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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Wwii Commemoration -

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 003129

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR INR/R/MR; IIP/RW; IIP/RNY; BBG/VOA; IIP/WEU; AF/PA;
EUR/WE /P/SP; D/C (MCCOO); EUR/PA; INR/P; INR/EUC; PM; OSC ISA
FOR ILN; NEA; WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC/WEUROPE; DOC FOR ITA/EUR/FR
AND PASS USTR/PA; USINCEUR FOR PAO; NATO/PA; MOSCOW/PA;
ROME/PA; USVIENNA FOR USDEL OSCE.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR FR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - WWII COMMEMORATION -
PRESIDENT BUSH TO RUSSIA - GEORGIA
PARIS - TUESDAY, MAY 10, 2005

(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

WWII COMMEMORATION - PRESIDENT BUSH TO RUSSIA - GEORGIA

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

TODAY'S MEDIA IS DOMINATED BY DOMESTIC NEWS. MOST DAILIES LEAD
WITH A STORY DETAILING WHY THE CONTEMPORARY ART COLLECTION
OWNED BY BUSINESSMAN FRANCOIS PINAULT WILL NOT BE HOUSED
OUTSIDE OF PARIS BUT WILL INSTEAD GO TO VENICE. THE EU
REFERENDUM CONTINUES TO DRAW MEDIA ATTENTION. ONE POLL,
CONDUCTED FOR LE FIGARO AND EUROPE 1 RADIO, SHOWS A 50-50
DIVISION AMONG VOTERS. LE PARISIEN'S POLL SHOWS 51% OF VOTERS
INTEND TO VOTE YES AND 49% FOR THE NO.

THE EXCEPTIONS ARE LE MONDE WHICH HEADLINES "THE U.S. AND
EUROPE FACE TO FACE WITH PUTIN'S CHALLENGE" AND CATHOLIC LA
CROIX, WHICH LEADS WITH: "SOVIET NOSTALGIA, DIPLOMATIC
TENSION." OTHER REPORTS ON THE PRESENCE OF WORLD DIGNITARIES
IN MOSCOW INCLUDE A COMMENTARY IN LE FIGARO ABOUT PRESIDENT
CHIRAC WHO "REFUSED CONTROVERSY" WHILE IN MOSCOW AND DID NOT
"ECHO THE AMERICAN CASTIGATIONS." LE PARISIEN ALSO COMMENTS ON
PRESIDENT CHIRAC'S SPEECH: "WHILE IN MOSCOW PRESIDENT CHIRAC
EMBARKED ON THE CAMPAIGN FOR THE `YES,' AND INSISTED THAT
`WITH THE EUROPEAN TREATY EUROPE WILL REAFFIRM ITS POLITICAL
INFLUENCE.' EUROPE WILL BE A `MORE AMBITIOUS AND MORE
PEACEFUL' EUROPE AS WELL AS `A FRIEND TO RUSSIA THE GREAT.'"
LE MONDE'S EDITORIAL TITLED "INDIVISIBLE LIBERTY" COMMENDS THE
U.S. FOR "ITS SUPPORT TO AWAKENING DEMOCRACIES" AND REGRETS
THAT THE EU, IN ITS RELATIONS WITH MOSCOW, "DOES NOT SPEAK IN
THE SAME FIRM LANGUAGE IN FAVOR OF DEMOCRACY." IN REGIONAL
OUEST FRANCE DOMINIQUE MOISI PENS AN EDITORIAL IN WHICH HE
APPLAUDS PRESIDENT BUSH FOR DEFENDING FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY.
(SEE PART C)

THE ECONOMIC PRESS, INCLUDING LE FIGARO ECONOMIQUE REPORTS ON
HOW "PARIS AND BERLIN ARE TRYING TO AVOID A MAJOR CRISIS AT
EADS," THE PARENT COMPANY OF AIRBUS. THE REFUSAL OF NOEL
FORGEARD TO RESIGN AS HEAD OF AIRBUS COULD CREATE A CRISIS. AN
UNNAMED SOURCE SAYS AN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE IS WORKING TO GET
FORGEARD TO "TEMPORARILY" BE BOTH THE PRESIDENT OF EADS AND
AIRBUS.

