It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is. - Erasmus
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 176, Part II, 11 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

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES 1997 BUDGET. The government has approved a
draft budget for 1997, UNIAN reported on 9 September. The draft foresees
cuts in expenditures of the central and local governments, higher excise
taxes on spirits and tobacco products, and fewer tax loopholes. The
annual inflation rate is expected to fall to around 25%. The draft is to
be submitted to parliament for final approval. --  Chrystyna Lapychak

CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN UKRAINE. Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and
Foreign Minister Mate Granic arrived in Kyiv on 9 September for a two-
day official visit, Ukrainian reported on 10 September. Granic met with
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Hennadii Udovenko and parliamentary speaker
Oleksandr Moroz. The foreign ministers confirmed the text of an
agreement on friendship and cooperation, which should be signed next
year when Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma visits Croatia. Granic
expressed his approval of Ukrainian peacekeepers in Bosnia, and,
according to Reuters, said that "for the formation of Bosnia-Herzegovina
as a state international forces should stay for two more years. Perhaps
in a reduced way but they should definitely remain." The ministers also
discussed increasing trade and economic cooperation. --  Ustina Markus &
Stan Markotich

BELARUSIAN POLITICAL CRISIS CONTINUES. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
refused to accept the parliamentary by-election date, 24 November, as
the date for his referendum, and continued pressing for the Bolshevik
anniversary, 7 November, Russian Public Television reported on 10
September. Parliament demanded that Lukashenka amend by 15 September a
series of his decrees which had been found to contravene the
constitution, or face impeachment proceedings. The independent paper
Svaboda noted on 6 September that although it will be easy to get the
necessary 70 deputies to sign an impeachment motion, the anti-
presidential bloc cannot be sure that it will have the 134 or two-thirds
vote, needed to remove Lukashenka. The president has the firm backing of
60-70 deputies, and many other are still vacillating. Lukashenka
addressed the nation on 10 September, saying the failure to pass his
referendum would mean loss of statehood for Belarus. He identified the
removal of the presidency as a return to the era of former parliamentary
speaker Stanislau Shushkevich, when "indifference reigned supreme," and
there was no one to lift the country out of the "gutter." --  Ustina
Markus

PROGRESS MADE IN LATVIA, LITHUANIA BORDER TALKS. Although Latvian and
Lithuanian Prime Ministers Andris Skele and Mindaugas Stankevicius did
not sign any agreements at their meeting on 9 September, the Lithuanian
government information center announced the next day that the positions
of both delegations became so much closer that an agreement could be
reached in the next few days, Radio Lithuania reported. Stankevicius
canceled a planned press conference so as not to reveal the compromises
that had been reached. Foreign Minister Povilas Gylys, however, noted
that Latvia will acknowledge the Curonian Spit as part of Lithuania's
seashore. This will extend the territory of Lithuania's economic sea
zone not only northward, but also to the West so that it will touch
Sweden's economic zone. --  Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN ELECTION PREPARATIONS. Lithuania's main political parties on
7 September held pre-election conferences to make minor changes to their
candidate lists for the 20 October parliament elections, Radio Lithuania
reported two days later. Supreme Election Commission Chairman Zenonas
Vaigauskas noted that although 33 political parties and organizations
have the right to nominate candidates, none has officially filed its
lists and fulfilled other requirements. The deadline is midnight on 15
September. Vaigauskas also noted that about 30 persons are attempting to
collect the 1,000 signatures needed to run as independent candidates.
Former Defense Minister Audrius Butkevicius is the only candidate who
has already completed this requirement. The election campaign officially
begins on 20 September. -- Saulius Girnius

NEW SLOVAK FOREIGN MINIS-TER'S FOREIGN TRIPS. Pavol Hamzik on 10
September held a series of meetings in Brussels to stress the importance
of Slovakia's Western integration, Slovak media reported. The new
minister began his foreign trips by first visiting Vienna on 4
September. He will travel to Prague on 12 September and to Budapest on
18 September. Meanwhile, Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar will hold
long-delayed bilateral talks with his Hungarian counterpart, Gyula Horn,
during the Central European Free Trade Agreement summit on 13-14
September in Jasna, central Slovakia. Representatives of the Czech
Republic, Poland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, and Lithuania
will also attend the summit. --  Sharon Fisher

