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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S. Elections, Russia, Eu

R 061151Z NOV 08
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SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: U.S. Elections, Russia, EU

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (U.S.) Outcome of U.S. Elections
3. (Russia) Medvedev Address
4. (EU) Accession Report


1. Lead Stories Summary

All German media led with lengthy reports on the results of the U.S.
elections and carried images of President-elect Obama and his
family. Mass tabloid Bild headlined: "Germany congratulates the new
U.S. President: Yes, we can--be friends." Berliner Zeitung's
headline said: "The world celebrates Obama." FT Deutschland: "Obama
Promises A New America." Editorials focused on the U.S. elections
and Russia's announcement to deploy missiles near the Polish
border.

2. (U.S.) Outcome of U.S. Elections

ARD-TV's Tagesthemen commented: "With spontaneous rallies, the
nation wanted to collectively get rid of a nightmare. A nightmare
America plunged itself into by electing the terrible George W. Bush
eight years ago... The rapture of last night might soon be followed
by a painful headache if the people realize how little a 'messiah'
like Obama can achieve and meet their expectations.... Apart from
the admiration for the democratic achievements of the American
people, there is also skepticism. The excitement over Obama's
charisma and visionary power could soon turn into disappointment and
frustration."

ARD-TV Tagesschau opined: "Last night the United States showed the
world that it is capable of reinventing itself: America elected an
African-American President. Race barriers have fallen down....
America is right to be proud of itself. But things will be tough
once the tears of joy are dry and the songs of praise died out.
There has never been a President of the most powerful nation in the
world who faced such a legacy before. The challenges are
enormous.... Americans and the whole world are now curious to hear
details about how Obama wants to bring change about.

ZDF-TV's Heute remarked: "Many Americans and people around the world
view November 4, 2008 as a day of liberation... especially because
Obama promises a serious morale change to his fellow countrymen and
not just them.... He raises hope for an end of political lies and
social constraint. The underdog becomes the yardstick and the hope.
He led Americans to themselves and freed them from their alienation
with their own country. His notion of listening instead of hitting
is disarming. His language and style return young people to the
ballots and maybe also into the community."

Deutschlandfunk radio noted: "In a time in which utopias have
disappeared and capitalism must be repaired, we are searching for a
deeper understanding. Obama called on the power of ideas - not a
specific god or ideology but on the idea that the unthinkable can be
possible. This kind of inspiration excited young people for
politics again."

Frankfurter Allgemeine editorialized: "Concerning the world,
America's partners and allies have it in their hands whether Obama
will be successful. He will reach out and listen to them and their
matters and priorities. He will also let them know about his
priorities. We will then see whether, apart from the will for a new
beginning, there can be a solid program for a global community."

Under the headline "America's Liberation," S|ddeutsche commented:
"America wants a new beginning. Strained by two wars and a
financial crisis, the country is longing for liberty. The majority
of voters cast their ballots in an attempt to resist the decline,
the loss of significance and political mismanagement.... The many
faces wet with tears suggest that great tension vented during the
election night. The first African-American president - what a

symbol for a society that that claims to lead the world in terms of
dynamics and open-mindedness. What a sign for minorities and those
who are hopeful - who if you take them together will soon be a
majority in the United States."

Die Welt has this to say: "The fact the Obama was elected President
could help those who have been persistently ignoring America's inner
strength and attractiveness to open their eyes. Anti-Americanism
will have to change with Obama as President."

Bild comments: "The new transatlantic embrace is an historic
opportunity. Thanks to the Americans, we rose to prosperity again
after the war, Americans defended Berlin during the air lift,
created peace in Kosovo, defended our security against terrorists
and many more things. And also economically, we depend more on the
United States as the other way around. Therefore it is important
that the excitement goes on also after the election night."

3. (Russia) Medvedev Address

Deutschlandfunk commented: "It is no coincidence that Russia
announced the deployment of missiles on this day. Right at the
beginning of the Obama era, 'a pile' is driven into the ground. But
we cannot accept that Russia is describing this step as an answer to
the deployment of NATO defense systems. Short-range missiles are
first of all political weapons. In this respect, Moscow pursues the
same policy it began with its crusade in Georgia. Now Moscow has
also demonstrated that it is uses military means to implement its
foreign policy goals. Now NATO's strategic concept must really be
rethought, and Obama's foreign policy quickly faces its first test,
not in Iraq and Afghanistan, but in relations with Russia."

