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RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 1, No. 188, Part II, 5 January 1998



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

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Headlines, Part II

* ADAMKUS WINS LITHUANIAN PRESIDENTIAL VOTE

* CZECH PRESIDENT APPOINTS NEW GOVERNMENT

* KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY SAYS ARMED STRUGGLE
HAS BEGUN

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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

ADAMKUS WINS LITHUANIAN PRESIDENCY VOTE.
According to unofficial returns reported by Lithuanian Radio
on 5 January, Valdas Adamkus narrowly defeated Arturas
Paulauskas in the runoff for the Lithuanian presidency the
previous day. Some 1,914,477 votes were cast, of which 0.08
percent were declared invalid. Of the valid ballots, Adamkus
received 50.29 percent, and Paulausas 49.71 percent.
Because fewer than 11,000 votes separated the two
candidates, a court challenge is likely. Adamkus had sharply
criticized Paulauskas when the latter's campaign chief
recently published an article in the Vilnius newspaper
"Respublika" comparing Lithuanian Americans, of whom
Adamkus is one, to Soviet occupiers. Paulauskas responded
by criticizing Adamkus supporters who had pointed to his
ties with the old communist nomenklatura and suggested
that Paulauskas may try to return many of its members to
power. PG

CZECH PRESIDENT APPOINTS NEW GOVERNMENT...
Vaclav Havel on 2 January appointed a 16-member cabinet
headed by former Central Bank governor Josef Tosovsky.
The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) has four cabinet members,
all of whom belong to the party's so-called rebel faction:
Finance Minister Ivan Pilip, Labor and Social Affairs
Minister Stanislav Volak, Defense Minister Michal
Lobkowicz, and Regional Development Minister Jan Cerny.
Other key members are Foreign Minister Jaroslav Sedivy
(non-affiliated), Interior Minister Cyril Svoboda (Christian
Democrats), and Justice Minister Vlasta Parkanova (Civic
Democratic Alliance). There are a total of seven non-
affiliated ministers. The parliament has 30 days in which to
approve the new government. FS

...BUT FORMER PREMIER DEMANDS REBEL MINISTERS
LEAVE HIS PARTY. Former Premier and ODS leader
Vaclav Klaus on 4 January requested that the four rebel
ministers either leave his party or resign their cabinet posts.
Otherwise, he stressed, he will support the new government.
Meanwhile, ODS Deputy Chairman Miroslav Macek has
accused Havel of trying to limit the influence of political
parties so that he can fill the vacuum and rule in an "elitist
way." The main opposition Social Democratic Party has said
that it will support the new government only if elections are
scheduled for June. FS

ESTONIA REJECTS PRIMAKOV'S NEUTRALITY
PROPOSAL.  Sulev Kannike, the director of the Estonian
Foreign Ministry's department of political analysis and
planning, said on 31 December that his country rejects
Russian Foreign Minister Yevgenii Primakov's suggestion
that neutrality would offer the Baltic States the greatest
possible security, BNS reported. As if to underline that
stance, the Estonian Foreign Ministry on 1 January
announced plans to open a permanent mission at NATO
headquarters later this month. PG

ESTONIA'S MERI AGAIN REFUSES TO SIGN AMENDED
LANGUAGE LAW. President Lennart Meri has again
refused to sign a bill amending the language law, ETA and
BNS reported on 2 January. Meri vetoed the bill in
December, but the parliament returned it to the president
unaltered. Meri argues that the amended legislation violates
the constitution because it delegates too much power to the
executive branch to determine the degree of proficiency of
non-Estonians in the state language, particularly of
parliamentary deputies and local government officials. On 30
December, Meri appealed to the Supreme Court to declare
the bill unconstitutional. JC

ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT SEEKS TO INTEGRATE
RUSSIAN SPEAKERS. Nationalities minister Andra
Veidemann has adopted a new policy designed to integrate
Russian-speaking residents into Estonian society, Interfax
reported on 31 December. The new program is to focus on
children, particularly on improving  Estonian-language
instruction in schools. Also on 31 December, however, BNS
reported that the Estonian government granted citizenship
to 8,132 people in 1997, down from 22,772 the previous
year. At the same time, a study conducted by the Estonian
Academy of Sciences found that Russian speakers in Estonia
are "quite interested" in integrating into Estonian society.
PG

