If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. - Carl Sagan
OMRI DAILY DIGEST</head>

No. 219, Part II, 12 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

UKRAINE ON BLACK SEA FLEET. First Deputy Defense Minister Ivan Bizhan
said that Sevastopol cannot be an exclusive military base for the
Russian Black Sea Fleet, Ukrainian radio reported on 11 November. He
said Russian ground forces should be removed from Ukraine's territory
and Russia should give an exact count of the ships and troops it wants
to keep based temporarily in Ukraine. He added that the location of
Ukraine's navy command is not a subject for discussion, as that is an
internal Ukrainian matter. Bizhan said the stumbling block in the last
round of talks was the Sevastopol issue as Russia is "categorically
opposed" to having Ukraine's navy command based there. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT WARNS AGAINST EXTREMIST NATIONALISM. In his weekly
nationwide radio address, Leonid Kuchma warned that his administration
would use "every available legal means" against any group found guilty
of stirring up ethnic hatred and discord in the country, Radio Ukraine
reported on 10 November. Kuchma said he wasn't referring to any specific
incident but that "national chauvinism, Ukrainophobia, anti-Semitism,
and Russophobia are great dangers." Kuchma said the country's new
constitution guarantees equal rights for all of Ukraine's 100 national
minorities and added that he regularly holds meetings with
representatives of minority groups. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

BELARUSIAN ELECTORAL COMMISSION SAYS REFERENDUM NOT VALID. Head of the
Central Electoral Commission Viktar Hanchar said he will not validate
the results of the referendum on a new constitution and other issues
because of the way it is being conducted, Reuters and ITAR-TASS reported
on 11 November. Early voting in the referendum by those who won't be
able to vote on 24 November began on 9 November. Hanchar called the
referendum a "national disgrace" and said he would not allow a
referendum to be carried out according to an individual's "own rules and
by decrees that contradict Constitutional Court rulings." Under the law,
Hanchar has to approve the referendum results before they can be
implemented. Hanchar said voting is taking place even though copies of
the draft constitutions at issue have not yet been delivered to polling
stations, and people do not know what they are voting for. In addition,
although the early voting is meant only for those who cannot make the
official referendum date, state television has been exhorting people to
vote early. -- Ustina Markus

LATVIAN PRESIDENT ASKS SAEIMA TO REVISE MILITARY SERVICE LAW. Before
leaving on a five-day trip to Great Britain on 11 November, Guntis
Ulmanis sent back to the parliament the law on obligatory military
service that was passed on 7 November by a vote of 66 to 11 with 8
abstentions, BNS reported. He asked that parliament reconsider the
articles that allow students to go into the reserves directly if they
have undergone military training during their studies and that reduce
the term of service for conscripts from 18 to 12 months. Saeima Defense
and Interior Affairs Committee Chairman Julijs Druva approved the
president's measure but noted that the parliament would probably only
discuss the law in January as it had the state budget and many other
important bills to consider. -- Saulius Girnius

ESTONIAN TRADE UNIONS PROTEST MINIMUM WAGE FREEZE. Leaders of the
Estonian Trade Unions Central Union and the Association of Estonian
Trade Unions protested the statement by Social Affairs Minister Toomas
Vilosius that no money could be found in the 1997 state budget to
increase minimum wages, BNS reported on 11 November. They said that the
current minimum wage of 680 kroons ($57) per month should be increased
to calm social tensions. While European standards recommend that the
minimum wage be 40% of the average wage, in Estonia it is less than 21%.
-- Saulius Girnius

POLAND CELEBRATES INDEPENDENCE DAY. Poles on 11 November celebrated the
78th anniversary of Poland's rebirth after more than a century of
Russian, Prussian, and Austrian domination, Polish media reported on 12
November. At the official celebrations, President Aleksander Kwasniewski
said the biggest danger Poland faces today is "imposition of the opinion
that achievement of national goals--security and welfare--does not
require continuing reforms but some unspecified 'turning' or 'awakening'
of Poland." Kwasniewski was referring to the slogan of the extra-
parliamentary Movement for Poland's Reconstruction (ROP): "Poland, wake
up." The opposition Solidarity Electoral Action, ROP, and Freedom Union
commemorated Independence Day separately from the government. -- Beata
Pasek

