Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. - Mother Teresa
OMRI DAILY DIGEST

No. 57, Part II, 21 March 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
________________________________________________________________________
************************************************************************
In the 21 March issue of OMRI's journal TRANSITION**:

THE MIDDLE CLASS
 Economic Reform Casts a Long Shadow in Russia
 The Making of the Middle Classes
 Poland's Perpetually New Middle Class
 Some Russians Are Learning to Be Rich

PLUS...
RUSSIA: The NATO Distraction (A discussion with Grigorii Yavlinksii)
UKRAINE: Caution is the Key for Ukraine's Prime Minister
(a profile of Pavlo Lazarenko)
CENTRAL EUROPE: Security Services Still Distrusted
TAJIKISTAN: Defining the 'Third Force'

MEDIA NOTES: Journalists as Physical Pawns;
Political Moves at Russian TV

For subscription information about OMRI's new monthly, send an e-mail
message to transition-DD@omri.cz

Note: Transition is not available electronically

**See important message below on the upcoming changes to TRANSITION
________________________________________________________________________
************************************************************************
CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

TRIALS, SENTENCING IN BELARUS. A Belarusian court fined former
parliamentary speaker Mechyslau Hryb 20 million Belarusian rubles ($830)
for helping organize a rally on 15 March to mark the anniversary of the
adoption of the 1994 constitution, international agencies reported on 20
March. The fine was the maximum possible for such an offense, and Hryb
accused the courts of conducting a political trial. He argued he should
be immune from prosecution, as his term as deputy had not expired when
the 1996 parliament was dissolved and a new bicameral legislature
established. Prosecutor General Aleh Bazhyelka had met with President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka the day before and agreed to lift Hryb's immunity.
A case is pending against the first deputy speaker of the 1996
parliament, Vasil Novikau, for the same offense. -- Ustina Markus

POLITICAL INTIMIDATION IN BELARUS. Police visited the homes of leading
opposition figures, demanding they admit they violated a presidential
edict that restricts demonstrations, Belapan reported on 17 March.
Former parliamentary speaker Syamyon Sharetski refused to sign the
admission, as did Henadz Karpenka, Valeryi Shzhukin, and Stanislau
Bahdankevich. All were deputies in the 1996 parliament who refused to
join the new legislature; they maintain the 1996 parliament is the only
legitimate legislature. Former Interior Minister Yuryi Zakharenka was
fined 2.6 million Belarusian rubles ($86) by the court for participating
in the Constitution Day rally, and police laid siege to former Defense
Minister Pavel Kazlauski's home, leaving only after Russian reporters
arrived. NTV reported on 20 March that Belarusian television has been
reporting that the wives of NTV correspondent Aleksandr Stupnikov and
RFE/RL correspondent Yurii Drakokhrust had received grants from the
Soros Foundation two years ago. NTV noted that Belarusian media have
increasingly portrayed journalists as Western collaborators. -- Ustina
Markus

BELARUSIAN STUDENTS PROTEST. Some 50 students in Minsk on 20 March
protested against the decision of President Alyaksandr Lukashenka to
restore a Soviet-era scheme of appointing university graduates to jobs,
international agencies reported. The unsanctioned rally was promptly
broken up by riot police, who reportedly arrested some 30 people,
including former parliamentary deputy Pavel Znavets. The president and
the Education Ministry were hoping to curb unemployment by forcing
recent graduates to work in radiation-polluted areas, which are
significantly understaffed. -- Sergei Solodovnikov

UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ON NATO. The first round of negotiations on
formalizing Ukraine's relationship with NATO began in Brussels on 20
March, Ukrainian radio reported. Foreign Minister Hennadii Udovenko said
Ukrainian membership in the European Community is a strategic goal and
membership in NATO a future possibility. He said Ukraine will conclude
an agreement with NATO regardless of Russia's actions. Udovenko added
Ukraine's agreement with NATO should be completed before NATO Secretary
General Javier Solana visits Kyiv on 7 May. The agreement should
incorporate security guarantees for Ukraine; affirm that NATO is open to
membership from other countries in the future, including Ukraine;
address the possibility that Europe may be redivided into spheres of
influence; and create a special consultative committee between NATO and
Ukraine. -- Ustina Markus

UKRAINE TO DISSOLVE CRIMEAN PARLIAMENT? Presidential administration head
Yevhen Kushnaryov accused the Crimean parliament of excessive
politicking and described its decision to strip seven deputies of their
mandates as "unconstitutional and undemocratic," UNIAN reported on 19
March. Kushnaryov said the Crimean parliament can be dissolved by a
decision of the Ukrainian parliament, but he added Kyiv did not intend
to do this at present. The Ukrainian government says the Crimean
presidium should suspend its decision on the deputies until the
Constitutional Court has made a ruling on it. -- Oleg Varfolomeyev

LATVIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS AMENDMENTS TO CITIZENSHIP LAW. The Saeima on
20 March voted 40 to 9 with 6 abstentions to reject proposals submitted
by the Socialist Party/Equality of Rights caucus to grant citizenship to
children of permanent residents and spouses of Latvian citizens after
five years of marriage, BNS reported. The parliament also rejected the
proposal to reduce the number of deputies in the 100-member Saeima
needed to submit claims to the Constitutional Court from the current 67
to 10. -- Saulius Girnius

ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN RELATIONS STILL STUCK ON RUSSIAN MINORITY. During a
visit to Moscow by an Estonian parliament delegation on 20 March,
Mikhail Valukenko, the deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma's
committee for CIS affairs, said the status of the Russian-speaking
minority in Estonia remained the main stumbling block to improving
relations, BNS reported. He did not consider Estonia's dropping its
demand that the border agreement mention the 1920 Tartu Treaty as a
concession. Nikolai Monakhov, a member of Russia's presidential human
rights committee, said Estonia must either give Russians equal rights or
grant them a separate state in areas, such as Narva, that have large
Russian populations. -- Saulius Girnius

POLISH PRIME MINISTER CONDEMNS GDANSK SHIPYARD WORKERS. Wlodzimierz
Cimoszewicz denounced the recent occupation of the ministries by workers
from the bankrupt Gdansk shipyard (see OMRI Daily Digest, 20 March),
saying: "That was not a legal protest but a crime committed by organized
squads," local media reported on 21 March. He appealed to Solidarity not
to make Poland "another Albania" and said bad management from 1989 to
1993 was responsible for the shipyard's bankruptcy. Janusz
Wojciechowski, chairman of the Supreme Auditing Chamber, said the
shipyard's financial condition is due to the Mieczyslaw Rakowski
government's 1988 decision to liquidate the company. Cimoszewicz said a
government plan of cooperation with the Szczecin shipyard will save the
jobs of 2,000 of the 5,000 Gdansk workers, but according to
Rzeczpospolita, there is no such detailed plan. -- Beata Pasek

MORE SOLIDARITY DEMONSTRATIONS. About 2,000 people took part in a march
organized by Solidarity in Warsaw in response to the police action
against workers protesting the Gdansk shipyard's closure, local media
reported. Demonstrators stood outside the Sejm chanting "Communists are
fascists" and "Cimoszewicz-Cyrankiewicz" (comparing Poland's current
prime minister with its longest-serving Communist prime minister). They
also threw stones, bottles filled with gas, and red paint at the
headquarters of the governing Social Democracy of the Polish Republic
building. Solidarity decided not to call for a general strike but to
urge people to vote for non-communists in the upcoming parliamentary
elections. Solidarity announced more protests to be held today in Warsaw
and other major cities. -- Beata Pasek

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER ON NATO ENLARGEMENT. Josef Zieleniec told Reuters
on 20 March that the eastward expansion of NATO would go ahead despite
Russian opposition. "I am confident of that. There is no turning back,
actually, and this will also be an important step as regards the
stabilization of the security situation in Europe," said Zieleniec. He
said he hoped the Russian-U.S. summit in Helsinki would help build trust
between Russia and the West but cautioned both sides against playing
power games in post-communist Central Europe. "It is important to make
it clear that the Central European space is not a space in which Russia
and the West should contest for power and influence. Such an idea is
quite unacceptable for us," noted Zieleniec. (See "Foreign Ministry Pans
'Propaganda Campaign' in Prague Over Ambassador's Comments," in Russian
section). -- Jiri Pehe

SLOVAK OPPOSITION FAILS TO OUST CULTURE MINISTER. Ivan Hudec on 20 March
easily survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote organized by the
opposition, Slovak media reported. Hudec has been under increasing fire
from the opposition since his refusal to meet with striking actors
during a 10 March sit-in at the Culture Ministry and the police's
subsequent forcible removal of protesters from the ministry building.
The opposition's reasons for the no-confidence vote included Hudec's
violations of the civil and labor codes, "insensitive ... intervention
into various cultural spheres," incompetent management causing "lasting
damage to the development of Slovak culture," and "arrogant behavior."
Hudec defended his actions, and ruling coalition representatives
continue to strongly support him. -- Sharon Fisher

SLOVAK PRIME MINISTER CONCLUDES FRENCH VISIT. During a 20 March meeting
with French President Jacques Chirac, Vladimir Meciar asked Chirac to
support Slovakia's integration into the EU and NATO. Meciar also met his
French counterpart, Alain Juppe to discuss "strengthening the
partnership." Juppe said only that Slovakia has made "no small
progress." In an interview with French TV station LCI, Meciar rejected
doubts about the state of democracy in Slovakia and said there is a
difference between having authority and being authoritarian. -- Anna
Siskova

