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Voice of America, 28 May 1996

Voice of America Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] ALBANIA ELECTION (L UPDATE)_ BY WAYNE COREY (VIENNA)
  • [03] BULGARIA MONEY (L ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [04] CZECH ELECTION (L ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [05] E-U / BRITISH BEEF (L ONLY) BY JOHN FRASER (BRUSSELS)

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

    DATE=05/28/96
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-09596
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NEAL LAVON
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-D-S-T ON TUESDAY MAY 28TH //

    INTRO: A WIDE VARIETY OF TOPICS GREETS U-S NEWSPAPER READERS IN THEIR EDITORIAL COLUMNS AFTER THE NATION'S MEMORIAL DAY HOLIDAY ON MONDAY. SOME OF THE SUBJECTS UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE: THE PEACE TALKS ON NORTHERN IRELAND; BURMA'S CRACKDOWN ON POLITICAL DISSIDENTS; CHILD LABOR AROUND THE WORLD; THE SUPREME COURT DECISION ON HOMOSEXUAL RIGHTS AND CHINA'S APPARENT ILLEGAL SMUGGLING INTO THE UNITED STATES.

    NOW HERE IS A CLOSER LOOK AND A QUOTE OR TWO FROM ___________________ IN TODAY'S U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: TODAY'S NEW YORK TIMES IS CONCERNED ABOUT THE CURRENT STAGE OF THE PEACE PROCESS BETWEEN THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT AND THE IRISH REPUBLICAN ARMY'S POLITICAL WING, SINN FEIN.

    VOICE: "THE NEXT FEW WEEKS ARE CRITICAL TO THE PROSPECTS FOR PEACE IN NORTHERN IRELAND. ELECTIONS THERE THIS WEEK WILL PRODUCE DELEGATES TO ATTEND ALL-PARTY PEACE TALKS THAT ARE SCHEDULED TO COMMENCE ON JUNE 10TH. WITH THE HELP OF SOME GOOD WILL ON ALL SIDES, THE DAYS AHEAD COULD BRING REAL PROGRESS TOWARD ENDING THIS LONG AND TORTURED CONFLICT."

    TEXT: THE WASHINGTON POST, MEANWHILE, IS EYEING THE LATEST CRACKDOWN ON POLITICAL ACTIVISM IN BURMA, NOTING:

    VOICE: "THE THUGGISH MILITARY MEN WHO RULE BURMA HAVE NOW ROUNDED UP MORE THAN 200 DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS WHO WERE PLANNING TO MEET LAST WEEKEND. AGAIN THEY SHOW THEIR REGIME, WHICH GOES BY THE APPROPRIATELY UNAPPETIZING ACRONYM SLORC (STATE LAW AND ORDER RESTORATION COUNCIL), TO BE WORTHY ONLY OF INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPT. [OPT] ..... AUNG SAN SUU KYI, LEADER OF THE NATION'S DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT ..... WON AN OVERWHELMING VICTORY IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN 1990, BUT SLORC REFUSED TO GIVE UP POWER, PUTTING HER UNDER HOUSE ARREST AND JAILING MANY OF HER COLLEAGUES. ..... IT WAS TO CELEBRATE, AS IT WERE, THE SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF THOSE BETRAYED ELECTIONS THAT AUNG SAN SUU KYI CALLED A MEETING. IN FEAR OF THE DEMOCRATS' POPULARITY, SLORC ROUNDED UP MANY OF HER SUPPORTERS, INCLUDING SHOULD-BE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT. ..... AFTER SLORC'S LATEST ABUSES, THE BURDEN IS ON THOSE ADVOCATES OF 'ENGAGEMENT' TO SHOW WHAT THEY HAVE ACHIEVED AND EXPLAIN WHY SANCTIONS SHOULD NOT BE TIGHTENED. AS MUCH AS SOUTH AFRICA UNDER APARTHEID, BURMA DESERVES TO BE A PARIAH UNTIL SLORC HAS GIVEN WAY. " [END OPT]

    TEXT: IN A LEAD EDITORIAL, THE MIAMI HERALD FOCUSES ON THE ABUSE OF CHILDREN IN SWEATSHOPS AROUND THE WORLD, SUGGESTING THAT IF THE ENVIRONMENTAL MOVEMENT COULD GET THE TUNA FISHING AND CANNING COMPANIES TO STOP KILLING DOLPHINS, MAYBE THERE IS A WAY TO HELP CONSUMERS STOP CHILD LABOR.

