[Documents menu] Documents menu

Date: Tue, 19 May 98 12:52:35 CDT
From: MichaelP <papadop@peak.org>
Subject: G8 scorned by euro press
Article: 35281
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.6013.19980520181604@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

G8 scorned by euro press

BBC, Monday 18 May 1998

London—The outcome of the G8 summit in Birmingham has been greeted with criticism and a degree of scorn in many of the industrialised countries' newspapers.

Editorials around the world have particularly condemned the failure of the world's top leaders to do more to relieve Third World debt or come up with a concerted response to India's nuclear tests or the crisis in Indonesia,

'Summit for Nothing' - The Guardian

Most of Britain's broad-sheets followed the line of the Guardian newspaper, which had been vigorously campaigning for further relief of Third World debt. The Guardian complained that the conference put the emphasis on what the poor countries have to do to earn debt relief and commits members of the Group to no particular target.

The Independent attacked inaction in the face of needless suffering, while the Times concluded there had been little progress on the issue of debt, and even the right-wing Daily Telegraph lamented a lost opportunity to lift the burden of debt of poor countries.

Beyond their control

The Italian newspaper La Stampa observed that this was hardly the first time that the summit has been taken over by outside events, referring to the crises in Indonesia and India's nuclear tests, which overshadowed the conference.

Meanwhile, the International Herald Tribune argued that the Birmingham meeting showed that the world's most powerful nations are still coming to terms with the reality of the post-Cold War age - a world beyond their individual or collective control.

A commentary in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun said that India timed its nuclear tests to coincide with the summit, and that the G8 proved itself to be powerless. No sanctions have been adopted because France, Russia and Britain opposed them. These nations based on the 'ancien regime' are struggling to maintain nuclear weapons to demonstrate national prestige, it said.

Tony under attack

The Corriere della Sera in Milan took an ironic slant on the G8 meeting, noting with tongue-in-cheek disapproval that Tony Blair's casual style does not always work. It criticised the British prime minister for suspending proceedings so he could watch a football match.

It went on to say that it may not be as easy to dominate the international scene as it was to beat John Major - and that the world will not obey Mr Blair like his ministers do at Cabinet meetings.