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Home / Press review / Archive / Press review | 09/06/2015

 

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G7 commit to climate protection

The G7 leaders have upheld the two degree goal and aim to phase out fossil fuels by the end of the century. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

 

Six months before the climate conference in Paris, the participants at the G7 summit in Bavaria have agreed on sweeping climate targets and tougher sanctions against Moscow. The media praises the climate protection goals but finds the summit format outdated.

De Standaard - Belgium

Hope for the climate

The ambitious climate goals set at the G7 summit are at least a start, comments the liberal daily De Standaard approvingly: "The biggest polluters like Russia, China, India and Australia are still blocking progress. Current figures show that the consumption of old-fashioned coal is increasing once more. The low oil prices with which the Opec countries had hoped to torpedo North America's fracking industry are reducing the sense of urgency regarding investing in renewable energies. … So there's reason enough not to start popping the champagne yet. … Cynicism is a safe bet - it's mostly the cynics who are right. But cynics don't ever change anything. Nor do the naïve, it's true. But at least they try." (09/06/2015)

Der Standard - Austria

G7 countries past their prime

The G7 summit is an outdated format, the left-liberal daily Der Standard believes: "The German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted her G7 colleagues in a marvellous, sunny mountain setting with brass instruments, beer and oompah music, signalling to the world: we're looking for solutions. ... But the question remains: was it worth it? Of course there can be no denying that the leaders of the seven most important Western industrial states need to talk to each other from time to time. But the format is no longer as significant as it once was. Twenty years ago the G7 group represented 50 percent of global economic growth, today it's just a third. It will now be some time before the whole summit circus sets up camp in Germany again. Nevertheless if one can make a request: surely the meeting could be pulled off with fewer clichés and less expenditure of time and money next time round." (09/06/2015)

ABC - Spain

Summit of harmony

The mood at the G7 summit was astoundingly relaxed, the conservative daily ABC comments in surprise: "At this year's meeting of global leaders the relaxed atmosphere wasn't just for show. There were many topics to deal with and some of them urgent, for instance terrorism. But none of the participants came along with an important issue that could cause major tensions. And there were even several points on which they could all congratulate each other in advance. The global economy has improved, as have the financial controls, and then there's the progress in the negotiations on the TTIP transatlantic trade agreement, which may enter their final phase soon. And without allowing themselves to be influenced by the idyllic setting [of Schloss Elmau] everyone was able to observe that we're not by any means in the worst moment of the last few years." (09/06/2015)

Corriere del Ticino - Switzerland

Obama closes ranks

The G7's declaration according to which the sanctions against Moscow may be tightened if deemed necessary is a clear victory for US President Barack Obama, the liberal daily Corriere del Ticino concludes: "Closing ranks against Moscow was the goal that Obama had set himself in view of accusations from the Republican opposition at home that he's doing more to reach an agreement in the nuclear dispute with Iran than to make progress in the Ukraine crisis and establish a solid basis for a transatlantic union. … The transatlantic union has clearly become more and more of a priority for Obama as a firm believer in the principle that economy and geopolitics go hand in hand. So it is no mere coincident that the final document of the G7 summit foresees an acceleration in the negotiations that are to lead to a stronger alliance between the states on both sides of the Atlantic. Washington rejects the definition 'economic Nato'. But how else to describe the TTIP free trade agreement Obama defined as a goal in his state of the union address of 2013?" (09/06/2015)

POLITICS

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Hürriyet Daily News - Turkey

Coalition between AKP and CHP makes sense

After the Islamic-conservative AKP fell short of a governing majority in Turkey's general elections on Sunday, the process of forming a coalition could prove difficult since all the opposition parties ruled out the idea of a coalition with the AKP before the elections. The most likely candidate would be the social democratic CHP, the liberal daily Hürriyet Daily News believes: "The business community's choice would be a grand coalition between the AK Party and the CHP, which could bring about a new constitution including a reasonable solution to the Kurdish problem. However, such a solution would almost certainly rule out any possibility of a shift to a presidential system as Erdoğan desires, on the contrary endorsing the existing parliamentary one with better checks and balances. That could give Davutoğlu a golden opportunity to secure autonomy from Erdoğan and prove himself as a political leader." (09/06/2015)

