Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 146, Part II, 30 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

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT REORGANIZES GOVERNMENT STRUCTURES. Leonid Kuchma
issued a decree on 27 July providing for the reorganization of some 20
ministries and departments in an effort to streamline the government,
Ukrainian agencies reported. The Chornobyl ministry and the Civil
Defense agency have been merged to create a Ministry for Emergency
Situations. A Ministry of Information has replaced the Ministry of Press
and Information and the Ukrinform news agency. The president also
replaced the Ministry of Sport and Youth with a Ministry of Family and
Youth Affairs and a State Committee for Physical Culture and Sport. The
Ministry for Nationalities, Migration, and Religious Issues has been
abolished and a State Committee for Nationalities and Migration created.
Several former agencies have been merged into a single State Committee
for State Secrets and Technical Protection of Information. Finally, a
Ministry of Science and Technologies has been set up, and the National
Committee for AIDS Prevention has been subordinated to the Health
Ministry. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BLACK SEA FLEET UPDATE. Black Sea Fleet commander Viktor Kravchenko said
on 28 July, Russian Navy Day, that Sevastopol will remain the main base
of the Black Sea Fleet, UNIAN reported. The previous day, Kravchenko
outlined on St. Petersburg TV the future composition of the Russian part
of the Black Sea Fleet, which, he said, would consist of a western group
of forces stationed in Crimea and an eastern group based on Russia's
Caucasian coast. The fleet will be mobile and capable of carrying out
any task in the Black Sea region, he added. -- Ustina Markus

RALLIES BANNED IN BELARUS. Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
has announced that all political rallies are categorically banned "while
the peasant is out working in the fields" until winter, NTV reported on
29 July. "Everyone must work instead of organizing campaigns to put the
president out of office," he said. Industrial managers and state
officials would be held responsible if political demonstrations were
held. Lukashenka called on collective farm workers to unite around him
and put those "who hoped to see the harvest fail" to shame. -- Ustina
Markus

RUSSIAN DUMA SENDS APOLOGY TO BELARUS. Aleksander Shokhin, first deputy
speaker of the Russian Duma, has sent a letter of apology to Belarusian
parliamentary speaker Syamyon Sharetsky for the provocative statements
made by Russian deputy Viktor Ilyukhin, Belarusian radio reported on 28
June. Iluykhin last week accused the CIA of drawing up a plot to
destabilize Belarus from Poland with the help of Ukrainian radical
nationalists. The allegations were ridiculed in the Russian, Belarusian,
Ukrainian, Polish, and Western press. Shokhin said the Duma considered
Ilyukhin's charges to be an expression of his personal views. He
apologized to Belarusian deputies for the statements, which, he said,
only complicated the process of integration between Russia and Belarus.
-- Ustina Markus

IMF APPROVES STAND-BY CREDIT FOR ESTONIA. The IMF on 29 July announced
it will give a $20 million stand-by credit to Estonia to support the
government's 1996-1997 economic program, Western agencies reported.
Estonian officials. however, noted that the republic did not intend to
use the credit, except in the "unlikely event that an unexpected balance
of payments need were to emerge." Before the announcement, Prime
Minister Tiit Vahi met with IMF representatives in Tallinn to discuss
Estonia's memorandum to the organization outlining the country's
economic policies. -- Saulius Girnius

EQUALITY OF RIGHTS PARTY ESTABLISHED IN LATVIA. The public organization
Equality of Rights has founded the political party Movement for Social
Justice and Equality of Rights, BNS reported on 29 July. The
organization will be disbanded after the new party registers with the
Ministry of Justice. The party opposes Latvia's integration into either
NATO or the EU and calls for granting Latvian citizenship to all
permanent residents. It also urges Latvia to abide by the Declaration of
Human Rights and stresses the need for state-guaranteed higher education
in Russian. The party was founded by 221 Latvian citizens and will
accept non-citizens into its ranks after registration. -- Saulius
Girnius

