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Voice of America, 99-09-22

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] NATO-SERBS -L (ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (TORONTO, CANADA)
  • [02] NATO-WRAPUP (L) BY JIM RANDLE (TORONTO,CANADA)
  • [03] MONTENEGRO BUSINESS BY TIM BELAY (PODGORICA)
  • [04] RUSSIA - DAGESTAN (L-ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)
  • [05] FRANCE / CARS (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [06] N-Y ECON WRAP (S&L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [07] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [08] WORLD ECONOMY IMPROVING (L-O) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] NATO-SERBS -L (ONLY) BY JIM RANDLE (TORONTO, CANADA)

    DATE=9/21/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254173
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Yugoslav and Russian officials are criticizing Monday's agreement between the Kosovo Liberation Army and NATO that turns the rebel force into a civilian organization, saying the `Kosovo Protection Corps' is a threat to the few Serbs who remain in the Serbian province of Kosovo. But NATO's top general says the new organization will be assigned to civilian tasks -- and closely supervised by thousands of peackeeping troops. V-O-A's Jim Randle reports.

    TEXT: News accounts from Moscow say Russian officials think the lightly-armed Kosovo Protection Corps will complicate efforts to find a political settlement in Kosovo. Russian officials called for the complete surrender of all K-L-A weapons. The Yugoslav Justice ministry says the new organization will force the few remaining Serbs to flee the province. But NATO military commander, General Wes Clark calls the Serb charges and fears `groundless.' He says the Kosovo Protection Corps will be trained, equipped, and paid by the international community to handle civic projects, not warfare.

    /// CLARK ACT ///

    It is going to be doing things like search and rescue, environmental protection and clean up, demining, repairs to infrastructure, emergency housing assistance and other things. It's just a group of people that are going to do fundamentally civilian tasks. In a pretty rough environment.

    /// END ACT ///

    General Clark says there are `lots and lots' of weapons in Kosovo, so about two hundred of the five thousand members of the Kosovo Protection Corps will be armed. The NATO-led peae keeping force will hold another 18 hundred weapons in warehouses for the Corps, and issue them in times of emergency. NATO officials say the Kosovo Liberation Army has already given up 10-thousand weapons and more than five million rounds of ammunition as part of its agreement to demilitarize. And NATO says K-FOR peacekeepers will confiscate weapons discovered in Kosovo. A senior U-S official says the agreement is not perfect, but it gives the K-L-A a stake in the success of peace efforts in Kosovo rather than an incentive to see them fail. NATO Secretary General Javier Solana says the end of the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army is an important step toward peace in troubled Kosovo.

    /// SOLANA ACT ///

    We have the beginning now of a new page in the reconstruction of kosovo.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Solana says demilitarisation is only the beginning of a larger effort by the international community to promote reconcilation in Kosovo and to integrate former combatants into civilian life. He says the Kosovo Protection Corps will seek members from Serbs and other minority groups in Kosovo in the hope of creating a multi-ethnic force. Mr. Solana's comments came at a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Tronto (Canada). The ministers are seeking ways to improve the alliance's military power when many members are cutting defense budgets. Outside a hotel housing many of the defense ministers, about two thousand of Canada's 100-thousand ethnic Serbs carried signs and chanted slogans protesting NATO's 10-week bombing campaign against Serb targets across Yugoslavia. (sfx: fade in, up and under: " NATO-Nazis, NATO- Nazis.. ") (Signed).

    (sfx: continue chants)
    NEB/PT 21-Sep-1999 21:41 PM LOC (22-Sep-1999 0141 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] NATO-WRAPUP (L) BY JIM RANDLE (TORONTO,CANADA)

    DATE=9/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254224
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S Defense Secretary William Cohen says NATO nations have agreed to heed the lessons of the Kosovo conflict and buy more high tech weapons, communications equipment, and some big cargo planes. V-O-A's Jim Randle reports from Toronto, where NATO defense ministers wrapped up two days of talks on Wednesday. Text: Secretary Cohen says the Kosovo air war showed alliance nations they need to build or buy more bombs and missiles that are guided by lasers or satellite signals. U-S forces used these precision guided munitions to strike Serb targets across Yugoslavia even when darkness and cloudy weather blocked attacks by some other nations. U-S officials say the United States bore more than its share of such work, causing some political friction in the alliance and complaints from the U-S Congress. Mr. Cohen says many NATO nations can handle the complex technology needed to operate advanced weapons, but have trouble paying for these expensive systems. Mr. Cohen says U-S scientists are trying to solve that problem by finding ways to cut the cost of precision guided munitions.

