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Saturday, 21 July, 2001, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Newspapers lament Genoa violence
Flowers and crowds on Genoa square
The scene of the shooting has attracted mourners
The death of a demonstrator protesting against the G8 summit in Genoa has prompted anguished comment in the European press.

The day before the shooting, France's Le Figaro warned prophetically that "Genoa's demonstrators are going to underscore the need for reform and undoubtedly this will be done in the worst possible way".


The fact that the Italian police resorted to firearms as soon as the first clashes occurred is a serious and inexcusable error

Liberation, France

In the aftermath, Spain's La Vanguardia also saw it coming.

"The death of a young demonstrator yesterday in Genoa was, unfortunately, a foreseeable tragedy," it said.

'Inexcusable error'

The French daily Liberation criticised the policing.

"The fact that the Italian police resorted to firearms as soon as the first clashes occurred is a serious and inexcusable error which cannot fail to influence the further development of events."

It also focused on the wider effect.

"A death has tarnished the image of the G8, which was already extremely grey."


Genetically-modified young people, who have been misled by what centre-left governments wickedly taught them: Western democracy is the cause of all the world's suffering

Il Giornale, Italy, on the protesters

In Italy, La Stampa called on both summiteers and protesters to take stock.

"The G8 and those who oppose them have chosen a political and media strategy made up of spectacular events and Genoa provided a perfect stage for this," it said.

The violence "may have stripped naked the weaknesses of the G8 and the anti-globalisation movement", it concluded.

Il Giornale, owned by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, condemned the protesters.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi
The premier's paper condemned the protesters
It blamed "a generation of genetically-modified young people, who have been misled by what their fathers in centre-left governments wickedly sought to teach them: that Western democracy is... the cause of all the world's suffering".

Early days?

Russian newspapers were interested in the protests, while seeing not much sign yet of a home-grown anti-globalisation movement.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta saw good reason to oppose a trend which "aggressively seeks ideological totalitarianism on a global scale".

"But most Russians view anti-globalism as a fad or just an excuse to take to the streets", it lamented.


There is no shortage of things to discuss in these precarious times, but what do the world's rulers offer? They pretend the world is still OK behind the barriers of Genoa

Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany

A spokesman for the 40 Russian protesters who did go to Genoa acknowledged as much in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda.

"It's too early to speak of Russian anti-globalists as a phenomenon in their own right. We don't have a united and organised movement as in the West," he said.

German newspapers were concerned with the issues raised by the summit.

The Frankfurter Rundschau was emphatic in condemning "an anachronistic ritual".

"There is no shortage of things to discuss in these precarious times," it complained, citing the Macedonian conflict and Argentina's economic crisis.

"But what do the world's rulers offer in their communiques? They pretend the world is still OK behind the barriers of Genoa."

'Paradox'

US President George W. Bush
'Daddy's boy', but more than he seems
The Sueddeutsche Zeitung detected a "paradox" which made the USA the biggest anti-globaliser of all.

As integration increases, so does the need for regulations to govern it, it said.

"[The US] Congress, suspecting that the country is subordinating itself to too many treaties, agreements and institutions, is turning the nation state back into... a protective shell for its retreat from globalisation," it noted.

"But that is hardly what the demonstrators in Genoa really want."

Der Tagesspiegel agreed, warning Europeans against underestimating the "Daddy's boy from Texas".

"What Europeans overlook is that Bush... embodies a little bit of America," it said.

The paper saw American suspicion of the Kyoto Protocol and other accords as an extension of their historical hostility to an overmighty state.

"Why should I let China, North Korea, Sudan and Iraq tell me how much petrol my car can consume?", it imagined the average American asking.

"That's what many of them think. All Bush is doing is to say it openly."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

21 Jul 01 | Europe
Summit leaders condemn 'anarchy'
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