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Voice of America, 98-07-23

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] GERMAN ELECTIONS (L-ONLY) BY SUZANNE KELLY (KUEHLINGSBORN)
  • [02] FRENCH DEFENSE DEAL (L-ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [03] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [05] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] IS KOSOVO HEADING TOWARD ALL-OUT WAR? BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] GERMAN ELECTIONS (L-ONLY) BY SUZANNE KELLY (KUEHLINGSBORN)

    DATE=7/23/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-235896
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // RE-RUNNING W/CQ CR #. NO CHANGES //

    INTRO: WITH JUST TEN WEEKS TO GO BEFORE NATIONAL ELECTIONS IN GERMANY, CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL HAS TAKEN THE UNUSUAL STEP OF INTERRUPTING HIS SUMMER HOLIDAY TO VISIT VACATIONING VOTERS ON THE SHORES OF NORTH GERMANY'S BALTIC SEA. SUZANNE KELLY VISITED THE REGION AND TALKED WITH SOME DOUBTFUL VOTERS.

    TEXT: IN THE SMALL EASTERN GERMAN RESORT TOWN OF KUEHLINGSBORN, SUNBATHERS SKIP THEIR AFTERNOON SIESTAS TO MAKE TIME FOR A SURPRISE GUEST ON THEIR SUMMER HOLIDAY. GERMAN CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL IS INTERRUPTING HIS OWN VACATION IN THE AUSTRIAN ALPS TO VISIT THREE SMALL RESORT TOWNS IN NORTHERN GERMANY. VACATIONERS ARE SURPRISED TO SEE HIM HERE. HANS STEFFAN SAYS THAT MR. KOHL IS THE LAST PERSON HE AND HIS WIFE EXPECTED TO SEE AT THE BEACH.

    ///STEFFAN ACT///

    WE ARE VERY SURPRISED THAT THE CHANCELLOR IS HERE BECAUSE THEY (THE TOWN) HAVE ONLY 75-HUNDRED INHABITANTS HERE AND WE ARE A LITTLE BIT ASTONISHED BY THIS.

    ///END ACT///

    OTHERS IN THE CROWD OF 15-HUNDRED WHO HAVE COME TO HEAR THE CHANCELLOR'S SPEECH FEEL THE SAME WAY. KARIN SCHMIDT SAYS SHE UNDERSTANDS WHY MR. KOHL IS HERE.

    ///SCHMIDT ACT///

    A LITTLE TOWN, BUT HERE ARE PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER GERMANY AND HE HAS TO SHOW HIS FACE.

    ///END ACT///

    THE CHANCELLOR CAN'T AFFORD TO SKIP THIS WORKING HOLIDAY. HIS POPULARITY HERE IN THE FORMER EAST GERMANY IS AT AN ALL-TIME LOW. ONE IN FIVE EASTERN GERMANS IS OUT OF WORK, AND JUST ONE IN FOUR SAYS HE WILL VOTE FOR MR. KOHL.

    ONE WORKER WHO CAME TO HEAR KOHL'S SPEECH IS TRAVELLING FROM CITY TO CITY LOOKING FOR TEMPORARY JOBS. HE IS HESITANT TO GIVE HIS NAME, BUT NOT HIS OPINION.

    ///WORKER ACT///

    I'M LIVING WITHOUT A PLACE AND I DON'T THINK I WILL VOTE FOR ANYBODY.

    ///END ACT///

    HELMUT KOHL WILL CONTINUE TO TRY TO WIN VOTES FROM THE UNDECIDED PEOPLE LIKE THIS. BUT HE'LL NEED TO WIN BACK HIS FORMER SUPPORTERS AS WELL. THE CHANCELLOR, OF THE RULING CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION PARTY, IS TRAILING OPPOSITION SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANDIDATE GERHARD SCHRODER IN THE POLLS BY ABOUT FIVE PERCENT. GERMANY'S GENERAL ELECTIONS ARE ON SEPTEMBER 27TH. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SK/PCF
    23-Jul-98 7:23 AM EDT (1123 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] FRENCH DEFENSE DEAL (L-ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=7/23/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-235911
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AFTER WEEKS OF UNDISCLOSED NEGOTIATIONS, FRANCE HAS CREATED THE BIGGEST DEFENSE COMPANY IN EUROPE, BRINGING TOGETHER THE PRIVATELY-OWNED "MATRA" MISSILE COMPANY AND THE AIRCRAFT-MAKER "AEROSPATIALE." JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS.

    TEXT: SINCE DECEMBER, FRANCE'S SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN TRYING TO BRING TOGETHER FRANCE'S HIGH-TECHNOLOGY ARMS-MAKERS.

