The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that's the essence of inhumanity. - George Bernard Shaw
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 1, No. 88, Part II, 5 August 1997



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/

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Headlines, Part II

* UPDATE ON RUSSIAN JOURNALISTS DETAINED IN BELARUS

* POLISH SCREENING LAW COMES INTO FORCE

* POLITICAL PURGE OF ALBANIAN ARMY?

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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UPDATE ON RUSSIAN JOURNALISTS DETAINED IN BELARUS. Garry
Pogonyailo, a lawyer for journalist Pavel Sheremet who is currently
being held in custody by Belarusian authorities, told Interfax on 4
August that he asked Belarusian Prosecutor General Oleg Bozhelko to
move the investigation to Lithuania. Sheremet and cameraman
Dmitri Zavadsky were detained by the Belarusian KGB on 26 July on
charges of illegally crossing the Belarusian-Lithuanian border.
Pogonyailo said Belarusian law enforcement agencies "cannot
guarantee an unbiased investigation." Meanwhile, a source in the
Belarusian Interior Ministry told Interfax that Belarusian Foreign
Minister Ivan Antanovich has sent a letter to his Russian
counterpart, Yevgenii Primakov, alleging that "Sheremet showed
special interest in military and other secret border facilities."
Antanovich also expressed concern about the fact that the conflict
over the journalists is being considered at the top state level in
Russia.

FLOODS IN UKRAINE Emergencies Ministry spokeswoman Tatyana
Pomazanova told journalists on 4 August that 12 villages have been
flooded and six bridges swept away in floods caused by heavy rains
in regions near the Romanian border. A nine-year-old girl drowned
in the floods. Pomazanova said the girl drowned near Ivano-
Frankivsk, about 400 kilometers southwest of Kyiv. Dozens of
villages also have been flooded in the western Ukrainian region
around Lviv. More than 700 people had to be evacuated.

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT ON EU EXPANSION. Lennart Meri said in a
speech at the Danish Foreign Policy Society on 4 August that Estonia
sees great importance in the objective of EU members to make EU
enlargement a continuing process, BNS reported. The 15 July
recommendation by the European Commission to start expansion
talks with six countries "is not the finish line, it only fixes the
starting line for the integration process," Meri said. He noted Estonia
will continue supporting the goals of Latvia and Lithuania during the
entire negotiations. "We support the wish of Latvia and Lithuania to
provide up-to-date information to Brussels that would better reflect
their actual situation," Meri said. He said the European Union and
NATO are the last two organizations which will complete the
reintegration of the Baltics into Europe.

LATVIAN DRAFT GOVERNMENT DECLARATION APPROVED. The
parties that form the new Latvian government headed by Guntars
Krasts on 4 August agreed on a draft government declaration, which
will be prepared for signing 5 August, BNS reported. The parties also
will discuss a new coalition agreement on 5 August. Krasts told
reporters that the draft declaration is not fundamentally different
from the previous government policy. The government envisages a
balanced budget and will strive for harmonizing Latvian laws with
EU legislation.

SWEDEN AND LATVIA ABOLISH VISA. Sweden and Latvia on 4
August reached an agreement on visa-free travel, BNS reported.
However, Sweden said the deal would not become valid until Latvia
signed the Geneva convention on refugees without regional
reservations. "Many countries have made certain amendments to, or
interpretations of, the Geneva convention but we think Latvia has
made too many reservations," a spokeswoman at the Swedish foreign
ministry told Reuters. "In particular, Latvia only acknowledges
refugees from a limited number of countries."

FINNISH PRESIDENT IN LITHUANIA. During a one-day official visit to
Vilnius by Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen, Finland and
Lithuania on 4 August also lifted mutual visa requirements, BNS
reported. European integration was the main focus of talks between
Lithuanian Premier Gediminas Vagnorius and Lipponen. Lipponen
assured his counterpart that Lithuania is among the countries that
will become European Union members -- if not in the first wave of
expansion, then later. He called the EU's invitation to Estonia to start
accession talks "a great achievement of the Baltic states." He denied
reports that Estonia has been singled out because of its close
relationship with Finland. Vagnorius said Lithuania was left out by
the European Commission not because of objective criteria, "which
Lithuania more or less meets," but because of organizational and
political factors."

