Experience is in the fingers and head. The heart is inexperienced. - Henry David Thoreau
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 159, Part II, 17 August 1999


________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 159, Part II, 17 August 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

* OSCE SAYS LUKASHENKA SHOULD NOT PICK OPPOSITION
DIALOGUE PARTNERS

* TWO SERBS KILLED IN MORTAR ATTACK

* UP TO $1 BILLION LOST IN BOSNIAN FRAUD
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

OSCE SAYS LUKASHENKA SHOULD NOT PICK OPPOSITION DIALOGUE
PARTNERS. Adrian Severin, head of the OSCE Parliamentary
Assembly's group for Belarus, told RFE/RL's Belarusian
Service on 16 August that neither the OSCE nor
Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has the right
to select which oppositionists participate in the talks
that are planned to take place under the aegis of the
OSCE on the 2000 parliamentary elections in Belarus.
Severin was responding to Lukashenka's statement that
the Supreme Soviet--which was chosen by opposition
parties as their mouthpiece at the talks--does not
represent the country's opposition (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 16 August 1999). "From the point of view of
democratic principles, we cannot accept as reasonable to
exclude anybody from the dialogue," Severin noted. JM

UKRAINE'S MARCHUK SAYS AUTHORITIES BLOCKING PRESIDENT'S
RIVALS. Yevhen Marchuk, former prime minister and a
presidential candidate, has accused the government of
blocking his and other candidates' presidential
campaigns to ensure President Leonid Kuchma's re-
election, AP reported on 16 August. "Public servicemen,
who are paid by the state...are being used in Kuchma's
election campaign," Marchuk noted. He said police
disrupted his meeting with voters in Luhansk on 14
August by citing a bomb threat and ordering all those
present out of the building. According to Marchuk, the
event was a "provocation" staged by the authorities to
prevent him from meeting with voters. JM

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT VETOES BILL GRANTING IMMUNITY TO
LOCAL DEPUTIES. Kuchma has refused to sign a bill
amending the law on the status of local council
deputies. The changes, approved by the parliament on 15
July, stipulated that local deputies cannot be detained
or arrested "without approval by corresponding local
councils until a verdict of guilty has been declared by
court," the "Eastern Economic Daily" reported on 16
August. Kuchma argued that the constitution grants legal
immunity only to parliamentary deputies, judges, and the
president and does not mention local council deputies.
JM

LAST COMPETITOR JOINS UKRAINIAN PRESIDENTIAL RACE.
Ukraine's Supreme Court has ordered the Central
Electoral Commission to register Yuriy Karmazin, leader
of the Party of the Fatherland's Defenders, as a
presidential candidate, the "Eastern Economic Daily"
reported on 16 August. The commission previously refused
registration to Karmazin, recognizing as valid only some
849,000 signatures out of the 1.7 million he had
submitted. Karmazin will be the 15th and last
presidential hopeful to be registered. JM

BALTIC DEFENSE COLLEGE OPENS. The Baltic Defense
College, located in Tartu, Estonia, opened its doors on
16 August. A total of 32 cadets from the three Baltic
States, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Sweden, and the U.S.
make up the initial student body. The curriculum meets
NATO standards, and most instructors are from NATO
member states. The three Baltic States are sharing
maintenance costs, while material assistance is supplied
by Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great
Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden,
Switzerland, and the U.S. MH

ESTONIAN MERCENARIES IN RUSSIAN ARMY. The daily "Eesti
Paevaleht" reported that there are currently six
Estonian mercenaries in the Russian military in Kosova.
One of the six told the newspaper that "the unit
consists of men hardened by experience in the Afghan and
Chechen wars." He said that a one-time payment of $1.5
million would be paid to his children "if something were
to happen to me." According to the daily, Russian troops
in Kosova receive some $2000 per month. A high-ranking
Estonian Foreign Ministry official said he sees no
problem, noting that the mercenary who spoke to the
newspaper is "a free man from a free country, and he has
the right to offer his services." MH

