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Voice of America, 97-04-01

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIA TALKS (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [02] BRITAIN / PRIVATE RAIL BY NEIL ROSENBERG (LONDON)
  • [03] BULGARIA ECONOMY (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)
  • [04] DIPLOMATIC PARKING (L ONLY) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (UNITED NATIONS)
  • [05] EDITORIAL: BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS
  • [06] EURO STOCKS (S-UPDATE) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [07] GERMANY / ARSON (S ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BONN)
  • [08] ITALY ALBANIANS (L-ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)
  • [09] SPAIN / TRAIN CRASHES (L-ONLY) BY GIL CARBAJAL (MADRID)
  • [10] TUESDAY'S HEADLINES BY NEAL LAVON (WASHINGTON)
  • [11] TURKEY / KURDS (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

  • [01] ALBANIA TALKS (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=4/1/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212316
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    // RERUNNING TO DELETE REFERENCE TO SECRET POLICE BEING DISBANDED, IN OPT GRAF. CUT TAPE TO CONFORM //

    INTRO: ALBANIA'S SOCIALIST PRIME MINISTER TUESDAY MADE HIS FIRST VISIT TO THE SOUTH OF THE COUNTRY SINCE TAKING OFFICE (ON MARCH 11TH). V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS PRIME MINISTER BASHKIM FINO CALLED FOR RESTORING LEGAL INSTITUTIONS IN THE AREAS NOW OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT CONTROL.

    TEXT: MR. FINO ARRIVED BY HELICOPTER IN THE TOWN OF GJIROKASTER NOT FAR FROM THE GREEK BORDER. HE MET WITH BOTH ELECTED OFFICIALS AND THE COMMITTEE OF PUBLIC SAFETY ORGANIZED BY REBEL INSURGENTS. MR. FINO, A FORMER MAYOR OF GJIROKASTER, CALLED FOR CALM AND A RESTORATION OF LEGAL INSTITUTIONS AS A PRE-CONDITION FOR NEW PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS EXPECTED TO BE HELD IN JUNE.

    // OPT //

    EARLIER, MR. FINO SAID HE AND THE PRESIDENT HAD MET WITH THE HEAD OF THE SECRET POLICE AND ACCEPTED HIS RESIGNATION.

    // END OPT //

    ON WEDNESDAY, MR. FINO TRAVELS WITH HIS FINANCE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTERS TO GREECE FOR MEETINGS WITH THE PRIME MINISTER. MORE THAN A QUARTER-MILLION ALBANIANS ARE WORKING IN GREECE AND THEIR REMITTANCES ARE A MAJOR SOURCE OF INCOME IN ALBANIA. THE TALKS WILL FOCUS ON PLANS TO DISPATCH AN INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION FORCE TO ALBANIA. // OPT // THE GREEKS HAVE OFFERED TO SEND 700 TROOPS. THE FORCE WOULD BE ORGANIZED BY ITALY WITH PERHAPS 25-HUNDRED OF ITS TROOPS, WITH CONTRIBUTIONS ALSO BEING PROVIDED BY FRANCE, SPAIN, ROMANIA AND TURKEY. THE MAIN OBJECTIVE OF THE MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE WOULD BE TO PROVIDE SECURITY AT TWO ALBANIAN PORTS AND THE AIRPORT IN TIRANA. AN EXTENSIVE RELIEF OPERATION IS BEING PREPARED. //END OPT//

    ALSO ON WEDNESDAY THE EUROPEAN ENVOY FOR ALBANIA, FORMER AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR FRANS VRANITZKY, IS DUE TO HOLD TALKS IN ITALY WITH PRIME MINISTER ROMANO PRODI AND FOREIGN MINISTER LAMBERTO DINI. THE ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE IS SENDING A TEAM TO ALBANIA IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS TO PREPARE FOR THE ARRIVAL OF A LARGER O-S-C-E MISSION WHICH WILL ORGANIZE AND MONITOR THE PLANNED PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/PCF
    01-Apr-97 1:29 PM EST (1829 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] BRITAIN / PRIVATE RAIL BY NEIL ROSENBERG (LONDON)

    DATE=4/1/97
    TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
    NUMBER=5-36083
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE BRITISH RAILWAY SYSTEM IS NO LONGER OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT. V-O-A'S NEIL ROSENBERG IN LONDON REPORTS THE LAST PHASE OF BRITISH RAIL PRIVATIZATION WAS COMPLETED AT MIDNIGHT MONDAY.

    TEXT: IN WHAT SOME CRITICS WOULD SAY IS A FITTING END TO NEARLY 50-YEARS OF NATIONALIZED RAILWAY SERVICES, THE FINAL "LONDON TO SCOTLAND" SLEEPER LEFT 24 MINUTES LATE. WHEN IT ARRIVED TUESDAY MORNING, THE SERVICE WAS RUN BY A PRIVATE BRITISH BUS COMPANY.

    PROPONENTS OF THE RAIL SELL-OFF HOPE THE END OF BRITISH RAIL WILL MEAN MORE EFFICIENT SERVICE AND AN INFLUX OF NEEDED INVESTMENT TO THE RAILWAY NETWORK.

    A WRITER FOR BRITAIN'S RAIL MAGAZINE, PETER COX, EXPLAINED WHY THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT DECIDED TO PUT THE RAIL NETWORK BACK INTO THE PRIVATE SECTOR:

    /// COX ACT ///

    THE RAILWAY SYSTEM IN A WAY WAS RIPE FOR PRIVATIZATION AND THE INJECTION OF PRIVATE FINANCE BECAUSE IT WAS SEEN THAT THERE HAD BEEN NO REAL LONG-TERM STRATEGIC INVESTMENT IN THE SYSTEM OVER MANY YEARS. THINGS WERE BEGINNING TO DETERIORATE REALLY QUITE BADLY. SO THE GOVERNMENT WAS ABLE TO SELL PRIVATIZATION AS A WAY OF GETTING PRIVATE MONEY INTO THE NETWORK AND CARRYING OUT BADLY NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS.

