Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 199, Part II, 14 October 1998


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 199, Part II, 14 October 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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* BRITONS TO NEED VISAS IN SLOVAKIA

* MILOSEVIC PRAISES AGREEMENT

* SERBIAN INDEPENDENT MEDIA CALL FOR HELP
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

PUSTOVOYTENKO SAYS CABINET DEALT WITH CRISIS
'PROFESSIONALLY'... Ukrainian Prime Minister Valeriy
Pustovoytenko delivered to the Supreme Council on 13
October a report on his government's activities during
the first nine months of this year, Ukrainian Television
reported. He said that the cabinet "professionally"
overcame "the first wave" of the financial crisis but
admitted that "stabilization processes" in Ukraine have
not acquired an "irreversible character." Pustovoytenko
stressed that the government's main task is to tackle
social problems, including the indexation of incomes,
increasing the minimum wage, and paying wage arrears. He
acknowledged that the government has been unable to
prevent the volume of unpaid wages and social benefits
from increasing. As of 1 October, the state budget owed
3.2 billion hryvni ($935 million) in back wages. JM

...APPEALS TO PARLIAMENT TO ADOPT REALISTIC 1999 BUDGET.
Pustovoytenko also said that the 1999 budget draft may
be Ukraine's last chance to overcome "financial
instability," Reuters reported. The cabinet is currently
working on that document. "The budget must not be based
on emotion and simple wishes, but on financial reality,"
the agency quoted him as saying. He warned that "an
unrealistic budget with an unreasonable deficit" may
lead to a full-blown financial crisis. The government is
expected to draft a budget that provides for a deficit
of 0.6 percent of GDP. JM

UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT SURVIVES VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE.
Following Pustovoytenko's report, the Supreme Council
voted on a motion of no confidence in the government,
proposed by the Communist, Socialist, and Hromada
caucuses (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 October 1998). The
motion, which need 226 votes to pass, was supported by
203 deputies with 108 against and 66 abstentions,
Interfax reported on 13 October. Parliamentary speaker
Oleksandr Tkachenko commented that changing the
government will not improve the current situation.
"Governments change, while people live worse and worse,"
Ukrainian News quoted him as saying. Pustovoytenko's
cabinet is Ukraine's seventh government since the
country gained independence in 1991. JM

LUKASHENKA BLASTS ROMANIA, BULGARIA FOR VIOLATING
'SLAVIC UNITY'... Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka said he was shocked by the decision of
Romania and Bulgaria to allow NATO to use their airspace
in case of military action in the Kosova conflict,
Reuters reported on 13 October, citing Interfax.
Lukashenka said those countries are "taking part in
crimes being prepared in the Balkans" and violating
"Slavic [sic] unity." "How low do such leaders have to
stoop, humiliating their own people? We are talking
about our sacred Slavic unity. It has been betrayed and
crushed," he commented. He added that the leaders of
these countries are exposing their people to the risk of
Yugoslav retaliation, arguing that the Yugoslavs would
not distinguish between who provided air space and who
carried out the bombing. JM

...OPPOSES SENDING BELARUSIAN VOLUNTEERS TO YUGOSLAVIA.
Lukashenka also said he opposes sending Belarusian
volunteers to fight against NATO in a possible military
conflict in Yugoslavia. Citing a source from within the
pro-Lukashenka Liberal Democratic Party, Belapan
reported on 12 October that some 200 Belarusian
volunteers have expressed their readiness to fight on
the side of Yugoslavia in the event of hostilities.
Lukashenka stressed that the Belarusian Constitution
bans Belarusians from participating in military actions
abroad. At the same time, he commented that "if some
people go to Yugoslavia, it will be impossible for me to
stop them. As a statesman and a president I will fight
for Yugoslavia using my own methods," he told Interfax.
JM

LUKASHENKA'S POPULARITY GROWS. A poll carried out last
month showed that 55 percent of Belarusians would vote
for Lukashenka if elections were held today, RFE/RL's
Belarusian Service reported on 13 October. Last
December, Lukashenka had 44 percent backing. The poll
also showed that 60 percent of the respondents oppose
the Belarusian-Russian Union and favor Belarus as an
independent and neutral state. The Institute of
Socioeconomic and Political Studies, which carried out
the poll, believes that many Belarusians thus
demonstrate their lack of confidence in Russia's liberal
reform model. JM

