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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 247, 21 December 1995

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

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] WHITE HOUSE TO LIFT EMBARGO AGAINST RUMP YUGOSLAVIA?

  • [2] NATO HAS 17,000 TROOPS IN BOSNIA.

  • [3] SERBIAN RENEWAL MOVEMENT ANNOUNCES NEW COALITION.

  • [4] WHAT FUTURE FOR CROATS IN VOJVODINA?

  • [5] MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES TOUGH 1996 BUDGET.

  • [6] ROMANIAN SENATE APPROVES SENDING BATTALION TO BOSNIA.

  • [7] ROMANIA TO STICK TO ITS PRO-WESTERN POLICY.

  • [8] ROMANI FOREIGN-LANGUAGE COURSE OFFERED AT BUCHAREST UNIVERSITY.

  • [9] MOLDOVAN RULING PARTY ACCUSED OF "BOLSHEVISM."

  • [10] BULGARIA, ROMANIA SIGN MILITARY ACCORD.

  • [11] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT IN PORTUGAL.

  • [12] BULGARIAN JOURNALISTS WANT RESIGNATION OF RADIO BOSS.

  • [13] ALBANIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CHIEF ACCUSED OF SENTENCING PRIEST TO DEATH.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 247, Part II, 21 December 1995

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] WHITE HOUSE TO LIFT EMBARGO AGAINST RUMP YUGOSLAVIA?

    Nasa Borba on 21December reported that President Bill Clinton is about to lift the embargo against Belgrade, including all sanctions related to trade, air, and sea transport as well as to other business contacts. In accordance with the November resolution of the UN Security Council on immediate suspension of sanctions, Clinton would thus reward the former Yugoslavia's "constructive participation" in the Dayton peace talks. But this move would not include lifting so-called "outside sanctions," meaning the country's immediate readmission to the UN, the OCSE, and international financial organizations. Meanwhile, French President Jacques Chirac told Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic that France will be among the first countries to recognize the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and to establish full diplomatic relations, Beta reported on 20 December. The same agency reported that telephone communications between rump Yugoslavia and Croatia were reestablished on 20 December. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [2] NATO HAS 17,000 TROOPS IN BOSNIA.

    NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, speaking at a press conference in Brussels on 20 December, said NATO already has 17,000 troops in Bosnia, Western agencies reported. But most of those troops were formerly with the UN. An IFOR press spokesman told OMRI that as of 21 December, only 1,400 NATO troops had arrived in Bosnia and some 1,000 in Croatia. Meanwhile, British troops have arrived in Krupa, 30 km south of Banja Luka, and IFOR forces have removed roadblocks to Sarajevo airport. -- Michael Mihalka

    [3] SERBIAN RENEWAL MOVEMENT ANNOUNCES NEW COALITION.

    The Serbian Renewal Movement is to form a new coalition of opposition parties, according to Nasa Borba on 21 December. Party leader Draskovic has announced that a joint "list without Communists" will be drawn up for future elections. That list will include the Civic Union of Serbia, New Democracy, the Vojvodina Reformists, the Union of Vojvodina Hungarians, and the Party of Democratic Action of Sandzak. It may also include the political movement Democratic Center, which is expected to form a party. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [4] WHAT FUTURE FOR CROATS IN VOJVODINA?

    Rump Yugoslavia has a Croatianpopulation estimated at about 250,000. The largest single group of them live in Vojvodina, which had at least 160,000 Croats before the war but of whom over 45,000 have left, mainly under duress. President Bela Tonkovic of the Democratic League of Croats in Vojvodina told human rights activists that his people face constant harassment and psychological pressure. Their legal status as a "nation" or a national minority has not been clarified, and they are virtually excluded from public life but subject to rigorous military conscription and discrimination in hiring. They made a formal complaint to the Serbian government in June 1993 but have had no response to date, Nasa Borba reported on 21 December. -- Patrick Moore

    [5] MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENT DISCUSSES TOUGH 1996 BUDGET.

    The Macedonian parliament on 20 December began discussing the 1996 budget, which is based on 6% retail price inflation, 10% growth in social product, and 2% growth in industrial production, Nova Makedonija reported the next day. Planned revenues of 42.9 billion denars ($1.1 billion), represent 23% of social product, compared with 23.8% in 1995. Wages in the budgetary sphere will be frozen at their August 1995 levels, vacation pay eliminated, and social welfare spending and agricultural subsidies reduced. The largest revenue sources will be excise taxes, the personal income tax, and the sales tax. -- Michael Wyzan

    [6] ROMANIAN SENATE APPROVES SENDING BATTALION TO BOSNIA.

