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RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 206, Part II, 23 October 1998


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 206, Part II, 23 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

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Russian Media Empires IV
Media have closed or merged, advertising is shrinking,
and layoffs and salary cuts are widespread as Russian
media try to survive the financial crisis that began in
August.
http://www.rferl.org/nca/special/rumedia4/index.html
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Headlines, Part II

* KWASNIEWSKI SIGNS LUSTRATION LAW

* SERBS SAY THEIR FORCES 'STABILIZING' KOSOVA

* UCK SAYS IT'S HOLDING SERBIAN JOURNALISTS

End Note: RECENT CRISIS WITHIN HDZ MAY POINT TO POST-
TUDJMAN ERA
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUS INVITES TURKISH ENVOY TO RETURN TO DRAZDY. The
Belarusian authorities have formally invited the Turkish
ambassador to return to his residence in the Drazdy
complex, from which President Alyaksandr Lukashenka
earlier this year ousted Western diplomats, a Turkish
embassy official in Minsk told Reuters on 22 October.
Turkey is the only country that has received such an
invitation, possibly because although Ankara recalled
its ambassador when other Western states did, the
Turkish government did not ban visits by senior
Belarusian officials. PG

UKRAINIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES PRIVATIZATION CHIEF. After
long wrangling, lawmakers on 22 October approved by a
vote of 230 to 112 President Leonid Kuchma's nominee to
head the State Property Fund, AP reported. Oleksandr
Bondar will now oversee the country's privatization
efforts. In a related development, the international
accounting firm Price Waterhouse Cooper won in its bid
to audit the Ukrainian telecommunications monopoly as
part of the preparation for its privatization, Interfax
reported the same day. PG

KYIV SAYS UKRAINE MEETS IMF REQUIREMENTS. Valeriy
Lytvytsky, an aide to President Kuchma, told journalists
in Kyiv on 22 October that Ukraine has met all the
requirements for the next tranche of an IMF loan. But he
acknowledged that the payout will depend on the outcome
of negotiations with a major foreign bank. PG

UKRAINE IMPROVES NUCLEAR SAFETY RECORD. Oleksandr
Smyshliayev, the chief of the Environmental Safety
Ministry's nuclear regulatory agency, said that the
number of malfunctions at Ukraine's nuclear power plants
has been declining since the start of 1998, Interfax
reported. But he acknowledged that malfunctions in the
first half of 1998 were up 50 percent from the same
period last year. Smyshliayev predicted that the number
of problems at these plants will decline further by the
end of the year. PG

ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT DEBATES TRIALS IN ABSENTIA OF MASS
DEPORTERS. Lawmakers on 22 October completed the first
reading of amendments that would allow people accused of
crimes against humanity to be tried even if they are
unable to appear in court owing to poor health, BNS
reported. Under the current criminal code, court cases
must be suspended until the defendant is able to attend
his own trial. Criminal proceedings have been launched
against some 10 individuals alleged to have played a key
role in the mass deportations of Estonians to Siberia
from 1941-1949. No verdicts have been reached in any of
those cases, while two defendants died before the
proceedings could be concluded. JC

ADAMKUS SAYS CLINTON SUPPORTS NATO MEMBERSHIP FOR
LITHUANIA. Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus on 22
October said that at a meeting with Bill Clinton the
previous day at the White House, the U.S. president
expressed his support for Lithuania's membership in
NATO. Clinton "did not commit himself" to a specific
date for Lithuania's joining the alliance "but basically
he supports our idea and I was encouraged," AP quoted
Adamkus as saying. JC

IGNALINA TO CONTINUE OPERATING FOR ANOTHER 30 YEARS?
According to a high-ranking Lithuanian energy official,
the Ignalina Atomic Power Plant may continue operating
for another 30 years or so, BNS reported on 22 October.
Anzelmas Bacauskas, secretary-general of state-owned
Lietuvos Energija, told the newspaper "Respublika" that
he believes Ignalina will be in operation at least
"until the year 2030." The European Commission is
pressuring the Lithuanian administration to shut down
Ignalina by 2010 and has stressed that its closure would
have a positive impact on the country's prospects for
joining the EU. Earlier this month, the Lithuanian
authorities proposed to the commission that a team of
international experts be set up to determine, among
other things, how long Ignalina should remain in
operation. JC

KWASNIEWSKI SIGNS LUSTRATION LAW. Despite his fears that
a new measure may lead to a witch hunt, President
Aleksander Kwasniewski on 22 October approved a law that
will require all senior officials, parliamentary
deputies, and judges to declare whether they worked with
Soviet-era security forces, PAP reported. Those who
acknowledge that they did so will not be forced out of
public life but their declarations will be publicized.
Anyone who does not make such an acknowledgment and is
found to have lied faces fines and a 10-year ban from
such posts. PG