    /// END COX ACT ///

    MR. COX SAID RAIL PRIVATIZATION WAS ONLY ONE OF THE LAST PHASES OF THE RULING CONSERVATIVE PARTY'S PLAN TO DE-NATIONALIZE BRITISH INDUSTRIES.

    /// OPT ///

    WHILE MOST RAIL SERVICES HAVE NOT BEEN DRAMATICALLY ALTERED YET, PRIVATIZATION HAS HAD SOME PROBLEMS IN ITS FIRST YEAR.

    /// OPT ///

    ONE COMPANY RUNNING TRAINS IN THE LONDON AREA ALLOWED TOO MANY DRIVERS TO ACCEPT RETIREMENT BUY-OUTS. THE RESULTING DRIVERS SHORTAGE LED TO DOZENS OF TRAIN CANCELLATIONS, ANGRY COMMUTERS, AND BAD PUBLICITY FOR THE COMPANY.

    /// OPT ///

    LIKE OTHER FIRMS NOW RUNNING BRITISH RAIL SERVICES, STAGECOACH, THE COMPANY IN QUESTION, WAS A BUS COMPANY BEFORE IT ACQUIRED THE RAIL SERVICE. THE POTENTIAL FOR CONFLICTS LED TO QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ABILITY FOR SOME OF THESE COMPANIES TO PROVIDE QUALITY RAIL SERVICE, AND THE ABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT TO REGULATE THE NEW OWNERS. /// END OPT ///

    SUPPORTERS OF PRIVATIZATION HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERNS ABOUT THE UPCOMING BRITISH GENERAL ELECTIONS AND THE OPPOSITION LABOR PARTY'S LARGE LEAD IN THE POLLS. SOME FEAR THE LABOR PARTY, WHICH FIRST NATIONALIZED THE RAILWAYS, MIGHT TRY TO DO IT AGAIN.

    MR. COX SAID HE DOES NOT BELIEVE THE RAILWAYS WILL GO BACK TO PUBLIC HANDS IF LABOR WINS, BUT HE DOES THINK THERE WILL BE MORE GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN THE RAIL SYSTEM:

    /// COX ACT ///

    THE LABOR PARTY HAS ALREADY ACKNOWLEDGED THAT PRIVATIZATION HAS PRETTY MUCH GONE FURTHER THAN IT WOULD LIKE FOR IT TO BE ABLE TO BE COMPLETELY UNDONE. THEREFORE, IF WE GET A LABOR GOVERNMENT, AS AT THE MOMENT SEEMS QUITE LIKELY, WHAT THEY'RE LIKELY TO LOOK AT DOING IS CONCENTRATING ON MAKING SURE THAT THE REGULATOR HAS SUFFICIENT POWER TO BE ABLE TO KEEP THE NEW OPERATORS IN CHECK AND TO BE ABLE TO COME DOWN QUITE HARD ON THEM IF THEY DO TRANSGRESS THE TERMS OF THEIR FRANCHISES.

    /// END COX ACT ///

    MR. COX ALSO SAID THAT IF PRIVATIZATION IS A SUCCESS IN BRITAIN, IT COULD START A TREND FOR THE REST OF EUROPE. HOWEVER, HE WARNED THAT THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY WOULD HAVE TO TAKE STEPS TO MAINTAIN THE EASY CONNECTIONS BETWEEN COUNTRIES IF OTHER EUROPEAN RAIL SERVICES ARE TRANSFERRED TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR. (SIGNED)
    NEB/LR/JWH
    01-Apr-97 9:06 AM EST (1406 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] BULGARIA ECONOMY (L-ONLY) BY BARRY WOOD (PRAGUE)

    DATE=4/1/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212311
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE "O-E-C-D" -- ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT -- HAS RELEASED A REPORT ON BULGARIA'S ECONOMY WHICH CONCLUDES THAT THE COUNTRY IS IN THE MIDST OF AN ECONOMIC CRISIS FROM WHICH THERE IS NO EASY SOLUTION. V-O-A'S BARRY WOOD REPORTS.

    TEXT: THIS DEPRESSING O-E-C-D REPORT BEGINS WITH THE WORDS, "BULGARIA IS IN THE MIDST OF A MAJOR ECONOMIC CRISIS." FOR 147 PAGES THE REPORT CHRONICLES THE LOST OPPORTUNITIES AND MISTAKES OF SUCCESSIVE GOVERNMENTS OVER THE PAST SIX YEARS. THE PARIS-BASED RESEARCH AGENCY, WHICH BULGARIA HOPES TO JOIN, SAYS BULGARIA HAS FOR A LONG TIME WRITTEN GOOD LAWS ON ECONOMIC REFORM BUT REPEATEDLY FAILED TO IMPLEMENT THEM. THE O-E-C-D SAYS THE LOST TIME, THE DEEP COMPRESSION OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE LOSS OF CONFIDENCE BY BUSINESS AND CONSUMERS MAKES THE TASK OF RECOVERY NOW ARDUOUS AND COMPLICATED.

    THE REPORT WAS WRITTEN BACK IN JANUARY WHEN BULGARIA WAS AT THE WORST STAGE OF ITS YEAR-LONG PLUNGE INTO ECONOMIC TURMOIL. THE CURRENCY WAS SWIFTLY LOSING VALUE WHILE INFLATION ROARED AHEAD. GOODS STARTED DISAPPEARING FROM STORE SHELVES AS PANIC BUYING AND HOARDING DISTORTED NORMAL BUSINESS ACTIVITY. SINCE THEN, THE SOCIALIST GOVERNMENT HAS RESIGNED, A NEW CONSERVATIVE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN INAUGURATED AND PARLIAMENT ELECTIONS ARE TO BE HELD APRIL 19TH. BULGARIA IS GOVERNED BY A CARETAKER ADMINISTRATION WHICH IS TRYING TO LAY A FOUNDATION FOR RAPID PRIVATIZATION, FINANCIAL STABILIZATION, AND EVENTUAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY. AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED WITH THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND FOR A LARGE LINE OF CREDIT AND A TOUGH FINANCIAL STABILIZATION PLAN, CALLED A "CURRENCY BOARD," IS TO BE SET UP WITHIN THE NEXT FEW MONTHS.

