You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream thing that never were; and I say, 'Why not?'. - Geroge Bernard Shaw
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 2, Part II, 5 January 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 2, Part II, 5 January 1999

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

* DISPUTE OVER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDACY IN SLOVAK RULING
COALITION

* DJUKANOVIC CALLS FOR MILOSEVIC'S 'ISOLATION'

* ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT REJECTS MINERS' DEMANDS

End Note: A REVOLUTION OF FALLING EXPECTATIONS
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINIAN CABINET TO DRAW UP ADMINISTRATION REFORM
DECREE. Ukrainian Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko
has ordered his cabinet to prepare by 6 January a draft
decree that would cut the number of ministries and
increase the government's efficiency, AP and ITAR-TASS
reported on 4 January. Pustovoytenko said the planned
cuts may affect 30 percent of government officials. The
cabinet's step is seen as a response to the IMF's
criticism of Ukraine's bureaucratic system of
government. Radical administrative reform is an IMF
requirement for the resumption of a suspended $2.2
billion loan. JM

OPPOSITION SAYS BELARUSIAN-LANGUAGE EDUCATION IN
DECLINE. Aleh Trusau, deputy chairman of the Belarusian
Language Society, told RFE/RL's Belarusian Service that
in 1998, the government did "everything possible to
destroy the Belarusian-language education system."
According to Trusau, there are no schools with
Belarusian as the instruction language in Mahilyou and
Pinsk, while in Minsk the proportion of first-graders
instructed in Belarusian has fallen to 4.5 percent. At
the same time, Trusau noted that the "opposition to
total Russification is increasing," particularly among
young people. He said his society has recently opened 15
branches in raions and several at "major Belarusian
plants. Thus, we can also see another trend--the
people's respect for the Belarusian language has
remarkably increased. This trend is also demonstrated by
the persecution of both our organization and individual
members by the authorities," Trusau commented. JM

ESTONIAN GOVERNMENT TO APPEAL TO EU OVER SHIPPING ROW?
The cabinet on 4 January discussed appealing to the EU
to rule on the legal aspect of the boycott by Finnish
dockworkers of vessels belonging to the Estonian
Shipping Company (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21 December
1998), ETA reported. Danish dockworkers at the port of
Arhus joined that boycott several days after it began.
The Estonian Foreign Ministry argues that the Finnish
and Danish trade union action violates the association
agreement between Estonia and the EU. Government
spokesman Daniel Vaarik said that the government intends
to clarify all aspects of the shipping row. JC

ESTONIAN-RUSSIAN WATER TALKS MAY RESUME NEXT WEEK. The
municipal authorities of Ivangorod will seek to continue
talks next week with the Estonian water company Narva
Vesi on resuming water supplies to the Russian border
town and the treatment of its sewage, Antonina
Kostitsyna of the Ivangorod authorities told BNS on 4
January. Several days ago, Narva Vesi cut off water
supplies to Ivangorod, which owes the company some $1.4
million (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 January 1999).
Kostitsyna said that Ivangorod officials will be meeting
with regional leaders to discuss possible ways of paying
Ivangorod's debt to Narva Vesi. JC

LATVIAN PREMIER SAYS NO IMMINENT EXPANSION OF RULING
COALITION. Vilis Kristopans told journalists on 4
January that no decisions about expanding the coalition
government or appointing the state minister for forestry
are expected to be taken soon, BNS reported. "I will not
invite a state minister [to join the government] until
the agriculture minister is approved," Kristopans said.
The premier has nominated Peteris Salkazanovs of the
Social Democratic Party as agriculture minister, but the
Fatherland and Freedom Party opposes the Social
Democrats' participation in the government and has
postponed taking a final decision on the issue until 23
January. Under the coalition agreement, there must be
consensus among coalition partners on inviting other
parties to participate in the government. JC

