If we are to live together in peace, we must first come to know each other better. - Lyndon B. Johnson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

Part II, 3 November 1996

OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 209, Part I, 29 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

UKRAINE TIGHTENS CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENTS. The Ukrainian Parliament on
30 October adopted a new citizenship law barring dual citizenship in the
country, Ukrainian media reported the next day. The new legislation
requires anyone seeking Ukrainian citizenship to relinquish all foreign
citizenship. The previous law of October 1991 allowed dual citizenship
if a bilateral treaty between countries existed providing for mutual
citizenship, although no such treaty was signed with Russia. The recent
decision has upset many leftists and Crimean forces who have lobbied for
dual Russian-Ukrainian citizenship, especially in regions heavily
populated with ethnic Russians. The new law states that anyone who has
lived in Ukraine since 1991 may be naturalized. Individuals living
abroad who can prove Ukrainian origins may be eligible as well. --
Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN TYCOON SHOT IN DONETSK. Parliamentary deputy Yevhen Shcherban
and his wife were shot dead at Donetsk airport on 3 November,
international agencies reported. The killers fled in a car, which was
later found burned. Ukrainian media had linked Shcherban, one of the
richest businessmen in Ukraine, with an unsuccessful attempt on Prime
Minister Lazarenko's life last July in Kyiv. Shcherban denied the
accusations. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev

UKRAINIAN FOREIGN ROUNDUP. Argentinian Foreign Minister Guido di Tella
was in Kyiv on 1 November for an official visit, Ukrainian and
international agencies reported. Di Tella met with President Leonid
Kuchma, parliamentary speaker Oleksandr Moroz, and his counterpart
Hennadii Udovenko. Udovenko said Ukraine wants a special relationship
with Argentina because some 300,000 ethnic Ukrainians live there and
stressed scientific cooperation in Antarctica and between their space
agencies. The same day, Russian Public Television reported Russian Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said the issue of the Black Sea Fleet was
not yet completely resolved, and November talks would take place only if
"constructive solutions" had been found. On 4 November ITAR-TASS
reported Britain's Prince Charles arrived in Ukraine to open a memorial
for British soldiers who died in the Crimean War. -- Ustina Markus

BELARUSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER DISMISSED. President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
dismissed Defense Minister Leanid Maltseu at a ceremony marking the 75th
anniversary of a medical institute because the minister appeared drunk
and unable to coherently deliver a speech, international agencies
reported on 1 November. First deputy Defense Minister and chief-of-staff
Alyaksandr Chumakau was named acting defense minister. Lukashenka
interrupted Maltseu and ordered him to leave. He then apologized to the
audience for the "former defense minister's" behavior. Belapan reported
former Interior Minister Yuryi Zakharenka said he did not rule out that
Maltseu's drunkenness was a result of "provocation." He said he knew
Maltseu personally, and the former defense minister did not abuse
alcohol. AFP reported deputy Henadz Karpenka said Maltseu's drunkenness
was not an isolated incident. Last week, Finance Minister Pavel Dik
appeared drunk in parliament. -- Ustina Markus

REFORM PARTY DEMANDS MORE WEIGHT IN ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT. The board of
the Estonian Reform Party, meeting on 1 November in Paide, decided that
the party's recent successes in local elections should result in its
having greater initiative in the government, BNS reported. Party
secretary general Heiki Kranich, however, said the party had no
intention of leaving the ruling coalition with the Coalition Party and
rural parties nor would it demand more ministerial portfolios. The area
where the party will most likely try to assert its influence is by
demanding changes in the 1997 draft budget proposed by the Coalition
Party. -- Saulius Girnius