    //OPT//

    THE O-E-C-D SAYS A CURRENCY BOARD REQUIREMENT THAT BULGARIA'S CURRENCY BE LINKED AT FIXED RATE TO A STRONG WESTERN CURRENCY IS A GOOD IDEA. BUT THE O-E-C-D WARNS THAT THE SYSTEM IS NOT A PANACEA. //END OPT//

    STEVE HANKE, THE AMERICAN ECONOMIST WHO IS ADVISING THE BULGARIANS ON THE CURRENCY BOARD SYSTEM, SAYS THE HARD PART ISN'T SETTING IT UP, BUT MAKING GOOD ON ITS REQUIREMENTS.

    //HANKE ACT//

    THEY CAN IMPLEMENT A CURRENCY BOARD, ANYONE CAN. THERE ARE NO PRE-CONDITIONS. THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THEY WILL BE ABLE TO IMPLEMENT THE POLICIES NECESSITATED BY THIS TOUGH AND DISCIPLINED MONETARY SYSTEM ... WHETHER THEY WILL BE ABLE TO DISCIPLINE THEMSELVES IN THE SECOND STAGE -- PRIVATIZING THE ECONOMY, REFORMING THE ECONOMY, AND OPENING THE ECONOMY UP AND GETTING IT MOVING.

    //END ACT//

    UNDER THE CURRENCY BOARD SYSTEM, THE GOVERNMENT WILL ONLY BE ABLE TO SPEND MONEY UP TO THE LIMIT OF ITS FOREIGN CURRENCY RESERVES. THERE WILL NO OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE CREDITS TO LOSS MAKING, (UNPROFITABLE) STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES. THE BUDGET WILL HAVE TO BROUGHT CLOSE TO BALANCE.

    //REST OPT//

    THE O-E-C-D SAYS BULGARIA'S POLICIES THROUGHOUT THE 1990S HAVE LACKED CONSISTENCY AND CONTINUITY AND THAT THE PRESENT CRISIS NECESSITATES PROFOUND EFFORTS IN STABILIZATION AND REFORM. OR, AS THE NEW BULGARIAN PRESIDENT PUTS IT, THE COUNTRY MUST REFORM OR DIE.

    THIS WEEK THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT APPROVED A LIST OF 30 STATE-OWNED COMPANIES -- INCLUDING BALKAN AIRLINES AND TWO SHIPYARDS -- TO BE SOLD. OUTSIDE ADVISORS ARE BEING BROUGHT IN TO ARRANGE THE SALE OF THE OIL REFINERY AND THE STEEL WORKS. THOUSANDS OF WORKERS ARE TO LOSE THEIR JOBS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/BDW/PCF
    01-Apr-97 11:40 AM EST (1640 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] DIPLOMATIC PARKING (L ONLY) BY ELAINE JOHANSON (UNITED NATIONS)

    DATE=3/31/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212267
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: DIFFICULT PARKING IN CROWDED NEW YORK CITY HAS BEEN RAISED TO NEW LEVELS OF DRIVER DISCONTENT. THE CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER OF THE UNITED NATIONS APPEALED IN VAIN MONDAY TO THE UNITED STATES TO POSTPONE A TOUGH ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM FOR PARKING VIOLATIONS BY DIPLOMATS -- DUE TO TAKE EFFECT APRIL FIRST. V-O-A'S CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REPORTS:

    TEXT: DIPLOMATS AT THE UNITED NATIONS REFUSED TO BOW TO THE INEVITABLE. AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR -- U-N LEGAL COUNSEL HANS CORELL OF SWEDEN STEPPED IN. HE NORMALLY DOES NOT PARTICIPATE IN U-N DEBATES. BUT MR. CORELL WORRIED THE PARKING MATTER WOULD GET OUT OF HAND, AFTER SOME DELEGATIONS THREATENED TO TAKE THE ISSUE TO THE U-N GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

    //CORELL ACT//

    SEVERAL DELEGATIONS HERE HAVE ASKED FOR DEFERMENT. I AM JUST PLEADING WITH THE AUTHORITIES OF THE HOST COUNTRY IS IT NOT POSSIBLE TO GIVE IT A LITTLE MORE TIME BEFORE THE MATTER RAISES TO HIGHER LEVELS.

    //END ACT//

    A DELEGATE FROM FRANCE EVEN SUGGESTED MOVING THE UNITED NATIONS OUT OF NEW YORK AND DECLARING ITS TRAFFIC SITUATION A DISASTER.

    THE U-N LEGAL OFFICE HAS FOUND CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF THE NEW YORK ENFORCEMENT PLAN TO BE LEGALLY SUSPECT -- A POSSIBLE VIOLATION OF THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES GUARANTEED FOREIGN MISSIONS. THEY INCLUDE THE CONFISCATION OF LICENSE PLATES FROM DIPLOMATS WHO HAVE FAILED TO PAY PARKING FINES FOR ONE YEAR.

    THE LEGAL OFFICE OVERALL WELCOMED THE NEW PROGRAM AS AN ATTEMPT BY THE CITY TO SMOOTH OUT ROUGH RELATIONS BETWEEN DIPLOMATS AND TRAFFIC AUTHORITIES. THE CITY IS SETTING UP A "HOTLINE" TO SETTLE COMPLAINTS. AND DELEGATIONS WILL BE AWARDED ADDITIONAL PARKING SPACES. HOWEVER, NOT EVERYTHING APPARENTLY IS OPERATIONAL AT THIS POINT. THE U-N'S CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER WARNED PUTTING THE PLAN INTO EFFECT BEFORE IT IS READY COULD LEAD TO CREDIBILITY PROBLEMS AND EVEN MORE DIFFICULTIES IN THE FUTURE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PT
    31-Mar-97 7:14 PM EST (0014 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] EDITORIAL: BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS

    DATE= APRIL 2 , 1997
    TYPE= EDITORIAL
    NUMBER= 0-07218
    CONTENT=THIS IS THE ONLY EDITORIAL BEING RELEASED FOR BROADCAST
    APRIL 2, 1997.

