Eat to live, and not live to eat. - Benjamin Franklin
OMRI DAILY DIGEST</head>

No. 154, Part II, 9 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 GOVERNMENT CUTS OFF POWER TO THOUSANDS OF DELINQUENT
CUSTOMERS. The government has cut off power to 15,000 delinquent
customers, chiefly businesses, Ukrainian TV and Reuters reported on 8
August. Energy Ministry officials told reporters that more than
50,000 enterprises, including small retail outlets and large
factories owe regional utilities some $1.1 billion in unpaid bills.
In other news, Ukraine's acting Prosecutor General announced that his
office had found evidence of large-scale corruption among officials
and managers of enterprises in the coal mining, education, health
care, and other government-financed sectors. Oleksander Khrystenko
said his investigators had discovered dozens of cases of embezzlement
of government funds destined for wages, particularly by the managers
of 10 coal mines in eastern Ukraine, which greatly exacerbated the
wage debt crisis. He also said ministry officials neglected to
monitor the use of the funds. Khrystenko said his office would
continue its inquiry, which may prompt pressing charges. -- Chrystyna
Lapychak

QUESTIONS ON BELARUSIAN REFERENDUM NARROWED DOWN. The number of
questions on President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's 7 November referendum
has reportedly been reduced to two, Belapan reported on 8 August. The
referendum will now ask if people prefer public or private land
ownership and whether they approve of the new version of the
constitution. The government is reportedly launching a large-scale
propaganda campaign to educate people on the necessity of amending
the constitution. Prior to the May 1995 referendum, in which each of
the four questions passed with more than 75 percent of the vote, the
state-controlled media had worked overtime promoting Lukashenka's
agenda. It can be expected to do the same this fall, and the yes-or-
no nature of the vaguely worded questions will likely work to
Lukashenka's advantage. -- Ustina Markus

SEVASTOPOL CUTS ELECTRICITY TO BLACK SEA FLEET. The aviation squadron
of the Black Sea Fleet has had its electricity cut off because it
owes the supplier Krymenergo 25 billion karbovantsy ($140,000), ITAR-
TASS reported on 8 August. In addition, 500 servicemen in the
squadron have not been paid since the beginning of the year. The
electricity cut coincided with the Ukrainian government's crackdown
on enterprises that fail to pay their bills. During a 5 August press
conference, Ukrainian Navy Commander Volodymyr Bezkorovainy addressed
the fleet's debts, saying it was "living off of Ukrainian money,"
Ukrainian radio reported The fleet owes the city of Sevastopol 2
trillion karbovantsy ($11 million) for utilities, and 5 trillion
($27.7 million) for damages to the city. -- Ustina Markus

ELECTION UNION OF ESTONIA'S RIGHT-WING PARTIES FORMED.
Representatives of the Pro Patria Union, the Moderates, the Estonian
Farmer's Party, and the Republican and Conservative People's Party
signed an agreement on 8 August establishing the coalition "Right-
Wing Parties and Moderates" for the local elections in Tallinn on 20
October, ETA reported. Pro Patria Chairman Toivo Jurgenson noted that
the coalition is only for Tallinn and that, depending on local
conditions, the four parties could run on separate lists in other
areas. None of these parties are in the current ruling coalition, but
ruled the country from 1992 to March 1995 under different names. --
Saulius Girnius

EU HELPS LITHUANIA DRAFT MONEY-LAUNDERING LAW. Three coordinators of
the "Money Laundering" project under the auspices of the EU PHARE
program "Combatting Drugs in Eastern and Central Europe" arrived in
Lithuania on 8 August, BNS reported. The goal of their three-day
visit is to analyze the situation and help draft a law on money
laundering. Dr. Ona Grimalauskiene, deputy chairwoman of the State
Narcotics Control Commission, said that the adoption of such a law
might influence the attitudes of foreign governments and attract more
investments to Lithuania. The republic intends to join the 1988
United Nations Convention on the Control of Illegal Narcotics Funds.
One of the most important criteria for membership is the adoption of
a money-laundering law. -- Saulius Girnius

COURT DECLARE GDANSK SHIPYARD BANKRUPT. The regional court in Gdansk
ruled on 8 August that Gdansk shipyard is bankrupt. The Solidarity
movement was born in the shipyard in 1980 and Poland's former
President Lech Walesa worked there as an electrician. The shipyard
employs 6,000 people and has debts of 414 million zlotys ($152.1
million) and assets of only 350 million zlotys ($128.6 million). The
shipyard's creditors have two months to file claims. The current
management has created a new company using some of the shipyard's
assets. The company, New Gdansk Shipyard, is to take over the profit-
generating contracts of the bankrupt shipyard. It is estimated,
however that half of the work force will lose their jobs. -- Jakub
Karpinski

