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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 81, 24 April 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] BELGRADE AUTHORITIES ARREST BOMB SUSPECTS.

  • [2] MONTENEGRIN OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON.

  • [3] VIOLENCE ESCALATES IN KOSOVO.

  • [4] SERBIAN OPPOSITION PARTY CALLS FOR DIALOGUE WITH KOSOVO ALBANIANS.

  • [5] TUDJMAN CALLS FOR NATIONAL RECONCILIATION . . .

  • [6] . . . AND SPARKS CONTROVERSY.

  • [7] ROMANIAN DAILY SUES SWISS FOREIGN MINISTRY OVER SPY CHARGE.

  • [8] ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN MOLDOVA.

  • [9] BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN BONN.

  • [10] UPDATE ON BULGARIAN-MACEDONIAN "DIPLOMATIC SCANDAL."

  • [11] GREENPEACE WANTS BULGARIA TO CLOSE DOWN KOZLODUY.

  • [12] ALBANIAN SUPREME COURT REJECTS APPEAL BY DEPUTIES BANNED FROM ELECTIONS.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 81, Part II, 24 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] BELGRADE AUTHORITIES ARREST BOMB SUSPECTS.

    Belgrade police on 23 April arrested Alexander Gajic and Milan Dobrilovic on charges related to the 1992 bombing of Belgrade's central mosque, Reuters reported. The two are also suspects in the May 1993 bombing of St. Ann's Catholic Church in the capital city. Some media have speculated that they may have also been involved in the 30 March 1996 attack against the Bajrakli Mosque in Belgrade, which caused serious damage to the building but no casualties. The suspects were apprehended carrying 1.9 kilograms of explosives, three hand guns, and three grenades. -- Stan Markotich

    [2] MONTENEGRIN OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON.

    Premier Milo Djukanovic and Finance Minister Predrag Goranovic have decided to extend their visit to the U.S. "by a few days," Nasa Borba reported on 24 April. The two men left Montenegro on 21 April for a working visit aimed at restoring political relations with Washington as well as with international financial and political institutions. Nasa Borba also reports that the rump Yugoslav embassy in Washington claims to have no knowledge of the Montenegrins' visit. Embassy officials told a VOA correspondent they have nothing to do with the visit and that Djukanovic has not contacted the embassy. -- Stan Markotich

    [3] VIOLENCE ESCALATES IN KOSOVO.

    At least five Serbs have been killed and four injured since a Serbian civilian killed an Albanian student on the weekend, AFP reported on 24 April. The Serbs who died are three men who were in a cafe in Decani when a gunman entered and sprayed the bar with automatic gunfire; a policeman who was shot outside a police station in Stimlje, near Urosevac; and a woman who was gunned down while sitting inside a police car in Sipolj. Some 10,000 women on 23 April gathered at the site where the Albanian student was killed, QIK reported the same day. The Democratic League of Kosovo strongly condemned the killings, adding they had added a "dangerous dimension" to the Kosovo conflict. It also stressed its policy of non-violence. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [4] SERBIAN OPPOSITION PARTY CALLS FOR DIALOGUE WITH KOSOVO ALBANIANS.

    The spokesman for the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement has said that "if negotiations do not take place soon with representatives of the Kosovar Albanians, there will be no solution for Kosovo," Nasa Borba reported on 24 April. The ruling Socialist Party of Serbia, however, accused the "separatist Albanian movement of choosing terrorism as the means for its struggle." It warned that this could "exclude a peaceful settlement" in Kosovo, AFP reported. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [5] TUDJMAN CALLS FOR NATIONAL RECONCILIATION . . .

    Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, in an important interview with leading pro-government media, said his principal aim is to urge a balanced historical view of all major personalities and movements in modern Croatian history, Vecernji list reported on 23 April. He accordingly condemned the World War II ustasha leader Ante Pavelic but noted that Pavelic did meet a popular demand for an independent Croatia. Tudjman at the same time praised former Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito as the most successful modern Croatian politician and traced the roots of the current Republic of Croatia back to Tito rather than to Pavelic. Tudjman stressed that it is wrong to continue demonizing one or another of the major political movements, saying it is time to bring back to Croatia from abroad the remains of Tito, Pavelic, and Dr. Vladko Macek, who led the powerful Croatian Peasant Party in the 1930s. -- Patrick Moore

    [6] . . . AND SPARKS CONTROVERSY.

