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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 223, 15 November 1995

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

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] CROATIAN PRESIDENT PROMOTES INDICTED WAR CRIMINAL.

  • [2] ARE THE SERBS BACK-PEDALING ON EASTERN SLAVONIA?

  • [3] IMF MISSION IN SARAJEVO, CENTRAL BANK TO INTRODUCE CURRENCY.

  • [4] CROATIAN ELECTION FINAL RESULTS.

  • [5] CROATIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES AGREE ON ZAGREB MAYOR'S RACE.

  • [6] CONFIDANT OF ACCUSED SERBIAN WAR CRIMINAL JAILED.

  • [7] MACEDONIA BECOMES MEMBER OF PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE.

  • [8] ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER'S FUNERAL DRAWS HUGE CROWDS.

  • [9] SENIOR BRITISH OFFICIAL IN ROMANIA.

  • [10] OSCE EXTENDS MANDATE IN MOLDOVA.

  • [11] HUGE NEW LOSSES AT BULGARIAN BANKS.

  • [12] ALBANIAN FORMER SUPREME COURT JUDGE'S ARREST "APPEARED IMMINENT."


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 223, Part II, 15 November 1995

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] CROATIAN PRESIDENT PROMOTES INDICTED WAR CRIMINAL.

    One day after the International War Crimes Tribunal indicted General Tihomir Blaskic for atrocities against the Muslims of the Lasva valley, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman's office announced his appointment as a staff member of the Croatian army's main inspectorate. Western news agencies on 14 November reported reactions from Croatia, Bosnia, and elsewhere that ranged from shock and incredulity to confirmation of old beliefs that Tudjman is arrogant and lacking in common political sense. Reuters quoted an unnamed Bosnian official as saying that the court will have to turn to "Croatia now and it will be up to them to hand [Blaskic] over to the tribunal or face international sanctions." It remains to be seen what effect Blaskic's promotion will have on Zagreb's relations with Sarajevo, Washington, and Bonn. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] ARE THE SERBS BACK-PEDALING ON EASTERN SLAVONIA?

    Many Croats suspectthat latest agreement on eastern Slavonia is flawed and that the Serbs will put their own interpretation on it, as they did with Cyrus Vance's plan for occupied Croatia in early 1992. AFP on 14 November reported that the Slavonian Serbs indeed appear to feel that the agreement gives them the right to decide whether to return to Croatian sovereignty at the end of two years. Zagreb's interpretation closely reflects the text itself, which views the sovereignty question as closed and provides for a one-year transition with a possible one-year extension and for local elections but not a referendum. Meanwhile in Dayton, U.S., Secretary of State Warren Christopher has returned for what is seen as a last-ditch attempt to save the peace talks, which are deadlocked primarily on territorial questions and the status of Sarajevo. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] IMF MISSION IN SARAJEVO, CENTRAL BANK TO INTRODUCE CURRENCY.

    An IMF mission arrived in Sarajevo on 13 November for a 10-day visit to assess the economic situation there and to provide assistance in drafting the 1996 budget, Hina reported the same day. IMF and World Bank officials have said that the Muslim-Croat federation will receive credits from them only if it adopts a common budget, establishes a joint central bank and currency, and agrees to service its share of the former federal Yugoslav debt. Meanwhile, Bosnian Central Bank governor Rasim Omicevic announced plans to establish a national currency in the coming months, Reuters reported on 10 November. He favors broadening the use of the existing Bosnian dinar rather than introducing a new currency. The Bosnian dinar has been stable for several months against the German mark owing to tight monetary policy. -- Michael Wyzan

    [4] CROATIAN ELECTION FINAL RESULTS.

    Croatian media on 14 November reported that the governing Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) will have 75 of the 127 seats in the new lower house or Sabor. The HDZ was greatly aided by Tudjman's capitalizing on the army's successes and by the addition of 12 seats that were elected by Croats in Bosnia and elsewhere abroad, as well as by the government's control of the electronic and much of the print media. The HDZ nonetheless failed to get a two-thirds majority to be able to change the constitution. An opposition coalition took 16 seats, the Liberals 12, the former Communists 10, the Croatian Party of [Historic] Rights four, the regional Istrian party two, and the Independent Democrats one. The remaining seven seats went to the ethnic minorities, including three for the Serbs. -- Patrick Moore

    [5] CROATIAN OPPOSITION PARTIES AGREE ON ZAGREB MAYOR'S RACE.

    Leaders of the seven opposition parties that in recent elections won 64% of seats in Zagreb's City Assembly and a majority of seats in the District Assembly have signed a cooperation agreement. Vecernji List reported on 15 November that they have agreed to nominate joint candidates for top posts. Goran Granic from the Liberals will run for mayor and district head, and Zdravko Tomac from the Party of Democratic Changes is the candidate for the president of both the city and district assemblies. -- Daria Sito Sucic

    [6] CONFIDANT OF ACCUSED SERBIAN WAR CRIMINAL JAILED.