    VOICE: "TOO BAD THERE'S NOT YET A WAY TO LET CONSUMER KNOW WHETHER PRODUCTS ARE MADE USING 'CHILD-SAFE' METHODS. ACCORDING TO THE WATCHDOG GROUP HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, MUCH OF THE IMPORTED CARPET AND CLOTHING THAT AMERICANS BUY FROM LEADING RETAILERS IS MADE BY CHILDREN TOILING IN WRETCHED SWEATSHOPS UNDER DEPLORABLE CONDITIONS. ..... FORTUNATELY, THERE'S NOW A MOVE IN CONGRESS TO EXERT AMERICAN PRESSURE TO CURB SUCH PRACTICES. .... A BILL KNOWN AS THE WORKING CHILDREN'S RIGHTS ACT ..... [THAT] ..... ATTACHES CHILD-LABOR STRINGS TO AMERICA'S FOREIGN AID. ..... A NUDGE TOWARD A FUTURE THAT COULD BE BRIGHTER IF .... CHILDREN WEREN'T IN SWEATSHOPS, BUT IN SCHOOLS."

    TEXT: DOMESTICALLY, REACTION IS STILL COMING IN TO LAST WEEK'S SUPREME COURT DECISION CONCERNING HOMOSEXUALS. THE COURT STRUCK DOWN AN AMENDMENT TO COLORADO'S CONSTITUTION WHICH WOULD HAVE PROHIBITED COMMUNITIES FROM PASSING ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS THAT APPLIED TO HOMOSEXUALS. TODAY'S ORLANDO [FLORIDA] SENTINEL SAYS OF THE DECISION:

    VOICE: "THE COURT ..... MADE THE RIGHT CALL [DECISION]. ..... THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, APPROVED BY 53 PERCENT OF COLORADO VOTERS, UNFAIRLY REMOVED GAYS FROM ANTI-DISCRIMINATION LAWS PASSED IN SEVERAL COLORADO CITIES AND FROM ANTI-DISCRIMINATION POLICIES IN STATE UNIVERSITIES AND GOVERNMENT. ..... CRITICS OF THE RULING ARE MISTAKEN IN SAYING THAT THE COURT IS TRYING ONCE AGAIN TO LEGISLATE FROM THE BENCH. ..... THE COLORADO CASE WASN'T ABOUT GRANTING SPECIAL RIGHTS TO ONE GROUP OF CITIZENS. IT WAS ABOUT ENSURING RIGHTS FOR ALL."

    TEXT: TURNING ATTENTION OVERSEAS ONCE AGAIN, THE BALTIMORE SUN IS UPSET WITH THE RECENT CONFISCATION OF TWO-THOUSAND AK-47 AUTOMATIC ASSAULT RIFLES IN CALIFORNIA. THE RIFLES WERE APPARENTLY SMUGGLED IN FROM CHINA, SKIRTING A U-S BAN ON SUCH WEAPONS, AND ANALYSTS BELIEVE THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT GAVE THE SHIPMENT ITS BLESSING.

    VOICE: "FEDERAL AGENTS MAKING THE STING [THE LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAP FOR THE ARMS SELLERS] POSED AS ORGANIZED CRIME FIGURES FROM MIAMI AND MADE NO BONES [WERE TOTALLY FRANK] ABOUT WANTING THE WEAPONS FOR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES. ....... TRUE OR FALSE, THE ALLEGATIONS ADD DIFFICULTIES TO PRESIDENT CLINTON'S EFFORT TO EXTEND MOST FAVORED NATION TRADING STATUS TO CHINA FOR 12 MONTHS.

    [OPT]

    ..... MOST-FAVORED-NATION STATUS IS THE BASIS FROM WHICH THE U-S SHOULD CONDUCT ITS TRADE DISPUTES WITH CHINA, BUT BEIJING IS MAKING IT HARDER."

    TEXT: IN THE NEW YORK POST, THERE IS THIS NOTE ABOUT THE RECENTLY DISPLAYED 500-YEAR-OLD MUMMY OF AN INCA TEENAGE GIRL, A RELIGIOUS SACRIFICE, DISCOVERED IN THE ANDES MOUNTAINS LAST YEAR, AND PRESENTED TO THE PUBLIC BY THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY.

