The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. - Dostoevsky
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 173, Part II, 6 September 1999


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RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 173, Part II, 6 September 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

* WORLD BANK APPROVES $100 MILLION LOAN TO UKRAINE

* VIOLENCE CONTINUES THROUGHOUT KOSOVA

* SERBIAN 'CITIZENS' PARLIAMENTS' LINK UP
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION PICKETS RUSSIAN EMBASSY OVER
INTEGRATION. Some 20 members of the Belarusian Popular Front
(BNF) picketed the Russian Embassy in Minsk for four days
last week, protesting official Minsk's integration policy.
"The Belarusians have made their choice and do not want to
return to the Eurasian empire anymore. There is no place in
Russia for Belarusian culture and spirituality in general,"
the protesters said in a petition to the Russian government.
In another petition, the BNF urged the U.S. government not to
allow the "incorporation" of Belarus into Russia. "A loss of
our independence would lead to disastrous consequences in the
center of Europe," the document warned. JM

WORLD BANK APPROVES $100 MILLION LOAN TO UKRAINE. The World
Bank has approved a $100 million loan to Ukraine, which is to
be released this week as part of a $300 million aid package,
Ukrainian Television reported on 4 September. Prime Minister
Valeriy Pustovoytenko said the cabinet will use the loan to
pay off some wage and pension arrears. The World Bank's
decision is a good news for Ukraine ahead of the 7 September
IMF meeting to decide on a $180 million tranche of a $2.6
billion loan program to Ukraine. JM

SLOVAK FOREIGN MINISTER IN KYIV. Eduard Kukan was in Kyiv
last week to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart, Borys
Tarasyuk, and President Leonid Kuchma, Ukrainian and Slovak
media reported. Both sides agreed to hold an "honest
competition" for the one temporary position on the UN
Security Council in 2000-2001. Kukan said both sides are also
interested in ending the "trade and economic stagnation"
between their countries. The two leaders agreed to set up a
working group to examine the Slovak plan to introduce visa
requirements for Ukrainians visiting Slovakia. Bratislava has
taken no decision on this issue, but Kukan commented that
Slovakia's visa policy must be harmonized with EU norms. JM

UKRAINIAN INDEPENDENT TELEVISION SUED FOR TAX EVASION. The
State Tax Administration has sued the independent television
station STB for evading taxes, overestimating its expenses,
and concealing incomes, AP and the "Eastern Economic Daily"
reported. According to the tax administration, STB paid
19,000 hryvni ($4,200) in taxes on advertisement income in
June, instead of some 1 million hryvni. STB denies these
accusations, saying tax inspectors have incorrectly
calculated its income. It claims that both the tax
inspections and the freezing of its bank account (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 30 August 1999)are intended to put pressure on the
station ahead of the presidential election. JM

KUCHMA'S MAJOR RIVAL TO RECEIVE MEDICAL TREATMENT IN GERMANY.
Former speaker Oleksandr Moroz, a major candidate in the 31
October presidential elections, has left for Germany to
undergo medical treatment, Moroz's election staff reported on
3 September. Ukrainian media reported that Moroz is suffering
from kidney problems. JM

GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS BALTIC COUNTERPARTS. Joschka
Fischer met with his Baltic counterparts--Toomas Hendrik
Ilves (Estonia), Indulis Berzins (Latvia), and Algirdas
Saudargas (Lithuania)--on 3 September in Tallinn. Their talks
focused on EU enlargement, and Fischer reaffirmed Germany's
support to the EU bids of all three countries, ETA reported.
With regard to Latvia and Lithuania being included in the
fast-track group for EU membership, Fischer said he "hopes
the EU's December summit in Helsinki will bring the awaited
result." In addition, Fischer stressed Germany's support for
NATO's open-door policy. Bilateral meetings were also held
between Fischer and the three Baltic ministers. MH

