June 4, 2003
G-8 SUMMIT: EVIAN A 'NICE ATTEMPT' BUT NO
** 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.
"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 Rice...to 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."
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
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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
"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.”
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
“Bush Stays The Time Necessary To Convince the G8 On Iran And
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,' as...in Iraq."
RUSSIA: "There's Been
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
"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."
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
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.”
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
“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
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 demonstrated...in Evian
will survive the next test.... The
differences have not disappeared; they were only covered up by polite
"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
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
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 right...to 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
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
"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
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
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.
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 ones...as 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
EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
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
"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
INDONESIA: “G-8 Meets Again, Global Economy Remains Unbalanced”
Leading independent Kompas commented
(6/3): “The G-8 summit...is 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.”
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
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
"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."
"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
Leading-circulation, popular La Tercera (6/3): "The
G-8 Summit...in 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
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,
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 medicines...is
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
Political analyst Andrew Unsworth wrote in the centrist Sunday
Times (6/1): "So, will Africa
be sidelined again?
Significantly.... Kofi Annan and
five African leaders...meet 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
UGANDA: "Stop Farm Subsidies"
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