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1 VoA - Kelet-Europa/penz (mind)  76 sor     (cikkei)
2 VoA - Szlovakia/Magyarorszag (mind)  73 sor     (cikkei)
3 Washington Post (mind)  55 sor     (cikkei)
4 OMRI Daily Digest - 21 March 1995 (mind)  83 sor     (cikkei)
5 CET - 21 March 1995 (mind)  210 sor     (cikkei)

+ - VoA - Kelet-Europa/penz (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

type=correspondent report
title=East Euro Currencies (l-only)
byline=Barry Wood
voiced at:

Intro:  Bankers attending a monetary forum in Prague are giving
the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe generally high
marks for pursuing sensible economic and financial policies.
V-o-A's Barry Wood reports from Prague.

Text:  The European Banking and Financial Forum is addressing the
problem of developing capital markets in the formerly
centrally-planned economies of Eastern Europe and the former
Soviet Union.  Several participants called attention to the
success of the Czech Republic and Slovakia in holding their
currencies steady against the fast rising German mark.

Richard Erb, until recently the deputy managing director of the
International Monetary Fund, said the transforming economies need
to attract more foreign direct investment.

                         // Erb act //

         The levels of direct investment have been very uneven in
         the countries in transition, reflecting the different
         stages in the transition process. But even in those
         countries that have attracted the most direct investment
         -- the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Russia --
         the magnitudes are still relatively small, relative to
         what they could be.

                          // End act //

All of the post-communist countries of Eastern Europe and the
former Soviet Union have attracted less than 10 billion dollars
of foreign direct investment.  By contrast, China alone last year
attracted over 20 billion dollars.

The banking forum is being attended by several dozen commercial
bankers and central bank chiefs from Russia, Poland, Hungary, and

On Tuesday, the European Union issued a report on the economic
transformation thus far in the Czech Republic.  The E-U
commission concludes that the Czechs are doing well in most areas
but that they have  not  moved fast enough to reform the
financial sector and build the institutions for regulating a
market economy.  The E-U report says there should be more
competition in banking and banks should be tougher on their
problem borrowers in the industrial sector.(Signed)

21-Mar-95 9:55 am est (1455 utc)

source: Voice of America

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - VoA - Szlovakia/Magyarorszag (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

type=correspondent report
title=Slovakia-Hungary (l only)
byline=Barry Wood
voiced at:

Intro:  Hungary and Slovakia Sunday signed a bi-lateral
friendship treaty guaranteeing borders and minority rights.
V-o-A's Barry Wood reports that the accord is  not  universally
popular in either country.

Text:  There were demonstrations in Budapest Saturday protesting
the friendship treaty with Slovakia.  The protests were called by
right-wing groups that complained Hungary gained little in the
accord with Slovakia, which was initialled early Thursday after
seven hours of negotiations between the two prime ministers.

In Bratislava Monday a foreign ministry official (Jozef Sestak)
denied that the accord provides for autonomy for the 600 thousand
ethnic Hungarians residing in Slovakia.  The official said the
treaty has  no  provision for autonomous structures based on
ethnicity.  Some of the ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia have
demanded a special status.  The foreign ministry official
suggested that Hungary is misinterpreting the accord if it says
the ethnic Hungarians will have more autonomy.

Slovakia and Hungary were pushed reluctantly towards the
friendship accord by European Union declarations that countries
failing to agree on borders and minority rights would be
ineligible for European Union membership.  Membership in the E-U
and NATO are the principal foreign  policy goals of most
post-communist governments in Central and Eastern Europe.

While the Hungarians and Slovaks did reach agreement prior to the
stability conference in Paris, the Hungarians and Romanians did
not.  Their differences are regarded as more intractable and the
Hungarian minority in Romania is considerably larger.  However,
both governments continue to negotiate.  Agreement is said to be
close and could be reached within a month.

