|| 66 sor
||OMRI Daily Digest - 29 March 1996 (mind)
|| 37 sor
|+ - ||VoA (mind)
title= Hungary/O-E-C-D (l only-correction)
byline= Barry Wood
// rerunning to correct day in intro //
Intro: Hungary on Friday formally becomes the 27th member of the
Paris based Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development, the O-E-C-D. V-o-A's Barry Wood reports the
Hungarians view their new membership in the western economic
think tank as a badge of honor.
Text: The Hungarians follow the Czechs into the O-E-C-D, which
over the past six years has moved cautiously but deliberately
toward expanding its membership eastward.
The O-E-C-D is not a bank and has a relatively small budget.
It does economic research on and for its member nations.
// Opt// O-E-C-D headquarters in a residential section of Paris
meeting point for frequent seminars among experts on labor
policy, trade, exchange rates, and various other economic issues.
// End opt //
For the formerly communist countries of Eastern Europe,
membership in western institutions like the O-E-C-D has taken on
importance second only to the European Union and NATO. There was
spirited competition among eastern candidates to see which would
be the first to gain entry. In the end the Czechs won, but only
by three months over the Hungarians. The Poles are close behind
and expect to receive an invitation by the middle of the year.
The O-E-C-D set some general criteria for its candidate members.
The move towards a market economy had to be regarded as
irreversible and well advanced. Key elements of transformation
-- like private property, privatization of state industries and
liberalized trade -- are essential.
About a dozen post-communist economies are cooperating in the
work of the O-E-C-D and many of these, including Russia, seek
membership. The O-E-C-D, which reaches decisions by consensus,
has been unable to agree on how big the organization should
become. It was was born in the 1960's as a successor to the
agency that administered the Marshall Plan of assistance to
Western Europe. Initially only the United States, Canada and
Western European nations were members. Later Japan, Australia
and New Zealand joined. Two years ago Mexico became its first
developing country member.
The O-E-C-D in June gets a new secretary general, Donald Johnston
from Canada. For 12 years, it has been headed by Frenchman Jean
Claude Paye, who has been criticized for failing to create a new
mission for the O-E-C-D. (Signed)
28-Mar-96 12:37 pm est (1737 utc)
source: Voice of America
|+ - ||OMRI Daily Digest - 29 March 1996 (mind)
OMRI DAILY DIGEST
No. 64, 29 March 1996
HUNGARIAN GOVERNMENT SIGNS WAGE DEAL WITH PUBLIC EMPLOYEES. The
Hungarian government on 28 March signed a three-year wage agreement with
public sector unions, Hungarian dailies reported. The deal guarantees
that real wages will not decrease by more than 2% this year and will not
fall after 1997. Prime Minister Gyula Horn, speaking at the signing
ceremony, described the agreement as a political milestone. The long-
debated deal was sealed ahead of the ruling Socialist Party's annual
congress this weekend. Ways of protecting the population from sinking
living standards will be high on the agenda of the congress. Real wages
fell by an average of 14% in the public sector in 1995, prompting a
number of unions to hold protest rallies. -- Zsofia Szilagyi
CROATIA'S SERBS ORGANIZE. The mass exodus of Serbs from formerly Serb-
held Croatian territories in 1995 reduced the republic's Serbian
minority from about 12% of the population to only perhaps 2-3%. Those
remaining Serbs insist nonetheless that the government guarantee their
rights. The Supreme Council of the Community of Serbs of Croatia (ZSH)
met and called upon the government to guarantee funds to ensure the
Serbs' "civil, cultural, and national rights," including cultural
autonomy, Slobodna Dalmacija said on 29 March. In Zagreb,
representatives of the Serbian Democratic Forum, the Prosveta cultural
society, and some regional Serbian groups founded the League of Serbian
Organizations (SSO). Spokesmen said that no political parties have been
included at this stage to underscore the SSO's non-party character. Its
chairman is nonetheless likely to be the prominent Serbian political
figure Milorad Pupovac, Novi list reported on 29 March. The SSO stresses
the traditional Austro-Hungarian concept of "personal ethnic autonomy"
as opposed to group territorial autonomy, which is realistic given that
the remaining Croatian Serbs live widely dispersed. -- Patrick Moore
[As of 12:00 CET]
Compiled by Chrystyna Lapychak