Greatness lies not in being strong, but in the right use of strength. - Henry Ward Beecher
OMRI DAILY DIGEST</head>

No. 195, Part II, 8 October 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 LAWMAKERS ELECT JUSTICES, NEW DEPUTY SPEAKER. The Ukrainian
legislature has elected four of the six justices it is authorized to
select on the country's 18-member Constitutional Court, Ukrainian TV
reported on 7 October. They are: Mykhaylo Kostytsky, Oleksander
Myronenko, Vitalii Rozenko and Stanislav Yatsenko, Holos Ukrainy
reported on 4 October. Deputies must still choose two more justices and
approve a bill on the Constitutional Court. The president and a congress
of judges have already appointed the other 12 members. Legislators also
elected Viktor Musiaka, a member of the Reforms caucus, as deputy
parliamentary speaker. Musiaka resigned as President Leonid Kuchma's
representative in the legislature when Kuchma called a controversial
referendum on the constitution, which was canceled when the parliament
adopted the new basic law in June. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT IN SPAIN. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma arrived
in Madrid on 7 October for an official visit, Ukrainian and Western
agencies reported. Kuchma met with King Juan Carlos and Prime Minister
Jose Mario Aznar. The purpose of the visit was to develop ties between
Ukraine and Spain, especially in the area of economics, and to win
Spain's support for Ukraine's entry into European structures. Kuchma was
accompanied by his wife, Liudmyla, Foreign Minister Henadii Udovenko,
and Defense Minister Oleksander Kuzmuk. A series of documents were
signed, including an agreement on friendship and cooperation. Other
accords concern relations in economy and industry, air links, social
protection of citizens, military cooperation, and cultural and
educational exchanges. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINIAN INFLATION FALLS IN SEPTEMBER. Consumer prices in Ukraine
increased by 2% in September, Ukrainian Radio reported on 7 October.
This rate, which contrasts with the 5.7% inflation rate recorded in
August, means that consumer prices have increased by 34.8% since the
beginning of the year. It is also consistent with the government's
agreement with the IMF. September's low inflation suggests that the
impact of the temporary monetary instability that followed the
introduction of the hryvnya as Ukraine's national currency was minimal.
In the wake of the currency reform, government officials had predicted
8-10% inflation for September. All this should help Ukraine maintain
monthly disbursements from the IMF's $867 million standby credit, as
well as improve prospects for negotiating a $1.5 billion stabilization
fund. Wage and payments arrears continue to choke Ukraine's financial
system, however. -- Ben Slay

BELARUSIAN OPINION POLL ON CONSTITUTION. According to a poll of 1,500
people conducted by the Center for Sociological Research at the
Belarusian State Institute for Information, 59% said the people should
adopt a constitution by referendum; 23% said a constitution should be
adopted by parliament; 10% said it should be done by an all-Belarusian
assembly; and 5% said the president should pass a constitution through
decree, Belapan reported on 7 October. Only 30% of those polled said
they were familiar with President Alyaksandr Lukashenka's draft
constitution; 47% said they heard something about it on TV or radio; 22%
said they were not familiar with it at all. Nonetheless, 66% said they
would vote in the referendum; only 7% said they would definitely not
vote; and the rest were undecided. ITAR-TASS reported that Communist
leader Syarhei Kalyakin said the communists would call upon the people
to vote against Lukashenka's constitution, which would liquidate the
"power of the soviets." -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN PRIME MINISTER IN MURMANSK. Prime Minister Mikhail Chyhir
said he hoped trade between Belarus and Murmansk would triple over the
next 18 months, Radio Mayak and ITAR-TASS reported on 5 October. Chyhir
was in Murmansk to establish direct ties between Belarus and the Russian
region. Minsk was especially interested in getting phosphorous and fish
in exchange for bartered Belarusian goods. Chyhir was also scheduled to
meet with the local administration and discuss human rights. The issue
is of interest to Belarus because every tenth inhabitant in Murmansk is
of Belarusian descent. -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN COURT RULES EXPULSION OF RUSSIAN ACTIVIST UNLAWFUL. The Tallinn
district court ruled on 7 October that the expulsion in March 1995 of
Petr Rozhok, the former representative in Estonia of Vladimir
Zhirinovsky's Liberal Democratic Party, was unlawful because of
procedural errors, BNS reported. The decision overturned a ruling by the
Tallinn administrative court in February that the expulsion was legal.
The court ruled that the Citizenship and Migration Department that had
executed the expulsion did not give the district court a proper
deportation order. Rozhok was represented by well-known Russian lawyer
Boris Kuznetsov. Rozhok, who is a Russian citizen, said that he intends
to return to his family in Tallinn. Estonian authorities have three
months to appeal the decision to the state court. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIA, SLOVENIA SIGN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. Lithuanian and Slovenian
Foreign Ministers Povilas Gylys and Davorin Kracun signed a free trade
agreement in Vilnius on 4 October, Radio Lithuania reported. The
agreement goes into effect on 1 January. Kracun said he hoped Lithuania
could become a member of the Central European Free Trade Agreement at
the end of next year when Slovenia will chair the organization. Kracun
noted that the current volume of trade between the two countries of $3-4
million per year was likely to increase by at least 50% in 1997. --
Saulius Girnius

