Words that open our eyes to the world are always the easiest to remember. - Ryszard Kapuscinski
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 6, Part II, 11 January 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 6, Part II, 11 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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part II

* SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS GOAL IS NATO, EU
MEMBERSHIP

* STANDOFF CONTINUES OVER PRISONERS IN KOSOVA

* DID ALBANIAN POLICE ARREST BIN LADEN AGENT?

End Note: BIG BROTHER WATCHES INTERNET IN BELGRADE
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

UKRAINE'S 1998 INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT DOWN BY 1.5 PERCENT.
Industrial production shrank by 1.5 percent last year,
compared with 1997, AP reported on 10 January, citing
official sources. The Ukrainian economy has been
steadily declining since the country gained independence
in 1991: industrial output reduced by 38.4 percent over
that period, according to official data. JM

PUSTOVOYTENKO ADMITS FAILURE IN REFORMING AGRICULTURE.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Valeriy Pustovoytenko on 10
January said that government efforts to reform the
agricultural sector have yielded few results, AP
reported. "We must acknowledge that the agricultural
sector has largely turned into a poorly managed, inert
and heavily indebted structure which is not attractive
to investors," he commented. According to official data,
the total debt of Ukrainian farms is 13.3 billion ($3.8
billion). Pustovoytenko said some 11,000 farms, or 90
percent of their total number, finished 1998 with
losses, while agricultural output fell by 2 percent last
year, compared with 1997. JM

LUKASHENKA'S OPPONENTS SET DATE FOR PRESIDENTIAL
ELECTIONS. At a 10 January session in Minsk, the Supreme
Soviet, which was disbanded following a referendum in
November 1996, scheduled presidential elections in
Belarus for 16 May 1999. The 43 deputies attending the
session also approved a 19-member Central Electoral
Commission, to be headed by Viktar Hanchar, who chaired
that body before the 1996 referendum. The Supreme Soviet
deputies remain loyal to the 1994 constitution, which
calls for presidential elections this year. The basic
law adopted in 1996 extended President Alyaksandr
Lukashenka's term to 2001. The results of the 1996
referendum have been recognized neither by the
Belarusian opposition nor by Western countries and
international organizations. "We count on complete
international support for our actions," the 11 January
"Gazeta wyborcza" quoted Hanchar as saying. The
authorities have warned the opposition that such actions
will be considered unconstitutional (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 7 January 1999). JM

VAN DER STOEL AGAIN CRITICIZES ESTONIAN LANGUAGE
REQUIREMENTS FOR DEPUTIES. In an interview with the
daily "Eesti Paevaleht," OSCE High Commissioner on
National Minorities Max van der Stoel again criticized
recent amendments requiring members of parliament and
local government to be proficient in the Estonian
language, BNS reported on 8 January. "It's up to the
voters to decide whether they want to elect to the
parliament somebody who is not fluent in the Estonian
language," he said. Van der Stoel also rejected
suggestions by some Estonian officials that his
criticism of minority policies in Estonia is prompted by
Russian objections. His recent letter to President
Lennart Meri criticizing the language requirements
preceded a Russian Foreign Ministry statement on the
issue by several days, he pointed out. Meri signed the
amendments into law on 31 December 1998 (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 4 January 1999). JC

LATVIAN PREMIER SAYS THERE'S NO 'PORK WAR' WITH BALTIC
NEIGHBORS. On returning from his first working visit to
Tallinn as prime minister, Vilis Kristopans blamed
journalists for exacerbating the issue of possible
temporary quotas on imports of pork and live pigs from
Estonia and Lithuania (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 and 8
January 1999), BNS reported on 8 January. He stressed
that there is no "pork war" between the Baltic States
and chastised journalists for asking "too many
questions" about the issue. He also commented that it is
necessary to work at implementing unified tariffs in the
Baltics. "Diena" on 8 January quoted Kristopans as
saying that he believes the quotas would not violate the
regulations of the World Trade Organization (of which
Latvia recently became a member), the free trade
agreement between the Baltics, or Latvia's association
agreement with the EU. JC

