Write to us with Feedback for the HR-Net A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Tuesday, 22 October 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 5, No. 31, 01-02-14

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. 5, No. 31, 14 February 2001


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] ARMENIAN OPPOSITION POLITICIAN ACCUSES PRESIDENT OF SOWING DISCORD
  • [02] AZERBAIJANI OPPOSITION PARTY EXPELS SECOND PARLIAMENT DEPUTY
  • [03] GEORGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS AZERBAIJAN
  • [04] GEORGIAN PARLIAMENT CONFIRMS NEW PROSECUTOR-GENERAL
  • [05] GEORGIAN, RUSSIAN MILITARY REPRESENTATIVES SEEK TO NARROW DIFFERENCES
  • [06] UN REPRESENTATIVE MEETS WITH ABKHAZ PRESIDENT...
  • [07] ...AS DISPLACED PERSONS PRESSURE GEORGIAN LEADERSHIP
  • [08] KAZAKHSTAN PROPOSES QUOTAS FOR REPATRIATION IN 2001
  • [09] JAILED KYRGYZ OPPOSITION POLITICIAN ABANDONS HUNGER-STRIKE
  • [10] KYRGYZ OPPOSITION PARTIES MULL BOYCOTT OF PLANNED ROUNDTABLE...
  • [11] ...AS PARLIAMENT DEPUTIES CONDEMN OPPRESSION
  • [12] TAJIKISTAN REJECTS RUSSIAN REPORTS OF SITUATION ON AFGHAN BORDER

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [13] KOSTUNICA WANTS REVISION OF KOSOVA PEACE AGREEMENTS
  • [14] NATO SKEPTICAL OF KOSTUNICA'S PROPOSAL
  • [15] KOSTUNICA RULES OUT TALKS WITH ALBANIAN 'TERRORISTS'
  • [16] YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SAYS COOPERATION WITH HAGUE 'NOT IN NATIONAL INTEREST'
  • [17] RUSSIA WANTS HAGUE COURT ABOLISHED
  • [18] COUNCIL OF EUROPE TELLS CROATIA TO COOPERATE WITH HAGUE
  • [19] FUGITIVE CROATIAN GENERAL DENIES KILLING CIVILIANS
  • [20] CROATIAN PRESIDENT AGREES TO MEET GENERAL
  • [21] HERZEGOVINIAN LEADER WALKS OUT OF BOSNIAN PRESIDENCY
  • [22] MACEDONIAN-YUGOSLAV BORDER TALKS A DEAD LETTER?
  • [23] KOSOVARS AMBUSH SERBIAN CONVOY, SERBS RIOT
  • [24] KOSOVA ELECTIONS ON HOLD?
  • [25] SERBIAN PARLIAMENT SCRAPS MEDIA LAW
  • [26] U.S. URGES MONTENEGRO TO STAY WITH SERBIA
  • [27] CAMERA-SHY YUGOSLAV LEADER?
  • [28] 'PRIBOI SCANDAL' CONTINUES IN ROMANIA
  • [29] EXTREMIST ROMANIAN LEADER REACTS TO PARTY DEFECTIONS
  • [30] ROMANIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS 'EXPLAIN' IRAQI VISIT
  • [31] ROMANIAN PROSECUTORS STOP PROCEEDINGS AGAINST ILIESCU CRONIES
  • [32] POLL PREDICTS COMMUNIST VICTORY IN MOLDOVAN ELECTIONS
  • [33] MAJORITY OF MOLDOVANS WANT TO LEAVE COUNTRY
  • [34] MOLDOVA WANTS EU ASSOCIATE STATUS
  • [35] BULGARIA, ISRAELI INVESTOR SET TO CLASH

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [36] There is no end note today.

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] ARMENIAN OPPOSITION POLITICIAN ACCUSES PRESIDENT OF SOWING DISCORD

    Arshak Sadoyan, a leading member of Vazgen Manukian's center-right National Democratic Union (AZhM), told journalists in Yerevan on 13 February that while he sympathizes with other AZhM members who recently quit the party to protest its cooperation with the present Armenian leadership (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 6 February 2001), he will not do likewise, RFE/RL's bureau in the Armenian capital reported. Sadoyan said that his defection would further weaken the AZhM and thus play into the hands of Armenian President Robert Kocharian who, Sadoyan charged, is seeking to sow discord within the opposition ranks in order to strengthen his hold on power. LF