ESTONIA'S PEOPLE'S PARTY OFFICIALLY CEASES COOPERATION
WITH COALITION. Indrek Kannik, secretary-general of the
People's Party, has announced that his party is
officially breaking the cooperation agreement with the
ruling coalition, ETA reported on 13 October. That move
comes after party leader Toomas Hendrik Ilves submitted
his resignation as foreign minister (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 30 September 1998). Unofficially, however,
the party had broken the agreement shortly after it was
signed in April. That same month, the People's Party
called for the resignation of Environment Minister Villu
Reiljan on corruption charges, which in turn prompted
demands by the rural parties that Ilves should step down
as foreign minister. JC

STILL NO BREAKTHROUGH IN LATVIAN COALITION TALKS. The
four political parties that won the most votes in the
recent general elections met on 13 October but failed to
form a coalition government, Reuters reported . It was
the first time since the 3 October ballot that the
People's Party, which won the elections, was included in
direct negotiations. Latvia's Way chairman Andrejs
Pantelejevs told journalists that he expects talks to
continue between his party, Latvia's Way, the Fatherland
and Freedom party, and the New Party on 19 October.
Latvia's Way continues to insist that Transport Minister
Vilis Kristopans be the new premier. The People's Party
wants its leader, Andris Skele, to take over that post
and has said agreement must be reached on the principles
of a coalition before personnel questions can be
decided. JC

COALITION AGREEMENT IN POLAND TO BE RENEGOTIATED?
Following the 11 October local elections, the coalition
Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS) and Freedom Union (UW)
want to renegotiate their coalition agreement, "Zycie
Warszawy" reported on 14 October. AWS leader Marian
Krzaklewski said his party may grant some provincial
governor posts to the UW on condition that the union
give up some posts in the cabinet in favor of the AWS.
According to the daily, Krzaklewski's statement sparked
indignation among AWS members who believe that the UW's
poor performance in the elections does not give it the
right to nominate provincial governors. According to the
AWS election staff cited by "Zycie" on 14 October, the
AWS won a majority of seats in five of Poland's 16
provincial capitals and may rule jointly with the UW or
right-wing parties in another five. JM

CZECH REPUBLIC MAY GRANT DUAL CITIZENSHIP TO SLOVAKS...
Czech government officials have decided that a new
interpretation of a law could allow some 60,000 people
with Slovak citizenship to gain Czech citizenship as
well, the daily "Mlada fronta Dnes" reported on 14
October. Deputy Premier Pavel Rychetsky said that the
basis for the new interpretation was a ruling by the
Czech Constitutional Court last year that granted Czech
citizenship to current Human Rights Commissioner Petr
Uhl--who had chosen Slovak citizenship when
Czechoslovakia split five years ago. Rychetsky said
civil servants will be asked by the government to stop
ruling that someone loses Czech citizenship if he/she
becomes a Slovak citizen. PB

...BUT REIMPOSE VISAS ON EASTERN COUNTRIES. After a
Moldovan Airlines plane carrying more than 100 illegal
aliens landed in Prague on 12 October, Czech Prime
Minister Milos Zeman said that the Czech Republic may
reinstate visa requirements for Moldovans and some other
east European nationals, CTK reported. Moldovan
government spokesman Stefan Culea said the refugees are
Soviet veterans of war in Afghanistan. Culea said some
are Moldovan and the rest mostly Russians and
Ukrainians. They requested asylum and were taken to a
refugee camp in Moravia. The Czech Interior Ministry
said it is preparing a list of countries that may have a
visa regime imposed on them in the near future. PB

BRITONS TO NEED VISAS IN SLOVAKIA. The Slovak government
announced on 13 October that a visa requirement will be
reimposed on British nationals effective 15 October, AFP
reported. A Slovak government spokesman said the U.K.,
which reintroduced a visa regime for Slovaks last week
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 October 1998), is
"discriminating" against Slovakia and treating it "like
a developing country." The measure was adopted by the
government of Premier Vladimir Meciar, who is expected
to resign on 29 October. PB