WOULD-BE NATO MEMBERS WANT SAY IN NEGOTIATIONS ON NATO-RUSSIA CHARTER.
Czech Foreign Minister Josef Zieleniec on 11 November said NATO
applicants should be invited to take part in talks on a strategic
partnership between the military alliance and Russia, Reuters reported.
"For us NATO allies, it is very important that the debate with Russia
not take place over our heads," Zieleniec said after talks with his
visiting Hungarian counterpart Laszlo Kovacs. Both countries along with
Poland are expected to become members in the first round of NATO's
enlargement. Kovacs backed Slovakia's membership in the alliance, saying
it is in line with the interests of the Czech Republic and Hungary to
have Slovakia become part of Euro-Atlantic structures. Slovakia has been
repeatedly warned by the United States and the European Union that its
potential membership in NATO and the EU is in jeopardy unless it makes
more progress on democratic reforms and improves treatment of its large
Hungarian minority. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

CZECH SECRET SERVICE CHIEF QUITS. Security Information Service (BIS)
head Stanislav Devaty resigned on 11 November amid accusations that his
service spied on Deputy Premier Josef Lux and subsequently tried to
cover it up, Czech media reported. Devaty, who has been interim BIS
chief since December 1992, denied the charges but said he was resigning
under political pressure just days before the Senate elections. He told
CTK that he is continuing to serve as director until a new chief is
appointed. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus accepted his political ally's
resignation but accused his coalition partners of taking unfair steps
against his party. Interior Minister Jan Ruml expressed continued
support for Devaty, while President Vaclav Havel called Devaty's
departure "a reasonable step." Also on 11 November, the opposition
Social Democrats' leader, Milos Zeman, asserted that BIS agents recently
visited his mother to gain compromising information on him, an
allegation that Klaus denied. -- Sharon Fisher

CZECH RESTAURANT WON'T SERVE ROMA. Restaurateur Frantisek Korab of the
northern Bohemian town of Litomerice recently put up a sign banning Roma
from his restaurant, CTK reported on 11 November. Noting that some
Romani customers have incurred debts reaching a combined total of 10,000
crowns ($370), Korab said Roma could begin coming again after they repay
him. Korab told CTK that his ban has nothing to do with racism. The
incident follows a case in March in the southern Moravian town of
Breclav, where a hotel owner who was running for a parliamentary seat
representing the liberal Free Democrats put up a similar sign. The
district attorney said then that the action was "unsuitable and
discriminatory but not criminal." The party failed to pass the 5%
barrier required for parliamentary representation. -- Sharon Fisher

OSCE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR MINORITIES IN SLOVAKIA. Max van der Stoel
arrived in Slovakia on 11 November for a two-day visit following his
trip to Hungary last week, Slovak dailies reported. His recommendations
concerning the Hungarian minority issue in Slovakia were submitted to
the Slovak government last August, and the government's answer--which
was received in October--is now publicly available. According to van der
Stoel, Slovakia should pass a law enabling the use of minority languages
for official contexts. Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's spokesman said
van der Stoel believes "more loyalty from the Hungarian minority toward
the Slovak state is needed." -- Anna Siskova

ACCUSATIONS AGAINST SLOVAK INFORMATION SERVICE CONTINUE. Parliamentary
deputy Frantisek Gaulieder, who last week left the parliamentary caucus
of the ruling Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), on 11 November
accused the secret service of spying on him. In an interview with
Austrian TV, Gaulieder--one of the HZDS's founding members--said
Meciar's cabinet "has been striving for the full seizure of power and
the full execution of power in order to dominate society at Meciar's
discretion, but this puts an end to democracy." Before he left the HZDS
parliamentary caucus, Gaulieder reportedly received threats that his
children would be kidnapped. -- Anna Siskova

