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Voice of America, 96-12-27

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] BELGRADE DEMOS (L-ONLY) BY COLIN SOLOWAY (BELGRADE)
  • [02] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [03] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY PHIL HAYNES (WASHINGTON)
  • [04] HUNGARY/ROMANIA TALKS (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)
  • [05] SERBIA/O-S-C-E (L) BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (GENEVA)
  • [06] THE TENSE SITUATION IN SERBIA BY NANCY SMART (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] BELGRADE DEMOS (L-ONLY) BY COLIN SOLOWAY (BELGRADE)

    DATE=12/27/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-207992
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A DELEGATION FROM THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE) FRIDAY ISSUED ITS REPORT ABOUT SERBIA'S LOCAL ELECTIONS, DECLARING THE "ZAJEDNO" ("TOGETHER") OPPOSITION COALITION THE WINNER IN 14 SERBIAN CITIES. THE O-S-C-E CALLED ON SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TO RECOGNIZE THE ZAJEDNO VICTORIES. BUT THE POSSIBILITY OF A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION APPEARS INCREASINGLY DOUBTFUL, AS POLICE BEAT DOZENS OF OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS ON THEIR WAY HOME FROM CELEBRATIONS. COLIN SOLOWAY HAS DETAILS FROM BELGRADE.

    TEXT: BELGRADE RESIDENTS HUGGED AND KISSED AS THE NEWS OF THE O-S-C-E'S DECISION SPREAD THROUGH THE STREETS FRIDAY AFTERNOON, BUT RIOT POLICE CONTINUED THEIR CRACKDOWN ON DEMONSTRATIONS, CORRALLING THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS ON A PEDESTRIAN STREET TO PREVENT THEM FROM BLOCKING TRAFFIC.

    NEVERTHELESS, THE MOOD OF THE STUDENT DEMONSTRATIONS WAS CHEERFUL AND RELAXED. STUDENTS MARCHED IN A HUGE CIRCLE, PAUSING TO TAKE PICTURES WITH SMILING POLICE DRESSED IN FLACK JACKETS AND HELMETS.

    THERE'S BEEN NO OFFICIAL REACTION FROM THE MILOSEVIC GOVERNMENT, BUT YUGOSLAV FOREIGN MINISTER, MILAN MILUTINOVIC, TOLD REPORTERS THAT THE O-S-C-E REPORT APPEARED TO BE WELL-REASONED AND BALANCED. BUT, HE ADDED, IT IS STILL TOO SOON FOR A CONCLUSIVE DECISION ON THE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT.

    THE DAILY OPPOSITION MARCH WAS ALSO BLOCKED BY POLICE, BUT PROTESTERS RETIRED PEACEFULLY TO A CITY SQUARE WHERE COALITION LEADERS PROMISED TO CONTINUE THEIR DAILY RALLIES UNTIL MR. MILOSEVIC CONCEDES DEFEAT IN THE 14 CITIES. VUK DRASKOVIC, LEADER OF THE SERBIAN RENEWAL MOVEMENT, CALLED FOR ALL THEATERS AND STORES IN BELGRADE TO BE CLOSED IN SUPPORT OF THE DEMONSTRATIONS. HE AND OTHER LEADERS VOWED TO ESTABLISH INDEPENDENT MEDIA IN TOWNS UNDER OPPOSITION CONTROL IN ORDER TO CHALLENGE THE SOCIALISTS' NEAR-TOTAL INFORMATION MONOPOLY.

    PLANS WERE ANNOUNCED FOR A RALLY AT THE SATURDAY FUNERAL OF AN OPPOSITION SUPPORTER BEATEN TO DEATH BY MILOSEVIC BACKERS DURING A PRO-GOVERNMENT RALLY ON TUESDAY. ZORAN DJINDJIC, PRESIDENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, WARNED DEMONSTRATORS NOT TO PROVOKE POLICE, BUT AS PROTESTERS MADE THEIR WAY HOME FROM THE RALLIES, RIOT POLICE ATTACKED, BEATING AT LEAST 30 CIVILIANS, INCLUDING WOMEN AND CHILDREN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/CS/PCF/CF
    27-Dec-96 2:56 PM EST (1956 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=12/27/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-207988
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK MARKETS IN WESTERN EUROPE TRADED SHARES FRIDAY, BUT ACTIVITY WAS LIMITED, THANKS LARGELY TO MANY INVESTORS STAYING AWAY ON HOLIDAY. PAUL FRANCUCH HAS THE CLOSING FIGURES FROM OUR OFFICES IN LONDON.

