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OMRI Daily Digest II, No. 83, 26 April 1996

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

Open Media Research Institute: Daily Digest Directory

CONTENTS

  • [1] U.S. TROOPS TO STAY IN BOSNIA UNTIL DECEMBER.

  • [2] HAGUE COURT THREATENS BELGRADE, PALE WITH SANCTIONS.

  • [3] CROATS, MUSLIMS REACH AGREEMENT ON POLICE FORCE . . .

  • [4] . . . BUT SPAR OVER ARMY.

  • [5] SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER FACES LIBEL INVESTIGATION.

  • [6] RUMP YUGOSLAV BANK GOVERNOR FINDS SUPPORTERS.

  • [7] ACTIVISTS CALL FOR MASS DEMONSTRATIONS IN KOSOVO.

  • [8] BLACK SEA SUMMIT OPENS IN BUCHAREST.

  • [9] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT URGES PARLIAMENT TO DISMISS CABINET.

  • [10] BULGARIAN SUPREME COURT CONFIRMS ELECTION OF KARDZHALI MAYOR.

  • [11] BULGARIA RAISES INTEREST RATE BY 18%.

  • [12] BULGARIAN TV BOSS STAYS ON.

  • [13] ALBANIANS KILLED WHILE SMUGGLING REFUGEES.

  • [14] GREECE RECOGNIZES YUGOSLAV SUCCESSOR STATES.


  • OMRI DAILY DIGEST

    No. 83, Part II, 26 April 1996

    SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [1] U.S. TROOPS TO STAY IN BOSNIA UNTIL DECEMBER.

    Secretary of Defense William Perry says that NATO commander Gen. George Joulwan has asked that U.S. forces remain in Bosnia at "essentially a full capability" through December, the International Herald Tribune reported on 25 April. The American exit strategy has never been fully stated in public, but it was expected that the GIs would be out by 20 December, about one year after the Dayton treaty was signed. Joulwan seems especially concerned that NATO be present in full force to provide security for September's elections. Other European allies have been discussing contingency plans for keeping NATO forces in Bosnia beyond one year. Perry said he sees the success of the mission in restoring basic security to the embattled republic. He would therefore consider extending the mandate beyond one year to "deter a war [but not ] to unify the country." The secretary stressed that the political future of Bosnia is a matter for the local people themselves to decided. -- Patrick Moore

    [2] HAGUE COURT THREATENS BELGRADE, PALE WITH SANCTIONS.

    Antonio Cassese, president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, has said that Serbia and the Bosnian Serbs should be punished with sanctions unless they begin to cooperate seriously with the court. In particular, they must begin handing over indicted war criminals, the BBC and Vecernji list stated on 26 April. In Bosnia, Prime Minister Hasan Muratovic denied Croatian reports that the six Bosnians arrested near Senj on terrorism charges were Bosnian agents trained by Iran, news agencies noted on 25 April. Sarajevo argues that it has nothing to do with the shadowy six and that the whole affair might be a publicity stunt by their alleged victim, Bihac pocket kingpin Fikret Abdic, to aid his attempt at a political comeback. Abdic, who is wanted in Sarajevo for war crimes, met with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic on 25 April, Onasa added. -- Patrick Moore

    [3] CROATS, MUSLIMS REACH AGREEMENT ON POLICE FORCE . . .

    Senior Muslim and Bosnian Croat officials met with German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, the international community's Michael Steiner, and other negotiators at Petersberg near Bonn on 25 April, Oslobodjenje reported. The Muslims and Croats agreed to end their acrimonious dispute over the nature of the federal police force by disbanding half of their respective forces, merging the rest, and issuing them neutral gray uniforms. Kinkel threatened the two sides with sanctions if they did not reach and stick to agreements to bolster their shaky federation, Nasa Borba noted. -- Patrick Moore

    [4] . . . BUT SPAR OVER ARMY.

    Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic has meanwhile called for an integrated federal army, Onasa added on 25 April. His representative Muhamed Sacirbey said that officers on active duty would be barred from "elected office...or being high functionaries within political parties." Izetbegovic's Party for Democratic Action (SDA) has, however, been consolidating its hold over the military. Its governing bodies at all levels contain officers, and two generals serve on the top SDA steering committee. Croatian Defense Minister Gojko Susak on 24 April said the Bosnian Croat military must remain separate in order to guarantee the Croats' security. -- Patrick Moore

    [5] SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER FACES LIBEL INVESTIGATION.

    A Serbian district court on 25 April cleared the way for authorities to launch an investigation into Democratic Party leader Zoran Djindjic's alleged libel activities. Serbian Premier Mirko Marjanovic recently took action against the weekly Telegraf, which in January ran a Democratic Party advertisement alleging corruption and fraud within his government. Djindjic took responsibility for the advertisement, thereby setting himself up to be the target of such an investigation, Reuters reported on 25 April. -- Stan Markotich

    [6] RUMP YUGOSLAV BANK GOVERNOR FINDS SUPPORTERS.

    Ivan Kovacevic, spokesman for the opposition Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO), has said that his party "will under all circumstances...defend [National Bank Governor Dragoslav] Avramovic and his policies," Nasa Borba reported on 26 April. Avramovic earlier this week was removed as rump Yugoslavia's chief negotiator with the IMF. Federal Finance Minister Jovan Zebic will now assume that role. SPO leader Vuk Draskovic said that this move effectively meant that Avramovic was being removed as bank governor in all but name. Montenegrin Premier Milo Djukanovic, currently in the U.S., has also voiced support for Avramovic and for his role as negotiator with international financial institutions. -- Stan Markotich

    [7] ACTIVISTS CALL FOR MASS DEMONSTRATIONS IN KOSOVO.

