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

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 201, Part II, 14 October 1999


___________________________________________________________
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 3, No. 201, Part II, 14 October 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

* CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS EU REPORT IS 'WAKE-UP CALL'

* THUGS ATTACK PROTESTERS IN BELGRADE

* CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS OIL DELIVERIES TO SERBIA

End Note: EU UNVEILS NEW APPROACH TO EASTWARD ENLARGEMENT
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EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE

CZECH FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS EU REPORT IS 'WAKE-UP CALL'...
Jan Kavan on 13 October said that sharp criticism of the
Czech Republic in the EU's annual report on candidate
countries' preparations for membership, which was released
the same day (see "End Note"), is a "wake-up call." He said
"hard work is still ahead and we shall have to speed up" but
added that Prague's goal of integration in 2003 is "not
unrealistic," CTK reported. The report is highly critical of
the parliament's slowness in passing legislation bringing
Czech laws into line with those of the EU. The report says
the Czech Republic must step up the fight against organized
crime, including corruption. It is critical of the situation
of the Romany minority in general and the wall fencing off
that minority in Usti nad Labem in particular (see also item
below). MS

...WHILE SLOVENIAN PRESS SOBERED BY EU REPORT. Major
Slovenian dailies on 14 October agree that the EU's report
gives their country little to be happy about, the Croatian
news agency Hina concluded. They agree that the report shows
that their country did not perform as well in the "European
regatta" as many had expected. Ljubljana's "Dnevnik" writes
that the governing coalition has not been sufficiently
attentive to meeting EU requirements and has been too slow in
bringing legislation into line with EU standards. PM

HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS EU REPORT 'POSITIVE'...
Janos Martonyi noted that the EU annual report on Hungary is
"generally positive" and the critical remarks in it reflect
the main tasks outlined in the country's national program. He
noted, however, that Hungary and EU Commission differ on time
frames set for fulfilling some of those tasks. The report
considers both Hungary and Poland to be the economic leaders
among the 13 countries aspiring to the EU. With regard to
Poland, however, the commission criticized the pace of
bringing Polish legislation into line with EU standards. The
commission also pointed to Poland's unsatisfactory progress
in combating corruption and smuggling, implementing
privatization, and restructuring its coal mining and
metallurgy sectors. MSZ/JM

...AS DOES ESTONIAN DIPLOMAT. The European Commission Mission
head in Estonia, Ambassador Arhi Palosuo, said that "the tone
of the entire report is good," "Postimees" reported. The
report commends both Estonia's economic performance, despite
the Russian crisis, and its harmonization with EU
legislation. At the same time, it criticizes the stricter new
language law, administrative efficiency, corruption,
protection of intellectual property, and policies toward the
agriculture and fishing sectors. MH

LATVIA, LITHUANIA HAIL DECISION TO START MEMBERSHIP TALKS.
Responding to the news that the EU will start membership
talks with another six candidate countries (see "End Note"),
Latvian Foreign Minister Indulis Berzins said that the report
on Latvia was among the best of the six and that he expects
the talks to end in 2003 and membership to be achieved in
2005, BNS reported. Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus also
praised the report, which he said signals the "nation's
progress," ELTA added. MH

SLOVAK LEADERS WELCOME EU DECISION... President Rudolf
Schuster on 13 October said he is glad that the EU Commission
has "objectively [assessed] Slovakia's development and its
results in meeting EU criteria," SITA and CTK reported. Prime
Minister Mikulas Dzurinda said the report gives Slovakia "new
motivation" to establish a viable functioning market, as
demanded by the EU, "no matter how painful that may be."
Pavol Hamzik, deputy premier in charge of relations with the
EU, said the commission's report is "the first concrete
result" of the government's foreign policy," AP reported. MS

...ROMANIAN PRESIDENT CALLS IT 'POSITIVE SIGNAL'... Emil
Constantinescu, speaking in Iasi on 13 October, said the EU
decision to include Romania among those countries with which
negotiations will begin is "a positive signal, with
beneficial effects for our country." Constantinescu said the
government will have to "demonstrate it is able to continue
reforms" aimed at improving conditions in orphanages and
ensuring economic stability--both of which were mentioned by
the EU as a precondition for membership talks. He said the
government has already sent a letter to the EU detailing its
intention to improve conditions in orphanages. MS

