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RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 9, Part II, 14 January 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 3, No. 9, Part II, 14 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 OPPOSITION DEMANDS INTERIOR MINISTER'S
DISMISSAL

* UCK FREES SERBIAN PRISONERS

* ALBANIAN DEMOCRATS CALL FOR CONTINUING DIALOGUE

End Note: SLOVAK POLITICS UNSETTLED BY FORMER MINISTER'S
MURDER
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

KUCHMA OPPOSES ABOLITION OF PRESIDENCY... Oleksandr
Martynenko, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma's
spokesman, says Kuchma is opposed to left-wing
parliamentary deputies' efforts to abolish the
presidency, Ukrainian News reported on 13 January.
Martynenko believes that the Communist Party's attempt
to initiate the abolition of the presidency is
"ideological" rather than a response to any of Kuchma's
actions. After failing to pass a motion on abolishing
the presidency (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 January 1999),
the Communist caucus blocked all parliamentary
activities the next day, demanding that another vote be
taken on the motion. In that ballot, the motion was
supported by 224 votes, just two votes short of the
majority required for the motion to pass. JM

...WANTS 'REASONABLE BOUNDS' FOR PARLIAMENTARY IMMUNITY.
Martynenko also said Kuchma believes that the immunity
of Ukrainian lawmakers "must be within reasonable bounds
as is the way in civilized countries," ITAR-TASS
reported on 13 January. According to Kuchma, the best
way to achieve this is to amend the constitution.
Martynenko refuted parliamentary speaker Oleksandr
Tkachenko's allegations that local administration bodies
have been instructed to launch "mass actions" in support
of the initiative to strip deputies of their immunity
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 January 1999). JM

GAZPROM CONFIRMS UKRAINE SIPHONING-OFF RUSSIAN GAS.
Gazprom on 13 January presented documents that it says
confirm Ukraine has illegally siphoned off Russian gas
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 January 1999), Interfax
reported. According to Gazprom's press office, Russian
gas shipments to and via Ukraine in December 1998
totaled 18.9 billion cubic meters, of which 11.5 billion
were in transit to other countries, and 7.4 billion
remained in Ukraine. Gazprom authorized Ukraine to take
only 2.5 million cubic meters of Russian gas in 1998,
meaning that almost 5 million cubic meters were
misappropriated, the press office said. The office also
calculated that Ukraine owes Gazprom $1.6 billion for
gas supplies. The day before, a Ukrainian official
denied that Ukraine has siphoned-off Russian gas, and he
also disputed the size of Ukraine's gas debt to Russia
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 January 1999). JM

LUKASHENKA SAYS 'CRIME' TO SUBSIDIZE UNPROFITABLE FARMS.
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka on 13 January
told a meeting of agricultural managers in Minsk that
subsidizing loss-making farms will now be considered a
"crime," Belapan reported. He said that this year state
subsidies will be extended only to profitable farms. He
also recalled that in 1998, the government allocated 23
trillion Belarusian rubles ($200 million, according to
the current official exchange rate) for agriculture,
which, he noted, was the only sector that failed to
achieve the government's targets for 1998. JM

BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION TO CONSOLIDATE EFFORTS ON
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. The Popular Front (BNF), the
Social Democratic Party (BSDH), and the United Civic
Party (AHPB) have decided to consolidate their efforts
on carrying out the Supreme Soviet resolution to hold
presidential elections on 16 May (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
11 January 1999), RFE/RL's Belarusian Service reported
on 13 January. BSDH head Stanislau Shushkevich called
the election initiative an "important political action."
AHPB deputy head Alyaksandr Dabravolski stressed that
the "bulk of people" in Belarus still do not know that
Lukashenka has prolonged his presidential term for two
years. BNF deputy head Yury Khadyka said a "dyarchy"
exists in Belarus, adding that the people will have
their possibility to make their "free and unconstrained
choice" on 16 May. Khadyka expressed the hope that the
Congress of Democratic Forces will work out a
coordinated election strategy when it convenes on 29-30
January JM

NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL DEMANDS LATVIAN NEWSPAPER RETRACT
STORY. Javier Solana's office has demanded that Latvia's
Russian-language daily "Respublika" retract an article
it ran earlier this week in which it quoted Solana as
saying that "Latvia is not always a democratic state and
its legislation does not meet the norms of democracy."
The article implies that "Respublika" had interviewed
the NATO secretary-general last year. BNS reported on 13
January that the Latvian Foreign Ministry has received
official confirmation that Solana has never given an
interview to "Respublika" and that he denies having made
such comments. Solana's office has demanded that the
daily publish a retraction in its next issue. JC

OSCE OFFICIAL WANTS LATVIAN LANGUAGE LAW TO MEET
INTERNATIONAL NORMS. Speaking at the end of his three-
day visit to Riga, OSCE High Commissioner on National
Minorities Max van der Stoel said that the draft law on
the state language, which is currently being prepared
for its second reading in the parliament, "over-
regulates" the use of foreign languages in private
business, dpa reported on 13 January. The requirement
that private-sector employees speak Latvian "intrudes
into the private sphere," he argued. "It is possible to
have meaningful laws on language that perform the
function of promoting and protecting the Latvian
language while at the same time choosing regulations in
conformity with international law," he concluded. JC

LATVIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY SLATED TO GET BIGGEST FUNDING
INCREASE. The 1999 draft budget foresees a 39 percent
increase in funding for the Defense Ministry, compared
with last year's level, LETA reported on 12 January (see
also "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 January 1999). That hike is
followed by a 10 percent increase for the Ministry of
Education and Science and a 7.7 percent increase for the
Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Foreign Affairs,
Economy, Agriculture, and Transport Ministries are all
slated to receive smaller budgets than last year. But
the Transport and Economy Ministries are being downsized
and, relative to their size, will in fact receive more
funding than in 1998. JC

LANDBERGIS SAYS MOSCOW UNWILLING TO HELP BRING 1991
OFFENDERS TO JUSTICE. Addressing a special session of
the parliament on Liberty Defenders' Day, parliamentary
chairman Vytautas Landsbergis stressed again that
Russian law enforcement officials are unwilling to help
bring to justice those responsible for the events eight
years ago, BNS reported. On 13 January 1991, 14 people
were killed in Vilnius by Soviet armed forces seeking to
crush the Lithuanian independence drive. "Despite
admitting the charges of coup d'etat and [despite] the
existing treaty on legal assistance, Russian law
enforcement officials are not making true efforts to
help carry out justice," Landsbergis added. He said that
most of the accused have not been interrogated as they
are "absconding in Russia or other countries," and he
accused former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev of
"lying" in his memoirs about the January 1991 events in
Vilnius. Gorbachev claims to have no knowledge of who
gave the orders to use force in Lithuania. JC

LITHUANIA TO TRY NKVD OFFICER FOR GENOCIDE--IN ABSENTIA?
A spokesman for the Prosecutor-General's Office told BNS
on 13 January that the case of former NKVD officer
Petras Raslanas has been passed over to the Siauliai
District Court. Raslanas is accused of organizing a
massacre of 76 unarmed Lithuanian citizens on 25 June
1941 in the Telsiai district. Raslanas, aged 84, now
lives in Russia. He has ignored a summons by the
Lithuanian Prosecutor-General's Office and will probably
be tried in absentia, the spokesman said, pointing to
articles of the Criminal Code that provide for such
trials under certain circumstances. The spokesman added
that the trial would likely set a precedent as no one in
Lithuania has ever been tried for genocide in absentia.
JC

POLISH DOCTORS WARN GOVERNMENT OVER HEALTH REFORM. The
Supreme Medical Council has appealed to the authorities
to convene a roundtable on the health reform currently
under way in Poland, Polish Radio reported on 13
January. According to the council, the reform is set to
grind to a halt because not enough money was allocated
for its implementation. Council deputy head Wlodzimierz
Bednorz said doctors cannot accept the "shameful
conditions of employment and pay" offered by the health
reform bill. He added that they are preparing to launch
a general protest to force the government to increase
funding for the health system. JM

