The only thing one knows about human nature is that it changes. - Oscar Wilde
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 94 Part II, 19 May 1998


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 94 Part II, 19 May 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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxSPECIAL REPORTxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE: MAKING IT WORK FOR HUMANITY. Next
month, work will begin on the creation of a permanent
International Criminal Court. This four-part series explores
the ramifications of a new criminal court and how the
current war crimes tribunals are handling cases related to
the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.
http://www.rferl.org/nca/special/courts/index.html

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Headlines, Part II

* EU SAYS ECONOMIC GROWTH IN EASTERN EUROPE 'MEDIOCRE'

* YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENT OUSTS PRIME MINISTER

* SANCTIONS ON SERBIA EASED

End Note: CIVIC EDUCATION FOR KOSOVA
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

EU SAYS ECONOMIC GROWTH IN EASTERN EUROPE 'MEDIOCRE.' The
EU's Executive Commission, in a report released on 18 May,
said that average economic growth among the 10 Central and
East European EU candidate states slowed down in 1997. The
commission says the overall growth of 3.4 percent is
"mediocre" and attributes the fall (from 3.9 percent in
1996) largely to economic problems in Bulgaria, Romania, and
the Czech Republic. Bulgaria's performance is linked to the
depth of its economic crisis in late 1996-early 1997.
Romania's negative (-6.6 percent) growth is attributed to
"continuing political, legal, and economic uncertainty,"
while the Czech Republic has been affected by last year's
exchange-rate difficulties that highlighted other structural
economic weaknesses. The report says there were wide
economic differences among the 10 countries, ranging from a
10 percent growth in Estonia to a 7.4 percent contraction in
Bulgaria. MS

WORLD BANK CRITICIZES BELARUS FOR 'DISTORTED' RUBLE EXCHANGE
RATE. David Philips, a World Bank official, told journalists
in Minsk on 18 May that the main obstacle toward economic
reform in Belarus is the practice of using multiple and
distorted official exchange rates for the Belarusian ruble,
ITAR-TASS reported. According to Philips, such a practice
has a negative impact on the balance of payments, prevents
the accumulation of hard-currency reserves, and inaccurately
reflects the situation in the trade and production spheres.
Philips added that the mandatory sale of 30 percent of hard-
currency export revenues to the state at an undercut
exchange rate constitutes a "fine" imposed on exporters. JM

AWARDS TO BELARUS FOR EXPANDING DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS. EU-
U.S. Democracy and Civil Society Awards have been given to
the Belarusian Helsinki Committee, the Charter-97 group, and
former constitutional judge Mikhail Pastukhou in
acknowledgment of their efforts to expand democracy and
protect human rights in Belarus, RFE/RL's Belarusian Service
reported. Belarusian Helsinki Committee Chairwoman Tatsyana
Protska received the award in London from U.S. President
Bill Clinton and European Commission head Jacques Santer.
Mikhail Pastukhou and former Belarusian Deputy Foreign
Minister Andrey Sannikau, representing Charter-97, accepted
their awards at the British embassy in Minsk. JM

STRIKES OVER WAGE ARREARS SPREAD THROUGHOUT UKRAINE. Some
2,000 coal miners from Pavlovhrad have set off on a 70-
kilometer march to Dnipropetrovsk to demand unpaid wages,
mirroring the action taken by 1,000 miners from Pervomaysk
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 May 1998). Ukrainian Radio
reported on 18 May that the government has created a special
commission for drawing up proposals by 21 May to resolve the
socio-economic problems of coal miners in Dnipropetrovsk
Oblast. Meanwhile, the teachers' strike over unpaid wages
has expanded to 129 schools throughout the country,
Ukrainian Television reported. JM

CRIMEAN TATARS COMMEMORATE DEPORTATION WITH POLITICAL
DEMANDS. Some 10,000 people gathered in Simferopol on 18 May
to mark the 54th anniversary of Stalin's deportation of
Crimean Tatars, ITAR-TASS reported. Addressing the
gathering, Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev said the
250,000 Tatars who have returned to the peninsula find
themselves "in a disastrous situation and without rights."
Many have no jobs and housing, while 70,000 Tatars do not
even have Ukrainian citizenship. A resolution adopted at the
gathering demanded a simplified procedure whereby Crimean
Tatars can acquire Ukrainian citizenship. It also demanded
Crimean Tatar representatives in state bodies, and official
recognition of the Kurultay and the Mejlis, the
representative bodies of the Crimean Tatar people. JM

