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Home / Press review / Archive / Press review | 02/12/2015



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Nato to send Turkey reinforcements

Nato chief Stoltenberg (right) promised Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Tuesday that security measures would be boosted. (© picture-alliance/dpa)


Nato has annouced plans to strengthen Turkey's air defences on the country's border with Syria. Since the downing of a Russian fighter jet the alliance with Moscow against the IS militants has collapsed, some commentators complain. Other urge the West not to allow Ankara to exploit the situation for its own purposes.

Il Sole 24 Ore - Italy

Anti-IS alliance has failed

US President Barack Obama has urged Russia and Turkey to seek a diplomatic solution to the conflict that broke out between them after the downing of a Russian plane. The appeal is pointless given that the anti-IS coalition has already failed, writes the liberal business daily Il Sole 24 Ore: "In Syria the Russians and the Iranians, together with Assad, will wage one war while the US and the Europeans wage another. A competition rather than an alliance - that is the result of the row between the Russian tsar and the Turkish sultan. But it's not just about that. The two coalitions have a common enemy, the IS, but very different goals and purposes. They must avoid getting in each other's way too much. The Russian-Turkish tensions will continue despite Obama's attempts to mediate. … An Obama who concedes Ankara's right to defend itself. Yet the Americans are the ones most interested in preventing Turkish expansion in Syria because they don't trust [President] Erdoğan. But to keep him and the Sunni front of Gulf monarchies happy, Obama is insisting on Assad's resignation." (02/12/2015)

Český rozhlas - Czech Republic

Ankara the most complicated partner

The escalation in the dispute between Moscow and Ankara over the downing of a Russian military jet is endangering the joint mission against the IS militants and putting Nato in an awkward position, the Prague-based radio broadcaster Český rozhlas observes: "The tensions between Erdoğan and Putin are not ebbing. Nato - whether it likes it or not - must support its member Turkey. … The alliance is not hiding its concerns in the face of an ever more agile Russia. Nor is it hiding its frustration with Turkey, which has repeatedly relied on the other allies to solve its problems and moreover uses them to pursue goals which aren't in harmony with Nato's objectives. Yesterday, for instance, when the world was caught up in the row over the downed Russian jet, the operations against the Kurds in eastern Turkey were resumed. … One might well feel inclined to say: another ally like this one and we're doomed." (02/12/2015)

Club Z - Bulgaria

Moscow's mission increasing Syria's suffering

Moscow's mission in Syria will become even more resolute after Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet, the news website Club Z predicts: "Putin will be even more brazen in his support for Assad's regime. At a joint press conference with his Syrian counterpart Walid al-Muallim, [Russian Foreign Minister] Lavrov already made Russia's support for the Syrian regime clearer than ever. … How will Nato react to Russia's monopoly in the Syria conflict? Will Washington's reaction remain confined to disputing the Russian version of the fighter jet's downing? How far are Washington and its allies willing to let Russia's involvement in the Syrian swamp go? It's hard to tell how the situation will pan out, but one thing's for sure: the Syrian people will suffer more than they already have in the last four years." (01/12/2015)

Sözcü - Turkey

Russia calls Turkey's borders into question

The Turkish region of Hatay over which the Russian fighter jet was shot down was handed over to Ankara in 1939 by the French Mandate, but Syria has laid claim to it ever since. Moscow has now once again put the issue on the table, the Kemalist daily Sözcü admonishes: "Ankara continues to speak of rules of engagement and border violations, but Russia doesn't accept all that. Now the real issue has come to light. Russia says: what borders are you talking about? Is Russia justified in bringing up this issue, or not? We should take a look at our borders. Are they clearly defined? Are the borders we lay claim to even recorded in international agreements? No. ... And you still go on talking of 'rules of engagement' and 'our borders'. And now we have reached a point where we're quarrelling with Russia over our border with Syria." (02/12/2015)