CZECH DEPUTIES CALL ON GOVERNMENT TO CURTAIL REFUGEE
INFLUX. The Czech Chamber of Deputies has passed a
resolution requesting that the government quickly
introduce visa requirements for some countries of the
former Soviet Union, CTK reported on 21 October. The
resolution received bipartisan support from deputies in
the lower house. Civic Democratic Party Deputy Petr
Kohacek said "we will not be able to be so benevolent
toward refugees as in the past." More than 32,000
illegal immigrants, mostly from the former Yugoslavia,
Afghanistan, and several southeastern European
countries, have been caught in the Czech Republic this
year. On 22 October, 28 refugees were discovered by
police in a Prague suburb. They were from Afghanistan,
Sri Lanka, and the Serbian province of Kosova. PB

DZURINDA REPORTS PROGRESS IN SLOVAK COALITION TALKS.
Mikulas Dzurinda, the chairman of the Slovak Democratic
Coalition and leading candidate to become prime
minister, said on 22 October that progress has been made
in negotiations to form the new government, TASR
reported. Dzurinda said "we are approaching a complex
agreement...based on the results of the parliamentary
elections." Dzurinda said the four parties have agreed
to finalize an agreement by 27 October. In other news,
Agriculture Minister Peter Baco said that naming a
member of the Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) to head
his ministry would be "a risk Slovakia cannot afford to
take." There have been reports that the SMK will be
offered the agriculture portfolio. PB

HUNGARY WELCOMES TURKISH APPROVAL OF NATO EXPANSION. The
Hungarian Foreign Ministry has praised the Turkish
parliament's 21 October ratification of Hungary's
accession to NATO, MTI reported. Foreign Ministry
spokesman Gabor Horvath said the Turkish approval has
special significance because Hungary is seeking to join
NATO's Southern Command, where "cooperation between the
two countries will be instrumental." Hungarian President
Arpad Goencz is due in Ankara next week for the 75th
anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. The Netherlands
is the only NATO member country that has not yet
ratified expansion to include Poland, the Czech
Republic, and Hungary. PB

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBS SAYS THEIR FORCES 'STABILIZING' KOSOVA. "Large
numbers of troops and police have not budged" from
Kosova, despite Serbian claims that Belgrade has
withdrawn its forces, Reuters reported from the Serbian
capital on 22 October. U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia
Christopher Hill, who is Washington's chief envoy to
Kosova, said "we're not satisfied with the level of
compliance." An unidentified diplomat added that "we
definitely still see a large [paramilitary] police
presence and a Yugoslav army one." The pro-government
daily "Vecernje novosti" wrote, however, that Belgrade's
pledge to withdraw "has been fulfilled" but added that
Serbian forces are still "securing settlements that have
been bastions of Albanian terrorists. [The military]
will continue to do so until the situation is completely
stabilized." In Prishtina, shadow-state President
Ibrahim Rugova said on 23 October that "the Serbian
forces have not yet withdrawn from Kosova..., NATO
should maintain its [threat of air strikes] and keep up
pressure on the Belgrade government." PM

NATO FACES FOUR OPTIONS. Unnamed NATO officials said in
Brussels on 22 October that the Atlantic alliance wants
a "coordination cell" in Macedonia for its Kosova aerial
surveillance mission, which has the code-name "Eagle
Eye." The officials added that NATO will await the
outcome of the second round of the Macedonian elections
on 1 November before starting talks with officials in
Skopje. Unnamed diplomats told Reuters that the alliance
faces four options as the 27 October deadline approaches
for Milosevic to comply with the international
community's demands. The options include military
intervention, giving Milosevic an additional reprieve
and a new deadline, maintaining the threat of air
strikes but without a deadline, or removing the threat
of air strikes entirely. The diplomats suggested that
the third possibility--an open-ended threat--is the most
likely. Top NATO officials are slated to discuss the
options on 23 October. PM

UCK SAYS IT'S HOLDING SERBIAN JOURNALISTS. A spokesman
for the military police of the Kosova Liberation Army
(UCK) told the VOA's Albanian Service by telephone on 22
October that the UCK is holding and treating "correctly"
two missing journalists from Serbia's Tanjug news agency
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 October 1998). The spokesman
added that the UCK is investigating whether the two were
involved in recent alleged atrocities by Serbian forces
in Kosova, including the killing of civilians. The
guerrillas will hand the journalists over to the Red
Cross if the two are innocent, the spokesman added. He
did not say what the UCK will do if it finds them
guilty. In Prishtina, international monitors and
diplomats said that they are concerned that of late, the
UCK has repeatedly provoked Serbian forces in order to
trigger a Serbian crackdown and thereby increase the
likelihood of NATO air strikes, RFE/RL's South Slavic
Service reported. PM