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

MUSLIM REFUGEES BATTLE WITH SERBS. A Dutch UN police monitor and a man
said to be a Bosnian Serb were wounded in an exchange of gunfire between
Muslim returnees and Serbs in the town of Koraj in northeastern Bosnia
on 11 November, international and local agencies reported. UN spokesman
Alexander Ivanko said the shooting broke out when some 500 Muslims
attempted to return to their homes across the inter-entity boundary
line. Muslim refugees who tried to return to their village, Gajevi, said
the Serbs shot at them with pistols, rifles, and grenades. The Bosnian
Serb news agency SRNA, for its part, said the Muslims attacked the
village with grenades and light infantry fire. According to a Muslim
refugee, Bosnian Serbs early on 12 November shelled the village of
Gajevi, injuring two people, AFP reported. UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski
blamed Bosnian Serbs and Croats for blocking refugee returns across
Bosnia, but he also said spontaneous returns were not welcome. -- Daria
Sito Sucic

MASS GRAVE YIELDS 244 BODIES; MORE EXPECTED. Bosnian government experts
have unearthed 244 corpses of mostly Muslim civilians from one of
Bosnia's biggest known mass graves near the town of Kljuc in
northwestern Bosnia and expect to find about 50 more, international
agencies reported. The Lanste cave was in Bosnian-Serb territory until
late last year, when it was recaptured by the Bosnian Army. Some 700
people remain unaccounted for in the area of Kljuc. -- Daria Sito Sucic

SACKED BOSNIAN SERB COMMANDERS REFUSE TO GO. The top Republika Srpska
military leaders--including indicted war criminal Gen. Ratko Mladic--
have rejected the civilian leadership's attempt to fire them, CNN
reported on 12 November (see OMRI Daily Digest, 11 November 1996).
Ousted Gen. Zdravko Tolimir told NATO representatives that they must
continue to go through him rather than through the new appointees when
IFOR deals with the Bosnian Serb military, news agencies reported. The
cashiered leaders enjoy solid backing within the ranks, Nasa Borba
wrote. The civilian authorities nonetheless claimed that the officer
corps had accepted the sackings, AFP reported. The rivalry between the
established military brass--with their strong ties to Belgrade--and the
civilians based in Pale is of long standing. -- Patrick Moore

VOTERS TO GO BACK TO THE POLLS IN FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA.
Returns from municipal elections in Serbia show that of the 7,670 seats
available republic-wide (excluding Belgrade), only 2,067 were filled
after first-round balloting on 3 November. Thus far, Serbian President
Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) has taken 59% of
the total seats decided. Runoffs are slated for 17 November, and
independent media reports, such as Nasa Borba's 12 November article "The
SPS Is Frightening Voters With Lies," continue highlighting opposition
concerns that the upcoming balloting will be marred by irregularities.
-- Stan Markotich

SERBIAN UPDATE. Dragoljub Stosic, head of the Belgrade municipal transit
union, has been released from prison, Beta reported on 8 November.
Stosic was arrested on the night of 28-29 October when Belgrade police,
including paramilitaries in combat gear, broke up a transit strike.
Stosic had been arrested on charges of inciting strike violence, and his
attorneys had twice appealed unsuccessfully for his release. In other
news, Nasa Borba on 12 November reported Yugoslav succession talks will
resume in Brussels on 12-13 November. -- Stan Markotich

SLOVENIAN ELECTION FINAL. Premier Janez Drnovsek's Liberal Democratic
Party (LDS) won the most votes and seats in Slovenia's 10 November
general elections, claiming 27.05% of the popular vote and 25 seats. His
former coalition partners, the Christian Democratic Party (SKD) and the
United List of Social Democrats (ZLSD), did relatively poorly; both have
lost popular support and parliamentary seats. Meanwhile, Marjan
Podobnik's rightist Slovenian People's Party (SLS) won the second-
largest amount of seats with 19, and Janez Jansa's ultraconservative
Social Democrats (SDSS) took 16 seats. On 11 November, Podobnik, whose
objectives include slowing down Slovenia's integration into the EU and
NATO, said that a coalition of rightist parties could control 46 of the
90 legislative seats, effectively keeping the LDS out of power, Reuters
reported. "I expect to become the next prime minister," he said. Delo,
however, hinted Drnovsek may be angling for a coalition of the LDS, SLS,
and SKD, which would control 53 seats. -- Stan Markotich

