We do not live an equal life, but one of contrast and patchwork; now a little joy, then a sorrow, now a sin, then a generous or brave action. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 228, Part II, 25 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 OMRI Daily Digest, and other information about OMRI, are
available through OMRI's WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/Index.html

CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

COMPROMISE OVER BELARUSIAN REFERENDUM COLLAPSES. The Moscow-brokered
compromise between the Belarusian president and parliament collapsed one
day after it was signed, international agencies reported on 23 November.
Each side blamed the other for the failure. Under the compromise,
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka would have repealed his decrees making
the constitutional referendum binding, while the parliament would have
withdrawn its request to the Constitutional Court to start impeachment
proceedings against the president. Deputies voiced skepticism over the
agreement, and a two-thirds majority vote could not be mustered for its
ratification. In response, Lukashenka announced the results of the
referendum would be legally binding. Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court
failed to reach a final decision on the launching of impeachment
proceedings. It is not scheduled to reconvene until 26 November. --
Ustina Markus

PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF BELARUSIAN REFERENDUM. Preliminary results show
that 70.5% voted in favor of Lukashenka's draft constitution,
international agencies reported on 25 November. Voter turnout was
estimated at 84.05%. The lowest turnout was in Minsk, where only 68.84%
voted, and the highest in Homel Oblast (89.41%). The night before the
referendum, Lukashenka broadcast a lengthy appeal to voters urging them
to support him in the referendum, saying the choice was between
stability and chaos. After casting his vote, Lukashenka said he would
not declare a state of emergency, and did not believe it would be
necessary to dissolve parliament because he was confident agreement
could be reached with the legislature. The OSCE refused to send
observers to the poll, and the Council of Europe said the presidential
draft of the constitution does not comply with European standards. A
small delegation from the European Parliament arrived to monitor the
overnight counting of the vote, but Reuters reported they were unlikely
to receive accreditation. -- Ustina Markus

NUCLEAR MISSILES TO BE REMOVED FROM BELARUS. The remaining 14 of a total
of 18 SS 25 missiles deployed on Belarusian territory will be
repatriated to Russia by 26 November, Reuters reported on 24 November.
Under a Belarusian-Russian bilateral treaty, the withdrawal of the
missiles was scheduled to be completed by 31 December 1996. President
Lukashenka said there will be a ceremony marking the transfer of the
last missile and that timing depends entirely on the Russian military,
which will remove the weapons. Earlier, Lukashenka threatened to keep
the remaining missiles as a bargaining chip against NATO's eastward
expansion. -- Sergei Solodovnikov

RESULTS OF CZECH SENATE ELECTIONS. Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus's Civic
Democratic Party (ODS) has won the first-ever elections to the upper
chamber of the Czech parliament but did not do as well as expected,
Czech media reported. After the second round of elections on 22-23
November, the ODS had won 32 of the 81 Senate seats. The Social
Democrats (CSSD) gained 25 seats, the Christian Democrats 13, the Civic
Democratic Alliance seven, the Communists two, and the Democratic Union
one. Trade union leader Richard Falbr, running as an independent but
supported by the CSSD, was also elected. The ODS qualified for 76 run-
offs but was successful in less than 40%. Supporters of all other
parties banded together in a broad anti-ODS coalition to prevent Klaus's
party from having a majority in the Senate. -- Jiri Pehe

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT SUSPENDS PRIVATIZATION OF 'STRATEGIC' ENTERPRISES.
Lawmakers on 22 November voted to suspend the privatization of 208
state-owned enterprises deemed "strategically important" until laws
governing investments in such businesses are adopted, UNIAN reported on
22 November. They also decided to investigate how the State Property
Fund has so far conducted the privatization of such companies and to
increase the number of state-owned enterprises barred from privatization
from 1,475 to 7,111. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINIAN PREMIER PRESENTS 1997 DRAFT BUDGET TO PARLIAMENT. Pavlo
Lazarenko submitted the 1997 draft budget to lawmakers on 22 November,
Ukrainian agencies reported. The draft calls for a budget deficit of
5.8%. It also foresees payment in full of the government's debt for
public sector wages and pensions by the end of the first quarter as well
as increased credits to the agricultural sector. The draft incorporates
deep cuts in spending on government and social benefits, including the
elimination of all subsidies to residents for rents and utilities.
Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Pynzenyk said the plan cuts the total tax
burden on enterprises by 7.3% and simplifies the tax system, although
more tax reforms are still needed. Legislators are scheduled to debate
the draft in committees this week. -- Chrystyna Lapychak

