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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 4, No. 122, 00-06-23

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. 4, No. 122, 23 June 2000


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] U.S. DIPLOMAT SAYS KARABAKH CONFLICT CAN BE SOLVED IN 3
  • [02] AZERBAIJAN HOLDS SEMINAR ON PIPELINE SECURITY
  • [03] AZERBAIJAN, CHINA DISCUSS COOPERATION
  • [04] GEORGIA, U.S. SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT
  • [05] GEORGIAN PRESIDENT RULES OUT BERIA REHABILITATTION
  • [06] KAZAKHSTAN'S PARLIAMENT DEBATES EXPANDED POWERS FOR INCUMBENT
  • [07] KAZAKHSTAN DENIES HARBORING WOUNDED CHECHEN FIGHTERS
  • [08] RUSSIA NEGOTIATES PURCHASE OF URANIUM FROM KYRGYZSTAN
  • [09] HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHDOG CONCERNED FOR JAILED UZBEK WRITER

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [10] BOSNIA GETS NEW GOVERNMENT
  • [11] BOSNIAN MINISTER STRESSES EUROPEAN ORIENTATION...
  • [12] ...OFFERS MOSTAR AS CAPITAL
  • [13] DEL PONTE PLEASED WITH MONTENEGRIN TRIP
  • [14] MONTENEGRO APPEALS TO UN
  • [15] HEARING BEGINS IN DRASKOVIC CASE
  • [16] U.S. STUDY: SERBS TARGETED YOUNG KOSOVAR MALES
  • [17] WOUNDED SERBS IN 'STABLE CONDITION'
  • [18] BELGRADE REGIME BLASTS 'FOREIGN-BACKED TERRORISM'...
  • [19] ...BUT ETHNIC ALBANIANS PLEAD 'SELF-DEFENSE'
  • [20] BELGRADE SLAMS EU 'WHITE LIST'
  • [21] NO DEAL FOR MILOSEVIC
  • [22] FORMER ROMANIAN PRESIDENT TESTIFIES IN MONEY-LAUNDERING
  • [23] TRANSDNIESTER SUPREME SOVIET AMENDS CONSTITUTION
  • [24] BULGARIA, MOLDOVA, DISCUSS NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSIT
  • [25] BULGARIA TO PRIVATIZE SECOND NATIONAL TV CHANNEL

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [26] TRANSYLVANIA'S LOCAL ELECTIONS SHOW NATIONALISM IS STRONG

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] U.S. DIPLOMAT SAYS KARABAKH CONFLICT CAN BE SOLVED IN 3

    YEARS

    The new U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan, Ross Wilson,

    told the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee on 22 June that he

    believes the Karabakh conflict "can and should" be resolved

    within the next three years, ITAR-TASS reported. The terms of

    both Armenian President Robert Kocharian and his Azerbaijani

    counterpart, Heidar Aliev, expire in 2003. On 21 June,

    Kocharian said on returning from Moscow, where he had

    discussed the conflict with Aliev the previous day, that "we

    have embarked on more active negotiations, but at this point

    I cannot yet conclude that the [Nagorno-Karabakh] peace

    process is entering the final phase." "Hayots ashkhar"

    reported. LF

    [02] AZERBAIJAN HOLDS SEMINAR ON PIPELINE SECURITY

    NATO and

    energy sector representatives from Azerbaijan and other

    Caspian littoral states attended a two-day seminar in Baku on

    20-21 June within the framework of NATO's Partnership for

    Peace program to discuss security measures for planned oil

    and gas export pipelines that will transit the South

    Caucasus, Turan reported. On 22 June, the Turkish parliament

    finally ratified the package of agreements, signed by the

    presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, that

    constitute the legal framework for building the planned Baku-

    Ceyhan oil pipeline, AP reported. LF

    [03] AZERBAIJAN, CHINA DISCUSS COOPERATION

    On an official visit

    to Baku on 21-23 June, Chinese Assembly of People's

    Representatives chairman Li Peng met with his Azerbaijani

    counterpart, Murtuz Alesqerov, Prime Minister Artur Rasizade,

    and President Aliev, Turan reported. Li told Alesqerov and

    Rasizade that Beijing does not consider that human rights

    take precedence over the principles of state sovereignty and

    territorial integrity. He expressed his support for

    Azerbaijan's territorial integrity but added that all

    regional conflicts should be resolved peacefully, according

    to ITAR-TASS. Li also told Aliev that Beijing has condemned

    as illegal the 18 June parliamentary elections in the

    unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Aliev said he would

    welcome Chinese involvement in exploiting Azerbaijan's oil

    and gas reserves. Li is also scheduled to visit the

    Mingechaur hydro-electric power station where he worked as a

    young man. LF

    [04] GEORGIA, U.S. SIGN MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENT

    Georgian

    Defense Minister David Tevzadze and visiting U.S. Assistant

    Secretary of Defense Edward Warner signed a plan for

    cooperation for this year and a joint statement on

    environmental cooperation, Caucasus Press reported. Warner

    told journalists that his talks with Tevzadze focused on the

    reform of the Georgian armed forces, the strength of which he

    advised should be reduced to 20,000 (from the present 33,000)

    and the control of Georgia's anti-aircraft defenses. Warner

    predicted that Georgia will need three to five years to bring

    its armed forces up to NATO standards. He also noted that

    budget funding for the armed forces is inadequate and should

    be increased. Warner also met with Georgian President Eduard

    Shevardnadze, to whom he repeated earlier U.S. offers to help

    meet the costs of the withdrawal of Russian military bases

    from Georgia. LF

    [05] GEORGIAN PRESIDENT RULES OUT BERIA REHABILITATTION

    Shevardnadze on 22 June said he considers "impossible" any

    move to rehabilitate former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin's

    secret police chief Lavrenti Beria, Caucasus Press reported.

    He noted that on Beria's orders, "thousands were shot without

    any trial or investigation and families were ruined." But

    Shevardnadze did not rule out the possibility that future

    generations will approve Beria's rehabilitation. In late May

    the Russian Supreme Court's Military Collegium upheld the

    rejection by the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office of an

    appeal by Beria's descendants for his rehabilitation. At that

    time, former Georgian parliamentary speaker Vakhtang Goguadze

    argued that while Beria "does not provoke sympathies in the

    moral sense," his contribution to the Soviet war victory over

    Nazi Germany and to building "a powerful Soviet state" cannot

    be denied. LF

    [06] KAZAKHSTAN'S PARLIAMENT DEBATES EXPANDED POWERS FOR INCUMBENT

    PRESIDENT

    At separate sessions on 22 June, both houses of

    Kazakhstan's parliament approved in the first reading

    legislation that would give President Nursultan Nazarbaev

    lifelong powers, Reuters and RFE/RL's Astana correspondent

    reported. Those powers include speaking at parliamentary and

    government sessions, advising on personnel appointments,

    heading the Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan, and membership

    in the National Security Council. Communist Party leader

    Serikbolsyn Abdildin condemned the bill as premature, given

    that Nazarbaev still has six years of his term to serve.

    Rakhmet Muqyshev, leader of the Civic Party which sponsored

    the bill, denied that Nazarbaev plans to follow the example

    of Russian President Boris Yeltsin by stepping down before

    his term ends and after having chosen an acceptable

    successor, according to Interfax. LF

    [07] KAZAKHSTAN DENIES HARBORING WOUNDED CHECHEN FIGHTERS

    Kazakhstan National Security Committee spokesman Kezhebulat

    Beknazarov told Interfax on 22 June that there is no truth to

    allegations that 300 wounded Chechen fighters are receiving

    medical treatment at a sanatorium in East Kazakhstan Oblast.

    The Kazakhstan Prosecutor-General's Office likewise dismissed

    those allegations as "a lie." The deputy commander of the

    Russian federal forces in the North Caucasus, Major General

    Vyacheslav Borisov, had made those claims at a press

    conference at the Khankala military base near Grozny the

    previous day. In Moscow, First Deputy Chief of Russian Army

    General Staff Colonel General Valerii Manilov said he could

    not definitively confirm the truth of Borisov's statement,

    according to Interfax. LF

    [08] RUSSIA NEGOTIATES PURCHASE OF URANIUM FROM KYRGYZSTAN

    A

    delegation headed by Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgenii

    Adamov held talks in Bishkek on 22 June with Kyrgyz Premier

    Amangeldy Muraliev on possible purchases of raw uranium and

    other precious metals, Interfax reported. The delegation also

    visited the Djanar Electronics Plant in Bishkek and the Kara-

    Balta mining complex which extracts gold and raw uranium.

