Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise. - Sigmund Freud
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 96 Part II, 21 May 1998


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 96 Part II, 21 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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx SPECIAL REPORT xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* SLOVAK PARLIAMENT MAKES CONTROVERSIAL CHANGE TO ELECTION
LAW

* MONTENEGRO REJECTS NEW FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

* SERBIAN BLOCKADE OF KOSOVA JEOPARDIZES TALKS
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

STRIKING DNIPROPETROVSK MINERS TO MARCH TO KYIV? Some 5,000
miners who marched from Pavlovhrad to Dnipropetrovsk to
protest wage arrears spent the night from 20-21 May outside
the oblast administration building after presenting an
ultimatum to the government, ITAR-TASS reported. The
ultimatum says the miners will wait 24 hours for a
government decision to pay back wages. If the government
fails to take such a decision, the group will march to Kyiv.
The acting coal industry minister has pledged to pay this
month's wage (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 May 1998), but the
protesters demand payment of all wage arrears to Pavlovhrad
mines, now totaling 84 million hryvni ($42 million). They
also are calling for the restoration of subsidies to coal
mining sector, which were suspended by the government 18
months ago. JM

CRIMEAN PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER SEEKS PARTNERSHIP WITH KYIV.
Leonid Hrach, a leading Communist who was elected speaker of
the Crimean legislature last week, says he hopes to
establish a partnership with Kyiv, ITAR-TASS reported on 20
May. In Hrach's opinion, such relations are essential to
overcome the current crisis and reinstate civil peace in
Crimea. Hrach has already met with President Leonid Kuchma,
whose presidential spokesman announced that Kuchma agrees to
Serhiy Kunitsyn's appointment as Crimean prime minister. The
Crimean Supreme Council nominated Kunitsyn, leader of the
centrist bloc in the parliament, as premier after the bloc
supported Hrach's election as speaker (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 15 May 1998). JM

UKRAINE FAILS TO COLLECT $2.5 BILLION IN BUDGET REVENUES.
Presidential spokesman Oleksandr Maydannyk said on 20 May
that the Ukrainian budget failed to collect 5 billion hryvni
($2.5 billion) in the first quarter of this year, ITAR-TASS
reported. According to Maydannyk, the main reasons for this
failure were tax evasion and the slow pace of privatization.
He added that President Leonid Kuchma has submitted to the
Supreme Council several draft laws intended to stabilize the
budget situation, including a bill on reducing income tax
and another on introducing a single land tax. JM

BELARUSIANS SAY ECONOMIC SITUATION WORSENED. In an opinion
poll conducted by the Belarusian Trade Union Federation
among 2,500 employees nationwide, 82.3 percent of
respondents said the economic situation in the country has
worsened, Belapan reported on 20 May. Most of the
respondents are living at or below the subsistence level,
despite having permanent employment and being highly
skilled. Of those polled, 49.7 percent cannot buy sufficient
amounts of food, 57.2 percent are unable to buy necessary
clothing and footwear, and 63.5 percent cannot provide
"normal support" to their families. JM

ESTONIAN COALITION GIVES TWO MINISTERS ULTIMATUM. The ruling
coalition has threatened to sack Foreign Minister Toomas
Hendrik Ilves and Ethnic Affairs Minister Andra Veidemann if
their parties--the People's Party and the Development Party,
respectively--continue to refuse to share political
responsibility for the government's actions, ETA and BNS
reported on 20 May. Siimann said that it is "not normal"
that parties whose leaders are cabinet ministers should
accept responsibility only for the sphere of governance of
those leaders. He also said that parties represented in the
government cannot vote against government-proposed bills in
the parliament. "If our conditions are not accepted, those
parties cannot be represented by a minister in the
government," Siimann commented. He added that the coalition
will not discuss the issue with the parties. JC

LATVIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES IN PRINCIPLE CHANGES TO
CITIZENSHIP LAW. Lawmakers on 20 May voted by 52 to one with
one abstention to approve in principle amendments to the
citizenship law that would allow children born to non-
Latvians after 21 August 1991 to become citizens at the age
of 16 if they can prove sufficient knowledge of the Latvian
language. Those amendments, however, do not comply with the
recommendations of the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe, which wants all children born in
Latvia to be automatically granted citizenship, regardless
of nationality or language skills. Amendments based on those
recommendations are to be discussed at a future, unspecified
date. The Democratic Party Saimnieks, which recently quit
the ruling coalition, did not take part in the 20 May vote.
JC

