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Voice of America, 96-12-31

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] BELGRADE DEMOS SCENESETTER (L-ONLY) BY COLIN SOLOWAY (BELGRADE)
  • [03] EURO MARKETS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [04] GERMANY ARMY BY DAGMAR BREITENBACH (BONN)
  • [05] MILOSEVIC UNDER SIEGE BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)
  • [06] SLOVAK LANGUAGE BATTLE BY STFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

  • [01] TUESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/31/96
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-09953
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NEAL LAVON
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON TUESDAY DECEMBER 31ST //

    INTRO: ON THIS NEW YEAR'S EVE, THE U-S PRESS IS FILLED WITH EDITORIALS ON A WIDE VARIETY OF SUBJECTS INCLUDING: AN APOLOGY BY NORTH KOREA FOR A SUBMARINE RAID ON THE SOUTH; THE PEACE TREATY IN GUATEMALA AND THE ONGOING HOSTAGE SIEGE IN LIMA.

    ALSO PROVIDING MATERIAL FOR COMMENT ARE THE CONTINUING FUNDRAISING QUESTIONS FOR DEMOCRATS; RELATIONS WITH CHINA; [OPT] CHINA'S JAILING OF A TIBETAN SCHOLAR, [END OPT] AND, OF COURSE, SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE OUTGOING YEAR.

    NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK IS __________________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: SEVERAL PAPERS ARE TAKING NOTE OF NORTH KOREA'S PUBLIC APOLOGY FOR SENDING A SUBMARINE WITH COMMANDOS INTO SOUTH KOREAN WATERS. THEY SEE THE COMMENTS AS POSSIBLY SIGNALING IMPROVED RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO KOREAS, AS WELL AS BETWSEEN NORTH KOREA AND THE UNITED STATES.

    THE ORLANDO SENTINEL CALLS THE APOLOGY "AN ENCOURAGING SIGNAL," ADDING IT:

    VOICE: "....PROVIDED A BOOST THIS WEEK FOR THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S POLICY TOWARD NORTH KOREA. .....NORTH KOREA MADE OTHER COMMITMENTS THIS WEEK THAT SHOULD PROVE CONSTRUCTIVE. ONE IS TO DISCUSS HOLDING FORMAL TALKS ABOUT NEGOTIATING A SETTLEMENT BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA. .... TO THE EXTENT THAT NORTH KOREA SHOWS IT IS READY TO BEHAVE RESPONSIBLY, THE UNITED STATES SHOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THOSE DEVELOPMENTS AND OPEN FURTHER THE DOOR TO BETTER RELATIONS."

    TEXT: THE WASHINGTON POST IS ALSO PLEASED WITH THE APOLOGY, AND SAYS THE "HARDLINE" POLICY OF BOTH SOUTH KOREA AND THE UNITED STATES APPEARS TO HAVE PAID OFF.

    [OPT]

    VOICE: "IN AN UNPRECEDENTED BACKDOWN, THE NORTH, HAVING PROMISED 'THOUSANDFOLD' RETALIATION, INSTEAD DELIVERED 'DEEP REGRETS.' THE UNITED STATES NEGOTIATED THE LANGUAGE WITH THE NORTH KOREANS, IN THE PROCESS MAKING A USEFUL DEMONSTRATION OF FIDELITY TO ITS ABSENT AND SUSPICIOUS SOUTH KOREAN ALLIES. THE SOUTH AT ONCE AGREED TO RETURN THE BODIES OF 24 DEAD COMMANDOS. DIALOGUE IS BACK ON."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: TODAY'S CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR HAILS THE SIGNING MONDAY IN GUATEMALA CITY OF A PEACE TREATY, ENDING THAT NATION'S THREE DECADES OF CIVIL WAR.

    VOICE: "THE POLITICAL EVOLUTION OF LATIN AMERICA IS BACK ON THE WORLD STAGE WITH THE END OF A DECADES-LONG CIVIL WAR IN GUATEMALA AND THE HOSTAGE-TAKING BY GUERRILLAS IN PERU. GUATEMALA'S RELEASE FROM A CONFLICT THAT HAS TAKEN AS MANY AS 140-THOUSAND LIVES AND KEPT THE COUNTRY OUT OF THE ECONOMIC MAINSTREAM IS ANOTHER STEP FORWARD FOR THE HEMISPHERE'S POOREST REGION - - CENTRAL AMERICA."