    Adamov also met with Kyrgyz Defense Minister Esen Topev, with

    whom he signed an agreement on cooperation to modernize

    Kyrgyzstan's border defenses, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau

    reported. It is not clear whether that Russian assistance in

    strengthening Kyrgyzstan's borders is intended as part or

    total payment for the uranium. LF

    [09] HUMAN RIGHTS WATCHDOG CONCERNED FOR JAILED UZBEK WRITER

    In a

    statement released in New York on 22 June, Human Rights Watch

    warned that the health of Mamadali Makhmudov is deteriorating

    as a result of mistreatment in prison and said that his life

    may be in danger. Makhmudov, who is 57, was sentenced in

    August 1999 to 14 years imprisonment on fabricated charges of

    participating in a "criminal society" and of insulting

    Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"

    19 August 1999). LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [10] BOSNIA GETS NEW GOVERNMENT

    The joint parliament on 22 June

    approved the new government of Prime Minister Spasoje

    Tusevljak, which has six ministries. Only 18 out of 42

    deputies cast their votes for the cabinet. Ten voted against,

    two abstained, and 12 were absent. The controversial Bosnian

    Serb Tusevljak will hold the rotating chair for eight months.

    He is also treasury minister. He said that improving the

    "economy is the basic task.... We have to push to create

    conditions that will enable Bosnia to participate actively in

    European integration and business," Reuters reported. PM

    [11] BOSNIAN MINISTER STRESSES EUROPEAN ORIENTATION...

    Foreign

    Minister Jadranko Prlic told RFE/RL's South Slavic Service on

    22 June that the only future for the republic is as a single

    state integrated into Europe. He added that European

    integration will help encourage Bosnian Serbs to identify

    with Bosnia rather than with Serbia. Prlic noted that he

    travels "only with a Bosnian passport," although as an ethnic

    Croat he is also entitled to a Croatian one. Bosnia should

    follow the examples of Slovakia and Croatia and repudiate

    nationalism in favor of a pro-European orientation, he added.

    The Foreign Ministry, he noted, will soon add "about 100,

    mainly young people to its staff," and he added that the

    ministry is well on the way to completing the staffing of its

    missions abroad. He appealed to Bosnian citizens living

    abroad to consider coming home, saying his ministry could

    make use of their expertise and knowledge of foreign

    languages. PM

    [12] ...OFFERS MOSTAR AS CAPITAL

    Prlic made it clear to RFE/RL's

    South Slavic Service that he and the Bosnian branch of the

    Croatian Democratic Community (HDZ) have broken with their

    Croatian-oriented nationalist past. "There's no turning

    back," he stressed. He said that the party's greatest mistake

    was to be too close to Croatia's HDZ and to have a bad

    personnel policy, but he did not elaborate. Prlic argued that

    the HDZ's greatest contribution was to propose dividing

    Bosnia into ethnically-based cantons as the most practical

    form of organization. He called for transforming ethnically

    divided Mostar, which the Croats of Herzegovina regard as

    their center, into a model community and suggested that

    Mostar could become the capital of the Muslim-Croatian

    federation. Prlic noted that his fellow Croats rejected the

    proposal when he made it in 1998, but he said the majority

    have since changed their view. PM

    [13] DEL PONTE PLEASED WITH MONTENEGRIN TRIP

    Carla Del Ponte, who

    is chief prosecutor of the Hague-based war crimes tribunal,

    said in Podgorica on 22 June that she is glad that she came

    to Montenegro, despite threats to her safety by supporters of

    Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"

