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Voice of America, 98-05-07

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CLINTON / ITALY WRAP (S ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)
  • [02] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [03] EUROPEAN CURRENCY (L-ONLY) BY JOHN FRASER (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] FRANCE GERMANY SUMMIT (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)
  • [05] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)
  • [06] THE BIRTH OF THE EURO BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [07] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

  • [01] CLINTON / ITALY WRAP (S ONLY) BY DEBORAH TATE (WHITE HOUSE)

    DATE=5/6/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-231833
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRESIDENT CLINTON AND ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER ROMANO PRODI HAVE CONCLUDED A DAY OF TALKS AT THE WHITE HOUSE THAT FOCUSED ON THE BALKANS AND THE UNREST IN KOSOVO. V-O-A'S DEBORAH TATE REPORTS.

    TEXT: MR. CLINTON AND MR. PRODI SAID THEY ARE READY TO STEP UP PRESSURE ON YUGOSLAVIA IF IT DOES NOT END A TWO-MONTH CRACKDOWN ON ETHNIC ALBANIANS IN KOSOVO.

    AT A NEWS CONFERENCE, THE TWO MEN SAID THE USE OF TROOPS REMAINED AN OPTION TO PREVENT ETHNIC WAR. LATER, DURING DINNER TOASTS, MR. CLINTON PRAISED THE ROLE ITALY HAS PLAYED IN TRYING TO KEEP THE PEACE IN KOSOVO -- AND ELSEWHERE IN EUROPE.

    // CLINTON ACTUALITY //

    AMERICA IS PROUD TO KNOW YOU, AS A PARTNER AND ALLY, AND WE ARE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR PROVISION OF OUR MILITARY BASES SENT TO HELP MAINTAIN EUROPE'S HARD WON PEACE.

    // END ACT //

    MR. PRODI'S WHITE HOUSE VISIT WAS AIMED AT IMPROVING BILATERAL RELATIONS STRAINED AFTER AN ACCIDENT IN FEBRUARY, WHEN A LOW-FLYING U-S MARINE JET BASED IN AVIANO SLICED TWO SKI-LIFT CABLES, KILLING 20 PEOPLE. MR. CLINTON EXPRESSED HIS PROFOUND REGRET.

    DURING THEIR TALKS, THE TWO LEADERS ALSO DISCUSSED PLANS FOR A NEW EUROPEAN CURRENCY, THE EURO, AND PLEDGED STEPPED UP EFFORTS TO FIGHT INTERNATIONAL TRAFFICKING IN WOMEN AND CHILDREN FOR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OR SWEATSHOP LABOR. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DAT/PT
    06-May-98 10:23 PM EDT (0223 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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

    DATE=5/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-231866
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE MAJOR STOCK MARKETS OF WESTERN EUROPE ALL CLOSED ON THE DOWN SIDE THURSDAY. VOA'S PAUL FRANCUCH HAS THE CLOSING NUMBERS FROM OUR OFFICES IN LONDON.

    TEXT: DECLINES ON WALL STREET WEDNESDAY AND ON ASIAN MARKETS EARLY THURSDAY PUT EUROPEAN INVESTORS IN A SELLING MOOD. EVEN HIGHER PRICES ON THE NEWS OF CHRYSLER'S PLANNED MERGER WITH DAIMLER-BENZ, AND NEWS OF STEADY INTEREST RATES IN BRITAIN, DID NOTHING TO HELP BOOST THE MARKETS.

    HERE IN LONDON, THE "FINANCIAL TIMES" 100 INDEX OF STOCKS CLOSED DOWN 54-AND-A-HALF POINTS -- NEARLY ONE PERCENT. THE PARIS "CAC 40" INDEX LOST 41 POINTS AT THE CLOSE -- A DECLINE OF JUST OVER ONE PERCENT. FRANKFURT'S "DAX" INDEX LOST THE MOST. IT WAS DOWN 100 POINTS -- ALMOST TWO PERCENT FOR THE DAY.

    THE U-S DOLLAR GAINED SLIGHTLY AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK AND WAS UP ABOUT A HALF-CENT AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND.

    GOLD IN LONDON CONTINUED ITS SLIDE, CLOSING AT 298 DOLLARS -- DOWN TWO DOLLARS AN OUNCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/KL
    07-May-98 2:15 PM EDT (1815 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] EUROPEAN CURRENCY (L-ONLY) BY JOHN FRASER (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=5/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-231846
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: FRANCE HAS FAILED TO WIN CONCRETE ASSURANCES A FRENCHMAN WILL TAKE OVER AT THE HELM OF THE NEW EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK IN FOUR-YEARS TIME. THE RECENTLY NAMED CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENT -- DUTCHMAN WIM DUISENBERG -- TOLD A SPECIAL HEARING OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (THURSDAY) HE WILL LEAVE WHEN HE WANTS -- NOT WHEN PARIS TELLS HIM TO. JOHN FRASER REPORTS FROM BRUSSELS.

    TEXT: THE ISSUE OF WHEN MR. DUISENBERG WILL LEAVE HIS POST, AND WHO WILL SUCCEED HIM, OVERSHADOWED THE WEEKEND E-U SUMMIT IN BRUSSELS AND HAS CONTINUED TO DOMINATE POLITICAL DEBATE IN EUROPE.

    MR. DUISENBERG WAS OFFERED THE JOB AS THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK AFTER HE INDICATED HE PLANS TO LEAVE HALFWAY THROUGH HIS EIGHT-YEAR TERM.

