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Cablegate: Media Reaction Report - Economic Issues - Airbus -

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

061244Z Oct 05

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 006889

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 - Economic Issues - Airbus -
Executive Life European Issues - Turkey - Chirac and the EU
PARIS - Thursday, October 06, 2005


(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:

Economic Issues - Airbus - Executive Life
European Issues - Turkey - Chirac and the EU

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

Economic issues dominate today's reports. Le Figaro
concentrates on France's slow economic growth and the
conservative projections for 2006, under 2.25 percent. Le
Figaro Economie devotes its lead to what it calls "New U.S.
Attacks Against the A 380." The report relays the information
carried by the WSJ that the turbulence caused by the European
super jumbo can be dangerous for other aircraft. The report
also notes the coincidence of the WSJ story "just when the
Washington Post was carrying a six-page publicity spread for
the Airbus super jumbo." Economic Les Echos headlines: "EADS
Launches It's A350 Without Subsidies" but financial La Tribune
announces on its front page: "France's Helping Hand for the A
350" and interviews Transportation Minister Perben who says:
"We want real negotiations with the U.S. on subsidies for
Airbus and Boeing. The timeframe, which separates a commitment
in principle and the actual financing, can be put to good use.
The negotiations underway (at the WTO) do not preclude our
making a commitment in principle." (See Part C)

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Executive Life and the decision to reverse the payment of a
fine by French executive Francois Pinault was widely reported
in the electronic media and elicits an editorial commentary
from Les Echos. (See Part C) Liberation in its report explains
how "the U.S. legislation is very clear about not inflicting
punitive damages when no damages have been suffered by a third
party."

Left-of-center Le Monde devotes its lead story and editorial
to the EU negotiations with Turkey, while Liberation and Le
Figaro carry editorials about President Chirac's outbursts
against the European Commission in connection with the Hewlett
Packard layoff plans. Both Le Figaro and Liberation criticize
Chirac and more broadly France's government for its
"schizophrenic" approaches to the privatization of the SNCM
Ferry Company on the one hand and the HP issue on the other.
(See Part C)

Le Figaro and La Croix report on the "victory" for the U.S.
and the UN in convincing the Iraqi Parliament to revoke a
decision that would have affected the vote on the October 15
referendum. In Le Figaro George Malbrunot writes: "The Sunnis
are pleased that the Americans have finally listened to one of
their requests." Le Figaro also reports on the last day of
Hamir Kharzai's official visit to France.

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

Economic Issues - Airbus - Executive Life

"New U.S. Frontal Attack Against the A380"
Delphine Denuit in right-of-center Le Figaro Economie (10/06):
"The Wall Street Journal allegations about the A-380
turbulence levels come at the very worst possible time for the
European aircraft manufacturer. Today is the day when the
stockholders are scheduled to give the go-ahead for the
official launching of the A350, a program for which Airbus is
asking for government subsidies. Since the U.S. and the EU are
presently at loggerheads over government subsidies, these
allegations from the U.S. are obviously no coincidence.
Especially since they are being made at the same time that
Airbus is running a vast ad campaign in the U.S. for its A380.
This tug-of-war recalls another one, thirty years ago, when
the U.S. tried to hamper the launching of the Concorde."

"Executive Life and the Bitter Pill of a Mixed Economy"
Pierre-Angel Gay in right-of-center Les Echos (10/06): "The
U.S. decision to exonerate the French executive from paying a
penalty fine resounds like a condemnation of France's
pronounced taste for a mixed economy. This affair mobilized
diplomacy at the highest level and interfered in Franco-
American rivalries before the start of the Iraqi war. This is
an affair where most private citizens are getting off scott
free while Credit Lyonnais, in other words the State and
French taxpayers, have come out holding the bag and having to
pay 600 million dollars in order to avoid a lawsuit."

European Issues - Turkey - Chirac and the EU

"The Price to Pay for the Union"
Left-of-center Le Monde in its editorial (10/06): "When Carla
Del Ponte changed her stance vis-a-vis Zagreb's national
government, opening the door to the EU negotiations with
Turkey and Croatia, she was instrumental in avoiding a major
crisis within the European Union. But question remains as to
the political price that has been paid. By giving in to what
is clearly a form of blackmail, the leaders of the European
Union are shortchanging themselves in future EU negotiations.
The lessons learned from what transpired in Luxembourg are
first that Europe's expansion is difficult to stop once the
mechanism is in place. Second, that the unanimous vote
required in these negotiations promises embittered battles
among EU diplomats."

"Brussels As A Smokescreen"
Philippe Reclus in right-of-center Le Figaro (10/06): "On the
one hand, the privatization of a French ferry company, on the
other HP and its lay off plans. In the first instance
Ministers who plead in favor of fair competition and European
contingencies; on the other a President who attacks Brussels.
These two situations illustrate France's contradictory
reflexes towards Europe. This perpetual back and forth between
the need for more or less Europe sends confusing signals and
feeds incomprehension about Europe's construction. The
government's temptation to use Europe as a scapegoat is
dangerous."

"Sabotage"
Jean-Michel Thenard in left-of-center Liberation (10/06):
"Chirac is sounding the charge against Brussels. While he may
be right to accuse Brussels of being more concerned with free
competition and less with multinationals who want to lay off
employees, he cannot use Brussels to exonerate himself from
the ills of the country. Everyone knows that it is the State's
poor management which led to the ferry company's woes, not
Europe. And nobody believes that Europe can stop a
multinational from abandoning certain countries when it is
these governments' high tax rates that are making them flee.
We need a debate about Europe, not a President who sabotages
the debate as he is doing with his accusations against
Brussels." STAPLETON

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