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT DELAYS FORMING 'LUSTRATION'
COMMISSION. Valdas Adamkus will delay forming a
commission provided for by the law banning former KGB
agents from holding government office and working in
various private-sector jobs (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4
January 1999), BNS reported on 4 January. Under the law,
which was vetoed by Adamkus last year but went into
force on I January, the president is to form a
commission that would consider lifting the restrictions
for some former KGB employees. Adamkus's spokeswoman,
Violeta Gaizauskaite, stressed that the law does not set
a deadline for setting up the commission, adding that it
"makes more sense" to wait until the Constitutional
Court rules on the constitutionality of the new
legislation. Such a ruling is expected next month. JC

POLAND'S HEALTH REFORM STARTS AMID CONFUSION, PROTESTS.
Polish Radio reported that there was "one huge, big
muddle" caused by a "crowd of disoriented patients" at a
Warsaw health clinic on 4 January, the first day that
Poland's health reform was implemented. Under the health
reform law, every patient can choose doctors, clinics,
or hospitals for treatment. The National Union of
Doctors has sent a letter to the prime minister accusing
the ruling coalition of "burying the hope of an
improvement" in the country's health service and of
"devaluing the work of doctors." Meanwhile, anesthetists
continued their protest on 4 January by tendering mass
resignations and refusing to assist at operations,
excluding emergencies. They are demanding that their new
job contracts, which are required under the health
reform, be signed by themselves, not by the hospitals
for which they work. JM

MORE PROTESTS IN POLAND. The Federation of Light
Industry Trade Unions has launched a nationwide protest,
Polish Television reported on 4 January. Trade unionists
demand that the government draw up a restructuring
program for their sector and that the parliament debate
their problems. Meanwhile, 10 coal miners' trade unions
(excluding Solidarity) have announced that they intend
to appeal the mining restructuring law to the
Constitutional Court. The unions claim that the four-
year wage freeze in the mining industry violates the
constitution. And the Federation of Polish State
Railroad Trade Unions has taken the recently adopted law
on pensions to the Constitutional Court, arguing that
the legislation contravenes the principles of social
justice by giving preferential treatments to high
earners. JM

KLAUS SILENT ON NEW ALLEGATIONS OVER PRIVATIZATION
BRIBE. Former Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus, leader of the
opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS), told the
private radio station Frecvence 1 on 4 January that he
has "nothing to say" on the alleged 1995 bribes paid by
the Dutch KPN telecommunication company to the ODS and
the Civic Democratic Alliance for the acquisition of a
27 percent stake in the STP Telcom company, CTK
reported. "Someone is still cooking this old soup, which
is really far too old and without any spice," Klaus
said. Dutch Television reported on 3 January that KPN
had bribed the two parties, paying 12-18 million guldens
($6.4- 9.5 million). Dutch deputies asked the government
in The Hague to comment on the allegations, because the
state was a majority owner in KPN in 1995. MS

DISPUTE OVER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDACY IN SLOVAK RULING
COALITION. Rudolf Schuster, chairman of the Party of
Civic Understanding (SOP) and mayor of Kosice, has
dismissed as "laughable, shameful, and untrue"
allegations that he has secured the backing of the
ruling coalition for his presidential candidacy through
"blackmail," CTK reported on 4 January. Schuster was
responding to a call by Vladimir Palko of the Slovak
Democratic Coalition (SDK) to explain the "immoral
deals" through which his candidacy won the coalition's
backing. As part of the coalition agreement, the SOP
gave up a ministerial post and the coalition agreed to
support Schuster's candidacy, but the deal was
criticized by the Christian Democrats and the Democratic
Union, which are both senior partners in the five-party
SDK. Schuster said the objections are part of the SDK's
internal disputes and he has "nothing to explain" to
Palko. MS

FORMER SLOVAK OFFICIALS TO BE INDICTED? Interior
Minister Ladislav Pittner on 4 January said several
ministers in the former cabinet of Vladimir Meciar may
be charged with plotting the 1995 kidnapping of former
President Michal Kovac's son, CTK reported. While in
opposition, Pittner headed an independent commission
that investigated the kidnapping. He said the
commission's findings have now been confirmed. The
commission accused the former head of Slovak counter-
intelligence (SIS), Ivan Lexa, of attempting to destroy
evidence on the kidnapping. It also said the Interior
Ministry and the Prosecutor-General's Office were
involved in hiding evidence. Pittner added that
"concrete charges" will soon be brought against
officials who blocked the referendum on NATO and direct
presidential elections in 1996 as well as against those
involved in the murder of Robert Remias, an SIS agent
who admitted participation in the kidnapping of Kovac's
son. MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

