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Voice of America, 98-11-22

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] TURKEY/ITALY (L) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)
  • [02] KURDS-EUROPE (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [03] ALBANIA REFERENDUM (S/L) BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)
  • [04] BOSNIA/DAYTON BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (WASHINGTON)
  • [05] E-U-FINANCE MINISTERS OVERNIGHTER (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

  • [01] TURKEY/ITALY (L) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=11/22/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242010
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THOUSANDS OF ANGRY DEMONSTRATORS TOOK TO THE STREETS OF THE TURKISH CAPITAL ANKARA SUNDAY TO PROTEST THE FREEING OF KURDISH REBEL CHIEF ABDULLAH OCALAN BY THE ITALIAN AUTHORITIES. AMBERIN ZAMAN WAS AT THE PROTEST AT THE ITALIAN EMBASSY IN ANKARA.

    /// BEGIN CHANTING ESTABLISH FADE UNDER... //

    TEXT: THOUSANDS OF MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN CARRYING TURKISH FLAGS AND PICTURES OF LOVED ONES LOST IN THE 14-YEAR-LONG MILITARY CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE OUTLAWED KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY -- OR P-K-K -- MASSED OUTSIDE THE ITALIAN EMBASSY. THEY WERE CHANTING THE SAME SLOGAN -- "WE WANT APO." "APO" IS THE NICKNAME OF P-K-K LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN WHO WAS FREED BY AN ITALIAN COURT FRIDAY AFTER BEING DETAINED FOR MORE THAN A WEEK. PUBLIC ANGER HAS BEEN STEADILY MOUNTING HERE EVER SINCE THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT REJECTED TURKEY'S DEMANDS TO HAND OVER MR. OCALAN ON THE GROUNDS THAT HE WOULD BE DENIED A FAIR TRIAL IN TURKEY. ITALY'S CONSTITUTION FORBIDS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND MR. OCALAN COULD FACE EXECUTION IF FOUND GUILTY IN TURKEY.

    IN THE ANKARA DEMONSTRATION WAS REYHAN AZIZO, ONE OF HUNDREDS OF MOTHERS WHO LOST SONS IN THE WAR AGAINST THE P-K-K.

    /// AZIZO ACT IN TURKISH, FADE UNDER... ///

    LIKE SO MANY TEARFUL MOTHERS HERE, MRS. AZIZO SAYS THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT MUST RETURN MR. OCALAN TO TURKEY. SHE SAYS SHE WANTS HIS BLOOD IN EXCHANGE FOR THAT OF HER SON, MURAT, WHO DIED IN A P-K-K AMBUSH LAST YEAR.

    /// OPT ///

    YAVUZ YUCEL IS A 23-YEAR-OLD FORMER ARMY CORPORAL WHO LOST A LEG DURING A CLASH WITH THE P-K-K IN THE SOUTHEASTERN PROVINCE OF MARDIN LAST YEAR.

    /// YUCEL ACT IN TURKISH, FADE UNDER... ///

    MR. YUCEL SAYS HE BELIEVES TURKEY SHOULD GO TO WAR AGAINST ITALY IF IT PERSISTS IN ITS REFUSAL TO HAND OVER THE P-K-K LEADER. HE SAYS HE IS GRATEFUL TO THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT FOR BACKING TURKEY'S EXTRADITION DEMANDS. /// END OPT ///

    RELATIONS BETWEEN NATO ALLIES TURKEY AND ITALY HAVE BEEN STEADILY DETERIORATING EVER SINCE MR. OCALAN STEPPED OFF A PLANE FROM MOSCOW TEN DAYS AGO AND WAS DETAINED BY THE ITALIAN AUTHORITIES IN A ROME HOSPITAL.

    DURING A CONVENTION OF HIS RIGHT WING MOTHERLAND PARTY SATURDAY, TURKISH PRIME MINISTER MESUT YILMAZ ACCUSED ITALY OF OPENING ITS ARMS TO WHAT HE TERMED THE WORLD'S BLOODIEST TERRORIST. MR. YILMAZ WARNED THAT ITALY'S BEHAVIOR WOULD NOT GO UNPUNISHED.

