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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 3, No. 197, 99-10-08

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Newsline Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty <http://www.rferl.org>

RFE/RL NEWSLINE

Vol. 3, No. 197, 8 October 1999


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] AZERBAIJANI FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER RESIGNS
  • [02] AZERBAIJANI POLICE, PICKETERS CLASH IN BAKU
  • [03] FORMER ARMENIAN PRESIDENT SEES 'NO PROGRESS' ON KARABAKH
  • [04] PREPARATIONS CONTINUE FOR ELECTION OF NEW ARMENIAN
  • [05] GEORGIA REFUSES TO CONDONE DEPLOYMENT OF RUSSIAN BORDER
  • [06] ADJARA RELEASES PRISONERS
  • [07] MORE KAZAKH ELECTION HARASSMENT REPORTED
  • [08] GUERRILLAS CONTACT KYRGYZ LEADERSHIP
  • [09] OPPOSITION CANDIDATES TO BOYCOTT TAJIK PRESIDENTIAL POLL

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [10] SERBIAN OPPOSITION AGREES ON EARLY ELECTION TERMS
  • [11] PROTESTS CONTINUE IN SERBIA
  • [12] SERBIAN REGIME DENIES ROLE IN DRASKOVIC ACCIDENT
  • [13] OFFICIAL'S DEFAMATION CASE AGAINST SERBIAN OPPOSITION
  • [14] ETHNIC ALBANIANS DEMAND ACCESS TO MITROVICA MINES
  • [15] REINHARDT SAYS HE HAS NO IMMEDIATE SOLUTION FOR MITROVICA
  • [16] KFOR ARRESTS SUSPECTED WAR CRIMINAL
  • [17] WORLD BANK APPROVES $60 MILLION FOR KOSOVA RECONSTRUCTION
  • [18] U.K. CALLS FOR CRACKDOWN ON KOSOVA MAFIAS
  • [19] ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT SETS UP ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION
  • [20] OSCE CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION OF ATTACK ON MUSLIM IN
  • [21] CROATIAN SERBS SEEK POLITICAL GUARANTEES
  • [22] ROMANIAN DEPUTY PREMIER SAYS NO DECISION TAKEN ON ARAD
  • [23] POLL CONFIRMS ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADS THE FIELD
  • [24] MOLDOVA, RUSSIA AGREE ON BARTER PAYMENT FOR GAS DELIVERIES
  • [25] BULGARIAN MAYORAL CANDIDATE BADLY BEATEN

