When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary. - Anonymous
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 13, Part II, 20 January 1997

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

MOSCOW MAYOR IN SEVASTOPOL. Yurii Luzhkov flew unannounced to Sevastopol
on 17 January, despite Ukrainian threats to declare him a persona non
grata and his earlier assurances that he would not come but would tend
to his broken leg, Ukrainian and international agencies reported. Upon
arrival, Luzhkov reiterated his position that Sevastopol had never been
handed over to Ukraine, saying when former Soviet leader Nikita
Khrushchev handed Crimea over to Ukraine "after a drinking binge,
Sevastopol was turned into a separate administrative entity and was not
handed over to Ukraine." He added he would continue to visit Sevastopol
and that no one can stop him. The next evening, Luzhkov and his
bodyguards spent most of the night at the airport, after customs
officials refused to let one of the bodyguards leave because he
allegedly brought a gun illegally into the country. Luzhkov's entourage
denied the gun was brought in illegally, and Luzhkov called the incident
"a very primitive" act of revenge. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINIAN REACTIONS TO LUZHKOV VISIT. Foreign Minister Hennadii Udovenko
said he viewed Luzhkov's visit very negatively. He said he had
personally appealed to Luzhkov not to visit Sevastopol or aggravate the
situation there, and that Luzhkov's claims to the city were not
constructive for Russian-Ukrainian relations. President Leonid Kuchma,
speaking in Homel, Belarus, during a meeting with Belarusian President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka, said Russian-Ukrainian relations are
deteriorating, AFP and Reuters reported on 17 January. Kuchma said it
was pointless to investigate the letter published last week by Kievskiye
vedomosti, which was allegedly from one senior Russian official to
another and urged a campaign to discredit Kuchma so he could be
impeached. Russia has called the letter a fabrication. Russian Foreign
Minister Yevgenii Primakov said on 17 January that Moscow would like to
rent the entire city of Sevastopol as it main Black Sea Fleet base but
had no territorial claim to the port. -- Ustina Markus

WAR OF LAWS CONTINUES BETWEEN CRIMEA AND KYIV. The ethnic Russian-
dominated Crimean parliament voted down changes to the autonomous
region's draft constitution designed to overcome the Ukrainian
parliament's objections, UNIAN reported on 15 January. Ukraine's
parliament rejected the 1 November 1995 draft last year because of
provisions giving Crimea the right to determine Sevastopol's status and
to grant citizenship, giving Crimeans the right to dual citizenship, and
giving Russian the status of an official language and the language of
business in Crimea. Meanwhile, President Leonid Kuchma asked the
Constitutional Court to overturn Crimean legislation imposing taxes on
barter trades, which he claims contradicts Ukrainian law, Ukrainian TV
reported on 18 January. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev

BELARUSIAN AND UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTS DISCUSS TRADE, BORDER CONTROLS.
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Ukrainian President
Leonid Kuchma met in Homel, southeastern Belarus, on 17 January to
discuss economic cooperation and controls on their mutual border,
international agencies reported. The two leaders signed a communiqué
aimed at simplifying customs rules and fostering ties between the two
countries' customs agencies, border guards, and interior ministries.
They also agreed to broaden cooperation in industry, especially in the
manufacturing of farm machinery. Lukashenka said that "if the countries
carry out the signed agreements, Belarus's relations with Ukraine will
overtake its relations with other states." Since the break-up of the
Soviet Union, Ukraine has been one of Belarus's main trade partners,
importing $714 million of Belarusian goods in 1996. -- Sergei
Solodovnikov

PROTESTS CONTINUE IN BELARUS. The nationalist Belarusian Popular Front
picketed the Russian embassy in Minsk for the fourth day in a row on 17
January, Ekho Moskvy reported. The group was protesting Russian
President Boris Yeltsin's proposal to hold a referendum on Russian-
Belarusian unification. Among the signs toted by the demonstrators was
one saying: "Russia broke its teeth on Chechnya, and will choke on
Belarus." -- Ustina Markus

