Browse through our Interesting Nodes of Greek Local Authorities & Servers Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Monday, 16 May 2022
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Voice of America, 00-03-09

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] GREECE / EURO (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [02] NATO SPIES (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)
  • [03] ALBRIGHT - EUROPE (L) BY KYLE KING (BANJA LUKA)
  • [04] ALBRIGHT ONITER (S ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BRUSSELS)
  • [05] ALBRIGHT REFUGEES (L-O) CQ BY KYLE KING (BANJA LUKA)
  • [06] ALBRIGHT REFUGEES (L-O)UPDATE BY KYLE KING (BANJA LUKA)
  • [07] GERMANY / BANK MERGER (L-ONLY) BY JONATHAN BRAUDE (FRANKFURT)
  • [08] GERMAN BANKING MERGER (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [09] GERMANY'S NEW I-M-F CANDIDATE (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)
  • [10] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)
  • [11] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] GREECE / EURO (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260019
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Greece has become the 12th country to begin the process of adopting the Euro as its official currency. Ron Pemstein reports from Brussels that its European partners must approve the move, but Greece is expected to become a member of Euro Zone by 2001.

    TEXT: Greece was the only member of the European Union (E-U) whose application to adopt the Euro was rejected when 11 other countries were accepted in 1998. The reason then was that Greek inflation, government debt and the rate of economic growth did not meet the standards of its E-U partners. In messages sent to the European Central Bank, to the European Commission, to the other European Union governments and to Portugal, as the current E-U President, Greece now says it meets European standards.

    /// Opt ///

    That means that Greece's debt does not exceed three percent of its gross domestic product and that inflation must not be above one-and-one-half percent of the three best performing European economies. Also, medium and long-term interest rates should not exceed two percent. Greece says it is meeting all those goals. /// End Opt /// The European Commission has welcomed Greece's application. Spokesman Gerassimos Thomas says the Greek schedule for adopting the Euro by next January should be feasible.

    /// Thomas Act ///

    There is a calendar that has been outlined by the Greek authorities, which is feasible, but there is no formal commitment. /// Opt /// The calendar is as follows: the Commission decision will be made on the proposal on the 3rd of May, The European Parliament will make its report starting on the 15th of May in Strasbourg and the there will be a discussion in the Ecofin (Economic and Finance ministers) Council on the 5th of June for having a final decision at the Feira (heads of state) Council on the 19th and 20th of June. /// End Opt ///

    /// End Act ///

    /// Opt ///

    Mr. Thomas says there is no formal commitment by the Commission or the European Central Bank to keep to that Greek timetable but it is feasible. /// End Opt /// The three other European Union members that have not adopted the Euro are Britain, Denmark and Sweden. All three of those countries need a referendum to approve replacing their currencies with the Euro. Denmark appears to be moving toward holding a referendum in September. For the 11 countries that have tied their currencies to the Euro, they have seen its value fall by 18 percent since it was introduced with great fanfare on New Years Day, 1999. It has slipped below parity with the American dollar at 96 cents. The Greek Drachma stands at 346 to the dollar and there appears little enthusiasm in Greece for maintaining their weak currency. Polls show 70 percent of Greeks favor adopting the Euro. Participating national currencies disappear entirely in 2002. Already, prices appear in Euros in 11 countries, and bank accounts and credit cards can be charged in Euros before notes and coins start to circulate. (Signed)
    NEB/RP/GE/JP 09-Mar-2000 09:43 AM EDT (09-Mar-2000 1443 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] NATO SPIES (L ONLY) BY LAURIE KASSMAN (LONDON)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260023
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A British television documentary says important targeting information was leaked to Yugoslavia during the first few weeks of the NATO's Kosovo offensive. Correspondent Laurie Kassman reports from London that NATO denies the report and some analysts say the spy report is just a promotion gimmick for the T-V program.

    TEXT: The T-V documentary to be broadcast Sunday says a U-S military report indicates there was a spy in the NATO alliance who leaked aircraft targeting information to Belgrade during the early days of NATO's air campaign against Yugoslav forces in Kosovo. The correspondent who worked on the documentary acknowledges he did not see the contents of the classified report, but says he talked with people who did. NATO's air campaign was launched one-year ago to push Yugoslav forces out of Kosovo and end Belgrade's ethnic-cleansing campaign there. The 19-nation military operation lasted three-months. B-B-C defense correspondent Andrew Gilligan told British radio the information leak threatened the safety of allied pilots flying thousands of sorties over Serb targets. He says part of the problem was the high number of people who had access to the sensitive information during the first two-weeks of the campaign.