LITHUANIAN POLICE OFFICERS HEAD TO KOSOVA. Ten
Lithuanian police officers left for Kosova on 16 August
to join the UN sponsored police mission. Of the 10, five
are veterans of a similar operation in Bosnia-
Herzegovina. In addition, there are 10 Lithuanian medics
working in Albania, and Lithuania provided one member of
a Kosova verification mission. Lithuania also has seven
police officers in Croatia and Bosnia as part of an OSCE
mission, as well as 137 troops in Bosnia as part of the
peacekeeping mission. MH

PEASANT LEADER URGES POLISH PRESIDENT TO ASSUME
'RESPONSIBILITY.' Andrzej Lepper, leader of the radical
Self-Defense farmers' union, has sent an open letter to
Aleksander Kwasniewski urging the president to be a
"general inspector" and assume "responsibility" for
monitoring "harmful phenomena" in the country, PAP
reported on 16 August. In Lepper's opinion, the
government fails to resort to financial reserves when
the country lacks money and continues to exempt foreign
firms in Poland from paying taxes. Lepper also asked
Kwasniewski to make public what happened to money from
the privatization of state-owned companies. According to
Lepper, state-owned property was estimated at $400
billion in 1990 and up to 70 percent of it has since
been sold. JM

CZECH DAILY SAYS DEPUTY PREMIER HAS ILLEGAL FOREIGN BANK
ACCOUNT. "Mlada fronta Dnes" reported on 16 August that
Deputy Premier Egon Lansky has a bank account in Austria
that was opened without the prior approval of the Czech
National Bank, as is required by law. The daily said
Lansky could be fined for failing to notify the central
bank of that account. MS

CZECH PRESIDENT RETURNS BILL TO PARLIAMENT. Vaclav
Havel on 17 August returned to the Chamber of deputies
an amendment that would have deleted from the list of
lawyers those with less than four years' professional
experience, with the exception of government and local
government officials, senators, and other civil
servants, CTK reported. Havel concluded that the bill
gave "unjust advantages to civil servants." MS

CZECH WWII SLAVE LABORERS SUE GERMAN COMPANIES.
Lawyers in the U.S. representing Czech citizens
employed as slave laborers during World War II are
suing the Austrian and German companies Steyr-Daimler-
Puch, Daimler-Chrysler, Volkswagen, and Siemens, CTK
reported on 13 August. The Czech citizens are
demanding $1 billion in compensation. The lawyers said
that although negotiations on with the Austrian and
German companies on compensation are on-going, they
decided to file suit because the compensation offered
by the companies is lower than that paid to survivors
living in Western Europe. MS

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER WARNS AGAINST SLOVAK ROMA
EXODUS TO BELGIUM. Eduard Kukan on 13 August told
journalists that the number of asylum requests made by
Slovak Roma in Belgium has recently increased and that
it is "not out of the question" that Belgium will
decide to impose visa requirements on Slovak
nationals, SITA and CTK reported. He said that in the
last 10 days, the Belgian authorities have received
103 such requests and expect another 300 or so by the
end of the month. Kukan said Slovakia will deal with
the problem because it recognizes that the "Roma
problem must be solved at home, not abroad." MS

SLOVAK POLICE WANT PARLIAMENT TO LIFT IMMUNITY OF
MECIAR, KOVAC. Chief investigator Jaroslav Ivor on 16
August told journalists that police will ask the
parliament to lift the parliamentary immunity of
former Premier Vladimir Meciar and former President
Michal Kovac and to relieve them of their oath of
secrecy. Ivor said that in his former position Meciar
had had access to secret information and his testimony
is essential for the investigation into the 1995
abduction of Kovac's son. He noted that Kovac is
willing to provide the information he has on his son's
kidnapping. Ivor also said that former Slovak Counter-
Intelligence (SIS) chief Ivan Lexa is not only a
suspect in the abduction case but is also believed to
have committed "abuse of office" that resulted in
losses to the SIS totaling several million Slovak
crowns. Ivor declined, however, to provide any other
details, SITA reported. MS

HUNGARY DENIES JAMMING YUGOSLAV BROADCASTS. In a
statement to "Magyar Hirlap" published on 17 August,
the Foreign Ministry denied the Yugoslav claim that
broadcasts on Serbian radio and television are being
jammed in Hungary and Croatia. The statement added
that the ministry has received no official complaint
from Yugoslavia (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 August
1999). MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