    [02] AZERBAIJANI OPPOSITION PARTY EXPELS SECOND PARLIAMENT DEPUTY

    The Musavat Party has expelled Shirzad Eyubov from its ranks for participating in the work of the parliament elected last November, Turan reported on 13 February citing the party's newspaper "Yeni Musavat." Musavat is one of several opposition parties that decided to boycott the new legislature to protest the falsification of the ballot. Poet Vagif Samedoglu has already been expelled from Musavat for defying that decision (see "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 4, No. 5, 2 February 2001). LF

    [03] GEORGIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS AZERBAIJAN

    Visiting Baku on 13 February, Irakli Menagharishvili met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Vilayat Quliev and with President Heidar Aliev, Turan and Caucasus Press reported. Issues discussed included cooperation within the GUUAM alignment, to which both countries belong together with Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Moldova, the planned Baku-Ceyhan oil export pipeline, and how to promote peace and stability in the South Caucasus. Menagharishvili stressed that the latter objective cannot be achieved without Russia. He also briefed Aliev on Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze's visit to Turkey in late January. Aliev is scheduled to travel to Ankara in early March for further talks on the Baku-Ceyhan project, Turan reported on 13 February. The Azerbaijani daily "Millet" reported on 10 February that Aliev will also undergo a medical examination at the Turkish military hospital in Ankara where he was treated in 1999 and 2000. LF

    [04] GEORGIAN PARLIAMENT CONFIRMS NEW PROSECUTOR-GENERAL

    By a vote of 185 to seven, parliament deputies confirmed Gia Meparishvili as Georgia's new prosecutor-general on 13 February, Caucasus Press reported. Meparishvili, who is 41, is a trained lawyer and member of the Georgian Constitutional Court. He was elected to parliament in October 1999 on the ticket of the majority Union of Citizens of Georgia party. During the confirmation hearings, he said that his office will not yield to political pressure, and he pledged to embark upon "serious reforms" in mid- May. LF

    [05] GEORGIAN, RUSSIAN MILITARY REPRESENTATIVES SEEK TO NARROW DIFFERENCES

    A Russian Defense Ministry delegation headed by International Military Cooperation Department chief Colonel General Leonid Ivashov held talks in Tbilisi on 12-13 February with Georgian Defense Minister David Tevzadze and other senior officials, Caucasus Press and ITAR-TASS reported. The two sides agreed on the need for closer defense cooperation, and drafted a brief program for such cooperation this year. They also undertook to exchange information regularly concerning the situation in Georgia's Pankisi gorge, where Moscow believes some Chechen fighters are hiding. Tbilisi rejected, however, a Russian request to waive the entry visa requirement in the case of Russian military personnel stationed in Georgia and their families. Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Giga Burduli reasoned that it was Russia, not Georgia, that had first imposed a visa requirement for travel between the two countries, and that insisting that Russian military personnel have visas to travel to Georgia constitutes the sole leverage Tbilisi can bring to bear on Moscow, Caucasus Press reported on 14 February. LF

    [06] UN REPRESENTATIVE MEETS WITH ABKHAZ PRESIDENT...

    Dieter Boden, who is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's special representative for Georgia, met in Sukhum on 13 February with Abkhaz President Vladislav Ardzinba to brief him on last month's Security Council discussion of the Abkhaz conflict, Caucasus Press reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 1 February 2001). Boden said the Security Council urged both sides to break the deadlock in the negotiating process and embark on a discussion of the future relationship between Georgia and the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia. Boden has drafted a document on the division of powers between the two sides that is intended to serve as a basis for negotiations (see "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 2, No. 48, 3 December 1999 ). Ardzinba responded that Abkhazia's status as an independent state is already enshrined in its constitution. He added that the informal group of "Friends of the UN Secretary-General for the Abkhaz conflict" should endeavor "to promote understanding between the two sides and not interfere in [Abkhazia's] domestic affairs." Boden pointed out that no other state has recognized Abkhazia's proclaimed independent status, and that the situation in the South Caucasus will remain unstable as long as the Abkhaz conflict is unresolved. LF

    [07] ...AS DISPLACED PERSONS PRESSURE GEORGIAN LEADERSHIP

    Also on 13 February, some 100 Georgian displaced persons who fled Abkhazia during the 1992-93 war staged a protest outside the Georgian parliament building to demand an immediate debate on the Abkhaz conflict, Caucasus Press reported. Speaker Zurab Zhvania assured the demonstrators that Abkhazia will be discussed during a plenary session in mid-March. The displaced persons also demanded that they be given priority in the allocation of credits provided by the international community for the development of small- and medium-sized businesses. Zhvania ordered the creation of a special commission that is to draft within 10 days the appropriate procedures for allocating credits to displaced persons. LF

