International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

June 4, 2003

June 4, 2003



** Evian was a step toward a transatlantic "rapprochement," but basic differences remain.


** Summit reaffirmed the U.S. as the "undisputed" superpower, Bush the only clear winner.


** G-8 leaders, unable to "transcend" their own interests, failed to deal adequately with the more urgent problems of the global economy and development.


** Although the Bush AIDS package was not a major focus of G-8 coverage, the U.S.' "very honorable" initiative will inspire other countries to follow suit.




Summit a chance to 'mend fences' after Iraq, but divisions will be tough to 'iron out'--  Papers credited Bush and Chirac for their efforts to put differences aside, but stressed "we will have to wait and see" whether this means real cooperation.  Centrist and center-right French dailies were cautiously optimistic about the new-found Bush-Chirac "entente," with La Tribune asserting that the "desire for a rapprochement on both sides appeared at once real and realistic."  Media in other G-8 countries were less sanguine about "the summit of the smiles."  Though leftist papers in Europe and beyond declared it a "sham reconciliation," even London's conservative Daily Telegraph held that whatever "consensual blandness" resulted from Evian, the "mutual antagonism" between Washington and Paris will remain.  Critics noted the rift had overshadowed other priorities, with South Africa's pro-government Sowetan finding the G-8 more concerned with "healing the transatlantic rancor" than its "pledges" to Africa.


U.S. 'domination' unmatched, G-8 relevance in doubt--  As Evian highlighted the U.S.' "disproportionate" power and "imbalance" with the rest of the world, global observers saw the G-8 increasingly marginalized, warning Bush to "beware of misusing his abundance of power."  While British dailies suggested the G-8 had become an "anachronism," Brazil's center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo quipped the forum "lost so much of its relevance," that Bush "left the meeting before it was over." Turkey's mass-appeal Hurriyet explained that now the "club" has only "one boss and the rest consists of a group of assistant managers."  Commentary across the spectrum concluded that despite the "conciliatory" overtures, the U.S. still wants to "dictate the international agenda" as it sees fit and, as a Polish daily noted, goes by "separate rules."


A 'nice attempt' but 'mediocre performance'; U.S. AIDS initiative in the 'plus' column--

Although the G-8 delivered "meager" results overall, the U.S. AIDS initiative generated some optimism.  Writers acknowledged the boost to the global AIDS fund was the G-8's "biggest concession" to developing countries, yet editorials focused more on Evian's shortcomings.  Skeptical of their "good intentions," critics complained that the Big Eight offered nothing concrete to stimulate economic recovery.  Latin, African and Asian papers stressed that industrialized countries must open their markets, particularly their "protected agriculture sectors," to the South.  As the Australian Financial Times urged the G-8 to "develop the political will to match words with deeds," Mexico's leftist La Jornada charged the group "has not been able to translate its ideas into real commitments in favor of democracy and human rights." 


EDITOR:  Irene Marr


EDITOR'S NOTE:  This report is based on 78 reports from 33 countries, May 31-June 4.  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "Clouds Obscure The Point Of The Summit"


The independent Financial Times observed (6/3):  "Few of the participants this week seemed to show much real interest in the project.  President George W. Bush was on the ground there for barely 24 hours.  President Jacques Chirac of France tried broadening the turn-out--inviting representatives of less developed countries.  But that served only to emphasise how marginal the G-8 has become.  There is now something creakingly anachronistic about the very notion of the Group of Eight leading industrialised countries.  Neither Canada nor Russia deserves a place, on economic merits, in such a group.  'Industrialised' itself seems dated, a 1970s throwback in an increasingly post-industrialised globe.  Why bother?  The summit's defenders will say that, for all its faults, it still presents the one fixed point in the calendar when some of the world's most influential political figures can meet.  In today's cool diplomatic climate that may not be a bad thing.  It might seem too traumatic in these fractious times to scrap the annual summit completely.  But if that is the case, perhaps the meeting could be radically restructured, restored to its founding premise.  The original idea was of an informal gathering, a fireside chat, in which busy leaders willing to share their concerns and air ideas could meet in relative isolation."


"France Will Be Punished"


The conservative Daily Telegraph asserted (6/2):  "Punish France, ignore Germany, forgive Russia:  that was the succinct reaction by Condoleezza those countries' opposition to the second Gulf war.  The last of the three imperatives was much in evidence over the weekend during the celebration of St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary.  The American's claimed that their disagreements over Iraq would strengthen their relationship, the Russians pledged cooperation on halting the spread of weapons of mass destruction.  In the case of Russia, Washington has concluded, first, that Mr. Putin had good domestic political reasons for opposition to the war, second, that he is still a useful partner in countering terrorism and the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea.  France will be punished, largely by reduced defense cooperation.  Whatever the consensual blandness of the Evian communique, the mutual antagonism between the White House and Elysee remains."


"Glacial Summit"


The conservative Times judged (6/2): "The chill that has settled over Evian, frosty as the surrounding Alpine peaks, may make this G8 as one of the most strained and least productive in years.  Mr. Putin has managed his relations with America more nimbly than Mr. Chirac....  Mr. Chirac is probably hoping that the presence, for the first time, of China and his invitation to 3rd world leaders will lift the Evian summit. His breezy attempts to brush aside talk of disagreements are meant to suggest that recent quarrels were just a storm in a teacup.  Here he has miscalculated.  For one of the main items on the agenda is free trade and, in particular, agricultural exports.... Those developing world leaders at Evian will be under no illusion about the self-interest at the heart of French policy on GM and subsidies.  The U.S., too, might be prepared to make politically painful concessions. The results of Evian are likely therefore to be meager.  Mr. Bush has plenty else to do.  Hurrying away to crucial summits in the Middle East, he will spend less than a day with the elite.  That, of course, would send the most telling signal of opposition to France's posturing; not engaging in argument over French ambitions, but simply ignoring them."


FRANCE:  "A Strained Reconciliation"


Anne Fulda noted in right-of-center Le Figaro (6/3) (Internet version):  “After a somewhat lukewarm meeting on Sunday, presidents Chirac and Bush were intent on giving a better impression of their new-found entente.  Sitting at a table in front of Lake Leman, both men tried their best to forget the differences that set them on opposite sides over Iraq.  President Bush was the most meritorious in this perfectly handled communications endeavor....  The U.S. president said he was convinced that the U.S. and France could once again work together on world issues....  He insisted that both men were 'absolutely' capable of having a discussion in spite of past differences....  Chirac also made noticeable efforts...acknowledging the reasons why President Bush needed to leave early.  He noted that France and the EU supported his Middle Eastern peace initiative ‘without any reservation whatsoever.’”


"Chirac And Bush Insist They Can Get Along"


Thierry Arnaud wrote in centrist La Tribune (6/3) (Internet version):  “The exercise involved acknowledging that there were past differences and that these were important, but that there were also many shared interests that needed to take the spotlight in the future.  The road is a narrow one, but both Chirac and Bush appeared determined to engage in it....  While one must not give too much importance to a twenty-five minute meeting during which many subjects were broached, it is also clear, as far as one can see, that the desire for a rapprochement on both sides appeared at once real and realistic.”


"My 'Friend' Putin"


Left-of-center Le Monde editorialized (6/3):  “President Bush, who spoke of Saddam Hussein’s monstrous human rights violations with some emotion, salutes Putin as his ‘good friend.’  President Bush forgets that his ‘friend’s’ armed forces have been for years committing war crimes in Chechnya....  President Bush forgets that these same armed forces have been inflicting on Chechnya’s population the same treatment that Saddam Hussein’s regime inflicted on the Kurds....  But the White House’s indignation is probably adjustable depending on whether America’s interests are or not at stake.”


