We do not live an equal life, but one of contrast and patchwork; now a little joy, then a sorrow, now a sin, then a generous or brave action. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 239, Part II, 14 December 1998


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 2, No. 239, Part II, 14 December 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

* EU SUMMIT NAMES NO DATES FOR WOULD-BE MEMBERS

* EU BACKS MONTENEGRO, CALLS FOR SERBIA'S
DEMOCRATIZATION

* GOVERNMENT OF BOSNIA'S MUSLIM-CROAT FEDERATION
APPROVED

End Note: REFORM AND POLITICAL INSTABILITY IN ROMANIA
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

EU SUMMIT NAMES NO DATES FOR WOULD-BE MEMBERS. Meeting
in Vienna on 11-12 December, leaders of the 15 EU member
countries failed to offer applicant states any concrete
dates for possible membership. The Czech Republic,
Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, and Cyprus are all
taking part in so-called fast-track entry talks. The
summit also declined to invite any of the other five
would-be members--Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania,
and Slovakia--to join the fast-track group. Following
the release of the European Commission's annual progress
reports last month, Latvia, in particular, had been
hoping to move up to that group (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
5 November 1998). A statement issued at the end of the
Vienna summit says only that the European Council
"welcomes progress in preparation for accession
negotiations with Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania
and Bulgaria as described in the Commission's reports."
JC

IMF CONDITIONS LOAN TO BELARUS ON REFORM. IMF
representative Thomas Wolf told reporters in Minsk on 11
December that Belarus may receive a $100 million loan in
March if it fulfills the fund's recommendations on
liberalizing economic policies, Interfax reported on 11
December. In particular, the IMF wants the Belarusian
government to tighten its credit policy and liberalize
its currency market. Reuters reported that both sides
have signed an agreement on establishing a "track
record" of policy cooperation between the IMF and
Belarus, which the IMF Executive Board requires before
deciding on the loan. JM

BELARUSIAN, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTS SIGN 10-YEAR ECONOMIC
ACCORD. Alyaksandr Lukashenka and Leonid Kuchma, meeting
in Minsk on 11 December, signed a 10-year economic
cooperation treaty and discussed ways to reduce the
impact of the Russian financial crisis on both
countries, Belarusian Television reported. "Whether we
like it or not, relations between Belarus and Ukraine
are directly dependent on stability in the Russian
Federation," Lukashenka commented after the talks. AP
reported that Lukashenka and Kuchma did not settle
differences over the repayment of Ukraine's $200 million
debt to Belarus. They will return to the issue in
February. JM

UKRAINE, CHINA SIGN TRADE DEALS. During Ukrainian
Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk's visit to Beijing last
week, Ukraine and China signed two trade agreements and
discussed cooperation in farming and other areas, AP
reported on 12 December. Ukraine's trade with China in
1997 totaled $1.25 billion but has dropped by 30 percent
this year. Tarasyuk said growing Chinese trade barriers
to Ukrainian imports are to blame for this decrease.
Tarasyuk confirmed Kyiv's commitment to the "one China"
policy, which recognizes Taiwan as a province of
mainland China. "We are maintaining trade and economic
relations with Taiwan on an unofficial basis, but we
have no military and technical contacts with it," ITAR-
TASS quoted him as saying. JM

EBRD MAY SUPPORT COMPLETING UKRAINE'S TWO NUCLEAR
REACTORS. Horst Koehler, head of the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development, said in Kyiv on 11
December that the EBRD might provide financing to
complete the construction of two nuclear reactors at the
nuclear power plants in Khmelnytskyy and Rivne, dpa and
AP reported. Ukraine wants to complete the reactors to
compensate for the planned closure of the Chornobyl
plant in 2000. Opponents of the reactors in Khmelnytskyy
and Rivne say technology at those facilities is outdated
and unprofitable. Koehler said in Kyiv that completing
the reactors is the cheapest solution to the Chornobyl
problem, but he warned that the EBRD will disburse the
loan only if Ukraine proves the reactors can make enough
profit to repay the loan. JM