ESTONIAN PROGRESS PARTY COULD SPLIT. Fourteen out of 34 members of the
Estonian Progress Party's governing council, including former council
chairman Arvo Junti, walked out of the council's meeting on 17 January
in protest against Tiit Made's leadership, BNS reported. Made was
appointed head of the council at the meeting, replacing party chairwoman
Andra Veidemann, who became a minister last year while her party was
still in the ruling coalition. Junti is calling for a party congress in
March, but the council decided to hold it on 3 May provided that the
party had gathered the 1,000 members it needs to be formally registered
as a political party by that time. Party board member Mart Ummelas
accused Junti of creating the split on instructions from leaders of the
Center Party, which the Progress Party split from last year. -- Saulius
Girnius

POLISH JOURNALIST CHARGED WITH DISCLOSING STATE SECRETS. Jerzy Jachowicz
of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest daily newspaper, has been charged
with identifying a Polish secret service agent in an article on the
spying allegations brought against former Prime Minister Jozef Oleksy,
Polish media reported on 20 January. Jachowicz has also been charged
with obstructing investigation of the leak by refusing to disclose his
source. It was the second time charges of obstructing criminal
proceedings have been brought against Polish journalists for refusing to
reveal their sources; the previous one was also connected to the Oleksy
affair. The Supreme Court ruled in 1995 that the criminal code provision
allowing a prosecutor to require journalists to reveal their sources
overrules the media law provision on journalists' right not to reveal
their sources. Justice Minister Leszek Kubicki disagreed with that
ruling. -- Beata Pasek

CZECH PRESIDENT CASTS DOUBTS ON OPPOSITION LEADER'S CHARGES. Vaclav
Havel told Czech Radio on 19 January that the documents he received last
week from Social Democratic Party Chairman and Parliament Speaker Milos
Zeman do not prove Zeman's suspicion that constitutional officials,
especially from the opposition parties, have been shadowed by the
country's secret service (BIS). Havel however conceded that the
documents might justify Zeman's suspicion that unlawful acts had been
committed. Havel said the content of the documents was "disgusting,"
adding that they deserved to be examined by the parliamentary committee
overseeing the BIS. The president rejected Zeman's claim that the
documents show the Czech Republic is becoming a police state. In
response to Havel's statements, Zeman said the documents were indeed
disgusting. "I believe that spying on political opponents is always
disgusting," he added. -- Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK PREMIER REMINDS JOURNALISTS OF 'RESPONSIBILITY.' The Slovak
government wants to restore a continuous dialogue between journalists'
organizations and the government, but new media legislation is needed to
create the right political conditions, Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar
said in a meeting with journalists on 17 January. Meciar said he
"wondered" why Slovak journalists allow themselves to be described as
"not free," declaring: "You are free and proud, so acknowledge it." But
every freedom entails responsibility, Meciar stressed, urging
journalists to bear the interests of Slovakia in mind. If journalists
continue squabbling with the government this year, Meciar said, the
expansion of NATO and the European Union will pass Slovakia by. The
opposition daily Sme and Czech independent TV channel Nova were not
invited to the meeting. -- Anna Siskova

HUNGARIAN PRIVATIZATION PAYOFF TRACED TO COALITION-LINKED COMPANIES. The
ongoing investigation into last year's privatization scandal provides
evidence that parts of the controversial payment by the state
privatization agency to an outside consultant were transferred to
companies linked to the coalition parties, Magyar Hirlap reported on 20
January. The paper cites a letter from the prosecutor-general which says
that Laszlo Boldvai, the Socialist Party's treasurer and a deputy in
parliament, and Gyorgy Budai, an entrepreneur with links to the junior
coalition party, the Alliance of Free Democrats, told consultant Marta
Tocsik last May that she could only keep her $5.1 million commission
from the privatization agency if she transferred 25% of that amount to
each of two companies. According to the paper, the prosecutor-general
has evidence of a series of money transfers between Tocsik and the two
companies and on 19 December requested that parliament waive Budai's
immunity from prosecution. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