SURPRISING SECOND QUARTER RESULT FOR ESTONIA. Estonia's GDP
in the second quarter of 1999 fell by 2.4 percent, according
to preliminary data from the Statistical Department. That
figure came as a surprise since most analysts had predicted a
drop of 3-4 percent. After the release of this latest data,
analysts quickly explained that Estonia has turned around its
economy following the Russian economic collapse. "It seems
that the bottom has been reached and the figures will start
improving," Jelena Normak, an analyst with Uhispank, was
quoted by ETA as saying. First quarter GDP dropped by 5.6
percent. MH

PRIVATIZATION OF LATVIAN SHIPPING COMPANY STALLS AGAIN.
Economics Minister Vladimirs Makarovs has blasted the draft
privatisation conditions for the Latvian Shipping Company.
Accusing the Latvian Privatisation Agency of producing a
document full of errors, Makarovs said "the question is
[whether] this is negligence or purposeful action so the
regulations don't work," BNS reported. Immediately the
Privatisation Agency delayed the review of the sell-off.
Agency head Janis Naglis noted that this postponement will
jeopardize the completion of the shipping company's
privatization this year. MH

GERMANY CHANCELLOR BACKS POLAND'S 'AMBITIOUS' EU ENTRY BID.
Gerhard Schroeder said in Warsaw on 3 September that Poland's
goal to join the EU in 2003 is "ambitious" but that Germany
will do everything possible to make this date a reality.
Schroeder, meeting with Premier Jerzy Buzek and President
Aleksander Kwasniewski, voiced his "sorrow and shame" over
Nazi Germany's attack on Poland 60 years ago. JM

POLISH FARMERS MARK HARVEST FESTIVAL, ANNOUNCE PROTEST. Some
100,000 farmers attended this year's harvest festival at the
Jasna Gora shrine in Czestochowa on 5 September. Premier
Jerzy Buzek told the farmers that the government's "pact for
the countryside" currently being drawn up "augurs a good
future for agriculture." Meanwhile, radical farmers' leader
Andrzej Lepper said the previous day that he expects 100,000
people to take part in a demonstration scheduled in Warsaw
for 24 September. "This is not a question of changing the
government or reconstructing it, this is a question of
changing [the country's] social and economic policy," he
noted. JM

CZECH OPPOSITION LEADER ADVISES PREMIER TO SEEK 'TREATMENT.'
Responding to Prime Minister Milos Zeman's 3 September
statement, Freedom Union Deputy Chairman Karel Kuehnl said
that if the premier fails to apologize to his party, the
public will conclude that the premier "normally lies, is
afraid to face the consequences of his own words, and
therefore shows a great deal of political cowardice." In such
a case, Kuehnl said, one way out for Zeman would be to resign
in order to "undergo certain treatment." Zeman said in his 3
September statement that he suspects the Freedom Union to be
behind the so-called Bamberg affair (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1
September 1999). Zeman told journalists that his suspicions
are based on the fact that at the time the affair was
publicized, Freedom Union leader Jan Ruml was interior
minister, CTK reported. MS

SLOVAKIA, ROMANIA RULE OUT TERRITORIAL AUTONOMY FOR ETHNIC
MINORITIES. Romanian Premier Radu Vasile said on 3 September
during a three-day visit to Slovakia said there are "many
similarities" between the two countries' policies toward
national minorities. He noted that both Romania and Slovakia
recently approved laws making possible the use of minority
languages in contacts with the authorities. And he said that
"Romania, just like Slovakia, does not accept the possibility
of allowing territorial autonomy" for ethnic minorities,
Radio Twist reported. Also on 3 September, Vasile and his
Slovak counterpart, Mikulas Dzurinda, signed an agreement on
cooperation in tourism. The Romanian premier said he is
dissatisfied with the level of bilateral trade and, in
particular, with Romania's deficit in trade with Slovakia. He
suggested that the deficit could be balanced by deliveries of
Romanian-made ARO cars, Radio Bucharest and SITA reported. MS

