Love cures people--both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it. - Karl Menninger
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 1, No. 156, Part II, 10 November 1997



A daily report of developments in Eastern and Southeastern Europe,
Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia prepared by the staff of Radio
Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

This is Part II, a compilation of news concerning Central, Eastern, and
Southeastern Europe.  Part I covers Russia,
Transcaucasia and Central Asia and is distributed simultaneously as a
second document.  Back issues of RFE/RL NewsLine and the OMRI
Daily Digest are online at RFE/RL's Web site:
http://www.rferl.org/newsline

News from the Armenian Service's Yerevan bureau is posted to RFE/RL's  Armenia
Report each weekday.

RFE/RL ARMENIA REPORT
http://www.rferl.org/bd/ar/index.html

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Headlines, Part II

* POLISH PRESIDENT SEES GROWING RUSSIAN THREAT

* PLAVSIC ON NEW SERBIAN POLITICAL FRONT

* ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT MOVES TO TRY BERISHA

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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

COMMUNISTS, NATIONALISTS CLASH IN WESTERN UKRAINE. Ten
people were injured in clashes between rival demonstrators on the
anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution, Ukrainian media
reported on 7 November. Elsewhere, rival groups marched without
incident. But for some young Ukrainians, the revolution was very far
away indeed. According to ITAR-TASS, a poll of fifth graders in
Crimea found that many identified Napoleon or even Hitler as the
leader of the October 1917 putsch that brought Lenin and the
Bolsheviks to power. PG

UKRAINE ADMITS TO EXECUTIONS. The Ukrainian Interior Ministry
acknowledged to the Council of Europe on 7 November that Kyiv has
executed 13 convicted criminals this year, despite public assurances
from senior Ukrainian officials that all such actions have been halted.
But the Ukrainian Interior Ministry is reported to have now issued
orders suspending all executions. PG

KUCHMA SAYS UKRAINE WON'T CLOSE CHORNOBYL WITHOUT HELP.
During a visit to the troubled reactor site on 7 November, President
Leonid Kuchma reiterated that Kyiv will not close the Chornobyl
plant until the West finances an alternative power-generating plant,
Interfax reported. But officials said the number of workers at the
plant will be reduced from 6,000 to 3,000 over the next year. PG

LUKASHENKA DOMINATES BELARUS COMMEMORATION.
Demonstrators in Minsk, Mohylev, and other Belarusian cities carried
portraits of Lenin, Stalin, and current Belarusian President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka to mark the anniversary of the Bolshevik
revolution, Belarusian media reported on 7 November. In a move
reminiscent of Soviet practices, Lukashenka opened two new metro
stations in the Belarusian capital and said that "the main lesson" of
1917 was that the authorities always need "to act in such a way that
the masses don't want a revolution." PG

ESTONIA SIGNS IMF MEMORANDUM. Prime Minister Mart Siimann
and Bank of Estonia President Vahur Kraft have signed a
memorandum with the IMF aimed at maintaining economic stability
and preventing the economy from overheating, ETA and BNS
reported on 7 November. The document pledges that until the end of
1998, Tallinn will continue with the currency-board system , strict
monetary and conservative budgetary policies, and privatization. It
also provides for a 1.2 billion kroons ($85.7 million) stabilization
fund, drawing largely on privatization revenues. Earlier this year,
disagreement over the size of that fund held up the signing of the
memorandum. JC

RUBIKS BANNED FROM ENTERING PARLIAMENT. The Latvian
parliament's office has banned former Communist Party leader
Alfreds Rubiks from entering the parliament building, BNS reported
on 7 November. Rubiks, who was released from prison two days
earlier (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 November 1997), wanted to attend
a press conference in that building organized by Socialist deputies.
The head of the parliament's office said Rubiks is included on a list of
people who are banned out of fear they may disturb order in the
parliament. Socialist deputies say they will file complaints with
international organizations over what they call the legislature's
"undemocratic" decision. JC

