...ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. - John F. Kennedy
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 221, Part II, 14 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

NEW GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AGENCY ESTABLISHED IN UKRAINE. President
Leonid Kuchma signed a decree establishing the State Information Agency
of Ukraine (DINAU) under the auspices of the country's revamped Ministry
of Information, Ukrainian TV reported on 13 November. The new agency
will be formed on the basis of the government's information agency,
which has officially been disbanded. Earlier this year, Kuchma merged
the old state news agency Ukrinform with the former Ministry of
Information and the Press to create a new ministry, headed by the
conservative Zinovii Kulyk. The president's decree also places the State
Committee on TV and Radio under the new ministry's jurisdiction. In
other news, the Ukrainian Parliament has ordered the government to stop
fining citizens for delinquent rent and utilities payments until it pays
off its huge debt for public-sector wages and pensions, Ukrainian TV
reported on 13 November. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT VISITS UKRAINE. Hungarian President Arpad Goncz
began a three-day official visit to Ukraine on 14 November, ITAR-TASS
reported. Goncz will visit Uzhhorod, a Transcarpathian city with a large
Hungarian population. He will also discuss economic relations. The
Hungarian-Ukrainian trade turnover grew from $300 million in 1993 to
$664 million in 1995. Hungarian companies had invested $23.2 million in
the Ukrainian economy by the middle of 1996. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev

NEW ECONOMY MINISTER FOR BELARUS. Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka appointed Uladzimir Shimau as economy minister on 12
November, Reuters reported the next day. Shimau, who has been first
deputy economy minister since August 1995, replaced Georgy Badei, who
quit in July 1996 after being accused at a Security Council meeting of
ruining the economy. Shimau is known as a highly qualified, market-
oriented, professional economist who worked closely with the World Bank
on an economic program. Lukashenka, however, rejected the program and
replaced it with his own version. Shimau was against Lukashenka's
proposals to tighten controls on prices and monetary policy and
significantly increase monetary emission. (See Russian section for a
story on Lukashenka's controversial speech to the Russian State Duma) --
Sergei Solodovnikov

NATO GENERAL PRAISES DEVELOPMENT OF ESTONIAN DEFENSE FORCES. NATO Deputy
Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. James Jamerson on 13 November met
with Estonian Defense Minister Andrus Oovel and President Lennart Meri,
BNS reported. The talks focused on the development of the Baltic
Peacekeeping Battalion, implementation of a Baltic air space
surveillance project, and further U.S. assistance to Estonian defense
training. Jamerson told a press conference that the development of
Estonian defense forces had been spectacular, as they had to start from
scratch only a few years ago. -- Saulius Girnius

FORMATION OF NEW LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT. The Homeland Union
(Conservatives of Lithuania) and the Christian Democratic Party (LKDP)
decided on 13 November to support the candidacies of Vytautas
Landsbergis as Seimas chairman and Gediminas Vagnorius as prime
minister, Radio Lithuania reported. Vagnorius noted that the number of
ministers would be decreased from 19 to 16 and that the LKDP would have
three ministers, including Algirdas Saudargas as foreign minister and
Ceslovas Stankevicius as defense minister. Noting that he had not yet
been formally asked by President Algirdas Brazauskas to form a cabinet,
Vagnorius did not reveal the names of the other ministers. -- Saulius
Girnius

COMMISSION FINDS INTERIOR MINISTER GUILTY IN OLEKSY AFFAIR. A Sejm
commission on 13 November concluded its 11-month investigation into the
role of Polish secret services in gathering materials alleging that
former Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy spied for the Soviet Union and
Russia. The commission said former Internal Affairs Minister Andrzej
Milczanowski and the State Security Office behaved illegally in
gathering materials on Oleksy and in publishing the materials and
allegations. Seven members of the commission, representing the ruling
coalition, supported the final version of the report; three members were
against, one abstained, and one did not vote. The commission initially
planned to demand that Milczanowski stand trial before the State
Tribunal, which tries cases involving high-ranking officials, but
instead it demanded that the minister be held responsible before a
common court. In April, a military prosecutor had said he found no proof
of the allegations against Oleksy. (See Russian section for the story on
Prime Minister Cimoszewicz's visit in Moscow.) -- Jakub Karpinski

