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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 72, 11 April 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] CROATIA CHARGES SIX MUSLIMS WITH TERRORISM.

  • [2] BOSNIAN SERBS NOT TO ATTEND AID CONFERENCE.

  • [3] MUSLIM COUNTRIES DISAPPOINT BOSNIAN HOPES FOR AID.

  • [4] EU PREPARES TO RECOGNIZE BELGRADE.

  • [5] RUMP YUGOSLAV BANK GOVERNOR TO BE OUSTED?

  • [6] SLOVENIAN OFFICIALS ON SUCCESSION ISSUE.

  • [7] ROMANIAN ELECTIONS TO BE POSTPONED?

  • [8] MOLDOVAN DEFENSE MINISTER REINSTATED.

  • [9] NEW MOLDOVAN LAW ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.

  • [10] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT VETOES WATER ACCORD WITH GREECE.

  • [11] WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO SOVIET MONUMENT IN SECOND-LARGEST BULGARIAN CITY?

  • [12] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT SETS DATE FOR ELECTIONS.

  • [13] CORRECTION


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 72, Part II, 11 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] CROATIA CHARGES SIX MUSLIMS WITH TERRORISM.

    Croatia has formally indicted six Bosnian Muslims on charges of planning to murder Bihac kingpin Fikret Abdic in Rijeka, Reuters reported on 10 April. "There is a founded suspicion that the accused intended to commit a criminal act of killing Fikret Abdic," Rijeka county public prosecutor Drago Marincel told Croatian TV. Four men and one woman have been arrested, while another man is still at large. Two of those arrested worked for the Bihac police, while the man still being sought was employed by Bosnia's security department. They reportedly had a large number of weapons stored in Croatia. Bosnia's ambassador Kasim Trnka told Onasa news agency, however, that Bosnia has no reason to send terrorists to Croatia. His embassy spokesman said those arrested were in fact Abdic's own agents trying to sabotage Zagreb-Sarajevo relations, Slobodna Dalmacija wrote on 11 April. The Croatian government has since delivered a formal protest note to the embassy over the incident, Nasa Borba reported. Meanwhile in Zagreb, eight Croatian citizens have gone on trial for killing 18 elderly Serbs after Croatian forces defeated Serbian forces last year, Hina said on 10 April. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] BOSNIAN SERBS NOT TO ATTEND AID CONFERENCE.

    The international community's High Representative Carl Bildt has rejected demands by Pale that the Republika Srpska's delegation to the Brussels conference on reconstruction be separate from the federation's. Bildt said the Serbs had earlier agreed to a joint representation, in keeping with the Dayton agreement's principle that Bosnia-Herzegovina is a single state consisting of two entities. He added that he could not now invite the Serbs to come to Brussels on 12 April, the BBC reported. Speculation about the Serbs' decision centers on the theory that there is fierce infighting between hard-liners around civilian leader Radovan Karadzic based in Pale and the supposedly more moderate Banja Luka group headed by Prime Minister Rajko Kasagic. A cornerstone of the Dayton package was the hope that the promise of international aid and reconstruction money would prompt all sides to observe the terms of the treaty and be cooperative. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] MUSLIM COUNTRIES DISAPPOINT BOSNIAN HOPES FOR AID.

    Representatives of 14 Islamic countries concluded a conference on helping the war-torn republic rebuild its economy and shore up its defenses, but they apparently fell short of promising a joint fixed sum for the effort. Turkey pledged $80 million and Iran $50 million, Oslobodjenje wrote on 11 April. Ten other countries were invited but did not send representatives. President Alija Izetbegovic appealed to the delegates that Bosnian needs their help. Iran used the occasion to open a cultural center, which will also coordinate reconstruction work, local media reported. -- Patrick Moore

    [4] EU PREPARES TO RECOGNIZE BELGRADE.

    The EU on 10 April said that rump Yugoslavia's recognition of Macedonia "opens the way to recognition by (EU) member states of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia as one of the successor states of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia," AFP reported. In a related development, a spokesman from the Belgian Foreign Ministry said Brussels will recognize rump Yugoslavia in the near future, while German officials said they will discuss the question of recognition later this week. -- Stan Markotich

    [5] RUMP YUGOSLAV BANK GOVERNOR TO BE OUSTED?

    Speculation is rife in Serbiathat the ruling Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS) and Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic are planning to oust National Bank Governor Dragoslav Avramovic, who played a significant role in curbing hyperinflation and introducing economic stability in 1994. Fueling the speculation are local media reports quoting Avramovic as saying the SPS sabotaged his recent efforts to secure IMF and World Bank membership by insisting those bodies recognize rump Yugoslavia as the successor to the former Yugoslavia. -- Stan Markotich

    [6] SLOVENIAN OFFICIALS ON SUCCESSION ISSUE.