    [08] KAZAKHSTAN PROPOSES QUOTAS FOR REPATRIATION IN 2001

    Mukhit Izbanov, who is the deputy chairman of Kazakhstan's State Committee on Migration, told RFE/RL on 13 February that his agency will propose that 600 Kazakh families be allowed to resettle in Kazakhstan this year within the framework of the repatriation program begun in 1991. Of that total, some 400 families are ethnic Kazakhs currently domiciled in Uzbekistan. LF

    [09] JAILED KYRGYZ OPPOSITION POLITICIAN ABANDONS HUNGER-STRIKE

    Former Vice President and opposition Ar-Namys Party chairman Feliks Kulov ended on 13 February the hunger-strike he had begun four days earlier to protest being refused permission to consult with his lawyers, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported. Kulov was sentenced last month to seven years' imprisonment on charges of abuse of his official position during his tenure as National Security Minister in 1997-1998 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 January 2001). The Board of the Bishkek Military Court will hear Kulov's appeal against that sentence on 22 February. LF

    [10] KYRGYZ OPPOSITION PARTIES MULL BOYCOTT OF PLANNED ROUNDTABLE...

    Representatives of seven opposition parties, including Ar-Namys and the Agrarian-Labor, Socialist, Communist, and Social-Democratic Parties, disapprove of the proposed format for the 17 February round-table discussion of the socio-economic situation, Communist Party chairman Absamat Masaliev told Interfax on 13 February. Masaliev said that the presence at that discussion of 21 representatives each from the Kyrgyz leadership, the opposition, and the NGOs would give the authorities an unfair advantage. He also argued that the agenda should be broadened to encompass the political situation. He said that the seven parties will attend the discussion only if the number of participants is reduced to nine from each category. LF

    [11] ...AS PARLIAMENT DEPUTIES CONDEMN OPPRESSION

    Ten members of Kyrgyzstan's Legislative Assembly (the upper chamber of the parliament) released a statement on 13 February accusing the Kyrgyz authorities of jailing opposition politicians to prevent them from participating in politics and of oppressing the independent press, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported. They cited the cases of opposition party leaders Kulov, Topchubek Turgunaliev, and Daniyar Usenov, and of Kyrgyz Human Rights Committee chairman Ramazan Dyryldaev and the legal action brought against the newspapers "Asaba," "Res Publica," and "Delo Nomer." LF

    [12] TAJIKISTAN REJECTS RUSSIAN REPORTS OF SITUATION ON AFGHAN BORDER

    Tajik Foreign Ministry spokesman Igor Sattarov told Asia Plus-Blitz on 14 February that a Russian TV report the previous day claiming that renewed fighting in northern Afghanistan between the Taliban and Northern Alliance forces is a threat to the lives of thousands of fugitives congregated along the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan is not true. He said that Russian media have recently aired several such reports on the situation on the Afghan-Tajik border that "infringe on the interests of the republic of Tajikistan." Sattarov said that Dushanbe has provided logistical help to humanitarian organizations engaged in transporting aid to those displaced persons, and has invited Russian and international journalists to monitor that process. LF

    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [13] KOSTUNICA WANTS REVISION OF KOSOVA PEACE AGREEMENTS

    Speaking at a Belgrade press conference on 13 February, Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica again called for a revision of the 1999 Kumanovo agreements that ended the Kosova conflict and established a demilitarized zone on southwest Serbia's border with Kosova (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 6 February 2001). He said that "if NATO and KFOR are still reluctant about abolishing the buffer zone, we can narrow [the zone in Serbia] and extend it across the boundary into Kosovo and have joint patrols there by KFOR and our army," Reuters reported. He added that Yugoslav officers could be stationed at the U.S. Camp Bondsteel base in Kosova. Kostunica apparently did not mention how he would deal with the ethnic Albanians, who do not trust Belgrade and its security forces. It was in their interest that the zone was set up in the first place. In December, Predrag Simic, who is Kostunica's foreign policy adviser, wrote two articles in the weekly "NIN" in which he outlined plans for how Belgrade could re-establish its authority in Kosova with the cooperation of the international community. PM

