The soul that is within me no man can degrade. I am not the one that is being degraded on account of this treatment, but those who are infliciting it upon me. - Frederick Douglass
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 210, Part II, 30 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

CRIMEA AND THE BLACK SEA FLEET. The Crimean Tatar Majlis (assembly)
assessed the Russian State Duma's appeal for Sevastopol of 24 October as
a territorial claim on Ukraine, Radio Ukraine reported on 26 October.
The Presidium of the Majlis urged President Leonid Kuchma to implement
Article 17 of the constitution, which prohibits deployment of foreign
military bases on Ukrainian territory. Meanwhile, Crimean communists
appealed to preserve a single fleet as a common security guarantor for
the CIS and as a counterbalance to Turkey on the Black Sea, Ukrainian
television reported on 29 October. The same day ITAR-TASS reported that
talks on resolving the details of the Black Sea Fleet division began in
Sevastopol. The head of the Russian navy's radiation, chemical and
biological defense, Viktor Zakharov, expressed surprise that Ukrainian
Environment and Nuclear Safety Minister Yurii Kostenko wanted the issue
of pollution caused by the fleet included in negotiations. Zakharov said
the fleet caused no more environmental damage than regular merchant
vessels. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev and Ustina Markus

UKRAINIAN FOREIGN NEWS. Italian President Luigi Scalfaro ended a two-day
official visit to Ukraine on 29 October, international agencies
reported. Scalfaro's talks with his Ukrainian counterpart and
parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz focused on security and Italian-
Ukrainian economic relations. Italy is Ukraine's second largest EU
trading partner after Germany. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT THREATENS PARLIAMENT. Alyaksandr Lukashenka said he
would dissolve parliament if the Constitutional Court ruled that his
proposed referendum was illegal, Reuters and ITAR-TASS reported on 29
October. Last week the court announced it would review Lukashenka's and
parliament's draft constitutions, and if it found they were actually new
constitutions rather than just amendments to the existing basic law, any
referendum on them would not be legal. -- Ustina Markus

FINAL REPORT ON COLLAPSE OF LATVIA'S BANKA BALTIJA. The Latvian
parliament investigation panel's final report, issued on 29 October,
concluded that the spring 1995 bankruptcy of the Banka Baltija was
caused by the "continuous and systematic violation of the law" by its
leadership, BNS reported. It said that former board chairman Aleksandrs
Lavent personally decided all key issues in the bank and used its funds
for his own transactions while bank President Talis Freimanis was merely
his tool. Lavent is currently imprisoned while Freimanis is under house
arrest. Their trial is expected to begin in February. -- Saulius Girnius

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT WANTS SAY IN FORMATION OF NEW GOVERNMENT. Algirdas
Brazauskas said on 29 October that he did not see any sense in
confronting the new right-wing majority in the Seimas about forming a
new government, Radio Lithuania reported. The comment is assumed to mean
that he will ask Gediminas Vagnorius, the board chairman of the Homeland
Union (Conservatives of Lithuania) to be prime minister. Noting that the
president has an important role in foreign policy and is the commander
of armed forces, Brazauskas asked to be consulted on appointments of
foreign, defense, and interior ministers. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY ON 1949 POLISH-SWISS ACCORD. According
to a report by Polish Foreign Ministry experts, Polish citizens' assets
deposited in Swiss banks might have been used to compensate Swiss
citizens whose property was confiscated by the Polish communist
government (see OMRI Daily Digest, 18 October 1996), Polish dailies
reported on 26 October. According to the Polish-Swiss accord, revenues
from Polish coal exports to Switzerland and Swiss bank deposits of
heirless Poles, many whom were Jewish, were transferred to the Polish
National Bank's account "N" in the Swiss Central Bank. Swiss citizens
were then compensated from that account. Although the Polish-Swiss
agreement envisaged compensations be paid from Polish export revenues,
private account assets and income from exports might have merged, said a
Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman. He added that the 1949 accord was
illegal in its stipulations of how the accounts were administered. --
Beata Pasek

FORMER POLISH PRESIDENT AND SECRET FILES. The State Security Office in
Poland (UOP) charged former Polish President Lech Walesa with illegal
possession of secret documents, Polish dailies reported on 30 October.
Walesa apparently received those documents when in office and did not
return them when leaving the office last December. He denied that he was
illegally keeping any secret documents, a crime punishable by up to
three years in prison. A spokesman for President Aleksander Kwasniewski
said Kwasniewski did not receive any confidential papers from Walesa. --
Jakub Karpinski

