Calmness of mind does not mean you should stop your activity. Real calmness should be found in activity itself. - Shunro Suzuki
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 135, Part I, 15 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

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

UKRAINIAN LAWMAKERS TAKE OATH OF LOYALTY TO NEW CONSTITUTION. Ukrainian
legislators on 12 July took an oath of loyalty to the newly adopted
Ukrainian Constitution, Ukrainian Radio reported. The oath pledged the
legislators to defend the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and
work on behalf of the welfare and prosperity of its nation. A ceremony
followed in Kyiv's Mariinsky Palace, where President Leonid Kuchma and
Parliamentary Speaker Oleksander Moroz signed a law allowing the new
constitution to take effect. Kuchma called the signing ceremony
"historic" because it marked the moment the new constitution "turned the
population into a nation and [its] territory into a state." -- Chrystyna
Lapychak

ISRAELI EMBASSY PROTESTS BELARUSIAN CENSORSHIP. The Israeli embassy in
Minsk on 12 July accused the Mir TV network of editing Ambassador Elihu
Valk's interview to delete references to a government cover-up of the
mass killing of Jews during World War II, Western agencies reported. The
Mir network, which is run by members of the CIS, is headquartered in
Minsk and closely supervised by the Belarusian government. In the
deleted part of the interview, Valk had stated that this year--for the
first time ever--the Belarusian authorities had mentioned Jewish victims
by name. He had also explicitly requested that this statement not be
deleted. The Israeli Embassy issued a statement protesting the TV
company's "blunt and rude censorship." An estimated 900,000 Jews were
killed in Belarus during the war, of whom some 200,000 were Belarusian
citizens and the rest transported there from other European states. --
Saulius Girnius

ESTONIA EXTENDS VALIDITY OF SOVIET PASSPORTS. Estonian Interior Ministry
spokesman Rein Milistver told ITAR-TASS on 12 July that Estonia has
extended the validity of Soviet passports of ethnic Russians until 30
November. Milistver said that non-citizens will get a special mark in
their former Soviet passports when crossing the border after their
residence permits have been examined. Residence permits will be issue to
all those who applied before 12 July and have not received written
notice that their applications were rejected. Some 300,000 ethnic
Russians in Estonia had begun calling 12 July "Black Friday," since
after that date, they would have been unable to re-enter the country. --
Saulius Girnius

LATVIA, ESTONIA SIGN SEA BORDER TREATY. Latvian and Estonian Prime
Ministers Andres Skele and Tiit Vahi, meeting in Tallinn on 12 July,
signed a treaty demarcating the countries' maritime borders, ETA
reported. A border dispute broke out when Estonia unilaterally set its
maritime boundaries in March 1993 and stopped Latvian boats from fishing
in the territory it had claimed. The premiers also agreed to form
special commissions to start negotiations on swapping border land
territories. Estonia wants to give Latvia 24 hectares of land in the
Moniste region east of Valga in exchange for Latvian land across the
border from Koisakula and Valga. -- Saulius Girnius

BELARUSIAN PRIME MINISTER IN LITHUANIA. Mikhail Chyhir, during his visit
to Vilnius on 12-13 July, discussed with his Lithuanian counterpart,
Mindaugas Stankevicius, cooperation in transportation, including
Belarusian shipments through the Lithuanian port of Klaipeda, BNS
reported. They also discussed ways to increase trade. Chyhir expressed
regret about the failure to secure the inter-convertibility of their
currencies. He also suggested that Belarus be allowed to repay its debts
to Lithuania for electricity in goods, such as tractors, rather than in
hard currencies. -- Saulius Girnius