    [14] NATO SKEPTICAL OF KOSTUNICA'S PROPOSAL

    In Brussels, unnamed NATO officials told Reuters on 13 February that it is "highly unlikely" that the Atlantic alliance will agree to joint patrols with the Yugoslav military. The sources noted that there is no mention of joint patrols in their copies of Belgrade's proposed plan for easing tensions in the Presevo valley (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 February 2001). In Prishtina, unnamed KFOR sources said that they fear that Belgrade will use any changes in the Kumanovo agreements and the status of the zone to launch a fresh crackdown on local ethnic Albanians (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 13 February 2001). Albanian leaders in Kosova have repeatedly made it clear that any return of Serbian forces to the province is unacceptable following the repression and ethnic cleansing of 1998-1999. PM

    [15] KOSTUNICA RULES OUT TALKS WITH ALBANIAN 'TERRORISTS'

    The Yugoslav president also said at his Belgrade press conference on 13 February that "we are not going to have talks [or] negotiations with terrorists," in an apparent reference to the Liberation Army of Presevo, Medvedja, and Bujanovac (UCPMB), Reuters reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 February 2001). He argued that the guerrillas were wrong to take up arms "when everything has changed in this country, in the region." The fighters therefore cannot be regarded as "legitimate" representatives of the local Albanians, he added (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 13 February 2001). Kostunica nonetheless held open the possibility of talks involving the UCPMB's "political representativesŠas has been done in Northern Ireland," by which he presumably meant Sinn Fein's role as a stand-in for the IRA. PM  

    [16] YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SAYS COOPERATION WITH HAGUE 'NOT IN NATIONAL INTEREST'

    Kostunica said at his 13 February Belgrade press conference that cooperating with the Hague-based war crimes tribunal "is not [in] our national interest," "Vesti" reported. He argued that many international officials have made it clear that they do not require Belgrade to work with The Hague as a prerequisite for receiving aid (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 6 February 2001). Kostunica mentioned the EU's Romano Prodi and Bodo Hombach, as well as "many [unnamed] American officials." The president argued that "only extremists in the foreign but more so in the domestic public" insist on cooperating with the war crimes tribunal (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 13 February 2001). He chided those Serbs who support working with The Hague, suggesting that they probably regarded NATO's 1999 bombing of Serbian targets as in "our national interest." Elsewhere during his press conference, Kostunica said that his government will seek to improve ties to the Republika Srpska as provided for in the Dayton agreements, Deutsche Welle's Serbian Service reported. PM

    [17] RUSSIA WANTS HAGUE COURT ABOLISHED

    Russian envoy Sergei Lavrov told the UN Security Council on 13 February that the Hague-based tribunal should be shut down "as soon as possible" because "there is still prejudice -- including anti-Serb bias -- in the tribunal's work, and you can see this first and foremost in the activities of tribunal prosecutor Carla Del Ponte," Reuters reported. PM

    [18] COUNCIL OF EUROPE TELLS CROATIA TO COOPERATE WITH HAGUE

    Walter Schwimmer, who is the secretary general of the Council of Europe, said in a statement in Strasbourg on 14 February that the Croatian authorities should try to prevent any further "dangerous display of nationalism" in support of General Mirko Norac (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 and 12 February 2001). Schwimmer added that "while one can understand the harsh economic and social realities that may encourage such protests, they should not be used as a pretext for not respecting international obligations," AP reported. He called on the Croatian authorities "to maintain their firm commitment to cooperate" with the war crimes tribunal. PM

    [19] FUGITIVE CROATIAN GENERAL DENIES KILLING CIVILIANS

    Norac told "Slobodna Dalmatia" of 14 February that he is ready to appear before a Croatian court but only once he has absolute assurance that he will not be extradited to The Hague. He denied that he killed any civilians. Norac expressed appreciation for the support he has received from many people, adding that he attended the recent rally in Split in disguise but carrying a sign reading "I am Mirko Norac." Prime Minister Ivica Racan has already ruled out making any deal with Norac as a precondition to his surrendering. PM

    [20] CROATIAN PRESIDENT AGREES TO MEET GENERAL

    President Stipe Mesic said in Zagreb on 13 February that Norac contacted him and asked for a meeting. Mesic added: "Norac is willing to report to the court [in Rijeka]. He is not fleeing the court, nor is he wanted by the Hague war crimes tribunal. He asked that I receive him and I will, maybe as early as tomorrow," Reuters reported. PM

