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Voice of America, 99-10-01

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

From: The Voice of America <gopher://>





    INTRO: Yugoslavia's former army chief predicts Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic will fail if he tries to use the military to suppress the democratic opposition in Serbia. Philip Smucker reports from Belgrade.

    TEXT: General Momcilo Perisic, who now heads an independent political movement, says President Milosevic is out of touch with his own people. Gen. Perisic was chief of the Yugoslav Army until last year when he was ousted after disagreeing with Mr. Milosevic over how to handle the Kosovo crisis. Serbian police units have moved to block opposition street protests this week, beating demonstrators for two consecutive nights. The protesters are demanding the president's removal from office. General Perisic says in an interview that he expects the violence will get worse and that Mr. Milosevic's regime will try to use the Yugoslav army to hold on to power.

    /// Act Perisic, in Serbian with English translator. ///
    It will surely try to use all means, including the intention of using the army. That is exactly the reason why I emerged on the political scene with the goal to prevent the possible abuse of the army in solving the created crisis in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

    /// End act ////

    The General said leaders of the Yugoslav army are wise enough to see that Mr. Milosevic is working for his own interests, and so will not allow themselves to be abused.
    /// Act Perisic, in Serbian with English translator ///
    the soldiers of the army have the awareness, well developed, about these authorities (who) are not working for the interests of the people and the state.

    /// End act ///

    General Perisic says he supports the street demonstrations and does not rule out the possibility of his own Movement for Democratic Serbia joining in the protests if Mr. Milosevic does not step down. In Belgrade, meanwhile, opposition leaders with the Alliance for Change said they would try to reach the President's home in cars and buses Friday night, rather than walking as they tried on previous nights. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/GE/JP 01-Oct-1999 12:21 PM EDT (01-Oct-1999 1621 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Speculation about a possible coup or even civil war in Montenegro, Serbia's partner republic in the Yugoslav Federation, has been widely discussed in the Balkans for more than a year. Montenegro's current plan to hold a referendum on independence -- letting the republic's citizens decide whether to break away from President Slobodan Milosevic's Yugoslavia -- has heightened fears about possible future turmoil. V-O-A's Pamela Taylor discussed the situation with a leading Montenegrin journalist, currently visiting Washington.

    TEXT: Under the government of their independent- minded president, Milo Djukanovic, the people of the tiny, mountainous Republic of Montenegro enjoy many freedoms not known in neighboring Serbia. One of them is a freer press. The director of a leading newspaper in Montenegro, which published reports about ethnic cleansing and war crimes throughout the war in Kosovo, came to Washington (this week) to warn policy makers about the possibility of another war in the Balkans. Milka Tadic of Montenegro's Monitor newspaper says the decision by the Djukanovic government to hold a referendum on independence was made only after repeated attempts to steer Yugoslavia toward greater democracy.

    ///. FIRST TADIC ACT ///

    It is really impossible to negotiate with [Mr.] Milosevic about equality for Montenegro within the [Yugoslav] Federation. I think we have around 10-thousand [Yugoslav army] troops here and [Mr.] Milosevic is trying to form a special federal police in Montenegro which will control the borders. Besides those troops, [Mr.] Milosevic has very strong political support in Montenegro, and right now we have a lot of paramilitary [troops] who came from Kosovo, and he can always just activate them.

    /// END ACT ///

    Milka Tadic says the people of Montenegro do not have great hopes that the current round of protests by opposition groups in Belgrade and other Serbian cities will produce much change in Yugoslavia.

    /// SECOND TADIC ACT ///

    People in Serbia do not trust [Mr.] Milosevic, but unfortunately they do not trust the opposition either. And that is really the main problem in Serbia, that they have no credible opposition. The opposition leaders are still fighting among themselves. I don't think they have a clear platform. They are not talking about the war crimes which have been committed in Kosovo.

    /// END ACT ///

    Ms. Tadic says most people in Yugoslavia, even the majority of those who are demonstrating, are angry with Slobodan Milosevic for losing the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo -- not for starting them in the first place.

    // OPT //

    What's needed in Serbia, says Ms. Tadic, is for opposition leaders to start talking about war crimes.

    /// THIRD TADIC ACT ///

    If ordinary people are aware of what the paramilitary have been doing in their name, we might have some changes. Right now, most Serbs are not aware of what happened in Kosovo. Only serious talk about what [Mr.] Milosevic did -- not just to others but to Serbs as well - [will change things].

