On this shrunken globe, men can no longer live as strangers. - Adlai Stevenson
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 215, Part II, 6 November 1998


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 215, Part II, 6 November 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

* CLASH OVER HUNGARIAN APPEALS COURTS

* HAGUE TRIBUNAL CALLS YUGOSLAVIA 'ROGUE STATE'

* SERBIAN JOURNALISTS APPEAL FOR HELP

End Note: MACEDONIANS CHOOSE CHANGE
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIAN WORKERS DEMAND PAY INCREASE, ACCESS TO
MEDIA... Some 2,000-3,000 workers participated in a
rally organized by the Belarusian Free Trade Union at
the Minsk Tractor Plant on 5 November, RFE/RL's
Belarusian Service reported. The rally adopted a
resolution demanding that the minimum monthly wage be
increased to $100 and that workers' views be reported on
radio and television. After the rally, some 500 workers
marched to the presidential residence to hand the
resolution to Belarusian President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka, who was invited to the meeting but did not
attend. Later, police arrested a workers' movement
representative and two activists from the opposition
Belarusian Popular Front. JM

...WHILE LUKASHENKA AIDE SAYS RALLY ORGANIZERS 'BOUGHT
BY THE WEST.' Ivan Pashkevich, deputy head of
Lukashenka's administration, told the protest rally that
the government can increase the minimum monthly wage to
$100 either by mass layoffs or by attracting more
Western investments. In response, speakers at the rally
demanded that the presidential and governmental
administration be reduced by 80 percent and non-budget
presidential funds be used to subsidize the hike.
Reuters reported that referring to the organizers of the
rally, Pashkevich told the crowd that "half of these
defenders of the people were bought by the West." JM

LUKASHENKA WARNS RUSSIAN POLITICIANS NOT TO EXPLOIT
INTEGRATION. During a meeting with the governor of
Russia's Vologda Oblast in Minsk on 5 November,
Lukashenka said he will not allow the "card of the
Belarusian-Russian Union" to be played in Russia's
domestic political struggle, Belarusian Television
reported. Lukashenka commented that "Chubais, Gaidar,
Yavlinskii, Nemtsov have ruined the country and do not
intend to unite it." He advised Russian politicians to
base their programs on "other criteria [than Belarusian-
Russian integration] when seeking the Russian presidency
or a parliamentary seat." And he stressed that he will
maintain contacts with both the Russian regions and the
current government of Yevgenii Primakov. JM

ADAMKUS URGES UKRAINE TO JOINTLY FIGHT CRISIS, SEEK EU
ENTRY. Visiting Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus told
his Ukrainian counterpart, Leonid Kuchma, on 5 November
that Lithuania and Ukraine should join forces to
counteract the economic and financial crisis in the
region, dpa reported. Both countries agreed to speed up
negotiations on a free trade agreement and to develop
projects related to the Baltic-Black Sea transport
routes. Adamkus said the two countries should also work
together to gain admission to European structures,
Reuters reported. The EU considers the slow pace of
market reform in Ukraine a hindrance to that country's
EU candidacy, while the European Commission said earlier
this week that Lithuania's hope for fast-track
negotiations on EU membership is premature (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 5 November 1998). JM

ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN BORDER AGREEMENT TO BE INITIALED AT
NEXT MEETING? The heads of the delegations to talks on
the Estonian-Russian border agreement expect that accord
to be initialed at their next and probably last meeting,
ETA reported on 5 November. Estonian Foreign Minister
Raul Malk made that comment after two-day talks in
Tallinn, which both he and Ludvig Tshizhov, the head of
the Russian border delegation, said had yielded "good
results." The date of the next meeting, to take place in
Moscow, will depend on how quickly the working groups
are able to wrap up technical matters such as
translating and printing, Malk said. A draft border
agreement was approved in Petroskoi in 1996 by then
Foreign Ministers Siim Kallas and Yevgenii Primakov. JC

ESTONIAN PRESIDENT REGRETS WANING ENTHUSIASM FOR NATO
EXPANSION. Addressing the North Atlantic Council in
Brussels on 4 November, Estonian President Lennart Meri
expressed concern that enthusiasm for NATO enlargement
is fading, BNS reported the next day. "Sadly enough, I
do not find the rhetoric of enlargement in the political
speeches of decision-makers any more. Other problems and
events have overshadowed this truly important issue,"
Meri commented. He added that he also regrets that
Russia's stance on "red lines and ex-Soviet territories"
is often seen as an obstacle to NATO expansion: "We have
to understand that we are facing a new situation, where
Russia must find new ways of interrelating with the rest
of the world." JC