    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:

    UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POLITICAL AFFAIRS PETER TARNOFF RECENTLY MET WITH BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER STEFAN SOFIYANSKI IN WASHINGTON. MR. TARNOFF CITED THE STATESMANSHIP SHOWN BY BOTH MR. SOFIYANSKI AND BULGARIAN PRESIDENT PETER STOYANOV DURING THE POLITICAL UNREST IN BULGARIA IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY. THE CRISIS ENDED WITH THE SOCIALISTS GIVING UP POWER AFTER THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TOOK TO THE STREETS TO PROTEST THE GROWING ECONOMIC CRISIS. AN INTERIM GOVERNMENT WAS FORMED AND NEW PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS ARE SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 19TH. MR. TARNOFF PRAISED BULGARIA'S RECORD OF FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS AND THE STRENGTH OF ITS DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS.

    THE U.S. RECOGNIZES THE DIFFICULT ECONOMIC SITUATION THAT BULGARIA FACES. THE NEW GOVERNMENT INHERITED AN ECONOMY RACKED BY HYPERINFLATION, FUEL AND FOOD SHORTAGES, A DEPRECIATING CURRENCY, HUGE FOREIGN DEBTS AND STAGNANT INDUSTRY. TO TURN THE ECONOMY AROUND, MR. SOFIYANSKI HAS PROPOSED FREEING PRICES TO REDUCE SHORTAGES; A DRASTIC INDUSTRIAL RESTRUCTURING, INCLUDING CLOSURE OF UNPROFITABLE STATE ENTERPRISES; PRIVATIZATION OF STATE ENTERPRISES AND BANKS; AND A BALANCED BUDGET. THESE REFORMS HAVE WON THE SUPPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND. MR. TARNOFF WELCOMED THE BULGARIAN GOVERNMENT'S DECISION TO APPLY FOR NATO MEMBERSHIP AS A SIGNAL OF BULGARIA'S INTENTION TO INTEGRATE ITSELF FULLY INTO THE WEST.

    THE U.S. COMMENDS ALL BULGARIAN PARTIES FOR RESOLVING THE POLITICAL CRISIS AND PROVIDING A MANDATE FOR THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT TO PURSUE REFORM. THE U.S. ENCOURAGES BULGARIANS TO STAY ON THE DIFFICULT PATH OF ECONOMIC REFORM AND LOOKS FORWARD TO FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS LATER THIS MONTH.

    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.
    01-Apr-97 3:49 PM EST (2049 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [06] EURO STOCKS (S-UPDATE) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=4/1/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212312
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// EDS: UPDATES EARLIER SPOT WITH CLOSING FIGURES AND ECONOMIST ACTUALITY ///

    INTRO: FOLLOWING WALL STREET'S BIG DECLINE AROUND THE EASTER WEEKEND, MAJOR STOCK MARKETS IN WESTERN EUROPE OPENED SHARPLY LOWER TUESDAY FOLLOWING THEIR EASTER HOLIDAY BREAK. V-O-A'S PAUL FRANCUCH HAS THE CLOSING FIGURES FROM OUR OFFICES IN LONDON.

    TEXT: PRICES FELL IMMEDIATELY AFTER MARKETS OPENED BUT RECOVERED SLIGHTLY LATER, FOLLOWING THE UPWARD TREND IN NEW YORK. BUT THE CLOSING FIGURES WERE DOWN SHARPLY FROM LAST THURSDAY, WITH THE "DAX 30" IN FRANKFURT DOWN 133 POINTS, THE "FINANCIAL TIMES" 100 HERE IN LONDON OFF 65 POINTS AND THE "CAC 40" INDEX IN PARIS DOWN 75 POINTS FOR THE DAY.

    ECONOMIST DAVID KERN AT LONDON'S "NAT WEST" BANK SAYS WHILE EUROPEAN MARKETS ARE PROBABLY SOMEWHAT OVERVALUED, SIGNS OF ECONOMIC HEALTH IN WESTERN EUROPE REMAIN GOOD.

    ///KERN ACT///

    I THINK THE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK WOULD REMAIN ... I WOULD NOT SAY "ROSY" BUT WILL REMAIN ONE OF MODEST GROWTH WITH STABLE INFLATION ... (AND) WILL REMAIN SO BOTH IN AMERICAN AND IN WESTERN EUROPE, ALTHOUGH WESTERN EUROPE IS BEHIND AMERICA IN THE PLACE IN THE CYCLE WHERE IT FINDS ITSELF.

    ///END ACT//

    NAT WEST BANK CHIEF ECONOMIST DAVID KERN AGREES WITH OTHER ANALYSTS THAT U-S INTEREST RATES WILL REMAIN A KEY FACTOR IN STOCK MARKET PRICES WORLDWIDE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/RRM
    01-Apr-97 12:09 PM EST (1709 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [07] GERMANY / ARSON (S ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BONN)

    DATE=4/1/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212292
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: HUNDREDS OF MOURNERS HAVE GATHERED AT THE SITE OF A FIRE THAT KILLED THREE MEMBERS OF A TURKISH FAMILY IN GERMANY ON MONDAY. AUTHORITIES BELIEVE THE FIRE WAS SET INTENTIONALLY, BUT AS V-O-A'S KYLE KING REPORTS, OFFICIALS SAY THEY STILL HAVE NO MOTIVE FOR THE ATTACK.

    TEXT: AUTHORITIES SAY THEIR INVESTIGATION OF THE DEADLY BLAZE IS MOVING AHEAD IN ALL POSSIBLE DIRECTIONS, BUT THERE IS NO INDICATION THE FIRE WAS POLITICALLY MOTIVATED OR DIRECTED AGAINST FOREIGNERS. A 41-YEAR-OLD TURKISH WOMAN AND TWO OF HER TEENAGE CHILDREN DIED AS A RESULT OF THE FIRE AND TWO OTHER CHILDREN WERE SERIOUSLY INJURED WHEN THEY JUMPED FROM THE BURNING BUILDING.

