The fool wonders, the wise man asks. - Benjamin Disraeli
OMRI DAILY DIGEST</head>

No. 175, Part II, 10 September 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

UKRAINE TO LIFT PRICE FREEZE TWO WEEKS EARLY. Prime Minister Pavlo
Lazarenko has announced that his government will lift its statewide
price freeze on 16 September, two weeks early, Ukrainian agencies
reported on 9 September. Lazarenko said his government had already
informed international monetary institutions, including the IMF, about
the decision, which was made because the introduction of the country's
new currency, the hryvnya, has been going smoothly. Ukraine's temporary
tender, the karbovanets, is scheduled to be phased out by 16 September.
Lazarenko also announced that after raising excise taxes on spirits and
tobacco products, Kyiv found funds to pay its wage arrears to coal
miners for July by 16 September and pledged to pay off its August debt
within a month. He added that some 60% of pensioners are set to receive
the pensions owed them by mid-September. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

POWER STRUGGLE ENSUES WITHIN CRIMEAN LEGISLATURE. A majority of Crimean
lawmakers boycotted the scheduled opening session of the regional
parliament over a demand by pro-Russian deputies that the assembly's
leadership step down, Radio Ukraine reported on 9 September. Legislators
failed to reach a quorum, thus preventing the opening of the session.
Members of the Rossiya bloc of pro-Moscow caucuses accused supporters of
the current presidium of deliberately blocking the session in order to
stall a vote of confidence in the leaders, which the bloc has been
pressing for. The separatist forces have called for the replacement of
the speaker, Yevhen Supruniuk -- who remains hospitalized since he
escaped a recent kidnapping attempt -- whom they consider to be
ineffectual and overly pro-Kyiv. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENTIAL AIDE WARNS OF COUP. Deputy chief of the
president's administration Uladzimir Zamyatalin said there is "every
indication of a coup d'etat" for which parliament was responsible,
Belapan and Russian agencies reported on 9 September. Zamyatalin made
the statement in reaction to the parliament's decision to place its own
referendum questions on the ballot alongside President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka's, including its version of a new constitution that would
abolish the country's presidency. Lukashenka backed Zamyatalin, saying
deputies were looking into the possibility of buying weapons and
creating "another White House," Reuters reported. Parliamentary speaker
Syamyon Sharetsky denied deputies had begun arming themselves in
anticipation of a coup. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT EXAGGERATES SUCCESS IN RUSSIA. Attempting to show
he has Russia's backing, Lukashenka on 7 September made a "blitz" visit
to Moscow and made exaggerated claims about his meetings there, NTV and
Russian Public Television reported two days later. Russian President
Boris Yeltsin's press secretary Sergii Yastrzhembsky refuted
Lukashenka's claims that he met with Yeltsin and even denied that any
telephone conversation occurred. Lukashenka did meet with Prime Minister
Viktor Chernomyrdin and said the talks were very fruitful; however,
Chernomyrdin's press service played it down as strictly a private visit.
Foreign Minister Yevgenii Primakov's office could not confirm the
minister met with Lukashenka. Russian Defense Minister Igor Rodionov and
Security Council head Aleksandr Lebed did meet the Belarusian president
at Lukashenka's initiative, and discussed the withdrawal of nuclear
missiles from Belarus. On 9 September Lukashenka announced that
beginning next year, Russia will pay for the external protection of
Belarus's borders. -- Ustina Markus

LATVIAN, LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTERS MEET. Andres Skele and Mindaugas
Stankevicius on 9 September in the village of Nica, Latvia discussed the
delimitation of their countries' sea border, Radio Lithuania reported.
The main problem is determining the borders of the economic sea zones
since Latvia has signed oil exploration agreements with two foreign oil
companies in areas claimed by both countries. Lithuania rejects Latvia's
consideration of the Curonian Spit as a reef or uninhabited rock,
arguing that the population density of Latvia and the spit, 42 and 32
people per square kilometer, respectively, does not differ
significantly. If the spit is recognized as inhabited, Lithuania would
claim about 70-80% of the disputable area where the oil fields are
expected to be found. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH FOREIGN TRADE MINISTER GIVES LAST PRESS CONFERENCE. Jacek Buchacz
on 9 September gave his last press conference in the Sejm, Polish
dailies reported. Buchacz, who was dismissed on 4 September, said he did
not want to follow Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz's dictates. He
argued that his decisions to provide state funds to private corporations
were correct, and he announced plans to sue Cimoszewicz if he finds a
lawyer ready to take his cause. Cimoszewicz's spokeswoman Aleksandra
Jakubowska said the prime minister's statements on Buchacz on 7
September have been analyzed by lawyers, and she can only wish Buchacz
the best of luck. -- Jakub Karpinski