PEOPLE'S PARTY READY TO JOIN KRISTOPANS CABINET, WITHOUT
SOCIAL DEMOCRATS. Leader of the People's Party Andris
Skele says his group is prepared to join a cabinet
headed by Vilis Kristopans of Latvia's Way on condition
that the coalition agreement is binding on all cabinet
members and the government includes no members of either
the Social Democratic Party or the National Harmony
Party, BNS reported on 5 November. Skele was speaking
after talks with Latvia's Way, the Fatherland and
Freedom party, and the New Party, which have already
concluded a coalition agreement. JC

LILEIKIS APPEARS IN COURT, RUSHED OFF IN AMBULANCE.
Aleksandras Lileikis arrived in court in a wheelchair on
6 November but shortly after was rushed off in an
ambulance, AP reported, citing BNS. Minutes after he had
proclaimed his innocence, his hands reportedly began
trembling, he started reciting the Lord's Prayer, and he
asked for more air. He was taken to a room adjoining the
court before being whisked off to the hospital.
According to doctors present at the court, the 91-year-
old defendant may have suffered a heart attack. Lileikis
has been charged with ordering Jews to their death
during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania. His trial has
been repeatedly postponed owing to his alleged poor
health. Last month, a team of independent doctors ruled
that he was fit to stand trial. Court proceedings have
been delayed until 9 November. JC

SCHROEDER BACKS POLAND'S EU ENTRY, BUT SUGGESTS NO
DATE... German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on 5
November pledged support "without reservations" to
Poland's bid to join the EU but mentioned no date,
Polish and Western media reported. "We support Poland's
wish to join the EU as quickly as possible," Reuters
quoted him as saying after meeting with Polish Prime
Minister Jerzy Buzek in Warsaw. Schroeder's predecessor,
Helmut Kohl, said three years ago that Poland should
join the EU in 2000. "Compared with my predecessor, I
lack the imagination to name a date," Schroeder
commented. Deputy Foreign Minister Guenter Verheugen,
who accompanied Schroeder, said Germany's target for
Poland's EU entry is 2002, AP reported. Buzek said after
talks with Schroeder that Poland will be ready to meet
EU membership conditions within a few years. He admitted
that both sides have "different views on whether
[Poland's EU entry] date should be established." JM

...DISCUSSES COMPENSATION FOR NAZI VICTIMS, SLAVE
LABORERS. Schroeder ruled out any additional state funds
to compensate Poles for slave labor in Nazi Germany. The
issue of compensation was raised in Poland on the eve of
Schroeder's visit (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 November
1998). The German chancellor said the state has
transferred 500 million marks ($300 million) to a fund
that subsequently paid 500 marks each to former slave
laborers. Schroeder and Buzek also discussed free access
of Poles to the EU labor market after Poland's EU entry.
Schroeder's government is believed to fear an inflow of
Polish cheap labor force and to opt for a temporary ban
on Poles seeking jobs in EU countries. Commenting on the
issue, Schroeder said his government will back a
solution that ensures "nobody in Germany will have to be
afraid of EU expansion." JM

ZEMAN ACCEPTS INVITATION TO VISIT SLOVAKIA. Prime
Minister Milos Zeman on 4 November received new Slovak
Defense Minister Pavol Kanis, the first member of the
new Slovak cabinet to visit the Czech Republic, CTK
reported. In response to Kanis's invitation to visit
Slovakia, Zeman said he will do so before the end of
this month. He added that Prague wants Bratislava to
rejoin the Visegrad group. Kanis told Czech President
Vaclav Havel the same day that the new Slovak government
wants to "overcome the cool Czech-Slovak relations of
recent years." Havel assured Kanis of Czech support for
Bratislava's bid to join Euro-Atlantic structures. MS

SLOVAK PREMIER IN BRUSSELS. Mikulas Dzurinda told
journalists in Brussels on 5 November that he wants to
convince the EU and NATO that his country must gain
entry into both organizations, Reuters reported. After
talks at the European Parliament, he said he hopes that
by the time EU leaders meet in Vienna on 11-12 December
to decide whether to expand the "fast-track group" from
the current six, Slovakia will have made enough progress
to warrant "a more favorable assessment" than that
released by the EU on 4 November. Bratislava was not
included in the group mainly because of the political
record of the previous Slovak government. After a
meeting with NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana,
Dzurinda said Slovakia is "ready to go to extreme
lengths to make a new start" in its relations with NATO.
MS

