Absence makes the heart grow fonder. -
OMRI DAILY DIGEST</head>

No. 192, Part II, 3 October 1996


***********************************************************************
Available now -- The OMRI Annual Survey of Eastern Europe and the Former
Soviet Union -- "1995: Building Democracy." Published by M.E. Sharpe
Inc., this 336-page yearbook provides a systematic and comprehensive
review of the most pivotal events in the 27 countries of the former
Communist bloc and former Soviet Union during 1995. Available to OMRI
subscribers at a special price of $25 each (plus postage and handling).
To order, please email your request to: annual@omri.cz
***********************************************************************

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

FORMER UKRAINIAN PREMIER PLANS PRESIDENTIAL BID. Yevhen Marchuk,
dismissed as prime minister in May, announced he will run against
President Leonid Kuchma in the 1999 presidential election, Ukrainian TV
reported on 2 October, citing an interview in Kievskie vedomosti. Kuchma
recently announced he will seek re-election for a second five-year term.
Marchuk made his announcement after being elected head of the Social-
Market Choice caucus in the Ukrainian legislature. The 24-member group
has attracted a number of the country's ex-leaders, including former
Prime Minister Vitalii Masol. Its previous leader, Volodymyr Shcherban,
recently fired as governor of Donetsk Oblast, chose not to run for re-
election. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN DEPUTIES LEAVE PRO-PRESIDENTIAL FACTION. A group of deputies
split off from the pro-presidential Sohlasiye faction in parliament and
joined the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Belarusian television
reported on 1 October. Their leader, Aleh Harbunou, said Sohlasiye has
not represented the views of all deputies who have not joined the anti-
presidential opposition. He said the Belarusian LDP, which has existed
since 1994, has 15,000 members. In other news, Belapan reported that 14
opposition parties had met at their regular "round-table" session and
agreed to put forward joint candidates in the 24 November parliamentary
by-elections. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN NEWSPAPER REMAINS UNDER PRESIDENTIAL CONTROL. Deputy Leanid
Yunchyk, the parliament's appointee for editor-in-chief of the
parliamentary newspaper Narodnaya hazeta, has not been able to take over
those duties from President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's appointee to the
post, Mikhail Shymanski, Belapan reported on 1 October. Shymanski said
he would not obey any of the legislature's resolutions, only the
president's. In other news, Reuters reported that Lukashenka's deputy
chief of staff, Uladzimir Zamyatalin, had again accused the Russian
media of bias in their reporting on Belarus. Zamyatalin's latest attack
against the Russian press was triggered by their reporting on Russian
President Boris Yeltsin's appeal to the Belarusian parliament and
president to compromise over their planned referendums. The Russian
media depicted it as a call on Lukashenka to back down. -- Ustina Markus

LATVIAN-RUSSIAN BORDER TALKS REMAIN JAMMED OVER 1920 TREATY. At the
second round of Latvian-Russian border talks in Moscow on 1-2 October,
Latvia and Russia made no progress on the key issue of whether the 1920
peace treaty signed by Latvia and Soviet Russia remains valid, Latvian
delegation head Aivars Vovers told BNS. According to the treaty, the
Abrene district that was incorporated into Russia in 1944 belongs to
Latvia. The next round of talks is scheduled for early November in
Latvia. Meanwhile, Lithuanian Prime Minister Mindaugas Stankevicius
telephoned his Latvian counterpart Andris Skele on 2 October and
presented new proposals on how to resolve the Lithuanian-Latvian sea
border dispute. Latvian Foreign Ministry State Secretary Maris Riekstins
said Latvia would think over these proposals, but was not optimistic
about swift results due to the ongoing election campaign in Lithuania.
-- Saulius Girnius

POLISH LIFE EXPECTANCY INCREASING. According to Poland's Central
Statistical Office, life expectancy for Poles increased during 1991-
1995, Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 3 October. On average, life expectancy
for women increased from 75.3 to 76.4 years, while that of men increased
from 66.1 to 67.6 years. Demographers cautioned that these statistics do
not mean that Poles are living longer. Instead, a significant (30%)
decline in infant mortality, which on average increases age at the time
of death, may be the most important reason for the growing life
expectancy. Men residing in cities tend to out-live men in rural areas,
presumably because of better access to health care in urban areas and
the burden of heavy physical labor in the countryside. However, the
study also found that rural women tended to outlive urban women. -- Ben
Slay