PRESIDENT ORDERS MORATORIUM ON DEATH PENALTY IN LITHUANIA. Algirdas
Brazauskas on 28 July signed a decree calling for an indefinite
moratorium on capital punishment in Lithuania, Western agencies
reported. He said the decision is intended to "promote Lithuania's
integration with European organizations." The parliament, which will
reconvene on 10 September, must approve the decree. Polls in Lithuania
indicate that owing to the high crime rate, some 70% of population are
opposed to the abolition of the death penalty. Nine people in Lithuania
are currently sentenced to death. -- Saulius Girnius

FORMER POLISH INTERIOR MINISTER ACQUITTED. A Warsaw court on 29 July
acquitted Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak, interior minister from 1981 to 1989, of
charges that he had allowed police to shoot at striking miners at the
Wujek and Manifest Lipcowy collieries in 1981, Polish media reported.
Nine miners were killed and 25 injured in the shooting, which took place
in December 1981, following the declaration of martial law. Kiszczak had
pleaded not guilty and had told the court he authorized the police to
shoot in self-defense. The judge concluded that authorizing the police
to fire was not the same as giving them an order and that there was no
proof that Kiszczak's action resulted directly in the deaths. His
acquittal was greeted in court with shouts of "Shame" and "Down with
Communists." Prosecutor Leszek Piotrowski said he would appeal the
verdict. -- Jakub Karpinski

POLISH OPPOSITION CRITICIZES PRIVATIZATION PROGRESS. Former
Privatization Minister and current opposition member Janusz Lewandowski
on 29 July charged that Poland's post-communist government has permitted
a "second nationalization" of privatized firms, Polish dailies reported.
He accused the government of allowing state-owned banks and foreign-
trade enterprises to purchase significant shares in privatized state
enterprises. He also criticized the declining numbers of large firms
sold after 1993 through initial public offerings and tenders as well as
the lack of progress in privatizing the energy, chemical,
pharmaceutical, telecommunications, banking, and insurance sectors.
Lewandowski's charges were dismissed by a Privatization Ministry
spokesman as having a "political character." -- Ben Slay

CZECH EXTREME-RIGHT LEADER CAUSES ANOTHER SCANDAL. Some 300 Roma from
Brno have so far signed a petition calling for extreme-right leader
Miroslav Sladek to be severely punished for racist remarks to the
parliament, Czech media reported on 29 July. Sladek on 25 July said in
front of TV cameras that "Gypsies should be made criminally responsible
right from their birth because [their birth] is, in fact, their biggest
crime." A number of Czech politicians and groups have demanded that
Sladek be punished; but since he has immunity as a parliamentary deputy,
this may be difficult to achieve. The Romani Democratic Congress has
announced it will nonetheless sue Sladek on charges of instigating
genocide and defaming a race. Some activists have suggested that the
government ask the Constitutional Court to disband Sladek's Republican
Party, which currently has 18 seats in the 200-member parliament. The
parliament's Immunity Committee will decide whether to punish Sladek
following the parliamentary summer recess. -- Jiri Pehe

CONTROVERSY AT SLOVAK NATIONAL THEATER. Conflict has raged in the media
over Culture Minister Ivan Hudec's dismissal on 22 July of Peter
Mikulik, stage director at the Slovak National Theater (SND). Hudec
replaced Mikulik with actor Lubomir Paulovic and renamed the SND the P.
O. Hviezdoslav Theater. SND dramaturg Martin Porubjak told Narodna
obroda on 30 July, "I do not consider Paulovic a director at the P. O.
Hviezdoslav Theater, since such a theater does not exist and no court
would accept his appointment.... He was supported neither by the SND's
director-general nor by a single actor." Previously, SND department
chiefs were named by the Culture Ministry at the recommendation of the
SND's director-general, but a new directive took effect on 1 January
allowing the culture minister to name department directors without the
director-general's agreement. Porubjak said the move conflicts with the
civil and labor codes. Several famous actors have announced that they
will leave the theater in protest. -- Sharon Fisher

BIGGEST HUNGARIAN REFUGEE CAMP TO CLOSE DOWN. Owing to financing
problems, the Hungarian authorities will close down the country's
biggest refugee camp, AFP reported on 29 July, quoting an Interior
Ministry official. The Nagyatad camp currently houses some 600 refugees
from the former Yugoslavia, who will soon be transferred to a camp at
Debrecen. At present, neither camp is used to full capacity. According
to the ministry, the camp must be closed because this year's budget
allocation for refugee support has been cut from $6.54 million to $5.2
million. Since the war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, Hungary has
spent more than $1.3 million yearly on the Nagyatad camp alone. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