    AUTHORITIES IN THE TOWN OF KREFELD SAY THEY FOUND EVIDENCE OF A FLAMMABLE LIQUID NEAR THE DOOR TO THE THIRD FLOOR APARTMENT, BUT LITTLE ELSE IS KNOWN ABOUT THE CAUSE OF THE BLAZE.

    TURKISH PRESIDENT SULEYMAN DEMIREL HAS CALLED FOR A SPEEDY INVESTIGATION OF THE FIRE, WHICH SOME TURKISH NEWSPAPERS QUICKLY LABELED AN ANTI-FOREIGNER ATTACK. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/JWH
    01-Apr-97 7:23 AM EST (1223 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [08] ITALY ALBANIANS (L-ONLY) BY PEGGY POLK (ROME)

    DATE=4/1/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212304
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    // RE-RUNNING FOR TECHNICAL REASONS //

    INTRO: ITALY IS GOING AHEAD WITH PREPARATIONS TO DEPLOY TROOPS IN ALBANIA, DESPITE ANGER OVER THE SINKING LAST FRIDAY OF AN ALBANIAN REFUGEE BOAT AFTER IT COLLIDED WITH AN ITALIAN WARSHIP. PEGGY POLK REPORTS FROM ROME ITALY'S DEFENSE MINISTER DENIES THE NAVAL VESSEL HAD RAMMED THE ALBANIAN BOAT.

    TEXT: APPEARING BEFORE A JOINT SESSION OF THE DEFENSE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEES OF THE ITALIAN SENATE, DEFENSE MINISTER BENIAMINO ANDREATTA CALLED IT -- ABSOLUTELY SHAMEFUL EVEN TO THINK THAT THE ITALIAN VESSEL DELIBERATELY INTENDED TO RAM THE ALBANIAN BOAT. AND HE MADE CLEAR THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS GOING AHEAD WITH PLANS TO DEPLOY AN ITALIAN-LED MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE TO SECURE ALBANIA'S MAIN PORTS AND THE TIRANA AIRPORT FOR SHIPMENTS OF EUROPEAN HUMANITARIAN AID.

    FOLLOWING A MEETING WITH THE ALBANIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN ROME TUESDAY, MR. ANDREATTA PLANS TO CONFER WEDNESDAY WITH SENIOR DEFENSE OFFICIALS FROM COUNTRIES READY TO CONTRIBUTE TROOPS. HE SAID THE FORCE -- WHICH HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE U-N SECURITY COUNCIL -- WOULD CONSIST OF BETWEEN FOUR-THOSAND AND SIX-THOUSAND TROOPS. //OPT// HE LISTED THE COUNTRIES WILLING TO TAKE PART AS FRANCE, SPAIN, PORTUGAL, GREECE, TURKEY, AUSTRIA, ROMANIA, HUNGARY, SLOVENIA, DENMARK, AND SWEDEN. //END OPT//

    SEEKING TO DEFUSE CONTROVERSY OVER THE SINKING OF THE ALBANIAN BOAT, MR. ANDREATTA SAID HE HAD INVITED ALBANIAN NAVAL EXPERTS TO JOIN INVESTIGATIONS INTO THE DISASTER.

    ITALIAN VESSELS RESCUED 34 SURVIVORS AND RECOVERED FOUR BODIES FRIDAY NIGHT. ALBANIAN AUTHORITIES HAVE SAID 79 MORE PASSENGERS MAY BE MISSING, BUT ITALIAN OFFICIALS SAID THEY DOUBTED THE 20-METER HARBOR PATROL BOAT COULD HAVE HELD THAT MANY PEOPLE.

    MR. ANDREATTA TOLD THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEES THAT THE ANTIQUATED, RUSSIAN-BUILT CRAFT HAD BEEN STOLEN FROM AN ALBANIAN PORT, AND SUGGESTED THAT ITS CREW WAS UNQUALIFIED. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PP/PCF
    01-Apr-97 11:21 AM EST (1621 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [09] SPAIN / TRAIN CRASHES (L-ONLY) BY GIL CARBAJAL (MADRID)

    DATE=4/1/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212307
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AT LEAST 20 PEOPLE DIED AND NEARLY 120 WERE INJURED IN TWO, SEPARATE TRAIN ACCIDENTS IN SPAIN (LATE MONDAY AND EARLY TUESDAY). GIL CARBAJAL IN MADRID REPORTS 18 PEOPLE WERE KILLED AND NEARLY 100 INJURED IN A DERAILMENT NEAR PAMPLONA, AND TWO PEOPLE DIED AND 22 WERE INJURED IN AN ACCIDENT NEAR MADRID.

    TEXT: THE INTER-CITY TRAIN TRAVELING BETWEEN BARCELONA AND THE BORDER TOWN OF HENDAYE IN SOUTHWESTERN FRANCE WAS FILLED TO ITS 248-PASSENGER CAPACITY WHEN IT DERAILED AT THE STATION OF A SMALL TOWN 30 KILOMETERS NORTHWEST OF PAMPLONA.

    OFFICIALS SAID THE 18 DEAD RANGED IN AGE FROM 13 TO 67. SEVERAL OF THE INJURED REMAIN IN SERIOUS CONDITION IN A HOSPITAL.

    THE TRAIN WAS FILLED WITH FAMILIES RETURNING FROM A LONG EASTER HOLIDAY WEEKEND. SPANISH OFFICIALS SAID THE TRAIN WAS TRAVELING MORE THAN 130 KILOMETERS AN HOUR WHEN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN MOVING AT 48 KILOMETERS (30 M-P-H) AN HOUR.

    THE ENGINE -- FOLLOWED BY THREE CARRIAGES -- WENT OFF THE TRACK, WHILE A FOURTH CARRIAGE REMAINED UPRIGHT ON THE TRACKS. THE TRAIN WAS SWITCHING TRACKS TO MAKE WAY FOR A TRAIN COMING THE OTHER WAY.