TWO SERBS KILLED IN MORTAR ATTACK. Unknown persons fired
nine mortar shells at the village of Klokot in the U.S.
sector of Kosova on 16 August. Two Serbian teenagers
were killed and five other Serbs wounded. It was one of
the most serious incidents of apparently ethnically
motivated violence since the fighting ended in June, AP
reported. In a separate incident, unknown persons shot
and wounded an ethnic Albanian boy in Petrovce, which is
also in the U.S. sector. PM

PLIGHT OF KOSOVAR SERBS WORSENS. UNHCR special envoy
Dennis McNamara told BBC Television on 16 August that
the UNHCR recently helped an unspecified number of Serbs
to leave Kosova. He added that Serbs are increasingly
faced with the danger of revenge attacks by ethnic
Albanians and that the "pressures [on Serbs] seem to be
mounting on a daily basis." His agency may evacuate more
Serbs soon, McNamara noted, pointing out that it is not
the policy of the UNHCR to encourage people to leave but
rather to assist them if they choose to do so. He said
that some people who had wanted to be evacuated but whom
his agency did not evacuate subsequently lost their
lives. On 17 August, Reuters reported that in Prishtina,
armed ethnic Albanians locked an elderly Serbian woman
in her kitchen and robbed, beat, and attempted to rape
her daughter-in-law. The women and their Serbian
neighbors later fled for safety. British peacekeepers
said it was the third such incident in 24 hours. PM

MILOSEVIC DEMANDS RETURN OF SERBIAN TROOPS TO KOSOVA.
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic said in a
statement on 16 August that KFOR has "tolerated the
rampage of bandit groups" in Kosova. He added that "the
gravest crimes against Serbs have been committed [as
well as] the ethnic cleansing of non-Albanians" since
Serbian forces left under the terms of the June peace
agreement. Milosevic demanded that KFOR speed up the
disarmament of Kosova Liberation Army (UCK) fighters and
expel "hordes of criminals and robbers" who have
recently arrived from Albania. He also repeated the
recent call by several other top Serbian officials that
the UN allow Serbian forces to return to the province
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 August 1999). PM

SERBIAN RAILWAY MEN RETURN TO WORK. Some 200 ethnic
Serbian railway workers in Fushe Kosova returned to work
on 16 August. A UN spokesman told BBC Television that
the men's experience will be a big help in arranging for
the efficient transportation of supplies for the coming
winter. The men will not work with their ethnic Albanian
former colleagues. PM

KOUCHNER SUSPENDS 'APARTHEID' LAWS... UN
spokeswoman Nadia Younes told an RFE/RL South
Slavic Service correspondent in Prishtina on 16
August that UN Special Representative Bernard
Kouchner has suspended "apartheid" legislation
discriminating against individuals on ethnic or
religious grounds. Kouchner issued the ruling at a
15 August meeting with some 50 judges and
prosecutors from throughout Kosova. He also
appointed a 19-member working group, co-chaired by
the ethnic Albanian Professor of Law Blerim Reka
and UN legal experts, to review the existing laws.
One of those laws likely to be abolished is that
prohibiting Albanians from buying real estate from
Serbs. FS

...AFTER CRITICISM FROM KOSOVAR JUDGES. Reka told
an RFE/RL South Slavic Service correspondent on 16
August that Kouchner suspended the discriminatory
laws after several ethnic Albanian judges had
criticized them. The professor noted that "there is
confusion about which laws will be applied in
Kosova," pointing out that "the first decree that
Bernard Kouchner signed says explicitly that those
laws will be used in Kosova that were in force
until 24 March of this year. These were the laws of
the Yugoslav occupiers." Reka added that most
ethnic Albanians believe that "one cannot apply the
laws of a regime that committed genocide on the
territory of and toward the people who were the
victims of that genocide." FS

