RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 2, No. 173, 8 September 1998
CANADA OFFERS TO HELP POLAND TAKE FIRST STEPS IN NATO.
Canadian Defense Minister Arthur Eggleton on 7 September
offered Canada's assistance to Poland in the initial
period of its NATO membership, PAP and Reuters reported.
Eggleton, who was in Warsaw, said Canada's five-year
program of peacekeeping, language, and communications
training will also be offered to Hungary and the Czech
Republic. So far, the three NATO candidates have
received substantial asssistance under the Partnership
for Peace program; that aid, however, will cease to be
available to them when they join NATO in April 1999.
"The Canadian initiative shows that we can count on the
further assistance we so obviously need," Reuters quoted
Polish Defense Minister Janusz Onyszkiewicz as saying.
SLOVAK OPPOSITION PLANS BROAD COALITION AFTER ELECTIONS.
Mikulas Dzurinda, leader of the Slovak Democratic
Coalition (SDK), says he expects his party to win 25-27
percent of the vote in this month's parliamentary
elections and "to create a broad coalition with all
[other] opposition parties" to make possible a
"constitutional majority" against Prime Minister
Vladimir Meciar and his allies, AP reported on 7
September. Political observers in Bratislava say that
even if the SDK manages to win a quarter of the vote,
setting up a coalition will be difficult owing to
different views within opposition groups. The Hungarian
Coalition Party focuses primarily on minority issues,
while some groups within the Party of the Democratic
Left oppose Dzurinda's economic policies and do not rule
out cooperation with Meciar. The new Civic Understanding
Party is not among those parties whom Dzurinda envisages
will be included in the new ruling coalition. MS
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