    THE MOVE IS SEEN AS ESSENTIAL, IF FRANCE IS TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE AND BE A FULL PARTNER IN EUROPEAN EFFORTS TO COUNTER THE DOMINATION OF THE UNITED STATES (IN THE ARMS MARKET). BUT, AMID ALL THE TALK OF POSSIBLE NEW ALLIANCES, THE STRUCTURE THAT EMERGED LATE WEDNESDAY IS A TOTAL SURPRISE. THE PRIVATELY-OWNED MATRA AND THE STATE-OWNED AEROSPATIALE SAID THEY PLAN TO MERGE ALL THEIR AEROSPACE ACTIVITIES.

    MATRA IS ONE OF EUROPE'S MAIN MISSILE MAKERS, IN CONJUNCTION WITH BRITAIN'S AEROSPACE. AEROSPATIALE WAS THE FRENCH PARTNER MAKING THE FRANCO-BRITISH SUPERSONIC "CONCORDE" AIRLINER, AND IT IS ONE OF THE MAIN PARTNERS IN THE EUROPEAN "AIRBUS" CONSORTIUM.

    WHAT MAKES THE FRENCH DEAL SPECIAL IS THAT IT INVOLVES THE PRIVATIZATION OF AEROSPATIALE -- ALTHOUGH THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT SAYS IT WILL KEEP A CONTROLLING SHARE. JEAN-LUC LAGARDERE, THE PRESIDENT OF MATRA, WILL BE THE OTHER MAIN SHAREHOLDER WITH SOME 30 PERCENT IN THE NEW COMPANY.

    MR. LAGARDERE IS ONE OF FRANCE'S MOST POWERFUL BUSINESSMAN. APART FROM MATRA, HE IS ALSO THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE HACHETTE PUBLISHING AND MEDIA GROUP.

    //REST OPT//

    ACCORDING TO FINANCIAL ANALYSTS, THE NEW COMPANY WILL BE THE FOURTH LARGEST DEFENSE COMPANY IN THE WORLD, COMING AFTER THE AMERICAN GIANTS, BOEING, LOCKHEED-MARTIN AND RAYTHEON-HUGHES, AND JUST AHEAD OF BRITISH AEROSPACE.

    AEROSPATIALE, IN A PRECURSOR TO ITS AGREEMENT WITH MATRA, WAS ALREADY IN THE PROCESS OF MERGING WITH FRANCE'S DASSAULT AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURER, WHICH MAKES THE MIRAGE AND RAFALE COMBAT JETS AND FALCON EXECUTIVE PLANES.

    FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN TOLD A PARIS RADIO STATION THAT THE MERGER OF MATRA AND AEROSPATIALE HAD BEEN ENCOURAGED BY THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT WITH THE PURPOSE OF STRENGTHENING THE EUROPEAN ARMS INDUSTRY.

    MR. STRAUSS-KAHN SAID THE MOVE IS A DIRECT RESULT OF AN AGREEMENT LAST DECEMBER BETWEEN BRITAIN, FRANCE AND GERMANY TO STREAMLINE EUROPE'S DEFENSE INDUSTRY. NOW, THE MINISTER SAID, THE NEW FRENCH COMPANY WILL BE ABLE TO ENVISION NEW, EUROPE-WIDE, ALLIANCES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/PCF/JO
    23-Jul-98 11:08 AM EDT (1508 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=7/23/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-235927
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: EUROPE'S BIG STOCK MARKETS ENDED TRADING THURSDAY ON A MIXED NOTE. MORE FROM VOA'S PAUL FRANCUCH IN LONDON.

    TEXT: LOWER PRICES ON WALL STREET WEDNESDAY DAMPENED INVESTOR ENTHUSIASM WHEN MARKETS OPENED IN EUROPE THURSDAY.

    A SHARP DECLINE IN SHARE PRICES FOR BRITISH-BASED CHEMICALS GIANT "I-C-I" DEPRESSED SOME INVESTORS EVEN MORE. I-C-I EXPECTS PROFITS TO FALL IN THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR DUE TO THE ECONOMIC SLOWDOWN IN ASIA AND CONTINUED STRENGTH OF THE BRITISH POUND. IN PARIS, HOWEVER, ENTHUSIASM OVER A BIG MERGER AMONG DEFENSE CONTRACTORS HELPED BOOST PRICES THERE. LONDON'S "FINANCIAL TIMES" 100 INDEX CLOSED DOWN 13-AND-A-HALF POINTS THURSDAY. THE FRANKFURT "DAX" ENDED TRADING DOWN JUST OVER 37 POINTS. BUT THE PARIS "CAC 40" INDEX OF FRENCH STOCKS GAINED JUST UNDER 16 POINTS AT THE END OF TRADING. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/PLM
    23-Jul-98 2:25 PM EDT (1825 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=7/23/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-235940
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN SHARPLY TODAY (THURSDAY), REFLECTING WALL STREET'S CONCERN ABOUT CORPORATE EARNINGS. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 89 HUNDRED 32, DOWN 195 POINTS, MORE THAN TWO PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 11 HUNDRED 39, DOWN 24 POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY TRADERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT SOME WEAK CORPORATE EARNINGS REPORTS AND THE COMMENTS ON THE ASIAN FINANCIAL CRISIS BY ALAN GREENSPAN, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE U-S CENTRAL BANK.