    /// OPT ///

    PUBLIC ANGER AGAINST ITALY HAS ALSO TRIGGERED A NATIONWIDE BOYCOTT OF ITALIAN GOODS BY MAJOR SUPERMARKET CHAINS AND CLOTHING RETAILERS. THE CHARRED REMAINS OF ITALIAN-MADE SILK TIES AND ITALIAN FLAGS BURNED BY THE PROTESTERS LITTERED THE ENTRANCE TO THE ITALIAN EMBASSY DURING SUNDAY'S PROTEST. /// END OPT /// NEARLY 40-THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE DIED SINCE THE P-K-K LAUNCHED ITS ARMED CAMPAIGN FOR KURDISH SELF RULE IN 1984. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/DW/GE
    22-Nov-98 12:41 PM EST (1741 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] KURDS-EUROPE (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=11/21/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-241992
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE EUROPEAN UNION HAS GIVEN ITS SUPPORT TO ITALY IN THE HANDLING OF KURDISH LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN. THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT HAS REFUSED TURKEY'S REQUEST FOR THE EXTRADITION OF THE KURDISH LEADER. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS, THE EUROPEAN UNION IS NOT AS UNITED AS THE STATEMENT MIGHT INDICATE.

    TEXT: AUSTRIA HOLDS THE CURRENT PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND A STATEMENT ISSUED ON BEHALF OF THE UNION EXPRESSES FULL SOLIDARITY WITH ITALY AND ITS RESOLVE TO ABIDE FULLY WITH ITS LAWS AND LEGAL OBLIGATIONS.

    UNTIL SATURDAY, THE EUROPEAN UNION HAD REFUSED TO BECOME INVOLVED IN THE ARGUMENT BETWEEN ITALY AND TURKEY ON THE FATE OF KURDISH LEADER ABDULLAH OCALAN. THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION HAD REFUSED COMMENT, CITING THE DISAGREEMENT AMONG ITS MEMBERS ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF TURKEY'S EXTRADITION REQUEST.

    AN ITALIAN COURT DISMISSED TURKEY'S REQUEST ON FRIDAY. HE HAS BEEN ORDERED TO STAY IN ROME WHILE OTHER LEGAL MATTERS ARE CONSIDERED.

    GERMANY HAS A 1990 ARREST WARRANT FOR THE KURDISH WORKER'S PARTY LEADER BUT PUT OFF ASKING ITALY FOR MR. OCALAN'S EXTRADITION BECAUSE OF THE TURKISH REQUEST. A GERMAN GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN SAYS THE CASE IS IN GOOD HANDS WITH ITALY.

    THE GERMAN MAGAZINE "DER SPIEGEL" SAYS A NEW GERMAN ARREST WARRANT IS BEING PREPARED AGAINST MR. OCALAN FOR A SERIES OF ARSON CHARGES IN 1993. THE 1990 WARRANT CITES A SINGLE MURDER CHARGE.

    ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MASSIMO D'ALEMA IS CONSULTING WITH EUROPEAN LEADERS ON THE KURDISH LEADER'S FATE. HE MET WITH AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHUSSEL IN CROATIA. AFTERWARD, AUSTRIA ISSUED THE EUROPEAN UNION STATEMENT THAT REJECTED THREATS BY TURKEY AGAINST ITALY.

    TURKISH PRIME MINISTER MESUT YILMAZ ACCUSES ITALY OF MAKING PEACE WITH TERRORISM BY REFUSING HIS COUNTRY'S EXTRADITION REQUEST. MR. YILMAZ TALKS ABOUT ITALY EARNING TURKEY'S ETERNAL HOSTILITY.

    MR. OCALAN FACES THE DEATH PENALTY IN TURKEY.

    TURKEY IS NOT A MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AND HAS NOT BEEN CONSIDERED FOR MEMBERSHIP. EUROPEAN UNION OFFICIALS CITE HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS CENTERED ON TURKEY'S HANDLING OF ITS KURDISH MINORITY.

    TURKEY WANTS SUPPORT WITHIN NATO WHERE IT IS A MEMBER AND HAS AMERICAN SUPPORT FOR MR. OCALAN TO BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.