NO DEFICIT EXPECTED IN LATVIA'S 1997 BUDGET.
Finance Minister Roberts Zile has forecast that there will be
no deficit in the 1997 state budget, BNS reported on 4
January. He told journalists in Riga that he expects a small
surplus, despite increased government spending in
December. As of 18 December, annual budget revenues
exceeded expenditures by 24.6 million lats (some $42
million). JC

UKRAINE TO MOVE AGAINST SHADOW ECONOMY.
Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoitenko on 3 January said that
Kyiv plans to step up its efforts against the shadow
economy, ITAR-TASS reported. Economics Minister Viktor
Suslov said this part of the economy, largely unregulated
and untaxed, currently accounts for some 43 percent of the
country's GDP. In other economic developments, the
parliament on 30 December approved the 1998 budget, and
the government announced plans to establish up to 15 free
economic zones modeled on those in China, the Kyiv daily
"Den" reported on 2 January. PG

UKRAINIAN, POLISH PRESIDENTS VISIT JOINT
BATTALION. Leonid Kuchma and his Polish counterpart,
Alexander Kwasniewski, visited the Ukrainian-Polish
peacekeeping battalion at its Yavorov training site on 3
January , ITAR-TASS reported. Earlier, the two men opened
a new border post at Krakowiec-Korczow to handle the
increasing volume of traffic between the two countries and
to serve as a link between the Baltic and Black Sea regions.
PG

POLISH SOLIDARITY TO SUE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT
OVER BUDGET... Solidarity Electoral Alliance (AWS) leader
Marian Krzaklewski told "Gazeta Wyborcza" on 1 January
that the AWS will take former Prime Minister Wlodzimierz
Cimoszewicz and Finance Minister Marek Belka to court for
not submitting the 1998 budget by the end of September
1997. Krzaklewski claims the former government missed the
deadline stipulated by the constitution for submitting the
draft budget to the parliament. The former Social Democrat-
led government left office in October, following the victory
of the AWS in the 21 September elections. The constitution
allows for a delay in submitting the budget under
exceptional circumstances. FS

...AFTER FAILING TO OVERTURN PRESIDENTIAL
VETOES. Social Democratic representative Marek Borowski
on 2 January said the AWS's decision to sue the previous
government was prompted by frustration over its failure to
have the parliament overrule a presidential veto on 30
December. President Aleksander Kwasniewski had vetoed
bills ending sex education at schools and cutting  increases in
army pensions (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 December 1997).
The government wanted $14.5 million currently used for
both programs to be channeled into the reconstruction
efforts following the massive floods in July. The coalition
was seven votes short of the three-fifths majority necessary
to overrule Kwasniewski. FS

SLOVAK PRESIDENT SLAMS GOVERNMENT. Michal
Kovac said in his New Year's address on 31 December that
during its five years of independence, Slovakia has failed to
establish democratic standards. He blamed Vladimir Meciar's
government for that state of affairs, arguing that political
rather than economic reasons prevented Slovakia from being
included among the first candidates for NATO and EU
membership. Kovac also stressed that he will not be running
in the presidential elections scheduled for later this year. FS

FRANCE TO SUPPLY MISSILES TO HUNGARY. Matra
BAe Dynamics, a French-British joint venture, is to deliver
the first 60 of some 200 Mistral missiles to Hungary by the
end of March, Hungarian Defense Ministry officials said on 3
January. The missiles will be stored in northern Hungary,
while the remaining weapons will be delivered before the
end of 1999. Hungary intends to integrate the missiles into
its defense system in 2000, the officials said. In other news,
a Hungarian army general said that NATO-led SFOR paid the
Hungarian army $60 million in 1997 to use its military
bases. Some 80 percent of the payments came from U.S.
troops based in Taszar. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY SAYS ARMED STRUGGLE
HAS BEGUN. The clandestine Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK)
issued a statement in Pristina on 4 January saying it is the
armed force of the Kosovo Albanians and has begun the fight
for the unification of Kosovo with Albania. The text
explained that armed and uniformed UCK representatives
had made their first public appearance on 28 November, the
Albanian national holiday,  in order to underscore those
points (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 December 1997). PM

