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Voice of America, 97-02-07

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FRIDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] EDITORIAL: ECONOMIC WOES IN ALBANIA
  • [03] EDITORIAL: NEW ELECTIONS TO BE HELD IN BULGARIA
  • [04] ALBANIA PROBLEMS BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)
  • [05] BREAKTHROUGH IN SERBIA BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] EURO STOCKS (S ONLY) BY JACK HUIZENGA (LONDON)
  • [07] MACEDONIAN VIEWPOINT (L-ONLY) BY DON HENRY (WASHINGTON)
  • [08] SERBIAN MEDIA (L-ONLY) BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)
  • [09] U-N WEEK-IN-REVIEW BY ELAINE JOHANSON (UNITED NATIONS)

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

    DATE=02/07/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10012
    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 FRIDAY FEBRUARY 7TH //

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON RELEASED HIS BUDGET FOR THE NEXT FISCAL YEAR THURSDAY AND MANY OF THE NATION'S NEWSPAPERS ARE COMMENTING ON THE SPENDING PLAN TODAY. OTHER TOPICS UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE: THE PRESIDENT'S CALL FOR IMPROVEMENT IN U-S EDUCATION; THE RISING DEATH TOLL IN ALGERIA'S CIVIL WAR; THE SWISS HOLOCAUST MONEY CONTROVERSY; AND PAYING FOR IMPROVED AIRLINE SAFETY. NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK IS __________________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: TODAY'S ATLANTA CONSTITUTION IS CALLING THE PRESIDENT'S SPENDING PLAN "A SOUND BUDGET FOR 1998," AND SAYS:

    VOICE: "PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS PRESENTED CONGRESS WITH A ONE-POINT-69-TRILLION DOLLAR BUDGET THAT WOULD BALANCE THE BOOKS IN FIVE YEARS, CUT TAXES FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS AND INVEST IN EDUCATION AND THE ENVIRONMENT. HIS PRIORITIES ARE RIGHT AND THE NUMBERS LOOK REASONABLE. UNFORTUNATELY, THE PLAN DOES HAVE A MAJOR FLAW: IT LEAVES THE MOST DIFFICULT CHANGES FOR THE END OF THE FIVE-YEAR CYCLE. .... WE'D BE BETTER OFF CUTTING SPENDING AND RAISING REVENUES NOW THAN WAITING UNTIL TWO-THOUSAND-TWO."

    TEXT: USA TODAY, THE NATIONAL DAILY, CITES A QUESTION BILL CLINTON HIMSELF ASKED AN AUDIENCE LAST YEAR, DURING THE CAMPAIGN: "WOULD YOU GO TO THE BANK YOURSELF AND BORROW MONEY TO GIVE YOURSELF A TAX CUT?" USA TODAY SUGGESTS THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT MR. CLINTON IS NOW PROPOSING.

    VOICE: "TAX CUTS KEEP DEBT ROLLING UP. [PRECEDING IN ITALICS FOR EMPHASIS] [MR.] CLINTON SAYS HIS CUTS WILL BE PAID FOR 'LINE BY LINE, DIME BY DIME' WHILE BALANCING THE BUDGET. SOUNDS GREAT. ONLY IT'S A TRICK. LAST YEAR THE GOVERNMENT'S OFFICIAL DEFICIT WAS 107-BILLION DOLLARS. [OPT] BUT IT ALSO SENT IOUS [I OWE YOU] WORTH 67-BILLION DOLLARS TO SOCIAL SECURITY AND OTHER FEDERAL TRUST FUNDS. [END OPT] THE REAL DEFICIT WAS 174-BILLION DOLLARS, AND THAT NUMBER WILL RISE TO 205-BILLION IN 1999 UNDER [PRESIDENT] CLINTON'S PLANS. ..... UNTIL THE BUDGET IS BALANCED, THE COUNTRY CAN'T AFFORD A TAX CUT. BUT EXPECT ONE ANYWAY, AND EXPECT TO PAY FOR IT, IN MANY HIDDEN WAYS."

    TEXT: AND TODAY'S WASHINGTON POST CALLS THE BUDGET "ILLUSORY,"

    [OPT]

    ADDING:

    VOICE: "THE BALANCED-BUDGET PROPOSAL ... PRESIDENT CLINTON SENT TO CONGRESS YESTERDAY IS AN ILLUSION. THE FIBS [LITTLE LIES] ARE OF TWO KINDS. SOME OF THE CUTS ON WHICH THE ACHIEVEMENT OF BALANCE WOULD DEPEND ARE DEEPER THAN THE ENVELOPING RHETORIC SUGGESTS, BUT THEY ARE UNLIKELY EVER TO OCCUR, NOR IN MANY CASES SHOULD THEY. OTHER DEVICES IN THE PLAN SUFFER FROM THE OPPOSITE AFFLICTION: THERE IS LESS TO THEM THAN MEETS THE EAR AND EYE. ..... THIS IS A BUDGET THAT MAINLY PLAYS ON THE FRINGES OF THE LONG-TERM, STRUCTURAL PROBLEMS THAT THE RHETORIC PRETENDS TO SOLVE."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: NEWSDAY CALLS IT "A SOLID '98 SPENDING PLAN THAT MAKES SENSE EVEN TO CONGRESS," AND IN BALTIMORE, THE SUN SUGGESTS:

    VOICE: "DESPITE ALL THE GIMMICKRY AND BACKLOADING THAT GO INTO ANY FEDERAL BUDGET, BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES ARE ENCOURAGING THE NOTION THAT THIS YEAR, AT LAST, THEY MAY BE ABLE TO COME UP WITH AN AGREED BALANCED BUDGET PLAN. .... HOW SPLENDID IT WOULD BE IF WASHINGTON PRODUCES A PRUDENT, REALISTIC FEDERAL BUDGET."

    TEXT: PRESIDENT CLINTON'S CALL FOR IMPROVED EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS, AND A MULTI-BILLION-DOLLAR INCREASE IN FEDERAL EDUCATIONAL FUNDS ANNOUNCED DURING HIS STATE OF THE UNION SPEECH ARE ALSO DRAWING COMMENT THIS FRIDAY. THE WALL STREET JOURNAL WANTS TO KNOW WHETHER THE PRESIDENT'S EDUCATION PLAN ALSO CALLS FOR FORCING STATES TO SPEND THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY ON EACH CHILD, AS RECENTLY HAPPENED IN A FEDERAL COURT CASE IN NEW JERSEY. IF SO, THE JOURNAL SAYS, THE ADMINISTRATION SHOULD SAY SO.

