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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 79,22 April 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] BRITISH IFOR REBUFFS KARADZIC.

  • [2] SLAVONIAN SERB LEADER CONFIRMS LOOTINGS.

  • [3] CROATIAN SERB UPDATE.

  • [4] SERBIAN OPPOSITION RALLY BECOMES SCENE OF VIOLENCE.

  • [5] MONTENEGRIN PREMIER IN U.S.

  • [6] SWISS ENVOY TO ROMANIA SUSPECTED OF BEING CAUGHT IN ESPIONAGE WEB.

  • [7] ROMANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS PROMISE TO BE SPORTY.

  • [8] NATO OFFICIAL IN ROMANIA.

  • [9] RUSSIAN TROOPS IN THE TRANSDNIESTER TO BE REDUCED?

  • [10] BULGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY DISCUSSES AGRICULTURE POLITICS.

  • [11] WHO WILL BE THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS?

  • [12] BANK ROBBERS STEAL $300,000 IN ALBANIA.

  • [13] ITALIAN PRESIDENT VISITS ALBANIA.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 79, Part II, 22 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] BRITISH IFOR REBUFFS KARADZIC.

    Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic through an aide blasted the decision by British peace keepers to move their headquarters from Gornji Vakuf to Banja Luka, the major Serb stronghold in western Bosnia. The aide, Jovan Zametica, telephoned the British on 20 April to say that Karadzic had not given "his permission" for the move, Onasa news agency reported the next day. The British replied: "So what? We're entitled to go where we want... We don't need his permission." Elsewhere, Bosnian authorities released a group of Serbian prisoners, including Col. Aleksa Krsmanovic, for lack of war crimes evidence against them. The government similarly released a group of Serbian detainees. International media also said that about 800 Muslim and Croat refugees scuffled with some 1,500 Serbs trying to prevent their return to their homes near Doboj. The area is part of the Bosnian Serb entity, but the Dayton agreement allows all refugees to go home. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] SLAVONIAN SERB LEADER CONFIRMS LOOTINGS.

    Goran Hadzic is the new "interim president" of the Serbs in eastern Slavonia, the last part of Croatia in rebel Serb hands. He indirectly confirmed reports that one- third of the Serbs have been carting off property to Serbia, including goods looted from Croatian homes, Reuters stated on 21 April. Hadzic said that his main priorities are to "fight crime which has taken on disturbing proportions" and to stop the ongoing exodus of Serbs. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] CROATIAN SERB UPDATE.

    In Zagreb the small remaining Serb minority on Croatian-held territory has been forming a number of new organizations in recent weeks. The latest is an umbrella group, the National Council of Serbian Organizations (NSSO), Nasa Borba reported on 22 April. That same day Vecernji list denied that the government is discriminating against Serbs by cutting off funds to the paper Nas glas. The article claimed that the paper had taken an anti-Croatian stance, as shown by reporting stories on alleged atrocities in Krajina last summer. It noted that other Serbian organizations continue to receive subsidies. Meanwhile, the Sabor passed a law on cooperation with the war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Vecernji list said on 20 April. The measure is expected to facilitate the extradition of suspected war criminals.-- Patrick Moore

    [4] SERBIAN OPPOSITION RALLY BECOMES SCENE OF VIOLENCE.

    Three opposition parties--the Serbian Renewal Movement, the Democratic Party, and the Serbian Civic League--organized a rally on 20 April in the town of Novi Sad which was marred by violence when supporters of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party of Serbia forced their way into the crowd. Nasa Borba on 22 April reported that much of the violence was not of a serious nature, and that, apart from minor scuffles, quelled when police intervened to move Milosevic supporters from the scene, "thankfully nothing more serious erupted." On April 20, however, AFP reported that witnesses on the scene observed police officers bludgeoning Miroslav Negrojevic, a legislator and member of the Serbian Renewal Movement. Estimates suggest that about 10,000 opposition supporters attended the rally which called for Milosevic's removal from office. -- Stan Markotich

    [5] MONTENEGRIN PREMIER IN U.S.

    Milo Djukanovic, accompanied by the rump Yugoslav republic's finance minister, Predrag Goranovic, left for the United States on 21 April on what local media described as "a working visit." The two Montenegrin officials are reportedly seeking to reopen working relations with U.S. based financial institutions. Nasa Borba on 22 April reports that Djukanovic and Goranovic also regard the visit as a means of reopening and sustaining bilateral talks aimed at "a normalization" in relations. -- Stan Markotich

    [6] SWISS ENVOY TO ROMANIA SUSPECTED OF BEING CAUGHT IN ESPIONAGE WEB.

    Romanian and international media reported on 19-20 April that the Swiss ambassador to Romania, Jean-Pierre Vettovaglia, was summoned home after investigations revealed a sentimental involvement with a Romanian journalist who is suspected of being an agent of the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI). The journalist, Floriana Jucan, who works for Evenimentul zilei, denied she was on the SRI payroll, but confirmed the affair with the Swiss diplomat, who is married. The SRI also denied that Jucan is on its payroll. Romanian Foreign Ministry spokesman Sorin Ducaru said the ministry regrets the "unpleasant situation" that has been "intensely exploited in the media" and praised Vettovaglia's "competence and professionalism" and his contribution to boosting ties between the two countries. -- Michael Shafir

    [7] ROMANIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS PROMISE TO BE SPORTY.

