Change is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast. In the pool where you least expect it, will be a fish. - Ovid
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 208, Part II, 27 October 1998


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 208, Part II, 27 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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Note to readers: RFE/RL Newsline will not appear on 28
October, a public holiday in the Czech Republic.
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Headlines, Part II

* IMF PUTS OFF DECISION ON LOAN TRANCHE TO UKRAINE

* SERBIA SAYS WITHDRAWAL FROM KOSOVA COMPLETE

* DIENSTBIER URGES DEMOCRATIZATION OF SERBIA

End Note: THREE QUESTIONS FOR MACEDONIA
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

IMF PUTS OFF DECISION ON LOAN TRANCHE TO UKRAINE. The
IMF has postponed until 29 October its decision on
whether to release a second tranche worth $125 million
of the $2.2 billion three-year loan to Ukraine agreed in
August, AP reported on 26 October. An IMF mission
arrived in Kyiv the same day to check if Ukraine is
meeting requirements for the release of the tranche.
Valeriy Litvytskyy, aide to the Ukrainian president,
said the postponement of the tranche is due to an
"exclusively technical reason" connected with the
repayment of Ukraine's $109 million loan to the Chase
Manhattan Bank in Luxembourg, Ukrainian Television
reported. The IMF disbursed the first, $257 million
tranche of the loan in September. JM

UNHCR TO SUPPORT CRIMEAN TATARS. The United Nations High
Commission for Refugees has allocated $2.3 million to
support Crimean Tatars who returned to their homeland
from exile within the former Soviet Union, Reuters
reported on 26 October. "We are going to concentrate
most of our attention on the question of citizenship," a
UNHCR representative told journalists in Simferopol on
26 October. The representative added that the UN had
supported the holding of Ukrainian-Uzbek talks that
resulted in a simplified procedure for Tatars returning
to Crimea from Uzbekistan to obtain a Ukrainian
passport. Some 250,000 Tatars have returned to Crimea
since the breakup of the Soviet Union, of whom one-third
are technically foreigners in Ukraine or have no
citizenship whatsoever. JM

U.S. DENIES VISA TO TWO BELARUSIAN LAWMAKERS. The U.S.
State Department has denied entry visas to Alyaksandr
Kozyr and Mikalay Cherhinets, RFE/RL's Belarusian
Service reported on 26 October. According to Belarusian
Television the previous day, Kozyr and Cherhinets
intended to take part in the UN General Assembly, while
Cherhinets said on nationwide television that they
planned to participate in a session of the
Interparliamentary Assembly in New York. Cherhinets
hinted that the visa refusal was retribution for his
participation in a recent Belarusian mission to
Yugoslavia. He characterized the U.S. action as an
example of meddling in the affairs of Belarus. He added
that he had intended to pass over some documents about
Americans missing in action during the Vietnam war. JM

BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION WANTS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN
1999. Henadz Karpenka, an opposition leader and former
parliamentary deputy speaker, has called on President
Alyaksandr Lukashenka to hold presidential elections in
1999, as stipulated by the 1994 constitution, Interfax
reported on 26 October. The controversial November 1996
referendum in Belarus approved the new constitution,
which extends Lukashenka's term until 2001. Karpenka
proposes that an accord be signed between the
authorities and the opposition on ways to overcome the
current political and economic crisis in Belarus. He
also demanded that all political groups have access to
radio and television broadcasts. In an October poll of
some 1,500 Belarusians, 35.9 percent said they would
like presidential elections next year, while 21.6
percent believed that they should be held in 2001. And
31.5 percent said such elections are unnecessary because
there is no better candidate than Lukashenka. JM

BRZEZINSKI SAYS ESTONIA, LATVIA NOT READY FOR NATO
ENTRY. Former U.S. presidential adviser Zbigniew
Brzezinski told "Lietuvos Rytas" on 26 October that
Latvia and Estonia currently do not meet the criteria
for NATO membership, BNS reported. He added that
Slovenia and Lithuania are ready to be invited to [join]
the alliance but said that a second round of NATO
enlargement to the south and the north to include
Slovenia and Lithuania is viewed variously in
Washington, with opinions ranging from "enthusiasm and
interest to skepticism and concern." Brzezinski added
that "Washington is not very interested at present to
begin the second wave of NATO enlargement as concerns
exist that this process may clash with Russian interests
and thwart relations between the East and the West." JC

