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Voice of America, 97-02-03

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] ALBANIA PRYAMID SCHEME BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)
  • [03] ARAFAT / E-U (L-ONLY) BY GILLIAN SHARPE (THE HAGUE)
  • [04] BELGRADE PROTESTS (L UPDATE) BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)
  • [05] BULGARIA STRIKES (L-ONLY) BY KATYA KOSEVA (SOFIA)
  • [06] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)
  • [07] EUROPE / SERBIA (L ONLY) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)
  • [08] GERMANY / YUGO (S ONLY) BY DAGMAR BREITENBACH (BONN)
  • [09] U-S / SERBIA (S) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPT.)

  • [01] MONDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=01/03/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10003
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NANCY SMART
    CONTENT=_
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON MONDAY FEBRUARY 3RD //

    INTRO: THE MAJORITY OF EDITORIAL TOPICS IN MONDAY'S U-S PAPERS CONCERN DOMESTIC ISSUES, BUT THERE ARE SEVERAL OF INTEREST, INCLUDING ONES ON THE NEED FOR ISRAEL'S NEIGHBORS TO REJOIN THE PEACE PROCESS AND PRESIDENT CLINTON'S VIEWS ON HONG KONG. THERE ARE ALSO COMMENTS ON BALANCING THE FEDERAL BUDGET; U-S TRADE POLICY; AND THE CONTINUING NEED FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM. NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK IS ________________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: THE NEW YORK TIMES SAYS IT IS TIME FOR NEIGHBORING STATES TO REJOIN THE ISRAELI-PLO PEACE PROCESS.

    VOICE: "THE FIRST WEEKS OF 1997 BROUGHT CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT THE POLITICAL LEADERS AND PEOPLE OF ISRAEL ARE READY TO PUSH AHEAD WITH THE NEXT MOVES TOWARD BUILDING A MIDDLE EAST PEACE. SO TOO ARE THE PALESTINIANS AND THEIR LEADER, YASSER ARAFAT. THE QUESTION NOW IS WHETHER EGYPT AND SYRIA HAVE THE COURAGE AND WISDOM TO JOIN THEM. ..... WHILE EGYPT AND SYRIA WORRY ABOUT MAINTAINING THEIR LEADERSHIP ROLES IN THE ARAB WORLD, THEY RISK BEING LEFT BEHIND BY POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC FORCES THAT ARE RESHAPING THE REGION. AT SOME POINT THEY MAY FIND IT IMPOSSIBLE TO CATCH UP."

    TEXT: TODAY'S WASHINGTON POST IS CRITICIZING PRESIDENT CLINTON FOR HIS COMMENTS ON HONG KONG AT LAST WEEK'S NEWS CONFERENCE, WHEN HE WAS ASKED WHETHER A CHINESE CRACKDOWN ON HONG KONG'S CIVIL LIBERTIES WOULD UPSET RELATIONS WITH THE U-S IN ANY WAY. THE POST DESCRIBES HIS INITIAL RESPONSE, THAT "IT WOULDN'T HELP ANYTHING", AS "BLAND", AND THEN SAYS:

    VOICE: "HE THEN WENT ON TO MUSE ABOUT CHINA'S POSSIBLE BELIEF THAT IT CAN CRUSH HONG KONG'S POLITICAL FREEDOMS WHILE MAINTAINING ITS ECONOMIC VIBRANCY. .... WHAT MR. CLINTON SHOULD HAVE SAID WAS THIS: THE FREEDOM OF HONG KONG IS IMPORTANT TO US AND ALL OTHER FREE NATIONS. IF YOU ABUSE THAT FREEDOM, IT WILL AFFECT OUR RELATIONSHIP. MOREOVER, YOU CANNOT MAINTAIN HONG KONG'S ECONOMIC VIBRANCY IF YOU STRANGLE THE FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION AND COMPROMISE THE TRANSPARENT AND UNCORRUPT RULE OF LAW UPON WHICH A TRULY FREE MARKET DEPENDS."

    TEXT: IN BALTIMORE, THE SUN HAS SOME THOUGHTS ON HOW THE SECOND CLINTON ADMINISTRATION SHOULD HANDLE TRADE POLICY. IT URGES U-S TRADE REPRESENTATIVE-DESIGNATE CHARLENE BARSHEFSKY TO WORK WITH BOTH CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE FOR AUTHORITY TO EXPEDITE TRADE AGREEMENTS.