    PRIME MINISTER D'ALEMA IS CONSULTING WITH GERMAN CHANCELLOR GERHARD SCHROEDER AS WELL AS WITH THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION HERE IN BRUSSELS AND FRENCH LEADERS IN PARIS TO SEE HOW TO PROCEED. MR. D'ALEMA PROMISES TO WATCH MR. OCALAN AND TO MAKE SURE HE DOES NOT CARRY OUT ANY HOSTILE ACTIVITIES AGAINST TURKEY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/DW/GE
    21-Nov-98 10:18 AM EST (1518 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] ALBANIA REFERENDUM (S/L) BY ART CHIMES (PRAGUE)

    DATE=11/22/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242008
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // EDS: POLLS CLOSE AT 1700 UTC (6:00 PM LOCAL) //

    INTRO: THE POLLS ARE OPEN IN ALBANIA WHERE WHAT COULD BE THE COUNTRY'S FIRST POST-COMMUNIST CONSTITUTION IS UP FOR APPROVAL. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ART CHIMES IS FOLLOWING DEVELOPMENTS FROM OUR REGIONAL NEWS BUREAU IN PRAGUE.

    TEXT: THE GOVERNMENT AND WESTERN OBSERVERS ARE HOPING THAT A DECISIVE "YES" VOTE WILL SET ALBANIA ON A MORE STABLE PATH AFTER TOO MUCH ANARCHY AND CHAOS SINCE THE COLLAPSE OF COMMUNISM ALMOST A DECADE AGO.

    FORMER PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA HAS BEEN ENCOURAGING VOTERS TO STAY HOME, SAYING PARTS OF THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION ARE ANTI-ALBANIAN. BUT SOME OBSERVERS BELIEVE MR. BERISHA HOPES THAT IF THE REFERENDUM FAILS IT WILL HELP HIS DEMOCRATIC PARTY, WHICH HAS BEEN PUSHING FOR EARLY ELECTIONS.

    //OPT//

    AN OPPOSITION RALLY SATURDAY AGAINST THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION WAS CALLED OFF. A PREVIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL PROPOSAL, UNDER MR. BERISHA'S GOVERNMENT IN 1994, FAILED TO WIN VOTER SUPPORT IN A REFERENDUM. //END OPT//

    THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION WOULD ESTABLISH ALBANIA AS A PARLIAMENTARY REPUBLIC WITH A CLEAR SEPARATION OF POWERS AMONG THE BRANCHES OF THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, AND BETWEEN CENTRAL AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES. IT WOULD GUARANTEE FREEDOM OF THE MEDIA AND OF RELIGION, AND A MARKET ECONOMY IN WHAT WAS ONCE THE MOST DOGMATIC OF EASTERN EUROPE'S COMMUNIST STATES.

    // REST OPTIONAL FOR LONG VERSION //

    THE VOTING IS BEING WATCHED BY INTERNATIONAL MONITORS OF THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE. THE O-S-C-E'S TOP MAN IN TIRANA, DAAN EVERTS, SAYS (IN AN INTERVIEW WITH REUTERS) THAT A STRONG VOTE IN SUPPORT OF THE PROPOSED CONSTITUTION WOULD HELP THE NEW PRIME MINISTER, PANDELI MAJKO, CARRY OUT REFORMS.

    THE RUNUP TO SUNDAY'S REFERENDUM WAS MARRED BY BOMB ATTACKS ON SENIOR OFFICIALS. THE GOVERNMENT SAYS THEY WERE INTENDED TO DISRUPT THE VOTE. EVEN WITH THE EUROPEAN MONITORS IN PLACE AND A NATIONWIDE POLICE ALERT, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ASSURE SECURITY FOR ALL OF ALBANIA'S VOTING PLACES, MANY OF WHICH ARE IN ISOLATED COMMUNITIES WHERE STATE AUTHORITY IS AT BEST LIMITED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/ART/DW/GE
    22-Nov-98 8:28 AM EST (1328 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] BOSNIA/DAYTON BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=11/22/98
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-41933
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: IT HAS BEEN THREE YEARS SINCE THE BLOODY CONFLICT IN BOSNIA ENDED WITH THE U-S BROKERED DAYTON AGREEMENT (EDS: REACHED IN DAYTON, OHIO, NOVEMBER 21, 1995 AND SIGNED IN PARIS, DECEMBER 14). SOME 30-THOUSAND NATO TROOPS CONTINUE TO KEEP THE PEACE IN BOSNIA, BUT MUCH REMAINS TO BE DONE TO ACHIEVE THE OBJECTIVES SET FORTH IN THE AGREEMENT. V-O-A'S DOUGLAS ROBERTS FILED THIS BACKGROUND REPORT.

