He who receives an idea from me receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mind, receives light without darkening me. - Thomas Jefferson
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

Vol. 1, No. 35, Part II, 21 May1997


Vol. 1, No. 35, Part II, 21 May1997

This is Part II of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Newsline.
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 RFE/RL NewsLine are available through RFE/RL's WWW
pages: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/

Back  issues of the OMRI Daily Digest are available through OMRI's
WWW pages: http://www.omri.cz/

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* POLISH PRESIDENT IN UKRAINE TO SIGN
RECONCILIATION PACT

* CZECH GOVERNMENT TO BE RESHUFFLED

* ALBANIAN LEADERS REACH ELECTION AGREEMENT

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx



EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

POLISH PRESIDENT IN UKRAINE TO SIGN
RECONCILIATION PACT. Alexander Kwasniewski and
Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma are to sign a
declaration of reconciliation in Kyiv today, Ukrainian and
Polish media report. The declaration is designed to help
overcome three centuries of rivalry and hostilities,
including the killing of tens of thousands of Poles by pro-
Nazi Ukrainian nationalists in 1943 and communist Poland's
mass expulsion of ethnic Ukrainians in 1947. Kwasniewski
told reporters yesterday that "we want to broaden the
opportunities for young Poles and Ukrainians...but we also
want these relations to have an effect on the region and
Europe as a whole." He said he hopes a cooperation
agreement between NATO and Ukraine will be signed soon,
adding that NATO enlargement will have a positive effect
on European security. Today, Kwasniewski addressed the
Urkainian parliament.

EU APPROVES ASSISTANCE TO UKRAINE,
KYRGYZSTAN. The European Commission announced
yesterday its approval of technical assistance programs
for Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan this year within the framework
of the TACIS program, RFE/RL's Brussels correspondent
reported. The goal of the TACIS program is to support and
accelerate the transition to a market economy. The
assistance programs will be in the form of non-repayable
grants, amounting to some $30 million for Ukraine and
about $8 million for Kyrgyzstan. The program for Ukraine is
focused on support for economic reform and developing
the private sector.

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT IN FINLAND. Lennart Meri met
with his Finnish counterpart, Martti Ahtisaari, in Helsinki
yesterday to discuss. Estonian membership in the EU, ETA
reported. Ahtisaari repeated that Finland fully supports
Estonia's joining the union in the first round of its
expansion. Meri also met with Finnish Prime Minister Paavo
Lipponen, who spoke about his recent visit to Moscow,
during which he had said Finland was prepared to help
Estonia and Russia resolve their differences. Another round
of Estonian-Russian talks are due to take place next month.

LATVIA RESPONDS ANGRILY TO YELTSIN'S COMMENTS
ON NATO ACCORD. Deputy Foreign Minister Maris
Riekstins has harshly criticized Russian officials who
"evoke the legitimate rights of the Baltic countries," AFP
reported yesterday. He was speaking the day after Russian
President Boris Yeltsin warned Moscow would "reconsider
its relations" with NATO if the alliance expands to include
former Soviet republics. Riekstins stressed each country's
sovereign right to choose its security system and added
that "no OSCE member country has the right to call into
question this basic principle." Meanwhile, President Guntis
Ulmanis pledged yesterday to consider granting
citizenship to aliens more quickly. ITAR-TASS quoted
Ulmanis as telling parliamentary leaders that Latvia cannot
remain a "special" country in which 30% of residents have
not been citizens "for a long time." The majority of Latvia's
non-citizens are ethnic Russians who settled in the country
during the Soviet era.

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT ON DIVIDING LAKE VISTYTIS.
Algirdas Brazauskas has stressed he is seeking to have
Lake Vistytis divided equally between Lithuania and
Russia, BNS reported. The president was speaking to local
inhabitants during a visit yesterday to the Vistytis border
crossing. He said he will "do everything" to ensure that the
part of the lake that belonged to Lithuania before the
Soviet occupation remains in Lithuanian hands. The border
through Lake Vistytis is the only stumbling block to the
signing of a border treaty between Lithuania and Russia.
Kaliningrad Oblast is claiming all of the lake, while
Lithuania wants to halve it on the basis of the pre-war
border treaty between Lithuania and Germany. Also
yesterday, Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro praised
Lithuania for maintaining good ties with Russia while
seeking membership in NATO and the EU. Scalfaro met with
Lithuanian leaders in Vilnius yesterday. He is due to arrive
in Riga today.