    VOICE: "AT THE TOP OF HER PRIORITY LIST IS THE NEED FOR 'FAST TRACK' AUTHORITY TO NEGOTIATE TRADE AGREEMENTS THAT WON'T BE TORN APART BY PROTECTIONISTS AND OTHER SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS IN CONGRESS. THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S FAILURE TO PUSH HARD FOR THIS AUTHORITY, MAINLY BECAUSE OF OBSTRUCTION FROM ORGANIZED LABOR AND ENVIRONMENTALISTS, EXPLAINS WHY CHILE HAS BEEN KEPT WAITING FOR THREE YEARS FOR A CHANCE TO JOIN THE NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE ASSOCIATION. AS A RESULT, CHILE HAS DRAWN CLOSER TO MERCOSUR, A RIVAL TRADE GROUPING IN SOUTH AMERICA. [OPT] ..... 'FAST TRACK' AUTHORITY, THE KEY LEGISLATIVE DEVICE IN THE CREATION OF NAFTA [NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE ASSOCIATION] AND THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION, ENABLED THE ADMINISTRATION TO OFFER CONGRESS PACTS THAT HAD TO BE VOTED UP OR DOWN, WITHOUT AMENDMENT." [END OPT]

    TEXT: "NEWSDAY" ON LONG ISLAND PRAISES MADELEINE ALBRIGHT'S FIRST APPOINTMENTS AS SHE TAKES OVER AS SECRETARY OF STATE.

    VOICE: "ON THE DAY THE SENATE CONFIRMED HER, [MRS.] ALBRIGHT NAMED TO TOP JOBS AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT TWO OLD WASHINGTON HANDS WHO BRING GREAT DEPTH OF EXPERIENCE IN CRUCIAL POLICY AREAS: THOMAS PICKERING AS UNDERSECRETARY FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS AND STUART EIZENSTAT AS UNDERSECRETARY FOR ECONOMIC AFFAIRS. [MR.] PICKERING IS THE SENIOR PROFESSIONAL DIPLOMAT IN THE FOREIGN SERVICE, AND COMES WITH A WEALTH OF EXPERIENCE IN TWO AREAS CRITICAL TO PRESIDENT ... CLINTON'S FOREIGN POLICY:RUSSIA AND THE MIDEAST. ...[MR.] EIZENSTAT, NOW UNDERSECRETARY OF COMMERCE FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, BRIDGES A GAP THAT [MRS.] ALBRIGHT'S PREDECESSOR, WARREN CHRISTOPHER, ALLOWED TO DEVELOP BY CEDING TO COMMERCE THE LEAD ROLE IN FORMULATING FOREIGN POLICY IN ECONOMICS MATTERS."

    TEXT: TODAY'S MIAMI HERALD IS WARNING AGAINST PASSAGE OF A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT REQUIRING A BALANCED FEDERAL BUDGET, REMINDING READERS THAT ECONOMIST SAY IT COULD BE A DISASTER, TURNING A MILD RECESSION INTO A HORRIFIC DEPRESSION. SAYS THE HERALD:

    VOICE: "LET IT BE SAID THAT NO GRAVER PROBLEM FACES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THAN PUTTING ITS FISCAL AFFAIRS IN ORDER. THE INTEREST THAT MUST BE PAID EACH YEAR ON THE FIVE-POINT-23-TRILLION NATIONAL DEBT CONSUMES PRECIOUS REVENUE THAT OTHERWISE COULD FUND MANY WORTHWHILE PROGRAMS. AND MASSIVE GOVERNMENT BORROWING COMPETED WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR FOR CAPITAL, DRIVING UP INTEREST RATES. EVEN SO, THE BEGUILING IDEA THAT THIS AMENDMENT COULD END THE RED INK WITHOUT RISKING SERIOUS SIDE-EFFECTS JUST DOESN'T WASH. [DOES NOT MAKE ECONOMIC SENSE]."

    TEXT: THE LOS ANGELES TIMES NOTES THA TTHERE IS STRONG BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT IN CONGRESS FOR THE IDEA OF MANAGED HEALTH CARE AS A WAY TO HOLD DOWN COSTS FOR TWO FEDERAL PROGRAMS: MEDICARE, WHICH PROVIDES HEALTH CARE FOR 0THE ELDERLY AND DISABLED, AND MEDICAID, WHICH COVERS MANY OF THE POOR. BUT THE PAPER SAYS THAT IF THIS IS THE DIRECTION OF CHANGE, STANDARDS MUST BE SET FIRST.

    VOICE: THE AGENCY [HEALTH CARE FINANCING ADMINISTRATION] MUST ESTABLISH A MINIMUM QUALITY-OF-CARE STANDARD SO PATIENTS WILL NOT SUFFER UNDER THE INEVITABLE SPENDING CUTS ..... IF THE AGENCY DOES NOT PROMPTLY OVERHAUL ITS ASSESSMENT STANDARDS, SPENDING CUTS MIGHT COME AT THE EXPENSE OF HIV-POSITIVE PATIENTS AND OTHERS ARBITRARILY DENIED CARE. .....[ALSO] MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SHOULD BE EXPANDED TO COVER PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE SERVICES LIKE DIABETES MANAGEMENT AND TESTS TO PROVIDE EARLY DIAGNOSIS OF CANCERS ....."

