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Last Updated: Friday, 8 July, 2005, 05:34 GMT 06:34 UK
European press review

Friday's European papers are dominated by the bombings in London.

Some link the attacks to the G8 summit in Scotland and assess their impact on the meeting of world leaders.

And many praise Londoners for their reaction to the ordeal.

London's horror

"London plunged into horror" screams France's Le Figaro after the blasts on the capital's transport system.

No panic, and an impressive stiff upper lip, the measure of a people used, since 1940 at least, to its spirit of resistance.

It believes the attacks have "the hallmark of Al-Qaeda, just as in New York and Madrid", adding that "London has a strong radical Islamist community from around the world, nicknamed 'Londonistan'".

France's Liberation calls the events a "recurring nightmare" and believes the list of Western cities struck by terrorist attacks is bound to grow.

It feels the timing of the bombings was deliberate, to coincide with the opening of the G8 summit, and describes the British, US and Russian leaders as "the worst enemies of the Islamist extremists".

The paper thinks British Prime Minister Tony Blair is unlikely to alter his approach to fighting terrorism.

"His refusal to be intimidated", it adds, "is a perfect reflection of the sang-froid observed yesterday in the streets of the British capital.

"No panic, and an impressive stiff upper lip, are the measure of a people used, since 1940 at least, to its spirit of resistance."

Hungary's Nepszabadsag looks at the symbolism of the attack.

"Just as the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center could be seen as the symbol of New York and the 'overbearing power of the American economy', there cannot be a truer symbol of Britain than the London Underground," it says.

It too ends with praise for Londoners' calm response to the blasts.

"It is not easy to frighten the British. They are extremely self-controlled," it says.

In Germany, Der Tagesspiegel says there can be only "mourning and sympathy with the people of a city which has been plunged from one day to the next from the heights of joy at winning the venue for the Olympic Games to the depths of sorrow".

'Mortal enemy'

Spain's papers recall the horror of the bomb attacks on Madrid commuters on 11 March 2004.

Our societies have a mortal enemy, fanatical, yet sophisticated and implacable, to whom our misery and fear is a great triumph
El Pais

El Pais argues that "the culture of hatred and death cannot bear the success of open societies constantly striving for improved individual and collective happiness".

The bombings should remind us, it says, that "our societies have a mortal enemy, fanatical, yet sophisticated and implacable, to whom our misery and fear is a great triumph".

"No-one is safe from this threat and no-one can deal with it alone," it adds, calling for greater international cooperation and joint preventative action.

Spain's ABC contends that "democratic Europe will have to lose its innocence and accept that there are those who would like to destroy it".

"There is a lack of a collective readiness to confront all-out aggression," it says.

Both ABC and another Spanish daily, El Mundo, believe that there was a shortage of information available to the British public after the attacks.

"Seven hours after the massacre, official figures only acknowledged two dead," El Mundo notes.

More to come

Austria's Die Presse feels the attacks were inevitable.

"Some time, somewhere, bombs were bound to go off [in Britain], one of America's most loyal allies," it says.

After New York we had Madrid and countless outrages in Iraq, and now death has come to London

"The much vaunted 'war on terror' has by no means been won," it warns.

"More attacks will follow, perhaps also in places where they are not expected - perhaps even in Austria."

Poland's Trybuna sees "a black wave spreading across the world".

"After New York we had Madrid and countless outrages in Iraq, and now death has come to London.

"The bomb explosions which tore apart completely unaware passengers on the underground were clearly a challenge to the well-protected leaders of the most powerful countries in the world who are debating in Scotland," it says.

The Swiss German Neue Zuercher Zeitung warns that although it may be "illusory" to think innocent civilians can ever be free of the scourge of terrorism, responsible governments have an obligation to do their utmost to reduce the risk.

This includes employing "political, economic and social ideas aimed at effectively drying up the breeding ground for terrorist rabble-rousers", it says.


Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung also has some advice for political leaders.

"So far the Eight and their allies have not been speaking with one voice on antiterrorism policy," it says.

"The experience of Gleneagles has hopefully taught them to do otherwise."

The Financial Times Deutschland believes that the summit agenda will not be hijacked by the attacks.

"The agenda will not be defined by al-Qaeda, a free society will not bow to extremism."

The fact that the G8 summit continued and Mr Blair returned after his visit to London "was the right signal", it says.

France's Le Figaro says "the G8 summit has closed ranks behind Tony Blair".

"Shocked by the fatal attacks as their summit opened at Gleneagles, the leaders of the eight world powers decided to continue their meeting to show their determination not to give in to the terrorists."

It is optimistic that progress can still be made.

"Advances are basically in the bag on the two main themes of this G8, help to Africa and the fight against global warming."

But Romania's Adevarul believes top issues will be sidelined.

"The expectation is that the issues on the summit agenda - global warming, African aid, and the state of the world's economy - will lose their substance, the leaders of the eight countries having now an urgent matter imposed by yesterday's events."

The European press review is compiled by BBC Monitoring from internet editions of the main European newspapers and some early printed editions.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


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