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Europe

European Press Review: Kerry and Europe

Europe's newspapers on Monday focused on the opening of the Democratic National Convention in Boston and what it would mean for the EU if John Kerry becomes president of the United States.

Die Presse in Vienna thinks Europe has to fear an election victory by John Kerry for the simple reason that it could then no longer turn up its nose at the coarse Texan George Bush and duck its responsibilities in international crises. That's because the time for excuses would be over and Europe would no longer be able to say “cooperation with this arrogant US govt is not really possible”.

The Tagesanzeiger in Zurich wrote: What the Democratic Party has been welding together is a deep revulsion against the Republican Bush. However, that’s hardly enough for a program, it commented. The voters expect suggestions about overcoming the crisis of the health and education systems, as well as about reducing public debt. They also want a fundamental debate on the consequences of globalization for the American working population.

The London daily The Independent thinks Kerry’s great advantage is the grim antipathy that Bush with his personality and his policies has produced. This anti-Bush passion was the reason why Kerry was able to secure the nomination, but he will have to show that he has more to offer than not being George Bush. This week’s Democratic National Convention will give him the opportunity to speak to America and to show that he has the character to lead the country.

Several European dailies commented on Lance Armstrong’s record sixth Tour de France victory. Britain’s Daily Telegraph was full of praise for the American cyclist, saying it is the magnitude of his victory that one marvels at. It concluded that to win is magnificent. To win six times in a row stands at the very edge of human accomplishment.

The Spanish daily El Pais, while recognizing Armstrong’s achievement, also pointed out that his triumph comes as questions are asked if he won the six tours cleanly or with the help of doping, although it stresses he has never tested positive. Recalling the boos and insults directed towards him on two legs of this year's event, the Madrid paper said Armstrong is considered “arrogant, cold, and machine-like”. However, it said, “it would be unfair not to acknowledge his extraordinary quality and command, which from now on make him a sporting legend."