I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself. - Aldous Huxley
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 99 Part II, 26 May 1998


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 99 Part II, 26 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
CRISIS ON UKRAINIAN FARMS
The decline of Ukraine's agriculture sector has been
continuous since Kyiv declared independence from the Soviet
Union in 1991. This report includes articles and photos.
http://www.rferl.org/nca/special/ukraine-farms/index.html

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* HUNGARY'S FIDESZ SAYS NO PURGE

* 'REAL STATE OF WAR' IN KOSOVA

* KOSOVAR-SERBIAN TALKS THREATENED

End Note: HUNGARY'S POLITICAL ELITE TO FACE MAJOR CHALLENGES
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINE'S STRIKING MINERS WANT TO GET RID OF MIDDLEMEN. In
addition to demanding the payment of wage arrears for the
past 10 months, Pervomaysk miners picketing the Luhansk
Oblast administration building want middlemen to be
eliminated from the coal trade, ITAR-TASS reported. The
middlemen, they argue, have "robbed us: they have bought
coal from us very cheaply and sold it at prices several
times higher." Negotiations with the oblast administration
have yielded no results, since the authorities continue to
pledge wages for this month. JM

BELARUS-RUSSIA UNION OBSTRUCTING 'GLOBALIZATION'? Belarusian
Foreign Minister Ivan Antanovich, addressing the Russian
Academy of Social Sciences in Minsk on 25 May, said that the
Belarus-Russia union has become "a major barrier on the road
of world globalization," ITAR-TASS and Belapan reported.
"Supranational corporations have practically dominated the
entire world, but today nobody calls this process
imperialism, it is called globalization," he commented. The
Belarus-Russia union, he continued, has revived the "more
than 1,000-year tradition of making a great state."
Antanovich added that it is possible to introduce joint
systems of control within the union, primarily in the
financial, power engineering, transport, communications, and
defense sectors. With regard to the union's future,
Antanovich commented that he personally would like to see a
"Slavic Orthodox state." JM

ESTONIA'S PEOPLE'S PARTY TO COOPERATE WITH GOVERNMENT. The
People's Party has said it is willing to cooperate with the
ruling coalition in order to keep party leader, Foreign
Minister Toomas Hendrik Ilves, in the government, ETA
reported on 25 May. That statement follows a threat by the
ruling coalition to dismiss both Ilves and Ethnic Affairs
Minister Andra Veidemann of the Development Party if their
formations continued to refuse to share responsibility for
the government's actions (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 May
1998). "The People's Party is prepared to cooperate with the
coalition on the basis of the existing cooperation
agreement," said Indrek Kannik, the party's press secretary.
Ilves commented that he can see no "significant problems"
preventing him from continuing as foreign minister, adding
that there were no problems beforehand, either. JC

BANK OF ESTONIAN OFFICIALS TO BE CHARGED OVER $10 MILLION
AFFAIR. The Central Bureau of Investigation is to bring
charges against leading officials of the Bank of Estonia in
connection with a $10 million affair that emerged in 1993-
1994, ETA reported on 25 May. Among those to be charged are
current President Vahur Kraft, his predecessor Siim Kallas,
and former legal expert Urmas Kaju. In 1993, the former
North Estonian Bank (PEP) invested $10 million in an oil
deal led by the Swiss-based company Paradiso SAL. When the
deal collapsed, Paradiso SAL paid back only $2 million. The
Bank of Estonia became involved in 1994 when it issued a
guarantee to the PEP to help it recover its losses.
According to Kallas, the central bank's only involvement in
the affair was issuing the guarantee to PEP. JC

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT ORDERS PROBE INTO ALLEGED SURVEILLANCE.
Valdas Adamkus has ordered the prosecutor-general to
investigate media reports alleging the Interior Ministry
spied on top officials, ITAR-TASS reported on 25 May, citing
a statement issued by the presidential press service.
According to the allegations, which were first made in the
23 May "Lietuvos Rytas, an Interior Ministry unit normally
engaged in fighting crime and providing security to the
president was used to carry out surveillance of the
country's top leaders, including the head of state, the
premier, and cabinet ministers. It is also alleged that most
of the collected information was passed on to parliamentary
speaker Vytautas Landsbergis and former Interior Minister
Vidmantas Ziemelis, who resigned last week under pressure
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 May 1998). The main opposition
Democratic Labor Party has called for Landsbergis's
resignation over the scandal. JC