    /// GILLIGAN ACT ///

    The computer system containing those air-tasking orders, a system called Chronos, was accessible to as many as 600-people from all NATO countries. Our sources say that the impact on the air campaign of the Serbs knowing about this was considerable. They could evacuate equipment from the target building so less damage was done to their war effort.

    /// END ACT ///

    The documentary says NATO commanders suspected a leak and quickly reduced access to the air-targeting plans. NATO cut access to sensitive information from 600 to 100 people two-weeks after the bombing campaign got underway. But spokesman Jamie Shea says that was a routine precaution.

    /// SHEA ACT ONE ///

    Obviously an organization like NATO, but also a private sector company or a bank, always has to be very careful that sensitive information does not leak out to the wrong people. And during the air campaign, we took enormous precautions with our targeting operations and procedures to make certain we could minimize the possibility of a leak.

    /// END ACT ///

    In a telephone interview with V-O-A news, Mr. Shea says the T-V documentary never backs up its allegations of a spy in NATO.

    /// SHEA ACT TWO ///

    We have absolutely no evidence, no proof, no indication that there was a spy in NATO passing secrets to the Serbs during the air campaign.

    /// END ACT ///

    But it would not be the first time information has leaked from the 19-member NATO alliance. Five-months before the bombing campaign was launched, a French NATO officer was arrested for passing sensitive documents to Yugoslavia. Military analysts constantly warn of the risk of sharing sensitive information among NATO's 19 member countries because of potentially conflicting national interests. (SIGNED) NEB/LMK/JWH/ENE/RAE 09-Mar-2000 11:09 AM EDT (09-Mar-2000 1609 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] ALBRIGHT - EUROPE (L) BY KYLE KING (BANJA LUKA)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260014
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has praised the efforts of moderate leaders in the Bosnian Serb Republic, saying they are setting an example for reform and tolerance. VOA's Kyle King reports from Banja Luka, where Ms. Albright wrapped up a two day visit to Bosnia.

    TEXT: Ms. Albright says the trend toward economic and political reform is stronger in the Serb Republic that anywhere else in Bosnia. With Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodic sitting by her side, she said the United States is looking for partners like him to help integrate all of southeastern Europe into the democratic mainstream.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    14 Because of its economic reforms, political pluralism and support for tolerance, Republika Srpska is setting an example under Prime Minister Dodic for others, most particularly neighboring Serbia to follow.

    /// END ACT ///

    Ms. Albright urged Bosnian Serb leaders to continue on the path of reform, and to do more to encourage the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees who are still displaced from the three year war that ended in 1995.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT TWO ///

    To encourage this and in recognition of the prime minister's leadership the United States will provide seven million dollars in budget support to the Republika Srpska this year.

    /// END ACT //

    The secretary says one million dollars of the money will be used specifically to facilitate refugee returns. Prime Minister Dodic told reporters that all refugees who want to return to their homes are invited to do so and that the Republika Srpska has a fairly liberal policy. However, the issue has been complicated by ethnic hatreds and the fact that the homes of many refugees are occupied by people who are reluctant to leave. During her visit, Ms. Albright also had a working lunch with Croatia's foreign minister, who is in Banja Luka to discuss the refugee return issue. The secretary has used her two-day visit to encourage political leaders from Bosnia's Muslim, Serb and Croat communities to put aside their lingering animosity. With municipal elections in Bosnia scheduled for early next month, western officials are hoping the country will turn away from nationalist parties that continue to dominate the political system. The next stop on the secretary of state's European tour is Brussels, where she is to meet with NATO Secretary General George Robertson, and other European officials for talks that are expected to focus on the situation in Kosovo. (Signed)
    NEB/KBK/KL 09-Mar-2000 08:19 AM EDT (09-Mar-2000 1319 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [04] ALBRIGHT ONITER (S ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260036
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright meets with NATO and European officials in Brussels today (Friday) for talks on the situation in Kosovo and Montenegro. The Secretary arrived in the Belgian capital after a two-day visit to Bosnia, where she again blamed much of the trouble in the region on Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. V-O-A's Kyle King has this report from Brussels.