SLOVAKIA'S LONG-AWAITED PARLIAMENT SESSION TO BEGIN. Parliament chairman
Ivan Gasparovic did not place on the agenda of the parliament session
beginning on 11 September a series of "democratization" proposals
demanded by the opposition, Slovak media reported. These include giving
opposition representatives partial control over the secret service, the
National Property Fund, and Slovak TV and Radio. Gasparovic, who
recently returned from a five-day U.S. visit, stated on 10 September
that the earliest date for the admission of new NATO members will be
1998 or 1999, giving Slovakia a long time to resolve its problems. He
said Slovakia has not been excluded from the first group of NATO
candidates. Although admitting that the West has asked Bratislava to
strengthen democracy, Gasparovic justified the delay in expanding the
control organs by saying that an agreement between the opposition and
the coalition was still lacking. --  Sharon Fisher

ANOTHER POLISH PEASANT PARTY MINISTER UNDER FIRE. Culture Minister
Leslaw Podkanski of the Polish Peasant Party (PSL) was censured at the
government session on 10 September. Podkanski has repeatedly made
blunders showing that he has rather superficial knowledge of Poland's
cultural affairs. Noted Polish cultural figures as emigre editor Jerzy
Giedroyc and Nobel price laureate Czeslaw Milosz recently demanded his
dismissal. Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz obligated Podkanski to
answer Giedroyc's criticism. Pod-kanski is the third PSL high official
under fire recently. Foreign Trade Minister Jacek Buchacz was dismissed
on Cimoszewicz's motion on 4 September, and Polish TV President Ryszard
Miazek was criticized for his program and personnel policies after the
recent TVP reshuffle (See OMRI Daily Digest 4, 5 September). --  Jakub
Karpinski

POLISH HELSINKI COMMITTEE AGAINST EXTRADITION OF CHINESE COUPLE. The
Polish Helsinki Committee said Warsaw should not agree with China's
request to extradite the Mandugequi couple who are suspected of
embezzling nearly $1 million from Chinese banks, Polish dailies reported
on 10 September. They were detained in Poland in August based on an
Interpol warrant, and the Polish side received the Chinese extradition
request on 5 September. Earlier in August, China's deputy justice
minister visited the Warsaw prosecutor's office, explaining that the
Mandugequi couple is threatened with life imprisonment at most. The
Polish Helsinki Committee argued that even minor offenses are punished
by death in China. A Warsaw court extended their detention until 10
November. --  Jakub Karpinski

SWIMMING SCANDAL IN HUNGARY. Tamas Gyarfas, Hungary's top swimming
official, resigned on 9 September following allegations that 11 of 22
members of the country's swim team went to the Atlanta Olympics based on
imaginary times at a qualifying meet that never took place, Hungarian
and international media reported. Hungarian Olympic Committee officials
said the discovery of fraud will not affect the team's results. Hungary
won three gold medals, one silver, and a bronze in the Olympic swimming
competition. Interior Minister Gabor Kuncze, who oversees sport, on 10
September called for an investigation. --  Sharon Fisher

HUNGARIAN REFUGEE CAMP CLOSED. The Nagyatad refugee camp in southern
Hungary was closed on 9 September, Reuters reported. Since 1991, the
camp has held thousands of Croatians and Bosnians fleeing the Yugoslav
wars of succession. According to Hungarian officials, Hungary's refugee
efforts no longer need facilities the size of Nagyatad since only 500
mainly Bosnian refugees remained in the camp that a few years earlier
held 2,000 refugees. Nagyatad's remaining refugees are being transferred
to a smaller refugee camp in Eastern Hungary, a step they oppose since
it moves them further from home. --  Ben Slay

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

CROATIA'S NEW AMNESTY LAW. Jacques Klein, the head of the UN
Transitional Administration in Eastern Slavonia, has said that a new
amnesty bill will be discussed in Croatia's parliament, Croatian Radio
reported on 10 September. According to Reuters, Croatia drafted the law
on amnesty for Serbs living in eastern Slavonia at least partly in
response to mounting international pressure demanding that the rebel
minority Serbs fighting against Croatia in 1991 be pardoned. Few details
of the legislation have yet been made public. Reuters also observed that
"last month" the UN urged Croatia to adopt a "comprehensive amnesty law"
covering all Serbs serving under civil or military in rebel-Serb held
parts of Croatia, but excluding war criminals. --  Stan Markotich

