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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Iran-Nuclear, Eu-Swift, Eu-Greece,

VZCZCXRO2450
RR RUEHAG RUEHLZ
DE RUEHRL #0178/01 0431242
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 121242Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6541
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 2021
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0750
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1266
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 2767
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 1783
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0944
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 04 BERLIN 000178

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 PTER EMS UP
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: IRAN-NUCLEAR, EU-SWIFT, EU-GREECE,
UKRAINE;BERLIN

1. Lead Stories Summary
2. (Iran) Nuclear Program, Anniversary
3. (EU-U.S.) SWIFT
4. (EU-Greece) Special Summit Meeting
5. (Ukraine) Aftermath of Elections


1. Lead Stories Summary

The main story this morning in the print media is the EU summit in
Brussels and the EU's reaction to the Greek financial crisis.
Sueddeutsche, however, headlined: "EU Refuses To Transfer Banking
Data to the U.S." Editorials focused on the special EU summit in
Greece on the European Parliament's refusal to adopt the SWIFT
agreement, and on the controversy over the future head of the German
Expellee Association. ZDF-TV's early evening newscast heute led
with the EU summit in Brussels, while ARD-TV's early evening
newscast Tagesschau led with reports on the European Parliament
rejecting the SWIFT agreement

2. (Iran) Nuclear Program, Anniversary

Frankfurter Allgemeine (2/12) editorialized: "Ahmadinejad's pithy
words that Iran is now a nuclear power and a 'great power' in the
region cannot conceal the fact that the Iranian regime has never
been under so much pressure since the foundation of the Islamic
Republic. It was a turbulent 31st anniversary.... Not just in
Tehran, also in other cities serious anger was expressed against the
regime.... Iran is not finding peace since the fraudulent
presidential elections in June. It looks like this will remain
so."

Sddeutsche (2/12) argued that very tough sanctions must be imposed
although it would "strengthen the regime in the fight against its
opponents." The paper notes: "There is little hope that the inner
Iranian power struggle will resolve the nuclear program. Regime
change is not in sight. However, the Iranian bomb could be build
within one, two or three years - whenever the leadership decides to
do so. Those who want to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power
must impose very tough sanctions - even at the expense of the
opposition."

Die Welt (2/12) noted that the West is in a dilemma: "America's
greatest hope would be a change of the regime. However, sanctions
that are too tough, such as a petrol embargo, or even military
options would divide the opposition and strengthen the discredited
regime. However, if the U.S. and its western allies respond weakly,
Ahmadinejad will look better. We will not be able to reach an
agreement with him. The West should clearly state what the Iranian
opposition has known for a long time."

3. (EU-U.S.) SWIFT

All papers (2/12) gave the vote of the European Parliament (EP)
against the SWIFT agreement broad coverage. It was also the main
story on ARD-TV's early evening newscast Tagesschau. Sueddeutsche
Zeitung led with the headline: "EU Refuses To Transfer Banking Data
to the U.S.," while Frankfurter Allgemeine wrote: "America no Longer
Allowed to Control Banking Transactions." In another report FAZ
reported under the headline: "The Invitation to America was not
Enough," and wrote: "The SWIFT agreement failed in Strasburg not
only because of data protection reasons. The members of the
European Parliament (MEPs) felt snubbed." Die Welt headlined: "EP
Stopped SWIFT Agreement With the United States and Financial Times
Deutschland noted: "EP Refuses to Accept SWIFT Plan."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (2/12) carried a front-page editorial saying:
"This agreement would have been re-negotiated in nine months anyway

BERLIN 00000178 002 OF 004


and would have been replaced with a final agreement. And even now,
U.S. investigators will have access to data on European
transactions, but they will have greater difficulty getting this
access. So let's not get carried away. Of course, we must now fear
that the Obama government will consider Europe an 'uncertain ally'
on which the United Stats cannot rely when it comes to drying up
transnational terrorist financial transactions. America will now
pester the Europeans accusing them of having created a security gap
by rejecting the SWIFT agreement. In hindsight, President Obama
will feel confirmed in his decision not to take part in the EU-U.S.
summit."

Under the headline: "If There are Doubts, Back Freedom,"
Sueddeutsche Zeitung (2/12) is of the opposite opinion and argued:
"It is necessary and justified to fight terrorists, but those who
fight terrorists, have no right to violate basic civil rights. The
EP has now taught this lesson and the addressees are the European
Commission and the European Council. If the EP had approved the
SWIFT agreement, European standards with respect to data protection
and the protection of civil rights would have been irretrievably
lost. But beyond these institutional power games, the broad and
partisan rejection of the SWIFT agreement shows that the MEPs
primarily rejected it because of their concern about security and
freedom. The balance would have been shifted to the disadvantage of
freedom. Even if there will be some irritation in EU-US relations,
the MEPs have done a great service to transatlantic relations,
because Washington now knows what to expect: the terror danger can
be fought together but not at the price of giving up European civil
rights."

Berliner Zeitung (2/12) headlined: "Parliament Saved Europe From
SWIFT," and argued that "two and a half months after the Lisbon
Treaty entered into force, the MEPs demonstrated in a self confident
and powerful way that they are willing to fully use their powers and
bring to bear the interests of Europeans. Fortunately, the EP
corrected the mistakes of the European Council. Now the MEPs must
prove that they cannot only say 'no,' but that they are also good
negotiators. Once the agreement is up for new talks, they will have
a say - hopefully again in the sense of the voters."

