Standing, as I do, in the view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness toward anyone. - Edith Cavell 1865-1915 (Spoken to the chaplain who attended her before her execution by firing squad, 12 Oct. 1915.)
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 134, Part II, 12 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: http://www.omri.cz/Index.html

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CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT TO DISCUSS ROMA. The European Parliament in
Strasbourg is holding a special session on 12 July to discuss the plight
of Roma in Central and Eastern Europe, the BBC reported. The region is
home to an estimated 8-10 million Roma, who have often borne the brunt
of economic transition in terms of unemployment and cuts in social
services. -- Peter Rutland

LAZARENKO RE-APPOINTED UKRAINIAN PRIME MINISTER. The Ukrainian
parliament approved President Leonid Kuchma's nomination of Pavlo
Lazarenko as premier, Ukrainian agencies reported on 10 July. Lazarenko,
whose cabinet resigned on 5 July after the parliament adopted a new
Ukrainian constitution, is required to present a program to lawmakers in
September. The new prime minister said his main policy objectives
include support for domestic industry and agriculture, energy
conservation, creating a favorable climate for investment, meeting
budget revenue targets, easing budgetary pressures, and protecting the
poor. Lazarenko said he will attempt to combat the rampant crime and
corruption; at least 50% of national income is generated in the gray
market. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT APPOINTS NEW KEY MINISTERS. Leonid Kuchma on 12 July
appointed Gen. Oleksander Kuzmuk as defense minister, Volodymyr
Radchenko as head of the Ukrainian Security Service, Yurii Kravchenko as
interior minister, Viktor Bannykh as commander of the border guards,
Ihor Valkiv as commander of the National Guard of Ukraine, Leonid
Derkach as chairman of the State Customs Committee, and Hennadii
Udovenko as foreign minister, RFE/RL and Ukrainian agencies reported.
Ukraine's newly adopted constitution gives the president authority to
fill those positions without parliamentary approval. Lawmakers must
consent to all other portfolios. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

FRANCE SIGNS FRIENDSHIP TREATY WITH BELARUS. Belarusian President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka signed a treaty on friendship and cooperation with
his French counterpart Jacques Chirac on 11 July in Paris, international
agencies reported. Lukashenka was in France for a three-day official
visit. Several human rights organizations during Lukashenka's visit
protested censorship and strong-arm tactics used against the opposition
in Belarus. Lukashenka said there was a distorted image of Belarus in
the West, and assured Chirac that his country was democratic. Chirac
raised the issue of civil liberties and lack of economic reform in
Belarus. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN CABINET DELAYS DECISION ON RESIDENCE PERMITS. The government
put off a final decision on granting residence permits to 4,077 retired
Soviet military officers and their families by giving them six-month
residence permits, BNS reported on 11 July. Regional Affairs Minister
Tiit Kubri said most would receive permits soon. A total of 19,340
retirees have applied for residence, of which 14,392 received five-year
permits, and 331 two-to-four year permits. The Citizenship and Migration
Department has received 345,474 residence permit applications and has
granted permits to almost 333,000. -- Saulius Girnius

TWO LATVIAN PARTIES TO MERGE. The boards of the Democratic Party
Saimnieks (DPS) and Latvia's Unity Party (LVP) on 11 July confirmed that
the two parties will merge, BNS reported. The merger first must be
ratified by party congresses. DPS Chairman Ziedonis Cevers predicted the
merger would occur before local elections in the spring. Winning 18 of
the 100 seats in the fall Saeima elections, the DPS faction recently
increased to 20 deputies when two Popular Concord Party members
defected. LVP Chairman Alberts Kauls said that five of his seven
deputies support the merger and if the others agree, the new party would
have 27 deputies. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIA'S TOP TAX INSPECTOR TO CHANGE APPROACH. Antanas Nesteckas, the
recently appointed head of the State Tax Inspectorate, said he will
change the focus of his bureau's work, Radio Lithuania reported on July
11. He said tax inspectors should help taxpayers, not only penalize
them. In other news, Nesteckas said that the 173.6 million litai ($43.4
million) deficit in anticipated revenues as of 9 July was due to the
banking crisis and changes in tax laws. For example, the VAT tax on
agricultural producers was reduced from the 18% foreseen in the budget
to 9%, resulting in a shortfall of 400 million litai. He said the budget
problems should be solved--not by raising taxes or increasing late
fines--but by collecting unpaid taxes, especially on illegal oil and
alcohol. -- Saulius Girnius

