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Voice of America, 98-12-03

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] BOSNIAN SERB GENERAL (L-ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)
  • [02] KOSOVO KILLINGS (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)
  • [03] BRITAIN/FRANCE (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [04] E-U-BANANAS (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [05] E-U-NORTH KOREA (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [06] EURO RATES (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [07] EUROPE-INTEREST RATES (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [08] GERMAN-AMERICAN ECONOMY (L-ONLY) BY SUZANNE KELLY (BONN)
  • [09] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [10] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] BOSNIAN SERB GENERAL (L-ONLY) BY LAUREN COMITEAU (THE HAGUE)

    DATE=12/3/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242471
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE BOSNIAN SERB GENERAL ARRESTED BY NATO TROOPS WEDNESDAY HAS ARRIVED IN THE HAGUE, WHERE HE WILL SOON HAVE TO ANSWER TO GENOCIDE CHARGES AT THE YUGOSLAV WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL. PROSECUTORS SAY HE PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN THE MASSACRE OF MUSLIMS THREE YEARS AGO. HAGUE REPORTER LAUREN COMITEAU HAS MORE DETAILS ON THE GENERAL AND THE CHARGES AGAINST HIM.

    TEXT: GENERAL RADISLAV KRSTIC WAS STILL A HIGH-RANKING BOSNIAN SERB MILITARY LEADER WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED BY AMERICAN-LED NATO TROOPS WEDNESDAY. PROSECUTORS ISSUED A SECRET INDICTMENT AGAINST HIM JUST LAST MONTH, CHARGING THE GENERAL WITH GENOCIDE FOR HIS ROLE IN THE MASSACRE OF THOUSANDS OF MUSLIMS FOLLOWING THE SERB TAKE-OVER OF SREBRENICA. THAT SO-CALLED U-N "SAFE HAVEN" -- WHERE MANY MUSLIM REFUGEES HAD SOUGHT SAFETY -- WAS THE SCENE OF SOME OF THE WORST ATROCITIES OF THE BOSNIAN WAR. AND PROSECUTORS NOW HAVE SOMEONE IN CUSTODY WHOM THEY SAY WAS NOT ONLY DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN -- BUT ACTUALLY COMMANDING -- THE SLAUGHTER. TRIBUNAL SPOKESMAN JIM LANDALE:

    ///LANDALE ACTUALITY///

    THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT ARREST -- THERE'S NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT -- IN TERMS OF HIS POSITION AS A SENIOR OFFICER, A GENERAL IN THE BOSNIAN SERB ARMY. (IT IS A ) VERY SIGNIFICANT ARREST AND A GOOD SIGN FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS TRIBUNAL THAT S-FOR (NATO TROOPS) HAS ARRESTED THIS MAN.

    ///END ACT///

    IN THE INDICTMENT MADE PUBLIC THURSDAY, PROSECUTORS PLACE GENERAL KRSTIC AT THE SCENE OF THE CRIMES. THEY SAY HE WAS THERE WHEN BOSNIAN SERB SOLDIERS SEPARATED MUSLIM MEN FROM THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN, LOADING THEM ONTO BUSES TO BE DEPORTED. AND THEY SAY IT WAS GENERAL KRSTIC'S TROOPS WHO THEN EXECUTED THOUSANDS OF THOSE MEN IN NEARBY LOCATIONS, BURYING THEM IN MASS GRAVES.

    //OPT//

    PROSECUTORS ALSO CHARGE IT WAS GENERAL KRSTIC AND HIS SOLDIERS WHO, AFTER LEARNING THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WAS AWARE OF THE MASSACRES, TRIED TO CONCEAL THEM AGAIN BY DIGGING UP THE FIRST MASS GRAVES AND MOVING THE REMAINS TO DIFFERENT SITES.

    //END OPT//

    THE INDICTMENT ALSO LINKS GENERAL KRSTIC TO THE HIGHEST-RANKING BOSNIAN SERB MILITARY COMMANDER AT THE TIME -- GENERAL RATKO MLADIC. PROSECUTORS SAY GENERAL KRSTIC WAS WITH GENERAL MLADIC AT A MEETING WITH DUTCH OFFICERS BEFORE THE MASSACRES, WHERE DETAILS OF THE MUSLIM DEPORTATION WERE DISCUSSED. GENERAL MLADIC ALONG WITH FORMER BOSNIAN SERB LEADER RADOVAN KARADZIC -- HAS ALSO BEEN INDICTED BY THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL FOR GENOCIDE FOR THE SREBRENICA MASSACRES. THEY'RE NOT IN CUSTODY YET. BUT SHOULD GENERAL KRSTIC PLEAD NOT GUILTY AND STAND TRIAL FOR GENOCIDE, THE EVIDENCE PRESENTED AT HIS TRIAL COULD HELP THE PROSECUTION'S CASE AGAINST RADOVAN KARADZIC AND RATKO MLADIC -- IF THEY EVER GET HERE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LC/PCF/JO
    03-Dec-98 2:10 PM EST (1910 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] KOSOVO KILLINGS (L-ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (PRISTINA)

    DATE=12/3/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242459
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ELEVEN PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED IN KOSOVO BETWEEN WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY OF THIS WEEK IN SOME OF THE MOST VIOLENT CLASHES SINCE A DEAL TO END KOSOVO'S VIOLENCE WAS STRUCK THIS PAST OCTOBER. PHILIP SMUCKER REPORTS FROM PRISTINA, WHERE ETHNIC-ALBANIAN LEADERS ACCUSED THE SERBIAN SECRET POLICE OF ASSASSINATING THREE ALBANIANS, INCLUDING ONE REBEL LEADER.