MOSCOW WELCOMES ESTONIAN CITIZENSHIP LAW CHANGES...
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Rakhmanin
told journalists on 11 December that Moscow is satisfied
with the passage of amendments to Estonia's citizenship
law, which facilitate granting citizenship to stateless
children born in that country (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9
December 1998), ETA and BNS reported. "We hope that this
decision will be followed by other actions...aimed at
the observance of generally recognized democratic
standards on ethnic minorities," he commented, adding
that the recent meeting of the Russian-Estonian
intergovernment commission was held "precisely in this
spirit." JC

...SAYS IT WILL CEASE RHETORIC ON RUSSIAN-SPEAKERS IN
BALTICS. Later the same day, Rakhmanin told BNS that
Moscow is satisfied with developments related to the
rights of Russian-speakers in the Baltic States and will
cease making "a lot of noise" about the issue. "We're
not inclined to a heated public debate. Work is now what
matters," he added. In October, Moscow welcomed changes
to Latvia's citizenship law that received final approval
in a referendum. JC

LATVIAN COALITION PARTY POSTPONES DECISION ON SOCIAL
DEMOCRATS... Maris Grinblats, chairman of the rightist
Fatherland and Freedom party, told journalists on 10
December that his group is postponing taking a decision
on the Social Democrats' participation in the government
until 28 January, when the party's council is due to
convene, BNS reported. Before that date, the party will
not change its position of opposing any involvement of
the Social Democrats in the executive, Grinblats
stressed. Prime Minister Vilis Kristopans has proposed
offering the agricultural portfolio to the Social
Democrats, who have demanded a cabinet post in exchange
for supporting the minority government in the
parliament. Under the coalition agreement, there must be
a consensus among the three ruling parties on inviting
non-coalition partners to participate in the government.
JC

...WHILE PREMIER DENIES GOVERNMENT CRISIS LOOMING.
Kristopans, meanwhile, has rejected a statement by
Grinblats that the government will face a crisis in
January over the question of whether to involve the
Social Democrats in the executive, BNS reported on 11
December. The premier argued that the government's
stability would not be threatened if the Fatherland and
Freedom party decided not to support the Social
Democratic candidate for agriculture minister. The
Fatherland and Freedom party "is simply making me
perform the duties of agriculture minister for another
one-and-a-half months," he commented. "I promise,
however, that when 3 million lats (some $6 million) in
government subsidies to farmers have been distributed, I
will ask [that party] to take charge of the Agriculture
Ministry. Let them fill this position." JC

POLISH RIGHTIST GROUPS DEMAND PUNISHMENT OVER MARTIAL
LAW. Some 100 members of the right-wing Republican
League demonstrated outside the house of General
Wojciech Jaruzelski on 13 December to mark the 17th
anniversary of the imposition of martial law by the
Jaruzelski-led Military Council of National Salvation.
Mariusz Kaminski, head of the Republican League and a
Solidarity parliamentary deputy, said he hopes
Jaruzelski will have to answer for his deeds in court,
Polish media reported. Some 50 members of the right-wing
Confederation for an Independent Poland-Patriotic Camp
picketed the provincial court in Katowice, demanding
punishment for the death of nine miners killed under the
1981 martial law. A poll published by "Rzeczpospolita"
the previous day suggested that 39 percent of Poles
believe more harm than good was done by the imposition
of martial law. Thirty percent disagreed with that
statement and 31 percent were undecided. JM

CZECH OPPOSITION PARTY REJECTS NEW TAX FRAUD CHARGES.
Mirolslav Macek, deputy chairman of the Civic Democratic
Party (ODS), told Nova TV on 13 December that ODS
executive deputy chairman Libor Novak did not
deliberately attempt to deprive the state of taxes. Last
week, Novak was accused of submitting an incorrect ODS
income tax declaration in 1995. That declaration
indicated that the party had received two large sums of
money from a larger number of donors than was the case.
ODS chairman Vaclav Klaus on 12 December said his party
is "extremely shocked and extremely surprised" by the
charges, CTK reported. MS

