Austrians criticize Bush speech
Vienna — ''Naive'' and ''harmful'' were among the generally critical reactions of the Austrian news media Thursday to Vice-President George Bush's toughly worded anti-Soviet speech Wednesday, according to Monitor correspondent Eric Bourne.
Mr. Bush not only assailed the Soviet Union on almost all counts of pre- and postwar European history, but also called on its East European allies to ''make a choice'' between becoming again a full part of Europe or closing themselves in societies based on ''ignorance, backwardness, and poverty.''
He said US policy toward the East bloc is one of ''differentiation,'' and singled out Hungary and Romania as countries that could expect American support. He said, however, that the United States would not ''reward'' countries that ''continue to toe the Soviet line.''
Official circles declined comment. But Arbeiter-Zeitung, the newspaper of Austria's majority coalition Socialist Party, called it a highly astringent speech, doubtless reflecting US government feeling.
It noted the compliments showered on Austria and its neutrality, but said the vice-president had not respected that neutrality in using Vienna as a platform for what is widely seen here as the harshest piece of US rhetoric against the Kremlin since the cold war.
''It can only harm the delicate experiment in Hungary,'' said Vienna's leading daily, the independent Die Presse, in a reference to Hungary's economic reform and relative democratization, ''if it is so ostentatiously praised by an American vice-president.''