DJUKANOVIC CALLS FOR MILOSEVIC'S 'ISOLATION'Š
Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic told the Hamburg-
based weekly "Der Spiegel" of 4 January that the
international community must "isolate" Yugoslav
President Slobodan Milosevic and cease giving him
"domestic political legitimacy" by treating him as a
legitimate negotiating partner. The Montenegrin
president said that Washington's recent acknowledgement
that Milosevic is the main problem in the Balkans "has
come far too late. The international community has been
fooled by his tricks for yearsŠ. [He is] one of the
people responsible for the problem in Bosnia."
Djukanovic promised to pull Montenegrin troops out of
the Yugoslav army if Milosevic uses the military against
NATO's rapid reaction force in Kosova. The Montenegrin
leader added, however, that he believes Milosevic is
"bluffing" when he threatens action against the force.
But he warned that Milosevic may soon incite violence in
Montenegro because he "needs [the republic] as a new
trouble spot. He governs by stirring up conflicts." PM

ŠSEEKS 'DEMOCRATIZATION' FOR YUGOSLAVIA. President
Djukanovic stressed that the Yugoslav federation "is not
working" but added that the solution is democratization
and not Montenegro's or Kosova's succession from the
federation. He noted that neither the Montenegrin people
nor the international community favor Montenegrin
independence or "any additional dramaŠin the Balkans."
Djukanovic added that Podgorica nonetheless will "defend
its own interestsŠby conducting its own financial
policy" if Milosevic "sets off inflation by illegally
printing dinars." Referring to Kosova, the Montenegrin
leader called for "wide-ranging autonomy linked to the
Yugoslav federation for the Albanian minority in
SerbiaŠunder international mediation and guarantee." He
opposed any "new state territories" in Kosova and added,
"I am a firm opponent of any form of secession. That
would cause new regional problems. What would happen if
states were set up in the Balkans on the basis of
ethnicity [alone]?" PM

UCK AGREES TO MEETING ON JOINT PLATFORM. Adem Demaci,
who is the chief political representative for the Kosova
Liberation Army (UCK), told Albanian Prime Minister
Pandeli Majko in Tirana on 4 January that UCK
representatives agree to meet with unnamed other Kosovar
leaders to work out a joint strategy for negotiations
with the international community and the Serbs. Majko
urged his guest to ensure that the Kosovars "finally
speak with a single voice" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22
December 1998). The Albanian government issued a
statement on 5 January noting that a joint platform "is
the first necessary step to unite Kosova's political
potential. Time is running out for Kosova to show one
face to the international community and to eliminate
unnecessary competition among political factions." PM

IS UCK OPEN TO COMPROMISE? The guerrillas published a
statement in the Prishtina daily "Koha Ditore" on 4
January saying that "Kosova should have a position of an
undisputed territorial entityŠfully independent from the
jurisdiction of Serbia and Yugoslavia." The text added
that the current U.S. draft proposal for an interim
political settlement is unacceptable because it "offers
the [ethnic] Albanians much less than was given to the
Serbs in Bosnia" under the Dayton agreement. Observers
suggested that this formulation could indicate that the
UCK is willing to discuss what some regional media call
the "Republika Srpska model" as an interim solution for
Kosova. According to this model, the Kosovars would have
as much control over their affairs as the Bosnian Serbs
do over theirs. Yugoslavia would thus formally remain a
single, unified country--as does Bosnia--but the
Kosovars would maintain with Belgrade only the limited
ties that the Bosnian Serbs have with the joint
government in Sarajevo. PM

U.S. WARNS THAT 'TIME IS RUNNING OUT.' Referring to the
situation in Kosova, State Department spokesman James
Rubin said on 4 January: "We think both sides need to
understand that there is not that much time left for a
negotiated solution which can give the legitimate rights
to the peopleŠand protect the national interests of the
Serbs before we face the prospect of renewed and very
dangerous conflict this spring." Rubin added that "the
current security environment" in Kosova is "of concern"
but not sufficiently dangerous to prompt NATO to
consider evacuating the unarmed OSCE civilian monitors
in the province. PM