    ///BEGIN OPT///

    BILL MEEHAN OF THE CANTOR FITZGERALD INVESTMENT FIRM THINKS A BIT OF REALITY IS STARTING TO SINK IN ON WALL STREET.

    ///MEEHAN ACT///

    ///OPT///

    I DO NOT KNOW WHY PEOPLE THINK THINGS ARE GETTING BETTER. MR. GREENSPAN MADE IT CLEAR THAT ASIA IS NOT GETTING BETTER IN THE NEAR FUTURE. THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY IS SLOWING. THIS MARKET IS IN SOME TROUBLE.

    ///END ACT///

    END OPT///

    ONE OF THE BIG EARNINGS DISAPPOINTMENTS INVOLVES THE BOEING AIRCRAFT CORPORATION WHICH REPORTED A 46 PERCENT PROFIT DROP IN THE SECOND QUARTER.

    /// REST OPT FOR LONG ///

    THE DOW CHEMICAL COMPANY SAID ITS EARNINGS FELL 26 PERCENT, LARGELY BECAUSE OF THE STRONG U-S DOLLAR AND THE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS IN ASIA.

    THE EIGHT-WEEK OLD STRIKES AT GENERAL MOTORS ARE STARTING TO HURT THE COMPANY'S SUPPLIERS. ONE OF THEM -- THE U-S-X CORPORATION -- SAYS EARNINGS FOR ITS STEEL OPERATIONS FELL TWO PERCENT.

    THE UNION PACIFIC CORPORATION REPORTED ITS THIRD STRAIGHT QUARTER OF HEAVY LOSSES. THE COMPANY IS STILL SUFFERING FROM ITS INABILITY TO PROPERLY INTEGRATE THE OPERATIONS OF THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC RAILROAD. UNION PACIFIC ACQUIRED SOUTHERN PACIFIC IN 1996.

    BUT NOT ALL THE EARNINGS REPORTS WERE BAD. THE SEARS ROEBUCK DEPARTMENT STORE CHAIN EARNED 336 MILLION DOLLARS IN THE SECOND QUARTER, WELL ABOVE WALL STREET ESTIMATES. AND THE COLGATE-PALMOLIVE PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS COMPANY SAYS ITS EARNINGS JUMPED BY 16 PERCENT, PUSHING THE VALUE OF COLGATE STOCK TO A 52-WEEK HIGH.

    THE AMOCO OIL COMPANY'S CANADIAN SUBSIDIARY SAYS IT HAS DEVELOPED THE SECOND LARGEST PRODUCING NATURAL GAS WELL IN CANADA. THE WELL IS LOCATED IN THE BLACKSTONE AREA OF WEST-CENTRAL ALBERTA PROVINCE.

    THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAS APPROVED THE PENDING MERGER OF GERMANY'S DAIMLER-BENZ AND CHRYSLER CORPORATION OF THE UNITED STATES. THE COMMISSION SAYS THERE IS NO DANGER THAT THE COMBINED COMPANY WILL DOMINATE THE EUROPEAN AUTO MARKET.

    THE CHICAGO BOARD OPTIONS EXCHANGE IS PLANNING TO MERGE WITH THE PACIFIC EXCHANGE, BASED IN SAN FRANCISCO. THE COMBINED EXCHANGE WILL HANDLE ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF THE U-S OPTIONS MARKET.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    23-Jul-98 5:26 PM EDT (2126 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=07/23/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10824
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ////

    EDS: PERISHABLE MATERIAL, DATED AFTER 10 P-M E - D - T ! !

    ////

    INTRO: U-S PAPERS ARE MOURNING THE DEATH OF THIS NATION'S FIRST MAN IN SPACE, ASTRONAUT ALAN SHEPARD, WHO DIED TUESDAY AT A CALIFORNIA HOSPITAL. THE PROMISE OF DEMOCRACY AND FREE ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA IS ALSO A SUBJECT OF COMMENT, AS IS THE PLAN TO AID RUSSIA'S AILING ECONOMY.