    /// OPT ///

    USUALLY, THIS OPERATION TAKES PLACE AT ANOTHER STATION FARTHER NORTH. BUT THAT STATION WAS VANDALIZED RECENTLY BY SUPPORTERS OF THE BASQUE SEPARATIST GROUP ETA. /// END OPT
    ///

    LESS THAN 10 HOURS LATER, A TRAIN WITH 84 PASSENGERS TRAVELING BETWEEN BARCELONA AND MALAGA DERAILED IN A TOWN 30 KILOMETERS NORTHEAST OF MADRID. A TRAIN EMPLOYEE WAS KILLED INSTANTLY AND A FRENCH PASSENGER DIED ON THE WAY TO THE HOSPITAL.

    THE TRAIN ACCIDENT NEAR PAMPLONA IS THE WORST IN SPAIN SINCE SEPTEMBER 1980, WHEN 27 PEOPLE DIED AND 40 WERE INJURED WHEN A TRAIN COLLIDED WITH A BUS NEAR VALENCIA. (SIGNED)
    NEB/GC/JWH
    01-Apr-97 10:57 AM EST (1557 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [10] TUESDAY'S HEADLINES BY NEAL LAVON (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=04/01/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10094
    TELEPHONE=619-0112
    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: TRIPS ABROAD BY THE VICE PRESIDENT, FIRST LADY AND SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE ARE THE LEADING TOPICS FOR COMMENT THIS DAY IN THE U-S PRESS.

    ALSO UNDER DISCUSSION IS THE OPENING OF THE TRIAL OF TIMOTHY MCVEIGH (MICK-VAY), ACCUSED IN THE 1995 BOMBING OF A FEDERAL BUILDING IN OKLAHOMA CITY IN WHICH 168 DIED.

    AND TWO COMMENTARIES COVER TODAY'S (4/1) OPENING OF THE AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL SEASON.

    WITH MORE, HERE'S__________WITH THE U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    ANNCR: THE TRIAL OF TIMOTHY MCVEIGH OPENED YESTERDAY IN DENVER, COLORADO. HE IS THE CHIEF SUSPECT IN THE 1995 OKLAHOMA CITY BOMBING THAT CLAIMED THE LIVES OF 168 VICTIMS.

    MCVEIGH'S LAWYERS HAVE ARGUED THAT THE PUBLICITY GENERATED BY THE NEWS COVERAGE OF THE BOMBING HAVE MADE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEIR CLIENT TO RECEIVE A FAIR AND IMPARTIAL TRIAL.

    U-S-A TODAY DISAGREES.

    VOICE: "THE QUESTION IN THE DENVER COURTROOM THIS WEEK IS THE SAME AS IT WAS CENTURIES AGO IN THE VALES OF ENGLAND: WHATEVER THEY'VE HEARD AND SEEN. WHATEVER THEIR FEELINGS, CAN JURORS PUT THAT ASIDE TO DISCHARGE THEIR CIVIC DUTY? CAN THEY MAKE A DECISION BASED SOLELY ON THE EVIDENCE HEARD IN COURT? [BEGIN OPT] MCVEIGH'S LAWYERS HAVE USED EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO ARGUE THAT HE CAN'T GET A FAIR TRIAL. BUT THE OVERWHELMING TESTIMONY FROM THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED IS THAT [END OPT] JURORS TAKE THEIR JOBS VERY SERIOUSLY. THEY DO TRY CONSCIENTIOUSLY TO RENDER VERDICTS SOLELY ON THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED. THERE'S EVERY REASON TO BELIEVE THAT DESPITE THE NOTORIETY OF THE OKLAHOMA BOMBING, MCVEIGH WILL GET A FAIR TRIAL IN DENVER."

    ANNCR: BOTH VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE AND SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE NEWT GINGRICH VISITED CHINA AND THE FAR EAST LAST WEEK.

    THE NEW YORK TIMES SAID THE TWO VISITS COULD LEAD THE CHINESE INTO CONFUSION OVER U-S POLICY.

    VOICE: "MR. GORE ARRIVED WITH A CONCILIATORY MESSAGE ABOUT IMPROVING RELATIONS AND SEEMED HOBBLED BY THE WHITE HOUSE FUND-RAISING MESS. MR. GINGRICH DELIVERED A FORCEFUL STATEMENT OF CONCERN ABOUT CHINA'S HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AND SUPPRESSIONS OF DISSENT AND EVEN THREW IN A GRATUITOUS COMMITMENT TO DEFEND TAIWAN MILITARILY IF IT WAS ATTACKED BY CHINA. MR. GINGRICH IS ENTITLED TO HIS VIEWS, AND HIS COMMENTS ABOUT CHINA'S RECORD WERE REFRESHINGLY CANDID COMPARED WITH THE OBLIQUE CRITICISM FAVORED THESE DAYS BY THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION. BUT MR. GINGRICH WAS PRESUMPTUOUS TO SPEAK FOR THE UNITED STATES, PARTICULARLY ON THE SENSITIVE ISSUE OF TAIWAN. IT IS NOT FOR CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS TO SET THE TERMS OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY OR TO MAKE BLANKET COMMITMENTS ABOUT THE USE OF U-S FORCE."

    ANNCR: FOR A WASHINGTON POLITICAL JUDGMENT OF THE TWO VISITS, RICHARD COHEN, WRITING IN THE WASHINGTON POST, OFFERS:

    VOICE: "IT IS A MEASURE OF EITHER VICE PRESIDENT GORE'S PREDICAMENT OR HIS POLITICAL INEPTITUDE THAT NEWT GINGRICH, THE MOST REVILED MAN IN AMERICA NOT IN A CULT, BEAT THE PANTS OFF HIM IN CHINA. IT WAS GINGRICH, NOT GORE, WHO DELIVERED A RED-BLOODED (FORCEFUL) AMERICAN STATEMENT ON HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES, AND IT WAS GINGRICH, NOT GORE, WHO TOLD THE CHINESE TO BE NICE TO HONG KONG, AND WHILE THEY'RE AT IT, TAIWAN. MAYBE GINGRICH OUGHT TO STAY ABROAD--AND GORE NEVER LEAVE HOME."