EU SLASHES PRE-ENTRY AID PROGRAM TO POLAND. The European
Commission on 25 May announced that Poland will receive 178
million ecus under the PHARE program intended to prepare the
country for EU membership, instead of the 212 million ecus
originally envisaged for this year, Reuters reported. EU
sources said some of the projects submitted by Poland were
"irrelevant" to its membership preparations and some were
considered not ready for implementation. "Rzeczpospolita"
reported that Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek has fired a
government official responsible for drawing up EU-oriented
projects. JM

POLAND TO LAUNCH EDUCATION REFORM IN 1999. Education
Minister Miroslaw Handke has presented an educational reform
program to be launched next year, "Gazeta Wyborcza" reported
on 26 May. The primary school system will have six grades,
rather than the current eight, while secondary education
will be offered by three-year colleges or two-year
vocational schools. JM

CZECH PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR DISMISSAL OF FINANCE MINISTER.
The Chamber of Deputies on 22 May approved an opposition
resolution calling on Premier Jozef Tosovsky to dismiss
Finance Minister Ivan Pilip for his handling of
privatization and deregulation in the housing and energy
sectors, Reuters reported. The resolution is non-binding. In
another development, Eduard Kremlicka, the leader of the
Pensioners for Life and Security Party (DZJ), told Reuters
he would like to join the Social Democratic Party in a
coalition after the June elections. Opinion polls show
support for the DZJ at some 6-11 percent. MS

EU TO PRESS SLOVAKIA ON NUCLEAR PLANT. Austrian Foreign
Minister Wolfgang Schussel said on 25 May that the EU has
agreed to raise safety concerns with Slovakia over the
startup of the Mochovce nuclear plant, Reuters reported.
Schussel was speaking in Brussels after discussing the plant
with British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who is the
president of the EU council, and European Commission
President Jacques Santer. PB

HUNGARY'S FIDESZ SAYS NO PURGE. Prime Minister-designate
Viktor Orban told Hungarian media on 25 May that coalition
talks between his Federation of Young Democrats-Hungarian
Civic Party (FIDESZ-MPP) and the Independent Smallholders'
Party are likely begin this week. He said that the new
government does not plan political purges, only radical
transformations, adding that a crackdown on corruption will
begin from "the top down" through screenings. Orban also
said he foresees a bigger role for the premier's office, as
well as a strong ministry for economic affairs. Also on 25
May, the Budapest stock continued to nose-dive amid
uncertainty over the new government's economic policies. The
leading BUX index was more than 8 percent down on last
week's closing level. MSZ/PB

HUNGARIAN SOCIALIST LEADER TO RETIRE? Gyula Horn, chairman
of the Socialist Party (MSZP), told the party's governing
board that he is prepared to "face up to the idea of
retiring" at the MSZP's fall congress, "Magyar Hirlap"
reported on 26 May. Horn said the work of the past four
years has proved tiring for him, and he urged the younger
generation to play a more important role in the party. Horn
added that a change of style is needed for the MSZP to
become a constructive opposition. MSZ

NEIGHBORS RESPOND TO HUNGARIAN ELECTION RESULTS. Slovak
Foreign Ministry spokesman Milan Tokar on 25 May said
Bratislava hopes relations with Hungary will improve after a
new government is formed in Budapest, Reuters reported.
Observers say the opposite may be the case, since the FIDESZ
has often been more sharply critical of Bratislava's
policies toward the Hungarian minority in Slovakia than was
the outgoing Hungarian government. Meanwhile in Romania, Ion
Diaconescu, chairman of the main ruling National Peasant
Party Christian Democratic, said he believes recent
statements by Orban on the rights of Hungarian ethnic
minorities in neighboring countries had served "electoral
purposes" but would not be the line of the new government.
MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

