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Cablegate: Media Reaction: U.S.-Eu, U.S.-China, Afghanistan, Iran,

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1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (U.S.-EU) Relations
3. (U.S.-China) Impact of Arms Exports to Taiwan
4. (Afghanistan) Holbrooke Interview
5. (Iran) Nuclear Program
6. (EU-Euro) Financial Woes
7. (Haiti) Reconstruction Efforts
8. (Environment) Climate
9. (France-Germany) Cooperation

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1. Lead Stories Summary

Print media led again with a variety of lead stories this morning.
While the Berlin dailies and Sueddeutsche Zeitung focused on a CD
that contains details of investors suspected of evading taxes via
accounts in Switzerland, Frankfurter Allgemeine carried an interview
with CSU Secretary General Alexander Dobrindt and Die Welt the
results of an opinion poll centering on the government's first 100
days in office. Editorials focused on the quarterly results of
Deutsche Bank and on the purchase of the CD with the names of
alleged tax evaders. ZDF-TV's early evening newscast heute opened
with a balance sheet of the government's first 100 days in office,
and ARD-TV's early evening newscast Tagesschau opened with a story
on the purchase of the tax CD.

2. (U.S.-EU) Relations

In an editorial under the headline: "U.S. Foreign Policy Getting
More Self-Confident Again," Die Welt (2/5) judged: "When U.S. Vice
President Joe Biden addressed the Munich Security Conference last
year, this was the beginning of an unprecedented foreign policy
charm offensive. The stars of the government with President Obama
at the helm, Secretary Clinton, but Biden himself, too, hardly left
any opportunity out over the past few months to initiate America's
repentant return to multilateralism. One year later, America has
landed on the hard ground of realpolitik. The fact that at today's
security conference in Munich NSA head Jim Jones is the
highest-ranking U.S. official should not be understood as an
affront. But many indications are that the time of niceties is
over. Impatience in Washington is clearly rising...because
President Obama is disappointed at their lack of movement by many
partners. That is why the U.S. government is now moving up a gear.
Obama's declining the invitation to the EU-U.S. summit was such a
signal.... The Obama fans on the continent would be well advised to
understand that this president - unlike his predecessors - has no
sentimental links to Europe. Those who are unable to deliver will
now be ignored once in a while. This is another interpretation of
the decision not to come to Madrid.... Relations with China also
developed worse than the Obama team had hoped for.... The team that
started with great hopes had painful contact with reality last year.
But one should not underestimate the U.S. government's ability to
learn. As a matter of fact, we are now witnessing the next
transformation of U.S. foreign policy, a kind of Obama 2.0. The new
Obama will not apologize as often as before for past U.S. mistakes
and he will demand more from others; more assistance from the allies
and greater concessions from rivals. In the first year, the Obama
team was more interested in getting applause from the stands, but
now it wants results. The Americans will not again create such a
comfortable situation that existed in the first year in office."

Berliner Zeitung (2/5) editorialized: "Barack Obama has better
things to do. The U.S. President refuses to come to Europe in May
to participate in a boring and unproductive summit with the EU
Commission president and other important Europeans. He tolerated
this event twice last year and now lost interest in it. Who could
blame him? However, Obama's people are still travelling. Secretary
Clinton was in Paris last week where she delivered a speech to the

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Military Academy. NSA Jones will come to Security Conference in
Munich. Several important U.S. Senators will also be there. For
defense experts, the Munich conference is the first highlight of the
year. However, boredom is also spreading there because, despite all
the lip service of senior U.S. officials, Europe is no longer so
important for the U.S. and its government.... President Obama
politely asked European partners last year whether they would deploy
more soldiers in Afghanistan... The U.S. will increase its troops
by 30,000, while most Europeans have difficulties to send in only a
few hundred additional soldiers. Neither are they contributing
much to the civilian reconstruction; the German contribution to the
training of police forces is disgraceful. It is not a great
surprise that the U.S. President has little interest in coordinating
his strategies with the Europeans. In addition, U.S. foreign policy
is dominated by something else: the approach to China... The time
when America's foreign policy was determined by European immigrants,
such as Henry Kissinger and Madeline Albright, is over. A new
generation, for whom the Second World War is ancient history, is
ruling in Washington. Its interest and passion is Asia; the view on
Europe is cool and rational."

Under the headline "Creeping estrangement," a front-page editorial
in Tagesspiegel (2/5) remarked: "This would not have happened under
George W. Bush. If he had stayed away from an EU-U.S. summit,
people would have shrugged their shoulders or responded with
mockery. It's different with Barack Obama. He has been in office
for a year and the novelty appeal has long gone. However, many
Europeans would still like to keep up the feeling of reconciliation
after the dispute with Bush for some time. This is true especially
for Germany, where Obama is particularly popular. Instead of this,
are we seeing a withdrawal of U.S. love? The answer is more
ordinary: relations reach the point of business as usual....
Cooperation under Bush worked better than the public image
suggested. Under Obama, it is the other way around.... Obama lacks
the empathy for Europe which his predecessors had. He was born on
Hawaii in the Pacific and knows Africa and Indonesia. He has no
formative experience with Europe. For his generation, the World
War, reconstruction aid and the Cold War, which forged Europe and
America together, are history. It is a business relationship, not a
love story. The EU is important to the U.S. to resolve problems.
So far, it is not meeting Obama's expectations. There have been
enough summits in the past. One less is not a loss."