OSCE COMMISSIONER LAUDS SLOVAK MINORITY LANGUAGE LAW. At the
end of his two-day visit to Slovakia, OSCE Commissioner on
National Minorities Max van der Stoel told journalists that
the new Slovak law on the use of minority languages in
contacts with the authorities is "a considerable step
forward" and is likely to improve relations between ethnic
minorities and the Slovak majority, SITA reported. Van der
Stoel heard complaints about the law's shortcomings from
Hungarian Coalition Party leader Bela Bugar, while Movement
for a Democratic Slovakia Chairman Vladimir Meciar criticized
the legislation, saying the law gives minorities wider rights
than elsewhere and encourages Hungarian "irredentism." Van
der Stoel also discussed the situation of the Roma minority
with Prime Minister Dzurinda and Pal Csaky, deputy premier in
charge of minority affairs. MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

VIOLENCE CONTINUES THROUGHOUT KOSOVA. Unidentified attackers
fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a truck on a road near
Mitrovica on 5 September, killing the ethnic Albanian driver
and injuring a woman, AP reported. The previous day,
attackers fired a similar grenade at a city bus near Gjilan,
injuring two ethnic Albanians. Unidentified people killed
three Serbs in the village of Musutisht, near Prishtina. In
Peja, unidentified attackers fired anti-tank rockets at the
building of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate but missed
their target. In Dobrotin, south of Prishtina, other
unidentified persons fired seven mortar rounds into an
unspecified neighborhood. On 3 September, a young ethnic Serb
was killed in an explosion in Prishtina, while five ethnic
Albanians, including three children, were injured in the
apparent attack. The Serb who died was known locally for his
good relations with ethnic Albanians, Reuters reported. FS

KOUCHNER CALLS ON KOSOVA CITIZENS TO 'BREAK THE LAW OF
SILENCE.' UN Special Representative Bernard Kouchner said in
Prishtina on 4 September that "we will not accept the return
of blind violence against innocent people." He called on all
citizens to "break the law of silence" by coming forward with
information leading to the arrest of criminals. General Agim
Ceku, who heads the Kosova Liberation Army's (UCK) General
Staff, also condemned the attack in Prishtina, Reuters
reported. FS

KOSOVA SERB LEADER WANTS KOUCHNER TO GO. Momcilo Trajkovic
told the Belgrade daily "Blic" of 5 September that Kouchner
should leave Kosova. Trajkovic, who along with Serbian
Orthodox Archbishop Artemije is one of the top leaders of
Kosova's Serbian minority, said Kouchner's unspecified
"conduct and decisions excluded the Serbian side from any
form of cooperation and joint work," AP reported. Trajkovic
did not say whether he will withdraw from Kouchner's civilian
advisory council. PM

COMMANDER SAYS UCK MUST ADJUST TO PEACETIME. General Ceku
told 3,000 mourners in Negrovc on 5 September that "we have
finished our first mission, the liberation of Kosova. Our
second mission is for life in freedom and for the
independence of Kosova, but now we must bring ourselves into
line with new [peacetime] conditions," AP reported. He was
speaking at a graveside reburial ceremony for 34 civilians
and 17 UCK fighters killed during the recent conflict. In
Washington, Senator Joseph Biden said that KFOR and the UCK
are close to a "face-saving" agreement that will transform
the guerrillas into a civilian service organization, AP
reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 3 September 1999). PM

KFOR FINDS LARGE ARMS CACHE NEAR ALBANIAN BORDER. KFOR
soldiers found an arms cache containing 250 Kalashnikov
rifles, 50 heavy machine guns, as well as other arms and
ammunition near Rogova on 3 September, AP reported. The
village is located about 10 kilometers from the Albanian
border. A KFOR spokesman did not disclose details about the
origin of the weapons. FS

