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Voice of America, 97-04-12

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] ALBANIA REACT (S ONLY) BY VICTOR BEATTIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [02] CROATIA ELEX (L) BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (ZAGREB)
  • [03] CROATIA ELEX (S) BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (ZAGREB)
  • [04] POPE / SARAJEVO (L ONLY) (CQ) BY CHRIS O'NEILL (SARAJEVO)

  • [01] ALBANIA REACT (S ONLY) BY VICTOR BEATTIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=4/12/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212806
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: AN AMERICAN ANALYST ON EASTERN EUROPE SAYS THE RETURN TO TIRANA OF ALBANIA'S WOULD-BE KING LEKA THE FIRST (SATURDAY) APPEARS TO BE A SIGN OF THE EXTENT OF THE DESPERATION IN THE BALKAN COUNTRY. V-O-A'S VICTOR BEATTIE REPORTS THE KING'S RETURN CAME AS AN ITALIAN-LED MULTI-NATIONAL HUMANITARIAN FORCE BEGINS TAKING UP POSITIONS IN ALBANIA:

    TEXT: MR. CROSS (OF HEIDELBERG COLLEGE, OHIO) SAYS THE RETURN OF THE PRETENDER TO THE ALBANIAN THRONE IS THE SIGN OF THE DESPERATION OF THE ALBANIAN PEOPLE:

    ///CROSS ACTUALITY///

    WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR IS SOME SALVATION FROM WHEREVER IT MAY COME. THE SITUATION BECAUSE OF THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE BECAUSE OF THEIR LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN THE EXISTING GOVERNMENT LEADS THEM TO LOOK ANYWHERE AND GRAB ONTO POSSIBLE HOPE AT THIS STAGE.

    ///END ACTUALITY///

    MR. CROSS SAYS THE WELCOME GIVEN THE WOULD-BE KING'S RETURN FROM EXILE IN SOUTH AFRICA UNDERSCORES THE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING IN ALBANIA OF DEMOCRACY AND FREE-MARKET REFORM. THE 57-YEAR OLD LEKA URGED THE NATIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT TO ALLOW A REFERENDUM SO THE PEOPLE CAN DECIDE WHETHER THEY WANT A REPUBLIC OR A MONARCHY. HE PLEDGED TO RESPECT THE OUTCOME SUGGESTING HE COULD UNIFY THE NATION.

    LEKA WAS AN INFANT WHEN HIS LATE FATHER, KING ZOG, FLED FASCIST ITALY'S TAKEOVER IN 1939. HE RETURNED BRIEFLY TO ALBANIA IN 1993, BUT WAS QUICKLY DEPORTED. THIS TIME, HE WAS ALLOWED BY AUTHORITIES TO RETURN.

    ASKED WHY HE RETURNED AT THE TIME HUNDREDS HAVE DIED IN VIOLENCE SPARKED BY THE COLLAPSE OF HIGH-RISK GET-RICH INVESTMENT SCHEMES, LEKA SAID HIS PEOPLE ARE SUFFERING. HIS ARRIVAL COINCIDES WITH THE DEPLOYMENT OF THE FIRST ELEMENTS OF AN ITALIAN-LED FORCE TO DISTRIBUTE FOOD AND OTHER EMERGENCY AID. (SIGNED)
    NEB/SD
    12-Apr-97 6:39 PM EDT (2239 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] CROATIA ELEX (L) BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (ZAGREB)

    DATE=4/12/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212795
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: VOTERS IN CROATIA ARE PREPARING TO CAST BALLOTS SUNDAY FOR LOCAL AND REGIONAL ASSEMBLIES AND THE 63-SEAT UPPER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT. IT WILL BE THE FIRST PEACE-TIME ELECTION IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC, AND ALSO THE FIRST TIME THAT SERB RESIDENTS OF THE U-N ADMINISTERED ENCLAVE OF EASTERN SLAVONIA WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE. VOA'S DOUGLAS ROBERTS IN ZAGREB REPORTS THE RULING CROATIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION, THE H-D-Z, IS FACING A STIFF CHALLENGE FROM HALF A DOZEN OPPOSITION PARTIES.

