International -- Readers Report
PEACE AND PROSPERITY DON'T ALWAYS GO HAND IN HAND (int'l edition)
While you draw a connection between the peace process and the growth of the Israeli economy, you neglect to mention other factors ("Bibi has business biting its nails," International Business, June 17). These include a restructuring of the economy, making it far more efficient, the arrival of 500,000 immigrants; and liberalization of trade policy, which was a major factor for the increase in trade with Eastern Europe and the Far East. In addition, since 1992, Israel has benefited from $8 billion in U.S. loans
Then, there is the influence of the peace process on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE). Although Israel's capital markets were once among the most vibrant in the world, that ended in February, 1994, after the signing of the Oslo Accords in Washington. If the peace process has been so helpful to economic growth in Israel as your report implies, why hasn't TASE bounced back?
Beit Shemesh, IsraelReturn to top
TOUGH QUESTIONS FOR MR. BOUCHARD (int'l edition)
Your Lucien Bouchard interview, "A talk with Quebec's top separatist" (International Business, June 17), missed the point. Quebec has been central to U.S. security since Benjamin Franklin dealt with it in 1760. We have brought the matter to a head by cutting back America's nuclear resources, placing the Northeast at the mercy of Quebec's hydroelectric system. But the Cree Indians, on whose territory Hydro Quebec sits, have already voted overwhelmingly to stay Canadian if Quebec secedes.
Just where is it written that Canadians are too nice to fight each other over energy? How will we protect our interests if, say, Cree patriots with a couple of pounds of plastique decide to make a point? How many troops will we have to send into the Canadian wilderness to keep our power lines open? And which side can best be counted on to protect the value of Hydro Quebec paper--and a lot of American individual retirement accounts: Canada or Quebec? It's time to ask Mr. Bouchard some hard questions.
Bouchard says: "For 30 years, Quebecers have hoped to renew the Canadian Confederation." That is still true. But the greatest obstacle to finding accommodations has been separatist governments in Quebec, for whom no deal is acceptable "as a matter of principle." Despite the vapid assurances he serves up to business leaders and minorities, Mr. Bouchard aims to break up Canada and establish a French ethnic state.
Juris MazutisReturn to top