UKRAINE PROTESTS CRIMEAN GOVERMENT INTENTION TO OPEN TRADE MISSION IN
TURKEY. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Hennadii Udovenko has criticized the
Crimean government's intention to open a trade and economic mission in
Istanbul, UNIAN reported on 20 November. Udovenko called the proposal
"illegal and politically unjustified," while President Leonid Kuchma
said the authority to open trade missions lies only with the central
ministries in Kyiv. In other news, Kuchma called on law enforcement
agencies not to ignore the fact that information space in Crimea "had
been farmed out to Russia." He added that Ukraine's constitution should
be defended on the peninsula, and he instructed the Crimean parliament
to speed up bringing the Crimean constitution into line with the
Ukrainian one. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev

EAST EUROPEAN STATES TO INCREASE COOPERATION IN FIGHTING CROSS-BORDER
CRIME. The interior ministers of Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Russia,
Slovakia, and Ukraine, met near Warsaw over the weekend and agreed to
draw up a timetable for stepping up police cooperation in fighting
cross-border crime, Polish and international media reported on November
23. An agreement is expected to be signed on 1 March. The participating
countries will allow foreign undercover agents to function on their
territories. They will also exchange intelligence on criminals and
tighten border control. -- Beata Pasek

ESTONIAN FOREIGN MINISTER REPLACED. Although all six ministers of the
Reform Party submitted letters of resignation on 22 November, Prime
Minister Tiit Vahi has passed onto President Lennart Meri only the
resignation of Siim Kallas as foreign minister, BNS reported. Vahi said
that it was impossible to have a foreign minister who at the same time
was leader of the opposition. After Meri formally accepted Kallas's
resignation, Vahi named European Affairs Minister Riivo Sinijarv as
acting foreign minister. Vahi has 30 days to act on the other
resignations. He will probably forward them only after he has formed a
new coalition and found suitable replacements. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PEASANT PARTY RE-ELECTS LEADER. The Polish Peasant Party (PSL),
junior partner in the governing left-wing coalition, has re-elected
Waldemar Pawlak as party leader, Polish media reported on 25 November.
Pawlak received 695 votes, Agriculture Minister Roman Jagielinski 402,
and PSL Warsaw branch chief Janusz Piechocinski 120. Pawlak, backed
mainly by the Smallholders, has been accused both by coalition and
opposition members of protectionism and slowing down market reforms.
Analysts predict that opposition within PSL ranks will force Pawlak to
loosen his control over the party. The congress also overwhelmingly re-
elected Sejm speaker Jozef Zych as chairman of the party's council. --
Beata Pasek

SLOVAK OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER RE-ELECTED. The opposition Christian
Democratic Movement (KDH), convening for its ninth congress at the
central Slovakian town of Banska Bystrica on 23 November, re-elected Jan
Carnogursky as party leader, Slovak media reported. Carnogursky received
214 votes, while his challenger, Mikulas Dzurinda, who is considered to
belong to the party's liberal wing, won 130 votes. According to
Carnogursky, the KDH must consider forming a coalition with the
Democratic Union and the Democratic Party for the 1998 parliamentary
elections. The party's deputy chairmen are Ivan Simko, Vladimir Palko,
Jan Figel, and Dzurinda. Founded in March 1990, the KDH is the most
stable opposition party in Slovakia. Carnogursky has led it for the past
six-and-a-half years. -- Anna Siskova