CE SLAMS LATVIA OVER CITIZENSHIP, DEATH PENALTY... The
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly's monitoring
committee has criticized Latvia's citizenship law, BNS
reported on 18 May. Committee head Terry Davis told the news
agency that "after seven years of independence, Latvia has
not yet managed to successfully integrate its non-citizens."
He added that "particularly worrying is the practice of
classing many children born in Latvia after 21 August 1991
as noncitizens, the inclusion of history exams in the
naturalization procedure, and the insistence on a knowledge
of the Latvian language for any job in the private sector."
Also on 18 May, the council's leadership expressed regret
over the Latvian parliament's decision to retain capital
punishment in the criminal code (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12
May 1998), saying it is a "setback in the fight for the
abolition of capital punishment in Europe." JC

...WHILE ULMANIS TO RETURN CRIMINAL CODE TO PARLIAMENT.
Meanwhile, the press office of Latvian President Guntis
Ulmanis told BNS on 18 May that the president will return
the criminal code to the parliament for revision as he
objects to the clause retaining capital punishment. And on
another subject, the office reported that Ulmanis has asked
the Foreign Ministry to discuss with Russia preparations for
his possible meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
That move follows Yeltsin's statement in Birmingham,
England, last week saying he is confident he will soon meet
with Ulmanis and Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembskii's
comment the next day that Latvia must request such a meeting
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 May 1998). JC

LILEIKIS TRIAL POSTPONED AGAIN. The trial of suspected war
criminal Aleksandras Lileikis has been postponed for another
month, BNS and dpa reported on 18 May. The decision comes
shortly after a letter to the Lithuanian daily "Lietuvos
rytas" from a Holocaust survivor claiming that Lileikis
saved her life (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 May 1998). In
order to allow prosecutors to interview Grace Montes
(formerly Shifra Grodnikaite), who lives in Denver,
Colorado, Judge Viktoras Kazys postponed the trial until
mid-June. JC

CATHOLIC OR LAY SCHOOLS IN POLAND? The Education Ministry
has drawn up a project whereby a dual public education
system will be introduced at the start of the 1999-2000
school year, "Gazeta Wyborcza" reported on 19 May. Under the
project, each school will have to declare whether it is
Catholic or secular and change its curricula and educational
methods accordingly. Education Minister Miroslaw Handtke
commented that a synthesis of those two forms of education
is not possible but that separate educational programs may
be run in separate classes at the same school. The proposal
has been sent to local educational authorities for
discussion. JM

SLOVAKIA TO DELAY STARTUP OF NUCLEAR PLANT? The startup of
the controversial nuclear plant at Mochovce "could be
delayed for several days," plant director Jozef Valach told
journalists on 18 May. The delay follows the criticism
expressed by an international group of experts who inspected
the plant earlier this month (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 May
1998). Chancellor Viktor Klima told Austrian Television that
relations with Bratislava will deteriorate if it decides to
go ahead with the startup. He delivered a note of protest to
the Slovak ambassador to Vienna the same day, RFE/RL's
Bratislava bureau reported. MS

SLOVAKIA ACCUSES HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER OF INTERFERENCE.
The Slovak Foreign Ministry rejected on 18 May Hungarian
Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs's warning three days earlier
that a proposed amendment to the Slovak education law would
violated the Hungarian-Slovak basic treaty. The amendment
would require that history and geography be taught in Slovak
in Hungarian-language schools. The Slovak statement called
Kovacs's protest "an inadmissible interference in domestic
affairs." Kovacs reacted by saying that minority issues
"cannot be a domestic affair for any country," Hungarian
media reported. MSZ