LATVIA SUSPENDS AEROFLOT FLIGHTS TO RIGA. Gennady Danilychev, head of
the Aeroflot department for the Baltic region, announced on 1 November
that Latvia had rejected the Russian airline's winter schedule of three
weekly flights from Moscow to Riga, Western agencies reported the next
day. The decision was a reaction to Russia's earlier refusal to grant
the Latvian carrier, Baltic Airways, flights from Riga to Moscow.
Danilychev said that Baltic Airways was virtually owned by the
Scandinavian airline, SAS, and was thus treated differently than if it
were owned by a former Soviet republic. The only airline continuing
flights between the two cities is Russia's Transaero. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRIME MINISTER IN HOLLAND. Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok told his
Polish counterpart Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz in The Hague, that Poland
would become a NATO member in 1999, but he avoided specifying the date
of its EU entry, Polish dailies reported on 2 November. Kok, however,
promised that Holland, which will hold the rotating EU presidency in the
first half of 1997, will ensure that entry negotiations with East
European applicants begin in early 1998. In a speech to the Institute of
International Affairs in The Hague, Cimoszewicz said that Poland does
not agree that NATO should sign an accord with Russia before making a
decision on eastern expansion. -- Beata Pasek

FORMER POLISH PRESIDENT ON TAIWAN. Former Polish President Lech Walesa
met with Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui during his five-day visit to
Taiwan, which ended on 4 November, Polish and international media
reported. Walesa was invited as a guest of the dailyChina Times and
Taiwan's trade unions.
Walesa called on democratic countries to sever relations with communist
China, following China's latest sentencing of Wang Dan, a human rights
activist, to 11 years in prison. Poland still recognizes the government
in Beijing as the government of all of China. But Taiwan opened a
representative office in Warsaw in 1992 and Poland opened a trade office
in Taiwan in 1995. -- Jakub Karpinski

SLOVAK OPPOSITION DEPUTY ON SECRET SERVICE. Democratic Union deputy
Milan Knazko told Sme on 2 November that the Slovak Information Service
has been misused against internal enemies. Knazko said he decided to
withhold from authorities the whereabouts of Oskar Fegyveres--the lead
witness in the kidnapping case of President Michal Kovac's son--because
of fears for Fegyveres's life. His suspicion was raised by methods used
by the SIS against Fegyveres's friend, Robert Remias, who was killed in
an April car explosion, he said, adding that the SIS has also shadowed
journalists, opposition deputies who spoke publicly about illegal SIS
activities, and Jaroslav Simunic, the first investigator of the Kovac
Jr. case. Currently, the secret service is shadowing Kovac Jr.'s lawyer
Jan Havlat, Knazko said. He said that while a number of post-1989 SIS
agents have been fired, the SIS now employs many Moscow-trained agents
from the communist era. -- Sharon Fisher

DEBATE ABOUT INTEGRATION ON SLOVAK TV. Western integration topped the
agenda of the political debate on Slovak TV's Kroky (Steps) on 3
November. The debate showed the lack of understanding between the
opposition and the ruling coalition. Parliamentary Foreign Committee
Chairman Dusan Slobodnik said that despite efforts by the opposition
press to depict Slovakia in a "bad light," EU deputies maintain positive
relations with Slovakia. Slobodnik said Meciar's speech before the joint
EU-Slovak parliamentary committee--in which he accused the president and
opposition of damaging Slovakia's reputation abroad (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 1 November)--was factual. According to Slobodnik, the
opposition's aim is to prevent Meciar from leading Slovakia to the EU
and NATO, thinking naively that Meciar and his party would be blamed for
the failure. -- Anna Siskova

HUNGARIAN UNDERWORLD FIGURE KILLED. Jozsef Prisztas was shot dead on the
morning of 1 November while getting into his car outside his Budapest
apartment, Hungarian and international media reported. Prisztas, a
restaurateur, was also said to deal in slot machines. Budapest Police
chief Janos Bodracska said gang warfare has gone beyond what a civilized
capital can tolerate, and police are offering a 1 million forint
($6,300) reward to anyone providing clues leading to those responsible
for four grenade attacks that have recently hit Budapest. Interior
Minister Gabor Kuncze said public security in Budapest is comparable to
other large European cities. He said homicides, burglaries, and
robberies have fallen in 1996, although car theft has become more
prevalent. -- Sharon Fisher