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [26] TEN YEARS ON: ECONOMIC VISION STILL NOT A REALITY

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] AZERBAIJANI FOREIGN POLICY ADVISER RESIGNS

    Vafa Guluzade,

    who served as foreign policy adviser to successive

    Azerbaijani presidents, has tendered his resignation to

    Heidar Aliev for reasons "connected with his age and

    deteriorating health," Turan reported on 8 October. In recent

    months Guluzade has repeatedly called for a NATO, U.S. or

    Turkish military presence in Azerbaijan to counter Russian-

    Armenian military cooperation. LF

    [02] AZERBAIJANI POLICE, PICKETERS CLASH IN BAKU

    Members of the

    opposition Azerbaijan Popular Front Party and Musavat Party

    were forcibly dispersed by police on 7 October when they

    tried to picket the Russian Embassy, Turan reported. The

    picketers were protesting the 1 October Russian missile

    attack on a village in northern Azerbaijan, discrimination

    against ethnic Azerbaijanis in Russia, and the Karabakh

    policy of the OSCE Minsk Group, of which Russia is one of the

    three co-chairs. LF

    [03] FORMER ARMENIAN PRESIDENT SEES 'NO PROGRESS' ON KARABAKH

    In

    a rare public appearance in Yerevan on 7 October, Levon Ter-

    Petrossian told journalists he perceives no progress toward a

    solution of the Karabakh conflict, despite the direct talks

    over the past three months between his successor, Robert

    Kocharian, and Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev, RFE/RL's

    Yerevan bureau reported. Ter-Petrossian said he does not

    currently follow domestic political developments in Armenia

    and currently has no plans to return to politics. He said

    that the present instability in the North Caucasus

    constitutes a potential threat to Armenia, just as the

    Chechen war of 1994-1996 did. LF

    [04] PREPARATIONS CONTINUE FOR ELECTION OF NEW ARMENIAN

    CATHOLICOS

    Dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Church

    worldwide have elected 451 delegates to participate in the

    26-31 October National Ecclesiastical Assembly that will

    elect a new Armenian Catholicos, RFE/RL's Yerevan bureau

    reported on 7 October. The Church's 47 bishops, all of whom

    have the right to be elected catholicos, are ex officio

    delegates. In an interview with Noyan Tapan on 7 October,

    interim Catholicos Nerses Pozapalian confirmed that two

    senior Armenian government officials, whom he declined to

    identify, have informed Church officials of their preferred

    candidate (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 September 1999).

    Archbishop Mesrop Mustafian, who is patriarch of Istanbul,

    told a U.S. radio station on 3 October that President

    Kocharian and Prime Minister Vazgen Sargsian have informed

    archbishops that they would like to see Garegin Nersisian,

    archbishop of the Ararat Diocese (which includes Yerevan),

    elected catholicos. They added, however, that the Armenian

    government will not interfere in the election process. LF

    [05] GEORGIA REFUSES TO CONDONE DEPLOYMENT OF RUSSIAN BORDER

    GUARDS ON CHECHEN BORDER

    The commander of Georgia's Border

    Guards, Lieutenant General Valerii Chkheidze, said on 7

    October that Tbilisi has categorically rejected Moscow's

    proposal to station Russian border guards in the Georgian

    village of Shatili, close to Georgia's frontier with

    Chechnya, Caucasus Press reported. Chkheidze said if it did

    so, it would run the risk of Chechen attacks on Georgian

    territory. He again denied that arms are being transported to

    Chechnya via Georgia. Georgian Minister of State Vazha

    Lortkipanidze, for his part, told Russian Television that

    there is no need for additional Russian border guards on that

    section of Georgia's border as there are enough Georgian

    border troops deployed there. Lortkipanidze added that

    Tbilisi would be grateful for Russian help in providing those

    Georgian border guards with additional equipment. LF

    [06] ADJARA RELEASES PRISONERS

    A senior official of the Adjar

    Autonomous Republic told journalists in Tbilisi on 7 October

    that the reason for the Adjar authorities' delay in releasing

    28 prisoners whom Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze

    amnestied on 1 October was that they have not received the

    relevant documentation from Tbilisi, Caucasus Press reported.

    He added that 27 prisoners have now been discharged, while no

    documentation has been received on the eligibility for

    amnesty of the 28th, who is serving a sentence for the

    attempted assassination of Adjar Supreme Council chairman

    Aslan Abashidze. The amnesty does not extend to persons

    sentenced for terrorism. The Georgian Prosecutor-General's

    Office had threatened legal proceedings against Adjar prison

    directors if the men were not released (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 7 October 1999). The Adjar authorities have also

    released two Georgian Defense Ministry officials detained

    last month for possession of drugs, "Meridian" reported on 8

    October (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 29 September 1999). LF

    [07] MORE KAZAKH ELECTION HARASSMENT REPORTED

    Amirzhan Qosanov,

    who is deputy chairman of the Republican People's Party of

    Kazakhstan, told RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty on 8 October