HUNGARIAN TEACHERS ARE LOWEST PAID PUBLIC SERVANTS. According to a Labor
Ministry report, employees in the education sector are the lowest paid
among public servants, Nepszabadsag reported on 30 July. Primary school
and kindergarten teachers earn 38,000 forints ($250) and 32,000 forints
a month, respectively, placing them last among professionals. High
school teachers earned an average 45,000 forints a month last year,
while university and college professors earned 53,000 forints. At the
top of the list are lawyers and financial sector employees, with average
gross monthly earnings of 111,000 and 76,000 forints, respectively. --
Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN SERBS WILL MAKE NO MORE CONCESSIONS... Gojko Klickovic, prime
minister of the Republika Srpska, has said the Bosnian Serbs are fed up
with the international community's "permanent pressure" on them and will
make "no more concessions," AFP reported on 30 July, citing SRNA
reports. The hard-line premier has repeatedly opposed any steps aimed at
"reuniting [the republic] with Bosnia-Herzegovina," thereby violating
the Dayton peace accords, which define the Republika Sprska as one of
the two entities composing a single Bosnian state. Meanwhile, the U.S.
is expected to continue exerting pressure on Bosnian Serbs to deliver
indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic to The Hague-based war crimes
tribunal. Biljana Plavsic, acting president of the Republika Srpska,
noted last week that Karadzic and his military counterpart, Ratko
Mladic, "will definitely not be going to The Hague," Nasa Borba
reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

...NOR WILL BOSNIAN CROATS. Mile Puljic, head of the Bosnian branch of
the ruling Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ), has said the Bosnian
Croats will not yield to "international blackmail" to accept the results
of the elections in Mostar, AFP reported on 29 July. Puljic added that
those results "harm the interests of the Croats." Mijo Brajkovic, the
Croatian Mostar mayor, confirmed that the Croats will continue to
boycott the city council, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on 30 July. Both
Croatian officials were responding to Michael Steiner, the deputy of the
High Representative to Bosnia, who on 28 July said the international
community will not allow to be blackmailed by a "small group of mafiosi
figures" in Mostar. -- Daria Sito Sucic

BLASTS IN CENTRAL BOSNIA. Two blasts on 29 July rocked the Croat-held
town of Livno, AFP reported, quoting UN spokesman Alexander Ivanko. The
bomb attacks wrecked two Muslim-owned vehicles and damaged a UN car, but
no casualties were reported. Ivanko pointed out that the recent
escalation of violence indicates a rise in tensions between Muslims and
Croats. In other news, a bridge near Velika Kladusa, in northwestern
Bosnia, was damaged in an explosion on 29 July, AFP reported. The town
was the base of Fikret Abdic, the Muslim kingpin, who sided at various
times with both Serbs and Croats fighting against the Bosnian
government. -- Daria Sito Sucic

RUMP YUGOSLAVIA RESPONDS TO GENOCIDE CHARGES. The Hague-based war crimes
tribunal has announced that rump Yugoslavia will have until 23 July 1997
to prepare a defense against charges of genocide, AFP reported on 29
July. The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina first contacted The Hague in
March 1993, alleging Belgrade was involved in genocide against Bosnia's
Muslims and Croats. Several months later, Belgrade issued counter-
charges, alleging that the Bosnian authorities were responsible for
anti-Serbian atrocities. Meanwhile, rump Yugoslav Justice Minister
Vladimir Krivokapic, in an interview with Vecernje novosti on 29 July,
said Belgrade had already answered The Hague in the form of "a counter-
plea in which [we] deny the charges." He added that "it was the Serbian
people who were the victims." -- Stan Markotich

