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Voice of America, 97-09-20

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FINANCE MEETING (S) BY BARRY WOOD (HONG KONG)
  • [02] IMF / RUBIN (S) BY BARRY WOOD (HONG KONG)
  • [03] POLAND ELECTION SATURDAY (S/L) BY ART CHIMES (WARSAW)
  • [04] POLAND ELECTIONS PARTIES (S ONLY) BY ART CHIMES (WARSAW)
  • [05] SERBIAN ELECTION BOYCOTT (S & L) BY PAM TAYLOR (BELGRADE)

  • [01] FINANCE MEETING (S) BY BARRY WOOD (HONG KONG)

    DATE=9/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-220159
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FINANCE MINISTERS FROM INDUSTRIAL AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES HELD SEPARATE MEETINGS IN HONG KONG SATURDAY AHEAD OF THE FORMAL OPENING OF THE ANNUAL GATHERING OF THE WORLD BANK AND INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS THE MONETARY TURMOIL IN SOUTH EAST ASIA IS A MAJOR SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION.

    TEXT: ON SATURDAY MORNING MINISTERS FROM THE SEVEN RICHEST INDUSTRIAL COUNTRIES HELD A SERIES OF BI-LATERAL TALKS BEFORE THEIR OWN MEETING IN THE AFTERNOON. U-S AND JAPANESE OFFICIALS DISCUSSED BI-LATERAL ECONOMIC PROBLEMS WITH U-S TREASURY SECRETARY ROBERT RUBIN SAYING HE IS CONCERNED ABOUT JAPAN'S RISING TRADE SURPLUS AND SLUGGISH ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE.

    AS THE GROUP OF SEVEN MINISTERS BEGAN THEIR DISCUSSIONS THE FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER SAID THERE IS CONSIDERABLE FOCUS ON THE CURRENCY TURMOIL THAT HAS SHAKEN SOUTH EAST ASIA. THE GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER APPLAUDED THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND FOR ITS RAPID RESPONSE IN PUTTING TOGETHER A FINANCIAL RESCUE FOR THAILAND. THE MINISTERS ARE PLEASED WITH THE PICK UP IN THE WORLD ECONOMY, WHICH IS GROWING AT ITS FASTEST PACE IN A DECADE. THE GROUP OF SEVEN MEETING INCLUDED THE HEADS OF THE I-M-F AND WORLD BANK AND WAS CHAIRED BY THE JAPANESE FINANCE MINISTER.

    FINANCE MINISTERS FROM 24 DEVELOPING COUNTRIES MET SATURDAY MORNING AND REGISTERED CONCERN THAT SITUATIONS SIMILAR TO THAILAND'S COULD ERUPT ELSEWHERE. THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES CALLED ON THE I-M-F AND WORLD BANK TO IMPROVE THEIR MONITORING OF GLOBAL FINANCIAL MARKETS AND BE QUICKER IN DISBURSING EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/EH
    20-Sep-97 5:28 AM EDT (0928 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] IMF / RUBIN (S) BY BARRY WOOD (HONG KONG)

    DATE=9/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-220166
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IN HONG KONG THE FINANCE MINISTERS OF THE SEVEN RICHEST INDUSTRIAL COUNTRIES -- THE GROUP OF SEVEN -- MET TO DISCUSS THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AND IN PARTICULAR THE CURRENCY TURMOIL IN SOUTHEAST ASIA. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS FROM HONG KONG.

    TEXT: THE FINANCE MINISTERS FROM WESTERN EUROPE, NORTH AMERICA AND JAPAN SURVEYED RECENT TRENDS IN THE WORLD ECONOMY AND SAID THEY WERE PLEASED WITH THE RECENT PICK-UP IN GROWTH. THEY SAID THAT THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND HAD RESPONDED PROPERLY IN QUICKLY ASSEMBLING A FINANCIAL RESCUE FOR THAILAND, WHOSE CURRENCY HAS BEEN UNDER SPECULATIVE ATTACK.

    U-S TREASURY SECRETARY ROBERT RUBIN SAID THE UNITED STATES SUPPORTS THE QUICK INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE TO THE THAILAND EMERGENCY AND THAT STRONG GROWTH IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IS VITAL TO THE U-S ECONOMY.

    //RUBIN ACT//

    WE ARE ABSOLUTELY COMMITTED TO THE PROPOSITION THAT THE ECONOMIC WELL BEING OF THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IS ENORMOUSLY IN OUR INTEREST.