    that tax police raided the office of the party's executive

    committee chairman Ghaziz Aldamzharov on 6- 7 October without

    a search warrant. As a registered candidate for the 10

    October election to the lower house of parliament,

    Aldamzharov technically enjoys immunity under the election

    law. LF

    [08] GUERRILLAS CONTACT KYRGYZ LEADERSHIP

    Senior Kyrgyz Security

    Ministry official Talant Razzakov said in Bishkek on 7

    October that one of the leaders of the ethnic Uzbek

    guerrillas holding 13 hostages in southern Kyrgyzstan has

    sent a missive to the Kyrgyz military leadership, RFE/RL's

    bureau in the Kyrgyz capital reported. Razzakov did not

    disclose the contents of that document but said the author is

    believed to be Juma Namangani, an Uzbek citizen who is wanted

    by the Uzbek authorities on suspicion of masterminding

    terrorist attacks in that country in 1997. ITAR-TASS on 7

    October reported that no large-scale hostilities between the

    guerrillas and government troops took place over the previous

    24 hours. It quoted Kyrgyz official sources as denying media

    reports that the Kyrgyz troops have opened a second front

    against the guerrillas near the Uzbek exclave of Sokh. LF

    [09] OPPOSITION CANDIDATES TO BOYCOTT TAJIK PRESIDENTIAL POLL

    Three opposition candidates told journalists in Dushanbe on 7

    October that they will boycott the 6 November presidential

    election to protest restrictions and harassment by the

    government, which, they said, prevented them collecting the

    required 145,000 signatures for registration, RFE/RL's Tajik

    Service reported. The three candidates are Economics and

    Foreign Economic Relations Minister Davlat Usmon (Islamic

    Renaissance Party), Sulton Kuvvatov (Democratic Party/Tehran

    Platform), and Saiffidin Turaev (Justice Party). Turaev told

    RFE/RL that the three will hold talks with the Tajik

    parliament and representatives of international organizations

    in the hope of reaching a "political solution" that would

    allow them to contest the poll. LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [10] SERBIAN OPPOSITION AGREES ON EARLY ELECTION TERMS

    Representatives of the main opposition parties agreed in

    Belgrade on 7 October on conditions for early elections. They

    will finalize their decisions as early as 14 October and send

    their conditions to the government for its agreement. The

    demands include a revision of the media and election laws.

    The opposition wants a proportional voting system, revised

    voting lists, and the presence of foreign and domestic poll

    watchers. The opposition agreed not to form a coalition with

    any of the parties currently in the government, an aide to

    the Serbian Renewal Movement's leader Vuk Draskovic noted. A

    Democratic Party spokesman called the agreement the "best

    contribution to the fight against [Yugoslav President

    Slobodan] Milosevic's regime," Reuters reported. The EU has

    recently placed considerable pressure on the opposition to

    unite and oust Milosevic. EU foreign ministers have invited

    32 opposition leaders to a meeting in Luxembourg on 11

    October, the Frankfurt-based Serbian daily "Vesti" reported

    on 7 October. PM

    [11] PROTESTS CONTINUE IN SERBIA

    A total of 40,000 people turned

    out in 15 municipalities on 7 October to demand Milosevic's

    resignation. The demonstrations passed without incident but

    were far smaller than the organizers in the opposition

    Alliance for Change had hoped. The opposition nonetheless

    intends to continue the daily protests, RFE/RL's South Slavic

    Service reported on 8 October. PM

    [12] SERBIAN REGIME DENIES ROLE IN DRASKOVIC ACCIDENT

    Ivica

    Dacic, who is a spokesman for Milosevic's Socialist Party of

    Serbia (SPS), said in Belgrade on 7 October that the recent

    mysterious traffic accident involving Draskovic is a "police

    matter" without any political significance (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 7 October 1999). Dacic told reporters that they

    should direct questions about any "assassination attempt on

    Vuk to those who had a motive to carry one out, and that is

    not the Socialist Party." AP reported that "the accident has

    prompted a furious Draskovic to radicalize his so far

    relatively moderate stance toward Milosevic's regime and

    pledge to crush it." PM

    [13] OFFICIAL'S DEFAMATION CASE AGAINST SERBIAN OPPOSITION

    POSTPONED

    Belgrade Judge Sladjana Bojovic has postponed

    until 23 November a defamation case against 11 opposition

    leaders to "give them more time to prepare their defense." An

    opposition lawyer told Reuters on 7 October that he expects

    the case to be dismissed. Two days earlier, Serbian Deputy

    Premier Milovan Bojic filed suit against 11 leaders of the

    Alliance for Change (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 October 1999).