    TEXT: WITH LITTLE ECONOMIC NEWS TO GUIDE IT AND MANY INVESTORS TAKING A HOLIDAY, MARKET VOLUME WAS THIN ON THE MAJOR EXCHANGES IN WESTERN EUROPE FRIDAY.

    PARIS AND FRANKFURT CLOSED UP FOR THE DAY. LONDON HAD GAINED IN EARLY TRADING -- SETTING A NEW RECORD -- BUT CLOSED DOWN AT THE END OF AN ABBREVIATED TRADING SESSION. THE KEY "FINANCIAL TIMES 100" INDEX IN LONDON LOST ONE-AND-A-HALF POINTS FOR THE DAY.

    THE STRONG U-S DOLLAR GAVE GERMAN INVESTORS A SENSE OF CONFIDENCE, WHICH HELPED RAISE PRICES ON FRANKFURT'S "DAX 30" INDEX. IT ENDED TRADING UP MORE THAN SEVEN POINTS (EDS: 7.38). IN PARIS, THE "CAC 40" INDEX OF MAJOR FRENCH STOCKS ALSO POSTED GAINS FOR THE DAY, CLOSING UP AN ADDITIONAL THREE POINTS (EDS: 3.20).

    ON THE CURRENCY EXCHANGES HERE IN LONDON, THE DOLLAR CLOSED DOWN A FRACTION OF A CENT AGAINST THE MARK, BUT LOST ALMOST TWO CENTS IN VALUE TO THE BRITISH POUND, WHICH CONTINUES TO RISE IN ANTICIPATION OF AN INTEREST RATE HIKE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/LWM
    27-Dec-96 1:23 PM EST (1823 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY PHIL HAYNES (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/27/96
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-09949
    TELEPHONE=619-0932
    EDITOR=NANCY SMART
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27TH //

    INTRO: A CONTINUING GUERRILLA SIEGE IN PERU AND THE PASSING OF A REBEL INSURGENCY IN GUATEMALA ARE AMONG EDITORIAL CONCERNS IN THE U-S PRESS THIS FRIDAY. ALSO OPEN FOR DISCUSSION ARE THE TENSE POLITICAL SITUATION IN SERBIA; WHETHER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU REALLY WANTS PEACE, AND THE FUTURE OF THE U-S WELFARE PROGRAM. FOR DETAILS ON THESE AND OTHER SUBJECTS, HERE IS ______________________ WITH TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: THE WASHINGTON POST IS CONCERNED THAT PERUVIAN GUERRILLAS STILL HOLDING SOME 100 HOSTAGES IN THE JAPANESE AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE IN LIMA ARE TRYING TO "EXPLOIT THE DRAMA" AND THE MEDIA IN A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO MAKE OVER THEIR IMAGE. BUT THE POST SAYS "MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT," THE TUPAC AMARU GUERRILLAS "ARE TERRORISTS."

    VOICE: "THE GUERRILLAS APPARENTLY HOPE TO CONVERT A CRISIS ENTIRELY OF THEIR OWN MANUFACTURE INTO A NATIONAL AND EVEN AN INTERNATIONAL REFERENDUM ON THE RULE OF PRESIDENT ALBERTO FUJIMORI. BUT IT IS THE TERRORISTS' CONDUCT THAT IS AT ISSUE HERE. THE CHRISTMAS TURKEYS THEY ALLOWED TO BE DELIVERED TO THE BESIEGED (AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE) DO NOT ALTER THE FACT THEY ARE ACTING CYNICALLY, EVEN IF BLOOD HAS YET TO FLOW... IN THIS SHOWDOWN, THE GOVERNMENT IS ON THE SIDE OF LIFE AND LAW."

