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Issue No. 177. - June 9, 2000.
    Contents :
1. FRY/ Montenegro: WE ARE CONTINUING OUR WAY: An intreview
with the President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic
       By Slobodan Rackovic
2.  FRY/ Serbia: RESISTANCE TO BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION
       By Sanja Vukcevic
3. Georgia: THE STATE VERSUS JOURNALIST
       By Ivlian Haindrava
4. Slovakia: DEPARTURE IN ORDER TO COME BACK
       By Peter Mikes


FRY/ Montenegro: WE ARE CONTINUING OUR WAY
    An intreview with the President of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic
    By Slobodan Rackovic
    Tiny Montenegro is the only republic of  ex-Yugoslavia
that has stayed together in a joint state with Serbia. Its current
president Milo Djukanovic was, at the beginning of the breakup of
the former Yugoslavia, among those that supported Milosevic.
However, a few years ago, Djukanovic radically severed  all ties
with Milosevic and his pawns in Montenegro and led the small
republic into a process of significant democratic and economic
reforms which was met with sympathies and full support by the
international community. Today, Montenegro is de facto almost an
independent country in many ways. However, there are strong
Serbian military forces located in Montenegro posing a constant
threat of possible clashes that are provoked by pro-Serbian
groups. Many are afraid that after four wars Milosevic started in
the ex-Yugoslavia region (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Kosovo) the fifth could be in Montenegro. On the
other hand, many hope that it is Montenegro that could be model
for Serbia, the final European political black-hole. Without
democratic transformation of Serbia, there can be no permanent
stability in the region. Montenegrin president Milo Djukanovic
gave an exclusive interview to STINA weekly NIJ service where he
talks about the current political situation and the possible
outcome. It is his first interview since the assassination of his
close colleague, advisor for national security, Goran Zugic
several days ago. This murder is said to be the greatest
provocation of Milosevic's regime so far, which came just before
partial local elections in Montenegro. Election results are
eagerly expected as they should confirm strong and wide support of
Montenegrin citizens for democratisation that is now symbolised
exactly by the president Djukanovic.

    Q: Please comment on the political and security situation in
Montenegro, especially keeping in mind the latest events: direct
meddling of the Yugoslav Army into Montenegrin politics, roaming
of Serbian socialists across the country and their taking part at
campaign rallies for the local elections in Podgorica and Herceg
Novi, threats that Milosevic will come to Montenegro,
assassination of your security advisor Goran Zugic...

    A: I think that situation in Montenegro is becoming more and
more complex. Pressure on us from Belgrade has been going on for
several years, I'd say they have been especially stepped up during
the last three years, after presidential and parliament elections
in Montenegro. It was then when Milosevic saw that Montenegro
decided to take firm and decisive steps towards a different
political solution, characterized by democracy, market economy,
integration...
    Last three years saw a very wide spectrum of aggression
addressed to us from the regime in Belgrade - ranging from media
propaganda to extremely political aggression of Mr. Milosevic's
branch office in Montenegro, which is the Social National Party;
from economic aggression that now culminated in the final break of
every kind of trade to security destructiveness which resulted in
Mr. Milosevic's complete abuse of the Yugoslav Army for his
purposes. If we keep all these events that happened during the
last three years in mind, then, at the eve of this local
elections, we understandably had to except additional pressure.
That is only logical, since I think that Mr. Milosevic is clear
enough that this is perhaps the last political battle he's
fighting with democratic and pro-European politics in Montenegro.
Due to completely different picture described by leaders of the
Socialist National Party (SNP), I am sure that Mr. Milosevic took
the bait of believing that the problem in Montenegro lies only in
an estranged government and that it is only the matter of next
elections before the political situation in it would change and
Montenegro would return under aegis of Milosevic's dictatorship. I
am certain he suffers from such illusion so we will help him to
shake it off on 11th of June at local elections and to realize
that there is no abuse of power in Montenegro, that it is not a
question of several individuals, but that the majority of voters
are support democratic and pro-European politics of Montenegro. It
should be said that, before the elections, Milosevic played his
last trump and did all that you have mentioned. He  definitely
abused the Yugoslav Army, took over its radio broadcasting system
in Montenegro and, contrary to Montenegrin legislature, he has
been broadcasting his TV program ever since, and the Yugoslav Army
has been interfering more and more with Montenegrin and Yugoslav
politics through various interviews of its leaders. And,
unfortunately, in this general context of heavy pressure and
threats to Montenegro, there was also the assassination of my
security advisor Goran Zugic, a man who was very important to our
politics, who kept very professional vigi lance over security of
Montenegrin citizens, who was completely dedicated to development
of democracy, who spent all his time in Montenegro just in Herceg
Novi and Podgorica, cities with now scheduled elections. I don't
want to make any conclusion in haste, since each comment could
damage a quality investigation that has been undertaken and I
believe in the capability of state institutions to solve this
case. That tragic event was, objectively, understood among
democratic public of our republic as a pressure and attempt to
create chaos in Montenegro, an impression of insecurity among our
citizens. But, the elections will show that Montenegro is not on
crossroads like 3-4 years ago, but on a stable, democratic,
pro-European and market economy course.

    Q : Do you still think that Milosevic could try to proclaim a
state of emergency in Montenegro. You have expressed that concern
recently, in Brussels.

    A : When one lives in a common household with Slobodan
Milosevic, only a naive person can everything that happens label
as unexpected and unpleasant surprise. Therefore, with him all
turns are possible, so it is possible that he will, as he already
tried once during NATO air campaign last year, to introduce state
of emergency in Montenegro. In an official or unofficial way, as
has already been the case in Serbia. What I am completely sure of
is that such attempt would be unsuccessful, as was the last
year's, since he has not enough power to introduce it in
Montenegro due to significant democratic movement in Montenegro
and efficient Montenegrin state institutions, which are capable
not only of protecting our statehood and security of the
Montenegrin citizens, but also this democratic achievement as a
starting capital for a certain democratic future.

    Q: Victory at 11th June elections, that you must surely
expect, would not only enable you to continue on your reform
course, but would also be a poll for referendum on constitutional
and political future of Montenegro.

    A: We were forced to hold elections since a member of our
ruling coalition in Podgorica and Herceg Novi (Liberal Alliance)
left the coalition and caused a crisis in the local government. I
am certain there will be no radical change on the Montenegrin
political scene. On the contrary, I am certain that coalition "To
live better" will be proven as rising in popularity among the
Montenegrin voters. At this moment,  I wouldn't say that the
election results will influence our attitude during the next
period. As I have stressed many times before, I don't believe in
spectacular changes in Montenegrin politics. I think changes will
come very gradually, slower than we would like it to be, but the
democratic, pro-European and free market consciousness will become
stronger and stronger in a systematical way. So, I am sure that
there is a  good future ahead for the coalition "To live better",
but we must set aside every hastiness, since history can't be
forced. I simply believe that we sh ould do everything not to lag
behind the needs for reform at this point of time, but we should
at the same time respect deep division of Montenegrin citizens and
use a careful politics to help transfer such consciousness to
democratic majority consciousness in Montenegro. I think that
process is going on as we speak.

    Q: So your analysis that the Yugoslav crisis will unravel by
the end of this year was too optimistic?

    A: I think that it will be basically unraveled this year, I
think these are very important elections, far more important than
ordinary elections for two mayors and city councils. We will show
on a sample of almost 40 per cent of Montenegrin voters that we
have earned more trust among the voters since the last general
elections. Second, by the end of the year there will be local
elections in Serbia which will serve as a significant test of
Serbian democratic potentials as opposed to the current
dictatorship government, and, third, it is certain there will also
be federal elections towards which Montenegro will assume a clear
standpoint. Therefore, I believe that those three events, taken
together with the fact that at the end of the year Milosevic
enters into last months of his presidential mandate, inevitably
support the expectations that by the end of the year we could have
incomparably clearer picture of the Yugoslav political scene.
Whether things will formally be completely clear - I cannot
guarantee at this moment, but I am certain that after all of these
elections and events we will have much more obvious situation
about the relations between Montenegro and Serbian and,
consequently, about legal status of our republic.

    Q: You have recently said that removal of Slobodan Milosevic
from power shouldn't necessarily provide a solution to crisis,
since the ideology of greater Serbia is alive also without his
presence.

    A: It is really my opinion, and I think our answer to it is
the Platform we addressed to all Serbian politicians. We didn't
fall into trap of negotiating whether or not we will stay in
Yugoslavia and to tie it in with Slobodan's Milosevic term of
office. I really mean what I said: Milosevic is one of the bad
contractors of the Greater Serbia project. I am not sure whether
he is ready that he is such a contractor. I don't think that he is
a big nationalist, nor communist. It is a person whose only
ideology is unlimited power and he is a man who wants to have
total and unchecked rule, and he doesn't want to share it even
with constitution-backed institutions - federal parliament,
federal government, joint government institutions. No, he is,
contrary to constitution, reorganizing the country and is
constituting unitarian state of Yugoslavia which he want to rule
like it were his family household. I am not sure whether he is
knowingly following the concept of Greater Serbia the pr etensions
of which are, among else, to annex Montenegro to Serbia and turn
into one of Serbia's regions. They see it as a real chance, while
for me it is one big failed illusion. Their illusions were once
much broader than the current territories of Serbia and
Montenegro, but, unfortunately for all involved, they were drowned
out in blood. The fact is that there is continual attempt
Montenegrin right to be treated as equals in the Yugoslav
community. I think it is also an attempt to deny Montenegrin
state, to deny Montenegrin nation and their right to
self-determination. Many political circles around as well opposed
to Milosevic watch with skepticism Montenegrin ambition to be an
equal member in the joint Yugoslav community and I think that such
attitude, more than Milosevic himself, causes doubts and renders
possibility of survival of Yugoslavia less probable.

    Q: Creators and interpreters of the ideology of Greater Serbia
go as far as to claim that independent Montenegro would soon be
occupied by some kind of "Greater Albania", "Greater Croatia" or
"Greater Italy".

    A: I think that reflects traditional Balkan paranoid line of
thought about our future. When I say traditional, I have in mind
that the Balkans states have always been in conflict with each
other and that such was their perspective. I don't think such the
case is now. I think that the Balkans region entered into a new
era and I am, after meeting many Albanian officials, very
encouraged with new type of thought in this region.  Most Balkan
nations and states accepted the idea of the Pact for stability
that is basically the need to integrate Balkan state in order to
further include such an integrated, stable and economically
prosperous region into the developed Europe - and that fact
confirms my expectation and hope that the Balkan states have
opened a new chapter in their histories. Unfortunately, there is
not a Serbian chapter in the book of Balkans, there is no clear
declaration of the Serbian democratic public that it accepts such
a policy, but let's hope we will soon witness it. Let me conclude:
I think that the time of territorial expansion in Balkans is at an
end. I think that one of the last such project, which was
unfortunately drowned in blood, was the project of "Greater
Serbia". Of course, I do not think that it is completely dead, as
well as its opposed project in Kosovo, "Greater Albania" project,
because supporters of both project still exist, although only
remnants of their former power, and try to keep themselves active
on the Balkans political scene. However, their remains are weak
and in minority. Also, international community very well
recognized such danger so I do not see as real danger forming of
new greater states in the Balkan region. Despite all statesman's
and national caution so much in common to all Montenegrins, I do
not believe in paranoid expectations that Montenegro will be
swallowed from all sides. Montenegro is a state that has been
investing a lot into creating good and friendly relations with the
neighboring countries. I am completely certain it can be only
good.

    Q: International community gives generous help, but it is
still not enough. How to start a rather tired economy?

    A: We enjoy a solid economic support from the world, but
Montenegro doesn't want to base its future upon any donations, it
wants to base its future upon using its own potentials. We are
sure that, thanks to potentials we have, we can ensure a nice life
for somewhat over 600 thousand citizens. The condition for it is
that the international, especially financial, organizations accept
Montenegro as their partner, independent of its legal status as a
state. We do not ask for grants, we do not ask for maintenance of
Montenegro, we ask international financial institutions to
evaluate our development projects according to strict procedures
that are valid for all countries, so that our republic can get the
usual credits for its development project. Such conditions give us
a possibility to create a cycle of investment in Montenegro and to
provide jobs for an army of unemployed. The biggest economic and
social problem in Montenegro today is precisely unemployment.

    Q: You have recently addressed international community to stop
insisting on "the necessity of Montenegro to remain in FRY,  a
country of doubtful future". Did it provoke any positive reaction
among friends of Montenegro in the world?

    A: I think it has undoubtfully positive repercussions, not
because of anyone's expectations that international community
might accept such reasoning, because its Balkan policy is
well-defined and goes toward re-integration of the region. That is
why it is against any kind of disintegration, especially if such
disintegration, as is the case of FRY, could lead to new hotspots
in the Balkans. International community therefore tries to aid
development of the democratic processes in Serbia, even via
Montenegro, so that Serbia could also take the road of tolerance,
democracy and opening to the world. So, that part of the policy of
international community is clear, but what must also be clear is
that we cannot sacrifice our strategic state interests for any
other goal. At all discussions I had with high officials of
international community I was telling them very clearly that our
primary goal is democracy, market economy and integration
processes. We offered that idea to Serbia without any hesitation,
preferring life in a kind of re-designed community of Serbia and
Montenegro. We are witnessing that for almost a year Serbia has
been ignoring such an idea, clearly telling us that it wants a
system which will be based on completely different set of values
than the one proposed by Montenegro. So if Serbia continues to
insist on such concept, I think it is only logical for us to ask
our partners from international community to have understanding
for change of state and legal status of Montenegro. Who can have a
moral right, be he developed as he may, be he larger in territory
and population from Montenegro, to ask Montenegro and Montenegrins
to reject their future and to continue living in a community with
a completely doubtful perspective and totally misshapen present,
present embodied in the dictatorship of one person.

    Q: Knowing the power of Milosevic's military machine, many ask
is Montenegro threatening with an empty rifle, that is - is
Montenegro hiding behind military guarantees from abroad?

    A: I have many times discussed this subject with foreign
representatives, mostly upon their initiative. After coming late
during the previous cases in the former Yugoslavia, international
community is deeply aware of the dangers due to Milosevic's
preparedness to start a new conflict. On the other hand, I am sure
that Montenegrins learned through history that they must be those
who will alone protect their state and their freedom and this
generation of Montenegrins is also ready to do it. What is very
important is the fact that we had succeeded in promoting a state
policy that is strongly supported by people in our republic. And
that is what is new - it is a new state policy which is not
nervous, which is not a policy of unadvised moves, nor emotions,
it is not a policy that has many times in history been the cause
of unnecessary wars. So today there is a state policy that really
tries to evade all war provocation, evades confrontation, believes
in peace and time that is ahead of us, but at the same time one
must be aware of the resolution of Montenegrin citizens who are
ready, if need be, to protect their statehood and their freedom. I
am sure that in case of attack neither the international community
would sit idle, because attack on Montenegro is also attack on
democracy, attack on the politics of Pact for stability in
South-Eastern Europe which makes it an attack on European Union,
USA and Russia. If someone dared to undertake such an all-out
attack, then he would really need to be ready to face the
consequences.

    Q: The world is rather intrigued by the question: what if
Milosevic's comes to Montenegro soon, as announced?

    A: First of all, I don't believe in such possibility.
Milosevic has shown his relationship with Montenegro by not coming
here in ten years, although he was calling this republic "second
eye in one head". I think that those who announced his visit
weren't serious, above all because they know that he is now
welcome here among citizens. That is proven by the fact that all
polls say that 80 out of 100 Yugoslav citizens has only the worst
opinion of him. If he himself announced that he would come here as
a party leader to visit his coalition partners, I as well as
everybody else would have nothing against such visit, as we had
nothing against the arrival of duke Seselj, Mira Markovic and
others. He could do what he needed to do here and return to
Belgrade and I would have nothing against it.

    Q: Would he be arrested?

    A: Milosevic is on a wanted list of the Hague Tribunal, and
Montenegro has many times said that it will respect its
obligations towards that UN institution, which are obligations FRY
took upon itself in Dayton. However, nobody wants us to do what
could cause more damage to stability of the region and would
therefore create more problems to international community than is
their interest to see Milosevic brought to Hague. There much more
important powers outside Montenegro that should undertake the task
of bringing all those accused of war crimes to justice.

    Q: Do you accept the thesis that constitutional legal future
of Kosovo and Montenegro are similar?

    A: No! Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia since antiquity,
while Montenegro is a state for itself. Montenegro must have the
same rights as Serbia and those rights that were enjoyed by
Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia and Bosnia. Kosovo is a problem to be
dealt with respect and it has grown up to this level since it
wasn't respected and solved by the mother state Serbia, but
neither by ex Yugoslavia. That problem must be dealt with very
deeply and I think that, for start, Kosovo must be maintained a
multi-ethnic area, and that international community should brace
itself for a long protectorate in that province lasting many
decades. Third, Kosovo must remain as such probably within Serbia,
as a very quality autonomy within that country. Montenegro is a
country that, following the will of its citizens, entered into a
joint community and that can by will of the same citizens decide
on another constitutional and legal status, without any other
individual solution.

    Q: After all that happened and especially after the murder of
your advisor Goran Zugic a question arises: is your personal
safety endangered and to what extent, inasmuch as you  are
constantly walking among citizens?

    A: Unfortunately, I must say that the security of everyone is
in danger due to a sick situation of society, permanent crises,
wars... That's why individual safety of the president of the
Republic is not a priority. Priority is the issue of how to
alleviate that situation so that everybody feels more secure. I am
completely aware of what I am doing in the politics. I am aware
that I am at the front of a politics that is trying to change a
long political, economic and every other practice in Montenegro, I
am aware that it means conflict of interest with those who have
already gotten used to an undignified and humiliated Montenegro,
and they are ready to do much evil to upkeep that situation.
Therefore, I am aware of it, but I cannot, nor want to, go back! I
want to go forward, at the front of, I hope, stronger and wider
democratic Montenegro oriented toward Europe. I think it is
important that at Montenegrin horizon one can already glimpse
victory of such European politics in th e republic. Will we in the
meantime have a lot of troubles? Let's hope that we will have no
more troubles as was the one that happened few days ago. All these
difficulties notwhistanding, we are resolute  and determined to
continue going forward this way.

                           ***
FRY/ Serbia: RESISTANCE TO BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION
    By Sanja Vukcevic
    The regime's brutal repression, dictatorship that started with the
crackdown on independent media and possibility of declaring the
state of emergency - all have increased in the last 30 days, the
time when the anti-regime Resistance was transformed from a student
movement into national movement with a basic goal of completely blocking life in
Serbia by autumn and, in that way, force the government to hold
elections and the opposition to make a planned political action,
said Resistance activists Dejan Randic (27), a senior student at
Electrotechnical faculty; Branko Ilic (21), a second-year student
of Spanish at Philological faculty as well as first-year student
of classic studies at Philosophy faculty; and Boris Karaicic (26),
a senior student of German at Philological faculty in Belgrade and
a member of the Movement for Democratic Serbia.
    All of them said that during the last two months alone the
police arrested and harassed more than 750 Resistance activists
throughout Serbia. At the same time, seven great police centres
refused arrests as illegal, so the regime is, they say, preparing
Law against terrorism which they call "Law against Resistance" and
claim is a legal basis for new arrests.

    Q: Why is regime applying more repression against Movement
activists?

    Randic : They have been directly targeting us since mid-March
when we disclosed our network of 30 thousand activists in more
than 140 Serbian cities and gave a clear message to opposition
leaders that we would exert the same pressure on them as on the
government. That was when the arrest began, and during last thirty
days they went one step further and take fingerprints from each
arrested activists, photograph them and make their criminal
records. Although it is additional terrorising, we fear that the
regime will use those records for the future "set-ups". At one
time, early enough, we have realised that there is no point in
alleviating the consequences of this regime. The opposition is
constantly dealing with it, it tries to improve them, it has no
initiative. Our immediate goal is change of the government, but
the main aim is to change the system.

    Q: What do you think about the current political situation in
Serbia?

    Karaicic: People are ready to do something. That can be seen
from much greater number of citizens rallied around non-partisan,
rather than partisan, meetings. It also proves how much situation
in Serbia is polarised compared to the government. The opposition
doesn't have enough energy due to its incapability, animosities
and failed attempts. Yes for elections, but no for present faces
and that means that there was a need for new force with moral
qualities, enough authority, young and uncorrupted. That force
needs to gather 80 per cent of disappointed voters. There was a
need in Serbia for someone who doesn't offer himself, and has
strong ideas to back him up, to motivate people to vote, to make
changes like those in Croatia or Slovakia.

    Randic: Now there are about 600,000 young people who are going
to vote for the first time and about 400,000 of those that
boycotted the last elections. We think that one of our major goals
is to motivate them to vote. We won't tell them who to vote for,
they will know who they won't support.

    Q:You also criticise opposition. What are their drawbacks?

    Karaicic: We can't say all 15 leaders are no good. Were that
true, than Serbia wouldn't have any future. But you also cannot
delegate responsibility to someone who is 25-years old. All should
know where is the brake and who does what. Resistance appeared at
the moment when opposition parties had no solution, and there was
a huge dissent of the citizens. Opposition parties couldn't
articulate it which caused the people to turn against the parties
because they either fell apart or are disunited.

    Ilic: The biggest problem is that the opposition makes us
problems by not doing anything. We want to divide a part of
repression that is spread throughout Serbia. We are ready to get
our "share", but the opposition is burdening us with complete
repression so that we have to "saving" our activists from prisons
instead of preparing campaigns. It sounds stupid, but they could,
for a change, start occupying with "saving" their party members
from jail. It would give us more manoeuvring space for useful
things.

   Q : How will this situation in Serbia end?

   Randic: Using total repression which culminated in the last
month and by occupying Studio B and announcing Law against
terrorism, Milosevic's regime is creating a general psychosis so
that, if we miss this moment, Serbia won't have much choice. That
statement is not far from truth, but, although Resistance is
prepared for every sacrifice and every kind of repression, we are
not ready to enter a violent clash with government. Besides, it is
clear that opposition parties, which should also enter the fight,
aren't ready for it. I am therefore inclined to believe that in
this situation the government used increased repression so that we
would "press" the opposition and, among general discouragement,
show it to be inefficient and unnecessary and to destroy it in
that way. By not letting ourselves get into this "game" we don't
mean the opposition is great. We are ready to share the burden of
fight and repression with it, but is impossible for us to be those
who will fight for power.

    Ilic: Our biggest problem is political violence. We are
witnessing start of dictatorship which began with the media
crackdown, there is a possibility of introducing state of
emergency, with a new mobilisation, war and that road doesn't lead
to elections. Under such conditions, we strive to animate people
of all classes to solidarize and to practice civil disobedience.
That is the most efficient method to prevent civil war and remove
Milosevic's state as a ruling mechanism. During the summer,
Resistance has to work out campaign which will lead to early
elections. The first stage is initiating and then spreading the
idea of civil disobedience. Our goal is to make everything in
Serbia stop because we think that all the bad things that have
been happening in Serbia for the past ten years must stop once.
The system needs to be stopped so that finally something good may
happen here. All of these is to culminate in a general strike and
urgent co-ordinated action including syndicates, parties, NGO and
various institutions. We have a hot autumn ahead of us.

***
Georgia: THE STATE VERSUS JOURNALIST
    By Ivlian Haindrava
    One of the most remarkable of the latest events in Georgia was
a scandal which broke with respect to 60 Minutes, a popular weekly
show of an independent TV company, Rustavi-2, and its anchor,
Akaki Gogichaisvili. The show, which is a typical example of
independent journalistic investigation, gained in popularity among
the public from the very first releases.  Its rating broke all
records.  Based on documentary evidence, 60 Minutes unmasked the
shameful involvement in corrupted practices of the representatives
of upper echelons of power and the close relatives of President
Shevardnadze.  Recently, at a press conference arranged
specifically for this purpose, Mr. Gogichaishvili said that during
his face to face meeting with First Deputy Prosecutor General
Anzor Baluashvili, which took place on the eve of the press
conference, Baluashvili had insistently advised him to close the
show and leave the country.  A bit later, this "advice" was
underpinned by a promise communicated through a third party to
simply finish Gogichaishvili off if he would refuse to obey his
"well-wishers".
    But let us give the journalist credit for his courage: he
never hurried to pack up and seek asylum somewhere away in
Guatemala or the Easter Islands, but openly informed the public
about what happened, having justly supposed that publicity is the
best remedy to such threats and blackmails.
    The reaction of that even though tiny segment of the
public that has traditionally been associated with democratic
aspirations of Georgia was immediate.  The representatives of
media and civil society rushed to arrange manifestations in
support of Akaki Gogichaishvili in front of the president's
office.  During the subsequent days some follow-up rallies and
manifestations took place.  Some 27 NGOs drew up and signed a
collective statement in which they accused President Shevardnadze
of attempts to stifle free media, and required an immediate stop
of illegitimate actions and resignation of the First Deputy
Prosecutor General, Anzor Baluashvili.
    Several months before, the President had taken the liberty to
express some stiff phrases with respect to 60 Minutes for
associating the president's relatives with the theme of
corruption.  For the Office of Prosecutor General, which reports
directly to the president, such an assessment was nothing but an
"oral instruction" to embark on campaign against the free press
says the NGO statement.  Some time ago President Shevardnadze had
said that he would personally follow up each fact of oppression of
journalists on the part of law-enforcement agencies.  However, all
investigations of such incidents had been conducted in gross
violation of law and in each case nobody else but journalists were
held responsible for those incidents.  Some cases have turned into
a really funny story: a journalist who had badly been beaten by
the policemen was accused of beating three or four "arms of law"
at a time.  The petitioners insist that the president clearly
express his attitude towards that problem. Otherwise, one will
have to recognize that all attacks against the free media have
been implemented at will and command of the President says the
statement.
    The Georgian journalists, in turn, appealed to the President
with their own petition, in which they expressed concern with the
escalation of conflict between the Prosecutor General's Office and
free press.  They formed a special group, which was assigned to
conduct an independent investigation of reasons that led to the
conflict.  In their petition they asked the President, as a
Constitutional guardian of human rights, to take this group under
his patronage.
    Chairman of Parliament Zurab Zhvania expressed his concern
with the fact that the situation in relation to the
above-mentioned TV show has needlessly assumed somewhat political
appearance.  According to him, both the President and the
Parliament had always been considered any pressure on free press
as an attempt to restrict freedom of speech and would never leave
without proper reaction any single fact of that kind.  The
restriction of the Constitutional rights of journalists,
especially threats of showdown with them can not be tolerated
whomever such threats may come from Mr. Zhvania said.  Mikheil
Saakashvili, the leader of the parliamentary faction of the ruling
party, in his turn, promised that unless the leadership of the
Prosecutor General's Office provide convincing answers to all
questions related to the threats against the journalist, the
Parliament would raise the question about the resignation of the
First Deputy Prosecutor General, Anzor Baluashvili.  According to
Saakashvili, the prosecutors, such as Baluashvili harm the
reputation of lawyers.
    However, as it was to be expected, the Office of Prosecutor
General categorically refuted all allegations of any illegitimate
actions against the anchor of 60 Minutes.  The official statement
of the Office of Prosecutor General says that the case of
Gogichaishvili was taken under the personal control of the
Prosecutor General and that the Minister of Security was
officially requested to check the information of threats of
showdown with the journalist because of the disclosure of certain
facts. In addition, the Prosecutor General's Office sent a letter
to the Interior Ministry with a request to ensure the personal
security of Gogichaishvili and members of his family.
    In the meantime, the leader of the Association of Writers -
one of the most reactionary para-governmental organizations (sic),
sued the anchor of 60 Minutes for libel and claimed payment of
damages amounting to US $5,000,000.  In reply, Akaki
Gogichaishvili said that he could only welcome civilized and
public settlement of the dispute by the court.  Earlier in his
interview to Svobodnaya Gruzia daily Mr. Gogichaishvili noted that
all his statements had been based on the findings of either the
Chamber of Control or the prosecutor's office.  "All materials to
which we have an access are validated by signatures and stamps.
All our actions are legal, there is nothing illegitimate in them"
says the journalist.  "The policy of 60 Minutes consists in the
statement of mere facts, which reveal to us those mechanisms by
which corrupted officials, and not only them, have robbed the
treasury, taken away millions, hundreds of millions of dollars,
leaving without any means of subsistence thousands of our
compatriots... In the long run, our goal is to support our people
who can not expect any support from the Government" says Mr.
Gogichaishvili and hardly can anybody disagree.
    But some people do.  These are obviously the people who are
assigned by law to fight against bribery, robbery of public funds
and other felonies that undermine a newly-emerged Georgian
statehood, but who instead, adherent to old Soviet traditions,
being at the same time, at full liberty to enjoy the atmosphere of
arbitrariness and impunity main characteristic features of the
governmental structures of Georgia have fought not against the
evil, but against those who have dared to talk about the evil in
public.
***
Slovakia : DEPARTURE IN ORDER TO COME BACK
    By Peter Mikes
    Jan Carnogursky, the leader and founder of the Christian
Democratic Party (KDH) anounced on Sunday, that he will not run
for the head position of  KDH at the next convention of his party
in October 2000. He endorsed Jan Hrusovky as his sucessor. KDH
delegetes will have to choose from two candidates at the
convention- Jan Hrusovsky and Jan Figel. The departure of
Carnogursky is not final, it has one motivation- Carnogursky
departs, because  he wants to come back.
    The political analysts in Slovakia also suppose, that the
decision of Carnogursky was motivated by the fact, that he wishes
the continuing of his politics, what can be reached by endorsement
of Hrusovsky. Carnogursky has seen, that his position in the party
is very unstabile. When he created the party in 1989, KDH had 40
percent support. Today, after 10 years of his leadership, KDH is
supported by only 4 percents of voters and if the elections would
be today, KDH would remain outside of parliament- a politcal party
has  to reach 5 percents to get into the parliament.
    These are the facts, on which have built Jan Figel, the
political opponent of  Jan Carnogursky, when he announced, that he
will be also a candidate for the   position of leader of KDH on
the next convention of party. Jan Figel is deputy   secretary on
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The political analysts suppose, that
he is one of the supporter of the politcal ideas of the Slovak
prime minister Mikulas Dzurinda. Dzurinda, also head of Slovak
Democratical Christian Union  (SDKU) founded his party after he
left KDH because of controversials with Carnogursky. Figel did not
enter the SDKU, he remained in KDH. But he backs the idea of "very
close cooperation" of KDH and SDKU and some analysts are
suspicious, that he wants to unite the two parties. His plans
could be succesfull, because of very low support of KDH and high
support of SDKU (13  percents) . If Figel would be succesfull, in
such a united party, where the   head would be naturally Dzurinda,
Carnogursky would have no political future.
    Carnogursky is against such "close cooperation". But he can
not fight against idea of Figel, after he as the head of KDH
brought the party from 40 percent support in 1989 to 4 percent
support today. That is why he announced that he will not be a
candidate for the head of KDH and he will not fight against Figel,
who has the support of young members of party and the memebers of
KDH in Eastern Slovakia. Carnogursky announcement about not
candidacy was done only because he wants to endorse Jan Hrusovsky,
who is his reliable friend and political cooperator. Hrusovsky as
a leader would never allow the "close cooperation" or  maybe
reuniting  with SDKU. If Hrusovsky wins, KDH will remain a
souvereign party and  Carnogursky will politically survive and can
after a while come back. The victory of Figel, and maybe the
uniting with Dzurinda' s SDKU on the other side, could be the
political death of Jan Carnogursky.
    Carnogursky alone is not only head of KDH, he is also the
minster of justice. He announced, that he will reconsider, if he
will stay in his govermental position after the convention of his
party. "The party officials will tell me,  if I have stay, or go,"
told Carnogursky. It is expected, that he will step down, if the
leader of KDH will be Figel and not his favourite, Hrusovsky.