Search

 

Cablegate: Media Reaction: Afghanistan, Cop15, General Motors;Berlin

VZCZCXRO9443
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #1553/01 3411252
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071252Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5999
INFO RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 1806
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0526
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1044
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2549
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1569
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0734
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RUKAAKC/UDITDUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BERLIN 001553

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, EUR/PAPD, EUR/PPA, EUR/CE, INR/EUC, INR/P,
SECDEF FOR USDP/ISA/DSAA, DIA FOR DC-4A

VIENNA FOR CSBM, CSCE, PAA

"PERISHABLE INFORMATION -- DO NOT SERVICE"

SIPDIS

E.0. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR AF GM KGHG
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: AFGHANISTAN, COP15, GENERAL MOTORS;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories
2. Climate Change
3. Afghanistan
4. GM Plans to Restructure Opel

1. Lead Stories

ZDF-TV's and ARD-TV's primetime newscasts opened with stories on the
death of former Economic Minister Otto Graf Lambsdorff. Many
newspapers led with the start of the Copenhagen climate conference.
Frankfurter Allgemeine led with a story on the September 4
airstrikes near Kunduz, and Berliner Zeitung led with the ongoing
debate over income tax cuts. Editorials focused on the beginning of
the Copenhagen climate conference.

2. Climate Change

Many media lead with reports on todayQs beginning of the Copenhagen
climate conference, expressing optimism that a new international
agreement can be reached. Lead headlines include: QCopenhagen must
be a turning pointQ (Sueddeutsche), QCollective confidence prior to
the climate summitQ (Die Welt), Q192 governments can save the
world,Q (Tagesspiegel). Frankfurter Rundschau highlighted on its
front page: QHope for the climate summit in Copenhagen is rising.
The reason: President Obama will be there during the critical
phase.Q Many papers carry several pages of features and
interviews. Several papers highlight yesterdayQs statements by
Executive Secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Yvo
de Boer, who said that the summit's success has become more likely
as more than 100 state and government leaders will be attending.
Sueddeutsche profiles U.S. climate negotiator Jonathan Pershing as a
man with Qdiplomatic skills,Q noting that Qthe scientist will need
all of his ability to reach a settlement.

In an editorial on its economic pages, Frankfurter Allgemeine
opines: QIt was an odd idea right from the start that the American
President would travel to the Copenhagen climate conference, and
depart a week prior to the negotiations of more than 100 state and
government leaders. Obama did not want to signal such disinterest
and seeming lack of responsibility by one of the largest energy
consumers in the world. He is now coming when all the other leaders
are there to deal with the matter. This is a little ray of hope.
ObamaQs presence increases the chance for a binding international
agreement against further global warming, or at least for a reliable
roadmap to get there Man-made climate change can only be
diminished and limited by all people together. Individual
activities by a few ambitious countries do not suffice. The climate
matters to all of us. We all therefore bear responsibility for
it.

FT Deutschland editorializes: QObama has signalled that he
personally takes climate protection seriously. In climate
diplomacy, symbolic gestures have an intrinsic value. In an
immediate response to the news that Obama comes to Copenhagen, China
said for the first time what its goal for reducing energy
consumption would be. Obama needs such commitments to call on his
own country to make greater efforts. It will now be about money.
The threshold and developing countries cannot be blamed for global
warming, and will suffer most. The three billion euros the
Europeans announced as a kickstart payment are the right signal.
Against the background of the three-digit sum of long-term
assistance, this is peanuts.

Die Welt editorializes on its front-page: QMany people believe that,
due to his Nobel Peace Prize, Obama has a duty to be a pioneer. It
should make us wonder whether the Nobel Committee was indirectly
calling on him to ignore the Congress. This indicates a dilemma
that goes beyond that of Obama: that promises are always good. It
seems to be of secondary importance whether the promises are

BERLIN 00001553 002 OF 003


realistic.