CE OFFICIAL SAYS NO ETHNIC DISCRIMINATION IN LITHUANIAN
JAILS. Andreas Gross, a representative of the Council of
Europe's parliamentary Legal and Human Rights Committee, has
said that Russian allegations of ethnic discrimination in
Lithuania's prisons are groundless, dpa reported, citing
ELTA. He made the comment after visiting two Lithuanian
prisons and meeting with several ethnic Russian inmates. "I
see no evidence proving that the prisons or the law treat
national minorities any differently from citizens of
Lithuania," Gross said. Lawmakers in Moscow and Russian
representatives at the Council of Europe have accused
Lithuania of treating non-Lithuanian convicts unfairly and
of convicting people for political reasons. JC

POLISH MINISTERS SURVIVE NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE. The parliament
on 20 May voted down no-confidence motions brought by the
former communist Democratic Left Alliance against Justice
Minister Hanna Suchocka (Freedom Union) and Education
Minister Miroslaw Handke (Solidarity Electoral Action).
"This is a very good day for the government: the no-
confidence motion turned into a great vote of confidence,"
"Zycie Warszawy" quoted Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek as
saying. The ruling coalition controls 260 of the
parliament's 460 seats. The coalition's unanimous voting
came after a recent series of rifts between the ruling
parties and a setback in the government's push for
administrative reform. A parliamentary committee recently
adopted a proposal that the number of provinces should be
reduced to 17, rather than 12, as advocated by the
government. JM

CZECH PARLIAMENT APPROVES CLASSIFIED DATA LAW. The Chamber
of Deputies on 20 May passed a law on the protection of
classified data and the National Security Office's role in
implementing the law. The new legislation will make it
possible for the Czech Republic to receive such information
from NATO. The absence of such a law had been one of the
more serious reservations expressed in NATO circles over the
admission of the Czech Republic to the organization, CTK
reported. MS

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT MAKES CONTROVERSIAL CHANGE TO ELECTION
LAW. Lawmakers on 20 May approved the controversial
amendment to the electoral law proposed by Vladimir Meciar's
Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS), RFE/RL's
Bratislava bureau and Reuters reported. The amended law
requires each party within an alliance to cross a 5 percent
threshold in order to gain representation. The previous law
had required that alliances of three parties or more receive
at least 10 percent of the vote and individual parties 5
percent. In response to the intention to amend the law, the
Slovak Democratic Coalition, which was the main opposition
alliance, has formed a single party, while three ethnic
Hungarian parties have merged to form the Hungarian
Coalition. Bela Bugar, a deputy of the Hungarian Coalition,
said the amended law's "sole purpose" is to ensure the
HZDS's victory in September. MS

HORN, ORBAN HOLD TELEVISED DEBATE. Gyula Horn, chairman of
the ruling Socialist Party, and Viktor Orban, leader of the
main opposition Federation of Young Democrats-Hungarian
Civic Party (FIDESZ-MPP), took part in a debate broadcast
live on national radio and television on 20 May. Most
analysts consider the result of that meeting to have been a
"draw." Orban said his party proved in the first round of
the elections that an alternative to the present government
exists. Horn criticized the FIDESZ-MPP's economic program
and mentioned the possibility of continuing the coalition
with the Free Democrats, while Orban said that FIDESZ-MPP
hopes to win enough seats to form a coalition with the
Democratic Forum and the Christian Democratic Alliance,
without including the Independent Smallholders' Party. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

MONTENEGRO REJECTS NEW FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. Montenegrin
President Milo Djukanovic said in Podgorica on 20 May that
the new government of Prime Minister Momir Bulatovic is
"illegitimate, illegal, and un-Yugoslav" (see "RFE/RL Bosnia
Report," 20 May 1998). Djukanovic added that Montenegro will
recognize neither Bulatovic nor his cabinet. In Belgrade,
Bulatovic announced the composition of his cabinet, which is
almost completely identical to that of his predecessor,
Radoje Kontic. One change is that Bulatovic backer Danilo
Vuksanovic replaces Vojin Djukanovic, a supporter of
President Djukanovic, as one of five deputy prime ministers,
RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. Bulatovic also told
the parliament that corruption and crime are "public enemy
number one." President Djukanovic and many of his backers
made their fortunes through sanctions-busting during the
1991-1995 wars. PM

