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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 69, 5 April 1996

From: OMRI-L <omri-l@ubvm.cc.buffalo.edu>

Open Media Research Institute Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] IFOR SAYS NO MORE FIXED CHECKPOINTS IN BOSNIA.

  • [2] REACTIONS TO U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE'S DEATH IN CROATIA.

  • [3] KARADZIC TURNS DOWN OFFER OF ASYLUM IN MONASTERY.

  • [4] ANOTHER OPPOSITION LEADER FALLS FOUL OF SERBIAN PRESIDENT?

  • [5] GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER REPLIES TO SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER.

  • [6] CROATIA WANTS NO REGIONAL GROUPINGS.

  • [7] ROMANI ELECTION ALLIANCE FORMED IN ROMANIA.

  • [8] MOLDOVAN COURT RULES AGAINST SNEGUR.

  • [9] ROVER CLOSES BULGARIAN PLANT.

  • [10] BULGARIAN PRIVATIZATION DEADLINE EXTENDED.

  • [11] BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN GREECE.

  • [12] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT KICKS OFF ELECTION CAMPAIGN.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 69, Part II, 5 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] IFOR SAYS NO MORE FIXED CHECKPOINTS IN BOSNIA.

    NATO peacekeepers have said that all fixed control posts have been removed in northwestern Bosnia around Banja Luka, Prijedor, and Bihac, and in central Bosnia around Travnik. Mobile checkpoints are still allowed, provided they do not stay in one place for more than 30 minutes, Onasa news agency reported on 4 April. It is unclear what has happened to the control posts around Mostar in Herzegovina. The Dayton treaty is quite specific about the need for freedom of movement across Bosnia, but IFOR at first said it would not do "police work," even though the international police force was greatly understaffed and unable to do its job. IFOR recently changed its position and has removed checkpoints. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] REACTIONS TO U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE'S DEATH IN CROATIA.

    Bosnian media responded to Ron Brown's death in a plane crash outside Dubrovnik, Croatia, on 3 April by noting he was at the center of reconstruction efforts and that it will not be easy to find someone to replace him. The Croatian government ordered flags flown at half-mast and entertainment shows canceled following the crash, in which 35 people are reported to have died. The Bosnian and Croatian prime ministers said their respective countries had lost a friend, local news agencies reported. The crash in heavy rain may have been caused by the malfunction of a rudder, which has happened before on Boeing 737s. Croatian officials said that the crash could not be blamed on air safety standards in their republic, Slobodna Dalmacija wrote on 5 April. The Serbian daily Nasa Borba said that pilot error was the most likely cause and that gunfire could be ruled out. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] KARADZIC TURNS DOWN OFFER OF ASYLUM IN MONASTERY.

    Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has declined an offer of refuge by the Serbian Orthodox Shilandar monastery on Mt. Athos, which enjoys extraterritorial status. The leadership of the church proposed that the internationally wanted war criminal become a monk there, AFP on 5 April quoted the Montenegrin weekly Monitor as saying. Karadzic, a licensed psychiatrist, said he intends to set up a private mental hospital with his wife, who is a doctor, and his daughter, who studies medicine. -- Patrick Moore

    [4] ANOTHER OPPOSITION LEADER FALLS FOUL OF SERBIAN PRESIDENT?

    ZoranDjindjic, leader of the Democratic Party, appears to be the latest target of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown on the opposition. Tanjug on 3 April reported that the Belgrade District Public Prosecutor's Office has requested that an investigation be launched into Djindjic in connection with a short piece he placed in the daily Telegraf accusing Serbian government ministers of abusing their official position to buy wheat at very low prices and then sell it for a huge profit. The prosecution claims that Djindjic committed a "criminal offense against the reputation of the Republic of Serbia." -- Stefan Krause and Stan Markotich

    [5] GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER REPLIES TO SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER.

    Klaus Kinkel, in a reply to a letter sent by Serbian Renewal Movement leader Vuk Draskovic to several foreign ministers (see OMRI Daily Digest, 27 March 1996), said the democratization of rump Yugoslavia is a precondition for its readmission into European structures, Nasa Borba reported on 4 April. He said that it was particularly important that democratic institutions be established and human and minority rights respected. Klaus also noted that Germany and its EU partners see certain developments in rump Yugoslavia as "incompatible with the obligations your country undertook within the framework of the peace and stabilization process." -- Stefan Krause

    [6] CROATIA WANTS NO REGIONAL GROUPINGS.

    Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic told his visiting Albanian counterpart, Alfred Serreqi, that Croatia wants good relations with all countries in the region, including rump Yugoslavia. He stressed, however, that Zagreb does not want "any [regional] association, nor will [it] join any kind of Balkan conferences," Vecernjli list reported on 4 April. Croatia, like Slovenia, has repeatedly pointed out since 1991 that it wants nothing to do with any grouping that smacks in any way of being some kind of new Yugoslavia. Granic added that Croatia's "basic strategic goal is to join the Euro-Atlantic political and security associations." It also wants "direct relations with the EU" rather than any regional grouping, which Croatia regards as a half-way house. The two men discussed bilateral relations, with Serreqi paying "special attention to the Kosovo question." -- Patrick Moore

    [7] ROMANI ELECTION ALLIANCE FORMED IN ROMANIA.

    The Roma Party of Romania announced last week that it and 11 other Romani organizations have agreed to run on joint lists in the local elections, Radio Bucharest reported on 2 April. The groups will compete as the Roma Alliance. Gheorghe Raducanu, executive chairman of the Roma Party, said that any other Romani parties who wish to join have until 9 April to do so. The local elections are expected to take place in May. -- Alaina Lemon

    [8] MOLDOVAN COURT RULES AGAINST SNEGUR.

    Moldova's Constitutional Court has ruled that President Mircea Snegur's dismissal of Defense Minister Pavel Creanga last month was illegal, international agencies reported on 4 April. Under the constitution, cabinet members can be fired only by the premier or through a vote in the parliament. Snegur's legal adviser said after the court's ruling that Creanga was now "free to return to office." Creanga said the decision was a "victory of the truth." Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli commented that he thanked God that no bloodshed was caused by Snegur's decision, although "we were only inches away from it." -- Michael Shafir

    [9] ROVER CLOSES BULGARIAN PLANT.

    Rover Group on 4 April announced that it will stop assembling automobiles at its Bulgarian plant, RFE/RL and Reuters reported. Rover owns a 51% stake in Rodacar, Bulgaria's only car maker. The other 49% is held by Daru Group, which has been experiencing severe financial difficulties. The plant, located in Varna, was opened less than seven months ago. Rover was the biggest foreign investor in Bulgaria outside the food sector. A Rodacar spokesman said, "We were led to believe that we could rely on government support in setting up our plant here, but that support failed to materialize." -- Stefan Krause

    [10] BULGARIAN PRIVATIZATION DEADLINE EXTENDED.

    The Bulgarian parliament on 4 April voted to extend the deadline for selling privatization vouchers, RFE/RL reported. The initial deadline was 8 April, but legislators decided to extend it by one month because so far vouchers have been bought by only 18.4% of those eligible to do so. Some 1,063 companies are to privatized. Also on 4 April, Industry Minister Kliment Vuchev returned from a three-day visit to Slovenia where he signed a protocol on economic and trade cooperation. Other economic agreements with Slovenia will be signed soon, Vuchev said. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN GREECE.

    Georgi Pirinski, on an official visit to Athens, held talks with his Greek counterpart, Theodoros Pangalos, on 4 April, RFE/RL reported. Pirinski also met with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, President Kostis Stephanopoulos, and Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis. Pirinski and Pangalos discussed the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, the proposed meeting of Balkan foreign ministers in Sofia, and closer economic cooperation. Pirinski said he believes Greece and Bulgaria are ready "to discuss [the pipeline] constructively." Pangalos assured Pirinski that the Greek parliament will ratify bilateral accords on the use of water from the River Mesta/Nestos and on the opening of new border crossings, which the Bulgarian parliament ratified last month. -- Stefan Krause

    [12] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT KICKS OFF ELECTION CAMPAIGN.

    Sali Berisha on 4 April kicked off the parliamentary election campaign by addressing a congress of his Democratic Party, Reuters reported. Berisha urged Albanians to support the Democrats, which he called "the locomotive of the development of democracy, a market economy, and the country's integration in Europe." He said that if the Democrats win the elections, they will cut taxes and privatize banks, mines, the oil sector, hydroelectric power stations, and telecommunications within two years. -- Stefan Krause

    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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