The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it. - Franklin P. Jones
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 177, Part II, 10 September 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 177, Part II, 10 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

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Russian Media Empires V (In English and Russian)
http://www.rferl.org/nca/special/rumedia5/index.html
A pre-election analysis of media owned by Russian government
and business entities.

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Headlines, Part II

* LUKASHENKA PLEDGES TO KEEP TRANQUILLITY 'BY ALL MEANS'

* HAVEL WITHDRAWS THREAT TO QUIT

* MILOSEVIC PARTY: SERBIA WILL NOT INVADE KOSOVA
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

LUKASHENKA PLEDGES TO KEEP TRANQUILLITY 'BY ALL MEANS.' "All
the law enforcement bodies [in Belarus] are on alert,"
President Alyaksandr Lukashenka said on 9 September,
commenting on the Moscow blast (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9
September 1999). He added that the alert is connected not
only with the situation in Russia. "There is no need to walk
the streets, to roar, to shout, and to demand," Lukashenka
said, referring to a trade union protest planned for 30
September (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 August 1999). According
to him, the protest is organized not by workers but by the
"trade union functionaries" who have lost their "slice of
bread." Lukashenka noted that he is watching over and
controlling the situation in Belarus "in the most rigorous
way," and pledged to maintain the "peace and accord in our
country by all means." JM

BELARUS SAYS UKRAINIAN RECALL OF INVITATION TO YALTA
'UNFRIENDLY.' The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said on 9
September that Ukraine had made an "inconsistent" and
"unfriendly" step by revoking an invitation to Belarus for
the Yalta international conference on 10-11 September.
According to the ministry, Ukraine took this step because
Minsk has "difficulties" in its relations with the EU.
However, the ministry added, neither the EU nor the OSCE have
discussed the list of Yalta conference participants with
Ukraine, therefore Kyiv canceled Belarus's invitation
completely on its own. The same day, UNIAN quoted Andriy
Veselovskyy from Ukraine's Foreign Ministry as saying that
Ukraine never issued an invitation to Belarus to participate
in the Yalta forum. JM

BELARUSIAN OPPOSITION CAN'T AGREE ON DELEGATION FOR TALKS.
Belarusian opposition parties on 9 September failed to
approve a delegation for the planned OSCE-mediated
negotiations with the authorities, Belapan and RFE/RL's
Belarusian Service reported. The difficulty lies in the fact
that nine opposition parties are seeking to be represented in
a six-member delegation. JM

UKRAINE HOSTS SUMMIT OF BLACK SEA, BALTIC STATES. On 10-11
September in Yalta, Ukraine is hosting a forum titled "The
Baltic-Black Sea Cooperation: Toward an Integrated Europe of
the 21st Century Without Dividing Lines." The forum will
feature a summit of presidents and senior officials from 22
countries of the Baltic-Black Sea region and a scientific
conference of some 150 representatives from international
organizations, including NATO, the EU, the OSCE, and the
Council of Europe. "The summit aims to establish a new kind
of political and economic relationship between northern and
southern European countries," presidential spokesman
Oleksandr Martynenko said on 9 September. "Europe was divided
in Yalta once. Our main dream is that this should never
happen again," President Leonid Kuchma said earlier this
week. Commentators say Kuchma also hopes for a show of
regional support to his re-election bid. JM

UKRAINE'S RUKH LAWMAKERS PROTEST SOVIET-ERA SYMBOLS. Some 40
deputies from the two rival factions of the Popular Rukh
walked out of a parliamentary session on 9 September to
protest the rejection of their proposal to remove Soviet-era
symbols from the parliament building. The walkout appeared to
be the first demonstration of unity between Rukh legislators
after the organization split into two factions earlier this
year and nominated two presidential candidates. JM

LATVIAN PREMIER VISITS ESTONIA. Latvian Prime Minister Andris
Skele made a one-day visit to Estonia on 9 September to meet
with Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar in the village of
Karksi-Nuia. The two reaffirmed their mutual support for EU
and NATO integration, and Laar also reiterated Estonia's
desire to see Latvia begin accession negotiations with the
EU. Bilateral relations and cooperation featured prominently
in the talks, especially trade issues. Skele confirmed that
the Latvian government will consider removing the
unilaterally-imposed tariff on pork, which Estonia and
Lithuania have deemed as a breach of the Baltic Free Trade
Agreement (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 28 May 1999), BNS reported.
MH