CZECH REPUBLIC'S KREDITNI BANKA COLLAPSES. The Pilsen-based Kreditni
Banka on 7 August became the most recent Czech financial institution
to have its banking license revoked by the Czech National Bank,
Hospodarske noviny reported the following day. Kreditni Banka's
losses may run as high as 10-12 billion crowns ($370-$440 million),
and more than 4 billion crowns worth of claims against the bank have
already been filed by its depositors. This sum, which is likely to
increase in the future, is well in excess of what can be covered
either by Ceska pojistovna, Kreditni Banka's owner and the Czech
Republic's largest insurance company, or by the banking insurance
fund. Since the state holds significant equity stakes in Ceska
pojistovna's shareholders, Czech taxpayers are likely to pick up the
tab for the losses incurred by Kreditni Banka's incompetent, if not
outright fraudulent, management. -- Ben Slay

SLOVAK PROSECUTOR GENERAL VIOLATES CONSTITUTION? Prosecutor General
Michal Valo has ordered that President Michal Kovac's pardon of two
men involved in the Technopol fraud case (see OMRI Daily Digest, 19
July) cannot be implemented until the Constitutional Court rules on
Valo's earlier complaint regarding presidential pardons, Narodna
obroda reported on 9 August. Valo had filed a complaint with the
Constitutional Court after Kovac pardoned former secret service agent
Oskar Fegyveres, who confessed to participating in Kovac Jr.'s
abduction last year. The two men granted pardons by Kovac were his
son's business associates. Kovac argued that the case was overly
politicized, and he wanted to allow them to testify in Germany. In a
letter to Valo, Kovac pointed to sections of the Constitution and
Penal Code obliging the prosecution to immediately accept a
presidential pardon. Presidential legal expert Ivan Trimaj said "it
is hard to imagine a grosser infringement of the constitution and the
law." -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN ENVIRONMENTALISTS DEMAND END TO DANUBE DIVERSION. Hungarian
environmental activists and hydrotechnicians demanded at a 7 August
meeting that Slovakia stop diverting the Danube to feed the Gabcikovo
hydroelectric plant, CTK reported the following day. The meeting's
participants called on the International Court of Justice in The
Hague, where the case is waiting to be heard, to rule that Slovakia
should stop diverting the waters. "Hungary is not just asking the
court to rule whether Slovakia was justified in completing Gabcikovo
after Hungary pulled out of the project. We are also asking the court
to decree that the full amount of water should be released into the
old Danube course," activist Laszlo Valki told MTI. The joint Slovak-
Hungarian project was launched in 1977, but Hungary pulled out after
communism fell. -- Sharon Fisher

Southerern Europe

SECURITY COUNCIL THREATENS SANCTIONS OVER KARADZIC, MLADIC. The UN's
top body approved a non-binding resolution on 8 August demanding that
all sides in Bosnia-Herzegovina cooperate with the Hague-based war
crimes tribunal, the BBC reported. The text added that "the council
is ready to consider the application of economic enforcement measures
to ensure compliance by all parties with the obligations under the
peace agreement," Reuters noted. The latest resolution singles out
the Bosnian Serbs' failure to deliver to the court their military
chief Gen. Ratko Mladic and leading civilian figure Radovan Karadzic.
Earlier sanctions hit Belgrade and Pale hard and helped bring the
Serbs to the peace talks in Dayton last year. Bosnia's UN ambassador,
Muhamed Sacirbey, cautioned that any initiative to reimpose sanctions
would have to start in the major capitals, not at the UN. -- Patrick
Moore

MUSLIMS, CROATS FAIL TO AGREE ON HERCEG-BOSNA. Bosnian Federation
senior officials failed to agree on 8 August on the dissolution of
the Croat mini-state of Herceg-Bosna, Oslobodjenje reported the next
day. Bosnian Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic said the Croats had
presented new conditions on the Herceg-Bosna dissolution instead of
simply abolishing it. Bosnian Federation President Kresimir Zubak
accused Muslims of preventing the functioning of the federation by
not transferring the authority from the republic to it. U.S. envoy to
Bosnia John Kornblum and Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic were
present at the meeting. Kornblum voiced deep regrets over the failed
talks, Reuters reported. Meanwhile, the High Representative for
Bosnia Carl Bildt said he was not satisfied with anything concerning
the implementation of the federation, Reuters reported on 7 August.
Bildt said he remained concerned about its future despite the Mostar
power-sharing agreement between Muslims and Croats. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

