Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. - Mark Twain
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 218, Part II, 11 November 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

CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE SUMMIT HELD IN AUSTRIA. A two-day meeting of
the Central European Initiative (CEI) was held in Graz on 8-9 November
and attended by the prime ministers and foreign ministers of the group's
16 member states, international media reported. The participants agreed
to increase joint efforts in fighting drugs and ended the summit with
calls for more international aid for Bosnia. CEI members include
Austria, Italy, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia,
Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania,
Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova. The CEI was established in 1989 by
Austria, Italy, Hungary, and Yugoslavia (the successor Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia's membership is pending). -- Sharon Fisher

UKRAINE TO SHUT REACTOR NO. 1 AT CHORNOBYL. Prime Minister Pavlo
Lazarenko said reactor No. 1 at the Chornobyl nuclear facility will be
closed forever on 30 November, international agencies reported on 9
November. That will leave only reactor No. 3 in operation until it too
is shut down in 1999. At a meeting of the heads of state of the Central
European Initiative in Graz, Austria, Lazarenko said Ukraine is meeting
its obligations concerning closing Chornobyl and called on the G-7
countries to fulfill their promises of financial aid for that purpose.
Those countries had agreed to provide $3.1 billion to fund the plant's
closure by 2000. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev

EARLY REFERENDUM VOTING STARTS IN BELARUS. Polling stations opened in
Belarus on 9 November for early voting for those who cannot vote on 24
November, the official referendum date, Belarusian and international
agencies reported. Early votes will not be counted until the rest of the
votes are cast. Voters have been given a standard ballot paper with
seven questions. Questions two and five (the president's and
parliament's versions of a constitution respectively) are strictly
consultative; voters must respond to every question. Lukashenka is also
asking voters whether they want to change the national holiday from the
day of the declaration of independence to the day Minsk was liberated
from the Germans, whether they approve of the free sale and purchase of
land, and whether to abolish the death penalty. Parliament has added its
own questions asking for a ban on special budgetary funds not approved
by parliament and on the procedures for appointing local officials. --
Ustina Markus

MORE INFORMATION ON MEETING OF ESTONIAN, RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS.
Returning from Strasbourg on 8 November after ending his term as head of
the Council of Europe's Council of Ministers, Estonian Foreign Minister
Siim Kallas gave more information about his talks with his counterpart
Yevgenii Primakov in Russia on 5 November, ETA reported. He said that in
the talks on a new border agreement, Estonia has stopped demanding that
Russia recognize the validity of the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty and Russia
has stopped pressing for compliance with a 1990 agreement in which
Estonia had promised automatic citizenship to all residents. The date
for signing the new agreement is not yet determined, as Russia rejected
Kallas's request that it be signed during the OSCE summit meeting in
Lisbon in December. Kallas said the upcoming visit of a group of Russian
experts to investigate the situation of the Russian-speaking minority
was a goodwill gesture unconnected with the border deal. -- Saulius
Girnius

RIGHT TRIUMPHS IN LITHUANIAN PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS. Winning 35 of the 65
single-mandate districts on 10 November, the Homeland Union
(Conservatives of Lithuania) [TS(LK)] gained control of the Seimas,
Radio Lithuania reported. The Christian Democratic (LKDP) and Social
Democratic Party won five seats each, the Center Union four, the
Democratic Labor (LDDP) and Democratic Parties two each. Eight other
parties won a single seat, as did four independent candidates. The
TS(LK), with 70 seats, and its ally, the LKDP, with 16 seats, are
clearly in control of the 141-seat parliament (four seats will be filled
in 1997). The neo-communist LDDP, which had won a majority in 1992, was
reduced to 12 seats. It is expected that TS(LK) Chairman Vytautas
Landsbergis will be elected Seimas chairman at its first session on 25
November. -- Saulius Girnius