    //END ACT//

    MR. RUBIN SAID EXCHANGE RATES SHOULD REFLECT THE FUNDAMENTAL ECONOMIC STRENGTH OF COUNTRIES. HE SAID INCREASED FINANCIAL FLOWS ARE GENERALLY BENEFICIAL TO ALL COUNTRIES. BUT THAT THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM IS INCREASINGLY COMPLEX AND WARRANTS CLOSE SCRUTINY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/KL
    20-Sep-97 8:51 AM EDT (1251 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] POLAND ELECTION SATURDAY (S/L) BY ART CHIMES (WARSAW)

    DATE=9/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-220172
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // EDS: VOTING HOURS 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM LOCAL (0400-2000 UTC) //

    INTRO: POLISH VOTERS HEAD FOR THE BALLOT BOXES TOMORROW (SUNDAY) TO ELECT A NEW PARLIAMENT. PRE-ELECTION SURVEYS SUGGEST THE CONTEST IS TOO CLOSE TO CALL. BUT IF POLISH VOTERS ARE DIVIDED OVER THEIR POLITICAL CHOICES, THEY ARE PROUD OF THE NORMAL, FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY THEY HAVE BUILT LESS THAN A DECADE AFTER THE COLLAPSE OF COMMUNISM.

    TEXT: A WEEK AGO CITIZENS OF ANOTHER FORMERLY COMMUNIST COUNTRY VOTED. BUT UNLIKE THE ELECTION IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, THERE ARE NO INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS NEEDED HERE, NO SOLDIERS TO PROTECT VOTERS, NO THREAT OF BOYCOTTS.

    THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO MAJOR CONTENDERS IN POLAND ARE MORE STYLE AND EMPHASIS, RATHER THAN DRAMATIC DIFFERENCES IN IDEOLOGY. POLITICAL SCIENTIST EDMUND WNUK-LIPINSKI SAYS THIS SIGNALS THE MATURING OF POLISH DEMOCRACY.

    //WNUK-LIPINSKI ACTUALITY //

    GENERAL GUIDELINES ARE THE SAME IN BOTH PROGRAMS, WHICH IN MY VIEW IS ONE OF THE SYMPTOMS OF NORMALITY OF POLISH POLITICAL LIFE.

    //END ACTUALITY //

    THE VOTE IS A CLIFF-HANGER. PRE-ELECTION POLLING INDICATES THE MAJOR PARTIES ARE VIRTUALLY TIED, WHICH MAKES COALITION NEGOTIATIONS AFTER THE VOTE ALL THE MORE CRITICAL.

    // REST OPTIONAL FOR LONG VERSION //

    THE RULING DEMOCRATIC LEFT ALLIANCE HAS SHARED POWER WITH ITS JUNIOR COALITION PARTNER, THE PEASANT PARTY. BUT THE PEASANTS HAVE BEEN A DIFFICULT PARTNER AND HAVE DECLINED IN POPULARITY. THE PARTY RUNNING THIRD IN PRE-ELECTION POLLING, THE FREEDOM UNION, MAY BE A MORE LIKELY PARTNER, WHETHER THE EX-C0MMUNISTS STAY IN POWER OR ARE REPLACED BY SOLIDARITY. BOTH SAY THEY WANT TO CONTINUE FREE MARKET REFORMS, AND BRING POLAND INTO NATO AND THE EUROPEAN UNION.

    VOTERS REJECTED THE SOLIDARITY-LED GOVERNMENT OF THE EARLY 1990'S IN PART BECAUSE OF THE PAIN OF ITS FAST-PACED REFORMS. THE EX-COMMUNISTS WHO HAVE LED THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE PAST FOUR YEARS HAVE BENEFITED FROM THOSE EARLY SHOCKS. WITH A FIVE PERCENT GROWTH IN WAGES AFTER INFLATION, POLAND IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY PROSPEROUS, AND INFLATION IS DECLINING, THOUGH ECONOMIC GROWTH HAS SLIPPED SLIGHTLY.

    A WALL STREET REPORT BY MOODY'S INVESTMENT SERVICE RECENTLY SAID A WIN BY SOLIDARITY COULD HARM CHANCES FOR REFORM. BUT IN THIS WEEK'S AUCTION OF POLISH TREASURY BONDS, FOREIGN INVESTORS WERE BIG BUYERS. AND WITH THIS ELECTION TOO CLOSE TO CALL, THAT'S A SIGNAL THAT THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL COMMUNITY, AT LEAST, THINKS POLAND'S REFORMS WILL STAY ON TRACK NO MATTER WHO WINS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/DW/KL
    20-Sep-97 11:37 AM EDT (1537 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] POLAND ELECTIONS PARTIES (S ONLY) BY ART CHIMES (WARSAW)

    DATE=9/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-220168
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ONE DAY BEFORE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN POLAND, SURVEYS INDICATE THE ELECTION IS TOO CLOSE TO CALL. V-O-A CENTRAL EUROPE CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES IS IN WARSAW AND HE REPORTS THE BALLOT IS CLUTTERED WITH LOTS OF PARTIES -- MOST OF WHICH WILL HAVE LITTLE IMPACT ON THE RESULTS.

    TEXT: THERE ARE SMALL PARTIES REPRESENTING ISOLATIONISTS, PENSIONERS AND THE DISABLED, AND NONE OF THEM STAND MUCH OF A CHANCE.