CLASH OVER HUNGARIAN APPEALS COURTS. The cabinet on 5
November decided to delay the introduction of appeals
courts, despite opposition from senior judiciary
officials, Hungarian media reported. It had been decided
earlier that such courts would be introduced on 1
January 1999. Cabinet spokesman Gabor Borokai announced
that within six months, the government will set a new
date for launching the four-tier judicial system. On 4
November, the National Judicial Council had said it
would appeal to the Constitutional Court if the
parliament approved the cabinet's proposal to delay
introducing the appeals courts. Council chairman Pal
Solt, who is also president of the Supreme Court, said
the cabinet is challenging the judicial reform initiated
by the previous government and that its actions are
illegal. MSZ

HUNGARY SATISFIED WITH EU COMMISSION ASSESSMENT. Endre
Juhasz, head of Hungary's EU mission in Brussels, said
on 4 November that his country can be satisfied with the
EU Commission's country assessment, which gave Hungary
the best mark among applicants for EU membership. He
welcomed the fact that the commission did not recommend
moving any country from the second group of applicants
up to the six-member group of "fast track" states. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

HAGUE TRIBUNAL CALLS YUGOSLAVIA 'ROGUE STATE.' Gabrielle
Kirk McDonald, who is the president of the Hague-based
war crimes tribunal, told a press conference there on 5
November that President Slobodan Milosevic's Yugoslavia
has become a "rogue state, one that holds the
international rule of law in contempt." McDonald's
remarks came in response to the decision of the Yugoslav
authorities to deny visas to top officials of the
tribunal. PM

U.S. BACKS TRIBUNAL. State Department spokesman James
Rubin said in Washington on 5 November that Belgrade has
failed "to comply with [its] obligations by not issuing
visas" to investigators from The Hague. He added that
"we categorically reject the Serbian authorities' view
that the tribunal does not have jurisdiction [in
Kosova]. We intend to raise this matter in the Security
Council as a clear case of noncompliance." Rubin also
noted that "the [Serbian] police appear to be hardening
and winterizing some of their positions [in Kosova]. The
[OSCE's] monitors have received reports that some of
these posts are new and unauthorized under the
agreement" between Milosevic and U.S. special envoy
Richard Holbrooke. Rubin also said that Washington will
deny support to the Kosova Liberation Army if the U.S.
determines that the guerrillas are the "provocateurs" in
any incidents. PM

HILL REPORTS 'PROGRESS.' U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia
Chris Hill, who is Washington's chief envoy for Kosova,
said in Belgrade on 5 November that he and his fellow
diplomats "have made some serious progress, not only in
reducing violence but also in coming around with some
sort of political solution that will meet basic
interests of either side. We are very much on the road
and moving ahead. I hope we're getting to our
destination, [but] we still have a long way to go." Hill
later left Belgrade after a planned meeting with
Milosevic was called off, Reuters reported. Sources
close to the talks said only that "the time has not
worked out." It is unclear who called off the meeting.
Critics have charged Hill with being less firm in
dealing with Milosevic than was his predecessor in the
talks on Kosova, Robert Gelbard. PM

SERBIAN PRESIDENT CALLS FOR ETHNIC HARMONY. Serbian
President Milan Milutinovic said in Prishtina on 5
November that Kosova's future lies not in conflicts "or
in attempts at establishing apartheid and the self-
isolation of ethnic communities," presumably meaning the
Kosovar shadow-state. Milutinovic added that Serbia's
goal is to promote development in Kosova "and end the
spiral of violence, xenophobia, as well as chauvinistic,
religious, and historical prejudice; in other words,
everything that divides peoples," RFE/RL's South Slavic
Service reported. PM

SERBIAN JOURNALISTS APPEAL FOR HELP. Several
representatives of the independent journalists affected
by the recent Serbian media crackdown said in Bonn on 5
November that members of the German public should appeal
to their government and the OSCE to put pressure on
Belgrade to reestablish freedom of expression, the
"Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" reported. A spokesman
for the journalists said that they are "guilty only of
wanting to inform people about what is going on" in
Serbia. He added that Milosevic is leading the country
to "National Socialism or fascism" and stressed that the
democratization of Serbia is the key to solving problems
in Kosova, Bosnia, and the Balkans in general. PM

MODERATES TO FORM NEXT BOSNIAN SERB GOVERNMENT? The
international community's Carlos Westendorp said in
Sarajevo on 5 November that he will be pleased to see
the Republika Srpska legislature keep Prime Minister
Milorad Dodik in office (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5
November 1998). The parliament must choose a head of
government by 14 November. Elsewhere in Sarajevo, Edhem
Bicakcic, who is vice president of the Muslim Party for
Democratic Action, said that Muslims in the Bosnian Serb
legislature are willing to support Dodik in return for
an unspecified number of cabinet posts. The prime
minister's Concord coalition of moderate Serbs has,
however, so far rejected including non-Serbs in the
government. PM