Handelsblatt opined: " Medvedev has struck the wrong tone and thus
acted like a bull in a china shop, for the next U.S. president is by
no means such a fervent admirer of a U.S. missile defense shield at
the Russian front door. Obama has taken a pragmatic approach to the
project. It will be set up only if it is financially feasible. In
view of the immense burdens of the U.S. budget, this project seems
increasingly unlikely. It would have been wiser if Medvedev had
taken a clear analysis of Obama's position, for Obama pins his hopes
on dialogue. Now the two are likely to meet in an icy atmosphere
some day in the future. But letters 'From Moscow With Love' have
always had a special tone."

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wondered: "Was it a coincidence that
the Russian president delivered his first speech on the state of the
country explicitly on the day when the whole world openly
acknowledged and took note with enthusiasm whom the American people
entrusted the leadership of the country during difficult times?
This is hardly the case. Not even one day after his greatest
triumph, Obama is not being spared [from criticism]. On the
contrary, according to the leadership in Moscow, the obligation to
improve U.S.-Russian relations is only up to Obama. Indeed,
Washington and Moscow have much to talk about, but Medvedev's
welcome address for Obama did not sound like the invitation for
talks but rather like a provocation."

Sueddeutsche Zeitung asked: "Was that really necessary? Especially
on the day of Barak Obama's greatest triumph, Russian President
Medvedev morosely attacked the United States. But it is easy to
decipher Medvedev's message to Washington: The new Russian president
wants to talk to the new U.S. president at eye level. The missile
deployment in Kaliningrad should first of all appease the national
soul, but will not block the path for talks later. For the time
being, Medvedev has now gotten a greater scope of action, and that
is why it will not last long before U.S.-Russian relations will
relax a bit again."

In the view of Tagesspiegel, "It has certainly to do with the U.S.
election that Russian President Medvedev started to hit back only
yesterday. It is a clear signal to President-elect Obama not to
repeat the mistakes of his predecessor, underestimate Moscow, and to
insist that economic and political decisions of global significance
are made solely by and in Washington. That is why the freshly
elected U.S. president would be well-advised to deal with the new
realities in a constructive way and not to pursue a confrontational
course."

According to Die Welt, "the [Russian] imperial reflexes have again
coming to the fore and have demonstrated a surprising inertia.
Russia considers itself primarily threatened by dwindling spheres of
influence to which it believes it is entitled. Medvedev confronted
his counter part [in the U.S.] especially on the day of his election
triumph with this claim and presented him a long list with the sins
of his predecessor. If this was considered a new start in relations
with the United States, then only one term is coming to the fore:
false start."

Frankfurter Rundschau observed: " A state leader who is willing to
make compromises, someone who is seeking a new beginning in
Russian-U.S. relations after Barak Obama's triumphant election
victory would and sound different from the gruff leader in the
Kremlin who sent out a threat to deploy missiles instead of sending
congratulations to Washington." Regional daily Nordwest Zeitung of
Oldenburg judged: "Russian President Medvedev and his government
leader Putin are again turning the spiral of distrust. The old
thinking in blocks is again coming to the fore." Volksstimme of
Magdeburg observed: "

4. (EU) Accession Report

According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, "it is certainly a bit
rash to promise Croatia an end to the accession talks at the end of
2009, because this is a country where the mafia kills unpleasant
journalists. Other accession candidates, especially Turkey, have
not had a promising year either. That is why the EU member states
should admit that at issue is not the question of whether the -
overestimated - Lisbon Treaty has entered into force or not. No
candidate is mature enough to accede to the EU. The premature
acceptance of Bulgaria and Romania has already created enough
damage. This should not happen again."

Berliner Zeitung dealt with the EU's credibility and noted: "There
is no reason to freeze the EU's enlargement. At issue is the EU's
credibility. The prospect for a future membership is a stabilizing
factor in many accession countries. In other countries it makes
reforms possible that would otherwise be unthinkable Croatia in
particular can demonstrate to the EU that it is really serious about
its neighbors. If the country meets all requirements, it should
accede. This would be an important political signal. And it is
very likely that the EU would also be able to cope with it."


TIMKEN

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