    TEXT: A U-S official traveling with Ms. Albright said the situations in Montenegro and Kosovo are expected to come up at all of her meetings Friday, because everybody is concerned. In the past week, Serb police have blocked the border with Montenegro, the smaller of the two remaining Yugoslav republics. And along Kosovo's border, Serb police have clashed with armed ethnic Albanians, sending dozens of people fleeing for safety in Kosovo. U-S officials say they are watching both hot spots very closely, and Ms. Albright will discuss the situation with NATO and European officials. She will meet (Friday) with European Union President Romano Prodi and E-U High Representative Javier Solana before holding talks with NATO Secretary General George Robertson. Secretary of State Albright has blamed extremists on both sides in Kosovo for stirring up tensions, but officials say the only government involved is the one controlled by President Slobodan Milosevic. (Signed) NEB/KBK/ENE/gm 09-Mar-2000 16:10 PM EDT (09-Mar-2000 2110 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] ALBRIGHT REFUGEES (L-O) CQ BY KYLE KING (BANJA LUKA)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260025
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// DROPS BOSNIAN FOREIGN MINISTER FROM INTRO ///

    INTRO: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has welcomed a joint Bosnian-Croatian Declaration urging war-time refugees to return home. The statement was issued in Banja Luka, during a meeting that included the Bosnian-Serb prime minister and the Croatian foreign minister. V-O-A's Kyle King reports from Banja Luka.

    TEXT: The joint declaration pledges Bosnia and Croatia to help two-thousand refugees from each side of the border return home within three-months. The two countries also pledged to provide alternative housing or to evict the current occupants of the refugee's houses. Secretary of State Albright welcomed the announcement and said the United States would provide two-million dollars to finance the reconstruction of 100- unoccupied houses on each side of the Bosnian-Croatian border, marked by the Sava River.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    This initiative will make possible the largest single two-way return of refugees over the Sava since Dayton (the Bosnian Peace agreement). It will ease the financial challenge faced by these governments as they enter a period of what we hope will be sustained cooperation.

    /// END ACT ///

    Although the parties to the Bosnian Peace accords pledged to allow the return of refugees, ethnic hatreds and the fact that many of the homes were destroyed or occupied by former wartime enemies have hindered the process. U-S officials attribute the progress on the issue to the work of the new Croatian government and moderate Bosnian-Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodic, who has encouraged refugees to return. Secretary of State Albright says the declaration by the Bosnian and Croatian governments brings refugees a step closer home, and the region a step closer to a new Europe. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/RAE 09-Mar-2000 11:32 AM EDT (09-Mar-2000 1632 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [06] ALBRIGHT REFUGEES (L-O)UPDATE BY KYLE KING (BANJA LUKA)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260032
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// RE-PRINTING WITH CR-NUMBER. ///

    INTRO: Croatia and the Bosnian Serbs have signed a declaration that would allow thousands of war-time refugees to return home. The statement was issued in Banja Luka, during a meeting that included the Bosnian-Serb prime minister, the Croatian and Bosnian foreign ministers, and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. V-O-A's Kyle King reports from Banja Luka.

    TEXT: Secretary of State Albright welcomed the announcement and said the United States would provide two-million dollars to finance the reconstruction of 100-unoccupied houses on each side of the Bosnian- Croatian border, marked by the Sava River.

    /// ALBRIGHT ACT ///

    This initiative will make possible the largest single two-way return of refugees over the Sava since Dayton (the Bosnian Peace agreement). It will ease the financial challenge faced by these governments as they enter a period of what we hope will be sustained cooperation.

    /// END ACT ///

    Although all the parties to the Bosnian Peace accords pledged to allow the return of refugees, ethnic hatreds and the fact that many of the homes were destroyed or occupied by former wartime enemies have hindered the process. U-S officials attribute the progress on the issue to the work of the new Croatian government and moderate Bosnian-Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodic, who has encouraged refugees to return. Secretary of State Albright says the declaration by the Bosnian and Croatian governments brings refugees a step closer home, and the region a step closer to a new Europe.