HUNGARY, SLOVAKIA MAINTAIN POSITIONS IN DAM DISPUTE. The
heads of the Hungarian and Slovak delegations
negotiating a settlement to the controversial Gabcikovo-
Nagymaros dam dispute met with the president of the
International Court of Justice in The Hague on 11
December. The positions of the two sides, however, have
not come closer, Hungarian media reported. Hungarian
delegation head Gyorgy Szenasi told journalists that
Slovakia is insisting that the court admonish Budapest
for failing to reach an agreement and set a deadline for
the implementation of its earlier ruling. Hungary admits
that both sides are entitled to seek a second ruling but
argues that the Slovak approach is unacceptable, Szenasi
said. He expressed hopes that bilateral talks will help
solve the dispute. Those talks are scheduled to resume
on 28 January. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

EU BACKS MONTENEGRO, CALLS FOR SERBIA'S DEMOCRATIZATION.
In a draft statement released on 12 December at the end
of the Vienna summit, leaders of the 15 EU member
countries called for democratic reform and free media in
federal Yugoslavia. The statement also expressed support
for Montenegro's reformist President Milo Djukanovic.
With regard to Kosova, the statement said that there is
a "lack of commitment by both [Kosova Albanian and the
Serbian leadership] to support the negotiation process."
It urged both sides "to show flexibility in the talks
necessary for agreement to be reached on the future
status of Kosova." FS

MILOSEVIC WARNS NATO NOT TO ENTER KOSOVA. Federal
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic told the
"Washington Post" of 13 December that if NATO troops
cross into Kosova to rescue international observers,
they will be treated as aggressors. He added that it "is
the duty of our army not to allow any foreign troops to
get into our territory." Meanwhile, the French-led
extraction force has started building camps throughout
northern Macedonia, Reuters reported on 13 December. FS

GOVERNMENT OF BOSNIA'S MUSLIM-CROAT FEDERATION
APPROVED... The parliament of Bosnia's Muslim-Croat
federation on 12 December approved incumbent federation
President Ejup Ganic serving another term in office. It
also supported Ganic's proposal that current Prime
Minister Edhem Bicakcic remain in office and approved 13
government ministers. Ganic and Bicakcic belong to the
Muslim Party of Democratic Action (SDA). Ivo Andric
Luzanski of the Croat Democratic Community (HDZ) was
elected as federation vice president in a power-sharing
deal reached by the two ruling nationalist parties.
After one year, Ganic and Luzanski will switch
positions. FS

...PLEDGES REFORMS. Bicakcic told "Dnevni Avaz" of 13
December that his cabinet, made up of a four-party
coalition, will work to speed up economic reforms. The
coalition has eight portfolios and the HDZ five.
Bicakcic said that his priorities are the acceleration
of the privatization process and improvement of the
social security system. A spokeswoman for the
international community's high representative, Carlos
Westendorp, told Reuters that "we hope that all elected
officials are committed to the implementation of the
peace agreement and the ambitious plan for 1999," which
will be outlined at an upcoming 50-nation meeting of the
Peace Implementation Council in Madrid on 15-16
December. Donor nations at the meeting are expected to
increase pressure on Bosnia to implement economic
reforms. FS

IZETBEGOVIC WANTS CROATIAN POLICE TO LEAVE BOSNIAN TOWN.
Alija Izetbegovic, the Muslim member of the joint
Bosnian presidency, demanded on 11 December that Croatia
withdraw its police from the western Bosnian border town
of Martin Brod before the Croatian-Bosnian border
commission resumes its work (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8
December 1998). Croatia captured the town in 1995.
Zagreb subsequently withdrew its military, but Croatian
police still patrol the area. Izetbegovic said that
"instead of an immediate withdrawal of the police,
Croatia is trying to declare the area a disputed border
issue which needs to be negotiated." A spokesman for
Westendorp told Reuters that "Martin Brod is within the
confines of Bosnia," adding that Westendorp has also
made that clear. He added, however, that the matter
should be resolved by the joint border commission. FS