HUNGARIAN FINANCE MINISTRY ACCUSED OF MISMANAGING FUNDS. According to
the State Audit Office, the Finance Ministry's management of its
settlement accounts--accounts that regulate debt payment to Hungary by
foreign governments--is inadequate and the credibility of the ministry's
data is questionable, Vilaggazdasag reported on 21 March. The Audit
Office also found flaws in the registration of incoming and outgoing
payments from 1993 to 1995. According to the report, records for several
billion forints lent by the ministry were missing. Also, the office
found that the ministry's use of credits from international bodies for
sector development was confusing. For example, $25 million from the
World Bank, originally intended to overhaul power plants in Borsod
County, was in fact spent on development in Budapest. -- Zsofia Szilagyi

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ITALY: NO MILITARY INTERVENTION IN ALBANIA. Italian Defense Minister
Beniamino Andreatta on 20 March ruled out unilateral military
intervention in Albania, AFP reported. The same day, Italian Marines
returned some 400 Albanians, including 45 children, to a beach near
Durres. They had rescued them from a ship adrift in rough seas. Italy
also expelled 50 Albanian suspected criminals. In Brindisi, police
arrested Despoti Clirimi, who was photographed pointing a rifle at
crowds of frightened people in Durres. Meanwhile, more than 2,200 U.S.
Marines were stationed off the Albanian coast to evacuate foreigners. --
Fabian Schmidt

DEMOCRATS MAINTAIN STIFF CONTROL OVER MEDIA. The Democrat-controlled
Albanian legislature refused to transfer its authority over state radio
and television to the government. It also refused to allow newspapers to
resume uncensored publishing. Reports indicate that criminal gangs have
taken control of various southern cities. At least 121 people have been
killed since 28 February. Political leaders, now part of the all-party
government charged with organizing elections by June, have come out
against using force to remove Berisha, saying the democratic process
will decide. "We do not support any military move to overthrow Berisha.
We think he can and should be removed by legal, peaceful means," Social
Democratic Vice Chairman Paskal Milo said. -- Fabian Schmidt

ALBANIAN REBELS TARGET PRESIDENT. In the south, an unidentified rebel
leader proposed sending armed men to Tirana to put President Sali
Berisha under house arrest, Reuters reported on 21 March. AFP reported
that Gjoleke Malaj, head of the "citizens' committee" in Tepelena, said
that a 50-man unit had been sent to Tirana to kill Berisha if he refuses
to resign. Insurgent commander Gen. Xhevat Kociu was less threatening,
saying: "All we want is to force Berisha to resign. That's why we took
weapons in our hands--not to kill but to force his removal." He warned,
however, that the insurgents' support for the caretaker government may
be short-lived if Prime Minister Bashkim Fino fails to help their cause.
--  Fabian Schmidt

MOSTAR CROATIAN POLICE OFFICERS GIVEN SUSPENDED SENTENCES. Croatian
authorities in the divided city of Mostar on 20 March gave suspended
sentences to three policemen named by the UN police as participants in
the 10 February shooting at a Muslim crowd. An initial report by a UN
official was critical of the trial, saying that some witnesses lied and
the room was packed with armed police officers, AFP reported. In other
news, Bosnian Presidency Chairman Alija Izetbegovic on 20 March left for
a five-day visit to the U.S., where he will be given an award for
democracy development from the U.S. Center for Democracy in Washington,
Oslobodjenje reported. -- Daria Sito Sucic

EASTERN SLAVONIAN SERB PARTY MERGES WITH CROATIAN SERB PARTY.
Independent Democratic Serbian Party (SDSS), led by eastern Slavonian
Serb leader Vojislav Stanimirovic, merged with the Independent Serbian
Party (SSS), led by Milorad Pupovac, ahead of next month's elections,
AFP on 20 March reported, quoting Novi List. The SDSS represents Serbs
who will remain in the region when it reverts to Croatian control, and
the SSS represents Serbs in the rest of Croatia. The combined party
would bear the name SDSS and would be led by Stanimirovic, according to
Novi List. -- Daria Sito Sucic

FEDERAL YUGOSLAVIA GETS NEW GOVERNMENT. Parliament on 20 March approved
a cabinet headed once again by Prime Minister Radoje Kontic in a
reshuffle stemming from the 3 November legislative elections. The
government now has 20 members, up from the previous total of 14, AFP and
Nasa Borba noted. Among the old faces are Foreign Minister Milan
Milutinovic and Defense Minister Pavle Bulatovic. Key additions include
Interior Minister Zoran Sokolovic, who is the outgoing Serbian interior
minister and a close aide to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, and
Deputy Prime Minister Vladan Kutlesic, who was Milosevic's adviser. The
appointments reinforce the widely held belief that Milosevic is building
up the federal government as a prelude to his own assumption of the
federal presidency later this year. -- Patrick Moore