POLISH PRESIDENT SEES GROWING RUSSIAN THREAT. Speaking at the
Warsaw Oriental Studies Center on 6 November, Aleksandr
Kwasniewski said he hopes for good relations with Moscow but
warned they might not always be possible, ITAR-TASS reported on 7
November. "One should not forget," Kwasniewski added, "about the
possible dangers too, because a whole line of political groups in
Russia are now speculating on great-power sentiments, and their
popularity is tending to grow due to difficult living conditions and
the still unrealized necessity of economic reforms." In other
comments, he stressed that "an independent, sovereign, and
developing Ukraine" is "among the main prerequisites for stability in
Europe."PG

NEW POLISH GOVERNMENT MAKES FIRST FOREIGN-POLICY MOVES.
The new Polish cabinet on 8 November authorized Foreign Minister
Bronislaw Geremek to make Poland's application to NATO official,
PAP reported. In another move, the new center-right government
approved a draft concordat with the Vatican, which has been on hold
since the left came to power in 1993. The main opposition party,
however, announced it will oppose the agreement. Meanwhile, Father
Henryk Jankowski, who was suspended for anti-Semitic remarks,
told journalists on 8 November that he will ignore his bishop's "gag
order." PG

CONTINUED TROUBLES IN CZECH REPUBLIC. More than 60,000
workers marched in Prague on 8 November to protest the
government's austerity program, CTK reported. The same day,
President Vaclav Havel left the hospital briefly to officially appoint
three new ministers. Havel's doctors said his condition is improving.
Also on 8 November, two Czech skinheads attacked and killed a
Sudanese exchange student, provoking outrage among the population
and government alike. A massive demonstration has been called for
10 November to protest such attacks. The previous day, "Lidove
Noviny" published excerpts from a protest letter being circulated by
students who believe that religious instruction in schools features
anti-Semitic elements. PG

SLOVAK OFFICIAL LASHES OUT AT U.S. CRITICISM. In an open letter
published in most Bratislava newspapers on 7 November, Interior
Minister Gustav Krajci sharply criticized suggestions by U.S.
Ambassador Ralph Johnson that the Slovak government took itself
out of the running for NATO membership as a result of its anti-
reformist policies. Johnson had made the comments in a recent
interview with the Bratislava daily "Pravda." PG

HUNGARIAN POLITICIANS ON TRIANON TREATY. In an interview
with "Nepszava" published on 10 November, Independent
Smallholder deputy Sandor Kavassy argued that efforts should
continue to amend the 1920 Trianon peace treaty. Kavassy, who is to
replace Agnes Nagy Maczo as deputy parliamentary chairman, said
"ethnic borders and political borders must be brought into harmony
sooner or later." Asked whether the re-negotiation of the Trianon
treaty should be raised after Hungary joins NATO, Viktor Orban, who
is chairman of the Alliance of Young Democrats-Hungarian Civic
Party, told an opposition forum two days earlier that "there would be
nobody to sit down with for such talks." Orban recalled late Prime
Minister Jozsef Antall as saying Trianon is "something one should
always think about but never talk about." MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

PLAVSIC ON NEW SERBIAN POLITICAL FRONT. Republika Srpska
President Biljana Plavsic told RFE/RL in Banja Luka on 7 November
that plans are under way to form what she called a "democratic
consortium" of Serbian political leaders. That body will consist of
herself, Serbian opposition leader Zoran Djindjic, and Montenegrin
President-elect Milo Djukanovic. Plavsic said the group wants to
promote democracy among all Serbs and to end the Serbs'
international isolation. PM

MILOSEVIC WARNS NATO NOT TO IMPOSE SOLUTIONS. Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic's office issued a statement on 7
November warning NATO that problems associated with the Dayton
peace agreements will have to be "solved through agreements,
cooperation, and confidence...without partiality or [attempts at]
imposing solutions." The statement was issued following a visit to
Belgrade by NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana and NATO's
supreme commander of allied forces in Europe, U.S. General Wesley
Clark. PM