LATVIAN PRESIDENT OPTIMISTIC ABOUT END TO IMPASSE IN
COALITION TALKS. In his weekly radio address, Guntis
Ulmanis said on 26 October that he believes the impasse
between leading parties on forming a majority government
may soon end, Reuters reported. Ulmanis said that during
coalition talks last week, the People's Party, which won
the 3 October elections, showed signs of backing down
from its insistence that former Prime Minister Andris
Skele become the next premier. The issue of the
premiership has been the main sticking point in talks
between the People's Party and the second- placed
Latvia's Way, which wants Transport Minister Vilis
Kristopans to take over that post. Also on 26 October,
Skele told journalists that the People's Party will ask
the Fatherland and Freedom party to start bilateral
talks in order to ascertain whether the latter is ready
to back a cabinet that includes either the Social
Democrats or the People's Party. JC

GIMZHAUSKAS ALSO TO GO ON TRIAL? The Lithuanian
prosecutor's office issued a statement on 26 October
suggesting that former U.S. citizen Kazys Gimzhauskas
may face trial within the next month for crimes against
humanity during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania,
Reuters reported. The case has been handed over to a
district court, which will decide whether there is
sufficient evidence to try Gimzhauskas. The 90-year-old
Gimzhauskas is accused of "physically assisting in the
extinction of Jewish Lithuanian citizens while
subordinate to the occupational Nazi authorities." The
trial of his alleged wartime superior, Aleksandras
Lileikis, is due to restart on 5 November after a team
of medical experts ruled that the defendant is fit to
appear in court (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 October
1998). JC

NO SHORTAGE OF MONEY FOR POLISH ARMY. Prime Minister
Jerzy Buzek told leadership of the National Defense
Ministry on 26 October that there will be no shortage of
money for Poland's integration with NATO and the
modernization of the Polish armed forces, PAP reported.
Deputy Defense Minister Romuald Szeremietiew said that
officers' wages should be increased as an incentive to
remain in the army. Commenting on the resignation of
some 100 pilots from the air force last year,
Szeremietiew said Poland is considering leasing 18
Western fighter jets in a bid to persuade pilots to
remain in the force. The 1999 budget allocation for the
army is 1.91 percent of GDP, down from 2.3 percent last
year. But Buzek argued that the armed forces will in
fact receive more money next year since now the military
budget does not have to cover health care expenses. JM

POLISH GOVERNMENT TO COMPENSATE FORMER CIA SPY. Poland
will pay some $366,000 to Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski, the
CIA's spymaster within the Warsaw Pact during the Cold
War, to compensate him for property confiscated in
communist-era Poland, Reuters reported on 26 October.
That sum will come from the government's budget reserve.
Kuklinski passed some 35,000 top secret documents to the
CIA between 1972 and 1981 before defecting to the West
with his family. A communist court sentenced him to
death in 1984 and confiscated all his property. That
sentence was lifted in 1995, and Kuklinski was fully
rehabilitated in 1997. According to Kuklinski, he
received no money for his espionage activities. JM

HAVEL SAYS HE WAS 'BLACKMAILED' OVER ZILK. President
Vaclav Havel on 26 October told Czech Radio that his
office was "blackmailed" by a "Sueddeutsche Zeitung"
journalist into withdrawing a medal of honor that was to
have been awarded to former Vienna Mayor Helmut Zilk
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 October 1996). "Lidove
noviny" on 27 October writes that journalist Peter Brod
threatened to publish information on Zilk's links to the
communist-era secret police (StB) unless the award
ceremony was canceled. Presidential spokesman Ladislav
Spacek told Reuters the previous day that Havel received
the information on Zilk from Senator Vaclav Benda, the
former director of the Czech Office for the
Documentation and Investigation of Communist Crimes.
Citing CTK, AP reported that in his letter to Havel,
Benda said Zilk was a paid StB agent during the second
half of 1960s. MS

CZECH EXTREMIST POLITICIAN ACQUITTED AGAIN. A Prague
court has again acquitted Republican Party leader
Miroslav Sladek of charges of incitement to racial and
ethnic hatred, CTK reported on 26 October. During a
January 1997 protest against the signing of the Czech-
German declaration, Sladek had said he regretted that
"so few Germans died in World War II." The prosecution
successfully appealed Sladek's acquittal in January
1998, and the Prague City Court returned the case to the
lower court. The judge said on 26 October that she
considers her first verdict to be correct and sees no
reason to change it. MS

U.S. SPY PLANES MAY OPERATE FROM HUNGARY. U.S. officials
informed the Hungarian government that Predator
surveillance planes stationed at the Taszar military air
base in southwestern Hungary may conduct surveillance
flights over Kosova, the daily "Nepszabadsag" reported
on 27 October. Hungarian armed forces spokesman Colonel
Gyula Sajner said the parliament's 14 October decision
allowing the use of Hungarian air space for a possible
NATO operation in Kosova also permits flights by
surveillance planes. A U.S. embassy official said the
military operations now under way at the Taszar military
base are in line with the parliament's authorization.
MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

