Logic, n. The act of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance with the limitations and incapacities of the human understanding. - Ambrose Bierce
OMRI DAILY DIGEST</head>

No. 161, Part II, 20 August 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

TAIWANESE VICE PRESIDENT IN UKRAINE. Taiwanese Vice President Lien Chan
has made a secret journey to Ukraine, Reuters and ITAR-TASS reported on
20 August. Lien reportedly disappeared from New York on 18 August and
flew to Kyiv to meet with President Leonid Kuchma. Ukraine recognizes
the People's Republic of China, which has a strict policy against
official recognition of Taiwan. Last year, Beijing denounced the Czech
Republic and Austria after Lien visited those countries, and in 1992
China recalled its charge d'affaires from Latvia because Riga had
established consular relations with Taipei. Under pressure from China,
Latvia formally terminated consular ties with Taiwan in 1994. Taiwanese
Foreign Minister John Chang did not confirm that Lien was in Ukraine but
said the vice president was in a "third country." -- Ustina Markus

CRIMEAN ECONOMY CONTINUES TO DECLINE. A Ukrainian government commission
headed by Deputy Prime Minister Vasyl Durdynets has found that the
Crimean economy has continued to deteriorate at a faster pace than most
other regional economies, Ukrainian TV reported on 17 August. The
agriculture sector has the worst record in output and sales. Ukrainian
officials revealed that the Crimean government had provided Kyiv with
falsified reports enhancing grain-procurement figures for the region's
grain reserve. President Leonid Kuchma fired several local officials as
a result. Only the tourism sector has seen improvement, its income
increasing by 17% in the first six months of the year over the same
period last year. Durdynets admonished Crimean authorities for poorly
implementing budgetary policy, and he revealed a number of abuses and
cases of embezzlement involving officials in the Education, Social
Welfare, and Culture ministries. His commission also said the
resettlement of exiled Tatars in Crimea had virtually stopped because of
local funding cuts. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

CRIMEAN PARTIES REFUSE TO RE-REGISTER UNDER UKRAINIAN LAW. Five pro-
Russian political parties in Crimea have refused to re-register in
accordance with a Ukrainian law on public associations that acknowledges
only national parties, UNIAR reported on 16 August. The parties,
including the Rossiya bloc, have protested a recent order by the Justice
Ministry that they re-register under the conditions of the legislation
or find themselves formally outside the party system. They claim the
law, which does not recognize regional parties, violates their civil
rights and Crimean autonomy. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN DEPUTY SPEAKER ON BY-ELECTIONS. Belarus's first deputy
parliamentary speaker, Vasil Novikau, said preparations for the 24
November by-elections will continue despite statements by President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka that there is no need to fill the 60 vacant
parliamentary seats, Belapan reported on 19 August. Novikau did not
exclude the possibility that elections would not take place. He said
that because the Constitutional Court has already ruled that 16 of
Lukashenka's decrees contravened the constitution, it was possible the
president would ban the by-elections, and there would be nothing the
legislature could do about it. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN-CHINESE COOPERATION IMPROVING. Chinese Minister of State Li
Tieying and Estonian Prime Minister Tiit Vahi on 19 August in Tallinn
talked about ways of improving economic cooperation, such as signing an
agreement to prevent double taxation, ETA reported. Li Tieying said that
China would like to open a duty-free-goods warehouse and a department
store in Estonia and use Estonia as a transit country for developing
trade with the EU. The ministers also discussed the import of Chinese
raw material for the production of rare-earth metals at the RAS Silmet
plant. Vahi was invited to visit China with an economics and business
delegation. -- Saulius Girnius

LATVIAN, LITHUANIAN SEA-BORDER PROBLEMS. The Latvian parliament on 22
August is scheduled to discuss ratification of an agreement signed last
October with Amoco and Sweden's OPAB on exploring possible oil deposits
off its coast, BNS reported. Some of the area, however, is also claimed
by Lithuania, and talks on determining the exact border have been
unsuccessful. The two companies can cancel their agreements if the
Saeima fails to ratify them by 31 October. Latvian Foreign Minister
Valdis Birkavs said that the optimal time to sign a border agreement
would be before Lithuania's parliamentary elections on 20 October as
that would allow Lithuanian politicians to demonstrate "an ability to
settle relations with a very friendly country." Birkavs, however, noted
that Latvia will submit a memorandum to Lithuania on its position toward
Lithuania's attempt to resume construction of the Butinge floating oil
terminal, which Latvian environmentalists have protested. -- Saulius
Girnius