    OTHER TOPICS IN TODAY'S EDITORIALS INCLUDE THE JAPANESE ELECTION AND ITS EFFECT THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC PLIGHT; AND THE PENDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE PAN AM FLIGHT 103 BOMBING. NOW, HERE IS _______________________ WITH SOME QUOTES AND A CLOSER LOOK IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: ALAN SHEPARD, THE FIRST MAN TO FLY IN SPACE AND LATER, THE FIRST MAN TO HIT A GOLF BALL ON THE MOON, DIED AT THE AGE OF 74 IN A CALIFORNIA HOSPITAL, REPORTEDLY FROM LEUKEMIA. ON THE PACIFIC RIM, "THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND REMINISCES:

    VOICE: IT'S HARD TO OVERSTATE THE IMPORTANCE OF [ASTRONAUT] SHEPARD'S FIRST 'FIRST.' ONE MAY 5TH, 1961, STRAPPED INTO THE FREEDOM SEVEN MERCURY SPACECRAFT, HE BECAME THE FIRST AMERICAN TO FLY IN SPACE. [MR.] SHEPARD CALLED HIS 15-MINUTE RIDE 'JUST THE FIRST BABY STEP ..... AND SO IT WAS. BUT IT WAS ALSO MUCH MORE THAN THAT. ..... HAVING WATCHED THE SOVIET UNION PUT A MAN IN SPACE 23 DAYS EARLIER, AMERICANS TOOK HEART FROM SHEPARD'S SHOT INTO SPACE .........

    TEXT: ACROSS THE CONTINENT, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" IN THE STATE OF MAINE REMEMBERS HIS ACHIEVEMENTS THIS WAY, HEADLINING ITS COMMENT: "[MR.] SHEPARD'S COURAGE AND FAITH INSPIRED US TO REACH HIGHER."

    TEXT: AS HE SAT IN HIS CRAMPED MERCURY CAPSULE IN 1961, ALAN SHEPARD HAD EVERY REASON TO BELIEVE HE WOULDN'T SURVIVE THE DAY. SITTING ATOP A ROCKET FULL OF EXPLOSIVE FUEL, ON HIS WAY INTO SUBORBITAL SPACE, [ASTRONAUT] SHEPARD COULD ONLY HAVE FAITH - - FAITH IN NASA ENGINEERS, FAITH IN HIS FELLOW MERCURY ASTRONAUTS AND FAITH IN HIMSELF. HE HAD THAT FAITH, AND PLENTY OF COURAGE, TOO, AND HE TOOK THE NATION TO A NEW FRONTIER. /// OPT /// HE HELPED US GO FARTHER A DECADE LATER, BECOMING ONE OF ONLY 12 PEOPLE TO WALK ON THE MOON. ..... HE INSPIRED US TO REACH EVER HIGHER WITH HIS FAITH AND COURAGE. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: THE RENEWED PROMISE OF FREE ELECTIONS AND A RETURN TO DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA CONTINUES TO DRAW ATTENTION, AFTER MONDAY'S SPEECH BY THAT WEST AFRICAN NATION'S NEW MILITARY LEADER, ABDULSALAM ABUBAKAR. "THE BOSTON GLOBE" WONDERS WHETHER IT IS "A REAL OPENING IN NIGERIA?"

    VOICE: THE GENERAL WHO GAINED POWER IN NIGERIA LAST MONTH PROMISED HIS COUNTRY THAT HE WOULD RESTORE DEMOCRACY, BUT NIGERIANS HAVE HEARD THIS LINE BEFORE. THE BEST HOPE FOR THE COUNTRY IS THAT PRESSURE FROM OUTSIDE INTERESTS WILL PRY THE GENERALS FROM POWER AND KEEP THEM FROM COMING BACK. GENERAL ABDULSALAM ABUBAKAR HAS FREED POLITICAL PRISONERS HELD BY HIS PREDECESSOR, THE LATE SANI ABACHA, AND DISBANDED THE POLITICAL PARTIES THAT [MR.] ABACHA CREATED AS A FRONT FOR CONTINUED MILITARY RULE. ..... [HOWEVER] THE ARMED FORCES HAVE A STRONG INSTITUTIONAL INTEREST IN RETAINING THEIR GRIP. MOST OFFICERS COME FROM THE NORTH, AND RETENTION OF POWER GIVES THEM CONTROL OF THE PROCEEDS FROM NIGERIA'S OIL DEPOSITS ALONG THE ATLANTIC COAST IN THE SOUTH. ...... THE WORLD'S DEMOCRACIES SHOULD FIRST MAKE SURE THAT [GENERAL] ABUBAKAR REALLY DOES HOLD HONEST ELECTIONS IN MAY. ONCE CIVILIANS ARE IN POWER, THEY SHOULD BE SUPPORTED IF THEY DECIDE TO REWRITE THE CONSTITUTION TO DECENTRALIZE POWER.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: IN MAINE, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" IS ALSO CAUTIOUS, BUT SAYS JUST BECAUSE OTHER GENERALS HAVE LIED TO THE NIGERIAN PEOPLE IN THE PAST ABOUT DEMOCRATIC REFORMS IS NOT A REASON TO TOTALLY DOUBT GENERAL ABUBAKAR.