POLISH TALK SHOW HOST ACCUSED OF LIBEL. The Gdansk prosecutor announced
that an investigation will soon begin into allegations that Wojciech
Cejrowski, the host of a recently canceled popular television show, WC
Kwadrans, publicly defamed President Aleksander Kwasniewski in Gdansk,
Polish media reported on 14 November. Gazeta Wyborcza reported that
Cejrowski, invited to Gdansk on 5 November by the extra-parliamentary
opposition Movement for Poland's Reconstruction, told an audience of
several hundred: "Kwasniewski, who can't always stand straight on his
legs, is profaning the presidential office with his fat ass." Cejrowski
faces a prison sentence of 6 months to 8 years if convicted. -- Beata
Pasek

NEW HEAD OF CZECH INTELLIGENCE NOT FOUND YET. The Czech government on 13
November accepted the resignation of Czech Intelligence Service (BIS)
Director Stanislav Devaty but was unable to appoint a new permanent
director, Czech media reported. Devaty resigned on 11 November after
Christian Democratic Union Chairman Josef Lux accused the BIS of
following him. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus had warned on 12 December
that there was not enough consensus among the coalition parties as to
who the new head should be. The government asked Defense Minister
Miloslav Vyborny, Internal Affairs Minster Jan Ruml, and Minister
without Portfolio Pavel Bratinka to come up with a nomination for a new
director as soon as possible. A BIS department director, Jaroslav Jira,
has been asked to head the agency until a new director is found. -- Jiri
Pehe

MORE MONEY FOR SLOVAK INFORMATION SERVICE. The Slovak information
service (SIS) will get more than 990 million crowns ($33 million) next
year under the budget approved on 12 November by the government, Sme
reported on 14 November. If the parliament approves the budget, SIS will
be one of the few agencies to receive more money. The SIS received 759
million crowns for 1996 but had already overstepped the limit by 20
million crowns by the end of September. Linked with the kidnapping of
the president's son, the SIS plays an uncertain role on the Slovak
political scene. -- Anna Siskova

HUNGARIAN OIL COMPANY TURNS AGAINST RUSSIAN PARTNER. A senior official
at the Hungarian Oil and Gas Company (MOL) on 13 November criticized
Panrusgaz for its intention to sell natural gas to large-scale consumers
from a new pipeline that is being built through Hungary, Hungarian
dailies reported. MOL officials insist that they have been given the
exclusive right to sell and distribute gas on the domestic market.
Panrusgaz is a joint venture between MOL and the Russian giant Gazprom,
with 50% ownership each. Panrusgaz head Mikhail Rahimkhulov was quoted
in the daily Nepszabadsag on 13 November as saying the joint venture
would sell gas 15-20% cheaper than MOL. In reaction, MOL officials said
that Russian and Hungarian interministerial agreements guarantee that
the new pipeline will be built, owned, and operated by MOL. They added
that Panrusgaz could sell 1 billion cubic meters of gas to Hungarian
consumers from the pipeline, but only through MOL. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

NO PROGRESS IN HUNGARY'S NEGOTIATIONS WITH WTO. No substantial headway
has been made between the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism and
the World Trade Organization (WTO) over a major dispute concerning
Hungarian agricultural export subsidies, Hungarian media reported on 13
November. Hungary has been trying to convince Argentina, Australia,
Canada, New Zealand, Thailand and the U.S. -- the six WTO member states
that filed a complaint against Hungary -- to allow the government to
continue subsidizing its deficit-ridden, but large export-revenue-
producing sector. During the Uruguay round of the GATT negotiations,
Hungary undertook to reduce subsidies on agriculture exports but made
its calculations on the basis of erroneous data. The six countries
subsequently filed a complaint with the WTO, saying that Hungarian
agriculture subsidies were well above the levels set by WTO and agreed
upon by Hungary. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

CORRECTION: An item in the 4 November 1996 issue of the OMRI Daily
Digest titled "Ukraine Tightens Citizenship Requirements" should have
said that the Ukrainian Parliament had only preliminarily approved a new
bill on citizenship that would bar dual citizenship in the country. The
bill must still be approved in a second reading before the changes go
into effect.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