POSSIBLE REFERENDUM QUESTIONS IN LITHUANIA. Ruling Democratic Labor
Party (LDDP) caucus head Gediminas Kirkilas announced on 19 August that,
due to sharp criticism from other parties, the LDDP would abandon its
plan to hold a referendum on giving the president the right to call
early parliamentary elections and to appoint the defense, interior, and
foreign affairs ministers, BNS reported. Kirkilas nevertheless said that
a referendum should be held together with the parliamentary elections on
20 October. He said the referendum should include questions on
strengthening the president's power over the courts, changing the date
of parliamentary elections from fall to spring, and reducing the size of
the parliament from 141 to 101 members. A referendum can be held on
these questions only if 71 Seimas deputies submit them to the parliament
for discussion. -- Saulius Girnius

UNEMPLOYMENT IN POLAND SINKS TO FOUR-YEAR LOW. The Labor Ministry on 19
August announced that, in July, unemployment reached its lowest level
since 1992, international agencies reported. Of working-age Poles, 14.1%
were without jobs last month, compared with 14.3% in June and 14.9% at
the end of 1995. The ministry also announced that the number of jobless
registered at employment agencies in July was down 42,000 from the
previous month. Unemployment is in single digits in Warsaw, while in the
northern city of Slupsk it stands at 27%. -- Jan Cleave

GOLDSTONE IN PRAGUE, CRITICIZES IFOR. Speaking on 19 August after a
meeting in Prague with Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Sasa Vondra, the
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia's chief
prosecutor, Richard Goldstone, criticized IFOR for not arresting leading
war-crimes suspects. CTK quoted Goldstone as saying that he believes
there is still time to correct a "mistaken and unfortunate policy."
Goldstone, who is to quit his post at the Hague tribunal this fall after
two years of service, said he is optimistic that it is only a matter of
time before other suspected war criminals are arrested. Goldstone argued
that all UN member states need to adopt laws that make cooperation with
the tribunal mandatory. Vondra told journalists that the Czech Republic
is preparing such a law. -- Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK RULING COALITION IN AGREEMENT. Following coalition discussions on
19 August concerning Slovakia's new territorial administration, Slovak
National Party (SNS) Chairman Jan Slota told Slovak Radio that the three
partners are in "100%" agreement. Slota, who stirred up a coalition
crisis in June over privatization, noted that the meeting's participants
were "pleasantly surprised" at the willingness of the Movement for a
Democratic Slovakia (HZDS)--the senior coalition partner--to compromise.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister and HZDS Chairman Vladimir Meciar noted that
all parties had left the discussion "satisfied." He confirmed that the
chiefs of the eight new regions will represent the HZDS, while three
deputy posts will go to the SNS and five to the Association of Workers
of Slovakia. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAKIA'S TROUBLED NONPROFITS. Third Sector Association (GTS)
representative Helena Wolekova on 19 August rejected assertions by
Deputy Prime Minister Katarina Tothova that the UN approves of
Slovakia's controversial law on foundations, Narodna obroda reported.
Tothova, who traveled to Geneva earlier this month, said that UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights Jose Ayal Lasso had no objections to the
law, which was re-approved by the parliament in June after being vetoed
by the president. The GTS, however, pointed out that Lasso had sent a
letter expressing his reservations about the law before its re-approval.
Although the law does not take effect until 1 September, Wolekova said
the registrations of two foundations have already been rejected by the
Interior Ministry, which will be responsible for approving new
foundations. Tothova said Lasso's letter was not a "condemnation" of the
law but a "challenge for discussion." -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN UPDATE. Hungary's political and cultural leaders on 19 August
attended celebrations commemorating the 1,100th anniversary of
Hungarians' arrival in the Carpathian basin, international media
reported. In a public address, Prime Minister Gyula Horn paid special
attention to the importance of settling relations with Hungary's
neighbors. Meanwhile, the World Federation of Hungarians on 18 August
announced its opposition to the Hungarian-Romanian basic treaty--
particularly since collective rights for ethnic Hungarians are not
guaranteed--and asked Hungary to reconsider its stance, the BBC reported
two days later. Following a meeting in Budapest on 19 August with
representatives of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania,
Miklos Duray of the Bratislava-based Coexistence movement said Hungarian
minority representatives will ask for more discussions with Horn, TASR
reported. -- Sharon Fisher

