Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends. - Benjamin Disraeli 1804-1881
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 122 Part II, 26 June 1998


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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 122 Part II, 26 June 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

* FORMER POLISH POLICE CHIEF MURDERED IN WARSAW

* HOLBROOKE RETURNS TO KOSOVA

* NANO WARNS OF 'ANOTHER BOSNIA IN TWO WEEKS'

End Note: A NEW NATIONAL SOCIALIST THREAT
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT PRAISES RELATIONS WITH POLAND. Leonid
Kuchma said on 25 June that ties between Kyiv and Warsaw are
"very good" and that his regular meetings with Polish
President Aleksander Kwasniewski relieve any tension in the
relations, ITAR-TASS reported. Kuchma was speaking in Kyiv
on the eve of a two-day visit by Kwasniewski to Ukraine. The
presidents are to hold talks in Kharkov. Polish business
leaders are accompanying their president. PB

KUCHMA'S GOOD NEWS (AND BAD NEWS) ON THE ECONOMY. President
Kuchma said on 25 June that although Ukraine's GDP and
industrial production have increased, the economy is in a
"very difficult" situation, ITAR-TASS reported. Kuchma said
that the dismal performance of the stock market is also
worrisome. He added that his country must continue to borrow
money from foreign lenders, saying that without loans from
the IMF "Ukraine will be financially blockaded." PB

BOMB THREAT DURING SUPREME COUNCIL SESSION. A bomb threat on
25 June disrupted the Ukrainian parliament shortly after it
failed for the 15th time to elect a speaker, the "Eastern
Economist" reported. The parliament was searched but no bomb
was found and the session was continued behind closed doors.
Oleksander Moroz received the most votes in the latest
failed vote, which has caused a parliamentary crisis and led
President Kuchma to issue decrees in an attempt to heal the
economy. Kuchma dismissed rumors that he would dissolve the
parliament and call new elections in an effort to break the
deadlock. He said new elections would not be politically or
economically "expedient" and that he is confident the
Supreme Council will elect a speaker soon. PB

LUKASHENKA CALLS DIPLOMATIC EXODUS "PROVOCATION." Belarusian
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on 25 June that the
flight of ambassadors from Minsk over a housing dispute was
a "provocation," Reuters reported. He said Western states
had taken "a household issue and turned it into an
international problem." Russian Communist Party leader
Gennadii Zyuganov echoed Lukashenka saying that the dispute
was an attempt to break up the Belarus-Russian union. The
Bulgarian Ambassador to Belarus, Marko Ganchev, called
Belarus "a complete anachronism" before he left Minsk for
consultations in Sofia. He said "after the USSR exploded,
Belarus was a piece of shrapnel where the Soviet idea
survived." Lukashenka arrived in Switzerland on 26 June for
the Crans-Montana international economic forum, where he is
to give a report titled: "The East and West of Europe: Joint
Strategy of Security and Economic Interaction." PB

U.S. FIRST LADY SUPPORTS HUMAN RIGHTS IN BELARUS. Hillary
Clinton, the wife of the U.S. president, sent a letter of
support to the wives and mothers of men in detention in
Belarus allegedly for their opposition to the Belarusian
government, Belapan reported on 25 June. Clinton said she is
concerned by "the worsening human rights situation in
Belarus." She added that the women are not alone and that
Washington supports their cause of defending human rights.
PB

LITHUANIA: NATO, GOOD TIES WITH NEIGHBORS "COMPATIBLE."
Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus told the officers of his
country's army on 25 June that expanded ties with NATO and
good relations with neighboring countries are "compatible"
goals, both ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported. Saying that
further military reform was necessary, Adamkus called for
expanded cooperation with Estonia and Latvia in the Baltbat
peacekeeping battalion and with Poland in the Litpolbat
equivalent. And he said that Lithuania's inclusion in the
European Union will help to create the "psychological
preconditions for security." A majority of Lithuanians -- 51
percent -- support their country's effort to join NATO,
according to the results of a poll published in the Vilnius
newspaper "Lietuvos Rytas" on 24 June. Some 25 percent said
they were against NATO membership, while 24 percent did not
give an opinion. PG