DJUKANOVIC SAYS INDEPENDENCE NO SOLUTION. Montenegrin
President Milo Djukanovic said in Podgorica on 22
October that Montenegro's interests are best served by
remaining in the Yugoslav federation. He added that to
declare independence would open the small mountainous
republic to "numerous internal problems and the
ambitions of its neighbors," RFE/RL's South Slavic
Service reported. Djukanovic stressed, however, that
Yugoslavia must break with the policies of President
Slobodan Milosevic, which he regards as undemocratic and
detrimental to Montenegro's political and economic
interests. PM

MASS GRAVE OF SERBS FOUND IN BOSNIA. Bosnian forensics
experts said in Sarajevo on 22 October that a forensic
team has begun exhuming a mass grave in the Sanski Most
area of northwest Bosnia. The grave contains at least 70
bodies that the experts believe to be of Bosnian Serb
soldiers and civilians killed during the 1995 offensive
of Bosnian government and Croatian forces. Nearly three
years after the end of the war, some 20,000 citizens of
Bosnia-Herzegovina are still unaccounted for. PM

BOSNIAN POLICE FREE RFE/RL JOURNALIST. Bosnian police
released Nikola Gurovic from custody in Sarajevo on 23
October. They had arrested him the previous day when he
arrived at Sarajevo from abroad and charged him with
staying abroad while on a business trip during the 1992-
1995 war without repaying his travel advance to his
employer, who was Radio-Television Sarajevo. RFE/RL's
South Slavic Service reported that many citizens of
Bosnia-Herzegovina took advantage of wartime business
trips to stay abroad, but police did not arrest them on
their return after the war ended. The question remains
why they arrested Gurovic but not others, the broadcast
added. PM

ZAGREBACKA BANKA FIRES CLERK OVER TUDJMAN SCANDAL.
Robert Horvat, a 32-year-old bank clerk and a decorated
veteran of the 1991 war, lost his job on 21 October
after police interrogated him about his role in the
disclosure to the press of hidden bank accounts
belonging to Ankica Tudjman, the wife of President
Franjo Tudjman (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 October 1998).
Horvat said that he had confirmed to journalists
information that they received from bank clerk Ankica
Lepej about Ankica Tudjman's accounts. Ankica Tudjman
has officially declared herself to be a pensioner who
heads a children's charity and whose only wealth is a
car. Lepej's revelations indicate that she has well over
$100,000 in one account alone, in addition to 10 other
accounts. The story has become a growing scandal in a
country where the average monthly income is less than
$500 and where the independent press has long reported
that powerful people have enriched themselves at public
expense. PM

ALBANIA'S LEKA BACKS UCK. Leka Zogu, who is the
pretender to the Albanian throne, told "Gazeta
Shqiptare" of 22 October that he intends to financially
support "all those Albanians who struggle for [a
greater] Albania, including the UCK." He did not
elaborate. Zogu added that the recent agreement on
Kosova between Milosevic and U.S. envoy Richard
Holbrooke was "a big misfortune because it makes no
sense considering the [recent developments] in Kosova.
This agreement...gives no solution to the demands of the
Albanian and Serbian peoples." Zogu, who faces prison in
Albania for having allegedly organized a coup attempt in
July 1997, added that he will call on Albanians to vote
against the Socialist-backed draft constitution in the
referendum next month, "Albanian Daily News" reported
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 October 1998). FS

ALBANIAN PROSECUTORS TAKE TERRORISTS TO COURT. A
spokesman for the Prosecutor-General's Office told the
"Albanian Daily News" of 23 October that his office has
finished its investigation into the terrorist group
called Revenge of Justice. Prosecutors will soon
formally charge 11 suspects with bombing a supermarket
owned by the VEFA pyramid-investment company in February
1996 as well as with the subsequent murder of a top
police official and several armed robberies since 1991.
Two of the suspects are the brothers Orik and Laert
Shyti, sons of communist-era secret police chief and
Deputy Interior Minister Hajredin Shyti. In 1996, the
father served a prison term for the killing of pro-
democracy demonstrators on 2 April 1991 in Shkoder. Both
sons confessed to belonging to Revenge of Justice and
said that their aim was to destroy the post-communist
system, which took revenge on their father by jailing
him. FS