SERBS, ALBANIANS NEGOTIATE COMPROMISE IN
MITROVICA... Bajram Rexhepi, who is the UCK-
appointed mayor of Mitrovica, asked a group of
ethnic Albanian protesters there on 16 August to
disperse peacefully. He told them that Serbian and
Albanian representatives found a compromise earlier
that day--under UN mediation--to allow the return
of ethnic Albanian displaced persons to the
northern, Serb-dominated part of town. Rexhepi told
an RFE/RL South Slavic Service correspondent that
"according to the agreement, 25 families will
return to their homes in the north every day. It
also provides for free access by students to the
metallurgic faculty in the north.... We also agreed
on the creation of a joint board of directors for
the Trepca mines." FS

...BUT QUESTIONS REMAIN OVER IMPLEMENTATION. Rexhepi
added that "we will try to implement that agreement in
the coming days. If it brings concrete results it is
fine, but if not the population will try to find other
ways to end the [partition] of the city." An
unidentified Western official, however, told Reuters
that neither side has signed any agreement. He suggested
that Rexhepi is misrepresenting the state of affairs by
presenting his side's bargaining points as a done deal.
FS

SHPAK SAYS UCK DEMILITARIZATION BEHIND SCHEDULE.
Colonel-General Georgii Shpak, who is commander of the
Russian paratrooper units, told Interfax on 16 August
that the UCK is behind schedule with its
demilitarization plan. He added that unidentified
attackers have "often" fired shots near Russian
checkpoints, but he added that there have been no direct
attacks on the paratroopers. FS

SERBIA'S DINKIC CALLS DEMO 'LAST CHANCE FOR PEACEFUL
CHANGE'... Mladjan Dinkic of the G-17 group of
independent economists told Vienna's "Die Presse" of 16
August that the opposition demonstration slated for 19
August in Belgrade will prove decisive for Serbia's
political future. He called it "the last chance for a
peaceful transition of power and the last chance for the
opposition to unite." He stressed that Milosevic must
leave office before winter sets in. The alternative
could be a violent revolution on the model of Romania in
1989, Dinkic warned. He expressed understanding that
Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Pavle will not take part in
the demonstration. Dinkic noted that Pavle must
represent all Serbs, "including those on the other
side." The opposition leader added, however, that many
clerics will march in the protest and that the Orthodox
Church has called for Milosevic to go. PM

...OUTLINES PROGRAM FOR SERBIA'S FUTURE. Dinkic also
told "Die Presse" of 16 August that the G-17's
"Stability Pact for Serbia" calls for a one-year
transitional government to organize free and fair
elections and to draft plans for economic reform (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 28 July 1999). Dinkic stressed that
Serbia must quickly reach a "reasonable understanding"
with Montenegro over the future of their relationship.
He noted that Serbia also must join the international
stabilization project for southeastern Europe and make
its markets attractive for foreign investors. If
Milosevic does not step down or is not overthrown soon,
Serbia is likely to "remain a black hole in Europe for
the next 10 years," Dinkic warned. PM

CONFUSION PERSISTS OVER BELGRADE RALLY'S LIST OF
PARTICIPANTS. Dinkic did not mention that generals-
turned-politicians Vuk Obradovic and Momcilo Perisic do
not plan to attend the demonstration. Kosovar Serb
leader Momcilo Trajkovic, moreover, said that no one
from the opposition has invited him or anyone from his
Serbian Resistance Movement, "Danas" reported on 16
August. Alliance for Change leader Vladan Batic told
Reuters that his group will attend the rally, but "we
don't know who else will turn up." The main problem
involves the sequence and number of speakers. The clash
of egos among opposition leaders has long been the major
obstacle to unity within the opposition. PM

LEADING BUSINESSMAN LEAVES MILOSEVIC GOVERNMENT.
Bogoljub Karic has resigned his position as minister-
without-portfolio in the Serbian government, AP reported
on 16 August. Karic said that his "government
obligations have inflicted severe damage to my
business." He is one of 308 top Yugoslav officials whom
Western countries have withheld visas. PM

UP TO $1 BILLION LOST IN BOSNIAN FRAUD. "The New York
Times" of 17 August reported that U.S.-led anti-fraud
investigators have found that Muslim, Serbian, and
Croatian nationalist leaders have stolen up to $1
billion from public funds or international aid projects
since the Dayton peace agreement was signed in 1995. The
report, which exceeds 400 pages and was compiled for the
office of the international community's high
representative, details widespread corruption. In one
incident, a Bosnian bank "lost" $20 million belonging to
10 foreign embassies or aid agencies. In Tuzla, $200
million "disappeared" from the 1999 budget. Tuzla
officials had the local schools painted four times in
1998, at a cost several times the going-rate, even
though international aid organizations also had them
rebuilt and painted. The schools have no heating. Few
corrupt officials have ever been brought to justice, the
report added. Observers note that Bosnia requires
massive investments and a vigorous expansion of the
private sector to combat rampant unemployment and
poverty. PM