POLAND ON ARMING BOSNIA. U.S. special Balkan envoy James W. Pardew Jr.
visited Warsaw on 6 September to determine what Poland can do to help
the "Train and Equip" program aimed at strengthening Bosnia's Moslem-
Croat Federation military forces, Polish media reported. Polish Deputy
Foreign Minister Robert Mroziewicz said Poland would like to participate
in the "Train and Equip" program "at the lowest possible level." The
U.S. asked Poland to sell T 72 tanks to be financed by a NATO fund;
however, Poland declined in line with the policy of many EU states of
equal distance from all sides in the Bosnian conflict. The U.S. will
sell M60A tanks. Mroziewicz said Poland will decide the extent of its
assistance after Bosnia's elections on 14 September. -- Jakub Karpinski

CZECH MINISTERS DEAL WITH BANK FRAUD. Czech Justice Minister Jan Kalvoda
and Internal Affairs Minister Jan Ruml on 9 September agreed to set up a
special team to investigate bank fraud and other large scale financial
machinations, Czech media reported. The creation of the team has been
prompted by the recent collapse of several Czech banks. Some 12 billion
crowns ($440 million) were lost in the collapse of Kreditni and
Investicni Banka, some of which apparently due to fraud. The special
team will consist of the internal affairs ministry's investigators,
experts from the Finance Ministry and the Czech National Bank, and
possibly also foreign experts. Some Czech officials have admitted that
the country does not have enough domestic experts to understand and deal
with the complexities of bank fraud. -- Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK OPPOSITION TO COOPERATE. Opposition representatives met on 9
September to discuss a strategy for the upcoming parliament session,
RFE/RL's Slovak Service reported. The parties stressed that the ruling
coalition has yet to respond to the opposition's challenge for
discussions on questions of future development and EU and NATO
integration. Social Democratic Party Chairman Jaroslav Volf said the
following demands will be made: the dismissal of the board members
overseeing Slovak TV and Radio and the National Property Fund, the
abolishment of the OKO commission overseeing the Slovak Information
Service and the establishment of a regular parliamentary committee with
adequate opposition representation, the dismissal of Culture Minister
Ivan Hudec and Prosecutor-General Michal Valo, and the return of the
president's right to name the SIS director. Early elections must be
prevented since they would free the government of responsibility for
current policies, the opposition said. -- Sharon Fisher

TWO OF THREE SLOVAK COALITION PARTIES SUPPORT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.
Association of Workers of Slovakia (ZRS) spokesman Jozef Mazar on 9
September announced his party's support for the reintroduction of the
death penalty, CTK reported. Mazar was reacting to a statement made
three days earlier by Slovak National Party Chairman Jan Slota, who said
his party will launch a petition drive to reintroduce capital punishment
if the parliament refuses to call a referendum on the matter during its
September session. Mazar said the ZRS always favored the death penalty
as "an effective means against murders and inhuman brutality." Capital
punishment is prohibited by the constitution and by Slovakia's
membership in the Council of Europe. Opposition representatives pointed
out that studies have shown that implementing the death penalty does not
necessarily decrease violent crime. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN DEFENSE ROUNDUP. Defense Minister Gyorgy Keleti on 9 September
announced that 40 overhauled T-72 tanks purchased from Belarus will
arrive in Hungary on September 20 as part of Russia's repayment of its
state debt to Hungary, Hungarian dailies reported. Another 60 T-72 tanks
and 30 new armored personnel carriers will also arrive soon in Hungary.
In other news, Magyar Hirlap reported that Defense Ministry State
Secretary Laszlo Borsits will resign soon over the uproar that followed
the participation in May of Hungarian MiG-29 fighters in a training
exercise in Poland, without parliamentary authorization. Meanwhile,
Keleti has proposed reducing the term of basic military service from 12
to 9 months, starting next August, Nepszabadsag reported on 10
September. -- Ben Slay

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BELGRADE, ZAGREB ESTABLISH FULL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. Croatia and rump
Yugoslavia on 9 September established full bilateral relations with the
exchange of diplomatic letters, Nasa Borba reported on 10 September. A
Croatian Foreign Ministry statement said both sides have upgraded their
existing liaison offices to embassy status. AFP reported that in Zagreb
the exchange of letters involved Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Simonovic
and head of the rump Yugoslav mission Veljko Knezevic, while in Belgrade
an identical ceremony included Deputy Foreign Minister Radoslav Bulajic
and the head of the Croatian mission Zvonimir Markovic. Ambassadors will
be named before year's end, and Croatian state media reported that Damir
Zoric, head of Zagreb's refugee bureau, will represent Zagreb in
Belgrade. -- Stan Markotich