ALBANIAN MEDIA CRITICIZE DEFENSE MINISTER FOR RENEWING
GREEN CARD. "Gazeta Shqiptare" on 22 October harshly
criticized Luan Hajdaraga, who is currently in the U.S.
on business and is seeking to renew the Green Card he
won in the U.S. government's annual lottery in 1996. The
newspaper asked, "What can you expect of a minister who
is more anxious to emigrate than look after the defense
of the country?" It added that he is sending the wrong
message to thousands of ordinary Albanians: "Instead of
giving hope to people, politicians like Hajdaraga are
telling them that emigration remains the only way to
build a new life." Unnamed officials of the Albanian
Post Office told dpa that the number of Green Card
applications for this year's lottery has considerably
increased over past years. FS

UKRAINIAN, ROMANIAN, MOLDOVAN PRESIDENTS URGE RUSSIAN
TROOP WITHDRAWAL. Leonid Kuchma, Emil Constantinescu,
and Petru Lucinschi signed a document in Chisinau on 22
October urging Moscow to withdraw its troops from the
Transdniester region, AP reported. In the document, the
presidents expressed concern about the situation in the
Transdniester region and appealed for a "peaceful and
definitive solution." Kuchma said after the meeting that
Ukraine will always support Moldova's territorial
integrity. The document referred to the Transdniester as
a region "inside the territory of an independent,
unitary, and sovereign Moldova." The breakaway republic
declared independence in 1990 and fought a five-month
war with Moldova two years later. Transdniester leader
Igor Smirnov is due to meet with Lucinschi and Kuchma on
23 October. PB

MOLDOVA WANTS PART OF CASPIAN OIL. Moldovan President
Lucinschi said on 22 October that Chisinau wants to
purchase Caspian Sea oil and invest in a Romanian
refinery in an effort to reduce its dependence on Russia
and Ukraine, AP reported. Lucinschi made his remarks
after a meeting with Romanian President Constantinescu.
Moldova, which has no oil refinery of its own and has
accumulated an enormous debt with the Russian gas giant
Gazprom, is interested in purchasing a stake in the
Onesti refinery, located about 150 kilometers from the
Moldovan-Romanian border. It is also building an oil
terminal at the confluence of the Prut and Danube
Rivers, which Ukraine claims is partly on its territory.
This issue is to be discussed during the two-day meeting
of the three presidents. PB

ROMANIAN PREMIER SAYS IMF MEETING CRUCIAL. Radu Vasile
said on 22 October that upcoming talks with IMF and
World Bank officials on securing loans are urgently
needed to restore confidence in economic reforms,
Reuters reported. Vasile said securing the loans is
"more imperative now than in 1992 or 1994, especially
because of the context...the [credit rating] downgrade
we have been subject to." The same day, Finance Minister
Traian Remes outlined the 1999 budget, which foresees no
deficit providing there are no payments for mass
layoffs. PB

PLESU HAILS BRITAIN'S CONTRIBUTION TO EU EXPANSION.
Romanian Foreign Minister Andrei Plesu said British
Foreign Secretary Robin Cook's visit to Bucharest showed
Britain's commitment to the EU expansion process,
Rompres reported on 22 October. Plesu said "Europe's
security greatly depends on the security in this area,
so our desire to access the Euro-Atlantic structures is
legitimate and backed by the whole international
community." Plesu and Cook also discussed economic and
bilateral trade issues. PB

BLACK SEA ECONOMIC CONFERENCE OPENS. The eleven member
countries of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC)
agreed on 22 October to promote closer cooperation in
the development of the Black Sea region at the opening
conference in Sofia, dpa reported. Bulgarian Foreign
Minister Nadejda Mihailova, who is ending her term as
BSEC chair, said the organization "can only develop
successfully in cooperation with the EU." She said the
officials attending the meeting discussed ways to
attract foreign investment in such fields as transport,
tourism, and telecommunications. They also established
the BSEC Bank, to be located in Salonika, Greece.
Georgia will hold the BSEC chair for the next six
months. The other member countries are Turkey, Romania,
Albania, Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and
Moldova. PB

