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Voice of America, 97-03-19

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIA AFTER THE EXPLOSION BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] ALBANIA / ITALY (L ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)
  • [03] ITALY ALBANIANS (L-UPDATE) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)
  • [04] ALBANIA (S-UPDATE) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)
  • [05] EDITORIAL: U.S. GIVES CREDIT TO ROMANIAN REFORMS
  • [06] U-S / SERBIA (S-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPT.)
  • [07] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [08] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] ALBANIA AFTER THE EXPLOSION BY ED WARNER (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=3/18/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-35972
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE VIOLENCE AND TURMOIL HAVE SUBSIDED IN ALBANIA. BUSINESSES THAT ESCAPED DESTRUCTION IN THE CAPITAL TIRANA HAVE REOPENED, AND BUSES ARE AGAIN TAKING PEOPLE TO WORK AMID THE SMOULDERING RUINS OF THE CITY. BUT ARMS HAVE BEEN WIDELY DISTRIBUTED, AND REBELS IN THE SOUTH CONTINUE TO DEMAND THE RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT SALI BERISHA. IN THE AFTERMATH, PEOPLE ARE ASKING HOW IT HAPPENED? AND THERE SEEM TO BE NO EASY ANSWERS. VOA'S ED WARNER REPORTS THE VIEWS OF TWO VETERAN ALBANIA WATCHERS.

    TEXT: THE FORCES OF ANARCHY APPEAR TO HAVE SPENT THEMSELVES IN ALBANIA, SAYS NICHOLAS PANO, PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT WESTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY:

    // PANO ACTUALITY //

    WE SEEM TO BE IN A NEW PHASE IN THE ALBANIAN CRISIS. HOPEFULLY, THE WORST OF THE VIOLENCE IS OVER. THERE SEEMS TO BE AN EFFORT ON THE PART OF THE MORE RESPONSIBLE ELEMENTS OF THE ALBANIAN PUBLIC, EVEN SOME OF THE LEADERS OF THE REBELLIOUS GROUPS AS WELL AS THE LEADERS OF THE NEW GOVERNMENT OF RECONCILIATION -- ALL APPEAR TO BE DETERMINED TO TRY TO FIND SOME FORMULA THAT WILL LEAD ALBANIA OUT OF THE CRISIS SITUATION IT HAS FOUND ITSELF.

    // END ACT //

    THE IMMEDIATE CAUSE OF THE UPRISING WAS THE SUDDEN, DEVASTATING COLLAPSE OF PYRAMID FINANCIAL SCHEMES IN WHICH SOME 700 THOUSAND ALBANIANS INVESTED IN A POPULATION OF THREE-POINT-FOUR MILLION. LIKE SIMILAR RACKETS THE WORLD OVER, INITIAL PARTICIPANTS MADE A KILLING, WHILE LATER ONES LOST EVERYTHING. IN THE FRENZY TO PROFIT, MANY HAD RISKED ALL THEY OWNED.

    IN THE DISASTER, ALBANIANS BLAMED THEIR GOVERNMENT FOR NOT PROTECTING THEM. INDEED, PROFESSOR PANO SAYS THERE IS EVIDENCE THE GOVERNMENT WAS INVOLVED TO SOME EXTENT IN THE SCHEMES.

    JONAS ROLETT, A SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER AT THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, SAYS WHEN THE GOVERNMENT FINALLY DECIDED TO CRACK DOWN ON THE SCHEMES, IT MADE MATTERS WORSE:

    // ROLETT ACTUALITY //

    AS THE LOCAL CITIZENS SAW POLICEMEN EXITING THESE STOREFRONTS WITH BAGS OF MONEY AND PUTTING THEM INTO A VAN AND DRIVING AWAY, THEY HAD NO CONFIDENCE THAT THE POLICE AS AN INSTITUTION WOULD DO THE RIGHT THING. THEY ASSUMED THAT THE POLICEMEN WERE GOING TO HELP THEMSELVES AND THAT THIS MONEY WOULD BE CONFISCATED AND WAS GOING TO LINE THE POCKETS OF PEOPLE WHO WERE IN POWER.