    TEXT: THE YUGOSLAV ARMY SAID THAT ITS BORDER GUARDS KILLED EIGHT ARMED ALBANIANS WHO CROSSED FROM ALBANIA INTO THE PROVINCE OF KOSOVO EARLY THURSDAY.

    ALSO ON THURSDAY, THE POLITICAL LEADER OF THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY SAID THAT A K-L-A LEADER AND TWO ASSOCIATES HAD BEEN GUNNED DOWN BY SERBIAN SECRET POLICE IN THE CAPITAL WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE THREE WERE BURIED ON THURSDAY.

    ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO ARE FIGHTING FOR COMPLETE INDEPENDENCE FROM SERBIAN RULE.

    A SPOKESMAN FOR THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE -- THE O-S-C-E -- SAID THAT THE BORDER INCIDENT WAS A CLEAR VIOLATION OF A U-N CEASE-FIRE IN KOSOVO. THE SPOKESMAN, DUNCAN BULLIVANT, CALLED BOTH INCIDENTS PART OF THE CONTINUING PATTERN OF VIOLENCE IN KOSOVO SINCE THE O-S-C-E MISSION MOVED INTO SET UP.

    THE O-S-C-E SAID IT WAS AWAITING A FULL REPORT FROM THE SERBIAN POLICE ON WEDNESDAY'S KILLINGS.

    A SEPARATIST POLITICAL LEADER ADEM DEMACI ACCUSED WHAT HE CALLED "THE INSTITUTION OF THE SERBIAN SECRET POLICE" FOR THE PRISTINA KILLINGS.

    MOST VIOLENT INCIDENTS IN KOSOVO'S GRINDING CIVIL CONFLICT HAVE BEEN CONFINED TO THE COUNTRYSIDE AND TO BORDER INCIDENTS, SUCH AS THE ONE IN WHICH WERE KILLED EIGHT ON THURSDAY.

    COMMENTING ON THOSE KILLINGS, THE YUGOSLAV ARMY SAID THAT ITS FORCES DISCOVERED NINE ALBANIAN INFILTRATORS EARLY THURSDAY, AND THAT BORDER GUARDS RESPONDED ENERGETICALLY, LIQUIDATING WHAT A STATEMENT CALLED "EIGHT TERRORISTS."

    THE K-L-A HAS FUNNELED ARMS AND MEN INTO KOSOVO FROM ALBANIA OVER THE PAST YEAR, AND THE LATEST INCIDENT SUGGESTS THE CROSS-BORDER SMUGGLING WILL NOT END SOON -- EVEN WITH THE HARSH BALKAN WINTER NOW IN FULL SWING. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/PCF
    03-Dec-98 11:36 AM EST (1636 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] BRITAIN/FRANCE (L) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=12/3/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242436
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR MEETS WITH FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC AND PRIME MINISTER LIONEL JOSPIN THURSDAY NIGHT/LATER TODAY IN THE FRENCH SEASIDE TOWN OF ST MALO. TOPPING THE AGENDA IS EUROPEAN DEFENSE. BUT CORRESPONDENT LAURIE KASSMAN REPORTS FROM LONDON THAT THE DEBATE OVER EUROPEAN UNION TAX POLICIES IS CLOUDING THE SUMMIT.

    TEXT: THE BRITISH AND FRENCH LEADERS ARE LOOKING AT CLOSER COOPERATION TO BOOST EUROPE'S DEFENSE CAPABILITIES. BRITAIN AND FRANCE ARE EUROPE'S TWO NUCLEAR POWERS AND, AS ONE TOP OFFICIAL PUTS IT, PACK THE MILITARY PUNCH IN CONVENTIONAL ARSENALS TOO.

    MR. BLAIR AND MR. JOSPIN ARE EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE PLANS TO COORDINATE PEACEKEEPING MISSIONS AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT. MR. BLAIR'S SPOKESMAN INSISTS THAT PROGRESS ON A EUROPEAN DEFENSE PACT AIMS TO REDUCE RELIANCE ON U-S MILITARY HELP, BUT IN NO WAY REPLACES TRANSATLANTIC DEFENSE LINKS.

    THE BRITISH AND FRENCH LEADERS ARE ALSO TALKING ABOUT CLOSER DIPLOMATIC AND MILITARY COORDINATION IN AFRICA, FROM SHARING DIPLOMATIC POSTS TO COMBINING DIPLOMATIC AND FINANCIAL MISSIONS TO THE REGION.

    BUT SOME OFFICIALS FEAR THAT E-U FINANCE ISSUES WILL CAST A SHADOW OVER THE TWO-DAY SUMMIT. BRITAIN OPPOSES E-U PLANS TO COORDINATE TAX RATES. FRANCE AND GERMANY WANT TO END BRITAIN'S VETO OVER E-U TAX DECISIONS. MR. BLAIR'S SPOKESMAN HAS TRIED TO PLAY DOWN THE DISPUTE, CALLING BRITISH MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE DEBATE "XENOPHOBIC."

    THE SUMMIT WILL ALSO SET UP A JOINT TASK FORCE TO STUDY WAYS TO HELP SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED COMPANIES STAY IN BUSINESS. SMALL FIRMS REPRESENT ABOUT 60 PERCENT OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR JOB FORCE IN BOTH BRITAIN AND FRANCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LMK/PCF
    03-Dec-98 8:20 AM EST (1320 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] E-U-BANANAS (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/3/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242452
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE HEATED DISPUTE BETWEEN EUROPEAN UNION AND THE UNITED STATES IS GROWING OVER EUROPEAN BANANA IMPORTS. AS VOA'S RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS, THE LATEST DISAGREEMENT CONCERNS AN ARBITRATION TIMETABLE.