    Zoran Macai, friend and confidante of accused war criminal Zeljko Raznatovic "Arkan," has been found guilty of inciting murder in Hungary and has received a 10- year sentence, international media reported on 14 November. Macai, who was tried in the Serbian town of Subotica, served as a camp commander in rebel-Serb occupied Croatia. The same day, Marinko Magda, a professional killer, was sentenced to death for six murders committed in the province of Vojvodina. Magda is currently serving a life sentence in Hungary and was tried in absentia. Four other defendants, also believed to members of Arkan's notorious paramilitary Tigers, received lengthy jail terms but are expected to appeal them. -- Stan Markotich

    [7] MACEDONIA BECOMES MEMBER OF PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE.

    Macedonia on 15 November became the 27th member of the Partnership for Peace program, MIC reports. Macedonia has engaged in military cooperation with the US since 1994 and U.S. soldiers participated in a joint military exercise for the first time on 9 November. More Maneuvers are scheduled for March 1996. U.S. troops are present in Macedonia as a contingent of UN peacekeeping troops since December 1992. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [8] ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADER'S FUNERAL DRAWS HUGE CROWDS.

    Some 100,000 people on 14 November attended the funeral of Corneliu Coposu, chairman of the National Peasant Party-Christian Democratic, who died on 11 November, Romanian and Western media reported. The crowd filed past Coposu's coffin on Revolution Square. Some mourners booed Senate speaker and chairman of the ruling Party of Social Democracy in Romania Oliviu Gherman when he spoke at the ceremonies instead of Romanian President Ion Iliescu, who was on an official visit in Egypt. Ana of Bourbon- Parma, the wife of Romania's exiled King Michael, also attended the funeral and was greeted by well-wishers who shouted pro-monarchist slogans. Coposu spent 17 years in communist jails and was seen as a symbol of anti-communist resistance. -- Dan Ionescu

    [9] SENIOR BRITISH OFFICIAL IN ROMANIA.

    Sir Nicholas Bonsor, minister of state at the British Foreign Ministry, on 13 November arrived in Romania to discuss boosting bilateral trade, Radio Bucharest reported. Bonsor met with Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu to discuss the extension of the EU, NATO expansion, and British-Romanian cooperation within the new world context. The next day, he participated in a seminar entitled "The Day of British Trade." He also signed a bilateral agreement on confiscating revenues accrued from illegal transactions, such as drug trafficking. -- Matyas Szabo

    [10] OSCE EXTENDS MANDATE IN MOLDOVA.

    The OSCE has decided to extend its mandate in Moldova by six months, BASA-press reported on 14 November. The decision was taken on 9 November at an OSCE Permanent Council meeting in Vienna. Michael Wygant, head of the OSCE mission in Moldova, told Deputy Foreign Minister Ion Capatana that the participants in the Vienna meeting discussed the implementation of the Moldovan-Russian agreement on the withdrawal of Russian troops from eastern Moldova. He was quoted as saying that the vast majority of the OSCE member countries support Moldova's stance on the issue. -- Dan Ionescu

    [11] HUGE NEW LOSSES AT BULGARIAN BANKS.

    Losses of Bulgarian banks in the first six months of 1995 were up 402% on the same period last year, Demokratsiya reported on 15 November. The government is resisting pressure from the IMF and World Bank to close the two most troubled state banks, Mineralbank and Stopanska Banka, although it is considering creating a "hospital bank" in which bad debt would be consolidated. However, such a step would cause problems for the upcoming mass privatization campaign and may lead to a chain reaction of enterprise bankruptcies, according to Deputy Prime Minister Rumen Gechev. -- Michael Wyzan

    [12] ALBANIAN FORMER SUPREME COURT JUDGE'S ARREST "APPEARED IMMINENT."

    According to international news agencies, Zef Brozi left Albania for the U.S. (see OMRI Daily Digest, 14 November 1995) to avoid imprisonment. Justice Ministry officials reportedly charged Brozi with spending $100,000 in public funds on a new car, office furniture, and foreign visits. Koha Jone on 15 November reported that Brozi had received a Fulbright stipend but that the real reason for his leaving the country was to prevent his arrest. Observers, doubt the validity of the charges against Brozi and presume that the accusations are aimed at legitimizing his dismissal under dubious circumstances in September. Brozi is quoted as saying: "I am very grateful to the U.S. State Department and U.S. embassy in Tirana for standing by me in these very difficult conditions." -- 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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