    TEXT: LASTLY, THE L-A TIMES IS ALSO SUPPORTING A BID BY THE CABLE NEWS NETWORK [CNN] TO BE ALLOWED TO OPEN A NEWS BUREAU IN HAVANA, CUBA, WHERE THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT HAS FINALLY GIVEN ITS APPROVAL. SAYS THE TIMES:

    VOICE: "NOW PRESIDENT CLINTON WILL HAVE TO DECIDE WHETHER TO SUPPORT THE APPLICATION OF A U-S NEWS ORGANIZATION TO REPORT IN AND FROM CUBA. WE THINK HE SHOULD, ON FREE PRESS GROUNDS AND MORE. RESTRICTIONS ON REPORTING ARE A DETRIMENT TO BETTER INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, AND PARTICULARLY IN THIS CASE. ...... PRESIDENT CLINTON, WHO JUST LAST WEEK MADE CLEAR HIS INTEREST IN REVIVING THE ECONOMY OF A POST-CASTRO CUBA, SHOULD SEE A HAVANA NEWS BUREAU AS A STARTING POINT."

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF SOME OF THE EDITORIALS FROM MONDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/NES
    03-Feb-97 10:46 AM EST (1546 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA PRYAMID SCHEME BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)

    DATE=2/3/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35594
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IN THE MOUNTAINOUS BALKAN STATE OF ALBANIA, FAILED INVESTMENT SCHEMES HAVE SPARKED POPULAR UNREST AND CREATED AN IMMENSE PROBLEM FOR THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT OF PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD IS IN TIRANA AND FILED THIS BACKGROUND REPORT ON "PYRAMID" INVESTMENT OPERATIONS THAT PROMISED REWARDS THAT WERE TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.

    TEXT: ///ACT -- SOUND OF "MONEY MARKET" WITH SHOUTS AND CAR HORNS..UNDER AND FADE ///

    HERE OUTSIDE THE RED BRICK ALBANIAN CENTRAL BANK BUILDING IS WHAT MIGHT BE CALLED A "MONEY BAZAAR." HUNDREDS OF MEN --CALCULATORS AT THE READY -- CROUCH OVER MAKESHIFT STOOLS TRADING MONEY. THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AND MARKS ARE BEING TRADED HERE UNDER THE WATCHFUL, BUT RELAXED, EYES OF ALBANIAN POLICE. ON THIS BRIGHT WINTER DAY, THE ALBANIAN CURRENCY -- THE "LEK" -- IS SURPRISINGLY STRONGER THAN IT WAS ONLY LAST WEEK.

    BUT IN A COUNTRY WHERE, AFTER 50 YEARS OF STALINIST-STYLE COMMUNISM, THE ROOTS OF DEMOCRACY AND A MARKET ECONOMY ARE SHALLOW. THERE IS A PALPABLE FEELING OF FRAGILITY.

    THE PROBLEM IS THE FAILURE OF PYRAMID INVESTMENT SCHEMES WHICH, UNTIL A FEW WEEKS AGO OPERATED WITH FULL LEGITIMACY, AND IN THE EYES OF MANY PEOPLE, WITH FULL GOVERNMENT ENDORSEMENT.

    THE SCHEMES OPERATE LIKE THIS: THERE ARE NEWSPAPER ADS TOUTING THE NEW MARKET CAPITALISM AND EXHORTING WISE INVESTORS TO ENTRUST THEIR SAVINGS WITH SAY, "COMPANY A." GENEROUS REWARDS ARE PROMISED. IN THE CASE OF THE ALBANIAN INVESTMENT COMPANIES, EIGHT TO TEN PERCENT INTEREST PER MONTH HAS BEEN TYPICAL -- THAT'S MORE THAN 100 PERCENT RETURN IN A YEAR. BY CONTRAST, THE STATE-RUN SAVINGS BANK HAS BEEN PAYING INTEREST OF ABOUT 20 PERCENT A YEAR, WHICH IS REASONABLE IN A COUNTRY WHERE INFLATION IN 1996 WAS UNDER 15 PERCENT.

    BUT ALBANIANS IN TOWNS AND VILLAGES HEARD STORIES ABOUT PEOPLE THEY KNEW WHO HAD GOTTEN RICH BY PUTTING THEIR SAVINGS NOT IN THE BANK BUT WITH "COMPANY A." ONLY FOOLS, MANY CONCLUDED, PUT THEIR SAVINGS IN THE BANK. TRITAN IS TYPICAL. HE IS A 24-YEAR-OLD SECURITY GUARD IN TIRANA WITH A FAIRY TALE STORY OF FINANCIAL SUCCESS.

    //TRITAN ACT//

    IN THE BEGINNING, I PUT IN TWO THOUSAND (DOLLARS) AND NOW THERE ARE FIVE-THOUSAND (DOLLARS). BUT IN THE BEGINNING I HAD ONLY TWO-THOUSAND.