SLOVAK OPPOSITION SIGN AGREEMENT. The chairmen of three parliamentary
opposition parties--the Christian Democratic Movement, Democratic Union
(DU), and Democratic Party--signed a cooperation agreement on 29
October, Slovak media reported. Sme noted that the "blue coalition" is
in fact not a coalition but an agreement; in its text it is explicitly
written that the parties have not agreed to a pre-electoral coalition.
"The election strategy and possible pre-election coalition have not yet
been planned. This depends on whether Slovakia will change from its
[current] proportional system to a majority system as heralded by the
ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS)," DU chairman Jozef
Moravcik said. -- Anna Siskova

SLOVAK TV BOARD CALLS FOR DIRECTOR'S DISMISSAL. The Slovak TV (STV)
board on 29 October passed in a secret-ballot vote a proposal for STV
Director Jozef Darmo's dismissal, Radio Twist reported. The proposal,
which followed a complex evaluation of Darmo's activities since he took
the post in December 1994, will be submitted to the parliament for
approval. The board's deputy chairman, Jergus Ferko, said the board is
"dissatisfied that certain things at STV are not developing in a
socially beneficial [way]." Darmo has cut a number of popular programs--
particularly political satires--and turned the station into a government
mouthpiece. -- Sharon Fisher

NEW GAS PIPELINE LINKS HUNGARY, AUSTRIA. Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula
Horn and Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky on 29 October opened a 117
km natural gas pipeline between Gyor in northwest Hungary and
Baumgarten, Austria, Hungarian media reported. Hungarians believe that
the new pipeline will decrease Hungary's dependence on Russian energy
sources. The investment cost the Hungarian government and the Hungarian
Oil and Gas Company 4 billion forints ($69 million). On 20 October, a
pipeline was also completed between Slovakia and Baumgarten. -- Zsofia
Szilagyi

TWO HUNGARIAN NATIONAL BANK VICE PRESIDENTS DISMISSED. Two National Bank
(MNB) vice presidents were dismissed over a contractual error that cost
the MNB 1.5 billion forints ($9.5 million), Hungarian media reported on
30 October. According to the final report of an investigation into the
1992 agreement, Sandor Czirjak and Frigyes Harshegyi--in a contract on
exchange rate guarantees with the Austrian bank Creditanstalt--made
erroneous calculations. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

WAR CRIMINALS SERVE OPENLY WITH BOSNIAN SERB POLICE. Colum Murphy, a
spokesman for the international community's High Representative, Carl
Bildt, said on 29 October that his office has known for some time that
at least four indicted war criminals work for the Republika Srpska
police. The men are Mladen Radic, Miroslav Kvocka, Nedjelko Timarac and
Zeljko Mejakic, Reuters said. They are serving in the Prijedor-Omarska
area and are wanted for war crimes allegedly committed in the Omarska or
Keraterm concentration camps. Murphy said, "We have sent letters. We
have spoken to the leadership in Pale on the subject," but added that
war criminals should be arrested only "by those who have the ability to
do so," Onasa noted. Critics, however, have charged that IFOR is
concerned primarily with self-preservation and turns a blind eye to war
criminals. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN WRAPUP. Meanwhile in Athens, Republika Srpska President Biljana
Plavsic said that her government has no intention of turning over
indicted war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Gen. Ratko Mladic to the
Hague-based tribunal, AFP reported on 29 October. In Sarajevo, the
Defense Ministry warned the U.S. not to apply pressure on Bosnia to fire
Deputy Minister Hasan Cengic, who has close links to Iran, Reuters
reported. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN FEDERAL PARTNERS AGREE ON FLAG AND COAT OF ARMS. Muslim and
Croat partners in the Bosnian Federation agreed on 25 October on a flag,
coat of arms and power-sharing in Sarajevo, Oslobodjenje reported the
next day. They also agreed on how to merge their police forces. One of
the agreements sets out how Sarajevo will be governed. Organization of
the city will be designed in three levels: as a nine-unit canton, as the
four-municipality city, and as the state district governed by Bosnia-
Herzegovina's government. In addition, the ruling Croatian Democratic
Community (HDZ), which threatened to boycott the newly elected
federation parliament unless it got a bigger share of power than the
4.7% of the vote it won in Bosnia's general election, was given 20% of
the seats reserved for Bosnian Croats in the regional parliament. --
Daria Sito Sucic