...AND BULGARIAN PREMIER SAYS SOFIA ACHIEVING ITS AIM. Ivan
Kostov on 13 October said in Plodviv that Bulgaria is
"witnessing the achievement of our aim--to be put on a track
of our own and be included" among the countries that will
conduct talks on full EU membership, BTA reported. President
Petar Stoyanov, speaking in Turgovishte, said he believes
Bulgaria will be in the position to fulfill the conditions
set by the EU for starting accession talks. He said it is
necessary to find a way "acceptable to both the Bulgarian
national interest and the EU" for closing down the nuclear
reactors at Kozloduy. And he said he is "not worried" about
the country's progress in economic reform, because the IMF
has given it "a very positive estimate." MS

BELARUSIAN INDEPENDENT TRADE UNION DENIED REGISTRATION. The
Justice Ministry has refused to register the Belarusian
Independent Industrial Trade Union Association, which unites
two trade unions representing workers in the machine-building
and electronic industries, Belapan reported on 13 October.
The ministry gave no reason for its decision. Association
leaders Alyaksandr Bukhvostau and Henadz Fyadynich believe
that the move is the government's revenge for the
association's independent stance and its many anti-government
protest actions. JM

PRICE OF BREAD GOES UP IN BELARUS. Belapan reported on 12
October that the price of bread has recently risen by 2-30
percent, depending on quality and type. The authorities noted
that the hike results from the increased price of flour and
energy. Despite the hike, they noted, state bakeries are
still incurring losses. A 1 kilogram loaf of rye bread
currently costs 30,400 rubles ($0.1), while its production
cost is 68,000. Belarusian commentators say the hike in bread
prices may also be caused by this year's poor harvest.
Belarus is currently seeking to buy some 2 million tons of
grain abroad. JM

UKRAINE'S MOROZ WARNS OF ASSASSINATION PLOT AGAINST HIM...
Presidential candidate Oleksandr Moroz on 13 October said
unknown assailants are plotting to kill him during a campaign
trip this week, AP reported. According to Moroz, he received
a warning about the alleged attack from a regional branch of
the Ukrainian Security Service and another one from his
electoral headquarters. "This is a yet another attempt to
create an artificial stir around this candidate," President
Leonid Kuchma commented on a regional television station the
same day. JM

...FAILS TO GET AIR TIME ON UKRAINIAN TELEVISION. National
Television Company head Vadym Dolhanov told Interfax on 13
October that the previous day Moroz and some 50 supporters,
including parliamentary deputies, entered the company
building to demand that Moroz be given air time. Moroz
reportedly wanted to speak about the allegation that one of
his election campaign organizers is involved in the attempt
on the life of Natalya Vitrenko. The parliament on 12 October
adopted a resolution demanding that the television company
grant Moroz air time so that he can present his version of
the attack on Vitrenko. Dolhanov said he will not obey the
parliamentary resolution because the activities of Ukraine's
media are regulated solely by laws. JM

UKRAINE TO PAY PART OF RUSSIAN ENERGY DEBT WITH BOMBERS.
Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksandr Kuzmuk and his Russian
counterpart, Igor Sergeev, have signed a schedule for
delivering 11 Ukrainian strategic bombers to Russia as part
of Ukrainian payments for energy debts, AP reported on 13
October. Ukraine will send eight Tu-160 and three Tu-95MS
machines to Russia. Ukrainian First Deputy Premier Anatoliy
Kinakh said the deal will allow Ukraine to cut its energy
debts to Russia by $275 million by the end of this year. He
did not specify the price of each bomber. JM

ESTONIAN PARLIAMENT ADOPTS IMPORT TARIFFS. Lawmakers on 13
October approved the government-sponsored import tariffs (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 29 September 1999). The measures are to go
into force at the beginning of next year. The tariffs will be
imposed on various agricultural products from countries with
which Estonia has no free trade agreement. MH

LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT SIGNS OIL AMENDMENTS... President Valdas
Adamkus on 12 October signed the controversial package of
amendments under which U.S.-based Williams International is
to take a majority stake in Mazeikiai Oil (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 6 October 1999). The opposition had asked the
president not to approve the changes and threatened a court
challenge. Meanwhile, the director of Mazeikiai Oil,
Vidmantas Macevicius, has been sacked for poor performance,
ELTA reported. MH

...WHILE OIL SHIPMENTS RESUME. ELTA also reported that a
LUKoil representative in Lithuania confirmed that the
shipment of crude oil to the Mazeikiai Oil refinery has
resumed. The Russian Embassy in Vilnius has criticized press
coverage over the issue, adding that no bilateral agreements
"have been concluded between Russia and Lithuania that would
bind Russia to supply oil." MH

CENTRAL BANK DELAYS LITAS REPEGGING PLAN. The Lithuanian
Central Bank on 13 October announced that it plans to repeg
the litas to the euro in the latter half of 2001. This would
replace the current plan of adopting a dollar/euro basket in
2000, according to ELTA. The Central Bank stressed that there
will be no devaluation of the currency now or during the
repegging. MH