    [21] HERZEGOVINIAN LEADER WALKS OUT OF BOSNIAN PRESIDENCY

    Ante Jelavic, who is the ethnic Croat member of the joint presidency, walked out of that body's meeting on 13 February in Sarajevo after his Serbian and Muslim colleagues agreed to nominate non-nationalist Bozidar Matic as prime minister (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 8 February 2001). Jelavic said that the move violates the "vital interests" of the republic's Croats, some 90 percent of whom voted for candidates of Jelavic's nationalist Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) in the last elections. He added that the nomination is a violation of the Dayton agreement and demanded a new international conference to revise Dayton and set up a Croatian entity on par with Muslim and Serbian ones. In related news, the offices of the high representative and the OSCE warned the HDZ against setting up parallel government institutions in areas where it controls the local administration, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. PM

    [22] MACEDONIAN-YUGOSLAV BORDER TALKS A DEAD LETTER?

    The ongoing Macedonian-Yugoslav border delineation talks are unlikely to produce a lasting solution because they do not include Kosovar representatives, the Albanian-language Macedonian daily "Fakti" reported on 13 February (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 12 February 2001). Jakup Krasniqi of the Democratic Party of Kosova added that under current international agreements, Belgrade's authority does not extend to Kosova's frontier with Macedonia, MIC news agency reported. PM

    [23] KOSOVARS AMBUSH SERBIAN CONVOY, SERBS RIOT

    Ethnic Albanians opened fire on a Serbian civilian convoy between Ferizaj and Shterpce on 13 February, killing one Serb and wounding three individuals, AP reported. Peacekeepers arrested five ethnic Albanians. Up to 700 angry Serbs then rioted in the dead man's hometown of Shterpce, burning three UN jeeps and destroying three additional KFOR vehicles. Some 200 peacekeepers from Poland, Italy, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Greece, and the U.S. brought the riot under control. PM

    [24] KOSOVA ELECTIONS ON HOLD?

    Jean-Marie Guehenno, who is UN undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, told the Security Council in New York on 13 February that it will take at least eight months to prepare general elections for Kosova, AP reported (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 16 January 2001). PM

    [25] SERBIAN PARLIAMENT SCRAPS MEDIA LAW

    The legislature voted on 14 February to scrap the 1998 press law that the previous regime used to stifle the non-state and foreign media, AP reported. On 13 February, parliament voted to restrict the rights and privileges of former presidents. Among other things, the new legislation limits former presidents to only one state-supplied bodyguard. It abolishes former presidents' rights to additional security personnel, a secretarial staff, and an official car, RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported. PM

    [26] U.S. URGES MONTENEGRO TO STAY WITH SERBIA

    U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia William Montgomery told Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic in Podgorica on 13 February that Washington supports a "democratic Montenegro in a democratic Yugoslavia," RFE/RL's South Slavic Service reported (see "RFE/RL Balkan Report," 19 January and 13 February 2001). Montgomery added that Montenegro must bear responsibility for whatever it decides. He noted, however, that the leaders in Podgorica have a greater understanding for their situation than do people in Washington, "Pobjeda" reported. PM

    [27] CAMERA-SHY YUGOSLAV LEADER?

    Montenegrin Television reported on 13 February that it has issued three invitations to Kostunica in the space of one month to appear in a joint broadcast with Djukanovic but has not received a reply from Belgrade to any of them. PM

    [28] 'PRIBOI SCANDAL' CONTINUES IN ROMANIA

    Party of Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) General-Secretary Cosmin Gusa told journalists on 13 February that the PDSR leadership had been informed by Ristea Priboi about his activity as an officer in the former Securitate's Foreign Intelligence Directorate and that this had "nothing in common" with the Securitate's activity "as a political police," RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. One day earlier, the National Liberal Party's (PNL) parliamentary group leader in the Senate, Radu F. Alexandru, called the appointment of Priboi as chairman of the commission overseeing the activity of the Foreign Intelligence Service "a provocation and a lack of responsibility" towards Romania's NATO aspirations. At a press conference later on 13 February, Priboi denied involvement in any Securitate activities against Radio Free Europe. His car slightly injured a journalist after the press conference and left the scene. Neither the driver nor Priboi stopped to apologize, though the PDSR "suspended" the driver. MS

