundation
will manage assets, including real estate and valuables, as well as 4
billion forints ($26 million) in compensation coupons contributed by the
government. Life annuities will be paid to needy Holocaust survivors.
The issue will be put on the parliament's agenda this fall. -- Zsofia

HILLARY CLINTON IN BUDAPEST. The U.S. first lady spent two days in
Budapest, where she met with Prime Minister Gyula Horn and other top
officials, Hungarian dailies reported on 8 July. Clinton discussed human
and minority rights with Horn and stressed the importance of cooperation
between Hungary and the U.S. in the Balkan peace settlement. -- Zsofia


EU DECLARES MOSTAR VOTE VALID. The EU administration on 7 July declared
30 June's elections valid, Reuters reported. Earlier, the Croatian
Democratic Community (HDZ) had called for a re-run in Bonn, where there
were 26 more votes than voters. East Mostar's Muslim mayor Safet
Orucevic demanded that Bonn's 4,000 votes should count--EU-appointed
city ombudsman Constantine Zepos agreed. The HDZ won almost 26,000 votes
in Mostar and the Muslim-dominated List for a United Mostar received
some 22,300 votes. The foreign returns, however, gave about 6,000 votes
to the Muslims, compared to 744 for the HDZ. That tilts the balance of
the city council in favor of the List for a United Mostar, which will
gain at least 19 out of 37 seats. The HDZ on 8 July appeared to be
blocking the publication of the election results, holding up the city
council's first meeting. -- Fabian Schmidt

indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic will not be the governing Serbian
Democratic Party's (SDS) candidate in the September elections, Nasa
Borba reported on 5 July. He will, however, remain SDS head. The
candidate will be Karadzic's loyal deputy Biljana Plavsic, so Karadzic
is expected to retain control of the government of the Republika Srpska.
Plavsic, who just visited Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, will
face six candidates, Nasa Borba reported on 8 July. In the Croat-Muslim
federation, federal President Kresimir Zubak will run on behalf of the
Croatian Democratic Community, while Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic
will head the list for his Party of Democratic Action. -- Patrick Moore

WAR CRIMES UPDATE. Finnish forensic experts ignored Bosnian Serb police
and recovered nine bodies near Srebrenica, the International Herald
Tribune reported on 6 July (see OMRI Daily Digest, 3 July 1996).
Investigators from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former
Yugoslavia began exhuming suspected mass graves in the area on 8 July.
They hope to determine whether the Muslim men died in fighting, as the
Serbs claim, or were victims of the largest war atrocity in Europe since
World War II, as the Bosnian government argues. In the Hague, hearings
against Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic are ending. On 6 July, a witness
said he saw Mladic at the Srebrenica killings, the BBC reported. --
Patrick Moore

ISLAMIC MILITANTS STILL IN BOSNIA? The Clinton administration says all
foreign Islamic fighters have left Bosnia-Herzegovina, but on 7 July The
Washington Post reported that several hundred remain. The Dayton
agreement says all foreign troops were to leave in January--but many
Iranians and other foreigners remain in central Bosnia. Some obtained
Bosnian citizenship through forced marriages, seized homes and
apartments, and the fighters constitute a paramilitary guard for
Izetbegovic's Party of Democratic Action, the Post reported. The paper
linked CIA director John Deutch's unpublicized visit to Bosnia on 5 July
to Washington's concern about a possible threat to U.S. forces in the
wake of the terrorist attack on a U.S.  base in Saudi Arabia. It is not
clear if the publicity will affect U.S. plans to train the Bosnian army,
which is contingent on the foreigners' leaving. -- Patrick Moore

IFOR FORCES SERBS TO WITHDRAW WEAPONS. Bosnian Serb troops removed heavy
guns from a NATO-approved collection point near the Serbs' military
headquarters at Han Pijesak on 5 July. IFOR then sent 250 ground troops,
plus 20 aircraft and attack helicopters to back up its demand that the
Serbs put back the weapons. The Serbs for the first time threatened to
shoot down IFOR helicopters, AFP reported on 7 July. IFOR's commander,
Adm. Leighton Smith, telephoned Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. On
6 July, villagers jostled U.S. soldiers, thinking soldiers had come to
arrest Mladic, the BBC reported. Later that day, the Serbs withdrew
their weapons and IFOR left the area. One of the key lessons in the
conflict that the international community often forgets is that firmness
and a clear willingness to use force brings compliance. -- Patrick Moore

presided over the opening of Yugoslavija 3 (YU 3)--rump Yugoslavia's
newest satellite ground station--which will enable direct
telecommunications with 15 European countries, Nasa Borba reported. The
facility, which is in Prilike in central Serbia, is equipped with 960
channels. YU 3 will have television links to the Eutelsat and Intelsat
networks, Reuters reported. Construction on YU 3 began in March 1992
with the help of Japan's NEC, but was suspended within three months
because of international sanctions against Belgrade for its role in
prompting the Bosnian war. -- Stan Markotich

