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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran, Ukraine, Eu;Berlin

VZCZCXRO9893
RR RUEHAG RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #0170/01 0401714
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091714Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6519
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 2007
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0735
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1252
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2753
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1769
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0930
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//J5 DIRECTORATE (MC)//
RHMFISS/CDRUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RUZEADH/UDITDUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BERLIN 000170

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 IR UP EU
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAN, UKRAINE, EU;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Iran) Nuclear Program, Opposition
3. (Ukraine) Outcome of Elections
4. (EU) Deficit Worries


1. Lead Stories Summary

ZDF-TV's early evening newscast Heute opened with a story on the
dispute over nuclear power and ARD-TV's early evening newscast
Tagesschau opened with a story on the dispute between the CDU and
SPD over unemployment policy. Frankfurter Allgemeine and Die Welt
led with the outcome of the elections in Ukraine. Berliner Zeitung
and Tagesspiegel led with stories on the FDP's policy on nuclear
energy. Many newspapers led with stories on today's landmark
decision by the Constitutional Court on social benefits. Editorials
focused on the outcome of the elections in Ukraine, the FDP's crisis
meeting, and the labor market.

2. (Iran) Nuclear Program, Opposition

ZDF-TV's Heute (2/8) newscast reported that "the nuclear dispute
with Iran is escalating" after Iran formally told the IAEA it would
begin producing 20 percent enriched uranium as of today.
Sddeutsche (2/9) headlined "Iran increases uranium enrichment" and
noted: "With it, Iran realizes the escalation President Ahmadinejad
threatened over the weekend." While the world is looking for
solutions, Iran is gambling for time and continues its nuclear
program," ZDF-TV's Morgenmagazin stated. Die Welt headlined:
"[Chancellor] Merkel prepared for tougher approach on Iran."
Handelsblatt headlined "IAEA: Iran can enrich uranium only with
foreign help," noting: "Tehran's project continues to cause quite a
stir. However, experts point out that the mullah regime will face
technical problems." Tageszeitung headlined: "Iran wants to enrich
uranium, giving in still possible," adding in the report:
"Regardless of the massive criticism by the international community,
Iran wants to enrich uranium to 20 percent."

Tagesspiegel (2/9) commented: "The Munich Security Conference is
probably the turning point of Iran's relations with the
international community. Until the weekend, Tehran's western
interlocutors were prepared to believe that Iran was to some extent
willing to reach a compromise in the dispute over the nuclear
program. This phase is over after the game the conciliatory Mottaki
and the hardliners in the president's office played over the
weekend. Apart from China, all powers at the UN Security Council
now doubt that that the Iranian government is honest and assume that
they are not interested in the civilian use of nuclear power, but
want to construct a nuclear bomb. Quick and tough trade sanctions,
the establishment of comprehensive missile defense systems in
neighboring countries and a universal restriction on the freedom of
Iranian diplomats to travel will be the result. The Iranian people
will probably particularly suffer under these measures. Rulers of
dictatorships know how to live a sweet life. However, a war against
Iran would hit the people even worse, without guaranteeing that such
an attack could completely destroy the nuclear plants."

Berlin-based tabloid B.Z. (2/9) editorialized: "The Tehran mullahs
are increasing their aggressive policy unrestrainedly. First, they
suppress the freedom movement with blood and execute its leaders.
Then, they announce the production of weapons-grade uranium.
Yesterday, they began to mass produce drones that can reach Israel
and are, simultaneously, developing an air defense system. And
everybody is watching them without taking action: the UN, NATO, the
U.S. and the EU. What can the people of Iran hope for?"

3. (Ukraine) Outcome of Elections

All papers (2/9) carried reports on the outcome of the presidential

BERLIN 00000170 002 OF 003


elections in Ukraine. Frankfurter Allgemeine headlined: "Yanukovich
Winner of the Presidential Elections in Ukraine." Sueddeutsche
carried the headline: "Tymochenko Concedes Defeat," and reported
that "it is right that Tymochenko wanted to upgrade everything
Russian, but, in the end, she lacked the necessary votes from
western Ukraine where Yanukovich fought her very hard. Many
disappointed supporters of the orange revolution did not show up at
the ballots. According to media in Kiev, Tymochenko failed
especially because she did not present a plan on how to overcome the
consequences of the financial crisis." Die Welt headlined: "Runoff
Elections in Ukraine: Blue Wins Over Orange," while Financial Times
Deutschland headlined: "Ukraine Heading For New Power Struggle."

