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Last Updated: Friday, 11 August 2006, 05:26 GMT 06:26 UK
European press review
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Reports of the foiled London terror attacks have provoked strong reactions in the European press, with papers highlighting the continuing threat posed by international terrorism.

And once again, questions are being asked about Washington's "war on terror", Europe's record on integrating its Muslim communities, as well as the likely consequences for civil liberties.

Still a threat

Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung says the fact that the planned attacks were successfully disrupted is no cause for relief, but merely shows the challenge faced by security forces.

"Much as the news from London looks like a success in the fight against terrorism, it is certain that many more successes are needed in order to ensure public security," the paper says.

For Germany, it adds, the foiled attacks are a stark warning that the country is not immune, but "part of this world and condemned to deal with the problems of this world".

Belgium's De Standaard is struck by the alleged plot's similarity to 11 September attacks.

"It is not just that the will and the capacity have turned out to be unbroken," it says, "but apparently groups linked to al-Qaeda or following its example are determined even to surpass 9/11."

Fuelling the fire?

Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung believes the reports from London show how different strands of militant Islamism have come to dominate the global political agenda.

"What is most regrettable is that Western nations such as the United States and Britain have fuelled this escalation wherever they could," it says.

George W Bush's "war on terror" was only justified in Afghanistan, the paper feels, while in Iraq it was "a lie".

The Berliner Zeitung agrees.

"It is now a truism that it was only under the American occupation that Iraq became a nest of international terrorism in which day after day new activists for the fight against the Western lifestyle are born," it says.

Instead of trying to remedy the situation, the two countries are persisting with policies that worsen it, the paper adds, accusing UK Prime Minister Tony Blair of doing too little to resolve the Lebanon conflict.

But France's Liberation questions the idea that the West's policies can be blamed for Islamist terrorism.

"Aggressive Bush-style policies complicate the problem but do not create it," the paper says, and adds that even ending the Middle East conflict will not remove all the root causes of terrorism.

"This is one more reason to learn to live with it," the paper concludes.

Enemy within?

Spain's El Pais says the alleged plot shows that Western societies have not done enough to integrate their Muslim communities.

"Open democratic societies must be aware", it warns, "that enemies are emerging from within their midst, feeding on our weaknesses and contradictions in order to sow indiscriminate pain, chaos and terror".

Romania's Gandul is concerned that "nothing has been done to really understand why a number of Muslim youths are ready to die in order to kill - together with themselves - as many innocent civilians as possible".

Tony Blair for one has failed in his approach to the problem, Switzerland's Le Temps believes.

"By giving priority to the 'special relationship' with Bush, Downing Street has detracted from domestic problems," says the paper.

Instead of tackling Muslim disaffection, it argues, Mr Blair's government "appears to believe adopting anti-terrorist laws is enough to protect itself", it says.

"This is dealing with the consequence instead of the cause," the paper concludes.

Hungary's Nepszabadsag has harsh words for the alleged London plotters, saying that such people cannot regard Britain as their home even if they are born in the country.

"They hold it responsible, together with white America, for the backwardness, poverty and wars in their parents' country of birth," the paper believes.

The only "constructive" aspect of their mentality is their "love of destruction", it says. "They are psychopaths."

Freedom vs security

Spain's La Vanguardia argues that it is now inevitable that the fight against terrorism will now affect the lives of all citizens, even to the extent of - as it puts it - "causing inconvenience".

"We have to accept that the fight against global terrorism has changed some aspects of citizens' lives," it says, "and they have to be aware that they are faced with a life and death struggle".

But Austria's Die Presse warns against measures that undermine civil liberties in the process.

"The enemies of an open society manage to threaten it by provoking reactions which jeopardise the essence of a liberal social order: freedom," the paper says.

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


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