HUNGARY ASKS GERMANY TO TAKE BACK HAZARDOUS WASTE. A German Environment
Ministry spokesman said on 2 November that Hungary has asked Germany to
take back 380 tons of industrial chemicals stranded on its territory for
months, AFP reported. The German weekly Der Spiegel reported that the
waste, destined for China, was to be shipped via Croatia; however,
Croatian authorities refused its passage and returned it to Hungary. The
German ministry stressed that the matter is the responsibility of the
state Environment Ministry of Lower Saxony, the region where the waste
supposedly originated. But a Lower Saxony spokeswoman said it was
unclear why her state should be responsible, adding that it was
uncertain whether the chemicals actually constitute hazardous waste,
Reuters reported on 3 November. -- Sharon Fisher

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

IZETBEGOVIC "TO MOVE" CONTROVERSIAL BOSNIAN DEFENSE OFFICIAL. President
Alija Izetbegovic said that Deputy Defense Minister Hasan Cengic will be
transferred to another job as part of a government reshuffle.
Izetbegovic apparently refused to bow to U.S. pressure and openly sack
the minister, whose removal Washington said was a precondition for
resumption of U.S. military aid, AFP reported on 3 November. The public
imbroglio has dragged on for nearly two weeks. U.S. spokesmen
a†Ddifferent times have given two reasons for Cengic's removal: he was
allegedly blocking the integration of the Croat-Muslim joint command; or
because of his purported links to Iran. Izetbegovic has denied that
Cengic or any of the Bosnian military have links to Iran, saying "we
chose military cooperation with the United States [over that with Iran],
because that gives more guarantees in preventing aggression in the
future." --  Patrick Moore

SERBIAN PRESIDENT CELEBRATES ELECTORAL VICTORIES ... Slobodan Milosevic
and members of his leftist coalition, including his wife and leader of
the Yugoslav United Left, are celebrating electoral victory in federal
Yugoslavia's 3 November parliamentary elections, Reuters reported.
Official results are far from in, and may be delayed until 7 November.
Nevertheless, only hours after polls closed at 8 p.m., a representative
of Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia told the press that Milosevic's
leftist coalition had "an overwhelming lead" over the main opposition
coalition Zajedno (Together). Polling for local offices and the
Montenegrin republican legislature were also held. Back on 5 October AIM
Podgorica reported that changes to the electoral law favored the
Montenegrin ruling Democratic Socialist Party so much so that the modest
support of only 30% of the electorate could still theoretically
translate into a majority of seats for the DPS in the 85-member house.
-- Stan Markotich

... WHILE THE OPPOSITION POINTS TO IRREGULARITIES. Meanwhile, the
opposition camp has raised serious questions over electoral
improprieties. For his part, nationalist leader of the Democratic Party,
Zoran Djindjic, remarked he was barred from monitoring the polls in
several constituencies. Moreover, several opposition leaders continue to
claim that the ruling Socialists dominated media coverage of the
elections throughout the campaign, and that the Socialists--despite the
presence of some international observers--still control vote counting
procedures. Finally, independent and pro-opposition media encountered
difficulties in reporting returns, prompting allegations of government
interference. Nasa Borba on 4 November reported that Podgorica's Radio
Antena M, suffered a cut in its power supply while attempting to report
electoral irregularities. A representative of the station has said that
deliberate arson may have caused the broadcast interruption. -- Stan
Markotich

MACEDONIA ABOLISHES DEATH PENALTY. A new penal code went into effect on
1 November, AFP reported. Crimes that used to receive capital punishment
now carry maximum penalties of 20 years to life in prison. The new penal
code also includes offenses that were formerly unspecified such as
computer fraud, money laundering, and racketeering. -- Fabian Schmidt

SLOVENIAN UPDATE. Relations between Ljubljana and Rome continue to
improve, Reuters reported on 1 November. Italy and Slovenia reached an
accord on the preservation of grave sites of ethnic Italians who died on
what is now Slovenian territory during the Second World War. In other
news, Joze Smole, a long-time confidante of socialist Yugoslav leader
Josip Broz Tito, died in a Ljubljana hospital on 31 October, STA
reported. Smole, who was 69, served in a number posts, including that of
Belgrade's ambassador to Moscow. -- Stan Markotich