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Der Standard - Austria

Syria mission: Merkel in the solidarity trap

The German government on Tuesday voted in favour of German troops participating in a military mission against the IS militants in Syria. The resolution marks a watershed in German foreign policy, the left-liberal daily Der Standard comments: "With the decision to deploy German soldiers in the fight against the IS, Chancellor Angela Merkel has put an end to Germany's traditional reserve. Not because she's keen on embarking on a military mission. On the contrary: she knows many Germans are sceptical. Nevertheless the chancellor doesn't want to leave France in the lurch. She doesn't like to remember the flack Berlin received when Germany refused to join the allied intervention in Libya. Merkel also knows that one thing is out of the question: preaching solidarity to the EU partners in the refugee crisis while at the same time fobbing Paris off with a few words of condolence after the terrorist attacks." (02/12/2015)

Financial Times - United Kingdom

Pacifist Corbyn destroying Labour

The British oppositional Labour Party is deeply divided in the run-up to today's vote in the British House of Commons over whether Britain should participate in airstrikes against the IS in Syria. Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is against British involvement while the majority of his MPs are in favour. Corbyn's course is making the party increasingly unelectable, the conservative daily Financial Times criticises: "Mr Corbyn argues that his pacifist stance reflects the sentiment of the party's grass-roots supporters. Labour's moderate MPs rightly insist that their prime role is not to parrot the wishes of party activists but to serve all their constituents and act in the national interest. ... Mr Corbyn seems determined to push his party towards the far left whatever the consequences for its electability. The longer he stays in his post, the more likely it is that he will destroy Labour as a mainstream political party." (01/12/2015)

Le Monde - France

Support Africa on climate protection

The African Union's programme on renewable and sustainable energy must be supported at all costs, the centre-left daily Le Monde writes commenting on the negotiations at the Climate Change Conference in Paris: "The Africans aren't kidding themselves. Without the financial solidarity of the industrial countries they could never attain their goals. The cost of the African Union's programme is estimated at 250 billion dollars. Too expensive? The answer: The continent's population is set to double by 2050. What would the cost be - in terms of polluting emissions - if its development were based purely on fossil energies? There are two good reasons to fulfil Africa's expectations. The first is a moral obligation. The second is that it is in our own interests: Africa holds part of the solution to the climate crisis. This is about what Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has described as our duty to ensure 'climate justice'." (01/12/2015)

Ziare - Romania

New ministers exposed to bureaucracy sharks

The for the most part non-party affiliated technocrats in Dacian Cioloş' new government took office pledging to tackle the backlog of reforms needed in Romania. But the administration will block this initiative, the Bucharest-based website Ziare fears: "The fate of each minister, all off whom are liable to be caught up in a strudel of lies, red herrings and traps, depends on the competence and honesty of the skeleton of public servants that makes up each ministry. … They start off full of smiles and obligingness, at first glance eager to support the reform efforts. But they are sharks. Their survival instinct is greater than that of their ministers and for them reforms and a new style of working represent mortal dangers that must be nipped in the bud. A silent power struggle is about to begin: will the ministers be able to control and reform their houses effectively or will they be paralysed by bureaucracy?" (02/12/2015)

Lapin Kansa - Finland

Finland's political debates must be non-violent

In Finland a critic tipped a cup of cola over the country's conservative finance minister Alexander Stubb on Monday. The incident occurred after a statement made by Stubb regarding a bill for a reform of the securities registry system. He had admitted on the weekend to having provided the parliament with false information on the results of expert reports on the bill. The liberal daily Lapin Kansa condemns the attack on Stubb: "This is not the first time that the finance minister has been the target of an attack. In the autumn the windows of his home were smashed. … Finland is an open society in which politicians and representatives of the business world can move around without major security precautions. This should not be taken for granted. One may have different views to those of the politicians but opinions must be expressed verbally. The use of violence doesn't convince anyone and doesn't help the perpetrator either. No one wants Finland to become a police state." (02/12/2015)