BALTIC DEFENSE COLLEGE TO BE SET UP IN TARTU. The
Baltic Military Command has announced the creation of a
Baltic Defense College, BNS reported. The Latvian and
Estonian commanders in chief and the Lithuanian deputy
chief commander made the decision at a 19-20 May
meeting in Riga. The college will be established in Tartu,
Estonia, and will train officers from the Baltic States. The
project is supported by Denmark, Norway, Finland, and
Sweden.

CZECH GOVERNMENT TO BE RESHUFFLED. The chairmen
of the three coalition parties agreed at a meeting late last
night that the government will soon be reshuffled, Czech
Radio reported. No details have been given on how many
ministers may be affected. The meeting was hastily
arranged in an apparent bid to prevent the opposition
Social Democrats from asking the parliament today to
adopt a resolution on recalling some ministers. Approval
ratings for the government and for Prime Minister Vaclav
Klaus's Civic Democratic Party have been dropping
steadily. An opinion poll by the Factum agency, published in
today's Mlada Fronta Dnes, indicates that nearly 40% of
Czechs think Premier Vaclav Klaus should resign, while 38%
believe he should remain in office but that some ministers
should leave.

U.S. OFFICIAL SAYS SLOVAKIA, BULGARIA NOT READY
FOR NATO. Congressman Christopher Smith, co-chairman
of the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in
Europe, says Slovakia's treatment of ethnic minorities and
the growing violence and intolerance against the political
opposition and media there "work against" the country's
being included in the first round of NATO expansion,
RFE/RL's Washington correspondent reported yesterday.
Smith said Bulgaria has made impressive strides but still
has to address issues such as civilian control of the
military and religious freedom. The commission yesterday
held another Congressional hearing on the human rights
aspects of NATO enlargement. The Slovak, Bulgarian, and
Hungarian ambassadors were invited to present their
country's views on why they should be included in NATO.

UPDATE ON SLOVAK REFERENDUM. The Slovak
government yesterday asked President Michal Kovac to
postpone the referendum on NATO membership and direct
presidential elections until the Constitutional Court
decides whether the constitution can be changed by a
referendum, RFE/RL's Bratislava office reported.
Meanwhile, opposition politicians have accused the
government of hindering the distribution of referendum
ballots in some districts. Interior Minister Ivan Krajci
repeated he is opposed to distributing ballots with four
questions until the Constitutional Court decides whether
the question on direct presidential elections is legally
binding. If the court were to decide that the constitution
cannot be changed by a referendum, Krajci would distribute
ballots with only three questions. The Central Referendum
Commission ordered ballots with four questions to be
distributed, but Krajci said yesterday that "the
government is my boss."

HUNGARY, ITALY, SLOVENIA TO ESTABLISH JOINT
BRIGADE. Hungary, Italy, and Slovenia have agreed to
create a joint military brigade by 1998 and to hold joint
military maneuvers, Hungarian media report. The decision
was taken in Budapest yesterday at the first meeting of
Premiers Gyula Horn, Romano Prodi, and Janez Drnovsek.
Prodi said his country unconditionally supports Hungary's
and Slovenia's accession to NATO and the EU and would
prefer to see both countries included in the first wave of
expansion. The three premiers said preparations have
begun for the construction of an international traffic
corridor to be built from Trieste through Ljubljana and
Budapest to Kiev. They also agreed to step up cooperation
in a number of areas, including the environment, education,
and judicial affairs.

HUNGARIAN OPPOSITION LEADER CALLS COALITION
"LIBERAL-BOLSHEVIK". Independent Smallholder Party
leader Jozsef Torgyan repeatedly said in the parliament
yesterday that the ruling coalition is "liberal-bolshevik",
Budapest dailies report. Zoltan Szabo, state secretary at
the Ministry of Culture, responded by recalling that Nazi
Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and wartime
Hungarian fascist leader Ferenc Szalasi both drew parallels
between bolshevism and liberalism as symptoms of a
"Jewish plague". He said Torgyan, hiding behind his
immunity as a parliamentary deputy, has used the same
terms to refer to Jews. Former Prime Minister Peter
Boross of the Hungarian Democratic Forum described
Szabo's remarks as "unworthy" of the parliament.

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ALBANIAN LEADERS REACH ELECTION AGREEMENT.
President Sali Berisha and Prime Minister Bashkim Fino
made a deal in Tirana last night that could allow the 29 June
elections to go ahead if the political parties agree. Details
of the agreement have not been made public, but it appears
that Fino's government will select the electoral
commission and invite foreign observers. News agencies
report from Tirana this morning that international pressure
was crucial in convincing Berisha to compromise. Social
Democratic leader Skender Gjinushi said, however, that his
party will insist the government also control the secret
police and the electronic media. He noted that the question
of gerrymandering electoral districts in favor of Berisha's
Democratic Party has not been solved.

KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY
FOR KILLING. The Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) issued a
press statement in Pristina yesterday saying it was behind
two recent violent incidents that left one ethnic Albanian
dead and two Serbian policemen wounded (see RFE/RL
Newsline,. 19 May 1997). The UCK said it killed the man as
part of a campaign against Albanians it considers to be
collaborators with the Serbian authorities. The statement
also slammed the mainstream Kosovar leadership, calling
its policy of non-violence "ineffective" and saying it gives
the Albanian people "false hope."

HAGUE COURT LOOKS INTO LEAK. The International
Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has
interrupted for two days the trial of three Muslims and one
Croat in connection with atrocities against Serbs at the
Celebici concentration camp. An RFE/RL correspondent
reported from The Hague yesterday that the court
authorities have stopped work in order to investigate how
a Bosnian newspaper obtained and published a list of 70
witnesses in the case. Some of the witnesses wanted their
names kept confidential. Prominent Croatian politician
Stipe Mesic told RFE/RL from Zagreb recently that
someone at the tribunal leaked his interview with court
officials (see "End Note," RFE/RL Newsline, 20 May 1997).
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council yesterday elected to
the tribunal 11 judges, none of whom comes from Eastern
Europe.

U.S., UN BLAST CROATIA. U.S. Ambassador to Croatia
Peter Galbraith told a press conference in Zagreb
yesterday that "Croatia will go no further in the process of
integration into Western institutions unless and until all
Croatian Serbs who wish to return to Croatia are able to do
this." He added that Washington is "appalled" at recent
attacks on ethnic Serbs who tried to return to their homes
in the Banija region. This is reported to be the toughest
language Galbraith has used in public. Meanwhile, UN human
rights envoy Elisabeth Rehn wrote Croatian Foreign
Minister Mate Granic in Zagreb yesterday to express
"serious concern" about the treatment of Croatia's ethnic
Serbs. She warned that failure to remedy the situation
could lead to "a tragedy for the peaceful reintegration of
Eastern Slavonia." The Croatian authorities told Rehn that
the Serbs are looting homes, churches, and museums in that
region.

MONTENEGRIN PARLIAMENT PASSES SECURITY LAW.
The legislature approved a new security law yesterday,
Belgrade media report. Opposition deputies walked out
before the vote, saying the bill reflects an internal dispute
within the governing Democratic Socialist Party (DPS) and
does not involve other parties. Novak Kilibarda, a
prominent politician of the Popular Concord opposition
group, said the DPS wants changes in the security
apparatus in time to secure President Momir Bulatovic's
re-election later this year.

SLOVENIAN RAILWAY WORKERS STAGE TEN-DAY
STRIKE. More than 2,500 of the 9,655 employees of
Slovenian state railways walked off the job yesterday in a
pay dispute. The government had made an offer, but union
spokesmen said it was too low, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported from Ljubljana. In Budapest, Slovenian Prime
Minister Janez Drnovsek said his government will be "firm"
in dealing with the strike, lest labor unrest spread to other
sectors. The minimum wage for a railway worker is
currently about $240 per month. Meanwhile in Serbia, the
health workers' strike continues. The Kragujevac arms
factory, the Jugopetrol-Kosovo enterprise, and some
textile workers are also striking over back pay.

ROMANIAN PRIME MINISTER IN NETHERLANDS. Victor
Ciorbea paid a one-day visit to The Hague yesterday and
met with Prime Minister Wim Kok, who said his country has
not yet made a decision on which states it will support to
join an enlarged NATO, Radio Bucharest reported. He also
told Ciorbea that The Netherlands, which currently holds
the EU presidency, welcomes Bucharest's reform efforts.
Kok said he is sure Romania will be among the countries
with which the union will start membership negotiations
next year. Those negotiations, he added, will be based on
"strict objective, economic criteria."

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS OPPOSITION
MOTION. The Chamber of Deputies yesterday rejected a
motion by the opposition criticizing what it regards as an
infringement of the Law on Local Administration. The
opposition says the law prohibits Ciorbea from holding the
posts of Bucharest mayor and premier simultaneously. It is
demanding that he resign from the mayoralty. The
government responded that Ciorbea is not breaking the law
because he has not fulfilled his mayoral duties since an
acting mayor replaced him, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau
reported. The government intends to amend the law to
allow mayors to retain their position while serving in
government, although they would have to "suspend
activity" while holding an executive position. The
opposition also objects to the procedure chosen by the
government to pass the amendment. Called "urgent
government ordinance," this procedure does away with
debate in the parliament and requires only the legislature's
approval.