    TEXT: WHILE PERU IS CONFRONTED BY A POTENTIALLY BLOODY GUERRILLA CRISIS, GUATEMALA IS PREPARING TO CELEBRATE THE ENDING OF LATIN AMERICA'S LONGEST RUNNING INSURGENCY. TODAY'S DALLAS MORNING NEWS FOCUSES ON THE QUESTION OF AMNESTY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE CARRIED OUT YEARS OF WARFARE.

    VOICE: "AFTER NEARLY FOUR DECADES OF CIVIL CONFLICT AND 140-THOUSAND DEATHS, A PEACE AGREEMENT BETWEEN REBEL AND GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES IS SCHEDULED TO BE SIGNED IN MEXICO CITY ON SUNDAY. BUT IF THE ACCORD IS TO STAND, GUATEMALA WILL HAVE TO COME TO TERMS WITH THE SENSITIVIE QUESTION OF AMNESTY... SADLY, CONFUSION OVER THE MEANING OF THE AMNESTY LAW RECENTLY PASSED BY THE NATIONAL LEGISLATURE MAY POSE A ROADBLOCK TO PEACE. SOME GUATEMALANS ARE OUTRAGED THAT INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ATROCITIES MAY GET OFF FREE... CHANGES IN GUAGEMALA'S AMNESTY LAW MAY BE NECESSARY DOWN THE LINE, BUT FOR NOW, THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO GIVE THE PEACE AGREEMENT A CHANCE."

    TEXT: IN SERBIA, PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTERS VOW TO CONTINUE THEIR DAILY MARCHES THROUGH THE STREETS OF BELGRADE DESPITE THE PRESENCE OF HUNDREDS OF RIOT POLICE. THE NEW YORK TIMES IS CONCERNED THE SITUATION COULD TURN BLOODY AND IS CALLING FOR INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE ON THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE: "THE FIVE-WEEK STANDOFF BETWEEN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC OF SERBIA AND PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATORS APPEARS HEADED FOR A DANGEROUS AND POSSIBLY BLOODY DENOUEMENT (OUTCOME). MR. MILOSEVIC HAS GIVEN UP TRYING TO IGNORE THE HUGE DAILY PROTEST MARCHES ... AND IS NOW MANEUVERING TO SUPPRESS THEM. THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION ... HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL HOLD THE SERBIAN RULER ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANY BLOODSHED... THAT WARNING WILL BE TAKEN MORE SERIOUSLY IF IT IS JOINED BY OTHER GOVERNMENTS, PARTICULARLY THOSE OF WESTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES LIKE BRITAIN AND FRANCE THAT HAVE TOO OFTEN INDULGED MR. MILOSEVIC'S MISDEEDS IN THE PAST... WASHINGTON IS ENTITLED TO PRESS FOR A UNITED FRONT FOR DEMOCRACY IN SERBIA."

    TEXT: CONNECTICUT'S HARTFORD COURANT, WHICH BOASTS OF BEING THE NATION'S OLDEST CONTINUOUSLY PUBLISHED NEWSPAPER, IS QUESTIONING WHETHER ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU REALLY WANTS PEACE WITH THE PALESTINIANS. IT WRITES, IN PART:

    VOICE: IN WASHINGTON, ADMINISTRATION AFTER ADMINISTRATION, INCLUDING PRESIDENT CLINTON'S, HAVE VARIOUSLY DESCRIBED ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN OCCUPIED TERRITORIES AS 'ILLEGAL,' 'ILLEGITIMATE,' 'OBSTACLES TO PACE,' AND 'COMPLICATING AND UNHELPFUL.' ... IF MR. NETANYAHU IS LISTENING, HE HAS NOT SHOWN IT. HE HAS ANNOUNCED A NEW POLICY OF FINANCIAL INCENTIVES TO ENCOURAGE ISRAELIS TO SETTLE OUTSIDE OF PRE-1967 ISRAEL. HE SAYS HE WANTS MERELY TO EXPAND EXISTING SETTLEMENTS, NOT BUILD NEW ONES, A DISTINCTION WITH LITTLE DIFFEERENCE... MR. CLINTON HAS SHOWN CONSIDERABLE PATIENCE, BUT HE SHOULD NOT WAIT LONG FOR PROGRESS. THE IMPASSE FAVORS ONLY THE FANATICS, WHO MAY COMMIT YET MORE OUTRAGEOUS ACTS."

