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Voice of America, 97-03-31

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ITALY / ALBANIANS (L-ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)
  • [02] MONDAY'S HEADLINES BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [03] EDITORIAL: CLINTON-YELTSIN SUMMIT
  • [04] FRANCE / FRONT (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

  • [01] ITALY / ALBANIANS (L-ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)

    DATE=3/31/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212250
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: ITALY IS MAINTAINING AN AIR AND SEA SEARCH FOR VICTIMS OF AN ALBANIAN SHIPWRECK THAT MAY HAVE CLAIMED SOME 80 LIVES. AS PEGGY POLK REPORTS, THE ANGER OF ALBANIANS OVER THE SHIPWRECK COULD HAMPER ITALIAN EFFORTS TO PROVIDE MILITARY SUPPORT FOR THE DELIVERY OF HUMANITARIAN AID TO ALBANIA.

    TEXT: THE 20-METER ALBANIAN HARBOR PATROL BOAT -- LOADED WITH ALBANIAN REFUGEES -- CAPSIZED AND SANK IN THE ADRIATIC SEA FRIDAY NIGHT AFTER COLLIDING WITH AN ITALIAN NAVY CRAFT TRYING TO TURN IT BACK TO ALBANIAN WATERS.

    ITALIAN VESSELS RESCUED 34 PEOPLE AND RECOVERED FOUR BODIES IN THE HOURS AFTER THE COLLISION, BUT ALBANIA'S AMBASSADOR TO ITALY, PANDELI PASKO, TOLD ITALY'S "CHANNEL 5 TELEVISION" THAT THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE PRESUMED DEAD IS 83. MOST -- ACCORDING TO SURVIVORS -- WERE WOMEN AND CHILDREN WHO WENT BELOW DECKS TO ESCAPE THE COLD.

    ITALY IS MAINTAINING AN AIR AND SEA SEARCH FOR MORE VICTIMS.

    THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE COLLISION ARE UNDER INVESTIGATION. AND THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT HAS COME UNDER ATTACK FROM ALBANIA AND FROM FORMER PRIME MINISTER SILVIO BERLUSCONI, LEADER OF THE CENTER-RIGHT OPPOSITION, FOR THE ITALIAN NAVY'S ROLE IN ALBANIA'S WORST MARITIME DISASTER SINCE WORLD WAR TWO.

    BUT THE ALBANIAN AMBASSADOR TO ITALY NOTED THAT THE NAVY HAS ALSO SAVED HUNDREDS OF ALBANIANS FROM DROWNING IN UN-SEAWORTHY CRAFT AS THEY TRIED TO REACH ITALY.

    //OPT//

    SINCE MARCH 13TH, ITALY HAS TAKEN IN SOME 13-THOUSAND ALBANIANS FLEEING THE DISORDER IN THEIR POVERTY-STRICKEN COUNTRY. WITH THE AGREEMENT OF THE ALBANIAN GOVERNMENT, ITALY IS NOW TRYING TO TURN BACK NEW ARRIVALS. //END OPT//

    AN ITALIAN-LED MULTINATIONAL FORCE IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ARRIVING IN ALBANIA THIS WEEK TO SECURE MAJOR PORTS AND THE TIRANA AIRPORT FOR THE DELIVERY OF EMERGENCY FOOD AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES. BUT THE ANGER OF ALBANIANS OVER THE SHIPWRECK COULD COMPLICATE THAT MISSION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PP/PCF
    31-Mar-97 12:49 PM EST (1749 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] MONDAY'S HEADLINES BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=03/30/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10092
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=NANCY SMART
    CONTENT=
    // EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS PERISHABLE MATERIAL AND BECOMES DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T ON MONDAY MARCH 30TH //