OPPOSITION SEEKS DETAILS OF OUT-OF-COURT SETTLEMENT ON GABCIKOVO DAM.
Forty-five public figures have issued an appeal condemning government
efforts to reach an out-of-court settlement in the Gabcikovo dam
dispute, which will soon go before the International Court of Justice in
The Hague, Hungarian media reported on 20 January. Endorsed by such
prominent Hungarians as film director Miklos Jancso and historian Gyorgy
Litvan, the appeal calls on the cabinet to reveal details of the secret
talks it has been holding with Slovakia. The appeal follows Prime
Minister Gyula Horn's 17 January denial of any secret agreement and the
opposition Young Democrats' demand that the secret negotiations stop.
Opponents of an out-of-court settlement fear that a consensus between
Bratislava and Budapest over the dam will only produce an
environmentally damaging solution. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY CONTINUES OFFENSIVE. In a letter to Deutsche
Welle's Albanian service, the Kosovo Liberation Army claimed
responsibility for the killing of Cun Dervishi in Skenderaj on the night
of 16-17 January, calling the ethnic Albanian man a "cooperator with the
Serbian occupiers." The secretive group also claimed responsibility for
the attempted assassination on 16 January of Radivoje Papovic, dean of
the state-run Pristina University, and for the 13 January killing of
Fazli Hasani, an ethnic Albanian who worked for the Serbian police near
Mitrovica. Meanwhile, some 1,000 Serbs held a demonstration in Pristina
on 18 January to protest the attack on Papovic. While Radio Serbia put
the blame for the attacks on Serbian opposition leader Vuk Draskovic,
the opposition claimed the United Yugoslav Left -- led by President
Slobodan Milosevic's wife, Mirjana Markovic -- were the real
"terrorists" responsible for the attacks and accused Milosevic of
planning to use the events in Kosovo as a pretext for declaring a state
of emergency, BBC reported. AFP quoted Draskovic claiming that
"Milosevic is trying to play his last card by preparing civil war in
Kosovo without caring about the consequences and the expected blood
bath." -- Fabian Schmidt

SERBIAN OPPOSITION PROTESTS 'BEASTS IN POWER.' While the regime of
Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic continues to resist calls to
recognize the opposition Zajedno coalition's wins in 17 November runoff
municipal elections, the opposition continues to find creative ways to
protest. The latest effort to bypass official bans on mass protests was
to rally under the banner of "Pets Against the Beasts in Power,"
international media reported. On 19 January, an estimated 10,000 people
gathered in downtown Belgrade, all "coincidentally" out on the town
walking their pets. Other methods of bypassing bans on mass protests
have included thousands of motorists simultaneously experiencing
mechanical difficulties in downtown Belgrade, shutting down all traffic
in the city center. Meanwhile, UN human rights envoy Elizabeth Rehn met
with government and opposition officials, and on 18 January urged
Milosevic to recognize the Zajedno election wins. After meeting with
Zajedno leader Zoran Djindjic on 19 January, German Foreign Minister
Klaus Kinkel vowed that international pressure against Milosevic would
not abate, Nasa Borba reported. The ruling Socialists were reported to
be appealing an electoral committee ruling recognizing the opposition
victory in the Belgrade Assembly. Zajedno leader Vuk Draskovic,
addressing the crowd of pet owners on 19 January, warned that the regime
may be attempting to foment violence and urged members of the military
to side with the peaceful protesters. -- Stan Markotich

MONTENEGRIN FOREIGN MINISTER KILLED IN CAR ACCIDENT. Janko Jeknic died
in a traffic accident on 17 January when his car slammed into a stalled
bus. The accident took place on the Podgorica-Danilovgrad road near
Komanski Most, Montena-fax reported. One other person was seriously
injured in the incident. -- Stan Markotich

EXPLOSION PARTLY DESTROYS BRIDGE IN TENSE BOSNIAN REGION. An explosion
eliminated a section of a wooden bridge near Koraj in Serb-held
territory in northern Bosnia late on 18 January. It is not clear who
caused the blast, but an electric detonation cord was found nearby, AFP
reported. The region has been a source of tension since the second half
of 1996 as Muslim refugees try to exercise their right to return to
their homes just inside the Serbian side of the interentity border.
Meanwhile in Mostar, a gunman threatened Muslim journalists in full view
of UN police, Onasa wrote on 19 January. The Muslims were waiting for
news of the outcome of a meeting of the High Representative's office and
said they will boycott Carl Bildt's future meetings unless their
security is guaranteed. -- Patrick Moore