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De Tijd - Belgium

Belgium again prevents clear energy transition

The government in Belgium signed an agreement on Monday with the French-Belgian company Electrabel for prolonging the lifespan of two ageing nuclear reactors. Scheduled to come off the grid in 2015, the plants will now remain in operation for another ten years. The deal once again hinders the development of a sustainable energy policy, the business paper De Tijd criticises: "With this move the government continues its stop-and-go policy, leading to uncertainty and making a long-term strategy impossible. By entrenching the nuclear industry's position of power for an additional ten years, the government is undermining all initiatives for alternative forms of energy. We urgently need a pact borne by a broad consensus which sets out the steps to a long-term, sustainable energy policy. And the government's zigzagging must stop once and for all." (02/12/2015)

La Vanguardia - Spain

Spain needs more Chinese investments

According to reports in the media the Chinese group Wanda wants to acquire the Spanish tourism company Marina d'Or for 1.2 billion euros. This would be a noteworthy investment, the conservative daily La Vanguardia remarks: "Every country is trying to attract investments by the Asian giant. Yet only ten percent of its investments find their way to Europe, and of those Spain comes fifth and lags far behind other countries. ... Between 2010 and 2014 investments rose to 850 million euros but that figure is still far below the 7 billion euros that went to France, the 6.2 billion for Germany, the 6 billion for Portugal and the 3.5 billion for Hungary in the same period. This shows that Spain isn't doing enough to attract Chinese capital. We need to analyse what has gone wrong and how to remedy it, because Spain offers ideal conditions for being a good partner for China, which could result in mutual benefits for the companies of both countries." (02/12/2015)


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Tages-Anzeiger - Switzerland

Exodus to Europe: East-West rift widens

The growing rift between Eastern and Western Europe in the refugee crisis is the result of dashed hopes in Eastern Europe, the centre-left daily Tages-Anzeiger posits: "The people in Eastern Europe hoped in vain that the EU would free them from the claws of corruption. Now it's not just the politicians there who are inciting anger against Brussels and the refugees. ... The rift between East and West would also have widened without the hundreds of thousands of refugees now flooding Europe. But the refugee crisis has radically speeded up this process. The West can't understand that countries from which hundreds of thousands of people fled occupation or martial law in 1956, 1981 and 1989 aren't willing to make the slightest gesture of solidarity today. For the East, however, the EU has reneged on its promises and is obliged to fulfil them." (02/12/2015)

Trouw - Netherlands

The Netherlands losing its nerve over Salafists

The Dutch government wants to review a ban of Salafist organisations in the country. A needless overreaction in the fight against terror, the Christian-social daily Trouw warns: "Salafism is not as cut and dry as the coalition is making it out to be. There are differences among these supporters of a 'pure' Islam. They are seldom in favour of democracy. However, while some want to use terror to bomb the world into paradise, others are unpolitical and fully concentrated on their own religious lives. ... That doesn't make things any better. Salafism is worrying, and can be very dangerous. For that reason the security services, judiciary and police must do everything legally possible to prevent, fight and punish crimes committed in the name of Islam. ... But at the same time they must respect the rule of law and only punish those who have really committed infractions." (02/12/2015)

The Irish Independent - Ireland

Irish abortion laws breach human rights

The Belfast High Court in Northern Ireland ruled on Monday that women must be allowed to terminate pregnancies resulting from sexual crimes or in cases of fatal foetal abnormality. The ruling has also rekindled discussion in Ireland, where the government has started a national debate on the even tougher abortion laws in the Republic of Ireland. That still doesn't go far enough, the conservative daily The Irish Independent argues: "The inconvenient truth is that government after government has been happy to treat women in Ireland as insentient incubators whose primary responsibility is procreation at all costs. ... So, the talking shop announced by the Taoiseach, although politically expedient, is yet another delaying tactic to outsource decision making and postpone any change for as long as possible. The price of this indecision will be the Irish State continuing to knowingly breach the human rights of its female citizens." (01/12/2015)

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