    TEXT: WHILE THE WASHINGTON TIMES SAYS OF THE ACCORD, SIGNED YESTERDAY AS CROWDS THRONGED THE STREETS OF GUATEMALA'S CAPITAL, IT IS TIME FOR SOME GOOD NEWS FROM THE REGION.

    VOICE: "PEACE IN GUATEMALA MARKS THE END, AT LONG LAST, OF COMMUNIST INSURGENCY IN CENTRAL AMERICA. .... ONE CAN ONLY HOPE THAT THIS IS THE START OF PEACE AND PROSPERITY FOR GUATEMALA AND THAT THIS AGREEMENT WILL BE A BEACON TO ALL THOSE WHO HAVE TAKEN UP THE DIFFICULT TASK OF NEGOTIATING PEACE."

    TEXT: THE HOSTAGE CRISIS IN PERU, IN WHICH TUPAC AMARU GUERRILLAS ARE HOLDING HOSTAGES AT THE JAPANESE AMBASSADOR'S RESIDENCE, APPEARS HEADING TOWARD SOME KIND OF SETTLEMENT, THE MIAMI HERALD SAYS IN TODAY'S LEAD EDITORIAL:

    VOICE: "THE SUSPENSE IS REAL. SO IS THE ANXIETY AND THE PAIN OF THE HOSTAGES AND THEIR FAMILIES - - ANGUISH THAT WILL GROW UNTIL THE CRISIS IS RESOLVED PEACEFULLY. THERE IS ALSO A GROWING SENSE THAT THE SITUATION IN LIMA CAN BE RESOLVED."

    TEXT: TURNING TO DOMESTIC POLITICS, AND SPECIFICALLY, FUND-RAISING BY THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO HELP BILL CLINTON'S RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN, THE NEW YORK TIMES SAYS NEW REVELATIONS MEAN THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MUST NAME A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO PROBE FOR ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES.

    VOICE: "THE STEADY DRUMBEAT OF RECENT DEMOCRATIC FUND-RAISING DISCLOSURES DOES NOT LEAVE MUCH DOUBT THAT PARTY FUND-RAISERS WERE BARTERING MEETINGS WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON FOR CONTRIBUTIONS DURING THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN THIS YEAR. THE LATEST DISCLOSURES .... MAKE IT URGENT FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO TO ABANDON HER NOW UNTENABLE POSITION THAT SHE LACKS SUFFICIENT INFORMATION TO APPOINT A SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE THE POSSIBILITY OF ILLEGAL FUND-RAISING."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: TODAY'S ATLANTA CONSTITUTION NOTES THAT BOTH MEN WHO SHOOK HANDS OVER A PROPOSED CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM PLAN DURING THE CAMPAIGN, BUT NEVER DID ANYTHING ABOUT IT, ARE NOW CAUGHT UP IN MONEY-RAISING SCANDALS.

    VOICE: "ON JUNE 12TH 1995, PRESIDENT CLINTON AND HOUSE SPEAKER NEWT GINGRICH SHOOK HANDS BEFORE A GROUP OF ... SENIOR CITIZENS IN ... NEW HAMPSHIRE, PROMISING TO APPOINT A BLUE-RIBBON COMMISSION TO STUDY REFORM OF THE CAMPAIGN-FINANCE SYSTEM. THAT PROMISE WAS NEVER KEPT...... AND TODAY, 18 MONTHS AFTER THAT MISLEADING HANDSHAKE, THE FUTURES OF BOTH [MR.] GINGRICH AND [PRESIDENT] CLINTON ARE CLOUDED BY SCANDALS INVOLVING CAMPAIGN FUNDING.