    TEXT: FINALLY, TODAY'S CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR SUGGESTS SOME REFINEMENTS OF THIS YEAR'S REFORM OF THE FEDERAL WELFARE SYSTEM TO GUARANTEE CONTINUING ASSISTANCE FOR THE MOST NEEDY AMERICANS. AMONG OTHER THINGS, THE PAPER PROPOSES A NEW FEDERAL JOB-PLACEMENT PROGRAM TO HELP WELFARE RECIPIENTS MAKE THE TRANSITION FROM PUBLIC ASSISTANCE TO PAYING JOBS. THE MONITOR CONTINUES:

    VOICE: "THIS REFORM OF THE REFORM COULD ITSELF COST BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. IT WON'T BE EASY, BUT (PRESIDENT) CLINTON IS RIGHT TO MOVE IT FORWARD. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN'T SHOULDER THE WHOLE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ASSURING THAT WELFARE RECIPIENTS WILL HAVE JOB OPPORTUNITIES. BUT AN INTERIM FEDERAL PACKAGE OF TRAINING MONEY AND TAX INCENTIVES WOULD HELP MAKE WELFARE-TO-WORK AN REALITY. CONGRESS, PARTICULARLY MEMBERS ARDENT FOR WELFARE REFORM, SHOULD JOIN WITH THE PRESIDENT IN CRAFTING SUCH A PACKAGE."

    TEXT: THOSE THOUGHTS FROM THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR CONCLUDE TODAY'S LOOK AT EDITORIALS IN SOME OF AMERICAN'S LEADING NEWSPAPERS.
    NEB/PCH/NES
    27-Dec-96 12:44 PM EST (1744 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] HUNGARY/ROMANIA TALKS (L-ONLY) BY STEFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=12/27/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-207986
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: HUNGARY AND ROMANIA FRIDAY REACHED, IN PRINCIPAL, WHAT IS BEING DESCRIBED AS THEIR MOST FAR-REACHING BILATERAL AGREEMENT SINCE THE TIME OF COMMUNIST RULE. BUDAPEST REPORTER STEPHAN BOS SAYS THE AGREEMENT IS NOTABLE FOR ITS PROMISE TO GRANT A DEGREE OF AUTONOMY TO ETHNIC HUNGARIANS LIVING IN ROMANIA.

    TEXT: ROMANIA'S FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER ADRIAN SEVERIN TOLD VOA THAT WIDE-RANGING TALKS WITH HIS HUNGARIAN COUNTERPART INCLUDED THE AUTONOMY ISSUE. SOME TWO-MILLION ETHNIC HUNGARIANS LIVE IN A GEOGRAPHICAL REGION WHICH TODAY IS PART OF ROMANIA. THE AUTONOMY ISSUE IS ONE THAT HAS CAUSED FRICTION FOR THE PAST 70 YEARS. IT WAS AGGRAVATED DURING THE RULE OF NICOLAE CEAUCESCU, AT WHICH TIME MANY ETHNIC HUNGARIANS SUFFERED PERSECUTION. BUT BOTH NATO AND EUROPEAN UNION OFFICIALS FOUND THIS PERSECUTION DID NOT END WITH THE DEATH OF CEAUCESCU, AND RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES REMAINED TENSE. NOW, HOWEVER, THE ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS HIS COUNTRY PLANS TO GRANT ETHNIC MINORITIES, INCLUDING HUNGARIANS, MORE FREEDOMS.