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT TO WAIT FOR COURT RULING ON
LUSTRATION LAW... Responding to a letter from five
lawmakers, Valdas Adamkus said he is not declining to
implement the law banning former KGB agents from holding
government office and a wide variety of private-sector
jobs, BNS reported on 8 January. Rather, Adamkus
explained, he is waiting for a ruling by the
Constitutional Court before setting up a three-member
commission provided for by the law. That commission is
to decide which former KGB agents are exempt from the
new legislation (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 and 5 January
1999). The legislators who authored the letter were
political prisoners during the Soviet era, according to
the news agency. JC

...BACKS INCREASED DEFENSE EXPENDITURES. At a meeting
with Lithuanian military attaches on 8 January, Adamkus
said he supports increasing the country's defense budget
to the equivalent of 2 percent of GDP, stressing that
NATO membership is a "strategic aim of Lithuanian
foreign policy and national security," BNS reported. The
parliament is currently discussing a bill, proposed by
parliamentary chairman Vytautas Landsbergis, that
foresees defense expenditures totaling 1.70-1.75 percent
of GDP in 2000 and 1.95-2.00 percent in 2001. Those
expenditures account for 1.51 percent of GDP this year,
compared with 1.34 percent last year. The opposition in
the parliament is opposed to the draft law. While the
right-wing coalition has sufficient votes to pass the
bill, Landsbergis has said he wants the parliament to
adopt it unanimously. JC

POLISH PARLIAMENT ADOPTS 1999 BUDGET... By a vote of 243
to 200, the parliament on 9 January passed a budget for
1999 proposed by the Solidarity-led cabinet. The budget
projects economic growth at 5.1 percent of GDP, compared
with 5.6 percent forecast for 1998. Budget revenues
total 129.3 billion zlotys ($38 billion) and spending
142.1 billion zlotys. The deficit is estimated at 2.15
percent of GDP, down from 2.8 percent last year.
Inflation is expected to drop to 8.1 percent from last
year's rate of 9.5 percent. The ex-communist opposition
voted against the budget, arguing that it fails to
increase spending in the social sphere and agriculture.
JM

...EDUCATION REFORM BILL, CLASSIFIED INFORMATION ACT.
The previous day, the parliament voted by 234 to 191
with seven abstentions to adopt a bill on education
reform, due to be implemented in September 1999 (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 8 January 1999). The opposition
Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) wants to delay the
reform, arguing that it should be based on the results
of an ongoing reform experiment in various districts.
The SLD intends to ask the president to veto the bill.
Also on 8 January, the parliament voted by 267 to 155
with 12 abstentions to pass a law on the protection of
classified information, adjusting Polish regulations to
NATO requirements (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25 November
1998). JM

KWASNIEWSKI IN ISRAEL. Polish President Aleksander
Kwasniewski paid an unofficial visit to Israel on 9-10
January in an attempt to boost Polish-Israeli relations.
He met there with Israeli President Ezer Weizman and
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visited the Yad
Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Referring to the Jewish-
Polish controversy over Christian crosses at the former
Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, Kwasniewski said the
Polish parliament is preparing a law on "the protection
of places of remembrance," which, he said, will enable
Poland to base Polish-Jewish relations on "agreement and
dialogue," PAP reported. JM

POLAND'S NAZI VICTIMS SEEK COMPENSATION FROM GERMANY.
The 9 January "Der Spiegel" reported that a German
lawyer--acting on behalf of the 22,000-strong Polish
Association of Former Political Prisoners in Nazi
Prisons and Concentration Camps--has sued the German
government for 2.4 billion marks ($1.4 billion) in
compensation. "Der Spiegel" says the claimants demand
400 marks for each month of forced labor, plus
compensation for damage to health sustained in Nazi
prisons and camps. The lawyer warned that if the Bonn
government denies its responsibility, his clients will
file individual claims, suing 15 German companies that
are the legal successors to the firms for which his
clients were forced to work during the war. According to
dpa, the government does not intend to meet the demand,
saying that Polish victims of Nazi Germany have already
received compensation. JM