    ON THE INSISTENCE OF FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC, E-U LEADERS AGREED WHEN MR. DUISENBERG DEPARTS, THE JOB WILL THEN BE OFFERED FOR A FULL EIGHT-YEAR TERM TO FRENCHMAN JEAN CLAUDE TRICHET.

    DURING THE HEARING, MR. DUISENBERG REJECTED SUGGESTIONS HIS CREDIBILITY HAS SUFFERED BECAUSE OF THE DISPUTE OVER HIS APPOINTMENT. HE EXPLAINED HE HAS GIVEN NO BINDING PROMISES HE WILL SERVE FOR ONLY FOUR YEARS.

    //OPT//

    ALTHOUGH HE HAS SAID IT IS NOT LIKELY THAT HE WILL SERVE THE FULL EIGHT YEARS, HE DID NOT RULE THIS OUT AND SAID IF HE IS IN GOOD HEALTH HE MIGHT STAY ON LONGER. //END OPT//

    THIS CLEARLY CONTRADICTS THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT'S UNDERSTANDING OF THE SUMMIT DEAL. PRESIDENT CHIRAC HAS EXPRESSED CONFIDENCE MR. DUISENBERG WILL STAND DOWN IN FOUR YEARS TIME.

    UNABLE TO HIDE HIS FRUSTRATION AT THE WAY IN WHICH HIS APPOINTMENT WAS HANDLED AS SUCH A HOT POLITICAL ISSUE, MR DUISENBERG DESCRIBED AS SLIGHTLY ABSURD THE SUMMIT ACCORD THAT HIS SUCCESSOR WILL DEFINITELY BE FRENCH.

    THE DUTCH BANKER SAID THE CENTRAL BANK JOB SHOULD BE FILLED ON THE BASIS OF OUTSTANDING PROFESSIONAL QUALITY AND INTEGRITY, HE SAID HE DEPLORES THE FACT THERE HAS BEEN SO MUCH FOCUS ON THE NATIONALITY OF CANDIDATES.

    MR DUISENBERG CONFIRMED HE RESISTED PRESIDENT CHIRAC'S ATTEMPTS TO PERSUADE HIM TO WRITE A RESIGNATION LETTER BEFORE HIS APPOINTMENT, GIVING A SPECIFIC DATE FOR HIS RETIREMENT. HE EXPLAINED HE HAS CONSISTENTLY REFUSED TO DO THIS AND IF HE HAD BEEN FORCED TO SUPPLY SUCH A WRITTEN UNDERTAKING, HE WOULD HAVE REFUSED THE JOB.

    // REST OPT //

    DURING A GOOD-HUMORED THREE-HOUR HEARING THURSDAY, THE WHITE-HAIRED DUTCHMAN GAVE AN ASSURED AND RELAXED PRESENTATION, WITH FREQUENT MOMENTS OF HUMOR. HE RECEIVED REGULAR APPLAUSE AS HE GAVE EVIDENCE TO EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARIANS -- AND THIS SUGGESTS IT IS NOW MOST UNLIKELY THEY WILL VOTE AGAINST HIS APPOINTMENT WHEN THEY DEBATE THE MATTER IN STRASBOURG NEXT WEEK.

    MR. DUISENBERG TOLD EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MEMBERS HE WAS HIGHLY HONORED TO HAVE BEEN OFFERED THE POST, SAYING THAT BEING PRESIDENT OF A CENTRAL BANK IS THE BEST PROFESSION AN ECONOMIST CAN HAVE.

    HE ADDED THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW EUROPEAN SINGLE CURRENCY, THE "EURO," IS A HISTORIC EVENT AND A VERY IMPORTANT STEP IN THE PROCESS OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JF/PCF/RAE
    07-May-98 10:11 AM EDT (1411 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] FRANCE GERMANY SUMMIT (L ONLY) BY JULIAN NUNDY (PARIS)

    DATE=5/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-231857 CQ
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // INSERTS DROPPED WORD "CURRENCY" IN INTRO //

    INTRO: FRANCE AND GERMANY ARE AVOIDING COMMENT ON RECENT DIFFERENCES THAT EMERGED OVER THE LEADERSHIP OF THE NEW EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK -- THAT WILL CREATE THE NEW SINGLE EUROPEAN CURRENCY AT A BILATERAL SUMMIT IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE THURSDAY. JULIAN NUNDY REPORTS FROM PARIS.

    TEXT: SINCE THE DAYS OF GENERAL CHARLES DE GAULLE, FRANCE'S ATTEMPTS TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH GERMANY AND CLOSE THE WOUNDS OF TWO WORLD WARS HAS BEEN THE CENTER OF EFFORTS TO UNITE EUROPE.

    OVER THE PAST WEEK, HOWEVER, THAT RELATIONSHIP SEEMS BADLY SHAKEN. AT A EUROPEAN UNION SUMMIT IN BRUSSELS LAST SATURDAY TO ESTABLISH THE EURO, THE EUROPEAN SINGLE CURRENCY, FRANCE'S INSISTENCE ON A FRENCH GOVERNOR FOR THE BANK DOMINATED THE PROCEEDINGS.

    ALTHOUGH A COMPROMISE SOLUTION WAS FOUND, ENSURING THAT FRANCE WILL TAKE THE CENTRAL BANK PRESIDENCY IN FOUR YEARS' TIME, THE EPISODE IRRITATED GERMANY'S CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL.