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: BACK OVERSEAS, THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION CALLS CHINA A RIVAL NATION AT A CROSSROADS, WITH THE WORLD WATCHING HOW IT ADMINISTERS THE RE-INCORPORATION OF HONG KONG INTO THE MAINLAND. THIS, THE PAPER SAYS, MAY ACT AS AN INDICATOR OF ITS FUTURE FOREIGN POLICIES.

    VOICE: "[OPT] WILL THE PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES OF HONG KONG CONTINUE TO ENJOY THE FREEDOM AND OPEN FLOW OF INFORMATION THAT HAVE ALLOWED THEM TO CREATE A BOOMING ECONOMY? WILL HONG KONG'S INSTITUTIONS CONTINUE TO HONOR TIME-TESTED BUSINESS PRACTICES, OR WILL CHINESE INFLUENCE LEAD TO CORRUPTION AND FAVORITISM? WILL CHINA'S INTOLERANCE OF DISSENT BE TRANSFERRED TO HONG KONG? [END OPT]..... EARLY SIGNS ARE NOT GOOD. .... BUT CHINA STILL HAS A CHANCE TO SHOW THAT IT BELONGS IN THE COMMUNITY OF NATIONS. THOSE WANTING A GLIMPSE AT CHINA'S FUTURE AND ITS POTENTIAL IMPACT ON THE WORLD NEED .... JUST WATCH WHAT HAPPENS IN HONG KONG."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: STILL WITH CHINA, TODAY'S PORTLAND [MAINE] PRESS HERALD CASTIGATES THE CHINESE FOR SENTENCING A TIBETAN-BORN SCHOLAR TO 18 YEARS IN PRISON. NGAWANG CHOEPHEL (NAH-WAH CHER-FILL), WHO HAD TAUGHT IN THE UNITED STATES, WAS ARRESTED IN 1995 UPON HIS RETURN TO TIBET. THE PAPER SAYS THE CHINESE HAVE GONE TOO FAR WITH THIS ARREST.

    VOICE: "IF A U-S-EDUCATED SCHOLAR (WHOSE FAMILY LEFT TIBET ALMOST 30 YEARS AGO) CAN BE TREATED LIKE THIS WITH IMPUNITY, WHAT ABOUT OTHERS IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS? IS ANYONE WITH U-S CONNECTIONS IN TIBET NOW SUDDENLY VULNERABLE TO ARREST? THE ENTIRE NEW ENGLAND CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION SHOULD JOIN (VERMONT SENATOR JAMES) JEFFORDS IN DEMANDING NGAWANG CHOEPHEL BE FREED FORTHWITH."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: AND FINALLY, ON THIS LAST DAY OF 1996, SOME COMMENTS ON THE NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION, AND THE YEAR PASSING INTO HISTORY. THE MIAMI HERALD CALLS FOR AN END TO THE LONG-ESTABLISHED CUSTOM THERE, AND IN MANY OTHER CITIES, OF SHOOTING GUNS AT MIDNIGHT SINCE PEOPLE GET ACCIDENTALLY SHOT.

    THE NEW YORK TIMES WONDERS WHY LAS VEGAS, NEVADA HAS SCHEDULED THE SPECTACULAR DEMOLITION OF AN OLD HOTEL FOR PRECISELY THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT - - N O T IN LAS VEGAS - - BUT IN EASTERN U-S TIME, WHEN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE CELEBRATE IN TIMES SQUARE IN NEW YORK AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT.

    AND IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, THERE IS THIS TRIBUTE TO BILL CLINTON, ALTHOUGH THE EDITORIAL LATER GOES ON TO ROUNDLY CRITICIZE THE PRESIDENT FOR WHAT THE PAPER FEELS ARE HIS MANY MORAL LAPSES.

    VOICE: "IN POLITICS AT LEAST, BILL CLINTON'S RE-ELECTION WAS THE EVENT OF THE YEAR, MAKING HIM THE FIRST DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT SINCE FDR TO WIN TWO FULL TERMS. ..... MR. CLINTON RATES HIGH MARKS FOR SHEER ANIMAL INSTINCTS FOR SURVIVAL. HE HAS ONCE AGAIN OVERCOME ADVERSITIES THAT WOULD HAVE OVERWHELMED AN ORDINARY PERSON. IT SHOWS WHY ENTIRELY NORMAL PEOPLE SELDOM BECOME PRESIDENTS."