    /// SEVERIN ACT ///

    WE ARE SPEAKING ABOUT DECENTRALIZATION OF OUR STATE -- MEANING, THE NEED FOR ALL ROMANIAN CITIZENS TO HAVE SOME KIND OF AUTONOMY. ON THE OTHER HAND, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT DEVELOPING THE CIVIL SOCIETY WHICH IS ANOTHER FRAME IN WHICH EVERY GROUP OF AN ETHNIC, OR OTHER NATURE, CAN DEFEND ITS OWN INTERESTS.

    /// END ACT ///

    THE ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS THE NEW FREEDOMS EXTEND TO RELIGIOUS PRACTICES AS WELL.

    THE OFFICIALS MEETING FRIDAY IN BUDAPEST SAID THEY HOPE TO REOPEN CONSULATES IN EACH OTHER'S COUNTRY. THE TWO MEN ALSO DISCUSSED OPENING A HUNGARIAN-ROMANIAN BANK AND ESTABLISHING CLOSER MILITARY TIES.

    HUNGARY'S FOREIGN MINISTER, LASZLO KOVACS, TOLD VOA THE TALKS THIS WEEK MAY OPEN AN NEW ERA OF TRUST BETWEEN THE NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES.

    /// KOVACS ACT ///

    THE PREVAILING ATMOSPHERE WAS (ONE) ... OF MUTUAL TRUST. AND I THINK THAT IS A VERY ENCOURAGING SIGNAL FOR THE FUTURE.

    /// END ACT ///

    BUT SOME LEADERS OF HUNGARY'S ETHNIC MINORITY IN ROMANIA REMAIN SKEPTICAL. HUNGARIAN BISHOP LASZLO TOKES, WHO PLAYED A KEY ROLE DURING ROMANIA'S 1989 REVOLUTION, SAYS HE WANTS MORE DETAILS.

    /// TOKES ACT ///

    THE TERMS ABOUT MINORITIES ARE VERY GENERAL ... NO CONCRETE SOLUTIONS ABOUT THE MINORITIES ARE GIVEN. IT IS TOO GENERAL TO SPEAK ABOUT PARTNERSHIP AND TOLERANCE, ABOUT THE EXCLUSION OF DISCRIMINATION. WE (WOULD) LIKE FINALLY SOME CONCRETE TERMS AND GOALS REGARDING THE MINORITY ISSUE.

    /// END ACT ///

    DESPITE THE SHOW OF GOODWILL BETWEEN THE HUNGARIAN AND ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTERS FRIDAY, SOME HUNGARIAN OFFICIALS ADMIT THERE IS PROBABLY LITTLE MORE THAT CAN BE DONE FOR THAT ETHNIC MINORITY GROUP IN ROMANIA, ADDING THAT THEY MUST ACCEPT THE REALITY OF TODAY'S EUROPE AND ITS CURRENT BORDERS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/PCF/LWM
    27-Dec-96 1:02 PM EST (1802 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] SERBIA/O-S-C-E (L) BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (GENEVA)

    DATE=12/27/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-207989
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE THE "O-S-C-E" -- FRIDAY ISSUED AN EAGERLY-AWAITED REPORT ON LAST MONTH'S MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN SERBIA. AS EXPECTED, THE O-S-C-E IS URGING THE BELGRADE GOVERNMENT TO ACKNOWLEDGE OPPOSITION VICTORIES IN MORE THAN A DOZEN TOWNS. THE AUTHOR OF THE REPORT, FORMER SPANISH PRIME MINISTER FELIPE GONZALEZ, HELD A NEWS CONFERENCE IN GENEVA FRIDAY, AND WE HEAR DETAILS FROM VOA'S DOUGLAS ROBERTS.

    TEXT: MR. GONZALEZ TRAVELLED TO BELGRADE LATE LAST WEEK, WHERE HE GATHERED DOCUMENTS ON THE DISPUTED MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS, AND CONFERRED WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND SERBIAN OPPOSITION LEADERS.

    AT FRIDAY'S NEWS CONFERENCE HERE, THE O-S-C-E ENVOY SAID HE HAS NO DOUBT ABOUT THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTIONS. SERBIA'S RULING SOCIALIST PARTY WON A MAJORITY OF THE VOTES, HE SAID, BUT THE OPPOSITION ZAJEDNO COALITION GAINED CONTROL OF 14 TOWNS AND CITIES, INCLUDING THE CAPITAL.