    VOICE: "IT WAS HEARTENING TO HEAR THE PRESIDENT'S ENTHUSIASTIC CALL FOR NATIONAL SCHOOL STANDARDS THIS WEEK. BUT WHAT THE ADMINISTRATION ENVISIONS AS 'PURSUING STANDARDS' MAY WELL BE SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN THE PUSH FOR EXCELLENCE USUALLY ASSOCIATED WITH THAT PHRASE. THERE ARE OTHER EDUCATION AGENDAS OUT THERE THAT ARE NORMALLY ASSOCIATED WITH THE CLINTON CAMP. .... IF THE CLINTONITES INTEND TO USE THE WIDE SUPPORT FOR STANDARDS AS A COVER TO PUSH THESE OTHER, LONG-STANDING LIBERAL SPENDING-EQUALIZATION GOALS, WE WISH THEY'D LAY THEIR CARDS ON THE TABLE. [ADMIT IT CANDIDLY]"

    [OPT]

    TEXT: THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR SINGLES OUT A CRUSADE BY TRAINED VOLUNTEERS TO TEACH ILLITERATE AMERICANS HOW TO READ AS A HIGHLIGHT OF THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH.

    VOICE: "....PRESIDENT CLINTON CAN HARDLY GO TOO FAR IN BACKING 'AMERICA READS' LITERACY LEGISLATION. TO ALL THE PRESENT ADULT-LITERACY PROGRAMS, HE WOULD ADD SOMETHING MORE FOR THE CHILDREN - - A MILLION VOLUNTEER TUTORS GIVING AN AFTER-SCHOOL BOOST TO THE DEDICATED WORK OF CLASSROOM TEACHERS."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: THE WASHINGTON POST LOOKS AT THE TOLL TERRORISM IS EXTRACTING ON THE STREETS OF ALGERIA, AND COMMENTS:

    VOICE: "THE WAR IN ALGERIA CONTINUES AT THE RATE OF 100 DEAD A WEEK, AND THE PROSPECTS FOR A POLITICAL PROCESS TO SLOW THE SLAUGHTER REMAIN DIM. ...... THERE IS DESPERATE NEED FOR A POLITICAL ARENA THAT WILL BE OPEN NOT JUST TO THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PARTIES IT HAS LEGALIZED BUT ALSO TO ALL OTHER GROUPS THAT REJECT VIOLENCE. ..... A CAREFUL DIPLOMATIC INTERVENTION ..... SEEMS NOT SIMPLY A REASONABLE BUT AN ESSENTIAL POLICY TO EXPLORE."

    TEXT: TODAY'S LEAD EDITORIAL IN THE NEW YORK TIMES CONCERNS THE CONTROVERSY REGARDING THE WHEREABOUTS OF MONEY DEPOSITED IN SWISS BANKS BY JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST OF WORLD WAR TWO. SAYS THE TIMES:

    VOICE: "SELF-INTEREST RATHER THAN A HUMANITARIAN IMPULSE HAS LED THREE SWISS BANKS TO ESTABLISH A 70-MILLION-DOLLAR FUND FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST, BUT THE ACTION IS STILL A PROMISING MOVE. THE MOTIVE IN THIS CASE IS LESS IMPORTANT THAN THE SIGNAL THAT THE SWISS BANKING INDUSTRY BELATEDLY RECOGNIZES IT CANNOT BRUSH OFF [IGNORE] CLAIMS THAT IT MISHANDLED THE ACCOUNTS OF JEWS WHO DIED IN THE HOLOCAUST. [OPT] ..... THE LARGER ISSUE CONFRONTING SWITZERLAND IS ITS OVERALL CONDUCT DURING THE NAZI ERA. THOUGH THE COUNTRY WAS OSTENSIBLY NEUTRAL AND NOT A COMBATANT IN THE WAR, THERE IS A GROWING DOCUMENTARY RECORD SHOWING THAT SWITZERLAND SERVED AS GERMANY'S BANKER AND FINANCIAL OUTLET TO THE WORLD."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: TODAY'S BOSTON GLOBE IS AGREEING WITH VETERAN DIPLOMAT GEORGE KENNAN THAT THE EXPANSION OF NATO WOULD BE "THE MOST FATEFUL ERROR OF THE ENTIRE POST-COLD WAR ERA." THE GLOBE QUOTES RUSSIAN PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN, WHO VISITS WASHINGTON THIS WEEK:

    VOICE: "[MR.] CHERNOMYRDIN DEFINED THE DANGER WITH IMPRESSIVE LUCIDITY. 'I'M NOT AFRAID THAT POLAND OR HUNGARY OR ANYONE ELSE WILL BE WITHIN NATO,' HE EXPLAINED. 'THE THING I'M WORRIED ABOUT IS RUSSIA - - WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN RUSSIA - -.....' [MR.] CHERNOMYRDIN FORESEES THAT ULTRANATIONALISTS 'WILL ACCUSE THE PRESIDENT AND THE GOVERNMENT OF DOING NOTHING TO PREVENT THIS DEVELOPMENT .... SO WE HAVE TO ARM OURSELVES. THE PRODUCTION FACILITIES ARE THERE ...... THE TANKS WILL BE ROLLING OUT, AND THE PLANES. DO WE NEED THIS?"

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, ON BETTER DOMESTIC AIR SAFETY, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES POINTS TO NEW REVELATIONS THAT THE FEDERAL AVIATION TRUST FUND, WHICH IS USED FOR AIRLINE SAFETY, HAS ONE-POINT-TWO-BILLION DOLLARS LESS IN IT THAN WAS PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT. AND THE TIMES RAISES THE QUESTION OF HOW TO PAY FOR UPGRADING ANTI-TERRORISM MEASURES AT THE NATION'S BIGGEST AIRPORTS.

    VOICE: "TREASURY SECRETARY ROBERT RUBIN HAS URGED THE CONGRESS TO QUICKLY RENEW A TEN PERCENT AIRLINE TICKET TAX TO BOLSTER THE FUND. THESE ISSUES OUGHT TO BE ADDRESSED IN A REPORT, DUE SOON, FROM THE WHITE HOUSE COMMISSION ON AVIATION SAFETY AND SECURITY, HEADED BY VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE. ..... CLEARLY THE THREAT OF AIRLINER TERRORISM IS STRONG ENOUGH WORLDWIDE TO JUSTIFY THE RECOMMENDED SECURITY CHANGES."

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS BRIEF LOOK AT SOME OF THE EDITORIALS IN FRIDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/NES
    07-Feb-97 11:06 AM EST (1606 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] EDITORIAL: ECONOMIC WOES IN ALBANIA

    DATE= FEBRUARY 8, 1997
    TYPE= EDITORIAL
    NUMBER= 0-07149
    CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST
    FEBRUARY 8, 1997.

    ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES. NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE:

    OVER THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS, ANGRY ALBANIANS HAVE TAKEN TO THE STREETS TO PROTEST THE COLLAPSE OF SEVERAL FRAUDULENT INVESTMENT SCHEMES THAT HAVE COST MANY PEOPLE THEIR LIFE SAVINGS. DEMONSTRATIONS TURNED VIOLENT IN A NUMBER OF CITIES AND SOME GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS WERE BURNED DOWN.

    THE CRISIS STEMMED FROM THE RAPID GROWTH OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS OF SEVERAL UNREGULATED INVESTMENT COMPANIES ATTRACTING HUGE DEPOSITS ON THE PROMISE OF QUICK PROFITS. ACCORDING TO SOME ESTIMATES, AS MUCH AS ONE-BILLION DOLLARS WERE DRAWN IN BY THESE FIRMS. THE SCHEMES ARE CALLED "PYRAMIDS" BECAUSE CASH FROM AN EVER-WIDENING BASE OF NEW DEPOSITORS IS REQUIRED TO PAY OFF EARLIER INVESTORS. WHEN THE FLOW OF NEW FUNDS BECOMES INSUFFICIENT TO MAKE SUCH PAYOFFS, THE PYRAMID COLLAPSES. THAT IS WHAT HAPPENED IN ALBANIA.

    IN RESPONSE, DEMONSTRATIONS HAVE BEEN HELD TO PROTEST WHAT MANY VIEW AS THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT'S FAILURE TO REGULATE THESE SCHEMES. OVER A HUNDRED PROTESTERS HAVE BEEN ARRESTED. MEANWHILE, AUTHORITIES HAVE ARRESTED MANY OF THE SCHEME OPERATORS, WHO MAY FACE UP TO TWENTY YEARS IN JAIL. THE GOVERNMENT HAS PROMISED TO BEGIN COMPENSATING INVESTORS OUT OF THE FROZEN ACCOUNTS OF THESE FRAUDULENT COMPANIES.

    THE COLLAPSED INVESTMENT SCHEMES HAVE HIT ESPECIALLY HARD IN A POOR COUNTRY STILL TRYING TO OVERCOME FIFTY YEARS OF COMMUNIST MISMANAGEMENT. ALBANIA'S ECONOMY REMAINS BASED ON AGRICULTURE, BUT A GROWING COMMERCIAL AND TRADE SECTOR HAS TAKEN ROOT IN CITIES AND LARGER TOWNS. OVERALL, ECONOMIC GROWTH REMAINED STRONG IN 1996 AT ABOUT SIX PERCENT. THE ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION HAS LED TO AN EMERGING MIDDLE CLASS, BUT MANY HAVE SUFFERED IN THE COLLAPSE OF THE PYRAMID SCHEMES.

    THE U.S. RECOGNIZES THAT THE UNREGULATED "PYRAMID" SCHEMES HAVE CREATED GREAT ANXIETY AND HARDSHIP FOR MANY ALBANIANS. BUT VIOLENCE IS NOT THE SOLUTION. THAT IS WHY THE U.S. WELCOMES THE RECENT CONVENING OF AN INTERPARTY ROUNDTABLE TO SEEK A SOLUTION TO ALBANIA'S ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL PROBLEMS. DIALOGUE AND COOPERATION ARE THE WAYS FOR ALBANIANS TO ACHIEVE A DEMOCRATIC AND PROSPEROUS NATION.

    ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.
    07-Feb-97 11:49 AM EST (1649 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] EDITORIAL: NEW ELECTIONS TO BE HELD IN BULGARIA

    DATE= FEBRUARY 9, 1997
    TYPE= EDITORIAL
    NUMBER= 0-07150
    CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST
    FEBRUARY 9, 1997.

    ANNCR: THE VOICE OF AMERICA PRESENTS DIFFERING POINTS OF VIEW ON A WIDE VARIETY OF ISSUES. NEXT, AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

    VOICE:

    THE POLITICAL CRISIS THAT PARALYZED BULGARIA FOR WEEKS HAS BEEN RESOLVED. THE SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT HAS AGREED TO RESPECT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE AND HOLD LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS IN MID-APRIL. THIS IS WELCOME NEWS TO A COUNTRY THAT IS STRUGGLING TO CONSOLIDATE ITS NEW DEMOCRACY AND BUILD A FOUNDATION FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL PROGRESS.

    THE CRISIS BEGAN LAST YEAR AS ECONOMIC CONDITIONS IN BULGARIA GREW MORE AND MORE DESPERATE. SOCIALIST PRIME MINISTER ZHAN VIDENOV RESIGNED IN DECEMBER, TWO YEARS AFTER HIS PARTY WON A MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. STARTING JANUARY 6TH, THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE BEGAN RALLYING DAILY OUTSIDE THE ALEXANDER NEVSKY CATHEDRAL DEMANDING THAT THE SOCIALISTS GIVE UP POWER AND CALL FOR IMMEDIATE ELECTIONS. THE NEW PRESIDENT, PETAR STOYANOV, WAS ABLE TO BROKER AN AGREEMENT WITH THE SOCIALISTS TO ABANDON THEIR ATTEMPT TO FORM A GOVERNMENT AND PERMIT EARLY ELECTIONS. MR. STOYANOV WILL APPOINT A CARETAKER GOVERNMENT IN THE INTERIM.

    BULGARIA MUST NOW TURN ITS ATTENTION TO THE RAPIDLY DETERIORATING ECONOMY. THE RULING SOCIALISTS, HEIRS TO THE COMMUNISTS, HAVE BEEN SLOW TO IMPLEMENT PRIVATIZATION AND OTHER FREE-MARKET REFORMS OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS. CORRUPTION HAS BECOME RAMPANT. THE NATIONAL CURRENCY HAS COLLAPSED DUE TO SOARING INFLATION AND PLUMMETING CONFIDENCE. A TYPICAL SALARY NOW AMOUNTS TO JUST SEVEN OR EIGHT DOLLARS A MONTH. A THIRD OF THE NATION'S BANKS HAVE COLLAPSED SINCE LAST SPRING, AND MOST OF THE OTHERS ARE INSOLVENT. BECAUSE OF ECONOMIC MISMANAGEMENT, BULGARIANS HAVE BEEN REDUCED TO LINING UP FOR BREAD IN A COUNTRY RICH IN FERTILE FARMLAND.

    THE UNITED STATES IS PLEASED THAT THE BULGARIAN POLITICAL FORCES, UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF PRESIDENT STOYANOV, WERE ABLE TO REACH AN AGREEMENT TO RESOLVE THE POLITICAL CRISIS. THE U.S. URGES THE LEADERS OF BULGARIA TO DEAL WITH THE ECONOMIC PROBLEMS AND COMPLETE THE TRANSITON TO A FREE-MARKET ECONOMY.

    ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.
    07-Feb-97 11:49 AM EST (1649 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] ALBANIA PROBLEMS BY BARRY WOOD (TIRANA)

    DATE=2/7/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35644
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: WHILE ALBANIA IS GRAPPLING WITH A FINANCIAL CRISIS OF IMMENSE PROPORTION, IT ALSO HAS MADE DRAMATIC PROGRESS RECENTLY IN SOLVING ITS PROBLEMS. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS FROM ALBANIA'S CAPITAL, TIRANA.

    TEXT: HERE IN THE CAPITAL AS WELL AS IN THE NEARBY SEAPORT OF DURRES, HIGH-RISE BUILDINGS ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTION. THE SOUNDS OF HAMMERS AND CRANES ADD TO THE CACOPHONY OF SHOUTING STREET VENDORS AND INCESSANT CAR HORNS.

    NOW THERE IS A WAVE OF POPULAR PROTEST SWEEPING OVER ALBANIA. NO ONE KNOWS HOW MUCH DAMAGE WILL BE DONE. CONSIDERABLE HARM HAS ALREADY OCCURRED. THE DANGER IS THAT THE PROGRESS MADE SINCE ALBANIA'S CHAOTIC EMERGENCE FROM COMMUNISM COULD BE SERIOUSLY ERODED OR EVEN SWEPT AWAY.

    IN A LAND WHERE PEOPLE EARN ABOUT 50 TO 100 DOLLARS PER MONTH, THE ASSERTION THAT CITIZENS COULD HAVE SAVED ONE BILLION DOLLARS TO PUT IN HIGH RISK INVESTMENTS INITIALLY SOUNDS ABSURD. BUT PROBE DEEPER AND THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT PEOPLE DID RUSH TO PUT SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS INTO THE MOST PREPOSTEROUS GET RICH QUICK SCHEMES YET SEEN IN EUROPE'S TRANSFORMING ECONOMIES. UNDER COMMUNISM THERE WAS NO PRIVATE PROPERTY. IN 1992 THE GOVERNMENT MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO BUY THEIR APARTMENTS AND HOMES FOR AS LITTLE AS 10 DOLLARS. IN 1996 THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE ACTUALLY SOLD THESE ASSETS FOR TEN-TO-20-THOUSAND DOLLARS AND RUSHED OUT TO GIVE THE PROCEEDS TO DISREPUTABLE COMPANIES THAT PROMISED AND OFTEN PAID HANDSOME RETURNS OF EIGHT TO TEN PERCENT PER MONTH.

    THE RISKY PYRAMID FUNDS WERE UNREGULATED BY THE GOVERNMENT. NOT SURPRISINGLY, CITIZENS CONCLUDED THAT THEY MUST BE REPUTABLE SINCE THE GOVERNMENT DID NOTHING TO STOP THEM. WHEN THE PYRAMIDS STARTED TO COLLAPSE TWO MONTHS AGO, INVESTORS PANICKED ... AND THE PANICKING CONTINUES.

    ALBANIA'S FINANCIAL GUARDIAN IS A 34-YEAR-OLD CENTRAL BANKER NAMED KRISTAQ LUNIKU. HIS OFFICE IN THE NATIONAL BANK BUILDING LOOKS OUT OVER SKANDERBERG SQUARE, WHERE HUNDREDS OF MONEY CHANGERS SET A FREE MARKET RATE FOR THE ALBANIAN CURRENCY, THE "LEK." MR. LUNIKU WORRIES THAT THE FINANCIAL PROBLEMS INVOLVING THE PYRAMID SCHEMES HAVE ALREADY UPSET THE GOVERNMENT'S AMBITIOUS ECONOMIC PROJECTIONS FOR 1997. MR. LUNIKU, WHOSE BANK ENJOYS CONSIDERABLE INDEPENDENCE FROM THE GOVERNMENT, WISHES THE AUTHORITIES HAD TAKEN HIS PERSISTENT ADVICE TO REGULATE AND SHUT DOWN THE PYRAMID FUNDS.

    MANY PEOPLE FAULT THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND FOR FAILING TO PUBLICLY CONDEMN THE EXISTENCE OF THE PYRAMID SCHEMES. THE GOVERNMENT TOO FAILED TO ACT, IN LARGE PART BECAUSE IT WAS RELUCTANT TO MAKE POWERFUL DOMESTIC ENEMIES DURING A YEAR IN WHICH THERE WERE PARLIAMENTARY AND LOCAL ELECTIONS. THE CENTRAL BANK HAD BEEN URGING ACTION AGAINST THE PYRAMIDS AS EARLY AS 1995. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/PCF/KL
    07-Feb-97 11:10 AM EST (1610 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] BREAKTHROUGH IN SERBIA BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=02/07/97
    TYPE=U-S OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-10013
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=GARY EDQUIST
    CONTENT=_

    INTRO: OPPOSITION LEADERS IN BELGRADE HAVE PLEDGED TO CALL OFF DAILY MARCHES IF LAWMAKERS FOLLOW PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC'S DIRECTIVE TO REINSTATE THE VICTORIES IN THE NOVEMBER LOCAL ELECTIONS.

    U-S NEWSPAPERS SEE THIS LATEST MOVE BY MR. MILOSEVIC AS A POSITIVE SIGN AND APPLAUD IT, AS WE HEAR NOW FROM _____________________ IN TODAY'S U-S OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: THE LATEST MOVE TO REINSTATE THE ELECTION RESULTS IS DRAWING QUALIFIED PRAISE FROM MANY CORNERS OF THE UNITED STATES AND WE BEGIN OUR SAMPLING IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST WITH PORTLAND'S OREGONIAN.

    VOICE: "THE APPARENT BREAKTHROUGH THAT DEMOCRACY'S FRIENDS IN SERBIA ACHIEVED THIS WEEK SUGGESTS, ONCE AGAIN, HOW VALUABLE THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY CAN BE IN PROMOTING A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE LIVED THEIR LIVES UNDER OPPRESSIVE DICTATORSHIPS. PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC'S DECISION TO RECOGNIZE OPPOSITION VICTORIES IN SERBIAN LOCAL ELECTIONS IS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE COURAGE AND TENACITY OF PRO-DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS IN THAT BALKAN NATION. ..... YUGOSLAVS WHO BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY - - THE STUDENTS, CLERICS AND EVERYDAY CITIZENS WHO TOOK TO THE STREETS MORE THAN TWO MONTHS AGO - - CAN BE PROUD OF THEIR ACHIEVEMENTS SO FAR. AND SO CAN THOSE WHO SUPPORTED THEM FROM ABROAD."