    TEXT: WITH THAT WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF THE LAST U-S EDITORIAL PAGES FOR 1996.
    NEB/ANG/NL
    31-Dec-96 11:25 AM EST (1625 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] BELGRADE DEMOS SCENESETTER (L-ONLY) BY COLIN SOLOWAY (BELGRADE)

    DATE=12/31/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-208098
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    ///EDS -- WILL UPDATE AFTER DEMOS -- LIKELY SOMETIME THIS EVENING///

    INTRO: BELGRADERS ARE PREPARING TO CELEBRATE NEW YEARS EVE WITH A MASSIVE STREET PARTY IN THE CENTER OF THE YUGOSLAV CAPITAL. THE FESTIVITIES WILL MARK THE BEGINNING OF A SEVENTH WEEK OF PROTESTS AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT OF SERBIAN PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC. FROM BELGRADE, COLIN SOLOWAY REPORTS.

    TEXT: SERBS TRADITIONALLY CELEBRATE NEW YEARS AT HOME WITH THEIR FAMILIES. BUT TUESDAY NIGHT, MORE THAN A QUARTER-MILLION PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO BRAVE BITTER COLD TO SPEND THE EVENING WITH WHAT OPPOSITION LEADERS ARE CALLING SERBIA'S "DEMOCRATIC FAMILY."

    THE TENS OF THOUSAND OF STUDENTS, WORKERS AND MIDDLE CLASS SERBS HAVE MARCHED FOR THE PAST 42 DAYS TO PROTEST THE RULING SOCIALISTS ELECTORAL FRAUD IN LAST MONTH'S LOCAL ELECTIONS.

    DOZENS OF SERBIA'S MOST POPULAR ACTORS AND MUSICIANS WILL ENTERTAIN THE CROWDS WHO WILL GATHER TO SUPPORT THE "ZAJEDNO" OPPOSITION COALITION IN THEIR QUEST TO REGAIN VICTORIES IN 14 SERBIAN CITIES, INCLUDING BELGRADE.

    FEW OF THE PROTESTERS ARE DEVOUT SUPPORTERS OF ZAJEDNO, BUT THE LOCAL ELECTIONS HAVE SERVED AS A CATALYST FOR SERBS' GENERAL DISCONTENT WITH MR. MILOSEVIC'S AUTHORITARIAN RULE AND THE DISMAL CONDITION OF SERBIA'S STATE-CONTROLLED ECONOMY.

    A FACT-FINDING MISSION FROM THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (O-S-C-E) INVITED BY MR. MILOSEVIC TO LOOK INTO THE ALLEGATIONS OF ELECTORAL FRAUD LAST WEEK CONCLUDED THAT THE OPPOSITION DID WIN. BUT THE RULING SOCIALISTS HAVE SO FAR REFUSED TO HAND OVER CONTROL IN THE CONTESTED TOWNS.

    A DELEGATION OF EUROPEAN AMBASSADORS WHO MET TUESDAY AFTERNOON WITH THE YUGOSLAV DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER SAID THAT THEY HAD THE IMPRESSION THAT THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT WAS WILLING TO ACCEPT THE O-S-C-E RECOMMENDATIONS. BUT BOTH THEY AND OPPOSITION LEADERS SAY THEY WILL WAIT TO SEE IF THERE IS ANY FOLLOW-THROUGH.

