Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - European Issues - Blair

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 PARIS 004446

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 - EUROPEAN ISSUES - BLAIR
SPEECH IN BRUSSELS IRAN ELECTIONS UN REFORM - G4 FRENCH - U.S.
RELATIONS
PARIS - FRIDAY, JUNE 24, 2005

(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

1. EUROPEAN ISSUES - BLAIR SPEECH IN BRUSSELS
2. IRAN ELECTIONS
3. UN REFORM - G4
4. FRENCH - U.S. RELATIONS

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

A MAJORITY OF TODAY'S FRONT-PAGES AND EDITORIALS ARE DEVOTED
TO TONY BLAIR AND HIS "CHARM OFFENSIVE" (LE FIGARO) IN
BRUSSELS AS HE PRESENTED HIS PROGRAM BEFORE TAKING OVER THE EU
PRESIDENCY ON JULY 1ST. CATHOLIC LA CROIX HEADLINES: "EUROPE,
BRITISH STYLE;" LA TRIBUNE TITLES "TONY BLAIR PRESENTS HIS
PLAN `B'" AND COMMUNIST L'HUMANITE HEADLINES "BLAIR THE
LIBERAL STICKS TO HIS GUNS." LE MONDE LAST EVENING HEADLINED:
"BLAIR WANTS TO `MODERNIZE THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL MODEL'" QUOTING
THE BRITISH PM FROM AN INSIDE-PAGE INTERVIEW: "I HAVE ALWAYS
BEEN AN IMPASSIONED EUROPEAN. WE ARE READY TO DISCUSS THE
REBATE BUT WITHIN A WIDER DISCUSSION ON THE BUDGET. THE
PRESENT BUDGET DOES NOT MEET THE NEEDS FOR INNOVATION AND
RESEARCH. IT IS IMPORTANT TO EXPLAIN TO THE FRENCH THAT I AM
NOT ASKING FOR THE PAC TO BE CHANGED. I SAY ONLY THERE MUST BE
A COMPLETE OVERHAULING OF THE BUDGET. WHAT I DO NOT ACCEPT IS
BEING CALLED ANTI-EUROPEAN OR A `BAD EUROPEAN.' REGARDING EU
EXPANSION, WE MUST EMPHASIZE ITS ADVANTAGES. WE WILL NOT SOLVE
EUROPE'S PROBLEMS BY PUTTING A STOP TO ITS EXPANSION, BUT BY
MODERNIZING OUR ECONOMIES. I AM NOT A EURO-SKEPTIC. THERE IS A
HUGE MISUNDERSTANDING OVER WHAT WE DO, OVER THE SO-CALLED
ANGLO-SAXON MODEL. THERE ARE PRESENTLY TWO VISIONS OF EUROPE'S
FUTURE. WHAT SETS THEM APART IS NOT FREE TRADE OR EURO-
SKEPTICISM, IT IS MODERNIZATION. THIS IS A CHALLENGE FOR
EUROPE AS WELL AS FOR INDIVIDUAL NATIONS. IT IS TIME FOR
EUROPE TO MODERNIZE ITS SOCIAL MODEL AND TO RE-DISCOVER THE
CONCERNS OF ITS PEOPLE."

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

A VAST NUMBER OF EDITORIALS ANALYZE BLAIR'S PERFORMANCE AS
WELL AS HIS MESSAGE. SOME SEE HIM AS HIS "MAJESTY'S SUBJECT; A
JAMES BOND ON A MISSION IMPOSSIBLE" (LE FIGARO), WHILE OTHERS
AGREE WITH BLAIR THAT THE BUDGET NEEDS TO BE REVAMPED TO FAVOR
RESEARCH. (SEE PART C)

OTHER STORIES COVERED ARE THE RUN-OFF ELECTION IN IRAN (SEE
PART C), THE UN G-4 AND UN REFORMS, (SEE PART C) AND THE
PRELIMINARY G-8 MEETINGS, WITH EMPHASIS ON STATEMENTS MADE ON
THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT AND THE ROADMAP, AND ON THE
WARNING TO SYRIA. WHILE LE FIGARO TITLES ITS REPORT: "THE G-8
SUPPORTS ISRAELI PULLOUT," LIBERATION COMMENTS: "THE WEST
CALLS SYRIA TO ORDER." SECRETARY RICE IS QUOTED EXTENSIVELY,
AS IS FRENCH FM DOUSTE-BLAZY. THE ARTICLE EMPHASIZES THEIR
SHARED POSITION ON THIS ISSUE, AS DOES LE PARISIEN, WHICH
REPORTS ON THEIR BREAKFAST TETE-A-TETE. DOUSTE-BLAZY IS SAID
TO HAVE REITERATED TO SECRETARY RICE, "WHOM HE ALREADY CALLS
`CONDI,' `FRANCE'S FRIENDSHIP FOR THE U.S.'"

IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO COMMENTATOR IVAN RIOUFOL WRITES
ABOUT TRANSATLANTIC RELATIONS. (SEE PART C)

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

EUROPEAN ISSUES - BLAIR SPEECH IN BRUSSELS

"MISSION IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIS MAJESTY'S PM"
ALEXANDRINE BOUILHET IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/24):
"BLAIR'S SPEECH WAS SALUTED BY ONE AND ALL. BUT HIS MISSION,
TO WAKE UP EUROPE, TO MODERNIZE IT AND OPEN ITS EYES TO
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION WILL BE DIFFICULT. HIS ADVERSARIES
ARE SCHROEDER AND CHIRAC. AND IN THIS REMAKE OF `JAMES BOND
AGAINST DR NO, WITH CHIRAC IN THE ROLE OF NO, 007 HAS MORE
THAN ONE ALLY. EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, PLUS ITALY, SPAIN
AND IRELAND. BUT WITH ONLY SIX MONTHS, HIS AMBITIOUS MISSION
REMAINS IMPOSSIBLE. THE WAR ON THE BUDGET HAS LEFT DEEP SCARS
AND A POLITICAL AGREEMENT SEEMS OUT OF REACH BY DECEMBER.
MEANWHILE, ANGELA MERKEL, ALTHOUGH SHE DOES NOT LOOK ANYTHING
LIKE A JAMES BOND GIRL, COULD WELL PLAY THE ROLE OF A
STRATEGIC ALLY."

"THE PASSIONS OF TONY BLAIR"
GUILLAUME GOUBERT IN CATHOLIC LA CROIX (06/24): "BLAIR IS
PASSIONATELY EUROPEAN. HE IS ALSO PASSIONATELY BRITISH. HIS
POSITION, BOTH AS A EURO-PHILE AND A SOCIAL-LIBERAL IS NOT
ONLY A MATTER OF STRATEGY. BLAIR BELIEVES IN IT. HE COULD
ENROLL OTHERS, SUCH AS THE GERMAN CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS, IF THEY
COME TO POWER NEXT FALL. IF FRANCE DOES NOT WANT TO BE
ISOLATED AND CUT OFF FROM ITS GERMAN PARTNER, IT WILL HAVE TO
BE IMAGINATIVE. IT COULD PROPOSE THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A JOINT
RESEARCH POLICY."

"MODERN EUROPE"
LEFT-OF-CENTER LE MONDE IN ITS EDITORIAL (06/24): "BLAIR IS
RIGHT TO BEMOAN THE FACT THAT THE EU BUDGET IS NOT DEALING
WITH `MAJOR ISSUES.' HE IS RIGHT TO SAY THAT EUROPE'S ECONOMY
IS NOT INTERNATIONALLY COMPETITIVE. BUT HE IS NOT TOTALLY
RIGHT TO OPPOSE THIS `MODERN EUROPE' TO YESTERDAY'S
`AGRICULTURAL' EUROPE. WHAT BLAIR DOESN'T DO IS PROPOSE A
JOINT RESEARCH POLICY. IN SHORT HE IS ASKING THE RIGHT
QUESTIONS BUT WITH THE WRONG WORDS. THE RIGHT TERMS WOULD BE
TO SAY THAT THE EUROPEAN BUDGET IS INSUFFICIENT. BUT BLAIR'S
POSITION ON THE NEED TO INCREASE RESEARCH MEANS IS SOLID. THE
EU-25 NEED TO GET BACK TO THE FUTURE, IN SHORT THEY NEED TO
FIND ONCE AGAIN THE MEANING OF COMPROMISE."

"HANDICAPS AND DOUBTS"
PASCAL AUBERT IN CENTRIST LA TRIBUNE (06/24): "TONY THE
`EUROPEAN' IS STICKING TO HIS MISSION OF MODERNIZING EUROPE.
BUT BLAIR'S PLAN SUFFERS FROM TWO MAJOR HANDICAPS AND
SUSPICION. THE FIRST HANDICAP TOUCHES ON THE METHOD HE HAS
CHOSEN: PLAYING ON THE EU CRISIS TO REACH HIS OBJECTIVES. THE
SECOND HANDICAP TOUCHES ON HIS - VOLUNTARILY? - UNFINISHED
PLAN. HIS PROCLAIMED EUROPEAN FLAME AND HIS REJECTION OF
EUROPE AS AN OPEN MARKET ARE NOT ENOUGH TO HIDE THE IMBALANCED
NATURE OF HIS PLANS. HE CLEARLY FAVORS AN ECONOMIC VISION AND
THE POLITICAL IS JUST A MEANS TO AN END. THE SUSPICION OF THE
`CONTINENTALS' RESIDES IN DOUBTS ABOUT BLAIR'S SINCERITY IN
HIS EUROPEAN COMMITMENT."