    THE FRENCH MEDIA SINGLED OUT FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC AS THE VILLAIN, SAYING HIS APPROACH IS TOO NATIONALISTIC AND HAS PUT AT RISK A GERMAN CHANCELLOR WHO IS ONE OF FRANCE'S CLOSEST FRIENDS. THURSDAY, THE TWO MEN MET AGAIN FOR A REGULAR BILATERAL FRENCH-GERMAN SUMMIT IN THE SOUTHERN FRENCH CITY OF AVIGNON.

    TO MAKE UP FOR THE DISPUTE LAST WEEKEND, BOTH LEADERS PRAISED THEIR COUNTRIES' FRIENDSHIP. MR. CHIRAC SAID HIS GERMAN COLLEAGUE WAS A MAN OF VISION WHO HAD PROFOUNDLY MARKED THE CONSTRUCTION OF EUROPE. MR. KOHL, REJECTING TALK THAT THE PARIS-BONN ALLIANCE IS DAMAGED, SAID HIS COUNTRY'S RELATIONS WITH FRANCE ARE NOT ONLY INTACT BUT "OUTSTANDING".

    IN IMPLICIT CRITICISM OF BRITAIN'S PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR, WHO PRESIDED OVER THE BRUSSELS MEETING, FRENCH PRIME MINISTER LIONEL JOSPIN SAID HE AND THE CHANCELLOR AGREED THAT FUTURE EUROPEAN MEETING MUST BE BETTER PREPARED.

    THROUGHOUT THEIR PUBLIC APPEARANCE AT A PRESS CONFERENCE CLOSING THEIR SUMMIT, THE FRENCH AND GERMAN LEADERS CAREFULLY AVOIDING MENTIONING THEIR CLASH OVER THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK. INSTEAD, THEY TALKED IN GENERAL TERMS OF THEIR AGREEMENT TO PUSH FOR EUROPE TO RE-STRUCTURE ITS AIRCRAFT INDUSTRY TO FACE AMERICAN COMPETITION. THEY ALSO SAID THEY PLAN A NEW INITIATIVE FOR THE NEXT EUROPEAN SUMMIT. THIS, THEY SAID, AIMS AT BRINGING EUROPE CLOSER TO ITS PEOPLE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JN/RP/MMK
    07-May-98 2:29 PM EDT (1829 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY BRECK ARDERY (NEW YORK)

    DATE=5/7/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-231875
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES WERE DOWN TODAY (THURSDAY) AND TWO HUGE DEALS IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY BECAME FINAL. V-O-A CORRESPONDENT BRECK ARDERY REPORTS FROM NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED AT 89-HUNDRED-76, DOWN 78 POINTS, ALMOST ONE PERCENT. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX CLOSED AT ONE-THOUSAND-95, DOWN 10 POINTS.

    ANALYSTS SAY IT WAS BASICALLY A LACK OF BUYERS THAT CAUSED STOCK PRICES TO DROP. MANY TRADERS TURNED CAUTIOUS IN ADVANCE OF THE RELEASE FRIDAY OF THE LATEST STATISTICS ON U-S EMPLOYMENT.

    THE MERGER OF AUTOMAKERS DAIMLER-BENZ AND CHRYSLER HAS BEEN MADE OFFICIAL. DAIMLER WILL ACTUALLY BUY CHRYSLER IN AN ALL STOCK DEAL WORTH ABOUT 40 BILLION DOLLARS. ///BEGIN OPT/// HOWEVER, BOTH COMPANIES WILL RETAIN INDEPENDENT IDENTITIES, WITH GERMAN-BASED DAIMLER FAMOUS FOR LUXURY MERCEDES AUTOMOBILES AND CHRYSLER STRONG IN THE UNITED STATES WITH LIGHT TRUCKS AND UTILITY VEHICLES. ANALYSTS SAY BECAUSE THE TWO COMPANIES' PRODUCTS ARE SO DIFFERENT, THEY DO NOT EXPECT ANY SERIOUS OPPOSITION TO THE DEAL FROM EITHER U-S OR EUROPEAN REGULATORS. ///END OPT///

    IN ANOTHER AUTO DEAL, VOLKSWAGEN OF GERMANY WILL BUY LUXURY CAR MAKER ROLLS-ROYCE OF BRITAIN FOR 714 MILLION DOLLARS. VOLKSWAGEN WON ROLLS AFTER OFFERING 150 MILLION DOLLARS MORE THAN RIVAL BIDDER B-M-W OF GERMANY.

    ///REST OPT///

    FOOD AND SOFT DRINK GIANT PEPSICO HAS FILED A LAWSUIT AGAINST ARCH-RIVAL COCA-COLA. PEPSICO CLAIMS COKE IS ENGAGING IN ILLEGAL BUSINESS PRACTICES BY PROVIDING COKE TO FOOD SERVICE DISTRIBUTORS ONLY ON CONDITION THE DISTRIBUTORS DO NOT ALSO OFFER PEPSI.

    MAJOR AMERICAN DISCOUNT STORE CHAINS REPORTED BETTER-THAN-EXPECTED SALES IN APRIL. ANALYSTS SAY MUCH OF THE INCREASE COULD BE ATTRIBUTED TO A LATE EASTER WHICH ESPECIALLY HELPED CLOTHING SALES.