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

    Milka Tadic fears it will take years before there is a full recognition in Serbia that the reason it is isolated from the rest of the world is because of the policies of Slobodan Milosevic. The Serbian people must begin a process of de-Nazification, she says, as the Germans did after the crimes of Hitler's Germany became known. (Signed)
    NEB/PAM/WTW 01-Oct-1999 18:19 PM EDT (01-Oct-1999 2219 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: A hostage crisis that erupted Sunday in several Turkish prisons has ended peacefully after negotiations between Turkish officials and rebel inmates. Amberin Zaman in Ankara reports Istanbul's chief prosecutor insists the release of more than 50 prison guards who were being held hostage did not result from any deal with inmate leaders.

    TEXT: The chief prosecutor, Ferzan Citici, told reporters after the release that there were no problems left in any of the jails affected by the coordinated hostage-taking. He said everything was -- in his words -- "back to normal." The agreement between the authorities and inmates in nine jails across Turkey appears to have been reached after an investigation into the violence at Ankara's Ulucanlar prison Sunday in which 10 inmates were killed. In that incident, prison guards and soldiers raided a cell block housing inmates belonging to left-wing extremist groups. Officials say the inmates had been digging an escape tunnel. Turkish authorities say the inmates had guns and opened fire at the security forces. Ten inmates were killed in the ensuing shoot out. But the findings of the Justice ministry's investigation revealed that some of the slain prisoners had also suffered blows, reinforcing claims by their lawyers that they had been beaten to death. With more than 60-thousand people behind bars, Turkey's prisons are overcrowded, understaffed, and notoriously corrupt. Inmates frequently bribe their way out of jail, smuggle in weapons, cell phones, fax machines, drugs, computers, and even furniture. A recent parliamentary report on the state of prisons in Turkey said that torture still is common and that health and hygiene standards remain well below Western levels. Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has pledged to overhaul the prison system. Among the measures being considered is to move inmates out of dormitories into single cells in order to prevent prisoners from engaging in what authorities call "illegal training and indoctrination activities." But human rights groups and inmates oppose to the move, saying it would deprive prisoners of social contacts that are a basic human right. (Signed)
    NEB/AZ/JWH/JP 01-Oct-1999 11:19 AM EDT (01-Oct-1999 1519 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 10/2/99. 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: Tens of thousands of Serbs have been taking to the streets of Belgrade and other Serbian cities to demand the resignation of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The demonstrations, sponsored by the Alliance for Change, began on September 21st. The Alliance has vowed to continue the protests until Milosevic steps down. Protests have been held in Bor, Novi Sad, Nis, Cacak, Kragujevac, and other cities. In Novi Sad, opposition leader Nenad Canak announced that he was forming a "transitional government" for Vojvodina province. Protesters in Belgrade held a mock trial of President Milosevic; his wife Mirjana Markovic, who is the head of the Yugoslav Left, part of the ruling coalition; ultra- nationalist Vojislav Seselji; and Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Marjanovic. These four were charged with leading Yugoslavia into ruin. "This is an uprising of a humiliated and impoverished nation," said Alliance leader Milan Protic. During his ten years of misrule, Milosevic has instigated and lost several wars. He has directly incited the murder, torture, robbery, and abuse of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children in Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. For these crimes, he and several top Yugoslav leaders have been indicted by the International Tribunal in the Hague. He has caused the breakup of Yugoslavia, ruined its economy and made his country an international outcast. The people of Yugoslavia have good reason to protest. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-voa-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. 01-Oct-1999 11:31 AM EDT (01-Oct-1999 1531 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST 10/3/99. 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 Washington visit of Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit is an apt occasion to reflect on the enduring strategic alliance between the United States and Turkey. Indeed, stability in the eastern Mediterranean has rested, for half a century, on this foundation. As a member of NATO, Turkey participated in the strategy of containing the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. It now plays a key role in helping the U-S and others to confront post-Cold War challenges, such as establishing peace and stability in the Balkans. Turkey is also central to the international efforts to contain the threat that Saddam Hussein's regime poses and ensure that Iraq complies fully with its obligations under United Nations Security Council resolutions. The government of Bulent Ecevit deserves praise for its reform measures, designed to liberalize the economy. It also deserves praise for the release of Akin Birdal [Ah-keen Ber-DAHL], a top human rights activist, jailed last year on charges of encouraging the Kurdish separatist movement. This and other steps taken by the government are welcome signs of the growing liberalization of Turkey's political system. Relations between Greece and Turkey, two close NATO allies of the United States, have also recently improved. The quick and generous Greek response to Turkey's August 17th earthquake and Turkey's assistance after a Greek earthquake several weeks later gave a boost to efforts already underway to improve ties. It is clear that Turkish Prime Minister Ecevit and his coalition have made progress on a variety of fronts in a short period of time. Continued progress will strengthen Turkey's role as a key U.S. ally, and serve as the basis for improved relations between Turkey and the European Union. Anncr: That was an editorial expressing the policies of the United States Government. If you have a comment, please write to Editorials, V-O-A, Washington, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. You may also comment at www-dot-voa-dot-gov-slash-editorials, or fax us at (202) 619-1043. 01-Oct-1999 11:36 AM EDT (01-Oct-1999 1536 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: German politics are in turmoil. The left- center coalition government is stumbling badly after a series of losses in state and local elections. Many Germans in the east have soured on reunification, and some even say they would like to rebuild the Berlin wall. A new assertiveness in German foreign policy worries some of its neighbors. But as V-O-A's Ed Warner reports, analysts say these are the growing pains of a genuine democracy.