    VOICE: "ALTHOUGH HOLLYWOOD AND MUCH OF THE POLITICALLY CORRECT PROFESSORIAT STILL LABOR TO PERSUADE YOUNG PEOPLE THAT, PRIOR TO THE ARRIVAL OF COLUMBUS, THE AMERICAS WERE AN EARTHLY PARADISE RULED BY GENTLE, SOCIALLY SENSITIVE ECOLOGISTS, GRIM REMINDERS OF SOME OF THE MORE SALIENT FEATURES OF NATIVE AMERICAN CULTURE CONTINUE TO IMPEDE THIS ENTERPRISE. ....... IN CONTEMPLATING THE FATE OF THE YOUNG INCA GIRL CLUBBED TO DEATH ON A LONELY MOUNTAINSIDE, WE FIND OURSELVES FEELING GRATEFUL THAT CONTEMPORARY AMERICA BORROWED VIRTUALLY NOTHING FROM THE MORAL SYSTEM THAT OBTAINED IN THIS HEMISPHERE BEFORE THE ARRIVAL OF COLUMBUS."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: ON LONG ISLAND, NEWSDAY, NOTES THE IMPORTANT ISRAELI ELECTION TOMORROW (5/29/96) SUGGESTING:

    VOICE: "NO LESS THAN THE FUTURE OF THE NATION, WHAT IT WILL LOOK LIKE AND HOW IT WILL LIVE WITH ITS NEIGHBORS, IS AT STAKE. ..... THE CITIZENS OF ISRAEL HAVE A FATEFUL DECISION TO MAKE. THOSE OF US WATCHING FROM A DISTANCE CAN ONLY HOPE THAT THE DECISION LOOKS TOTHE LONG-TERM INTERESTS OF A SMALL NATION THAT THE UNITED STAES HASSTRONGLY SUPPORTED."

    TEXT: FINALLY, IN TODAY'S WALL STREET JOURNAL, A TRIBUTE TO FAMED V-O-A JAZZ PRESENTER WILLIS CONOVER WHO DIED RECENTLY.

    VOICE: "A VOICE OF LIBERTY HAS GONE SILENT. WILLIS CONOVER, THE VOICE OF AMERICA DISC JOCKEY [PRESENTER] WHO BROADCAST JAZZ TO 30 MILLION REGULAR LISTENERS IN EASTERN EUROPE AND THE SOVIET UNION DURING THE COLD WAR, DIED A FORTNIGHT AGO. BUT ABOUT THE SAME TIME, THE V-O-A TURNED ON ITS NEWEST RADIO TRANSMITTER, IN KUWAIT. TWELVE TIMES MORE POWERFUL THAN ANY BROADCAST STATION IN THE UNITED STATES, IT WILL PROVE AN INVALUABLE SOURCE OF UNCENSORED INFORMATION FOR THE OPPRESSED PEOPLES OF IRAQ AND IRAN. AND IF THEY'RE LUCKY, THEY'LL ALSO BE TREATED TO A LITTLE BIT OF WHAT MR. CONOVER CALLED 'THE MUSIC OF FREEDOM' AS WELL."

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM SOME OF TODAY'S DAILY PAPERS.
    NEB/ANG/NL
    28-May-96 11:54 AM EDT (1554 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] ALBANIA ELECTION (L UPDATE)_ BY WAYNE COREY (VIENNA)

    DATE=5/28/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-197840
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // EDITORS: NEW INFO IN 2ND, 4TH AND 6TH GRAPHS //

    INTRO: POLICE HAVE BEATEN AND BRIEFLY DETAINED ALBANIAN OPPOSITION POLITICAL LEADERS AND SOME OF THEIR SUPPORTERS WHO WERE TRYING TO ATTEND A BANNED RALLY IN TIRANA. THE OPPOSITION PEOPLE WANTED TO PROTEST THE ALLEGEDLY FRAUDULENT GENERAL ELECTION ON SUNDAY IN WHICH THE RULING DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS CLAIMED VICTORY. V-O-A'S CENTRAL EUROPEAN CORRESPONDENT, WAYNE COREY REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE VIOLENCE OCCURRED WHEN THE OPPOSITION LEADERS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS APPROACHED SKANDERBERG SQUARE IN THE HEART OF TIRANA WHERE THE OPPOSITION RALLY WAS TO BE HELD.