    // END ACT //

    THE FINANCIAL LOSSES CAME ON TOP OF GROWING DISCONTENT IN EUROPE'S POOREST COUNTRY. AFTER ESCAPING FROM A HALF CENTURY OF COMMUNIST RULE, ALBANIANS EXPECTED BETTER TIMES AND WERE KEENLY DISAPPOINTED WHEN THEY DID NOT ARRIVE. SO THEY DETERMINED TO CATCH UP FAST WITH GET-RICH QUICK SCHEMES.

    MR. ROLETT SAYS A CORRUPT POLITICAL SYSTEM AND LAST YEAR'S UNFAIR PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS ADDED TO THE GRIEVANCES. ALL COMBINED IN AN INTENSE EXPLOSION:

    // ROLETT ACTUALITY //

    PEOPLE WHO HAVE HAD VERY LITTLE EXPERIENCE WITH POLITICAL EXPRESSION HAVE FOUND THEMSELVES AT LIBERTY TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANTED TO DO, AND IN THEIR DELERIUM, THEIR INITIAL EMOTIONAL RELEASE, THEY SHOT GUNS INTO THE AIR, THEY RAN RIOT, THEY BURNED DOWN BUILDINGS. THIS WAS AN EMOTIONAL REACTION TO 50 YEARS OF REPRESSION. THE CORK HAS POPPED OUT OF THE TOP OF THE BOTTLE.

    // END ACT //

    IF THIS WAS A POPULAR UPRISING, SAYS PROFESSOR PANO, IT WAS ALSO SOMETHING MORE. VARIOUS GROUPS, INCLUDING COMMUNISTS AND CRIMINALS, TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE CHAOS TO FURTHER THEIR INTERESTS. SMUGGLERS IN THE SOUTH LIBERATED SOME SPEED BOATS THAT HAD BEEN IMPOUNDED AND RETURNED TO THEIR ILLICT TRADE:

    // PANO ACTUALITY //

    THEY JOINED WITH THE LEGITIMATE POLITICAL FORCES, THE ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED. AND THEN OF COURSE, THIS MOVEMENT JUST SUCKED UP EVERYBODY ELSE -- KIDS ON THE STREET, THRILL SEEKERS, AND THIS HAS LED TO A RATHER UNDISCIPLINED, UNRULY KIND OF UPRISING WHICH REALLY DOES NOT HAVE A CENTRAL ORGANIZATION OF ANY KIND, AND IT MAKES IT DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE WHERE IT MIGHT GO.

    // END ACT //

    IT ALSO MIGHT NOT GO ANYWHERE, SAYS PROFESSOR PANO. IT IS PECULIARLY ALBANIAN AND IS CONFINED WITHIN ITS BORDERS, EXCEPT FOR THE REFUGEES POURING INTO ITALY. THERE ARE SOME DIFFERENCES BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH AND AMONG ETHNIC GROUPS, INCLUDING THE GREEK MINORITY. BUT NO DEEP SEATED HOSTILITIES STAND IN THE WAY OF A SETTLEMENT.

    PROFESSOR PANO ADDS THAT ALBANIANS HAVE NO RESENTMENT OF FOREIGNERS, ARE WESTERN ORIENTED AND WOULD WELCOME OUTSIDE HELP TO SOLVE PROBLEMS THEY CANNOT SEEM TO SOLVE THEMSELVES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/EW/CF
    18-Mar-97 10:51 PM EST (0351 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] ALBANIA / ITALY (L ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)

    DATE=3/19/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211692
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT HAS DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY TO DEAL WITH A INFLUX OF ALBANIAN REFUGEES. PEGGY POLK IN ROME REPORTS ABOUT 10-THOUSAND ALBANIANS HAVE FLED TO ITALY IN LESS THAN A WEEK TO ESCAPE ANARCHY AT HOME.

    TEXT: THE ITALIAN CABINET APPROVED THE DECREE AT A TWO-HOUR MEETING ON THE ALBANIAN CRISIS.

    THE MEASURE ALLOWS UP TO 60 DAYS OF REFUGE FOR ALBANIANS FLEEING THE ANARCHY GRIPPING THEIR BALKAN COUNTRY AND PROVIDES EMERGENCY FUNDS TO ASSIST THEM.

    IT ALSO EMPOWERS AUTHORITIES TO EXPEL ALBANIANS CONSIDERED A THREAT TO PUBLIC ORDER, AND THAT PROCESS BEGAN IMMEDIATELY.

