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European Press Review 10.2.2005

US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rica finshes her first trip aborad since taking office


Deutsche Welle Radio European press review

Editorial comment in Europe’s major newspapers focuses again on Condoleeza Rice. She has been wrapping up her first trip abroad as US Secretary of State. And she’s spent a lot of her time trying to smooth over relations between the United States and many US allies who refused to go along
with the invasion of Iraq a couple of years ago. So it’s not surprising that this has been the subject of a number of editorials this Thursday.

The Brussels daily De Morgen writes: “With the friendly waving Rice, George W. Bush has played one of the few trump cards he still has left, in his effort to make amends, for his personality and his politics, at least in a minor way,
with the rest of the world.” It continues: “The world and Europe must demand much more than just Condoleeza’s friendly smile.”

The Vienna daily Kurier takes aim at her speech in Paris. It writes: “By and large, the now most powerful woman in the world did pretty well, if you disregard the question as to whether it wasn’t the wrong speech in the wrong
place. Because when it comes to the point of `the United States and Europe must put Iraq behind them and open a new chapter,´ not much is new.” It continues: “Admittedly, the United States has pretty visions, that it files
under ist new favourite word, `freedom.´ The Europeans,” it concludes, “demand that more attention be paid to the details.”

The Times of London comments on Washington’s efforts to drum up NATO assistance in ist efforts in Iraq. It writes: “It is time for a fresh start. The courage shown by Iraqis last month — not only by voters but by the soldiers and police
who with new-found pride guarded, some of them to the death, the polling booths and the pathways leading to them — is a rebuke to pettiness in others... Both for Iraq and for Nato, it is vital that this assistance be forthcoming.”

There’s been a lot of talk about the European Union varried immigration policies this week. A couple of EU countries have announced new initiatives, and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen won re-election, which has been
seen as an endorsement by the voters of his government’s restrictive immigration policy.

The Trouw daily of The Hague writes: “While Spain has moved to give residency permits to about a million illegal immigrants who have only been there for six months but do have a job. The Netherlands is doing all it can to deport 26,000 asylum seekers, who’ve been in the country for at least four years.” It continues: “Seen in a wider European context, what we view as legal, is in fact, a lottery. If you happen to live in Spain, Italy or Belgium, you win.
They’ve already announced general amnesty programmes. If you’re stranded in the Netherlands, you lose.”

Libération of Paris argues: “Immigration from third countries into the European Union does justify a common policy, because all agree that this problem could be dealt with coherently on this level.” It continues that now: “Everyone is
doing his own thing, some are becoming more liberal, others are going in the opposite direction. But the EU could at least try to partially deal in concert with a clear demand for labour in what is at the same time a troubled labour market.”

Finally, German papers comment on the wage deal for federal civil servants reached by management and the union on Wednesday. The national daily Die Welt writes: “The costs of these reforms will be very expensive. The employers won’t profit from the new structures until after 2010. What’s important is that people in particular profit from these reforms.” It continues: “What we want to see is friendly faces when we have to deal with civil servants. How about
keeping the Motor Vehicle Registry Office open until 10 pm, and making sure there are no more long queues at city hall. It’s the right of the people to enjoy the benefit of the high costs of these reforms.”