    //REST OPT//

    IN BELGRADE'S CENTRAL "SQUARE OF THE REPUBLIC," SANTA CLAUS HOSTED A CHILDREN'S PROGRAM AS TECHNICIANS SET-UP A LARGE SOUND SYSTEM FOR TUESDAY NIGHT'S PROGRAM. POPCORN AND COTTON CANDY VENDORS HAVE ALREADY STAKED-OUT THEIR POSITIONS AROUND THE PLAZA. NEARLY 50-THOUSAND STUDENTS ARE EXPECTED AT A SEPARATE PARTY NEARBY (EDS: SCHEDULED FOR 20 HRS UTC), AND THE LARGER CELEBRATION IS SUPPOSED TO KICK-OFF AT 11 PM (LOCAL TIME -- 22 HRS UTC). THE ONLY TICKETS REQUIRED FOR THE FESTIVITIES, SAY OPPOSITION LEADERS, WILL BE CANDLES, SPARKLERS, AND ALARM CLOCKS, SET TO GO OFF AT MIDNIGHT IN WARNING TO MR. MILOSEVIC THAT HIS TIME IS UP. (SIGNED)
    NEB/CS/PCF
    31-Dec-96 11:36 AM EST (1636 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] EURO MARKETS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=12/31/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-208099
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK MARKET TRADING IN WESTERN EUROPE NEW YEARS EVE WAS LIMITED, BUT EVEN THAT ACTIVITY SUGGESTED GOOD NEWS FOR INVESTORS. FOR THE CLOSING FIGURES, HERE IS PAUL FRANCUCH IN LONDON.

    TEXT: ALTHOUGH THE PARIS MARKET TRADED NORMALLY TUESDAY, IT TOOK A CUE FROM WALL STREET WHICH SHOWED SIGNS OF RETREATING EARLY IN THE DAY. THE "CAC 40" INDEX OF FRENCH STOCKS LOST ABOUT THREE POINTS IN THIN TRADING.

    HERE IN LONDON, HOWEVER, A SHORTENED TRADING DAY ENDED WITH THE "FINANCIAL TIMES" INDEX OF 100 BRITISH STOCKS CLOSING UP ABOUT THREE POINTS. THAT CLOSE PUSHED THE "FOOTSIE" INDEX, AS IT'S KNOWN, INTO RECORD-HIGH TERRITORY.

    FRANKFURT'S STOCK MARKET WAS CLOSED TUESDAY. ALL THE MAJOR MARKETS IN EUROPE WILL BE CLOSED ON NEW YEARS DAY, WEDNESDAY.

    GOLD PRICES IN LONDON WERE VIRTUALLY UNCHANGED AT THE CLOSE TUESDAY. IN CURRENCY TRADING, THE DOLLAR WAS DOWN A FRACTION OF A CENT AGAINST THE MARK, BUT LOST ALMOST A WHOLE CENT AGAINST THE POUND. (SIGNED)
    NEB / PCF / WOD
    31-Dec-96 12:17 PM EST (1717 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] GERMANY ARMY BY DAGMAR BREITENBACH (BONN)

    DATE=12/31/96
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35346
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: MANY THOUSANDS OF GERMAN CONSCRIPTS ARE DUE TO BEGIN THEIR SERVICE IN THE ARMED FORCES JANUARY SECOND -- MOST OF THEM IN THE ARMY, THE OTHERS WITH THE NAVY AND AIR FORCE. V-O-A'S DAGMAR BREITENBACH REPORTS FROM BONN, WHILE THE GERMAN ARMED FORCES ARE EXPANDING THEIR MILITARY ROLE, THERE HAS BEEN DISCUSSION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO REDUCE THE OVERALL NUMBER OF TROOPS, OR TO CONVERT THE CONSCRIPT ARMY INTO ARMY OF VOLUNTEERS.

    TEXT: THE DAY AFTER NEW YEAR'S, ALMOST 30-THOUSAND YOUNG MEN WILL ENTER THE GERMAN ARMY AS PART OF A REGULAR CALL-UP.