CZECH PREMIER CALLS DEPUTY A LIAR. Milos Zeman said on
11 January that Freedom Union deputy Ivan Pilip "is
lying" when he claims that Zeman is negotiating a deal
that would result in opposition Civic Democratic Party
(ODS) leader Vaclav Klaus becoming president, CTK
reported. Pilip claimed on TV Nova the previous day that
Zeman would receive ODS support in passing the budget as
well as the party's support for a new consumer tax and
an increase in social security payments in exchange for
Klaus eventually receiving the Socialist Party's support
as a presidential candidate. ODS officials have sharply
rejected Pilip's allegations as well. In other news,
Zeman said he respects the "courage" shown by the Iraqi
consul to Prague, Jabir al-Salim, in seeking political
asylum in the West. PB

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS GOAL IS NATO, EU
MEMBERSHIP. Eduard Kukan said on 9 January that
Slovakia's foreign policy goals are to improve relations
with its neighbors and to join the EU and NATO as soon
as possible. Kukan, speaking in an interview with
Hungarian Television, added that an important new
element in Slovak foreign policy is the country's
participation in the Visegrad group. He said that the
premiers of the other Visegrad countries--Poland,
Hungary, and the Czech Republic--will meet in Bratislava
in March. Kukan said participation with those soon-to-be
NATO members will help Bratislava's quest to accede to
that organization. In other news, the governing board of
the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) decided on 9
January that its members may belong to both the KDH and
the Slovak Democratic Coalition (SDK), of which the KDH
is a member. The decision is expected to defuse tension
between KDH leader Jan Carnogursky and SDK leader and
Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda. PB

HUNGARIAN RAIL STRIKE SUSPENDED AFTER COURT RULING.
Striking rail workers returned to work on 8 January
after the a labor court ruled that the strike was
illegal. The court said the Free Union of Rail Workers
(VDSZSZ) could have challenged in court the contract
signed between the State Railway Company (MAV) and two
other trade unions on 31 December 1998 but not by means
of a strike. VDSZSZ President Istvan Gasko said the
union will appeal the ruling within 15 days. The union
has suspended the strike for an indefinite period but
has not withdrawn it demands, he said. A MAV spokesman
told Hungarian media on 9 January that if the court
ruling is upheld, the company will sue the trade union
for the 500 million forint ($2.3 million) losses caused
by the strike. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

STANDOFF CONTINUES OVER PRISONERS IN KOSOVA. Spokesmen
for OSCE monitors said in Prishtina on 11 January that
they are hopeful they will be able to persuade
representatives of the Kosova Liberation Army (UCK) to
free eight Yugoslav soldiers whom the UCK captured on 8
January. The UCK wants to exchange the men for an
unspecified number of Kosovars held by the Serbs, but
Belgrade refuses to make any deals with the UCK, whom
the Serbian authorities call "terrorists." Observers
believe that the guerrillas are holding the eight
soldiers in the Stari Targ area in the mountains near
Mitrovica. The Yugoslav army has concentrated troops and
armor in the area as well as along the Prishtina-
Podujeva road. Army spokesmen have repeatedly said they
will use force to free the eight men if the negotiations
fail. Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadin Jovanovic added
in Belgrade on 11 January that "the patience of the
authorities of Yugoslavia and Serbia has its limits." In
Prishtina, the Kosovar news agency KIC reported that
Serbian forces shelled several ethnic Albanian villages
in the Llap area on 9 January. PM

MONITORS, MOSCOW PRAISE SERBS, SLAM UCK. OSCE monitors
issued a statement in Prishtina on 9 January commending
the Yugoslav military authorities for being "very
restrained." The monitors hailed the military's
"willingness to cooperate in the present situation" and
criticized the UCK for engaging in "irresponsible
actions." In Moscow, the Foreign Ministry issued a
statement on 10 January demanding that the UCK release
the hostages and called their capture an "outrageous act
of terrorism,Ša challenge thrown down to the
international community and a direct violation of
commitments formulated by the UN Security Council" in
its resolutions on Kosova. The text noted that "ongoing
provocative actions by Albanian commandos are causing us
extremely serious concern," Interfax reported. The
ministry appealed to the Serbian authorities "to show
maximum restraint in this difficult situation, something
they have been able to do until now despite
provocations." PM