    INTRO: THE LATEST U-N MOVE TO HELP ALBANIA IS JUST ONE OF MANY TOPICS UNDER DISCUSSION IN A RANDOM SAMPLING OF DAILY NEWSPAPER EDITORIALS FOR THIS LAST MONDAY IN MARCH. OTHER SUBJECTS UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE: DOES CHINA TAKE THE U-S FOR GRANTED; A CHANGING PHILOSOPHY IN THE CORPORATE WORLD ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS; WHAT TO DO WITH THE NATIONS LEFT OUT OF NATO'S COMING EXPANSION; THE FIRST OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING TRIAL BEGINS, AND HOW THE NEW U-S IMMIGRATION AND WELFARE LAWS ARE AFFECTING INDIVIDUALS. NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK IS ________________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: TODAY'S BOSTON GLOBE IS PLEASED THE UNITED NATIONS IS STEPPING IN TO HELP ALBANIA, BUT CHIDES THE EUROPEAN POWERS FOR THEIR INACTION.

    VOICE: AT ITALY'S REQUEST, THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL HAS AUTHORIZED A SMALL ARMED FORCE TO MONITOR HUMANITARIAN AID AND HELP RESTORE ORDER IN ALBANIA. ..... YET IT SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN NECESSARY. BECAUSE ALBANIA'S DESCENT INTO ANARCHY PRESENTS A BLATANT CHALLENGE TO EUROPEAN SECURITY, THE EUROPEAN UNION'S FAILURE LAST WEEK TO AGREE ON THE DISPATCH OF A MISSION OF ASSISTANCE TO ALBANIA BETOKENS NOT ONLY A LACK OF UNITY, BUT ALSO AN UNTIMELY UNCERTAINTY ABOUT THE E-U'S FUNDAMENTAL PURPOSES."

    TEXT: TURNING TO ASIA, TODAY'S HARTFORD COURANT SUGGESTS THAT THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION SHOULD BE MORE ASSERTIVE WITH CHINA. THE PAPER SAYS CHINA'S MASSIVE TRADE SURPLUS WITH THE U-S AND THE JOBS AMERICAN COMPANIES CREATE THERE SHOULD CONSTITUTE SIGNIFICANT BARGAINING CHIPS FOR THE ADMINISTRAITON.

    VOICE: "ALL TICKLE ME ELMO DOLLS [AN EXTREMELY POPULAR CHILDREN'S TOY] SOLD IN AMERICA ARE MADE IN CHINA. SIXTY PERCENT OF SNEAKERS IN OUR STORES ARE IMPORTED FROM THAT COUNTRY, AS ARE 80 PERCENT OF APPLE [COMPANY] COMPUTER MICE. [A COMPUTER "MOUSE" IS A SMALL PLASTIC BOX WITH TWO OR MORE PUSH BUTTONS WHICH IS USED TO OPERATE A PERSONAL COMPUTER] THE LIST OF SUCH IMPORTS FROM THE WORLD'S MOST POPULOUS NATION IS LONG AND GROWING. CHINA HAS REPLACED JAPAN AS THE COUNTRY THAT ENJOYS THE LARGEST SURPLUS IN ITS TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES. ..... THE IMBALANCE INDICATES SOMETHING OFTEN OVERLOOKED IN RELATIONS BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND BEIJING. TO IMPROVE THEIR ECONOMY, THE CHINESE NEED US MORE THAN WE NEED THEM. ARMED WITH SUCH KNOWLEDGE, ONE WOULD THINK THAT THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION WOULD BE MORE ASSERTIVE IN ITS ENGAGEMENT WITH CHINA. BUT THAT IS NOT SO."

    TEXT: THE WORLD'S LARGEST OIL COMPANY, ROYAL DUTCH/SHELL, APPEARS TO BE CHANGING ITS WAYS IN TERMS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, ACCORDING TO THE NEW YORK TIMES.

