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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05PARIS3779 2005-06-01 12:26:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Paris
Cable title:  

MEDIA REACTION REPORT - EU REFERENDUM - GOVERNMENT

Tags:   OPRC KMDR FR 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 PARIS 003779 

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR INR/R/MR; IIP/RW; IIP/RNY; BBG/VOA; IIP/WEU; AF/PA;
EUR/WE /P/SP; D/C (MCCOO); EUR/PA; INR/P; INR/EUC; PM; OSC ISA
FOR ILN; NEA; WHITE HOUSE FOR NSC/WEUROPE; DOC FOR ITA/EUR/FR
AND PASS USTR/PA; USINCEUR FOR PAO; NATO/PA; MOSCOW/PA;
ROME/PA; USVIENNA FOR USDEL OSCE.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OPRC KMDR FR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION REPORT - EU REFERENDUM - GOVERNMENT
RESHUFFLE AIRBUS-BOEING
PARIS - WEDNESDAY, JUNE 01, 2005

(A) SUBJECTS COVERED IN TODAY'S REPORT:



1. EU REFERENDUM - GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLE


2. AIRBUS-BOEING

B) SUMMARY OF COVERAGE:

LEAD STORIES IN TODAY'S MEDIA ARE DEVOTED TO THE AFTERMATH OF
FRANCE'S NEGATIVE VOTE ON THE EU REFERENDUM, THE RESIGNATION
OF PRIME MINISTER RAFFARIN AND PRESIDENT CHIRAC'S NOMINATION
OF DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN TO REPLACE HIM, WITH SARKOZY AS
INTERIOR MINISTER. WHILE LE FIGARO AND LE MONDE LEAD WITH
NEUTRAL HEADLINES, "DE VILLEPIN TO MATIGNON" (LE MONDE) AND
"THE DE VILLEPIN-SARKOZY TANDEM" (LE FIGARO), LEFT-OF-CENTER
LIBERATION HEADLINES OVER A PHOTO OF BOTH MEN: "THE
PRESIDENT'S CRUTCHES." FINANCIAL LA TRIBUNE HEADLINES: "A TOP-
NOTCH DUO TO ADDRESS UNEMPLOYMENT" WHILE LES ECHOS TITLES:
"CHIRAC PICKS DE VILLEPIN AND MAKES EMPLOYMENT HIS PRIORITY."
EDITORIALS ARE EQUALLY DEVOTED TO THE PRESIDENT'S CHOICES AND
THE TASK AHEAD. (SEE PART C)

THE CHOICE OF DE VILLEPIN FOR PRIME MINISTER ELICITS SEVERAL
ARTICLES RECALLING THE TUG-OF-WAR BETWEEN WASHINGTON AND THE
THEN FOREIGN MINISTER OVER THE WAR IN IRAQ. LE FIGARO CARRIES
TWO ARTICLES: "DE VILLEPIN, THE MAN BEHIND THE CONFRONTATION
WITH THE U.S." AND "WASHINGTON HAS YET TO FORGIVE." FOR
LIBERATION, "VILLEPIN IS AMERICA'S BETE NOIRE." (SEE PART C)

COMMENTARIES CONTINUE IN AN ATTEMPT TO EXPLAIN THE REASONS
BEHIND THE "NO" VOTE. FOR ALEXANDRE ADLER IN LE FIGARO: "HATE
FOR THE U.S., OR ANYTHING OF THE SORT, MUST NOT BE THE CEMENT
THAT CAN FEDERATE EUROPE." (SEE PART C)

LE FIGARO INTERVIEWS FERNANDO SAVATER, A SPANISH INTELLECTUAL
KNOWN FOR HIS COMMITMENT TO THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM: "LET
US MAKE NO MISTAKE, THE STAUNCH OPPONENTS OF A EUROPE-POWER,
WHO ARE NUMEROUS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC, MUST BE
GLOATING. WHAT A CURIOUS RESULT OF THE ANTI-AMERICAN HATE THAT
FLOURISHES AMONG THE OPPONENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION, WHETHER
THEY ARE FROM THE POLITICAL LEFT OR THE RIGHT! THE `NO' VOTE
IS A GREAT GIFT MADE TO BUSH."