CONTROVERSY OVER POLISH RULING PARTY'S DEBT. Social Democracy of the
Polish Republic (SdRP)--the main party in the Social Democratic
Alliance, which is a senior partner in the Polish ruling coalition--is
considering asking the government to negotiate a settlement for its
debt, Polish dailies reported on 9 November. The SdRP, the successor to
the Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR), incurred a debt of about 25
million zloty (almost $9 million) through illegal use of PZPR property,
which it was obliged to return to the state under the 1990 law. Claiming
the 1990 law is retroactive, the SdRP has refused to reveal how it used
the PZPR assets. -- Beata Pasek

CZECH COUNTERINTELLIGENCE SCANDAL. Josef Lux, deputy premier and
Christian Democratic Union chairman, announced on 8 November that he has
proof that the Security Information Service (BIS) followed him in late
1993 and early 1994, Czech media reported. Lux's accusations are similar
to complaints voiced early last year by Jan Kalvoda, chairman of the
Civic Democratic Alliance, another junior coalition party. Coming just
one week before the Senate elections, Lux's announcement caused a stir
on the political scene. BIS deputy head Sylva Sauerova on 10 November
accused BIS interim head Stanislav Devaty of "ceaselessly" violating the
law during his four-year term in office. A former dissident and a
founding member of Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus's Civic Democratic Party,
Devaty claimed innocence and left on vacation. Returning early from the
Central European Initiative summit, Klaus tried to play down the matter.
Meanwhile, President Vaclav Havel called for the appointment of a
permanent BIS head. -- Sharon Fisher

INTERNATIONAL SKINHEAD RALLY IN CZECH REPUBLIC. Some 700 neo-Nazis from
the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Germany gathered on 9 November
in the Czech village of Kozolupy near Pilsen for the first meeting of
the pan-European neo-Nazi movement, CTK reported. The gathering, held on
the anniversary of the 1938 Kristallnacht anti-Jewish pogrom, featured a
concert by five neo-Nazi rock groups. Police reportedly arrested seven
participants in the rally. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAKIA'S TALKS AT CEI SUMMIT. At the Central European Initiative (CEI)
summit, Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar said that the organization
should not deal with questions of national minorities. He said the
standards should be set by the Council of Europe and not any other
European body. Slovak Foreign Minister Pavol Hamzik and his Hungarian
counterpart Laszlo Kovacs on 8 November discussed the need to create an
intergovernmental commission to oversee the fulfillment of the bilateral
treaty. Although the plans are still incomplete, the commission is
expected to have several working groups, including one for national
minority issues. During the summit, Meciar also met European Investment
Bank President Brian Unwin, who offered Slovakia 40 million ECU ($50
million) for building highways from Bratislava to the Austrian and
Hungarian borders. -- Anna Siskova

HUNGARIAN COALITION PARTIES FAIL TO REACH CONSENSUS AT SUMMIT. Leaders
of the governing coalition parties made no substantive headway at a
major coalition summit on 8 November that was organized to ease the
tensions generated by the privatization scandal, Hungarian dailies
reported. The Hungarian Socialist Party and the Alliance of Free
Democrats (SZDSZ) only agreed to hold more consultations in the coming
weeks. Meeting for the first time in the two-and-a-half year operation
of the coalition government, the executive bodies of the two parties
agreed to pressure the party caucuses to open consultations on the
delayed conflict-of-interest bill and have it passed by mid-December.
Contrary to earlier statements by leading SZDSZ politicians that the
party may consider pulling out of the coalition at its mid-November
national congress, Magyar Hirlap reports that the party is unlikely to
vote on the issue. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO TO DISCUSS NEW FORCE FOR BOSNIA. NATO diplomats met on 11 November
in Brussels to discuss proposals for a new military force for Bosnia to
replace the present NATO-led Implementation Force (IFOR) next year,
international agencies reported. No firm decision is expected before the
Paris meeting on Bosnia on 14 November. NATO military leaders have drawn
up four options for the new force. The most likely to be adopted is
Option C, which calls for a multinational force of 20,000-30,000 to
remain in Bosnia for a further year, backed by rapid intervention units
based in region. The other options -- Option A, that IFOR force withdraw
without replacement; Option B, that a simple dissuasion force remain
with no fighting troops; and Option D, that a mission be launched on the
same scale as IFOR with the same number of soldiers -- are unlikely to
be chosen. Meanwhile, U.S. President Bill Clinton said on 10 November
that the U.S. troops could remain in Bosnia after December as part of a
"smaller mission," AFP reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