    //END ACT//

    TRITAN DOUBLED HIS MONEY IN SIX MONTHS TIME. OTHERS HAVE SIMILAR SUCCESS STORIES. //OPT// A TEACHER TELLS OF GETTING REGULAR INVESTMENT PAYMENTS TO SUPPLEMENT HER MONTHLY INCOME OF LESS THAN 100 DOLLARS. SHE NEEDS THE NOW-FROZEN INVESTMENT INCOME TO PROVIDE FOR HER FAMILY. MANY PEOPLE EVEN CONCLUDED THAT IT WAS PRUDENT TO SELL THEIR HOMES AND PUT THE PROCEEDS IN THE PYRAMID SCHEMES. //END OPT//

    TRITAN IS ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES. HE GOT PAID. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF OTHERS DID NOT. AND THEY'VE BEEN PROTESTING IN THE STREETS THROUGHOUT ALBANIA. NOW, BELATEDLY, THE PYRAMID COMPANIES HAVE BEEN CLOSED AND THEIR ASSETS FROZEN.

    LATER THIS WEEK, THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT PROMISES TO START COMPENSATING PEOPLE WHO LOST MONEY IN TWO PYRAMID OPERATIONS THAT COLLAPSED LAST MONTH. THE PAYOUT AND THE PUBLIC REACTION TO IT IS EAGERLY ANTICIPATED.

    SO WHY DIDN'T THE GOVERNMENT WARN CITIZENS ABOUT THE RISKS OF INVESTING WITH UNREGULATED COMPANIES, ABOUT WHICH LITTLE WAS KNOWN? AS EARLY AS ONE YEAR AGO, THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND TOLD THE ALBANIANS TO START EDUCATING THE PEOPLE ABOUT THE RISKS OF PYRAMID INVESTMENTS.

    STEVE HANKE IS AN ECONOMIST AT AMERICA'S JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY. HE SAYS THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT MADE A HUGE MISTAKE BY FAILING TO REGULATE THE FRAUDULENT INVESTMENT COMPANIES. BUT MR. HANKE SAYS THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT COMPENSATE THOSE WHO LOST MONEY.

    //HANKE ACT//

    THERE WAS NO GOVERNMENT GUARANTEE BEFORE PEOPLE WENT INTO THIS. IF PEOPLE WANT TO DIVE IN DEEP WATER AND CAN'T SWIM, THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM. THE GOVERNMENT NEVER PROMISED THAT THEY WOULD COME AND RESCUE THEM ONCE THEY GOT INTO DEEP WATER AND COULDN'T SWIM. WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE DONE IS PUT SIGNS UP THAT SAY DEEP WATER, SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    //END ACT//

    ALBANIA HAS BEEN ONE OF POST-COMMUNIST EUROPE'S GREATEST ECONOMIC SUCCESSES. GROWTH HAS BEEN HIGH AND INFLATION RELATIVELY LOW THE PAST FOUR YEARS. LIVING STANDARDS HAVE BEEN RISING. FOREIGN INVESTMENT HAS BEEN POURING IN. BUT NOW, THINGS HAVE SUDDENLY CHANGED. THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT IS GRAPPLING WITH A FINANCIAL CRISIS THAT HAS TURNED INTO PRESIDENT BERISHA'S BIGGEST POLITICAL PROBLEM SINCE HE TOOK OFFICE IN 1992. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/PCF
    03-Feb-97 1:14 PM EST (1814 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] ARAFAT / E-U (L-ONLY) BY GILLIAN SHARPE (THE HAGUE)

    DATE=2/3/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209579
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PALESTINIAN LEADER YASSER ARAFAT HAS APPEALED FOR CONTINUED EUROPEAN UNION SUPPORT FOR THE MIDDLE EAST PEACE PROCESS. GILLIAN SHARPE IN THE HAGUE REPORTS MR. ARAFAT WAS SPEAKING DURING A VISIT TO THE NETHERLANDS, WHICH CURRENTLY HOLDS THE PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    TEXT: YASSER ARAFAT SPENT TWO HOURS IN TALKS WITH DUTCH MINISTERS. SPEAKING AFTERWARDS TO REPORTERS, HE STRESSED WHAT HE CALLED THE CLOSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EUROPE AND THE PALESTINIANS. THE EUROPEAN UNION IS THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTOR OF ECONOMIC AID TO THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY. BUT MR. ARAFAT SAID THAT SUPPORT HAD NEVER BEEN NEEDED MORE THAN NOW.

    /// ACT ARAFAT ///

    NOW WE ARE IN NEED OF YOU MORE THAN BEFORE TO STRENGTHEN AND PROTECT THE PEACE PROCESS, TO PROTECT AND SAVE THE PEACE PROCESS, BECAUSE NO DOUBT THERE ARE ELEMENTS ON THE TWO SIDES WHICH ARE NOT WILLING TO ACHIEVE REAL PEACE.