    TEXT: IN THE MIDWEST, IN A CITY WHERE THERE ARE MANY SERBIAN, CROATIAN AND SLOVENIAN-AMERICANS, WATCHING THESE EVENTS WITH GREAT INTEREST. THE CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER IS ALSO PLEASED.

    VOICE: "THE COURAGE AND TENACITY OF SERBIA'S PRO-DEMOCRACY FORCES BORE FRUIT ... WHEN, IN A DRAMATIC REVERSAL OF POLICY, PRESIDENT ... MILOSEVIC SAID HE WOULD ACCEPT THE RESULTS OF MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS HELD NOVEMBER 17TH. ..... AMONG THE FIRST REACTIONS FROM THE THRONGS ASSEMBLED .... IN BELGRADE WAS A DEMAND THAT [MR.] MILOSEVIC RESIGN. IT SHOULD BE REMEMBERED THAT AMONG PROTESTERS, WHAT BEGAN AS ANGER OVER THE PRESIDENT'S ATTEMPT TO NULLIFY THE ELECTIONS HAS GROWN INTO WIDESPREAD HOSTILITY TOWARD HIS STAYING IN OFFICE. .....THE WHITE HOUSE LATELY HAS ARRIVED AT THE CONCLUSION THAT [MR.] MILOSEVIC'S DAYS ARE NUMBERED. IT IS TO BE HOPED THAT IS THE CASE. [OPT] AT THE VERY LEAST, INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO COMPELLING HIM TO HONOR HIS CHANGE OF POLICY ON ELECTIONS ..... AND ... THE DEMOCRATIC FORCES SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED IF THEY DECIDE TO KEEP UP PRESSURE ON THE LEAD TO QUIT." END OPT]

    TEXT: ON THE WEST COAST, THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE COMMENTS ABOUT THE LATEST TURN OF EVENTS.

    VOICE: "AFTER NEARLY THREE MONTHS, THE WALLS HAVE TUMBLED DOWN IN SERBIA. PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, A FORMER COMMUNIST LEADER WITH A LIGHT REGARD FOR DEMOCRACY, HAS GIVEN IN ..... BY ACCEPTING ELECTION RESULTS THAT FAVOR HIS FOES. [OPT] [MR.] MILOSEVIC UNLEASHED RIOT POLICE, MUZZLED THE PRESS AND TURNED A DEAF EAR TO THE BELGRADE MARCHES THAT GREW IN STRENGTH. BUT IN THE END, HE RELENTED AND SIGNALED THAT ELECTION RESULTS SHOULD STAND. THE SOUND OF PROTEST WHISTLES AND THE SIGHT OF THOUSANDS .... FILLING THE STREETS SHOWED THE POWERFUL LURE OF DEMOCRACY IN A COUNTRY POISONED BY DICTATORSHIP. [END OPT] .... EVEN IF THE ELECTIONS STAND AND A NEW CROP OF LEADERS ARE SWORN IN, DEMOCRACY IN SERBIA COULD STILL BE A WILD RIDE. ..... BUT TO AMERICANS .... WEARY OF WASHINGTON SCANDALS AND POLITICAL GRIDLOCK, THE PROSPECT OF A FRESH START FOR AN INFANT DEMOCRACY IS INSPIRING."

    TEXT: ON LONG ISLAND, NEWSDAY, SAYS THE "PRO-DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT" PROVIDED A "JOLT FOR MR. MILOSEVIC," ADDING:

    VOICE: "IT'S AN ENCOURAGING FIRST STEP TOWARD RESOLVING THE CRISIS FACING SERBIA UNDER [MR.] MILOSEVIC'S AUTHORITARIAN LEADERSHIP BUT FAR FROM A DEFINITIVE ANSWER TO SERB DEMANDS FOR A MORE OPEN FORM OF GOVERNMENT. THE WAY TO DEMOCRACY IN SERBIA STARTS WELL BEYOND THESE CONCESSIONS: IT WOULD BEGIN WITH [MR.] MILOSEVIC STANDING DOWN OR, AT THE VERY LEAST, AGREEING TO IMMEDIATE NATIONAL ELECTIONS, WHICH - - IF CONDUCTED FAIRLY - - WOULD RESULT IN HIS CERTAIN DEFEAT."

    TEXT: TODAY'S LAST WORD GOES TO THE ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, WHICH NOTES THAT EVEN AMONG THE CURRENT VICTORS IN THIS STRUGGLE, THERE ARE ALSO PROBLEMS.

    VOICE: "[OPT] IN REVERSING HIS POSITION, MR. MILOSEVIC CONVENIENTLY FORGOT HIS ROLE IN PRECIPITATING HIS NATION'S CRISIS: 'THE ELECTION DISPUTES ... HAVE CAUSED GREAT DAMAGE TO OUR COUNTRY BOTH DOMESTICALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY, AND IT WAS HIGH TIME TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM,'; HE WROTE TO THE PREMIER. THIS SURPRISING TURNABOUT CAME JUST A DAY AFTER THE DAILY DEMONSTRATIONS TURNED VIOLENT. ON SUNDAY (2/2) AND MONDAY, (2/3) THE POLICE CRACKED DOWN ON PROTESTERS; ABOUT 80 PEOPLE WERE INJURED. [END OPT] ..... THE OPPOSITION, THOUGH, HAS A NUMBER OF PROBLEMS TO OVERCOME BEFORE IT CAN SUCCESSFULLY CHALLENGE PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC. ..... UNFORTUNATELY ... SOME IN THE OPPOSITION ARE INTENSELY NATIONALISTIC; THEIR ANIMOSITY TOWARD MR. MILOSEVIC WAS TRIGGERED BY HIS ACCEPTANCE OF THE DAYTON PEACE ACCORDS. THAT MEANS ... THE WEST, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES, MUST BE CAUTIOUS ABOUT WHICH OPPOSITION MEMBERS IT EMBRACES. NEVERTHELESS, THE SUCCESS OF THE PROTESTS IS A VICTORY FOR THE REGION'S POLITICAL EVOLUTION."

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF U-S EDITORIAL COMMENT.
    NEB/ANG/GE
    07-Feb-97 11:44 AM EST (1644 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=2/7/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209819
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SHARE PRICES SOARED TO NEW RECORD HIGHS ON EUROPEAN MARKETS. V-O-A'S JACK HUIZENGA HAS THE CLOSING MARKET REPORT FROM LONDON.