“One More Summit"


Hedwige Chevrillon wrote in centrist La Tribune (6/2):  “What strikes one beyond the festivities, is the difficulty for wealthy nations to transcend their own interests in order to deal with the poor nations’ problems which are greatly more urgent....  President Chirac wanted Africa to be a priority, but international tensions after the Iraqi crisis are such that the simple handshake between Presidents Bush and Chirac has taken precedence over everything else....  Even behind the very honorable 15 billion dollar U.S. initiative to fight AIDS there is talk of ulterior economic motives.”


“Bush Face To Face With The Other World”


Charles Lambroschini argued in right-of-center Le Figaro (6/2): “Like Rome, America faces no competition. Nevertheless Jacques Chirac has invited the other world to sit across from President Bush.… Chirac wants to prove that his opposition to an armed intervention in Iraq cannot be reduced to anti-Americanism and that France’s strategy is shared by many others who favor a multipolar world.… After his rapid victory in Iraq, President Bush needs no one: not the UN, nor NATO.  Not the European Union, which is more useful to the U.S. divided than united, and certainly not France, to whom President Bush will show his friendship simply because the disproportionate imbalance of power does not warrant his being vengeful.… The Roman Empire survived because it changed the natives into citizens. Still immature, the American empire has not the same wisdom. George W. Bush will listen to Chirac, but he will probably not hear what he has to say.”


"Things Left Unsaid In Evian"


Bernard Guetta commented on France Inter radio (6/2):  "Jacques Chirac responded to the challenge which George [W.] Bush had issued to Europe by announcing that France would triple its financial contribution to the fight against AIDS.  The whole of the European Union immediately followed in his footsteps.  Euro-American competition has its good points--that was the third lesson of Evian.


GERMANY:  "A Mediocre Performance"


P. Heinemann commented on national radio station Deutschlandfunk of Cologne (6/3):  "As always if a real content is not visible, side aspects became important in Evian....  The future of such meetings is based on an extended dialogue and an honest treatment of each other.  In Evian, the big eight at best showed a mediocre performance."


"Summit Of The Smiles"


Center-right Westfaelische Nachrichten of Muenster said (6/3):  "The Europeans should not feel safe in view of George W. Bush's kindness.  The U.S. president will not give up his political principles.  The United States wants to be the undisputed global power.  And in this respect, he does not attribute a decisive role to the EU.  The fact that Bush left the 'summit of the smiles' early to take the peace initiative in the Middle East, clearly shows that he does not want to concede any influence to the Europeans.  More than in the past, the U.S. president will now call upon the Europeans to show solidarity.  For Chirac, Putin, and Schroeder it will be difficult to refuse to follow the U.S. president again.  He is the only radiating winner of the G-8 summit.  But Bush should beware of misusing his abundance of power by trying to drive a wedge between the Europeans.  The United States cannot afford weak partners."


"A Nice Attempt"


Center-right Allgemeine Zeitung of Mainz judged (6/3):  "It was a nice attempt, no more.  The G-8 summit in Evian did not bring the world forward, nor did it change the power balance between America and Europe.  It also remains a mystery what is the background of the optimistic view that an economic recovery will take place in the second half of 2003.  It is true that President Bush is orchestrating an economic program at home that he finances with enormous debt.  With this move, he is trying to secure his re-election.  But even the Evian summit did not give an answer to the question of how this should result in a sustainable push for the global economy, which will also create long-term employment."


"A Low Point"


D. Bittermann commented on national radio station Deutschlandfunk of Cologne (6/3):  "Evian is the low point in the history of these summits, not only because there are hardly any new initiatives coming out of this meeting, but also because the visit to the meeting was at best an embarrassing duty.  The one, Chancellor Schroeder arrived late, while the other, President Bush, departed early"


"Bush's WMD Initiative"


Business Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg stated (6/3):  "In the endless speculation over the mood in transatlantic relations, the only important political message during George W. Bush's trip to Europe seems to have been lost.  In Krakow, the U.S. president suggested a new international agreement that would ban the transport of WMD and missiles and stop illegal [weapons] shipments.  This initiative deserves a well-meaning examination.  On the one hand, this plan is the first new international treaty suggested by President Bush.  Europe often complained about Bush's unilateralism, but now there is the offer to take him at his word and make a partner of him.  In addition, Bush's initiative gives the policy against proliferation a new impetus."


"With Chastity Against The Epidemic"


Maritta Tkalec argued in an editorial in left-of-center Berliner Zeitung (6/3):"It is a taboo to discuss Aids in the majority of countries, even the international community of Aids helpers avoids it, for who wants to interfere in the intimate life of the people?  But the new Aids initiative of the U.S. government cannot do without such interference.  On May 27, shortly before the Evian summit, President Bush signed the bill that will provide 15 billion dollars for the fight against Aids….  The program means a tripling of the U.S. funds….  In Evian, French President Chirac promptly announced a tripling of French funds, and the EU also agreed to transfer a billion euros per year to the UN fund….  The United States lays claim to its moral leadership in many other sectors, and now it is about to till the neglected unchristian land of development policy....  But what is not new, since it was initiated by the Clinton administration, is an Africa policy under the slogan: "trade instead of assistance.'  Bush also likes this issue since it corresponds to his ideal of help for self help.  And that is why he is now attacking the EU which spends the biggest share in the 296 billion euros in subsidies on its farmers.  It is true that Bush hits the EU at a sore wound, but he must also admit that it are the subsidies to the U.S. cotton farmers who are threatening the existence of hundreds of thousands of farmers in Africa…."


"Bush Took Wind Out Of The Sails Of Critics"


Center-right Thueringer Allgemeine of Erfurt (6/3) argued:  "Apart from the fact that the meeting is still divided into the seven industrialized nations and Russia, the United States left no doubt that it is much too strong for this league of nations.  While the Europeans were wriggling around by resolutely demanding assistance for Africa without mentioning a sum of money, President Bush easily offered 15 billion U.S. dollars aid for the fight against AIDS.  By doing so, he took the wind out of the sails of critics, arguing that the United States mainly focus on itself.  Common actions on which the Third World can base a cohesive policy, however, will not develop with such moves."


"Summer Festival In Evian"


Center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (6/2) editorialized: "President Chirac has invited an extended circle of participants, reportedly to increase the legitimacy of the meeting.  This is commendable, but has a counter-productive effect.    Since the U.S president also leaves early, the state leaders will spend more time in large discussion rounds than at a table for eight leaders.  But all promises to the poorer nations will not result in much if we do not feel anything of G-8 common economic policy.  The real play is being performed far away from Evian:  in the big capitals where the governments influence exchange rates to stimulate their economies.  The dollar exchange rate to the euro is plunging to such a degree that it creates dangers for all sides involved....  A rise of the global economy would be more useful for all developing nations than all courteous invitations.  But this economic upturn will not come if blank self-interests determine economic policy activities. This is especially true for the childish trade conflicts between Europeans and Americans.  If summits like the one in Evian make sense, they must deliver results.  The global economy offers enough problems."


"To Evian -- To Clarify Things"


Gerd Appenzeller had this to say in an editorial in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (6/2): "Modesty and future perspectives would be appropriate for the meeting of the G-8 in Evian.  Unlike the communiqués they G-8 leaders grandiloquently announce during their regular meetings, they only take modest efforts to stabilize the global economy.  Their efforts to give Third World economies access to the markets of the industrialized nations are rather rudimentary....  In this situation it is really hypocritical that France's President Chirac demands with great gestures the promotion of global trade and wants to give economic growth highest priority.  He has invited state leaders from many developing nations for an 'extended dialogue'...but once the summit is over, doors will be closed and the G-8 nations will again stick with themselves.... They will certainly accept a sobering reality:  The eurozone is not suited to act as a economic engine for the world.  Only the United States has this power....  Tomorrow night we will know whether the 'extended dialogue' was something else than a new form of monologue of the wealthy nations."


ITALY:  "A Thaw With Some Reservation Between France And The U.S."


Adriana Cerretelli wrote from Evian in leading business  Il Sole 24 Ore (6/3):  “Perhaps the Evian summit will be remembered as the first summit of the half empty seat, and at the same time, as the summit flooded with statements and action plans, from the non-proliferation of WMD to the fight against terrorism....  A torrent of words...perhaps to try and sink that empty seat: the American president, after his one-on-one meeting with the French president and after a fast breakfast with the club’s members, left Evian to begin his peace mission in the ME.  It is a formally perfect alibi, which cannot be attacked, especially by France, which has always rebuked the U.S. for its lack of commitment in the region.  But there was nothing to prevent Bush from postponing his trip by 24 hours.”


"Selective Friendships"


Boris Biancheri opined in centrist, influential La Stampa (6/3):  “Indeed, the most delicate moment was Bush’s behavior toward the leaders of those three countries which opposed the action on Iraq....  Bush was very pragmatic. He said ‘yes’ to Russia...he said ‘we will see’ to Germany...and he said ‘no’ to Chirac....  Indeed, it was a summit in which President Bush, notwithstanding his short presence, was the protagonist.  And it could not have been differently.  It is important that at least this system of international co-determination, even if limited to a few countries, remain in place, notwithstanding the unilateralist temptations that prevail from time to time in one country or another.”


"The Post-Iraq Has Began"


Stefano Silvestri observed in leading business  Il Sole 24 Ore (6/3):  “It is difficult to evaluate the political importance of the Evian summit....  President Bush himself contributed in giving the image of an almost casual and disorderly meeting, leaving it before its conclusion, as he deemed his meeting with Egyptian President Mubarak more important....  In any case, for example, France’s announcement that it would increase its military contribution for the American-led operations in Afghanistan is already a very good sign.  And even more important was the agreement on the need to intensify the fight against WMD proliferation...with a clear warning to North Korea and Iran.”


 “Chirac To Bush: Full Support To The Road Map”


Giampiero Martinotti reported from Evian in left-leaning, influential La Repubblica (6/3): “Chirac and Bush made their best to try and warm up the atmosphere and their personal relations.  They did make some progress, but their visions of the world remain different and the G8 remained vague when they got down to concrete issues. The Americans continue to defend their pharmaceutical industry and oppose the production of low cost medicines to fight AIDS in the poor countries; on the environment, they issued generic statements; the plans to fight hunger and for water supplies remain full of good intentions.  And above all, the seat that President Bush left empty yesterday afternoon weighs heavy....  Indeed, differences remain.  The White House does not want to share its power with anyone and shows it day after day.”


“Bush Stays The Time Necessary To Convince the G8 On Iran And North Korea”


A front-page editorial in elite, classical liberal Il Foglio (6/3) noted:  “President Bush stayed in Evian 24 hours, just half the time of his colleagues.  But he won on all fronts....  He arrived in Evian with a $15 billion check signed by Congress to fight AIDS in Africa.  And he asked Europe to do its part.”


"Bush Warns Europe: 'No One Must Oppose The U.S."


Vittorio Zucconi commented in left-of-center La Repubblica (Internet Version) (6/1): "George Bush has come not to listen, but to dictate.   He is not in Europe to understand, but to explain and to bring the allies, old and new, belligerent and nonbelligerent, the new tables of the law according to Washington....  His the leadership, ours our share....  However, Iraq now seems to be ancient history for the man who is in a hurry, and who is moving, in both his political campaign and his shifts from one city to another -- Cracow, St. Petersburg, Geneva, Evian, Sharm al-Shaykh, Aqaba, and Doha in Qatar -- in this crazy race like a ball in a pinball machine, seemingly unwilling to allow any of the people he speaks to...time to ask questions or raise objections....  All the rest of his trip, after the long break at Auschwitz and Birkenau, looks like a demonstration of pique rather than of reconciliation....


"There was nothing to prevent a calmer, more thoughtful sequence of events, but Bush, who takes after his father, a master at speed golf, the version of golf where it is not the number of strokes that counts, but the speed with which the player makes it round all the holes, wants to give everyone the impression that the sovereign's brow is still furrowed against us because we have not inwardly digested to the full the word of preventive war and have not learned the lesson of 11 September....  It is the theory of preventive war, war of intentions, that brooks no argument but is merely to be waged, on the 'king's word,' Iraq."


RUSSIA:  "There's Been No Rapprochement"


Vadim Dolganov filed from Paris for official parliamentary Parlamentskaya Gazeta (6/4): "Things are much more difficult than they might seem.   It does not look like the White House realizes how serious the consequences of bypassing international law are and how long it will take to overcome the 'Iraq syndrome.'   It is fair to say that there really has been no rapprochement between Bush on the one side and Chirac and Schroeder on the other, since the basic differences have remained.  And so has Russia's principled stand on the war in Iraq.   The use of force is no way to spread



"Chirac: This Is A Multipolar World"


Natalia Gevorkian commented in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (6/3):  "This meeting, peculiar for its membership, must attest to Chirac hoping to use the summit to solve his own problems within and without.  The rightist president of leftist France must be suggesting a formula of 'liberal globalization' as a way to reach a consensus in the postwar world and possibly in his own country.  It is hard to tell what the French will say to that, but it is doubtful that the Americans will accept a new world notion from someone who has not paid a price for the last war.  This is also a signal for the French that their president has remained a peace-lover, a big wheel in international politics--for all his differences with Bush--and an unselfish capitalist concerned for the good of the entire mankind."


"Differences Remain"


Svetlana Babayeva remarked on page one of reformist Izvestiya (6/3):  "Declarations only confirm that, friends or no friends, divergences within the Big Eight remain, including when it comes to what should be considered the world's chief problems: poverty in Africa, ups and downs in their own economies or dictatorial regimes."


"Few Believe Global Government"


Nationalist opposition Sovetskaya Rossiya editorialized (6/3):  "Generally, the Big Eight is trying to show that its concerns spread to the development of the rest of the world, as well as to their own problems.  But few believe that the global government cares about the problems of poor and oppressed countries and peoples."


"Official Agenda Is Just A Screen"


Gennadiy Sysoyev held in reformist business-oriented Kommersant (6/2): "The agenda of the Evian summit includes a lot of topics, some of them unrelated, from war on terrorism to stable development to combating SARS.   But then, of course, the official agenda is more like a screen behind which the world leaders who have gathered in that French resort-town will play games, each his own.   This is the true intrigue of the summit....   Jacques Chirac avoided meeting with George Bush in St. Petersburg, denying Vladimir Putin the opportunity to become a peacemaker for the two most vociferous antagonists in the Iraq crisis.  By shaking hands with the U.S. President in Evian, Chirac scored a 'historical point' for the summit....   Though France

insists that G-8 is no directorate to run the world, people still tend to see it as a sort of global Politburo.  The impression will grow even stronger in Evian.   The United States has again grabbed the role of one who while being an equal among equals, is a bit more equal than the others. Some kind of General Secretary....   The UN role has slowly but steadily been waning, its functions turned over to other structures and fora."


"Bush-Chirac Meeting Is Chief Intrigue"


Svetlana Babayeva said in reformist Izvestiya (6/2): "Practically all call the Bush-Chirac meeting the chief intrigue of the summit....   Bush will leave for the Middle East, with the summit halfway through its agenda.  The hosts are very disappointed, realizing that the Americans still bear a grudge against them over Iraq."


"There's No Alternative To Partnership"


Yevgeniy Grigoryev stated in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (6/2): "The main thing about the U.S.-Russia meeting is that it has confirmed that there is no alternative to a strategic partnership between the two countries.... Importantly, Russia and the United States, as Bush said, will continue to enhance cooperation in the ABM area.   Also, the U.S. President supported the Kremlin's policy for a settlement in Chechnya, sounding a lot more definitive than the EU leaders.   That and other accords, including in the economic field, and particularly the invitation for Putin to visit Camp David next fall, are evidence that the 'Iraqi pain' in relations between Moscow and Washington has abated, and the two powers are getting back to active strategic interaction."