    // UNVOICED OPT //

    Secretary Albright visits Brussels Thursday to begin talks with NATO allies and the European Union. // END OPT // (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/RAE 09-Mar-2000 14:45 PM EDT (09-Mar-2000 1945 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [07] GERMANY / BANK MERGER (L-ONLY) BY JONATHAN BRAUDE (FRANKFURT)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260026
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Two German financial giants, Deutsche Bank and Dresdner Bank, announced a merger today/Thursday that will create one of the world's largest banks. Jonathan Braude reports from Frankfurt.

    TEXT: Deutsche Bank chairman Rolf Breuer and his counterpart at Dresdner Bank, Bernhart Walter, appeared together at a news conference to make the point that they would remain joint chairmen of what they said would be a partnership of equals. But analysts say the share exchange to be offered to investors - between 60 and 64 percent for Deutsche, and 36 and 40 percent for Dresdner - made it look as though Deutsche was buying its smaller rival. The resulting institution would have a market capitalization in excess of 80-billion (U-S) dollars, and assets of one-point-two-trillion dollars. The two chairmen said the group would merge their retail banking businesses, hand Deutsche's fund management arm to insurance giant, Allianz, and keep Dresdner's fund management in house. That would lead to the closure of some 800 branches around Germany, but both men denied reports of a plan to close Dresdner's London-based investment bank, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. Overall job loses would be around 16-thousand people. However, the investment in e-commerce would create new jobs, said Deutsche's bank chairman, Mr. Breuer. The banks estimated the total cost savings from the deal would work out to be nearly three-billion dollars a year. Although one year's cost savings would be wiped out by initial merger costs of around three- billion dollars. But the joint chairmen insisted the deal was not a merger driven by the need for cost savings. The main goal, they said, was to create a critical mass and expand their operations worldwide. As Mr. Breuer explained, no bank could expect to present itself as a major global player if it could not also claim a similar position in its domestic market. The third partner in the deal, Allianz, will eventually dispose of its 21-point-five percent holding in Dresdner Bank to pay for its acquisitions in the fund management and insurance fields. (Signed)
    NEB/JB/GE/JP 09-Mar-2000 12:10 PM EDT (09-Mar-2000 1710 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] GERMAN BANKING MERGER (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260045
    INTERNET=YES CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// EDS: CAN ACCOMPANY CR 2-260026 FROM BERLIN ///

    INTRO: The merger of Germany's two biggest banks (announced Thursday in Berlin) will create Europe's biggest financial institution, and the world's second- biggest bank. V-O-A's economics correspondent, Barry Wood, has more on this 29-billion-dollar deal.

    TEXT: Deutsche Bank is acquiring its Frankfurt rival, Dresdner Bank, in a move that creates a global powerhouse in banking and finance. Analysts say the acquisition reveals a new flexibility in corporate Germany, which was stunned by last month's successful hostile takeover of Mannesman by a British firm. Robert Yates, the head of European research at the London firm of Fox-Pitt Kelton, says the new Deutsche Bank is seeking a streamlined domestic operation before it mounts a new global expansion.

    /// FIRST YATES ACT ///

    Nobody wants to enter an international strategy without having a strong home base. So it is absolutely essential that the fragmented financial services market becomes consolidated before that industry tries to go global.

    /// END ACT ///

    This is only the latest in a string of mergers in the highly competitive financial services industry. Two years ago, America's Citicorp merged with the Travelers brokerage and insurance firm to form the largest U-S banking group -- one with a vast global reach. Mr. Yates of Fox-Pitt Kelton says despite job losses in Germany, it is not surprising that Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is applauding the Deutsche-Dresdner merger.

    /// SECOND YATES ACT ///

    I think his concern is to get finanzplatz [finance center] Deutschland really working. And this is a logical response to his capital-gains tax [reduction] measures. So what he is really saying is that these people are stepping up to the plate and they are grabbing the opportunity to consolidate the banking system in Germany. The job losses are really secondary.

    /// END ACT ///

    Other analysts say the now much bigger Deutsche Bank will soon be on the prowl for other takeovers, particularly in the United States. (Signed)
    NEB/BDW/TVM/WTW 09-Mar-2000 18:29 PM EDT (09-Mar-2000 2329 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [09] GERMANY'S NEW I-M-F CANDIDATE (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260038
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Despite the rejection of its first nominee to head the powerful International Monetary Fund, Germany is trying again - proposing the current president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (in London). V-O-A's Barry Wood says the new candidate is not yet assured of European Union support.