    TEXT: STOCK PRICES AND THE VALUE OF THE U-S DOLLAR ROSE, WITH TRADERS APPARENTLY CONVINCED THAT U-S GOVERNMENT REPORTS ON JOBS AND EARNINGS MEAN AMERICAN INFLATION IS UNDER CONTROL.

    ON THE LONDON CURRENCY MARKET, THE DOLLAR CLIMBED TO ITS HIGHEST LEVEL IN YEARS AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK, THE JAPANESE YEN, AND THE SWISS FRANC. IT ALSO GAINED AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND.

    STOCK PRICES HIT NEW RECORDS ON AT LEAST NINE EUROPEAN MARKETS, INCLUDING THE BIGGEST THREE, LONDON, PARIS, AND FRANKFURT. IN PARIS, THE CAC-40 INDEX ROSE MORE THAN 39 POINTS -- MORE THAN ONE-AND-ONE-HALF PERCENT.

    IN FRANKFURT, THE DAX-30 INDEX ENDED THE TRADING DAY UP ALMOST 34 POINTS, ABOUT ONE PERCENT, AND THEN ROSE ANOTHER 36 POINTS IN LATER COMPUTERIZED TRADING. IN LONDON, THE FOOTSIE-100 INDEX WAS UP ABOUT 42 POINTS, ALMOST ONE PERCENT.
    NEB/JWH/KL
    07-Feb-97 1:43 PM EST (1843 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] MACEDONIAN VIEWPOINT (L-ONLY) BY DON HENRY (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=2/7/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209820
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA SAYS ONE OF THE BIGGEST THREATS TO STABILITY IN THE BALKANS IS THE UNCERTAINTY OF POLITICAL REFORM EFFORTS IN SOME COUNTRIES. V-O-A'S DON HENRY REPORTS PROFESSOR LJUBOMIR FRCKOSKI ALSO TOLD REPORTERS IN WASHINGTON HE IS OPTIMISTIC MACEDONIA CAN OVERCOME BILATERAL PROBLEMS LINKED TO HIS COUNTRY'S ETHNIC HISTORY.

    TEXT: IN A LENGTHY REVIEW OF RELATIONS WITH BALKAN NEIGHBORS, FOREIGN MINISTER FRCKOSKI TOLD A NATIONAL PRESS CLUB AUDIENCE HIS COUNTRY WAS VERY PRECISE IN 1991 IN CHOOSING ITS CONSTITUTIONAL NAME -- THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA.

    HE WAS ONE OF THE AUTHORS OF THE CONSTITUTION, AND HE SAYS IT IS NONSENSE TO ALLEGE THAT THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA INTENDS TO MAKE TERRITORIAL CLAIMS ON GREECE OR OTHER NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES THAT WERE ONCE PART OF THE ANCIENT REGION KNOWN AS MACEDONIA. HE SAYS 60 COUNTRIES NOW RECOGNIZE THE CONSTITUTIONAL NAME. BUT THE UNITED STATES AND MANY OTHERS CONTINUE TO USE THE NAME THE COUNTRY GOES BY AT THE UNITED NATIONS -- FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA.

    WHILE THE NAME IS NOT A BOTTLENECK (PROBLEM) IN RELATIONS WITH BULGARIA, ANOTHER ETHNIC DISPUTE IS -- WHETHER BULGARIA WILL RECOGNIZE MACEDONIAN AS A SEPARATE LANGUAGE. MINISTER FRCKOSKI SAYS 20 ACCORDS ON ECONOMIC AND OTHER MATTERS ARE FULLY NEGOTIATED AND AWAIT THE OUTCOME OF THE LANGUAGE DISPUTE.

    HE SAYS THERE ALSO IS A NON ETHNIC PROBLEM COMING FROM THE DIRECTION OF BULGARIA. HE SAYS HIS COUNTRY IS BEGINNING TO SHOW ECONOMIC PROGRESS, BUT FACES PRESSURE FROM TAINTED MONEY LINKED TO CRIME SYNDICATES.

    // FRCKOSKI ACT //

    BECAUSE WE ARE A SMALL COUNTRY AND SMALL AMOUNTS OF MONEY COULD PRODUCE PRESSURE ON OUR POLICY, WE FACE THE VERY INTERESTING SITUATION OF THE PRESSURE OF SO CALLED "MONEY WITH A FOGGY BACKGROUND" COMING FROM THE EAST. UNFORTUNATELY BULGARIA IS ONE OF THE COUNTRIES IN WHICH ORGANIZED CRIME, AND THIS KIND OF MONEY, DESTROYED ECONOMIC CHANCES FROM THE VERY BEGINNING, AND WE FEEL THAT PRESSURE FROM THE EAST.

    // END ACT //

    THE FOREIGN MINISTER SAID THE POTENTIAL OF ORGANIZED CRIME TO CREATE POLITICAL INSTABILITY IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST THREATS TO BALKAN STABILITY, ALONG WITH UNEVEN PROGRESS TOWARD DEMOCRACY AND POLITICAL REFORM IN SOME COUNTRIES.

    WITH ALBANIA, HE SAID THE PRIMARY BILATERAL ISSUE IS THAT COUNTRY'S CONCERN ABOUT THE RIGHTS OF THE LARGE ALBANIAN MINORITY IN MACEDONIA.

    THE FOREIGN MINISTER SAID HE IS WILLING TO DISCUSS SUCH ISSUES AS MINORITY ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION, BUT HE SAID ESTABLISHMENT OF AN ALBANIAN LANGUAGE UNIVERSITY WILL NOT BE ALLOWED.

    WITH THE NEIGHBORING FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA, THE FOREIGN MINISTER SAID THERE ARE TWO BIG PROBLEMS. ONE IS BILATERAL TRADE HE SAID YUGOSLAVIA IS BANKRUPT AND CANNOT MAKE EVEN MINIMAL PAYMENTS. THE OTHER REVOLVES AROUND KOSOVO PROVINCE, WITH ITS LARGE ALBANIAN POPULATION. MINISTER FRCKOSKI URGED AUTHORITIES IN KOSOVO AND BELGRADE TO SEEK A PEACEFUL OUTCOME THROUGH NEGOTIATIONS, NO MATTER HOW LONG THAT MIGHT TAKE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DOH /MMK
    07-Feb-97 2:01 PM EST (1901 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] SERBIAN MEDIA (L-ONLY) BY JULIA GLYN-PICKETT (BELGRADE)

    DATE=2/7/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-209793
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THIS PAST WEEK'S MOVE BY THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT TO RECOGNIZE OPPOSITION VICTORIES IN LAST NOVEMBER'S LOCAL ELECTIONS HAS OPENED THE DOOR FOR NEW POLITICAL BATTLES WITH THE OPPOSITION ON A NEW FRONT -- NAMELY, CONTROL OF THE MEDIA. JULIA GLYN-PICKETT REPORTS FROM BELGRADE THAT A CHANGE IN POLITICAL LEADERS MAY NOT NECESSARILY MEAN FREE AND INDEPENDENT LOCAL MEDIA.