    TEXT: ///ACT, FREE SOUND, CAMPAIGN RALLY/// IN THE CLOSING STAGES OF THE CAMPAIGN, THE H-D-Z HAS BROUGHT OUT ITS MOST POWERFUL WEAPON, 75-YEAR-OLD PRESIDENT FRANJO TUDJMAN.

    WHILE OPINION POLLS SHOW THE RULING PARTY STEADILY LOSING GROUND OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, THE PRESIDENT'S POPULARITY REMAINS HIGH. HE IS REPORTEDLY SUFFERING FROM CANCER, BUT HE SHOWED LITTLE TRACE OF IT AT AN OUTDOOR RALLY HERE IN ZAGREB.

    STANDING BARE-HEADED AT THE PODIUM ON A COOL NIGHT, THE PRESIDENT ADDRESSED THE CROWD FOR MORE THAN HALF AN HOUR, HIS VOICE ONLY OCCASIONALLY WAVERING.

    ///ACT, TUDJMAN IN SERBO-CROAT AND CROWD CHANTS, FADE UNDER///

    WHETHER MR. TUDJMAN'S CAMPAIGN APPEARANCES WILL BE ENOUGH TO SALVAGE VICTORY FOR THE H-D-Z REMAINS TO BE SEEN.

    VOTER SURVEYS SHOW OPPOSITION CANDIDATES RUNNING AHEAD OF THE RULING PARTY IN SEVERAL KEY TOWNS. BUT ANALYSTS HERE SAY THE OPPOSITION'S FAILURE TO FORM BROAD-BASED COALITIONS HAS JEOPARDIZED ITS PROSPECTS.

    THE OPPOSITION'S CAMPAIGN HAS FOCUSSED LARGELY ON THE FALLING LIVING STANDARDS HERE AND ALLEGATIONS OF WIDESPREAD CORRUPTION BY H-D-Z OFFICIALS IN THE GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAM TO PRIVATIZE STATE-OWNED INDUSTRIES.

    THE OPPOSITION ALSO ACCUSES THE H-D-Z OF AUTHORITARIAN TACTICS, ESPECIALLY ITS DOMINATION OF THE STATE-CONTROLLED BROADCAST MEDIA.

    IN HIS CAMPAIGN ADDRESS IN ZAGREB, PRESIDENT TUDJMAN DELIVERED A BLISTERING ATTACK ON THE OPPOSITION, SINGLING OUT THE SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY, THE FORMER COMMUNISTS WHOSE POPULARITY IS ON THE UPSWING ACCORDING TO RECENT OPINION POLLS.

    MR. TUDJMAN APPEALED TO THE PATRIOTISM OF CROATIAN VOTERS, STRESSING THE H-D-Z'S ROLE IN SECURING THE COUNTRY'S INDEPENDENCE. HE CALLED THE OPPOSITION IGNORANT COMMUNISTS, IN THE PAY OF FOREIGN POWERS, WHO OPPOSED INDEPENDENCE AND SOUGHT TO KEEP CROATIA A PART OF YUGOSLAVIA.

    THE PRESIDENT DREW LOUD AND PROLONGED APPLAUSE WHEN HE REFERRED TO THE IMPENDING RESTORATION OF CROATIAN SOVEREIGNTY OVER EASTERN SLAVONIA, SEIZED BY REBEL SERB FORCES AT THE OUTSET OF THE BALKAN WAR BUT NOW UNDER A TRANSITIONAL U-N ADMINISTRATION.

    THE H-D-Z CAN COUNT ON STRONG BACKING FROM SOME 80-THOUSAND CROATS EXPELLED FROM THEIR HOMES IN THE ENCLAVE DURING THE CONFLICT.