    MILITARY SOURCES IN THE ADRIATIC PORT OF BRINDISI SAID ITALIAN ARMY CHINOOK HELICOPTERS WITH PARATROOPER GUARDS ON BOARD HAD BEGUN AN AIRLIFT THAT WILL REPATRIATE CLOSE TO 300 SO-CALLED UNDESIRABLE ALBANIANS.

    MOST OF THE REFUGEES ARRIVED WITHOUT PAPERS, AND THE BREAKDOWN OF AUTHORITY IN ALBANIA MADE IDENTIFICATION DIFFICULT, BUT FINGERPRINT CHECKS TURNED UP ALBANIANS WITH POLICE RECORDS IN ITALY.

    ITALIAN OFFICIALS ALSO WERE LOOKING FOR INMATES WHO ESCAPED WHEN MOBS EMPTIED ALBANIA'S JAILS.

    THE CABINET DECREE MADE IT CLEAR THAT THOSE ALBANIANS PERMITTED TO STAY IN ITALY WOULD BE GIVEN REFUGE ONLY UNTIL ORDER IS RESTORED IN ALBANIA. THEY ARE LIVING IN GYMNASIUMS, VACANT HOTELS AND TENT CITIES, MAINLY ALONG THE ADRIATIC COAST.

    MOST OF THE REFUGEES FLED TO ITALY IN DECREPIT TUGS, FREIGHTERS AND MILITARY VESSELS. THE ITALIAN COAST GUARD AND NAVY HAVE RESCUED HUNDREDS OF ALBANIANS FROM BOATS IN DANGER OF SINKING.

    ITALIAN AUTHORITIES HAVE SEIZED WEAPONS FROM ALBANIAN MILITARY DESERTERS AND CONFISCATED THE BOATS ON WHICH THEY ARRIVED SO THAT THEY COULD NOT RETURN FOR MORE PASSENGERS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PP/JWH/CF
    19-Mar-97 7:19 AM EST (1219 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] ITALY ALBANIANS (L-UPDATE) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)

    DATE=3/19/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211717
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    ///// UPDATES WITH DETAILS OF THE EMERGENCY DECREE. /////

    INTRO: ITALY HAS DECLARED A "STATE OF EMERGENCY" AS PART OF ITS OFFICIAL EFFORT TO DEAL WITH THE MORE THAN 10-THOUSAND ALBANIANS WHO HAVE FLED ACROSS THE ADRIATIC SEA IN LESS THAN A WEEK. AS PEGGY POLK REPORTS, ITALY'S GOVERNMENT EARMARKED 36-MILLION DOLLARS TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO THE REFUGEES.

    TEXT: THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT ACTED UNDER MOUNTING POLITICAL PRESSURE. IT DECREED A STATE OF EMERGENCY UNTIL JUNE 30TH, ALLOCATED FUNDS FOR ASSISTANCE, AND SPECIFIED REFUGEES WILL BE ALLOWED TO REMAIN IN ITALY NO LONGER THAN 90-DAYS. THOSE DEEMED TO BE A DANGER TO PUBLIC SECURITY WILL BE RETURNED TO ALBANIA.

    CONCERNED OVER THE GROWING TIDE OF REFUGEES AND FEARING ESCAPED CRIMINALS AND MOBSTERS MAY BE AMONG THEM, THE ITALIAN INTERIOR MINISTER SAID ALL ARRIVALS WOULD BE CAREFULLY SCREENED AND ONLY THOSE WHO WERE THE MOST EXPOSED TO DANGERS IN ALBANIA WOULD BE GRANTED TEMPORARY ASYLUM.

    INTERIOR MINISTER GIORGIO NAPOLITANO TOLD THE CHAMBER OF DEPUTIES 10-THOUSAND-619 ALBANIANS HAD ARRIVED IN ITALY BETWEEN MARCH 13TH AND EARLY WEDNESDAY. THIS WAS THREE TIMES THE NUMBER FOR WHICH ITALY HAD PREPARED.

    MOST CROSSED THE ADRIATIC SEA IN DECREPIT BOATS, WHICH ITALIAN AUTHORITIES CONFISCATED TO PREVENT FROM BEING REUSED.

    //OPT//

    AMONG THE LATEST ARRIVALS WERE 300 PEOPLE RESCUED BY THE ITALIAN COAST GUARD FROM A TUGBOAT IN DANGER OF SINKING OFF THE ITALIAN PORT OF BRINDISI. //END OPT//

    THE EXODUS WAS TRIGGERED BY THE VIOLENCE AND ANARCHY THAT SWEPT EUROPE'S POOREST COUNTRY SINCE THE COLLAPSE OF GET-RICH-QUICK PYRAMID INVESTMENT SCHEMES THAT LEFT INVESTORS BANKRUPT.