    POLICE WERE OUT IN FORCE TO PREVENT THE RALLY WHICH HAD BEEN BANNED IN ADVANCE. THE POLICE BEAT THE OPPOSITION LEADERS AND THEIR SUPPORTERS, INCLUDING WOMEN AND BRIEFLY DETAINED SOME OF THEM.

    EYEWITNESSES SAY THE POLICE ALSO BEAT A CAMERAMAN FOR ASSOCIATED PRESS TELEVISION AND A PHOTOGRAPHER FOR THE SPANISH NEWSPAPER, EL MUNDO. CAMERAS AND FILM BELONGING TO A NUMBER OF NEWS PHOTOGRAPHERS WERE SEIZED, TOO.

    POLICE LATER SEALED OFF THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF FORMER COMMUNISTS. REPORTERS WERE UNABLE TO GET THROUGH POLICE LINES TO ATTEND A NEWS CONFERENCE THERE.

    THE SOCIALISTS AND OTHER OPPOSITION PARTIES EARLIER SAID THEY WILL NOT ACCEPT THE RESULTS OF THE GENERAL ELECTION ON SUNDAY AND WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN A SECOND ROUND OF VOTING OR IN FUTURE SESSIONS OF PARLIAMENT.

    ALBANIA'S CENTRAL ELECTION COMMISSION INDICATES THAT THE RULING DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS FAR IN THE LEAD AS VOTE-COUNTING CONTINUES. PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA CLAIMED AN OVERWHELMING VICTORY FOR HIS PARTY EVEN BEFORE THE FIRST OFFICIAL RESULTS WERE ANNOUNCED.

    SOME EUROPEAN ELECTION MONITORS IN ALBANIA HAVE JOINED THE POLITICAL OPPOSITION THERE IN ACCUSING THE GOVERNMENT OF RIGGING THE BALLOTING.

    MONITORS FROM THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE CONFIRM THERE WERE SOME IRREGULARITIES AND TECHNICAL PROBLEMS. BUT, THE O-S-C-E HAS NOT YET OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED WHETHER IT BELIEVES THE ALBANIAN ELECTION WAS REASONABLY FREE AND FAIR. (SIGNED)
    NEB/WC/MH/CF
    28-May-96 1:46 PM EDT (1746 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] BULGARIA MONEY (L ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=5/28/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-197822
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BULGARIA HAS REACHED AN AGREEMENT WITH THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND THAT COULD HELP EASE THE COUNTRY'S MOUNTING FINANCIAL CRISIS. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS.

    TEXT: THE ACCORD WAS REACHED MONDAY AFTER NEARLY THREE WEEKS OF NEGOTIATIONS.

    DETAILS WERE NOT ANNOUNCED. BUT THE I-M-F SAYS A NEW LOAN COULD BE APPROVED IN EARLY JULY WITH THE FIRST INSTALLMENT DISBURSED IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER.

    IN ORDER TO QUALIFY FOR THE TIGHTLY CONDITIONED LOAN, THE BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT HAS PROMISED TO CLOSE THE BIGGEST MONEY LOSING STATE ENTERPRISES, CURTAIL LOOSE BANKING PRACTICES, AND SPEED PRIVATIZATION.

    PRIME MINISTER ZHAN VIDENOV APPEALED TO THE PUBLIC TO BACK THE TOUGH AUSTERITY MEASURES HE RECENTLY ANNOUNCED. THESE INCLUDE PLANS TO CLOSE 64 BIG STATE ENTERPRISES AND SEVERAL BANKS. HE SAID HE WOULD NOT ALLOW IMPLEMENTATION OF THE MEASURES TO BE DELAYED.

    DESPITE HAVING ITS REFORM MEASURES APPROVED BY THE I-M-F, THE BULGARIAN CURRENCY, THE LEVA, CONTINUES ITS FALL ON LOCAL MARKETS. THE LEVA IS TRADING AT ABOUT 160 TO THE U-S DOLLAR. THAT IS A NEARLY 50 PERCENT DECLINE IN JUST THE PAST TWO WEEKS. A MONTH AGO, THE LEVA TRADED AT ABOUT 75 TO THE DOLLAR.