    SERB RESIDENTS OF EASTERN SLAVONIA ARE EXPECTED TO VOTE EN MASSE FOR THEIR OWN POLITICAL PARTY, AND U-N SOURCES PREDICT THE SERB BLOC WILL GAIN CONTROL OVER TEN TO FIFTEEN MUNICIPAL COUNCILS.

    BUT ANALYSTS SAY THE REAL TEST IN EASTERN SLAVONIA WILL COME IN JULY, WHEN THE U-N PEACEKEEPING FORCE WITHDRAWS AND THE CROAT REFUGEES BEGIN RETURNING TO THEIR HOMES. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DBR/DW/KL
    12-Apr-97 9:06 AM EDT (1306 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] CROATIA ELEX (S) BY DOUGLAS ROBERTS (ZAGREB)

    DATE=4/12/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212796
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: VOTERS IN CROATIA ARE PREPARING TO CAST BALLOTS SUNDAY FOR LOCAL AND REGIONAL ASSEMBLIES AND THE 63-SEAT UPPER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT. IT WILL BE THE FIRST PEACE-TIME ELECTION IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC, AND ALSO THE FIRST TIME THAT SERB RESIDENTS OF THE U-N ADMINISTERED ENCLAVE OF EASTERN SLAVONIA WILL BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE. VOA'S DOUGLAS ROBERTS IN ZAGREB REPORTS THE RULING CROATIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION, THE H-D-Z, IS FACING A STIFF CHALLENGE FROM HALF A DOZEN OPPOSITION PARTIES.

    TEXT: ///ACT, FREE SOUND, CAMPAIGN RALLY///

    IN THE CLOSING STAGES OF THE CAMPAIGN, THE H-D-Z HAS BROUGHT OUT ITS MOST POWERFUL WEAPON, 75-YEAR-OLD PRESIDENT FRANJO TUDJMAN.

    WHILE OPINION POLLS SHOW THE RULING PARTY STEADILY LOSING GROUND OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS, THE PRESIDENT'S POPULARITY REMAINS HIGH. HE IS REPORTEDLY SUFFERING FROM CANCER, BUT HE SHOWED LITTLE TRACE OF IT AT AN OUTDOOR RALLY HERE IN ZAGREB.

    STANDING BARE-HEADED AT THE PODIUM ON A COOL NIGHT, THE PRESIDENT ADDRESSED THE CROWD FOR MORE THAN HALF AN HOUR, HIS VOICE ONLY OCCASIONALLY WAVERING.

    ///ACT, TUDJMAN IN SERBO-CROAT AND CROWD CHANTS///

    WHETHER MR. TUDJMAN'S CAMPAIGN APPEARANCES WILL BE ENOUGH TO SALVAGE VICTORY FOR THE H-D-Z REMAINS TO BE SEEN.

    VOTER SURVEYS SHOW OPPOSITION CANDIDATES RUNNING AHEAD OF THE RULING PARTY IN SEVERAL KEY TOWNS. BUT ANALYSTS HERE SAY THE OPPOSITION'S FAILURE TO FORM BROAD-BASED COALITIONS HAS JEOPARDIZED ITS PROSPECTS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/DR/DW/KL
    12-Apr-97 9:09 AM EDT (1309 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] POPE / SARAJEVO (L ONLY) (CQ) BY CHRIS O'NEILL (SARAJEVO)

    DATE=4/12/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-212797
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:
    /// RE-ISSUING TO DELETE LANGUAGE ACT, WHICH WAS UNCLEAR, AND PARAPHRASE OF MATERIAL CITED IN ACTUALITY ///

    INTRO: POPE JOHN PAUL THE SECOND IS AWAITED IN TODAY (SATURDAY) SARAJEVO WHERE THERE WAS A MORNING SNOW FALL. THE POPE IS IN BOSNIA TO ENCOURAGE RECONCILIATION AMONG DIVERSE COMMUNITIES. FROM SARAJEVO, CHRIS O'NEILL REPORTS A BLANKET OF SECURITY IS EVIDENT.