    THE INTERIOR MINISTER SAID ITALIAN ARMY "CHINOOK" HELICOPTERS HAVE ALREADY REPATRIATED 289 ALBANIANS CONSIDERED TO BE UNDESIRABLES.

    IT WAS ALSO REPORTED SECURITY HAS BEEN INCREASED AT ITALY'S BORDERS WITH FRANCE AND ON GERMAN FRONTIERS TO PREVENT ALBANIANS FROM HEADING INTO NORTHERN EUROPE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PP/PCF/RAE
    19-Mar-97 12:34 PM EST (1734 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] ALBANIA (S-UPDATE) BY KYLE KING (TIRANA)

    DATE=3/19/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211727
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    /// NEW INFO THROUGHOUT ///

    INTRO: AUTHORITIES IN ALBANIA'S CAPITAL OF TIRANA HAVE REOPENED THE CITY'S AIRPORT, AS EUROPEAN COMMUNITY OFFICIALS WRAPPED UP A TWO-DAY VISIT AIMED AT FIGURING OUT HOW TO HELP THE STRIFE-TORN BALKAN NATION. FROM TIRANA, V-O-A'S KYLE KING REPORTS.

    TEXT: BEFORE LEAVING TIRANA, THE HEAD OF THE 11-MEMBER E-U DELEGATION SAID SECURITY WOULD HAVE TO BE RESTORED BEFORE HUMANITARIAN AID AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE COULD BE OFFERED TO ALBANIA.

    DUTCH DIPLOMAT JAN D'ANSEMBOURG SAID THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY WANTED TO PROVIDE AID AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE, BUT IT WOULD BE UP TO ALBANIA TO HELP CREATE A SECURE ATMOSPHERE.

    HE SAID HIS TEAM WILL NOW BEGIN WORK ON A PRIORITY LIST OF THINGS THAT CAN BE DONE TO HELP.

    AUTHORITIES IN THE ALBANIAN CAPITAL HAVE REOPENED THE AIRPORT, WHICH WAS SHUT DOWN LAST WEEK DURING THE ANARCHY, TRIGGERED BY THE COLLAPSE OF HIGH-RISK INVESTMENT SCHEMES.

    MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED SINCE THE UNREST BEGAN. THOUSANDS OF OTHERS HAVE FLED THE COUNTRY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/PCF
    19-Mar-97 3:04 PM EST (2004 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] EDITORIAL: U.S. GIVES CREDIT TO ROMANIAN REFORMS

    DATE= MARCH 20, 1997
    TYPE= EDITORIAL MAILBAG
    NUMBER= 0-07201
    CONTENT=SERVICES MAY USE THIS EDITORIAL FEATURE AS THEY DEEM
    APPROPRIATE.

    ANNCR: NEXT, A LISTENER RESPONDS TO A VOA EDITORIAL.

    AURELIAN ALEXANDRU POPA OF BUCHAREST, ROMANIA, WRITES:

    VOICE:

    "LET ME INTRODUCE MYSELF: I AM A RETIRED PERSON, AN OLD AND FERVENT LISTENER OF THE VOA. AFTER LISTENING TO YOUR BROADCAST OF MARCH 4TH, 1997, AND FOLLOWING YOUR INVITATION TO THOSE WHO WANT THEIR OPINIONS ON ISSUES TO BE HEARD, I DECIDED TO SHARE SOME OF MY THOUGHTS WITH YOU. I HOPE YOU WILL FORGIVE MY BEING CRITICAL ON SOME POINTS, BUT DON'T TAKE IT AMISS: PLEASE INTERPRET THIS AS A NORMAL ATTITUDE COMING FROM A TRUE FRIEND.

    AT LONG LAST, AFTER A VERY LONG WAIT INDEED, I HAD THE GREAT PLEASURE TO LISTEN TO AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE OFFICIAL VIEW OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT AS BROADCAST ON MARCH 4TH, 1997. IT IS FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT WITHOUT ANY AMBIGUITY THE STATE DEPARTMENT ACCEPTS AND EVEN GIVES POSITIVE APPRECIATION TO THE POLICIES OF THE NEW ADMINISTRATION ELECTED BY THE ROMANIAN PEOPLE ON NOVEMBER 17TH, 1996.