    Miran Mejak, head of the Slovenian committee on succession to the former Yugoslavia, has responded to Belgrade's recognition of Macedonia by saying it has "no impact" on the succession question. Mejak, in a statement reported by STA on 10 April, observed that all the successor countries of the former Yugoslavia must be regarded as "equal" and that an agreement must be reached on any decision on the division of assets belonging to the former Yugoslavia. Belgrade's Politika on 11 April reports that Slovenian Premier Janez Drnovsek has largely endorsed Mejak's viewpoint. -- Stan Markotich

    [7] ROMANIAN ELECTIONS TO BE POSTPONED?

    Ioan Gavra, deputy chairman of theParty of Romanian National Unity, has pointed out that the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania's decision to take the new law on local elections to the Constitutional Court means local elections cannot be held in late May or early June, Radio Bucharest reported. General and presidential elections will also have to be postponed, since the constitution stipulates that at least six months must separate local and other elections. In a related development, Dinu Zamfirescu, a leader of the Liberal Party '93, denied that his formation will join the pact recently concluded between the Social Democratic Union and the Party of Civic Alliance for the local elections. Meanwhile, a Romanian Senate commission on 10 April voted in favor of lifting the parliamentary immunity of Corneliu Vadim Tudor, leader of the extreme nationalist Greater Romania Party. The plenum will now have to vote on the issue. -- Michael Shafir

    [8] MOLDOVAN DEFENSE MINISTER REINSTATED.

    President Mircea Snegur has reinstated Defense Minister Pavel Creanga following the Constitutional Court's decision that his dismissal was illegal, Moldovan and international agencies reported on 10 April. But at the same time, Snegur has reduced Creanga's powers, citing unrest in the army. Creanga remains in charge of the day-to-day running of the army, but Snegur is to be in charge of military affairs in his capacity as commander in chief. General Tudor Dabija, whom Snegur nominated as Creanga's replacement, will continue to serve as deputy defense minister. -- Michael Shafir

    [9] NEW MOLDOVAN LAW ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS.

    The Moldovan parliament has passed on its first reading a new law on presidential elections, Infotag and BASA-press reported on 10 April. The new legislation stipulates that presidential candidates have to be backed by at least 50,000 people from at least one-third of Moldova's electoral districts. This stipulation-- which, proportionally, is twice as high as in Russia and three times as high as in Romania--has prompted protests from the opposition. Elections are to be held on the fourth Saturday of October in the year when a presidential term expires, with run-offs on the second Saturday of November. The president is to take office on 8 December, the day the first president of Moldova was elected in 1991. -- Michael Shafir

    [10] BULGARIAN PRESIDENT VETOES WATER ACCORD WITH GREECE.

    Zhelyu Zhelev on 10 April vetoed the Greek-Bulgarian agreement on the division of the water of the River Mesta/Nestos (see OMRI Daily Digest, 29 March 1996), Reuters reported. He argued that the issue should be dealt with at the same time as all other disagreements between Sofia and Athens. The treaty was signed in December 1995 and was ratified by the Bulgarian parliament on 28 March, ending a decade-old dispute. In other news, Zhelev and Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas signed a friendship and cooperation treaty and several other agreements. Brazauskas arrived in Sofia on 10 April for a two-day visit. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO SOVIET MONUMENT IN SECOND-LARGEST BULGARIAN CITY?

    The Plovdiv Municipal Council on 10 April decided to demolish the statueof a Soviet soldier popularly known as "Alyosha," Duma reported. Bulgaria's second-largest city is dominated by the anti-communist Union of Democratic Forces. Mayor Spas Garnevski promised during his election campaign last year to pull down the statue, which he called a "symbol of the Soviet occupation army." He argued that the monument has no cultural or historical value. The Russian General Consulate in Plovdiv claims that the decision violates five international conventions on the preservation of cultural heritage as well as agreements between Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev and his Russian counterpart, Boris Yeltsin. State officials have said the council's decision has no legal force since "Alyosha" is state property and therefore cannot be pulled down by the local authorities. -- Stefan Krause

    [12] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT SETS DATE FOR ELECTIONS.

    Sali Berisha has scheduled Albania's third free elections for 26 May, Reuters reported on 10 April. His announcement marks the official beginning of the election campaign, which the Democratic Party unofficially launched at its congress on 4 April. Berisha also announced the dissolution of the parliament and approved the establishment of the Central Election Committee, which will be composed of nine members appointed by the government and Berisha's Democratic Party and eight by the other opposition parties. Both main parties, the Democrats and the Socialists, have said they are confident that they will win a parliamentary majority. But opinion polls are still in their infancy in Albania, making it difficult to predict the outcome. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [13] CORRECTION.

    In the 9 April OMRI Daily Digest, the first sentence of the item "UKRAINE, VIETNAM SIGN AGREEMENT" should have read: "President Leonid Kuchma and his Vietnamese counterpart, Le Duc Anh, meeting in Hanoi on 8 April, signed an agreement on cooperation, international agencies reported."

    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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