Croatian president returns from U.S. after...

FOREIGN DIGEST

November 24, 1996

ZAGREB, CROATIA — Croatian president returns from U.S. after treatment

ZAGREB, Croatia -- Croatia's ailing President Franjo Tudjman returned yesterday from medical treatment in Washington to reassert his authority after the first popular protests in years shook the capital.

U.S. sources have said the 74-year-old president was being treated for stomach cancer, while state media in Croatia described his ailment as "digestive problems."

In defiance of Tudjman's ruling HDZ party, some 100,000 people rallied in downtown Zagreb Wednesday and Thursday to support a popular independent radio the government tried to shut down.

France's Malraux reburied in Pantheon of heroes

PARIS

PARIS -- French President Jacques Chirac led a tribute to cultural icon Andre Malraux yesterday, reburying him in the Pantheon of national heroes in a ceremony laden with symbol and pomp.

For Chirac, the homage -- climax to a deluge of newspaper and magazine supplements on the writer -- was a chance to drape himself in the cloak of his mentor, Gen. Charles de Gaulle, whom Malraux served as culture minister.

As culture minister throughout de Gaulle's presidency from 1959 to 1969, Malraux -- a writer and adventurer -- is remembered for launching an acclaimed cleanup of Paris landmarks, including Notre Dame Cathedral.

Sandinista leader refuses to recognize election result

MANAGUA, Nicaragua

MANAGUA, Nicaragua -- Sandinista leader Daniel Ortega vowed yesterday that he would not recognize the legitimacy of President-elect Arnoldo Aleman's government despite official confirmation of his victory in the Oct. 20 elections.

His comments came after Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council rejected Friday a Sandinista appeal for new voting in the departments of Managua and Matagalpa because of alleged fraud, ending more than a month of post-vote squabbling.

Czech coalition wins parliamentary majority

PRAGUE, Czech Republic

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- The three-party coalition of Czech Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus won a majority of seats yesterday in runoff elections to Parliament's new upper house, the Senate.

But the premier's own party won fewer seats than expected after dominating the first round last week, and voter turnout was dismal despite an appeal for Czechs to cast their ballots from President Vaclav Havel.

The result marked an improvement in fortunes for the coalition, central Europe's last center-right government, which lost its majority in the more powerful lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, six months ago.

Spanish marchers protest pay freeze in '97 budget

MADRID, Spain

MADRID, Spain -- Tens of thousands of people marched through central Madrid yesterday in protest of a pay freeze included in the conservative government's strict 1997 budget for Spain.

Union leaders said more than 200,000 people took part in the rally, which ended at the Plaza de Espana central square. They called for a general strike in the near future and promised to block highways and stage other protests to force the government into talks.

Conservative Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar ordered a tight budget to get Spain in financial shape for Europe's single currency.

Pub Date: 11/24/96

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