    I WONDER HOW WAS IT POSSIBLE THAT, FOR SUCH A LONG TIME, [THE U.S.] COULD BE SO MISLED AS TO SEE IN THE ILIESCU REGIME THE ONE AND ONLY REGIME CAPABLE OF GOVERNING ROMANIA? AT LEAST THAT WAS THE CONCLUSION TO BE DRAWN FROM THE ACTIONS OF AMERICAN OFFICIALS OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS; OR PERHAPS THAT WAS THE WAY THE SITUATION WAS PERCEIVED BY US, I MEAN THOSE WHO TODAY CONSTITUTE THE MAJORITY IN ROMANIA.

    I AM A GREAT ADMIRER OF AMERICA AND HAVE BEEN SO EVER SINCE I WAS A TEENAGER, BUT LET ME TELL YOU THAT THE MESSAGE SENT BY AMERICAN OFFICIALS DURING THE FIRST HOURS AFTER THE RESULTS OF [ROMANIA'S] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS OF NOVEMBER 17TH, 1996, WERE MADE PUBLIC WAS TO ME A CAUSE OF GREAT DISILLUSION. . . .

    I HAVEN'T LOST CONFIDENCE IN THE DISCERNING SPIRIT OF THE OFFICIALS WHO REPRESENT AMERICA, THAT NOBLE AND GREAT COUNTRY, AND I HOPE THAT WHAT HAPPENED THEN WAS NOTHING BUT A DIPLOMATIC GAFFE, WITHOUT CONSEQUENCES FOR U.S.-ROMANIA COOPERATION -- ALL THE MORESO AS THE GREAT TEST REGARDING ROMANIA'S ACCESSION TO THE EURO-ATLANTIC STRUCTURES IS DRAWING CLOSE, AS WE APPROACH THE MADRID CONFERENCE OF JULY 1997.

    IN THE HOPE THAT AMERICA WILL. . .SIDE WITH THE ROMANIAN PEOPLE, AS THE ROMANIAN PEOPLE ALWAYS WISHED IT WOULD. . .I SEND MY BEST WISHES TO YOU WHOM I SEE AS FRIENDS OF THE ROMANIAN PEOPLE. I WISH YOU GOOD LUCK AND ALL POSSIBLE SUCCESS IN THE NOBLE MISSION OF KEEPING THE PEOPLE OF ROMANIA INFORMED."

    ANNCR: THAT WAS ONE LISTENER'S RESPONSE TO A VOA EDITORIAL. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE HEARD ON THIS ISSUE, PLEASE WRITE TO EDITORIALS, VOICE OF AMERICA, WASHINGTON, D-C, 20547, U-S-A. YOU MAY ALSO SEND US A FAX AT (202) 619-1043.
    19-Mar-97 3:03 PM EST (2003 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] U-S / SERBIA (S-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPT.)

    DATE=3/19/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211732
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED STATES HAS CRITICIZED THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT FOR FAILING TO FULFILL COMMITMENTS ON MEDIA FREEDOM GIVEN TO FORMER SPANISH PRIME MINISTER FELIPE GONZALES. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT.

    TEXT: SERBIA DID REINSTATE OPPOSITION VICTORIES IN BELGRADE AND OTHER MAJOR CITIES IN RESPONSE TO THE APPEAL OF THE FORMER SPANISH PRIME MINISTER -- BUT THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAS ACCUSED THE GOVERNMENT OF STALLING ON FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.

    STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN NICHOLAS BURNS SAYS SERBIA GAVE COMMITMENTS TO PRIME MINISTER GONZALEZ THAT HAVE NOT BEEN IMPLEMENTED.

    /// BURNS ACT ///

    IN THE AREA OF MEDIA FREEDOM, FOR INSTANCE, THE SERBIAN GOVERNMENT HAS TAKEN A SERIES OF STEPS IN PRECISELY THE WRONG DIRECTION.

    // END ACT ///

    THE SPOKESMAN CITES, AS EXAMPLES, SERBIAN MOVES TO RESTRICT INDEPENDENT TELEVISION TRANSMISSIONS AND THE CONTINUED CLOSURE OF BOOM-93 RADIO IN THE CITY OF POZAREVAC. THE STATE DEPARTMENT SAYS THE PROPOSED SERBIAN MEDIA LAW APPEARS AIMED AT RESTRICTING THE FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION.