AUSTRIA: "Not A Miracle Cure"


In liberal Der Standard, Stefan Brändle commented (6/3): “Quite possibly, the mineral water in Evian really does have healing qualities. But whether the G-8 summit is going to get the world’s economy back into shape is another question. The summit in the French spa town would have been the ideal time and place for reconciling the former allies after the war in Iraq – in reality, it only served to highlight the differences between the 'old' and the 'new' Europe. The few gestures made in Evian to ease the tension are not going to bridge the transatlantic rift. The current main problem of the world’s economy – the weak dollar – did not even make it on the official agenda.… Much more efficient are the G-8 opponents, an unholy alliance of anti-globalization groups, who condemn the ‘Club of the Rich’ on principle, and the falcons in Washington, who – equally true to principle – undermine every attempt at multilateralism.... The world economy could certainly do with a successful G-8 meeting – i.e. concrete economic decisions and guidelines, based on the acceptance of globalization and the will to get its negative effects under control. However, all the divergences between the Great 8 make a proper synthesis impossible. What remains is a lot of smooth blandishing. It seems that even the mineral water in Evian can’t work miracles.”


 "The Side Table Of World Politics"


In centrist Die Presse foreign affairs writer Wieland Schneider editorialized  (6/2): “U.S. President Bush only had a watery smile for French Prime Minister Chirac at the G-8 summit in the French town of Evian. A direct talk between the two is scheduled to initiate a mutual rapprochement, but the atmospheric disturbances caused by the French policy on Iraq can still be felt.  Bush also continues to freeze out German Chancellor Schröder: In St. Petersburg, the U.S. President only had a curt ‘How are you?’ for the German Chancellor, and Schröder was certainly not allowed a place at the table together with Bush and Putin, and neither will Bush have time for a longer conversation with Schröder at the G-8 summit.… Even though it hurts them to admit it, both Schröder and Chirac will have to give up their illusionary vision of forming a strong European counterbalance to the U.S. They can neither count on Russia’s support, nor on a majority within the EU, let alone in the Eastern and South-Eastern European countries. If they insist on the vision of an alliance against Washington, they run the risk of having to sit at the side table at future world political events.”


BELGIUM: “Sham Reconciliation?”


Francoise Delstanche editorialized in financial L’Echo (6/3): “Will the transatlantic reconciliation that was initiated this week end go beyond appearances? Of course, everyone watered down his wine and, from George W. Bush to Jacques Chirac, the climate is one of appeasement.... Yet, in spite of this lull, the divisions remain difficult to iron out, as illustrated by the very stiff handshake between the two Heads of State.  About the past, ‘we have not changed our mind, neither did the United States,’ the Elysee’s spokeswoman admitted.  In spite of George W. Bush’s more or less conciliatory statements, the United States still wants to dictate the international agenda as it suits it.  Under American ascendancy, the G8 is the victim of this contradiction, whereas this forum, no matter how imperfect, is considered as a necessary instrument of consultation, provided it be capable of conducting coordinated strategies.”


“Do Not Disturb: The G8 Is In A Reconstruction Phase”


Michel De Muelenaere in left-of-center Le Soir editorialized (5/31): “What can one expect from the G8 Summit in Evian when the ‘every man for himself’ approach is prevailing? On the world scene, the situation can almost be summarized as an equation with only one term: the United States. Preventive war and direct pressures, under the banner of the fight against terrorism, are conditioning diplomacy.  What can one expect from the G8 Summit in Evian in these circumstances? Probably a kind of peace agreement, where everyone, although sticking to his position, admits that the Iraqi page has been turned. And in this subtle game, one will note with interest the give and take between the support for the anti-terrorism crusade and the tangible evidence that the Americans are willing that international cooperation recovers its place.”


CZECH REPUBLIC: "G8 Is Not What It Used To Be"


Milan Fridrich commented in the leading business Hospodarske noviny (6/4): "G8 represents [a distribution of] power on the planet, rather than a body controlling the world....  Paradoxically, Bush’s and Chirac’s approaches to international affairs differ less than a layman would think. The two just have different capacities, mentality and means....  It’s a question what France would behave like if it was as strong [as the U.S.] and somebody...guided four airplanes into the 'center' of its power....  In Evian, Bush announced that the Congress approved of USD 15bn aid for programs against AIDS.… [He] reminded all [in Evian] that politics is made by money and those who haven’t got it are at a disadvantage.  France, together with EU, was slapped in its face.… So far the debate was over the lack of money for European defence, never over European unwillingness to give money to charity.  U.S. President’s action shows that G8 has changed, just as U.S. foreign policy has....  Bush’s style makes [G8] nothing more than yet another venue for consulting on shared problems."


"How Long Will The Gestures From Evian Apply?"


Adam Cerny commented in the centrist Hospodarske Noviny (6/3): "Former contacts between Bush’s and Chirac’s staff suggested that speculation as to whether...[Bush and Chirac] shake hands in Evian served only to reinforce the final effect....  Despite the reassuring words, neither the U.S. nor the French president has markedly changed their positions....  The next dispute will break out if western politicians forget about two temptations raised by the Iraqi crisis....  [The first is that] the U.S.’ attitude to solve problems on its own may prevail....  [The second is that] for instance in Paris, there will always be politicians who will focus their effort on strengthening the EU against the U.S....   Only the future will show whether...the goodwill Evian will survive the next test....  The differences have not disappeared; they were only covered up by polite gestures."


"Quarrels Are Beneficial Once In a While"


Frantisek Sulc claimed in the center-right Lidove Noviny (6/3): "The skirmishes over Iraq were in some ways important and from today's perspective maybe even positive. It turned out that the world powers need each other and that even the capabilities of a superpower are limited.  Some things are easier done through the UN and with the support of other countries. France, Germany and Russia realized that they are not able to remain in opposition to the U.S. for long. They erode their positions and their interests are still too diverse to be able to 'punish' the U.S. and the UK effectively. The positive thing about the recent disagreements is that these countries were able to overcome their animosities. This is good piece of news especially for small countries like the CR We don't have to make the choice between one or the other. We need them both. A quarrel is a good thing, it clears the air and facilitates the process of negotiation, and it can even make the relationship stronger. Quarrels, however, must not come up too often."


IRELAND: "Summit Silence On Key Issues"


The center-left Irish Times judged (6/3): "If the summit leaders wanted to have a lasting impact on growth then there are a couple of key issues that they should have tackled; barring some surprise in today's communiqué from the summit, they do not appear to have done so. Trade, an issue which binds nations together economically, was an obvious area for the leaders to address.... The leaders did commit themselves to successfully concluding the trade talks.  Unfortunately, however, they were unable to signal any of the key compromises that would get the round moving again....  Building diplomatic bridges post-Iraq was always going to dominate the summit. But now the time has come for concerted international action to boost a fragile world economy. The European Central Bank should lead the way by announcing a substantial interest rate cut this week."


"US And Europe Prepare To Paper Over The Cracks At G8"


Marion McKeone commented in the centrist weekly Sunday Tribune (6/1): "Even in better circumstances Bush dislikes international summits, preferring to hone his relations with international leaders individually and in more relaxed circumstances....  On the plus side, Bush has a $15 billion bill to fight AIDS in Africa under his belt and a plan for peace in the Middle East that appears to indicate a renewed U.S. commitment to the region.... There is a sense in Washington that, while Bush's newly minted engagement in the Middle east is laudable, its chances of succeeding are slim....  While the $15 billion plan over five years is generous by U.S. standards, it still represents less of its annual GDP than the amount given to battling AIDS by even the Ugandan government. And already in Washington there are serious doubts that the U.S. will ever make good on its promise to deliver $3 billion a year to AIDS treatment and prevention in Africa, since that money will be vulnerable to cuts in government spending....  While few are optimistic that the G8 summit will turn the tide in US-transatlantic relations, Bush and the Russian, French and German leaders realize that some papering over of the cracks is essential. However, the one-day pitstop Bush has allocated suggests that any real attempt to identify, never mind resolve the fundamental shifts that led to the UN fiasco and the subsequent meltdown in international relations, will be postponed for another day and possibly. Another administration."