POLISH-UKRAINIAN POLICE AND MILITARY COOPERATION. The Polish and
Ukrainian internal affairs ministers, Zbigniew Siemiatkowski and Yurii
Kravchenko, signed an agreement in Kyiv on 4 October providing for an
exchange of information between police forces and the creation of joint
police detachments, Polish media reported. The aim of the cooperation is
to fight international gangs, particularly those smuggling illegal
immigrants. The Polish and Ukrainian defense ministers, Stanislaw
Dobrzanski and Oleksander Kuzmuk, on the same day visited a joint
peacekeeping battalion, which will for the first time take part in
Polish troop exercises in southern Poland. Due to financial reasons,
Poland is considering reducing its peacekeeping contingent in Bosnia if
the IFOR mandate is prolonged after December, Rzeczpospolita reported on
5 October. -- Beata Pasek

CZECH COALITION LEADERS DECLARE UNITY. Prime Minister and Civic
Democratic Party Chairman Vaclav Klaus, Christian Democratic leader
Josef Lux, and Civic Democratic Alliance Chairman Jan Kalvoda met on 7
October to discuss the role of the three parties' minority government in
light of growing pressure from the opposition, Czech media reported.
Last week Klaus accused the opposition Social Democrats of trying to
govern through the parliament and of attempting to reverse the post-1989
developments in the country. The statement issued by the three leaders
says that the coalition parties want to complete the transformation
process in the country and raise the political culture in the Czech
Republic to a level common in developed parliamentary democracies. The
coalition is not opposed to the controlling function of the parliament
but "rejects pressure [put by the parliament on the government] going
beyond the constitutional framework." -- Jiri Pehe

SLOVAKS SUPPORT OPPOSITION'S "DEMOCRATIZATION" PROPOSALS. A September
opinion poll by the FOCUS agency revealed that 78% of Slovaks favor
opposition representation in the National Property Fund (FNM), the
agency that controls privatization, Slovak media reported on 8 October.
Opposition representation on OKO, the parliamentary commission that
oversees the secret service, was supported by 75% of respondents, while
80% favored opposition members on the radio and TV boards, and 74%
supported a deputy parliament chairman representing the opposition.
Although one leftist opposition deputy was elected to OKO during the
June coalition crisis, the FNM, radio, and TV boards consist solely of
coalition representatives. Other FOCUS findings released recently show
that political party preferences are almost static, with the Movement
for a Democratic Slovakia remaining on top with 28% support. Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar remains the most trusted politician, followed
by President Michal Kovac. -- Sharon Fisher and Anna Siskova

HUNGARIAN PREMIER TO LAUNCH PARLIAMENTARY PROBE INTO PRIVATIZATION
SCANDAL. After a parliamentary debate on the recent privatization
scandal, Gyula Horn has pledged a full investigation into the activities
of the privatization agency's top-level management, Hungarian dailies
reported on 8 October. Deputies agreed to set up a parliamentary
commission to investigate further details of the case. Meanwhile, the
press speculated on Tamas Suchman's successor as industry and trade
minister. According to Nepszabadsag, Imre Karl, the commissioner in
charge of examining energy costs ahead of next year's energy price
increase, Socialist economist Laszlo Puch, and Ikarus and Videoton
President Gabor Szeles are being considered. To calm international fears
of uncertainty regarding future privatization deals, Horn stressed that
"privatization policy will not change, all concluded contracts are valid
and the government will honor the commitments specified therein." --
Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

