UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: Tuesday, June 25th, 302 AP.

Zeitgeist editorial questions need for warships

Utania's most respected business and politics magazine, Zeitgeist, has
published a somewhat scathing editorial questioning the need for an estimated
Û9 billion on new warships.

Yesterday's Zeitgeist magazine was published with the headline: "Utania arms
up" and sub-headed: "Where's the war, Mr President?" The content was even more
demanding.

Utania's most respected news magazine has risked condemnation from numerous
sectors of the country, including the powerful Utani nationalists, by publicly
questioning whether President Okarvits was "really in control" of the country,
particularly the defence budget. It accused Defence Minister Artos of
"hijacking defence policy as effectively as the Yellow Dawn hijacked Aij
Utani's plane this time last year" and said the President was "too concerned
with winning nationalist votes".

Not unexpectantly, the Minister Artos hit back demanding a retraction, while
numerous of his Utani Saedaj party colleagues decried that a minister could be
attacked "so disrespectfully". Some even demanded the magazine's governmental
censure.

The magazine is not new to controversy or taking risky positions. It's
publisher, Miguel van der Ham, spent several years in Guwimithian prisons for
questioning too deeply the establishment.

Yet, the most telling reaction has been from President Okarvits, who calmed his
government MPs and told them that "freedom of the press must be one of the
strongest and most fundamental rights" for the country to survive into the long
term as a free nation.

Insiders, many of whom were sources for the Zeitgeist articles, claim that the
President is under significant pressure from the nationalist faction of the
government Utani Saedaj Party, who claim he has not done enough to redress the
imbalance. Conversely, moderate Peoples party MPs say he is kow-towing to the
nationalists, that they have too great an influence.

All these claims were evaluated by Zeitgeist, which added that perhaps the
country was better off if the nationalists "only had control of defence and
nothing more".

Yet, the article warned, was the President in control of this nationalist
genie, or would it rise out of even his control?


©UPA, 301 AP.

<TECH>
©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)