    TEXT: A NORMAL TRADE DISPUTE IN THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION TAKES AN AVERAGE OF 449 DAYS TO ARBITRATE. THE EUROPEAN UNION IS OFFERING TO CUT THAT PROCESS DOWN TO 170 DAYS, BUT ONLY IF THE UNITED STATES DOES NOT IMPOSE UNILATERAL TRADE SANCTIONS AGAINST EUROPE.

    AMERICAN TRADE REPRESENTATIVE CHARLENE BARCHEFSKY HAS TOLD EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER LEON BRITTAIN THAT THE SCHEDULE IS NOT FAST ENOUGH. THE UNITED STATES CONTENDS EUROPE DISCRIMINATES AGAINST LATIN AMERICAN BANANA EXPORTS MARKETED BY AMERICAN FIRMS. EUROPE DOES GIVE MARKET PREFERENCES TO AFRICAN AND CARIBBEAN BANANAS SOLD BY FORMER COLONIES OF BRITAIN AND FRANCE.

    MR. BRITTAIN EXPRESSES HIS FRUSTRATION WITH THE AMERICAN REFUSAL TO ACCEPT EUROPE'S ASSURANCES THAT THE APPEAL PROCESS WILL NOT BE PROLONGED.

    ///BRITTAIN ACT///

    IT CANNOT BE RIGHT TO JEOPARDIZE RELATIONS BETWEEN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES. IT CANNOT BE RIGHT TO DAMAGE THE W-T-O (WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION) BECAUSE YOU GET AN ANSWER A FEW WEEKS AFTER THE TIME THAT YOU WANTED. THERE CAN BE NO JUSTIFICATION FOR THAT, SO LONG AS YOU ARE ASSURED THAT YOUR RIGHTS ARE FULLY PROTECTED, THAT YOU DO GET AN ANSWER WITHIN A CERTAIN TIME SCALE.

    ///END ACT///

    MR. BRITTAIN BLAMES AMERICAN LEGISLATION MANDATING SANCTIONS BY NEXT MARCH THIRD FOR THE REJECTION OF EUROPE'S OFFER OF ACCELERATED TALKS. THE UNITED STATES IS CALLING FOR A WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION DECISION AGAINST EUROPE WITHIN 90 DAYS -- A SCHEDULE, MR. BRITTAIN DENOUNCES AS RIDICULOUS.

    THE BANANA DISPUTE IS A BAD OMEN FOR WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION TALKS AT THE END OF NEXT YEAR. THOSE TALKS WILL DEAL WITH LOWER TARIFFS ON ALL FARM PRODUCTS. THE UNITED STATES IS EXPECTED TO ANNOUNCE BY THE MIDDLE OF THIS MONTH WHICH EUROPEAN PRODUCTS IT PLANS TO IMPOSE HIGHER TARIFFS ON. THOSE COSTS WILL GO INTO EFFECT BY MARCH, IF THERE IS NOT A SETTLEMENT BEFORE THEN. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/PCF
    03-Dec-98 9:58 AM EST (1458 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] E-U-NORTH KOREA (L ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/3/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242454
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE FIRST OFFICIAL DIALOGUE BETWEEN OFFICIALS FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION AND NORTH KOREA HAVE BEEN HELD IN BRUSSELS. BUT AS OUR CORRESPONDENT RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM THE BELGIAN CAPITAL, EUROPEAN OFFICIALS ARE RESERVING JUDGMENT ON THE TALKS.

    TEXT: THE GOOD NEWS, ACCORDING TO EUROPEAN OFFICIALS, IS THAT THE TALKS WITH NORTH KOREA WERE FRANK. ALL ISSUES WERE DISCUSSED IN THE FOUR-AND-A-HALF HOUR SESSION -- INCLUDING HUMAN RIGHTS, NUCLEAR ISSUES AND FOOD AID.

    AT THE SAME TIME, EUROPEAN OFFICIALS COULD NOT SAY IF THIS SORT OF DIALOGUE WILL BE CONTINUED WITH NORTH KOREA. ONE OFFICIAL SAYS THE EUROPEANS ARE REFLECTING ON WHERE THEY GO FROM HERE.

    //OPT//

    THE MEETING WAS ATTENDED BY EUROPEAN COMMISSION EXPERTS, AS WELL AS BY FOREIGN MINISTRY OFFICIALS FROM BRITAIN, AUSTRIA AND GERMANY. THEY REPRESENT THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE PRESIDENTS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. NORTH KOREA'S FOUR-MAN DELEGATION WAS LED BY KIM CHUN GUK, THE FOREIGN MINISTRY DIRECTOR FOR EUROPEAN AFFAIRS.

    THE EUROPEAN UNION IS THE LARGEST CONTRIBUTOR OF HUMANITARIAN AID TO NORTH KOREA -- GIVING SOME 53 MILLION DOLLARS, MUCH MORE THAN JAPAN, THE UNITED STATES AND CHINA. THE E-U ALSO IS ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE KOREAN ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATION, KEDO. THIS PROJECT IS DESIGNED TO REPLACE NORTH KOREA'S GRAPHITE NUCLEAR REACTORS WITH SAFER, "LIGHT WATER"-TYPE REACTORS. //END OPT//

    A DELEGATION FROM THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VISITS NORTH KOREA NEXT WEEK. THE DELEGATION WILL BE LED BY FORMER BELGIAN PRIME MINISTER LEO TINDEMANS. IT IS THE FIRST HIGH LEVEL EUROPEAN DELEGATION TO MAKE SUCH A TRIP. PARLIAMENT MEMBERS ARE ALSO EXPECTED TO DISCUSS HUMANITARIAN AID AND NUCLEAR ISSUES ON THEIR VISIT.