    TEXT: Germany appears determined to get one of its citizens into the top global financial job. Its latest candidate to head the 182-member nation I-M-F is Horst Koehler, the 57-year-old former finance ministry official who since 1998 has been the head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. European Union finance ministers will meet Monday to consider their nominee for the I-M-F, which since its founding has always been headed by a European. The I-M-F job has been vacant for nearly a month since the former French central bank chief, Michel Camdessus, retired after 13 years in office. A French national has headed the I-M-F for 32 of the past 35 years. The Germans argue that as Europe's dominant economy, it is their turn to occupy the top job. Germany's first candidate ran into trouble when the Americans -- the I-M-F's biggest shareholder -- refused to endorse Caio Koch-Weser for the job. He withdrew earlier this week and Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder immediately put forward the name of Mr. Koehler. Mr. Koch-Weser spent 25 years at the World Bank before becoming deputy finance minister, a job held by Mr. Koehler in the early 1990s. Germany's E-U allies appear cool to the latest nominee. Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini says Italy would prefer a candidate with more authority. Here in Washington, Alan Meltzer, an economics professor who headed a Congressional panel on reforming the I-M-F, says I-M-F candidates should have to specify how they would reform the financial agency.

    /// Meltzer Act ///

    What I think important is that each one of the candidates, all the people who are seriously being considered, should present their views about restructuring the International Monetary Fund. How would they make the reforms that I think are necessary in order to go forward.

    /// End Act ///

    Mr. Meltzer's commission is calling for a drastic streamlining of I-M-F operations and an end to all of its long-term lending. (signed)
    NEB/BDW/JP 09-Mar-2000 16:40 PM EDT (09-Mar-2000 2140 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [10] NY ECON WRAP (S&L) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-260042
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: U-S stock prices were sharply higher today (Thursday), as the technology-weighted Nasdaq market soared to a landmark level. VOA correspondent Elaine Johanson reports from New York:

    TEXT: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 154 points, or one and one-half percent, closing at 10- thousand-10. Trading among the "blue-chips" was extremely volatile. The Standard and Poor's 500 index rose 35 points - a gain of over two percent. But the big story on Wall Street was the Nasdaq composite, which closed over five-thousand for the first time - for another record high. The Nasdaq gained three percent, as select technology and Internet stocks soared. The charge was led by some big "tech" names. Among them - Cisco, the leading maker of computer networking equipment, software giant Microsoft and chip-maker Intel. Analysts say those stocks are not cheap by any measure but investors are putting their money where they see the fastest growth.

    /// REST OPT for long ///

    Even with the Dow's impressive rally in the final hour of trading, the Industrials are still down for the year. The Nasdaq is up 20 percent. Analyst Jim O'Shaughnessey believes the stock market will continue moving in different directions - with the Dow Industrials under chronic pressure as the Nasdaq grows stronger. He says the "blue-chip" companies need to make some adjustments if they hope to prosper in a technology-driven economy:

    ///O'SHAUGHNESSEY ACT///

    You've got the "old economy" - the cyclicals, the G-M's, the Philip Morris' of the world. They're down tremendously over the last year. And you've got the "new economy" type stocks - the Cisco's - those types that are going through the roof (accelerating in value). And so what we're seeing is the "old economy" saying `look, we've got to re-invent ourselves.' I firmly believe that three years from now, there will be no "dot com's." Everything will be Internet- based.

    ///END ACT///

    In other news, a big deal could be underway in the telecommunciations business. Germany's biggest phone company - Deutsche Telekom - is reported to have made two separate offers to buy both U-S long-distance carrier Qwest and its merger partner U-S West. The deal would be worth about 100-billion dollars. All three stocks traded higher on the expectation. Meanwhile, there has been a major move in the German banking industry. Deutsche Bank and its rival, Dresdner, confirmed they plan to merge to create the world's largest banking institution, with assets of one-point-three trillion dollars. NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PT 09-Mar-2000 17:17 PM EDT (09-Mar-2000 2217 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [11] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/9/2000
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-11719
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: Tuesday's primary elections, which narrowed the field in the U-S presidential race to two main candidates, continue to hold center stage in the nation's editorial columns. The top international topic today is the International Monetary Fund's quest for a new director, while the subject of normalizing trade relations with China is also popular. Iran's pending trial of some local Jews may give another hint of how that country's democracy movement is evolving, says one daily; while another comments on the new peace deadline in the Middle East. Now, here with a closer look and some excerpts is ___________ with today's Editorial Digest.