    TEXT: AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS MONTH, A SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS SHATTERED THE PASTORAL SERENITY AROUND THE SMALL SOUTHERN MARKET TOWN OF STOLAC. MUSLIM REFUGEES, ATTEMPTING TO RETURN TO THEIR HOMES IN THE ROCKY HILLS OF HERZEGOVINA, WERE AGAIN FACING VIOLENT RESISTANCE FROM THE AREA'S CROAT MAJORITY.

    WITH GRENADE AND BOMB ATTACKS ON MUSLIM-OWNED PROPERTY, CROAT HARDLINERS ARE STILL ATTEMPTING TO KEEP THE REGION ETHNICALLY PURE. SIMILAR INCIDENTS IN THE PAST LED THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S HIGH REPRESENTATIVE IN BOSNIA TO DISMISS STOLAC' MAYOR AND POLICE CHIEF. BUT VIOLENT RESISTANCE TO THE RETURN OF THE REFUGEES HAS CONTINUED IN STOLAC AND OTHER CROAT STRONGHOLDS, ANGERING OFFICIALS LIKE ELIZABETH REHN, THE CHIEF U-N ENVOY IN BOSNIA.

    ///REHN ACT///

    THERE IS AN ATMOSPHERE OF HATE THAT COMES, THAT IS THE CROAT SIDE. WE HAVE MOSTLY PROBLEMS WITH THE CROATS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA WHO DO NOT WANT TO COOPERATE.

    ///END ACT///

    MS. REHN ASSERTS THAT BOSNIA'S CROAT LEADERSHIP IS NOW THE MAIN OBSTACLE TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DAYTON PEACE PROCESS. BUT OTHER ANALYSTS SAY THE STATISTICS DO NOT SUPPORT THAT CONTENTION.

    OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS IN BOSNIA'S MUSLIM-CROAT FEDERATION, MORE THAN FIFTY THOUSAND REFUGEES HAVE RETURNED TO HOMES IN AREAS OUTSIDE THE CONTROL OF THEIR OWN ETHNIC GROUP. (HOWEVER,) THE NUMBER OF MUSLIMS AND CROATS WHO HAVE GONE BACK TO BOSNIA'S SERB REPUBLIC IS MINUSCULE BY COMPARISON.

    DANIEL SERWER, A FORMER STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL WHO WAS ON THE AMERICAN NEGOTIATING TEAM AT DAYTON, MONITORS BOSNIAN DEVELOPMENTS AT THE U-S INSTITUTE OF PEACE HERE IN WASHINGTON.

    ///SERWER ACT///

    I DO BELIEVE THAT THE MAIN PROBLEM IS STILL IN THE REPUBLIKA SRPSKA, BUT THIS PROBLEM WITH THE CROATS IN SOME TOWNS IN HERZEGOVINA IS A VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM AND NEEDS TO BE SOLVED QUICKLY.

    ///END ACT///

    THREE YEARS AFTER THE DAYTON ACCORD WAS SIGNED, MR. SERWER SUMS UP WHAT HE THINKS THE AGREEMENT HAS ACCOMPLISHED IN A SIMPLE PHRASE.

    ///SERWER ACT///

    BETTER THAN SOME MIGHT HAVE EXPECTED -- NOT AS GOOD AS SOME MIGHT HAVE HOPED.

    ///END ACT///

    NATO'S PEACEKEEPING FORCE HAS OVERSEEN THE SEPARATION OF FORCES AND THE RETURN TO BARRACKS OF BOSNIA'S MUSLIM, CROAT AND SERB ARMIES. NATO HAS ALSO RE-OPENED LINES OF COMMUNICATION THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, AND A VAST MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR RECONSTRUCTION PROGRAM IS BEGINNING TO BEAR FRUIT.

    BUT THE PACE OF REFUGEE REPATRIATION REMAINS UNACCEPTABLY SLOW TO MOST INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS, AND MANY ALSO COMPLAIN THAT FAR TOO MANY INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS ARE STILL AT LARGE IN BOSNIA.