    TEXT: Hardly anyone defends the current German government any more, says Bernhard May, a senior analyst at the Research Institute for Foreign Affairs in Berlin. The coalition of the Social Democratic and Green Parties has an approval rating of less than 30 percent and has lost a series of elections around the country. With an ever-widening budget deficit and continuing high unemployment, the German economic miracle has faded. Chancellor Gerhard Schroder is proposing budget and tax cuts to revive the economy and reduce the interventionist role of the state. Speaking at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Mr. May said the government has fumbled from the beginning:

    /// FIRST MAY ACT ///

    They came out with a plan to reform the tax system, but they did not have an explanation for it. They did not prepare the people for it. Then they came out with another plan to reform the social security system -- without telling the people why, without preparing the people that they would have to accept tough measures. So you first throw a stone in the water, and then say, "well, let us see what will happen."

    /// END ACT ///

    Crister Garrett is associate director of the Center for German and European Studies at the University of Wisconsin. He agrees the government must explain why Germany will have to adjust to a more open, free- flowing world economy. This requires less social spending and government regulation:


    The challenge is to go to the German voters and tell them why Germany must continue to try to reduce the role of the state in peoples' lives. This will happen for the first time in German history. The state has traditionally played a large role in the German economy, and now it is coming to a point where it can no longer afford to do that.

    /// END ACT ///

    The vote in the east went heavily to the left-center coalition in last September's election. Now the east is voting for other parties, including the Party of Democratic Socialism, made up of former Communists. A recent survey shows one out of seven voters in the east is discontented enough to say the iron curtain should be restored. Despite 900-billion dollars in subsidies from the federal government since reunification, unemployment in the region remains above 20 per cent. Where has the money gone? asks Mr. May, among others:

    /// SECOND MAY ACT ///

    People expected, well, okay, we will have special programs for 10 years, but at least we want to see that things are moving ahead and that people are changing and there is a bright outlook. No, it is not working, and at the same time, the gap is getting bigger and the discussion -- should we really continue it [the aid] or should we stop it? -- is getting more intense.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Garrett says reunification has brought more problems than expected, but most people in the east are glad it occurred. The point is they are growing more reflective about their region and its possibilities:


    I think that what is happening is people in the east are becoming more critical of what they want to have for their regional quality of life, particularly younger people. They just do not simply say any more: "West is good." Now they rather say: "The West has something to offer. Let us see what that is."

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Garrett says a growing critical spirit between east and west is healthy for German democracy. He believes the former Communists are gaining support, not because of their discredited ideology but because of their attention to local needs. While the federal government is floundering in its domestic policy, Mr. May thinks its foreign policy has been a success. It aroused a degree of national pride by contributing forces to Kosovo -- the first time German troops had been sent out of the country since the Second World War. But what is perceived as a new assertiveness in German foreign policy has caused some minor alarm in other countries. Mr. Garrett says there is nothing to worry about:


    German opinion has been split and will continue to be split between two groups in the society, one saying: "Because of our past, we have an extra obligation to help those parts of the world suffering from tyranny," and another half of the population saying: "Because of our past, we have an obligation not to put our soldiers into areas of the world suffering from dictatorship.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Garrett says the essence of this debate is how to employ military force to uphold democratic values. He believes the Germans' vigorous pursuit of democracy over the last 50 years has brought them to a point where they feel the international community can trust them with sharing its responsibilities. (Signed)
    NEB/EW/WTW 01-Oct-1999 19:41 PM EDT (01-Oct-1999 2341 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: European Commission President Romano Prodi has made Poland his first stop since the new E-U executive took office two weeks ago. V-O-A correspondent Ron Pemstein reports from Warsaw that Poland's application to join the European Union is drawing criticism at home.

