Monday, March 31, 2003

Mass opposition grows in Europe to War on Iraq
'Spain's Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar, the third man on the international stage beside the US President, George Bush, and the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, in the run-up to war, is staring at political disaster. The most recently published poll on attitudes to war, by the state's own official pollsters, showed 91 per cent opposed... Mr Aznar's one-time political mentor, Felix Pastor, a former party president who sits on its ruling committee, broke ranks to accuse him of destroying the years of work to creating a moderate, centre-right party. "The idea of a moderate, humanitarian, Christian People's Party has been blown away," he told El Mundo newspaper. "The Spanish people have the right to expect their government to keep them away from all wars ... Bush's policies are so detestable that we should keep well away."'

'Opinion polls in France show that approval for President Jacques Chirac's anti-war policy has reached 90 per cent, the highest recorded rating for any government program since surveys started in 1938.'

'Germany's centre-left Government signalled an initiative - outlined this week by the overseas development minister, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul - to ensure that the coalition agreed to bear the cost of rebuilding Iraq. "It cannot be the case that the Americans and the British bomb and 'old Europe' pays," she said, alluding to US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's scathing reference to some anti-war nations.'

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