Clinton’s New Marshall Plan

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands: “The first ship set sail from Texas to France with 19,000 tons of wheat. Soon on any given day a convoy of hope was heading to Europe with fuel, raw materials, and equipment.” With those words, President Clinton recalled the Marshall Plan under which the United States rebuilt the war-ravaged nations of western Europe fifty years ago, encouraging European leaders today to renew the spirit of that program to build democracy and prosperity across the continent. But while the spirit of Marshall may live, says TIME's Douglas Waller, the goal is different. "A Marshall Plan for East Europe isn't the right medicine," he says. "The Marshall Plan rebuilt buildings. In Eastern Europe today, cultures have to be rebuilt. That is far more difficult. Bringing about a unified Europe is a process that Clinton will follow rather than lead. Washington simply wants to make sure that the process of European integration proceeds in a way that is fair to American businesses." The $492 million in aid the Administration wants next year for the region will go almost solely toward the transfer of expertise. "The countries have well-educated populations to begin with," Waller says. "Washington will provide the free-market know-how."