    WHILE THE MEETING WITH THE NORTH KOREANS HERE, AT THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION, WAS THE FIRST IN HISTORY, THE EUROPEANS ARE NOT READY TO SAY IF THERE WILL BE A SECOND ONE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/PCF/JO
    03-Dec-98 10:36 AM EST (1536 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] EURO RATES (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/3/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242476
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE CENTRAL BANKS OF THE 11 COUNTRIES GEARING UP TO ADOPT A COMMON CURRENCY CUT THEIR INTEREST RATES THURSDAY -- IN A MOVE THAT CAME EARLIER THAN EXPECTED. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS THAT MOST SHORT TERM INTEREST RATES IN WESTERN EUROPE ARE NOW AT THREE PERCENT.

    TEXT: ANALYSTS SAY THE SURPRISE IS NOT THE ACTUAL INTEREST RATE CUT, BUT THE TIMING. RATES IN ALL PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES WERE REQUIRED TO CONVERGE BEFORE JANUARY FIRST WHEN THE NEW EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK TAKES OVER MONETARY POLICY FOR THE ENTIRE EURO ZONE. UNTIL RECENTLY, ITALIAN, IRISH AND PORTUGUESE INTEREST RATES WERE HIGHER THAN IN GERMANY AND FRANCE -- THE TWO CORE MEMBERS OF THE EURO ZONE WHOSE INTEREST RATES WERE ALREADY IDENTICAL.

    AS A RESULT OF THE COORDINATED CUTS, ONLY ITALY HAS AN INTEREST RATE VARYING FROM THE NEW BENCH MARK RATE OF THREE PERCENT. ITALY'S RATE IS NOW THREE AND A HALF PERCENT.

    WHILE RATES NEEDED TO CONVERGE, THERE HAD BEEN DOUBT THAT GERMANY AND FRANCE WOULD LOWER THEIR RATES. NOW THEY HAVE, REDUCING THEM BY ABOUT A THIRD OF ONE PERCENT TO THREE PERCENT. BUNDESBANK CHIEF HANS TIETMEYER SAYS THE MOVE WAS TAKEN TO COMBAT A PROJECTED SLOWDOWN IN THE GERMAN ECONOMY.

    HERE IN THE UNITED STATES DAVID SINAI OF PRIMARK SECURITIES (IN BOSTON) SAYS THE EUROPEAN RATE CUT MEANS THE GERMANS AND FRENCH ARE WORRIED.

    //SINAI ACT//

    THEIR MOVE, COMING A MONTH AHEAD OF WHEN THEY MIGHT HAVE DONE IT, IS JUST JUMPING THE GUN, GETTING STARTED ON THE PROCESS OF RESTORING GROWTH TO EUROPE AND THE WORLD. IT IS PART OF A VERY BIG WAVE MOVE BY CENTRAL BANKS AROUND THE WORLD WHO HAVE SHIFTED -- AND THIS IS VERY SIGNIFICANT -- TO A PRO-GROWTH STANCE AFTER YEARS OF FIGHTING INFLATION.

    //END ACT//

    LOWER INTEREST RATES ENCOURAGE BORROWING AND THUS STIMULATES ECONOMIC ACTIVITY. THE U-S CENTRAL BANK HAS REDUCED INTEREST RATES THREE TIMES SINCE SEPTEMBER.

    THIS MARKS THE FIRST TIME THAT 11 EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANKS HAVE CUT INTEREST RATES AT THE SAME TIME. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/JO
    03-Dec-98 4:18 PM EST (2118 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] EUROPE-INTEREST RATES (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=12/3/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242472
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK HAS MADE A SURPRISE MOVE BY LOWERING INTEREST RATES TO THREE-PERCENT IN THE COUNTRIES THAT WILL INTRODUCE THE EURO CURRENCY ON NEW YEAR'S DAY. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS THE RATE CUT IS THREE-WEEKS EARLIER THAN EXPECTED.

    TEXT: SINCE A CENTER-LEFT GOVERNMENT WAS ELECTED IN GERMANY IN SEPTEMBER, THE VOICES CALLING ON THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK TO LOWER INTEREST RATES HAVE BEEN GETTING LOUDER.

    GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER OSKAR LAFONTAINE LOOKED ADMIRINGLY AT FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN ALAN GREENSPAN LOWERING AMERICAN INTEREST RATES. BUT IN THE SAME BREATH, MR. LAFONTAINE WOULD SAY HE IS NOT INTERFERING IN THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK.

    MOST OF EUROPE'S LEADERS ARE NOW SOCIAL DEMOCRATS, AND THEY WANT LOWER INTEREST RATES TO SPUR GROWTH TO BRING DOWN UN-EMPLOYMENT RATES AROUND 10-PERCENT.

    THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK WAS ESTABLISHED LAST MAY TO FIGHT INFLATION -- IT IS SIMILAR TO GERMANY'S BUNDESBANK. EUROPEAN BANK OFFICIALS INSISTED THEY WOULD NOT BE MOVED BY POLITICAL PRESSURE.

    THE CENTRAL BANK DROPPED INTEREST RATES TO THREE PERCENT IN THE COUNTRIES INTRODUCING THE EURO ON NEW YEARS DAY. ITALY DROPPED ITS RATE TO THREE-AND-ONE-HALF PERCENT.

    THE BANK SAYS THE CUT WAS TO COUNTER EUROPEAN ECONOMIC FORECASTS THAT PREDICT FALLING GROWTH RATES NEXT YEAR AS THE RESULT OF ECONOMIC TROUBLES IN ASIA AND RUSSIA.