    VOICE: "THIS MONTH .... ROYAL DUTCH/SHELL ... ISSUED A NEW SET OF BUSINESS PRINCIPLES THAT CALL FOR RESPECT OF HUMAN RIGHTS 'IN LINE WITH THE LEGITIMATE ROLE OF BUSINESS.' .... IT ALSO WILL REQUIRE MANAGERS TO REPORT ON WHETHER OPERATIONS COMPLY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS CRITERIA. GIVEN SHELL'S DISMAL RECORD, THE COMPANY'S PROMISES ON HUMAN RIGHTS MAY BE EMPTY ONES. BUT IF SHELL ACTS ON ITS NEW COMMITMENTS, IT CAN BECOME A BETTER CITIZEN. [OPT] .....IN NIGERIA, THE LINE BETWEEN SHELL AND THE LOCAL SECURITY FORCES WAS OFTEN BLURRED IN THE OIL-RICH OGONILAND. NIGERIAN POLICE IN THE REGION WERE LENT TO SHELL, WHICH FINANCED THE PURCHASE OF THEIR WEAPONS. IN ONE INCIDENT IN 1990, SHELL CALLED THE MOBILE POLICE FORCE FOR SECURITY. AFTER A CLASH IN WHICH A POLICEMAN WAS KILLED, THE POLICE MASSACRED 80 VILLAGERS AND BURNED 495 HOUSES, ACCORDING TO A GOVERNMENT REPORT. SHELL'S OGONILAND PRODUCTION IS NOW SUSPENDED." [END OPT] CONSUMER AND ADVOCACY GROUPS MUST NOW PERSUADE OTHER ENERGY COMPANIES, SOME WITH EQUALLY QUESTIONABLE RECORDS, TO JOIN SHELL IN A HUMAN RIGHTS POLICY. THEY MUST ALSO PRESS SHELL TO LIVE UP TO ITS NEW STATEMENTS."

    TEXT: TODAY'S WASHINGTON POST MUSES ABOUT WHAT TO DO WITH THE EUROPEAN NATIONS LEFT OUT OF NATO'S FORTHCOMING EXPANSION.

    VOICE: "THE DISCOMFORT OF THE LEFT-OUTS, WHO FEAR THEIR PERCEIVED REJECTION WILL UNRAVEL THEIR STABILITY AND SECURITY, IS ACUTE. SO IS THE EMBARRASSMENT OF THE EXISTING NATO 16, WHO SYMPATHIZE WITH THE ASPIRATIONS OF DEMOCRATIC OTHERS BUT DON'T SEE THE WAY CLEAR TO ADMITTING THEM NOW. THE SITUATION OF ESTONIA, LATVIA AND LITHUANIA IS ESPECIALLY PAINFUL. NOT ONLY WERE THEY SWALLOWED FOR 50 YEARS BY THE SOVIET UNION. THEY REMAIN EXPOSED TO ANY INTIMIDATION BY THE NEW RUSSIA. .... THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION SUPPORTS THEIR INCLUSION, BUT LATER. MEANWHILE, IT WOULD HAVE THE ALLIANCE OFFER THEM ASSURANCES AND JOINT PROGRAMS MEANT TO HITCH THEM UP TIGHTER TO NATO AND DRAW THEM CLOSER TO OTHER WESTERN ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS. .... AT THE END OF THE DAY, NONETHELESS, THE BALTICS' CASE IS UNANSWERABLE. [OPT] .... WHO IS TO TELL THE BALTS, JUST EMERGED FROM A HALF-CENTURY IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST THAT THEY MUST ACCEPT LESS SECURITY SO THAT AN UNTHREATENED RUSSIA MAY ENJOY MORE PRIDE?" [END OPT]

    TEXT: IN ANOTHER FOREIGN POLICY QUESTION, THE WASHINGTON POST PONDERS THE "UNDOING [OF] SADDAM HUSSEIN."

    VOICE: THE FLAW IN U-S POLICY TOWARD IRAQ HAS BEEN THE GAP BETWEEN THE GOAL OF UNDOING SADDAM HUSSEIN AND THE MEANS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. PART OF THAT GAP NOW HAS BEEN NARROWED BY A POLICY STATEMENT OF SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT. SHE HAS SAID FOR THE FIRST TIME THAT THE AMERICAN INTENT IS TO SEE PRESIDENT HUSSEIN OUT AND THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL NOT GIVE UP ON THE ECONOMIC SANCTIONS BINDING HIM UNTIL HE IS REPLACED. THIS HAS BEEN IMPLICIT .... IN ANTI-HUSSEIN CIRCLES. NOW IS IS EXPLICIT. IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE."