NORWAY: “Nothing Is As Before”


The social democratic Dagsavisen commented (6/2): ”The USA’s treatment of Germany and France stands in grotesque disproportion to Washington’s friendliness to the former communist dictatorships in the East… The USA, France and Germany should listen to Great Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair, who before the weekend encouraged the countries to make up after the war in Iraq. The world must go on.”


POLAND:  "A Decisive Test For Bush”

Jedrzej Bielecki wrote in centrist Rzeczpospolita (6/3): “George W. Bush underscored at every step yesterday that even though he participates with other leaders at the G-8 summit in Evian, as the leader of the only global superpower, he goes by separate rules.  Jacques Chirac also tried, with the help of symbols, to show his own vision of the world. He invited the leaders of China, Brazil, South Africa and some other developing countries to the G-8 summit in the Alpine resort.  In his opinion, they all have the participate in the global debate, and not only listen to orders from Washington. Aside from the game of appearances, reality is on the side of Bush now. From the summit, Air Force One flew directly to Egypt and Jordan, where the American president will try to push the Mideast peace plan on his own.... But a decisive test for Bush will be not Evian, but the ability to transform Iraq into a stable and well-developed country. Despite all disputes, it is also in the interest of Europe.”


“Wawel In The Map Of The World”

Bronislaw Wildstein observed in centrist Rzeczpospolita (6/2): “The visit of the U.S. president to Europe is aimed at overcoming the split in transatlantic relations caused by the war in Iraq. His address at Wawel [Royal Castle in Krakow] is proof of the wish to cooperate with Europe, while it defines the principal goals of U.S. policy, i.e. conditions on which such cooperation can be based.... The American president proposed jointly building a new deal, which can be called American only because the Americans are the most powerful advocates of it. The ideals at its foundation were born in Europe. The Americans need a partner, which a Europe that is being united may become. Poland is important to them as an active member of this commonwealth.”


SPAIN: "G-8 Is Not Enough"


Left-of-center El País wrote (6/3): "The fact the G-8 Evian Summit was held without problems and recriminations after the rifts opened by war in Iraq, is a success....  Beyond the limits of Bush's good words rejecting a weak dollar policy, nothing concrete came out of Evian....  The G-8 must be more operative, and for that, it needs to open up to the big developing countries."


"G-8: Another Format?"


Centrist La Vanguardia noted (6/3): "As always, the summit was generous with promises of humanitarian help to the countries of the Third World and plans against famines, but the reluctance in the field of trade liberalization deprives developing countries of their most efficient tool to get back on their feet.   Chirac succeeded in giving the summit a more socially aware turn and...he started to staunch the wounds that the war in Iraq opened in the relations between his country and the United States."


"Agreement In The G-8"


Conservative La Razon  wrote (6/3): "Evian was a victory for Chirac, but above all for the U.S. President, who besides the standard of a generous victor, is bringing with him to the Middle East the express support of the G-8 to mediate and force the situation, if necessary, in implementing the so-called Road Map for peace in Palestine."


"Bush And Putin Get Closer"


An editorial in left-of-center El Pais declared (6/2):  "One of the reasons for 'pardoning' Russia is that Putin has been less strident in his opposition to the U.S.' plans than Chirac or Shroeder....  Bush sees Moscow as indispensable to the solution of some of the problems that preoccupy him most, the anti-terrorist crusade, North Korea...or, above all, Iran whose nuclear adventure, which the White House is obsessed about, is inconceivable without the uranium and technology dispensed by the Kremlin....   What is worrisome is that Washington is incapable of applying the same equanimity to its relations with the two most influential countries in the EU.  In this sense, Evian is an opportunity for Bush to mend fences with Paris and Berlin. The U.S.' unlimited military power is not paralleled in the economic terrain, and the global challanges of our time--from terrorism to AIDS, along with the terminal situation in Africa or the intolerable trade inequalities, demand a new understanding between the EU and the "old Europe.'"


TURKEY: “The So-Called Summit”


Hadi Uluengin stated in mass appeal Hurriyet (6/3): “The G-7+1 summit has de facto changed its nature after the Iraq war.  Once upon a time, it was the club of the ‘bosses’ yet now there is only one boss, and the rest consists of a group of assistant-managers.… The main focus of the summit this time has been on the bitter relations between the U.S. and France, and whether they are going to warm things up.  The two leaders are presenting some friendly rhetoric, yet it will really take some time to see a genuine normalization of Washington-Paris relations.… The final communique of the summit will be issued just for show.  The fact of the matter is that the Evian summit will provide a perfect time for the U.S. to underscore that it is the real boss and the others being assistant masters.”




SAUDI ARABIA:  "Bush: The Star Of The Three Summits"


Riyadh's conservative Al-Riyadh editorialized (6/2):  "Along with the Arabic doubts regarding the implementation of the Roadmap contents because of Israeli influence and seeming lack of commitment to peace on the part of the U.S., there are others who believe that President Bush seems committed to this peace project. They believe that he is committed to its success in order to focus on rebuilding Iraq and fight terrorism. However, the debate is not just between the Palestinians and the Israelis, but also is between the international parties who are trying to persuade Bush that Israel has previously trespassed the redlines and derailed all the previous peace settlements.  President Bush will hear the Arabic position at Sharm Al-Skeikh summit prior to meeting Sharon in Aqaba, and based on that, we anticipate that the peace lines might be drawn accordingly.


"Looking Ahead"


Riyadh's English language Riyadh Daily noted (6/2): "U.S. President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have every reason to feel elated over their summit in St. Petersburg yesterday.... The Iraq war threatened to send the two countries back to the rough days of the Cold War. But Sunday's Bush -Putin summit put those fears to rest....  Hiccups remain in Russia's relations with two of Washington's arch foes - Iran and North Korea.  Russia surely has a point when it says that its ties with the two countries are not in any way linked to weaponization. The U.S. nevertheless sees it as a sticking point in relations. At least as far as North Korea is concerned, it is a well-known fact that the communist state is a rogue country and isolated. Animosities between the U.S. and Russia on this front are surely unwarranted....The Bush-Putin summit has, all in all, proved that the two countries will let peripheral issues hinder overall ties."


TUNISIA: "The Giants' Summit And The Dwarves' Issues"


An editorial by Essia Atrous in independent Arabic-language Assabah stated (6/2):"A public survey conducted before the G8 Summit in Evian shows that 60 to 70 % of the peoples of the world's eight giants do not believe the summit will reach agreements about the world's most important concerns. This reflects the important gap between the Giants' beliefs and the Dwarves' real problems and worries.... This Summit's agenda does not differ from previous it proposes to tackle the WMD issue, in addition to diseases and poverty and, of course, ways to counter terrorism....  It is clear though, that most World leaders have other concerns and priorities as they want to use the summit to reconcile tensions raised during the war on Iraq and overcome past conflicts to reconsider future common priorities"




An editorial by Sahar Baasiri in moderate, anti-Syrian An-Nahar (5/31): "The G-8 Summit in Evian should have been a great event, however, President George Bush succeeded in changing it into merely one of the summits he is planning to participate/chair within a tour that has multiple stops and multiples aims, but serves only one single goal.  Despite Bush's efforts, however, the G-8 continues to be a basic stop in Bush's tour.  Bush will meet on French land with his allies and enemies regarding his war on Iraq. All want to surpass the political differences in order to confront the danger of recession in the international economy and other threats like terrorism and environment....  The summit is in fact a confrontation between two concepts:  The American unilateral approach to world problems and the French pluralistic approach....  Chirac has prepared the summit in a way that reinforces pluralism."