CZECH PREMIER, OPPOSITION LEADER, END TALK INCONCLUSIVELY.
Prime Minster Milos Zeman and Vaclav Klaus, leader of the
main opposition Civic Democratic Party, failed on 13 October
to reach an agreement on the future of the minority Social
Democratic (CSSD) government but did agree to continue talks
next week, Reuters reported. Klaus refused to disclose to
journalists his demands but said that "at least" a large
cabinet reshuffle must take place. He added that he cannot
guarantee that his party will support in the parliament the
government's 2000 budget draft. Zeman said the CSSD is "more
optimistic" than the ODS about the country's economic and
political situation. MS

ANTI-ROMA WALL IN USTI NAD LABEM COMPLETED. In what a local
observer described as "a speed record in Czech construction
history," the wall in Usti nad Labem separating Romany and
other residents was completed on 13 October, Reuters
reported. Police guarded the builders, while the presidential
office in Prague launched an official complaint against the
town's police on grounds that they had restricted the free
movement of residents by forcing Roma to stay in their homes.
Also on 13 October, the Chamber of Deputies revoked the town
council's decision to build the wall. However, some deputies
voiced doubt over whether that decision is binding on the
council. Council members later said they will take the case
to the Constitutional Court, CTK reported. MS

SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

THUGS ATTACK PROTESTERS IN BELGRADE. Goran Svilanovic, who
heads the Civic Alliance of Serbia, told RFE/RL's South
Slavic Service on 13 October that "some 20 criminals who work
for the police" injured at least five anti-government
protesters in Belgrade. The thugs arrived at the scene in
cars and attacked the demonstrators with sticks. The violence
was not as "serious" as that used by police against
protesters two weeks earlier, Reuters reported (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 1 October 1999). Nonetheless, the opposition
Alliance for Change decided on security grounds to cancel
protests slated for the following day in the Novi Beograd and
Slavija districts of the capital. PM

BELGRADE POLICE 'CHECK OUT' ALBANIANS. An unnamed official in
the large Novi Beograd district, which is controlled by
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialists, said that
local officials will "check in detail all [ethnic] Albanian
residents and tenants in apartment blocs there." AP quoted
him on 13 October as saying that "the reason is to prevent
bombing attacks such as the recent ones in Moscow, where
explosive devices were planted in apartment buildings. We
thought that perhaps our Albanian neighbors, under orders
from the [former Kosova Liberation Army], could begin such
attacks." He added that "many" local ethnic Albanian males
were absent from their Belgrade flats during the NATO air
strikes in the spring. "I do not wish to speculate whether
they were then trained in terrorist or subversive activities.
[But] it is our goal to remove everything undesirable," he
concluded. PM

SERBIAN OPPOSITION READY WITH ELECTION PROPOSAL. Opposition
parties have concluded their agreement on conditions for
early elections and will announce those conditions on 14
October, the Frankfurt-based Serbian daily "Vesti" reported
the same day (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 October 1999).
Democratic Party spokesman Zoran Sami said that in future
talks with the government, the opposition will insist on a
maximum of eight electoral districts. He added that the
opposition has worked out a formula for electing legislators
from Kosova, but he did not elaborate. Sami noted that the
number of legislators elected in each district in Serbia will
depend on the number of voters casting their ballots there.
The long-standing opposition demands for changes in electoral
and media laws, for revising electoral lists, and for a
rigorous monitoring system remain unchanged, he added. PM

NIS MAYOR SAYS MILOSEVIC CANNOT STOP OIL DELIVERIES. Zoran
Zivkovic, who is the mayor of Nis, said that "there is no
legal way for anyone, not even...Milosevic, to prevent" the
EU's planned deliveries of $5 million worth of fuel oil to
opposition-controlled Nis and Pirot (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
12 October 1999). He insisted that the opposition has
"created a system to prevent even a single litre of oil from
falling into [government or criminal] hands," Reuters
reported. PM

CONTROVERSY SURROUNDS OIL DELIVERIES TO SERBIA. Several
Serbian opposition politicians have criticized the EU's
decision to deliver oil to only Nis and Pirot as "politically
motivated," Reuters reported on 13 October. Cacak Mayor
Velimir Ilic said that his town was unfairly excluded from
the program. The Belgrade regime has denounced the shipments
as interference in Serbia's internal affairs. The U.S. State
Department has warned that the oil could easily fall into the
wrong hands. An EU spokesman said in Brussels on 13 October
that the program has a "political element," but he did not
elaborate. In Belgrade, Alliance for Change leader Veran
Batic argued that the opposition's relations with the EU are
"excellent." He referred to some opposition leaders' recent
boycott of an EU foreign ministers' meeting as a "minor
glitch." PM