END NOTE

RECENT CRISIS WITHIN HDZ MAY POINT TO POST-TUDJMAN ERA

by Andrej Krickovic

	Over the last few weeks, Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman has faced the worst political crisis in the
ruling Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) history. A
series of events pitting the party's moderate and hard-
line factions (the latter is often called the
Herzegovinian lobby) against each other have culminated
in the resignation of three of Tudjman's most trusted
political allies--all moderates. As a result, the
balance of power within the party and within Croatia has
dramatically shifted to the right. In the short run,
this threatens the Dayton peace process and Croatia's
hopes for integration into Europe and the international
community. In the long run, as the opposition begins to
act more effectively, the shift may ultimately threaten
Tudjman and the HDZ's hold on power.
	The two factions fundamentally disagree over a
number of issues. The liberals are usually civilians and
professionals who have a cosmopolitan outlook and
support European integration and compliance with the
Dayton agreement. The hard-liners have close ties to the
military and to Croats in Herzegovina. They often
support the idea of a separate Croatian state in
Herzegovina, which has led to friction with the
international community.
	A month ago, key HDZ moderates Hrvoje Sarinic, the
head of the president's staff, and Franjo Greguric, the
president's special envoy for Bosnia and Herzegovina,
publicly accused hard-liners, led by Ivic Pasalic, the
president's special adviser for domestic affairs, of
using the Croatian Military Intelligence Service to spy
on them and of orchestrating a smear campaign against
them in the tabloid press. At the same time, Andrija
Hebrang, the new minister of defense, also became the
target of a smear campaign conducted by HDZ hard-liners
opposed to his policies within the Ministry of Defense.
This public airing of the HDZ's dirty laundry confronted
Tudjman with a difficult choice: either support an
investigation of the activities of the hard-liners or
lose Sarinic, Greguric, and Hebrang.
	Only a perfunctory investigation was carried out,
and last week Sarinic, Hebrang, and Greguric presented
Tudjman with their resignations in protest. Tudjman had
often sought to balance moderate and hard-line forces
within the party in order to consolidate his grip on
power and to take advantage of the extensive powers
granted the president in the Croatian political system.
In the end, however, Tudjman chose to side with the
hard-liners who share his ambitious schemes for Bosnia-
Herzegovina and who have displayed unwavering loyalty.
	The moderates are at least partly responsible for
their own demise. As a group, they have been more
concerned about their own personal interests and
positions than about acting as a cohesive force. It is
telling that none of the other moderates supported
Sarinic, Greguric, and Hebrang in their struggle with
Pasalic and the right wing. Nor did anyone do so when
the three were forced out of the party hierarchy.
	Since their resignations, Tudjman has tried to
stabilize the balance of power within the party by
naming politicians like Nedeljko Mihanovic and Ivica
Kostovic who remained neutral throughout the campaign to
replace Hebrang and Sarinic, respectively. It is
doubtful that these moves will have their intended
effect. The departure of Hebrang, Sarinic, and Greguric
has left the moderate wing without its most able
politicians. The moderates are essentially in retreat,
and the balance of power within the HDZ has decidedly
shifted toward the right.
 	Sarinic and Greguric were both personal friends of
the president and his closest advisers. When Hebrang
resigned as defense minister, he also resigned as
Tudjman's head physician. Many credited him with helping
Tudjman recover from cancer, and there was much
speculation that he was being groomed as Tudjman's
successor. He is regarded as an incorruptible and
principled politician, a Croatian "Elliot Ness," the
kind of man who could bring the wheeler-dealer
activities at the Ministry of Defense under control. In
losing Sarinic, Greguric and Hebrang, Tudjman has lost
some of his most trusted and professional politicians
and will increasingly have to rely on hard-liners.
	In the short term, this shift could lead to
Zagreb's support for Croatian separatists in Herzegovina
and during Croatia's increasing international isolation.
The international community's High Representative for
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Carlos Westendorp, and his deputy,
Jacques Klein, expressed their concerns that the victory
of hard-liners in the party will have negative effects
on the Bosnian peace process and on Croatia's hopes of
integrating into Europe any time soon.
	And in the long term, the HDZ's move to the right
may threaten Tudjman's hold on power. The HDZ has
increasingly relied on nationalist rhetoric and the
nationalist vote to maintain power. While such an
approach has been popular with Croat voters in
Herzegovina and with the Diaspora, it has not had the
same success at home. Hard-liners like Pasalic and the
corrupt generals in the Ministry of Defense are
unpopular with the electorate in Croatia. Nationalist
rhetoric also seems to be losing its appeal in the face
of increasing social and economic problems.
	Taking advantage of such weaknesses, an opposition
coalition won an overwhelming majority in recent local
elections in Dubrovnik. Some opposition parties have
also agreed to form a coalition for the upcoming general
elections (which must take place by the end of 1999).
With the opposition strengthening and the HDZ sliding
further to the right, Croatia may be poised to enter a
post-Tudjman and post-HDZ era after the next general
elections.

The author is a free-lance journalist based in Zagreb,
Croatia.

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