    /// COHEN ACT ///

    Most of the NATO members do have aircraft that are capable of delivering precision guided munitions. So the acquisition of these will be a question of resources and finances.

    /// END ACT ///

    NATO's top general, Wes Clark, says better communications equipment is the Alliance's top priority. During the Kosovo air war, the out-dated radios in some allied planes allowed Serb air defenses to listen to pilots' communications. General Clark says such eavesdropping by enemies is a concern whenever commanders use electronic means to send orders, maps, or plans from one place to another.

    /// CLARK ACT ///

    That means we need to improve our secure communications (communications that can not be overheard by the enemy) and our ability to transfer information by secure means within the alliance, between various headquarters and between various forces, and between platforms (ships and planes).

    /// END ACT ///

    Secretary Cohen says Kosovo also made it clear that many nations, including the United States, need more cargo planes that can carry large pieces of military equipment close to the battlefront. He says Washington will purchase more C-17 transports that can safely land heavy loads on grass airstrips if necessary. The pressure to buy more expensive equipment comes at a time when many NATO nations are considering cuts, rather than increases in military budgets. But Mr. Cohen says Kosovo gave NATO officials a sense of urgency about solving some long-standing equipment problems in the alliance. (Signed)
    NEB/JR/TVM/PT 22-Sep-1999 18:58 PM LOC (22-Sep-1999 2258 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] MONTENEGRO BUSINESS BY TIM BELAY (PODGORICA)

    DATE=9/22/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44311
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Montenegro -- the only republic besides Serbia that remains a part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia -- continues to struggle with its economic future. Tim Belay reports from the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica.

    TEXT: There is already a brewery here which enjoys outside support from investors in Belgium, but a much a bigger project centers on a deal which has been talked about for the last year and half. It would put companies in France and other western countries in charge of the aluminum, oil, and railroad industries in Montenegro. The aluminum factory and the other industries associated with it represent just over half of the Montenegrin economy. It is the center of a plan to privatize made difficult by trouble the region and the political problems the republic faces because it is still part of Yugoslavia. Miodrag Blahovic, an attorney who has been working for the privatization of state-owned enterprises here, says it has been impossible for Montenegro to develop regular economic ties with outside investors for the past ten years.

    /// FIRST BLAHOVIC ACT ///

    We have people who could be very, very interested to invest in our economy and to gain some profits on their own, but who can not contemplate and who are trying to avoid the danger of coming here and to waste their time and lose their money because the next war is just behind the corner.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Blahovic says Montenegro is not responsible for the trouble it has seen trying to attract investors. He says the problem is only a result of instability in the region.

    /// SECOND BLAHOVIC ACT ///

    We are still in the system which is called wrongly and historically falsely Yugoslavia, the federal republic that consists only of Serbia and Montenegro -- or to put it in a better way, Serbia minus Montenegro. We are considered to be one of two countries, inside one state with a bigger brother called Serbia, which is to be helped and supported to deliver social programs, but nothing more than that. And the economic difficulties we are facing actually are the direct consequence of the political situation.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Blahovic and other observers of the political scene in Montenegro say most people here support breaking away from Yugoslavia, but such a change will depend on the outcome of the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. During NATO's 78-day bombing campaign, Montenegro played a neutral position, but accepted tens of thousands of Kosovar refugees. (Signed) NEB/TB/TVM-T/gm 22-Sep-1999 19:13 PM EDT (22-Sep-1999 2313 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] RUSSIA - DAGESTAN (L-ONLY) BY PETER HEINLEIN (MOSCOW)

    DATE=9/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254199
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A senior Russian security official says troops have sealed off the breakaway Chechnya region, but have no plans for a ground invasion. Instead, as V-O-A Moscow correspondent Peter Heinlein reports, the Russian strategy is based mostly on NATO-style air strikes against suspected rebel positions.

