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Voice of America, 99-12-12

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] EU SUMMIT/TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (HELSINKI)
  • [02] EU - TUDJMAN (S-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (HELSINKI)
  • [03] FRANJO TUDJMAN OBIT BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)
  • [04] TUDJMAN DEATH (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (TIRANA)
  • [05] GERMANY/SLAVE LABOR (L-ONLY) BY JONATHAN BRAUDE (BERLIN)
  • [06] TUDJMAN FUNERAL (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (ZAGREB)

  • [01] EU SUMMIT/TURKEY (L-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (HELSINKI)

    DATE=12/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257067
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: European Union leaders have closed their summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland by having lunch with representatives of the 13 countries that hope to become members of the union in the next decade. As V-O-A's Ron Pemstein reports from Helsinki, Turkey is confident it will resolve its problems with the European Union.

    TEXT: Among the candidates for European Union membership, Turkey is the only one not permitted to begin accession negotiations. Still, Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit flew to Helsinki to express his appreciation. At the same time, he is confident that Turkey eventually will become a full member of the European family.

    /// ECEVIT ACT ///

    Some members of the European Union may think that it will take many years before Turkey becomes a full member, but I am convinced that given the dynamism of the Turkish people and their attachment to democracy, we will achieve this objective in a far shorter period.

    /// END ACT ///

    Mr. Ecevit takes issue with the European Union's prescription to take its disputes with Greece to the International Court of Justice by the end of the year 2004. He says Turkey wants to resolve the Aegean Sea problems directly with Greece before that date. He also disagrees with the European leaders' statement that Cyprus can become a member of the European Union even if no political settlement is found to the division of the island. Then there is the death penalty. Turkey has one and the European Union does not. Mr. Ecevit emphasizes his party favors abolishing the death penalty, but his coalition partners oppose that. Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen says if Turkey wants to join Europe, that political problem will have to go away.

    /// LIPPONEN ACT ///

    It's Turkey's own choice to carry out reforms. We very much hope one of the first reforms will be getting rid of the death sentence. So it is not only (Kurdish leader Abdullah) Ocalan who is concerned, it is the principle to get rid of the death sentence.

    /// END ACT ///

    The Finnish prime minister says he exchanged letters with Mr. Ecevit about the singular treatment Turkey is getting compared to the other six new members who will start negotiations for European Union membership in February.

    /// LIPPONEN ACT ///

    The European Council has made its own decision stating the principles in this question of the candidacy of Turkey and its accession perspective. We will stick to that decision. Of course, it is only natural that Turkey sees the situation in its own way, but the central question is that there are the spelled out criteria that Turkey has to meet.

    /// END ACT ///

    Prime Minister Ecevit acknowledges that a telephone call from President Clinton convinced him to accept the European Union's offer of a candidacy with all those conditions. So did a quick visit to Ankara by Javier Solana, the European Union's representative, to explain the invitation to the Turkish prime minister. So the Helsinki Summit will be remembered for the first meeting of the European Union's future. That is a future of 28 countries representing a half-billion people. The concept takes some time to accept. The Finnish prime minister introduced his remarks by saying the 15 leaders had lunch with the 12 - then he stopped, the 13, he corrected himself - applicant countries. (Signed)
    NEB/RP/ALW/JP 11-Dec-1999 13:10 PM EDT (11-Dec-1999 1810 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [02] EU - TUDJMAN (S-ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (HELSINKI)

    DATE=12/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257062
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: The death of Croatian President Franjo Tudjman has opened up some new thinking in the European Union which has cut off assistance to Croatia because of the lack of democracy under Mr. Tudjman's leadership. Ron Pemstein reports from Helsinki, where European leaders are meeting. Text: The European Union's representative for foreign and security policies, Javier Solana, pays tribute to the late President Tudjman for being a major figure of the Balkans. At the same time, Mr. Solana sees opportunities for the European Union with new leadership in Zagreb.

    /// SOLANA ACT ///

    The importance of Croatia in the region, in the Balkans, you know it very well, is very great, very important and we would like to see Croatia play a positive role in the future.

    /// END ACT ///

    The European Union has already criticized the January 3rd date for Croatia's parliamentary elections as being inappropriate for the holiday season. They were scheduled with the hope that opponents to President Tudjman's political party would be out of the country on election day. Mr. Solana hopes the election will help Croatia move in his words, in the direction of a democratic country. (Signed)
    NEB/RP/ALW/PLM 11-Dec-1999 06:27 AM EDT (11-Dec-1999 1127 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [03] FRANJO TUDJMAN OBIT BY RON PEMSTEIN (BRUSSELS)

    DATE=11/12/1999
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-44967
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: President Franjo Tudjman - the first leader of an independent Croatia -- has died after a long fight with cancer. He was 77. (The anouncement of of Mr. Tudjman's death came early Saturday from Croatian state television, in Zagreb.) V-O-A's Ron Pemstein, who met Mr. Tudjman during his assignments to Zagreb, reviews the Croatian leader's career.