RETURN OF BOSNIAN REFUGEES SUSPENDED. IFOR, the UN police, the UNHCR,
and the office of High Representative Carl Bildt announced a temporary
halt to the return of refugees to their homes in the zone of separation,
Oslobodjenje and Nasa Borba reported on 14 November. That effectively
means that Muslims who have been trying to go back to villages on Serb-
held territory will not be allowed to do so, although that is their
right under the Dayton agreement. The suspension is aimed at defusing
tensions in the now-quiet area around Celic and Koraj in northeast
Bosnia, where the worst fighting since the Dayton was signed took place
at the start of the week. IFOR said that both sides are to blame and
both sides brought weapons into a demilitarized area, but it added that
the Muslims shot first. The Muslims are nonetheless determined to go
home, Nasa Borba noted. U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher told
both sides not to resume fighting but added that the refugees do have a
right to go home, VOA reported. -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN SERB MILITARY "IN A GHETTO." IFOR and the Republika Srpska
police have sealed off the Bosnian Serb army's command center in Han
Pijesak. An army spokesman told Nasa Borba of 14 November that the
troops loyal to cashiered Gen. Ratko Mladic felt like they had been
"occupied" or put "in a ghetto." The spokesman added that harassment of
Mladic loyalists has become "a daily occurrence." He said that people in
Han Pijesak suspect that IFOR's goal is to take Mladic to the war crimes
tribunal in The Hague but insisted: "We will not allow them to take our
commander there, not at any price." -- Patrick Moore

BOSNIAN SERB INDEPENDENT RADIO TAKEN OFF THE AIR. Bosnian Serb police on
13 November shut down the Banja Luka station Radio Krajina, the station
close to sacked military leader Ratko Mladic, AFP reported. Police
confiscated the station's transmitter. Radio Krajina was run by Lt. Col.
Milovan Milutinovic, formerly Mladic's spokesman, who was also among
Bosnian Serb army officers dismissed on 9 November by Republika Srpska
President Biljana Plavsic. The radio station began broadcasting in
summer 1995, after the Muslim-Croat military allies took back from the
Serbs several territories in western Bosnia. Radio Krajina was critical
of the Bosnian Serb ruling party and authorities. -- Daria Sito Sucic

CROATIAN OPPOSITION BOYCOTTS PARLIAMENT OVER ZAGREB COUNCIL ROW.
Opposition deputies walked out of the Croatian parliament on 13 November
after their proposal on how to solve the crisis over the Zagreb city
council was turned down, international and local media reported.
Opposition parties decided to start a 30-day boycott of parliament and
continue boycotting the Zagreb city council. They also appealed to the
city council opposition deputies to resign. If that happens, new
elections will be necessary unless President Franjo Tudjman appoints a
governor, according to Ivica Racan, leader of the Social Democratic
Party (SDP). The opposition coalition outpolled the ruling Croatian
Democratic Community (HDZ) in municipal elections a year ago, but
Tudjman dissolved the Zagreb city council after turning down the
opposition candidates for Zagreb mayor four times. Tudjman appointed one
of his associates as mayor, but the majority in the city council refused
to accept her. Racan said the Zagreb crisis is turning into a parliament
crisis, Novi List reported on 14 November. -- Daria Sito Sucic

YUGOSLAV SUCCESSION TALKS HIT A SNAG. No breakthroughs took place as the
latest round of talks on succession to the former Yugoslavia wound down
in Brussels on 13 November, Nasa Borba reported the following day.
Already on 12 November it had become clear that the delegation from the
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia did not share the other states'
definition of what constituted state property of the former Socialist
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Tanjug reported. Belgrade continues to
maintain that all properties may fall under scrutiny and claim, while
Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, and Bosnia feel that only assets once
legally owned by the federal socialist authorities may be divided. --
Stan Markotich

BELGRADE PROMOTES CITIZENS' RIGHTS. The federal Yugoslav delegation to
the Yugoslav succession talks, headed by Kosta Mihajlovic, said "that
all citizens of the former federation who are now citizens of newly
formed states in the territory of former Yugoslavia ought to be allowed
access to archives and personal files, and be issued documents ...
necessary for regulating their status and rights in their new states."
Mihajlovic added that Belgrade "expects" the other successor states to
give citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia "the same
treatment." -- Stan Markotich