    /// ENDS ACT ///

    DESPITE A LONG-AWAITED DEAL ON THE WITHDRAWAL OF ISRAELI TROOPS FROM THE TOWN OF HEBRON, REACHED LAST MONTH, THERE ARE STILL OUTSTANDING ISSUES, INCLUDING THE OPENING OF AIR AND SEAPORTS IN GAZA AND SAFE PASSAGE BETWEEN THE STRIP AND OTHER PALESTINIAN-CONTROLLED AREAS.

    MR. ARAFAT ACCUSES ISRAEL OF DRAGGING ITS FEET, A CHARGE ISRAEL DENIES.

    THE PALESTINIAN LEADER IS DUE TO MEET ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU ON THURSDAY. MR. NETANYAHU HIMSELF TRAVELS TO THE NETHERLANDS NEXT WEEK TO BRIEF MINISTERS ON PROGRESS.

    ONE OF THOSE HE WILL MEET IS DUTCH FOREIGN MINISTER, HANS VAN MIERLO. MR. VAN HIERLO SAYS EUROPE HAS CAN CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO CAUSE OF MIDDLE EAST PEACE.

    /// ACT VAN MIERLO ///

    I SEE THE ROLE AS COMPLEMENTARY TO THE AMERICANS, IT'S NOT IDENTICAL. IN GENERAL, IT IS FROM THE SAME POINT OF INTEREST, SERVING THE PEACE PROCESS, BUT IT IS FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE BECAUSE OF COURSE THE TWO CONTINENTS ARE IN A DIFFERENT POSITION TOWARDS THE PALESTINIANS AND ISRAEL. BUT WHAT WE SHOULD AVOID IS THIS DIVISION OF ROLES, THE AMERICANS BEHIND THE ISRAELIS AND THE EUROPEANS BEHIND THE PALESTINIANS. THAT DOESN'T WORK.

    /// ENDS ACT ///

    THE DUTCH GOVERNMENT REPEATED AN OFFER TO HELP DEVELOP A HARBOR FACILITY IN GAZA. THAT, ACCORDING TO THE PALESTINIANS WOULD BE A SIGNIFICANT BOOST TO THEIR STRUGGLING ECONOMY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/GS/JWH
    03-Feb-97 10:55 AM EST (1555 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] BELGRADE PROTESTS (L UPDATE) BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)

    DATE=2/3/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209588
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DEMONSTRATORS IN BELGRADE HAVE CONTINUED TO DEFY ATTEMPTS TO USE FORCE TO END 11 WEEKS OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS. JULIA GLYN-PICKETT IN BELGRADE REPORTS THE PRESENCE OF THOUSANDS OF RIOT POLICE DURING AN ANTI-GOVERNMENT RALLY ON MONDAY APPEARED TO FURTHER STIFFEN THE RESOLVE OF DEMONSTRATORS.

    TEXT: THE SERBIAN OPPOSITION CALLED ON ITS SUPPORTERS TO IGNORE EARLIER POLICE CRACKDOWNS AND MARCH MONDAY TO THE CITY CENTER.

    AS MORE THAN 50-THOUSAND DEMONSTRATORS WALKED AWAY FROM THE CENTRAL REPUBLIC SQUARE, THOUSANDS OF RIOT POLICE SWARMED TOWARDS THEM AND BLOCKED THEIR PATH.

    CONFRONTED WITH THE POLICE WHO HOURS EARLIER HAD ENDED A SIMILAR PROTEST WITH WATER CANNONS AND BATON CHARGES, DEMONSTRATORS STOOD THEIR GROUND FOR FOR THAN HOUR BOOING AND JEERING.

    /// CROWD SHOUTING - ESTABLISH AND FADE UNDER ///

    ONE LOCAL NEWSPAPER JOURNALIST, FILIP DAVID, EXPRESSED WHAT HE CALLED HIS DISBELIEF AT WHAT HE CALLED SUNDAY'S NIGHT POLICE VIOLENCE, AND TOLD V-O-A WHY HE BELIEVES FORCE IS NOT A WAY OUT OF THE CURRENT POLITICAL IMPASSE.

    /// DAVID ACT ///

    NOBODY CAN UNDERSTAND HOW IT WAS POSSIBLE THAT EVERYBODY THINKS IT IS SOMETHING THAT ONLY MAD MEN CAN DO. THAT'S WHAT THEY DID YESTERDAY. BUT AS YOU SEE NOW, THAT KIND OF ACTION ONLY MAKES MORE PEOPLE (INVOLVED) THAN YESTERDAY.

    /// END DAVID ///

    BEFORE MONDAY'S RALLY, OPPOSITION LEADER VUK DRASKOVIC TOLD REPORTERS DEMONSTRATORS HAVE NO INTENTION OF GIVING UP.

