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European press debate Bush win

European press
Hold the front page: Bush heads to the White House  

LONDON, England -- Over a month after many European newspapers had to hastily change their first editions George W. Bush was back on the front pages.

Once again it is the British tabloids that have the most fun with the serious business of deciding the 43rd U.S. president.

Highlighting concern at Bush's perceived lack of foreign-policy experience, the tabloid Mirror printed a globe with an arrow pointing to Britain, under the headline: "P.S. We are here."

 IN-DEPTH
graphic A Bush Presidency:
Europe's View


  • Bush and Europe: On the issues
  • Analysis: Victory shakes Europe
  • World reaction
  • Press review
  • Overview: U.S.-Europe ties
  • Different relationships
  • Balkan backyard
  • Bath salt battle
  • Message board
  • Election 2000
 

"It's the son wot won it!" proclaimed The Sun, punning on the second generation of Bush leadership and its famous "It's the Sun wot won it" headline, when the paper grabbed credit for British Prime Minister John Major's 1992 election victory.

But the upmarket French Le Monde also has a humorous take on the protracted post-election wrangling and recounts in a front-page cartoon.

The sketch shows an uncertain Uncle Sam studying a disputed ballot while being told by a judge: "I tell you this looks like a Bush."

In its editorial the French daily is scathing of post-election conduct and questions the effect on the future of American politics: "The legal decision shows at the minimum that there is something rotten in the Florida of Jeb Bush."

It concludes: "With this decision George W. Bush is the first president who owes his nomination not just to the electorate but also to judges and that is not necessarily a good way to start to presidency."

The Spanish paper El Mundo, pictures a smiling Bush, under the headline "Gore throws in the towel."

It predicts future tensions: "The bitterness and the suspicions of the losing side could lead the Bush administration into a state of conflict or paralysis.

"This perception is not either encouraging for the rest of the world."

Germany's Die Welt agrees Bush will need sensitivity to prove he is the rightful and legitimate president.

"George Bush Jnr has already said that he wants to open his arms to the Democrats and in light of the split society and the Republican majority in the Congress this will be a necessary and wise move."

Britain's left-wing Guardian headlines its leader column: "In, but illegitimate."

The paper is harsh on the electoral process and the courts involvement: "Al Gore is out and it is a bad day for American democracy."

The establishment Times it more conciliatory about the "most surreal American election of modern time," claiming: "Bush faces a difficult but not impossible task."

Its editorial ends with some advice for the new president: "Mr Bush has come this far by combining personal charisma with a shrewd series of appointments. He will require both these qualities and more to secure his authority in the White House."

Africa greeted Bush's win in the U.S. presidential race with a weary shrug on Thursday, fearing a more isolationist America.

Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper said: "Because of Bush's linguistic deficiencies, inability to grasp complex issues and a deeply right-wing disposition unlikely to favour Africa...most people were not excited by his imminent declaration as the next president."

For many Africans, the prospect of Republicans controlling both the White House and Congress is cause for economic concern.

They fear aid to the continent will be cut while also slowing down the pace of debt relief. Bush said in February that Africa did not fit into U.S. strategic interests.



RELATED STORIES:
Analysis: Victory sends tremors through Europe
December 13, 2000
President Bush: The world reacts
December 14, 2000
Bush: 'I will work to earn your respect'
December 13, 2000
Bush transition can shift to high gear
December 12, 2000
With the presidential winner declared, what happens now?
December 8, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Le Monde
Die Welt
The Sun
The Mirror
The Guardian
The Times
El Mundo

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