LITHUANIAN COURT RULES AGAINST NEW MEDICAL TESTS FOR
LILEIKIS. The Vilnius District Court rejected on 9 September
a prosecution motion for a new medical evaluation of war
crimes suspect Aleksandras Lileikis. Lithuanian prosecutors
filed the motion under pressure from the U.S. Justice
Department and the head of the Special Investigations
Department, Eli Rosenbaum, who accused Lileikis of faking his
illness, BNS reported. The judiciary panel ruled that there
are no legal grounds to order a new examination, as Rosenbaum
did not add pertinent new information to the case to compel
the medical retest, ELTA added. On 10 September, the same
court ruled to suspend the trial indefinitely. MH

LITHUANIA GDP FORECAST REVISED. The Lithuanian Finance
Ministry revised downward its 1999 GDP forecast, now
predicting growth of only 0.3 percent. The last revision
given was 1.3 percent growth for the year. At the same time,
the yearly rate of inflation is expected to remain at 2.2
percent. The most drastic revision came in industrial
production, with a dramatic downgrade to a 4.2 percent
decline compared to the last forecast of a 3.6 percent rise.
Finally, the trade deficit for this year is expected to reach
16.4 percent of GDP. The ministry also predicted GDP to grow
by 3.8, 4.9, and 4.2 percent in the next three years. MH

SOLIDARITY LEADER SAYS NO CHANGE OF PRIME MINISTER. Marian
Krzaklewski, who heads both the Solidarity trade union and
the coalition Solidarity Electoral Action (AWS), said on 9
September that the AWS will not consider changing the prime
minister before the 2001 parliamentary elections. "We will
start thinking who should be prime minister if we win [in
those elections]," PAP quoted Krzaklewski as saying.
Krzaklewski was responding to recent comments that Poland
needs a cabinet reshuffle, including the replacement of
Premier Jerzy Buzek (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September
1999). JM

POLAND'S INSTITUTE FOR SECRET SERVICE FILES ELECTS CHAIRMAN.
The 11-member Council of the National Remembrance Institute
on 9 September elected AWS-backed Andrzej Grajewski as its
chairman. The institute, which is yet to elect its president,
will grant access to Communist-era secret police files to
people about whom police gathered information. The institute
needs at least 50 million zlotys ($12.5 million) a year to
operate, but the 1999 budget has no money for it because the
spending plan was approved before the law that created the
institute. Secret Service Minister Janusz Palubicki promised
that the 2000 budget will allocate funds for the institute.
According to parliamentary speaker Maciej Plazynski, it will
take about one year before people will be able to look at
their files. JM

CZECH PRESIDENT WITHDRAWS THREAT TO QUIT. Vaclav Havel on 9
September said he will not resign if the Social Democratic
Party and the Civic Democratic Party succeed in garnering the
necessary parliamentary majority to curtail presidential
prerogatives. In an interview with the dailies "Bohemia" and
"Vecernik Praha," Havel said that he cannot, however, see how
he will carry out his presidential duties if the
constitutional amendment is passed, CTK reported. Havel
threatened last month to resign if the change is implemented
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 August 1999). MS

CZECH SOCIALIST POLITICIANS CRITICIZE GOVERNMENT... Stanislav
Gross, leader of the Social Democratic Party (CSSD)
parliamentary group in the Chamber of Deputies, told the
daily "Pravo" on 8 September that the cabinet headed by Milos
Zeman "is procrastinating in fulfilling some of its pre-
election promises," CTK reported. Gross said that some
promises are difficult to implement due to the country's
economic state, but other promises could have been
implemented and "the continued hesitation to do so drives me
mad." He said that Zeman is "a born democrat" who prefers to
take decisions by consensus but sometimes "it is necessary to
end the discussions...Zeman should sometimes bang on the
table and end talk that leads nowhere." CSSD Deputy Chairman
Zdenek Skromach on the same day told CTK that Zeman must
"reconsider" the work of those ministers whom he himself
assessed as "mediocre" last July. MS

...BUT ZEMAN REJECTS CRITICISM. Zeman on 9 September said
that "only Neanderthals bang on the table, if they have one.
A democratic party must be run democratically," CTK reported.
He said that he had already given some ministers a "yellow
card" and will "issue a red one" when he has reason enough to
do so. Zeman also rejected criticism by Havel, who said that
it was "surprising" that although former Foreign Minister
Josef Zieleniec has been accused by Zeman and present Foreign
Minister Jan Kavan of bribing journalists, no one has
produced proof to substantiate the allegations. It will be up
to the Supreme Inspection Office or a court of justice to
establish whether the bribery charges are legitimate, Zeman
said. MS