Mass tabloid Bild editorializes: QMelting poles and glaciers, floods
and droughts, famines and shortage of water: the threats of global
warming are real. The German government is therefore right to push
for a global change of mind There is only one world and one
climate, which is determined more by countries like the U.S., China
and India than the smaller country of Germany. If the large
environmental polluters do not finally come to their senses, our
efforts will be in vain. Thanks to our environmental policy, Berlin
can call on others in Copenhagen to do more. Only foreign
competitors, not the environment, would benefit from calls on our
national economy to make one-sided moves.

Tagesspiegel opines: QCopenhagen is the last chance to negotiate a
solution for the climate problem. If we do not succeed in stopping
the increase of greenhouse gases by 2015, it will be impossible to
reverse the trend after 2020. The climate system is slow, it cannot
change course like a car. ItQs rather a tanker that needs several
miles to change course. The industrialized countries must therefore
begin to embark on the path of an economy free of carbon dioxide
emissions. The developing countries must begin their turning
maneuver; otherwise things will get too hot.

A front-page editorial in Frankfurter Allgemeine remarks on the
recent publication of e-mails from the East Anglia climate research
centre: QApart from ethical and technical questions, biased
tendencies, and questions of political independence of researchers,
the scandalous emails do not contain anything that could undermine
the theory of greenhouse gases and the fact of climate change
Admitting oneQs own limits and shortage of knowledge is difficult
The IPCC actually did not exaggerate immoderately its predictions,
as its critics suggest. Even the most pessimistic assumptions about
the speed of the changes were underestimated. To listen to people
in such a situation who advise to ignore the problem would be
foolish. Too much is at risk.

3. Afghanistan

Several papers reported that QTurkey refuses to increase troops in
AfghanistanQ (FT Deutschland). Sueddeutsche editorialized: QThe
U.S. needs Turkey. How much that is so was revealed by President
ObamaQs surprising visit to Ankara in April: it was a consciously
chosen signal particularly in regard to AmericaQs relations with
Islam. For the U.S., Turkey is invaluableQas a Muslim nation and
faithful ally. But how faithful is this ally? . Suddenly, Turkey
has its own interests and desires. This might be irritating to some
in Washington, but it is not a reason for concern. First of all,
Turkey needs the United States, and secondly, its new role in the
region makes the country more interesting for Washington.

Berliner Zeitung commented: QOnce again, we hear new details about
the devastating airstrike in Afghanistan. Once again it becomes
clear that the bombardment requested by a German commander was
militarily inappropriate. Things in Kunduz would have been worse if
U.S. pilots had accepted the German desire for six bombs. There
could have been fewer victims if the Germans had complied with the
U.S. desire to warn the people by low-level flights. The political
affair is not yet over for zu Guttenberg. Based on the NATO report,
which contains the new details now leaked to the public, he first
said the strikes were militarily appropriate. Has zu Guttenberg
read the classified report? If he has, we must wonder whether he
understood what he saw. Why did he not inform the public for a
month? Why does he now say that the report was militarily
inappropriate and bases his judgment on a report that does not
contain the details mentioned above? Zu GuttenbergQs crisis
management is a catastrophe. Only the publication of the classified
NATO report can improve the situation.


BERLIN 00001553 003 OF 003


4. GM Plans to Restructure Opel

FT Deutschland editorialized: QEconomic Minister BruederleQs
approach might seem stubborn, however, it is completely appropriate
in the current state of the poker game. It would be good for the GM
subsidiary if it were to get more freedom and can develop more
models, as the new GM Europe head Reilly said. The concession to
change the company into a stock corporation and to give the staff a
share in it might help repair the lost confidence. However, we must
not forget that what can be done will be decided by Brussels and
Washington, not Ruesselsheim and Detroit. The EU Commission has
made clear that state subsidies can only be negotiated when the
restructuring plan is approved as economically soundQwhich is at the
end of January at the earliest. The federal government must be
grateful to Brussels to restrict the competition among European
governments over jobs and subsidies. On the other side, GM cannot
spend U.S. taxpayersQ money in Europe. Theoretically, the rescue
operation can still fail because neither GM nor the Europeans are
allowed to put money into Opel. As long as this dilemma is not
resolved, GMQs concession is worth nothing. And Br|derle can
continue to say no.

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>