    19 June 2000). "I was determined to visit today,

    notwithstanding the threats made by President Milosevic in

    Belgrade because I knew that I was coming to a democratic

    country, which believes in the rule of law," she said. Del

    Ponte added that any deal to offer Milosevic a safe exile in

    return for his giving up power is unacceptable and that the

    only place for him is in The Hague (see "RFE/RL Balkan

    Report," 20 June 2000). "No deal is possible," Reuters quoted

    her as saying. Montenegrin Prime Minister Fillip Vujanovic

    said the republic has shown that it is "ready and able to

    guarantee safety to all who come to Montenegro, regardless of

    their mission." PM

    [14] MONTENEGRO APPEALS TO UN

    Zeljko Perovic, who heads

    Montenegro's mission to the UN, sent the Security Council a

    document on 22 June asking for unspecified "security

    guarantees" for his republic because of "pressure" from

    Belgrade, dpa reported. The text includes several examples of

    Milosevic's attempts to intimidate the Montenegrin

    leadership. The council is slated to discuss the document on

    23 June. PM

    [15] HEARING BEGINS IN DRASKOVIC CASE

    Judge Zoran Zivkovic opened

    the court hearing of the brothers Ivan and Milan Lovric in

    Podgorica on 22 June (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 June 2000).

    He ordered the men detained for 30 days pending an

    investigation into their alleged "criminal act of terrorism"

    against Serbian opposition leader Vuk Draskovic in Budva on

    15 June. PM

    [16] U.S. STUDY: SERBS TARGETED YOUNG KOSOVAR MALES

    Paul Spiegel

    and Peter Salama of the Center for Disease Control and

    Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, wrote in a study published in

    London on 22 June that their "estimate of 12,000 deaths

    directly related to war trauma between February 1998 and June

    1999 represents the first epidemiological estimate to be

    obtained for the entire Kosovar Albanian population.... Our

    data concur with other reports which indicate that men, and

    particularly Kosovar Albanian men of military age, were

    systematically targeted by the Serbian forces," Reuters

    reported. Most of the dead were civilians, they added. The

    findings appeared in "The Lancet," a medical journal. PM

    [17] WOUNDED SERBS IN 'STABLE CONDITION'

    The two Serbs recently

    shot by unknown assailants in Prishtina's Mother Teresa

    street are in "stable condition" in a British military

    hospital, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists

    said in a statement on 22 June (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 21

    June 2000). Valentina Cukic, who was hit in the chest, was

    wearing a KFOR press identification badge at the time of the

    shooting. She works for Radio Kontakt, which is the only

    multi-ethnic radio station in Kosova. Her companion Ljubomir

    Topalovic was wounded in the leg. PM

    [18] BELGRADE REGIME BLASTS 'FOREIGN-BACKED TERRORISM'...

    In

    Belgrade on 22 June, indicted war criminal and Yugoslav

    Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic said that recent

    incidents in the Presevo valley indicate that ethnic Albanian

    "terrorists are not giving up and that [police] measures must

    be expanded," Reuters reported (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22

    June 2000). He added that Serbian "police are doing

    everything...to control the buffer zone [on the border with

    Kosova] and with good results in view of the extent of

    [terrorist] training facilities and bases in the Kosovska

    Kamenica region and vast logistical support of U.S. forces

    and KFOR" to the Kosova Liberation Army. PM

    [19] ...BUT ETHNIC ALBANIANS PLEAD 'SELF-DEFENSE'

    A man

    identified only as Commander Bajram told AP in Prishtina on

    22 June that his Presevo, Medvedja, and Bujanovac Liberation

    Army has not launched recent attacks on Serbian property in

    the Presevo valley area. He argued that his forces fight only

    in response to attacks from Serbian forces. He admitted that

    his group uses clandestine routes into and out of Kosova but

    denied Serbian charges that it operates openly and freely

    there. PM

    [20] BELGRADE SLAMS EU 'WHITE LIST'

    In Belgrade on 22 June,

    Sainovic denounced EU plans to set up a "white list" of

    Serbian businesses that do not pay money to the state (see

    "RFE/RL Newsline," 20 June 2000). He argued that all

    businesses must pay taxes and therefore no business can meet

    the EU's criteria. "Who in France can sign a statement saying

    no taxes will be paid to the state? Tax evasion is heresy in

    their own countries. They [in the EU] know it is impossible,"

    Reuters reported. Sainovic also made light of international

    sanctions against Belgrade. "There are no embargoes, there is

    only a price. Believe me, I am talking from personal

    experience and after eight years of sanctions," he said. PM

    [21] NO DEAL FOR MILOSEVIC

    An unnamed senior official of

    Milosevic's Socialist Party told AP in Belgrade on 23 June

    that unspecified Western governments have indeed approached

    Milosevic with offers of safety in return for leaving Serbia.