CZECH PARLIAMENT SETS UP ANOTHER INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE. The parliament
voted on 2 October to create a special 12-member committee to
investigate the privatization and functioning of Poldi Kladno, one of
the largest steel-producing companies in the Czech Republic, Czech media
reported. Poldi and its principal owner, Vladimir Stehlik, have been
heavily indebted; production at the company stopped several months ago,
and the fate of some 5,000 employees remains uncertain. The government
has been trying, so far unsuccessfully, to force Stehlik out, accusing
him of mismanagement. Stehlik has accused the government's National
Property Fund of blocking his efforts to restart the company. The Social
Democrats and Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus's Civic Democratic Party will
be represented by four deputies each on the committee, while the other
four parliamentary parties will be represented by one deputy each. --
Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK ACTORS CALL STRIKE. During a rally in Bratislava on 2 October,
members of the Slovak National Theater announced an indefinite strike to
begin the following day, Slovak media and Reuters reported. Some 10,000
people attended the rally, protesting government cultural policies and
demanding the dismissal of Culture Minister Ivan Hudec. Controversial
policies include Hudec's replacement on 1 October of National Theater
director Dusan Jamrich with a government ally, his dismissal of stage
director Peter Mikulik in July, and his plans to merge two Bratislava
theaters. Popular actor Ladislav Chudik said there will be no public
performances until Mikulik is reinstated and a proper competition is
held for the post of director. National Theater employees have not gone
on strike since November 1989, when actors helped spark the revolution
that brought down the communist government. Also on 2 October, Hudec
fired Slovak Philharmonic chief Karol Faith. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK IRONWORKS' BID FOR LARGER STAKE IN BANK REJECTED. The Slovak
National Bank (NBS) rejected a request from the Kosice-based ironworks
VSZ to increase its stake in the Investicna a rozvojova banka (IRB) on 2
October, Narodna obroda reported. When the request was made in June, VSZ
held a stake of 14.63%; another increase could give the firm control
over one of Slovakia's four most important financial institutions. VSZ
President Jan Smerek said his firm hopes to obtain a 40% stake. However,
any purchase of 15% or more of a bank's shares must gain the National
Bank's approval. The NBS board explained that IRB is to undergo
restructuring of its loan portfolio with state participation. VSZ has
close ties to the government through Transport and Communications
Minister Alexander Rezes. "Even without the NBS's blessing, VSZ has
other possibilities to attain its goal," Smerek said. -- Sharon Fisher

GERMANY GRANTS MORE LOANS TO HUNGARY. During a two-day visit to Germany
by Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn, German federal and state
governments granted DM 1 billion ($650 million) in loans to Hungary,
Hungarian dailies reported on 3 October. The Baden-Wurttemberg and
Bavarian governments granted DM 250 million each, while Germany's
federal government approved DM 500 million to support small and medium-
size companies and German-Hungarian joint ventures. The loan agreement
follows a similar deal signed in October 1995. Horn later flew to Munich
to deliver a speech at today's ceremony marking the anniversary of
German reunification. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

IZETBEGOVIC AND MILOSEVIC MEET IN PARIS. Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic and Alija Izetbegovic, Muslim member of the Bosnian
presidency, began talks in Paris on 3 October, Reuters reported.
Milosevic said the purpose of the meeting was "strengthening stability
in the region." French officials said the talks would focus on building
peace in Bosnia and normalizing mutual relations. The private talks will
be followed by separate meetings with French President Jacques Chirac
and the international community's High Representative Carl Bildt. --
Fabian Schmidt

BOSNIAN MUSLIMS AND CROATS AGREE ON ARMY JOINT COMMAND. Muslim
presidency member Alija Izetbegovic and his Croatian counterpart
Kresimir Zubak signed a document on 2 October establishing a joint
command for the federal army. That new body will consist of the former
mainly Muslim government army and the former Croatian Defense Council
(HVO). Its commander will be the government army's chief, Gen. Rasim
Delic, and his deputy will be the HVO's Gen. Zivko Budimir, Oslobodjenje
reported. Making the Croat-Muslim federation work has been difficult on
all levels, however, and no aspect has been as problematic as
integrating the two armies. -- Patrick Moore