SLOVAK CABINET RESTORES ACCREDITATION TO JOURNALISTS. The government
press office on 22 November rescinded its decision three days earlier to
suspend the accreditation of four journalists (see OMRI Daily Digest,
20-21 November), Slovak media reported. Under pressure from foreign and
domestic critics, government spokeswoman Magda Pospisilova said the
decision was made to "calm the situation." It followed a meeting between
representatives of the press office, the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists
(SSN), and leading Slovak dailies. The journalists lost their
accreditation after they denied that President Michal Kovac had told
them in May that Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar was suffering from a
brain tumor. The SSN reacted to the press office's decision by removing
its ban on government briefings. -- Sharon Fisher

LEADER OF HUNGARIAN FREE DEMOCRATS RE-ELECTED. Ivan Peto on 22 November
was re-elected for another two-year term as party president of the
junior coalition party Alliance of Free Democrats (SZDSZ), Hungarian
dailies reported. Peto, who was the only candidate to run, said in a
keynote speech that quitting is not the ultimate answer to the problems
the SZDSZ faces within the ruling coalition. The party did not vote on
whether it should remain in or leave the coalition, although the issue
has been strongly dividing party members since the privatization scandal
emerged in October. But delegates did draw up draft resolutions setting
key legislative tasks for the government and calling on the cabinet to
make suggestions on how to make further progress. Among the tasks it set
for the government were the speedy introduction of tax reductions, the
implementation of a transparent privatization process, the passage of a
new constitution, and the reform of funding for the judiciary and local
government. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBIA'S ZAJEDNO TO BOYCOTT NEXT ROUND OF LOCAL ELECTIONS IN BELGRADE.
Leaders of the opposition Zajedno coalition have asked voters to boycott
a third round of municipal balloting in Belgrade, slated for 27
November. Earlier, Belgrade's First District Court had declared void the
returns in a number of local constituencies where opposition candidates
won majorities following the 17 November run-offs. At mass rallies over
the weekend, opposition leaders warned that the ruling Socialists'
tactic in the third round of voting would be to overturn opposition wins
by nullifying the results of the second round and falsifying those of
the third. Early returns in the second round of voting had shown that
Zajedno won at least 60 of the 110 seats in the Belgrade council.
Meanwhile, the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party (SRS), led by
accused war criminal Vojislav Seselj, will take part in the third round,
Nasa Borba reported on 25 November. -- Stan Markotich in Belgrade

DRASKOVIC'S WIFE FREED FROM POLICE CUSTODY. Danica Draskovic, wife of
Serbian Renewal Movement leader Vuk Draskovic, was freed from police
custody on 22 November. She had disappeared the previous day, prompting
her husband to express concern that she had been kidnapped. After her
release, she told Nasa Borba that she was shanghaied by police and
questioned about a public remark calling on violence to address regime
repression. "They put a knife to my throat, pistol in my mouth, and they
pulled my hair," she said. She added that the police had wanted to her
to call her husband to say "they want to kill me if you don't stop the
demonstrations ... and [concede] that the returns in Belgrade are
nullified." -- Stan Markotich in Belgrade

TUDJMAN SLAMS OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE. Croatian President Franjo Tudjman
returned to Zagreb on 23 November after spending just over a week in
Washington's Walter Reed Army Hospital, Croatian and international media
reported. His office said the stay there was because of an ulcer and
swollen lymph nodes, but unnamed U.S. and Croatian told CNN that he has
terminal cancer. Television footage showed the president gaunt and
weakened. He nonetheless attended a social function in the company of
hard-line Minister of Defense Gojko Susak soon after returning home. He
also made a tough speech in which he used communist-era language to
blast unnamed sinister "European and trans-Atlantic powers" who, he
alleged, are meddling in Croatia's affairs even though they "are not
able to solve their own minority, racial or social problems." The
address came in the wake of the 21 November demonstration in which
100,000 people in Zagreb protested in favor of independent Radio 101. --
Patrick Moore