    THE MOVE TO THREE-PERCENT WAS WIDELY EXPECTED TO COME AT THE LAST BANK MEETING OF THE YEAR, DECEMBER 22ND. THREE-PERCENT WAS THOUGHT TO BE THE BEST RATE FOR THE BANK TO TAKE OVER MONETARY POLICY FROM THE CENTRAL BANKS IN THE 11 EURO COUNTRIES JANUARY FIRST.

    IT IS NOT CLEAR WHETHER THE EARLY INTEREST CUT IS ENOUGH TO QUIET THE CENTER LEFT GOVERNMENTS THAT WANT LOWER BORROWING COSTS TO HELP THEM FIGHT UNEMPLOYMENT. BUT WHETHER THE POLITICIANS ARE SATISFIED OR NOT, SPOKESMEN FOR THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK EXPECT THREE-PERCENT TO REMAIN THE INTEREST RATE AS THE EURO GOES INTO SERVICE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RDP/RAE
    03-Dec-98 3:22 PM EST (2022 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] GERMAN-AMERICAN ECONOMY (L-ONLY) BY SUZANNE KELLY (BONN)

    DATE=12/3/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242469
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMANY'S NEW FINANCE MINISTER OSKAR LAFONTAINE HEADS TO WASHINGTON FOR MEETINGS FRIDAY WITH U-S ECONOMIC OFFICIALS. THIS IS MR. LAFONTAINE'S FIRST TRIP TO WASHINGTON AS GERMANY'S FINANCE MINISTER, AND AS SUZANNE KELLY REPORTS FROM BONN, THERE IS MUCH ON THE AGENDA.

    TEXT: OSKAR LAFONTAINE IS A MAN WHO SPEAKS HIS MIND. GERMANY'S NEW LEFT-LEANING FINANCE MINISTER IS LIKELY TO CLEARLY ARTICULATE HIS VIEWS WHEN HE MEETS WITH U-S TREASURY SECRETARY ROBERT RUBIN AND FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN ALAN GREENSPAN.

    JUST AS HE WAS BOARDING THE PLANE FOR WASHINGTON, THE GERMAN CENTRAL BANK GAVE MR. LAFONTAINE SOME GOOD NEWS TO TAKE WITH HIM: CUT IN A KEY INTEREST RATE -- THE FIRST REDUCTION IN OVER A YEAR IN GERMANY. MR. LAFONTAINE HAD BEEN WIDELY CRITICIZED FOR HIS LOUD CALLS TWO MONTHS AGO FOR LOWER INTEREST RATES. THE CUT WAS PART OF A COORDINATED EFFORT BY 11 EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES TO LOWER THE COST OF BORROWING IN HOPES OF HEADING OFF A RECESSION.

    SOME ANALYSTS SAY THE WASHINGTON MEETINGS MAY BE A BIT STRAINED IN LIGHT OF RECENT STATEMENTS ON TAXES AND OTHER FINANCIAL MATTERS BY MR. LAFONTAINE. HIS CONTROVERSIAL IDEAS, WHICH INCLUDE ADVICE TO THE INDEPENDENT CENTRAL BANK IN GERMANY, HAVE RAISED SIGNIFICANT CONCERN MOSTLY IN BUSINESS CIRCLES. EVEN FEDERAL RESERVE CHAIRMAN GREENSPAN HAS PUBLICLY CAST DOUBT ON SOME OF MR. LAFONTAINE'S IDEAS ON FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATES.

    BONN UNIVERSITY POLITICAL SCIENTIST DIETMAR HERZ SAYS WHILE MR. LAFONTAINE HAS CERTAINLY NOT BEEN SHY OVER THE PAST TWO MONTHS IN EXPRESSING HIS OPINIONS, THERE IS PROBABLY A REASON FOR IT.

    //HERZ ACT//

    PROBABLY HE WAS LOOKING TO REDEFINE HIS POSITION AS FINANCE MINISTER WITHIN THE NEW FRAMEWORK OF EUROPEAN MONETARY UNION, WHICH WILL START IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS. SO I THINK HE WILL BE VERY CAREFUL, HE WILL BE VERY CAREFUL IN WASHINGTON.

    //END ACT//

    OSKAR LAFONTAINE IS ALSO SCHEDULED TO MEET WITH SECRETARY OF STATE MADELINE ALBRIGHT DURING HIS BRIEF VISIT TO WASHINGTON. HIS TRIP WAS ORIGINALLY SCHEDULED FOR NOVEMBER, BUT HAD TO BE POSTPONED SO HE COULD OUTLINE HIS NEW TAX REFORM PROGRAM IN THE GERMAN PARLIAMENT. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SK/PCF/JO
    03-Dec-98 1:34 PM EST (1834 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=12/3/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-242480
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN SHARPLY TODAY (THURSDAY) REFLECTING CONCERN ABOUT THE BRAZILIAN ECONOMY. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 88 HUNDRED 79, DOWN 184 POINTS OR TWO PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT 11 HUNDRED 50, DOWN 21 POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY TRADERS WERE WORRIED ABOUT THE DECISION BY THE BRAZILIAN CONGRESS TO REJECT CHANGES IN BRAZIL'S PENSION SYSTEM, CHANGES WHICH ARE TIED TO AN AID PACKAGE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND. BRAZIL IS SEEN AS PIVOTAL TO THE ECONOMIC HEALTH OF LATIN AMERICA IN GENERAL. IN THE MINDS OF U-S STOCK TRADERS, THE BRAZILIAN SITUATION OFFSET POSITIVE NEWS FROM EUROPE WHERE THE CENTRAL BANKS OF 11 NATIONS CUT INTEREST RATES IN A COORDINATED MOVE.

