Washington, USA
October 21, 1999

Stoiber: Scientology is no longer
a trans-Atlantic problem

Washington, October 21 (AFP) - The treatment of Scientology, in the opinion of Bavarian Minister President Edmund Stoiber (CSU), is no longer a problem in trans-Atlantic relations. In any case, the people he spoke with on his trip to Washington did not mention it, said Stoiber on Wednesday (local time) in front of journalists in the U.S. capitol. "I believe that our standpoint has been understood." In the past, the complaints from Scientology about its treatment in Germany has led to ill humor between the German government and U.S. officials. The foreign affairs committee of the U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to look at a Scientology resolution on Thursday, which is critical of Germany. In the scope of his trip to the USA, Stoiber has met in Washington with lead speaker of the house, Dennis Hastert, and Secretary of Commerce William Daley. Meetings were planned on Thursday with Senate Republican majority leader Trent Lott, Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan and U.S. vice secretary of the treasury Stuart Eizenstadt. loew/cs

U.S. representatives once again criticize Germany because of Scientology

Washington, October 21 (AFP) - The German treatment of Scientology, in the opinion of several U.S. members of congress, has negative effects on religious freedom in all of Europe. "Germany is a nation which should take on a leadership role in matters of tolerance," said chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the House of Representatives, Republican Ben Gilman, to journalists on Thursday in Washington. "Unfortunately, it is not doing that, and the other European countries are following the German example." Gilman supports a resolution which is critical of Germany, and which is to be brought before the both houses of Congress in the coming weeks. It is questionable whether the resolution will fare any differently than it did in previous years by finding a majority there. Republican Senator Michael Enzi from Wyoming said that exactly because Germany was prominent in the European Union, the alleged discrimination of minority religious went beyond the German borders. Similar arguments were brought forward by film actress Anne Archer, who read a statement as a member of Scientology. As to the chances of passing the resolution, Mormon Representative Matt Salmon told the AFP news agency, "We will have to do an enormous amount of information work." He said, however, that he was optimistic, "We intend to bring it to a vote this spring." In the resolution, Germany is required to initiate a dialogue with representatives of Scientology, which they have so far refused to do. Unlike the USA, the organization in Germany is not recognized as a church. Their complaints about their treatment by German agencies, parties and corporations in the past has led to ill humor between the German government and U.S. positions. loew/bt

German Scientology News