POLAND JOINS OECD. Poland on 11 July joined the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a group of the world's
richest nations, Polish and international media reported. Deputy Prime
Minister and Finance Minister Grzegorz Kolodko, who signed the
agreement, said Poland will press forward with plans to join the EU by
2000. Poland will become the OECD's 28th member after the Sejm ratifies
the accession treaty, probably in the early fall. To meet the OECD's
criteria for membership, Poland agreed to free up the flow of capital
and loosen restrictions on foreign ownership of land. -- Jakub Karpinski

POLISH INTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER ON ARCHIVES. Polish historians will be
able to view older Internal Ministry files dating until 1966, Polish
Internal Affairs Minister Zbigniew Siemiatkowski said on 11 July, Polish
dailies reported. More recent material will be available only after 30
years, released year by year. The exception to the open files are the
secretly collected "operational" data and material concerning secret
service agents, which would be released only to the prosecutor's office
or to courts in cases of grave crimes. Siemiatkowski said there are
files so secret that they will be never put in the archives in the
ministry's basement--they will remain forever in a safe in the
minister's office. If released, those files would be a "political bomb,"
he said. -- Jakub Karpinski

U.S. SENATORS BACK POLISH, CZECH, HUNGARIAN NATO MEMBERSHIP. Hungary,
Poland, and the Czech Republic have made the most progress toward NATO
membership, members of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said
on 10 July, Magyar Hirlap reported. They told visiting Hungarian Foreign
Ministry State Secretary Istvan Szent-Ivanyi that the three countries
could be entitled to $60 million in military aid; the Senate has yet to
approve that package. Szentivanyi also conferred with deputy Secretary
of State Strobe Talbott on NATO expansion. Talbott said Hungary's hopes
of joining NATO by 1999 are "realistic." Szent-Ivanyi said he got the
impression Slovenia could be next on the US's NATO list. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

CZECH GROUP DISTRIBUTES ANTI-SEMITIC LEAFLETS. A group calling itself
The Patriotic Front claimed responsibility for distributing leaflets
that protest an exhibit in Brno honoring the recently murdered Israeli
Prime Minister Itzak Rabin, Czech media reported on 12 July. The
leaflets claim, among other things, that the influence of Jews in Czech
politics is too strong. Tomas Kraus, the secretary of the Federation of
Czech Jewish Communities, said the leaflets are of marginal importance
and the public has either ignored or condemned them. -- Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK PRESIDENT CRITICIZES HUNGARIAN CALLS FOR AUTONOMY. Michal Kovac
said the declaration adopted at the recent Hungarian summit that called
for autonomy for ethnic Hungarians living in neighboring countries
"rouses mistrust" between Slovaks and Hungarians, he told Slovak TV on
11 July. He expressed particular concern over the connection made
between Hungarian minorities' identity and survival on non-Hungarian
territory with autonomy and a special legal position. He said the
development of identity is closely linked with "the development of
democracy and the safeguarding of individual rights." Also on 11 July,
Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee chairman Dusan Slobodnik said
the declaration violates Slovakia's constitutional order, and he added
that the parliamentary Mandate and Immunity Committee will take measures
against the five ethnic Hungarian deputies from Slovakia who attended
the conference. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN WRITER TO RECEIVE LEGION D'HONNEUR AWARD. Hungarian writer and
former dissident Gyorgy Konrad will receive the Legion d'honneur,
France's highest award for foreigners, Magyar Hirlap reported on 11
July. Konrad was nominated for the award by French President Jacques
Chirac for his work as a writer and as a promoter of French-Hungarian
cultural relations. Konrad has published four novels and two lengthy
essays in French, and several of his articles have appeared in the
French daily Le Monde. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KARADZIC'S PARTY ALLOWED TO RUN IN ELECTIONS? The Serbian Democratic
Party (SDS) can stand in the vote, said the OSCE's supervisor of the
Bosnian elections, Nasa Borba reported on 12 July. Superivisor Robert
Frowick said Serbs should be able to vote on 14 September for whomever
they want, including the SDS, Onasa reported on 11 July. An OSCE
spokesman in Sarajevo told OMRI, however, that Frowick still believes
that the SDS should not run if headed by indicted war criminal Radovan
Karadzic. The international community's High Representative Carl Bildt
again said the SDS should be allowed to run even if Karadzic is still in
charge. The U.S. and its allies appear to be content simply with
Karadzic's "marginalization," Nasa Borba reported. In Sarajevo, however,
Haris Silajdzic of the Party for Bosnia and Herzegovina said his group
probably will boycott the elections unless war criminals such as
Karadzic are out of public office, Onasa reported on 10 July. -- Patrick
Moore