TRADE AT POLISH OPEN-AIR MARKETS PLUNGES. Poland's
Market Economy Research Institute reports that turnover
at Polish bazaars fell by 3 billion zlotys ($856
million) in 1998 or 40 percent, compared with the
previous year. According to the institute, the main
causes were the Russian crisis and new border
regulations introduced by Poland for its eastern
neighbors. Poland's three largest bazaars catering
primarily for shoppers from the east are in Warsaw,
Tuszyn (near Lodz), and Bialystok. The institute
estimates that some 240,000 people are directly or
indirectly involved in bazaar trading, while an unknown
number are employed by some 4,500 companies that produce
mainly for bazaars. JM

CZECH PARLIAMENT SETS UP INVESTIGATIVE COMMISSION ON
BRIBERY ALLEGATIONS. The parliament on 13 January voted
196-163 to set up a special investigation commission to
examine allegations of bribery connected to the 1995
privatization of SPT Telecom, CTK reported. The
commission will have 10 members and will make public all
documents related to the privatization of the company
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 5 and 6 January 1999). MS

BRITISH OFFICIAL CALLS ON CZECHS TO HELP ROMA. Visiting
British Home Office Secretary Mike O'Brien on 13 January
told presidential adviser Jiri Pehe that there is no
"immediate threat" of Britain reimposing visa
requirements for Czech citizens, CTK reported. Pehe said
O'Brien, whose visit is aimed at gathering information
on the situation of Czech Roma, praised President Vaclav
Havel's New Year speech denouncing racism and the
building of "new walls" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 4
January 1999). On 12 January, O'Brien urged the Czech
authorities to solve the Roma problem in order to
encourage them to stay in the country. He said most Roma
are fleeing poverty, not persecution, Reuters reported.
CTK cited him as saying the situation of Czech Roma is
"no longer an internal affair" of the Czech Republic
because the wave of Romani asylum-seekers last year
"affected us directly." MS

SLOVAK OPPOSITION DEMANDS INTERIOR MINISTER'S DISMISSAL.
Parliamentary chairman Jozef Migas on 13 January told
Slovak Radio that he will call a special meeting of the
house at the end of this week to discuss a motion of the
opposition Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS)
demanding the dismissal of Interior Minister Ladislav
Pittner over the 11 January murder of former Economy
Minister Jan Ducky. The HZDS said Pittner has failed in
his task of cracking down on organized crime. It also
accused the government of having conducted a media
campaign against Ducky. The government rejected the
demand for Pittner's resignation, saying he played an
important role "in the struggle against terrorism" and
is "a guarantee that this struggle will continue" (see
also "End Note" below). MS

ORBAN MEETS ROMANIA'S HUNGARIAN MINORITY LEADER.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban met with Bela
Marko, chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Federation
of Romania, in Budapest on 13 January and told him that
Budapest continues to support the establishment of an
independent Hungarian-language university in Romania.
"The Hungarian cabinet is interested in the political
and economic success of the Romanian ruling coalition,"
Orban also noted. According to Marko, Budapest and
Bucharest share an interest in involving Hungarian
capital in the Romanian privatization process. Orban
announced after the meeting that his Romanian
counterpart, Radu Vasile, is to pay an official visit to
Hungary on 8-10 February. MSZ

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

UCK FREES SERBIAN PRISONERS. Officials of the Kosova
Liberation Army (UCK) turned over eight Yugoslav army
prisoners to the OSCE's William Walker, U.S. special
envoy Chris Hill, and the EU's Wolfgang Petritsch in
Likov in northern Kosova on 13 January. The UCK's
release of the prisoners ended a five-day standoff that
observers feared would have resulted in a full-scale
resumption of fighting had the Serbs attempted to free
the men by force (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 January
1999). The eight men returned to a welcome from family
members and fellow soldiers at their barracks in
Mitrovica. Yugoslav Deputy Prime Minster Nikola Sainovic
told the Tanjug news agency that the UCK "terrorists
remain terrorists even after the release of hostages.
The battle against terrorism continues." The Yugoslav
authorities have repeatedly said they will not make
deals with the UCK over the release of prisoners. PM