PLAVSIC MOVES ARMY COMMAND CENTER. Republika Srpska President Biljana
Plavsic announced on 22 November that the army's command center will be
moved from ousted Gen. Ratko Mladic's base at Han Pijesak to the
northeastern Bosnian town of Bijeljina, Reuters reported. World Bank
officials that same day pointed out that the Republika Srpska has
received only 2% of the $900 million in reconstruction aid earmarked for
all of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Bank blamed a number of factors but
singled out a lack of cooperation from local officials, the VOA noted.
All of Bosnia suffers not only from wartime devastation but also from
massive unemployment aggravated by the demobilization of tens of
thousands of soldiers. -- Patrick Moore

NATO CONFISCATES WEAPONS IN BOSNIA. IFOR troops and UN police took a
number of mortars, rocket-propelled grenades, and other weapons "one
would not ordinarily expect to find in a police station" from Muslim
police in Sanski Most, the BBC said on 24 November. The northwest
Bosnian town was held by the Serbs for most of the war but captured by
the Bosnian and Croatian armies in their fall 1995 offensive. Meanwhile
in Mostar, the international community's Michael Steiner took part in
the organizational meeting of a refugee group called Road to Return. --
Patrick Moore

UN FORCE IN MACEDONIA TO BE EXTENDED AT REDUCED STRENGTH? UN Secretary-
General Boutros Boutros Ghali on 22 November recommended that the
mandate of the UN force stationed in Macedonia be extended by six months
at a reduced strength, Reuters reported. Under the proposal , the UN
Preventive Deployment Force (UNPREDEP) will be gradually reduced from
1,100 to 800 troops by 1 April. Boutros-Ghali, in a report to the UN
Security Council, said recent developments in the region and Macedonia's
increased international standing have made the possibility of a spread
of violence from other parts of the former Yugoslavia less likely. He
added that "the primary threat ... may come from internal tensions." --
Stefan Krause

DISCUSSIONS CONTINUE OVER BULGARIAN CURRENCY BOARD. Bulgarian Premier
Zhan Videnov on 24 November urged the heads of radio and television
stations and news agencies as well as newspaper editors to help in
gaining public support for the introduction of a currency board, RFE/RL
and Pari reported the next day. The IMF has stipulated that such a board
be established as a condition for the release of installments of a loan.
Videnov said such a board would enforce "iron financial discipline" by
preventing the national bank from lending freely to banks and firms and
by putting a stop to large budget deficits. Depositors fearing bank
failures, lay-offs, and cuts in social benefits after the board's
introduction are withdrawing leva from the banks and converting them
into dollars at an accelerating rate. -- Michael Wyzan

UPDATE ON BULGARIAN BUGGING SCANDAL. Interior Ministry Secretary Ivan
Boyadzhiev told Bulgarian National Radio on 24 November that there was
no motivation for bugging the headquarters of the Union of Democratic
Forces (SDS), the Bulgarian press reported. His statement was in
response to SDS Chairman Ivan Kostov's claim that the SDS premises were
bugged before the presidential elections (see OMRI Daily Digest, 13
November 1996). Boyadzhiev acknowledged that in theory, some ministry
employees could have placed the microphones in return for bribes and
without authorization. Demokratsiya claimed that Boyadzhiev's wife heads
an "informal" eavesdropping group and that materials were directly
handed to Boyadzhiev and then passed onto the Bulgarian Socialist Party
headquarters. Even if Interior Minister Nikolay Dobrev gave no written
authorization, it does not mean that he did not know about the "criminal
eavesdropping," the daily added. -- Maria Koinova

