Vol. 1, No. 61, 26 June1997
POLAND FAVORS WIDER NATO ENLARGEMENT. Prime Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz
said in Strasbourg on 25 June that the enlargement of NATO should not be
limited to the handful of countries expected to be invited to join next month,
Reuters reported. Addressing the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly,
he said membership invitations expected to be issued to Poland, the Czech
Republic and Hungary should be only a first step.
FIVE SLOVAK OPPOSITION PARTIES AGREE TO FORM ALLIANCE. Slovakia's Democratic
Party, Christian Democratic Movement, Democratic Union, Social Democrats, and
Green Party agreed on 25 June to form a political bloc, RFE/RL's Bratislava
office reported. The coalition, which will span the political spectrum and
will most likely be called the Slovak Coalition, will cooperate with the
coalition of Hungarian ethnic parties. The agreement is to be ratified by the
leaderships of the five parties on 28 June.
HUNGARIAN COMMISSION REJECTS REPORT ON PRIVATIZATION SCANDAL. A
commission on 25 June rejected a report drafted by Tamas Deutsch of the
opposition Young Democrats on the so-called Tocsik scandal, Hungarian media
report. Marta Tocsik, a consultant who in 1996 was paid more than 800 million
forints ($5.3 million) for mediating between the state privatization agency
and local governments over the division of income from the sale of state
enterprises, was eventually dismissed and charged with mismanagement, fraud,
and forgery (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 10 June 1997). Deutsch's report said
members of the government carried "institutional responsibility" for failing
to properly exercise control. But the government-supporting majority on the
commission, as well as one representative of the opposition Smallholders
Party, voted six to four to reject the report. The Smallholders wanted Prime
Minister Gyula Horn and Interior Minister Gabor Kuncze to be personally blamed
for the scandal.
HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENT COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE "KALASHNIKOV AFFAIR."
parliamentary Defense Committee on 25 June decided to set up an ad hoc
commission to investigate the non-delivery of Kalashnikov automatic guns paid
for by Croatia, Hungarian media report. Commission chairman Jenoe Poda told
the daily "Vilaggazdasag" that the commission will try to find out what
happened to the $985,000 that Croatia paid to the Hungarian company Technika
Foreign Trade in 1990 for a shipment of rifles. The agreement stipulated the
delivery of 10,000 Kalashnikovs in four shipments. Three shipments were
delivered, but the fourth never reached Croatia. Technika has since been
liquidated by the APV Rt privatization agency. A Hungarian lawyer representing
Croatia has filed a claim with the APV Rt, demanding the return of the money
HUNGARIAN MINORITY PARTY THREATENS TO WITHDRAW SUPPORT FROM
COALITION. Bela Marko, the chairman of the Hungarian Democratic Federation of
Romania (UDMR), says his party may withdraw its support for the ruling
coalition in the parliament, Romanian media report. Marko says the coalition
is procrastinating on passing amendments to the education law agreed on with
the UDMR. The amendments provide for instruction in the mother tongue at all
levels of education and do away with the obligation to have history and
geography taught in the Romanian language. Unless the amendments are
immediately passed, the law cannot apply in the school year beginning 1
September. A majority of senators representing the largest coalition party,
the National Peasant Party Christian Democratic (PNTCD) opposes the cabinet's
intention to have the amendments adopted by government ordinance (which
ensures implementation before the parliament has approved the law).
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