OSCE CONCERNED OVER SERB STATEMENTS ON SOVEREIGN STATE. The OSCE's
spokesman in Sarajevo, Joanna van Vliet, said on 8 August that the
organization overseeing Bosnia's upcoming general elections was
concerned over Bosnian Serb officials' statements giving the
Republika Srpska (RS) the right to assert sovereignty as an
independent state, international agencies reported. Biljana Plavsic,
acting RS  president, said repeatedly during her pre-election
campaign that the September elections would "legalize the
sovereignty" of the RS, Reuters reported. The OSCE reminded Bosnian
Serb officials that the rules set up by the Dayton peace accords
state that "Bosnia-Herzegovina shall consist of the two entities, the
Bosnian Federation and the Republika Srpska." Meanwhile, UN special
envoy to Bosnia Iqbal Riza discussed security arrangements for
Bosnia's elections with RS Foreign Minister Aleksa Buha. Buha was
concerned over possible incidents if a large number of voters crossed
from one entity to the other, AFP reported on 8 August. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADERS REACT TO MILOSEVIC-TUDJMAN SUMMIT.
Serbia's opposition leaders have begun reacting to the 7 August
summit between Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman, Nasa Borba reported on 9 August. The
Serbian Renewal Movement, led by Vuk Draskovic, welcomed news of a
possible normalization of bilateral relations but queried: "Why
didn't Tudjman and Milosevic agree on normalization three or four
years ago? Why didn't agreementŠcome when nearly a million Serbs
lived in Croatia?" The SPO added that it would "fight for the return
of Serbs to Krajina [in Croatia] and to those places where they have
lived for centuries." For his part, Vojislav Seselj, accused war
criminal and ultranationalist leader of the Serbian Radical Party,
said Milosevic once again "sold out" Serbian national interests,
especially by abandoning the Serbs in eastern Slavonia through his
hints that he would recognize Croatia's international borders. --
Stan Markotich

SERBIAN PRESIDENT ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL? Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic may be trying to influence voters for in the industrial
town of Kragujevac, where he has recently promised to give the local
car manufacturer Zastava a large cash grant of about $19 million,
Reuters reported on 8 August. Opposition Democratic Party spokesman
Slobodan Vuksanovic reacted to Milosevic's announcement by saying the
president "is buying social peace ahead of the electionsŠIt is a
usual thing. This is the best time for the government to start
promising and misleading people." Federal parliamentary elections in
Serbia-Montenegro are due before year's end. -- Stan Markotich

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLE IN OFFING? President Ion Iliescu, Prime
Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu, and other leaders of the Party of Social
Democracy (PSDR) in Romania discussed on 7 August the feasibility of
a government reshuffle, Radio Bucharest reported on 9 August, citing
the independent news agency Mediafax. The Health, Agriculture, Labor
and Social Protection and Youth and Sports ministries are likely to
be affected, as well as several county prefect positions. A final
decision is to be made next week. Also next week, the PDSR leadership
expects a reply from Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodor Melescanu to
the PDSR initiative that he take over managing President Ion
Iliescu's electoral campaign. Melescanu is officially not a PDSR
member and the offer has been criticized by some political observers
and opposition leaders. -- Michael Shafir

CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING ROMANIAN NEWS AGENCY. A group of employees of
the Information and Synthesis Center of the RADOR news agency, which
is part of the Romanian Radio Company, on 7 August protested the
dismissal of their editor in chief and his replacement by a former
activist of the Communist Party's Central Committee. Its protest
letter, which was received by OMRI, says that Mihai Andrei, the
dismissed editor in chief, set up the center six years ago and
implemented stringent standards for unbiased, non-discriminatory
reporting and prompt delivery of information. The center monitors
broadcasts in Romania and foreign broadcasts in the Romanian
language, supplying information bulletins to government and non-
governmental organizations, political parties, and news agencies. The
signatories say Andrei's dismissal will endanger independence and
emphasize that this bodes ill on the eve of elections. -- Michael
Shafir