    TEXT:

    // ACT OF "BROTHER KARIC T-V" THEME TUNE -- ESTABLISH AND FADE UNDER //

    PRIVATELY-OWNED "BROTHER KARIC TELEVISION" CLAIMS TO BE THE ONLY T-V COMPANY TO HAVE GIVEN INDEPENDENT COVERAGE TO THREE MONTHS OF CIVIC PROTEST IN SERBIA. "B-K'S" SLICK COMBINATION OF NEWS, POPULAR FILMS AND TOP SPORTS EVENTS CURRENTLY REACHES AN ESTIMATED 60 PERCENT OF SERBIA USING TRANSMITTERS OWNED BY THE STATE-CONTROLLED BROADCASTER, "RADIO TELEVISION SERBIA," OR "R-T-S." A FEW DAYS AGO, RADIO TELEVISION SERBIA THREATENED TO LIMIT B-K'S BROADCAST COVERAGE TO JUST CENTRAL BELGRADE BECAUSE THE GOVERNMENT BROADCAST AUTHORITY SAID B-K OWED IT MONEY.

    WHILE THAT FINANCIAL DISPUTE MAY BE RESOLVED BY A NEW CONTRACT, B-K NEWS EDITOR, SRDJAN DJURIC, BELIEVES THERE WAS MORE TO THE DISPUTE THAN SIMPLY FINANCIAL DISAGREEMENTS:

    ///DJURIC ACT///

    ONE ... VERY IMPORTANT (THING) IS THAT WE RECEIVED THE FIRST LETTER FROM R-T-S A DAY AFTER THE POLICE INTERVENTION IN THE CENTER OF BELGRADE, AND B-K T-V WAS THE ONLY TELEVISION STATION IN SERBIA THAT COVERED THAT EVENT. AND OFFICIALLY, I CAN NOT SAY WHETHER THE DECISION OF R-T-S HAD A POLITICAL BACKGROUND, BUT PERSONALLY I THINK THAT LETTER, THAT FIRST LETTER THAT WE RECEIVED, HAD A POLITICAL DECISION (ELEMENT TO IT) AND THEY TRIED TO SCARE US.

    ///END ACT///

    IT IS THIS TYPE OF ALLEGED POLITICAL INTERFERENCE IN THE MEDIA THAT HAS LED THOUSANDS OF SERBIANS TO DEMAND FREE MEDIA AS PART OF THEIR PROTEST FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE. THE DEMONSTRATORS HAVE THE BACKING OF THE "ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE," THE "O-S-C-E," WHICH INCLUDED MEDIA REFORM IN THEIR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGE, FOLLOWING LAST NOVEMBER'S DISPUTED MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS.

    AFTER THREE MONTHS OF STREET PROTESTS, THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT NOW APPEARS READY TO LISTEN TO THE O-S-C-E AND RECOGNIZE OPPOSITION ELECTION VICTORIES IN 14 SERBIAN TOWNS, INCLUDING BELGRADE. AS A RESULT, SEVERAL LOCAL RADIO AND TELEVISION STATIONS, OWNED BY THOSE TOWN COUNCILS, COULD END UP IN THE HANDS OF THE OPPOSITION.

    //OPT//

    OBSERVERS SAY THAT AFTER YEARS SPENT ON THE MARGINS OF STATE-CONTROLLED MEDIA, THE OPPOSITION'S ACCESS TO LOCAL MEDIA COULD PLAY A MAJOR PART IN SHAPING THEIR POLITICAL FUTURE. //END OPT// SO FAR, THE OPPOSITION HAS MANAGED TO SECURE CONTROL OF LOCAL MEDIA IN SIX OF THE TOWNS THEY WON IN LAST NOVEMBER'S LOCAL ELECTIONS -- BUT NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT. //OPT// TWO WEEKS AGO, BATTLES FOR AN OUTLET CALLED "TELEVISION KRAGUJEVAC" ENDED IN VIOLENT CLASHES BETWEEN OPPOSITION SUPPORTERS AND POLICE. THE POLICE HAD BEEN ORDERED BY SERBIAN AUTHORITIES TO PREVENT THE NEWLY-ELECTED OPPOSITION COUNCIL FROM ENTERING THE T-V STATION.

    //END OPT//

    THE NEXT POLITICAL BATTLE FOR MEDIA CONTROL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN IN BELGRADE OVER THE ONCE PRIVATELY-OWNED LOCAL RADIO AND TELEVISION OPERATION CALLED "STUDIO B." A COURT RULING NEARLY TWO YEARS AGO MADE STUDIO B THE PROPERTY OF THE SOCIALIST-CONTROLLED BELGRADE CITY COUNCIL. BY LAW, THAT BROADCAST OUTLET SHOULD REMAIN THE PROPERTY OF BELGRADE CITY COUNCIL, EVEN IF THE OPPOSITION TAKES POWER.

    CURRENT STUDIO B EDITORIAL STAFF HAVE REPEATEDLY REFUSED TO COMMENT ON EDITORIAL POLICY, BUT FORMER STUDIO B JOURNALISTS SAY THAT SINCE THE OPERATION BECAME THE PROPERTY OF THE SOCIALIST-CONTROLLED CITY COUNCIL, IT HAS LOST ANY SEMBLANCE OF INDEPENDENCE. FORMER STUDIO B NEWS EDITOR VLADAN RADOSAVLJEVIC WAS NOT SURE, HOWEVER, IF THE INCOMING OPPOSITION GOVERNMENT WOULD RESPECT THE JOURNALISTIC FREEDOM AND INDEPENDENCE OF STUDIO B EITHER.

    ///RADOSAVLJEVIC ACT///

    IF IT REMAINS UNDER THE CITY CONTROL, UNDER THE CONTROL OF BELGRADE AUTHORITIES, I DON'T KNOW. IT WILL BE REALLY A GREAT TEST FOR THE OPPOSITION, MAYBE THE FIRST TEST FOR OPPOSITION POLICY IN BELGRADE AND OTHER PLACES WHERE THEY WON IN SERBIA.