FORMER BOSNIAN SERB LEADER IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER SUICIDE ATTEMPT.
Nikola Koljevic, a former vice president of the Republika Srpska, is in
critical condition after shooting himself in the head in Pale on 16
January, news agencies said. Initial reports on 17 January suggested
that he was dead, but he actually was in a coma. SFOR flew him by
helicopter to Belgrade, where he underwent emergency surgery in the
military hospital. Doctors there are "reserved" about his chances for
recovery, AFP wrote on 19 January. Koljevic had attempted several times
to end his life after being replaced as vice president following the 14
September Bosnian elections. In late 1995 he participated in the talks
that led to the Dayton agreement, and in a suicide note for his family,
he said he had done all he could for his people. -- Patrick Moore

ROMANIA'S FORMER RULING PARTY REORGANIZED. The left-wing Party of Social
Democracy in Romania (PDSR) elected former President Ion Iliescu as its
chairman on 17 January, Romanian and Western media reported. The
decision was taken at an extraordinary national congress, at which a new
party statute was also discussed. Iliescu pledged to renew both the
membership and the policies of the party that, under different names,
governed Romania from December 1989 until November 1996, when it was
defeated in general elections. He singled out the need to combat
corruption within the party's own ranks in order to improve its image,
which was seriously eroded by corruption scandals in recent years. The
PDSR, now the main force in the opposition, defines itself as a center-
left political organization. Critics, however, say it is a haven for
former communists and doubt its ability to reform itself. -- Dan Ionescu

FRICTION IN ROMANIA'S RULING COALITION. The "Romania's Alternative"
Party (PAR) announced on 19 January that it is withdrawing its
"unconditional support" for Victor Ciorbea's government, Romanian media
reported. PAR, which is a member of the Democratic Convention of Romania
(CDR), complained that it was not offered state secretary positions and
local administration posts as promised. Radu Vasile, secretary general
of the National Peasant Party-Christian Democratic (the main force in
the CDR), suggested that the Senate might reverse the nomination of PAR
Chairman Varujan Vosganian to chair its Budget and Finance Commission.
-- Dan Ionescu

BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS PREPARE FOR A NEW GOVERNMENT. Nickolay Dobrev,
nominated by his party to succeed the resigned Prime Minister Zhan
Videnov, presented the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) Executive Council
on 19 January with a short-term stabilization program aimed at improving
the economy and fighting crime and corruption, Standart and Trud
reported. The program expects a short-term government and early
elections, and includes such measures as the adoption of a currency
board and procedures for closing insolvent banks. The same day,
President-elect Petar Stoyanov, who under the constitution is expected
to give Dobrev a mandate to form a new government, made his formal oath
to the constitution along with Vice President-elect Todor Kavaldzhiev.
Police cordoned off the ceremony with metal barriers, apparently
concerned protesters might again try to storm parliament as they did on
10-11 January. In his speech, Stoyanov endorsed the idea of early
elections and called for "a new social contract" between the authorities
and the people. -- Maria Koinova in Sofia

ALBANIAN DEMONSTRATORS COVERED IN 'RED INK.' Riot police used truncheons
to disperse a demonstration in Tirana organized by the Center Pole
coalition and the Socialist Party on 19 January. Out of some 10,000
demonstrators, 3,000 managed to break through a police cordon and reach
central Skanderbeg Square, a Deutsche Welle correspondent told OMRI.
Another 5,000 people took to the streets in Fier to demand the
resignation of the local mayor. The Interior Ministry subsequently
issued a statement warning that it "will deliver the deserved legal
response to those responsible for violating the law Š It will act with
all the force the law entitles against anyone who does not respect it,"
Reuters reported. The ministry rejected eyewitness reports that some
protesters in Tirana had been hurt in scuffles with police and accused
the opposition of encouraging people to daub themselves with red ink.
Disappointed investors in collapsed pyramid schemes had started the
protests earlier in the week; the opposition accused the government of
involvement in the schemes. Socialist Party Secretary-General Rexhep
Mejdani pledged to "continue protests for democracy until this fully
anti-democratic regime is overthrown." -- Fabian Schmidt

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Tom Warner

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