Der Tagesspiegel - Germany

Turkey could teach Middle East about democracy

The ruling AKP has yet to name which parties it sees as potential partners in a coalition after Turkey's parliamentary elections on Sunday. The liberal-conservative daily Der Tagesspiegel hopes that the new government will send a strong message in foreign policy: "Perhaps under a new government Turkey will back down on its uncompromising demand for [Syrian] President Bashar al-Assad to be ousted. It's hardly conceivable that any of the AKP's future coalition partners will support this policy after condemning Ankara's alleged weapon smuggling to radical groups in Syria from the opposition. Ironically, the political uncertainty produced by the election could help to clean up Turkey's reputation in the Middle East. … Turkey could show the region how to deal with a difficult political situation without deploying the tanks." (09/06/2015)

Kansan Uutiset - Finland

EU Parliament shouldn't give TTIP thumbs up

The European Parliament will vote on Wednesday on a resolution regarding the controversial investor-state arbitration in the TTIP transatlantic trade agreement. In view of the roughly two million signatures that have been gathered so far against the TTIP the MEPs would do well to review their decision, the left-leaning daily Kansan Uutiset points out: "More than 470 citizens' action groups from all over Europe have joined the Stop TTIP coalition and the gathering of signatures for the initiative will continue until October 6. The European Commission didn't recognise the Stop TTIP coalition as an official citizens' initiative last autumn. But the coalition brought the European Commission's decision before the European Court of Justice and continued gathering signatures. … One of the coalition's minimal requirements vis-à-vis the European Parliament is that it adopt a clear stance against the investor-state arbitration clause." (09/06/2015)

The Times - United Kingdom

Cameron comes across as a softie in the EU

Fifty Eurosceptic British Conservatives have threatened to vote for the Brexit if British Prime Minister David Cameron doesn't manage to push through reforms favouring Britain in his negotiations with Brussels. The conservative daily The Times also detects a lack of fighting spirit in Cameron: "He looks weak and uncertain at a time and on an issue on which it is essential that he looks strong and decisive. ... The best tactic is for Mr Cameron to go to Brussels with ambitious demands to get as much as he can from other European leaders. He should make it clear that if his demands are not met he is willing to recommend to the British people that they should vote to leave the European Union. By not acting tough, he has signalled that he wants to remain inside the EU even if his demands are rebuffed. It is not an auspicious start." (08/06/2015)

Blog Aventar - Portugal

West sitting at a table with Saudi torturers

Saudi Arabia's highest court has upheld the sentence against blogger Raif Badawi, who must now brace himself for a resumption of his lashing sentence. Nothing else could be expected from a state ruled by fundamentalists, the blog Aventar criticises: "Ironically, Saudi Arabia confirmed its ambition of sitting on the UN Human Rights Council in May, shortly after the regime ordered the appointment of eight new executioners to deal with the growing number of executions and amputations. Saudi Arabia has carried out 85 death sentences since the start of the year alone. ... What sort of moral accusations can we in the West level at Russia or North Korea when we continue to sit at a table with such people? ... A dictator remains a dictator, no matter how much oil he has. But is anyone planning to impose sanctions on these barbarians?" (08/06/2015)

Le Soir - Belgium

France's politicians succumb to rivalries

The two largest political parties in France, the governing Socialists and the opposition conservatives, both held conventions in recent weeks to demonstrate their resolve in the face of the approaching election campaign. But instead the events were nothing but cock fights, the liberal daily Le Soir comments: "Wherever you looked you got the impression of breathing stale air. Of watching a political class fight the same old battles in its little fish bowl. Obsessed with the idea of liquidating their enemies and neutralising rivals in their own camps, the left and the right have all but forgotten their real adversary. The far right? No, it occupies all their thoughts. The subject at hand is unemployment. And the crisis that France has not managed to overcome. But to make headway here it won't be enough for one side to abolish the second menu [without pork] in school cafeterias or for the other to withhold income tax at source." (08/06/2015)