MEDIATORS HINT AT DEAL. Petritsch said after the
prisoners' release in northern Kosova on 13 January that
the international mediators promised the UCK "nothing
except that the Yugoslav side would also make a
contribution in this process of trust-building. These
were confidential discussions and I am not at liberty to
divulge the content." Walker added that the UCK received
"guarantees" as part of a "fair and balanced" agreement,
an RFE/RL correspondent reported from Prishtina. Walker
did not elaborate. Elsewhere, the VOA's Croatian Service
reported that British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook
warned the UCK not to take any more hostages in the
future. PM

UCK EXPECTS SERBS TO RECIPROCATE. The UCK's Kosova Press
news agency said in a statement in Prishtina on 13
January that "representatives of the international
community have given guarantees that the Serbian side
will free nine UCK soldiers detained a month ago near
the border with Albania. An agreement on the exchange of
prisoners of war has been concluded between the UCK and
the Yugoslav army as equal partners, with the guarantee
of international mediators." UCK spokesman Jakup
Krasniqi added that "a time deadline was set for the
release of [UCK] soldiers, and their number was
decidedŠ. We wish to believe the promises made to us
will soon become reality, based on the agreement." He
suggested that the UCK will publish the text of the
agreement if the Serbian side does not implement it. PM

GELBARD BLASTS SERBIAN CRITICS. Robert Gelbard, who is
U.S. special envoy for the former Yugoslavia, said in
Podgorica on 13 January that those Serbian government
ministers who recently criticized U.S. support for
democracy in Serbia are themselves people with a
"fascist" or "Stalinist" background (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 13 January 1999). Gelbard also announced that
the U.S. is ending those sanctions against Yugoslavia
that would prohibit foreign investments in Montenegro.
He added that direct air links will soon be set up
between his country and the mountainous republic. PM

PEACEFUL NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS IN PODGORICA. Some 2,000
people gathered in heavy rain in the streets of the
Montenegrin capital on 13 January to see in the New Year
according to the Julian calendar, RFE/RL's South Slavic
Service reported. Large numbers of police were present
amid fears that supporters of Yugoslav President
Slobodan Milosevic would launch renewed street violence,
which Belgrade would then use as an excuse for declaring
a state of emergency in Montenegro and toppling the
Djukanovic government (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30
December 1998). PM

BALKAN PEACE FORCE AGREEMENT SIGNED. Defense ministers
from Italy, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and
Romania signed an agreement in Athens on 12 January to
finalize arrangements regarding a joint regional
peacekeeping force. Turkey, which is also a full member,
was represented by its ambassador to Greece because of
the recent government change in Ankara. The U.S. and
Slovenia sent observers. Participating countries agreed
in Skopje in September to set up the force, but disputes
over where the group's headquarters will be located and
over the roles of rivals Greece and Turkey held up the
signing of the final document. The headquarters will be
in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, for four years and then rotate
among other member states. A Turk will be the initial
commanding officer, and a Greek will be the first head
of the Political Secretariat. Both positions will
subsequently rotate among the member states. PM

SFOR TO RETURN WEAPONS TO HVO. A spokeswoman for SFOR
said in Sarajevo that the peacekeepers and the
Herzegovinian Croat military (HVO) have settled a
dispute over the promotion of several HVO generals by
Herzegovinian leaders without the prior approval of
either the Sarajevo authorities or NATO (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 11 January 1999). She added that the HVO has
agreed to clear the promotions through the proper
channels, Reuters reported. The spokeswoman noted that
the peacekeepers will soon return weapons that they
confiscated from the HVO in conjunction with the row
over the promotions. PM

TRUTH COMMISSION FOR BOSNIA? Richard Goldstone, who is a
South African judge and former chief prosecutor of the
Hague-based war crimes tribunal, said in London on 13
January that he supports calls by some Bosnians for the
setting up of a "truth and reconciliation commission" to
look into "ethnic cleansing" and other war crimes
committed during the 1992-1995 war. He said that such a
commission, like the one in South Africa, would allow
people to put the past behind them and get on with their
lives. His successor in The Hague, Canada's Louise
Arbour, has said that setting up a truth commission
would unnecessarily complicate the tribunal's work,
Reuters reported. PM