EU OFFICIAL OPTIMISTIC ON SLOVAKIA'S PROMOTION TO FIRST
GROUP. Branislav Slysko, a spokesman for the European
Commission in Bratislava, said on 13 October that he is
optimistic that Slovakia can soon join the group of
"fast track" nations being considered for EU membership,
Reuters reported. Slysko said if Slovakia does not join
Estonia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Cyprus
by December, then he believes it is likely it might join
that group by next year. PB

VOJVODINA HUNGARIANS WORRY ABOUT SERBIAN REPRISALS.
Jozsef Kasza, chairman of the Federation of Hungarians
in Vojvodina, told Foreign Ministry state secretary
Zsolt Nemeth on 13 October that ethnic Hungarians in the
Serbian province expect Budapest to refrain from lending
logistical support to NATO if the alliance intervenes in
Yugoslavia. He said there are growing indications that
in the event of NATO intervention, minorities in
Vojvodina could become the target of reprisals by
Serbian extremist forces. At a joint session of the
Hungarian parliament's defense and foreign affairs
committees, representatives of the nationalist Hungarian
Justice and Life Party voted against allowing NATO to
use Hungarian airspace, while the Hungarian Democratic
Forum abstained. The final decision is to be taken by
the parliament on 14 October. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

MILOSEVIC PRAISES AGREEMENT. Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic said on Serbian Television on 13 October that
his agreement on Kosova with U.S. special envoy Richard
Holbrooke eliminates the danger of NATO military
intervention against Serbia (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13
October 1998). He added that the agreement specifies
that the Kosova problem will be solved peacefully and
through political means. Milosevic stressed that the
agreement is in the interests of Serbia and its
citizens. In Prishtina, Milosevic-appointed provincial
governor Veljko Odalovic said, "We expect that in the
end it will lead us into reaching a peaceful
solution.... Let's hope that the life in [the province]
will soon be normalized. We are working hard on that."
PM

GOVERNMENT ADOPTS KOSOVA PROGRAM... The Serbian
government approved an 11-point program on 13 October
for solving the Kosova problem, the BETA news agency
reported. One key provision calls for elections to
executive, legislative, and judicial bodies throughout
the province within nine months. A second point is that
self-rule will function primarily at the local level.
Local government bodies will control the police, the
ethnic composition of which will reflect that of the
community in question. The Kosova central government
will "coordinate" the work of the local police units,
which must "give full protection to all citizens and
national groups." A third provision says that no one
will face legal measures on account of the recent
conflict in Kosova except for individuals who committed
"crimes against humanity and international law." PM

...AND TIME-TABLE. The Serbian government also approved
on 13 October a time-table for dealing with some key
elements of the Kosova question. The schedule sets 19
October as the deadline for signing agreements with the
"OSCE and other elements"--which presumably means NATO--
on verification of Serbian compliance with the
Milosevic-Holbrooke pact. The deadline is 2 November for
reaching an agreement with the Kosovars on the "basic
elements for a political solution...[based on] the
Contact Group's proposal of 2 October." By 9 November,
rules governing the coming elections must be ready. PM

LITTLE ENTHUSIASM AMONG ALBANIANS. Many Kosovars are
disappointed that NATO has not carried out air strikes
against Serbian military targets and are skeptical about
the Milosevic-Holbrooke agreement, CNN reported from
Prishtina on 14 October. Adem Demaci, the main spokesman
for the Kosova Liberation Army, said the previous day
that the Serbian authorities must meet certain
preconditions before talks can begin, RFE/RL's South
Slavic Service reported. Those preconditions include
freeing detainees, the return of refugees, compensation
to civilians for damage to their property, and starting
legal proceedings against those who committed
atrocities. Demaci also called on Kosovars to form a
"government of national salvation" as quickly as
possible. In Tirana, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said
that the agreement "seems to increase the possibility
for a political solution," but he added that "Belgrade
has never kept its promises in the past." PM