    Unidentified ethnic Albanian activists have distributed leaflets calling for mass demonstrations in Kosovo, the BBC reported on 26 April. The appeal does not have the support of any of the shadow-state's political parties, which have called on the population to remain calm. The head of the Kosova Information Center in London warned that the situation in Kosovo is tense and that the shadow-state government may lose control over more radical activists. Meanwhile, Albanian President Sali Berisha also called on Kosovars to stay calm and urged the international community to take swift measures to solve ethnic problems in the region, Reuters reported. Since five Serbs were shot dead in separate incidents following the murder of an Albanian by a Serbian civilian last week, police have arrested more than 100 Albanians, mainly in Decani and Stimlje, ATSH reported. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [8] BLACK SEA SUMMIT OPENS IN BUCHAREST.

    A high-level conference on economic cooperation in the Black Sea region opened in Bucharest on 25 April, Radio Bucharest and Western media reported. Political leaders and businessmen from 11 countries , including Macedonian President Kiro Gligorov and the premier of rump Yugoslavia, Radoje Kontic, are attending. Gligorov launched an impassioned appeal for the Black Sea states to help rebuild former Yugoslavia after almost five years of war. Russian Foreign Minister Yevgenii Primakov is expected to join the conference at the weekend. He also plans to discuss the final details of the long-delayed basic treaty between Romania and Russia. -- Dan Ionescu

    [9] MOLDOVAN PRESIDENT URGES PARLIAMENT TO DISMISS CABINET.

    Mircea Snegur has called on the parliament to sack the government because of alleged incompetence and involvement in corruption, Reuters reported on 25 April. The agency quoted Snegur as saying that people "want to know if elected representatives can sack those unable to carry out their duties and nominate others able to cope with difficulties and get the country out of the abyss of poverty." Snegur said the government was responsible for growing unemployment as well as wage and pension arrears, which exceeded $70 million by mid-April. Snegur's appeal came after he unsuccessfully attempted to sack Defense Minister Pavel Creanga on corruption charges in mid-March, without consulting Andrei Sangheli's government. The Constitutional Court later reinstated Creanga. -- Dan Ionescu

    [10] BULGARIAN SUPREME COURT CONFIRMS ELECTION OF KARDZHALI MAYOR.

    The Supreme Court, overruling a Kardzhali Regional Court decision, has reinstated Rasim Musa as mayor of Kardzhali, RFE/RL reported on 25 April. Musa, a member of the mainly ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedom, was declared winner of November 1995 elections when he beat out a candidate backed by the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party by a margin of one percentage point. The BSP demanded that the election be invalidated on grounds of irregularities, which the Regional Court did in early February. The Supreme Court has now ruled that the irregularities were "insignificant" and did not affect the outcome. In other news, the parliament has overruled President Zhelyu Zhelev's veto of an agreement with Greece on joint use of water from the River Mesta/Nestos, Reuters reported. -- Stefan Krause

    [11] BULGARIA RAISES INTEREST RATE BY 18%.

    The Bulgarian National Bank on 25 April announced it will raise the prime interest rate from 49% to 67% beginning today, Bulgarian and Western media reported. The move is aimed at stopping the continuing devaluation of the lev, which has lost some 18 percentage points against the U.S. dollar since the beginning of the year. BNB Governor Lyubomir Filipov said the central bank "prefers to raise the prime interest rate rather than intervene on the foreign exchange markets." -- Stefan Krause

    [12] BULGARIAN TV BOSS STAYS ON.

    The BSP caucus on 25 April voted not to remove Bulgarian National TV (BNT) Director-General Ivan Granitski, Kontinent reported. The deputies rejected the BSP Executive Bureau's recommendation that Granitski be sacked. Officially, the BSP blamed Granitski for financial irregularities at BNT and for poor management. But the BSP daily Duma yesterday reported that Prime Minister and BSP Chairman Zhan Videnov does not approve of BNT's newscasts, co- productions, and sociological analyses. Standart on 26 April reported that Videnov told the BSP deputies that "it's either me or Granitski." -- Stefan Krause

    [13] ALBANIANS KILLED WHILE SMUGGLING REFUGEES.

    In a shoot-out off the Corfu coast, Greek coast guards have killed an Albanian sailor who was trying to smuggle illegal immigrants into Greece, AFP reported on 25 April. The smuggler reportedly opened fire on a Greek patrol boat during a chase. Shortly before that incident, Greek patrols arrested another Albanian who also opened fire on a Greek vessel. Meanwhile, an Albanian smuggler was killed when his motorboat hit an Italian Navy vessel during a boat chase on 24 April, Reuters reported. -- Fabian Schmidt

    [14] GREECE RECOGNIZES YUGOSLAV SUCCESSOR STATES.

    Greece on 25 April officially recognized rump Yugoslavia as one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, AFP and Reuters reported. It also recognized "all the countries created by the dissolution of the former Yugoslavia," a Foreign Ministry statement said. However, the Greeks recognize Macedonia only under the name "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia." In related news, Nova Makedonija reported that the Macedonian parliament ratified the rump Yugoslav-Macedonian agreement on mutual recognition. -- Stefan Krause

    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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