SOLIDARITY SEEKS TO UNIFY POLISH OPPOSITION. Warsaw Solidarity leader
Maciej Jankowski on 12 July said a task force has been created to draft
a political program for the coalition being formed around Solidarity.
Former Foreign Affairs Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Freedom Union
(UW) Senator Krzysztof Kozlowski, and a former minister in ex-President
Lech Walesa's Chancellery are part of the task force. The UW has not yet
said it wants to form a coalition with Solidarity, but more than 20
smaller political groups belong to Solidarity Electoral Action, which
intends to run joint candidates in the parliamentary elections scheduled
in fall 1997. The increasingly influential opposition party Movement for
Poland's Reconstruction, led by former Prime Minister Jan Olszewski, has
so far declined to join Solidarity Electoral Action. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH OPPOSITION LEADER THREATENS TO BLOCK GOVERNMENT PROGRAM. Social
Democratic Party (CSSD) leader and parliamentary chairman Milos Zeman on
12 July said his party may vote against the government program when the
parliament convenes on 23 July to discuss it. Together, the CSSD, the
Communists and the extreme-right Republicans have a majority of seats in
the parliament. Zeman was angered by Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus's
refusal to discuss the draft government program with the CSSD before the
parliamentary vote, despite an earlier deal brokered by President Vaclav
Havel whereby the coalition parties agreed to do so. The parliamentary
session scheduled to discuss the program was to have been held on 16
July, but Zeman postponed the session by one week in the hope that
Klaus's party will share the program with the CSSD. "Support for the
government depends on whether the dialogue takes place " Zeman said. --
Jiri Pehe

CONTROVERSY OVER HUNGARIAN DECLARATION CONTINUES IN SLOVAKIA... Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar, speaking on Slovak Radio on 12 July, rejected
the recent declaration adopted by Hungarian government, opposition, and
Magyar minority representatives calling for autonomy for Hungarians
living in neighboring countries. He said that the declaration violates
Slovakia's sovereignty and that "ethnically pure" territory does not
exist in Slovakia. The following day, the republican board of the ruling
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia protested the declaration's
"interference" in the internal affairs of sovereign Slovakia. The board
recommended that parliamentary chairman Ivan Gasparovic as well as the
parliamentary Mandate and Immunity Committee and Foreign Relations
Committee "take appropriate steps against Hungary's effort at
destabilization in Europe." -- Sharon Fisher

...WHILE HUNGARY SAYS SLOVAKIA MISUNDERSTOOD AUTONOMY DECLARATION.
Laszlo Labody, president of the Office for Hungarians Beyond the
Borders, said on 12 July that Slovaks have distorted the meaning of the
word "autonomy" into a "diabolic" notion, Hungarian media reported. He
added that Slovak domestic politics, rather than the declaration, is to
blame for the Slovak response. Labody stressed that he does not consider
it justifiable to hold a bilateral meeting "simply to clarify the text
of the statement." He noted that, in contrast to the Slovaks, the
Romanians have asked for an explanation of the meaning of the Hungarian
declaration and warned against overheated responses. Labody's office
reports directly to the Hungarian Prime Minister's Office. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

HUNGARY, AUSTRIA SIGN ANTI TERRORISM AGREEMENT. Hungarian Interior
Minister Gabor Kuncze and his Austrian counterpart, Caspar Einem, signed
on 12 July an intergovernmental agreement on closer cooperation in
combating international terrorism, illegal drug trafficking, and
organized crime, Hungarian dailies reported. Kuncze said the two
countries will also implement changes in border control to prevent
traffic from slowing down when the Schengen Agreement enters into force
in Austria on 1 July 1997. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

HOLBROOKE RETURNS TO BALKANS. Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
Richard Holbrooke leaves for Belgrade on 15 July, the BBC and Nasa Borba
reported. He will seek to convince Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic
to remove Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic
from the scene. Holbrooke was the driving force behind the Dayton
agreement in 1995 but returned this year to private life. President Bill
Clinton and his top security advisers decided on 12 July to ask the
forceful negotiator to return to the Balkans to tell Milosevic and his
counterparts in Zagreb and Sarajevo that they must comply with the
agreement. Meanwhile in Sarajevo, French Defense Minister Charles Millon
said France will seek a tougher mandate for IFOR from the UN Security
Council and NATO. He wants IFOR to be able to hunt down and arrest
indicted war criminals like Karadzic and Mladic, the VOA reported on 14
July. -- Patrick Moore

