The best proof of love is trust. Dr. Joyce Brothers - Dr. Joyce Brothers
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 1, No. 70, Part II, 10 July1997



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/

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* SWITZERLAND, AUSTRIA STOP CREDITS TO BELARUS

* NATO MOVES AGAINST WAR CRIMINALS

* TWO DEAD IN ETHNIC VIOLENCE IN MACEDONIA

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx






EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

SWITZERLAND, AUSTRIA STOP CREDITS TO BELARUS. Switzerland
and Austria have frozen credit lines to Belarus, a Belarusian
Economics Ministry official told Reuters on 9 July. The two countries
have followed the example of Germany. "Of unused credits in open
credit lines, Germany has frozen $66 million, Austria $470 million
and Switzerland $7 million," the official said. Belarusian President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka recently said Belarus does not need foreign
credits. The official, who asked not to be named, admitted that
foreign credits are wasted in Belarus, as real economic reforms have
not been introduced.

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT PROPOSES COUNCIL ON ECONOMIC REFORMS.
Leonid Kuchma on 9 July proposed the creation of a presidential
council to make crucial economic decisions, Ukrainian Radio reported.
The council may be given powers to approve this year's state budget.
Kuchma outlined his proposal in a letter to the parliament. The
proposal comes after a six-months delay by the legislature in
approving the 1997 budget. Ukraine could lose up to $3 billion in
credits from the IMF because of the delays. Kuchma's proposed that
the council include representatives of both the presidency and the
parliament. He also reiterated his suggestion to delay parliamentary
elections by one year in order to give the current legislature more
time to approve economic reforms. In Kuchma's view, holding the
next parliamentary ballot at about the same time as the presidential
elections in 1999 would save the state money. Parliamentary
elections are scheduled for March 1998.

FRENCH PRESIDENT SAYS UKRAINE NEEDS TO PURSUE ECONOMIC
REFORMS. Jacques Chirac told his Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid
Kuchma, in Madrid on 9 July that Ukraine must speed up economic
reforms if it wants more international financial aid. Reuters quoted
an unnamed French official as saying that Kuchma appealed to Chirac
to support Ukraine's drive for IMF loans. Chirac praised Ukraine's
recent settling of disputes with Russia and outlined steps Ukraine
needed to take to win further Western financial backing, including
speeding up privatization and introducing structural reforms.

CZECH, HUNGARIAN, POLISH SUPPORT FOR BALTICS' NATO BID. The
presidents of the Baltic States, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and
Poland met briefly in Madrid on 9 July, one day after the three
Central European countries received invitations to join NATO. Reuters
reported that the Baltic leaders clasped hands with their Central
European counterparts in a symbolic gesture after the latter had
promised to fight for the Baltic cause within the alliance. Estonian
President Lennart Meri said the 8 July NATO declaration places the
Baltic States on an equal footing with Romania and Slovenia for a
second round of expansion, an RFE/RL correspondent in Madrid
reported. Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas said he believes
his country will be asked to join NATO in the second wave, while his
Latvian counterpart, Guntis Ulmanis, said he expects the Baltic States
will be invited to join NATO within five to seven years.

U.S.-BALTIC CHARTER TO BE SIGNED IN SEPTEMBER? Estonian
Ambassador to NATO Juri Luik told BNS on 8 July that a U.S.-Baltic
charter may be signed in Washington in September when U.S.
President Bill Clinton meets with his Baltic counterparts. A meeting
of the four presidents in Madrid scheduled for 9 July was canceled.
Luik said there was "no point" holding such a meeting before U.S.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright meets with the Baltic foreign
ministers in Vilnius later this week. The charter is intended to
establish the foundations of cooperation between the U.S. and the
Baltic States aimed at helping the latter integrate into Western
structures.

POLAND, JEWISH ORGANIZATION REACH INITIAL AGREEMENT ON
RESTITUTION. The World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) told
Reuters on 9 July that it has reached an initial agreement with
Poland on the return of communal property. It said that if the
agreement were implemented, it would not argue against Poland's
entry to NATO. "If we are invited to give testimony [to the U.S.
Congress], and if [the Polish] government's understanding with us
holds as now, we will certainly give a positive report," WJRO Vice
President Naphtali Lavie told Reuters. Under the agreement, the
WJRO, Polish Jewish communities, and the Polish government will set
up a foundation to agree on and manage properties to be restituted.
A joint commission will study a list of 6,000 properties identified by
the WJRO and decide which claims can be processed.