    Bojic complained that he had been ridiculed at a mock trial

    held at a Belgrade demonstration. PM

    [14] ETHNIC ALBANIANS DEMAND ACCESS TO MITROVICA MINES

    Some 1,000

    ethnic Albanian miners took part in a protest at the Stari

    Trg precious metals mine near Mitrovica on 7 October, AP

    reported. They want to return to their jobs in the mine,

    which KFOR took over in June. An unspecified number of Serbs

    continue to work there to keep equipment functioning. Xhafer

    Nuli, president of the Independent Miners' Union, told the

    protesters: "We want to live from our work and from our sweat

    and by our own wages, we don't want to live from humanitarian

    aid. " Another miner said: "I gave more than 20 years of my

    life in this mine and for it, so we are ready even to die for

    our mine. We have to feed our families." Meanwhile, 1,500

    ethnic Albanians protested outside the UN offices in

    Mitrovica, demanding access to schools and the hospital in

    the northern part of the city, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service

    reported. FS

    [15] REINHARDT SAYS HE HAS NO IMMEDIATE SOLUTION FOR MITROVICA

    German General Klaus Reinhardt told AP on 7 October that "I

    think it would be very arrogant...to come up and offer a

    solution [to the conflict between ethnic Serbs and Albanians

    over Mitrovica].... I cannot offer a solution right now,

    which will work in the future." Reinhardt takes over command

    of KFOR from General Sir Mike Jackson on 8 October, marking a

    change of the KFOR command from NATO's Allied Rapid Reaction

    Corps to Allied Land Forces Central Europe. Reinhardt

    stressed that "I'm here to help in Kosova...to rebuild for a

    better future, and this is the mission I have." FS

    [16] KFOR ARRESTS SUSPECTED WAR CRIMINAL

    A KFOR spokesman told AP

    that Dutch and German KFOR troops arrested a war crimes

    suspect in Prizren on 7 October. The spokesman identified

    neither the man nor his nationality. The International

    Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia has indicted the

    suspect on charges of murder and other atrocities committed

    in the Rahovec area between April and June. FS

    [17] WORLD BANK APPROVES $60 MILLION FOR KOSOVA RECONSTRUCTION

    World Bank officials told dpa in Washington on 7 October that

    the bank's executive board has approved $60 million over the

    next 18 months to support reconstruction and economic

    recovery in Kosova. The official added that the bank will

    coordinate international aid with the European Commission and

    other donors, provide economic policy advice to the UN

    mission and local authorities, and assist with project design

    in the reconstruction effort. He underlined that the World

    Bank itself will provide direct limited financial aid on "a

    highly selective basis." FS

    [18] U.K. CALLS FOR CRACKDOWN ON KOSOVA MAFIAS

    A Foreign Office

    spokesman said in London on 7 October that failure to deal

    with organized crime in Kosova could undermine efforts aimed

    at promoting democracy and stability. He added that Foreign

    Secretary Robin Cook will present concrete proposals in

    Luxembourg aimed at combating mafia-like structures in the

    province. PM

    [19] ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT SETS UP ANTI-CORRUPTION COMMISSION

    The

    government on 7 October set up a commission charged with

    fighting corruption "at all government levels." It issued a

    statement saying that the commission will be headed by Deputy

    Prime Minister and Minister of Government Coordination Ilir

    Meta and include the ministers of finance, public order,

    justice, and economy, dpa reported. The commission will

    receive foreign-expert advice from the Friends of Albania, a

    group of foreign donors and diplomats sponsored by the OSCE.

