Epilogh OMRI Daily Digest, No. 34, Part II, 16 Feb 95 [**]

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No. 34, Part II, 16 February 1995


  1. BOSNIAN SERB LEADER REMAINS DEFIANT. Reuters on 15 February quoted Radovan Karadzic as calling the international Contact Group "a bewildered bunch that does not know how to solve the war." He also told a crowd in Grahovo that the Bosnian Serb army will "no longer strike [the enemy] in forests and villages but where it will hurt them most." AFP noted that he threatened to "smash" government forces if they launch a new offensive in the Bihac pocket. His authorities imposed a news blackout on the Bihac area, leading one Bosnian Serb journalist to suspect that "something serious is going on in the Bihac pocket." -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

  2. OTHER BOSNIAN DEVELOPMENTS. The first aid convoys in some time headed to the Bihac area on 15 February as part of a deal to ensure that relief reaches all sides, AFP reports. The news agency also notes that Bosnian Serb forces have complained about flights reaching Tuzla airport, suggesting that government forces are being resupplied by air, despite the UN's "no-fly zone" over the embattled republic. The Serbs have been under strong UN criticism recently for staging military flights from Serbia and in several parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The UN is investigating the Serbs' charge regarding Tuzla. -- Patrick Moore, OMRI, Inc.

  3. SERBIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES SUPPORT INDEPENDENT MEDIA. Nasa Borba on 16 February reports that the leaders of four main opposition parties in the rump Yugoslavia--Vuk Draskovic of the Serbian Renewal Movement, Zoran Djindjic of the Democratic Party, Vojislav Kostunica of the Democratic Party of Serbia, and Vojislav Seselj of the Serbian Radical Party--have offered their support to the independent media, currently under attack by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's regime. The four opposition leaders, in a meeting with Studio B director Dragan Kojadinovic, pledged their deputies will walk out of the federal, republican, and municipal legislatures if the authorities do not abandon policies designed to "strangle the independent media." -- Stan Markotich, OMRI, Inc.

  4. BANNED ALBANIAN UNIVERSITY OPENS IN MACEDONIA. Macedonia's unofficial Albanian-language university opened in Tetovo on 15 February, Reuters reported the same day. The opening ceremony followed a political battle with the Macedonian authorities, which have proclaimed the university illegal because Macedonian law does not yet provide for higher education in Albanian. Police raided the university in December, destroying parts of the wooden building. Rector Fadil Sulejmani warned the authorities not to repeat the attacks, saying that "the people will defend me. If police try to prevent us working, 200,000 Albanians will rise to our defense, and they have guns and grenades." He called on the authorities to avoid a confrontation, adding that "it would take us directly to war." Flaka on 16 February reports that representatives of all Albanian political parties in Macedonia were present at the opening ceremony, attended by more than 10,000 people. -- Fabian Schmidt, OMRI, Inc.

  5. GREEK SOCIALISTS NAME CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENCY. The Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) on 15 February said it will support Kostis Stephanopoulos as presidential candidate, Reuters reported the following day. Stephanopoulos, a conservative nominated by the nationalist Political Spring party, said he will accept the candidacy if at least two parties support him. Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou said Stephanopoulos is the candidate who has the "widest public acceptance." Stephanopoulos was a minister in governments led by the New Democracy party between 1974 and 1981. After losing a fight over the chairmanship of the ND to Konstantinos Mitsotakis in 1985, he formed the Political Renewal party. He disbanded that group in 1994 after failing to win a single seat in national and European elections. Greek presidential elections are due in April but are now likely to be held in early March. The votes of 200 out of 300 deputies are needed in the first two rounds, and 180 in the third to elect a president. PASOK has 170 seats, and Political Spring 11. If no candidate wins the required number of votes, the parliament has to be dissolved and new elections held within 45 days. PASOK's support for Stephanopoulos is generally seen as a move to avoid early general elections. -- Stefan Krause, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET] Compiled by Jan Cleave