WEST WARNS MILOSEVIC. The international Contact Group
will meet in Paris on 15 October, Reuters reported the
previous day. In Washington, a State Department
spokesman said on 13 October that the Serbian
authorities must demonstrate "substantial and credible
compliance" by 18 October. "We will know it when we see
it," he added. National Security Adviser Sandy Berger
said that the 2,000-strong unarmed Verification Mission
will be able to operate inside Kosova without fear of
intimidation or being taken hostage. "I think 2,000
people there can determine what's going on. And if there
is systematic non-compliance, I think they can report
that to NATO," he added. In London, Foreign Secretary
Robin Cook told BBC television the next day that "we are
watching.... [The agreement] is not an end, it is a
beginning." PM

SERBIA SHUTS DOWN DAILIES. Officials of the Serbian
Information Ministry served a banning order to the
independent Belgrade dailies "Danas" and "Dnevni
telegraf" on 13 October. Spokesmen for the independent
media said that the capital's other main non-government
daily, "Nasa Borba," expects to receive banning orders
soon. Banned newspapers may not resume publication as
long as the government's recent decree against the
independent media for spreading "fear, panic, and
defeatism" remains in force (see "RFE/RL Bosnia Report,"
14 October 1998). Among the offending articles cited by
the Information Ministry in its banning order were items
reprinted or summarized from the "Washington Post" and
"Die Welt." PM

SERBIAN INDEPENDENT MEDIA CALL FOR HELP. Veran Matic,
who is chief editor of Belgrade Radio B-92 and a
spokesman for the independent media, said in Belgrade on
13 October that "it is obvious that Milosevic has
started a cleansing of the independent media, expecting
that the West will again look the other way in return
for the concessions he made" to Holbrooke. Matic's
Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM)
called on the Serbian Constitutional Court to declare
the government's decree unconstitutional. ANEM also
appealed to the international community and foreign
media to protest the Serbian government's actions
against the independent media. PM

VICTORY FOR CROATIAN HARD-LINERS. A parliamentary
committee voted on 13 October to clear a group of hard-
line politicians of charges that they used the army's
intelligence service to spy on their moderate rivals
within the governing Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ)
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 October 1998). Opposition
members of the committee charged that the HDZ members
did not present all the evidence before the opposition
walked out of the session prior to the vote. Opposition
deputies demanded the establishment of a special
investigative commission to look into possible misuse of
the intelligence services by leading politicians,
"starting with the president of the republic," RFE/RL's
South Slavic Service reported. PM

NEW BOSNIAN PRESIDENCY SWORN IN. Muslim Alija
Izetbegovic, Serb Zivko Radisic, and Croat Ante Jelavic
formally took office on 13 October in Sarajevo. Radisic
assumed his post as rotating chair of that body for an
eight-month term, the first time that a Serb has held
that position. He said that "Bosnia and its two entities
have entered a new phase in implementing the Dayton
agreement." Radisic added that, in the presidency's
work, "democracy must prevail over totalitarianism and
tolerance over hate and fear. Every party will promote
its own interests but also respect the interests and
values of the others," RFE/RL's South Slavic Service
reported. PM

ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT TO VOTE ON NATO OVERFLIGHT DECISION.
Romanian President Emil Constantinescu formally
requested on 13 October that the parliament vote on the
government's decision to allow NATO limited access to
the country's air space, Reuters reported. The
government's decision to allow NATO planes into Romanian
air space in case of "emergency" and other "unforeseen
situations" has been criticized for being both too
accommodating toward NATO and too hostile toward the
alliance. A debate and vote on the issue is expected on
14 October. PB

TURKEY SAID TO BE INTERESTED IN ROMANIAN-U.S.
HELICOPTERS. Romanian Prime Minister Radu Vasile said on
13 October that Turkey is interested in buying attack
helicopters to be jointly produced by Romania and the
U.S., AP reported. Romanian state radio said that
Vasile, attending a Balkan conference in Ankara, said
Turkish Defense Ministry officials will arrive in
Bucharest in the next few days to discuss the issue.
Romania tentatively agreed with Bell Textron on a joint
venture that was recently deemed too costly for
Bucharest to complete. A large Turkish purchase--they
are reported to want 120 helicopters--could help salvage
the deal in another form. PB