SMIRNOV ON CHISINAU-TIRASPOL RELATIONS. Dniester breakaway region
leader Igor Smirnov told a press conference on 7 August that
"Moldovan President Mircea Snegur is the only one to blame for the
delay in signing the memorandum on settling relations between Moldova
and the Dneister region," BASA-Press reported the next day. Smirnov
said Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma are "ready to sign the memorandum" and everything now depends
on Snegur. Snegur himself left on 8 August for Moscow, heading the
Moldovan delegation attending festivities for the Yeltsin
inauguration. A Moldovan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman told
BASA-Press that he could not comment on speculations that the
memorandum will be signed in Moscow on this occasion, but added that
the Dniester representatives will be present at the event too. --
Michael Shafir

BULGARIA TACKLES GRAIN SHORTAGE ADMINISTRATIVELY. The Bulgarian
government submitted to parliament on 8 August the annual bill
governing the trade regime in grain, Trud reported the same day. The
proposed law limits grain producers' profitability to 15%, requires
them to declare the size of their harvests within one month of their
gathering, allows the government to introduce "extraordinary
measures"--which some interpret as forcible grain requisitioning--in
cases of shortage, and sets fines for grain trading without a license
and refusing to provide information on grain dealings. The government
has set aside 25 billion leva ($134 million) to purchase this year's
harvest, whereas 70 billion leva is needed, Pari reported on 7
August. In other economic news, consumer price inflation in July was
23.3%, the highest rate since March 1991, bringing such inflation to
81.9% so far this year. -- Michael Wyzan

BULGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS UPDATE. The Central Electoral
Commission for the upcoming presidential election held its first
meetings on 7 and 8 August, Trud and Standart reported. At the
initial meeting, opposition and majority representatives in the
commission disagreed on whether candidates should register as
"Bulgarian citizens" or "Bulgarian citizens by birth." The latter
could bar the Socialist candidate, Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski,
from registering, since he was born in New York and acquired U.S.
citizenship at birth. At the 8 August meeting, the commission
approved a registration form on which the candidate does not have to
declare his citizenship. But candidates must present a certificate
from the police stating their citizenship and saying how they
acquired it. Candidates must register between 12 August and 22
September. Decisions of the Central Electoral Commission must be made
by two thirds of its members. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN SPECIAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE THE DEATH OF ALLEGED BANK
ROBBER. A special commission has been set up to investigate the
mysterious death of Shpetim Cashku, president of the Agi trade
company, Koha Jone reported on 9 August. Cashku was shot by special
police forces inside the Tirana Savings Bank on 27 July and later
died in the hospital. Reports are conflicting, however. Early ATSH
reports said Cashku had taken hostages after he was refused a credit
of $300,000, but bank employees later denied that report. ATSH also
quoted witnesses as saying that only Cashku's arm was injured, but
later he reportedly died of shots in his back. Koha Jone also
mentions a mysterious letter from Prime Minister Aleksander Meksi,
who apparently had approved the credit, that later disappeared. Koha
Jone also pointed out that the Albanian TV broadcast the 27 July
incidents live for about an hour. -- Fabian Schmidt

NUMBER OF ALBANIAN DESERTERS ON THE RISE. In the past six months, 166
army deserters have been sentenced to between four and six years
imprisonment in Tirana alone, international agencies reported on 7
August. Reportedly four times as many deserters are awaiting trial in
the capital. Hundreds more have fled the army to neighboring
countries and the situation is similar in other parts of Albania.
Prosecutors have reportedly begun calling for harsher sentences
against deserters and draft dodgers. -- Fabian Schmidt


[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Carla Atkinson

---------------------------------------------------------------------
---
            Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                      All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570
---------------------------------------------------------------------
---
                             SUBSCRIBING/UNSUBSCRIBING
1) Compose a message to LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
2) To subscribe, write:
     SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L FirstName LastName (include your own name)
   To unsubscribe, write:
     UNSUBSCRIBE OMRI-L
3) Send the message

                                  REPRINT POLICY
To receive a copy of OMRI's reprint policy, contact OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
or see the Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/DigestReprint.html

                              OTHER OMRI PUBLICATIONS
TRANSITION
OMRI publishes the biweekly journal TRANSITION, which contains
expanded analysis of many of the topics in the Daily Digest. For
subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ


ECONOMIC DIGEST
The OMRI Economic Digest is for those who need more detailed economic
news from the region.  There is a four-week free trial subscription
available; for more information, write ECON@OMRI.CZ or go to the
Economic Digest Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Econ/Info.html


RUSSIAN DAILY DIGEST
The OMRI Daily Digest is translated into Russian and distributed the
following day.
1) Compose a message to MAJORDOMO@ISF.RU
2) In the body of the message, write SUBSCRIBE OMRI 
   (be sure to replace  with your own name).
3) Send the message

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


©1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole