The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. - Dostoevsky
OMRI DAILY DIGEST</head>

No. 179, Part II, 16 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 PRESIDENT, PARLIAMENT IN FRESH DISPUTE OVER CONSTITUTION. The
president and legislature have accused each other of violating the new
Ukrainian constitution, Ukrainian agencies reported on 12-14 September.
President Leonid Kuchma's press service charged lawmakers with violating
the new basic law when they ordered the government to pay for live TV
and radio transmission of parliamentary sessions and when they voted to
establish a new Central Electoral Commission. The press service
statement said legislators have no authority to allocate funds through a
separate resolution without amending the state budget and can only form
a new electoral commission at the president's request. The parliamentary
press office reacted by accusing the president of assuming the powers of
the yet-unformed constitutional court. It claimed the constitution
states the parliament has the authority to determine the
constitutionality of legislation until such a court is established.  --
Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUS TO RETURN MISSILES TO RUSSIA THIS YEAR. Belarus will return the
last 18 SS-25 Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles to Russia by
the end of the year, UPI reported on 13 September following a meeting in
Minsk between Russian Security Council Secretary Aleksandr Lebed and his
Belarusian counterpart, Viktor Sheiman. The missiles are the last of the
81 ICBMs once based in what is now Belarus. Belarus has balked at
several earlier withdrawal deadlines, citing financial problems or
concern over the possible eastward expansion of NATO. Lebed's spokesman,
Alexander Barkhatov, said that no documents had been signed but there
were "no serious obstacles that could hinder" the transfer of the
remaining missiles. Lebed then traveled to Viskuli in the Brest region
for a meeting of the heads of security agencies of Commonwealth of
Independent States countries where he also had a meeting with Belarusian
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka. -- Doug Clarke and Saulius Girnius

ESTONIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION UPDATE. Incumbent President Lennart Meri
and Deputy Parliament Chairman Arnold Ruutel are so far the only
candidates in the presidential elections on 20 September. Four other
persons--Narva Mayor Raivo Murd, computer specialist Enn Tougu, Siiri
Ovir of the Center Party, and Tunne Kellam of the Homeland Union--have
been mentioned as possible candidates, but none has yet formally
announced candidacy. The electoral college that is to elect the
president will consist of 101 parliament deputies and 273
representatives of local councils. Although the councils were required
to choose their representatives by 13 September, there is no deadline
for reporting the decisions and only 170 of the 257 had informed the
electoral committee of their choices, BNS reported that day. -- Saulius
Girnius

PARTY EXPELS LATVIAN FINANCE MINISTER. The council of the Democratic
Party Saimnieks on 13 September voted 56 to 2 to expel Aivars Kreituss
from the party and to recommend his dismissal as finance minister, BNS
reported. The main charges against Kreituss were that he had sidestepped
the party's program and tarnished its image by failing to support a
proposal to increase wages for teachers and by favoring plans to impose
taxes on pensions. His establishment of a presidential campaign fund for
his wife, Saeima Chairwoman Ilga Kreituse, was also seen as incompatible
with his ministerial post. Saimnieks Chairman Ziedonis Cevers said he
will inform Prime Minister Andris Skele of the decision but did not say
whether the party will propose a no-confidence vote against Kreituss. --
Saulius Girnius

SLOVAKIA HOSTS CEFTA MEETING. The prime ministers of the five countries
of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia,
Slovenia, and the Czech Republic) met in the mountain resort of Jasna,
Slovakia, on 13 and 14 September, Slovak media reported. Slovak Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar said that the liberalization of trade among
CEFTA members has slowed down, noting that "not all member countries are
willing to move forward." The prime ministers agreed that CEFTA should
expand; Bulgaria, Romania, and Lithuania have officially applied for
admission. Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin sent the summit a
letter proposing closer cooperation between the CEFTA states and Russia,
but Meciar said that the letter "was not a topic of our discussions." --
Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK PREMIER ACCUSES PRAGUE OF ANTI-SLOVAK CAMPAIGN. Vladimir Meciar
told Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus during their meeting in Jasna on
13 September that some Czech politicians and media have engaged in an
anti-Slovak campaign, Czech and Slovak media reported. The Slovak
premier said that anti-Slovak campaigns in the Czech Republic seem to be
orchestrated. In particular, Meciar criticized Czech Parliament Chairman
Milos Zeman, who recently said that Bratislava, "with its current notion
of democracy, cannot expect to be admitted into the European Union and
NATO." Klaus rejected Meciar's criticism, noting that his government
cannot interfere with the work of the media and that each country's
image abroad is formed by domestic developments. The Czech premier
expressed support for Slovakia's efforts to join NATO and the EU at the
same time as the other Visegrad countries. -- Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK PRESIDENT SAYS HE PRAYS FOR MECIAR. Michal Kovac said in a
statement released on 13 September that he is sorry for Slovak Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar and prays for him. Kovac reacted to Meciar's
recent statements at a rally of the premier's Movement for a Democratic
Slovakia, where Meciar said that Kovac was "linked with criminal
elements." According to Meciar, "all the frauds who want to steal can
steal with the president's son, because they will be pardoned." In his
statement, Kovac said that Meciar has been so full of hatred that "he no
longer has full control over what he says and does. The hatred is so
great that it has caused him to break laws and take part in crimes." --
Jiri Pehe