THE MEDIA ALSO REPORTS EXTENSIVELY ON TODAY'S EU TREATY VOTE
IN THE NETHERLANDS, WHICH ACCORDING TO LIBERATION IS THE
"OTHER COUNTRY OF THE NO" EVEN IF THERE IS "NO DOMINO EFFECT,"
ACCORDING TO EDITORIALIST PATRICK SABATIER, "BECAUSE THE
NETHERLANDS' POSITION HAS ALWAYS BEEN KNOWN."

THE LATEST CONFRONTATION BETWEEN BOEING AND AIRBUS IS FRONT-
PAGED IN LE FIGARO, LE MONDE AND ECONOMIC LES ECHOS. (SEE PART
C)

(C) SUPPORTING TEXT/BLOCK QUOTES:

EU REFERENDUM - GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLE

"WASHINGTON HAS YET TO FORGIVE"
PHILIPPE GELIE IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/01):
"WASHINGTON'S POLITE CONGRATULATIONS FOOL NO ONE. SINCE THAT
FATEFUL DAY IN FEBRUARY WHEN AT THE UNSC DE VILLEPIN OPPOSED
THE WAR IN IRAQ WITH STAUNCH CONVICTION, HE HAS BECOME
AMERICA'S BETE NOIRE. THE EPISODE LEFT ITS MARK IN THE U.S. DE
VILLEPIN'S HEATED SPEECH ELICITED LITTLE ADMIRATION IN THE
U.S., BOTH BECAUSE OF FORM AND CONTENT. BUT BEHIND THE MAN,
WHAT THE AMERICANS REJECTED WAS A POLICY. SINCE THEN, RANCOR
HAS SUBSIDED AND FM BARNIER WAS ABLE TO START ON A DIFFERENT
FOOTING WITH SECRETARY RICE. BUT SUSPICION OVER FRANCE'S
INTENTIONS TOWARDS AMERICA REMAINS. LAST EVENING THE U.S.
INDICATED IT WAS READY TO WORK WITH THE NEW PRIME MINISTER,
BUT MADE IT CLEAR IT DID NOT FORGET HIS OPPOSITION TO THE WAR
IN IRAQ."

"THE `YES' CAMP ON THE ATTACK"
ALEXANDRE ADLER IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/01): "HATE
FOR THE U.S., OR ANYTHING OF THE SORT, MUST NOT BE THE CEMENT
THAT CAN FEDERATE EUROPE. THE CEMENT OF THE FRANCO-GERMAN
RELATIONSHIP CANNOT BE THE REJECTION OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND HIS
POLITICS. IT MUST BE MADE OF THE DETERMINATION TO ADOPT THE
SAME AVENUES AS THOSE OF AMERICA: AN ENERGETIC INDUSTRIAL
POLICY WITH RESEARCH AS ITS MAIN GOAL AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF
A COMMON MILITARY FORCE."

"COURAGE"
MICHEL SCHIFRES IN RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/01): "SINCE,
AFTER THE VICTORY OF THE `NO,' POLITICAL CONDITIONS ARE NOT AT
THEIR BEST, LET US SHOW SOME DETERMINATION AND DARING. DE
VILLEPIN LACKS NEITHER."