VOJVODINA LEADER CHALLENGES DRASKOVIC TO DEBATE. Nenad Canak,
who heads the League of Social Democrats of Vojvodina (LSV),
said in Novi Sad that he wants to debate with Serbian Renewal
Movement leader Vuk Draskovic on television, "Danas" reported
on 6 September. Canak said that Draskovic has frequently made
unsubstantiated charges against an alliance of opposition
parties to which the LSV belongs. Canak called for the debate
to take place on Studio B Television, "which is the only open
and independent" television station. That station belongs to
Draskovic. PM

DRASKOVIC DENIES MEETING WITH RULING PARTIES. Draskovic said
in Kragujevac that he has not met recently with any
representatives of the ruling parties, "Danas" reported on 6
September. He said that unspecified charges that he has met
with officials close to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic
are aimed at discrediting the opposition. Such charges, he
added, only serve the interests of the regime. Observers note
that many opposition supporters suspect that Draskovic has
struck a secret agreement with Milosevic to support early
elections. Most opposition parties oppose elections as long
as Milosevic remains in power. PM

SERBIAN 'CITIZENS' PARLIAMENTS' LINK UP. Representatives of
at least nine self-declared opposition "popular assemblies"
from different parts of Serbia held the first meeting of the
Citizens' Parliament of Serbia in Cacak on 4 September, the
Frankfurt-based Serbian daily "Vesti" reported. The new body
will work to promote human rights and aid victims of
repression. Spokesman Nebojsa Popov said that the new
organization "is not a forum that passes resolutions and
laws, nor is it a substitute for political parities, NGOs,
local governments, or coordinating bodies. [Instead,] the
Citizens' Parliament is the embryo of the most important
democratic institution, namely the public." PM

EU BACKING FOR OPPOSITION'S IDEALS, NOT POLITICIANS. EU
foreign ministers agreed in Saariselka, Finland, on 4
September to support "the democratic values [that the Serbian
opposition] represents," Finland's Tarja Halonen said. She
stressed, however, that the EU does not support individual
opposition politicians. She added that "elections in the
present unsatisfactory conditions will not necessarily change
anything" in Serbia. The ministers agreed on a document that
encourages "constructive dialogue between Serbia and
Montenegro" and does not endorse Montenegrin independence.
Prior to the meeting, the EU lifted the embargo on oil
deliveries and commercial flights to Montenegro and Kosova.
All sanctions on Serbia remain in place. Germany's Joschka
Fischer said in Saariselka: "As long as murderers are in
power in Belgrade, how can there be a dialogue? The longer
Milosevic remains in power, the more damage he will leave
behind," AP reported. PM

MONTENEGRO WELCOMES LIFTING OF SANCTIONS. Economics Minister
Vojin Djukanovic told "Vesti" of 6 September that the lifting
of sanctions will mean "fewer problems" for Montenegro. He
called the EU's decision a vindication for Montenegro's
policies. Djukanovic added that the decision is also a rebuke
to Milosevic and his allies in Montenegro. PM

HIGH-RANKING RUSSIAN DELEGATION VISITS BELGRADE. A Russian
government delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister
Aleksandr Avdeev and senior diplomat Boris Mayorskii, arrived
in Belgrade on 5 September, AP reported. Avdeev and Mayorskii
have scheduled talks with government officials and opposition
leaders. Unidentified diplomatic sources told Interfax that
the two will meet with Milosevic and unspecified "warlords."
They also plan to hold talks with Draskovic and have a
telephone conversation with Montenegrin President Milo
Djukanovic. Avdeev and Mayorskii do not plan to visit Kosova.
FS

KLEIN: UN LOST NO MONEY IN BOSNIAN CORRUPTION. Jacques Klein,
who is the UN's chief representative in Bosnia, said in
Sarajevo on 5 September that the world organization did not
lose any money in a recent Bosnian banking scandal (see
"RFE/RL Bosnian Report," 24 August 1999). He stressed that
the UN's bank is in New York and that UN agencies working in
Bosnia closely monitor their finances, RFE/RL's South Slavic
Service reported. Elsewhere, World Bank President James
Wolfensohn sent a letter to the Bosnian government saying
that the bank's programs will continue to stress the return
of refugees to their former homes. PM

