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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 243, 15 December 1995

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

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] SARAJEVO, BELGRADE TO RECOGNIZE EACH OTHER?

  • [2] IZETBEGOVIC CALLS TREATY "A USEFUL BUT BITTER MEDICINE."

  • [3] TUDJMAN SAYS "THIS IS A HISTORIC DAY."

  • [4] SERBIAN PRESIDENT REASSURES SARAJEVO SERBS.

  • [5] MACEDONIAN NATIONAL BANK PROMISES EASED MONETARY POLICY.

  • [6] EX-YUGOSLAV ALBANIAN PARTIES CRITICIZE MARGINALIZATION.

  • [7] HUNGARIAN MINORITY REPRESENTATIVES WALK OUT OF ROMANIAN SENATE.

  • [8] MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES 1996 BUDGET.

  • [9] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT GOES TO MADRID, PREMIER STAYS HOME.

  • [10] BULGARIA TO OPEN EMBASSY IN SARAJEVO.

  • [11] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT ON PARIS PEACE TREATY, KOSOVO.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 243, Part II, 15 December 1995

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] SARAJEVO, BELGRADE TO RECOGNIZE EACH OTHER?

    AFP quoted diplomaticsources in Paris as saying that Bosnian Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey and his rump Yugoslav counterpart, Milan Milutinovic, exchanged letters of official mutual recognition on 14 December and agreed to exchange ambassadors within 60 days. Since Serb-dominated Yugoslavia strongly supported separatist Bosnian Serbs during the war, its recognition of an independent Bosnian state would affirm the statehood of Bosnia, as agreed by the peace accord. However, Croatian and rump Yugoslav mutual recognition has been delayed due to the unsolved issue of Prevlaka peninsula, Nasa Borba reported on 15 December. Reuters quoted Milutinovic as saying that Croatia, which allegedly earlier agreed to exchange Prevlaka for the Dubrovnik hinterland, had broken the promise but also "accepted rump Yugoslavia as the successor of former Yugoslavia." But Croatia has repeatedly said that no one state can claim to be the sole successor and that assets have to be divided fairly. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [2] IZETBEGOVIC CALLS TREATY "A USEFUL BUT BITTER MEDICINE."

    BosnianPresident Alija Izetbegovic said in Paris that the Dayton agreement is far from ideal and is not embraced by his government with enthusiasm. He added, however, that it was a necessary measure in order to preserve the unity and territorial integrity of his embattled republic. Nasa Borba on 15 December quoted him as saying that the struggle would now continue by means of ideas rather than weapons. Izetbegovic promised to cooperate with the international forces in implementing the treaty and told Sarajevo's Serbs they should stay and "live in security." -- Patrick Moore

    [3] TUDJMAN SAYS "THIS IS A HISTORIC DAY."

    Croatian President Franjo Tudjmantold reporters in Paris that he is "very satisfied" with the Dayton treaty and with his meetings with his American and French counterparts. Hina on 14 December reported that he said on his return to Zagreb that Dayton "means an end to one of the most complex and most tragic wars [and] crises." Earlier at the signing ceremony he recalled the weaknesses of communist Yugoslavia and how these led to Serbia's attacks on Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia. Tudjman also noted that Croatia "is historically and geopolitically most closely linked to Bosnia- Herzegovina." Nasa Borba on 15 December also quoted him as saying that there will be no lasting peace until Croatia's occupied territories are reintegrated. Meanwhile, the Association of Croatian Displaced Persons issued a statement carried by Hina on 14 December calling for quicker measures to restore normal life to the territories already taken back this year. -- Patrick Moore

    [4] SERBIAN PRESIDENT REASSURES SARAJEVO SERBS.

    Slobodan Milosevic, speaking on Television Serbia on 14 December after the signing of the peace accord--reassured Bosnian Serbs that no harm will come to them. "Room for fears or worries does not exist," he said. While suggesting that Sarajevo's Serbs may have legitimate concerns about life under Bosnian government jurisdiction, he said "I am sure that any legitimate concerns of the citizens of Serbian Sarajevo can be solved . . . with the engagement of the international community, including, of course, [rump] Yugoslavia." In a related story, Politika on 15 December reported that Milosevic's ruling Socialist Party of Serbia has greeted the signing of the peace in Paris by declaring "peace has emerged victorious." -- Stan Markotich

    [5] MACEDONIAN NATIONAL BANK PROMISES EASED MONETARY POLICY.