TWO EXTREMES OF BOSNIAN SERB POLITICAL SPECTRUM CAMPAIGN IN BRCKO. Two
parties having completely divergent programs rallied on 9 September in
Brcko, a potential point of a new Bosnian crisis. The relatively
moderate Democratic Patriotic Block of Republika Srpska, led by Banja
Luka's former mayor Predrag Radic, encountered jeers and catcalls when
it called for more democracy. Meanwhile, the ultra-nationalist Radical
Party of Republika Srpska gathered some 10,000 people attracted by the
announcement that Vladimir Zhirinovsky would be one of the speakers;
however, Zhirinovsky missed the rally due to a hold-up at the border
with Serbia. Radicals in Brcko said Serbs should be united into a single
state, and were greeted with shouts of "Long live Greater Serbia," AFP
reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

BILDT WARNS SERBS THEY CANNOT SECEDE AFTER POLL. High Representative for
Bosnia Carl Bildt said the Bosnian Serbs will not be allowed to secede
from Bosnia after next weekend's elections, international and local
agencies reported on 9 September. He threatened action against any party
seeking to split from the republic.  The secessionist rhetoric that
dominates Serb preelection campaigning led Bosnia's main Muslim leaders
on 7 September to ask the international community for guarantees that
the forthcoming election will not result in the country's division, AFP
reported. Meanwhile, at their meeting in Tralee, Ireland on 7 September,
EU foreign ministers decided that troops will remain in Bosnia for at
least two more years, Onasa reported. Bildt backed the idea and urged
full implementation of the constitution agreed to under the Dayton peace
accords. -- Daria Sito Sucic

INTERNATIONALLY-SPONSORED INDEPENDENT TELEVISION ON AIR. Open Broadcast
Network began broadcasting on 7 September, after delays caused by all
Bosnian parties' unwillingness to cooperate, AFP reported the next day.
The network -- established by the Office of the High Representative, the
leading civic agency in Bosnia -- is designed to bring together five
existing independent channels in the Bosnian federation. But
disagreements over a basic program concept are already noticeable. Heads
of the local television stations that joined the OBN fear it will become
a new organization employing new journalists, while destroying existing
stations, Oslobodjenje reported on 10 September. Meanwhile, Tuzla's
mayor Selim Beslagic closed down the town's local television station for
unknown reasons, local media reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

LJUBLJANA, ROME SIGN DEFENSE ACCORD. Slovenian Defense Minister Jelko
Kacin on 9 September met his Italian counterpart Beniamino An-dreatta in
Bologna to sign a bilateral defense agreement, AFP reported. According
to a statement issued by the Italian ministry, Ljubljana's signing of
the accord was in keeping with its aim of NATO integration. The Italian
side also reiterated its support for Slovenian efforts to join the
international organization. -- Stan Markotich

HISTORIC CROATIAN CITY AND ENVIRONS ROCKED BY QUAKES, TREMORS. Dubrovnik
and environs were again hit on 9 September by a tremor, adding to damage
caused since the first 5 September quake. Then, the town of Ston, some
30 kilometers north of Dubrovnik, was the quake epicenter that measured
5.9 on the Richter scale. Some estimates say nearly 70 tremors struck
the area since. AFP on 8 September reported that at least 90% of Ston's
buildings are damaged, many seriously, and on 9 September Foreign
Minister Mate Granic asked for EU aid for the Ston area, Hina reported.
On 10 September, Zagreb and surrounding areas experienced quakes. In
other news, AFP reported on 7 September that a strategic 500 meter-long
bridge across the Sava, linking the Croatian town of Slavonski Brod with
the Serb-held Bosnian town of Srpski Brod (or Bosanski Brod) was
reopened that same day. -- Stan Markotich

GERMAN PRESIDENT IN MACE-DONIA. Roman Herzog on 9 September arrived on a
two-day state visit in Skopje, AFP and Nova Makedonija reported. Herzog
held talks with his Macedonian counterpart, Kiro Gli-gorov, and
Parliament President Tito Petkovski. He singled out Macedonia's
"moderate" policies that led to a peaceful split form the former
Yugoslavia and called its minority policy "exemplary." Herzog will meet
Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski on 10 September. During Herzog's
visit, an agreement on bilateral protection of investments will be
signed. Herzog is the first head of state of an EU member to visit
Macedonia. -- Stefan Krause