Most papers reported that the civil liberties committee of the
European parliament voted against the transfer of data compiled by
Swift to the United States. Headlines include: "European
Representatives Reject Data Transfer to the U.S." (Berliner
Zeitung), "EU Committee blocks Data Agreement with the U.S."
(Frankfurter Rundschau), "Majority against SWIFT Agreement"
(Frankfurter Allgemeine).

FT Deutschland (2/5) headlined that "the U.S. threatens to isolate
the EU parliament - Bilateral Agreements Supposed to Replace SWIFT
Treaty." The intro read: "In the dispute over the bank data
exchange agreement SWIFT, the U.S. government threatens the European
parliament with the cancellation of all negotiations." The paper
cited a letter written by the U.S. Ambassador to the EU, William
Kennard, to the chairpersons of all caucuses: "If the European
Parliament throws out the agreement, I'm not sure whether Washington
authorities would again decide to address this matter at the level
of the EU."

3. (U.S.-China) Impact of Arms Exports to Taiwan

Frankfurter Rundschau (2/5) analyzes: "Hardly a day goes by without
a clash between the U.S. and China... The strained tone is in clear
contrast to the hopes Washington had when Barack Obama came to
power. The President wooed particularly Beijing as a partner

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because hardly anything goes without China in international
politics... The new U.S. government clearly welcomed China's rise
as long as it would not be at the expense of others and Beijing
constructively bears responsibility.... The euphoria has now gone.
Instead of the expected partnership, America's experts see an
ambitious young bull that is attacking the leader America whenever
it gets an opportunity in the international arena - still
cautiously, but with the expected goal of replacing the leader of
the herd one day... Washington increasingly sees China as a
rival.... The strategic goal of a constructive partnership is
without any alternative. However, America has changed its tone.
The old bull is lowering its horns.... Washington is going on the
offensive in the long currency dispute... It will not be the last
dispute. As long as yielding is seen as a weakness, there is no way
to Chimerica."

4. (Afghanistan) Holbrooke Interview

Sddeutsche (2/5) carried a supplement in the Munich Security
Conference with an interview with Af/Pak envoy Holbrooke. The paper
highlights: "The U.S. Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan,
Richard Holbrooke, warned in an interview with Sddeutsche Zeitung
against speculating too much about talks with the Taliban, set new
conditions for negotiations and encouraged India and Pakistan to
improve its relations." The paper highlighted the quote: "We cannot
accept that the Taliban force their attitude on women again," and
"we do everything so that India and Pakistan improve their
relationship - but we will not be mediators."

5. (Iran) Nuclear Program

Sddeutsche (2/5) carried a length feature on Iran, noting: "Will
Iran soon possess nuclear weapons? The U.S. urge at the United
Nations to impose new sanctions against the regime in Tehran and no
longer rule out a military strike. Supported by China and Russia,
President Ahmadinejad's government claims that Iran uses the nuclear
technology only for civilian purposes. This seems to be a lie. IAEA
documents suggest that Iran can threaten the world with nuclear

6. (EU-Euro) Financial Woes

The Greek financial crisis still gets wide coverage in the German
press. Frankfurter Allgemeine (2/5) carried a report under the
headline: "No Assistance for Greece from Euro Zone," and wrote:
"The European Central Bank (ECB) is quenching Greek hopes for
assistance from the euro zone. ECB President Trichet said the IMF
would offer loans and Greece could ask the IMF for assistance in an
emergency. He added that the IMF would offer loans and control
whether a country stuck to its savings course. Concerning
speculation about an escalation of the debt crisis, Trichet said the
average budget deficit in the euro states was six percent. Other
monetary zones such as Japan and the United States would soon have
deficits of deficits beyond the ten percent level. 'In this
difficult situation, a budget deficit of six percent is acceptable,'
he said."

Tagesspiegel (2/5) headlined: "Greek Civil Servants Are Blocking EU
Savings plans," and noted that "civil servants have occupied the
Finance Ministry and that the trade union federation announced a
general strike." Financial Times Deutschland (2/5) reported under
the headline: "Greece's Civil Servants on Strike Because Of
Austerity Plan," and noted that "Greece must subject itself to
strict EU budget control in the fight against its record debt. These
measures include cuts of the salaries in the public service."

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (2/5) deals with the IMF's offer to help the EU
cope with Greece's problems and opined: "The IMF has now offered its

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assistance, since it is the task of the IMF to help its members in
case of an emergency. But the head of the ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet,
does not think much of the offer, and he is right. The club of euro
countries should not rely on international assistance but must help
itself - not because of pride but because of the insight that the
Monetary Union is a self-help group. Greece voluntarily joined the
Monetary Union and signed and committed itself to stick to certain
rules. That is why it is only logical that the European Commission
is keeping a tighter rein on Greece now.... The Greeks who are now
protesting the Brussels course should not moan. They would not be
better off if the IMF had interfered. While the IMF always
interfered when it was too late, the Europeans should think ahead
and take action. Germany did it, Ireland, too."

die tageszeitung (2/5) editorialized: "When the EU moved ahead with
its European integration policy it initiated a monetary union first
because it was unable to agree on a political union. What was
foreseeable at the time is now coming to pass: If push comes to
shove, only domestic policy exists within the euro zone."