HAGUE GIVES SARAJEVO GREEN LIGHT TO TRY ABDIC. A
spokesman for the Hague-based war crimes tribunal said
on 4 January that the court agrees that evidence
supplied by the Sarajevo authorities is sufficient "to
justify the arrest [of Bihac pocket kingpin Fikret
Abdic] and the case proceeding further." A spokesman for
Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic, who is a long-standing
political rival of the controversial Abdic, said that
Abdic committed "grave breaches of international law
through the inhumane treatment of civilians and war
prisoners and through the forced mobilizations" of
civilians during the 1992-1995 conflict. Abdic, who
maintained good relations with the Serbian and Croatian
armies during the conflict, is widely believed to be
living under government protection in Croatia. Under a
1996 international agreement, authorities in Bosnia may
proceed with war crimes cases only with the approval of
The Hague. PM

TUDJMAN DEFENDS HIS WEALTH. Croatian President Franjo
Tudjman said in Zagreb on 31 December that some $140,000
held by his wife in Zagrebacka Banka are his "life
savings" and income from "50 years of work and 30
published books" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 24 November
1998). He added that unspecified "claims that I or my
family possess billions and billions are pure
lies..[and] attempts to compromise Croatia's freedom and
democracy." He shrugged off recent opinion polls that
suggest his Croatian Democratic Community is rapidly
losing electoral support. He called the surveys
"something made up at someone's desk." Tudjman added
that Croatia is "still better off than all former
communist countries except Slovenia," Reuters quoted him
as saying. PM

ALBANIAN INSTITUTE WARNS OF 'BRAIN LOSS.' The Tirana-
based Center for Economic and Social Studies published a
study on 31 December showing that 31.5 percent of all
university teachers and researchers working in Albania
in 1990 have permanently left the country since then.
Meanwhile, a poll among 251 academics showed that 63.35
percent are likewise planning to leave. Ilir Gedeshi,
who heads the center, warned that "teachers, engineers,
scholars, artists all seem to have lost hope of leading
a normal life in Albania," dpa reported. Since 1991, 23
percent of academic emigrants have gone to the U.S., 19
percent to Greece, and 18 percent to Italy. Smaller
numbers went to France, Germany, or Austria. Most
scholars left for countries in which they had previously
done post-graduate work. Gedeshi said that most
emigrants do not find work in their professions, adding
that in Albania "we do not have a brain drain, but a
brain loss." FS

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT REJECTS MINERS' DEMANDS...
Government spokesman Razvan Popescu on 4 January said
that the cabinet "rejects the politics of force" of the
Jiu Valley miners and will not "conduct a dialogue" with
them in view of their "ultimatum." Popescu also said
that the striking miners will not receive wages for the
days on which they strike. Trade and Industry Minister
Radu Berceanu said he will not come to Petrosani, as
demanded by the miners, but is ready to receive a nine-
member delegation, on condition that Jiu Valley miners'
leader Miron Cozma is not part of that group, RFE/RL's
Bucharest bureau reported. Berceanu added that meeting
the demands of the striking miners would cost $500
million, while the losses of the Jiu Valley mining
company in the last eight years amount to some $2
billion. MS

...AS MINERS CONTINUE STRIKE. Some 2,500 striking miners
demonstrated in Petrosani on 4 January, shouting anti-
government slogans. Cozma said Berceanu's estimation of
the cost of meeting the miners' demands is a "lie" and
proves he must be dismissed. Berceanu's dismissal is
included on the list of demands that a delegation
representing all miners' unions handed to him on 4
January. Cozma added that if the authorities refuse to
let the miners travel to Bucharest by train, they will
do so by bus or march on the capital from the valley.
The Ministry of Interior announced it will
"categorically oppose" the miners' intention to descend
on Bucharest if Premier Radu Vasile or Berceanu do not
travel to Petrosani by 5 January. The ministry said it
"will not tolerate any act posing a threat to order and
peace." MS