SLOVAK COALITION TORN BY CONFLICT AGAIN. The Democratic Party
on 9 September called for the resignation of Economy Minister
Ludovit Cernat, a close ally of Prime Minister Mikulas
Dzurinda, SITA reported. The Democrats accuse Cernak of
failing to annul an agreement between the SE utility, which
produces electricity, and Devin Banka, whereby the bank will
take over clearing Russia's outstanding debt to Slovakia. The
Democratic Party says the tender announced by the SE lacked
transparency and that Devin Banka won it without granting
other bidders enough time to enter. The Democrats also said
they will not support the cabinet proposal to dismiss
National Property Fund chief Ludovit Kanik and his deputy,
Ladislav Sklenar, in connection with the Nafta Gbely
privatization affair. MS

SLOVAKIA TO DRAW UP NUCLEAR PLANT CLOSURE PLAN. Economy
Ministry spokeswoman Alica Durianova told Reuters on 9
September that the government will draw up by the end of
September a "final plan" for the closure of the Jaslovske
Bohunice nuclear plant. She said that the cabinet will
examine several possibilities, including the problem of
compensation from the EU. The statement follows European
Commission chief negotiator Francois Lamoureux's declaration
one day earlier in Bratislava that the closing of the plant
is the only impediment still hindering the opening of EU
accession talks with Bratislava (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8
September 1999). MS

SLOVAK PARLIAMENT BEGINS DEBATE ON NAZISM VICTIMS
COMPENSATION. The parliament on 8 September sent to a
committee the government-sponsored bill on compensation to
Nazi concentration camps inmates, CTK reported. Under the
bill, survivors of those camps are to receive 2,500 crowns
($60) for each month spent in the camps, while descendants of
those who perished there will receive a one-time payment of
100,000 crowns. The bill was criticized by the Jewish
community because it does not cover those who had to hide
during the Holocaust. Justice Minister Jan Carnogursky said
in the parliament that for "financial reasons" the government
decided to compensate only those "who suffered most." He said
that calculations show that the bill will cost 200 million
crowns, whereas if others were included the costs will rise
to 800 million. MS

HUNGARIAN PREMIER SLAMS EU. In a 10 September interview with
the German daily "Der Tagesspiegel," Prime Minister Viktor
Orban says the EU has been telling the former communist
countries in east-central Europe "just five more years [to
admission] ever since 1990," MTI reported. He says Hungary's
admission to NATO is due mainly to the U.S. and it is time
that the EU "puts an end to shifting us between NATO and the
EU." Orban says the EU has been treating Hungary "correctly"
as "a negotiating partner" but "that does not mean it is
treating us as a partner with equal rights." He says the
decision to admit Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic
"could have been made years ago." MS

HUNGARIANS CALL OFF AUSCHWITZ EXHIBITION. Following the
protests of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary
(MAZSIHISZ) against the distorted reflection of anti-Semitism
in the country's history in a planned Auschwitz exhibition,
the government has decided to cancel the exhibition, Reuters
reported on 9 September. MAZSIHISZ official Gusztav Zoltai
said the same day on Hungarian television that the country's
Jewish communities do not want to see the project halted, but
"to see it done right" (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September
1999). MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

MILOSEVIC PARTY: SERBIA WILL NOT INVADE KOSOVA. Ivica Dacic,
who is spokesman for Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's
Socialist Party of Serbia, said in Belgrade on 9 September
that the government will not intervene militarily in Kosova,
the Frankfurt-based Serbian daily "Vesti" reported (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 8 September 1999). Dacic stressed that
Serbia will observe its responsibilities under UN Security
Council Resolution 1244. The Serbian authorities are
confident that KFOR will eventually leave the province. In
the meantime, no one should make the mistake of thinking that
Serbia has turned its back on Kosova, he concluded. PM

MITROVICA CLASH LEAVES ONE DEAD. One ethnic Albanian died and
three were injured in clashes between Albanians and Serbs in
the divided town of Mitrovica on 9 September, a KFOR
spokesman said the following day. (Reuters reported from
Mitrovica that 68 ethnic Albanians had been hurt.) Some 15
French soldiers and police were also injured as they tried to
separate the two groups. A KFOR spokesman said that it is not
clear who fired the shots that hit the Albanians. A NATO
official noted that Serbian paramilitaries are present in
northern Mitrovica. Meanwhile in Prishtina, a KFOR spokesman
confirmed that the elderly woman shot by members of the
Kosova Liberation Army (UCK) in Suhareka recently was a Rom
(see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September 1999). PM