CZECH POLICE CHARGE SUSPECTS IN BANK COLLAPSE. Czech police on 13
September charged five people with crimes related to the recent collapse
of Kreditni banka, Czech media reported. Several more of the bank's
officials were charged on 14 September. Some 12 billion crowns ($450
million) have been lost in the bank's collapse. Two of the accused, Jan
Dienstl and David Knop-Kostka, are officials of the financial group
Motoinvest, which recently acquired large holdings in several Czech
companies. Investigators said they have seized documents that prove
illegal money transfers and fraud took place. The opposition Social
Democrats have demanded that a special parliamentary committee be named
to investigate the scandal. The parliament's bank committee, however,
decided on 13 September that the parliament will wait for the results of
the police investigation before deciding whether to set up a special
committee. -- Jiri Pehe

RESULTS OF CHIRAC'S VISIT IN POLAND. French President Jacques Chirac,
who ended his three-day visit to Poland on 13 September, mentioned 2000
as a possible year for Poland's entry into the EU. The date was welcomed
by Polish politicians and the media, but Nico Wegter, a spokesman for
the EU Commission, said Chirac's vision is too optimistic and 2002 is
more realistic. Chirac's views were criticized by French National Front
leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, who said integration with Europe would bring
serious harm to Poland as well as to France. In the last day of his
trip, Chirac visited Krakow and Auschwitz. -- Jakub Karpinski

DOCTORS PROTEST IN POLAND. Around 10,000 doctors on 13 September took
part in a silent march and demonstration in front of the parliament
building in Warsaw to demand health care reform and pay raises. Every
tenth Polish doctor took part in the demonstration, Polish media
reported. The doctors want an increase in the health care budget from
4.6% of GDP to at least 6%. They demand that their overdue wages in
1991-1992 be paid, pay be raised to 5.5% above inflation, and the Sejm
pass a law regulating the state's obligations to doctors. Health
Minister Jacek Zochowski said that next year medical professions will be
considered a budget priority. -- Jakub Karpinski

HUNGARIAN REACTION TO BASIC TREATY WITH ROMANIA. Hungarian Prime
Minister Gyula Horn left for Timisoara on 16 September to sign the
Hungarian-Romanian basic treaty, Hungarian and international media
reported. In addition to Horn and Romanian Prime Minister Nicolae
Vacaroiu, Romanian President Ion Iliescu and other Hungarian and
Romanian politicians were scheduled to be present at the signing. The
Hungarian political opposition, particularly the Democratic Forum and
the Christian Democratic parties, continued to voice opposition to the
treaty and called on the Hungarian cabinet not to sign the document.
Opposition from the Hungarian minority in Romania was also registered,
as Protestant pastor Laszlo Tokes called on his congregation in
Timisoara to protest against the treaty. Still, the Democratic
Federation of Hungarians in Romania decided to send a representative to
the signing ceremony. -- Ben Slay

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN ELECTIONS END. Voting took place across Bosnia-Herzegovina on 14
September for six categories of offices, international media reported
the next day. OSCE monitors called the election one of the most
complicated in history but also described the vote in glowing terms as a
virtually flawless success. Estimates of the turnout ranged from 65% to
80% of the electorate. The BBC pointed out that despite stringent
security measures taken by IFOR and the UN police, only about 15% of the
refugee voters made use of bus transportation to cross the former front
lines and vote in their old homes. Preliminary results are expected on
16 September, with more complete tallies due later. Parties have already
begun exchanging charges of vote-rigging. In particular, the Muslim
Party of Democratic Action and the Serbian opposition Alliance for Peace
and Progress have slammed the behavior of the Serbian Democratic Party.
-- Patrick Moore