SERBIA SAYS WITHDRAWAL FROM KOSOVA COMPLETE. Belgrade
independent Radio B-92 quoted army and paramilitary
police sources on 27 October as saying that troop levels
in Kosova are back to the levels where they were in
March at the start of the crackdown. There has been no
official or independent confirmation that the military
and police have indeed completed the withdrawal as the
UN has demanded. NATO officials are slated to meet in
Brussels later in the day to decide whether Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic has complied with UN
demands or whether NATO will launch air strikes against
Serbian military targets after the alliance's deadline
for Milosevic to comply runs out at 7:00 p.m. local time
on 27 October. In Washington the previous day, a State
Department spokesman said that NATO wants to be sure
that the Serbian forces do not return to Kosova after
they withdraw. PM

EU MONEY FOR OSCE MISSION. EU foreign ministers agreed
in Luxembourg on 26 October to provide $100 million for
the OSCE's 2,000-strong monitoring mission to Kosova.
The entire operation is expected to cost $150 million,
RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. In Prishtina,
Adem Demaci, who is the spokesman for the Kosova
Liberation Army (UCK), said that the guerrillas will
continue to fight the Serbian forces until Kosova gains
independence. PM

KOSOVARS AFRAID TO GO HOME? Kosovar shadow-state
President Ibrahim Rugova told officials of the European
Parliament in Prishtina on 26 October that displaced
persons are afraid to return to their homes lest Serbian
forces come back and harass them. But the next day,
Reuters reported that many Kosovars began to return to
their homes in the Malisheva area after hearing radio
broadcasts that reported the Serbian forces' departure.
In Luxembourg on 26 October, the EU's chief official for
humanitarian issues, Emma Bonino, said that 50,000
Kosovars are living in refugee camps and an additional
10,000 are hiding in the hills. The EU has made funds
available to repair at least one room in all damaged
houses so that displaced persons can go home before the
harsh Balkan winter begins in a few weeks' time. PM

ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER PLEDGES CHANGE IN KOSOVA POLICY.
Pandeli Majko said in Tirana on 25 October that Albania
will stop "giving recipes" for solving the Kosova
problem, "Albanian Daily News" reported. He added that
the Kosovars should decide about the future status of
their province themselves. Majko nonetheless stressed
that all Kosovar politicians should regard Albania as a
"point of union" where they may come together to openly
debate controversial political issues. Kosovar
politicians strongly criticized Majko's predecessor,
Fatos Nano, for promoting Kosova's status of a republic
inside Yugoslavia rather than complete independence,
which all leading Kosovar politicians demand. FS

DIENSTBIER URGES DEMOCRATIZATION OF SERBIA. Serbian
court officials confiscated equipment from the offices
of the banned daily "Dnevni Telegraf" and the weekly
"Evropljanin" during the night of 25-26 October (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 26 October 1998). More than 20 armed
police also took furniture and other items from the
apartment of Slavko Curuvija, the newspaper's editor in
chief, according to "The Guardian." The previous day,
Jiri Dienstbier, who is the UN's chief envoy for human
rights, said on a visit to "Dnevni Telegraf's" offices
that he will inform the international community that the
problem in the region is not only Kosova but, on a much
broader level, the question of promoting democracy in
Serbia, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported.
Observers have often pointed out that peace in the
Balkans is not possible without a democratic Serbia
because the Serbs are the most numerous people from the
former Yugoslavia and occupy a strategically important
region in the center of the peninsula. PM

CROATIAN JOURNALISTS CALL FOR MEDIA REFORM. Members of
the Croatian Journalists' Society adopted a declaration
in Opatija on 26 October calling for media independence
from control by the government and the governing
Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ). They journalists
said that Croatian Radio and Television (HRT) have
suffered in quality because of their close links with
the authorities and the HDZ. They also appealed to the
parliament to pass legislation to transform HRT into a
public corporation. The declaration urged the
publication of the names of the owners of any radio
stations or periodicals, especially "Vecernji list,"
"Slobodna Dalmacija," "TV Mreza," "Glas Slavonije" and
some local newspapers. All are widely believed to be in
the hands of persons close to the HDZ. PM