    TEXT: Reverberations from the "super Tuesday" primary elections continue to be felt in editorial columns. Some papers are looking ahead to the general campaign, now clearly a contest between Vice President Al Gore, for the Democratic Party, and Texas Governor George W. Bush, for the Republicans. Other commentators are assessing the legacy of former Senator Bill Bradley, who dropped out of the Democratic race against Mr. Gore today. And still others are speculating on the future of Arizona Senator John McCain, who has been eclipsed by Mr. Bush on the Republican side. The national daily USA Today, published outside Washington, wonders whether the general-election campaign will see a "rush to the center" by the candidates, or a push for radical change.

    VOICE: The conventional wisdom says Al Gore and George W. Bush, both having embraced hot-button [emotive] constituencies to win their party primaries, must now reclaim the center to win the general election. That's certainly right, but it also poses a dilemma: How do they capture the center while also capturing the hearts of voters energized by John McCain's and Bill Bradley's pleas for change? ... That's not likely to prove easy for either party's likely nominee.

    TEXT: Boston's Christian Science Monitor compares Mr. McCain and Mr. Bradley to supernovas, those bright, exploding stars in the universe around us. It suggests that, while out of the race:

    VOICE: ... These two contenders aren't political black holes yet. Campaign 2000 will still be able to bask in the afterglow of their contributions to American politics. In fact, their opponents were forced to co-opt many of their flashes of brilliance.

    TEXT: On that same theme, The Washington Post, says of Mr. Bradley's legacy:

    VOICE: He reminded the country of the plight of people without health insurance. He promised to cut child poverty by half, [and by doing] so ending the shameful fact that it is currently double the rate ... in other rich nations. He called for gun control and campaign finance reform. He spoke passionately about race. In style, he seemed refreshingly anti-Clintonesque

    TEXT: Today's Hartford [Connecticut] Courant adds this about the former New Jersey Senator's campaign.

    VOICE: Mr. Bradley elevated the dialogue wherever he appeared. He gave hope to hundreds of thousands of people dispirited by politics as usual. And he added class to a profession that too often lacks it.

    TEXT: Lastly on the Tuesday vote, The Wall Street Journal feels it has read clearly, the message sent by the voters.

    VOICE: As the new century turns, they want the U-S Presidency contested by an identifiably liberal Democrat and an identifiably conservative Republican. And using John McCain as their vessel, they have poured forth a clear message that this campaign will also be about character and truthfulness in the American presidency, about what Senator McCain calls "pride in the practice and institutions of our great democracy."

    TEXT: There is another leadership position, as yet unfilled , that is very much on the minds of editorial writers. It is the presidency of the International Monetary Fund, the big, global money lender, and today's Dallas Morning News says both "new leadership and openness are needed.

    VOICE: Despite Michel Camdessus giving three months' notice he would be leaving ... the International Monetary Fund in February, the fund has still not been able to agree upon who should succeed him. The problem lies in parochial politics. And politics is one issue the fund can ill afford. As the debate surrounding the role of the International Monetary Fund and other international financial institutions expands, countries need to be less xenophobic in their approach to management of the institutions as well as the issues. In the International Monetary Fund's case, leadership skills as much as knowledge and suasion are important. The truth of the matter is that few agree on the best path for facilitating international economic stability.

    TEXT: In additional to searching for an acceptable new director, The New York Times points out, both the I-M-F and The World Bank need some new direction, and Congress may be showing the way.

    VOICE: Thanks to a congressional commission that unveiled its recommendations about the institutions yesterday, there are some bold new ideas to consider. Some of the suggestions are ill conceived, but others deserve serious consideration by the United States and other nations that belong to the two organizations. One of the biggest and best ideas ... is a call to cancel the crushing debt of the world's poorest countries. If the commission does nothing else but spur the United States and its allies to get behind this plan, it will have accomplished a lot.