'REAL STATE OF WAR' IN KOSOVA. The Democratic League of
Kosova on 25 May said Serbian forces are on the attack in
the Klina, Gjakova, Decan, and Skenderaj regions and that a
"real state of war" exists in those places, RFE/RL's South
Slavic Service reported. Kosovar sources said that numerous
villages are in flames and that a growing number of refugees
are on the move. The Kosovar sources added that more than
6,000 ethnic Albanians have arrived recently in Gjakova from
surrounding villages and from those in the neighboring Decan
area. There is no independent confirmation of reports from
either side of deaths and injuries because of the Serbian-
imposed blockade of the affected regions. PM

KOSOVAR-SERBIAN TALKS THREATENED. Kosovar spokesmen said in
Prishtina on 25 May that the continuing Serbian offensive
threatens to put a halt to the weekly talks between Kosovar
and Serbian delegations (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 May
1998). The spokesmen called for international involvement to
put an end to what they called a "dramatic situation on the
ground." In Brussels, EU foreign ministers agreed to drop a
proposed ban of foreign investment in Serbia. The
international Contact Group agreed on 18 May to suspend the
proposed ban in response to Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic's willingness to launch talks with the Kosovar
leadership. PM

ALBANIAN PRESIDENT CALLS KOSOVA TALKS A SHAM. Rexhep Meidani
told Reuters on 25 May in Tirana that the weekly Kosova
talks are "a sham aimed at delaying the solution of the
situation, and without a mediator this game will continue
and will be in Milosevic's favor." Meidani pointed out that
"Milosevic keeps the situation at this level in order to
make dialog fruitless," adding that "his main preoccupation
is the outcome of the [31 May] elections in Montenegro."
Meidani stressed that "holding a dialog while bloodshed
continues...is just a facade" and warned that the Kosovar
negotiators could lose credibility with their own people if
they continue to participate in the talks. Meidani also
called for an international military presence in Kosova: "a
delayed decision...to send troops will be more expensive [in
the long run], and time is running out." FS

KOSOVAR STUDENTS ARRESTED. The main student organization at
Prishtina University issued a statement on 25 May saying
that police arrested seven leaders of the Students' Union at
the Prizren Teachers' College two days earlier. The police
gave no reason for the arrests, and it is unclear where the
seven are being held. PM

NATO TO HOLD EXERCISE IN MACEDONIA. Units from NATO member
countries and unspecified states participating in the
Partnership for Peace Program will hold "large maneuvers" in
Macedonia in early September, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service
reported from Brussels on 25 May. The aim of the exercise is
to help prepare Macedonia to secure its borders "in case of
a dramatic worsening of the situation in Kosova." PM

KUCAN CALLS FOR COMPREHENSIVE BALKAN SETTLEMENT. Slovenian
President Milan Kucan told the "Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung" of 25 May that the conflict in Kosova could "lead
to a new Balkan war." He stressed that international
community must realize that "the fate of the Balkans" is
currently being decided in that region. Kucan added that
empty pronouncements and a "carrot-and-stick [diplomatic
approach] will yield no useful results." The Slovenian
president stated that Balkan problems cannot be solved
piecemeal and that sooner or later a European conference
will have to formulate a comprehensive regional settlement.
Kucan stressed that Milosevic is responsible for the failure
of the Yugoslav successor states to reach a settlement among
themselves over the former Yugoslavia's debts and assets. PM

BIG PROTEST IN BELGRADE. Several thousand persons
demonstrated in the center of Serbia's capital on 25 May to
protest new laws that will curb university autonomy.
Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic said that the
government aims to make the universities "branch offices" of
state institutions. The protesters also criticized
Milosevic's policies against the independent media whereby
licenses to 35 out of 38 independent radio or television
stations were not renewed. The polices also saddled the
remaining three stations with fees ranging up to $15,000 a
month, which, spokesmen for the stations said, will bankrupt
them. In Podgorica, Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic
said the recent call by federal authorities for changes in
the security apparatus is aimed at reducing Montenegro's
powers. PM

