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Home / Press review / Archive / Press review | 14/10/2010

 

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Rejoicing in Chile

 

The last of the 33 miners trapped in Chile's San José mine was rescued on Wednesday night, to widespread jubilation in Chile. The press writes that while the success showcases a modern and democratic South America, the story itself hardly justifies the expenses incurred on location by international media.

ABC - Spain

A modern Latin America

Chile has projected the image of a modern Latin America with the rescue of the trapped miners, the conservative daily ABC writes: "Well done, Chile! With this miner saga the country has given the world a lesson in efficiency, courage and leadership. And President Piñera has shown himself to be a leader to be reckoned with. There is a South America beyond the Bolivarian caudillos and the arrogant demagogues. A serious America that is seeking to develop towards modernity and the West; countries where political moderation has consolidated democratic progress: Lula's Brazil, Uribe y Santos Colombia, the Chile of Frei, Bachelet and Piñera. Countries with social democratic Lefts, liberal Rights, calm changes, civilised pragmatism. Constructive democracies which set standards for efficient politics without absurd paramilitaries and rampant corruption." (14/10/2010)

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland

Feelings override facts

Hundreds of journalists from all over the world gathered in Chile's Atacama Desert to witness the rescue of the miners. The liberal-conservative daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung criticises their coverage of the rescue operation as over-emotional: "In this age of global imponderability a nation is celebrating its role as the last liberator while the journalists wallow in emotion. ... And the media channels were wide open to psychological experts. Astoundingly they knew long before the rescue of the miners how people who had been trapped for so long will feel over the coming days and months. The media world is sinking into a swamp of subjectivism and speculation. Without doubt we can rejoice about the wonders of technology and this day of liberation. But the discrepancy between the value of the information and the technical and logistical trouble the media companies have gone to to obtain it is grotesque. These resources are lacking in areas where there are less spectacular but important subjects." (14/10/2010)

i - Portugal

A story that would make a great film

The rescue of the Chilean miners would make a great film, writes the daily newspaper i: "The rescue operation in the Atacama desert turned into a real saga on a par with the first landing on the moon. And it had a good ending, just like in films. ... Truly emotional, and as always when a situation is highly emotional the cameras were there, the newspapers and the radios. It's an epic story about one of those professions that is still an exclusively male domain. And it began with the 17 days they spent undiscovered in the depths of the mine. Perfect. One of the many TV channels which gave live coverage of the rescue operation asked when Hollywood would make it into a film. But this was a reality show - better than any fiction film. The script was written with the real blood, sweat and tears of those affected and their families. ... 'Don't treat us like stars', miner Mário Sepúlveda begged the journalists. But it may be impossible not to, especially in the film that will be made about them." (14/10/2010)

The Times - United Kingdom

Investigate safety of mining

Now that the Chilean miners have been rescued important questions must be asked about the safety of mining, writes the conservative daily The Times: "The extraordinary discipline of the men underground inspires our admiration; the family reunions our compassion. Once the redemption of rescue is over, there will be a time for interrogation. The safety record of Chile's mines is poor. In 2009 alone, there were 191,685 workplace accidents in Chile and 443 deaths. President Piñera has already fired the top officials in the mining regulator and has promised an independent inquiry. It is quite possible that, in its search for exports, Chile's safety standards have been compromised." (14/10/2010)

POLITICS

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Trouw - Netherlands

Dutch government not looking to the future

The new Dutch minority government made up of right-wing Liberals and Christian Democrats which is being tolerated by the right-wing populist Geert Wilders takes office today, Thursday. This construct is a step in the wrong direction and its cabinet plans don't inspire hope, writes the daily Trouw: "Wilders gets a maximum of influence for a minimum amount of responsibility. He can take credit for the cabinet's successes and then in the inevitable moment when it makes a mistake he can turn around and show his outrage. ... It is to be feared that the burden of the necessary restructuring of the state's finances will fall one-sidedly on certain social groups that already bear a huge burden. And things don't look rosy for the environment either. ... A cabinet that finds it more important to keep pouring the asphalt so we can drive faster on motorways than to fight the enormous problem of traffic jams with a tax per kilometre cannot boast of being future-oriented." (14/10/2010)

Novinar - Bulgaria

Wooing the votes of Bulgaria's Roma

After the controversial deportations of Roma from France the French parliament has now passed on first reading a draft law that would facilitate future deportations of Roma. The liberal minority party DPS has protested against this in parliament in what the daily Novinar suspects is a bid to gain the votes of Bulgarian Roma in the country's local elections in autumn next year: "At least someone in Bulgaria is reacting to the discriminating texts the French parliament has approved. It would be better however if such declaration didn't come from a particular party but from the government itself. The silence of those in power is widening the gap between the Roma ghettos, the rest of the country and Europe. In the next elections we will once again watch how Roma votes all flow to a certain party. ... But the country's leaders shouldn't complain if they simply close their eyes to the way France treats its own citizens." (13/10/2010)

Delo - Slovenia

US not interested in the Balkans

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's three-day mission to several countries in the Western Balkans ended on Monday. But the US media was silent on the trip, the daily Delo writes, and criticises American disinterest in the Balkans: "It seems that the media's silence speaks volumes. Even those institutions that earn their bread and butter by appearing in the media as key experts on various international matters on such occasions didn't prepare any studies, commentaries or interviews this time round. ... Clinton's visit was important for the region. But the Balkans have long disappeared from the list of hot US foreign policy topics. That's bad news for a region that has until now been successfully overlooked by the EU. Recent history has shown that Brussels only becomes active in the Balkans in reaction to the rhythm of Washington's baton." (14/10/2010)

