European Press Review: AIDS Devastation in Sub-Saharan Africa | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 01.12.2003
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European Press Review: AIDS Devastation in Sub-Saharan Africa

English papers look at the AIDS problem on World AIDS Day, other European papers say that the punishment for helping the U.S. is often death.

The plague on the poor is how the Independent described the deadly AIDS virus, which in the paper’s view is dividing the world. Nowhere is the devastation more evident than in Botswana, where at an alarming rate AIDS is killing the

people whom the country needs to mine its diamonds and teach in its schools.

The Guardian wrote that due to AIDS sex is the talk these days in Sub-Saharan Africa. Any school-age child is now aware of the mechanics of sex long before they even begin having it. The paper went on to say that children shouldn’t have to know about such subjects until they are about to enter the world of adults.

The conservative Times of London wrote that the way to deal with AIDS begins at ground level, meaning with the individual person. People have to be responsible for their actions so that the virus doesn’t spread, according to the Times. Individual governments then have to act responsibly to ensure their health care systems are efficient and free of corruption. It is the weakness in health policy which makes the spread of the virus possible.

In the aftermath of a weekend of violence which claimed the lives of seven Spanish intelligence agents, the Spanish paper El Mundo wrote that the mission in Iraq is proving to be senseless. The Spanish soldiers in Iraq who are there to defend freedom and peace seem to be more than anything preoccupied with defending and protecting themselves.

The Austrian mass-circulation daily Kronen Zeitung said that U.S. allies in Iraq now have to reckon with more attacks on their forces. That is the price they’ll pay for joining Washington in its military adventure, said the paper. Every hit against coalition forces is meant to punish Washington.

France's Le Figaro took aim at the Geneva Initiative, an alternative Middle East peace plan. The daily took a pessimistic view and said that hope was the only thing that remained if there was nothing more to expect from the Israeli and Palestinian delegates.