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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 76, 17 April 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] TUZLA AS MODEL FOR BOSNIA?

  • [2] BOSNIAN AID UPDATE.

  • [3] U.S WITHHOLDS RECOGNITION OF RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.

  • [4] BOMB ATTACK ON BELGRADE MOSQUE.

  • [5] CROATIAN POLITICAL CONFRONTATION ENTERS NEW PHASE.

  • [6] ROMANIA INAUGURATES CANADIAN-DESIGNED NUCLEAR POWER PLANT . . .

  • [7] . . . AS ROMANIAN-CANADIAN ECONOMIC COOPERATION INTENSIFIES.

  • [8] ROMANIA SETS DATE FOR LOCAL ELECTIONS.

  • [9] NINE ALBANIAN COMMUNIST-ERA OFFICIALS TO STAND TRIAL.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 76, Part II, 17 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] TUZLA AS MODEL FOR BOSNIA?

    The leader of the ex-communist Union ofBosnian Social Democrats (UBSD), Sejfudin Tokic, stressed that his party is in the best position to overcome the ethnic divide in the war-torn republic, Nasa Borba reported on 16 April. The next day, the same paper carried an interview with leading UBSD politician and mayor of Tuzla, Selim Besagic, who also backed Tokic's opinion, pointing out that multi- ethnic Tuzla could serve as a model for the rest of Bosnia. Both men claimed that the UBSD has already begun to attract much attention from Serbs in the Republika Srpska (RS). Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic has apparently organized his own party bloc to compete with Karadzic's group in the RS elections due to be held across Bosnia by mid-September. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] BOSNIAN AID UPDATE.

    The EU is looking into a case of corruption surrounding its administration in Mostar, AFP reported on 16 April. An EU spokesman said, however, that it was simply a case of "irregularities" amid difficult circumstances and apparently not one of widespread graft. Former EU Adminstrator Hans Koschnick defended his record and told the Berliner Zeitung that it was simply a question of "technical accounting matters" and that "there is no suggestion of any misappropriation of funds." Elsewhere, the OSCE expressed concern that there might be insufficient funding to promote independent media amid Bosnia's nationalist-dominated media landscape, Reuters noted. Although a number of potential financial sources have expressed interest, few have commited specific sums (see OMRI Special Report, 16 April 1996). Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has signed a $3 million agreement to repair Bosnia's railways, Onasa said. The governor of Bosnia's Central Bank, Kasim Omicevic, added that he is anxious that the international community's monetary pledges be translated into deeds. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] U.S WITHHOLDS RECOGNITION OF RUMP YUGOSLAVIA.

    State Department officials assured Kosovar shadow state Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi that the U.S. will withhold recognition of rump Yugoslavia, AFP reported on 15 April. The officials told Bukoshi that Washington wants Belgrade to deliver on the Bosnian peace agreement before making such a decision, but gave no assurance that a solution to the Kosovo conflict would be a precondition for recognition. Nonetheless, U.S. officials said that Kosovo "is very high on our agenda." Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Rudolph Perina "reconfirmed the U.S. desire to be helpful in finding a peaceful solution." Bukoshi said he was satisfied with the U.S. assurances. Austria recognized rump Yugoslavia on 16 April, Nasa Borba reported. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [4] BOMB ATTACK ON BELGRADE MOSQUE.

    A powerful bomb severely damaged Belgrade's Bajrakli Mosque and shattered windows of surrounding buildings on 16 April, Onasa and Reuters reported. Although there were no casualties, Mufti Hamdija Jusufspahic called it "the most powerful attack on the mosque and on the Islamic community in Belgrade ever." He said the explosion caused substantial damage outside and inside the building. No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing, which was the third attack on the mosque since 1992. Mayor Nebojsa Covic visited the scene soon after the attack and promised Mufti full cooperation. The opposition Reform Democratic Party in Vojvodina called on authorities to seize and punish the terrorists, while Democratic Party President Vojislav Kostunica commented that the act harmed the country's international relations. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [5] CROATIAN POLITICAL CONFRONTATION ENTERS NEW PHASE.

    President Franjo Tudjman has vetoed for the fourth time in a row the opposition's candidate for mayor of Zagreb, Novi list reported on 17 April. A loose opposition coalition won a majority in the city council in last October's elections, but Tudjman has thus far blocked every candidate for mayor proposed. He claims that he will not hand the capital over to "enemies of state policy." Tudjman's Croatian Democratic Community Party (HDZ) candidate is presently acting-mayor despite a vote of no- confidence from the council. There is widespread suspicion that the HDZ's real aim is to hide evidence of its own past corruption. New elections seem inevitable, and the polls suggest that the voters are angry with Tudjman's behavior. Seven parties ranging from the right to the left have formally reaffirmed their alliance. -- Patrick Moore

    [6] ROMANIA INAUGURATES CANADIAN-DESIGNED NUCLEAR POWER PLANT . . .

    At a ceremony scheduled to take place on 17 April, visiting Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien and President Ion Iliescu will officially inaugurate Romania's first nuclear power plant. The plant, located in Cernavoda and built with Canadian Candu technology, will eventually have five units. The first unit, already completed, has a production capacity of 705 megawatts, Romanian and international media reported. It is scheduled to begin functioning in May and will reach its full production capacity in August, meeting some 10% of the country's electricity needs. -- Michael Shafir

    [7] . . . AS ROMANIAN-CANADIAN ECONOMIC COOPERATION INTENSIFIES.

    The Canadian Bombardier Company President, Laurent Beadoin, will deliver on 17 April the first of 24 planes ordered by the Romanian airline Dac Air, an RFE/RL correspondent in Bucharest reported on 16 April. Dac Air is buying a fleet of 24 planes of the 8-3000 model. The first plane will be presented at a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Nicolae Vacaroiu. On 16 April, President Ion Iliescu visited the Bucharest Turbomecanica factory, which specializes in producing plane engines. He said the Canadian Pratten Whitney Company is interested in acquiring 51% of Turbomecanica shares, Romanian TV reported on the same day. -- Michael Shafir

    [8] ROMANIA SETS DATE FOR LOCAL ELECTIONS.

    Local elections in Romania will be held on 2 June, Radio Bucharest announced on 16 April. Octav Cosmanca, who is in charge of local government affairs, said on Radio Bucharest that the electoral campaign for local elections will start on 19 April. No date has yet been set for the autumn parliamentary and presidential elections. Cosmanca added that due to a recently-passed new law on local administration, prefects will no longer be able to dismiss mayors without prior judicial approval. International bodies had harshly criticized earlier practices, which allowed for the dismissal of mayors. -- Michael Shafir

    [9] NINE ALBANIAN COMMUNIST-ERA OFFICIALS TO STAND TRIAL.

    Nine defendants stood trial on 16 April under charges of committing crimes against humanity, Reuters reported. In a series of trials, a total of 38 defendants are accused of conducting mass deportations and executions of fugitives and political prisoners. The charges also include exiling dissidents. The nine defendants who appeared in the first trial include ex-Defense Minister Prokop Murra, head of Tirana's secret police Zef Loka, National Police Chief Dilaver Bengasi, former President Ramiz Alia's chief ideologist Foto Cami, and five former local party secretaries. Another trial against five other former senior officials, including a parliamentary speaker and an ex-Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will open on 24 April. No trial date has yet been set for the remaining 24 accused, including Alia. -- 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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