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Voice of America, 97-12-06

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] BRITISH BEEF (L-ONLY) (CQ) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [02] E-U / IRAN (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [03] SERBIA POL (S/L) BY ART CHIMES (BELGRADE)

  • [01] BRITISH BEEF (L-ONLY) (CQ) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=12/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-223755
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// RE-ISSUING TO DELETE LINE, IN SECOND GRAF OF TEXT, SAYING WHEN BAN WILL GO INTO EFFECT ///

    INTRO: BRITISH BEEF EATERS, WHO HAVE SHUNNED STEAKS AND BUCKED BURGERS AFTER EARLIER CONCERNS OF CONTRACTING THE HUMAN FORM OF "MAD COW" DISEASE, ARE CONFUSED ONCE AGAIN OVER A NEW GOVERNMENT HEALTH FINDING. IT MAY LEAD TO A NEW BAN ON BEEF SALES IN BRITAIN. MEANWHILE, BRITISH CATTLE FARMERS THIS WEEK STAGED BLOCKADES AT FERRY PORTS TO BLOCK BEEF IMPORTS. DETAILS FROM LONDON AND V-O-A'S PAUL FRANCUCH.

    TEXT: AFTER LAST YEAR'S "MAD COW" DISEASE SCARE IN BRITAIN, THE GOVERNMENT TOOK RADICAL STEPS, SLAUGHTERING SUSPECT ANIMALS AND IMPOSING NEW STANDARDS, IN HOPES OF REASSURING THE PUBLIC THAT BEEF SOLD IN BRITAIN WOULD BE SAFE. AND WHILE MANY BEEF EATERS ONLY RELUCTANTLY RESUMED BUYING THE MEAT, THERE WERE SIGNS CONSUMER CONFIDENCE WAS GRADUALLY RETURNING.

    BUT THIS PAST WEDNESDAY, THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED FINDINGS INDICATING A NEW LINK BETWEEN "MAD COW DISEASE" AND BEEF SOLD ON THE BONE -- CUTS SUCH AS TEE-BONE STEAKS AND RIB ROASTS. BRITISH CONSUMERS REACTED TO THE NEWS WITH CONFUSION, ANGER -- AND WITH QUICK TRIPS TO THE BUTCHER TO STOCK-UP ON BEEF BEFORE THE COMING HOLIDAY SEASON.

    /// OPT ///

    SALES AT "SMITHFIELD" -- LONDON'S MAJOR WHOLESALE MEAT MARKET -- WERE REPORTED BRISK AS THE WEEK DREW TO A CLOSE.

    /// END OPT ///

    MEANWHILE, DISGRUNTLED BRITISH CATTLE FARMERS -- ANGERED BY EXPORT BANS ON THEIR BEEF -- HAVE BEEN STAGING PROTESTS AT FERRY PORTS WHERE TRUCKLOADS OF CHEAPER IMPORTED BEEF ENTER BRITAIN. THEY DUMPED LOADS OF IRISH BEEF INTO ONE WELSH HARBOR AND STAGED BLOCKADES AT THE KEY ENGLISH CHANNEL PORT OF DOVER.

    /// OPT ///

    IN RESPONSE, IRELAND'S AGRICULTURE MINISTER, JOE WALSH, CAME TO LONDON TO CONSULT WITH HIS BRITISH COUNTERPART ABOUT ENDING THE PROTEST.

    /// OPT // WALSH ACT ///

    WE'RE NOT DUMPING (SELLING CHEAP) BEEF OR WE'RE NOT UNDERSELLING IN ANY WAY. THIS IS A TRADITIONAL MARKET. AND WE CAN'T SEE WHY WE'RE SINGLED OUT IN PARTICULAR, WHEN THE E-U HAS AN INTERNAL MARKET REGULATION. AND THIS MATTER THAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IS ILLEGAL AND IT'S UNACCEPTABLE AND WE WANT IT RESOLVED AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

    /// END ACT ///

    /// OPT ///

    BRITISH AGRICULTURE SECRETARY JACK CUNNINGHAM AGREED, CALLING THE BLOCKADE "DEPLORABLE."

    /// OPT // CUNNINGHAM ACT ///

    WE SHOULD NOT AND CANNOT TOLERATE VIOLENCE AND INTERFERENCE WITH PEOPLES' TRADE. AS I AND MY COLLEAGUES MADE CLEAR EARLIER THIS YEAR WHEN THERE WERE FRENCH BLOCKADES OF PORTS, BRITISH INTERESTS WERE DAMAGED, AND WE SIMPLY CANNOT TOLERATE SUCH ACTION BETWEEN MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. WE HAVE A FREE MARKET IN BEEF, AND PRODUCTS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO MOVE FREELY.

    /// END ACT // END OPT ///

    THE EUROPEAN UNION WARNED BRITAIN THE BLOCKADE INTERFERED WITH FREE TRADE AND LEGAL ACTION WOULD BE TAKEN, IF THE PROTEST WASN'T DEALT WITH. MEANWHILE, BRITAIN'S GOVERNMENT IS CONSIDERING AN EMERGENCY ECONOMIC PACKAGE TO HELP COMPENSATE CATTLE FARMERS FOR SEVERE LOSSES OVER THE PAST YEAR. BUT THAT MAY BE OF LITTLE CONSOLATION TO THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY, AS THEY FACE PERHAPS ANOTHER BAN ON SALES OF BRITISH BEEF. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/JWH
    06-Dec-97 8:04 AM EST (1304 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] E-U / IRAN (L) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=12/5/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-223750
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A WHITE HOUSE MEETING FRIDAY BETWEEN PRESIDENT CLINTON AND THE LEADERS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION CONCLUDED WITH LITTLE PROGRESS TOWARD BRIDGING THEIR DIFFERENCES OVER POLICY TOWARD IRAN. V-O-A'S WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT DEBORAH TATE REPORTS.