    VOICE: THE GENERAL SAID ALL THE RIGHT THINGS ... IN HIS ADDRESS TO THE NATION THIS WEEK, AND HE SHOULD NOT BE WRITTEN OFF TOTALLY JUST YET. TRUE, HE DID NOT SET A DATE FOR ELECTIONS, AS HIS CRITICS CHARGE, BUT HE DID SAY THEY WOULD BE IN THE FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 1999. HE ALSO SET MAY 29 FOR THE HANDOVER OF POWER TO A CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT. IT WILL NOT BE EASY TO GET AROUND THAT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. .... NIGERIANS JUST MAY HAVE THEIR FREEDOM NEXT MAY. THE UNITED STATES AND THE REST OF THE FREE WORLD SHOULD INSIST THEY NOT BE BETRAYED AGAIN.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: SENDING MORE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND MONEY TO RUSSIA IS CALLED A "STOPGAP MEASURE" IN TODAY'S "BOSTON GLOBE," WHICH SUGGESTS:

    VOICE: ..... CONTEMPORARY RUSSIA IS NOT A NORMAL COUNTRY. AND THAT IS WHY THE I-M-F'S PENDING LOAN OF 22-POINT-FIVE-BILLION DOLLARS CAN ONLY BE REGARDED AS A RISKY, ALBEIT NECESSARY, MEASURE TO PROP UP THE RUSSIAN ECONOMY A WHILE LONGER AND AVOID PANIC IN INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL MARKETS. /// OPT /// IT IS POSSIBLE, OF COURSE, THAT ... THE YOUNG PRIME MINISTER SERGEI KIRIYENKO WILL PUT TO GOOD USE THE TIME BOUGHT BY THE I-M-F'S LOANS /// END OPT /// ..... NONETHELESS, RUSSIA WILL NOT BE A GOOD PLACE TO INVEST - - OR TO BE A MINER, A SCIENTIST, OR A PENSIONER - - UNTIL THE STATE CREATES A WORKABLE SYSTEM FOR COLLECTING TAXES, STARTS PAYING WAGES AND PENSIONS, AND CREATES A GENUINE RULE OF LAW /// OPT /// THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO BOTH COMMERCIAL CONTRACTS AND CRIMINAL WRONGDOING. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: AND SPEAKING OF INTERNATIONAL FINANCE, "THE WASHINGTON TIMES" HAS SOME SHARP CRITICISM OF THE LENDING AGENCY'S COLLEAGUE, THE WORLD BANK, AS IT INVESTIGATES ALLEGATIONS OF CORRUPTION, INCLUDING EMBEZZLEMENT.

    VOICE: ... THE WORLD BANK HAS SPENT A GENERATION UTTERLY UNINTERESTED IN THE CORRUPTION THAT PLUNDERED MANY OF ITS BILLION-DOLLAR LOANS. IN AN EYE-OPENING EXPOSE OF THE BANK'S DECADES-LONG RELATIONSHIP WITH INDONESIA AND THE SUHARTO CLAN, DURING WHICH TIME THE WORLD BANK LENT INDONESIA 25-BILLION DOLLARS, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL RECENTLY REPORTED HOW THE INDONESIAN GOVERNMENT REPEATEDLY BULLIED THE WORLD BANK INTO HYPING [PROMOTING] THE INDONESIAN ECONOMY AND IGNORING ITS PERVASIVE CORRUPTION. /// OPT /// INDONESIA USED THE ROSE-COLORED REPORTS FROM THE BANK TO STIFLE CRITICISM AND TO OBTAIN SOLID CREDIT RATINGS, WHICH ATTRACTED BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF FOREIGN INVESTMENT, MUCH OF WHICH FLED THE MOMENT IT BECAME CLEAR THAT INDONESIA'S SOUND FUNDAMENTALS WERE ANYTHING BUT. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: STILL WITH ASIAN TOPICS, "THE WASHINGTON POST," COMMENTING ON JAPAN'S ELECTION TO REPLACE PRIME MINISTER RYUTARO HASHIMOTO, SAYS THE COUNTRY'S LEADERS ARE RAPIDLY MOVING AWAY FROM JAPAN'S FORMERLY, SECRETIVE POLITICS.

    VOICE: TRADITIONALLY, ALL THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN SETTLED BEHIND CLOSED DOORS IN, YES, SMOKE-FILLED ROOMS. BUT THE THREE CANDIDATES, DESPITE THEIR TINY ELECTORATE [ONLY ABOUT 400 PEOPLE - - L-D-P DIET MEMBERS AND REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES - - WILL VOTE] ... HAVE BEEN DEBATING ON TELEVISION, MEETING WITH FOREIGN REPORTERS AND OTHERWISE CONDUCTING UNUSUALLY PUBLIC CAMPAIGNS. THE FEAR OF LOSING POWER, IN LOWER HOUSE ELECTIONS TO TAKE PLACE SOMETIME WITHIN THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS, HAS FORCED THE L-D-P AT LEAST TO THINK ABOUT ITS POPULAR APPEAL, OR LACK THEREOF. .... /// OPT /// THE MORE IMPORTANT QUESTION MAY BE WHETHER THE L-D-P AS A PARTY CAN TURN ITS RECENT DEFEAT INTO AN OPPORTUNITY TO JETTISON ITS PAST FAILED POLICIES AND PROMOTE THE CHANGES THAT ALMOST EVERYONE ACKNOWLEDGES ARE NEEDED: PERMANENT TAX CUTS, REAL BANK REFORM, A MORE OPEN ECONOMY. ..... IF THE LATEST VOWS [FOR REFORM] ... END UP ON THE SAME TOWERING PILE OF DISCARDED PLEDGES, WE'LL KNOW THAT THIS MONTH'S ELECTORAL DEFEAT WASN'T ENOUGH TO SHOCK THE SYSTEM OUT OF ITS HIDEBOUND WAYS. /// END OPT