LATVIAN PRESIDENT SAYS GREATEST THREATS ARE INTERNAL.
President Guntis Ulmanis told the World Latvian Officers
Convention on 25 June that Latvia has no foreign enemies at
present, BNS reported. But he indicated that the country
does face threats from internal tensions arising from
political divisions, national extremism and ethnic
conflicts. The Latvian president also said that Riga would
have to boost expenditures on the military further if it
wanted to cooperate with neighboring states. Earlier this
year, the Latvian parliament raised defense spending from
0.67 percent this year to 1 percent of GDP in 1999. PG

RIGA WORRIED THAT RUSSIA MAY REVOKE MFN FOR LATVIA. Latvian
Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs told BNS on 25 June that
Russian Foreign Minister Yevgenii Primakov had indicated
that Moscow was considering the revocation of most favored
nation status for Latvia. Primakov made these comments
without elaboration at the Council of Baltic Sea States
meeting in Denmark. PG

FORMER POLISH POLICE CHIEF MURDERED IN WARSAW. The former
head of Poland's police force, Marek Papala, was shot dead
on 25 June, an RFE/RL correspondent in Warsaw reported.
Papala resigned as head of the police earlier this year.
Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek said a special commission
will investigate the murder, which is suspected of being in
retaliation for Papala's work in combatting organized crime.
PB

POLAND WILLING TO INTRODUCE VISAS FOR "EASTERNERS." Wojciech
Brochwicz, a deputy interior minister, said on 25 June that
Warsaw would impose a visa regime for citizens of Eastern
countries if the European Union made such a request, AP
reported. Brochwicz, returning to Warsaw from an EU
conference on border issues, said it was not possible to set
a date for the imposition of visas on its Eastern neighbors.
Poland instituted a controversial visa regime on Russians
and Belarussians in December that was later eased. Ukraine
has a visa-free agreement with Ukraine. PB

CZECH COALITION TALKS TO CONTINUE NEXT WEEK. Social
Democratic Party (CSSD) leader Milos Zeman met on 25 June
with Josef Lux, chairman of the Christian Democratic Party
(KDU-CSL) and with Freedom Union chairman Jan Ruml to
discuss the prospects of setting up a CSSD-led coalition.
Lux said after the meeting that his party is ready to join
such a coalition if the Freedom Union also joins, and that
if the coalition came about, the KDU-CSL would defend "right
wing values" within it. He also said he does not foresee any
disagreements on foreign policy. Ruml, however, said that
"at this stage" the position of his party against joining
the a CSSD-led cabinet "remains unchanged" but that "nothing
bars us from meeting again next week." Zeman later informed
President Vaclav Havel on the talks and said Havel would
"use his influence" in talks with Lux and Ruml, CTK
reported. MS

ORBAN SUBMITS CABINET LIST. Prime Minister-designate Viktor
Orban, chairman of the Federation of Young Democrats-
Hungarian Civic Party (FIDESZ-MPP) on 25 June submitted the
list of his FIDESZ-Independent Smallholders'-Democratic
Forum cabinet to Janos Ader, the new chairman of the
parliament. The Smallholders' hold four portfolios in the
17-ministry cabinet, among which are agriculture and
provincial development (Jozsef Torgyan) and defense (Janos
Szabo). Janos Martonyi of FIDESZ is the new Foreign
Minister. Other FIDESZ key appointments include Sandor
Pinter as Interior Minister and Laszlo Kover as minister
without portfolio responsible for civil security services.
Democratic Forum member David Ibolya is justice minister.
The appointees need to be screened by the National Security
Office. Ader said the Prime Minister may be sworn in on 6
July and the cabinet on 8 July. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

HOLBROOKE RETURNS TO KOSOVA... Richard Holbrooke, the U.S.
ambassador-designate to the UN, arrived in Prishtina on 26
June for meetings with Parliamentary Party leader Adem
Demaci, who openly supports the Kosova Liberation Army
(UCK). Holbrooke will then hold his second meeting this week
with shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 24 and 25 June, 1998). The diplomat arrived in
Prishtina from Belgrade, where he met with Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic the previous day. Holbrooke did
not provide information on those talks when questioned by
reporters. Elsewhere, Reuters noted that fighting is taking
place in "virtually every direction" from Prishtina and that
the UCK captured a mine within sight of the capital. The
mine provides the coal for the city's power plant. The
Kosovar KIC news agency wrote that Serbian police armed
Serbian and Romany civilians just north of the capital on
the road to Mitrovica. PM