OSCE URGES ALBANIA TO HELP IN HOSTAGE CRISIS...
Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek, who holds the
chair of the rotating OSCE presidency, asked the
Albanian government on 9 January to use its influence
with the guerrillas to help end the hostage crisis.
Vollebaek, who was speaking in Tirana, said he "urged
the Albanian government to use its good offices to try
to convince the UCK...to release the hostages as soon as
possible," dpa reported. He described hostage-taking in
general as "unacceptable and...a threat to the stability
in the region." He added "that the Yugoslav [military]
build-up is out of proportion" to the threat posed by
the UCK, and he appealed to the Yugoslav authorities to
show their utmost restraint." Vollebaek also told
journalists he had urged Kosovar academic Rexhep Qosja,
who was visiting Tirana, to use his possible influence
on the UCK to secure the release of the hostages. FS

...WHILE ALBANIA PROMISES ITS SUPPORT. Foreign Minister
Paskal Milo said in Tirana on 9 January that he will try
to use his influence over the UCK to have the hostages
released. Milo, however, blamed Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosevic for the Kosova crisis, adding that
the world must be prepared "to use all pressure and
force...because time has shown Milosevic responds to
such pressure." FS

MORE YUGOSLAV-ALBANIAN BORDER INCIDENTS. A "large" group
of UCK fighters failed to cross into Kosova from Albania
on 8 January, the state-run Serbian news agency Tanjug
reported. Yugoslav forces and insurgents exchanged fire
using small guns and grenades. The agency also noted
that no Yugoslav soldiers were killed, but it gave no
further details on the clash. The same day, the Albanian
ATSH news agency reported that Yugoslav army planes and
helicopters violated Albanian airspace in the Has region
and near Kukes. FS

SFOR TROOPS KILL SERBIAN WAR CRIMES SUSPECT. French SFOR
soldiers killed Dragan Gagovic near Foca on 9 January as
they were attempting to arrest him for the rape and
torture of Muslim women in 1992-1993. A SFOR spokesman
said that the French fired on Gagovic when he tried to
run them down with his car. The spokesman added that
Gagovic put the lives of five children in his car in
danger by driving into the French soldiers instead of
heeding their calls to stop. One 10-year-old girl who
was in the car told Bosnian Serb television that Gagovic
was the young people's karate teacher and that the
French opened fire on him when he swerved to avoid
hitting a roadblock. In 1996, the Hague-based war crimes
tribunal indicted Gagovic, who is Foca's former police
chief. PM

SERBS STORM UN POLICE STATION. Between 100 and 200 angry
Bosnian Serbs attacked the UN police station in Foca on
9 January in response to the killing of Gagovic. Some
five members of the UN staff were slightly injured in
the attack. The moderate Bosnian Serb government issued
a statement in Banja Luka saying "it is inexplicable and
incomprehensible that SFOR soldiers neglected the fact
that there were five children in the car when they fired
at it, thus seriously endangering [the young people's]
lives." The hard-line Serbian Democratic Party appealed
to SFOR in a declaration "to stop killing Serbs." PM

NATO BEGINS DESTROYING HERZEGOVINIAN WEAPONS. SFOR
peacekeepers on 10 January began destroying an
unspecified quantity of weapons, including tanks,
artillery, and small arms, that they had seized the
previous day from the Herzegovinian Croat military
(HVO), SFOR spokesmen said in Sarajevo. The peacekeepers
confiscated the weapons after Ante Jelavic, who is the
hard-line Croatian member of the Bosnian joint
presidency, promoted eight HVO generals on 7 January
without the prior approval of the Bosnian government or
NATO, which he is obliged to obtain under the provisions
of the Dayton agreement. The HVO is formally part of the
mainly Croatian and Muslim Bosnian federal army but in
practice retains its own structures and close links to
the armed forces of Croatia. PM