    TEXT: IN A DENVER, COLORADO, FEDERAL COURT, THE TRIAL OF TIMOTHY MCVEIGH, ACCUSED OF BOMBING THE OKLAHOMA CITY FEDERAL BUILDING AND CAUSING 168 DEATHS, BEGINS TODAY. IN BALTIMORE, THE SUN SAYS IN PART:

    VOICE: RARELY IN AMERICAN HISTORY HAS IT BEEN SO CRUCIAL AND DIFFICULT FOR THE REPUBLIC TO CONDUCT A CRIMINAL TRIAL BOTH EFFECTIVELY AND FAIRLY AS IN THE CASE AGAINST TIMOTHY MCVEIGH THAT IS SCHEDULED TO BEGIN TODAY ..... THE BOMBING WAS A CRIME OF ANARCHY AGAINST THE STATE. ALL AMERICANS ARE ITS INTENDED VICTIMS IN THE ABSTRACT. .... MR. MCVEIGH AND MR. NICHOLS [HIS ALLEGED CONSPIRATOR, WHO IS TO BE TRIED SEPARATELY LATER] ARE ENTITLED TO A PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE AND TO FAIR TRIALS. .....THE HEALTH OF THE NATION REQUIRES THAT THIS TRIAL BE DONE RIGHT."

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, THE NEW YORK POST USES THE TRAGIC TALES OF SEVERAL IMMIGRANTS TO ILLUSTRATE HOW NEW IMMIGRATION AND WELFARE LAWS, WHICH ARE TO BEGIN TO GO INTO EFFECT AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, HAVE AFFECTED THE IMMIGRANT COMMUNITY.

    VOICE: "FOR THE LAST FEW WEEKS, THE HORROR STORIES HAVE BEEN POURING FORTH. JUAN TOMAS ABREU, A COMATOSE DOMINICAN IMMIGRANT, IS ABOUT TO LOSE THE 570-DOLLAR A MONTH HE HAS BEEN COLLECTING IN SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME; AN ELDERLY RUSSIAN IMMIGRANT DOCTOR THREATENS TO COMMIT SUICIDE IF SHE LOSES HER BENEFITS - - AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. SOMETHING CLOSE TO PANIC HAS GRIPPED MANY IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES WITH THE APPROACH OF APRIL FIRST ..... [OPT] MARRIAGE BUREAUS HAVE BEEN JAMMED; INS OFFICES HAVE RUN OUT OF CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS; SOME ILLEGAL ALIENS HAVE EVEN TURNED THEMSELVES IN. [END OPT] THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR THE PANIC. MASS DEPORTATION OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WILL NOT BEGIN AT MIDNIGHT. ..... THE CHANGES IN LAW THAT BEGIN TOMORROW ARE AN EARLY AND NOT VERY WELL TARGETED EFFORT BY CONGRESS TO BEGIN DEALING WITH A GROWING PROBLEM. UNFORTUNATELY, CUTTING OFF WELFARE WITHOUT LESSENING THE FLOW OF NEWLY ARRIVING POOR PEOPLE IS A SHORTSIGHTED SOLUTION."

    TEXT: THAT CONCLUDES THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL COMMENTS FROM SOME OF TODAY'S U-S DAILY PAPERS.
    NEB/ANG/NES
    31-Mar-97 11:01 AM EST (1601 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] EDITORIAL: CLINTON-YELTSIN SUMMIT

    DATE= APRIL 1, 1997
    TYPE= EDITORIAL
    NUMBER= 0-07217
    CONTENT=THIS IS THE CORRECTED VERSION OF THE EDITORIAL RELEASED
    FOR BROADCAST APRIL 1, 1997. THE SIXTH LINE OF THE SECOND PARAGRAPH OF PAGE TWO SHOULD SUBSTITUTE "ECONOMIC" FOR "EUROPEAN"

    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:

    AT HIS RECENT SUMMIT WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN, PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON SOUGHT TO ADDRESS THREE FUNDAMENTAL CHALLENGES: FIRST, BUILDING AN UNDIVIDED, DEMOCRATIC AND PEACEFUL EUROPE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY; SECOND, CONTINUING TO LEAD THE WORLD AWAY FROM THE NUCLEAR THREAT; AND THIRD, FORGING NEW TIES OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT.