IZETBEGOVIC WANTS EU MANDATE IN MOSTAR EXTENDED. The chairman of
Bosnia's collective presidency, Alija Izetbegovic, appealed for an
extension of the European Union mission in the divided city of Mostar
before its mandate expires at the end of the year, Oslobodjenje reported
on 11 November. Izetbegovic wrote to EU ministers urging the mission to
stay to help reunify the city and praising the work of the EU
administrator of Mostar, Sir Martin Garrod. Meanwhile, UN spokesman
Alexander Ivanko said that armed Bosnian Croat special police had agreed
to disband their units in line with a request from the UN police, AFP
reported on 9 November. -- Daria Sito Sucic

MLADIC'S OFFICERS REFUSE TO ACCEPT HIS OUSTER. Bosnian Serb President
Biljana Plavsic on 9 November fired the Republika Srpska's military
commander, Gen. Ratko Mladic, Nasa Borba reported on 11 November. Gen.
Zdravko Tolimir, Gen. Milan Gvero, and other top military leaders were
also sacked in the civilian leadership's latest and well-planned move
against the unruly military, which has close links to Belgrade. The new
chief of staff is Gen. Pero Colic, and his deputy is Gen. Dragan
Josipovic. AFP quoted the Belgrade paper Blic, however, as saying that
Mladic's staff refuses to accept the dismissal. Reuters added that the
entire command is ignoring the changes despite their approval by
parliament. Plavsic had cited pressure from the international community
because of Mladic's indictment for war crimes as a reason for his
ouster, but the Republika Srpska constitution bans his extradition to
The Hague. -- Patrick Moore

MUSLIMS, SERBS CONFRONT EACH OTHER. Over 100 Muslims marched across the
inter-entity boundary toward Koraj in northern Bosnia on the morning of
11 November to go home to their village, which is now under Serb
control. A UN police spokesman said that shots were fired from the Serb
side, but it is not clear whether anyone was wounded, AFP reported. This
is but the latest case of force being used to deter refugees from
exercising their right, guaranteed by the Dayton agreement, to return to
their homes. The Muslims said they had applied through UN channels to go
home but had received no reply. In a related story, eight Muslim homes
were blown up in the Serb-held strategic Brcko area late in the night of
9 November, Onasa reported. -- Patrick Moore

MILOSEVIC ASKS UN TO STAY IN EASTERN SLAVONIA. Meeting on 8 November
with Jacques Klein, head of the UN transitional administration in
eastern Slavonia, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic asked that the UN
mandate in the area be extended by a year, AFP reported. Eastern
Slavonia is the last Serb-held part of Croatia. Federal Yugoslavia sent
a letter to the Security Council officially requesting a year-long
extension of the mandate and saying that a shorter mandate could
threaten regional stability through the prospect of a mass exodus of
tens of thousands of Serbs. Meanwhile, Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman, who agreed in principle that the UN mandate be extended for six
more months, met on 9 November with local Serb leaders for the first
time, Reuters reported. Serb representative Vojislav Stanimirovic said
he hopes that regional elections will be possible in March 1997 and that
all local Serbs, not just original prewar residents, will be able to
vote. -- Daria Sito Sucic

CAN SLOVENIA'S PREMIER FORM THE NEXT GOVERNMENT? Janez Drnovsek's
Liberal Democratic Party (LDS) emerged the strongest after the 10
November parliamentary elections, STA reported the same day. With nearly
all votes counted, the LDS has 27.1%, an increase of some 3% from its
share in the 1992 elections. Drnovsek told TV Slovenija that the largest
parliamentary party should be asked to form a government but questions
have already arisen about how stable one anchored by the LDS can be. Two
rightist parties, Marjan Podobnik's Slovenian People's Party and Janez
Jansa's Social Democrats, are making inroads. Podobnik said the priority
is to form a coalition government of rightist parties under the
"Slovenian Spring" banner, but he does not rule out cooperation with
Drnovsek. Projections have the LDS winning 25 of 90 seats, with
Podobnik's party second gaining 19, and Jansa's third with 16. -- Stan
Markotich