    The Senate on 20 December voted 107 to seven to approve contributing an engineer unit to the peacekeeping forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Radio Bucharest reported. The 200-strong battalion, whose mission is to last for up to 12 months, will mainly help restore roads and bridges in the region. The estimated cost of the operation--18 billion lei (some $7 million)--will be covered from the budget. The initial proposal to dispatch a unit to the former Yugoslavia was made by President Ion Iliescu in a letter to the parliament. -- Dan Ionescu

    [7] ROMANIA TO STICK TO ITS PRO-WESTERN POLICY.

    A spokesman for Romania's Foreign Ministry on 20 December said his country's decision to seek NATO membership was "irreversible," Radio Bucharest reported. He stressed that a possible change in Russia's foreign policy following the recent elections will not affect Romania's policy of integration into Euro- Atlantic structures. -- Dan Ionescu

    [8] ROMANI FOREIGN-LANGUAGE COURSE OFFERED AT BUCHAREST UNIVERSITY.

    Bucharest University is to offer instruction in Romani as a foreign language as part of a three-year course that will include Sanskrit and Hindi, Reuters reported, citing Evenimentul Zilei on 19 December. The reports did not stipulate which Romani dialect will be taught and whether the courses are meant for Roma or non-Roma. Romani is offered, among others, at Charles University in Prague and at the Gandhi High School in Pecs, Hungary, as part of courses about or for Roma. -- Alaina Lemon

    [9] MOLDOVAN RULING PARTY ACCUSED OF "BOLSHEVISM."

    The Agrarian DemocraticParty of Moldova (PDAM) has been accused of establishing "a Bolshevik- style dictatorship in some raions in an attempt to politicize the population" and thus divert public attention from the current "economic disaster," Radio Bucharest reported on 19 December, quoting Moldpres. The accusation was made in a communique released by the Executive Committee of the Party of Revival and Conciliation in Moldova, led by President Mircea Snegur, who quit the PDAM in late June to set up his own party. Meanwhile, Infotag on 20 December quoted a presidential spokesman as saying that Snegur was not prepared to accept any compromise on the controversial issue of the designation of the country's official language. The spokesman said that according to "scientific truth," that designation could be only "Romanian." -- Dan Ionescu

    [10] BULGARIA, ROMANIA SIGN MILITARY ACCORD.

    The chiefs of staff of the Bulgarian and Romanian militaries signed an agreement on military cooperation in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria, Bulgarian media reported on 19 December. The two sides agreed to continue their cooperation along their common border, to increase the exchange of military information, and promote more military contracts. Romanian Chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Dumitriu Cioflina was quoted as saying the Bulgaria was the first country with which Romania had signed such an agreement. He added that Romania intended to sign similar agreements with Ukraine and Hungary. -- Doug Clarke

    [11] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT IN PORTUGAL.

    Zhelyu Zhelev, during a three-day official visit to Portugal on 18-20 December, stressed that Sofia will step up its efforts to join the EU and NATO but he added that it is unlikely Bulgaria will be admitted as a full EU member by 2000, Bulgarian and international media reported. Zhelev met with his Portuguese counterpart, Mario Soares, Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, Parliamentary President Antonio Santos, and caucus leaders. Zhelev noted that bilateral relations should be developed further, while Soares said Portugal considers Bulgaria's application for full EU membership to be fully justified and timely. Zhelev on 20 December met with former Bulgarian Queen Ioanna, who lives in Estoril. Zhelev said they discussed "very private matters." -- Stefan Krause

    [12] BULGARIAN JOURNALISTS WANT RESIGNATION OF RADIO BOSS.

    Hundreds of demonstrators, including many journalists from private and state media, on 20 December protested the dismissal of seven journalists from Bulgarian National Radio, Bulgarian newspapers and Western media reported. The demonstrators demanded the resignation of BNR Director- General Vecheslav Tunev, who sacked the journalists on 18 December (see OMRI Daily Digest, 19 December 1995). A declaration by journalists said the dismissals "irrefutably prove that there is political censorship in [BNR]." Opposition leaders attended the meeting but did not speak, saying they did not want to give the gathering a "partisan twist." -- Stefan Krause

    [13] ALBANIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COURT CHIEF ACCUSED OF SENTENCING PRIEST TO DEATH.

    Rustem Gjata has been charged with sentencing Dom Gjergj Gjoni to death in 1973, Koha Jone reported on 21 December. The catholic priest from the diocese of Shkoder had been charged with high treason for trying to flee Albania after it was declared an atheist state and after churches were closed in 1967. Gjata was reported to have pronounced the death sentence even though the prosecutor had demanded only a 15-year prison term. -- 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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