ECONOMY

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Blog David McWilliams - Ireland

Creditors turning Greece into Europe's Gaza

It's no surprise that the Greek government has rejected the proposals of the EU creditor countries for overcoming the debt crisis, economist David McWilliams writes in his blog: "Syriza leaders say they are unwilling to burn any more of the country's dwindling cash reserves to pay creditors until there is a credible offer on the table. They have, not surprisingly, insisted on paying pensions and salaries. If they have to default on creditors so as not to default on their own people, so be it. Can you blame them? ... The EU is about to turn the Greek economy into the financial equivalent of the Gaza Strip, devoid of capital, hope and the potential for growth, left to fester in the south-east of the Balkans." (08/06/2015)

SOCIETY

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Le Quotidien - Luxembourg

Luxembourg's multicultural illusion shattered

78 percent of those who voted in a referendum in Luxembourg on Sunday rejected voting rights for foreigners in parliamentary elections. This result puts an end to the image of a model country of immigration, the liberal daily Le Quotidien believes: "This referendum is a slap in the face for the defenders of voting rights for foreigners, whether they hail from the world of politics, the unions, the employers or the associations. It also puts an end to the myth of a multicultural Luxembourg, the most pro-European state in the EU, a country that has succeeded better than any other at integrating foreigners. To a certain extent the masks have fallen: the illusion of a country in which everyone lives in harmony no longer exists. ... In reality, however, there are neither winners nor losers, there is just the danger of strife in a country that was long governed by consensus and whose identity was forged by immigration." (08/06/2015)

Dennik N - Slovakia

Czechs and Slovaks out of the EU!

The Czech Republic and Slovakia are among the EU states that most vehemently reject refugee quotas. With their xenophobic attitude the two countries don't really belong in Europe, the liberal daily Dennik N complains: "Why don't we just leave the EU and set up barricades on our borders? With our attitude we're more foreign to Europe than the foreigners themselves. Our politicians only refer to these people as terrorists, Muslims and in the best of cases as primitive illiterates and losers. They intentionally avoid talking about the refugees as people, to prevent us from pitying them. ... And once they've succeeded in fanning our hatred, they point to us and say we're full of hate. ... If Europe's politicians were like ours, the EU would never have come about in the first place. So the question is whether we really belong in it." (09/06/2015)

Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland

Duda at the service of the Church

Poland's new President Andrzej Duda on Sunday celebrated mass together with the Archbishop of Warsaw. That's unacceptable, the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza believes: "As a matter of principle it's not uncommon for a politician to attend mass if he's a believer. And even if he's not religious it's nothing out of the ordinary, because the Church is an important social institution and our culture is closely bound up with Christianity. But in this case the president's open show of his strong ties with the Church is quite unusual indeed. He deliberately appears together with well-known prelates, makes a big show of how religious he is and prays at the drop of a hat. ... At the same time, the only thing on the Church representatives' minds is how to impose their doctrines on the legal and political fronts. And they see Duda and the [national-conservative] PiS as the executive arm of this offensive." (09/06/2015)

SPORT

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NRC Handelsblad - Netherlands

The Dutch discover women's football

The Dutch national women's football team is competing in the Women's World Cup championship for the first time, and won its first match on Sunday. Women's football should get more attention, the liberal daily NRC Handelsblad admonishes: "Tennis, hockey, speed skating, athletics: in most sports women are taken seriously at the highest levels. Football is lagging behind here. Not everywhere. It's big in Sweden and Germany, and in the US and Canada women's football fills the stadiums. And now it's getting more attention in the Netherlands, where around 140,000 girls and women play it. … Male football stars have always been adored for their brilliant game, their courage, their agility and their elegance. And these are all things that women excel at." (09/06/2015)

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