NATO CONCERNED ABOUT YUGOSLAVIA. NATO ambassadors said in a
statement in Brussels on 20 May that the Atlantic alliance
is concerned about the rising tensions between Serbia and
Montenegro. The ambassadors also discussed the situation on
the Albanian-Yugoslav border but made no decision regarding
NATO's role in the Kosova crisis (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20
May 1998). In Washington, Secretary of Defense William Cohen
and his German counterpart, Volker Ruehe, said they favor a
political rather than a military solution in Kosova. Ruehe
added that "we must look at the military options and the
study that is being done by NATO, and avoid symbolism,
dangerous symbolism, but look at options that could be
meaningful" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 May 1998). Ruehe
stressed that the real problem is not along the Kosovar
border but "in Kosova--the dictatorship, the police state,
and lack of autonomy." PM

SERBIAN BLOCKADE OF KOSOVA JEOPARDIZES TALKS. Fehmi Agani,
who is a top adviser to Kosovar shadow-state President
Ibrahim Rugova, said in Prishtina on 20 May that the
Kosovars will attend talks with a Serbian delegation on 22
May despite the Kosovars' concern about the ongoing Serbian
blockade of the province (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 18 May
1998). In recent days, Kosovar sources have reported food
shortages across much of the province. Serbian officials say
there is no blockade but only a check on the papers and
safety of privately owned vehicles. Reuters, however, quoted
an unnamed Serbian source as saying that the blockade is
unwise "and could not have come at a worse time." A Western
diplomat added: "What is [Yugoslav President Slobodan]
Milosevic playing at? If he wants to prevent the talks from
going ahead, the blockade is a sure way to do it." PM

SERBS STILL HOLD FOUR KOSOVARS. Serbian police in Klina on
19 May released four of the eight Kosovars they took off a
train on the Prishtina-Peja line earlier that day (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 20 May 1998). The Kosovar news agency KIC
said that all four had been beaten while in custody and
sought medical treatment after their release. KIC added that
there is no information on the whereabouts of the other four
Kosovars whom police removed from the same train. PM

ALBANIAN POLICE SEIZE ARMS BOUND FOR KOSOVA. Police
intercepted a truck loaded with arms at a routine checkpoint
in Lezha on 20 May. It was the largest quantity of illegal
arms ever seized by Albanian police in a single operation
and included 200 machine guns, 500 boxes with ammunition
cartridges, and 400 grenades . Police arrested the driver of
the truck, who is an Albanian citizen, as well as a Kosovar
who was following the truck in a private car. An unnamed
police official told "Koha Jone" that those arrested "bought
[the arms] for a low price on the private Albanian market
and [wanted to] bring them to [Kosova]." The same day,
villagers living near the border in the Kukes area said
Serbian border guards shot at them. FS

NO SERBS RETURN TO GLAMOC. A spokesman for the UN High
Commission for Refugees said in Livno in Herzegovina on 20
May that nobody from Glamoc's pre-war Serbian population has
returned to their former homes, "Oslobodjenje" wrote. In
1991, some 10,000 Serbs lived in Glamoc, where they made up
80 percent of the population. At that time, only 200 Croats,
or 1.5 percent of the total residents, lived there. Croat-
controlled Glamoc is now inhabited by 500 Muslims, as well
as by 1,400 Croats, who are mainly refugees from central
Bosnia. In Banja Luka, spokesmen for Serbian refugees from
Croatia, who fled during the Croatian army's offensives in
1995, said that at least 80,000 Krajina Serbs live in the
Republika Srpska, mainly in the west. The spokesmen added
that one-quarter of them want to go home but that neither
Banja Luka nor Zagreb has proven willing to help them. PM