SERBIAN PATRIARCH CONDEMNS KOSOVO
CRACKDOWN. Patriarch Pavle of the Serbian Orthodox
Church on 3 January condemned the violent breakup by
Serbian police of peaceful student protests in Pristina,
Djakovica, and Pec on 30 December (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
30 December 1997). At least 82 Kosovars were injured. In a
statement released to Belgrade media, Pavle said  the police
not only "broke the rules [regulating peaceful protest] but
besmirched the honor of the country where we live." He
called for an Albanian-Serbian dialogue and for compromise.
Pavle said the Albanians, for their part, should recognize
that Serbia is their country and not equate Serbia with the
current regime. In Pristina, Vice President Fehmi Agani of
the Democratic League of Kosovo welcomed Pavle's
announcement but added that key differences remain
between the patriarch and the Kosovars. PM

KOSOVARS TO CONTINUE PROTESTS.  Kosovar student
spokesmen said in Pristina on 4 January that they will
continue their protests, BETA news agency reported.  Also in
Pristina, opposition coalition leader Adem Demaci said on 1
January that the danger of a "worsening of the situation
between the Kosovars and the Serbian authorities" is much
greater now than it was six months ago. For this state of
affairs, he partly blamed the current Kosovar leadership of
shadow-state Ibrahim Rugova, who, Demaci charged, bases
his policies on wishful thinking. The previous day, Rugova
expressed his concern over the police action, which officials
of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
also condemned. PM

TIRANA SLAMS SERBIAN REPRESSION. The Albanian
Foreign Ministry issued a statement on 1 January criticizing
the police crackdown in Pristina. "The violence, the ill-
treatment, and the arrest of students and their teachers are
counter to the desire to Europeanize the Balkans, which
Belgrade supported at the Balkan summit on Crete" on 3-4
November, the statement read. The Albanian ministry called
for a dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina. PM

HARD-LINERS WARNED IN MONTENEGRO. Svetozar
Marovic, the speaker of the Montenegrin parliament and an
ally of reformist President Milo Djukanovic, said in Podgorica
on 1 January that outgoing President Momir Bulatovic is
preparing his followers for an armed confrontation with the
reformers and with the Albanian and Muslim minorities. On
4 January, State Prosecutor Vladimir Susovic and spokesmen
for the Interior Ministry warned Bulatovic's supporters that
they may be prosecuted if their rallies lead to violence. PM

DJUKANOVIC SAYS BELGRADE TO BLAME FOR OWN
PROBLEMS. President-elect Djukanovic told "Nasa Borba" of
1 January that Yugoslavia's isolation and poverty are largely
its own fault and not the result of an international
conspiracy against the Serbs. Djukanovic called Belgrade
"suicidal" for having believed in the early 1990s that
international sanctions would actually help Yugoslavia by
forcing it to develop its own economic resources and live
within its means. He said that the worst problem was that
the Belgrade leadership came to believe its own propaganda
and see itself as a victim of ill-willed foreigners. Meanwhile,
"Nasa Borba" named Djukanovic its  "man of the year" for
1997 because of his role in promoting political change in
Yugoslavia. PM

YUGOSLAV ARMS CACHES FOUND IN SLAVONIA. UN
police, acting on an anonymous tip-off, found 100 crates of
arms belonging to the former Yugoslav army hidden in a
canal near Vukovar on 1 January. The containers included
rocket-launchers, heavy machine-guns, and various kinds of
ammunition. In other news, Croatian Deputy Interior
Minister Josko Moric said in Zagreb on 30 December that
three Croatian reserve policemen in eastern Slavonia have
been fired following a brawl with Serbian civilians near
Osijek the previous week. He also pledged to press charges
against the three. PM

BOSNIAN SERB HARD-LINERS REJECT PLAVSIC'S
PREMIER. Aleksa Buha of the Serbian Democratic Party and
Nikola Poplasen of the Serbian Radical Party said in Bijeljina
on 3 January that they will not enter a government of
national unity as proposed by Mladen Ivanic, the prime-
minister designate of Republika Srpska President Biljana
Plavsic. Buha and Poplasen added that they advised Ivanic
to ask Plavsic to nominate someone else as premier (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 30 December 1997). PM