    ///

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, ON THE IMMINENT TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOMBING OF PAN AMERICAN AIRWAYS FLIGHT 103 OVER LOCKERBIE, SCOTLAND, WHICH KILLED 270 PEOPLE IN ALL, AND FOR WHICH LIBYAN INTELLIGENCE AGENTS ARE BLAMED, TODAY'S "NEW YORK TIMES" NOTES:

    VOICE: EARLY ON, AMERICAN INVESTIGATORS CONCLUDED THAT TWO LIBYAN INTELLIGENCE AGENTS .... PLANTED THE BOMB. BUT DESPITE THE PRESSURE OF INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC SANCTIONS, LIBYA HAS REFUSED TO TURN OVER THE SUSPECTS TO EITHER BRITAIN OR THE UNITED STATES, PREVENTING THE CASE FROM COMING TO TRIAL. NOW PRESIDENT CLINTON AND PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR OF BRITAIN HAVE SENSIBLY DECIDED TO EXPLORE THE IDEA OF HOLDING THE TRIAL IN THE NETHERLANDS, UNDER SCOTTISH LAW AND PRESIDED OVER BY SCOTTISH JUDGES. ..... JUSTICE CAN BE SERVED BY HOLDING A SCOTTISH TRIAL IN THE NETHERLANDS, IF THE DETAILS OF DOING SO CAN BE ACCEPTABLY WORKED OUT. THE AIRLINER BOMBING WAS A TERRIBLE CRIME. JUSTICE, LONG DELAYED, SHOULD HAVE ITS DAY.

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF COMMENT FROM THE EDITORIAL COLUMNS OF TODAY'S U-S NEWSPAPERS.
    NEB/ANG/KL
    23-Jul-98 11:40 AM EDT (1540 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] IS KOSOVO HEADING TOWARD ALL-OUT WAR? BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=07/23/98
    TYPE=WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-10826
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: GLANCING AT DAILY PAPERS FORM AROUND THE WORLD THIS WEEK, THE PESSIMISM IS SO THICK YOU COULD ALMOST BUILD A HOUSE WITH IT WHEN THE SUBJECT OF YUGOSLAVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE IS MENTIONED. IT APPEARS A MAJORITY OF THE WORLD'S BIG DAILIES FEEL THE SITUATION IS NOW ON THE BRINK OF ALL-OUT WAR BETWEEN THE ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO AND THE YUGOSLAV SERBIAN-CONTROLLED PARA MILITARY POLICE AND ARMY .

    GIVING US SOME SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF THIS RATHER GRIM PICTURE IS _________________ WHO JOINS US NOW WITH A SAMPLING IN THIS WEEK'S WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: AS IS SOMETIMES THE CASE, THE MAJOR NEWSPAPER ARE FILLED WITH REASONS WHY THE SITUATION GOT SO BAD, MOSTLY BLAMING THE WEST FOR ONE MISTAKE OR ANOTHER, BUT ... VERY FEW PAPERS HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT TO SUGGEST NOW. SOME DAILIES FEEL THE WEST'S "BIGGEST MISTAKE" WAS NOT SUPPORTING "EARLIER AND MORE FIRMLY ... IBRAHIM RUGOVA ... THE KOSOVAR PRESIDENT."

    OTHER WRITERS BLAME THE WEST'S INDECISION REGARDING THE USE OF FORCE THAT EMBOLDENED THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT TO CONTINUE ITS AGGRESSIVE ACTION AGAINST ALBANIAN SEPARATISTS IN THE PROVINCE, WHICH THEN "RADICALIZED" THE KOSOVO ALBANIANS.