...WHILE U.S. DEFENDS POLICY. State Department spokesman
James Rubin said in Washington on 25 June that Holbrooke's
shuttle diplomacy constitutes a "virtual negotiation" aimed
at defusing the crisis in Kosova. Rubin cited Holbrooke as
saying that the lesson of the negotiations that produced the
1995 Dayton agreement is that "discussions [should take]
place separately, [as a] kind of proximity discussions, and
not face-to-face discussions." The spokesman added that the
U.S. and other Western countries plan to send a monitoring
mission to Kosova to help prevent the "situation from
spinning out of control." Rubin said that Milosevic bears
the bulk of responsibility for the crisis and defended
Holbrooke's decision to meet with representatives of the
UCK, the VOA noted (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 June 1998). PM

HOLBROOKE TO BRING KOSOVAR FACTIONS TOGETHER? RFE/RL's
correspondent reported from Tirana on 26 June that the
Holbrooke-UCK meeting is widely seen there as part of a U.S.
strategy aimed at persuading the guerrillas to submit to the
political control of the civilian leadership headed by
Rugova. Fehmi Agani, a senior advisor to Rugova, was also
present at Holbrooke's session with the UCK representatives.
Meanwhile in Bonn, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl and Foreign
Minister Klaus Kinkel urged Rugova on 25 June to establish
control over the UCK, to which Rugova replied that he is
"working on it," the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" wrote.
Kinkel told Rugova to drop "any illusions" that Kosova will
become independent or that "NATO will launch air strikes
tomorrow." FS/PM

NANO WARNS OF 'ANOTHER BOSNIA IN TWO WEEKS.' Albanian Prime
Minister Fatos Nano told the "International Herald Tribune"
of 26 June that there must be air strikes "to stop the
Serbs" within two weeks if a new Bosnian-type conflict is to
be avoided, "with all the consequences that could bring for
Western Europe." Nano said that Albania, Greece and
Macedonia have created "a good partnership" to help contain
the conflict, but also that all Europe stands to lose if
Kosova becomes "Lebanonized" and waves of refugees leave the
province. Nano said that Milosevic will not stop the
conflict because he "is fighting for his personal power in
Serbia." NATO must stop the functioning of his "war
machine," on which he is spending $1.7 million daily, the
prime minister concluded. PM

MORE KOSOVAR REFUGEES ARRIVE IN ALBANIA... Two groups of
between 20 and 30 refugees each arrived in Bajram Curri on
25 June after a recent drop in the refugee flow (see "RFE/RL
Newsline" 22 June). The refugees, who are mainly women,
children and old men, abandoned their homes in villages
around Gjakova last week. In recent days, fewer than a dozen
refugees have arrived per day in Albania, according to the
office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. A
UNHCR official told Reuters in Bajram Curri on 25 June that
"the Serbs have stepped up monitoring of the border area and
increased troop numbers." A spokesman for the Albanian Labor
and Social Affairs ministry added that there is no food
shortage and that Bajram Curri's food market is well stocked
although the recent jump in population had pushed up prices.
FS

...WHILE GUNMEN ATTACK HUMANITARIAN ORGANIZATIONS. In two
separate incidents on 25 June, gunmen in Tropoja shot at
officials of humanitarian aid organizations and the Kosovar
Health Ministry. In one incident, unidentified gunmen fired
shots at a car containing the Kosovar shadow state's
representative in Bajram Curri and a doctor who was
inspecting facilities in the region on behalf of the Kosovar
Health Ministry. The doctor was hit by a bullet but will
survive, "Koha Jone" reported. In another incident,
unidentified gunmen fired at a car with Christian
missionaries delivering humanitarian relief to the local
branch of Caritas. Nobody was injured in the incident,
"Gazeta Shqiptare" reported. Meanwhile, Taulant Dedja, who
is the government's refugee coordinator, asked the anti-
corruption agency to make sure that humanitarian aid
deliveries are not pilfered. FS