THE BOSNIAN VOTE: A TURNAROUND OR A CONTINUATION? OMRI special
correspondents in Sarajevo witnessed numerous irregularities or
provocations, such as incomplete voting lists, voters being given
pencils instead of pens to mark their ballots, refugees not being
provided with bus transportation, and refugee polling places being set
up not in normal buildings but in a mine. The correspondents gained the
impression that the international community is determined to call the
vote a success and will ignore any irregularities. Analysts suggest that
the three nationalist parties--which control the bulk of the media and
other resources, including the local police--will take the most votes
among Muslims, Serbs, and Croats, respectively. If so, the vote is
unlikely to mark Bosnia's return to being a single multi-ethnic state
but will instead be one more step toward ethnic partition. -- Jan Urban
and Yvonne Badal in Sarajevo, and Patrick Moore

KARADZIC VOTES IN PALE. Bosnian Serb war crimes suspect Radovan Karadzic
voted in the Bosnian elections in a polling station outside Pale on 14
September, AFP reported. His voting has embarrassed the UN and IFOR,
whose commander Adm. Joseph Lopez said he did not know of any reports
that any IFOR soldiers had seen Karadzic. Lt. Gen. Michael Walker, the
commander of the NATO ground troops, said the IFOR mandate is not to
seek out war criminals. -- Daria Sito Sucic

PLAVSIC APOLOGIZES FOR SECESSIONIST RHETORIC. The OSCE on 13 September
ordered acting Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic to apologize on
Serbian television for making repeated calls for the breakup of Bosnia
in violation of the OSCE ban on such comments, Onasa reported. Plavsic,
a hardline nationalist, read the apology three times that day. But
Momcilo Krajisnik, Bosnian Serb candidate for Bosnia's rotating
presidency, said the following day that Plavsic's statement was given
under pressure and "we will quickly forget it and move forward." --
Daria Sito Sucic

CROATIA PROTESTS HAGUE TRIBUNAL'S ALLEGATIONS. Croatia protested on 14
September against allegations by the UN International Criminal Tribunal
for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) that regular Croatian troops were directly
involved in fighting in Bosnia during the Muslim-Croat war in 1993,
local and international agencies reported. Foreign Minister Mate Granic
warned in his letter to ICTY Chairman Antonio Cassese that allegations
of Croatia's direct involvement in the Bosnia's conflict are untrue and
could have far-reaching consequences for the peace process, Vjesnik
reported the next day. The ICTY on 13 September confirmed its indictment
of Ivica Rajic, a former Bosnian Croat general who later became a
general in the Croatian Army, and issued an international warrant for
his arrest. The tribunal warned that it would report Croatia to the UN
Security Council if Croatia failed to hand Rajic over to The Hague. --
Daria Sito Sucic

WAR WOUNDED PROTEST CROATIAN STATE SOCIAL POLICY. Some 4,000 veterans
wounded in Croatia's 1991 war demonstrated peacefully on 14 September
against the government's policy toward them, international and local
media reported. Of 120,000 soldiers demobilized in 1995, 18,000 are now
invalids, and they demand higher wages, better social care, and decent
housing, as well as jobs for those able to work. Originally, the rally
was designed to highlight the veterans' complaints about being abandoned
by the government. But the protest rally was attended by high government
officials, including President Franjo Tudjman himself, while state-run
radio informed veterans throughout the country that attendance at the
rally was limited. Thus, it appeared that the demonstration against the
government was organized by the government itself, Novi List reported on
16 September. -- Daria Sito Sucic

RUMP YUGOSLAV OFFICIALS ON SANCTIONS LIFTING. Federal Trade Minister
Djordje Siradovic said on 13 September that the last layer of
international sanctions against rump Yugoslavia should be lifted 10 days
after the 14 September Bosnian elections, Reuters reported. Siradovic
said Belgrade "considers that to be absolutely the moment for the
definite removal of sanctions, since it has done everything in its power
to implement the Dayton and Paris accords." But Montenegrin President
Momir Bulatovic, speaking on a visit to the United States, said that
sanctions against trade and travel should be lifted by 24 September but
added that "the important changes will come only when [Belgrade's]
membership in the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International
Monetary Fund are reactivated," Nasa Borba reported on 16 September. --
Stan Markotich