NATO INVESTIGATING CHILD PROSTITUTION CHARGES. A spokesman
for SFOR peacekeepers said in Sarajevo on 25 May that the
Atlantic alliance is investigating charges made by the
Madrid daily "El Mundo" on 23 May that peacekeepers and
Bosnian gangs are regularly supplying prostitutes between 12
and 14 years of age to Italian, Portuguese, and other SFOR
soldiers in Bosnia. The newspaper added that the Spanish
secret service CESID made a report on the prostitution ring
last summer but that it continues to operate. NATO
Secretary-General Javier Solana said in Barcelona that the
report in "El Mundo" is "groundless." SFOR officials in
Sarajevo called on the daily to publish evidence to support
its claims. PM

ALBANIAN LAUDS VATICAN TIES. Albanian Prime Minister Fatos
Nano told the Holy See's Cardinal Tomko in Shkodra on 25 May
that "Albania's relations with the Vatican are very
important for its integration into civilized Europe and the
Roman Catholic world in general." Nano also thanked Catholic
missionaries for the help they have given Albanian citizens
since the end of communism. Nano and President Meidani were
visiting Shkodra for the inauguration of a reconstructed
church, "Zeri i Popullit" reported. In 1967, dictator Enver
Hoxha proclaimed Albania "the world's first atheist state."
Many religious buildings and properties were subsequently
destroyed. FS

ALBANIAN PROSECUTORS LINK OPPOSITION LEGISLATOR TO BOMB
ATTACK. Tirana prosecutors on 25 May submitted the findings
of an investigation into Democratic Party deputy Azem
Hajdari to parliamentary speaker Skender Gjinushi. Hajdari
is charged with slandering Vlora journalist Zenepe Luka on
10 May, whose house was subsequently bombed by unknown
persons (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 May 1998). He is also
accused of obstructing the police during a clash between his
supporters and police at a roadblock in Milot in mid-
February (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 February 1998) and
slandering former Interior Minister Neritan Ceka and current
Secret Service chief Fatos Klosi. The parliament lifted
Hajdari's immunity in March 1998 and will soon decide
whether to press formal charges against him, "Koha Jone"
reported. FS

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT IN CANADA. Emil Constantinescu has met
with Canadian Governor General Romeo Leblanc and Prime
Minister Jean Chretien at the beginning of a six-day visit,
an RFE/RL correspondent in Ottawa reported on 25 May. Among
the main issues discussed were Canadian support for
Romania's bid to join NATO and financing a second Canadian-
built nuclear reactor at the Cernavoda plant on the River
Danube. Constantinescu announced after the talks that at
Canada's urging, Italy will purchase surplus electricity
from Romania, which, he said, will help finance the second
Cernavoda reactor. MS

ROMANIAN PREMIER IN TURKEY. Speaking in Istanbul on 25 May,
Radu Vasile thanked Ankara for its efforts to promote
Romania's entry into NATO, the "Turkish Daily News"
reported. Vasile met with his Turkish counterpart, Mesut
Yilmaz, and President Suleyman Demirel to discuss bilateral
trade and the various plans for the transit of Caspian Sea
oil. Yilmaz noted that the two countries "will be key
players in the economic development, peace, and stability of
the region." MS/PB

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT ON NEW CABINET PRIORITIES. Petru
Lucinschi on 25 May said the first priority of Ion Ciubuc's
new cabinet must be to complete the transition to a market
economy, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. Lucinschi said
the pace of the reform was "unsatisfactory" and that annual
GDP growth must reach 5 percent, which, he said, can be
achieved only by "doing away with the underground [gray]
economy." He added that taxes must be reduced in order to
encourage investments and create new jobs. MS

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS OPPOSITION MOTION. Lawmakers on
22 May rejected a Socialist Party motion criticizing the
government for its economic policies. They approved a
resolution saying that the cabinet has "successfully
fulfilled" its economic program and recommending that the
government speed up privatization and land restitution. In
other news, Bulgaria has said it will peg its currency to
the euro when it is launched on 1 January. MS