    THEY ARE CONSCRIPTS, AND MOST OF THEM WILL SPEND ONLY THE REQUIRED 10-MONTHS OF SERVICE IN THE MILITARY. MANY OTHER POTENTIAL RECRUITS HAVE OPTED FOR A DIFFERENT KIND OF SERVICE: THEY ARE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS, AND WILL INSTEAD SPEND 13-MONTHS DOING CIVILIAN WORK AT HOSPITALS, IN NURSING HOMES, AND OTHER SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS. LAST YEAR, A RECORD ONE IN THREE YOUNG MEN CALLED UP FOR MILITARY DUTY REFUSED TO SERVE. GERMANY NEEDS ABOUT 170-THOUSAND CONSCRIPTS EVERY YEAR TO HOLD THE LEVEL OF ITS 340-THOUSAND MAN ARMY. NEW RECRUITS ARE CALLED UP EVERY TWO TO THREE MONTHS. RECENTLY, PARLIAMENTARY LEADER RUDOLF SCHARPING OF THE OPPOSITION SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY SUGGESTED GERMANY'S ARMED FORCES BE REDUCED TO LESS THAN 300-THOUSAND TROOPS, AND CONSCRIPTS SERVE SIX, RATHER THAN 10 MONTHS. HIS SUGGESTION WAS MET WITH SHARP CRITICISM FROM THE BONN GOVERNMENT COALITION, WITH FOREIGN MINISTER KLAUS KINKEL CALLING IT POLITICALLY IRRESPONSIBLE.

    THE FOREIGN MINISTER SAID A RESTRUCTURED GERMAN MILITARY, CALLED THE "BUNDESWEHR", WITH ONLY SUPERFICIAL TRAINING COULD NOT, FULFILL ITS DUTIES -- NAMELY, NATIONAL AND ALLIANCE DEFENSE. MR. KINKEL SAID, SUCH A DEVELOPMENT WOULD EVENTUALLY LEAD TO ABOLISHING CONSCRIPTION IN GERMANY'S ARMY.

    SOME GERMAN POLITICIANS SAY GERMANY SHOULD FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF OTHER EUROPEAN NATIONS AND SCRAP THE DRAFT FOR A PROFESSIONAL ARMED FORCES. BUT MOST ARGUE CONSCRIPTION IS NECESSARY TO ENSURE THE ARMY REMAINS FIRMLY ANCHORED IN SOCIETY AS A DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTION, HELPING PREVENT ANY RESURGENCE OF EXTREME MILITARISM AS SEEN DURING THE NAZI ERA A HALF CENTURY AGO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DB/PCF/RAE
    31-Dec-96 6:44 AM EST (1144 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] MILOSEVIC UNDER SIEGE BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/31/96
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35347
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRODUCTION: DESPITE THE COLD WEATHER, TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE STILL FILL THE STREETS OF BELGRADE, PROTESTING THE GOVERNMENT OF SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC. AS THE PRESSURE MOUNTS, CAN THE SERBIAN PRESIDENT STAY IN CONTROL? V-O-A'S ED WARNER ASKED TWO U-S ANALYSTS WHO CLOSELY FOLLOW EVENTS IN SERBIA.

    TEXT: GEORGE ZARYCKY, A SPECIALIST ON CENTRAL EUROPE AT THE PRIVATELY FUNDED RESEARCH ORGANIZATION "FREEDOM HOUSE" IN NEW YORK, SAYS SERBIANS HAVE HAD THEIR FILL OF STRIDENT NATIONALISM. THAT IS WHY THEY ARE OUT ON THE STREETS OF BELGRADE BY THE TENS OF THOUSANDS AND SHOW NO SIGN OF WINDING DOWN.

    // ZARYCKY ACTUALITY //

    I THINK THAT THE DEMONSTRATIONS AND THE DEMOCRATIC OPPOSITION AND ACTUALLY MOST SERBS HAVE NOW SEEN THAT THE NATIONALIST FERVOR THAT WAS PROPAGATED BY MILOSEVIC THAT HAD SKYROCKETED HIM TO POPULARITY HAS BROUGHT NOTHING BUT DESTRUCTION ON THEIR COUNTRY AND MADE THEM ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL OUTCASTS. THEY HAVE WATCHED WAR PROFITEERING AND CORRUPTION RUN RAMPANT, AND THEY ARE FED UP WITH IT, AS THESE DEMONSTRATIONS SHOW.

    // END ACT //

    THEY HAVE BEEN REINFORCED BY THE O-S-C-E (ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE), WHICH HAS RULED THAT OPPOSITION PARTIES WON THE 14 MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS THAT WERE OVERTURNED BY PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC.