BOSNIA ISSUES ARREST WARRANT FOR ABDIC. The Bosnian
federal Interior Ministry said in a statement on 10
January that it has issued a warrant for the arrest of
renegade Muslim warlord Fikret Abdic for war crimes (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 6 January 1999). Interior Minister
Mehmed Zilic called on his Croatian counterpart, Ivan
Penic, to extradite Abdic, who lives in Rijeka, RFE/RL's
South Slavic Service reported. PM

DID ALBANIAN POLICE ARREST BIN LADEN AGENT? Albanian
police have arrested a suspected agent of Islamist
terrorist Osama Bin Laden in Tirana, "Koha Jone"
reported on 10 January. The daily added that the man,
whom it identified as Maksim Ciciku, was spying on U.S.
embassy staff, including Ambassador Marisa Lino. Ciciku
was an employee of a private security firm. The U.S.
Central Intelligence Agency assisted Albania's secret
service in identifying the suspect, Reuters reported. No
one at the Interior Ministry or the U.S. embassy was
available for comment. The U.S. has accused Bin Laden of
masterminding embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, in
which more than 260 people were killed in August 1998.
FS

ROMANIAN MINERS STAGE MARCH, CALL FOR UNITY. Several
thousand miners in Romania's southwestern Jiu Valley
marched through Petrosani on 8 January after the
government announced it will continue with plans to
close some 37 unprofitable mines, AP reported. The
leader of the miners, Miron Cozma, said the five-day
strike was to be suspended over the weekend but would
continue on 11 January. He said some 16,000 miners are
taking part in the strike. Cozma also renewed a call for
miners across the country to join the strike. No mines
in the Jiu Valley are scheduled for closure. PB

ROMANIA'S PRIVATIZATION MINISTER OUTLINES PROGRESS. Radu
Sarbu, the president of the State Ownership Fund, gave a
progress report on Romania's privatization drive,
Rompres reported on 9 January. Sarbu said that of 49
companies slated for liquidation, 14 have started
bankruptcy proceedings, 11 have closed and are seeking
reorganization, and 16 have been shut down by their
debtors. The other eight firms are being considered for
privatization. Sarbu said that all lay-offs associated
with the closures will have been completed by the end of
this month. He did not say how many workers will be
involved. PB

BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS DENOUNCE GOVERNMENT AT RALLY.
Socialist leader Georgi Parvanov denounced government
reforms at a rally in Sofia on 10 January and called for
Prime Minister Ivan Kostov to be dismissed by the
parliament, Reuters reported. Addressing several
thousand people on the second anniversary of the
storming of the parliament by those opposed to then
Socialist Premier Zhan Videnov, Kostov said the day
"remains a symbol of violence, political terrorism, and
confrontation which drove us to the edge of a civil
conflict." He called on the Socialist Party to overcome
internal differences and to more strongly oppose
Kostov's ruling Union of Democratic Forces (UDF).
National Assembly speaker Yordan Sokolov, a UDF member,
said on Bulgarian Radio that "if the Socialist Party, in
the person of its then leadership, had not shirked its
responsibility, there would not have been a 10 January."
PB

BULGARIAN GDP FALLS, UNEMPLOYMENT UP. Bulgaria's GDP
contracted 5.9 percent in the third quarter of 1998,
compared with the previous year, the National Statistics
Institute reported on 7 January. The institute also
reported that unemployment in November reached 16
percent of the workforce, up slightly from the previous
month. PB