Die Welt (2/12) opined: "The new SWIFT agreement must now be
concluded as quickly as possible, at best would be a singing in
March. Neither side can afford a new bickering about the pros and
cons. When the next terrorist attack happens, the people will not
be interested on who is to blame."

Under the headline: "Well-Deserved Handshake," Handelsblatt (2/12)
opined: "Finally good news from Europe: the controversial SWIFT
agreement between the United States and Europe failed. The MEPs
have demonstrated that they are unwilling to back every agreement
but that they must be taken seriously. It is an irony that the
Americans realized this earlier than the Europeans. Secretary
Clinton did massive lobbying in Brussels and Strasbourg to save the
agreement. The European Commission and the European Council of
Ministers, however, treated the MEPs as petitioners. And that is
what they got for being so ignorant."

Regional daily Leipziger Volkszeitung (2/12) judged: "Equipped with
new self confidence, the EP is now giving European standards of data
protection priority over an all-encompassing U.S. push for security.
There is no doubt that the new negotiations about the SWIFT
agreement will burden EU-U.S. relations, but the joint fight against
terror will not suffer from it. With this partisan decision, the EP
has established itself as a power factor in the political fabric."

Regional daily Schweriner Volkszeitung (2/12) editorialized:
"Yesterday demonstrated the EU has profoundly changed. Nothing goes
without the democratically elected EP.... Europe is becoming more

BERLIN 00000178 003 OF 004


democratic. It does not matter that an allegedly important
agreement in the fight against terror has gone to the dogs. We can
hardly assume that the U.S. Congress would, in the opposite case,
approve that Europe gets equal information on the financial
transactions of U.S. citizens."

Frankfurter Neue Presse (2/12) judged: "The Americans will now again
say that the Europeans are too soft and too scrupulous in order to
defend themselves efficiently against international terror. But the
Europeans argue that it is not good to sacrifice too much freedom in
favor of security. The Americans have a different view, even under
President Obama. Now Washington must find an arrangement for a
reasonable compromise with the skeptical old Europe that also does
justice to data protection. Over the past years, the 'transparent
citizen' has heard too many gloomy reports that do not allow him to
believe that the security agencies always have the best and good
things in mind when dealing with his personal data."

4. (EU-Greece) Special Summit Meeting

Lead story headlines included: "EU will help Athens only when there
are no other option" (Frankfurter Allgemeine), "EU promises Greece
emergency assistance" (Die Welt), "EU rejects financial assistance
for Greece" (Handelsblatt), "A friend in need" (Frankfurter
Rundschau). Most editorials support the restrained EU approach,
noting that the Greeks themselves must be blamed for their country's
financial crisis, which media described as a "Greek malaise"
(Deutschlandfunk). The Greek government is therefore called upon to
take tough actions.

Deutschlandfunk radio (2/11): "It is good that the EU did not get
out its credit card and take on all future risks of the
Mediterranean country. The EU is well advised to take Athens up on
its promise to consolidate its budget and to include the IMF in the
discussion. The global financial crisis is only partly to blame for
escalation of the financial situation. The Greek way of muddling
through has laid the foundation for it. The notion that Greece
wanted others to cover its deficits right from the start cannot be
disputed after the experience of recent years. This way of muddling
through must not be awarded now."
Mass-tabloid Bild (2/12) agreed: "The proud Greeks have cheated,
deceived and thrown money about-now they are almost broke. If it
were possible, we should throw them out of the Euro zone.
Unfortunately, this is not possible because mistakes were made in
the drafting of the Euro treaty... At least, the German government
does not waste any fresh tax money on this. The Greeks must face the
music under strict oversight... This scandalous way of muddling
through should not be covered up with further money and nice words.
This would really undermine the confidence in our currency. Those
who award deception and cheating with new financial assistance
damage the euro most. Only if we are tough on Greece will the euro
be strong in the long-run."

Frankfurter Allgemeine (2/12): "Greece must further tighten its
efforts to cut expenditures. Progress will be examined in March, not
just by the EU commission but also the European Central Bank and the
International Monetary Fund. This is a slap in the face of the EU
Commission, which is well-deserved."

Sddeutsche (2/12): "All participants would do themselves a favor by
exploiting the existing measures. Those who do not meet the
obligations of the European treaties should be punished. Those who
run excessive deficits over years, protect certain sectors of the
industry and reject giving information deceive the community."

5. (Ukraine) Aftermath of Elections

"The Beauty and the Beast," headlined Handelsblatt (2/12) and

BERLIN 00000178 004 OF 004


judged: "Julia Timochenko is clinging to her job as prime minister
and even one week after Yanukovich's appeal she has not stepped
down. She has also blocked the formation of a pro-Yanukovich
faction in parliament. Instead of admitting her defeat and
accepting the seat of opposition leader with full honors, she is
trying to stop change by fighting the outcome of the elections with
accusations of electoral fraud and with a recount. But with these
activities she is damaging her economically troubled country. She
is also putting her own fate over the one of Ukraine. With these
moves she is giving credit to her own ego: she is a nice beast."

MURPHY

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