    TEXT: Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov says Russian troops have surrounded Chechnya and are prepared to retake the region that, in effect, broke away from Moscow's rule three years ago. Media reports say anywhere from 20-thousand to 50-thousand soldiers are massed along the Chechen border, most of them in neighboring Dagestan. But General Zubov told reporters Wednesday military planners are advising against a ground invasion because of the likelihood of heavy Russian casualties.

    ///Zubov act in Russian, then fade under///

    He says, "Such an operation will cause huge losses. We have learned that from recent events in Dagestan, and before that in the last Chechen war." The previous conflict in Chechnya, from 1994 to 1996, left an estimated 80-thousand people dead, most of them civilians. But the casualties also included tens of thousands of Russian soldiers, most of them raw recruits thrown into battle against well-armed and well-trained Chechen rebels. The result was a humiliating defeat for Russia, a withdrawal of federal forces, and virtual independence for Chechnya. So this time, General Zubov says the strategy will be different. This time the attack is being patterned after the recent NATO air campaign against Serb forces in Kosovo.

    /// 2nd Zubov act in Russian, then fade under ///

    He says, "So I believe these tactics are justified, sealing the border and air strikes on rebel territory." The general says the attacks will include what he calls "retribution strikes," which he describes as destroying the rebels and their bases without any contact.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Military analysts say the so-called "cordon and bomb" strategy was agreed on after four apartment buildings were bombed this month, killing nearly 300 people. The attacks were blamed on Chechen terrorists, although no evidence has been produced and rebel leaders staunchly deny responsibility. The bombings also provoked public outrage, and demands for the expulsion of unregistered residents from Moscow. Mayor Yuri Luzhkov last week ordered all non-Muscovites living in the city to re-register within a week or face deportation. Newspaper reports say thousands of those who went to re-register have had their applications rejected. Many are migrants from Chechnya and other parts of the Caucasus region. Published reports indicate as many as 40-thousand people may be deported from the capital. The Kommersant Daily newspaper (Wednesday) quoted a constitutional court judge as saying such expulsions violate Russia's constitution. But a senior police official rejected accusations they are acting illegally, and said authorities are going ahead with the deportation campaign. (Signed) NEB/PFH/GE/gm 22-Sep-1999 12:54 PM EDT (22-Sep-1999 1654 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] FRANCE / CARS (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=9/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254196
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: France, Italy and Switzerland tried to persuade citizens to leave their cars at home Wednesday. It was the second annual attempt to free major cities in these countries of automobiles for just one day to combat pollution. Julian Nundy reports from Paris.

    TEXT: French government ministers arrived at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee presidential palace on foot, by electric car, or on bicycle. Behind them were gasoline-burning motorcycles and cars carrying the television crews to record the event for the day's news programs. The French employment minister, Martine Aubry, arrived on a tandem bicycle with a male colleague. The idea, on the second annual car-less day in Europe, was to persuade citizens to leave their automobiles at home and use public transport. In France, partial bans on motor traffic were observed in 66 towns, including Paris. One of the exceptions was Bordeaux where the mayor, former conservative Prime Minister Alain Juppe, dismissed the day as just a gimmick that would have no real effect. In Paris and many of the other European cities involved, the attempt only added to the usual traffic chaos. The Paris center -- six of the city's 20 districts -- was closed off to all but official traffic or to those with special permits. The result was that the hundreds of thousands of vehicles that cross Paris daily had to skirt around the center (avoid downtown), causing serious bottlenecks elsewhere. Nonetheless, authorities said there was 20 percent less traffic than on a normal day. France has traditionally had pro-car governments since the late conservative President Georges Pompidou declared in the late 1960s that the private car was a symbol of individual liberty and should be encouraged. Now, some pro-automobile lobbies say progress has been made in controlling car emissions, noting that because of tighter controls and unleaded gasoline, pollution caused by vehicles has fallen greatly in the past decade. For the chairman of one pro-automobile group, car-less days are merely publicity-seeking events organized by an elite class of politicians who never do their own heavy shopping and who never ferry their own children to and from school. (SIGNED) NEB/JWN/JWH/ENE/BK 22-Sep-1999 12:45 PM LOC (22-Sep-1999 1645 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=9/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254217
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were mixed today (Wednesday) although there was some bargain- hunting after Tuesday's big sell-off. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-524, down 74 points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed at 13-hundred-10, up three points. The NASDAQ index gained more than one percent. Analysts say there was some bargain-hunting, although much of that was confined to high-technology stocks which sold off heavily on Tuesday. Concerns about higher interest rates continued, with speculation that the Federal Reserve Board -- the U-S central bank -- will raise interest rates for the third time this year. However, some of that concern was eased, at least briefly, when the central bank issued a (Beige Book) report that said there are few signs of wage inflation in the United States.