Handelsblatt (2/9) dealt with Ukraine's financial situation and
argued: "Compared to the mostly home-made problems in Ukraine, the
concerns about the financial stability of Greece or Portugal are
almost ridiculous. The biggest country in Europe is threatened with
state bankruptcy. The IMF has stopped the payment of an emergency
loan until political stability is visible. And how many private
donors are now willing to grant a country at the abyss additional
financial means? Standard & Poors no longer ruled out a default
scenario for Ukraine yesterday. It is everything but certain that
Ukraine will find greater stability after the elections."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (2/9) focused on the future role of Julia
Tymochenko and argued: "it is not nice, but also it is not a
disaster that Julia Tymochenko has now been defeated in a fair
election campaign by Victor Yanukovich, who wanted to come to power
four years ago with lies and deception. Tymochenko would do her
country a great service if she accepted the defeat and would then
enter the opposition benches in a constructive way. But over the
past few months, Julia Tymochenko's behavior has raised doubts about
whether she is really ready to pass this test. It is likely that
she would be the better president for a democratic Ukraine than
Yanukovich, but now she must prove that she is the better opposition
leader."

Sueddeutsche Zeitung (2/9) opined under the headline: "Defeat in
Orange" that "Victor Yanukovich profited from the fierce lasting
controversy between the former allies Yushchenko and Julia
Tymochenko. Now Yanukovich's moment has come. He has indicated
that Ukrainian sovereignty has absolute priority. It may be
possible that he will now become an even more uncomfortable partner
for Russia than Yushchenko and Tymochenko. The oligarchs behind
Yanukovich have been trying to move closer to the EU for quite some
time.

Financial Times Deutschland (2/9) editorialized under the headline:
"The Lesser Evil," and judged: "As a matter of fact, there is no
reason for the West to regret the outcome of the presidential
elections in Ukraine. On the contrary, unlike in 2004, there have
been no reports on electoral fraud...and many of government leader
Tymochenko's proposals were evidence of desperate populism rather
than responsible governance. At the same time, the many votes for
Tymochenko demonstrate in an unmistakable way that a great number of
Ukrainians stand behind the democratization process. Yanukovich
still has to show whether he has changed to the camp of democrats.
As president he must now stick to new rules of the game, including
the respect for the office of prime minister, and not call for her
resignation, as he did yesterday. Europe must be worried only if he
does more than making such abuses. But if he respects the balance
of forces, a representative of the Orange Revolution may have lost
the election - but not the revolution itself."

According to regional daily Braunschweiger Zeitung (2/9), "the color
orange which stands for a political new beginning and for reform,
will fade under the new President Yanukovich. The pro-Russian
politician has one advantage: For him it is not necessary to deal
with a political superstructure of democratic hopes. He does not

BERLIN 00000170 003 OF 003


emphasize them at all. He is a declared NATO opponent and for him
the promise is enough that he will do away with the mess that the
pro-western forces created. This could succeed for a brief period
of time, for a convincing orange line has never been visible."

Regional daily Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten (2/9) wondered: "Is
Yanukovich the right president? The new president bears the stigma
of having manipulated previous elections. But not even this stigma
prevented the majority of Ukrainian voters to vote for him. The
previous rulers failed and this is too obvious. A country such as
Ukraine can find its place only in a balance of interest between the
West and the East. Yanukovich is probably the best candidate to
achieve this goal"

4. (EU) Deficit Worries

Under the headline: "Confidence is Gone," mass-circulation,
right-of-center tabloid Bild-Zeitung of Hamburg (2/9) editorialized:
"The euro is shaking, its exchange rate as soft as wax and that is
what speculators are waiting for. The confidence is gone since it
has become clear that Greece bought its membership with figures that
were based on lies and deception. And the euro states are almost
powerless now. Billions of fines as the last resort? The Greeks
will only smile at such a move. They are in the red with German,
French and Swiss banks with almost 170 billion euros. Now it will
become clear that the euro zone was extended too fast and too easily
on countries that are unable to follow its tough course. This
should be a lesson for Brussels. Not everyone who wants the euro
also deserves the euro."

MURPHY

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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