    Ilie Nastase, the former Romanian international tennis star, on 19 April officially began his campaign for mayor of Bucharest as the candidate of the Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR), local and international media report. At his side was Nadia Comaneci, the former Olympic gold medal gymnast. Comaneci arrived in Bucharest for her marriage on 27 April to U.S. gymnast Bart Conner. Adrian Nastase, the executive chairman of the PDSR (no kin of Ilie) will act as best man in what many political observers believe to be an attempt to boost his party's electoral chances in the autumn general elections. Other sport stars have also been recruited by political parties as candidates in the local elections. Emerich Jenei, a former coach of Romania's and Hungary's national soccer teams, is running for mayor of Oradea on the list of the Democratic Party and Gheorghe Raducanu, once the star goal-keeper of Bucharest Rapid, is the candidate of the Democratic Agrarian Party in one of the capital's districts. -- Michael Shafir

    [8] NATO OFFICIAL IN ROMANIA.

    Gebhardt von Moltke, NATO Assistant General Secretary for Political Affairs, on 21 April was received by Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu, Romanian television announced on the same day. They discussed NATO expansion into Eastern Europe, Romania's relations with NATO and its participation in the Partnership for Peace program. Melescanu reiterated Romania's aspiration to be received in the organization in the "first wave" of new members. Von Moltke will chair a meeting of the NATO Cooperation Council opening in Sinaia on 22 April. -- Michael Shafir

    [9] RUSSIAN TROOPS IN THE TRANSDNIESTER TO BE REDUCED?

    Citing sources closeto the Russian troops command in the Transdniester, BASA-press reported on 20 April that the troops will be reduced by 60% this summer. The cuts are to be carried out at the orders of the Russian chief of staff, Gen. Mikhail Kolesnikov. The agency said that as a result of these directives, General Valerii Yevnevich could be replaced with a lower- ranking officer as commander of the Russian troops in the Transdniester and be promoted to a higher post in Moscow. -- Michael Shafir

    [10] BULGARIAN SOCIALIST PARTY DISCUSSES AGRICULTURE POLITICS.

    The BSP and its coalition partners -- the Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union "Aleksandar Stamboliyski" and the Political Club Ekoglasnost -- on 21 April discussed the government's agriculture politics, Duma reported. Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Svetoslav Shivarov said that securing sufficient grain production is one of the main problems this year. Many participants of the meeting criticized the government, saying the farmers had lost faith in it for failing to resolve the problems of agriculture which impoverished them. Boncho Rashkov, chairman of the parliamentary agriculture commission, said the government will fall if the agriculture ministry does not change its policy. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] WHO WILL BE THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE BULGARIAN SOCIALISTS?

    Prime Minister and Chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) ZhanVidenov said the BSP candidate in the upcoming presidential elections must be "strong, and not a figure expressing an inner-party compromise," Duma reported on 22 April. Videnov told a party meeting in Sofia on 20 April that the candidate must remain "faithful to himself" after winning the elections. According to Standart, one third of the BSP organizations favor the candidacy of Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski. Problems could arise from the fact that Pirinski was born in the U.S., and the Constitutional Court might be asked to clarify whether this constitutes an obstacle to his candidacy. Under the Bulgarian constitution, people holding dual citizenship can not run for parliament or for president. -- Stefan Krause

    [12] BANK ROBBERS STEAL $300,000 IN ALBANIA.

    Unidentified culprits robbed the National Trade Bank in Vlora of $300,000 on 18 April, Albania reported. They injured a guard and teller during the robbery. It was the third professional robbery in Vlora this year. Earlier victims of hold-ups involved the local branches of the Savings Bank and the company VEFA. In unrelated news two Albanians were killed by starving wolves when attempting to illegally cross the border to Greece. Five others escaped the wolves by hiding in trees for two days. They were eventually rescued by Albanian border guards, international agencies reported. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [13] ITALIAN PRESIDENT VISITS ALBANIA.

    Italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro visited Albania on 19 April, Reuters reported. He pledged support for Albania's integration into Europe and Italian help for an association treaty with the EU. Concerning economic cooperation Scalfaro pointed out that more than 500 Italian companies are active in Albania. Albanian President Sali Berisha thanked Scalfaro for Italy's contributions to Albania's transition and said the meeting had produced good results. Scalfaro attended the opening ceremonies of a stretch of highway and a drinking water system, the latter funded by the Italian government with some $23 million. Italy has made available about 300 billion lira ($185 million) in aid and investments to Albania since 1992 and is considered Albania's main trading partner. Outside the president's palace, police arrested a man from Fushe Kruje who threatened to commit suicide with a hand grenade unless he was allowed to speak to Berisha. -- 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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