    TEXT: // OPT // WHILE THE BRIGHT BALKAN SUN WORKS TO MELT AWAY A FRESHLY LAID BLANKET OF SNOW, LABORERS FRANTICALLY WORK TO PUT THE FINAL TOUCHES ON A BUILDING ADJACENT TO THE CITY'S MAIN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL IN DOWNTOWN SARAJEVO.

    // OPT //

    ALL OF THIS ACTIVITY COMES ONLY HOURS BEFORE POPE JOHN PAUL THE SECOND MAKES HIS ARRIVAL TO BOSNIA AFTER TRYING ONCE IN 1994 BUT CANCELLING OVER SECURITY CONCERNS DUE TO A COLLAPSED CEASE-FIRE. // END OPT //

    SATURDAY MORNING'S SNOWFALL HAD COVERED MANY OF THE LAST MINUTE IMPROVEMENTS MADE TO THE WAR TORN CITY, INCLUDING MINOR DETAILS SUCH AS THE PAINTING OF LINES ON THE ROADS AND THE FILLING IN OF POT HOLES CAUSED BY MORTARS AND WARTIME NEGLECT.

    THE POPE WILL INDIRECTLY FEEL THE STING OF ETHNIC TENSIONS, DESPITE HIS MESSAGE OF PEACE AND UNITY. IT HAS ALREADY BEEN DECIDED TO SCRAP THE CEREMONIAL PLAYING OF CATHOLIC HYMNS WHEN HE ARRIVES AT SARAJEVO AIRPORT SATURDAY AFTERNOON. AND THE SERB MEMBER OF BOSNIA'S THREE-WAY PRESIDENCY, MOMCILO KRAJISNIK, HAS DECLINED TO ATTEND THE ARRIVAL CEREMONY CITING SECURITY CONCERNS.

    SOME CRITICIZE HIS DECISION. IN FACT, THE MUSLIM PRESIDENT, ALIJA IBETBEGOVIC WAS QUOTED AS SAYING THAT WITHOUT A DOUBT ONE OF THE SAFEST PLACES ON THE PLANET THESE TWO DAYS WILL BE SARAJEVO.

    THAT COULD TURN OUT TO BE TRUE. FOR NOT ONLY WILL MUSLIM, CROAT AND UNITED NATIONS POLICE BE TAKING PART IN BLANKETING THE CAPITAL WITH SECURITY, BUT THEY HAVE THE ASSISTANCE OF NATO, GERMAN, FRENCH AND ITALIAN TROOPS WHO ARE OUT IN FORCE WITH TANKS, ARMOURED TROOP CARRIERS AND SPOTTERS STRATEGICALLY LOCATED AT THE AIRPORT AND THE MOTORCADE ROUTE DOWNTOWN.

    U-S AND BRITISH PLANES WILL CIRCLE THE CAPITAL AND CARRY OUT AERIAL SURVEILLANCE.

    A SURE SIGN OF PEACETIME NORMALITY, LICENSE PLATES FROM ALL OVER EYROPE, CAN BE SEEN AHEAD OF THE POPE'S VISIT -- REPRESENTING CATHOLIC PILGRIMS FROM ITALY, SPAIN, AUSTRIA, GERMANY AND GREAT BRITAIN -- MANY FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE WAR BEGAN IN 1992 ARE MAKING THEIR WAY INTO THE TERRITORIES OF THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA.

    AFTER THE POPE'S ARRIVAL HE WILL PROCEED DOWNTOWN TO THE REFURBISHED CATHEDRAL FOR WELCOMING CEREMONES. HE WILL MEET WITH LOCAL POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS OF ALL THREE ETHNIC GROUPS, SPENDING THE NIGHT IN SARAJEVO AND LEAVING AFTER MASS SUNDAY. (SIGNED)
    NEB/CO/CF/KL
    12-Apr-97 9:13 AM EDT (1313 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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