SLOVENIAN TRUCKERS BLOCK ROADS. Some 450 truck drivers
blocked roads linking Ljubljana with Koper, Nova Gorica, and
Maribor on 6 September. They demand back wages and improved
working conditions. The drivers also want the government to
take measures to end what they call corruption in issuing
permits to take goods abroad, AP reported. PM

FORMER ROMANIAN PREMIER TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. Victor Ciorbea,
chairman of the Christian Democratic National Alliance
(ANCD), announced on 4 September that he will run for
president in 2000, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. He
said the decision was taken earlier by his party's National
Executive Bureau and will be submitted to the ANCD congress
in November. MS

CONTROVERSIAL ROMANIAN POLITICIAN LEAVES PARTY CHAIRMANSHIP.
Viorel Catarama on 4 September announced he is "withdrawing"
from the position of National Romanian Party (PNR) chairman.
Catarama said his decision was prompted by the desire to
avoid "tarnishing" the party's image in the wake of the
developments surrounding the Elvila International company,
which he heads. Elvila International failed to pay back loans
granted by the recently liquidated Bancorex. Former Romanian
Intelligence service chief Virgil Magureanu has been
appointed acting PNR chairman. Magureanu said he will not run
for the chairmanship at the extraordinary PNR congress that
will be called to elect a new party leader. Meanwhile, PNR
leader Ion Menciu was detained a few days earlier under
suspicion of participating in an arms-smuggling ring led by
Shimon Naor, an Israeli businessman of Romanian origin. MS

MOLDOVAN PARTY PROPOSES 'COMPROMISE' ON PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM.
The formerly pro-presidential For a Democratic and Prosperous
Moldova Bloc (PMDP) has proposed a "compromise" between
introducing a presidential system, as intended by President
Petru Lucinschi, and a parliamentary system, as advocated by
Lucinschi's opponents. Under the PMDP's proposal, which was
made public on 3 September, the president would be granted
the power to appoint the ministers of foreign affairs,
interior, and defense. The procedure for dissolving the
parliament would be simplified and new elections called
within 40 days, instead of three months, as is currently
stipulated. At the same time, the proposal includes some
measures aimed at strengthening the role of the legislature
and the government vis-a-vis the president, RFE/RL's Chisinau
bureau reported. MS

SUSPECT IN BULGARIAN PREMIER'S MURDER EXTRADITED. Bulgarian
businessman Angel Vasilev, who is suspected of having ordered
the murder of former Prime Minister Andrei Lukanov in October
1996, was extradited from the Czech Republic on 3 September,
BTA and CTK reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 August 1999).
AFP cited the Bulgarian daily "Standart" as reporting that
Vasiliev is suspected of having hired Lukanov's assassins for
$100,000. Vasiliev's construction company was part of the
Orion group, which Bulgarian prosecutors suspect of having
misappropriated funds from several banks. In 1996, Lukanov,
who had been premier for six months in 1990, denounced his
own Socialist Party in the parliament for giving Orion
preferential treatment in contracts. At that time, Orion was
close to then Premier Zhan Videnov. Vasiliev left Bulgaria in
1998, after his company ran up a $5.6 million debt to a bank
that later went bankrupt. MS

BULGARIAN PROSECUTOR DENIES OPPOSITION DEPUTY BEATEN IN
DETENTION. Hristo Angelov has denied that Euro-Left deputy
Tsvetelin Kanchev was beaten up by police in his Sofia prison
cell. Angelov told Bulgarian Radio on 3 September that
Kanchev mutilated himself while in custody and was taken to a
military hospital, where doctors established that he did not
require treatment. Kanchev's parliamentary immunity was
lifted in late July on suspicion of extortion, robbery, and
battery (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 August 1999). Euro-Left
deputy Georgi Dilkov-Lorda earlier told BTA that Kanchev had
been badly beaten and that medical experts suspect brain
concussion and groin injury. MS

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