ROMANIAN ELECTORAL CAMPAIGN "GOES WEST." An American public relations
person will manage incumbent President Ion Iliescu's electoral campaign
for the ballot scheduled in early November, Romania libera reported on 9
September. George Gorton, who was also involved in Russian President
Boris Yeltsin's successful electoral campaign, has arrived in Bucharest
with a staff of 16 experts. Meanwhile, the executive chairman of the
Party of Social Democracy in Romania, Adrian Nastase, has accused the
presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Union, Petre Roman, of
trying to bribe the electorate. Roman made a largely-publicized present
of money (one million lei or some $315) to a couple at whose wedding he
was best-man. -- Michael Shafir

ISRAEL TO MODERNIZE ROMANIAN MiGs. Radio Bucharest and AFP reported on 8
September that Israel has struck an agreement to modernize around 100
MiG fighter-bombers for Romania's airforce. Citing the Tel-Aviv daily
Ma'ariv, the report said a prototype of the modernized plane was shown
last week at the Farnborough airshow in Great Britain. It was furnished
with a new avionic system by the Israeli company Albit, and equipped
with Russian air-air missiles usually mounted on MiG-29. -- Michael
Shafir

BULGARIAN "POPULAR UPRISING" ANNIVERSARY GETS MIXED REACTIONS. The 52nd
anniversary on 9 September of the insurrection that overthrew the
monarchist regime in 1944 and ultimately led to the establishment of a
Communist regime was marked throughout the country by manifestations of
both supporters and adversaries, Bulgarian newspapers reported. Most
papers noted that this date, like no other, shows the deep division of
Bulgarian society. In Sofia, around 2,000 mostly elderly followers of
the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) met to mark the event. Zemya
-- a paper associated with the BSP -- called the event "a great day that
will forever remain in the memory of the Bulgarian people." Meanwhile,
the opposition held a meeting in central Sofia commemorating the victims
of Communist terror. The opposition daily Demokratsiya charged that the
leftist demonstrations "unmask the demagogy of the Socialists' tales
about change." -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS UPDATE. President Zhelyu Zhelev and
Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) Chairman Ivan Kostov on 9 September
discussed the political situation in light of the upcoming presidential
elections, Kontinent and Standart reported. Zhelev -- who will not run
in the October elections -- said the liberal forces will support the
presidential candidate of the united opposition, Petar Stoyanov of the
SDS. Kostov and Zhelev stressed the need for a united opposition. They
said the ongoing economic crisis may complicate the election process and
called on the government to ensure that the elections are free and fair.
Meanwhile, former caretaker Prime Minister Reneta Indzhova announced
that she will run for president as an independent candidate. Zhelev said
he had warned her twice not to run because she lacks the support of "any
serious political force." -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN ROUNDUP. The Culture Ministry on 9 September announced that
Albania's 15 Islamic theological schools will be closed down in 1997,
Koha Jone reported. Effective immediately, they are not allowed to admit
new students. The ministry gave no reason. The Muslim community denied a
connection to the recent desecration of an Orthodox church in Voskopoja
(see OMRI Daily Digest, 30 August 1996) and announced that it will try
to have the decision revoked. Otherwise they will continue tuition in
private houses. In other news, the independent trade unions called a
nationwide one-day strike in most sectors for 16 September, Gazeta
Shqiptare reported. They demand general compensation for the
liberalization of bread prices, claiming that a government plan would
compensate only 33% of the population. They also accuse the government
of breaching an agreement providing for compensation of price hikes
twice a year. -- Ismije Beshiri and Stefan Krause

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Sharon Fisher

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            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 or visit the Transition
Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Transition/TransitionInfo.html


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 to ECON@OMRI.CZ or go to the
Economic Digest Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Econ/Info.html


OMRI RUSSIAN REGIONAL REPORT
The OMRI Russian Regional Report is a weekly publication initially
focusing on the local elections taking place throughout Russia during
the Fall of 1996. After the election season is over, the Russian
Regional Report will continue, turning to broader social, political and
economic issues of Russia's regions. To subscribe, please follow these
instructions:
1) Compose a message to:
     MAJORDOMO@OMRI.CZ
2) In the body of the message, write:
     SUBSCRIBE REGIONS YourName
   Fill in your own name where shown
3) Send the message


RUSSIAN-LANGUAGE OMRI DAILY DIGEST
The full text of 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 YourName
   Fill in your own name where shown
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