HUNGARIAN ELECTIONS WILL NOT CHANGE NATO MEMBERSHIP PLANS.
U.S. Undersecretary of Defense Franklin Kramer on 18 May
told Hungarian officials in Budapest that the results of the
second round of elections will in no way affect Hungary's
plans to join NATO. He said that regardless of the
composition of the new government, Hungary's referendum last
year on NATO membership clearly showed the country's support
for accession. In other news, prices on the Budapest stock
exchange fell again on 18 May amid political uncertainty
over the result of the elections. The market closed at 7,829
points, 309 points down from the weekend. Prime Minister
Gyula Horn pointed out last week that falling prices on the
bourse signals "investors are afraid of instability." MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENT OUSTS PRIME MINISTER... Serbian and
Montenegrin federal legislators loyal to Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosevic have endorsed a motion of no confidence
in Prime Minister Radoje Kontic. Milosevic said immediately
after the vote that he will meet with leaders of the parties
represented in the parliament on 19 May to discuss possible
successors to Kontic. During the debate before the vote,
Kontic rejected accusations by Milosevic loyalists that he
is incompetent and argued that economic performance was
better under his leadership in 1997 than it had been in
years. Milosevic wants to oust Kontic, who is a Montenegrin
with ties to the reform-minded leadership of President Milo
Djukanovic, in favor of someone who would declare a state of
emergency in Montenegro and remove Djukanovic and his allies
from office (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 May 1998). PM

...BRINGS ON CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS. Immediately after
Kontic's ouster on 18 May, Montenegrin parliamentary speaker
Svetozar Marovic called a special session of the Montenegrin
legislature for the following day. Speaking in Podgorica
after the Belgrade vote, President Djukanovic said there can
be no joint state of Serbs and Montenegrins if there is no
equality between the two republics, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported from the Montenegrin capital. The president added
that the vote to oust Kontic means the destruction of the
foundations of the joint state. Top pro-Djukanovic
politicians both in Podgorica and in Belgrade said that
Montenegro will not recognize Kontic's ouster and that
federal Yugoslavia is entering a major constitutional
crisis. Stefan Susic, who heads the federal parliament's
Judicial Committee, charged that Milosevic has begun the
"dissolution of Yugoslavia" by ousting Kontic, the Belgrade
daily "Danas" wrote. PM

EU BACKS DJUKANOVIC. Hans van den Broek, who heads the EU's
Foreign Affairs Commission, and Montenegrin Labor and Social
Affairs Minister Miomir Mogusa signed an agreement in
Brussels providing for EU aid to Montenegro worth $3.3
million. The money will help Podgorica to pay invalids' and
veterans' benefits, to make payments for needy children and
families, and to improve the health service. The Djukanovic
leadership says that Milosevic's policies are preventing the
revival of Montenegro's key shipping and tourism industries
and hence of its economy. The EU and the U.S. provide
political and economic support for Djukanovic. PM

RUGOVA FACES KOSOVAR CRITICS. Kosovar shadow-state President
Ibrahim Rugova told the leadership of his Democratic League
of Kosova (LDK) on 18 May in Prishtina that he insisted on
Kosovar independence during his talks with Milosevic on 15
May (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 May 1998). Several members of
the party's governing body criticized Rugova's decision to
meet Milosevic without foreign intermediaries and accused
Rugova of failing to consult his colleagues. Some speakers
said that Rugova has completely sidelined the LDK in his
efforts to manage the current crisis. Many top politicians
both within the LDK and Rugova's group of 15 key advisers
have recently charged him with becoming increasingly
authoritarian, the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" wrote on
15 May. Rugova's political position in Kosova has become
weaker in recent weeks, while that of the Kosova Liberation
Army is on the rise, "Nasa Borba" reported on 19 May. PM

SANCTIONS ON SERBIA EASED. The British Foreign Office said
in a statement on 18 May that the international Contact
Group on the former Yugoslavia agreed to suspend the group's
recently proposed ban on foreign investments in Serbia (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 11 May 1998). The statement added that
the freeze on the investment ban comes in response to
Milosevic's agreement to hold talks with Rugova. In
Prishtina, Veton Surroi, who is Kosova's leading journalist
and a member of Rugova's team of 15 advisers, said that
ending sanctions reduces the chances that Milosevic will
negotiate seriously. In Tirana, the Albanian Foreign
Ministry urged the Contact Group to maintain the sanctions
as long as there is fighting in Kosova. PM

CROATIA TO TAKE IN REFUGEES. Parliamentary speaker Vlatko
Pavletic told a delegation from the German Bundestag in
Zagreb on 18 May that Croatia will soon formally tell
Germany that it is ready to accept 80,000 Croatian refugees,
who are mainly from Bosnia-Herzegovina, back from Germany.
Pavletic added that Croatia wants the refugees to return to
Croatia before the end of 1998. Germany took in more
refugees from the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995
than did any other country other than the Yugoslav successor
states. Many German politicians are under considerable
pressure during this election year to send the refugees home
as soon as possible. PM