SEATS DISTRIBUTED IN ROMANIA'S NEW PARLIAMENT. The Central Electoral
Bureau released final data on the distribution of parliamentary seats
among the six parties that passed the 3% hurdle, Radio Bucharest
reported on 10 November. The number of seats for the Senate and the
Chamber of Deputies, respectively, are as follows: Democratic Convention
of Romania (CDR): 53, 122; Party of Social Democracy in Romania: 41, 91;
Social Democratic Union (USD): 23, 53; Hungarian Democratic Federation
of Romania (UDMR): 11, 25; Greater Romania Party: 8, 19; and the Party
of Romanian National Unity: 7,18. In addition, 15 minority organizations
have each received a seat in the Chamber of Deputies. The CDR-USD
governmental coalition has a majority of 53% in the Senate and of 51% in
the Chamber of Deputies. With the support of the UDMR the coalition
could reach a majority of about 60% in both chambers. -- Zsolt Mato

MOLDOVA ACCEPTED INTO THE CENTRAL EUROPEAN INITIATIVE. Moldova on 9
November became the 16th member of the Central European Initiative,
RFE/RL reported the same day. Moldovan Foreign Minister Mihai Popov said
his country's acceptance into the regional cooperation organization
means Moldova is viewed as a Central European state in all respects. In
other news, preparations continue for Moldova's 17 November presidential
elections. The Central Electoral Commission (CEC) settled the problem of
voting in the breakaway Dniester republic, Infotag reported on 8
November, setting up 12 polling stations where Dniester residents can
cast their votes. The CEC accused the Dniester authorities of violating
citizens' right to vote by failing to establish electoral
constituencies. -- Zsolt Mato

BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER UNSURE ABOUT HIS POLITICAL FUTURE. Zhan Videnov
will ask for a confidence vote during the plenary meeting of the
Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) on 11 November, Bulgarian and
international media reported. But Videnov said on 9 November he does not
know whether he will survive such a vote since the majority in his favor
"is not very stable right now." Videnov came under strong pressure after
the BSP candidate's weak showing in the recent presidential election and
a call for a new government by 19 top BSP members. One party official
told RFE/RL that political "bloodshed" is expected at the plenary
meeting. In other news, a gun with a silencer was found hidden behind
the radiator in the entrance hall of a house near where former Prime
Minister Andrey Lukanov was murdered on 2 October, RFE/RL reported on 8
November. -- Stefan Krause

FIGHT CONTINUES OVER ALBANIAN TRADE UNIONS. Democratic Party (DP)
legislator Azem Hajdari and his followers tried to break into the
congress of the Independent Trade Unions (BSPSH) on 9 November and to
forcefully take over its headquarters, but police intervened. The DP
publicly distanced itself from Hajdari, Zeri i Popullit reported on 10
November. Hajdari, meanwhile, called for a mass demonstration on 12
November against current BSPSH leader Valer Xheka. Xheka called Hajdari
an adventurer and said the current leadership enjoyed the support of all
BSPSH branches. He also brought legal charges against Hajdari. Hajdari
on 8 November got a writ of mandamus blocking the bank accounts of the
BSPSH, but the next day the court lifted the ruling, ATSH reported.
Elsewhere, police detained three participants in the 5 November rebel
congress at which Hajdari was elected new trade union leader, Koha Jone
reported on 10 November. -- Fabian Schmidt

EU GRANTS ALBANIA 33 MILLION ECU. The European Union on 8 November
granted Albania 33 million ECU ($42 million), Rilindja Demokratike
reported. The money is for reform measures and infrastructure projects
including modernizing the judicial and education systems, supporting
market economy reforms, and improving roads. The EU representative in
Albania, Elio Germano, claimed that relations between the EU and Albania
had normalized. The EU has granted Albania a total of 212 million ECU
until 2000. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Susan Caskie

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