    STILL OTHER PAPERS SUGGEST THE WEST'S IDEA OF PUSHING FOR AUTONOMY -- BUT NOT INDEPENDENCE -- FOR THE RESTIVE PROVINCE WAS A BLUNDER. WITH THAT AS BACKGROUND, WE BEGIN OUR SURVEY IN LONDON, WHERE "THE TIMES" DESPAIRS:

    VOICE: AN INSURGENT ARMY, FAILING DIPLOMACY, NERVOUS SOLDIERS, THE CLENCHED-FIST SALUTES OF ROADSIDE CHILDREN, POUNDING PROPAGANDA, CONTAGIOUS PARANOIA, SECRET POLICE AND A GROWING BODY COUNT: KOSOVO FEELS AT THE BRINK OF THE MADNESS THAT USUALLY PRECEDES WAR. ... WHILE THE WEST BASES ITS ENTIRE NEGOTIATING POSITION ON A COMPROMISE SOLUTION ... THE DRUM ROLL TOWARD WAR HAS ACCELERATED OVER THE PAST THREE MONTHS, MAKING BOTH THE OPTION OF AUTONOMY AND THE CREDIBILITY OF MR. RUGOVA OBSOLETE. THE KLA [KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY] WANTS FULL INDEPENDENCE. THE KOSOVANS WANT FULL INDEPENDENCE.

    TEXT: IN GERMANY, BONN'S "GENERAL-ANZEIGER" IS VERY SPECIFIC IN ITS CRITICISM, NOTING:

    VOICE: THE PIVOTAL MISTAKE WAS TRYING TO RESOLVE THE KOSOVO PROBLEM WITH THE DAYTON AGREEMENT ON BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA. AT THAT TIME ... NOBODY REALLY TOOK NOTE OF THE PROBLEM. SINCE THEN, THE CONFLICT HAS ESCALATED. ... THE SOLUTION CAN BE FOUND ONLY BY TAKING A COMPLETELY NEW REGIONAL APPROACH THAT IS APPROPRIATE FROM A EUROPEAN STANDPOINT. BUT NOBODY IS TRYING THAT. IT IS TIME TO TAKE MORE PAINFUL STEPS TOWARD (YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT) SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC. BUT THIS REQUIRES THE APPROVAL OF THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL, WHICH IS ALSO AT ODDS WITH ITSELF. THUS A CALAMITY IS RUNNING, ["FORMING" OR PERHAPS; "UNDER WAY" WE MIGHT BETTER TRANSLATE FOR ENGLISH, ED] AND NO ONE KNOWS WHERE IT WILL STOP.

    TEXT: AND HOW IS THE CONFLICT VIEWED FROM NEIGHBORING ALBANIA -- WHERE MANY OF THE WEAPONS COME FROM TO EQUIP THE KOSOVO ALBANIAN FIGHTERS AND WHERE THE KOSOVO ALBANIAN REFUGEES FLEE TO WHEN THE FIGHTING NEARS? IN TIRANA, "ALBANIA" SUGGESTS:

    VOICE: ANY ATTEMPT TO FORCE THE KLA OUT OF KOSOVO, ESPECIALLY TO MACEDONIA, WOULD COMPLICATE THE SITUATION IN THE REGION AND RISK EXPORTING THE CONFLICT. WHAT THE WEST REALLY FEARS IS NOT THE DIFFICULTY OF PUTTING NATO TROOPS IN KOSOVO IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE KLA'S MILITARY UNITS, BUT THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF MAKING THREE MILLION ALBANIANS GIVE UP THEIR DEMAND FOR INDEPENDENCE.

    TEXT: TO THE NORTH, IN DENMARK, COPENHAGEN'S "AKTUELT" SEES A FAILURE OF RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY AS PARTLY RESPONSIBLE.

    VOICE: THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE EU [EUROPEAN UNION] AND, IN PARTICULAR, THE UNITED STATES, TO CONFRONT RUSSIA'S PRESIDENT WITH A LIST OF KOSOVO'S CASUALTIES AND REMIND HIM THAT HIS ATTEMPTS AT MEDIATING PEACE HAVE BEEN NOTHING MORE THAN THAT -- ATTEMPTS. WE MUST NOT TURN OUR HEADS AWAY FROM WHAT IS HAPPENING IN KOSOVO. THE SITUATION IN KOSOVO IS IMPORTANT, ONLY BECAUSE OF ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR REGIONAL STABILITY, BUT [ALSO] BECAUSE PEOPLE LIVE THERE.

    TEXT: THE EDITORIAL WRITERS IN BUDAPEST ARE NOT EXACTLY HOPEFUL EITHER, AT LEAST NOT AT "MAGYAR NEMZET" WHICH WRITES:

    VOICE: THE THREAT THAT THE KOSOVO CRISIS IS GOING INTERNATIONAL HAS NEVER BEEN SO REAL: ALBANIA AND YUGOSLAVIA MIGHT END UP FIGHTING ... A WAR. ...THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS SEEKING A SOLUTION IN [THE] FORM OF A COMPROMISE HALF WAY BETWEEN FULL AUTONOMY OR A MEMBER STATE STATUS AND FEELS THAT BELGRADE AND PRISTINA CAN BOTH BE MADE TO ACCEPT IT. BUT THE BLOODY WEEKEND SUPPORTS THE FEAR VERY WELL THAT SAND CAN GET INTO THE WHEELS [ UNDERSTOOD "OF PEACEMAKING"] AND IN THAT CASE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL HAVE TO FACE A MORE DIFFICULT SITUATION THAN EVER BEFORE.