    ANNCR: BUT TOM PLATE, WRITING IN TODAY'S LOS ANGELES TIMES, WARNS AGAINST DRAWING CONCLUSIONS ABOUT MR. GORE'S TRIP FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF AMERICAN POLITICS.

    VOICE: "IN SINO-AMERICAN RELATIONS, HIGH-LEVEL STUMBLES ARE VIRTUALLY UNAVOIDABLE...VICE PRESIDENT GORE FOUND THAT OUT THE HARD WAY LAST WEEK...HE BOBBLED THE CHINESE CAMPAIGN FINANCING ISSUE AND SPILLED SOME BUBBLY DURING A TENSE CHAMPAGNE TOAST AT THE OFFICIAL DINNER IN BEIJING. AFTERWARD, THE WASHINGTON PRESS CORPS WAS ALL OVER HIM FOR THE WEAK PERFORMANCE. BIG DEAL. THE PRAGMATIC CHINESE AND THE WORRIED KOREANS WERE MORE THAN HAPPY TO HOST GORE, CHILLS, SPILLS AND ALL. TOO BAD HE GOT THOSE NASTY REVIEWS IN THE WASHINGTON PRESS....BECAUSE THE TRIP WAS WORTH MAKING."

    ANNCR: FIRST LADY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON AND DAUGHTER CHELSEA RETURNED FROM A VISIT TO AFRICA WHICH INCLUDED A TOUR OF SIX COUNTRIES. THE WASHINGTON TIMES SAID MRS. CLINTON'S MAIN CONCERNS WERE ECONOMIC GROWTH, POLITICAL STABILITY, HEALTH AND HUMAN RIGHTS. BUT THE TIMES POINTED OUT THAT MRS. CLINTON CHOSE TO FOCUS ON THE CONTINENT'S SUCCESS STORIES WHILE OVERLOOKING SOME OF AFRICA'S MAJOR TROUBLE SPOTS.

    VOICE: "THE TRUTH IS THAT MANY OF THE MAJOR ISSUES FACING THE AFRICAN CONTINENT WENT UNADDRESSED, BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT CENTERED IN ANY OF THE HAPPIER COUNTRIES THE FIRST LADY CHOSE TO VISIT. THE CENTRAL AFRICAN COUNTRY OF ZAIRE IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE...THE UNITED STATES HAS TAKEN CERTAIN MEASURES TO ISOLATE AFRICA'S LARGEST COUNTRY, SUDAN, WHICH HAS A WRETCHED RECORD IN SUPPORT OF TERRORISM...REFUGEE CRISES ABOUND IN COUNTRIES LIKE RWANDA, BURUNDI AND ZAIRE...MRS. CLINTON DESERVES CREDIT FOR POINTING OUT SOME OF THE PROGRESS AND SOME OF THE CHALLENGES FACING SOME OF AFRICA. BUT HER TWO-WEEK SOJOURN CANNOT REPLACE THE IMPORTANT POLICY DECISIONS THAT THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION MAINLY SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN DUCKING FOR MORE THAN FOUR YEARS NOW."

    ANNCR: FINALLY, TODAY IS OPENING DAY FOR THE NORTH AMERICAN PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL MAJOR LEAGUES. THE WEATHER HASN'T BEEN VERY COOPERATIVE IN THE EAST BUT MOST GAMES WILL BE PLAYED. THIS YEAR, BASEBALL MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BREAKING OF THE GAME'S COLOR LINE BY THE LATE JACKIE ROBINSON. THE WASHINGTON POST NOTES AN IRONY IN BASEBALL'S YEAR-LONG OBSERVANCE.

    VOICE: "BASEBALL, A THRIVING PRESENCE AMONG BLACK AMERICANS DURING THE SEGREGATION ERA, WHEN NEGRO LEAGUE TEAMS DREW HUGE CROWDS IN THE BIG-CITY STADIUMS, HAS LOST MUCH OF ITS APPEAL TO BLACK KIDS WHO WOULD HAVE PLAYED THE GAME IN GENERATIONS PAST, AND TO BLACK FANS. FOR WHATEVER REASONS (AND THE EXPLANATIONS OFFERED ARE MANY), IT SOMETIMES SEEMS AS IF THERE ARE MORE AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE DUGOUTS AT SOME MAJOR LEAGUE STADIUMS THAN IN THE SEATS."

    ANNCR: THOSE FANS SITTING IN STADIUM SEATS OR LUXURY BOXES ARE BOTH THE RECIPIENTS AND THE TARGETS OF WHAT ONE ECONOMIST CALLS "SPORTS WELFARE". RAYMOND J. KEATING, CHIEF ECONOMIST OF THE SMALL BUSINESS SURVIVAL FOUNDATION, WRITES IN TODAY'S WASHINGTON TIMES:

    VOICE: "THE START OF EACH BASEBALL SEASON ALSO SERVES AS A REMINDER OF HOW PREVALENT SPORTS WELFARE HAS BECOME. FOR DECADES NOW, TAXPAYERS HAVE BEEN TARGETS OF BEAN BALLS THROWN BY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND TEAM OWNERS. ARMED WITH BOGUS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT REPORTS AND VAGUE PSYCHO-BABBLE ABOUT HOW A COMMUNITY BONDS WHEN IT HAS A BASEBALL TEAM THAT PLAYS IN A NEW BALLPARK WITH REVENUE-GENERATING LUXURY BOXES, THIS GOVERNMENT-BASEBALL LINE-UP HAS FORCED TAXPAYERS TO FIELD BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN THE 1990S ALONE FOR NEW BALLPARKS ACROSS THE NATION....[BEGIN OPT] THE MINNESOTA TWINS WANT SOME $200 MILLION FROM STATE TAXPAYERS TOWARDS A NEW STADIUM ...[AND] TWINS' OWNERS ARE OFFERING THE STATE OF MINNESOTA A 49 PERCENT SHARE IN TEAM OWNERSHIP AS AN ENTICEMENT FOR FUNDING. THE STATE WOULD ALSO BE ABLE TO APPROVE ANY DEAL IF CURRENT OWNERS DECIDE TO SELL, OR EVEN PURCHASE THE REMAINING 51 PERCENT OWNERSHIP ITSELF. THAT'S RIGHT, THE TWINS COULD BECOME THE FIRST COMPLETELY SOCIALIZED MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM."