U.S. "FURIOUS" WITH BOSNIAN SERBS; THREATENS SANCTIONS. State Department
Spokesman Nicholas Burns said on 7 October that the U.S. was "furious"
with the Bosnian Serb member of the newly-elected presidency, Momcilo
Krajisnik, who ignored the inauguration of the Bosnian assembly,
international agencies reported. Krajisnik decided to skip the ceremony
rather than take the oath of office and loyalty pledge to Bosnia-
Herzegovina. Burns said U.S. diplomats delivered a "very stiff" note to
Krajisnik on 6 October, asking him to demonstrate the Bosnian Serbs'
commitment to the peace process in the following days. Otherwise, Burns
said, the U.S. will bring the issue of sanctions up on the UN Security
Council, which only last week lifted the sanctions against the Bosnian
Serbs and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The UN Security Council
pledged to monitor compliance with the peace process. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

BOSNIAN UPDATE. OSCE election supervisor Robert Frowick held a closed-
door meeting on 7 October with Republika Srpska President Biljana
Plavsic in Banja Luka. Nasa Borba wrote on 8 October that they most
likely discussed the upcoming local elections. In Sarajevo, Bosnian
Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic said that the Muslims and Croats should
simply ignore the Serbian boycott of joint institutions. In the Muslim
village of Jusici on Bosnian Serb territory, 60 Muslim refugees have
again returned to the village after their papers were processed by the
UNHCR. They had earlier returned to their destroyed homes, much to the
consternation of IFOR, which feared a clash between the Muslims and the
Serbs. They agreed to leave after a face-saving formula was found
whereby the Muslims left for three days but began to return again on 6
October (see Pursuing Balkan Peace, 1 October 1996). -- Patrick Moore

ZAGREB FREES SERB POWs UNDER NEW AMNESTY LAW. Croatia, acting on a new
general amnesty law, has released 41 Serbs detained for rebelling
against the state the preceding weekend, Slobodna Dalmacija reported on
8 October. Some 18 other Serbs charged with war crimes remained in
custody of the Split district court. Most of those released went to
Serbia, while a few opted to stay in Croatia, according to the state-run
agency Hina. Additionally, 15 Serbs charged and imprisoned for espionage
against Croatia were released from Zagreb's custody on 7 October, Novi
List reported the next day. Lawyers for the imprisoned announced that
they were filing charges seeking compensation for those kept in custody
for one year. The amnesty law pardons all Croatian Serbs who took part
in the uprising after Croatia's declaration of independence in 1991,
except those charged with war crimes. -- Daria Sito Sucic

SERBS ARREST THIRD SUSPECTED KOSOVAR TERRORIST. Serbian police officers
on 7 October arrested a third suspected terrorist, Reuters reported. The
police claim that Idriz Haljiti participated in two bomb attacks on a
police station and one on a refugee camp in Vucitrn. Police continued to
search for other members of a group, believed to be the ominous Kosovo
Liberation Army. Two other suspected terrorists were arrested last week.
Meanwhile, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic refused to receive UN
human rights envoy Elizabeth Rehn, Nasa Borba reported on 8 October.
During a meeting with Rehn, the minister without portfolio in charge of
minority rights, Margit Savovic, expressed "astonishment and concern"
about statements Rehn made in Kosovo, when she discussed with Kosovar
shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova the option of making Kosovo an
"international protectorate." She is scheduled to visit eastern Slavonia
on 8 October. -- Fabian Schmidt

ROMANIAN ELECTORAL UPDATE. In an appeal carried by Radio Bucharest on 7
October, Emil Constantinescu, the presidential candidate of the
Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR), called on opposition parties to
set up "a large political alliance for the defense of democracy and free
elections." He accused the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR)
and President Ion Iliescu of heading an "oligarchy of the enriched"
ready to defend its interests by any means, including the undermining of
democratic institutions and the constitution and attempting to
intimidate the media. The appeal was welcomed by the Social Democratic
Union and by the National Liberal Alliance and was attacked by the PDSR,
which claimed that "civic liberties and the freedom of elections are not
endangered by anyone, with the possible exception of the CDR." --
Michael Shafir