ROMANIAN UPDATE. British Defense Minister Michael Portillo on 28 July
began a three-day official visit to Romania, local and Western media
reported. Portillo and his Romanian counterpart, Gheorghe Tinca, signed
agreements on military relations, joint exercises, exchanges, and
cooperation in arms production, Portillo was also received by Romanian
President Ion Iliescu and is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister
Nicolae Vacaroiu and Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu. In other news, a
July poll conducted by the Center for Urban and Rural Sociology and
sponsored by the Soros Foundation shows a drop in the popularity of both
the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) and President Ion
Iliescu, Cotidianul reported on 27 July. Of the respondents, 33% said
they would vote for the opposition Democratic Convention of Romania
(CDR), 29% for the PDSR, and 12% for the Social Democratic Union (USD).
Iliescu won 40% of the vote (down 7 percentage points on previous
polls), Emil Constantinescu (CDR) 28%, and Petre Roman (USD) 20%. -- Dan
Ionescu

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT URGES SIGNING OF DNIESTER MEMORANDUM. The parliament
on 29 July appealed to President Mircea Snegur to sign the memorandum on
the basic principles of normalizing relations between the Republic of
Moldova and its breakaway Dniester region. The appeal pointed to the
joint declaration signed in January by Snegur, Russian President Boris
Yeltsin, and the Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma on the reaching a
political settlement to the Dniester conflict as soon as possible. Two
deadlines for signing the agreement have already been missed. In early
July, Snegur suggested that the signing should be postponed until after
the Moldovan presidential election, scheduled for 17 November. The
parliament criticized him for failing "to speed up the [peace] process"
in the region. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN ROUNDUP. Interior Minister Nikolay Dobrev on 29 July met with
parliamentary caucus leaders to ask for support for extraordinary
measures to deal with terrorism, Bulgarian newspapers reported.
Recently, there has been an outbreak of terrorist activities and bomb
threats in Bulgaria. Among other things, Dobrev proposed increasing
police presence on the streets. Meanwhile, Ivan Georgiev, leader of the
tiny ultra-nationalist Bulgarian National Radical Party, fired five
shots at the building of the Ministry for Economic Development on 28
July, Standart reported. Georgiev claimed he wanted to test the
precision of his weapon on an improvised target in his apartment, which
is located across from the ministry. But it is speculated that Georgiev
deliberately fired at the ministry for political or personal reasons.
The BNRP dismissed such speculation as provocation by "certain anti-
nationalist circles" aimed at discrediting the party. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT REVISES 1996 BUDGET. The Bulgarian parliament has
passed a revised 1996 budget on its second reading, Bulgarian and
international media reported. The budget deficit has been increased by
38% to 80.7 billion leva ($431.5 million) or 4.8% of GDP. Almost 53% of
expenditures will be used to service domestic and foreign debt.
Meanwhile, Kalin Mitrev, director of the Center for Mass Privatization,
announced on 29 July that the deadline for voucher holders to transfer
their vouchers to investment funds or to relatives will be extended from
31 July to 15 August. Some 1 million people have transferred their
vouchers to funds and 500,000 to relatives. -- Michael Wyzan

ALBANIAN ROUNDUP. Nine high-ranking former communist officials went on
trial in Tirana on 29 July, AFP reported. The nine are accused of
genocide and crimes against humanity and face prison terms ranging from
15 years to life imprisonment or the death penalty. The main charge
against them is mass deportations "for political, ideological, and
religious reasons." It is Albania's fourth trial against former leading
communists. So far, 15 former Communists have been sentenced to terms
ranging from 16 years to life imprisonment. Defendants in the latest
trial include former Politburo members Lenka Cuko and Llambi Geoprifti,
other top party members, and former secret police officials. In other
news, President Sali Berisha has set the date of the local elections for
20 October. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN PRISONERS IN GREECE GO ON STRIKE. Some 250 Albanian inmates of
the Larisa prison have been on strike since the end of last week, Poli i
Qendres reported on 30 July. They are demanding to be transferred to
Albanian prisons in accordance with a bilateral convention signed in
August 1995. Albanian prisoners in other prisons in Greece have joined
the strike. The inmates say they want to serve the remainder of their
sentences in Albania because they are systematically mistreated by Greek
prison personnel. Secretary-General of the Greek Justice Ministry
Georgios Pavleas commented that bureaucratic obstacles in Tirana are
delaying the transfer, while the Albanian Embassy in Athens said the new
government will solve the problem soon. -- Ismije Beshiri and Stefan
Krause

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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