DEFENDANTS BOYCOTT 'FERAL' TRIAL. Viktor Ivancic, the former
chief editor of the independent weekly "Feral Tribune," and
journalist Marinko Culic did not appear at their trial in
Zagreb on 18 May to answer charges that they slandered
President Franjo Tudjman. The two defendants said in a
statement that do not intend to take part in what they
called a political trial. In an article published in April
1996, the two journalists compared Tudjman to the Spanish
head of state, Francisco Franco. In their latest statement,
the two defendants noted that Tudjman has publicly compared
himself to Franco, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported.
PM

MORE NATIONALIST OBSTRUCTION IN BOSNIA. The joint parliament
failed on 18 May to agree on any of the three designs for a
new coat-of-arms that international mediators proposed.
Muslim deputies endorsed one design, Serbs rejected all
three, and the Croats abstained, an RFE/RL correspondent
reported from Sarajevo. Carlos Westendorp, who is the
international community's chief representative in Bosnia,
will soon impose a solution. Meanwhile in Mostar,
Herzegovinian Croat officials again refused to issue joint
Bosnian identity documents and license plates. A
Herzegovinian Croat spokesman said that the documents, which
are written in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets, are
illegal because laws in Mostar permit only the Latin script.
Sir Martin Garrod, who is Westendorp's representative in
Mostar, warned the Croats that persons without the new
documents and cars without the joint license plates will be
unable to leave the country after 1 June. PM

ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN ROMANIA. Paskal Milo met with
his Romanian counterpart, Andrei Plesu, on 18 May and
discussed the conflict in Kosova and bilateral relations,
RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. The two ministers agreed
that the conflict must be resolved through peaceful means.
Milo said his country supports the setting up of a Kosova
republic within the Yugoslav federation. He added that
Kosova is "not merely an Albanian issue," since the
ramifications of the conflict are "regional, and even
international." Plesu said Romania is ready to mediate in
the conflict, but "for the time being," the Yugoslav side
has "some reservations" about international mediation. The
two ministers also agreed that Romania can offer Albania
"expertise in the setting up of democratic institutions." MS

FUNAR PROMISES MORE MEMORIAL PLAQUES. The extreme
nationalist mayor of Cluj, Gheorghe Funar, said on 15 May
that he has "postponed" unveiling the controversial memorial
plaque that claims Hungarian national poet Sandor Petofi was
a Serb forced to "Magyarize" his name. Funar said he
postponed the unveiling of the plaque after the prefect of
Cluj had ordered police to prevent the anti-Hungarian
"provocation." The mayor said the plaque, which is to be
hung on a house where Petofi stayed from 21-24 June 1847,
will nonetheless be unveiled. He also promised that by the
end of this year, he will hang another 10 memorial
inscriptions on buildings in Cluj, including one on the
town's Roman Catholic cathedral, an important landmark of
Hungary's historical presence there. MS

IMF RELEASES TRANCHES TO BULGARIA. The IMF has released the
last two tranches, totaling $167 million, of a $502 million
standby loan to Bulgaria, an RFE/RL correspondent in
Washington reported. The IMF Executive Board said, however,
that the challenge of turning Bulgaria into a growing
competitive economy is still daunting and the country must
move ahead with a long-term reform program, including the
completion of privatization, liberalization in the
agricultural sector, and legal and administrative reforms.
In other news, a survey conducted by Gallup shows that Ivan
Kostov's cabinet is the most popular since the collapse of
Communism, with 68.5 percent support, AFP reported. MS

BULGARIAN SKINHEADS KILL ROMANY BOY. Bulgarian skinheads
killed a 15-year-old Romany boy and beat several others the
following day, AFP reported, citing police sources. The
skinheads attacked the teenage Roma in an abandoned house in
the center of Sofia and threw him out of the window. The
young Roma died instantly, while the skinheads fled before
police arrived on the scene. MS