UCK CLAIMS SOLE ROLE IN KOSOVA MILITARY. General Agim Ceku,
who is the UCK's chief-of-staff, said in Prishtina on 9
September that NATO has an obligation to the UCK because of
the role the guerrillas played in the recent conflict. He
added: "Based on the agreements on the demilitarization [of
the UCK], the transformation will continue toward creating
some institutions in Kosova. The basis for this is the
contribution that the UCK made to the war, a contribution
that the international community must respect." Ceku stressed
that the UCK "will be the only foundation on which the
institutions of Kosova will be created." He said these
institutions will include a "defense unit" of at least 5,000
members to deal with natural disasters and "defend [the
ethnic Albanians] from aggression," AP reported (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 9 September 1999). A NATO official said that the
"tasks and forms [of the new force] have yet to be
discussed." Russian officials have called the continuation of
the UCK in any form "unacceptable." PM

SERBIAN COURTS INDICT KOSOVARS FOR 'TERRORISM.' On 9
September, Serbian authorities in Leskovac and Pozarevac
indicted one and 13 ethnic Albanians, respectively, for
"terrorism." The authorities charged that the 14 were members
of the UCK. The Red Cross previously confirmed that more than
2,000 Kosovars are being held in Serbian prisons (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 13 August 1999). Among them is student leader
Albin Kurti. The June agreement that ended the conflict did
not require Belgrade to free prisoners or provide information
about them. PM

SERBIAN POLICE AGAIN BLOCK REFUGEE MARCH ON BELGRADE... For
the second day in a row, Serbian police on 9 September
prevented some 400 to 700 homeless Serbian refugees from
Kosova from marching on Belgrade (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9
September 1999). The refugees ignored police roadblocks in
Kraljevo but were finally stopped in Cacak, some 30
kilometers to the north. Milan Nenadovic, who is the
government's deputy commissioner for refugees, told the
refugees that their lack of shelter is a "problem caused by
NATO bombs," London's "The Guardian" reported. He told the
refugees: "You are in no position to make any demands." In
Belgrade, the opposition Democratic Party charged in a
statement that Milosevic's regime finds the refugees to be an
embarrassing reminder of his failed policies. The next day,
Nenadovic told AP that the refugees have agreed to split up
into smaller groups and accept accomodation in Uzice and
Pozega. PM

...AS WELL AS FOOD ON MONTENEGRIN BORDER. Serbian police are
also maintaining a "total blockade" of the border with
Montenegro at Kolovrat. They turn back shipments of food,
even those that have been paid for, "Vesti" reported on 10
September, quoting unnamed local sources. PM

MORE MASS GRAVES IN KOSOVA, BOSNIA. Austrian forensics
experts are excavating a site at Kotina near the Macedonian
border, AP reported on 9 September. Some 22 ethnic Albanian
males whom Serbian forces gunned down in March are believed
to be buried there. In Sarajevo, a UN forensics teams has
unearthed a mass grave at an undisclosed location in
northeast Bosnia. A UN spokeswoman said that the grave
contains the remains of about 60 people killed after the fall
of Srebrenica to Serbian forces in July 1995. PM

SFOR GUARDS RETURNING MUSLIMS. An unspecified number of NATO
peacekeepers arrived in Kula Fazlagica, near Gacko, on 9
September to protect 50 returning Muslim residents. The
Muslims have been shelled and subjected to gunfire in recent
days (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September 1999). PM

NO SFOR GUARANTEES FOR SRPSKA. Bosnian Serb army
representatives took part in a meeting with SFOR and Bosnian
federation military officials in Sarajevo on 9 September (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 9 September 1999). The officers from the
Republika Srpska attended the meeting even though NATO would
not give them the guarantees they demanded of immunity from
arrest for war crimes. A SFOR spokesman said that such
guarantees can come only from the Hague-based war crimes
tribunal, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. PM

MUSLIMS DEMAND RECOGNITION IN CROATIA. Spokesmen for the
Party of Democratic Action (SDA) said in Zagreb on 9
September that members of Croatia's Muslim population may
boycott the upcoming parliamentary elections unless they
receive the status of a legally recognized national minority.
The spokesmen said that there are about 45,000 Muslims in
Croatia, or about 1 percent of the total population.
Observers note that it is difficult to see what the boycott
would achieve, except to play into the hands of the governing
Croatian Democratic Community. PM

