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<nettime> fwd: Le Monde diplomatique, September 1999
Patrice Riemens on Mon, 27 Sep 1999 03:37:04 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> fwd: Le Monde diplomatique, September 1999


----- Forwarded message from Le Monde diplomatique -----

   Le Monde diplomatique
   -----------------------------------------------------


                               September 1999


LEADER

The rules of war *

by ALAIN GRESH

           <http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/en/1999/09/?c=01leader>

                                              Translated by Barry Smerin


IN THE THROES OF NATION-WIDE TRANSITION

Rural Russia sits out the reforms

by NINA BACHKATOV

     Parliamentary elections are due in December, followed by
     presidential elections next June. In Moscow it feels like the end
     of an era. The fourth change of prime minister in 18 months looks
     like an attempt by Boris Yeltsin to keep hold of the levers of
     power and, for the manoeuvre to succeed, Vladimir Putin will have
     to keep his promises of "restoring order". But terrorism in the
     south is now affecting Russia itself, creating a new climate of
     fear. And charges of high-level corruption are making the West call
     for more transparency and better management if aid is to continue -
     as shown by recent discussions with the International Monetary Fund
     before it agreed to wave through its $640m autumn tranche. But the
     main problem is still the economic and social situation. The
     effects of an ill-considered process of market reform are felt most
     dramatically in the countryside. This report comes from Izmalkovo
     (the author's own ancestral village) in the region of Lipetsk, a
     few hundred kilometres southeast of Moscow.

                                                  Translated by Ed Emery


CIVIL WAR TO RECONCILIATION?

Algeria hopes and prays

by AKRAM ELLYAS and HATEM HAMANI

     A new wave of violence has accompanied the campaign for the
     September referendum on "national harmony" in Algeria. It shows
     just how much resistance there is to proposals for ending the
     crisis inherited, at least in part, by President Abdelaziz
     Bouteflika. Yet, after years of a war that has claimed more than
     100,000 lives, people want peace and reconciliation. At issue is
     the head of state's ability to deliver these - as well as tackle
     social ills and a dysfunctional economy.

                                        Translated by Derry Cook-Radmore

Ten years of conflict *

           <http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/en/1999/09/?c=05algeria>


DEFINITIONS OF DISTRESS

Who are you calling poor? *

by GODFRIED ENGBERSEN

     Poverty as a blot on society has been eclipsed by other priorities,
     especially the need to determine a financially acceptable level of
     social welfare cover. The swings in public opinion between concern
     and indifference reflect an ongoing controversy about the nature of
     poverty. The issue is a political football. And the argument cannot
     be solved by a straightforward appeal to the "facts" because the
     statistics are open to interpretation by those who set out to
     define the characteristics of the poor.

           <http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/en/1999/09/?c=06poverty>

                                              Translated by Barry Smerin


MINER-MANAGERS OF TOWER COLLIERY

South Wales miners go it alone

"by BRIGITTE PÄTZOLD

     Tony Blair's "third way" seems to be continuing many of the old
     policies of the 1980s, which famously included a war on the miners'
     unions. In the face of grim social conditions, a group of workers
     decided in 1994 to buy out Tower Colliery, which had been scheduled
     for closure, and work it themselves. They have since expanded the
     mine, improved pay and working conditions, and proved that the
     industry's decline was not inevitable.

                                              Translated by Julie Stoker


TEN-YEAR CHAPTER OF ERRORS

Mixed motives in the Balkans

by XAVIER BOUGAREL

     On 17 August the New York Times referred to a report that $1
     billion of the $5.1 billion in aid to reach Bosnia since 1995 had
     disappeared. The next day, the local office of the UN High
     Representative denied all knowledge. On 20 August the paper simply
     reported that most of the sums in question had been Bosnian public
     funds. This exchange demonstrates how the national leaders'
     (Muslim, Serb and Croat) own interests come first - yet another
     illustration of the impossible situation in the Western
     protectorates in Bosnia and Kosovo.