    PRESSURES ON THE GOVERNMENT ARE BUILDING FROM THE PREVIOUSLY CAUTIOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH, WHICH NOW BLAMES THE STREET VIOLENCE ON THE GOVERNMENT.

    BUT GALE STOKES, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT RICE UNIVERSITY IN TEXAS, SAYS THE PRESIDENT MAY WEATHER THE STORM, AT LEAST FOR THE TIME BEING. HE NOTES A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TOTTERING REGIMES OF EASTERN EUROPE IN 1989 AND CONTEMPORARY SERBIA.

    // STOKES ACTUALITY //

    THOSE OTHER REGIMES HAD KIND OF ROTTED OUT AT THE MIDDLE IDEOLOGICALLY. THEIR LEADERSHIP WAS TIRED, DOUBTING THEMSELVES ALMOST, AND WHEN CROWDS APPEARED ON THE STREETS IN A COUNTRY LIKE CZECHOSLAVAKIA, THEY HAD THE VAST SUPPORT OF THE POPULATION, AND THE POPULAR MILITIA, FOR EXAMPLE, COULD NOT BE MOBILIZED. THIS IS NOT THE CASE IN SERBIA. I THINK THAT MILOSEVIC HAS NO INTENTION OF GIVING UP HIS POWER.

    // END ACT //

    PROFESSOR STOKES SAYS IMPORTANT SEGMENTS OF THE POPULATION HAVE NOT JOINED THE DEMONSTRATIONS; NAMELY, WORKERS AND RURAL PEOPLE, SOME OF WHOM HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO BELGRADE TO COUNTER THE PROTESTERS.

    SOME MILITARY OFFICERS ARE SAID TO BE UNHAPPY WITH THE PRESIDENT, WHOM THEY BLAME FOR THE BREAKUP OF YUGOSLAVIA. SEVERAL UNITS ISSUED A STATEMENT SAYING THEY SIDE WITH THE PEOPLE AGAINST DICTATORSHIP. ANTICIPATING THIS, MR. MILOSEVIC HAS BEEN STRENGTHENING THE MORE RELIABLE POLICE AT THE EXPENSE OF THE ARMY.

    THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE OPPOSITION REMAINS UNCLEAR. IT IS UNITED NOW, SAYS PROFESSOR STOKES, BUT WILL UNITY LAST? OTHER THAN HOSTILITY TO MR. MILOSEVIC, THE LEADERS OF THE COALITION MOUNTING THE DEMONSTRATIONS DO NOT HAVE MUCH IN COMMON. ONLY ONE, VESNA PESIC, HAS CLEAR DEMOCRATIC CREDENTIALS.

    PROFESSOR STOKES NOTES THAT IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, THE FAR-RIGHT RADICAL PARTY HAS SUBSTANTIAL SUPPORT.

    // STOKES ACTUALITY //

    IF THERE WAS SOME KIND OF SHOWDOWN, IT IS NOT BEYOND THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY THAT THE RIGHT AND THE LEFT COULD TEMPORARILY, FOR A MOMENT AT LEAST, COMBINE IN AN EFFORT TO GET RID OF MILOSEVIC, EACH IN THE HOPE THAT THEY COULD OUTFLANK THE OTHER IN THE FINAL INSTANCE. IT IS NOT CERTAIN THAT IF MILOSEVIC WERE TO FALL, WE WOULD HAVE SOME KIND OF LIBERAL, ACCOMMODATING, AMELIORATIVE GOVERNMENT.

    // END ACT //

    GEORGE ZARYCKY SAYS THE OPPOSITION IS ALSO DIVIDED OVER (THE SERBIAN PROVINCE OF) KOSOVO, WHERE THE MAJORITY ALBANIANS HAVE SEIZED THE OPPORTUNITY TO PRESS FOR MORE AUTONOMY.