    PRESIDENT CLINTON STRESSED THAT A UNITED AND DEMOCRATIC EUROPE MUST BE SECURE. NATO IS THE BEDROCK OF EUROPE'S SECURITY. THAT IS WHY THE U.S. HAS LED THE WAY IN ADAPTING NATO TO NEW MISSIONS. NATO HAS OPENED ITS DOORS TO NEW MEMBERS, STRENGTHENED ITS TIES TO NON-MEMBERS THROUGH THE PARTNERSHIP FOR PEACE, AND SOUGHT TO FORGE A PARTNERSHIP WITH RUSSIA.

    IN HIS MEETING WITH MR. YELTSIN, MR. CLINTON REAFFIRMED THAT NATO ENLARGEMENT WILL PROCEED. ALTHOUGH RUSSIA OBJECTS TO THIS PLAN, THE TWO LEADERS AGREED THAT THE BENEFITS OF COOPERATION AMONG THE U.S., EUROPE AND RUSSIA ARE TOO IMPORTANT TO BE SACRIFICED TO DISAGREEMENT OVER THE ENLARGEMENT ISSUE.

    PRESIDENT CLINTON AND PRESIDENT YELTSIN ALSO DISCUSSED HOW TO CONTINUE TO REDUCE THE NUMBER OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS. MR. YELTSIN AGREED TO SEEK THE RUSSIAN PARLIAMENT'S PROMPT RATIFICATION OF THE START TWO TREATY, ALREADY RATIFIED BY THE U.S. SENATE. THE U.S. IS PREPARED TO OPEN NEGOTIATIONS WITH RUSSIA ON FURTHER STRATEGIC ARMS REDUCTIONS.

    TO ENABLE AMERICAN COMPANIES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF COMMERCIAL OPPORTUNITIES IN RUSSIA, THE U.S. WILL WORK TO HELP FINANCE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN NEW INVESTMENT. THE U.S. WILL ALSO WORK TO ADVANCE RUSSIA'S MEMBERSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS LIKE THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION AND THE ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT. IN ADDITION, THE GROUP OF SEVEN COUNTRIES HAVE AGREED TO INCREASE RUSSIA'S PARTICIPATION IN THEIR ANNUAL MEETING, WHICH IS NOW TO BE CALLED THE SUMMIT OF EIGHT.

    AS PRESIDENT CLINTON SAID, THE U.S. AND RUSSIA HAVE ONCE AGAIN PROVED THAT THEY CAN WORK TOGETHER TO RESOLVE THEIR DIFFERENCES AND SEIZE NEW OPPORTUNITIES TO BUILD A BETTER FUTURE.

    ANNCR:

    THAT WAS AN EDITORIAL EXPRESSING THE POLICIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. 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. YOUR COMMENTS MAY BE USED ON THE AIR.
    31-Mar-97 6:22 PM EST (2322 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] FRANCE / FRONT (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=3/31/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212236
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FRANCE'S EXTREME RIGHT NATIONAL FRONT PARTY IS WINDING UP A THREE-DAY CONGRESS IN THE CITY OF STRASBOURG AFTER A SERIES OF PROTESTS AGAINST ITS PRESENCE THERE. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS.

    TEXT: THE LEADER OF FRANCE'S NATIONAL FRONT, JEAN-MARIE LE PEN, TOLD THE 22-HUNDRED DELEGATES ATTENDING HIS PARTY'S 10TH CONGRESS THAT PROTESTS AGAINST THE MEETING WERE THEMSELVES ANTI-DEMOCRATIC.