ARGENTINA TO ARREST SAKIC'S WIFE. Victor Ramos, who heads
the Argentine government's anti-racism unit, said in
Jerusalem on 25 June that the Simon Wiesenthal Centre has
given him documentary evidence "that is very serious" about
Nada (Esperanza) Sakic. Ramos added that he "will follow
President Carlos Menem's directives, which are that any war
criminal discovered in our country must be brought to
trial," Reuters reported. Nada is the wife of Dinko Sakic,
whom Argentina recently extradited to Croatia to face war
crimes charges stemming from his role as commander of the
Jasenovac concentration camp during World War II (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 19 June 1998). Nada Sakic was commander
at a women's camp at the same time. Tens of thousands of
Jews, Serbs, Roma, and opposition Croats perished in the
camps. PM

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES LAW ON ACCESS TO SECURITATE
FILES... The Senate on 25 June approved with a vote of 109-7
a law making possible access to the files of the former
secret police, provided this "does not affect national
security." The law is yet to be approved by the Chamber of
Deputies. Senator Constantin Ticu-Dumitrescu withdrew his
sponsorship of the law in protest against the amendments
made to his draft. The law sets up a National Council for
the Study of the Archives of the Former Securitate, but
leaves the files with the Romanian Intelligence Service, the
Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Justice. The council
can request information from these bodies but cannot store
the files itself. MS

... AS MORE INFORMERS COME OUT OF CLOSET. Deputy Viorica
Frasinie of the opposition Party of Social Democracy in
Romania, and the chairman of the Brasov local branch of the
Romanian Alternative Party (a member of the ruling
coalition) both admitted on 25 June to having been informers
of the former secret police. National Liberal Party (PNL)
Deputy Chairman Viorel Catarama said he would not comply
with the decision of his party to submit in writing a
declaration of non-collaboration with the Securitate,
because he has "already made a public statement last year"
denying any collaboration. Reacting to the statement, PNL
First Vice Chairman Valeriu Stoica said Catarama might face
sanctions. Meanwhile, all but two out of 26 ministers
complied with the decision of premier Radu Vasile and
submitted written declarations on their record of links with
the Securitate. The two ministers who did not do so are
abroad. MS

TENSION IN ROMANIAN-HUNGARIAN RELATIONS. The Defense
Ministry on 25 June said it was "puzzled" by a commentary on
Hungarian state radio which said that military maneuvers
underway in the Harghita and Covasna counties, the bulk of
whose population is Hungarian ethnic, is aimed at
"intimidating the local population." The ministry denied
that Hungarian journalists were not allowed to observe the
maneuvers. The Vasile cabinet on 25 June went ahead with its
earlier decision to establish a commission evaluating the
possibility of setting up a Hungarian-language state
university. The leadership of the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania said it is satisfied with the decision
and is no longer contemplating leaving the ruling coalition.
The government also decided to return to ethnic minority
organizations 17 buildings that had been confiscated by the
communists, eight of which will be returned to the Hungarian
minority. MS

PACE ENDS MONITORING OF ROMANIA. Gunnar Janson, special
rapporteur for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe, on 25 June officially announced the ending of
Romania's monitoring on the Assembly's "special list." On
the same day, however, the parliament again failed to
eliminate from the Penal Code the provision making
homosexual relations a punishable offense. Many of the
deputies representing the ruling coalition spoke against the
elimination of Article 200, which was one of the reasons for
the assembly's monitoring of Romania. The debate is to
continue next week. MS

TURKISH PRESIDENT IN MOLDOVA. Suleyman Demirel, beginning a
two-day visit to Moldova, on 25 June discussed bilateral
relations and economic cooperation with his host, President
Petru Lucinschi, RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. They
also signed an accord on avoiding double taxation and an
agreement between the two countries' health ministries.
Demirel thanked his hosts for the way Moldova has solved the
problem of Gagauz minority autonomy, saying that the Gagauz
population is "a bridge" in the two countries' friendship.
Demirel announced Turkey has agreed to grant Moldova a $35
million credit to be used "at its discretion" but that $15
million is to be used in improving the water supply system
in southern Moldova, in the Gagauz Yeri autonomy area.
Demirel is visiting the autonomous region on 26 June. MS