OMBUDSMAN ELECTED IN ROMANIA. The Senate
yesterday elected Paul Mitroi as Romania's first
ombudsman, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. The
institution was first introduced in the constitution
approved in 1991, but the law defining the ombudsman's
role was approved only this year. Mitroi, who was
nominated by the governing National Liberal Party,
defeated the candidate of the opposition Party of Social
Democracy in Romania, Rodica Stanoiu. Mitroi, aged 60, is a
judge at the Supreme Court of Justice. He was expelled
from the Faculty of Law in 1956 and was imprisoned for
eight months for "propaganda against the [communist]
state."

PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE EXERCISE IN MOLDOVA. The
first Partnership for Peace exercise to take place in
Moldova and the first ever on the territory of a former
Soviet republic began this week in Balti, in the northern
part of the country. BASA-press reported that the
exercise, called Medceur '97, involves about 80 U.S.
medical troops and some 250 Moldovan troops, who will
simulate emergency rescue operations.

OUTGOING BULGARIAN PREMIER PRESENTS FINAL
REPORT TO PRESIDENT. Stefan Sofiyanski yesterday
presented to President Petar Stoyanov the final report on
his government's activity and noted he was proud of having
helped Bulgaria survive its worst economic crisis. He said
he hoped the new government will have the same public
support as his cabinet has enjoyed during its three months
in office, an RFE/RL correspondent in Sofia reported.

BULGARIAN AUTHORITIES TO MONITOR CORRUPTION
IN MASS PRIVATIZATION. The Interior Ministry says it
has uncovered economic crimes amounting to $19 million
since the caretaker government replaced the former
Socialist government in February. Mincho Yashev, head of
the ministry's economic police department, said his
investigators will closely monitor all voucher funds set up
under the mass privatization program, Reuters reported
yesterday. The funds are to pool share vouchers issued to
individuals. Yashev also said 200,000 illegally pirated audio
compact discs have been seized in Bulgaria since February,
and that the new government is determined to change
Bulgaria's reputation as the biggest producer of pirate CDs
after China. Industry officials say state and private plants
in Bulgaria illegally copied more than 20 million CDs last
year.





xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
               Copyright (c) 1997 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

SUBSCRIBING:

1) To subscribe to RFERL-L, please send a message to
        listserv@listserv.buffalo.edu
2) In the text of your message, type
        subscribe RFERL-L YourFirstName YourLastName
3) Send the message

UNSUBSCRIBING:

1) To un-subscribe to RFERL-L, please send a message to
        listserv@listserv.buffalo.edu
2) In the text of your message, type
        unsubscribe RFERL-L
3) Send the message

ON-LINE ISSUES OF RFE/RL Newsline:

On-line issues of RFE/RL Newsline are available through the World
Wide Web: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/

BACK ISSUES OF RFE/RL Newsline:

Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline are available through the World
Wide Web: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/

BACK ISSUES OF OMRI Daily Digest:

Back issues of the OMRI Daily Digest are available through the World
Wide Web, and by FTP.

WWW: http://www.omri.cz/Publications/DD/
FTP: ftp://FTP.OMRI.CZ/Pub/DailyDigest/

REPRINT POLICY:

To receive permission for reprinting, please direct
your inquires to Paul Goble, publisher.

Email: goblep@rferl.org
Phone (U.S.) : 202-457-6947
International: 001 202-457-6947
Postal Address: RFE/RL, Connecticut Ave. 1201, NW, Washington D.C.,
USA

RFE/RL Newsline Staff:

Paul Goble (Publisher), goblep@rferl.org
Jiri Pehe ( Editor, Central and Eastern Europe),  pehej@rferl.org
Liz Fuller (Deputy Editor, Transcaucasia), carlsone@rferl.org
Patrick Moore (West Balkans),  moorep@rferl.org
Michael Shafir (East Balkans), shafirm@rferl.org
Laura Belin (Russia), belinl@rferl.org
Bruce Pannier (Central Asia), pannierb@rferl.org
Jan Cleave, cleavej@rferl.org.

Newsline Fax: (420-2) 2112-3630.

Current and back issues are available online at:
http://www.rferl.org/newsline/

[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