    The Croatian president went on to deny that he--a former member of the communist party and a general under Tito--was still "an old communist" at heart and that he had made the current state apparatus a safe haven for officials of the old regime. He noted that only 2% of the Foreign Ministry's staff are holdovers from the former Yugoslavia, while some 22% are former emigres. But the most controversy was generated by his attempt to present a balanced view of Croatian history and his call for reconciliation, Croatian dailies and Nasa Borba the next day. As was the case with calls for reconciliation in post-dictatorship Spain and Greece, many people across the political spectrum see his remarks as an attempt to whitewash evil deeds. His earlier call for turning the Jasenovac concentration camp in to a memorial for all war dead has been slammed as a move to equate murderers with victims. -- Patrick Moore

    [7] ROMANIAN DAILY SUES SWISS FOREIGN MINISTRY OVER SPY CHARGE.

    Evenimentul zilei, Romania's top-selling tabloid, has said it is suing the Swiss Foreign Ministry for alleging one of its reporters is a spy, Reuters reported on 23 April. The move came after Switzerland recalled its ambassador to Bucharest because of his relationship with a 21-year-old political reporter accused of working for the Romanian Intelligence Service (see OMRI Daily Digest, 22 April 1996). Ion Cristoiu, chief editor of the daily, said "the Swiss statement has damaged the newspaper by creating the impression that we have journalists who are undercover agents for various secret services." He has asked for the Swiss Ministry to provide "hard evidence." The newspaper is seeking token damages of 1 leu (less than 1 cent). -- Dan Ionescu

    [8] ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN MOLDOVA.

    Teodor Melescanu, at the start of an official visit to the Republic of Moldova, discussed bilateral relations with Moldovan President Mircea Snegur, Prime Minister Andrei Sangheli, Parliamentary Chairman Petru Lucinschi, and Foreign Minister Mihai Popov, Radio Bucharest reported on 23 April. Melescanu told Radio Bucharest that the long-delayed bilateral basic treaty was included on their agenda. He is scheduled today to attend a meeting of a Romanian- Moldovan interdepartmental commission that is expected to focus on boosting bilateral economic and cultural cooperation. -- Dan Ionescu

    [9] BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER IN BONN.

    Georgi Pirinski and his German counterpart, Klaus Kinkel, on 23 April launched a German-Bulgarian Forum aimed at boosting bilateral economic and political ties, international agencies reported. Pirinski noted that Germany is Bulgaria's most important partner in achieving the "national goal" of EU membership. -- Stefan Krause

    [10] UPDATE ON BULGARIAN-MACEDONIAN "DIPLOMATIC SCANDAL."

    Meanwhile, ForeignMinister Pirinski's decision to cancel a visit to Skopje has received wide media coverage in both countries. Macedonian Ambassador to Bulgaria Gorgi Spasov said the decision was related to Sofia's ongoing refusal to meet Skopje's condition that bilateral agreements be drawn up in both the Bulgarian and Macedonian languages, Kontinent reported. Macedonian Foreign Minister Ljubomir Frckovski stressed his country's good will to solve "this comical dispute," Nova Makedonija reported. Georgi Parvanov, deputy chairman of the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party, said his party did not know why the visit has been canceled. He added that the language issue has been raised by people who do not want relations between Sofia and Skopje to improve, according to Demokratsiya. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] GREENPEACE WANTS BULGARIA TO CLOSE DOWN KOZLODUY.

    Greenpeace on 23 April called on the Bulgarian government to close down the Kozloduy nuclear power plant, Reuters reported. The spokesman for the organization's Greek branch said Kozloduy is one of the world's three most dangerous nuclear plants and that "the question is not if an accident at Kozloduy will happen; the question is when." He added that a study commissioned by Greenpeace showed Bulgaria could close down the plant if it learned to conserve and economize on energy. The Bulgarian government claims it wants to phase out the reactors but that they are still necessary because they supply 40% of the country's electricity. Greenpeace says 15 accidents at Kozloduy were made public between 1990 and 1993, including three radiation leaks. -- Stefan Krause

    [12] ALBANIAN SUPREME COURT REJECTS APPEAL BY DEPUTIES BANNED FROM ELECTIONS.

    The Albanian Supreme Court on 23 April rejected an appeal by 13 deputies who have been banned from running in the upcoming general elections, Albanian media reported. A commission screening candidates for the elections ruled that they have a communist past. The Supreme Court rejected the deputies' request that they be given access to the documents on which the commission based its decision. It argued that there was enough evidence against them, since their names were included in a file listing those who collaborated with the Sigurimi, the communist-era secret service. Another 26 deputies have also appealed to the court. -- 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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