    U-S CENTRAL BANK CHAIRMAN ALAN GREENSPAN HAS A SENSE OF HUMOR ABOUT HIS ABILITY TO GIVE A LENGTHY ANSWER TO A QUESTION WITHOUT REALLY SAYING ANYTHING. DURING A SPEECH AT A BANKER'S CONFERENCE IN CHICAGO, MR. GREENSPAN TOLD HIS AUDIENCE NOT TO BOTHER ASKING HIM IF THE CENTRAL BANK WILL SOON RAISE SHORT TERM INTEREST RATES.

    /// GREENSPAN ACT ///

    IF ANYONE ASKS ME ABOUT INTEREST RATES OR MONETARY POLICY I WILL GIVE YOU A VERY LONG ANSWER WHICH EVEN I WILL NOT UNDERSTAND (LAUGHTER).

    ///END ACT///

    MR. GREENSPAN AND HIS FELLOW CENTRAL BANK GOVERNORS WILL CONSIDER INTEREST RATE POLICY AT A MEETING ON MAY 19TH.(SIGNED) NEB/NY/BA/LSF/JO
    07-May-98 4:55 PM EDT (2055 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] THE BIRTH OF THE EURO BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=05/07/98
    TYPE=WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP
    NUMBER=6-10702
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    INTRO: THERE CAN BE LITTLE ARGUMENT THAT THE MAJOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE PAST FEW DAYS IS THE "BIRTH" OF THE EURO. THAT IS THE NAME OF THE BANK NOTE AND LATER, COINAGE, THAT WILL BECOME COMMON AMONG ELEVEN NATIONS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, AND EVENTUALLY, PROMISES TO BE USED CONTINENT-WIDE.

    IT WAS NOT AN EASY BIRTH, WITH A FRANCO-GERMAN SQUABBLE ABOUT WHO WOULD HEAD THE CENTRAL BANK ALMOST CANCELLING THE YEARS OF DELICATE NEGOTIATIONS TO CREATE A COMMON CURRENCY FOR MOST OF EUROPE.

    HOWEVER A COMPROMISE SETTLED THE DISPUTE, AND NOW THE WORLD'S PRESS IS GAUGING THE EFFECTS OF THE MERGER. WE GET EDITORIAL REACTION NOW FROM __________________ WHO JOINS US WITH THIS WEEK'S WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP.

    TEXT: A NUMBER OF NEWSPAPERS FOCUSED ON THE SO-CALLED 'SQUABBLE' BETWEEN FRANCE AND GERMANY OVER WHO WOULD HAVE THE BIGGEST SAY IN NAMING THE FIRST HEAD OF THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK. SEVERAL PAPERS -- INCLUDING MANY IN FRANCE -- HELD FRENCH PRESIDENT JACQUES CHIRAC RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ROW [FIGHT], CONDEMNING HIS 'OBSTINACY' ON THE ISSUE. ...... AMONG THE OTHER REACTIONS WAS COMMENT ON HOW THE EURO WILL COMPETE WITH THE U-S DOLLAR AS A "RIVAL" IN INTERNATIONAL TRANSACTIONS.

    WITH THAT BACKGROUND, WE BEGIN IN FRANCE, WHERE THE PARIS PRESS WAS NOT ESPECIALLY KIND TO FRANCE'S LEADER. "LE MOND" FOR EXAMPLE, NOTED:

    VOICE: THE SQUABBLES THAT TOOK PLACE IN BRUSSELS OVER THE PRESIDENCY OF THE ... BANK ... ARE PART OF THE ANECDOTE .... HISTORY LIES ELSEWHERE, WITH THE BIRTH OF THE EURO .... EVEN IT ITS SUCCESS MUST STILL BE PROVEN ..... ONE THING WHICH CANNOT BE SAID IS THAT IN ACCEPTING THE EURO, FRANCE HAS LOST SOME OF ITS MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY. BECAUSE OF GLOBALIZATION, MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY IS AN ILLUSION ....

    TEXT: ANOTHER PARIS NEWSPAPER, "LE FIGARO," WAS MORE PESSIMISTIC:

    VOICE: EUROPE MAY WELL BE ENTERING A PERIOD OF INTENSE TURBULENCE ... THE SQUABBLES BETWEEN FRANCE AND GERMANY OVER THE PRESIDENCY OF THE E C B [EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK] PROVE THE EU IS STILL WEAK, WITH OR WITHOUT THE EURO.

    TEXT: AN EXAMPLE OF GERMAN REACTION, FROM THAT NATION'S FINANCIAL CAPITAL, FRANKFURT, COMES FROM "THE ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG," WHICH RAN THIS FRONT PAGE COMMENTARY:

    VOICE: FRANCO-GERMAN RELATIONS WILL CERTAINLY NOT BE DESTROYED BY THE QUARREL ABOUT THE FIRST PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN-CENTRAL BANK, WHICH MANY PEOPLE CONSIDER AN AFFRONT. BUT NOBODY SHOULD BE SURPRISED IF THE MOOD OF DISPLEASURE OVERSHADOWS THE FRANCO-GERMAN SUMMIT IN AVIGNON AND TURNS THE CONSULTATIONS TO A MEETING FOR THE EXCHANGE OF VIRULENT ACCUSATIONS. THE GERMANS HAVE CERTAINLY NOT COME TO LOVE THE EURO DEARLY, AND THE FRENCH PRESIDENT HAS CONTRIBUTED TO THE FACT THAT THEY WILL NOT DO SO IN THE NEAR FUTURE. .... HE HAS ALSO DONE A GREAT DISSERVICE TO FRANCE AND EUROPE.