    ECONOMISTS SAY THE I-M-F LOAN WILL GIVE BREATHING SPACE TO THE BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT. ONE ECONOMIST SAID THE DEAL IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO AVOID HYPERINFLATION. HE SAID THE GOVERNMENT HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO COMPLY WITH I-M-F CONDITIONS.

    IN ANNOUNCING THE AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE, THE I-M-F SAID THE NEXT 12 MONTHS WILL BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR BULGARIA. IT SAID IF THE GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAM IS VIGOROUSLY IMPLEMENTED, THE STAGE WILL BE SET FOR BULGARIA TO FINALLY BEGIN TO REAP THE BENEFITS OF THE TRANSITION TO A MARKET ECONOMY.

    PRESIDENT ZHELYU ZHELEV IS CALLING FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE TO GIVE THE PRESIDENT MORE POWER IN DEALING WITH THE ECONOMY. HE HAS DENOUNCED THE VIDENOV GOVERNMENT AS INCOMPETENT.

    ECONOMIC DISSATISFACTION HAS FUELED A GROWING MOVEMENT TO RESTORE THE MONARCHY TO BULGARIA. FORMER KING SIMEON, WHO WAS FORCED TO FLEE THE COUNTRY AS A CHILD WHEN THE COMMUNISTS TOOK OVER, RECEIVED AN ENTHUSIASTIC WELCOME DURING THE WEEKEND WHEN HE RETURNED FOR HIS FIRST VISIT TO BULGARIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/JWH/CF
    28-May-96 10:02 AM EDT (1402 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] CZECH ELECTION (L ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=5/28/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-197838
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: OFFICIAL CAMPAIGNING IS ENDING (WEDNESDAY MID-DAY) IN THE RUN UP TO PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD HAS BEEN ATTENDING SOME POLITICAL RALLIES IN PRAGUE AND FILES THIS REPORT.

    TEXT: (MUSIC, UNDER AND FADE)

    THERE ARE CAMPAIGN RALLIES UNDERWAY HERE IN WENCELAS SQUARE IN THE CENTER OF PRAGUE. THE CIVIC DEMOCRATS, THE DOMINANT PARTY IN THE THREE PARTY RULING COALITION, HAVE BLUE AND WHITE BALLOONS, POSTERS OF PRIME MINISTER VACLAV KLAUS, AND THE SLOGAN, "WE PROVED THAT WE CAN DO IT."

    FOREIGN MINISTER JOSEF ZIELENIEC TELLS A CROWD OF A FEW HUNDRED PEOPLE THAT THE GOVERNMENT DESERVES ANOTHER FOUR YEARS IN POWER.

    // ZIELENIEC IN CZECH, THEN APPLAUSE //

    EARLIER IN THE DAY, FARTHER DOWN THE SQUARE, A FEW HUNDRED ANGRY STEELWORKERS RALLIED TO SHOW THEIR DISAPPROVAL OF THE CONSERVATIVE GOVERNMENT. ONE YOUNG MAN FINDS THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT LITTLE IMPROVED FROM THE COMMUNISTS.

    //WORKER ACT//

    THEY ARE TRYING TO STEAL EVERYTHING. FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, FROM 1989, AFTER THE GOVERNMENT OF COMMUNISTS, WE GOT A GOVERNMENT OF THIEVES. IT IS NOT A BIG IMPROVEMENT.

    //END ACT//

    TUESDAY'S NEWSPAPERS CARRY FULL PAGE ADS FROM THE CIVIC DEMOCRATS AND THE OPPOSITION SOCIAL DEMOCRATS. PRIME MINISTER KLAUS THANKS CITIZENS FOR THEIR SUPPORT OVER THE LAST FOUR DIFFICULT YEARS OF TRANSFORMATION. THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS CALL ATTENTION TO PROBLEMS WITH HEALTH CARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY AND SAY THEY DESERVE THE CHANCE TO GOVERN. OPINION SURVEYS SUGGEST THE CURRENT COALITION WILL BE RETURNED TO POWER BUT WITH A REDUCED MAJORITY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/MH/MMK
    28-May-96 1:51 PM EDT (1751 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] E-U / BRITISH BEEF (L ONLY) BY JOHN FRASER (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=5/28/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-197821
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITAIN HAS STEPPED UP ITS EFFORT TO BLOCK ALL EUROPEAN UNION ACTIONS, IN A BID TO PRESSURE THE E-U TO EASE ITS BAN ON BRITISH BEEF EXPORTS. AS JOHN FRASER REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS, THE E-U IMPOSED THE BAN AFTER NEW EVIDENCE EMERGED OF A POSSIBLE LINK BETWEEN MAD COW DISEASE AND ITS HUMAN EQUIVALENT

