Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born. - Anaiis Nin
OMRI DAILY DIGEST</head>

No. 206, Part II, 23 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

***********************************************************************
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
***********************************************************************

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

CLINTON CALLS FOR NATO ENLARGEMENT BY 1999. U.S. President Bill Clinton
has set 1999 as the target date for admitting the "first group" of new
members to NATO, international media reported on 22 October. Speaking in
Detroit, Michigan, Clinton scrupulously avoided naming any candidate
countries, but he emphasized that "NATO's doors will not close behind
its first new members." He asserted that enlargement will "advance the
security of everyone," adding that Russia could be an "equal and
respected partner" in building a new undivided Europe. Clinton also
voiced support for the negotiation of a NATO-Russia cooperation
agreement. A NATO summit in mid-1997 is scheduled to choose the first
candidate countries to begin acession negotiations. -- Scott Parrish

A FOURTH ORTHODOX CHURCH IN UKRAINE? The conflict among hierarchs of the
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church may result in the establishment
of a fourth Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Den reported on 22 October. The
paper reported that five hierarchs had long been seeking to remove
Patriarch Dymytrii Yarema, who was ousted last week after threatening to
dissolve the Church. The patriarch had accused those hierarchs of trying
to usurp power and had allegedly threatened to split away to form
another church. Patriarch Filaret of the rival Ukrainian Orthodox Church
of the Kyiv Patriarchate said the split within the UAOC is bound to lead
to its demise. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT IN UKRAINE. Mircea Snegur, in Kyiv for a meeting with
his Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid Kuchma, has said relations with
Ukraine are a priority for Moldova, Infotag reported. Ukraine is
Moldova's second-largest trading partner after Russia. Moldova also
relies on Ukraine for its energy supplies. Snegur expressed his
gratitude to Kyiv for acting as mediator in the Transdniester conflict,
while Kuchma reaffirmed his support for Moldova's territorial integrity.
-- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CRITICIZES ALL BELARUSIAN CONGRESS.
Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court Valeryi Tsikhinya has said the
court does not approve of several resolutions adopted by the All
Belarusian Congress, ITAR-TASS reported on 22 October. Tsikhinya said
the court continues to support the "zero option" solution, whereby both
the president and the parliament refrain from holding referendums on
their proposed constitutions. He noted that the president's draft
constitution is based on a "philosophy contravening the principle of
division of powers." He added that if that version is approved in the
referendum "Belarus will become a totalitarian state." Tsikhinya also
stressed that the court has ruled on 19 decrees issued by the president
and found 17 to be in contravention of the constitution. -- Ustina
Markus

RUN-OFF ELECTIONS FOR LITHUANIA. Although all the votes have still not
been counted, it is clear that only two candidates, President Vytautas
Landsbergis and Gediminas Vagnorius, chairman of the Homeland Union
(Conservatives of Lithuania) [TS(LK)], have been elected to the
parliament, Radio Lithuania reported. New elections will have to be held
within six months in four single-mandate districts where voter
participation was less than the required 40%. The two top candidates in
the 65 districts where no one gained a majority will compete in run-off
elections on 10 November. -- Saulius Girnius

TRIAL OVER MURDER OF FORMER POLISH PRIME MINISTER GETS UNDER WAY. The
trial of four men charged with murdering Piotr Jaroszewicz has begun in
Warsaw, Polish dailies reported on 22 and 23 October. Jaroszewicz was
prime minister in the 1970s. He and his wife were brutally murdered in
their villa near Warsaw in September 1992. The house was ransacked, but
only a small sum of money, a gold watch, and two guns were taken.
According to the prosecutor, the motive behind the murder was financial
gain. He also said that the assailants found out the identity of their
victims only the next day while watching television. The defendants, all
of whom have previous convictions for robbery, are pleading not guilty.
-- Beata Pasek

CZECH CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULES ON ELECTIONS. The Czech Constitutional
Court on 22 October decided that another four candidates can compete in
the Senate elections, Czech media reported. Almost 600 candidates
submitted registration forms, but the Central Electoral Committee
disqualified some 100 candidates for making mistakes in the application
forms. Both the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court ruled before
the 16 October registration deadline that most of the disqualified
candidates can compete. In its latest ruling, the Constitutional Court
explained it is not bound by the registration deadline. It ordered the
relevant electoral district committees to register the four candidates.
-- Jiri Pehe