U.S. EXPERT SAYS SREBRENICA MUSLIMS WERE MURDERED. William Haglund, head
of the UN team examining mass graves near Srebrenica, denied Bosnian
Serb claims that the Muslims in the graves had been killed in battle.
Haglund noted that the Muslims were wearing civilian clothes, had in
some cases their hands bound behind their backs with wire, had been
killed at close range, and had been buried near a site where piles of
cartridge shells were found. He suggested that the men had been lined up
near a road and shot, the BBC noted on 12 July. Onasa reported two days
later that the forensic experts have removed the remains of 60 men from
a mass grave at Cerska. At least 3,000 Muslim males are believed to have
been massacred just over a year ago in the biggest single atrocity in
Europe since World War II. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN GOVERNMENT, SREBRENICA SURVIVORS DIVIDED OVER FALL OF TOWN.
Ibran Mustafic, the Bosnian parliamentary member for Srebrenica, has
told the independent biweekly Slobodna Bosna that the Bosnian presidency
and the Bosnian army general staff betrayed Srebrenica by "consciously"
sacrificing the town to the Serbs in July 1995, AFP reported. Mustafic
accused the army of ordering the attacks against the Serbs to be made
from within the UN safe area, thereby leading Srebrenica inhabitants
"into a catastrophe." Meanwhile, army commander Gen. Rasim Delic told
Dnevni Avaz that the army in Srebrenica did not carry out instructions
from headquarters to link Srebrenica with the army-held territory. But
Delic did not explain why 25 army officers were withdrawn from
Srebrenica "for consultations" a month ahead of the enclave's fall, AFP
reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

HOOF-AND-MOUTH UPDATE. Rump Yugoslav authorities have declared a state
of emergency after hoof-and-mouth disease was found in the regions of
Kacanik, Strpci, Kosovska Vitina, and Prizren, Reuters reported on 13
July. Meanwhile, the whole of Kosovo has been declared an "endangered
zone." Veterinarians have ordered the destruction of at least 125
animals, and EU experts are expected to visit the region this week.
Several Kosovo livestock markets have been closed and farmers banned
from grazing cattle outside enclosed areas. The army and police have set
up controls on all roads to Kosovo and Macedonia, where the number of
animals slaughtered has reached at least 1,600. Elsewhere, Israel's
chief veterinary officer said that Croatia has been overly cautious in
banning meat products from Israel. Croatian authorities believed
Albanian or Macedonian meat may have gone there. -- Fabian Schmidt

BELGRADE FOREIGN MINISTER ON DIVISION OF FORMER YUGOSLAV ASSETS. Milan
Milutinovic told the Macedonian newspaper Vecer on the weekend that
Belgrade is not opposed to the Yugoslav successor states dividing the
former federation's assets. However, he did insist that agreement on the
division be reached without "outside mediation." He also stressed there
would be no compromise over the use of the name "Yugoslavia," which, he
said, Serbia and Montenegro "practically lent...to the Kingdom of
Yugoslavia. Now that Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, and Macedonia have left,
there is no reason why we should not get what belongs to us," he said.
The other states have expressed fears that Belgrade's continued use of
"Yugoslavia" is a ploy for controlling a greater share of the assets. --
Stan Markotich

U.S. TRADE MINISTER IN CROATIA. A U.S. delegation headed by Mickey
Cantor has signed three memorandums on bilateral cooperation with
Croatia, Croatian media reported on 15 July. The two sides have agreed
that the U.S. companies Enron and Enserch will build two thermoelectric
power stations; the projects are worth a total of $1 billion. One plant
is planned to be located on Croatia's Adriatic coast, but local
authorities fear that tourism might be affected by the decision.
Agreement was also reached on a major project to develop Ploce harbor
and build a new road network that would also run through Bosnia-
Herzegovina. -- Daria Sito Sucic