PERMANENT FOREIGN POLICE PRESENCE IN BOSNIA? Solana, speaking
in Berlin on 8 November, urged the international community to begin
considering the possibility of a permanent police role for itself in
Bosnia. "A properly-equipped and well-funded international police
force that would be available at short notice would also significantly
raise our abilities of effective crisis management." Solana has
proposed that the mandate for NATO's peacekeepers, which runs out
in June 1998, be extended. With regard to his statement on the
international police force, Solana is probably the first person of his
rank to publicly suggest that the international community maintain a
permanent armed presence in Bosnia. PM

BRCKO TOWN COUNCIL HOLDS FIRST MEETING. The multi-ethnic
council of the disputed strategic town of Brcko held its constituent
session on 7 November. Observers described the meeting as long and
stormy but without incident. Parties from the Republika Srpska hold
30 seats, while political groups from the mainly Croatian and Muslim
federation have 26. In three districts of Mostar the following day,
however, Muslim council members did not assume their mandates,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Mostar. The Muslims are
engaged in a procedural dispute with members of the Croat
majorities on the three bodies. PM

SLOVENIA, BOSNIA TO EXPAND TRADE. Slovenian Prime Minister
Janez Drnovsek signed two economic cooperation agreements in
Sarajevo on 7 November. Drnovsek led a large trade delegation to
promote business links between the two former Yugoslav republics
and to cut Slovenia 's huge trade surplus with Bosnia (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 31 October 1997). It was the first such high-level meeting
between the two countries' leaderships. Slovenia is anxious to
recapture and expand its pre-independence market share in other
former Yugoslav republics. PM

U.S. SAYS CROATIA DESERVES REPARATIONS. Outgoing U.S.
Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith told the Rijeka daily "Novi
List" of 8 November that Croatia is entitled to reparations from
Belgrade for the damage totaling billions of dollars that Croatia
suffered during the 1990-1995 war. Galbraith says he believes that
"Croatia has the right to demand war reparations for these damages.
One of the possibilities Croatia has is to sue and gain satisfaction
through legal means. Whatever happens we will support Croatia's
right to sue.... Similarly, we support Bosnia-Herzegovina's right to
accuse Serbia of genocide." PM

ANOTHER SERB CONFESSES WAR CRIMES. Srboljub Suntic told the
Belgrade daily "Dnevni telegraf" of 9 November that he killed 120
Croats, including civilians, in Serb-held parts of Croatia between
1993 and 1995. The former paramilitary said he decided to tell his
story in order to expose the Milosevic "regime that first made [young
Serbian nationalists] killers and then turned its back on us." Another
ex-paramilitary made a similar confession the previous week (see
"RFE/RL Newsline, 7 November 1997). The Serbian government has
angered many Serbian nationalists because it did not help the Krajina
Serbs repel Croatia's offensives in 1995 and refused to give most
Croatian Serb refugees Yugoslav citizenship or refugee benefits. PM

ANTI-FASCIST PROTESTS IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA. Some 1,000
persons, mainly Roma and Jews, demonstrated in Belgrade on 9
November to mark the International Day for the Struggle against
Fascism and Racism, an RFE/RL correspondent reported from the
Serbian capital. In Zagreb, demonstrators erected a temporary
monument on the site of a prison where the Ustashe tortured
political prisoners during World War II, according to an RFE/RL
correspondent in Zagreb. PM

RUGOVA, MILOSEVIC MEETING IN OFFING? Kosovar shadow-state
leader Ibrahim Rugova said in Pristina on 7 November that he is
willing to hold his first-ever meeting with Milosevic if the Yugoslav
president first implements a year-old Kosovar-Serbian agreement on
restoring Albanian-language education in the province. Rugova
added that talks aimed at setting up a meeting with Milosevic are
under way (see "End Note," "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 November 1997).
Also in Pristina, the clandestine Kosovo Liberation Army on 9
November claimed responsibility for the recent grenade attack on
the Podujevo town hall (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 November 1997).
PM

ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT MOVES TO TRY BERISHA. Interior Minister
Neritan Ceka has given the Tirana prosecutor's office criminal
evidence against former President Sali Berisha, "Zeri i Popullit"
reported on 8 November. Ceka argues that Berisha deliberately freed
58 dangerous criminals on 15 March in order to sabotage the
elections some two months later. An unnamed legal adviser to
Berisha denied the charges, saying the only truly dangerous
criminals Berisha may have freed or pardoned are those now in the
government, "Rilindja Demokratike" reported on 9 November. Prime
Minister Fatos Nano was imprisoned under Berisha on political
charges and then pardoned earlier this year. FS

ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT TO INVESTIGATE FORMER DEFENSE
MINISTER. Sabit Brokaj has asked the state anti-corruption agency to
reopen its investigation into his predecessor Safet Zhulali, "Gazeta
Shqiptare" reported on 9 November. In 1992, Zhulali was charged
with involvement in the disappearance of $300,000 in connection
with arms purchases from Bulgaria. The case was subsequently
dropped for lack of evidence. In other news, local government
officials across the country staged a one-day strike on 7 November to
protest central government interference in their work. FS

LE PEN IN ROMANIA. French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen
on 8 November told a congress of Romania's extreme nationalist
Greater Romania Party (PRM) that nationalism is the only means to
fight U.S. "hegemonic" plans for a new world order. PRM leader
Corneliu Vadim Tudor said his party is pursuing an "enlightened
nationalism" and wants to lead the country to "popular capitalism."
He also announced that miners' leader Miron Cozma, who is in
detention pending the outcome of his trial for involvement in the
September 1991 rampage in Bucharest, has joined the PRM. The next
day, Tudor was re-elected PRM leader, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau
reported. He ran unopposed. MS

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT ON DRIVE TO REHABILITATE ANTONESCU. In
an interview with an RFE/RL correspondent in Berlin on 7 November,
Emil Constantinescu said he realizes the prosecutor-general's decision
to start legal proceedings for the rehabilitation of members of
Marshal Ion Antonescu's government has "delicate international
implications" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 23 October 1997). He added
that the six ministers were "outstanding Romanian cultural figures"
not associated with any of the "negative aspects" of Antonescu's rule.
Constantinescu told a forum in Berlin organized by the Herbert Quant
Foundation and the "Financial Times" that East European countries no
longer fear "armed aggressions of a truly classic type" but infiltration
of their state structures by mafia-type groups. MS

PROGRESS TOWARD MOLDOVAN-ROMANIAN TREATY? Visiting
Romanian Foreign Minister Adrian Severin told journalists in
Chisinau on 7 November that experts representing the two sides will
meet before the end of 1997 to discuss the pending basic treaty
between the two countries. Severin said the experts must produce a
"pragmatic" document" that is "void of rhetoric," RFE/RL's Chisinau
bureau reported. Observers interpret Severin's statement as
implying that Bucharest no longer insists on including a denunciation
of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact in the treaty. Moldova viewed that
demand as subverting its independence. President Petru Lucinschi
said the treaty is still pending due to the "incorrectness" of "some
[Romanian] experts" in the past but added that an agreement seems
possible before year's end. He also said he may have an "unofficial
meeting" with President Emil Constantinescu later this year. MS

MOLDOVAN COMMUNISTS CELEBRATE 1917 REVOLUTION. Vladimir
Voronin, the leader of the Party of Moldovan Communists, said at a
ceremony marking the 80th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution
that his party wants the "restoration of the Soviet federation of
sovereign republics." Voronin said the collapse of the Soviet Union
was "inspired by world imperialism," and he called the then
presidents of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus "Judases" for having
signed the agreement that put an end to the USSR. The 1917
revolution anniversary was also marked in Tiraspol by the
leadership of the separatists. MS

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT PASSES RESTITUTION LAW. The
parliament on 7 November passed a law returning all property
confiscated during the communist regime, RFE/RL's Sofia bureau
reported. In 1992, the short-lived government led by the United
Democratic Forces passed legislation providing for partial restitution,
but the Socialist-led government stalled that process. The new law
says owners whose property no longer exists will be compensated by
equities in enterprises built on their land or will be paid
compensation for the confiscated property in cash equal to the
property's estimated current market value or in government bonds.
The law also restores nationalized property to religious communities.
MS




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