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From Mania to Mistrust: Europe's Obama Euphoria Wanes - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

Europe was ecstatic when Barack Obama got elected, but the enthusiasm has dampened since he took office in January. On the eve of his first visit to Europe as president, some here are wondering how seriously he takes the Continent.

Some skepticism has crept in to European feelings about US President Barack Obama. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the new director of policy planning at the US State Department, was sitting on the stage at a conference on trans-Atlantic relations in Brussels. "Europe has a phone number," she said, and there was a satisfied murmuring of approval among her mainly European audience. Everyone remembers the famous remark by former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who complained in the 1970s that he didn't know who to call when he wanted to talk to Europe.

But when the moderator asked Slaughter if she had that number on her, she was evidently caught off guard. "I have three," she replied. The hall erupted into loud laughter.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:14:09 PM EST
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Merkel Is Ready to Greet, and Then Resist, Obama - NYTimes.com

BERLIN -- Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, an avowed friend of the United States and the leader of the European Union's biggest economy, is diplomatic about the coming visit by President Obama. But she is clear that she is not about to give ground on new stimulus spending, stressing the need to maintain fiscal discipline even as she professes to want to work closely with the new American president. Skip to next paragraph Maurice Weiss/Ostkreuz, for The New York Times

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in Berlin. She will meet with President Obama several times this week.

Speaking in her modern concrete-and-glass Chancellery building last week, she underscored the points of drama that may well delineate the three summit meetings during Mr. Obama's first trans-Atlantic trip since he was elected.

"International policy is, for all the friendship and commonality, always also about representing the interests of one's own country," Mrs. Merkel said in an interview with The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune.

At each summit meeting over the next week, Mr. Obama will find Mrs. Merkel, who first met him on his campaign trip in Europe last summer, across the table.

by Fran on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 02:15:13 PM EST
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That's a really pathetic article about whiny entitlement. This is written as if the US cavalry will ride over the hill to save us because they're like some global superman who does good just cos they like to. No, they do this when it's in their interest and for no other reason. We are economic allies and we are economic competitors.

The US is grown up enough to recognise that and behaves accordingly. Can european thinking emerge from the kindergarten please ? We will be of most use to the world when we take responsibility for ourselves and stop waiting for permission to breathe from across the Atlantic.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Mar 30th, 2009 at 04:45:47 PM EST
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