SERBIAN ULTRANATIONALIST ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. Accused war criminal and
paramilitary leader of the Party of Serbian Unity (SSJ), Zeljko
Raznatovic, alias Arkan, spoke at a 10 September rally for SSJ
presidential candidate for the Bosnian Serb entity, Ljilja Peric-Tina,
and blatantly revived calls for Serbian state expansion. Despite the
fact that calls for secession are in contravention of the Dayton accord,
Arkan told his 3,000 followers "Don't forget one thing, your capital and
that of all Serbs is Bel-grade...Serbia, Montenegro and Republika Srpska
- that is one state." Meanwhile, Serbian President Slobo-dan Milosevic,
who has not expressly rejected the idea of a greater Serbia, has kept
largely silent in response to the ultranationalist rhetoric, AFP
reported. But on 4 September Beta reported that the OSCE provided
Arkan's party with 300,000 marks (about $222,000) in campaign funds. --
Stan Markotich

SERBIA-MONTENEGRO UPDATE. Job action at the Zastava arms production
facility in Kragujevac continues, Nasa Borba reported on 11 September,
although the hunger strike was abandoned on 6 September. On that date,
the same daily reported the exacting toll the hunger strike was taking
on participants under the headline "Hunger Strikers Collapsing of
Exhaustion." In other news, Nasa Borba also reported that Montenegrin
President Momir Bula-tovic had begun a working visit to the US. The
daily said Bulatovic raised the issue of the status and future of the
strategic Prevlaka peninsula, saying that it would be resolved "the
peaceful way." Prevlaka belongs to Croatia, but controls access to
Belgrade's only naval base. --  Stan Markotich

OSCE PENALIZES PARTIES VIOLATING ELECTORAL RULES. Bosnian Serb ultra-
nationalist Serb Democratic Party (SDS) was fined $50,000 after two of
its top leaders called for secession from Bosnia over the weekend (see
OMRI Daily Digest, 9 September 1996), AFP reported on 11 September. The
OSCE had warned that any candidates calling for secession would be
barred from the 14 September vote, but the warning came too late. The
SDS was also forced to ban displaying posters of its former head,
indicted war criminal Radovan Karadzic. The party controlled television
station and paper published on 10 September a statement on the ban for
the first time "without any disclaimer or slogan attached to it," AFP
quoted OSCE spokeswoman Agota Kuperman as saying. Meanwhile, the OSCE
also fined the ruling Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA) $15,000
for painting its logo on the roads within the country. --  Daria Sito
Sucic

CROAT AND MUSLIM CAMPAIGNS CONTINUE. Federation president Kresimir Zubak
called on Bosnian Croats to express support for the Muslim-Croat
federation and to return to formerly multi-ethnic towns where they could
continue their life "as equal partners with Muslims," AFP reported on 11
September. Meanwhile, in Mostar, where some 50 Serbs and Muslims have
been expelled from the Croat-held part of town since the beginning of
the year, five families returned to their homes under Croatian police
guard. In the Croat-held town of Stolac, a pilot project, blocked for
two months, aimed at returning 100 Muslim families started this week.
While Croats became softer in their campaigning, Muslims became tougher.
Bosnian President and SDA leader Alija Izetbegovic at a 10 September
rally in Tuzla said his party is the only one to protect Muslim
interests, and there was a such thing as "enlightened nationalism." --
Daria Sito Sucic

EXPERTS FIND BONES AT MASS GRAVE LINKED TO SREBRENICA MASSACRE.
International experts on 10 September uncovered bones at a mass grave in
Pilica, eastern Bosnia, believed to contain the bodies of hundreds of
Muslims allegedly massacred by Serb forces in Srebrenica last summer,
AFP reported. The Pilica site was discovered from information given to
the UN International Criminal Tribunal by Drazen Erdemovic, a Croat who
served in the Bosnian Serb army. Meanwhile, in The Hague, prosecution
witnesses have failed to prove case against Dusko Tadic, a Bosnian Serb
accused of killing 13 Muslims and torturing 18 others in the camps of
Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje, northwest Bosnia. The defense is
calling for Tadic's immediate acquittal, and the court is expected to
rule on it by 13 September. --  Daria Sito Sucic