    The OSCE office in Tirana issued a statement saying that the

    commission is "indispensable for Albania to participate fully

    in and benefit from the evolving aspects of the Stability

    Pact in Southeast Europe." FS

    [20] OSCE CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION OF ATTACK ON MUSLIM IN

    SREBRENICA

    A spokesman for the OSCE said in Sarajevo on 7

    October that his organization demands a "swift and credible

    investigation" by the Srebrenica authorities and Republika

    Srpska police into the stabbing of a Muslim official in the

    Srebrenica municipal building the previous day, Reuters

    reported. Two masked men beat and stabbed Munib Hasanovic,

    who works for the government of the formerly mainly Muslim

    town, which fell to Serbian forces in July 1995. A

    spokeswoman for the international community's Wolfgang

    Petritsch said that Hasanovic recently received death threats

    but there is no "evidence that this has a political

    background," AP reported. Some Muslim officials work three

    days a week in Srebrenica but continue to live with their

    families on Muslim-controlled territory. PM

    [21] CROATIAN SERBS SEEK POLITICAL GUARANTEES

    Milorad Pupovac,

    who is a political leader of Croatia's small Serbian

    minority, said in Zagreb on 7 October that representatives of

    the Serbian community have written to top government and

    opposition officials asking them to clarify their respective

    stands on the Serbs' political rights. Pupovac stressed that

    the Serbs will not accept any reduction in the rights that

    current legislation guarantees them, RFE/RL's South Slavic

    Service reported. PM

    [22] ROMANIAN DEPUTY PREMIER SAYS NO DECISION TAKEN ON ARAD

    HUNGARIAN MONUMENT

    Deputy Premier Valeriu Stoica told

    journalists on 7 October that there is "futile and

    tendentious agitation" over the monument honoring the 13

    Hungarian generals executed in 1849. Stoica said the

    government's decision to set up a "park of historical

    reconciliation" in Arad does not specify which monuments are

    to be displayed there. Whether the monument honoring the

    generals is included, he said, depends "on the

    recommendations that will be made by architects and artists."

    MS

    [23] POLL CONFIRMS ROMANIAN OPPOSITION LEADS THE FIELD

    An opinion

    poll conducted by Metromedia Transilvania confirms that the

    PDSR is well ahead in party preferences, RFE/RL's Bucharest

    bureau reported on 7 October. The PDSR received 37 percent

    backing. That is more than the combined support for all

    members of the ruling coalition: Democratic Convention of

    Romania (22 percent), the Democratic Party (8 percent) and

    the Hungarian Democratic Federation of Romania (5 percent).

    The opposition Alliance for Romania (APR) received 16 percent

    and the Greater Romania Party (PRM) 7 percent. PDSR chairman

    Ion Iliescu is leading the field among presidential

    candidates (34 percent), followed by APR chairman Teodor

    Melescanu (21 percent), incumbent President Emil

    Constantinescu (17 percent), PRM leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor

    (7 percent), and former Premier Theodor Stolojan and

    Democratic Party leader Petre Roman (5 percent each). MS

    [24] MOLDOVA, RUSSIA AGREE ON BARTER PAYMENT FOR GAS DELIVERIES

    Moldova will supply agricultural produce to Russia in part

    payment for Russian gas deliveries, ITAR-TASS reported on 7

    October. The agreement was concluded in Chisinau by experts

    from the two countries' Agriculture Ministries. Moldova is to

    deliver goods worth $100 million. Its debt for Russian gas

    deliveries totals $700 million. MS

    [25] BULGARIAN MAYORAL CANDIDATE BADLY BEATEN

    Vesselin Dinkov,

    Varna regional governor and the Union of Democratic Forces'

    (SDS) mayoral candidate in the 16 October local elections,

    was badly beaten in front of his house on 6 October, BTA

    reported the next day, citing several media reports.

    According to "Trud," the attack was an assassination attempt

    carried out "by the mafia, which has declared war on the

    state." The same daily reported that the incumbent Socialist

    Party mayor of one of the districts in the town of Pernik has

    received death threats by telephone and his office has been

    burgled. In Bourgas, red paint has been splashed on the

    billboards of an independent candidate. And "24 Chasa" and

    "Demokratsiya" reported on 6 October that three blasts,

    believed to aim at intimidating the SDS mayoral candidate,

    occurred in Devin. MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [26] TEN YEARS ON: ECONOMIC VISION STILL NOT A REALITY

    By Breffni O'Rourke

    Visions, by their very nature, are hard to sustain. When

    the Berlin Wall fell 10 years ago, heralding a new era in

    Europe, much of the world had a common vision: namely, that

    the countries of the crumbling Marxist sphere would join the

    Western community in enjoying political freedoms and economic

    prosperity based on market mechanisms.