    /// REST OPT ///

    Larry Wachtel of the Prudential investment company says stock traders should feel more confident after the next meeting of the U-S central bank on October fifth.

    /// WACHTEL ACT ///

    Once we get to the "Fed" meeting, and get that interest rate issue clarified -- and I think it will be benign -- the third-quarter earnings period should be the catalyst [for a stronger market]. Right now, we have no catalyst.

    /// END ACT ///

    The stocks of all major U-S tobacco companies fell, after the federal government filed a lawsuit to recover billions of dollars spent to treat sick smokers over the past 50 years. The tobacco industry ended similar lawsuits by state governments with agreement to pay a 206-billion-dollar settlement. Some analysts say they expect that, eventually, a similar settlement will be reached with the federal government. The Phelps Dodge company has increased its hostile bids for copper industry rivals Cyprus Amax and Asarco. Phelps Dodge is now willing to pay two-point- seven-billion dollars in cash and stock. The previous offer was an all-stock deal worth two-point-six- billion dollars. Xerox will pay almost one-billion dollars for the color printing unit of the Tektronix Corporation. The deal makes Xerox the second-largest producer of office color printers behind Hewlett-Packard. The stock of the Three-Com Corporation rose more than 10 percent after the maker of computer networking equipment reported its quarterly earnings soared by almost 40 percent, well ahead of Wall Street expectations. U-S Airways, the nation's sixth-largest airline, has reached agreement with the Machinists Union, averting a strike which had been threatened for next Monday. New stock issues of internet companies continue to attract an enthusiastic reception on Wall Street. The stock of Broadbase Software, which produces internet customer-management programs, rose 80 percent in its first day of trading. (Signed) NEB/BA/LSF/TVM/WTW 22-Sep-1999 17:29 PM EDT (22-Sep-1999 2129 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/22/1999
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11481
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: The arrival of United Nations peacekeepers in East Timor has captured the attention of several editorial writers in the U-S press this Wednesday. The other major topics commented upon include a message related to East Timor by the U-N Secretary- General, an economic recovery plan for Colombia, difficult times for Germany's leader, the deal with North Korea over missiles and the death of a former Soviet first lady. Now, here with a closer look at these issues is ___________ with today's U-S Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: To the Pacific Ocean state of Hawaii first, and Honolulu's afternoon daily, The Star-Bulletin, which editorializes about the arrival of U-N peacekeepers in East Timor:

    VOICE: Once again an international force has landed in a war-torn land, this time the half-island of East Timor in Indonesia. As in the case of Kosovo only a few months ago, the arrival comes too late to prevent a slaughter of civilians. The massacre could have been averted. /// OPT /// There were ample warnings that violence might follow the August 30 plebiscite on independence from Indonesia, but the world community didn't take measures to prevent it. /// END OPT /// Still, the arrival of a 75-hundred -member force is a welcome though belated effort to restore order.

    TEXT: In Oklahoma, some advice for Indonesia's military from The Tulsa World.

    VOICE: The commander of Indonesia's armed forces is supposedly the one person who can call off the militias in East Timor. Here's some free advice for the general: Do it-and - quickly. . Hundreds, maybe thousands, of East Timorese have been shot, beaten and hacked to death by roving bands of so-called militias .. The slaughter must end.