    // ZARYCKY ACTUALITY //

    AT FIRST, THE ALBANIANS SAID THAT THE PROBLEMS IN BELGRADE WERE AN INTERNAL SERBIAN MATTER. IT DID NOT MATTER TO THEM BECAUSE THEY DID NOT EVEN RECOGNIZE SERB AUTHORITY OVER THEM. BUT IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS, MANY ALBANIAN LEADERS HAVE COME OUT PUBLICLY IN SUPPORT OF THE DEMONSTRATIONS, AND THERE WERE SOME INDICATIONS THAT VUC DRASTOVIC AND OTHERS IN THE OPPOSITION HAVE MADE SOME GESTURES OF GOODWILL TOWARD THE ALBANIANS.

    // END ACT //

    MR. ZARYCKY SAYS IT IS POSSIBLE PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC MAY DECIDE TO CRACK DOWN ON KOSOVO IN A DESPERATE EFFORT TO REVIVE SERBIAN NATIONALISM. PROFESSOR STOKES SAYS IF HE DOES, HE IS LIKELY TO IGNITE A TINDERBOX WITH DIRE CONSEQUENCES FOR THE PEACE OF THE BALKANS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EW/RRM
    31-Dec-96 11:51 AM EST (1651 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] SLOVAK LANGUAGE BATTLE BY STFAN BOS (BUDAPEST)

    DATE=12/31/96
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-208109
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AS OF TODAY (WEDNESDAY), SLOVAK AUTHORITIES OFFICIALLY HAVE BANNED THE USE OF ALL LANGUAGES EXCEPT SLOVAK. FROM BUDAPEST, STEFAN BOSS REPORTS THE MEASURE TAKES EFFECT OVER THE OBJECTIONS FROM THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE AND OTHER WESTERN ORGANIZATIONS.

    TEXT: THE GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED THAT FROM JANUARY 1ST CITIZENS IN SLOVAKA MAY USE ONLY SLOVAKIA AS THEIR OFFICIAL LANGUAGE.

    FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND WORDS ARE BANNED.

    EVEN WALT DISNEY AND OTHER CHILDREN'S MOVIES DUBBED IN THE CZECH LANGUAGE ARE ON THE BLACK LIST.

    ANALYSTS SAY THE LATEST MEARUES ARE PART OF A LANGUAGE LAW THAT WAS PREPARED IN 1995. SLOVAK OFFICIALS SAY THE LEGISLATION WILL BE ENFORCED BY SPECIAL INSPECTORS. THEY SAY VIOLATORS MAY FACE HIGH FINES AND IN SOME CASES EVEN PRISON TERMS.

    THE MEASURES CAME INTO FORCE ALTHOUGH THERE WAS WIDESPREAD CRITICISM FROM ORGANIZATIONS SUCH AS THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE. THEY ACCUSED SLOVAK PRIME MINISTER VLADIMIR MECIAR OF INCITEMENT OF HATRED AGAINST ETHNIC MINORITIES.

    GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN NEIGHBORING HUNGARY SAY THE LANGUAGE LAW DISCRIMINATES ESPECIALLY AGAINST THE ESTIMATED 600-THOUSAND HUNGARIANS LIVING IN SLOVAKIA. ACCORDING TO THESE OFFICIALS THE MEASURES MEAN THAT HUNGARIANS LIVING IN SLOVAKIA ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED TO USE THEIR MOTHER TONGUE AT WORK OR EVEN IN THEIR OWN CHURCHES.

    MOST HUNGARIANS LIVE IN A GEOGRAPHICAL AREA THAT BELONGED TO THE AUSTRIAN-HUNGARIAN EMPIRE UNTIL 1920. NATIONALISTIC TENSIONS WERE AGGRAVATED AFTER THE BREAK UP OF THE FORMER CZECHOSLOVAKIA AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE INDEPENDENT SLOVALK REPUBLIC IN 1993. RECENTLY, HUNGARY AND SLOVAKIA SIGNED A FRIENDSHIP TREATY IN WHICH BOTH COUNTRIES RECOGNIZE THE CURRENT BORDERS. SOME HUNGARIAN RIGHT WING PARTIES SAY THE SIGNING OF THE TREATY WAS WRONG BECAUSE MANY ETHNIC MINORITIES IN SLOVAKIA ARE STILL SUFFERING FROM PERSEUCTION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SB/CF
    31-Dec-96 5:24 PM EST (2224 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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