UN MONITORS ATTACKED IN BOSNIAN CROAT TOWN. SFOR troops
evacuated monitors of the International Police Task
Force (IPTF) from Stolac after a hostile crowd assaulted
them on 10 December. The monitors requested SFOR support
after the local police had denied them access to a part
of the police headquarters where SFOR later found and
confiscated unspecified illegal weapons. The Stolac
police chief resigned following the incident. Stolac had
a mixed Bosnian Muslim and Croatian population before it
was captured in 1993 by Croatian forces, who expelled
some 8,000 Muslims. Local Croats have attacked refugees
returning to the town in at least 70 incidents this
year. The IPTF monitors had planned to evaluate the
performance of local police in preventing further
violence, Reuters reported on 11 December. FS

BOSNIAN SERB COURT FINDS MUSLIMS GUILTY OF SREBRENICA
MURDERS... A Bosnian Serb court has sentenced two
Muslims to 20 years in prison each and a third to 11
years for murder. The three men belonged to a group of
seven that claimed to have escaped a massacre of
thousands of Muslims when Serbs captured Srebrenica in
July 1995. They maintained that they had survived months
in the wild and had surrendered when they spotted U.S.
soldiers in May 1996. The U.S. troops, noting some of
the men were wearing military uniform and carrying
weapons, handed them over to Bosnian Serb police. AP
reported. FS

...WHILE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CONDEMNS RULING. A
spokeswoman for Westendorp told AP that the court handed
down sentences despite a lack of evidence. She said that
the defendants had signed a confession to having
committed the crime but had been forced to do so.
Defense lawyer Bakir Pasic said there was no evidence of
a murder. He pledged to appeal the ruling at the Bosnian
Serb Supreme Court. According to Pasic, the court based
its ruling on a report that four Serbs from the Zvornik
area were reported missing and were never found. Pasic
stressed that there is no substantive evidence linking
the disappearance of the Serbs to those sentenced.
Meanwhile, the three convicted men have announced they
are staging a hunger strike to protest the ruling. FS

CROATIAN JOURNALISTS SUE GOVERNMENT FOR SPYING. The
editor and four journalists of the weekly "Nacional" on
11 December filed charges against the Croatian Interior
Ministry for allegedly spying on them. "These illegal
actions resulted in the violation of the plaintiffs'
constitutional rights," lawyer Ivan Polan told Reuters.
Interior Minister Ivan Penic has admitted the secret
police have targeted individual journalists, but only
when part of a "security problem." He has never
explicitly denied allegations of spying on the staff of
"Nacional." FS

ALBANIAN STUDENTS LAUNCH HUNGER STRIKE. About 70
students in Tirana launched a hunger strike on 11
December, demanding a 50 percent increase in
scholarships and better accommodation. The students said
their protest is not politically motivated, Reuters
reported. But Information Minister Musa Ulqini suggested
the protest was organized by the opposition Democratic
Party. Prime Minister Pandeli Majko said in a statement
the following day that the students are justified in
their requests, which the government will seek to meet.
Majko added he is ready
to meet the students to discuss their demands. FS

ALBANIAN PREMIER WANTS INTELLIGENCE CHIEF SACKED. Prime
Minister Majko on 11 December asked President Rexhep
Meidani to sack secret services chief Fatos Klosi, a
government spokesman told dpa. The spokesman gave no
reason for Majko's decision. The secret services have
recently been criticized in the media for failing to
provide information about a series of terrorist attacks.
FS

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES MOVE NO-CONFIDENCE MOTION.
The Party of Social Democracy in Romania, the Party of
Romanian National Unity, and the Greater Romania Party
moved a no-confidence motion in the cabinet on 11
December, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. They
accuse the government of economic failure and loss of
international prestige. The motion is to be submitted to
the legislature on 16 December and a vote will take
place five days later. The opposition Romanian
Alternative Party has said it will not support the
motion, saying it reflects the "incapability of the
leftist opposition to adapt itself to the needs of the
present." The Alliance for Romania party said the
government deserves to be censured but that the motion
is aimed at "making political capital." Meanwhile, the
government on 12 December approved a final document on
streamlining its structure, which will be submitted to
the parliament on 16 December. MS