    TEXT: AT ISSUE IS A U-S LAW THAT PENALIZES COMPANIES THAT INVEST IN IRAN, WHICH THE UNITED STATES BELIEVES SUPPORTS STATE-SPONSORED TERRORISM.

    THE E-U OPPOSES THE MEASURE, ARGUING IT WOULD ALLOW THE UNITED STATES TO IMPOSE ITS POLICIES BEYOND ITS SHORES.

    THE FIRST TEST OF THE LAW COULD COME WITH THE CASE OF THE FRENCH ENERGY FIRM TOTAL, WHICH HAS SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH IRAN TO INVEST IN NATURAL GAS EXPLORATION.

    U-S NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL AIDE DON BANDLER SAYS MR. CLINTON HAS NOT YET DECIDED WHETHER TO IMPOSE SANCTIONS ON THE COMPANY. BUT HE SAYS THE PRESIDENT SOUGHT SUPPORT FROM E-U LEADERS FOR EFFORTS TO CONTAIN IRAN.

    // BANDLER ACTUALITY //

    HE EMPHASIZED HIS STRONG CONCERN ABOUT IRAN'S EFFORTS TO ACQUIRE WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION AND IRAN'S SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM. HE CALLED ON THE EUROPEAN UNION TO JOIN US IN ADDITIONAL STEPS AIMED AT ADDRESSING THIS SERIOUS AND IMPORTANT PROBLEM.

    // END ACT //

    THE MEETING BETWEEN MR. CLINTON AND THE E-U LEADERS ALSO DID LITTLE TO RESOLVE AN IMPASSE OVER ANOTHER ISSUE -- GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS.

    ALTHOUGH THE UNITED STATES OPPOSES THE DEEP REDUCTIONS IN EMISSIONS ADVOCATED BY THE E-U, MR. CLINTON EXPRESSED CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM THAT A COMPROMISE COULD BE REACHED AT TALKS UNDERWAY IN KYOTO, JAPAN.

    WHILE THERE WERE DISAGREEMENTS OVER IRAN AND GLOBAL WARMING, THE TWO SIDES DID AGREE ON OTHER ISSUES. THEY SIGNED AN ACCORD TO BOOST SCIENCE COOPERATION, AND THEY AGREED TO WORK TOGETHER TO PROMOTE REFORM IN UKRAINE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/PT
    05-Dec-97 7:23 PM EST (0023 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] SERBIA POL (S/L) BY ART CHIMES (BELGRADE)

    DATE=12/6/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-223769
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // EDITORS: POLLS OPEN SUNDAY 7AM-8PM LOCAL TIME //

    INTRO: VOTERS IN SERBIA WILL BE CASTING BALLOTS TOMORROW (SUNDAY) IN A SECOND ATTEMPT TO ELECT A PRESIDENT. AS WE HEAR FROM V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES, A LOW-KEY CAMPAIGN AND VOTER APATHY SEEM LIKELY TO LEAD TO AN INCONCLUSIVE RESULT.

    TEXT: FIFTY PERCENT OF THE VOTERS HAVE TO CAST A BALLOT FOR THE ELECTION TO COUNT, AND MANY OBSERVERS WONDER IF THAT MANY WILL SHOW UP.

    CANDIDATES GENERALLY FAILED TO CONVINCE VOTERS THEY HAVE THE ANSWER TO SERBIA'S ECONOMIC PROBLEMS, AND ISSUES RELATED TO THE BALKAN WAR WENT UNADDRESSED. AFTER REPEATED ELECTIONS, MANY VOTERS SEEM TO HAVE SIMPLY GOTTEN TIRED OF CASTING BALLOTS WHEN NOTHING SEEMS TO CHANGE.

    THERE ARE THREE LEADING CANDIDATES: MILAN MILUTINOVIC IS SEEN AS A STAND-IN FOR YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC; VOJISLAV SESELJ IS THE ULTRA-NATIONALIST CANDIDATE OF THE RADICAL PARTY; AND VUK DRASKOVIC IS A MONARCHIST FROM THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION COALITION THAT BROKE APART EARLIER THIS YEAR.

    // REST OPTIONAL //

    MR. SESELJ WON THE MOST VOTES IN THE LAST SERBIAN PRESIDENTIAL VOTE, IN OCTOBER. HIS HARD-LINE POSITIONS APPEAL TO MANY SERBIAN VOTERS WHO FEEL HE COULD STAND UP TO THE WESTERN POWERS. WESTERN OFFICIALS, AND MANY MODERATE SERBS, WORRY HIS CALLS FOR CONFRONTATION COULD PROLONG SERBIA'S INTERNATIONAL ISOLATION.

    WHATEVER HAPPENS IN SUNDAY'S VOTE, IT ALMOST CERTAINLY WILL NOT PRODUCE A NEW SERBIAN PRESIDENT. IF FEWER THAN HALF THE ELIGIBLE VOTERS CAST A BALLOT, THERE WILL HAVE TO BE NEW ELECTIONS, PROBABLY EARLY NEXT YEAR.

    AND EVEN IF ENOUGH VOTERS SHOW UP (SUNDAY), NONE OF THE THREE MAIN CANDIDATES IS LIKELY TO WIN A MAJORITY, WHICH WOULD REQUIRE A RUN-OFF ELECTION LATER THIS MONTH. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/DW/RRM
    06-Dec-97 1:59 PM EST (1859 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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