END NOTE

HUNGARY'S POLITICAL ELITE TO FACE MAJOR CHALLENGES

by George Schopflin

	The outcome of the second round of the Hungarian
elections poses major challenges for the country's political
elite. The victory of the center and right was clear, but
not overwhelming, hence the new coalition's mandate will be
predominantly for moderation. Evidently, Hungarian society
wanted a change from the previous coalition of the former
communist Socialist Party (MSZP) and the liberal Free
Democrats.
	The outgoing coalition was punished for a number of
related reasons. In the first place, the 1994 coalition came
to power on the promise of professionalism and moderation,
as well as greater economic sophistication than its
predecessor had offered. While the Hungarian economy is
beginning to pick up, the MSZP behaved with a degree of
arrogance and corruption that cannot have endeared it to
voters. Furthermore, the economic transformation process has
had its losers, many of whom might have supported the new
government if they themselves had experienced a different
fate.
	The new coalition is currently being formed, but its
outlines are clear. FIDESZ, the Young Democrats, gained 41
percent of the vote in alliance with the remnants of the
Hungarian Democratic Forum, the dominant party in the 1990-
1994 government. FIDESZ will negotiate with the
Smallholders, the agrarian radicals, with whom it will have
about 54 percent of the seats in the parliament. The
preconditions of such a coalition were established during
the election, when FIDESZ and the Smallholders withdrew
candidates in favor of the other.
	The new government faces a number of difficulties, the
most important of which is defining its philosophy: What are
the principles of moderate conservatism in Hungary (and
elsewhere in the post-communist world) when much of the past
that a conservative seeks to conserve is a communist past?
Without a clear answer to that question, post-communist
conservatives run the risk of being held to ransom by
populist and nationalist right radicals. This danger is all
the more serious because the Smallholders are prone to use
right-radical rhetoric and because the extreme right, the
Hungarian Justice and Life Party (MIEP), has also entered
the new parliament.
	The new coalition also faces the problem of its
inexperience in government. The running of a bureaucracy
requires skills of organization and management as well as
knowledge of what can and cannot be expected of an
administration. It is crucial that politicians learn that
there is always a gap between a political decision and its
execution. This is not the result of antagonism on the part
of the bureaucracy but, more probably, of administrative
inefficiency.
	The problem of the cohesiveness of the coalition and
the degree of administrative inefficiency will be central to
the success or failure of the new government. The pivotal
challenge facing Hungary over the next four years is
negotiation for accession to the EU. This will demand both
high levels of political will and state capacity. As far as
the latter is concerned, Hungary (together with the other
first-wave states) will have to absorb the "acquis
comunautaire," the entire legal regulation of the EU. This
is currently estimated to be 35,000 pages in length and is
still growing. Legislative, administrative, and judicial
capacity will all be stretched to ensure successful
implementation of the "acquis," without which membership is
impossible.
	Another problem facing the Hungarian political
establishment is that left and right behave as if the other
had no genuine claim to power, as if the voters were
mistaken in returning the other to power. No party in a
democracy enjoys losing power, but the loss of power does
not normally lead to major collapse. In the present context,
the relatively inexperienced center-right government needs
the toleration of the opposition or, at any rate,
recognition by the elites that dominate the public sphere
(press, electronic media) that the center-right has genuine
democratic credentials.
	It is very much an open question whether the dominant
opinion-forming elite will accept the new coalition on these
terms: after all, it was absolutely unwilling to accept the
democratic legitimacy of the 1990-1994 government. Arguably,
it thereby contributed toward its radicalization and thus
became the victim of a self-fulfilling prophecy. This
dominant elite regards the center-left as the sole guarantor
of democracy and tolerance and consequently has found it
extremely painful to live with the democratic choice of the
majority.
	The problem for Hungary is that without the support of
the opinion-forming elites, the new government will
certainly feel isolated. It will undoubtedly need a higher
degree of backing than its predecessor received, both to
sustain its self-legitimacy and to enable the process of
negotiating with the EU to continue.

The author is Jean Monnet Professor of Political Science and
director of the Centre for the Study of Nationalism at the
School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University of
London.

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