ROMANIAN PRESIDENT PROMULGATES INVESTMENT LAW. Emil
Constantinescu on 13 December signed into law
legislation guaranteeing foreign investors the same
treatment as their local counterparts, Romanian
television reported. Under the legislation, foreign
investors will be exempt from import taxes on equipment
brought into the country and will be granted tax
reductions based on the volume of their investment.
Those investing more than $50 million will pay no profit
taxes for 10 years. The legislation also provides
safeguards for foreign investors against
nationalization, expropriation, or discrimination. MS

LUCINSCHI REJECTS ALLEGATIONS ABOUT ILLEGAL PLANE SALES.
Moldovan President Petru Lucinschi on 11 December denied
he acted illegally when approving the sale of 21 MiG-29
airplanes to the U.S. in 1997. Lucinschi said that his
actions conformed with the "legislation previously in
force" and that the parliamentary commission that had
made the allegations was driven by "political motives,"
RFE/RL's Chisinau bureau reported. Lucinschi also said
the sale of the planes to the U.S. would have
"political, rather than economic" advantages since
Washington has promised Moldova "support in many aspects
related to our problems" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10
December 1998). In other news, on 12 December the
parliament adopted the 1999 budget, which provides for
austere measures. MS

MOLDOVAN AUTHORITIES RULE OUT REFERENDA. The Central
Electoral Commission on 11 December rejected the
Taraclia local authorities' request to hold a referendum
on the district's local administrative independence, the
Flux agency reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 11 December
1998). The commission said such a referendum would
violate the 1996 law on local administration. It also
rejected the request of the Basarabeanca Municipal
Council to hold a referendum on 9 January on joining the
Gagauz-Yeri autonomous region, saying that ballot would
be "illegitimate and infringe on existing legislation."
MS

PRO-GOVERNMENT BULGARIAN ETHNIC TURKS SET UP OWN PARTY.
The first national conference of the Initiative Council
for Renewing the Movement of Rights and Freedom (DPS)
announced on 12 December that it is setting up a
separate party, to be called the National Movement for
Rights and Freedoms (NDPS), BTA reported. Gyuner Tahir,
a deputy representing the ruling United Democratic
Forces (ODF) coalition, was elected leader of the new
political formation. Because of differences with DPS
leader Ahmed Dogan, Tahir set up the Initiative Council
in March 1997 and ran on ODF lists in elections the
following month. Observers expect the NDPS to sign an
agreement with the Union of Democratic Forces, which is
the main component of the ODF, on joint lists in the
1999 local elections. MS

BULGARIAN ROMA SET UP NATIONAL ORGANIZATION. More than
3,000 delegates representing Romani organizations have
set up the Evroroma national association, which unites
more than 20 Bulgarian Romani organizations. The
association's goal is to mediate between the Romani
community and the government in finding solutions to
Roma's social and economic problems. Tsvetelin Kunchev,
a deputy representing Euroleft, was elected chairman of
the association. He told the gathering that he is "a
Bulgarian by origin but a [Rom] by heart." Euroleft
leader Alexander Tomov, who first suggested the setting
up of the association, said his party "will not be the
guardian but a partner" of Evroroma. Euroleft and
Evroroma are likely to sign an agreement on cooperation
in the 1999 local elections. MS