    TEXT: If you ask Poles if they want to be part of Western Europe by joining the European Union, the overwhelming majority say "yes." Even Andrzej Lepper, the leader of the populist Self-Defense movement, believes Poland belongs in the European Union. But speaking with an interpreter, Mr. Lepper tells V-O-A, in a telephone interview from the city of Poznan, the Union's conditions for membership are not fair.


    We do support Polish access to the European Union, but the access has to be done on the partners' conditions -- conditions that are obligatory for all other European members. We should be in the European Union since yesterday, not from tomorrow, but we would not accept the conditions given to Poland by the European Union just right now.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Lepper has been organizing road blockades to try to prevent subsidized European Union products from competing with those from Polish farmers. In September, he led farmers, steelworkers and teachers in one of the largest protest marches here since the end of communism 10 years ago. The authorities estimated the crowd at 30-thousand. Mr. Lepper believes 70-thousand farmers and workers demonstrated against the Polish Government. Poland's lead negotiator with the European Union is Jacek Saryusz-Wolski. He is worried about the changing public sentiment.


    I'm worried by the fact that this process is perceived through the perspective of certain myths, stereotypes and insufficient information or insufficient knowledge, roughly speaking because this is part of this skepticism is based on fear. It is based on fear that certain dangers rising from competitive pressures of the single market for certain groups of population, professions, producers. And that some enterprises may be closed, and might result in unemployment out of it and so forth. This attitude based on fear is worrying.

    /// END ACT ///

    European Commission President Romano Prodi reassured Polish leaders, on his visit here, that enlargement of the European Union could not be imagined without the inclusion of Poland - a key country with 40-million people. Mr. Prodi has promised to push for Poland and other leading candidates to be given a target date for membership as soon as next December's European Union summit meeting in Helsinki. It is one thing to be given a target date in 2003 or 2004. It is another thing for Poland to make the costly investments in environment to meet European Union standards. It is also another thing to negotiate arrangements for agriculture that will prevent Mr. Lepper's followers from protesting in the streets. Poland has 25 percent of its working population in agriculture; a percentage the European Union considers too high with so many employed on inefficient tiny farms. The European Union wants to see the number of farms sharply reduced before it will consider giving Polish farmers anything close to the subsidies already granted to E-U farmers. When Poland recently imposed protective tariffs to help its farmers compete with European Union farm subsidies, the European Union complained the trade barrier is inconsistent with the goal of a single market. Poland contends the tariffs are allowed by the World Trade Organization. Eventually, the result of years of negotiations with the European Union will be put to a public referendum. The Polish Government then will have to explain to Polish farmers and workers that European Union membership contains benefits for Poland as well as costs. (Signed)
    NEB/RP/GE 01-Oct-1999 14:11 PM EDT (01-Oct-1999 1811 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: Stock prices in the United States were down today (Friday) as a result of new interest rate worries. V-O-A Business Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from New York.

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10- thousand-273, down 64 points. For the week, the Industrial Average lost six points. The Standard and Poor's 500 index closed unchanged Friday at 12- hundred-82 points. The NASDAQ index lost about one- third of one percent. Analysts say new inflation and interest rate concerns were sparked by a monthly report from the National Association of Purchasing Management. It says U-S manufacturing activity accelerated in September and the prices paid by factories rose to their highest levels in four years. That report will be one of many that governors of the U-S central bank will consider Tuesday when they decide whether to raise short term interest rates. Interest rate worries also hit European markets. The European central bank and the Bank of England will set interest rates on Thursday.

    /// Rest opt ///

    Patrick Murphy of the Robb Peck investment firm says the stock market took its cue from the bond market.

    /// Murphy act ///

    This morning when they announced that manufacturing report the bond market got hit right off the bat and we took our key from the bonds.