    /// DRASKOVIC ACT ///

    THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF A GREAT COUNTRY-WIDE NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE TO BRUTAL FORCE. I EXPECT ALL SCHOOLS, UNIVERSITIES, WORKERS, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION TO GO ON STRIKE -- ALL THE PEOPLE WHO VALUE THEIR DIGNITY.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE SITUATION ON THE STREETS IN BELGRADE STILL WAS TENSE TWO HOURS AFTER MOST PEOPLE HAD TURNED BACK FROM THE POLICE BLOCKADE. LOCAL MEDIA REPORTED CLASHES BETWEEN POLICE AND GANGS OF YOUTHS AROUND THE CITY CENTER.

    AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT -- AFTER A MEETING BETWEEN SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC AND THE INTERIOR MINISTER -- FAILED TO MENTION THE VIOLENT CLASHES BETWEEN POLICE AND DEMONSTRATORS.

    THE STATEMENT SAID THE TALKS FOCUSED ON SECURITY IN THE PROVINCE OF KOSOVO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JGP/JWH
    03-Feb-97 1:27 PM EST (1827 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] BULGARIA STRIKES (L-ONLY) BY KATYA KOSEVA (SOFIA)

    DATE=2/3/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209586
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    ///TRANSCRIPTION OF Q & A WITH STRINGER IN SOFIA///

    INTRO: STRIKES WERE TAKING PLACE ALL OVER BULGARIA MONDAY. WHICH WORKERS WENT OUT ON STRIKE?

    TEXT OF KOSEVA: PRACTICALLY ALL OF THEM. WE COULD SAY THAT BULGARIA IS A COUNTRY UNDER SIEGE. IT'S IN FULL BLOCKAGE. THE BULGARIAN ECONOMY IS PARALYZED AND I CAN TELL YOU (NOW) THAT ALL THE MINE WORKERS ARE ON STRIKE, THE CITY TRANSPORT WORKERS IN THE BIGGEST BULGARIAN TOWNS, ALL DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORTS AND MOST DISTURBING OF ALL, THE BIGGEST OIL REFINING COMPLEX IS HAVING A ONE HOUR EFFECTIVE STRIKE, BUT AS OF TOMORROW (TUESDAY), A FULL WALKOUT, WHICH MEANS THAT NO OIL WILL BE DELIVERED TO THE COUNTRY. (ALSO), THERE ARE HUGE STUDENT AND MASS PROTESTS. LIVE CHAINS OF PEOPLE HAVE BLOCKADED ALL THE MAIN ROADS OF BULGARIA. THE PORTS ALONG THE BLACK SEA COAST AND THE MAIN PORTS ON THE DANUBE ARE ALSO ON STRIKE.

    FRANCUCH: SO THERE ARE STRIKES AND PROTESTS AS WELL. HOW WIDESPREAD IS THE SUPPORT OF THE WORKERS' STRIKE AMONG MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC?

    KOSEVA: AS A WITNESS, I CAN TELL YOU THAT SOFIA -- THE CAPITAL -- TODAY (MONDAY) HAD NO CITY TRANSPORT. PEOPLE -- THOSE WHO HAD TO GO TO WORK -- WENT ON FOOT. AND THEY SAID "WE AGREE AND WE SUPPORT" ALL THESE MASS PROTESTS AND A LOT OF PEOPLE BROUGHT TEA AND COFFEE TO THOSE STUDENTS AND PEOPLE ON THE BARRICADES. BECAUSE AT KEY CROSSROADS IN SOFIA, THERE ARE BARRICADES HURRIEDLY STACKED FROM NEWSPAPER STANDS AND BENCHES AND WHAT NOT. PEOPLE SAY "WE SUPPORT THEM, BECAUSE THERE MUST BE AN END (TO THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT)." AS YOU KNOW, THE BULGARIAN ECONOMY IS ON THE VERGE OF COLLAPSE. WE HAD HYPER-INFLATION. THE NATIONAL CURRENCY IS RAPIDLY TUMBLING DOWN. MOST OF THE SHOPS ARE CLOSED AND STAPLE FOODS, INCLUDING BREAD, ARE VERY SCARCE AT FANTASTIC PRICES.

    FRANCUCH: SO KATYA, IS IT YOUR IMPRESSION FROM TALKING TO FELLOW BULGARIANS THAT BECAUSE THE ECONOMIC SITUATION AT PRESENT IS SO BAD, THE HARDSHIP CAUSED BY THE STRIKES REALLY DOESN'T MATTER ALL THAT MUCH MORE?

    KOSEVA: YES -- FOR THE TIME BEING. ALTHOUGH A LOT OF PEOPLE SEEM HORRIFIED BECAUSE IT IS ONLY THE FIRST DAY OF THIS BLOCKADE. AND THE SITUATION WILL SURELY DETERIORATE IF THIS CONTINUES. BUT AS WE KNOW, BULGARIA HAD A POLITICAL PROBLEM BEFORE IT HAD AN ECONOMIC PROBLEM. AND IT MUST REACH A POLITICAL DECISION. SO PEOPLE ARE EAGER TO CORNER THOSE WHO HOLD THE KEY TO THE POLITICAL DECISIONS AND SOMEHOW THE SITUATION CAN BE RESOLVED.