    TEXT: AT TWO SEPARATE MEETINGS IN BRUSSELS, BRITISH MINISTERS VETOED ABOUT 18 E-U DECISIONS. THESE COVER SUCH THINGS AS A PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE BUREAUCRATIC RED TAPE AND ANOTHER TO HELP THE THIRD WORLD. HOWEVER, THE BRITISH TACTIC HAS, IN TURN, LED TO A SPANISH THREAT TO BLOCK PROGRESS ON A PLANNED E-U FREE TRADE DEAL WITH SOUTH AFRICA, A CHERISHED BRITISH OBJECTIVE.

    ONE OF THE ITEMS BLOCKED BY BRITISH DEVELOPMENT MINISTER BARONESS CHALKER WAS THE LAUNCH OF AN E-U TRADE NEGOTIATION WITH MEXICO -- AN ACTION WHICH INFURIATED SPANISH MINISTER FERNANDO VILLANGA.

    THE SPANISH OFFICIAL SAID THAT IF BRITAIN DOES NOT FOLLOW THROUGH THE LOGIC OF ITS NEW STANCE, AND DOES NOT ITSELF BLOCK AN E-U TRADE DEAL WITH SOUTH AFRICA, THEN SPAIN WILL.

    A SPANISH SPOKESMAN DESCRIBED THE BRITISH STANCE AS CHILDISH. HE SAID IT WILL NOT JUST HARM BRITISH PRIME MINISTER JOHN MAJOR IN EUROPE BUT WITH HIS OWN PUBLIC OPINION AT HOME.

    MRS. CHALKER DID NOT BLOCK A UNANAMOUS DECISION ON AN ANTI-AIDS POLICY. OBSERVERS SAID THIS APPEARED TO BE AT ODDS WITH THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT'S NEW STRATEGY, ALTHOUGH BRITISH OFFICIALS SAID THIS IS NOT THE CASE.

    AT ANOTHER E-U MEETING IN BRUSSELS, BRITISH PUBLIC SERVICE MINISTER ROGER FREEMAN USED THE VETO FOUR TIMES. HE SAID THE AIM OF THE NEW POLICY, WHICH WAS LAUNCHED LAST WEEK BY BRITISH DIPLOMATS AT E-U LOW-KEY GATHERINGS, IS TO FOCUS OTHER E-U GOVERNMENTS ON THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE BEEF CRISIS.

    HE SAID HIS PRIME MINISTER ORDERED THE NEW POLICY OF NON-COOPERATION WITH EUROPE AFTER E-U OFFICIALS REJECTED A PLAN TO END THE BAN ON EXPORTING BEEF DERIVATIVES GELATIN, TALLOW, AND SEMEN. SO, HE SAID BRITAIN CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO CONTRIBUTE NORMALLY TO E-U BUSINESS.

    // ACT FREEMAN //

    WE ARE NOT BEING ANTI-GERMAN OR ANTI-ITALIAN OR ANTI-FRENCH. WE ARE STICKING UP FOR THE INTERESTS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM, AND IN PARTICULAR OUR BEEF INDUSTRY, AND THE INTERESTS OF OUR CONSUMERS. WE WANT PEOPLE TO BUY BRITISH BEEF, NOT JUST IN BRITAIN BUT AROUND THE WORLD.

    // END ACT //

    BRITAIN IS HOPING FOR PROGRESS NEXT MONDAY WHEN EUROPEAN AGRICULTIURE MINISTERS HOLD MORE TALKS ON THE BEEF PROBLEM. BRITISH OFFICIALS SAY THAT IF THERE IS NO PROGRESS THEN, THEY WILL CONTINUE THEIR PROGRAM OF DISRUPTING E-U BUSINESS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JF/JWH/CF
    28-May-96 9:28 AM EDT (1328 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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