    /// OPT ///

    ANALYSTS LIKE ELIZABETH REHN AND DANIEL SERWER SAY THERE IS A CLEAR LINK BETWEEN THE TWO ISSUES.

    ///SERWER ACT///

    YOU CANNOT IMAGINE THAT A MUSLIM CLEANSED OR CHASED OUT OF HIS VILLAGE IN WHAT IS NOW REPUBLIKA SRPSKA IS GOING TO BE VERY WILLING TO GO BACK THERE IF HE KNOWS THAT THE GUYS THAT CHASED HIM OUT OF HIS HOME AT TWO IN THE MORNING A FEW YEARS AGO ARE STILL ON THE POLICE FORCE. IT IS CRITICAL IF PEOPLE ARE TO HAVE THE FREEDOM TO GO HOME THAT THEY BE ABLE TO DO SO WITHOUT FEAR OF THE CONSEQUENCES.

    ///END ACT///

    /// OPT ///

    ELIZABETH REHN CITES THE EXAMPLE OF AHMICI, A SMALL MUSLIM VILLAGE IN A LARGELY CROAT AREA OF CENTRAL BOSNIA. AT THE HEIGHT OF THE WAR, MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED AHMICI RESIDENTS WERE MASSACRED BY CROAT MILITIAMEN. NOW, THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE KILLINGS ARE ON TRIAL AT THE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL IN THE HAGUE. AND NOT LONG AFTER THE TRIAL BEGAN, MANY OF AHMICI'S MUSLIMS RETURNED TO THEIR HOMES.

    ///REHN ACT///

    THAT (THE TRIAL) MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR THE PEOPLE, THE BOSNIACS (MUSLIMS) OF AHMICI TO COME BACK. THERE WAS A RECONCILIATION. AND SO IT HAS A REAL IMPORTANCE THAT WE GET THE INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS TO TRIAL. IT IS NOT JUST REVENGE. IT IS FOR JUSTICE AND THE FUTURE.

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

    THE TWO MOST INFAMOUS OF BOSNIA'S INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS -- THE WAR-TIME SERB LEADERS RADOVAN KARADCIC AND RATKO MLADIC -- REMAIN AT LARGE. GENERAL MLADIC IS SAID TO BE IN SERBIA, UNDER THE PROTECTION OF THE BELGRADE GOVERNMENT. MR. KARADCIC' WHEREABOUTS ARE UNKNOWN. /// OPT /// BUT DANIEL SERWER SAYS IT IS VITAL THAT NATO TAKE STEPS TO CAPTURE HIM.

    ///SERWER ACT///

    I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE SITUATION IS: WHETHER THEY KNOW WHERE KARADCIC IS AND ARE NOT TAKING HIM OR WHETHER THEY DO NOT KNOW WHERE HE IS. AND BOTH ARE EQUALLY IN MY VIEW REPREHENSIBLE. THIS IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE RIGHT AFTER DAYTON.

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

    MR. SERWER ARGUES THAT THE PEACEKEEPING FORCE SHOULD BE DOING MORE TO SUPPORT THE GOALS OF THE DAYTON ACCORD -- BY CAPTURING THE WAR CRIMINALS AND CREATING THE CONDITIONS NECESSARY FOR A RETURN OF THE REFUGEES. THAT, HE SAYS, WOULD HASTEN THE DAY WHEN NATO TROOPS CAN BE WITHDRAWN FROM BOSNIA. BUT HE, LIKE MOST OTHER ANALYSTS, SAYS THAT DAY IS NOT YET IN SIGHT.

    ///SERWER ACT///

    WELL, I THINK THE PRESENCE OF THE (NATO) TROOPS IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY STILL. I DO NOT BELIEVE THAT THE PROCESS OF RE-KNITTING BOSNIA INTO A SINGLE COUNTRY AND RECONCILING THE DIFFERENT COMMUNITIES IS NEAR COMPLETE.