AUSTRALIA: “G8 Countries Should Show Leadership Not Tokenism”


Graham Barrett , formerly with the World Bank, wrote this op-ed in the business-oriented Australian Financial Review (6/4): "The G8 countries possess the means to make the world a better and safer place, for themselves as much as for anyone else, should they develop the political will to match deeds with words.…They should be investing much more energy--not just rhetoric--in jointly pursuing such causes as combating terrorism, discouraging the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, reducing poverty, easing inequality in trade and slowing environmental degradation.... The U.S., filled with post-September 11 resolve, is uniquely placed to persuade its G8 partners to agree on a bold new plan for tackling the problems that underlie many global issues and has demonstrated some good intentions through recent commitments to combating HIV-AIDS in poor countries, increasing foreign aid and sponsoring research into hydrocarbons.... The U.S. hopes that in reshaping Iraq along democratic lines it can provide a model for other Middle Eastern states to follow.… Becoming personally involved in such a venture is a risky affair for any Western leader.... But [President Bush] has his priorities right.  We must all hope he succeeds in bringing real change to the Middle East--and that the other G8 powers put their doubts behind them and do whatever they can to help."


CHINA: “The U.S. Treats G8 Summit Coldly”


Zhang Zhuji commented in the official Communist Party international news publication Global Times (Huanqiu Shibao, 6/2): “The U.S. intended to set up a new world order led by the U.S right after the Cold War was over.  Bush has become even more determined to realize that after winning the Iraq war.  If the G8 summit, which is considered as the best conciliation institution for the world economy, does not follow the U.S. will, it is no better than the UN, NATO or other international organizations in the eyes of the U.S.  The U.S. treated G8 summit coldly also because it does not expect anything from the summit.... Promoting comprehensive cooperation and enhancing joint development: Hu Jintao, China’s President, spoke at the informal leaders’ meeting between North and South (developed and undeveloped countries)at the G8 summit”


JAPAN:  "Join Hands To Press DPRK To Stop Nuclear Development"


The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (6/3):  "Through the Evian G-8 summit, the world community has reached a consensus on the need to prevent the DPRK from going ahead with its nuclear arms development.  The challenge that lies ahead is whether the international community will be able to act in concert in taking tough measures, including sanctions, against the North, if its actions warrant such punitive steps....  The only way the world community can show North Korea that it means business is to make it plain to Pyongyang that both dialogue and pressure will be used as required."    


"U.S. Domination Evident At Evian Summit"


Evian correspondent Sato observed in the liberal Mainichi  (6/3):  "On Monday, the G-8 summit leaders discussed post-Iraq war issues, including the DPRK and Iran's nuclear development and WMD proliferation.  Evident at the Monday session was a display of the U.S. leadership that has strengthened since the start of the Iraq war, as the U.S. brought issues to the table that have a direct bearing on its interests and won approval for its positions on these issues from other summit leaders.  The DPRK and Iran issues were high on the agenda among the world leaders, who tried to paper over the cracks developed over the Iraq war."


"Question Is Russia's Action"


The conservative Sankei editorialized (6/2):  "During their meeting in St. Petersburg, Presidents Bush and Putin managed to paper over the cracks developed over the Iraq war. The two leaders also agreed to halt the DPRK and Iran's nuclear (arms) development. Although we welcome the outcome of the Bush-Putin 'fence-mending' summit, the question is how the U.S. and Russia will press the DPRK to abandon its nuclear ambitions. There appears to be no closing of the gap over their respective policies toward the DPRK - the 'pressure and dialogue' strategy reached by President Bush and PM Koizumi at the Crawford summit, and the 'pressure-free' approach agreed to by Putin and Chinese President Hu....  Although the U.S. is gravely concerned about Russia's technological assistance to Iran's nuclear development, Putin stood by Russia's policy of continuing to give technical assistance to Iran's construction of a nuclear power plant. Now that Putin has pledged to fight terrorism with the U.S., Russia will have to sever its Cold War ties with North Korea, Iran and Syria to regain the confidence of the international community. Russia continues to react strongly to what it calls unilateral U.S. action in addressing global issues, causing subtle discord over the DPRK and Iran."  


INDONESIA: “G-8 Meets Again, Global Economy Remains Unbalanced”


Leading independent Kompas commented (6/3): “The G-8 not only an economic forum but also an arena to discuss common strategy to deal with global terrorist movements.…  The fear about terrorist threats mounts again after terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia and Morocco in May....  The military, ideological and political challenges are very obvious after the Cold War.  But the unbalanced structure of the economy remains unchanged.  Developed countries continue to enjoy an incredible level of welfare, whereas developing countries continue to struggle with backwardness and poverty.  Ironically, developed countries continue to urge developing countries to liberate their markets while putting barriers on food imports from these countries.…   Economic gaps and injustice are a sensitive issue that could threaten world peace.  Under economic pressure, people could easily get frustrated, commit violence, and be aggressive.”


THAILAND: “The G-8 Summit: Changing The World”


The lead editorial in independent, English language Nation read (6/1): “The White House’s uncompromising stance on many global issues, especially its confrontational go-it-alone attitude, has come to poison the serene atmosphere of the French spa town of Evian, the host of today’s summit.…The G-8 summit has no executive power: it relies on the presidents and prime ministers going back to their individual countries and making good their promises.  At this juncture, there is a real concern over the increased distortion in the world’s major currencies-the U.S. dollar, the euro and the yen.  And this matter may well be downplayed or neglected because George W. Bush, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schroeder do not see eye to eye with each other and their people are continuing to stab one another in the back....  Can Bush now swallow his pride and go for damage control in order to return the world to its old, boring stability?  Today is the day he can signal to the world that whichever way the U.S. goes will have great ramifications for every individual on earth.”


VIETNAM:  "Invisible Waves In Evian"


Thanh Hien wrote in Quan Doi Nhan Dan, the daily of the Vietnam People's Army, (6/2):  "The G8 summit this year in Evian is an opportunity for the richest and most powerful countries in the world to repair serious damages in their relations caused by the Iraq War....  As the Iraq War is fading away, France, Germany, Russia, and the US all see the need for and benefits in mending their recent disagreements, or at least they see that putting those disagreements aside is a good thing to do now so that they cannot affect their future cooperation....  Both Chirac, the head of state of the host country, and Bush, the head of state of the world's number one power, understand that the G8 summit this year cannot produce any positive results if they stick to their disagreements regarding the Iraq War....  Commitments, promises, and plans will be made in Evian during the three days of the summit.  But some people are skeptical about those results, the reason is that the members of the world's richest club have not yet the same level of mutual trust they had before the Iraq War."




INDIA: "The Haves Are The Give-Nots"


An editorial in the nationalist Hindustan Times asserted (6/3): "The 29th G8 economic summit in the French Alps was aimed at reviving globalization in the face of weak growth and discord over the Iraq war.... Over the years, the process has not benefited everyone equally and Prime Minister Vajpayee has reiterated the need for a more equitable world order.... Heavy farm subsidies have continued in the US and Europe, denying developing countries' market access in agriculture. Fresh non-tariff barriers to trade have also been erected to protect jobs in America's declining manufacturing sector. Despite the Doha declaration, in which facilities for increasing trade with developing countries were chalked out, restrictions on the movement of people have continued.... All this is bringing about a huge rift between developing and industrial countries in the new millennium and could result in greater political instability and conflicts."


"The G-8 Owes Nothing"


An editorial page article in Chennai-based independent business Business Line (6/3): "The G-8 Summit at Evian may have yet little to offer if poor countries have yet to find wholesome and wholesale institutional processes aimed at caring for the citizens and at ensuring that their -- the poor countries' -- governments will deal with their citizens at all times with humane carefulness.  The G-8 countries owe the poor countries nothing.  The best the G-8 countries can do is to show how they have been caring and humanely careful.  The pity is caring and carefulness are not easily tradable.  But they can be grown in our backyards."




