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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Delay Indictment - Turkey

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 006724

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 - DeLay Indictment - Turkey
PARIS - Friday, September 30, 2005

(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

1. DeLay Indictment
2. EU Membership Negotiations with Turkey

(B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

The French Prime Minister's monthly press conference dominates
front pages and editorials today. De Villepin addressed the
issue of employment, highlighting the drop in unemployment
figures for the fifth month in a row, as well as his about-
face in plans to privatize the ferry operator SNCM. Left-of-
center Liberation accuses Villepin of "Copping Out" on its
front-page with regard to the SNCM and business-oriented La
Tribune says "Villepin Forced to Change Course." On the lay-
offs planned in France by Hewlett-Packard, right-of-center Le
Figaro's editorial points out de Villepin's `punitive'
statements are antithetical to his wish to boost foreign
investment.

Liberation reports that the Islamists belonging to a group
calling itself Ansar al-Fath, arrested in the suburbs of Paris
on Monday, admitted to preparing acts of terrorism that were
to be carried out in the Paris subway, at one of Paris'
airports and at the headquarters of the DST (the French DHS).

Left-of-center Liberation calls Tom DeLay "The Right Hand That
May Handicap Bush." (See Part C)

With only a few days left until negotiations open with Ankara
on EU membership for Turkey, left-of-center Liberation's
editorial puts the accent on a "divided Europe that cannot
even agree on the issues to be discussed with the Turks." Le
Figaro puts the emphasis on the "war of wills" between London
and Vienna. "The UK is determined to neutralize Austria, the
only European country left that openly wishes to prevent
negotiations from opening with Turkey on Monday." (See Part C)

Le Figaro reports on FM Douste Blazy's trip to Egypt putting
forward that "his message was aimed as much, if not more, at
French Muslims as to the Egyptians themselves. preparing the
way for a battery of anti-terrorism laws that are under
discussion in Paris."

Left-of-center Le Monde's New York correspondent Corinne
Lesnes analyzes Karen Hughes' trip to the Middle East
sarcastically portraying Hughes' astonishment that the "whole
world does not want to live like Americans do."

Right-of-center Le Figaro carries a profile of the newly
appointed Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts. Washington
correspondent Philippe Gelie calls Roberts an "almost perfect
choice for Bush. He is intellectually nimble and ideologically
elusive. Roberts brilliantly succeeded the test of the
hearings before the Senate Committee, and after two months of
questioning the Committee knew as little about him as on the
first day.

Economic right-of-center Les Echos' Gilles Senges asks "Is the
Airbus A350 worth a trade war with the U.S.?" "Airbus is on
the verge of officially announcing the launching of the
manufacture of the A350. An announcement that will shatter the
moratorium between France and the U.S. and restart the latent
trade war between Europe and the U.S."

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

DeLay Indictment

"The Right Hand That May Handicap Bush"

Left-of-center Liberation's Pascal Riche writes (09/30): "This
is really the last thing that George Bush needed. For the
Republicans the indictment of Bush's best ally in the House is
one more set back added to a long list that includes the
`vietnamization' of Iraq, the fiasco surrounding the recovery
efforts after hurricane Katrina, the soaring price of gas, the
catastrophic budget deficit and the President's approval
rating that has taken a nose-dive. The atmosphere in
Washington is one of corruption, of the end of a reign, an
atmosphere that needs to be dissipated before the November
2006 elections. DeLay may be one of Bush's best allies on the
Hill but if he remains in the spotlight too long he will
become very cumbersome.

EU Membership Negotiations with Turkey

"Bazaar"
Left-of-center Liberation's editorial by Patrick Sabatier
(09/30): "The Turks are as divided as the Europeans on the
question of their membership to the EU. The europhiles among
them see this membership as a step towards modernizing their
country and as a possibility for future prosperity. But the
nationalists, whether politically from the left or the right,
cultivate a sort of europhobia. Turkish europhobes are gaining
sway, on a par with Turkophobe Europeans. And yet no one can
deny that economically EU membership is in Turkey's interest.
Just as, from a strategic point of view, it is in the EU's
interest to anchor Turkey to the continent."

STAPLETON

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