    HOW SERBIA RESPONDS TO THE AMERICAN CONCERNS WILL DETERMINE WHETHER THERE WILL BE ANY IMPROVEMENT IN THE TROUBLED U-S SERBIAN RELATIONSHIP (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/RRM
    19-Mar-97 4:21 PM EST (2121 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=3/19/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-211720
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES CLOSED MIXED ON MAJOR MARKETS OF WESTERN EUROPE WEDNESDAY. WITH THE CLOSING FIGURES, HERE'S PAUL FRANCUCH FROM OUR OFFICE IN LONDON.

    TEXT: SHARE PRICES DECLINED HERE IN LONDON WEDNESDAY, BUT ADVANCED IN FRANKFURT AND PARIS. LOSSES ON WALL STREET TUESDAY SEEMED TO WEAKEN INVESTOR CONFIDENCE IN LONDON WEDNESDAY, CAUSING THE KEY "FINANCIAL TIMES" 100 INDEX TO CLOSE DOWN ABOUT 25 POINTS. HOWEVER BETTER ECONOMIC DATA IN GERMANY HELPED BOOST INVESTOR CONFIDENCE. FRANKFURT'S "DAX 30" INDEX GAINED ABOUT 25 POINTS AND THE PARIS "CAC 40" INDEX CLOSED UP ALMOST 23 POINTS.

    THE DOLLAR GAINED ABOUT A HALF-CENT ON THE MARK IN CURRENCY TRADING HERE IN LONDON WEDNESDAY, BUT LOST ABOUT A CENT TO THE BRITISH POUND. GOLD GAINED BACK LOSSES FROM TUESDAY, CLOSING UP ABOUT TWO DOLLARS-70-CENTS AN OUNCE AT 348-DOLLARS-95 CENTS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF
    19-Mar-97 1:37 PM EST (1837 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] WEDNESDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/19/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10074
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=GARY EDQUIST
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON WEDNESDAY MARCH 19TH //

    INTRO: THE WITHDRAWAL BY ANTHONY LAKE FROM CONSIDERATION AS THE NEW HEAD OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY AFTER A GRUELING SENATE CONFIRMATION PROCESS TOPS THE LIST OF EDITORIAL TOPICS IN THE U-S PRESS THIS WEDNESDAY. OTHER SUBJECTS UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE: THE NEW ISRAELI BUILDING IN EAST JERUSALEM; RUSSIA'S NEW CABINET AND THIS WEEK'S SUMMIT MEETING, [OPT] AS WELL AS NEW REVELATIONS ABOUT POTENTIAL INFLUENCE SELLING IN RETURN FOR CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. [END OPT]

    TEXT: FROM THE NEW ENGLAND COAST TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND BEYOND, THE NATION'S EDITORIAL WRITERS ARE CONTEMPLATING BOTH THE WITHDRAWAL OF ANTHONY LAKE FROM CONSIDERATION TO BE HEAD OF THE CIA, AND ITS IMPLICATIONS. IN HIS LETTER TO PRESIDENT CLINTON WITHDRAWING HIS NAME FROM CONSIDERATION, MR. LAKE SUGGESTED THAT THE TRADITIONAL "ADVISE AND CONSENT" FUNCTION THE CONSTITUTION GIVES THE SENATE, HAS GONE "HAYWIRE" [CRAZY].

    WHILE THE MAJORITY OF PAPERS SAY THE SENATE PROCEEDINGS WERE EXCESSIVE, SEVERAL PAPERS EXPRESS RELIEF THAT MR. LAKE HAS WITHDRAWN SINCE THEY FEEL HE WAS NOT QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB. HERE'S THE BOSTON GLOBE'S VERSION, UNDER THE HEADLINE "THE VENDETTA AGAINST [MR.] LAKE.

    VOICE: "SENATOR RICHARD SHELBY OF ALABAMA, THE REPUBLICAN CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, HAS SUCCEEDED IN SABOTAGING ANTHONY LAKE'S NOMINATION TO BECOME THE NEXT DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. THE METHODS [MR.] SHELBY USED TO DELAY SENATE CONFIRMATION AND PROVOKE [MR.] LAKE INTO WITHDRAWING WERE REPUGNANT."