    THE ANNOUNCEMENT TOUCHED OFF MASS CELEBRATIONS AMONG ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTERS IN BELGRADE, WHO HAVE BEEN STAGING DAILY DEMONSTRATIONS SINCE THE GOVERNMENT OVERTURNED THE RESULTS OF THE NOVEMBER VOTE.

    MR. GONZALEZ URGED SERBIAN AUTHORITIES TO IMPLEMENT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE, AS EXPRESSED AT THE POLLS. AND HE APPEALED TO BOTH THE GOVERNMENT AND THE OPPOSITION TO SEIZE WHAT HE TERMED "THIS EXTRAORDINARY OPPORTUNITY TO RESOLVE THE CRISIS AND BRING REAL DEMOCRACY TO SERBIA."

    THE FORMER SPANISH LEADER CAME TO GENEVA TO PRESENT HIS REPORT TO SWISS FOREIGN MINISTER FLAVIO COTTI, WHO IS THE CURRENT O-S-C-E CHAIRMAN. AFTERWARDS, THE SWISS OFFICIAL TELEPHONED SERBIA'S PRESIDENT, SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, AND ASKED HIM TO RESPOND TO THE O-S-C-E RECOMMENDATIONS WITHIN THE NEXT FEW DAYS. MR. COTTI APPEALED FOR A NON-VIOLENT RESOLUTION OF THE CRISIS, ADDING THAT POLITICAL DIALOGUE IS THE ONLY WAY TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

    IT WAS PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC WHO REQUESTED THAT THE O-S-C-E DISPATCH A FACT-FINDING MISSION TO BELGRADE, SAYING HE WANTED THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ELECTIONS. BUT SERBIAN OFFICIALS HAVE STRESSED REPEATEDLY OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS THAT BELGRADE WILL NOT BE BOUND BY THE O-S-C-E RECOMMENDATIONS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DBR/PCF
    27-Dec-96 1:27 PM EST (1827 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] THE TENSE SITUATION IN SERBIA BY NANCY SMART (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/27/96
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-09950
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=PHIL HAYNES
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: THE INCREASINGLY TENSE SITUATION IN SERBIA IS THE SUBJECT OF EDITORIAL COMMENT IN U-S NEWSPAPERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. SEVERAL EDITORIAL WRITERS TAKE NOTE OF THE BEGINNINGS OF A CRACKDOWN BY SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC ON THE PEACEFUL MARCHES THAT PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATORS HAVE STAGED DAILY FOR MANY WEEKS. WE GET A SAMPLING OF COMMENT NOW FROM _____________________, WITH TODAY'S U.S. OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: VIOLENCE ERUPTED TUESDAY IN BELGRADE, WHEN PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC BUSSED SUPPORTERS INTO THE CITY TO STAGE A COUNTER-DEMONSTRATION AFTER FIVE WEEKS OF PEACEFUL ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS. ONE PERSON WAS KILLED AND SEVERAL WERE INJURED. NEWSPAPERS AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE COMMENTING ON THE DEVELOPMENT, WHICH THE NEW YORK TIMES WARNS MAY LEAD TO A "DANGEROUS AND POSSIBLY BLOODY DENOUMENT." THE TIMES GOES ON TO SAY:

    VOICE: (OPT) THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION ... HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL HOLD THE SERBIAN RULER ACCOUNTABLE FOR ANY BLOODSHED ... (END OPT) THE WEST HAS CONSIDERABLE POTENTIAL TO INFLUENCE MR. MILOSEVIC'S BEHAVIOR THROUGH ITS ABILITY TO DENY ACCESS TO THE INTERNATIONAL LOANS AND RESPECTABILITY THAT HE BADLY WANTS AND NEEDS. FOLLOWING TUESDAY'S CLASHES, ACTING SECRETARY OF STATE STROBE TALBOTT POINTEDLY REMINDED BELGRADE THAT ONE SURE CONSEQUENCE OF VIOLENCE BY GOVERNMENT FORCES WOULD BE SERBIA'S INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION. THAT WARNING WILL BE TAKEN MORE SERIOUSLY IF IT IS JOINED BY OTHER GOVERNMENTS, PARTICULARLY THOSE OF WESTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES LIKE BRITAIN AND FRANCE THAT HAVE TOO OFTEN INDULGED MR. MILOSEVIC'S MISDEEDS IN THE PAST."