AMBASSADORS PROTEST OVER VUKOVAR. Members of a group of
foreign ambassadors to Croatia monitoring the situation in
eastern Slavonia said that Vukovar "will not get one cent"
from the international community unless the city
administration begins to function properly, "Novi List"
reported. The ambassadors noted that Serbs continue to leave
eastern Slavonia for Yugoslavia or the Republika Srpska and
that the Serbs have difficulty returning to their former
homes elsewhere in Croatia. The ambassadors also stated that
ethnically motivated incidents continue to take place in
eastern Slavonia, and that Croatian authorities harass
individual Serbs whose alleged crimes have been pardoned
under an amnesty, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported.
The diplomats called on the Croatian authorities not to
prosecute any Serbs for war crimes without the approval of
the Hague-based tribunal. The ambassadors also urged local
Serbs to cooperate with the Croatian authorities. PM

ALBANIAN DEMOCRATS THREATEN TO BOYCOTT LOCAL ELECTIONS.
Opposition Democratic Party leader Sali Berisha said on 20
May in Tirana that his party will boycott the 21 June local
elections unless there are changes in the composition of the
Central Election Commission. Berisha demands that all
parties be allowed to send representatives to the
commission, including smaller parties currently not
represented in the body. The elections will take place only
in localities where mayors or a significant number of city
council members quit their jobs during last year's unrest.
FS

MORE REVELATIONS ABOUT ROMANIAN 'CIGARETTE SMUGGLING
AFFAIR.' Virgil Magureanu, former chief of the Romanian
Intelligence Service, confirmed in an interview with RFE/RL
on 20 May that in December 1992 he asked the then
prosecutor-general to free from detention Lebanese citizen
Elie Nassar, who was under investigation in an earlier case
of cigarette smuggling. Magureanu also confirmed that he
intervened on Elie Nassar's behalf at the request of his
brother, Mike Nassar, who is a fugitive involved in the
latest smuggling affair. A transcription of the conversation
between Mike Nassar and Magureanu was published on 18-19 May
in the daily "Evenimentul zilei". Magureanu said the taping
of the conversation was "illegal" and denied any wrongdoing.
The Nassar brothers offered to pay $3 million to
"compensate" Romanian customs, and Magureanu claims he
immediately informed former President Ion Iliescu and former
Premier Nicolae Vacaroiu about the offer, which was
accepted. MS

LEGAL PROCEDURE BEGUN TO LIFT TUDOR'S IMMUNITY. The
Prosecutor-General's Office on 20 May asked the Minister of
Justice to propose that the Senate lift the parliamentary
immunity of Corneliu Vadim Tudor, the leader of the
extremist Greater Romania Party. This is the first step in
the legal procedure for such a move. Tudor is accused of
having insulted President Emil Constantinescu and one of his
counselors in allegations about their involvement in the
cigarette smuggling affair. Last month, the Prosecutor-
General's Office asked to begin the procedure of lifting
Tudor's immunity in connection with in other calumny cases
involving the senator. The office is also asking the Chamber
of Deputies to lift the immunity of Gabriel Bivolaru, a
deputy of the Party of Social Democracy in Romania, for
alleged involvement in fraud against the Romanian Bank for
Development. MS

SEVEN FORMER COMMUNIST OFFICIALS CHARGED IN ROMANIA. Seven
former officials and military commanders in Cluj have been
charged for their role in the repression of demonstrators
during the December 1989 uprising. Among them is General
Iulian Topliceanu, who is accused of having ordered the
opening of fire on demonstrators. In other news, the Civic
Alliance Movement on 20 May clarified its position towards
President Emil Constantinescu, saying it continues to
support his struggle against corruption and that most of the
corruption cases involve persons with links to the previous
government. It also said the movement's criticism of the
president by its executive chairman, Valerian Stan, was the
latter's "personal position" (see "RFE/RL Newsline, 20 May
1998). MS

BULGARIAN PIPELINE TENDER CLOSES. Nine international
consortia are participating in an international tender for a
feasibility study of a proposed oil pipeline from Bulgaria
to Greece. The deadline for the tender closed on 19 May, an
RFE/RL correspondent in Athens reported. The study is to be
completed within 10 months. Meanwhile, the chairman of the
Bulgarian Energy Committee Ivan Shilyashki told Reuters on
20 May that upgrading the reactors at the controversial
Kozloduy nuclear power plant will make it possible to run
safely two of the reactors until 2005-2006 and the other two
until 2010-2012. Also on 20 May, the opposition Socialist
Party daily "Duma" resumed publication after pledging to pay
its 650 million leva ($360,000) debt to the state printing
company, Reuters reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 May
1998). MS

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