ROMANIA VOTES TO KEEP HOMOSEXUALITY A CRIME. The Chamber of Deputies on
10 September overwhelmingly voted to keep homosexuality a crime, Radio
Bucharest and Western agencies reported. The controversial Article 200
of the Penal Code, adopted by a vote of 174-39, provides for jail terms
of up to three years for homosexual relations, with a five-year penalty
if such relations took place in public. Deputies from the opposition
National Peasant Party --  Christian Democratic also voted for
maintaining the ban, originally imposed by executed Communist dictator,
Nicolae Ceausescu. The vote toughened draft legislation adopted by the
Senate in March, but which was not passed by the Chamber and which made
homosexuality a crime only if it "causes public scandal." Romania's new
justice minister Ion Predescu authored the version passed by the Chamber
of Deputies which the Senate has not yet approved. It goes against the
urging of the Council of Europe that Romania should decriminalize
homosexuality. --  Dan Ionescu

ROMANIAN WONDER-HEALER TO CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENCY. Constantin Mudava on
10 September was the fifth person to formally register as a candidate in
the presidential race on 3 November, Radio Bucharest reported. He
collected 128,000 signatures in support of his candidacy. In a short
statement, Mudava promised "to heal the people and the country from both
the medical and the economic point of view." --  Dan Ionescu

TIRASPOL GARRISON COMMANDANT ON MOLDOVAN ELECTIONS. Col. Mikhail
Bergman, the recently reinstated commandant of the Russian troops
garrison in Tiraspol, described the ban on the Dniester inhabitants'
participation in the 17 November Moldovan presidential election as a
"gross human rights violation," Infotag reported on 10 September.
Bergman, a close associate of Russian Security Council Secretary
Aleksandr Lebed, strongly criticized the "separatist admini-stration's
decision not to allow the functioning of polling stations in the
region." According to him, the main culprit was Dniester Security
Minister Vadim Shevtsov, whom he called "a criminal" who seeks to
destabilize the situation in the region for fear that peace would mean
his being delivered to justice for "numerous crimes in both the Dniester
region and earlier in Riga." --  Dan Ionescu

COMPROMISE ON BULGARIAN COAT OF ARMS IMMINENT? The parliamentary faction
of the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) on 10 September proposed
to the opposition that the constitutional provision on the coat of arms
be changed, Duma and Kontinent reported. The recently adopted coat of
arms depicting a rampant lion without a crown was vetoed by President
Zhelyu Zhelev. The parliament must vote on his veto by 17 September.
Opposition demands that the lion be crowned meet are strongly resisted
by parts of the BSP. The constitution is unclear on the question. The
BSP faction will propose delaying the vote on the veto --  originally
scheduled for today --  and start talks about a constitutional
amendment, hoping to reach a compromise by the end of the week. BSP
presidential candidate, Culture Minister Ivan Marazov, in a state TV
address said he favors a crowned lion. --  Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT TO HEAD NEW LIBERAL FORMATION. A "Liberal-Democratic
Union" led by Zhelyu Zhelev will be formed by the end of September, 24
chasa reported on 11 September. This was announced after a meeting on 10
September between Zhelev and the leaders of the New Choice party, New
Democracy party, and the Radical-Democratic Party Outside the Union of
Democratic Forces. The new group will support a presidential republic or
at least a strong presidential administration as well as powerful
municipal administrations. Zhelev said the new formation will most
likely support the united opposition candidates, Petar Stoyanov and
Todor Kavaldzhiev, in the upcoming presidential elections. He said that
none of the three parties will support the candidacy of former caretaker
Prime Minister Reneta Indzhova. --  Maria Koinova and Stefan Krause

ALBANIAN PROSECUTOR WANTS JAIL TERMS FOR COMMUNISTS. The prosecution on
10 September demanded that four Albanians charged with trying to found a
communist party and conspiring to overthrow the government (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 31 July 1996) be sentenced to prison terms between one and
three years, Reuters reported. Prosecutor Kadri Skeraj asked for three-
year terms for Timoshenko Pekmezi and Sami Meta and for one-year
sentences for Tare Isufi and Kristaq Mosko. He said that "they should be
sentenced not for their communist convictions and ideas but for
propagating them --  something which is anti-constitutional." The
defendants previously denied that they supported violence or anti-
constitutional methods. The parliament outlawed all communist
organizations in July 1992. --  Stefan Krause

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Saulius Girnius

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