    During the following decade, the dream of democracy has

    been largely fulfilled--with some exceptions--in a vast arc

    of territory stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

    Economic well-being, however, has proved more elusive,

    and the revitalization of Central and Eastern Europe is still

    an unfinished story. The transition to market economies has

    not been easy, and the relative success or lack of success of

    individual countries reflects a mix of complicated factors.

    Only Poland among the transition states has lifted its

    economic prosperity well above the level of 1989. Polish per

    capita incomes this year are expected to reach about 130

    percent of 1989 levels. At the other end of the spectrum,

    Ukraine, with a stalled reform process, has seen people's

    incomes plummet to half the levels of 1989.

    Because Poland opted for radical reforms, the simple

    conclusion might be that the so-called "big bang" method

    produces the best results, despite its high social costs.

    Hungary, too, has successfully opted for a radical course,

    but Slovenia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic have income

    levels equal to or greater than that of Hungary--about 100

    percent of their 1989 levels--and have chosen more gradualist

    paths.

    A senior economist with the Paris-based Organization for

    Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Val Koromzay,

    told RFE/RL that the real lesson of the last decade lies not

    in a choice between big bang or gradualism. Rather, the

    lesson is that the essential factor is coherent reform. He

    says time has been reasonably forgiving of countries that

    have been slower or faster. Those that got into trouble did

    so because they backtracked away from reform, owing to

    political opposition or perceived hardship.

    Poland, Koromzay argued, was "always moving in the same

    direction and despite numerous changes of government, I think

    one can see clearly a thread of continuity, a direction."

    Romania, by contrast, has lacked this sense of purpose,

    and its political will has faded, Koromzay argued. Nervous

    governments have sought to spare the population the pain of

    restructuring, he noted, but instead they have condemned the

    people to the continuation of miserable living standards with

    little prospect of improvement.

    "In Romania from the beginning there was this terrible

    concern about hardships that transition would cause," he

    commented. "Every time they came to a hard decision, for

    instance on tightening budget constraints on enterprises, too

    often they blinked. And that in turn...made their macro-

    economic policies incoherent."

    With regard to Bulgaria, Koromzay said that it wasted

    the early years of transition under non-reformist

    governments. Its industrial production is still one-third

    less than it was in 1989, but recently there has been fresh

    momentum under reformist Prime Minister Ivan Kostov. Koromzay

    noted that this is encouraging: Bulgaria, he commented, "did

    not get its act together for a number of years. But it shows

    on the one hand how costly it is to delay, but on the other

    hand that if you can get your act together even at a rather

    late date, the possibilities for breaking out of a very bad

    situation continue to exist."

    Progress across the transition region is needed soon,

    because after a decade of profound change, people are weary.

    In the Czech Republic, opinion polls show growing support for

    the Communists among frustrated voters. Similarly in eastern

    Germany, recent state elections show strong support for the

    former Communists. And in Poland, populist-nationalist trends

    opposed to reform are evident.

    Another expert in the region's transition process,

    Giovanni Cornia of the United Nations University in Helsinki,

    told RFE/RL that democracy "with falling incomes and rising

    mortality is not a particularly attractive type of

    democracy."

    Cornia also advanced a theory to explain, at least in

    part, why some countries have done better than others: the

    countries that are succeeding today are those that have a

    better-developed institutional framework, dating in part from

    before the communist era. In other words, those countries of

    Central Europe that were traditionally more institutionally

    advanced than, say, their neighbors in the Balkans, are the

    ones that will lead the race back into the market economy

    today.

    That historical advantage has also helped countries like

    Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic gain places as front-

    runners for membership of an expanded European Union. In

    turn, Cornia says, the hope of entering the EU has been a

    powerful motivation.

    The author is a Prague-based RFE/RL correspondent.

    08-10-99


    Reprinted with permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    URL: http://www.rferl.org


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