Volksstimme of Magdeburg (2/5) had this to say: "The EU has
prescribed the Greeks a self-healing treatment under EU control to
help the ailing Greek budget to recover. It is doubtful whether
this will work. Within a few weeks, Greece is to nurse itself back
to health.... But the Greeks, who like to take to the streets, will
not accept this without complaining. [Unions] already announced
nationwide strikes. If they expand, they will counteract all
efforts to make savings. Then another bout of therapy could be
necessary: fresh financial injections by the European partners to
save the euro's stability. The Greek ailments can hardly be cured
by patting the Greeks on the back and with vigilance alone."

According to regional daily Landeszeitung of Lneburg (2/5), "Greek
anger at the EU is probably only a weak harbinger of things to come.
The Spaniards and Italians are also threatened with drastic cures.
It is true that the southern European countries have pushed the euro
into a dramatic downward spiral but their living- beyond-their-means
policy has revealed a fundamental flaw of the EU, which can be
corrected. The excessively lax acceptance criteria deluded the
newcomers with the false hope that the Monetary Union would resolve
their problems. But as a matter of fact, each euroland must shape
its social, fiscal and economic policy to such an extent that it is
able to keep pace with the other countries. But such a tour de
force can no longer be achieved unilaterally. That is why Europe
must bid farewell to the grand delusion that a monetary union could
succeed without economic control."

7. (Haiti) Reconstruction Efforts

"Haiti for the Haitians," headlined Financial Times Deutschland
(2/5), and reported: "Haiti's government has given up governing and
left the country to the UN. Haitians must now re-discover their
republic. In Port-au-Prince, government leader Bellerive and
President Prval have given up governing the country. A senator
criticized the premier saying 'The government is obviously unable
even to prove symbolically that it exists.' It is currently not
possible to realize how Haiti can get back to a government that
governs the country in an orderly fashion. But despite the chaotic
situation, experts are warning against taking political
responsibility away from the Haitians.... The Latin America chief
of the international political advisory group 'Crisis Group,' Markus
Schultze-Kraft, recommended 'that the Haitians enter into the
political process again' and that the UN should only accompany this
process as it did before the quake. He added that the Haitians
should regain confidence in the political system of their country
and then identify with it, since, otherwise, stability would be in
danger again.... The UN said the responsibility for the
reconstruction of buildings but also of the political institutions

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must be shouldered by the Haitians. But Haiti must also rely on
international assistance. This assistance, however, was 'very
unreliable in the past,' the UN said."

Regional daily Neue Osnabrcker Zeitung (2/5) judged: "Coordination
is the magic word in Haiti. Unfortunately, no one seems to know the
formula for this. Relief goods are reaching the country in ample
quantities; money and donations wait to be spent. Nevertheless, the
aid does not reach every Haitian. Why? The government did not
invest in a weak infrastructure or assert its governmental authority
even before the earthquake. That is why the misery multiplied after
the disaster. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is now to
coordinate all aid efforts on behalf of the UN. This can be useful,
but it will be decisive that donations are used more effectively and
will not be left to an incapable government. To waive Haiti's debt
would be a usefl move to make it easier to reconstruct Haiti."

8. (Environment) Climate

Tagesspiegel (2/4) reported under the headline: "It is Going to be
Hot," and wrote: "The world is heading for a warming up of three to
four degrees [Celsius] compared to the beginning of
industrialization. This is the result after 64 of the 192 UN member
states' reports have reached the UN Climate Secretariat in Bonn by
Wednesday. During the Copenhagen summit, the United States, China,
and a few threshold countries agreed to report their climate
[protection] goals by January 31, 2010 to Bonn. These
self-formulated goals, however, were to have a 'binding character.'
The threshold countries, however, which have thus far communicated
their climate goals, all indicated that they were made on a
'voluntary basis and were 'non-committal.' Compared to the
announcements made at the Copenhagen summit, these goals have now
been watered down even more. Almost all industrialized countries
want to stick to their goals only if other countries have
'comparable' goals.... After President Obama's Democrats lost the
majority in the Senate in a by-election, it has now become even more
difficult to get a climate bill through Congress which is not very
ambitious anyway. If the United States does not move, the threshold
countries, with China at the helm, will continue to hide behind the
United States. That is why negotiations lack any kind of

9. (France-Germany) Cooperation

Sddeutsche (2/5) commented: "The German Chancellor wants to avoid
the impression that Berlin and Paris are excluding other countries.
However, the fact that there is no other equal partner for Germany
cannot be ignored. Britain is too Euroskeptic, Russia too
nationalistic and undemocratic, and America and China are busy with
themselves. France will therefore permanently remain Germany's
partner number one. The common agenda does not yet fully reflect
this acknowledgement."


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