ILIESCU BEHIND IN LATEST ELECTION POLL. President Ion Iliescu is
trailing challenger Emil Constantinescu, Romanian media reported on 14
November. A poll conducted between 6-10 November gives Constantinescu
52.8% and Iliescu 47.2%. Almost a quarter of the voters are still
undecided. A series of four television debates ends on 14 November, the
last day of campaigning; the presidential run-off is on 17 November.
After a debate on 12 November, supporters of the two candidates clashed
in front of private TV station PRO TV. Dan Iosif, Iliescu's adviser, was
seriously injured in the incident and had to undergo surgery. Reuters
reported that at the final rally for Constantinescu, on 13 November,
Constantinescu called for Iliescu to be ousted and described him as "the
sole source of imbalance in [Romania]." -- Zsolt Mato

MOLDOVAN PREMIER TO RESIGN IF HE LOSES ELECTION. Andrei Sangheli on 13
November said he will resign if he is defeated in the 17 November
presidential election, Infotag reported, quoting CIS's Mir radio
station. Yet Sangheli left the door open for a later change of mind. He
said that he must make any decision about his future together with his
party, the ruling Agrarian Democratic Party of Moldova. When asked about
his own post-electoral career, Parliament Speaker Petru Lucinschi, who
is also running for president, gave a diplomatic answer: "This is just a
political struggle. It should not become a life-and-death one." An
opinion poll conducted three days ahead of the election shows incumbent
President Mircea Snegur leading with 34%, followed by Sangheli with 30%
and Lucinschi with 18%. -- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER RESIGNS. Georgi Pirinski resigned on 13
November, RFE/RL and local media reported. Pirinski said he left the
government of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov because it "no longer enjoys
the necessary minimum confidence" of the people. Pirinski blamed the
government for failing to carry out a coherent economic reform. He said
he will work as a parliamentary deputy and actively help organize the
extraordinary Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) congress in late December.
Pirinski, a social democratic reformist who was repeatedly mentioned as
a possible successor to Videnov as prime minister, is one of Videnov's
strongest critics within the BSP. He voted against the premier at the
BSP plenary meeting on 11-12 November. Videnov said a new foreign
minister will be named by the end of December. Until then, First Deputy
Foreign Minister Irina Bokova will be acting foreign minister under
Videnov's direct supervision. -- Stefan Krause

BULGARIAN OPPOSITION PRESSES FOR EARLY PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. The
National Coordinating Council of the Union of Democratic Forces (SDS)
decided on 12 November to press for early parliamentary elections at the
earliest possible date, coordinating its moves with other opposition
parties and trade unions, SDS Deputy Chairwoman Nadezhda Mihaylova told
Darik Radio. Meanwhile, Confederation of Labor "Podkrepa" leader
Konstantin Trenchev in an open letter asked outgoing President Zhelyu
Zhelev to resign early and let President-elect Petar Stoyanov take
office before 22 January. Trenchev said he is driven by consideration to
"speed up the democratic process" in Bulgaria. Zhelev's spokesman said
that Trenchev's move only helps the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party, as
early parliamentary elections need long-term preparation that has
probably not been made. -- Maria Koinova

GERMAN PREUSSAG TO BUY ALBANIAN CHROME. The Albanian government has
decided to sell 80% of  the state-owned chrome company Albkromi to the
German company Preussag, Koha Jone reported on 14 November. Preussag is
expected to invest up to $100 million over five years on the mines and
processing plants in Bulqize, Ternova, Batra, Burrel, and Klos. Albkromi
suffers from outdated equipment and falling world market prices for
chrome ore. In the 1980s Albania was the world's fifth-largest chrome
producer, processing 1.1 million tons in 1989. In 1995, production was
only 246,000 tons. Preussag will also upgrade infrastructure in the
mining districts. -- Fabian Schmidt

SUSPECTED BANK ROBBER ARRESTED. Tirana judge Flora Cabej on 10 November
ordered the arrest pending trial of Adhurim Beqiraj, a suspected bank
robber. Nine people participated in a robbery in Vlora earlier in the
year in which $160,000 was stolen from a bank. The 29-year-old Beqiraj
is charged in connection with investigations against the Revenge of
Justice terrorist group. Beqiraj denies the allegations, but prosecutor
Isa Jata said other arrested Revenge of Justice members have fingered
him, Albania reported on 12 November. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ruled
that communist dictator Enver Hoxha's son-in-law, Klement Kolaneci, has
to stay in prison pending investigations. Kolaneci is also charged with
being a Revenge of Justice member, Dita Informacion reported on 12
November. -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Susan Caskie

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