    ONE BIG EXCEPTION TO THE GENERALLY DOWN SESSION ON WALL STREET WAS THE STOCK OF TICKETMASTER ONLINE, THE SHOW TICKETS SALES COMPANY WHICH BEGAN TRADING THURSDAY. IT WAS ISSUED AT 14 DOLLARS A SHARE, SOARED TO 60 AND CLOSED AT 40.

    ///REST OPT///

    THE GOVERNMENT HAS REVISED SHARPLY UPWARD THE INCREASE IN U-S BUSINESS PRODUCTIVITY IN THE THIRD QUARTER. ECONOMISTS SAY INCREASING PRODUCTIVITY IS A GOOD SIGN OF FUTURE GROWTH WITH LOW INFLATION.

    AMERICAN RETAIL CHAINS REPORT MIXED SALES RESULTS IN NOVEMBER WITH MAJOR DISCOUNT STORES SHOWING THE MOST STRENGTH. UNSEASONABLY WARM WEATHER IN MUCH OF THE COUNTRY IS INHIBITING THE SALE OF WINTER APPAREL SUCH AS COATS, SCARFS AND GLOVES. SO FAR, CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SALES ALSO SEEM SOMEWHAT DISAPPOINTING. HOWEVER, DIANE CATILLA OF THE DELOITTE AND TOUCHE CONSULTING FIRM, EXPECTS SALES WILL PICK UP STRONGLY LATER IN THE MONTH.

    ///CATILLA ACT///

    SOME OF THE GENERAL MERCHANDISERS ARE NOT DOING THAT WELL EARLY IN THE SEASON. BUT COME DECEMBER 24TH, WHEN PEOPLE REALIZE THEY HAVE NOT PURCHASED ALL THEIR GIFTS YET, I THINK THEY WILL BE OUT THERE BUYING ALL THEY NEED TO FINISH UP THEIR SHOPPING.

    ///END ACT///

    THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY REPORTS LAST MONTH'S SALES IN THE UNITED STATES CLIMBED BY MORE THAN TWO PERCENT, LARGELY BECAUSE OF STRENGTH IN TRUCK DEMAND. BUT, AS EXPECTED, GENERAL MOTORS REPORTS ITS U-S SALES DROPPED BY ALMOST SIX PERCENT. G-M SAYS IT IS STILL TRYING TO RECOVER FROM THE EFFECTS OF STRIKES IN JUNE AND JULY.

    GOVERNORS OF THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE MET THURSDAY BUT MADE NO DECISION ON WHETHER TO BUILD A NEW TRADING FACILITY IN NEW YORK OR MOVE TO THE NEIGHBORING STATE OF NEW JERSEY. NEW YORK CITY HAS OFFERED THE EXCHANGE 600 MILLION DOLLARS IN INCENTIVES TO STAY, NEW JERSEY IS REPORTED OFFERING IN EXCESS OF ONE BILLION DOLLARS TO MOVE. SOME OBSERVERS SAY NEW YORK MAY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO MATCH NEW JERSEY'S OFFER BECAUSE THE PRESENCE OF THE EXCHANGE IS SO IMPORTANT TO BOTH THE ECONOMY AND PRESTIGE OF NEW YORK CITY.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/PT
    03-Dec-98 5:20 PM EST (2220 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/03/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11034
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    ///// ED'S: OUTDATED AFTER 10 PM EST. /////

    INTRO: DOMESTIC ISSUES SUCH AS THE PROBLEM OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE ILLEGALITIES AND HOW TO PROSECUTE THEM, DOMINATES THE EDITORIAL COLUMNS OF THURSDAY'S U-S PAPERS.

    OTHER TOPICS INCLUDE A NEW IDEA FOR BRINGING BOSNIAN WAR CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE; NEW HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN CHINA; THE VERDICT IN A CORRUPTION TRIAL AGAINST A FORMER CLINTON CABINET MEMBER; AND THE BIG GASOLINE COMPANY MERGER. NOW, HERE IS _________________ WITH SOME EXCERPTS AND A CLOSER LOOK IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: THE ISSUE OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, AND CONTINUING REVELATIONS ABOUT LARGE, ILLEGAL FUND RAISING BY BOTH PARTIES IN THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, ELICIT ANGRY COMMENTS IN MANY PAPERS THIS THURSDAY. AN AUDIT BY THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION HAS FOUND DEMOCRATS USED SEVEN-MILLION DOLLARS ILLEGALLY IN THE LAST CAMPAIGN, AND REPUBLICANS AT LEAST 17-MILLION. THE F-E-C MEETS TODAY TO CONSIDER A STAFF RECOMMENDATION BOTH PARTIES BE MADE TO PAY THE MONEY BACK TO THE U-S TREASURY. "THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND IS DISGUSTED.

    VOICE: A POT OF VIRTUALLY UNREGULATED CASH HIDDEN BEHIND A STRAINED FABRIC OF DECEPTION THAT FINALLY HAS SPILLED INTO VIEW. ... THE AUDITORS' REPORT ... SHOWS CLEARLY THAT THE EXPLOSION IN SOFT MONEY HAS ALL BUT DESTROYED CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS. EVERY OTHER RESTRICTION OR DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT IN CAMPAIGNS IS POINTLESS IF CANDIDATES ARE ALLOWED TO ACT AS THE CLINTON AND DOLE CAMPAIGNS DID IN 1996. ...