DEATH TOLL RISES IN FLOODS IN POLAND, CZECH REPUBLIC. At least
28 people are reported dead and many more missing in continuing
floods in Poland and the Czech Republic. Flooding has spread into the
southern Moravian region in the Czech Republic. More than a third of
the Czech Republic's territory is now under water. In Poland, some
250 towns and cities have been hit by the floods. At least 35,000
hectares of land, 7,000 kilometers of road, and 45 bridges have been
affected. Some 40,000 people have been evacuated from their homes
in Poland. Both the Czech and Polish governments have released
emergency funds to help the victims. Damage in the Czech Republic is
estimated to have reached 50 billion crowns ($1.7 billion). The floods
also have also caused considerable damage in Slovakia, although
there are no reports of deaths or injuries in the country.

SLOVAK PRESIDENT CONGRATULATES NEIGHBORS OVER NATO
ENLARGEMENT DECISION. In a statement released to the media on 9
July, Michal Kovac congratulated the Czech Republic, Hungary, and
Poland for having been invited to join NATO, RFE/RL's Bratislava
office reported. Kovac said the Slovak government's policy is the
main reason why Slovakia has been left out of NATO. Meanwhile, the
recently formed coalition of five opposition parties said on 9 July
that Madrid "represents a total failure of [Prime Minister Vladimir]
Meciar's policy." Bela Bugar, a leader of the coalition of the ethnic
Hungarian parties, backed this stance. Two coalition parties--the
Slovak National Party and the Union of Slovak Workers--said they
were satisfied with the NATO decision because they do not want
Slovakia to be a member of the alliance. Meciar, who met with U.S.
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on 9 July, stressed again that
Slovakia is a victim of NATO's double standards over accepting new
members.

SLOVAK ARMY CHIEF OF STAFF REJECTS GOVERNMENT PROPOSAL.
Gen. Jozef Tuchyna on 9 July rejected the government's draft
amendment to the law on the army, whereby the force would no
longer be headed by the chief of staff subordinated to the president
but by a defense ministry state secretary appointed by the
government. Tuchyna told a press conference in Bratislava that a
compromise solution could be to merge the posts of the chief of staff
and the planned post of state secretary, who, however, would be
appointed by the president. Tuchyna said that no one had offered the
post of state secretary to him so far. He predicted that the
government's proposed amendment will end up at the Constitutional
Court.

REPORT ON HUNGARIAN PRIVATIZATION SCANDAL MADE PUBLIC.
Members of Hungary's two governing parties released to the press on
9 July the report of the parliamentary commission that investigated
the so-called "Tocsik privatization scandal" (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
26 June 1997). The opposition had objected that the move would
violate the privacy of those mentioned in it, Hungarian media
reported. The document blames Imre Szokai, former chairman of the
State Privatization and Holding Company (APV), and senior legal
counselor Peter Liszkai for abusing their position when hiring the
financial consultant Marta Tocsik, despite a board resolution not to
make use of her services. Former Privatization Minister Tamas
Suchman is also blamed for interfering in the APV's personnel and
professional decisions. Commission chairman Tamas Deutch said the
coalition's attempts to reject the report's conclusions are an effort to
prevent establishing who bears political responsibility.

HUNGARY DISCUSSES HOW TO PREPARE FOR NATO ACCESSION.
Leading Hungarian politicians on 9 July expressed diverse views over
when a referendum on NATO membership should be held, Hungarian
dailies reported. Prime Minister Gyula Horn and Foreign Minister
Laszlo Kovacs say the referendum should be conducted in the fall,
before the parliamentary elections. Parliamentary chairman Imre
Szekeres believes that a national vote should not take place until the
terms of accession are known, while Free Democrat faction leader
Istvan Szent-Ivanyi proposed the vote take place in the first quarter
of 1998, since the accession treaty is to be signed by then.
Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen, arriving in
Budapest for a one-day visit, said all three states about to join the
alliance should spend more on restructuring their military
communications and control systems and less on "building expensive
arsenals."

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

NATO MOVES AGAINST WAR CRIMINALS. NATO troops killed Simo
Drljaca in Prijedor on 10 July, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook
said in London. Drljaca was the Serbian police chief in Prijedor during
the Bosnian war and was linked to the "ethnic cleasing" of Croats and
Muslims, as well as to concentration camps. In their surprise 10 July
operation, British troops arrested Milan Kovacevic, who is wanted for
complicity in war crimes. The previous day, U.S. President Bill Clinton
and other top NATO officials said in Madrid that they did not want to
comment on press reports that NATO intends to capture Radovan
Karadzic or other indicted individuals. Clinton added, however, that
the U.S. is clear about its support for embattled Bosnian Serb
President Biljana Plavsic "and what she's trying to do. We oppose the
unconstitutional efforts to restrict her authority. We appreciate the
fact that, even though we don't agree on everything, she has stated
her adherence to the Dayton Accords and has tried to follow them."
Meanwhile in Brussels, the EU announced that it is suspending all
non-humanitarian aid to the Republika Srpska as long as Karadzic is
free.