    TEXT: TO THE SOUTH, MUNICH'S "SUEDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG" WONDERED:

    VOICE: WHAT HAS HAPPENED WITH THE MUCH-PRAISED AXIS WHICH WAS FORGED IN THE 1950S BY [MR.] ADENAUER AND [PRESIDENT] DE GAULLE? IT MAY WELL BE THAT FRANCO-GERMAN RECONCILIATION WAS THE PRECONDITION FOR THE EUROPEAN CURRENCY THAT WAS AGREED UPON OVER THE WEEKEND IN BRUSSELS. .... THE FACT THAT THE ENEMIES HAVE BECOME PARTNERS DOES NOT MEAN ... THEY ARE NO LONGER COMPETITORS. /// OPT /// PEOPLE MAY DESCRIBE FRANCO-GERMAN RELATIONS AS BROTHERLY, BUT THERE IS NO DOUBT WHO FEELS [,] IN THIS FAMILY [,] [THAT HE IS] THE OLDER BROTHER WITH GREATER RIGHTS. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: FROM ITALY, THERE WAS THIS ASSESSMENT IN ROME'S "L'UNITA:"

    VOICE: .... THE AMERICANS .... STILL DON'T KNOW WHETHER TO LAUGH ... OR TO WORRY, GIVEN THE FACT ... THE EURO IS DESTINED .... TO CONTROL IN A FEW YEARS AN AREA EQUAL TO THAT OF THE DOLLAR.

    TEXT: THE RUSSIAN PRESS TOOK THE EVENT AT FACE VALUE, CONSIDERING IT AN ECONOMIC WATERSHED. HERE'S "ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA" FROM MOSCOW.

    VOICE: THE INTRODUCTION OF THE EURO IS A GREAT UPHEAVAL BOTH FOR THE COUNTRIES IMMEDIATELY INVOLVED IN THIS ACT AND FOR THE WORLD'S ECONOMY.

    TEXT: TAKING A MORE PESSIMISTIC LINE WAS VLADMIR KATIN, WHO FILED THIS REPORT FROM BRUSSELS FOR MOSCOW'S "NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA."

    VOICE: THOSE WITH EUROPEAN BANK ACCOUNTS HAVE STARTED TO TRANSFER THEM TO U-S DOLLARS, AND SOME TO SWISS FRANCS, BEFORE THEIR FRANCS, MARKS, LIRAS AND PESETAS ARE AUTOMATICALLY CONVERTED TO EUROS. THIS IS A SURE SIGN OF THE PUBLIC NOT TRUSTING THE NEW CURRENCY.

    TEXT: TURNING TO THE LOW COUNTRIES, IN BELGIUM, WHERE THE AGREEMENT WAS FINALLY SIGNED, "DE STANDAARD" WAS REALLY AFFRONTED BY THE FRENCH INSISTENCE THAT WIM DUISENBERG, THE NETHERLANDS CENTRAL BANKER NOMINATED TO HEAD THE ECB, BE FORCED TO RESIGN AFTER JUST HALF OF HIS EIGHT-YEAR TERM, AT FRENCH INSISTENCE, SO A FRENCHMAN CAN TAKE THE REINS. SAYS "DE STANDAARD:"

    VOICE: FRANCE'S STUBBORNNESS AGAINST A FULL TERM FOR WIM DUISENBERG IS ASTONISHING ... ARE THE FRENCH REALLY SO DISTRUSTFUL OF THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE INSTITUTION WHICH IS GOING TO DETERMINE EUROPE'S MONETARY POLICY THAT THEY ABSOLUTELY WANT TO HAVE A POLITICAL IMPACT ON THE ECB VIA THEIR OWN MAN? THAT WOULD BE MUCH MORE SERIOUS. INDEED, IT MEANS THAT FRANCE HAS ITS DOUBTS ABOUT ONE OF THE CORNERSTONES OF THE EUROPEAN MONETARY UNION, I.E., AN INDEPENDENT CENTRAL BANK WHICH GUARDS PRICE STABILITY.

    TEXT: THE DUTCH FINANCIAL DAILY "HET FINANCIEELE DAGBLAD" IN AMERSTDAM, WAS DISAPPOINTED BY THE WAY THE LEADERSHIP DISPUTE AFFECTED THE MARKETS.

    VOICE: THE FAITH OF THE FINANCIAL MARKETS AND CITIZENS IN THE EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK HAS BEEN DAMAGED BY THE POLITICAL BICKERING CONCERNING THE APPOINTMENT OF THE FIRST PRESIDENT. THROUGH THIS [PROBABLY BETTER: "BECAUSE OF THIS"] THE ECB IS BURDENED WITH A FALSE START. THE MANNER IN WHICH FRANCE HAS DOMINATED THE PROCEDURES IS ONLY A TASTE OF THINGS TO COME.

    /// REST OPT ///

    TEXT: HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD, CHINA, BEIJING'S OFFICIAL "PEOPLE'S DAILY" SUGGESTED:

    VOICE: THE EURO WILL PROPEL EUROPEAN INTEGRATION ONTO A HIGHER PLANE AND MEANWHILE POSE UNPRECEDENTED CHALLENGES .... WHILE ENHANCING THE ACTUAL STRENGTH OF THE ENTIRE EUROPEAN UNION, THE EURO WILL, FROM A LONG-TERM VIEWPOINT, IMPACT THE DOLLAR .... THE U-S CAPABILITY TO INFLUENCE EUROPE WITH THE WEAPON OF THE EXCHANGE RATE WILL GRADUALLY DECLINE. ON THE FUTURE STAGE OF INTERNATIONAL FINANCE, THE EURO WILL BE THE ONLY CURRENCY CAPABLE OF RIVALING THE DOLLAR.

