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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 233, 1 December 1995

From: "Steve Iatrou" <siatrou@cdsp.neu.edu>

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] STILL NEARLY 3,000 CROATS "MISSING."

  • [2] UN EXTENDS MANDATE IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA.

  • [3] SILAJDZIC DISMISSES CHIRAC'S CALLS FOR SERBIAN GUARANTEES.

  • [4] BOSNIA, GREECE ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS.

  • [5] SLOVENIA-RUMP YUGOSLAVIA NORMALIZE RELATIONS?

  • [6] ROMANIA STOPS NUCLEAR CARGO FOR BULGARIA.

  • [7] ROMANIAN PRIVATE TV STATION LAUNCHES NEW PROGRAMS.

  • [8] SNEGUR HINTS AT SECOND PRESIDENTIAL MANDATE.

  • [9] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES 1996 BUDGET DRAFT.

  • [10] BULGARIAN NATIONAL RADIO UPDATE.

  • [11] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT WANTS GOVERNOR PUNISHED.

  • [12] ALBANIA PASSES LAW ON SIGURIMI FILES.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 233, Part II, 1 December 1995

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] STILL NEARLY 3,000 CROATS "MISSING."

    As part of its normalization ofrelations with Serbia, Croatia is expecting cooperation in clarifying the fate of those Croats who have disappeared, mainly during Serbia's war against Croatia in 1991. Some 1,400 persons are unaccounted for from Vukovar and another 500 from the Banija region, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported on 1 December. Croatian authorities said the missing people seem to have been moved around throughout various Serb- held parts of the former Yugoslavia to hide traces of their whereabouts and to mask responsibility for their fate. The Croatian authorities continue to find mass graves in the areas they retook in their lightning offensives this year; they fear that more exist as far away as Sremska Mitrovica and Belgrade. Some Croats who have been freed said they were subjected to torture and dangerous forced labor. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] UN EXTENDS MANDATE IN FORMER YUGOSLAVIA.

    The UN Security Council on 30 November extended the mandates of its missions in the former Yugoslavia, Western agencies reported. Those mandates were due to expire the same day. The UN peacekeepers will remain in Croatia for another 45 days, in Bosnia two months, and in Macedonia six months. NATO troops are expected to be deployed in the region by mid-January. Discussions continue over the composition of the multinational force to be deployed in eastern Slavonia. According to the UN resolution on Croatia, UN Secretary- General Boutros Boutros Ghali has to report to the council by 14 December on a "transitional peacekeeping force" in that country. -- Michael Mihalka

    [3] SILAJDZIC DISMISSES CHIRAC'S CALLS FOR SERBIAN GUARANTEES.

    Bosnian Prime Minister Haris Silajdzic has dismissed the French president's calls for more guarantees for Serbs living in Sarajevo suburbs (see OMRI Daily Digest, 30 November 1995), saying that they enjoy the same rights as other citizens, Reuters reported on 30 November. The BBC quoted Bosnian Radio on 1 December as reporting that President Alija Izetbegovic has told the parliament that the full safety of civilians will be guaranteed, just as there will be punishment for those who have been killing the residents of Sarajevo for 44 months. Meanwhile, AFP on 30 November reported that a rocket fired from the Serb-held Nedarici area of Sarajevo crashed into a building in a government-controlled area but caused no casualties. In another development, the pro-government Serbian Civic Council called on the international community to open offices in Serb-held districts of Sarajevo and to appoint a mediator to oversee the implementation of the peace agreement there. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [4] BOSNIA, GREECE ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS.

    Muhamed Sacirbey and Karolos Papoulias, the foreign ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Greece, on 30 November initialed a document establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries, AFP reported. The agreement was initialed in Sarajevo in the presence of Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Velayati. Greece was one of the most outspoken supporters of Serbia during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. -- Stefan Krause

    [5] SLOVENIA-RUMP YUGOSLAVIA NORMALIZE RELATIONS?

    Nasa Borba on 1 Decemberreported that on the previous day Slovenia became the first republic of the former Yugoslavia to recognize the rump Yugoslavia. The announcement was made by Slovenian Foreign Minister Zoran Thaler and was described as "unexpected" by the Belgrade state-controlled media. Ljubljana has also resolved to lift the trade embargo imposed on Belgrade, AFP reported. The Slovenian government's decision is to be submitted on 1 December to the parliament for discussion and ratification. -- Stan Markotich

    [6] ROMANIA STOPS NUCLEAR CARGO FOR BULGARIA.