HAGUE TRIBUNAL ISSUES ARREST WARRANTS FOR KARADZIC, MLADIC. The
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia put out
international arrest warrants for Karadzic and his military counterpart,
Gen. Ratko Mladic, Nasa Borba and Oslobodjenje reported on 12 July. The
move is expected to have few practical consequences and is largely a
political and psychological attempt to keep up pressure on the Serbs and
on the international community. The two men have already been indicted
twice for war crimes and have publicly visited Serbia, although existing
warrants are theoretically valid there. Bosnian Prime Minister Hasan
Muratovic said Karadzic and Mladic are still free on Bosnian Serb
territory despite the presence in Bosnia of 60,000 NATO troops. He said
the two men's freedom shows a "lack of determination of the
international community," AFP reported on 11 July. -- Patrick Moore

SREBRENICA SURVIVORS MARK ANNIVERSARY. Some 5,000 Muslim former
inhabitants of Srebrenica rallied in Tuzla on the first anniversary of
the town's capture by Gen. Mladic's forces, Oslobodjenje reported on 12
July. The meeting was intended as a gathering of women, with foreign
guests, but some of the few hundred males who escaped the massacres also
showed up, turning it into what the BBC called "a gathering of the
survivors." The Serbs, meanwhile, held a rally in Srebrenica to mark its
"liberation." -- Patrick Moore

IT WILL NOW COST MORE TO LEAVE RUMP YUGOSLAVIA... The federal government
on 11 July hiked its departure tax, Tanjug reported. The new rates are
slated to come into effect on 20 July. Individual citizens crossing the
border must then pay 100 dinars (about $20) instead of 60, and cars will
be obliged to hand over 200 dinars, up from 150. The move is intended to
stem the outflow of hard currency. -- Stan Markotich

...AND TO BUY A LOAF OF BREAD. The price for basic bread will rise an
average of 30%, said Serbia's Trade Minister Srdjan Nikolic on 10 July,
Nasa Borba reported. The increases, expected on or shortly after 13
July, will up the price of a loaf of "prime-grade" white bread to about
2.4 dinars or 50 cents; "second-grade" bread will retail for about 1.8
dinars or 35 cents. Nikolic said the government will require bakeries to
produce at least 30% of their bread output as "second-grade," in order
to cushion the poorest segments of the population. -- Stan Markotich