ALBANIAN RED CROSS INCREASES PROGRAMS FOR THE POOR. The
Albanian Red Cross has stepped up efforts to provide food aid
to poor families in Albania. The chairman of the Red Cross
office in Albania, Shyqyri Subashi, told Reuters on 8
September that his organization has distributed 23,000 food
parcels to Albanian citizens since January. The Red Cross
plans to give out a total of 90,000 packages by the end of
the year. Such programs thus reach about 3 percent of
Albania's population. FS

ROMANIA RETALIATES AGAINST YUGOSLAVIA ON DANUBE RIVER.
Transportation Minister Traian Basescu on 9 September
announced that Romania will block all Yugoslav ships anchored
in the Black Sea port of Constanta and will prohibit Yugoslav
vessels from sailing to Constanta on the Danube-Black Sea
channel. The measure is being taken in retaliation for
Yugoslavia's blocking of Romanian vessels near Novi Sad and
prohibition on Romanian vessels to the Dunav-Tisa-Dunav
bypass of the Danube River, which is blocked by wrecks of
bridges destroyed by NATO air strikes, RFE/RL's Bucharest
bureau reported. Earlier on 9 September, Bulgarian
Transportation Minister Wilhelm Kraus proposed a trilateral
Bulgarian-Romanian-Ukrainian meeting to discuss introducing
reciprocal steps against Yugoslavia, BTA reported. MS

COMPROMISE REACHED ON ROMANIAN RESTITUTION LAWS. Following a
meeting of leaders of parliamentary parties with President
Emil Constantinescu on 9 September, presidential spokesman
Razvan Popescu said that opinions "have been bridged" and
that the ongoing parliamentary debates on restitution will
now be "a lot easier." He said the participants agreed on a
three-week deadline for the Senate to end debates on the
restitution of property confiscated by the communists and
incorporated in the state farms, following which the senate
is to begin debates on the law on restitution or compensation
for real estate that has already been approved by the Chamber
of Deputies, Romanian Radio reported. MS

ORTHODOX CHURCH TO BE 'NATIONAL CHURCH' IN ROMANIA. The
government on 9 September approved a draft bill on religious
cults and religious freedom. The bill stipulates that the
Romanian Orthodox Church is the country's "National Church,"
Romanian radio reported. A spokesman for the Romanian
Patriarchate said the stipulation does not grant any
privileges to the Orthodox Church and only reflects the fact
that this is "the Church of the majority of this nation." MS

HUNGARY TO FINANCE UNIVERSITY IN ROMANIA. Tibor Szabo,
chairman of the Office for Hungarians Beyond Borders, said in
Cluj on 10 September that Hungary will contribute 2 billion
forint ($8.3 million) for the financing of a Hungarian-
language private university in Romania, Mediafax reported.
Szabo said that it has not yet been decided in what
Transylvanian locality the university is to be set up,
adding, however, that Cluj is "an important recipient of
allocations" offered by the Hungarian government. MS

MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT OPTIMISTIC ON TRANSDNIESTER CONFLICT.
President Petru Lucinschi on 9 September told the OSCE
mission chief to Moldova, William Hill, that he is optimistic
about finding a solution to the dispute with the
Transdniester separatists, Infotag reported. Lucinschi said
that the accords reached at the Kyiv July summit stipulate
that the conflict must be settled on the principle of a
single state, with a single economic, legal, and defense
structure and that the dialogue must now proceed on that
basis. During his visit to Moscow earlier this month, he
said, the possibility of setting up a Russian base in the
Transdniester was not discussed, as this would be contrary to
the constitutional provision that Moldova is a neutral state.
He said that the Russian leadership confirmed its backing of
settling the dispute with the separatists by granting
Transdniester a special status "within an indivisible
Moldova." MS

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN BULGARIA BELOW EXPECTATIONS. Total
direct foreign investment in the first half of 1999 amounts
to $320.8 million, almost half of the expected $600 million,
BTA reported on 9 September, citing Foreign Investment Agency
chairman Ilian Vasiliev. Vasiliev said that compared to 1998,
direct foreign investment was 30 percent higher. He said that
the agency still hopes that by end of 1999, the total figure
will be $1.2 billion. Germany is the leading investor in
Bulgaria, followed by Cyprus, the U.K., and Ireland. Most of
the investments (50 percent) are concentrated in Sofia. MS

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