    TEXT: IN SOUTH ASIA, INDIA'S "HINDUSTAN TIMES" FROM NEW DELHI, PICKED UP THAT SAME THEME AS THE BEIJING DAILY, NOTING:

    VOICE: ..... THE EURO HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CHALLENGE THE U-S DOLLAR AS THE MAIN INTERNATIONAL CURRENCY PROVIDED THE EU NATIONS TAKE CARE EFFECTIVELY OF THE PROBLEMS OF TRANSITION DURING THE INTERVENING PERIOD TILL TWO-THOUSAND-TWO. IMMEDIATELY, THE JAPANESE YEN MAY GET DEVALUED AND A STRONG EURO MIGHT VERY WELL REPLACE THE YEN AS THE RESERVE CURRENCY.

    TEXT: WHILE ON THE GULF, THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE DAILY "PENINSULA" FROM DOHA, IN QATAR, WAS ANOTHER PAPER THAT CONSIDERED THE EARLY FIGHT BETWEEN THE FRENCH AND GERMAN LEADERS AS BEING SIGNIFICANT:

    VOICE: THE OPEN SQUABBLE .... WHILE REINFORCING THE BELIEF THAT THE EURO IS FUNDAMENTALLY A FRANCO-GERMAN ENTERPRISE, HAS COMPROMISED THE EURO EVEN BEFORE ITS BIRTH. NONE OF THIS SHOULD, HOWEVER, DETRACT FROM THE MOMENTOUS DECISION TAKEN AT BRUSSELS EARLIER THIS WEEK.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: AND LASTLY, IN LATIN AMERICA, O ESTADO DE SAO PAULO, ONE OF THE CONTINENT'S LARGEST DAILIES IN BRAZIL WONDERED:

    VOICE: THE QUESTION THAT EMERGES IS TO WHAT EXTENT THE EURO WILL PARTIALLY REPLACE THE DOLLAR -- OR WILL BE REPLACED BY IT ..... IN THE DISPUTE WITH THE DOLLAR FOR POSITIONS IN GLOBAL FINANCES, ONE OF THE EURO'S WEAK POINTS IS ITS GREATER VULNERABILITY VIS-A-VIS THE SO-CALLED 'ASYMMETRIC SHOCKS' ..... IN ANY EVENT, NO ONE DOUBTS THAT A SERIES OF DUELS BETWEEN THE TWO CURRENCIES WILL OCCUR ON DIFFERENT FRONTS.

    TEXT: WITH THOSE THOUGHTS FROM BRAZIL WE CONCLUDE THIS WEEK'S WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP ON THE BIRTH OF THE EURO, THE EUROPEAN COMMON CURRENCY WHICH WILL BEGIN BEING PHASED IN JANUARY FIRST OF NEXT YEAR.
    NEB/ANG/KL
    07-May-98 5:02 PM EDT (2102 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=05/07/98
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10700
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    CONTENT=

    ////

    EDS: PERISHABLE MATERIAL, DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-D-S-T ! !

    ////

    INTRO: U-S NEWSPAPERS ARE DEALING, AMONG MANY EDITORIAL TOPICS, WITH THE VARIOUS STRANDS OF WHAT HAS COME TO BE KNOWN AS THE WHITEWATER INVESTIGATION OF PRESIDENT AND MRS. CLINTON. OTHER POPULAR TOPICS INCLUDE THE ROLE OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (I-M-F); THE NEW LEADERSHIP TEAM IN RUSSIA; MIDDLE EAST PEACE TALKS; THE NATO EXPANSION; THE POTENTIAL CANCER BREAKTHROUGH; AND A NEW VACCINE FROM CUBA. NOW, HERE IS _____________________ WITH A CLOSER LOOK IN TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: THERE ARE NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE INVESTIGATION OF PRESIDENT CLINTON. IN MAINE, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" TODAY HAILS THE DECISION BY A FEDERAL JUDGE DISALLOWING PRESIDENT CLINTON'S CLAIM OF EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE FOR SOME OF HIS DISCUSSIONS WITH AIDES REGARDING THE MONICA LEWINSKY CASE. MR. CLINTON IS ACCUSED OF HAVING HAD A SEXUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FORMER WHITE HOUSE INTERN. /// OPT /// EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE IS A DOCTRINE THAT CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN A PRESIDENT AND HIS AIDES CAN BE KEPT SECRET, EVEN FROM A GRAND JURY. /// END OPT ///

    VOICE: WITH THE SERIOUS QUESTION OF PERJURY AT ISSUE, JUDGE [NORMA HOLLOWAY] JOHNSON'S RULING IS A STRONG PRELIMINARY INDICATION THAT [MR.] CLINTON HAS AT LEAST ONE THING IN COMMON WITH [FORMER PRESIDENT RICHARD] NIXON: HE CANNOT CLAIM THAT EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE APPLIES TO DISCUSSIONS ..... ON CRIMINAL CONDUCT. THAT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO RULE.