KOSOVAR LEADER MEETS GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER. Ibrahim Rugova met Klaus
Kinkel in Bonn on 11 July and said he was ready for talks with Belgrade,
Nasa Borba and AFP reported. Kinkel said Serbia's ties with the EU
depended on settling the Kosovo issue, Reuters reported. The German
foreign ministry said the situation in Kosovo is marked by fear and
discrimination against the Albanian majority there, adding that
Germany's ties with Belgrade would be affected by how fully Belgrade
respects human and minority rights in the region. Rugova repeated the
Kosovars' demand for independence. Meanwhile, a Serbian policeman was
injured in a shootout in Podujevo, Tanjug reported. -- Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIAN COALITION WILL NOT BE DISMEMBERED. The Party of Social
Democracy in Romania (PDSR) and its extremist anti-Hungarian coalition
ally, the Party of Romanian National Unity (PUNR), agreed to continue
their partnership in the government coalition, Romanian media reported
on 11-12 July. In May, the PDSR had announced it intended to end the
cooperation. Observers attribute the reversal to the PUNR's electoral
success in June's local elections and to the PDSR's apprehension that it
might be left without potential allies after the general elections
scheduled for early November. The two sides agreed to draft "a non-
aggression pact" for the electoral contest. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN JOURNALISTS SENTENCED FOR LIBEL. Two journalists from the
Constanta daily Telegraf were sentenced for libel to seven months in
prison, local and international media reported on 11-12 July. That was
the first such conviction in the post-communist era. In 1993, the two
reported on corruption cases in the Constanta city council. The city's
deputy mayor was dismissed, but a council official on whom they had
reported was made a judge. The Supreme Court on 11 July ruled against
the journalists' appeal and ordered them to pay 25 million lei ($8,200)
in damages. President Ion Iliescu said he cannot intervene in the case.
-- Michael Shafir

TINCA ON ROMANIAN EFFORTS TO JOIN NATO. Romania hopes its new military
reforms will boost its chances of NATO membership, said Defense Minister
Gheorghe Tinca, local and international agencies reported on 11-12 July.
Tinca was speaking in advance of Romania's second round of individual
talks with NATO in Brussels, due to be held on 15 July. He said his
country was aiming to create a core of 20,000 army professionals by the
end of the year 2000. He said dropping compulsory military conscription
was not yet possible, but the army now has 17,000 professionals. Romania
has pledged to cut its 230,000-strong force to 190,000 over the next
four years. Tinca denied local media reports of a rise in the number of
suicides and desertions among the conscripts. -- Michael Shafir

GENERAL LEBED SUMMONS COLONEL FROM MOLDOVA. Colonel Mikhail Bergman,
former Tiraspol military commander, left for Moscow on 11 July, where he
was convoked by Russian Security Council Secretary Gen. Alexandr Lebed.
Bergman will likelybe re-appointed to the post from which he was
dismissed eight months ago by Gen. Valerii Yevnevich, commander of the
Transdniester-based Russian troops, at the order of former Defense
Minister Pavel Grachev, BASA-press reported. In an interview with BASA-
press, Bergman said Yevnevich will be transferred to China as military
attache. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIA PROMISES IMPROVED ECONOMY. In an economic policy memorandum to
the IMF, the Bulgarian government pledged that all enterprises not
privatized by September 1997 will be included in mass privatization,
Sega reported on 11 July. It also said foreign reserves--currently $600
million--will rise to $1.3 billion by end-1996 and $1.7 billion by end-
1997. The lev is to stabilize at 150/dollar in the second half of 1996,
(though it is already at 184.6.) Inflation will be reduced to 2.5%
monthly by December 1996 (vs. 20.3% in June) and 1.5% by December 1997.
The budget deficit will be 3.1% of GDP in 1997, falling from 5.4% this
year. However, by 3 July, that deficit was already 66.7% of the planned
annual figure. The IMF's Executive Board will consider the memo on 19
July. -- Michael Wyzan

ALBANIAN PRESIDENT ANNOUNCES NEW GOVERNMENT. Sali Berisha on 11 July
officially announced Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi's new government,
Reuters reported. The Democratic Party (PD) holds 22 of 25 posts in the
new cabinet, with the remainder going to small coalition partners.
Democratic Party Leader Tritan Shehu was named deputy premier and
foreign minister, Dylber Vrioni heads the new privatization ministry,
Ridvan Bode is the new finance minister, and Halit Shamata is new
interior minister. Safet Zhulali kept the defense portfolio. Teodor Laco
of the Social Democratic Union stays on a culture minister, Arjan Madhi
of the Republican Party was appointed secretary general of the council
of ministers, and Arben Babameto is state secretary for transport. Bamir
Topl became agricultural minister, and Kristofor Peci is justice
minister. The PD-dominated parliament is expected to approve the new
government next week. -- Stefan Krause and Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Maura Griffin Solovar

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