ROBERTSON DEFENDS OIL DELIVERIES. NATO Secretary-General
George Robertson said in Brussels on 14 October that Western
countries are justified in using fuel oil deliveries for
political purposes. He stressed that it is necessary to show
Serbs that "there is a welcome for them in this European
family of democratic nations, and there are benefits for them
individually and collectively as well as benefits for the
whole region, if they reject the regime of Milosevic."
Robertson added that "the majority of the people in that
country are good and decent people.... We have got to use
every means at our disposal to get that message over. The
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is not Milosevic, Milosevic is
not Yugoslavia," Reuters reported. PM

BELGRADE PROVOKING EU? The Yugoslav government on 13 October
named Sinisa Zaric as consul in Milan, Italy. Zaric is one of
308 prominent Yugoslav officials banned by the EU from
receiving an entry visa. He is currently the director of the
Belgrade Trade Fair. PM

GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS FOR KOSOVA 'TRUTH COMMISSION.'
Joschka Fischer said in Copenhagen on 13 October that Kosova
will need a "truth commission" on the South African model to
promote inter-ethnic reconciliation. He noted that "there is
a complete segregation between [ethnic] Albanians and Serbs"
in the province. And he argued that it is difficult to
envision the two peoples living together again. In Prishtina,
NATO commander General Klaus Reinhardt told the private news
agency Beta that the Serbs and Albanians should do as the
Germans did after World War II and orient themselves toward a
new life and the future. PM

MORE THAN 400 MASS GRAVES IDENTIFIED IN KOSOVA. A spokesman
for the Hague-based war crimes tribunal said in that Dutch
city on 13 October that international forensics experts have
found more than 400 mass graves in the province. Some 68
experts are currently working there in five groups. They hope
to have completed investigations of 150 sites by the end of
October. PM

CARDINAL BLASTS CROATIAN GOVERNMENT 'INTERFERENCE.' Bosnian
Cardinal Vinko Puljic, who is the only serving ethnic
Croatian cardinal in the Balkans, called "unacceptable" a
recent attempt by Croatian government representative Vice
Vukojevic to decide who could participate in a commemorative
Mass for a Croatian emigre in Paris. Puljic made the remarks
at the European Bishops' Synod meeting in Rome,
"Oslobodjenje" reported on 14 October. The 10 October Mass
was in connection with the reburial in Croatia of an anti-
communist journalist. PM

SERBIAN LEGISLATORS APPEAL TO TUDJMAN. The three ethnic
Serbian legislators in the Croatian parliament wrote
President Franjo Tudjman on 13 October to ask him to block
legislation that would reduce from three to one the number of
legislative seats reserved for Serbs. Jovan Bamburac,
Vojislav Stanimirovic, and Milorad Pupovac wrote that it is
"illogical" to reduce the number of seats for Serbs in the
wake of the successful reintegration of Serbian-held eastern
Slavonia and the beginning of the return of ethnic Serbian
refugees, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. PM

DUBROVNIK HOTELS ON THE BLOCK. The Croatian government will
soon begin taking bids from interested buyers around the
world for 19 Dubrovnik hotels that belonged to the defunct
Dubrovacka Banka, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported on
13 October. Andronico Luksic, who is a Chilean of Croatian
origin, has already obtained a 71 percent stake in the Hotel
Argentina in the Dalmatian resort town. He previously took
control of the Atlas tourist agency. PM

ROMANIAN COALITION PATCHES UP DISAGREEMENTS--FOR NOW. Meeting
on 13 October, the leaders of the governing coalition said
they have managed to "clarify malfunctions" in the way the
alliance works, and they expressed full support for the
economic reforms envisaged by the cabinet. The coalition
leaders said the special Senate commissions (see "RFE/RL
Newsline, 12 October 1999) will hear testimony not only from
the heads of the ministries they are investigating but also
from "other ministers." Thereafter, a decision will to be
taken on whether the investigation is still "warranted." The
Democratic Party stressed at the meeting that its members are
not opposed to the law on land restitution sponsored by the
National Peasant Party Christian Democratic and currently
under debate in the Senate, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau
reported. MS