POLISH SCREENING LAW COMES INTO FORCE. Polish lustration law
came into force on 3 August, RFE/RL'S Warsaw correspondent
reported. Under the law, top state officials -- the president,
ministers, province governors, deputies, senators, judges,
prosecutors, executive directors of province offices, and heads of
public TV, radio, and press agencies -- will have to declare whether
they served in the communist secret services or were secret
collaborators of those services. The statements concerning
collaboration will be verified by the Lustration Court. The Lustration
Court consists of judges of appellate and provincial courts who will
have unlimited access to the archives of civil and military secret
services. The screened person will have the right to a legal counselor
and the right to appeal to higher courts. A person whose statement is
proven false will lose the right to hold public office for 10 years.

POLISH ELECTORAL PREFERENCES AFTER FLOODS. The July flood did
not influence Polish electoral preferences despite the opposition's
criticism of the government's performance during the flood, RFE/RL's
Warsaw correspondent reported. An opinion poll conducted by the
Public Opinion Research Center (CBOS) on 24-30 July and published
by Polish dailies on 5 September indicates that the co-ruling
Democratic Left Alliance is supported by 24% of Poles. The Solidarity
Electoral Action is second, with 23%, and the coalition Polish Peasant
Party is third with 9%. Other parties are close to the 5% electoral
threshold and face parliamentary extinction if they fall below the
threshold. The centrist Freedom Union has 6%, the pensioners party -
5%, leftist Labor Union - 4%, Movement for Poland's Reconstruction -
4%, and the Union for Real Politics - 3%.

LIST OF AGENTS REPORTED STOLEN FROM CZECH INTELLIGENCE. The
daily "Pravo" reported on 5 August that in May 1996 someone stole a
portable computer from an agent of The Bureau for Foreign Contacts
and Information (UZSI), a Czech intelligence agency. The computer
reportedly contained a list of all UZSI agents. The agent, whose
computer was stolen, reported the incident, but the UZSI covered up
the whole matter. "Pravo" says that Internal Affairs Minister Jan
Ruml was informed about the incident but chose not to inform the
parliament and the public. According to "Pravo," the computer has
never been found. The UZSI, the Czech Intelligence Service (BIS), and
the Military Defense Intelligence (VOZ) are three top Czech
intelligence agencies. While BIS deals with counterespionage, the
UZSI deals with espionage abroad. Unlike BIS and VOZ it is not
directly supervised by the parliament.

LE PEN TO VISIT SLOVAKIA IN SEPTEMBER. An official of the Slovak
National Party (SNS), a Slovak government coalition member, told
journalists on 4 August that Jean-Marie Le Pen, the chairman of the
ultra-right French National Front, will visit Slovakia on September
18-21 at the invitation of SNS chairman Jan Slota. Le Pen was
scheduled to visit Slovakia in the spring, but his visit was postponed
due to early elections in France Le Pen is due to meet SNS leaders,
members and followers. He also will visit the city of Zilina, where
Slota is mayor. The two parties hope to conclude several agreements,
including a deal for the National Front to provide assistance in
"presenting SNS proposals at the Council of Europe and the European
Parliament."

HUNGARIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICIALS CHARGED FOR UNAUTHORIZED
DATA PROCESSING. The Budapest Military Prosecutor's Office (BKU)
charged on 4 August Colonel Laszlo Foeldi, former director of
operations at the Intelligence Office (IH), and three other members of
his staff with violation of state secrets and unauthorized data
processing. Hungarian media reported. The move reverses the BKU's
decision of 19 June that no crime had been committed in the so-
called Operation Birch Tree in which intelligence agents collected
data on several Socialist politicians. IH director Jozsef Szasz filed a
complaint against the 19 June ruling with the Chief Prosecutor's
Office, which then filed charges against Foeldi and his associates.

HUNGARIAN RADIO TRUSTEE RESIGNS. Istvan Lovas, a member of
the Hungarian Radio's board of trustees, resigned on 4 August,
claiming that news coverage is narrow, biased and intolerant,
Hungarian media reported. In a letter to the speaker of the
parliament, Lovas said the main radio programs broadcast biased
information, misinform the public, and are controlled by a minority
selecting information in the interest of sustaining the present
government coalition. Lovas's resignation takes effect on 1
September. He was delegated to the board by the Independent
Smallholders' Party.


SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

ITALY TO LEAVE 500 TROOPS IN ALBANIA. Italian army Colonel
Giovanni Bernardi told news agencies in Tirana on 4 August that
Italian and Albanian military officials recently agreed in Rome that
Italy will help the Albanian army to strengthen security against
bandits and gangs, and to reorganize and retrain. He added that "500
Italian soldiers already serving in Albania will be included in this
assistance corps. Enlarging this contingent hasn't been excluded."
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos heads a high-
powered Greek delegation slated to arrive in Tirana on 5 August.
They will discuss a $20 million loan to help strengthen Albanian
security forces. Greek officials will also offer opportunities for jobless
Albanians to work legally in Greece. The Greeks want a list of names
of Albanians who escaped from prison in the recent anarchy. The
Greek authorities fear that Albania is becoming a source of arms and
drug smuggling via Greece to Western Europe.

POLITICAL PURGE OF ALBANIAN ARMY? Defense Minister Sabit
Brokaj in Tirana on 4 August warned top army officers who recently
"violated the constitution" by "accepting political orders" to resign
voluntarily or face sackings and trials. It is not clear whether he has
specific incidents in mind, or whether the new government is simply
following the time-honored Balkan practice in which a new
government purges the army, police, courts, and ministries of its
predecessor's appointees. Indeed, opposition Democratic Party
spokesmen said that Brokaj is launching a "political purge." The new
Socialist government has already announced top-level changes in the
Interior Ministry and told judges to suspend trials, allegedly because
too many court facilities were destroyed in the recent unrest.

MORE ATTACKS ON KOSOVO POLICE. Unidentified assailants wounded
two policemen and one civilian at Gornja Klina near Srbica on 4
August. In a separate incident in Glogovac, one ethnic Albanian
civilian, who heads a state-run company, was severely wounded by
gunfire. The previous day, gunmen attacked a policeman near
Podujevo. These are the latest in a series of violent incidents this
year in Serbia's troubled province, which has an ethnic Albanian
majority of some 90% but no home rule. The Kosovo Liberation Army
(UCK) changed its tactics in late 1996 from random attacks against
Serbs to more frequent and clearly targeted assaults on the Serbian
authorities and on ethnic Albanians whom the UCK considers to be
collaborators.

SEVEN WESTERN COUNTRIES BOYCOTT BOSNIAN DIPLOMATS.
Sweden, France, the U.K., Austria, Sweden, and the U.S. on 4 August
followed Germany's decision the previous day to freeze diplomatic
contacts with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Carlos Westendorp, the
international community's chief representative in Bosnia, had urged
the boycott to show displeasure with the three Bosnian ethnic
groups' failure to agree on ambassadorial appointments (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 4 August 1997). Meanwhile, on 4 August the deadline
came and went for the three sides to agree on common citizenship
and a joint passport. The main bone of contention was the long-
standing dispute between the Muslims and the Serbs over whether
citizenship in the common state has primacy over citizenship in the
Republika Srpska or the mainly Croat and Muslim Federation. The
Serbs argue citizenship in the two "entities" should have more weight
than that in the common state, whereas the Muslims stress joint
statehood.

U.S. SLAMS WESTENDORP. An unnamed State Department official said
in Washington on 4 August that the U.S. is not happy with how
Westendorp is doing his job. The official charged that the former
Spanish foreign minister spends too much time outside of Bosnia, and
that he takes the wrong approach to solving local problems. The
spokesman added that Washington is particularly displeased that
Westendorp tried to suggest specific diplomatic appointments in
resolving the imbroglio over ambassadorial appointments, and that
Westendorp had insisted that a Serb be named to head the
Washington embassy. The official noted that the State Department's
disappointment with Westendorp's performance in implementing the
civilian aspects of the Dayton agreement was instrumental in
President Bill Clinton's recent decision to send U.S. negotiator Richard
Holbrooke back to the Balkans.

ALL MUSLIMS DRIVEN OUT OF JAJCE AREA. International police
spokesmen said in Jajce on 4 August that the ethnic tensions
between Croats and Muslims in the area had subsided, but only
because the recently returned Muslims had all been driven out by
Croat mobs, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from the central
Bosnian town. Vladimir Soljic, the ethnic Croat president of the
mainly Croat and Muslim Federation, said in a letter that refugee
return programs to date had discriminated against the Croats, and
that it is necessary instead to stress the right of all refugees to go
home. Meanwhile in Sarajevo, Westendorp charged that the recent
protests in Vogosca by Muslim refugees from Srebrenica were
organized. The Srebrenica women blocked attempts by Serbs from
Vogosca to return to their homes in that Sarajevo suburb.

