Milan Panic Deserves A Break From The Press

Regarding your article "There may not be much confetti at Milan Panic's homecoming" (Top of The News, Mar. 22), I have known Mr. Panic for 25 years, and have followed his companies actively from a research standpoint. During 1990-1991, I was a financial consultant to the company. As a result of my direct and personal involvement with the ICN group of companies, I can say with confidence that Mr. Panic has earned his rewards of stock options and does not deserve the constant denigration he receives from the press.

Clearly, I am a supporter of Mr. Panic and chagrined that statements unfavorable to him were attributed to me.

Steven B. Reid

Beverly Hills, Calif.

Your characterization of Milan Panic's efforts to restore peace as Prime Minister of Yugoslavia betrays a shallow understanding of international affairs that is shocking to find in a publication of BUSINESS WEEK's stature.

In an act of courage, he ran for Serbia's presidency and lost in what the international community has widely recognized as a rigged election. For his efforts, he was pilloried by Serbian conservative nationalists and denounced as an enemy of the nationalist state.

World leaders from French President Fran ois Mitterand to U.N. Secretary Butros Ghali have acknowledged Panic's significant contributions to the peace process in the Balkans. To depict his efforts and accomplishments as a trite fling at international politics misleads readers and contributes to the harmful confusion about the Yugoslav tragedy that is, unfortunately, all too prevalent.

John D. Scanlan


Editor's note: Scanlan was ambassador to Yugoslavia from 1985-'89.