U.S., EU CALL FOR MORE DEMOCRACY IN SLOVAKIA. In separate statements,
the U.S. and EU ambassadors to Slovakia, Ralph Johnson and Georgios
Zavvos, have warned that Slovakia must demonstrate democratic values if
it hopes to join NATO and the EU, international media reported on 22
October. Johnson told the Slovak Foreign Policy Association in Presov
that the failure to resolve criminal cases related to the kidnapping of
President Michal Kovac's son will harm Slovakia's chances for Western
integration. Slovakia must be democratic "not only in its electoral
process, but also in its laws, their implementation, and its
preservation of individual rights, including the right to disagree
without being considered an enemy of the state," Johnson emphasized.
Zavvos told a conference on non-government organizations in Banska
Bystrica that "much work [remains] to be done" before Slovakia can join
the EU. "The clock is ticking...; Slovakia must seize the messages and
act," Zavvos commented. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK OPPOSITION FAILS TO OUST EDUCATION MINISTER. The new
parliamentary session opened on 22 October with a failed no-confidence
vote in Eva Slavkovska, Slovak media reported. Opposition deputies
accused Slavkovska of professional incompetence, limiting universities'
academic freedom, implementing massive political purges, and intervening
in minority education. Only 60 deputies, however, supported her
dismissal. At the opposition's request, the agenda was amended to
include a bill on the handling of National Property Fund privatization
bonds and a report on the state budget for the defense and interior
ministries as well as the secret service during the first half of 1996.
-- Sharon Fisher

WAS BRITISH INTELLIGENCE INVOLVED IN 1956 HUNGARIAN UPRISING? On the eve
of the 40th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian uprising, The Independent,
citing a British book about to be published, reported that some of those
who took part in the uprising were trained by British military
intelligence. A British agent is quoted as saying that Hungarian rebels
were taken to the British-occupied zone of Austria in 1954 for a "crash
course" in explosives and weapons training and were then returned to
Hungary with the "intention to cause an uprising." -- Sharon Fisher

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

BOSNIAN SERB LEADER SIGNS OATH TO BOSNIA. The Serbian member of the
three-man presidency, Momcilo Krajisnik, on 22 October signed a "solemn
declaration" promising to "uphold and defend" the Bosnian constitution,
international and local media reported. The Bosnian constitution, which
was contained in the Dayton agreement, defines Bosnia-Herzegovina as a
unitary state consisting of two "entities." By taking this oath,
Krajisnik appears to have abandoned formal claims to independence for
the Republika Srpska, which is, however, still a major policy goal of
his party. It seems that Bosnian Serb leaders have decided at least to
pay lip service to the Dayton system while still seeking independence
and unity with other Serbian lands in the long run. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN PRESIDENCY ON TRACK? Krajisnik was attending the second full
meeting of the presidency, which took place in Sarajevo's National
Museum under the auspices of U.S. envoy John Kornblum. The next session
of that body has been set for 25 October in a Serb-held school in nearby
Lukavica, while the fourth meeting will take place on 29 October back in
the museum, Oslobodjenje noted on 23 October. A six-month deadline has
been set to draw up "a long-term arrangement dealing with the goals,
meeting places, and functioning" of the various joint institutions,
Dnevni avaz added. This marks a breakthrough in that the parties have
agreed to a concrete timetable. -- Patrick Moore

MORE THAN 700 BODIES EXHUMED BY CROATIAN AUTHORITIES. The Croatian
authorities have exhumed more than 700 bodies from mass graves in the
formerly Serb-controlled regions of western Slavonia and Krajina, AFP
reported on 21 October. Ivan Gruic, head of the Croatian commission for
prisoners and displaced people, said 80% of those exhumed were
civilians; six were children. International organizations have not
confirmed these figures. Gruic also said that 90% of the bodies have
been identified. Meanwhile, the Croatian government has announced that
its experts will begin on 1 December identifying bodies exhumed by
international experts from a mass grave near the town of Vukovar, in
eastern Slavonia. Gruic said he expected mass graves there to yield
several thousand more bodies than had been unearthed so far. -- Daria
Sito Sucic