MORE MUJAHEDIN FOR BOSNIA? The Bosnian federal police arrested 24 Iraqis
and four Jordanians on 1 October, two days after they arrived illegally
on a Jordanian peacekeepers' plane. An IFOR spokesman said that IFOR's
intelligence experts are looking into the Bosnian Interior Ministry
report on the arrests, Reuters reported on 2 October. NATO previously
said it is satisfied that Bosnia has ended its military relationship
with Iran and dissolved training camps for Islamic fighters. Reports
nonetheless periodically emerge of small-scale training facilities
(including those for terrorists) or of small groups of mujahedin
operating on Muslim-controlled territory. -- Patrick Moore

DRUG ARRESTS IN WESTERN HERZEGOVINA. In Mostar, police announced that
they recently found and destroyed a 200-stalk field of opium poppies
near Ljubuski and have charged two men in the case, Onasa reported on 2
October. The police also indicted several other people in conjunction
with five hemp plantations in the Mostar area. Western Herzegovina was
long known as one of the former Yugoslavia's centers for cannabis and
hemp growing, and more recently it has become linked to organized crime.
Elsewhere in Bosnia, police arrested a man in conjunction with the
recent murder of the Roman Catholic nun Sister Danka on Muslim-held
territory (see OMRI Daily Digest, 2 October 1996). The man, Josip
Cokara, has a history of drug and alcohol problems, Oslobodjenje noted
on 3 October. -- Patrick Moore

OPPOSITION LEADS IN SERBIAN OPINION POLL. Former Central Bank Governor
Dragoslav Avramovic's opposition coalition is supported by 28.5% of
Serbs, while the Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's coalition has
only 24.2% support, according to a poll conducted for Vreme by an
independent agency. The poll, conducted between 26 and 30 September,
asked 1,000 people in 26 communities throughout Serbia, but excluding
Kosovo, whom they plan to vote for in the 3 November Serbo-Montenegrin
elections. Meanwhile, the Reform Democratic Party of Vojvodina and the
Democratic Center party have joined Avramovic's coalition, which
includes the Serbian Renewal Movement, the Democratic Party, the
Democratic Party of Serbia, the Citizens' Union and the independent
trade unions. -- Fabian Schmidt

CROATIA ADOPTS NEW MEDIA LAW. Croatian parliament passed a new media law
on 2 October protecting journalists from demands that they reveal their
sources and from charges in cases where they publish false information
unintentionally, Vjesnik reported. However, provisions prescribing fines
and imprisonment for reporters who insult top state officials were
retained. The ruling Croatian Democratic Community said the new law was
as "liberal as any European law," and fulfilled 90 percent of the
Council of Europe's requirements, international agencies reported.
Opposition deputies convinced the governing party to drop an amendment
requiring newspapers to pay for mandatory insurance to fund any possible
trials against them. Recently, more than 15 reporters were fired from
the pro-government daily Vjesnik; independent daily Novi List was fined
a large amount for alleged customs violations; and applications for
broadcast frequencies by many independent TV and radio stations were
rejected. -- Daria Sito Sucic

UN OFFERS TO BUY WEAPONS FROM CROATIAN SERBS. The UN and the Croatian
government began a project of buying up the weapons stored in Croatian
Serbs' private stocks in eastern Slavonia, international agencies
reported on 2 October. This last Serb-held area slated to revert to
Croatian control was officially demilitarized in August, but the
demilitarization did not include privately owned weapons kept in cellars
and other secret storage places. UN authorities offered to pay $120 per
working automatic rifle, $150 per machine gun, and $20 per hand grenade.
The prices of other items are negotiable and faulty weapons are bought
for half-price. But Serbs say the deal will not work because they do not
trust the Croats and the offers are too low. -- Daria Sito Sucic

MASS GRAVE IN EASTERN CROATIA HOLDS VUKOVAR HOSPITAL PATIENTS. Evidence
suggests that the more than 80 bodies unearthed from the Ovcara grave
site in eastern Croatia are the Vukovar hospital patients killed by
Serbs in 1991, according to William Haglund, an expert working for the
International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia. The grave is
widely believed to contain some 260 bodies of Vukovar hospital patients
killed when the town fell to Serbs in 1991 after a three-month siege.
Haglund said on 2 October that the bodies are all male and items found
with them show they were patients, international agencies reported. He
said at least 40 more bodies are in the grave's first layer, and that
the grave has proved to be deeper than expected. -- Daria Sito Sucic

ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER, U.S. DEFENSE SECRETARY DISCUSS NATO
EXPANSION. Teodor Melescanu and William Perry met at the Pentagon on 2
October to discuss U.S.-Romanian relations and Romania's prospects for
joining NATO, Romanian media reported. Melescanu said Perry appreciated
Romania's efforts to meet the criteria for NATO admittance, and that
Perry said the signing of the Romanian-Hungarian basic treaty and the
very active U.S.-Romanian military cooperation were serious arguments in
favor of admitting Romania. Perry further praised Romania's
participation in NATO's Partnership for Peace program and in the IFOR
mission in Bosnia, Melescanu said. The Romanian minister is on a visit
to the United States and Canada primarily aimed at boosting Romania's
chances of being included among the first group of countries to join
NATO. -- Zsolt Mato

SNEGUR DENOUNCES HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN THE DNIESTER REGION.
Moldovan President Mircea Snegur appealed to international human rights
organizations, the OSCE, and Russian and Ukrainian leaders on 2 October
to use their influence to prevent further violations of human rights
against ethnic Moldovans in the breakaway Dniester region, Infotag
reported. The message focused on the "school war" waged by Dniester
separatists against Romanian-language schools in the region that opted
for Latin letters. Local authorities recently closed down two schools in
the towns of Grigoriopol and Slobozia for having replaced the Cyrillic
alphabet with the Latin one. Pupils, teachers, and parents have been
protesting the move. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN POLITICIANS CONDEMN LUKANOV MURDER. Political forces and
institutions on 2 October condemned the murder of former Prime Minister
Andrey Lukanov as an attack on democracy, Bulgarian and Western media
reported. The parliament unanimously declared that it will not allow a
"terrorist act" to lead to a state of emergency and that the
presidential elections will go ahead as planned. It said the murder
"will not deflect Bulgaria from the path of social and economic reform."
President Zhelyu Zhelev, after meeting with the Consultative Council for
National Security, said the murder must not be allowed to fuel tension
in the presidential election campaign. He said the fight against
terrorism and organized crime "requires the united efforts of all
institutions and cooperation with all countries." Prime Minister Zhan
Videnov called the murder an attempt at destabilization and said the
government will do everything possible to apprehend and punish the
murderers. -- Stefan Krause

MOTIVES FOR LUKANOV MURDER REMAIN IN THE DARK. Police have so far not
indicated whether they have a firm lead in former Bulgarian Prime
Minister Andrey Lukanov's murder, and it remains unclear whether the
motives for the killing are political, economic, or both. While many
observers seek the motives for the murder in the realm of politics,
Lukanov's role as a successful businessman with ties to influential --
and sometimes controversial -- business groups has fueled speculation
that the murder might have an economic rather than political background.
One theory links the killing with Lukanov's former post as head of the
Russian-Bulgarian Topenergy company. Meanwhile, police reportedly
arrested an elderly man looking like a tramp near Lukanov's home. An
eyewitness had said she saw a tall man dressed like a tramp in the days
before the murder and also shortly before the shooting in the immediate
vicinity of Lukanov's house. -- Stefan Krause

ALBANIA RATIFIES EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS CONVENTIONS. The Albanian
parliament ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Human
Rights and Liberties on 2 October, and another prohibiting torture and
inhuman or degrading treatment, AFP reported. Albania also recognized
the right of appeal for individuals to the Court of Human Rights in
Strasbourg. The ratification requires "immediate" compliance with the
human rights convention, but the anti-torture convention will only
become Albanian law on 1 March 1997. It will then allow Council of
Europe experts free access to prisons and other detention centers. --
Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIAN LOCAL ELECTION UPDATE. The Center Pole coalition issued a
protest to the Central Electoral Commission against a ruling banning
people under the age of 28 from participating in the vote count as
observers, Poli i Qendres reported on 3 October. The Center Pole called
the age limit absurd and charged the commission with overstepping its
competence and preparing election manipulations. Meanwhile, the
Socialist Party held a rally in Tirana's Congress Palace to introduce
its Tirana mayoral candidate Agim Fagu. Elsewhere the same day, a
Council of Europe delegation met with President Sali Berisha to discuss
the upcoming ballot. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Tom Warner

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

Ken Varnum
Internet Services Manager
Open Media Research Institute

tel:  (+42 2) 6114-2162
fax:  (+42 2) 6114-3184

[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