    Addressing a gathering of banking and insurance officials, Macedonian National Bank Vice President Gligor Bisev promised that a recent easing of monetary policy will continue through 1996, Nova Makedonija reported on 14 December. This will lead to increased bank financing for productive investment. He predicted that retail price inflation in 1995 would be 6%, that social product would increase by 1.5%, and that the money supply would grow by 12.5%. -- Michael Wyzan

    [6] EX-YUGOSLAV ALBANIAN PARTIES CRITICIZE MARGINALIZATION.

    The Council of Albanian Political Parties in the former Yugoslavia has issued a statement criticizing the "marginalization" of the Kosovo conflict by the Paris conference. The parties said the conference only "pretends to bring peace to the former Yugoslavia," noting that "without a just solution to the Kosovo question and the problem of Albanians in the entire former Yugoslavia, it will not be possible to overcome the Balkan crisis and prevent future conflicts," BETA reported on 14 December. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [7] HUNGARIAN MINORITY REPRESENTATIVES WALK OUT OF ROMANIAN SENATE.

    Senators representing the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (UDMR) walked out of a debate on amending the law on local government, Romanian media reported on 14-15 December. The UDMR senators objected to a provision in the new law obligating members of national minorities to submit a notarized translation in the Romanian language when they write to local government authorities. The stipulation applies even in localities where there is a majority of non-Romanian ethnics and where local councils have no Romanian ethnic members. Two senators representing the Party of Social Democracy in Romania claimed the UDMR wished to bring about chaos in the country. When UDMR chairman Bela Marko called the allegation a "chauvinist-nationalist instigation," he was asked by the session's chairman to withdraw the remarks. In protest, the UDMR walked out. -- Michael Shafir

    [8] MOLDOVAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES 1996 BUDGET.

    The Moldovan parliament approved the law on the 1996 state budget by a vote of 66 to 12, Infotag reported on 14 December. The budget provides for a deficit amounting to 3.4% of GDP. Finance Minister Valeriu Chitan told Infotag that it is assumed that the annual rate of inflation will be 10% in 1996. -- Michael Shafir

    [9] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT GOES TO MADRID, PREMIER STAYS HOME.

    Zhelyu Zhelev will fly to Spain on 15 December to attend the EU summit in Madrid, while Zhan Videnov will stay in Sofia, Bulgarian newspapers reported. Videnov was to have headed the Bulgarian delegation, which will submit Bulgaria's application for full EU membership. On 14 December, the cabinet decided that the government delegation will be led by Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski. Videnov's participation in the parliamentary debate on the 1996 state budget was given as the official reason, but the fact that Pirinski rather than Zhelev will submit the application is widely seen as a deliberate affront to the president. Videnov and Zhelev have repeatedly clashed on a number of issues. Their strained relations are indicated by the fact that the two were scheduled to fly to Madrid on separate planes, 24 chasa reported on 14 December. -- Stefan Krause

    [10] BULGARIA TO OPEN EMBASSY IN SARAJEVO.

    First Deputy Foreign Minister Stefan Staykov on 14 December announced that the government has decided to open an embassy in Sarajevo, Reuters reported the same day. The embassy will temporarily be headed by an acting ambassador, Staykov said. The government also decided to reopen Bulgaria's trade mission in Belgrade. This decision comes in the wake of the lifting of UN sanctions against rump Yugoslavia and a visit by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Trade Kiril Tsochev to Belgrade (see OMRI Daily Digest, 12 December 1995). -- Stefan Krause

    [11] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT ON PARIS PEACE TREATY, KOSOVO.

    Sali Berisha has praised the Paris peace treaty as an historic achievement, Reuters reported on 14 December. But at the same time he noted that the agreement "constitutes a call to the international community to solve . . . the Kosovo issue, which is the sharpest and most important." The Kosovo conflict is not mentioned in the peace accord, but the UN security council will maintain an "outer wall" of sanctions until the rump Yugoslavia addresses the Kosovo conflict and cooperates with the War Crimes Tribunal. These sanctions include rump-Yugoslavia's admission to international political and financial institutions. Berisha has proposed direct talks between Belgrade and Kosovar shadow-state President Ibrahim Rugova under mediation of the U.S. -- 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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