END NOTE

BIG BROTHER WATCHES INTERNET IN BELGRADE

by Julie Moffett

	 A Serbian expert on electronic media says efforts
by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to censor
electronic media in his country have been largely a
failure.
	Drazen Pantic, director of the Internet Department
of the independent Serbian station Radio B-92, made the
comment last week in Washington during a press briefing
on Serbian media issues.
	The briefing, entitled "Preserving the Free Flow of
Information Using the Internet: Serbs Thwart Milosevic's
Censorship," was sponsored by the United States
Institute of Peace--a non-profit organization
established by the U.S. Congress. The institute focuses
on promoting peaceful resolutions of international
conflicts.
	Pantic also founded and directs OpenNet, which was
the first Internet service provider in Serbia. He says
that despite a severely restrictive media law passed
last October, the Serbian government has been unable to
stop the flow of uncensored information and news via the
Internet and electronic mail.
	Radio B-92 was the first media outlet in Serbia to
use the Internet to provide an alternative source for
uncensored news. It began doing so in December 1996,
during anti-government demonstrations in Serbia, when
thousands protested the government's annulment of
municipal elections. Radio B92 broadcasts were
sporadically jammed and the radio's transmitter
eventually shut off.
	In an interview with RFE/RL in April 1997, Veran
Matic, editor-in-chief of Radio B-92, said that during
this turbulent time, Radio B-92 turned to the Internet.
He said B-92 posted print versions of its newscasts on
its web site and also began using RealAudio, which
allows users to listen to on-line broadcasts over the
Internet.
	Matic said Radio B-92 was so successful with its
Internet experiment that the station was able to quickly
secure agreements with RFE/RL, Voice of America, and
Deutsche Welle to rebroadcast B-92 programs back into
Serbia via their airwaves. Matic said that two days
after the B-92 transmitter was turned off, the
government--apparently realizing it could not stop the
dissemination of information and programming via the
Internet--turned it back on.
	Matic said the students, who were the mainstay of
the demonstrations, were energized by B-92's victory and
began referring to it as their "Internet Revolution."
	Speaking in Washington last week, Pantic said that
it was B-92's success that unleashed the power of the
Internet for all independent media in Serbia. He added
that its effect and potential also greatly alarmed the
Serbian government.
	For example, Pantic said that the new media law in
Serbia includes attempts to try and control the
Internet. One such attempt, he says, is to impose a
large tax on owners of satellite dishes and Internet
users. But Pantic said the government has not figured
out a way to determine who exactly Internet users are,
so it has been unable to levy this charge.
	Pantic also said the Serbian government has put
filters on independent media web sites, including B-
92's, thereby preventing Internet users in Serbia from
accessing those sites. For example, officials put
filters on the Serbian Academic Network, blocking access
to B-92's web site. Pantic noted that there was no
official announcement about the filter and that the move
was simply done "overnight." But he added that B-92 was
easily able to get around the filters by setting up
"mirror pages," which are alternative Internet sites
that provide the same information as on the home page.
"The government can't filter every mirror site," he
explained with a smile.
	Pantic said that within a few weeks of setting up
the filters on the Serbian Academic Network, the
government partly lifted them. Officials finally
realized they were unable to block the mirror sites and
stop the information from being disseminated, he added.
	But perhaps the biggest irony of the situation,
says Pantic, is that the government has been unable to
prevent the electronic mail distribution of B-92 news.
He says the station currently has a subscriber list of
about 30,000 people.
	Gene Mater, a retired broadcast journalist and
adviser to the U.S.-based Freedom Forum also spoke at
last week's briefing, saying that Serbia's new media law
dashes any hope for a free press in Serbia. Mater said
he had the Serbian law analyzed by a Washington law firm
that has extensive experience in dealing with Central
and East European media laws. According to Mater, the
law firm determined that the Serbian media law is a
"blatantly unconstitutional exercise in media
censorship, intimidation, and punishment that cannot
stand under either Serbian or international law."
	Mater says the firm also determined that the law
wrongfully deprives Serbian citizens of their
constitutionally guaranteed rights to an independent and
free press and freedom of thought and conscience. The
law "makes clear that freedom of the press [in Serbia]
is a concept of the past," he commented.
	Rob Timm, director of the Balkans Independent Radio
Project, agreed with Mater, adding that government
intimidation and harassment of independent journalists
in Serbia is outrageous. "Big brother is, in fact, alive
and well and living in Belgrade," according to Timm. He
went on to comment that "B-92 is extremely important. If
it wasn't, the Milosevic regime wouldn't be paying any
attention to it. If what B-92 does and what it does
through the Internet didn't matter, the Milosevic regime
wouldn't care about it."

The author is an RFE/RL correspondent based in
Washington.

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