END NOTE

EU UNVEILS NEW APPROACH TO EASTWARD ENLARGEMENT

By Breffni O'Rourke

	The EU on 13 October announced a radically new approach
to the process of enlargement into Central and Eastern
Europe.
	At the core of the new strategy is the decision to
recommend the start of negotiations next year with another
six countries: Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and
Bulgaria as well as Malta. These countries, regarded as the
group of less advanced candidates for membership, will
therefore join the six so-called first wave countries--
Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia, and
Cyprus--which have already opened negotiations with Brussels.
In this way, the union will no longer distinguish between
first-wave and other candidate countries.
	Turkey is now also acknowledged as a formal candidate
but is not yet admitted to negotiations, on the grounds that
key criteria are not yet met.
	In the new negotiations, each country will progress
toward meeting membership requirements at its own individual
pace, a principle called "differentiation."
	The new accession strategy bears the stamp of the EU's
first commissioner for enlargement, Guenter Verheugen of
Germany. Verheugen says the strategy is aimed at balancing
two potentially conflicting objectives: namely speed of
accession and quality of preparation. He says speed is
essential because of the expectations of the candidates,
while quality is vital because the EU does not want "partial
members" but new members with full rights and
responsibilities.
	Verheugen also brought more clarity to the vexed
question of when new members will be admitted. The report
welcomes the fact that some applicants have already set their
own target dates and says that the EU Commission will
recommend that the EU summit in Helsinki in December commit
the EU to be ready to decide from 2002 about the accession of
candidates that fulfil the necessary criteria.
	Among the individual countries that were not included in
the first wave, the progress report names Slovakia as having
made good progress during the year, both in terms of
democratization and economic reform. However, it says that
Slovakia does not yet have a fully functioning market
mechanism and in addition needs to do more to implement
policy decisions and legislation on administration and the
judiciary.
	The head of the EU integration section of the Slovak
Foreign Ministry, Jan Kuderjavy, told RFE/RL that "this kind
of relatively positive evaluation was badly needed [in
Slovakia] and now I think everybody can see that the effort
that was employed throughout the whole year, since our
[reform] government was established last autumn, is bringing
already first fruits."
	Lithuania, like Slovakia, is not yet regarded as having
a full market economy, and in addition is seen as sluggish in
adapting its legislation to fit EU norms. Fellow Baltic State
Latvia needs to devote serious attention to general public
administration and judicial reform but has made good economic
progress in the last year. Estonia, which is also doing well
economically and is one of the first-wave countries, needs to
ensure that its language legislation is implemented in such a
way as to comply with international standards.
	Turning to Bulgaria and Romania, the report finds that
neither country met economic criteria. Bulgaria continues to
make significant progress and shows sustained effort but
started from a very low level. Romania has, at best,
stabilized as compared with last year, the report argues. In
the case of both those countries, the EU Commission has set
conditions before membership negotiations can begin.
	For Bulgaria, those conditions stipulate that it must
continue to make economic reform progress and must decide by
the end of this year on an acceptable closure date for the
risky nuclear reactors at Kozloduy. For Romania, the terms
are that it, too, must make continued economic progress, and
in view of the large number of orphans in the country it must
implement reform of child-care institutions.
	The deputy head of Romania's diplomatic mission in
Brussels, Viorel Ardeleanu, told RFE/RL that his country will
work hard to meet the conditions so that negotiations can
begin. He praised the EU's new approach, saying that "the
main thing is that all six countries are invited to start
negotiations in 2000.... This is an extraordinary signal for
the political class and in general for the whole society in
Romania."
	Turkey, with its long-strained relations with the EU, is
a special case. The report recommends that Turkey be made a
formal candidate, thereby giving it the prospect of eventual
EU membership. But at the same time, the EU declines to open
negotiations with Turkey and in this context points to
failings of democratization in that country.
	The commission urges Ankara to undertake specific steps.
These include enhancing domestic political dialogue, with
particular reference to improving human rights, revising the
way it handles EU financial assistance, and developing a
national program for adjusting its legislation to EU norms.
	As for the west Balkans, the EU report recommends that
EU leaders confirm the prospect of eventual membership for
the former Yugoslav states and Albania. But it says that in
addition to meeting the usual criteria, those countries will
have to recognize one another's borders, settle all issues
relating to national minorities, and pursue economic
integration in a regional framework.
	Looking further afield, the report notes that relations
with Russia, Ukraine, the Caucasus states and the Maghreb
countries of North Africa are of strategic importance to the
EU. They should go beyond trade and assistance programs and
include issues such as the fight against organized crime,
drug trafficking, and migration and environmental policies.

The author is an RFE/RL correspondent based in Prague.
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               Copyright (c) 1999 RFE/RL, Inc.
                     All rights reserved.
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