    TEXT: We turn now to the United Nations' role in quelling violent conflicts, a role described before the General Assembly this week by U-N Secretary- General Kofi Annan. Annan's views get support from Florida's Times-Union in Jacksonville.

    VOICE: This would be a better world if the United nations were to heed Secretary-General Kofi Annan's call for quick intervention in strife-torn areas to protect civilians. . It was bad enough in the past when civilians were accidental victims of warfare. But, increasingly, they are intentional targets. The United Nations should have sent troops to stop the killing fields in Cambodia, and it should have taken action against the slaughter in Rwanda.

    TEXT: The New York Times, while cautious, on the use of U-S troops in situations like East Timor, nevertheless adds:

    VOICE: But in today's world, civil war and genocidal conflicts can be badly destabilizing, and it is often in the American interest to be one participant among many in a well-designed U-N peacekeeping force rather than face constant pressure to lead an intervention or go in alone. /// OPT /// . When the 20th century began, civilians accounted for 15 percent of war casualties. Today the figure is 90 percent, mainly because most wars today are . internal conflicts fought in streets and villages. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: The New York Post takes strong exception to the Secretary-General's remarks, however, suggesting:

    VOICE: Considering that whenever the U-N commits to an intervention, the United States inevitably bears the larger costs, both financial and logistical, [Mr.] Annan's suggestion is a recipe for disaster. ... Kofi Annan's heart is undoubtedly in the right place. But it is naive for him to believe that the United Nations should become involved in every nation's civil war. Naive and irresponsible, because he is making a promise neither he nor the organization he represents has the means to fulfill.

    TEXT: Turning to the western hemisphere, there is some hope that Colombia is coming to grips with its problems, as President Andres Pastrana asks the United Nations General Assembly for what the Miami Herald calls "a breathtaking three-point-five billion dollars" over the next three years to stimulate the legitimate economy. The Herald says:

    VOICE: Problems as complex and long-standing as those of Colombia clearly won't be overcome quickly or easily. Credit President Andres Pastrana for attempting a comprehensive approach to complicated issues in the strategy he unveiled Monday. But congratulations won't be in order until actions, not words, show the will to deliver results. .. As the world's biggest consumer of cocaine and heroin, the United States has a clear obligation to help Colombia fulfill this plan .

    TEXT: The Los Angeles Times turns its attention to Germany, in particular, the difficulties besetting its relatively new chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder.

    VOICE: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is finding out that leading his Social Democrats to victory in general elections a year ago was the easy part .. Governing is proving much more difficult. All [Mr.] Schroeder had to do to win in last year's election was to campaign in opposition to the rule of Helmut Kohl. The formidable Christian Democrat leader had been in power for 16 years, and Germany simply wanted a change. [Mr.] Schroeder didn't stand for much then, and, a year into his term, German voters are still debating what he stands for. /// OPT /// But [Mr.] Schroeder has taken on something even the mighty [Mr.] Kohl couldn't accomplish . reforming Germany's welfare state. ///END OPT ///

    TEXT: Back to Asian affairs, the deal with North Korea to suspend long-range missile testing in return for relaxation of economic sanctions by the United States continues to attract controversy. The Boston Globe calls it a "Smart tradeoff with North Korea," adding:

    VOICE: Since North Korea hardly offers foreign investors the predictability or the contract law so desirable in the global marketplace, the price paid for a suspension of Pyongyang's anticipated missile launch is more symbolic than substantial. Nothing would be lost if North Korea did not keep its part of the bargain . [If] Pyongyang broke its promise, the old sanctions could be revived, new sanctions could be added and [it] could be confronted with both diplomatic and military responses to a missile launch.

    TEXT: Taking strong exception to both the North Korean deal, and U-S policy toward China is Pennsylvania's Greensburg Tribune-Review.