IRAN ELECTIONS

"IRANIANS TO REFEREE ISLAMIC DUEL"
GEORGES MALBRUNOT IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/24):
"IRANIANS WILL BE VOTING TO CHOOSE BETWEEN TWO MEN WITH
DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED PROGRAMS AND PERSONALITIES. THE FUTURE
OF IRAN'S REFORMS AND ITS RELATIONS WITH THE WEST WILL DEPEND
ON THE OUTCOME OF THE ELECTION, WHICH IS SAID TO BE VERY
CLOSE. IF THE TURNOUT IS MASSIVE, AS IN THE FIRST ROUND,
RAFSANJANI COULD TAKE THE LEAD. REFORMERS AND INTELLECTUALS
HAVE PUT THEIR DIFFERENCES ASIDE IN ORDER TO COUNTER THE MAYOR
OF TEHRAN. HIS INTRANSIGENCE AND HIS POPULIST STANCE ARE NOT
GOOD OMENS FOR IRAN JUST WHEN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS
LOOKING FOR TOKENS ON ITS NUCLEAR PROGRAM. BUT FEAR IS GREAT
IN PUBLIC OPINION BECAUSE OF RUMORS THAT THE FIRST ROUND WAS
RIGGED IN FAVOR OF TEHERAN'S MAYOR."

UN REFORM - G4

"UN REFORM TURNING SOUR"
ALAIN BARLUET IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/24): "THE
PROSPECT FOR UN REFORM HAS DARKENED FOR LACK OF A CONSENSUS.
THE U.S. HAS JUST REVEALED ITS PREFERENCE REGARDING THE
ENLARGEMENT OF THE UNSC . AND ITS OPEN SUPPORT FOR JAPAN'S
CANDIDACY. A CHOICE THAT CHINA STRONGLY OPPOSES. LULA'S BRAZIL
DOES NOT ENJOY WASHINGTON'S FAVORS, AND NEITHER DOES GERMANY,
FOR HAVING SIDED WITH THE SIDE OF PEACE OVER IRAQ. THE
IMPOSSIBLE CONSENSUS COULD BE FATAL TO THE REFORM. WHILE SOME
COUNTRIES COULD BE TEMPTED TO SUPPORT THIS STALEMATE, OTHERS
FEAR IT, BECAUSE AS A FRENCH DIPLOMAT SAID: `WE NEED TO MOVE
TO OTHER THINGS.'"

FRENCH - U.S. RELATIONS

"QUESTIONS ON THE U.S."
IVAN RIOUFOL IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/24): "IN THE
SERIES `LET'S BE FRANK,' TONY BLAIR RECENTLY SUGGESTED EUROPE
THINK ABOUT WHAT RELATIONS IT NEEDS TO ENTERTAIN WITH THE U.S.
FRANCE'S ANTI-AMERICANISM, ANTI-LIBERALISM AND PACIFISM. HAVE
MADE THIS A HOT TOPIC. THE FRENCH AND A MAJORITY OF
INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC OPINION SUPPORTED CHIRAC AND SCHROEDER IN
THEIR OPPOSITION TO BUSH AND BLAIR OVER IRAQ. PARIS HAS
ABDICATED BEFORE TOTALITARIANISM IN IRAQ AND HAS BEEN ABSENT
FROM THE DEMOCRATIZATION PROCESS THAT HAS DEVELOPED IN SPITE
OF TERRORISM. CONVERSELY, IN THE NAME OF ITS PRO-ARAB POLICY,
ITS TIES WITH DESPOTS HAVE BEEN CONSOLIDATED. HAS THIS `SOFT
POWER' STRENGTHENED FRANCE? THE HUMILIATION SUFFERED BY FRANCE
IN IRAQ WHERE JOURNALISTS HAVE BEEN HELD HOSTAGE HAS COOLED
THE IMAGE OF RESPECTABILITY WHICH FRANCE ACQUIRED IN THE ARAB-
MUSLIM WORLD. IN SHORT, FRANCE'S POSITION AGAINST THE U.S. IS
NOT AS INDISPUTABLE AS POLITICIANS AND THE MEDIA CLAIM IT TO
BE. CHIRAC HAD STRONG ARGUMENTS AGAINST BUSH. BUT ONE MIGHT
WONDER IF THE NATION THAT SAW THE BIRTH OF HUMAN RIGHTS IS
GIVING ENOUGH SUPPORT TO THE FRAGILE SIDE OF DEMOCRACIES,
WHICH HAVE BECOME THE TARGET OF FUNDAMENTALIST IDEOLOGY. ARE
THE AMERICANS REALLY OUR ADVERSARIES?" WOLFF

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.