END NOTE

REFORM AND POLITICAL INSTABILITY IN ROMANIA

by Michael Shafir

	The last year of the millennium is likely to be a
difficult one for Romanians. In early December, Radu
Vasile's cabinet announced its determination to
implement long-postponed structural reforms.
Procrastination on reform has seemingly relegated
Romania to the last place on the list of countries
striving for EU membership. Worse still, some observers
believe that Bucharest will default on servicing its
external foreign debt of more than $ 2.2 billion in
1999.
	During the past few months, the international
rating agencies Moody's and Standard and Poor's have
twice reduced Romania's rating. The IMF has suspended
the last two tranches of a $430 million loan agreed with
Victor Ciorbea's cabinet, and an IMF delegation in
Bucharest in November made it clear that the fund will
neither resume loaning nor re-negotiate a new agreement
unless the reform process finally kicks off. Without
further IMF credits, borrowing will become practically
prohibitive and Romania will be hurled toward an
economic dead-end.
	But this economic vicious circle is not the only
factor threatening Romania's immediate future. Political
instability is also likely to influence the country's
performance in 1999. Tense relations between the two
main coalition partners, the Democratic Convention of
Romania (CDR) and the Democratic Party, spearheaded the
demise of Ciorbea's cabinet. And since Vasile's
government was sworn in April, tensions have re-emerged
and have apparently reached new heights within each of
the coalition's members.
	On 21 November, the Democratic Party expelled from
its ranks former Foreign Minister Adrian Severin and
Adrian Vilau, a deputy whose past links with the
Communist secret service were revealed in June,
prompting his resignation as chairman of the
parliamentary commission overseeing the Intelligence
Service. It is unclear whether those revelations were
engineered by the leadership of the Democratic Party
itself, as some observers suspect. Vilau himself has
pointed out that past links with the Securitate (as in
the case of Mihai Darie, a member of the party's
Standing Bureau) did not seem to bother the party's
leadership as long as those involved were prepared to
march to the tune of party leader Petre Roman.
	With the benefit of hindsight, it is possible to
argue that Severin's dismissal as foreign minister in
December 1997 was triggered as much by his
unsubstantiated claims that some party leaders and media
directors were agents of foreign secret services as by
his criticism of Roman's style of leadership. With
Senator Octavian Stireanu resigning from the Democratic
Party to protest the 21 November decision, the Democrats
(and thus the ruling coalition) find themselves with
three parliamentary mandates fewer.
	On the same day the Democrats expelled Severin and
Vilau, tensions within the National Peasant Party
Christian Democratic (PNTCD)--the leading formation of
the CDR--were coming to a head. At a forum in Satu Mare,
a group headed by Ciorbea, who had not reconciled
himself to his own political demise, was virtually
calling on the PNTCD not only to revise its coalition
agreement with the Democrats but also to return to the
party's "historical roots." Even if this meant
withdrawing from the coalition (which would lead to
early elections), the option was worth considering, the
group argued. It called for convening an extraordinary
PNTCD congress to analyze how the PNTCD's principles are
reflected in policies implemented by Vasile's cabinet
and how to democratize the party and increase grass-
roots influence. In other words, the group headed by
Ciorbea was firing the first shot in a struggle to
replace Vasile as well as octogenarian PNTCD leader Ion
Diaconescu.
	However, some participants were unwilling to
endorse all the points raised during the discussion. One
week later, only Ciorbea and five other prominent PNTCD
members signed a letter addressed to the party
leadership that included all those points. But the
divisions within the PNTCD remain for all to see, with
Ciorbea heading what observers have dubbed the "Taliban"
or "fundamentalist" faction within the party. This
faction calls for a return to "morality" in politics, a
formulation that implies a rejection of compromise with
the Democrats on such matters as the restitution of
property as well as criticism of the failure of the CDR-
led coalition to pass a lustration law or to expedite
passing a law on access to the files of the former
communist secret services.
	That failure had prompted the Movement of Civic
Alliance to suspend its membership in the CDR in early
April. In a recent declaration, the movement hinted that
the possibility of setting up a new party is no longer
being ruled out. Should a split occur within the PNTCD,
Ciorbea, who now is one of Diaconescu's deputies, may
well become its leader.
	Other recent developments include the Romanian
Alternative Party's October decision to quit the CDR,
claiming a monopoly on representation of "right-wing"
views, and calls within the PNTCD's main partner in the
CDR, the National Liberal Party (PNL), to revise the
statutes of the alliance to reflect the PNTCD's loss of
its former primacy. Moreover, some PNL leading members
are now openly talking about replacing Vasile with PNL
deputy chairman Valeriu Stoica. Against this background,
the ongoing threat of political instability in Romania
as the year 1998 draws to a close hardly bodes well for
either the cabinet or its ability to implement reform.

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