CANADA:  "Bush Needs The G-8, And It Needs Him"


John Kirton contended in the leading Globe and Mail (6/3) (Internet version):  "It would have been naive--Évian spelled backward, as the insiders joked--to believe that Mr. Bush would come fully prepared to forgive and forget the formidable frustrations caused by France....  So, when [the] inevitable American consequence came [with Bush's early departure], it proved to be the mildest and most multilateral signal that Mr. Bush could send--a signal, but not a snub....  By the time Mr. Bush left, this G-8 summit had done all it was designed to do.  Its central challenge of building a bridge over troubled Franco-American waters was accomplished.... 


"Above all, Mr. Bush left France having seen once again what the G-8, as the effective centre of global governance, could do to help a now-vulnerable United States.  It is clear to Mr. Bush that a deficit-ridden, post-9/11 United States simply cannot independently revive the global and U.S. economies before next year's presidential election, as well as protect Americans from terrorists, reconstruct Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan, and cope with North Korea and infectious disease in Africa.  Mr. Bush departed the summit showing once again that he knows the United States needs the G-8, and that he knows how to make the G-8 work for his country.  But, with the G-8 and global economies now driving dangerously toward recession and deflation, and with Évian having mobilized meagre amounts of money to back its many promises, Mr. Bush and his G-8 colleagues have even more work to do when the summit returns to North America in 2004."


"Iraq War Casts Shadow On G8 Summit"


Robert Fife commented in the conservative National Post (Internet Version) (6/2): "The leaders gathered at the French Alpine resort of Evian are united behind the President's call to kick-start the sluggish global economy and combat poverty. Mr. Chrétien -- attending his 10th and final G8 summit...-- said Mr. Bush responded positively to a presentation he made on the need to rebuild confidence in the global economy.... Mr. Chirac, whose relationship with Mr. Bush has been especially strained, greeted the President with a stiff smile and a handshake when he arrived in Evian and later praised Mr. Bush for pushing Congress to pass a US$15-billion plan to combat AIDS.... Mr. Bush appeared cool toward Gerhard Schroeder, the German Chancellor, who won re-election on an anti-war campaign. Though he took the initiative to shake Mr. Schroeder's hand during a meeting in St. Petersburg, where the leaders met to celebrate the city's 300th anniversary, no one-on-one meeting was planned in Evian.....  In contrast to his strictly correct encounters with the leaders of France and Germany, Mr. Bush had a particularly warm meeting in St. Petersburg with Vladimir Putin, inviting him to Camp David in September. The G8 leaders are set to discuss the fight against terror, the North Korean nuclear crisis and aid for developing countries as well as the need to break down barriers to trade."


ARGENTINA:  "The G8 Trusts It Will Overcome The Economic Crisis"


Maria Laura Avignolo, Paris-based correspondent for leading Clarin, observed (6/4): "Pragmatism and diplomacy have overcome disagreement and continue intact.  The most difficult G8 summit ended, and the injuries left by the war in Iraq jeopardized reconciliation since the first day until yesterday, when the final communiqué was read....  Iraq was the obstacle and it was diplomatically solved, even when Baghdad continues turned into chaos....  The economy was a matter of concern for the G8, and particularly the euro-dollar parity. Now, they committed themselves to implementing growth conditions to make world economy more dynamic and undertake structural reforms. They are determined to conclude in 2004 the cycle of multilateral trade negotiations started in November 2001 in Doha....  Good news for Latin America: the G8 has promised to analyze every case to respond to the indebtedness of intermediate countries that are not eligible for the plan for highly indebted poor countries. This is a reward for Lula's action at the G8."


"G-8 Summit Unable To Achieve Tangible Agreement to Rescue World Economy"


Eduardo Febbro, leftist Pagina 12's Paris-based correspondent, judged (6/3): "The only answer the summit provided was wishful thinking and ideas but no concrete measures....  According to French President Chirac, the present situation is much clearer now because the 'uncertainties on the war against Iraq have been dispelled, there's an important reduction in oil prices and interest rates are low.'...  Nevertheless, no practical announcement was made to restore the stability of those markets affected by the constant fall of the dollar vis-a-vis the Euro....  The issues linked with the multiple problems of developing countries didn't enjoy the generosity of the major superpowers either.  Yesterday's discussions took place without the presence of President Bush, who left earlier than expected, and went to Egypt, to take part in the summit of Arab countries. After a long declaration full of flowery speech, paradoxically called 'action plan', the club of the world's leading countries declared that world hunger 'is a tragedy that could be avoided.'... Nevertheless, even though the circle of world powers says it's determined to 'end' the tragedy 'with immediate measures', there wasn't a single line (in their declaration) devoted to funds, financial mechanisms, or an increase in aid for development, so as to meet UN goals by which poverty will be reduced by half by the year 2005. "


BRAZIL: "Mission Accomplished At The G-8"


Center-right O Estado de Sao Paulo editorialized (6/3): "The G-8 is no longer the forum in which countries that were leaders of the free world made strategic decisions concerning political and economic issues. It has lost so much of its relevance that President George W. Bush left the meeting before it was over.... [Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva]...warned that there will be no economic development without social sustainability and, without either, the world will be ever more insecure....[Lula] proposed an end to the kinds of discrimination, including subsidies, that hinder the access of emerging countries to the markets of rich countries -- and the creation of a world fund to fight poverty. His words fell on infertile soil. The U.S, Europe and Japan have already demonstrated that they are not willing to abandon their protectionist practices.... But the real problem is that the G-8 is not willing to help solve the injustices of the world. Most of the promises made by G-8 countries to the poor countries were never fulfilled."


"The Only Way"


Right-of-center O Globo's editorial held (6/3): "President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's speech to the G-8 leaders ...reveals an unexpected and welcome maturity.... But one should note and even celebrate the attention to which the speech was paid by those leaders - not so much for being something new but for because it was presented by Lula.  It was clear that there's a leadership gap and that the President of Brazil is being able to fill in this gap naturally with a sense of timing and without ideological boasting.  This moderate attitude seems to be the result the emerging countries' acknowledgement that today they have nothing to gain by  systematic polarization inspired by ideological beliefs.... That belongs to the past.... In this new government (Lula's) one doesn't notice even traces of what was called the Third Way - an easy temptation to be avoided by a President who has awoken great interest in the entire world for his labor background and by the peaceful way he achieved power.  For instance, his harsh attack against the protectionism of rich countries was opportune - because it was done at the right time and place, in front of those who deserved to hear it: French President Jacques Chirac, and U.S. President George Bush.  It was timely above all because Lula used the legitimate means of access - that of multilateral fora."


MEXICO:  "Offerings Of Smoke"


An editorial in business-oriented El Financiero read (6/3):  "If Europe achieved to incorporate basic topics like hunger, health, access to markets, and world governance into the agenda of the world's wealthiest nations in exchange for an anti-terrorist agreement imposed by George W. Bush, then the attendance of a dozen developing countries –to include Mexico – was not in vain.  The exigencies to justify the war in Iraq could have been reoriented to allow social progress and economic recovery, even if no commitments were made in terms of monetary or currency exchange policies....  Even if there were no concrete results derived from the G-8 summit, Lula's proposal in favor of access to markets to fight poverty was outstanding, because it generated the concern for a less unequal globalization, even in the case of Bush."


“Evian: Divergent Versions”


An editorial in left-of-center La Jornada (6/3):  "George Bush got what he wanted in terms of disseminating a paranoid and distorted version regarding terrorism and nuclear proliferation as the main threats to rich countries. As a matter of fact, Washington got as the approval of a Group of Action Against Terror (GAAT) which has 2 main objectives: to reinforce the international and political will, and to sensitize other countries to how important it is to cooperate against terrorism, in other words to impose to the rest of the world the rigid ideas of the Bush administration....  G8 has increasingly politicized its meetings, but has not been able to translate its ideas into real commitments in favor of democracy and human rights, it has only fortified the global police methods and Washington authoritarianism. Issues like the economy and development have been put aside.”