    "There have been such initiatives every once in a while, but

    he even refused to discuss it. There's no way that he could

    opt for such a stupid option." The daily "Danas" added that

    "the current degree of state repression signals Milosevic's

    readiness to defend himself at any cost. The Yugoslav

    president has been cornered to defend not only his rule but

    also his skin." PM

    [22] FORMER ROMANIAN PRESIDENT TESTIFIES IN MONEY-LAUNDERING

    AFFAIR

    Party of Social Democracy in Romania Chairman and

    former President Ion Iliescu on 22 June testified as a

    witness in the Adrian Costea money-laundering affair,

    RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. The previous day, the

    Prosecutor-General's Office had summoned Iliescu for the

    third time to testify. Iliescu said the investigators asked

    about "all the issues already publicized in the media" and

    that he "has nothing to add" to his earlier statements.

    Meanwhile, the Romanian post service has launched its own

    investigation into the circumstances of a letter sent to

    Iliescu by Costea's lawyers that was damaged on reaching

    its destination. The letter was published in the media

    before reaching Iliescu. MS

    [23] TRANSDNIESTER SUPREME SOVIET AMENDS CONSTITUTION

    The

    Transdniester Supreme Soviet on 22 June amended the

    separatist region's constitution to significantly increase

    the prerogatives of the president, Infotag reported. The

    change will not have an immediate impact since Igor Smirnov

    is both "head of state" and "premier." The amendments

    approved transforming the Supreme Soviet from a bicameral

    into a unicameral legislature that will have 43 deputies,

    instead of the 60 under the former, bicameral system. The

    legislature also approved a resolution condemning

    Chisinau's "infringement of the Gagauz people's economic

    rights" and "disregard for Gagauz interests in its internal

    and foreign policy," Flux reported. The session was

    attended by Gagauz Yeri Popular Assembly Chairman Mikhail

    Kendigelean, who said the autonomous region now wants to

    participate in the pending Chisinau-Tiraspol negotiations

    on "a joint common state." MS

    [24] BULGARIA, MOLDOVA, DISCUSS NUCLEAR WASTE TRANSIT

    Visiting

    Moldovan Prime Minister Dumitru Braghis and his Bulgarian

    counterpart, Ivan Kostov, met in Sofia on 22 June to

    discuss the transit via Moldovan territory of nuclear waste

    from the Kozlodui plant bound for Russia, AP reported,

    citing BTA. Braghis said the Moldovan parliament is still

    considering whether to approve an agreement on the transit

    that was signed last year. Kostov said the issue is "of

    particular importance, and Bulgaria expects a positive

    solution." MS

    [25] BULGARIA TO PRIVATIZE SECOND NATIONAL TV CHANNEL

    The

    government on 22 June announced it will privatize the second

    national television channel. Bids for the 15-year license

    must be submitted by 1 September, Reuters and AP reported.

    Bidders will compete for a frequency that until 1997 had been

    used by Russian Public Television, which did not re-apply for

    a license. The signal covers 56 percent of Bulgarian

    territory, and the license holder will be required to expand

    coverage to 75 percent at its own expense. MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [26] TRANSYLVANIA'S LOCAL ELECTIONS SHOW NATIONALISM IS STRONG

    FACTOR

    By Zsolt-Istvan Mato

    Romania's post-communist political allegiances have been

    characterized by some notable regional differences: Moldova

    and Muntenia (except for their large urban settlements) tend

    to favor the post-communist "successor parties," while the

    former Hungarian province of Transylvania has supported the

    present governing coalition parties.

    A close examination of the 2000 local election results

    in Transylvania shows that the Hungarian Democratic

    Federation of Romania (UDMR) and the opposition Party of

    Social Democracy in Romania (PDSR) won that contest. While

    most important cities are still controlled by coalition

    representatives, the UDMR and the PDSR dominate the county

    councils, where the system for the distribution of seats is

    similar to that used in parliamentary elections. The main

    political organization of ethnic Hungarians, representing 23

    percent of the region's inhabitants, came first in five of

    the region's 16 counties and has a majority in two counties.

    The PDSR, on the other hand, won in six counties but failed

    to secure a majority on the councils where it won.

    Two cities attracted the most attention during the

    elections. One is Targu Mures, where in March 1990 Romanians

    clashed with ethnic Hungarians, leaving six dead and several

    injured. The city has since returned to "normalcy," but

    nationalist sentiments, though subdued, persist on each side.

    With its very large Hungarian ethnic minority, Targu Mures

    has been governed since 1992 by an ethnic Hungarian mayor,

    who in the past managed to enlist the support of some

    liberal-minded members of the town's ethnic Romanian

    majority. In the 4 June first round of the 2000 local

    elections, incumbent Imre Fodor was only 179 votes short of

    winning outright. But in the runoff two weeks later, Romanian

    Democratic Convention (CDR) candidate Dorin Florea won by a

    narrow margin of 2,723 votes, producing what is perhaps the

    greatest surprise in Transylvania in the local elections.

    Florea, until now the prefect of Mures county, conducted a

    campaign that clearly appealed to Romanian nationalist

    sentiments. He thus managed to enlist the support of the

    CDR's nationalist adversaries against the UDMR candidate

    Fodor, whose party is a CDR partner in the central government

    coalition. Florea now faces a UDMR majority in the city

    council and the difficult task of working with two Hungarian

    vice mayors.

    Transylvania's "spiritual capital," Cluj, drew even more

    attention, however. Extreme nationalist Mayor Gheorghe Funar,

    secretary-general of the Greater Romania Party (PRM), has

    headed the mayoralty since 1992, when he was still a member

    (and then the leader) of the Party of Romanian National

    Unity. In the first round of this month's elections, he

    garnered 46 percent of the vote and UDMR candidate Peter

    Eckstein Kovacs placed second with 21 percent (roughly the

    percentage of the city's population that is Hungarian).

    Fearing the runoff would bring about a strong division along

    ethnic lines, Eckstein Kovacs stepped down in favor of Serban

    Radulescu, the CDR candidate who placed third with just over

    11 percent backing. This prompted all parties except the PRM

    to form a coalition against Funar. Most local intellectuals

    declared their support for Radulescu, and the local media

    intensified the strong anti-Funar campaign they had launched

    before the first round.

    Radulescu centered his campaign on the need to return

    to "normalcy" in interethnic relations and to attract foreign

    investors, who have been scared off by Funar's anti-Western

    rhetoric. Clearly convinced he would repeat his 1996

    performance, when he was one of the few mayors to win in the

    first round, Funar had conducted a surprisingly tame

    campaign. But ahead of the runoff he returned to waging an

    all-out war against the town's Hungarian minority and Magyars

    in Romania in general. He claimed that should Radulescu win,

    Hungarian would be introduced as an official language, a

    Hungarian-language university would be established (as it

    should have been long ago, in accordance with legislation

    already passed), and Romanians would be "kicked out of their

    homes." Moreover, according to the maverick mayor, Hungarian

    companies would buy up local firms, and Cluj would instantly

    return to being "Kolozsvar," the city's name under centuries-

    long Hungarian rule.

    Funar's tactics worked again, particularly among those

    Romanians whom late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu moved to Cluj

    to "Romanianize" Transylvania's capital. The coalition formed

    by the anti-Funar parties--which surprisingly included the

    PDSR--turned out to be "too little, too late." This took few

    people unawares since both the PDSR and some parties

    represented in the CDR have on occasion played the

    "nationalist card" themselves. Funar won with 53 to

    Radulescu's 47 percent., leaving the city even more divided

    than ever and with a local council dominated by the anti-

    Funar coalition representatives.

    But if Hungarian money seemed dirty for the residents of

    Cluj, German Marks proved attractive elsewhere in

    Transylvania. In the southern city of Sibiu, the runoff

    resulted in the overwhelming victory of Johannis Klaus, the

    candidate of the German Democratic Forum, over his PDSR

    adversary. That result was somewhat surprising: once

    dominated by Germans, the former Hermannstadt now has a

    population that is only 1 percent German. Klaus had offered

    global, not ethnic solutions for the city. Observers,

    however, note that Sibiu voters are hoping the ethnic German

    mayor will help attract investments from Germany and other EU

    member countries.

    The author is a freelance writer living in Cluj, Romania.

    23-06-00


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


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