BULGARIA APPROVES ALTERNATIVE MILITARY SERVICE. The
Bulgarian parliament on 25 June approved a bill providing
for alternative military service, BTA reported. The length
of that service was set at 18 months for university
graduates and two years for other conscripts. The bill
allows alternative service on conscience grounds, and says
conscripts opting for this service enjoy the same rights and
have the same obligations as regular conscripts. MS

END NOTE

A NEW NATIONAL SOCIALIST THREAT

by Paul Goble

	The same social problems that powered the rise of
national socialism in Germany in the 1930s have emerged in
many post-communist countries and now threaten their
transitions to democracy and the free market. Across this
region, a variety of sources suggest, all too many people
feel a sense of national humiliation and want to find a
scapegoat. They feel threatened by economic dislocations
that have allowed some to become fabulously wealthy while
leaving others more impoverished than ever before.
And they feel that they need a single ruthless leader rather
than a fractious parliament to lead them out of their
difficulties.
	Despite these obvious parallels and the appearance of
a small number of explicitly neo-nazi fringe groups in
several of the countries of this region, most people both
there and beyond have assumed that the post-communist states
are somehow immune to such a development precisely because
of their own experience with and struggle against Nazi
Germany a half century ago. But that may be changing. On 22
June, Russian President Boris Yeltsin warned that Nazi-like
extremism now threatened his country and called on everyone
to recognize just how dangerous it is.
	Speaking on the 57th anniversary of the Nazi invasion
of the Soviet Union, the Russian leader said that "those
obsessed with the ideas of national supremacy and anti-
semitism should ask themselves whether they realize what
they are doing." And noting that Russia "saved the world
from Nazism half a century ago," Yeltsin himself asked "Will
Russians allow the most fearful ideology ever known to
mankind to take root on our soil?"
	Some observers have concluded that Yeltsin's words,
coming on the eve of his announcement of a new anti-crisis
program, are simply intended to frighten the West into
providing his government with more aid. After all, no one in
the West would want to see Yeltsin supplanted by a fascist
dictatorship if sending more financial assistance alone
could prevent that from happening. Other reporters have
suggested that Yeltsin was only talking about those small
groups in Russian society that openly flaunt Nazi symbols
like the swastika or that have attacked synagogues and non-
Russians in the Russian Federation. Such groups, various
human rights organizations have concluded, now number only
about 4,000 people in Moscow itself.
	But regardless of Yeltsin's exact intention, his words
seem likely to have the effect of calling attention to a
broader set of problems not only in the Russian Federation
but in other post-communist states as well. And such
attention has the effect of highlighting both the reasons
that there is a new national socialist threat in these
countries and also why it may not come to pass.
	On the one hand, virtually all these countries are
suffering from the traumas of transition. And because they
still have little experience with the tensions inherent in
democratic politics and free market economies, some in their
populations are increasingly susceptible to the appeals of
those who would combine a nationalist message of revenge
with a socialist set of promises for economic security.
	Sometimes this combination is dismissed as the "red-
brown coalition, the coalition between the old communist
nomenklatura and the new nationalists found in many
parliaments and some executive offices. But often it is more
subtle and affects the styles and messages of otherwise
democratic leaders. And the fact that such messages are
being delivered by otherwise mainstream leaders has the
effect of opening the door to ever more extreme groups.
	But on the other hand, none of these countries yet has
the one element that linked these two sets of ideas together
in a way that tore apart the political fabric in Western
Europe in the pre-World War II period. That element is the
presence of a single charismatic leader who can convince
people that he and he alone can lead them out of their
current difficulties. If there is no such leader yet in
power in any of these countries, there are several obvious
candidates for the job in many of them.
	Yeltsin's warning by itself will not prevent them from
seeking such positions. But it may make everyone involved
more sensitive to the dangers their rise would inevitably
entail.

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