“G9 Minus G8 Gives G1”


Marco Provencio stated in nationalist Milenio (6/3):  "An important part of Fox’s visit to Evian – with the other 12 developing countries - was lost, because this G8 summit was focused on the discussion of irrelevant issues; they are not relevant because they are not feasible. The possible admission of Mexico as the ninth country of the group is a useless discussion and a recurrent (foolish) idea, as Jorge Fernandez said days ago.… It is not clear what would be the reason to be a member of G8. It would not be useful to Mexico because the issues to discuss in those summits have nothing to do with our agenda and we cannot have a direct influence on them.”


"An Extra For Washington"


An editorial in business-oriented El Financiero read (5/30):  "What is the objective of announcing that Mexico will seek to expand the group of the eight most industrialized countries in the world, the G-8?  A point increase in popular public opinion polls, or just a big laugh?  History tells us that the effect of irrationality is counterproductive.  A cold revision of Mexico’s economic indicators, without considering the social ones, leaves us out of the G-8 scheme.  Even when it has been said that Mexico is one of the ten most important world economies, or that in the past two years exports have generated more than 350 billion dollars, the truth is that we are not as competitive as China, and we are incapable of creating enough jobs for the each year’s workforce entry into the labor market.  Clearly, this affirmation is a fantasy, like the one created during the Salinas administration, when he signed Mexico up to be part of the OECD.  Later, reality put us back into perspective, with the worst financial crisis in our history.  Dreaming is easy, but being realistic is easy as well.  Unless the objective is to be included among those who are big, like an extra to support the world's most powerful nation (the United States)?"


CHILE:  "A Triumph For Bush"


Leading-circulation, popular La Tercera (6/3): "The G-8 France was the right moment for President George Bush to mend ties with his traditional European partners after the strain caused by the conflict with Iraq.  In this regard, the group's decision to pressure Iran and North Korea into dismantling their nuclear programs is an endorsement for Bush and his 'war against terrorism.'  But the summit is just the first gesture to normalize relations with France and other European nations....  We will have to wait and see if this rapprochement will translate into an effective cooperation regarding international problems which are yet to be resolved, like the situation in Iran and North Korea....  France's position is also not clear.  France will either look for greater points of agreement with the U.S. or will continue to firmly defend multilateralism, thus becoming a direct adversary to Washington's plans."


PERU: "From The G-8 To The G-20"


Center-left La Republica ran an editorial stating (6/2): "At the initiative of President Chirac, this summit will be different from others.  For the first time, the G-8 opens itself up to the underdeveloped economies of the South, and for one day becomes a G-20 -- a concession to the antiglobalization forces....  If the G-8 countries wanted to show their support for the poor countries and stop the negative effects of globalization, it would be enough for them to open their protected agriculture sectors to products from the South.  But all seems to indicate that this topic will not be broached."




CAMEROON: "G8 Summit: Another Wretched Sham?"


The Yaounde-based pro-opposition French language Mutations carried a piece by its correspondent in Geneva Didier Planche (6/2): "The eight countries represented at the Evian summit had all signed the Millenium Declaration by which they promised to help reduce poverty in the world--a pure sham.  Urgent decision-making is not what is lacking to improve the conditions of people living on less than a dollar a day....  Since 1990, 54 countries have become impoverished. The leaders of the world can not remain mere spectators and watch how the poverty level of more than a billion people worsens.  The industrialized nations need to honor their engagement towards the world's poor....  In this light, U.S. President boastfully announced the allocation of 15 billion US dollars over five years to the fight against HIV/AIDS in 14 African, Carribean and Pacific countries.  While this is a good start coming from the cantor of the economic liberalism, it is also a way to ridicule the European Union and especially French President, Jacques Chirac."


SOUTH AFRICA: "The G8's Folly "


Pro-government, afro-centric Sowetan  (6/2) commented:  "As the leaders of the G8 meet...they are most likely to spend their time trying to heal the transatlantic rancor over Iraq, rather than focus on the pledges made to Africa and the developing world.  This, indeed, would be folly....   The G8 must deal decisively with the harm caused by rich countries' farm subsidies...  Clearly, there needs to be a firm pledge from the G8 on this.  Access to another crucial issue to Africa and the developing world, which the G8 must deal with.  The Iraqi crisis has clearly shown that with the political will, enough resources can be rapidly mobilized when industrial nations have a strategic interest at stake...   The same political will is needed now by the G8 to deal with the plight of Africa and the developing world."


"Africa Must Make Its Presence Felt At G8"


Executive Director of the Africa Institute, Dr. Eddy Maloka, wrote in pro-government, afro-centric Sowetan  (6/2):  "The G8 is an exclusive and highly contested forum of developed countries and the fact that our continent has managed to filter our issues into the summit agenda and declarations over the past three years, is very important...   The G8 is the de facto UN of our world and it must be influenced from all fronts..    This engagement should not be limited to access and participation but must also be focused on issues of substance and the agenda of developing countries.  Our engagement with the G8 is just one front of our struggle to transform all relevant global institutions with the view to making them more representative and sensitive to the plight of developing countries....  The war on terror must also address fundamental causes, and taking up Africa 's plight is one way of doing exactly that."


"G8 Leaders Urged To Recognize The Nepad Approach As Best Practice "


Political analyst Andrew Unsworth wrote in the centrist Sunday Times (6/1):  "So, will Africa be sidelined again?  Significantly....  Kofi Annan and five African the G8 heads for a pre-summit working dinner....   Africa could just be something they all agree on....  Africa has clear ideas of how the world's richest countries can help, and its plans are set out in Nepad...   For the wider world, G8 leaders need to overcome their differences on Iraq and set policies to get the global economy going.  But the signs are not hopeful for an organization which some call a case study in bureaucratic dysfunction and irrelevance....   With the economies of two members, Japan and Germany, already in a mess, the G8 faces the prospect of the global economy slipping into recession and deflation.  That may be too ghastly to contemplate, so, apart from posing for expensive photo opportunities, the leaders may well prefer to dwell on the problems of other nations...   there could yet be some crumbs from the table for the rest of us."


KENYA: "G8s Focus Should Be On Africa"


Investigative/sometimes sensational People (6/3): "In the past, the G8 states have been unveiling ambitious plans aimed at helping Africa tackle its many problems but after the good rhetoric, life has continued as usual....  It is our hope that the G8 countries this time round will show greater commitment to aiding Africa deal with such challenges as poverty, HIV/Aids and with not least of them the various conflicts that have been responsible for the deaths of millions of people and the displacement of millions of others.  It is against this backdrop that reports that the G8 may consider establishing an inter-African rapid reaction force are welcome news.”

UGANDA:  "Stop Farm Subsidies"

An editorial in the government owned daily New Vision stated (6/4): "The Group of 8 rich nations has concluded its annual summit with some concessions to Africa. The biggest was the financial boost to the Global Fund for AIDS, on which Africa is the main beneficiary. France has pledged a bigger contribution, one week after US President George Bush committed $5b over the next five years. The most sustainable way of raising Africa’s fortunes over the long term is for the continent to be competitive in the global economy. Africa’s biggest endowment is agriculture, and this is where it can compete effectively, and build an industrial base on a foundation of agro-industry. But at the moment, this is impossible because the big markets are protected. Europe, the United States, and Japan subsidise farming at both the production and export levels.  If the G8 and the rest of the industrialised world have a genuine interest in advancing Africa’s economic interests, they should begin by placing a moratorium on farm subsidies and opening their markets to our produce. One year ago, Bush signed into law the Farm Bill guaranteeing prices, and effectively closing the US market to foreign agricultural produce. This runs counter to the spirit of AGOA, the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act that had otherwise opened American markets to African trade. Doing away with subsidies would make Africa much more competitive, while lifting import restrictions would ensure that we exploit our competitive advantage."



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