    TEXT: IN HAWAII, THE HONOLULU STAR-BULLETIN COMMENTED THAT "THE (MOLOSEVIC) GOVERNMENT PROVOCATION ... MAY HAVE PUT SERBIA ON THE BRINK OF CIVIL WAR." AND, THE PAPER SAID:

    VOICE: "(MR.) MILOSEVIC TURNED TO VIOLENT SUPPRESSION OF THE DEMONSTRATIONS DESPITE INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE, INCLUDING THREATS TO REIMPOSE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS THAT WERE EASED AFTER THE DAYTON ACCORD ON BOSNIA ... THE UNITED STATES SHOULD NOT BE RELUCTANT ABOUT REIMPOSING SANCTIONS UNLESS (MR.) MILOSEVIC CALLS OFF HIS SUPPORTERS AND HONORS THE WILL OF HIS COUNTRYMEN."

    TEXT: BACK ON THE EAST COAST, THE WASHINGTON POST IS ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT STREET VIOLENCE IN SERBIA, AND ADDS:

    VOICE: "LED BY THE UNITED STATES, THE WEST IS DOING WHAT IT OUGHT TO DO. IT IS PRESSING THE BELGRADE REGIME HARD TO KEEP THINGS PEACEFUL, TO PERMIT FULL POLITICAL EXPRESSION AND TO LOOSEN ITS CHOKEHOLD ON THE MEDIA... THE THREAT OF A RENEWAL AND EXTENSION OF ECONOMIC SANCTIONS IS BEING WIELDED TO THESE ELUSIVE BUT ESSENTIAL ENDS."

    TEXT: THE BALTIMORE SUN, CITING THE STATE DEPARTMENT WARNING THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL HOLD MR. MILOSEVIC RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY VIOLENCE, SAYS:

    VOICE: "THE UNITED STATES COULD NOT BE TRUE TO ITSELF OTHERWISE, NO MATTER HOW INCONVENIENT, AFTER MR. MILOSEVIC SIGNED THE DAYTON PEACE ACCORDS. AS ONE OF THE LAST OF THE COMMUNIST BOSSES GETS NEARER THE END OF HIS ROPE, KEEPING HIM IN POWER AGAINST THE PEOPLE'S WILL IS NOT WASHINGTON'S RESPONSIBILITY OR IN ITS INTEREST."

    TEXT: AND FINALLY, COLUMNIST GEORGE ZARYCKY, WRITING IN THE WASHINGTON TIMES, SPELLS IT OUT THIS WAY:

    VOICE: "A VIOLENT CRACKDOWN (IN SERBIA) CANNOT BE TOTALLY RULED OUT AS A LAST DITCH EFFORT TO REKINDLE NATIONALISM AND DIVERT ATTENTION FROM THE LARGER CRISIS ... BUT THE KEY ISSUE IS THE ECONOMY ... MR. MILOSEVIC FACES TWO STARK CHOICES. HE CAN ENSURE SHORT-TIME SURVIVAL THROUGH POLITICAL MACHINATIONS AND VIOLENCE, RISKING GREATER CIVIL STRIFE AND ASSURING WESTERN ECONOMIC RETALIATION. OR HE CAN WORK WITH THE UNITED STATES AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO ADDRESS YUGOSLAVIA'S MYRIAD POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC PROBLEMS.."

    TEXT: AND THAT ENDS THIS BRIEF SURVEY OF EDITORIAL COMMENT IN THE UNITED STATES ON THE SITUATION IN SERBIA.
    NEB/NES/PCH
    27-Dec-96 12:56 PM EST (1756 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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