Hungarian prime minister Gyula Horn hails the Slovak accord
saying it is the first bilateral treaty in Hungary's modern
history  not  based on the dictates of an outside power.  Hungary
lost more than half its territory in the treaties that ended the
First World War.  Even 70 years later, Romania and Slovakia
remain suspicious of perceived Hungarian moves to recapture the
lost territory.  (Signed)


20-Mar-95 10:54 am est (1554 utc)

source: Voice of America

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - Washington Post (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Editorial- Instead of Ethnic War


A STRIKING BREAK   in what seemed a dreaN=7FZry regional and even global patter
of ethnic discord is emerging in Hungary. A country whose losses of territory
and population in World War I left it at seemingly permanent odds with many
of its seven neighbors, Hungary has just made a treaty with one of them,
Slovakia, aimed at resolving longstanding disputes over borders and minority
rights. Meanwhile it pursues a parallel treaty with another neighbor,
Romania. Success -- and successful implementation -- would cap what deserves
to be called a historic achievement for the Socialist government of Gyula

      The imposition of Communist power after World War II failed to ease the
strains between Hungary and its neighbors. But once the Soviet hand was
lifted, the lure of integration into a democratic Europe began to work a
powerful effect. Essentially, Western Europe told the three small countries
they would not be considered for a place in either the European Union or NATO
until they had resolved the differences among themselves. This week's EU
conference in Paris, organized by France to deal with issues of European
stability, was set as a somewhat artificial but useful deadline.
      Issues of borders and minorities rouse strong nationalistic feelings in
all of these countries. But Mr. Horn, becoming Hungary's prime minister last
year, was ready to make a first Hungarian recognition of the existing
borders. The Slovak prime minister, Vladimir Meciar, worked out with him
extensive guarantees, as outlined in the Council of Europe, for the 600,000
ethnic Hungarians in Slovakia. Considerably more than twice that number live
in Romania. To catch up in Europe, its government badly needs to improve its
performance on reform and rights. It remains formally committed to affording
fair treatment to the Hungarian minority in Transylvania.
       What is it that makes the difference between strife and comity in
these difficult ethnic affairs? No single formula will do the trick, but
determined and responsible local leadership is certainly the first
requirement. There must be a sense that the moment for compromise and
conciliation is ripe; the current post-Communist moment offers such a sense.
After that comes the help that concerned outsiders can bring to bear -- in
this instance by wielding the ideas and institutions of democratic Europe.

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - OMRI Daily Digest - 21 March 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

No. 57, 21 March 1995

EU STABILITY PACT SIGNED. Ministers from the 52 member states of the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe signed an EU-
sponsored Stability Pact on 20 March, international agencies reported.
The purpose of the pact is to "render irreversible the advances of
democracy and institute durable good-neighborliness in Europe." The pact
was signed on the first day of the final session of the EU Conference on
European Stability, which has focused on resolving territorial disputes
and the question of minority rights. The EU has insisted that these
issues be settled before applicants from Eastern Europe can join. More
than 90 bilateral and multilateral agreements included in the treaty
have been negotiated since the Conference opened last year. The most
significant of these agreements is the bilateral treaty signed by
Hungary and Slovakia on 19 March in Paris. The implementation of the
stability pact will be overseen by the OSCE. -- Michael Mihalka, OMRI,

and Gyula Horn signed a joint declaration "five minutes before the
opening" of the EU Conference on the Pact of Stability in Paris, Radio
Bucharest reported on 20 March. The two leaders said that negotiations
on a basic treaty between their countries were "nearly concluded" and
would resume in April. Vacaroiu, addressing the conference, pledged to
establish good-neighborly relations with Hungary. He began his official
visit to France the same day, meeting with French Premier Edouard
Balladur, who said he was "satisfied" with the joint Romanian-Hungarian
declaration. Vacaroiu also held talks with Slovak Premier Vladimir
Meciar, saying that Slovakia's acceptance of Recommendation 1201 will
put other countries under pressure to approve it. But he added that
Romania was "adamant" in its rejection of the recommendation. -- Michael
Shafir, OMRI, Inc.

Hungary's opposition parties, in a heated parliament debate on 20 March,
accused the government of hurting the interests of the Hungarian
minority in Slovakia by signing a bilateral treaty with that country,
MTI and Western news agencies report. The opposition parties said the
treaty could not be enforced as it contained no provision for monitoring
the observance of minority rights. They also charged that Slovakia
interpreted the treaty differently from Hungary, pointing out that,
according to Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar, the treaty does not
give political autonomy to ethnic Hungarians. Jozsef Torgyan, chairman
of the Independent Smallholders' Party, criticized the government "for
selling the basic rights of Hungarians." -- Edith Oltay, OMRI, Inc.

former Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan on 20 March said the Slovak-
Hungarian treaty exceeds European standards and allows for multiple
interpretations, particularly of the Council of Europe Recommendation
1201, which grants minorities the right to set up autonomous
organizations. Christian Democratic Movement Chairman Jan Carnogursky
expressed support for the treaty but noted that just last year, Prime
Minister Vladimir Meciar and his allies were accusing the Hungarian
minority of betraying Slovakia. Slovak National Party Chairman Jan
Slota, whose party is a member of the governing coalition, expressed
concern in interviews with Pravda and Slovenska Republika about the
inclusion of Recommendation 1201, which he called "unsuitable." He also
expressed sympathy with the standpoint of the Romanian government, which
has delayed signing the agreement. Meanwhile, Meciar, attending the
Conference on the Pact of Stability in Paris, said that autonomy for
minorities is unacceptable. -- Sharon Fisher, OMRI, Inc.

[As of 12:00 CET]

Compiled by Jan Cleave

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.

+ - CET - 21 March 1995 (mind) VÁLASZ  Feladó: (cikkei)

Tuesday, 21 March 1995
Volume 2, Issue 57


  Hungary and Slovakia have signed a basic treaty which is
  included in the stablity pact.  But analysts and diplomats
  say the treaty is more symbolic than substantive.  And it's
  not being welcomed.  Over the weekend several thousand people
  demonstrated against the treaty in Bratislava.  The far-right
  Slovak National, or SNS party, says it feels betrayed.  SNS
  leader Jan Slota has refused to promise Slovak Prime Minister
  Vladimir Meciar that he'll support the treaty when it comes up
  for a vote in parliament.  The SNS and radical-left
  Association of Socialist Workers are junior coalition partners
  and give Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar's Movement for a
  Democratic Slovakia a parliamentary majority.  Even without
  the nationalist vote, the treaty could still pass with support
  from the opposition.  But the angry reaction signals a
  possible split in the three-month-old coalition government. 
  Bratislava agreed with the Hungarian demand to use the Council
  of Europe's Recommendation 1201 as a base for defining ethnic
  minority rights in both countries.  Though the basic treaty
  acknowledges the priciple of collective minority rights and
  autonomy, it includes a compromise clause which points out
  that the 1201 document doesn't spell out exactly how ethnic
  minorities are to achieve autonomy.  The three-party Hungarian
  coalition, which represents Slovakia's 550,000 ethnic
  Hungarians politically, also voiced its concern yesterday. 
  Laszlo Nagy of the Hungarian Civic Initiative called the basic
  treaty positive, but cautioned that the SNS and the
  Association of Slovak Workers could succeed in destroying the
  new moderate mood. --Caroline Smrstik

  Hungary and Romania say their basic treaty is almost finished,
  even though they failed to reach agreement in time for the
  Paris stability conference.  Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula
  Horn and his Romanian counterpart Nicolae Vacaroiu told the
  conference that negotiations will resume next month.  They say
  they want their treaty included among some 80 other accords
  forming the backbone of the European stability pact.


  The third European Banking and Financial Forum kicks off in
  Prague today.  It was organized by the Comenius Foundation, a
  Czech-based economic think tank.  As well as senior European
  Union and western banking officials, the three-day gathering
  has attracted high-powered delgations from virtually every
  former Eastern Bloc country.  Discussion topics slated for the
  next three days range from development aid to the importance
  of specialized banks and offshore equity sources.  Czech Prime
  Minister Vaclav Klaus begins proceedings this morning by
  offering a personal view of the key issues of economic
  transformation.  He'll be speaking before an impressive
  audience.  Comenius President Karel Musikar explains.

  "Russian banks, banks from Kazakhstan, governer from Latvia,
  governers from Poland, Hungary, the governer or president of
  the central bank of the Russian Federation is coming."

  Other keynote speakers include the Czech ministers of finance
  and trade and industry. Even so, as Musikar ruefully admits,
  one or two big fish did escape the Comenius net.

  "The Slovak prime minister was keen to come, he was registered
  to come, but Mr. Balladur invited him to Paris, which beat our

  The European Banking and Financial Forum is being held at Radio
  Free Europe's new Prague headquarters and ends Thursday
  evening. --James Drake

  The Hungarian salami maker Pick was the pick of the Budapest
  Stock Exchange yesterday, leading shares to an overall
  increase of 13.99 points, or 1.1 percent.  The index closed at
  12 81.7. While other stocks remained flat in mixed trading,
  Pick shares rose $2.31 to more than $51 a share.  Some
  analyists say foreign investors may have re-emerged on the
  market, encouraged by the devaluation of the forint last week.
  Many say they're trying to buy up blue chip stocks while
  they're still cheap.