    TEXT: IN FLORIDA, HOWEVER, THE MIAMI HERALD HAS THIS COMMENT.

    VOICE: "MAYBE ANTHONY LAKE'S NOMINATION TO BE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WAS DOOMED FROM THE START. .... STILL, THERE IS NO DENYING MR. LAKE'S POINT: THE PROCESS STINKS. ...... WITH [MR.] LAKE OUT PRESIDENT CLINTON NOW CAN LOOK FOR A TOUGHER, SMARTER C-I-A DIRECTOR - - ONE THAT READS [UNDERSTANDS] CONGRESS."

    TEXT: [OPT] THE ATLANTA CONSTITUTION SAYS THE DAMAGE GOES BEYOND MR. LAKE OR THE LEADERLESS C-I-A, TO THE SENATE ITSELF.

    VOICE: "THE WORST CASUALTY IN THIS COLLISION ISN'T [MR.] LAKE OR [PRESIDENT] CLINTON OR EVEN THE C-I-A. IT IS THE CONFIRMATION PROCEDURE AND THE INTEGRITY OF THE SENATE ITSELF. SENATORS USED TO HONOR A PRESIDENT'S RIGHT TO APPOINT PEOPLE OF HIS CHOOSING, UNLESS THE CANDIDATE WAS PALPABLY UNFIT. [MR.] LAKE ..... FELL VICTIM TO NEW LOWS IN A PARTISAN CONGRESS." [END OPT]

    TEXT: THE NEW YORK POST CALLS MR. LAKE'S EXIT "NO LOSS," WHILE ON LONG ISLAND, NEWSDAY'S OPINION IS THAT: "[MR.] LAKE WAS NEVER THE BEST CHOICE FOR SPYMASTER, BUT [SENATOR] SHELBY'S HEARING CONDUCT WAS WORSE." HOWEVER, THE NEW YORK TIMES BEGS TO DIFFER.

    VOICE: "....ON THE WHOLE NEITHER THE SENATE PROCEEDINGS NOR THE GENERAL CLIMATE IN WASHINGTON ARE AS HAYWIRE AS MR. LAKE SUGGESTED IN HIS WITHDRAWAL LETTER..... IN THE END, MR. LAKE WAS UNDONE BY MR. CLINTON'S RECKLESS 1996 ELECTION CAMPAIGN AND THE FAILURE OF TOP WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS, INCLUDING MR. LAKE, TO INSULATE AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY FROM FUND-RAISING EFFORTS."

    TEXT: TURNING TO INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, THE BEGINNING OF CONSTRUCTION OF JEWISH HOUSING IN TRADITIONALLY ARAB EAST JERUSALEM AND THE DEMONSTRATIONS THAT ACCOMPANIED THE BULLDOZERS, DRAWS THIS COMMENT FROM THE ORLANDO SENTINEL.

    VOICE: "PEACE IS ABOUT TEARING DOWN WALLS, NOT ERECTING THEM. A HOUSING PROJECT ISRAEL'S GOVERNMENT HAS AUTHORIZED IN EAST JERUSALEM AMOUNTS TO A FIGURATIVE WALL, LIMITING THE POTENTIAL OF PEACE TALKS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIANS. WHAT'S WORSE, THE CONSTRUCTION ..... IS TURNING A TENSE SITUATION INTO A POTENTIALLY DISASTROUS ONE. .... THERE'S TOO MUCH AT STAKE FOR THE SUCCESS OF ... PEACE TALKS TO BE SACRIFICED ON THE ALTAR OF BULLHEADED POLICIES."

    TEXT: TWO MAJOR PAPERS ARE SALUTING THE APPARENT REBIRTH OF REFORM IN RUSSIA AS EXEMPLIFIED BY BORIS YELTSIN'S NEW CABINET. FIRST THE WASHINGTON POST:

    VOICE: "RUSSIA NOW HAS IN PLACE ITS MOST FORWARD-LOOKING, PRO-REFORM CABINET SINCE THE FIRST POST-SOVIET GOVERNMENT TOOK OFFICE MORE THAN FIVE YEARS AGO. PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN, RESURRECTING HIMSELF YET AGAIN AFTER HAVING BEEN WRITTEN OFF FOR THE UMPTEENTH TIME, NAMED THE NEW, RELATIVELY YOUNG TEAM ON MONDAY. IF HE NOW GIVES THE TEAM HIS FULL BACKING, AS HE HAS PROMISED TO DO, THE REFORM PROCESS THAT BEGAN IN 1992 BUT THEN GROUND TO A DAMAGING STANDSTILL MIGHT RESUME IN A SERIOUS WAY."