ALBANIAN DEMOCRATS CALL FOR CONTINUING DIALOGUE. Deputy
parliamentary speaker Jozefina Topalli told a Tirana
press conference on 13 January that the Democrats are
ready to continue their dialogue with the Socialist-
dominated government. She said that the Democrats are
currently working on a draft law to launch an
independent investigation into the killing of Democratic
Party legislator Azem Hajdari. She urged the Socialists
not only to support the bill but to consider the
creation of a multi-party government and early
elections, ATSH reported. Topalli did not say when the
Democrats' boycott of the parliament would end. FS

ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT RESTRICTS USE OF BOATS. The
parliament on 13 January passed a law banning the use of
small motor-boats more than two miles off the coast
without a special permit. Speedboats with engines
exceeding 70 horsepower are also subject to
restrictions. The law is designed to stem illegal
migration and smuggling to Italy. Police have the right
to impound boats if the owners violate the new law.
Legislator Neritan Ceka told dpa that "this law will
save more human lives" by helping to deter boat
operators from trying to smuggle people into Italy. FS

PROSECUTOR SAYS ALBANIA FLOODED WITH STOLEN CARS. An
unnamed prosecutor told "Zeri I Popullit" of 13 January
that an estimated 17,000 cars stolen abroad are in use
in Albania. A total of 300,000 cars are registered in
Albania, of which 80,000 are made by Mercedes Benz. The
prosecutor added that corrupt customs and police
officials usually supply cars with false documents. The
trade in stolen cars has led to $10 million losses in
customs duties since 1991. Public Order Minister Petro
Koci has ordered the creation of a special police unit
to check the documentation of all cars on Albanian
roads, dpa reported. FS

ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT, MINERS FAIL TO REACH COMPROMISE.
Miron Cozma, leader of the Jiu valley striking miners,
said on 14 January that negotiations held in Bucharest
the previous day between a miners' delegation and
Industry and Trade Minister Radu Berceanu failed to
yield results, Romanian Radio reported. The two sides
agreed to set up a joint commission to examine ways to
halt loss-making coal extraction in the valley by the
end of this year. That commission was to have presented
its recommendations by 15 February. Berceanu said that
if the commission implements a successful program, the
debts of the Jiu valley mining company to the state
budget will be written off. But he added that the
decision to immediately close down two loss-making mines
is final. On 13 January, Interior Minister Gavril Dejeu
met with commanders of police forces in the valley to
discuss preparations for preventing the miners from
travelling to Bucharest. MS

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT RETURNS LOCAL ADMINISTRATION LAW TO
PARLIAMENT. President Petru Lucinschi has again returned
to the parliament the law on local administration, Flux
reported on 13 January. The legislation was passed by
the legislature on 6 November. In a letter to the
parliament, Lucinschi said he objects to the provision
stipulating that prefects are to be appointed by the
government and must resign if the government does so.
Lucinschi wants prefects to be appointed for four years
by the president at the recommendation of the
government. He also said the law does not properly
reflect the special autonomous status of the Gagauz-Yeri
region and does not take into consideration the
possibility of granting of such a status to the
breakaway region of Transdniester. MS

BRITISH DEFENSE SECRETARY IN SOFIA. George Robertson on
13 January praised Bulgaria's contribution to
strengthening security in the Balkans through joint
initiatives with neighboring states, Reuters and dpa
reported. He said Britain will support Bulgaria's bid to
join NATO in future rounds of enlargement. In an address
to the military academy in Sofia, Robertson said the
question was not "whether" but "when" Bulgaria will join
NATO. With regard to Russia's opposition to NATO
expansion, he said that no one outside the alliance has
the right to veto any decision to expand, adding that
the expansion poses no threat to Russia. MS

ALARM AT KOZLODUY OVER DANUBE OIL POLLUTION. Bulgarian
civil defense officials said on 13 January that a large
oil slick, 55 kilometers long and 300 meters wide, is
moving along the Danube River toward the Black Sea, AP
reported citing BTA. Coast guards and army soldiers are
building dams near the Kozloduy nuclear power plant to
divert the oil slick away from the facility. Reuters
said that the spill occurred outside Bulgarian territory
and that the authorities were not warned about it. MS