    TEXT: "THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION" IS EQUALLY OUTRAGED. /// OPT

    /// AND EMBELLISHED ITS EDITORIAL WITH A CARTOON SHOWING AN ENORMOUS DONKEY AND AN ELEPHANT, SYMBOLS, RESPECTIVELY, OF THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN PARTIES, GORGING AT A TROUGH. /// END OPT /// SOME OF THE PAPER'S THOUGHTS INCLUDE THE IDEA THAT ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO SHOULD APPOINT ANOTHER INDEPENDENT COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE CAMPAIGN FINANCE ILLEGALITIES IN THE CAMPAIGN.

    VOICE: THE SORRY SPECTACLE OF KEN STARR NOTWITHSTANDING, SUCH AN APPOINTMENT [OF AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL] IS PROBABLY NECESSARY. SUCH AN INVESTIGATION ... MAY AT LEAST MAKE CANDIDATES IN THE 2000 ELECTION CYCLE THINK TWICE BEFORE SO BLATANTLY THUMBING THEIR NOSES AT LAWS THEY THEMSELVES HAVE ENACTED AND ARE SUPPOSED TO UPHOLD.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: AND IN TODAY'S "WASHINGTON POST" THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSIONERS WILL HAVE THE COURAGE TO FOLLOW THEIR OWN STAFF'S RECOMMENDATION, AND FORCE THE TWO CANDIDATES TO PAY BACK THE MONEY.

    TEXT: A CLEAR-EYED F-E-C STAFF SAYS BOTH PARTIES USED THE SOFT-MONEY DODGE [EVASION] TO EVADE THE FINANCE LAWS. THE PARTIES WERE USED BY THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS TO RAISE AND SPEND MONEY THE CAMPAIGNS WERE FORBIDDEN TO RAISE AND SPEND THEMSELVES, AND INDEED HAD PLEDGED NOT TO. THE CAMPAIGN LAWYERS SAY THE LAW ALLOWS THIS. FOR THE COMMISSION TO CONCUR WOULD BE TO RENDER MEANINGLESS THE LAW THE COMMISSION IS SUPPOSED TO ENFORCE.

    TEXT: ON THE RELATED SUBJECT OF IMPEACHING THE PRESIDENT, AND THE EXPANSION OF AN INVESTIGATION BY THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TO INCLUDE THE PRESIDENT'S ALLEGED ILLEGAL ROLE IN CAMPAIGN FINANCING, "THE KANSAS CITY STAR" NOTES:

    VOICE: UNLESS REPUBLICANS ON THE HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CAN DEMONSTRATE OTHERWISE, THEY ARE GIVING ALL THE APPEARANCES OF CONDUCTING AN IMPEACHMENT IN SEARCH OF A CRIME, AS SOME DEMOCRATS ALLEGE. ... IT IS HARD TO RECONCILE THIS NEWS INVESTIGATIVE INTEREST [OF CAMPAIGN FINANCING] WITH JUDICIARY CHAIRMAN HENRY HYDE'S DECLARATION THAT HE INTENDS TO CONCLUDE THE IMPEACHMENT HEARINGS BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR.

    /// OPT ///

    ... THE MOVE SUGGESTS THAT REPUBLICAN LEADERS IN THE HOUSE ... FEAR THEY DO NOT HAVE THE VOTES TO APPROVE ... IMPEACHMENT, SO THEY DIRECTED [MR.] HYDE TO TRY ANOTHER AVENUE. ... THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE SHOULD WRAP UP THIS IMPEACHMENT PROCESS WITHOUT STRAYING INTO ANY NEW NEST OF RUMORS THEY ENCOUNTER.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: OVERSEAS, THERE IS A NEW IDEA PUT FORTH BY "NEWSDAY" ON NEW YORK'S LONG ISLAND, FOR HUNTING DOWN BOSNIAN WAR CRIMINALS ... A BOUNTY.

    VOICE: THE UNITED STATES HAS REPEATEDLY ENDORSED THE IDEA OF BRINGING INDICTED WAR CRIMINALS IN THE BOSNIAN CIVIL WAR TO TRIAL, BUT UNTIL NOW HAS DONE LITTLE TO MAKE THAT HAPPEN; NATO HAD ARRESTED ONLY NINE AS OF YESTERDAY. FINALLY, THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION HAS PUT ITS MONEY WHERE ITS MOUTH IS: [HAS DECIDED TO BOLSTER ITS OFFICIAL, SPOKEN, POLICY WITH CASH] IT INTENDS TO PLACE A FIVE-MILLION-DOLLAR BOUNTY EACH ON THE HEADS OF THE TOP WAR-CRIME SUSPECTS, RADOVAN KARADZIC AND GENERAL RATKO MLADIC, CHARGED ... WITH GENOCIDE AND CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. IT IS ABOUT TIME.

    TEXT: ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD, RECENT ARRESTS OF DEMOCRATIC DISSIDENTS IN CHINA, COUPLED WITH JUDICIAL REFORMS, DRAWS THIS COMMENT ON "MIXED SIGNALS" FROM "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES:"

    VOICE: THE PRESIDENT OF CHINA'S SUPREME PEOPLE'S COURT HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR A MAJOR REORGANIZATION OF THE LEGAL SYSTEM, THE GOAL BEING 'TO ENSURE JUSTICE THROUGHOUT THE NATION.'