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:
WWII COMMEMORATION - PRESIDENT BUSH TO RUSSIA - GEORGIA

"BETWEEN EMOTION AND STIFFNESS"
DOMINIQUE MOISI IN REGIONAL OUEST FRANCE (05/10): "A MIXTURE
OF EMOTION AND STIFFNESS CHARACTERIZED YESTERDAY'S CEREMONIES
IN MOSCOW. IT WAS LEGITIMATE FOR WORLD LEADERS TO BE PRESENT
IN MOSCOW. RUSSIAN VETERANS DESERVED THE TRIBUTE, AS WELL AS
OUR ADMIRATION AND OUR GRATITUDE. BUT CELEBRATING THE PAST
MUST NOT HIDE THE REALITIES OF THE PRESENT OR OUR CONCERNS FOR
THE FUTURE. WHILE PART OF EUROPE, FOLLOWING FRANCE AND
GERMANY, SEEMS READY TO ACCEPT PUTIN'S GAME AND THE RE-WRITING
OF HISTORY, IT IS NOT THE CASE FOR PRESIDENT BUSH'S AMERICA.
BY STARTING HIS VISIT TO THE FORMER SOVIET UNION WITH RIGA AND
ENDING IT WITH TBILISI, PRESIDENT BUSH'S INTENTION WAS TO SEND
A CLEAR MESSAGE TO THE WORLD IN GENERAL AND PUTIN IN
PARTICULAR. LIBERTY AND DEMOCRACY ARE ON THE MARCH. TODAY, IN
TBILISI, OVER ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE WILL CELEBRATE
PRESIDENT BUSH'S VISIT, SEEING IT AS A SIGN OF THEIR
LIBERATION AND THEIR DEFIANCE OF MOSCOW. EUROPE NEEDS TO HEAR
THEIR MESSAGE, IN THE INTEREST OF RUSSIA AND THE RUSSIANS."

"INDIVISIBLE LIBERTY"
LEFT-OF-CENTER LE MONDE'S EDITORIAL (05/10): "COMMEMORATIONS
ARE MEANT TO CELEBRATE HISTORY, THEY ARE NOT MEANT FOR SOUL
SEARCHING. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN THE CASE IN MOSCOW EXCEPT FOR
THE FACT THAT SEVERAL LEADERS FROM BALTIC COUNTRIES DECIDED TO
BREAK WITH THE POLITICALLY CORRECT. PRESIDENT BUSH PROVED IN
HIS SPEECH IN RIGA THAT RECOGNIZING ONE'S ERRORS COULD NOT BE
A ONE-WAY STREET. HAVING ACKNOWLEDGED THAT RACIAL SEGREGATION
WAS A SHAMEFUL EPISODE OF U.S. HISTORY, HE ALSO REGRETTED
ROOSEVELT'S ACCEPTANCE OF YALTA'S DIVISION OF EUROPE. AS WELL
AS THE FACT THAT AMERICANS SACRIFICED THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM FOR
THE WEAKEST IN THE NAME OF INTERNATIONAL STABILITY, OR MORE
PRECISELY FOR AN ILLUSION OF STABILITY. HIS VISIT TO GEORGIA,
WHERE THE AMERICANS HAVE BEEN ACTIVE IN THE ELECTION OF
SAAKASHVILI, IS PART OF THIS NEW POLICY. THE U.S., UNDER THE
LEADERSHIP OF PRESIDENT BUSH, IS NOT A NATION PRONE TO THE
STATUS QUO BUT AN ADVOCATE OF DEMOCRATIC CHANGE. THE IRAQI
EXPERIENCE DEMONSTRATES THAT THIS IS ALSO A RISKY POLICY.
NEVERTHELESS, WE REGRET THAT THE EU, IN ITS RELATIONS WITH
MOSCOW, DOES NOT SPEAK IN THE SAME FIRM LANGUAGE IN FAVOR OF
DEMOCRACY." WOLFF

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