YUGOSLAV ROUNDUP. Some 20,000 Belgrade students held boisterous
celebrations on 20 March to celebrate the removal of Dragutin Velickovic
as rector of the university, AFP and Nasa Borba reported (see OMRI Daily
Digest, 20 March). Their chants included: "Slobo, you are next," which
echoes opposition demands for the ouster of Milosevic. Also in the
capital, the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) blasted the government for
ignoring demands for a round table with the opposition and suggested
that mass demonstrations could start again. Finally, the head of the
Montenegrin trade delegation in the U.S. blamed the Yugoslav embassy for
being behind an embarrassing letter allegedly written by Montenegrin
Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic to two members of Congress (see OMRI
Daily Digest, 19 March). -- Patrick Moore

CONSTANTINESCU RECEIVES OPPOSITION LEADERS. President Emil
Constantinescu on 20 March received the leaders of the opposition
parliamentary groups boycotting debates in the legislature and discussed
ways to overcome the crisis, Radio Bucharest reported. Greater Romania
Party leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor said Constantinescu agreed to mediate
in the conflict over the lifting of Tudor's parliamentary immunity,
adding that if that decision is not reversed he will no longer
participate in Senate debates. The leader of the Party of Social
Democracy in Romania, former President Ion Iliescu, said his party will
return to parliament and support the budget law "with some
modifications." The Party of Romanian National Unity said it will
participate in the debates but continue its protest. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIA GETS G-24 AID. Minister of European Integration Alexandru Herlea
announced after a meeting in Brussels of the joint Romania-European
Parliament commission that representatives of the G-24 countries have
agreed to grant Romania some $145 million to cover its trade deficit,
Radio Bucharest reported the same day. Several industrialized countries
also promised substantial additional help: Japan and Switzerland will
grant $50 million each, Sweden $4 million. The EU has agreed to release
the second installment of an $80.5 million loan granted in 1996 and
frozen because of the previous government's economic policies. The IMF
and the World bank will also extend help. -- Michael Shafir

ROMANIA'S FIRST PROTEST AGAINST CIORBEA GOVERNMENT. Energy workers on 20
March demonstrated against the economic measures of the Victor Ciorbea
government in Bucharest and other Romanian cities, RFE/RL and
international agencies reported. In Bucharest, the workers called for
the resignation of the government and demanded new contracts and higher
salaries. The workers also protested against the planned privatization
and restructuring of the energy sector, predicting massive layoffs. --
Michael Shafir

NEW MOLDOVAN CHIEF OF STAFF. President Petru Lucinschi on 20 March
appointed Col. Vladimir Dontul chief of the General Staff and first
deputy defense minister, BASA-press reported. Col. Anatol Guboglo was
appointed deputy defense minister. Dontul was commander of an artillery
brigade and Guboglo was commander of a motorized infantry brigade. --
Michael Shafir

EUROPEAN COURT SENTENCED BULGARIA ON BEHALF OF LATE PRIME MINISTER. The
European Court of Justice in Strasbourg sentenced Bulgaria to pay the
family of Andrey Lukanov a fine plus legal costs amounting to $12,000,
Kontinent and Pari reported on 21 March. Lukanov, the Socialist prime
minister in 1990, was detained for six months in 1992 after being
deprived of his parliamentary immunity following allegations that he was
involved in giving money from the state budget to communist parties in
Third World countries. He was murdered in October 1996. According to
Novinar, justice would be better served if those guilty of detaining
Lukanov paid the fine, rather than the current Bulgarian government,
which is facing an economic crisis. -- Maria Koinova

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Susan Caskie

*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!
What's in Store for the magazine Transition

We've learned much in the last two years about what sort of magazine
Transition can be and what role it should play in Central and Eastern
Europe and the former Soviet Union. Of greatest help in this process has
been the advice of readers. Among some of the desired changes are for
Transition to offer even more articles by writers in the region - lively
opinion pieces as well as fact-filled analysis and expanded departments.

Accordingly, Transition will be substantially restructured and
relaunched as a monthly with the issue dated June 1997. The last
biweekly issue will be 6 April, followed by a brief hiatus. All existing
subscriptions will be honored and extended according to the new monthly
frequency, which is priced at $65 for 12 issues. As before, we offer a
substantial discount for readers in and of the countries we cover (apply
to the contacts listed below for more information).

For engaged intellectuals, policymakers, journalists, and scholars from
the region, the new Transition will provide a rare forum for the
exchange of ideas and criticism on political, economic, and cultural
issues and events.

For more information, contact the OMRI Marketing Department at tel.
(420-2) 6114 2114, fax (420-2) 6114 3181; email: transition-DD@omri.cz
*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!*^!

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            Copyright (c) 1997 Open Media Research Institute, Inc.
                      All rights reserved. ISSN 1211-1570
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