TUDJMAN CONDEMNS 'HAUGHTINESS.' Croatian President
Franjo Tudjman said in Zagreb on 5 November that
"haughtiness" on the part of government officials and
business managers has led to "an erosion of public
morale...widespread dissatisfaction." He called for the
prosecution of individuals who have abused their
position for personal gain, "no matter who that person
is or what position he holds." Tudjman's Croatian
Democratic Community (HDZ) has been losing popularity
since the war ended in 1995 and Croats turned their
attention to social and economic questions in a country
where the average salary is $450 per month. Many people
suspect that individuals well-connected to the HDZ
profit from privatization and government contracts.
Tudjman's family has also been linked to illegally
gained wealth (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 October 1998).
PM

DRNOVSEK SEEKS 'ENCOURAGEMENT' FROM NATO. Slovenian
Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek said in Washington on 5
November that he hopes his country will "receive some
encouragement" at the April 1999 NATO summit in its
quest for membership in the Atlantic alliance. He added
that he recognizes that "no one [in NATO] wants to open
serious discussions about the next step" following the
admission of Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
Drnovsek also noted, however, that he has "not heard
[of] any problems regarding Slovenia's candidacy." PM

ALBANIAN MINISTRY CONCERNED OVER TRUANCY. An unnamed
high-ranking official in the Education Ministry told
"Gazeta Shqiptare" on 5 November that some 20,000
children under the age of 13 failed to show up for
classes at all or stopped attending school during 1998.
The figure does not include children who were absent for
only a few months and then returned or those who live
abroad. The official blamed parents for their children's
truancy. He demanded a tougher implementation of laws on
mandatory school attendance and called for stricter
punishment for parents whose children play truant.
Authorities say they have tried to fine parents but only
about 20 percent have paid, the "Albanian Daily News"
reported on 6 November. FS

ROW CONTINUES OVER ALBANIAN CONSTITUTION. Sabri Godo, a
member of the Republican Party and head of the
commission that drafted the proposed constitution, said
in Tirana on 5 November that the draft is not the
exclusive property of any single political party, the
Enter news agency reported (see "End Note," "RFE/RL
Newsline," 30 October 1998). Godo stressed that "we have
prepared a constitution that Albania needs" and that
does "not contain any ideology." The same day,
opposition Democratic Party Secretary-General Genc Pollo
said the draft contradicts itself because it refers to
protecting the equality of citizens and also to denying
full civil rights to sentenced offenders. The Democrats
have called for a boycott of the 22 November referendum
on the constitution. On 4 November, however, George
Papandreou, who heads the Council of Europe's Council of
Ministers, appealed to the opposition to participate in
the referendum "not only for its own benefit but also
for that of Albanian democracy as a whole," "Albanian
Daily News" reported. FS

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT RESTRUCTURING. The
cabinet on 5 November announced that the Finance
Ministry will be "urgently reorganized" to oversee
structural reform and the State Property Fund "de-
bureaucratized" by laying off 500 employees. Within one
week, the fund is to submit a list of loss-making state
enterprises that will be closed. President Emil
Constantinescu chaired the meeting, the first time he
has done so since taking office in 1996. The cabinet
also decided on measures to improve the social
protection of those laid-off and of pensioners. Premier
Radu Vasile appealed to ministers to show solidarity and
to the coalition's parliamentary deputies to resist the
temptation to represent "local interests." He said that
the recovery program will be "drastic and painful" but
that he hopes that within three to seven months, it will
help "overcome a difficult period." MS

MOLDOVAN PREMIER TO BE REPLACED? Vladimir Ciobanu, a
parliamentary deputy representing the Democratic
Convention of Moldova, told BASA-press on 5 November
that the ruling coalition has "already agreed on a
replacement for [Premier] Ion Ciubuc and all that
remains is for President [Petru] Lucinschi to agree [to
the change]." Iurie Rosca, deputy chairman of the
parliament, earlier told journalists that the
resignation of the cabinet is "imminent in view of the
present difficult economic situation," RFE/RL's Chisinau
bureau reported on 3 November. The question, Rosca said,
is "not whether the government will resign, but when it
will do so." On 5 November, the Moldovan currency gained
somewhat in value, trading at between 7 and 8 lei to the
U.S. dollar. MS

BULGARIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS LUSTRATION BILL INTO LAW.
Petar Stoyanov on 5 November signed into law a bill
passed last month that prohibits former communist
leaders and secret police agents from holding office for
five years. He said that it would be "very naive to
believe such a law can de-communize Bulgaria," adding
that this can be achieved only by creating a class of
owners of small-scale and medium-sized property, fully
restituting land confiscated by the communists, and
doing away with the economic power of the former
communists, AFP reported. MS