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

OSCE OFFICIAL SAYS ELECTIONS MUST GO ON. The head of the OSCE office in
Sarajevo, Robert Frowick, said Bosnia's elections should go ahead as
planned, despite problems and appeals, Onasa reported on 16 August.
Frowick's statement came after the International Crisis Group, an
international monitoring team, had recommended postponement of the
September elections because conditions for free and fair voting are not
yet in place. But Frowick on 19 August warned that the OSCE "reserves
the right to invalidate electoral results" in areas where local
officials fail to comply with the Dayton accord, AFP reported. Frowick
warned that if government officials continue discouraging or prohibiting
freedom of movement, the return of refugees and displaced persons to
their homes, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression, they will
face "serious consequences," according to the 20 August Oslobodjenje. --
Daria Sito Sucic

TUDJMAN AND BOSNIAN CROATS DISCUSS ABOLITION OF HERCEG-BOSNA. Croatian
President Franjo Tudjman on 19 August held talks on Brioni Island with
senior Bosnian Croat officials to discuss the phased abolition of the
Croatian ministate of Herceg-Bosna, international and local media
reported. Kresimir Zubak, the president of the Muslim-Croat federation,
said the Bosnian Croats will respect the 31 August deadline for Herceg-
Bosna's dissolution, as agreed with their Muslim partners over the
weekend. Following talks with Tudjman, Zubak said that "the ball is now
in our [Muslim] partners' court." Meanwhile, Bosnian Premier Hasan
Muratovic, on an official visit to The Hague, said the Bosnian general
elections would be compromised if Herceg-Bosna is not dissolved by 14
September, AFP reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

CROATIA VIOLATES ITS OWN CONSTITUTION, DAYTON ACCORD. Kasim Trnka, the
Bosnian ambassador to Zagreb, reproached the Croatian government for
allowing election propaganda for the Bosnian branch of the Croatian
Democratic Community and Fikret Abdic's Democratic People's Union on its
territory, thus violating the Croatian constitution, the Dayton peace
agreement, and a memorandum signed with the OSCE, Onasa reported on 18
August. Abdic, a Muslim rebel kingpin who found a safe haven in Croatia
after his forces were defeated by the Bosnian army last summer, was
granted Croatian citizenship by President Franjo Tudjman. He registered
his political party in the Croatian portion of the Bosnian city of
Mostar. Trnka complained about the OSCE decision to approve Abdic's
election registration. The organization had noted that Abdic has not
been accused by the war-crimes tribunal. A court in the northwestern
Bosnian town of Bihac, though, indicted Abdic for war crimes on 10
August, Onasa reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

HAVE ZAGREB-BELGRADE TALKS HIT AN IMPASSE? Ivan Simonovic, Croatia's
deputy foreign minister, met in Belgrade on 19 August with rump
Yugoslavia's foreign minister, Milan Milutinovic, and emerged from talks
observing that a number of issues, including a dispute over jurisdiction
of the strategic Prevlaka peninsula, may delay the signing of a mutual-
recognition agreement between Zagreb and Belgrade, Nasa Borba reported
on 20 August. Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic was to travel to
Belgrade on 23 August to participate in a signing ceremony, but
Simonovic has now hinted that the signing may be postponed. "As far as
Croatia is concerned, the quality of any agreement is much more
important than the date when an accord on the normalization of relations
is reached," Simonovic said on Croatian radio. -- Stan Markotich

CROATIAN AUTHORITIES ARREST WAR-CRIMES SUSPECT. Police arrested a 29-
year-old man identified only as "Goran V." near Osijek, Croatia, on 17
August, Hina reported on 19 August. According to Croatian authorities,
the suspect, an ethnic Serb allegedly involved in supporting Croatia's
rebel Serbs in 1991 and 1992, faces war-crimes charges that include
armed insurrection. In May, Croatia passed amnesty legislation, but on
19 August AFP reported that Croatia's Ministry of Justice has not said
how many individuals remain on its wanted list for war crimes. -- Stan
Markotich