ONE KILLED IN ALBANIAN TRADE UNION RIVALRY. Astrit
Balluku, a local leader of the Independent Trade Unions,
was killed in Tirana on 26 October when supporters of
two rival wings clashed in a dispute over who should
occupy the national leadership's offices, "Albanian
Daily News" reported. A second union member was wounded,
but it remains unclear who fired the shots. Police
arrested 20 people including rival national leaders
Xhevdet Lubani and Fatmir Musaku. The leadership dispute
dates back to 1995, when the late Democratic Party
leader Azem Hajdari set up a rebel faction within the
trade unions. Hajdari then ceased all work for the trade
union after failing to be elected union leader. Musaku,
Hajdari's successor as leader of the rebel faction, won
a court case earlier this year against Lubani, who
refused to vacate the leadership's offices. Former
President Sali Berisha told journalists the same day in
Tirana that the government and secret service were
behind Balluku's killing. FS

SIX DIE IN REFUGEE BOAT ACCIDENT OFF ALBANIA. An
inflatable dinghy carrying 25 refugees, most of whom
were Kosovars, exploded and sank after colliding with a
small boat near Vlora on 26 October. Six people were
killed in the accident. The same day, police discovered
44 illegal immigrants, including eight Turkish and 31
Iraqi Kurds and five Pakistanis, in a forest near Vlora,
AP reported. They had arrived from Greece and were
waiting to be smuggled into Italy. FS

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT CRITICIZES WEST OVER NATO EXPANSION.
Addressing the Nobel Institute in Oslo on 26 October,
President Emil Constantinescu said NATO's decision not
to include Romania in first wave of expansion "has been
a serious mistake and mistakes must be paid for." He
said all risks to NATO security come from its
southeastern tier and that Romanian membership would
have provided a solution to that problem. Constantinescu
added that his country must be integrated into NATO in
the second wave of expansion. And he commented that the
West has become "cynical and uninterested" in East-
Central Europe, after initially having "massively
invested" in such countries as Poland or Slovenia. MS

FORMER ANTONESCU GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL REHABILITATED. The
Romanian Supreme Court on 26 October rehabilitated Toma
Petre Ghitulescu, who after only seven weeks in office
quit his post as deputy state secretary in the
government headed by wartime ruler Ion Antonescu. The
court said the crimes of the Antonescu government were
committed after Ghitulescu's short tenure. The court
rejected, however, the Ghitulescu family's plea for the
rehabilitation of Marshal Antonescu (executed for war
crimes in 1946) and seven other members of his cabinet
who were sentenced to jail, along with Ghitulescu, in
1949. The request for the cabinet members'
rehabilitation was originally made by former Prosecutor-
General Sorin Moisescu but later withdrawn following
protests by the U.S. (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 November
1997 and 27 January 1998). MS

ROMANIAN UPROAR OVER MEDAL TO COMMUNIST TORTURER.
President Constantinescu on 26 October said the award of
a medal to a former commander of the Sighet prison,
where many political prisoners perished during the
1950s, is "a grave matter." Constantinescu says he
granted the medal to Vasile Cioplan on Army Day (24
October) at the recommendation of the Association of War
Veterans, stressing that he had not been familiar with
Cioplan's past. The Ministry of Defense said that the
law on the World War II award "makes no distinctions"
between the various participants in the war, entitling
all of them to the medal. The Movement of Civic Alliance
has called on Constantinescu to punish those responsible
for "transforming into a hero" a person who stands for
communist terror, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. MS

SNEGUR RE-ELECTED PARTY CHAIRMAN. The Party of Rebirth
and Conciliation on 24 October re-elected former
President Mircea Snegur as its chairman, BASA-press
reported. Snegur called on right-wing forces in Moldova
to rally behind his party following the communists'
victory in this year's parliamentary elections. On 25
October, a congress of the extraparliamentary National
Liberal Party approved a merger with the Moldovan
Liberal Party. The new party will be called the National
Liberal Party of Moldova. On 23 October, the pro-
presidential Movement for a Democratic and Prosperous
Moldova said it is forming a "centrist alliance" with
nine other extraparliamentary formations that back
President Petru Lucinschi. MS

GAZPROM HAS MAJORITY SHARE IN MOLDOVAN GAS COMPANY.
Moldovan Deputy Premier Ion Sturdza has signed an
agreement providing for the setting up of the
Molodovagaz company, in which Gazprom will hold a 51
percent share, the independent Flux agency reported on
26 October. The agreement, which was signed in Moscow in
partial settlement of Moldova's debt to Gazprom, was
approved by the parliament in February and by the
government in October. MS