  Hungary's Graboplast Textiles plans to raise money by selling
  new shares of stock.  The company will seek shareholder
  approval for the move at its annual general meeting April 21. 
  The specific amounts weren't released, but late last year the
  company said it wanted to raise its equity capital by around
  10 percent.


  By Christina Crowder
  There's not much more inviting in the morning than the smell of
  fresh coffee drifting in from the kitchen.  But, if you're
  accustomed to drinking specialty coffee common in Europe and
  the US, you may be hard pressed to find it in Budapest.  In
  the past year, though, several different entrepreneurs, both
  local and foreign, have looked into opening specialty coffee
  stores in Budapest.  Their experiences are a look into the
  realities of small business life in Hungary.

  It's easy to get a 30 cent cup of espresso in Budapest, but
  finding a good tasting cuppa' jo may leave you with the
  jitters.  The lack of a superior cup of coffee in Budapest has
  not escaped the attention of local entrepreneurs.  However, as
  many have discovered, actually opening a small gourmet coffee
  shop in Hungary is a daunting challenge.  Budapest's famous
  Gundel restaurant is currently working with a major coffee
  roaster to develop its own house brand; yet, Gundel decided
  to drop plans to open a gourmet coffee house when it was
  unable to find a suitable location at a reasonable price.
  Robert Brooker, co-founder of  Budapest's New York Bagel
  restaurants, says beyond the difficuly of finding good retail
  space, local economics stack the deck against the more
  expensive specialty coffees.

  "All I can say is woe to anyone who wants to enter the coffee
  business.  The basic economics of it are horrible, the main
  problem being that there's a world price for coffee that's
  even higher in Hungary because of the exorbitant tariffs
  tacked onto the coffee price.  And you just can't charge as
  much for a cup of coffee in Hungary as you can in a Western

  Undaunted by these difficulties, American coffee lover Mark
  Denison has successfully opened his own espresso bar in
  Budapest's ninth district where he roasts and sells his own
  coffee.  Denison says it hasn't been easy.  His biggest
  challenge was trying to satisfy the requirements of the VAM,
  The Hungarian Customs Office.

  "We've heard there are a number of people who have been asking
  to do this kind of business and the VAM has been saying no.  I
  think we are open only because we didn't ask in the beginning,
  we asked when we were ready to be open and there was no legal
  reason for them to say no."

  Denison says there were also many delays and discussions over
  how to apply rules designed to regulate large coffee roasters
  like Douwe Egberts to his small shop.  Further, he says, the
  VAM seemed to take it upon itself to impose more stringent
  health regulations than those required by Hungarian health
  authorities themselves.  Ferenc Vidovszky says these kinds of
  difficulties are common for new businesses in Hungary. General
  director of Riverside RT, a Budapest based consulting and
  investment company, Vidovszky says problems are most likely to
  crop up when a new product or service is being introduced.   
  "Yes, I think that abroad, the rules are clearly registered and
  you will only be punished if you seriously break that rule.
  Whereas in Hungary, the way to begin an enterprise is not
  clearly stated.  In the course of starting a business,
  objections arise on the part of the authorities, and it can be
  very difficult to pin down the technicalities of the laws."

  Vidovszky adds patience and a carefully considered business plan
  are two of the most important elements in a successful new
  business here, especially for foreign investors unfamiliar
  with Hungarian rules and regulations.  So perhaps other
  patient, organized entrepreneurs will follow in coffee
  roaster Denison's footsteps.

* CET On-Line - copyright (c) 1995 Word Up! Inc. All rights reserved.
  This publication may be freely forwarded, archived, or
  otherwise distributed in electronic format only so long as
  this notice, and all other information contained in this
  publication is included.  For-profit distribution of this
  publication or the information contained herein is strictly
  prohibited.  For more information, contact the publishers.

A tovabbterjesztest a New York-i szekhelyu Magyar Emberi Jogok
Alapitvany tamogatja.

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Reposting is supported by Hungarian Human Rights Foundation News
and Information Service.