    POLITICIANS FROM PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC DOWN CONDEMN THE NATIONAL FRONT AS RACIST, ANTI-SEMITIC, AND FASCIST. THE PARTY BLAMES ALL FRANCE'S SOCIAL PROBLEMS ON IMMIGRATION AND ADVOCATES A POLICY OF SENDING IMMIGRANTS HOME.

    TO GIVE AN IDEA OF ITS PROGRAM, THE NATIONAL FRONT PUBLISHED 13 SO-CALLED DRAFT LAWS DURING THE THREE-DAY CONGRESS. ONE WOULD GIVE THE CITIZENS OF THE IMAGINARY COUNTRY OF "AZURIE" AN AID PACKAGE TO LEAVE FRANCE AND RE-TRAIN FOR A NEW LIFE AT HOME.

    MR. LE PEN'S DECISION TO HOLD HIS CONGRESS IN STRASBOURG WAS CONTROVERSIAL. THE CITY, ON THE FRONTIER WITH GERMANY, IS THE CAPITAL OF ALSACE, A REGION THAT SUFFERED PARTICULARLY HARSH TREATMENT UNDER THE WORLD WAR TWO NAZI OCCUPATION. MR. LE PEN'S PARTY HAS MANY MEMBERS WHO CONDONE THE COLLABORATION OF FRANCE'S WARTIME LEADERS WITH THE NAZIS THAT ALL OTHER FRENCH POLITICAL PARTIES CONDEMN.

    YET MORE THAN ONE-FOURTH OF VOTERS IN THE ALSACE REGION SUPPORTED MR. LE PEN IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS TWO YEARS AGO. NOW, THE NATIONAL FRONT IS HOPING TO IMPROVE ON ITS NATIONAL SCORE OF 15 PERCENT IN 1995 AND WIN SOME PARLIAMENTARY SEATS IN GENERAL ELECTIONS IN ONE YEAR'S TIME.

    MR. LE PEN'S MESSAGE THROUGHOUT THE CONGRESS HAS BEEN THAT THE FRENCH HAVE NOTHING TO FEAR FROM THE NATIONAL FRONT.

    THE OPPOSITION TO HIM, HOWEVER, HAS BEEN STRIDENT. THE ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF STRASBOURG TOLD HIS FLOCK THAT HE ESPECIALLY RESENTED THE NATIONAL FRONT'S PRESENCE IN HIS CITY DURING THE EASTER WEEKEND. SATURDAY, ABOUT 50-THOUSAND DEMONSTRATORS MARCHED THROUGH STRASBOURG TO REGISTER THEIR DISAPPROVAL. THAT NIGHT, A GROUP OF YOUTHS WENT ON THE RAMPAGE, SMASHING STOREFRONTS AND BURNING CARS.

    POLICE SAY SOME OF THEM WERE MEMBERS OF A GERMAN ANTI-NAZI GROUP THAT CROSSED THE RIVER RHINE TO JOIN THE PROTEST. AT THE SAME TIME, FOUR NATIONAL FRONT MEMBERS WERE ARRESTED FOR DISGUISING THEMSELVES AS RIOT POLICE AND FIGHTING WITH THEIR OPPONENTS.

    THE NEXT DAY, WHEN THE NATIONAL FRONT HELD A BALL LED BY DANCERS IN ALSACE NATIONAL DRESS, THE SOCIALIST CITY COUNCIL REPLIED BY ORGANIZING A ROCK CONCERT RELYING HEAVILY ON MUSICIANS OF IMMIGRANT ORIGIN. THEN, AS MR. LE PEN FINISHED HIS KEYNOTE SPEECH AND HIS MILITANTS BEGAN TO LEAVE, AN OCCASION CALLED "A CITIZENS' PICNIC" WAS ORGANIZED IN THE CENTER OF STRASBOURG. THIS WAS A GATHERING TO CELEBRATE THE CITY'S RETURN TO NORMAL. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JWN/JWH
    31-Mar-97 9:05 AM EST (1405 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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