UN PREPARES FOR POSSIBLE SERB EXODUS FROM EASTERN SLAVONIA. UN
intelligence services in eastern Slavonia are preparing contingency
plans to cope with a possible exodus of Serbs from this last Serb-held
region of Croatia, AFP reported on 22 October, citing Le Monde.
According to the French daily, a confidential UN document says the
return of Croats next spring to the area from which they were forcibly
expelled in 1991 could prompt the 130,000 Serbs now living there to
leave for Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. UN officials in New York said
there was "nothing secret" about making contingency plans for such a
scenario and that it was customary to prepare for all eventualities in
such cases, AFP reported. A UN spokesman in eastern Slavonia said he did
not believe that a massive exodus would take place. In other news, Serbs
in eastern Slavonia have called again for a "special status," AFP
reported. The UN dismissed the request when it was first made in June.
-- Daria Sito Sucic

TRADE SANCTIONS AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA TO CONTINUE INTO 1997. The last
session of the U.S. congress has passed legislation extending into 1997
trade sanctions against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, despite a
recent UN resolution providing for the embargo to be lifted. Nasa Borba
on 23 October said Washington's action amounted to enforcing the "outer
wall" of sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro. It reported that the
extension of the embargo is linked to an improvement in internal
conditions in Serbia's predominantly ethnic Albanian province of Kosovo,
including the renewal of autonomy, improved human rights, and the return
of international observers. -- Stan Markotich

SLOVENIAN CLAIM ON FORMER YUGOSLAV ASSETS NOW IN COURT. Hearings to
determine the status of assets held by the Cyprus branch of Belgrade's
Beobanka resumed in a Nicosia court on 21 October, Radio Slovenija
reported. Ljubljana has laid claim to a portion of those assets. Borka
Vucic, the director of the Cyprus branch, says, however, that Slovenian
officials have no proof that between 1978 and 1988, any Slovenian
commercial bank made deposits with the former National Bank of
Yugoslavia. Thus, he argues, they cannot prove that any assets have come
to be held by Beobanka. Vucic also alleged that Slovenia owes Beobanka
some $2 billion withheld since the collapse of socialist Yugoslavia.
Earlier this year, Slovenia succeeded in having Beobanka's assets in
Cyprus frozen by court order. -- Stan Markotich

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES ACCUSE GOVERNMENT OF PLANNING ELECTION
FRAUD. Romania's opposition parties have accused the government of
planning to falsify the results of the 3 November presidential
elections, AFP and Romanian dailies reported on 22-23 October. They say
the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) has violated the
election law by appointing several hundreds of its members as chairmen
of polling stations. Meanwhile, President Ion Iliescu has added to the
anti-Semitic statements against his rival, Petre Roman, who is partly of
Jewish descent. Iliescu told a meeting in Olt County that Roman "does
not really have roots in our people." Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the
presidential candidate of the Greater Romania Party and a notorious
anti-Semite, told Jurnalul national that if there is a presidential
runoff, he will ask his electorate to vote for Romania's wartime Hitler
ally, Marshal Ion Antonescu. -- Michael Shafir

MOLDOVA RATIFIES CONVENTION ON PROTECTION OF ETHNIC MINORITIES. The
parliament on 22 October ratified the Council of Europe's Convention on
the Protection of Ethnic Minorities, Infotag reported the same day.
Heated debates preceded the passage of the law ratifying the convention,
primarily because of an article aimed at defining what constitutes an
"ethnic minority." Deputies decided to avoid interpreting the term,
allowing the convention to be ratified. -- Zsolt Mato

DNIESTER AUTHORITIES TO BUILD AMMUNITION RECYCLING PLANT. The leaders of
the breakaway Dniester republic have reached an agreement with an
unspecified "foreign country" on building a plant to recycle ammunition
belonging to the former Russian 14th Army, Infotag reported on 22
October, citing Prosecutor General Victor Zakharov. Thousands of tons of
ammunition have been kept for decades in Russian depots in the region.
-- Zsolt Mato

BULGARIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT RULES ON UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.
The Constitutional Court has decided that a minimum turnout is not
required in the first round of the 27 October presidential elections,
RFE/RL reported on 22 October. The court noted that under the
constitution, a president is elected in the first round if he receives
more than half of the valid votes cast and if turnout is more than 50%.
The court ruled that if one or both conditions are not met, the vote is
valid but the two best-seeded candidates are to take part in a second
round. It explicitly stated that a second round must take place if
turnout is less than 50% in the first round. There had been speculation
that the election would be postponed in the event of low voter turnout.
-- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN GRAIN CRISIS UPDATE. Union of Democratic Forces (SDS) Deputy
Chairman Vasil Gotsev and SDS caucus leader Yordan Sokolov have said
that the EU has turned down a Bulgarian government request for financial
and humanitarian aid to help alleviate the ongoing grain crisis,
Demokratsiya reported on 23 October. Prime Minister Zhan Videnov
reportedly asked last month to import grain from EU countries. But the
government denied those reports, saying Videnov received a private
letter from EU Commission President Jacques Santer that, according the
government press office, promised Bulgaria 40 million ECU ($30 million).
The office did not specify, however, whether this sum was a credit for
grain imports. Gotsev claimed that Videnov had deliberately hidden the
letter because of the impending presidential elections. In other news,
Deputy Prime Minister and Economic Development Minister Rumen Gechev
said Bulgaria will barely be able to service half its foreign and
domestic debt in 1997. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN HIGH OFFICIALS ACCUSED OF CORRUPTION. Union of Democratic
Forces deputy Edvin Sugarev on 22 October published an open letter to
Prosecutor-General Ivan Tatarchev claiming that high officials close to
the government and to Prime Minister Zhan Videnov are involved in shady
banking, privatization, and telecommunications deals, Bulgarian media
reported. Sugarev said the National Security Service and Central Office
for Fighting Organized Crime launched separate anti-corruption
investigations that were halted. He also alleged that former Prime
Minister Andrey Lukanov was murdered because he had gathered similar
information. Meanwhile, government Committee for Post and
Telecommunications Chairman Lyubomir Kolarov has asked Parliamentary
Chairman Blagovest Sendov to lift Sugarev's parliamentary immunity
because he wants to take the UDF deputy to the court for "lies and
slanders" against both the Bulgarian Socialist Party and him personally.
-- Maria Koinova

EUROPEAN, U.S. INSTITUTES CALL ALBANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS "FREE AND FAIR."
The International Republican Institute has concluded that in the 20
October local elections "none [of the incidents] appears to have
threatened the legitimacy of the election." The U.S. National Democratic
Institute on International Affairs called the vote "a significant
improvement from the May elections." The Council of Europe said it was
"satisfied with the way the vote was carried out, but regrets a few
cases of irregularities serious enough to warrant careful examination by
the Central Electoral Commission," AFP reported. A Socialist Party
spokesman, however, called the ballot "another farce following the
legislative elections of 26 May." He pointed out that monitoring
missions had visited only 263 of the 4,665 polling stations. -- Fabian
Schmidt

TWO ALBANIAN PRISON OFFICIALS ARRESTED IN ALLEGED TERRORIST CONSPIRACY.
A Tirana court has arraigned two high-ranking Tepelena prison officials
on charges of abuse of office, ATSH reported on 22 October. Gribes Licaj
is accused of allowing illegal meetings between late communist dictator
Enver Hoxha's son-in-law Klement Koloneci and communist secret police
chief Hajredin Shyti, who is serving an 18-year-prison term in Tepelena
for involvement in the killing of pro-democracy demonstrators in Shkoder
in April 1991. Licaj is also accused of allowing letters by Shyti
containing instructions for the Revenge of Justice terrorist group to
leave the jail. Those letters were found in the possession of Shyti's
son. Robert Kazanxhiu is accused of falsifying Koloneci's name so that
he could enter the jail. So far, 20 people have been arrested in
connection with the alleged conspiracy. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

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            Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
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