UN OFFICIAL PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR MOLDOVA. Yves Berthelot,
the executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission,
said in Chisinau on 13 October that the economic reform
efforts by Moldova had been noticed, Basa-press
reported. Berthelot was in the Moldovan capital for a
one-day visit. He met with President Petru Lucinschi,
Premier Ion Ciubac, and Foreign Minister Nicolae
Tabacaru. Lucinschi said Moldova needed the help of
international organizations to "continue implementing
reforms" and to overcome the effects of "Russian
economic turmoil." PB

MOLDOVA CONDEMNS TRANSDNIESTER OFFICIALS FOR FAILING TO
MAKE FORCE CUTS. Gheorghe Carlan, co-chairman of the
Joint Control Commission (JCC) for Moldova, criticized
the leadership of the Transdniester region for failing
to reduce the size of its troops as stipulated by the
Odessa agreements, Basa-press reported on 13 October.
Carlan said after a JCC meeting that it was obvious
Tiraspol would not "contribute to the demilitarization
of the zone as it was agreed in Odessa." PB

BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT SPEAKER DECLINES TO CALL EMERGENCY
SESSION. Yordan Sokolov has turned down a request by the
Socialist Party to convene an emergency session of the
parliament to discuss the government's decision to grant
NATO limited access to Bulgarian air space, Bulgarian
Radio reported on 12 October. Socialist Party leader
Georgi Parvanov had made the request earlier the same
day (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 October 1998). Sokolov
said he will pass on the request to the parliamentary
commissions on foreign policy and national security. He
said a debate on the issue could take place during a
regular session of the parliament on 15 October. PB

BULGARIAN DEFENSE WORKERS TO LOSE JOBS. Bulgaria's
deputy minister for industry, Vladimir Kisyov, said on
13 October that some 4,000 workers at arms companies
will be laid off by the end of this year, BTA reported.
Kisyov said that the restructuring, which will take
place at some 400 weapons-producing and other related
companies, is needed to increase efficiency in the face
of a decrease in demand for Bulgarian weapons. PB

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
               Copyright (c) 1998 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word subscribe as the subject of the message.

HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE
Send an email to newsline-request@list.rferl.org with
the word unsubscribe as the subject of the message.

For subscription problems or inquiries, please email
listmanager@list.rferl.org
________________________________________________
CURRENT AND BACK ISSUES ON THE WEB
Back issues of RFE/RL Newsline and the OMRI Daily Digest
are online at: http://www.rferl.org/newsline/search/
_________________________________________________
LISTEN TO NEWS FOR 23 COUNTRIES
RFE/RL programs are online daily at RFE/RL's 24-Hour
LIVE Broadcast Studio.
http://www.rferl.org/realaudio/index.html
_________________________________________________
REPRINT POLICY
To receive reprint permission, please contact Paul Goble
via email at GobleP@rferl.org or fax at 202-457-6992
_________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE STAFF
* Paul Goble, Publisher, GobleP@rferl.org
* Liz Fuller, Editor-in-Chief, CarlsonE@rferl.org
* Patrick Moore, Team Leader, MooreP@rferl.org
* Jan Cleave, CleaveJ@rferl.org
* Julie A. Corwin, CorwinJ@rferl.org
* Jan Maksymiuk, MaksymiukJ@rferl.org
* Bruce Pannier, PannierB@rferl.org
* Michael Shafir, ShafirM@rferl.org

FREE-LANCE AND OCCASIONAL CONTRIBUTORS
* Pete Baumgartner, Jolyon Naegele, Fabian Schmidt,
Matyas Szabo, Anthony Wesolowsky

RFE/RL Newsline Fax: (420-2) 2112-3630
_________________________________________________
RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

[English] [Russian TRANS | KOI8 | ALT | WIN | MAC | ISO5]

F&P Home ° Comments ° Guestbook


1996 Friends and Partners
Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole
Please visit the Russian and American mirror sites of Friends and Partners.
Updated: 1998-11-

Please write to us with your comments and suggestions.

F&P Quick Search
Main Sections
Home
Bulletin Board
Chat Room
F&P Listserver

RFE/RL
1999
1998
1997
1996
1995
1994
1993
1992
1991
Search

News
News From Russia/NIS
News About Russia/NIS
Newspapers & Magazines
Global News
Weather

©1996 Friends and Partners
Please write to us with any comments, questions or suggestions -- Natasha Bulashova, Greg Cole