END NOTE

MACEDONIANS CHOOSE CHANGE

by Patrick Moore

	Macedonian voters have given a clear mandate to the
opposition coalition to form the next government.
Questions remain, however, about the exact composition
of the new cabinet and about some of its policies.
	On 3 November, the Electoral Commission released
the final returns of the second stage of the
parliamentary elections, which took place two days
earlier. The most votes went to the coalition of the
Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (VMRO-
DPMNE) and the Democratic Alternative (DA), which took
58 out of 120 seats. The Social Democrats, who led the
outgoing government, obtained only 29 seats. The two
main ethnic Albanian parties, which fielded joint
candidates to ensure that Albanians were elected in
mainly Albanian areas, have 24 seats. The Liberal
Democrats won four, the Socialists two, and the Alliance
of Roma one. Voting will be repeated in two districts in
which irregularities took place.
	The constitution states that President Kiro
Gligorov must soon ask a leader of the party that won
the most votes to form a new government. It is unclear
who that person will be. VMRO leader Ljubco Georgievski
said during the campaign that he would be the prime
minister in a VMRO-DA government and that this is
specified in the coalition agreement. But a DA spokesman
told reporters on 3 November that "agreements can be
changed" and suggested that DA leader Vasil Tupurkovski
might become the next prime minister.
	It is unclear whether the DA spokesman was serious
about his party claiming the prime minister's office or
whether his remarks reflect jockeying between the
coalition partners for the more powerful and prestigious
cabinet posts. Many observers said during the campaign
that the purpose behind the formation of the coalition
had been to secure the support of the multi-ethnic DA
for the Macedonian nationalist VMRO in the parliamentary
elections and the backing of the large VMRO electorate
for Tupurkovski in the 1999 presidential vote. If that
theory is correct, it would not be in Tupurkovski's
interest for the DA to provoke a clash with the VMRO
before the presidential elections and certainly not
before the government itself is formed.
	Perhaps the main question related to the formation
of the new government is not that of the relationship
between the VMRO and DA but rather of who else will join
that coalition. The VMRO and DA are three votes short of
an absolute majority in the parliament, and it is
unclear from where they will get the necessary support.
	Speculation has so far centered on the possibility
that the VMRO and DA will form a broad-based coalition
with one of the two main ethnic Albanian parties, namely
the moderate Party of Democratic Prosperity (PPD) or the
more nationalistic Democratic Party of the Albanians
(PDSH). The PDSH is the more likely partner of the two,
since the PPD was part of the outgoing coalition and
hence is "tainted" in the eyes of many VMRO-DA
supporters. A PDSH spokesman recently told "RFE/RL
Newsline" that his party does not exclude any
possibilities in post-election coalition talks. The PDSH
and VMRO earlier agreed on a power-sharing arrangement
in Skopje, which may prove to be the model for the
future government.
	Regardless of which parties form the new
government, one thing is clear: voters gave their trust
first and foremost to Georgievski because they were
willing to give him a chance to end corruption and over-
regulation of the economy, promote economic growth, and
attract foreign investment. In preparing for his
successful campaign, the man who began his political
career as a fiery nationalist reinvented himself as a
neo-liberal. Voters will now expect him to deliver. If
he does not succeed in raising the standard of living
and reducing unemployment, the voters may turn him out
of office at the next opportunity or the nationalist
wing of the VMRO, which never fully accepted
Georgievski's shift from nationalist to economic issues,
may oust him from the party leadership.
	Other questions surround the likely foreign policy
of the VMRO-DA government. Georgievski told "RFE/RL
Newsline" recently that he is interested in good
relations with all his neighbors and does not want any
foreign policy problems to "distract" the government's
attention from the economy. Observers have suggested,
however, that he may not be as close to Serbia as were
his predecessors, many of whom had long-standing
personal links to the Belgrade establishment.
Georgievski's links are more toward Sofia and Athens.
	One question affecting ties to Serbia will be
whether to allow NATO to use Macedonian territory for
the alliance's verification mission in Kosova. Before
the first round of the elections on 18 October,
Georgievski suggested that he did not want Macedonia to
become involved such a project. But in late October, he
pledged to pursue "continuity" in foreign policy and
respect any agreements that the previous government may
have reached with NATO. It may be that Georgievski does
not want possible tensions with NATO to distract him
from the economy. Moreover, he may realize that if
Macedonia wants integration into Euro-Atlantic
structures and to meet with the good will of Western
countries, it must show itself to be a valuable partner
in political as well as in economic affairs.

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