BOSNIAN FEDERATION'S VICE PRESIDENT IN SLOVENIA. Ejup Ganic met
Slovenian President Milan Kucan on 19 August for discussions on
bilateral relations and regional political developments. Onasa quoted
Ganic as saying that "Bosnia is prepared to step up contacts with
Slovenia to the maximum, from sports to science and politics." For his
part, Kucan predicted that the 14 September elections in Bosnia will be
a watershed, saying he hopes the balloting will "affirm Bosnia as an
independent state."  -- Stan Markotich

MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES DRAFT LOCAL-ELECTION LAW. The Macedonian
government on 19 August approved the draft version of the local-election
law, Nova Makedonija reported. According to the draft, municipal
councils would be elected by a proportional system and mayors by
majority vote. The term for both council members and mayors would be
four years. The first local elections are to be called by the president
of the Macedonian parliament and subsequent ones by the mayors. The
government also discussed the draft law on the administrative division
of Macedonia, which is to define the territories of individual
communities. The parliament is expected to vote on both laws soon. --
Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN NATIONALISTS STEP UP ATTACKS ON TREATY WITH HUNGARY. Gheorghe
Funar, leader of the chauvinistic Party of Romanian National Unity, on
19 August continued to attack the recent agreement on a Romanian-
Hungarian basic treaty. In a statement broadcast by Radio Bucharest,
Funar rejected accusations by President Ion Iliescu's spokesman that he
was "grossly misinforming" the public about the meaning of key clauses
in the treaty. Funar also claimed that the negotiation of the treaty
lacked transparency. He said the draft has remained unknown to the
government, political parties, parliamentary commissions, and the media.
Funar challenged Iliescu to take part in a public debate on national TV.
-- Dan Ionescu

MOLDOVAN ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN OFFICIALLY STARTS. The run-up to the 17
November presidential election in the Republic of Moldova formally
opened on 19 August, Infotag reported the same day. Out of the country's
population of 4.5 million, 2.4 million are entitled to take part in the
vote (of whom some 150,000 reside in Moldova's breakaway Dniester
region). Ten candidates have announced their intention to run for the
presidency. Initiative groups (of which four had already registered with
the Central Electoral Commission on 19 August) are busy seeking the
20,000 signatures required by law to validate a presidential candidacy.
-- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL-ELECTION UPDATE. The Bulgarian Socialist Party
(BSP) believes that the registration of its candidate, Foreign Minister
Georgi Pirinski, with the Central Electoral Commission will be
challenged and consequently annulled, Kontinent reported on 20 August.
Pirinski's eligibility is in question after the Constitutional Court
effectively ruled that he is not a "Bulgarian citizen by birth" as
required by the constitution (see OMRI Daily Digest, 24 July 1996). A
leading BSP member said a plenary meeting that will nominate a new
candidate is already being prepared. Meanwhile, the secretary-general of
the Bulgarian Communist Party (BKP) and of the Communist International,
Vladimir Spasov, on 19 August said he hopes to register two women as the
BKP's presidential and vice presidential candidates. -- Stefan Krause

RUSSIAN ADMIRAL OBJECTS TO U.S. PRESENCE IN BLACK SEA. On a visit to
Bulgaria, the Russian Black Sea Fleet commander, Adm. Viktor Kravchenko,
said Moscow does not approve of the presence of U.S. Navy vessels in the
Black Sea, 24 chasa reported. "It is funny that the States claim that
the Black Sea is a zone of strategic interest for them," Kravchenko
said. He said the presence of U.S. ships in Bulgarian territorial waters
contravenes the 1936 Montreux Convention, which regulates the presence
of military ships of non-Black Sea countries. In 1995, 25 such ships
passed through Bulgarian waters, and 20 have done so thus far in 1996.
Kravchenko said Turkey's navy is the strongest in the Black Sea at
present, both in terms of quantity and quality. Kravchenko admitted that
the Soviet Union in 1945-50 dumped "small quantities" of chemical
weapons in the Black Sea, but he said "they pose no danger." -- Stefan
Krause

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Tim Rostan

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            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
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