    ANNCR: WITH THAT, WE WIND UP THIS EDITION OF TODAY'S U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST. (SIGNED)
    NEB/NL/NES
    01-Apr-97 1:58 PM EST (1858 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [11] TURKEY / KURDS (L ONLY) BY AMBERIN ZAMAN (ANKARA)

    DATE=4/1/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212302
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: A NEW POLITICAL PARTY HAS BEEN FORMED IN TURKEY, SEEKING TO PROMOTE THE RIGHTS OF THE COUNTRY'S ESTIMATED 12-MILLION KURDS THIS DESPITE STRINGENT CONSTITUTIONAL BANS ON THE PROMOTION OF ETHNIC RIGHTS. AMBERIN ZAMAN TALKED WITH THE CHAIRMAN OF THE NEW GROUP, THE DEMOCRATIC MASS PARTY, SERAFETTIN ELCI, AND FILED THIS REPORT.

    TEXT: SERAFETTIN ELCI, THE LEADER OF THE NEWLY ESTABLISHED DEMOCRATIC MASS PARTY, OR D-K-P, SAYS THE TURKISH STATE WAS BUILT ON THE PREMISE THAT THE COUNTRY'S KURDISH MINORITY DID NOT EXIST.

    THIS IS WHAT MR. ELCI TERMS THE INJUSTICE THAT HIS PARTY WILL SEEK TO ELIMINATE. MR. ELCI SAYS THE CONTINUED DENIAL OF THE KURDISH PROBLEM BY SUCCESSIVE TURKISH GOVERNMENTS AND THE TURKISH STATE LIES AT THE ROOT OF THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC PROBLEMS AND WHAT HE TERMS THE FRAGILITY OF ITS DEMOCRACY

    /// ELCI ACT -- FADE UNDER ///

    MR. ELCI INSISTS THAT UNTIL THE KURDISH PROBLEM IS ADDRESSED THROUGH POLITICAL RATHER THAN THROUGH PURELY MILITARY MEANS TURKEY CANNOT BECOME A FULL DEMOCRACY AND STRENGTHEN ITS ECONOMY.

    AN ESTIMATED SEVEN-BILLION DOLLARS ARE SPENT EVERY YEAR ON THE MILITARY CAMPAIGN IN THE MAINLY KURDISH SOUTHEAST AGAINST REBELS OF THE KURDISTAN WORKERS PARTY, OR P-K-K. THE P-K-K HAS BEEN FIGHTING TURKISH SECURITY FORCES FOR MORE THAN 13 YEARS TO ESTABLISH AN INDEPENDENT KURDISH STATE.

    MR. ELCI BELIEVES THAT WHAT HE TERMS THE SUPPRESSION OF KURDISH CULTURAL RIGHTS HAS HELPED CREATE A FERTILE BREEDING GROUND FOR THE P-K-K.

    THESE INCLUDE CURRENT BANS ON BROADCASTING AND EDUCATION IN THE KURDISH LANGUAGE AND TREATING WHAT MR. ELCI TERMS KURDISH CIVILIANS IN THE SOUTHEAST REGION AS POTENTIAL TERRORISTS.

    BUT HE IS QUICK TO ADD THAT HIS PARTY IS FIRMLY OPPOSED TO THE P-K-K AND ITS VIOLENT TACTICS, WHICH INCLUDE KILLING CIVILIANS AS WELL.

    /// ELCI ACT - FADE UNDER ///

    MR. ELCI ADDS, HOWEVER, THAT IT IS NOT UP TO HIS PARTY TO COMBAT THE P-K-K.

    MANY POLITICAL OBSERVERS BELIEVE THAT MR. ELCI AND HIS PARTY FACE A HUGE CHALLENGE AT A TIME WHEN THE MAJORITY OF TURKS ARE OPPOSED TO GRANTING GREATER POLITICAL AUTONOMY TO THE KURDS BECAUSE THEY FEAR THAT THIS WILL TRANSLATE INTO FULL INDEPENDENCE.

    IT WAS PARTLY BECAUSE OF PUBLIC PRESSURE, ANALYSTS SAY, THAT SEVERAL OTHER KURDISH-BASED POLITICAL PARTIES WERE SHUT DOWN IN RECENT YEARS AND SOME OF THEIR MEMBERS JAILED.

    MR. ELCI ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HIS FELLOW KURDISH POLITICIANS WERE WHAT THE TERMS PROVOCATIVE AND INSENSITIVE TO THE PUBLIC MOOD BY FAILING TO CONDEMN TERRORIST ACTS CARRIED OUT BY THE P-K-K AND BY FAILING TO DISTANCE ITSELF FROM THE REBEL MOVEMENT.

    /// ELCI ACT - FADE UNDER ///

    UNLIKE OTHER KURDISH BASED PARTIES, MR ELCI SAYS, HIS PARTY WILL REMAIN INDEPENDENT AND NOT ALLOW ITSELF TO BE PRESSURED EITHER BY THE P-K-K OR THE TURKISH STATE.

    THE MAIN CHALLENGE FACING MR. ELCI AND HIS PARTY NOW IS TO CONVINCE THE TURKISH STATE THAT THEY ARE NOT ADVOCATING SEPARATISM BUT ONLY GREATER RIGHTS FOR THE KURDISH PEOPLE.

    SHOULD THEY FAIL TO DO SO, ANALYSTS SAY, IT WILL NOT BE LONG BEFORE THE DEMOCRATIC MASS PARTY, ALSO FINDS ITSELF BANNED FROM POLITICS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/AZ/JWH
    01-Apr-97 10:03 AM EST (1503 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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