    ///END ACT///

    SO FOR THE MOMENT, SERBIANS EAGERLY AWAIT WHAT CHANGES -- IF ANY MAY COME TO LOCAL BROADCASTING AFTER OPPOSITION GROUPS START GOVERNING THE CITIES THEY'VE BEEN ELECTED TO RUN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JGP/PCF
    07-Feb-97 6:48 AM EST (1148 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] U-N WEEK-IN-REVIEW BY ELAINE JOHANSON (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=2/7/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35655
    CONTENT=_
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED NATIONS CONDEMNS ATTACKS ON U-N PERSONNEL, FOLLOWING AN AMBUSH IN RWANDA AND KIDNAPPINGS IN TAJIKISTAN; THE U-N WELCOMES PRESIDENT CLINTON'S PROPOSALS TO THE U-S CONGRESS FOR PAYMENT OF WASHINGTON'S U-N DEBT BUT SAYS THEY WILL NOT EASE THE U-N'S FINANCIAL CRISIS ANYTIME SOON; AND HIGHLY-PLACED RUMORS FLOAT AROUND NEW YORK ABOUT A SENIOR U-N POST FOR NORWAY'S FORMER PRIME MINISTER -- GRO HARLEM BRUNDTLAND. VOA CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REVIEWS THE MAIN DEVELOPMENTS OF THE PAST WEEK:

    TEXT: ALL OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM -- FROM THE SECRETARY-GENERAL TO THE U-N REFUGEE AGENCY AND THE SECURITY COUNCIL -- STRONGLY DENOUNCED VIOLENCE AGAINST INTERNATIONAL PERSONNEL. FROM THE AMBUSH KILLINGS OF SEVERAL PEOPLE IN RWANDA WHICH INCLUDED LOCAL STAFF -- TO THE KIDNAPPINGS IN TAJIKISTAN, U-N OFFICIALS AND DIPLOMATS SAID SUCH ACTIONS ARE COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL -- NJUGUNA MAHUGU OF KENYA NOTED THAT INTERNATIONAL WORK CARRIES SOME DEGREE OF RISK. BUT HE SAID THE RECENT INCIDENTS WERE DELIBERATE AND AVOIDABLE:

    //MAHUGU ACT//

    SOME OF THESE INCIDENCTS HAVE BEEN TRAGIC ACCIDENTS. BUT OTHERS SUCH AS IN RWANDA AND TAJIKISTAN HAVE BEEN DELIBERATE WILLFUL ACTS WITH AN EMERGING PATTERN OF INTIMIDATION TO UNITED NATIONS PERSONNEL. MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL CONDEMN SUCH ATTACKS IN STRONG TERMS.

    //END ACT//

    THE U-N REMINDED THE GOVERNMENTS OF RWANDA AND TAJIKISTAN THAT THEY HAVE A RESPONSIBLITY FOR THE SECURITY OF ALL OPERATIONS ON THEIR TERRITORY.

    -0-

    PRESIDENT CLINTON SUBMITTED A PLAN TO THE U-S CONGRESS THIS PAST WEEK FOR STAGGERED PAYMENT OF THE MORE THAN ONE BILLION DOLLARS THE UNITED STATES OWES THE UNITED NATIONS. ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS WOULD BE PAID THIS YEAR AS A GESTURE OF GOOD FAITH. ANOTHER NINE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS WOULD BE APPROVED, BUT PAYMENT WOULD NOT BEGIN BEFORE 1999.

    U-N SPOKESMAN FRED ECKHARD POINTED OUT ALL GOVERNMENTS ARE OBLIGED TO PAY THEIR DUES IN FULL AND ON TIME. THAT BEING SAID, THE SPOKESMAN CONCEDED IT IS THE BEST SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN CAN EXPECT AT THIS TIME:

    //ECKHARD ACT//

    IN PRACTICE HE CAN LIVE WITH THIS COMPROMISE WHICH OF COURSE IS NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE RULES BUT REPRESENTS IN HIS VIEW A GOOD FAITH EFFORT BY THE U-S TO COME TO TERMS WITH ITS ARREARAGE SITUATION, WHICH IS CRIPPLING THE ORGANIZATION.

    //END ACT//

    THE U-S CONGRESS -- DEMANDING VIGOROUS U-N REFORM -- HAS BEEN HOLDING UP PAYMENTS.

    THE ISSUE HAS CAUSED A GREAT DEAL OF RESENTMENT, INCLUDING AMONG OTHER MAJOR DONORS WHO ALSO ARE PUSHING FOR REFORM. THE UNITED STATES WOULD LIKE TO GET APPROVAL FOR LOWERING THE PERCENTAGE OF THE U-N BUDGET IT PAYS FOR -- WHICH WOULD REQUIRE STRIKING A DEAL WITH THE REST OF THE MEMBERSHIP. BUT EVEN SOME OF AMERICA'S TRADITIONAL ALLIES ARE SAYING NO NEGOTIATIONS UNTIL WASHINGTON PAYS ITS PAST DUES.

    -0-

    THE NAME OF GRO HARLEM BRUNDTLAND -- THE FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF NORWAY -- HAS SURFACED AGAIN AT THE UNITED NATIONS. SHE WAS TALKED ABOUT RECENTLY AS A POSSIBLE CONTENDER FOR THE POST OF SECRETARY-GENERAL -- THE FIRST TIME A WOMAN WOULD HAVE BEEN THE U-N'S TOP DIPLOMAT. MRS. BRUNDTLAND'S PROSPECTS WERE CUT SHORT WHEN KOFI ANNAN EMERGED AS THE CONSENSUS CANDIDATE IN DECEMBER. NOW, OSLO IS FLOATING A RUMOR THAT SHE IS BEING CONSIDERED AS MR. ANNAN'S DEPUTY -- A POST THAT DOES NOT EXIST YET. NORDIC GOVERNMENTS APPEAR ENTHUSIASTIC.

    U-N SPOKESMAN FRED ECKHARD WAS CAUTIOUS. BUT HE SIGNALLED THAT THE SECRETARY-GENERAL IS INTERESTED:

    //ECKHARD ACT//

    HE HAS NOTHING TO ANNOUNCE YET. IN THE FIRST PLACE THE POST OF DEPUTY DOES NOT YET EXIST IN THE U-N BUDGET AND SO HIS INTENTION TO NAME A DEPUTY WOULD HAVE TO BE PRECEDED BY A REQUEST TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO APPROVE THE POST. AND HE HAS SAID HIS PREFERENCE WOULD BE TO NAME A WOMAN.

    //END ACT//

    FOR MOST U-N WATCHERS, THE SPOKESMAN'S RESPONSE APPEARED TO PUT THE RUMORS ON A MORE SOLID FOOTING. MRS. BRUNDTLAND IS A WIDELY RESPECTED INDIVIDUAL WITH STRONG VIEWS ON PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT AND INCREASING ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EJ/KL
    07-Feb-97 4:00 PM EST (2100 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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