NEGOTIATIONS ON NEW ROMANIAN CABINET. Representatives of the Hungarian
Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR) participated in negotiations
over the weekend on the new Romanian cabinet, Romanian media report. It
is now considered certain that the UDMR will be included in the new
government. According to some reports, the UDMR's Gyorgy Frunda will be
minister of tourism and the National Liberal Party will have five
ministers in the cabinet. Radio Bucharest reported on 23 November that
during the negotiations, it was decided to restore the traditional
designation "chairman of the Council of Ministers" to replace "prime
minister." The new cabinet will have 27 members, of whom 23 will be in
charge of portfolios. In other news, the Constitutional Court on 23
November confirmed Emil Constantinescu's election as the country's new
president. -- Michael Shafir

MOLDOVAN ELECTION CAMPAIGN UPDATE. Parliamentary chairman Petru
Lucinschi on 22 November said that if he is elected president on 1
December, he will implement a change of government, Infotag reported the
same day. He dismissed "rumors," reportedly spread by incumbent
President Mircea Snegur's supporters, that he intended to keep Andrei
Sangheli's unpopular cabinet. He also accused Snegur of being
responsible for the growing wage and pension arrears, which, he claimed,
had grown most rapidly between 1991 and 1994, when Snegur had
extraordinary powers. Meanwhile, Snegur appealed to Moldova's national
minorities to support him, saying his adversary's allegations that he
intended to limit the rights of minorities were "absurd." -- Michael
Shafir

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Copyright (c) 1996 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                      All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              SUBSCRIBING/UNSUBSCRIBING
1) Compose a message to LISTSERV@UBVM.CC.BUFFALO.EDU
2) To subscribe, write:
     SUBSCRIBE OMRI-L FirstName LastName (include your own name)
   To unsubscribe, write:
     UNSUBSCRIBE OMRI-L
3) Send the message

                                    BACK ISSUES
Back issues of the OMRI Daily Digest are available through the World
Wide Web, by FTP and by E-mail.
WWW
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/DD/Index.html

FTP
ftp://FTP.OMRI.CZ/Pub/DailyDigest/


                                  REPRINT POLICY
To receive a copy of OMRI's reprint policy, contact OMRIPUB@OMRI.CZ
or see the Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Reprint.html

                              OTHER OMRI PUBLICATIONS

TRANSITION
OMRI publishes the biweekly journal TRANSITION, which contains expanded
analysis of many of the topics in the OMRI Daily Digest. For
subscription information send an e-mail to TRANSITION@OMRI.CZ or visit
the Transition Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/Transition/Index.html


OMRI ECONOMIC DIGEST
The OMRI Economic Digest is for those who need more detailed economic
news from the region. There is a four-week free trial subscription
available; for more information, write to ECON@OMRI.CZ or go to the
OMRI Economic Digest Web page at
http://www.omri.cz/Publications/ED/Index.html


RUSSIAN REGIONAL REPORT
The Russian Regional Report is a weekly publication (published every
Wednesday) initially focusing on the local elections taking place
throughout Russia during the Fall of 1996. After the election season is
over, the Russian Regional Report will continue, turning to broader
social, political, and economic issues of Russia's regions. To
subscribe, please follow these instructions:
1) Compose a message to:
     MAJORDOMO@OMRI.CZ
2) In the body of the message, write:
     SUBSCRIBE REGIONS Your Name
   Fill in your own first and last names where shown
3) Send the message


PURSUING BALKAN PEACE
Pursuing Balkan Peace contains the latest news about developments in the
Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the other countries of Southeastern
Europe. Published every Tuesday, it contains both brief news summaries
and longer essays on specific events or issues facing the people of the
region.  To subscribe, please follow these instructions:
1) Compose a message to:
     MAJORDOMO@OMRI.CZ
2) In the body of the message, write:
     SUBSCRIBE BALKAN-PEACE Your Name
   Fill in your own first and last names where shown
3) Send the message


RUSSIAN-LANGUAGE TRANSLATION OF THE OMRI DAILY DIGEST
The full text of the OMRI Daily Digest is translated into Russian and
distributed the following day.
1) Compose a message to:
     MAJORDOMO@ISF.RU
2) In the body of the message, write:
     SUBSCRIBE OMRI Your Name
   Fill in your own name where shown
3) Send the message

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole