Vol. 1, No. 126, 26 September 1997
BRATISLAVA WELCOMES HAGUE RULING... The 25 September ruling
by the International Court of Justice in the Hague on the Gabickovo-
Nagymaros hydropower project has been welcomed by Bratislava.
The Slovak government called the Hague decision a "legal victory and
a success for Slovak diplomacy." It said it hopes that it will be
possible to restore cooperation with Hungary over the use of the
Danube River. The court ruling, which is final and cannot be
appealed, said that both states had violated international law (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 25 September 1997)
...WHILE BUDAPEST IS DISAPPOINTED. The Hungarian government
said it accepts the Hague verdict, but political state secretary Janos
Nemcsok said the ruling was "slightly" below expectations. "Magyar
Hirlap" on 26 September commented "we have no alternative except
to find a mutually acceptable solution.... We must negotiate..., billions
of dollars are involved." Leader of the environmentalist Danube
Circle group Janos Vargha expressed disappointment, saying the
judgment did not give sufficient weight to environmental
OPPOSITION AGREEMENTS IN HUNGARY. Democratic Forum chairman
Sandor Lezsak has confirmed reports of an agreement between his
party and the Alliance of Free Democrats (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 25
September 1997). Meanwhile, Smallholders' Party chairman Josef
Torgyan and Christian Democrat leader Gyorgy Giczy signed an
agreement whereby the Smallholders will "provide every assistance"
to the Christian Democrats in the 1998 parliamentary elections. The
two parties will field joint candidate lists if an amendment to the
electoral law, currently under discussion in the parliament, is passed.
That amendment would do away with the provision requiring each
party running on joint lists to receive 5 percent support in order to
ROMANIAN COALITION TACKLES CONTROVERSIAL LEGISLATION. A
joint commission of representatives of the National Peasant Party
Christian Democratic (PNTCD) and the Hungarian Democratic
Federation of Romania (UDMR) on 25 September agreed to draw up a
"mutually acceptable" version of the amended education law. The
commission was created the previous day. PNTCD chairman Ion
Diaconescu said the commission's decisions will be binding on all
coalition members, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. Diaconescu
said that if Senate Education Commission chairman George Pruteanu
continues to stick to his position on the law, he will have to "face the
consequences." UDMR chairman Bela Marko said several PNTCD
representatives have displayed extreme nationalist positions similar
to those of the opposition. The commission will also examine the
amended Law on Public Administration, which allows bilingual street
signs, and the draft law on the national minorities.
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