VIOLENCE ERUPTS IN MACEDONIAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN. Supporters of the
nationalist Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic
Party for Macedonian National Unity (IMRO-DPNME) on 9 November clashed
with supporters of an independent candidate for mayor of Skopje, the
Roma politician Amdi Bajrami, in the Skopje neighborhood of Cair, which
is mainly inhabited by ethnic Turks, Albanians, and Roma, Nova
Makedonija reported on 12 November. Two IMRO--DPNME candidates for the
Cair municipal council were seriously injured in the fight. Supporters
of both sides attacked each other, some of them using baseball bats,
when both sides tried to put up campaign posters for the 17 November
local elections. Each sides blamed the incident on the other. Police did
not report the fight until 11 November in an attempt to prevent an
escalation. -- Stefan Krause

RIVALS IN ROMANIAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE DUEL ON TV. Incumbent President Ion
Iliescu and his countercandidate in the presidential run-off, Emil
Constantinescu, held a debate on 11 November on the private TV station
Antena 1, Reuters reported. Iliescu repeated his accusations against the
newly formed center-right governmental alliance, claiming that a program
proposed by Constantinescu's Democratic Convention of Romania to cut
taxes and improve social benefits is unworkable. Constantinescu held
Iliescu responsible for the corruption present at all levels of the
administration. According to some observers, Iliescu is desperate to
retain power after seven years as president, while most of his former
allies are turning their backs on him. Left-winger Tudor Mohora and
ultra-nationalist Gheorghe Funar both support Constantinescu as the
"least bad" of the two. -- Zsolt Mato

ROMANIAN LIBERALS PREPARE FOR UNIFICATION. Leaders of five liberal
formations on 11 November signed a protocol on the need for unity in
Romania's liberal movement, Radio Bucharest reported. The five parties
are the National Liberal Party-Democratic Convention, the National
Liberal Party, the National Liberal Party-Campeanu (named after its
leader, Radu Campeanu), the Liberal Party '93, and the Civic Alliance
Party. A commission will be set up to prepare the unification, which is
expected to take place in the first half of 1997. Representatives of the
Party of Romanian National Unity and the Green Alternative Party-
Ecologists also expressed interest in joining a future liberal bloc. --
Dan Ionescu

PHONE-TAPPING SCANDAL MARS MOLDOVAN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. Moldova's
incumbent President Mircea Snegur called for an investigation into the
tapping of a telephone conversation involving his election campaign
chief, Infotag reported on 11 November. In a strongly worded statement,
Snegur described the incident as a gross violation of the constitution
and asked the General Prosecutor's Office to take action against those
guilty of broadcasting as well as of taping the illegal recording. On 8
November, national TV aired a conversation between Nicolae Andronic,
Snegur's campaign chief, and Alexandru Burian, Moldova's ambassador to
Germany. The two were discussing how to ensure a maximum of publicity
for Burian's recent revelations of alleged financial irregularities at
the Foreign Ministry. The tape was reportedly sent to the Teleradio
company by two members of Snegur's security service. Observers believe
that the action was aimed at damaging Snegur's re-election chances. --
Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS MEET TO DECIDE FATE OF PREMIER. A plenary meeting
of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) Supreme Council and the BSP
parliamentary deputies began on the afternoon of 11 November, RFE/RL and
local media reported. Initially called to discuss the presidential
election loss, the meeting will probably decide the political future of
Prime Minister Zhan Videnov, who asked the party for a confidence vote
as premier. Discussions went on for almost 20 hours and showed a deep
split between those supporting Videnov and those asking for a new
government. Participants said they do not expect big changes before a
party congress in December or January. Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski
announced that he will vote against Videnov, while Nikolay Kamov,
chairman of the parliamentary Foreign Politics Committee, resigned from
the BSP Executive Bureau to protest a likely vote for Videnov. -- Stefan
Krause

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT IN GREECE. Leonid Kuchma on 11 November arrived in
Athens for a two-day official visit, ITAR-TASS and Western media
reported. Kuchma met with his Greek counterpart, Kostis Stephanopoulos,
and with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. Simitis and Kuchma initialed a
Ukrainian-Greek friendship treaty. Kuchma stressed the need for economic
and security cooperation and said NATO should sign agreements both with
countries willing to join the alliance and with those who do not want to
"in order to avoid a new division of Europe." Simitis said Greece backs
Ukraine's efforts to find "its own place in the new world order." --
Stefan Krause

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Susan Caskie

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