    /// OPT ///

    STARTING NEXT YEAR TRIALS ARE TO BE ROUTINELY OPENED TO THE PUBLIC, AN EXPERIMENT ALREADY BEGUN IN BEIJING AND, AS IT HAPPENS, A RIGHT ALREADY GUARANTEED BY CHINA'S CONSTITUTION. .... ALL. /// END OPT ///
    THIS CAN BE CAUTIOUSLY WELCOMED AS A POSSIBLE STEP TOWARD ... A MORE INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL SYSTEM. IT COMES, HOWEVER, AS CHINA'S LEADERS ARE AGAIN DEMONSTRATING ... THEIR INTOLERANCE AND FEAR OF DISSENT ARE UNABATED. THE EVIDENCE COMES IN THE ARREST OF LONGTIME DISSIDENT XU WENLI AND A NUMBER OF HIS ASSOCIATES WHO HAVE BEEN TRYING TO ORGANIZE WHAT THEY CALL THE CHINA DEMOCRACY PARTY. ... THAT COURAGEOUS DISSIDENTS IN CHINA GO ON TRYING TO PRACTICE THE RIGHTS THEIR GOVERNMENT CLAIMS TO ASSURE THEM IS SOMETHING THE WORLD'S DEMOCRACIES MUST APPLAUD AND SUPPORT.

    TEXT: BACK AT HOME, THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S FORMER SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, MIKE ESPY, THE FIRST BLACK MAN EVER TO HOLD THE POST, HAS BEEN CLEARED OF ALL 30 COUNTS OF CORRUPTION BY A FEDERAL GRAND JURY AFTER A FOUR-YEAR, 17-MILLION-DOLLAR, INDEPENDENT COUNSEL INVESTIGATION. "THE NEW YORK TIMES" SAYS:

    VOICE: THE VERDICT DOES NOT MEAN THAT INVESTIGATING MR. ESPY'S CONDUCT WAS NOT PROPER AND NECESSARY OR THAT HE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN FORCED OUT OF OFFICE.

    /// OPT ///

    BUT THE TRIAL'S OUTCOME DOES CALL INTO QUESTION HOW WELL [INDEPENDENT COUNSEL DONALD] MR. SMALTZ CONDUCTED THE INVESTIGATION ... /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: REGARDING CANADA, THERE IS CONTINUING COMMENT ON THE WEAKNESS OF THE PERCEIVED PRO-SEPARATION VOTE IN QUEBEC'S PROVINCIAL ELECTION THIS WEEK. "THE DENVER POST" SUGGESTS:

    VOICE: [FAMED AMERICAN HUMORIST] WILL ROGERS LIKE TO JOKE THAT VOTERS IN OKLAHOMA WOULD MAINTAIN THAT STATE'S PROHIBITION ON THE SALE OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES 'AS LONG AS THEY CAN STAGGER TO THE POLLS.' VOTERS IN THE PREDOMINATELY FRENCH-SPEAKING PROVINCE ... SEEM EQUALLY DETERMINED TO CONTINUE ELECTING A GOVERNMENT PLEDGED TO SECEDE FROM CANADA -- AS LONG AS THEY ARE SURE THE SEPARATISTS CAN NOT ACTUALLY CARRY OUT THAT THREAT.

    /// OPT ///

    THUS, THE QUEBEC RESULTS ARE GOOD NEWS FOR THOSE AMERICANS CONCERNED WITH THE STABILITY OF THEIR STAUNCHEST ALLY AND LARGEST TRADING PARTNER. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: IN NEIGHBORING MAINE, "PORTLAND'S PRESS HERALD" SIZES UP THE WEEK'S HUGE OIL COMPANY MERGER BETWEEN EXXON AND MOBIL THIS WAY:

    VOICE: AS THE WORLD STANDS TODAY, THE COMBINATION ... MAKES A GOOD DEAL OF SENSE. ... EXXON AND MOBIL ARE THE LARGEST SURVIVING PIECES OF STANDARD OIL COMPANY, THE COLOSSUS FOUNDED BY JOHN D ROCKEFELLER. IT IS A COMPANY THE GOVERNMENT SAW FIT TO BREAK UP IN 1911. SINCE THAT TIME, THE OIL INDUSTRY HAS ALWAYS AND RIGHTLY DRAWN SPECIAL ATTENTION FROM ANTI-TRUST REGULATORS. THAT IS BECAUSE THE TEMPTATION TO TRY AND CONTROL THE PRICING OF SUCH A PURE COMMODITY IS HIGH.

    /// OPT ///

    AT THIS TIME, THE WORLD IS AWASH IN OIL. ... HOWEVER ... NO ONE CAN GUARANTEE ... THAT EVENTS WILL NOT CONSPIRE TO INTERRUPT THE FLOW OF OIL FROM THE MIDDLE EAST OR ELSEWHERE. /// END OPT /// STATE AND FEDERAL REGULATORS SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT A COMBINED EXXON-MOBIL WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DOMINATE NOT ONLY THE OVERALL MARKET FOR OIL, BUT PARTS OF IT.

    TEXT: LASTLY, AS REGARDS THE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF ECONOMIC IMPROVEMENTS AMONG THE PALESTINIANS, AND THE QUEST FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST, " THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" OPINES:

    VOICE: DIPLOMACY IS CRUCIAL, CERTAINLY, BUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT MAY HOLD THE KEY TO LASTING PEACE BETWEEN ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS. LAST WEEK'S OPENING OF GAZA'S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND THIS WEEK'S CONFERENCE IN WASHINGTON ON ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE FOR THE PALESTINIANS GIVE NEW MOMENTUM TO WHAT MUST BE A SUSTAINED, LONG-TERM EFFORT. /// OPT /// ... THE TIME TO START BUILDING A MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN NATION EVOLVING ON ITS DOORSTEP IS NOW. MR. CLINTON'S VISIT TO BOTH GAZA AND ISRAEL LATER IN THE MONTH SHOULD STRESS THAT. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: WITH THAT, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENT FROM SOME OF TODAY'S U-S DAILY PAPERS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    03-Dec-98 11:01 AM EST (1601 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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