WESTENDORP SETS DEADLINE ON LICENSE PLATES.
Carlos Westendorp, the international community's chief
representative in Bosnia, said in Sarajevo on 30 December
that he will use his new executive powers to decree a
unified license plate design for all Bosnia if the Serbs, Croats,
and Muslims do not agree on one by the end of January. An
international conference in Bonn on 9-10 January gave
Westendorp the authority to make decisions that the
leaderships of the three ethnic groups have been unwilling
or unable to take. Many observers feel there can be no
freedom of movement in Bosnia as long as each ethnic group
has its own license plates, which makes it easy for hard-
liners to spot and intimidate people of other ethnic groups.
PM

ALBANIAN PREMIER PLEDGES NEW CONSTITUTION
IN 1998. Fatos Nano said in his New Year's address that he
is determined to give the country a new constitution in
1998. The previous government failed to adopt a new
constitution by referendum in December 1994. Nano pointed
out that instabililty in the country has been "provoked by
the void left by having no constitution." He said that the
basic law would be put to a referendum once it had been
approved by the parliament. FS

ALBANIAN INTERIOR MINISTER WANTS DEATH
PENALTY. Neritan Ceka said on 30 December that he favors
the reintroduction of death penalty. Albania has not
formally abolished capital punishment but has been banned
from carrying out the death sentence since its admission to
the Council of Europe in August 1995. The council has
stipulated that the parliament must abolish the death
penalty within a "reasonable" time frame. Ceka also noted
that only 10 percent of the 1 million arms looted in 1997
have been returned to the authorities. FS

GREECE TO HELP REORGANIZE ALBANIA'S NAVY.
Greek Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos has pledged to
help reorganize the Albanian Navy and upgrade the ports of
Saranda and Durres. During a two-day visit to Tirana on 29-
30 December, he proposed creating a common security
institution for the Balkans. Athens has said it will assist
Tirana with funds to build apartments for army officers and
help revive Albania's military industry. Greece has already
helped rebuild the military hospital in Tirana and is planing
to improve the capital's military airport.  FS

ROYAL SUCCESSION PROVOKES CONTROVERSY IN
ROMANIA. President Emil Constantinescu said in a 3
January televised address that changing the form of
government from a republic to a monarchy would be an
"illegal and immoral act." His statement came in response to
former King Michael's announcement on 30 December that
he intends to designate his eldest daughter, Princess
Margaret, as his successor and that he and his family will
spend as much time as possible in Romania. The previous
day,  Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea had said that if the
former monarch wants to return to the country, he must
respect the existing constitution, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau
reported. The Party of Social Democracy in Romania has
threatened to initiate proceedings to suspend
Constantinescu for allegedly encouraging the restoration of
the monarchy. MS

EXTREMIST ROMANIAN LEADER ATTACKS
CONSTANTINESCU. Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the leader of
the extremist Greater Romania Party, has said that President
Constantinescu is "guilty of high treason," Radio Bucharest
reported on 4 January. He argued that Constantinescu is
guilty of bringing about the loss of Romanian territories" by
signing the basic treaty with Ukraine. He also held the
president responsible for the coming to power of the
"separatists' organization" representing ethnic Hungarians in
Romania and accused him of "undermining the national
economy." On 23 December, Prosecutor-General Sorin
Moisescu asked the parliament to lift Tudor's immunity for
insulting the president. The request followed Tudor's 19
December statement claiming that Constantinescu is a "secret
agent" whose policies seek to reward "those who brought
him to power." MS

OFFICIAL CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST ROMANIAN
FORMER DEFENSE MINISTER. The Prosecutor-General's
Office on 30 December officially charged General Victor
Stanculescu with having ordered troops to fire on
demonstrators in Timisoara in December 1989 , RFE/RL's
Bucharest bureau reported. No date has been set for the
trial. Stanculescu was defense minister in 1990-1991. In
related news,  Prosecutor-General Sorin Moisescu said on 19
December that his office has not yet opened a "criminal
investigation" into the role that former President Ion Iliescu
played in the December 1989 events. MS

MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES 1998 BUDGET.
The Moldovan parliament on 29 December approved next
year's budget, which, in line with IMF and World Bank
recommendations, provides for a deficit of 3.5 percent of
GDP. The parliament also approved freezing the debts of
state companies accumulated until 1 January 1997, provided
that those companies pay their debts to the state budget
accumulated since that date. MS

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