German Press Review: Shaky Economic Foundations | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 28.04.2004
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German Press Review: Shaky Economic Foundations

Germany’s papers on Wednesday focused on the plight of the economy. On Tuesday, the country’s economic think tanks cut their growth forecasts, predicting that Germany will continue to lag behind the global economy.

The Badische Neueste Nachrichten wrote: "The constant discussion about fractional growth shows on what shaky foundations the economic recovery is based. Too many parameters are simply inestimable and cannot only mess up the balance sheets of companies over night. Continually rising oil and steel prices are the worst thing that could happen to German firms and are dampening the already weak consumption. The Germans are paying more for gasoline than ever before and there’s no end in sight to the price rises."

According to Neues Deutschland, it’s quite clear that the government’s anti-economic development policy is not without consequences. Instead of a strong plus, growth in Germany struggled to climb above the 1 percent mark. Also for that reason, the Berlin daily continued, there will be few signs of an upswing either on the job market or in tax revenue.

Other German papers commented on the first official visit to Europe in 15 years by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in another major step towards the normalization of relations with Tripoli, following its decision to abandon its weapons of mass-destruction programs. The Westfalenpost wrote that one does not feel good about Gadhafi’s visit, for it was Libya that was behind the devastating attacks on the U.S. jumbo jet over Lockerbie and the Berlin discotheque La Belle. However, the daily continued, if Europe is to be a successful mediator for peace in the Arab world and win the fight against global terror, it needs good diplomatic contacts there – even in the form of the dubious Gadhafi.

Jordan on Tuesday found itself among the top targets of the Al-Qaeda terror network after foiling a plot to hit the capital with chemical explosives that Amman said could have killed tens of thousands. In a comment on this, Die Welt in Berlin wrote: "Terror is acquiring a new dimension of threat. Even worse: For the first time in the history of terrorism it seems to be succeeding in really endangering societies in their very foundations." The reason for this, the daily pointed out, is the terrorists' newly obtained ability to use weapons of mass-destruction. Now all states, including Germany, must again ask themselves if they are prepared for such attacks.