    /// end act ///

    The government reports construction spending in the United States fell in August for the fifth straight month. A steep decline in private construction projects was the reason for the drop. Kellogg, the world's largest cereal maker, will pay 307 million dollars for Worthington Foods. Worthington is a leading producer of meatless foods such as vegetable burgers, and analysts say it represents a good growth business for Kellogg. Service Corporation International, the world's largest funeral and cemetery company, warned that its quarterly profits will fall well below Wall Street expectations. The company blamed lower cemetery revenues and labor trouble in France for the shortfall. Hewlett-Packard, the computer equipment maker, says it will probably meet quarterly earnings estimates, but warns it expects sales will slow for the rest of the year. Revlon, the cosmetics giant, says it will report a quarterly loss and plans to sell some of its units. Revlon says it expects the divestitures to bring in about half-a-billion dollars that will be used to reduce debt.(Signed) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/JP 01-Oct-1999 17:26 PM EDT (01-Oct-1999 2126 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America



    INTRO: With disturbing new evidence and a revived investigation, an episode from the Korean War is the most talked about topic in today's U-S editorial columns. Other topics sparking comment include: a shaky start to the U-S government's new fiscal year, Al Gore's attempts to save his presidential campaign and the future of China as it celebrates a half century of communism. Now here is ___________ with some excerpts and a closer look in today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Earlier this year, the U-S Defense department investigated and dismissed allegations that U-S soldiers deliberately killed hundreds of Korean civilians at the onset of the Korean War. But now after additional investigation, The Associated Press is reporting that in July 1950, under orders to consider civilians as enemy North Koreans, U-S soldiers fired into a crowd of Korean women, children, and the elderly refugees caught between the Americans and advancing North Korean troops. The alleged mass killing provoked California's Los Angeles Times to make this comment: Voice: .The Associated Press, quoting Koreans who say they are survivors of a massacre and Army veterans who say they were present when one took place, has provided enough evidence to compel the Army to reopen its investigation. .It won't be easy for the Army to reconstruct events from 1950, but it has a moral responsibility to undertake what (U-S) Army Secretary Louis Caldera promises will be an "all encompassing" inquiry. Text: U-S-A Today in Arlington, Virginia is outraged over the incident and sees it as an obvious attempt by the U-S military to deny responsibility for the excesses of war. Voice: Only by shining sunlight on these dark chapters can the military build the moral strength to avoid such tragedies - and disreputable cover-ups - in the future. The U-S military demands such full accounting by other governments for the whereabouts of the remains of soldiers in Vietnam and indeed Korea, where 37,000 died. It should demand no less of itself. Text: Today is the first day of the U-S government's fiscal year 2000. Critical of the failure by Congress to pass new spending bills, The Washington Times in the nation's capital is comparing last year's fiscal problems with the ones the nation now faces, including dipping into the Social Security surplus budget for "emergency spending". Voice: .Repeatedly, House and Senate G-O-P (Republican) leaders. pledged that last year's fiscal fiasco would not be repeated. .There is now so much "emergency" spending that Congress has already erased the projected $14.4 billion in non-Social Security budget surplus. .The question is no longer whether Congress and the White House will loot the Social Security lock box. It is: How much will they take? Text: In an effort to rescue a shaky presidential campaign, U-S Vice President Al Gore has announced that he will establish headquarters in his home state of Tennessee. The New York Times had this to say: Voice: Mr. Gore needs to establish a headquarters that will operate more efficiently than the one that turned him from front-runner into self-described underdog. .Of course, Mr. Gore is discovering that there are no risk-free zones in presidential campaigns. He faces embarrassment at his new address if Mr. (George W.) Bush continues to lead him in the Tennessee polls. Text: And finally, today marks the 50th anniversary of Communist China, and Maryland's Baltimore Sun comments that although the late Mao Zedong had some proud achievements, they will prove smaller as decades pass. Voice: China today is 1.2-billion people, powerful, a menace to neighbors, booming and suspicious. .China's greatness, for good or ill, will continue. Communism can be seen as having had little to do with it. Yet it still rules politically and brooks no enemies, real or imagined. While the Communist Party will celebrate this first 50th anniversary in power, it is unlikely to see a second. On the 100th anniversary, China will most likely be the greatest nation, its system unrecognizable as Maoism. That will have been a passing phase, a brief dynasty, a curiosity of history. Text: That concludes this sampling of Friday's U-S editorials.
    NEB/ENE/JP 01-Oct-1999 12:41 PM EDT (01-Oct-1999 1641 UTC)
    Source: Voice of America

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