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT IN INDIA. Petar Stoyanov, who is
currently on a six-day official visit to India, has held
discussions with his Indian counterpart K. R. Narayanan
and Premier Atal Behari Vajpayee to discuss bilateral
relations, international issues, and the improvement of
bilateral trade and investments, dpa reported on 26
October. Stoyanov also attended the signing ceremony of
three bilateral trade agreements and an accord aimed at
protecting mutual investments. MS

END NOTE

THREE QUESTIONS FOR MACEDONIA

by Patrick Moore

	Macedonia's main opposition coalition emerged
victorious in the first round of parliamentary elections
on 18 October. That coalition seems likely to win most
seats in the second round on 1 November as well, but
questions remain regarding the eventual composition of
the new government and what it will be able to
accomplish.
	Macedonian voters indicated in the first round that
they feel it is time for a change in country that has
over 30 percent unemployment and has had little success
in attracting vital foreign investments. The coalition
consisting of the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary
Organization (VMRO-DPMNE), led by Ljubco Georgievski,
and the Democratic Alternative (DA) of Vasil Tupurkovski
won 21 seats, followed by the governing Social Democrats
(SDSM) with 14. The Liberals took two mandates, and the
Socialists one. The two main ethnic Albanian parties--
the moderate Party of Democratic Prosperity (PPD), which
is part of the SDSM's current governing coalition, and
the more radical Democratic Party of the Albanians
(PDSH)--had formed an electoral coalition so as not to
split the Albanian vote. Between them, they took 20
legislative seats.
	The first question facing Macedonia as it
approaches the second round of voting to decide the
remaining 62 seats is whether the VMRO-DA coalition will
maintain its lead. Observers in Skopje say that not only
is this likely but the coalition could emerge with 70
out of 120 seats and therefore be able to govern without
entering into a broader coalition with other parties.
	The second issue is whether the VMRO-DA, if
victorious, will prefer to govern alone or seek to enter
into a broader coalition. Some of the smaller parties
might try to make a deal with Georgievski and
Tupurkovski even before 1 November in an effort to jump
on what appears to be the winning bandwagon at the
earliest opportunity.
	At the heart of the question regarding a broader
coalition are, however, the political relations between
the Macedonian majority and the ethnic Albanian
minority, which makes up about 23 percent of the
population. The VMRO was founded in 1990 on a strong
Macedonian nationalist platform, but Georgievski told
"RFE/RL Newsline" in Skopje recently that his main
interest now is reforming the economy, ending
corruption, reducing taxes, eliminating regulations on
investments, and attracting foreign investment. In
short, he has reinvented his party as a bastion of neo-
liberalism in order to oust an ex-communist
establishment that many regard as ineffective and
corrupt.
	He underscored his change of approach by avoiding
nationalist rhetoric and speaking almost exclusively
about economic issues. (Ironically, it was the Social
Democrats who most openly appealed to nationalist
passions during the campaign by carrying out a series of
well-publicized arrests of "Albanian terrorists.")
Furthermore, Georgievski chose as his main ally the DA,
which is committed to the principles of a civil society
and whose membership includes prominent Albanians,
Turks, Roma, and others.
	Georgievski could thus govern with the DA alone in
a cabinet in which Albanians and other minorities would
be represented. But while some of the DA's Albanian
intellectuals may enjoy personal prestige, they lack the
power base among the Albanians that only the PPD or PDSH
could provide. Speculation has therefore come to center
on the possibility of a coalition involving VMRO-DA and
one of those two main Albanian parties.
	Since the PPD is "tainted" in the eyes of many of
Georgievski's backers because it was a partner in the
SDSM's outgoing coalition government, attention has
focused on the PDSH as a possible partner for VMRO-DA.
This might seem ironic, in view of the fact that VMRO
and the PDSH were both founded as militantly nationalist
parties. But the two have since made a power-sharing
pact at the local level in Skopje, and there seems to be
little reason why they could not apply that model to a
national government. Both VMRO-DA and PDSH have left the
door open for coalition talks with each other, and a
spokesman for the PDSH recently told "RFE/RL Newsline"
that "all options are open" once the second round of
voting is over.
	Were Georgievski to head a government including the
PDSH as well as the VMRO and DA, he would govern with
the backing of a clear majority of the population,
including powerful representatives of the two main
ethnic groups. This leads to the third question facing
Macedonia, namely whether Georgievski's government would
be able to deliver the development and prosperity he has
promised. His supporters--and those of his coalition
allies--will be watching to see if he will indeed
produce the "changes" he promised in his campaign
rhetoric, or if he and his allies will prove to be as
corrupt and ineffective as the coalition they replaced.

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