    ///END ACT///

    THE HIGH REPRESENTATIVE IN BOSNIA, SPANISH DIPLOMAT CARLOS WESTENDORP, ACKNOWLEDGES THAT MUCH REMAINS TO BE DONE TO ENSURE THE SUCCESS OF THE DAYTON ACCORD. AND HE SAYS IT COULD BE TWO YEARS OR MORE BEFORE NATO TROOPS CAN BE WITHDRAWN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DBR/GE
    22-Nov-98 11:58 AM EST (1658 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] E-U-FINANCE MINISTERS OVERNIGHTER (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=11/22/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242013
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE EUROPEAN UNION'S FINANCE MINISTERS MEET TODAY (MONDAY) TO DISCUSS BETTER COORDINATION WHEN A SINGLE CURRENCY IS INTRODUCED IN 11 OF THE 15 COUNTRIES ON NEW YEAR'S DAY. V-O-A'S RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS, THE SOCIALIST FINANCE MINISTERS HAVE ALREADY SET OUT THEIR ECONOMIC AGENDA.

    TEXT: EUROPE'S MOST IMPORTANT ECONOMIES -- FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY AND BRITAIN -- ARE ALL CONTROLLED BY LEFT-WING GOVERNMENTS. ELEVEN SOCIALIST AND SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC FINANCE MINISTERS MET LAST NIGHT (SUNDAY) FOR DINNER IN ADVANCE OF TODAY'S MEETING OF ALL 15 UNION FINANCE MINISTERS.

    THEY RELEASED THEIR JOINT PROGRAM TITLED THE "NEW EUROPEAN WAY." THE NEW WAY IS TO EMPHASIZE JOB CREATION AND ECONOMIC GROWTH AS THE MAIN OBJECTIVE, INSTEAD OF THE PREVIOUS CONCENTRATION ON FIGHTING INFLATION.

    THE DOCUMENT TALKS ABOUT FISCAL DISCIPLINE BUT CALLS FOR A NECESSARY DEGREE OF FISCAL FLEXIBILITY IN THE CASE OF ECONOMIC DOWNTURNS. SUCH TALK GIVES HEARTBURN (IS TROUBLESOME) TO THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK THAT TAKES OVER MONETARY POLICY FROM NATIONAL GOVERNMENTS IN THE 11 COUNTRIES INTRODUCING THE EURO CURRENCY.

    GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER OSKAR LA FONTAINE HAS CALLED ON THE BANK TO LOWER INTEREST RATES TO HELP GROWTH AND JOB CREATION. BANK OFFICIALS ARE REJECTING POLITICAL PRESSURE COMING FROM THE LEFT-WING.

    SPEAKING FOR THE SOCIALIST MINISTERS, AUSTRIA'S FINANCE MINISTER RUDOLF EDLINGER, SAYS THROUGH AN INTERPRETER THE DOCUMENT IS INTENDED TO GUIDE THE MAJORITY OF THE GOVERNMENTS THAT ARE RUN BY SOCIALISTS.

    ///EDLINGER IN GERMAN ACT///

    THIS PAPER IS NOT A PAPER THAT SETS OUT DIRECTIVES, BUT IT IS A PAPER THAT SETS OUT SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC POSITIONS, WHICH WILL BE INTRODUCED IN THE MEMBER COUNTRIES IN THEIR PRACTICAL POLICY MAKING DEPENDING ON HOW STRONG THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATS ARE REPRESENTED IN THOSE RESPECTIVE GOVERNMENTS.

    ///END ACT///

    BRITAIN'S CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER GORDON BROWN TOOK PART IN THE MEETING BUT WILL NOT BE IN A (MONDAY) MORNING MEETING THAT INVOLVES ONLY THE COUNTRIES INTRODUCING THE EURO. THE DOCUMENT CALLS FOR CLOSE ECONOMIC COORDINATION BETWEEN THE 11 COUNTRIES INTRODUCING THE NEW CURRENCY ON NEW YEAR'S DAY AND THOSE -- LIKE BRITAIN, GREECE, DENMARK AND SWEDEN -- THAT WILL NOT.

    THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK IN FRANKFURT IS SUPPOSED TO SET INTEREST RATES AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATES FOR THE 11 COUNTRIES INTRODUCING THE EURO. THE BANK'S DIRECTOR, WIM DUISENBER (PRONOUNCED DEW-ZEN-BERK), HOPES TO STAY INDEPENDENT OF THE PRESSURE COMING FROM THE MAJORITY OF THE EURO 11 THAT ARE NOW RUN BY LEFT-WING GOVERNMENTS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/GE
    22-Nov-98 3:15 PM EST (2015 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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