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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 77, 18 April 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] BOSNIAN DEMOBILIZATION DEADLINE NEARS.

  • [2] BOSNIAN VICE PRESIDENT URGES CROATS TO STAY.

  • [3] GERMANY TO RECOGNIZE RUMP-YUGOSLAVIA.

  • [4] CROATIAN JOURNALISTS CALL FOR PRESS FREEDOM.

  • [5] ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES 1996 BUDGET.

  • [6] OPINION POLL SHOWS ILIESCU, PSDR LEADING.

  • [7] REPRESENTATIVE OF BULGARIAN CORPORATION COMMITS SUICIDE IN SKOPJE .

  • [8] BULGARIAN TSAR MAY VISIT HIS COUNTRY.

  • [9] LATE ALBANIAN COMMUNIST DICTATOR'S SON RELEASED FROM PRISON.

  • [10] MORE ALBANIAN CANDIDATES BANNED FROM RUNNING IN ELECTIONS.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 77, Part II, 18 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] BOSNIAN DEMOBILIZATION DEADLINE NEARS.

    NATO forces in Bosnia are preparing for the next military deadline, which is slated to pass at midnight on 18 April. This will be 120 days after the Dayton agreement was signed and is the deadline for all armies to demobilize their reserves, move their regular forces into barracks, and store their heavy weapons, Onasa reported. IFOR officials told the BBC that they do not expect complete compliance immediately, but feel that all sides are showing good will. One NATO officer said that this is one of the biggest demobilization projects in recent history. IFOR also noted that a shipment of mine detectors is scheduled to arrive on 22 April to help deal with the estimated three million land mines across the country, Onasa added. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] BOSNIAN VICE PRESIDENT URGES CROATS TO STAY.

    Ejup Ganic told the Croatian daily Vecernji list on 17 April that Muslims and Croats have the same long-term interests and no alternative but to be allies. He urged Croats to remain in Bosnia, an apparent reference to the fact that Croats in some central Bosnian areas under Muslim control have been leaving for Croatian-held regions and for Croatia proper. The same daily on 18 April drew attention to the now decimated Croatian community of Stup near Sarajevo, which wants its Croatian identity affirmed. Croats have lived in central Bosnia since the Middle Ages and boast historic churches and monasteries there, but they lost much land to the Muslims in the internecine war of 1993. They claim that Muslim authorities still discriminate against them despite the Croat-Muslim alliance and that the Muslims often bar Croatian refugees from going home. Bosnian Cardinal Vinko Puljic said that equality is the key to Bosnia's survival, Onasa on 17 April. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] GERMANY TO RECOGNIZE RUMP-YUGOSLAVIA.

    The German government at a meeting on 17 April concluded that it is ready to recognize rump Yugoslavia as one of the successor states to Yugoslavia, Nasa Borba reported on 18 April. The formal agreement on establishing full diplomatic relations will be presented by a German representative to Belgrade on 18 April. German Interior Minister Manfred Kanther's proposal that recognition would come only when Belgrade agreed to take back 120,000 refugees, including a large number of Kosovo Albanians, was rejected by the German cabinet, the Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes reported on 18 April. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [4] CROATIAN JOURNALISTS CALL FOR PRESS FREEDOM.

    The Croatian Journalistic Society and the NGO "Club of Rome" have listed eight demands to ensure that journalists can carry out their work on a professional basis, Novi list reported on 17 April. Their measures include a call for an early court decision on the constitutionality of the new libel law, which is widely seen as an attempt to muzzle criticism of top officials. Three additional points deal with the dailies Novi list and Slobodna Dalmacija, which the journalists say have been the victims of legal manipulation by the governing party. They also demand that electronic media licenses be granted on a clearly defined basis, and that state radio and TV become a publicly owned institution. -- Patrick Moore

    [5] ROMANIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES 1996 BUDGET.