    Romanian authorities have intercepted a barge and a tug carrying 106 containers with nuclear fuel for Bulgaria's controversial Kozloduy power plant, Romanian and international media reported on 30 November. The two ships were docked at Cernavoda, a port on the River Danube, and were on their way from the Ukrainian port of Reni. They were intercepted because they did not have permission from the Romanian authorities to transit the country. The authorities launched an investigation into the incident , while the Romanian Environment Ministry asked the Foreign Ministry to hand over a formal protest to the ambassadors of Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Russia. -- Matyas Szabo

    [7] ROMANIAN PRIVATE TV STATION LAUNCHES NEW PROGRAMS.

    The Bucharest-based PRO-TV station, which started operating in May 1993, has announced that it will start broadcasting new programs beginning 1 December, Western media and Radio Bucharest reported. The programs, including foreign series and movies, are expected to reach up to 3 million households via satellite. The $20 million project is backed by ex-tennis champion Ion Tiriac and the businessman Ronald Lauder. According to Radio Bucharest, the revamped private TV station will promote competition in the sector, which is still dominated by state-run stations. The same source added that another TV station, Romanian TV-International, will start broadcasting programs to viewers throughout the world the same day. -- Dan Ionescu

    [8] SNEGUR HINTS AT SECOND PRESIDENTIAL MANDATE.

    In an interview with Handelsblatt and Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Moldovan President Mircea Snegur suggested that he was interested in a second presidential mandate for the sake of continuing with reforms over the next five years. Infotag quoted Snegur as saying that he was "dreaming of forming, as soon as possible, a team of like-minded allies to conduct the second stage of the reform process" in his country. Snegur stressed that Moldova is not planning to join NATO and expressed the hope that the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Russia will not signal a victory of left-wing forces, which, he said, "have nothing on their minds other than restoring the former USSR." -- Dan Ionescu

    [9] BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT APPROVES 1996 BUDGET DRAFT.

    The Bulgarian cabinet on 30 November approved the final version of the 1996 budget draft, Pari reported the following day. The draft envisages revenues totaling 419 billion leva ($5.99 billion) and expenditures 474 billion leva ($6.78 billion). The budget deficit is estimated at 4.7% of GDP and the yearly inflation rate at 20%. The draft envisages a 3% growth in GDP for 1996. Government spokesman Nikola Baltov said the draft will be submitted to parliament at the earliest possible date. -- Stefan Krause

    [10] BULGARIAN NATIONAL RADIO UPDATE.

    The parliamentary Commission for Radio, TV, and the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency on 30 November discussed a statement by journalists from Bulgarian National Radio's Horizont station accusing the BNR of censorship (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 November 1995). The Socialist-dominated commission approved a report saying there is no censorship on BNR and that the questions raised by the dissenting journalists are of a strictly professional nature, Demokratsiya reported. Meanwhile, the opposition adopted a declaration accusing the BNR's management of censorship and of violating the constitution. Representatives of the protesting journalists and BNR Director-General Vecheslav Tunev were present at the meeting. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT WANTS GOVERNOR PUNISHED.

    Zhelyu Zhelev on 30 November said he wants Prime Minister Zhan Videnov to punish the Haskovo Province Governor Angel Naydenov, Standart reported. Zhelev is outraged by Naydenov's failure to convene the Kardzhali City Council, which was elected more than one month ago and to recognize the election of Kardzhali Mayor Rasim Musa. Both the Municipal and the Central Electoral Commission confirmed that the elections in Kardzhali were legal, but Naydenov has said he will not call a City Council meeting until a court rules on a complaint filed by the Bulgarian Socialist Party about the elections in Kardzhali. Zhelev issued his statement after meeting with leaders of the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom, and with Musa, who is a member of that party. -- Stefan Krause

    [12] ALBANIA PASSES LAW ON SIGURIMI FILES.

    The Albanian parliament has passed a law on opening the communist-era secret service (Sigurimi) files of public figures, international agencies reported on 1 December. A seven- member state committee will check the files for all persons who run for parliamentary positions, who are appointed to leading local and central government posts, or who are employed by the courts. The law will also apply to people working in the state media and at newspapers with a daily circulation of more than 3,000. Anyone convicted of collaborating with the Sigurimi will be banned from working in his field until 2002. The files for all other citizens will be closed for 30 years. Deputy Socialist Party leader Namik Dokle criticized the law saying "it smells of apartheid." -- Fabian Schmidt

    This material was reprinted with permission of the Open Media Research Institute, a nonprofit organization with research offices in Prague, Czech Republic.
    For more information on OMRI publications please write to info@omri.cz

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