    [29] EXTREMIST ROMANIAN LEADER REACTS TO PARTY DEFECTIONS

    Greater Romania Party (PRM) chairman Corneliu Vadim Tudor on 13 February said the setting up of "the so-called Socialist Party of National Revival (PSRN)" by PRM defectors is a PDSR "maneuver to create in the parliament a new majority," Mediafax reported. He said the PSRN was "nothing but a politically aborted fetus molded in the likeness of similar provocations conceived by [President Ion] Iliescu's advisors. ...Shame on you, Mr. Iliescu! Isn't it sufficient that you stole the elections from me, do you now want to also steal from me my party?" Tudor commented. MS

    [30] ROMANIAN PARLIAMENTARIANS 'EXPLAIN' IRAQI VISIT

    Returning from Iraq on 14 February, PDSR deputy Nicolae Sersea said he visited that country "as a businessman who worked in Iraq in 1987 in oil affairs." Sersea said he does not believe his visit "damaged Romanian or the PDSR's interests." Sersea said he had not informed the parliament or his party ahead because "I went there on my own free time" and the PDSR can count the visit as "vacation." He admitted having conducted talks with Iraqi officials but said those were organized by the Romanian Chamber of Commerce "and I participated in them as a businessman, not as a member of the parliament." PRM Senator Mihai Lupoi said his party had entrusted him with "the mission to verify with the Iraqi authorities ways of recuperating the $1.7 billion debt" owed by Iraq to Romania. MS

    [31] ROMANIAN PROSECUTORS STOP PROCEEDINGS AGAINST ILIESCU CRONIES

    The Prosecutor-General's Office has ordered a halt to the proceedings launched against Viorel Hrebenciuc, former secretary-general of the cabinet headed by Nicolae Vacaroiu, his deputy Mihai Unghianu, and Nicolae Fruntelata, chief of the Department for Public Information in the Vacaroiu cabinet. The three had been charged in September 2000 with "abuse of office" and "acting against public interest" in connection with money- laundering in the affair masterminded by the French-Romanian businessman Adrian Costea in 1994. No explanation has been offered for the decision to stop the proceedings, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. MS

    [32] POLL PREDICTS COMMUNIST VICTORY IN MOLDOVAN ELECTIONS

    A public opinion poll conducted by the Romanian Center for Opinion and Market Studies (CSOP) polling institute predicts that the Party of Moldovan Communists (PCM) will win the 25 February elections but its majority will not be sufficient to elect the country's next president, Reuters reported on 13 February. The poll shows the PCM will be backed by 39.2 percent, followed by the pro-presidential Braghis Alliance (10.2 percent). Since seats in the parliament are proportionally distributed, this result would give the PCM 52 out of 101 seats -- enough to form the cabinet by themselves but short of the 61 votes needed to elect Petru Lucinschi's successor. MS

    [33] MAJORITY OF MOLDOVANS WANT TO LEAVE COUNTRY

    The CSOP poll also shows that 36 percent of Moldovans would like to leave the country and make money abroad for some time, while 26 percent want to leave "for good," Infotag reported. Almost 50 percent believe that corruption is to be found among the top echelons of the country and 40 percent say that "corruption is everywhere." MS

    [34] MOLDOVA WANTS EU ASSOCIATE STATUS

    Unidentified Foreign Ministry sources on 13 February told Infotag that Moldova is striving to obtain associate status in the EU. A EU delegation headed by security chief Javier Solana, Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh, and Foreign Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten begins a visit to Moldova on 14 February. Deputy Foreign Minister Iurie Leanca told journalists that Moldovan officials will discuss with the guests ways of overcoming political, economic, and social difficulties with EU help. They will also discuss Moldova's quest to become a member of the Balkan Stability Pact and of the World Trade Organization. MS

    [35] BULGARIA, ISRAELI INVESTOR SET TO CLASH

    Privatization Agency head Levon Hampartsumyan on 13 February said the government may start bankruptcy proceedings against the national carrier Balkan Airlines after its Israeli owners filed a $230 million claim against Bulgaria with the International Court of Arbitration in Paris, AP reported. The Israeli consortium that acquired a 75 percent stake in Balkan Airlines is now accusing the government of defaulting on the privatization contract. In turn, Hampartsumyan accused the company's management of failing to preserve its status as a national carrier, concealing "dozens of millions of dollars of its liabilities," and raising aviation fees several times right after buying the company. MS

    [C] END NOTE

    [36] There is no end note today.

    14-02-01

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


    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Newsline Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    rferl2html v1.01 run on Wednesday, 14 February 2001 - 16:33:05 UTC