PLAVSIC, MILOSEVIC CLASH AGAIN. Serbian President Slobodan
Milosevic met in Belgrade on 9 July with Momcilo Krajisnik, the
Serbian representative on the Bosnian joint presidency. Plavsic
refused to attend, saying to Milosevic in a letter that he should come
to her headquarters in Banja Luka if he wanted to meet, an RFE/RL
correspondent reported from the west Bosnian town. Plavsic also
challenged Milosevic's view that the current political fight in the
Republika Srpska is a struggle between rival power centers in Banja
Luka and Pale. The real issue, she said, is "whether we will become a
state based on the rule of law or whether we will continue to be a
party-run fiefdom sunk in crime." Meanwhile in Bijeljina, Plavsic's
backers staged a rally in her support.

TWO DEAD IN ETHNIC VIOLENCE IN MACEDONIA. At least two ethnic
Albanians were killed and many more wounded following clashes
between Macedonian police and hundreds of Albanians in Gostivar
on 9 July. Police arrested more than 300 Albanians; several police
were injured in the violence. Tensions began when police pulled
down Albanian flags flying from the city hall and some Albanians
tried to rehoist them. AFP reported that UN peacekeepers left town
during the violence. A new Macedonian law allows the Albanian and
Turkish minorities opportunities to display their national symbols,
but generally not on public buildings. The question of flags is
politically sensitive because many Macedonians suspect that the
banners are a symbol of irredentism.

NEWS FROM FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. In Skopje, the Macedonian
government on 9 July announced the devaluation of the denar by 15
percent, in keeping with recommendations made by the IMF. In
Belgrade, federal Yugoslav military authorities said that one Yugoslav
soldier was wounded in a clash with an armed Albanian gang along
the two countries' border. Also in the Serbian capital, Bosnian Roman
Catholic Cardinal Vinko Puljic met with Serbian Orthodox Patriarch
Pavle. They announced the setting up of an interfaith council in
Bosnia that will include Muslims and Jews as well as Catholics and
Orthodox. And in Grude in western Herzegovina, thousands attended
the funeral of Mate Boban, the Herzegovinian Croat leader who died
of a stroke on 7 July. Among those present were Croatian Defense
Minister Gojko Susak and Croatian nationalist politicians Vladimir
Seks and Branimir Glavas.

FIRST CASUALTY IN INTERNATIONAL FORCE IN ALBANIA. An
explosive device went off on the grounds of the Italian medical
center in Vlora on 9 July, killing one Italian soldier and wounding
three. The dead man was the first fatality among the 7,000 foreign
troops participating in Operation Alba since April. It is not clear how
the bomb found its way into the Italian complex. Also in Vlora, one
man died and two were wounded in an exchange of gunfire between
armed gangs. Foreign news agencies reported additional deaths in
Elbasan and Shkodra. Current estimates suggest that there are 1
million weapons in private hands across the country following the
looting of military and police installations at the start of the year.

VRANITZKY SAYS ALBANIA STILL NEEDS INTERNATIONAL FORCE.
Franz Vranitzky, the Organization for Security and Europe's chief
envoy to Albania and former Austrian chancellor, said on 9 July that
Operation Alba troops should stay on beyond their planned
withdrawal deadline of 12 August, Austrian media reported. He
argued that "the question of security is essential. One cannot simply
withdraw and think that Albania is entirely peaceful." The August
withdrawal date "is certainly too early." Vranitzky has argued since
late spring that the peacekeepers will be needed well after the
elections, which ended on 6 July. Italy, which leads Operation Alba,
nonetheless wants to conclude the mission in August (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 8 July 1997). Foreign media report that many Albanians
say the troops have brought a measure of stability and should
remain.

ALBANIAN COALITION TALKS WELL ADVANCED. The Socialist Party
and its election allies have virtually completed negotiations aimed at
allocating cabinet posts in the new government, the "Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung" reported on 10 July. Members of the Democratic
Alliance will head the Interior and Defense Ministries, while a Social
Democrat will manage foreign affairs under Socialist Prime Minister-
designate Fatos Nano. Foreign diplomats told news agencies that the
government could be in place by 17 July. Elsewhere in Tirana,
election officials said the Socialist-led coalition has more than a two-
thirds majority in the parliament following the second round of
elections on 6 July. Unofficial totals give the coalition 107 out of 155
seats, or four more than the 103 needed to change the constitution.

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT IN MADRID. Emil Constantinescu told the
inaugural session of NATO's Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council on 9
July that Romania has the "irrevocable desire" to participate in
deciding Europe's "security architecture" and to join NATO as soon as
possible. He said Romania was rediscovering her "historical vocation
as a mediator and as a point of convergence" in southeastern Europe.
He added that the basic treaties signed with Hungary and Ukraine
and the trilateral pacts signed with Ukraine and Moldova should help
build a "flexible and lasting structure" capable of preventing or at
least localizing potential conflicts. At a later press conference,
Constantinescu said he assumes "personal responsibility" for the
NATO-bid outcome and thanked in particular French President
Jacques Chirac for his support.