BULGARIAN POLICE FIGHT ANTIQUITIES THEFT. Colonel Kiril
Radev, chief of the police department fighting organized
crime, (CSBOP), says antiquities worth nearly $1 billion
were prevented from being smuggled to the West last
year, an RFE/RL correspondent in Sofia reported. A
source familiar with the activity of the CSBOP (who
requested anonymity) told RFE/RL that since 1985, some
25,000 antiquities have been discovered at the border.
The source said that according to estimates, this is
only about 30 percent of the antiquities that were
intended for smuggling to the West, where they are sold
to private collectors and to museums. On 4 January,
Hungarian customs officials seized hundreds of ancient
coins while searching the car of a Bulgarian seeking to
enter Austria, MTI reported. MS

END NOTE

A REVOLUTION OF FALLING EXPECTATIONS

By Paul Goble

	Buffeted by the difficulties they experienced in
1998, ever fewer people in the post-Soviet states expect
their situation to be significantly better in 1999.
Indeed, polls taken across the region suggest that many
there would now agree with Ukrainian President Leonid
Kuchma who said last week that there is no reason to
think that 1999 will be any easier for his country than
1998 was.
	This shift from optimism to pessimism is now so
widespread that it constitutes a veritable revolution of
falling expectations, one that may have just as many
serious political and economic consequences as the more
familiar revolution of rising expectations has had
elsewhere.
	Revolutions of rising expectations occur when
people begin to expect more owing to improvements in
their lives. And such optimistic attitudes sometimes
lead them to make demands that neither the economic nor
the political system is able to meet. That frequently
results in a crisis that can lead either to the
transformation of these systems or to the demobilization
of the groups making such demands. But in either case,
optimism that goes beyond the capacity of the country to
cope can create instability.
	A revolution of falling expectations--such as the
one that appears to be starting in some post-Soviet
states--can be equally destabilizing but in very
different and unexpected ways. Some observers have
suggested that declining expectations by leaders and
peoples in the post-Soviet states not only represent a
new form of realism on the part of both but also give
elites in these countries new opportunities to move
toward democracy and the free market.
	Certainly, popular and political recognition of the
difficulties involved in the transition from communism
is a more realistic stance than the often starry-eyed
optimism that characterized the immediate post-communist
period and that Western governments in fact promoted.
And it is obviously true that leaders have more room to
maneuver when they are not under pressure from
populations that expect and even demand that tomorrow be
better than today.
	At the same time, there are three compelling
reasons why such a view of what has been called "the new
realism" in these countries is likely too rosy and why
the revolution of falling expectations taking place
there may have some potentially frightening
consequences.
	First, populations that believe that tomorrow will
not be better than today and may even be worse have few
reasons to seek leadership from political or economic
elites. Not only does that make it more difficult for
such elites to generate the kind of authority they need
to make changes for the better, but it also means that
these elites may be tempted to defend their own
interests by force or at the expense of those of the
population as a whole.
	Second, when senior political leaders come to share
the pessimism of the population, they are unlikely to be
willing or able to take the risks necessary to help
their countries escape from current difficulties. And
that unwillingness is likely in many cases to reinforce
the pessimism of the population and the other problems
such pessimism entails.
	And third, when both populations and their leaders
become so pessimistic, the former are likely to be ever
more willing to listen to those who would blame someone
for their problems, and the latter are likely to be ever
more willing to participate in such scapegoating. That
helps explain the rise of anti-Semitism and growing
antagonism toward those viewed as outsiders -- such as
the North Caucasians in Russia -- in several of these
countries. It also helps explain why ever more people
and governments in these states are becoming more
hostile to the West.
	Such attitudes and the actions prompted by them
will make it more difficult for these countries to move
toward democracy and the free market or to integrate
into the international community.
	But while revolutions of rising expectations do not
last forever, neither do revolutions of falling
expectations. Both can end either when conditions
finally begin to improve or, more often, when leaders
seek to spread their own optimism to the population of
their countries.
	The role of leaders may be particularly important.
To paraphrase U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, who
came to office in the depths of the Great Depression,
the only thing to be pessimistic about in this region is
the spread of pessimism to so many.

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