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Tuesday, March 30, 1999 Published at 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK


World: Europe

Press review: Struggling with Kosovo options

Nato can bomb Yugoslavian targets, but will bombing succeed?


Click here for a review of the UK press.


The crisis over Kosovo continues to take up a lot of space on both news and opinion pages in Europe's newspapers.

Le Figaro in Paris says the West is struggling with options and self-doubt about the intervention, while President Milosevic needs the answer to one question only.

EU in crisis
"For how long will Nato hold onto its offensive, given the critical stance of western public opinion?"

The paper predicts Kosovo will be divided by a buffer zone and patrolled by the West: "It's a mediocre solution, but it's still better than the present slaughter."

For Milan's Corriere della Sera, in the face of such a complex crisis, it is only natural that the West has doubts.

But according to Austria's Die Presse, that is precisely the problem: the lack of a clear political concept for the Balkans.

Zurich's Tages Angeiger focuses on the humanitarian tragedy and on the needs of Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro to be able to cope with the influx of refugees.

The paper also says that other countries have fought for a peaceful solution or risked their soldiers' lives, but "Switzerland has done nothing to stop the conflict. Kosovo is our business too."

"What can we do?", asks La Libre Belgique. "Nothing, if we are not prepared to commit ground troops."

The paper believes that President Milosevic "has no cure" and has played for too long with the West's weaknesses.

"It's not possible to wage half-wars with the Serbian ruler", it concludes.

But committing ground troops appears to worry the people of Britain.

The Daily Telegraph publishes the findings of an opinion poll suggesting that Britons strongly support the Nato air campaign against Yugoslavia, but a large majority fears that British troops will eventually be drawn into a land war in the Balkans.

El Mundo in Madrid thinks that Nato cannot be blamed for the escalation of violence in Kosovo.

The paper argues that the bloodshed had already started before the air raids launched by the Western Alliance, and that it is always difficult to second guess Mr Milosevic.

The paper suggest that, after the latest campaign of terror staged by the Serbs against the Kosovo Albanians, the International Court of Justice in The Hague should bring the Serb leader and his collaborators to trial.



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