    A PARTY MUST WIN FIVE PERCENT OF THE VOTE TO ACTUALLY GET INTO PARLIAMENT, AND BY MOST RECKONING THAT MEANS AT MOST FIVE OR SIX PARTIES WILL MAKE THE CUT: THE RULING DEMOCRATIC LEFT ALLIANCE AND THEIR MAIN SOLIDARITY RIVALS, OF COURSE. PLUS THE PEASANT PARTY, WHICH HAS BEEN THE JUNIOR COALITION PARTNER, THE FREEDOM UNION WITH ITS INTELLECTUAL BASE, AND MAYBE ONE OR TWO OTHERS.

    WARSAW POLITICAL CONSULTANT KAROL SZYNDZIELORZ (PRON SHIN-D'YEL-OSH) POINTS OUT THE PROBLEM:

    // SZYNDZIELORZ ACTUALITY //

    ACTUALLY WITH THE GREAT NUMBER OF PARTIES COMPETING FOR THE VOTE, YOU WILL END UP WITH A SITUATION WHERE ONLY 3-4 PARTIES COUNT.

    // END ACTUALITY //

    FOUR YEARS AGO IN POLAND'S LAST PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION, SOME ONE-THIRD OF THE VOTES WERE FOR SMALLER PARTIES THAT NEVER MADE IT INTO PARLIAMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/DW/KL
    20-Sep-97 9:52 AM EDT (1352 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] SERBIAN ELECTION BOYCOTT (S & L) BY PAM TAYLOR (BELGRADE)

    DATE=9/20/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-220183
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STUDENTS AND OPPOSITION POLITICIANS IN THE SERBIAN CAPITAL BELGRADE DEFIED A BAN AGAINST ELECTION RALLIES ON THE EVE OF SUNDAY'S PRESIDENTIAL VOTE. THEY CALLED ON THEIR SUPPORTERS TO BOYCOTT WHAT THEY CALLED AN ELECTION FARCE. VOA'S PAM TAYLOR REPORTS FROM BELGRADE.

    TEXT: /// RALLY ACT, FADE UNDER /// THE WHISTLES, DRUMS AND CHEERS WERE REMINISCENT OF THE MORE THAN THREE MONTHS OF STREET MARCHES WHICH FAILED TO TOPPLE THE GOVERNMENT OF SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC EARLIER THIS YEAR.

    THIS TIME ZORAN DJINDJIC, WHO WAS LEGALLY INSTALLED AS MAYOR OF BELGRADE FOLLOWING THE MASSIVE ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS, WAS THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER.

    //INSERT RALLY ACT//

    MR. DJINDJIC AND STUDENT LEADERS URGED THEIR SUPPORTERS TO PERSUADE THEIR MOTHERS, FATHERS, AND GRANDPARENTS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE TO BOYCOTT SUNDAY'S ELECTIONS WHICH ARE WIDELY EXPECTED TO CONFIRM THE CANDIDATE HANDPICKED BY PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC.

    MR. MILOSEVIC, WHO CANNOT CONSTITUTIONALLY SERVE ANOTHER TERM AS PRESIDENT OF SERBIA, GOT HIMSELF ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA WHICH CONSISTS OF SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO.

    IT IS TRADITIONALLY A CEREMONIAL POST, BUT MR. MILOSEVIC HAS PLANS TO EXPAND THE POWERS OF THE FEDERAL PRESIDENCY WHILE NAMING FORMER FEDERATION PRESIDENT ZORAN LILIC AS HIS PARTIES CHOICE FOR PRESIDENT OF SERBIA.

    LAST MONTH THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE, THE O-S-C-E, SAID NONE OF ITS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS HAVE BEEN CONSISTENTLY PURSUED. CONSEQUENTLY, IT ANNOUNCED THAT SPECIAL ENVOY FELIPE GONZALES IS RETURNING TO OVERSEE SERBIA'S ELECTION RESULTS PERSONALLY.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    THE FORMER SPANISH PREMIER NEGOTIATED THE AGREEMENT WHICH ENDED THE PROTEST MARCHES BY GETTING PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC TO AGREE TO HONOR LAST NOVEMBER'S OPPOSITION ELECTION VICTORIES. UNDER THE AGREEMENT MR. MILOSEVIC ALSO PLEDGED OPPOSITION CANDIDATES WOULD HAVE EQUAL AND BALANCED ACCESS TO THE STATE MEDIA AND THAT A NEW ELECTION LAW AND A FREE AND INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY WOULD BE FORMED.

    OPPOSITION LEADERS SAY NONE OF THESE RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE BEEN ADEQUATELY IMPLEMENTED. BUT THE OPPOSITION COALITION KNOWN AS TOGETHER IS TOGETHER NO LONGER. ONLY ONE OF ITS LEADERS, VUK DRASKOVIC OF THE SERBIAN RENEWAL PARTY, IS ON SUNDAY'S BALLOT.

    THE CANDIDATE LIST THEREFORE CONSISTS OF MR. MILOSEVIC'S NOMINEE, ZORAN LILIC, MR. DRASKOVIC, AND RADICAL PARTY LEADER VOJISLAV SESELJ, KNOWN FOR HIS BRUTAL ETHNIC CLEANSING POLICIES IN SERBIA'S WAR AGAINST CROATIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AC/KL
    20-Sep-97 5:45 PM EDT (2145 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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