    TEXT: Turning to Asia, and the debate over granting China permanent normal trading status, The Atlanta Constitution praises President Clinton's efforts and says Congress should move quickly.

    VOICE: [President Clinton has] buttonholed [attempted to persuade] at least 50 senators and representatives on the issue. He's set up a "war room" to coordinate the trade-deal campaign. His Treasury Secretary, Lawrence Summers, made a major speech in Boston advocating most-favored-nation status for China. And Wednesday, [Mr.] Clinton himself made trade with China the focus of a speech at Johns Hopkins University, and he sent the enabling legislation to Capitol Hill. All this in the face of vigorous opposition from Big Labor [national trade unions] and environmentalists, two key Democratic constituencies.

    TEXT: Still with Chinese affairs, Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat- Gazette, says "the United States cannot afford to turn its back on ally Taiwan as China turns up the heat." He is referring to recent bellicose statements from Beijing -- coming just before Taiwan's presidential election -- that China may seek to reunite Taiwan by force if talks on reunification are not restarted soon. Mr. Greenberg concludes:

    VOICE: At the dawn of a new century, we still have not learned one of the clearest lessons of the old: A democratic ally denied the means to defend itself may soon become an irresistible target, and this country will be called on to defend it. An ounce of deterrence now might prevent a world of aggression later.

    TEXT: On to Africa now, and concerns about the takeover of many white-owned farms in Zimbabwe by roving mobs of blacks. In today's Rocky Mountain News, from Denver, foreign-affairs columnist Holger Jensen writes:

    VOICE: The invasion was unleashed by President Robert Mugabe, who suffered the worst political defeat of his 20-year reign in a February referendum on a new constitution that would have strengthened his grip on power and allowed him to seize white-owned land without paying compensation. ... Every time he feels threatened, [Mr.] Mugabe pulls out the land reform card, saying it is immoral for 45-hundred mostly white commercial farmers to occupy two- thirds of Zimbabwe's arable land while rural blacks, who constitute 8-million of Zimbabwe's 12-point-five-million people, are either landless or jammed onto overgrazed tribal preserves. But breaking up the big landholdings would destroy the only vibrant sector of a moribund economy. ... [President] Mugabe ... is probably the most hated man in Zimbabwe. He rarely leaves his heavily-guarded residence, and then only in a bulletproof limousine. Ian Smith, on the other hand, walks the streets of Harare without fear. Once reviled as the last white Rhodesian leader to resist black majority rule, he has just come out of retirement to form a new political party because so many black supporters "want Smithy back."

    TEXT: In Middle East events, the Boston Globe is closely watching the trial of 13 Iranian Jews, long imprisoned on espionage charges the paper believes are false, as a further barometer of democratic trends in that theocracy.

    VOICE: Among the accused Jews are a rabbi, a couple of Hebrew teachers, and a boy who was 14 at the time of his arrest. Since any contact with the designated enemies of the Islamic revolution -- Israel and the United States -- can be defined as evidence of espionage, it is all too easy for judicial authorities to frame innocent people. The political message of a guilty verdict would be that the Islamic revolution is still threatened from within and from without by determined and powerful enemies.

    TEXT: Still in the region, the Los Angeles Times is considering Israel's plan to all troops out of its southern Lebanon border security zone by July. The paper says there may be some merit to the Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah's claim that the withdrawal is a victory for its forces.

    VOICE: It has a right to do so. Rising casualties have swung Israeli opinion strongly against continuing the 18-year-long occupation. ... Lebanon and Syria have long demanded an unconditional Israeli pullout. Now, as that prospect looms, they are crying foul. ... Once Israel pulls out, the Beirut regime becomes responsible for security along the border. It's unlikely to welcome that task, especially if Syria chooses to use Hezbollah for its own political ends. ... If ever there was a need for the United States to be an active broker in Middle East peace efforts, this is the moment. Israel's planned July pullout from Lebanon sets a deadline for progress. If that deadline goes un-met, a new and possibly more destructive cycle of violence could loom.

    TEXT: On that note, we conclude this sampling of comment from Thursday's U-S press.
    NEB/ANG/WTW 09-Mar-2000 11:59 AM EDT (09-Mar-2000 1659 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2022 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    voa2html v2.03a run on Friday, 10 March 2000 - 2:44:39 UTC