"INCOHERENCE AND CONTRADICTIONS"
JEAN-MICHEL THENARD IN LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION (06/01):
"CHIRAC AND SARKOZY SHARE THE SAME TALENT FOR CONTRADICTING
THEMSELVES. BUT WHEN IT COMES TO BEING INCOHERENT, CHIRAC IS
WAY AHEAD. PAST SQUABBLES BETWEEN SARKOZY AND DE VILLEPIN DO
NOT PRESAGE A HAPPY END FOR THIS UNNATURAL UNION. CHIRAC IS
PERFECTLY AWARE OF THIS. HE IS SIMPLY GAINING SOME TIME WHILE
OFFERING THE FRENCH AN ILLUSION OF CHANGE THAT COULD SOON
TRIGGER A DOSE OF REJECTION. THE FRENCH, EXASPERATED BY TEN
YEARS OF CHIRAC'S RULE, WILL HAVE VERY LITTLE PATIENCE WITH DE
VILLEPIN. THE MAN HAS ALLURE AND KNOWS HOW TO TALK, BUT NO
PARTICULAR TALENT TO OVERCOME UNEMPLOYMENT."

"AMERICA'S BETE NOIRE"
FABRICE ROUSSELOT IN LEFT-OF-CENTER LIBERATION (06/01): "FOR
MONTHS BEFORE THE AMERICAN INTERVENTION IN IRAQ, DE VILLEPIN
WAS A THORN IN WASHINGTON'S SIDE. HE BECAME THE FLAMBOYANT
SYMBOL OF `FRENCH RESISTANCE.' YESTERDAY, WASHINGTON REMAINED
DISCREET AFTER HIS NOMINATION AS PRIME MINISTER."

AIRBUS-BOEING

"AN OPEN WAR BETWEEN BOEING AND AIRBUS"
RIGHT-OF-CENTER LE FIGARO (06/01): "WASHINGTON STARTED THE
HOSTILITIES WHEN IT ASKED THE WTO TO SANCTION AIRBUS FOR ITS
SUBSIDIES. THE ANSWER FROM BRUSSELS CAME VERY QUICKLY IN THE
FORM OF A SIMILAR REQUEST REGARDING BOEING'S OWN SUBSIDIES.
THIS NEW EPISODE IN THE TUG-OF-WAR BETWEEN BOEING AND AIRBUS
MEANS THAT BILATERAL NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO SIDES HAVE
FAILED. THE DATE CHOSEN, DAYS BEFORE THE START OF THE PARIS
AIR SHOW, IS NOT COINCIDENTAL. IF THE U.S. AND EUROPE CANNOT
GO BACK TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE, THEY WILL BE COMMITTED TO A
PROCEDURE THAT COULD TAKE YEARS, WITH THE RISK OF HAVING TO
START FROM SCRATCH. WTO JUDGES HAVE EVERY REASON TO POINT A
FINGER AT BOTH PLAINTIFFS FOR OVERRIDING THE LEGISLATION ON
PUBLIC SUBSIDIES."

"AN OPEN WAR BETWEEN BOEING AND AIRBUS"
ERIC LESER IN LEFT-OF-CENTER LE MONDE (06/01): "WASHINGTON
BELIEVES THAT THE EUROPEANS ARE PURPOSELY DRAGGING OUT THE
PROCEDURE SO THAT CERTAIN PUBLIC SUBSIDIES BECOME
AUTOMATICALLY IRREVERSIBLE, PARTICULARLY THOSE CONCERNING THE
NEW A380. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS TRYING TO PROVE ITS
DETERMINATION AS IT WATCHES FOR SIGNS OF WEAKNESS FROM
BRUSSELS, IN THE WAKE OF THE FRENCH VOTE ON THE EU
CONSTITUTION. IT ALSO BELIEVES THAT IT HAS A STRONGER CASE
THAN THE EUROPEANS. BRUSSELS SHOULD NOT UNDERESTIMATE
WASHINGTON'S CONCERNS REGARDING BOEING'S FUTURE. THE U.S
AEROSPACE SECTOR IN GENERAL IS IN POOR SHAPE. UNDER PRESSURE
FROM CONGRESS, THE ADMINISTRATION IS DETERMINED TO HELP ITS
AIRCRAFT MANUFACTURER." WOLFF