    TEXT: I first met Franjo Tudjman in May, 1990, as communism was dying in Eastern Europe. He had been elected president in the first multi-party elections held in Croatia in 50 years. He spoke to me in Croatian but his face grew agitated as he switched to English to exclaim, "We are finally out of that Communist hell." One year later, a different kind of hell engulfed Croatia. President Tudjman declared the republic independent from Yugoslavia, leading to months of warfare between Croatia and the Serb-led Yugoslav Army. The fighting ended in January 1992 with a third of Croatia under Serb control. As Yugoslavia disintegrated amid ethnic fighting, old hatred and rivalries re-surfaced. Croatia's past alliance with Nazi Germany fueled the flames of Serbs who suffered under Croatia's Nazi-supported Ustache regime. President Tudjman was angered by Serbian charges that his independent Croatian Republic was nothing more than a restoration of the World War Two fascism. Franjo Tudjman joined the anti-fascist Partisans in 1941, when he was just 19 years old. He later took part in the establishment of Communist Yugoslavia's first national army. By 1960, at the age of 38, he was promoted to general. One year later, he left the army to become a professor of political science at Zagreb University. It is during his academic career in the 1960s that he began to develop his sense of Croatian nationalism in his writings. He challenged Yugoslavia's attempt to impose collective guilt on all Croatians for the crimes committed by the Ustache government. He also insisted the number of people exterminated in Croatian concentration camps had been exaggerated. His views began to his aggravate his former comrade, Yugoslav President Tito, and in 1967, Mr. Tudjman was expelled from the Communist Party. Shortly afterward he was removed from Zagreb University. Then in 1972, during a crackdown by President Tito on Croatian nationalism, former General Tudjman was arrested and imprisoned for nine months. He was jailed again after President Tito's death. During the 1980s Mr. Tudjman honed his nationalist credentials by raising funds from Croatians abroad to start his political party -- the Croatian Democratic Union -- which he led to victory in elections in Yugoslav Republic of Croatia in 1990. With independence, Franjo Tudjman became one of the key players in the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, and the bloody war between Serbs, Croats and Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In mid-1995, President Tudjman ordered his army to take back the third of Croatia under Serb control. His plan was successful and altered the balance of power between Serb-led Yugoslavia, Croatia and their allies in Bosnia. Analysts say this military offensive was a major factor in bringing peace to Bosnia in December 1995. After the war, President Tudjman drew much Western criticism for his treatment of displaced Serbs, and his crackdown on the independent media and opposition parties. He faced sanctions from the European Union and a cool reception from other Euro-Atlantic organizations. At home, Mr. Tudjman saw his popularity slip under economic hardship and charges of widespread party corruption. He took over palaces in Croatia for his own use and outfitted his guards in haughty 19th- century-style red uniforms. His death may give Croatia a chance to make the required reforms toward becoming a market democracy and entering main-stream European politics. Still, Franjo Tudjman will be long remembered as the man who led his country to independence. (Signed)
    NEB/RP/JO/WTW 10-Dec-1999 20:38 PM EDT (11-Dec-1999 0138 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] TUDJMAN DEATH (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (TIRANA)

    DATE=12/11/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257060
    CONTENT=
    Voiced at: Intro: Croatia's 77 year old President died Friday. Tim Belay is in the Balkans region with a look at what comes next for that former Yugoslav republic. Text: President Franjo Tudjman,the architect of Croatia's independence, died Friday after six weeks of intensive treatment for stomach disorders. A funeral is planned for Monday. State television broke into its regular programs for a brief statement announcing Tudjman's death, which will force the country to hold presidential elections in the next two months. Mr. Tudjman fought illnesses for the past three years. Parliament declared him unable to perform his duties as president in late November and named Parliamentary Speaker Vlatko Pavletic as acting president. Mr. Tudjman led Croatia to independence from the Yugoslav Federation in 1991. His second term as president was to end in June of 2002. It was not immediately clear who the new presidential candidates would be but the election will take place shortly after or at the same time as a vote for the lower house of Parliament on January Third of the coming year. Diplomats had often accused the strongman ruler of restricting the media and human rights groups. Critics described him as one of the biggest obstacles to Croatia's efforts to join the West. Mr. Tudjman had abdominal surgery twice in recent months. He had been hospitalized since November first. (Signed)
    NEB/TB/PLM 11-Dec-1999 06:17 AM EDT (11-Dec-1999 1117 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America

    [05] GERMANY/SLAVE LABOR (L-ONLY) BY JONATHAN BRAUDE (BERLIN)

    DATE=12/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257077
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: American companies may step in to break the deadlock over German industry's reparations to the victims of the Nazis' Second World War slave-labor polices. Jonathan Braude reports from Berlin.