Financial Times Deutschland - Germany

Ahmadinejad triumphs over the West

The Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has promised Lebanon his backing during a state visit to the country. The West sees his visit to southern Lebanon near the Israeli border as an act of provocation. But Hizbollah, Iran and Syria have attained their current military and ideological strength with the help of the West, writes the liberal daily Financial Times Deutschland: "Despite the presence of UN Blue Helmets - including the German navy - the rearmament of Hizbollah has not been prevented. After the war with Israel the West promised hundreds of millions in developmental aid. But it was the Hizbollah people who made themselves popular by providing aid - thanks to money from Iran. Ahmadinejad is now reaping the political rewards of this policy. In visiting his Hizbollah supporters he has discarded all restraint. It is high time the West supported those who don't want to see Lebanon reduced to the status of a satellite state. Otherwise the front line will really be here one day." (14/10/2010)

REFLECTIONS

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Lapin Kansa - Finland

Keijo Korhonen on Europe's failed immigration policy

The current integration debates in many European countries are the price that must be paid for a misguided policy, writes the US-based political scientist Keijo Korhonen in the daily Lapin Kansa: "It's now 50 years since Germany fetched cheap and humble workers from Southeastern Europe and above all Turkey for what it thought would be only a limited period to power its 'economic miracle'. ... In the US the third generation of migrants has been completely Americanised, while things look entirely different in Germany. People from migrant backgrounds have not yet fused with the Germans, their level of education remains miserable and there is twice as much unemployment in their ranks as in the rest of the population. The German bank manager and former social democratic politician Thilo Sarrazin recently poked a wasps' nest when he fanned discussion over integration in Germany. ... He has initiated a serious debate over the unquestionable failure of integration policy in his country. If we were smart in Finland, we'd learn from the mistakes of others - the UK, France, Germany and Sweden. ... There's still time to develop a reasonable migration policy, to profit both from migrants and from our local population." (14/10/2010)

ECONOMY

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Blog Standard.ro - Romania

Dangerous double-dealing with gas

After a flying visit by Gazprom boss Alexey Miller to Bucharest Romania is examining whether it should participate in Gazprom's South Stream gas pipeline project in addition to the rival Nabucco pipeline project. The gas supplies would not suffice for both projects, the business blog standard.money.ro warns, and points to the political risks of double-dealing: "If Romania and other states in the East make the mistake of helping the South Stream project get on its feet they can say 'do svidaniya' to their energy independence. ... President Traian Băsescu and Prime Minister Emil Boc must also be aware that if they opt for the South Stream project they will be giving Nabucco the coup de grace. And in ten to fifteen years, if not sooner, their decision could mean Romania's return to the confines of Russia's sphere of influence - in a political diarchy with the Franco-German tandem." (14/10/2010)

Corriere del Ticino - Switzerland

Risky currency war with China

China's central bank set the exchange rate for the Chinese yuan against the dollar higher than ever on Wednesday. A government representative stressed that the revaluation had nothing to do with the demands of the US and other countries. The West's putting pressure on China is pointless and may even be counterproductive, the daily Corriere del Ticino writes: "Much ado about nothing, or rather about finding a scapegoat for the crisis which is still looming over us and for which no one in the West has found an answer. ... In reality the yuan's exchange rate is not the cause of the crisis. A strong and abrupt revaluation of the yuan would help neither the US nor the European economies out of their present impasse and what's more, would have a negative impact on the Chinese economy, endangering one of the few motors of the global economy which is running at full power. ... We can only hope that the game doesn't get out of control and the currency war remains on a verbal level - otherwise we could face disaster." (14/10/2010)

SOCIETY

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Irish Examiner - Ireland

We're using up our Earth

The environment organisation WWF has presented its Living Planet Report, which shows how mankind is living beyond its means at nature's expense. We must face up to this challenge, the daily the Irish Examiner urges: "As we've been preoccupied by economic collapse the terrible and regular warnings about the life-and-death challenges facing our planet seem to have slipped from the headlines. That's entirely understandable but as yesterday's Living Planet Report shows that cannot be a long-term position. Ignoring a looming crisis will not avert it. The report tells us what we can see if we care to look - humanity's demands on natural resources has doubled in five decades and are beyond what the planet can provide by more than half. History shows we can recover from economic collapse but unless we are more proactive in confronting this promised crisis we may not." (14/10/2010)

Göteborgs-Posten - Sweden

More equality in sport

The typically masculine sports receive more support from the city of Gothenburg than typically feminine or youth sports, as the city's budget demonstrates. The liberal daily Göteborgs-Posten calls on local politicians to right matters here: "But before the Social Democrats and Greens realise that it is not fitting to finance sports played by 25-year-old men at the expense of 13-year-old girls, the conservatives will hopefully introduce proposals for new budgetary allocations. The injustice that exists between sports dominated by men and those preferred by women - conditioned by the high cost of city sport facilities and football pitches - should long since have become a thing of the past. It makes no sense that men who play floorball should receive generous financial support while girls (and women) who are more active at private facilities (such as riding halls) receive nothing." (14/10/2010)

Vilniaus diena - Lithuania

Lithuanians fear forced prefab renovation

In Lithuania many prefabricated concrete buildings from the Soviet era are in urgent need of renovation. But refurbishing them could put an excessive financial burden on proprietors, writes the daily Vilniaus Diena: "Politicians explain that there's no getting around renovating these old apartment buildings. But the message the owners hear above all else is: you've got to renovate your building whether you like it or not. And that means putting yourself at the mercy of the banks and fraudulent construction firms. What choice does that leave the average proprietor? Must he start renovating just because the neighbours are doing the same? These are the kind of concerns that are being voiced. Is it a good idea at all to force owners to start renovating? Wouldn't it be better to give them incentives to do it of their own accord? If the state were to make available suitable financial aid for renovations and insulation you can be sure building owners would start lining up at night to file their applications the next morning." (14/10/2010)

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