    FRANCUCH: IF THE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T RESOLVE THE PROBLEM, THE CRISIS IN FORMING A NEW GOVERNMENT, WHAT OTHER WORKERS MAY GO OUT ON STRIKE? HOW MAY THE ECONOMY GO INTO A FURTHER TAILSPIN? FROM ALL APPEARANCES, THAT SEEMS TO BE THE WAY IT'S MOVING.

    KOSEVA: NO ONE IS TRYING TO MAKE A PROGNOSIS OR FORECAST... ONLY TODAY WE HAD A 30 PERCENT DEPRECIATION OF THE "LEV", AS COMPARED TO FRIDAY. AND THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND ... HAS SENT A LETTER TO PRESIDENT STOYANOV IMPLORING HIM TO EXPLAIN THE VERY HIGH SOCIAL PRICE THAT BULGARIA WILL PAY, IF THERE IS NOT A VERY QUICK SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM. SO NO ONE HERE, AT LEAST NO ONE POLITICALLY RESPONSIBLE, MAKES A FORECAST FOR THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT UNTIL THE END OF THIS WEEK. BUT THE OPPOSITION BELIEVES THAT BY TOMORROW (TUESDAY) NIGHT, THE SOCIALIST PARTY WILL EITHER RETURN THE MANDATE OR IT WILL NOT BE VOTED INTO PARLIAMENT.
    NEB/KK/PCF
    03-Feb-97 12:51 PM EST (1751 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)

    DATE=2/3/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209589
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SHARE PRICES HIT NEW RECORD HIGHS IN FRANKFURT, BUT WERE DOWN MONDAY ON OTHER WEST EUROPEAN EXCHANGES. V-O-A'S JACK HUIZENGA HAS THE CLOSING MARKET REPORT FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: STOCK PRICES IN FRANKFURT CLIMBED TO ANOTHER RECORD HIGH CLOSE. ANALYSTS SAY TRADERS IN GERMANY ARE ENCOURAGED BY THE CONTINUED STRENGTH OF THE U-S DOLLAR AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK. THE DAX-30 INDEX ENDED FLOOR TRADING UP MORE THAN 27 POINTS, ABOUT NINE-TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT, AND THEN ROSE AGAIN IN LATER COMPUTERIZED TRADING.. HOWEVER, PRICES WERE DOWN IN BOTH LONDON AND PARIS. IN LONDON, THE FOOTSIE-100 INDEX WAS OFF 18 POINTS, ABOUT FOUR TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT. IN PARIS, THE CAC-40 INDEX FELL JUST OVER EIGHT POINTS, ABOUT THREE-TENTHS OF ONE PERCENT.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY MARKET, THE VALUE OF THE U-S DOLLAR ROSE SLIGHTLY AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK AND THE JAPANESE YEN. BUT IT WAS DOWN IN VALUE AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWH/MMK
    03-Feb-97 1:30 PM EST (1830 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] EUROPE / SERBIA (L ONLY) BY ANDRE DE NESNERA (LONDON)

    DATE=2/3/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209596
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: WEST EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS HAVE STRONGLY CRITICIZED SERBIA'S CRACKDOWN ON ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATIONS. IN THIS REPORT FROM LONDON, V-O-A CORESPONDENT ANDRE DE NESNERA SAMPLES SOME OF THE HARSH COMMENTS ADDRESSED TO SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC.

    TEXT: WESTERN EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS WERE UNITED IN THEIR CONDEMNATION OF THE VIOLENT ACTIONS TAKEN BY SERBIAN POLICE SUNDAY NIGHT AGAINST ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATORS IN BELGRADE.

    GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER KLAUS KINKEL SAID THE USE OF TEAR GAS AND WATER CANNONS AGAINST PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATORS IS A SERIOUS BLOW TO DEMOCRACY AND NONVIOLENCE. MR. KINKEL INSTRUCTED THE GERMAN AMBASSADOR IN BELGRADE TO LODGE A STRONG PROTEST HE ALSO CALLED ON SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO END THE VIOLENCE WHILE AT THE SAME TIME URGING THE ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATORS NOT TO RESPOND AND CONTINUE ON THEIR NONVIOLENT COURSE. IN PARIS, FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER HERVE DE CHARETTE SAID HE HAD ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS WARNED THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT AGAINST USING VIOLENT MEANS WHICH -- HE SAID -- COULD ONLY LEAD TO A CATASTROPHE FOR SERBIA. IN A STRONG SHOW OF SUPPORT FOR THE SERBIAN OPPOSITION, MR. DE CHARETTE INVITED THE THREE LEADERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION IN BELGRADE TO COME TO PARIS FOR TALKS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

    IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT FROM LONDON'S FOREIGN OFFICE, THE BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY MALCOLM RIFKIND DEPLORED THE VIOLENCE, SAYING SUCH ACTIONS WOULD DO NOTHING TO SOLVE THE CRISIS IN SERBIA. MR. RIFKIND JOINED THE CHORUS OF OTHER WESTERN LEADERS IN CALLING ON THE SERBIAN LEADERSHIP TO RECOGNIZE -- WITHOUT FURTHER DELAY -THE OPPOSITION VICTORIES IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTIONS. FINALLY, IN A WRITTEN STATEMENT FROM SARAJEVO, THE USUALLY DIPLOMATIC CARL BILDT -- THE INTERNATIONAL OFFICIAL IN CHARGE OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA'S RECONSTRUCTION -- ACCUSED THE SERBIAN PRESIDENT OF ORDERING THE POLICE ACTION. MR. BILDT CALLED FOR AN IMMEDIATE END TO VIOLENT REPRESSION AND WARNED THAT VIOLENCE IN SERBIA COULD SPREAD TO BOSNIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ADEN/PCF/MMK
    03-Feb-97 2:45 PM EST (1945 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] GERMANY / YUGO (S ONLY) BY DAGMAR BREITENBACH (BONN)

    DATE=2/3/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209568
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT HAS CONDEMNED THE METHODS USED BY SERBIAN POLICE AGAINST PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATORS IN BELGRADE. FROM BONN, V-O-A'S DAGMAR BREITENBACH REPORTS.

    TEXT: GERMANY ORDERED ITS AMBASSADOR IN BELGRADE TO LODGE A STRONG PROTEST WITH THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT ABOUT POLICE VIOLENCE AGAINST PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATORS.

    FOREIGN MINISTER KLAUS KINKEL CALLED ON SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO, AS THE GERMAN MINISTER PUT IT, "IMMEDIATELY PUT AN END TO THIS COURSE OF VIOLENCE, AND BEGIN A CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE WITH THE OPPOSITION." IN HIS STATEMENT MONDAY, FOREIGN MINISTER KINKEL ALSO SAID THE OPPOSITION MUST NOT LET THEMSELVES BE PROVOKED, BUT MUST CONTINUE THEIR COURSE OF NON-VIOLENCE.

    THE GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER CONDEMNED THE SERBIAN POLICE ACTION AS A "SERIOUS BLOW AGAINST DEMOCRACY AND NON-VIOLENCE."

    //REST OPT//

    OVERNIGHT, DOZENS OF PEOPLE WERE REPORTED INJURED WHEN RIOT POLICE USED CLUBS, WATER CANNONS AND TEAR GAS TO SMASH INTO A CROWD OF THOUSANDS OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTERS IN BELGRADE. A GERMAN TELEVISION REPORTER IS REPORTED AMONG THE INJURED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DB/PCF
    03-Feb-97 7:55 AM EST (1255 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] U-S / SERBIA (S) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPT.)

    DATE=2/3/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209601
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED STATES HAS DELIVERED AN OFFICIAL PROTEST TO SERBIA OVER THE LATEST USE OF FORCE BY POLICE AGAINST STREET DEMONSTRATORS IN BELGRADE. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT.

    TEXT: THE UNITED STATES HAS JOINED WEST EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS IN CONDEMNING SERBIA'S USE OF WHAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT CALLS POLICE "GOONS" AGAINST PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATORS.

    THE TOP AMERICAN DIPLOMAT IN BELGRADE DELIVERED THE PROTEST TO SERBIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER. SPOKESMAN NICHOLAS BURNS CALLS THE POLICE ACTIONS A SERIOUS USE OF FORCE.

    /// BURNS ACT ///

    THE UNITED STATES STRONGLY CONDEMNS THE VIOLENCE BY THE SERBIAN POLICE AGAINST THE DEMONSTRATORS, WHO BY ALL ACCOUNTS, HAVE DEMONSTRATED PEACEFULLY. WE CALL ON THE SERB POLICE AND THE SERB AUTHORITIES, LED BY PRESIDENT (SLOBODAN) MILOSEVIC, TO EXERCISE RESTRAINT IN THE STREETS OF BELGRADE.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE SPOKESMAN SAYS THE USE OF FORCE WILL ONLY DEEPEN SERBIA'S ISOLATION FROM THE WORLD.

    THE UNITED STATES ALSO PROTESTED SERBIA'S (RECENT) USE OF DEADLY FORCE AGAINST (ETHNIC) ALBANIANS IN THE SERBIAN PROVINCE OF KOSOVO. THE AMERICAN DIPLOMAT IN BELGRADE MET WITH SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADER VUK DRASKOVIC TO URGE RESTRAINT.

    THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT SUPPORT ANY OPPOSITION PARTY PROGRAM IN SERBIA -- JUST THE PARTIES' RIGHT TO TAKE SEATS THEY WON IN NOVEMBER'S LOCAL ELECTIONS AND TO PROTEST PEACEFULLY IN THE STREETS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/RRM
    03-Feb-97 4:12 PM EST (2112 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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