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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 July 2005, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Press struggles to focus on G8
Flags of the G8 nations flying at half-mast
The bomb attacks in London overshadowed the summit
Saturday's papers in some G8 member countries try to weigh up the outcome of the Gleneagles summit but find it difficult to overlook the impact on the talks of Thursday's bombings in London.

Some commentators see grounds for modest optimism following the meeting.

For France's Le Figaro, the summit came to be dominated by the issue of terrorism.

"The priorities initially set by Tony Blair - aid to Africa and climate change - were relegated to the background," the paper says.

Although the G8 leaders closed ranks and proclaimed their solidarity following the London attacks, "nevertheless, the momentum was considerably checked".

But one positive outcome Mr Blair can point to, the paper adds, is his "fine victory" in securing a $50bn increase in aid for developing countries.

'Africa will have to wait'

Liberation, however, is less sure of what benefits the summit will deliver for those countries, many of them in Africa.

In what the paper describes as its "optimistic version" of events, the continent can reflect on the fact that "for the first time in the history of the G8, it was at the centre of the world".

For the first time, President Bush acknowledged at an international forum that the changes in climate are scientifically undisputed
Sueddeutsche Zeitung

But the paper also offers a gloomier interpretation.

"Africa will have to wait," it says. "G8's answers are light-years away from the Africans' hopes."

In Germany, Die Welt doubts whether the summit really provided "the breakthrough in the struggle against poverty" its participants may wish to claim.

It is still too early, the paper says, to determine "whether the powerful are indeed serious about their aid for Africa".

United front

But Sueddeutsche Zeitung prefers to focus on what it sees as the summit's achievements.

"For the first time, "the paper says, "President Bush acknowledged at an international forum that the changes in climate are scientifically undisputed."

More important than that, it adds, was the message of unity sent out by G8 leaders.
On Thursday morning, it was immediately clear that the summit was to all intents and purposes wrecked
Moskovsky Komsomolets

"We have understood. We cannot afford petty quarrels when our opponents are threatening us with bombs."

For papers in Japan, the terrorist threat is simply too serious to ignore. Most editorials concentrate on the London bombings, leaving precious little space for other topics.

Mainichi Shimbun is among the very few to offer comment on the summit.

It welcomes Mr Bush's pledge to eliminate farm subsidies and says "progress surpassed expectations" on climate change.

But that topic draws a cooler response from Nihon Keizai Shimbun, which blames the "unfortunate" and "stubborn" US rejection of the Kyoto protocol for what it sees as a lack of progress.

View from Moscow

Russian papers also argue that the London attacks overshadowed the summit.

"On Thursday morning, "says Moskovsky Komsomolets, "it was immediately clear that the summit was to all intents and purposes wrecked."

The wave of public interest harnessed over the previous week, it adds, "did not quite fizzle out, but it was no longer top of the agenda".

And where Mr Blair failed, the paper argues, is that he was "too far ahead of everyone else".

With Russia due to host next year's summit, it says, "we won't frighten anyone by being too progressive".

Sovetskaya Rossiya also looks ahead to how Moscow will respond when it takes over the presidency of the G8 from Britain.

"Given our bureaucrats' servile ardour," it warns, "one dreads to think what the security arrangements will be."

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

London bombs make G8 impact
08 Jul 05 |  Business

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