END NOTE

CIVIC EDUCATION FOR KOSOVA

by Michael J. Jordan

	It's a scene familiar to Eastern Europe since
Communism collapsed nine years ago: well-intentioned Western
missionaries of democracy spreading the gospel to peoples
with little or no tradition of democracy.
	Recently, the focus was Kosova, the simmering Serbian
province on the brink of interethnic war between Albanians
and Serbs. The three-day seminar in tranquil Budapest--some
500 miles away--centered on integrating "civic education"
into the Kosovar Albanian "shadow" schools, which operate
outside the Serbian system. Yet with Kosova increasingly
radicalized and the death toll climbing almost daily, the
seminar begged the question: is it ever too early to preach
civic values like pluralism, rule of law, and respect for
human rights?
	Participants and sponsors alike were scratching their
heads. "We could just sit and wait for a political solution,
or we could do something in small steps that may help
indirectly," said Agon Demjaha, a Kosovar Albanian
representative of one seminar co-sponsor, the New York-based
Open Society Foundation. "This is how I excuse all of this,
otherwise it might seem silly."
	Yet the seminar illuminated the magnitude of
difficulties for those in the Balkans and former Soviet
Union who hope to transform authoritarian political cultures
into kinder, gentler societies. These rigid mores took root
over centuries, long before Communism. On top of that, there
are myriad current political and economic obstacles.
	At least today, Western governmental and non-
governmental organizations are more realistic about the
prospects for success. Their revised strategies for
"conflict resolution" and the like are now presented more
accurately as a painstaking, step-by-step process. It will
take years - if not generations - to undo these traditions
and nurture a society where the polarizing values of ethnic
groups are subordinated to the civic values shared by the
whole community.
	Enlightenment, if it comes at all, comes one person at
a time. After all, does anyone break old habits easily? In
light of this, Westerners generally take a two-pronged
approach. The first is to ferret out moderates and
progressives from both sides, then promote dialogue as a
means for easing ethnic tension. The second, more effective
tactic targets the youth, before behavior and attitude are
set in stone. In the process, much of the older generation
is written off, but the groundwork is laid for a future
democratic infrastructure.
	For Kosovar schoolchildren, this means compulsory
"civic education," though none of their teachers knows
exactly what it is or how to teach it. "Kosova has such a
large young population, we have to worry about how they're
going to view their future and express themselves," said
Joseph Julian, chairman of Syracuse University's Joint
Eastern Europe Center for Democratic Education and
Governance, another co-sponsor of the Budapest seminar. "Let
the politicians do their work, but the people themselves
need to learn to work together as citizens."
	However, even as these children learn about human
rights, some of their fathers and uncles are taking up arms
against the Serbs. "The people arguing for peace are losing
their arguments," said Shkelzen Maliqi, who attended the
seminar and is both director of the Kosova Education
Enrichment Program and a member of the Kosovar team
negotiating with the Serbian leadership. Indeed, bloody
clashes are reported daily between Serb police and Kosovar
villagers, and Yugoslav border patrols and volunteers from
neighboring Albania.
	Slobodan Milosevic, now the Yugoslav president, seems
as intransigent as ever, despite the threat of renewed
sanctions. He also enjoys the support of belligerent Serbs
in Kosova. Serbian faculty and students at Pristina
University, in the Kosovo capital of Prishtina, resisted a
new government directive that orders the re-admission of
Albanian students by 15 May.. Serbian students threatened a
hunger strike in protest and reportedly threw stones at
their would-be Albanian classmates on the first attempted
return to the university.
	At the Budapest seminar, meanwhile, the dozen or so
participants--including one Kosova Serb--spoke dreamily of
Albanian-Serb summer camps, soccer matches and cultural
events. This despite the fact most Serbs are suspicious of
foreign-financed projects (the U.S. is enemy No. 1); on the
Kosovar side, many fear death from the Kosova Liberation
Army for appearing to "collaborate" with Serbs.
	So community activists have their work cut out for
them. Although war could wipe out even the smallest of their
gains, they look no farther than next-door Bosnia for
motivation. Laid bare is the nightmare of trying to
encourage co-existence in the aftermath of wartime killings
and rapes. The point, say Kosova reformers, is to do
something. Anything. "Sure, you can wait five years. But
then you've lost five years," said Ellie Keen, project
officer for the London-based Citizenship Foundation.
"Education is a long process anyway."

The author is a Budapest-based free-lance correspondent (e-
mail: michaeljjordan@compuserve.com).

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