MONTENEGRIN TRADE MISSION IN U.S. Bulatovic on 12 September presided
over the opening of a Montenegrin trade mission in the U.S. with offices
in Washington, Montena-fax reported the next day. The Montenegrin
president said the opening of the office was of vital importance for the
rump Yugoslav republic and would serve in part to "rectify the negative
image Montenegro has [in the West]." Bulatovic also said: "This is the
first time in history that Montenegro is opening a trade mission in the
desire both to contribute to relations between America and [rump]
Yugoslavia and to pursue its [Montenegro's] own separate interests." --
Stan Markotich

MORE CONTROVERSY IN ROMANIA OVER TREATY WITH HUNGARY. The signing of a
Romanian-Hungarian basic treaty, scheduled for 16 September, has
continued to stir controversy in Romania. The nationalistic Party of
Romanian National Unity (PUNR) called upon the participants in a
ceremony to honor Avram Iancu, a 19th-century hero of the anti-Hungarian
resistance in Transylvania, to give President Ion Iliescu and senior
government officials "the reception they deserve for having negotiated
the treaty." The ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania accused the
PUNR of "inciting violence against the president, the prime minister,
and the foreign minister." In another development, Adrian Paunescu,
deputy chairman of the leftist Socialist Labor Party and a presidential
candidate, called Iliescu "Hungary's new foreign minister." -- Dan
Ionescu

MENINGITIS POSTPONES SCHOOL YEAR IN ROMANIA. The Education Ministry on
13 September announced that the beginning of the school year would be
delayed in Bucharest and in five counties because of an epidemic of
viral meningitis, Radio Bucharest reported. The authorities initially
played down the threat and criticized a decision by Bucharest Mayor
Victor Ciorbea, a member of the opposition Democratic Convention of
Romania (CDR), to postpone the new school year because of the appalling
hygiene conditions in many schools. According to the latest data, almost
450 cases of viral meningitis were registered since the beginning of
August; 30 were fatal. Meanwhile, the political row over the epidemic
continues. The ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania accused the
CDR of having exaggerated the outbreak's magnitude in order to create
panic and force the postponement of the presidential and general
elections, scheduled for 3 November. -- Dan Ionescu

DISPUTE CONTINUES OVER ALBANIAN ELECTIONS . . . Albanian President Sali
Berisha on 13 September rejected a call by seven opposition parties to
postpone 20 October's local elections, saying it was unconstitutional,
Reuters reported. The dispute comes after a 4 September agreement
between the opposition and the Social Democrats on changes in the
electoral law and other laws and procedures. Social Democratic leader
Gaqo Apostoli, however, expressed doubts whether the agreement would
work out and said the elections should be postponed "until democratic
standards are guaranteed." He also criticized a new law providing that
members of local electoral commissions who boycott the polls can be
sentenced to up to three years in jail. The Albanian branch of the U.S.
Republican Institute, however, welcomed the recent "progress on
electoral reform," Rilindja Demokratike reported on 15 September. --
Fabian Schmidt

. . . AND WHO WILL MONITOR THEM. The OSCE's Office for Democratic
Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), which gave a strongly critical
report after the 26 May parliamentary elections, will not monitor
Albania's local elections, an ODIHR official told OMRI on 16 September.
Instead the OSCE's Parliamentary Assembly will send a monitoring
mission. Poli i Qendres on 16 September alleged that Berisha told ODIHR
head Audrey Glover during a recent visit that the organization was not
invited to monitor the ballot. The ODIHR did not confirm the report,
indicating that monitoring local elections was not its priority. The EU
Parliamentary Assembly issued a much weaker and less detailed report
after the ballot, and most of the international criticism of
irregularities was based on the final ODIHR report. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Susan Caskie

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

                                    BACK ISSUES
Back issues of the OMRI Daily Digest are available through the World
Wide Web, by FTP and by E-mail.
WWW
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Digests/Index.html

FTP
ftp://194.108.1.176/Pub/DailyDigest/

E-Mail
Send the words "index daily-digest" to MAJORDOMO@OMRI.CZ


                                  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 (published
every Wednesday) on 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 first and last names where shown
3) Send the message


PURSUING BALKAN PEACE
Pursuing Balkan Peace focuses on the implementation of the Dayton
Accords in the former Yugoslavia.  This weekly publication, published
every Tuesday, contains both brief news summaries and longer essays on
specific events or issues facing the people of the region.  To
subscribe, please follow these instructions:
1) Compose a message to:
     MAJORDOMO@OMRI.CZ
2) In the body of the message, write:
     SUBSCRIBE BALKAN-PEACE YourName
   Fill in your own first and last names 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