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT ENFORCES AMENDED EDUCATION LAW. The
government on 9 July approved an "urgent ordinance" amending the
education law, thereby postponing parliamentary debate on the issue
and allowing immediate implementation. The Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania had threatened to leave the ruling coalition if
the law were not enforced by ordinance, since debate in the
legislature would have prevented its implementation in time for
school year 1997-1998. George Pruteanu, the chairman of the
Senate's Education Commission and a member of the National Peasant
Party Christian Democratic, opposed the amended version, along with
other members of the ruling coalition parties. The amended law
abolishes the provisions whereby high-school final exams and
university entrance tests had to be in the Romanian language. It also
provides for education in the mother tongue at all levels, including
the instruction of history and geography. Under the previous version
of the law, both of those subjects had to be taught in Romanian.

EXPLOSION KILLS 16 AT ROMANIAN MILITARY AIR BASE. Sixteen
people died on 9 July at a military airfield in Craiova, southern
Romania, when an "experimental bomb" produced in the country
exploded while being loaded into a plane. A Defense Ministry
statement said the explosion caused a chain reaction and detonated
other bombs in the YAR-93 aircraft. Eight of the dead were defense
industry workers and the other eight were military engineers. Three
other people were injured, one seriously.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT IN MADRID. Petru Lucinschi has said
Chisinau views the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council as contributing
to Moldovan security and is ready to "start a dialogue with interested
parties." He was addressing the inaugural session of the council in
Madrid on 9 July. Lucinschi failed to specify whom he head in mind
but added that it was necessary to improve mechanisms geared at
"conflict prevention." In an interview with Infotag the same day,
Lucinschi said NATO's expansion was the outcome of the
"evolutionary changes" that its three new members had undergone.
Moldova's possible accession to the alliance was a matter "for the
21st century," he said in response to a question. For the time being
"Moldova has proclaimed its neutrality and seeks to implement it in
practice." The "mutually exclusive" political views dividing Moldovan
society should not be enhanced by additional confrontations, he said.

COUNCIL OF EUROPE TO DISCUSS MOLDOVAN CHURCH CONFLICT? The
Standing Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe has recently been asked to include on the assembly's agenda
for the fall the issue of the Bessarabian Metropolitan Church, BASA-
press reported on 9 July. Vlad Cubreacov, who represents the
opposition Popular Front in the assembly, says he has the
endorsement of deputies from 10 European states to debate the
issue. The Moldovan government refuses to recognize the
Bessarabian Metropolitan Church, which is subordinated to the
Patriarchate in Bucharest. Meanwhile, the Synod of the Moldovan
Orthodox Church (which is recognized by the authorities in Chisinau)
on 9 July asked the parliament to pass a law allowing religious
instruction in schools.

TURKISH MINORITY PARTY WANTS BULGARIAN CONSTITUTION
AMENDED. Yunal Lyutvi, a leader of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish
Movement for Rights and Freedoms, says the constitution should be
amended to recognize the presence of a Turkish minority in the
country. He told a press conference in Sofia on 9 July that the present
basic law is "inadequate for the changes and challenges faced by
Bulgaria," Reuters reported. Also on 9 July, Foreign Ministry
spokesman Radko Vlaikov told reporters in Sofia that the invitations
issued the previous day to the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland
to join NATO signifies that the alliance's doors are now wide open. He
expressed confidence that the country will be invited to join NATO in
the future if the reforms continue at the pace of recent months.

BULGARIA TO REDUCE LENGTH OF MILITARY SERVICE. Defense
Minister Georgi Ananiev on 9 July told a press conference in Sofia
that compulsory military service in Bulgaria will be reduced from 18
months to one year beginning 1 January 1998. Ananiev said the
Supreme Military Council has approved amendments to the Defense
and Armed Forces Law, which will now be discussed by the
government and submitted for approval by the parliament, Reuters
reported. Ananiev said the envisaged reforms will "set the legal
grounds for a professional army." Chief of Staff Miho Mihov recently
announced the intention to transform the army into a professional
one (see RFE/RL Newsline, 20 June 1997). Army entrants would be
cut up by 15,000 every year, saving the state several million leva,
Ananiev said. The draft law also envisages a reduction of military
service for university graduates from 12 months to nine.

EU LOANS TO BULGARIA. The EU will grant Bulgaria several loans
totaling $515 million to support the country's economic reform
efforts, RFE/RL's Sofia bureau reported on 9 July, citing a press
release of a visiting EU Commission delegation. The delegation says
the main loan will total $280 million and its first installment is
expected in the fall. The package also includes a $168 million loan to
upgrade the country's aging power plants and improve electricity
supply as well as a $40 million Phare program loan for structural and
social security reform.





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

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