NEWS FROM THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. Leading indicted war
criminal Radovan Karadzic recently held talks in Belgrade with
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, BETA reported on 5 August.
The main topic on the agenda was Holbrooke's upcoming visit to the
Balkans. In Brcko, Republika Srpska Prime Minister Gojko Klickovic
hinted that the Serbs might boycott the September local elections if
the question of voter registration is not soon cleared up to the
Serbian leadership's liking. And in Zagreb, President Franjo Tudjman
was inaugurated for a new term on 5 August. He promised to be "an
impartial president of all Croats and Croatian citizens, regardless of
their political and other affiliations." Tudjman also pledged his
backing for the Dayton agreement and the Croat-Muslim Federation
in Bosnia. Also in the Croatian capital, state-run TV said that Defense
Minister Gojko Susak has undergone surgery in Washington. He was
operated on for lung cancer there in 1995.

ROMANIAN INTERIOR MINISTER TOURS TRANSYLVANIA. Gavril
Dejeu, on a tour of several counties in Transylvania, said on 4 August
in Cluj that the opening of the Hungarian consulate in the center of
the town has been "a mistake." He said a different, less central
building should have been found for this purpose to avoid a
"conflictual situation," Radio Bucharest reported. He failed to mention
that the Cluj mayoralty had refused to assign any building to the
consulate, which is now housed in temporary premises belonging to
the Hungarian community in the city. Dejeu also said that local
authorities in Transylvania should proceed "prudently" with the
implementation of the government ordinance allowing bilingual
signs. He said the ordinance, though in effect, will eventually have to
be approved by the parliament. He said until then one should display
"wisdom" to avoid "conflicts that could resemble those in the former
Yugoslavia."

EBRD LOAN FOR ROMANIA. The European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development (EBRD) on 4 August granted Romania a $75 million
loan for the improvement of the water supply and sewage system in
10 towns, Mediafax reported. The European Union also is
participating in the project with a $35 million non-refundable credit.
The agreement was signed in Bucharest by Finance Minister Mircea
Ciumara and Johan Bastin, director of EBRD's infrastructure and
environment department.

UPDATE ON ROMANIAN FLOODS. Landslides and flooding caused by
heavy rains over the weekend damaged more than 2,000 homes in
the Prahova and Dambovita counties, Romanian officials said on 4
August. The worst hit town is Breaza, some 160 kilometers north of
Bucharest. The government on 4 August approved emergency aid for
the Vaslui, Bacau, Olt, Dolj, Teleorman, Bistrita-Nasaud, Bihor, Salaj,
Hunedoara and Caras-Severin counties, which had been affected by
earlier floods. On August 5, the government will discuss emergency
aid for the more recently affected regions.

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER ON MOTORCADE INCIDENT... The
recent "motorcade incident" (see "RFE/RL Newsline, 4 August 1997)
shows that the Tiraspol authorities are "losing control of the
situation" and are forced to take "extreme measures" in an attempt to
bring about the restoration of the former status quo, presidential
advisor Nicolae Taranu told a press conference in Chisinau on 4
August. Taranu said the leaders of the breakaway region were left
with "little room for maneuvering" after the signing in Moscow on 8
May of the memorandum on the settling of the conflict, Infotag
reported.

... AND ON JCC DRAFT FOR TRANSDNIESTER'S STATUS. Taranu also
said in an article published on 4 August, that the Tiraspol authorities
are attempting to force a revision of the draft for the final status of
the breakaway region. The draft was worked out by the
representatives of the three mediators on the Joint Control
Commission. The Tiraspol authorities make the easing of the
detention conditions of the so-called "Ilascu group" (see "RFE/RL
Newsletter," 31 July 1997) conditional on concessions to the text of
the draft by Chisinau, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported.

MOLDOVA AND THE IMF. David Owen, the head of an IMF team that
recently returned from a visit to Moldova, says it is important for the
people in the breakaway region to understand that the fund lends
only to central governments, an RFE/RL correspondent in Washington
reported. In related news, Infotag reported on 4 August that Roger
Grawe, the World Bank's director of the department dealing with
Moldovan affairs, told a news conference in Chisinau that Moldova
has met "the bulk" of the conditions for a second structural
adjustment loan. He said some adjustments for meeting the
conditions of the loan are still needed, but he did not expect that this
would lead to a reduction in the $100 million planned loan.

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT PROMULGATES LAW ON POLICE FILES. Petar
Stoyanov on 4 August formally approved the law recently passed by
the parliament on opening the country's communist-era secret police
files (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 31 July 1997), BTA reported. The law
will take effect as soon as it is published in the official gazette.


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