ROMANIAN ELECTIONS LOOK TIGHT. Voter turnout was just above 70% in the
country's third post-communist presidential and general elections on 3
November, Romanian and foreign media reported the same day. Preliminary
results are expected on 4 November, but various exit polls indicate that
the opposition might for the first time win the elections. The
Democratic Convention of Romania (CDR) garnered 32-36% of the votes. CDR
is followed by the currently ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania
with 21-25%, and the Social Democratic Union with 11-13%. Among
presidential candidates, incumbent President Ion Iliescu and CDR
candidate Emil Constantinescu appear set for a neck-to-neck struggle. A
runoff for the presidency on 17 November appears inevitable. -- Dan
Ionescu and Zsolt Mato

ROMANIAN SECRET SERVICE HEAD SAYS HE WILL QUIT. Before voting on 3
November, Virgil Magureanu, head of the Romanian Intelligence Service,
suggested that he might quit his job under the new legislature, Mediafax
and Reuters reported. Magureanu said he would "vote for the change,"
without elaborating. Asked about a recent spy scandal in France provoked
by revelations about former French Defence Minister Charles Hernu having
allegedly worked for communist secret services, Magureanu said that the
scandal might damage Romania's image in the West and hamper its efforts
to join NATO. -- Dan Ionescu

TWO TO RUN IN DNIESTER PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. The central electoral
commission of the self-declared Dniester republic registered two
candidates in the presidential race, scheduled for 22 December, BASA-
press and Reuters reported on 2 November. The two are incumbent
president Igor Smirnov and Vladimir Malakhov, a businessman who heads
the Chamber of Local Industries. Six others who intended to run for
presidency, including head of the Tiraspol legislature Vitalii Glebov,
failed to collect the required 10,000 signatures. Smirnov, a Soviet-era
industrial manager who used to run one of the region's biggest
factories, is viewed as the sure winner. -- Dan Ionescu

OPPOSITION CANDIDATE WINS BULGARIAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. Petar
Stoyanov of the united opposition and his running mate, Todor
Kavaldzhiev, on 3 November won the second round of the Bulgarian
presidential elections, beating Culture Minister Ivan Marazov and Deputy
Foreign Minister Irina Bokova of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP),
Bulgarian media reported. According to preliminary figures issued by the
Central Electoral commission the following day, Stoyanov received 59.96%
of the vote, and Marazov, 40.04%. Turnout was put at 61.72%. Stoyanov
garnered 70-75% in Sofia and Plovdiv, and around two thirds of the vote
in the other big towns. On a nationwide scale, Stoyanov also won by a
slight majority in small towns and villages, which have tended to vote
for the BSP. Marazov scored a narrow victory in the traditionally
leftist northwest. Stoyanov will replace outgoing President Zhelyu
Zhelev on 22 January 1997. -- Stefan Krause in Sofia

SOCIALIST REACTIONS TO STOYANOV'S VICTORY. Prime Minister and BSP
Chairman Zhan Videnov at an election night press conference refused to
state whether there will be personal consequences within the government
or the party as a result of the lost presidential elections. Marazov and
Bokova also did not say whether they will resign from the government
after a campaign in which they distanced themselves to a large extent
from the government and Videnov, but they implied they will stay on.Trud
reported that at a meeting of the BSP Executive Bureau earlier the same
day Videnov said he will ask for a confidence vote as party leader at an
extraordinary party congress to take place by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Kontinent reported that a BSP plenary meeting was set for 11
November to discuss the election results. -- Stefan Krause in Sofia

UPDATED FINAL ALBANIAN LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS. According to the latest
figures, given to Reuters on 2 November by Central Election Commission,
the Democratic Party won 58 out of 64 town halls and 267 out of 310
communes. The Socialist Party won four town halls, one mayoralty went to
an independent candidate and another to a candidate from a rightist
coalition between the Monarchy Legality Movement and the National Front.
The Socialists won 15 rural communes, five were won by independent
candidates and nine by the ethnic Greek Human Rights party. The National
Front won four communes, the Republican Party six, the Social Democratic
Union two and the Christian Democrats one. Turnout in both rounds on
October 20 and 27 was 72%. Meanwhile, the Center Pole Coalition said the
vote was fraudulent, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 2 November. -- Fabian
Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Valentina Huber

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