    TEXT: IN THE NETHERLANDS, AMSTERDAM'S "DE VOLKSKRANT" SAYS ONE PROBLEM IS THE TENDENCY OF THE WESTERN ALLIES TO GROUP THE KOSOVO CRISIS WITH THE BOSNIAN WAR.

    VOICE: THE KOSOVO CONFLICT IS AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT ISSUE, ACTUALLY ... ONE THAT CANNOT BE RESOLVED.... THE BOSNIAN WAR OF 1992 AND THE KOSOVO CONFLICT ARE TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT ISSUES.... IT IS THEREFORE NOT EASY TO APPLY THE 'BOSNIAN LESSON' TO THE KOSOVO CRISIS.... THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ... IS IN A DIFFICULT POSITION. THE DILEMMA ...[HOW] TO PREVENT EXPANSION OF THE WAR WITHOUT GETTING STUCK IN A HORNET'S NEST -- IS MORE DIFFICULT THAT CUTTING THE GORDIAN KNOT [FROM GREEK MYTHOLOGY: SOLVING A HARD PROBLEM].

    TEXT: TURNING BRIEFLY TO THE MIDDLE EAST, IN QATAR, "THE GULF TIMES" PUBLISHED IN ENGLISH, FROM DOHA, VIEWS IT THIS WAY.

    VOICE: YESTERDAY [7/19] A KLA SPOKESMAN OUTLINED A DANGEROUS NEW AGENDA ... THAT THE OBJECTIVE WAS NOT SIMPLY TO LIBERATE KOSOVO, BUT TO CREATE AN INDEPENDENT STATE WHICH [WOULD] ALSO [ENCOMPASS] ALBANIAN MAJORITY AREAS IN THE INDEPENDENT STATE OF MACEDONIA AND THE YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO, NEITHER OF WHICH HAVE BEEN TROUBLED BY THE SORT OF REPRESSION THAT SPARKED THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO. LOGICALLY, AN ETHNIC-ALBANIAN 'GREATER KOSOVO' ... WOULD ULTIMATELY BECOME AN INTEGRAL PART OF ALBANIA PROPER. THE RISK OF A DIRECT ALBANIAN INTERVENTION IS GROWING RAPIDLY .....

    TEXT: IN THE SUB CONTINENT, PAKISTAN'S "FRONTIER POST" FROM PESHAWAR, NOTES:

    VOICE: NATO HAS LED DOWN THE KOSOVARS BY FIRST THREATENING .... [MR.] MILOSEVIC WITH DIRE CONSEQUENCES IF HE ATTACKED KOSOVO, AND THEN DOING NOTHING WHEN HE DID! WHEN MUSLIMS ARE THE BENEFICIARIES, NATO'S RESOLVE MELTS LIKE SNOW IN A DESERT.

    TEXT: LASTLY, FROM LATIN AMERICA, THE ARGENTINE DAILY "PERFIL" IN BUENOS AIRES, INJECTS AN INTERESTING NEW NOTE INTO THE DILEMMA:

    VOICE: KOSOVO'S LIBERATION WAR HAS AN ADDITIONAL INGREDIENT FOR CHAOS THESE DAYS: THE REBIRTH OF MAFIA-STYLE GROUPS, WHICH MOVE TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS -- MORE THAN SERBIA'S NATIONAL PRODUCT, SMUGGLING WEAPONS AND TURKISH HEROIN ...TODAY, THE FIGHT FOR CONTROL OF THE SO-CALLED 'BALKAN SOFT-BELLY' INVOLVES IMPORTANT TURKISH, ITALIAN AND ALBANIAN INTERESTS (CONNECTED WITH THE U-S MAFIA) AND SERBIAN MAFIA GROUPS WHICH, FOR THE TIME BEING, CONTROL THE SITUATION.... IF THE WAR IN KOSOVO EXTENDS TO THE REST OF THE AREA, ALBANIA WILL MOST LIKELY PITCH IN TOGETHER WITH TURKEY, [WITH] WHICH [IT] HAS SIGNED AN AID AND MILITARY DEFENSE AGREEMENT ... EUROPE'S UNITY AND FUTURE IS REALLY AT STAKE IN THE BALKAN REGION, SO, IN ORDER TO AVOID THIS, [A REGIONAL WAR] IT WILL HAVE TO REACT BEFORE THE FIRE AFFECTS THE ENTIRE AREA.

    TEXT: ON THAT SOMBER NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF THE WORLD PRESS REGARDING THE DETERIORATING SITUATION IN YUGOSLAVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE.
    NEB/ANG/JO
    23-Jul-98 5:01 PM EDT (2101 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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