    TEXT: "NEWSDAY" CONCURS, WITH THIS EDITORIAL HEADLINE: "SORRY, NO PRIVILEGE ... THE JUDGE IS RIGHT: WHEN A CRIME IS AT ISSUE, EVEN THE PRESIDENT ISN'T ABOVE THE LAW." ..... MEANWHILE, "THE NEW YORK POST" SAYS:

    VOICE: IF THE DECISION IS UPHELD ON APPEAL, AS SEEMS LIKELY, FIXER-IN-CHIEF BRUCE LINDSEY AND SIDNEY ... BLUMENTHAL [TWO CLINTON AIDES] WILL HAVE TO RETURN TO THE [WASHINGTON, D.C. WHITEWATER GRAND JURY] AND ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THEY REFUSED TO ANSWER THE FIRST TIME.

    TEXT: AND IN "USA TODAY" THERE IS THIS COMMENT ON THE WHITEWATER GRAND JURY IN LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS, WHICH HAS GONE OUT OF EXISTENCE:

    VOICE: .... DESPITE THE PASSAGE OF SO MUCH TIME, NO HARD LINK HAS BEEN FOUND TO CONNECT THE CLINTONS TO CRIMES COMMITTED BY THEIR BUSINESS PARTNERS AND POLITICAL ASSOCIATES OF ARKANSAS. .... AND IT SHOULD HELP FOCUS ATTENTION ON MORE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS. ..... DID HE [PRESIDENT CLINTON] LIE UNDER OATH OR ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO SO IN RESPONSE TO THE SEXUAL ALLEGATIONS OF MONICA LEWINSKY, LINDA TRIPP AND OTHERS? DID HE ORCHESTRATE ANY OTHER COVER-UP EFFORTS?

    TEXT: TURNING TO THE DEBATE OVER THE EFFICACY OF INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND POLICIES, AS CONGRESS DECIDES WHETHER TO TURN OVER 18-BILLION DOLLARS IN NEW MONEY FOR ON-GOING ASIAN FINANCIAL RELIEF, TODAY'S "WALL STREET JOURNAL" NOTES, EMPHATICALLY:

    VOICE: THE U-S TREASURY PROVIDES THE LION'S [LARGEST] SHARE OF HARD CURRENCY FOR THE I-M-F. AND IN RETURN - - AS IS WELL KNOWN AT THE FUND, ON WALL STREET AND IN THE CAPITALS OF THE I-M-F'S CHIEF CLIENT NATIONS - - TREASURY CALLS THE MAIN SHOTS [SETS THE MAJORITY OF POLICY] AT THE I-M-F. [HOWEVER, TREASURY SECRETARY ROBERT] RUBIN HAS BEEN LESS THAN CLEAR SO FAR IN EXPLAINING TO CONGRESS AND U-S VOTERS SOME OF THE TOUGHER ISSUES SURROUNDING FRESH MONEY AND AN EXPANDING ROLE FOR THE I-M-F. THIS IS A DEBATE IN WHICH SOME OF THE ALL-STAR ARCHITECTS OF MODERN FINANCIAL POLICY HAVE RECENTLY WARNED THAT THE I-M-F MAY DO MORE HARM THAN GOOD, AND SHOULD AT THE LEAST BE MORE CLOSELY MONITORED, OR PERHAPS SHUT DOWN ENTIRELY.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: MEANWHILE, "THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" IS UPSET AT THE REPUBLICAN-LED CONGRESS, WHICH THE PAPER SAYS APPEARS MORE INTERESTED IN SPARRING WITH THE PRESIDENT THAN PASSING LEGISLATION.

    VOICE: ..... IMPORTANT LEGISLATION -- NEEDED FUNDING FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND AT A TIME OF UNUSUAL PRESSURE ON ITS RESOURCES, FOR INSTANCE -- IS WILTING IN THE POLITICAL FRAY. SPEAKER GINGRICH HAS BROADLY HINTED THAT LEGISLATION WON'T MOVE UNTIL THE WHITE HOUSE OFFERS MORE COOPERATION WITH THE ONGOING INVESTIGATION OF CLINTON-GORE 1996 FUND-RAISING PRACTICES. .....BOTH THE I-M-F FUNDING BILL AND THE CAMPAIGN-FINANCE PROBE SHOULD RECEIVE THE PROMPT ACTION THEY DESERVE -- INSTEAD OF THE PARTISAN CROSS-FIRE THEY'RE GETTING.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: TODAY'S "WASHINGTON POST" IS GENERALLY PLEASED WITH THE NEW LEADERSHIP TEAM IN MOSCOW, SELECTED BY PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN, COMMENTING:

    VOICE: THE NEWCOMERS ARE ALMOST UNIFORMLY YOUNG AND PRO-REFORM, WITH EXPERIENCE NOT IN COMMUNIST BUREAUCRACY BUT IN POST-SOVIET BUSINESS AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT. THEY ARE PRAGMATIC, NOT IDEOLOGICAL, AND THEY ARE NOT UNDER THE CONTROL OF MOSCOW'S OLIGARCHS. /// OPT /// .... IF MR. YELTSIN STAYS HEALTHY, ENGAGED AND SUPPORTIVE -- BIG IFS ALL -- RUSSIA WILL HAVE A GOVERNMENT THAT SHOULD AT LEAST BE PULLING TOGETHER, AND IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: AS FOR THE STALEMATED ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN PEACE TALKS, WHICH THE U-S IS TRYING TO REGENERATE, "THE LOS ANGELES TIMES" SUGGESTS IN ITS HEADLINE THAT PROSPECTS FOR PEACE ARE DIMMING, DESPITE THE AMERICAN ENTREATIES TO BOTH SIDES.