ROMANIAN-LANGUAGE SCHOOL IN DNIESTER SUSPENDS STRIKE. The committee
formed by teachers and parents at the Grigoriopol school in the
breakaway Dniester region decided to suspend its strike and resume
negotiations with local authorities, Infotag reported on 7 October.
Lessons will, however, be taught using the Cyrillic script, as demanded
by the authorities. This concession was agreed to in order to secure the
release of three teachers detained as "strike instigators." The
committee agreed to prepare all necessary documents for registering the
school as a non state-run, alternative educational establishment, where
Latin script may be used, and to search for an alternative location for
the school. Meanwhile, the Moldovan Education Ministry accused the
Tiraspol authorities of violating children's and parents' rights under
UN conventions. Another strike continues in the town of Slobozia, where
local authorities refuse to allow the use of the Latin script "under any
circumstance" and say that unless "disobedient" teachers allow the
children to attend local Russian-language schools, they will be fired.
-- Michael Shafir

BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT COMPILES LIST OF BANK DEBTORS. The Interior
Ministry has begun gathering information on all big bank debtors,
Standart and Kontinent reported on 7 October. Bulgarian Socialist Party
(BSP) Deputy Gincho Pavlov said the "credit millionaires'" list will be
published on the eve of the 27 October presidential elections and will
include names of parliamentary deputies who were not known publicly as
"credit millionaires." Bulgarian Business Bloc Leader Georges Ganchev
said two of them are members of his party and that BSP faction leader
Krasimir Premyanov had promised them a respite if they "vote for [the
BSP presidential candidate, Culture Minister Ivan] Marazov." However,
Premyanov said the big bank debtors are trying to destabilize the
country, accused them indirectly of being behind former Prime Minister
Andrey Lukanov's murder, and declared that the BSP will stop the chaos
in Bulgaria. -- Maria Koinova

BULGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ON FOREIGN POLICY. Petar Stoyanov,
presidential candidate of the United Democratic Forces, laid out his
foreign policy concept in a lecture at Sofia's Atlantic Club on 7
October, Bulgarian media reported. Stoyanov said Bulgaria must join
NATO, noting that a refusal to join would result in isolation not only
from the West but also from the Visegrad countries and Bulgaria's
neighbors. Stoyanov also noted his intention to work for good relations
with Russia but said that the present government's foreign policy led to
an estrangement from Europe and the U.S. without bringing Bulgaria
closer to Russia. On the Balkans, Stoyanov said Bulgaria must have a
"completely balanced" policy. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Zhan Videnov, in
a meeting with Marazov and his running mate, Deputy Foreign Minister
Irina Bokova, accused the opposition of being irresponsible and said
Stoyanov is working toward a "total confrontation of society." -- Stefan
Krause

UPDATE ON BULGARIAN RELATIONS WITH IMF, WORLD BANK. Bulgarian Deputy
Prime Minister Rumen Gechev noted on 7 October that the IMF Executive
Board would consider releasing a $116 million standby tranche on 20
November, Bulgarian media reported. He observed that the delay in the
release of the money, which was to be available in September, was
because the IMF was waiting for completion of the first large cash
privatization deal, the first voucher auction under mass privatization,
and court proceedings for 64 pending bankruptcies. Finance Minister
Dimitar Kostov observed that only two weeks remain for the government to
close those enterprises and the national bank to resolve the fate of
nine banks put under supervision on 23 September in order to receive the
money. Gechev also noted that a way must be found to provide credits for
grain sowing before the end of October to avoid disastrous consequences
this winter. -- Michael Wyzan

ALBANIAN SOCIALIST PARTY LEADER REFUSES TO TESTIFY AGAINST FORMER
PRESIDENT. The trial against communist-era President Ramiz Alia is
expected to end within ten days, Dita Informacion reported on 6 October.
Imprisoned Socialist Party leader Fatos Nano refused to testify against
Alia, who in the previous trial against Nano took complete
responsibility for his prime minister's actions. Alia is charged with
crimes against humanity but the trial is likely to focus on the killing
by police of protesters in Shkoder on 2 April 1991. -- Dukagjin Gorani

STOLEN CULTURAL ARTIFACTS FOUND IN ALBANIA. Police on 7 October found a
priceless 13th century canvas, known as the Gllavenica epitaph, and a
revolver belonging to late communist dictator Enver Hoxha, Reuters
reported. A pen and ink-well belonging to Albanian renaissance poet Ando
Zako Cajupi, and four religious paintings were also found while
searching the house of suspect Aleksander Sota. The articles were stolen
from the Albanian National Museum two years ago. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Pete Baumgartner

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