CROATIAN OPPOSTION COALITION TOTTERS. Officials of the
opposition Istrian Democratic League and the Liberal
Party said in Rovinj on 16 August that their parties do
not approve of the recent "strategic alliance" struck
between the Social Democrats and Social Liberals. In
Zagreb, an official of the People's Party said that the
emergence of the two-member alliance threatens to
destroy the six-party electoral coalition that seeks to
win a majority in the parliamentary elections due by the
end of 1999. The Social Democrats and Social Liberals
are the two largest parties within the six-member
coalition. Opinion polls suggest that the coalition
seems likely to defeat the governing Croatian Democratic
Community. PM

ROMANIAN DEMOCRATIC PARTY SENDS 'MESSAGE TO
TRANSYLVANIA.' Democratic Party leader Petre Roman
revealed in Targu Mures on 16 August his party's
"Message to Transylvania," RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau
reported. Roman said that his party does not want the
Romanian majority to "merely coexist" with the Hungarian
minority because "coexistence [means] separate
development." The Democrats, Roman said, want the region
to build on its historical traditions and spearhead
cooperation among all Romanians on the country's
progress toward integration into European structures.
Addressing the region's Hungarian ethnic minority, Roman
said "we respect and back your fidelity toward your
national cultural values and we expect to receive from
you a political pledge of fidelity toward the Romanian
national unitary state." MS

ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER PROTESTS FRENCH-SWISS TV
PRODUCTION. Party of Social Democracy in Romania leader
Ion Iliescu, in an open letter addressed to Romanian
political leaders and journalists, demanded that a
protest be launched against the French television
channel TV 5's showing of what he called "a profoundly
anti-Romanian" movie, Romanian media report. The movie,
which was aired on 12-13 August, depicts the ordeals of
an ethnic Hungarian who returns to Romania after 1989
and finds out that his brother has been killed by the
Ceausescu secret police. Iliescu said that the film is
based on "falsehood and myth, ignorance of historical
reality [and] fabricated lies." A spokesman for the
channel told AFP that the movie was "fiction, which by
definition cannot be guided by the same criteria of
objectivity as a report." MS

MENINGITIS EPIDEMIC SPREADS TO MOLDOVAN CAPITAL. The
meningitis epidemic has spread from Romania--where
more than 2,000 cases have been recorded so far--to
Chisinau, Infotag reported on 16 August, citing an
official from the National Center of Preventive
Medicine. The official told the agency that 67 cases
were registered in July and another 67 in the first 10
days of this month. He said no information is
available on the spread of the disease to other parts
of Moldova. MS

BULGARIA TO DEMOLISH DIMITROV MAUSOLEUM. A spokeswoman
for the Ministry of Construction said on 16 August
that the Georgi Dimitrov mausoleum will be demolished
by 8 September because "experts agree that it does not
match Sofia's overall architectural image," Reuters
reported. Dimitrov's body was removed from the
mausoleum and cremated in 1990. The opposition
Socialist Party said that the decision is "politically
motivated" and linked to the October local elections.
It added that it wants the building to be turned into
a memorial for Bulgarian soldiers. MS

BULGARIAN EURO-LEFT NOMINATES CANDIDATE IN SOFIA MAYOR
ELECTIONS. Nikolai Kamov of the Euro-Left Party will run
for the Sofia mayoralty in the fall local elections.
Kamov's candidacy has also been endorsed by the
Bulgarian Social Democratic Party (BSDP) and the United
Labor Bloc, BSDP honorary chairman Petar Dertliev told
BTA on 13 August. Kamov was originally expected to be
the candidate of the entire leftist opposition, but the
Bulgarian Socialist Party has nominated former minister
Rumen Ovcharov to run for the post. MS

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