END NOTE

SLOVAK POLITICS UNSETTLED BY FORMER MINISTER'S MURDER

By Jolyon Naegele

	The murder of a former Slovak government minister
earlier this week is sending shock waves through the
country's political leadership.
	No arrests have been made, and no motive has been
established in the shooting in Bratislava on 11 January
of Jan Ducky. Recently dismissed as head of the Slovak
gas distribution monopoly (SPP), Ducky served as economy
minister until mid-1996 in the government of former
Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. He was killed in the
lobby of his apartment house in Bratislava shortly after
noon. Police say an autopsy showed he was hit by four
bullets, three to the head and one to his right hand.
	Ducky was closely connected with Russian gas
interests in Slovakia as well as with Czech gas and
petrochemical interests. During an April 1997 visit to
Bratislava by then Russian Prime Minister Viktor
Chernomyrdin, Ducky signed a controversial contract with
Russia's Gazprom on forming a joint venture to import
and distribute Russian gas "outside the framework of
existing contracts." According to Czech media, Ducky was
a member of a group of entrepreneurs who last year
acquired a majority share in the now bankrupt Chemapol
Group as well as substantial shares in several regional
Czech gas distributors.
	Ducky was a deputy industry minister of the Slovak
Socialist Republic from 1985 until the collapse of
communist power. He was then promoted to industry
minister, a post he held for six months until the first
free elections in June 1990. He returned to government
after the fall 1993 parliamentary elections as economy
minister in Meciar's Movement for a Democratic Slovakia
(HZDS) cabinet. He remained faithful to Meciar the
following year when several HZDS cabinet members
revolted and formed a government with the opposition.
	The HZDS holds the current government indirectly
responsible for Ducky's death, particularly Economy
Minister Ludovit Cernak. The HZDS says the murder was
the outcome of political intolerance. It was Cernak who
fired Ducky from his post as director of SPP in early
November and ordered an extensive audit of the firm,
Slovakia's most profitable enterprise. The Slovak press
says SPP had pretax profits totaling $252 million in
1997 and an estimated $240 million pretax profit last
year.
	Deputy Prime Minister Pavol Hamzik rejects the
HZDS's allegations and says the blame for Ducky's death
lies with the financial machinations that occurred
during Meciar's final term in office, which ended after
his electoral defeat last September. Last week, Slovak
authorities filed charges against Ducky involving gross
financial mismanagement at SPP and illegal property
transfers.
	Slovak Interior Minister Ladislav Pittner says it
is possible that someone decided Ducky had to be killed
in order to prevent his becoming a witness regarding
alleged financial improprieties under Meciar's
government. Pittner suggests former employees of the
Slovak intelligence service may have been involved. "For
the past several months, I have been saying that we have
indications that after the [September 1998] elections, a
parallel secret service was established which is in some
way linked to the underworld."
	Pittner says the investigation into Ducky's death
may help clarify whether a parallel secret service
exists. Key leaders of the Slovak Information Service
quit in October just before Meciar left office.
	Prime Minister Mikulas Dzurinda says if Ducky's
murder was an attempt to frighten the government or end
audits, then it will prove a failure. He also vows a
full investigation: "The Slovak government is committed
to use all means to clarify matters and track down the
perpetrators of this criminal offense."
	Parliamentary speaker Jozef Migas says Ducky's
death should result in the strengthening of the fight
against organized crime. "It is a call for the struggle
with organized crime to be a matter of principle," he
commented. "Not even this act should be allowed to
divert us if the motive proves to have been a settling
of accounts or a cover-up linked with Mr. Ducky's
activities, about which someone wanted to prevent any
more from being said or divulged and simply took his
life."
	Ducky's death also may become a catalyst to
restrict travel to Slovakia by Russians and Ukrainians.
Slovak parliamentary deputy and former Czechoslovak
Interior Minister Jan Langos has suggested an eastern
connection in the killing. He has called for
strengthening visa regulations for Russian and Ukrainian
citizens as a way of protecting Slovak citizens against
what he terms "further acts of terrorism."

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

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