    VOICE: As expected, President Clinton has sacrificed national security in order to cozy up to [Editors: BEFRIEND]the Chinese government, easing trade sanctions against North Korea and ignoring North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms' call for sanctions against China. [Mr.] Clinton went ahead with easing restrictions administered under the Trading with the Enemy Act, even though North Korea has continued to behave as an enemy. .. Make no mistake, China and North Korea are positioning themselves to be major military threats in Asia and to extend their influence beyond the Pacific Rim. /// OPT /// [President] Clinton eased the restrictions on North Korea just over a year after North Korea fired a multi-stage rocket that flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean. Clinton rewards that aggression with trade benefits. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: The huge earthquake in Taiwan also comes in for comment, first from the earthquake-prone city of San Francisco, California, where The Chronicle notes:

    VOICE: First Turkey, then Greece, and now Taiwan. Earthquakes have rumbled across the globe,/// OPT /// knocking down apartments, touching off fires and snapping bridges. Thousands have died. If it sounds familiar, it should. The quakes show the inadequacy of building codes, if the quakes are strong enough. Government services can easily be overwhelmed. /// END OPT /// . Along with a deadly human toll, earthquakes yield a cautionary reminder that the future cannot be controlled. But its dangers can be minimized by sensible precautions.

    TEXT: Lastly, several newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune are bidding farewell to the former Soviet first lady, Raisa Gorbachev, who died this week of leukemia.

    VOICE: Before Raisa Gorbachev appeared on the scene, the wives of Soviet leaders were rarely seen or heard from. They were colorless and without affect. They certainly did NOT play a role in their husbands' thinking processes - or nobody knew about it if they did. But she was as different and as controversial as he. She was fashionable and smart. She liked clothes. She spent money. She was an intellectual, a philosophy professor. She influenced his decisions. . She was scorned by many ordinary Russians, who considered her showy and haughty. ... But in death, Russian scorn has turned to deserved and affectionate tribute. ... Mikhail - and Raisa - Gorbachev made history and together changed the world forever. .

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from Wednesday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/JP 22-Sep-1999 12:24 PM EDT (22-Sep-1999 1624 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] WORLD ECONOMY IMPROVING (L-O) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=9/22/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-254189
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The International Monetary Fund today (Wednesday) released an upbeat global economic outlook. The report reveals a steady and impressive worldwide rebound from the impact of Asia's recent financial turmoil. At the same time, I-M-F economists are concerned about a further rise in the value of the yen and want the U-S economy to slow down. VOA's Barry Wood has details.

    TEXT: World output this year is expected to be up three percent and should expand by three point five percent in the year 2000. The United States continues to be the engine for these gains, with its nearly four percent growth rate pulling in imports from distressed Asian economies. Michael Mussa is the I-M-F chief economist.

    //FIRST MUSSA ACT//

    The U-S economy over the past 18 months has supplied roughly half of the total demand growth in the world economy at a time when demand growth in the rest of the world economy was quite weak.

    //END ACT//

    Mr. Mussa says it is now time for the rest of the world to pull its own weight. And he warns U-S growth needs to decelerate if inflationary pressures are to be avoided. To achieve this, the I-M-F economist says the U-S central bank should raise interest rates once again next month.

    //SECOND MUSSA ACT//

    At this stage I guess my personal preference would be to take a further step of tightening before year end and then be on hold through the Y2K uncertainties and then to review the situation again in March or May of next year.

    //END ACT//

    The most impressive development in the world economy is the rapid turnaround in East Asia. South Korea's economy, for example, is growing at a nearly seven percent rate compared to a six percent decline last year. Mr. Mussa does worry about how long Japan's tentative recovery can last and he opposes a further increase in the exchange value of the yen.

    //THIRD MUSSA ACT//

    Such an appreciation in the yen might have some meaningful effect in forestalling the much needed recovery in the Japanese economy, a recovery that is being very much promoted by strong fiscal action from the Japanese government.

    //END ACT//

    Mr. Mussa says Europe is set to grow faster and that the recession in South America is not as deep as had been expected. Russia's economy is doing much better than expected and Africa's growth rate should rise to five percent next year. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/BK 22-Sep-1999 12:17 PM LOC (22-Sep-1999 1617 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
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