    TEXT: THE NEW YORK TIMES IS EQUALLY HOPEFUL.

    VOICE: "THE CLEAREST SIGN OF RENEWED COMMITMENT TO REFORM IS THE CHOICE OF ANATOLY CHUBAIS AND BORIS NEMTSOV AS TOP DEPUTIES TO PRIME MINISTER VIKTOR CHERNOMYRDIN. .... IT WILL NOT BE EASY TO FIX RUSSIA'S MANY ECONOMIC PROBLEMS, INCLUDING A BROKEN TAX SYSTEM, BUT MR. CHUBAIS AND MR. NEMTSOV CAN MAKE A RUN AT IT [A GOOD TRY] IF THEY HAVE MR. YELTSIN'S FULL SUPPORT."

    [OPT]

    TEXT: IN RELATED NEWS, THE TRIP OF MR. YELTSIN TO HELSINKI FOR THIS WEEK'S TWO-DAY SUMMIT WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR SAYS:

    VOICE: "IT'S A COMEBACK KID MEETS BILL CLINTON SUMMIT. THERE'S NO OTHER WAY TO CHARACTERIZE THE REVERSAL OF FORTUNE THAT FINDS SUPPOSEDLY OUT-OF-IT BORIS YELTSIN RIDING THE MOMENTUM OF HIS DRAMATIC YOUNG-REFORMER GOVERNMENT INTO HELSINKI WHILE THE ERSTWHILE COMEBACK KID FROM WASHINGTON PONDERS HOW TO MAKE A C-I-A APPOINTMENT STICK [SUCCESSFUL]."

    TEXT: THE BOSTON GLOBE, ON THE OTHER HAND, IS WORRIED ABOUT A SPECIFIC STUMBLING BLOCK THE TWO LEADERS WILL CONFRONT.

    VOICE: "THE NUB OF THE PROBLEM [MR.] CLINTON WILL TRY TO RESOLVE IS THAT THE RUSSIAN DUMA [LOWER HOUSE] IS REFUSING TO RATIFY THE START TWO TREATY WITH ITS REDUCTIONS TO BETWEEN 3-THOUSAND AND 35-HUNDRED LONG-RANGE WARHEADS PER SIDE BY [THE YEAR] TWO-THOUSAND AND THREE. THE U-S SENATE HAS RATIFIED START TWO, AND IF RUSSIA'S LEGISLATORS CONSIDERED THEIR COUNTRY'S INTERESTS RATIONALLY, THEY WOULD, TOO."

    TEXT: FINALLY, IN THE NEWLY DISCLOSED VISITS TO THE WHITE HOUSE OF ROGER TAMRAZ, A FOREIGN-BORN INTERNATIONAL CRUDE OIL MERCHANT, SEEKING SUPPORT FOR A TRANS-CAUCASUS OIL PIPELINE, TODAY'S OREGONIAN IN PORTLAND SUGGESTS:

    VOICE: "ROGER TAMRAZ PUNGLED UP [DONATED] 177-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IN 1995 AND 1996 AND - - NOT [THAT] THERE'S ANY CONNECTION, OF COURSE - - ATTENDED FOUR WHITE HOUSE GATHERINGS WITH PRESIDENT CLINTON. BUT THE INTERNATIONAL OIL FINANCIER AND WOULD-BE BUILDER OF A PIPELINE FROM THE CASPIAN SEA TO TURKEY RECEIVED A LOT MORE THAN A CHANCE TO VIEW THE MOVIE 'INDEPENDENCE DAY' WITH THE PRESIDENT. [MR.] TAMRAZ ....WAS ABLE TO COMPROMISE THE U-S NATIONAL SECURITY APPARATUS, WITH THE HELP OF FORMER DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN DONALD FOWLER. ..... NOT GOOD FOR A CLINTON ADMINISTRATION THAT FACES ENOUGH QUESTIONS ABOUT ITS CRASS FUND-RAISING PRACTICES."

    [END OPT]

    TEXT: ON THAT NOTE WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS FROM WEDNESDAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/GE
    19-Mar-97 11:55 AM EST (1655 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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