                                            Translated by Barbara Wilson

Decade of disasters *

           <http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/en/1999/09/?c=09baldate>


IN SEARCH OF TRUE DEMOCRACY

Identity debate clouds India's elections

by PUROSHOTTAM AGRAWAL

     "The world's biggest democracy goes to the polls from 5 September
     to 3 October. The mood is not of peace. The nationalist Hindu
     government of the BJP has five nuclear tests to its name (May
     1998), provoking six in return from Pakistan, and the BJP manifesto
     promises a rise in India's military budget. Prime Minister Atal
     Bihari Vajpayee has profited from patriotic euphoria over recent
     fighting in Kashmir and polls forecast another BJP victory. This
     Hindu nationalist fervour is fuelling old animosities against
     Muslims and, to a lesser degree, Christians, while the most serious
     problems - a profoundly unjust caste system and 300 million people
     still living in dire poverty - are being blithely ignored.

                                                Original text in English

Hindu power politics *

by ROMAIN MAITRA

           <http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/en/1999/09/?c=11india>

                                        Translated by Wendy Kristianasen


MISSED OPPORTUNITY FOR JOB CREATION

What price the 35-hour week? *

by MARTINE BULARD

     On 1 January 2001 the 35-hour week will come into force in France
     for companies of more than 20 employees. A year later it will be
     compulsory for all firms. The first preparatory act, passed by
     parliament in May 1998, set up a programme of financial assistance
     to employers to help them phase in the 35-hour week before it
     becomes mandatory. In October parliament will begin debating a
     second bill, already agreed by the Council of Ministers at the end
     of July, under which employers would no longer have to increase
     their workforce to qualify for this assistance. Meanwhile, the new
     flexible working arrangements are making labour conditions worse;
     and a project that had brought hope to millions is fast losing any
     economic or social impact.

           <http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/en/1999/09/?c=12hours>

                                              Translated by Barry Smerin


20TH CENTURY IN RETROSPECT

Mirror to the future

by MARC FERRO

     As the millennium ends there is an all-pervading feeling that we
     have entered a new era in history, the age of globalisation. Yet
     may this not be a mere optical illusion? Even if it has spread and
     speeded up in recent times, the movement towards making all the
     world one began a long time ago. Has the dramatic episode of the
     two world wars - so dramatic that they have been seen as the
     beginning and end of an era - in fact been anything more than a
     passing phase in the course of history, bringing only a slight
     shift in a centuries-long process?

                                        Translated by Derry Cook-Radmore


YOUTHS SEEK ESCAPE FROM PRESSURES OF MODERN LIFE

Japan's teenage horrors

by our special correspondent DAVID ESNAULT

     "Suicide, prostitution and shocking crime: Japan is becoming
     alarmed at the explosion of delinquent behaviour among its young.
     The country may seem to be functioning normally, but are its young
     people suffering from an overdose of video games and TV violence?
     Or does this upsurge of violence reflect the pressures of an
     ambitious society in which the family has collapsed as a reference
     point, a highly selective educational system has no time for losers
     and money has become the sole - and corrupting - value.

                                                  Translated by Ed Emery


GRAND POLITICAL MANOEUVRING

Mexico battles for democratic reform

by FRANÇOISE ESCARPIT

     The election of Centre Left candidate Cuauhtemoc Cardenas as mayor
     of Mexico City has not brought the miracle for which many were
     hoping. In an attempt to dethrone the Institutional Revolutionary
     Party (PRI) which has been in power for the past 70 years, the
     moderate left plans to create an alliance with "modern" elements
     among the conservatives. If this coalition wins the presidential
     elections in July 2000, it would mean progress in democratising
     Mexico but it would not guarantee the economic and social changes
     which large sections of the population are hoping for.

                                                  Translated by Ed Emery


BACK PAGE

Islam, a force for change *

by GRAHAM E FULLER

     In the West the words Islamic fundamentalism conjure up images of
     bearded men with turbans and women covered in black shrouds. And
     some Islamist movements do indeed contain reactionary and violent
     elements. But we should not let stereotypes blind us to the fact
     that there are also powerful modernising forces at work within
     these movements. Political Islam is about change. In this sense,
     modern. Islamist movements may be the main vehicle for bringing
     about change in the Muslim world and the break-up of the old
     "dinosaur" regimes. What will come in their place is less clear.

           <http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/en/1999/09/?c=16islam>

                                                Original text in English


           English language editorial director: Wendy Kristianasen

     _________________________________________________________________

     (*) Star-marked articles are available to every reader. Other
     articles are available to paid subscribers only.

     Yearly subscription fee: 24 US $ (Institutions 48 US $).



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