G-8 Leaders’ Summit

G-8 leaders arrive at the Evian summit.
Right to Left: Russian President Vladimir Putin (back turned), Greek President Konstantinos Simitis, Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, French President Jacques Chirac, and European Commission President Romano Prodi (Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP-Getty Images).

Paris Le Figaro (conservative), June 2: Like Rome, America faces no competition. Nevertheless, Jacques Chirac has invited the other world to sit across from President Bush....Chirac wants to prove that his opposition to an armed intervention in Iraq cannot be reduced to anti-Americanism and that many others who favor a multipolar world share France’s strategy....After his rapid victory in Iraq, President Bush needs no one: not the United Nations or NATO. Not the European Union, which is more useful to the United States divided than united, and certainly not France....George W. Bush will listen to Chirac, but he will probably not hear what he has to say.
—Charles Lambroschini

Madrid El País (liberal), June 4: The G-8 [Group of 8: seven major industrialized nations plus Russia] is more than a club and less than an institution, al-though it has served to gather some leaders who did not have any other official venue in which to meet and whose confrontation would be dangerous for world stability. Despite the fact that Bush was the last to arrive at Évian and the first to leave, during the 24 hours he spent in France he agreed that “you can make a war solo, but you cannot make peace alone.” Chirac said this sentence, although French sources confirm Bush endorsed it.
—Joaquin Prieto

Sofia Monitor (nationalist), June 4: The existence of the G-8 makes no sense if we deem the gathering as an institution, as a kind of “Global Directorate” overseeing the planet’s destiny and not simply as a rich countries’ club....The leaders of the great world powers came to Évian divided by the war in Iraq but departed more or less reconciled. Of course, this [reconciliation] was not the result of betrayal of national interests but of awareness that you need the cooperation of others in this increasingly interrelated world.
—Rumen Mihailov

Tirana Shekulli (centrist), June 2: The leaders of the world’s richest countries (G-8) seemed to have smoothed more or less their diversities of opinion when they agreed on some questions....However, the G-8 did not achieve anything in the conversations about the world economy, and nothing was said on what should be done to stop the drastic fall of the U.S. dollar, which is a key problem that is causing trouble for the biggest trade partners of the United States.

Budapest Magyar Nemzet (conservative), June 5: The French and American presidents paraded around before reporters with wider smiles and more polite gestures than diplomatic custom dictates, due to the Iraq war and the resulting serious crisis in Franco-American relations, indicating an honest and bilateral desire for reconciliation. Still, only a marginal role is being given to Chirac in the momentum building from George Bush’s new effort to organize Middle East affairs.

Milan Panorama (centrist newsmagazine), June 5: Every G-8 meeting has a preset agenda and then a daily special. And it is the second that usually determines the success of a summit of this kind. The hot issues right now: the struggle against international terrorism, the reconstruction of Iraq, and the hope for peace in the Middle East after the acceptance of the “road map.” For all three of these epochal events, it will be necessary to recover the spirit of international cooperation demonstrated so effectively after Sept. 11. The United States cannot do it alone and needs Europe and Russia.

Dublin The Irish Times (centrist), June 3: Given the poor state of the international economies, the statement from the leaders that “all conditions” are in place for recovery is not convincing. They have much to do to try to promote growth in their economies, but the bland statements issued at Évian suggest little progess has been made over the past few days....But now the time has come for concerted international action to boost a fragile world economy.

Havana Granma Internacional (Communist Party weekly), June 4: In Évian, representatives of the eight most powerful countries in the world had their meeting while, several kilometers away, the protesters who came to stand up for the millions of people suffering from hunger, misery, and disease were received with tear gas, barbed wire, and water cannons by thousands of heavily armed soldiers and police....Once more, this repression formed an important part of the Summit of the Rich, who plan to meet next year in the United States to reanalyze their problems...and, of course, to offer new empty promises.
—Arsenio Rodríguez

Oslo Aftenposten (conservative), June 4: Even if the final pronouncement from the summit meeting was for once commendably brief, it was boring, just as flat as the overpriced Évian water....While the dollar sinks and the euro has become so strong that Europe risks being hard hit, the G-8 could not even manage to conduct a meaningful debate on the dollar. It seems that “the big ones” could benefit from sitting quietly around the fireplace again. Perhaps they would discover a feeling of loneliness while China and others push ahead into the world economy.
—Per Nordrum

Lima La República (center-left), June 2: For the first time, the G-8 is opening the doors to the economies of the developing hemisphere, and for a day the summit will be the G-20 with the participation of the leaders of 12 developing nations invited by France....If the G-8 countries want to show their support for poor countries and deter the negative consequences of globalization, it would be enough if they opened their subsidized agricultural sectors to products from the South. It appears, however, that this issue is one that will not be on the bargaining table.

Caracas El Universal (centrist), June 2: In this wide-ranging dialogue [the G-8 leaders] debated about globalization, development, and poverty. Chirac tried to give the Évian summit a Third World beginning by saying that the G-8 is not the director of the planet and it is not closed upon itself.

New Delhi The Economic Times (conservative), June 5: On the economic front, the Évian summit has failed to live up to the most modest expectations. Beyond voicing confidence that a global economic recovery is around the corner, the summit has done nothing concrete to assuage the fears of a global citizenry worried about the possibility of deflation. Here was an opportunity for the leaders of send out a signal that would get stalled trade talks started or make some definite announcement about coordinated efforts to give a boost to the global economy.