SERBIAN POLICE "CRUSH" LOCAL TRANSIT STRIKE. Belgrade police officers
broke up a strike by municipal transportation workers on 29 October,
Nasa Borba reported the following day (see OMRI Daily Digest, 29 October
1996). According to Beta accounts, police, including special units from
the interior ministry and officers in full combat gear became violent,
beating up workers and forcibly apprehending and arresting Dragoljub
Stosic, an opposition candidate for the 3 November municipal elections
in Belgrade and head of the local Belgrade City Transportation Company
trade union. Stosic's whereabouts and condition reportedly remain
unknown. One trade union official summed up the police action as "most
likely crushing the drivers' job action." Trade Union leaders, however,
have vowed to stage a major protest at city hall on 30 October if Stosic
is not released. -- Stan Markotich

KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY THREATENS TO KILL ETHNIC ALBANIAN COLLABORATORS.
The mysterious Kosovo Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the
killing of a Serb police officer and a civil servant on 25 October near
Podujevo, BBC reported on 30 October. The group, reportedly also
threatened to attack ethnic Albanian collaborators with the Serb
administration of Kosovo. Since January the group has taken
responsibility for the killing of nine Serbs. -- Fabian Schmidt

THIRD OF CROATIAN SERBS GRANTED AMNESTY REARRESTED. Of the 94 Croatian
Serbs recently released from prison under the new amnesty law 27 have
been rearrested, international agencies reported on 29 October quoting
Hina. Forty-five left for Serbia-Montenegro immediately upon release,
while those staying in Croatia were later arrested and charged with
arson, rape, or murder. Deputy Justice Minister Tomislav Penic said the
amnesty law does not apply to those charged with war crimes or criminal
acts committed during the war. But the Croatian Helsinki Committee
accused Croatian authorities of manipulating the amnesty law in order to
intimidate remaining Serbs and scare others from returning. -- Daria
Sito Sucic

FEDERAL YUGOSLAV AND CROATIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET. Mate Granic of
Croatia and Milan Milutinovic of Serbia-Montenegro on 29 October met in
Zagreb to discuss the further implementation of the agreement on
normalizing relations between the two countries, Croatian and Serbian
media reported. The two ministers signed an agreement abolishing visa
requirements for diplomats and government officials. But federal
Yugoslav citizens will still need visas to enter Croatia, and Croatians
must pay border-crossing fees and deposit their passports at the border
when they cross into Serbia-Montenegro. Granic and Milutinovic announced
a number of agreements regulating internal affairs, social, and economic
issues will be signed at the end of the year. Commissions for railway
and road restoration will start next week. Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman discussed with Milutinovic peaceful reintegration of eastern
Slavonia into Croatia. Tudjman said Croatia could not accept the six or
12 month extension of the UNTAES mandate but only a "three plus three"
extension, because of pressure by the general public. -- Daria Sito
Sucic

SLOVENIAN UPDATE. In the latest survey by the daily Delo, the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDS) of Premier Janez Drnovsek continues to lead in
voter popularity ahead of the 10 November election, Reuters reported on
28 October. Delo showed the LDS with 11.6% of respondents' support,
while a poll by Dnevnik showed the party's popularity increasing from
12.7% of voter support to 15.7%. Meanwhile, the rightist Social
Democrats led by former Defense Minister Janez Jansa continue to hold
second place in many polls, hovering around the 7% mark in popular
support. Up to about 39% of the electorate remains undecided. -- Stan
Markotich

ROMANIAN ELECTORAL ROUND-UP. Several newspapers on 29 October published
the results of a poll commissioned by the ruling Party of Social
Democracy in Romania (PDSR), which shows the PDSR and President Ion
Iliescu in serious decline over a period of 40 days. The confidential
poll was conducted by the IRSOP polling institute, and only partial
results were made public. Ziua, however, considers the results just
another attempt to influence public opinion and placate the opposition.
Meanwhile, Evenimentul Zilei accused the national TV station of
sabotaging the electoral campaign of the opposition Democratic
Convention and its presidential candidate, Emil Constantinescu, by
airing its electoral spot under poor technical conditions. -- Zsolt Mato