    VOICE: IT'S HARD TO SEE THE TALKS BEING RESUSCITATED AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR. IT APPEARS INSTEAD THAT THE LONG-FEARED COLLAPSE IN THE PEACE EFFORT MAY NOW BE IMMINENT, WITH CONSEQUENCES THAT MANY DREAD. /// OPT /// [ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN] NETANYAHU INSISTS THAT AN ISRAELI PULLBACK FROM ANOTHER 13 PERCENT OF THE WEST BANK, INSTEAD OF THE ELEVEN PERCENT HE HAS PRIVATELY HINTED MIGHT BE ACCEPTABLE, WOULD CREATE AN INTOLERABLE THREAT TO SECURITY. BUT IF ISRAEL BALKS AT YIELDING A MERE TWO PERCENT MORE LAND TO KEEP PEACE TALKS ALIVE, THERE CAN HARDLY BE HOPE THAT IT WOULD EVER AGREE TO A LARGER PULLBACK ON WHICH A FINAL PEACE TREATY ALMOST CERTAINLY DEPENDS. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: THE NATO EXPANSION DEBATE CONTINUES, EVEN AFTER SENATE RATIFICATION OF THE TREATY EXPANSION, WITH TODAY'S "ORLANDO [FLORIDA] SENTINEL" COMPLAINING:

    VOICE: THE SENATE EXERCISED HERD MENTALITY IN SUPPORTING NATO EXPANSION. NOW THE NATION CAN BRACE ITSELF FOR THE RESULTS OF THAT BAD MOVE.

    /// OPT ///

    SENATORS DIDN'T EVEN WANT TO LISTEN TO THE GOOD ADVICE OF SOME OF THEIR COLLEAGUES WHO SUGGESTED ..... AT LEAST .... A MORATORIUM ON THE NUMBER OF NATIONS THAT COULD BE ADMITTED TO NATO. ....... PARTICULARLY SERIOUS TENSIONS COULD RESULT IF THE BALTIC REPUBLICS OF ESTONIA, LATVIA AND LITHUANIA EVER RECEIVE SERIOUS CONSIDERATION AS MEMBERS. IN THE ABSENCE OF A THREAT TO EUROPE, THE BETTER WAY TO MAINTAIN PEACE AMONG FORMER SOVIET-BLOC NATIONS IS TO ASSIST EMERGING DEMOCRACIES AND ENCOURAGE FREE MARKETS. A MILITARY ALLIANCE DOESN'T BELONG IN THAT PICTURE.

    TEXT: THIS COMMENT FROM "THE OREGONIAN" IN PORTLAND, ON THE HEARTENING NEWS THAT THE NATION'S SYMBOL, THE BALD EAGLE, AND SEVERAL OTHER PREVIOUSLY ENDANGERED ANIMALS, ARE BEING TAKEN OFF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST.

    VOICE: EACH AND EVERY SIGHTING OF A BALD EAGLE IS A THRILL. WHEN YOU SEE ONE, REMEMBER THESE STRIKINGLY BEAUTIFUL BIRDS ARE FLYING HIGH BECAUSE OUR NATION TOOK THE NECESSARY STEPS TO SAVE THEM FROM EXTINCTION. THIS IS A TIME TO CELEBRATE THE EFFORT TO PROTECT ENDANGERED SPECIES - - NOT A TIME TO BACK AWAY FROM THAT COMMITMENT.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: AS REGARDS EXCITING NEWS ABOUT A NEW DRUG THERAPY THAT HAS ELIMINATED CANCEROUS TUMORS IN MICE WITHOUT ANY ILL SIDE EFFECTS, "THE NEW YORK POST" EXALTS:

    VOICE: ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN TOUCHED BY CANCER -- AND WHO HAS NOT? -- CANNOT HELP BUT BE THRILLED BY THE REPORTS THAT DR. JUDAH FOLKMAN OF HARVARD .... HAS DEVELOPED A DRUG THERAPY THAT COULD TURN OUT TO BE THE LONG-HOPED-FOR MAGIC BULLET [IN THIS CASE: "TOTALLY EFFECTIVE TREATMENT"] AGAINST THIS TERRIBLE AFFLICTION.

    TEXT: AND .IN RELATED NEWS, "THE MIAMI HERALD" IS SUGGESTING THE U-S GOVERNMENT SHOULD ALLOW A NEW VACCINE, AGAINST MENINGITIS-B, DEVELOPED IN CUBA, TO BE TESTED HERE, ALTHOUGH "THE HERALD" CONCEDES:

    VOICE: ... ANY DEAL WITH FIDEL CASTRO IS A DEAL WITH THE DEVIL. ...... SAYING YES TO THE TESTS POTENTIALLY COULD SAVE AMERICAN LIVES. YET IT ALSO COULD LEAD TO MILLIONS IN PROFIT, PROPPING UP 'MR.] CASTRO'S REPREHENSIBLE STATE. WOULD THAT WE LIVED IN [A] WORLD OF SIMPLE ANSWERS.

    TEXT: "THE HERALD" SAYS IN PAYMENT FOR THE TESTING, CUBA SHOULD BE GIVEN U-S MEDICINES OR MEDICAL SUPPLIES RATHER THAN MONEY. AND ON THAT NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS SAMPLING OF EDITORIALS FROM TODAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/KL
    07-May-98 11:13 AM EDT (1513 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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