    A joint session of Romania's two chamber parliament on 17 April approved the 1996 state budget. The vote was 245 in favor, 168 against. The budget includes a planned deficit amounting to 3.45% of the Gross Domestic Product. The former members of the ruling coalition, the Greater Romania Party and the Socialist Labor Party, voted in favor of the budget. Had they failed to do so, the budget law would not have passed due to votes against it from main opposition parties, Romanian media reported on 17-18 April. -- Michael Shafir

    [6] OPINION POLL SHOWS ILIESCU, PSDR LEADING.

    A poll conducted from 3-10 April, with a representative sample of 1,114 persons, shows incumbent President Ion Iliescu and the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) leading in presidential and parliamentary election races. The poll was conducted by the Center of Urban and Regional Sociology and was published in the daily Romania libera on 18 April. Iliescu leads the presidential race with 35% of the support, followed by the Democratic Convention of Romania's (CDR) candidate, Emil Constantinescu, who received 19%; Petre Roman, the Social Democratic Union's (USD) candidate, however, is rapidly closing the gap with 15%. Observers now do not rule out the possibility of an Iliescu-Roman race in the second round of the presidential elections. In the parliamentary race, the PDSR is backed by 32%, the CDR by 27% and the USD by 13%. -- Michael Shafir

    [7] REPRESENTATIVE OF BULGARIAN CORPORATION COMMITS SUICIDE IN SKOPJE .

    Ivo Jancev, the representative of the Bulgarian corporation Multigroup, was found dead in a hotel in Skopje on 12 April, Nova Makedonija reported on 18 April. According to Bulgarian media, Jancev's body did not show any signs of struggle and investigators concluded that Jancev committed suicide. Jancev, who previously worked for the Bulgarian secret service, was buried on 14 April. Demokratsiya on 18 April ran a story, where former secret service colleagues allege that Janev was assassinated. Following the assassination attempt on Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov in October 1995, unconfirmed reports in the Macedonian and Bulgarian press drew a connection between Multigroup and the attack. No evidence was produced and Jancev strongly denied the allegations. -- Ismije Beshiri and Fabian Schmidt

    [8] BULGARIAN TSAR MAY VISIT HIS COUNTRY.

    The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said on 17 April that former Tsar Simeon II will be allowed to visit Bulgaria, international media reported the same day. Simeon II was forced by communist leaders to leave the country in 1946. The official announcement requested Simeon II to pledge that he "respects the Bulgarian constitution and the results of the 1946 referendum" which abolished the monarchy. The Foreign Ministry denied allegations that it was delaying an extension of the Tsar's identity card to prevent him from entering the country. Simeon II lives in Spain. He is planning to visit Bulgaria on 25 May. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [9] LATE ALBANIAN COMMUNIST DICTATOR'S SON RELEASED FROM PRISON.

    Enver Hoxha's son Ilir was released from prison on 17 April, local media reported. Hoxha was accused on 8 June 1995 of "inciting national hatred and endangering public peace, by calling for hatred against parts of the population" and "calling for vengeance." In an interview he gave to the newspaper Modeste he had called the current Albanian leadership a "pack of vandals" and "dark forces". He was also quoted as saying during his trial that "The day will come when all those who have betrayed my father will have to answer for their actions." After his release he claimed he wanted to protect the memory of his father. Enver Hoxha ruled Albania from 1945 until 1985. His wife, Nexhmije, is serving a jail term for abuse of power. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [10] MORE ALBANIAN CANDIDATES BANNED FROM RUNNING IN ELECTIONS.

    Another ten Socialist candidates have been banned from running in the upcoming elections on 26 May by a government commission screening for past communist involvement, Gazeta Shqiptare reported on 18 April. The total number of candidates excluded is now 63. The commission was created to settle a dispute over two laws - the "verification law" and so-called "Genocide law." The ruling Democratic Party argues that both laws are designed to prevent former high communist officials and former secret police spies from holding public office, but the opposition maintains they are designed to weaken the parliamentary opposition. -- 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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