ETHNIC ALBANIANS PROTEST IN MACEDONIA. More than 10,000 ethnic Albanians
rallied in Tetovo on 4 July against the jailing of Fadil Sulejmani, the
dean of Tetovo University, Reuters reported. Sulejmani is due to begin
serving a one-year sentence, convicted for incitement after
demonstrations in 1995. Demonstrators demanded the university's
legalization and its integration into the Macedonian education system.
Meanwhile, Canada recognized Macedonia under its provisional name Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and proposed diplomatic ties. Also, a
NATO delegation arrived in Skopje on 3 July for talks about conditions
for Macedonia's NATO membership. -- Fabian Schmidt

July his government would support changes to the constitution that would
enable foreigners to own real estate in Slovenia. He said the move is
necessary "because it is a precondition for Slovenia's full membership
in the EU," Reuters reported. Drnovsek rebuffed suggestions from
conservative opponents who say the constitution should only be changed
through a national referendum. He said a referendum would send a
"catastrophic signal" and could signal that Slovenia is not prepared to
abide by EU regulations. In a separate development, Drnovsek on 5 July
proposed a replacement for foreign minister Zoran Thaler: economics
professor Davorin Kracun. -- Stan Markotich

an official visit to neighboring Moldova, Moldovan and Western media
reported. He discussed with his Moldovan counterpart Mircea Snegur,
Premier Andrei Sangheli, and Parliament Chairman Petru Lucinschi ways to
boost bilateral cooperation. On 5 July, Iliescu addressed the parliament
and met with its leaders. A joint communique mentioned the "strategic
goal of economic integration." Western media noticed that Iliescu
avoided reference to any possible unification. Iliescu said any attempt
to "re-shape existing borders" was "unrealistic and unrealizable." The
two sides signed an agreement on judicial assistance. -- Dan Ionescu

Democratic Party of Moldova (PDAM) on 6 July nominated Prime Minister
Andrei Sangheli as its candidate in the November presidential elections,
Infotag reported. The nomination was announced at the party's third
nationwide congress. Larisa Iachim, a member of the PDAM parliamentary
faction, warned that "left-centrist forces" could find themselves
divided between Sangheli's supporters and those backing Parliament
Chairman Petru Lucinschi. She asked the PDAM to support Lucinschi. But
PDAM Chairman Dumitru Motpan defended Sangheli, saying more division
within the faction could lead to early parliamentary elections--which
would not be in the party's interest. -- Dan Ionescu

BALKAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN SOFIA. Foreign ministers and other top
diplomats of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey, and rump
Yugoslavia, as well as international representatives met at a two-day
conference in Sofia on 6-7 July, Bulgarian and Western media reported.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia representatives observed. The
Macedonian delegation left before the opening to protest that--on
Greece's insistence--it was to participate under the name Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The participants agreed to strengthen
economic cooperation, fight organized crime and terrorism, and enhance
security measures. They adopted a declaration on stability, security,
and cooperation in the Balkans. The Bulgarians stressed that the
implementation of the Dayton agreement is a precondition for regional
stability. Albanian Deputy Foreign Minister Arian Starova said rising
tension in Kosovo is a danger to stability. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN CHURCH SPLITS. A dissident group within the Bulgarian Orthodox
Church on 3 July elected Metropolitan Pimen as the new patriarch and the
next day enthroned him, Western media reported. That cements the split
between followers and adversaries of Patriarch Maksim, who has headed
the officially recognized church since 1971. Clergy opposed to Maksim's
politics of compromise with the former communist regime accused him of
collaborating with the secret police. They also argue that he was
appointed but not elected. Pimen's followers established a rival synod
in 1992. Prime Minister Zhan Videnov called Pimen's election "deeply
anti-Bulgarian" and said the government recognizes Maksim as the head of
the only legitimate Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The Holy Synod said it
will sue Pimen's followers. -- Stefan Krause

Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi to form a new government, Reuters
reported. Meksi was nominated by the Democratic Party, which won 122 out
of 140 parliamentary seats in May's disputed elections. Meksi said he
was considering offering cabinet posts to opposition parties. Only the
Republicans, the Balli Kombetar, and the ethnic Greek human Rights
party--which hold eight seats in the legislature--may join a coalition
with the Democrats, who hold a two-thirds majority. The Socialist Party
says it will boycott the parliament and demands new elections. Democrat
leader Tritan Shehu suggested his party may hold informal talks with the
Socialist leadership. Meanwhile, legislators from OSCE member states are
debating a recommendation that Albania hold new general elections. --
Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIA TROOPS TO JOIN IFOR. The defense minister and chief of staff on
5 July inspected an Albanian peace-keeping company that will soon join
IFOR in Bosnia, ATA reported. The company is to leave for Germany on 8
July for some additional training and then will become part of the
German contingent in IFOR. -- Doug Clarke

[As of 1200 CET]

Compiled by Maura Griffin Solovar

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