SLOVENIAN AUTHORITIES DETAIN SERB GENERAL. Milan Aksentijevic, retired
Yugoslav People's Army general and former member of the Slovenian
legislature, has been detained in Slovenia, Tanjug reported on 12 July.
Aksentijevic, who lives in Belgrade and was visiting relatives in
Slovenia, is wanted for questioning about his role in leading Yugoslav
troops in their campaign against Slovenia in the 1991 war. If convicted
on charges related to attempting to undermine Slovenia's independence,
Aksentijevic faces up to eight years in prison. In 1992, the general's
Slovenian citizenship was revoked. Aksentijevic told Belgrade's Vecernje
novosti on 14 July that he would answer all charges. He said: "I was
told I would have to report to the district court in Ljubljana. I'll go
because I want to resolve things myself." -- Stan Markotich

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES CHOSEN IN ROMANIA... The Party Romanian of
National Unity (PUNR) on 13 July chose its leader, Gheorghe Funar, as
its candidate in the fall presidential elections, Romanian media
reported. One day earlier, Funar, who is also the controversial
nationalist mayor of Cluj, wrote to President Ion Iliescu demanding that
the members of the Council of Representatives of the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR) be arrested for pursuing
separatist policies. He also demanded that talks with Hungary on the
basic treaty be suspended until Budapest clarifies its reported support
of the UDMR leadership's separatist policies. Also on 13 July, the UDMR
elected Senator Gyorgy Frunda as its candidate in the presidential
elections. -- Michael Shafir

...AND IN MOLDOVA. The Party of Revival and Conciliation in Moldova
(PRCM) has chosen incumbent President Mircea Snegur as its candidate for
the presidential elections in November, BASA-Press reported on 13 July.
The PRCM also called for setting up a mass organization straddling party
lines to support Snegur's candidacy. Deputy PRCM chairman Nicolae
Andronic said the PRCM was ready to cooperate with opposition parties
"on the basis of partnership and mutual respect" and without claiming
"the role of older brother." In a speech to the second PRCM congress on
13 July, Snegur accused the Agrarian Democratic Party of Moldova of
sliding to the extreme left and seeking to restore a totalitarian
regime. -- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR PRESIDENTIAL REPUBLIC. Zhelyu Zhelev in a
televised address on 13 July said the present parliamentary system
should be transformed into a presidential one, which he called a "more
adequate form of management," Standart reported on 15 July. Zhelev
argued that because the president's powers are now limited, Bulgaria
might become the only former communist country whose transition to
democracy and a market economy fails. He blamed the parliamentary system
for "lawlessness, anarchy, insecurity, and corruption," saying the
division of powers in Bulgaria had become a "division of
irresponsibility." He also singled out Russia as a country that had made
greater progress on reforms despite launching them later than Bulgaria.
Politicians from all major political parties rejected Zhelev's call,
which he had first made in late May. -- Stefan Krause

AVERAGE WAGE IN BULGARIA TO FALL EVEN FURTHER? The average monthly
salary fell from $122 in March to $60 in July, Bulgarian media reported
on 15 July. The minimum wage has dropped to just under $22 and the
minimum pension to $12.5. Krastyo Petkov, leader of the Union of
Independent Trade Unions in Bulgaria, said the government and the IMF
have agreed to let the average wage drop to $50 to enable the government
to save $1.5 billion or about half the sum recommended by the IMF to
carry out structural reform. The trade unions and the Bulgarian Chamber
of Commerce have raised concerns about the government's wage policy,
proposing that wages and prices be frozen for six months instead. The
unions threatened to call a general strike if the government refuses to
negotiate. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN DEMOCRATS, SOCIALISTS HOLD TALKS. Following their meeting on 13
July, Democratic and Socialist leaders have paved the way for multi-
party talks on problems facing the country, international agencies
reported. The Socialists are boycotting the parliament in protest at
alleged ballot irregularities in the May parliamentary elections.
Socialist Deputy Chairman Servet Pellumbi called the meeting
"constructive and useful," while Democratic Party leader Tritan Shehu
said the talks "expressed the desire of both forces to continue
dialogue." The parties agreed to consider inviting other parties to the
discussions. Meanwhile, President Sali Berisha swore in the new cabinet
on 12 July. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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