    TEXT: A solution may be in sight to the long-running dispute over compensation to the hundreds-of-thousands of Jewish and East European slave laborers employed by German industry during the war. Germany's government and industry have presented a united front during the past few weeks. They have refused to budge from the offer of a little more than four-point-one-billion dollars they made last month. The offer was firmly rejected by the lawyers, Jewish organizations and East European governments representing the victims. But Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper reports that American firms may step in where German industry left off. The newspaper said American companies whose German subsidiaries employed slave labor to fulfil Adolf Hitler's production orders could add almost one- billion dollars to the fund. That would more or less close the gap between what German industry says is its final offer and the bottom end of the range the victims' various representatives are said to be prepared to accept. About 200 U-S firms, including Ford and General Motors, are reported to be involved. The various victims groups are said to have agreed to the principle of a deal by teleconference last week. The newspaper did not give its sources for the billion-dollar figure. Instead, it quoted one of the victims' advocates, German lawyer Michael Witti, as confirming a contribution from American industry has been discussed. Mr. Witti did not comment on the sum involved and cautioned the deal was far from done. But adding weight to its story, the newspaper does quote Stuart Eizenstat, the U-S government's chief negotiator at the compensation talks. Mr. Eizenstat said nothing about an American contribution, but he expressed confidence that a solution would be found. He said the talks must succeed, because they are too important to be allowed to fail. (SIGNED)
    NEB/JB/ALW/RAE 12-Dec-1999 12:09 PM EDT (12-Dec-1999 1709 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] TUDJMAN FUNERAL (L) BY RON PEMSTEIN (ZAGREB)

    DATE=12/12/1999
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-257080
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: Funeral services will be held Monday for Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, who died Friday at age 77 after an intenstinal illness. Thousands of Croatians are paying their last respects to Mr. Tudjman, the only president the country has had since independence from Yugoslavia. V-O-A's Ron Pemstein reports from the Croatian capital, Zagreb.

    TEXT: Croatia is in Mourning.

    /// MUSIC ESTABLISH AND FADE ///

    Government leaders, Catholic Church Cardinals and Bishops and thousands of mourners joined President Tudjman's family at the Lisinski concert hall Sunday evening. They eulogized President Tudjman for establishing a modern, independent Croatia. A giant screen in the hall, seen by a national television audience, showed highlights of President Tudjman's career as the father of the nation. At the presidential palace overlooking Zagreb, ordinary Croatians file past his coffin hour after hour, many of them in tears. The three days of mourning come to an end Monday with the ringing of church bells for 10 minutes, the funeral service, and a memorial mass at Zagreb's cathedral. The politicians here are already looking to the future. The ruling Croatian Democratic Union put up new posters on Friday, the evening President Tudjman died. It was the same day they removed his name from the party's list for the January 3rd parliamentary elections. The posters show a smiling President Tudjman holding a baby next to the slogan, "Everything for Croatia "(Sve za Hrvatsku). Franjo Tudjman was everything for Croatia and for the Democratic Union. He ruled this country since 1990, leading it through the bloody war with Serb-led Yugoslavia. However, his party is nervous about keeping power without him. That's why it scheduled the election two days after New Year's day, in the hope many opposition supporters will be out of the country on vacation. A 32-year-old taxi driver, Damir Zigman, tells me President Tudjman was a great man but young people here need a change after 10 years. Change is what the opposition parties are promising in their posters. Change from the corruption of President Tudjman's supporters and change from Croatia's isolation from the West. As a sign of that isolation, only a handful of world leaders are coming here to pay tribute to President Tudjman. Leaders from neighbors Slovenia and Hungary, along with the President of Turkey and the Prime Minister of Macedonia, are the only ones named. While Slovenia is a leading candidate for membership in NATO and the European Union, President Tudjman's autocratic leadership has posed an obstacle for Croatia. Slovene Prime Minister Janez Drnovsek told reporters in Helsinki that Croatia now needs to follow Slovenia's path. Cooperation with Western institutions is rejected by many members of the Croatian Democratic Union. If the center left opposition takes control in the parliamentary elections on January 3rd, parliament could limit the powers of President Tudjman's successor. New presidential elections are supposed to be held before February 8th. One leading prospect for the Croatian Democratic Union is foreign minister Mate Granic. He has won respect of western statesman for his relatively moderate policies. Opposition leaders are concerned this outpouring of emotion may turn out to benefit the party President Tudjman established. (Signed) NEB/rp/gm 12-Dec-1999 15:00 PM EDT (12-Dec-1999 2000 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America
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