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION IN MOSCOW. A parliamentary delegation
headed by Chairman Petru Lucinschi is in Moscow on an official visit,
BASA-press and Infotag reported. Lucinschi, presidential candidate in
the 17 November election, is scheduled to meet with Russian Premier
Viktor Chernomyrdin, Russian Security Council Secretary Ivan Rybkin, the
chairmen of the two chambers, and other senior officials. On 28 October,
Lucinschi discussed with managers of the Russian gas monopoly, Gazprom,
Moldova's debts for gas deliveries and the possibility of increasing gas
supplies this winter. Political talks focused on the much-delayed
ratification of the Moldovan-Russian basic treaty and other bilateral
documents, as well as on the situation in Moldova's breakaway Dniester
region. Earlier this month, two other main presidential candidates,
Premier Andrei Sangheli and incumbent President Mircea Snegur, paid
visits to Moscow. -- Dan Ionescu

FINAL RESULTS OF BULGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS . . . The Central
Electoral Commission announced on 29 October the final results of the 27
October elections, national media reported. The united opposition
candidates Petar Stoyanov and Todor Kavaldzhiev, with 44.07% of the vote
and the Bulgarian Socialist's Party's (BSP) candidates Ivan Marazov and
Irina Bokova with 27.01%, will compete in 3 November runoffs. Coming in
third were the Bulgarian Business Bloc's Georges Ganchev and Arlin
Antonov with 21.87%. Independent candidates Alexander Tomov and Gen.
Liudmil Marinchevski won 3.16% of the vote while comedians Christo
Boichev and Ivan Koulekov garnered 1.34%. The united opposition won
almost the share of votes it received in 1995 local elections, while the
BSP lost about one million supporters, Pari reported on 30 October. --
Maria Koinova

. . . CAUSE SOCIALISTS TO MULL OVER THEIR POOR SHOWING. "The electoral
results are retribution for the [politics] of the Bulgarian Socialists
Party," announced Alexander Lilov, former chair of the BSP consul during
a plenum meeting on 28 October, Demokratsiya reported on 30 October.
Several other BSP party members and deputies, meanwhile, alleged that
the BSP's constituency boycotted the policies of the government. For his
part, Premier Zhan Videnov declared on 29 October that the results are a
vote against the "social hardship that people suffer." He went on,
denying rumors that BSP's executive bureau demanded his resignation. He
said that he will initiate calls for an emergency BSP congress, should
an election post mortem suggest the need for such action. -- Maria
Koinova

BRITAIN RETURNS ALBANIAN GOLD AFTER 50 YEARS. Britain on 29 October
agreed to return 1.5 tons of gold worth $19 million, AFP reported. The
money was looted from the Albanian central bank by the Nazis in WWII and
kept by the Bank of England. Britain had blocked the gold because of a
dispute over the sinking of a British warship and the severe damage of
another in the Corfu straits in 1946. Britain had charged Albania with
laying the mines that sunk the warship and demanded compensation for the
death of 44 British sailors. Communist Albania had denied responsibility
despite an International Court of Justice ruling in 1949. It agreed in
1992 to pay $2 million in compensation. Approval also had to be obtained
from the U.S. and France, which were members of the Tripartite
Commission. The U.S. gave its approval in 1995 and France in February
1996. -- Fabian Schmidt

FINAL ALBANIAN LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS. The Democratic Party won 58 of
the 64 town halls, and 268 of the 309 communes, international agencies
reported on 29 October. The Socialist opposition won only four town
halls and 14 communes. The coalition of the National Front Party and the
monarchist League of the Right won the town hall in Shkoder and the
National Front won another four communes. The Human Rights Union Party,
representing the ethnic Greek minority in southern Albania, won one town
hall and nine communes. The Republican Party won in six communes, the
Social Democratic Union in two and the Christian Democrats in one.
Independent candidates won in five communes. Overall the Democratic
Party won 52.5% of the vote for the party lists, followed by the
Socialists with 31.3%, the Republicans with 3.5% and the Center Pole
with 3.1%. The turnout was about 70%. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Valentina Huber

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                      All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570
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